5 Random Things: December 4

5 random things

1. Things with a newborn are a lot more time consuming than I remember. It’s really difficult to find time to do anything, especially on the days when Will is working away from home. It’s nice to have older kids to help out (so I can do things like take a shower), but even they have their limits. We still haven’t started back to school yet (hopefully on Tuesday, if I can find time to get everything ready . . .), and projects like making hats and quilts? That’s just not happening. Which brings me to . . .

2. Two women from our church are having babies in the next few weeks, and tonight is the joint baby shower for them. My plan was to make them each a quilt, and I got close to finishing. I’ve got the tops for both done, and one is halfway quilted. But I didn’t have any backing fabric for the second one, and with Will out selling books all week, I don’t really have a way to go get some (we’re a one car family). So we found some cute baby pajamas at the store, and I’ll gift those tonight. I plan to still finish the quilts and give those as gifts when the babies are born. That gives me a lot more time to work with. (The babies are due in January.)

3. My dad must be a saint. Allow me to explain. He runs a taxi business in town, and a few weeks ago his van broke down (broken head gasket). So he took it to the junkyard to see how much they’d give him for it, and he wasn’t impressed with what they offered. So instead of taking the $200, he paid $1500 to repair the van, even though he’d already bought a new one at that point. (He couldn’t really take too long a hiatus from his business.) Just before Dragonfly was born, we’d set up an arrangement to buy the “extra” van from him, but between paying for things that the insurance didn’t cover surrounding the birth and buying new furniture, we haven’t been able to get the money together yet. So we’ve had a family of six in a car with five seat belts. That means we haven’t been able to all go anywhere together since baby was born. (Good thing Seahawk is old enough to stay home and babysit, eh?) Well, this past Monday, my dad texted me and asked if we wanted to do a straight trade: our PT Cruiser for his van. No money necessary. We, of course, said Yes! And everyone is very happy with the arrangement. What a blessing!

4. Dragonfly is three weeks old today. I’m always so amazed at how fast the time goes. I knew going in that the first year flies by, but it’s still surprising. On a related note, is it weird that I kind of miss my doctor? Going from monthly visits to twice-a-month visits to weekly visits and then just stopping cold turkey is kind of shocking. Fortunately, she’s also Dragonfly’s pediatrician, so we’ll see her regularly over the next couple of years at least. His first check up is on Monday. I can’t wait to see how much weight he’s gained!

5. We’re having stuffed bell peppers for dinner tonight. Super easy: one pound of ground beef or turkey mixed with a small can of tomato sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, and enough instant rice (the “instant” part is important) to absorb the liquid. Put the mixture into the cavities of some bell peppers and bake for an hour until the meat is cooked through. I always end up with way more meat mixture than it takes to fill the peppers, but that’s okay because even without a pepper, the filling is delicious. It’s good to have extra 🙂


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Why I’m Choosing a C-Section


I touched on this before, but today I want to express my specific reasons for why I’m choosing to have Dragonfly via repeat c-section (RCS) as opposed to attempting a TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean) and VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). There are pros and cons to both an RCS and a VBAC, and I thought at length over which option was best for me. This does not, under any circumstances, mean that my choice is the best for everyone. It also does not mean that anyone else’s choice is the right one for me. I just wanted to get some of my thoughts out on why I made what I know to be the right choice for myself.

For the full story of my choice, I think I need to take you back to 2006, when Munchkin was born. I’m not going to go into the whole story of his birth, but I’ll go over the highlights. Due to a failed NST (non-stress test) at my 38-week appointment, I was induced 11 days early with him. Eight hours into the induction, his heart rate dropped to about 30 beats per minute (normal adult resting heart rate is about 80 bpm; newborns are around 130 bpm, just to give you a point of reference). My family practice doctor, who delivered Seahawk and would’ve delivered Munchkin in a vaginal birth, made a call to the obstetrician for an emergency c-section. I don’t know how far away the surgeon was, but from the time Munchkin’s heart monitor beeped until delivery was only about 15 minutes. This included the time spent waiting for the surgeon to arrive, upping my anesthesia (I was already on an epidural), and wheeling me to the operating room. Once in the OR, I think it was closer to 5 minutes before he was born. I was disappointed in the outcome (I never in a million years thought I’d have a c-section, even when the doctor prepped me for the possibility about four hours before it became necessary), but obviously was glad to have my baby in the safest way possible for him.

In 2012, I was pregnant with Small Fry. At my first prenatal appointment, my doctor (the same one that I’d had for the other two boys) talked to me about the possibilities of a VBAC vs an RCS. She told me that the local hospital didn’t offer VBACs because they just didn’t have the staff that the ACOG (American College of Gynecologists) recommends. Because we live in a small-to-medium sized town (about 25,000 residents), they don’t keep an anesthesiologist, obstetrician, or pediatrician within the walls of the hospital 24/7, which is the main requirement of VBAC patients – just in case something happens and they need an emergency c-section. So my options were to deliver at another hospital or have another c-section. At that point, I hadn’t done a lick of research on the differences or pros/cons of each type of delivery. I just remembered that my recovery with Munchkin wasn’t so bad, so I readily agreed to a repeat c-section. I went through all of my prenatal appointments, had an appointment with the obstetrician who would be performing the surgery (the same doctor who had delivered Munchkin almost six years earlier), and was assigned a birthday for our newest family member. The biggest complication with the actual delivery was getting my dehydrated veins (thanks to the “no food or drink 8 hours prior to surgery” rule) to open up enough to insert the IV Hep Lock. (They ended up using a child-size needle.) The actual surgery went very well, and Small Fry was born exactly 15 minutes after my scheduled appointment time.

Recovery, on the other hand, was a bear this time around. I was coughing a lot, and my head felt like a train was passing through it for several hours after each dose of pain medication (2 percocet tablets). I talked to my nurses about the head discomfort, and they told me that it was a side effect of the pain meds; after dropping me back to one tablet instead of two, I felt much better. But there was still that incessant cough. My doctor (again, the same one as had delivered – helped in Munchkin’s case – the first two boys) came to visit me each day, and when I mentioned the cough to her, she listened to my chest and diagnosed bronchitis. I was started on antibiotics before leaving the hospital, and within just a few days was feeling better. Unfortunately, that diagnosis took until the third or fourth day in the hospital (I was there from Thursday through Sunday), which meant that I was recovering from major abdominal surgery with bronchitis for about 9-10 days (the four days before plus the five days of antibiotics). Not fun, and I told myself that if we had another baby I did not want another c-section.

Ah, the things we tell ourselves.

Now it’s 2015, and Dragonfly is expected to make his appearance in about 4 weeks (30 days, to be exact). I tried to keep my promise to myself: No more c-sections. I tried so hard. I spent the first half of my pregnancy on the phone with my insurance company and a variety of doctors/clinics/hospitals trying to find someone who would take a patient with two prior c-sections and was covered by my insurance. I didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was. My doctor (this time, I’m seeing my regular doctor’s business partner because my other doctor was on leave until I was 22 weeks along; it seemed weird to me to change for “no good reason” at that point) found me the name of a clinic that would likely take me – at the very least, they’d give me a consultation to see if I was a good candidate. She said the only thing I had to do was to call them to make the switch to seeing them as my prenatal doctors by the 28-week mark. I called them around 21 weeks, just to get the ball rolling (my doctor said that changing before 28 was fine, but not after). Within about two minutes, I was told that they didn’t accept my insurance. I felt utterly defeated.

A week later, not ready to be deterred yet, I called my insurance company to get a list of doctors they were contracted with. The lady on the other end of the phone wasn’t sure if any of them did VBACs, but at least it was a place to start. I found one that I was sure I’d be comfortable with (based on internet research of each doctor on the list). Their website said the first thing to do, before calling them, was to make sure that the hospital they worked with/out of was covered by your insurance. So I put in a call to the hospital. The lady I was supposed to talk to wasn’t in at the time I made my call, so I left a message.

I waited several days before moving on, hoping she’d call me back, but she never did.

This was all happening around the same time as my anatomy scan at the beginning of July. (For those who don’t know, the anatomy scan is an ultrasound done between 18 and 22 weeks gestation. The point is to get a good look at baby’s body, inside and out, and making sure that all major organs are developing on schedule. Oftentimes, this is also when expectant parents find out the gender of their little one.) At my anatomy scan, besides telling me that baby was developing perfectly – and that we were expecting our fourth son – my doctor diagnosed a low-lying placenta. This can be a problem, because if the placenta is too close to the cervix (the opening of the birth canal, where baby moves through during birth), then a vaginal birth is impossible regardless of your previous childbearing history.

So in spite of the fact that my doctor thought I was a good candidate for VBAC (having had one previous vaginal birth and the “right kind” of incision and stitching for both of my previous c-sections), I was beginning to think that maybe this wasn’t going to work out so well after all. I spent half a week thinking over everything I knew, doing lots of research about exactly what a “low lying placenta” meant, and going over my previous surgical records again and again (I’d requested them from the hospital several weeks earlier when I thought a VBAC was in my future). After that half week of meditation – and still never hearing back from the VBAC friendly hospital – I made the decision that another c-section was the right answer for me.

After all that backstory, here are the specifics as to why I made that decision.

  • Insurance. There’s no way that we could pay out of pocket for prenatal care and a hospital stay without it. We make a comfortable living, but having to pay $5,000+ for a birth just isn’t practical. And since I was never able to find out whether the Portland hospital would accept my insurance, we couldn’t rely on that.
  • My low-lying placenta. Hours of internet research told me that a “low lying placenta” was one form of placenta previa (complete coverage of the cervix by the placenta). I also learned that previous c-sections are one of the main causes of this condition. Everything I read suggested that, while a low-lying placenta often will move out of the way as the uterus grows to accommodate the baby, sometimes it doesn’t. And in that case, you end up with a c-section, no questions asked. I didn’t want to change doctors only to find out at 34 weeks that the placenta hadn’t moved enough and I’d need a c-section anyway.
  • Risk of uterine rupture. While tiny (about 1%), the risk is still very real. It can happen to women who have had previous c-sections or not, but the risk is higher with c-section moms. Especially those with multiple c-sections. If that happens, it’s an emergency situation that requires an immediate c-section, and sometimes even hysterectomy.
  • Chances of a repeat c-section in an unfamiliar hospital. I’m not going to lie: that 1% risk frightens me. I know it’s almost nothing, but it is something. The thing I wanted even less than a known quantity (a repeat c-section with the doctor I’ve been seeing my entire pregnancy in a hospital I’ve had babies in twice before already) was an emergency c-section in a hospital 30 miles away. Being close to home (a 15-minute walk or 4-minute drive) is a huge plus for me. My family (Will and the boys as well as extended family) will get to come visit more often, and extended family and friends will have an easier time finding Dragonfly and me so they can come visit.

As I stated before, I know this decision isn’t the right one for everyone, but it definitely is for me. I will never judge a woman for their choices in childbirth method, especially after the heavy heart I went through making my decision this time. It’s the most I’ve ever thought about my choice before, and I now know from experience how personal (and maybe painful) the choice can be.


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34 Weeks (pregnancy update)


34 weeks, 2 days

I didn’t realize that it’d been so long since I posted an update, but it has been. So here’s what’s going on baby-wise the past month…

First off, I’m now seeing the doctor every other week instead of every month. I’m measuring right on track as of my last appointment (last Monday, so I’ve got another one the day after tomorrow), so that’s a good thing, especially since I was measuring ahead for a few weeks ahead for a while. I’d rather have a baby measuring “on track” than “big.”

I’ve also had my first appointment with my c-section surgeon (who I’ll call Dr. S for convenience sake). The doctor who did my c-sections with Munchkin and Small Fry has since retired, so he’s not available this time. I had to rely on my doctor’s recommendation for a surgeon, and while she didn’t have a rec for a specific doctor, she did give me a referral to a local clinic that works with my hospital and takes my insurance, both of which are good things. The clinic is right in the hospital, just like my regular doctor’s office, so that makes it really convenient to go there for appointments even if they’re on a different day from my normal appointments (the hospital is a five-minute drive or 15-minute walk from my house). When Dr. S first walked into the room at my first appointment, I was quite surprised. She’s really young. It was hard for me to gauge just how old, but it was apparent that she’s young. In fact, there was a part of me that thought for a second that she might wonder why I was choosing a c-section instead of a VBAC this time (more on that in another post – it’s all written, just needs a picture). I know this is was an unfair assessment, since the only thing I had to base that on was her age, but that doesn’t change the thoughts that ran through my mind. Anyway, she wasn’t like that at all. I was very pleased with her attitude and demeanor upon talking with her, and I’ll be glad to have her taking the lead in the operating room. The rest of the staff at the clinic was superb as well. Within two days of meeting with Dr. S, I was on the phone with the scheduling supervisor getting Dragonfly’s birthday all arranged. (For anyone who’s curious, he’ll be arriving on Friday, November 13, 2015, shortly after noon Pacific time.)

As a side note, I talked with Dr. R (my regular doctor) after my appointment with the surgeon. It turns out that Dr. S is fresh out of medical school, so she’s likely younger than me. Dr. R said that’s a good thing because she’ll have all the newest guidelines and methods to follow during my surgery. Between the appointment with her and the followup with my PCP, I have all the confidence in the world that things will go well.

This weekend (later today, actually), Will and I have scheduled a tour of the Maternity Ward (called the Birth Center in our hospital). It’s probably completely unnecessary since this will be my third time delivering there and I’m having a c-section, but I know based on last time I’ll probably be spending 4 days there, and I want the refresher of what all goes on and where everything is located. It’s just one of those things that I’m looking forward to doing.

I think that’s it for now. I’ll update again in a few weeks. Only five weeks to go!


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Learning Through Play (USAopoly Review)


If you’ve read this blog before, you know that our family (especially the kids and me) really like games. I pretty much always request the (physical) games when they come up for review through the Schoolhouse Review Crew, and this time, with USAopoly, was no exception. Usually companies send one game for review purposes, but this time they sent two: Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone and Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game. These are both super fun games, so keep reading to find more about them!



Tapple is a really fun word game. The board consists of a plastic base with letter “tabs” all around the edge and a timer reset button in the middle. There are several category cards (which tuck neatly into the bottom of the game to prevent loss), and the goal is to come up with a word that begins with each letter (there are only 20, not all 26 – the really hard letters like Q, Z, and X are left out) and fits the category.


Example category: Actors

A: Adam Arkin

J: Jon Hamm

F: Fred Savage

And so on. Players have 10 seconds in which to come up with their answer, tap the letter tab (which then stays down for the rest of the round so others know that the letter has been used), and reset the timer by pressing the button in the middle of the board. If a player can’t come up with an answer within their ten-second time allotment, they’re eliminated from the round. Last man standing wins the round (there are special rules in case you finish the board without getting down to just one player, but we never had to use them), and first player to win three rounds wins the game.



Wonky is completely different. It’s almost like two games in one. First, it’s a card game. Second, it’s a stacking game. It comes with nine blocks (three sizes, three colors) and a deck of cards, as well as a nice cloth storage bag (so you don’t have to keep the box if you don’t want to). To begin, place the blocks within easy reach of all players. Everyone is dealt seven cards, and the rest of the deck is set aside. The first player selects a card from his/her hand and places it in the discard pile, then follows the instructions on that card. This might be anything from “stack the large purple block” to “stack any color of medium block” to “discard this card without stacking any blocks.” The player follows the instructions on the card. If a player can’t play any of their cards, they must draw one card at a time until they get a playable one. The next player does the same thing, but they have to stack their block on top of the block placed by the previous player. Easy enough, right?

Not so fast.

The blocks aren’t quite cube. They’re . . . well, wonky! Each block has several sides that aren’t quite flat, which makes stacking them quite difficult. And very funny for the players. The goal of the game is to be the first to discard all of your cards – without knocking over the tower. (Each time anyone adds a block, the tower must stay up for a count of 3 for it to qualify as a success.) If a player knocks over the tower, they must draw additional cards, thus making it more difficult to win.

How We Played

The first several times we played, we followed the rules to a T to get a feel for the games. Before long, though, we decided that we liked Tapple better without the timer. It’s hard enough to come up with words for the categories without the loud beeping reminding you that you’re about to be eliminated! And with Wonky, Small Fry always wanted to join us, but he’s too little to understand the card portion of the game, so we ended up just stacking the blocks a lot, which is fun and challenging in and of itself because of the shape of them. It was good motor skills practice for him.

The Tapple board even made an appearance at Munchkin’s birthday dinner with the grandparents. Small Fry brought it out, and everyone was wondering about it, so we explained it and a spontaneous game erupted. Love that! We only played one round that night, but it was still really fun.

There are so many ways you could adapt these games, though – especially Tapple. As is, it’s a great vocabulary game. Tweak the rules just a smidge and it would be an amazing spelling practice game (words that end with the letter you tap, for example). Additionally, you can use any category you can think of, not just those on the cards the game comes with. For example, at the spontaneous game on Munchkin’s birthday, we did “Bible Characters.”

If you get too frustrated with Wonky’s misshapen blocks, you could use your own blocks as practice and switch back to the crazy blocks later. The possibilities are many with these games.

Our Opinion

I think it’s been pretty clear through my explanations that we really enjoyed both of these games. They’re fun and educational without kids feeling like they’re “doing school.” Other educational games are fun but still have that “learning” feel to them; not so with these two. It really does feel like you’re just playing a game. The kids often bring these games out to play in their free time, both with just the two of them and with friends. This is a pretty big deal – as much as they like games, they’re usually happy to just play with toys. But these games have made appearances over and over again. That speaks very highly of them.

Final Thoughts

Both games are available through the USAopoly website, and we’ve also seen them (Tapple, anyway) in our local Fred Meyer (Kroger to you east coasters) store. From the website, they’re $19.95 each, and I heartily recommend them, especially if your family likes games.


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As always, there are 99 other reviewers from the Schoolhouse Review Crew writing about these games this week. Click the banner below to find a list of all of their blogs and read their thoughts on these games.

Click here to read more reviews

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30 Weeks (pregnancy update)

There’s not much to report this month, but there are a few things 🙂

First of all, a few days after my last pregnancy post, I decided to move forward with a scheduled c-section again this time. It was a tough decision; I’d originally had my heart set on a VBAC. But several things happened to change my mind. First, at my last ultrasound (in early July), the doctor diagnosed me with having a low-lying placenta. Through some internet research, I learned that this is one definition of placenta previa (where the placenta covers the cervix, making it impossible to have a traditional birth). Second, the local hospital isn’t VBAC friendly, which means that I’d have to go to a hospital farther away to attempt a regular birth. After talking to my insurance company and putting in a call (which was never returned) to that hospital asking if my insurance would pay for a birth there, I couldn’t get a straight answer. Combine both of these things with the fact that I ran a strong risk of ending up with a c-section anyway, and I decided that if I was going to have surgery, I wanted to have it less than a mile from my house rather than thirty miles away.

Secondly, I had my gestational diabetes testing last week. I failed the one-hour version miserably, but I knew I would; I did with both Munchkin and Small Fry already. Because my numbers were so high after the one-hour test (178 when the limit is around 130 or 140), I fully expected to fail the three-hour test as well. Within an hour of getting home from the hospital lab, I had an email telling me that my results were waiting for me in online chart. Hesitantly, I opened the website and logged in, fully prepared to be disappointed. I looked at the numbers first; thankfully the chart listed both the “must be below this” number and my actual results. Then I looked all over the rest of the screen. There was a message at the top that said something along the lines of “Only one of the values from the four blood draws was elevated. You do not have gestational diabetes.” I practically did a happy dance! When it said “elevated,” by the way, it was barely above the cutoff line – only two points. The rest of the numbers were ten or more points below the cutoff, so I was thrilled that I passed the test!

The other big news is that since I passed the 28-week mark, I’m officially in the third trimester. Only about 10 weeks to go! It’s hard to believe I’m nearing the end of this journey.


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I know I promised a picture last time, but I just don’t have one yet, and I wanted to get this post up. I’ll try to have one next week.

5 Random Things ~ August 21

5 random things

1. I recently started taking the Aqua Zumba class at our local pool. It’s for about an hour twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays). I really enjoy the class. It’s a very low-impact workout, but definitely a workout. Because a lot of our normal activities (biking, tennis…) are considered “risky” during pregnancy, we haven’t done as much of those this summer. Will and the boys walk a lot to get their exercise, but that’s hard on my hips so I typically pick them up in the car once they’ve gone several miles away. The Aqua Zumba class is perfect for me to also get some good exercise in. And because it happens in the evenings, I don’t miss very much of the boys on those days. They usually go on a walk with Will while I’m at class, and he puts them bed before I get home. I come home and give them kisses.

2. One of the quilts I finished last week wasn’t very good. I didn’t even bother labeling it with my name or taking pictures of it. I was that embarrassed/ashamed of it. So needless to say, it won’t be appearing here. Will thinks I’m crazy for that and that your average person wouldn’t even have noticed the imperfections. Due to his point of view, I did go ahead and finish the quilt (which did have some redeeming characteristics – the pieced binding I did that took forever to make added a nice layer of depth and interest to the quilt, for instance), but I still wasn’t happy enough to keep it or document it. When my dad came over one day last week, I asked him if he wanted it at his house for when grandchildren came to visit, and he said sure, so I gave it to him. He thought it was pretty great, so I’m glad the quilt has gone to a good home.

3. On a similar note, the turtle quilt I shared about a couple of weeks ago met a similar fate. I wasn’t as pleased with it as I’d hoped to be, so it’s gone to my mom’s house for snuggling grandsons (between my brother and me, she has 5, soon to be 6, grandsons and no granddaughters) in.

4. Small Fry is really into the book Go, Dog! Go! lately, so we’ve been reading that once or twice a day. When I read it to him today, he could quote several pages of it in a row. And he very cutely said, “I read it!” (Read, of course being pronounced as the present tense of the verb – reed – not the past tense – red.)  He was so proud of himself 🙂

5. Speaking of reading, the summer reading program at our library concluded this week. We decided that next summer, we’re going to buy some prizes for our boys to earn and do a private summer reading/French program rather than participating in the library’s. Two or three years ago, they switched systems so that with every 10 days read (or being read to, in the case of younger children), each child gets an entry into a drawing for a prize rather than actually getting a prize. It’s rather discouraging to read every day for 60+ days and not get anything at the end (which has happened to my boys ever since this new way of doing things started – until this year, when Small Fry won something). Combine that with the fact that Seahawk is in the “teen” program now, even though he’s only 11, where you can theoretically get entries into the drawings and never read a single book, and we’ve decided we’d rather pass next year. We want to encourage our kids to read during the summer, not get disappointed over reading for “no reason” or look for ways to game the system.

What’s going on with your family this week?


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25 Weeks

Things are going well still. Dragonfly (that’s the blog nickname I came up with for new baby) is kicking and squirming all over the place. Occasionally, it can even be seen and felt from the outside. Everyone will be quite excited when that becomes a more regular occurrence and they can all feel him on a moderately regular basis.

At my doctor’s appointment this week, everything went really well. I’m measuring a week ahead, which is something I’ve never experienced. The other boys were all spot on for their gestational age, except for Small Fry toward the end; I was a little small with him. After my next appointment at the end of the month, I’ll have to do my glucose screening, but I’m not terribly concerned about that.

We (the doctor and I) had a moderately lengthy conversation about what I want to do when it’s time for the birth – the clinic she referred me to for VBAC care doesn’t take my insurance, so going there isn’t possible (paying out of pocket definitely isn’t in the budget). I wasn’t in a very good mental place when I found out about them not taking my insurance, so I sent an email to my doctor saying that maybe I should just have another c-section. But I know in my heart that that’s not the right answer either. She told me to think about it for a week or two and send her an email to let her know what I decide. If I still want to try for the VBAC, she’ll find a doctor who will take both me and my insurance. But I’ll be into the early part of my third trimester at my next appointment (where does the time go??), so the doctor change will have to happen fast after that. Although, it may all end up being a moot point if my low lying placenta doesn’t move. That’s considered a medically necessary c-section, not just an elective one, and I’d be okay with that.

Seahawk got to go with me to the appointment this week, which was nice. He was scheduled to have an immunization, so they said I could just bring him to my appointment instead of him needing to have his own. Since he was at church camp four weeks ago when we had the ultrasound appointment, I was glad he got to come to this one, even if it wasn’t as exciting. He loved hearing Dragonfly’s heartbeat (which is still a steady 150 beats a minute – it hasn’t changed since our second appointment), and even more so hearing baby kick at the Doppler. He thought that was basically hilarious. And I took him to get a muffin from the store for breakfast afterwards – he deserved it after having to get a painful shot.

That’s about it for baby updates.

I’ll start having pictures with my next post 🙂


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22 Weeks ~ An Announcement and a Party

Well, here we are, another month down. Only 18 weeks to go!

I had what’s called an “anatomy scan” for baby on July 6th. This is where the doctor (in my case; sometimes it’s an ultrasound technician, who then sends the results to the doctor) performs an ultrasound, the main point of which is to measure baby’s internal organs and overall size to make sure everything is going as it should. It’s during this scan that a lot of parents find out the gender of their little one, as well. (With Seahawk and Munchkin, we opted not to find out gender. With Small Fry, we decided at the last second to find out. This time, we’d decided well in advance that we wanted to find out.)

The ultrasound went very well. We were able to see a wiggly baby whose body was developing perfectly. There were two clearly visible hemispheres of the brain, and four fully-functioning heart chambers. Also, the doctor said she was able to make out perfectly working kidneys – I couldn’t really see those, but she assured me that “if you can’t see them, that’s a good thing.” We were told that baby weighs about 10 ounces at this point (well, probably more now since this was a week and a half ago). I’m not 100% sure, but I think that’s on the small end of normal, which would be about right for me. All three boys have been fairly small at birth – Seahawk was the biggest at 7 lbs, 10 oz (the exact same weight as both my brother and me), Munchkin was the smallest at 6 lbs, 3 oz (he was an emergency c-section 11 days early), and Small Fry was 6 lbs, 8 ounces (a repeat c-section one week early).

Once all the important measurements were taken, the doctor looked for the gender. It took her a long time to see – baby was being pretty stubborn. None of that wiggling going on was in the “hey, let me show you my gender” kind of moving. After several minutes of looking and pressing on my tummy to get baby to move, she was finally able to see “the goods.”

We’re having boy number 4.

We’ve already chosen his name, but I won’t be sharing that here on the blog for security reasons (just like I haven’t ever shared the older boys’ names, lest you think we’ve given our children crazy names like Seahawk, Munchkin, and Small Fry). So if any of you have ideas for a “blog name” for our new addition, I’m happy to hear it!

Once we knew that baby was healthy, and the gender, it was time to tell all of our extended family. We’d decided to buddy up the announcement with Small Fry’s birthday party since everyone would be around anyway. For his birthday party (which was Saturday the 11th, one day before his actual birthday), we had a bbq for the grandparents, aunts/uncles/cousins, and a few other extended family members. Once everyone had eaten, we did a pinata. Small Fry was so excited for this!


We let him choose the pinata he wanted from the store earlier that week (he chose a donkey), and Munchkin and I filled it with candy and blue confetti. At pinata time during the party, I was so proud of Seahawk. He volunteered to run the pinata instead of hitting it since he was so much older than all of the other children who would be playing the game (the oldest cousin is 6, almost 7, and she’s very tiny).


It took about twice through the line (six kids played) before the pinata broke open and the candy and confetti rained out. Everyone was very excited – the children for the candy, the adults for the “it’s a boy” announcement.


Once the pinata was done, we did Small Fry’s birthday gifts and cupcakes. Overall, it was a very successful party.


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A Visit to the Fire Station

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Last week, the big kids were at VBS (Munchkin as an attendee, Seahawk as a helper with the other members of the youth group). Small Fry was too young to attend, so we had him at home with us each day (Will worked from home most of the days last week). We did our best to make sure he had fun things to do so he wasn’t feeling too left out from going to church – which is one of his favorite things to do. Every single morning, he says to me, “Go church?” because he loves attending Sunday school and children’s church classes so much.

One of the things on the list that we wanted to do with him was attend Public Works Day at the library. Each June, the city brings several of their big machines (bulldozers, front end loaders, dump trucks, cherry pickers, etc) to the library parking lot for kids to climb around in and on and learn all about. I thought Small Fry would really enjoy this; I know the big boys did when they were younger. So I looked at the calendar and saw that Public Works Day was scheduled for Thursday, so we made plans to do that with him.

So, Thursday morning arrived, and we took him to the library. There were no machines in the parking lot. We thought maybe they were just running late or something, so we went inside to ask about it and were told that it had happened the day before.

Oh, no!

So we explained to Small Fry (as much as you can explain things to an almost-3-year-old) that we’d missed it, but we would find something else fun for him to do. As we were walking to the car, Will had a great idea: we’d go to the fire station and see if they would be willing to give him/us a tour. So that’s just what we did.

There was a very nice firefighter (whose name I didn’t get, unfortunately) who was more than happy to show us around the fire truck.

By the time we got there, we only had about half an hour before we had to pick up the big kids from VBS, so it was a quick tour, but Small Fry really enjoyed himself. He had one-on-one attention from a firefighter, which I think was even better than the none-on-one attention he would have gotten at Public Works Day (there aren’t really any workers around at that, except to make sure the kids don’t accidentally release the parking brakes or something similar).

The firefighter showed us the inside of the fire truck – and let Small Fry sit in there, including running the siren and beeping the horn. We got to see the front seat of the truck as well as the back seat, and he got to use the walkie-talkie radio to talk to Will. (The firefighter gave Will the second radio and had him go to the back of the truck so Small Fry could talk to him through the walkie-talkie.)

Fire Truck inside

When we’d finished the truck tour, we went out into the training area where our firefighter hooked up a fire hose to the faucet on the building. Before he turned it on, another firefighter was pulling one of the other trucks out of the garage, so we got to watch that one move. Then it was time to spray the hose!

This was definitely the highlight of the trip for Small Fry. The firefighter let him hold the hose – actually, there’s an apparatus that hooks onto the hose that’s kind of a cross between a nozzle and a squirt gun, so that’s what he held – and spray the training area. He showed us how they have different spray options, much like a bottle of window cleaner. It could “stream” or “spray.” The firefighter was even a bit of a jokester and had Small Fry aim the water at one of his colleagues across the training area.

fire hose 1We took plenty of pictures, of course, and had them printed out for Small Fry. He’s been showing anyone who will look at them (so far, his two “Papas” – my dad and Will’s dad – and “Lala” which is how he pronounces Will’s stepmom’s name). It’s adorable how proud he is of his pictures. And now, he’s asking nearly every morning, “One-a more whooooo?” Meaning, “Can I go on the fire truck again?” (Literally, “One more time on the {insert siren sound here}?”)


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