Tuesday, November 29, 2016

It's Baby Day!

Well, it's past midnight and I'm scheduled for an 8:30am delivery of our baby boy in the morning! We really thought he'd be joining us before Thanksgiving, but he had other plans and has been pretty happy inside. I, on the other hand, have been quite uncomfortable with all the contractions and the anxiety of wondering when he was going to arrive. He looked big and ready on the ultrasound this morning (Monday), so my doctor felt comfortable moving things up a few days. I'm incredibly nervous and not sure if I'll sleep tonight, but am grateful for all of the prayers being lifted for me and the baby!

Our holiday week was a fun one, and it was nice that I didn't have to be on bed rest anymore. We hosted my parents and Steven's side of the family (about 28 people) for a Thanksgiving celebration on Friday, so we spent a lot of Wednesday and Thursday preparing. We saw the new Disney movie "Moana" on Thanksgiving Day, and we did a bit of shopping over the past week with fall clothes for the girls and some Christmas crafts. We've yet to get out our Advent and Christmas decorations, but the crew might get a head start on that while I'm in the hospital. We had a few little sniffles, but overall enjoyed the cooler weather, the time without having homeschooling to do, and being able to look forward to the new baby's arrival!

I was disappointed to not deliver last Monday after a long morning of contractions, but was glad to be able to snuggle little Katie when she wasn't feeling well.

Some of the cleaning craziness...wiping the ceiling fans, vacuuming the couches, oh and me at the hospital for one of my non-stress tests.

Mary Clare selfie by the Moana advertisement

Me with the big kids at the movies while Daddy rested at home with Katie

We finally got these little shelves painted (thanks, MC) so we'd have a nice spot for the Chatbooks in the living room. I also rearranged the living room gallery wall and like it much better!

My one phone shot of Thanksgiving as everyone was digging in to the buffet! It was sure yummy! Steven roasted a big turkey and smoked a brisket, Mary Clare did a ton of baking (pie, cookies, rolls), and the family brought the rest!

MC took this shot of us hanging out in the garage since it was such a nice day!

Tommy has now lost his two front teeth, and another lower one today! That makes SIX lost teeth for the 6yr old!

On Saturday we ran some errands and Steven told the kids he'd take them to walk around the mall while I rested in the car with Katie napping. Well, she woke up too quickly, so I had to go in with her. We enjoyed a few minutes at Pottery Barn Kids, and it brought back memories of biking to the mall with toddler Mary Clare to let her play when Ellie was in-the-belly!

And last but not least, I went to the local LifeTeen mass on Sunday night since I wasn't up for going across town with everyone else that morning. I was excited that they were having a healing and anointing service after mass, so I got to receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Such a grace. May it give me the strength, courage, and healing I will need in the coming days... 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

My Sunday Best

I'm still here with baby still safely inside! Being that Thomas was born exactly at 37wks and Katie Grace at 37wks + a few days, and with the concerns about his cord, I figured I'd have a baby by now. But he has looked good on the scans and other tests, so they aren't comfortable delivering earlier than need be, and the hospital won't let us schedule before 39wks. So unless there's another complication or I go into labor, we keep waiting...maybe even until December 2nd!

Today I went to mass and lunch nearby with my parents while the rest of the family went to our church across town for mass and a big potluck meal.  I even got a little nap in the quiet house before the crew got back home!  I wore one of the few non-tee shirts that still fit me, with a black maxi skirt and my comfy black Sketchers flats. This belly is really getting big and it's getting harder and harder to move around!

A few other updates...
On Friday we made it out to our homeschool clubs, which was good for me and so nice to visit with friends after a couple weeks of hardly leaving the house. I'm able to do a little more around here and get out of the house too, since we aren't so worried about preterm labor. Here's Katie with the little sisters playing dress-up while the older kids did their virtue lessons, sewing, and sports outside.

Mama and belly in my favorite shirt this pregnancy :)

And another of Katie reading a little book last weekend after Sunday mass...

During my weekly non-stress test at the hospital on Thursday

And the boys at some of their last baseball games. The season is FINALLY over after Steven's play-off game last Monday and Thomas' team party on Wednesday. It was a good season, but I'm glad it's over!

And now we are ready for a restful week week off of school and ballet, and we're ready to meet our little man! We may even host Thanksgiving here on Friday. I was hoping to be recovering back at home with the baby, but I could still be pregnant on Thanksgiving! Hope it's a blessed week for all of you <3 p="">

See more ladies and their Sunday best over at Rosie's!

Friday, November 11, 2016

36 Weeks!

How about a 7 Quick Takes Friday?

at Monday's appt

Thurs at the hospital
Today I'm 36 weeks! I'm so grateful to be nearly full-term and hopeful that if baby was born now he wouldn't need much, if any, time in the NICU. Making it another week would be great, since the last two babies have both been born at 37 weeks and were totally healthy! I had an ultrasound on Monday where he looked great (although his cord was still around his neck), and another NST at the hospital yesterday which also showed normal reactivity. I'll go in again this coming Monday, and I'm hoping that maybe by the end of next week we'll have a baby here, so we can be home for Thanksgiving and so I won't be worried about my OB not being available on Thanksgiving Day! If all goes well, we might actually even host Thanksgiving for Steven's family that Friday. It was fun having everyone over last year, and although I may spend much of Thanksgiving in bed recovering, it would be nice to share the meal with everyone.

Katie's favorite books in my bed
Bed rest is hard. The last time I was on bed rest was when I was pregnant with Mary Clare, so I didn't have other children to care for, to teach, or to continually make messes that I can't clean up. The messy house can be really frustrating for a pregnant, nesting mama.  We've spent some time on the weekends doing some major purging and cleaning, finding and washing the baby gear, and last weekend even braving the boys' room...a cleaning project which took nearly two hours with four of us working! This weekend I'd like to clean the playroom (which is almost as bad) and start sorting the boys' clothes. There are about four overflowing laundry baskets in the hallway, plus clothes in their room, which need to be folded and organized. I've also got my eye out for a dresser for Katie (her clothes are stuffed on changing table shelves in our closet) and a bunk bed so that we can put Katie in Ellie's room. She's so attached to me right now, mores than even a few months ago, so I'm hoping she handles the new baby's arrival okay.

Steven and PaPa have been SuperDad and SuperGrandpa! My dad has been taking the girls to ballet several days a week, and he sometimes takes the boys to baseball. Steven attends all the practices and games, and does all the ballet pick-ups, while also working long hours and taking some road trips for work these past few weeks. We've also had some kind friends step in to help, or to offer, to give rides. I had hoped the baseball season would be over last weekend, but alas both boys had make-up games this week, Steven Joseph had a play-off game last night (which they won!), and now both have play-off games tomorrow. Neverending baseball over here!

All the baby gear is ready! We've washed the swing and rocking seat, all the tiny boy clothes, the blankets, socks, and burp cloths. I've ordered a few outfits and blankets, a cute bath towel, some new cloth diaper burp cloths, a new car seat, and a new diaper bag! I am loving my first JuJuBe diaper bag/backpack, and I just got it loaded up. It was time to move on from the pink floral Vera Bradley bag with its broken zipper. It's been well-loved! 

Up until now we've used cloth diapers that were given to me as gifts before Mary Clare was born! First they were actual diapers for the first few kids, then they were burp cloths and later became rags to clean up spills around the house. So it was time for a new set of those. Then we had a little car seat fiasco. I bought a really cool travel system last time at a huge discount because it was being discontinued. Unfortunately some kind of rodent got into the car seat in the garage a few months ago. I tried to get replacement parts, and Graco was kind enough to send them for free, but they didn't fit. I've searched for hours for the same car seat, but cannot find it. So I ended up ordering a new car seat that I'm hoping (after lots of research) will still fit into the stroller frame. It should arrive tomorrow. I do use the car seat clicked into a stroller a lot during the first year, so if this one isn't compatible I may just start over with a different seat and stroller.  Silly problems that aren't that big of a deal, but it's kept me busy while resting these past few weeks.

Ice, ice, and more ice! I have a major ice craving during the last trimester of my pregnancies. We've realized that you can buy big bags of ice from Sonic, and I go through about two a week. Normally, I have a big appetite and a weakness for fast food and fatty foods. But these past few weeks, my heartburn is so bad that I can't really eat much. I'm eating about 1 1/2 actual meals a day, and I can't eat much at night or I won't be able to sleep. So it's ice all day, and thankfully I've had almost zero weight gain in the last month or two because I was already so huge this time around!

My poor family is dealing with hunger since I can't grocery stop, stand for long periods of time to cook, and I don't have an appetite, especially at dinner time. They're subsisting on frozen pizzas, frozen nuggets, quesadillas, and a lot of chips! I know I'll need to take it easy after the baby is born, and we're always graced with generous friends bringing meals, but I'm definitely looking forward to being able to do a bit of cooking and cleaning again once I'm up for it. Oh, and exercising, I've really missed that!

The election. Whoa, what a week. My dad took me out to vote on Tuesday morning (I think we were gone for 10 minutes; love our little city!). Then Steven and I were shocked as we watched the results come in on Tuesday night. I finally fell asleep around 1am, but Steven stayed watching coverage until about 2:30am before leaving on a business trip early the next morning. Although we were not thrilled with the voting choices we had this time around, as conservative pro-life Catholics we are grateful that Hillary did not win. 

So our feelings are of relief and uncertainty about President-elect Trump, but we are also prayerful and hopeful. It's been quite scary to watch and read about what's going on around our country this week though. Facebook has been a mess of words, images, videos, and negativity, and I'm trying to really take a step away from that today. I am sad for the people who are so upset by the results that it is keeping them from functioning in normal life. I can't say I fully grasp what that means, because we have known disappointment in previous elections and yet still moved forward in prayer and hope. But I know many of these citizens don't have a faith in God to fall back on, and/or they have a true and deep fear for our country, so this is more than they can handle. My heart and prayers go out to them. 

Homeschool. It's also quite difficult to homeschool while on bed rest and as the weather becomes so nice for outside play! One child in particular is fighting doing work all day long. I try to do things from the couch, sit with them on my bed and do work, and sometimes even venture to the schoolroom for a bit until sitting in the chairs makes me crampy. I'm glad we have the online courses, grading, and teacher assistance through MODG so that the girls can stay on track. It's also nice to have checklists for each day that I print from the website. We've just finished Week 11 in most subjects and will hopefully get about another month in before Christmas break. So far, so good. While it's difficult, I'm definitely grateful to homeschool during times like this. The kids are having to spend a lot of time at home, but we're growing as a family and are all very much looking forward to meeting our newest member!

More Quick Takes over HERE with Kelly!

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Dance With a Purpose Video

"I See Heaven" Level 5/6 Performance Video
at Dance with a Purpose 10/28/16

Thursday, November 03, 2016

A Week to Remember, Halloween and All Saints 2016

This week will likely always be a busy and emotional one. First of all, we started with the girls' ballet performance last Friday, followed by two baseball games on Saturday, mass, a baptism, and an All Saints' Party on Sunday, and then Monday's Halloween festivities. Then we had the All Saints' Mass for the holy day on Tuesday and an eventful doctor appointment and hospital visit yesterday. Halloween was the anniversary of the passing of our friend Kelly, and today is the first anniversary of the passing of our friend Beverly.

I can't really put into words my feelings about all of this. I'll be 35wks along tomorrow and am hoping we make it another two weeks. But we had a little scare with the baby having a low heart rate on my ultrasound yesterday, so I had to go to the hospital for a few hours of monitoring. It looks as if he has the umbilical cord around his neck. We hope and pray that he untangles himself and we don't have any more excitement. I'll be going in for more frequent monitoring and will be pretty much on bed rest.

So I am counting on the Church Triumphant to pray me through these days. As we remember all the saints and all the poor souls, especially those close to us, we are reminded of our mortality. As I watched and listened to my baby boy's heartbeat, I was awestruck with just how fragile life is. I try to hug my little ones tighter, enjoy the little moments of reading books together, and just treasure these fleeting days. The kids truly had a wonderful time with all the festivities of this week and so I'll share the photos and focus on the JOY amidst some of the sadness and stress...

After their Dance with a Purpose ballet show
(video to come once it's loaded on YouTube)

They were excited to have so many friends come to watch!

All Saints' Day celebration at the O family farm

The big girls didn't dress up, but the little ones were St. George (knight), St. Benedict (forgot his monk's hood), and St. Elizabeth of Hungary (didn't want her photo taken!)

I didn't get many photos and my photographer-daughter bailed on me, so this is the only "game" photo I got of the Cupcake Walk.

Our little queen saint calmed down a little

In line for the big potluck meal

A beautiful sunset

Halloween Night!
We had two Paparazzi girls, Iron Man, Ant Man, and a little ballerina.

Before Trick or Treating with all their friends

A neighbor of our friends is a photographer and took these 3 great pics!

And my little hospital visit yesterday
(this is my bench of misery, remembering laboring here with SJ )

(I love soft ice, but don't like having to be in the hospital to get it!)

And now I'm hoping to have a less eventful next couple weeks, though I imagine that's a lofty ideal!

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