Monday, February 20, 2017

39 Weeks Pregnant

Well here I am, 39 weeks pregnant and still very much pregnant! Each of my babies has been born earlier than the last, with Jenna 1 week early. So I kind of assumed this baby would follow the pattern and be born before 39 weeks. But I guess it's pretty silly of me to expect the baby to follow the "rules", right? Ha!

I'm noticing my face looks really puffy and fat. I normally have a round face, so when you add 40 lbs and some water retention, I hate the way my face looks! Today I stepped on the scale and it shows I gained 5 lbs in the last 7 days. Yikes.

This week I've been feeling a lot of cramping. I'm not sure if they are contractions because they only last a few seconds, but boy are they painful! Enough to almost take my breath away because they come on so quickly. The other night it was happening so much I thought I was going in to labor, but then it completely stopped.

The kids are off of school this week so they are excited to see if the baby comes while they're at home. Yesterday I enlisted their help to paint the letters for baby boy's name.
I've been noticing a lot less movement coming from the baby lately. I realize he's probably running out of space and I won't be feeling the strong kicks at this point. It's still a little unnerving to not be feeling the constant kicking in my ribs. No doctor's appointment this week, so I'll either have the baby soon or go back to the doctor's next week. It's just a waiting game now!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

38 Weeks Pregnant

Happy Valentine's Day! I've never liked the idea of sharing my birthday with someone or with a holiday, so I hope baby boy doesn't decide to be born today.
I had an appointment yesterday with my doctor, and here are my 38 week stats:

Total Weight Gain: 39 lbs
Blood Pressure: 119/64

My doctor said everything is looking great. I am now dilated 2 cm, and my belly is measuring exactly at 38 cm. Baby boy is still head down.
I really haven't been feeling like myself lately. I don't know if it's some sort of end-of-pregnancy depression, a result of being in so much pain all the time, or my form of nesting. I don't really want to go anywhere. I don't feel motivated to clean or cook like I normally do. My appetite is all over the place. My back aches all day and by dinnertime I feel like my body is giving out on me. I've also been struggling with insomnia this week. I'll wake up around 1 or 2am and then just lay there wide awake for a couple hours. Maybe this is all my body's way of winding down and getting ready for labor....all I know is I can't wait to feel like myself again. Granted, it will be a "new normal", but at least I'll be holding my baby and I won't have to deal with being so uncomfortable.

Friday, February 10, 2017

10 Minutes of Joy

Someone from my MOPS table shared this with us: "If you carve out just 10 extra minutes a day to focus on joy, you'll collect more than 60 joyful hours per year."
So today I am writing down the first things that come to mind when I think of all the joyful blessings in my life right now.
~We are listening to Hallelujah by Pentatonix as I type this because Jenna has been belting out "HALLELUJAH!" all week. Nothing better than hearing your kids sing worship.

~Today is Friday!!

~Lucas' latest asthma flare-up finally seems to be improving. He only coughed about 10 times last night.

~Adam went out and bought me Tums for my heartburn. Yes!

~Ryan has made some good friends at school and seems to enjoy 1st grade better than Kindergarten.

~The forecast is showing sunny skies for the next 5 days.

~We got our tax return!

~I got to lay down for an hour yesterday while Jenna napped and Lucas played. It was just what my aching back needed.

~Adam didn't fall off of a roof this week in the storms.

~We have a roof over our heads, a couple cars in our driveway, a little money in the bank, and food in the fridge. I'd say we have a lot to be joyful about.

How about you?


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

4 Kids Ages 6 and Under!

I can't believe that in just a few short weeks we will have 4 kids, ages 6, 4, 2, and newborn. It's so crazy to think about how much our family dynamic will change. I've been asked a lot if my kids are excited about having a baby brother. Not surprisingly, Jenna is the most enthusiastic about it, and the boys are kind of indifferent!

When asked what they think about Mommy having a baby soon.....
Ryan: "It's weird." Seriously, that's all I could get out of him. He keeps asking me how the baby is going to come out. "Are they going to cut a door in your tummy?" Also, if I complain of my stomach hurting he gives me a hug and asks if the baby is coming out, so that's cute.

Lucas: "Yea I'll give the baby a hug, but I love Jenna the most." I think Lucas kind of operates in his own little world, and as long as someone is giving him attention, he won't be too bothered by the baby.

Jenna: "Baby! I love him. He's so cute." (Said while hugging my tummy). I then asked Jenna what she will do when the baby is crying. Her answer? "Put him in the bathtub!". I think she's actually going to be really jealous. She is constantly saying "You're my Mommy!" if anyone tries to get near me, and she is pretty much my little shadow all day long.

And as for Adam and I? We are honestly kind of terrified. Don't get me wrong....I'm really excited to meet this little boy. I'm anxious to see what he looks like, what his personality is like, and how he fits in with our family. I'm excited to snuggle him and smell that sweet baby smell. But when Adam and I picture what life will be like with 4 kids ages 6 and under, we get really overwhelmed. We've come to the conclusion that life for the next few years will be really crazy and stressful, and it will be a time where we will both have to be really selfless. Because having kids this close in age means they are all still so needy and dependent on us for everything. Our number one priority will be our kids, and we pretty much won't have time for much else. We have many days where we both feel like we're in survival mode, and so I can only imagine what it will be like when we add a newborn to this crazy bunch!


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Week of Dinners #8

These past couple weeks have been really weird for my appetite. I suddenly have zero interest in cooking, grocery shopping, or prepping food. So unlike me! I kind of feel like I did in my first trimester, just with less nausea. Certain foods sound awful, and tend to give me heartburn at night. But then certain textures and flavors (like anything sweet and creamy and carby) sound amazing! I had a milkshake last week at Taylor's and it was AMAZING. Hands down the best thing I ate all week. So all this is to say.....I did cook some dinners last week but I really wasn't feeling it.

Monday: Turkey Burgers, Tater Tots, Berries
I tried a recipe for turkey burgers that my Mom shared with me....and we loved them! Ryan ate an entire burger, and that really says something. It was simply 1 pound of ground turkey, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 1/2 tsp salt, and a little pepper. I cooked the burgers in a pan on the stove in a little avocado oil, and ended up with 4 burgers. They were so tasty!

I served them on these torta sandwich rolls we got at Costco. I usually buy whole wheat hamburger buns from Trader Joe's, but I hadn't been there recently. So I got these rolls as a "treat" and we all loved them.
On the side we had Trader Joe's tater tots (also a treat for us) and a plate of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
 Lucas likes strawberries, Ryan likes raspberries, and Jenna kind of likes all 3 berries.
Tuesday: Calzones, Salad
On Tuesday I finally got my act together and made a few freezer meals for when baby is here. I made my recipe for Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. Then I made this new recipe for Beefy Baked Ravioli. And finally I made a huge batch of pizza dough and assembled 6 cheese pizzas to stick in the freezer. At the end of the days I was exhausted. Ugh I hate having no energy! I used a super easy recipe for the sauce. It just contains a couple canned tomato products and spices. Let me know if you want the recipe!

I decided to keep dinner simple and use some of the leftover pizza dough to make calzones. I filled them with my homemade sauce, mozzarella, romano, and some uncured salami. I couldn't find any nitrite-free pepperoni at the store, so the salami was a good substitute. On the side we had simple salads of romaine, cucumbers and croutons.
 

Wednesday: Thai Basil Chicken Stir-Fry

In my recipe book I keep a stack of recipes that I want to try. This had been in there for a while, so I finally decided to make it. It was really good! It contained chicken breast, bell peppers, jalapeno, basil, onions, and a thai sauce. I only wish I had added more basil. I served mine over brown rice and made white rice for the boys (and Adam).
That night I decided to try this new all natural Jello. Can you believe I have never made Jello in my life? My mom gave us this because it contains no artificial coloring or flavorings. I made it according to the package directions but it never set up! The boys were disappointed, so I'll have to look for it at the store and try it again.
Thursday: Breakfast
I had plans to make a meat and mashed potato pie, kind of like a shepherd's pie. But I just didn't have the motivation to make it. So I decided breakfast would be an easy dinner. We had bacon baked in the oven:
And a huge batch of homemade whole wheat waffles! Honestly the waffles took forever because I doubled this recipe and it made a ton. But it was worth it because all 3 kids have been eating them for breakfast this past week.
 We also had more berries and scrambled eggs.
 Friday: Out
Adam's Aunt was in town and she treated us to dinner! I was thankful for the night off from cooking.

Saturday: Spaghetti
I wasn't feeling that great on Saturday. Just really worn out and really pregnant. I told Adam he was in charge of dinner, which I realize is kind of like telling me I'm in charge of building an engine. But Adam complied and made a big plate of spaghetti. So many yummy carbs! He topped the meat sauce with some spices and two kinds of cheese, and even made garlic bread on the side. Thank you Adam!
Sunday: Cereal?
Once again, I just wasn't feeling up to cooking. The end of this pregnancy is so strange! I think the kids ate chicken nuggets and cereal, and I think I ate cereal. It's tough when you aren't feeling well but you still have a family to feed.

Monday: Chicken Fajitas, Spanish Rice
I wanted to start this week off on the right foot. So I made a batch of chicken fajitas, using this recipe. This is my favorite recipe for easy fajitas.

I served mine on our last corn tortilla and topped with cheese and 4-ingredient guacamole. I went back for seconds of the chicken mixture, and ate it on top of some lettuce.

On the side we tried this new Spanish Rice we found at Costco. I thought it sounded really good, and I've liked other rice mixtures by this brand. Unfortunately I thought this was pretty bland. Next time I make it I'll add in some salsa and beans.
 

And there you go, another week of our dinners. I have no idea what I'm making this upcoming week, but I know it needs to be easy. What do you make when you aren't motivated to cook? (And your family is really picky).

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

36 Week Pregnancy Update

Ugh, these past few weeks have been rough! I really shouldn't complain, because I know things could be a lot worse. I'm just all of a sudden feeling really pregnant, if you know what I mean. The baby feels like he is really low, and I'm having lots of pelvic pain. My lower back pretty much aches all day. I'm having heartburn every evening and during the night. Bending over is really painful. I'm so tired all the time. I'm having lots of Braxton hicks contractions. My sciatic nerve on my left side is super painful. I'm having hot flashes and nausea. And I'm pretty sure the baby has internally bruised me, because it really hurts where he likes to rest his foot, near my belly button..
However, I'm healthy and the baby is healthy, and that is a blessing! Here are my stats from today's appointment.

Total Weight Gain: 35 lbs
Blood Pressure: 119/62

Because of all my aches, pains, and contractions, I was anxious to see how my body is progressing for labor. The nurse said I am only 1 cm dialated, which is a little surprising. It's not like I want to have this baby early, but my body just feels like it's getting so close.

I've been thinking a lot about labor lately. With Ryan I had an epidural. With Lucas I had a completely natural birth. And with Jenna my water broke so I was eventually induced and got an epidural right at the end. This time around I really really want to have another natural birth. Adam told me there's nothing I can really do to prepare for it, but I feel like so much of managing pain is mental. Because if I'm not feeling strong mentally, and reminding myself of the reasons why I want a natural birth, I will absolutely give in and accept pain medication. So I've been reading and watching Youtube videos about natural birth. I've got a lot of tips stored in my head for when the time comes, and I'm hoping I can remember them in the intense moments.

This week I plan on packing my hospital bag as well as overnight bags for the kids, in case they need them. Ryan was born 3 days late, Lucas was 4 days early, and Jenna was 7 days early. So if the pattern holds true, this baby won't make it to February 27th!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What I'm Reading #5

It's been almost 3 months since I did a review on the books I've been reading. My reading really slowed down during the Christmas season. Then it picked back up, and now for some reason I'm having a really difficult time finding a good book! I've started and stopped a couple books. I think my brain is starting to get really preoccupied with the upcoming labor and arrival of baby #4, and I just can't concentrate on reading.

If you are curious, here are my previous book reviews:
#1
#2
#3
#4

And here is what I've read lately:

Eligible
This book is described as a modern-day Pride and Prejudice. I'm ashamed to admit I don't know much about the original book! This slightly over-the-top book is a story about 4 sisters who come from a wealthy family. None of them are married, and as they each lead very different lives, they eventually come together to help their family. Some parts of the book were a bit too "modern" for me, but it was an entertaining book.

The Woman in Cabin 10

I had been waiting so long to read this book, so I was excited when it finally became available at my library. This is a chilling story about a woman who goes on a cruise ship and thinks she sees someone being thrown overboard. But strangely, nobody is missing from the ship. While I didn't love the main character, I did love the setting and the suspense that built throughout the story.


Firefly Lane

After reading 2 excellent books by Hannah, I knew I needed to read another. This book was good, but I did enjoy the others a bit more. (The Nightingale, Winter Garden). This book starts out in the 70's when Tully and Kate meet as young teenagers. The book takes us through the next few decades of their lives and friendship, with many twists and turns along the way. For some reason I just didn't love this book, and I felt it dragged a little bit. I still want to read more books by this author....any recommendations?

A Hundred Summers

This was a good read! It takes place in the late 1930's in Rhode Island and tells the story of two friends who have a complicated friendship. One marries the others' ex-fiancé, and a few secrets are revealed throughout the book. It ends with a hurricane bearing down on them, and the ending of the book was one of the best parts for me.


The Couple Next Door
Oooh I really enjoyed this one! A couple with a young baby go to a dinner party next door, leaving their sleeping baby at home. At the end of the night they discover their baby is missing. Although we find out early on in the book how the baby disappeared, there are many more twists and turns to be discovered. I finished this book during a drive home from the Bay Area, and I couldn't help but share the plot with Adam. At first he thought it sounded dumb, but as each surprise was revealed, he got hooked on the book right along with me. It kept us guessing until close to the end, and although a few parts were kind of crazy and twisted, I would recommend this book if you like dark thrillers.

The Island
This was a story of 2 sisters and their mother and Aunt, who all spend a month at their vacation home on a secluded island near Nantucket. One of the daughters just broke off her engagement and the women in her family try to bring her out of her depression while trying to figure out what exactly happened to her relationship. I felt like this should have been a really great book, but there were just some parts I really disliked. And thinking back, I now realize that I haven't really loved any books by Hilderbrand.

Seamless

I am not yet finished with this book, but I had to include it. I received this Bible Study for Christmas and it is unlike any other devotional I have read. It breaks the Bible down into 7 sections, tying them all together to help explain the greater meaning of the Bible. I am only on section 2, but so far I am loving this study. It really helps to simplify the stories and themes of the Bible. Even for someone like me, who has been a Christian for a long time, the Bible can be really overwhelming and confusing. I think this book would be too simplified for someone with a deep understanding of the stories in the Bible, but for me it's perfect. There are fill in the blank sections, which helps me to really pay attention as I read. If you feel like your Bible knowledge is lacking, try this book!

And that's it for this review. Can you recommend anything for me to read that will take my mind off of my upcoming labor? I need a book that will really suck me in, but nothing too dark or depressing. I'm also open to reading positive labor/deliver stories if you know of any!