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:

And here is what I've read lately:

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.


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!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Three More Things

I did this back during the summer...I listed 3 things about each of my 3 kids. Silly, funny, quirky, annoying or weird things. Just little things that I want to document and remember, because they're the type of things I will likely forget in the coming years. Here we go....3 more things before baby 4 is here!

RYAN (6 years, 9 months)

1. Ryan is currently missing one of his top front teeth. He has lost all 4 front teeth but one of the top ones hasn't grown back in. Just this week I started hearing a whistle when he talks. It's so cute! Especially because he doesn't seem to notice it. But whenever he says a word with an "s" in it, it comes out with a little whistle.

2. All of a sudden, Ryan is an artist! It seems like overnight he went from drawing stick figures to being able to draw better than me. He wakes up in the morning and starts drawing. He comes home from school and wants to draw. He draws and colors random things around the house. But he also draws original pictures, like a little girl named Jenna with a rainbow behind her, which he taped to his sister's door. So sweet!

3. Ryan's nails grow SO fast. I have to trim his toenails and fingernails at least every couple weeks, if not more often. It's weird because his brother and sister could easily go a month or two without needing a trim. But Ryan's toenails will start curling under if I don't stay on top of trimming them.

LUCAS (4 years, 8 months)

1. I recently got a dust buster (which I love, by the way!) and Lucas loves it. He fights with his siblings over who gets to use it. What makes it extra cute is that he calls it the "ghost buster".

2. Lucas loves mustangs and engines. We are in the market for a different car right now, and Lucas is adamant that we should buy a mustang. He also loves pointing out cars that have engines. Whenever a car has a cowl hood or just any sort of bump on top of the hood he yells at me that it's a car with an engine! I've tried explaining to him that ALL cars have engines, but he doesn't believe me.

3. Lucas NEVER comes out of his bed at night. Ryan and Jenna are constantly waking up and ending up in our bed. But Lucas? Never. Case in point: We all had a 24-hour stomach flu a few weeks ago. The night that Lucas got it, he threw up in his bed (a lot!), and simply moved to the other side of the bed and slept there the rest of the night. The poor guy didn't even think to come wake us up.

JENNA (2 years, 2 months)
 1. Now that Jenna is 2 she is quite emotional! She was always so easy-going and even-keeled. But now she is suddenly throwing tantrums, screaming, whining, being impatient, sassy, and disobedient. She was recently given a shirt that says Sassy Sister and it describes her perfectly.

2. Jenna only naps about 2/3 of the time now. Waaah! Some days she just refuses to fall asleep. She will scream for me, or just sit and sing and play. I really want her to nap until she is at least 3, but I've never had a child who did that, so I'm not holding out hope. It sure would be nice if she consistently napped for a while after the baby was born!

3. This is gross, but Jenna has developed an awful habit. She likes to stick her hands down the back of her diaper after she poops. She has done this a couple times when she was supposed to be napping. She also did it the other day while we were sitting on the couch watching a movie. In my defense, I had fallen asleep! But Adam was sitting right there and didn't notice. I woke up and it was all over her hands, her clothes, and even her face. Disgusting!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Stitch Fix Review #27

I broke down and ordered another fix! As I approach the end of my pregnancy I always feel frumpy and fat, and I feel like I need a little pick-me-up. I had $25 in Stitch Fix credit, so on a whim I ordered a fix and specified "no maternity". I knew it might be tricky, but I wanted items I could possibly wear now, but more so during the postpartum phase. That is such a difficult phase because you no longer want to wear maternity clothes but none of your regular clothes fit. I also asked for some pretty colors, because I'm getting tired of all the blah winter colors. Can you tell I'm ready for Spring??

Here is the note from my stylist: "Happy New Year, Stephanie! I sure hope the holidays treated you well and that you had time to wind down after all the hustle and bustle. I am so sorry that you were unhappy with my last Fix selection for you but I look forward to your thoughts on my choices this round! You've requested looser styles that are non-maternity with a boho vibe that will still work throughout the rest of your pregnancy. Since olive is a good color for you, I anchored my selection with the MTLA leggings that can be mixed and matched with both the RetroD poncho and Daniel Rainn empire waist top. Please let me know how this floral print top fits your baby bump! By the way, you look amazing in the photo you uploaded to Pinterest (all bump!) Layer the floral top with the Bobeau cardigan and complete your legging looks with the Toms flats. Enjoy, XOXO Blake Lindsey"

I was away from home when my Stitch Fix box came, so Adam sent me this picture to tease me. I get so excited when my Stitch Fix boxes come!

My first thought upon opening the box was: "Where are all the pretty colors?

Cavallo Poncho Sweater by RetroD (Brown)

(After 3 babies I literally hated my worn out diaper bag. So I bought this "Mommy Bag" off of jane.com and I really like it! I decided to model it with the outfit.)

This poncho was a pleasant surprise. It certainly isn't one of the pretty spring colors I requested, but at the same time I think it is kind of a unique color that I don't own. It would be really practical for the next few months of cold weather. And also practical for nursing the new baby! However, I've never owned a poncho and I'm worried it's going to make me look like a big frump-a-lump. I'm looking for pieces that are comfortable for the postpartum phase, but also flattering. When I tried it on Adam immediately thought it was really cool. It's his favorite piece from the box. I decided I needed to take some pictures and get a few other opinions, but I am leaning towards keeping this one. I think it's also going be great over black leggings. Status: KEEPING?

Bevvy Crochet Detail Floral Knit Top by Daniel Rainn (Navy)
This is the item I was most drawn to in my box. I love florals and I love this bohemian style that kind of flows over my tummy. It fits now, so it will obviously fit after the baby is born. It has a fun back detail and I think it would be a good top for both Fall and Spring. My only concern is that it makes me look a bit busty. That's not something I want to draw attention to, especially when I'm nursing. The sleeves are also an odd length....not quite full length but not really 3/4 sleeve. That doesn't really bother me though. Status: KEEPING?

Jewelissa Open Drape Cardigan by Bobeau (Light Blue)

My stylist suggested wearing this cardigan over the floral top, and I really like the combo. On its own, though, I'm not in love with this cardigan. It is a bit more blue than it appears in these pictures, but I'm still not sure it's a good color on me. I already own a plain light grey cardigan and I never really wear it. Status: RETURNING

Kristin Fleece Legging by MTLA (Olive)

Sorry for the odd pose. I was trying to show off the color of the leggings, but I ended up just looking weird. These leggings are really soft and cozy. But I just can't get over the color. I searched through my closet for a top to wear with them, and this is the best I could do. I own a pair of black maternity leggings, as well as black regular leggings. I think I'm good with those, so I'll be sending these back. Status: RETURNING

Seasonal Classic Slip-On Flats by Toms (Light Grey)

I know everyone loves Toms flats. But they're just not my favorite style. I think it's because I have such large feet. I felt like this particular color made my feet look like giant bandaids. They are very comfortable, I'll give them that! But just not the right shoes for my size 10 feet. Status: RETURNING

So right now I'm thinking about keeping either the poncho or the floral top, or possibly both. Have you ever owned/worn a poncho? And have you tried Stitch Fix?! They offer women's clothing, including petites and Maternity, as well as Men's! I would love for you to use my referral link if you decide to give it a try.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Play Structure - Phase 3

Our playroom is constantly evolving! Here was my last update, back in September: http://nullybabyblog.blogspot.com/2016/09/play-structure-phase-2.html

And the original structure, back in May: http://nullybabyblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/our-new-play-structure.html

Since then we've added a few finishing touches to make it even more fun, comfortable and inviting.
We moved the ropes to the front of the structure, so the boys can use them to scale the walls up to the top.

You can also see in this picture the glowing blue light up on top. Adam put in some inexpensive lights along the roof that can be controlled by a remote control.
We can change the colors depending on our mood (or gender).
Every time I used to climb up to the second level, the hard wood floor killed my knees. I figured it might also be uncomfortable for the kids to crawl on, so I found some interlocking foam mats and they fit perfectly up there!
We also covered the bench that Adam built in upholstered foam so it's a comfy seating area. Or a place for Mommy to lay down while the kids play!
 Adam cut little windows in the tunnel below the bench.
And another new fun feature....a talking tube! This picture shows it on the second floor of the play structure. You can talk into the tube......
 And the sound comes out the other end, which is down inside the tunnel. How fun is that?

On the opposite side of the room is our rock climbing wall. The boys absolutely love this!

Adam created a second hotwheels track that goes through the center of the room.
Both tracks end up going down the wall into a little blue box Adam made. (Clearly not big enough for the 1000 hot wheels cars we own!)

Finally, we put up a simple piece of wood with clothespins attached so the boys can pin their artwork to the wall. Ryan loves displaying his creations.
I have two more wishes for our playroom. First, I still want to get some big cushy pillows to put on the bench and prop up against the window. We have a protective metal rail on the window juuuust in case the kids decide to try throwing each other through the window. It isn't too comfortable to lean back against, so I want to make it more cozy and comfy with pillows. Second, I told Adam he needs to design a girly space for Jenna. It would probably be on the lower level of the play structure. I'm thinking a little rug, twinkly lights, and all her baby dolls. That way it would be like a little playhouse/dollhouse. Any other good girly suggestions?

Monday, January 16, 2017

34 Weeks Pregnant

I wasn't planning on updating this week, but then I thought, there aren't many weeks left of this pregnancy!
I washed and put away all our baby boy clothes from newborn up to 9 months. As I was doing this, I realized we're going to need to buy some baby clothes! Both my boys were born in the Spring, so I didn't use a ton of warm clothes when they were newborns. But the weather up here in February is quite cold, so I'll need to shop for some warm cozy clothes.

Overall I'm feeling okay, but I do feel really tired most afternoons. And I pretty much can't stay awake past 9 or 9:30 most nights. My appetite hasn't been as big lately. That's probably because eating large amounts makes me uncomfortable. It feels like there is no room left inside of me for anything. My lower back has been hurting quite a bit if I'm on my feet a lot. One strange symptom I've been having is itchy skin. Certain parts of my body (my shoulder, my inner elbows, my ankles) have been itching like crazy! I can't figure out if it's dry skin or something pregnancy-related.

Adam and I finally got serious about baby names this past week. Adam was reading off a list of names from the internet and every once in a while we'd stop on one that we sort of liked. But we never really loved any of them, nor did we agree on the ones we liked. It's hard to pick a name that sounds good with Nullmeyer! The names I really like just don't sound right with our name. I'm very particular about a first, middle and last name flowing nicely and sounding good when said out loud. All of our kids have 2-syllable first names, 1-syllable middle names, and obviously a 3-syllable last name. I told Adam I was afraid we'd end up just settling on a name that we didn't really love. But then he read a name that we both liked, and had never really considered. And the more we said it out loud, the more we liked it. In particular, we both like the nicknames that could be used for this name. So I think we may have chosen our baby's name!

My next update will be at 36 weeks, after I see my doctor and have an ultrasound to confirm baby is head-down.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hard-To-Handle Boys

I have two hard-to-handle boys. If you have been blessed with one of these, go to the website I am sharing below!

Lucas has a very aggressive and impulsive streak. He reacts at the drop of a hat. One tiny word, one tiny action, anything that he doesn't agree with can set him off. And when Lucas is provoked, he gets physical. He hits, he punches, he throws objects, he knocks over the trash can, he head-butts, he scratches, he destroys anything in his path. Lucas is also extremely impulsive. If we arrive at a store and he decides it would be fun to run into the parking lot, then he most definitely will. I am constantly on guard with him, anticipating what he will do next. I have had to brush up on my self-defense skills because I have a boy named Lucas.

However, Lucas is also my most loving and affectionate child. He smothers me with kisses first thing in the morning and before bed at night. If he accidentally hurts me, he says sorry over and over while hugging and kissing me. He runs up and plows into me with his big hugs. He loves picking me flowers. Lucas is constantly telling me he loves me. The other day he was sitting on the toilet doing his business and he frantically called me in. Turns out he just needed to tell me he loves me.

As Ryan gets older I feel less and less comfortable sharing things about him, particularly the negative things. Ryan has some personality traits that we have really struggled with since the time he was a baby. And although he isn't as loud and in your face as his little brother, he challenges me each and every day with his mood, attitude, eating habits, sleeping habits, and his ability to get along with his brother. That boy sure has some moods.

As I try to navigate being a boy Mom, I keep coming back to the same resource. It's called the MOB Society, and it stands for Mothers of Boys. http://www.themobsociety.com/ Specifically, they have a series titled "Hard-To-Handle Boys" by Brooke McGlothlin. And every time I read an article from them, I find myself nodding my head, saying "yes!" and feeling relieved that finally someone gets it. I have often felt so alone with my struggles with my boys' behavior. I don't know many people who have boys like mine. Boys who fight constantly, who slam the doors so hard they put holes in the wall, boys who give me push-back on every single thing. But every time I read an email or resource from the MOB Society, I come away feeling more equipped, and more able to appreciate and love the boys God has given me. If you're having a hard time with your boy and you'd welcome some Godly guidance, GO to this website!