Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baby #4: Second Trimester Update

I have just moved into the third trimester and things are going well.

IMG_2533I continue to have (a lot of) sugar in my urine at every appointment. This last time I had another set of labs checking for diabetes, anemia and something about anti-bodies. All of my results came back good – and not just good, but GREAT on the diabetes test. I am definitely not diabetic, but for whatever reason, my kidneys are not doing whatever they are supposed to do with the sugar…. but I guess that can happen when you’re pregnant and you are still totally healthy and fine (according to the internet at least).

So far, this pregnancy (27/28 weeks) I have put on 20 pounds. Tim and I both think I look small compared to my other pregnancy but the doctor says I’m measuring well. I forgot to ask at my last appointment what my exact measurement was and I had all three kids with me, so I didn’t even realize she measured me until she says – oh, you’re measuring great! To which I replied “You measured me?” and she said “Yeah… just now”

Baby boys heart rate was 143 at our last appointment. He is a mover – at least when I’m still. Mornings, nights and early afternoon are his “peek moving times”. He isn’t too violent, a smooth mover (unlike his brother) – more like his oldest sister.

Overall I’m feeling pretty well. My energy level kept up for most of my second trimester, and when I was more tired than usual, I think it had more to do with our busy schedule than the actual pregnancy. I’m starting to wake up a little more at night, but am still feeling fairly well rested, so far so good.

I am having lots of “fun” aches and pains this pregnancy that I haven’t experienced (at this point) before. When I crawl into bed at night my left hip and lower back – KILL! It can be down right excruciating, Tim usually rubs it out well enough, but I have to be very careful how I lay and get in and out of bed. I also had pretty bad sciatic nerve pain between weeks 22-25, which I had with Treyton but not until the end of my pregnancy. Praise God that has passed, and I’m just praying it doesn’t return. My ankles and knees have recently started to cause me a little grief, but I have been on my feet much more than normal the last week, I think just taking it easy will relieve the majority of this pain. I will be 29 at the end of August, and I have never felt old…. until now.

The kids LOVE feeling the baby move. Treyton has felt baby T the most, and he loves to just sit and place his hand on my belly, though he gets a little freaked out to actually feel body parts protruding – meaning not the kicks but when you can feel a little foot, head or butt – he feels like he is hurting the baby by actually feeling it. It’s way cute and he gets all “worked up” which is fun!

Alexa has felt small bumps and kicks here and there, but recently felt the baby move a couple of BIG times, she squealed and laughed and asked to do it again…. and again!! She loves the baby belly and talks to him often telling him to “Keep growing baby, you need to get bigger so you can come out.”

Audrey has felt the baby move, but hasn’t really realized it, or cared I guess. But she loves to kiss the belly, rub the belly and talk about the baby with me. She really, really loves her baby nephews, I think she is going to be an AMAZING big sister!

We had thought that we were settled on a boy name, but now I’m not sure again, I just can’t settle on anything…. I don’t know why this is so difficult this time around. I am still committed to the T name for our boys (I think), but this is getting ridiculous. The kids really like the name Trevin, but I don’t know…. I just don’t know…

These pictures are from 21 weeks, I have only taken pictures twice (I want to get better) so hopefully I will be taking more and posting them here soon.  IMG_2528

Monday, July 23, 2012

God’s Powerful Presence

I am currently reading Sally Clarkson’s book “Ministry of Motherhood” it is excellent. I have been reminded and given motivation to model (and instill) more in my children than just the “basics” of life skills and survival. My role as a mother is an important one in their lives, and something that should not be taken lightly, by the world, and certainly not by me!

In her chapter on Inspiring a Sense of God’s Powerful Presence, I read this quote and I felt my body just cover in goose bumps:

“God is more powerful, mysterious, and wonderful than we can ever imagine. He cannot be contained by our thoughts or definitions and is in a sense wild and untamable and bigger than we are in every way. And yet he is also a God who goes to great lengths to reveal himself to us, to remind us that he is present in all the minutes of our lives. If we have eyes to see and ears to hear, the evidence of his power and presence is all around us. And those moments when we see him revealed teaches us so much. Even in the darkest moments of our own small lives, he gives us reason to trust him, to anticipate the miraculous, to dream of resurrection life and the hope it brings.”

Our God is truly amazing, more amazing than our best thought of Him could ever possibly reveal, yet reveal He does. I wonder how often I miss it because I’m not looking? Because I haven’t properly trained my eyes to see and my ears to hear.

I absolutely want to instill the gift of sensing God’s presence in my children, but even more than that, I want to instill and train it by example, which means I need to start paying attention.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lake Arrowhead: Camping July 12th – 15th

This past weekend we went camping at Lake Arrowhead in Montello (site 113). IMG_3212

This is a really great camp ground which a friend of mine recommended to us. (Their showers and bathrooms were the cleanest I’ve ever seen at a campground – I mean I actually used them which is saying something!). They had lots of activities for the kids to do, a great store for any forgotten items (or ice cream) and two pools a kiddie one and a regular one (3 – 5 feet). IMG_3251

It was still a pretty warm week, but nothing compared to the fourth of July camping trip.

One of the neatest parts of the camping trip was a new friend that Treyton made, minutes after we arrived. We hadn’t even pulled the camper steps down to get into yet when our “neighbor” boy and his mom came over to introduce themselves and to ask if Treyton could go for a bike ride with J (the unnamed boy) around the campground. From this moment forward, the two boys spent all the time they could together.

I appreciate all that Treyton was able to do on this camping trip – our site actually butted up against the woods, so J and Treyton spent time building forts, imagining animals chasing them, exploring, climbing trees, riding their bikes around the grounds and playing together. Treyton learned a lot about being a friend and playing with new people. IMG_3210

Sadly, I think that Alexa felt a little left out at times, the boys didn’t want her tagging along all the time and the girls next to us (who were 6 and 7) kept blowing her off because she was so little. This is not what Alexa is “used to”, all of her closest friends are 5, 6 or 7 – she’s used to being the youngest (once again so thankful for our church and homeschooling friends and families that make this possible for her). Thankfully she hasn’t quite gotten to the age of taking it too personally, so she wasn’t too offended, but we did have to come up with some special things for Alexa to enjoy while Treyton had a friend constantly at his fingertips. IMG_3194Through all our extra “socializing” on this camping trip the Lord really opened my eyes to realize how much I enjoy spending time with my kids. Sometimes I take it for granted, or think that I am doing it because that’s just what I do, but that’s not entirely true. I do feel called to being at home with my children, and building a strong family foundation at this age, BUT I (we) also do it because I (we) genuinely enjoy spending time with our kids/family. I am a blessed woman to be given such an opportunity and the heart to enjoy it. IMG_3217

This was one of the more relaxing and fun-filled trips that we’ve had this year I think – the kids and Tim spent hours a day in the pools (Audrey and I limited our time to an hour or two at most a day), we took a bike ride down to Lake Puckaway and were even able to visit with Aunty Skye, Uncle Aaron, Ryan, Peyton and Grant who live about 25 minutes away. IMG_3195

 IMG_3192 Treyton said this was his most favorite camping trip – EVER! and he was sad to leave. I think part of it was his new friend, part of it was the woods literally out our door, the long hours spent in the pool and the activities the campground had organized for the kids which included a marshmallow gun fight and a smore house competition (the kids were given frosting, marshmallows, graham crackers and pretzels to build the best house they could out of it). IMG_3241We really did like this campground, our only complaint would be the dirty/sandy areas of the camp sites. IMG_3203

It’s hard to describe it, it wasn’t sand per se, and it wasn’t dirt – it was like an ashy sand that just smeared onto the skin (or anything it touched). The kids would touch the dirt and then anything else they touched would be smeared with the brownish grey dirt. It drove us nuts – we showered every night and washed the camper floors at least once a day…. it was every where. But the most awesome part (for me at least) was the fact that I think Tim was actually more uptight about all the dirt and smearing than I was!! :) We were constantly reminding (or scolding) the kids to not sit in the dirt or to put it in their hair and above all else not to play in it!!

Here is a picture of my niece peyton after playing in the dirt… like I said, it was messy. IMG_3190Thankfully for their second visit she stayed a little cleaner while we played in the pool :) IMG_3260

I could see us visiting this camground again, if we can get over the dirt, it was a perfect down-time for the family.

Family Camp at Spencer Lake July 2nd-5th

Growing up Tim and I used to attend weekly church camps during the summer at Spencer Lake in Waupaca. They offer a family camp, I’ve never been, but Tim had gone when he was a kid. This year Tim’s mom and sister invited us to join them for a week of camping during Family Camp. June 2012 002

It just so happened that the 4th of July weekend is one of the hottest weeks on record in the state of Wisconsin (okay I don’t know if that’s really true or not, but I do know we made some records). It was CRAZY hot, most days being in the upper 90s and some were even hit the 100s!! June 2012 007We arrived on Monday morning and set up and left on Thursday morning early (so Tim could get back to work). We then came back on Saturday to spend some more time with Tim’s mom and sister (and family) as well as some more swimming in Spencer Lake. June 2012 050

The kids favorite activity was definitely swimming, and this was really the only activity I was going to be leaving my air conditioned camper for, so we went swimming every day in the hottest afternoon sun to keep cool.

Thankfully, the water was not only nice but they also have some really fun water inflatables on the lake – a blob, iceberg and wibit.

On Tuesday, Treyton decided he was going to climb the iceberg (it was probably 25-30 feet high). June 2012 012It was for bigger kids so the arm lengths were pretty far apart, I think it was his max to pull himself up. June 2012 014As a mom it is hard to explain the emotions that you go through watching your child do something like this – I was so nervous and proud all at the same time. I didn’t want him to fall (not that I would be disappointed but) because I didn’t want him to be disappointed. June 2012 020Once he got near the top, he was scared and nervous (he told us later), you could actually see his leg shaking from the shore (my heart was nearly breaking with nerves and pride at the same time).     June 2012 024Thankfully, he didn’t fall. He made it all the way to the top!! I was so overly proud! He did so good. June 2012 027

He tried it again on Wednesday but wasn’t able to do it (though he had been on the wibit quite a bit and didn’t rest) his arms were much more tired this day.

Then on Saturday when we went back he did do it again! He was also able to do the blob this day because his Uncle Tom was there and blobbed him, he had wanted to do this before but wasn’t able to because I obviously couldn’t do it, and there was just too much of a weight difference between him and Tim. He loved it the first time, the second time he did it though he landed head first in the water and he said his brain hurt. He needed to sit down for a while to recuperate. June 2012 070Tim and Tom also conquered the iceberg this week, and Tom the blob – it’s always a good time when you get to the see the men complete such an accomplishment :) June 2012 064

Alexa and Audrey even though they didn’t climb the iceberg or do the Blob did just as great in the water. Both of them making their own progress.   June 2012 101 Alexa for the first time started going under the water on her own and coming back up. She did it over and over and over and over again ;) June 2012 096Audrey would actually get in the the water (which was progress) and loved walking between mom and dad on the first day, and by Saturday she was walking all over the place.   June 2012 081 In fact, sometimes I would have to tell her she was getting to deep (not typically Audrey’s problem). June 2012 111She did go under a few times, and did very well with standing up herself and not getting too worked up about it. June 2012 098

While we were at family camp, it was our nephew Sawyer’s 4th birthday, Tim’s 32nd birthday and because Alexa’s birthday was a few days away we celebrated group style with some cupcakes that Aunt Tami brought and of course, s’mores. June 2012 033

    June 2012 035

June 2012 037For the Fourth of July we celebrated with the kids, simply, with sparklers (very exciting for them). Since Treyton was a baby we have not been able to keep the kids up for fireworks. We realized that Alexa’s seen fireworks possibly once in her life, while we were walking through the parking lot back to our car after Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. I know, makes us sound like heartless parents, but seriously, our kids do not handle staying up past bedtime well and it’s just one of those things we’ve given up for the sake of sanity.

June 2012 054 

June 2012 056 

June 2012 057All-in-all, it was a fun week, and we had a really great time in spite of the heat. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Alexa’s 4th Birthday

Today was Alexa’s birthday!! 7.8.12 002

Because we had church this morning, we did her presents as soon as we could this morning (after breakfast and getting ready for church). 7.8.12 012

We got her a DS game and styluses, a princess kick ball, a pink and purple baseball glove and ball, a pink dress-up dress, a jewelry box, a collection of disney princesses, a princess camping chair, several cars 2 cars (including Holly Shiftwell, which is her favorite) and four wooden princess puzzles. 7.8.12 010

Alexa brought cookies to her Sunday School class – where they sang her happy birthday and enjoyed their snacks. Her teacher (who just happened to be our good friend Ms. Amanda today), said she was actually a little embarrassed when they sang to her. 7.8.12 016

Our pastor is retiring, and we had a potluck for him after church today in honor of his last Sunday. We were able to eat and spend some great time with our church family and friends. 7.8.12 025 

7.8.12 028

After the potluck, our family and two of Alexa’s friends (Amelia (7) and Breigh (6), who happen to be sisters) headed up to Bay Beach Amusement Park to enjoy some rides. 7.8.12 032 7.8.12 039 

7.8.12 068

7.8.12 049 

7.8.12 051 

7.8.12 055 

7.8.12 064  7.8.12 072

We were planning on taking Alexa to her favorite restaurant and our family birthday tradition spot, Nakashima’s, but we ended up being a little later than we expected, so we decided to pick up happy meals for the kids, and Alexa’s princess ice cream cake from dairy queen.

7.8.12 077 

7.8.12 083 

7.8.12 090

We brought them home to enjoy!! 7.8.12 108

It was a busy but great birthday day.          

7.8.12 113 

7.8.12 098