Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Helm

Bethel has a new entrance! Honestly, this is our very first photo at the Helm. I really wanted this to be a family shot but the boys were sleeping in the car. Maybe next time? On the drive over Luke said "what is a Bethel?"

20 Weeks and Still Pregnant!

My watermelon sized belly (well, not really!)

This belly is definitely lower than the other two! I am not sure it it means anything other than my maternity stash of clothes is fitting more snugly this time around.

Half-way there! I really didn't think that 11 weeks ago I would be here!

Lots of baby movement and wiggling! This is my 3rd pregnant birthday! Getting ready to turn 31 on Thursday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Target Toy Storage

Why baskets? To conceal our growing toy collection. The shelf is low enough for toddler access and my kids can easily pull the baskets in and out of the shelves. I like it because it keeps the toys off the floor and looks more adultish! Plus it goes with our Ikea bookshelves that we've owned since our Mishawaka house many moves ago. Shelf and baskets recently purchased at Target. I had to go to 2 Targets to collect 6 matching baskets! So hurry and go get you some.

Our living room in the morning BEFORE the toys are unleashed!

Just a reference picture for my Texas and California friends who may never visit in person! When I first brought the shelf home I tried it in the entry (it fit perfectly) for concealed shoe storage but I figured it would get more use for toys in the living room. The search for the perfect entry piece continues! I am thinking a narrow table with legs but when the right piece comes along I will know!

Now looking at this photo, I think I may need to lower my little chair collection a few inches?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

19 Weeks - Elephants

It hit me this weekend that expecting a baby girl = overwhelmed shopper

We walked into the Carter's Outlet and Phil said "wow, this is very bright." The girl section of the store was like a bright rainbow of cupcake sleepers and hot pink hairbows. My brother was with us and to say that he looked out of place is an understatement. I collected an assortment of girl outfits and headed to the checkout. Phil and Drew had wandered over to the more familiar boy section where they felt more comfortable.

While in line I noticed a rack with ruffled tights. I thought about how I had always wanted to buy ruffled tights so I got out of line. There was a huge selection of tights, stockings, socks, hairbows, and bags. Suddenly that gagging feeling that plagues me so early on in pregnancy was back. I instantly knew that I was WAY out of my league. The pressure to put together a complete ensemble made me sweat in my eyebrows.

So I turned around and headed back to the sale rack and put most of the outfits that I had selected earlier back! Then I pulled myself together and headed over to find the boys. I told myself "Brooke will help me figure this all out!" My friend Brooke is queen of coordinates for girls.

The boys were more than ready to move on to the next store and so was I! Yikes. I did not expect this! I thought I could easily pick out a few onesies but it is clear that I am not ready for full outfits! I need to enroll in a baby girl mentorship program.

We did manage to pick out a few things for Baby Girl!

Phil picked this onesie out!

We also choose this super soft and sweet elephant lovie from the Carter's Outlet. Proof that I did buy a few items!

I love that the animal print on the lovie is actually hearts!

Hmmm...the start of nursery inspiration? We will see...

Flat Front Pants

More pants were sewn this week.

I had a pair of pants (from college) that I had been holding onto but they had a hole in the rear by a back pocket. Don't you hate when that happens to good pants?

So I repurposed them into a pait of smaller pants for my oldest son.

Again, I followed an online tutorial. I made these flat fronted pants for more style!

They turned out super cute!

New churchy pants. CHECK!

Time to do some roof work!

Friday, August 12, 2011

18 Weeks and a Baby Girl

My mother in law picked up that onesie for our new little GIRL at the Creation Museum! She said that we are just going to love this baby no matter what! In one of my early conversations with Barbara my beloved duola she reminded me of the same. No matter what happens this baby was created in God's image! You know how things happen at just the right timing? It is no accident. I believe that there is a reason and purpose behind EVERYTHING!

When "rumors of this baby's demise" first started I managed to avoid the "why" and the "why me" questions. But it is funny how the questions started to come when we were getting the good news. After the initial shock of the turn around/healing I started thinking "why us and not somebody else?"
In May when I first discovered I was pregnant, a woman that writes a blog I follow discovered that she was pregnant too. Like our due dates were a day apart. At 7 weeks she felt like something was up with her pregnancy. She went from being super sick to feeling great so she went to her midwife and got an ultrasound. Everything ended up being fine, in fact, she learned that she was carrying twins! I don't actually know her but I was super happy for her and I started to think of her often. Last week she updated her blog after a long break and shared her story. While on vacation she ended up miscarrying one of her twins and then a week later gave birth to the other twin. But she was way too early and small to survive and lived for about 40 minutes. My heart broke and is still breaking for her. Plus, I was overwhelmed by reading a story that was so similarly predicted for me. Her July ended the way that mine was supposed to end. And for the first time started wondering "why her and why not me?" Here I am in August still pregnant.

I don't think that there is anything special about us or our situation. I wish that I could tell other people going through something similar that everything is going to be okay. The thing is I did not think that things would be okay for us either. I remember telling Phil early on that I just had a feeling that this was going to be a long and drawn out process. I also remember feeling like always before I could tell myself that "everything was going to be alright" and in this case I just could not say or feel like it was. That was a scary place for me to be.

How do you accept the unknown in a logical way? And how do you help others? For me it was taking the focus off of myself explaining the facts to the ones around me who were going through this grief with us. And telling them that I have no answers. Like I said earlier, I believe that things happen for a reason and have a higher purpose. A purpose that may not present itself until later. Maybe even years later.

Why did this happen? I don't know.

How did we get to a regular 18 week baby check? It had been 4 weeks since I had an ultrasound and we were comforted by NOT knowing what was going on with the baby. We had been on information overload for far too long and the month break was nice! I convinced Phil to come with me to my appointment. It is a good thing that he came because my appointment turned out to be all ultrasound! The tech that did our original ultrasound did this one too. I asked her if she remembered us from the beginning of the summer and she did! I could tell that she was excited to see what was going on with the baby. I was nervous and surprised that we were even doing an ultrasound! Yikes. So here we go:

She can tell right away that this miracle baby is officially a girl! And she is moving all over the place! She was really active just like all of the ultrasounds have been. Her heart rate was around the 150 range and NORMAL! Yay! Some "normal" news right off the bat!

Here she is putting her thumb up to her mouth!

So then we start in with the serious measurements. She is estimated to be 9 ounces and measuring developmentally 5 days early! This was normal news to me too because both boys were measuring 5 days early at their gender ultrasounds. The umbilical cord has 3 vessels and the heart has all 4 chambers!!!! Yes! That was the biggest concern at our last ultrasound. Relief comes over me. Next the brain measures fine and the stomach and kidneys are there! They exist! More relief. I make her check the lip and make sure that it is all there. Yes! I ask her if there is still concern for chromosomal abnormalities? She says that ultrasounds are 99.9% correct in prediction. Normally this would give me more great relief but we have a history of red flag ultrasounds that apparently turned out to be nothing.

The tech then tells me that she had a similar ultrasound with her third baby. She says that there was some concern about her baby at first but the problems cleared up in a later ultrasound and she now has a perfectly healthy and beautiful 4 year old daughter. She says that this is the reason that she did not say anything to me during that first ultrasound. I feel like this clears up some fuzziness in my brain from that first visit. She then says "why, did they scare you?" Um, YES. We tell her about our second ultrasound and she has no explanations for that one. I kept saying: "I am just so happy to be here." I keep thinking about my blogging "friend" who is not.

The high risk doctor knocks on the door and comes in. Apparently he has been watching the whole ultrasound from the other room. Like a guardian angel? He comes in and wants to see the "miracle baby" for himself. We look at the heart again and he makes sure that the amniotic sac has attached. It was sagging a little bit at the last ultrasound but today it is perfectly placed. Again he says his famous/favorite words "rumors of this baby's demise were premature!" He is happy and let's me know that he is always there for me if the need arises but "the less you see of me the better." Those are sweet words to my ears as well. He has certainly proved himself in that area. He has always been right there in the office, in the ultrasound room, at my appointments. I wonder if maybe he is having a hard time letting go? Maybe I am too! I decide that I want to make him proud. I want this happy ending for him too!

Our baby girl is so tiny and at 18 weeks. I think she has a little "Who" face. You know the Who's from the Grinch and "Horton Hears a Who." I read "The Grinch that Stole Christmas" to Luke the other night and discover that he has a small 3 year old crush on Cindy Lou Who. What 3 year old boy wouldn't? We tell him that he is getting a sister and he says "let's name her Brother?" Don't you love 3 1/2 year olds?

SO happy to be here and writing this post. Not so happy about the 10 pound weight gain that accumulated over the past month. But is it probably a good thing? No more worry/stress/grief pregnancy diet that resulted in lost pounds. I do feel big for 18 weeks though. This baby wants to be SEEN! I have some catching up to do on getting the word out. Spread the word!

Kid Pants and Fiberglass Lady

Finally our bath tub is fixed! The "Fiberglass Lady" came to our house last Friday to work her magic. Luke was pretty excited about it and put on his Spiderman costume to welcome her. I had been making plans to make the boys some pajama pants. I know these two things seem to have nothing to do with each other! Anyhoo:

Let me slow down and tell you that 2 weeks ago a hole was punched through the corner of the boys bathtub. How did that happen? Phil went in to start the bath and saw a thin black line in the corner of the tub. So (I don't know why boys do this) but he pushed on the small line and poked his thumb all the way through the fiberglass! He calls for me and I come and check the damage and yes there was a half dollar size hole in our 11 year old fiberglass tub!

We talk about patching and then go to Lowe's to look at new tubs. It turns out a new tub does not seem that expensive but when you add up the installation fees and consider that a wall would have to be removed to get a new tub in our tiny bathroom it gets into the ballpark of $3,000-$4,000! What???

The salesman at Lowe's suggests calling a local fiberglass company and getting the hole professionally patched for a few hundred dollars. Now that's more like it. Phil calls around and finally finds Beverly's Fiberglass. She says she can fix the hole for $95.00! Nice! So we set up a time for her to come out.

She shows up Friday morning. Pats Luke on the head and tells him that she loves his costume and brings in her back of tricks. It looks like a giant bowling bag from the 60's. I wonder how in the world that bag is going to fix the tub? Things start coming out of the bag like a funny hairdryer looking thing and an intense smell that gets stronger by the minute. I take the boys outside for some fresh air. The smell is starting to get to me. The next thing I know, I hear water running in the tub! Something we have not done for 2 weeks. Then she packs up her bag and brings me her invoice for $95.00 and tells me the spot she fixed is good to go. We can run the water and start taking baths/showers immediately and the patch is guaranteed for like EVER! I profess love to her and say we will definitely be calling her again if we have more holes. She says "not for that spot you won't." Well alrighty. She is a wonder. A woman who fixes fiberglass and is hugely confident in her trade. I like her. A lot. She has saved us thousands of dollars.

You could never tell by looking that there was a hole in this tub!

After the fiberglass lady leaves I am still feeling ill from the intense smell. So I open a bunch of windows, turn on some fans and load the boys in the Rendezvous. I figure we take a trip to JoAnn Fabrics and get some elastic and blue thread for the pajama pants project. I tell Luke that if he is good at the store he can have a hot dog from Rally's afterward. We never do stuff like that but there is a Rally's right there and the hot dogs are a $1.00. And it works! Both boys are great! I might be trying this more often!

I used this pattern and tutorial that I found online at this website: www.dana-made-it.com

My parents gave me this nightgown last Christmas. I asked for it specifically from LL Bean. I had been eying it for years but I always seem to be pregnantish around the holidays and I finally was a reasonable size last year. But I still ordered the wrong size and it fit funny at the neck. I loved it but never wore it. It was hardly worn and I wanted to re-purpose it into pajamas for the boys. I laid out the nightgown on the table and realized that I was only going to get one pair of pants out of this one nightgown. So I decided to make them for Luke because I already told him I was and showed him the fabric. He was excited and already in bed. Plus, if they hold up well they can be handed down to growing family members!

I traced the pattern with chalk and cut it out. I estimated because the online pattern is for 2-3t so I traced the pattern a little larger.

Pants are such an easy and rewarding project if you are new to sewing! I followed the tutorial instructions and found that the order of steps made more sense than the pattern that I used to make. Yes, I used to make pajama pants in high school. I even rekindled my skills and made Phil a fleece pair for Christmas when we first met and stitched a Merry Christmas message in the waist! I am pretty sure that MUST have won his heart because later that night he asked if I was his girlfriend? It took me really off guard and I felt flustered. I had not been a girlfriend for a while. I told him that I had to think about it! What? Who does that? Yep. Me. I think that all worked out nicely in the end though?

My skills were a little rusty and this first pair took a little longer than I anticipated. It is hard to be a perfectionist! So no embroidery here but I did re-purpose the tag especially for Luke. He needs a point of reference for dressing himself. "Tag goes in the back." I live by that rule too.

I followed the tutorial suggestion and hemmed the pants with a double line of stitching. I REALLY love the way they look more professional that way.

Since Luke was sleeping I had to wait the whole night to try them on the boy.

Show us your muscles.

Strike a pose.

Be more serious.

Ever since we had some family photos taken last week Luke has been really into pose striking.

I wanted Micah to have a matching pair but there is not enough fabric. Luke picked this flannel out for Micah. I picked it up at JoAnns a few years back on Black Friday for a $1.00 a yard. I waited in line at the cutting counter FOREVER but scored some fun flannels that I still use!

I made both pairs a little big keeping in mind that they will probably grow between now and winter. I love making stuff for my boys!

Yea dude, you're cool.

Look at how long!

You know these boys are growing though! Before I know it these pants will be too short!

I think that there are enough scraps of the blue flannel to make a small newborn pair of pants for the new baby and maybe some trim for Micah to have a coordinating pair? We will see!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Micah 18-Month Well Visit

Weight: 28 lbs. (55%)

Height: 33" (75%)

Head: 18 1/4" (18%)

Hair: curly

Disposition: ornery

Emotional State: Happy!

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