Monday, February 24, 2014

Sweet Brooke

Brooke is our oldest. She hit a full hand --five years old!-- this Fall and we took her to Disney World. She is headed to Kindergarten in the Fall and has already lost two teeth!

She is calm [for the most part], sweet, caring, and a big helper. As a baby she was always so chill and smiley. She liked to sleep and once she slept through the night in her crib, I could count on her to sleep until 10 or 11.  She was seriously the cutest little thing. I mean... look....

Calm and collected as a newborn

I can always count on Brooke for a photo shoot and know she'll make a great model, especially if promised a lollipop at the end.

She is in her second year of dance and loves it.  As a baby, she LOVED to dance. From the moment she could stand she was shaking her hips Shakira style. 

She loves all things pink and purple. She wears fancy dressed on the weekend since she can't wear them to school during the week, and loves to pick out headbands and bows. She loves to have her nails painted and will pick at least two colors to alternate so they are "fancier". 

BUT there are times that she likes to get dirty.

She absolutely LOVES being a big sister -- most days. By the end of a long weekend generally they are fighting over something silly and need to take a time out from each other, but what best friends don't? ;) They do everything together, as I said in Molly's post. Brooke also takes care of her little sister. In the past year she had really grown to be conscious of Molly's feelings. If they are playing with friends she always makes sure Molly is included, and if she isn't, she won't play. They are also really good at making trouble together. I know she cannot wait until Paige is here, and will be just as good as a big sister and helper.

Brooke is also a daddy's girl, and he is the first person she looks for the second she is up in the morning. She loves to help him make soup, which is their favorite food these days.

Brooke is my sensitive girl. I am always much more aware of her feelings than I am of Molly's, it seems. I am, of course, aware of both their feelings, but Brooke is much more apt to get upset. While Molly takes many things in stride, Brooke's little mouth turns down and she gets sobby. She can also get a little whiny. Okay, maybe a lot. She takes things very personal, especially when it comes to other kids. A few weeks ago she asked to play football instead of little league and I was just thinking of how she would handle getting hit by another kid. She is always willing to jump in and play with new friends, but if she feels rejected she gets shy really quick. It always breaks my hearts when she isn't accepted into new groups. I didn't prepare myself for that part of parenting!

Brooke will sit for hours and color and cut out shapes and tape them together. She amazes me with her cutting. She can cut out the thinnest and smallest shapes with precision. She also loves to send people mail. She will also sit through an entire movie, maybe even two or three, with out a peep. She loves to sleep in and every morning I have to drag her out of bed to get ready for school.

We love you Brookie, and we can't wait to watch you grow and learn!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Molly Moo

Oh, Miss. Molly Moo...

There is so much to be said about you.

Molly is naughty. Plain and simple. I always say she lives by the motto "I just can't help myself". We used to call her five second Molly because that is about how long she would sit, or listen, at a time. You could tell her not to do something, and she would remember she shouldn't be doing it for, oh, five seconds, and then she would start again. Nothing phases her. Timeouts, getting yelled at, positive reinforcement, etc. If she wants to do it, she will.

Good thing we love her name, because we use it a lot.

Molly is wild, stubborn, free spirited, loud.

In the beginning of the "threenager" years, she would scream at us when told no and slam the door in our face. We do the 1-2-3 count as a start for discipline and she would yell, "STOP COUNTING AT ME!" She has a wicked mean face.

Molly is hilarious. And fun. And so so so sweet and loving. She will come up and rub your face, give you a hug, and tell you how much she loves you. When she was little I called her Lovey Loo for some reason. When I did, she would give me a big hug. Now if I ask for a hug she'll go, "A Lovey Loo hug, right Mommy?" and give me the biggest squeeze.  She says and does the funniest things, and is pretty creative.

Brooke got a paper cut at school and got a pretty pink bandaid. When we got home Molly did the only rational thing she could think of to get her own bandaid, she gave herself a paper cut.

She wanted a pin that had Brooke's name on it so she wiped Brooke's name off and wrote her own.

Brooke had shots at the doctor and came home with more pretty bandaids, so Molly started fake coughing in hopes that she could go to the doctor and get a shot too.

Dustin fears for the day that Brooke breaks her arm and comes home with a pretty pink cast.

We went to Disney this Fall and attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. The girls dressed up as superheros and Molly would run around the park saying, "Hurry up Mommy, I have people to save!" and she would jump in the air and say, "Did you see me fly?"

She LOVES her big sister and has never ever ever wanted to be the baby. Anything Brooke does, she can do. Anything Brooke does, she will repeat. They go everywhere together.

Molly is anything but shy.

She has no concept of personal space.

She is 100% Daddy's girl. I've been hearing "Daddy do it!" since she could say all three words.

She loves to play dress up and cries if I don't let her wear the shoes she wants to wear to school. Every shirt she wears must be a "dress shirt" which means it can spin at the bottom with her. Despite this she is my rough and tumble girl. She tackles Brooke randomly and starts tickle fights. She has no problems getting dirty. She is loud.

The other day the girls asked me if they could take separate showers. I think they were over stimulated after a long weekend. Brooke was in our shower singing quietly and washing her bath dolls hair. Molly was in her shower singing --make that screaming-- a song about stomping and stomping her feet as loud as she could. She fills the rinse cup with water and throws it up in the air so it lands back down on her. If given the chance to take a bath, there is a possibility she will use that cup to throw water around and therefore flood the bathroom.

She has a raspy voice and speaks with what I call her Boston Lisp. A little bit Boston accent, a little bit lisp.

Molly will be four in June and we cannot wait to see her fun personality continue to develop and grow. I have a feel she'll be keeping us on our toes well into the teenage years.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

31 Weeks

I don't even know what to say when I haven't blogged in almost a year, and before that, almost a year. I used to be so good about updating this blog. I go back and read posts about Brooke and Molly and wish I had kept with it, as sort of a journal for them. Time to try again. I'm going to start out this return with a pregnancy round-up.

Number Three!

We found out we were expecting number three in the second week of August, right after we got back from a friend's wedding in Michigan. In fact, I brought some pregnancy tests with me but it was still a little early to know. 

I don't know if it is because this is number three, but many people go, "Was this planned?!" Super personal question, people. But yes, this one was planned. By planned I mean it went something like this....

Period has been gone for about ten days in July. I tell Dustin for the umpteenth time how much I want to have a third baby. I explain how hard I've worked over the past year on my books to pay off debt and get us in a better place financially so that a third is affordable. I explain how much I want to be pregnant soon. We decided to try and a few weeks later I had a positive test.


Soon after we announced, 11 weeks I believe

I am 31 weeks pregnant, tomorrow. I think this pregnancy has been my fastest. I remember at the beginning having friends that were delivering their babies and feeling like Spring would never come. That 2014 would never come. Now it is almost March and I am in the 30s! 

To say this pregnancy has been different is an understatement.

To start off, I had a lot of nausea, and it lasted all day long. I was never sick with Brooke or Molly's pregnancies, and this time I was flat on my back. My anxiety kicked up, big time. I remember laying in bed around 10 weeks and staring at the ceiling fan. I thought, "Either they help me with medication, or they commit me." That is how bad it was. Thankfully, my doctor was very supportive with putting me on medication considering my history with anxiety and depression.

Because of how different this pregnancy had been, many people, including myself, thought that I would be having a boy. Nope! Another precious little girl. I am so so so excited. Of course, a boy would have been wonderful, but I feel like I am already in the swing of girl things.

Our ultrasound wasn't all sugar and spice and everything nice, though. The OB came in and told us that our baby girl had fluid around her chest, which was generally related to a more serious issue; genetic problems, heart failure, or even hydrops, which is fatal. All three could be fatal. They couldn't find any other issues beside the fluid and both the ultrasound tech and the OB were stumped because generally the fluid presents in another part of the body, not just the chest.  She recommended that we do a QUAD screen and we decided to. We wanted to be prepared for all possibilities. They scheduled me for a follow up in four weeks and sent me home. Two days later I got a call that the QUAD screen came back normal.

Talk about nerve-wracking. No answers, no clues... the issue really hasn't been seen before in OUR OB office. I decided not to Google.

Fast forward four weeks and the fluid is still there, and there is more. They measured it at 4mm. A different OB was in the office this time and he was stumped, as well, and decided it would be best if I went and saw a Perinatal, a high risk pregnancy specialist.

More nerves. AND we had to wait another month.

More Complications

Our ultrasound had been at Thanksgiving. We were supposed to travel out to Philly for the holiday but ended up not going with me still being sick [Yes, at 19 weeks!] and I had experienced some bleeding. Over the next month I would have several more episodes of bleeding, but nothing enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. The week of Christmas we, again, made the choice to stay in Indiana. We would spend Christmas at our home, and then head to Ohio to visit Dustin's family there, and his grand mom, who we had moved there in the Fall. {I promise this all has a point}. Well the Monday before Christmas, so the day before Christmas Eve, his grandma fell and hit her head really hard. By Tuesday afternoon she was being sent to hospice. We had planned to leave Thursday but left Wednesday {Christmas Day} after opening gifts.

The trip was stressful for many, many reasons, and again, I was bleeding. Dustin's grand mom died a few days after entering hospice. 

The funeral was planned for the following Saturday, in Chicago. Everything went pretty well, despite a big snow storm rolling in at the end of the funeral. We all went out for pizza before heading back to Indiana, and as I was eating I just felt off. I knew something was different. I went to the bathroom and I was bleeding again. Except this was different than before, this was a bunch of bright red blood. Red blood is bad, I knew that much. I was also cramping really bad.

I called the on call OB and she asked that I come to the hospital. Of course, here I am in Chicago, about two hours from the hospital on a GOOD day. With the snow storm it took us three hours to get there. My in-laws met us in town and took the girls, and we went to triage. We spent the night in L&D, did tests, and had an ultrasound. The OB thought I might be in early labor but things checked out okay so we went home the following day.

Dustin and I are generally calm, laid back people. And I felt like we did a great job of holding it together in that moment, but with the addition of the fluid in her chest, and knowing we would be seeing a high risk OB in a few weeks, my mental state was a mess. I hide most of my emotions so while I was hanging out, looking calm, my mind was all over the place.


January 13th came. We were FINALLY going to the Perinatal! I was so nervous. I had no idea what to expect or what we were going to be told about our baby. We had an ultrasound scheduled first, and then we would meet with the Genetic Counselor after that. Just hearing the words "Genetic Counselor" scared me. The office was backed up and we spent an hour waiting for our appointment, which made my nerves worse. We were finally taken back for an ultrasound and the tech was really nice. She pointed out everything she saw and showed us the fluid on the baby's chest. She explained that the Perinatal would be coming in and not to be scared when she started to do her ultrasound, she liked to look around herself. The Perinatal found the fluid and measured it. It was at 2mm, which was less than it had been at my OB, but she didn't have those pictures so could not compare on her own. She said everything looked great and she didn't believe there was anything wrong with our baby. She cancelled our meeting with the Genetic Counselor and scheduled us for one more follow up.

Fast forward a month to February 11th. I brought in the pictures from my previous ultrasounds so the Perinatal could see what my OB office had seen. Our baby had her arm over her chest so it made it hard to see, but she believes that fluid is gone. She said that it could be that the baby caught a virus through me and that was her way of healing herself, and it was a good sign that the fluid had gone down. She did say that she believes I would be at a higher risk for a baby with genetic issues, but doesn't believe there are any. She said she went to literature and couldn't even find a case of a baby with just fluid on the chest.

Moving Forward

So now we wait! Things have been going pretty well. I've had some contractions but nothing close enough or strong enough to be a concern. My due date is almost two months away, and if this little girl decides to follow in her big sisters' footsteps, she could be here in 5-6 weeks. Whoa! The nursery is done {pictures to come}, baby gear is put together, and the hospital bag is half packed. Generally when I go into labor Dustin and I do a "throw and go" with our clothes and toiletries. 

Right now all I can see is that I have 5-6 weeks to comfortably finish the third book in the Exceptional series.... also, maybe get my house organized.

Currently we are naming her Paige Taylor, but reserve the right to change our minds. ;)

Paige because we like it.

Taylor after Taylor University, where we went to school and met.

I've gained about 15 pounds this pregnancy, which is right around where I wanted to be so I better be careful from here on out. Before you go, "Wow, that is a lot less than your 40 pounds before!" I was 30 pounds heavier to start this time.

Kudos if you made it this far. Hopefully my updates for the next two months will be much more simple.