Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Resolutions?

I'm not big on resolutions.  I attempt small changes.  Usually its to lose weight or start working out better if I'm not already committed.

Mati Claire is excited about new brother, but I think I've somewhat scarred her for life in a way.  She's been asking alot of questions concerning the overall effect he will have on us.  ex:  "Why did you want 4?  What was wrong with just 1 or 2 kids? How do you know for sure if this is the last one?"  I think the ultimate problem she's having is ATTENTION.  I do try really hard to give each one-on-one attention.  Its getting harder.  Especially when MC is in school all day, and we spend the afternoons doing homework, then its dinner, bath time, and bed time.  She's hitting that "pre-teen" stage where we are beginning to butt heads more.  I dread the teenager years.  I'm over the attitude.  Her manners have completely disappeared.  I try to give her more freedom and let her choose her outfits on some days, and she looks like a total SLOB when I allow that.  I spend 5-10 minutes fixing her hair every morning only to pick her up with it completely un-done at 2:30 bc she takes it down at school.  She's also beginning to spend more time in her room alone… usually reading or playing her iPad/game whatever.

So we're dealing with some new issues around the house.  Adding a new baby isn't going to help.  MC also accused me of napping too much.  I told her if and when she ever had a baby - I WILL remind her of this.  Tried explaining that it won't last forever.  A few more months….hopefully.

Merritt is very clingy…still.  Not sure how I will handle her with a new baby either.  Luckily she loves babies but I'm sure it won't take her long to figure out that its moving in on her space in mommy's lap.

And Mattox is a momma's boy at the moment.  (Loves his Daddy too) but I try to give him all the "boy" attention I can since he is usually surrounded with girls. Playing with dinosaurs, superheroes, or whatever it takes.  Or maybe just quality snuggle time on the couch.  He is my cuddler.  Although that is coming to an end too… he's 4 going on 14.

SO!  ALL THAT TO SAY:
1)   Give my kids more one-on-one attention translates in today's time = LESS FACEBOOK TIME, COMPUTER TIME, PHONE TIME, TV, etc.

2)  Be nicer to my kids.  Hoping the absence of pregnancy hormones will help with this.  And after a few months of adjusting with a newborn, sleep has alot to do with it too.  I'm not the nicest person when I don't have any sleep.

I have felt like all I've done the past month is yell at them.  Maybe they were just consumed with the Christmas spirit, but they have tested my limits this past month.  I know I have "snapped" more than usual and it makes me feel so guilty.  I want to tell them "its not you, its me" lol!

Whoever said "anything after 3 is a piece of cake"  is LYING!  3 is easy… its 4 that is HARD!  And he's not even here yet!!!!

Here are a few of my favorite pics from this year.  I think they all speak for themselves, but from first steps, a baptism, losing a ton of teeth, first trip to the ER (and not to visit Daddy), first baseball games, beach and lake trips, expecting a baby, and a special 10 year anniversary trip to Italy… I'd say its been a GREAT year!  I know next year will be great too!  Looking forward to 2015!























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Christmas 2014

Matt changed hospitals a few months ago.  And I'm STILL not used to this craziER schedule.  I was finally used to night shift at the same time every day night.  Now, its so random.  Mostly his shifts start in the middle of the day or late morning.  So I get ZERO help in the mornings and/or bedtime with the kids.  He's SUPPOSED to work 10 hour shifts, but he can't leave on time ever, so he has seriously been working 12-15 hr shifts.  This past week he had to be there at 4:30 pm, which means he was suppose to get off at 2:30, but he's been walking in the door between 5 and 8 am.

Sorry, had to vent for a sec.  12 years and its never bothered me before if he had to work.

I keep reminding myself that we are on the countdown… just 3 more months.  And then a few months of adjusting.  Then I can start taking my Advocare (and SPARK) again.  I'm not interested in necessarily losing weight immediately, but man am I ready to have some energy again.  I eat better, feel better, sleep better, not to mention fit into my clothes better.

Here are a few pics from Christmas this year.  I am blaming pregnancy hormones/testosterone on my Grinch-like attitude.  But in my defense, I'm trying really hard to overcome it.  Just a few more months.
We went to Tennessee to visit with my family.  We finally got tickets to take Mattox on the "Polar Express" train.  He loved it!  Then his Uncle Rob took him up for his first plane ride the next morning.  I was sad I couldn't go to the airport with them, but I had to start packing for the long drive home.  My kids love my sister's 2 dogs… I love that they are entertained for longer than 2 minutes. Mati Claire LOVES hanging out with her cousins, Kerigan and Kennedy.  So I didn't see her much - ha!

I managed to PASS my glucose test and got to see new baby on ultrasound.  Merritt really spoiled me when it comes to ultrasounds.  I had so many with her, that I actually got TIRED of seeing her on the big screen.  Now I'm begging for an ultrasound -- but new baby does not care for pictures.  Typical boy.

Christmas Eve, we had the Miley Christmas get together.  Matt couldn't stay long since he had to go to work…again  :(  By the time we got home, reindeer food out, milk/cookies out, cleaned up the house, made a breakfast casserole, put 3 super-excited-never-going-to-sleep kids to bed, this momma was 'wo - out'! I HAD to take a nap before presents were put under the tree.  I don't remember turning my alarm off so by some Christmas miracle I woke up at 2:30 am to do that!

Merritt is really making me laugh this year.  She's beginning to sing songs, get more animated/excited about the gifts, quickly learned how to open them, and can even say the words "Santa Claus"!



"All mine!"


"...Jingle All…"



Can you tell Minnie is her favorite?



…hm….Maybe next year... 


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Old Wives Tales

2 posts in 1 day!  It must be a holiday!

I think its a ton of fun to read old wives tales on pregnancy.  I thought I had heard them all, and still come across unfamiliar ones with each new baby.  Would love to talk to my neighbor that has 10 kids and see what her opinion is on this.

I don't take them seriously, mainly because none of them have ever been true for me.  But still fun to play around with.

False tales for me:  the Chinese gender predictor calendar, the ring test, sweet vs. salty, weight gain distribution, nausea predictor or lack thereof, skin and beauty signs, hair signs, etc.

I've craved sweet stuff with ALL of them.  Although specific cravings varied among all of them,  the overall craving was definitely on sweets.

I've been really sick with 1 boy and 1 girl (Mattox and Merritt); and not sick with the other two.

My face did break out and stayed in that condition the entire pregnancy with all 3.  Number 4 is the only one that it cleared up and is actually better than normal for a change.

Number 4 is the only one that has really had a huge impact on my hair.  I have to shave my legs and other areas every.single.day.   My hair is unruly and growing at superhuman speeds right now.  My aesthetician that does my bikini and eyebrow waxes is laughing her head off!  I have referred to myself as Chewbaca many times and changed my ringtone on Matt's phone to the noise Chewy makes.  I've read that testosterone can affect this.  I don't recall Mattox having this much effect on me so I'm a little scared of the testosterone levels about to enter our house if thats the case!  I've never been more thankful this Thanksgiving holiday for razors and wax!!!!

I don't really gain weight at all so I can't really say about where the distribution lies.  I was my biggest with Mati Claire all over.  But these last 3 have proven otherwise.

I've always been too scared to attempt the Drano test.  I'm not really into explosives or possibly blowing myself up just to see a gender prediction.  lol!

True tales for me:  the side you sleep on.  and pickles.

Weird, huh?  With both girls, I absolutely HAD to sleep on my right side.  And left for the boys.  It's not just sporadic - its every.single.night.or.i.can't.sleep.

Pickles.  Pickles are my sign.  I craved them with the girls, and absolutely despised them with the boys. A couple of weeks ago, I texted my mom on the day after I noticed I had slept on my left side and then gagged on the taste of pickles on my hamburger I was eating while sitting in car rider line.

Also, not an old wives tale, but the Walgreens' Gender Predictor Kit was accurate on this baby.  My hairdresser told me about it and I had never done it before. Thought it would be fun to try.   I didn't know it at the time, but it was right!

Cravings are always fun to see because they just blow my mind.  So does the nesting instinct.
Just to have a record of this for me and my kids:
Mati Claire:  Pickles and ice cream!  She was so much fun to be pregnant with because everything tasted better with her.  I also craved sweet tea, sandwiches/hamburgers, Pop tarts, Eggs.  Not together obviously.  
Mattox:  potatoes.  Seriously, he was so not fun after being pregnant with MC.  I didn't crave anything really except baked potatoes and potato soup.  and water.  strawberry cake from Newks, pop tarts.
Merritt:  hamburgers and french fries; pickles; strawberry flavored candy; Coca-Cola/Dr.Pepper
#4 (would be great if he had a name right?):  mashed potatoes!  Soul - so not good for you - good ole fashioned down home southern cooking.  I want my meat, veggies, and some mashed potatoes!  Anything full of grease and maybe cobbler for dessert.  PB&J sandwiches are a favorite too.

Dreams were a good indicator at times, but they varied.
Mati Claire:  I dreamed about celebrities most of that pregnancy.  weird, i know.
Mattox:  don't even get me started on the meaning of this because yes, I am aware.  I dreamed about snakes every.single.night.  Terrifying, variety, wake up screaming…. snakes.  Apparently Sigmund Freud postulates that there is a link/symbolism between the male penis and snake.  Can we say testosterone induced dreams and "the one eyed snake"??? hahahahaha!
Merritt:  I dreamed about traveling and horrible things happening to all of my kids.  Ex:  traveled to New York City and we lost Mati Claire in a crowd.  In another dream we traveled to Africa and we all died for some reason.  Didn't realize it at the time, but I do think it was symbolic of my fears of something terrible happening to Merritt during/after birth and wanting to escape the reality of our situation.
Baby #4:  at least its not snakes.  I'm not afraid to admit it because I totally blame it on the testosterone, but I have sex dreams almost every single night.  Ladies, when you hear that guys think about it 24 hours a day, they are born that way!  From conception I tell ya!  I don't normally dream about that, but geez!

So there ya go.  Wives tales, cravings, and dreams for my 4.  Very few things have proven true but fun nonetheless to hear hundreds/thousands of years worth of women's opinions on this.







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How Do You Know?

Mati Claire has asked me some mind-blowing questions and/or comments in her 7 years.  Usually they occur while I'm driving and I've had to pull over on the side of the road a few times.

"Momma, that's weed….  weed, you know - the stuff that's bad for you."  ~age 3
"How do you make babies?  And don't give me the God answer."  ~age 6

That's just the two that stick out in my mind that I'm likely to never forget.  Today's question wasn't as mind blowing but still one I wasn't comfortable with explaining to her (and not to scare other mommies out there with kids in her class, no, I did not tell her anything and pleaded the Fifth.)

She was watching me get dressed - and as usual - she is fascinated with my boobs.  She starts asking me about breastfeeding the new baby -- which isn't anything new to her.  Without thinking, I said "yes, but this will be the LAST time."  She responded with "How do you know its the last baby?"

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not a Duggar.  I'm not Catholic.  But I do believe God "will close the womb" when its time.  Luckily for us we live in the age of modern medicine and I think He will give and/or take away the desire to have more kids.   For most of my friends, that hits around kid #2.   When I met Matt, he told me he wanted 4 and I told him he was crazy.  We compromised on 3 and well, here we are with #4 on the way.  Most people have responded better than I expected, but instead of getting asked "Why?" I have been mainly asked "Was this one planned?"  Yes, he was.   Shocking to some people.

But with each one before, I was never struck with the thought "this is the last one!"  With Merritt, I will say we thought about it seriously.  During my C-section with her, my doctor asked me one more time if this was it.  For the life of me I could not answer her.  I wasn't ready to make it final.

Unfortunately for me, ALL types of birth control don't work for me.  I even tried an IUD and it was the most painful experience I've ever had.  Needless to say, they had to remove it and we learned that I have a 'tilted uterus.'

TMI?  Probably so.  Blame it on the hormones.

My point?  After going through the journey with Merritt and then experiencing another ~2 weeks of stress thinking baby #4 might have genetic abnormalities…. I can honestly say:   I. Am. Done.   I can NOT take the stress of doctor appointments and ultrasounds anymore.  I know I know… you would think Merritt would have done me in the first time, right?  Apparently not.  If anything, she did the opposite.  She gave me hope in all types of babies and inspired me to have a 100 more miracles.  But I'm over it after this past genetic testing.  The relief I felt when I got the all clear results - blew.me.away.  I realized I did not ever want to go through that again.  Twice is enough for me.   (I'm ignoring my age factor in this post too).

I absolutely love being pregnant and I would have 10 kids if I could (speaking of C-sections).  I am thrilled to be pregnant this time and very excited about this new little boy.  I can't imagine all the fun he will bring into the family, but again, I am over the stress.  If it was easy everyone would do it right?

One of my friends has 4 kids and just discovered she is pregnant with twins!  She is beyond shocked (but happy).  We were discussing the stress associated with twins in her case - genetics and/or abnormalities  in my case - and how basically it is left up to God.  We have no control and no planning capabilities.   Which we weren't saying we didn't have any faith or didn't want to leave it to God -- just the exact opposite really.  Living on faith is HARD!  Accepting His will is hard especially if it isn't in your plan.

Mati Claire may know more than the average 7 year old when it comes to C-sections and breastfeeding, but I draw the line at the birds and the bees… and tubal ligation.

When you know… you just know.  :)
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Good News!

Baby #4 is in the clear as far as Trisomy 13, 18, and 21 (Downs)!  We are still waiting to hear back on the Cystic Fibrosis test, but I could jump for joy today --- if I could actually jump.

I've been stressing and praying and worrying for the past week.  Was totally shocked when I got the phone call this morning b/c I didn't expect it until next week.  The test just brought back alot of feelings and memories/flashbacks of being pregnant with Merritt, and I can't say I enjoyed most of that pregnancy.  People say "it doesn't matter what the test says"…. but have you ever been faced with the real possibility?  I had begun my research (which I strongly suggest NOT doing).  Once again, I was questioning everything.  "Why me? Why the baby?  How can I take care of a Trisomy baby while still dealing with Merritt (not that she has any issues to necessarily deal with but I still worry more about her)?"    Someone asked me if I was excited that it was a boy…. yes and no.  And not referring to the boy part, but just couldn't get excited for some reason and then I felt guilty about that.  I think in the back of my mind I knew we would see the specialist and couldn't be happy until I heard the word healthy and free of any defects (organs, heart, genetics, etc).  And of course I felt guilty over that for thinking I could only be happy if it was healthy.  I was still happy with Merritt, but it definitely makes your earthly human nature come out… and I hated that.  Its very hard to wrap your mind around things like this.  And time is the only thing that sort of helped if that makes any sense.

My heart goes out to all the mommies out there of Trisomy babies -- thinking of my friends Amy Oakes and Julie Roberts.  They are the strongest mommies I've ever met.

I may have to go buy something new for him today since I haven't bought a single thing yet and he will be getting plenty of hand-me-downs in the future!  Mattox already asked me "momma, you are going to buy him all new toys, right?"  Bless him.  He's already realizing he's about to have to share his stuff and he is NOT happy about it!  But he is being a sweet big brother lately -- kissing my belly and asking to talk to him already.  He said he would show him the ropes of how to deal with those sisters!  And Mati Claire says she has relinquished all big sister duties… and deferred this one to Mattox.  Kids are crazy!
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Oh Boy!

We are blessed to be having another boy!  I guess we are an equal opportunity family!  hehe
I won't lie... I was mentally prepared for Mattox to stay the only boy in the family.  I kind of liked the idea.  Some days I feel like boys are foreign objects in my house--- I don't know what to do with them!  I knew I would have at least 2 girls (since I was so used to my sister and me growing up) and I even dreamed I had triplet girls once.

But just goes to show you, that once again, you can plan all you want, but God has His own plan.

Saw the specialist that I love today.  I had a few expectations going into it.  I knew my age would play a factor (I'm the magical "advanced maternal age" now) and I knew that I have small babies (according to the doctors).  Sure enough, my age + baby measured a full week behind the already adjusted due date = red flags.   ALL of my babies have measured small the entire pregnancy, but came out "normal" at birth excluding Merritt.   Mati Claire was 7#, Mattox was 7#7oz, and Merritt was 5#2oz (which was big for her situation).

I had declined all genetic testing because it doesn't matter to me.  The baby's intestines were "glowing brighter than normal"  which meant that he wasn't passing the stuff as quickly as he should.  Could be a sign of his prematurity and small size, or could be a sign of some genetic issues (Cystic Fibrosis, etc).  He also would not cooperate and show us his face/profile, so they could not get any  measurements to show indicators of Down's Syndrome.  So because of the red flags + this intestinal issue = Dr. P highly recommended that I get the screening tests for all the genetic abnormalities.  But he thought it was probably due to the size measurement and not anything serious.  I didn't blame him, he was covering all his bases and doing his job to the full extent.  Why I love him.  Baby's heart and other organs looked good though.

10 day wait time…

Dr. P also thought I might have placenta previa, but after a vaginal ultrasound too, I don't.  Just an extremely low placenta.  Which rules out the bedrest that was on the tip of his tongue.  Yay!!!

The baby joker proudly showed off the family jewels this time around… but hid his face.  I was hoping to post some cute sonogram pics.  God obviously thinks we need more blue around here.  Help me, Jesus!

OVERALL, I would say he is HEALTHY at this point.  Things could change as usual, and I will be glad to get all my test results back soon.

On to names now...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tallulah the TF

Yeah, I know I've been dragging on blogging lately.  Who knew being pregnant could make you absolutely physically exhausted? ;)  Plus I haven't been able to breathe or stop coughing since last week and I would really like to chop my head off right now.  I lost my voice a few days ago… do you know how hard it is to yell at your kids when you have no voice?  Or when one busts her lip and wants me to sing "our song" to her to make her feel better?

BUT to make yall feel better, I will reveal the gender of new baby to you … on MONDAY!  I have an appointment with the specialist so I would like to include his report in the announcement (health stats and all).  We are pretty sure we know what it is already, but Matt likes keeping everyone else in suspense (no FB posts allowed until Monday).
I'm waiting and praying to include the word "healthy" with the gender.  Some of yall would probably say I'm one "those" people… but seriously, you can be genetically and chromosomally normal and still not be considered healthy (i.e. Merritt).  It did not matter to me what the gender is, as long as its healthy!  So I'm almost 18 weeks now.  Its beginning to fly by now that the nausea has subsided.
And we're open to suggestions on more M names!  lol!  We have a few in mind, but we wouldn't want this one to feel left out now would we?  :)

My oldest is doing her job in making me feel old!  Lost her front teeth finally.  2 days before her school play in which she has a major speaking role.  Bless it… she can't talk well.  Here's a few pics (plus a few old ones) to make you laugh.  Tallulah, her Tooth Fairy, is very tired.  Not sure I'm just in love with age 7 right now.  She's always been pretty easy to deal with (except in eating) but the attitude has started.  Not to mention that I can NOT keep her well.  Since her birthday, she has experienced:  2 plantar warts on her toes that have taken months to heal and we are looking at surgery if its not totally gone, chiggers (yes I've never experienced those), 2 stomach bugs in less than a month, teeth falling out left and right, and an earring site infection (back to cleaning every day after we had gone weeks without having to).

Merritt is a typical terrible two year old.  Tantrums, yelling, throwing, spitting, hitting, biting, drawing on the walls, scratching, terrible two.

And Mattox?  Well I just can't keep him out of the dirt or sand.  He's up to 2 baths a day lately on some days.  He's 4 going on 10.



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