Saturday, January 31, 2015

Levi's Birth

Since I am in a perfectly quiet and calm hospital room snuggling a perfectly content newborn I thought I would record the details of said baby's grand debut into our family and this world (while it is still fresh in my mind).

Thursday, January 29th 2015

11:10am - I sent Joe out the door for his last* residency interview! It was 6 hours away by car. The plan was for him to be gone for a mere 30 hours. Joe tried to convince me he should cancel as I was 38 w 4 d pregnant. But I insisted he attend the interview...because I like the location of the program. Plus, surely he couldn't possible miss the birth. He is only 6 hours away and my last labor was 24 hours! So we should be just fine. (Admittedly I did have a nagging feeling that this wasn't a good idea...I just didn't tell him that!)

3:39pm - Charlotte and I are resting on the couch and reading books. First contraction. Although it was not painful. Just noticeable. A Braxton hicks contraction. 

4:20pm - Another non-painful contraction while finally getting dressed for the day. 

These non-painful contractions continue all evening....through making dinner, serving & eating dinner and taking Isaiah to his first gymnastics class. They were about 30-40 minutes apart. But again they weren't bothersome and I had been experiencing them off and on for a couple weeks. No big deal. I would just take a bath after I put the kids down for bed and they would settle down. I was sure of it. Mostly sure...

7:40pm - Watching Isaiah's gymnastics with Hannah. BAM. Painful contraction! Feels like the real deal. Uh oh. 

7:49pm - Another painful contraction 

8:06pm - Starting to get worried that while mild these contractions are a little too reminiscent of labor for my liking. Sent Joe a text...

8:25pm - Put the girls to bed. Continue to contract and record...

8:59pm - I put Isaiah to bed. And by "put to bed" I mean I bark orders at him. "Put your pajamas on. Brush your teeth! Go to the bathroom! Get in bed! Lay down." It's the best I could do given my contractions were increasingly painful and causing me to be frozen in pain. 

9:07pm - Call the on-call OB. Explain the whole my-husband-is-six-hours-away-by-car-and-I-think-I-am-in-labor-situation. I know 10 minutes apart is not standard for getting checked, but I just want to know if I am progressing and if Joe should start driving home. She thinks I sound too comfortable while on the phone and asks me to call back in 30-60 minutes if they become more intense and/or closer together. I don't like this plan. 

9:16pm - Text my mom as I am unsure of her whereabouts and I am going to need her to bring me to the hospital. 

9:17pm - CONTRACTION brings me to my hands and knees. Get up and check the kids. Only Charlotte is asleep. Erg!

9:21pm - CONTRACTION. Again on my hands and knees. 

9:22pm - Call Joe. "GET IN THE CAR! This is happening!" He immediately obeys. 

9:29pm - Check on the children. PAINFUL contraction. Tell Isaiah to turn off his light. Reading time is over. Then whisper in his ear that I think baby brother will be born while he is sleeping. It's our little secret:)

9:32pm - My mom arrives home. I inform her of the situation we have going on. She informs my dad. Her and I go our separate ways to pack our hospital bags. 

9:43pm - Call on call OB and inform her I am coming in. 

But before actually leaving I do all the important last minute tasks like brush my teeth and wipe down the counters and take my for real LAST belly pictures. And then in a sentimental crazed moment I run downstairs and take one last picture of Hannah as my "baby"...waking her in the process. Oops. 

10:09pm - Mom and I make the drive to the hospital. I send out texts to my sister and best friend. 

10:19pm - Arrive at labor & delivery. Starting to get nervous that 5 hours is too long to wait to deliver this baby. But then I notice my nose is running and it really annoys me. And I make the logical assumption that if I am annoyed by a runny nose then surely I can't be too far along and that Joe will indeed make it for the delivery. 

10:34pm - Shown to a triage room. Given a gown. Sit down on the bed. Start fiddling with my camera settings (because I have priorities!). Water breaks as I am taking a picture of my mom. Nurse walks in and I inform her of two things. 1. My water just broke. 2. I can not have this baby until 3:30 am because my husband is driving back from Nebraska. She looks at me like I am crazy. And she informs me we no longer need a triage room. And I couldn't agree more. I am beginning to think that baby boy is not going to wait until 3:30am. 

10:42pm - After another contraction we waddle on down to my labor & delivery room. Monitors are attached. Cervix checked. IV started (for +GBS). Doctor informed. I am 5 cm and 100% effaced...maybe a little lip?! Contractions are 2 minutes apart. Not what I wanted to hear. 

I spent some time laboring in bed. Then I moved to the birth ball. Neither of which are terribly comfortable but not unbearable either. Between contractions my mom and I chat. During contractions I close my eyes and pray the labor will sloooow down. 

The on call doctor comes in. I inform her of my plan to not deliver until after 3:30am. She too looks at me as though I am a bit crazy. I ask her if an epidural will buy me time. She said yes...a few minutes during pushing. Not the HOURS that I want. I opt out of the epidural. 

Wait for IV to finish so I can get in the tub. 

11:34pm - I call my friend and ask her to pray for my labor to go slooow. 

11:47pm - I get in the tub (after promising my nurse I would NOT deliver in the tub). I am finally in my happy labor place. I call Joe. It goes straight to voicemail. 

11:49pm - I call Joe again. Again straight to voicemail. 

11:51pm - Feeling like I really need to talk to Joe about his interview that he will miss in the morning I text him...

11:54pm - Joe calls me back. And I am beyond excited to hear his voice. I inform him I am in my happy place. And in the next breath I am screaming that I can't do this....because the pressure with each contraction became too much....

My mom calls for my nurse. Nurse enters the room and hears my screams and immediately requests a delivery tray and the doctor.  I ask to be checked. She tells me I have to get out of the tub first. 

And now because everyone loves a good cliffhanger AND this is getting a bit long I will stop here. 

To be continued...

Friday, January 30, 2015


Welcome to the family Levi Joseph. I can promise you one's going to be crazy and loud and probably a bit overwhelming. But I think you will like it. We all love you already. Thank you for joining us (a bit early...and a bit fast!). This family of six's gonna be good. Trust me. 

Monday, January 26, 2015


I have reached one of my favorite end-of-pregnancy milestones...

The expiration date on the milk I bought this weekend is one day AFTER my due date! Clearly that is significant. Or at least it is in my crazy little mind. It's a "milestone" I have looked forward to with each of my pregnancies and it felt like it might never come this time. But alas it did! The proof is in our fridge right now. 

More significant is the fact that we are (mostly) physically ready for this baby to arrive. We have a fully stocked changing table - including teeny tiny clothes and sleepers, blankets, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, pacifiers, nursing supplies and more! The bassinet & swing are out and ready for use. I wrestled with the carseat straps and buckles and the seats themselves and WON! We now have four seats installed in our van. FOUR SEATS! (Although admittedly I am kinda dreading having 3 kids in 5 point harnesses...we will only be going on absolutely necessary drives after baby arrives!) And most importantly Joe is home (as are my parents). Oh and we toured the hospital's labor & delivery floor last week - not nearly as important, but I like to see ahead of time where I will be delivering. It may seem unnecessary as this is my fourth baby/fourth delivery BUT it is also my fourth hospital I have delivered at! (Also coincidentally the fourth state. See below for details.)  So yea, I just like to take a peak ahead of time. It helps me feel ready. 

Speaking of feelings. I had forgotten what a mental battle the end of pregnancy can be! Ack. Let's just say I am emotionally labile these days. Physically I feel fine. Pretty good actually. But the not knowing WHEN this baby is going to arrive is driving me crazy. I WANT TO KNOW how much longer I will be pregnant. And since I don't know I just want to hibernate until labor starts. Which is obviously not a healthy course of action - despite the fact that I am spoiled with having Joe home (taking an online course only) so I could in theory hide away all day. And maybe I try to sometimes...maybe:)

Speaking of labor, I have been wondering lately how I am actually going to birth this child. Because I can barely make it up and down a flight of stairs without needing to stop for a rest! And anyone that has birthed a baby knows labor is A LOT more strenuous than walking stairs. My solution for this concern? Reading lots and lots and lots of birth stories on other people's blogs. At first this little activity was helpful. Encouraging actually. Which is bizarre because clearly a complete stranger's ability to birth a child has NO bearing on my ability to birth this baby. But whatever. It helped. Until it didn't. Now it just frustrates me. Because these ladies already had their babies...and I have not. Which I realize makes NO sense at all. But I'm telling you, end of pregnancy does crazy things to me! 

The girls are SO excited to meet their baby brother! They hug him and kiss him (ie my belly) ALL THE TIME. It's sweet (and slightly uncomfortable). Multiple times a day Hannah will run up to my belly and talk to baby boy. Her favorite conversation is as follows:

Hannah: Baby Boy you come out?
Hannah-using-a-baby-voice: Yeah!
Hannah: Okay. (Looking up at me) Mama, baby boy come out in 2 minutes!!
Me: Okay. 

If only it were that simple and QUICK! That would be a dream come true. 

And anytime I leave the house, upon my return Hannah is genuinely disappointed that baby boy has not come out of my belly while I was gone! It's sweet & funny. Little does she know that once baby boy does come out HER world will be turned upside down and never the same again!

And now as a reward for reading all that rambling nonsense, here it is MY LAST BELLY PICTURE with my kids! I know, I know. Pregnancy is 40 weeks (on average) and I am 38 weeks in the picture. But I only take these pictures once every four weeks and I REFUSE to believe this baby boy will torture me and stay put for another four weeks. Nope. Not going to happen. FYI - he will be born in Minnesota. 

And now my previous LAST belly pictures...

39 weeks with Hannah (baby #3) - the day she was born! FYI - she was born in Illinois. 

40 weeks with Charlotte (baby #2) - a week BEFORE she was born and that belly only got BIGGER which is hard to believe! Its pretty obvious why my family called it the "torpedo belly", right? That's 9 pounds of baby PLUS excess amniotic fluid in there. I am only 5'1" so the only place it could go was straight out! And YES it was uncomfortable. FYI - she was born in Wisconsin.

38 weeks with Isaiah (baby #1) - the day he was born! Gosh I look young in this picture...and completely oblivious to the way my life was about to change forever:). FYI - he was born in North Dakota.

Apparently when I am pregnant with girls I photograph my right side and when I am pregnant with boys I photograph my left side. And I promise that was NOT planned. I am pretty OCD about pictures, but not THAT obsessive! Just a funny little coincidence.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Match. What is it?

Since Joe is close to being done (is done?!?) with residency interview season I thought it an appropriate time for me to explain (to the best of my limited knowledge) what happens next. Because if I get asked ONE.MORE.TIME. where Joe chose to go for residency or if we know where we are moving for residency I might just explode! We DON'T KNOW!! Really we don't. 

Because here's the deal. Joe doesn't get to choose his residency location. And we don't know where we are moving for residency. It's a "MATCH" process. And we won't know anything until March 20th - MATCH DAY. 

Here is how it works (according to me, the wife of a medical student):

Step 1. Med student applies to residency programs - this is where the student has some control over the process. Joe chose to apply to emergency medicine residency programs and only in locations where we would be willing to move/can afford to live as a family of six. This happened back in mid-September. 

Step 2. Residency programs send out interview invites to applicants they are interested in. We were so thankful that Joe received many, many invites. He even rejected some interview offers! This was mid-September through the beginning of November. I was checking Joe's email multiple times a day...sometimes interview spots fill up fast and once they are gone they are GONE.

Step 3. Med student/applicant attends interviews. Sounds simple enough. But the logistics of it all is tricky (and expensive!). Interviews consist of a casual dinner the evening before, then a half or full day interview/tour process. Joe quickly discovered that it is helpful to spend time in each programs' emergency department so when possible he has been scheduling that for the day before the interview as well. He started interviewing in October and will be done later this month. Joe's school recommends each student interviews at 15 different places and we are following their "rule".

Step 4. 
Part A. Student creates a RANK LIST. Essentially they put the programs that interviewed them in order from favorite to least favorite. Only places that actually interviewed you can be included on this list (seems obvious but we have been asked about this a few times). Again seems simple enough. But there are SO many factors to consider. This list is due end of February and I am sure we will be agonizing over it until the last possible second!
Part B. Each residency program creates a rank list of the medical students they interviewed...favorite to least favorite:) I assume these lists are also due at the end of February. 

Step 5. All rank lists are put into a computer program which uses algorithm to MATCH the programs with students. It's magical. And mysterious. And absolutely mind boggling how little control we have over this process! And the worst part is there are more medical students than there are residency spots...

Step 6. The Monday before Match Day all fourth year medical students receive an email informing them if they matched or not. It does not include information on where you matched...that comes on Friday of that week. If a student doesn't match (which happens to >3% of medical students) they then have that week to try to SOAP. Basically it's a last ditch effort to get a spot in a residency...ANY residency! I am praying we don't have to go through that process. It sounds downright dreadful. And scary.

Step 7. Match Day! On the third Friday in March at noon all across the country all fourth year medical students are given an envelope that tells them WHERE they matched. Some programs have a ceremony. Some make it a game. Others just hand you the envelope. Joe's school has a champagne reception. Baby and I plan on attending. I kinda want to know as soon as possible where we will be living for the next three years!

Ok. That's really where the match process ends. But for inquisitive minds here is the rest of the story...

Step 8. Celebrate and/or mourn your match. Accept it for what it is. Find a place to live in the new city. (For us this includes finding the best school options for our children as well because two of them will be school age next year!) 
Step 9. Graduate from medical school (beginning of June). 
Step 10. Move to new city. 
Step 11. Start residency. Official first day is July 1 but most programs have a week or two of required training beforehand. 

That about covers it. Any more questions? Did I leave something out? 

Trust me, as soon as WE know we will be telling our friends and family. We aren't trying too keep anyone out of the loop. It's just we don't know yet!

Friday, January 23, 2015

sleep training

No I am NOT referring to infant sleep training! And this is certainly not a "how-to" post. Because anyone that knows me knows I have NO IDEA how to sleep train an infant! Let's be honest here...Hannah slept (for naps) in her bouncy seat in the bathroom (with the fan running) for the first six months of her life! And she was my third baby. Clearly I have NO qualifications to educate others on sleep training. No this is about sleep training my seven, four and two year old. Or maybe more accurately how they sleep trained ME over the past six months. And now how we are trying to change that....because a 2-3 hour bedtime routine just isn't going to happen once baby brother is here! (And I hope he makes his appearance soon. Very soon!) Not to mention it is completely ridiculous.

Let me just start out by saying that once upon a time not so long ago, we had a very normal bedtime routine with our children. We would get pajamas on, read a few books, brush teeth, say bedtime prayers, tuck our children into their beds, give them a kiss goodnight and walk away. And magically our children would fall asleep ON THEIR OWN and stay asleep all night. Of course there was the occasional request for water or a bad dream. But it was all very easy and manageable. I honestly didn't give it much thought. It was just bedtime. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

Nowadays I look back at those times fondly. I miss those nights!!! Why didn't I appreciate how easy I had it then?!? Because right now our "bedtime routine" is a disaster! Embarrassingly so.

It all began when we moved in with my parents (end of August). Hannah had recently learned how to climb out of her bed (pack n play). And by climb out I mean this girl is a complete monkey! I would lay her down and she would be out of her pack n play before I walked out the bedroom door! So I would pick her up and put her back in...only to repeat this process another 30+ times in a ten minute time period. To say it was exasperating was/is a major understatement! I quickly discovered that if I sat in the rocking chair in the kids' room it would decrease the number of times she escaped. It did NOT eliminate the problem, just minimized it. So began the "mommy-sits-in-the-rocking-chair-until-all-three-children-are-asleep" bedtime routine. Which wouldn't be so bad except it took on average two to three hours! Two to three HOURS!!! Ridiculousness I tell you! 

And yet I let this "routine" drag on for six months! Six months I sat in that uncomfortable and tippy rocking chair for HOURS each night. I would sit guard. Watching and waiting...and playing on my phone:) Now don't get me wrong, I do love some "me time" on my phone, but even I ran out of things to do on my phone for hours in a dark room every night. Plus it wasn't exactly relaxing...constantly putting Hannah back in bed. So most nights by the time my children finally all fell asleep (between 9:30 & 10:30!) I would crawl into my bed and call it a night. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my evenings!

All of THAT^^ to say...we had a major bedtime problem. And I knew it needed fixing. I just didn't know HOW to fix it. So I took the easy way out....I told Joe he needed to fix it. (Because that's what he does. He fixes my mistakes. And I love him for it). So the first night he was home this week I left right before the kids' bedtime. I went to a "Moms Night In" and asked Joe to put all the kids to bed WITHOUT sitting in the rocking chair. And he did it. Just like that. He put the kids in their beds, told them he wouldn't sit in the chair and walked out! He then proceeded to check on the kids every 2-5 minutes - to keep them in their beds - until they fell asleep...a mere 60 minutes later! Oh and there were very few tears and NO tantrums! 

When I got home that night and he gave me the bedtime report I nearly fell over shocked! It all seemed too good to be true. 60 minutes and NO rocking chair!!! I thought maybe it was a fluke. But then last night I used his method. And it worked AGAIN! And in less time...

Yes I timed it. And it was so gratifying. I will probably keep timing it because I am in AWE of this whole new & improved process!!! It's like a miracle. A bedtime miracle:) Now obviously going in and checking every few minutes isn't ideal but it is SO MUCH BETTER than before. I will take it. Gladly. 

As you can imagine nap time with Hannah had also become a process over these past 6 months. Well less of a process because I typically just gave in and napped too (in Isaiah's bed). Which was great...except some days I actually wanted to get something done with my afternoon! Some days. Most days a nap was fine by me:) Thanks to our rocking chair detox program/sleep training Hannah is now going down for nap on her own without a fight!!! The first day it took a mere thirty minutes. And by the third day it was down to 10 MINUTES without me checking on her once. Again this feels nothing short of miraculous. And to celebrate I spent nap time sewing!!

Aren't my boys going to be adorable in their matching bow ties?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Interview Season - DONE!

Well...mostly done. Technically Joe has one more interview scheduled for the end of January. (But since it is one week before my due date and two out of three of our babies have come before their due dates we aren't banking on him being able to attend that interview.) So we'll just call interview season DONE and I will do a nice little recap and I can update it later if needed. Onwards...

In the past 6 weeks Joe has attended 7 interviews (+ pre-interview dinners) in 7 different states (Texas, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania). He drove to ALL of these interviews over a period of 22 days and approximately 7,578 miles! By our rough estimate that means he was driving for about 125 hours! (Yikes! I never could have done that...I barely survived the 16 hours I did travel with him. In my current very pregnant state I am a terrible road trip companion...sorry Joe!)  During this time he spent 11 nights in hotels (4 of which were paid for by the residency programs!), 3 nights with friends/acquaintances, 4 nights in kind strangers' homes and 1 night in a Wal-mart parking lot (I was very much opposed to this! But...he survived). And amazingly the weather was NEVER an issue. He had very safe and easy travels...relatively speaking. Oh and the CHEAP gas prices + his Prius definitely helped make this endeavor financially feasible. 

And now because I love to beat a dead horse...the grand totals for the ENTIRE interview season which began waaay back in mid-October...

16 interviews in 11 states which required Joe to drive 11,946 miles across 20 states and few different time zones. I won't even try to total up the number of gas station coffees and McDonald's dollar menu items he makes me nauseous just thinking about it! Suffice it to say Joe is ready to stay put for awhile and eat home cooked meals again. And we are happy to have him here. 

This has been quite the experience. Like nothing else we have ever done! It makes applying/interviewing/getting accepted into medical school feel like child's play in comparison. But hopefully come March (when we learn WHERE we are going for residency) it will all feel worth it. At this moment we are just happy to have it done!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

still pregnant

And that^^^ is NOT a complaint because for the last week I have been home with the kids by myself. And if I had gone into labor I don't know what I would have done. Joe was 1,000+ miles away out east for residency interviews (traveling by car). My parents were visiting my siblings in South Dakota and Montana. And my in-laws are in Florida for the winter. So yeah, I am glad this baby boy decided to cooperate and stay put. We had NO back up plan. I felt denial was the best route. Thankfully it worked. And really for 37 and a half weeks pregnant I am feeling pretty good. I can't complain about much of anything.

But the best part of this past week...besides not going into labor...was this...

my best friend and her three kids spent the weekend with us! Initially it was going to be just an overnight visit. But once she got here and saw just how hugely pregnant I am + alone, she decided to extend their visit to THREE nights! The kids and I were thrilled! We didn't really do much. Just hung out. And it was perfect. Well besides children that wanted to get up too early...that wasn't perfect, but tolerable! Oh and the late night post-kids' bedtime milkshakes magically made everything better for us moms! (One of us is pregnant and the other nursing a baby...those calories hardly count, right?!)

Charlotte & Daddy on their date!

And now Joe is finally home. (And mostly done with residency interviews...more on that later.) So that's pretty fabulous. NOW I am ready to have this baby. Any day would be fine by me. Although I am sure that is just wishful thinking. I could be pregnant for another 5 weeks...we shall see!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Some stuff this week

Let me just start out by saying that typing out my neurotic thoughts on the end of pregnancy was apparently very therapeutic. Seriously. I am much more relaxed in regards to the end of this pregnancy this week. No more crazy "this is going to end badly" thoughts haunting me. Instead I am just enjoying feeling baby boy kicking & squirming. Taking in these last days/weeks of pregnancy. I am also enjoying all the extra hugs and snuggles my big kids are doling out these days. The hugs are technically for baby brother, but I'll take what I can get! They aren't always this affectionate. 

Speaking of the big kids, it's been a big week for them. Ok. Not really that big. But fun nonetheless.

This girl started dance again....

Has there ever been a cuter ballerina ever? I think not. And just look at the way she adores her ballet teacher....gah! Too sweet. 

The first week was an "observation" week so parents and siblings were allowed to stay in the room with the dancers. And I am happy to report that we all survived the FIFTY minute dance class without causing too much of a scene. Hannah had no accidents AND by some miracle managed to whisper for the first time in her life! Seriously this girl typically lacks any volume control. Loud (and LOUDER) is all she knows.

I loved being able to snap a few...errr...a gazillion pictures...because OH MY GOODNESS too much cuteness! But the near constant worry that one of us was going to disrupt the class at any moment was nerve wracking. (Yes I realize that isn't even a real reason to stress! My's so hard:) The funny thing is even with all of us sitting quietly minding our own business. One of us looming like a mad man...

We still managed to cause a little bit of a scene by just being there. Because apparently being hugely pregnant with three children in tow will cause heads to turn! And likely those heads will be counting the children and bump...I'm assuming to figure out just how crazy I am. The answer folks? Crazy. And probably a bit foolish too. But I wouldn't change it for anything. I love my crazy life. (See? Less neurotic.)

For what its worth this is what the belly was looking like on dance night (minus the bowl of ice cream...that came along post-kids' bedtime)...

(And when I birth a ginormous baby sometime in the next month I will have only myself and too many bowls of ice cream to blame. And I am okay with that. Because this is it folks. My last guilt free eating and weight gaining time in my life! Soon enough I am going to have to worry about my figure again, but not quite yet.)

Last night this girl started gymnastics!

Ok. Parent-toddler tumbling class.  Same difference. She thought she was BIG stuff. And I might have to agree. Speaking of big stuff...I was the parent portion of that parent-toddler duo and well I am just plain big these days. Probably too big for gymnastics. Talk about making a scene! I am sure I looked RIDICULOUS. (Although maybe less ridiculous than the last time I attempted gymnastics...which was in 7th grade. The best part of my routine back then? I did the splits on the balance beam. Clearly I am a gifted gymnast:) Coincidentally Hannah's "gymnastics" class is held in my old junior high.)

"Look mommy! Like Monkey George on TV!"

Despite how the above collage portrays my little 'nastics girl, she is apparently NOT very adept at hopping and skipping. Two skills that are key to toddler gymnastics, who knew?! I guess we have something to work on.

Did you happen to notice how nicely organized all of Isaiah's rainbow looms were in his case (in the picture above)?! I hope so. Because THAT has seriously been my biggest accomplishment this week. Yes sorting RAINBOW LOOMS is my biggest accomplishment at the moment. And I know I should be embarrassed by this fact, but I am not. It felt so good to finally get them organized. My little loom master is pretty pleased with my work as has allowed him to get to work creating lots of creatures...

penguin & chameleon

dragon, penguin, tiger
mouse & chameleon

Saturday, January 10, 2015

couches & crazies

My parents recently bought a new-to-them cream colored couch (and matching chair)!  Which meant Joe and my mom spent a couple days painting the family room getting it all ready for the "new" furniture. The result is amazing. It looks so nice and fresh and inviting now! (It had become kind of a cave-like room over the past few years.) It is a very nice change. AND equally exciting...I now know where we are going to take our new family of six pictures once baby boy decides to make his debut! On the cream colored couch! (Because of course that is one of my biggest life dilemnas these days;)
So this morning I made Joe snap a few "practice pictures" of me and the girls on the couch.  Basically I wanted to play with a few settings on my camera. Check out the lighting mid-morning and see how I liked them (once I edited them). This is my version of nesting. Diapers? Wipes? What? I'll get those later. I've got priorities people. And right behind picking the perfect picture location falls choosing coordinating outfits for the family. Which by the way is not so easy when you are now dealing with SIX people and a budget of exactly zero dollars. But I think I found a good long as I fit into my pre-baby sweater in my post-partum state...time will tell!
 (FYI - outfits pictured below are not THE outfits.)

Lest anyone get the impression that all I do these days is lounge on a cream couch, let me set the record straight. Sometimes I make my husband move the couch out of the way so I can line up all my children and make them take a picture with my belly....

Wild and crazy times! It was kind of crazy actually as this picture was taken approximately 60 seconds before Hannah threw up on New Year's Eve. Which also means it is (almost) 2 weeks outdated. But you get the gist of it. The kids are getting bigger and older. And my belly is definitely growing. Don't believe me?  HERE is 30 weeks. And lets just pretend it is only my belly that has grown over the past 4 weeks, mkay? Thanks. Much appreciated. 

I wish the picture taking obsession was the crazy I was referencing in my post title. Because that would mean I am only a little bit crazy. But truth be told I am crazy with a capital C. I am what some people might describe as a "worry wart".  Have been my whole life. And unfortunately pregnancy takes that worry up a notch or two or three. AND each subsequent pregnancy has made me worry more. It's like the more I know and experience just how much I love my kids the more I feel I have to lose with each pregnancy. Does that make any sense?! Basically what I am saying is I have become slightly neurotic. I assume the worst case scenario at every stage of pregnancy. So currently if I haven't felt baby move I assume he has died. And then when I do feel him move, I assume something horrible is going to happen. Like I will get in a car accident and I will have a placental abruption and then he will die. Or if baby & I somehow make it to delivery something terrible will happen then. Like I will die giving birth. See? Completely crazy and unreasonable. Oh and don't even get my started on SIDS. That's my worst nightmare. 

Um. That's all I've got. A nice cream couch. And I am completely crazy. And 36 weeks pregnant...which apparently is making me crazier. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


So I guess these are a thing nowadays. A vacation for moms & dads-to-be. One last getaway before baby arrives! I like the concept of a couples only getaway. But the name?! Come on. It's cheesy. And it seems like a misnomer. Because if it's a BABYmoon shouldn't it happen after the baby arrives?! Like how a honeymoon comes after the wedding...but then again why is a honeymoon a HONEYmoon?! I mean there isn't any honey involved. Or did I miss something?!

I digress. 

My point is this. For the past two and a half days Joe and I have been out of town WITHOUT children (except the in utero one...he's here of course:). And I have been doing a lot of this....

And eating. And sleeping. And HGTV watching. And...nothing. I have done a whole lot of nothing for two days while Joe has been shadowing in yet another ER and interviewing for yet another residency. And it has been glorious! So I am declaring this our pseudo-babymoon.  Even if the weather has been less than ideal...

I couldn't care less. Because this is my vacation. And the hotel is cozy and warm. And NO ONE needs anything from me. And I have NO SCHEDULE. It's wonderful. Oh and Joe painted my toenails. Which (in my world) is a prerequisite for going into labor! Can't have a baby with ugly toes. That would just be embarrassing:) 

Baby blue for my baby boy. Yep I'm cheesy like that. (Although it reminds me of Elsa from I think my girls are going to need their nails painted when we get home.) Of course none of this would have been possible without my parents willingness to watch our kids - THANKS MOM & DAD! You're the best! My kids are lucky to have you as grandparents. 

This little getaway has me looking forward to my next "vacation" know the one in which I will give birth to a small human being (or not so small as the case may be) and then get to stay in a hospital for a few days just me & that brand new person! I'm not kidding. Once the whole messy, painful labor & delivery part is done, it's like a vacation! Three hot meals a day delivered right to my bed. No one to take care of except myself and baby - with a nurse to help! No schedule. It's actually really nice. I like those first couple of post-partum days....which might just indicate how very low my vacation standards are these days! Lower than low. 

PS - Sorry for all the feet pictures. I guess I was just really excited about my pedicure:) At least my feet aren't swollen beyond could be much worse!