Baby #3: 21 weeks – 3d ultrasound, overwhelmed by life, bring on the shape wear, and spring

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Date: April 21, 2014

Photo thoughts: I look fresh(er) because we took these this morning instead of in the evening after work like we usually do. Dave worked a later shift today and I had a later meeting to start the day, so we were all home together til 8. Peeks at #reallife, though – he was rushing me so I threw on clothes and didn’t even take the tag off my new skirt or put on any jewelry yet, and you can see a peek at my brand new shape wear. Yes, pregnancy #3 and this girl now needs a little help, especially with all the form-fitting skirts and dresses that come with spring and summer! And the boys continue to give me the fakest, dorkiest smiles in these pictures.

Size of baby: 3/4 of a pound (so teeny still – craaaazy to me that they gain like 7 or 8 pounds in the next four months!) and 10 1/2 inches long – a carrot!

What I’m loving: After such a long first trimester and long first quarter of the year, it just feels really good to be solidly pregnant and in the second trimester, and to have spring and warm weather FINALLY almost here.

What I’m anticipating: Bigger movements and kicks, starting the nursery! Also my sister-in-law’s baby shower that I’m helping host this weekend, my new nonprofit’s kick-off event the following weekend, and my mom’s wedding the week after that! Many happy things happening.

What’s I’m stressing about/worries: Money. Really badly.

I mean, I obviously knew having a third kid would cost us more money, and I keep reminding myself that this period of feeling like absolute paupers is only temporary, and there isn’t even a question in my mind about it being more than worth it in the long run! But I seriously often wonder how people make ends meet, when we make quite decent money and still feel so strapped. It consumes me lately, this wondering how we’re going to afford childcare for three, a new vehicle and all the other expenses that come along with adding another. I know we need to not spend and save save save, and yet something is ALWAYS coming up that costs money. And I want to re-do the nursery, darn it.

I also worry about this pregnancy continuing to go smoothly, and baby girl staying safe and healthy in there.

Miss anything? Not really.

Differences between pregnancies: Was super duper happy with both pregnancies at the 21-week mark … With Henry, his kicks were getting super strong and Dave and I could both feel them from the outside. We’d just decided to name him Henry, and I mention Ben’s name in that post, too. :)

This time around, we’re set on a name, but we still need a middle name. I’m very happy and loving being pregnant, but life is much, much more crazy and stressful than it was with either of my previous pregnancies. And to that I say, well duh. I didn’t have two kids last time or even one yet the time before! Life sure changes, man.

Movement has yet to catch up to my previous pregnancies at this point, too. Come on, baby girl!

How I’m feeling: Pretty good physically. Fairly well-rested, now that Henry is sleeping better. Mentally, I’ve been better.

I feel pretty overwhelmed by life right now, and I fear that that feeling probably won’t go away between now and when the baby comes. Or, for the next five or 10 or 20 years. Sigh. I realize this life is of my own making, and much of the ‘stress’ in my life is completely brought on by me. I choose to work full-time (though this is pretty much a ‘need to’ scenario as well); I decided to co-found a nonprofit; I decided to have a third child; I’m the one who writes a blog and Instagrams and does my best to keep up on picture taking, archiving, photo book making, all that crap. I have friendships and relationships that all take time and care to maintain. I try to keep up on the news and what’s happening in the world around me. I take care of my house and my family to the best of my ability. And on and on. I have such a *full* life and I’m so ridiculously grateful for it all. I just long for the pace of life to slow just a bit, if only for awhile. I wish I could hit the pause button once in awhile and just … breathe. Just be.

Also said on Instagram today how I’ve been feeling a bit more frumpy and heavy this pregnancy. I’ve cited old wives’ tales to more than several people recently, as I think they are all coming true for me. This female child of mine is stealing my sparkle and my beauty, I really think it’s true! And I’m gaining all over this time and feeling kind of chunky and definitely less cute than I felt the other two times. Woe is me, I know. Pregnancy is still beautiful and I love it. But it is definitely different this time, in so many ways.

I know I’m moodier and more emotional this time around, and I don’t know if it’s just because I have two kids now, or if that’s just another thing that’s different with being pregnant with a girl. More estrogen = more emotional? Who knows. But at times I feel like I can’t keep my emotions in check, like I’ll get mad and get REALLY mad, really fast.

On Easter Sunday, Henry didn’t want to eat his ham and potatoes and corn – only candy – and I got really embarrassed that my kid was the only kid not eating, and really mad at him that he was making such a scene over a few bites of food. I had to fight back the tears so hard during the whole episode and it sucked. For the record, he did finally eat the half of his plate I told him he had to eat before he got to do the egg hunt. But it was not a fun few moments there.

Sleep: Pretty good. I should get to bed earlier most nights, and tonight after I hit ‘post’ I’m going to do just that – go to bed at a decent hour for a change! Hopefully anyway. I always have the best of intentions, but then more often than not I get sidetracked.

Henry’s sleeping better, and we have a Toys R Us gift card that’s been sitting in our cabinet for a few months. I’d told Henry that when he’d gone seven nights of sleeping all night, we’d hit the toy store and let him and Ben each pick something out. Tonight will be night #7 if he sleeps all night, so we may be hitting up Toys R Us tomorrow evening.

Exercise: Nothing formal – no workout DVDs in the past two weeks. Have been sneaking in yoga and stretching where I can, and have gotten some walks in. I think I’m pretty out of shape right now, though, and I’m really not a fan.

Movement: Getting stronger every day, but I still feel impatient for more! I feel her mostly in the evenings still, with sporadic little kicks here and there throughout the day. I feel her now – I remember that from my other pregnancies, too, that the typing seemed to always wake them up!

Boy or girl: Girl!

And I can say that 100% for sure this week, since my mom and I went this past weekend to a 3D ultrasound place near me just to confirm. I really didn’t have too many doubts, but I did want to see it with my own two eyes, both because of the crappy ‘money shot’ we got from our big ultrasound, and because I know two people personally who were told they were having a girl and out popped a boy. I did not want that kind of surprise on baby’s birth day! Her legs were spread this time and I could see immediately that there was nothing there. The woman then pointed out the three lines, and she told me she was absolutely 100% sure it was a girl. So that was awesome.

We didn’t get great pictures, since she’s still so small in there. Below was the best we got – still so cool to see! I can go back later in this pregnancy at a discounted rate, so I may just do that when I’m closer to about 30 weeks. I went with Ben at 28 weeks (for free at the GE Education Center, which was awesome… maybe I’ll look into that again) and wow, the pics I got of him were amazing. The second pic here is my Benny!! It’s so neat to see and to compare to him now – it’s the same boy!! Love it.

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Baby girl at 20 1/2 weeks

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Baby Benny at 28 weeks

My mom and I went next-door after that to this cute kids’ consignment boutique in our area and got baby girl a pair of red pants and a cute sleeper to celebrate. My step-mom, Barb, also gave me an outfit and two sleepers for baby on Easter Sunday, so between those things and some gifts and the things I bought at the consignment sale a few weeks back, her wardrobe is really coming along already! Shopping for girl clothes excites me so freakin much, and also totally overwhelms me. Nearly every single item on the rack at any store for a little girl is freakin adorable. How do you narrow it down?! A fun problem to have, I suppose.

The bump: Growing!

Milestones: Hmm, a not-so-fun one this week … had my first, ahem, hemorrhoid issue going on earlier this week already. I first got them when I was 40+ weeks with Henry and I remember freaking out about how that might affect my birth experience. (Oh, Erin, you had no idea what you were in for – those were nothing!) They came back with Ben’s pregnancy, but probably not til the third tri. But I’m only in the second tri now! The issue seems to have gone away for now, but it was an unpleasant few days there. I hope they’ll somehow stay at bay now for awhile again!

Have started thinking about the nursery and am leaning toward blowing dandelions as my loose ‘theme’ … but I may still change my mind. I’ve just always been drawn to those patterns, and I want a nature-y, soft and peaceful nursery this last time around. Still feel in no rush to move Ben out of his room and so will likely wait another month at least to start actually working on the nursery. But it’s fun to think about.

Also had my first real conversation with my girl today.

I realized that when I was pregnant with Henry, I talked to him all the time! With Ben, of course he got much less attention in the womb, and now it’s the same for this one – hard to focus on who’s inside there when there are two living, breathing boys demanding attention out here! On my ride home tonight, though, I turned off my radio and started to talk to my daughter (my daughter. wow.) and didn’t stop til I got to Kelly’s to get the boys. I told her about her brothers and her dad and how much I loved her and how excited I was to meet her. I told her to stay healthy and safe in there, and that I’d continue doing my very best to take really great care of her. I reflected on how we are always together right now, 24/7, and that once she’s here, it won’t be like that anymore, and I remember having that same feeling when pregnant with Henry. It felt good to focus just on her and this pregnancy for a little bit today.

Highlights of the week: It was a good week … Took the boys to the park one night last week for a solid hour and the sunshine and warmth did wonders for my mood and my soul. Friday I got off at noon and was able to meet up with Amanda for awhile and do some shopping at Motherhood and still get home early to my boys. Dave’s parents wanted them Friday. Saturday was the boys’ last swim class, which was fun, and then we did the 3d ultrasound, consignment boutique, park and dinner at one of our restaurants with mom and Dale. And Sunday was Easter, which we celebrated at dad and Barb’s, so the boys got to see all three sets of grandparents this weekend. And of course, everyone gave them candy, as did the Easter bunny, so we are up to our ears in candy over here! We’ve been enjoying it but no one’s been over-indulging … we may very well have a candy stash through the time this baby is born!

Yesterday we had a childcare dilemma because Kelly had called the night before to let us know that she’d missed her flight home from vacation (no fault of her own, I guess they didn’t get through customs in time to make their connecting flight – annoying!) and was stuck til the following day. Our old daycare provider, Lori, came to the rescue, so the boys spent the day there, which was fun for all of us. We hadn’t seen Lori in like 14 months, since I started my new job and the boys started their new daycare! The boys got to hang out with all their old pals, and with Truman and Cece who they see pretty often but not at Lori’s anymore! It was a nice change of pace for them and, as much as I would have enjoyed the day to just hang at home with my boys since I had an excuse, I was glad to have been able to work – I need to save my personal days for when the boys are sick, and/or for later in the year once baby is here.

Summary … Life is full, and I am often overwhelmed but always grateful. I still can’t believe I’m having a baby girl, and I’m so glad to know for sure. Lots of fun and happy things on the horizon. A good week. And we’re over that halfway hump now which means time is just going to keep on flying and this little girl is going to be here before we know it. Holy moly.

Day in the life: Spring 2014

Camera Roll-189The date is Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I’m 32, Dave’s still 31! Til next month anyway.
Henry is 4 1/2 years old
Ben is 2 years, 2 months old
And I’m 20 weeks, 1 day pregnant with our baby girl!

My DITL history:

Fall 2012 (Work day)
Spring 2013 (Work day)
Summer 2013 (Weekend day)
Fall 2013 (Work day)
Winter 2014 (Weekend day)

Here we go again with a day in our life! Have I mentioned how much I treasure having these to look back on? So many minor details captured that would otherwise be forgotten forever. Such an interesting little time capsule showing what life is like during this particular season of our lives.

12:37 a.m. – This is when I last looked at the clock before falling asleep for the night the night before. I don’t know what it is about DITL days, but I always seem to end up with particularly crappy nights of sleep the night before. I went to bed at nearly 11 pm, which is too late, and for some reason, I had a hard time falling asleep right away, which never happens. Ben woke up having had a bad dream around 11:30 and Dave and I both went in to console him. He doesn’t wake up in the night too often, and he was really crying. We put him back to bed twice, and twice he whined again a few minutes later. Dave was ready to come to bed at midnight but Benny just wasn’t falling asleep, so he took him downstairs for a cracker and some Chuggington. I dozed for bit but then woke up when Dave came to bed around 12:30. Finally fell asleep for the night soon after, thank God.

5:45 a.m. – Usually I wake up at 5:30 and get in the shower, then Dave gets in at 5:45, but today I don’t have to leave the house til after 9, so I let Dave go first and spend some extra time in bed.

5:58 a.m. – I hear the shower turn off so I get up to get in. I get out of the shower and check Instagram and Timehop like I usually do at this time, but both fail – maybe our internet is being weird.

6:15 a.m. – Dave comes into the bathroom to say good-bye and I ask him to take a picture with me for DITL. He goes into Henry’s room and kisses him good-bye then leaves for work.

6:20 a.m. – I hear Benny awake in his room and go and say good morning. Sad that Dave just missed him. Snap a selfie of us in the hallway and see he’s sneaked a nuk out of his room and shoved it in his mouth. Jokingly tell him no no no, then we go into his room so he can throw it back in his crib. He touches the towel on my head and say “you have a blanket on your head!”We head downstairs and turn on a Team Umizoomi – still his favorite show that he watches every single day of his life – and since I’m in no hurry today, I sit with him on my lap and watch TV awhile with him, enjoying the snuggle time.

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6:40 a.m. – I head back upstairs to keep getting ready. Put on makeup and blowdry and straighten my hair. I snap a picture inside the medicine cabinet, which shows the positive OPK and pregnancy strips I still have in there all lined up from back in December. What can I say? They make me happy. :) As I get ready, I can hear Ben downstairs talking to his TV show. “Number nine!” “Triangle!”

7 a.m. – I make our bed and lay out clothes for the day. Notice a few chips in my nail polish so I take it off. Then I take a couple of minutes to wipe down the bathroom sink, floor and mirror since we didn’t get around to cleaning it this weekend and Shelly’s coming today.

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I hear a banging noise against the blinds downstairs and walk down to tell Ben to stop whatever he’s doing. He’s laying on the ottoman, kicking the blinds. I reprimand him and he gives me a big, naughty smile.

7:15 a.m. – Henry finally wakes up and comes downstairs – late for him! He runs into my arms and gives me a big hug, and I comment on how happy he is (since more often than not he wakes up grumpy), telling him that he should sleep all night like that more often! This is THIRD night in a row that he has slept all night in his own bed without a peep, and I tell him how proud I am of him. Ben gets jealous that I’m hugging Henry, so he comes over to whine and get in on the hugging action. I have my phone in my hand so I snap a blurry pic of them fighting over me.

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7:20 a.m. – We go into the kitchen to get some breakfast. Dave just went to Woodmans last night so our fridge is fully stocked with good food, which makes me happy. Dave had told Henry he’d get him a new cereal to try, and he’s gotten Crunch Berries. When Henry sees them, he cries, since apparently he’s had them before so they’re not “new.” Then he asks if dad got Go-gurts and I said no, but he got like 10 yogurts – and he cries again, saying he wanted Go-gurt.

Normally I’d tell him to knock it the heck off, but he slept so good the night before, and I do vaguely remember him asking Dave for Go-gurts. So when he asks me if I can “make” him a Go-gurt, I think for a minute and then end up putting yogurt into a baggie, rolling it up and cutting one end off so he has a homemade Go-gurt. We also add cut-up blackberries. Problem solved.

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Ben asks for cereal so I give him Crunch Berries. He eats a whole bowl and asks for more, so I give him a second bowl. Henry has Frosted Flakes and berries. I cook myself an egg sandwich and have a banana and berries with it. I make coffee and clean up.

8:00 a.m. – Henry asks me if I want to see the pictures he made at Kelly’s yesterday, and then happily displays each one. “Take my picture for day in the life.” He tells me the one with scribbly green lines is “a zip line for turtles.” Ben smells the flowers Shelly gave us on gender reveal day. They still look gorgeous nearly a week later.

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I realize I haven’t changed Benny out of his nighttime diaper yet – oops – so I change him. Start to get him dressed since he and I are headed to the doctor at 9:30 for his 2-year check-up. I realize he doesn’t have any clean pants that fit so I go get the load of laundry out of the dryer that’s been sitting in there probably since Sunday. Fold half the load and leave the rest when I get distracted.

I spend awhile tidying up the downstairs. Nothing like having someone in your house twice a week to make you better about keeping the house clean! Henry spends a good 20 minutes drawing the inside and outside of a giant box – the box we used for our gender reveal last week. He makes “bleeding hands” and even asks me how to spell that so he can write it, too. He makes zombies and trees and writes his and Ben’s name over and over again on it.

Ben plays with his Lego train and walks around with an Easter basket on his head pretending to be Darth Vader. I go on the computer to look up car repair shops in my area, since my car has been making a weird cranking noise when I turn. I wonder how people who work full-time are supposed to get car repairs done, when most body shops are only open a few hours on Saturday and are closed on Sundays. Sheesh. Ben of course crawls in my lap and asks for fire trucks, so we sit and watch YouTube videos for awhile.

9 a.m. – Shelly arrives and we chat for awhile. I take a pic of her and Henry together, but I guess I won’t post it here since she might think that was weird if she found out. ;) I run upstairs to get dressed, then Ben and I leave for his appointment. Henry was mad earlier that he didn’t get to come to the doctor with us, and I told him how he got to go to his 2-year appointment alone with mom and now it was Ben’s turn. It is so rare that I do something with just Ben. He huffed and told me he “wasn’t even going to look at Shelly” when we were gone, but of course he’s sweet as pie and all into drawing with her as soon as she arrives, barely noticing us as we head out the door.

9:25 a.m. – Ben and I see a fire truck on our way to the doc and he gets very excited. “Mom, you see that fire truck and ambulance?” This is a question he asks literally every day that we’re in the car, and normally the answer is no. But today we actually see one!

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We arrive at the pediatrician’s office and Ben heads straight for the fish tank, which was a new addition the last time we were here. He points out fish and Easter eggs as I check us in and fill out a form. We get called back a few minutes later and as soon as I get him up on the table to undress him, he starts to cry. He is very unsure of this whole doctor thing, and cries the whole time as I undress him and get him on the scale. He weighs 27 pounds and change. He doesn’t have to get any shots today, but he does get his finger pricked for a blood draw, which he doesn’t cry over. He does cry over the Band-Aid, though, spending the next five minutes trying to rip it off until I finally took it off for him. He sits on my lap in only his diaper and an undershirt and he’s so snuggly and sweet, I just love it.

The doc comes in and we talk for 10 minutes or so about Ben as she checks him over. Healthy and growing well. Iron is slightly low (a 10.6 when they want to see 11 or above) which doesn’t come as a surprise since Henry always had that same report, since my kids barely eat meat or vegetables. The nurse comes back and gives us stickers and we’re on our way.

10 a.m. – Ben and I get home, and I’ve really enjoyed our one-on-one time together. He’s holding the book and stickers he got from the doc, and I have to take the book from his hand for two seconds to get him out of his car seat straps. This makes him MAD and he tries to hit me in the face. I tell him no and get him out of the car. As I’m holding him about to close the car door, he head butts me right in the nose! I could not believe it. I sat him down hard on the grass and angrily told him NO, we do NOT do that. He WAILS, and I pick him up as Henry and Shelly open the front door. Well hello! I’m like, we were fine up until a second ago! Luckily, Ben’s over it by the time we get in the door.

10:15 a.m. – I end up talking too long when I should have left for work right away, but oh well. I grab my lunch and coffee and kiss my boys good-bye for the day and leave. I know I need to stop for gas on the way in, too, which is a good thing since my gas light goes on. I get gas in my car and grumble about how damn expensive it is right now.

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10:35 a.m. – Get to work. Chat with coworkers, work, drink coffee, email Dizzy, Amy, and my mom. When I first walk into my office, there’s a card on my desk with the name of the nonprofit I recently started with Amy – Grateful Hearts Giving Network. (A post on that to come soon!) I open it up and my supervisor has written me the sweetest congratulatory note, and inside is $40 to put toward our kick-off event. So nice!! I go into her office and give her a hug and thank her. I do some other Grateful Hearts stuff in between working, too – FB, LinkedIn, messaging with two people who are shipping me items for our gift bags since they can’t make our event. So moved by people who are willing and excited to help!

My work BFF Jessica is pregnant, too, and due just a week after me, and her big ultrasound day is today! She comes into my office so we can take a pic together. She is so darn petite and cute and makes me feel huge. ;) She finds out she’s having a second girl later that day. One of the managers I haven’t seen since last week comes into my office to congratulate me on expecting a girl, telling me how awesome it is to have daughters (he has two, plus a boy.)

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12:30 p.m. – I have leftovers from last night for lunch, something I actually cooked since Dave worked a bit later and we didn’t have much in the house. It’s actually really yummy – breaded pork with rice and peppers. Plus more berries and a yogurt. I thought I grabbed banana but it’s lemon – blech. I still eat it, though. Have a few squares of Hersheys dark chocolate after lunch, too.

Camera Roll-201Check People.com and see a story that says “Parents hold Star Wars themed funeral for 4-year-old.” I tell myself not to click it but of course I do because, come on. I read part of the story and look at the pictures and then of course just break down sobbing into my lunch. I send the link to Dave and my mom, saying I just picture this being my Henry and I truly cannot fathom. The parents found out only in January that their boy had an inoperable brain tumor, and now he was dead and had Storm Troopers and R2D2 at his funeral. Why, why, why do children have to die?

1 p.m.-5 p.m. – Work, work, work. Get a lot done. At one point I can feel the baby moving around in my belly, and I put my hands on my belly and can sort of feel them move along with the movement inside. I still don’t feel kicks too often, but there’s definite rolling going on in there now. So cool.

5:15 p.m. – I stay “late” (for me!) since I got in late, and I realize I’m one of only two people left in the office. The boss is out of the country, and people have been leaving by 5 or earlier in his absence! Text Dave to let him know I’m leaving and that I have to make one stop before coming home. Talk on the phone for 5 or 10 minutes with my friend, Amy, about our nonprofit and next steps as we prepare for our kick-off event!

5:35 p.m. – Get to Walgreens near our house, where I need to buy some cards. Our brother-in-law, Scott (Dave’s sister’s husband) very sadly lost his dad to cancer this week. I get a card for him and Kate, and one for Scott’s mom. I cry looking through the sympathy cards, for the people who will receive them, and as I think about receiving them one day. Ugh. I also get a baby card for my cousin Sarah, and a thank you card for my supervisor for her Grateful Hearts contribution. Hit up the Easter aisle just to look (since I already have stuff for the boys) and can’t resist buying them each one more thing – an egg filled with candy and stickers. Also get myself a box of Milk Duds to keep at work because, hey, they’re on sale for $.79.

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5:53 p.m. – Get home and am greeted at the door by Henry and by Dave, who had just been taking a video of Ben, who was standing on our desk chair. Henry asks “did you get me anything?” and then spots the eggs in the bag. Crap! Totally forgot to stash them in my trunk with the other Easter stuff. So alas, I say “yes, I did get you something!” Lucky kids.

I’m famished and am happy to see that dinner – tacos, complete with puffy shells for me – is ready. I head upstairs to change out of my work clothes. The laundry basket is at the top of the stairs with a load of laundry all washed and folded for us by Shelly today. Love that so much. Coming home on her days with us to a picked-up house, clean laundry and happy boys is something seriously special. That woman is worth her weight in gold!

Then I open my bedroom door (odd that it’s closed) – and there are baby girl clothes hanging from the ceiling fan! That woman is too sweet to us, between the gender reveal day decor and now baby clothes! Everything is pink and so cute!! I text her a big thank you later in the evening.

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6:10 p.m. – Since I was late today, the boys have already eaten. They play while I eat my two tacos – and then a third because they’re kind of small and very delicious. I cut into an avocado that isn’t ripe and then am not able to eat it since it’s so hard. Darn it. Save it for tomorrow. Henry shows me a picture of a shoe he drew and colored for me today.

I’m feeling a bit dizzy when I get up, and I can feel the baby rolling around in my belly, giving me sort of a seasick feeling. Henry decorates his egg with stickers, then cries when Dave shows it to me before Henry’s “ready.” I tell Dave about Ben downing two bowls of Crunch Berries this morning and he says “oh great, that’s what he had for dinner!” Parents of the year right here.

Ben poops and I change his diaper. Then I work on hanging up one of my Instagram posters in its frame that fell two weeks ago. I bought a wire hanger kit over the weekend and get to work. I totally mess up the first time, not realizing I had way too much slack and the wire would show when hung, so I have to uncurl all of it and move the screws and start again. Eventually I get it right and put it on the wall. We have a new, stronger hook and nail, which shows above the picture now, when it doesn’t with the other one. Will have to get the same set-up on the other side of the room – eventually. At least they’re both hung up again.

Henry asks Dave during this time to make an ‘egg video’ with him. Henry opens eggs at the dining room table while Dave records it. Henry is obsessed with watching ‘egg videos’ on YouTube (which is just a person opening these surprise eggs) and made the first of his own a few weeks ago. So very strange.
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7:30 p.m. – We head upstairs to start bedtime. Henry complains about having to go up. We let the boys jump on our bed, as we do every night. I want a picture with my boys but Benny won’t cooperate, so I get one with just Henry man. We brush the boys’ teeth and then take them to their rooms, Dave with Henry and me with Benny. Before we separate them, they have a loud squealing fight over an Easter basket in Henry’s room, playing tug-of-war with it and crying. We’re horrible parents in that we just watch and laugh (and I take a little video!) before breaking it up. Such dramatic children we have. (And here’s another recent video of them, just so I’m not only linking to one of them being punks, which makes me feel kind of guilty. Ha! But that is real life, man.)

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Once in Benny’s room, I snap our picture in the chair a few times, and he brightens up into a big smile as he sees himself on my phone. The kid is a fan of his own reflection, that’s for sure. We read The Little Engine That Could, and he starts it like he always does “Chug chug chug, puff puff puff, ding dong ding dong!” So cute. But then he turns the pages too fast and I don’t actually get to read him the whole story. Then we look at his 100 Things picture book, which is still one of his favorites, and he points out everything he sees.

Camera Roll-213We get up to turn off the lamp, going through our same ritual we do night after night:

“Say good night to your room”

“Night-night books!”

(I turn out the light.)

“Hey, why you turn out my light?”

“Because it’s bedtime!”

“Bed-time?!” (in a high-pitched little voice.)
As we’re standing by his lamp, he starts to count, and he counts all the way to 21, only missing the number 15 in there. Pretty good!

We snuggle in his chair, and he lays back on my legs and says “tickle me!” I tickle his neck and his belly and he laughs and laughs. I ask him where the baby is and he points to my belly and says “I love you, too, baby!” Melt my heart. I lay him in his bed and cover him with his covers, and tell him sweet dreams and that I love him. “I love you, too, mama!” I leave his room at 7:57.

Camera Roll-2147:57 p.m. – Next it’s Henry’s turn for mommy time, and Dave says good-night and leaves Henry’s room.  I lay next to Henry and tell him he gets a “deery deer” story tonight since he slept in his bed all night last night without waking me up. It’s funny – deery deer stories have been going on for a year now, at least, and they’ve morphed into stories that have nothing to do with a deer anymore. Deery deer isn’t a part of the stories anymore, just Henry is. He says “I want Henry to do three things tonight – swim class, grocery store for surprise eggs and a restaurant.” (There we go with the surprise eggs again.)

So I tell a story about Henry going to swim class and doing bobs and swimming on his own with his kick board, and his teacher Logan being super impressed. Then he goes to the grocery store and gets three surprise eggs. No, five! Henry always argues for more, then he proceeds to tell me what’s inside each surprise egg. Stickers, candy, a blaster gun. Then we all go to a restaurant – can’t remember the details of this part.

We take some pics and snuggle a bit and then I say good-night and head out. He always asks me lately to “tip-toe” down the stairs, so he can close his eyes and pretend I’m still upstairs with him. Then he yells down for me to “guard.” “Mom, are you guarding?” Yes, Henry. This entails me standing at the bottom of the stairs keeping watch, which obviously lasts about five seconds every night. I leave Henry’s room at 8:13 p.m.

8:15 p.m. – I sit at the table and write out and address the cards I bought today. Finally text Shelly to say thank you for the baby clothes.

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8:30 p.m. – We’ve been watching Friday Night Lights and haven’t watched one since last week. I suggest we watch an episode since all I want to do is relax tonight. After not enough sleep last night, I’ve felt amazingly well all day, but I’m starting to fade. We watch the show – I think we’re on episode 14 or so of season one – and I start making photo collages for this post on my phone while watching.

9 p.m. – Ben calls out from his room – he’s STILL awake. We’ve both been up there once, and Dave goes up now to tell him once more to be quiet and go to sleep. Dave comes back down with a smile on his face and we talk for a minute about what a little charmer he is. We go into his room mad when he’s kicking his crib or still talking and then he melts us the second we pick him up because he’s just so darn cute and happy all the time.

9:40 p.m. – FNL is over and I decide I need a snack before bed. I have heard such good things about these Crunch Berries that I decide to give them a try. Yum. I check the internets while I eat my cereal, and I see a LinkedIn message from an old coworker asking how he can help with my new nonprofit. So awesome.

10 p.m. – I text Julia after reading her email that she also did her DITL today.

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10:10 p.m. – Head upstairs and take a bubble bath. Check Instagram, which usually takes up most of the time I’m in the bath these days. Reading? Of real books? I’m not sure I know what that is anymore. Sad, but true. Someday I will read books again. Instagram a collage of pics from the day.

10:30 p.m. – Brush teeth, write my answer in my Q&A a day book on my nightstand, check on my sweet boys and psst Dave to come up. We talk and snuggle for a few minutes and then he goes back downstairs.

10:43 p.m. – Snap a pic of the clock and put my phone down and go to sleep. This night Henry comes into our room to sleep for the first night in four nights. Whines a bit around 1 a.m. and wakes me up briefly but then we both go right back to sleep. Then Ben wakes up at 2:30 a.m. and when I go in his room he says “mommy, I want a cracker or something.” Or something. My Lord. I tell him no, give him a drink and lay him back down, and he goes back to sleep til morning.

So my DILT was bookended by two nights of interrupted sleep! Last night was great, though – let’s keep that up, boys.

And that concludes this sixth installment of a day in my life!

Baby #3: 20 weeks – Half-way point! Baby GIRL! Feeling large, baby’s name

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Date: April 14, 2014

Photo thoughts: Holy moly, halfway point! Shirt is flowy so had to hold it to show the belly. Comical with the boys, as always. Henry disheveled, Ben chowing down. Oh well. Holding up a new onesie this week – for his baby SISTER!!

Size of baby: 6 1/2 inches crown to rump, 10 inches head to toe – a banana, my fave!

What I’m anticipating: More movement!!

What I’m stressing about/worries: Gaining too much weight. Baby not actually being a girl. (Even though I do feel pretty confident it IS a girl in there!)

Miss anything? Not really. I mean, yeah, but I’m loving being pregnant so who cares!

Differences between pregnancies: With Ben at this point, I had been having some back pain and luckily have had none of that this time. I was up 13 pounds right now and was semi-stressing about it, and now I’m up 14-15 pounds and am again kind of stressing about it.

We were totally set on his name. I commented on how I wasn’t feeling Ben as much as I’d felt Henry at this point – and now I feel like I’m not feeling baby girl NEARLY as much as I was even feeling Ben. I’m getting really impatient to feel the regular movement.

With Henry, I wasn’t 100% sold on his name quite yet, I was up 11 pounds and I was starting to stress a bit about all we had to get done in the next few months. (Oh Erin of yesteryear, what were you stressing about? All you had was spare time, girl.) By 21 weeks I was feeling movement that was strong enough to move my hand, and I know we’d felt him from the outside already a few times.

As I write this, I’m feeling some little baby kicks. :) Keep ‘em coming, little lady!

I also feel like another wives’ tale that is true for me (aside from the how-I’m-carrying one, since I think I proved that one to be TRUE!) is that I’m gaining weight more all over this time instead of just out front like I did with my boys. I feel like my legs and butt and love handles are all just a little bit bigger than normal, or than they were when I’ve been pregnant in the past. Not stressing too much since, like I’ve said, I feel I’ll gain what I gain, and I have confidence I’ll take it off again just like I did with my boys! I still don’t to be huuuuuge, either!

With Henry, we were 20 weeks, 4 days away from meeting him. With Ben, we were 18 weeks, 2 days away from meeting him. Wonder how far off baby girl is? Hopefully closer to 18 or 19 than 20+ – but no sooner than that!

How I’m feeling: I’m feeling good. I’m feeling excited as heck to be expecting a girl. Still in disbelief a bit.

Sleep: Sleep has been pretty good. Having Henry sleep on our floor has been a good change for all of us, and last night he even slept all night without a peep in his own bed – first time in weeks that has happened. Hoping we maintain a good streak there.

Exercise: None this week, which is bad, particularly as I lament about gaining weight too quickly! But when I’m not at work, I am active constantly – keeping up with two little boys while at home keeps me busy, and on Sunday I accomplished so much before noon. That afternoon I did like 15 minutes of stretching and lunges and squats, just to have done something that was ‘officially’ exercise, but all morning I was go-go-go.

I woke up that morning (too darn early, as it was my day to get up with the boys and they decided to get up before 6:30) and had one of those overwhelmed-by-life moments. I needed to take control of some things and so that morning I changed the sheets on everyone’s beds, organized our messy kitchen cupboard where we keep all of our bills, etc., wrote some thank you notes, filled out some forms and paid some bills, and then went upstairs and organized our entire closet, which was something that had been bugging me – and Dave – for a long time. It’s too damn small, for one, and it just got super messy and unorganized, especially with all the maternity/non-maternity and seasonal turn-over. I felt super accomplished when it was all done, and I made myself a list for the rest of the week of other things I wanted to accomplish (blog, call the handyman, do some things for our nonprofit – more on that soon! – wrap some gifts, etc.) It all made me feel a lot more relaxed and in control!

Movement: There but not nearly enough. I think I went the entire day Saturday without feeling one little thing. I felt some good kicks yesterday but then today has been quiet again. Feeling baby kicks is hands-down the BEST part of pregnancy, and at this point I’m feeling a little gipped! This is my last pregnancy and I only have 20 weeks, give or take, left, so I want to feel those kicks as much and for as long as possible!

Boy or girl: Can hardly believe it – GIRL!!

The bump: I get up each morning and think whoa, I’m pregnant. This thing is going to get WAY bigger. Yikes. But also, I love it.

Milestones: Big ultrasound! Baby is HEALTHY and growing right on track!! And she is so cute in there! SUCH a relief to have had a good ultrasound.

And she has a name! Well, a first name. We’re pretty set (98% I’d say) on naming her Scarlett, and I love it. Having a hard time with the middle name, but we have some time. I’d like her middle name to start with E since that’s my initial and it’s pretty… I wish so much that Scarlett Ella had a good ring to it since I still just love the name Ella, but I don’t think it flows well together at all. I think our other best option is Scarlett Elizabeth. Or maybe we’ll go with a non-E name and come up with something different. I like Scarlett Caroline right now, too. We’ll see!

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Best moment of the week: Hmmm, I just can’t think of one right now…. ;)

Camera Roll-368 Besides big ultrasound day, which was seriously one of the most fun, happy days of my life, we also went to the Easter Bunny Brunch at one of our restaurants this past weekend, and that was a lot of fun. Yummy food and the boys got a ton of candy! The weather has been awful the past few days, but I did get the boys to the park on Friday evening before it got really crappy, so that was a highlight, too. So beyond ready for spring over here!!

Other notes: Amanda emailed me the day after my gender reveal to find a date in July for my ‘sprinkle’ that she wants to throw me. So very fun and exciting to think about having a little party to celebrate baby girl’s impending arrival! Which means Ben is my only kid to not be ‘showered,’ the poor middle child. Ha.

My mother-in-law asked me about colors for the nursery and I told her I had no idea yet. I didn’t even let myself think or look or plan before I knew if I was actually going to have a girl. But now that I am, I think it’s time to hit Pinterest! I don’t think we’ll paint the room again – the soft blue that Benny has in there will probably be fine, but I guess we’ll see what color palette we come up with. I think I’ll find a great rug and go from there, and do decals on the wall again and art on the walls and some new bedding. So fun!!

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Big ultrasound day #3 :)

My three big ultrasound days have been three of the best days of my life, and I can safely say that this last one takes the cake.

It being the last, it being a girl after two boys, doing an actual gender reveal instead of finding out in the ultrasound room, having the whole day off with Dave … the whole day was just pure awesomeness, and I want to remember it. The post just below this one has all of my favorite photos from the day!

Dave and I have long talked about taking a whole day off together while the kids went to daycare, and yet in 4 1/2 years, we’ve never made it happen, mostly because we felt guilty and we – mostly I – feel like we don’t want to miss out on any precious time with our boys. But we decided big ultrasound day would be a perfect day to take off together, so we finally did, and let me tell you, we looked forward to it for weeks!

We slept in a bit, me not getting up til a little after 6 (blargh to that being ‘sleeping in’ at this stage of my life!) and Dave staying in bed til 6:30. Shelly showed up at her normal time, just before 8 a.m., and we left the house by about 8:10 for our 8:30 appointment. She’d worn a pink shirt and commented on how I wasn’t wearing pink – she’s been saying since the day she met me that I was having a baby girl, and I kept telling her that she best be excited for a boy, too! It’s funny – her last family for whom she nannied for five years was two boys and a girl, with the middle boy named Ben. History repeating itself!

Camera Roll-294We got to the doc and they made us wait a painstaking 10-15 minutes past 8:30 before calling us in. I was on pins and needles! Our ultrasound tech, Mary – who I think also did Ben’s big ultrasound – asked if we wanted to know the gender and we said we wanted it in an envelope and she just nodded, as if a lot of people do it that way. She put the probe on my belly – and ah! There was baby! Such a thrill to see it finally, after only seeing it as a blob at 7 weeks. So incredible what happens in 12 weeks’ time!!!!

I craned my neck to watch as she located and measured everything in there over the next 45 minutes. We got to see baby’s beautiful little profile almost right away and I got a little teary – s/he was so beautiful!! At one point I looked over to Dave and said “It looks like a girl!” And I really meant it. The dainty little lips, the upturned nose – the features just seemed slightly more feminine to me than my boys’ had looked in there. Maybe that’s ridiculous, but I felt it was true.

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The baby was moving SO much in there, and I said to the tech – “I can barely feel any of that still!” And she told me that I have an anterior placenta this time, which is why I’m probably not feeling as much movement at this point as I did with the boys.

She turned her screen away at one point to look ‘down there,’ and when she turned it back, I asked “do you know?” and she said “nope, baby isn’t really cooperating.” So she did more measurements and then at the end had me get up and pee to hopefully get the baby to move a bit. She looked again, and she was looking for quite a long time. I was getting nervous and she said “don’t worry, we’ll know.” I asked her if there are ever times when they truly can’t determine the gender and she said it was really rare. She said “I’m pretty sure I know what it is, I’m just trying to get a good picture for you.” The baby would just NOT open its legs! Once she had turned the screen back to us, I thought to ask “how sure are you?” but I didn’t want to hear something like “oh, I’m totally sure” since then I’d assume she’d seen a penis. So I kept my mouth shut, though now I wish I’d asked!

We got some awesome profile pics to take home with us, and she sealed the money shot in the envelope for us. We met with the doc a few minutes later and she let us know that baby was measuring right on track and looked great in there. Such a relief. That second appointment went fast and then we were off to Julia’s house!!!! I was riding high on the fact that I’d seen the baby and s/he was healthy, and my stomach was filled with butterflies on the 20-minute drive to her house. I said to Dave, these are our last few moments of not knowing how our family will turn out, forever! I didn’t want to admit to myself how much pressure I was putting on this moment, how much I was hoping to see pink when I opened my eyes.

We pulled in her driveway and she and Truman and Cece and Henry dog were all outside. We turned the corner into the backyard, and she’d put up a backdrop with her ‘baby number 3′ banner – so sweet! She took the envelope from me pretty much immediately and went around the corner to look. She came back with SUCH a straight face, I was so impressed, no matter what that envelope had said. Excellent poker face. I remember with her gender reveal, which held less ‘pressure’ in my head since she already has a boy and a girl and I really didn’t have a preference for what she was having, I looked in that envelope and saw ‘boy’ and I was just bursting, I had to literally bite my tongue because I was afraid I’d spoil it somehow! So she was a real pro.

She asked T and C what they thought I was having, and I’m pretty sure they both said boy first and then girl, it was funny. We took a few pics and then it was time to close our eyes and have her put the appropriate cookie in her hands. I’ve watched the 15-second version of this video we took (that I put on Instagram) about 20 times and it makes my heart leap every time. We closed our eyes and waited while she took pictures with the cookies in our hands, and I said “I’m dying.” And when she started counting, I said “I don’t know if I’m ready!!” and boom, we opened our eyes on three and saw pink!

“Ahhhhh! It’s a giiiiirl!”

I squealed. I wasn’t sure how I’d react but wow, I was excited, even more than I thought I’d be! I just really couldn’t believe it. And Dave couldn’t, either! He was honestly convinced, I think, that he can only make boys. I look at the pictures of us after that moment and he has such genuine happiness on his face. He said and continues to say that he really didn’t care either way, and he definitely thought it was a boy, but I think he’s pretty darn excited that it’s a girl. I can’t believe I get to see him be the daddy to a little girl. I cannot wait.

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Dave and I hugged and Julia snapped pics, and then I took a look at the ‘money shot’ – and I had no clue what I was looking at.

I remember when we did Julia’s gender reveal, I was the lucky first one to open that envelope – and C’s legs were spread wide and it was VERY clear that there was just nothing there! This one, though? Legs curled tight. And I see three lines – actually, I see two spots where there are these supposed three lines, and yet I don’t know which one is actually what I’m supposed to be looking for! And there’s this teeny speck of white in between the legs that 1% of me thinks, hmmm, could that be a penis? But I remember my boys’ money shots and the penises were VERY obvious. And I do trust the professional, she looked a long time! I just wish I could make it out better. I do think we’ll do a 3D ultrasound in another week or two – to see baby girl’s face and to just be darn sure it’s actually a girl in there!

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I thanked Julia SO much for sharing in this moment with us, and then we were on our way. It was only 10:30 or so, so we decided to grab coffee at Starbucks. I was just bursting – we were having a GIRL. Dave got coffee, I got an iced vanilla latte, and we grabbed a comfy couch by the fireplace. I snapped a pic of our cups and he rolled his eyes at that. But hey, I wanted to document this day, and this moment.

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We recapped the moment at J’s and talked a bit about what a new adventure it will be to have a daughter, and how it’s kind of a scary prospect to raise a daughter, how it’s a lot harder in many ways than raising boys. I had Instagrammed our ultrasound pic at the doctor’s office, and now I Instagrammed our coffee picture, and people kept commenting about how they were dying to know our news! Ha. It made me feel special, it really did, how so many people – both real-life loved ones and internet friends – seemed to really care about hearing who we were going to add to our family! As I said, such pressure when you have two of one gender!!

After Starbucks we headed to lunch. I had asked for recommendations on FB earlier in the week and we’d decided on La Merenda. I wanted someplace delicious and where I’d never been before, since we don’t get out to new places very often! We were the first ones there at 11:20 and had our pick of the dining room. We ordered four small plates in two rounds – goat cheese curds on crustini and pork belly crepes with truffle oil (THE BEST) and then pork tostada (spicy but so yummy) and a trout dish, which was my pick and the one dish that didn’t wow us. We were full so passed on dessert, but we really enjoyed our lunch!

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From there, we went to register Henry for preschool, since it has to be done during normal business hours. I handed over all of our forms and we were out of there within about five minutes. We headed to the mall after that so we could hopefully find a ‘little sister’ shirt. We hit up Crazy 8, Gymboree and Old Navy, but none of them had anything like that. We finally had luck at JC Penny, and I bought our girl a “cutest little sister” onesie and a little romper with a bird on it, both in newborn size because, well, adorable! And because my due date is 9/2, so the weather will be warm for her for about five seconds before fall comes.

Camera Roll-306Party City was right by the mall, so we went and bought our 12 balloons – 10 pink and 2 blue, since I promised Henry he’d get a blue balloon either way, and obviously then Ben would need one, too. “Mom, I want a sister, but I don’t like pink. Can we do blue balloons either way?” Well, no buddy, but I can probably swing one blue balloon for you. ;)

I had thought we’d be rushed with all we wanted to do, but we left Party City and it was barely 2 pm – we were making good time! The weather was gorgeous and we talked briefly about finding a place to just lay outside, but there was no nearby park and we didn’t have a blanket or anything, so we settled on Barnes and Noble instead. We each picked out a couple of magazines and put two chairs near a window and just sat and read for awhile. I read an entire issue of US Weekly – such a luxury!

We left there before 3 and ran our other errands – the grocery store for juice boxes, soda, ice cream, etc. for the evening, and Papa Murphy’s for pizzas, where we bought four family-size pizzas – yuuuuuum. I texted those who were coming – “Please come hungry! We got lots of pizza plus there’s cookies and ice cream!” My mom and Amanda later said this ‘tipped them off’ that it was a girl – that my itinerary for the day (oh yes, there was an itinerary, and I shared it with them just as an FYI, ha) only called for three pizzas, but that I must have just been so excited to be getting a girl that I said what the heck, let’s get four pizzas instead! So silly. ;) In reality, we did the math in the car – 16-18 people who’d be eating – and we decided three pizzas wouldn’t be enough!

We were pretty pooped by now from all the go-go-go of the day. We got home and slyly backed the car into the garage so we could fill the box with the balloons without the boys seeing. We went inside and Henry excitedly said “Mom, we have a surprise for you!!!” I came in and around the door – and Shelly had decked out our dining room in all kinds of cute baby decor for our gender reveal. There were balloons, streamers, boy and girl rubber ducks and stuffed animals, and a gorgeous bouquet of yellow roses. I couldn’t believe it! I hugged her and said lady, that was seriously too much! Too sweet! But she was excited and wanted to help make our day special – she is really something!

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She’d asked me earlier when she’d get to know, and I knew I couldn’t send her away without telling her, so I pulled up the pictures that Julia had sent me on my phone and showed her the one of us holding up the cookies – she was of course so excited but held it in because I told her I didn’t want Henry picking up on anything! She texted as soon as she got to her car, saying “I knew it!!” and congrats.

We had about 45 minutes of downtime before people were to arrive. Dave snoozed on the floor in the living room and I hung with the boys. Ben had a real hard time with not being able to have a cookie yet! I finally gave in and gave him half of one. Then everyone came over – Andrea and kids, Mom, Julia and Nate and kids, Dizzy and kids (and a little bit later Andy, too) and finally Amanda and Mark and Owen. They rushed in at 5:29 – I had told everyone to be no later than 5:30! – and I said you just made it!

We all went outside then for the big reveal. On my way out, Amanda and mom both smiled and said that they knew it was a girl by the way I was acting. I told them they BETTER be happy if they saw blue. I brought the box out from the garage and shielded it with my body while I untied the string, since it was pretty easy to see inside. The boys stood next to me, Dave stood to the side, taking a video with my phone, and everyone else stood near the street. I opened the box and scooped the balloons out since they were kind of jammed in there. Pink, yay! They all cheered and then I went and gave hugs. There were tears. It was really sweet.

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I never even looked up into the sky to watch any of the balloons float away. I had taped two on a string to the bottom so we’d have them for photos, but somehow those flew away within a minute, too. And by the time I actually thought to look at the box, it was pretty much demolished, with all the wrapping paper strewn about my yard. The kids had gone to town on it and I hadn’t noticed. Ah well.

We went inside and ate pizza and cookies and ice cream. Dave called his parents and we texted our siblings so they’d know before we put anything online. Mom gave me a little girl gift, a sleeper and a bib (she’d bought a boy gift, too!) and Julia gave me a teeny little elephant romper that I’d given her for Cece. Friends left around 7 and mom left around 7:30, and I took the boys upstairs to get ready for bed while Dave cleaned up a bit downstairs. Then we both got the boys to bed and, completely exhausted, came back downstairs. I blogged and took a bath and headed to bed with dreams of a little girl dancing in my head. ;)

The next day I brought celebratory doughnuts into work and enjoyed the congrats from my coworkers. As with the day before big u/s day, I had a pretty hard time focusing on my work, and I left by 3:00 since Kelly had a doctor’s appointment to go to, so it was a nice, short Friday. Dave went to his brother’s for the evening so it was just me and the boys. We went to the library, then to the park, then had a pizza picnic in the living room. I gave them a bath and read them stories and put them to bed. I reflected on the fact that these were officially ‘my boys,’ that the door’s officially closed on the three boys idea. It’s crazy, especially since I think more than half of me thought that that would end up being how our family turned out. I love so much that they are getting a sister, though. Every time I say something to Henry about how he’s getting a sister, he gets a big smile on his face and says “just like I wanted!”

It’s so cute, and I’m so happy for him. I’m so happy for all of us!

We’re having a baby GIRL!

I kind of can’t believe I get to write those words. :)

Not sure what I thought going into today, really … I was so convinced it was a girl this time, and yet I didn’t quite trust myself, especially with my track record! And part of me really did think I was destined to have all boys. It’s going to take awhile to sink in that we’re having a DAUGHTER.

My two boys are just my world and I love that they will remain ‘my boys,’ not having to share that title with another. And that they’ll be big brothers to a little sister, who I imagine they will love to pieces and look out for their whole lives! It’s just so perfect. I feel incredibly, ridiculously, over-the-top blessed right now.

Today was such an amazing day, truly everything I could have hoped for and more. I was SO NERVOUS, as I always am going into that big ultrasound, and to know that baby is beautiful and healthy and growing as she (she!) should be is such a tremendous relief.

My wonderful friend Julia took pictures this morning as we learned what we were having, and we set up the iPhone and took a video, too, which I’m SO glad to have. The pictures are so awesome and I am beyond grateful to have them!! What a special moment.

Then she took more pics this evening as we revealed to the boys and my mom and our friends who was in there. I felt so special to have everyone there and so excited for us. Dave got the video of that one. So fun!!!!

I’m going to post again this weekend more about today, since it was such a great day and I want to remember all of it!! Dave and I packed in quite a bit and I am pretty exhausted!

For now, some of my favorite photos from this most special day!!!!!!!

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So very thankful for this day.

The first of the big ‘lasts’

I remind myself often to savor this pregnancy and this journey toward adding a third child to our family since this baby will most surely be my last. And while I don’t dwell too much on every stage being the ‘last time,’ I am aware of it, and I know I will be even more aware once that baby is here and he/she passes through every stage and milestone so very quickly.

I’m certainly not sad to have gone through my last first trimester, or even to have seen my last (at least, I think!) positive pregnancy test, though that part is very fun. But as I approach tomorrow – big ultrasound day – it’s the first time where I’m really feeling like wow, this is it. Last time to go through this nerve-wracking, exciting, amazing day! I’m at peace with it, but it has me reminiscing today about my first two times going through it, since I have such fond memories of both of those days.

When we found out Henry was a boy, I cried tears of joy, and Dave and I spent the rest of the day on such a high, going out and buying his crib and his first little shirt. Life was so easy and carefree back then!

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When we found out Ben was a boy, the ultrasound tech told us the gender news within like five seconds of putting the probe on my belly. It was rather anticlimactic! But after the appointment, we were so excited to pick Henry up for Lori’s, and we all went out for custard that evening to celebrate. Two boys!

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And now here we are, about to find out who the final addition to our family will be.

Just found this video from 12/23 after we told Henry I was pregnant this time. He said then and has always said he wants a sister this time – we’ll see if he gets his wish!

Life has changed so very drastically from five years ago when we were expecting our first little one! I looked at the pictures on Facebook this morning of Henry’s finished nursery all ready for him at our old Shorewood duplex, and it brought tears to my eyes. To think of that oh-so-special time, when life was so simple and parenthood was a completely clean slate, an unknown adventure we were about to embark on.

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Now here we are four and a half years in and life is chaotic and messy and exhausting and more beautiful and joyous than I ever could have imagined. Time flies, and it’s bittersweet, to say the least. But I am right where I want to be and I could not feel more thankful to be here, expecting our third child, who will be so very loved by us all and who will complete the family of five I always dreamed of having.

Baby #3: 19 weeks – Out of the sleepless fog, more sickness, and big ultrasound week is here!

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Date: April 7, 2014

Photo thoughts: I think pregnancy is just beautiful and amazing. Also, the boys rejected my request to take a picture, but then I was snuggling Benny in the kitchen and had Dave sneak a few pics while he was in my arms. These perfectly document this week – poor sick baby!

Size of baby: 8.5 ounces / 6 inches – an heirloom tomato

What I’m anticipating: THURSDAY!!

As I said in my last post, big ultrasound day is always super exciting and nerve-wracking, but all of those feelings are just amplified and magnified this time since it’s my last time!!

I think I may cry when I actually see this baby on the screen on Thursday. He/she was only a blob last time, and now having two precious boys of my own to love just gives this one a whole different and new perspective. Knowing that this one will be the baby of the group, my last baby – it’s just overwhelming!

What I’m stressing about/worries: The big ultrasound. Something being really wrong with my baby. Baby not cooperating and us somehow not being able to know the gender on Thursday. Finding out it’s a boy and feeling disappointed and then feeling horribly guilty for feeling disappointed, since a boy will so awesome and wonderful and part of me really does love the idea of a brood of boys. But I want to experience a little girl, too! I hate that I’m putting so much pressure on the gender thing, I really do. I seriously want to get past this and KNOW and not have to dwell on it anymore, and instead just focus on and love this little babe, whoever he/she is!

Miss anything? Drinking a lot of coffee. I try to limit myself to one (very large) cup of coffee per day. Some days, especially lately, I NEED more and wish I could just keep on drinking it!

Differences between pregnancies: I hadn’t felt Ben move that much at this point, either, but right around 18 1/2 weeks he started kicking a lot and I felt my first kick from the outside. Once again, I am just not feeling much regular movement yet – just a little jab here and there, and flutters from time to time. But nothing anywhere near a jab that can be felt from the outside yet! Very eager to start feeling more movement!!

Also guessed girl for my last baby and was very wrong, obviously. I’m bound to be right one of these times, right?!

And it’s funny, not all of my girl guesses have been wishful thinking – I really did want a boy so badly!! With Ben I did want a girl, but I didn’t have any real LONGING for a girl that time like I have now. This longing for a daughter feels very new to me. It’s really real now that this really is my last shot at it. And yet, just like with my precious Ben – if I do have a boy, I know I’ll look back and will not be able to imagine it having gone any other way. I won’t be able to imagine my life without that son of mine!

How I’m feeling: Better. Just got over a horrible, horrible cold and a weeks-and-weeks-long bout of no sleep. It’s been rough. But I have now slept well three nights in a row and I’m hoping the streak will continue. Sleep is amazing! Pregnancy-wise, I’m feeling good. Though being outside for two hours yesterday made me realize whoa, I’m going to be one tired mama come this summer. The raking and chasing baseballs made me TIRED! I felt big and waddly already, too – kind of freaky to think I have 4 1/2 more months to go.

Sleep: On the upswing, God willing.

Exercise: Sunday’s usually my day to get a real workout in, but after being outside and active for two hours, I was pooped. Did like 10 minutes of stretching once inside. Also danced several times this past weekend to Pherrel’s “Happy” in our living room with the boys, which sure got me winded – and made me super happy! That has to count for something, right? ;)

Movement: Not as much as I’d like. Come on, baby!

Boy or girl: This is the last week I can venture a guess! I really do think it’s a GIRL! I’ll be more surprised if it’s a boy. Because of the timing, because of how I’m carrying so differently, and because I really did always just feel I’d end up with a daughter in the mix! If it’s a boy, it’s official that I SUCK at guessing, and I’m 0/3. And if it’s a boy, I think we could probably have five more kids and they’d all be boys. That I’m simply destined to be a boy mom for life.

I got a text message this afternoon from my cousin, Sarah, who had her third baby today! A BOY!!!!!

She’s one of those crazy people (ha) who never finds out the gender ahead of time, and she has two girls already. I remember her telling me once that she never pictured herself with a girl, let alone two of them. But now she got her boy! And even though I realize it has NOTHING to do with me, now I’m contemplating whether I think this means I’m more likely to have a girl or a boy. Ha!

I said in my “Musings on baby #3′s gender” post that my dad is one of 10 kids and none of my aunts and uncles had all boys or all girls, everyone had at least one of each. Now that cycle is repeating itself with my cousins – I do not have any cousins on that side who have all of one gender, they all have both – now that Sarah has both, too! If I do have three boys, I will be the very first to not have both genders.

The bump: Big!

Milestones: Does peeing myself count? LOL With this awful cold the past week came many a forceful cough and sneeze, and I don’t even want to talk about how many times I peed myself a little bit and had to change my underwear. (Luckily it only happened at home!!!) I have never had that issue before, and thankfully it’s not a regular occurrence. But dude, NOT fun and NOT cool.

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Best moment of the week: Henry sleeping all night for a change. (on our floor, but still.) Scoring big time at the JBF consignment sale Saturday. Spending 20 minutes shopping in the baby girl section. I told myself I’d get three girly things and ended up with seven. I rationalized this in several ways. First, it may be the only time I ever get to buy girl clothes for my own baby so I may as well enjoy it. (Though honestly, I was just sort of overwhelmed – how does one narrow it down with all that cuteness going on?!) And second, Kate is having a baby girl in June, so I figured even if I don’t have a girl in there, someone will be able to put those clothes to good use! I’ll be happy to give them to her for my future niece to wear. :)

Also had a coffee date with Julia and Andrea Saturday night, and it was fun to catch up – and talk about the babies in our bellies! Can’t believe we’re all having #3 within two months of each other, it’s awesome. And yesterday (Sunday) was pretty much one big highlight, just hanging at home with my three boys and enjoying the beautiful spring day.

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Next day update: I laid awake last night wondering if I should go back and delete much of what I wrote here. I felt guilt and shame that I put it out there to the universe that I would like for this baby to be a girl. There are millions of women across the globe who would do just about anything for a healthy baby. And here I am talking about how much I want a daughter, when I have two beautiful sons here and would be so ridiculously lucky to have another one. This morning Dave referenced ‘our three boys’ at the breakfast table and my heart leaped. I *love* that image. I only want a healthy baby. I truly don’t care as much as I think I’m projecting to those around me, and it’s bothering me. I feel like somehow I *should* be openly hoping for a girl since that’s what everyone seems to want for me. I feel like there’s this pressure around me to birth a girl just because I’ve already birthed two boys. It’s annoying.

Yes, I’d love a daughter. But I’d love to have a third son just as much.

A friend recently said to me “I don’t know if I picture you with another boy or with a girl. I just know that I picture you happy.

It was the sweetest compliment I’ve received in a long time, and I know she’s right. I will be so happy.

I’m praying and hoping so hard that we have a healthy baby in there. Beyond that, the rest is gravy. We are so lucky.