Monday, May 22, 2017

What's In A Name?

I have a post written for all our children as to why we picked the names that we did for them. To keep things fair, here is Lexie's :)

Alexandra Grace

When we found out we were expecting baby number four, we would joke about the baby being a girl. However, almost everyone in our little family, minus Lottie, just knew it'd be a boy. We already had a boy name picked that we loved, so we didn't need a conversation. However, we had no clue what we would name a girl.

Anytime I would bring up girl names, Phil would play along for while, but ask we not get serious until we found out the gender. Well, joke was on us because it's girl! While I was sad we couldn't use the name Nathan, (because we are SO donedonedonedone), we are so excited to meet our baby girl in August.

With our girls, we would name them after both sides of the family. Since we've already did that once, then twice, we covered all our family. This meant, we just needed to find a full name
1) we both agreed on,
2) flowed well with our last name,
3) went with the other three names of the older children, and
4) that wasn't already used, or spoken for in our large family.

I honestly pushed for Amelia Cate for a while, but Phil just didn't seem to really like it. I made a list, (surprise surprise), about three separate times of names that I like. I even included names I loved that I knew in my heart of hearts that Phil would NEVER agree to! Then we would narrow it down from there together. It was then my job to come up with middle names. I usually take into consideration syllable count, monograms & initials, (because there is a difference), and flow of the name.

Alexandra - Defender of Mankind {via}
We really love tradition names with traditional spellings. We also love full names that can be shortened. We decided with Jillian that we would have a nickname for them as a family, but they were free to use whatever form of their name they choose. In fact, Jillian has already decided she wants to be Jill, not Jillian, for Kindergarten. Works for us!
I loved that there were many names to work with with Alexandra. Alex, Lexie, Lex, Sasha, Andy, Annie, to name a few. We decided to go with Lexie for now within our family. However she wants her name later, we will go with that, even if she'll always be Lexie to us.
I also love that it means "defender of mankind." I sincerely pray that she, as well as all of our children, find it their joy to fight for what is right. During these times, I feel it is very important for women to make sure their voices are heard for many different issues. Raising multiple daughters will definitely help keep that goal in sight for most of my adult life.

Grace - God's Favor; A Virtue {via}
I really debated using this name. While beautiful, Grace seems to be a filler middle name for the last several years. I didn't want Lexie to think we got lazy!
However, not only is Grace a beautiful name, it is a beautiful gift, just like Lexie is to us. Plus, with a 4th baby in the house, (and having 2 under 2), we need a TON of grace in our home. So when we bring home our Grace, we pray grace follows us in.

And that is why Lexie has the name Alexandra Grace. We can't wait to meet her face to face, and add her to our family :)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Baby C: Final Fourth Week 28 Update

I'm backdating this because it was pretty much ready to go on the 18th. However, I got some food poisoning, and went to bed feeling dreadful. I'm much better now, and I'm pretty sure I know what I ate since I was the only one who got sick. Plus, Thursday was the last day of school, plus a night of bad weather. I promise I didn't forget to do it!

Today's date: May 18, 2017

How far along: 28 Weeks {Officially the 3rd trimester!!}

Total weight gain: 6ish pounds

Size and growth of baby: Final Fourth is the size of a large eggplant, tropical coconut, or Couronne Bread! She is around 2-3/4 pounds, and nearly 15 inches long. Final Fourth can blink and notice light in the womb. Her lungs are developed enough that they could survive outside of the womb, (with lots of medical intervention). Final Fourth is continuing to fatten up and get some chubby cheeks like her siblings :) {via and via}

Baby is a: girl!

Maternity clothing: Only thing that fits aside from sweat pants and super oversized shirts.

Sleep: Still very tired, still restless, and constantly waking up on my back. 

Movement: Movement every day, throughout the day. She gets most active after daddy talks to her, and on a rare occasion after I eat something.

Cravings/Aversions: Main cravings were banana pudding, and strawberry shortcake. Aversions are still the smell of raw meat, cooking meat in a crockpot, and anything that smells/sounds bad at the time.

Morning Sickness: A little nausea from time to time, but it's usually because I forgot to eat. {Ooops!}

Symptoms: Heartburn, emotional, sore breasts, dizziness, nesting, waddling, gassy, cranky, peeing a fair amount, round ligament pain, and exhausted.

Labor Signs: None

Belly button in or out: In

How this pregnancy is different than the first three: Minus a few minor details, it's pretty much the same.

The best moment of this past week: Passing my glucose test!

What I miss: Nothing at all :)

I'm looking forward to: Phil's birthday, nesting some more, and no more tornadoes!
Now to compare pregnancy bumps :)

{Left: Jillian 2011 Middle Left: David 2013} 
{
Middle Right: Lottie 2016 Right: Lexie 2017}

Lexie Bump Comparison:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

When Parenting is Extra Hard

Being a parent is hard.

Whether you're a mom, dad, step-mom, step-dad, surrogate parent, grandparent, etc., it is hard. Rewarding and worth it, definitely! Hard, beyond comprehension.

It's true that you are never truly prepared for parenthood. You can have all kinds of great plans and goals, but they may all fly out the window in a moment. It could the moment you see that second pink line. It could be the moment your doctor and radiologist found something on your ultrasound. It could be the moment your baby is placed in your arms. It could be the moment you pediatrician gives you news/a diagnosis you never saw coming. Being a parent is like getting your heart ripped into shreds, then having it sew back together without any anesthesia. Your heart is whole, but it has scars and pain.

I'm not here to start any mommy wars or continue an argument. Instead, I'm going to give a perspective that recently came to my attention.

I am a people-person introvert. This means, I enjoy having relationships with other people. I love hanging out with friends, enjoying a meal in a noisy restaurant, being a tourist in a crowded city, and meeting new and interesting people. When I get to a point that I am physically and mentally exhausted, I need to be alone. Somewhere quiet, dark, and cool. Even if I want Phil with me, I like for him to be reading so I can put my hand on his arm. I need human connection, but I need calm.

If you don't know if you're an introvert or an extrovert, don't even bother with those online quizzes. Just ask yourself this: When I'm tired physically and mentally do I want to a) have my best friend have a drink with me as we watch my favorite movie, or b) go to my comfy bed with my favorite blanket, and just be still.
If you answered a, you are an extrovert. Your energy levels feed off of human interaction.
If you answered b, you are an introvert. Your energy levels feed off alone time.

I used to think I was a bad mother for not enjoying my children every second of every day. I mean, I wanted children so badly when I was told we'd have a very hard time even conceiving, let alone birthing. one child. Some women just love the noise, mess, and chaos that a child comes, or children come, with. I am now convinced that those women were not made to be mothers while I have to work at it. Nor do I longer believe that they are better mothers than I am. They are clearly extroverts. The noise, the connections, the interactions - that's what recharges an extrovert.

Mothering, (or parenting), as an introvert makes a hard job even harder. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent, or a working parent, if you're an introvert, it is harder. You love your child/children dearly. However, there are some days you just don't want to see another person. Those are the days that, even if your child is/children are behaving, you struggle to get to bedtime.

This does not make you a bad parent.

I will repeat this.

This does not make you a bad parent.

You need to figure out how to help yourself.
Do you need to journal? Write a blog? Do a video blog?
Do you need 10 minutes of complete peace and quiet once a day? Twice a day?
Do you need one night a month to do something alone? One night a week?

Whatever it is you need, tell your support system. If you don't have a support system, get one! Even if it is one other person, you need someone in your corner. Even if you're an extrovert, you need your tribe!!

Parenting is hard. Being responsible for another human life is a big job. Don't discount your struggles because you feel like you're the only one in your boat. I guarantee there's plenty of people in your boat. Just remember that it's a lifeboat, and you have help! You don't have to have postpartum depression or anxiety to need people. You don't have to be an incompetent parent to ask for help. We're all in this together.

I don't have all the answers, and I'm still figuring out what works for me to get my recharge time in. I cried the other day because I was so over other people, and the only time I'd get to myself that day was getting a lab test done!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Baby C: Final Fourth Week 27 Update


{Please excuse the HUGE pimples on my chin this week. Yuck!}

Final week of the second trimester! There are days when I cannot believe we're so close to D-Day, and others where I question if I'll make it to August or not.

Today I'm took my glucose test, and I'm really hoping I pass!

Today's date: May 11, 2016

How far along: 27 Weeks

Total weight gain: 6 pounds

Size and growth of baby: Final Fourth is the size of a head of cauliflower, or a Charlotte Royale! She is around 2-1/2 pounds, and 14-1/2 inches long. Her taste buds are more numerous now than they will be at birth, so Final Fourth can really taste what I'm eating via the amniotic fluid. Her brain is showing activity as it becomes more complex. {via}

Baby is a: girl!

Maternity clothing: They are looking pretty ragged, but we're pushing through. I am feeling over it in terms of getting dressed. I don't want to wear anything I own, and I don't even want to think about it either. Less than 13 weeks, Courtney...

Sleep: Still very tired and restless. I actually have woken up the last 3 nights to pee around 3 am, which has not happened until this point. Plus, I prefer to lay on my right side. If I do, I usually wake up on my back. If I go to sleep on my left side, it's harder to fall asleep, but I usually stay in the position. When I wake up on my back, I'm usually out of breath and my heart beats a little faster than normal for a bit. Sometimes I wake up with a headache, but not every time. I've also woken up with drainage the last few days. Yay for allergies.

Movement: I feel Lexie move at some point every day throughout the day. She seems to have quieter days when I'm having lots of round ligament pain, which makes me a nervous wreck. Hopefully, I'll calm down and just enjoy the movements I won't be feeling from this side again :)

Cravings/Aversions: Main cravings were Chinese food, sweet tea, Cheez-Its, and Nutella. Aversions are still the smell of raw meat, cooking meat in a crockpot, and anything that smells/sounds bad at the time.

Morning Sickness: None, but smells can catch me off guard sometimes.

Symptoms: Heartburn, emotional, sore breasts, dizziness, nesting, gassy, cranky, peeing a fair amount, round ligament pain, and exhausted.

Labor Signs: None

Belly button in or out: In

How this pregnancy is different than the first three: Minus a few minor details, it's pretty much the same.

The best moment of this past week: Getting through the week. It's been a little rough.

What I miss: Nothing at all :)

I'm looking forward to: The weekend, passing the glucose test, nesting, and a nice dinner with friends tonight.
Now to compare pregnancy bumps :)

{Left: Jillian 2011 Middle Left: David 2013} 
{
Middle Right: Lottie 2016 Right: Lexie 2017}

Lexie Bump Comparison:

Saturday, May 6, 2017

First Taste of Summer

Today was a good day at our house.

We didn't start the day with much to do, but we kept ourselves busy! Now that it's bedtime, Phil and I agreed that today was overall a great day.

That's not to say that there was a lack of sass or attitude or crying. {AHAHAHAHA Don't make me laugh!} We feel like the day had an constistant air of happiness and enjoyment.

Phil woke up and mowed the backyard while the kids and I had a leisurely breakfast. Then we went to soccer class for the biggies. Once that was over, David and I went to get his hair cut while Phil and the girls walked to a nearby store to get more baby formula.
{He did a good job of not screaming or crying this time!}
{Also, when did he become a teenager?!?}

After a nice lunch, Lottie went down for a nap, and we gave our new, and bigger, pool a try!
{Jill with Olive}

{Pretending the pretzel is a bone}

The water was freezing, but the kids did not mind one bit. Lottie woke up with plenty of time to try out the water herself!
{Where's Lottie?}

{There she is!}

{<3}

video

video

We ran a few more errands, then had a nice burger dinner. We let the big kids play in the pool one last time before bath.

The weather was perfect. The company was great. It was one of the best days I've had with my whole family for quite a long time.

If this is what I have to look forward to while we wait for Lexie's arrival? Even if it's just once every other week, I will take it. Just give me some watermelon to snack on, and I'll be one happy pregnant lady :)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Baby C: Final Fourth Week 26 Update


Y'all, I've been a wreck. I'm extremely tired, my kids are not behaving well, I'm emotional, and I just feel like a mess. I cried so hard reading the last newsletter from preschool knowing Jill is almost ready for Kindergarten. I'm talking, ugly-soap-opera-actress kind of crying! With every month that Lottie gets closer to her 1st birthday, the more I realize I'm getting her a baby for her birthday! I am pretty sure Lexie will be here either the 3rd or 4th, so their birthdays will be so close together. Plus, we now have new insurance, but no way to access the account. This means, I have to wait on my glucose test until we can get something to prove we even have insurance. {And don't even get me started on the AHCA right now...} Also, my belly was really achy yesterday. Even if I was sitting down, it would just ache, (but not a cramp-like feeling). You'd think my belly wouldn't have to stretch much since I JUST had a baby a few months ago. It feels better today, but it's a little scary to have that kind of pain all day. It's just been a lot to handle/process on little sleep.

Today's date: May 4, 2017

How far along: 26 Weeks

Total weight gain: 4-5 pounds (I need to buy a new battery for my home scale!)

Size and growth of baby: Final Fourth is the size of kale, an eggplant, or butternut squash! She is around 2 pounds, and 14 inches long. Eyes will soon open and eyelashes are fully formed! Her immune system is strengthening for life outside of the womb, and is continuing to practice breathing with amniotic fluid. {via}

Baby is a: girl!

Maternity clothing: All day, err day. I can still wear a few long shirts that are non-maternity, but that probably won't be true for much longer.

Sleep: I'm not having as many nightmares, but my sleep is not restful. I toss and turn to get comfy, and I never feel fully rested. If you see me, I'm probably yawning.

Movement: Moving every day! She does have quiet days, and that can make me nervous. However, I just remind myself that's why I'm not doing kick counts yet, and I feel something throughout the day. It's been lower during the day, but then I'll see some kicking by my belly button at bedtime. I think she's just enjoying the space she has for now. 

Cravings/Aversions: Main cravings were Chinese food, sweet tea, Cheez-Its, and Nutella. Aversions are still the smell of raw meat, cooking meat in a crockpot, and anything that smells/sounds bad at the time.

Morning Sickness: None, but the smell of ground pork nearly sent me off the deep end.

Symptoms: Heartburn, emotional, sore breasts, dizziness, nesting, gassy, cranky, peeing a fair amount, round ligament pain, and exhausted.

Labor Signs: None

Belly button in or out: In

How this pregnancy is different than the first three: Minus a few minor details, it's pretty much the same.

The best moment of this past week: My SIL's shower, and having a Mother's program at preschool.

What I miss: Nothing at all :)

I'm looking forward to: The weekend, passing the glucose test, nesting, and finalizing a summer plan.
Now to compare pregnancy bumps :)

{Left: Jillian 2011 Middle Left: David 2013} 
{
Middle Right: Lottie 2016 Right: Lexie 2017}

Lexie Bump Comparison:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lottie: {Nine Months}

Lottie –

You are nine months old today! I say it every month, and I always mean it, how can you be such a big girl already?! I just gave birth to you!

According to the doctor this afternoon, you are 19 lbs, 11 oz and 27-1/2 inches long. You are our largest baby so far, but you're still tiny to me!

6-9 Month, 9 Month, and a few 12 Month clothes are what you are wearing. Most of the 6 Month clothes are too small for you now. You wear size 3 diapers, as well as special overnight diapers to keep you from having leaks at night. You can wear size 2 shoes, but you don't really like anything on your feet.

You are eating 5 bottles, and 3(ish) meals a day. You drink Similac formula, with a little mix of Similac AR to help with spit up. We ran out of the AR once, and tried just regular Similar formula. However, you started to cough and reflux pretty badly. Dr. V told us that you will probably grow out of it by your birthday, but for now to keep up the AR. We'll be exposing you to sippy cups more to see if you will be able to transition easily. You still prefer your bottles to solid foods. You don't always eat much solid for breakfast or lunch, but dinner you usually polish off with no problem! You also eat plain Cheerios and puffs. You are getting pretty good with grabbing them off your tray. Aside from texture, there does not seem to be a food you dislike the taste of.

You sleep from about 8 pm to 7 or 7:30 am. You take 1 cat nap during the day, and one longer nap around 2 pm. Your swing doesn't swing anymore, but that's usually where you prefer to have your naps. If we give you a blanket, and your sound giraffe, you'll sleep pretty well. We do have to keep the giraffe on if we want you to stay asleep. We may need to invest in a sound machine to keep you asleep for naps. We'll see though :) You usually sleep on your back, but have been rolling onto your tummy lately. Luckily, I know you're old enough that it's ok. You started to wake up once or twice a night, but that has since stopped. We think it was just the 9 month sleep regression because you've made such progress with physical milestones this month. Overall, you're a good sleeper, and we do not take it for granted!

Bath time is fine. You don't seem to dislike it, but you're not big on playing much. We're going to be switching you to the duck inflatable tub this month. Maybe you'll like that more!

You now have four teeth! The bottom and top two are out and about. You even have the cute little gap in between your top teeth that your siblings have too :) You chew on anything you can get your hands on, and chomp away. You especially like mama's hair, burp cloths, cell phones, and wipes. Still no pacifiers for you, though we tried one last time this month. I guess you just won't be a pacifier girl.

You are on the move, little miss! You can roll to both sides, scoot backwards, army crawl. spin 360 degrees on your tummy, crawl on all fours, and sit back up from crawling position. You even pulled yourself to your knees this afternoon! However, you have a little ways to go with strengthening your legs in order to stand for longer than 30 seconds. You'll get there soon, sweetie! You are quite the wiggle worm, and we have to watch you carefully so you don't get into trouble. Peering over the edge of chairs and high places is fun for you, but usually scares your mama. Also, your older siblings have a tendency to not pay attention to where they're going. Even the dog has accidentally knocked you over! You can clap flat handed, and it looks like you're trying to wave lately. That'll be next, I'm sure!

We are so thankful for your sweet disposition. You are a very easy baby, and seem to be very happy 90% of the time. When you're not, it's usually because you a) don't feel good, b) are overly tired, or c) separated from mommy or daddy. You just started showing separation anxiety in the last 2 weeks. We know it's a phase, but it is nice to be wanted so much by such a sweet baby :) You still don't laugh often, but you smile with your entire face constantly! We are complimented about you when we're out in public. You always leave a little sparkle wherever you go!

You got to celebrate your first Easter this month! You didn't seem to understand all the early morning fuss with the baskets, but you were a dream at church. You loved watching the older kids hunt eggs, holding/chewing on the eggs yourself, and didn't even mind meeting the Easter Bunny at an egg hunt :) You were ready for your nap after church, but I think we all were. Only 1 more holiday for you to experience before you've lived through them all!

Things you love: being tickled, food (especially your bottle), watching brother make silly faces, chewing on everything, getting attention from sissy, crawling, exploring the living room, "petting" Olive, blankets on your face, being with people (especially mommy and daddy), your sound machine giraffe, your special song mommy sings with your name, and being held. You don't enjoy: being hungry, being tired, being in a chair or swing when you want to be held instead, and loud barking.

Charlotte Eliza May, we love you so dearly! Your smile can brighten the darkest days, and your laughter is contagious! We are proud of all you've accomplished already, and look forward to what's in store :) Love you, Vanilla Bean Latte!

And now a few outtakes:
{Sweet girl!}

{Smiling at her brother}

{This is dedicated to everyone that has told me "I've never seen this baby cry!" LOL}

{Toy piggies make everything better :)}

{Trying to rock right out of the chair!}

{Well that's a nice face...}

{Her personality is really starting to shine through}

{Goodness! That smile and those eyes just melt me!}

And a few comparisons :)
{Months 1-3}
{Months 4-6}
{Months 7-9}

{Left: Jillian 9/2012 Middle: David 9/2014 Right: Lottie 5/2017}

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Baby C: Final Fourth Week 25 Update


Today's date: April 27, 2017

How far along: 25 Weeks

Total weight gain: My scale at home needs a new battery. I'm going to guess I'm at 3-4 pounds gained.

Size and growth of baby: Final Fourth is the size of a rutabaga, napa cabbage, or Tarte Tatin! She is over 1 1/2 pounds, and 13 1/2 inches long. Although she flips around everyday, Final Fourth is learning the difference between being upside down and right side up! Hair is starting to show in the color it will be at birth. {Will they be a red head? Blonde? Brown?} She is continuing to gain weight so that they won't be so wrinkled at birth. {via & via}

Baby is a: girl! Alexandra Grace

Maternity clothing: All day, err day. For the most part, things still fit. I have a feeling nothing will really fit by the last few weeks.

Sleep: Really groggy in the morning, and desperately want a nap during the day. I have a feeling I won't be getting any extra energy this pregnancy. Not surprised, but it does make nesting harder.

Movement: She is moving every day! In fact, I saw her kicking around before I ate lunch today :)

Cravings/Aversions: No real cravings this week. Aversions are still the smell of raw meat, cooking meat in a crockpot, and anything that smells/sounds bad at the time.

Morning Sickness: None!

Symptoms: Heartburn most days, sore breasts, dizziness, nesting, gassy, cranky, peeing a fair amount, round ligament pain, and exhausted.

Labor Signs: None

Belly button in or out: In

How this pregnancy is different than the first three: Minus a few minor details, it's pretty much the same.

The best moment of this past week: Getting a storm shelter for the rest of tornado season!

What I miss: Nothing at all :)

I'm looking forward to: SIL's baby shower, and getting baby prep done!
Now to compare pregnancy bumps :)

{Left: Jillian 2011 Middle Left: David 2013} 
{
Middle Right: Lottie 2016 Right: Lexie 2017}

Lexie Bump Comparison:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Catch Up

I am playing catch up today!

Between Easter, busyness, exhaustion, potty-training, and everything else going on, I just didn't have it in me to try and update. Well, I take that back. I typed up my pregnancy updates, and even took pictures. However, I just didn't have time/energy to edit the pictures and officially post the updates. {See Also: #fourthbabyprobs} Anyways, those updates are up and back posted :)

I had a much needed mental health day yesterday, that also coincided with getting a storm shelter!! I'm SO happy to have that little underground room! Also, we're going to be having nasty storms Friday, so the timing was perfect ;)

All this to say, I'm hoping to keep my energy up and continue posting as often as I can. Hope you are all doing well!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Baby C: Final Fourth Week 24 Update


Today's date: April 20, 2016

How far along: 24 Weeks - first official viability milestone! :)

Total weight gain: I'm at 2 pounds gained.

Size and growth of baby: Final Fourth is the size of a cantaloupe, ear of corn, or demi baguette! She is around 1 1/2 pounds, and a full foot long. Although she is pretty lean right now, Lexie's body is building up proportionally and will continue to plump up over the next 16 weeks! Final Fourth's lungs are growing "branches" as well as a substance that will help the air sacs inflate when she is out in the world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will be changing soon. {via & via}

Baby is a: girl!

Maternity clothing: All day, err day. Some of my clothes are starting to wear down a little. Come on, I just need 15 more weeks!

Sleep: Nightmares are fewer, but still not getting restful sleep :(

Movement: She is moving a few times every day. I have to remind myself to not do any kick counts right now because Lexie is still too small for that. Luckily, she's been pretty good this week about kicking around the time I start to worry.

Cravings/Aversions: Mostly strawberries, but otherwise no real cravings. Aversions are still the smell of raw meat, cooking meat in a crockpot, and anything that smells/sounds bad at the time.

Morning Sickness: None!

Symptoms: Heartburn most days, sore breasts, dizziness, a few headaches, gassy, cranky, peeing a fair amount, round ligament pain, and exhausted.

Labor Signs: None

Belly button in or out: In

How this pregnancy is different than the first three: Minus a few minor details, it's pretty much the same.

The best moment of this past week: Hearing Lexie's heartbeat, finding out her ultrasound scans, (particularly her heart), look great, and getting some much needed advice.

What I miss: Nothing at all :)

I'm looking forward to: SIL's baby shower, getting a storm shelter, and getting baby prep done!
Now to compare pregnancy bumps :)

{Left: Jillian 2011 Middle Left: David 2013} 
{
Middle Right: Lottie 2016 Right: Lexie 2017}

Lexie Bump Comparison:

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