Monday, December 31, 2018

Video: Christmas 2018

I am working on getting caught up on my posts as much as I can, but I made videos to help document our Christmas memories from this year.  I want to get better about compiling our family home movies because I think this may be the way our children will want to view our old family memories when they are all grown up.  I also need to work on taking more videos because there is just something about videos that really help tell the story.  You don't just see the images, but you hear them and feel like you are reliving them.  So here's to starting my family home movie I need more projects to complete.  Haha! 

Video 1 ~ The events leading up to Christmas are often as memorable as the actual day of Christmas.  We had fun getting our Christmas tree, decorating, walking through the magical Christmas lights of our local botanical gardens, and visiting Santa. 

Video 2 ~ Christmas Eve and Christmas Day filled with joys and traditions.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Christmas Blessings from Us

So I did get a few Christmas cards mailed out this year and some of you may have received yours.  For those who did not, I hope you will accept this as a special virtual Christmas card for you.  I wish I could send one to everyone, but the cost of creating and mailing cards has risen exponentially over the years.  We receive less and less cards every year from friends and family as well so I know I am not the only one who feels the struggle.  I sincerely hope you all enjoy the merriest Christmas and happiest New Year! 

I have enjoyed making our own Christmas cards the past few years, but I did like this card from Shutterfly which still gave me the ability to include a little yearly summary.  We did not get all matching pajamas this year.  Evan and Brody got new pajamas while Mattox and Grayson got to wear some of big brothers' old Christmas jammies. 

While we didn't do as much traveling, it really has been a full year for us.  

I wanted to include a yearly picture of each boy so I included their birthday pictures.   11 and 7 for Evan and Brody. 

And 3 and 2 for Mattox and Grayson. 

And the back of our card included our family with our newest addition on the way. 

Some outtakes of our Christmas pictures.  Grayson was really showing off.  

Brody was being so silly. 

Arms and hearts full. 

And who could resist this cuteness? 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Baby Update & Special Ultrasound Pictures {29 Weeks}

I have been so behind on writing about this pregnancy, and I could list a myriad of reasons.  Mostly, this has been an exhausting pregnancy in which I spend most days just barely caring for my household duties.  I do want to remember this special time though, but we have been having a lot more concerns this time around from the very beginning.  It started just a couple of weeks after we found out we were expecting this little surprise when I was about 7 weeks pregnant.  I awoke in the middle of the night to that dreadful sensation of bleeding.  Sure enough, there was enough bright red blood in the bed to raise serious alarm.  I cried and prayed, and we headed to the hospital in the morning after seeing our oldest boys off to school.  Thankfully, the bleeding had stopped in the night so it was not too severe which led me to hope for the best.  After a long and lovely wait at the ER and a very quiet and nontalkative ultrasound attendant who did nothing to relieve my concerns, I was finally given positive news that everything still appeared to be as it should be.  The cause of the bleeding was ruled a minor subchorianic hemorrage which seemed to have already corrected itself.  I still had to wait anxiously for a follow up appointment with my obstetrician to see a heartbeat and confirm all was well.  The months that followed were not too eventful, and I just experienced the increased exhaustion of pregnancy with four other children to care for.  At 19 weeks, my obstetrician wanted me to have my anatomy scan performed at a high risk specialist because of my age, hypothyroid condition, and history.  At that visit, we did see a healthy baby girl and were very relieved, but we also did find one cause for concern.  Her placenta was shaped abnormally, and the specialists wanted to keep following me closely to see if it corrected.  If it didn't, it could cause some issues with baby getting enough blood and nutrients from it later on and thus not growing like she should.  We were scheduled to come back in a couple of months for a follow up check.  My obstetrician was monitoring me in the meantime, and I was only mildly concerned that each time I walked into their office with kids in tow, I was so out of breath and tired that my blood pressure would be slightly elevated.  I had never had any issues with blood pressure before.  It was not too high to be a major concern, but it did alarm me a little.  I decided Eddie would need to accompany me to future appointments to help with the kids.  I also started back on my daily iron supplement which also seemed to help my extreme exhaustion and did seem to help keep the blood pressure in check.  Last week, we had made it to 29 weeks and made a trip home to NC to visit family for an early Christmas celebration.  While there, we scheduled a special 3D ultrasound session to get some special pictures of this precious baby.  She was a very active girl and did not make it easy to get her pictures, but she was adorable and still appeared healthy.  When we got back home, I had my follow up appointment with the high risk specialist for another medical ultrasound.  This time, they not only confirmed that the placenta was still shaped abnormally, but there was also a higher level of fluid around the baby and even a slightly elevated amount on one side of her brain.  As a genetic specialist informed me, the fluid in the brain was not a major cause of concern at this point because it was not a significant amount at this stage of pregnancy.  It would have been more concerning had it appeared earlier in the pregnancy with more time to increase.  We did some extra blood tests to check on a possible cause for the fluid such as an infection or other genetic concern and those results did not show any problems.  I also followed up with my obstetrician the next day for my glucose test.  The nurse called with my results.  My sugar level was in the 170s.  Normal is under 140.  Sigh.  So I got to experience the 3 hour glucose test to find out if I have gestational diabetes.  Thankfully, I did pass the 3 hour test so apparently my metabolism just takes a little more than an hour to process food and sugar these days.  Another sign of old age I guess.  With all that I have been feeling and the increased fluid around the baby, I was very anxious about all of those results.  I had never experienced any of these issues before.  The only light I can see from any of this is that my physicians will be following me much more closely in the next couple of months.  I already have to go weekly now to the high risk specialist for BPP checks on the baby.  It just feels like it has been one thing after another.  We are praying and believing that this baby and I are in the Lord's hands.  He definitely gave us this little gift!  Thank you for your kind prayers and thoughts through these anxious days.

For now, I enjoy gazing at these pictures of our sweet girl's little face and dreaming of what she will be like when she is here safely:

Such a sweet face.  I think she looks mostly like Grayson here with her little nose and lips. 

Cute little feet that would not be still. 

She has such a cute little nose. 

I think she looks like Mattox here. 

Cute little feet and toes. 

A little frown as she may not have been too pleased with having her picture taken. 

A cute little ear and maybe some peach fuzz hair on her head already.  She also had her cord close to her face.  

Puckered up for a kiss. 

We can't wait to meet you, little princess. 

All of my precious miracles together in one picture.  We have been so blessed! 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Our Halloween 2018

This Halloween was a bit more simple as Mommy did not feel like walking the neighborhood.  Luckily, our church hosted a trunk or treat which was just the right kind of fun for our younger kids.  Evan just wants to go off with his older friends in the neighborhood now anyway.  We did all go together to a little trunk or treat at the park hosted by our community fire and rescue teams.  It was very dark, and I didn't take the big camera so it was hard to capture pictures on my phone.  Still, I think we made memorable Halloween memories.  Sadly, we didn't do any pumpkin carving this year.  We have to renew that tradition soon.  Sigh. 

We had a Harry Potter, Cowboy, Policeman, and little prisoner this year. 

We were a little late for most of the goodies, but we enjoyed seeing the decorations. Charlie Brown is always a winner. 

Grayson was learning to trick-or-treat. 

The monster ambulance was cute...I mean scary.  Haha!  Brody wanted to get his fortune told. 

Daddy even dressed up as a pirate. 

Only Brody didn't mind talking to Sparky the firedog. 

My adorable little prisoner got locked up for stealing hearts! 

His big brother cop laid down the law. 

Thank goodness we had Harry Potter to fend off the evil forces of the night.  One almost got Grayson. 

That evil figure of death was quite scary. 

Maggie had to be a part of my costume.  She would have fit into my caldron easily. 

These sweet boys were ready to play on the inflatables. 

Our car was decked out as my witch den.  Our pastor's family made a cute construction worker team.  Our other friends' did a cute emoji theme. 

The Toy Story theme took the top prize and was really over the top.  They had most of the toys from the movies, including Lotso, Evil Emperor Zurg, and the talking phone.  There was a McDonald's theme that gave out the McDonald's beanie baby toys.  I should have thought of this as I still have tons from my younger days.  

The Candy Land theme was also a hit.  The kids loved following the path to get their candy. 

A hawaiian theme, another witch theme, and of course, a football theme since we live in football country here. 

Another cute Halloween theme and I think an underwater theme.  There was also an archery game for the older kids to play. 

This policeman and Catboy make quite a pair.  

Doing some trunk or treating. 

Oh, I love that prisoner so much! 

And of course, oodles and oodles of candy!  Evan was trying to be stingy and take it all for himself! 


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