Monday, January 30, 2012

Today at 36.5 weeks.

I woke up this morning and was feeling terribly "off." Which made me a bit nervous. But, No baby today. hurray.
Just a long Target shopping trip by myself with the boys in school, seriously, hours just strolling slowly knocking off things on my shopping/hospital/nesting/packing/repat list. They are having a baby sale this week and that sucks me into the store even more. Can I just say, how great it is to be back in the States and able to drive myself where I want to go, to go in the clothes I am wearing and go in the afternoon. All three things that living in the Sandbox really doesn't allow. I guess in a nutshell I'm enjoying the freedom of being here, missing Mike of course and my own home and routine, but generally being back has been good for awhile. Which, only makes me think and well, know, the transition back to the Sandbox will be another hard one.  
Two highlights from today, weather in the 50's and an afternoon playing outside with the boys. Which then led to an early bedtime and two boys fast asleep at 6:45 p.m. Which makes sense because they were up so late last night and up so early this morning.
The other highlight. Another surprise package from my darling husband back in the Sandbox. This time, a package of gourmet cookies and another little love note. Feeling loved on a day when I needed it. Thank you Mike. I love you, miss you and need you!

36.5 Weeks.
 She fills every square inch of my torso these days. Literally, she is stretched out. Toes tucked under my chest in my ribs and her head pressing down in my pelvis. The boys always tucked and went out. Not this little lady. Maybe that is why I don't seem as big as I did with the boys. Even the OB mentioned how stretched out she was and that maybe she wouldn't want to be a swaddled baby but more of a spread out one. There's not much room for anything else anymore or to bend over anymore. Even while face timing Mike yesterday Owen patted my tummy and told daddy "mommy's tummy is REALLY big now."
In a perfect world only two weeks left. I'd love to have baby girl on the 13th of February. It's my mom's birthday and she was born on her grandma's birthday. (Although I know Mike's dad is hoping for his birthday on the 14th)That will put me at 38.5 weeks, the longest pregnancy I'll have. I can have goals right?
Hugs, A 

Another Week or So Gone By.

Another week has come and gone and we are another week closer to having a baby.
Over the past few weeks I have taken my feelings of "nesting" and focused on a few projects while also enlisting the help of my awesome mom.
In just a week, four hooded bath towels, over 50 burp clothes (I plan to save some of these as gifts for the baby boom happening on camp), seven receiving blankets and a small quilt for the baby. Mike's parents are in middle of busy season and spend most nights late at the office. So once the boys are in bed I've spent a few hours sewing and cutting patterns. Maybe it makes me feel productive, or just gives me something to do with my hands, either way it's been a bit therapeutic for me.
Here is the pile of homemade craftiness.  
 Some of the burp cloth fabrics.
 The quilt. Originally I bough this fabric for a car seat cover and then decided to make a blanket. I found some matching pink minke fabric for the other side and satin blanket binding. We added batting and then ties to keep it together. Really my mom busted out this beauty the last morning she was here.
This past week I also had an ultrasound to check on the measurements of the baby and then another OB visit. Both pretty eventful. Maybe more than I'd want them to be.
The ultrasound photos are below. Baby is estimated to be about 6.4 lbs last Tuesday. Her head is measuring 1.5 ahead, but still much smaller than the boys. So there is hope.
 At my OB appointment on Friday I found out that my Braxton Hicks have been more productive than I had hoped. I am now dilated to a 3, not so bad, right? But with being dilated I am also 50% effaced. We then had the conversation where the doctor told me if I start to have contractions regularly to not "labor at home," but to come right in. She has a feeling that when my body decides to labor, the baby will come fast.
I called Mike and woke him up in the middle of the night. (It was 3 p.m my time.) I'm a tad nervous and wanted to make sure he was on alert too.
So this past weekend I have begun to wash all things baby, set up the room and started to pack my bag for the hospital. I am hoping that if I am ready to go, nothing will happen. I still have a few more things to pick up tomorrow, but progress is being made.
No more Zumba classes for me and a very limited gym list of can do's. My mom pretty much told me not to go to the gym until she gets here this weekend. But sometimes I think I go to the gym more for the boys too. It will be an interesting week. If you've been reading my blog long or know me well enough, you know the gym is my happy place. And, I NEED a happy place right now.
I do have a fantastic husband who is working late nights to finish the boys bunk bed before he comes here. He's working hard on getting our home in the sandbox ready and I know he missed us as much as we miss him.
He's sent me my favorite chocolates and last Monday he surprised me with sending a sweet bouquet of flowers. Here's my cute mom holding them. I was not so cute that day, so no photo with me.
There are so many other things to update and post. But let's face it, I am slowing down and am tired. I think Owen has finally conceded and fallen asleep. So while the boys are down I plan to tuck myself into bed as well. Owen was sick last night, so I am looking forward to more than two solid hours of sleep and sleeping in fresh clean sheets.
Hugs, A

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


We have SNOW!
and some very excited little boys!
 Making snowballs. 
 We were almost fully equipped for the snow. Every thing minus snow boots. Owen lost a tennis shoe half way through the yard and then a mitten. 
I put Carter in a pair of my boots. He complained at first, but when Owen started loosing shoes I think he was grateful. In fact they both complained about the snow bibs at first. My kiddos had no idea that is in fact a key choice for outdoor snow attire.
Carter told me, "people are going to make fun of me." 
But once again, when we got outside that was the last of that. Just happy little boys rolling around in, stomping and running through, snow ball making and having a blast in our morning winter wonderland.

Finally... A REAL snow angel!  
Winter has finally arrived for us in Idaho. About time, we'd had enough of just cold. Some how the snow makes the cold worth it.
Happy Winter!
Hugs, A

Monday, January 16, 2012


It's 7:43 and the house is quiet. Both boys are fast asleep and have been for almost 20 minutes.
It's in these still moments when I finally have a chance to think, daydream, plan and breathe.

Mike asked me today if there is WiFi at the hospital where we plan to deliver.
Just in case.
I didn't like this question, but perhaps I understand a little of what he is feeling as well.
We're a long way away from each other in the final weeks of such a big life changing event, another child.
I suppose we are both filled with a bit of anxiety about the distance.

Owen came out of his shell today at preschool.
They said he talked all day long.
A good thing, because the past week he seems to have kept to himself, mostly his blanket and thumb.
This is an adjustment for him too.

Carter is still Carter.
Outgoing, non stop and lately a melt down man.
I suppose this is how he is dealing with all of these changes.
But there are moments still, when he crawls into my arms to tell me he loves me and I cherish those moments.
Last night he crawled into bed to snuggle, normally I send him back to his room.
But last night,  I had a feeling and knew that these little moments won't always be available.
So I let him stay and I'm glad I did.

Another baby will change so many things for all of us.

This little one frequently gets the hiccups.
A funny little consistent nudge.
Then she also has her acrobatic hours, where I feel my tummy roll and softly push back any elbow or knee she extends.
My entire torso seems to be filled with baby.
I'm excited to meet her and see what her little spirit will bring to our family.

Perhaps in these quiet moments I should tuck myself into bed too.
I know sleep will be hard to come by very soon.
Even now I toss and turn all night, I have moments where I lay in bed wishing to be fast asleep on my tummy rather than my side.
I miss Mike.
Sleeping next to someone you love seems to take away any sense of anxiety or fear.
It leaves you with a sense of security and comfort.

So the rest of my quiet moment will be filled with a basket of laundry to fold and a bit of down time.
Hugs, A

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Baby Updates.
I am now 34 weeks pregnant. 3-4. I am rounding the end and getting ready to bring this baby home. I am excited and nervous all at the same time.
Baby bump at 34 weeks thanks to the Itouch.  
I had another OB apt. this week. I am continuing to dilate, this week I am at a 2. But not effacing yet, so she doesn't seem too worried, but decided to start seeing me weekly to keep checking. My blood pressure was high yesterday too. Not out of the normal range, but high for me. I'm under a bit of stress holding down the boys and the fort by myself is challenging and I would lie if I told you it wasn't taking its toll on me.
I'm only measuring about a week ahead, so I'm hoping our little lady will be smaller than the boys were. I am scheduled to go have an ultrasound in the next two weeks to check and see how big she really is to better plan if we will be induced or not. (Although my OB did tell me she would induce at 39 weeks, so that is Feb. 16 at the latest.)
I ordered the CUTEST little ruffle bottom diaper cover and matching headband for Baby girls newborn photos. I'm giddy with excitement!
My mom came into town for two days.  We started the car seat covers for the baby, made superhero pillow cases for the boys and I am working on hooded bath towels. I have yet to make a headband for our little lady. I have to admit I may not for awhile, I am tired.
Carter and his Superman pillow case.
Owen and Batman pillow case.
Today (Saturday) I managed to knock out a few more towels and finish up the base of the other car seat cover. The only thing left are the straps, which because we have worked so hard on them I don't want to mess it up, I plan to wait to finish the straps until my mom comes back this week.
Here are the two patterns we made. Both undersides are black and white polka dots. I am in love with the large ric rac. I decided the covers should coordinate with the car seat, a bit compulsive? most likely. The new car seat is black, white, red and a damask pattern. I am in love with it. Girly and sophisticated all at the same time.
I've sorted through baby clothes (dividing sizes into groups - I'm planning to take back enough clothes and such to last at least until August when we come back to the States for our 2012 repat) and am starting to think about packing my hospital bag and what to bring our little lady home in. I haven't started washing yet, I'm counting on another visit from my mom to tackle that task, along with making burp cloths.
The shopping and nesting continue. I have two boxes already packed and ready to take back in March to the sandbox. One with "holiday lights" that I am so lucky we found a few days after Christmas! I plan to take 8-10 and know that I need a head start if I am going to be able to really knock out our list of things to take back.
Mike is busy nesting for me back in the sandbox. He purchased the baby bath tub and ya know what, he bought it in pink. It was his first pink purchase. He is currently working on painting and other details in the baby room- I can't share all the details, but it's going to awesome! You want occasional surprises, I know you do.
Happy Thoughts for tonight! (I really need one today, this afternoon I feel pretty crappy and the boys have been ruthless.) *Side note* I started this post last night Friday and am finishing it on Saturday. Today has been better than last night. 
I got a haircut this week. I feel refreshed and a bit lighter. I took an inch off and added more, shorter bangs. Sometimes you just need a little change. That was one of those days.
Boots, I finally have boots. I've been talking about wanting boots for months!!! Cute boots, tall boots, tuck your skinny jeans or leggings into boots. Three pairs- Merry Christmas from Mike, and these boots in the winter make me happy.
So even if I have gained 30 lbs and am carrying around what looks like a watermelon at least I feel skinny and cute in the boots, the boots that I will be able to continue to wear even after delivery. It's the little things I tell you, the little things that will get me through.
Hugs, A

Friday, January 13, 2012

Happenings from the week.

Happenings from the past week or so.
It's cold. I knew it would be cold, but I think I forgot what cold really feels like.
We had one morning of snow, which lasted until the afternoon. But we did enjoy the big fat flakes for the hour we had them here.  
Last Saturday I loaded the car with the boys and we were off for the day. We survived, the distribution center, the mall- several stores and the food court, Costco and an icee run. I think I just needed to be out and around people that  today. However the mini nap Owen took from Eagle to Costco kept him up until 10 p.m. Seriously, it's like this kid doesn't need sleep.
We got Mike's dad a snuggie for Christmas. He finally busted it out and Owen promptly informed him it was Mike's (Mike got one for himself too) and to take it off. Took some convincing for Owen to realize they both have one.
At one point almost daily Owen, Carter and I all comment about how much we miss Mike
We talked again, like we do almost daily,  about when daddy comes back, when the baby comes and when we all go back March 11. Carter said that was 'so long away' and he missed his friends.
On the way home from shopping and stopping for ic's at BK, the boys and I were talking dinner plans. Chicken nuggets and turkey sandwiches. Carter then requested mac and cheese. I told him I wasn't a short order cook and that mommy was only making one thing. Owen pipes in, "Daddy makes LOTS of things!"
The boys are really enjoying preschool in the afternoons. With preschool has come the big transition for Owen- No naps! It's sad really. But at the same time, no nap for Owen means he actually goes to bed at night. I mean, lay down and really fall asleep and fast. No battles for bedtime on school days. So both boys have been going to bed between 7-7:30 p.m. and it's a relief. Most nights they sleep for 12 hours. However lately, they are switching off and I seem to have little visitors in my bed and room several times throughout the night.
I've also discovered if I separate them at bedtime they both fall asleep much faster. So each night Owen falls asleep on my bed and then I transfer him over to the room with Carter. I figure for now, if this provides me with a bit of sanity it is worth it and we will deal with the results back in the sandbox when they are falling asleep in the same room again. I caught this little moment of Owen the other night.
We are all going to the gym in the mornings about four days a week. It's fantastic to have gym day care again and they boys usually run right in. Mostly, because their cousins are usually in there too. I am taking it easy at the gym, my boot camp days have come and gone. I am doing some Zumba, but even with that I am in the back with the old ladies working on low impact moves. It's actually pretty comical to watch this eight month pregnant body try to wiggle my hips to the music. 
We facetime with Mike almost daily now. So glad for that. Carter now asks Mike each facetime, to see the status of his bunk bed, and then Carter proceeds to go down the list of things that Mike has to finish this month. "Show me the babies room painted pink... show my her bed..." and if Mike hasn't completed the task, he then says " WHaaaaa- AT??? What are you doing dad?" I promise I do not put him up to this but find it hilarious. Sorry Mike, no pressure, promise.
Hugs, A

Friday, January 6, 2012

online shopping.

This is what three months of ExPat online shopping for a new baby and Christmas looks like. Not pictured are the two car seats, one for baby girl and a new one for Owen and about 10 more boxes we've received since being here. We spent a good chunk of our first night home digging into the pile. It was awesome!
Now that Christmas is over the nesting in person is beginning. I think I prefer online shopping. It rocks my world to search online, hit check out and instead of lugging my kids all over town, have the exact thing I need magically appear on the door step!
Worth every penny!
Happy Repat to Us!
Hugs, A

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Baby Moon.

Happy New Years and Baby Moon.
A quick photo right before we snuck out for the night.
This may have been one of our first times to leave our kids overnight.
We headed into town and stopped for dinner.
We checked into a hotel and enjoyed the peace and quiet time together.
We slept in and it was awesome.
With a baby on the way we know our days are limited to do all of the above.
We relished our New Years/ Baby Moon.

Perhaps if our little lady decides to wait to come until the middle of February we might be able to sneak out again. Did I mention how nice it was?

Even the boys loved having a sleepover with Grandma and Pappa. Funny thing is, that was the one morning the entire week that Carter did not wake up at 6 a.m.

Baby Moon Resolutions.
1. Get Organized. This is even more of a challenge not at your own house and knowing you will have less than a month here and then head back across the world.
2. Hold out. No baby until Mike gets back.
3. Slow down enough to take it all in. Pregnancy is a miracle. Having a little person poke you from the inside out, keep you up with hiccups is a miracle and such a blessing. Five years ago I thought we could only have one baby. Carter would be it. But the Lord has provided, not once, twice and soon to be a third time.  We feel so blessed to be pregnant with our third miracle.

New Years Resolutions.
1. Love more. Be kind and patient.
2. Kick the baby weight out the door by the end of next year. I have no shame, but this extra weight will have to go.
3. Honestly, one of my biggest goals will be to survive the next year with three little ones. I hope that amongst the surviving we will be able to relish the small moments and make those moments count. I know our children will only be little for so long.

Hugs, A

Sandbox Santa Visits.

I posted earlier in December about our special visit with Santa in the Sandbox.
Here are the photos from that special night.

We had some great photos captured by the elves that night and were waiting for our elves to send photos. They've been busy with Christmas preparations. I still wanted to share these.
Thank you to the volunteers that make this special night happen. It truly was magical in every way!
Hugs, A

Christmas Day.

Photos from Christmas.
Christmas Day after church.

 The Night Before Christmas. Carter made sure Santa had cookies and could make his own hot chocolate. He was positive that Santa did not like milk, just like him.
 Christmas morning. 7 a.m. Sharp! Santa did not disappoint.
Carter. Fast car and a stocking over flowing.
 Owen. Drums and another full stocking.
 We decided to open the presents from each other after church.
Owen in his hats and mittens. He also loves his new winter coat.
 We put together Carters very own Artist box. Full of everything this budding artist could need, new crayons, markers, pencils, sketchpads, how to drawing books and so much more.
Funny thing is, he still hasn't taking in it all out and tells me he wants to save it.
 Checking out the hot wheels track.
 Later that night with the rest of the family we exchanged the last of the gifts.
All four boy cousins. Jarom, Owen, Landon and Carter.
 Here's the bunch. Minus a few sitting on the other side of the room.
Hope your Christmas was Merry and Bright.
Our boys are already asking when Santa will come again!
Hugs, A

13 days.

That's right.
We have officially been in the States for a total of 13 days.
13 Glorious and busy days.

Well, Mike only made it 10 days before heading back to the Sandbox.
The boys and I appreciate that he is willing to work hard to take care of us.
I however for the last few days, do not appreciate the fact that the Sandbox is across the world.

I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father did not plan for an eight month pregnant mommy to chase a 4 and 3 year old little boys by herself.
Alas, this is what is has come to.

While Mike was here we went to the OB here for a check up.
I felt like she needed to meet Mike to fully appreciate the need for "timing" and induction for our little lady baby. 
Nothing before Feb. 8. (This is when daddy makes the trek back to us.)
I confessed I have A LOT of Braxton Hicks.
So she checked.
Sure enough.
Dilated to a 1 at 32 weeks.
Oh baby, you have at least four weeks to go.
We will NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT go into labor with daddy more than 24 hours away.
The plan, more water, empty bladder, more time with my feet up and taking it easy.

Good thing Boot Camp is already over.
So elliptical and walking here I come.
Gym time for the boys in the morning as well.
Makes for a much happier Dille bunch.

Before Mike left we found a preschool around the corner for the boys.
Four afternoons a week for three hours.
Sanity for all of us.

The holidays were busy like most of yours.
Christmas Shopping with my honey the day after we arrived.
Jet lagged and all, still loved it.
I ran Mike into the ground, I do believe shopping was the caffeine for me that day.

Christmas Eve party and White Elephant exchange.

Christmas morning with the immediate family.
Followed by church.
An afternoon nap.
Dinner with the extended family and my mom came up from Utah too.
More present opening.

Day after Christmas shopping date with my mom and I.
Just the two of us and a lunch out.
This was a true treat.
I miss my mom.

The following days flew by.
We were busy, exact details not sure with what.
But we were.

New Years Eve the grandparents offered to take the boys for the night.
So off we went.
New Years Eve Date and Baby MOON all wrapped into one!
Mike booked a suite with a large soaking tub.
I've been wanting to soak this tired body of mine for months but our little modular home in the sandbox does not have a tub that will accommodate that at all.
It was a treat.
Confession, I was out cold by 10:30 p.m. and slept until 9:30 the next morning.
Yes, my husband still loves me.

On Monday Mike went back home.
I cried. That night, in the morning, and at night again.
It was a sad, shopping therapy at Target needed, kind of day.

Three days later being a single mom.
Tonight was better.
We are getting into a routine.
At 8 p.m. both boys are asleep.
I can do this.
I really have no choice.

I feel good about my decision to deliver our baby here in the States.
I know this was the right thing for our family.
I also know that this will not be easy.
Perhaps we need to take up the much rehearsed and seen family motto.
"We CAN do hard things."

I miss you Mike.
You took a piece of my heart back with you.
Come back to me in time, ok?
Love you.

Here's to doing it all again tomorrow.
Oh and posting photos from the last 13 days.
Hugs, A