Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Monday, April 24, 2017

21 Week Update

On Wednesday of last week, we made it to our 21 week mark!  Sometimes (well, most of the time), I'm still surprised by how fast this pregnancy is going!  I'm really really trying to savor each moment because we anticipate Avery to be our last little kiddle, which means this is my last pregnancy.  With Michael, I wished away the pregnancy because I wanted to hold that little baby!  With Noah, I was very busy chasing Michael as a crawler, toddler, then walker/runner, and the pregnancy was POOF gone!  This time, with a 4-and-a-half year old, and a three year old, I don't have to do as much chasing, so I'm really trying hard to appreciate each pregnant moment and cherish this time when I feel Avery move and while I have her growing inside of me listening to my heartbeat and creating new "mommy stripes" (aka, stretch marks) to prove she's been there!

Here are our current stats:

How far along? 21 weeks, 5 days
Total weight gain/loss: +11lbs  I'm not happy about this and am going to be more diligent with my exercise and nutrition.  
Maternity clothes? 90% of the time.  I can still fit into some t-shirts, and some non-maternity work-out tops, and regular pajama pants.  Most of my wardrobe that I'm wearing though, is maternity wear.  

Stretch marks? Yep, and I don't mind a bit!
Sleep: Since we're past the 20 week mark, I can no longer sleep on my back.  I have two small lumbar throw pillows, and I put one on either side of me at night so that I don't roll all the way onto my back in my sleep, and whichever pillow is nearest my belly helps support that added weight!
Best moment this week: Really feeling Avery kick!  And sorting through the baby clothes that my sister-in-law is letting us use that her 4 month old little girl has already outgrown!  I never had this many clothing options in such small sizes with either of my boys, so it's super fun to sort through things and imagine Avery wearing them!
Have you told family and friends: Of course!
Miss Anything? I do miss sleeping on my back, and my stomach. 
Movement: She's definitely a mover!  I have not discovered any real pattern to her movements, but I do know that I can lie on my side and be very still when I want to feel her move, and she'll usually do it!  It's the most fun to me to feel her move at random times, like when I'm sitting at my desk or making dinner. 
Food cravings: I still appreciate salty things.  And fizzy drinks-- mainly Diet Dr. Pepper (since it was on sale at Publix!) 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Things that are too sweet make me feel sick-- even just the smell of these things sometimes.  Leftovers that are more than like 4 days old make me feel queasy-- so we have a pretty bare fridge most of the time!
Have you started to show yet: Very much so.  People don't ask me how far along I am, they ask me how far I have left to go because they are sure it's only a month or so, and they're quite surprised when I tell them I'm just over halfway. 
Gender: GIRL! 
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? Out, not all the way, but about 75% out. 
Wedding rings on or off? Off. :(  Still so super sad about this.  They are on a necklace that I'll wear frequently.  And I anticipate it'll be about 3 weeks post partum until I can get them back on. 
Happy or Moody most of the time: Fairly happy most of the time.  Aaron might say I'm moody though.  Tired is what I actually am. 
Looking forward to: My birthday tomorrow!  Spending time with family during the workweek is always a treat!  And experiencing birthdays through the eyes of your own kids-- even if it's your own birthday you're celebrating-- is so fun!  Everything is so spectacular for them and I hope they never outgrow this wonder of birthdays and holidays!

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba

Friday, April 21, 2017

Random Goals: Update

I thought I'd do an update on our Random Goals post.  
  • Nail down Baby names.  We find out gender in less than two weeks!  We found out gender (girl!) and decided on Avery Kate for her name. 
  • Hang up the pictures that I’ve been stacking in the Master bedroom (either in the Master bedroom or Master bathroom or hallway)  One afternoon, I got motivated and hung up the majority of these pictures in our master bedroom.  For the ones that I didn't want to hang (or hung and then didn't like how/where they were hung), I was able to tuck away in the trunk at the foot of our bed, so we can hang them later when I figure out a place. 
  • Having the dining room painted (either bright teal on the lower half of the chair rail, or a very neutral and very light beige) 
  • Having kitchen painted a bright white.  Obviously, with this goal and the one above it, I’ve decided the rooms in my home are too brown.
  • Get into a regular cleaning schedule at the house.  I’m pretty good with dishes and laundry and cleaning out the fridge.  But I could do better at cleaning the kitchen and the bathrooms and vacuuming all bedrooms.
  • Clean the clutter around our bed.  This is mainly Aaron’s thing and he keeps mentioning it.  I’d like to have a very minimalist bedroom.  They say “The state of your bed is the state of your head” and I firmly believe that.  I make my bed each day. It helps me feel more pulled together. If all the clutter was cleared away and the extra items around our bed were put away, I’d feel so much better and would have more room for the pack-and-play for Baby.  Aaron got motivated the day before I hung the pictures, and he totally cleared out his side of the room.  So I cleared my side too and it's so nice to see the floor again!  
  • Change the clothes in the boys’ dresser from winter items to summer items. I shopped at our Spring/Summer Consignment sale and got new clothing for the boys.  The winter things are set aside in our office to be put away in a bin in their closet.
  • Get the wide bookshelf from my mom’s house to use as toy storage in the boys’ room rather than the basket we’re currently using now. Having their toys displayed in front of them would make it easier for them to be able to play with each toy, and will hopefully cause less of a mess instead of their current “dump everything out of the basket onto the closet floor” method for finding toys.  This will also make it easier for me to see what toys they’ve outgrown so I can either store them for Baby or consign them.
  • Gather up clothes I’m not consigning and take them to the thrift store (these include things with stains that won’t come out, and that the consignment sale won’t take). 
  • Sort through my shoes and add no-longer-worn pairs to the thrift store pile
  • Inventory our pantry and freezer (refrigerator freezer and deep freezer) in order to throw out what’s expired and see what meals I can create based on what we have, so that I only have to buy basics (milk, eggs, bread, yogurt) at the grocery store and save money. I did do this, but I didn't get weeks of meals out of it like I was hoping.  I think I got a week to 10 days of suppers from things I could find in our pantry and freezer.  Now our pantry is stocked with up to date things, and we pretty much run out each week before we head to the store. I'm trying to only buy what we can use in a week. 
  • Drink 10 glasses of water each day. I think lack of enough water in my day might be the source of some of the headaches I’ve had.
  • Commit to either doing my pregnancy work-out DVD daily, or doing the 4-mile walking DVD that my mother-in-law is letting me borrow.  
  • Restock Michael’s prize bag for CGM changes  I'm crossing this off because I did do it, but I'll have to do it again soon.  I found some toys in the clearance section of Target that I knew he'd like and I was able to get them into the cart and purchase them while he was shopping with me, and he didn't notice!  He was quite surprised to see a re-stocked prize bag.  I'll go shopping again this weekend to re-stock again. 
  • Commit to potty-training Noah completely! Whatever needed to "click" for Noah to get potty-training has happened and he rarely has accidents at all!  He still wears a nighttime Pull-Up overnight, but he goes potty in the morning with his Pull-Up still dry!  In a couple weeks, I bet we won't have a use for nighttime Pull-Ups anymore.  If we're going to be out and about, we'll pull a Pull-Up over his underwear and knowing that he has underwear on keeps him from having accidents.  There's only been a few instances where he's had a little leak on the underwear, but he recognizes that he needs to go potty and we get him to the bathroom in time to keep it from being a full-blown accident.  At that point, we change his underwear and leave the Pull-Up off of him and he does great!
  • Replace windshields on both cars.  Both of them have several starbursts that are connecting rapidly.
I think it's a pretty good start on our goal list!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Atlanta Weekend

On the last weekend in February, Aaron & I were blessed to be able to take a trip to Atlanta by ourselves!  The boys stayed with one set of grandparents, which was like having their own little vacation! 

Aaron coaches Upwards soccer, so we had to wait until his team had practiced that Friday night.  Fortunately, this was at the beginning of soccer season, so there was no game on that Saturday.  The boys and I went to practice with Aaron, and since his mom is his assistant coach, she took the boys straight to her house when practice was over, and Aaron and I got on the road.  We swung through the Burger King drive through on our way out of town around 6:15pm.  It wasn’t ideal to eat a Whopper while navigating Friday night city traffic getting out of town, but we made do.  Aaron is a better navigator, so I drove while he told me where to go.

We live about three hours away from Atlanta, and they’re on Eastern time there—so when we arrived at the hotel, it was about 10:30pm.  We opted to do valet parking, and the whole staff was so nice to us.  We chose the Aquarium and Breakfast package, which gave us two tickets to the Georgia Aquarium and breakfast vouchers for both mornings we’d be in town.  We headed up to our room and were so thrilled to find that our window overlooked the Aquarium and the World of Coke!

We unpacked our stuff as best we could, and then perused the pamphlets left in the hotel room about what to do in the Atlanta area and what the menu was for Room Service (one of Aaron’s goals for the trip!).

We spent several weeks planning this little trip for ourselves, and originally intended to go to the SuperCross race while it was in town.  We delayed purchasing our tickets and by the time we got around to doing so, the tickets were way-overpriced.  So, we opted to go to Atlanta on the same weekend anyway.  We spent a lot of time choosing our hotel (we selected Hilton Garden Inn Downtown—and I’d totally stay there again!) and narrowing down what restaurants we wanted to try (we chose The Park Bar, and Legacy Seafoods).  My goals were to go to the Aquarium and the World of Coke.  I had been to both places about ten years ago, and since that time, they’ve redone both areas and I really wanted to see the upgrades!  Aaron’s goal was to order Room Service! 

We both fell asleep very quickly and it was SUCH A TREAT to sleep uninterrupted during the night!  

I woke first (surprise) and just reveled in the quietness of my surroundings.  Aaron woke not too long after and we both quickly got ready and ventured to the fourth floor to use our first set of breakfast vouchers!  They had an island set up with scones, croissants, Nutri-grain bars, muffins, etc.  They had a back table set up with coffee, hot water, tea bags, and orange juice and the waffle maker.  Then they had a hot bar with breakfast hash (SO GOOD!), bacon, biscuits, eggs, etc.  Then you could order French toast or omelets or pancakes.  Aaron ordered an omelet the first morning, and I got French Toast.  It was so tasty!  We could order drinks from our waiter if we didn’t want to get our own from the back table, or if there was something we wanted (like apple juice for Aaron) that wasn’t offered on the back table.  The waitstaff was so polite and we got excellent service—which rarely happens for us! 

We went back to our room (on the twelfth floor) and got ready to go to the Aquarium.  Our hotel passes allowed us to go through the City Pass line, which meant we got to skip all of the crowds!  I have to have my bag inspected, and then we were supposed to be wanded, but the Aquarium employee looked at me and then simultaneously made a dome shape in front of this tummy and asked me “Are you…… you know?”  I realized he was asking me if I was pregnant, and I smiled and said I was.  I was showing, and was about 13 weeks along, but I wasn’t showing enough to be very obvious to strangers.

We stopped and had to pose for pictures before entering the aquarium, and I didn’t know that we had to go to a kiosk while in the aquarium to get the pictures—so I missed out.  I emailed the company and they are planning to upload all pictures online eventually, so they kept my name and description of what we were wearing and said they’d notify me when the pictures were available online.

The Aquarium was so cool!  Our first stop, obviously, had to be the Ocean area where the Whale Sharks are!  Ironically, I am terrified of both whales and sharks, but I love whale sharks.  I thought there was only one Whale Shark, but there were actually three.  We rode the moveable sidewalk so that we could just peer above us at the glass enclosure without actually having to watch where we walk!  After the moveable sidewalk ended, we entered into a room where there was a humongous glass wall where we could watch the whale sharks, sting rays, manta rays, eagle rays, sea turtles, and a plethora of fish just swim around.  

The announcer said that they’d be feeding the whale sharks in about 30 minutes, so we found a seat and waited.  The room got very crowded over about 25 minutes and Aaron said “do you really want to see them feed the whale sharks, or do you want to go wander around the aquarium while everyone else is in here?”  We chose to go exploring and had the place nearly to ourselves!  We checked out the rain forest area and the lake area and the arctic area where Aaron tricked me into looking around a corner into a tank that had Beluga whales in it!  Not cool.  We really really enjoyed looking around at everything, and then we bought two stingray toys for the boys to use in the bathtub. 

We headed back to the hotel to drop off our loot and rest a bit before heading to lunch. We chose to eat at Park Bar for lunch.  Aaron had eaten there when he was in Atlanta for a Seahawks/Falcons game two years earlier.  He raved and raved about their burgers and how you can create your own, so we decided to head somewhere we knew was good!  It was a very windy day and we navigated Centennial Park through the wind and with my hair in my eyes.  

Park Bar was just on the other side of the park.  We got a table quickly and already knew what we would order since we had studied the menu online beforehand.  The bar was noisy with Mardi Gras parade participants (who knew that was going on in town on the same weekend? Not us!).  I ordered a turkey burger with avocado and other toppings which I can’t remember now.  I got the side salad for my side and it was DELICIOUS!  I don’t know how they did it, but it was so gosh-darn tasty!  

We walked into the wind on our way back to the hotel, so at least my hair wasn’t in my face!  We had debated going to the Pit area of the SuperCross race, but Aaron found out that you had to have a ticket to the race before you could buy a Pit pass, and the tickets were $300, so we chose not to do that.  We made firm plans, though, to be back in our room by the time the race started so we could watch it live. 

We rested a little bit after lunch, and then headed to the World of Coke!  It was still windy, but at least the lines weren’t long.  As soon as we entered the “holding area” of the museum, we were given a complementary 10oz aluminum Bottle-shaped-can of regular Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, or Diet Coke.  We then headed into a room and learned a bit about Coke marketing, and then we watched a video of the worldwide reach of Coke.  Then we were free to explore the museum on our own.  The line to see the Vault where the secret recipe is kept was huge!  I didn’t have an interest in seeing a piece of paper (it’s not like they’d let you read the secret recipe anyways), so we skipped that part.  We went through the bottling area where we could see how the bottles are cleaned before they ever get the syrup and water, and we learned about the proper temperatures for everything and how every single bottle is documented in the system.  I’m not sure what other areas of exploration were offered because we headed to what we came there for: the tasting room where we could try coke products from around the world!  We found lots of favorites and teased each other with some foreign products that were gross!  After the tasting room, you had to exit through the gift shop (talk about marketing!).  We bought prizes for our parents (for keeping our kids or our dogs!) and bought a basketball each for our boys. 

We headed back to our hotel for a rest and to get ready for dinner.  We chose Legacy Seafoods, which was attached the hotel—so, super convenient!  We walked in to the lower level and were told just to sit anywhere.  We chose a table tucked away from the doors, since it was still quite windy outside!  We ordered two appetizers—shrimp cocktail, and calamari.  For dinner, I got the salmon with seaweed salad and vegetables.  Aaron got a yearly special that’s only available three weeks out of the year.  It was a Norwegian fish (skrete or something), so he was tapping into his Norwegian roots!  (Having a background of Norwegian and Native American ancestors means he has a few weird things attributed to his ancestry!) His frisse salad was too dressed, but the fish and peas were very very good!  I ordered a Boston Cream Pie for dessert take-out. 

We headed back up to our room and got in comfy clothes to watch the SuperCross race.  We caught the tail end of a NASCAR race (one of the lower classes of NASCAR—not the main drivers).  The guy driving the Lilly Diabetes car won!  We were thrilled (as Type One parents usually are about this kind of thing since it means more awareness for Type One!)  We researched the driver and found out that he was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes six years earlier, when he was beginning his racing career.  He was told he wouldn’t be able to continue to race, so he designed a mechanism to allow himself to have two drink straws in his helmet—one for water (as is common) and one for juice (in case he goes low). His CGM sits on his dashboard where he can see it, and his Crew Chief also keeps tabs of what the CGM says, and it’s his Crew Chief who will give him an injection of insulin if needed, during pit stops. We thought this was so cool!  He didn’t let labels defy him and ruin his dream.  He persevered and developed a plan to keep racing. 

After this race, the SuperCross race came on and Aaron ordered his room service—Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  I pulled my dessert out from the mini fridge, and we enjoyed dessert while watching the race.

In the morning, we used our other set of breakfast vouchers and I got French toast again!  Aaron also got French toast, and a side order of biscuits and gravy.  We packed up our room, settled our bill, got our car back from valet parking, and headed home.  On a Sunday morning leaving Atlanta, there were hardly any cars to be seen!  We made good time getting home, picked up our boys, and were home in plenty of time for our new washer and dryer to be delivered and installed! 

That weekend was such a treat and a blessing to us!  We came home refreshed and ready to tackle the obstacles before us – ie, daily occurrences of being parents to two little boys, one of which has an incurable illness.  We are very thankful for the family we have who are able to watch our children (and pets) for two nights so we can have a mini-getaway.

Until Next Time
Much love, Reba

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Avery Kate

Yesterday, in the midst of the storms and bad weather, we had our ultrasound to find out the gender of Baby P3.  Aaron was planning to meet me at the doctor's office but got caught at work right in the middle of the worst part of the weather, and he couldn't leave.  My dad told me earlier in the morning that he would drive me to the appointment if I wanted him to.  I did ask him to drive me, and he decided to stay in the waiting room during the appointment so that he didn't find out the baby's gender ahead of anyone else. :) So, it would just be me who found out, and then I would bake a cake and put pink or blue frosting in the center.  Aaron & I would prepare dinner for our family (our boys, and we invited our parents over too), and then Aaron would cut the cake to reveal the color of icing-- meaning that he'd find out with everyone else!

The first stop of the appointment was the ultrasound.  The tech & I discovered a very wiggly baby!  It took a little time to get the baby to turn in a way where we could find out the gender.  The tech finds the area and says "It looks like you're going to have a little girl!"  I instantly teared up!  I said barely above a whisper, "That's what we were hoping!"  I really couldn't believe it!

The tech continued with the ultrasound and we saw the four chambers of the heart, two good kidneys, good spine formation, and good levels of amniotic fluid.  The doctor told me later that as far as ultrasounds go, this was phenomenal.  He said he can't keep me from all harm, and problems could still arrive further down the road, but usually most problems show up at this appointment, and nothing was glaring in this ultrasound.  With Noah, I had a placenta misplacement, and had to return for a follow-up ultrasound in 4 to 8 weeks, where we found that the placenta had moved to where it should be, and saved me from a definite c-section.  This time around, the placenta is where it should be, and I am happy about that!

Little Baby Girl P loves to keep her hand by her face.  It was this way during the 11 week surprise ultrasound too.  She also likes to get into seemingly uncomfortable positions!  She had one entire leg up by her face the whole time, and the other leg stretched out.  So, the only profile picture we could get includes a very visible leg at the top part of the picture!

I find this very funny now because, to me, it means that she will be independent and strong.

Towards the end of the ultrasound, she opened and closed her mouth multiple times, like she was telling us something very important!  The tech and I just watched her in awe.  And although I've felt quite a few baby kicks this last week, during most of the ultrasound as we watched her wiggle and thrust about, I didn't feel a thing and I told the tech "I see her moving, and I can't feel it.  So, when I do feel her move, I'm just imagining how much more forceful she's being!"

I asked the tech, probably in the middle of the ultrasound, if she was sure of the gender.  She said "Oh yes.  I don't tell people if I'm not sure.  I've gone back over the area many times and I'm sure."

I spent the rest of the appointment just kind of in shock that we get to have a little girl!  It was hard for me to keep my composure and not just blurt out to my dad what I was having!

Aaron got home and made his homemade lasagna (homemade pasta-- his specialty).  I had barely finished frosting the inside of the cake and then frosting the whole outside of it white, and then cleaning all the bowls so not to leave any evidence behind when he arrived home.  I was super tired and took a snooze on the couch while our boys "napped" (read: did not nap, but rather aggravated each other for the entire course of naptime).  :)  Aaron would keep looking at me and saying "I'm tempted just to ask you now!  I don't think I can wait."  But I made him wait anyhow.

Family arrived and I had Aaron go ahead and cut into the cake.  He said "Now?  I thought we'd eat first."  And I said "No one can wait that long!" :)  He cut a piece and lifted it into the air so every parent and our two little boys could see.  There were cheers all around!

Michael and Noah had so desperately wanted a sister, and they were very thrilled!  Michael still believes she will be named Sweet Butterfly Sally Cutie Caterpillar, but alas, we are not going to choose that name. ;)

We have decided on Avery Kate.

We had settled on Kate as a middle name a long time ago, but Avery came to me recently as we were choosing a list of names. We both liked it, and after Aaron squashed another name I had picked out, we chose Avery to be the replacement and we think it just fits.  We like different and unique names for girls, and this one fits the bill.

We called our grandparents, and texted or called our siblings and best friends to share our news.  We're very very excited and are looking forward to August and all that it will bring.

Aaron did tell me last night that he only thinks he'll have to change 25% of the diapers and I told him no way.  He said he doesn't know anything about little girls and won't know how to properly change the diaper.  I said I don't know much about little girls, and we'll both change the same amount of diapers as we did with our sons-- sharing the burden as equally as possible! :)

Tonight, I will shop at a consignment sale for a spring and summer wardrobe for my boys (mostly for Michael since he has no one to give him hand-me-downs, but I do buy things for Noah as well) and for baby clothes (since we have nothing for a girl, and hardly anything left from our boys).

We are very thrilled with the blessing God has given our family and I pray that Avery Kate grows to serve Him well.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba