Friday, October 14, 2016

20 Weeks With Baby Quinn

 How Far Along: 20 Weeks (a week behind, as I'm 21 weeks today. But also at our 20 week ultrasound, baby boy was measuring 21 weeks, so that makes him 22 weeks now but for documenting sake will stick with the original due date and be happy if he arrives earlier ;)
Size of Baby: 10", about the length of a banana. We found out this week he weighs 14 oz. 
Gender: BOY! 
Maternity Clothes: I'm packing some maternity dresses for our baby moon trip this coming week so it will officially be the first donning of maternity clothing but I wanted to be comfy :)
Movement: Baby boy is getting stronger and gave us quite a show at the ultrasound. He kicked and flipped, waved, hid his face with his hands, stuck his tongue out, sucked his thumb, and rolled all over. He is still relatively laid back in general though and saves his best tumbling for late night hours. 
Cravings: I'm not saying my turkey sandwich and fruit days are over but I am getting to that point where I just don't have a huge appetite. I don't really get hungry so cravings are waning. 
Symptoms: No new symptoms, feeling great and enjoying getting to know this new little man. 
Best Moment of the Week: Getting to see our boy for the first time and hear that he is perfect in every way, healthy, and growing strong! We had a wonderful technician who let us look as long as we wanted and the kids all enjoyed being able to point out different bones and the hands and feet of their new brother. We then got a surprise 3d ultrasound which we've never had before and we spent another long time staring at our new baby stick his tongue out, play with his hands, and yawn. Even Madison was waving at the baby as we all soaked up the few minutes of peeking into his world. We can't wait to have him hear in another few months! 

And an extra belly picture for fun because Wils ran into the frame yelling "cheese with mommy!" and how could we resist that? :) 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It's A...

We all walked into the midwife's office today, all six of us together.  
All of us bursting to find out whether baby Quinn was a boy or girl, the kids even more than us!
We all made our final guesses and the majority of us were completely wrong!
The ultrasound of our thriving, kicking, thumb sucking baby was unmistakingly all BOY!
We were immediately elated and in love with our newest testosterone bundle to join this crazy household!
In my excitement I came up with this awesome idea to get blue silly string and let the kids go at it for a fun gender reveal photo shoot for family and friends. 
What I did not count on was two of the cans malfunctioning leaving large blue liquid stains on white dress shirts, or the discovery of Madison's profound fear of silly string being ejected. 
The first several frames are of her bursting in tears and running away from the blue string fight as fast as she could. 
Once some of her brothers convinced her to hold an empty can that "can't spray you anymore" she clutched it tightly and stood guarded between her brothers warily for the rest of my crazy photo shoot. :)
We cannot express how blessed we feel God chose us to be the Dad and Mom for this new little man, and that He chose our family as the perfect fit for him! Being able to glimpse into his being knit in secret today was a gift for all of us and we can't wait to hold him in our arms! 
Baby Boy Clark coming February 2017! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I've lovingly coined the term, three-atrical, to describe this part of life with Wils. 
The kid has been known to fall face first down on a hard store floor and lie dead still with his arms by his sides, and not in protest like you may think. But in sheer joy over something that excites him or just to elicit gasps and chuckles from bystanders. 
At least once a grocery shopping trip he will tell some innocent fellow shopper all about his day and the injustices of being three complete with not being able to ride his bike in the street yet or reach the candy in the cabinet.
 He is known to face palm while groaning, "Not again!" usually over something like having to take a bath. 
And then there's this photo shoot he directed in the apple orchard. "Mom!" he hollered, "take my picture right here!" I began walking towards him and he emphatically motioned, "No Mom! Stop right there and take it. I will smile, say cheese, be a superhero, and them say apples!" 
And he did. And I clicked away. And we ended up with this Wilson directed shoot. 
Which is one of the reasons he is three-atrical :) 

Friday, October 7, 2016

19 Weeks With Baby Quinn

How Far Along: 19 weeks (I'm a week behind, but what's new ;)
Size of Baby: 6", about the size of a large mango
Gender: We find out this week!
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, mainly thanks to tunic tops being in style, yay!
Movement: I'm feeling more and more movement and the kicks are getting stronger every day, but this little baby definitely has a calmer temperament and seems content to just cuddle up to the relaxing sounds of his crazy siblings. Baby Quinn (short for Quincy which is what my family has affectionally and officially named this baby,) will have a built in white noise machine with this family! 
Cravings: I'm gonna say turkey sandwiches and fruit but just pretend you read something different like ice cream and steak to give yourself a break from reading the same thing every week. 
Symptoms: Not too much of anything, though I did experience some of my first run-ins with real heartburn and I haven't really dealt with that before. It was after a sip of water! 
Best Moment of the Week: Matt got to feel Quinn kick for the first time this week which is always a favorite moment when Daddy gets to start connection with the new baby :)

Jefferson at 19 Weeks
Harrison at 19 Weeks

Thursday, September 29, 2016

18 Weeks With Cinco de Clark

How Far Along: 18 weeks
Size of Baby: 5 1/2", about the size of a large bell pepper
Gender: Two more weeks until we find out!
Maternity Clothes: Matt just went to dig out the box of maternity clothes from storage so I can take a look at what I have and start more closely eyeing those fabulously loose waistlines haha!
Movement: Baby's kicks are getting stronger and more frequent. Baby is very still after my workouts or hiking with the kids, etc as if all my moving around rocks him/her to sleep. But when I'm lying still or reading with the kids I feel lots of reminders that #5 will be here before we know it! :) 
Cravings: Not sure I can keep up with the monotony of this one, turkey sandwiches and fruit. Maybe I should just invent a new craving so I could write something different one of these weeks. 
Symptoms: Nothing right now other than an expanding waistline and baby kicks; definitely into the happy second trimester stage. 
Best Moment of the Week: Wilson is very much in love with this baby and loves knowing baby can hear him. He will daily come and kiss "his baby" and sing "his baby" a song. :)

(Not really a belly update, but at 18 weeks pregnant with Jeff we were moving to Tennessee. I can hardly believe all that has happened since that blog post!) 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Why I Forced My Kid to Rock Climb

For his birthday, Harrison's Mimi and Poppa gifted him with a much anticipated rock wall climbing experience. 
Due to hectic schedules we were just recently able to get him geared up and standing at the base of an indoor rock wall. 

All of his previous gusto left him with one long wide-eyed study of the steep wall he was about to scale. 

Before he was two feet off the ground he was ready to quit and go home. He wanted down, out of the harness, and to run for the hills. 
And I said, "No."
 In fact I said, "you're not climbing down; keep going. Go all the way to the top. You are not quitting."
And he did. He scaled not one, not two, but three different walls, each higher and harder than the last. He wasn't ecstatic and still kept mentioning his plans to quit but I kept my mantra, "I'm not letting you quit, you've got this!"
He left that gym with tired arms and shaky legs but his head held high. As the weeks have passed he loves looking as these pictures and now talks about his accomplishment very proudly. In fact some of his retelling accounts have completely left out his desire to quit and focused on what he achieved. 
In this day and age of child-lead parenting, I'm sure I came off harsh and unloving as I forced my kid to cling to a rock wall against his will. But I knew long term what giving up would do in his head and heart.
This world ahead is filled with rock walls to scale for my kids. They will daily be faced with challenges and a choice to quit. I'm not raising quitters. I'm raising men who finish what they start, who never get out when it gets tough, who have been through sweat and tears themselves so they can come alongside someone else in the throws of a hard climb. 
My kids aren't giving up when Satan throws his attacks, because he will. And they will have the foundation to keep fighting no matter how tired they are because they know giving up is never an option, especially because of their victory through Christ. 
Maybe an afternoon at a rock wall climbing gym won't solidify that completely, but the foundation was laid. And because he finished what he started and completed the goal he can say he never quit... and that he'd much rather be tackling a wide receiver on the ten yard line. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

17 Weeks with Cinco de Clark

How Far Along: 17 weeks
Due to loading up and driving home we failed to grab a belly shot, so enjoy one of baby's awesome four big sibs. :)
Size of Baby: 5", about the size of a pomegranate 
Gender: Three more weeks until we find out! :)
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but I am starting to feel some kicks at my waistbands. 
Movement: As baby grows I'm starting to feel the various kinds of movements not just kicks which is always precious and miraculous. 
Cravings: Turkey sandwiches and fruit, are you surprised?! 
Symptoms: Morning sickness is now all but gone. There will be a random moment here and there where I'll have major food aversions but for the more part it's in the past yay!
Best Moment of the Week: Being able to start the week out at our favorite place in the world, the beach. Cannot wait until next year when I have all five of these awesome kiddos playing in the sand together :)

Madison at 17 Weeks
Jefferson at 17 Weeks