Friday, December 9, 2016

Torture By Camera

I love my camera. I love my kids. I love using my camera on my kids, which is primarily how I use it. 
And for the most part I have compliant kids. Though it's not their preferred use of time. 
Let's face it, they'd rather be wrestling, chasing wild animals, or stick sword fighting, but at least they stand and smile until I give them the all clear. 
And believe me, I've learned the "all clear" needs to come sooner than later. They only last but so long. And the nicer the clothes, the shorter the time span. 
So armed with sweet tarts and my bag of lenses we marched off into the woods for our annual Christmas pictures. 
This year was freezing cold, I'll give them that. It also had torrentially rained the day before so we were literally standing in mud pits.
But the boys maintained stain free clothing for a whole ten minutes before two of them got into a good hearted scuffle and the other fell out of a tree. 
But the surprise of the day came in the form of this princess. I mean, I just assumed she'd pose as willingly as her big brothers, but oh no, it's not her royal highnesses' style. 
She filled the woods with musical screaming for the entire shoot. They only times she stopped the dramatic waterworks were if I tricked her into looking for a dog or a bird. Occasionally a mouth full of sweet tarts would buy a few seconds of frames. 
I'm sure anyone listening to the sounds from within the woods probably thought there was a severely wounded animal. But the torture session was quickly wrapped up as I practically ran my mud covered, stick wielding, screaming crew back inside away from nosy neighbors. 
And don't worry, the princess's tears magically disappeared once the door closed behind us. She even crawled up beside me on the couch as I uploaded the pictures and cheerfully said, "Cheeeeeese!"

Friday, December 2, 2016

27 Weeks With Baby Quinn


(This is a terrible picture, but the idea is to document this baby boy's growth)

How Far Along: 27 Weeks, yep still behind...and I skipped a week. I'm on a roll people!
Size of Baby: 14 1/2" long and about 2lbs 
Gender: BOY! 
Maternity Clothes: Just my Blanqi leggings and tank but everything else is normal due to the way I carry. 
Movement: This little man can make some waves literally. Matt can feel him move just laying in bed next to me! If a sibling is anywhere close to my lap vicinity he will stake his territorial claim with jumps and somersaults. 
Cravings: No cravings, just getting to that point where there's no room in there for eating or breathing haha!
Symptoms: Can we say nesting?! There is not a corner or closest of this house that is safe from this inhuman drive to purge and organize! 
Best Moment of the Week: My birthday was this past week and it was pretty awesome celebrating with handwritten cards and crayon drawn bouquets and hearts. Being surrounded by these five little gifts was the best present of all and I feel immeasurably blessed! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Annual Thanksgiving Interview

It might be a few days after Thanksgiving Day, but considering I stay a week or more behind on pregnancy updates, I like to think this is a positive tardiness. 
Pregnancy brain is a real thing people, and I completely and utterly admit to suffering from it and my kids completely and utterly admit to taking advantage of it! 
So five days after Thanksgiving when I realized we hadn't done our annual "thankful for interview" I was happy to count up only being five days late and bonus points for it still being November! 
So I leave you with the interview results and will let your imagination fill in the inflections and sound effects that boys may or  may not have added during the question and answer session...
What is one item/thing you are thankful for?
Harrison: My family
Jefferson: Family
Wilson: Playgrounds to climb! (Keeping it real.)
Who is a person you are thankful for?
Harrison: Jaden
Jefferson: Momma and Dad
Wilson: Jaden and Asher, my friends! (said loudly)
What is something spiritual you are thankful for?
Harrison: God gave us eternal life!
Jefferson: Jesus died on the cross to save us and took all our sins from us!
Wilson: Jesus is my friend! (still loud)
What is a weakness you are thankful for?
Harrison: I get angry easily but it helps teach me self control and how to be an overcomer. 
Jefferson: I get my feelings hurt, but God is teaching me to love even when I hurt and not to treat other people like that.
Wilson: I don't come when Mommy say, "Wilson!" So yeah, God teaching me that. 
What is one health related thing you are thankful for?
Harrison: Doctors, but not if it's a doctor that gives medicine to make your muscles weaker, only doctors that have medicine to make them get stronger. 
Jefferson: My strong muscles!
Wilson: My body is healthy! (each word is enunciated slowly and progressively louder)
What is your favorite Thanksgiving Day food?
Harrison: Getting the turkey leg on the fried turkey
Jefferson: The turkey and the mix (chex mix)
Wilson: Uh, special treats, all the special treats! (Still loud)
This Thanksgiving has been filled with heavy days surrounding ourselves, and family, and friends. In light of all the sadness our earthly minds cannot comprehend I'm thankful for my five reminders of God's goodness and keeping our hearts focused on gratitude for all we have. 
No bite of food, no worn tennis shoe, no very loved baby doll, no arms-tight-around-neck hug, and no breath taken is by mistake or without blessing from our good Father. To the Lord who gave and the Lord who takes away, blessed be your name! 
Praying you and your family rested peacefully and abundantly in the care of our Jehovah Jireh!
Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Friday, November 18, 2016

25 Weeks

How Far Along: 25 weeks (once again getting behind, what's new?)
Size of Baby: About 13 1/2" and 1 1/2lbs, 
Gender: BOY! 
Maternity Clothes: Still living in my leggings :)
Movement: Baby boy is getting stronger and bigger; I'm able to make out definite feet or his tiny bottom pushing out sometimes. :) 
Cravings: Nothing too much as my appetite is still nonexistent. 
Symptoms: I found out at my midwife appointment last week my thyroid is once again going whack.  Four out of five of my pregnancies this has happened so I'm used to it, but pretty happy that this is the longest it has gone without messing up. It steadies back out once baby is born but just needs a little help while I've got a growing baby. 
Best Moment of the Week: Getting to hear this little man's heartbeat is always something to look forward to, but he made it entertaining this week. Right as my midwife picked up his heartbeat he kicked right at the doppler and actually knocked it from her grasp! 

(the week he tried to come early!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Unschooled

One day last week the November temps hit 80 degrees. 
That's optimal fall weather in my opinion, but NOVA doesn't typically see such amazingness in the fall.
Antsy boys prepared to open phonics and math books, I was washing dishes, and Madison stood at the door staring up the street to where Matt's car had just driven away to work. 
How in the world could this perfect fall day go on without being out in it? 
So I told the boys to close the books, put on some shoes, and load up. We found ourselves at the zoo and finished our school day among the elephants and naked mole rats. 
The boys tested the limits of gravity, and my blood pressure, by balancing from and jumping off various platforms and ledges. 
We discussed deciduous trees, chlorophyll, and herbivores v. carnivores. 
We got to watch them feed the elephants and ask the zoo keepers questions while they did. The elephants meal reminded my crew that they needed to eat too. 
So we stopped for a snack by the gibbons where the boys learned to identify the males, females, juveniles, and babies based on their fur patterns and coloring. 
After hours of exploring, kids emptying my snack bag, and a ride on the carousel, we all agreed this was a great school day. Learning without a textbook is just a crucial and not easily forgotten; the boys are still talking about those naked mole rats ;)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

24 Weeks With Baby Quinn

How Far Along: 24 weeks
Size of Baby: About 12", the length of an ear of corn
Gender: BOY! Getting excited to meet this new little man!
Maternity Clothes: I pulled out my new Blanqi maternity leggings. For any of my preggie friends these are my new favorites and a must have! I cannot praise Blanqi enough! I also have their layering tank top and the support is insane! Literally zero lower back aches, decreased round ligament pulling etc. And it makes everything smooth with no lines under clothing. 
Movement: This guy is getting stronger by the day, literally. His movements and kicks are getting more pronounced and I now can identify body parts. This all makes me a little nervous with his size and since we already know he was well ahead of average 20 week measurements at our 20 week ultrasound I'm wondering what size this kid is going to be! 
Cravings: I pretty much cling to my daily turkey sandwich but appetite is still on the downhill slide and I'm not really craving anything these days.  
Symptoms: Not too many crazy symptoms, hormones still trigger tears without warning. Not being someone given easily to shedding tears I'm surprising myself when I just tear up over good news, a Facebook post, a sappy commercial, etc. 
Best Moment of the Week: We had a great family weekend just being able to plan for the future and think and dream about houses, cars, who would share bedrooms, what is it going to be like as a family of 7, etc. It's special days like those, full of dreaming and planning about our growing family, that are special to me in their own simple way. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

23 Weeks With Baby Quinn


How Far Along: 23 Weeks (I'm again a week behind, but we've been a tad busy.)
Size of Baby: 11 1/2" about the length of an eggplant
Gender: BOY! We're almost settled on a name but praying about it to make sure ;)
Maternity Clothes: Not yet but I owe that fully to the fact that leggings expand and tunic tops are still in style. 
Movement: Baby boy is starting to make stronger and stronger movements. If I lie still on my back he's already doing those tummy warping somersaults. All the boys have had a chance to feel him and Wils screamed and giggled uncontrollably when he had his turn to be "kicked" haha! 
Cravings: My appetite isn't huge lately but once again, and I know you're shocked at this point, I'm pretty happy with a turkey sandwich.  
Symptoms: Maybe it's growing baby #5, maybe it's the fact that we've been in multiple countries and states in a very short time frame, maybe it's that I haven't gotten a full night's sleep in awhile due to a whole host of reasons, but being tired is pretty much a constant state these days. 
Best Moment of the Week: This week we traveled over 11 hours to spend a few days with our incredible friends. It's always a gift to spend time all together and this visit was nothing short of that. Every single one of us down to Madison had a blast and it was hard to say good bye again. But we are so thankful for the sweet memories we made this week all together. This is the only picture I took on the day I actually turned 23 weeks pregnant and it isn't technically a belly shot, but glad we captured this fun day of unplanned matching before we all headed out to our favorite Japanese steakhouse.