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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

16 Weeks With Cinco de Clark

How Far Along: 16 weeks (behind again but being at the beach does that to me ;)
 This week's belly shot and crazy beach hair brought to you by seven incredible days in the Outer Banks. 
Size of Baby: 4 1/2" long, about the size of an avocado 
Gender: In about a month we find out! 
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but the countdown to the need continues as a definite baby bump is appearing.  
Movement: Feeling stronger kicks and flutters, saved mainly for when I finally crash into bed at night. 
Cravings: Turkey sandwiches and fruit- I know, I'm a broken record
Symptoms: No more morning sickness as of about five days ago! I'm thoroughly convinced this is due to the coastal air and it's medicinal benefits ;)
Best Moment of the Week: Taking baby on his/her first beach trip!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

15 Weeks with Cinco de Clark

How Far Along: 15 weeks
 I love this week's belly shot. Harrison asked to be the photographer and the other guys were having a blast playing tag around me. I love everything about how this perfectly sums up my mom life :)
Size of Baby: 4", about the size of a navel orange
Gender: Scheduled the big ultrasound appointment for early October! Cannot wait! 
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but my mind keeps wandering to storage bin of stretchy waistlines in the basement and I might have to go check it out soon. 
Movement: Just today I felt a few definite kicks at my shorts waistband and loved every single one of those little kicks. 
Cravings: Turkey sandwiches and fruit
Symptoms: Nausea now seems hit or miss in the evenings. I'll be fine for a few nights and then get nailed with lovely waves of nausea one night out of nowhere, but I'm hoping those are fading fast!
Best Moment of the Week: Harrison got to come with me to my midwife appointment and he was very excited to hear the baby's heartbeat. He proudly reported to his brothers that "our new baby sounds like a mix between the Millennium Falcon and an electric guitar!"

Madison at 15 Weeks
Wilson at 15 Weeks
Jefferson at 15 Weeks

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Back to School?

We use the phrase "Back to School" loosely around here. Blessing or curse, homeschooling pretty much encompasses a year round mentality.
We are constantly learning and discovering no matter what the calendar says but we do pull out the new books around August after a laid back summer break of sorts. On our first day we stay in our pjs, eat our donuts and have a "not back to school" day. 
This year our curriculum grades are all over the place. We're covering five grades worth of material due to stronger or weaker points and learning styles and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
Officially this year we have a 2nd grader who is not a fan of math or poetry but loves history and anything he can get his hands into, like experiments. Our kindergartener is a math whiz and five weeks into our official school year is almost half way through his math book. 
Our pre-schooler loves coloring every picture blue, no matter what it is and knows his letters even though he consistently pretends he doesn't know and makes something up when I ask. Our youngest student loves chewing on erasers and pulling books off the school table that brothers are trying to work in. 
2016-2017 school year looks to be full of adventure and that's the way we like it ;)