About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wow, But She's So Big!

I have two children, and most of the people who read this blog know them. One is petite, and one is not. That is why they are often mistaken for twins. The younger one is as tall as the older one, and unless someone has an unexpected growth spurt, she will be taller within a year or so.

They are both healthy and at a good weight for themselves. I have asked the doctor about this. I have wondered about childhood obesity with my “big” child and failure to thrive with my “small” child, but they are both on their personal growth curves and have been for a while. He is happy with their growth.

So, lately, I have been thinking about this. The younger child is always exclaimed over, “She can’t be three, she’s so big for three!” “Wow, she’s a big girl!” “Oh I thought she was five!”

I wonder, do these comments sink in? We do not use the word “fat” in our house, even though I definitely could fall into that category. We talk about exercise and healthy food. We try to encourage healthy behaviors. But one child is, undeniably, bigger than the other. It’s just in her genetic makeup. My kids have a lot of tall genes in their heritage, one just failed to get any of them. And, for the record, the "bigger" child is not overweight, nor does she have a BMI issue. She is just genetically "big."

I know that body image is a very real thing for kids, and that it is becoming an issue at younger and younger ages. I know this because I taught. I know this because I was a kid with a body image issue. I want to protect my daughters from this struggle, yet people are already making comments about their bodies. Comparing them to each other. It hurts me.

I was always the “big” kid in my class. Looking back at pictures, I absolutely was not overweight, but I felt like I was. I remember feeling this way from about fifth grade on. I was not petite, I developed early, and, well, other people in my class were slim and trim. I probably never in my life wore a size 2, but many of the girls throughout my junior high years did. I was also tall, which when you are taller than all of the boys in your class is not always a good thing.

I remember being self conscious about my size. I do not want that for my daughters, any of them. But, when people are already making comments about how “big” she is, and I even catch myself doing the same thing, I wonder. Is the damage being done now? If they continue to follow their growth curves, my younger child will have a small, petite older sister she towers over. How will she feel about that? How will I help her accept herself as she is? She already weighs more than big sis. How is she going to feel when she realizes what that means, exactly?

But, more importantly, what do I do now? What do I say to the well-meaning older ladies at the store who make comments? How do I assure my little girl that she is fearfully and wonderfully made without being rude to these strangers?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hooooooop It!

Last night the girls made up a basketball game. N would pass the ball to M across the living room, then M would dribble it to the front door and "shoot" it at the wall. I thought I heard N yell "Hoop it, hoop it M!" so I peeked my head in the room. Sure enough, N was cheering her sister on: "Dribble it, dribble it, now throw it. HOOP IT M! HOOP IT! Yeah! You hooped it!"

This, of course, meant "shoot it." as in "shoot a basket." I was cracking up! Then this morning she tossed her jammies up on her top bunk, "Mommy, I love to hoop it!"

You just keep hooping it sweet girl, and loving your life and your sister!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

31 weeks update

How far along? 31 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Slept through the night two days in a row this week!!!

Best moment this week: Finding out that my doctor still thinks we will go to term, just with lots of extra monitoring.

Movement: Slowing down a little, but any time I get worried I can get her to move :)

Milestones: On my babycenter week-by-week email I got notice that she should be about 3.3 pounds this week. She was 3.5 at my ultrasound three weeks ago. We grow 'em big! We also have a NAME!

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope. A few Braxton Hicks but they are going away.

What I miss: My house not being a construction zone. Tim is working hard and doing a great job, but this flooring is taking longer than we thought it would!

What I am looking forward to: Finishing this pregnancy.

Weekly Wisdom: It's ok to relax sometimes. In fact, if you don't, your doctor may just prescribe it ;)

Complications Update: Ok, so, my 24-hour test came back with proteins. That means that my kidneys are not functioning properly. Now, there are two things that could cause this - the high blood pressure and my little adventure in dehydration land over the weekend (which landed my in the hospital). Regardless, this has caused me to be sent in for a consult with the high risk people again. She thinks maybe we need to adjust my medication, but every time they have increased it I have gotten really dizzy and feeling like I am going to faint. My doctor thinks that it is NOT pre-eclampsia and does not anticipate putting me in the hospital or on bed rest, she also thinks we will make it to 39 weeks and a full-term delivery. However, the kidney and blood pressure issue and even the pre-eclampsia do put me at higher risk for placenta failure or placenta previa, not to mention HELLP disease. So, because of that, I have to be monitored very closely.

This means twice a week visits to the doctor for two-hour appointments where they do a non-stress test, ultrasound, blood pressure check, and measure the baby. I am so blessed to have good friends. I have already had two offer to help with Miss M during this time so I can go on non-work days. The school also said I maybe could add her to the days she does not come, depending if they are full or not. I am not sure what we are going to do - need to make wise choices because Miss M still needs time with her mommy too. Also, with gas being $4 a gallon, I am not thinking that driving all over town (most of my church friends live in a different town) is a good use of my money, but putting her in school five days per week is not a good use of my time as a mommy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quotes from Big Sis Miss M

Miss M is excited about becoming a big sister. Here are a few quotes.

"Mommy, da baby will cry, and I will give her a nuk nuk, a kiss, and a drink in her bottle. Then she not cry."

"Mommy, the doctor gonna cut your belly like this (hand running across belly), take da baby out, then stick your belly back on. You gonna have an owie." (this after I explained how the baby comes out after she asked some fairly detailed questions. I explained both types of birth but this one is definitely easier for her to grasp at 3.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

30 weeks update

How far along? 30 weeks. For some reason, this feels like a milestone.

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: So tired. Enough said.

Best moment this week: At church Sunday the baby was moving so I took M's hand and put it on my tummy. Her face was so sweet. She got this look of wonder in her eyes and just smiled so big. I love that.

Movement: Still very active.

Milestones: passed the glucose test!

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope

What I miss: My energy. Do you know where it went?

What I am looking forward to: Not much. We are getting to have lots and lots of testing weekly from here on out. Oh boy!

Weekly Wisdom: My children do not like me to cry. It makes them cry.

Complications Update: Today my bp was up at my appointment, and I have had some higher readings this week. I can get them down if I sit for a while, but my life does not involve a lot of sitting. I have also been swelling some at night. SO my doctor is starting more aggressive testing. I have another 24-hour test to do tomorrow into Friday, then weekly non-stress tests and ultrasounds to monitor growth. It makes me tired just to think of it. This is the first time I have felt concerned that something could be happening way earlier than expected. Honestly, I am overwhelmed. I have no place for this baby yet (of course, if things go south she will be in the NICU for a while which I don't even want to think about. How on earth do you do the NICU with children at home? I know people who have done it. . . but I don't know how we would swing it!)

I have so much to do to be ready for this baby. We need a dresser, and would prefere not to buy the cheap new one we can afford but rather a sturdy used one. I haven't even thought about going through the clothes yet, because there is nowhere to put them. The big girls' room is far from done, and Tim is still working (hard) on our flooring. He's doing a great job but it's taking way too long. I wanted to do this prep while my mom was here and it just didn't happen. I am overwhelmed, wishing for a little more time and a little bit of help :(

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

One of "Those" Days

It wasn’t really a bad day.

Just one of those days I question my decision to become a parent, and especially to become a mom of three. And one of those days that solidified my desire to be the mom of ONLY three.

First, let’s set the stage. It all started with the time change. Now, my kiddos are older, and they have taken time changes in stride before. Not this time. This one has thrown them for a loop and they are just, shall we say, off. It doesn’t help that the great bunk bed transition has made for a little less sleep all around. They are adjusting beautifully to sharing a room, though.

Add in a Monday. Mondays are hard. Sundays are busy, and we are tired on Mondays. This Mom-of-the-Year scheduled a checkup on a Monday. During quiet/nap time. Mistake #1.

So, we pick up big sis from school and she is in a mood. Daddy warned us that she was tired when he dropped her off, and this was not a bit changed. After warning after warning that she will be laying down before we leave if she did not adjust her attitude, she finally did adjust.

So, we head home. Mistake #2 (at least in their eyes), mommy does not offer junk food for lunch. Apparently healthy sandwiches and fruit are no longer desired, but only spaghettios. Oye.

After a compromised lunch (homemade lunchables), we commence to play. At this point, Mommy thinks the day is going to be just fine. We play well together for a while, mommy gets some work done, and we pack up to leave (on time!) for the appointment.

We play nicely in the lobby until we get called back. We get put in the room with minimal books (uh oh) and children commence to playing “store” with the books that are in there. The nurse asks her questions, and leaves. So far, so good.

Then, the kids get bored.

When they were younger, my oldest was typically a mild child. She would sit on my lap and let me read those same books over and over until the doctor came. The younger one would happily sit in the stroller and eat cheerios.

No longer so. Now, they are wild children. After “store” got boring, we started tossing a toy we brought from home back and forth. Innocent, yes? Until tossing ended up meaning all of the paper from the exam table got pulled off. So, we tried to set up a different tossing zone, only this ended up being “let’s run the doctor’s stool around the room and crash into the walls as hard as we can.” Of course, our wait is much longer this time than normal, so by the time the doctor comes, we are completely and totally riled up.

Now, lest we think that mommy was not trying to ward off this scenario, we talked about what to do when the doctor came before he showed up. We talked about sitting down, talking quietly, and looking at books so mommy could talk to the doctor. I had some concerns to discuss with him, and I needed some sanity.

This, though, was not at all what they did. And the thing is, they were not being “bad.” They were just being kids. Wild, crazy, energetic kids who are ready for some outside time in a bad way.

While I was talking to the doctor, we once again pulled all of the paper off the exam table. Oye.

And to think I used to pride myself in how well behaved my kids were at the doctor.

Finally, we were done, and we headed out with sugar-loaded lollipops in tow.

Enter, Mistake #3. Mommy decides to swing into the Goodwill to look at dressers, as we need one badly and are not on this end of town often.

The Goodwill is not a store to shop at with children. It is not kid friendly. It does not have any entertainment value.

After assessing the fact that there were, in fact, no dressers, but the 1970s inspired rocking chair was, according to my children, quite comfortable, mommy made Mistake #4 – deciding to glance at the maternity clothes. See, I am outgrowing my stash, and since we are likely done having babies, I don’t wish to buy new ones to use for two months. So, low and behold, they had some clothes. Only, they were only 90 cents. I cannot use my debit card on two 90-cent shirts. Thus, we “had” to look at a few kid’s items.

In reality, my kids behaved well, they were just hyper and crawling in and out of racks. I really don’t blame them, because after all there was nothing to do. But, it was bit much.

So, lesson learned – we are not going to Goodwill when we are already tired and bored and energetic, and the next time we go to the pediatrician, we will bring the Leapsters.

And this mommy needs a nap.

I guess, in the end, we all have days like this as parents. I am blessed to parent two beautiful girls who are tremendous blessings and overall very well behaved. No one can be perfect all of the time, right?

On a side note, how on earth do you allow kids to be kids while still teaching them appropriate times for craziness and appropriate times for sitting and being quiet?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Sixth Birthday!

Five years ago tomorrow, I became a mother. Miss N arrived six weeks early and spent the first 13 days of her life in the NICU. I was a new mom who was unsure of everything, and she had the privilege of being my "guinea pig." In many ways she still is. :) She has grown into a smart, sassy, sensitive child who I love more than life itself. Thank you for introducing me to motherhood, sweet girl, and for growing into a sweet youngster.
Natalie: One Year Old

Natalie: Two Years Old

Natalie: Three Years Old

Natalie: Four Years Old!

Natalie: Five years old!

Natalie: Almost six years old

At six, she is very grown up all of a sudden. She is questioning things and less willing to accept my answer as fact. It is challenging and exciting to see her become even more her own person with her own ideas.

Here are some accomplishments over the last year:

Starting kindergarten

Becoming friends with her sister

Learning to add

Riding a bike (albeit with training wheels)
Learning to ride a pony
Discovering a passion and aptitude for Legos
Moving up a level in swimming lessons
Discovering a passion for art
Counting to 100
Counting by 10s, 5s, and 2s

Dear Miss N,

You are a beautiful girl with a big heart. You are always willing to share with others, as long as it is not required of you. You love with your whole self and feel it deeply when you have to say goodbye to someone or something that is precious to you.

You are an amazing big sister. I am so proud to see the way you have really learned to love your sister. You are also teaching her to stand up for herself with some of your efforts to get her to do what you think is best during your play, but all in all you are her best friend, and I love to see that in you.

You have a passion for nature and animals and are very comfortable around them. I remember when we went to the county fair and the farmer invited you into the cow's stall to see the baby calf. You had no fear even though that cow was a hundred times your size. You went right in and handeld yourself well. You have no fear around horses and know what to do and how to treat them. Pony camp and pony lessons helped with that.

You have an insatiable curiosity that is sometimes exhausting to your momma, but that I love nonetheless. You want to know everything you can about everything, and when mommy doesn't know the answer and cannot find it, you get frustrated. Do not worry, sweet child, soon you will know how to look up the answers for yourself, but for now I welcome the chance to teach you a bit.

You enjoy life to the fullest. Your passion is creating new and beautiful things. Every morning the first thing you do is pull out the crayons, paper, and scissors to create some sort of masterpiece before you go to school. Making a "project" is one of your favorite activities.

School is your favorite thing about life. You love your friends and your teachers and are truly thriving. While sometimes I miss you like nothing else when you are away, I am so thankful that you are doing so well in school.

As you turn six and continue growing into the young woman God has for you, I pray that you will allow Him to mold your sensitivity into something He can use. I pray that you will continue to love deeply and completely, and that your relationship with your sister will continue to blossom into the "best friend" thing I am seeing now.

I love you Natalie Joy, and you will always and forever be my first baby girl.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

29 weeks

Well, we are nearing the 3rd trimester. I think it is next week. The further along we go, the happier I am to still be pregnant and really fairly uncomplicatedly so. Here's the update for this week:

How far along? 29 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: not so good this week due to a reaction to all of the dust in the air from our NEW FLOORING!!!!!

Best moment this week: Taking my MIL and mom to the ultrasound. The tech was able to work with us to get some face shots even though baby is plastered up against my side. She is measuring in the 75th percentile at 3 lbs, 5 oz., which is ahead of target for her. The main concern with the high bp on the baby's end is her not growing, so she is growing well and that makes me happy.

Movement: Still very active. At my last OB appointment they couldn't get the heart rate because she was moving so much (I blame the drink from the glucose test. . .

Milestones: Not sure

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: Nope

What I miss: Not thinking about bp all the time.

What I am looking forward to: Finding out the results of my glucose test.

Weekly Wisdom: Even though I am not the best housekeeper, having my house up in shambles is something that makes me very cranky, even though it is a good cause. We did lots of getting out and about this weekend.

Complications Update: Everything still looks great.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Tonight the baby had the hiccups and I was letting Miss M feel it. I wish I could have videoed her response. First, when she felt one her eyes got huge and she said, "I feeled it!" Then she felt some more and she said, "She has the hicumups. Like me. I get the hicumups too." Then, she got this very worried look on her face. "Is her getting sick?" I assured her the baby was fine and hiccups were good for babies, then she gave me a huge, excited hug. She is going to be a great big sister.