*We told our kids and our folks by giving them a basket with four eggs on Easter. Each egg had a picture of one of our kids, except the fourth, which had a paper with a question mark and the due date. We also gave them a photo card (made through one of the freebie deals a month ago) that read:
God has blessed us with another
Justy's little sis or brother
So, Jer Bear's birthday gift will be
A week-old, 4th (our last name) baby
*We're due Nov. 4th. Jeremiah's birthday is Nov. 8th. This is NOT our favorite time of year since 3 out of the last 4 years we have caught a horrible flu in early November. It's also birthday-crunch time on Josiah's side of the family. Our nephew is Oct. 27th, then Josiah's sis is Nov. 1st, his dad is Nov. 2, Jer is Nov. 8, and our other nephew is Nov. 14. After this baby is born, 75% of the grandkids will have a birthday within 2.5 weeks of each other on that side of the family! Two out of three times in the past I've gone a week early so the baby could very well be an October baby instead of November.
*This Thursday marks week 10 and usually by 11 I'm on the upswing of the nausea. So, I'm surviving, hanging on to hope, and anxious to have a return to energy. I am usually very motivated and get a lot accomplished, don't need naps, and have lots of zeal, so feeling like I've been hit by a truck every morning, trying to squeak naps in here and there out of desperation, barely being able to do one load of laundry a day, and feeling like my body is moving in slow motion on top of the constant nausea and dry heaving is very frustrating for me.
*My posts are not going to be all-pregnancy related from here on out. I promise I will continue my "Successful Celebrations" series next week, with some great ideas for a gift stash, and I hope to continue to share recipes, mom tips, homeschooling highlights, and kid updates here. I do plan to share a few posts on Morning, Noon, and Night Sickness Survival since I want to help other women in this difficult situation as much as I can.
*In the meantime, life moves on a rapid pace. We've been looking at homes again, making offers, and are eager to buy a home of our own and move in before the baby comes. Our landlord is not in a rush to get the house lifted and the new foundation built so at least we don't feel super-pressured by him. The modesty night for teen girls went very well and we had a great turn-out. We hope to do a follow-up night on the same subject and show a video called "The Truth about Guys" in the next month or so. Josiah is still busy with youth group and the sound team at church. Alathia is a huge help to her Mama, and loves to make sandwiches and get snacks for her brothers and still spends a few hours (at least) a day coloring pictures, writing words down, and making cards for everyone in the family. Jeremiah has been dry all night for a few months now, has learned to ride a little bike (with training wheels) and assures me all of the time, "We're big kids now. We'll take care of you Mama" when he sees that I'm not feeling well. Justus is still the sunshine of our family and is the easiest kid we've ever had. If he falls down he picks himself up, kisses his hand and smiles and keeps on running. He loves to run and says, "Wun fast!" He talks constantly and repeats just about any word we say. He loves to read a Dragon book from the library and his eyes get as big as saucers and he says, "Dwagon! Get me!!!" He also quotes parts of his favorite books that he remembers, like "Far, far away" or "The End." He loves to talk about "Semis" (semi-trucks for those of you without boys).
*Our weather has been horrible! We've had some very nice days in the last month, but they have been followed by a day or two of snow and cold and then it will get nice and we'll be outside, then icky, then nice, then icky. Supposedly we've gotten so much snow this year in our area that it will be the second snowiest winter on the record books. Last winter we were spoiled and hardly had any snow at all. I could only find one picture of my kids playing in the snow from last winter. From January on, we played in the yard and had great weather and warm days. This year, everyone is cranky about the weather and desperately longing for spring!
*Swimming lessons were lots of fun and a good way for the kids to burn off energy. Ali starts soccer in mid-April for the first time and we think she'll love it. Keeping the kids in an activity or two has been good for all of us. We hope to spend lots of time at the park and doing playdates and pool parties this summer!
*I did not do the bulk cooking days for April, obviously! I will probably continue to do bulk cooking in my 2nd and 3rd trimester but our freezer is still half-stuffed from March. The day I found out I was pregnant was the day I was bulk cooking so it was wonderful to have everything ready to go to stuff the freezer. I've always said that the minute that pink line appears I will cook like crazy and prepare as much as possible for the sickness to come. And that's what I did! I cooked up a storm, tried not to use my meals at all until I started getting really sick, and bought a bunch of things to have on hand for sickness (lemons, craisins, sour gummies, gum, etc.) I also did a major de-cluttering of the house in the week or two before the sickness hit. My hubby re-organized the outside shed and between us we took 3 van loads to the thrift store!
*My sweet brother and kind sister-in-law threw me a surprise birthday supper a couple of weeks early the day before they left to return to Honduras. As part of my gift, Colter gave me all the leftovers. He didn't realize I was pregnant and starting to get sick, but it was such an ENORMOUS blessing to me! He had made up about 2# of Honduran refried beans, from scratch, and 4# of taco meat, etc. and so I was able to freeze a lot for future meals. Thanks brother! Thanks Anna!
*Our kids are very excited about the baby. Jer saw a little baby at the swimming pool before he even knew about me being pregnant and asked if we could have one. Alathia is hoping with all of her heart for a sister, because she likes things to be even and we need another girl so we'll have 3 boys, and 3 girls in the family. Justus loves to watch youtube clips of newborn babies and he always nods yes when you ask him if he wants a little baby in the family.
*The most amazing thing to me through the sickness trials we've been going through is how my hubby has treated me like a queen. You'd think by the fourth kid he'd be like, "Cowgirl up!" and expect me to just keep up with life. But he continually serves me, encourages me, praises me, supports me, and blesses me even though I've been a zombie for weeks on end and feel like a shell of a person. He gives me massages almost every night, even though I can't sit up long enough to even give him a one-minute massage, he doesn't mind a bit if we have cereal or leftovers for supper most nights (since I'm sickest at night I tend to make a freezer meal for lunch or cook something at lunch and rarely cook in the evenings) or eat the same thing 5 days in a row because it's the one food I can stomach. He doesn't complain if the state of the house reflects how I've felt that day and while I was grocery shopping on Saturday he vacuumed, mopped, did laundry, cleaned, sorted, and got the house looking spotless. He helps the kids with breakfast, and sometimes lunch and dinner too, and helps with the bedtime routine every night that he is home. If there's one good thing to come of this awful season of life it's that I'm reminded anew of how blessed I am to have him and how much I love this guy!