The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Let's Wrap This Up...

I realized last night that I really haven't blogged much about this third pregnancy at all.  I almost never post very many belly pictures because I am not a fan of documenting my growing fatness.  If I were one of those cute pregnant ladies who gains weight only in her belly, then maybe, but no...I gain mostly in my legs, butt, and face and it's just not pretty.  It depresses me to look back on, so I don't.  I think it has to do with the loss of control.  I hate losing control.  Pregnancy is a HUGE loss of control over your body.  You have to limit what you do.  You are tired all the time.  You feel sick.  blah blah know what I am talking about.  Anyway, that being said, I think the Lord knew I just couldn't take the full fledged loss of control in pregnancy this go round, because Ally has been the easiest one so far (until recently).  Here are a few facts about this pregnancy that I will share for record-keeping sake:

*I haven't gained nearly as much weight as I did with both my boys.  I started this pregnancy at 143, and I am now, at exactly 37 weeks, only 176.  Not too shabby considering I started both my other pregnancies at around 140, but almost hit 200 with Jackson and 190 with Sam.  I am super excited to see how fast I can get it all off this time.  I typically lose 20-25 lbs the first 6 weeks, so woot woot for that!  (Another bonus is that it'll be winter while I am trying to get it all off, so I can hide a little extra chub for longer even!)

*I barely got sick at all the first few months with Ally.  I almost never throw up, just get a little blah-feeling and a lot tired, but with Ally, I think I maybe felt blah for a few days (but a lot tired).

*With Sam and Jackson, I started feeling strong kicks and Braxton-Hicks at about 20-25 weeks, and with Ally toward the later end of that time frame, but not as intense...until now.  Now she could take both of them.  She is pretty strong and seems to be interested in pursuing gymnastics...all day and all night.  Sometimes it can be even painful.  Like she thinks she can dig her way out of my belly with her the same spot...over. and over. and over.

*With Jack and Sam, I started feeling totally miserable at about 32 weeks, maybe sooner (but I was a lot bigger).  I am only just now totally miserable with Ally.  I have always had this issue with once I get a certain size, my back freezes up, and when I get out of bed, my body threatens to not support me.  I take a few stumbling steps every time I wake up to go to the bathroom in the night and especially in the morning, but after I warm up, I'm okay.  With Ally, all that applies, but it has only just started happening in the last 2 weeks or so, and it lasts a good part of the day.

*I got anemic with this pregnancy, and never did with the boys.  Go figure...

*I have been super tired these last few weeks.  I lay down to rest for several hours almost every day when the boys do.  My exhaustion level grew proportionally before, not all of a sudden and not so much.

*In the last few weeks, I have been fine and super energetic.  Ben and I have been doing a lot of home improvements, and I worked right alongside with him...until I couldn't anymore, and it happened so suddenly.

*At my last doctor appt (36w, 2d), Dr. McRay measured me and said I was measuring 3 (cm?  in?  what do they measure the belly with?  I dunno...)  smaller than I should be, so he wanted to do a sono to check out Ally.  After he checked her out, he said my fluids were fine and she looked fine, too.  She is just small.  He doesn't estimate her to be even 7 lbs yet.  Both the boys were born at 38w, 2d and both were right at 8 lbs, so if she comes in a week and a half, she stands to be almost a full lb smaller.  Sweet deal since I am planning on a vbac if all goes well. 

*If I don't go into labor on my own in the next two weeks, we will see where I am at as far as dilation, thinning and descent and all that, and if I look ready enough, we will try to induce.  If not, we will do the c-section, but no later than October 10.  My doctor is going to be gone, and I don't want to have yet another dr deliver Ally after I have spent all this time finding a dr that I like. (Dr. McRay is my third dr this pregnancy since our insurance changed when Ben started residency.)  Plus, Ben's vacation time starts on October 10 and we have out of town family coming in to help with the birth, so I'd like to control WHEN she comes as much as possible, while still trying for the vbac because I think recovery from a vaginal delivery is an easier recovery.  (There's that whole control thing rearing its ugly head

You know what else was easier this time around?  Coming up with a name!  With Jackson, Ben and I could not agree until almost the very end.  Jackson is a name we both liked (but mostly me), and Garit is a throw to my mom's maiden name McGarity.  Samson Jay is named after Ben's childhood best friend, and a super great guy that we hung out with a lot when we were dating, Keny Sams.  Jay is Ben's middle name.  Allison is Ben's mom's name, and I like it with a y to give her some individuality.  At first, ben said he didn't mind it either way, btu now all of a sudden, he says he wants it with an i, so I dunno where we'll go with that.  Anne, her middle name, is after both my grandmothers: my paternal grandmother Ann(ie) Marguerite McDonald Conroy, passed away in March of this year, and my maternal Grandmother Patricia Ann Whitis McGarity, is still very much alive and healthy.  The ending e on Anne is because, well, I am a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables (which one of my grandmothers introduced to me, actually) and I agree, the e makes the name look so much prettier.  :)

So that is that.  I hope I go into labor soon.  I am really bored and miserable.  Bored because what I can do is limited by the exhaustion/discomfort, and the fact that Ben is gone all the time for his current rotation during this residency (trauma), and miserable...for the same reasons.  *Sigh*  Dare I hope that I get even luckier and that Ally will beat her brothers who were already both 2 weeks early?  Oh well, if not, anyone can get through 2 weeks, right?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Preschool Playgroup

Since Jackson's birthday is August 31st, he is eligible to start Kindergarten next school year, but Ben and I decided to hold him back a year so that he'll be the oldest instead of the youngest.  As far as social skills and education go, he is ready now, I think.  His attention span could use some work though, and a few other minor issues, but the main reason we chose to wait to enroll him is for future confidence.  I was the youngest in my class, too, and always struggled with confidence for unknown reasons.  I was smart and a cute enough kid, I guess, but for some reason, I never felt like I could be myself.  Ben's reason related to confidence is sports, of course. 

Anyway, I have been trying to work with him myself, and have started to teach him to read.  He is doing very well, and is already blending sounds.  If I could get into a routine with it, I think he'd do much better, but these days, I am so tired, I am rarely motivated to let him stay up the extra 30 minutes after his brother has gone down for nap so that I can work with him.  Horrible, I know. 

I had wanted to put him in a Mother's Day Out program for a few days a week to keep him in a school routine of some kind, to get him out of the house for a little bit to interact with other kids, and to be taught by other people besides me, but Ben wouldn't let me pay for him to go anywhere, saying that it's silly to pay someone to teach preschool kids to our children when I am a preschool teacher!  lol, I guess he has a point there.  However, I was determined that it would be best thing for him, and for his brother, Sam, now almost 2.5.  Sam's personality is so strong that I thought if I could channel it in a positive direction, it would really help the harmony of our home, but I needed some one-on-one time with him.  Enter preschool playgroup.  Two other ladies from my ward at church have little boys about he same age as Jackson, and we have started a preschool group on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 2 hours that rotates between our houses.  Each of us teach 5 weeks before Christmas Break. 

I am loving it so far!  Jackson loves to go to "school" and play with new kids and learn, and he is getting to do a lot of things that I could never do in MY preschool since I had so many kids.  For instance, last week, they learned about Community Helpers and got to tour the fire station and police station!  jackson came home telling me all about it! 

Plus, the benefits to Sam are working out just as I had hoped.  I am really starting to see a change in his behavior.  He is throwing less fits and is generally more cooperative and helpful and fun to be around.  He is even becoming a better dinner eater! I'd say he only goes to bed hungry once or twice a week now!  (I am referring to this post if you don't know what I am talking about.  He now randomly comes up to me and says, "Mama, I wanna love you." or "I wanna snuggle with you."  Once, last week, we built a tent in his room and played in it just the 2 of us until it was time to go get Jackson from school.  I know that when Ally gets here, it will be a big adjustment for Sam once again (and for all of us), but I am hoping that training him to be sweet and helpful now will pay off when Ally is here.  I don't doubt we will have a bit of regression though.  Another benefit is that we have scheduled 3 of my 5 weeks to come BEFORE Ally gets here, so that while I am recovering, Jackson can go to preschool twice a week and I won't have to teach for a while. 

All in all, Jackson's preschool playgroup has been beneficial to us all!  I am grateful to have found this group of ladies and their boys to co-op with!  It was certainly an answer to several of the issues I have put to prayer lately.  :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jackson's 4th Birthday

You would think now that I am staying home WITHOUT a gazillion kiddos running around my home, that I'd be better about keeping up with my blog.  The truth is that we have been doing so much lately, that every time I sit down and think about blogging, I get overwhelmed with everything I should post, and don't.  I guess the most major event that has passed is Jackson's birthday. 
I was about 33 weeks pregnant when Jackon's birthday hit. After the Mario birthday party I threw for him in Tulsa last year (that he talked about and asked me to tell him "the story" about at bedtime for months afterwards), I had decided that this year we were going to keep it low key to make it less work for me. I looked into bounce house places and swimming pools, but everything was so expensive and I just couldn't justify the cost for only a few hours. He had requested a superhero birthday party, and I was all set to throw him a standard pre-packaged superhero birthday party, but this is me we are talking about and I just couldn't wrap my mind around something so unoriginal, especially if it is COSTLY and unoriginal.

So...I researched some homemade superhero party games and decided that the theme of the birthday party would be Superhero Training Camp. The kids would complete a series of heroic tasks and then get to decorate a superhero cape and masks as they celebrated becoming "real" superheroes. I invited most of his friends from preschool, sewed simple superhero capes, cut out felt shapes and letters for each child's name, and bought some superhero masks. Here are some pictures to document how much fun we had.

This is the villian pinata I made.  It started out as a cheap baseball pinata from Hobby Lobby, but I painted it.  The kids took turns beating up the bad guy with boxing gloves and then a bat.

This is SuperHero Jackson.  I made some felt masks with each child's name on them and we played pin the mask on the superhero.

This bad guy served as target practice with the dart gun.  The kids had to shoot him to prevent him from stealing the money from the bank.

Here is the one concession to the standard superheroes that I made.  The cupcake tower was all decorated with Batman and Spiderman stickers and decor and I tried my hand for the first time with gum paste cupcake toppers.  I just made standard store bought cake mix and made cupcakes and frosted them with store bought frosting, then made the toppers and stuck them to the top.  Easy Peasy!
Here is a cute shot of little brother Sam, age 27 months, hitting the villian pinata with the boxing gloves at the party.

And well, it was the beginning of September in Texas, so it was hot.  We had to have a water balloon fight to end the party!  My camera was dying so I just clicked away, and you can't really tell what the kids were doing.

 Here is a shot of the capes I made for the youngest partiers, the 2 year olds, Samson and Alex (Bradley Andersen's little sister).  I made their capes beforehand since I thought they'd need a lot of help to make them and that way I could use them as examples for the bigger kids to follow when designing their own capes.
The new superhero squad...

...showing off their successful completion of training camp!  :)

(One game was not pictured - as I mentioned, my camera was dying - the kids had to rescue a "victim" from the top of a skyscraper.  I had spray painted a box black and cut out yellow rectangles for windows and put a baby doll on top.  The kids had to walk ONLY on the yarn spiderweb path to get to the skyscraper.)