Baby #3 Week 12

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Ok. First, I need some suggestions on what to name this little nugget until we know the sex. Writing baby #3 for the next 8 weeks seems so boring.

So the first tri is pretty much done. Unless you want to get technical, I guess it isn't done until 13 w, 3 days, but I've been feeling pretty good the past week and a half. I'm not coughing/gagging after eating, I'm only feeling nausea maybe once a day, and I'm not fall down tired all day. I definitely needed/need breaks in the constant unpacking, arranging and organizing...but overall have much more energy than I did before. Weeks 7-10 were the absolute worse for all of those things, I was constantly tired, always felt like I could throw up and didn't feel like doing anything.

Baby is about the size of a plum at 2 inches and .49 ounces. Most of the critical systems are formed and we are now moving into the growth and maturation stage.

I sometimes still need to pinch myself. We've been so consumed with the move that it's hard to believe we are already in the second trimester.

Although still around 8 weeks away and not even scheduled yet, the 20 week ultrasound will be quickly followed by a gender reveal session. I have my idea all set up in my head and just need to find the perfect location to make it happen. It'll be cute, I promise!

I'm sure many people are wondering, "you have one of each. Why would you find out?" The first answer is we are both impatient. The second answer is that we found out with the other two and had their name picked out and began using it immediately, which is exactly what we plan to do this time. And decorate the nursery, of course. If it is a boy, we will be all set for clothes, since it is looking like this baby will be born around 9 days after Henry's birthday (note to all those interested, I'll probably have a party for Henry a week or two before his birthday to ensure that Henry gets his day in the event of an early delivery). If it's a girl, we will be a season off for clothes, but will probably still have enough to get by :). I have a couple name ideas for each sex floating around in my head, but nothing discussed much yet.

I've been craving strawberries. The Kroger grocery stores down here have had some amazingly sweet ones the past few weeks, fueling my craving even more. We've all been eating them, but we went through two packs in 2.5 days :)

We haven't unpacked the scale yet, so I'm not sure where I stand on that front. But since I gained 45 with Henry and 35 with Claire, I can already see where I'm headed. Oddly enough, I can still button all of my regular pants(which is not to say that I haven't been living in sweats, because I have). I was long past being able to button my pants with the other two at this point, so not sure what that is about.

And here's a picture of the back of my camera since my computer isn't hooked up yet. 12 weeks:)

About #3

Friday, January 18, 2013
pregnancy announcement



On Sunday, December 2nd, Ryan, the kids and I were leaving the Mall of America and getting ready to drop Ryan off at the airport for a 3 day work trip to California. (for those that remember, this was the weekend that started the December sickness from hell--Claire's week long fever, pink eye for both kids, ear infections for both kids)

Right before I was going to pull out of our parking spot, we got the call. We had not one, but TWO offers on our house. One offer was really great, the other not so much. I was in tears. There was so much uncertainty leading up to this. We were so unbelievably lucky to sell our house in 17 days in today's market. So, so, blessed.

As I said, Ryan was off to California, so we did a little happy dance, officially accepted the better offer and off Ryan was on an airplane. Short lived celebration, as I was now stuck home by myself with two really sick kids while I was feeling like ish myself. It was going to be a LONG 3.5 days.

For a few nights, I had been waking up with severe night sweats. Like, as disgusting as it sounds, I could wipe the sweat off my face/chest/neck. It was gross. This, however, had happened to me before. Back in August, before I had miscarried, this was one of my symptoms. Really sweaty nights. I, as per usual with my messed up body, hadn't had any flickr of hope of a normal cycle since the D&C I had had on September 28th.

There was an extra test sitting in our bathroom. I was all alone, totally emotional over the house. Apparently that moment was as good a time as any to whip out another test that would be negative.

Only, I gasped as the second faint line showed up. No cycles. No physical proof of ovulation. But somehow, it happened again.

Ryan wasn't even on the ground yet. I had to keep this info all to myself for an entire hour until he landed in California. It was brutal.

Naturally, after you have 3 miscarriages, I was a little reserved and likely a bit less eager to be excited than I have been in the past, fearing that the worst had a higher chance of happening again.

December was a crazy month. I finished watching Ella and Cole, we took our house hunting trip down here to Texas, and then all the holiday celebration and traveling followed incredibly quickly by the day our house was packed up on the 26th. There was barely a chance to breathe, let alone worrying about the pregnancy.

As stressful as this time was for us, I think it actually helped me be less stressed about the pregnancy. Before we knew it, it was January 2nd, and I knew I had to be at least 8-9 weeks. The day we had our ultrasound, I was almost dead-on. We measured 8 weeks, 1 day, saw a beautiful little bean on the screen and heard a healthy heartbeat. The odds are on our side that this pregnancy is going to result in our 3rd child, not a 4th miscarriage.

I announced to the facebook world the other day after my 10 week appointment and confirming that there was still a healthy heartbeat ticking away inside of me.

So sorry, baby #3, but we didn't take the 10 week bump picture on Tuesday (Tuesdays are my change days). We'll start at week 11, like we did with Henry ;).

For those that want to know, I visibly look pregnant with this bloat. I remember someone actually asked me at 10 weeks with Claire.

As for how I've been feeling, like clockwork, at 6 weeks (just like with Henry and Claire), icky feelings of nausea that last all day. I totally could have puked at least a hundred times in the past month, but since I hate puking, I don't, lol. I've also been exhausted and lacking energy to do most things. Although, I would say that that seems to be picking up a little bit this week. My ishy feelings were all over around 12 weeks with each of the other kids, so I'm hopeful I'm just about through feeling crummy.

Side note? Remember my facebook post about my super mom status getting through the airport with 2 children, 2 bags, 2 car seats and 1 double stroller? An even more awesome feat as that weekend was when I REALLY started feeling sick. Thankfully, for some reason, I felt fine on the plane ride.

I've been craving soups, my usual italian, fruit snacks, and peanut butter crunch cereal. McDonalds also has tasted REALLY good lately. I am proud to say that I cooked pretty healthy meals every night this week (bonus that they all actually turned out and were Ryan approved to be made again!).

That's about it. Week 11 on Tuesday.

Feeding therapy

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
This boy.


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He's transitioning with this move better than I expected, but still giving us a run for our money somedays. Our most challening times remain the same that they have always been though, and that is meal times. Unless breakfast is a donut, lunch is a pizza lunchable, and dinner is McDonald's chicken nuggets, there is pretty much no guarantee that this child will eat more than a handful of bites.
 
Since the move, he's dropped what used to be preferred foods (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled cheese) and has become increasingly more picky about others (nuggets have to be a certain kind, pizza has to be a certain kind, but is still hit or miss depending on the day, etc.)
 
You've heard me talk about this before. If I was more ambitious, I'd link all the different times a blog entry has been dedicated to Henry's lack of weight gain and his struggles with eating. It started when he was just 4 months old (lack of weight gain) and the unwillingness to eat most offered foods began at 7 months. Ryan's seen me cry about this before. His teachers/evaluation team members have heard it, his two pediatricians have heard it. This child doesn't eat. He doesn't eat a varied diet, he doesn't eat many healthy things, and he doesn't eat enough of the things he DOES choose to eat. He doesn't eat things normal kids do (macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, noodles with sauce, cheeseburgers, applesauce, cereal bars, eats very few cereals, and has even turned down trying chocolate cheerios and crunch berries). I could go on about what he doesn't it. He never qualified for school OT help before he turned 3, and they don't help this with the help he was/is going to get through preschool.
 
I made this decision that we would explore the idea of feeding therapy before we moved, but it obviously made little sense to get the ball rolling until we were down here. 1.5 weeks into it, I have his evaluation all lined up. Our insurance coverage is great for this, so I'm hoping (assuming) he'll qualify to get private feeding help. I've heard a few stories of absolutely GREAT success in getting kids to eat more and especially a bigger variety of things.
 
Mealtimes are hard for us, really, really hard. It's a struggle to eat healthier since Henry won't try anything, and thus 70% of dinners, I'm making him something else, which is the number one thing you aren't supposed to do, but Ryan and I can only stomach so much spaghetti (Henry's plain of course), pizza and McDonalds/Culvers.
 
If you follow me on pinterest, you've seen I've been crazily adding new recipes (trying to choose healthier things) so that I'll have a good repitore of things to try down the road with Henry. This is more than picky eating. A typical picky toddler/preschooler will eat pizza. They will eat macaroni and cheese. They will eat Cheerios. They will eat hot dogs. I wish I had done this ages ago, but he's still young enough that we should be able to make great changes.
 
I don't know much about what exactly it will entail, how long it will last, how fast Henry will be willing to change and try things, but I know it's worth every ounce of money and effort to make our meal times a much happier place for all of us. I'll be sure to post updates as we get into it, but, obviously, don't expect me to post a picture of Henry eating a steak next week. ;)

Claire is 15 months (and some Henry thrown in)

Thursday, January 10, 2013
After two days of nearly non-stop rain down here in Texas we were all quite ready to get out of this house apartment. Beautiful sunshine and near 60 degrees! I actually broke a sweat trying to chase Claire down.

She's pretty much confirmed for the 3rd month in a row that there will NOT be smiling, looking, and standing still with her at the same time. There just won't. I captured a few smiles, but she wasn't looking at me in any. And she wouldn't stay put to take a decent one with Henry. She really is our Dora the Explorer.

In terms of her 15 month development, here is where she's at:

Communication: everything she drinks is "wa-wa". She asks for "wa-wa" all the time. She also does lots of reaching and grunting yet towards things she wants, but has thrown in some new words recently including "cracker" which was just yesterday (that one you just have to hear!), puppa much more consistently for puppy, Henry (which comes out uh-rey), mama (that finally broke through right before Christmas I think), up, down, ball, bear which she uses consistently for her coveted pink bear lovie and for her favorite book "We're going on a Bear Hunt". We've heard baby a few times, chhhh (for cheese), toe (for toast), and baba for bottle (that's water bottle--she's been off the baby bottles for a while). She also consistently still signs more, please, and eat. Combine those three, and that's probably her favorite thing to say, lol.

Cognitive: Getting really interested in what big brother is doing, and in some of her newer toys like puzzles, shape sorter, wooden cookies (that velcro), and her piggy bank that counts coins. She also the other day, to my surprise, was able to point to a number of animals in her new animal book (including animals that I haven't really touched on with her)--chicken, monkey, elephant, zebra, puppy, kitty, ducky, fish, piggy, birdy, lion, cow and giraffe. We have a couple good object books like that and I'm excited to see what general objects she can already point to. She also is understanding humor quite a bit lately as she does things to intentionally make Henry laugh and vice versa and they'll go back and forth for a while. She's also learning what things she shouldn't be doing, and very well knows some of them because she'll stop, look at us with a smile, and wait for us to stop her before she actually does whatever said behavior she shouldn't be doing. And she's persistent. Just like Henry was. She also can point to her belly or button, toes, fingers, ears, teeth, mouth, nose and her eyes!

Fine Motor: Beginning to get really good feeding herself with a spoon. Her only problem that remains is not realizing that you can't swing the spoon around with food on it before it gets to her mouth. She also is able to get many of her shapes into her shape sorter, and can get the plastic coins into the piggy bank slot.

Gross Motor: Loves to walk fast/run and thinks it's sooo funny. Case in point during today's pictures. She tries to run, so she laughs. Which in turn makes Henry laugh, and she totally loves when he starts laughing, which makes her laugh even more, which in turn makes her try to run faster, which makes me have to run to catch up to her before she nose dives into the concrete. oofda. She's also part monkey. She tries to climb on everything. She even learned that if she moves her little shape sorter bucket over to the couch she can use it as a handy dandy step stool.

Social: Like I said above (I guess it could have gone down here), her relationship with Henry is really starting to blossom. She loves to follow him around, laugh with him, and pretty much watch whatever crazy thing he is doing. Their favorite "game" to play right now is what Henry calls "leash walk". He takes the dog leash, let's Claire hang on to one end and she follows him around the apartment. He also sings a made up song while they do it. I'll have to get it on video. She seems a little attached to mommy when both Ryan and I are around but I think that's pretty age appropriate. And, she loves to flirt. Seriously, and it is usually some man at a store or restaurant or something. She'll just be all cute, and then they of course make silly faces, so she laughs and makes silly faces back. sigh. i hope it's not a sign that we're in for it later in life. Take something away and she gets mad. Sometimes, it's really cute.

Adaptive: Somehow on a fluke got her own shirt off the other week. If you pull down her pants a little she eventually gets those off, gets her socks off, takes her diaper off occasionally, and if you unzip her jammies she can at least get her arms out. She's been requesting to have most of her clothes taken off of her the past few days. She apparently enjoys running around in her diaper, lol. Drinks everything from a sippy cup, uses a spoon, eats anything and whatever we are eating, sleeps through the night AND sleeps in late (sometimes until 8am!--a much more appropriate time compared to Henry's 5:30am).

I think that's about it. Onto the few pictures of her (and additional ones of Henry) I was able to get today.


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Presents and cookies with our buddies!

Monday, January 7, 2013
Most of you readers know that I was caring for two of our neighbor children from August until right before we left Minnesota. This was our last day with Ella and Cole. We had a little Christmas celebration and opened up some presents, watched a Christmas movie and made frosted cookies! We miss you Ella and Cole!

4 kids under 4 all sitting in a row (sounds like it should be a preschool fingerplay, lol!) I don't even remember how I got them all to sit!

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Kids and presents = happiness.


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I let them do most of the work!


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And then my silly girl. She loves to sit/stand in anything she can fit herself in!


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2012 : Year in Review

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Now that 2013 is upon us, a quick look back at 2012 through pictures. While going through these, I realized I was HORRIBLE at taking every day pictures of the kids. One of my (I hope I can keep up with) resolutions for the new year.

We started off the new year last year with Henry's first trip to the Children's museum. If I remember correctly, the giant bubbles and dramatic play area/grocery store were some of his favorite areas.

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I spent a ton of time photographing Claire. When you could put her down and she couldn't move away, those were the good days! These sweet pea outfit ones are some of my favs from the early part of 2012.


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I inched closer to 30 by turning 27 last year.

 
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Ryan spent the entire month of January and some weeks into February creating a loft space in our once double story foyer. These pictures of Henry were the first pictures I took in my "studio".


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In February, sadly, we said goodbye to Grandpa Bennett and, as Ryan's parents moved to their new sunny home in Arizona, we said goodbye to Ryan's childhood home.


February also saw Claire's first taste of solid food, and the beginning of potty training for Henry! (http://hackberryadventures.blogspot.com/2012/03/potty-training-101.html)


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In March, it appears we enjoyed an unusually warm day to go to a new park.


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I also busted out my camera for some candids.


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While on an extended maternity leave with Claire through the end of the 2012 school year, after having my leave request denied for the 2012-2013 school year, I officially closed the book on teaching and resigned from my position. (http://hackberryadventures.blogspot.com/2012/04/on-giving-it-all-up.html) Henry enjoyed coloring eggs this year, but was completely uninterested in the Easter Bunny.


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These two used my studio up the most during these late winter months when we couldn't take pictures outside.


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Ryan turned 28 and got a pool table.


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In May, Ryan and I went on a little vacation to California. Loved the sun, sand and warmth. Ryan even tried surfing for the first time!



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The month of May also brought us some tough experiences going through a school evaluation to get Henry to qualify under the Autism Spectrum label. (http://hackberryadventures.blogspot.com/2012/06/on-other-side-of-fence.html)



Henry and Claire slowly began "playing" with each other.


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As summer heated up, we went to lots of Twins games with Chris and Kelly.



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We officially said goodbye to Grandpa Bennett with a beautiful ceremony.


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Henry turned 3 and I threw a pretty epic pirate party. (http://hackberryadventures.blogspot.com/2012/07/pirate-party-details.html)


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and a few days later took some handsome pictures of the little guy.


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I ran a Lemonade Stand mini-session for some clients and of course, had Henry and Claire stop by too!


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We took a trip to Lake Minnetonka and this gorgeous summer morning.


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Used the 4th of July as a great excuse to take some more pictures :)


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Saw the Dinosaurs at the Minnesota Zoo!


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Went to the Minnesota State Fair with my parents and loved the Little Farm Hands exhibit.


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Enjoyed some yummy Cherry Berry Yogurt and their fun decor.


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In September, we went to a new apple orchard near Grandma Karen and Bumpa Dale's house. Claire found her LOVE of apples.


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September also saw the start of Henry's first day of preschool! After 4-5 days of all-out screaming, we finally separated from Mommy, but even still, up unitl his last day there right before Christmas, he wouldn't talk to anyone there. (http://hackberryadventures.blogspot.com/2012/09/preschool.html)


After a surprise positive pregnancy test in mid-August, we heard the words "there is no heartbeat" for the 3rd time in our young lives. (http://hackberryadventures.blogspot.com/2012/10/come-wake-me-up.html)


A few weeks later we grabbed some pumpkins from the pumpkin patch.


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We threw a Cheerios themed party for Claire Bear's first birthday! (http://hackberryadventures.blogspot.com/2012/11/claires-cheerio-birthday-party-details.html)


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And contrary to her well known love of food, she was NOT into the cake smashing.


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Shortly before Claire's birthday, I was beyond fortunate enough to swap sessions with a well known, fabulous photographer in the area (www.jmphotography.com). Our first real session that didn't involve a tripod, remote, screaming children and crying mother. I will love these images forever.


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I wrapped up Claire's 1 year session photos with this set, easily some of my personal best.


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We donned some pretty cute costumes and went trick or treating! Henry absolutely loved it. We STILL have some candy in his bucket!



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During the late days of October and into early November, Ryan was offered an opportunity to interview for a promotion with St. Jude that would land us in Texas if the position was accepted. Obviously, anyone still reading this blog knows that we did indeed accept that offer and put our house up for sale shortly before Thanksgiving.


We spent Thanksgiving at Barry and Mary Ellen's and I took the kids outside for these quick ones (because, really, you can't waste a good pair of cute outfits!)


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Claire wanted NOTHING to do with the 13 month portraits. This one is virtually it.

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I gave her a cookie to keep her in place for her 14 month portrait.


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After 4 months of daily living with 4 under 4, we said goodbye to Ella and Cole in December. We had a fun day of cookies, popcorn and presents.


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We went to Macy's Santaland for the first time and were somewhat unimpressed with the big guy this year.


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There are pieces of this missing, obviously. Like the Christmas pictures I haven't worked on yet. All the details of the promotion, house selling, buying, and, now, moving across the country to Texas. We've been here for 3 days so far. We are supposed to close on the Carver house on January 18th and close on the new house here in Texas on January 21st, moving on the 25th. I'll get to more on Texas (and Christmas) for that matter later.

2012 was busy. I lacked in taking pictures in general (especially as the year went on), but definitely in every day moments, and obviously didn't take the camera out with me much on outings either. And, clearly, I sucked at blogging this year. The story of Henry I posted the other day was the first narrative I've posted in who knows how long. I've slacked on Claire's monthly updates and I'm mad at myself for that. It all boils down to my super busy fall with family sessions, newborn sessions and weddings, Claire's party planning, the miscarriage, and then, of course, all the stuff that was involved in moving across the country.

2013 is going to be a better blogging year. Now that we are far away from so many loved ones, I'm going to be better about not only taking the pictures, but getting them up here for you all to see!
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