Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Day We Brought You Home

Dear Shep,
Tonight I'm writing my first post since you were born. I could not be more in love. You are the sweetest baby. I am soaking in every minute with you and enjoying you as much as I can. You are a mix of Emma Cate and Holden and since everyone says they look like your Daddy and me, you must be a perfect blend of the two of us. Your eyes are just like Emma Cate's and your cheeks and mouth are the same as Holden's. Your nose is new to us, something all your own. As are your LONG, seriously long, fingers and toes. You have nail beds that make your mama envious. You have the best color blond hair. It's not white like Holden's but more of a sandy blond and I can't wait to see how it turns out. Your eyes are a deep navy blue with gorgeous gold flecks. You are a bigger baby weighing in a 7lbs 15oz (although your crib cart has your official weight at 8lbs). You are 20.5 inches long. You don't seem that different than your tinier siblings except for your little rolls on your arm and neck. You have a laid back personality, which we thought you would. You only really cry when it's time to eat. You love to snuggle and your favorite place is laying on mommy or daddy's chest.

We spent a lovely 3 days in the hospital getting to know you. You were born on a Wednesday afternoon at 3:27pm. You met your brother and sister on Thursday and got to hang out with them each day you were there except for today. Today we spent time with just you before we brought you home to our crazy world! Your Dad and I took turns cuddling you and laying with you in bed. We knew once we brought you home, those moments would happen as often or as easily.

Your Gigi and Pop Po came to the hospital to help us pack up our belongings (my-oh-my why do we collect so much stuff!?) and your Gran kept your brother and sister at home and prepared to welcome you to your new house. We spent a few weeks before you were due preparing for your arrival. Your Dad made you the BEST nursery and I spent time nesting to get rid of anything that would clutter up your home. The day before you came home we had the house thoroughly cleaned to prepare for your arrival. We even spruced up Boomer and Sophie. Gigi and Pop Po bought you a stork that proudly displayed your name, birthday, weight, etc. to announce to all the neighbors that you had arrived.

We rushed you into the house to avoid getting you wet from all the rain we received. I immediately went to hug and kiss your brother and sister to let them know that our hearts had grown to accommodate our growing family. They were so curious about you. We brought you back to our bedroom to nurse and Emma Cate followed behind. She kissed you over and over again and is so gentle with you. Holden is a little rougher and can't wait for his football buddy. We've got to keep an eye on that one! Shortly after we all took naps and you did great in your crib! We all woke up and you hung out with your brother for a bit while your sister slept. We laid in bed while Daddy unpacked and caught a few episodes of Chuggington in between the NBA playoffs... my life with boys.

Your Gigi and Pop Po and Aunt Allie brought us dinner and we all stood around and ate as a family. Everyone is so excited that you are here! Mommy's hormones are still a little crazy and I'm wavering between locking myself in a room with you and soaking up all of your new-ness and wanting to share you with everyone. I know now how fleeting these newborn moments are and I want to protect them as much as I can. I'm learning to balance taking care of three. Having children at different ages is much different than having twins. It is difficult to accommodate everyone's needs and be the mama that I'd like to be to all of you! I vividly remember this night with the twins. I was overwhelmed with love and emotion and tears. I feel the same tonight.

Luckily, you slept during the twin's bed time and I was able to put them to bed like I always have and we said our prayers and thanked God for bringing us a happy and healthy baby Shep. We've been praying for you since we learned we were pregnant with you in July! It was no nice to come full circle and be able to praise God for delivering you safely to our family.

Currently, you're laying between your Daddy and I in our bed just snoozing away. I need to wake you up soon to feed you before putting you down for the night (you love your sleep!). Nursing has been tough for us both and I'm looking forward to meeting with our lactation consultant to get some help this week. My body still thinks it needs to make enough milk for 6 babies and you are happy just to drink enough for one :) You get a little shower every time we try to nurse. Luckily, you've been able to take a bottle from both your Dad and Gigi without any problem.

Arthur Shepherd Carroll, we are so thankful that God chose us to be your parents. You are such a blessing to us that it brings me to tears just looking at what a miracle you truly are. I am so grateful to be your mama and cannot wait to see you become the man that God has intended but for right now, I am happy to cuddle my little guy for a few more years. I love you so much.

Your Mama

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Birth Day Morning

In a few short hours we will welcome baby Shep into our lives. Today has been surreal, a mixture of the ordinary with a looming future. It's bewildering yet exciting to know that our lives will soon be changed forever. I've known for a while that Shep would be born today but it didn't really hit me until last night. My mom has been keeping the twins for the past two days while I've been at work (they are all on spring break). I had a dentist appointment after school and went by her house around 5 and they were still asleep. I was able to work on monogramming some last minute things. Thankfully Jay's game was cancelled and he was able to join us for dinner at my mom's. We stayed late and hung out. My mom offered for the twins to stay at her house but I really wanted to put them to bed for the last night as a family of four.

We got home around 8:30 and they were both bonkers. Jay was stressed (he has an exam tomorrow evening) and wanted to get some studying done but I felt the need to bring the babies into our bed and just hang out. They bounced and sang and tried to climb the headboard. I took videos of them and asked them questions about becoming a big brother and a big sister. They have no clue their world will forever be changed today. We got them in pjs and read lots of books and sang some extra songs before bed time. Everyone was so happy and loving and we got lots of love you baby Sheps and both were even quiet and reverent during bedtime prayers. Emma Cate kneeled in her crib and put her hands together when we prayed. Sweetest thing ever.

After bed we got down to business, picking up the house and getting the last things done in Shep's room. I made a quick run to whole foods to pick up meals for the week. I got home and decided to decorate for Easter in case we are home by then. Jay and I enjoyed cereal at mid-night (the last time I could eat or drink until after delivery today!).

All day yesterday I had been feeling very anxious and unsettled. There has a been some major family drama over the past few days that has really been putting stress on our family. I have decided to let it go (cue Elsa) for now. This week we learned that the 2 year old son of a couple in our Sunday school class had passed away after a long fight with cancer. I kept hearing other stories of children and parents of young children dying. I was really struggling with shaking this anxiety of death. I finally laid down last night and said my prayers. I asked God to watch over my family and to help me with this weird anxiety I was feeling. I slept like an absolute baby, not waking once. I woke up with this amazing sense of peace and am feeling so calm!

I took a long shower and did my hair before coming into work. My mom came over this morning and hung out and made my bed while I got ready. I headed off to work with a very empty stomach and a cheerful heart and mind. I feel so good about today and am so hopeful this peaceful feeling stays with me :) I am feeling great. Not quite sure I'm ready for this baby to come because this pregnancy has been so easy and I'm not at the "omg get this baby out of me point!". It has been so fun being pregnant with one baby. I am ready to meet this guy and get to know him. He seems pretty chill but has bursts of energy! I'm excited to learn about his personality and can't wait to see who he looks like or how big he is! I was feeling a TON of movement last night down really low and would have to stop walking because I felt like he was going to come out. I think he knows his birthday is near!

39 weeks and 5 days

I'm leaving work around 11:30 to head home to grab our hospital bags and kiss our babies in case we don't see them tonight. I have to be at the hospital at 12:30 and will head back to surgery around 2:30 if all goes well. Please keep us in your prayers today. Specifically I'm asking for prayers for the doctors and nurses that will take care of us, for Shep's health and specifically his kidney, and for me and the c-section. I lost a lot of blood with the other one and am hoping this one goes well. Also for me that I don't get nauseous from the anesthesia. Please also keep the McElwain-Turners in your prayers as they will be laying their son to rest while I am in surgery delivering Shep.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Baby #3 Week 39

We've made it to full term baby status and this will be my last weekly update! I am actually feeling really great still (I even wore heels, well wedges, today!). I'm sort of sad that this pregnancy will be over in a few days. As of right now (and this could always change), I am feeling like this won't be my last pregnancy. I am not feeling "done" at all. It really is up to God to help us navigate how many children we will have. I have really have enjoyed this pregnancy and carrying this baby. I loved the experience of carrying twins and a singleton.

We still have a lot of little things to wrap up. I've been busy busy busy at work trying to get everything done for the sub. I don't talk about my job too much on here but anyone that is a teacher knows how hard it is to be out. With my twins I took a whole quarter off and since my classes are only a quarter long, it didn't really matter what my sub did with them. This time, I've been with them for the first 2.5 weeks of the quarter and will return the last 2 weeks of the quarter and am trying to make sure they stay on my pace and that grading remains consistent. I have made lesson plans for each day of my absence and created all of the quizzes, tests, and handouts for my entire maternity leave. I'm leaving everything super organized. It's hard leaving my "kids" in the hands of someone else (#controlfreak).

Around the house, I am waiting for Shep's room to be complete. We have a few things to hang on the wall and need to print some pictures for frames. I just ordered his laundry hamper and my mom is making his crib skirt this weekend. I'm scheduling a cleaning service to come to a big deep clean of our home next week. Jay cleaned the shower this past weekend and I actually got upset with him because I want our house to be dirty so that we get our money's worth. haha! I'm also scheduling the dogs to be groomed so that Shep has nice smelling puppies to come home to!

Our bags are almost all packed. I need to do a little ironing on a few of my things and pack last minute items like my toiletries and electronics. I have a few blankets to monogram to take with us. We used all the hospital's gear last time and this time I want to use all the new cute stuff we got for shower gifts! My goal this weekend to make big brother/big sister shirts for the twins to wear to meet Shep.

I talked with the nurse at length yesterday about my c-section. After Tuesday's appointment and NO progress at ALL, we decided to schedule a c-section. Because of IVF we are 100% sure of Shep's due date and feel very comfortable with our decision to deliver 2 days early. My c-section is scheduled for 2:30pm on Wednesday, April 16th. Please keep us in your prayers that everything goes well and that Shep is healthy. I keep reminding myself that I can't rule out NICU time or complications just because he is a full term singleton.

I'm amazed at how scheduling a c-section is just like scheduling a normal surgery. Arrive 2 hours prior, nothing to eat or drink, no nail polish or make up (hmm maybe some foundation will be okay?). I'm supposed to leave all my stuff in the car and just bring my hubby and our camera. With the twins, we stayed in the hospital the night before.

I am soooo excited to meet this new baby but a little nervous about having a newborn again. I just hope and pray that everything goes well. I am saying extra prayers that he is a great eater and I won't have to pump and bottle feed! I am most looking forward to bringing him home and being a family of 5! I thrive on routine and can't wait to settle in with our new little guy. I am excited about introducing the babies and anticipating their reactions to baby Shep. I went to a mom's bible study last night and we had a peditrician guest speaker and she gave me great advice about having really low expectations for their reactions to the baby. She instructed me just to let it be really natural and to let them get to know Shep on their own terms. We're also going to have Shep give them each a little gift. I'm not sure what though. Any suggestions?

Pregnancy Highlights:
Today's Date: Friday, April 11, 2014
How Far Along: 39 weeks 
Pregnancy Countdown: 7 days until due date and 5 days until Shep arrives!
Size of baby: Yay! Baby has reached full term. He likely measures around 18.9 to 20.9 inches and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds. He's gaining about 1/2 ounce each day. Shep is the size of a watermelon. 
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I've come back down a bit from last time and my weight gain is now 24lbs. I haven't been nearly as hungry and I'm sure that is what is going on. I am so curious to know how big he'll be!
Maternity Clothes: Yup although I did buy a few new lilly shirts for this summer and one of them actually fits me right now! I'm kind of excited to wear something new that I'll also be able to wear after baby too!
Gender: Boy- Arthur Shepherd Carroll
Movement: Yes, but they are small movements. Just some leg pokes to my stomach every now and then. No major rolls or flips. He is head down and I can occasionally feel some punches directed at my hips. 
Sleep: Sleeping great!
What I miss: champs! Can't wait for some in the hospital!
Cravings: Nothing really. I did go for some Special K this week for dinner and it was yum!
Symptoms: Really just heartburn and only if I eat before laying down. I haven't earned any additional stretch marks and I didn't use a bit of lotion this time around. My advice would be to save your money! I used so much of the stuff last time and ended up like a zebra and nothing this time! It all depends on how large you get! Belly button is still way in and rings are still on. Thankful that swelling has been minimal!
Best Moment this week: Scheduling our c-section and looking forward to meeting our baby boy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Baby and Life Updates

I have been so bad at posting! Life is just catching up with us! I'm going to have to add some pictures soon. I lent my sister my computer for a few weeks and just recently got it back but lost the power cord as soon as I did! I am so tired of losing things! I have a million pictures and videos to get off of my phone and onto my computer.

Let's start with Baby Carroll
We went in my for my 38 week and 4 day appointment today. Nothing has changed at all. I haven't progressed a bit! We went ahead and filled out the paperwork to schedule my c-section. I'm waiting for the scheduler to give me a call to confirm our time and date. Looks like Baby Shep will make his appearance on Wednesday 4/16. We are so excited and fingers crossed that all goes well I'm looking forward to being home with baby to celebrate Easter. Most of his things are ready to go. The bumpers were finished on Sunday and I'm waiting on a changing table cover and pillow. My mom is making the bed skirt but I have to wait to get the extra fabric back from the seamstress before she can complete them. The hospital bags are packed. I spent a ton of time this weekend monogramming a bunch of stuff for Shep and feel good that I've gotten most of it done. I need to do a few more blankets and I'm good to go! I'm still feeling really good but can definitely tell that baby is putting some pressure on me.

Emma Cate:
We went to an Easter egg hunt on Sunday and this little lady proceeded to vomit all over the place about 2 minutes before the start of the egg hunt. I tried to remove her from the hunting area as quickly as possible but she really wanted to hunt for eggs so we did our best to collect eggs in our stinky clothes. At first we thought she thew up because she had been crying over the Easter bunny (character phobia) but then she continued to throw up for the next 5 hours or so at home. She was so pitiful! Luckily she was done with the puking by 9 and slept soundly in her crib all night. I stayed home with her on Monday and she definitely needed it. By last night she was back to her normal self though. She is sassy and so funny. She is opinionated and knows EXACTLY what she wants. She doesn't always speak clearly so we end up taking her around the kitchen so she can show us what she wants. Yesterday she kept saying "paya" over and over again. I finally realized that she wanted dried papaya which she hasn't had in weeks. It amazes me how much she can remember!

Still our loving but crazy boy. I love Holden's combination of mommy's sweetheart and all-boy. He'll throw a baseball with some might and run to give me the biggest hug a second later. You are pretty obsessed with your new truck pjs and refuse to take them off the next morning. You carry them around like a blanket. Just yesterday you decided you wanted a cape and kept bringing me your blanket to tie around your neck. I probably retied it 50 times. The night that Sassy got sick, you were super concerned about her. You kept asking about her everywhere we went. You would see something pink and it would remind you of her. You love your sassy so much! At the same time, you love to antagonize her and steal her lovey. What a little brother! You LOVE to sing and we sing head and shoulders, wheels on the bus, and abc's a LOT!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Baby #3 Week 38

I feel like life is a blur and we are moving at warp speed. I am trying to tie up all the loose ends at work and I have been busy busy busy. My classes are all new this week and I'm trying to make plans for the next 9 weeks for the sub. It is a LOT. I'm also working on monogramming all of Shep's things. I just brought the monogram machine to my house from my mom's so that I can work during nap times.

I saw the doctor on Tuesday and I decided not to be checked. I wasn't dilated last week so I figured we'd just leave it up to chance this week. I have another appointment this Tuesday and I'm definitely going to be checked then and we'll set a date for the c-section. My hope is to make it until Wednesday the 14th.

My sisters and mom threw a super fun sprinkle for me this past Sunday and I was blessed with lots of little gifts for Shep. I'm planning to do a full recap post when I get a chance to catch my breath :)

Pregnancy Highlights:
Today's Date: Friday, April 4, 2014
How Far Along: 38 weeks 
Pregnancy Countdown: 14 days until due date!
Size of baby: Yay! Baby has reached full term. He likely measures around 18.9 to 20.9 inches and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds. He's gaining about 1/2 ounce each day. Shep is the size of a pumpkin. 
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I gained 2 pounds from my last dr appointment, taking my total up to 27lbs. I'm slowing down on my eating because this guy is taking up a lot of space! I've had a few periods of swelling though.
Maternity Clothes: Yes, all maternity. Most shirts are not fitting anymore! I am living in my old navy wife-beater-esque tanks.
Gender: Boy- Arthur Shepherd Carroll
Movement: Yes and it is a LOT lower. He has definitely dropped and I feel it when I stand up. My doctor has assured me that he will not fall out :)
Sleep: Still sleeping pretty well but waking up once a night to tinkle. I've also started sleeping with a pillow under my belly for some extra support.
What I miss: sleeping on my tummy. I'm finally reached the point where I can't do that anymore.
Cravings: Again, not much. I'm feeling pretty full.
Symptoms: Heartburn is pretty much my only symptom besides some swelling. The swelling comes and goes. I am also feeling LOTS of pressure and have a good amount of contractions
Best Moment this week: Finishing all of our home organizing! I LOVE IT!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Grandparent's Breakfast

The twin's preschool hosted a Grandparent's Day breakfast and we were so excited that 2 of the 4 grandparents could attend. My Dad tried to make it but wasn't able to get a flight in to Charlotte until the following day. Pop Po was certainly missed but the kids had a great time nonetheless. It was also jammie day for Emma Cate's class and the first day of the NCAA tournament so the kids wore their wolfpack best. Unfortunately, it didn't help us out much!

like father like daughter!

St. Patrick's Day

I got up a little early to make the babies St. Patrick's Day extra special! Holden ate his green eggs without issue but Emma Cate wasn't so sure about them. The green pancakes went down quickly! The must have had a big day at school. I met my mom at my house after work and found EC fast asleep in the car. I thought she looked adorable clutching her baby doll!

Boo now makes an appeareance at every meal. I think since we took away the pacis, EC has become much more attached to her "booies" and "ludies" (loveys). They go with us everywhere but she knows they have to stay in the car when we get somewhere. I am afraid I'm going to have to buy some back up Boos in case we lose one!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Baby #3 Week 37

It's getting closer! Can't believe we are 3 weeks away from due date. I'm still feeling good but nesting in a major way. I'm feeling the time crunch that baby boy will be here in less than 3 weeks. Clothes are washed and our hospital bags are packed but I have TON of monogramming to do. After losing three things this week I have decided that our home is an unorganized disaster area (being extremely dramatic here) and it is time for a major clean out.

Some of my cheerleaders threw an adorable shower for me on Saturday. They were all such sweet hostesses and you could see their cotillion manners coming out! They gave a super sweet toast to me and baby Shep. We got tons of lovely gifts and played some really fun shower games.

We met with the doctor on Tuesday and everything seems to be good. I am not dilated and very thankful! We didn't discuss delivery options but I'm pretty set on a repeat c-section as the date gets closer. My first was pretty fabulous and I don't really see the point of laboring for hours when I'm not sure if I'm going to end up having a c-section anyway. I've been hearing tales of scars busting open too during the labor process and that is just not appealing to me!

Nesting has set in and I am an organizing machine! We are hiring a cleaning crew to do a deep clean of the house before we go into the hospital but I want to get everything organized and picked up so they can work their magic. Jay and I completed the dining room, living room, front, and hall closets last night and already have giant piles in our living room. I divided everything up into sell, donate, put away, and trash. Our system is working pretty well and I'm loving the increased closest space. Can't wait to finish up the rest of the house!

I also forgot to post this last week but we met with the pediatric urologist and learned about how they would help Shep once he arrives. I really like our urologist. He did Holden's surgery and makes me feel super relaxed. He is very optimistic that Shep's kidney will heal on it's own. They are going to put him on antibiotics as soon as he is born to avoid any infection and will do an ultrasound within his first 2 days to see if the kidney is truly blocked.  

Pregnancy Highlights:
Today's Date: Friday, March 28, 2014
How Far Along: 37 weeks 
Pregnancy Countdown: 21 days until due date!
Size of baby: Yay! Baby has reached full term. He likely measures around 18.9 to 20.9 inches and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds. He's gaining about 1/2 ounce each day. Shep is the size of a winter melon. 
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I've stayed the same at 25 pounds gained. I'm slowing down on my eating because this guy is taking up a lot of space! 
Maternity Clothes: Yes, all maternity
Gender: Boy- Arthur Shepherd Carroll
Movement: Lots of movement. I'm taking time to lay in bed each night and feel the kicks. While I'm pretty sure I'd like another baby, I am cherishing the last few weeks of this pregnancy in case this is my last. I'm trying to make memories of how all the kicks and rolls feel and what its like to grow another human :) 
Sleep: Sleep is pretty good. If I get restless during the night I'll get up and use the restroom but it's still not waking me up. So thankful for this bladder! I'm alternating moving from stomach to side to sleep. I can lay on my back too long because it is hard to breath and makes that heartburn worse!
What I miss: SUSHI! If anyone comes to visit in the hospital, this is what you must bring me! ;)
Cravings: Nothing really this week. The sweets cravings have gone back down. I am loving some orange tea though!
Symptoms: Heartburn is still there. I'm a little swollen but my rings are still fitting snugly. Thankfully no new stretch marks, nesting is kicking in BIG time, and I found out that the pain I thought was round ligament pain is really just scar tissue stretching from the last c-section. 
Best Moment this week: Cleaning! Seriously, I sound crazy but it makes me feel soooo much better to be in a clean, organized house.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Baby #3 Week 36

Well here we are... uncharted territory. I didn't have an old 36 week post to reference because the twins were making their debut at this exactly point 21 months ago. I'm still feeling pretty good and energetic. We didn't have any appointments this week so things are pretty much the same.

I can say that I am definitely feeling pregnant now. I'm large and in charge. I am having a hard time fitting into maternity clothes because my belly is BIG. My trusty old navy tanks from last time are still fitting with room and as soon as I get home I pair one of those with comfy leggings. I'm still not at the point where I want to deliver, actually quite the opposite. I've got less than four weeks to go and so far so good!

I'm feeling lots of pressure and would guess that baby is head down. I'm feeling a lot of movement/kicks in my hips and it's a weird sensation. At 5 foot 2 there is not a ton of room for baby in my belly. He seems much happier when I am standing up or laying down vs. sitting.

Pregnancy Highlights:
Today's Date: Friday, March 21, 2014
How Far Along: 36 weeks 
Pregnancy Countdown: 35 days until due date!
Size of babies: A Coconut. The baby weigh between 4.2 to 5.8lbs and should be between 17.2 and 18.7 inches long.  I'm guessing S is measuring at a good 6lbs by now
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I'm up a pound this week making the total 25 lbs. Not too bad. I am still feeling swollen but not NEARLY as bad as with the twins. Rings are still on but shoes are a little snug. 
Maternity Clothes: Yes, all maternity
Gender: Boy- Arthur Shepherd Carroll
Movement: Lots of movement.
Sleep: The heartburn is creeping back in and I've woken up twice for tums (could be the fact that I had spicy food and oj before bed too)
What I miss: drinking a beer on the deck
Cravings: Seriously craving sweets. Dinner is not complete without dessert. I've also had a think for oj lately.
Symptoms: Heartburn and lots of contractions. Some that stop me in my tracks but nothing consistent. Also lots of round ligament pain getting in and out of the car or standing up too quickly.
Best Moment this week: sunny days playing outside with my kids! This sunshine has made us all sooo happy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Scenes from Our Weekend- St. Patty's Day and Nursery Updates

We had such a fun and productive weekend spent with family we love!

I got a text from Jay midday Friday containing this picture. He is not one to run out and buy toys so I was pretty shocked. He is ready to start teaching the kids some baseball. He had it out with the kids on Friday evening and to Jay's disappointment, all Holden did was take the ball of the tee and run away with it. Future running back instead?

I had a bunch of sewing to do so I headed over to my mom's after supper to get to work. It's so relaxing and I was able to keep any eye on the State game. We were so excited to knock off Syracuse! 

From the hooop: I put the monogram on Shep's bumper fabric! The seamtress is coming to pick up the fabric today to start working on the bumpers! 

I was up bright and early Saturday to head back to my mom's house to sew. I had been putting off making this kids St. Patty's day monograms to match their new pants. I just found a new site to order blank stuff to monogram/applique and am LOVING the quality! 
We got to the parade a little late and weren't able to get seats. Jay and my Mom were great to hold the babies on their shoulders to get a better view. Holden looked like this the entire time. He was amazed by everything. The parade was a little hokey but the kids still had a good time. 

Poor baby makes the worst faces! I promise he was happy/excited in this pic.

She never really smiled but looked interested the entire time. 

our ?happy? family of four point five!

I'm truly not a fan of selfies but if I don't take them, I'm not in any pictures with my kids. I want them to know that mommy was actually present in their lives! My face is also beginning to get its pregnancy swelling on.

We went to the park uptown after the parade for lunch and running around time. The babies did great but were all over the place. I definitely need another adult to help me corral the kids in this open space.

H was just lounging eating his pb & j. 

she LOVED to jump off of the side. Hopefully she'll be doing this into the pool in a couple months!

love this shot of my mama and emma cate against the city

daddy was getting intense while swinging H.

I was feeling a little stressed when we returned home after our morning outing. Last week was sooo busy and our house was showing it. I have said it so many times but I am DYING for a clutter free house. I want to purge everything and have less but purging always gets pushed to the side in favor of other things. I am treasuring spending time with my kids rather than spending time on my home but once they go to bed and I see the mess/clutter and I freak out a bit. I want someone to come over and help me purge/organize my house! I cannot take the mess anymore! I'm hoping I can get around to doing this stuff on maternity leave.
Instead of cleaning/purging, I dropped my mom off at her house and decided to sew a little. It is so relaxing making things for my family and I'm so proud the things I make. I had ordered this bow holder for Emma Cate a week ago and wanted to put a monogram on it and get it hung. It was so nice to cross a little project off of my to do list!

Again, instead of staying home and cleaning, we took advantage of the amazing weather and walked up to Zoe's Kitchen for dinner. They just opened a new location and it's about 1.5 miles from our house and a really easy walk! I often forget how close some of these places are! Walking is such a stress reliever and my kids love seeing all the cars go by on our walks!

again. the selfies.

Sunday morning was actually really calm around our house! We came up with a good game plan to get ready and out the door for church. Are Sunday's stressful at anyone else's house? Sunday am is bath morning at our house and getting everyone fed, showered, and dressed before 9 can be a production! 

For lent, in addition to giving up highly processed foods (still going strong with no candy, soda, chips, etc!) I also decided that I wanted to look into a Sunday school class. We've been members at our church for over a year now and haven't gotten plugged in. This past Thursday, I went to a Mommy SOS class which I didn't know at the time (one of my neighbors took me) was an extension of one of our church's Sunday school classes. Mommy SOS was a really great small group and I loved the wine and apps social part before we got down to our study. Anyway, Jay and I went to the class on Sunday and really enjoyed it! We are probably the youngest there but have kids similar ages to everyone else. They do a ton of activities and it seems like a great place for us to be. I'm excited we tried this out!

Sunday was sooo rainy and yucky but we had a strict plan (since we couldn't enjoy the weather) to get everything accomplished. We did a family target trip (never again with hungry kids) and had lunch at Pizza Fusion. Their veggie pizza was Ah-mazing. Unfortunately their organic sauce has proven REALLY hard to remove from kids clothing (AHHH). I had to pick up some things at trader joe's and Jay volunteered to stay in the car with the kids and watch Nemo. I only let them watch the car DVD on trips but if it would buy me a little time to grocery shop, I was all for it. I think Jay enjoys that movie as much as the kids.

We came home and changed into comfy t-shirts and pjs and the kids took great naps. I got to work painting the nursery. I tried a ton of different techniques before really finding what worked, unfortunately, by the time I got to this point I was on the little wall to the right of the window. Maybe I should have started there. I got cups of water and added splashed of different paint colors. Some I applied with an old rag and some with a brush. The brush covered a lot more and I prefer the look of the rag. Overall I'm pretty happy with how it came out. At one point I had put two cups on a ladder and was working underneath the ladder. I forgot the cups were up there and tried to move the ladder while I was seated. The full cups hit the floor and paint went EVERYWHERE. Thank goodness it was diluated. Jay ran to help me and we got most of it off the floor, rocker, dresser, and crib. A little stained the wall and we're going to have to touch that up.
painted wall
This guy woke up from his nap an hour before his sister and we let him help. He was obsessed with Daddy's drill and helping out. Jay got a little upset with me when he noticed I was letting Holden practice hammering on our hardwoods (I'm totally one of those people who believe our home is a reflection of family. I am more upset by a house that doesn't seem lived in compared to a few small dings in the floor... you may want to ask me how I feel about this in a year after we get all of our hardwoods refinished! haha).

While Daddy hung the drapes, we heard Holden making a lot of racket in the hallway outside. He found Jay's dress shoes and decided to do a little tap dance down the hall.

I'm loving how things turned out with the deer head and curtains. I was so iffy about the curtains and thought about using white sheers to let some light in but really like the look of these navy ones. We're adding  DIY shelves above the chair on the left  and possibly an old clock to the wall to the right of the window (it depends on how within reach of baby the clock will be). Jay is also working on a rustic toy box to go between the foot of the crib and the wall. 

I think little man is pretty obsessed with this deer. He's going to love it when he and Shep share a room in a few years. I think I might keep this theme going on! I also have to add for memory that H seems to be getting a little jealous of Shep's things. He walks in and points to the deer head everyday, he takes Shep's lovey and teddy bear (that used to be his but he NEVER touched) and walks around with them and tried to put on a sweet pair of truck and tractor pj's that a friend bought for Shep (don't worry I went to HA last night to get him his own pair :)). 

I was craving something home cooked but did not want to do the cooking. My mom made my Grandmother's Swedish meatballs and brought them over with mashed potatoes for dinner. I can't remember the last time I've had a home cooked meal that I haven't cooked. It was amazing! Thanks Mom! 

My uncle (a gulf war vet) recently wrote a little thank you to my mom for all the support she and the rest of his family provided while he was overseas and mentioned the cookie bars that she used to send him. I haven't had one of those in YEARS (seriously like since he was overseas over 20 years ago) and immediately had a craving. Mom brought everything over to our house and cooked with the babies while Jay and I prepped for the Monday ahead. I snapped a few quick pics of the babies cooking with their Gigi. 

I tried this recipe for homemade fruit snacks. I didn't buy enough gelatin and I think that's where I made my mistake. They did taste pretty good and I made a few star shaped ones (think jello-jigglers) to send in for snack at preschool.

hmmmm cookie bars!

The other half of the nursery is looking fab so I figured I'd post a behind the scenes look  at this half! This is the view sitting in the rocker. I still need to finish waxing the crib, making the frame for above Shep's bed, working on the crib skirt, having the bumpers, changing pad cover, and pillows made, finding hardware for the dresser, purchasing a laundry basket to go in the corner where the light is, painting the frame to go above the dresser, and stocking the drawers. We did get a LOT of closet progress made yesterday though! We washed and stain removed all the newborn clothes, built the shelves for the closet, purchased 2 out of 4 needed baskets and organized all the blankets. 

We had a great mix of productivity with fun and play. I'm still working on finding that balance between getting it all done and spending quality time with my kids. Goals for this weekend include finishing the nursery completely (hoping the bumpers are finished), cleaning out the upstairs of my house, hopefully starting on the basement, and making LOTS of trips to goodwill.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Prayer Request

Hi Friends,
If you are the praying type, could you please say a little prayer for our sweet neighbor across the street, Thelma. She suffered a stroke on Saturday and isn't doing well. She is the kindest women with the most beautifully landscaped yard and loves working in it everyday. She is at least 80 years old and a widower.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Baby #3 Week 35

Yay for 35 weeks! This was my last post with the twins so next week will be a completely new place for me! Thankfully I am still feeling great and not ready to have this baby yet. Towards the end of the evening I'm definitely moving slower but all in all everything is really good!

I had a Dr. appointment on Tuesday and learned that I gained some weight and my tummy was measuring a little big (35 weeks at 34.5 weeks). I got to see my primary doctor, who I hadn't seen since the very beginning. He is definitely my primary for a reason. He is so calm, kind, and reassuring. I told him about the specialist asking about diabetes and he actually apologized because he thought it was rude. He told me that I have a gained a perfect amount of weight and passed my diabetes test with flying colors and not to worry about the size of this baby.

We started talking delivery options and thinking that planned c-section is the way to go. After talking with Jay we are thinking that we want to push it out to 39.5 weeks instead of 39. This gives us an extra weekend to get things done. I know that babies come on their own time but having this little plan makes me feel a little more in control (which we all know I thrive on). I'm heading back in at 36.5 weeks to start the lovely "manual checks" for labor signs and to firm up delivery plans.

We are trying to finish the nursery this weekend. We haven't spent a lot of time on it during the week because we are staying up later with the gorgeous sunshine and then tiring out once the kids go to sleep. We did purchase a shelf for the closet and I got a few things organized. I'm planning to do all of the laundry tonight and get all of his clothes hung and diapers put away. I've also got to put some hours in at the sewing machine to applique and monogram a few things for baby.

I'm going to spend some time this afternoon looking for hardware for Shep's dresser. It came with these plastic casters that are hideous! I've convinced Jay to do two more projects before we call it a day. He's making a toy bin and shelves out of reclaimed wood that we have leftover. I'm so excited to see how these projects turn out. I love how this nursery has so many personal touches. My nursery projects for the weekend include white-washing the pallet wall, waxing the crib, and painting this really cool mirror I picked up at homegoods the other night. I have a feeling we'll be cutting it close between getting all the fabric sewn and completing the finishing touches!

Pregnancy Highlights:
Today's Date: Friday, March 14, 2014
How Far Along: 35 weeks 
Pregnancy Countdown: 35 days until due date!
Size of babies: A Coconut. The baby weigh between 4.2 to 5.8lbs and should be between 17.2 and 18.7 inches long.  I'm guessing S is measuring at a good 6lbs by now
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I'm up 4 pounds. I didn't weigh myself last week so I'm guessing I've gained it in the past two weeks which is fine by me. I was hoping to stay under 25 but looks like it'll be more like 30. My total right now is 24 lbs. 
Maternity Clothes: Yes, I have around 3 tops that fit. It is so hard with spring weather. I don't want to buy any more clothes but can't really wear my sweaters anymore.
Gender: Boy- Arthur Shepherd Carroll
Movement: OMG a ton! He is nuts. Jay finally felt him going crazy and was all how do you sleep with all that going on? 
Sleep: Back to sleeping really well. Not waking up during the night at all :) LOVING IT! This is crazy but I am still halfway sleeping on my tummy! I tried doing this at Jay's mom's house when we stayed a few weeks ago and couldn't. Our mattress is super soft and I'm thinking that is the only way this works for me. We've been talking about getting an new firmer mattress but will definitely be waiting until we are DONE having children :) 
What I miss: getting out of my seat without round ligament pain. It has been intense! Also wine.
Cravings: Last night I wanted proscuitto soooo badly! I have a serious love for that stuff but only the really good ($30/lb) kind so I only buy it when I really want a treat!
Symptoms: Not too many. I have contractions at night that will stop me in my tracks but none are consistent. I need to use the restroom more frequently and I've got a lot of pressure happening on my hips and pelvis. 
Best Moment this week: Watching Holden love on baby Shep. He always points to my belly and says baby and will randomly run up and give my belly a hug and a big kiss! On the contrary, Emma Cate is terrified of my belly and stays as far away as she can!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Twin Update 20.5 months

Just a few things I want to remember about my babies at 20.5 months old. Big news this weekend... the pacis are gone. We are still adjusting to earlier wake up times and shorter naps but that could also be the time change. Holden gave his up easily and Emma Cate still says paci when she is upset but a little cuddle with Boo and she's good.

Emma Cate
You are still so feisty. You are a stubborn little girl and you remind your Gigi of your mama. I guess karma comes back around... You LOVE to hide and then look at us and say "I see you". You say is really fast and with purpose, like ic yooouuu. If a say peek you'll respond with ka-boo. You have definite opinions on everything. We'll ask you if you want something and you'll give us a clear yes or no. You've been learning about time out recently and you do not like it. You are quick to hit the dogs and Holden if they get too close to you. You are not one to love and cuddle. You are Miss INDEPENDENT. I love that God gave you such a strong personality but know that you are going to frustrate your daddy and I :) You love to hide in the corners of your crib and give big smiles. You are always so sweet when we come to get you from your crib. You are the BEST helper and will pick up things and bring us your shoes and socks. You have been LOVING going outside. You love the bubbles, pushing your Y bike around, and swinging. I'm hoping that we can get Daddy to install your swing soon. If I mention outside, you are quick to sit down for me to put your shoes (shooooos) and socks on. You are quite the little imitator! You got your first skinned knee this week and love showing your boo boo. You are still into accessories and love hats and sunglasses. You've finally started wearing bows and I love it! You have started requesting to go potty and you'll sit on there for a long time. You've only actually gone in the potty twice. I'm taking a laid back approach to this. I'm thinking we'll work on it harder after the new baby is born and I am home with you all day. When we head to the fountains at froyo or the mall you are so cautious with your pennies. You like to drop them in to hear the kerplunk sound. You are also cautious on the steps and don't like to go down on your belly anymore. You prefer to use the handrail like an adult.

You are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Gosh you are soooo sweet and such a flirt but then you can turn into a little terror! You love looking at us and making us smile with your silly faces. You are a good little imitator like your sister. You hate to be left out. If Emma Cate falls, you will fall too just to get attention. If someone coughs, you fake cough too. You are way more patient than your sister. You recently bit Emma Cate pretty hard. She was flailing her arms at you and you grabbed and bit her. I didn't see it but you definitely left a mark. You are getting a little mischievous. You'll look at us and listen for instructions and then do the exact opposite. You love you some Gigi and Pop Pops. You call Pop Pops, Pop-pooh and every time you say his name you say airplane. I'm guessing you either understand that we went to see Pop Pops and rode an airplane or that he always visits us on an airplane. Speaking of, you LOVE planes. We've been outside a lot lately and every time you hear one you go crazy looking for it. You love when we spot it and you can watch it fly overhead. Thank goodness we live on a flight pattern! You are LOVING cutting the grass outside. You also love your trucks and especially when you make them crash. Crash is a new favorite word. You also love to say bless you when someone coughs or sneezes. Sometimes you fake sneeze to say it to yourself. It comes out as bess you. You are also very familiar with time out. You throw your cup and food at the dinner table and wind up there a lot. You are quick to say sorry and give a hug to get out. You are very affectionate and still run up to give me big hugs randomly while you are playing. You kiss with your head and mommy has been head butted a few times recently. You love to do fist pound with your daddy and I had to tell your teachers about it because I was afraid they would think you were trying to punch someone! You are getting good at throwing and looks like you'll be a righty! We've visited the fountain at froyo a lot and you've got a pretty good penny throwing arm!

You both are so funny and I have the BEST time hanging out with you. You make your Daddy and I laugh so hard and bring our family so much joy. We couldn't imagine our lives without you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Scenes from Our Weekend- picture overload

We had a busy, fun, and super productive weekend. I am simply exhausted this morning. I woke up at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. I could REALLY use a nice green tea right about now to wake me up!

I am a believer that the weekend really starts on Thursday soooo without further ado...

Jay and I had a fun date night planned for Thursday. We got a really babysitter so we didn't feel guilty staying out! The kid's school does this really cool art night. It's like a gallery crawl where you walk the halls of the preschool and a ton of cool art projects are displayed. The kids' work was so good and I loved how they took pictures of our little artists creating their masterpieces. We got our sitter early and stopped by the mall so I could get my nails done before heading out. That's how crazy our week has been! I had to use date night to squeeze in a manicure! Anyhow after the art crawl we went out with some of the other parents to Carpe Diem. I had the BEST veggie pizza and will add that to my list of favorite foods! We also had a great time chatting with other families.

I had to work on Friday but Jay was able to take the day off to stay home with the twins instead of getting a sitter (they don't go to school on Fridays). He had some house projects to work too. 

This one has FINALLY been keeping a bow in her hair. Only problem is keeping up with the bows if they fall out! Our kids are such messy eaters. We usually go sans clothes at breakfast and dinner so we only have to stain treat their clothes from lunch. 

this guy LOVES his daddy!

Jay sent me this pic from their errand running session. So freaking sweet. It made me want to run home sooo bad! I was pretty shocked because normally they behave so poorly in the side by side stroller. Moms of multiples or those having a second baby, I totally recommend getting a front and back stroller instead of side by side! Mine pull hair and bite when they are sitting side by side.

I got home and the rain had FINALLY stopped and the sun was coming out! We made the most of the time outside. The twins are LOVING bubbles and we spent a good chunk of outside time blowing and chasing bubbles on the front porch.

Friday night, my mom and I hit up the Harris Y Consignment sale. I'm getting good at this consignment sale shopping thing! I can easily spot the brands I want and know which toys my kids will love. I got Holden a new dump truck and my mom bought him a fire truck. My kids have SOOO many toys so I'm really selective about what I get them. If I'm going to buy a toy I have to KNOW they are going to love it and right now H is sooo into trucks and I figured these would be great outside toys for the summer.

Saturday was busy busy busy but sooo much fun!
Holden found his new trucks as soon as he woke up Saturday morning. WHOOOA was the response I got! He was so excited. I love doing stuff that makes them so happy!

After baths and breakfast we headed to the Y for gymnastics. The kids had a blast running around and were so surprised when Gigi stopped by for the last 10 minutes of class. They LOVE their Gigi.

someone LOVED being thrown into the pit.

someone didn't

Headed over to the Londry twin's first birthday party after gymnastics. Seantel had every detail covered and they the party was absolutely adorable. Everything this family does is cute! The weather was awesome and the babies loved playing outside with all of the kids. I can't believe that I didn't take ANY pictures. You'll have to check out her blog to see all the cute pictures from the party. Happy First Birthday Ellie and Graham! 

The twins were exhausted but naptime didn't run very smoothly. We decided that we would take paci's away this weekend. They only use them in the car, at nap, and at bed time but it was time to go! The first few car trips were a little rough for emma cate. Nap time took a good 30 minutes for them to both go down and I'm not sure if Holden ever fell asleep. I ran errands during nap and Jay worked on the nursery. He called me around 3:30 and asked me to come home and grab Holden so that he could finish working. My mom and I had planned to go to the sleepy poet and Hobby Lobby to look for things for Shep's room. We picked up the babies and shopped until 7pm. We met Jay for a late dinner at Rusty's and then put the kids to bed. Bedtime was pretty easy because they were sooo worn out. 

Jay sent me a bunch of progress pictures throughout the day!

trying to figure out furniture arrangement

I'm realizing the rug I purchased was too small and I'm not loving the furniture arrangement. Luckily, my mom came over Sunday to help with that. Jay and I spent a good 45 minutes moving everything around. I'm also so in love with this dresser. It was a craigslist buy that Jay refinished. Seriously he is so handy! I'm looking for new hardware and planning to switch the casters to brass. I can't decide if I want to put brass casters on the crib too...

does anyone else creep on their sleeping children. I love to peek in on them at night and take their picture to show Jay. This girl seriously LOVES her dog Boo. 

He is the funniest to watch sleep. His legs are leaning up against the armoire. He sleeps in the craziest positions. No wonder my bumpers are all misshapen! 

We woke up around 8am which is really 7 thanks to the time change and headed out to celebrate Daddy's birthday at our favorite brunch spot, Toast. Afterwards, I took the babies to run a bunch of errands and to give Jay the morning off. We went to the mall and got some birthday gifts and Holden got a new pair of Sperry's. He is looking like such a big boy. He should really wear a size 6 shoe but we had to get him a 7 because his poor feet are too chubby. Jay is so worried he'll be a short chubby little guy which would be total karma because Jay had a friend that he made fun of for being the same way...
They got balloons at nordstrom and this was their face as Holden's got caught in the wheel of the stroller and broke away from the string. They were precious watching it float to the ceiling. 
We stopped at Starbucks at the mall while waiting for the mall stores to open. I made the mistake of grabbing a "granola" bar to find out that it was primarily chocolate. Another stained outfit. 

Jay and I spent ALL of nap time working on this nursery. It took him FOREVER to make the final cuts on the pallet wall. Getting around the window, electrical outlet and floor vent took sooo many cuts. While he did that, I started finishing the crib with Annie Sloan's wax. I am LOVING the finish that it gives the crib even if it is taking forever. The twins both took short naps (I'm blaming it on daylight savings) so I only got half of the crib finished. Hoping to finish the rest tonight as well as put a wash of paint on the pallet wall. 

Yay! The wall is done! Now time to paint, hang curtains and put the room back together. Don't mind my child's outfit. It was such a nice day that they napped with windows open in just their t-shirts. We added the boots in order to go play outside. Gigi bought the babies a bubble machine and OMG it kept them entertained for EVER. Another GREAT toy purchase! I wish I took some pictures of them playing but it's hard to take pics and keep them out of the road. We need one of those neon green slow-men to hang out at the front of our house. 

Someone (Holden) got a hold of mama's scissors and poked a hole in the screen. Daddy was not happy. Here he is showing me his uh oh. Love that cute pudgy hand though...

My mom took our family out to dinner at Harper's to celebrate Jay's birthday! He turned 29 on Sunday. This little girl is obsessed with these sunglasses. I am working on finding her a decent pair. The mismatched neon sides aren't really working with our style. The lady at Nordstrom chuckled at me when I asked if they had any baby ran bay aviators. 

we finished off the night with froyo to celebrate our favorite guy. I was such a slack wife and didn't even get him a card or make him his favorite dessert this year. I feel terrible that I really downplayed his birthday this year and will definitely be making it up with the big 3-0 next year! I'm planning to surprise him with my homemade key lime pie sometime this week.