Friday, June 21, 2013

Joseph swimming

We had a lot on our agenda this morning so Joseph & I didn't plan to stay at the pool longer than the extent of his swimming lesson.  Because of that I took my new camera along and played with the lenses and settings a bit.  I have so much to learn!!!


I decided the boys needed to try out "summer cuts." I think I was as scared as they were (well - Jacob didn't care) but they both look so cute!  And Joseph looks even taller to me now.  

35(ish) week pregnancy survey

We had another ultrasound this week.  I think it may be our final peek at the baby before she arrives.

 How far along? 35 weeks, 5 days

Total weight gain/loss: 9.5 lb total weight gain

Maternity clothes? Definitely yes - although I can still fit into some t-shirts and dresses.

Stretch marks? I think I may have noticed a couple of new ones on my lower back?!  Yikes.  Not too surprising though since this baby is a stretcher.  I can't believe some of the positions she pulls my tummy into.

Sleep: Sleep is now elusive.  I spent last night on the couch and was actually able to get a bit of comfortable sleep.  I know this is just prepping me for after the baby is here.  And only a couple more weeks to go!

Best moment this week: When the ultrasound tech said "she has so much hair I think you can skip straight to ponytails."  um, yay!!!  I packed the hair bows for the hospital.

Movement: lots and lots of movement.  I'm thankful for all of them.

Food cravings: Thai Chopped Salad, really - almost any salad.  Last night I went to bed craving a Root Beer Float.  I'm not sure why.  And I still kind of want one so may need to take care of that today.  :)

Gender: Girl!  Denbigh Annabelle Swearingen

Labor Signs: I've been having regular and irregular Braxton Hicks contractions. Some are starting to get a bit more painful than just uncomfortable.

Belly Button in or out? Sometimes in and sometimes out depending on how she's sitting

Wedding rings on or off? On.

What I miss:
 sleeping on my tummy.  sleeping in general

What I am looking forward to: Holding our baby!  It's getting so close and I am ready.

Weekly Wisdom:
 I am trying to enjoy every moment of this pregnancy despite the heat and growing uncomfortable feelings as this is mostly likely the last time I'll experience it.

Milestones: The ultrasound showed that Denbigh has slowed down her crazy growth just a bit.  She is now only about 1.5 weeks ahead and weighs 6 lbs. 11 oz.  This means she'll still be an 8+ lb baby at birth which is on par with our boys.  The date of her birth has been set for July 16 unless she comes early.  I'm excited that we'll be meeting her in less than 4 weeks and am working through the "to do" list of things that "just have to get done!" before then. 

Happy Anniversary

Wednesday we celebrated our 9th anniversary. We celebrated with dinner in a private room at Lulav that evening followed by a trip to Target for Windex and Ant Spray.  Very romantic.  And I have absolutely no pictures of any of that.  Which is ironic since Christopher got me a fancy new camera as an anniversary gift.  (On that note - let me just say that I have have been pretty spoiled rotten by this man lately.  And I mean - spoiled.)

I do have pictures of our afternoon though.  We took the boys to the hospital for a Sibling Prep class.  It's a cute class where they show a fun video and read a story.  They have snacks and walk the kids through holding, touching and diaper-changing a baby.

Doing the Silly Dance.
 Jacob intently diapering his baby.  Before this he attempted to "crash the baby" and "eat the baby."  We will be keeping a close eye on him.
 Joseph is taking his Big Brother role very seriously.  He did a great job diapering his baby.
 He also sweetly held his baby throughout the entire class and I saw him kiss it several times as well.  I know he is going to be such a great helper when his little sister arrives.

Father's Day

Joseph & Jacob are two of the most blessed kiddos I know to have Christopher has their daddy.  One of my favorite parts of the day is when they hear the garage door open and greet daddy at the back door with screams and hugs.  

We decided to add Daddy into our weekly post-church picture by the pond.  

I love my handsome men.

 After church we went to Local Lime for brunch.  We arrived before they opened so the boys ran off some energy first.
Daddy works hard at his job and at home and we are very blessed by the way he serves our family.  

Ways to keep summer learning FUN!

Joseph does need a bit of structure to his day and even though I didn't want to overwhelm him this summer we have come up with a few fun ways to include learning into our summer fun plans.

1. Science Experiments

Joseph loves to do experiments so we went to Target and found this great notebook.  Joseph writes down the experiment he wants to do and what he thinks will happen.  Then we do the experiment and post pictures and results. (This also helps with his writing/spelling skills.)

2. Reading

We joined the summer reading program at our local library and try to include reading time every day.  Joseph was reading before he went to Kindergarten so I try to push him to read harder books and improve his skills.  We have progressed to "short" chapter books and I love listening to him read.

3. Computer Games

I am attempting to limit "electronic" time this summer but a little can be beneficial.  Joseph enjoys playing on Cool Math Games and I have found the site to be great.  He thinks he is mostly playing games but is learning all kind of math at the same time.

4. Chores!

This may not seem like "summer learning fun" but Joseph is enjoying learning new chores around the house.  In addition to being a huge help to Mama, it has been helpful in teaching him responsibility as well as respect for "things" and "systems."

5. Economics

Joseph's school has a great economics program.  I can get into it more later but I am hugely impressed by it. Joseph has learned all about "wants vs. needs" and natural resources along with supply & demand and producing goods.  He has his eye on running a lemonade stand this summer.  We haven't quite gotten to it yet but it is on our list for the next couple of weeks.  I will keep you posted.

Under the Big Top

A couple of weeks ago we surprised the boys with a fun evening out on the town.  
We started out with dinner downtown on the Bosco's patio overlooking the river.  It was a perfect evening to eat outside.

Then we walked across the Pedestrian Bridge to the Verizon Center.
 The boys were so excited to realize we were at the Circus.  I had bought tickets early and we were in the very first row of the risers.  There were 3 rows of chairs on the floor in front of us.
 Joseph's favorite part was the tightrope act and Jacob declared the elephants to be his favorite.
 We walked out through the tunnel afterwards where Mama discovered a bowl full of tattoos so we snagged a few for the road.

Lessons & Practices

Last summer I tried to pack something fun into every day and then blog about it.  It was a great way to celebrate Joseph's last summer vacation before Elementary school.  However, this year we are doing things a bit differently.  First of all - mama is 8 months pregnant and just can't keep up!  Secondly - I felt Joseph really needed some down time this summer.  Despite that it has been a pretty busy month so far. Both boys started swim lessons this month.  Jacob has lessons every Tuesday and Thursday (his days off of school) and Joseph's lessons have been every day this week.  Joseph also started piano lessons this month.

So - our days have been full of fun at the pool, practicing piano and rounding up the final things we need for baby's arrival.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

5 weeks!

5 weeks from today - that's the scheduled day for Denbigh's arrival if she doesn't come early.  I finally ordered her new car seat since the one the boys used has expired. Now we are technically ready although I do hope she stays put for a few more weeks.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Baby Shower

A couple of my sweet (and creative and talented) friends threw a lovely baby shower for me this past weekend in Little Rock.  I was blown away with everything they did.  They were aiming for "southern shabby chic tea party" and hit it out of the park.  So so so sweet.

Thank you friends for planning, creating, decorating, cooking, attending and for the generous gifts.  I have been truly blessed with some great girlfriends in Little Rock and Denbigh is going to be honored to have so many "aunties."

33 Week Survey

Last Thursday we went in for another growth ultrasound to check on a few things and I thought it was time for another update:

 How far along? 33 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: I gained a couple pounds in the last 5 weeks so I am now up to +5 pounds

Maternity clothes? Definitely yes - although I can still fit into some t-shirts and dresses.

Stretch marks? No new ones. 

Sleep: Trying to stay on my sides which is difficult and increasingly painful.  But the end is in sight! :)

Best moment this week: That I no longer have to walk next door to the school in the middle of the afternoon.  :) And my sweet friends threw me the most awesome baby shower.

Movement: lots and lots of movement.  I'm thankful for all of them.

Food cravings: Thai Chopped Salad  and anything I don't have to make

Gender: Girl!  Denbigh Annabelle Swearingen

Labor Signs: I've been having regular and irregular Braxton Hicks contractions.

Belly Button in or out? In.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

What I miss:
 sleeping on my tummy.  sleeping in general

What I am looking forward to: Holding our baby!  It's getting so close and I am ready.

Weekly Wisdom:
 I am not sure I have much wisdom this week.  My brain is fried from all the end-of-school craziness.  But I am looking forward to summer fun and some great times with my boys.

Milestones: The ultrasound showed that Denbigh is still quite big and weighs 5 pounds already.  Her head and tummy are measuring 36 weeks while legs are right on track on 33 weeks.  Her daddy likes to say she is short and fat.  We shall see. At our last ultrasound a small separation was seen between the sack and uterine wall.  The usual things this indicates have all been ruled out so we will continue going in for our weekly appointments and have another ultrasound in a couple of weeks.  All these things keep coming up and causing more visits to the doctor but I sort of feel this is God's way of keeping me reassured that the baby is actually ok.  I get to go in every week and listen to her heart beat for 20 minutes.  And I get to see her on the big screen every couple of weeks.  

And - one of my favorite pics from our recent photo shoot with my dear friend Jenny.  She is mega-talented and I love having her be a part of this with us.

Final Days of Kindergarten

 The last couple weeks of school had a lot of fun moments.  One of the other room moms won a silent auction for a pony visit to Joseph's class.  The kids all had turns at brushing and petting the very patient pony.
 Suzy even made a quick visit into their classroom.
 They also had Field Day.  Joseph was so excited and get dressed quickly that morning.
 He was equally excited after school but much, much dirtier.
 The final week of school started with a Luau and Ice Cream Social in their class with a review of their year and a sweet video their teacher made.  
 Afterwards they all changed into swim gear and headed outside where .. . 
the Fire Department was waiting.  After a few instructions from one of the firemen
 they proceeded to the "safe zone" and enjoyed a spray down.

 I think they emptied a whole truck on these kids.  Such a special treat!