Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Date is Set!

After 2 weeks of bed rest, I went to today's doctor's appointment expecting a new game plan. Last week's appointment, the doctor informed me that as long as my cervix had dilated to 5cms and the baby had dropped further, she would "scrape my membrane" (aka- thin the sack which holds my water/amniotic fluid), and send me to the hospital to go into labor. Brian preferred to wait another week, but we decided ultimately we'd let the doctor decide.

And today was the deciding day. Do I stay or do I go? To be safe I made sure to have my hospital bag with me.

The verdict- I was at 5 cms, 80% effaced, but I had not dropped any further since our last appointment. So the doctor decided that since I was only 5 days away from 37 weeks, she'd prefer to wait and "scrape and send me to the hospital" on Monday during our next appointment. So based on past performances, it seems likely that I'll have our 3rd child within hours of our admittance into the hospital on Monday, July 28th.

Be prepared for news of our little girl coming soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Past 24 Hours

Currently EVERYTHING has come to a halt in our household, particularly me.

Tuesday evening I started getting contractions about every 2 minutes that were pretty intense. I tried to lie down and plug the kids into the television system until my husband got home from work, but well.... that didn't work. My son was hungry and isn't much of a "TV watcher" so his messes and accidents ended up keeping me on my feet more than off my feet. In which case did nothing to help stop or slow my contractions.

After taking my medicine and making some phone calls to other moms, I called the doctor who told me to go ahead and get to the hospital now. Not .... wait till husband comes home.... now. So then I had the added difficulty of getting kids away from tv and toys, shoes on, and in the car so we could start the drive towards Brian's work and the hospital in central Dallas. That for me is one of the longest and most painful drives to Dallas and I'm so thrilled that God appeared to be watching over me as I encountered little traffic and no police as I rushed my way to the hospital with the kids in tow and the contractions holding steady.
I picked up Brian from work since his office building is very close to the hospital, and then at the hospital, he went to take care of the kiddos while I made my way to Labor & Delivery.

They hooked me up, had me fill out paperwork, and then had me try to relax with Vikodin. Luckily I was able to do that some as Brian contended with 2 children who were 'hungry' (it was around 6pm and they hadn't been fed yet) and 'bored' (I also didn't have emergency bags packed for anyone). Brian and I ended up splitting the kids (each taking one) so he could get them food and entertain to try and help out. Sophie asked MILLIONS of questions, about the baby, the monitor, the doctor, and life with her future sister. Connor instead wanted to explore everything. Around 9pm, with 2 very tired, fussy, and bored children, they sensed changes and wanted me to stay overnight. So Brian took the kids home, I went to a more permanent room, and over the phone we started making arrangements for tomorrow.

Around 2am, I had the contractions return in strength so I was given more Vikoden, which again helped slow them down enough to be able to get some sleep.

Wednesday I spent most of the time bored out of my mind. I hadn't put together an overnight bag (for me or the kids). Brian and I were able to get a 'saint' (Ms. Cassie) to watch our kids on Wednesday so we could get things figured out and so Brian could work while I was at the hospital being monitored and working on a game plan.

While I was still having some contractions, they were not intense and the occurances were spaced further apart, I watched a lot of tv to keep my sanity. I think I watched 4 hours of the news, 3 episodes of TLCs Four Weddings, 4 episodes of Law & Order SVU, and then a couple of programs on CNN and goodness knows what else. I'm not a tv person so it was so tiring. The high point of my day was actually seeing my doctor come in and discuss game plans.

The concern was mostly the fact that I'm 34 weeks pregnant. At 34 weeks the baby is still premature, but healthy enough that she can survive in the NICU with specialty doctors there. So by 34 weeks they don't like to stop labor but then again, typically at 34 weeks it is beneficial if the baby can stay longer in the womb to gain weight and develop their lungs. So the advice was not to encourage labor, but if labor occurs I need to be able to get to the hospital fast in case I do have a premie and need the specialized services of the hospital.

We ended up with a game plan that I could go home to do bedrest as long as 1) someone would be watching the kids full time so I could rest and literally stay in bed practically all day and 2) I would have transportation at all times to hospital. With help from my mom and family, Sophie & Connor got a surprise vacation to Kansas for the next few weeks/days. And Brian has cancelled his business trip to Chicago and is going to be working from home.

I'm so grateful that everyone rallied together to help me out with this, because I really wasn't excited about spending the next few days/weeks in the hospital. It has been tough to let go of my babies (Sophie and Connor) but I know it was important for me to try and focus on our newest littlest one. And my children helped the transition by being 'happy' to leave their mom & dad to go to Kansas. Brian has also been super helpful by taking care of me at home. He makes sure to tease me plenty (asking whats for supper.... when I'm going to do the dishes... etc...) but also bringing me anything I need or ask for and just letting me spend most of my day in bed. As a work-aholic I know this is a big sacrifice for him and he's taking on the challenge with grace and kindness.

Other orders from the doctor include an increase in some of my medication to help prevent/soften the contractions, drinking lots of water, and another appointment at her office on Monday to discuss a more 'long term' game plan for the next few days/weeks. Until then I'm focusing on getting ready and taking care of our up and coming family member and perhaps even getting a name for her.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 13- Summer School

So Saturday I'm being motivated to not have Sophie do as many workbooks as usual, while Connor and Brian go have some "man time" doing errands- i.e. pick up motor fuel, wrenches, and groceries. At home with Sophie she groaned when I asked her to get out her workbooks. I still think we need to continue some of them, but I again pulled inspiration from Pintrest and hooked my laptop up to our printer.

The workbook pages we DID do were as follows:

  • School Zone Reading Readiness Grades K-1, pages 57-59

The other material we did, was to create a Curious George clock, which she loved doing.

We found the link on Pintrest, but if you click HERE I'll take you directly to the page so you can't print off your own "George" clock as well. 

I did quiz her regarding the "o'clocks" (she's not quite ready for 9:30s, 10:45s, etc....). And she is aware that when Dad gets home she's getting another quiz, where she will have to make her "George" clock reflect the times that Dad gives her. Which of course Dad decided to quiz her on more than the "o'clocks", so she got more of an education about the 1:45s, 2:30s, 4:15s, etc... Which was good, gave me a break while I made lunch, plus she's learning from BOTH her parents. Meaning she knows that she can rely on both parents to help her with her education and questions.

And instead of doing addition in her workbook, I found these train worksheets online. Again, they are free. And you can print out 5 pages of 'train' addition, although for some reason I only managed to print 4.

Train worksheets found HERE.

Then I tried to get her to play the Turtle Diary Continent game again... but well... we'll wait till later.

I did have her watch a video about the 50 States song, which has the states in alphabetical order. She was NOT impressed... not even when Mom sang along for the first part from memory.

Fifty Nifty Alphabetical States Song found HERE.

She also informed me she's never going to Nevada because they have fires there. When she gets older and wants to go to Las Vegas.... I'm going to remind her about this moment. She did recognize Kansas (she should by now) and of course Texas.

Even though I'm kinda of all over the map with geography information (continents, countries, states, etc...) (pun intended) I did find a Texas coloring page. The good learning bit about the coloring page was that Sophie often confuses the state flag with the national flag. She felt it was unfair that Texas only had 1 star. She also felt it needed to be more colorful- red, white, and blue just didn't seem meet her expectations of 'colorful'.

Coloring page for the state of Texas.

And since we were discussing states (I mean if I'm going to bounce around on teaching Geography like a bad social studies teacher) I went ahead and printed off copies of the other states I thought we could cover. For example- Great Grandpa & Aunt Suzi live in Nebraska, Uncle Nick & Aunt Amanda (aka- "the ballers" according to Nick) live in Virginia, most family live in KANSAS, etc.. So we went ahead and printed out coloring pages for each of the states I could think of where we have family.

All you have to do to get the other states pages printed out is go to the search box in the upper right hand corner of the website and type in the state you desire.

And then of course, we have a Melissa & Doug puzzle that Sophie has been able to assemble since she was 4 of the states in the U.S. I LOVE this puzzle! Melissa & Doug..... love them.

So today we did stay away from the traditional workbooks (with exceptions of course), but hopefully she'll be content to return back to them soon because either my printer will run out of ink or I'll run out of other places to look for learning material. However, the break seems to have gone over well.

Independence Day 2014

Happy Independence Day all! With me being 7 months pregnant, we decided to celebrate fairly close to home and went to Joe Pool Lake. The idea being that we could enjoy a nice cookout by the beach while the kids played in the water. 

While this sounds like a good idea, there were a few 'hiccups' to the plan. 

#1 I forgot the hot dogs and fixings so our meal consisted of chips, animal crackers, strawberries, and drinks. Kids didn't seem to mind though..... go figure.

#2 We couldn't get a good parking spot near the 'beach' play area, so the kids had to be satisfied with another more rocky shoreline. Which didn't turn out to be the best. Old boat ramp concrete slabs, steep bank line, and rocky and muddy shoreline made it fairly unsafe for the kids to be left unattended.

Plus since Connor loves flags, my brilliant idea was to get the kids American flags that they could proudly wave around. And they did..... however, they also used them to wave at trees and near Mom and Dad's faces... so not exactly a brilliant idea. 

The atmosphere and the beautiful scenery and sunset could have been relaxing, it was marred by the unending questions about "When can I get in the water again?" by Sophia and the constant battle over food between the two, making it difficult to be patient. Both Brian and I were THRILLED once the fireworks began and the two eventually sat side-by-side in relative silence with the exception of every once in awhile Connor saying "LIGHT" really loud and Sophie asking questions about either the colors or locations of said fireworks. 

I was thrilled that Connor didn't freak out on the fireworks, like Sophie did when she was younger (once in Vicksburg and another time in Corpus Christi). And Brian and I were both glad to ship the kiddos to bed and hope that we'd get a chance to sleep in tomorrow.

Day 12- Summer School

Despite it being the Fourth of July, we (aka- I) have been slacking on working with the kiddos on home school or summer school activity. So before we headed to our events we did get in some 'learning' activities.

For one, Sophie learned from her father how to follow directions as they together worked to finish assembling her bunk bed. She worked with different types of tools- hex key and screwdriver and bolts.

During lunch we watched America: The Story of Us on the tv. While I'm sure a lot of the material was kind over the kids head, they did seem to grasp some of the parts of American history at least.

Sophie then did some of her workbooks. Again complaining that she's tired of doing her workbooks. Which made me be a little more proactive in researching for other things she can do.

  • School Zone Sight Word Fun Grade 1, pages 26-27, 38-39
  • BrainQuest Workbook Grade 1, pages 64-65, 68-69, 246-247, 264-265, and 278

Finally since we were going to be discussing geography I found some great links about the 7 continents. We watched these 2 videos (links attached to the YouTube titles... just click):

The one song she said was for "babies" and didn't like it .

I also found online games regarding the continents, which I think my 6th grade geography teachers would appreciate knowing about (even though it shows it's for the 1st and 2nd grade level). She's having difficulty mastering the mouse, so it was kind of hard for her. Plus the fact that she didn't pay as much attention and the information is new.... we will most likely be having her play the 'continent' games a few more times till it sinks in. Which is good because it's material I can use over and over and over again until she gets it which in turn gives me a bit of a break.

The Grade 1 Continent Game and the Grade 2 Continent Game are the same, they just look different on the header/title display.

Connor's learning has been a little less intensive and unfortunately less structured. He wants desperately to do workbooks with his sister, but they don't make any for his age (2). We do work on his vocabulary a LOT and he watches the same videos and games with his sister, but for the most part he's got a "freer" education than Sophie this year. I wish I could contribute more regarding his educational development, but again, I've been pretty neglect with his schedules, activities, and goals this year. Which perhaps goes to show that I might not be the best preschool teacher; however, hopefully with a little bit more research and the help of workbooks next year we can get him on track and paced with Sophie.

Afterwards we called it a "day" for summer school and prepared to celebrate Independence Day as a family.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 11- Summer School

After having some unexpected news about baby trying to come much earlier than my other 2, things have started to slow down a bit in the home school department. Mostly because I've been told to slow down. Which means a lot less cool/fun things to do with Mom and more workbook items and educational videos for the kids.

Connor lately has been really getting into the Melissa & Doug fish colors puzzle and can now complete it correctly time after time. He still can't say his colors very well, but boy can he sort them. :)

Sophie has been working on her workbooks and is starting to get bored with them. Which isn't very good for me because I depend on them so much.

  • School Zone Sight Word Fun Grade 1- pg. 36-37
  • School Zone Time, Money, & Fractions Grade 1-2- pg. 20-21

Plans were this week to work on Geography- address, city, states, countries, continents, but that has fallen by the wayside lately. I do have some videos I found on Google that I plan to show and post online when I can.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Farm Photo Book

I've fallen in love with PicMonkey! If you've been following the blog you know I created a picture book over Plants, which included photos on my children. (See that story here if you need to get caught up).

In order to get my photos to have text, another Blogger and Pintrest person suggested PicMonkey. At first my photos for the book only included added text.

But after playing around with it more today, I found out I can make my photos look so professional.
Watch out my next picture book is going to be A-MAZING! Wanna see a few?

I'll be sure to post the final product and step by step later. But I'm just saying if you don't want to wait, go over and cruise around PicMonkey and see what you can do to make your pictures better.

PS- This is not a paid advertisement for PicMonkey. I just wanted to share.