Showing posts with label Belly Pictures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Belly Pictures. Show all posts

My Pre-Baby To Do List


Note: I received the top in these photos for free in collaboration with PinkBlush!  All opinions are my own.

Every pregnancy the last couple months are full of to-do's, and I tend to get a little...tense.  I always feel bad for my poor family, because the nesting takes over a little and I occasionally (way too frequently) break down in tears because something is not getting done when I thought it would (thanks, hormones).  This time around is no different, though I have gotten a head start on the to-do list so it feels more manageable that it has in the past!

I thought I'd share a few of the things that I've had on my to-do list for the last few weeks (so I've already crossed a couple off - hooray!).  My goal is to get all of these (except the last one) done by 37 weeks so I don't have to stress too much at the end of this pregnancy.  That gives me 3.5 weeks - I think that's doable!

Get maternity photos taken.  Check!  Last weekend we ventured out into the rain (yes, rain) with my dear friend and photographer Danae.  She thought we could still get some good pictures in between rain showers, and I was praying we wouldn't get soaked.  I think the Lord held off the rain just for us! I'm pretty excited to see the end results!

Get some new maternity wardrobe basics. Check!  Up until this fall I have been mostly wearing things I already have, non-maternity clothes with a few new maternity pieces mixed in... but I have reached the point where I definitely need maternity clothes now.  There isn't much left in my non-maternity wardrobe that looks right.





My maternity basics were especially looking a little ratty after being put through so many pregnancies over the last seven years, so I decided it was time for some new ones.  To me, maternity wardrobe basics are: a good pair of jeans, a black shirt, and a white shirt.  I can do a lot with those items by adding different accessories, layers, etc!

PinkBlush has been my go-to for cute maternity clothes this pregnancy, and the last basic item I checked off my list was this white long-sleeve dolman shirt from PinkBlush. I'll be getting a lot of use out of it for the next two months until baby arrives!  The material of this shirt is perfect, it's lightweight without being see-through (I didn't even have to wear a layering tank underneath).  I'll be able to incorporate it into a bunch of outfits with different scarves and accessories, and I love how the dolman sleeves give it a little extra style beyond just being another white shirt!




On to the rest of my list!  These are the things that I still need to accomplish.

Clean out kitchen cupboards.  Half-check.  I haven't done a thorough purge of the kitchen cupboards for at least two years...maybe even three and a half (I don't know how I'm going to stay motivated to do these types of chores when I no longer have a nesting urge every couple years to push me through it). I should add a kitchen deep clean to the rotation more often, because it's sad to see the food items we waste because they were pushed into the corner of a kitchen cupboard until we forgot about them and they expired.  I'm halfway through cleaning out the kitchen as I type this.

Deep clean the bathrooms.  To clarify, I do clean my bathrooms frequently, lest you get the wrong idea - but by deep-clean, I mean take everything out of the cabinets, wipe everything down, get rid of the half-empty toiletries we don't use, and scrub every nook and cranny.

Write labels for Christmas cards/birth announcements.  Sending out Christmas cards is very important to me, so I didn't want to let it slide just because I am having a baby right before the Christmas season.  I want to at least get the addresses written out on mailing labels, so I can just stick them to the envelope when we actually get our Christmas cards...and I'm thinking about trying to tackle creating an address spreadsheet so I don't have to keep writing out addresses every year.  We'll see what I have time for.

Finish Christmas shopping.  Half-check.  I do not want to do Christmas shopping with a new baby - the Christmas season can get stressful enough for me as it is, so I am trying to take some pressure off myself by getting ahead of the game with shopping.  We mostly got this done with our Christmas-shopping date a couple weeks ago (which you may have seen on Instagram)!  I just need to buy things for Derek and pick up a few things for our extended family.  I was hoping to have all presents bought and wrapped by now, but I can't find any Christmas wrapping paper anywhere!  Sheesh, it's almost October, people.

Pack my hospital bag.  I keep alternating between thinking that I have plenty of time to get a bag packed, and having extremely uncomfortable days when I am sure the baby is going to come early.  I should probably just get a bag going so I don't have to worry about it anymore.  I need to buy a couple more items for our hospital stay (post coming on what things I think are worth buying for a hospital bag), and then I can check this one off the list.

Finish 72 days of homeschool.  To be completely realistic, I am not sure this is going to happen.  I need to stay pregnant almost to 40 weeks without any off days to get this many days checked off before baby comes, so if it doesn't happen I'm not going to be stressed about it.  But if we can hit 72 days, we'll only have 100 days of school to do in the second half of the year, which seems like a reasonable, not-too-stressful amount to accomplish with a new baby!



There is a little part of me that likes having the due date deadline for to-do's.  I wish I was internally motivated to accomplish things, but I'm just not - I do so much better with a deadline!  Tell me I'm not the only one?

Patriotic Gender Reveal Party!



Since we found out the gender of Baby #5 on July 3rd, I knew I wanted to do a patriotic-themed gender reveal party this time around! Kind of a late 4th Of July celebration/gender reveal.

It's pretty easy to do patriotic food too - I made some swirly patriotic fudge, and a s'more dip in the colors of an American flag.  Throw some American-inspired Hershey kisses and red, white and blue flowers in there, and there you go!














We served hamburgers to our guests, and asked everyone to bring a side to share - and there was plenty to eat!



We had our friends and family wear a pin with their guess.  I basically just cut up some decorations from Hobby Lobby and hot glued them onto pins - red hearts for a girl, blue hearts for a boy.






Everyone expects some sort of gender reveal party games at our parties, so I came up with a couple...

Game #1 - Guess how many pieces of candy are in the jar.  There were slightly more red M&M's for those who thought they would be talented candy guessers.  There were 311 pieces of candy, with $5 Starbucks gift card for the winner!

Game #2 - Our Baby Name Game involved learning the names of everyone in the room, and then coming up with a baby name (opposite of each person's gender) that starts with the same letter.  There may have been ulterior motives to this game, since we don't have a girl name pick out yet.  I got a couple ideas from everyone's sheets!  For participating, guests were entered into a drawing for another $5 Starbucks gift card (the promise of a prize just makes any little game so much more appealing).




I won't show all the pictures of our friends and family here, but we had a great party!  It was fun to visit with everyone and enjoy all the wonderful food that everyone brought!  And of course, our family dressed up in all our patriotic attire.

Finally, for the actual reveal we did a little contest too.  I made pudding/whipped cream pies for a "pie" eating contest...


In each pie was a paper with the combination to open this box:


I put a pink glow stick on the inside!  We had originally planned this party in the evening because we wanted to announce Baby's gender with a sparkler...but our county was put under a fire ban right before our party, so I resorted to a glow stick instead.  It worked out pretty well!  Everyone was extremely competitive and fought over the box, but in the end, my sister got to open it!



 

Baby #5 is a sweet baby GIRL, and we are so excited!  


Also, for those of you who entered your guess on Baby's Gender...the poll ended up being almost dead even for boy vs. girl guesses!  Thank you to everyone who participated, I had so much fun reading through all the guesses.  And the winner of the drawing from those who guessed correctly was...my blog friend Alex, from Inspiration Clothesline!  I'll shoot you an email soon Alex so I can send you your prize!












Baby #5 Is A...




I feel that I have to ramble a minute, because if I don't the answer to Baby #5's gender will just be right there in your blog reading feed - and where is the fun in that?  Just give me a minute to play "I know something you don't know" a minute longer.

It's...

a...








GIRL!!

We have officially broken our boy/girl pattern, and the girls won the tiebreaker!  

We found out last Monday!  We always have the ultrasound tech put the answer in an envelope for us to open at dinner, so after we got to see our sweet baby up close we headed to a fun themed Mexican restaurant (with caves and cliff-divers and dinner shows and everything - it's a fun place.).  


On the way over I showed the kids all the pictures of the baby's face, and they were so interested.  Clyde especially asked to see the pictures over and over again after we found out the gender, and he kept giggling and saying, "She's so cute!"  He's pretty smitten for a child that claimed to have wanted another brother - it's pretty adorable!

We took a risk and opened the envelope with the kids at dinner, and they were all excited!  It was fun to see their reactions, and I'm glad we decided to tell them before everyone else.  They did a great job of keeping the secret until our official announcement!

Now to just pick a girl name!

A Story Of Two Lines (For The 5th Time)



It's still a bit surreal, sitting down to write out the story of how we found out we were expecting our fifth baby! I never thought about having five kids until the last couple years, and even then I was mostly working on convincing my heart that we were done at four.  As I sit here typing, I'm just feeling so grateful that the Lord has better plans than our own.

I guess this story sort of starts when I was pregnant with Clarice.  I didn't write about it much, because I ended up being wrong, but when I first got pregnant with Clarice, I was convinced it was twins.  Her pregnancy and all my symptoms were so different than any of my other pregnancies, it seemed to make sense.  Of course I found out that there was indeed only one baby in there, but for that brief period of time I had five kids on the brain.  After I found out it would only be four, five would never quite let go.

A few months after Clarice was born, I remember sitting there, looking at my beautiful family, my four beautiful kids, and feeling a sense of contentment...but at the same time, I had this niggling little feeling somewhere inside.  It kept whispering that maybe someone was still missing.

The feeling persisted, and I mostly tried to dismiss it, because four had always been our number.  Five really hadn't been on the radar.  When I told Derek how I felt, we prayed about it for a few months, and went on with daily life.  I had heard from other moms that even after their last baby they never felt "done", so I tried to convince myself that this was all part of the normal adjustment after you pass your child-bearing phase.  

I cleaned out some of our baby items, and dropped them off at the pregnancy center and the thrift store.  When we gave away the activity "city" that we got when Wyatt was a baby, Derek turned to me and told me that it all made him a little sad.  He was feeling good about four, but seeing our baby things sitting on the pavement made him sad that it appeared to be all over.  I was a little sad too, but tried not to think about it, because the thought of being done was always sad.  And that was normal, right?

I had a couple months after I got my cycles back when I almost convinced myself I was pregnant, because my premenstrual symptoms were so different after Clarice - every month they were more like early pregnancy symptoms than PMS.  After a couple months of torturing myself, I decided to stop charting the second part of my cycle, and stop paying attention to my "symptoms" that kept turning out to not be pregnancy symptoms at all.  My thought was that if I wasn't having to record my temperature every morning during the second part of my cycle, I wouldn't be thinking about our methods and the probability of us getting a surprise, and I wouldn't have time to talk myself into the idea of being pregnant.

So in February I charted until I knew we were safe, marked when my next cycle would start on the calendar, and didn't think about it.

Technically, I knew I could start on Friday, but it could also be Saturday, so I packed a few feminine things in my purse on Saturday March 4th, and I went off on my antique store shopping trip with my mom and sister.  I got home later, helped Derek with the kids, and read a book the rest of the afternoon.  That evening I remembered that I hadn't started, and decided to take a test the next morning.  Just to rule it out.  Then I could take that information and predict my ovulation a little more accurately the next cycle.  It wouldn't be the first time I ovulated a day or two later than I thought.

So the next morning, when I pulled out that test, I wasn't particularly careful while taking it.  I didn't count to exactly five seconds.  I didn't really think it would be positive.

I popped in my contacts, and went back to look at the test sitting on the side of the tub.  One solid line, so I looked to the next window, and with a bit of a start, realized there was a very faint second line forming.  My heart picked up a little, and I sat there with my chin in my hand, completely bewildered as the line got darker and darker.

I figured out later that if I had taken a little more care to study the test before I took it, I would have known that I was squinting that whole time at the control line.  The test line was the dark line that I could see clearly before I even got the contact solution out of my eyes.

I was pregnant!



Looking back, I should have been a little suspicious.  I had been exhausted for an entire week, I was waking up twice every night to use the bathroom, and I had cried one night merely because Derek hadn't emptied the dishwasher.  But my PMS had been so weird for months, I really didn't suspect anything!  I never thought I would ever be truly surprised to be pregnant because I am usually so in tune with my body, but this one really did surprise me.

I called Derek downstairs and told him immediately.  He laughed, shook his head, and then I think we were both a bit in shock for the rest of the day.  It didn't even feel real until the next morning.  We were having a fifth baby!

We started to get more and more excited, and now I am honestly thrilled and super protective of my sweet baby bean!  

That first day I think we were most nervous by what people would say.  I read an article last year, "Honest Thoughts On Having A Fifth Baby", and I re-read it after we found out we were pregnant.  I feel like I could have written much of it.  Five babies are not common in our society today, and people can be so rude.  I had already received rude reactions when I couldn't 100% confirm over the previous year that we were done having babies, and I was worried because I so wanted this baby to be celebrated and welcomed as all my other kids have been.  I highly encourage you to go read that article, so you know the proper (and improper) response if you ever have a friend who has or wants an unusual number of kids.

Thankfully though, all of my people must have gotten the memo, because the reactions to our fifth little blessing have been mostly positive!  Our friends and family are all excited for us.  And if we get any negative reactions, I think our attitude is - who cares?  If someone is going to give us grief for joyfully accepting this God-ordained blessing, they don't count, and their opinion is the thing that is not welcome here.  We are celebrating and excited to welcome this precious new life!

In retrospect, I think that the niggling feeling that our family was missing someone wasn't just "normal", it was the Holy Spirit telling us to just hang on and wait a little longer because God wasn't done growing our family yet.  I wrote last year about how I was feeling convicted about the typical view of family size, as if this is the one area that we should control ourselves.  But God should have a say.  Neither Derek nor I was feeling complete peace about closing that door, and now we know why!  I am so thankful for God nudging us to wait, because that little niggly hole in my heart is filled up by this sweet baby.  I can't wait to hold him or her in November!

I'm six and a half weeks now (update coming soon), but here is my four week picture in the meantime!


 










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