Friday, August 22, 2014

The BIG Ultrasound

CAUTION: THE WORD "PLACENTA" MAY OR MAY NOT BE USED IN THE FOLLOWING BLOG ENTRY.  READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Despite my reservations, the 20 week anatomy ultrasound seemed to go fine and I have yet to be called back for any "second looks" on anything - wahoo!  Everything seems to be about the same when I compare to the other three pregnancies...but I have been having a lot more lower back pain.  Initially I attributed this to the possibility of more kidney stones, which are obviously common for me in pregnancy.  The ultrasound tech got me re-thinking my hypothesis, though, because she mentioned that this time I have an anterior placenta (aka one that is located on the front).

Anterior placentas are common, but not as common as posterior placentas (those located on the back of baby, more toward the spine).  The past three pregnancies I have had insane amounts of movement...violent, jerky, painful movement that anyone and everyone could visibly SEE from across the room - and coincidentally those three pregnancies I had a posterior placenta.  This time around movement is far more muffled and *still* not visible from the outside.  And then comes the pesky back pain slash left sided kidney pain - could certainly be more stones, but I am now betting that this dumb anterior placenta has something to do with it as many women with this report more lower back pain (and more back labor, joy).

Hopefully the pain doesn't intensify...otherwise I'll be having yet another child who was significantly drugged with narcotics during part of their womb experience.  Nice.  So far only Asher has come out with no narcotics exposure...but he did get a full on CT scan while I was midway through my pregnancy.  Whoops.

Gender will remain a surprise...but Jake is thinking girl and I am thinking boy.  Vera has requested a girl, or more appropriately, "a grrrrrrrrrr" as she calls it.  Cole and Asher don't have a clue that they are getting a younger sibling...and honestly don't care, which is cool.  Either way we have plenty of clothes and gear and I'm already strategizing some new baby gear purchases...here are a few sneak peeks:

4moms Rockaroo (plan to sell our rarely used Mamaroo - let me know if you are interested!)
Zen Swaddle (weighted swaddling blanket)
Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit (already have it - for older babies 3+ months)
Bebe au Lait Muslin Nursing Cover (think Aden & Anais in a nursing cover - love!)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cole is Going to Kindergarten!

Cole just turned five this past month on July 16th and here in Tennessee, the kindergarten cut off date is August 15th.  As difficult as it is to let him go to "real school," we are taking the plunge and sending him off to Julia Green Elementary this year!  We have been incredibly impressed with the school from the very beginning, even going so far as to lease our current home since it is in their district.  He has been incredibly excited from the start and has loved our outings to buy uniforms and school supplies.

Tomorrow afternoon we go to his kindergarten orientation...with all three kids in tow (yep, we'll definitely be "that" family).  He will get to see his classroom and meet his teacher and I will get to find out about all the minute details I have been worrying about these past few months (how will he know to get at least one vegetable, even two, but not three when he gets in the cafeteria line to order pizza???)  We are especially thankful that this year Julia Green is part of a district wide student initiative grant that is giving every single student free breakfast and lunch each day :-D

Next week little Asher will be evaluated for what we *know* is a speech delay...he is 18 months and although he will gladly mimic the sound of Cole's lightsaber (pew pew pew...pew pew...), he has zero meaningful words...and zero motivation in gaining any.  Hopefully they'll be able to help us with a few exercises to get those words going.  Really anything would be helpful to prevent him from having world war 3 worthy tantrums because of not being able to express himself...





Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back in the Saddle...Maybe

Moving back to Nashville has certainly been an adventure...one full of lots of nausea and morning sickness (thank you baby E #4), floors that sink down in the middle of rooms (I think our foundation could use a lift), some intense infant self rescue swim lessons for all three kids, a never-ending stream of boxes to open, and the awesome knowledge that I am the world's worst about getting rid of our "extra" stuff laying around.  We may have moved from 2800sqft to 2800sqft but our house does NOT look like that at the moment!  Nothing seems to fit anywhere, probably because the home was built in the 1930s and there are very few cabinets and not so much closet space (very unlike our rental in Evans).

We had the brilliant idea to "cut the cord" on the cable company and strictly go with internet, using Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime for all of our television programming.  It seemed to go OK for the first month, but then the AT&T fiber optics sales guy came 'a knocking.  Bah.  He managed to talk us into signing up with them (again) for internet AND cable (don't judge - I REALLY missed BRAVO).  We are treating this as a trial since they said we could cancel any time within the first 30 days with zero penalties/fees.  Comcast has been surprisingly good, for the moment at least, so we are unsure if we will stick with AT&T.cv      

Today was our first official payday with Jake at Vanderbilt!  We were pleasantly surprised that our reduced tax burden (since this is technically a "stipend" and not a real salary) has almost made up for the pay cut from residency to fellowship.  Praise the Lord!  Jake is still awaiting his Vanderbilt credentials so he has done zero moonlighting thus far (read: from 80 hours of clinic work each week to 0 hours).  Once he gets the green light he has 2 or 3 jobs in the pipeline which should help keep up his clinical skills throughout this two year fellowship.  The kids and I have loved having him around this entire summer, though.  The last time Jake had a full summer off was the summer after MS1 - so crazy!

This week I decided it was *finally* time to take the Etsy shop off "vacation" mode and start to ease ourselves back into what HAD been "normal life" back in Augusta.  I'm happy to be working on arts and crafts once again...but it was NICE to have a massive break from everything.  I have also been working on getting the kids' school year activities scheduled...here is our insane tentative weekday schedule:

Monday
*preschool (Vera)
*Side by Side (Amanda)

Tuesday
*private cello lesson (Cole)
*SwimAmerica lessons (Cole & Vera)

Wednesday
*preschool (Vera), MDO (Asher)
*private golf lessons (Cole, possibly Vera)
*orchestra rehearsal (Jake & Amanda)

Thursday
*dance lessons (Vera)
*group cello lesson (Cole)
*SwimAmerica lessons (Cole & Vera)

We have yet to schedule Vera's private and group violin lessons, so that will be two more things to add...I think I may lose my mind.

On the less slightly stressful front, a few days ago we officially announced that we are pregnant with baby E #4, due January 11, 2015!  (And yes, we plan on not finding out the gender again...even though sometimes I think it may kill me...)  Cole came at 39 weeks (which would be January 4th), Vera at 37w3d (December 24th), and Asher arrived at 38 weeks (December 28th)...needless to say we will be on baby watch throughout the Christmas and New Year's holidays :-D  Just yesterday at 16w3d I felt movement and again today the same movement at the same time of day.  Hoping the morning sickness eases off sooner rather than later!!



Monday, May 19, 2014

Moving...in ONE Week!

I have sat down at least half a dozen times over the past few months to write at least *something* on this blog, but it hasn't happened.  We have SO much going on right now!  The kids' activities are wrapping up - Vera had her dance recital on Saturday and I don't think it has hit her just yet that she won't be going back to class with Miss Stephanie :-(  Cole had his cello recital that same day as well, and his last official lesson will be tomorrow.  He will miss Ms. Garman SO MUCH!  And somehow it is up to me to find "replacements" in Nashville for all of these excellent instructors...this is about to be a huge mom fail.

We are in the throes of last minute extra furniture selling on Craigslist, organizing all of the kids' clothes/toys/gear that needs to be stored in the cellar of the next house, and making note of anything and everything that will no doubt slip through the cracks once the movers come to pack next Tuesday.  Of course I should also be doing all of the normal, daily activities...like cleaning...cooking...doing laundry...but naturally these things are falling by the wayside.

This next phase of our life is sure to be full of excitement and more craziness, but it is hard to leave Augusta behind.  It is now in our "top 5 places to settle" list and we already know where we would buy a house should we ever come back, and I hope we do!  For now we look at the short term, which means living in Nashville for the next two full years, possibly a third depending on Jake's program and possible publishing of articles, yada yada.  Beyond that we are wide open...still considering the possibility of Stanford, as it would be nearly impossible to pass up a position in informatics there.

Throughout the uncertainty, we know He is with us...and we are holding on to Him.