Pregnancy Update: 40 Weeks


So we've made it! 
We're past the 40 week mark now. 

Looks like we'll be inducing labor soon, if baby doesn't come naturally beforehand. Why induce? Due to some risk factors that I have, my midwives don't want me to make it to 41 weeks. So, Baby Inkling, we'll be meeting you very soon. 

 It delights my heart to hear my older children squeal with delight as we pack overnight bags and get the last minutes details ironed out.  

Baby Inkling, we love you and are ready to welcome you with open arms and hearts.

I guess we need to get down to business and settle on some baby names now, ay? :-) 

My next blog post may be a few days in coming, but wait for our big announcement at that time!

Pregnancy Update: 39 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 39 Weeks Along

Recently I was talking with my older kids about changes that take place during pregnancy. One symptom for me is a sensitive nose. Smells like dirty diapers or ripe fruit can quickly turn my stomach. 

This week I went shoe shopping for myself. I realized that 9-months pregnant is NOT the best time to buy shoes. My feet are swollen and at least half a size bigger than usual. 

I also had an eye exam this week. The eye doctor took a retinal scan of my eye and then showed me on the computer what he saw. He told me that he could tell I was pregnant from looking at my eyes! My blood vessels are dilated, so he knew that I was in the late stages of pregnancy from what he saw on that scan of my eye. 

Fascinating! So from head to toe, from my eyes to my swollen feet, I am one very pregnant woman! :-) 

I always say that God knew what He was doing when He made pregnancy to last 9 months for us ladies. 9 months is enough time to get everything ready, to feel prepared. And yet 9 months is long enough that every pregnant mama feels ready at the end to be done with being pregnant, ready for the next phase with baby on the outside. His timing is perfect and right. 

Baby Inkling, we're ready for you! 
We know you'll come in your own time. 
We love you! 

Toddler Girl at 20 Months


 My toddler girl has now passed the 20 month mark. She is such a smiley happy child. She has her moments of difficulty, but generally has a very cheerful disposition.

She loves books. She doesn't sit still for long without going to get a book to look at. Here she's about to give Dad a high-five. The two of them read a few books together each night before bed.

She is speaking so clearly now, parroting so much of what we say at home. She tries to sing the ABC song and gets about half of the sounds and the whole tune right. Her "yes" has turned into a quick "ya" now to answer most questions. She can count to 10, with a little help. It's truly incredible to watch how quickly a toddler picks things up!

This girl has always loved dogs. She often sees our neighbor's dog Lola. Now she counts Lola as one of our family when she names us all. 

She likes to brush her teeth regularly now, like the big people do. Her favorite things include playing with water, going on walks in the stroller or playing in the yard with big brother and sister. She likes to drink juice and chocolate milk, which is a rare treat. She likes to listen to music and will often start dancing around the living room when it plays. 

I'm sure she'll "grow up" a bit more in the next month or so when our new baby arrives. Her world is about to change, but she's ready for it! We love you, Little Lady!

Field Trip: Hesston Steam Festival


Over Labor Day, we took a family outing to Hesston, Indiana, to the Hesston Steam Festival

We had visited this festival about 6 years ago, so we were due to visit again. 

My son really enjoyed seeing the cranes and steam-powered tractors and trains. 

The festival is low-key and low cost. What's big about it is the noise - lots of steam engines blowing whistles - and the big machines themselves. They have 3 different sizes/gauges of trains to ride. They have a working steam-powered saw mill and plenty of local people with a passion for steam engines and a willingness to share their passion.

The family, minus this very pregnant mama, enjoyed a 30-minute train ride (after a nearly 1 hour wait).

Yeah for inexpensive, educational field trip opportunities that are also fairly close to home!

Grandpa Visits


My dad lives in Wisconsin so visits from him are rare, but he did pay us a visit a few weeks ago. My oldest daughter got him to do some silly faces with her. 

My son was hiding most of the time, so I didn't get him in any pictures. But my youngest enjoyed reading some books with Grandpa K.

My husband's parents live nearby, but visits from them aren't super common either. Here's a picture of Grandpa R with my two girls. 

Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks Along

Wow! 38 weeks done already. 
Truly, Baby Inkling could join us on this side of the womb any day now. 

I've had some funny conversations with toddler boys this week. One little boy was very serious when he asked me "What chu got in your shirt?" 
I told him there's a baby in there. 
"Show me!" he demands. 
"Hmmm... in a few weeks I will do that."

Another boy (who has a baby sister) told me that he knew there was a baby in there. He asked me how much longer until the baby came out. I told him it'll be soon. He shook his head, affirming "I knew it. I knew it would be soon by looking at your belly." 
He's a smart one! 

My own children are already making plans for another baby, AFTER this one! "It'll be like having triplets if you have another baby right away!" I love their hearts. 

I am still feeling good, though slightly more uncomfortable as the baby has shifted or dropped in the last few days. 

I have purchased the last few things we *needed* for baby. 

We are ready to welcome you with open arms, 
Baby Inkling! 

Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks Along

In this picture I'm wearing a "baby shirt" that my hubby made for me with our first baby. Fun memories and always gets my kids' attention when I wear it around the house!

This week's theme has been: heartburn and lots of it! Day and night, no matter what or when I eat or drink. I burp up spicy things and I burp up bland things, like water! 
I'm thankful for TUMS this week! 

There is very little left to do before Inkling arrives. I should put a few final items into my hospital bag. And this week I want to shop for a new diaper bag. I have some friends who are treating me to free babysitting so that I have a few free hours during the day, as well as an evening date set up with my hubby. Whoo hoo! What a blessing! 

So Inkling, we'll be ready whenever you are. 

I have been predicting, however, that I will make it to 41-42 weeks, as I've done with my other pregnancies. My full-term babies tend to not want to come out, until induced. So, I'm not holding my breath for a September baby and am mentally prepared if s/he waits until early October. 

Pregnancy Update: 36 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 36 Weeks Along

This week I've felt baby hiccups for the first time. They've probably been there before but I haven't noticed them until now. 

At my last midwife visit they confirmed that baby is head-down and it's very unlikely that baby will move from that position from here on out. 

I've been experiencing a lot of heartburn and indigestion. The old wives' tale says that means a baby with lots of hair. My babies do tend to have a lot of dark hair, so that is likely to be the case whether or not I have heartburn. 

We had cooler, fall-like weather this past week, which provided many opportunities to take walks outside. I had also been feeling very hot, so the cooler temps meant less fan and a/c use in the house, which was also a nice reprieve. 

I packed my hospital bag essentials this week. I need to put a few more items in, but the main things are ready to go.

Turning the calendar to September means that Baby Inkling's arrival is growing ever closer. 
Just a few weeks now.
I think I may be ready.  

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks Along

Baby probably weighs about 5 pounds. From here on out, it's all about plumping up and gaining weight. All the necessary parts are functioning, it's just a matter of the baby fattening up.

This week I began packing a few items in a hospital bag.
I opened the first bag of size one diapers to have handy (of course, they look SO tiny). I put together a baby registry on just in case anyone is interested in what we still need (which really isn't much). I bought a baby book to use in putting together a scrapbook for Inkling.

I also took my older two children on a tour of the childbirth unit at the local hospital. They had been there to visit us after the birth of "Flutter" about 20 months ago. However, they had never seen the birthing suites, the nurses station, NICU, etc. For me, seeing it all again reminded me that the day is coming soon when I'll be there, laboring and cuddling my sweet new baby.

Time is indeed drawing nigh!

We love you, Baby Inkling, and are counting down the days and weeks until you officially join our family!

Toddler Girl at 19 Months


This toddler is growing and growing. 
She's now surpassed the 19-month mark.

Her hair is growing out. We've not cut it yet. The back tends to be tangled now, making it hard to comb out each morning. 

She is fascinated with watching the bread machine work. So cute as she peeks in the little window.

She loves to eat with her own spoon and fork. We may soon move her from the high chair to a booster seat at the big table. 

She just wants to do anything that big brother and sister do. Big playground equipment at the park, running around the yard, playing in the sprinkler, wrestling on the floor, pillow fights. You name it... if they are doing it, she wants to be doing it too.

That includes things she doesn't understand at all. When brother was asked to stand at the wall for a few minutes as a time out, her compassionate heart led her to stand at the wall with him. She loves him. 

Her vocabulary is growing daily. Some of her favorite words these days are "airplane" and "flip flops." She loves to distinguish between "big" and "little" items. She enjoys dancing to music, spinning in circles around the living room until she drops. 

She is such a sweet girl. She points to my belly and says "baby" but certainly her understanding of a new baby coming our way is limited. Life will change drastically in the next month or so. I'm trying to enjoy these moments with her while at the same time pull away a little to make the adjustment easier. It's a difficult balance. 

We love you, Little Lady!

Park Days


Summer means days at the park. 

In our area, we have numerous "splash pads" connected to the parks which are great for kids to enjoy on hot days.

Here are a few shots of my youngest daughter playing at the park and splash pad this summer. 

Just my size!

(This is what we did together when the older two were at swim lessons - see previous post on the swim lesson experience).

Swim Lessons


My older two kids recently took swim lessons. This was a first for them, but they were super excited about it. 

My daughter takes to the water like a fish. She easily passed her level one class and wishes she could move on immediately to level two. 

My son was a bit more reserved, hesitant and had to work up his courage to do some of what was expected. I think he drew strength from having his big sister in the same class. 

We are blessed in our city to have numerous aquatic centers and pools that offer lessons. We're thankful! 

Pregnancy Update: 34 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 34 weeks along

Baby should be weighing 4-5 pounds now. I'm definitely feeling a lot of movement. 

I accomplished a lot in the last week. We got out our boxes of newborn baby clothes, got them all washed and sorted. I set aside a few outfits for taking with us to the hospital, though that's as far as I've gotten with packing the hospital bag. 

I *think* my husband and I have settled on baby names. 

And we're starting to get a game plan for who is watching our older children when we're in the hospital in labor. We're also talking about my husband's work schedule and scheduling some time off when the baby comes. 

It's getting closer now. Just a few more weeks! 

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks Along

This week I have felt really good, with a little energy boost kicking in. We did some cleaning and re-arranging this week, which feels good to this nesting mama. 

I was able to get a great deal on small diapers this week at CVS, to stockpile some for the baby. 

We got out the baby car seat from storage, which is one step closer to getting it into our van. This will necessitate another step of moving our 18-month-old (and her car seat) to a different spot in the van.

I also had a visit with my primary care doctor this week, who was very pleased with my weight gain and handling of my gestational diabetes. Good news all around! 

We love you, Baby Inkling, and delight in preparing a place for you in our home and hearts! 

Triple Birthday Bash


This time of year, it is our tradition to hold a Triple Birthday Bash to celebrate the 3 summer birthdays in our family (of my hubby, my daughter and me). 

It was a lot of work to pull this off this year and I'm not sure I'd try it again being this pregnant. But it did go well. We've only skipped doing the Birthday Bash once and I regretted it after the fact, so I am glad that we hosted it this year.

Our neighbors joined us, which was nice. This is Liz and her dog Lola. My kids love Liz as a babysitter and my daughter dog-sits for Lola on occasion. Lola was wearing a party dress for the occasion. 

We tried a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for the first time ever. It was a hit with everyone!

Here is my oldest daughter opening some gifts. She is really into house layouts and floor plans these days, so she was super excited about a re-usable sticker planner she received.

She received lots of nice gifts - a hula hoop, a big bouncy ball for outside, a nice organizer for her room, nail polish, 2 alarm clocks, a body pillow, and that's just what I can recall. She is well loved!

Fun times and memories in the making!

Happy Birthday, Babe!
Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter! 
Happy Birthday to me!

Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks


Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks Along

My birthday is this week, so here's a shot of me with some birthday loot - plenty of goodies for making smores. Mmmm. 

I think I overdid it earlier in the week (we went blueberry picking), as I ended up with some hip pain that made simple walking difficult for a few days. However, that is gone now and hasn't returned. 

I feel good. My sister-in-law paid me a huge compliment over the weekend, telling me that I looked very healthy and "perfectly pregnant." After some not-so-flattering comments about being "sooo big" it was encouraging to hear someone tell me that I looked healthy, even thin everywhere except for my baby bump. 

We're counting down the weeks. And now that August is here, we can officially say that our due date is next month. It'll come quick. I still have plenty to do to get ready and I know these last few weeks will speed along. 

We love you, Baby Inkling!

My Boy


My son. He's 7. 
He keeps us on our toes 
and keeps life from being anywhere close to boring. 

When we got a good soaking rain recently, lowpoints in our backyard filled with water. Here he was playing in the mud puddle - making a rock bridge, jumping, splashing, pretending to be an army soldier and then pretending to be working in rice paddies. What an imagination!

He loved playing our 1980s version of Mousetrap. So fun! 

Yes, that is Spiderman you're seeing. And he's wearing a coonskin cap and sandals. And riding a bike. 
The cutest superhero around!

He has always loved to help in the yard and/or work with tools. When the men of our church were spending a few hours helping a widow with yard work, he was able to tag along. He's not smiling in this picture, but he was being a serious helper!

You're an important part of our family. 
We love you, buddy!