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Friday, June 6, 2014

Thing #5 Is On The Way


Looks like it's shaping up to be a busy Fall - the new H5 will be rolling off the line! Yes, there will be another little Hestermania running around, and we are quite excited.

And a little tired.

So far, here are all the stats from my midwife appointments, so I don't forget:

3/5/14 - 09 weeks, 6 days - 10cm - BP 090/62 - 131 lb
4/2/14 - 13 weeks, 6 days - 16cm - BP 120/70 - 134 lb
5/7/14 - 18 weeks, 6 days - ??cm - BP 100/70 - 140 lb
6/4/14 - 22 weeks, 6 days - ??cm - BP 104/72 - 146 lb

So according the the doctor's office, I've gained 15 lb at just over halfway, which sounds perfect, but a.) I know I weighed 128 at 4 or 5 weeks when I first found out I was pregnant, so my "starting weight" is NOT 131 lb like it was at my 10 week appointment, and b.) with the exception of my pregnancy with Elliot, when I had gestational diabetes and had to seriously watch what I ate, I have a history of gaining more weight at the end of pregnancy than at the beginning. But honestly, I'm OK with that. At this point, I'm just so happy to have a valid excuse to take a break from the low-carb diet I maintained from last August to this February (buh-bye, 24 lbs!), and to not have to take the GD test early in the pregnancy, like I was once told I'd have to, because it was handled so well with diet and *ahem* exercise last time. This is my slim window to relax about what I'm eating...so I will, thankyouverymuch.

The only negative we've really had so far is that I had placenta previa at my 19-week ultrasound visit. In the high majority of cases, this resolves itself by the 3rd trimester, so we're not stressing. It's on our radar and will be rechecked with another ultrasound around 30 weeks. Either way, it will be fine - even if I still have a full previa by the end of this pregnancy and have to have a C-section - the complete opposite of my past four au-natural births - at least there's nothing wrong with the baby.

Just the baby's exit strategy ;)

Track Back:
Announcing Pregnancy with Elliot

Biker Gang


The Hungry Pig

It all started with a refusal:


("I will not read a book but I will rite a book")

Which led to the start of something absolutely adorable:


(LOVE the bite taken out of the P!)


(Pretty sure she envisioned this on the inside of the dust jacket.)

Next, she wanted to add the "Table of Continents," but I suggested maybe she should add that AFTER she started her story and saw where it went. 


("The Baby Pig. On a farm thar was a mommy pig and a daddy pig. one day the mommy pig had a baby pig")


I'm eagerly awaiting it's continuation!

Despite her initial written protest, once Jacob woke up and we had official quiet reading time, she quickly got lost in her book:



I never read "The Boxcar Children" growing up, but I've heard great things! Too bad our library didn't have #1 and she had to start on #5. Not that she seemed to notice...or care.



The kids officially finished 2nd grade and Kindergarten the week before last, and unless I find outside activities for them every day, they are stir crazy without the structure of school! I'm wondering if they will eventually find ways to occupy themselves without my constant intervention...because, honestly, it's making me want to jump right in to starting 3rd and 1st! I already have all the curriculum, and they seem so unable to occupy themselves without complaining or bickering... We shall see. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Vocab

Elliot just added one new "word" to his repertoire: All done! Sounds more like "Ahh-dahh" but hey, that totally counts ;)

Frequent, daily words:
Car (Cahhhh) - over and over and over and over allllll day
Hot (Haaa) - with a very concerned look on his face
Yum! (Ummm!) 
Uh-huh
Uh-oh!

Just a few times:
Cracker (cah-cah)
Hi (Hahh!)
Hello? (Hehh-oh?) - when picking up a toy phone
Water (dahh-dahh) - just a few times yesterday

And today:
All done (Ahh-dahh)

Yes, I realize it's not much for a boy who will be two in just over three months (wow! when did that happen?), and there's still no Mama or Dadda, but we'll still celebrate every new little word, and encourage him to keep going!




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's Finally Spring!

Glad we enjoyed the beautiful weather yesterday because it's raining cats and dogs today!

First, we did school on the deck... moments before the umbrella got sucked up by the wind and blew into the yard!




Followed by an unplanned lesson in Economics at a local Homeschool Flea Market, where local moms sold curriculum, clothes, toys, etc. - and where my kids decided to sell homemade rubberband bracelets (Lily) and random household junk (Jacob). 

Watching their innate selling tactics in action was eye-opening for me. Lily came prepared with homemade signs, her wallet, and a firm selling price. Jacob came prepared to make as much as possible by going table to table, asking anyone would listen if they would pay, say, $10 for an old pen, or $2 for his (nearly-broken) dollar store toy. The boy had NO FEAR. 

Next time we buy a car, we're totally taking him with us.

In the end, he spent all the money he made on snacks other kids were selling, and Lily - who only sold one bracelet (there was fierce competition) and gave another one away - spent her money on one snack and a cool magnetic pattern game. 

Then they played on the adjoining playground for a long, long time - it's so hard to leave when they're making homeschool friends we can actually meet up with during the week! - and I almost passed out (I exaggerate not) from dehydration by the time we finally left. Lesson learned: always bring water, even when you're only planning to be out for an hour, because on a beautiful day, when the kids are being wonderful, it could easily turn into four. 




Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stats from Elliot's 18-Month Visit

February 20, 2014 (almost 19 months)
Weight: 22lb 14.5oz (28th%)
Length: 30.5" (2nd%)
Head Circumference: 49.5"
Weight/Height Ration: 68th%

So glad little buddy is gaining weight! Not sure why he's so short - waiting for Ryan's tall genes to start kicking in here! His weight to height ratio is GREAT, and after all that "failure to thrive" nonsense in his first year, his weight is very solidly back on the chart. Praise the Lord!

As with the last visit, the biggest concern was his speech. Or lack thereof. I think he is officially our slowest speaker. (Sam was officially our EARLIEST speaker...and hasn't stopped since.) Both Jacob and Lily were also speech delayed, and both were seen by Early Intervention, with a prognosis that they were just slow...or lazy. Only EI probably phrased it better ;)

Dr. Craig said most babies are expected to say about 50 words by the time they're 2, but with Elliot's late start, she said she'd be happy if he's saying 20, so long as he is also putting at least two words together. We shall see.

We talked again abut his possible allergy to fried egg whites - he's fine with baked eggs, since they're cooked at a higher temperature. She said we have to wait until he's 3 to test any further ourselves, although if we wanted to take him to an allergist, they could test him there. I wish our insurance was better so I could try that out! But for now...we wait. Better than the last doc who told me if I really couldn't wait to test out egg whites once more, make sure I do it in the parking lot of the ER!

I told her about his stubborn and persistent nature - which she just attributed to him being 1 1/2, but Mama knows better. He most certainly started having very strong opinions much, much earlier than any of the other kids. His persistent nature (remember the part about him being born 12 minutes after we arrived at the hospital?) is mirrored in his sisters - definitely not in his brother, Jacob the Quitter.

I mentioned his few signs: all done and up/down (both are very frequent), milk and more (infrequent/inconsistent, though we have seen them unprompted a handful of times). He points a lot, though oftentimes when you give him what he's pointing at, that's not what he wants at all, so we keep trying until we realize maybe he just likes pointing - who knows!

A couple other things I wrote down to tell her:
  • He loves playing hide-and-seek - no better thrill than being sought and then jumping out with an incoherent yet loudly excited, "Bjhdjf a jasdfj!" (Here I am!)
  • He is a good helper. "Elliot, can you pick that up for me? Elliot, put that back! Elliot, can you put your toys away?" Except of course when he doesn't want to listen. See that part about him being stubborn, above. One of his favorite games with Lily is taking the toilet plunger out of the bathroom (a no-no), finding Lily, and happily obliging her cheerful, "Elliot, can you put that back, please?"
  • He loves cars. He sleeps with cars, carries them around ALL DAY, throws them, drives them everywhere (sound effects included), rolls them down the ramps Jacob builds him, and shrieks like a Nazgul when he can't reach one, has one taken away, or can't find the one he's looking for. Not that we always know which one he's looking for. See that part about him not speaking, above.
  • Lastly, he LOVES his siblings. LOVES with the most emphasis possible. And it is very, very mutual. Lily delights in taking care of him, and Jacob has no greater joy than entertaining him and making him giggle. This stage where Elliot is endlessly entertaining to the kids is wonderful. They think everything he does is hysterical, and he is more than happy to put on a little show. I am also looking forward to Elliot being a little older so the boys can really PLAY together - they are going to be thick as thieves, those two. Samantha is still up in the air about her little brother. One day she likes him, another day they just bother each other. He pulls her hair, she knocks him over. At 3 1/2, she doesn't have the maturity to realize that he is treated differently because he is a BABY, not a threat. She gets mad and yells when he does a snatch-and-run with her toys (which is of course why he always does it), while Jake and Lily just roll their eyes and laugh, "Oh, Elliot!" and gently take it back (or more likely let him keep it - spoilers!). 
Overall, Elliot is a sweet little boy. He is silly and serious all at once, with some new-found charm mixed in. He is thoughtful and smart, though not very communicative. Half the time, I don't know what he wants, because he hasn't figured out an alternate way to tell me - or maybe I'm just not that good at reading babies...even after four of them.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Nutcracker

This afternoon, despite the snowstorm, we took a family class trip to see the Nutcracker, performed by the excellent NJ Ballet.

(photo from the NJ Ballet website)

Lily's favorite part of the show was the two hot pink ballerinas.
"I couldn't take my eyes off them!"

Jacob's favorite part was "the guy who did all of the flips!" (the Russian dancer).


Lily and Jacob with one of the mice during intermission.


Jillian with one of the Nutcracker's soldiers.


Kacki giving the kids a visual tour of the orchestra pit.





Jacob was very excited to notice the balcony and requested we sit there next time. Sounds good!

We have been studying Tchaikovsky for the last month or so in school, focusing mainly on the Nutcracker. We've read the The Nutcracker Ballet (many, many times), listened to the CD , watched the movie on Netflix, and even acted it out in our living room.



On the way home this afternoon, Ryan asked, "So now that we've done the ballet thing, we're done with it, right?" Hmmm guess ballet is not his cup of tea!

Great resources: