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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Baby #4 - 39 Weeks

I'm free-styling my pregnancy update today because I just don't think I can fill in another of those questionaires right now.  Also, no picture because...just no. 

Sometime at about 38 1/2 weeks, I hit the Pregnancy Wall.  You know, the point in the pregnancy where you say to yourself, "I'm officially done.  I can't do this anymore.  This kid has got to get out now!"  Except the baby didn't get the memo and is happily staying put with no intentions of going anywhere.  So, I'm still pregnant.  The worst part is that I know that realistically I could have another 3 weeks left.  3 weeks is an eternity when you're so big that your stomach bumps into EVERYTHING, you are having constant, but useless contractions, you're pretty sure you're a candidate for a double hip replacement, you can't bend over due to an inflamed ligament in your stomach, and you are down to only four shirts in your closet that still cover The Belly.

I finally bit the bullet and packed my hospital bag yesterday.  I'd made the packing list last week, but hadn't gotten around to actually doing anything about it yet.  I think I was subconciously hoping that being unprepared might send me into labor a little early, but no such luck.  When I go to the birthing center to have the baby, the three older kids will be staying with my in-laws.  My mother-in-law takes a week off of work whenever a new grandbaby is born so she can help out which is really great.  However, I haven't packed for the kids yet because none of them have enough clothes to have 5 days worth of clothes packed in a suitcase while still leaving them enough in their closets to wear until then.  But, if I go into labor on my own, I'll have enough time to throw some things together for them (and I briefed my MIL on where to find anything I might forget) and if I get induced, I'll know the date in advance so will be able to pack the night before.  So I'm really not too worried about that. 

I missed my OB appointment last week because we had a serious blizzard up here in the Midwest.  My doctor's office was even closed because so many roads were shut down that people couldn't get to work.  My next appointment is this Thursday, and Princess has an orthodontist appointment the same day to be fitted for an orthodontic appliance to correct her cross bite (incidentally, I received a payment book today from the orthodontist for the next 10 months and a bill for the initial payment of over $1300....um, yeah I'll just write a check out for that, no problem...).  My younger sister will be watching the two younger kids at my house so it'll just be me and Princess and we're going to have a much needed Mommy-Daughter day which I'm looking forward to.

Anyways, I think I've rambled enough for now.  I'll leave you with a link to my list of pros to being pregnant and overdue.  Leave a comment if you have anything to add to that list because I could really use some pros right now! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Third Trimester Problems

I'm 38 weeks so third trimester problems have been plaguing me for a while now, but at this point in the pregnancy, things really get interesting because of my size.

Here's my list of #thirdtrimesterproblems.  

When I play my fiddle, I can't play the E string because the bow bumps into my stomach.

I'm pretty sure my arms are getting shorter.  I'm starting to feel like a t-rex.   

When Star stands in front of me holding onto my legs, I can't see her.  The only way I know she's there is by the little hands grabbing my knees.

When Little Man runs up to me to give me a hug, he bounces off my stomach.

I would rather leave a $50 dollar bill on the floor than bend over to pick it up.

My idea of exercise is getting up off the couch or rolling over in bed.

Getting up only once to use the bathroom counts as a good night of sleep.

95% of my maternity clothes are too small to cover my belly.

It's the middle of winter, but the idea of not putting on a pair socks when I go out is kind of appealing.

Fred Flintstone feet...'nuff said.

I have a very real fear that I won't be able to get my wedding ring off my swollen hands.

I'm ready to go to bed before the kids are at night.

My fastest speed is "slow turtle."

Any shoes that are not slip-ons are completely out of the question.

No more sitting in booths at restaurants!  Only tables with chairs that slide out, thank you very much.

The nesting instinct is kicking in big time, but I'm too big and uncomfortable to do much at all.

I'm starting to feel like people are viewing me as a ticking time bomb.

Questions like these.    

What would you add to this list?  Tweet me @supermommyornot with the hashtag #thirdtrimesterproblems or leave me a comment!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Baby #4 - 38 Weeks

How Far along: 38 weeks

Baby's Size:  According to babycenter.com, the baby is over 6 pounds now.  

Sleep: I wake up 1-2 times a night to use the bathroom and it usually takes me a good 5 minutes to get out of bed because the pain and stiffness from laying in one spot for so long is tons-of-fun.  Hubby complains that I wake him up every time I have to get up to use the bathroom :)

Movement?: Yes, but not so much anymore because baby is running out of room!  I love feeling a little foot or elbow pushing against my stomach and being able to push back.  I'm probably annoying this kid like crazy...

Food Cravings: Nothing too serious right now. 

Gender: It's more than likely a boy.  But until I see the proof myself after the baby's born, I'm not going to say that with 100% confidence. 

Labor Signs: Contractions have picked up and are getting more frequent and painful.  I'm one of those lucky people who get to spend the last few weeks of pregnancy in what feels like the beginning stages of labor. 

Symptoms: Stiffness, discomfort, an inability to bend over, fatigue, heartburn, emotional...you name it, I've got it.  I also have a painful inflamed ligament in my stomach so that's extra fun.  I'm also nesting like crazy, but can't do much at a time or lift or move anything so I'm pretty limited in what I can do which is very frustrating when I want to ORGANIZE ALL THE THINGS!        

Mood Most Of The Time: I'm getting closer to the time when all I want to do is stay in my house until the baby is born because the constant comments and questions get really irritating towards the end of a pregnancy and I get really cranky.   

Looking Forward To: Being able to spill the beans on a big announcement that is (believe it or not) not baby related!  Hopefully later this week, I'll know the final details and be able to share my news with you! 

Miscellaneous: I had an ultrasound last Thursday to check for placenta previa.  It was the worst ultrasound I've ever had.  Between the baby and the ultrasound technician both pushing down on my cervix and then having to be tilted on my head to try to get the baby to move away from the cervix so the tech could see where the placenta was and then that not working either so having to have my first transvaginal ultrasound, it really just wasn't a great experience.  I went straight from the ultrasound to my doctor's appointment and since my doctor didn't have the ultrasound results by the time my appointment was done, she told me to stick around town for a few hours in case I had to come back and deliver.  WHAT?!?!  Thankfully, I do NOT have placenta previa, and I have been given the go-ahead to deliver naturally...or be induced at 2 weeks overdue for the third time.  I'm hoping for the first option.
And on a completely unrelated note, I should probably get busy packing the hospital bag and the kids' suitcases so they can stay with my in-laws while I'm in the hospital.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Random Monday - Feb 17, 2014

Me: "Can you carry that bag all by yourself or is it too heavy for you?"
Little Man *proudly*: "I can do it.  I'm a heavy guy, Mommy!"

We have entered the (expensive) world of orthodontics with Princess.  She has a crossbite that misaligns her jaw and causes her to grind her teeth excessively and will lead to issues with headaches and TMJ as she gets older.  So she's getting an appliance that will correct this before all of her adult teeth come in and make it harder to fix.  Last Thursday, she had the impressions done for the appliance, and we'll go back this Thursday to have it fitted.  The poor thing had a terrible time with the impressions because she's like me with a strong gag reflex and a small mouth.  I had to distract her with a Disney Princess app on my little sister's smart phone to keep her from focusing on the huge metal thing in her mouth, but at least we got it done.

My 3 year old nephew fell out of bed on Valentine's Day and broke his shoulder.  He has to wear a sling for 6 weeks and it's going to be interesting as he's a very active little guy.  Little Man also fell out of bed last night (from the top bunk) and only ended up with a small scrape and bump on his head.  I appreciate the fact that he didn't try to top his cousin's injury.

Valentine's Day...I picked up an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen for Hubby and gave that to him since he loves them so much (they're so stinkin' expensive that we rarely buy them).  I had bought the kids some cute character cups for their toothbrushes, but I couldn't remember where I put them so they didn't get them until today when Princess found them in a bag behind the couch and they helped themselves :)  I wasn't expecting anything from Hubby so I was completely surprised when he gave me a bag of dark chocolate and the sweetest card ever.  We didn't do much, but it was a good day nonetheless.   :)  

Princess drew a picture of me the other day.  Let's just say that it's not flattering... 

According to Princess's depiction, I'm bald, HUGE, and am having 13 babies, all girls, of course.  But at least I'm smiling, right?!?! 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for "The Marriage You Always Wanted" by Gary Chapman!  It ends on February 21st so there's not much time left to enter!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"The Marriage You've Always Wanted" Review and Giveaway

When I was given the chance to review Gary Chapman's new book, "The Marriage You've Always Wanted," I jumped at the chance.  I've read several of his other books including "The Five Love Languages" and have always found his writing to be supported by the Bible and very helpful. 

Visit the official website
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Small group curriculum also available here

About the book:
You can picture the perfect marriage in your mind, but re-creating it in reality doesn't come easy.  Trusted counselor and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reasons the the most sought-after ingredient in any marriage is true oneness.  In "The Marriage You've Always Wanted," he presents expert wisdom and common sense methods to establishing that true unity on emotional and practical levels.  Discover the wit and insight that makes his worldwide presentations and marriage conferences so popular.  Are you trying to change your spouse?  Do you know what it means to really love someone?  Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage?  Dr. Chapman has answers and action steps on topics from expressing your emotions to managing your money, all in a format that will have you and your spouse talking and learning with every page.  

Hubby and I have been married for over seven years.  During that seven years, we've experienced four surprise pregnancies and added three-soon-to-be-four children to our family, we've moved twice and are currently house hunting, we've each had job changes that were life-changing (not always in a good way), and we've experienced loss of income from those job changes.  That's a lot of stress and changes in seven years time!  Even though our relationship is good, there's always room for improvement, right?  Of course, like any couple, we have our idiosyncracies and habits that bother the other one ("Why can't he pick up his dirty socks?!?"  "Why does she always run the van so low on gas before filling up?!?!") 

One of the things I liked the most about this book was that it shows you how to have the marriage you want, not by changing your spouse, but by changing yourself.  It's unrealistic to expect to be able to change someone else, and you can only start with yourself.  Gary Chapman lays everything out on the table and doesn't sugar coat things.  The book can be pretty convicting, but it's definitely a good thing!

This isn't a very long book, but it can take a while to get through.  I'm still working through it as I want to be sure to give each chapter the attention it deserves before moving on to the next one.  At the end of each chapter is a section with questions and challenges to help you apply what you've learned.  The way the book is written means that it can be done by one spouse alone or by both together.  

Even if you're not currently having struggles in your marriage, this book can help strengthen your relationship and that's always a good thing.  I definitely recommend it to every married couple.

Would you like to win your own copy of "The Marriage You've Always Wanted"?  Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

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The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter and will be emailed.  The winner's name will also be displayed on the Rafflecopter widget.  This giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Saturday, February 8, 2014

2013 Freebie Recap

Do you like getting stuff for free?  I know I do!  Here's a recap of everything I got for free in 2013 and how I got it so you can get something for free too.  And if you're interested in seeing what I got for free in 2012, here's my 2012 Freebie Recap.

I used various websites to earn Amazon gift cards online.  Here's what I bought using my gift cards in 2013:
  • 10.1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 ($349.00)
  • Protective case for the tablet ($13.99)
  • Masking tape, foam sheets, glitter glue, and contact paper for a project to do with the kids ($21.50)
  • Hamilton Beach single serve coffee maker for a Christmas gift for Hubby ($49.00)
  • 18 K-cups for the new coffee maker ($15.99)
  • Several apps for the new tablet ($10)
That brings me to a grand total of $459.48 in free products.  That doesn't include a few things I bought on Amazon and paid for partially with gift cards.  Here's how I earned that money: 

Swagbucks: Earn points that can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards along with many other rewards by using the Swagbucks search engine, completing the daily tasks, watching Swagbucks tv, shopping online through Swagbucks at participating websites, and completing special offers and surveys.  You can sign up for Swagbucks here

MyPoints: Earn points that can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards along with many other rewards by clicking through on the daily emails they send, completing surveys, shopping online through MyPoints at participating websites, using the MyPoints search engine, playing games at MyPoints games (which earn points on MyPoints PLUS rewards points on the game site which can also be turned in for Amazon gift cards making that a double win!), and completing simple offers in the "Easy Points" tab.  Invites are by email only so send me an email at annaliesbabyboutique@yahoo.com if you'd like to join.

Listia: Earn credits which you can use to win Amazon gift cards (or just about anything else!) in auctions put up by other members of the site by sharing auctions from the site on Facebook and selling stuff you don't want anymore in your own auctions.  You can sign up for Listia here.    

Bing Rewards: Earn points that can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards along with other rewards using the Bing search engine and clicking on a daily offer.  You can sign up for Bing Rewards here


Ebates: Earn Paypal cash (or opt to have the site send you a check in the mail) by shopping online through Ebates at participating websites. You can sign up for Ebates here.

For smartphones and tablets only:

Appnana: Earn "Nanas" by checking into the app daily and installing and opening new apps on your device.  I wait until the Nanas credit to my account. and then I delete the new app from my tablet.  The Nanas can be used to purchased Amazon gift cards, Google play gift cards, Itunes gift cards, Paypal cash, and several other rewards.  Install the app on your device for free and use the code "a753486" for an additional 2500 Nanas.

 Viggle: Earn points by "checking in" to tv shows on your smartphone or tablet.  Some shows are worth extra points plus sometimes there are fun little quizes to play along with the show that earn you extra points.  The rewards change periodically, but I'm waiting until they offer Amazon gift cards again to cash in my points.  You can download the app for free. Send me an email at annaliesbabyboutique@yahoo.com if you'd like to join with my referral link to get an extra 1000 points! 

*Note: When I'm shopping online, I either get free shipping or a percentage off my order by searching for coupon codes at sites like retailmenot.com and coupons.com.  NEVER pay full price when shopping at a big name store online.  Combine those savings with cashback through one of the sites mentioned above and possibly rewards points on your credit card and you can save a lot of money!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Star-16 Months

Age: 16 months

Weight and height:  At her 15 month checkup 2 weeks ago, she weighed 17 pounds, 5 ounces and was 29.5" tall.  She's in the 0.67% percentile for weight and 17.64% for height which means that she's very tiny.  The doctor is a bit concerned that Star's growth has slowed down so much (she's gone from the 30% percentile for weight to dropping off the chart) so we're trying to "fatten" her up and will be bringing her back for another weight check in a few weeks.  For comparison, at 15 months, Princess was 19 pounds, 3 ounces and 30.5" tall, and Little Man was 20 pounds, 10 ounces and 32" tall.

Wearing: Size 3 diapers and 12 month clothes.  She wears size 4 shoes although they're still a little big for her.

Likes: "Reading" books, "writing" especially with pens, LOVES her special owl blanket, dancing to music.  She's also pretty attached to the doll that Princess gave her for her birthday and is such a good little "mommy" to it.  She loves to carry purses and bags around with her.  She also enjoys pushing things around such as Little Man's toy dump truck, an ice cream bucket, and her little pink wagon.

Dislikes: Water on her face, being bugged by bigger kids (she's very independent!)

Eating habits: She eats 3 meals a day and 1 snack in the afternoon.  Her favorite food is still green beans and she also loves peas, toast and waffles.

Sleeping habits: She wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning and usually needs a nap around 9am although she's in the process of transitioning out of morning naps.  She naps again after lunch and is ready for bed by 6 pm.  She still wakes up occasionally at night, but is getting better at falling back asleep on her own.  Her self-soothing technique that she's been doing for the last few months is rocking back and forth while hitting her head on something soft.  She does this while sitting on the couch when she's tired and she also does it while sitting up in the pack n' play before she falls asleep.   

Milestones/Accomplishments: She knows the following words in sign language and uses them correctly:
All done
Her favorite phrases to say are "Good job!" and "hi!" to anyone she sees. 
She just learned how to climb up on the couch by herself. 

Miscellaneous: Do you remember how I said I was considering letting Star keep her pacifier a while longer due to the sleeping arrangements around here?  I had just unapologetically made my decision public to the "pacifier police" when Star came down with a nasty cold (as did Little Man and I...it was the week from you-know-what with no sleep for anyone).  During her cold, she was too stuffy to suck on her pacifier and lost interest in it completely.  So she's officially pacifier free  :)

I put her hair in 2 pigtails for the first time the other day and it was just too cute for words!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Random Monday - Feb 3, 2014

Best compliment ever...I think.
Princess: "Mama, you used to not be smart, but now you are kind of smart."
Me: "Um, thank you?"
Princess: "I'm just trying to be nice."

Princess to Little Man: "I learned a new sight word at school today.  It's 'what.'"
Little Man: "Well, I learned a new sight word too!  My sight word is 'hmmmmm.'"

It's been the week of no-sleep at our house.  Star and I both started coming down with a cold last Tuesday.  When Star gets a cold, she pretty much stops sleeping until she's 110% over it.  She prefers to sleep laying on my chest (which is really comfortable when you're 8 months pregnant) and wakes easily and often.  I have not slept for more than 3-4 hours a night for 6 days now and it's a bit of an understatement to say that it's starting to wear on me a little.  Little Man came down with the same cold a few days after us, but he's a tough little guy and doesn't let it bother him too much.  The worst part of him having a cold is that he's old enough to blow/wipe his own nose (frequently), but not old enough to figure out how not to go through a box of kleenex a day.

Last week, Hubby suggested that we throw a superbowl party at our place.  In my 8-months-pregnant, sleep-deprived state, I reared back in horror at the idea of cleaning the house and hosting a party.  Then, on Saturday night (yes, that would be the Saturday before Superbowl Sunday), he suggested it again and in my 8-months-pregnant, sleep-deprived state, I said, "Sure!  Let's do it!"  So at church in the morning, we asked Hubby's parents, his brother and his family, and a few friends of ours over to watch the Superbowl and eat pizza with us.  Then, we went home and cleaned like crazy.  Hubby even mopped the kitchen floor for me which was such a beautiful sight that it almost made me bawl like the emotional pregnant lady I am.  Thankfully, I'd been staying on top of my cleaning list the last week and so things weren't too bad (while fighting a nasty cold and taking care of 2 sick kids...can you say SUPERWOMAN?!?!).  We ended up having a total of 4 adults and 2 kids come over in the evening.  It ended up being a really fun, relaxing time since I did absolutely zero cooking for it and we just threw the food on the table and everyone helped themselves buffet style.
Since the baby and I will be sleeping in the living room until we get our own house (thanks to a very light-sleeping Star who still shares our room), I was thinking about getting the Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper.  We have a cradle, but there's nowhere to put it in the living room and I want something I can set next to the couch while I sleep and that can be easily moved to a different location during the day.  I like that this can be used until 40 pounds as a rocker and the baby can lay flat to sleep in it.  Anyone had any experience with it?

Tiny Love 3 in 1 Rocker Napper
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