Saturday, April 13, 2013

MAJOR sister milestones

 Ivy lost her 1st tooth!
Over spring break, Ivy's dream came true!  She lost her 1st tooth.  She has been waiting for this day for a long time as she watch her older friends wiggle away and then welcome a big hole in their mouths.  Greg and I were thinking back and believe she has been talking about the same "loose tooth" for about 2 years.  Well, it really started wiggling the Thursday before spring break and a mere 8 days later it was out!  She was determined!! 

If you know Ivy, you know that she can be quite the drama queen. {I used to think she was "head strong" but after meeting Tula's lovely toddler personality I have learned that Ivy is simply overly emotional and dramatic.... and Tula is HEAD STRONG.... another post for another day!} Anyway, the tooth pull did not go without major drama.  She asked if I would pull it and brought me the kleenex, it was almost out but as soon as I twisted it bled and she freaked.  She let it dangle and bleed for about 5 minutes as she stared into the bathroom mirror and scolded me over and over, "I can't believe you made me bleed!!!!" All the while, Tula stood close watch over the bleeding tooth and thought we needed to go to the hospital.... shoooo the mommy of almost 3 girls!

The drama lasted about 5 minutes before Ivy made the decision to pull the rest of it, then she went from tears to smiles!  She was so proud.  The tooth fairy came that night after Ivy left her tooth in her special tooth box on the dresser- she refused to put it under her pillow because she thought that would scare her.  The tooth fairy did not conform to inflation of tooth prices and left a practical $2!  Ivy was super excited about her discovery and spent her money on lip gloss the very next day!  She is now looking forward to her new "bumpy" tooth to come in and watching for it everyday. 

Tula no longer has a paci!
 Big deal- for baby and mommy!!! I knew it was time after a week at home with her over spring break.  When we were around any of our younger friends Tula wanted to be a baby....paci, blankie, hold me.... the whole nine yards.  I had visions of a new baby and Tula trying to imitate everything Joss does and shooo it scared me.  One baby at a time, please.  So the Monday after spring break I snipped a hole in the two remaining pacis and Tula was funny!!!  These were some of her claims and requests on Monday night:

"I'm just going to play, I don't sleep without a paci."

"Just glue it.... okay.... we will hang it to dry and then I will suck on it."

"This is not a good night for this.... no it's not!" 

After a rough go of falling asleep, lots of rocking and back rubbing, Tula fell asleep and slept well through the night.  Tuesday she went to school and did well at nap time, but by Wednesday she attempted to negotiate for a paci from Ms. Lisa.  

"Give me a paci!"

"No.... not the broken one (Tula has refused to even put the broken one in her mouth).... give me Lila's paci!" 

(When Lisa refused -obviously- this was Tula's reply....) "My mommy said, you will give me a paci!!!"
When Tula realized that both Mommy and Ms. Lisa were on the same page and it was time to just be a big girl she really has stopped talking about it.... but not without one more accusation on the way home from school on Thursday. 

"Mommy, did you cut my paci?"

"No, no.... I think that just happens when you are big."

LONG PAUSE...... "Yes, you did!" 

Tula might be totally onto my scam, but that is okay with me, because it worked!  She has done a great job transitioning and learning to fall asleep without her beloved paci.  We rewarded her with a stuffed My Little Pony, which she now has decided she loves (after an initial rejection because nothing was as good as a paci).  She is proud of herself and has said many times that now she is a big girl!   

Monday, April 8, 2013

Take a Hike.....

"Take a hike!!!" I've always wanted to say that to someone getting on my nerves and this weekend I decided to throw that line at the end of spring break coming near! And so we literally did just that, and set off to take a hike to prolong our weekend of bliss before we start the home stretch of the school year. 
We have never really "hiked" with kids so decided to turn down an offer to go to Natural Bridge and go to hike trails on Asbury's campus just a 10 minute drive away.  We weren't sure how long our high maintenance girl would last walking and we really didn't know if Tula would stay put in the backpack.  But both girls were AWESOME!!

Ivy was quite adventurous and not scared of the skinny trails and climbing a little to take a seat under a rock ledge.  We had to keep reminding her to have her eyes on the trail instead of on the other hikers.  {Our girl has a serious nosey problem- already a pro at honing into other conversations while losing all gracefulness.... not okay on a hiking trail!} We enjoyed God's beauty on our walk- looking at little blue flowers, really tall trees, and calming waterfalls.  It was very relaxing. 

Tula loved being in the "bag pack" and even wanted to continue her ride at home- to which Daddy answered "NO!" She could see all the sights, relax, and not have to hold our hands.... which she hates doing.  We will definitely try to do this a few more times while the weather is perfect!

At the end, both Ivy and I were relying on God to carry one foot in front of the other as we had to hike back UP to the car.  Our legs were tired, we were thirsty, and it was time for lunch- but we did it.  We kept praying out loud (to ward off any complaining) and before long we were back up to the top.  

Taking a hike was the perfect way to enjoy the gorgeous Saturday and prolong our end of a very relaxing spring break week.  But no matter how long we wanted our break to last, Monday arrived.... but we now only have 6 more Mondays of school and 38 more days.... I' m not sure who is counting.... but summer is just around the corner!

Friday, April 5, 2013

over the hump & feeling better

I don't know that any pregnancy is easy, but this one definitely hasn't been easy for me- emotionally.  I have been wanting to blog and document all that I am experiencing but felt overwhelmed with the job of writing it down, coming to grips with my feelings, and worrying about being judged for the way things are going this time around.  But I want to share, in hopes that someday someone else will be helped by reading this.  I had never heard anyone talk about what I am going through hence the reason I have been feeling a touch crazy.  So here's the scoop: out of nowhere, in this 3rd pregnancy, I am suffering from pretty crazy anxiety.  According to my doctor, and many web articles, postpartum depression and anxiety can actually start before delivering the baby, it is called prenatal depression and anxiety and is linked to a surplus of the hormone progesterone. 

 Peace in knowing a healthy baby girl is growing inside my belly.

Here is how is started:
At about 7 weeks pregnant things got a little crazy.  My husband (who is always a huge help!!) had hernia surgery, all while Tula got the flu back to back with a virus (12 days total).  This was STRESSFUL considering I was also juggling the normal home, school, and family demands on top of carrying for a sick child and immobile husband while being in the beginning stages of pregnancy .  It is understandable that I would feel anxious during this time but it never went away.

I didn't talk to my doctor about it right then.  I spent time in prayer, reading scriptures about peace, patience, and being free from anxiety. I asked a few others to pray for me as well.  I made sure I was exercising- this has always provided mental clarity- I was walking Clove and I started going to Jazzercise.  I wanted to fix it. 

By the time I was 17 weeks I decided it was time to talk about it with my doctor.  I began crying immediately, because I just knew it wasn't normal or okay.  I explained how I have always been slightly OCD and had some anxiety but it had never stuck around like this, it never interrupted my normal life.  I wasn't able to sleep for hours at a time.  I was worried about the baby (which I apparently was enjoying the whole "ignorance is bliss" thing with the first two pregnancies).  I was going over possible baby schedules, pumping schedules, how to get rid of Tula's pacis, where to put all the baby stuff, a plan to rearrange Ivy's room to make it feel like Ivy and Tula's room, etc.  My mind would not stop.  This was night time.

I continued to tell her about how I felt during the day. I was okay at school, because I had to be.  I took a few more deep breaths than normal.  I accepted every dose of encouragement from my awesome teaching team and sweet students.  I held it together.  After work is when I felt it.  My chest felt like it was so tight I couldn't breath.  I needed to lay down, breath, and pull myself together many times each evening.  I was screaming at my family.... why?..... I don't know.  I felt like I might explode if any little thing wasn't just so.  Multiple times a day I felt an out of body experience- like my normal self was standing next to me saying "What are you doing? Pull it together, Sarah.  This is not the mom and wife God created you do be." But I felt out of control, then guilty and anxious about who I was becoming.  I felt so sad that God was giving me the gift of another baby when I felt like I couldn't even do this mothering thing right with Ivy and Tula.

 Baby Joss' sweet profile..... my nest has 3 eggs now.

My doctor was so kind.  She assured me that this is not abnormal.  She told stories of her own pregnancy breakdowns.  Then we talked about medicating.  I cried again.  I didn't want to be on medicine because I have never needed that.  I wanted to fix it on my own.  The doctor was real with me about my family, even the unborn Baby Joss, feeling my anxiety.  I wanted a medication plan because I knew I didn't need this forever.  She recommended a very small dose of zoloft during pregnancy that I would continue or possibly boost post delivery.  Then at 6 months postpartum we will begin weaning  from the medication.  I liked her plan so I decided to give it a try.

I am now one month in to being on medicine and I feel so much better.  I started sleeping through the night by day 5 which has made a huge difference.  Now I am noticing a calm and a peace over me (and my family).  I feel so good in knowing that I am raising my girls in a much more stable environment, I am taking time for my husband, and I am growing Joss in a calm state rather than walking on pins and needles for the remainder of my pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, postpartum, or none of the above and feeling that way please talk to your doctor.  It is not worth it to walk around feeling so anxious that you can not live up to your most important jobs of wife and mom. 

Today at 21 weeks.... Clove is excited to be a big sister!

Yesterday, was my 20 week appointment with our big ultrasound.  As you can imagine, I was glad to have this day behind me.  Our baby girl is healthy from all they can see.  She is developing but appears to be very petite, which was no surprise to Dr. Cunningham.  She loved having her hands beside her face and seemed to shy away from the "camera!"  She gave us one profile pic and a couple of sweet little waves.  It was so good to see her moving around and developing like normal. God is good, and we are so thankful for His hands for knitting Joss together in my womb, in a perfect and wonderful way.

Joss Maven is scheduled to arrive via another c-section on August 13! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Time 2013

Easter is one of my most favorite times of the year. It is such a time of hope for everyone..... old and new Christians alike.  It really takes me more than one day to truly understand what Christ did for me and you- for everyone, like my Sunday school kids said.... "He even died for people in other countries who are weirder than us, who we have never even met, like people in California."  Haha!  But they are right, He died for everyone to erase our fears of death, to cleanse us of our daily sins and even the big, ugly sins that aren't your everyday sins, and to give us a hope during the saddest times when we loose a loved one.  That hope that surrounds the Easter season is contagious and I absolutely love it!

We started off Easter a little down with 2 sick little girls..... well, my little girl was healthy by Friday afternoon and my big girl caught the germies of the little one by Thursday evening.  My prayer was.... to go to church together as a healthy family on Sunday and God gave us that.  Thankful!

So because Ivy was still sick, she and Daddy stayed home while Tula and I got to spend some time with Unc, Esie, and Graham at Nana and Pops' house on Saturday during the day.  It was great to snuggle on that chubby cheeked baby and reconnect with Anthony and Chelsea.  It was also quite comical to see Tula practice her big sister skills with Baby Graham (who is nearing to surpass Tula in size).  We missed Ivy and Daddy so much but hope that a trip to Cincinnati is in the near future!

When Tula and I got home we got to do a backyard Easter egg hunt with Ivy and Daddy since we had to miss our church egg hunt.  But listen how cool our children's minister is, she delivered a huge bag of treat filled eggs for our girls because she didn't want them to miss out.  Jessica is awesome!  And this really made a huge impression on Ivy that she would show such kindness in remembering her.  

Clove had fun tagging along for the egg hunt and even cooperated for a family picture as Tula stuffed her mouth with as much candy as she could before we took that bucket away! 

The Easter bunny dropped off a basket of goodies on Sunday morning.  Both girls were most excited about their new spring crocs.  Tula shed her footie pj's so she could put her's on right away!  Once again, Tula was also taking the opportunity to inhale treats, treats, and more treats before breakfast- something that never happens.  

God answered our prayers to get to go to church as a family on Easter morning.  Ivy was feeling back to normal and was ready to see her friends.  Ivy loves any opportunity to get fancy and Tula really was just excited about her new green puddle jumpers that she has asked to wear every single day.  I love love love their Easter dresses, I kind of wish they made a grown up version so that I could match them!  We would be that family!

This year I landed the opportunity to teach my 2 favorite Sunday school lessons ever.... both December and March were my months- so I got to stray from curriculum and teach about the birth and death of Jesus.  I got to use the resurrection eggs this weekend, which my girls love to play with all year round at Nana's house, and then I taught them to retell the Easter story with jellybeans (thank you, pinterest)! The kids did a great job and really seem to understand the calling to spread this message of hope to others.  

After church, we went back to Nana and Pops' house to celebrate, this time with our family of 4 in tow! The girls got another basket of goodies and I am sure you could already guess how Tula responded- chocolate.... yes, please!  On the other hand Ivy was most excited about her lip gloss and new bathing suit. 

This morning we kicked off Spring Break..... with another stinking fever.... no thank you!  We kicked Tula's fever with a morning dose of tylenol and didn't let that stop us from enjoying the day.  We thanked God that no one had to take a sick day, we could sleep in, and had the day to sanitize, sanitize, and sanitize!  

We even made sure to keep our yearly tradition of dyeing Easter eggs.  Ivy was most excited to mix the colors and write on each of her eggs.  Tula was most excited to get to be involved in such a messy task.  I was all hands on deck to make sure we didn't have any major catastrophes.  I am thankful for these memories that we get to make together. 

I have hope thanks to the grace and love of my Jesus.... of your Jesus.  
Happy Easter.... He is ALIVE!