Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Quick Baby Update!

I just thought I'd give everyone a quick baby update. I had a doctor's appointment this morning and Abby was thrilled that she got to go with me. Ryan drove the boys around in the car the whole time and took them to McDonald's for snacks so that no one would fall asleep and ruin their nap time. Anyway, Abby is becoming a pro at this whole doctor appointment thing. She knows all about blood pressure and she asks to get weighed everytime too. I was thrilled to find out that I haven't been gaining any weight and then completely demoralized to hear that I'm measuring even bigger than I was last week. That means this baby is still growing, which is good, but she could do me a favor and slow down a little. I'm measuring 39 weeks and I'm only 37. It's scaring me to death. So we made some decisions today. If I don't have the baby by Feb. 14th, I'm going to be induced. I feel comfortable with that decision, because I do not want a 10lb baby. I am going to be praying that I will go into labor on my own sometime over the next two weeks (Just not before Sunday...Emma's birthday party/Super Bowl party is at our house on Sunday. It's going to be a snow tubing party, so stay tuned for pictures of the big event. It starts at the ski slope and end at our house. She can hardly contain her excitement)! So please pray that this baby will make an appearance on her own in the next 14 days. I do have one huge answer to prayer. The baby has turned and is not facing up anymore, which will make her much easier to deliver. I know that she could still flip herself around a good bit, but hopefully she'll stay put and face the right direction. I'll keep you all posted. I just taught my sister, Amy, how to update my blog and how to add pictures, so hopefully she'll be able to keep everyone informed when the big event happens.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Abby's special date!

Abby spent the morning with her special friend Kate. Kate's mommy, Ms. Mandy, took the girls to a pottery shop. Each of the girls got to pick out something that they wanted to paint. Abby picked a monkey and Kate picked a little doggie. You'll notice their creations in the background of the first picture. You will also notice that, of course, Abby included the color pink. Abby could hardly contain her excitement as she looked forward to this special time with Kate. Apparently, the girls giggled and had a great time together. We are so thankful for the blessing of friends like Kate.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Potty Trouble....Updated

This is a picture of Christian smiling as he peeks out from behind the bathroom door. Trust me...he was the only one smiling in our house at that time. Christian was actually sitting on a stool watching daddy try to unclog the toilet.

You see, Christian and his side kick Abby got a bath toy out of the tub today. It was one of those rubber squirty fish that's just a little bigger than a golf ball. I'm not quite sure who's idea it was, but I think it was Christian who threw the fishy in the toilet and then flushed. The fish went down, but of course not all the way. Since Abby couldn't see the fish anymore she went ahead and used the potty and then flushed again. Thankfully there was no overflow on the floor, but she quickly came running to give me her version of what happen.

So Ryan tried unsuccessfully to fish the fishy out! I guess I'll be calling a plumber in the morning. I'm hoping this doesn't cost a fortune and that the fish is stuck somewhere in the toilet and not in a pipe in the house somewhere (oh that would be terrible).

The plumber just left and he was able to fish the fish out of the toilet. He did have to unbolt the toilet from the floor and the whole thing took about half an hour, but we are now fish free. Thankfully I don't think that it's going to cost a fortune either. I did get a little more "truth" out of our culprits this morning. Christian was the one taking all the action (finding the fish, putting it in the potty and flushing) but Abby was instructing him the entire time. They are quite the team!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I love how uniquely God made each one of these children!
I love how Emma's nose is sprinkled with a dusting of freckles and how she shows so much expression in her face.
I love Christian's long, full eye lashes and how precious he looks when he's sleeping.
I love Nate's chocolate brown eyes that change to reflect his emotions.
I love Abby's tiny, button nose. Everything about this girl is petite and sweet.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The two year old tag team!!

Whenever there is an extended period of silence in my house it's usually not a good thing. Abby is smart enough it vacate the area when trouble is brewing and occasionally she clues me in on what's happening. Honestly, I think she enjoys watching it all go down, so she doesn't usually give me an immediate report. The boys, however, take action and worry about the consequences later. Lately they have become quite a team. On one hand, I'm happy that they are getting along and learning to play well with one another. On the other hand, it's exhausting and usually creates a lot more work for me.

I took this picture of the boys from the upstairs of our house, looking all the way down into the family room. They found a tub of baby boy stuff, that I had just gone through (I got out all the yellow stuff) and I was going to put the tub back in the crawl space. They managed to get it open and were having a grand time with all the baby bottles, blankets, clothes and toys. Everything was strewn everywhere. Every baby bottle had been in someones mouth. The tub quickly became a boat and then was flipped over so they could jump on it (that was a recipe for disaster). At least they're creative. The sad thing is that this in very minor compared to some of the disasters we've had. I normally don't have the presence of mind to snap a picture when it's something more major!

I know that some people wonder what a stay-at-home mom does all day. I know exactly how my day is spent....CLEANING UP!

Monday, January 21, 2008

5 Car seats!!!

Believe it or not we now have five car seats installed in my car. I guess if you want to be technical, it's four car seats and one booster seat (Abby just needs to gain a little more weight and she could join the booster seat category too). This weekend was the "get ready for baby" weekend!! My parents came to visit and we got out the bouncy seat, baby swing, infant car seat, etc. We cleaned up the stroller and my suitcase is officially packed. I've got most of the baby clothes washed and the kitchen is once again stocked with bottles. My mom has even written her substitute plans, so she can drop everything at a moments notice and come help. So in other words....WE ARE READY! I'm feeling so much better now that I've got everything in it's place. The only thing I need now is for my husband to quit traveling and stay put for the next month (He's in Massachusetts and Connecticut for a few days and this is something that has become rather common. I guess I should just be thankful he's within driving distance and that he didn't have to fly somewhere).

Unfortunately, I've got a terrible sore throat and my ears are killing me, so I guess I should probably go to the doctor. I know that there is very little they'll be able to do for me since I'm 9 months pregnant, but I need to get better quickly. Please pray that I get over this little bug and that none of the children catch it. Remarkably, all the kids are healthy right now and I hope it stays that way for months to come!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

An eventful evening!

Today we had our first big snow event of 2008! It basically snowed all day and we ended up with about four, very wet, thick inches. The three younger kids and I spent the morning running errands, then it was lunch time, then nap time, so we didn't actually get to play in the snow until this evening. When my sister got off work, she walked in the door of my house to four very excited kids already in their snowsuits. I handed her a pair of my ski pants and told her good luck!! So she headed out the backdoor with the bundled up kiddos and I headed out the front door for a doctor's appointment. The kids had a blast playing in the dark (we have two spotlights in the backyard, so it wasn't really that dark) in the snow.
Do you not love the look of delight on this little snow angel's face?
Nate is definitely a little monkey and a kangaroo sometimes too. He loves to climb and jump.

Ryan should like this picture, it almost looks like Christian's getting ready to "pitch" that snowball.
Emma going after the lady with the camera (her mom).
See how the snow was still coming down?!
One of the kids favorite things to do is actually sliding down the sliding board on our swing set with snow on it. You can really get some speed, especially with wet snow pants on! These kids also love swinging, no matter the weather!
Nate figuring out how to make a snowball.

The other part of our eventful evening had to do with my doctor's appointment. I'm one centimeter dilated (I was hoping for more, but that's okay. One down, nine more to go). The doctor actually sent me over to the hospital for some monitoring. I was not expecting this and quite honestly I didn't think it was all that necessary, but they insisted. So I headed to the hospital for heart rate monitoring for the baby and a non-stress test. I found out that I'm actually having a lot of contractions which is fine with me as long as I can't feel them. The baby is also in a rather unusual position, which is what got everyone all concerned. She's head down, but face up (it would be best if she would be face down before she's born). In other words, her back is against my back which makes it harder for them to get a good heart rate and it makes it harder for me to feel all her little movements. They sent me home after about an hour, much to my relief. Ryan has been traveling for work and he's about 5 hours away right now, so I have no desire to have this baby until he's home. Thankfully, all is well!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Christian...My Baby Boy

This is a picture of Christian when he was just a few days old. He was already a chubby little guy at 9lbs 2.8oz.
I've been feeling a little sad lately about the fact that my little boy won't be my "baby" for much longer. I've found myself holding him and kissing him even more than usual. I took this picture when I was snuggling him while he was napping. Normally, I would be using that time to get some things done, but I found myself holding him instead. I frequently find myself asking him, "Do you want mommy to rock you?" I usually quickly get a "no" in response. I also have been giving in and laying with him in his bed until he falls asleep at night (something I would not have done a month ago). I guess I'm just trying to hang on to these last few weeks of having only one child. I guess I'm fearful that there will be times when I'm going to have to hold the baby and I won't be able to hold him. It makes me a little sad to think about the fact that he probably won't remember much about these past two and a half years of his life. It's been the best two years of my life, but I'm sure his little mind won't hold these memories for long. In his mind, he'll always be the big brother, who had a little sister.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dodge Ball Tournament!

For those of you who think Dodgeball is an elementary school gym game, think again!! Ryan and his coworkers entered a corporate dodgeball tournament this weekend. All week Ryan's motto was "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball." (You would probably have to watch the movie Dodgeball to get the full humor of that quote...I haven't seen it). Well, apparently dodging a ball wasn't quite as easy as the TNT gang thought it would be. I think they've decided to practice a little before next years tournament, since they didn't win any of their game today. The whole thing was still quite amusing and I think all the guys had a good time anyway.
Josh, Ryan and Kurt!
The cheerleading section.
Christian and Nate were particularly impressed with this ball game. We weren't sure if they would actually sit and watch, but they did.
Christian was a little worn out on the way home from the tournament! It was all so exciting!

Monday, January 7, 2008

A special lunch!

Picture L to R: Julia, Emma, Ella and Aiden
Today Ryan, Christian and I had the pleasure of eating lunch with Emma and her friends at school. It was "Parent Day" so lots of other moms, dads, aunt, uncles, grandparents and even some great grandparents were there too. Emma knew that I was coming, but Christian and Uncle Ryan were a surprise. Quite honestly, I could have skipped the whole thing. Emma was just thrilled that Uncle Ryan got off work to come have lunch with her, she really could have cared less that I showed up. (It's funny how the men always get all the glory). We were treated to a cafeteria lunch of chicken patty sandwich, applesauce, potato wedges and milk. Christian actually ate really well and thought that recess after lunch was a grand time. Emma and her friends followed Christian around and "took care" of him the whole time. I don't think Christian has ever played with that many kids. It's in the sixties today, so it was a great day for playing outside! It was nice to meet some of Emma's friends who we hear so much about all the time. Particularly Aiden, who is apparently in love with Emma (that is top secret information that is only shared with a privileged few).

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The End of Christmas

All seven Brinkley cousins. L to R: Adam, Hannah or Elizabeth (I could have told you who was who in person, but I just can't tell in pictures), Emma, Christian, another twin, Abby and Nate.

We finally wrapped up the last of the Christmas festivities this weekend. On Friday my brother Tim and his family stopped by for a few hours. My sister and her kids came over too, so we had all the Brinkley cousins together for an evening of playing, eating and present opening.
Emma and Adam.
Uncle Tim and Aunt Erin
Emma with Hannah and Elizabeth.
Christian getting big hugs from Uncle Tim.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Countdown Begins!!

Only six weeks (at the most) until our new little girl makes an appearance. I'm hoping that she'll be early. If you think I look totally huge in this picture, you're right!! I just got back from the doctor and apparently I'm going to be having another big Chatterton baby. There was actually some talk tonight of inducing me a little early since this baby is already probably about 5 lbs. I promised myself that I would enjoy this pregnancy and that I wouldn't wish it away, but I am finding myself wishing it were all over. I tired of being tired and of feeling so huge! I love all the little kicks, but not in the middle of the night. I miss sleeping on my stomach. And it will be so nice to be able to pick up a two year old without feeling an ache everywhere. Not to mention maternity wardrobe is extremely limited since the last time I was this pregnant it was Summertime. I can't wait to have wardrobe choices again!!

Yet, despite all my complaints I'm so thankful for this precious little life that's about to enter the world. In my own mind I wonder about the timing of it all. At first I thought her birth was timed perfectly...Christian would be 2.5, it's not the busy season for Ryan, my mom's about to retire, etc. God has a funny way of showing you who is in charge because just when I had MY plan all figured out our lives were turned upside down by the arrival of three more precious kids and I've become a little paniced about the birth of this baby. But I know that God's timing is perfect, that His ways are higher than mine, and I know that he's been teaching me A LOT about dependence on Him and not on myself!! I also wouldn't trade the last four months of chaos for anything. I know without a doubt that my days are spent making an eternal difference in the little bodies running around my house. When this new little girl arrives I feel confident that I'll be able to look back and see God's grace touching our lives.

The baby's room is done, although it's currently being referred to as "Abby's Room" mainly because she naps in there and all her toys (Polly Pockets, Soda Shop Pets, Ponyville) are in there. It should be called the Marshall room, because Nate naps in there too (although he'll be getting the boot once the baby comes) and Emma sometimes spends the night in there. I'm extremely thankful for all the Brinkley and Marshall nieces because we have a closet full of pink and purple clothes and I didn't have to buy any of it.

And so the countdown begins!!!!!!!!!!!! Next doctor's appointment in two weeks!!! I'll keep you posted!!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Thanks Grandmom!

Thanks Grandmom for these cool new matching Thomas shirts. Nate was particularly thrilled to put this shirt on this morning. The boys have been showing everyone their shirts all day. We were at church this morning and whenever Christian saw someone new he would point to himself and say "One Thomas" then point to Nate and say "Two Thomas."

I just have to share this cute story. We were driving past the Christmas tree in our town square today and I told Abby that they were going to take it down this week because Christmas is over. She wanted to know just how they were going to get it down, so I told her how I thought they would take it down. Abby was silent for awhile and then she told me that she thought I was wrong. I asked her how she thought they would get it down and this is what she said; "I think the people in the town will call some of their beaver friends and the beavers will come help them. They'll use their big strong teeth and eat the tree and cut it right down. Then the town people can take the tree and plant it somewhere else." She's a creative girl isn't she?!