Monday, June 23, 2014

Post-move happenings

Well, we are here - in Kentucky - all of us together! We got our boxes unpacked and everything put in place pretty quickly. Our house in SC still hasn't sold so we brought only the necessities and we are squeezing them into a 2 bedroom apartment. 

During the week, the girls and I are exploring fun things to do in the mornings. We got a library card the Tuesday after we moved here and we are on our 3rd round of books already. Each girl is registered for a library story time this summer so there are potentially two mornings a week that we could be at the library - so far we've only made it one morning a week because we have been double booked.

We've also been to a Strawberry patch to pick strawberries and tomorrow we are heading to go pick Blueberries at another farm. The pool at our apartment complex is another hot spot for us in the mornings.

After our morning adventure, we've been able to eat lunch with Adam a fair amount of days. After that, Lucy lays down for a nap and Caroline has some quiet time while I log in to work for a couple of hours. 

On the weekends, we've been able to explore more adventurous things since Adam is with us and can help. We went to Louisville for the day Father's Day weekend. 

I think we are all adjusting well and just enjoying being together again. Here are some random pics from our time so far in Kentucky:

The girls wearing their dresses that Aunt Alice made for them.

Caroline crafting away - party hats for Tiger's birthday.

We made a birthday chain for Lucy and we are planning a small Minnie Mouse birthday party at a playground in town. Adam's cousins and parents may be our only attendees but this girl will be celebrated and three years old will be memorable (as long as I don't go into labor - that would be a different kind of memorable).

We went and saw Dr. Kaboom one morning - a free event put on by the library. While his tricks were neat, his random Public Service Announcements to the adults in the audience were kind of annoying. I think Dr. Kaboom has issues ;) Thankfully it went over the kids' heads.

Lucy thought Dr. Kaboom was loud =)

There are a couple of picnic tables near the pool at our apartment complex. We have enjoyed lunch there a few times. The girls usually play tag and hide 'n seek after we eat. There's really no place to hide out there as you can see...

We've also enjoyed several after dinner walks/bike rides around our complex parking lot. I actually envisioned this as something we would do when picking out an apartment. A couple of places we looked at just didn't have the space for us to ride bikes or walk around. This was something I wanted! Caroline has been doing really well on her bike so Adam took her training wheels off. And this is what she has to say about it:

"I was pedaling all over the place so Daddy took my training wheels off and now I'm not pedaling all over the place" - hahaha. She still needs some practice and some confidence. 

Some pics from our day in Louisville

Pool girl =)

Strawberry picking

Watching the USA play Ghana at Buffalo Wild Wings

Henry Update

It has been a long time since I've done an update on Baby Beam #3. And seeing as I am 36 weeks pregnant now - I think I better do the update before the baby is born!

Somewhere around 25-26 weeks into the pregnancy, we decided on the name Henry Lee. We've sort of always saved the middle name "Lee" for if we were to have a boy. Lee is Adam's middle name and his dad's middle name and his grandpa's middle name. Lee is also my mom's name. My sister's second son who was stillborn also has the middle name of Lee. This name is very special to us. And Henry was a name we both liked and finally agreed on. The name Henry means "estate ruler" so that's pretty cool. Another cool factoid is that Caroline and Lucy are common sister names for Henry - meaning other people who have a Henry often have a daughter named Caroline and/or Lucy:

I got to have a 28 week ultrasound to check on Henry. That same day, Lucy was miserably sick and Caroline was having her final rehearsal at preschool for her end of year program. I felt my heart was torn in 3 different directions - the first of many moments like that I'm sure. I remember Lucy was already born the first time I felt torn in 2 directions and the feeling was overwhelming.

Henry was doing wonderfully! They estimated him to be in the 56%. They also made sure he was still a boy - and he was. 

This picture is of me at 31 weeks.

And I got to have probably our last ultrasound with my new OB practice at 34 weeks - the Monday after we moved up to Kentucky. Everything looked perfect. My fluid levels are really good. Henry was estimated to be in the 76% at 5 pounds 12 ounces. The girls and Adam got to be in the room during the ultrasound. The girls loved it. They watched on a flat screen TV on the wall and Caroline kept commenting how big his head was. I think she may have thought the large flat screen was an actual portrayal of the size. Henry kept his eyes closed during the ultrasound, but waved a lot. The ultrasound tech could showed us that he already has hair. It was such a sweet family moment to get to see that sweet face.

The girls are so excited about Henry. They both really seem to get it. They LOVE touching my belly and Henry loves it too. As soon as their high pitched voices come into a room, he starts moving. It's so cool to me that there is already a little bit of a sibling bond. They still pretend they are pregnant constantly. It's so funny hearing them talk about it.

I've been so thankful that this has been an easy pregnancy. I lost all confidence in my body during my pregnancy with Lucy. I felt weak and unable to be helpful, but this pregnancy I have felt so strong and capable. It's exactly what I needed this time around. I have had the least amount of swelling this pregnancy - virtually none except the week we moved. Contractions are few and far between - maybe 1-2 a day at this point, which is crazy to me. I was having 4-6 Braxton Hicks an hour with both girls before 30 weeks. That alone makes me feel like I'm going to make it to my due date or later. Later would be perfectly fine with me. I'd love to have a little more space between Henry's birthday and Lucy's. 

We are in the final stretch. I'm washing baby clothes and baby gear as I type this. We are so thankful for Henry and can't wait to snuggle him.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Moving Shenanigans

We got back from the beach and Moving Week began. Alice came over everyday and helped me pack boxes. Everything became more real for the girls watching us pack up their stuff, but they did really well with it - no tears. More than anything we were all excited to be with Daddy 100% of the time. 

On Wednesday, Adam flew down and the packing/moving stepped into high gear. It was slightly more frustrating for me when Adam arrived into town because he wouldn't let me do anything, but I know it was good for me to slow down when he got there. We were also so thankful my dad came to help on Thursday afternoon. He and Adam took things apart and worked very hard. 

Playing with trash and boxes

Spending some last moments in the tree house. Boy these girls are going to miss that tree house. That is their place. They spend hours in that tree house and in the sandbox. 

Loading up the truck on Friday went surprisingly very smooth. We were done long before I thought we would be. We even went over to my Aunt's house and swam in the pool at Quail Hollow. 

The Saturday drive also went really well. My aunt chauffeured me and the girls to Greer and my dad chauffeured us the rest of the way to Kentucky. I was 33 weeks and 6 days pregnant that day. The trip took about 10.5 hours with two 30-45 minute stops. The girls did incredible. 

I was so thankful to be chauffeured. I could see my feet swelling as we drove up. I have had virtually no swelling this entire pregnancy and the swelling on the drive up was very minimal compared to what some pregnant women experience. It took several days for my feet and ankles to go back to normal, but I haven't had any swelling since. It was very nice to be cared for like that.

My dad stayed with us for a couple of nights and helped us unpack everything and put things back together. He flew out on Monday. Adam's cousin Jamie and her husband met Adam there. Jamie actually had the girls' beds made and furniture organized in their room before the girls and I arrived (Adam got the truck up there about 2 hours before we arrived). It was so nice to have the girls' room almost completely setup that night. That way they were occupied with their toys the rest of the weekend while my dad, Adam and I kept working. 

We had so much help from friends and family Moving Week. We moved about 1/3 of our belongings. The rest still remains at our house. I want to do a separate post about deciding what to bring and about downsizing into a 2 bedroom apartment. The truth is I've never felt so rich in all my life. We are truly blessed to have so much in life.

End of the Year events

The girls had several end of the year events.

The first was our church preschool choir concert. I got to teach the 4 year olds every Wednesday night for the last year. It was one of the most fun things I did every week. Every week there were stories I could tell about those sweet kids.

Lucy was pretty sick the day of the concert. You can tell in some of these pictures that she is quite miserable.

The very next day, Caroline had her end of the year program at school. They sang several songs and recited some Bible verses.

Here she is receiving her "diploma" from Ms. Liz. She had such a great year at school and I just adored her teachers. She learned a lot, but more than anything her social skills matured to a new level and I know her teachers played a huge role in that.

As we were leaving, Caroline started to go downhill pretty quickly. We looked at her art from the art show pretty quickly, but I could tell she wasn't feeling well. She had been fine that morning, but about an hour after we got home she had a high fever. 

The next day was Lucy's program. She was much better that day - still a little weak, but finally well. She definitely enjoyed her class' songs. She didn't sing much but did the motions. 

I love the big yawn during the Pledge of Allegiance.

And then covering her ears when something was too loud.

Lucy's favorite part of her program was showing me her art. She was so proud of what she had done.

It was quite emotional going to these programs without Adam and running on very little sleep from caring for sick little girls. I was so thankful my aunt tag teamed taking care of the girls with me. She stayed with sick Lucy so I could go to Caroline's program and then she stayed with sick Caroline so I could go to Lucy's program. Adam had a hard time with missing their programs too. He FaceTimed into both programs so he did get to see them, but it wasn't quite the same as being there to hug them and congratulate them when they were done. 

A couple of hours after Lucy's program was when I flew up to Kentucky to meet Adam and pick out our apartment.

These last two pictures are from the girls' last day of preschool for the year. There was still another week left of school, but we had plans to go to the beach so our last day was one week early. And sadly Lucy was sick for her last day. We took a picture by the door anyway. Caroline wanted to wear the same dress she wore her first day of school. This time it required that she wear her bicycle shorts underneath because it was too short. And Lucy is just in some comfy stay at home clothes.

That day happened to be "Cool Shades Day". Of course I had forgotten. We remembered in the car pool line so she wore my sunglasses. Full confession: I tried to hide my sunglasses, but Caroline saw them and said "I could wear yours!"

Friday, June 20, 2014

Random Pre-Move Happenings

In early April, we went Strawberry picking. We picked a ton of strawberries. Caroline enjoyed coming up with different things we could do with the strawberries. We made strawberry ice cream, a strawberry trifle and many strawberry shortcakes.

Thankful Aunt Alice came to help us pick! Less bending over for Mommy!

We went and saw Disney Princess on Ice with our friends Heba and Leena. I just love this show and the girls loved it too!

This lady is my Moroccan twin =)

Waiting to leave for the show in her Tinkerbell outfit.

We enjoyed a South Carolina spring and took walks on Fridays around our neighborhood.

The girls met me for lunch at a playground near work one day. They wore their princess costumes because the park has a Cinderella carriage.

We made a birthday chain for Caroline and planned out all the details for her little party.

Just a random picture of Caroline so proud of how pretty she made her bed.

We played lots of games of memory match. Lucy impressed me with how well she did with so many cards.

Caroline celebrated her birthday with her classmates. Ms. Liz drew a cake on the board. The children sang "Happy Birthday" and then Caroline erased the candles.

Actually she erased the whole cake. Ms Liz laughed and said that wasn't nice of her to eat the whole cake and not share any =)

It was so fun to sit with Caroline in her element at preschool and listen to her friends. One little girl introduced herself to me and I said "Oh and you are the other one who has lost a tooth!" Caroline had told me that Anna Kate in her class had also lost a tooth. When I said that, all the children in the class began telling me about their older sibling/cousin/dog/whatever that had also lost a tooth. It was really cute!

Speaking of teeth - Caroline lost a tooth almost 3 weeks before her 5th birthday. I was so not prepared for this one. She didn't even tell me it was loose until 3 days before and then all the sudden it was out. No worries - she directed me on everything that was supposed to happen with the tooth fairy =)

Just a sweet little picture of Lucy. She loves this outfit - especially the hat.

This girl got sick twice before we moved. Two nasty viruses really put her through the ringer.

One of her viruses was right before I flew to Kentucky to find us a family apartment. Adam's one bedroom was not going to work for 5 of us. Leaving your children is stressful enough, but leaving them when they are sick is really awful. I'm so thankful for Alice and Adam's mom Denise. I know they are loved on when I'm not there.

Adam and I had a productive and fun time on my long weekend in Kentucky. We toured 2 different elementary schools, I had my first OB appointment with my new OB. and we found an apartment and signed a lease. We also went to the Governor's Derby breakfast (it was Derby weekend). Maybe one day we will get to go to the Derby, but standing for 7-8 hours is not ideal for a pregnant woman so we did not attempt it this year. I just love these horse picnic tables at the breakfast we went to.

This is just a picture I took on a typical morning during our 14 week separation from Adam. Some day soon I hope I can blog about that time and the closeness it brought our family through distance. I'm so thankful it is over for sure, but these girls climbing in my bed every morning between 5-6 is something I miss.

Caroline quit sucking her thumb! I can't believe how much she grew up while Adam was in Kentucky. I'll never know if that played a role or not, but she definitely took on more responsibility and became more socially mature.

Sitting at Caroline's swim practice with this pretty lady and I realized just how long her hair really is! A real-life Goldilocks =)