Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bringing sexy back - or at least "cute"

I needed another pair of jeans so we stopped by Motherhood after
dinner. I opened the curtain of the dressing room and I asked my three
guys what they thought. Coen blurted out, "cute butt, mommy!" and ran
over to try to pat it.

He had me rolling with that one. Chris said he honestly had nothing to
do with it and was laughing pretty hard as well. Guess we know who
will be my shopping buddy now.

Monday, March 26, 2012

9 1/2 weeks

Waiting for the 9 1/2 weeks appointment was brutal. Having lost our last 2 at 10 weeks, I was a nervous wreck. Peggy is awesome and said I could come it at any time just to hear the heartbeat, but I contain myself and waiting the couple of weeks. It was such a relief for Chris and I to hear a strong heartbeat and see how much our baby had grown!

From there, I had a normal 10 week appointment and Peggy checked me out the day before our Cabo trip just to ease my nerves I'm sure. Our last appointment was at 14 weeks and everything still looked great. Peggy was all set to give me an appointment just a couple weeks later, but I told her that I think I can get on a "normal" schedule now - most women only see their doctor once in the first 12 weeks and then again at like 20 weeks. She has been so amazing with Chris and I. She has gone above and beyond to make this as stress-free a pregnancy as possible and we so appreciate her for it!

It has been so funny to hear people's responses when they find out we're pregnant. Some of the most memorable:

"Well, I noticed your butt was getting bigger" - umm, thanks Grandma. Love you too.

"I didn't know that could happen!" - Apparently some people thought that our adoption was a last-ditch-effort type of thing. Nope. This was our plan - so happy God agreed with it.

"You two need a TV in your room!" - Apparently other people people didn't realized that we HAD adopted. Of course we explained that we didn't "make" Coen, that he is from Ghana and then we had to hear about all the African Americans this person knew (It's funny that people feel the need to share this when they know you have an African child, it seems to be a nervous reaction for many to show just HOW OK they are with our adoption)

Can't wait to find out if we have broken the mold or if we are just meant to raise boys!

Previous thoughts..4

Written 1/21/12

We've decided that we are definitely not shouting from the rooftops this time around, but having been through 2 miscarriages, we are well aware that we need support as we go thought this pregnancy. So, we've told those closest to us who have really stepped up and been there for us in the past. We also decided to keep it quiet because we don't want to get Carter's hopes up too high. He SOOOOOO wants "lotsa" brothers and sisters so we know he'll be through the roof when we tell him. We don't want to risk anyone else accidentally telling him either so, this is all pretty hush hush right now.

We decided to keep this blog to track our journey through this pregnancy just as we tracked our journey with our other 2 children. That said, I want it to be honest and reflective of what this has been like. When Peggy told me that my progesterone levels were low and had me immediately start taking supplements, we were relieved. We thought, "Finally, someone might have a reason WHY and a way to prevent further loss." We did not go home and research and question if I should take the supplement. To us, it was as if someone said that our child had a fatal illness and that by taking this pill, we MIGHT save his/her life. That was enough for us. So, it kind of killed us when I was criticized for taking the supplement.

There is a time and a place to have personal opinions. When a couple tells you that they are pregnant and are very hopeful that a supplement will prevent further pain caused by a miscarriage... well, as any mother would say "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

previous thoughts..3

written 1/19/12

The ultrasound went great. The baby had grown as it should and we even saw its little heart beating at 122bpm. The ultrasound tech liked what she saw so much that she congratulated us! Peggy was just as excited and gave us a huge hug. Obviously we are cautious, but we are more optimistic and it helped to have so much excitement from Peggy. Crossing our fingers.

Previous thoughts..2

Written 1/17/12

We've made it to 6 weeks. Crazy, with all the stress, you'd think we'd be farther along. I'm taking the progesterone supplement each night and still exhausted, but have no other pregnancy symptoms which always causes me to stress. Ultrasound is scheduled for Thursday and the doctor said we should be able to hear a heartbeat. It seems early to me, but I'll go with it :)

Previous thoughts shared....

**Written 1/13/12

Yes, we're pregnant, again! For those keeping track, this is the 4th time I've been pregnant, but we only have one little man to show for those pregnancies. We lost the last two pregnancies at 10 weeks each. The last pregnancy, we had an ultrasound at 7 weeks and heard its little heartbeat, but nothing else was monitored until we lost it at 10 weeks.

While we're all about letting God's will be done, I believe that God gave us a brain and free-will (he also gave me a very strong will) to use for a reason. So, as soon as I found out about this pregnancy, I called my doctor. An ultrasound was scheduled for almost 7 weeks. I asked about testing my HCG levels as well as my progesterone levels as I had self-diagnosed myself with low progesterone ( I know, I'm totally a doctor's favorite, right?). My doctor did not see a reason for any testing whatsoever, but agreed to put me on a progesterone supplement. 2 days went by with no word. I called and left another message with the nurse. Another day, no word.

I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I started calling other doctors and explaining my situation. Recurrent miscarriages - I want to monitor this pregnancy more closely. The best anyone would do was to schedule me out at 8 weeks. I became so frustrated. I seriously felt like my child was fatally ill and there was a possible cure, but no one would see me to give it to me. I called my good friend to vent and just lost it. I complained that no doctors were willing to test my levels. She told me that her aunt, a nurse practitioner, ALWAYS tested levels and scheduled viability ultrasounds. I checked with my health insurance and called her office within an hour.

Finally! Everyone in this office was understanding me. They understood the urgency. They insisted I get in the same day and start blood work. I had an appointment within an hour. They had me do an ultrasound as well and everything looked just as it should. For the first time, I could get excited about this pregnancy. My new "doctor" said she would call as soon as she had my lab results back and she did just that. She called after hours to tell me that my HCG levels were great, but my progesterone... you bet, it was LOW!!! She had given me a prescription - just in case - so she asked me to fill it and start taking it that very evening.

I can't describe my relief. Nothing is 100% with miscarriages and pregnancies, but I can now feel like we are DOING SOMETHING rather than just waiting for our pregnancy to fail. I have a doctor who is focused on bringing this pregnancy to term if that is what is meant to be. If it's not, at least we will know we did everything in our power and hopefully, we'll be able to learn something about why we've lost our past pregnancies.


Ultrasound at 5 weeks 2 days

Friday, March 23, 2012

Riding in my swagger waggon

Maybe you remember me saying once upon a time that a certain commercial ALMOST had me wanting a minivan.

Almost. Not quite. We looked at minivans before Coen came home and decided it simply was not necessary to make the switch. Fast forward to 6 1/2 months of being a mom to two.

Some common dilemmas that I face:

#1 There is no room between the boys and the front seats. Coen is constantly pushing/kicking my seat.

#2 Although Carter can get into the car, into his seat and put his straps on, he cannot open his door to get in and do these things. So when it rains, as it likes to do in the Northwest, I have to get one kid in and then run to the other side and get the other in. I'm soaked by the time I get in the car.

#3 Washington has a law against driving and talking on your phone without some sort of hands-free device.. I don't have one.

#4 You known when you park and come back to your car to find some jerk has parked TOO close for you to open your door very wide? Um yeah. It really sucks when you have to get a kid in the car and into their car seat. Since I have 2 kids, I kinda need access to both sides of the car.

So, we revisited the minivan. While I do like the "swagger wagon" we decided that the Honda Odyssey was the way to go. We don't like the new body style so, we found an awesome 2010 that I'm in love with. It has bluetooth so I take care of dilemma #3. The doors slide open with the push of a button on my key fob solving dilemma #2 and #4 and the space between the back and front seats is GREAT!

There is a final reason we just had to have the minivan and why we went with the 2010 Odyssey. Prior to 2011, the Odyssey had this awesome option where you can remove the tiny middle seat of the middle row and push the two captains chairs together! This allows for plenty of room to get to the third row without having to squeeze between the captains seats. This will come in handy as Carter has to get into the 3rd row to make room for his new sister or brother ;)

Yep. We'll be busting this little baby out of storage by the end of August.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coen says...

Me: Man! I have GOT to clean this bathroom.
Coen: oh good! Dis bathroom icky!

Thanks, bud.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coen's first day of school

It's here. His first day.. I decided I wouldn't send my kids to
preschool unless they asked to go. Carter started begging at 24
months. It has taken Coen from the time he came home until 2 weeks ago
to ask. It has been great to have the one-on-one time with him 2 days
a week, but I'm kinda looking forward to a few hours a week to myself.

Just like his brother, he didn't shed a tear when I left. He has grown
and changed so much these past 6 1/2 months!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

4 years

Today marks 4 years that we have been married. As I tend to tell people, we have been married EXACTLY long enough to have Carter (3 years 3 months).

Thinking back on our wedding day, there wasn't a doubt in my mind that I was marrying the most wonderful man who was everything I ever wanted in a husband. Today I laugh at the amount of love I had for him that day. I loved him with everything that I had, but today, today I love him so much more. Every day he proves to be my better half and I fall more in love with him. His dedication to our marriage and our family in unbelievable.

He is my best friend and the first person I want to spend my time with, but what is more important is that he makes me feel like I'm the first person he wants to spend his time with. After long hours at work, he comes to the chaos that is our household to be with us, to play with the boys and to help put them to bed.

He is an amazing role model to our boys in so many ways. It's the little things that I hope they notice and remember when they are older and married themselves, like the way Chris will thank me for making dinner or tell me the house looks nice when I've taken the time to do any small amount of cleaning :) or simply kissing me hello every night when he gets home from work. If they can grow to be half the man that their daddy is, they will make their mommy (and some lucky someone) very happy.

Happy Anniversary, babe. I can't wait to see how much more I love you in another 4 years :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Salt and Pepper

Really, can my boys be any more different from one another? Exhibit A: They both started with the same two colors of play-dough. This was the end result.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Easter is coming up

I can't believe he is able to fill his own eggs this year! I remember
doing it for him the last two years. He is such a big boy now!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Surprise fun!

We usually watch shows that do not have commercials thanks to our DVR, but somehow recently Carter saw a commercial. Not just any commercial, of course, it had to be a commercial for Chuckie Cheese's. Ever since, he has been Chuckie Cheese this and Chuckie Cheese that. He didn't even know what it was, he just knew he wanted to go. So last Sunday, we decided to surprise the boys and take them. We told them we were going to pizza, which was true, but Carter was so excited when we got there and saw it was Chuckie's!

The food wasn't as bad as I was expecting. The noise level.. wow! They have a pretty cool system where they stamp every member of the family with a number that can only be seen under a special light. No child can leave unless they are with an adult with the same number. Kind of nice considering it would be easy to loose a kid there.

They had a blast playing games and riding some small rides. I just had to share the video that shows their excitement *wink*

Boys - they're pretty tough

There is so much I could say about this video, but I think it speaks for itself. We were rolling on the floor watching it so we knew we had to share. *Yes, Coen is perfectly fine and even seemed oblivious to what happened*

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Update on the boys

It occurred to me that I haven't done a great job lately of documenting what our boys are like right now. I mean, I post a photo here or there, but their little personalities are so uniquely them right now, I just want to capture them to be able to reflect on later.


He is our sweetheart.

He is sensitive (underlined ten times). All it takes to get him to stop dead in his tracks is raising your voice. It breaks him into a million pieces to think mommy or daddy (or anyone) is upset with him and tears will immediately well up in his eyes.

He asks permission for just about anything which is adorable. He asks, "Mommy, may I have a snack?" I love that he says "may"

He thanks me for his meals. How many 3 year olds do this? "Thank you for my breakfast, mommy. You make a good breakfast." (Can you tell he has an amazing daddy as a role model?)

He hears everything and processes everything. He heard me saying "Carter won't touch anything green" to which he piped in "mommy, I'm touching my peas!"

He is the cleanest child you will ever meet. He cannot stand to get anything on his hands, spills drive him nuts, he is clean, clean, clean. Unless he is working with dad in his "work clothes" where it is understood that there will be some dirt involved. Then, he's all boy.

He does have his breakdowns every now and then when he must be sent to his room, but once he gets his crying out, he joins us and apologizes without being asked.


Our strong-willed child.

Over the past 2 months:
Coen has been exerting his will more and more. Tell him no and you will likely get a nasty look and some grumblings or a knee slap which I equate to giving "the bird". He throws tantrums about 4-5 times a week full of screaming and hands waving and feet stomping. Yes, in public sometimes.

It takes him about an hour to go to sleep at nap or bed time. Some times he cries, some times just sings/talks.

He adores Carter. He could not care less who he is left with as long as Carter is with him.

The past week or so:
It has only been the past week or so that he seems to be seeing the light - "nobody happy if mama ain't happy so, let's chill on the will a bit". We've lost the offensive gesture and usually get a pitiful look instead of a nasty one followed by crying instead of backtalk if he doesn't get his way. I've learned to ignore the tantrum completely which REALLY makes him mad. I only had to do it twice (about 10 minutes each time of the worst screaming I've ever heard) for him to realize that nothing will come of his tantrums so now, they are very short-lived - maybe a minute long.

Overall, he is a happier little guy - smiling and giggling constantly. I think exerting his will was as tiring for him as it was for me and he is happy to not have to work so hard.

Going to bed easily, often asleep within 10 minutes or so, but always quiet.

He still adores Carter and is constantly copying him. Today he added "always" to his vocabulary only because he heard Carter say it.

He talks constantly and we have our own little conversations. He is at about the level that Carter was at when he was 6 months older. It's crazy.

He is terrified of all animals - scream and claw at you until he is up high out of harms way type of terrified.

He is the messiest child. Seriously. That said, he has improved 150% in the past 6 months. He knows to use his fork and not his fingers and does most of the time and will ask for a napkin if he does make a mess or get something on his hands (although he would be perfectly happy leaving the mess).

Plays well with all of his friends! He and Carter do a lot of pretend play with someone being a lion or bear that the other has to run from :)

He has gotten very cuddly and will ask for a kiss or hug quite a few times a day. He is so darn cute I can hardly stand it.

We're just having so much fun with both of them right now. Our house is loud and crazy most of the day, but fun.

Finally a new project

I've been lacking energy/free time for a while now, but got a decent surge of it today. It was nice and sunny so the boys and I planted new flowers by our front door and then, we undertook a project. I saw this in a Pottery Barn magazine:

and thought it would look awesome in the boys' room. We already haven plenty of furniture in there including a thrifted find that I never did anything to. It was never stained, I just liked the style of the piece and you know how it goes.. you stick it in a room meaning to do "something" with it and then, time passes. So, I figured we would try to give it the pottery barn look.

First we sanded it and then stained it with a red stain.

I used my Silhouette machine to make a quick stencil and that was it.

It didn't photograph well, but I think it turned out pretty well for only costing $5.90.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Haircuts at the Roberts' house

Turns out daddy gives pretty good haircuts. We stepped up his game and
bought new clippers this weekend AND a cape. Carter loved it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Back to the grind

Chris and I just got back from the best 2-day vacation of our lives! We kept looking at each other, almost giggling, and saying "this is even better than our honeymoon!"

If I were being honest, I'd share that it was likely his best vacation because I finally chilled the heck out. I'm the type of person that needs to know what we are doing every minute of every day, even on vacation. I'm annoying. Yes, even on our honeymoon almost 4 years ago, I needed a plan.

This trip was different. I was able to just lay in the sun, reading a book, falling half asleep, and reading some more. I wasn't thinking whether or not it was near nap time or if the boys were getting hungry. I didn't have a care in the world. Thus, my best vacation and in turn, Chris' best vacation.

It was his annual business trip to Cabo and I've never attended. First, I had a newborn. Then, I had a barely one year old... What fun it going on vacation if you have to be in a hotel room for nap time? More importantly, what would I do if he got hurt or sick in MEXICO? I've been to some scary hospitals in other countries in my lifetime.. Then, last year, I went to meet Coen for the first time :) So this was the year! I met Chris at the end of the trip and he took off 2 days from work (Shocking, I know).

The boys went to Grandma and Papa's house and had a blast. They hardly said good-bye to me they were so excited about being there. (You won't see Coen in photos on the farm - he is terrified of all animals.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Worth a thousand words

Cater says

After dinner with Coen already in bed:

Carter: I might be hungry

Me: what does that mean?

Carter: I might be hungry. I might not. I might be tired.

Me: OK... Well mommy is about to sit down so you probably need to
figure that out.

Carter: I AM hungry!

I love the conversations we have one-on-one. I need more dates with my
3 year old :)