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Friday, August 3, 2018

Ella Grace {4.5 years}


Dear Ella,


Today you are another half year older! Daddy makes fun of me for celebrating half birthdays, but if there's anything I've learned, especially with some events this past week (click here to see what I am talking about!), it's that every child needs to be celebrated and every day with them is so important! So today, we are celebrating YOU sweet girl!


You are at least 40 inches tall and 40 pounds, although I haven't officially measured you recently. You wear 5T clothes, but some 4T and even 3T stuff still fits. You wear size 10 shoes, but I  just got your some new shoes for school and the 10s were too small! So you are starting to fit into size 11! Crazy!


Dare I say, nap time might be coming to an end. Most of my friends with kids your age are pretty jealous that you still "nap," but if we're being honest, you just have quiet time every afternoon. You do sleep maybe once or twice a week during this time, but for the most part, you play with your stuffed animals and sing songs for two hours. Whatever, I'll take it, because at least you seem to be happy and Mommy gets that nice little afternoon break! :) At night, you sleep fantastically from about 7:30 PM until 7 or so in the morning. You don't come out of your room until your clock turns green at 7:30 though, so thank you for that!


You had a great end of year at preschool, as you finished up the fours class! You learned to ride a bike (with training wheels), write your name really well (as well as Mom, Dad and Lucas), and cut on a line with scissors! You also took swimming lessons at the beginning of the summer and gained so much confidence in the water. You love to practice swimming without your puddle jumper and it makes me happy to see that you love the water! 


You still really, really love Paw Patrol, especially Skye. You are totally obsessed with her, and spend a good chunk of your nap time each day "talking" to her! You want to be a helicopter pilot when you grow up, just like Skye. You've recently been really into Peppa Pig and have been requesting to watch that each afternoon after your nap time is over. You also LOVE the Pinaklicious book series and are constantly searching for one you haven't read yet every time we go to the library. 


You still LOVE your baby brother, as shown in the picture below. He is constantly doing crazy things (see picture above), but you do a great job of not encouraging his trouble-making behaviors! He has learned so many things from you, like a love for Paw Patrol, how to say ABCD, how to count to 2 (ha!), and of course he is learning to get a word in edgewise since you are quite the talker. You do a great job of sharing your toys with him, even when he is demanding and snatches something right out of your hands. You are also so excited to be a big sister all over again very, very soon! You have been such a trooper coming with me to most of the 8,000 doctor's appointments we've had this summer and I am so proud of your patience in the waiting room! You love going to the doctor "with all the elevators" (MFM) because you get to see the baby on the TV every time! You think the regular OB doctor is boring because we just listen to the heartbeat...so you call that office the "heartbeat doctor." You are totally 100% convinced this baby is a boy and tell everyone who will listen you are getting a baby BROTHER in September! We will see if you're right very soon! 


You are still pretty funny and you say some pretty hilarious things. The other night, a cockroach was in the bathtub (AHHHH!) and we both started screaming and freaking out until Daddy came to kill it. You still wouldn't get in the tub because Daddy left it's "antenner" on accident. You were so freaked out about the "antenner." I was dying laughing. You also have special names for your clothes: ruffle pants are "wiggly pants," your jeggings are "soft jeans," and you love to wear "a dress as a shirt." (Thank you, 2T dresses that are so big, we can still get away with this!) You have become very opinionated with what you wear, and I can no longer buy just whatever for you...I have to run it by you first to see if you like it. You've recently become OBSESSED with headbands and I can't get you to take them off! I feel like you look so much older. 


Thank you for being such a light and joy in our lives, Ella! We don't know what we would do without you! Helper, Big Sister, Daughter, Smart Cookie...you have many titles, but we are so glad you are OURS most of all! We love you! 


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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Bumpdate {weeks 26-30}

Time for another bumpdate!! 
(These pictures just keep getting worse and worse, ha!) 



Size of baby: Summer cantaloupe
Weight gain: +33 pounds. YIKES. The good news is that I only ONE pound in the 2 weeks between doctor's visits!!
Maternity clothes: Yep. Blah.
Gender: Feeling like girl, but yesterday's ultrasound picture I think looked more like Lucas?!

Movement: After the blood transfusion, I have never paid more attention to a baby’s movements till this child now! I am constantly doing kick counts and making sure he/she is moving lots. They definitely have quiet periods, but will move around a lot when I’m driving, eating pasta salad or drinking coffee! 
Cravings: Pasta salad, raspberry gelato, popsicles
Symptoms: Some sciatic nerve pain. I had a little soreness from all of the places where they put needles during my last two transfusions. Most of my pain is if baby is laying in a weird way/spot and it will just HURT somewhere in my stomach. I get out of breath way too easily. Peeing lots. Hard to bend over. Also feeling nauseous at times?!
Workouts: Our treadmill broke right after I hit 26 weeks, so I took it as a sign from above that I needed to be DONE RUNNING this pregnancy!

Sleep: Starting to get a little insomnia. I just cannot fall asleep! And waking up 1-3 times to pee now.
Labor signs: Nope.
ISO: Since my last update, I've had 2 blood transfusions, on July 11 and then yesterday, July 23. You can read about the first one here. The one yesterday was basically the same as the first one and went well! I go back on Monday to check and see how baby is taking in all that new blood. The doctor is planning on doing one more transfusion, probably in about 2 weeks, but wants to see how baby is doing before we decide any dates for sure. Also, doctor talked about having to deliver around 34/35 weeks. He doesn’t want to do any more transfusions at that point because baby’s placenta is in the back and it’s too tricky to get the correct needle placement as baby gets bigger.
What I miss: Not having anxiety/paranoia about if this baby is ok!
Best moment this week: Seeing baby in 3D and 4D! Getting another transfusion over with. Also, I got a Roomba on Amazon Prime Day and it is LIFE. CHANGING.

Looking forward to: Checking on baby again next Monday. Also, finishing up some stuff in the  nursery and hopefully buying a new car soon! Trav and I both hate dealing with car stuff, so we've been procrastinating on this one big time!

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Very Eventful 5 on Friday!

Happy Friday! This week has been a doozy!!


1. If you follow me on Instagram (@fergmindy), you probably already saw all of the drama that unfolded around here Tuesday and Wednesday. In case you missed it, here is as brief of a synopsis as I can give: 
(warning: it is not that brief!)

I went in for my bi-weekly scan on Tuesday. It was not good. Baby's MoM score was 1.59. (If it's higher than 1.5, that means baby is anemic.) Also, the doctor found my fluid levels to be high, which goes right along with that anemia. So I needed to get baby a blood transfusion ASAP. Lucas, Ella and I (oh, yes, I had both children with me!) were sent on a wild goose chase: first to get admitted to the hospital (a day early? I don't understand this at all, I just did as I was told!), then to the blood bank to do some blood work, and finally to my regular OB's office to get a steroid shot (they give steroids in case baby goes into distress and they have to deliver!). 

Wednesday morning, I had to be at the hospital at 10:30 AM. They got an IV in and started doing a bunch of paperwork and monitored baby. At 11:58, they gave me a shot of terbutaline, which is supposed to relax your uterus so you don't go into labor. It also makes your heart race and makes you feel like you've had about 10 cups of coffee! Because of this, by the time the nurses came to get me at 12:00 right on the dot, I was shaking uncontrollably! They wheeled me from triage down to the procedure room, where I continued to get even shakier (is that a word?!). Once in the procedure room, there were so many people and needles and sterile dressings in there, I just started freaking out and crying. Thankfully Travis was with me! I had told him not to come; that I'd be fine, but I'm thankful he's stubborn and came anyway! I definitely needed him there to calm me down! Anyway, the first thing they did was shoot a paralytic into my stomach, right into baby's thigh to paralyze the baby. This makes it easier for the transfusion, so baby doesn't kick or grab a needle! Travis watched it on the ultrasound monitor (I was still too freaked out to look at anything!) and said it was really cool to see the needle go right into its thigh! Then, they gave me a shot of some local anesthesia on my stomach, while we waited for the paralytic to take action and for baby to stop moving. Apparently, this baby is very feisty because the paralytic did not really work, and baby moved the entire time! Anyway, after the anesthesia, they stuck a needle in to the umbilical cord to get a sample of baby's blood. They had a guy from the lab right in the room and he was able to get a reading for baby's hemoglobin right away...it was 7.3! Yikes. That is really low. So the doctor prepped 3 large tubes of blood to transfuse. Because my placenta is in back, it made it really tricky to do this transfusion (of course), so they had to snake around with the needle to get it in just the right spot. Luckily, they got the needle in the right spot on the first try and were able to do the transfusion successfully! We could watch the whole procedure on the ultrasound monitor, which was really kind of amazing. Every 30-60 seconds, they would check baby's heartbeat. Everything was very well-monitored and controlled. After transfusing 60cc of blood, the doctor said if baby's hemoglobin was 13 or 14, he would stop. We took another sample, gave it to the blood guy, and it came back at 13.1. So we stopped there! The whole process only took about 15 minutes, but it really was more emotionally draining than anything else!


I was wheeled back to triage where they monitored me and baby for another 2.5 hours and then I was free to go home to Ella and Lucas! I have a follow-up visit on Monday, when they will decide the date of the next transfusion. I will probably have to have 2-4 more transfusions before baby is born, but it all depends on a whole bunch of factors that I won't even get into because this has already gotten too long! ;) Whew!

2. Ok, if you're still reading, I promise the next 4 things are quick! 
Before my crazy appointment Tuesday, I had promised Ella and Lucas we could go to Chick Fil-A for Cow Appreciation Day (you get free Chick Fil-A if you dress like a cow)! Since we had 128592 "errands" to run after the appointment to get ready for my transfusion the next day, we totally missed lunch at Chick Fil-A...but thankfully made it up there for dinner! 


I am still shocked (but actually, not really) that Lucas was not terrified of the cow! He ran right up to it screaming "Moo! Cow! Moo! Cow!" and gave it a big high five!

3. My transfusion just happened to be on Slurpee Day (7/11), so all I could think while I was sitting in the hospital being monitored was FREE SLURPEE. As soon as I got home, I grabbed the kids and we high-tailed it up to our nearest 7-11 for free slurpees! I may or may not have had my own and half of Lucas's ;) 


4. Prior to all the craziness this week, we made a trip out to the sunflower field on Monday! When we arrived, I was so sad to see that we were a little too late this year and most of the sunflowers were dead!!! We've gone as late as July 20 in past years, so I'm not sure why they were already done on July 9 this year...but we tried to make the best of it and I think I still got a few good pics. 








Note to self: next year go at the end of June!!!

5. Apparently there's a sale at Nordstrom?!?! Haha. I honestly haven't even had time to look through everything...but what should I buy?!?! I did see a Dock-a-Tot on there that was reasonably priced, so I'm wondering if Baby #3 needs one of those?! If you have one, please let me know if this is something I really need to get! 

Last, I just want to say THANK YOU so much to everyone who reached out and texted/called/messaged me this week!!! It means so much to have so many wonderful friends and family praying for our baby!!! 

Have a great weekend, and please keep your fingers crossed that Baby Ferg has a less eventful week next week!!! :) 

Monday, July 9, 2018

4th of July + Weekend in the Mountains!

We had such a fun 4th of July and weekend! Here are a whole bunch of pictures to recap!

The morning of the 4th, we had our neighborhood parade! Ella chose to ride her bike this year and she did a great job!


Lucas hung out in the wagon. He was really just there to see the fire truck, so I don't think he cared where he was, as long as he was in view of the fire truck! 



After we paraded to our neighborhood clubhouse, the kids got to check out the fire truck. 



We walked home and changed into our swimsuits for a pool day! 


After GREAT naps (myself included!), we grilled out and made s'mores!


Then we did sparklers and watched the fireworks on TV! 


Lucas was not allowed to have a sparkler, because God knows what he would have done/injured, but good grief, he loved trying to grab it! NO FEAR.


On Thursday, we left for the mountains!!! Trav had a few days off work, so we decided to take a super last minute "not-really-a-babymoon." Every where at the beach was pretty much booked and I still had PTSD from all of the sand my children acquired when we were in Hilton Head for Memorial Day, so the mountains it was! 

As soon as we arrived, Trav decided we should hike to see this waterfall.


Yes, it was only .4 of a mile! But it was all uphill!!!


Holy moly. SOO many stairs. Way too many stairs for a 28 week pregnant person to walk up, ha!


Lucas was not sure about the hike either!
But, we finally made it to the waterfall! It was huge!!




Trav took both kids down to the water, which they loved! The water was cold and clear! Straight from the mountain!


A butterfly landed on Ella's bow, which she was extremely excited about!


Taking a break on the "long" walk back down...



For dinner that night, we went to Brio in the Harrah's Casino. If you ever go to Cherokee, be prepared for A LOT of buffet restaurants. I'm pretty sure that's all they had in town! We did not want to eat at a buffet, so that's why we went to the casino...it has the only real restaurants around!

I had to document Ella's first time in a casino :) 


Friday was my birthday!! We headed into Gatlinburg, and because it was supposed to rain, we decided to spend the morning at the aquarium


This aquarium was amazing!! Very overpriced, but we all thought it a lot of fun!! 


The best part was the had this huge tunnel set up, where the fish could swim all around you. You stood on a conveyor belt, so we didn't have to worry about pushing our way through crowds to see anything. It just moved everyone along (very slowly) through the tunnel of fish. It was so cool! 


Both of my children were terrified of this saw fish thing!!! It kept swimming over us in the tunnel and it was a little freaky!!


We also saw the biggest sea turtle I've ever seen!


Both kids loved seeing the penguins, too!



After lunch, we walked around Gatlinburg a little bit. 




So many thoughts on Gatlinburg. So many. I'll just leave it at this: my kids stopped in their tracks at this store window, begging me for an airbrushed Paw Patrol t-shirt. I said no because I'm mean. ;) 


It was about an hour drive back to Cherokee (we thought it was closer, whoops!), but we stopped at a few overlooks to take pictures!



After quick naps, it was time for my birthday dinner at Ruth's Chris! I know, I am crazy for taking the kids to this restaurant, but it was one of our few dining options that was not a buffet! Ella loved the "fancy glasses." 


And Lucas surprised us all by going to town on the creamed spinach! He didn't want his chicken fingers and fries, no no no. Homeboy wanted this spinach!!! He devoured it! 


Travis also surprised me by sneaking over to the restaurant while we were napping to tell them it was my birthday! As someone who hates his own birthday, I thought that was so sweet of him! 


On Saturday, we had a low-key morning and just walked around by the river. 


The kids took early naps, and then Ella set out on her adventure with Trav...white water rafting!


She had been dying to go white water rafting for the last week or so!! Trav and I both thought she would chicken out or change her mind, but she didn't! So brave!!

While those 2 were paddling down the river, Lucas and I went to Bryson City to see the trains!



This boy was in absolute heaven. He was screaming in delight at all of the choo-choos!


This engine was pulling into the station, and we got to watch as people moved the track around in a circle to "park" the train (I don't know the correct train terminology here, but hopefully you know what I'm talking about!).


At this point, it started raining pretty hard, but Lucas was not interested in going inside. He wanted to go see "Percy" (the green train from Thomas)!!


He was trying to climb all over it, yelling "Puhh-cy! Puhh-cy!"

I finally managed to get him to leave "Percy" and we went in the train museum. Lucas just could not believe his eyes! Choo-choos everywhere!!


{It says "Please do not lean on the rail," but it doesn't say anything about climbing! Haha...he just wanted to see!}

They also had TWO train tables, which we had to play with...not like he has a train table at home or anything...


Oh and we found Mickey Mouse on a choo-choo!!! Two of his favorite things in one!


He wouldn't leave the train museum/store because he couldn't stop watching the toy train go around and around at the top of the store!


We ended our trip with another dinner at Brio! Fun fact: did you know they will bring out pizza dough for kids to play with while they are waiting for their food? My kids loved it! 


And that's a wrap on what is probably our last family trip as a family of 4!!! 
{We also went to the mountains when I was very pregnant with Lucas; you can see that here.}

So very grateful for this time with 3 of my favorite people...no one else I'd rather spend my birthday weekend with!! :) 
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