Thursday, April 21

24 weeks

I'm almost 24 weeks along in the pregnancy. Baby Davis will reach 24 weeks gestation in the next couple of days. Wow! Viability is here.  This is when my triplets were born- so hard to believe.  We knew they were God-given miracles while I was pregnant, but of course they exceeded our expectations. I had an appointment the other day and passed the doctor, in the hall, that delivered the triplets. She remembered me even though our paths only crossed that one day in November 2008. She was an angel sent from God. I've been told that she saved my life and that of my 3 children.  She was elated to see that I'm pregnant again and to hear how well the pregnancy is going and Austin is doing.  She laughingly asked if we wanted more after this, but then before I could answer she said that it looked like my body finally has this all figured out and no point stopping now. I was a little surprised at how emotional I felt after seeing her, but I don't often deal head-on with the emotions that surface surrounding the triplets and everything following them. The kids keep us so busy, including this pregnancy, that we don't have a lot of time to think about "things". Of course there isn't a day that goes by that Brayden and Lexi don't cross my mind. It's still hard to not wonder what life would be like with those 2 sweet babies in addition to our other blessings. Chris and I are often told that it seems like God made us to have a big family, and most people don't realize how big our family truly is. SIX children, 6 blessings, 6 miracles-  yes, that is fairly big, but we love it.
I've been looking for bedding for the new little one and just can't help think how cool it is that we will be welcoming our 4th son. I'm elated to be having another boy. I really didn't care what he was- either way was great. It is wonderful to have at least one of each, and just be thankful for another child. We do have a nursery all setup with all of Austin's stuff still in it. Austin has been sharing a room with Bradley for almost a year now, and we just left all of his stuff the same. However, that stuff was the triplet's stuff, THEIR theme, so I'd like for Davis to have a fresh start- you know he deserves have his HIS theme. Right? Just because he is our 6th child doesn't mean he doesn't deserve to have his things and be celebrated too. So, now I have to come up with a theme. I'm leaning towards nautical, sailboats or whales. We are going to keep the same crib, wall color, and rocking chair- so I have to stick to the current colors in there somewhat. I've never done sailboats and such before. Bradley's theme was transportation in bright colors, and the triplet's theme was animals more so jungle animals and specifically giraffes for Austin. This is all such fun stuff to think about and plan, and I have to say it is as special for Davis as it was for Bradley.
I did mention that I had an OB appointment the other day. I had another ultrasound- yeah another one-this is how my pregnancies go- an ultrasound every other week until the end and it may go to every week at some point. My cervix was "super cervix", as Bradley would say, measuring at over 4.2 and it only has to be 2.5. Then, the MCA velocity is still a category/group 'C', so that is great. It means they will just continue watching things via ultrasound for now. Davis was moving well, and we got some precious 3D pictures. I'm so spoiled with the 3D ultrasounds! Right now, he looks like a cross between Bradley and Austin.  Of course, that means he looks like a good combination of all 3 since Bradley and Cameron look like twins. I'll have to try to scan in some ultrasound pictures of Davis to share with everyone. I don't think I shared that my doctor ended up making me do a 3 hour Glucola the other week. My level wasn't as high as the glucometer read; the blood serum, taken out of the arm, is a more accurate reading. So, I went and did that long, awful test and guess what??!?! I PASSED! No one expected that, and we really don't know what it means besides that fact that I'm not diabetic NOW. It probably means not just yet, and that it will come. I was very excited though, because for a little while longer I can enjoy being pregnant and eat like I want, when and what I want. That is all controlled when I'm diabetic: time I eat, how often, amount/proportion, what etc.So, that is pretty cool! It appears that Baby Davis is happy inside and should stay in past the 24 week mark and for that we are so grateful and blessed.
We have a lot of blessings to celebrate this Easter weekend. Our children top the lists, but most is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord for giving your only son so that I may have eternal life and be forgiven for all of my sins. How great is our God, sing with me, How great is our God, and all will see How great How great is our God. . .

Some pictures to share, in no particular order. The thing to add pictures was acting weird. . .

Cameron's 1st birthday outfit

Sitting in Austin's chair at the table- enjoying a bowl of dessert. 

Look at those beautiful brown eyes!

The 2 little ones follow their Bradley around all the time. Good thing God made him to be such an awesome big brother- he still says he wants us to have 10 babies!

Bradley with his soccer trophy at the party celebrating another great season.

Ready to ride his bike

Sweet girl saying she wants her Mama

Ridin' the gator; the boys love it.
And, Cameron just watches with great anticipation of when it will be her turn.

Austin was such a big boy carrying the bucket for me while helping himself to some strawberries.

Bradley picked almost an entire basket of strawberries by himself.

And, Cameron just waited patiently on someone to bring her a strawberry.

Going to go pay for our baskets o' berries.

Playtime with Daddy
And, YES, she is usually that happy and always smiling. 


So serious with his cute hair do.

"I'm just a little guy and would never be bad"


Monday, April 18

Family Time

It's Spring! Yay! We're having gorgeous weather, and there are lots of things to do outside. Thought I'd share a few things that you can do as a family. Chris and I always have our children with us, because after all the time that they are little is so short. Before we know it they will be older and think Dad and Mom are not so cool.  So, check out these things and enjoy! (and if we can tote all 3 of our little ones, as well as my belly growing by the day, then of course it's very family friendly)

SC State Farmers Market
I should have posted this sooner. They have a flower show twice a year, and this past weekend was their Spring one. We went Friday and got some great deals on some shrubs. The Farmer's Market , and open air market, has just moved to a new location in the last year, and it's very nice. You can get out of the house and enjoy the gorgeous weather in the shade. Every Friday and weekend there are lots of local farmers selling their home grown produce. Our kids love going out there and picking out fresh produce.  A lot of times there are also people selling seafood, plants, etc and all usually are priced well.

Strawberry Picking
Every year we go to Sease Farms in Gilbert on Augusta Rd/Highway 1. I can't find a web page for them, but to get strawberry picking information call 803-359-FARM. I highly recommend you call before going, because they aren't open everyday. It depends on how the crop is doing. The usually pick April through mid May.  If you aren't in the midlands or want to find a place closer to you, then check out  Pick your Own. It has farms listed by county.  Sease also allows you to buy already picked strawberries as well.  It doesn't take long to fill up one or 2 baskets of fresh strawberries, if you're picking, and you can even sample one straight off the plant. They are the sweetest, most amazing fruit you will ever taste!

A picnic
We enjoy going to the park to play and picnic. Sometimes we even go in the evening, eat supper, and play for a bit before it gets dark.  Our favorite and closest park is Virginia Hylton in Lexington near the courthouse. You can check out this website for a park closest to you. 

There are plenty of things to do as a family. Going for a walk is free, and there is always Riverbanks Zoo if you are up for something that will take up a few hours.  When it gets warmer Saluda Shoals Splash Park is loads of fun and on the inexpensive side. They are scheduled to open for the season April 30th. There is a playground right at the splash park and picnic areas as well.  Our kids love getting out in the yard and doing yard too. We have always enjoyed yard work and been fairly active, so the kids are are accustomed to raking, digging dirt, planting, etc.  And, if you really want to do something cool together as a family plant a garden. It can be as big or small as you'd like. I'd recommend starting small and adding to it each year as you're able. A raised bed works well as far as it doesn't require as much upkeep once established (fewer weeds). We haven't had one in a few years due to my being pregnant for 3 years now :-) , but we look forward to starting back next year. Cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash are some of the easiest things to grow.  An herb pot is also something easy. One of those strawberry pots makes for an attractive centerpiece on your patio.  Here is a little information from Martha Stewart and a picture of a strawberry pot if you're unfamiliar with it.  We've planted oregano, basil, sage, and other things that we commonly use to cook with.  Then, you just have to go out there and grab some to spice up your dinner for that night. Fishing is always a fun thing to do as well if you have access to a pond or river. And, a lot of nights we have supper outside on our deck. And, the kids play after we eat while we clean up.  As you can see we really like to be outside. Hope you enjoy my ideas, the weather, and your quality family time!

Sunday, April 10

A few more recipes

Chicken Spaghetti

1/2 cup italian dressing (any brand will do and store brands save $$$!)
1 squash sliced
1 zucchini sliced
3 chicken breasts
8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesean cheese

Grill or saute' chicken in italian dressing, cut into chunks, and set aside.  Cook squash and zucchini in italian dressing.  Add marinara sauce and let simmer for 10 minutes (add chicken when adding marinara).  Add cream cheese and Parmesan and cook until melted. Serve over pasta

Upside Down Pizza adapted from the kitchens of Katrinda Scott and Starr Cain
3 chicken breasts
1/2-1lb bacon
1 jar of marinara sauce
garlic powder and oregano to taste
8oz sour cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 packaged crescet rolls

Grill or saute' chicken with italian seasonings.  Cut chicken into chunks.  Cook bacon and crumble.  In a pot, combine marinara, garlic powder, and oregano and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add chicken and bacon and pour into a 9x13 greased pan.  In a seperate bowl combine sour cream and cheese, then spread over the marinara mixture. You may have to add more of the marinara or cheese/sour cream mixture than recipe calls for bc you want it to cover entire dish.  Unroll cresent rolls and place over dish.  Cook 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees or until rolls are golden brown.

Tuesday, April 5

April Already?!?!

Wow, time is flying. I’m 21 weeks, almost 22 weeks. I have another doctor’s appointment today. I’m going at least every other week with ultrasounds about every 2 weeks. My last appointment was with my OB about a week ago and he was pleased with my progress. I’ve gained less weight than any pregnancy before- yay! He does want me to shoot to gain at least 40 pounds, and with the insulin being added in the next month or so that will be no issue since it adds a good 15 pounds along with what the weight diabetes adds. I still have several months to go, and I’m starting to get very hungry! I’m going to have my one hour Glucola (test for diabetes) today, so we shall see what it shows. Hopefully, I’ll just be diet controlled or perhaps just an oral medication at this point and get to wait another month or so to add insulin. Four finger pricks a day is enough without 4 shots right?  I just realized I never revealed what Baby #6 is . . . drum roll please . . . . it’s a BOY! We’re so excited to add another sweet boy to the family. We’re moving on down the alphabet, so his name is avis Matthew. Davis is our favorite ‘D’ name, and Matthew is from the Bible. Matthew is one of our favorite books of the Bible- definitely words to live by! We’ve gotten a good bit of positive feedback from people that came from big families as of late. It kind of makes us wonder what God has in store for us, but you’ll have to stick around to see for yourself just like us.

Cameron’s party went well. It turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny, warm day and she was the sweet spot at the party. She seemed to enjoy herself very much and loved her cake. We had games out for the kids to play. We thought about doing an Easter egg hunt, but figured we’d save that for when Cameron was older and could participate. Lunch was hotdogs, chili, coleslaw, pasta salad, fruit, and chips. Then, we enjoyed a yummy cake made by a friend of mine. We had Sweet Shoppe for the other kid’s favors. Cameron opened lots of wonderful presents that evening after a restful nap. It was a great day surrounded by our favorite people. Thanks to all that were able to make it.

No other real updates with the rest of the family. Chris has been busy getting some things done around the house. We started looking for bedding for the nursery. Everything will stay the same in the room except the bedding that Austin had which was the theme that we’d planned for the triplets. We’re looking at something bright and cheerful for Davis. He’ll need some new clothes as he is due a different time of the year than any of our other children. So, we’re guessing the seasons will be all wrong. Diapers and wipes . . . we’re going to have 3 children in diapers at once- wow! We shall see if all the rest of our baby gear will hold up for a 4th child. Our swing was on its “last leg” or so we thought with Cameron. I just bought a new back pack carrier at a consignment sale as Cameron wore out our old one since she spends so much time in it. Bradley and Austin seem excited about our new addition. They both really like babies. Bradley still says he wants lots more. Glad he is such a caring child and loves to love others- what a God given trait that is!

Easter is right around the corner and we’ve been observing Lent. We’re doing a 40 day clean out of our home. Cleaning it out to open up more time for serving our Lord. Get rid of all the excess in your life that takes away from your time with God is the thought behind it. Make life simple, so you can serve the Lord in whatever purposes he asks of you.

So, that is what we’ve been up to lately. I don’t have time to post pictures, so I’ll do that later. I need to get ready for my appointment. Say a prayer all looks well with baby, my cervix, and the blood flow in the brain. Thanks! Have a blessed day!

** UPDATE from OB appointment**
My cervix measured great! Praise God. It needs to be greater than 2.5 and it was slightly over 4. I have to continue to take it easy: have my daily rest breaks, not stand for a long time, etc.  The MCA velocity looked good for now. Remember this is about the antibodies that I have. The measurement is taken by doing a doplar of a part of the baby's brain just like heartrate is measured. Then, the measurements are graphed and put in 'A' to 'D' categories. A being the worst. Last time it was a 'D' and this time it was a 'C' which is still good.  So, I go back in 2 weeks to have both of those things checked again. It was verified that he is definitely a boy and proud of it. :-) The little guy's growth is great. I've gained a minimal amount of weight still- however that is going to change soon I'm sure as I miserably failed the test for diabetes. One hour after you drink the Glucola they want your blood sugar to be under 140. If it was 140 to 200 then my doctor was going to put me through a 3-hour test- however since I know how to "do something right" mine was 223. So, I just bought myself 4 finger pricks a day and at least daily oral medication if not immedietly going to insulin.  My doctor will call me tomorrow after the venipuncture results come back. I checked myself with my glucometer, so I could immedietly start the diabetic diet if necessary. No surprise here- just goes with the territory of a pregnancy for me. Any baby is well worth anything I have to endure. **