Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boy, Oh, Boy!

Most of you have already seen by now that Baby Thompson #3 is a healthy boy!

I have to admit that I am shocked and surprised.  I fully expected to see another little girl wiggling around in the ultrasound.  It is what we are used to, and for some reason I just did not fathom that we would have a boy.

Thankfully, this little bugger gave us an open view right off the get go in the ultrasound.  It was more than obvious he was a boy, but then he got real shy on us and didn't cooperate much after that.  No matter how many ultrasounds I get, seeing my baby moving around never gets old.  It's amazing to see the four chambers of the heart pumping blood, seeing his limbs move all over the place, his mouth opening and closing, and the tech actually mentioned that his bladder was full and she could tell he emptied it because she couldn't find it for a bit.  Crazy!

Techinically, ultrasound techs aren't supposed to say if they see something wrong, but it was made clear to us in so many words that this baby looked healthy.  There have been many many prayers being said for him, and today was something I was excited for, yet anxious.  I couldn't wait to find out the gender, but I was also hoping and praying all looked healthy.

Belle is thrilled to have a little brother.  Evie doesn't understand it all, but I am fairly certain a brother will be good for her.  She needs someone that might put her in her place a bit :-)  I am still in a bit of shock, and not quite sure what mothering a son will be like.  It is scary, but so exciting!

Now the task begins to prepare this house for a BOY.  This means changing the nursery decor, getting in some boy clothes, and actually moving a few Barbies over to make room for some trucks and cars!

Now, an insane amount of ultrasound pictures:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Professional Organizing Round 2

I figured I needed to follow-up about how well the organizing did for me with Lynne's first visit AND then follow-up with my to-dos for her most recent visit.  You can read all about her first visit here.

I need to first say that my laundry life has been transformed!!!  It is amazing when you add a few changes to your laundry system how well things can actually work.  I think the reason I can keep up on my laundry is because I don't just take it out and throw it in a basket to sit and sit until we are all almost naked because most of our clothes are waiting to be put away.

Now, I actually do all of the folding and hanging RIGHT OUT of the dryer.  This works perfectly, because I can do it while the kids are awake.  They can't reach the clothes I am working with, so things stay folded and where they need to be.  The folding and hanging seems to have been my biggest challenge with kids around.  Now, I can get it all finished while they are running around and it can sit in the laundry room until I am ready to put it away.

Tension bar added to hang clothes.  Used a table runner and tension rod to hide the toilet paper/diaper/paper towel storage above the cabinet.  WAY better!

Putting it away has been a dream too.  Since all of the folding and hanging work is done, I can get all the clothes put away in no time, which means I don't wait until I am overwhelmed to finally do it.  Major success!

Bought these at Joann's for everyone's folded stuff.  Small enough so that I have to empty them more often, rather than piling more clothes in.  Also, light enough that Belle can carry it up to her room to put her own stuff away.

My next step was to add a shelf to my laundry cabinets and add some small LABELED storage.  Lynn and I both discovered that my preferred way of organizing was labeled bins.  This was a system seemed to function best for me.  So far, it has been a success!  So many items have a spot, AND I have been very disciplined and diligent at taking an extra 30 seconds to put them in the right place, rather than shoving them in whichever bin was closest.  This system has also helped Paul.  He now knows where to put all of the bows, hair ties, bobby pins, combs, and brushes that seem to take over the house!

Small bins from the Dollar Store.

My front closet was another issue we needed to deal with.  Paul put in shelves and now all of my shoes have a home that is easy to access and doesn't clutter the entire floor.  He took of the door that was taking up too much space, and we added this curtain!  I found a LOAD of this fabric at an antique shop for only $6!  I love it!


My next bit of homework is with my toys and my yarn.  I am currently looking for more Expedit shelving from Ikea....again, more labeled bins :-)  I am working to sell a bunch of my crocheted items to save money to get these.

Speaking of crochet, my yarn was a mess.  I made myself purge the yarn and get rid of what I didn't need.  Lynn suggested I put cute little tassels on each bin to make it easy to know which color was where.  Genius!!  I still have a long way to go with this area, but hopefully I can post pics soon of the final product.

We also discussed my loose papers, mail, etc.  I have many items that are needed, but I don't have a good home for them.  Per Lynn's suggestion I bought each of us a folder to keep papers organized by which person they pertain too.  Eventually, I am hoping to purchase the NeatDesk system, so I can scan items, save them on my computer, and then throw out the papers I don't need to keep.  That is another expense...so we will be saving for that too!

Paul and I also have a cabinet with things we want to save that kids do not need to get into.  Lynn suggested making this off-limits and finding another door for it (it only has one, and I can get one at Ikea), and then locking it.  This would keep kids out of the electronics, cords, pictures, etc.  I am also thinking of putting our games in here.  We tend to lose a ton of pieces because all the games get brought out at once and the pieces are thrown everywhere.  If I only had access to them, then there would be a bit more control over the pieces and how many games were brought out at once.

So, there ya have it!  Hopefully I will post again when I have my second bit of homework complete!  Lynn's help and advice has been worth every penny.  Paul was a skeptic at first, but he has been more than thrilled with the changes it has made for me and our home.  It's amazing how a little system change, some labeled bins, and discipline can change how a house is run (and relieve my anxiety)!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Are You Finding Out? You Want A Boy, Right?

It is a very common question asked when a woman is pregnant.  People want to know if you plan on finding out the gender or not.  The problem with this question is that you never quite know what sort of reaction your answer is going to get.  My answer is,"Yes, I am finding out."  Then for some reason I feel I need to justify it.  How many times have I heard:

"There are so few surprises in life anymore."
"Oh, why would you want to find out?"
"That makes things so less exciting."

The problem with these responses is that they are how someone else feels-not me.  I feel that finding out at 20 weeks is just as much of a surprise as the day I deliver.  Why would I want to find out?  Welp, I like to plan.  It makes me feel prepared.  It makes me feel ready.  Honestly, welcoming a baby in the world is scary enough, so please let me just reduce my anxiety a bit by knowing the gender.  Lastly, finding out at 20 weeks is not less exciting for me.  In some ways, it's like giving myself a high five for making it half way through the pregnancy.  It's a little reward.  I love being able to refer to the baby as "he" or "she."  It helps ME feel more connected.

I understand that for some people not finding out IS more exciting.  Great for you!  Exciting for you!  I just get frustrated that people are judging other people's choices on what is best for them.  Those of us who find out should be happy for those who have the patience to wait, and those who wait should be thrilled that halfway through the pregnancy people like me get to find out what we are having.  

So, PLEASE, next time you ask someone if they are finding out what they are having and you wouldn't necessarily choose the same route don't give a judgy opinion on someone else's choices.  

Okay, now onto the next question that drives me nuts.  "You want a boy, right?  I find this question really awkward.  Would I love a boy?  For sure!  I would love to have a son someday.  Would I love to watch Paul run around with a son?  Certainly.  However, I feel really awkward and uncomfortable wishing and hoping for a boy when I know how phenomenal girls can be.  I LOVE my girls, and I know that regardless if this child is a boy or girl it will be just THE right addition for our family.  I actually worry more about the reactions of other people if we have a girl than I do my own reaction.  In some ways, I feel like we are going to be letting people down if this baby is a girl, and I HATE that feeling.

I know that if this baby is a boy we will be excited for the new adventure of parenting a son.  We will be thrilled to add a boy to this brood, but the thought of praying specifically for a boy or hoping this kid isn't a girl just doesn't sit well with me.  If this baby is a girl, we are going to rejoice and thank God for his MANY blessings he has given to us, and know that he knew that another daughter was what he meant for our growing family.  Besides, raising girls seems to be what we are good at! :-)    I was worried how Paul would react with another girl, and he said that he would be more than thrilled with a third daughter because he knows how amazing his other girls are.

Don't get me wrong--I have laughed with others and made jokes about this baby being a boy or girl.  I am light hearted about it.  I actually love hearing people's guesses, and making jokes that we have enough girly drama that a boy might balance things :-)  I just struggle when people tell me they are PRAYING and HOPING it is a boy.  I just find it interesting how people tell us this when they might not know our hearts.  We are praying for a healthy baby, and boy or girl, we are going to be thrilled.  I don't want the outcome of our ultrasound next week to be something I know will either excite or disappoint people.  I have this feeling inside me that wants to try to protect and defend this baby if it is a girl, because it seems from the reactions I get that female should not be the preferred gender of this baby for our family.

So, the next time you are talking to someone about whether they are finding out the gender and if they wish it was one or the other, just PLEASE try to think about your reaction to their response.  It can really affect a hormonal pregnant woman who is already feeling a bit crazy :-)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sickness Survival Guide

Obviously, I am feeling a bit better, but this day has been a ROUGH one to say the least.  A couple of days ago Evie was sick, and I just hoped and prayed she wouldn't share.  Welp, she did.  Twice.  After an awful day of both Paul and I sick with the stomach flu, I felt the need to share some survival guide tips if this ever happens to you.

  1. Be sure you and your spouse plan on being most sick at different parts of the day.  For instance, I was most sick this morning--completely useless.  He was able to care for the kids, and then he went down around 12:30, which is when I started to perk up a little.  Nothing like a little teamwork and careful timing.
  2. Your 4 year old is your life-line, nurse, and biggest helper.  Your 21 month old is your worst enemy.  Belle went back and forth between Paul and I bringing us crackers, towels, Powerade, and just checking in on us.  Evie decided to take a short nap, crumble and throw crackers everywhere, and hurl herself off of every couch, table, and chair she could find.
  3. Get sick when you're pregnant, so you have a nice stash of Zofran to help get you through the nausea and vomiting when your body literally cannot handle anymore.
  4. Have no guilt about the sheer amount of television/movies your children will watch.  In fact, go ahead and buy a few new movies just to keep their attention longer than 30 minutes.
  5. Do not get sick on a day you are looking forward to something.  Today Alive sang for a Sea to Sea service.  I kept telling myself I'd get it together by 4:00.  Ha!  I wasn't together at all, and I SURE couldn't leave Paul to take care of the kids while his head was in toilet.  Major disappointment.
  6. Don't assume you are feeling better before you really are.  I totally fell for this, and just a couple sips of Powerade in and I was running for the toilet.  Too much confidence will never get ya anywhere!
  7. Definitely put the 21 month old to bed a half hour early, even if she isn't tired.  She might stay awake in her crib, but at least she is contained and out of harms way!  This is probably much safer for her than roaming around the house while her parents are in and out of sleep and nausea.
  8. When you plan on cleaning up the basement the night before, don't go to bed because you are too tired and leave it a disaster.  Part of the day we spent downstairs to occupy the girls with different toys, but we were battling with boxes, a treadmill, and cardboard.  Didn't make for a very relaxing or safe atmosphere.
  9. Pray it is all over with soon!