sweet Thursday afternoon Friday, Feb 12 2016 

I took all three of these pictures within 5 minutes of each other yesterday afternoon. Pretty classic. :-)IMG_2850This past week has been a little crazy with David’s birthday, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, the start of Lent, and Valentine’s Day class parties. We’re looking forward to a three-day weekend!

22 weeks Friday, Feb 12 2016 

I feel a lot bigger this time around. I think it’s mostly because bellies tend to “pop” quicker with subsequent pregnancies, but I’ve also been craving comfort foods due to prolonged morning sickness and haven’t been making it to the gym quite as often. I think it’s hard to tell in these pictures, especially since they’re both white on white (doh!), but I am bigger than I was during my first pregnancy. Hey, at least I know Baby Mary is growing!

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I am still teaching Turbo Kick which has helped me stick to an exercise routine. I’m also feeling a lot more baby movements especially after a meal or snack. I had an appointment yesterday with my OB and the baby sounds good. She continues to be pretty active during these appointments, which makes me wonder if we have another mover in there.

Overall things are going well!

 

mariners fanfest 2016 Friday, Feb 5 2016 

I’ve been longing for Mariners baseball lately. I think mostly because I want it to be sunny and warm already, but I also can’t deny the fact that I’m turning into a hardcore fan. It’s hard not to when my boys love it so much! Anyway, I arranged for all of us to attend the Mariners FanFest last weekend. I like this event because they open Safeco to fans for a minimal fee (kids are free) and provide a lot of fun activities to get everyone pumped up about the upcoming season.

This one is definitely a framer!

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It was a little colder and a lot windier at Safeco than at our house, so we felt a little underdressed. Also, David was a little sad that day because he had jammed his finger playing hallway baseball that morning and it continued to bother him throughout the day.

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We decided to start with batting practice so that we could do something active and warm up a bit.

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Mommy showing them how it’s done. ;-)

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We ate hot dogs in the stands before retreating to the warm clubhouse.

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While we were there, the radio announcer for the Mariners, Rick Rizzs, was passing through. He saw Grant, stopped, and said, “I’d like to meet this little guy right here.” (David was ahead of us and around the corner.)

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Grant really wanted to play catch in the outfield and so we waited in the long line to make it happen. It turned out be our favorite part of the day. There were gloves and soft balls to borrow and Henry loved throwing our wiffle ball around.

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Grant wanted to practice catching fly balls and actually got one to land in his glove!

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At the end we hit up the Mariners team store where we bought discounted jerseys for the boys, a large enough (hopefully) t-shirt for the pregnant lady, and a new hat for Henry.

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As I watched my pack of boys make their way back to the car, I couldn’t help but think, “Chris, do you have room in the front for another?” ;-) (P.S. I got a similar picture last year!)

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We’re hoping for a great season, M’s! See you soon!

You can view all of my pictures from the day here: Mariners FanFest 2016

mulan jr. Friday, Feb 5 2016 

Remember our Shrek obsession last summer? Well, that same youth theatre group presented Mulan Jr. last weekend- and it was wonderful!

We watched the movie before attending the performance so that the boys were familiar with the story and could appreciate the show more. They both were on the edge of their seats the entire time. David enjoyed the battle scenes and the happy ending. Grant said he liked “all of it” and asked if we could see Shrek, The Nutcracker, and Mulan again sometime. 

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I’m so happy my boys enjoy going to the theatre with me. I noticed that they’re more familiar with the whole theatre scene in general which has made it even more enjoyable for them. They weren’t confused when the stage went black before a dramatic scene, they knew to go potty and ask for a snack during the intermission, and they were a little bummed we forgot to bring flowers for the cast members this time (doh!).

I am totally in love with this theatre group, mostly because I see the strong community bursting from its seams. I love the kid-made decorations in the lobby, parent-run themed snack bar, cheap tickets and small theater, and, of course, the fantastic production quality. I know I’m probably one of the few audience members who doesn’t have a child in the show, but it’s seriously my favorite way to introduce my kids to the theatre! Ludus Performing Arts, you are a gem and thank you!

how does a dinosaur brush his teeth? Thursday, Feb 4 2016 

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adventures in parenting: feeling thankful Thursday, Feb 4 2016 

I wasn’t feeling well yesterday and so I had planned on letting the boys watch a movie after we picked up David from school. I didn’t say anything to them, but knew I didn’t feel like moving much that afternoon. As it turns out, the boys had better plans.

David told me that in twenty minutes a basketball game between the University of Washington Huskies and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish would be starting downstairs and I should watch because it was going to be a close one. At 3:59pm he reminded me, and I went to the “court” to watch him play. Not surprisingly, his little brothers arrived about ten minutes later to check out the action. I laid on the ground and watched as my three boys, each with different balls, took turns shooting at the hoop. David, in his announcer’s voice, kept track of the score in his game, Henry practiced passing cross court (if you can call it that), and Grant focused on his jump shot. I loved watching them play, take turns shooting, and dribble around each other. I couldn’t call a single foul!

Video: David’s Game (you can hear Henry making his way downstairs)

After a while David decided he was done and wanted to add to his running list of numbers (he’s up to 312!). We all went upstairs and I watched from the couch as David sat at the kitchen table writing numbers, and Grant and Henry moved their Star Wars/Ninja Turtle figurines between the doll house and the Millenium Falcon. Henry pushed guys through the windows and doors, while Grant narrated an elaborate story that ended with Leonardo defeating “Dark” Vader in the attic of the house.

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It was one of those moments that made me feel especially thankful for my kids. They have their arguments (like this morning when David was really annoyed that Grant kept singing the same song as him), but it’s more often you’ll find them playing together nicely. We’ll be shaking things up again by adding another sibling, but I have no doubt they will welcome her with open arms…at least until she starts getting into all of their stuff. :-)

David, Grant, and Henry – you guys are the best.

Love you, Mom

P.S. I’m also thankful I thought ahead and put a beef stew in the crockpot that morning. I didn’t have to think about dinner and could spend the evening laying on the couch admiring my kids.

it’s a… Sunday, Jan 31 2016 

GIRL!

We’re thrilled to be welcoming a baby girl into our family!

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Chris and I are excited to have a daughter, the boys will enjoy having a little sister, and I know Baby Mary will love having three brothers. ;-) (Although Auntie Kerry will have to give her tips on having three older bros.) We’re looking forward to the adventure and can’t wait to know more about our newest little one.

Boy or Girl?

When you are pregnant and already have multiple of the same gender, finding out the sex of the baby can get a little tricky. People are especially curious, understandably so, and sometimes make weird comments. I wasn’t completely sure if I wanted to know the gender this time around, but as the weeks went on, I realized I actually couldn’t wait to find out. :-) I’ll admit we were a little sneaky this time around, but we were just trying to have fun with it all. Below are some cute memories we made while learning whether we would be welcoming a fourth boy or our first daughter (and, yes, we were excited about the prospect of both!).

Sneakin’ Around

Over Christmas break, Chris was on service and hospital staff was slimmer than usual. He thought it would be a good time to pull out the ultrasound machine and take a peek at the baby’s gender ourselves. This sounded like a sweet idea and so I arranged for a babysitter and decided to make a date out of it. :-)

I arrived at the hospital on a Tuesday evening and Chris had the ultrasound machine waiting in his office. We found our very wiggly and adorable baby right away. Chris really didn’t know what he was doing, but of course had no problem finding the kidneys. ;-) We thought we got the gender shot a couple of times, but we really couldn’t tell for sure. A friend later pointed out that if we were looking for boy parts, we were never going to find them. Good point!

We spent most of our time chasing the baby on the monitor, trying to coax her into stop wiggling, and admiring her cute little baby movements. We walked away feeling like the baby could be a girl … or we just spent 30 minutes staring at his elbow.  :-) Hey, ultrasounds are tricky! More than anything, it was fun for Chris and I to “play” with the baby, and we enjoyed a lovely dinner at a nice Italian restaurant nearby afterwards.

More Peeking

My doctor offered to peek at the gender during my appointment a few days before the 20-week anatomy ultrasound, and I giddily accepted. I decided not to look at the screen while she checked and asked that she write down her guess so that I could find out later with Chris.

Dr. Moreni turned on the ultrasound machine and after looking around for a little bit, said she was pretty confident she knew what it was. I called Chris while I was waiting to pick up Grant from preschool and told him the appointment went well, the baby looked great, and that Dr. Moreni gave me an envelope with her gender guess inside (!). We talked about when we would open it and he said he would leave it up to me…

Well, there I sat – parked at St. Luke, waiting for preschool to end. We still had twenty minutes to go and Henry was peacefully sleeping in the back. And the envelope was STARING AT ME. Seriously, BEGGING ME TO OPEN IT. And it wasn’t even sealed! What else was I supposed to do? Of course I opened it! That’s right, I couldn’t even wait two minutes before the envelope was opened and I was back on the phone with Chris telling him our doctor believed our baby to be a GIRL! He jokingly gave me a hard time for being the worst at waiting, which is valid – but, yay!

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We were really excited, but wanted to wait until it was confirmed at the official ultrasound before sharing with family and friends.

The Anatomy Ultrasound

I dropped David and Grant off at school and then met Chris at my clinic for the ultrasound. Our sonographer was really nice and asked if we wanted to find out the gender. I told her yes and that we had two other beautiful boys besides Henry at home.

The baby looked fantastic! It is comforting having a doctor for a husband because he spent a lot of the ultrasound looking up the measurements and making sure our baby was on track. They had to take more images of the heart, which made me a little nervous, but he was able to reassure me they just needed better pictures. My doctor later confirmed that the baby looks great and is developmentally right on track. They estimate she is about 10 oz, which is in the 50th percentile for her gestation. I am so happy and relieved!

Her sweet little hand and arm!

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When it came time to show us the gender, the sonographer paused the screen and told us that the lines we were seeing meant that our baby is a girl. We were excited, but played it cooler than usual because of all our sneaking around. :-) She printed off our baby’s cute profile picture and I love that you can see her heart.

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Henry was a rock star during the appointment – he played with his toys, looked for cords to pull, and munched on some Cheerios. The three of us went out for breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe afterwards to celebrate and then we started texting/calling our loved ones to share the good news!

Telling The Boys

On my way back from our ultrasound appointment I bought some mini cupcakes from the bakery at Fred Meyer as well as some frosting. During nap time, I removed the tops of three cupcakes, made holes in the center, and added a little bit of pink frosting inside before putting the tops back on. (It seemed like so much more effort to make my own, haha.) After dinner that evening, we gave each boy a cupcake to share the news that they would be getting a little sister.

Here are their predictions: Boy or Girl?

And their reactions: The Cupcake Reveal!

Shopping

I’ve been really shy about looking at girl clothes because part of me still doesn’t believe that there is a baby girl in my belly. I got brave the other day at Fred Meyer, though, and impulsively bought this super feminine gown because it was on sale and I like to use these during the first month. I checked out with my favorite cashier, a sweet old lady from New Orleans, and told her this was the first thing I was buying for my daughter. She did a little jig and we celebrated together!

Too sweet, I couldn’t resist.

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I’m also excited because I have some friends who have offered to pass down their daughters’ clothes. I didn’t know anyone with kids when we had David so the prospect of having hand-me-downs is awesome!

I recently passed along some of our clothes to a friend who has a two-month-old baby boy. It was a little emotional for me to let go of some items that all three of my boys have worn, but it also felt good to know that another little boy could use them right away (and he’s the offspring of a Tulanian and hardcore Mariners fan!). This friend actually thought she was having a girl and was surprised at the birth, so I asked that maybe she hold on to this stuff until June just in case… ;-)

Phew! That was the long-winded way of saying IT’S A GIRL!

tgif! Friday, Jan 29 2016 

telling the boys about the baby Tuesday, Jan 26 2016 

We told the boys about the baby the week before Thanksgiving. Check it out:

 

Things I love about this video:

  1. Chris had just eaten some spicy wings while watching a football game and David asked if he could try one. We warned him that it would be super spicy and that he probably wouldn’t like it, but he tried it anyway. I’m not sure if he actually liked it or was just trying to be brave, because he ate the whole thing. You can see the effects of this decision in the video. And, yes, he had to flee at the end to find a glass of water. :-)
  2. Grant counting and his half understanding, half being confused.
  3. Henry pointing to his stomach when I said I have a baby in my belly.

I think David has a handle on what’s about to happen, and Grant will become more aware as my belly gets bigger, but Henry especially is in for a big surprise come June. I’m excited to see the FOUR of them together. David is right, WOWZERS!

P.S. I meant to mention in my first trimester recap that the boys were amazing during my period of intense morning sickness. In many ways it was easier having more kids around because they all played with each other and David often kept an eye on Henry while I rested (and sometime napped, eek!) on the couch. I feel blessed to have such wonderful little boys who will be such awesome big brothers to their newest sibling!

a field trip and a sleepover Sunday, Jan 24 2016 

Last Friday I volunteered to be a driver for David’s class field trip to the children’s museum. One of the other moms asked how I pulled off finding child care for Grant and Henry and I told her that I have an incredible friend. Seriously, Cody, I don’t know what I would do without you. Also, thank you for the cute pictures that made me feel like maybe the day wasn’t too stressful for you. Thank you so much!

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And then on Saturday we asked the Koenigs to join us for a sleepover!

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Pretty classic, right?

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David, Aidan, Grant, and Oliver all slept downstairs together. It took them about an hour and a half to fall asleep, which I thought was pretty good!

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Such a fun and silly group of kids!

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