Monday, January 31, 2011

Ski Bunnies

I would have to say that Kevin and I have created two monsters.

Ski monsters that is! 

Our girls are hooked on skiing and are absolutely loving every minute of it, and Kevin and I couldn't be happier about it.

Yes...I am still skiing. I know I am crazy, but I just can't seem to pull myself away. It is really getting me through this winter sane. The conditions have been fabulous and I am completely content "granny skiing" as I call it. 

On Saturday, we put both girls in lessons, which they really love! Here is our little Lilah showing off for the "yellow team"! 


At the end of the day, we picked the girls up at ski school and skied with them to see how they've progressed. It's amazing how much improvement these kids have in just one day! They are getting really fun to ski with, and I think it helps that they love it so much! Mairead told Kevin that "this is the best day ever!" It definitely makes all the hassle and craziness worth every bit. 


On Sunday morning, we didn't plan on putting either girls in ski school, and just spending the day together. We promised them a trip up to the "top" of the mountain on the Chondola or Gondola (it is Sunday Rivers version of a chairlift with Gondolas alternating every so many chairs). The girls were so excited to be heading to the top! 


Once we got to the top, the fun began! Kevin and I just prayed we would all be able to get down all in one piece! 

Mairead did really awesome skiing down, and it was a pretty big jump from what she had been skiing on with ski school. It definitely showed us where she needed improvement, and overall, we were so proud of her! Lilah....well, she had to be carried down a decent amount of the beginning, it was fairly steep, and with her lack of "turning skills" going down straight just wasn't an option! When we got to the bottom, we thought it might be a good idea to put her in ski school for the day, and of course, she was happy about that - she loves her friends at ski school and they love her! The day before we were told Lilah is everyones favorite and they actually "fight" over who gets her in their group because she's so much fun. They also said she is going to be an amazing skier and can't believe how great she does at such a young age! That's our crazy Lilah! 


Once we dropped her off, it was just me, Kevin and Mairead. It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with Mairead and let her really ski to the best of her ability! Every time we saw Lilah on the slopes, she had a huge smile on her face! We're so lucky to have such good girls! 


Around the mountain were little animals that the ski school uses - not sure what for, but Mairead knew where each and every animal was. Here she is showing us the beaver.

We had a lot of fun skiing with Mairead for the day! We made it up to the "top" of the mountain on the Chondola three times and each and every time she improved remarkably. She gets a bit comfy and doesn't think she needs to turn as much - I have a fear of her hitting a tree, so I get a little anxious, but other than that, I am so proud of her! 

At the end of the day, we skied again with the two girls! Have I mentioned how much fun it is to ski with them - not to mention, be outside for more than a few minutes at a time! I love watching the smiles on the girls faces! No tears shed. Happy kids = happy parents! 

video
video
Mairead in the black helmet, Lilah in the pink. I'll post more videos to vimeo later - but I just had to show off a little :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The best laid plans...

After my crazy day on Friday, I couldn't wait to start our family ski weekend! Before we headed to bed, I spoke with our sitter to confirm our plans! She was excited as this was going to be a little weekend away for her and her boyfriend, too...

Then, at 550am, I hear my text message go off. At first, I thought I was dreaming, but, I look over, and see my phone lit up. There it was...a text from our babysitter who was supposed to babysit for Clara while we skied all weekend.

This can't be good, I thought. And, it wasn't. 

She was sick with strep throat and a fever, and didn't know what she should do. Heck! What were we going to do?? At 550am, and planning on leaving at 630am, what were we going to do? How could we not take the girls skiing? After all, we were looking forward to this weekend as much as they were.

We threw all sorts of different ideas out there, but none of them were that great. Of course, there was always the day care center, but, Clara had never stepped foot in a day care, and I just couldn't expect her to walk in, be happy, and last all day.....and repeat the next day. For a l6 month old, that's a lot to ask, and a fairly intimidating environment if you ask me...

Then, my parents offered to watch Clara. OK. We'll just drive to their house, drop her off, and continue another hour to another ski place. That was the plan. Easy. And we were off! 

Until we got in the car. We started talking about the ifs.....and buts...and that we wouldn't get to the ski place until at least 11am, so...we had everything we needed for a weekend away at Sunday River. At the last minute, we veered onto Rte95 North instead of south towards my parents. In the direction of Sunday River. What the heck - let's see what the day has in store for us...I called the day care, and they had room for Clara, then, I called the friend? where we were supposed to stay (long story), and let her know about our change in plans and how we probably wouldn't be able to spend the night. We thought the dogs would just have to manage in the car all day - they'd be okay in 20 degree weather in a car, right? Right...they're dogs!?!? 

Of course, a trip to Sunday River wouldn't be fun without getting stuck in back of a plow or a few school buses, and slippery roads. We started to have our doubts about how our so-called weekend was going to go. We got to Sunday River just in time to get the girls signed up for their all day lesson, I raced in with the big girls, while Kevin sat outside in the waiting area with Clara. I raced back to the car. I packed up a bag for Clara, and prepared her to be thrown to the wolves. I couldn't believe I was going to  put her in day care, but, what else were we going to do? Sit in a lodge all day with her? I'd go insane. Off to day care she went...but not without my doubts.

I brought her in, and I just wasn't feeling it. While everyone was welcoming, I could feel Clara tense up in my arms. At the same time, one of the staff members gave me a note from the lady we would be staying with. She was offering to watch Clara if I couldn't leave her in day care....really? I couldn't believe what I was reading! So, I thought I'd at least try to leave Clara. I brought her in the toddler room where there were about 4/9 kids crying. I felt so bad for them...I held Clara, and slowly sat down with her, showing her toys. She refused to take her jacket and hat off. She was no dummy. She then started to play with some toys. I slowly backed away, and walked out of the room to watch what happened. She was okay for a few minutes...then, she realized I was gone. She walked over to the door and just stood there. Waiting for me to return. How could I not feel horrible? I waited to see what happened next. None of the teachers went over to try to distract her, then she started to cry and call out for me. I was sad. I admit, I am a sucker when it comes to this sort of stuff. I waited though...and then a few of the staff went over to Clara and tried to "convince" her to come over and watch Dora....????? She's 16 months old, maybe try introducing her to a doll or some other toy? She wasn't having it, and either was I. I opened the door and picked up my sweet baby girl, and said, thanks, but no thanks...I just couldn't do it. 

I called Brenda, spoke with her about her note, and she convinced me to leave Clara with her for the day (and the next, too). I couldn't believe someone I hardly knew (don't worry, I checked her out beforehand) would offer to do something so sweet for us - did I mention we were staying at her house, she was taking in our dogs, and now, offering to help with our daughter so we could enjoy time with each other, and our girls?  She met us over at the lodge, and took Clara. Kevin met her back at the house, and he said Clara was doing great with her - reading books, singing and just having fun. She even brought Clara back during lunch so she could spend time with us. Meanwhile, Kevin and I were skiing together, and the girls were having a blast in ski school! This day was turning out to be a great one, after all. Who-woulda-thunk-it? 

At the end of the day, we picked the big girls up from ski school, and skied with them. They are doing amazing - I'll write another blog later with photos and video - but, we are just so proud of them! At the end, Mairead told Kevin that she was having the best day over. Seriously - how can that not melt your heart??? 

Afterwards, we headed back to the house, showered, and went to meet friends at their ski house for dinner. The kids (and dogs) had a blast together. Of course, by the time we got back for bed, everyone was exhausted from our insanely crazy day. 

We started our day wondering if we would even be able to ski. 

We ended our day with two tired girls from skiing. A happy 16 month old who was given great care. And a happy mommy and daddy who had a lot of fun together and with their girls. 

And the ski weekend we had planned for. 

I am so glad to know there are still people out there who are still caring, good people who don't do things just for themselves, but to help others out, too. This woman just doesn't do it for us, but she has been volunteering her time at Sunday River for years, and not to mention, has been riding in the Pan Mass Challenge for years now raising money to support Dana Farber Cancer and The Jimmy Fund. 

If you are interested in donating to her (she deserves it!), here is her info:

Pan Mass Challenge and her ID is BW0005
 


Friday, January 28, 2011

Work or Stay home?

I love staying home with our kids, while most days are awesome, there are some that aren't quite so awesome.

We decided the other day to take the girls skiing at Sunday River this weekend. I am not getting any less pregnant (for the moment) and want to get as much skiing in as I can before I really have to call it quits - which it is getting close, I am not even sure my ski jacket/pants will fit tomorrow! 

Of course, Kevin had to work today, so, you know what that means, I get to pack and prepare! Don't worry, Kevin...I'm going to give you credit - I don't think Kevin or men in general really get what is involved when it comes to taking three small children skiing for one weekend. Honestly, I think it might be easier to pack for a week in Mexico as opposed to an overnight ski trip! 

This morning I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I just woke up in a not-so-great mood. I was tired. I wanted to go back to bed and the girls were well......not wanting to do that! I came downstairs and the house was just a mess. The floors needed vacuuming and I immediately became overwhelmed with all that had to be done in order to be ready to leave bright and early tomorrow morning for a ski trip. 

I started my morning off as usual. Hot milk for the girls. Dogs outside. Clara on the potty, etc, etc - I could go on for a while, but I won't bore you. I call the dogs for them to come inside and one dog returns. We have two. I yell for a good 10 minutes for Emmie to come inside, damn dog. I knew where she was - next door begging for a cookie. In the meantime, I have a 16 month old who is ready to get off the potty and two other girls who are yelling for their milk. After 15 minutes of me yelling and screaming like a crazy pregnant lady, Emmie returns. 

As the day continued, it just continued the way it started - crazy. We headed to the grocery store - thankfully they were on their best behavior. When we got home, the girls weren't listening, they were making a mess as I cleaned another up. It took them 45 minutes to clean their toy room, and I use the term "clean" loosely - while they did that, I made banana bread. When I finished, they still were not done. In the midst of getting the girls to clean up and baking banana bread, I was doing laundry. Then making sandwiches - enough to last all of us two days of skiing - that's a lot of sandwiches. I think I made 12? maybe more? Oh and making the girls lunch, too. 

Nap time could not come quick enough. Usually during nap times I will eat lunch quietly and sit - not today. There was laundry that needed to be folded and food that needed to be packed up. Not to mention, cleaning up from the mess I made from baking. While eating lunch, I started to think how good Kevin had it! Maybe I should go back to work? Don't get me wrong, he's working hard to support our family and give me the ability to stay home, but......hot damn! staying home and doing everything needed to get done to prepare for a trip is tough work - especially while pregnant!!! I'm exhausted and all I could think about was going to bed at 7pm tonight (well, it's 845pm and I'm still not in bed...)

When Kevin finally came home, he was a good husband and got to work...there was still packing to get done (you know like my clothes and all the kids clothes), dinner to be ordered (pizza tonight) and a car that needed to be packed up. I was tired, cramping and probably not in the best mood, and he made a comment about "getting it" (not in a bad way, just as in he understood how hard it is to get ready) - No...I told him, I don't think he really gets it - come on, he's never been home with all three girls, prepared for a ski weekend, been pregnant and feeling like my cervix is going to explode open. It's not a whole lot of fun - I'm pretty sure he got the better end of the stick today - work! Maybe not everyday....but today, I think he did! 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Noses & The Cervix

Wondering what this post is about? Well, I didn't want to write two different blog posts, but, I have two completely different things to write about today!

Little prince legs...
Today, I had my regular cervical length ultrasound. I am now 25w2d and for the last 4-5 weeks the little prince has been in a breech position. I guess you could say that over the last few days I had become a bit OCD about this issue. All I could think about is "what if he doesn't turn?" and "how could I have a c/s with my 4th kid after three fast, easy deliveries" - so, I started to become a little proactive damn well knowing that the kid could still be doing acrobatics inside since he is still little...but, that didn't matter too much. The other day, I started doing some knee-chest positioning and back stretching (my back had been bothering me, so I figured I could maybe kill two birds with one stone?)....well, what do you know, later that night, the movements felt different, so I got my trusty doppler out, and the heart beat was nice and low in my tummy as opposed to up near my belly button....

A little prince hand up by his ear (hiding his face)
Well, my suspicions were confirmed! Baby is vertex! Or head down! and I mean HEAD DOWN......he was socked so far down there the ultrasound tech couldn't even get a sneak peek of his cute little face this week....but do you know what? I didn't care! All I cared about was that his little face was kissing my cervix :) - well, we had another ultrasound tech we had had several times before (she remembered us by having a boy who was "rather aggressive with his penis"), and she is great, too - we got to watch the little prince in 4d play with his cute little legs, and squirm all around - of course, one arm was up by his face, and the other.....well, take a guess! :)

...and a little prince hand
My cervical length was a bit shorter than it had been 1.8cm-2.2cm, not unusual for me at this stage of pregnancy, and to be honest, I am surprised it had been longer than this most recently, my cervix is usually this around 18-19 weeks. I really think his head being down there plays a huge role in my cervical length. My fluid was good and everything looked great. The high risk doctor in the u/s office said I don't need to come back for another four weeks, but, honestly, I don't feel really comfortable with that, so I will call my OB and discuss. I like knowing all the pressure and cramping I feel is normal and not because something not-so-good is happening.



..............And about the nose!

So if you read my blog yesterday about loving nap time, you will know how hectic our day was, and I was enjoying my peace and quiet, until.........

Clara started crying. That was my cue nap time was over. I procrastinated a bit and headed upstairs. I picked Clara up and headed into our bedroom where the big girls were watching a movie. I laid with the girls for a bit until the movie ended. I noticed Lilah had taken her hair out. I asked Lilah where her hair elastic was, and her response:

"Up my nose"


"WHAT!?!" I said. And she repeated.

I went and grabbed a bulb syringe and tried to suck it out, but didn't see anything up there. I asked her again, and she repeated that it was in her nose. Not sure why, but I doubted her. Never doubt a three year old when they tell you something like this.

I got up, and looked under the covers, and around the bed.

She says..."You're not going to find it. It's up my nose" And she said it as seriously as a 3 year old could.

How could you not believe a statement like that?

So, I tried to teach her to blow out of her nose. As she did that, I dialed Kevin at work to tell him we may be taking a trip to the docs....and then I hear

"I GOT IT! I got the elastic" 


Disaster averted.

Until round two.

Elastic #2
This evening as we were cooking dinner, Lilah comes up to me and says something about her nose. I was cooking and wasn't really paying attention, until, she starts to cry and says that an elastic was up her nose again. 


I grabbed the bulb syringe and no such luck. No elastic.

Then, I tried to get her to blow out of her nose again. And well, there came this big, red hair elastic...I'd say about 3x the size of the one she stuck up there yesterday.

Seriously, kid!?! What is my life going to be like when this little prince growing inside of me gets big and crazy like his sisters!?!

Help!
















Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ah, Nap time...how I love you so!

Tuesday mornings are hectic. Well, almost every morning in the Ferrie household can be hectic, but for me, Tuesdays win the big prize.

This morning went something like this:

0745: I hear a little someone yelling "Maaaaaammmmmmy!" - Clara is awake. Uhhhh...do I really have to get out of bed? Nah! I'll hang out for a few more minutes. 
0754: "THE SUN CAME ON! MOMMY! The SUN!" - and there was Lilah....all ready to tackle the day. She obviously didn't get my crappy attitude in the morning! (and by sun, we have a good nite lite, that helps the girls tell when it is time to get out of bed - works great for us!)
0755: All three little princesses are awake, and snuggling with me. Do I really have to get out of bed? I could stay here all day! 

Unfortunately, yes...school starts at 0900. Oh, did I mention, Lilah has swim class at 1000, too...no time for screwing off today! I have one hour to get the girls ready to head out. 

Have I mentioned Tuesdays are not my friend? 

0800: I finally muster the energy to get my butt out of bed. The girls run off to the potty and get dressed. No time to shower this morning! Thankfully Mairead is great about picking out her clothes, and I actually was a good girl and got Clara's clothes out last night! 

0820: Everyone is dressed, hair done, teeth brushed, gone potty and ready to head downstairs. 

Yeah. No beds are made on Tuesdays in this house. Wait, beds are rarely made here in the Ferrie house. There is just no time....except on the days I change our sheets! 

By the time we are downstairs, Clara is yelling to eat and the girls are demanding hot milk....oh, and the two dogs are begging to go outside. I make three milks, throw some waffles in the toaster and get one girl a bowl of cheerios. 

0840: Girls are done with breakfast. Mairead is taking her sweet time this morning, so I had to throw a little fire under her A$$ to get moving! We have to leave in 15 minutes. 

0845: Clara is on the potty and Lilah is attempting to get dressed. Did I mention how much I love little girls who can dress themselves??? 

0855: All three girls are done with breakfast, and attempting to head out the door to go to school. But wait! Boots need to go on, Clara still needs to get dressed and the car has to get started - afterall, it's 2 degrees outside! 

0910: Make it to school, and hang out. We have to rush back home, get Lilah's bathing suit and I'd like to have breakfast, mammas hungry!!! 

1000: Swim school with Lilah. 45 minutes in a room that is 86 degrees - I am not complaining! I'd rather be inside sweating my butt off than outside freezing and miserable! I love watching her enjoy every second of her class! She's such an amazing swimmer for just 3! 

1055: Out of swim school and off to the grocery store. No food in the Ferrie house - time to stock up! 

1145: Done with groceries. $160.00 - pretty good considering I had been hovering the $200s for a few weeks. Finally, I got things under control - even the girls were in control - no fits, no Clara trying to climb out of the cart, and Lilah didn't run through the store like a mad woman! I even got carded for the bottle of wine I purchased - it's 50/50 on the ID thing - I sometimes think it depends on how desperate I look as to when I get asked for identification when purchasing alcohol! :)

1200: Pick up Mairead at school and let them play for a while. No outside time today, but the kids are just as happy exploring Mairead's classroom!

1230: Put groceries away while the girls trash the playroom in 5 seconds flat. I hate putting food away. 

100: Lunch time. Three girls want three different things. Today, everyone will have the same thing and thankfully they are okay with that!!! Lunch went by without a hitch and all three girls finished without any drama. Love it. 

200: Ahhhhhhh...................Nap time. How I love you so! Clara is fast asleep and Mairead & Lilah are resting in our bed watching a movie.....hmmmm, wonder if Lilah will sleep today?

After a morning like that, how can you not soak up every single second of nap/rest time????

I am trying not to notice the lunch dishes in the sink that need to be put in the dishwasher, or the cloth dipes in the dryer that need to be stuffed and put away. For now, I will enjoy a lunch in peace in front of our cozy pellet stove...

Monday, January 24, 2011

CATS

We are animal lovers. That's for sure.

Having three small children, one on the way and two dogs sure makes for some interesting moments! 

Just because we don't have cats doesn't mean we dont like them, but unfortunately, Kevin is highly allergic to cats! Thankfully the dogs don't bother him too much, but cats are another story.

From time to time, Mairead asks if we can get a cat, or if she goes to a house that has a cat, she gets all excited. When she asks, we have to remind her about Kevin, and she always understands, but it sure doesn't stop her from asking.

I love that our girls are animal lovers! 

Last night, after bath, Mairead says out of the blue: "Dad. If you die before me, I am getting a cat!" 

She said it so serious! At least she's honest :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thanks to Sydney! Stylish Blog Award...

When I started this blog, I didn't know where I would go with it. I really just started it because I wanted a way to journal about my life raising small children - the good and bad. At the time, we weren't thinking about number four and tackling another high risk pregnancy, so when the time came, and we learned we would be expecting baby number four, I thought it would be good to blog about my experiences in pregnancy, too - especially having a history of an incompetent cervix. Little did I know that I would have people reading my blog from around the world who have been affected by cervical incompetence.

So, when I sat down this evening on the couch and saw a comment from Syndey, who blogs about her daughter, Claire, saying she was giving me a Stylish Blog Award, it brought a smile to my face. I never thought about touching complete strangers with our life - and when she writes about how my blog gives her hope in having children in the future, even with an incompetent cervix, just makes me feel so good. The only way people will learn about cervical incompetence is to raise awareness - no one should have to lose a baby before they know about this. 

For the Stylish Blog Award, I must: 
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award! 

About me: 
1. I have been on national television - Live! with Regis and Kelly. I entered a contest for Live! Dream Date Search. It was a total joke when I entered and never thought in a million years I'd be chosen. It was an all expense paid trip to NYC! 
I may not have won a "dream date" with the guy, but I sure did get an "unexpected" prize from it all! You can read about our story HERE
2.  I find the process of giving birth invigorating. I gave birth to all three of our girls without any pain medication. I would do it all over again in a heart beat - wait! I will get another chance. It was the most amazing experience of my life. 
3.  I have tandem nursed our girls: Mairead weaned herself at 29 months of age. It was such an amazing experience. I never thought in a MILLION years that I would nurse both of my children at the same time, but I am so glad I did. It was such a special time for both of my girls. I also nursed Lilah & Clara together, too. Lilah weaned herself at about 34 months (just shy of 3). Clara continues during pregnancy. 
4. I cloth diaper - I started when Lilah was about 18 months to try it out, and realized how easy it was! So, I bought more and have cloth diapered Clara full time since she was born. I plan on cloth diapering the little prince.
5. I miss my job on somedays, but overall, I wouldn't give up the opportunity to stay home and raise my girls. 
6. I have NEVER even tasted coffee - the smell alone makes me want to hurl - why would I drink something that smells so horrid??? 
7. I am trying to improve my photography skills so I can do some volunteer work for the "Now I lay me down to sleep" foundation (http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/). Something I have always cherished when I had these "special" patients/families. If I am not working, this is something I can do to help make a difference. 

Now, I have to list 15 bloggers whom I follow who deserve the Stylish Blog Award! 
1/2. Tatespace/TheRealBean: Brenna, a family friend who has also dealt with infertility, incompetent cervix, and losing her three precious boys at 20 weeks. She has gone on to have a beautiful baby boy a year ago and eloquently writes two different blogs about the new love of her life and how she continues on to remember her three little angels. She is another who shows it is possible to have a beautiful baby after a loss to IC.
3. Bakingdom: Like to bake? A fun blog about baking some pretty awesome things! Whenever I am hungry or looking for a fun recipe to make with the girls, I go here....it also helps that she's a fellow coastie wife, too! 
4. Asleep or Awake: Another fellow cerclage mamma who is currently pregnant with her first (and found out about her IC by accident, sort of like I did)...and on the road to having her first beautiful baby girl - once again proving that IC does not mean a life without children. Love her poetry and originality in her blogs! 
5. Enjoying the Small Things: I am sure this blog is not new to a lot of people, but I love to read it...it's a beautiful story, and a beautiful mamma who puts amazing things into perspective, and writes about her title...enjoying the small things. I am sure she has received tons of awards for her awesome blog! 
6. My Expected End: Another incompetent cervix blog who lost a precious angel, but is now pregnant and having a successful pregnancy thus far! Love reading all the wonderful posts recently! 
7. Savvy Little Women: I stumbled upon this blog from the recommendation of a friend. She has five gorgeous little girls and is expecting a little BOY fairly close to the time we will be expecting ours! I really relate to a lot of her posts with having several small children close together - all being girls! It's a fun, witty and realistic blog - and love to know I am not the only one out there! 
8. The Meanest Mom: What can I say about this blog? I think the name just says it all.  She's not a newbie to the blog community, so I may not to say much...Any blog that I can personally relate with, I like - there aren't many in my "real life" who are living life with having 4 children who are all close in age.
9. Three Cheers for Babies: I started reading this blog while I was pregnant with our third. I found their blog through an incompetent cervix community while she was in the hospital trying to prevent the birth of her triplets. I believe she was due around the same time I was with Clara.
10. It's a Crazy, Beautiful Life: Yet another blog I can thoroughly relate to...love reading about real life chronicles!

OK, OK...I'm not a cop out, and I am not that lame but I just don't have 15 blogs that I am so familiar with that I could give them an award! Maybe I should jump on the band wagon and start reading more?!?!

Thanks again, Sydney for the award! It was a great surprise to end the day with.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

...And that accomplished what?

Have you ever left the OB office asking yourself "what just happened?"

It doesn't happen every time for me, but today it did. 

My morning went something like this.......wake up at 8am, shower, get all three girls dressed, hair done x 3, make-up done, teeth brushed x 4 and then, downstairs for breakfast, and ready to take Mairead to school by 9am - ah, is it bedtime yet? It's generally hectic when Mairead has preschool, and it is even more hectic when Mairead had preschool and I have an OB appointment at 1015 to get to. 

After I dropped Mairead off, I came back home, gathered my things, and headed off to the OB for my regular appointment. 

I get there and informed the hospital requires patients to REDO all paperwork, including a health history for the new year. Seriously? Yeah, they weren't kidding. Three sheets, front and back. 

So, I am trying to contain my almost 16 month old from ripping all the magazines up, and my three year old from jumping all over their furniture in the waiting area, all while trying to fill out this paperwork that I JUST filled out in October! Here I am answering insane questions like "How regular are my periods?" "Do I think I am pregnant" and "When was your last period?" ........OH MY....talk about killing trees. This was Not an easy task, and makes for one frazzled mamma! Why do I need to be here again?

Oh, and they expect me to pee in a cup on top of the above? Um......sorry, not this week! 

Then, my name gets called and am amazed I actually completed the paperwork.

The nurse weighs me.....gaining weight in epic proportions. I have now reached the weight I was before I started losing all of my weight last spring: 130lbs. I've gained about 15lbs thus far, which is pretty much right on target for my typical pregnancy weight gain.

She brings me and the girls into the exam room. 

Checks my blood pressure, which is on the higher (but normal) side for me......and she says "good, bp!" I laugh and say "Mine is usually half that" - gee, who would have thought after all I've done this morning that my BP would be on the higher end for me??? 

Asks if I have swelling. Thankfully, NO. but maybe in the brain?

Baby moving? Yup....more like partying.

Then we wait.....the girls are demanding their snack and running all around the exam room. 

Here comes the doc. A little bit of small talk. Listens to the baby, great HB....measures my belly, measuring normal and according to MY dates......looks over last weeks ultrasound report, says my cervical length is stable, asks if I have any concerns, I say nope. And she says "See you in 4 weeks?" and I say "Sounds good to me"

And I leave the office wondering why I couldn't have just done that myself and reported back to them! I have a doppler, and I can get a BP cuff....oh, and measuring tape I have, too. 

Believe me, I totally get the importance of prenatal screening, but somedays I leave wondering what just happened....It takes me longer to get there, drive home and wait in their office than it does for the entire nurse/doctor exam. With my last two pregnancies, I was being seen every two weeks, and thankfully, this time, things are stable, so they are just treating me like a somewhat-normal-pregnant-lady...seems kind of weird! 

Oh! Did I mention that I had the audacity to actually ask the OB if I could skip the glucola drink this time??? :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mid Winter Blues

Have I ever mentioned I am not a huge fan of winter?

Well, I am not. 

It's dark. It's cold. It's boring. 

I hate being inside more than outside. I hate that it gets dark so early. I am tired of arts & crafts. I am tired of baking. I am tired of.....well, everything winter. I want summer. Heck! I'll take spring at this point! 

Have I ever mentioned I am not a huge fan of pregnancy during the winter? 

Well, I am not. 

Wearing big chunky sweaters and layers of clothing, and pants that fall down are just not comfortable. 

Oh, and what about jackets? My winter jackets are starting to get tight. As soon as I zip my jacket, it immediately slows down at my belly, saying "Ummmm....this is not going to work!" - and I think "zip, baby, zip!" and you unzip, and it's like contents under pressure. POOF! 

I hate wearing clothes while I am pregnant. 

I hate having to pull my pants up all day long. And I hate having to wear shirts that I have to keep pulling down.

Oh, but I do have to say I am so very thankful that things like leggings, tights and sweater dresses are in for women this year! Can you say comfy cozy and warm! No pulling pants up....no pulling shirts down. Everything stays put and I feel a bit stylish, too! 

While I was pregnant with Clara, during the summer, people would say "Ugh! Don't you just hate being big and pregnant during the summer?!?" and I looked at them and laughed. "NO! Being pregnant in the summer rocks" - I love it! I love the fact that I could wear a bikini - yes, I was one of those ladies at the beach just letting it all hang out. There I was, in my bikini, chasing my two kids at the beach. That's me. I loved wearing summer dresses, and cute skirts with cami tops. It's like a free pass to walk around half naked :)

 Ahhhhhhhh..............summertime. I miss you! 

You know I am desperate of sunshine and outside time when I put my pregnant ass on a pair of skis and ski down a mountain. 

Seriously. I know, I am crazy, but you don't understand that I will go crazy if I continue to just do nothing during this winter while pregnant, home with three children who are 4 and under. I need to do something that I enjoy. Something that energizes me. Rejuvenates me. I need to do something that wears my kids out, too...and, damn, I have to say, skiing does that trick! WOWZA! My kids are practically comatose at the end of the day, are begging to go to bed, sleep all night, are tired the next day, and beg to go to bed the following evening. I. Love. That. 

That is another thing I miss about summertime. Tired kids. And an energized mamma. Don't you feel like you have more energy in the summer? People keep saying how tired I must be because I have three kids and I'm pregnant...well, yeah, it is tiring, but I think wintertime just makes you more tired. I remember being just as tired without kids in the winter! I was a super energized pregnant mamma during the summer - an energizer bunny, really...and during the winter, I'm just a boring, pregnant mamma, who isn't quite as fun as she is in the summer. I just want to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket in front of the fire and enjoy...

I am in need of some sunshine. As I lay yesterday morning on my couch soaking in some serious rays, I dream of summer. I dream of the warm sunshine and playing with our girls in our backyard, watching them run around naked, build sandcastles at the beach, and eating ice cream cones on our nightly walk down to the water after dinner. 

It will come. And for now, I just have to suck it up. And enjoy spending time with our girls and the family... Summer always comes...at the perfect time. 




Monday, January 17, 2011

24 Weeks

Today I reached a huge milestone.

24 weeks

For most pregnant people, the 24 week mark comes and goes without the bash of an eyelash. 

For those with an incompetent cervix or other high risk issues during pregnancy, 24 weeks marks a fairly major milestone. 

Survival. 

While, I would never want our baby to be born at 24 weeks, I know if he were born now, there would be a chance he would live. While I was pregnant with Lilah and had our emergent cerclage at close to 21 weeks, I counted down each and every day until I reached 24 weeks. With Clara and this babe, I have been fairly confident I would reach this milestone easily, but, of course, no one knows the outcome of anything, even those who have normal pregnancies. 

I would have to say this is the first pregnancy, besides our first, that I have felt more like a normal pregnant person. Things have been going well. I haven't felt quite as stressed as I have with previous pregnancies, and I have to say it is a good feeling.

I remember back with  my pregnancy with Lilah, while I was on bed rest, a walk outside with Mairead was considered huge, or a "gamble", then, with Clara, and no bed rest, I was nervous about caring for two children during the summer. I chased them around at the beach, and enjoyed a less stressful pregnancy. During her pregnancy, I never would have agreed to ski, or to go away for a weekend, I was just too concerned with the "what if's" - now, with baby #4, I am more confident, and I just hope it doesn't come to bite me in the ass, if you know what I mean. I have definitely gambled with more activity, like skiing, and I have to say, it has done wonders for my frame of mind, especially during the cold winter months with young children. With the others, I was always reluctant to plan anything more than a few weeks ahead because I was afraid of something happening. I feels good to feel a little more normal. 

I can only hope the remainder of the pregnancy continues to go well.

Next milestone... 28 weeks. 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SNOWSTORM!

Today we finally had what I call a real snowstorm. I love how the last "blizzard" was so not a real "blizzard" and everyone exaggerated about how bad it would be. With this storm, it was the complete opposite. Every weatherman was afraid to call it and say it was going to be a real storm, with real snow!

Mairead didn't have school and Kevin didn't have to go to work! Snow day! 

We did arts & crafts, watched a few movies and just enjoyed. The girls were a little crazy, but who doesn't go crazy when their trapped inside!?! 
Mairead & Lilah show off their work of art

Clara enjoying some smiles with her sisters

Movie time! Willy Wonka
In the afternoon when the snow settled and the wind wasn't so harsh, we all went outside. The girls were super excited, and when Clara saw her big sisters going out, she wanted nothing to do with staying inside. I bundled her up, and she didn't even cry when I put her boots on! That's when I knew she was really ready to go out! The last time it snowed, we bundled her up and she cried almost the entire time, so she did awesome! 
Miss Phoebe (our 7.5 year old lab)

Mairead enjoying another snow snack

Clara watching the snow fall 

The pink marshmallow :)

One of our beautiful blue eyed girls

Lilah Loo Loo 
Clara exploring the snow

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Little Prince's Debut

Today I had my regular ultrasound and cervical check at MFM. These ultrasounds always make me a little nervous because I just never know what to expect - I mean, things could be good or they could be bad, and you just don't know. 

The little prince has been super duper active lately. He's getting big and I can really feel him all day long, I love it. The last ultrasound we had we left without any photographs or any visuals of his face. He was breech and had his face planted in my placenta. Not the best place to be for a photo op. Today, at 23w1d, I made sure I drank a ton and ate a handful of sour patch kids before my ultrasound - that definitely woke him up and he was definitely in a cooperative mood today! 

23 weeks Profile (you can see his little hand, too)
Our ultrasound tech today rocked. She was so sweet and even though we were her last patient, she didn't rush us and actually took her time - I guess it helped that our little prince wanted everyone to see how stinkin' cute he was. He was sucking his thumb, hand, and just showing off. When the ultrasound tech started using her other transducer, I knew we were going to luck out and see his face today.

And there it was. 

The sweetest little face. The cutest button nose. Our little prince. 

Mairead recognized him right away and said "there's his face, mamma!"
Does it get any sweeter than that???

We watched him smile, grimace, open his little mouth, stick out his tongue as he took a drink. I didn't want it to end. I could have just sat there all day watching him. I have to say, seeing his face, made it real, well more real :) - I still can't believe HE is a BOY. 
Sticking his tongue out and having a little drink...he's gonna love the milky!

He looked healthy, measuring according to MY date, and weighing in at 1lb5oz. Just perfect. And breech, still.

My cervix looked perfect, too! Staying stable is what I like to see. When the tech told me everything looked great, I looked at her and said "well, I am glad skiing didn't do anything" :)

So, here I am at 23 weeks pregnant and things are stable. Such a huge sigh of relief. I am almost to 24 weeks and then I will start to feel just a little bit comfortable with the way things are going. Then, it's 28 weeks, then it's 32 weeks, and well, you get the drift. Get this baby as close to term or to term as possible. 


Monday, January 10, 2011

The PERFECT birth control

I have never said my children are perfect. And today was the perfect example.

The morning started off great. Everyone got along. Everyone behaved. Everyone listened. I took the girls to the grocery store and it was great. Everyone was on their best behavior. When we got home, we spent some time outside to play, and then lunch time...everyone ate great and was ready for their rest or nap. I even enjoyed a solid 1.5 hours of quiet time! 

Then...3pm hit. Gotta get the big girls ready for dance class. Problem: two sleeping babes. 

I emptied the dishwasher first and then went upstairs to wake Lilah up. One thing about Lilah...never wake her up and expect her to jump up and be happy. I gently stroked her back and head and said "wake up Lilah...do you want to go to dance class?" She shook her head, but her eyes were still closed. She was still asleep. I picked her up, and brought her downstairs. She said she wanted to put her leotard on, but then.....

All hell broke loose. 

I told her she had to go potty. She freaked out. And I mean freaked out. 

By now, it was late, and we had to go. I wasn't going to let Mairead be late, so I gave Lilah a few more chances to pull herself together, and go potty, but she only got worse. But, she refused to do anything I asked of her. I took her, and put her clothes back on as she was kicking, screaming and hitting me.

I was trying my hardest not to yell or lose my patience, and I have to admit, I lost that battle. It is so hard sometimes when you have to be somewhere, and you have three children to get ready, and one is draining every last bit of patience from me. I hate this part of parenting. I wish I was one of those people who could stay completely calm and just ignore the fact that one of my children is out of control. I am getting better though. I should have it down pat by the time our kids are out of the house!

After I gave up of getting her to go potty or get her leotard on, I was on to trying to put her in the car seat was like trying to put a wild animal back in a cage who didn't want to go. It was not an easy feat. She didn't even have shoes on. 

Poor Mairead kept saying "I'm being good, mamma...I'm being good!" Thankfully for her, she was! And little Clara was looking on in horror and taking notes on how not to act! She just stood stiff watching everything go down. I swear, sometimes kids, even the littles, know when to behave, because they know mamma just can't take anymore crap! 

We drove away. Without a diaper bag. Without snacks for Clara. And a kicking, screaming, shoeless 3 year old strapped into the car seat. I thought, this is going to be a wonderfully fun trip to the dance studio.. 

We arrive to the dance studio. Lilah is continuing to scream. I have Clara in my arms and Lilah refuses to walk. So, I basically am half holding and dragging her into the building, and almost dropping Clara. I get Mairead settled and Lilah is still freaking out. She was out of control and wouldn't even stay still. I take her out to the car and strap her into the stroller. Of course, she tries her hardest to escape while continuing to scream at her loudest decible possible. Of course, everyone was looking on, and thankfully, another mamma shared with me that her son is like this frequently. I told her I am not used to this, as our girls generally have "quick" fits that don't last too long, so this was very new to me (and horrifying!)

Then, my savior walks in. Kevin. He had planned on leaving work early and watching both girls dance today. Unfortunately, he was only able to watch one of the girls. I quickly whisked Lilah away along with Clara and headed home. He offered to take Lilah, but I wanted to finish with Lilah and be there for when she finally decided to settle so we could talk about what happened. So, he stayed, and rightfully so. He deserved to watch Mairead dance, not be with an out of control 3 year old. 

Lilah continued to scream about.

As we walked past the front desk, two girls looked at me like "Wow!" I looked at them, laughed and said...

"THIS is the perfect birth control. Too bad I am already pregnant with number four!" 

When we arrived home, Lilah was continuing to cry and scream, but I ignored her. She kept asking for things, and I kept telling her that when she stops, we will talk. About 15 minutes after we got home, she decided to stop. She came over to me, put her head down on my lap and stopped crying, that's when I knew she was ready to stop acting out. I picked her up, put her on my lap and started to talk to her about what happened. 

She understood, and when I asked her 10 minutes later what happens when you act like that, she said "You can't do big girl things like dance or ski"

Haaaaaaaaaa..... I'm glad she got it because I just do not tolerate behavior like this. It's not acceptable even if you do wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I do feel guilty, she had been looking forward to dance class for a while now, and I hated taking it away from her, but, she has to learn...and there was no way in hell that she could have handled dance class! 

Parenting is tough sometimes. Real tough. 






Saturday, January 8, 2011

I am Pregnant. Not crazy. Ok. Maybe a little...

I am not the type of person who likes to sit around and do nothing. While I was pregnant with Lilah (our second), I was on bed rest for 15 weeks. You can probably imagine just how torturous that was for me. As I entered the safer part of my pregnancy (30+) weeks, I allowed myself to do more activity, and was told I could do so as long as I 'listened to my body'. Kevin would come home and the whole house would be clean - any excuse to get off of the couch. I know, I was a bad girl...but after 10 weeks of laying there most of the day, I had to do something!

With Clara, I avoided bed rest, and chased our two girls at the beach all summer long. I had some minor bouts with preterm labor and cervical shortening, but other than that, my pregnancy went so much better (and more normal) than it was with Lilah! I was so thankful to have been able to care for our girls with minimal restrictions.

Now, I am pregnant with baby #4, have had a "more normal for me" pregnancy since my nightmare of a pregnancy, and I feel like this one is going well. Before I got pregnant, I had lost almost 20 pounds and exercised very frequently. Because of my high risk status, I've been unable to do any strenuous activity and have not exercised since. Now that winter is here, it's tough to not be active (I feel so lazy), so when I had the opportunity to go skiing earlier in the week, I thought long and hard about it and decided to ski. I know a lot of people probably think I am insane and how could I even take the risk. I didn't make the decision to ski until I knew the conditions and saw how many people were not skiing. In two days of skiing, we did not wait in one lift line, one of the perks of mid-week skiing. I felt great, no cramping, no pressure, and felt as though, I could at least try...if I started cramping or felt a lot of pressure in my cervical area, I would just stop and enjoy hot chocolate at the lodge.

The truth is, when you have three children who are 4.5 and under to take care of, there really isn't such thing as resting, and really, skiing was much easier on my body - ha ha ha! From the second we wake up in the morning, it is go-go-go, from breakfast, to butt wiping, to boo-boo kissing, to taxi-ing to and from school and activities, to anything and everything thrown to me that day - it is busy. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into though. I will have to say the girls are very, very good about resting/napping all at the same time for about 1.5-2 hours each and every day, and almost always, I use this time to rest. When Kevin comes home from work, I try to rest as much as possible for the rest of the evening. Of course, there are days where I have a lot of cramping and/or a lot of pressure down there and I am just uncomfortable, and these are the days where I listen to my body and rest as much as possible. I know when I over do it, and I really try not to. I guess that is why I loved skiing so much - it really isn't a "strenuous activity" - it was relaxing, and I didn't have any cramping at all during the two days. We did take frequent rests, and I was sure to drink lots and lots of fluid, and thankfully, my body didn't think it was too much to handle....

I think if I were a normal pregnant lady that didn't have her cervix sewn shut and have bouts of preterm labor and other high risk issues, I would probably be one of those pregnant ladies - you know, the one on the ski slope, or running during pregnancy, or doing something that most pregnant women are scared to do. I indulge in an occasional glass of wine, [and I've been told that it's okay]....and actually, it will help relax the uterus. Oh yeah....a relaxed pregnant mamma, is a happy, pregnant mamma, so indulge I do. And I think about what our mothers did while they were pregnant with us - my-oh-my! :)

There are days where I wish I was that normal pregnant lady that could just go about her business without worrying about her cervix shortening, being put on bed rest, spending a day at the hospital because I am having contractions, that didn't have doctors appointments almost weekly....wishing I could just exercise, run around the block with my kids, stay active, travel and just do those regular things, but when it comes down to it all, I am thankful that I am able to carry a baby, I am able to get pregnant, I am able to care for our girls while pregnant - So even with all of my worries with pregnancy, no one can ever tell me that it isn't worth it, because it is. Every. Single. Part of being pregnant is worth it. I will do whatever it takes to ensure carrying a healthy baby inside of me. I try to enjoy being pregnant and push all the high risk things aside, because being happy and unstressed is the healthiest way to be for the little baby growing inside of me...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

SKI BUM

One thing about Kevin and I is that we love to stay active and do fun things. Having kids may slow us down a bit, but it surely doesn't stop us! Last year (and this blog, too) we had the opportunity to start Mairead in ski lessons, so this year, we were super excited to get Lilah on skis, too! Sunday River has a fabulous ski program for kids starting at age three, where you can put them in an all day lesson! The improvement you see in these kids in one day is mind boggling, and worth every penny!
All 6 kids in the bath tub after an evening of swimming

Mairead & Lilah all bubbled up :)

This year, we planned a little ski trip with my cousin Sean, and his family. They have three kids as well, pretty much all the same age as our girls. The kids had an absolute blast together! We asked our babysitter if she could come with us to help with our little ones (Clara, 15mos and Sean, 17mos) while the adults and big kids skied. And, if you're wondering...yes, I did ski. Crazy, yes...but, honestly, I was so cautious and just enjoyed being outside! I figured that skiing can't be any more dangerous than walking across an icy parking lot, or whatever....I mean, hell, I trip and fall over our dogs! I take risks by driving my car, etc, and since I am not the type of person to just inside and do nothing, I had to get out and enjoy. So, I skied :) 

Lilah, Mairead, Tess & Molly all ready for ski school! 
On Sunday afternoon, we headed up to Sunday River to start our mini vacation! There is an outdoor pool and hot tub, so everyone enjoyed that for a while! On Monday morning, we woke up and got ready for a big day of skiing! The four big girls had a full day lesson and then the adults went off on their own. It was awesome. I wondered how Lilah would do considering she just turned three, but every time we skied by her, she had a huge smile on her face. At the end of the day, we had four happy kids! We were so proud of all of them! 

After ski school, all 6 kids hung with our babysitter while the adults had some kid-free time in the hot tub. The kids eventually met us down at the pool and had some more fun! They think swimming outside in the winter is just the coolest thing. Ever. Later that evening, the kids went to bed, and the adults went out for a bite to eat at a local restaurant. This trip was the perfect mix of family time and adult time! It was awesome! 

Lilah skiing on day 1 of lessons! 
On Tuesday, the big girls ventured off for their second day of all day ski school. Mairead spent the entire  day on the chairlift and Lilah rocked it on the baby hill - neither of them skipped a beat! Have I mentioned how much I love watching our little munchkins ski!?! It's just the best. At the end of the day, Mairead was tired and Lilah was more than ready to keep on skiing!!! She was so into skiing, so, I took her up the baby hill and she skied! She really, really did amazing. I am so proud of our girls! 

Lilah riding up the magic carpet with her mommy
Here is a video of Lilah skiing - (we didn't ignore Mairead, but she was all over the mountain, and we couldn't keep track of where she was!)

Lilah & Mommy ski together! from Stephanie Ferrie on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Wow! Another year come...and gone. Another year of wonderful memories made. Sure, there were lots of trying times in 2010, but overall, it was a pretty good year. It's amazing to look at photos of the last year and see how much our girls have grown! Each year keeps getting better and better with them.

Look at how much our sweet angels have changed in a year!
Now...they're BIG!

2010 was filled with some difficult times - the hardest being Kevin's deployment down to the Gulf of Mexico to work with the oil spill...at the time, it was the worst thing that could happen to us, and I probably didn't handle it as well as I should have, but, live and learn, right?
Me & my girlfriend, Kristen on New Years Eve

Once Kevin returned, we learned we would be expecting a beautiful baby....boy. What a big surprise! We can only wonder what 2011 will bring to our family. It will sure be a big year as we will welcome our little prince to our house full of princesses and we are scheduled to transfer from Maine to......well, we don't know. We pray Boston, but the chances are most likely back to Washington, DC. Just with those two things alone, it will surely be crazy around here!


I'd have to say that ringing in 2011 with our girls was a blast this year! This was the first year we have really included our kids. LL Bean had an amazing family first night - so we met up with some friends and headed up to Freeport for some fun, and to ring in the New Year at.........6pm! They had a hat making station, and then had a band with children's music, free hot chocolate, cookies and loads of fireworks! The kids thought it was just the best, and to be honest, so did we! Not only was it an awesome night, it was also warm outside, so it made it even better! Once the festivities were over there, our friends and us headed back to our house, ordered pizza, stuffed our faces with ice cream and just hung out. The kids had a blast and were up until close to 11pm, even Clara! I'd have to say it was one of the best New Years ever, even though, there was no swanky party for me and Kevin, or a party filled with lots of booze...it was a party for everyone, and just watching the looks on our kids faces was just priceless.
Mairead and her friend, Owen
Mairead & Kevin celebrating at LL Bean
Owen, Mairead and Lilah showing off their NYE hats! 

I hope 2011 is filled with good health, love and laughter. I don't do resolutions, so I won't even go there, but I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year!