PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Special Things My Man Does

He handles bath time and bedtime for each of our monkeys.

He clips their fingernails and toenails. (I get squeamish at the thought of trimming their nails after I had cut the tip of Lily's tiny finger when she was a baby. Since then BJ has handled the trimmings.)

He brushes their teeth.

He wrestles with the boys in the living room floor.

He gives Lily piggy-back rides.

Before bedtime, he goes through an elaborate bedtime routine for Lily...he reads a bedtime story, says prayers, brings her a fresh cup of cold water, fluffs her pillow, and sometimes warms her quilt in the dryer. (I feel sorry for her future husband. Her Daddy is setting the standard high.)

During my pregnancy...

He brings me a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and a glass of milk to me in bed every night, and he always brings me a full cup of cold water to put on my nightstand.

He rubs my back and my head when I'm feeling worn out from a long day of contractions and discomfort.

He doesn't allow me to lift a finger. I haven't done dishes or laundry in 8 weeks.

He looks at me like he did the first day we got married even though I'm much more round and not feeling at all pretty.

Every day...

He greets me at the bottom of the stairs in the morning with a smile and a hug. It makes me feel like a school girl going on a first date.

He tells me that I'm beautiful when most days I feel tired and fat.

He asks me every day, "Have I told you how much I love you today?" Even though the answer is yes I always say "No" so that he will tell me again.


Overheard at the Thanksgiving table at Grandmama's house:
Lily turned toward her Uncle Matthew: "Uncle Matthew, who are all these people and why are they still here?" Ha ha! Silly girl, they are called family. I guess we don't get to see them enough.

Overheard during a conversation between BJ and Lily:
BJ and Lily were standing outside in the driveway after dark looking up at the stars. Lily correctly pointed out Jupiter and then asked about some other bright lights in the sky. Then BJ proceeded to ask Lily what was her favorite planet. Lily responded, "Earth. I like Earth a lot. I don't ever want to leave it."

Overheard in the living room:
When I asked Schaeffer why he went poopie in his diaper (he is potty training), he responded, "My bottom just went poopie by itself. I couldn't stop it."

Overheard in Schaeffer's bedroom:
I asked Schaeffer one day, while Lily was at school, "Do you want to go outside and play?" Schaeffer replied, "Nah, I just wanna lay back, play with my trucks, and drink my sippy cup."

Overheard in the kitchen:
Sometimes Ciera, our niece, stays with us on weekends. Griffin threw a football toward Ciera and said, "Touchdown!" Griffin now has about 10 words in his vocabulary. Can you guess what they are? (Hint: He's ALL boy) Answer: ball, vrroom, choo-choo, ball, batman, touchdown, go, more, please, and mama.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are planning for a pretty busy Thanksgiving holiday. Hope to be back on the blog track after the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Monday, November 22, 2010


Baby necessities purchased...check.

Kids' closets and drawers cleaned out and sorted...check.

Christmas shopping done...check.

The only big things left on the list before Baby 4 arrives: sort through all the toys and donate some (making more space); pull baby bassinet, baby bathtub, and newborn outfits out of storage; and secure the infant carrier into the van.

Just 10-12 more weeks to go, I hope.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Bags are Packed

Today I packed my hospital bag. I sure hope it's not needed for another 3 months. But history has proven that I may be making a few trips to the hospital for labor checks and/or injections to stop contractions and labor. I'm 27 weeks tomorrow and preterm labor is still progressing. I now have weekly visits with Dr. B - and have been for the past 5 weeks. On Friday at my appointment with Dr. B, I was informed that I will be seeing him every week until this baby arrives. I sort of figured that out.

The Baby 4 update has become more like "my cervix update." It's all about the cervix at this point. BJ says he will miss the day when the word cervix is not used in our regular conversation. He's kidding, of course! And since we are on that topic, my cervix has thinned a slight bit more since my last measurement. It went from 2.4 cm to 2.3 cm. I think Dr. B's biggest concern though is the number of contractions I'm having every day and every hour, and that my cervix is funneling. That simply means that my cervix is beginning to dilate from the uterine side, which is where dilation first occurs. Funneling is detected by ultrasound. Dr. B thinks we'll be having a 2010 baby. I'm hoping to pray this baby into 2011.

I was also informed during my appointment on Friday that there's a possibility that I'll be admitted into the hospital for 24-48 hours if the medication that I'm currently taking does not stop or slow down contractions. In the hospital, Dr. B would give me IV meds. He wants to know when I have 4 or more contractions an hour. Unfortunately, I've had plenty of times when I've had 4 or more an hour but after an hour or two my medication and rest have slowed them down to more like 1-2 an hour. I'm trying to stay out of the hospital as long as possible if I can do things at home to control the contractions. But, each week the medication seems to be less effective. Dr. B warned me of that as my body becomes used to the medication.

On a good note, Baby 4 is doing great! She's active and has a good strong heartbeat. I've received steroid injections to speed up her lung development in the event that she is born early. Every day she stays in the oven the better off she will be.

During this experience with preterm labor, I have received a ton of questions so I thought I'd include this link to a reliable source, which comes from the same source that my doctor has given to me within a book about pregnancy and childbirth. The two most common questions I've received are: Are you having Braxton-Hicks contractions? Are you having preterm labor because this is your fourth baby? The answer to both of these question is "no." There is a list of risk factors for preterm labor, and surprisingly the number of subsequent pregnancies is not one of them. And, contractions can be labeled Braxton-Hicks if they are not coming at a rate of 4 or more an hour and if they are not changing your cervix. At that point, the diagnosis is preterm labor or labor if you are full-term.

I ask for your prayers for Baby 4 and for our family as we try to manage our household and do all the things necessary to keep a healthy pregnancy going to full-term. We trust God with Baby 4 and we know that He has only the best plans in store for her.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Griffin is 18 months

It is so hard to wrap my head around the idea of Griffin being 18 months old - that's just 6 months shy of 2 years old. Griffin turned 18 months on Oct. 23. It's so funny because I have a lot of people say, "He's so cute and sweet." Don't be fooled, ya'll, by the chubby cheeks and endearing smile! The boy can be down-right rotten! It bugs me to read the blogs that say, "Oh my baby is so precious, so sweet, so angelic, and perfect in every way." Remember, I have 3 of these little "angels" and I KNOW the truth behind the blog. So here's for keeping it real...

The rotten list:

1. Griffin seems to find joy in hitting and scratching his big bro and sis - you can tell by the little quirky grin he gives after he inflicts the pain. In his defense, they probably deserve it 98% of the time, but he seems to find too much joy in being rotten.

2. He climbs, and he climbs, and he climbs.on.every.thing!

3. He pushes buttons on the TV and surround sound controls every single day, without fail, just to get a big reaction from his siblings. Works every time!

4. He is not a good sleeper. He fights it. He still gets up in the middle of the night and screams from his crib for 15-20 minutes. If Daddy goes into his room to see what's the matter, he throws an even bigger tantrum. He only wants Mommy between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.

5. He pulls food and stuff from the pantry every day just to throw it across the kitchen floor. This has become increasingly aggravating since it's harder for me to bend over and pick up the messes.

6. He likes to poke people in the eyes and other face holes. Watch out!

But, he does have some redeeming qualities which makes him a keeper:

1. He's precious.

2. He's sweet.

3. He's angelic.

4. And he's perfect in every way!

I love my little Smiley Wiley!

October in Pix

At last I have some pictures to share...

Lily's class had a Fall Party. She's my little ham!

Miss Violet Tudor, the classes' honorary Grandmother, shared some goodies with the class at the Fall Party.

During our homestudy week (Knox County's fall break) we took a look at Creation Week through Genesis 1. One day we got to combine two of Lily's favorite things...dirt and recycling junk. We planted grass seed in a milk carton to watch the seeds germinate then start sprouting grass.

We visited Maple Lane Farms and hunted down pumpkins in their pumpkin patch. Baby 4 appears to be about the size of a small pumpkin. (Realistically she's probably the size of a grapefruit and the rest is because mommy is eating too much. LOL.)

There were lots of things for kids to do at Maple Lane Farms. The boys enjoyed the big slide together over...and over...and over again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

News from Here

We've had quite the busy few weeks around here. I have so many pictures to share, but unfortunately I've been experiencing computer problems (and some pregnancy complications). One day I hope to say "Farewell HP. Hello Mac!" but that's another story for another time.

Two weekends ago our Bible Fellowship met at Maple Lane Farms for kids' activities, hayrides, pumpkin pickin' (there were many pumpkins still growing on the vine - unlike last year at Oakes Farm where they bring in boxes of pumpkins and spread them across an empty field), and fried oreos and twinkies (No thanks!). We had beautiful weather for our day of agritainment.

A few weeks ago, Lily's school had a Fall Party. All the moms pitched in so everyone could have pizza, cupcakes, candy, treat bags, and games. Miss Violet Tudor attended the party and brought each child a little ceramic pumpkin and a homemade cookie. She shared a little bit of time with the students. It's so neat to have that sort of love, support and prayer from a retired school teacher in our community. The other homeschool moms are so much fun to be around and they all have really sweet children. We have a good time when we get together. Last week Lily's class took a field trip to Oakes Farm. I was unable to attend due to my situation with preterm labor, but Lily was able to ride with her good buddy, Lexi.

On Sunday night (Halloween) we hosted a Community Harvest Party at our house. Our church members hosted parties all across Knox and Blount County to reach out to our neighbors and share the gospel. We planned our party a bit late so we didn't get to do much pre-planning. But it turned out to be lots of fun. We always enjoy hanging out with the couples and their children from our Bible Fellowship class. And we had the chance to pass out about 200 bags of candy which also contained gospel tracts, information about our church, and children's ministry opportunities.

BJ is rounding out another semester of seminary. He has been taking two classes this time - ethics and philosophy. These classes have kept him very busy with reading and writing papers. One day I hope to spend time with my sweet hubby again. LOL. He has one more day of classes (full day next Monday) and then he takes his finals. The timing will be perfect as we head into the holidays and as I will need more help around the house...

...Preterm labor is still a struggle for me. I've had a doctor appointment every week for the past four weeks. I'm still experiencing too many contractions for 25.5 weeks but I'm following my doctor's orders as best as I can to try to reduce the amount and intensity of the contractions. The contractions are causing early effacement (thinning or shortening) and that's never a good thing at this point. My cervix should measure at least 3 cm but it is now measuring 2.4 cm. Who'da thought 0.6 cm could make that big of a difference? Dr. B says so far he would not change treatment for me based on this information, but he said if my cervix thinned beyond a certain point (I think I remember him saying 2.0 cm) then he may consider cerclage (or as he worded it, "put a stitch or two in your cervix." Yikes!). I'm praying that doesn't become necessary.

I'm looking forward to, and hoping for, a relaxing and less hectic next 3 months so I can focus on keeping Baby 4 in the oven. I thank the Lord for my friends, Leslie, Lori and Casey, who have helped me by doing some household chores, picking Lily up from school, and taking care of my other 3 monkeys so that I can lie down for a few minutes. God is good to send what I need when I need it.