March 28, 2011

Pregnancy Update

As of tomorrow (March 29), I'm 18 weeks along--almost halfway!  I heard the heartbeat last week and scheduled our ultrasound appointment, which will be Friday, April 8.  Lord willing, the mystery of whether the next one is a boy or girl will soon be solved!  I'm thankful we were able to get the appointment for a time before Ted leaves for training, so he'll get to be along.  Charis also plans to go.  The boys are more interested in playing with whoever is able to come watch the little ones during that time!

I finally got some maternity clothes--I had loaned mine to a friend from church over a year and a half ago, and she gave them back to me a couple of weeks ago along with a bunch of other clothes she had gotten from friends.  This is a good thing...I have not had a summer baby yet, and most of my clothes were geared for winter-ish weather.  Laura's baby was born last June, so I have a good number of short-sleeved shirts, shorts, and capris.  And they are all way cute. :-)

So one day I put on a maternity shirt instead of a baggy sweatshirt.  When I came out of my room, Charis looked at my belly and exclaimed, "Your baby is growing!"  I absolutely loved her comment!  What a great thing to tell a pregnant woman!  It definitely beats, "Wow, you're getting big!" or "Boy, you've really popped!" or even "You're huge!"  (And yes, I've heard all of those at some point or another during the last decade!)  I'm going to remember Charis's wording next time one of my friends is celebrates the growth of the baby rather than drawing attention to the mom's belly!  I know people don't intend for their comments to make the mom feel like a whale, but let's face it...we usually DO feel large and cumbersome and oversensitive!

And along those lines, let me just say that being pregnant at 36 is WAY harder than being pregnant at 25.  I don't consider myself "old" or "out of shape" by any means, but I definitely feel older and more out of shape!  My body is going awry much more quickly than it did in past pregnancies.  For example, I was dismayed to see my legs and ankles swelling as early as 16 weeks.  Sigh.  This does not bode well for the summer to come.  And what the heck is up with those weird-looking veins on my thighs?!  No one tells you about these things when you get married, LOL.  I'm extra thankful for my chiropractor and our new Tempur-Pedic bed, both of which are a first experience for me during a pregnancy.  I'm sure I will be blessing them both well into this pregnancy and beyond!

Other than that, there is nothing really to report.  I feel baby movements frequently nowadays, particularly in the mornings when I have my hot tea during my quiet time.  We'll be sure to let everyone know when we find out the gender.  In the meantime, thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

March 12, 2011

AWANA Games and (Gasp!) Cheating on Our Diet

So today was the AWANA games at Cedarville University, and we are all pretty wiped out.  In fact, Ted is asleep on the couch...he hasn't been feeling well the past couple of days.  He thought maybe it was side effects from all the vaccinations he had to get on Thursday, but this morning he was convinced that he's just getting sick.  Boo.  He was quite a trooper, though, going to the games in a LOUD gymnasium with anywhere from 12-16 churches participating at a time!  We had to be there at 9 a.m. for the T&T game time, which actually didn't start until 10:00.  Then, that ran late, so Sparks-A-Rama didn't start until 1 p.m.!  I did bring snacks, but it was a loooong time before we got lunch!  And poor little Lucan was a trooper, too, and made it through pretty well.

Charis and Tobin's team got 3rd place, which was a good thing, since the T&T team from our church has placed last the past couple of years!  So they were happy with 3rd!  And Charis was especially happy that she won the beanbag throw or whatever it's called...she filled in for lack of a 5th or 6th grade boy, and she beat all the other boys out there!  And Tobin and his partner Josh p-u-l-l-e-d their way to a tug-o-war victory after the parents nearly shouted themselves hoarse!  (I heard comments like "Use the force!" and "BOTH HANDS!" and "Keep your butt down!"  I've heard scary stories of competitive baseball or soccer dads, but never AWANA games dads...OK, I confess, I was yelling right along with them, LOL.)

Arden got to help out with the boys' balloon relay.  (There were only 4 T&T boys.)  I think he enjoyed that.  Then it was time for the Sparks-A-Rama.  If you have never seen the Sparky Crawl, you just don't know what you're missing!  I was kind of in and out with these games, since Lucan was reaching the end of his limit and decided he would rather be UNDER the bleachers than sitting ON them, but I think I did see all the events that Arden was a part of.  And our team earned 2nd place!

Ted and I had talked about going "off" our diet a little bit for a treat today, and we decided we would do it.  For one thing, we knew it would be a very, VERY long morning, and we did not want to have to haul a cooler around with us.  And concession food obviously was not going to work for us.  So, after all was said and done with the games, we went to Young's!  Now, don't judge us, LOL.  We DID have sugar-free ice cream!  However, potatoes (i.e. fries) and hamburger buns would not be allowed on the GAPS diet.  I did ditch my top bun and used the lettuce instead, and truthfully, Ted and I just don't even really LIKE white buns at all.  The kids didn't hesitate, though!  Charis chose coleslaw instead of fries, but honestly, I'm not sure that was any healthier of a choice, LOL.  The splenda-sweetened ice cream was actually pretty good.  We weren't even going to have that at first but decided that we would go ahead when we realized it was actually sugar free.

I have to was so nice to feel "normal!"  I'll have to save some of my thoughts about this for another post, but there has just been a lot of stress in our family because of all we are undergoing, and we were in desperate need of some family fun!  I really, REALLY enjoyed getting to sit and enjoy a meal with my family that I did not have to prepare from scratch OR clean up after.  The sunnier weather was a bonus, too, even though it's terribly windy out and rather chilly.

So...first time "off" our diet...we'll see if anyone has any adverse reactions in the next few days!  It has officially been 7 weeks that we've been doing this, and everyone has been sooooo good.  I went out with some mom friends on Monday evening, and I had a salad and resisted the cookies from the bakery that everyone else was getting.  (I didn't bring my own salad dressing, though...probably should have done that, but oh, well!)  And Ted has resisted MULTIPLE temptations at work.  He said he didn't realize how much junk people brought in before he made the decision to not have any!

We're still not exactly sure how long we'll be doing this diet...Ted may have more health issues when he returns from Afghanistan since he has to take antibiotics the whole time he is there--yikes.  He said it isn't even an option; he has to do it.  So we want to be sure to get him on a good probiotic, and I'll be mailing him homemade sauerkraut so he can keep getting good bacteria into his system!  He's one of the main reasons we started the diet...the other two being Tobin and Arden.

So, for us here at home, I think we'll at least keep doing this through summer and into fall and then see how the boys are doing.  They are both still taking their allergy medicine; I'm not sure how much longer we need to be on the diet before we should try to wean them off that in order to evaluate how they are doing.  That's something I need to research more.  But neither one has had to use the inhaler in the past 5-6 weeks, and one or the other of them was needing it almost every day prior to that during the months of December and January.  (Which is odd, because typically their allergy/asthma flare-ups are spring and fall.)

So I guess it remains to be seen how long God wants us following this regimen.  In the meantime, we are definitely making good lifestyle changes, and I know we'll never go "back" totally to the way we used to eat/live.

March 06, 2011

Oh, the Drama!

A couple of weeks ago Charis auditioned for the play Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with the same community youth theater that she participated in last fall (A Christmas Carol).  She was delighted when the director called her a few days later to offer her the part of the Mouse.  Somehow just hearing what role she would be playing made me smile--our sweet, petite little Charis, playing the part of a mouse?!  Why am I not surprised, LOL!

To her delight, when she received her copy of the script, she found out that she has quite a few lines and will be appearing in a number of scenes.  Since she was one of several orphans with no speaking parts in last fall's play, you can imagine how excited she is to actually be learning lines!  She must have really improved her performance level, as I know she did not spend a lot of time on her monologue this time around, and we were unable to have her attend the audition class two weeks beforehand as she did last fall.  The director had mentioned to her back then that she really needed to work on being louder and slowing down.  When I watched her practice her monologue for this audition, I could tell she had more confidence, and she was really trying hard to project her voice and move naturally around her "stage."  So, while I wasn't able to actually watch her audition (parents have to wait out in the hall!), I'm guessing that she pulled through with the volume and rate of her speech!

She is also excited that a number of the friends she made from the last performance are also participating in this play.  And I was glad to see that one of MY friends was at the parent meeting--her daughter had also auditioned and earned a role!  So it will be fun to meet up with her more often.

So, the craziness has begun.  Charis has rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 11:30 - 1 p.m.  I think there are only two rehearsals she does NOT have to be at, due to the number of scenes she is in.  The show dates are the two weekends before Ted leaves for training, so thankfully he'll be here to help with the carpool shuffle as well as to see her perform. 

I'm so thankful she'll have this experience!  Ted and I really enjoy the opportunities we have to participate in the children's drama ministry once a month at our church, and it's neat for Charis to see how she can use her acting skills to serve Christ.  While she's not able to participate as an actress with the Kids' Street Live team, she does get to help as a worship leader with some other 5th and 6th grade girls.  So our KSL rehearsal and performance weekends are rather a family affair...even more so when Lucan wanders onto the stage wanting Mommy or Daddy to hold him during our rehearsals!