January 30, 2013

Si, Sette Bambini!

Our family had fun preparing this baby announcement video that we finally "leaked" this week to make the news of our pregnancy public.  I realized a few days before Christmas that I was, in fact, pregnant, but Ted and I decided to keep it under wraps for awhile so we could get our brains around the fact that Numero Sette will be joining us in August 2013!  Since both of my miscarriages happened early (8.5 and 7 weeks), we thought we'd wait at least that long before saying anything to anyone.

We emailed the announcement link to our close family members first; once we received replies from the grandmas, we posted the video link on Facebook, knowing the word was going to get out sooner than we may have thought anyway--the kids were anxious to tell all their friends in their classes that go on during my Tuesday morning Bible study, so of course moms and teachers and all kinds of people ended up hearing, LOL!

I am officially at 11 weeks today.  I had the appointment to fill out my paperwork at the medical center yesterday, and God was so gracious--while I was there, a slot opened up for me to just slip right in and get that initial exam taken care of.  Woohoo!  Since I was already on base for Bible study, and since I had already made arrangements for all the kids to stay at the playground playing with homeschool buddies while I took Zaden with me, it was a no-brainer to just get 'er done.  They do an ultrasound at that first exam, so we confirmed that there is UNO bambino (whew) and that her/his heart is beating just fine.  The measurement was right at what my expected due date is, August 21.  And we got the lab work taken care of, too.  So I won't need to go in for another appointment until the first week or so in March.  The doctor was nice but will be moving this summer.  There are no midwife positions available here--not surprising, I guess.  But as I've only had one midwife delivery, I'm not terribly particular, as long as they let me do what I want in the delivery room!  And I'm already praying I make it TO the delivery room...I don't have extremely fast deliveries, but we do live nearly a half-hour's drive from base, and since my body likes to contract early and often, sometimes it can be hard to tell just when it's time to make that drive!

Currently things are going fine.  I was (and sometimes still am) very, very exhausted initially, so the timing worked out that Ted was off work for nearly two weeks over the holidays, allowing me to nap an exorbitant number of times!  I've struggled a bit with "evening sickness," but nothing too awful.  Salty carbs help...though they aren't helping my figure. :-/  My uterus is apparently having a grand old party, realizing that it no longer needs to squeeze into normal-fitting pants.  I think I even heard it shouting, "Woohoo!  Let's go out and see the world!"  I look about like I did when I was 5-6 months pregnant with Charis.  Sigh.  The joys of multiple births...and getting older...I suppose...I'm not in maternity clothes yet, but I will be shopping for some at the monthly bag sale at the SS thrift store (fill a bag for $5).  I've secretly been eyeing the selection and have noted that there is usually a pretty good stash.  Also, a local friend who is due within a few weeks is willing to loan me some of hers, as she has a good summer selection from previous pregnancies.

The children are absolutely ecstatic.  We told them Sunday night by passing out the signs that you see in the video--we gave each one "their" number (Ted had Zaden's, since he was in bed), asked them to read it out loud, and then I stood with "sette" (7) in front of my belly.  At first they wanted to keep counting, thinking we were doing some kind of Italian counting game.  But I kept saying "sette" and holding it more obviously by my belly.  Charis caught on first, and a look of pure joy came over her face as she rushed to hug me, exclaiming, "Really?!?!"  Arden was next, I think, and I wish I had a video of his expression!  Priceless!  His eyes and his mouth just kept getting bigger and bigger!

You can read Charis's thoughts on all of this on her blog.  Now that I'm nearly finished with the first trimester, reality is starting to sink in...do we want to keep the Suburban and use every single seat in it?  Or look for something more van-ish?  The Suburban is completely paid for, so that's kind of a big decision.  We have no closet for the baby to sleep in, LOL, but our room is pretty, well, roomy, and we can put the playpen/bassinet in with us initially.  Charis is determined to share her room, which actually isn't a bad idea, since it's just across from ours, and she is already set on being Mama's Baby Helper.  (On a side note...HOW is it possible that my firstborn will turn 13 two months after this little one arrives?!)

I guess that's it for now!  I'm sure we'll be getting the question, "Was this baby planned?!" just as we always do, and the answer is the same now as it always is: "Yes, God plans each and every child, and we welcome whoever He sends us!"

(Of course, the other question is always, "Haven't you figured out what causes that yet?!"  And THAT answer is the same, too:  "Why, yes, and we certainly enjoy it!")

January 20, 2013

Zaden Update

It's time for a general update so that I can get past my feelings of being too far behind and once again start posting more regularly!  My apologies to the grandparents, but I don't have any pictures to share right now; I'm typing on Ted's laptop, as mine needs repair.  (There is something wrong inside the place where the charger goes--it isn't recognizing the charger.  The battery was down to around 40%, so I rescued what I needed for the immediate future and shut everything down.)

In no particular order...actually, I think I'll break this down into separate posts!  This one will spotlight Baby Zaden, as Lucan will probably call him for at least a few more years:

Our "baby" isn't such a baby anymore!  At nearly 17 months old, he FINALLY has taken some steps on his own within the last week!  He has been perfectly capable of walking by himself for awhile now, but he simply was not inclined to do so.  It was almost a game to him...he would slowly rise from a squatting position so that he was standing by himself, clap and grin while we cheered for him and urged him to walk toward us, and then plop right back down on his knees and scoot over to us as fast as he could.  Stinker!  Man, that little guy can move FAST on his knees!  He still is not walking consistently, but that should change pretty quickly now that he realizes he can do it.  Here's a very brief video of him toddling around our room.

To further identify himself as a "big boy," he has given up nursing.  He was doing so every morning probably up through Christmas, and gradually the sessions just got shorter and shorter, then sometimes every other day, until at one point I realized it had been a few days...and decided we were both ready to move on.  I'm so thankful that we made it 16 months!  Who would have thought we would have even gone that long given the struggles we had in the beginning!

Zaden still sucks his thumb and twirls his hair, especially when he is tired, which has endeared him to everyone he meets.  He is a great little sleeper and is transitioning from two naps a day to one longer afternoon nap, which has been helpful as we move to a more structured school schedule now that we're settled in our home.  He adores all of his older siblings--even Lucan now, who has decided that maybe Zaden isn't quite such a pest after all.  He lights up when someone plays silly games with him and is on his way to being the center of entertainment wherever he goes.

Some of Zaden's favorite things:  "Mr. Chubb-Chubb," the fat gray cat who hangs around our house for no apparent reason other than the fact that the kids seem to adore him.  Zaden exclaims when he sees the gray furball outside the windows, and if he can pat him, all the better.  He loves Daddy's homecoming times at lunch and dinner, melting Daddy's heart as he scurries down the stairs or across the tile to meet him at the door!  A favorite food right now is a clementine from Alfredo's fruit stand--I do believe that boy could eat the whole lot every time we bring home a new bunch.  (Bananas are so two months ago.)  Any kind of pizza is hailed with delight, as is pretty much anything Mom or Dad happens to be eating.  Grits and couscous are yummy but terribly messy, and let's just not mention what happens when the boy has refried beans or Texas stew.

Zaden isn't yet talking, although he does a good imitation of a cat sound (probably because of his affinity for Mr. Chubb-Chubb) as well as something that sounds reasonably like "hi," and a definite "mama."  He signs clearly for "more," "milk," "food," "eat," and "all done," with an accompanying "please."  Actually, he gave us some creative communication in the commissary today after church, when he was CLEARLY ready to be OUT of the cart, telling us, "all done, please!"

His left cheek has a darling dimple that thrills my soul...I don't know where in the gene pool that came from, but I'm so grateful that it surfaced! (Lucan has a less-pronounced dimple in the same cheek, so I assume they stopped by the same dimple counter on their way out!)  His eyes still invite comments from strangers, although he seems to have grown into them a bit more.  His thumbs both have blisters on them from sucking them, sigh.  He has I don't know how many teeth, but probably at least 7-8.  I have no idea how big he is; we never made it in for his 12-month check-up, and at this point I'm just inclined to wait for the 18-month point, which he'll reach Feb. 24.  But he's a happy, healthy kiddo, giving us no cause for concern, other than the typical toddler propensity for ramming his noggin into, oh, walls, for example.

We are so grateful God knew better than we and sent us Zaden Ezekiel 3 months into that year-long deployment!

January 08, 2013

Ercolano Scavi

Our last day trip of the holiday was to the ruins of Herculaneum, or Ercolano Scavi, as the Italians call it.  The site is only about 45 minutes from our house and well worth the drive and the entry fees!  We haven't yet seen Pompeii, but we chose to explore Ercolano first, having heard that the ruins are actually better preserved and more contained, therefore easier to do in a shorter amount of time.  With 6 kids to keep happy, we figured this would be the better choice!

Herculaneum was a resort for wealthy Romans before it was buried in the eruption from Mt. Vesuvius.  Digs began in 1738, and work continues even now.  The dynamics of the city's burial led to amazing preservation, providing organic artifacts (including plants, fabrics, furniture, even a loaf of bread!) as well as upper floors of buildings.

We explored nearly every part of the city that is estimated to have been home to about 4,000 people.  There were some items of interest that weren't open for viewing, possibly because of the time of year.  At any rate, we'd definitely go back sometime to explore more!

Overall, everyone gave the trip two thumbs up!  The weather was so beautiful--sunny and not too cold.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the grounds and then walked to the museum, which has digital and virtual displays allowing you to see and experience what the area looked like before the disaster happened.  It was also worthwhile (although we did hurry the children past the hall describing brothels of the time!).

January 07, 2013


One of my (very innocent) children, while playing Clue yesterday:

"Colonel Mustard did it in the library with a wench."