Back to School

Knox has now been in kindergarten for two weeks, and Brody just started back to preschool on Tuesday. So far, it has been a really great transition. I was so, so nervous about kindergarten for Knox, and all summer long I stressed over it. However, the more I researched and the more people I talked to, the more I kept hearing that the school program recommended for him was the absolute best placement for him. And you know what? It was. Much of my anxiety was relieved when I visited his classroom the week before school started and saw just how different it was from what I’ve seen before. Knox’s class is a transitional class specifically for students with Autism. They have ten to 12 kids in the class (only one girl!), and they’re all on the spectrum. Because of this, the learning environment is PERFECT for Knox. They were able to really utilize resources to create a space that was so conducive to learning for these kids. By the time the first day rolled around, I felt really good about the placement.

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That crooked grin kills me. He looks so much like his Daddy! Every morning, when we walk in to Knox’s class (the school lets the parents walk the kids in Knox’s class  in each day if we like… obviously, I do this since carpool was a big worry for me!)  the lights are dimmed, and the smart board has “The Magic Schoolbus” playing. The kids sit down to watch- some kids wear noise-canceling headphones, some don’t, most sit on the floor, but Knox has a rocking chair with a bumpy cushion in the seat- this helps him to stay seated and pay attention, otherwise he’d be running around the room to meet his sensory needs. They do this until all of their peers arrive and it’s time to start the day. At their tables, they have sensory items if they need a mental break, and they keep the kids attending by letting them “work for” certain preferred items. Just little things like that make a huge difference to kids with learning differences. It’s pretty amazing. Knox is smiling and thrilled every morning when I drop him off, and every single day, he has gotten a “great” mark on his evaluation for the day and very positive comments from his teacher. Academically, he’s doing very well and using regular education curriculum- he’s on par with his peers, intelligence wise, he just needs more help with communication and socialization. The assistants and teacher are all amazing and really care about Knox, it’s been such a good experience. Knox obviously likes them, too, since he’s spontaneously kissed his teacher a few times! I think Knox shocked him a bit- he’s very affectionate! Haha. Just goes to show, sometimes control freaks are wrong and just need to trust in God’s plan! :)

Brody was SO ready to go back to school, and he kept trying put his backpack on when we got Knox ready for his first day back. He could not understand why it wasn’t his turn yet!

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Brody goes to 3k preschool at our church, where I also work, so he’s very comfortable with the environment (since he’s here all the time!). We drop Knox off at about 7:30, then we head to my office, and Brody hangs out with me for about 30 minutes until it’s time to walk upstairs to preschool. He goes from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. each day, and it has always been a great experience for him (he’s been in the same preschool since 1K). He has two great teachers this year and 14 kids total in his class. They do so much with these kids, and this year he’ll be starting to memorize  Bible verses, as well, which he LOVES to do. He had a great first day, and this whole week has been really fun for him. Trying to take his “first day” picture was pretty hysterical- the child drips with personality, and getting him to cooperate isn’t always the easiest!

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We’re feeling very blessed that both of our boys have a great place to go and learn each day. This school schedule will also allow for Trevor to spend one-on-one time with the new baby when he arrives. Trevor still keeps the boys on his off days (his schedule is 24 hours on, 48 hours off), and while we miss him terribly when he’s at the fire station for 24 full hours, it’s so nice to have him home for those next two days! My mom will continue to keep all of the boys for us on Trevor’s work days, as well (God bless you, Gigi!). There will be some juggling with everyone getting out at different times, but I think it will work out well in the end. I love these boys so much, and we can’t wait to meet the third one next year!

It’s a…

We had our 16 week appointment this morning, and we got to find out whether the baby was a boy or a girl. I was so excited for this appointment. I just haven’t had that strong feeling this time like I did with Knox & Brody where I “knew” what it was. I’ve been back and forth- at the beginning, I said boy. This week, I had a dream it was a girl, so that’s what I was leaning towards today when I went in.

Well. We did find out, even though the baby was VERY wiggly and didn’t want to sit still long enough (or spread legs wide enough) to show us much. Luckily, the tech was able to get two clear shots that showed us the goods! Here are some shots from the ultrasoundIMG_3534 IMG_3535

And the news you really want to know… it’s a boy!!!

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We are looking so forward to welcoming a third baby boy into our family! We know how to do this boy thing… and apparently that’s all we know how to make, so that’s a good thing! Thanks for all of your prayers and support- baby looks very healthy and is growing well. We have our anatomy scan in three weeks, so hopefully I’ll have some more pictures of this kiddo to share soon. Coming up: name announcement (once Trevor decides he’s 100% cool with our choice… he’s wavering around 95%, haha)!

 

Room Swapping/Sharing

We find out next Tuesday, September 1 if this baby is a boy or girl. The suspense is killing me, y’all. For the first time in all three pregnancies, I just don’t know. I would honestly be happy either way- both options have their perks! The idea of having three rough and tumble little boys is just so sweet, and let’s face it: we know how to do the boy things around here. A girl would be so different, but so much fun. I would really love to create a girl nursery and buy pink things. The idea of a little girl to get pedicures with, teach how to put on make-up and all of the fun girly stuff is very appealing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about where to put this baby, since we wisely built our forever house with just three bedrooms. We have a playroom, but it’s open on two sides and the shared bathroom is a jack and jill between the boys’ rooms. If we turned the playroom into a room, we’d eventually have to renovate the bathroom to create a new door that could be accessed from the hallway so kiddo #3 doesn’t have to walk through the boys’ rooms to get there. Because can’t you just see big brothers locking #3 out of their rooms out of spite when they’re older? I can! So this option is  just a lot of work and money,  which means that we aren’t doing it. Our solution? Two kids will be sharing. Now, here’s the predicament: which ones?

It may seem obvious, Knox and Brody should share. Well. Their night time routines are highly different, in terms of sleep. Brody crashes the second his head hits the pillow at 7 p.m., while Knox stays awake until closer to 8:45 p.m. Knox is noisy- he makes lots of sound effects and is not exactly what I would consider a good roommate for that reason! Also, when together, Knox and Brody get into an awful lot of trouble. The idea of them in a room together all night makes me a tad bit nervous. For that reason, if this baby is a boy, he will eventually bunk with Brody. For the first six months or so, we’d put the crib in our room until the baby is able to sleep through the night (see what I did there? Putting the good vibes out there now: this child WILL sleep through the night before its three years-old. Please?) and join his brother. I wouldn’t redecorate much of anything in this case, because I adore Brody’s room- we’d just add another big letter to the wall and move in the crib. We still have Brody’s crib, which is a dark wood, it would go well in here and in our room.IMG_5977 IMG_5990

If the baby is a girl, obviously, issues aside, the boys will share. Sorry kids. I like Knox’s room to be at the back of the house (the windows are very high off the ground, and Knox is an escaper… we like to cover all of our bases here), but… Brody loves his own room so, so much, that I cannot stomach making him move out of it. He loves his decorations, his bed, everything, and he’s already going to be the middle child, so I figure, give him one thing, right? For that reason, we’d likely move Knox into Brody’s room and make Knox’s room the baby’s if it’s a girl. Knox’s room is the same color and layout of Brody’s room. In this case, we’d sell Brody’s old crib, and I’d get a Jenny Lind white crib because I LOVE them for girls.

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I actually would not paint if this baby is a girl- I love dark blue, coral and white together, so that’s the scheme I’d go with. Here are some of my inspiration pictures:

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That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but I’m definitely in brainstorming mode, either way. Let’s see if I can make it until Tuesday with this incredibly high level of anticipation!! I’ll let you guys know once we find out, and I will likely share our name with you then, too. We’ve got the boy name down, and we’re down to two girl names (both double-names). Can’t wait to start calling this little person something other than “baby!”

 

When Food Becomes the Enemy

(I wrote this post back on June 30 when I was almost seven weeks pregnant… not blogging about pregnancy was about to kill me, so I had to do it and save it for later! More current updates coming soon.)

So being pregnant for the third time is interesting. It’s been long enough since I was pregnant with Brody that I forgot how much LIKE TOTAL CRAP you feel in the first trimester. The best is that you starve to death but all food is repulsive. It makes feeding myself very interesting. Also, my cooking-loving self cannot stomach being in the kitchen for any length of time which means that we are growing more poor by the second because I keep going out for takeout. I’ve been almost fully Paleo for the past few months, and yet, this child clearly despises good health and whole foods, so that’s over. I have been really trying to eat well with all of my weird health/autoimmune whatever the heck it is going on (still don’t know, all my tests/blood work are clear but I’m still left with super dry eyes and dry mouth, amongst other periodic fun things like numbness, etc. Yes, I am incredibly stressed out over it and would love for it to go away). Yet now,  I NEED ALL THE CARBS. Literally, the only thing I can eat without wanting to vomit are carbs. I haven’t eaten refined sugar in MONTHS and yet I find myself stopping at Starbucks and ordering chocolate croissants and eating huge bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (<– at least it was the Kashi “healthier” version).

Our garden is pumping out tons of squash, zucchini, cucumbers, etc. and even typing those words just now made me gag. I can tolerate green beans, peas, salad and cooked-down greens, but that’s about it in veggie land. I can eat Mexican food. I could eat pasta daily if I allowed myself to do so, but I’m trying to restrain myself at least a little bit. At least I still like fruit, so I try for a bowl of blackberries at night instead of ice cream, but I don’t know how long I can hold off the intense need for speed (aka sugar).

My only healthy meal of the day is breakfast. I cut coffee (except for today, I had a tall iced coffee from Starbucks- but only one pump of white mocha sauce, doesn’t that count for something!!!- because I really, really needed it so much… And a chocolate croissant), so I generally have an organic Greek yogurt, a banana or a Larabar & water. Meal planning is a JOKE because if I thaw out something to cook, it never fails that by dinner time I will HATE that food. Also, grocery shopping? Is evil and I can no longer be in the vicinity without wanting to hurl. The very smell of the seafood section, ohmygoshyouguys, it kills me dead. I can’t take it. Picture me grabbing things, throwing them in my cart and sprinting out of the area before the smell hits my nostrils. Of course, I don’t know why I even bother shopping since I can’t cook anything I buy. It’s a real problem. This is pretty much my face the whole time I am at the grocery store:

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Another fun thing is that once I’ve eaten something once, I cannot eat it ever again. Because that’s the way I roll in pregnancy land. For example, a few days after I found out this child existed, we had spaghetti squash with a bolognese sauce. It was literally the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. I had three plates full. Now? Every time I see a spaghetti squash plucked from our garden, I salivate but not in a good way- in an “ohmyword I am about to vomit” way. So, I am pretty much ready for this stage to pass so that I can be a normal human being around food again. I am already dreading dinner time (I just ate breakfast).

Okay do it. No, stop, don’t do it!

I picked up my prescription for Lovenox last week (backstory here). A big giant paper bag filled with boxes of injections. So thrilling. My doctor’s office instructed me to come by for shot-giving lessons, so I did that on Thursday afternoon. They gave me a DVD and a little box of information about Lovenox, then the nurse gave me some helpful tips for stabbing myself. “Be quite assertive with yourself,” she told me. “Don’t go slow, it’ll hurt more.” And the ever important “make sure the alcohol swipe is totally dry before you inject or it will burn a lot.” Noted.

I went home with my “goodies” and watched the DVD. I cringed watching the injection. Then I made Trevor watch it. He didn’t cringe… he was a little too excited for my liking about stabbing his poor wife in the stomach. I knew there was no way I’d be able to do the first one myself, not knowing what to expect, so he was recruited for the job. As a firefighter, Trevor sees some gory stuff at work, so I knew he’d have no problem with a little needle, and he did not. I, on the other hand, was a total weenie.

Now, let’s clarify. Pre-children, I was terrified of needles. TERRIFIED. However, our bout with infertility and twice-monthly blood draws helped a bit, then pregnancy with its constant blood draws, a hospitalization for pre-term labor, then labor itself solved a good bit of that. With Brody’s pregnancy, I added in the routine of weekly P17 progesterone injections (for preterm labor prevention), which made me further “comfortable” with needles (though, those P17 suckers hurt, no getting around that part).

However. The thought of injecting MYSELF with something, whole different story. I cannot watch blood work happen. I will faint. I have to lay down when having blood drawn, or I will faint. I can’t look directly at my IV for too long, or I will faint. Yay for weird vaso vagal reactions to medical things. All that to say, I needed help.

The process went something like this:

{Hold ice pack to stomach for five minutes. Swipe stomach with alcohol wipe. Dry it off for 40 years. Pinch skin, ready for injection}

Trevor: {moves shot one millimeter towards me}
Jessica: No, wait! Don’t do it!
Trevor: Babe. This is no big deal.
Jessica: Whatever, stab yourself then. Hold on, I’m not ready. Just wait a second.
Trevor: {moves shot again}
Jessica: Stop that!! I am not ready! Wait, just don’t do it yet.
Trevor: We could have been done already. A few times. Just come on {moves shot really close to my skin}
Jessica: WAIT!!! NO, DO NOT DO IT!! Hold on, just wait a second.
Trevor: Oh my gosh, seriously, Jessica.
Jessica: I cannot do this. Let’s just not do it.
Trevor: {Grabs my hand} Come on…
Jessica: DON’T YOU DARE FORCE ME, I will never speak to you again! Just WAIT A MINUTE!!!
Trevor: Seriously, let’s just do it, it will be over in one…
Jessica: Okay go, just do it!!!
{Shot happens}
Jessica: Okay, it didn’t even hurt.

I had to do it myself the second night, and it took me a good 15 minutes to work up the nerve to do it. I was sitting there, pinching my skin, needle hovering. With the inner dialogue going:

Okay, you can do this. Ready, set, 1,2,3, go! Nope, can’t do it. Okay, try again. Ready, set, you can do it, um, no I cannot do it. Take a breath. Breathe deeply. Jesus, give me the strength to stab myself, please. I really have to do this. Okay, self, you can do this. It’s not a big deal, it didn’t even hurt last night. Okay, ready, 1,2,3… 4,5,6,7… nope can’t do it. UGHHH! Do it, Jessica, just do it. Ready, stab yourself. Nope, can’t do it.

That continued for a while before I just got sick of myself and did it. The needles are so skinny, and it’s not painful- totally mental with sticking a needle into my own skin. Hopefully after a week or so, I’ll stop negotiating with myself and learn to just do it! Because I had better get used to it with a good, oh 156 more shots to go!

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