Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Break in Bahrain

After surviving two weeks of no school during Spring Break we decided to spend last weekend in Bahrain! It was a wonderful weekend of relaxing, enjoying time as a family and enjoying time with John and just having a break before we enter into this new phase of life as a family of five so very soon.

We started the weekend with a yummy breakfast and then John took Peyton to see the Lego movie while Graham and I headed out to shop and spend the day together. I had no desire to see the Lego movie and Graham doesn't really sit through a movie at home so we didn't attempt the movie theater with him. John and Peyton LOVED it! They are both so similar and were both so excited about the movie...I love watching John and his mini me together! 

While John and Peyton were at the movies, I was planning on finding some fun things to do with Graham and enjoy some frozen yogurt together BUT Graham ended up falling asleep in the stroller which was unexpected so instead I had a couple of hours of kid free (minus pushing the stroller) shopping which was wonderful! Then when he woke up we enjoyed our frozen yogurt! Although our time was shorter than I planned, it was so much fun to hang out with my little man!

We then headed to the hotel! We decided to stay at a different hotel than we normally do and booked at the Sofitel, a more resort type hotel than where we normally stay. It was an absolutely beautiful hotel! It was on the beach and had two great pools and just such a relaxing environment. We only wished that we could have stayed for two nights so we could have more time there. As soon as we checked in we went to the pools for several hours and played in the kids pool area with the slides and then swam in the big pool. It was fun for Peyton to show John how far she has come in her swimming (she did a swim clinic the week before during Spring Break) and Graham was just excited to finally get in the pool and swim! After swimming we got everyone dressed and headed down for the buffet dinner which was delicious…especially the desserts :) We figured we should take advantage of sitting down at a restaurant and enjoying dinner while we still can! 

That evening after getting the kids down, John and I enjoyed sitting on the patio and spending some quality time with each other. John has been taking on so much around the house when he comes home from work with me being tired/achy…pregnant…and on top of it has been studying for a huge professional certification exam the end of this month that we haven't had much time to just sit and talk and enjoy each others company. It was exactly what we needed!

The next morning we headed down for breakfast which again was delicious and the kids thoroughly enjoyed their hot chocolates…

We then got dressed and went for some more swimming! We swam pretty much up to check out and wished we could have stayed longer to enjoy the beach and swim more! Our kids are certainly water babies!

We then packed it up and headed back to Saudi :( I was so thankful for the weekend and time away and time as a family and sad it had to come to an end. It will be awhile for sure until we will be venturing out of Saudi and so it was nice to have a break to rejuvenate before we stick it out here for several months. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting Crafty for Baby Girl

After finding out that we were having a baby girl I got the urge to get crafty and make super cute girly things for her. If I was back in the States I probably would have just gone crazy buying things off of Etsy so it is a good thing I couldn't and had to do things myself!

I started with some cute onesie dresses and a skirt. I actually had this fabric around the house and used an old maternity shirt for one of the dresses. I made matching bows from the fabrics as well for her. 

I did go out and buy some Fourth of July themed fabric for another onesie dress that I am still working on finishing….I need blue thread but I can't just drive myself out to get it but it is all pinned and ready to go so once I do get the thread it will be quick to finish up! I also have enough fabric left over to make a skirt for Peyton to match!

I used an old frame to make a bow holder and completely underestimated how many bows I already had left over from Peyton and how many I would end up making or buying. She has a whole drawer organizer full as well :) I also made some headbands to attach the bows to since I couldn't find much here. I am sure that problem with be fixed this summer when we go home!

Speaking about bows….after I made some from fabric, searched for cute ribbon in Saudi and came up short (on my shopping list for the summer) and sorted the ones I had, I found a great website through a friend called Hair Bow Club that sells pre made and custom bows for super cheap! They are based in China and ship to Saudi! I only made a small order this time of 14 hows to match some outfits that I knew I didn't have a bow for and to experiment with the various styles and sizes and the total for all 14 bows and shipping was under $15! It did take close to twenty days for them to arrive but they are nice quality bows and I am impressed. I am sure we will have several more orders in our future :)

I also couldn't find decent priced burp rags here and so I made some of my own! I made two of each of the patterns so we are set! I did attempt this one day though when I was suffering from three nights of no sleep and having a super pregnancy brain day so the first couple are a little sketchy looking on the seams but the rest turned out great.

I would still love to make a bigger bow holder with her name on it, some more outfits and more bows and maybe venture into making her a small quilt to use as a play mat/blanket but I am going to have to wait until we can go back to the States and get more supplies. I am also saving TONS of items on Etsy for ideas of things to make or just buy for her. It has been fun to make things for our little girl!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

32…almost 33 weeks

I am 32 weeks and 5 days now with baby girl and have about six weeks until our scheduled c-section date! We are all very excited about meeting her! I have been bad about posting belly shots and weekly updates so I am posting them throughout this update!
31 weeks
We had an appointment yesterday and the report was that baby #3 is still a girl (always  a good thing to hear when you have been going crazy with girly stuff) and doing great! She is measuring just slightly bigger than she should at this point and is just around 4 lbs right now which is great! She is still breeched (head comfortably under my ribs) but sometime between my last appointment and this one she managed to get her feet up by her head like Peyton was. There is some concern over hip displacement issues like we had with Peyton but there is nothing we can do until she comes out so right now our prayers is that any hip displacement from being stuck like that for a couple of months is very minor and fixes itself like Peyton's did. Other than her new position, everything looks great which is a huge praise. My blood pressure is low, my fluid levels are good and everything is looking like it should which is a huge praise! I have an appointment April 21 and then probably just one more after that before the big day. 

32 weeks
Beyond what the doctor said, I am feeling great! Starting to feel the aches and pains at night time (especially in my hips) of carrying around extra pounds and an active baby all day but beyond what is normal pregnancy pains, I am feeling great. I am thankfully still not having any cramping, my blood pressure is low and I am able to do either prenatal yoga, a nice walk along the beach or some light weights/arm exercises! I am struggling with getting comfortable at night and sleeping which has been really hard. I can get a couple of good nights and then some naps on the weekends to catch up but the weeks are hard and I am pretty exhausted :( no nesting/surge of energy for me yet…just really tired! But overall, lots of praises for a healthy and easy pregnancy.

Although it is has been pretty easy I have realized there is no more shopping trips for me :( We went to Khobar for a shopping day (with the hour drive each way, prayer time closings…shopping takes a whole day) about two weeks ago and it wore me out. It was way too much, and I was exhausted and achy for several days afterwards. Not worth it. Thankfully I got everything I needed for our hospital stay/coming home that trip out and from now on John will be running any errands in Khobar solo.

Baby girl is crazy active! She kicks, punches, rolls, stretches ALL DAY LONG! She is the first baby that John can just look at my stomach at times and see moving around. It is such a different feeling. She is so strong, so active and feisty! Wonder that will mean when she comes out!?!

The kids are super excited and have been asking more and more about how much longer, and when can we hold the baby. They have also been playing baby dolls more than ever and often are in the nursery playing house and taking care of their babies. It is pretty cute and leads to some good teaching moments on what we can and can't do when baby girl arrives.

We have our hospital bag packed, the kids car seats moved to the back row of our car (we can't fit three seats across the main row) and her car seat base installed in the main row. Have her clothes all washed and ready, batteries in swings and the pack n play up in our room. We have 15 or more freezer meals made and waiting to be eaten that John and I have been working on the past few months to prepare and have on hand. We are going to start working on and finalizing all the care for the kids with our friends while I am in the hospital and also help with transporting kiddos after I come home and recover. So, hopefully we are ready!

We have been so blessed with wonderful friends (and even friends parent's who are in country visiting while baby will be born) offering to help with so much which has meant it hasn't been stressful or too different being overseas and away from family while preparing for babies arrival. We are so thankful for the support we have here. I know it will be hard and a little emotional when she comes not having family here or coming here but we will be looking forward to "hopefully" a trip home late this summer to show her off….I say "hopeful"because there is a lot of paperwork, passport process, translations, visas, residency permits that all need to get done before we leave and we are up against the deadline of the Ramadan holiday when nothing gets done. If we don't have her stuff before Ramadan, we will probably not be going back to Washington until Christmas time. Thankfully I can't control or do any of the steps so this is all on John to manage and we will be waiting for everything to come through at the last minute to leave for the summer. Our vacation plan/schedule for this year has so many options and contingencies, you can only laugh and take it day by day!

32 weeks and 4 days

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trying out a little tennis

We are in the middle of a two week long Spring Break and it has been long and I am very much looking forward to the start of school next week! As much as I have loved extra time with Peyton, there is only so much we can do/find to do on camp to keep her busy and she needs school. In an attempt to keep her a little busy during the break I signed her up for tennis lessons. They were supposed to be during the day to help with our boredom but ended up being scheduled for the evenings after John gets home so that plan failed. But they do wear her out and she sleeps in the next day so I guess it helps :)

She has had a couple lessons already and she loves it! I haven't gone to watch yet because since it is at night I am pretty worn out from the day at that point but John has said he loves watching her do the lessons. She has such a positive attitude, gets so into it and although has horrible form and swings around and around when she tries to hit the ball…she is having a blast! I am so proud of her for trying something new, having a blast with it and hearing about her positive attitude and how she encourages the other kids. She is truly our leader and motivator! 

We have several more weeks of lessons (three times a week) and then if she is still loving it we can continue. It is fun to watch her be at an age where she can start trying all these different activities and see her learning new things! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wild West Day

We have a horse stable on camp called the Hobby Farm. Each year they do some sort of event for the community to help fundraise for the Hobby Farm association. Last year it was an Easter egg hunt and this year they did a Wild West Day. You purchased tickets beforehand for the activities and a lunch and it was such a fun morning!

When you arrived you were given a paper with all the stations to attend and then they stamped it when you were done and that is how you got your lunch. They had a photo booth set up…

A milk the pretend cow station which both of my kids thought was hilarious and so much fun!

Bean bag toss into the cactus….

There was a nerf gun shooting game and then a sift for gold in the sand…

They also had a barrel race set up for the kids to run on their stick horses. They were timed and everything. It was pretty amusing watching them run the barrels.

They had some water jugs set up for calf roping and then of course horse rides. 

The final stop was a hay ride out to the back pasture to see the baby horse.  

It was such a nicely done event and such a nice change to have something like this to do on our weekends. Lots of fun!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Preschool Sports Day

This past week was Graham's preschools annual Sports Day. I remember when Peyton had her sports day…almost exactly two years ago! It is amazing how quickly time flies and how now the little baby I had back then is off riding a bike around and doing his own sports day. 

We started the day with a bike rice. Graham was super excited to be riding his bike at school. 

And I thought it was so cute when Graham and his friends were hanging out before the bike race and were talking about how they liked each others bikes or helmets. So cute!

Getting all lined up for their bike race!

They did other activities as well like hopping races, running races and other various games. Graham was ready to go for the running race!

He had a fun day at preschool Sports Day! It was fun to encourage him and watch him play!

Friday, March 14, 2014

29 Weeks With Baby #3

We are 29 weeks along with our baby girl and still feeling great! I should really work on getting John to take a real picture of me and my bump but by the time he is home from work we are busy with activities, dinner and bedtimes that I just forget.

28 weeks
As for everything with baby and pregnancy…everything is going well. I have no idea how much weight I have gained so far because we don't have a scale, and I don't have a doctor's appointment for another two weeks but I am thinking it is less than with the other two since when I look at old pictures it looks like less and I am feeling really good. It is amazing how much calories I am sure I am burning just by caring for two kids all day. And I know with living here and not having many takeout options and having to cook homemade food almost every night helps considerably! It is has been a nice and healthy feeling pregnancy! 

Baby is a kicker and puncher and mover! She moves so much and is so much more active than either of the other two and she is strong. John can easily feel her move from side to side and punch and kick away. She is still breeched as far as I can tell as her kicks are all low and an occasional high punch. The kids aren't patient enough to wait for her to kick them and her active period is 8-10 PM when they are asleep but they have felt her once or twice and did listen to her heartbeat again the other day with a doppler I borrowed from a friend.

28 weeks and 5 days…close enough to 29!
No real cravings, no food aversions and a decent amount of energy. I do get tired a little more easily but it isn't too bad yet and it is only about once a week that I need an afternoon nap to make it through the day and that is normally after a busy morning (like Graham's sports day or his birthday party). I am still able to walk Graham to school every now and then and do some modified workouts when I know I don't have some other activity planned for that day like soccer practice or a school field trip to chaperone. It tends to be one main activity a day that I can handle. Thankfully I experience very little to no cramping unless I have done way too much but it is avoidable and goes away pretty quickly. In the past few weeks the only time I was experiencing the cramping pain was after Graham's birthday party and it was much more mild than earlier on in the pregnancy and with my pregnancy with Graham.

I am starting to feel the uncomfortable, this belly is huge feeling at night time. By the time we are done with dinner I am achy and feel huge but thankfully a bath and just laying down the rest of the evening helps and by morning I am feeling great again. 

We have our next doctor's appointment the end of the month and are continuing to pray that my blood pressure stays low/normal and that this continues to be a healthy and easy pregnancy! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Graham's Birthday Celebration at School

The day after Graham's actual birthday, the birthday celebrations kept on going! He had a birthday party at school and I came and brought cookies to help celebrate. 

I have to thank John for making them the night before for me. I was so tired from the weekend and needed to relax and he stepped up and made them for Graham and his class. 

Graham was so excited to see me when I came and was so excited about another round of Happy Birthday! 

This is the same preschool that Peyton attended when we first arrived and I am so thankful for the lady who runs it and gives so much love and time to this kids. It has been a wonderful first introduction to school for Graham and he loves going!

A fun day celebrating Graham at his preschool! And that concluded his three day long birthday celebration!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Three Years Old

Three years ago we welcomed our sweet little boy Graham into our family! What a blessing he has been! It amazes me that it has been three years. It was such a time of change for our family with adding a new baby and preparing to move to Saudi so soon afterwards. I remember thinking in all this craziness that he was so calm, so easy going and so peaceful and being so thankful for that. And three years later he is still so calm, easy going and peaceful….and I am still so thankful for that.

Graham is our sweet, tender hearted spirit. He loves to give affirmation to his friends and his family and is our encourager. He is always saying thank you and recognizing things you do to serve him. He is my nurturer and loves to care for people. He constantly talks to baby Rosey and says good morning to her everyday and wants to cuddle her and talks about how he will hold her, comfort her and tell her that he loves her and that God loves her. 

Graham ADORES his big sister. He looks up to her and has so much respect and admiration for her and thankfully she adores him and takes such good care and protection over him. Often when friends come over the first order of business is explaining that they "will" play with her and her brother and she makes sure he is included in everything. They play so well together, sort out conflicts very well and learn so much from each other. Peyton has learned to be more compassionate, listen more to what someone is trying to explain or wanting to play while Graham has learned from Peyton on how to stand up at times for things you really want, work on building projects like legos or this build it machines and to keep at it even when you are frustrated. It is a sweet relationship between them that I am so thankful for and continue to pray for daily. 

Some other things we want to remember about Graham at this age….he LOVES trucks, excavators, planes, helicopters, boats, trains and any sort of transportation object. He is my little boy! He still eats really well and will try everything at least once and often times remarks, "that is delicious, I LOVE it." He loves to go play soccer with mommy during Peyton's soccer practice and has really good ball control for his age. Graham loves cuddles and will often ask for cuddles or just come up and climb in your lap. He is my affectionate one and I am often just given a giant huge and a kiss and an "I love you mommy," for no reason. He is going to a preschool in the mornings four days a week and although it offers a fifth day I don't want to give up my one morning with him yet. I love my Thursday mornings with Graham and we often build crazy train tracks, play at the park or build construction sites and towers in the playroom. 

Graham speaks really clearly and has a pretty extensive vocabulary for his age which I attribute solely to the fact that he realized early on to hang with his sister he better figure out what to say! He is potty trained during the day and we will work on nighttime when he seems more ready. He was relatively easy to potty train after the first few days of not caring and just having accidents he figured it out and it wasn't too bad after that. Again, his sister helped a bunch and he loved her praising him over mommy and daddy.

We are loving this age with Graham and are loving watch his personality come out and are excited to watch him become a big brother. It has been an amazing three years and we are so thankful for the blessing of our little boy in our family!

Happy Birthday Graham Bam!