Friday, October 19, 2012

Pregnant with Ally - 38 weeks

Do you like my cereal shelf? This comes in handy when I'm on the computer in bed.

Went to the doctor yesterday and here are the updates:

1-2 centimeters dilated

She is in the perfect position and ready to come body just isn't responding yet

Everything is still pretty "tight" in there, so it's just not time

He separated the membrane and sometimes this helps contractions start, sometimes not

I'm still having Braxton Hicks contractions constantly so my body is warming up

I have gained about 4 pounds this week alone! What in the world?

I guess Emma thought she was going to be born yesterday after my appointment. Poor girl was very disappointed but she's okay now. I'm glad she's so excited!

We are patiently awaiting her arrival any day now.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pregnant with Ally - 37 weeks

Went to the doctor today and everything looks great! Here are the updates:

37 weeks today

1 cm dilated

She weighs about 7.5 pounds

Tried to get her picture, but she's really smushed in there

My heartburn is indescribable

Swollen feet & hands, but nothing like last time

Gave him my "birth plan" - that was different having to come up with that

He said to give it one more week


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rat in the Kitchen

One day I woke up and found this on our counter...

What you don't see is the morning before about half of another loaf of bread was eaten as well. Nothing else was touched in the kitchen. But this was on our kitchen counter which completely grossed me out.

Then the next morning we saw these ginormous footprints on our counter, probably looking for more bread.

It had walked on our stove top griddle and left grease footprints.

About a month earlier I saw a huge rat on our back patio coming out of our sewer drain, so I was assuming this is the same guy. We keep all our windows open in our house all the time, so maybe he just entered in the window and walked around looking for bread. (I quickly remembered that I put bread crumbs out for the birds every mas...turns out I was probably just feeding our rat friend). We didn't see any other evidence around that this monster was actually living in the house.

So after three mornings in a row, we decided to take action. Or should I say, Will decided to take action.

He bought two sticky mouse traps and taped them together and put cheese and bread in the middle. Will figured this would just slow him down until he could run into the kitchen. 

Will slept in the guest bedroom off the kitchen with our new video baby monitor...he was ready to pounce.

And yes, his plan was to "get" the rat with a machete. I didn't ask many questions about that. I just wanted the rat gone for good.

The anti-climactic ending is this...we shut the bottom kitchen windows and the rat never came back.

I am very happy about this ending.

Will is still ready with his machete.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pregnancy Family Photo Shoot

I have never had pregnancy photos taken before. Probably because I have always been huge and swollen beyond recognition in the past and I did not want to ever remember that...hence no pictures. But let's be honest, this time around is different in every way.

My pregnancy has been a great one...I cannot complain. My husband and kids are a huge help and are beyond ecstatic about baby Ally's arrival. They talk to her, about her and pray for her all day every day. It really is so sweet having older kids to enjoy this with this time around. I wouldn't change a thing. Yes I am older, but I also live in a country with very different foods and you have to walk everywhere. That was difficult in the beginning, but it's definitely kept the weight off which I'm thankful for. Yes, I can be thankful that I don't have a drive-through cookies and cream Chik-fil-a milkshake available to me every day.

Since this will be my last pregnancy, I wanted to capture the dynamic of our family in this crazy stage of life. So I thought the park by our house with the graffiti wall behind us was perfect. The kids both have "big brother/big sister" shirts they wanted to wear, and I am not a fan of matchy family pictures anyway. I promised the kids it would be quick and I think the whole thing took maybe 5 minutes. Perfect. I started sweating through my shirt anyway after 5 minutes.

I love these pictures and will always treasure them. Thank you Taylor for capturing our new family of 5 in this special way!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Our Big Earthquake

It was Wednesday, September 5th. We started our day with our normal routine that we were slowly getting used to. Will walked Jack to school at 7:30 and then came back to start working upstairs. Emma and I started school at about the same time...we were only 3 days into homeschooling so we were still figuring things out. At around 8:40am, we were sitting at the dining room table and Emma had her headphones on doing her Math lesson on the computer. I suddenly felt a light shaking and looked up at Emma to see if she noticed. I told her to take her earphones off because I thought we were having a small earthquake and I didn't want her to miss it. Sometimes by the time you realize what's happening, it's over.

She started laughing and we just smiled at each other saying how cool it was that we were "really" feeling an earthquake together. From my experience, most of them are "temblors" and are finished in about 5 seconds.

Then things started shaking even harder.

And it wasn't stopping.

This was a true "terremoto"!

I remember looking up at our ceiling and our huge light fixtures were swinging so high by now that they were almost breaking against the walls around them. I heard our roof and walls cracking and I heard people yelling outside. I looked at Emma and said "I think we should do something...not just sit here". I tapped into my earthquake drills I learned in elementary school and remembered hearing that door frames are a safe place. I was 8 months pregnant, so making a run for it to get outside just wasn't an option. And besides, we have about 4 locks to get through before we would be outside. So I grabbed Emma, held her to me, and stood in the doorway between our dining room and kitchen. I had a perfect view of the whole house shaking and swaying. It was like something from a didn't seem real. I heard Will yelling for us then and I told him we were fine. He was sitting on the balcony and had a hard time standing up and getting down the stairs to us.

I'm not sure why...but Emma and I kept laughing and talking about how cool it was that we were experiencing a real earthquake. I don't think it crossed my mind to be scared since Emma was laughing so much. Since this was truly my first, I really didn't know if it was a big one or not. It seemed big to me, but what did this Memphian know? It ended up shaking hard for over 30 seconds which is a long time. The three of us ran outside to see if there was damage anywhere and if our neighbors were okay. They were out in the street laughing too and saying they were fine and we didn't see any damage anywhere. We just kept saying over and over how crazy that was! (Jack was at school on the playground and said it was awesome. Typical Jack.)

I immediately went inside to look up what magnitude that earthquake was. There are different reports that it was between a 7.6 and a 7.9 on the Richter scale with the epicenter about 80 miles away from us. To have an idea of how hard the shaking was, the Haiti earthquake in 2010 was a 7.0 magnitude. That means the earth here shook almost 9 times harder than that! The difference was the depth of it. It was very deep here...25 miles deep which caused very little damage compared to the Haiti earthquake that destroyed everything. We had over 600 aftershocks for about a week, some measuring over 4. We felt a lot of them which was honestly kind of scary. I think we're all a little jumpy now.

I couldn't help but think of these facts over and over again. The Lord really is in control of everything isn't He? Not only how hard the earth shakes, but even how deep it shakes to either protect or destroy. It's completely in His hands. His protection abounded that day. He protected the people of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. There was even a tsunami warning that never happened.

I was humbled at His power, might and mercy.
It was an experience I will never ever forget.

"He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say.
Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Epicenter in Nicoya Peninsula 

Supermarket in Alajuela

5th floor of the Puntarenas Hospital

Tivives Beach in Puntarenas

Riu Hotel in Guanacaste

A house in Esparza

Nandayure School

Bella Vista Church in Nandayure

Business building in Huacas, Guanacaste

Bridge fell in Sarapiqui

Office in Guanacaste

Road in San Carlos

Street in the city of Quesada

Community of El Castillo and Millon

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jack Starts Kindergarten

My baby boy started kindergarten on Labor Day (September 3rd...there is no Labor Day in Costa Rica). He was so excited and felt so big going up to Sojourn Academy and starting "big school". In fact, he even asked me if he could walk to school all by himself...sorry buddy, not going to happen.

First Day of Kindergarten

Ready with uniform shirt, light up Skechers and Avengers lunch box

I cannot believe my little boy is so grown up. It's been just the two of us at home for many years and now I have to let go. So not ready for this, but I managed to hold back the tears.

Things were a little crazy up at school with everyone dropping the kids off so quickly so we only got a few pictures. Will said my stomach was in the way for the pictures so I needed to move.

Jack and his teacher, Miss Liechty. She just graduated with an education degree from Wheaton College and is so excited about being here and teaching in Costa Rica. What more can you ask for in a kindergarten teacher?

Jack and his good buddy, Matthew. Matthew is from England and they are going to be missionaries in Mexico next year. It's so cute hearing Jack and Matthew playing together...they are all boy! Jack talks in his southern accent and Matthew talks in his British adorable. 

The classroom...Jack's desk is the empty one in the front corner. They only have 10 kids in their class which is great. They have "English" kindergarten in the morning and "Spanish" kindergarten for 3 hours in the afternoon (with Ms. Victoria who doesn't speak any English). His school is from 7:30-1:00. He really loves it and is already learning a lot!

Hanging up his backpack and lunchbox

He's ready to go.
Okay, now I can cry.