Friday, May 30, 2014

31 Weeks Pregnant

Baby Growth: Leo is now roughly 16 inches long and weighs 3 1/3 lbs (about as much as four oranges). He or she is heading into a growth spurt and is now flexing out and kicking and stretching all the time. 
My Symptoms: Friday last week we left and went to St Augustine for Memorial Day. We go there every year for July 4th but couldn't risk going that close to my due date so we bumped up the trip this year. SO glad we did b/c I KNOW I wouldn't have done very well in a month down there!!!

I spent Friday morning rushing around packing. Then we drove down. Then I spent the kids naps unpacking. Then we went to Old Town when they woke up and did a LOT of walking. I really, mega, hardcore did too much. Not only did my feet hurt super bad...but my hands...they hurt like crazy. And ever since then I can't get them to stop aching all the time. They are decently swollen but not so bad where I can't wear my wedding ring. The odd thing to me is the discomfort? They hurt so bad that first night that I couldn't even open a water bottle. I don't think I've ever had this before and I'm also sure it's related to the fact that I am not getting NEARLY enough rest. I did do a little research about it and everything said that the heat makes swelling worse which makes more sense to me to have it this time b/c it's a summer baby and my other two weren't!

It's super mega easy to say "I need to rest" but the reality is that in a couple months I won't have the freedom I have now to spend time with my kids. And in a couple of months I also will have a new baby and I have a TON to do before then. I can't rest. Period! I zero percent regret walking around Old Town like we did Friday night. It was so fun and memories I got to make with my family. Should I have taken it easier? Should I have probably skipped the long walk to the fort? Sure. But hurting is worth it. I know I HAVE TO find a better balance but I just can't figure out what that is....

While at the beach the four of us had one bathroom and I was downing SO MUCH water that I had to pee like crazy time. So this happened, and yes, it got put to use! I have become such a pro with my aim thanks to all the peeing in the cup drs visits so it wasn't a big deal to me at all ;) 
When we woke up in the mornings while on vacation we all cuddled up in our bed for a little bit and it was wonderful and sweet. This entire pregnancy I've been very mindful of the kids around my belly. I constantly remind them not to kick the baby, etc. Well we were in the bed actually talking about the baby and Kye was laying in a way where his feet were close to my stomach. He was talking and laying on his back and slammed down his heals and one landed right on my spot of my stomach where the baby was laying. In that moment I didn't think about Kye AT ALL. I only thought about the baby. I instantly cried out in pain and had legit tears and was super, mega worried. As was Zach. I mean it hurt BAD. 

Of course it was a Sunday and I knew our OB office was also closed that following day for the holiday so I didn't end up calling. I did some googling and read that it happens to a lot of moms with other children and that is should all be fine. I never had any spotting or cramping and could still feel movement from the baby. However, that spot is STILL sore. I think it's bruised on the inside? It was already a tender spot b/c it's where the baby is always laying so all the movement of the baby gets felt right there but now it's super, mega sensitive. Kye, of course, felt super bad about it and I felt bad that he felt bad! 

I know this is one of those TMI things to talk about but I wanted to note that I have noticed MUCH less discharge overall this pregnancy than past pregnancies. And when I do have it it's typically clear and just a little. Nothing major and I haven't worn any panty liners since the issue I had awhile back with them. 

Also on the trip I started having some really bad pain in my left side. Near my hips and painful enough where I can't lay on my left side like I normally do for sleep. I ended up mostly sleeping on my right side to avoid hurting it. It's also the left side of my lower back that is the most painful. The pain does shoot down my leg some as well.

Braxton hicks have def arrived! I had one this week that totally freaked me out. It felt like a LEGIT contraction and made all the memories of the pain of labor come flooding back to me. Yikes. For the first time this pregnancy I've started being nervous about delivery. That junk hurts guys! 

My pregnancy mask is also very bad. I know having a summer baby makes it worse b/c I'm out in the sun more and in the heat more. I'm going to the dermatologist on Monday to get my check up, have her burn off a few darker spots, and see if there is anything to help! 

I remember close to the end of my last pregnancy that Kye started behaving strangely and that I read it's a common thing b/c kids can sense a change is coming. Britt usually LOVES Bible Class at church but this Wednesday she started crying and crying when I took her and she just wanted me to stay with her. It was SO ODD. I ended up staying and she was so cute the whole time. She kept turning and staring and smiling super huge at me. She's always been my "hip baby" but lately she's become even MORE attached to me and I do think it's related to the baby coming. At the beach she only wanted to play with me, she only ever wants me to hold her, she wants me to get her ready for bed, get her dressed, take her potty...basically everything. It's exhausting but it also makes my heart so happy :)

Thankfully I didn't have any bad headaches at all this week...my main issues are the finger pain (I think my feet don't hurt as bad b/c I wear the tennis shoes ALL THE TIME) and the back pain. The trip overall was AMAZING and I don't think I overdid it too much other than that first day...as well as the day we got back home and every day since I've been home haha. I just need to stay on vacation until the baby comes, I mean I think it's best for the BABY right?!?! :)

Emotionally I feel very, very stressed and freaked out. There is SO MUCH left to do. I feel very overwhelmed with it all. I also went and looked back at Britt's schedules from her newborn days and for the first time I'm really, really nervous. This is gonna be HARD. I kinda wish we'd started trying to get pregnant sooner and had the baby at the start of the summer rather than the end. The kids start school 6 days after my due date. Kye will go every day. I'm SO worried about having to get the kids to and from school. I hate to have to ask for help but I mean there is literally no way I will be able to do it all! Nursing a newborn? Getting a schedule established? And taking kids two and from school each morning? No way. Zach and I had a legit discussion about it last night and I think he's a little freaked out about it too haha. I think I need to talk to Mrs. Charlotte about it and see what her plans are in the fall and try to work something out and maybe even try to find a babysitter I can pay to come just SIT at the house while the baby sleeps for when I have to take the kids or go pick them up. Like I said...a LOT to figure out!!!! 

I feel very, very conflicted and like I'm been pulled in a lot of directions. On the one hand I know I should use these last weeks for rest. On the other I feel like I should spend all my time prepping for baby b/c there is suchhhhh a loooong list of things that still need to be accomplished. Then I also feel torn b/c I want to be spending this time making fun memories with the kids. They will already have to sacrifice so much when the baby comes and I want these last days to be about THEM. Ugh. It's really not an easy thing to be dealing with and I am not sure when or how I will feel better about it all?

Weight: I forgot to weigh in this morning. Kinda glad I forgot too b/c between vacation food and anniversary food I def overdid the eating!

Gender: I am less sure about a boy than I used to be. I was like 99% sure it was a boy for the LONGEST time. I'm not changing my guess to girl but now I'm probably more like 70% sure it's a boy? 

Maternity Clothes: I busted out my nursing bra for the first time yesterday and it's SO much more comfortable than my normal one so I will probably start wearing it more now. Also I wear a lot of long tanks in the summers but now they are all getting too short :( I'm def in a mix of maternity stuff and non-maternity stuff. 

Movement: I love the hiccups! And I'm thankful for such an active baby after Kye kicked me!!! Kye loves to feel the movement and he said "it feels like such sweet little kicks!" When Zach came to feel it Kye got very protective and said "be gentle!!!"

Sleep: I had a really bad dream while on the trip. I dreamed that Zach decided to join the military. Like now, while I'm this pregnant! I know I dreamed it b/c it was Memorial Day so we talked a lot about the sacrifices we are so grateful for that so many have made for us and our country. But it was a VERY vivid dream and I woke up so upset by it. Thinking about him leaving us and being gone and that something could happen to him...it just really made me so thankful and appreciative that I have him with me and that he is home with our family. 

Sleep is going okay. Some nights I get up and pee like 3 times and other nights I sleep hard and through the entire night. I did take about an hour nap three of the days while we were on our trip and it was awesome :)

Cravings: We ate a LOT while on the trip and then a LOT this week while celebrating our anniversary. I haven't had any big cravings this week but it's probably b/c we did eat so much! We did get Subway and I have to say the sub wasn't AS delicious as usual while I'm pregnant. We also got Zaxby's and I just don't really like Zaxby's right now. I haven't wanted it at all this whole time I've been pregnant. I really don't like either chicken or beef at all. Even the ice cream we ate wasn't like my favorite thing ever or anything! If I had to pick one favorite thing from this week I'd say it was the shrimp and grits I had for our anniversary dinner! YUM! I think I'm more getting back to the first trimester where I just am not very hungry and food doesn't thrill me like it did a few weeks ago. One thing has been consistent this entire pregnancy and that's my craving for...Mamba's. How RANDOM is that?!?!? I love, love, love these little chewy candies!
What I Miss: The BEACH! Take me back!!!!

Best Moments of the Week: Our trip was amazing. Seriously. It wasn't exactly how I anticipated it being, but it was wonderful all the same. Zach and I both kinda thought we'd be relaxing more on the beach since the kids are older but we were wrong haha. Britt wanted me to play with her in the ocean the ENTIRE time! It was precious and sweet but we didn't get to just chill much at all. And we know we won't be "just chilling" on the beach again for another couple of years haha! 
I loved how much Britt did want to play with me though and I loved how much she loved the beach. Since we've been home she's been praying about the beach and keeps telling me we need to go to the beach again. It's super cute and she's def my little beach girl! She also made Zach so happy on the trip because for the first time ever she actually showed interest in putt-putt! She played a good number of the holes which was awesome and unexpected! 
While at the beach we went swimming and saw a family of four siblings (two boys, two girls) come to the pool and play together. My heart just filled with so much joy seeing them. First off all that they were two and two. Then that they were all healthy. Then that they were all having such a fun time playing group games together in the pool. I already knew that I wanted four kids (at least) but in that moment it was like a realization that, for me, that scenario is perfection! And it also made me less sad about thinking about being done having babies. The next phase of life...having older children...is going to be amazing too. Watching those kids play and have fun together was so neat and something I want so badly for my own children.  So many things to look forward to!
This week Zach and I also celebrated 7 years of marriage! Usually we go on a trip every Memorial Day just the two of us but since we moved the beach trip up we are going next weekend just for a one night get away. Zach still spoiled me this week which was unexpected and SO sweet. He got us dinner after church Wednesday for our actual anniversary and then he took me out on a romantic dinner date last night to celebrate too :) I'm truly so, so thankful for him and so blessed to have our marriage!

Prior to our date we went by the health clinic and I got my TDap vaccine. I'm going to be blogging in full about it soon but y'all GET THE TDAP!!!!
 Questions/Concerns:

  • Swelling, especially in fingers
  • Kye kicked my belly
  • I'm due for my dental check up...is it okay to go before baby is born?
  • Pain in left side, okay to sleep on right side/back?
  • Contractions when intimate...still okay to be intimate or could it put me in early labor?
Goals for the Week: Oh guys. I'm overwhelmed even THINKING about everything that needs to be done!!!
  • Order all stuff from registries
  • Paint nursery
  • Finish scheduling all the fun things I want to do this summer with kids
  • Order rest of stuff for nursery
  • Blog like a crazy woman
  • Knock off my "to do" stuff on my lists
  • Rest (ha. ha. ha.)
Belly Pics: I promise some legit belly pics so here they are. I was on my way to get my hair done and didn't bother fixing it so it's a hot mess haha. Sexy! You can compare what my pregnant belly looked like around this time while pregnant with Kye here and while pregnant with Britt here!


And after I got my hair done I took my legit belly sticker pics for the week ;) Much improved from my hair that morning haha. This was one of my favorite maternity dresses and it shows off the ladies so I wore it for our date night last night! I also planned it right for our date night to be the same day I got my hair done b/c Zach LOVES the way Renika styles it. I wish I knew how to fix it like this myself!!!!



Notes from Past Pregnancies: You can read my 31 week post from last pregnancy here! Can I just say I want to STAB the girl in those belly pics?!?! Who the heck is SHE and how is she allowed to look so amazing and awesome?!?! She makes me want to puke haha. 

It is also annoying to hear how cheery and wonderful and EASY everything was last time around. ugh. And that I had only gained dang 13 lbs. Like I said...I'm pretty ticked at that girl!

I also would sleep with my feet propped up on pillows...I'm going to try that tonight and see if it helps with my swelling at all. Not sure how to help the hands though!

It is comforting that I had swelling issues and pain related to overdoing it and STRESS. Once I got things done that needed to be done, I felt less stressed and the swelling and pain went down. Hear that Zach? Let's knock out these to do lists NOW so I can feel GOOD! :) 


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Parker Family Spring Break Trip

Every year we go on a Parker Family Vacation. We used to do them over Labor Day but football caused issues (I know...it's crazy to me that football schedules mess up a vacation?!?! But football ain't no joke to some ppl in this fam!) so the past few years we've been going in the summer. We actually had a trip to the beach planned the same week that Austin passed away last year so we didn't end up going on a Parker Trip that year. With both Casey and I due this summer we decided to plan the trip over Spring Break. Casey would be too far along to travel at the start of summer and I'd be too far along to travel by the time Casey has her baby (plus who wants to go on vacation with a newborn, right?). It really all came together super well and Mrs. Charlotte and Mr. Rusty ended up renting a house in Orlando! We didn't do anything Disney related but had a casual, relaxing weekend together. It was a great time! Hopefully we will go ahead and BOOK the trip for next summer...I think we all want to do BEACH and it'll be great with the babies being close to a year old then too :)

Our first night there the girls all went out! So glad Jolee came down with us for the trip :) She is such a blessing to us all and is so fun!!! 
I love that Jordan had us move the suitcase behind us out of the shot ;) 
We drove down 192 and ended up debating between Joe's Crab Shack and Chuy's. We ended up at Chuy's and it was the first time for us all. It was SO GOOD!!!! And I loved the decor...especially the emphasis on Elvis ;) Gotta love the KING!!!
I got pretty crunk about my "big as yo face" burrito!
I have a BIG face (head...) and that thing was pretty dang close to being the size as advertised!
The next morning we all got up and got ready to go to a BIG buffet breakfast at Golden Corral. I know that's a random thing to do on vacation with a large family, but it's something we never do at home! We all RARELY get together at breakfast time and we also all RARELY eat out as a family. There are just so many of us and it gets so expensive and tricky with the kids and all. It's usually just easier and cheaper to meet at someone's house and pick up food or do pot luck or something. The breakfast buffet was actually my idea and I'm glad everyone went with it and enjoyed it! I knew my little crew would love it and everyone else did too!

Morning Cuddles in Big Papa's and G-Mama's Bed!
We had lots of accident outfit coordinations (I think I'm rubbing off on everyone haha)

The kids were AMAZED at the food choices!


We had one of the waiters take a family picture for us. This is something that we RARELY have a chance to do so it was a great opportunity for everyone to smile nicely and get a good picture. I think the guy took four. This is the closest to being okay but Colt and Casey have eyes closed and it's not exactly in focus!
Then I get to this one and am like SCORE! It's SO GOOD!!!!! Except MY HUSBAND decided that this was the good picture to make some awful ugly disgusting face for. Ugh. I'm still super mega bitter about it! He ruined the only group family picture we'll probably have this whole year!!!!
Once we got back to the house it was time for the BIG announcement! Casey and Jordan decided to have us all play "hang man" in order to guess the name of their baby! Of course "hang man" couldn't fly b/c G-Mama doesn't like the idea of a man being hung for a game so we retitled it "Name Man" instead ;) 

We mostly let the kids do the guessing on the letters. I really wished I hadn't already figured out the name but I can't make my mind stop working and I just accidentally figured it out. The night of Kye's birthday party Mr. Rusty acted like he knew the name already (which I never did get to the bottom of it if he DID know or not!) but he asked if it started with a "C" and then Casey got all weirded out so it obviously DID start with a C. She was also very very confident that I would like the name which surprised me since I laughed SO HARD when she told me BRANCH was in the running on baby names...so naturally I remembered a conversation we had where I told her I had LOVED the names Cooper and Carter but couldn't use either b/c the "er" ending sounds awful with Parker. Since Robyn named her son Cooper I didn't think Casey would use that name so then Carter is what I thought the name was. I do seriously love the name though but wish I could have NOT figured it out!!!
Guessing letters!




Carter James Bacon is coming soon!!!
(James is actually Mr. Rusty's first name!)
The house we stayed in was really awesome. It's actually across the street from where we typically stay, Regal Palms. And now that we have stayed in the houses I'm totally back on my "we need to buy a place in Orlando" kick. But now I want one of these houses instead of the condos haha They have four and five bedrooms, all of them have their own little pool, and they have WAY lower HOA fees so it'd be a lot cheaper for us. We aren't in a rush about it but I totally spent the whole trip day dreaming about it :) I really think if we got one it would work out financially. I know SO MANY people who go to Disney that I'm sure I could get it rented enough to cover our payment! We'll see :)





Little Miss ZERO body fat got mega cold even in the heated pool!




While my kids napped Courtney's continued to enjoy the pool and Zach and I ran and looked at some house options. We actually looked into a trailer. Some of them had four bedrooms! It would get us instate residency for Disney ticket prices, and be so cheap we wouldn't have to rent it out at all...but nothing is ever as good as it appears haha.The lot rental fee was more than the fees for Regal Palms! Such a joke! We did drive around the neighborhood where we were staying that weekend and found a few places and even called a realtor for some help. We are NOT in a rush to do anything but it's something I'd like to keep an eye out for and be open to the idea if the right situation presents itself. We will be very picky though because we need it to be a certain price, have a certain amount of space, have a low overhead cost, and be very affordable rental prices. I'm not out to make money...I'm just looking for a place that can pay for itself for us! I would LOVE to have our own place to go visit and would especially LOVE an excuse to have yearly passes to Disney ;) But neither of us are willing to risk jeopardizing our financial goals or our stress levels either!

After naps we got ready for dinner...I love catching Mr. Rusty ironing on vacation haha it's such a rare thing that I have to document it :)
For dinner we went to Banana Jacks. It's on property at Regal Palms and is a GREAT family fun place to go! Super cheap prices and a lot of games and even a play area for the kids to enjoy! Kye and Britt have been there a few times now and were excited for Colt and Payton to experience the fun :)


I knew Banana Jacks would end up being loved by not just the kids but the adults as well. The Parkers are COMPETITIVE. The basketball game area quickly became the obsession of the evening! 
Hahah classic Courtney! 

Britt loved this game and got a ton of tickets from it!
But she especially loved the play area! I think the kids spent more time in the play area and the adults used up most of the tokens ;)


Up until this trip my foot had been doing AWESOME from the shot back in February. It did great at Disney. It did great the whole month of March. I wore my tennis shoes 90% of the time and would change into my thick-soled Crocs whenever I was out in public. Obviously that day I wore my Crocs to breakfast. Then I put back on the tennis shoes at the rental house. But yet by dinner that night I was in a lot of foot pain. So much so that I started CRYING. Which is not my style y'all haha. But I couldn't help it! The tears were just that kind that couldn't stop flowing and I'm thankful that only Casey noticed :) I was just very, very discouraged and felt very helpless about it all and frustrated that I literally couldn't walk around and watch my kids play. I sat the entire time at the tables while everyone else played. Stupid, stupid foot :( Big thanks to Casey for going around and snapping pics of everyone for me and I'm so glad everyone had a great time!







love the hands on the hips :)
Britt was VERY concerned about everyone's shoes. She kept straightening them and taking them to each person to have them put them on ;)


The competition for the highest score on the basketball game got pretty intense. All the guys were soaked in sweat! We actually almost accidentally left Jordan stranded b/c he was still playing when we all left haha. I told the guys that I'd be making out with the winner that night. I mean DUH I assumed Zach would win! Well what do you know if some RANDOM kid who wasn't part of our group came up and started killing it. He beat the high score and I told him he better get ready for some making out with a pregnant mama hahah I don't think he was too pumped about it?!?! 
Thankfully for us all my man came through with the win :)
We had SO many dang tickets. I mean I get that it's fun to get a prize but the prize portion of the evening takes FOREVER b/c all the junky toys at kid eye level are like super low tickets so we end up with a TON of junk. Colt and Payton got vampire teeth so, duh, Kye wanted some too. Thankfully he realized how uncomfortable they were pretty quickly (small mouth!) and we "lost" them ;)
Britt just saw the suckers and that's all she wanted. So we let her get one and got her a princess crown too. Which was adorable until it broke ;)
If you travel with kids then I HIGHLY recommend a bag of Mega Blocks. I've taken this bag with us on every single vacation since Kye was a baby. We don't use them much at home but they are awesome for travel and the kids LOVE them! All the cousins shared so sweetly :)
The house had five bedrooms which worked out great. Zach and I each slept in a twin bed in our room (which worked out b/c Zach had a stomach virus that I did NOT need to be catching!) and put Britt in our closet, Courtney and Brad had a room with Colt, Payton slept in Casey and Jordan's closet, Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte had the master, then Jolee and Kye shared a room. How lucky was it that Kye's room was Toy Story? His comforter actually is the EXACT same design as the blanket he sleeps with every night! He loved it!
So we moved the trip to avoid football season yet ended up in March Madness season instead...we just can't win with the sports world huh? haha So us girls decided to have another girl's night out since the boys were basketball obsessed :)
FROYO TIME!!!

We had a great first day together! I really think for next year we need to look into finding a place to use every year. Like a great house near a beach that has TONS of SPACE (hello two more babies getting added to the mix!) and maybe we can just book it the same time every summer at the same place, ya know? Does anyone have any suggestions on where would be a good place to go?!?! I know I see on Facebook that a lot of big families do something similar and I'm just at a loss for even how to begin that hunt! We are open to going to any beach...but would prefer to be under 4 hours drive from Valdosta (but either coast is within that travel time!). All of us "kids" talked that weekend and agreed that we all LOVE the beach idea. Kids of all ages enjoy the beach and it's something that's relaxing for everyone and is easy to work around all the schedules. Kids need to nap? We just go inside and let them sleep while everyone else can be out in the water still! It would also make it cheap b/c we could eat at the house and enjoy the beach for free :) The trick is to find the place to stay and make it happen! I'd love some suggestions!!! 


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