Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Five Year Blogiversary!

As of today, I've been blogging for five whole years.  Can you believe it?   We've gone from this:


To this:


I created the blog right after we found out we were pregnant for the first time.  I figured it would be the easiest way to keep our family from Kansas up-to-date on our pregnancy and the easiest way to share baby photos. I thought the main (possibly only) readers would be Tony's parents and grandparents.

Then, on December 8th, 2008, at eight weeks pregnant, we went in for our first ultrasound.  You know the story.  TWINS!


So, after a whirlwind few days of calling family and friends to share the news that we were having not one, but two babies, I wrote my first blog post, five years ago today -- just a basic announcement about the twins.  The added "fame" of being pregnant with twins (and later, raising twins) brought lots of readers that I wouldn't have expected.  The next year, I finally got a Facebook account, which added even more readers to my little family updates.

I've mostly written about our kids, with some crafting, couponing, and deep thoughts thrown in every once in a while.  I've been a faithful writer, and a not-so-faithful writer.  I even took six months off from blogging at the end of 2012, and I thought it was the end of the blog.  I figured there wasn't much more to say ... and then God blessed us with another pregnancy.  Now, I blog when I have the time and motivation, and don't pressure myself with updating when I don't feel like I have anything to say.  It's a fun little family journal that we share with the world.

And here, for your geeky pleasure, are some stats:

Total posts written: 307

Total pageviews: 41,584 (!)

Belly Shots posted: 27 (at least)

Most popular post of all time: Cute as a Button: Third Birthday Party, with 647 pageviews.  (I think this may be due to Pinterest.  The Old Farm Sign is a very popular one due to Pinterest as well.)

Second most popular post of all time: Twin Beds / Bed Twins, with 313 pageviews. (This is one of my favorites, too -- I like the picture of Hadley and Leila sleeping in the same bed.)

Most popular month of all time: June 2009, of course!  That's when the twins were born!

Times that we've let you vote: 2
The first time was when we got the twins tested to see if they were identical or fraternal. Identical barely won out over fraternal, and you were correct!
The second time was when we let our blog readers decide whether or not we should find out whether Baby #3 was a boy or a girl. It was close, but you let us see our little girl!

One of my random favorites:  The Unexpected Parent

One of Tony's random favorites: Saber "O2-thed" Tigers

Tony and I absolutely love looking back through old posts, remembering things that we would have forgotten if I hadn't written about it.  It's been a happy, event-filled five years, and I'm glad that I took the time to chronicle some of it.  Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 22, 2013

10 Years Together

I have a lot of things to do today, but there's someone who has been on my mind lately, and I just can't go any longer without writing about him.  This guy.


Or is it this guy?  You can see why I started dating him, right?  :)


Tony and I have been a couple for 10 years this month.  Or last month.  Funny thing about us ... we can't remember any of our "firsts" except our wedding date.  No idea when we started dating ... it was sometime after Homecoming and before Christmas.  Can't remember when our first kiss happened, and we even disagree about the location.  We know we got engaged in August, but don't know what day.


We haven't aged a bit in ten years, have we?  ;)  Anyway, my hubby has been putting up with me for ten whole years!  And ladies, I'm sorry to tell you, but I got the best one.  Straight up, nobody even comes close, best one.  Let me count  randomly bullet-point the ways:

  • He makes breakfast for the whole family, every single morning.
  • He is the sole provider for all six of us.
  • He walks in the door from work and jumps in wherever he's needed at home, without complaining.
  • He rocks our babies for hours at a time when they'll only sleep in somebody's arms.

  • I ruined his marriage proposal, and he still married me!  (I promise to write about this someday.)
  • He loves to build and work with his hands, which means that we can work on our house side-by-side.
  • He doesn't correct me when I'm telling stories, even when he knows I'm exaggerating for added drama.  :)
  • He's muy guapo.

  • He loves our children.  I especially love to watch him when he holds our new babies for the first time.

  • He plays with our children.
  • He makes the annoying phone calls that I don't want to make, like insurance.
  • He lets me pretend to be in charge, even though we both know that he's the boss.
  • He leads our family prayerfully and strives to be a Godly husband and father.
There are at least a hundred more reasons that I'm glad I've got this guy to share life with, but nap time is almost over so I've got to put on my game face.  Thanks for a wonderful ten years, Tony!  Can't wait to see what the next ten hold ... and the ten after that ... and the ten after that ... and ....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Marlowe's Memoirs: 2 Years Old


My big girl turned two on November 1st!  You know, sometimes it feels like the years have flown by and you can't believe your child is whatever age she is.  With Marlowe, it's the opposite.  I can't believe she's only two years old!  It feels more like she should be three.  She sure has packed a lot of life and joy into the last two years.


Marlowe is (and always has been) big for her age -- at barely two, I'm currently moving the 3T clothes into her closet.  The twins still have a few 3T things in their closet, too!  What am I going to do if/when I have three girls in the same size of clothing?!?  Donations will be gladly accepted.  :)


Marlowe is also incredibly verbal.  She speaks in full sentences and has lots of questions.  I'm sure this is because she learns from Hadley and Leila while the three of them play together.  Marlowe still has that cute toddler lisp, though.  Her speech patterns are pretty much adorable.  One of my favorite recent memories is from about a month ago, when we moved her into a big girl bed.  Of course, that night there was experimenting with her new freedoms.  She figured out how to open her bedroom door, and she would pop out of her room and yell gleefully, "I NOT SLEEPY, DADDY!!!"  This repeated several times until we found our childproofing doorknob cover in a storage bin.  Little stinker.  ;)


Like her sisters did when she was a baby, Marlowe has watched me mothering Cecily, and has started mimicking that by mothering her own baby.  She nurses her baby, dresses her, changes her diaper, and, as you can see, especially likes to give her drinks.  :)


And here she is with her real life baby:


I love this girl with my whole heart.  She may be the orneriest, sneakiest, messiest, loudest child I've ever known on some days, but she makes up for it with her bouncing walk, sticky kisses, and unprompted hugs around my knees with an "I wuv you, Mommy!"  That's my girl.  Happy second birthday, Marlowe Grace!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mars Birthday

A few months ago, I mentioned to Tony that I should decide on a theme for Marlowe's second birthday party before Cecily was born, because I knew I'd be a walking zombie after her birth.  Without hesitating, he suggested Mars.  After a "no, seriously" from me, I realized that he meant we should build a theme around her nickname (Mars, of course) -- so, an outer space theme was born.

I started with some paper lanterns, hung to look like planets:

Then I ordered some Mars bars.  Remember these?  They don't make them in the US anymore.  These were shipped from England.

Bought some star paper and whipped out a banner and some pennants: 

No party is complete without cake pops from my sister Melissa!  Aren't these awesome?

I had my mom draw an alien on the mirror at the last minute.  :)  That's Paula, sister and photographer extrordinaire! 

  And here's the completed dessert table!

Marlowe sang along to "Happy Birthday".  I didn't have a cake this time, so no candle.  



I made a rocket out of cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, and cardstock.  It was a big hit with the kids!

We always request "no gifts, please" on our birthday invitations (which the girls' grandparents always ignore).  :)  This was Marlowe's gift from Tony and me -- a rocking airplane.  I bought it from a Craigslist-type site, new in the box, for super cheap!  She and all the girls love it.

We had so much fun, celebrating our two-year-old with our family!  Marlowe had a blast, too -- she's a total ham when there's a crowd, and she enjoyed having the spotlight all to herself!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cecily's Zero-th Birthday Party

I told you in this post that the twins wanted to have a birthday party for Cecily when she was born.  (They were SO excited that the day she came out of Mommy's tummy was also her birthday, like it was a phenomenal coincidence!)  So, on the day that we came home from the hospital, one day after Cecily was born, we held an informal birthday party.  Grandma and Daddy took the three big sisters to Sweet Daphne Confections to pick out cupcakes, and we celebrated after supper, candle and all.






I can't believe I didn't get a picture of my mom, but I'll forgive myself because I had just given birth less than 48 hours before the party.  :)  The cupcakes were amazing, too!  We created a great memory, all because two little four-year-olds wanted to have a birthday party for their new little sister.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Thoughts on Drug-Free Labor

I've been mulling over this post for a long time.  I feel like my writing needs to come with a few disclaimers:

* Yes, I know -- not everybody is interested in hearing my thoughts about drug-free labor.  In fact, very few of you are probably interested.  If you're not interested, now's the time to walk away.  I'll see you when I post cute pictures of my kids.  :)

* I don't want any mother to feel like I'm passing judgement on her for choosing a different path. I understand that every woman's birth experience is different.  I have been lucky to have quick labors, so I can't put myself in the shoes of somebody who has had a more difficult or lengthy labor.  Like I said in this post, I understand the merits of inductions/epidurals/c-sections at the right time (but I do think they are extremely overused).

With that being said, away we go!

Remember those three reasons I had for choosing drug-free labor?  The last two were more like goals, and I'm pleased that I achieved my goals of educating myself and joining those amazing generations of women who have all given birth drug-free.  I'd like to also add three additional reasons that I think drug-free labor was worth it in the end.

1.  Awe at God's creation of the female body.  We truly are "wonderfully made". It's amazing to see and feel the female body at work.

2.  A personal understanding that God created childbirth to work without interference.  When Marlowe was born, I got an epidural right before it was time to start pushing.  I pushed for two hours, and had some of the worst tearing possible (more on that, next).  In retrospect, having been through a drug-free birth, I know with certainty that nobody should have to tell a woman when it's time to push -- that baby is coming, and the mother knows it!  I also know now that there is no way that it should have taken two hours to get Marlowe out.  If I had been able to feel my contractions and been able to push with an understanding of where the baby was, she would have been out much sooner.  We all know that epidurals come with a higher risk of complications. With an epidural, the mother feels nothing, which makes her unable to respond to her own body, the process takes longer, and babies sometimes begin to go into distress.  In a drug-free labor, the mother is able to help herself, understand what her body is doing, and respond to it.  

3.  Recovery time.  As I said, I had terrible tearing with Marlowe.  My recovery took weeks.  It was agony to sit up to nurse her ... and chase around 2.5 year old twins in the meantime!  With Cecily, I tore less, only took one ibuprofen during my hospital stay (and that was for those awful nursing contractions), and didn't even use the witch hazel pads and pain relief spray that the hospital provides.  Sure, Cecily weighed half a pound less than Marlowe, but I have no doubt that some of my easy recovery was because I allowed my body to feel how to get her out, which meant less pushing (compared to those two hours of numb pushing with Marlowe) -- and less time with a 8 or 9 pound baby inside means less tearing!

"But what about the pain?" you ask.  Yes, it was painful.  Yes, Tony said that I acted like I was trying to climb him during the hardest ones.  Yes, I felt foolish during that one contraction in the hospital hallway when I couldn't even stay on my feet and dropped down to my knees.  Yes, different women have different pain tolerances.  But, if you prepare and educate yourself for the pain (using whatever method you prefer), it's tolerable.  And it feels ... productive.  Because that's exactly what it is.

And I've gotta say, the pain was worth it, because I'm pretty pleased with the end result.  Look at that sweet face.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cecily's Story


Last time you heard from me about Baby 4's labor, I wrote about having a "false labor" experience in the middle of the night on September 6th.  Picking up where I left off, I continued to have contractions every 10 - 30 minutes throughout the day on the 7th and the 8th.  They completely stopped every time I fell asleep, so I'm thankful to say that I was actually well-rested during that time.  We enjoyed a nice Saturday of family time, mostly at home.

By Sunday afternoon, I was determined to make my contractions settle into a rhythm.  I decided to paint the walls of our basement staircase, so I walked up and down the stairs over and over to get to the paint tray, which I made myself leave at the top.  After supper, we took the girls to the park to play, and took a little family walk on a beautiful trail that starts at the park.  Even though the contractions began to be painful enough to make it more comfortable to stop walking, they weren't that bad.  And even after all of my activity from the day, the timing between them didn't change.

After we put the girls in bed, I broke down.  Through tears, I told Tony that I couldn't do it anymore.  I said maybe we should go to the hospital, planning for them to send me home, so that I could at least have some certainty about how far I had progressed.  I thought it was a silly idea, but Tony says now that he has rarely seen me that upset in our entire marriage.  He made an executive decision to go to the hospital.  My sister came over to stay with the girls, and we made sure that she knew that we'd be back (ha!).

Once we were at the hospital (9:45 p.m.), I laid in a triage room, hooked up to the contraction monitor, for almost an hour.  During that time, I had ZERO contractions.  Yep, I thought, my suspicions are confirmed -- just send us home.  I was, however, dilated to 4.5, so the charge nurse told me that I could stay and walk around for an hour to see if that got anything started.  We decided to try it.  While walking, my contractions increased to every three to five minutes, and I had to stop for most of them.

Walking the hallways -- yep, I'm the coolest person I know.  :)

We went back to the triage room (11:30 p.m.), where they measured me again -- still 4.5 cm.  Without even asking about my contractions, they said the same thing: you can go home or you can stay here for an hour.  I asked to be hooked to the contraction monitor so that the nurse could see how frequently they were coming.  So, I laid there for ANOTHER hour, with good, regular contractions.  At this point (12:30 p.m.), I couldn't move or talk during contractions, was breathing intentionally through them, and Tony was squeezing my hand through the contractions at my request.  But, you guessed it -- let's all repeat the chorus here: I was still dilated to 4.5!  The charge nurse said that she could almost say 5 cm, so she called my midwife and they agreed to admit me.

It seems obvious to me now that I was clearly in active labor, regardless of measurements, but I truly had no idea.  I expected them to stop again at any time, and I was kind of surprised that they admitted me.

While we waited to be admitted, I called my sister to let her know.  I also called my parents, who like to be in the waiting room for the births of their grandchildren, and told them that we were being admitted, but that I expected this to be a very slow process.  They decided to come in the morning, but asked that I call if/when anything happened.

So, at 12:45 pm, we were admitted.  The labor and delivery nurse came in to move me to a delivery room.  I kept having to make her stop what she was doing for contractions.  They had suddenly increased to only 30 seconds or a minute between contractions, and Tony was squeezing my hand and bear-hugging me to help me through them.  It was getting very hard to make myself breathe intentionally to relax during contractions.  We walked to the delivery room, which was probably 100 feet away, and I had to stop three times on the way.

Once I got to the delivery room, the midwife came in immediately.  She asked how I was doing, said that the nurse would get me settled, and to tell the nurse if I felt the need to push.  She said she would be back to check on me later.  (See?  I wasn't the only one who thought I would be in labor for a while!)  I had one more contraction, realized something felt different, and asked the nurse to call the midwife back in "just to check me".  Sure enough, I had dilated from "almost" 5 cm to 10 cm in about half an hour.

I think everybody was taken by surprise.  I started pushing before the labor and delivery nurse could even break down the bed for delivery, but she did manage to finish setting it up between contractions.  A nurse from the NICU rushed in with a baby warmer and scale because all of the other nurses were busy.  Instinct took over, and all I could do was follow my body's lead and get this baby out.  Tony tells me that it took about 20 minutes to deliver our baby girl.  It felt like about 5 minutes.  Regardless, at 1:40 a.m. on September 9th, 55 minutes after being admitted to the hospital, Cecily Truth entered the world.  What a feeling of relief and accomplishment!  She had a head full of dark hair, bright alert eyes, and was already trying to get her thumb into her mouth.  Getting to meet the child that I've grown for nine months never gets old -- she was (and is) so beautiful!



My eventful night wasn't over yet.  I had a second-degree tear, and even though the midwife stitched me up, I was still bleeding heavily.  I ended up having to get a shot of Pitocin to control it.

At this point, I remembered that I had gotten a text message before having Cecily.  I asked Tony to check it.  It was my sister Melissa, saying that she had decided to drive up from Pueblo to be in the waiting room!  We had to call her and say that she missed the delivery already!  She was just pulling into the parking lot, and we loved having her with us for a little while and take a few pictures for us -- the first family member to meet Cecily.

After Melissa left, I got up to use the restroom.  My labor and delivery nurse came with me, and I couldn't stop yawning while I finished up and washed my hands.  I paused outside the bathroom door, and the next thing I knew, I was several steps away from the door, sitting on the floor, with the nurse sitting behind me and holding me under the armpits.  Tony was holding Cecily and asking if I was okay, an alarm was going off, and nurses were rushing into the room.  I had passed out for just a couple of seconds.  The nurse had seen what was happening, grabbed me, and sat down with me as I fell.  She had asked Tony to pull the alarm, which sent the nurses rushing into the room, but as soon as I came around and got the color back in my face, things settled down again.  They gave me a bag of sugar water through an IV, and I was totally fine.  Later, I found out that I'm anemic, which is probably what caused the bleeding and the fainting.

After all that, we were finally able to move to a mom/baby room to get some "rest".  We were discharged on the 10th, although I felt so good that we could have been discharged before then.  Now, we're at home, settling into being a family of six.  Tony has the whole week off for paternity leave.  And because Cecily has day/night reversal, I'm spending my nights counting my blessings instead of sheep.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Introducing Cecily

Introducing our fourth daughter!

Cecily Truth
Born on September 9, 2013
1:40 a.m.
8 lbs 9 oz
20.5 inches



I was able to give birth drug-free, and the story is definitely worth sharing!  I'll write about it as soon as possible.  We're home now, and with Grandma's help, we're enjoying adjusting to having one more member in our family!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baby 4: 39 Weeks

I don't think I've ever posted a belly picture two weeks in a row, but I decided to do it for two reasons:
1) My hair and makeup is done today.  :)
2) I thought that last week's picture would be the last one, and since I want to get a good picture as close to the baby's birthday as possible, you're going to see one a week until she arrives.  :)


Last night was a first for us.  I woke up at 2:45 a.m. with contractions that were consistently 10 minutes apart.  I've had Braxton-Hicks for months now, and these were definitely not Braxton-Hicks.  After several contractions, I woke up Tony, and even though we knew that we needed to wait for closer contractions before calling my sister to come over and heading to the hospital, we took advantage of the time to pack our bags.  I ate "breakfast" and took a shower.  Two hours after they started, the contractions were still 10 minutes apart, and since it was still basically the middle of the night, we decided to rest until they got stronger and closer together.  I dozed and woke up during contractions for at least another hour, then fell asleep hard.  By the time the kids woke up at 7:30, the contractions were gone.  

Ugh.  So, today, I've had very inconsistent contractions -- sometimes 10 minutes apart, sometimes an hour apart.  Since my water broke with the twins, and my entire labor was only 6 hours with Marlowe ... this is quite annoying.  :)  But surely this means that it won't be much longer ... right?  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grout Lessons

Woo-hoo!  After months and months of work, our kitchen remodel is done!  We tore out a wall, installed hardwood floors in the entire main level, tore out and replaced all of the cabinets, and had new countertops and a new backsplash installed.  And that's just a summary -- there are so many other things that we did, I can't even list them all.  I'm so pleased with the way everything turned out!


Tony and I did most of the work ourselves.  We hired a few people for things we didn't feel qualified to do -- an electrician, a drywaller, an HVAC technician, and, because my due date was getting so close, a tile installation guy.  Today was the final step -- grouting the backsplash.  I had spoken to the tile man about the grout color that I wanted -- not white, I stressed. I wanted a gray or taupe to give the white subway tiles some dimension and visual interest.  He assured me that he would show me color samples before he started the grout work.

So, he came to our house to finish his work this morning.  I finished up breakfast with the kids, helped them get dressed, sat with them while they played and I worked on something for my church moms' group.  My former next-door neighbor stopped by and we chatted.  When I took her to see the finished kitchen, I noticed (you guessed it): the grout was halfway done, and it was white.

As soon as I had a moment, I went back to the kitchen.  "Um, I'm probably asking too late, but weren't you going to show me color samples before you started grouting?"  The poor guy's mouth practically dropped open.  He said that he could pull off all of the tile that had already been done and start over.  I wanted him to start over so badly.  I was so disappointed.  But, I could not make myself make him do that.  The white looked fine, it just wasn't exactly what I wanted.  So I said to keep going, that it would be fine.  I was even more disappointed when he didn't even apologize or offer a discount for his mistake.  And again, I couldn't make myself be confrontational.

At lunch with Tony, I moped and frowned.  Trying to change the subject, he asked what else I had done this morning, and that's when I had an attitude-changing realization.

When I look at the white grout, it will remind me to choose my children.
When I look at the white grout, it will remind me to serve my church and my God.
When I look at the white grout, it will remind me to take the time to chat with a dear friend.
When I look at the white grout, it will remind me that complaining about material possessions is a first world problem.

Can your backsplash do all of those things?  :)  I guess mine isn't so bad after all.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Baby 4: 38 Weeks

Happy Labor Day!  We have about 6 hours of holiday left, and it doesn't look like I will be having my own personal Labor Day today.  We celebrated with a bunch of family, just eating our fill and playing at a park for several hours.  It was a nice, relaxing day.

As usual, my Braxton-Hicks contractions are ramping up, sometimes nearly constant.  I'm dilated to 2.5 cm and am 50% effaced.  Oh, and a fun new pregnancy effect that I have is poor circulation in my legs.  Whether I'm standing up or sitting down, my legs are generally tingly.  So, with all that being said, I don't expect to make it to the baby's due date (September 13), but you just never know.

Besides, I look like this, which I'll freely admit isn't as big as I've been with the other two pregnancies, but just imagine a 8 lb baby nestled in there and maybe you'll feel a little bit of compassion for me.  :)


In family news, Hadley and Leila start preschool next week.  They're SO excited.  They'll be going two afternoons per week, which I think is just the perfect amount.  They're very smart kids (doesn't every parent say that?) so I'm excited to see what they learn as well.


Marlowe is busy keeping up with her older sisters.  She imitates their play, their words -- pretty much everything, and it's adorable.  She's such a happy, cheesy gal.


I told Hadley and Leila recently that the day Baby Sally (as they call her) is born will be her birthday.  They're now insisting that we have to have a birthday party for her, and made me promise that we'll have pink cake at her birthday party.  :)  I can't wait to have a little celebration, and I can't wait to see these girls become big sisters!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Baby 4: 36 Weeks

Okay!  Thirty-six weeks!  Let the countdown begin!


Here's another shot, from an evening with my lovely craft group a few days ago.  I was going to crop it so you could see my belly more clearly, but I think they're fantastic, so I left it.  :)


In comparing my belly to this shot from 37 weeks with Marlowe, I think my suspicions are right: I'm not as big this time!  What?!?  And my midwife agrees.  She thinks the baby will be in the 8 pound range, so we'll see!  I'm actually not as uncomfortable as I was with the twins or Marlowe (yet), which makes it hard for me to believe that I only have 3 1/2 weeks left (give or take).  I'm very thankful for small blessings!

At my appointment last week, the midwife suspected that Baby Girl was breech, so she did a quick ultrasound.  Turns out, the reason that she wasn't confident about baby's womb position is because baby is occiput posterior, or "sunny side-up" -- facing my front.  That really doesn't mean much -- I'll still be able to have a drug-free VBAC, but I have to be prepared for the possibility of back labor.  Theoretically, occiput posterior babies can't tuck their chins into their chests easily while descending through the birth canal, so their skulls tend to rub against the mother's tailbone, causing even worse labor pain.  Lovely.  Some studies have shown that  position doesn't increase the likelihood of back labor, though, and babies change position all the time in the womb.  I'm just preparing myself for the worst, just in case.  :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Baby 4: 33 Weeks 6 Days


I'm squeezing this in at the last minute today.  I always try to take a picture on this specific day in each pregnancy, because I had the twins at 33 weeks, 6 days.  You can click on my post from Marlowe's pregnancy to see how big I was then, but really, I feel like I'm about the same size.  I always spend today thinking about when the twins were born.  It was such a happy day, filled with a little suspense and a little concern.  But the happy memories stand out more than anything.

Tony and I have both suddenly realized that this baby is coming ... soon!  He's working furiously to finish our main level and kitchen renovations, and I'm helping too ... but my help isn't quite as effective or strong as it was even a few weeks ago.  But, thanks to help from friends and family, and a big "push to finish" last weekend, we're almost done!  So, I'm making some birth necessity / baby necessity purchases and thinking about what to take to the hospital.  I should probably do some freezer cooking, but we don't have countertops.  :)

I usually try to look nice for my belly shots, but today was just one of those days.  I'm tired, I'm big, and the kids were a handful today.  But, we have persevered!  They are all sleeping!  Go team.  Sometimes you have to celebrate the little things.  :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Baby 4: 29 Weeks


Hello, third trimester!

Hello, rib kicking!

Hello, getting up twice a night to use the bathroom!

Hello, constant Braxton-Hicks contractions!

I can't say that I've missed you.
But since you're all here ... stay a while, won't you?