Sunday, March 30, 2014

Momm's Birthday

For the past 8 years we have Celebrated my Momm's birthday with some beautiful ladies. These are women, chosen by my Momm, who either she has influenced or been influenced by. Typically, it goes both ways. 
 Kelly always graciously hosts the party and sets the table beautifully. Kelly's talent is evident. Every year there is a different theme, and every year the table is a fest for the eyes. Plus, she always sneaks me an extra treat!
This is a highlight for all of us. The encouragement, joy and faith in each of these women always builds me up. It is fun to know the women in my Momm's life.
Back Row: CeLinda, Brianna, Terry
Front Row: Carolynn, Momm, Carol, Lisa, Kelly
We had the party a bit early this year because of people's travel schedules and this baby's imminent arrival.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Oh Baby!

My last 3 pregnancies I have been considered high risk due to a genetic condition I have called Factor V, Leyden MTHFR. It causes excessive clotting in the blood, and was one of the main contributing factors to the Pulmonary Embolism that I had after Ian's birth. 
It also means that I am at risk for a small baby (we know that hasn't proven true), and placenta issues. 
 As a result I have lots more screening that has to occur to give the doctors some peace of mind. The recommendation is that I come in 2 times weekly for Non Stress Tests (NST) and BPP's (bio physical profile). I told them that I would consent to one test a week but I did not want to do 2.
It really goes against all my beliefs of just letting pregnancy progress, and letting the baby be. In addition they are highly recommending that I stop my medication and then get an induction. Last time they would not take no for an answer, so I scheduled the induction then just didn't show up.
Unless there is a medical reason, I plan to let him come when he is supposed to come.

 As a result of all these ultrasounds we have gotten to see our little one's 3D image. He always has a hand up by his face so we have not gotten a super clear image. It is fun to see his cute little cheeks but we still wonder if he will have the infamous Slocum dimples. I used to try to give myself dimples by pressing my fingers into my cheeks and sucking in my cheeks. I never got any, but all 7 of my children and my husband have dimples. I get to enjoy all the dimples around me instead of having some I can't see.
Here, he has a cute little pout, and furrowed brows. I am getting excited to meet him, hold him, kiss his sweet cheeks and nurse this little guy. I can't wait to see if he is as active outside as he is on the inside. I remember when they told me that my placenta was attached on the front and that I probably wouldn't feel my baby move much. I was very disappointed. However, God allowed me the joy of feeling him. Not only that, but I can watch my belly move. I get so excited that I want to tell everyone else to watch too!
I am officially 37 weeks. The countdown begins.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pizza and Movie Night

We used to do Pizza and movie night every week. it was a tradition that my children really looked forward to. However, as the children have grown, I found that I had to make so many pizzas, it was too much for me for awhile. I recently found another pizza crust recipe that we like and is SO.MUCH.SIMPLER to make that we re-instituted pizza and movie night. 
I like it because we eat the pizza while we watch the movie and then bedtime is just that much earlier, and there is not very much kitchen clean up. I have also learned to stop the movie with about 10 minutes left and make sure that everyone is completely ready for bed (PJ's, teeth brushed, gone to the bathroom) so that when the movie is over they can go to bed. 

When did we get to the place of one pizza per person? 

I have 2 children that are gluten free and one of those is dairy free as well so I have begun to purchase their crusts and freeze them to have on hand.

My Favorite Pizza Crust Recipe (more difficult)
1/3 Cup Shortening
1 Cup Milk
1 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
Heat in a small pan on the stove until shortening is melted.
Add 1 beaten egg to the warm mixture and refrigerate until cool.
Meanwhile, mix
1 tsp Yeast
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 Cup warm water and let yeast rise
Add to the cooled shortening mixture and add 5-6 cups of flour, knead well. Roll out on greased pizza stone and let rise.
Bake at 350 until slightly brown then add toppings and bake until the cheese is melted.

Good Pizza Crust (super easy)
I tend to prefer thick crust pizza, however this crust, in my opinion, is much better rolled thin.
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp yeast
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, mix flour and salt together.  Add the flour mixture to the yeast and slowly add the oil. Let rise, punch down and divide and roll out on a greased pizza stone. Add toppings and Bake at 450 for about 10 minutes.

Both recipes make 2 crusts. I typically triple them, then add the 2 gluten free crusts. Often,  I let each person top their own pizza, then they can eat as much as they want, and have the rest for lunch the next day. I usually feel bad because the gluten free-ers never have left overs and Aaron won't have any the next day while the girls and I have our lunches covered.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baby Bump

After our Anniversary trip we stopped at Old Navy so that I could get a couple skirts to help extend my wardrobe for the next few weeks. Sean saw the model and laughed at her "baby bump". Granted, this time around I am much larger than I have ever felt before.
Pregnant model at Old Navy
 Complete with new stretch marks, measuring at least 3 weeks over my actual dates, varicose veins and heartburn that I have never experienced before. For the first time ever, in my whole life, I am having trouble sleeping. Anytime I am tempted to complain, I remember how blessed I am to get to do this again. I have so many women in my circle of friends who are unable to have babies. The reasons are as varied as the women, infertility, health issues, miscarriage, and unwilling husbands. My heart breaks for them. Yet, it helps me to keep perspective on what a huge responsibility and gift this baby is.
Me, 7 months pregnant at Old Navy
After Liberty was born, I was torn about completely trusting God with our family size. We always had, but her birth along with the 2 prior were tough and traumatic. After her birth I struggled with anxiety. I clung to the verse Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God, and the Peace of God, which passes all understanding shall guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
I began praying for an answer. Then my hormones took a dive. I started to really struggle with rage, and contentment. After a visit to my naturopath, I discovered that I had ZERO progesterone in my system. I was elated! Not only was there a reason for my crazy moods, but I was officially in menopause which meant no more pregnancy and no more birth. It also meant no more babies, but a very clear answer to prayer.
Almost 8 months.
It was strange being in a different place. I was no longer the woman with all the little kids. All my children were potty trained, sleeping through the night and we actually make progress when we go berry picking. I finally took down and gave away my crib. I filled my fall and winter with births. I love being with pregnant women. Helping them, supporting them, and cuddling with their delicious newborns. I couldn't deny that my desire for another baby in my arms was pretty strong. I knew that it wasn't possible. Still, every month I found myself hoping that by some miracle I might be pregnant. I knew that would involve a certain amount of anxiety, lots of Lovenox shots, and Birth, but it also meant a baby. 
So I prayed, "Lord, please either fulfill this desire for a baby, or take it away!" I really expected Him to take the desire away, I mean that is the most logical answer. The following week I had some bleeding, like 6 hours one day. I was annoyed and the only thought I had was, "I wonder what that was all about?" 
The next month I found my self sick, extremely tired and tender. When I finally convinced myself to take a pregnancy test I was shocked. The only thing I could do was bring that little stick with the 2 lines on it downstairs and set it on the counter in front of Sean. I had absolutely no idea what his reaction was going to be. He looked at it, then looked at me and grinned great big. We decided to keep it a secret for a few weeks ( I am not one for secrets) but it was fun to have him call during the day and say, "We are having a baby!" or whisper, "You're pregnant". I feel like this baby had truly brought us closer together. I'm still not sure the reality of it has fully hit me, but for now I am determined to enjoy the bliss of these final 6 weeks of pregnancy. Praise God from whom all blessings come!