Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Miles

Miles celebrated his 2nd birthday on July 16th! We had a family fun day that day and then waited until the weekend to invite family and friends over for a bash. 

The next 2 pictures jumped out of order but here is one of the gifts he received. We already had a train set from IKEA but got Grandma to purchase an additional one and some add-on pieces. The kids...a.k.a. KYLE...could play with these for hours.
 Uncle Ryan and Aunt Amanda got him a new hawkeye hat that he begs to wear each time we leave the house. Going to be a hat guy like his Dad.
 On his actual birthday, we made special birthday blueberry pancakes. He got his in the shape of a 2.
 We sang "Happy Birthday" to him and he was SO SHY. He made Kyle hold his hand while we sang and he kept his tongue out.
 That evening, Lauren had her VBS program. 
 On the day of his party, we started the morning at Aunt Erin's bridal shower. The kids wore their absolute best attire and felt like royalty!

 Miles didn't once ask to have his tie taken off!
 Eating at the shower
 Aunt Erin and Miles
 I attempted a train cake for Miles by myself. We joked it was called the "Ghetto Train". It was special and definitely unique in presentation. 
 Friends in the sand box
 Kyle slaved away finishing our back patio before the party. The kids and I were in Illinois the weekend prior. Kyle was hoping he would be able to finish it while we were gone but the rain delayed his progress and all the work it required. Definitely not a 1 man job. He completed the finishing touches the morning of the party. 
 Little Kid table
 Great Grandma Norma helped blow out candles. Miles told everyone later that Grandma Norma helped!

 He wasn't interested in opening the presents but loved what was inside of them. His expressions were priceless!

 Lots of trains, tractors, automobiles, and fun!

Monday, July 28, 2014

39 weeks

Just a little funny pic of Miles since I don't have a 39 week picture yet. This was post-chocolate chip cookie in the car ride from our mini-vacation back to Yorkville. The things we do to keep the kids entertained in the car when only Mommy is on the trip and driving. Lauren and Miles are traveling pros though! These kids have been bussed back and forth from Illinois to Iowa since birth and do awesome on long drives.

39 weeks with #3!!

This past week has been a rough one! I told all my friends I was feeling too comfortable and I guess I jinxed myself. I came down with flu-like symptoms minus a fever either Wednesday or Thursday. I was able to manage it and rest when the kids were resting but come the weekend I was confined to the bed. We attempted church (even drove the 30 minutes there) on Sunday and ended up leaving about 15 minutes into the service. Kids grabbed their donuts early with Dad after the Children's message while I was in the parking lot getting sick in the grass. It was embarrassing...especially when someone walked Lauren out to the car and saw me mid-sickness in my Sunday best. I had my 39 week prenatal this morning and, of course, all my numbers were horrible. I was dehydrated, lost a bit over 2 lbs in 1 week, and blood pressure was higher than normal (I am typically 90/60 and was 112/75). Needless to say, I was sent over to Outpatient to be pumped full of fluids and receive some anti-nausea meds. My doctor said he thinks it is the flu but my body will take longer to get over it while pregnant. I was 2-3 centimeters dilated and baby's head is right where it needs to be. Hoping to have the sickness pass before labor ensues. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

38 Weeks

We hit 38 weeks this past Monday. At my appt about a week ago, I was measuring 38 weeks and heart rate continued to stay low in the 120's. Baby is still head down but not entirely engaged. I have never been "checked" before but obliged during my GBS test out of curiosity. My doctor said I was measuring about 1-2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. There isn't much weight to exams as some women can progress very quickly and others are dilated their entire pregnancy. I have been having some good contractions after our nightly 2 mile walk but they subside before I lay down for bed. 

Just a little comparison, this was our final belly picture with Lauren, just shy of 37 weeks. She was born 2 days later. 
Final belly pic with Miles who was born at 40 weeks, 1 day. My stomach stop growing at 33 centimeters. 
 38 weeks, 2 days with Baby #3. I am looking much different this time and sticking straight out. I looked in the mirror the other day from behind and couldn't see any belly. Crazy how large the women's stomach stretches during pregnancy. That is the exact same outfit in the previous picture too!
My original prediction was a due date of 8/10 and doctor is still sticking to 8/4. I can't imagine my belly growing for 17 more days but it is a possibility! The other night I had some good contractions and realized I am not quite ready to be done being pregnant.
My patience is much better this go-around.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

South Dakota Day 2

Day 2 of our South Dakota camping adventure started in Interior. We packed up the tent and headed the 5 miles back to Badlands National Park to hike and explore some more under the sun. If you travel to the Badlands, it costs ($15) to get into the National Park but the pass lasts for 7 days, we took full advantage of that. My pictures got all jumbled up when they uploaded. 

I could explore the Badlands by myself all day taking pictures. 
 We hiked the Notch Trail which was the longest trail the kids could have managed. I believe it was roughly 1.5 miles. They have longer trails, some suitable for horses but Lauren wouldn't have lasted on her feet that long and I wasn't in the business of carrying a kid on my back for that long. At the end of Notch Trail, was this beautiful "notch" overlooking the area. The sign suggests hiking in layers and that is very accurate. The trail itself can get hot under the sun but once you reach a notch or high point, the wind cools you right off. Look at Lauren's hair blowing around! Miles enjoys looking at this picture in our book we printed off through Shutterfly and says, "be careful". I think he understands how high we were.
 View from the Notch
 Another view
 On the Notch Trail. Getting ready to descend. 
 The kicker with the Notch Trail is this ladder!! Gives me the creepers just thinking about it again. The climb up wasn't that bad but the climb down was tiring. Kyle went up with Miles first. Miles climbed about halfway before it was too steep and then Kyle picked him up and completed it with him on his hip. Lauren and I followed suit with her in front and me behind with the backpack. 
 Out of order! It was a really chilly first night and the kids slept in! They wanted to sit by the fire in their sleeping bags they were so cold.
 Miles snoozed in his pack and play all bundled up.
 Lauren snoozed on the queen air mattress with Dad. She was under 2 sleeping bags here and somehow managed to end up at the foot of the bed during the night!
 Lauren climbing some little mounds while Dad and Miles climb the ladder.
 Miles going up!
 Going down, yikes!! I had convinced myself when we were at the top that there was another way down instead of having to go down the ladder, no such luck! Kyle put Miles on his back in the Ergo carrier and Lauren in front of him so he could snag her if she happened to slip. I told him I refused to come down until they were safe and sound at the bottom. I stood at the top with my back to them (taking just this one picture and then looking away again). I kept looking around trying to figure out another way down. It probably took me 5-10 good minutes to slowly make my way down. There were some really steep parts and it was difficult for me to get to close to the ladder with my big belly. Kyle came and helped me when I had about 10 rungs left by taking the backpack. Lauren yelled from the bottom that I was doing great, haha! There was quite a group of people waiting to climb up by the time I made it down and were shocked when I turned around with my huge belly. 
 Prickly Pear Cactus
 The sky, ground, and badlands were just amazing to look at.
 Lauren participated in the Junior Ranger program and earned a badge.
 A massive gravel pile the kids played. We joked with another couple that this was going to be the kid's favorite part of vacation...a gravel pile!

 After spending the morning at the Badlands and enjoying a picnic lunch, we hopped in the car to drive to Keystone to see Mount Rushmore. Lauren has been absolutely obsessed with Presidents lately and was SO EXCITED to see some of her favorite carved on a mountain side. We were able to time the drive perfectly and the kids slept while we enjoyed the view from the car on the Badlands scenic route. Mount Rushmore cost $11 for parking which lasts for the reminder of the year. 

 It isn't just the sculpture at Mount Rushmore, they also have a Presidential Trail, museum, restaurant, and gift shop. We hiked the Presidential Trail which was about 1 mile but had over 300 stairs. Miles was a trooper and demanded walking up them himself. 
 The trail allowed us to see Mount Rushmore from many different angles. 
 This was the closest we got.
 Near the end is the sculpting studio. Lauren and Dad listened to a presentation while Miles and I explored some more steps outside.

 It was Lauren's goal to find Mount Rushmore dangling earrings on our trip. She had a cookie/lemonade stand at the beginning of the summer and saved $27. The only Mount Rushmore earrings in the gift shop were $28 so she purchased some Abe Lincoln penny dangling earrings instead for about $9. We did not have an agenda of what we were going to do each day but had a list of "Points of Interest". We didn't want to lock ourselves into a schedule and figured plans could change according to the weather. Therefore, we didn't make reservations to camp anywhere. With the multitude of campsites available we knew we would find something that suited our fancy. Plus, in the Black Hills National Forest, you can disperse camp anywhere but just not have an open fire. We drove around to a few close campgrounds and settled on the Mount Rushmore KOA. It was the best decision ever!! We ended up staying 3 nights there. Our tent site was right next to a playground which allowed for easy cooking and lounging. 
 This was my view every night when I did the dishes! KOA's have a camping kitchen where you can wash dishes, cook over a stovetop, or grill. I really like that feature of KOA campgrounds because you don't have nibbles of food at your tent site waiting for critters to get ahold of. 
This was hands-down my favorite day of our vacation. Unfortunately, all that climbing and stairs/ladders, left my legs really sore!