baby #5: 23 weeks

(written June 26th)

Baby’s size: He’s supposedly about a foot long and weighs around 1.25 pounds! It always feels like a big deal to reach over the one-pound mark. Apparently, this is the same size as a chinchilla, a bunch of grapes, or a Bûche de Noel (anyone else remember making those in French class?)!

Maternity clothes?: Well, I did it- halfway through this week, I broke out some of my maternity shirts. It almost seems like my belly grew overnight, and many of my regular tops are now tight on my belly. The girls are a little disappointed that I can’t wear some of the shirts we usually wear when we match.

Gender: My sweet baby boy. I’m so eager to meet him!

Symptoms: Whew, round ligament pain! It was pretty bad there for a couple of days, and it even affected my running… but I’m feeling better now.

Sleep: Sleep has been hard. I’ve struggled with anxiety at night, which then starts this vicious cycle of me not being able to sleep, which then leads to a nap in the afternoon, and then repeating being unable to sleep well the next night. I’ve been meditating and diffusing essential oils at bedtime, and those things seem to help a little.Movement: His movements are getting so big! I can’t believe how strong he is. Sometimes, he kicks so hard that it surprises me and I exclaim, “Oh!” I feel him almost all day long now. It’s great. He still is quietest in the mornings.

Cravings: Chocolate-chip cookies and cheese puffs. I had both of those this week!

What I miss: I miss seeing our family and friends. Being alone here is making time drag on a bit.

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I’ve actually been okay. Every once in awhile, the nausea will flare up, but it hasn’t ruined my entire day anytime this week.

Belly Button in or out?: In, wide, and weird.

Exercising?: Ran 25.4 miles (longest run was 6.5 miles). Best average pace this week was 8:41 min/mile on the treadmill.

Mood: I’ve already talked about this above under the “sleep” category, but I’ve been anxious. I’m trying my best to get through it, but sometimes I can’t help worrying about the baby being okay and getting him here safely. I’ve had days where I just want pregnancy to be over (something I’ve never wanted to rush) just so I can hold him. It feels like such a very long wait still.

Best moment this week: This was actually from last week (oops), but I finally had a dream about his little face, and I just keep holding onto that image to help give me peace. I think he’s going to look a lot like Evie, but maybe with Nella’s nose.

Looking forward to: Celebrating Kaelyn’s 6th birthday this weekend!

Big sisters: Kaya and Kaelyn just keep telling me, “I love him sooo much already!” They can’t wait to hold him, and they kiss my belly all the time.

Comparison: 23 weeks with Kaya; 23 weeks with Kaelyn; 23 weeks with Nella; 23 weeks with Eve.

five favorites (06/23)

It’s not Friday, but I’m overdue for one of these posts! We’ve been off of school for a few weeks already, and despite mostly still being quarantined, we’ve been trying to make the most of our time at home. Luckily, it really doesn’t take much to keep these girls happy!

ONE.  We’ve had a lot of outside fun and have really enjoyed the sunshine. Nella and Eve love to draw with chalk and throw a ball back and forth together. It’s been fun to see them getting closer and spending more time interacting with each other, instead of just playing side-by-side. Kaya and Kaelyn are my little monkeys. They’ve probably spent hours up in this tree.TWO. Our local pools have closed for the whole summer, so we got a little inflatable one to try. It takes forever to fill, so I’m not sure how often we’ll be using it, but it’s a fun treat every once in awhile. The girls were so excited and had the best time playing in it, even if it’s really not much more water than they’d have in the bathtub!Kaelyn really wanted to wear her floaty. I love these sisters.I was really excited that Eve got to wear her panda swimsuit… my favorite!Nellie was blowing bubbles!THREE. The girls had been begging Daddy to take them camping! Because of all the rain we’ve been having, he decided to set the tent up in the basement. We couldn’t trust Eve to sleep anywhere but her crib, so I stayed upstairs with her, and he slept in the tent with the three oldest girls. There was a lot of silliness and not a whole lot of sleeping that night, but they had a good time. Eve’s face! She didn’t know she wasn’t staying yet!FOUR. We had a taco and ice cream sundae party to celebrate the end of the school year! Everyone was so excited to eat outside at the kid table. We also recently introduced the girls to hard taco shells, so they have been really loving those. Yes, it was Taco Tuesday!We gave them Magic Shell for the first time, too! It’s the simple joys.FIVE. Kaya, Kaelyn, and Nella have been saving up their allowance for months, and finally decided that they wanted some new Beanie Babies. We ordered them online and they came in the mail just in time to open after we finished our weekly chores.Nella picked this little dog, “Huey”, and has been completely obsessed with him ever since. Apparently, Beagle (her all-time favorite stuffie) is his mommy.Kaelyn chose this Unipuppy she saw at Joann’s months ago. Daddy calls it a “Puppycorn”, haha.Of course, Kaya chose this sparkly cat, Whimsy. I love seeing them enjoy things they’ve worked so hard for.Evie doesn’t get allowance, but she requested a picture anyway.Happy Tuesday!

baby #5: 22 weeks

Baby’s size: Around 11 inches long and supposedly about 15 ounces, which is the same as an ear of corn or a guinea pig! Thinking about him being the same size as Freyja or Claire really makes him seem so tiny still.

Maternity clothes?: Still just the jeans and stretchy or flowy tops. I broke out the shorts once this week because we had summer-like weather… but it’s been cold and rainy again, so it’s back to pants and light jackets. Luckily, my jackets still zip with plenty of room to spare.

Gender: Our sweet baby BOY! It’s feeling a little less strange to say “he”, which has been an adjustment after four girls. I have one name I found about 6 weeks ago that I’m kind of leaning toward, but I’m trying to keep an open mind still. We have a lot of time left to choose!

Symptoms: I had a sore belly for a couple of days this week. I guess it’s stretching and growing, and that’s a good thing! It was pretty uncomfortable, but I’m back to normal now and feeling fine.

Sleep: I think I’ve taken fewer naps this week than I have throughout the rest of the pregnancy! My desire to get things done is sometimes outweighing my inclination to sleep. Michael has also been trying to go to bed a little earlier, which is helpful for me getting more nighttime shuteye.

Movement: This little guy is most definitely a night owl… like his daddy, I guess! He sometimes wiggles a little in the morning, but he really starts his dance parties in the late afternoon and evening.Cravings: Chocolate-chip cookies and cheesy puffs. I normally like dessert, but the salty cravings have seemed so much more intense this time. I really like to eat healthy most of the time, so craving stuff like that is a bit guilt-inducing!

What I miss: I cut dairy out of my diet (again) last week… and I kind of miss ice cream. Really though, I feel so much better without it. It’s also just been a long time on lockdown here in Virginia due to COVID-19, and while I understand why, I am really missing spending the summer at the pool and taking my girls to the library.

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I get nauseous on and off, but overall, I’ve been a lot better this week. I still don’t get too excited about eating salad, but I do it every day anyway.

Belly Button in or out?: In, but wide and weird.

Exercising?: Ran 26.2 miles (longest run was 7.53 miles); walked 2.1 miles. Best average pace this week was 9:35 min/mile. I busted out the belly support belt for my runs this week. It’s felt amazing! I needed it more than I realized.

Mood: Whew. There’s been so much going on lately, and it hasn’t been easy to not let my worries and stress take over. We did manage to get a new washing machine, but we’re still sorting out some health problems that Scout is having. I hate knowing that my fur baby is sick. It’s heartbreaking.

To be honest, I also still worry about the baby a lot. I’m trying to hold on to the fleeting bursts of excitement I feel when I think about finally holding him and having him here, instead of the fears I have about everything continuing to go well.

Best moment this week: It’s been really rainy, so we’ve had a pretty laid-back week of doing crafts and snuggling up for movies. I love that time with my girls.

Looking forward to: I get to have a growth scan in 2.5 weeks, and I’m looking forward to seeing the baby again for sure!

Big sisters: Nella has now decided that we shouldn’t name the baby “Cookie Monster”. All the girls really like the one name that I am leaning toward, but we’ll see! They ask about him all the time and get excited to see how big he is each week according to my pregnancy apps.

Comparison: 22 weeks with Kaya22 weeks with Kaelyn22 weeks with Nella; 22 weeks with Eve.

baby #5: 21 weeks

(written June 11th)

Baby’s size: 10.5 inches long (the same as a carrot or a baseball cap)!

Maternity clothes?: Still just the jeans, although I’m about ready to switch over to shorts with how hot it’s already been! Regular shirts are still fitting okay but starting to get a little short. I probably only have a couple of weeks until I’m completely in maternity stuff.

Gender: It’s a BOY! He still has no name, but we have a little while to figure that out.

Symptoms: None!

Sleep: I still take a nap every afternoon. It’s crazy! I’m grateful that I can do that, though.

Movement: He moves SO MUCH! I love it. He seems to be constantly active between lunchtime and bedtime (and I guess he still could be moving while I’m asleep, but it doesn’t keep me awake). Sometimes, I feel him first thing in the morning, but generally, he’s a lot calmer. I felt kicks up above my belly button for the first time this week. I can’t believe he’s already big enough to reach that high!

Cravings: I still am not that into food… except for chocolate. I did have this oddly vivid dream of eating a chicken sandwich this week though. I might have to make that happen.

What I miss: Maybe just having more energy. It’s been tough to get things done.

Anything making you queasy or sick?: This week has definitely had a LOT more nausea than the past few. It usually comes in big waves throughout the day, but today was particularly bad because it just lingered all day long. I try not to complain and to stay strong, but when it feels nearly impossible to be functional, it’s hard.

Belly Button in or out?: In.

Exercising?: Ran 26.1 miles (longest run was 7.5 miles); walked 1.9 miles. Best average pace this week was 9:30 min/mile.

Mood: I’ve been a lot less anxious this week, which is great. I think nesting has started to a small degree because I keep coming up with house projects I want to do (I just need energy to actually make a plan and do them)!

Best moment this week: We’ve been trying to take more family walks when the weather is nice. All the girls want to hold my hand while Daddy pushes the stroller and it just melts my heart completely.

Looking forward to: This isn’t pregnancy-related, but after a couple of weeks and a lot of phone calls, our washing machine is being replaced next week (under warranty, thankfully)! I’m ready to have a working washer at our house again.

Big sisters: Kaya still always asks if he’s kicking! She really wants to feel him again, but it’s tricky to time it.

Comparison: 21 weeks with Kaya21 weeks with Kaelyn21 weeks with Nella; 21 weeks with Eve.

baby #5: it’s a…

We were able to find out the baby’s gender at 15 weeks this time! I went in for an elective ultrasound just to be able to see the baby at all. I really wanted some peace of mind, and getting a quick glance at a fully-formed little person was such a gift. Finding out the gender early was a bonus. It’s always so special to get to know the little person who has been kicking and rolling around in there!

Because of COVID-19, I wasn’t able to take anyone with me to the 15-week or 20-week ultrasounds. I definitely understand, but I will admit that it was a little disappointing not to have Michael and the girls there to see the baby rolling around, hear the heartbeat, and find out the gender at the same time as me. So, I tried to make it as special and fun as I could for the girls by getting some of those powder cannons from a “gender reveal” website. We’d never used these before, and it turned out to be a blast (literally) for everyone! It was also a fun bonus to be able to send the video to our families and watch their reactions later.

Before we did the reveal, we asked everyone their guesses:
Kaya guessed BOY but really wanted a GIRL.
Kaelyn guessed GIRL.
Nella always said it was a BOY and wanted to name him Cookie Monster.
Eve said GIRL but really had no idea what she was talking about!
Daddy had no real guess!
My guess was BOY (mostly because I only had one dream about the baby beforehand, and it was a boy)!

So, without further ado…

It’s a…

BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have so many emotions… but the biggest one is gratitude.

I don’t know what it’s going to be like to be a “boy mom”, and in some ways, it makes everything feel new and different. I do know that I already love this little guy so much, and he’s going to be absolutely adored by his sisters. They can’t stop talking about how they “can’t wait to be big sisters to a little brother!”

It’s a big change for us! I’ll openly admit that I cried some tears at first for fear of not knowing what to expect with a boy, worrying I won’t be good at being his mom, and a little sadness at not being able to use all the sweet girl clothes I have stored away once again. The ongoing joke that we “only know how to make girls” is now over, and everything will change once this little boy makes his way into the world.

We already love him, and he’s been such a huge part of our family from the moment we knew he existed. I know he’s going to fit in just fine!

We celebrated with blue freezie pops after telling the girls, of course!

Now, send me all the boy names, because we have absolutely no idea what his is going to be!

baby #5: 20 weeks

(written June 5th)

Baby’s size: Baby measured 13 ounces at our ultrasound! That’s the 43rd percentile. This is about the same size as a sweet potato, a banana, or a paper airplane.

Maternity clothes?: Just jeans! I have a lot of stretchy and tunic-like shirts this time around that are still working great.

Gender: It’s a BOY!!!!!!!!!!!! We are so excited for our sweet, precious baby boy to join our family.

Symptoms: I can feel some ligaments in my belly stretching and they get a little sore sometimes, especially on my right. Also, bending down already feels weird!

Sleep: Sleep has been a lot better this week. Once I fall asleep, I don’t wake up as much as I was. I had a dream this week where everything was kind of fuzzy, but I knew I was holding my baby. The joy was so tangible that I didn’t want to wake up.

Movement: He’s still not usually very active in the morning, although there was one night that I woke up every few hours and felt him dancing around every single time. I think he usually rests in the first half of the day, when I’m busy running around and doing things, but as soon as I lay down for a nap, he is absolutely wild. I love it.

Cravings: I made brownies this week! Also, I got a surprise porch-drop gift from a friend with all my favorite things right now in it: salty, sweet, and sour!

What I miss: Nothing!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I have random waves of nausea, but I’ve been holding up okay this week.

Belly Button in or out?: In.

Exercising?: Ran 25.2 miles (longest run was 6.8 miles); walked 1 mile. Best average pace this week was 9:17 min/mile.

Mood: Honestly, I had a lot of anxiety around my anatomy scan this week. I’m thankful to have several amazing family members who have helped me manage my fears and stress.

Best moment this week: Watching baby wiggle, yawn, stretch, and put his hands up by his face at the ultrasound. And look at his little profile! SO adorable. I think maybe he’ll look like Eve?!

Looking forward to: Enjoying some free time with my girls now that we have a few weeks off of school for summer!

Big sisters: Kaya and Kaelyn finally got to feel him kick! It was still soft enough that they really had to pay attention to recognize it. They loved it so much. I’ve also gotten a few clothes for him, and when Kaya sees them, she always says, “Seeing his clothes just makes me want to meet him and hold him!” So sweet.

Comparison: 20 weeks with Kaya20 weeks with Kaelyn20 weeks with Nella; 20 weeks with Eve.

five on friday! (05/29)

There are still a few minutes left of Friday… so why not put together a “Five” post? I have missed doing these consistently over the past few months. Writing out a few good things at the end of the week really helps give me some perspective and renewed gratitude.

ONE. I am SO PROUD of these girls because they finished all five races in our local running store’s virtual series! We did their final mile this week. Eve rode in the stroller for all of it, but she was a great sport, so she gets points, too.I’m grateful we had some extra motivation to get outside in between all the rain we’ve been having!Love these girls. Love holding hands. Love matching Minnie Mouse shirts. Love being outside!

TWO. Daddy, Kaya, and Kaelyn made cookies to deliver to some neighbors this week. The girls were so excited! We all love Great Grandma Teerlink’s traditional “Square Shooter” recipe.

THREE. Kaya and I finished her standardized testing for the year! She did great, and as mind-numbing as giving a test for days can be, I’m relieved to have that checked off for the year.

Yes, all of Kaya’s favorite plush kitties “watched” her take her test. She was also dressed up as a queen.

We also tied up the last few loose ends of our textbooks. It feels like such an accomplishment to check off the last page of a huge book!Cuddling up and reading is my favorite.

FOUR. We’ve had a decent number of warm days lately, so Nella and Eve have been enjoying the water table again. They always seem to end up completely soaked!Nella likes to pretend to cook!Taste-testing is probably not such a good idea, though.

FIVE. Kaya and Kaelyn have become epic fort-makers. They take over the entire living room with their creations and play in there for hours. Usually, they pretend to be mermaids (along with Nella) named “Mirmy”, “Mirmir”, and “Bloomer”.

Happy Friday!

baby #5: 19 weeks

(written May 29th)

Baby’s size: About 6 inches long from crown to rump and 8.5 ounces, which is apparently similar in size to a hedgehog, a Gameboy, or a mango! 

Maternity clothes?: Still just the jeans! I’m in regular tops and running clothes for now.

Gender: Less than a week until I get to see our sweet baby and then do our gender reveal here!

Symptoms: Do sore feet count? I remember getting sore feet mostly when I was pregnant with Eve, and it seems like they’re back this time.

Sleep: Overall, sleep has been a challenge for me during this pregnancy. I have a hard time falling asleep at night, and then tend to be very restless. I still take a nap every afternoon for 2-2.5 hours. This past week, I had wildlife-related nightmares- Michael and I were bitten by wolves in one, and a bear was coming through the window in another. It seems so random.

Movement: The kicks, jabs, and wiggles are definitely getting stronger! This baby seems to be most active in the afternoon and evening, but not so much in the morning. I remember my other babies being on the move as soon as I’d open my eyes in the morning, so it’s definitely different. Maybe we’ll have a newborn who likes to sleep in (one can hope, right?)!

Cravings: Maybe just chocolate brownies, but I haven’t made any. Michael did bring me a Greek gyro this week, and that was amazing.What I miss: Nothing!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I still physically gag at some smells (mostly yogurt and salad dressing), but overall, it’s been a good week!

Belly Button in or out?: In.

Exercising?: My Garmin watch was still out for repair this week, but I pretty much followed my regular running schedule!

Mood: I’ve been a little weepy this week, to be honest, but I’m trying my best to be hopeful and look forward to holding a fresh new baby in the fall.

Best moment this week: Feeling more and more bigger movements. It’s the best.

Looking forward to: Watching this little baby moving around when I have my anatomy scan next week!

Big sisters: Kaya and Kaelyn love pretending to be a doctor and a nurse so that they can “listen to the baby’s heartbeat”. So so sweet! Kaya keeps asking if the baby is kicking, because she very much wants to be able to feel it for herself. Probably soon!

Comparison: 19 weeks with Kaya; 19 weeks with Kaelyn; 19 weeks with Nella; 19 weeks with Eve.

baby #5: 18 weeks

(written May 22nd)Baby’s size: A sweet potato, a croissant, a slingshot (??? so random), or a sugar glider according to the Ovia app.

Maternity clothes?: Maternity jeans, all the time! I am all about being comfortable this time around. I think I am going to need some new shorts for summer though- my old ones were used so much they’ve really been worn thin. I’m still wearing regular tops for now!

Gender: Two more weeks until we see the baby again and confirm the gender. I’m not expecting anything to change, but I’m saving the surprise until then!

Symptoms: I’m just kind of feeling like my belly is already so big for 18 weeks! I know I’ll look back and laugh at myself for saying that, but I already feel a difference getting around.

Sleep: I take a 2.5-hour nap every afternoon. It’s crazy, I know. I feel like it’s actually been easier to get naps during this pregnancy now that the girls are a bit older. They understand how much I need to rest, and they are good at playing quietly, reading, or napping themselves. Eve still naps at the same time as me, of course.

Movement: This little sweetie moves SO MUCH that I can’t even believe how strong the kicks and punches are. Afternoon is the most active time (probably because I usually lie down and take a nap). I saw my belly move from the outside for the first time this week and it was surprising and special.

Cravings: Chocolate. I made brownies this week! Mmm.

What I miss: Nothing!

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I had a pretty good week overall! I still can’t stand the smell of yogurt or the girls’ salad dressing, so they have been helping with the lunchtime dishes. I had only one day where the nausea controlled me and I couldn’t really do anything.

Belly Button in or out?: In, but it’s starting to look a little wider already!

Exercising?: I’m still waiting for my watch to be repaired, so I don’t have my mileage, but I did run regularly and got out for at least one walk with the girls.

Mood: I’m feeling more optimistic and trying to be positive lately.

Best moment this week: I had a really special moment where the baby kicked my hand for the first (and second and third) time! It’s crazy to think that we can both feel each other but can’t see one another. It amazes me every time.

Looking forward to: I’m still counting down to seeing our baby at the anatomy scan! I’m also happy that Michael has Memorial Day off and we can rest a little.

Big sisters: They are so excited for this little baby that they can hardly wait. Everyone kisses my belly goodnight, even little Eve. Nella keeps coming up with names for the baby, which usually involve a character from Sesame Street. This week she branched out and suggested “Baby Furby”. Haha!

Comparison: 18 weeks with Kaya; 18 weeks with Kaelyn; 18 weeks with Nella; 18 weeks with Eve. I actually think my belly looks almost the same as it did with Nella at this point!

baby #5: 17 weeks

(written May 15th)

I’m going back and posting these now, although I wrote them before we publicly announced our pregnancy. I love looking back on them, and I still love making these chalkboards, so here we go!

Baby’s size: A chipmunk!

Maternity clothes?: I switched over to maternity jeans right at 16 weeks, which is the earliest I’ve ever taken them out! My regular jeans were still buttoning, but I honestly was so uncomfortable and crampy by the end of the day that they’d always end up unbuttoned (or I’d end up in my sweatpants as soon as dinner was over). I always waited too long to make the switch with my other pregnancies, so I’ve finally wised up this time. Why be uncomfortable? They are definitely still big with room to grow, though.

Gender: We know!!! We’ve known for 2 weeks already, and I can’t wait to share, but I’m just holding off until it’s confirmed at our anatomy scan.

Symptoms: I’ve already felt the ligaments in my lower stomach stretching, and I’ve just had general “growing” feelings.

Sleep: I’m sleeping possibly more than I ever have in my life (since having kids, anyway). Michael still likes to stay up late, so I will usually get 6-7 hours at night, and then I get a 2.5-3 hour nap every afternoon.

Movement: This baby is wild and moves SO MUCH! I honestly can’t believe how often I feel big kicks and jabs.

Cravings: Sour Lifesaver gummies and anything chocolate.

What I miss: Maybe I miss having a little more energy, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

Anything making you queasy or sick?: I still have my moments when I feel just awful, and my sensitivity to certain smells is just incredible. I can’t sit next to the girls at lunchtime because the yogurt smell mingling with salad dressing is awful! Overall, though, this is the week I’ve really started feeling a lot better.

Belly Button in or out?: In.

Exercising?: My GPS watch broke at the end of April, and I’m waiting for it to get repaired, so I don’t have my exact mileage. I have been running regularly, and I know my longest this week was a 10k.

Mood: I cry SO easily these days. I was choking back tears during the national anthem on Michael’s graduation broadcast today. To be honest, I’ve also been easily irritated lately. Oops. I need to do better with that.

Best moment this week: Getting to hear baby’s heartbeat and my OB saying it’s “perfect”. So grateful.

Looking forward to: More warm weather like we had this week, and finishing up the school year!

Big sisters: They are SO EXCITED to have a sweet new baby. They keep telling me that it’s such a long wait until October. Also, Nella saw my bare belly today and said, “It’s like HoHoHo (Santa), but it’s a baby!!!” Hahaha. Wearing non-maternity pants in this week’s picture definitely didn’t help with that.

Comparison: 17 weeks with Nella, and 17 weeks with Eve (apparently I didn’t really start bump posts with Kaya and Kaelyn until 18 weeks)!