Friday, February 13, 2009

It's A B..

Today was the big day......the Level II ultrasound. We are currently at exactly 21 weeks today, and it seems like we have been waiting forever for this part of the journey. Every 3 weeks, I have had a little in-clinic ultrasound which has been very fun....a quick glance at my little baby. But this one today was very detailed and in depth, looking at every little baby body part, taking a gazillion measurements, and looking at the heart from seven different angles. Everything looks great, and baby is growing a few days ahead of schedule....just like all of our other boys did.

Here is the latest picture:

I love how the heart actually looks "heart-shaped" at this angle. So appropriate for Valentine's day tomorrow!

After about 20 minutes of the technician searching for whatever they search for, we finally found out the gender, which has been forefront on all of the kids' minds since we told them about the baby on Christmas Eve. And as was no surprise for many,

"Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,

baker's man.

Bake me a cake

as fast as you can.

Pat it, and roll it,

and mark it with a 'B',

and put it in the oven for

'Bethany' and me!"

Can you even believe it?!?!? We are all so very thrilled.....and the kids are just ecstatic about adding a little more pink to the house!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sluggish Computer, Sluggish Posting

I apologize for not being able to post lately......though it seems to be the story of my life over the last several months, the reason now is due to computer issues. Our main computer sort of "blew up" right after my birthday. It literally popped and began smoking one night as I was replying to an email. Alex assures me that all of my un-backed up pictures from the last 3 years will be fine, but until we can figure out what all got destroyed in the computer's self-destruct mode, I will worry just a tiny bit. (ps. to Alison.....ours is a Dell)

I have been downgraded to my laptop which is wonderful for surfing the net, and shopping on Amazon, but downright painful as far as getting anything really productive done. The kids have mucked up my keyboard so that several letters rarely even work, making typing anything a nightmare, and have downloaded some annoying garbage that pops up on the screen anytime I try to go somewhere using the search engines. Accessing my own blog has been a maze of pop-ups to get through, checking email has only been successful on random occasions, and facebook pretty much crashes my system each time. *sigh*

So, what exactly has happened over the last few weeks? Nothing too exciting, but a few things noteworthy......

*Alex will be applying for college acceptance in the coming two months. He has maintained beautiful grades during his first two years of high school, and has taken advanced placement courses wherever he could(these usually account for college course completion, but not for college credit). He is now eligible for taking college courses during his last two years of HS, and he plans to do this full time. Best news for us.....he gets two years of college paid for by the state. Grandma and Grandpa C, how do you feel about a potential "boarder" next year?

With this preparation for college next year, it has also meant looking into the colleges he desires to attend after HS. This is necessary to ensure that credits from wherever he goes now will transfer and apply to where he eventually ends up. He maintains a desire for Canada....he will be considered an international student there. Tuition looks like it will be the same there as it is for public education here. But for Canadians, they pay nearly nothing! Boy, do those Canadians have some good things going for them!

It has been odd searching college info for my son, while expecting another baby. Talk about opposite ends of the childhood spectrum. It has made me feel rather old and tired.

*Jonny pulled off another wonderful performance in the play, Godspell. He had a great part with an entertaining solo that melded into a rousing duet, complete with dancing with canes. It was great! We were very proud of him, and he has been very satisfied in finding his "inner actor". This is definitely the thing for him...he is so natural at it, and enjoys every part of it. I am thankful that he has had so many opportunities to explore this further. I think I will need to look into even bigger projects for him next......meaning of course, more driving. (Ugh.....I have been clocking between 1-3 hours of driving lately.) But really, what wouldn't I do for my kids?

*Crispy had a friend party this past weekend and it went surprisingly well. Last year was a bit out of control at the pool, and I was dreading this with all of my absent energy. With Bob and the kids pulling together and helping to clean the house, we managed to pull off a rather organized and fun party for the group of boys. My clean basement that I have been focused on organizing for the past two weeks was the perfect spot for the rowdy group to get their wiggles out. We had Star Wars games, lightsaber battles, plasma car races, and very chocolatey chocolate cupcakes(this was the first time ever I have NOT made a cake....but the boys didn't seem to mind). No one got hurt, nothing major got broken, and no one ever seemed bored. Best of all, Crispy felt very special and had a good time.

The next day, poor kiddo, he ended up with a horrible earache in the evening, just as we were to go to Cub Scouts, and no amount of medicine or drops seemed to help. When he woke up this morning, again in tears, he had a dried up river of blood and white snotty gunk flowing out of his ear. Poor boy had ruptured an eardrum. He still had some amount of pain, but greatly diminished now that the pressure cooker had been cracked. He was still pretty dizzy, and spent the day home laying on the couch curled up in a warm blankie.

Crispy is also Star of the Week at school, so he needs to get better and get back there to receive all the special treatment due to him!

*Melissa has finally had a few small "heart episodes" that she has recorded on the monitor. So far, all have been normal, but we would still like her to catch a big episode that comes with the chest pain she has described in the past. But at least so far, so good.

The neighbor girl stayed with us the entire weekend a few weekends back while Bob was up in Duluth with his dad, who was celebrating becoming the new president of the Marine Museum in Canal Park. It is funny how adding another kid at this point really doesn't matter. From early Friday to late Sunday, I was a single mom with eight kids. No biggie. And all the kids had a blast.

Last weekend, Melissa spent almost the whole weekend at HER best friend's house. These girls have been best buddies since the were 3, and are truly great friends for each other. The kind of friendship you hope will never dissolve. It was wonderful to see Melissa so happy for a few days!

Yesterday, she came home from school with two awards. She had received Musician of the Day in her music class for reading music well. But the big award was an all-school recognition as Citizen of the Month.....she received it under the category of Perseverance. That is so her....she works so hard at everything she does, but never gives up, even though most things are quite difficult for her. She received this award another time in is so nice to see her efforts recognized when so often she can easily get hidden behind the wall of "normal" kids. She was so very excited, and rightly so. Her award is already in a frame and up on the wall!

*Tubby and Laura are still as cute as ever, playing so nicely with each other during the long hours the other kids are away at school. They have been keeping me company as I have been overhauling the basement and the big bedroom upstairs. I have moved Tubby's Thomas the Tank bed to a more central location in the room, and I dragged the train table from the basement garage all the way up to the third floor hidden room. The kids have loved playing with this, and will spend hours making tracks and trails. The basement is finally ready for lots of winter fun. A playhouse, a bunch of foam mats, some old couches, a TV and VCR , and of course the plasma car race route have all made the basement almost livable. My newest addition was building a sand and water table that is currently holding about 20 pounds of rice in it. Way fun for the kids.....I need to get over the bit of mess that even just a few spilled rice kernels seem to make.

*Michael has been busy with hockey and revamping his thoughts on what makes a good friend. With high school approaching quickly, this is such an important step to get through now. Things will be changing much for him in the fall as he enters back into a world where he is interacting with his peers on a nearly continual basis during the day. He has about one month of hockey left during this regular district season, and then it will be up to us to find other things for him to do. That usually means a mish-mash of various hockey teams, clinics, and camps. We'll have to see what we can come up with this year.

Well, if we ever get our computer back, I will post some pictures......I am almost certain that my little laptop would cause me too much frustration with that task. I am very impressed it has let me work this long! We'll see if it can post successfully....