Saturday, July 28, 2018

Pregnancy Update- the First Trimester

Baby Galloway Number Four is well on the way and we couldn't be more excited!

It's time for a little back story....

This baby was long awaited. I had been having "baby fever," for well over a year but, having been back in the US for just over a year I knew that the timing was not right. Finally, we were feeling more settled and in routine and it was time! You know, time to throw a crying newborn, unscheduled routines, and a complete lack of sleep at a family who finally felt settled!

I began suspecting I was pregnant on Thursday, February 8th, but wanted to wait until after the weekend to test. I couldn't wait any longer and on Sunday, February 11th, I took a test while getting ready for church. It was the faintest double line that I have gotten out of all four pregnancies but I suspected that it was very early on.

I kept waiting for Ian to come upstairs to get ready for church and would tell him then, but, as it turns out, he had already showered, gathered his clothes, and was ironing downstairs. It felt like an eternity so I finally slipped downstairs and aught him alone and told him! He was excited and surprised, but at least he wasn't confused like he was when he found out about baby #3 (Luke!)

The pregnancy symptoms started early but I was determined to keep it from the kids for as long as possible. I was the sickest I've ever been out of all four pregnancies, but this time I had three kids to take care of and a job to be at! It was definitely an interesting 2-3 months.

We told the kids at 10 weeks along. We were about to go on a trip to visit family and I knew that my extreme food aversions and morning sickness would be evident to the grown ups so we told the kids by wrapping three small baby items (a bib, a pacifier, and a diaper rash cream tube,) and told the kids that these were clues about a surprise that would be coming soon.

Grace got the bib and figured it out right away. She was and still is the most excited to have a new baby in the house! I think she's going to make a great big sister to a baby! She was only 3.5 when Luke was born so though she was a "big sister," she is truly going to be a great helper and little mommy to this baby.

Sophia, who had been for weeks saying she doesn't like babies and thought they are smelly and slobbery, got the diaper rash cream which was still in a box. She didn't recognize it (we have been done with diapers for quite awhile here!) and was confused and then slightly horrified at the thought of a baby.

She came around pretty quickly and is excited.

Luke got the pacifier and was just gleeful to be doing something fun. He didn't really understand until I started showing but then he talks to the baby and holds things up to my belly to "show the baby."

We had planned on doing our 10 year anniversary trip to Budapest, Hungary, but, partly due to how badly sick I was, and partly due to outside circumstances, we pushed the trip back to right at the end of the first trimester so that I would hopefully be over the worst of it.

I really wanted to enjoy vacation food!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Baby Galloway Number FOUR!

Getting caught up on here means that some things are going to fall in the "Better Late Than Never" category.

This is one of those things....

Baby Galloway Number Four is expected in October 2018! We are so excited and are looking forward to seeing how the baby will change things around here!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Grace's 7th Birthday

Grace turned 7 back in April and I feel like her whole birthday and celebrations went by in such a haze. We were super busy for 2-3 weeks surrounding her birthday and traveling a ton so it was definitely not our most routine of birthdays.

Her actual birthday happened on the day we drove back from visiting my family in Charlotte, NC. Our family had a cake and presents the night before for her and we also let her choose our road trip lunch spot on the drive home on her birthday.

We saved her presents for the next couple of days, since we were right back into work and school and things were hectic (actually, I just figured out I didn't give her this puzzle I had gotten for her. It just seemed like too much stuff! Oh well, I will save it for a bored summer day.)

Then I realized we never really planned a party or activity. We started Grace on a rotation with this birthday, odd numbers are just a special event with family, even numbers will be a party. She didn't really understand it though and had thought she would be taking a friend or two (or five) to a special event. She was desperately disappointed so I scrambled to come up with a few special play dates.

I originally wanted one play date with three friends but it was rather last minute and no one could get together on the same day.

First, we took her best buddy from school, William, to dinner and open gym at the local gymnastics place.

The next day we had a play date with some sweet friends of hers and Sophia's. We had dinner and brought cupcakes that Grace had made from a cupcake cookbook she has.

And on the third day, we picked up Grace's good friend, Lily, and took the girls roller skating! They had such a good time and I was really impressed with how fast Sophia, who is usually my most hesitant, picked it up.

The playdates helped smooth things over but I definitely will be planning things out a little better in the future!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Luke’s 3rd Birthday

Luke’s 3rd Birthday was back in February! We loved celebrating our little guy and loved even more that within a week of him turning three he became a little easier to reason with. Luke’s always been a more.... ornery child than one would expect, especially giving his cute looks and sunshine and rainbow spouting sisters.

Is it bad that I honestly can’t remember much about his actual birthday? It was on a Sunday so before church we opened up his gifts. And by opened I mean revealed because they didn’t get wrapped this year in tradition with his last year presents and a late delivery. He was pleased but liked his birthday donuts even more.

His party was the day before and we had it at Chick-Fil-A! My thinking was that since the only fee was the cost of the food you bought that I would end up spending less than I normally do on the food for an in home party. There was a fault in my thinking though: I really didn’t think that many of his classmates would come (many of them are younger, just turned two,) but nearly the entire group showed up. So it didn’t end up being cheaper but it was so easy!

They provided a tablecloth and balloons and I brought goodie bags for the table and brought a cake with me (though in retrospect he probably would have been happy with ice cream cups.)

We walked up, put down the party bags and cake, confirmed our order with the party hostess, then took the kids to the play place! As the families arrived we started directing them to the tables and booths that were reserved for us and to the play place. At some point we rounded the kids up to eat, then they briefly played again before cake time. That was it!

We didn’t do any games because the play place ended up being super crowded with just our party kids. A lot of the parents told me that it was their child’s first time attending a party for a peer or their first time playing in a play place (?!)

I loved celebrating our little guy and he felt really special!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Three Things Lately

I've done this series off and on for awhile (mostly off because of my blogging sabbatical,) but it is a great way to sit and think about what makes this time unique for each person in our family.

1. Grace has friends, alot of them. We still feel she hasn't made a "heart," friend though and that kind of breaks my heart. Having that friend that you (mostly) get along with and that you just can't wait to spend time with is so important in childhood. We had a playdate this past week with one of Sophia's friends who has a sister Grace's age, and they had a sweet time of playing. We are really praying for a friend for Grace who shares her faith!

2. Grace is currently entranced with the Roald Dahl books. I am just so happy that she is reading! She went through a stint were she wasn’t wanting to read chapter books because all of her friends at school were still on picture books. We were really navigating the path of saying “read anything!” with helping her realize it was okay to read more than just early readers and that her friends would be catching up with her soon.

3. With every chore the girls learn how to do I feel like a tiny weight off of my shoulders is released, ha! Grace recently learned she could pull a chair to the fridge, pull all three lunch boxes down, set them up on the counter, and put in the ready to go items (ice pack, cheese stick, yogurt most days,) meaning I just come down and prep any fruit or sandwich and it’s done. True her little portion takes me less than a minute to do but it is nice!

1. Sophia has been learning This Land Is Your Land for her Spring Recital. Which means ALOT of singing it at the top of her lungs at home. Sorry, neighbors!

2. Sophia is almost done with Pre-K! It’s been a crazy year but I am so thankful for her teachers and the kids in her classroom. She has learned so many skills and studied topics that have been interesting to her and I love that for her! She is reading already but goes at her own pace- I don’t think she’s realized she can read just about anything yet- she still brings her books to us to read to her and that’s okay!

3. Sophia is all about shopping with her “own money.” Which is all fine and good except for the fact that she doesn’t have any of her own money. So, we’ve been trying to come up with special not everyday chores she can do to earn quarters. First thing she bought with her own cash? A watch from the dollar section of Target. She is so proud.

1. Luke is three years old now! Birthday post to come. Within days of him turning three we saw a huge change in his personality. He has always been my whiniest kid and cries at everything (not in a sensitive soul sort of way, just like a grumpy old man,) but he started to have a little more self control, grasp consequences for his behavior, and altogether be a sunnier child. Yay!

2. Buddy is still in his crib and we are not ashamed. He loves it, is safe, and keeps him contained! I dread the day that is probably happening in the next few weeks when we make the switch. I will admit, he is getting pretty heavy to put him into it though!

3. Luke loves super hero figurines, match box cars, and Star Wars things, even though he’s never seen it. He does better with dogs than the girls do. He falls every time he runs on a sidewalk. He got offended by the nurse who surprised him with a shot at a check up. He loves kielbasa, yogurt, fruit, English muffins, and still has a crazy sensitive gag reflex, even when eating food he likes. He will grow out of that, right?

1. Ian and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this summer and are taking a trip soon to celebrate! I’m so excited but also nervous to leave the kids- mostly to have other people drive my kids. I figure as long as they are in the house it will all work out okay. But the minute they have to leave I feel uneasy! Is it going overboard to leave a diagram to how the kids should be properly buckled in?

2. I’ve been watching Hawaii 5-0, which Ian says is torture seeing as we are still in winter mode here in Maryland. It’s going to end soon, right? The cold weather, not the show. I really like the show though. I feel like it’s hard to find a crime show that doesn’t have a bunch of torture scenes or really sick and twisted criminals (I shudder to even think about Criminal Minds.) This show has some of that but also a lot of “normal,” mystery and crime solving.

3. While talking with Ian about appropriate books for Grace, he brought up Alas, Babylon, which I realized I have never read. Surprising because a book that involves my home state, Florida, AND survival of a post apocalyptic world sounds like something I would have loved in middle and high school, rivaled only by holocaust surivial stories, oddly enough. And no, Alas, Babylon, is not appropriate for a 7 year old girl, nor is Hatchet, which he also brought up!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The One With the Family Pictures

It was time, we desperately needed to get family pictures done.

I'm pretty sure the last ones that we had done were in Abu Dhabi, taken by a blog friend, (Hi, Tami!) At the time, Grace was not yet 2 and Sophia was an infant!

Five years later, back to our home country, and another child added to the mix, I guess an update was in order.

Plus, my mom said that's all she wanted for Christmas so it was pretty easy to sell Ian on.

I connected with another blog friend, Mallorie Gayle Photography, who had a slot to do a mini session and even though it was a long drive and FREEZING cold out, the end results were perfect! Mallorie captured us all perfectly in a short time frame!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The One With The Giant Pegasus

Ian and I went on a weekend trip to New York City one weekend last fall. More on that here. We went partly for Ian's birthday (he turned 31!) partly to get away for a weekend, and partly to hang out with our friend who lives there.

Now, usually, when people leave their kids they have some anxiety, worry about them, and miss them.

I will be the first to tell you that I am not one of those people.

That's not to say that I am not excited to see them when I come back, but I feel like so many other people, who are more experienced in the marriage department, say that getting away as a couple is one of the best things you can do for your marriage and for your own mental health, so I fully embrace that idea.

Time to leave? Kiss and a hug and "I will see you later!"

Screen door is still flapping on its hinges and I am gone. GONE.

Anyways, back to the Pegasus, because I am sure you are waiting for that to come up again.

My in laws were gracious enough to fly up and take care of our kids while we were gone, which made leaving them easy to do. I knew they would get in loads of craft time, go do something fun out of the house, and probably finagle a new toy out of the deal so entertainment would not be in short supply.

We returned home in the middle of nap time to find my mother in law sitting on the couch looking rather sheepish. There was a pile of toy packaging on the floor in the family room but I sort of expected that. She showed me what Sophia chose (a singing bird,) and Luke (a second little people farm, because the new one had different sounds, which our original one did not.)

There wasn’t any packaging for Grace’s toy, and my mother in law started explaining. She said Grace fell in love with it, and they had tried to convince her to choose another toy. She said she knew we were tight on space (our place is great but not well laid out and not very big.)

And then she said “You are just going to have to go and see it.”

I nervously walked upstairs and found this:

Now, I’m a pretty practical person. I’m also one who has pretty strict limits on stuffed animals. (The dust! The impracticality of getting them clean! The space they take up! How little they are used!)

So imagine my surprise when I walked into the girls’ room and found a giant stuffed Pegasus that was BIGGER THAN GRACE HERSELF!

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. On the one hand, Grace loved it. She would cuddle with it, read on it, drag it around the house and play flying Pegasus. On the other hand, it takes up half of her bed!

It's been four months and "Uni," as her Pegasus is called, still resides there. I've told Grace that the minute it hasn't been used regularly it is out of here, but I have a feeling that won't happen anytime soon. Eventually Grace will get bigger and need more room in her twin bed, right?