I came across this poem today and it touched me.  I’m familiar with the first few lines, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard (or read) the whole thing.  It could be a good way of approaching life.

I’ve bolded what is particular impactful to me right now.


If….by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
  But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
  And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
  With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And which is more: you’ll be a Man, my son!

Drink lots of water, “they” say. Stay hydrated, “they” say. Practically no one drinks enough water, “they” say. It’s a big deal, “they” say.

Turns out “they” are right. At least some of the time. At least about me – last week.

Last Wednesday night, I started having contractions. Not Braxton Hicks fake kind of contractions where your belly gets tight, but really, really painful ones. Ones that reminded me of real labor. Which is NOT what you want to feel when you’re 25 weeks pregnant.

They were painful enough and lasted long enough (a few hours) and came often enough (every 2-3 minutes at their peak) that they made me really worried. Changing positions didn’t help. Taking a bath didn’t help. Laying down didn’t help. Walking around didn’t help.

I called my OB around 9:40 and asked for advice. His advice: You’re likely dehydrated, drink some water, see if that helps, but if it doesn’t, come into the hospital and get checked out.

So I drank some water. Threw it up. Drank some more water. Threw it up. Time to call my mom to stay with the (sleeping) boys and get to the hospital. I really had hopes that it was going to be a false event, so I would’ve driven myself if I could have in any way. But with the pain and the throwing up, I just couldn’t do it.

So Jeff drove me to the hospital, I checked in and the contractions started to subside. Which is good news, but bad timing — would’ve been nice if that they would’ve stopped BEFORE getting my mom out of bed.

They started me drinking some water, hooked me up to monitors and sure enough, healthy heartbeat for baby. Healthy heartbeat & blood pressure for me. No contractions. Urine test didn’t show any protein in my urine (ruling out preeclampsia).

So, they sent me home with a big hospital water bottle and instructions to drink 2-3 of them a day (for about 100 ounces of water). So far, I’ve made it each day.

I’m glad all is well and good. But pregnant mamas: drink your water!

Sammy’s 11 months old – just on verge of being 1!

Here’s his scrapbook page:


Here’s a recent picture:


24 week check up

Another uneventful pregnancy check up.  This time, I didn’t even see my OB.  He had gotten called into an emergency surgery, so I saw a Nurse Practitioner in his office instead.  Okay by me.

  • They took blood to run some tests on my vitamin & mineral levels.
  • She listened for the heartbeat – in the 140s, where, so far, all my babies have camped.
  • She gave me the delightful gestational diabetes drink for my next appointment.  Oh bliss.
  • She measured me.  I’m measuring small (21 weeks instead of 24 weeks), but that’s very common for me.  I am the biggest that I think I’ve ever been (but still have only gained 10 pounds).  I don’t know why that is, but whatever.  Not really concerned about it.

They did call me back a couple of days after the appointment to let me know that my iron levels are still low, but to keep doing what I’m doing in hopes that they’ll re-bound soon.  They’ll check them again.

Side note: we still don’t have a name.  Still don’t really have a list of names.  No top 3 list.  Not even a top 10 list.  I’m not freaking out about it yet.

They could be triplets!

Man, could my boys be triplets or what!?

(By the way, you can definitely tell which 2 were born in the same season based upon their clothing – Finn and Samuel were both born in April, so their clothing seasons are the same, while Stephen was born in October, making him in the complete opposite season!)

Here are pictures of them taken when they were 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42 weeks old.


Ask 10 different moms why they stay at home instead of full-time work outside of the house and you’ll likely get 10 different answers.

For some, it’s financial.  It just doesn’t make sense, in their situation, for them to work.  Maybe that’s because their personal incomes are low.  Maybe it’s because the number of kids they have make daycare expensive.  Whatever the reason, it COULD be a financial no-brainer for them to stay at home.

For some, it’s emotional.  They really, really, really want to.  It’s where they want their focus to be.  It’s what they’ve prepared for.  Maybe they haven’t found a non-mom job that they really like.  Maybe home is just where they want to be.

For some, it’s just practical.  Maybe their spouse is military and moving is something they frequently do.  Maybe their spouse works long or irregular hours or have lots of travel.

For me?  Why am I deciding to stay at home?

It’s my influence.  I’ve lost too much of my influence with my children.  It isn’t that I have no influence with them, but my influence is too small.  When I was just working part-time, it didn’t bother me.  When they were really young and the major goal was keeping them alive and thriving, it didn’t bother me.  When my sister was my babysitter, it didn’t bother me.  When there wasn’t so many of them, it didn’t bother me.

But all of a sudden?  It started bothering me.  My kids are in a church-ran preschool and they do good things there.  They’re even thriving there.  In particular, Finn has done great with an established routine.  (Something that kid really needs!)

But I’ve realized that Mr. Jacob has more influence over my 3-year-old Finn than I do – by a long shot.  Mr. Jacob seems to be a good guy, but I don’t know him.  I’ve never had him over for dinner.  I haven’t met his wife or his child.  I don’t know his philosophy on teaching or discipline.  I don’t know how long he’ll be at that pre-school.  Same with Stephen’s teacher – she seems great, is a grandmother and is very kind.  Sammy is too young to have much influence on, but the same things apply.

Even though the decision-maker wasn’t financial for us, it still has financial ramifications.  And that does bother me.  I make a great income and it’d be financially worth it (on paper) to have up to 7 kids before daycare costs are more than my income — especially once you factor in that we’d probably hire an in-home nanny.

It isn’t that I want to be the only influence on their lives – grandparents and family are wonderful influencers.  And I like the idea of preschool a couple of mornings a week.  I like Sunday School teachers and Awana leaders. I’m just not ready to give up 50+ hours/week at this stage in their lives.  I’m excited to stay home for the major reason that I can start to have the influence on my kids that I want to have.  

20 week check up

Over a week ago now, I had my 20 week check up for this pregnancy.  I totally forgot to blog about it, which is strange for me, because the 20 week check up has the big anatomy scan where we (usually) find out the gender.  But this time?  We already knew the gender, so that part of the mystery is gone.

But I did get to see our littlest one.  He looks like his brothers, of course.  You know, like a 20-week old baby.  (How anyone can see any distinguishing characteristics on those ultrasound machines is beyond my understanding!)

He is measuring right on track – maybe a few days bigger, but that’s well within any margin of error.  The ultrasound technician tells me he’s quite active, but I don’t feel much activity.  That’s because, like my first pregnancy, the placenta is in front.  Movement is much harder to feel.  It’s night and day different from my other 2 pregnancies.  Not bad.  Not good.  Just different.

His heartbeat was in the 140s, which is pretty typical of my babies.  And he’s definitely 100%, no-doubt-about-it a boy!  Looks like Jeff and I better get more serious about picking out names!

This pregnancy (because of the dumb Advanced Maternal Age thing), I’m seeing a perinatologist, whom I actually really like.  He wants to see me again at 26 weeks, but it just seems like overkill ya know?  I compared it to hiring Brad Paisley to give your 2 year old singing lessons.  The pregnancy is going well and we’re looking forward to this new one joining our family this summer!


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