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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.

kids_week38kids_week39kids_week40kids_week41kids_week42

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 wondering 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!

Samuel: 10 months old!

Sammy is 10 months old!  We often call him ‘Sam I Am’, but I find myself calling him ‘Sam’ more often than ‘Sammy’ these days. Not sure why – maybe as he grows up, his name will grow up too?!

Here’s his 10-month scrapbook page:

month10

 

And a recent picture — with his brothers!

10monthsold

Gotta Make A Change!

Many moons ago (okay, back in October), Jeff and I started discussing me quitting my job and starting to be a Stay-At-Home Mom.  Things just weren’t working out well with my job any more.  My job was great – I was still rocking that.  But our home life was starting to suffer far more than we liked.  Several things were happening; there wasn’t just 1 thing that was causing the pain.

Cue the (unexpected) positive pregnancy test.  With that news, it seemed even more clear – and it influenced our timing.  Before we had been talking about the end of 2016, but with Baby #4 coming in June, it just appeared as a natural time.

So we decided!  We decided that starting in June, I’ll be leaving Corporate America for Home!

I have mixed emotions about it, to be honest.  I firmly believe that it’s the right decision…but that doesn’t make it easy.  As I’ve said elsewhere, I feel like a college senior.  You look forward to graduation and what is coming next, but you also recognize the great life you have right now.  You have friends.  Free time.  Pizza runs at midnight.  Classes are fun and challenging. It’s just a great place to be.

That’s me right now — my job is a great place to be.  I do well there.  I have fantastic co-workers and a fun product.  We’re doing good work and some exciting things.  I really, really, really enjoy it.

But I’m also excited for staying at home too.  It will be challenging – probably far more than I realize.  Most women who stay-at-home (I’m guessing) do so when their first is born, not their fourth.

Is this move permanent?  Probably not.  Maybe, but I suspect not.  But again, I don’t want to work full-time.  Not with little ones.  Not with school age kids.  Life will only get crazier nor more simple – at least not for a really long time.  So, who knows where this all will lead?

I’ll write more about this later – in particular, I have some old posts that I’ve written, but never published on being a working mother.  Maybe it’s time to dust those off!

Kitchen Remodel!

It’s done!!!!  All done!  (Well, as done as we’re gonna get right now.)

We literally installed the last door knob and coat hook the other day on all the spaces that we remodeled.  Now I’m gonna do my best to show you the results!  Today, it’s all about the Kitchen.

(Click here to see all Remodel 2015 posts.)

Scope of work: 

  • Take down pretty much every wall!
  • Remove the wall between the kitchen & laundry room to make a larger “mudroom”.
  • Remove the wall between the kitchen & office space to make one larger room and room for a walk-in pantry.  This wall was load-bearing, so also installed a header beam to support the house.
  • Remove the wall between the kitchen & living room to make an open floor plan.
  • Move the plumbing from an exterior wall of the house to the middle of the kitchen.
  • Install custom cabinets.
  • Install a 10 foot island/food prep space.
  • Install new cabinets, countertop, flooring, tile backsplash.
  • Create walk-in pantry with custom shelving & drawers.
  • Create “mudroom” by adding cubbies & bench seating in previous laundry room space.

Product List:

Some Before Pictures:

KichenBefore

KitchenBefore2

KitchenBefore3

After Pictures:

KitchenAfter1

KitchenAfter3

KitchenAfter2KitchenAfter4KitchenAfter5KitchenAfter6

Side by Side Comparison:

View from living room:

 

Before&After1

Office/Playroom Before to Eating Area:Before&After2

View from door from the garage:

Before&After3

Master Bath Remodel!

It’s done!!!!  All done!  (Well, as done as we’re gonna get right now.)

We literally installed the last door knob and coat hook the other day on all the spaces that we remodeled.  Now I’m gonna do my best to show you the results!  Today, it’s all about the Master Bathroom.

(Click here to see all Remodel 2015 posts.)

Scope of work: 

  • Nothing too major (at least compared to the kitchen!).
  • Rip out existing shower & vanity.
  • Remove the wall separating the shower & vanity.
  • Replace with smaller vanity (1 sink instead of 2).
  • Replace shower with much bigger tiled shower.
  • Replace laminate flooring with tile.
  • Replace toilet, vanity light fixture and mirror.
  • Replace bathroom door to match the rest of the upstairs doors.

Product List:

 

Some Before Shots:

BathroomBefore1

Pictures:

BathroomAfter1

BathroomAfter2

BathroomAfter3

 

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