Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Everyone read....and Participation Please

Hey yall. Thanks for your loving remarks. Hopefully we will be able to tell what it is at my appointment Thursday.

So, I don't know if any of the rest of you have high maintenance "go to sleepers" like I do. But my kids basically require, reading time, singing time, and cuddle time. I actually don't mind this schedule seeing as I have accepted the whole hermit lifestyle.... :)

So I thought I would ask everyone's opinions. If you have some, we are always looking for more diversity. So I would like everyone's input on their

1) Top 5 favorite kids books.

2) Top 5 favorite songs to sing to your kids (preferably not a typical nursery song or primary song, we have a wrap on all those)

Here are mine in case you were wondering.
No Matter What by Debi Gliori

Heaven is Having You by
Giles Andreae

Parts and More Parts by Tedd Arnold

Alice the Fairy by David Shannon

I Know a Rhino by Charles Fuge

We also really really like all the 'How does a Dinosaur' books. and I love you stinky Face

2) Favorite songs to sing.
- Edelweiss from Sound of Music
- Come to My Garden from the original broadway musical of Secret Garden
- Round Shouldered Man from Secret Garden (FYI almost all the music from this play is AMAZING)
- Stay Awake from Mary Poppins
- Castle in a Cloud from Les Miserables
- And occasionally Wishing you were Somehow Here Again from Phantom (although I am sure I never sing the verses in the right order)!

So read a new book and sing your kids a new song!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our big news

So this might be another plea to see who has actually stuck it out being a fan of our blog as my devotion to the blogging world has waned and withered. So I guess we will see.

The Graf household (ours) is expecting our 4th installment (mostly) in July (maybe). How can that even be a sentence? Well this is how, in kind of a reader's digest version.

I found out I was pregnant in December (suspected it while on a cruise so thank you to those of you who joked about all that!!) and in January experienced one day of acute bleeding. I of course thought it was a miscarriage and headed to the doctors the next day. She does an ultrasound and says, "hmmm"...pause. I sit there and wait for an explanation. Those are not exactly sounds you like to hear come out of your doctors mouth right? She tells me I am still pregnant and there is a heart beat. She does send me to a specialist to check out some concerns. I go in for another ultrasound with the pros and he tells me this baby looks fine but there is really low amniotic fluid.

Has anyone else ever even heard of this being a problem? Never knew it could be or something that surprisingly they CAN'T FIX. What does it mean? The baby needs sufficient amount of fluid for it's lungs to develop. And the hopes of a baby surviving with low fluid are really low!

This is after my first appointment with this guy at 12 weeks. This is still time in a pregnancy when you can feasibly miscarry on your own. And he tells me there is a 50% chance that that is what will happen. 25% chance we will require a DNC and a 25% chance of survival. Well thank you LDS church for not letting us think of other options because I am now at 24 weeks and this is what I know:

1. There is more than likely a tear in my sac, which is causing leakage (really annoying....no blood, but still like having a period your entire pregnancy....sweat, ruin like one of the only upsides to being pregnant!!!)
- This is actually the biggest problem at this point. With a tear in the sac you are likely to develop an infection in the uterus and that will send you into preterm labor.

2. We DO NOT want a preterm labor. Technically this baby can survive the entire pregnancy with low fluid and so we are hoping it will hold on as long as possible and let the lungs develop what they can.

3. There are still no numbers or statistics for the chances of this baby. Normal pregnancy 24 weeks: 1 in 10 babies survive, 26 weeks: 7 in 10 babies survive, and 28 weeks it is almost 97%. That however is for a normal pregnancy. I need this to last as long as possible, but no one has said they think I will go full term.

4. This weekend I can now go in for a steroid treatment (couple shots) and this helps the baby's lungs get a jump start. This really only helps a lot if there is already something there for it to help. So we cross our fingers and pray.

5. We do not now, or will we ever know exactly how much lung tissue has grown. You can't see it on ultrasound and there are no definitive tests. All other growth is normal and that apparently is a good sign. There is working kidney function. These are things that could have been a worry but are not now.

6. We still do not know what it is. Baby has been super curled up at the last two ultrasounds. Plus low fluid makes everything inside a lot harder to see. We do know that if it is a girl, chances of growth and survival are a little better. **SHH, I want a girl anyway. I think boys are weird and don't really want two of them together to amplify it all** :)

7. I have now had four appointments with the specialist. As crazy as this whole thing has been, I actually have been more encouraged at each appointment. He doesn't really say things that get my hopes up (he is awesome and takes the time to really talk to us about anything) but I think spiritually I feel a little more hopeful. We learn more each time about what the options are and what the reality is and what could happen. I don't think he expected me to make it this far. And at my appointment three days ago he said, "You have been stable for so long that I don't really expect anything to happen right away. You could feasibly make it to 30 or 32 weeks" Then of course he altered that by say, "Or you could go into labor tonight.....we never really know". But that to me is encouraging.

8. Contrary to what everyone seems to think or expect, I am fine. I think I have been blessed this whole time to kind of be passive about the whole thing. This was not a planned pregnancy and I am not someone that really feels super attached to a pregnancy before it starts moving around in there. That has started happening in the last couple weeks which is good because it gives me a way to monitor things a little on my end. I haven't been overly sad or anything. I don't really have a lot of time to think about it. Only when my kids wake me up at night and I can't go back to sleep right away. I think part of me doesn't really know what to think. My other two pregnancies have been by the book better and easier than average, and now a curve ball. Nothing I did, nothing I can do. How exactly do you deal with it?

I have been a little worried. I have never been good with sick people. I don't know how this would affect a child long term, but no one wishes for a sick child. But I did have a moment of clarity one 2 am morning. I have always been someone that doesn't really get scared about trials. I have a lot of faith in the fact that Heavenly Father knows what we can handle and that is what we do. There isn't really another option. However, I had a calming thought come to me, that even if this baby only has the opportunity to receive a body in this life, that I have done my little part in helping. I will have done my job and Heavenly Father will be proud. I also coyly smiled as the thought also came to me, that I would still be able to have four kids all in all but might only have to raise three on this earth! HEHE. I have been struggling with the thoughts of having a big family. It is expected almost in our church right? But, I just don't know that I can be a good mother to a lot of kids. SHOCKING right? No one ever says things like that. But for me, it is true. So for now, I feel ok about praying for the right thing to happen, because I have faith that it will and that we will deal with it.

So that is really the only reason that I write this out for the world. I would probably keep it a secret seeing it's delicate nature. However, I think that we could probably use all the prayers we can get! Thanks for listening and caring.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cousins Valentines Party

We just do fun little cousins get together-s for the little holidays. Have lunch and decorate cookies and simple stuff. So fun. We did Audrey's hair in a cute little heart design! Love it.

Baby Kylee Graf photoshoot

My brother in law Paul and wife Karee has a beautiful baby girl Kylee. She is so cute and we grabbed a few cute little pics one afternoon at lunch!

Pics of the Month

A few pics of how much Audrey LOVES her brother. ALL THE TIME!!!

I peek into the den and Audrey is coloring with a permanent marker. True a little red flag goes off in my head, but in an ongoing effort to minimize the times I tell my daughter she can't do things, I let it slide. We have had almost no problems EVER with Audrey coloring on things. I walk in a few minutes later and she has colored her entire left hand and wrist in blue permanent marker. Like fill in coloring not just a couple marks. And then I hear her say, "Mommy Ethan has dots"! Now, he is facing her away from me, and i just know, even before he turns around that she has polka dotted my sons face. And sure enough....

Thankfully I didn't even get mad. Although I think I did say something like, "I can't believe you did this" about a hundred times. Luckily I caught it soon enough and it came right off. Because as we all know, this happened on Saturday. Wouldn't it be my luck to send a pot marked kid to church on Sunday!

Audrey pulls Ethan around all day like this. One day he will be big enough to object!

A little later that day I found this on the trampoline.

I actually missed the picture where she was sitting on her bike holding onto the handle of the wagon like she was ready to go somewhere and take him with her! hehe.

Loves him so much she squeezes into to seesaw with him whether he wants her to or not!

And then I usually see this look of desperation when it is time to step in and save him!

One more super adventure when she stuffed Ethan and everything she could find into a laundry basket and pushed him down the hall.

And poor Ethan at the end of his 11 minutes of good natured putting up with Audrey!

But then there are moments like these where she really does take awesome care of him.

And I know we will probably be ok in the sibling department


I love this little coat on him

Such a big helper

I love this little sweater on him. So cute

Playing catch is our favorite game around here.

Audrey loves to fill things, whether it is laundry baskets, purses, or big backpacks

Ethan likes to kind of hide and play peekabo. He usually backs up into a corner like he needs to keep his eye on you while retreating.

Ethan LOVES to read. And loves this little chair in Audrey's room

And finally a cute little pic of me and the kids all together all looking. How often does that happen!