Dean Family Blog

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Of Midgets and Blizzards
Our first winter storm is on the way...and it's a blizzard. Everyone else seems to be very excited because they'll be snowed in and can relax while my blood pressure is rising with the thoughts of getting stuck out here in labor. I'm all packed to go stay at a friends' house tonight and Philip will decide later if he and the kids will be coming too or not. I keep hearing stories of how weather changes can start labor...I have no idea if they're true or not but as long as I'm close to an epidural I sure wouldn't mind if it worked for us!

Grace had her 18 month appointment yesterday and it appears she is destined to remain a midget. If there's any truth to the 'double your height at 18mo' thing to find out how tall you'll be when you're grown, Grace will be 5ft 1inch. She's back down to 20 pounds and has a smallish head, but she's in proportion and on the charts. Barely. She's in the 1st percentile. Dr. Young said she looks fine and is just tiny.


As I'm getting ready to put away our 'thankful' tree I wanted to share a few of the contributions....

Grace (some we understood, most Josiah interpreted for her): Twizzlers, forks, kazoos, cars and cheese, antibiotics

Josiah: noodles, Thomas sheets, this bread, race cars, train books, red things, applesauce and stamps

Kasia (as interpreted for her by the rest of the family): for having eyes, flu shots, hiccups, for getting to be in Mama, amniotic fluid, for having a name

PS Please be praying for good weather until Kasia comes! Our first real snow storms are coming this week and that makes this Mama a little nervous.


As of today Kasia is considered full term! She isn't technically due until the 27th, but by medical standards she is 'done' and would no longer be a preemie. Once again God has gotten us safely through a crazy pregnancy. As our doctor put it, we are the poster children for patients with shortened cervix...we did the bed rest, didn't go crazy and made it to term. Following the pattern of the other two, I started having more and stronger contractions this past week (if she continues the pattern we could expect her to come anytime after next weekend). I went in to the hospital Monday night to be checked out, not because I thought I was in active labor, but because the contractions had changed and we figured after everything we'd been through it was better to be safe than sorry...and delivering at home. I was dilated to 1.5cm, so obviously my body is getting ready for the big day but it's anyone's guess as to when real labor will kick in.

We've been busying ourselves making sure we're as ready as we can be here. The bags are packed, the instruction for the kids are on the island, Nanny is waiting on our call, meals in the freezer and we're trying to get Grace used to napping in a different room. So far the nap thing isn't going well...wouldn't mind prayers from 1-3pm each day until she realizes she won't win this battle and agrees to stop screaming. I've also been working on quilts again. I started one for Grace when she was 37 weeks along, purely to give me something to focus on other than wondering when she would come. It hasn't been touched since then, until almost 37 weeks into this pregnancy. Hers is almost done now and Josiah helped me pick our fabric for a blanket for Kasia yesterday. We went for a much simpler pattern so hopefully hers will be done before she's a year old too. We also got the tree up and decorated it and the house this week and I need to wrap a few packages, but all the shopping is done! Josiah has been having fun taking a ring off his paper chain each morning to help him count down to Christmas and opening the advent calendar to see what activity we get to do each day. Today we're making presents for the birds (bird feeders).


Happy Thanksgiving!
We had a wonderful, relaxing time this past week. Philip's parents came over to celebrate with us since I'm not allowed to travel and it was really fun to get to have our Thanksgiving here. We have no decorations because we've never been home for a holiday, so we spent the last couple of weeks making a 'thankful tree,' napkin rings and a runner for the table (it turned out really cute...I'm kind of proud of this one). Philip and Dad split wood for the burner all afternoon while Mom and I worked in the kitchen and we had a great meal. Mom and Dad also brought over the van for us...they even had it detailed. It's so clean I don't want to let anyone in it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We're at 36 weeks now and I think we're about ready. Actually, we just finished getting ready tonight because my contractions have changed and I've been timing them to see if we need to go in. So, bags are packed, stuff is as ready as I can get it for Philip's mom to take care of the kids and a couple friends are on call to see what happens. They seem to be spreading out again so hopefully we can go to bed here soon, but if not I suppose we've found a way to keep Philip from having to go back to work tomorrow!

PS Looks like he'll be going to work, they've calmed down.

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  • We're at 35 weeks and seem to be doing well. Don't know how this baby could possibly get any lower, but it feels like she's dropped this week. Pregnancy insomnia is in full swing and I still tire very easily, but I can tell I'm getting some muscle tone back in my back.
  • The van died...or more accurately rusted in half. Apparently this is a known problem in these vans and we just ended up with a severe case of it
  • (thank you Iowa winters and gravel roads). Thankfully we have wonderful friends who are loaning us a car and wonderful parents who are giving us a van next week. The thought of just trying to tough it out with one car crossed our minds until we realized that our whole family won't fit in the car when Kasia comes.
  • Josiah has a bunk bed. In order to fit all 3 kids in the one room he needs to sleep in a loft so we can literally stack the children. We had no idea how to find time for Philip to build a loft and then out of the blue a friend wanted to get rid of a bunk set. It even has a bunch of drawers built in. Yeah for storage!
  • Philip has found a way to finish up his Masters program. We've been waiting for years for a project to come up at work that would be suitable and it looks like it's finally here! I don't know that anyone is ever excited at the thought of a thesis, but it is exciting to have an end in sight.
  • Grace finally weighs enough to face forward in her car seat. Most kiddos get to switch at a year, but she didn't get a good growth spurt until recently. She giggles when we put her in the car now.
  • Random Josiah quote of the week:
  • (during nap time when he's SUPPOSED to be sleeping) 'Mama, part of my nose fell off...have you seen it?' After thinking this was a pretty desperate, and weird, attempt to get attention I realized part of the scab on his nose had come off. :)


The Family That Screams Together...
...goes hoarse together?
Gracie and I were singing and dancing in the kids room this afternoon while Josiah ran circles around the living room and danced too. Everything was great until I hear him screaming at me over the music and see his look of panic. Dancing apparently gets the GI system working and he realized he wasn't going to make it the restroom. In the process of trying to make him stop screaming and pointing him towards the potty he pooped on the floor, started totally freaking out, which made me lose my balance and I stepped in it (EWWWW!). I started screaming because I was so grossed out and Grace joined in, probably out of fear.
Later, when I tried to explain to Philip why dinner was a little late all he had to say was, 'So, did you take a picture?' Somehow between having poo squished between my toes and dealing with 2 screaming kids I forgot. Another perfect Kodak moment, missed.
I think we've come up with a baby name...again. We're going with Kasia (Kass-E-ah) Maren. It's the first name that Josiah has liked, so maybe that's a good sign. We hit 34 weeks today and didn't have a doctor's appointment. It's been a good week.


I May Be Average, But He's Perfect
Josiah went to the dentist for the first time this week. Without making too big of a deal about it I'd been trying to prep him for what would happen, so we'd talked about it and played pretend and found some dentist books from the library. I was so focused on making sure he would be comfortable with it that I didn't realize how nervous I was until he and Philip left. I've learned this is one of those hold-your-breath parenting moments when you get to see if you've been doing what you're supposed to. Thankfully, his teeth looked 'perfect' (big sigh of relief). And then I started hearing all these stories from people our parents ages who confessed they were horrible about brushing their kids teeth and they all turned out fine too. I'm all for good hygiene, but I also wouldn't mind avoiding the daily wrestling matches with Grace. I'll admit, it's tempting.

We're starting to get back into our regular routine again and it feels great! I've been tackling parts of the house each day and Philip is a bit cheerier about not having to make meals. The kids love having me up, but are getting a few more spankings than usual because I can actually reinforce discipline again. I got to go to Walmart for the first time in 2 months and it felt SO BIG! I'm still learning my limitations and having to remember that I don't have the strength or stamina I did when this all started. I've gone from doing a couple hundred push ups each week and working out each morning to being in pain when I'm standing for more than an hour. Sure am glad I have time to work back up again before #3 comes!


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