Dean Family Blog

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A New Goal
It's official, the adventure has begun again. We got to see our regular doc today and I'm back on partial bed rest for the time being. I'm relieved he didn't want to do some of the hormone therapy the other doc was recommending and he was very apologetic about the bed rest, but felt like it was the best thing for right now. We'll be on weekly ultrasound/doctor visits from now on, which is actually much more daunting than the bed rest because that means every visit is a long one and therefore not appropriate for the kids. However, the baby is still doing fine and we know God will get us through this. Philip jokingly wondered early on if we could set a goal of meeting my insurance deductible before labor even started...ummm, sweetie, be careful what you wish for!

On The Bright Side
We had another ultrasound Friday and ended up having to stay for a doctor visit since my body seems to now be prone to dramatic pregnancies. Little 'whoever she is' (still no name) is doing just fine and we got some amazing 3D pictures of her face. My regular doc was out of the office so we get to go back in Tuesday to see if this is the start of bed rest or not. I just finished up the last of a set of steroid shots for the baby's lungs; just a precaution in case she does come early. They hurt like the dickens, but Philip got a good laugh out of it since I apparently make some really weird faces when it feels like my hip is about to explode. However, on the bright side, we aren't on bed rest for the weekend and I got to see my favorite nurse tonight for the know you've been on the maternity ward too much when you have a favorite nurse...who knows you by name and asks about your family and recent vacation.

The Midget Grows....A Liiiiitle Bit
Grace had her 15 month check up today and is still puny, but we're making a little ground. I knew she hadn't grown too much because we've had to pull warmer clothes out and realized she's still in 6-9 month stuff for the most part (on the plus side, she'll be cheap to clothe if she never grows). She's still below 20 pounds so that car seat will stay backwards for another 3 months, but she put on a couple inches (she's up to a whopping 30.25) which actually puts her somewhere closer to a normal height for her age. By our measurements her head shrunk to about half it's size, which concerned the doc until I explained that the nurse, Josiah and I were all trying to measure her head and she was determined NOT to let that tape get anywhere near her. As usual she detested everything about the visit, but we've instituted an 'I had a shot' cookie routine and that seemed to make up for it.

A Little Randomness
After the insanity of last week it's nice to post something just for fun. By the way, we're doing MUCH virus, no teething and potty training is going really well. Without further ado, here are a few 'Josiahisms' I've been saving...
  • Did you know I used to live in a different country? And I went to school. It was a preschool. Did you know that?

  • My tummy...doesn't want to go inside...wants a hug...doesn't want a nap...thinks Gracie stinks...wants something cold. Popsicles are cold. They would work.

  • Mama, I snorted (threw up) this morning.

  • Mama, you're a lovely lady.

  • Mama, you're a very smart woman.

  • ...and then the next day....

  • I want SOMETHING. I don't know what. You should know what I want. What something do I want? (think crazy whiny voice that makes you consider selling your children on eBay)

  • Look Mama, there's a clean spot on the car! That's the only one!

Grace is very vocal, but unintelligible for the most part. We have picked out Dada, Mama, nana (water) and Bubba...which we're pretty sure is what she's calling Josiah. Guess there's a little southerner in there somewhere.


This week has been an exercise in endurance. I suppose we'll make it through and the next time something more challenging comes along we'll know we can make it through that too. Potty training has been the easy part so far, even with the accidents and resistance. Josiah is getting used to it and does pretty well except for the fact that every time he 'tries' Grace decides to either tickle his feet, attempt to close the lid on him or poke him in the face. However, what we thought was just fair food upsetting him turned out to be a stomach bug that just won't seem to go away. The potty training accidents have been the most pleasant thing I've cleaned up all week. Not to be left out, Grace is teething and relatively ok when she's awake, but wakes up hourly when sleeping to scream and let us know how unfair the whole tooth thing is. But we're getting through with a lot of Tylenol, bleach and prayers.

We had a baby appointment today and she's still doing fine. I will continue to be watched carefully as we're going through some of the same complications as last time, but I stayed off bed rest for another week and I've learned to be grateful for that. Philip had to miss his first OB appointment today(he's made it to all of them for all 3 kids so far) since someone had to stay home, but he requested that we double check to make sure the baby is really a girl. We don't have a preference except that if it was a boy we'd have a name and be done with it...she's definitely a girl so we're still stumped.


Let's Just Call Them Adventures
Saturday was our 2nd Annul Family Trip to the State Fair. I suppose these trips are a bit like camping...when you're there you wonder what on earth you were thinking and why you thought this much work would be fun, but by the time you leave everyone has decided it was great and we'll definitely do it again. We saw tractors and animals, ate food that's usually totally off limits, posed with Clifford and, of course, watched trains. Josiah and Philip got to see part of a grizzly bear show, but it was so packed that Grace and I had a very different view of things from behind the bleachers. Of everything we did Josiah decided his favorite part was the helicopter that happened to fly over the grounds (his first bite of cotton candy was a close second) and Grace squealed with joy every time she saw a baby chick or a horse. We were all ready to let him ride a few of the smaller rides this year, but he looked at us like we were slightly crazy and informed us he just wanted to watch all of them. We left 2 very happy little boys with the tickets he refused to use as we headed home.

Our next adventure started Monday morning with the beginning of Potty Week. We've told Josiah for months that when he turned 3 we were throwing away the diapers...and I meant it! What we failed to realize was that 3 days after his birthday we were heading to Illinois for vacation and a few days later we'd go to the fair. We were afraid the grandparents might never forgive us if we dropped off a child in the middle of potty training and I wasn't about to deal with this mess in the middle of fair chaos. I was all psyched up to start this until we were woken up before dawn on Monday by both kids screaming. Grace is teething (I keep reminding myself we have just 4 more teeth to go) and Josiah's system didn't do well with fair food apparently. Before 10am we'd had vomit, diarrhea and an exploding diaper. This is not how the week was supposed to start. However, as soon as we could we headed to Walmart to stock up on all the goofy underwear he wanted to pick out and we made a big show of throwing all his diapers away (which I later dug out...Grace will eventually fit into them I suppose). Josiah is not as excited about all this as I am and seems to think I'll cave in because he's asked a few times when we're going to buy him some more diapers. NEVER! He resigned himself to trying the underwear and looked thoroughly astonished when it didn't hold in the urine he thought he could sneak by it dribbled all over the garage behind him. So far we've avoided a mess on the carpet or couch, although the amazing peeing stool has made an appearance (he couldn't figure out how the stool was peeing on the kitchen floor as he minded his own business and ate a smoothie). I'm dedicated to making this work because it just has to...but we may not be able to leave the house for a very long time. In the meantime we have every half hour potty breaks and we're just praying we get through Thursday's OB appointment ok with a teething 1 year old and potty training 3 year old in tow. Vacation is so over.


The Getaway
Vacation week is almost over and it's been a busy one! We started last Friday with a trip to the hospital...not an original part of the plan. I was having weird abdominal pains and as soon as you call the nurse and mention you're 21 weeks pregnant they send you to ER (who, by the way, won't touch a pregnant person until you've gone through a bunch of tests on the OB floor). Philip and I were praying the whole time that everything was ok...and that we could still leave the next morning. Everything turned out fine and our best guess is that I was having unusual 'normal' pregnancy pains.

We headed to Bourbonnais to drop off the kids and made it into Chicago after church Sunday. We decided to take the train in so we didn't have a car to mess with and almost didn't make it out of the station as we didn't have enough cash on us and the ticket machines were broken. It would have been a more rustic (and stinky) vacation than we'd planned, but we were ready to make the best of it anyway. We thoroughly enjoyed the city. Our hotel was a block off the Magnificent Mile so we walked almost everywhere (my pedometer was over 20,000 every day). We hit Navy Pier, the Field Museum, Millennial Park (the bean is cool), the Museum of Contemporary Art, the IMAX, China town (where we learned dried shark fins coast $1,000/lb), Giordano's, took a river tour, walked up the north side of the city and, of course, shopped. We slept in, held hands, had whole conversations and ate when (and what) we felt like it. I was immensely relieved not to be part of the hoard of parents headed to the American Girl store with their little girls, dolls in hand...they were cute, but I know what those dolls cost. We waited out a thunderstorm in Ghirardelli's, ruining our dinners with giant chocolate sundaes and then headed to Borders and continued to try to come up with a baby name. Still no luck, but after walking through some of the galleries and museums we decided if we wanted her to be a famous artist we'll have to go with something like Jean Claude or Olga...normal American names apparently just don't cut it.

It was an amazing escape from the norm and went by very quickly. As we walked to the train we found Matt Kearney doing a concert in a courtyard and were so tempted to call the grandparents and tell them we needed to stay another day, but we knew how hard they'd been working this week and we were both ready to see the kids. Turns out they were ready to see us too as Grace refused to sleep at all that day and Josiah had woken up early from nap. And just like that we were back to the world of constantly watching to see what Grace was into and always paying enough attention to answer whatever question Josiah comes up with. They both looked like they had grown in those few days and while there's certainly nothing restful about life with them, we were both grateful have their hugs and see their smiles.

We want to end with a BIG THANK YOU!!!! to the Bourbonnais clan for making this trip possible. The kids had a great time with all their cousins, aunt, uncle, grandparents and friends and Philip and I feel very blessed to have so much support.


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