Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two Months old already??

As I type, I have 1...2...3 babies sleeping all in their very own beds! VICTORY!!! If I can just swing this once in a while, then I stand a very good chance of being a sane mommy.

Monday we had Matthew's 2 month check up and vaccinations. The check up went very well. He weighs 10 lbs 4 oz now and is in the 10th percentile. So it seems as though he will be a little tike like his big brother and big sister. Dr Betts was very pleased with his growth. We talked a little bit about his "temper." It appears that he does have colic : ( Fortunately though, colic peaks at 2 months and usually goes away between 3 and 4 months. So we are almost there! He handled the 4 shots like a champ. He cried barely a minute, then slept the day away.

I made a new slide show with some of my favorite pictures from the last few days. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm not even gonna try.....

I'm not gonna even try to catch up. Here is a picture from Thanksgiving. We had a great time. Grandma and Papatch came from Missouri to stay the week with Mimi and Papa. It was so good to see them. We have so much to be thankful for in their lives in particular! Amy, Dan, Emily and Meg came in from Texas too. I don't think Ethan or Ella quit laughing or running around the whole time they were here. Boy were they let down when we didn't wake up to go play over at Mimi and Papa's this week! Just boring old Mom : )

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I will Survive : )

I have officially survived my first week all by the lonesome with the kids. Alright....it was only a 3 day week, but I did it!!!! I have to say that there were some hairy times, but all in all we did pretty darn good. In fact, we even ventured out of the house to go shopping yesterday. Apparently Costco is very entertaining to a couple of 2 year olds who have been couped up (and their mommy for that matter)!

Yesterday my arms started aching and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Was I have flu-shot sympathy pains for Eric?? Then I picked up Ethan and realized what it was. My how your arms forget what it is like to pick up 2 kids over and over all day. Oh and the little one really likes to walk and bounce. We do that in circles several times a day. It is pretty entertaining because Ella and Ethan will follow along behind me doing the same thing : ) It is the new Greer exercise routine. Too bad it doesn't work as well as sit ups. Still planning on getting to those someday......

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Low Choo!!

Oh my sweet Ella Girl. I just had to share a couple of stories about my adorable daughter.

The other night when Eric was bathing the kids he called me to come in there. Ella was holding her Ernie and Elmo tub toys up to her chest and acting like she was nursing them. Like I said - such the little mommy!

While I was driving down the road I heard Ella singing "I low Choo Buddy" (I love you Buddy). I looked in the rearview mirror and she was holding his hand and swinging it back and forth. They both were grinning from ear to ear.

How did I get so lucky???

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Long Over Due!

I am a bad blogger. I have blogged in my head many a times over the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately it has either been at 2 am while I am nursing Matty or another time when I don't have the time or energy to post. We have been busy with getting our 2 year & 1 month pictures made,Christmas shopping, playing, eating, some sleeping, and just getting plain big! So in an effort to get up to date quick, I am going to post like I used in my GE days......Bullet Points!!

Ella

* Officially a 2 year old. Sometimes I think she is a cross between a 2 year old and a teenager. She is completely bi-polar. One moment she is kissing and telling you she loves you, then next it is an endless string of "No's." She has started putting herself in the corner. Nothing seems to deter her at this point.....prayers are welcome and appreciated : )
  • * She is loving being a big sister. She constantly asks/demands to "Look at Baby Matthew!" Then she has to kiss his cheek, eyes, nose, eyebrow....you get the picture!

* The La Leche League would be proud of this someday mommy. She has taken to nursing her Elmo and Cookie Monster toys in the bathtub! I would love to get a picture and post, but I am afraid we would get in trouble ; )

* We had a close call with Ella last Friday. She ran 100mph right into a corner and busted her forehead open. Fortunately our neighbor Dr Carl came over and patched her up without any stitches. She is tough as nails. She cried at first because it hurt, but then just cried because she wanted Mommy to throw away the shoowey paper towel that I was pressing on her head to stop the bleeding.

Ethan


* Ethan is loving his new tricycle his Nana and Papa got him for his birthday. He is an expert at keeping his feet and hand right where they are supposed to be. He could ride up and down the block all day.

* My heart is breaking because my precious boy has already found his first girlfriend.....Tinkerbell. His eyes light up and he grins from ear to ear every time he sees her!

* Ethan has really enjoyed looking at all the toy catalogs that have come in the mail. He can now name a number of characters he never knew before by sight - Superman, Batman, Indiana Jones, Iron Man. Eric is so relieved he has been more interested in the superheros than Barbie!

Matthew


    * Today Matty is 6 weeks old. I have read this is the height of fussiness for babies. Let us hope! I am kidding. He is actually very good, but he does have stretches of extreme fussiness. We didn't really experience that with E2, so this is a new one for us.

    * Over the last week he has started to smile. You have to be quick to catch him. It is absolutely adorable. I can't wait until it becomes more of a habit! I have tried to catch it on camera, but the darn delay makes it impossible!

    * He has also started to try to babble a little. This happens even less often than the smile, but is worth the wait. He really works up to it, then a big burst of "ga-ga" comes out real quick. What will I do when I have 3 chatterboxes? Go deaf I suppose!

    * Matthew has had quite the tour of Nashville (or Bellevue at least!) Since he has me on the boobie leash, he goes out with me where ever I go. He is very easy going in the car and when I am running errands. We went to vote, get the flu shot, Target, grocery shopping, and we even took him Christmas shopping yesterday at Opry Mills. Now I see what it is like for most people after they have kids! We just holed ourselves up for winter after E2 were born. I didn't even want to think about how I would handle them both. And of course we were extra cautious due to their prematurity.

    Mama & Daddy

    * Eric is excited to go to the Vandy game this Saturday. I am excited for him too. He has earned a game! I am going to a movie on Sunday with my sister in law.....I can already taste the popcorn!!

    * I go in for my 6 week check up on Tuesday and then I am off!! Big Kid lifting and sit ups here I come!! Well....at least the first part!

    * This is also the last scheduled week I have for help from Nana or Mimi. Oh it has been so nice to have them! I am sure that I will still get lots of help when I need it, but it is time for me to give it a whirl on my own. I am pretty nervous about it, but I am sure we will survive. Someone once told me as long as they were all fed by the end of the day, I could count it as a success. We'll see......of course she has one child. And she never said anything about me eating!

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Trick or Treat!!

    We had a fantastic Halloween this year. Ethan and Ella dressed like clowns....quite a stretch for them! Their Nana had made the costumes for Houston, Madeline and Elizabeth when they were the same age, so they worked perfect for them. Matthew just wore a Halloween sleeper that just about swallowed him whole.

    Their cousins came over to go trick or treating with them too. The girls were rock stars and Houston was Iron Man. We just hit a few houses on our street, but it was a lot of fun. The kids weren't exactly sure what to think about all of it. They never said "Trick or Treat" even though we practiced it all week. But they did make me a very proud Mama when they said "Thank you" after they got their treats. Ethan also got a kick out of all the Jack O Laterns. As I have mentioned, he has an OBSESSION with candles. He made sure he pointed all the candles to all the neighbors.

    I look forward to next year when they will get into Trick or Treating even more. Maybe I will have enough time and energy to come up with an original costume from the whole brood. Just Maybe.....

    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    Big Kids!

    Just a quick update from the sleep deprived Greer Household : )



    Matty G is a sneaky little booger. The first few nights he slept pretty long stretches, ate, and went straight back to sleep in his bed. Eric and I thought "This singleton full-term baby thing is CAKE!!!" It still doesn't hold a candle to the complete mayhem that followed Ethan and Ella's birth, but he is getting there! The last week he has discovered that getting fussy gets a lot of attention. And it he does it enough in the middle of the night then he earns a spot on Mommy or Daddy's chest to sleep on! Fortunately he is also absolutely adorable so it makes it a lot easier to deal with.


    All the kids went to the doctor in the last week to get check ups. I wonder if we will ever have kids that are over the 20th percentile. Matthew is in the 5th percentile at 6 lb 10 oz. Ethan is in the 3rd at 22 lb 14 oz (oh yeah and his 2nd bday outfit is a 12 - 18 months!) And Ella is our over achiever in the 14th percentile at 23 lb 14 oz.


    The kids are still doing remarkably well with the transition with Matthew. Ella loves her "Baby Matthew" or "Baby Goodness" as she calls him. We have to watch her a little close because sometimes she is too affectionate : ) Ethan still is just vaguely interested in him. I am sure once he starts moving around and being more interesting, then Ethan will be more interested in him!




    We can't wait for Halloween tomorrow. We have been knocking on doors in the hallways and practicing all week! I will try to be more timely about updating with Trick or Treating pictures.

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Happy 2nd Birthday Ethan and Ella!!!

    Last Friday we celebrated Ethan and Ella's 2nd Birthday. I can't believe my babies are getting to be such big kids! We had such a great time. Eric got home early from work so we could all play together. We had cake, played on the new swing set, and opened a couple of presents. Ethan got a Tonka Garbage Truck (one of his many obsessions) and Ella got a Abby Cradabby.

    On Sunday we had a big family birthday party where Mimi & PaPa, Nana & Papa, and Uncle Jamie, Aunt Amy, & the crazy cousins came. We had such a good time celebrating with the family.

    I changed the slide show on the side to show some of our favorite birthday pictures. Enjoy!

    Off to try to relax for a minute at least..........

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    The Greer Three Ring Circus

    Well in the last 10 days, the Greers have become a Three Ring Circus literally! Luckily I am a fan of the circus and the chaos that reigns there. Here is a quick update on our circus troop......


    Ethan, the eldest ring, is warming up to the idea of being a big brother. When he first came to the hospital to see us, he was more interested in the buttons on my bed than his baby brother. We weren't sure if he even noticed Matthew until he said "Bye Matthew" as he rolled out the door. It took him a couple of days, but he has started to pay more attention to him. This picture is how he likes to greet Matthew. (We are limiting the WWF air time in our house from now on!)



    Ella is really taking to being Big Sister. She has really gotten into her dolls and playing like she is a little Mommy, so she is up for the task. She is also thoroughly enjoying all the baby stuff around. Of course she thinks it is all for her!


    Matthew is adjusting to life outside the safe womb and into the Greer Family Circus well. He is a very good baby. He eats, sleeps, and poops like a good boy. He really had us fools the first few days when he slept 4 and 5 hour stretches at night. We thought that this was CAKE!! He has since remembered that he is a newborn and is waking up a little more frequently. We aren't complaining though. It is still so much easier this go round! I am really excited because we have been able to master nursing. I wasn't able to nurse Ethan or Ella since they were so weak from being premature, so it was something I really wanted to be able to do with Matthew. It has been really special to be able to bond with him this way. Not to mention WAY easier than messing with formula and bottles. Cheaper too!!



    Eric enjoyed taking most of last week off to spend with us at the hospital and at home. He has had a big deadline at work, so I know it wasn't easy to do. Ethan and Ella have enjoyed having a little more daddy time. One disadvantage to my nursing is that he has to wait until after meal time to get to snuggle with Matthew. Although he hasn't really complained about the lack of snuggle time at 3 am : )




    As the ringmaster of the Greer Family Circus, I am doing about as good as I can be! My recovery from the C Section has been better than expected. The first few days were tough and I was thankful for my extended hospital stay. Now I am off all my pain medication and am getting around pretty well. I am excited to get back my driving and light exercise priviliges next week.


    Eric and I have been so thankful to our family for all of their help. They have been so generous with their time. Nana & Papa and Mimi & PaPa have taken turns giving Ethan and Ella some extra lovin. This has helped enormously with the huge transition in our family. They are going to keep helping regularly for the next month or so until I am completely recovered from the C Section. (I cannot lift them until 6 weeks post op) I figure/hope/pray that by then they will be comfortable with everything and it will make things a little easier. I do ask for your prayers though. I am a little anxious about making sure that I am making all my precious babies feel as special as they are.

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    Welcome Matthew (aka Peanut!)

    The day we have been waiting for all these months finally came yesterday. We finally got to meet our little Peanut!


    On Sunday morning I woke up with what I thought was an upset stomach. I attributed it to the 2nd helping of Eric's yummy chili he made the night before. I struggled to get ready for church but was determined to go since I knew it was our last week to go as a family for a while. It wasn't until I was sitting in Sunday School that it hit me that maybe I was having really strong contractions and not an upset tummy! We rushed to get the kids when we were let out and hurried home. Mom and Dad came over to watch the kids while Eric and I headed to the hospital. It didn't take them long to determine that I was having strong contractions about 4 minutes apart.

    By 3:12 I was in the OR and Matthew was born at 3:34. He was 6 pounds and 3 ounces of cutie patootie baby boy! He has lots of thick, curly brown hair. He loves to clasp his little hands together like he is praying. It is absolutely adorable : )

    We appreciate all of your support and prayers all these months as we have been preparing for his arrival. I will post more soon. Right now I am going to eat my first real dinner!!

    Thursday, October 2, 2008

    In one week.....

    In one week and roughly an hour we finally get to meet our baby boy! My C Section is scheduled for next Thursday at 7:30 am. We still simply cannot believe we are making it all the way to the end. I think the next week will be one of the longest in my life : )

    We are going to focus the next week on getting ready for Peanut and enjoying our last days as a family of 4. I have asked Mimi and Papa to babysit on Friday night so Eric and I can go to dinner by ourselves for the last time in probably a few months. And I think a trip to the zoo is in order this weekend with the kids!

    By the way......nearly 38 weeks now......running around after the kids......shhh even picking them up......walking about an hour each day.....eatin Mexican food.....and still not dilated a bit!

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    "Peanut" - The Self Fulfilling Nickname

    We started to call the baby "Peanut" pretty much immediately when we found out I was pregnant in February. Our original plan was to not find out the sex and I couldn't stand to think of us ever calling the baby "it." Well it seems that our little nickname is quite appropriate for our little guy!

    When I went to the OB on Wednesday, the doctor measured my belly as she does every visit. I was still measuring the same I had for the last 3 weeks so she wanted us to have an ultrasound to make sure everything was ok. Fortunately everything was fine. He is just a little tike! He is measuring about 5 lb 6 oz now. We were able to see that he has a lot of hair on his head too. It also confirmed again that the kid has abnormally large feet. Below is a picture of his chubby little toes : )
    When Dr. Blake checked me, she found I still wasn't dilated at all. We have really been surprised by this. After all the restrictions, we never dreamed that I would be doing so well. I have started to wonder if all the restrictions were even that necessary. But it really doesn't matter. Peanut is healthy and that is all that matters!

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Well I NEVER thought I would be here!

    September 19th, 2008. I am 36 weeks pregnant. Still at home. Going on week #2 of running around after 2 nearly 2 year olds pretty much on my own for the first time in 10 weeks. And not dilated ONE BIT!!

    We joked that this would happen. After all the precautions we took, we would then make it all the way to a scheduled C-Section at 39 Long Weeks. Now without doubt, this is by far the best situation for Peanut. We are actually going to see what a nice, plump Non-NICU-livin baby is like! But I am not gonna lie. I am over being pregnant. I have felt every minute, hour, day of the last 36 weeks for sure! A little dilation.....just a fingertip....would be so satisfying : )

    I took some things for granted with my last pregnancy. Who would think that there were positives to just being on bed rest for 12 weeks in the hospital?? Here are a few I can think of:

    Rest: One of the comments I hated the most when I was in the hospital was "Enjoy your rest while you can! You won't get to when you have your twins!" I only heard that 10 times a day. Anyone who has been on bed rest in the hospital knows that is is anything but restful. You have people coming in and out of your room at all hours of the day and night. You have absolutely no privacy, so good luck getting any rest! That being said. I wouldn't mind a day in bed even if it meant having a person come in every hour to stick me, take my blood pressure, or stick a thermometer in my mouth!

    Lack of Mirrors: The only mirror that I had in my hospital bathroom was a little one above the sink. Since I am so short I could only see from the neck up. In fact, the first time I saw my full body was in a dressing room a week after I had Ethan and Ella. The mirror in our bathroom seems like a funhouse mirror!

    Lack of Movement: Since I was on bed rest, I didn't have to move around much. I pretty much laid down and got up occasionally to go to the bathroom and that was the extent of my activity. I never knew how hard it would be to drop something and have to bend over with a bowling ball sized belly to pick it up again. Or how it would be to try to sqeeze between the dining room chair and china cabinet and not be able fit. Hell I was in a handicapped room with nice wide doors. I could have gained 200 pounds and still fit everywhere!

    Temperature Control: I never knew how true it was about it being absolutely awful to be pregnant in the heat of the summer. Granted I was last time too, but it was in the "comfort" of the hospital. I cranked the air down as low as it would go. Once I was put on mag, Eric brought his dorm fan to my room. I had that baby on high aimed right at my head until the babies were born. My poor visitors had to dress in layers to keep warm! Now I actually have to pay for my air conditioning bill, so sadly I can't set the thermostat on 60 degrees. And although I am happy I get more than a 15 minute wheelchair ride outside each week, it wasn't fun when it was 90 + degrees outside!

    So here we go on another week. I have told Eric is is not allowed to tell me I can't do anything if I have made it this far without dilating. I am still another week away from starting to sprint around the block.....

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    One Last Honey-Do*

    This weekend Eric started to tackle my last big thing on his pre-Peanut Honey-Do List. Not really anything that big...... just to build the kids' birthday surprise.....a swing set! We thought that would be the perfect gift for them since they love to swing and slide. And with a newborn, going to the park may be something pretty tough for us to do. Going to the backyard, on the other hand, it right up our alley!



    Yesterday Mimi and PaPa came over to have a work day and watch the VOLS play on TV. The kids really had fun trying to help Daddy and PaPa with the swing set. They got a lot done yesterday in spite of the heat and football breaks. Unfortunately it won't be done this week since Ike decided to come visit us today. Looks like we'll have another weekend of swing set building in our future!


    *I reserve the right to reneg on this at any time I see fit.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    Super Nester!

    After 67 weeks of pregnancy between Ethan, Ella, and Peanut one fact has become apparent. I stink at being pregnant. My doctor even says so! It may actually be written in my 5" thick file in her office. I mean come on....I spend half of the time on some type of bed rest. I have killed a small forest of trees with all my EOB's I get from the insurance company. It literally has taken the whole family to help with child care, house work, and to keep me in good supply of comfort food.


    Well I have officially found one part of pregnancy that is meant for me. There is one phase of being pregnant that I absolutely ROCK at. It is made for an often described "anal-retentive" person. Yes - I am SUPER Nester!!!!


    Saturday night I woke up at 4 am and couldn't go back to sleep. Suddenly it hit me. I don't have to stay in bed anymore!!!! So I got up and off to work I went. I worked on an art project for Peanut's room, surfed the net for Ethan and Ella's birthday presents, went through all of Ethan and Ella's fall clothes to see what they still need. When I went back to bed at 7, Eric asked what I did. I didn't get much of a reaction when I told him. When he got up and saw all the paint supplies, etc, he knew I wasn't joking and immediately came to tell me I was crazy. I told him that this was a clinical condition and he couldn't give me any grief! In the last few days I have finished Ella's baby book, planned Ethan and Ella's birthday party, shopped for their presents, reorganized cabinets & closets, and got stuff ready for our church consignment sale.




    Ella decided to help Mommy when I was cleaning out her closet. At one point she had on her swimsuit, her new tennis shoes, and her favorite Monkey robe from her cousin Melissa! She was so proud of her style! Ethan didn't want to put anything on. In fact, he went through a "britches strike" most of yesterday. Good thing he has such a cute bootie : ) Of course when I pulled out the camera, he had to come over and saw "Cheese!"


    I am so excited to be able to do all these little things that will help make our house ready for when Peanut comes home. Sure we would have been fine if the house was a wreck, but I am thankful that we don't have to. Now maybe I will feel like I can relax a little when we are all finally at home together......right ; )


    Speaking of all of us being together. We had a good check up yesterday. I am 50% effaced, but I haven't dilated yet. Unfortunately we had a little scare with his heart again that landed me in the hospital for a couple of hours. Everything is ok. They were concerned because his heartrate was dropping and speeding up. They wanted to make sure he was getting enough oxygen and that there wasn't any cord compression. After monitoring me, they decided he was fine and sent me on my way. I have another appoitnment next Wednesday and feel confident that we can make it until then. I am officially done worrying about when Peanut is born. Of course every day we can keep him in my belly is better, but we are in a good place now. Now we are just ready to meet the little guy!

    Friday, September 5, 2008

    34 weeks YEE HAW!!!

    Today is the day I have been waiting for for a long, long TEN weeks!!!! I am 34 weeks today and off ALL RESTRICTIONS!!!!! Woo hoo!!! If it weren't raining here, I would go running around the block (Just kidding Mom don't worry. I don't have the energy for that....yet ; )

    It has been a very long Summer. Every week going to the doctor and wondering if this was the week that I would go to the hospital. Thankfully God spared us from that!

    Nana and Papa have taken Ethan and Ella for a couple of days to spend in Paris. I miss them desperately, but am taking advantage of the free time. I am almost done with Ella's baby book. Hopefully I can get it done before Peanut comes then I will be caught up.... on baby books at least!

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Daddy School

    We just enjoyed a wonderful 4 day weekend with Daddy. Eric took Friday off too so he could help me a little with the kids. The kids are always excited to have more Daddy Time.

    Daddy decided to make the most of his time with the kids and spread some of his infinite wisdom. Eric has a wealth of....how shall I say.....interesting knowledge. He can spout off football players, positions, stats, scores from 30 years ago. He can tell you the every single minute detail about every Tennessee VOL game he has attended or watched. We focused a good deal of our opening weekend teaching the kids some key phrases. They mastered "Go Vols," "Touchdown," and "Go Big Orange." Yellow has officially been replaced as Ethan's favorite color by big Orange. Unfortunately, all our cheers couldn't bring us a victory, but we are sure we will be ready to do it again next game.

    Another thing Eric worked with Ella on one night was the bones in the body. This knowledge most likely stems from Eric having broken, sprained or bruised most of his. They had a very good time when he quizzed her about where her metacarpals, femur, and and phalanges were. She laughed and thought it was one of his most fun games yet. Maybe she will do something useful with this knowledge and become a doctor instead of an accountant......

    ps...I added more pics from last month to the slideshow below : )

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    John 1:16

    Yesterday morning as I was going through my normal doctor morning routine, I read my daily Bible verse.

    "From the fullness of His grace we have all received one BLESSING after another."

    Wow. How fitting is that for the Greer family? A family that started out struggling and wondering if we could ever have kids. Then we were blessed with 2 wonderful children 2 years ago. Out of the blue this year, we found that God was going to bless us once again with another child. Sure we had A LOT of struggles and trials during that time, but I have found that they too have been blessings to us. I decided then that there wasn't a more fitting verse for us to put on Peanut's Birth Announcement.

    I decided to be safe and once again pack a bag for the hospital. Eric likes to make fun of me and says I mentally put myself in the hospital before each doctor's appointment. I am not a negative person, I just appreciate that there is always the chance so better for me to be prepared! I have to make sure for my peace of mind that I have arrangements for Ethan and Ella mapped out. And for my comfort, I make sure I have my pillow and toothbrush!

    Well blessing number 595 for the Greer family came at my ultrasound. My cervix was actually in better shape than it was a month ago! I was shocked. I mean I am further along, I have been a little more active, I have started to feel some contractions, so I was completely compared for the worst. So I am now 10 days away from being NORMAL! At 34 weeks, I am off all restrictions. No more modified bed rest. I go back to the doctor on Sept 8th. By then I will be 34 weeks and they will check me for dialation. If I am, then they will do the C Section immediately. So I guess I will continue to pack my bags before my visits, but I will get to pack one for Peanut too!
    As I write about our many blessings, 2 very dear people are heavy on my heart. They are going through great struggles now too and may be having a hard time seeing blessings now. My Uncle Lynn is in the ICU in Amarillo, Texas fighting to get his diabetes and liver disease under control. My best friend, Jodi, suffered from a devestating miscarriage yesterday morning and is trying to deal with her grief. I ask that you please keep them both and all of their families in your prayers. I pray that God helps us all perservere through our trials so we can see all our blessings He has given us.

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    Best Buddies

    It is almost as if Ethan and Ella know there is about to be an invasion of the Greer household. Over the last couple of weeks, they have started to stick together more and more. Before that they used to play mostly side by side and not playing as much together.
    Now they are thick as theives. If Ella is reading a book, Ethan wants to read the book. Ethan is building a barn, Ella wants to go check it out. When Ella is sitting in her "big girl" chair, then Ethan has to go sit right on her lap. If Ella is on my lap, then Ethan will try to chimmy his way on there too. It is getting pretty crowded nowadays! And the chasing.....oh they can run circles around the kitchen forever! It really is quite cute. There are only some times where it gives me cause for concern. #1 - I have had to break up more fights. #2 - They out number me together. #3 - How are they going to turn on me when the baby comes home? : )





    My only saving grace is that they are not the slickest of kids when they are naughty. In fact, they are not slick at all. They are really good at telling on themselves. As they are doing something wrong, they shakes tjheir head and say "No! No! No!" until I come and do the same. Ethan always has a huge smile with that adorable dimple on his face as he does it! Sometimes Ethan will just be really quite. Then I know that he is into something he isn't supposed to be. That generally means he has found a phone or remote and is off in a corner playing with it. When I come up behind him I can usually hear him whispering "No No No."

    Eric, Peanut and I are doing really well. Last weekend Nana and Papa took the kids for the weekend. It was a special treat for them to be spoiled by grandparents all weekend. It was a special treat for Eric and I to have a weekend to ourselves too! We did a lot of relaxing and Eric put a heck of a dent in his "Honey Do List." Peanut's room is finished. We did the rest of the shopping for him so we are set. That was a real treat for me. Since I was hospitalized so early with Ethan and Ella, I didn't get the opportunity to be a part of a lot of the preparation. I thoroughly enjoyed it this time!

    I have my next doctor appointment and ultrasound tomorrow. I will be 32 weeks and 3 days. I am not entirely sure what to expect. I haven't had an ultrasound in 4 weeks which is some sort of a record for me. This is the first time I have no clue what the old cervix is up to - or down to for that matter! I am further along so I don't pretend to think that it is not low. So I guess the question will be how low will be too low for the doctors. Worst case scenario would be that they throw me in the hospital. But my doc has already told me she wouldn't keep me past 34 weeks, so I can handle that. Heck - I can stand on my head for 10 days after what we have been through! Best case scenario would be that all is the same and we carry on as normal. Hopefully if we are anywhere in between there, they will let me make some more changes at home (is - complete bedrest here until 34 weeks) At any rate, here is my weekly request for prayers please : ) We are so thankful that God has blessed us so greatly so far.

    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    A House Full of Crazies

    As you can guess since I am posting this now, I am still chugging along at home.....albeit at a snails pace! We had a good report this week. I took the fFE test for the last time (the one that tests for Pre Term Labor). After an agonizing 24 hour wait, we found out I passed. Hooray! That was the last big obstacle for us to overcome to keep me out of the hospital and off complete bed rest for an extended period. My doctor told me that after I hit 34 weeks, they will not hospitalize me, drug me or put me on complete bed rest (only 2 weeks and 6 days to go). I still have an appointment next Monday so there is the possibility they decide to put me in then. That would only be for about a week and a half. I can stand on my head for a week and half if it means keeping Peanut healthy and in my belly a little while longer. We are just so so so so grateful that I haven't had to be separated from Ethan and Ella.

    Speaking of them. They provide me with constant entertainment. I hardly realize that I rarely get to leave the house. They are absolutely CRAZY and I love it! Ella is an absolute chatterbox. I like to call her my little cheerleader. She is very upbeat and always is cheering everyone on. Yea Buddy. Yea Mommy. Yea Daddy. Yea Majors. All followed by thunderous applause. She also has endless energy. She can run and run in circles for hours. I think I may just follow her around after I have Peanut to help me loose the baby weight! She loves to be chased. Ethan is finally catching on to what he is supposed to do when she starts running, giggling, and looking back at him.

    Ethan is on cloud 9 here lately. We got him some new tennis shoes that have lights on them. He thinks he is one cool dude. He loves to just stamp his feet all over the house and watch the lights. The kids is OBSESSED with lights. He looks for them and points them out in every room he goes into. He has a number of little obsessions......candles, the sun, the moon, the mailman, the garbage truck, the color yellow, Elmo, and of course glasses. He talks almost as much as Ella. 95% of his conversations revolve around those little obsessions. Much to Daddy's chagrin, the kids have decided to trade sunglasses.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    Counting our blessings and weeks

    If you had told me 6 weeks ago that I would be nearly 30 weeks pregnant and still be at home I would have been shocked. But here we are! I will be 30 weeks on Friday and am only on modified bed rest at home. YIPPEE!!!

    Yesterday I went through my normal Tuesday morning routine before my doctor's appointment. I spent a little extra time getting ready just in case. I put on waterproof mascara just in case. I packed my overnight bag for the hospital just in case. Apparently my preparedness is a good omen for me because I was sent home again!

    God has blessed us so greatly over the last few weeks. We went from concerns over me having an extended hospital stay and being away from the kids and of having another Preemie to wondering how close we may make it to full term! I am convinced it is due to the enormous amounts of prayers we have had. The changes that we made at home have definitely helped us too. We are eternally grateful to Mimi and Nana for the days they have come over to help so I can lay down and rest. Boy are the kids going to be disappointed when it is just boring old Mama here. Maybe the addition of a new baby brother will help soften the blow : )

    Edited to Add: Sorry about the lack of pictures this post. We have been rather snotty this week, so we didn't take any pictures. Enjoy the new slideshow below though! I will update it each month with all my favorites from the previous month.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    Our son....the sailor.....

    Hours after my last post, the terrible twos hit the Greer household : ) Papa and I experienced our first full blown temper tantrum from my dear, sweet little boy. I am not sure what set him off, but he was MAD. I am talking crying, screaming and kicking his legs all while he stood on his head. It would have been pretty entertaining if I were not Mommy and didn't have to worry about what happens if this becomes a habit! Thank goodness that has been the only one. I am crossing my fingers that it was just a one off. Pretty Pretty Please!!!

    Ethan also picked up another habit that I am hoping doesn't stick around. On Wednesday night at dinner, he dropped the F Bomb. Yes....that one. When it came out of his mouth, Eric, Nana, and I just stared at him dumbfounded. "Did he just say what I think he said??" I assure you he has never heard that in this house or any house he has gone to. I was hoping it was another one off, but he quickly said it 3 or 4 times the next morning when we got him out of bed. Finally at lunch we figured out what he was trying to say - Frog or Fork. Apparently he is still honing his fine Tennessee accent! We have been working really hard on his pronunciation of frog and fork. When we dropped him off at the church nursery, I did a quick scan for any frogs or forks just in case ; ) We weren't kicked out of church, so I am guessing he kept his little sailor mouth in check. Whew!

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Summer Fun

    I realize with all our drama, it has been a while since I have given just an update on Ethan and Ella. They are doing so great. They love Summer and all the activities that go along with it. They love to go "side" and play. Ella could run around all day in the backyard....literally. She never slows down! Ethan, on the other hand, will run around for a bit, then likes to go sit in his rocking chair and chill. After dinner last week, Eric and I took them to go swing for a little bit. That has to be their absolute favorite activity. I wish I could still take them on walks and do it every day. Next year we will look into putting a swingset in the backyard.


    This has to be my favorite age yet. Yes they are getting close to the dreaded "terrible twos," but along with the stubborness has come such amazing little personalities. Ella is so full of love. She give nice hugs and sweet little kisses that can put a smile on anyone's face. She still loves to read. She has also gotten into playing with her baby doll. She is already quite the little Mommy. I think she will want to help a lot when Peanut comes along. Of course that will be after she gets over the initial shock and anger of yet another child that will take the spotlight from her a bit!

    Ethan is such a sweet little boy. He is a little more stingy with his smooches, but he loves to snuggle. My favorite part of the day is when he wakes up and like to cuddle in the rocking chair for a little bit while he wakes up. He is like a little monkey wrapped around me. Ethan has really gotten into playing with blocks now. He really likes anything that you have to put together. And the more meticulous the better for him! Maybe we have a future engineer on our hands.


    They both are extremely verbal. I have quit keeping track of their words because they have so many. Ella is a little parrot. She will say just about anything you ask her too. Her favorite phrases now are "Oh no! My gosh!" and "I get it" (which really means you get it for me!) Ethan has really caught up to Ella. That is really saying a lot! He doesn't speak in sentences or phrases as much as Ella, but he has close to as many words. His favorites are Elmo, Oscar, Car, Choo Choo, and of course Block.
    They have been so easy going about everything going on the past few weeks. I guess all they know is that they get to see their Nana & Papa and Mimi and Pa Pa more often. More love and attention for them, so all the better! We are so fortunate that our moms have been able and willing to come and help so much. We are just so thankful for each day that we have been able to all stay at home together : )

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Up and down and Up again!

    The last week has been a long one. Since my cervix shortened again last week, I was all but convinced that the same would happen again this week. There were a couple of sleeplessness nights as I sat up and thought about being away from Ethan and Ella. One night I even got up and wrote out the various lists I had running through my head.....their daily schedule, what they eat, groceries we have on hand, and of course my hospital packing list. It made me feel better to at least be prepared for the worst.

    Yesterday mom (aka Mimi) came over to go to the doctor and Ultrasound with me. She was really excited because she had never been to an Ultrasound before. After going back and forth, I finally decided to pack an overnight bag for the hospital. Well apparently the combination of Mimi and an overnight bag brought us good luck. Peanut looked great and my cervix actually lengthened 5 mm! I am almost back in the normal range! We are thrilled. We are going to just keep doing what we have been doing and hopefully we can just keep buying time. For the first time, I think there may be a chance we can avoid the hospital or at least maybe it won't be a long stay. Thanks to everyone for your prayers. They are definitely what have gotten us through this so far. Keep em coming please. I am almost 27 weeks, so we need another 10 weeks or so : )

    Wednesday, July 9, 2008

    Another week bites the dust!

    Operation STAY AT HOME Mom was a success for another week. Yesterday I had my Ultrasound, cervix check, and OB visit for Baby Peanut. The good news is that Peanut looked GREAT! According to the U/S tech, he had a "beautiful" heart. She did see some speeding up and slowing down, but no irregular beats and nothing structurally wrong. He was such a good little boy during the scan. He posed just the way she needed to in order to get all the angles to do her analysis. We also learned something new about our precious baby. Apparently he has freakishly large feet : ) Considering I am a 5 and a half and Eric is an 11, that is pretty funny. Where did the clown feet come from? The U/S tech continually made reference to how big they are and kept going back to them. They are already measuring 5 cm long. Looking at my ruler now it doesn't look that big, but I guess he also is supposed to be baking for another 3 months!


    Which brings me to the not so good part of the visit. Unfortunately, despite the changes we have made around home, my cervix is still continuing to shorten. I am not at the point where they will order bed rest or put me in the hospital yet. It is pretty unnerving because it could happen at any time. We are very thankful though that I have had the last couple of weeks to get mentally prepared and get things in order around the house for when it happens. I will continue to go to the doctor and High Risk place for ultrasounds each week to be checked. They will also give me a test called fFE test that tests for me going into Preterm Labor. If I ever test positive for that, then that earns me a "Get into Centennial" pass immediately. This time they will administer steroids immediately to help Baby Peanut's lungs mature. We are a bit disheartened at the idea of having another premature baby. We are so thankful our experience with Ethan and Ella ended so well but also appreciate that isn't always a guarantee. We were so looking forward to seeing what a "normal" delivery would be like. Getting to see your baby before they are 24 hours old....getting to hold your baby before they are a few days old....getting to hold your baby more than a few minutes a day...getting to take your baby home with you when you leave the hospital. Oh I am tired just thinking about it. We will pray for the best and hopefully Peanut will wait as long as possible before he makes his entrance into this world. Every day in my belly is 3 days less in the NICU!

    Saturday, July 5, 2008

    Happy 4th of July!!

    We had a great 4th of July. It was pretty low key. We just grilled some hamburgers and hot dogs with Mimi and Papa. We hadn't seen them in a couple of weeks because they were traveling in Texas. Ethan and Ella were anxious to catch up on their Muchos Smooches from them!


    It was a late night. We let them eat cupcakes at the time they generally are turning in for the night. Then we headed out back to watch the free fireworks from the neighbors. Ethan wasn't at all interested in anything but laying his head on Mimi's shoulder. Ella, on the other hand, said "WOW!! WOW!!" to just about every one she saw. I was afraid she might think this is what goes on every night after they go to bed and revolt tonight : )

    Wednesday, July 2, 2008

    Operation: STAY AT HOME Mom!!

    So in the last week since our scare at the ultrasound, we have implemented Operation STAY AT HOME mom. We have made some pretty big changes in the Greer Household to try to keep me at home and off bed rest for as long as possible.

    As much as I thought I had cut out, we found there was a lot more we could do. I have quit carrying the kids around as much as I used to and I rarely pick them both up at the same time. But as any mommy of toddlers know, you still do it a lot. Well no more. I have just about cut it out completely. It has been tough. Especially since Ella is a little monkey and will literally climb up my legs. I can tell that change has made a big difference because my back pain has all but disappeared. I have also quit bending over and picking up things so much. One of the nurses told me that was one of the worst things I can do. I do that constantly throughout the day! I have tried to cut that out too. That has been even more tough. Eric got me this funny contraption for me to pick up things without bending over that old people use. I call it the "Claw." As much as I made fun of it, it really has been very handy. I was able to pick up 3 big mixing bowls at once with it! I used to also take the babies on a couple mile walk a few times a week. I really miss this. They really enjoyed it and it was great exercise for me. I guess we will just pick that back up in October! The other main change we made was me laying down when the babies take their naps. That is usually when I fly around trying to get other things done. Now I lay them down and go and lay down in bed too. I have to admit, this has been pretty nice.

    We are so fortunate we have such a wonderful family. Nana (Eric's mom) pretty much spent most of the last 2 weeks here helping as Eric and Ethan healed and I tried to take it easy. Next week, Mimi and Papa will be back in town, so I am sure they will be able to help too. We are all going to be so spoiled before Peanut comes!

    All of the adjustments have been worth it. My ultrasound yesterday was a good one. Peanut's heart looks good. And my cervix hasn't gotten any shorter which we count as a good report. Hopefully, if we keep it up, then we can push off bed rest for a long time or (knock on wood) permanently. Thank you all for your offers for help and mostly for your prayers!

    Sunday, June 29, 2008

    Popscicle Therapy


    In honor of our first day with no hospital visits from any Greer's, we had our crazy cousins over to play after naptime. We thought after they ran around and got good and hot, we could have some Popscicle therapy. I mean seriously....it isn't natural for a kid to not like popscicles! Well popsicles were enjoyed by everyone but Ethan and Ella.




    Yesterday it was rainy, so we went to our old stand by playtime. Cabinets! I think my mom has a picture of me playing in our kitchen cabinets when I was there age. I don't know why we even bother buying toys. A cabinet, mixing bowl, and a wooden spoon are all they need!

    Friday, June 27, 2008

    TGIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank GOD it is Friday! I have never meant those words so much. We have just been through the week from you-know-where. Never fear though. In true Greer fashion, it has a happy ending : )

    Sunday
    I am working in the church nursery for the 8:30 service, so I leave the kids for Eric to get ready for church. He calls me barely 10 minutes after I have left barely able to speak telling me I have to get home ASAP. He is in pain and can't take care of the kids. When I get home, I find him doubled over in pain and the kids going crazy. I was so worried about Eric because he has such a high pain tolerance and he was obviously in a huge amount of pain. I mean this is a man who has broken several bones, set a few himself and will wait a day or 2 to go to the hospital if it interfered with a UT game. Mom and Dad rushed over and we took him to the ER. After 3 different pain killers, a CT scan, a wacky Australian nurse, and 2 hours later we found out it was a kidney stone. Thank goodness there was only one and it wasn't too terribly big. It is amazing how a 3 mm kidney stone can inflict so much pain on a grown man. We took our doped up patient home to pass it there. Mom and Dad were so kind to take the kids to their house for the next couple of days while I cared for Eric. I was really worried that I would have to take him back to the ER to get another pain shot since he was so resistant to the meds. Thankfully, he rested comfortably the rest of the day.

    Monday
    Most of the day was pretty low key. I am sure Eric was annoyed with me asking him "What is your pain number??" "Do you need more water?" "Anything come out that time?" Finally late afternoon, I decided to leave him alone a couple of hours and take advantage of the kid-free time. Little did I know when I was cleaning the upstairs, his pain meds wore off. When I came downstairs, he was curled up in a ball : ( He went for a few hours in a lot of pain. It was awful. We went back and forth about going back to the ER. Finally after his 2nd dose of his pain meds, he got some relief.

    Tuesday
    What is your pain #???? Eric is feeling better!! We think he may have passed it in the middle of the night, but we aren't sure. Eric decides to go ahead and still stay home just in case. The pain hits him so suddenly and so strong that I don't want him to risk driving to work. Besides, I have my weekly ultrasound today and he can see Peanut! Little did we know how much God was watching out for us when he allowed Eric to come with me to that appointment.

    Peanut's heart looked great. It was back in rhythm and had a nice, strong beat. The tech told us that in can go in and out of rhythm, but that it was a good sign that it was in rhythm today. Next they did my cervix check to see how I was doing there. And here is where Tuesday's drama begins. It shortened nearly 10 mm in less than a week.....2mm away from where I was admitted to the hospital with Ethan and Ella's pregnancy. We were devastated. I knew this was a possibility, but not this early! Immediately my mind started racing......will I have to go on bed rest? When will I have to go to the hospital? How will we get childcare for the rest of my pregnancy?? OMG....I won't get to see my kids. Another preemie? Please no!!!! That poor tech. She just kept apologizing and giving tissues. I was so glad Eric was there with me. He reassured me that we would work everything out. Thank God Nana is here for the next couple of days to give us a hand with the kids!

    Wednesday
    Dr Blake called me first thing to discuss my ultrasound and our next steps. She wanted me to go to the hospital to monitor for contractions. I told her I couldn't today, but I would first thing Thursday. Today I had very important business to attend to - Ethan's surgery!

    Since Ethan was having surgery around 3 pm, he couldn't eat anything after 8. I got him up and made him a big breakfast with waffles and bacon. It was good he ate a good breakfast because he wanted nothing to do with this so called clear diet. The kid has texture issues, so he had no interest in Popsicles and jello!

    We were so proud of Ethan. He was such a brave boy. He sat in his bed before the surgery and just played with the toys they brought him. He flirted and made faces with the nurses. And when it was time to go back to the OR, he let a nurse walk him back with no tears. The surgery was a success. Dr Thomas said that it was a good thing we brought him in because his hernia on the right side was HUGE and there was also on on the left side that he repaired. He also mentioned a couple of times what a funny little guy we have. Who knows what in the world that weirdo was doing!

    When we went back to recovery he looked so pitiful. Wrapped up in a warm blanket in nothing but a diaper, an IV and monitors hooked up to him. Ethan took his time waking up and when he did he was not happy. He wasn't in pain because they gave him an epidural like pain blocker. He was just POed. He didn't know where he was and everyone was trying to get him to wake up and drink some juice. Finally the nurse let us go home. He perked up as soon as he saw his sissy and drank his whole cup of juice.

    I have to thank my good friend, Christy. She works at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and she made sure we had the best of the best attending to us every step of the way. She came and sat with us part of the time while we were waiting. It was a good distraction!

    Thursday
    Ethan slept relatively well. Part of the night was spent with Daddy on the couch. When he woke up, he was good as new. They told us he would be back to normal the next day and they were not lying! He was playing and acting goofy all day.

    I went to the hospital early so I could hopefully get in and out. I wasn't expecting any big improvements because I hadn't had much time to be off my feet. But God did give me a sense of peace and I knew at least that I was coming home that day.

    I was immediately put in a room (ironically across the hall from my 1st room last time) They monitored me for contractions - NONE!! Measured my cervix - No change which is better than getting shorter. And gave me a fFE test. This is a test that looks for a protein that can predict if you are going to go into labor within 2 weeks. That came back NEGATIVE! So I was so relieved. I talked to my doctor and my orders are to slow way down. No more long walks with the kids, no more picking them up when I don't absolutely have to, no more running around and I actually have orders to lay down when they take a nap and not clean the house! Not too bad, huh? We are so thankful!

    I think this was just a wake up call telling me I need to chill. I really have thought I have been taking it easy, but there is still a lot more I can cut out and obviously have to. We are so lucky we have such a great family that is close that I know will help us as much as they can. This weekend we are going to come up with a game plan on how we can make this work for a long as possible. We know that bed rest is probably in my future. And that a hospital stay is probably there too. But if we can put that off as long as possible, then hopefully it will be a short stay and Peanut will be a full term baby!

    Friday
    Today is our drama free day. It may be a little early to declare this since it isn't even 7 am and the kids are still sleeping, but I am determined to make it that way!

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    Ethan and Peanut need a few prayers please : )

    A few months ago we noticed a little bulge by Ethan's wee wee after his bath. It went away quickly to our relief. After seeing it off and on for a couple of months, we took him into the pediatrician. Just like at a mechanic, there were no signs of it when we took him in. Thank God our pediatrician knows we aren't over-reacters, are in tune with our kids and took us seriously. He referred us to a pediatric Urologist at Vanderbilt Children's for a consultation. At that appointment, we determined that he definitely has a hernia on one side and could possibly have one on the other that we just can feel yet. We were given the option to either wait until it get bigger and have surgery or to go ahead and have it now. Since it can get to be painful as it grows, we decided to go ahead and have it done.

    So on Wednesday the 25th, our precious little boy is have surgery! We actually are quite comfortable with the procedure. Our nephew, Houston, had it a few years back also. It will be an outpatient procedure and should only last about an hour. I don't want to minimize it because of course there are always risks especially when you have anesthesia. So if you could offer a few prayers on Wednesday for him and his nervous parents in the waiting room, I would appreciate it.

    ********

    Yesterday was a very long day for our family. I had my "routine" OB visit. It was supposed to be on Tuesday, but my doctor was called into delivery so we rescheduled. Since we didn't have childcare lined up, we just had Eric stay home with the kids. Hey just an hour or so....he can be Mr Mom. It turned out being all morning, but he did great!

    When Dr Blake put the doppler on my belly, we found out that Peanut has an irregular heartbeat. She decided to send me to the High Risk OBs for an ultrasound and an Echocardiogram if they felt it necessary. So much for my "normal" pregnancy! It was pretty unnerving sitting in the waiting room by myself trying to push the "what ifs" out of my head. Thankfully after the Ultrasound, Echocardiogram, and a lengthy conversation with the High Risk OB, God gave me some peace of mind. Peanut has Premature Atrial Contractions, but the good news is that structurally everything looks to be good now. They are going to continue doing weekly Ultrasounds and Echocardiograms to monitor the growth and development of the heart. There is a 95% chance that this will resolve itself before Peanut is born or very soon after delivery. It seems as though if there is a problem to have, this is a pretty manageable one.

    I had a lot of time to think yesterday as I waited and waited. I had already started the day a little anxious. I have started to worry more about going into preterm labor again. I was all prepared to talk to Dr Blake about this at my appointment. With the scare, we barely even got into that. I really think my anxiety about PTL and the heart scare is just Satan trying to get in our way. God gave Eric and I a huge blessing with Peanut. I feel that Peanut is a little gift from God after all of the stress and heartache we went through with Ethan and Ella's pregnancy. This is just Satan trying to take away from our JOY that God has given us. Well we aren't going to let him. We are only focusing on the positive. I get to see Peanut each week during the ultrasound. Since they are doing the ultrasound already, they are going to monitor my cervix length so that will help ease my anxiety about the preterm labor. Please keep Peanut in your prayers that he/she thrives and that the defect resolves on its own. Also keep Eric and I in your prayers that we keep our heads on straight.

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    Big Kid Rooms!

    Another exciting week at the Greer household. We took a major step on Wednesday when we put Ethan and Ella in their Big Boy and Big Girl rooms. They are still in their cribs, but they are now in their very own rooms across the hall from each other. The transition has been flawless thankfully! I have had they sleeping in seperate rooms at nap time for the last few months so I think that has helped. It is so sweet in the morning they can't wait to see each other. Their faces light up and they run to each other crying "Sissy Sissy!" and "Diddy! Diddy" (Buddy : ) I am so glad it has gone so well. It was important for us to get each of the kids in their own rooms before Peanut comes home. That way we can hopefully avoid having 2 or 3 babies awake in the middle of the night if possible. Ethan and Ella sleep through the night about 98% of the time, but that 2% will be really tough when we have Peanut!
    Their development over the last few months has been amazing. I remember reading that the number of words a toddler learns from 18 - 24 months is staggering. Well Ella is case and point for that. She is a little parrot. She hears a word, she says it and she remembers it. Oh oh - we better be on our best behavior now! One of her favorite words now is happy. She says it with the hugest smile on your face and it can't help but make you happy too! She also has started putting together 2 and 3 words. We are so proud of our smart girl!


    Ethan is quite vocal too. Not as much as Ella, but still is talking a lot. He is our future little engineer. He loves to sit and play with a toy (or anything else) and figure out how it works. Unfortunatly, it also makes baby proofing a little more challenging. How, for instance, do you baby proof your air conditioner vent that he has learned out to open to get to the filter??? I mean I had to call Amy to find out how to do that?? I tell you he is an absolute genius! He also loves to play with his blocks and legos to build things. We are pleased that he is starting to gravitate to more "manly" activities, but he still loves to carry around Mommy's gold sequin purse : )

    One of Ethan and Ella's favorite past times is dancing. I have to get a video of it because it really is one of the funniest things you will ever see. They stamp their feet, wiggle their booties, flap their arms and laugh hysterically. Not sure where they got their dancing skills, but I am glad that they enjoy it. They are also really enjoying the warm weather. They love to go "side" and blow bubbles. Ethan has conquered his fear of the grass so our fears of him not being able to play ball have been eased. Ella loves to just run in circles in the grass barefoot. The girl has no fear and her poor little legs have the bruises and scratches to prove it. Don't be surprised if you see her and the first things she asks for is a kiss for her boo-boo.



    We had a great Father's Day with Eric. He got his day off from his long "Honey-Do List" and went to relax at the pool. Later we went to eat and did a little Targeting. The kids got him some a Jacck Bauer t-shirt and some good clothes for fishing. Hopefully he can make a couple of trips back home to fish before the end of the summer. We went last weekend and he and his dad had a great time.






    I am doing well. I feel pretty good. I have been trying to go on regular walks with the kids to try to stay somewhat in shape. I really took little things like walking for granted last go round, so not this time! By the end of the day I am pretty beat and am ready for a good ole soak in the tub. I have an appointment with the OB tomorrow and am excited about that. Any day I can hear Peanut's heartbeat is a good one for me! I also want to discuss a test I have read about that can help predict if you will go into pre-term labor in the next 2 weeks. I need to have a good conversation with her about the likelyhood of me going into pre-term labor again to help put my mind at ease. I feel pretty good about things. But you don't go through 3 months of bedrest in the hospital and it not enter your mind. Especially if you have 2 adorable kids that you have to take care of each day! But by 22 weeks last time I had been on bedrest for 3 weeks and in the hospital for 2. Our daily conversations were about getting me another couple of weeks so that Ethan and Ella were viable. Pretty scary and I praise God that we are not in that boat this go round! So here is my shameless plug for prayers from friends and family. Please just keep me and Peanut in your prayers so that we have a nice, smooth pregnancy. ( By the way, my Ella just said "Jesus" if that doesn't help I don't know what will!! ; )

    Friday, June 6, 2008

    Our First Beach Trip - Myrtle Beach 2008

    We weren't going to go on a family vacation this year. . . . a lot going on with a baby on the way and all. God knew we needed a break though, so he had a nice lady from the Marriott call us with a great deal on a 4 day/3 night package to Myrtle Beach. It didn't take much of an arm twist for us to book the trip!

    It wasn't an ideal trip, but we will look back on it with fondness.....someday. First of all, we underestimated the 10 hour drive. How short our memory is from our trip to Texas. Our kids (namely Ethan) just don't travel well. Unlike most kids, they don't sleep in the car for more than a few minutes ALL DAY! To top that off, we were all sick. Nothing like a good old fashioned summer cold times four for your beach trip! And sadly, 3 out of the 4 could have nothing but Tylenol for relief : )



    Another thing we underestimated was the unpredictability of Spring. One week could be 90 and the next could be 60. One guess what it was when we were there! Actually, it warmed up enough for us to get out a little bit and have some fun in the sun. The main problem was the wind and the water temperature. On Tuesday morning, we went to the Aquarium while it was still pretty chilly. That was a lot of fun. The kids absolutely loved looking at the fishys.



    When we went to the beach, I was pretty impressed with how the kids reacted. They both went right up to the water to check it out. It only took a little to touch Ethan's toe for him to head for the hills and Ella to climb up my legs. As long as they had a hold of us though, they were fine. I was surprised that the sand didn't bother them a bit. Hopefully, they don't have my issues with sand as they grow up.





    Ethan really liked sitting in his float at the pool. He has got chillin down pat. Ella warmed up to it, but she would much rather be in Mommy or Daddy's arms. It was pretty funny at the pool. When we got out one day, she kept turning around and checking the water to make sure it wasn't coming after her. I guess she remembered the surf from the beach!


    All in all, it was a pretty good trip. It was a long drive for a short stay, but it was a nice change of pace for a little bit. In fact, we are already thinking about another trip next year with Peanut.




    When we were on the way home, we were just ready to get there. This last picture was off the kids in their booster seats eating at a Rest Area in our seats. Oh did they think they were cool. By the way....we are still finding sand and Goldfish everywhere in the GMV!

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    One healthy Peanut : )

    I have been lucky that I have been blessed with a number of things that often we just expect to happen in life. I like to call them "Gimmes." Meet my Prince Charming, fall in love, and get married. Check. Have a happy marriage (with a little work) Check. Have a Family - - - a long, hard road but a big CHECK! And to be blessed with healthy children. Check! We are so thankful that we found out yesterday that we received another blessing. A healthy baby growing in my belly. We are so thankful that God has been watching over Peanut the last 20 weeks and know that He will for the rest of his/her life. Again something that many people take for granted as a gimme, but we know it is not. Really the only Gimme that we have in this life is God's Love. Ironically, it was when I discovered that having a child wasn't a gimme for us that I felt God's love the most.

    Peanut was quite the acrobat during the ultrasound. It took a little concentration from our chatty Ultrasound tech to keep the wand where she needed to measure. With a little work, we got to see the 4 chambers of the heart, the brain, and many other organs. Of course we didn't know what in the world we were looking at!



    I have to give Eric and I a big HUGE pat on the back. We stayed strong and didn't find out the sex of the baby! And believe me, we had plenty of chances to take a peek and see. I even have a picture of the baby's "parts" in a sealed envelope. I plan on getting Eric to put it under a heavy piece of furniture for safe keeping for the next 17 - 18 weeks or so ; ) By the way---------------->
    those are Peanut's totsies. 10 toes!



    I have been reminded that I have yet to do our vacation post. Sadly, someone left our USB cord to our digital camera somewhere between here, South Carolina, and Missouri. So it will be another week or so until I get the new one I ordered. Then I will download our oh-so-cute pictures and give a full update. Here is a preview though......Biker Week in Mytle Beach.....60 degree weather.....high wind advisory.....fevers......lots of snots.....and some dancing to Jimmy Buffett. Don't you wish you were there? : )

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Goodbye Uncle Gary......

    On the morning of Monday, May 12th our family lost my Uncle Gary. Uncle Gary fought a long hard battle with Melanoma for the last few years. We are so saddened that he is no longer with us, but are glad that he his no longer suffering.

    The whole family traveled to Jackson, MO this weekend for his memorial on Saturday. The service was beautiful. There was a lot of tears but also a lot of laughter....very fitting for a man like him. Kara and Clint put together a wonderful slide show of pictures of his life set to music. It was nice to see his beautiful smile over and over again. Like the pastor said at the end, we didn't "lose" Uncle Gary because we know where he is. He is with our Heavenly Father, and I know that beautiful smile is shining down on us.

    Please keep my family in your prayers as we grieve for this wonderful man.

    Thursday, May 8, 2008

    Chaos! Chaos Everywhere!!

    Well the only word to describe the last couple of weeks is absolute chaos! At the beginning of April we decided to take our house off the market and do some renovations to our house. My old home office just needed some drywall, door, framing and some paint and Voila! Instant Baby Peanut nursery! (And no moving truck, realtor fees and other headaches)


    After calling around and getting quotes we found a contractor that could start the work immediately. Once again I was extremely thankful that Mimi and Papa live so close. We all packed up and moved in to their house for a week and a half while the work was done. The only thing that is left to do is to paint the nursery. We decided to do that ourselves since we don't know what color to go with yet. We may just wait to see if it is a Mr or Miss Peanut before we do it.


    We had such a great time at Mimi and Papa's. It was so nice for me to have help with the kids during the day. I think my injured back finally got a chance to heal. The kids absolutely LOVED being with their Mimi and Papa so much. Papa left to go to Missouri a few days before we left. Ethan kept looking at his chair and asking "Papa?? Papa??" Now that we are at home now I think they are a little bored with little old me all day.


    We are leaving to go to Myrtle Beach on Sunday. I can't decide if I am looking forward to it or dreading it. We are already prepared that it won't be the relaxing beach trip that we are used to. I am pretty sure that we will have to have one hand on Ella at all times to keep her from doing a swan dive into the pool. Ethan, on the other hand, will probably be permanately attached to my hip. I will most likely have an Ethan tan line on one side! At any rate, I am sure it will make for an entertaining and guaranteed cutie patootie pictures next entry : )

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    We're getting oh so big!

    On Friday we had our 18 month visit to the doctor. Of course they both got A+s and gold stars for being great, healthy kids. Our little monkeys are now slightly bigger monkeys. Ethan came in at a whopping 21 lbs and 31", where Ella came in at a staggering 21 lbs 6 oz and 31.5" : ) That puts Ethan in the 2nd percentile and Ella in the 10th. The doctor isn't concerned about their small size because they are growing at the same steady rate they have been. I guess when you start at 4 pounds, it just takes a little while to catch up!

    Dr Betts was very please with their development physically and socially. They both showed off their walking skills for him. He was super impressed with their verbal skills....Ella in particular. She now has 30 + words! Every day it seems that they learn a new one. It is amazing to see how quickly they learn and just love to soak it all up. I guess there is an advantage to having a crazy Mama who talks all day! Now I may reconsider that when they hit that stage where they constantly talk about anything, everything and absolutely nothing!

    I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday. Fortunately I too got a gold star. It was kind of weird. I was at the OB for all of 5 - 10 minutes. In and out - everything was peachy keen! This a is new and very nice experience for Eric and I! When the doctor put the doppler on my belly to find Peanut's heartbeat, she immediately picked up a strong 150 bpm. That never happened with Ethan and Ella! Even with 2 heartbeats, they could never find them and would have to send me for an ultrasound.

    Dr Blake said I don't have to come back until I am 19 weeks. I will have the big growth Ultrasound then too. IF we were going to find the sex, then we would find out then. But we are staying strong and letting it be a surprise. As Eric and I were laying in bed that night, we both just marveled about how unreal this is. Normal....so this is what it is like, huh? I think I kind of like it!

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    I've been Bad.....

    I apologize, I have been bad and not updated for a while. Life has been hectic for the Greer and Faries family. I will start out today's blog with a request for prayers for my Grandma and Papatch. A couple of weeks ago, my Papatch suffered a devastating stroke and has been in the hospital since then. Dad rushed there and has been there ever since. Mom and I have gone back and forth to Missouri a couple of times to visit. Thankfully, he is making some good progress. We are hoping today or tomorrow he will be moved from the hospital into a skilled nursing home. The great news is that Grandma can go and stay with him! We are sure that Grandma will get a good card game going with some of the residents and maybe even hustle a few of them : )

    The kids are doing fantastic. They are getting cuter and smarter every day. They both have built quite the vocabulary. Last week Ella was looking at her shape book and said "Octagon!" I kid you not - I have several witnesses that have heard her say it. I kind of sounds more like Octadiggity, but hey she is 18 months! Ethan can look at his color book and say "purple." How did he know Mommy's favorite color? I need to write down their words so I can count them up for their dr appointment on Friday. It will be hard because the list has grown so much!



    They are also really enjoying the warm weather. They just stand at the sliding glass door waiting to go outside each day. We have had a cold snap, so the last couple of days have been tough. They don't understand the unpredictability of Tennessee Springs yet! Ethan still has a bit of a phobia of the grass. I am continuing to do a little "therapy" with him each day so he can play tee ball and football when he gets older : )


    Eric and I are doing well too. Eric's busy season has finally come to a close. We are excited to have him home earlier at night and especially on the weekends! I am getting a little more energy and little more belly. I guess the pregnancy is starting to sink in with me. I go to the doctor again next Tuesday. I am anxious to hear little Peanut's heartbeat again : )

    Monday, March 31, 2008

    Hoppy Easter!!!

    We had a fantastic Easter this year. We went to Nana and Papa's house in Paris, TN. Aunt Amy, Uncle Jamie, Houston, Madeline and Elizabeth were all there too. It is always so much fun when we all get together.....a little loud and crazy but good fun. At one point Ella was running in circles laughing hysterically because she thought she was being chased by the kids. We had to pick her up every once in a while so she could just catch her breathe.

    On Saturday night, Eric and I decided it was time to tell our nieces and nephew about Baby Peanut. Eric showed them our latest Ultrasound picture and asked them what they thought it was. "A Monkey!" "An Ear!" "A Possum!" "Ethan & Ella" Oh so close!!! With a few hints, they finally got that Aunt Teppie was having another baby. Soon after that Houston said "How are you going to take care of three kids?" To which I replied "That's a good question!" And Madeline answered, "I don't know, but my mommy has enough with 3!" Oh out of the mouths of babes : ) Houston has also decided that Peanut is a boy and his name is Sam. I guess he figures he and Ethan have some evening up they need to do in the family!

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Spring Break with the McCollums!

    Last week my nieces Emily and Meg were on Spring Break. Amy loaded them up and they came to visit us in Tennessee! We had a great time visiting and playing. Here is a quick review of the highlights in pictures......
    Going to the Playground! Our original plan was to go to the zoo in the late afternoon. I called on the way to check when they closed and found out they were closing in an hour. We made a quick turn and went to the park instead. It was a lot of fun. Ethan has a wierd phobia of the grass, so it was a good time to get in some therapy : )

    We finally made it to the zoo! We had such a fantastic time. Emily and Meg wrote down the animals that they saw in their journals. I was so impressed with how smart my nieces are! Ethan and Ella did so good. I am not sure that they really looked at many of the animals, but they sure enjoyed the whole atmosphere. The place they like the best was the aquarium. I think we are going to plan a trip to the Chattanooga aquarium this summer.
    We also went to a bounce place then Pizza Hut for lunch. Yummy! Ella loved the bouncy place. She was so ready for is to let her down and go play. Maybe in a couple of years! We did let them bounce on the side of some of them and they really liked that. The girls also went to the movies and Miss Mable's Tea Room. They had a great time. The girls also played dress up in the dresses their Mimi made them. They loved how they swirled around. We are so glad they came to see us for Spring Break! I guess we will enjoy it while it lasts.....I am sure someday coming to Tennesse for Spring Break won't be near as cool.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    February 8, 2008 SURPRISE!!!!!

    Ah I woke up just like the day before. I had no idea that this morning would change all our lives so much! Eric was getting ready for work and I was lying in bed watching Sports Center (his choice not mine). I remembered that I needed to call in a prescription that day. Before I could get it, I had to take a pregnancy test just in case because of its awful side effects. So off I went to do that. Unloaded the dishwasher, sat down and watched TV for a minute. Should I get the kids up? Oh no wait….better go check the test and get that out of the way.

    I walked into the guest bath and looked at the test on the sink. Double take…..was that TWO lines? Huh? I must be seeing things. I hear Eric say something, so I thrown the hand towel over the test and jump back in bed. Eric says “Why do you look so weird?” I am still in shock so I say “just tired.” He goes back to the closet to finish getting dressed and I run back to the bathroom for a second look. Yes. Definitely 2 lines. How did this happen??? I mean I know how it happens for most, but no us! We were told that we couldn’t get pregnant on our own. Holy cow. Eric’s birthday is tomorrow. Boy can I have fun with this!!! I run upstairs to get the babies up and whisper my secret in their ears and they smile.

    Thankfully Eric leaves shortly after that. (I am told later that I am in MAJOR trouble for letting him go to work because he would have called in sick. Whoops) I quickly call my mom, my sister, and Kristen. I know exactly what people mean when they say that they are about to pop. Kristen, my personal OB nurse, reassures me that the home tests are pretty accurate. Even so, I have my mom come over so I can get an official blood test at the doctor’s office. I still don’t believe it. I go to the bathroom and look at the test, then throw the towel over it again. When I call the doctor’s office to get the test they act like I am crazy. “Mrs. Greer, we usually don’t do blood tests if you have a positive home test.” I reply “I know, but I don’t believe it. When can I come in?” I go in immediately, get my blood drawn, and pay to have the results to me stat.
    All day I am avoiding calls from Eric and his sister, Amy. How in the world could I play this one off? I can’t even sit down I am so excited! I finally get the “official positive” test results from the doctor. Hallelujah! Praise God!! I check the home test one more time and throw it in the trash.

    Now how in the world do I give Eric the total shock of his lifetime??? I decided when I was at the doctor I would get the kids Big Brother and Big Sister T shirts, take their pictures in it, frame it, and give it to Eric for his birthday and let him figure it out. Well I am not sure how many of you have tried to get a16 month old kid to stand still so you can get a good picture of them and then throw in a second child??? It isn’t possible. Just take it from me. So I decided the next best thing was to just wrap up the shirts and let Eric open those.

    We waited on pins and needles until Eric got home. Of course since we were anxiously awaiting him, he didn’t get home until after 7. After the kids bath, Eric read them a story and they just had to give their Daddy an early birthday present. He didn’t know it, but I was recording the whole thing : )
    video

    I was told later that Eric was thinking “Why in the world did she give me some shirts for the kids for my birthday?” Apparently what I thought was pretty plain isn’t plain to a man.

    Words can’t express how eternally grateful we are for God to bless us again with a child. Every child is a miracle straight from God. We can't help to feel "extra blessed" given our history with trying to get pregnant....and stay pregnant. I firmly believe that God is watching over us and little Peanut and will keep us safe. I do ask for your prayers during my pregnancy. Of course, my experience with the 12 weeks of hospital bedrest is always in the back of my mind. I am hoping that was because I was pregnant with 2 and this time will be completely different. Please pray for us to have a uneventful, boring, run of the mill pregnancy : )