How are you, my friends?! Good, I hope. Filled with the joy of the Christmas season? I hope that too. I mentioned on Instagram (which is the optimal place to find me these busy days) that Christmas has been a source of stress in some ways in the past–because of my own self-imposed goals or a bad habit of trying to measure up to someone else’s awesome decorating or tradition-creating standards.

This year (last year too) has felt considerably less hectic and demanding in terms of scheduling and my own expectations for myself. For which I am SO grateful!

But! This year also brings with it the (familiar…this my the 3rd Christmastime pregnancy) challenge of trying to finish well with homeschooling, teaching at our homeschool co-op, and all of the other “necessary” things of the season while very, very pregnant.

How pregnant? 32(ish) weeks.


I know that I’ve done a terrible job of updating you guys here on the blog as the pregnancy has progressed (hence the Instagram plug, where I do a pretty decent job of posting regular pics), so I thought I’d take a second to give you the lowdown to get you up to speed.

 So, what is this baby anyway? 

Boy. It’s another boy! Honestly, we were thinking girl for the first half of the pregnancy because the same lady who has done 90% of my sonograms with the other kids said she was thinking it was a girl (at an early sono…13 weeks), and I had been leaning that direction with how hormonal/sick I’d been feeling. 

We had a girl name (that I looooove) picked out, and I’d even gone so far as to buy a couple of new little girl things on clearance here and there (I must admit I was a wee bit excited about the prospect of bows and frills after a 6+ year girl drought).

And then, we had our 21 week bio-physical sonogram. The technician asked us if we already knew gender, and we said that we had an inkling. And then, he swiped the wand across my belly, and that inkling did a 180 in about .2 seconds.

Disappointed is not the right word to describe how I feel. I love my boys!! And I think it will be so fun for Theo and Honor to have their own little band of Three Musketeers. But I still had to perform a bit of a brain adjustment after thinking of this little one as a “she” for so long.

I wasn’t the only one either.

When Shaun walked through the door and informed our way eager-to-know offspring that we were having another boy, Nola burst into devastated tears!

Good thing we’d had the forethought to bring home a GIRL puppy at the exact same time, right?


No. We didn’t. Have the forethought, that is.

We DID, however, providentially bring home a puppy.

I say providentially because we couldn’t have planned what a consolation she would be, even if we’d tried.

We had been thinking/praying about a dog for a while but had no definite plans of getting one immediately, until Shaun just so “happened” to check around, and there just so “happened” to be a litter of beagle puppies (the breed we were most interested in) available in our area, and the lady just so “happened” to volunteer to meet us after our sonogram appointment for us to choose between the two remaining girl puppies she had.

We chose this little cutie–a red-head we named Ruby.


{She’s only 7 weeks here}

She has a penchant for snuggling in my lap, bombarding me with SBD’s (silent but deadly, natch) every night and tearing around like toddler on crack a good portion of the rest of the day. Unless, we have a fire going. In which case, she curls up in front of it for about 4 hours at a time, only taking breaks to eat, drink, and pee on the floor if we don’t remember to take her outside (turns out I’m way better at potty-training humans than dogs).

But I digress.

She’s been with us for almost 3 months now and definitely feels like one of the family (although, if you’d told me I would EVER say that about a dog, I would have snickered with derision). And she definitely took the edge off of that unexpected “boy baby” announcement because as soon as Shaun announced we were having a boy, I walked in holding Ruby, and he finished with: “But THIS is a girl!”

You have never seen a little girl dry her tears and replace her expression of woe with glee as quickly as Nola did!

Yeah, we planned that (no, we didn’t).

Ahem. But back to this pregnancy/baby.

How are you feeling?

Aw, thanks for asking, guys. The short answer: pregnant. Very pregnant. I mean, I feel fine. And I’m still able to do everything “normally,” but I feel like my belly is growing by leaps and bounds every day, and this is for sure the biggest I’ve ever been (belly-wise) at this stage. In fact, I was a bit shocked to discover that I was measuring where I should at my last midwife appointment, since I have always measured behind every other time except with the twins (with whom I measured “on time” for a singleton). The difference between the size/look/feeling of my belly in the morning and the evening is laughably huge (pun intended). I start out the day looking small for my gestational stage and end it FEELING like a whale…and looking considerably, ahem, rounder. For the record, the above 32-week pic is after lunch, so it’s a pretty true representation of my current belly state.

Also, I really feel like my birthday (last month) and Thanksgiving have made considerable, generous contributions to my burgeoning belly. I imagine Christmas will have something to say about it too. So, when I consider that plus the fact that, at 32 weeks, I probably still have 10 weeks to go (since I’ve gone to 42 weeks 4 times already), I’m feeling a wee bit nervous about the prospect of a 10 pound baby (Honor was 9 lb. 1 oz, so we shall see).

Do you have a name yet?

We do! Although, it took a bit more convincing (from me to Shaun) than usual. I’m not sharing it until he’s born, but, if you’ve read my “name game” post, then you know that it has to (and does) match our family name aesthetic.

Anything new this time around?

Not really. Although, the round ligament pain has been considerably more intense/frequent than ever before. My varicose veins (in my right leg only) continue to worsen, despite (intermittent and halfhearted) efforts on my part to treat them with compression, oils, and supplements. Well, I will say that they aren’t hurting too badly these days. But they SURE are ugly!

Other than that, it’s business as usual. Braxton Hicks contractions just returned about a week ago, which is a bit later than the last two pregnancies. I still sleep much better than any very pregnant woman has a right to every night. And I’ve resumed my pattern of pregnancy-induced snoring if I every flip over on my back at night (Shaun’s favorite…although, he’s the best sport about it).

Compared to others who spend their entire pregnancy vomiting or fighting debilitating sciatic nerve pain, my pregnancies are a dream.

Doesn’t mean I’m not ready to be done already. Because I am. If only there weren’t that whole pesky labor business to get through first. (Oh, and the fact that, of course I don’t want my baby to come at 32 weeks for his sake).

Any big plans for labor?

Yes! Have a baby at home with as little pain and time spent doing it as possible.


As a veteran of protracted, (normal-level) painful labors, I am fully expecting another hiccupy, long, grueling labor with this one. But! I’m still asking for the Lord’s mercy in a couple of things: 1. That my water would not break ahead of time. If you recall, this happened for the first time with Honor, and the contractions were, by far, the worst I’ve ever experienced as a result of not having that amniotic fluid cushion. And 2. That I would be able to deliver in the water again. I was able to with Honor (every other time I’d tried, it had killed my contractions), but I think that’s because his contractions were so strong/agonizing/freight-trainish at the end that nothing was going to slow them down.

Aaaaand there you have it, folks!

Honestly, other than more frequent pictorial evidence, you haven’t missed just tons. I have (thankfully) uneventful pregnancies on the whole, and this one has followed that pattern so far.

Oh! And just so you know (because people always ask), I am doing my Amazon Gift Guide again this year, so there will not be another 3 month gap between posts. In fact, I hope to have the first installment done in the next several days. Lord willing. We’ll see. 😉

ALSO, just so you know, we have a Paint and Prose sale going on right now (40% off with the code CYBER40) through Saturday, which will be your last chance to snag prints at such a big discount before Christmas.


  1. I’m 32 weeks also, with baby #5, fourth boy in a row. We also thought he was a girl by all indications before the sono at 22 weeks. Nobody quite cried at the announcement, but it was close!
    This was a fun update!

  2. So glad all is going well! LOVE your baby bump pic–we have seven little ones currently and I am praying the Lord will bless us again with a number eight soon! You look fabulous–not long now. 🙂

  3. We have a beagle too! Her name is Lucy, and she is 5 years old. I wish I could post a picture for you to see. She’s pretty cute too. Can I give you some unsolicited advise? 🙂

    We purchased a bark collar for her pretty early on and trained her not to bark while she is outside in her kennel or in the laundry room at night time. It has a remote control that you can either give her a warning beep or a shock. It has been a life saver for my sanity, as beagles can be very “howly”… It didn’t take long before she stopped barking.

    Hands down, my favorite thing I purchased for her is a harness we use to walk her. I love going for walks, but she would pull so hard on the leash that she would gag herself (and hurt my arm/shoulder)! We have this harness: https://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-Harness-Medium-BLACK-SILVER/dp/B0009ZD3QY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1543515903&sr=8-3&keywords=easy+walk+harness+by+petsafe. Somehow, the way the leash hooks in front encourages the dog not to tug. If she tugs, it pulls her sideways, which she doesn’t like. It was such a dramatic, instant fix for this very frustrating problem. She walks so nice now!

    Good luck!

  4. Have you tried magnesium supplements for the varicose veins? Morley Robbins has some great info on which magnesium to use that doesn’t just result in diahrea.

I love hearing from you guys!