Pregnancy Update and Name Reveal!

Note: under normal circumstances our blog rules are to use lots of pictures and a little bit of text. I’m breaking that rule tonight because I can barely time find to blog these days but I realized I have not documented this pregnancy really at all. Lots to say!

Wow. It takes a long time to grow a babe. I started taking these shots at 14 weeks, skipping a few weeks in the mid-20s. This week is 34. It’s wild to look at all of these lined up together. That one ultrasound shot of brother is at 28 weeks, which is amazing, seeing that we can get a glimpse of how he actually might look outside of the womb. A true miracle from the Lord, for sure.

This pregnancy has been, um….interesting. After two miscarriages, one in October of 2011 and one in March of 2012, then this pregnancy starting in July of 2012, if I’m being honest I feel like I've been pregnant for a rather long time. It’s been a journey with the Lord for sure, some really hard parts, some joyful parts, learning how both of those things can go together simultaneously. I took almost weekly pregnancy pictures with Grayson, because, well, she was our first and that’s just what you do. Then with Finley, I was so caught up with Grayson that I’m not even sure I knew what week I was if you had asked me at any given time, let alone take a picture to document it. This time with brother, the weekly pictures are a sort of happy-count-down-while holding-my-breath, wondering if we are really going to make it to the end.

There has also been quite the interesting array of mild complications this time around. Progesterone supplements got me (and him!) through the first trimester with lots of praying and feeling extremely nauseous. On top of that towards the end of the first trimester, I broke out in some kind of weird, extremely itchy rash all over my legs. Thankfully that cleared up on its own after a few exhausting weeks, without any major medication. Second trimester brought a very short-lived bit of energy, but overall, this pregnancy has been much more tiring than my others. Maybe because I’m a bit older, maybe because I have two kids to chase around now instead of just one. Either way, about halfway through I just resigned myself to taking a nap every day when the girls have rest time. Good for rest, not as good for getting things done outside of growing a babe. Tis the season.

At the 19 week ultrasound they figured out I had previa, where the placenta was partially covering the cervix. They also saw one small tiny “bright spot” on his heart. Both were hopefully expected to resolve themselves, which after a few more ultrasounds, they did! Praise the Lord. After the previa was resolved, they then noticed I had high amniotic fluid. Extended diabetes test came back clear, so now I’m just in the office for weekly ultrasounds to monitor it all. Fluid has still been high each week, and brother is measuring quite large. At 34 weeks he was already 6.5 lbs. So maybe he will come early or just be a 10-plus pounder at 40 weeks. Because of the high fluid, he is also ‘swimming around in there’ as the doctors like to say, so he is flipping head up, head down week to week. Currently he is head down and we are praying he stays that way. It is so much more comfortable! (Comfortable being an understatement for any 30 plus week pregnant mama.)

Although spending a chunk of time each week at the doctor’s office for ultrasounds is not exactly how I would choose to spend my time, part of me does often wonder if that was/is the Lord’s provision for us in relieving anxiety around this pregnancy. I get to see brother on that screen each week, which in many ways in a huge blessing. He also moves, kicks, & turns more than I remember the girls moving. Which may just be his thing or may be that I have a bad memory. Both possibilities.

Once we found out he was a boy, we started to talk names here and there. I found one name fairly early that we both agreed was a possibility (a small miracle). With the girls, we could not settle until the very end, so both of their names we just announced at birth. This time, we've kept coming back to this same name, so we finally called it done and put the “E” initial up on the nursery wall (along with yes, a moose head). 

Grayson was fairly certain it was "E" for “Eugene Munster”, a name she had nominated for brother based on a character from her Adventures in Odyssey CDs (his name is really Eugene Meltsner but Munster is what she heard!). And yes, this means our children will have the initials “E, F, G”, in ascending age order, but although quirky, not done on purpose!

According to the baby name books, his first name means “brave & strong”, which we loved being spoken over him as being our first son. I also loved it for this pregnancy, as there has been much to be brave and strong about in the last couple of years as we journeyed toward meeting him. One of our favorite verses is Joshua 1:9, which now hangs on his nursery wall:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

His middle name is a family name from Justin’s side…Peeps being the most recent owner of it himself. It just seemed to fit too perfectly with the meaning of his first name. We long and pray for him to be brave and strong and have a wild heart for the Lord.


Everett Wilds Smith, we can’t wait to meet you very soon!

(We will call him Everett!) 


Finley Cate, 3 years old

Finley just turned 3 on January 7th.
Her Days:
  • She stays at home with me while Grayson is at preschool, where she mostly tags along for chores and cooking, intermixed with play breaks of course.
  • One day a week she goes with us to Bible Study, and then one day a week we do a toddler swap with two other friends from small group that are her age. This has been tagged "fintayabelleday", for Finley, Taylor, and Annabelle Day, who Finley now refers to as "my best fwiends". Each week the girls all get to go to one house for play date, and that mama watches all 3 while the other two mamas get a bit of a break. It has been awesome! Win-win all around.
  • She still naps in the afternoons for about 2 hours, but I've had to start waking her by 4pm because now that the girls' share a room, she's not quite ready to fall asleep at their 8pm bedtime. She transitioned surprisingly well to a big girl bed and loves sharing a room with Grayson.

 Her Loves and Strengths:
  • Music! Every time we are in the car, she says " turn up peez" or "moosic peez". At home she loves to play music on the CD player in their room, her current favorite being "Honey's Songs", which is a compilation CD from our friend Honey which has quite the mixture of songs! She also loves to play her "tar" (guitar), a hot pink plastic "electric" one that conveniently ran out of batteries. She also beats on things frequently, which I've come to think is part of the whole love of music developing.
  • She is compassionate. Almost always if someone looks sad, or gets hurt, or is crying, she is sensitive and says "I sorry". She also talks to baby brother more than anyone else in the family, coming up to my belly and hugging and snuggling it. "He bumpin?" she asks frequently.
  • She is very observant. We were driving home the other night in the van and she said "is this our car?". We were puzzled until we realized that a device was in a slightly different place on the dash and it was throwing her off. She also notices my jewelry. "I wike dose earrings mama!" and if I have on anything new, she will notice it.
  • She wakes up cheery about 99% of the time.
  • She can get herself dressed for the most part now.
  • She is speaking in full sentences, even if most of her "r's" and "l's" in words sound like "w's".
  • Craft time and drawing are actually not her favorite past times. She colors for about 2 seconds and then says she is done. She does love play doh though.
  • She is beginning to to take more of an interest in books and will sit still for longer stories and loves story time at the library.

How She Grows:
  • At her 3 year old check up she was about 30-ish pounds, in the 50th percentile for weight and in the 90th percentile for height. Long and lean like her sister.
  • She wears mostly 4T clothes, but some 3T things still fit.  
Things We are Working On (keeping it real):
  • Oh for the love of potty training. This girl has a fairly laid back personality, so she could really just care less about going to the potty. It's not that she won't, she will pee-pee on the potty if we ask her to try and she really has to go, it's just that she doesn't really care if she is wet or stinky. After trying a few different things, we just decided to switch over to pull-ups (mostly because I'm hugely pregnant and she can put those on herself without me bending over to change a diaper, except for stinkys of course), and just be low-key about the whole thing until she shows more interest. Testing my patience for sure!
  • We are encouraging her to use words instead of screaming and crying for what she wants.
  • Just recently she has started challenging us more on obedience (coming when we say come, cleaning up when we ask her to), but it doesn't take much in the consequence department for her to change her mind and obey. 
And sometimes it's important to remember the Little Things...We recently realized that she has started saying "Gwayson" instead of "Gayson". It's the smallest thing but it makes her sound so much older! It's actually quite funny to hear them call each other throughout the house, amazing me that 3 short and 5 short years ago they were just babies. She also started saying "my sista" when she refers to Grayson sometimes to other people.
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Grayson, almost 5 1/2 years old

It seems like lately I mostly use Instagram for documenting our days. I pulled up the blog the other day though to remind myself of the girls as babies, and thought 'oh, right, we have a blog'. Time for some updates...
Grayson will be 5 1/2 years old on March 18th.
Her Days:
  • 3 days a week she goes to preschool, where she has totally come out of her shell this year and has loved every minute of it. Each day she gives us "3 thumbs up and 1 thumbs down". Almost always the thumbs down is "leaving." One other morning we go to the Amazing Collection Bible Study at church (this year she goes in excited instead of clinging to me!), and the last morning of the week is our home day where we almost always go to story time at the library.
  • Every afternoon she has rest time for about 2 hours where she listens to audio books on CD, plays quietly in the bonus room, or draws and crafts.
  • Her and Finley are sharing a room now as brother will take over the nursery. Overall, they've really done well together. Grayson has learned to fall on asleep and stays asleep mostly if Finley makes any noises.
Her Loves and Strengths:
  • Drawing! Her drawings of people are getting more elaborate with clothes, crowns, fairy wings, and always lots of color. She almost always wants a pen and paper in hand.
  • She still loves books. On library days she usually just sits and flips through book after book after book. Books on CD are also a big hit. And she is beginning to read basic BOB books and a few other things. She is semi-eager to learn to read, but mostly still just likes for us to read aloud to her.
  • 'Imagination Station' as we call it is in full force lately. This girl can come up with some of the most elaborate stories, games, and pretend play scenes. I really am amazed at what comes out of that little brain.
  • We took a year off from dance classes but she still loves to dance around the house. Give the girl a leotard or tutu and she is off.
  • She has really started loving games...board games, word finds, card games, tic-tac-toe, rock-paper-scissors, and 'silly man' as we call it and have re-drawn it (who drew and named the game "hang-man"?? yikes!).
How She Grows:
  • The tooth fairy is in full force around here. A few months ago she lost both bottom front teeth (pulled out by Daddy once they were loose enough) Two weeks ago her first top front tooth came out in a strawberry (much less drama than the pulling!) and then two days ago her second top front tooth made it's exit. She pulled that one out on her own! Now she has the cutest gappy-grin I've ever seen (and a little lisp to go with it!)
  • At her 5 year old check up she weighed 40-ish pounds, was in the 99th percentile for height, and the 50th percentile for weight. Long and lean, ever since birth. She is one of the tallest in her class, and some size 6 clothes are already getting too short.
Things We Are Working On (just trying to keep it real!):
  • She is still strong-willed. It doesn't manifest itself anymore as tantrums on the library floor when it's time to leave, but it shows up in other ways. She can argue like a champ. She is becoming a strong leader with friends, so we are working on leading them in the right ways. She has strong ideas and ways she wants to get things done, so we are working on being a peacemaker and still obeying Mama and Daddy. We have to constantly remind ourselves that this will can be wonderful, so we pray frequently that she leans into the Lord and uses her voice and strength to fight for the right things in life.
  • Handling emotions. This is a huge one. Daily we face the challenge to teach her that it is ok to feel angry, sad, frustrated, etc etc but that we also have to learn how to use self-control and not let those emotions run crazy. Easier said than done! She also has a hard time waking up with a happy heart in the mornings. I passed that one down genetically I am sure, but it does make for rough starts some days around here.
  • We might be taking the opportunity now that her two front teeth are out to start working on quitting the thumb-sucking. We will have to see if we can tackle this as brother makes his arrival shortly. As a die-hard finger-sucking kid myself, I am dreading this process!
And sometimes it's important to remember the Little Things...
  • She has finally started consistently flushing the potty after every visit! (enter the chuckles, it's just something that this stay-at-home-mama has been trying to work on with her for forever!).
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