Saturday, December 31, 2016

My last post for 2016!

I had hoped to have a great year of blogging, and even though I had my lowest number of posts that I've had since I started this blog back in 2012 I feel like I've shared a lot of really great memories for our family. I live a very busy life with working full time, sports, strata, PAC and just every day life, but I find this blog to be my happy place. I log on and think of things to write about, or photos to share. I enjoy it still and look forward to many more great posts to come in 2017.

Tonight we celebrated with the Slacks for the 4th year in a row and we had a great time. I went and picked them up at 5:30 and they stayed until 10:30. The 5 boys played so great downstairs in the playroom and got along so well. They came up at 9:00 to ring in the New Year in New York and then straight back downstairs to play some more. Lots of laughter, wrestling, light saber fights and just all around noise...but happy noises so we all loved it. The adults got to sit for more than 4 hours and just visit, which is something we haven't been able to do with the Slacks for a long time. We really don't see them nearly enough! are a couple of photos from tonight! Starting with a family photo first :)

Then the boys!

 Then the Slacks! 

And lastly our best attempt at a big group selfie!

Such a great night...thanks for coming Slack Family!

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Penguin Polka...a performance to remember!

I honestly think that James's first real Christmas concert might be one of my favorite Mom memories yet...and was truly one of the cutest things that I have EVER seen. He was so excited and I had numerous people tell me afterwards that he stood out on the stage because he just looked like he was having so much fun...and he really was. He was such a cute little penguin and I was so happy that I was able to help with the making of the costumes too (now all I did was glue on some stuff but it was something and I was thrilled to be able to help!)

Here are the pictures I captured before the show, of him and his friends dressed in their costumes outside of their classroom. I love James's teacher and couldn't be happier for him that he got in her class this year. She is amazing with the kids!

He loved the song and dance so much and funny enough...he never once showed it to us before the concert. He kept it a total secret!

And of's the video! Don't mind my mom and I was seriously so frigging adorable!

His penguin artwork that was displayed in the gym with his classmates

I'm already looking forward to many more years ahead of Christmas concerts for my kids. The school does such a great job at putting the show together and I couldn't be prouder to be part of the Westview Elementary family!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

20 week ultrasound - photos, videos, the boy's reactions and possible complications

I was excited when I realized that my 20 week ultrasound would be in December after the boys were done school so they would easily be able to come with us. I did however forget that they take the mother in first to get the measurements and then bring the family in...which meant they had a LONG 40 minute wait in the waiting room with their Dad and neither kid was in the best listening mood that day which made for a frustrating time for Jimmy! And he had to get back to work that afternoon too!

Anyways...I told the tech that we did not want to know the gender that day but that we did want her to put it in the report...but only if she was sure she could see what the gender was. I was very excited when a few minutes before bringing the boys in she said she did clearly see the gender so all was good for us to move forward with our plans for the gender reveal party to happen in January. 

Here are a couple of good pictures of the baby, but I think this time the videos are even better.

This was James's reaction to the ultrasound...he was fascinated and didn't take his eyes off the screen once, and all the while chatted with the tech too of course! His brother on the other hand wanted nothing to do with seeing the baby on the screen....all he wanted was for me to kiss him and look at him beside me.

Longer video of baby's 20 week ultrasound

Video of baby's heartbeat

During my 10 week ultrasound they did see a small bleed behind the placenta that Dr. Strydom said they would monitor at my next ultrasound but that it probably wasn't anything to worry about. She advised that if I started to bleed at all to head straight to the ER but so far so good and we made it to 20 weeks with no problems. So during this ultrasound I asked the technician if all was good with the placenta and she did say that it was quite low but that the pictures would all be reviewed by the radiologist and then sent to my doctor for review as well and that most likely I would just need at least 1 more ultrasound during this pregnancy.

So, I wasn't completely surprised when the next day I got a call from Dr. Strydom's office requesting that we go in to see her before the Christmas break. The receptionist made it clear to me on the phone that Dr S had told her to tell me that the baby was perfectly fine and healthy but that she did want to see us sooner rather than later. We got the first available appointment which was two days later, on Friday afternoon at 4:30 and started the long wait until that appointment. 

Now before I go into details about what we talked about I want to first say that everything with the baby is perfectly healthy and wonderful. The baby is weighing around 15 oz so just about a pound and the tech said to me that if anything it is growing a little ahead of schedule so I am doing my very best to focus on that fact and not to worry too much. I say I am trying...I'm not saying I'm succeeding too well at this point though if I'm being honest with myself.

Anyways, back to the appointment. We showed up and although I was nervous I just kind of expected her to say that my placenta was a little bit low lying but that because I planned to have a repeat planned c-section that it wasn't that big of a deal. Well, it turns out that the placenta at this point in time is completely covering my cervix and usually if this is seen at 20 weeks it is unlikely to move much from this point on. This complication is called placenta previa and is actually really common in pregnancy, especially with those with multiple c-sections, as I've had. If we lived in a big city where pre-mature deliveries were common I wouldn't be as worried as I am, but being in PR and knowing they don't usually willingly deliver babies much before 37 weeks I am worried that I may have to deliver in Vancouver (which I absolutely don't want to do...but of course will do anything I NEED to for baby's safe delivery). It's the fear of the unknown that is bothersome for me. Will I start to bleed early? Will it stop? Will baby be far enough along to survive? Will I need to stop working and go on bed rest? So many questions with just this one relatively normal complication that has an added layer of complication because of where we live.

Now for the more worrisome complication the doctor also mentioned...on the ultrasound it was also noted that it looked like I also possibly have placenta accreta which can be a life-threatening complication where the placenta is not only growing into the uterine muscles but can also cause major bleeding before, during or after delivery. This is a much rarer complication than the placenta previa is and in fact our doctor here in town hasn't seen many cases of it at all in the 10 years that she's been delivering babies in Canada. This could result in needing a full hysterectomy at the time of delivery (which I am more than fine with because I am DONE having babies after this one) but would also ensure a city delivery for this small town girl. There is no way that a small town hospital like ours would have the facilities and blood bank available to deal with this kind of delivery and the possible complications and recovery. I am super bummed out and anxious about how this will all play out for me and baby and just really hopeful for a safe delivery for both myself and my newest little love. That is what matters...that we both make it out alive and healthy in the end...if that means we are in Vancouver to do it then so be it. If baby has to be born early then I want to be closer to the best hospital to take care of our baby.

I am trying to read up on what this complication could mean for me and for the baby but the more I read the more scared I get so I'm choosing to hope for the best that this isn't what is actually happening and am anxiously awaiting a call from a hospital in Vancouver where I will go in the next few weeks for an MRI that will hopefully give us more information. Once we have the full picture of where the placenta is and if it is in fact placenta accreta then we will make further plans for if and when I'll have to go to the city and how early baby will be born. I've read in some cases that if you can make it to 34 weeks without a major bleed and they can do an amnio to see how baby's lungs are developing that they could deliver as early as that. Of course I'm hopeful for much longer than that but will follow any and all instructions and recommendations from both my doctor and the local OBGYN that I will see after the MRI is done. 

The absolute BEST case scenario for both me and baby is that it is just placenta previa and we can hold off on delivery until 37 weeks (which also happens to be on James's birthday!) and hopefully have the birth here in town like I'm hoping!

For now I'm trying to take it easy and like I said I'm trying my best not to worry until I know for sure what I'm worrying about. I'm not a super patient person to begin with so waiting for the call for the appointment is killing me. I'm hopeful I'll hear this week and get in for an appointment in the next few weeks. I feel like the sooner we know what's going on the better I'll be able to manage my anxiety about everything!

I'll keep the blog updated once I know more but for now just please send your positive thoughts (and prayers if that is your thing) my way and if anyone you know has had placenta previa or accreta and would be willing to share their story with me that would be awesome. I like reading or hearing about stories rather than reading medical facts about something. 

And stay tuned for the gender reveal results coming soon! Can't wait to find out if this baby is another little boy that is going to be even more of a handful than his brothers are...or a little girl that is being dramatic and giving her mother grey hair already! 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Pure joy and laughter caught on video

Here in PR there is a very kind man that decorates his truck with Christmas lights and drives around town for as many people that can see him as possible. Because we live on a busy street we've never seen it drive by our townhouses but have heard its music playing nearby. We were at our friends house for a party on the 23rd and shortly before we left Jim said the magic words that had all of us scrambling to get our kids out the door "here comes the Christmas truck!" 

James was so excited and I love this video so much so had to share it on here for all to see.

And this hilarious video was taken at about 9:45pm on the way home from the party! This kid is a frigging riot and makes us laugh every single day!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas from the Barrows Family

I can't believe this will be the last year that we will be the Barrows 4! Jim and I are so lucky to have these 2 little guys and we can't wait to see whether our newest little one is another crazy little boy or we will actually end up with a little girl this time! We had an incredible Christmas today and actually spent it here at home for the first time EVER. The day started with a FaceTime call at 7am from my parents house wondering when the boys were going to wake up so they could come over for presents and breakfast. We got up and the boys woke up just a few minutes later. By 7:15 they were here and we were getting into the stockings and presents. We made a yummy breakfast for everyone and then they ran out to get the turkey in the oven and we hung out and opened the boys toys and spent the better part of the rest of the day just playing with the boys and spending quality time together. James and Jim went out to play some hockey while me and Jordie snuggled on the couch and watched some Christmas cartoons. We went off to my parents for supper about 5 and came home just before 9 after lots of laughs and giggles with some loud uncles :)

Our first Christmas morning family photo in front of our own tree...and being home today was exactly what I needed this year.

Christmas dinner

21 weeks pregnant and still smiling (well at least most of the time we are!)

Here's our Christmas card this year! Sorry if you didn't get one in the mail...we didn't order enough this year at all!

More Christmas season photos coming soon! 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

November 2016 Monthly Memories

My favorite picture of the month is up first. My mom took this awesome photo of the boys with their best buddy Diesel!

Jordie's turn at pin the Batman symbol on the cape at Shayne's birthday party!

Jordie's turn in the laser room

And then waving at his best girl

Matching Batman masks

Picking out his lunch at Magpie's

The first time that Jordie and I have gone for a meal with just Ash & Maddie. We had a ton of fun!

Remembrance Day family swimming

Now for the iPhone photos for the month! Starting with an adorable photo of my big brown eyed little guy!

Date night for Mom and Dad to the Laughing Oyster with the Parkins!

Facetiming with Nana and she was showing me James and Papa's Lego airplanes they built

After supper board games with the boys

A note I found in James's notebook

Mommy and Jordie snuggles

Getting candy bags together before the PAC movie night

Early morning reading with Daddy

He should be in bed but instead he's in front me talking my ear off...and I've got to get him back to bed before his Dad comes back with my hot fudge sundae!

In my office having a little snack

Dad's Chinese food birthday dinner

Drawing me pictures on their easel

Making Dad's birthday cake

Another random adorable photo....he asked me to take this one too!

Such big brown eyes

Handsome James

The making of some yummy meat loaf for Jim's birthday dinner

More drawing

And more puzzles for Jordie

Finishing off the cake

"Reading" me his new favorite book

Enjoying Tye's birthday party

Awesome pictures in James's notebook. He said this day his brother was really bugging him!

Board game playing at Sunday dinner

Just hanging out one day at Nana's house

Yup his bed time snack....chocolate pudding and Cool Whip

Still love watching him sleep

Should be asleep but he's up talking his Daddy's ear off

Wednesday morning breakfast at the school

Dentist office

hahahahaha...this was a dude wearing floral shoes with green fuzzy socks!!

They both did so good at the dentist

Mom left him alone for a few moments and came back to this

My new favorite thing to eat...appies!

Tummy tickles

Yuck...the flu struck this guy first

Poor kid was so sick for almost 14 hours

We kept this guy away from him that whole day...this was him having a nap in our bed while watching a movie!

The next day he seemed back to normal but kept him home from school anyways just in case

Playing cards with Daddy after supper

Oh is the next sickie the next morning

Oh yeah, and his poor Dad got it the worst out of all 3 of them! I luckily avoided the worst of it and just walked around feeling yucky for 2 days.

Feeling better and back at karate

Big smiles on a Friday morning

My very unhealthy breakfast of chips and salsa

And lunch of Eggos and chocolate milk

And more appies for supper

James's karate belt testing - more pictures and videos coming up in another post!

And getting treats afterwards

Wanted me to take his picture at the school one day

Another Nana taken photo

More puzzle time for Jordie

Jordie and Maddie at the Christmas store at Springtime Nursery