Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Birthday and An Update

On Sunday, May 1, Joel turned four -- our little joy-bringer with his spunk, hilarity, overflowing affection, stubborn streak, contagious giggle, deep love of Star Wars, devotion to the color orange, and propensity to say the name of whomever he's talking to a dozen times before breathing or allowing them to respond.  There is something about Joel that is simply irresistible.  He worms his little way into your heart, and then even in the most disobedient or disrespectful of times, there is something in us that can't help smiling at Joel (though we're often trying to hide that smile).  He makes us laugh in a way no one can, and he can win anyone over.  He's gregarious, imaginative, fiesty, and sometimes a complete pill.  And we are totally, unabashedly crazy about him.  It's hard to believe he's four.  Just yesterday the grocery check-out lady asked him how old he is, and out of habit he answered, "three and a half" until he remembered his birthday and practically shouted, "No! FOUR!" with a huge grin on his face.  He is such a big boy and is becoming more and more grown-up and independent.  What a tremendous blessing our Joel is!

We celebrated his birthday with a little backyard party: hot dogs, hamburgers, the kiddie pool, a slip-n-slide, and the sprinkler.  It was Joel's request, and he loved every minute of it.  The Thiels, who all dressed in orange in honor of the birthday boy, joined us as did our good friends, the Elliotts (or 3/4 of the Elliotts, anyway).  The boys played hard and loved the slip-n-slide and chasing people with water blasters.  Even some of the adults enjoyed the slip-n-slide, though I wisely avoided sliding down on my watermelon belly.  :)  And of course we had a cake (orange, Joel's selection) decorated by the venerable Bryan Apinis.  Joel asked for the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo's ship in Star Wars.  Here are some pictures of our grand time celebrating Joel:

As for Beauty, my 32 week appointments revealed that my fluid is back up to borderline polyhydramnios.  Technically I am .6 within normal, but my levels are up quite a bit from last week.  My belly measurement grew two weeks in six days, so that mirrors increased fluid levels.  I suspect my amniotic fluid will simply be in flux, and that's ok.  I am happy it's not continually increasing and getting ever higher.  Probably I will continue to jump over and under the upper limit of what is considered "normal."  If my camera wasn't malfunctioning (or broken?), I would post the most recent 3D ultrasound pictures, but alas.
32 weeks, 2 days pregnant

I am feel extraordinarily blessed these days with a birthday Joel, a growing Beauty, the world's kindest child, Caleb, my amazing husband, the gift of spring, and the hope of Heaven.  And I am getting increasingly excited about meeting my fourth child.  :)

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