Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Short Haircut

It's been a while since my last post, but I felt the need to update the world on the latest happenings in my home. This week, Josh got a haircut. A little trim. He looks pretty handsome. And boy, did that haircut ever make me pleased. So Josh had been occupying himself upstairs while I was on the phone (it always happens when we are on the phone, right?) and when he came down he had this sweet little smile on his face. I thought it was because of his outfit, but it only took me a couple seconds to see what his smile was really about. I had to cover my mouth to keep myself from laughing, because you're not supposed to laugh at this sort of thing, are you? I kept my cool and made reference to him wanting a short haircut. He thought it was funny, until he realized that I was serious. If he wanted a short haircut, I'd be more than happy to give him one. I didn't think too long about it and proceeded to march him into the kitchen so I could cut the rest of it for him. Josh proceeded to scream and cry that he didn't want a short hair cut. Well, he should've thought about that before. And I couldn't help but be pleased with my undelayed reaction.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thanks Be to Our God

Psalm 46:7  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

I would be remiss if I did not say that God is amazing. He answered so many, many prayers that were offered up for our son. People that we do not even know cried out on our behalf. God showered us with love through His people. And He healed our little boy. I was speechless and overwhelmed to hear of the numerous brothers and sisters in Christ who were interceding for us. I know that through those prayers, God granted me a peace and sustained me through the weeks that Jake was in the hospital. I am grateful beyond expression.

               Psalm 46:11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

(I had been reading my Bible one evening with Jacob lying next to me in bed. I decided that since it was just me and him, I would read aloud to him. I happened to be reading Psalm 46 and came upon these two separate verses. "The God of Jacob is our refuge." This was the first chapter I ever read to Jake and God blessed me with these verses. A token of good from a God who loves us.)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cherishing Every Moment: Wrapping Up the Baby Story

It sinks in a little more as time goes on. Life is so precious. His is a miracle, in so many ways. Those two weeks in the hospital may have seemed long, but being able to bring him home was a dream come true. That dream does not always come true for many families of babies who contract Group B Strep. Thanks to early detection and prompt, proactive treatment and a God who knows the end from the beginning, little Jacob Alfred is here in my arms.

I was going home on Friday. He would be staying. There would be no more midnight trips to the NICU to hold my little baby. No more spur-of-the-moment treks down the hospital corridors to find my boy, just because I wanted to see him. My visits would have to be planned out and I would be dependent on others to help me get to where I needed to go. The thought of leaving him behind brought tears to my eyes every time I thought of it. Even though I reminded myself that "it was only two weeks" and "at least I get to bring him home", it was still painful. What if he needed me and I wasn't there? What if I needed him? But I still had Wednesday and Thursday to go through before Friday would come. And so I would get up and have the nurse wheel me down to the NICU at 2 in the morning, I would scrub up and down my arms for the allotted three minutes and I would go, sit, and soak him in during those late night hours.

He was NPO, which meant "nothing by mouth" until Friday afternoon, so I pumped milk for him to drink eventually and hoped there would be no great learning curve when the time came where I'd be allowed to nurse him. Penicillin was given and a stronger antibiotic for the meningitis in it's appropriate doses. Jake's swelling gradually went down and eventually the massive hematoma on the back of his head disappeared. He began to look like a normal baby. We waited anxiously for cultures to come back from the lab. A second blood transfusion was given over Wednesday night. An IV had been placed through Jake's umbilicus which lessened the risk of infection with a regular IV line. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and friends came to visit, though not all were able to see Jake at that time. He was looking better and better. He was by far the biggest baby in his room. His neighbors were tiny preemie babies, one of whom was born at 24 weeks, 5 days. Jake dwarfed them all, being born at a whopping 10 lbs, 2 oz.

Friday morning came and so did Adam and Joshua. We procrastinated as long as we could. Dawdled in the NICU kissing our boy and little brother. I held the tears in until we got to the car. We weren't home ten minutes before I was wondering when we could go back to the hospital. Uncle Jim and his fiance were coming into town and they were going to go up and see our new baby. It seemed like days before we were finally back in the car and on our way.

And so it would be all week. Anxiously waiting for the minute I'd be back with my tiny boy. I had friends and family who graciously volunteered themselves to drive me to the hospital, friends and family who made meals, and friends and family who cared for Joshua during the afternoons while I held Jake. I was given the okay on Saturday to finally try nursing my baby for the first time. He was four days old. Someone must've been praying that'd he be able to nurse, as that learning curve I'd been afraid of was non-existent. Everything seemed to be going very smoothly.

Then Monday happened. Another scare for Mommy. My friend and I were sitting in the NICU and I was nursing Jake. We'd been there about a half hour. Jake's heart-rate monitor begins to sound it's alarm, which is entirely normal, and I tell my friend that it's a false alarm, assuming it is like every other time. Except that this time it's not. The alarm continues to sound until his nurse peeks around the curtain to see what is going on. His heart rate is up at 250. The neonatologist is called and a few other people too. Ice is applied to my baby's face and the doctor talks in a quiet voice to those now standing around my boy. I don't know whether to be brave or to cry. My friend stands by with me. After about 20 minutes, Jake's heart-rate goes back down on it's own. There was speculation that this high heart-rate episode was caused by the UV line, which was due to come out the next morning. Often times, the line gradually works it's way in too far and "tickles" the heart into a fast rate or tachycardia. But this was not the case, as three days later, after the line was pulled, again Jake's heart went into a tachycardia, only this time it did not resolve on it's own. Two doses of a medicine which I do not know the name of were given, and finally his heart rate went down. I think I am thankful I was not present for the second episode, as it sounds like it was more intense than the first. The neonatologist called me at home to tell me of what happened and again I waited anxiously for my ride to arrive.

The cardiologist prescribed my baby propranolol to keep his heart rate down and we have not had any more episodes since then. They diagnosed Jacob with having SVT's due to immaturity of his heart tissue and an overactive electrical system. There is hope that he will grow out of it and will no longer need to be medicated. Left untreated, if an SVT continues for over a couple days, it can cause heart failure. I am again thankful to know that this is possible and we can be proactive and work to prevent such an occurrence.

After that, our stay in the NICU was uneventful and we played the waiting game, waiting for Jacob to be cleared to come home. Two weeks after his birth, our little boy was given the okay to come home and joined his family. I am cherishing every moment.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A Little More of the Baby Story

My little baby in the Special Care Nursery, before being transferred to the NICU.
They were going to transfer my baby to Strong. By 11am, my little baby, not quite six hours old, was struggling to breathe. Not only was he in pain from his traumatic birth, he now was wheezing and not able to catch his breath. It became apparent to the nursing staff that this new little baby was sick. By the end of the day, Jacob had spent several hours in an oxygen bubble, had a chest x-ray, numerous blood cultures, and finally a lumbar puncture (or spinal tap). Initially it was determined Jake had an infection in his blood, but toward the end of the day, after the L.P., there was substantial reason to suspect the infection had spread into his spinal fluid and the fluid surrounding his brain. I feel like I took the events of the day all in and still kept my wits about me and my emotions under control, for the most part. Though maybe I have blocked out my most intense emotions of the day... By the time I received the information that Jacob would indeed be transferred to Strong Hospital, the best hospital and NICU in our area, Adam had gone home for the night to get some rest. Still, I had a few family members come to see me and my baby that evening. My brother Dave and his wife were there with me when the nurses in the Special Care Nursery told me of their decision to transfer Jake and also warned me that I may not be able to transfer along with him. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I found great comfort in the fact that my big brother was there at that very difficult moment. It didn't matter that Dave and I hadn't really been speaking much lately, somehow I could feel his love and compassion in spite of our strained relationship. Something about having him there... My biggest fear was not being able to accompany my baby as he went to another hospital. I did not want to stay behind. Tears started every time I thought about it. I prayed that there would be a bed available for me. There was no way I was ready to be discharged. That would be my only other option. Or stay where I was. I had just had a 10 lb 2 oz baby and was in great pain. I knew I needed to stay in the hospital longer. Praise the Lord I did not need to worry long. A bed was available and I was able to transfer right after Jacob.

Big brother so wished to hold our little one, but he had to wait many more days before he would get his chance.
My first peek of little Jacob in the NICU was at about 11:30pm. He was swaddled tightly and hooked up to all kinds of wires. He still had a nasal cannula in his nose and was lying in a little bed with a nurse tending to him. I cannot remember if I held him at that time, but right before he had been transferred, I had been allowed to hold him for the first time since he was born. I soaked in that moment as only a Mom could. Jake opened his eyes and looked at me, his little mouthed opened like a little bird. His body relaxed in my arms and I was thankful. Here he was. Alive. In my arms. Getting the best care possible. Being loved and prayed for by many. He had received his first dose of antibiotics as soon as an infection was suspected. The pediatricians and nurses had been working proactively to care for my newborn son.

After seeing Jake was safe, I went back to my room to sleep, only to be awoken at 2:30am by two doctors from the NICU coming to inform me that Jacob's blood count was low and he had to have a blood transfusion. But that wasn't it. They suspected he had meningitis and he also would be having a brain scan. They asked me if I was familiar with meningitis. I blinked sleep out of my eyes and asked if I should go see him. They told me that I should, as soon as I could. Deep breaths. I told myself my baby was going to be okay, he's going to be okay, he's going to be okay. I found myself down at the NICU, staring at my baby. It was going to be a long week.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Just a Little Love

Jake's first night home. Getting some big brother love already. (September 25, 2012)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The First Part: The Baby Story

There are times when we make plans. We have a certain way we would like things to go. We pray for events to occur in the way that we think is best. But things don't always happen the way we want them to. For instance, I prayed for a quick and easy deliver. God said no. I prayed that my baby would be safe and healthy. God didn't answer in the exact way I wanted. I made a birth plan in which I would have no episiotomy. I was to hold me baby right away and nurse him immediately. I wanted him skin-to-skin, in my arms, and to spend the first hour absorbing him, just me and my husband. Funny how none of those plans came to be.

My last night pregnant. 40 weeks and 4 days.

Saturday, the eighth of September, Adam and I took a trip to the hospital, which ended up being a false alarm. Both the midwife and the nurse I saw while there said they thought my baby was close to 7 1/2  or 8 pounds. I breathed a sigh of relief that maybe this baby would be smaller than Joshua was after all. Josh was 8 lbs, 9 oz at birth. I spent the next several days as normal and even ran all my errands with Josh on Monday afternoon. I had been having minor contractions for weeks, so I thought very little of the ones I had while walking through Target, the library and everywhere else we stopped that afternoon. After dinner, I asked to accompany Adam and Josh on their nightly walk, and we walked the mile-long trail around Big Field. My thought was, that since my contractions hadn't disappeared entirely yet, that maybe some more walking would do me some good. That night I went to bed exhausted, but I would get no sleep.

I lay in bed for an hour feeling minor contractions, just like every night for the week previous, and tried to sleep. The contractions were coming regularly, but were unconcerning to me and I just tried to get comfortable. Sleep evaded me. Sometime around 10pm, I felt this "pop" inside my pelvis and suddenly it was as if my contractions were turned up a notch or three. It wasn't long before I told Adam he should probably take Josh over to his parents house, who live not more than five minutes down the road. By quarter after 11, I had talked with my midwife and we were on our way to the hospital. I was only 3cm dilated by the time we arrived and I knew this wasn't going to be the "quick and easy" I had hoped for. Already the contractions were painful and I wasn't anywhere close to the 6cm I had been when the contractions got painful when Josh was born. I labored for the next four and a half hours, with Adam by my side. It was very intense and I fought to keep myself from crying. I progressed very slowly, compared to my expectations. (I learned that the second time you go through labor is not always faster than the first.) It took forever to go from 8cm to 10cm and finally they gave me the okay to push. It was 4am. There was some concern with the baby's heart rate being too high, so the pediatrician was called in, just in case. Soon there were a few more people in the room and I remember asking Jesus to help me. There was the mention of "if his heart rate doesn't come down". Adam was saying they were getting things ready, he's coming, he's coming. Time kept going on. I could hardly do it anymore. His heart rate... Was it getting better yet? I don't remember. The nurse, my midwife, whoever else was there at the time were telling me, "Come on Bethany, you can do it. Push harder!" Finally his head was out... They were still urging me to push. But this is supposed to be the part where I can stop pushing and his body will just slip out, right? There seems to be at least a dozen people there now. The mood in the room goes from urgent to emergency and I hear Adam begging God to help his baby. The midwife asks how long it has been. 1 minute. Adam begins to panic. That is what clued me in that things were not going as they were supposed to. What was happening to my baby? My strength was gone and still they urged me to push. Now it has been two minutes. I feel them pulling at my baby trying to get him out. I try my best to push with anything I had left. Adam is on his knees. And then they pull him out. He does not cry. I don't know what to think. They are tending to him under the lights. Finally he makes a noise and my midwife says, "Did you hear him? He is going to be okay." Before they take him to the Special Care Nursery to check him over more completely, they let me hold him for a couple seconds. And then he was gone.

The proper name for what had happened is Shoulder Distocia. He had gotten stuck at his shoulders for two or more minutes. Adam believed that our baby was not breathing or getting oxygen during those minutes, but in reality he was still receiving oxygen via his umbilical cord. The pediatrician in Special Care confirmed that his oxygen levels were okay and that he had no nerve damage in his arms due to the pulling on his arms during delivery. Thankfully they did not have to use forceps or vacuum or anything worse. But he still needed to be monitored in the nursery and we could go see him. His face was swollen and purple and we were told we could touch him, but not stroke him, because of his traumatic birth. He recoiled at our touch because he was in pain and I tried to be so gentle. I placed my hands by his feet, knowing his feet had to be the least tender as they were the last and smallest part of his body to be born. I cried with both exhaustion and sadness. My poor baby. I so wanted to wrap my arms around him and coo in his face, but instead he lay under the heat lamp in pain.

My baby:
Jacob Alfred
10 pounds, 2 ounces
22 1/4 inches long
at 40 weeks and 5 days,
4:48 am, on September 11, 2012.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

A Little Premature

I never wanted to be "one of those people". You know the type... Running to the doctor for every little scratch or tickle in their throat. Or the kind that runs to the hospital three or four times before they are actually in labor. Well, my impatience may be catching up to me. After eight hours of contractions last night, we left for the hospital at 6:30 am. I was rather nervous on our ride into the hospital that maybe the contractions were subsiding, that maybe this was a false alarm, that maybe I had woken Adam up for nothing, and that maybe I'd look like the stupid one for coming into the hospital before it was really time. And yes, true to form, my contractions lasted the night and left me in the morning. We were sent home, and I was told to go to sleep. Get some rest and maybe you'll be back later. They gave me Tylenol with codeine so I would be sure to sleep well and sleep I did. Now I feel like I am back to the denial stage. He's coming I know, but I kinda doubt it'll be soon. It's just protective mode really. An effort not to get my hopes up prematurely. Now watch, he'll probably end up being born at home or in the car, just cause I don't want to go to the hospital too soon.

Friday, September 07, 2012

No Birthday Baby for You!

She said he didn't feel like an eight pound baby. That was Tuesday. I don't want impatience to run my life, and so far I think I've done pretty well waiting for "Fred" to come. But now I think it's time. I would like him not to be nine pounds or more, though I'd keep him even if he was... Yet, the longer he stays in there, the more likely he will be, well, huge. Thankfully, my own rate of growth considerably slowed down back in July. In June, he was measuring up to two weeks ahead and I was sure I was going to give birth to a ten pound baby. Thankfully, that growth rate didn't continue, but instead slowed and he got back on track. (Or maybe I got back on track with more veggies and less ice cream...) It'd be kinda nice if he came this weekend, since he's not coming today. (Pretty sure of that. Like 99.9% sure.) My brother and his fiance` are coming into town next weekend and I'd love to have somewhat recovered my equilibrium and regained some control of my emotions by the time they arrive. In other words, I'd like to have had my baby and be back at home before next Friday, with a few days to spare. Am I ready? I think so. Is Adam ready? Well, this evening he prayed that he would come quickly.... Is Josh ready? He was ready seven months ago. Is "Fred" ready? Now that is the question that begs answering. (Sorry Auntie Kathy. No birthday baby for you.)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

40 Weeks and Feeling Loved

Forty weeks today! I think he's been thoroughly cooked and is ready to come now. I am ready for him to come too. I had a sweet friend stop by tonight with a bag of goodies for me. You know those things I have put off buying? Well, the bag was filled with those things. Baby wash and lotion, a crib mattress pad, and some mommy things. I feel loved. Fred, you now have my permission to come. I would like to kiss you tomorrow and help celebrate my Auntie Kathy's birthday with your arrival. Now be a good little boy and listen to your Mommy.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

40 Weeks, For Real?

39 weeks
Supposedly he's coming soon. "Fred", that is. He's due on Thursday. Of this week. In basically one more day. I've been having "baby" contractions for weeks now. Just little ones. Not anything too, too exciting. He's coming eventually. I am trying to decide if I am really prepared for this. Not the labor part, but the bringing him home part. It's something I've been waiting for for a long time. Baby number two. But now it's been almost five years and I find myself wondering if I have forgotten anything major between then and now. Like baby wash... Who needs that, right? I mean, how soon does a baby actually need a bath? Is he going to cry and keep Adam awake at night? Oh yeah, he is, isn't he? I'm going to have two kids? Whoa! I asked Josh what he was looking forward to most, about "Fred" coming and he said playing legos... That may be a small problem. I've tried explaining that little brother is going to come out very small, a tiny baby, too small to play toys right away, but somehow it has still gone right over his head. Josh will have to wait several years before "Fred" is ready to play big kid toys with him, and hopefully, Josh will have enough patience at that time to appease and entertain little brother by doing so. In the mean time, he will have to practice being gentle and giving sweet snuggles and kisses to little brother. I think he can manage that okay and hopefully he won't be too disappointed that little brother is actually that. Little. The whole "having a baby" thing is hard to wrap my mind around. I still wonder how much of me (and the rest of us- Adam and Josh) is still in denial. I mean, I did go and buy diapers a week and a half ago, but somehow there is this part of me that is in disbelief. Really? I'm really going to have a baby any day now? Naw... Maybe in a month or two he'll be here, but not any day soon. For reals? You mean I'll be 40 WEEKS pregnant in approximately 24 1/2 hours? Yes, yes I will be. And Fred is coming soon. And I will be so ready to hold him. And smell him. And rub my nose on his baby soft cheeks. And stare dreamily at him while he snoozes. And kiss him. And praise the Lord for the miracle He has granted me by giving us this child. To think that all I had to do was ask Him. And He said yes. Thank you God, for our little "Fred".

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ann Voskamp's End of Summer To Do List

(Or the before you have a baby list.)

The Easy Before-Summer-Ends Plan
{14 Things to do in the last 2 weeks}
Just one a day:
1. Make a fruit pie
2. Eat under stars
3. Walk through one woods

4. Dip both feet in water
5. Sing hymns around flame {choice: candles or campfire}
6. Lick drippy ice cream

7. Find a swing and swing high
8. Pick a bouquet of wildflowers : set in sill. Or give it away.
9. Play one game of anything out on grass {frisbee, baseball, soccer, croquet, volleyball}

10. Eat something fresh {from the garden or the market or your mother’s}
11. Lay down on grass, look up and watch clouds for five minutes
12. Go to a park and play until something in you feels lighter

13. Open a window. Listen to the world. Slow. Still.
Pray before that open window.
14. Sit with someone you love and watch the sunset. Say it out loud: Thank you.

A brief overview:

We moved.

I am going to have a baby in about three weeks.

My last day of work was yesterday.

Today was my first day as a stay-at-home mom.

I still have not taken pictures of my new house.

Adam and I have still not gone on a "before baby arrives" date.

Joshua threw the biggest temper tantrum ever this afternoon. And my grandma was here to witness it.

Welcome to stay-at-home motherhood.

I think I will cry myself to sleep.

And I am getting fat.

PS Twenty minutes later and I changed my mind about crying myself to sleep. Just in case you were worried.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Joy and Cheer

Do you ever feel like doing this? A little bit of pouting and a little bit of sulking went on here today. It's becoming slightly routine as of late. It gets a little tiring after a while. How about putting on a smile and sharing some cheer?

Two Moms, Two Boys, Two Bellies

This morning I had an old friend and her little boy come and play. We went to church together as kids and reconnected on Facebook. She's a little pregnant too. Okay, maybe we're both a lot pregnant. Jackie is due three weeks before me, but I'd still be willing to race her to the finish. Her son and mine were supposed to play in the sprinkler together, but "C" had different plans. He really just wanted to get his two year old hands dirty in Josh's "Gnome Home" box. After we put the "Gnome Home" in the house to keep it safe, "C" was content to play with Josh's tractors in the grass. My own little boy was not feeling very friendly today, which was a shame. He had several late nights this week and last night was no exception. Needless to say, he was a little grouchy. But having a friend over who is a bit younger than himself is good practice for when Little Brother arrives. We'll have to try our visit again when Josh is feeling a little more... happy. And less droopy. I, on the other hand, had a nice visit and it was fun to compare our pregnancies. Jackie is also expecting son #2. Little brothers are so much fun!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You Are Not Special Commencement Speech from Wellesley High School

A little reminder and challenge for myself. Thanks Dad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Talents and Dreams and More Trusting

When you don't know what to do, eat ice cream.
I've been thinking about talents the past couple of days. You know, those things that people are good at? There are few things that I feel I am very good at. I might be able to get things done in a decent fashion, but as far as being really good at something, I can only count one or two. Knowing that I'll be needed to earn a supplementary income while being a stay-at-home-mom, starting this coming October, has me thinking about what sort of things I am good at. For the past four years, I have been working for a friend, taking care of and teaching young children. But do I feel that I excel in that area? It's certainly something I can do, but I lack confidence while doing it. Maybe because there are too many more talented individuals that I compare myself too... Or maybe it is because I know my own shortcomings. I am coming around to the thought that, girls and young women, even if their intent is to get married and raise a family, should develop talents. The things she finds herself drawn toward, be it teaching young children, photography, nursing, sewing, language, writing, or owning her own business, those tendencies should be developed and practiced until she possesses a valuable skill. Having a skill or talent not only adds confidence, but becomes a valuable asset to young mothers trying to supplement the family income while raising their children. So where do I go from here? 26 years old, two little boys (one of them a newborn), on the verge of beginning Kindergarten with Joshua, in a new neighborhood, possibility stretched out on the horizon... If homeschooling doesn't give me enough of a brain cramp when I think about it, I am to figure out how to make about $200 a week from home, starting this fall. I try not to think about it too hard and just trust that God will fill the gap, but sometimes I start scheming and dreaming of doing something I really love and am good at. Like baking pies. That is something I am good at. (Or can I really make $200 a week growing veggies?? Not likely.) But the logistics boggle my mind and having little encouragement from my brave leader, I am already sinking. He is a realist. I am a dreamer. He suggests that I could clean houses one day a week. The thought makes me shudder, and exhausts me. Could I do it? Yes, but not happily. Couldn't I really make an average of $200 a week selling pies at the public market once a week? Then I come back to caring for children. Don't I love kids? Wouldn't it be easiest to find one or two to love during the weekdays? Maybe I had better just keep my feet on the ground, head out of the clouds and continue to do what I've been doing for the past four years, loving little kids... Or is that just a cop-out, because the rest of my dreams seem just out of reach and I am too lazy to try? What are my talents? Where are they hiding? Again, I am trusting God to lead me and guide me into the unknown. May He fill that gap and may I trust him with my dreams, even if my dreams really are to love the children of others' while raising my own.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


It'll be three weeks tomorrow since we've been on the market. And we've had zero walk-thrus. We are trying not to be anxious about it and I've made it a consistent matter of prayer. I have been praying that a Christian family would buy our house and they would be a godly witness in our neighborhood. Perhaps my request has narrowed the field too much? I know that God has someone for our little house, but we may have to wait a while for them to show up. That's typically how things go on our little street. Houses sit for long periods of time before they sell. Our house was on the market a year and a half before we bought it. Hopefully it won't be that long... We are supposed to close on our new house in July, so we at least don't have to rush in the moving process. Well, except for the fact that Little Brother is due in the beginning of September, and I'd like to be mostly settled before he gets here... And I'd like to at least have Joshua's new bedroom painted from pink to blue before we move. I think if his room looks as much like his does now, it'll be an easier transition for him, though I still expect to have him climbing into bed with us for the first several days in our new house. (How comfy will that be for me, at eight months pregnant, sandwiched between a sweaty husband and a squirmy little boy?)

This is time for us to trust God (isn't it always?) and commit the transition to Him. He knows all the details and He knows each and everyone affected by our move. Even my young neighbors here. And how my commute to work will grow by a half hour after we move, even if it is only temporary. Maybe it'll be good to stay here a little longer. I'm not looking forward to the 50 minute commute, though it'll only be until the end of August. See? God knows.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Honest About Houses

So, last week I was stressing about looking at houses and looking for a home. I felt I had let my husband down by not loving the house he loved. I tried to love it for a whole day. I honestly tried to convince myself that this house was for us. But for some reason it didn't feel right to me. Was the house too small? Was the yard to small? Was it the kitchen? The bedrooms? The perfectly manicured yard? Nothing seemed like a good reason to not want to live in this beautiful house. I felt like a rat in a cage, with no where to run. We planned to go see the house one more time and probably put in an offer afterwards. Two hours beforehand, I finally broke down and said I did not think that our second scheduled visit was going to make me love the house. We canceled our appointment and spent several agonizing hours hating each other. He was upset. I was unsettled. Maybe I made a mistake... Why did I have to be the one to decide? We knew that time was of the essence, because an offer had been put on the house by a different couple the night before. We couldn't spend days debating it. Finally, I told Adam to call our realtor back. See if we could change our mind and see it. See if we could put an offer in. I felt horrible because Adam was so crushed about the house. He was already convinced this place was perfect. By the time our realtor got back to us, it was too late. The other offer was already going before the home owners. I'm not sure if I felt relieved or more guilty.

Two days later we saw two more houses. The first one we looked at felt like home when I walked in. Large rooms up and down. Over a half acre of land, with room for a garden and room for my boys to run and play in their own yard. Roomy kitchen. Fenced in patio area to play in. Big trees. It did need a new oven/stove and the bathroom was severely outdated. It was missing the extra family room that would be so nice when company was over and the kids got noisy. Adam said it was too small. I said okay. That night, I couldn't sleep. My mind kept going over and over about the house. I knew how Adam must've felt over the weekend. I was figuring out how we could work things in the house. Where we could make extra room appear, so our boys could play in their own space. Could we make a play space in the basement? And my new stove with oven would go right at the end of the counter. That stove-top would go and so would that built in oven that was half the size of a normal oven. How long did it take me to go to sleep? Maybe hours? Wednesday I practiced being honest. I started with my community group and how I needed to put my family first this week. I told my friend and employer about our plans to move and how, after the baby came, I planned to stay at home and watch a couple kids there. How I was not planning to come back to work and how the commute would be too long after we moved and I had two little kids in tow. I don't know how I managed that part, since I was dreading the whole conversation, but it was taken very well and given rather matter-of-factly. Then, at suppertime that evening, I practiced being honest with my husband. I told him how I felt about the house we had see the day before. I liked it. I really liked it. I gave my suggestions as far as family/play rooms go and about the stove and what not. He heard me out and we had a pleasant conversation. The next day we saw another house and both hated it. And we put an offer on the house that I loved. Adam was coming around to it. And, by Friday afternoon, after a counteroffer or two, the house was ours. Even Adam was excited! We will be moving this summer. In July. Before the baby comes! And I just may have time to settle in before September arrives.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

My mind won't turn off this evening. There's too much to think about. Too much for me to do in the next week and a half. And figure out. We have exactly one week to finish prepping our house to be on the market. Yes, we are planning to make a move. Yes, while pregnant. Hey, last time I was pregnant we moved, so why not this time too? We are not going too far, just closer to where we always are. Closer to where Adam typically works. Closer to church, to the store, to the other Grandma. Farther from where I work, farther from the close-to-us Grandma, farther from my vegetable garden... We are excited and stressed too. I'm trying to give it all to God and not worry about finding the perfect house, but I am still thinking about it, especially when I should be sleeping. We have four months before baby brother is due and I would love to be settled in our new home before then. And God knows that. He also know where that will be and how long it will take to sell our house. He knows my tomato plants just came in the mail and that they need to be planted in my garden soon. And He knows I would like access to them in August when they are producing big, juicy, red tomatoes. God knows my husband is tired of driving so far to and from work each day. And He knows that I currently drive 25 minutes to work three days a week and if we move during mid-summer, I will have to make a 45-50 minute commute until the end of August. He knows that I would need to supplement the family income somehow after I stop working outside of out home and He knows how that will happen. He knows exactly when baby brother will arrive. He knows our families needs and desires in a house, even if we aren't sure exactly what they are ourselves. And I think it is GREAT that He knows ALL these things! He even tells us to cast all our cares upon Him, because He cares about us! So why am I still awake at night thinking about details? (Oh yes, there are many more details I have not shared. For instance, the bridal shower I am hosting at my house in 11 days... How can it be pretty and dainty and lovely and wonderful and a blessing and a success all at the same time? All at the same time as I am cleaning and boxing and sorting and tossing and getting no sleep? I guess God knows that too...)

Oh yes, and baby brother is 23 weeks tomorrow. An amazing, unexpected miracle and gift. God's timing is perfect. Who am I to second guess Him?

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Baby Love

Loving baby at Grammy's house
I think he likes babies. What do you think? He will make a good brother. Little Brother will be blessed to have him.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pink or Blue

I read about it in a magazine. And I thought it was the best. idea. ever. Well, maybe not ever... But pretty close. It was about cake. Pink or blue cake and a good surprise. The idea was, after your ultrasound, have the tech write on a piece of paper whether you were having a boy or girl, and stick it inside a sealed envelope so you cannot read it. Take the envelope to a bakery and have them make you a pink or blue cake depending on what is in the envelope, but frost the cake neutrally. I took it from there. I fashioned pink and blue flags so my guests could wave them in anticipation and share their guess. I also colored sugar with a few drops of food coloring so we could sprinkle our ice cream appropriately. Tonight we had our party. Adam, my very good secret keeper, kept the secret safe after he passed along the information to our cake baker, who turned out to be my Aunt, since the bakery didn't work out. Check out the pictures to see how it all played out!
Pink and blue flags await the voting!
The mystery cake
The crowd had voted. It's a pretty even vote! Might say 50/50.
"You mean, it's a brother?"
Happy Mom and Dad!
Boy: A noise with dirt on it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Road Trippin'

We road-tripped it this past month. My friend Emily and I embarked on an adventure and drove 14 hours south to see our mutual friend Carissa and her new baby. We spent the week (almost) together, and didn't stop moving the entire time. The baby is the sweetest thing ever... I can't wait for Carissa to bring her to NY to visit in June.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Sweets

Family. They mean the world to me. And I am growing more and more fond of them each day. I am soaking in my little boy each day I can. We snuggle longer before bedtime, way past "bedtime". He sits with me and begs for another story. He asks to kiss the baby, so I let him kiss my belly. He pokes at my flat belly button and I imagine how he is going to have to share me in four and half short months. He's been my only child for four and half years. We've never known any different. I'm sure he will love his little baby, and hopefully he won't feel any resentment at having to share his Mom and Dad and his snuggle space. As for my honey, I think he is growing sweeter every day. I just love this picture of the both of them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Gardening Bug Has Bit

Spring has sprung a little early this year. We don't usually get 80° weather in mid-March. Nor do I usually have a sunburn on March 20th. But both are true this year. The unseasonably warm weather has me in gardening mood this week and I have been busy prepping the soil in my garden. I have also been planting seeds in pots in anticipation of adding a container garden to my already full garden space. Josh is more than eager to be my helper this year, and though I have to set limits for him, I think I'll concede a small space of garden to him to tend. My only downer is that the bugs in my garden are already prolific, which was actually predicted already by the "experts". I think this is the year that we have to call the exterminator, especially for the box-elder beetle infestation that we have. Hopefully the bugs won't deter me from planting "cool weather" seeds in my raised beds by the end of this week. I'm assuming that we'll still have some cool weather before the end of May. I mean, we have had snow in April before. But peas, radishes and lettuce sure do sound tasty!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Like Getting Packages

Look what came in the mail yesterday!!! If only I didn't have to wait until the end of the summer to use it!

Fifteen Weeks

It's been an exhausting 15 weeks, but baby is finally showing itself! Adam laughed this week, when he realized my tummy had suddenly (and I mean suddenly) grown. After two months straight of being sick, and then getting a nasty diarrhea bug that drained everything out of me, I had lost a considerable amount of weight and felt like I was wasting away. I visited Urgent Care one evening during my fight with the "bug", and they pumped me up with nearly two bags of fluid and sent me home with a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea medicine, so I could at least start eating food. Although I spent the next several days living off rice and applesauce, I was at least eating. And once the bug bit the dust, I still had a few days worth of Zofran to keep the morning sickness at bay. I couldn't believe how hungry I was. All day my stomach would be grumbling and all day I would be snacking. This weekend I have finally seen some weight put back on, and my baby is announcing his or her presence to the world. I'm hoping that I will start getting some of my energy back in the next couple of weeks, because as it currently stands, if I don't get a nap during the day, bedtime calls me between 7:30 and 8:00. Which isn't altogether bad, but I do kinda feel like an old lady when I am in bed by 8 pm.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pregnancy and Puking

Twelve weeks today. We've had a rough start, this baby and I. But soon we can put that behind us and enjoy each others presence a little more... I've lost 6-8 lbs in the past month and a half, if that helps put my morning sickness into perspective. Granted, some of that weight was holiday weight, that should've been coming off anyways, but still I haven't weighed under 123 in a looong time. I started taking miniscule amounts of B12 last night, in addition to vitamin B6 and my prenatal vitamins. It's supposed to help with the vomiting. So far, no pukes this morning. We'll see if that lasts... Still, it's weird not having puked yet.

Did I say that we saw our baby last week on an ultrasound? Josh thought that maybe it was a butterfly. Now that he knows it's a baby, he's sure he is getting a sister, just as he prayed for. Earlier this week, I told him to tell the baby a bedtime story, just for kicks. He hesitated, and then told me he only knew boy stories. He didn't know any girl stories and therefore, he could not tell the baby a story. (I think I laughed out loud.) I asked him what he would do if the baby were a brother instead of a sister, and he assured me that he did not want a brother and that it has to be a girl. He's pretty confident that his prayers for a sister will be answered. I wouldn't mind that really, but I'm trying to stay open-minded. LOL

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Do they always come out of the box like that?

The answer is obviously no, there are not two little pink lines when it comes out of the box. Only if your son's prayers have been answered. Joshua has been praying. And God has said yes. (He's also been praying things like, "Can you please hurry up and make our baby come out?") After three days of nausea, I already knew it, but took the test any ways, just to be sure. Now 5 or 6 weeks later, the nausea hasn't subsided. I'm 11 1/2 weeks and due September 6th. We got to see our little one last Tuesday, during an early ultrasound. I'm in love already.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Bit of Painting

This past month, I have been a busy girl. I had some extra time off of work during January, and I took advantage of my slower schedule by redoing some rooms. We started with the bathroom. We painted, and painted, and hung a new mirror, chose a new decor and got excited about it. When the room was finished (with the exception of finding shelves to hang on the wall), I set to work with a little creativity of my own. I used Modge Podge and old magazines to cover four canvas pallets. Then, parking myself on the bathroom floor so I could see the trees on the shower curtain, I painted. I'm not very good at painting "free-style", but I think I do okay if I have something to copy. I was very pleased with the results and cannot wait to find a proper shelf so I can hang the remaining two pictures on the wall. I cannot help but smile...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hockey Hopes

There's my little hockey player. His Daddy signed him up for beginner hockey this year. Joshua is so proud of his uniform. You should see him beam when he tries on his pads for show and tell opportunities. Adam is helping coach the youngest group of skaters, and it is quite hilarious to watch father and son out on the ice. Josh kind of skates with a one-step and Adam is doing his best to encourage his confidence, since that is what is keeping Josh from skating faster. With time, I'm sure he'll get the hang of it and soon he'll be Mr. Speedy Skates! He'll have so much more fun once he isn't always last!

Training a Smartie Pants

This month, I've tried getting myself into the "school work" mindset. Josh is four and soon Kindergarten will be upon us. My plan is to homeschool and I would like to be prepared for the task that lies ahead. I've collected a few fun learning games and educational items that would stimulate our young genius' mind. (I use the term genius rather loosely.) Josh received a Rush Hour Jr. game for Christmas, as well as a Mini Luk book, the game of Quirkle, and our favorite new card game to play together, Swish. I love seeing his mind being stimulated by each of these "games", with the exception of Quirkle, which is still a bit too hard for him. I've also been trying to get him to put the alphabet in order with scrabble tiles. You can almost see the wheels turning in his head in the above photos. And yes, he has a little bit of trouble after he gets to "G", but there has been much improvement since I took these photos. Maybe, just maybe, a big maybe, he will be ready for Kindergarten next year. More like maybe I will be ready...