Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

Despite how I've felt about the rest of the holidays, I am looking forward to the New Year! I love a fresh start. As a kid and teenager it was always about a new start for school-new books, new clothes, new friends (because we moved often enough that I usually started each year at a new school!) and just in general a clean slate. Now, it's always about the New Year (although we do get new school books and supplies once a year around here since I homeschool the kiddos-is that my secret reason for homeschooling? Hmmm...). The new year gives me a chance to figure out a few goals that I want to work towards. Goals that will make me feel better about me.
So, this year here it is!

1. Gotta have the obligatory weight loss goal. This year it's extra necessary since I just had a baby, and unfortunately, he didn't weight 50 lbs. I was really hoping he would...then that would justify that weight gain. Oh well. Guess it's all on me now. :) So, lose weight and exercise??

2. BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET!!!! Gotta get that budget under control. My (lofty) goal for this year is to pay off our "small" credit card balance. It's only "small" if you are looking at that as a relative term. I don't know if we can do it, but I will sure give it a try. The first step is to quit using it. Ha.

3. Quit yelling. Period. I read once in a parenting book (Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel) that yelling at your kids and expecting them to respond is like honking the horn on your car and excpecting the car to respond. It just doesn't make sense. And yet, I continue to yell. I'd like to practice the act of whispering when I feel the need to YELL. Maybe, just maybe, if I do this my children will follow suit and not yell so much. Our house is small and our family is not. Quieter would be better.

4. Not only do I need to budget my finances but I need to budget my time better. It is a resource-one that is more valuable than money if you really think about it-and should be treated as such. Time is a blessing. God gives it to me. I need to use it wisely. I think that the chaos in my house would be less if I budgeted my time (and my children's) more carefully.

5. Read my Bible more. I know it's good for me. And yet I just don't do it. I know that right now might not be the time to expect that I will do it for a certain amount of time every day (my plate is pretty full and I'm trying to find my groove as a mama of four) but just to do it once a day. Maybe post a verse somewhere in my house (kitchen?) that I can see it and think on it. Learn it. Hide it in my heart.

I think that's enough for now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Touch With Real People?

So, apparently our president-who is in touch with real people and knows what it's like to be a regular person thinks it's real and normal (in a down economy) to spend 2 weeks at Christmas time in a 7,000 square foot house with a phenomenonal view of one of Hawaii's most beautiful beaches. For the low price of $4000 per night. And don't forget the two neighboring houses they rented for friends and family. 'Cause that's real and regular. Never mind that the average American is struggling to make his mortgage payment. Never mind that food banks are at an all-time low right now because everyone is in need. At least the "regular" person minded president will be swimming in the lagoon style pool that the house is built around. Oh, and the average Hawaiian person (according to GMA's exclusive) doesn't have a real evergreen tree for Christmas-they are not common in Hawaii and are therefore very expensive. But! Don't fear...the Obamas have one! Phew. I was worried there.

Now, I'm not saying the President and his family don't deserve a vacation. I'm sure it's stressful being the President. But, that is just not how "regular" people live.

Can I point out where our former President spent most of his vacations? Yeah. At a ranch in Crawford, TX. I believe I heard that he spent at least some of his time clearing brush. Hmmmm.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Perfectionist No More!

Oh, I still have ideals in my head about how things *should* be. But I am realistic enough to know that I can't do it all now. Not that I could before, but I sure tried-and drove my family crazy in the process.

In years past I might have gone all over town looking for cute hats and making sure the kids matched and had haircuts within the previous 3 months. Oh and found the perfect spot to take the picture...for an outcome something like this:

This year my Christmas pictures look something like this:

Ok, that was not a facsimile, but the actual thing. No Christmas clothes or hats or even colors this year. Didn't even pose them in front of the Christmas tree (that was decorated entirely by the children and looks nicely imperfect-you know the look, globs of ice-cicles in some places and none in the others, some ornaments not even used-what's up with the discrimination of ornaments??? but it looks like a happy tree! Isn't that what counts? Martha Stewart would not be impressed, but hey, she was in prison for a while. I wasn't impressed with that! Oh, and our angel has lost her lights. I have had the same angel since we got married and she has finally stopped lighting up for us. :( But I'm emotionally vested in her. She's part of us now.

And you know how you can buy small extension cords for your Christmas needs? Why would you want that small, unobtrusive green cord when you can have coils of large,orange heavy duty extension cord piled up behind your tree? THAT is the look for this year. I'm *almost* convinced myself. Maybe I'll just hide it behind a pile of folded (but not yet put away) laundry! That will help, right?

All this to say, "Okay God! I get it! I am not in control of everything and everything can't be perfect or even close to perfect! Please stop teaching me these lessons...I promise. I've learned my lesson!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Trip to the Doctor

The above pictures were taken by Sear's (the kids' ones were just before I had Nathan and the one of Nathan was when he was 2 days old)
So, today Nathan needed to go to the doctor for a little check-up (which usually serves as a nice pat on the back for me-and hey, us moms need those wherever we can get them). He was born exactly two weeks ago today (sniff-sniff) and weighed 9 lbs 7 oz. When we left the hospital 24 hours later he weighed 9 lbs 1 oz. Then at 3 days old he was 8 lbs 5 oz (blessedly the pediatricians we have seen have all had faith in breastfeeding! We were told that it's fine for them to lose up to 15% of their body weight before my milk comes in). Well, (drumroll if you please) today he weighed 9 lbs 12 oz!!! Yay Nathan! Yay mommy milk!!!!! I got my pat on the back for doing a good job (I know, pathetic...but it makes a difference to me). His circumcision is healing nicely and his cord fell off sometime in the night-I have yet to find it-ewww!

Now. Here was the part I could've lived without. Late yesterday afternoon Haley's runny nose (which we weren't concerned about at all-kids get 'em, right?) was joined by a fever. Not good. Then in the night she threw up. Really not good. Lots of prayers (from us as well as family and facebook friends) and hallelujah! Her flu test came back negative! So, she's just miserable and whiney. We've learned through this that she is not a good patient. Our poor pediatrician. *yikes* Despite her best efforts and mine, she was unable to see in her ears or her mouth. I've never seen a child scream quite so effectively with her mouth clamped shut. There was no budging it. So, no telling where the fever is coming from. I'm kind of going back and forth I go ahead and give her the amoxicillan that the dr prescribed (she's only had antibiotics once in almost 3 years, so I'm not tooooo worried about over-use) or do I give it a couple of days and see if this goes away (ie if it's a virus)? Since it's getting late and the weather is nasty I think I'll put that decision off for tomorrow. I need to go grocery shopping anyways...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Now, the Words! :)

The story starts the week of Thanksgiving (the week my awesome doctor was, of course, on vacation). I went in to see another doctor and on the way "ordered up" no dilation but a side of softening (of the cervix that is). When I got to the doctor she did the group B strep test and checked my cervix. My request was denied. I was 2-3 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. I know that's not necessarily that dramatic, but remember this is my fourth baby and my others have all been very quick deliveries. And at that point I was 36 weeks and my doctor would not be back until the following week (I love her and really wanted her to deliver this "little" guy). The doctor I saw on that day ordered an amniocentesis for the following Monday with a specialist to check for lung maturity and also scheduled an induction for Wednesday (the 2nd)-the day my doctor would be in the hospital delivering all day! So, I went home with the goal of not getting any further than the 2-3 I was at. No Thanksgiving cooking for me-which at this point in the pregnancy game was just fine with me. I could barely walk.
So, fast forward to the specialist appointment on Monday (November 30th). I was not looking forward to an amniocentesis but had looked up enough information to know that there was not much risk at 37 weeks pregnant (worst case scenario is that it would put me into labor-which was why we were doing it anyway!) so I was going to just grin and bear it. First thing they did was an ultrasound to check on baby. He was doing just fine in there but they estimated his weight to be 8 lbs 14 oz!!!!!! Holy moly. The week before he had been estimated to be 7 lbs 12 oz. That was 1 lb 2 oz in one week! Yikes! But when the specialist came in he refused to do the amnio and was extremely rude to me. I left there very upset and went straight to my doctor's office to get an appointment with her the following day (I was going under the assumption that without the information provided by the amnio there would be no induction on Wednesday).
That night I decided that I would get things moving if it killed me. We went to Walmart and walked and walked and walked. When I had a contraction I would squat down right there in the store (to open things up more). I left Walmart in pain (hips, back, legs) just sure that nothing else had happened...
When I went in to see my doctor the next morning everyone was super sweet to me (from receptionist all the way to Dr Nowitzky) because of the way the specialist had treated me. First thing my doctor did was check my cervix. I was now dilated to a 5!!!! Ok, so the walking and squatting did some good! I did get more out of it than the soreness. At this point Dr N and I were both kind of shocked I think. Then she did something so cool. She treated me like a human with a brain in my head and we discussed the best scenario: try to get some more time out of me or go with the induction the next day. After discussing it for a while (she had no major reservations about the induction and doubted that she could get me to 38 weeks) we decided it was much preferable to get to the hospital in time for the delivery! So, she said she'd see me in the morning! Yahoo!!!!
Harold and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30-thirty minutes ahead of schedule, but hey? Who's eager? They were pretty quick at taking us up to the room-which happened to be the same room I had Haley in! They would not let him come back with me at first. Apparently they think women won't answer some questions honestly (like if your husband beats you) if he's sitting right there. I answered all of their questions and finally he got to come back. They got my IV started but couldn't start the pitocin (induction) until they had 30 minutes worth of the baby's heartrate on the monitor. Problem? He was moving and I had so much fluid that kept the thing from registering. Finally I had to lay in a really uncomfortable position for 30 minutes to get the strip but we got it. Too bad that was during shift change. Ugh. So, then we were ignored for a bit during that time-while I was still lying in that awful position.
They finally started it at around 8am I'd say. And I think I remember this from the other babies/ seemed like it was very anti-climactic. I wasn't feeling much in the way of contractions at all. But don't worry. It soon picked up. Yikes. Then my doctor came in at 9:30 and (I just love her...don't know if I mentioned that!) broke my water. She was able to show the student nurse I had allowed to be a part of things what "polyhydramnios" is. LOL She told my husband and I that it was at least 2 to 3 gallons of amniotic fluid I was lugging around! (Sounded like Niagra Falls as she was pressing on my tummy to get as much out as possible! Crazy!) Even at this point I didn't realize how much/heavy that is until I came home from the hospital and lifted a 1/2 gallon of milk...thinking about picking that up multiplied by 4 or 6...!
As soon as she broke my water things really heated up. I had decided to go without the epidural if I could make it (more on my thoughts on that later). At that point (9:32) I was at 6 cm. After a short time I told Harold to get the nurse to check me because if I was not making progress we needed anesthesia in for an epidural ASAP. The nurse happily reported that I was 8 cm! Yowzah! At this point I think I was handling each contraction by taking a deep breath and moaning "owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" instead of blowing the breath out. My poor husband didn't know what to do for me (we never planned for a "natural" childbirth. We always wanted/planned for drugs!)-but I assured him later that there was nothing he could have done. He just needed to be there. My nurse was great in that she kept having me look at her and was very assertive. She would not let me look away from her.
I have no idea exactly how the timing played out. I was definitely not watching the clock. I do know that every time I felt the tightening begin again I would just want to cry.
The next time the nurse checked me I was 9 cm. "Don't push yet" Yeah right. That lasted about 2 seconds and I loudly informed them (in between yelling at everyone that I could NOT do this) that I WAS pushing. Sorry about their luck.
Harold says at that point the nurse began pushing the buttons on the wall yelling for my doctor to get there right away. She knew it would be a matter of a few minutes once I started pushing. (Oh, don't forget the part where I'm sweating profusely in the room that was minutes before frigid...and swearing to everyone that would listen that I was going to throw up).
My doctor rushed into the room and "suited up" and about 4 minutes later Nathan Pierce arrived in the world. Too bad I was still in pain. The placenta still had to come. Ugh. See? With an epidural you're blissfully unaware of everything that happens after the baby comes out. You're just looking at your baby.
We noticed he was blue and his head was purple (you might notice that in some of the pictures from my previous post). This, we learned, was because he was born so quickly that his face and head were bruised in the process. Poor guy. :(
He nursed like a little champ right there in the delivery room though-and still does!
My doctor came in the next day and wanted to know if that delivery was my choice or if I was pushed into it. I assured her that it was my choice. Again, she proved to me that she is her patients' advocate. We had discussed, during my entire pregnancy, a pain-free delivery. And knowing that was my desire she was very upset to think that I might have been coerced into a painFULL delivery. All is well that ends well though and my little guy is worth every minute of it. And hey, I have now experienced the whole she-bang. Not that I'd do that again...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Birth Story Minus the Words

I had fully planned to do a birth story and have it with pictures...but I've been having trouble *ahem* sitting at the computer. ;) And because of some swelling in my legs and ankles have been put on "bed rest"!? by my doctor. So, for now pictures will be what you get. :) They're posted backwards from latest to earliest...oops. And he was 9 lbs 7 oz, 20 inches long. He's doing great!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Baby News

Well, the baby will now be here tomorrow morning most likely. If not sooner! I had a horrible appointment with a "specialist" that I won't go into. It's done. He's not nice and I wouldn't ever go back to him. That's all I'll say about that.

I went to my dr today (more cervix talk here...there's your warning) and I am now walking around dilated to 5 cm. If you don't already know...that means I am half way there. Holy cow! In the past I went from 0-10 in about 4 1/2-5 hours. This baby is coming whether any doctor wants to induce at 37 weeks and 2 days or not. The issue we discussed at my doctor's office this morning (so glad she's back from vacation as I LOVE LOVE LOVE her-she treats me with dignity and like I have a brain! Thank you Dr Nowitzky!) was we can either induce it and have him born at 37 weeks in the hospital where they can check him out...or at home. Where they can't. Or even worse than at my car! It is a real concern since I have had them so quickly in the past and this one is number 4!

Now, the guess is to see how big this baby is. I'm guessing he'll be born before 10am. And I think that he'll weigh between 8 lbs 12 oz and 9 lbs 2 oz. I can't wait to meet him. I had the realization an hour or so ago that at this time tomorrow I will be nursing this baby and holding him in my arms rather than my poor stretched out belly!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009


You know, I'm pretty good at the basics. I can clean (normally I can do a decent job of it when I have adequate time, things are not quite as clean as I like 'em right now), I can cook (pretty decently if I do say so myself-and Harold would agree and that's what counts, right?). Ok, that's the basics...

But as I was catching up reading a wonderful blog this morning Clover Lane I came upon her post about her list that she has finished. A list of all that needed to be "righted" in her home to make it what she wanted it to be. It's just beautiful (please, click on the link and it will take you directly to that particular post). And looks so finished. My house? Doesn't. I got all inspired. Then I remembered where I am in life. It's not gonna happen anytime soon. I have lived in this house for 4 years (plus a few months) and while it is small, it's ours and it's cozy. BUT, it needs some TLC.

Like I said, I'm good at the basics. I think the rest is pathetic due to my indecisiveness. I could blame it on lack of money. But really? There are ways to decorate on a dime. There are prob'ly millions of websites and other resources devoted directly to that.

I finally got my school room and was so excited to decorate my kitchen like a kitchen (rather than a school area). But have I? Nope. I sure haven't. I'm carrying around pictures I painted on little canvases for the kids' bathroom that I redid over a year ago (in my defense, that was a pretty big project as I skimmed the walls-to take away the unwanted and mixmatched texture in there-and painted the whole thing. Almost all by myself!). Those pictures are in my van because they need frames so I can hang them on the nice walls. By the time I get frames for them I will be more than ready to redo that bathroom. Why? Because I can't go to a dollar store and choose frames! I have furniture that I feel "meh" about. Don't hate it, but it's certainly not doing anything for me. (That stuff might have to wait due to finances, but I can at least be on the look out for reasonable replacements, can't I?)

So, in 2010 I'm going to make a list of things that will make my house more homey and more what I want it to be. It will mostly be simple things and it will take some creativity-both for the element of TIME (I will be homeschooling still as well as caring for an infant and a 3 year old) and money. I will have to be willing to ask for help at times. Help with the kids, help with deciding on pictures to hang on walls, help with the basics if I'm in the middle of a project. And help remembering the important things are not really in decorating but in the day to day lives of my children. (Which could also be something inspired by that particular blogger). I will make my list reasonable and give myself time and leniency.

My list will most likely not appear here (unless I really need to blog but am uninspired with anything else--but with all the dirty diapers-and cloth ones at that! and spit up coming my way? As well as older siblings and their "issues" with a new baby?? Come on! I'll have plenty of junk to write about.) but I hope to do something similar to Clover Lane when I'm finished. When I have some visuals to accompany what I've accomplished.

Monday, November 23, 2009

News Alert!

Do not read if you are not interested in cervixes (sp??) and birth and all that "icky" stuff. LOL

There, you've been warned.

I went to the doctor today (not mine, because of course she's out of town this whole week as well as Monday of next week) and they did a routine test for group B strep as well as checked my cervix. I thought having my cervix checked would give me some reassurance that nothing was going on and that I was good to wait for my induction. In the way that hugely pregnant moms always wait...miserably. Instead, I get the news that I am dilated to 2-3 centimeters and 50% effaced (thinned out-for those who don't already know that). So, here's the deal. With my first 3 babies I went in to be induced at a 0 (centimeters that is) and it was a total of 4-5 hours with each one before they were BORN. So, do you get it? Do you get that this could go really fast when actual labor starts? HOLY MOLY!!!!

My dear friend pointed out that this time my body might just do everything "on it's own" and I might have a totally normal experience. She reminded me (when I told her this wasn't the way it was supposed to happen) that neither was I "supposed" to get pregnant without fertility treatments. Oh so true! So, this little guy might just make his appearance a little earlier than originally planned.

IF I don't go into labor on my own before then, the plan is to have an amniocentesis on Monday of next week (to check for lung maturity) and if his lungs are mature an induction on Wednesday. I would be 37 weeks and 2 days at that point. He is already at least 7 lbs 12 oz according to the ultrasound I had today. My doctor would, at that point, be back and is on call at the hospital that day. We'll see! She may not deliver this baby after all. Bummer, but not the end of the world. My biggest worry is making it to the hospital where ANY doctor can deliver!!!! I do not want to a) deliver at home with Lindsay as my mid-wife or 2) deliver on the side of the road on the way to the hospital (30 minuntes away with NO traffic!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Love A Rainy Night

or day (but that's not a song)...

In South Texas we rarely have a truly rainy day. They do come in spells but we are usually in drought mode. And the days are usually long and sunny and hot and blazing. My grandpa would love this. He HATES rain and hates even more when it's dreary...but when that's all you ever see and feel-is the blazing sun, you get to where you long for a dreary rainy day and to see the water pouring from Heaven to give life to what's on earth.

We've had a hugely rainy day (after a very rainy night)-so much so that we're all going to get out our Bibles and look for the instructions for building an ark. But it sure does make for a cozy day when you don't have to go anywhere. The kids are not aching (and belly-aching) to get outdoors to play-thereby leaving schoolwork in the dust. Napping with Haley on a dark and dreary day is just what the doctor ordered for this tired mama. Awesome napping day! There, there's something positive. :) :) :)

I've Lost Something

besides my mind. I've lost my feet. Everyone keeps telling me they're very swollen. I'll just have to take their word for it.

Two and a half weeks...I can do it, right? I'm so tired and sore and done. And the sad thing? I'm not naive enough to think the tired part is going to get better after the baby...but at least I can start to lose some of this weight that is breaking my ankles (don't worry though, they won't actually break, they are reinforced by POUNDS of fluid--they're shored up really well).

Sorry. I know that it's a blessed time and I should be positive, but you'd have to see me to believe the misery. And I can't wait to meet Nathan too, by the way! ;)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting Closer!

For anyone who reads my blog and is not interested in my pregnancy or baby stuff...I'M SORRY! For a while I was not blogging much because I thought that it would just bore people to tears to read about this ad nauseum. Then I realized it's MY blog! And I can write about what is going on in my fact, that's what a blog is for, right? (This also came after a very nice person told me that it was interesting anyway! ;)-thanks Sylvia!)

So, without further adieu! ;)

I am now 34 weeks and 5 days. Remember, norm is 40 weeks but I will be induced at 38 weeks because we're pretty sure he's gonna be a whopper! Due to my history as well as some measurements the doctor takes (both of my belly size with the good old fashioned tape measure and the ultrasound measurements-there is no discrepancy there!) it's kind of a given.
So, that means I have 3 weeks 2 days plus or minus a couple of days for my doctor's schedule of when she'll be in the hospital. Wow. That seems so short and yet it seems so long.

I finally feel as if I'm "ready" for the baby to come out. I've been very apprehensive the whole pregnancy because, while this baby is very loved, I did not plan to have a fourth baby. It wasn't even in the realm of possibility in my mind. I am a planner. I am a control-freak. So, I figured if I didn't plan it and didn't "control" it then a. it couldn't happen and 2. I couldn't handle it. So, I figured the anxiety and aches and pains of pregnancy were better than trying to take care of a fourth child...not feeling that way anymore. I cannot wait to meet this *little* (relatively speaking) guy and hold him and let his brother and sisters meet him. I can't wait to "do" the delivery room again-where the emotion is so strong and it is such a high!

But, speaking of the delivery room. I'm a little nervous. IF he is as big as we think (and as I fear) it might be tough. I don't know why I'm worried. I've had a big baby before, none of mine have been tiny: 7 lbs 12 oz, 8 lbs 14 oz and 8 lbs 8 oz <--that last one? 2 weeks early! Holy moly! I'm thinking that this one will be right around 9 lbs. I never worried about this before (aside from my first one that is) about not being able to do it. And yet, here I sit worrying. I know the Bible says to worry about nothing but to pray about everything. I guess now would be a great time to practice that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Negative Focus vs. Positive Focus

I have realized something lately. I'm focusing on the negatives in life rather than the positives. There is so much to be thankful for-and what a good time of year to think really long and hard about it.

::Sure, pregnancy is hard. But what about all the years I wanted nothing more than to be pregnant? We started trying to have a baby in 1995 and didn't have Lindsay until April of 2000. That's a long time (in my mind anyways) to want a baby. But I just keep thinking of the inconveniences of being pregnant. There are still women out there who would give ANYthing to just feel the way I do right now.

::Yes, my house is a mess. But during those years I mentioned above I wanted so badly to have toys in the house to trip over. And you know what? My house was a mess then too prob'ly. Just not with as cute of stuff.

::Money is tight. But, my husband has a job! So many don't. And I get to stay home with my children. Isn't that worth pinching a few pennies? I think so. I could probably go back to work (ok, not quite right now, but you know what I mean) but that would not be for me. I think I'll pinch a few more pennies and see what happens. We've always managed to eat, right? And we have a home. And a car-even a nice one!

::My husband does not clean the house. BUT he doesn't get all picky about how I do it (or lately-how I don't do it). I don't ever feel as if I'm going to be in "trouble" if the house is a wreck--I've known of some women who had that fear every day. How sad is that to feel that in your own home?

::My kids drive me crazy. But they are healthy enough to be loud and boisterous. Isn't that something to be thankful for? I agree! It definitely is. :)

So, I'm going to waddle on in and see why Haley is still asleep from her nap--it's 5:10 pm, guess that means a late bedtime huh? Then I'll trip over some toys and maybe fix some dinner. And you know what? In just a short time my husband will be home-because he does that every night. What a blessing is that? Oh, and for good measure I think I'll scratch a few mosquito bites. How nice it is to live in a place where it's warm enough to be outside to get them in November? And I mean that!

My Appointment

My dr laughed at me. She really did. This is after my mom laughed at me.
When I first went in the doctor asked me how I was feeling, I asked her for my epidural. Now.
When she measured me she said I am measuring 40 weeks (remember, I am 34). I asked her what we were waiting on-I thought she should walk me right on over to the hospital. Then we could get my first request taken care of and get this show on the road. She, unfortunately, did not agree with my course of treatment for this "condition" I have.

In positive news though...I only weigh 105 pounds. Seriously. That's what the girl that weighs you and checks your blood pressure and directs you to the potty to pee in a cup told me! Who am I to argue...I had my back to the scales...she could've been telling the truth, right? My blood pressure was good...

Here's the gist of the whole appointment: Looking good, baby is really big, let's see him in ultrasound in two weeks. Chuckle Chuckle. No, really I'm laughing because you're so cute. You're not fat anywhere but have a huge baby in front. Really? Ugh. She just couldn't see the backside of me due to the front side taking up her entire field of vision.

My mom pointed out that my breast reduction is looking great. (No, I did not have belly has reduced them to less than normal proportions).

**in case you didn't get the humor, I really didn't expect to be walked to the hospital and delivered at 34 weeks, despite my discomfort-and to be quite frank, fear of how big this baby will be-I do NOT want him taken any earlier than need be. That will be at 38 weeks.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What do you think Meredith?

Ok, you doubted me when I said I had a 14 pound baby that was 26 inches long...what are you thinking now?

Last night I had one of those funny thoughts but slightly ridiculous. You know the kind. We all have them. Some people just don't admit it! Mine was this: we were at Target to do some registering for baby stuff and I had to go find Harold and the kids in the electronics department-Lindsay is the only other one interested in baby stuff ;)-and it's right next to the pharmacy at our Target...I saw the pregnancy tests and thought how funny it would be to buy a pregnancy test and see how the check-out person reacted. Come on. It would be funny. And if those tests weren't so darn expensive...I'd have DONE IT! :)

On my way to my doctor to see what she has to say about this full grown child I'm carrying in my womb like a fetus.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Let the Nesting Begin!

Friday we were all set to go on a field trip to King Ranch and I was having some curious pains and weirdness that makes you a little uneasy when you're in the last weeks of pregnancy. When my mom didn't want me to go on the trip and reminded me how close I am to delivering this baby IT HIT ME! I am having a baby!? Seriously?? I have done almost NOTHING to prepare for this little guy! So, as I was driving to King Ranch (yes, I went) which is about an hour and a half away-a drive like that gives you plenty of time to think when the kids are all watching a movie in the back seat and being quiet...anyways, as I was saying, I was driving and thinking about all the things I have yet to do! I was tempted to start making a list right then and there as I drove...but figured that rates right up there with texting while driving. Not the best idea.
1. Pack my hospital bag.
2. Prepare my cloth diapers
3. Wash baby clothes
4. Put together a crib, a cradle...a dresser drawer, something for him to sleep in!
5. Buy a baby book (he can't be the only kid that doesn't have one in the family-that's a sure thing to get me on some talk show about how I ruined my child's life!)
7. Christmas cards
8. Birth Announcements (I plan to make them, so I have to get started on what I can do before I have his stats-you know that he weighed 14 lbs and 3 oz and was 26 inches long)
9. Have the kids' pictures taken (because I'm sooooo way behind on this and I know that's not going to get better when I have 4 to take care of)
10. Clean. Clean. Clean (even though I'll still have to clean it all again before he comes because a lot of dirt can happen in 4 weeks!)
11. Get the swing and bouncy seat ready (just wash the covers as they were all bought used-great condition and for GREAT deals, and all you have to do is add soap and water! Love good deals)
12. Order proper diaper-washing soap.
13. Do you get the idea?

So, you might ask, what's the problem? When you're gargantuan and carrying around said 14 lb baby it's very difficult to do a lot of this stuff. And I drop EVERYthing. Seriously. Sometimes I'll drop the same thing like 4 times!? What is that about?

But, as I was folding those sweet little baby clothes last night while watching a little Friends with my hubby, it's all so worth it. I was thinking of holding my snuggly little baby dressed in each of those items (thank you Mom for all the clothes for Nathan!) and I realized it's all going to be okay and I can't wait to meet him and hold him. To nurse him and love him. To see the other kids interact with him (they were fighting over who gets to hold him first and who gets to hold him in our Christmas Card picture! Trying to bargain with each other over those priveleges!) and to see him learn. Pretty sure that these are the reasons women survive pregnancy. :)

Now, some pictures of our adventure to King Ranch! :) And I will try to post a "belly picture" tomorrow-if my belly still fits in the lens of my camera! Ha ha!

*the pictures of the kids in the trees were taken just before we got yelled at to "watch our children" and not to let them climb the trees. Really? We were watching them...and those were good climbing trees (we were having a little picnic in between parts of our field trip)! And this is not inclusive of all that came to the field trip. Unfortunately I did not think to take a group picture until a lot of them were gone. :( We kind of trickled out as it was over...

**disclaimer: the pictures of the ranch and animals were taken from inside the tour bus we rode on so they might be kind of fuzzy looking because of the glass and the reflections of people in the glass.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday-A Good Day!

So, Wednesday was this rotten, awful, horrible day. Apparently Lindsay and I are on the same cycle of bad days. That is not a good combination. We already tend to have the typical mother/daughter conflicts--more on that later--so the last thing we need is to both be having a bad (hormonal??) day on the SAME day. Everything anyone did made her cry and everything EVERYone did made me want to yell. And scowl. And stomp. So, there is Lindsay, crying away about everything which only made me angrier. Tears make me uncomfortable on the best of days. I don't like to cry-and will do everything in my power to stop it. In myself and others.

But Wednesday...brought many tears to our house. And everything about pregnancy was miserable. Every part of my body below my rib cage hurt. And ached. And I thought, "How will I make it through 8 more weeks of this?"

But the dawn comes in the morning, right?

Thursday was far from perfect, but was so much better. In comparison it seemed like a Utopia! Even physically I felt like I could do this for 8 more weeks (7 1/2 now, but who's counting?)
When we didn't accomplish every single school assignment that I had wanted to accomplish it just didn't seem to matter that much.

I am trying something new-not doing very well at it, but gotta practice to do something well, right? I'm trying to change some attitudes I have in my heart. I got my inspiration from Michelle Duggar. She must be doing something right. So, here's my goal: to smile more than I frown (scowl). Mainly in regards to my children. My children are a gift from God. But I don't often reflect that in the way I act with them. Instead I become this drill sargeant that wants things done "10 minutes ago". They are children. Yes, they need to obey and do what I say (promptly) but I also am their mom. If they are showing "'tude" to me on a regular basis (sarcasm and just plain ugliness) they are probably living what they've learned. Ooops. (There's one negative about homeschooling ;) You can't blame it anyone else! LOL) So, if I want them to be nicer to each other (more positive and not condemning...then I prob'ly need to model that behavior!!! **DING DING** <--that's the "right answer bell"!

So, my goals for the remainder of this week and all of next week (a little at a time...I am human) are:
1. Smile more than I frown/scowl.
2. Say more positive things than negative. Even if it means stretching and searching out positives. It won't hurt me and it will help the kids immensely!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Each and Every Day

Right now, each and every day is a struggle to do the things I need to be doing. What I'd really rather do is lay around and nurse my aching hips and back. But, the show must go on and since I'm the ringmaster of this circus/ must I.

I got to have an ultrasound of the baby last Friday and he's doing well. All of google's dire reasons for excess amniotic fluid don't appear to apply to us or our baby. He is, however...big! I was not surprised. He should be "around" 3 pounds but is instead weighing in at about 4 pounds. I know that there is some room for error, but I think less so at 30 weeks than at 36-38 weeks. So, I'm sure that they're not too far off. Taking all 3 kids with me to the ultrasound appointment was...interesting. (In the interest of trying to be positive). Lindsay sat and was enthralled by the whole thing. Totally interested in the baby and what is going on (but she's a 9 year old girl-I wasn't surprised!). Jared and Haley? Took one look at the baby on the screen and then were DONE. Great. So, they rough-housed and fought and played. Knowing mom was trapped on that table with jelly all over my belly...what was I going to do? We made it through it though and I think it was good for them to see the baby again (first time in 12 weeks). Seems as if all is well. I just have a little extra fluid and a big baby!

My house is not showing my need to "nest" at this point. I really want to but by the time I finish with schooling the children (which is a must obviously) I have nothing left. I can barely drag myself in to cook dinner for my family. This is tough. I must say, Michelle Duggar is some kind of woman....

Monday, October 5, 2009

I Have a Reason!!!

So, for all of you complete strangers (and some acquaintances) who insist on asking me if there is only one baby in my belly or if we're really sure on the due date or just like to comment on how absolutely huge I am...
I went to the doctor today and when she was measuring my belly with her little tape measure, she said I am measuring 34 weeks pregnant. Ok, this would not be that big of a deal, except I'm only 29 weeks pregnant. I had her redo the measurement thinking the way I was laying on her table had surely skewed the measurement. Nope. 34 weeks.
The good news? She thinks this is prob'ly mostly extra fluid. The bad news about that? That horrible glucose test I did today (ok, drinking the stuff isn't really that bad, it's the jittery, nauseated feeling that comes afterward) might just show us the reason for the excess amniotic fluid I'm carrying around! Yikes! So, if I eat salt I swell up like a blow fish...if I can't eat sugar or carbs and have to watch all that stuff...what am I going to eat? Don't forget, pregnant women should not eat lunch meat. Hmmm.

Baby is doing well, jumping around in there-or should I say swimming!? I don't have to go back for 3 weeks, so that's a good sign. And as for the results of my testing...they'll call if I "fail" it, so no news is good news, right? :) Candy anyone?

I did have a little faith in humanity restored again. I had my heart set on a Breakfast taco from Taco Cabana after I left the dr (needed some "real" food to combat that nothing but sugar to eat all day) but got there at 11:15. The breakfast menu is good until 11. I told the guy in the speaker thing..."uh oh, I don't know what to order...I was going to have a breakfast taco but I'm 15 minutes late" and he said "I'll make it for ya, what do you want?" So nice! :) He could've been hard nosed 0about it! And add a strawberry smoothie to that...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

28 weeks...about 10 to go!

But who's counting? ;)

I've also included some pictures of why it's so much fun to homeschool. :) We may put in the blood sweat and tears but we also get to reap the benefits...namely, a trip to Marble Slab Creamery today where we got to sample the goods--ICE CREAM made right there in the store.

School Room!

So, last night we moved almost all of our school stuff out of the house, got other stuff (that I've been doing without...) out of the garage and started setting up our school room. I've debated posting pictures of it yet because it's not "done" and perfect. (Need to get flooring in and finish decorating-oh and get the kids some chairs that will work for long term) But you know, life is too short to worry about "perfect". So, I will post the pictures of what we have for now. The only problem we've found is that our a/c unit (a window unit) is not cooling very effectively. The bad thing is it's hard to know if it's the unit or that it's so hot outside anyways OR could it be because I'm full of pregnancy hormones that make me sweat to death in a deep freeze!? That's the million dollar question.
So, here goes!

(obviously, the pictures at the bottom are "before" pics of what that part of our garage looked like)
Now, please remember, we are not all the way finished. THere is stuff to hang, stuff to organize...all of that. :) But, we're so fact, the pictures I took of the school room here where the kids are hard at work at their countertop/desk space?? It was 8pm! They wanted to be doing that! I'm sure the new will wear off and they'll complain once again, but for now I have willing, excited pupils! Yay!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm so Excited...

My school room is just about done!!! My dad (and husband) have been working hard this weekend to get it move-in ready! It will still have a few little finishing-touches needed but will be ready that we can move our stuff OFF OF THE KITCHEN TABLE!!! And, I will be able to use the cabinet we use for school stuff for...DISHES! Yay! I've been plotting what to put into said cabinet for, oh about a year. I"m putting all baking pans/implements in there. And darn it, it's time to get down to nesting! :) I have about 2 1/2 months to go before Nathan makes his appearance here in our world and I have done no real nesting. It's beginning to get me panicked. Oh, and the children's books that are always all over my kitchen floor (b/c Haley loves to pull them out of the shelves and yet, for some strange reason, does not love to put them back) will be gone from the kitchen too! :) **Nathan is excited about this. I know because he is kicking me**

Before, our school room was just 1/2 of our garage. Being used, not the car or something silly like that, but a place to store JUNK. A place to allow us to accumulate JUNK. Now, we have only a 1 car garage and it will take some work, but I will need to keep junk accumulation to a minimum. (I did it before when we had a 1 car garage-in our favorite ever house!) Now, that half of the garage is a laundry room and school room. Yep, my laundry is still in the same place, but BUT it will be air conditioned! and have flooring! And be painted!! Oh, and a place to plug in our little chest freezer that has sat forlornly among the junk (unplugged) for about 5 years because we had no plug-in for it! My dad also had an electrician come out and put lights and electrical sockets in our garage! I didn't do a great job of doing before pictures because it just looked like "nothing"-just a dark garage with a bunch of garbage scattered about...but I definitely will have after pictures! :)

My next post will be after pictures! :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Last night I was giving Haley her bath (because for some reason she screams the whole time her daddy does it lately-and it seemed easier to me to do it myself than to listen to them "fight") and that hot water looked oh-so-inviting as I was having a very achy day. So, I decided to join her. The only thing is, that is not a pregnant sized bath-tub for 1! Wanna know how I found out? When I sat in it. I did fit-barely. Then, Lindsay comes in and says "Woah mom, you put a lot of water in there". Uhhhh. No. It wasn't that full-until AFTER I got in. So, I had to talk to her about the science of displacement. All the while the two year old was attempting to bathe me-by THROWING cupfuls of water at my upper body! LOL This is a good life...not always an easy one, but a good one! Aren't you thankful there are no pictures to go with this post??

Oh, and I had a little discussion about "Nafan" with Haley too. About how he would cry when he needed something and when he was hungry he would cry for me..."what will we feed him Haley?" At this point she looks at me (this gargantuan bath taker over) and says "Ummmm, ba ba's?" Nope! Sorry dear Haley...not the answer. LOL So, we talked about boo-boos and milk (boo boo is her word-I didn't tell her to call them that) and she says she will change his diapers and clean his "body" (bottom)...This could be a very interesting year 2010! Stay tuned!

**Thanks Meredith for your kind words and offers of support! Much appreciated! :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

When Life...

hands you lemons, squeeze them into your water because it *supposedly* will make your ankles less bowling-ball-ish sized. Only, it doesn't really work so much.
But apparently, cutting waaay back on your sodium intake can help said problem. When I went to see my dr last week (for my 26 week check up) she was not too happy with the size of my ankles, hands, face, etc. What amuses me was that she didn't seem too put off by the size of my belly. It's the size of a belly expecting, say, quintuplets. And believe me, I hear it regularly.
"Are you sure there is only one in there?"
"You're due in December? Maybe they have the dates wrong!"
and all the other comments that go along that line. What amazes me is that at no other time in a woman's life would someone feel that they should comment on her size/weight. Except when she is pregnant. This is also the time when she is very unsure of herself and (dare I say) emotionally/hormonally unstable! Why would this be a good time to point out just how big she is? And the thing is I (as well, I'm sure, most pregnant women out there) KNOW that I'm carrying around a belly that is gargantuan. You know how I know this? I carry it around. My back aches. My legs ache. I can't shave the achy legs...

Now, here is where I stop complaining about being pregnant and remind myself...there are women out there (I used to be one of them) to whom this all sounds like a wonderful dream. To feel all of these things. To throw up every morning-oh and the rest of the day too, because morning sickness was a term coined by a man I'm quite sure (they won't love going through it when it happens, but it's still a dream) and to have kicks and jabs that hurt! Women who have never been blessed to carry a baby in their tummy. I get kind of sucked into my little world of pregnancy complaints until I run into someone who has never had this blessing. So what if it's not fun. It's still a blessing! In the end it will all be worth it! And it must be, or all children would be "onlies". :)

All that said, there are problems (associated with pregnancy??) that are not physical. The other day I had a no-good rotten horrible day. Everything overwhelmed me and made me mad and sad. It wasn't limited to things that *should* make a person mad or sad...anything that was required of me in any way made me feel as if I could not survive the day. Thankfully I had some good friends who were praying for me and others who were listening and noticing. It goes a LONG way. It's a feeling I'm not unfamiliar with. But usually it comes after the baby-depression. It really scared me to feel those feelings while pregnant. I'd love to make it through this pregnancy medicine free-that is my goal. Thankfully, it seems to have subsided. I don't know what it was, but I'm thankful that it seems to be gone for the moment. I have decided that for right now, the course of treatment is: being kind to myself. I am going to do my best to really just not expect more of me than I can give. If that means slowing down on our school work a little, then that's what has to happen. If that means we don't go to something that we are supposed to be at? So be it. I have to do the best I can to be a good mom to the three children that I have as well as the one on the way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What to do?

There's nothing to do but laugh when your two-year old sings at you:

"I see your hiney and shiny! I'm gonna bite it"

With all my negativity lately (can you blame me? Sleep deprivation can make a girl cranky-especially 2 1/2 years of it with more to come!) I really feel the need to focus on some positive, funny things. and I kept thinking that just fit the bill.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I. Must. Get. Some. Sleep.
Yes, I do get to sleep some. But not enough. Between the aches and pains of pregnancy (yes, I know it's a blessing to be carrying this life inside of me, but sometimes it's still uncomfortable) and my daughters, I feel like a zombie every morning. I also feel irritated and snappy at them. Not at Jared-he sleeps in his bed. In his lifetime I don't think he's woken me as many times as the girls do in a month's time.
When I hear people talk of their 1 month old sleeping through the night I just want to scream. Haley is 2 1/2 and Lindsay is 9 1/2. When do my babies sleep through the night?
Our solution "for now" (over a year ago) was to allow Haley to come into our bed in the middle of the night if that's what she needed. It was going great. She wouldn't come in til after 3 am biggie. The problem? She's moved it up to 12am. Yes. That's right before I fall asleep. So, no sleeping without a child in between us. Kicking us. Slapping us. Crying out in her sleep.
Then, the 9 year old wakes and finds that she is "alone" (ummm, our house is 1000 square feet in total!?) so she comes in and makes a pallet on the floor. So, during my 90th trip to the bathroom during the night, I trip over her.
This all makes for a VERY. LONG. NIGHT. in our house. And for one tired, grumpy mama.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Promised....

So I will deliver-no, not the baby! That's another 16 weeks away (well, a little less now! woohoo!) but here's a belly picture. This is 22 weeks and 3 days. :)

In other areas:
I've been "working on" my girls' room for forever now. In fact, the painting was done right around the time I got pregnant. Ummm, I'm 5 1/2 months now. Still have a few things left to do, but the curtains are done (sewn by hand from material I had to retrieve from pillow shams and then put together so that the pieces were big enough to make into valances! Not an easy task-especially when I had to do it all by hand) They are simple, but that's fine. I'm going for less clutter and "foof" and more simplistic in all of our rooms. Well, that's the goal. ;)
Here's what I managed to get a picture of this morning:

The rest was not presentable at the time of my impromptu photo shoot. I don't know when I'll ever get a picture of it because by the time I get it MOMMY CLEAN the girls have undone what I did....the neverending battle. But, this gives the idea of what we're going for. :)

The other night the kids were having a blast in their kiddie pool. In all honesty, my first reaction was not a happy one when I saw them covered in mud, swimming in the pool like a couple of crocodiles. They were barely visible in the mire that was now their pool. But then I realized that you only get to be a kid once. And they were making the most of that moment. And hey, our backyard is so dead (from the drought and plumbing work) that it didn't matter in that sense either. :)

Since, surprise, surprise, Haley was not in on that is a picture of her just for fun. :) Wearing her dew rag (is that the right form of dew?? do??)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Have a Dream

A dream that my homeschool day will be full of peaceful children who WANT to learn.

-->Children who don't fight with me (about how or when or where to do their school work) or with each other (about whose pencil is whose, etc).
-->A toddler who likes to color.
-->A dog that doesn't daily traumatize us with her bird killing (right in front of our open blinds in the huge sliding door).
-->A mom that is calm and serene while teaching each and every subject in the time allotted. No subjects forgotten or just not included because of lack of time. All of the materials needed at hand each and every day for each and every lesson.

Hey, not all dreams can be reality, right? But I can dream....Until then, I'll live in the reality that is my world: utter chaos of people and things! Noise and clutter and craziness. And I will attempt to survive it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Our Story

I don't think I've ever told this story on my blog and I probably should. Beginning our family was not as easy as it is for some people (although I now know it was also not as hard as it is for others). We got married in August of 1994-yup, it'll be 15 years in a couple of weeks! I wanted to start a family right away but knew that Harold was right to want to wait. We were very young and were actually sharing an apartment with his brother (for about 6 months). Better to wait. Ok, a year goes by and he says it's okay to start trying for a baby! Yay!!!!

Here is where I insert that I know he was not uber-excited about it, but was willing to go for it. I think he wanted a baby but it was very abstract to him.

So, we end any preventative measures and wait. They tell you in your health class in school that it only takes once, right? That it's so "easy" to get pregnant. Well, the years go by and NOTHING. I have had some issues all of my life (that I know now are called Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and that made it really difficult to conceive. So, we began the roller coaster of Clomid. Clomid is a fertility drug that is supposed to make you ovulate. Yay. Now, it'll be any time, right? Nope. Month after month of disappointment.

Here is where I insert (on behalf of Harold) that, at times, Clomid apparently made me a raging lunatic of a woman.

Now, in this time period there were times we had to forgo trying for a baby because Harold would have to work out of state-even if you're fertile Myrtle that does not lend to conceiving a baby. And I'm not.

Finally, in January of 1999 I found out that I was pregnant! Yahoo!!! But, I had this "irrational" fear that something would go wrong. Turns out I was right. I lost the baby in February of 1999. Not good. I then went through quite the rebellion against God and my body-shaking my fist at God and not treating my body very well. I was so angry. All the women who were pregnant and didn't want it...and I wanted nothing more than that baby.

Turns out, God had plans to bring me to my knees. After a couple of months of living like there was no God (but all the while knowing there is) and trying to ignore His existence, I went to my pastor and got things all worked out-I will forever be grateful to that pastor for telling me this, so simple but so profound: You do not have to like it, but you have to accept it. God did not expect me to be excited that I'd lost my baby but that I had to accept that it was His will. That was April 11, 1999. I was feeling much better and had faith that God would indeed bless us when the time was right.

The doctor gave me the go-ahead to try again (I had to wait for physical healing after the miscarriage) and after 2 months on the Clomid I conceived Lindsay! Her due date? Ready for chills?? April 11, 2000. Yep. A year to the day that I worked things out with God! How awesome is that?

Awesome pregnancy (no trouble-not even a moment of sickness!!!) and great birth experience! I nursed her for 13-14 mos when I decided I'd better stop and start trying to have another baby because we wanted them reasonably close together. We thought that it would take at least 2 months to get another one on the way, right? Well, after the first month of clomid I took a test at home and it was.....negative! Bummer, oh well. On to the next cycle, right? But you have to wait for the cycle. So, I went to the doctor for my annual check up and wait a minute...the test was what??? Positive!?

This pregnancy wasn't so easy but very healthy. The due date?? You won't believe it if I tell you! April 11, 2002! Again, same date! Coincidence? I think not. :)

I had to wait several years for Harold to be ready for a third and it came when I least thought it would. I had to go out of town for a wedding I was in. We decided to have Harold and the kids stay home as I was in the wedding and would not be able to care for the kids anyways and it was easier for him to take care of them at home. I figured that was it. Once he had to do it "all" for a whole weekend there would be no #3. I got home in the middle of the night and the next morning (when I'd had very little sleep) he told me that he wanted to have another one! I'm embarrassed to say that I hit him. Just on the arm, but still... I was so sure it was a mean joke. Nope! He told me that the kids were so much older and he realized how much he wanted to see all the baby stuff again (all the "firsts"). 3 months later we found out we were due to have a baby in February. Actually I was in Missouri with the kids when I found out. But there were problems. I was bleeding. And had to get home (a 2 day trip) before I could figure out what was going on. Needless to say, everything was okay-it was a case of placenta previa that cleared halfway through the pregnancy but caused more than a few heart stopping moments.

So, now we are 5! Complete! Right? We decided we did not want to have any more children. While we love the ones we have 3 was plenty to keep us busy.

Here is where God shows His hand again. I went off of my birth control because I'd tried to do a cleanse and felt so ill from it (but I was only going off of it long enough to start a different one as soon as possible). Next thing I know...I'm pregnant! What? I have to have Clomid to get pregnant, right? Isn't that how that works?

So, that's my story! I have learned through our reproductive story that I really have no control. Nor do I want it. Ok, so I still do try to hang onto some vestige of control most of the time...but I also am so amazed that Nathan is on the way after all of that! And so glad.

I know that was long (hey, it spans 14 years!) but really felt like sharing it. If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I think for my next post I might just do a belly picture. Don't worry, I'll cover the belly for the picture! ;)


I have not really had much to report lately-but that could be considered a good thing, right? Yesterday (Friday, August 14) I went to my regular OB check-up to see how the baby and I are doing. Good news? I stayed under the weight of a baby elephant! Yay for me! The baby is doing good and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my dr. I just cannot even say that enough. She is the best. She is so excited over the little stuff-the stuff that most obstetricians are "over" that it reminds me to be excited as well. When she hears that little heart beating on her doppler...she gets the biggest smile and kind of bobs her head to it. She sits and talks to me about whatever I want to talk about and tells me funny stories. I do NOT have to chase her down the hall to ask her any questions I might have concerning me or the baby or anything else! It's just plain awesome! Plus, I usually get out all by myself for these appointments. How could I not love it! ;) I also got some good news at my appointment. The hospital we went to with Haley and will go to with this little one has a policy of taking the baby to the nursery for his/her first bath, Vitamin K shot and all that good stuff (assessments, etc) and we went along with it. Not knowing that we had an option. My (new) dr told me that we don't have to do that! She gave me a paper with instructions on it on how to keep the baby with us at all times! I'm so excited about that. I will not have to A) Be left alone for hours while Harold goes and watches over the baby in the nursery B) Miss out on his first bath, etc like I did with Haley.

I am 21 weeks and 5 days today (Saturday, Aug 15). I have approximately 16 weeks to go-so way over half-way done!

We have tons of stuff for our little guy-clothes, the beginnings of a cloth diaper stash,

a carseat, a swing (only I got it at a resale shop for $55 rather than $139!), and a high chair! Plus we still have our crib from Haley. So, we're getting there! Oh, and it's almost time to break out the cradle-one of the few things I've intentionally saved from the very beginning of our parenthood journey. I had planned to save it for my grandchildren, but it may very well be worn out by then! But that's ok!

It's also time to start school. School room finished or not. We'll just have to move in when it's done. The kids are ready (Lindsay admits it, Jared not so much) and we need to get a move on since we don't know what this year will hold (with the baby coming and all). I've been working on our lesson plans and I think I've got a pretty good handle on it. It's going to be a challenging year for all of us to be sure. Each child is doing 2 math curricula this year-wasn't sure how transition them from one to another so we're going to plow through both. That sounds thorough, right? And a new History curriculum. It requires a little more of me as a teacher but hopefully will also elicit some excitement and hands on learning for the kids as they journey through time.

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