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Jul. 22nd, 2007

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I'm switching to a new blog: http://lukecommasara.blogspot.com

They're just way easier to use. I know that when I originally set up my blog, there was a reason I chose livejournal over blogspot, but I can't seem to remember why. I can't import old blogs to my new site, so this one will still stay up, but all new postings will be on my new blog.

Change your bookmarks and tell your friends and neighbors. Or just change your bookmark.

Jul. 19th, 2007

Summer cleaning

I just finished cleaning (I use that word loosely) my office. I really just picked it up. BUt I work in the back of a trailer that was probably built in the middle of the last century so it never really looks "clean." Oh well. Katie's watching Jack and I feel a little more caught up with things than I have all week. At camp at least. At home . . . it's a totally different story. CLothes waiting to be folded . . . unmade beds . . . unvaccuumed floors . . . a dirty kitchen & bathrooms . . . I'm going to try and stop thinking about it.

I noticed as I was "cleaning" that my calendar was still on May . . . my how time flies. I went through Jack's clothes this week (in all of my spare time) and put away the clothes that no longer fit him. Anything newborn or 3 months that has long legs with feet on the end doesn't even come close to fitting him anymore . . . he's so long! I don't think there's anything that he hasn't worn though. I was worried that we'd have to retire outfits before he even got a chance to wear them. He goes through many outfits a day (usually - there have been a few rare days and nights where he's in the same outfit/sleeper all day/night).

What I didn't anticipate is how many clothes I would go through. Between being spit up on, peed on and occasionally pooped on, I change almost as often as he does. This is not good considering I only have three pair of pants and 5 or 6 shirts that fit. Let's just say I do A LOT of laundry.

I'm tired. Jack's sleeping longer and the nights are a little bit easier, but I'm way more tired that I was two or three weeks ago. I can't figure it out. Maybe because it's Family Camp. Maybe it's just because it's the middle of the summer.

We have something at camp that we call "the summer slump." It's that time in the middle of the summer when everyone gets tired and kind of in a rut. It's the point at which things can start to get better or get A LOT worse. I've seen it go both ways. Family Camp is always a turning point. In light of that, with the help of family, I'm going to try and get a lot of rest this weekend so that I can make the most of the rest of the summer.

I've fallen back into the worry trap that I thought I had climbed out of this year. I'm finding myself worrying about finances a lot. I know that I need to have faith, but balancing the checkbook makes me feel a little like I'm looking at a hungry mob with only five loaves and two fish. Hmmm . . . I'm gonna go pray.

Jul. 18th, 2007

6 1/2 weeks old!

Here are some pictures of Jack at 6 1/2 weeks!

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=36280&l=63834&id=500475206

Jul. 17th, 2007

Sewer systems and singing bees

Have you seen the new show "The Singing Bee?" It's a fun premise for a show, but the people on it . . . are they real? They are the happiest (/fakest) people I've ever seen on television. Are they actors or are they really from the general public. Where do they find these people? THey'r not only happy, but someone turned their inhibitor switch to the off position. They dance flamboyantly (/horribly) and sing loudly (/way off key) and seem to love every minute of it. Maybe we should all be a little more like them? Maybe not. And then at the end of the episode I watched, one lady won and didn't even have to do anything. Ahhh . . . awful summer television.

I finally caught up to week 6 in my "your baby week-by-week" book and month two oh "what to expect the first year." I know that everyone around me has missed my random spurts of information about the development of Jack's cerebral cortex or the milestones for this month. I'm learning a lot (and so is he).

We got a letter in the mail today explaining the vote that our township will be taking on whether or not to put sewers in. If it passes, every resident will have to fork over $13,000. And that doesn't include the cost of getting rid of our septic system. Where do they think that we can come up with that kind of money? It has me a little panicked tonight, because I already feel overwhelmed with financial stuff. In our area, 1 out of 4 houses is in foreclosure, the unemployment rate is 8% and the economy in general sucks. THey claim that having sewers will increase our property value, but how is that possible if every house in our neighborhood has sewer? Mine won't be anymore valuable than the one next door. Also, our taxes will go up because of the alleged property value increase. Our lake association sent a letter encouraging people to vote yes. THey said it will keep them from having to spend $80,000 a year killing weeds in the lake. Will our lake association fees go down then? Not so much. This is the same lake association that DOUBLED our fees two years ago with no vote at all to approve it. I HATE SMALL TOWNS.

I've been watching "Flip that House" on TLC during my late night feedings. I wish I had enough money to flip a house (buy a run down house, fix it up and sell it for a quick profit). Honestly, I just wish I had enough money to pay all the bills. Wasn't Jack supposed to come out holding a bag of money?

Jul. 15th, 2007

Be careful out there . . .

Breastfeeding in a moving vehicle? I just learned today that it's legal in Michigan (and one other state) to remove a child from a car seat to nurse! The law reads "(1) . . . each driver transporting a child less than 4 years of age in a motor vehicle shall properly secure that child in a child restraint system that meets the standards prescribed in 49 C.F.R. 571.213. (2) This section does not apply to any child being nursed."

I have mixed feelings on that law . . . but it does need to be changed to keep MOTHERS FROM NURSING BEHIND THE WHEEL!! I just read an article about a mother who was nursing her son while driving. That seriously makes talking on your cell phone while driving seem harmless. I applaud her ability to do so because I still need about 7 strategically placed pillows to nurse Jackson, but I'm stunned by her total lack of concern for her child's safety. Did I mention that she was also driving with a suspended license? Sometimes I think people should have to get licenses before they can have children.

I had to nurse Jack in a bathroom stall at Macaroni Grill tonight. I haven't quite mastered the art of "discrete public nursing" so I still have to hide every time he gets hungry. I brought a bottle along, but it looked a little gross and smelled funny. I can't wait for the day when it's as common for most public places to have "nursing rooms" as it is for them to have restrooms.

Jul. 12th, 2007

Snaps and something else

You guys are really missing out. I have so many funny stories to tell each day and I find myself thinking "I should blog about that" all the time. But I forget by the time I get to a computer. I was able to remember two of the twenty bajillion things I wanted to blog about as I logged on just a minute ago, but now I can only remember one. Hence the title, "Snaps and something else."

If you've ever dressed a baby, you know about the horrible snaps used to hold the clothing on him. They're small, they're hard to snap and I'm shocked that I'm living in the year 2007 and no one has come up with a better alternative. I think I'm going to work on that . . . something magnetic perhaps.

I was looking over pictures from when I was pregnant today . . . and pictures from the vacation that Kyle and I took while we were waiting to find out if I was pregnant. Two observations: 1. I should have never had my hair cut right before I had Jack. Big mistake. 2. I can't believe I thought I was fat last year. I would give anything to go back to that now. I hope I'm not saying that again in a year. Losing the baby weight is going a lot more slowly than I had hoped.

Camp's so weird this year. It's obviously different because we have a baby, but I didn't realize how having a baby would affect our relationships with our staff. We used to have close friendships with some of our staff and pseudo-friendships with those we weren't close to. We used to know them all pretty well by the end of the summer. We used to get invited to things. They used to sit with us at meals. That's all changed. We don't know them well. We don't get invited (and I don't blame them . . . who invites their boss to something). And at meals we feel a little like lepers.

In a way, I'm glad because it was going to happen someday and we just needed to get that transition over with. But in another way, it's a little sad. Summers have been relatively the same for the last nine years and this year it all changes. We've graduated to the old people table. I guess that's not completely true because a few of our staff that we became friends with last summer are still here . . . but they won't be forever. We really need more friends our age I guess. I am going on 30 . . . you'd think I would have come to this realization a while ago. I guess I'm a little slow.

I have a really long meeting that starts in 26 minutes so I guess I should start getting myself mentally prepared for that. More later.

Jul. 7th, 2007

Network sweeps

I realized tonight that I haven't read out of a book (other than to look up quick reference information in our baby books) in five weeks. I haven't even been able to keep up with my "Your Baby's First Year, Week-by-Week" book. I need to start doing that again before my brain starts to rot from all of the television I'm watching . . . bad television.

I've decided that the best times of year to have a baby is right before network sweeps. I had no idea how much time I'd spend watching tv while I was nursing. For reasons most likely pertaining to my lack of coordination, I cannot read while nursing Jack, so the TV keeps me company while Kyle snores next to me. If this were sweeps time, I'd have a lot of great shows tivoed that I could watch during those long night feedings. E! specials, VH1 features, and re-runs of Law and Order & Full House just aren't cutting it anymore. I'm thinking about reinstating our subscription to netflix.

Speaking of nursing, I'm probably going to have to do that again pretty soon. I'm gonna try and get some sleep before Jack calls . . .

Jul. 6th, 2007

Jack the tank

The nurse called Jack a "tank" at his one month check up on Thursday. He weighed in at 11 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 23 inches long. No wonder my arms are so sore!

Our week off was fairly laid back, but I still feel tired. I wish I had another week! Kyle and I shopped on Monday and JJ, Debbie and Joy came to hang out later. On Tuesday night, we celebrated Katie's birthday. On Wednesday, we went to my Aunt Kathy's house for the Fourth of July. Thursday was Jack's appointment and we spent the rest of the day at my parents. Today we just hung out and tried to do some work to get ready for next week. Pretty boring.

It's hard to believe that my baby's already one month old! He is smiling and laughing like he's been doing it for months! Here is a link to his one month pictures that I took:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=31668&l=1b75e&id=500475206

I'm so tired, but I'll write more (hopefully something more interesting) later.

Jul. 5th, 2007

Fourth of July

I love summer. I really love Independance Day. It's one of those days that is fun every year no matter what you do. This year , we spent the afternoon with my mom's side of the family for their annual get together. I say "their" get together and not "our" get together because the last time I was there was 5 years ago. Hopefully we can get there enough in the future that I can start referring to it as "our" get together.

We live on lake association property and about half of the homes here are vacation or summer homes and cottages . . . which means that for most of the year half of the homes are vacant. So, when I was walking Murphy this morning, I was amazed at how busy everything was and how many people were around. It was like walking through a campground on 4th of July weekend. There were tons of boats and other types of watercraft on the lake, kids were out on bikes and the beach area was packed.

Anyway, I have always LOVED fireworks. I think that they're the perfect balance of fun and beauty. This year, my love for fireworks has been tainted. Since the 4th was on Wednesday and there was no clear holiday weekend, the holiday has basically been celebrated from June 29 through tonight (July 7). And there have been fireworks set off every night, until late in the night. Besides the fact that they are illegal, they are very, very loud. I just can't believe how many were set off after midnight!

All of this to say, fireworks + infant + over-sensitive, psycho dog = really long nights all week. And it continues tonight. Getting Jack to go to sleep in what sounds like a war zone with a dog barking furiously out the back door is really annoying. I guess there's not point to this story other than to complain.

Jul. 2nd, 2007

Family Christian Bookstore

So, my blog has changed in the last four weeks. Number one, they've become a lot more boring. "Jack cried again. Jack pooped again. Jack did something cute. Blah, blah, blah." And number two, I don't update it as often. It seems that I have nothing to write about than the things I listed in number one, so there's not much to report on daily. So, here's something completely different.

I went into Family Christian bookstore today. I don't do that very often because their merchandise is WAY overpriced. And I know some of you would tell me that I'm supporting a "Christian organization" when I shop there so it's worth paying the extra, but I'm not sure what makes them Christian other than having the term in the name of their store and the fact that they sell Christian merchandise. In fact, I kind of dislike supporting them because of all of the cheesy stuff they sell that make Christians look like morons.

Anyway, this blog is not about that. Well, kind of it is, but not really. I was looking for a specific book and found it and was waiting in line to pay. I noticed that on one side of the cash register was a rack with rows of pictures of World Vision children that you could sponsor for $22.00 a month. On the other side was a rack of applications for the Family Christian credit card. If you applied for the credit card you got a bag full of books and CDs. There are so many problems with this scenario with this that I don't even know where to begin. But it gets better.

The guy at the cash register was semi-creepy and was taking FOREVER to ring up the girl in front of me. Why? Because he stopped to check out every item she was purchasing and commented on it. EVERY ITEM. I wasn't in a rush or anything, but it was akward and I just wanted it to be over so we could all be put out of our misery. I tell you this part just so you're aware that he knew exactly which titles she was buying. I can't remember the exact title of one of the books, but it had something to do with overcoming debt in a world of consumerism. He proceeded to ask her if she'd like to apply for the Family Christian credit card. Really, buddy? Know your audience. WHen she said "no" he went through the entire bag of goodies she could receive if she applied. She politely denied his request again.

Maybe the FCB employees should start asking people if they want to sponsor a child instead.

Jun. 28th, 2007

Exercise

I've had an exercise ball for years. I think Kyle got it for me as a gift when we were first married (and I was ok with getting a piece of exercise equipment as a gift because he knew I wanted one). You know what I'm talking about, right? One of those oversize pink rubber balls that you can sit on and lay on in order to make exercise more challenging and "fun?" Up until last night, ours has only been used for sitting on to play video games. I don't know . . . maybe it seems that video games are "healthier" if we sat on an exercise ball while we play them. Last night, it became the baby soother. Jack loved it when I held him and bounced him on it. Plus, his fussiness ceased. Score one for mom.

Things were pretty good all around last night. When he fell asleep after the exercise ball, I put him down in his crib because I had some things to do in the bedroom where his bassinet is. He slept in there until Kyle and I were ready to go to bed. (Side note: Murphy chewed a hole in our Pottery Barn Kids boppy cover and I'm NOT HAPPY) We went to bed without him in our room and it was rough on both of us. I was surprised that Kyle had a hard time with it too. However, as soon as our heads hit the pillow, we heard his cry over the monitor.

Kyle got him up and changed his diaper and sat down to try and feed him the bottle I had made up. Up until this point, he wouldn't take a bottle (I was beginning to think that the breast pump was a waste of money), but this night was different. But Kyle sat down with it and he took it likeit came naturally to him. He kind of looked at Kyle as if to say, "I said I'd do it when I was ready." I guess he's grown up a little in the past 48 hours.

When Kyle put him in his bassinet after the bottle, he was still awake. I thought for sure that he would start crying. But he just drifted off to sleep on his own. That has never happened before. We think (don't laugh) that he might have liked the sound of the breast pump because when I turned it off the first time he kind of stirred until I turned it back on.

In other news, Kyle found out today that he won't be coaching JV basketball again this year. They're looking for someone with more high school coaching experience and since last year was his only expeience coaching high school basketball, that kind of counts him out. He's a little disappointed, but only because they've known for a couple of months that they wanted someone else and hadn't told him. To be honest, we're not all that bummed about the whole thing. We're excited to have that 10 weeks back . . . excited that he doesn't have to deal with frustrating parents . . . even more excited that he doesn't have to deal with, well, other people involved. In fact, I was secretly hoping he would decide not to do it anyway. However, we're still trying to figure out where that money will come from. It wasn't enough to make us rich, but was just enough to make losing it hurt. We've got a lot of extra bills that start in November. I wish he could still coach 7th or 8th grade basketball. It was so much easier and really not much less pay. I guess this is the part where we trust God to provide. He always does and surprisingly, I'm not that worried about it. Maybe becaus it's still so far off. Or maybe it's plain old peace.

Alright, Jack's calling. So is Kyle. Gotta go.

Jun. 25th, 2007

Senior Teen Camp

I'm beginning to feel a sense of normalcy. Of course, it's a new normal, but at least I'm figuring out what life is going to be like. It's still hard to plan a camp and not be there to watch it all be carried out, and to not be spending as much time investing in a staff I hired and have spent months preparing for and praying for, but I look down at Jack and know that it's all worth it. AND, it's not like I've had to give up my job at camp. I've been able to do a reasonable amount of both things . . . camp and taking care of Jack. I'm just torn because I want to put my all into both things. But Jack's getting used to taking naps in the Baby Bjorn and things at camp . . . well sooner or later they'll get used to not having me around as much (hopefully the easy way and not the hard way).

After a refreshing weekend, it was hard to jump back into another camp but it's nice to know we don't have an overnight camp for THREE WEEKS after this week. That'll be a nice break. Last night was the hardest night yet. For some reason Jack was particularly fussy and Kyle and I both were particularly cranky. This morning was no different, but Kyle was at camp. I hate it when he cries and his face turns all red and he goes into the "silent cry" mode, but if he's dry, fed and well-rested, all I can do is hold him and rock him, I suppose. As his mom, it's just upsetting to see.

Our speaker at camp for the week is Phil Owen . . . which means he, his wife and kids are out here all week. That's a treat for Kyle and I because we really like them and have a good time with them. I'm bummed that I'm not around more this week to spend more time with them but the meals and short times we've had with them are good. We only see them once or twice a year (if that) but everytime we do I wish we lived closer so that we could spend more time with them. I'm beginning to realize how many friends Kyle and I have that we could say that about. A vast majority of the couples that we are friends with live far away.

I'm starting to realize that Jack is somewhat of a local (very local) celebrity. I'm shocked at how many people walk up and ask, "Is this Jack?" and want to see him. They greet me by name, ask how the delivery was and how things are going. The odd thing is that I have no idea who more than half of them are. I think some of them are from our church and some are probably people that know Kyle's parents, but I'm still amazed at how many people know him and want to meet him. There are few times in my life where my extroverted nature has been pushed to it's limit, but it's fun and exhausting all at the same time to be talking to so many random people.

So, I was looking at all of my pre-pregnancy clothes (none of which come close to fitting yet) and was wishing I could still fit into my green AE hoodie that I love so much. I'm beginning to realize that I'm going to have to start shopping for clothes at J.C. Penney and Meijer . . . which isn't bad but is just an adjustment. I guess I'm too old for the stores I used to shop in anyway. And, I'll settle for fitting into anything at this point. My maternity pants are too loose (my radio that I wear for camp is constantly pulling them down) but everything else is too tight. I haven't been back on a scale since Jack was born but I might do that tonight. I really hope I've lost enough to make me feel a little better. I'll let you know tomorrow. :)

Jun. 23rd, 2007

Three weeks old . . .

I'm amazed that Jackson is already 3 weeks old! Where has the time gone?! He smiled at me today for the first time (twice actually) while he was awake. I took some pictures later of him kind of smirking (see the links below) but I wish I could have captured that smile. It was amazing.

Jack's in this phase where he DOES NOT sleep. He slept for about an hour this morning and an hour this afternoon. THe rest of this time he's either awake and happy or awake and fussy. It's kind of tiring. Shouldn't he still be sleeping qite a bit?

We took Jack with us and some friends to the Beach Bar yesterday for lunch. We're just realizing that we can't do things like go out to lunch for a while. It's not fair to our friends who have to deal with a fussy baby the whole time and it's not as much fun for us. Today, however, has been so refreshing. Kyle and I have been home all day today. We took Jack & Murphy on a walk (and it was nice even though Jack wailed for the last 5 minutes of it). We ordered lunch and had it delivered. I have not paid the bills, folded clothes or done anything I've needed to do, but I did get a lot of sleep and relaxation!

I'm feeling down today about the fact that I'm not even close to fitting into last summer's clothes. I don't want to have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe in a bigger size. And I don't want to have to wear maternity clothes all summer. It's really depressing. And even though I'm committed to breastfeeding, I'm hating it right now. It's really disappointing. I hate the fact that I can't find shirts or bras that fit. I hate not being able to find a comfy position while he's eating. I hate many things about it that I won't discuss here. I really hope it starts to get better soon.

Here are the links to pictures I've posted of Jack. Just copy and paste the address into your browser:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=29753&l=edaec&id=500475206

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=26229&l=66bb5&id=500475206

Here are a couple I took today:





Jun. 21st, 2007

It's not my fault

This week of camp has been a good one. I had the opportunity to meet one on one with eight of our ten female counselors yesterday and I was amazed at the things that God is doing in the lives of our campers. I feel like our staff this summer is amazing (despite mine and Kyle's total lack of organization or "with-itness").

Heather was able to come this week which was a HUGE help. She worked here for three summers and knows what she's doing. I'm not sure how I would have made it through this week without her.

So, I came to a realization today. Jack's crying is not my fault. I think for some reason, I've blamed his fussiness over the last couple of days on myself. I've assumed that I've done something wrong or that he's miserable because of something I'm not doing. But sometimes babies just cry, right?

This morning he screamed like I've never heard him scream before and of course it brought me to tears as well. It only lasted for about 10 seconds and I still haven't figured out why he was crying.

I know this was kind of boring, but that's all I've got for now . . .

Jun. 20th, 2007

It's a different world . . .

I have a little baby poop on my left pant leg, breast milk on my right pant leg, pee on my shirt and spit up on my shoulder. And I don't want to change because I know that clean clothes will be dirty again in about an hour. It's a different world thab it was 3 weeks ago.

It's a Wednesday afternoon in June and I'm sitting at home. I haven't been at home on a Wednesday afternoon in June for more than 15 minutes for more than 9 years. It's a little strange. When I'm here, it really does feel more like April or October. Jack has just made my world totally different.

I know that it's to be expected . . . everyone knows that life changes completely once you have a baby. But having him in June made that realization much more emphatic. Besides sitting waiting for him to wake up, I have very little to do at home. This is the complete antithesis of what my summers have been like in the past. I just keep wondering what everyone at camp is doing right now.

Please don't misunderstand me . . . I love Jackson and wouldn't trade him for the world. I'm just still trying to figure out how all the pieces of my life fit together.

Jun. 19th, 2007

Another crazy day . . .

Monday was just as crazy, if not crazier than Sunday. We got to camp in the morning and we had a camper who had already punched his counslor twice. When Kyle went up to handle the situation, the camper cracked him in the head with a side rail for a bunk bed . . . which bought his ticket home. This camper who we had to send home was signed up for target sports class (riflery and archery). Crisis avoided? Perhaps. So Kyle spent the morning dealing with that.

I was dealing with everything else going on down at breakfast, plus everything we had forgotten to have ready for the day, plus Jack. Luckily, Jack was good all morning.

However, Jack turned over a new leaf yesterday. THe fussy leaf. I had made the commitment to take Jack home for a little bit of normalcy after lunch. He slept all the way home, but as soon as we walked in the door, he started crying and didn't stop until a little after midnight. He probably had a total of an hour of sleep during that entire 12-hour period. It was kinda miserable. He went from being such a happy baby to a REALLY fussy baby almost instantly. Kyle came home for a little while during the afternoon and got him to calm down. He put him in his crib and left and about 10 minutes later Jack was wailing again. It just makes me feel helpless.

I didn't get a shower yestrday which made me feel so gross all day. Mainly because I have been wearing flip-flops and my feet were so dirty. When Kyle came home last night, I had finally been able to get Jack to fall asleep on my stomach, so I didn't want to get up and ruin that just to take a shower. I told Kyle about how I was feeling and he grabbed a wash cloth and cleaned my feet for me. Amazing.

Today, he slept all morning except for nursing times. I kind of wonder if his fussiness yesterday was a reaction to something I ate. He was so good this morning, so I decided to bring him to camp so I could get some things done. He got fussy right around the time we got here. Honeymoon's over, I guess.

Jun. 17th, 2007

Father's Day Picture

I would put a Father's day picture of Jack and Kyle here but we don't have one. It's been too busy to get one. It was the opening day of our first camp and the word "crazy" cannot do the day justice. It was so nuts.

Kids who weren't registered showed up and demanded to be in certain rooms, parents were cranky, we have a lot of high-maintenance, special needs kids (one of whom alread punched his counselor in the face), Kyle and I had forgotten so much of what we had to have done, the computer for the power point wasn't working (I don't think it has ever worked on the first night of the first camp) and I called in Aunt Katie to come to the camp to watch Jack. People kept seeing me all evening and saying, "I can't believe you're working when you have a 2 week old." I don't think they could imagine how guilty I felt when they said that.

It just all kind of came crashing down tonight. I don't know what would have happened tonight if I were on strict maternity leave. Kyle would probably have had a nervous breakdown tonight because of how much stuff would have been piled on him alone.

So, I'm sitting here in my office nursing Jack, updating the camp website and crying . . . trying to figure out how I can do it all. Or how I can arrange things so that I don't have to do it all. I'm so hungry because I didn't get dinner. I did get plenty of sleep last night though . . . I don't know what I'd be doing now if I hadn't.

All I wanted out of today was a "First Father's Day" picture of Kyle & Jack. I guess there's still 3 1/2 hours left.

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Jun. 16th, 2007

Road Trip

Jack went on his first road trip to Great Grandma Wietholter's house! He slept the entire way (three hours) there and screamed the entire way (well, only about an hour of the way) home. Everyone ooed and ahhed and seemed to agree that he's the cutest baby EVER! Here are some pictures of the trip!

Aunt Karina came to stay the night before our trip and read him a story (although I read him his first bedtime story two nights before that and he really seemed to enjoy it).




His Great Grandma thought he was "precious."



4 Generations



Side note: Murphy's getting a lot better with Jack. SHe seems to be getting used to no longer being the center of attention. Here's a picture just to remind you what she looks like. More importantly, check out how much less swollen my ankles are now!




Jun. 15th, 2007

Unbelievable

I so badly wish I had a video camera with me this afternoon because you probably won't believe what I'm about to tell you. Luckily, we had two witnesses besides Kyle and I to confirm that what I'm about to tell you is true.

Jack rolled over unassisted from back to front today. I know it sounds unbelievable that a two month old could do that. It was probably a fluke and it will probably be months before he does it again, but it happened . . . for real.

Kyle and I were sitting in the Cedar Center talking with Amy and JJ. Kyle was holding Jack and playing with him. Kyle laid him down on the table (which I'm sure breaks some sort of camp liscensing health code - sorry sherry) and he kind of tipped on his side as he usually does when we lay him down. He laid there for a while and began to try and keep leaning/rolling. I made a joke about how it looked like he was trying to roll over. For the next 30 - 45 seconds, he kept trying this until he was tipped all the way up and completed the roll (it sounds like some sort of gymnastic move, I know). Then he started screaming because he was laying on his arm and his face was smashed against the table.

So, no one really believes us, but it's true. Amy and JJ can even back it up. Jack's ahead of the curve. I kind of want to call the lady who said I'm causing him brain damage (see previous blog) to tell her.

The heavyweight

Well, Jack had another weigh-in today . . . 9 lbs, 8 oz! Our goal was fir him to be back to his birth weight but he was almost a pound over it! He's eating like a champ! Kyle was able to meet the doctor today, which was nice. It was a great morning!

I've been feeling a little guilty about the fact that I went back to wor when Jack was only a week old. I guess I should say that I continue to feel guilty about that. It's gone well and he seems to like being toted along in his sling and stroller but I guess I just feel bad when people give me shocked looks when I tell them he's 1 1/2 weeks old and they see me working. We have a pretty good routine down though.

I know Kyle doesn't care . . . especially because me being at camp with Jack means he gets to see him more! I think he's mostly worried that I'm not taking care of myself. But he must remember that I can handle more than most people can . . . in fact, I think I'd be getting bored at home. But I'd probably be getting more sleep too.

Today is the last day of staff training, so hopefully once camps start, I'll be a little more free.

I've been posting pictures of Jack on myspasce becaise it's such a pain to post them here. But I just found out thay people w.out a myspace account can't view them (and I think I only have one friend who that applies to). So here are some for your enjoyment:



















Jun. 14th, 2007

(no subject)

I’m not sure how to summarize everything that’s gone on over the last week and a half, but here are some random things:

I hate looking pregnant still. Yes, my belly has gone down significantly, but I feel like people still think I look pregnant. I had one person say to me, “You had the baby . . . why do you still look pregnant?” No, it was not a 5-year-old girl. It was a 25-year-old girl. I, of course, left in tears. I know it’s true, but I hated to be reminded of it.

I packed up all of my long-sleeved maternity shirts on Monday. I still wear a lot of the short-sleeved ones. My closet looks really empty. I wish I could just figure out how to make my belly go away faster. I was never super-skinny to begin with, but I just want to look normal again.

My mom came and stayed with me from Wednesday to Saturday and I’m not sure what I would have done without her. She helped so much with Jack and kept me company while Kyle was gone. This kid is lucky to have so many loving grandparents!

Kyle and I took Jack on his first shopping trip on Sunday. He slept the whole time with the exception of when we nursed in the car while Kyle ran into a store. He went to Target, Kohl’s and Home Depot.

We’ve had some good nights, we’ve had some bad nights. Overall, he’s a pretty good baby. Even when he’s keeping us up to the wee hours of the morning, I just look at him and remember what a miracle he is. How could I complain about such a wonderful little boy?!

He nurses well . . . most of the time. Sometimes I feel like there’s no way I’m feeding him frequently enough. Other times, I’m not sure where he puts it!

I kind of went back to work this week. Actually, not kind of. I did go back to work. I did the staff training sessions that I usually do (all of last week the other staff members covered for us). I got ready for the upcoming summer. I’m hoping once camps hit, I won’t be needed as much so I can spend more time with Jack. I feel a little guilty about toting him around so much this week. I started to feel a little bitter too when I realized that if I had him September I could have just stayed home with him for 8 weeks straight. I should make it clear that Dave made it clear to me that if I didn’t come in all summer, it was ok because I needed to take some time for maternity leave . . . so it’s not like I’m a slave to SBC at all. I feel lucky to work in such a flexible environment.

Just an update . . . my carpal tunnel has not gone away. I still have the claw. The swollen ankles have gone down quite a bit but are still pretty puffy at the end of the day. HOW MUCH LONGER?!

Well, Jack’s sleeping, so I should be too. I’ll do my best to keep up with this a little more regularly now that I’m caught up.

Jack's first Dr. visit(s)

We brought Jackson home from the hospital on Monday and I cried a lot of the way home. This was just the beginning of the post-partum emotions! I cried because I still looked WAY pregnant. They told me I’d leave the hospital looking 4 – 5 months pregnant. That was always encouraging to me because my sister-in-law is between 5 & 6 months pregnant and I was ok with looking like she did. I went home looking 8 ½ months pregnant.

I cried because I was overwhelmed with how much responsibility we had for this new life. I cried because I was tired. I cried because all of the build up of being pregnant was over. I cried because I was still in pain from the whole birthing process (and the stitches that resulted). I luckily regained composure by the time we got home. There was a balloon and sign on the door and Joy put a sign on the door of Jack’s bedroom. It was so nice!

We got home around 1 and Cindy brought us lunch from camp. One nice thing about U of M is that they have room service and you can order whatever you want for meals. Nice, huh? You just have to be careful what you order because it’s hit or miss. The pancakes and bacon that we ordered for breakfast that morning were like two small round pieces of styrofoam and two thin strips of . . . well, some sort of dog treats. Their sandwiches, however were excellent! All of that to say . . . we were hungry.

My first order of business after lunch was to make Jack’s first Dr. appointment. The pediatricians at U of M wanted him to be seen no later Wednesday so we made an appointment for Tuesday.

When we arrived at the Doctor’s office, I was surprised to find out that you sat in the waiting room and waited for them to call your name over an intercom and then you went in the appropriate door and the nurse met you in the hall. That was kind of strike one.

They weighed Jack and he was 7 lbs, 14 oz. They weighed him again and he was 7 lbs, 12 oz. Sounds like someone was still learning how to use the scale . . .

Anyway, his birth weight was 8 lbs, 10 oz. so the nurse practitioner was very concerned about this. So concerned that she told me immediately that I needed to start supplementing breastfeeding with formula. Now let me just say that I’m not a psycho parent who thinks that feeding my son a little bit of formula will condemn him to a life of mediocrity. However, I’m committed to making breastfeeding as successful as possible for Jack and I wanted a good reason for supplementing and I wasn’t seeing one. He was within the “safe 10% weight loss” zone and my milk hadn’t come in yet, so of course he wouldn’t be gaining weight like a formula-fed baby would be. But he was getting all of the really healthy colostrum that he wouldn’t be getting if he were getting formula.

Anyway, I questioned her on it and told her that I didn’t feel comfortable starting formula quite yet. My friend Annie told me a similar story from when her son was jaundiced and it was that story that gave me the courage to just express my discomfort with what the nurse was prescribing. I was close to tears at this point . . . she had me panicked about his weight loss and was acting as if he could die any second. However, when I questioned her on this she said (I hope you’re sitting down), “You will cause brain damage in your child if you don’t start feeding him formula today.” I lost it. I was crying so hard and she was giving me a stern look and shoving my hands full of formula samples. Kyle said in retrospect that her answer to everything was probably to give people formula and shove them out the door. I knew she was full of crap, but no new mom wants to hear someone say that she might cause brain damage to her child!

Thankfully, U of M sends out visiting nurses the day after patients are released from the hospital and my visit was scheduled for that afternoon. I told her about my experience and she was shocked. She said that we definitely needed to keep an eye on his weight and we might need to supplement if my milk didn’t come in within the next 24 hours, but that I would not be causing my baby any brain damage. She asked for the name and phone number of the nurse practitioner we talked to because she wanted to have a chat with her.

She explained that there is a low percentage of moms in Jackson County that breastfeed, so they’re probably not used to seeing the weight loss that comes in breast fed babies. She also pointed out that if we had just gone to a one week visit rather than going the day after he was discharged, my milk would have been in and this probably wouldn’t have been an issue. She helped us to find a different pediatrician.

I went to that pediatrician on Wednesday and my mom came with me because Kyle had to leave that morning on an overnight campout with our staff (which, of course, caused me to shed a lot of tears and to be way emotional). This pediatrician (Dr. Moore in Chelsea) was amazing. When we were in the waiting room filling out paperwork, he came out and introduced himself. All of the receptionists and nurses introduced themselves too. They were so friendly.

They weighed him and he had gained 4 oz since the appointment the day before! Milk makes all the difference, I suppose. He spent a good 10 minutes thoroughly examining Jack (as opposed to the 30 seconds the day before) and spent a good deal of time talking to us. All in all, he probably spent a total of 30 minutes with us. At the end of the appointment, Jack was getting hungry and Dr. Moore asked if he could have his nurse practitioner (who is also a lactation consultant) come in and make sure nursing is going ok. Of course she could! She sat with me through the ENTIRE feeding and made sure he was latching on well and just talked to me about a lot of baby things.

We went back on Thursday and Jack had put on another 3 oz! We saw Dr. Stefanie that day and she was just as great as Dr. Moore. She spent a TON of time answering my questions about baby routine and immunizations. I honestly felt like they genuinely cared about my baby . . . even after he peed and pooped on both doctors! It was wonderful.

I'm new here . . .

I’m sitting at my kitchen table with Jack’s head on my chest and his butt balancing on the computer so that I can type with both hands. It’s 12:48 and I’d love to be in bed, but I refuse to complain. If you had told me last year at this time that I’d get to be caring for this little guy, I wouldn’t have believed it. And now it’s here and I feel so blessed that I’ll deal with the late nights! Ok, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog, so I should start from a while ago.

The last week and a half has been a whirlwind. I kind of feel like on June 1 someone pressed the “fast forward” button on my life and it’s never going to slow down!

On Thursday (May 31), I worked at camp all day and helped serve dinner at a board meeting. It was really warm and although I had wished he'd have come earlier, I was glad for all of the time I had during the week to get things done for the summer. On Friday (June 1), I kicked it into high gear knowing that it was my absolute last day to get things done. I was so productive . . . I think it was probably one of my most productive days on record! I think most people were surprised to see me at camp on that day because they knew I was going to be induced. Actually, I think most people were surprised to see me for the two weeks leading up to giving birth. But keeping busy helped the time to pass fast.

In that last week, I had a couple of emotional breadowns about all of the normal stuff. Will my baby be healthy? Will we have enough money to provide for him? Will I be a good mom or an utter failure? Kyle was so patient and so good to me. I can honestly say that the last three or four weeks have only increased my love for him.

We got to the hospital at 7:30 on Friday and I was so nervous. When they called to tell me to go ahead and come in for induction, it kind of sent me into a panic. I was struggling to hold back tears as I realized that these last few moments at home for Kyle and I were kind of an end of one life and the beginning of the next. I knew that the next time we were home together, everything would be different. I was excited but really emotional. I do this with everything. At the end of each summer, I get emotional about the fact that we’ll never have another summer exactly like the one we just had. I guess I’m just sentimental and it was elevated due to all of the pregnancy hormones!

We stopped at McDonalds on the way to the hospital. It’s the same McDonald’s that we got breakfast at every morning on our way to Ann Arbor for fertility treatments (and is probably the reason I gained more weight than I should have with this pregnancy). We spent a lot of time reminiscing about the last year and talking about how much had changed. A year ago, we weren’t sure we’d ever be able to have a baby and here I was getting ready to go give birth.

I was just a combination of excited and nervous.

When we got to the hospital our nurse (Heather) took us down to our room and I got changed into my fashionable hospital gown and they put the monitors on me. They monitored my contractions as well as the baby’s heartbeat. We pretty much listened to his heartbeat non-stop for the next 21 hours.

My nurse also started me on an IV with anti-biotic because I tested positive for the Group B Strep virus. While she was getting the IV started, the anesthesia guy came to explain the whole epidural thing and to have me sign and consent. Between listening to the risks of epidurals and having the IV started I started to get pale and thought that I might pass out. Kyle was fanning me frantically with the room service menu. It took about an hour for me to feel ok again. All I could think was, “If I couldn’t get through the IV, how will I ever get through labor?!”

At 10 PM, my doctor (who wasn’t even on call that night, but just stopped in to see how I was doing and to make sure everything was ok) came and found that I was 2 cm dilated and they used a suppository to help me continue to dilate. They came back at 2 AM and found that I was at 4 cm and started the pitocin into my IV.

Here’s what I learned about pitocin: They start at .5 units per whatever length of time and double it every hour until it’s up to 2 units. From there, they add 2 units every hour. I was having contractions from the start every 3 – 4 minutes, but didn’t feel a thing. I thought that was lucky for me! I was wrong.

That night was miserable. The bed was uncomfortable and it was so hard to get any sleep hooked up to an IV, blood pressure monitor, fetal heart rate monitor and contraction monitor. Plus, I was still dealing with swollen hands and feet and that didn’t help much! Needless to say, I was still exhausted in the morning.

My mom and sister came Saturday morning and sat with us for a while. It really helped the time pass quickly. They went to get lunch (and to get lunch for Kyle) and while were gone, my pitocin was bumped up to 20 units (which was as high as the doctor would have let them go). They tried to break my water . . . and they thought they did but there wasn’t much to show for it. I still wonder if my water had broken days before that and the doctors just didn’t believe me! When the contractions hit, they hit with a vengeance. They failed to tell me that even though I hadn’t been feeling any contractions, that when the pitocin finally started working, I would feel them 10 times worse than usual. My mom and sister were there for just a few minutes after the contractions started and I could tell they were upset to see me in so much pain . . . which was hard for me to see. Eventually, they went to the waiting room and it was just Kyle and I. Seriously, Kyle was amazing. You would have thought that he had been through this before because he knew exactly what to do and say to make things as good as they could have been.

The hospital was packed that day (Kyle saw one woman in a wheelchair waiting for them to find a room for her) and there were three c-sections going on and one on deck when my contractions hit. I had to wait two hours for the epidural. It was the longest two hours of my life. Going into the hospital, I wasn’t sure if I wanted an epidural or not . . . for many reasons. But as soon as I had about 10 minutes worth of contractions, I was ready for one. The hard thing was I had to sit perfectly still while they placed the catheter for the epidural . . . that’s really hard in the middle of intense contractions. Once the epidural took effect, I fell asleep almost immediately. I know that my contractions were more intense than most, but I don’t know how women go through hours upon hours of labor with contractions of even half of the strength of mine! Those of you who have been induced and given birth naturally . . . I have a great deal of respect for you. I don’t understand it, but I respect it!

As soon as I got the epidural, they came to check me and, of course now that I was comfortable with my epidural, I was dilated to 10. The doctor wanted me to rest for an hour though before starting to push because the two hours of over the top contractions had tuckered me out. I tried to rest and the nurse ordered Kyle to get some food before the pushing started because he’d need all of his energy too. But Jack didn’t want to wait. About 20 minutes into my “rest time” I started getting awful aches all over my belly and the nurse said it couldn’t wait.

It was at this point that she mentioned that most first time moms push 2 – 3 hours to deliver. I think I blocked that piece of information out during our childbirth classes. 2 – 3 hours?! I couldn’t imagine. At that point, I was determined to get this done and to get it done quickly. Kyle and the nurse (whose name was Deena, by the way . . . we couldn’t have done this without her) were so good at encouraging me. When Kyle could see his head he’d tell me and tell me how much he could see and kept me going by reminding me that as soon as this was over, I could hold my son. I seriously can’t even explain to you how much my love for Kyle increased during this whole thing.

I also saw a whole new side of myself during the process of labor and delivery. I’ve never known how I would respond to that much pain and to be honest, I’m really proud of how well I did. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment! Deena called me a rock star . . . I’m not sure why, but I took it as a compliment. People have asked me which was harder: the contractions or the pushing. They are honestly so different, I can’t even compare them.

After 45 minutes of pushing, Jackson William Luke made his entrance into this world at 5:01 PM on June 2. I don’t think anyone can describe the feeling of seeing your child for the first time until you experience it for yourself . .. whether it be in a delivery room, or in the office of an adoption agency or in a recovery room after a c-section . . . it’s truly amazing and Kyle and I were both overcome with emotion and it is a moment that I hope I will never forget.

He was an absolute conehead when he came out! I had never seen a baby with a head that pointy and I was a little worried at first that it might not go away. But it did within a few minutes. He was beautiful!

Jack cried for less than a minute and then spent the next 30 – 40 minutes just looking at me and Kyle . . . he was quiet and wide-eyed. He was completely awake and seemed to be taking everything in.

Kyle took Jack out to introduce him to our families (and tell them his name that they had been so anxious to find out). The nurses helped me to get to the bathroom and get ready to have visitors. I was a little depressed to see that my ankles, face and hands were still really swollen and that I had gone from looking 41 weeks pregnant to looking 37 weeks pregnant. But I was on such a high that none of it really mattered all that much.

The rest of the evening was spent having visitors and making phone calls to let everyone know the good news!

After everyone left on our first night in the hospital, Kyle and I were just stunned as we looked in the little crib and saw our son laying there. He was so perfect and so amazing. All throughout the night, we would just randomly look over and watch him sleep. Could we have possibly brought this kid into the world? Could he possibly be half Kyle and half me (although I’m glad I pushed him out because he looks so much like his dad I needed something to prove that he was mine too)! The nurses and doctors came in and out throughout the night. I probably got about an hour of sleep total . . . but that hour of sleep was way more restful than any of the sleep I had gotten over the last few weeks. I just kept thinking, “I’m his mother!” It was both a daunting and exciting thought. I just kept praying that God would make me equal to the task.

We were told that we would have to stay at the hospital for 48 hours because I tested positive for the Group B Strep virus. What they really meant is that I would be discharged after 24 hours and Jackson would be discharged after 24 hours. Luckily, they have nesting rooms at U of M that allowed us to stay with Jackson until he was discharged. The second night, we went from a really nice hospital room to a really small nesting room that had a couch with a pull out bed for Kyle and I. The walls were paper thin so we could hear everything going on in the other rooms, but at least we all got a little time to cuddle together in the same bed as a family.

Our nurse that came on after Deena was excellent (her name was Becca). The nurse after Becca, however, was not so great. Her name was Jean. She sound Jamaican and I had a hard time understanding her. She seemed like a very kind woman but was very frustrating. She wouldn’t answer any of my questions about when we’d be discharged and would always answer me with “you don’t need to worry about that.” What kind of answer is that?! Then, when I told her I was frustrated and needed answers to my questions (through tears) she told me I could ask the nurse who came on after her.

Needless to say, by the time we were released on Monday, we were ready to get home. Our staff had all arrived Sunday night and we were sad that we couldn’t be there to greet them, but it just wasn’t good timing!

As I reflect on the whole “birthing experience” I’m beginning to forget a lot. I think that’s the only reason that women choose to have more than one child! But I will never forget the moment that they handed Jack to me. I’ll never forget looking at Kyle and seeing how he looked at me and looked at Jack with so much love. I hope that those memories never fade.

Jun. 11th, 2007

Coming soon . . .

So, I seriously thought that only my mom and Annie Stahr read my blog regularly . . . that is, until I didn't post one for a week and started receiving lots of e-mail about how I haven't blogged in a while. Sorry to keep you all waiting.

Jackson William Luke entered the world at 5:01 PM on June 2 (yes, an entire week late). He is the most precious little boy I've ever seen! I love being his mom and it's a joy to take care of him. Yes, I'm tired, but I'm loving every minute of it.

I've been writing in my own personal diary and am working to edit my entries so that I can post them publicly. If you'll check back within the next few days, I'll have pictures and blogs from the last week.

Thank you all for the love that we've felt over the last week . . . I hope that my blogs will prove to be even more interesting now that I'm a mom rather than just a pregnant lady!

May. 31st, 2007

40 1/2 weeks.



Here's what I look like . . . puffiness and all. Hopefully not much longer though. They'll call tomorrow between 4 and 6 to let me know when I can come in for induction (as long as they have the bedspace . . . fingers crossed).

And, as humilating as this is, here are the long awaited pictures of my swollen ankles. Notice that I cropped out my toes . . . pregnant women can't paint their toenails and you can read about the pedicure fiasco from a few weeks ago. I honestly can't believe I'm going to post this. I'll have to post the after pictures when he's born. Oh, and notice the small indent on the inside of my right ankle. THat's from having my legs crossed about 5 minutes before the picture was taken. Nice, huh?

Nevermind. I chickened out.

I'm gonna go enjoy my last night at home as a childless woman!

The Waiting Game

I have to admit that I'm really frustrated with U of M right now. Really frustrated. Remember how two weeks ago, my doctor said that I didn't need to come in for an appointment this week because I would be induced on Friday. And then, the doctor I saw last week said that she really thought it was important for me to come in so they could do an exam and see if there was any progress?

Well, my doctor came in yesterday and listened to he heartbeat and that was it. I told her that the doctor last week had insisted that i come in for this appointment so they could do a full exam. My real doctor said that she didn't feel an exam was necessary. So, basically, because the doctors don't communicate well, I wasted 1/2 a tank of gas and almost an entire day driving to Ann Arbor for an unecessary appointment. I burst into tears (well more like sobs) as soon as we got into the car because I was so frustrated . . . and because I've had so little sleep and cry a lot more easily when I have little sleep. So, Kyle tried to make the wasted trip a little more worth it by going to walk around at IKEA and took me to get my hair cut.

I had every intention of trying to convince my doctor yesterday that I needed to be induced sooner than Friday. However, on Tuesday night I had a panic attack about how much I still had to get done PLUS I got about 3 hours of sleep . . . which is definitely a record for the last two weeks. SO, I was feeling pretty good when I went in and didn't try and persuade her at all. Last night, I was regretting that decision.

So, they call me tonight to schedule tomorrow's induction. Please, please pray that the induction goes smoothly and quickly. The doctor said that it can take up to 24 hours to get labor going and then who knows how long before the baby is delivered. And, I'm really starting to feel guilty about having staff training as soon as we get home . . . I don't want to deprive Kyle of time with his son or the baby of time with his father. My mom is coming to stay with me while he's on the campout so I'll be ok, but I just feel like maybe we're already going to be messing this kid up by having kyle be gone for 2 1/2 days during his first week of life. Ahhh . . . let the lifetime of guilt begin.

I'm feeling pretty good today. My hands are still killing me and my feet are like tree trunks, but other than that, my spirits are high and I have a relatively positive attitude about everything. I'm nervous about tomorrow, bu the nervousness is outweighed by excitement. I have my e-mail list ready to go so we can send out an announcement (including the long-awaited name) sometime after he's born. Aren't you glad we kept the name a secret? Think about how much excitement that adds! :)

Oh, and I mentioned my haircut before . . . just a word of advice to those who are pregnant . . . don't get your hair cut until after you have the baby. If it doesn't turn out the way you'd like it to, it seems a whole lot worse than it actually is. Let's just say that in my baby's first pictures it will look like he was born to a 45 year old woman.

Ok, I've got a lot to get done today, so I'm headed to camp.

May. 28th, 2007

Sleepless

I can honestly say that I can't wait to have a baby here to wake me up several times a night. Why? Because being woken up means that I was sleeping in the first place . . . which is something that is not happening now thanks to the carpal tunnel claw. At this point, I would pay good money if there were something that could take the numbness and throbbing away.

I thought maybe it would happen last night. Katie (my sister-in-law) and I walked from the camp back to her parent's house and then I started having pains a few hours later . . . not really contractions, but definite pains. Unfortunately, they stopped.

I'm so cranky right now due to my lack of sleep. I'm about ready to open the door, let Murphy run out and pray that she doesn't find her way home.

Anyway, here's something I read this morning out of Romans (the Message version) that I really like and have decided to use for staff training . . . well, staff training next year when I don't have a newborn:

"If you're a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don't call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift."

As frustrating as it may be, my hope is that my life is full of jobs that are too big for me that I could never do by myself no matter what. I have a feeling the biggest one of those jobs is less than a week away from arrival.

The sermon series at our church for the month of May is called "Building a kingdom household." I know that the theme wasn't picked out exclusively for Kyle and I but it's been so encouraging and challenging during this last month of pregnancy as we think about how we want to start this family off right and our responsibility as parents. You can download the sermons here: http://www.springarborfm.org/media_sermon_archives/ I heard the ones on May 13 and may 27, but not the 20th (though I'm sure it was just as good).

May. 26th, 2007

Dr. Pepper, split ends and a PSA

I have never been a water drinker. What I mean is that water was never my drink of choice. Before I was pregnant (or trying to get pregnant) I drank as much diet coke as I should have water. I only drank water when it was necessary (like if I neecded to swallow pills and there was no soda available) or when I had just gone for a run and needed to rehydrate (running? did I really used to run?). Pregnancy has definitely changed this for me. At my first doctor's appointment, my doctor reminded me of how much fluid I should be intaking in order to maintain healthy nutrition for my baby. I gagged at the thought of having to drink that much water in a day. As time went on, I began craving water more and more. At this point, I'm constantly thirsty and can't seek to get enough water.

The thing that isn't great is I hate the water at camp. When I was a camper at SBC, we had a skit night as the last night of every camp. For a skit one year, we "wrote" a song that went something like this: "Hi ho, hi ho, It's off to camp we go. The something I can't remember the words . . . THE WATER TASTES LIKE FISH AND SLIME . .. etc." All of that to say . . . it really does taste bad so I've spent a fortunte on bottled water.

Anyway, I'm off track. So, diet coke doesn't even sound appealing anymore. However, today was different. I haven't had many cravings during my pregnancy but right after lunch, I was craving a Dr. Pepper . . . the irony of which is Dr. Pepper is the only soft drink not available in any vending machine anywhere at Somerset Beach. I told Kyle about my craving and Cindy (my mother-in-law) was sitting there and within 30 minutes she had gone home to get me a Dr. Pepper. I told her she's my favorite mother-in-law ever.

I think one of the smartest things I've done is to continue to work until he's born. Of course, I love my job and I've had a fairly uncomplicated pregnancy so that makes it easy. But, it's really helped to pass the time. And it keeps me from sitting around too much. I only say that tonight because I had a really productive day. I still feel like there's a lot more to do for the summer, but I'm beginning to accept that some of it might not get done.

Kyle took my car to have the tires rotated this week . . . this is the good car. The car that we're not having problems with. The car whose wipers aren't possessed by the devil. The guy who rotated the tires let Kyle know that it was in need of repair . . . $1300 worth of repair. Things just keep getting better and better for us.

While Kyle and I were watching tv tonight, I had two painful contractions. So of course I assumed I was going into labor and did the most logical thing I could think of: I took a shower because I looked like crap. I haven't felt a thing since. Not even a twinge. Oh well. Maybe not tonight. But as I was drying my hair (I certainly couldn't go to the hospital with wet hair) I did realize that I have a lot of split ends and I kind of hope I have a chance to get a haircut before the big day.

TOmorrow's my due date (kind of). My doctor says it's today and the RE clinic said Sunday, so I've just kind of rounded it off to May 26. My cousin gets married tomorrow. I have another friend who gets married tomorrow too. I probably should have RSVPed that I'd be at one of the weddings because I would have been more likely to go into labor tonight if I had plans for tomorrow. THe nurse in triage on Wednesday said the best way to bring on labor is to let the laundry pile up and the house get messy. She says it never fails that the baby will come when you're not ready for him. I'm pretty sure my nesting instinct/obsession won't let me do that though.

So, lastly for tonight, there are a lot of things that people should not do/say to pregnant women that I was completely unaware of before being pregnant (the lady at the party store tonight was discussing the size of my swollen ankles with the other girl behind the counter - seriously, pregnant ladies are NOT deaf). SO, as a public service to all of you, here are a few of them:

1. Don't touch a pregnant woman's belly without being invited to. Actually, that one should be obvious, but for some people it is not. Just ask first.

2. Under no circumstances is it polite to refer to someone as "really big," "huge," "gigantic," etc. Not even a pregnant lady. YOu may think, "Well, she has an excuse for being huge . . . . she's pregnant . . . so it won't bother her to be called that." I used to think that too. BUt we're wrong. While logic tells you that you're huge because of being pregnant, it's never really a morale booster to have someone point it out to you. Same goes for calling parts of a pregnant women's body "huge." Ankles, hands, face, etc. Not allowed. Even if the pregnant lady refers to herself that way, it's not a free pass to also make those comments. Comparing a pregnant woman's entire body to Shrek, after she only said her feet look like Shrek's feet is also unacceptable (you know who you are).

3. Telling someone she's a "cute pregnant lady" is a little trite. It's not necessarily bad to say, but being called "cute" is overused and kind of makes you feel like a baby or a puppy. Finding other things to compliment her on . . . like telling her she looks so happy, or graceful, or beautiful means a lot more than "cute."

4. Don't tell a pregnant women that she looks like she "dropped." It gives her false hope. When she sees her doctor and she finds out that the baby has not dropped, it's really disappointing. Instead, ask "Do you feel like he's dropped?" Or, "What has the doctor said?" Along those same lines, don't ask stupid questions like, "Did the doctor say which day he'd be born?" I wanted to reply to that question with, "Well, when she checked the baby was turned so that we couldn't see his timer so we're still not sure how much time is left."

5. Ask, don't guess, how far along someone is. If you're 30 weeks pregnant and someone guesses that you're due in a week . . . it's a little discouraging.

I know there are more, but these are just the ones I could think of tonight. When talking to a pregnant woman, proceed with caution.

May. 23rd, 2007

An update . . .

SO yesterday, I wrote about how today would be my final appointment. Not true. The doctor I saw today couldn't figure out why my real doctor wouldn't want to see me next week (if I haven't gone into labor yet) so we scheduled another one for next week . . . two days before induction day.

TOday's appointment was fairly uneventful. The doctor didn't indicate whether or not he had dropped yet, and I didn't get a chance to ask because all I heard her say was "WOw . . . this baby's not small, is he?!" After that, I was pretty much speechless. I wish I would have asked how big she thinks he is. Are we talking 8 pounds big or 12 pounds big? I did have to be hooked up to the monitor for 30 minutes because his movements have slowed down so much. But everything looks great. I think I was most upset to hear that my baby is "not so small" because of all of the newborn-sized diapers and clothing we have hanging in the closet that might never get used!

I had to be on the monitor once in April too and ironically enough we got the bill for that in the mail when we got home from today's appointment. A whopping $411. I've been frustrated over the past couple of weeks because U of M has a commitment to not doing unecessary tests and procedures in order to keep cost down to patients and insurance companies. That's great, but I wished I would have more assurance that he was healthy and doing ok. After getting today's bill, I have a whole new appreciation for their practices and integrity in healthcare.

The monitor showed that I'm having a lot of contractions . . . just not feeling any of them. I've never wanted to be in pain so much in my entire life! I'm ready to go!

May. 22nd, 2007

My shadow . . .

I took Murphy for a walk today (yes . . . another attempt to bring labor). I was amazed when I looked down and saw my shadow. I am seriously pregnant. I know that's kind of stating the obvious, but a year ago we were still unsure that I would ever be able to get pregnant. And here I am at the end. I'm so thankful for this life growing inside of me and I can't wait to meet him!

I continue to lose sleep at night over whether or not he'll be healthy. I've also started waking up in the middle of the night worrying that something will happen to Kyle. I've heard that this is normal and also that it's the beginning of a lifetime about worrying about things like this.

We have our last Dr. appointment tomorrow before I either go into labor or am induced. I hope that they can do something to assure me that the baby is healthy. In any case, I have no more than 10 days left!

May. 18th, 2007

Bummed out.

Today's been a down day. I just have felt "not right" all day. The baby's moving and there's nothing really that I can put my finger on, but I just feel different. I had to sit down to rest twice all in the time in took me to make the bed this morning. I'm constantly worried that there will be something wrong with the baby. I think part of the reason I want to go into labor so badly is so I don't have to sit around wondering if he's healthy or not. And, every time I walk by a mirror I want to cry. There was just a Yoplait commercial on tv that begins with a voice saying, "Wouldn't it be great to have a smaller waist?" Yes, yes it would. I completely lost my cool with Murhpy today which made me question my ability to be a good parent. I lost my keys which about pushed me over the edge. I tried to make two casseroles to freeze for after the baby's born and ended up with spaghetti sauce all over my shirt. It was just one of those days.

Fortunately, I sat down this afternoon to make a list of things that I'm thankful for and they far outweighed the things I'm bummed out about.

On a brighter note, I got a gift in the mail last week from Julie Bayer containing onesies that made me laugh so hard. Seriously, you won't think they're funny unless you were on our staff two or three years ago, but here they are:








May. 17th, 2007

Nursery photos . . .

Whenever I thought about designing a nursery, there were a few things I knew for sure:

1. I didn't want to have a "theme."
2. I wanted a coffee or espresso colored furniture
3. I wanted muted colors, preferably green & brown.

I got one out of three, but I love how it turned out better than anything I could have imagined. Our theme is "airplanes." We didn't intentionally choose it, but the bedding from PBK we liked was called "vintage airplanes" and it just kind of all fell into place. I love it! And, we found white furniture in the design that we were looking for at a very reasonable price and I don't think dark furniture would have looked nearly as nice as white. But we do have muted colors and green walls. Kyle did an amazing job painting. It's the only room in our house that is the same color that it was originally painted and it's flawless because he's a lot more patient than I am. It's the only room in the house he's painted and it puts all of my rooms to shame.

So, here are some pictures. It's a pretty small room and the walls are at some unique angles, but I think we've used the space well. FYI: THe empty knobs on the wall above his bed are there to hang letters that spell out his name. The letters hang on a string tied to the two knobs. We'll hang it after he's born so we don't ruin the surprise for anyone.


























Countdown . . .

The countdown is on. I have a week and a day left until my due date. My doctor's appointment was depressing again. He has NOT dropped. Not at all. It feels like he has, but I guess that's just wishful thinking.

So, my doctor schedule my induction for June 1 unless I go into labor naturally sooner than that. Which means he would be born on June 2. Which means we'd come home (if all goes as planned) on June 3. Our staff arrives at 7 PM on June 3. Seriously, this kind of stuff ONLY happens to us.

The other day, someone said, "I'll bet you weren't thinking about this about 9 months ago." Actually, yes, we were. We almost didn't do a second try at the end of August at the RE clinic because of this timing. All things considered, I still wouldn't change a thing.

May. 15th, 2007

Guess who likes raspberry tea?!

I have been trying everything possible to naturally induce labor. Everything . . . from spicy food, long walks, and many other things that need not be discussed here. I know that most of the things I read about are probably just wives' tales, but they had to work for someone in order for them to become wives' tales, right?

Kyle's mom got me some raspberry leaf tea tonight because I read that it has been linked to bringing on labor. Let me preface this by saying that I hate tea. Iced tea, hot tea, chai tea . . . I really don't like it at all. But I'm really willing to try anything at this point.

I'm not miserable or anything but having no feeling in my hands is getting to be really annoying. And, the more I read, the more I realize that my case is a lot more severe than most cases associated with pregnancy. I'm beginning to worry that there may be long term nerve damage. ANyway, I could handle being pregnant for a lot longer if it weren't for the tingling, numbness and pain in my hands.

So, Kyle's mom got me tea tonight. I brought it home and made a cup and was ready to plug my nose and chug when I noticed that it didn't smell too bad. I took a sip and found that I actually like raspberry leaf tea. Even if it doesn't help me go into labor, at least I've expanded my pallette. It's not my favorite drink, but it's really not awful (especially now that I've added a little sugar).

I feel incredibly fat and kind of just want to hang out at home for the rest of my pregnancy, but I know that I can't do that. I just hope that he comes soon. WHen I say that everyone shakes their head at me like I'm totally naive and have no idea how much harder it will be to take care of a baby than it is to be pregnant. I wish they'd stop. I know it will be hard, but I want to meet this baby and start taking care of him. I want to see Kyle hold him and be able to take care of him too.

I have another dr. appointment tomorrow. I really hope that she says that he's dropped significantly more than last week. I just need that encouragement.

My mom took some 38 week pictures of me, but I refuse to post them. I look that bad. I think I'll try and see if we can get some from a more flattering angle. I'm thinking that at this point, flattering is not possible.

Alright . . . I'm going back to watching my tivoed episodes of lost and drinking my tea. :)

May. 9th, 2007

To induce or not to induce . . .

My doctor's appointment was a little discouraging again today. I know, I know . . . I shouldn't be discouraged . . . I have a healthy pregnancy and am carrying a healthy baby. But when I asked if he had dropped at all since last week, she said, "Well, maybe a little." WHich was her polite way of saying, "Nope." She told me that if I haven't had the baby by my due date, we'd start talking about inducing.

Let me preface all of this by saying that I've done some research on induction and I'm scared to death of it. First, I've read and been told that it makes for a MUCH harder labor because it's basically making your body do something that it's not quite ready to do naturally. Which leads me to believe that I'll end up having to be induced because when in this whole process has my body ever done something on its own that it was supposed to do naturally?

Second, I just read that the FDA has NOT approved ANY medicine used for induction for inducing labor for any other reason than one that makes it medically necessary (which happens quite often). Conclusion: If your doctor wants to induce you for convenience (yours or theirs) run in the opposite direction of that doctor. The generally accepted standard is that if you haven't delivered by 1 week past your due date then the risks of inducing are outweighed by the risks of carrying the baby any longer. I've had a couple of friends tell me horror stories of doctors offer to induce them for pretty frivoluous reasons. It totally stuns me, especially after everything I've read. Ok, I'm off track. Anyway, if it becomes medically necessary for me to be induced, none of this information is really that comforting and I'm a little frantic just thinking about it.

Just pray that he comes on his own. Soon.

May. 6th, 2007

37 weeks

37 weeks, 1 day! Less than 3 weeks left!




May. 4th, 2007

Whiny McWhinerson

I just re-read my post from yesterday. I'm mildly embarassed of how whiny I was about really stpuid things. Was I seriously complaining about a botched pedicure and a baby who might come late? Am I allowed to copmlain about that kind of stuff? I was able to afford a pedicure and I'm finally having the baby that we tried to have for years . . . I'm not all that unfortunate. I'd say I'm pretty blessed.

So, forgive me for my little temper tantrum yesterday.

I'm having a garage sale today. I've made $12 so far. I haven't met anyone I can write stories about yet, but it's still early.

May. 3rd, 2007

Disappointment all around . . .

So much disappointment in the last few days . . . I don't know where to begin!

My Dr.'s appointment yesterday was great in that the baby still seems to be healthy. it was NOT great in that I was told that the baby hasn't dropped at all (thanks, by the way, to everyone who's told me that he looks like he has) and that by the look of things the chances of me delivering early are much lower than the chances of me delivering after my due date. Also, she told me she would wait at least a week after my due date to induce me . . . that's right, the first day of staff training. Lovely.

I had an appointment for a pedicure today and it was even more disappointing than my Dr.'s appointment. We don't have much "splurge" money, so this was going to be my big splurge before the baby comes. I can't paint my toenails or do really anything to my feet, due to the large protrusion coming from my abdomen. So I thought a pedicure would be something good to splurge on.

In this case, splurge money soon became wasted money. I think I could have soaked my feet at home and put lotion on them and come out just as good as I did with the pedicure. "Well, at least your toenails are painted," you may be thinking. Yeah, but they were in such a rush to get me out of there, they didn't let me sit and let them dry for even a minute. So, getting into the car, I pretty much ruined all of the nails on my left foot. Which means, I'll have to take the polish off of both feet. Or keep the polish and have one foot completely screwed up . . . which might be a nice accent to my huge, swollen ankles anyway. We all know there's no way I'm going to be physically able to re-paint them before the baby comes. It kills me to think of the money that I wasted that could have put toward diapers or hospital bills.

On top of all of this, I didn't get any of the things from in town that I needed to get because I was so upset when I was leaving the salon that I wasn't really able to compose myself enough to go anywhere else public. So, I'll have to go back sometime in the next 24 hours . . . which sucks because gas is $3.29 a gallon.

It's just not a good day.

When I was in Target this afternoon, I realized that people have begun staring at me. It's not the "look at the cute pregnant lady" stare anymore. It's the "oh my word, she's huge" stare. And they don't stare for a moment and give a nice smile. They stare with wide eyes and mouths hanging open and then give a sheepish look when they realize they've been caught staring. Maybe it's time for me to just stay in the house.

I'm gonna go take a nap.

Apr. 29th, 2007

Just our luck . . .

It has been one long week. On Friday, I felt like it was Tuesday . . . not because the week passed quickly. It felt like it was Tuesday of next week. Unfortunately, this weekend is flying by and I haven't gotten anything done that I had planned on getting done. So, instead of doing it this morning, I'm writing this blog.

On Thursday, when it was raining, our bad luck struck again. I had to run some flyers to Addison Elementary and when I got back to camp, I turned of the wipers, turned off the explorer and put the keys in the cup holder. Only the wipers kept going. I looked at the keys, looked at the wiper switch and sat there for a minute trying to figure out what I had forgotten to do. Is it possible that the wipers can still run without the keys in the car? For us, it is. Only us.

So, I called Chuck and he came to look at the situation. He looked under the steering column and after consulting the car manual, he pulled the fuse for the wipers. They kept going. I was ready to have our staff lay hands on our car and pray out of fear that it was possessed by some evil spirit sent by the rain gods. So, he finally unhooked the battery and they stopped. Hoping that it would reset them, we reattached the battery, but lo, the started back up again. So, for a little more than 24 hours, I just unattached the battery when I got somewhere and reattached it when I went to leave again. A little inconvenient . . . and I got some stares from people who couldn't figure out why the crazy pregnant lady had her wipers on at the second highest speed and detached her battery everywhere she went.

The next day, Dave was able to find the fuse under the hood that turned the wipers off. So, if it rains we're screwed but at least we don't have the wipers going in all of this sunny weather. We googled the problem and found several answers . . . everything from needing to clean the wiper motor to needing to replace the steering column. If we have to replace the steering column, I can honestly say we'll become a one-car family because there is absolutely not way we can afford that.

On top of all of this, our basement still smells like sewage and we can't figure out why.

I'm not being whiny . . . I just find it amusing that we have the most unfortunate luck of anyone I know. At Kyle's baseball game yesterday, foul balls kept heading toward the parking lot. I estimate that we are at least 10 times more likely to have our windshield hit by the ball than anyone else.

Here's some good news: the past two or three days I've had more feeling in my hands than I've had in a while. And my ankles have only been mildly swollen! I'm thankful for that.

I went shopping for nursing clothes yesterday . . . no luck. The ones that fit well are way out of my price range and the ones that are cheap are not comfortable AT ALL. I guess I need to hit a few more places up and try some more clothes on. I really don't think that the size "XS" should be allowed in maternity or nursing clothes. First of all, it's a downer for most of us. Second of all, I think even the smallest girls are at least a "S" and probably usually a "M" by the end of their pregnancies.

We have the SBC summer kick-off today. I hope it goes well and that we get a lot of kids there that have never been to camp before. Our camp registrations have been UP from last year, which is a really pleasant surprise with the state of the economy in Michigan. I just want kids to experience everything about camp that I was able to experience as a kid. I would say that my summers at camp and my four years in college are the most important experiences I had that shaped who I am today.

Well, Kyle's outside trying to get the lawnmower to start . . . and if I had to guess, I'd say that our chances of getting it to work without paying out a lot of money to get it fixed somehow are slim, but stranger things have happened. :)

Apr. 23rd, 2007

Genius

Do you know who I think is a genius? The guy who invented the remote control. I know that it is sometimes the symbol of general laziness, but for the person who feels like her ankles are wrapped tightly in ace bandages because they're so swollen, it's really quite helpful.

I LOVE this weather. Spring is the only time of year that I'm ok with living in Michigan (as opposed to, say, Southern California). In church on Sunday, our pastor said that spring comes as a surprise every year . . . you never hear anyone complaining that this spring is just like last year's spring! My windows are open and my house smells like summer. THere are boats out on the lake. I love it!

If you feel led to pray for me this week, pray that I'll be able to focus on getting the theology portion of my thesis done. My goal before the baby comes is to have that done (well, that's more than a goal .. . it's a requirement) and to have hte survey done. If I have the survey done, I can adminster it during Senior Teen camp, thereby eliminating the need to round up test subjects. I'm having trouble focusing and getting anything done when there's so much camp stuff and baby stuff to be done. I'm hoping I can buckle down this week and make some significant progress.

Kyle and I bought a camera today. He had asked for gift cards to Best Buy for Christmas to purchase a GPS system. EVERYONE got him gift cards, so he bought the GPS system in January and we've been sitting ont he rest of the gift cards ever since. I have my digital Canon Rebel which takes fantastic pictures, but it's really bulky. I've been wanting something I can throw in my purse or the diaper bag just to have in case . . . well, in case the baby does something new or cute. So, we found one in the price range of the gift cards today and I'm pretty happy with it. It was hard to walk away from the $500 sony one that I really wanted, but I know that I'm better off not having to spend money out of pocket that I don't have!

Well, I just heard Kyle pull into the driveway from taking our trash to the dumpsters at camp. He's got Murphy with him so my moments of peace are over!

Another day, another shower!

Shower #5 was on Saturday! It was last, but not least. It was a lot of fun and Kyle's mom and the other girls at camp that put it on did a great job! What happened to shower #4? You can read more about that later when I have pictures to post.

We received a glider for the nursery, a bassinet, toy rocket, a base for our car seat, clothes, toys, bath items, a diaper pail, humidifier and so much more! We feel incredibly blessed! The invitations asked people to bring a children's book instead of a card so we have tons of books for our little boy. THey are all so sweet. We have so few things that we still need . . . we are amazed at how much people have helped us out! Our kid is going to be VERY well dressed, that's for sure.

Here are some pictures of the shower:

The theme was "planes" just like our nursery theme:





Instead of games, everyone decorated a burp cloth or onesie!



I enjoyed relaxing and opening gifts in our new glider:



By the way, remember when I was talking about the claw in my last blog? Here it is:


It was a really good time and I had a lot of fun. I'm so thankful for everyone who was a part of it!

Apr. 22nd, 2007

35 weeks.

5 weeks left!

How I look:


How I feel:

Apr. 20th, 2007

The Claw

Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Chandler gets “the claw?” It’s the one where he plays an arcade game for so long that his hand molds to the shape of the joystick and looks like a claw. I’ve developed a claw. My right hand is so numb and achy (which seems like an oxymoron, but unfortunately is not) from pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome that I can’t get it wrapped around anything with using my left hand to manually move my thumb. It looks like a prosthetic hand when I try and pick up a glass, pencil, or anything else. Typing is even becoming more difficult.

I’ve also developed cankles. Full-blown cankles. Only at night though. On Wednesday night my ankles were the same width as my claves. It’s ridiculous.

I really am just trying to make fun of myself rather than complaining here. I know that every pregnant woman goes through what I’m going through and I have no reason to complain. Most people have it much worse. I do find myself rolling my eyes though when I hear people who are 20 weeks pregnant complain about being uncomfortable and tired. I know that I probably complained at that point too, but I really don’t think I got too whiny until a couple of weeks ago.

We had our 34 week check-up on Wednesday. Once again, my weight brought me to tears. It’s going to take me years to get back to my original weight. Years. However, the baby is healthy. The doctor couldn’t get a heartbeat long enough to be able to record it because the baby was moving so much. He asked if he always move this much. Every day except for Easter Sunday he does. The great news is that his head is down. That's my boy . . . ready to go!

The highlight of my trip to the doctor’s office, however, can be summarized by the following equation:

Very Pregnant Woman + Tight, thin white sweat pants + Hot pink thong =
Way inappropriate.

We had to wait for 50 minutes before our appointment, but this lady made it all worth it. You couldn't not look. It was so horrific that you couldn't turn your head away. She had two young kids with her and looked like she was about to pop the third out any day. What possessed her to wear thin, tight white pants with a hot pink thong? Not anything fashionable, that’s for sure.

Apr. 16th, 2007

Countdown!

5 Weeks, 5 Days left! Seriously, I woke up really excited this morning. This is ironic because last night was an AWFUL night. But I'm not the "I can't wait until this misery is over" kind of excited this morning. I'm the "I'm so excited to meet him and love him" kind of excited!

With the exception of hanging a few frames, the nursery is pretty much done. There are still some things we need, but if he were born today, we'd have all of our immediate needs for him met. Usually, I'm always preparing last minute for upcoming events, but I can honestly say that I'm ready. I wish the nesting instinct would kick in every time I needed to get things done!

My wardrobe is shrinking as there are fewer and fewer maternity tops that will still cover my belly. I think they should label maternity clothes like they do baby clothes: 0 - 3 months, 3 - 6 months and 6 - 9 months.

I have two more showers and they're both this week. I'm so grateful for the people who have thrown them / are throwing them for us. I'm not sure what we would have done without them! I feel so blessed . . . not just by the gifts but by the fact that there are so many people out there who love us and will love this little boy. He has so much family and surrogate family that he'll never be lacking for love, advice or support.

Kyle and I bought a mattress for the crib on Friday with some gift cards. We also got to pick out some clearance clothing items. It seems like no matter how many clothes, it never seems like we have enough. I had a parent tell me yesterday that there are days they go through 3 - 4 sets of clothes a day with their newborn! I'm going to be doing a lot of laundry!

Apr. 13th, 2007

(no subject)

Just when I think I can't possibly feel any less in my hands than I do know, they go a little number. I don't think I slept for more than 10 - 20 minutes at a time last night because of the throbbing and tingling. Ice doesn't help. Heat doesn't help. When I use google to try and find information on carpal tunnel syndrome relief, all of the websites just allude to the fact that it goes away after delivery. That's great, but I still have 6 weeks of misery. My OB told me to take Unisom to help me sleep at night. I guess I'll try that, but it's not going to help me function during the day. Typing takes twice as long. Picking up anything between my right thumb and index finger is getting difficult. Gripping anything (like the glass of water that I just dumped down the front of my shirt) is proving to be a challenge.

Needless to say, with my lack of sleep, it's been an emotional day.

I just called the pediatrician's office that I was set on sending the baby to after he's born and was informed that he isn't accepting new patients right now. After crying about it for 15 minutes, an overhwhelming feeling of panic began to sink in. As I began searching for info on pediatricians in Jackson, I ran across information on the importance getting your finances in order before your baby is born. I cried again. I'm avoiding all mirrors today because I know that it will result in even more tears.

Don't get me wrong . . . I'm really excited about this baby and I love him and I would go through 10 times the stuff that I'm dealing with now to have him. I just feel miserable right now. I know a lot of people have much harder pregnancies than I do so I shouldn't complain. I'm just really ready for the pregnancy to be over and the parenting to begin. Someone might have to remind me that I said that in about 2-3 months.

Apr. 12th, 2007

Birds of a feather . . .

Mark my words . . . today's going to be a weird day.

Weird thing #1: I just woke up. Well, that's not completely true. I woke up for first breakfast at about 6:00, but must have laid back down because it's little after 8:30 and I woke up for the second time because I was snoring so loud it startled me. I so rarely snore, and I never sleep in past 7. That's weird.

Weird thing #2: I was sitting at my kitchen table (where I still currently am) checking my e-mail and looked up to see two robins sitting on our birdfeeder (which is empty) staring at me out of the beady little eyes on the sides of their head. As I sat here thinking about how ironic it is to see these symbols of spring in a week that is so cold and snowy one of them took off flying right toward me . . . right into the window! I've seen marks on our windows from birds before but I've never actually seen one fly into it . . . especially flying straight toward me. So, so strange. FYI: The bird seems to be alright and did fly away eventually.

Weird thing #3: As I was sitting in shock over the robin hitting the window, I looked up and saw a HUGE turkey walking through our back yard toward our deck. At this point, I looked for a camera because I was stunned. I've seen turkeys cross the street when I'm driving and at camp, but never in our back yard and never after a different bird just crashed into our kitchen window. But that's not all. Following the turkey was a deer. If I didn't know better, I would think they were friends traveling together. Honestly, I feel a little like it was a dream.

Weird thing #4: This is the weirdest of them all. Murphy was sitting on the back of the living room chair watching the whole thing. Her head kept tipping from side to side but she DIDN'T BARK AT ALL! I wonder if she was as perplexed as i am. This dog barks if she sees a squirrel three yards away. But she just sat there looking and seemed to be speechless.

Maybe this doesn't seem weird to you, but when it all happens in the first 10 minutes that you're awake it still seems like you're dreaming a little. It's only 9AM . . . I wonder what the rest of the day holds.

Apr. 11th, 2007

Oui oui

We did group building for 46 5th graders today . . . 23 of which speak nothing but French. I took 4 years of French in high school and I fell that Southgate public schools failed me miserably because I had absolutely no way of communicating with them. It was interesting, to say the least.

Here's the 33 week picture for you to enjoy/make fun of. It's very hard to look like a "cute pregnant woman" past 27 or 28 weeks.


Apr. 9th, 2007

Nesting is for the birds . . .

After two full days of crib shopping, we came home and bought a crib online. We could have saved a lot of gas money if we had just settled to do that in the first place. Our nursery furniture is WHITE which is what I said I would never do. I'm more of a dark wood fan (as evidenced by the furnishing in most of our house). But I think it will look good. We found the crib on ebay and the dresser/changer from Ikea. They were cheap . . . and you get what you pay for. Oh well . . . we don't need a Pottery Barn nursery. He won't know the difference anyway!

I washed all of the clothes, blankets, sheets, etc. that we've accumulated for this little boy. I've sorted and folded everything, but kids' clothes sizing is annoying. SOme things say 0 - 3 months, some say 3 months and others say 3 - 6 months, but everything looks like a different size. Plus, I've been told by some parents that the sizing is pretty accurate and others tell me that it's way off for most kids. I hope we're equipped with enough in the sizes that we need.

We had another shower on Saturday that Kyle's aunts threw for us. It was so nice and they did an amazing job planning it. We got clothes, toys, a bundle bag for the car seat, a baby monitor, books, a diaper bag (one that has been approved as masculine enough for kyle), and so much more! It was, once again, overwhelming. Here are some pictures:


They had a cake made that matched our bedding for his room exactly!


Me with my mom (left) and Kyle's mom (right).


Not the best picture of me ever, but it gives you an idea of how ginormous I am.


Ready to be done with pictures.

All in all, it was a good time!

Easter was pretty good . . . we went to my parent's church and had dinner with my family. Afterwards, we went to Ikea (which we thought was weird that it was open on Easter, but we were glad it was) to buy the dresser that matched our crib. In the everning, we went to Kyle's parents for an hour or two to see his aunt, uncle and cousins. We realized on our way home on Sunday that from now on we'll be doing Easter baskets and Easter egg hunts for our baby every year. We're so grown up.

I went to triage on Monday morning because I hadn't felt the baby move in so long. I felt him twice on Sunday and not at all all night through Monday morning. I called and they told me to come in. THe nurse found a heartbeat right away and made me feel like an idiot for worrying. Then gave me a discharge paper that said I should come back if I had severe cramping or if I felt a decrease in fetal activity! I can't win. But the heartbeat was strong and there's nothing to worry about.

Kyle had his first baseball game yesterday and his team won both games! They played so well. The first game wasn't too bad to watch, but the sun started to go down on the second game and we froze! I didn't think I'd make it through both games but I did. My back is paying today from sitting on bleachers for so long.

Only 6 1/2 weeks left and I can't wait to get the feeling back in my fingers and the heartburn out of my throat!

Apr. 4th, 2007

Crib shopping

I'm watching the news and they're talking about the wind chill this morning. It was 51 when I woke up and it's 40 now. April's not supposed to be this cold.

Kyle and I are on unofficially spring break. Basically, we're off this week, but we're just working at home and trying to get ready for the baby. It's nice though because if I think of something at camp that I need to do, I can just go do it instead of trying not to forget it all week. Kyle got the nursery painted and the closet organizer set up this past weekend. MOnday, he cleaned up the yard, took down Christmas lights and cleaned all of the gutters. We also added some things to our registries becasue we keep hearing from people that there's not much left, but it looks like there's a lot left to us. I wonder if a lot of it is no longer available in stores. My throat closes up a little when I think about how much there still is that we should go out and get, but I just remember that my friend Annie told me all he needs when he's born is a place to sleep and a source of food . . . both of which we can provide.

My job was shampooing the carpet in the nursery. I ended up having to shampoo all the way down the hallway and into our bedroom too because . . . my feet have been so numb lately I can't feel anything. So when I was trying to figure out what Murphy got into that left bright red spots all the way down our hallway into our bedroom, I failed to realize that I cut my foot and was tracking blood all over the house because I couldn't feel it. That cannot be healthy. Luckily, it all came out of the carpet.

We crib shopped all day yesterday. It wasn't fun. We find a style we like, but it's not the finish that we're looking for. Our we find a great dark wood finish, but it's an ugly style or it's WAY out of our price range. I'm really close to buying one of the cheap cribs from IKEA. I just don't want it to look cheap, which it does. I guess I need to get over that.

We had our hospital tour tonight and it scared me a little. Being in a delivery room made it all very real. Thinking about actually going into labor and delivering is something I've tried to think very little about (other than trying to convince the baby to make his way into the world on May 11 or 12). Just talking about epidurals and how much they cost made me dizzy. People keep asking me if I want drugs or to have a natural delivery. I'm not sure I can afford to have anything more than a natural delivery. I shouldn't complain . . . at least I have insurance. Then again, if I didn't, the state would probably cover all of my labor and delivery costs. Where's the justice? I know I shouldn't worry. I don't need to be rich and I don't need to retire rich. I just need to have a healthy baby . . . but like I said back in October: I still hope he comes out holding a bag of cash.

We have another dr. appointment today. I think I go every other week or maybe every week starting now. While the first 30 weeks seem like they took forever, the last three weeks have FLOWN by. I think this baby might come before I'm ready for him. I'm gonna start looking at cribs online.

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