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Friday, December 31, 2010

Boundaries With Kids

My dear husband doesn't post on his personal blog very often, but he wrote this post this morning, and I thought it was great.  He's letting me post it here, too.  :)
Recently I’ve been reading Boundaries, which has me thinking about boundaries with myself, kids, marriage, work, and friendships. I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit in spite of it being painful at times. It has been very effective in bringing my shortcomings and growth opportunities to the surface.

Before I read the book, I stumbled across a truth the book has served to formalize. Levi was having trouble going to sleep at night and kept marching to our bedroom, crying and refusing to go to bed. We tried just about everything, until one night I asked him, “Do you want the door OPEN or CLOSED?” I knew the answer. He wanted it open. But that night, as a complete accident, he whispered, “Open,” calmed down, and fell asleep.

So I tried it again. And every night since. It turns out that Levi responds well to options. He doesn’t like it when you say, “Levi stop crawling over your mother at the dinner table.” He’ll respond much better to, “Would you like to eat dinner in the chair or go sit quietly in your room?” He takes former most of the time. It’s up to him.

Months later, Boundaries has helped me formalize this into a way of treating my children. It turns out when you tell people what the limits are and give them consequences for crossing the limits, you can leave the choice up to him. No more controlling, yelling, or flailing around. Just say, “Would you like to do X or have consequence Y? It’s totally up to you.” This has worked wonders for our stress level as a family during difficult situations. And it all comes back to boundaries in young children: they want to know that they are in control of their world and that ultimately there is a point at which others stop and they begin. It’s a fundamental human need to know that one exists separate from others.

When I was flailing around trying to control them into doing what I wanted them to do, I nonverbally told them, “You don’t start at any point. You do whatever I say, therefore there is no will for you to exercise, therefore you don’t exist.” Any rational person, even a two year old, will respond, in essence, with, “The hell I don’t!”

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pregnancy Optimism

It's no big secret that I don't do pregnancy well, hence all of the complaining done here.  But for as much as I've complained, I figured I should probably write at least one post on the positive things that this pregnancy has brought out in me and my family.  I thought of this as I was making lunch today, which brings me to my first thing:

1)  I used to hate leftovers; they'd sit in the frig until I finally just threw them away.  But now, behold, I magically enjoy and even look forward to them!  Pregnancy does such weird things to your tastes, and it seems to last after pregnancy, too.  I didn't like Tabasco until I was pregnant with Samuel, and 5 years later I still love it.  Then when I was pregnant with Levi I ate at Fish City Grill and didn't like some spice they used, so to this day I still can't even stand the thought of the place.

2)  I have some really loving and generous friends and family that make me feel so good!  Three of my mommy friends  have already told me that they're making me a meal to freeze and eat after the baby is born.  How wonderful is that!  One of said mommy friends gave me a boatload of herbal galactagogues that are priceless to me!  My mother-in-law made me a bunch of receiving blankets (I love handmade!).  My sweet sister bought me an awesome bouncer.  Another friend gave me a really cool exersaucer.  My bf loaned me a beautiful bassinet.  And a couple of other friends gave me a ton of baby clothes, blankets, bibs, towels, etc.  I'm truly thankful for all of the amazing people I'm so blessed to share life with.

3)  With the low platelet count scare, I'm actually praying that I get to have a spinal for my C-section (instead of general anesthesia), whereas there was so much fear involved in that before because of my bad experience with Levi's birth.  Looking fear in the eye and attacking it is such a powerful thing; it's inspiring and invigorating.  So even if I have the exact same experience as with Levi, I can accept it and brace myself and be stronger from it in the end.  (By the way, my platelet count is now up to 109,000 as of yesterday!!)

4)  I really think that having a third child is going to keep Levi from being a bit spoiled.  It's so easy to spoil him because he knows just what to do to wrap me around his cute, little finger.  I love that boy, but he's going to be a better person as a middle child than the baby.  His personality requires it.  And my hope is that while Levi is balancing out, Isaac will be laid back because of our lack of time and energy to spoil him.  0_o

5)  I can truly appreciate and be grateful for my non-pregnant self's health and general energy level.  I really feel like I don't want to take it for granted ever again.

6)  Knowing how a new baby can bring such tumult into a family, Michael and I decided to be proactive about some of the little, nagging problems in our marriage by doing some counseling.  It was a little embarrassing, to tell you the truth, talking about our problems to the counselor because they were such lame issues, but it brought about a lot of growth for us, deepened our marriage, and made us better parents.  Side note: I'm truly grateful for a husband that will even go to counseling let alone suggest it.  It sucks that that's so rare.

7)  I'm learning how to be more balanced and flexible.  I think having more kids will force you to do that OR get more neurotic and obsessive.  Hopefully after Isaac is born I'll still choose the laid back road.  It's hard for us recovering perfectionists, but it makes life more enjoyable.

For a little birthday nostalgia, here are Samuel and Levi's birthday posts from their blog.

Monday, December 27, 2010

7 More Days Of This Belly

I can't wait to be thin again.  There, I said it.  You don't know what you have til it's gone!  Haha!  Why oh why did I think I was so fat before!  (Does any female actually see themselves through an accurate lens?)

Getting as big as I do during pregnancy and sticking out like a sore thumb is just not my thing.  The remarks from people have even started annoying Michael!  I also don't like seeing people I know nowadays because I'm embarrassed about being so big.  I know! I know!  There's a life growing inside me; pregnancy is beautiful and all of that, but for real.  I suppose I know what people are thinking, although I always assume the worst.  Not only do I look like I'm having twins, but the rest of my body has gotten so big.  There are dimples where there didn't used to be dimples and smooth, plump skin where there used to be visible veins, bones, and muscles.

I have gained the most weight with this pregnancy (not too much more than the others, though), and I know it's because 1) I didn't work out because of the serious fatigue of having two kids already and getting older and 2) I ate like crap.  I admit it.  I knew this would be my last pregnancy, so I pretty much just ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  I rarely told myself no, and my poor swollen ankles and feet have paid for it every time I indulged this last few weeks.

I know that I'm incredibly blessed to be giving life to a third son, and I wouldn't change that for the world.  This is just a rant because I'm tired of being pregnant as I only have 7 days left.  It's been a long 38 weeks, y'all.
7 weeks pregnant and already showing! 
35 weeks pregnant - I'm sparing you the pic I took yesterday where I had dropped significantly from this week.  It wasn't cute at all.  :-P  Let's see if I have the guts to not delete this by 5:00.  Haha!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nursery Sneak-Peek

Here are a few sneak peek pictures of Isaac's nursery.  I'm still learning my new camera, so don't hate on the photos.  Also, I still need a rug and possibly a chair, but here's the basic bones of it.  Oh, and I bought a new crib yesterday that I LOVE!  It retails at IKEA for $99 (still cheap), but I got it for $40 on Craig's List.  My old crib was great (given to me by my thoughtful sister), but I just learned that they recently changed the standards and are now going to ban drop-side cribs from being sold.  So I thought $40 was worth my peace of mind since this will likely be my first baby to sleep in a crib.

So here is the wide shot of the room (yes, the room is just that small).  There are a few more feet to the right, but that's about it.  There was a bunch of crap piled up there, so I managed to get that out of the shot (barely).  ;)  The walls are Sherwin Williams' Universal Khaki.  There's my cute crib.  The curtains are basic white curtains from Target.  I really like them, and they were only like $7 each.  The paintings I originally did for my bedroom, but they looked so much better in here, so I left them.  They then became my inspiration for the whole room - kind of a retro meets woodsy theme.  

The suitcase to the left of the dresser was my Gramma's, and I love having it in there because it makes me think of her.  It also really goes with the theme.  I use it as extra storage to keep blankets in there.  The dresser was another Craig's List find.  It's a bamboo-trimmed, formica-topped, retro piece that I repainted and relined.  I love it.  

Gosh, this shot makes the room look really barren, but oh well.   There's my cute crib again (no, the pillows won't be in there while the baby is sleeping).  There's the mobile I told you about here.  I still love it.  My sister-in-law gave that sign above the crib to me when Samuel was born.  I loved it then, and I still love it now.  ("Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of.")  
Then this is on the other wall to the left of the crib, and that's IT.  I know it needs more, but I'm holding out until I find the perfect rug and not filling the room up just for the sake of filling it up.  I might even just wait to put a bookcase or toy shelf in there for when he's actually old enough to use it so that I can think about what I want more.  With this room I'm waiting to see what I know is necessary, whereas when it was Samuel's room, I just filled it up until it looked good, not using half of the stuff I put in there.  He never even slept in it!  I basically just changed his diapers in there.  :-P

I'm open to more decor suggestions!  I don't claim to have the Ohdeedoh touch, so I'd love advice if you have any!  12 more days!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Good News Update

Well, thanks for all of your well wishes and prayers.  I REALLY appreciate them.  My doctor just called me with my results, and he said that my platelet count was 107,000!!  Yay!!!  So that means that they'd do a spinal on me for my surgery as long as it didn't go down again.  Gotta go, but just wanted to share the good news.  Keep the prayers and good vibes comin'!  Love you all!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

15 More Days...Maybe...

I could seriously injure someone at the lab of my OB's office for not getting me the results of my blood work by the end of Friday.  That's why I'm up worrying at 4AM on a Sunday when I could be sleeping in.

So here's the latest.  My platelet count appears to be low, which is called Gestational Thrombocytopenia.  (I'm aware that this now makes me sound like a gestational hypochondriac, but whatever.)  So a normal platelet count would be 150,000 to 400,000.  Last Wednesday, the 8th, when they drew blood my platelet count was 82,000.  He said that it's just caused from pregnancy and will go back up after the baby is born, and it doesn't affect the baby at all.  

So the only reason this really matters is because it affects my C-section.  I'll most likely have to be put under for the surgery instead of getting a spinal or epidural.  According to that article I linked to, the reason is because if your platelets are low, then your blood doesn't clot well, so there's a risk of an "epidural hematoma" which can lead to neurological complications (that's probably worst case scenario, though).  My OB wants to see how much my platelet count dropped in one week (9 days actually).  If it dropped significantly (which it most likely didn't), then they'd take the baby early.

Although it really sucks, I'm okay with being put under for the surgery if that means I'll be safest.  I'm totally not into risk when it involves my life like that.  I'm just really bummed that 1) I'll be the last person there to see my little Isaac when he's born; 2) I'll be all groggy and weird from waking up out of anesthesia to see him for the first time, and I probably won't even remember it; 3) making plentiful amounts of milk is not my strong suit, so not being able to nurse in the first hour after birth will set me back a bit.

I guess I'll just have to come up with a good game-plan for Michael to follow while he's waiting for me to come out of anesthesia.  I know skin-to-skin contact is something I want for Isaac, which Michael will facilitate.  He did it with Levi, and I believe it helped get us off to a good start.  Beyond that, I don't really know what to plan for.  I just know what I don't want them to do (i.e. feed the baby without me or give him a pacifier).

Is there anything I'm not thinking of?

P.S.  As I'm aware that having a newborn has a stress load of it's own, I'm looking forward to ending the chapter of my life containing the pregnancy stress load.  It feels more out-of-control and helpless than the newborn stress load.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's Left of Nesting

I decided to start packing my hospital bag yesterday, and I had so much fun.  It made me so excited to get all those things ready for use!  I packed my baby and breastfeeding books, pump, nursing pillow, birth plan, and the little outfits that he would wear for pictures and to come home in.  Cahhuuute!  My sister-in-law gave me the perfect little warm outfit for him to come home in because it's a onesie with separate pants that have bear footies, and a jacket with a bear head hoodie.  It's perfect for cold weather bundling up.  

With Christmas being so close, my nesting instincts are kicking in full force because I want to make sure everything goes off without a hitch just in case Isaac decides to come early.  

All I have left to do is:
- finish packing - The clothes are the hardest to pack because I'll have to be using some of them until just a couple of days before the surgery.  Plus, I have to go shopping for some stuff, like travel size toiletries, etc. I hate not being able to check this off of my To-Do list right now, but oh well.
- finish wrapping the kids' presents - I only have a few left, but now I'm out of school time, so I'll have to do it while Michael takes them out of the house.  
- rent a Rug Doctor - My living room furniture is pretty disgusting right now, so I want to use it for that.  Levi is sick and has been wiping his nose on the couch (trust me, I'm trying to stop him, but he's quick).  And the couch and chair have just been looking pretty shabby lately anyway.  I'd love to get it done before the baby gets here.  Plus, I'm hoping that cleaning it will help me to be a little more patient about buying new ones.  
- buy a scarf - This sounds really important, I know.  ;)  But I was thinking about my hair while I'm in the hospital, and I thought that the best way to avoid having to think about what it looks like would be to put a scarf on it.  I guess I could do a knit hat or something, too, but I found some really cute scarves at World Market the other day, so I think I'm going to head up there at some point to get one.  
- make some casseroles - I also want to make up some casseroles in aluminum pans to freeze and pop in the oven after the baby is born so we don't have to eat PBJs or take-out too much.  Bleh.  

I think that I'll be pretty prepared after that.  I'd still like to get a rug for the nursery, but I ran out of money.  :(  That's not something that I want to buy on Craig's List, either.  That's the reason that I haven't posted any pictures of the nursery yet, because I feel like it still looks pretty incomplete without a rug.  

Can you think of anything I'm forgetting?  I know I didn't give you an exhaustive list of what I've done already, but is there anything that you took to the hospital that you couldn't have done without?  Or is there anything you did to prepare your house for that first two weeks of chaos?  It's the calm before the storm right now, and I feel like I'm forgetting something!  It's been almost 3 years since I've done this, so I'm out of practice.  ;)  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Year of FPU

Well, it's been a good, long year financially.  We started our first 13 week course of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University back in March and went until June.  During that time we went through baby steps 1 and 2.  There were a lot of naysayers (especially since we were so intense about it), but, let me tell you, being out of debt feels REALLY good!

Then we decided to bring the FPU course to our church in the Fall (we took it for ourselves at a different church in the Spring), and tonight was our very last lesson.  It was cool, because a lot of our friends took the course at our church, too, so while it was a bit repetitive doing it again, there was lots of encouragement to keep going in the steps since we were surrounded by it.  So by October we had completed our 6 months of savings (step 3).  And that one felt REALLY good.  We have never been good savers, so to finally get a cushion felt really good.

Now we've decided to go a bit out of order and pay off our house before we start our investments (steps 4 and 5 - retirement and college savings).  We only have until July or August before we're done with the house, so we don't want to lose our momentum by slowing down our debt payoff.  I am SO excited about that, too.  We are going to be 31 and 32 years old with a PAID OFF house.  Sure it's not 3,500 square feet or anything, but it's going to have that paid off feel to it, which makes it extra cozy.

On Dave Ramsey's radio show he'll often ask people who just got out of debt what the turning point was when they decided to start getting serious about paying off their debt.  So we were thinking about that the other day, and I remembered what a major part of my Aha! moment was.  Michael and I were laying in bed one night back in probably January of this year talking about how I wanted to take a girls' trip to Napa Valley with my friends.  Well, he was already of the Financial Peace mindset, waiting for me to get on board, so he started asking me questions to get me to think about our future.  When we were in our forties, did I want to be still chipping away at debt, saving a little here and there, and barely investing?  Or did I want to be out of debt, able to save a lot, able to give a lot, and do a lot more than I can imagine possible right now?  (Did I want to live like no one else now so that later we could live like no one else?)

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to start sooner than later on this journey of financial freedom.  Our kids are young, and that doesn't really lend itself well to world travel and fancy living.  :-P  We have a small house and simple lifestyle, not having attained the felt need for lots of stuff.  So why not now?  It was great timing.  In all honesty, we should have started when we first got married, but there's no sense in shoulding all over ourselves now.  ;)

And I'm really glad we got on the same page and decided to give this program a shot.  Not to sound too overly zealous, but it has seriously changed our lives in a significant way that will having lasting implications for the rest of our lives and will have changed my kids' lives, too.  Our kids will grow up with a completely different philosophy toward money than we had, and they'll most likely be very successful people in life.

So anyway, if you couldn't tell already, I recommend FPU.  ;)  The principles will change your life if you let it.

Christmas Decor

Well, since everyone else is posting their Christmas decor pictures, I figured I'd join in on the fun; although this year I scaled back a whole lot since I don't want to have to put it all away a couple of days before the baby gets here (and just in case he comes early).  Oh, and I'll share a quick secret before I start my tour.  I'm incredibly cheap and don't like to spend a lot on decor, so I'll share a few of my bargain finds with you.  ;)

I'll start with my dining room since all of the decor is pretty much stationed here.  This is for a few different reasons.  1) It's cinnamon red, and it looks good in there.  2) The kids don't bother with it as much since they're in there less.  3) It's a bigger room with less furniture, so it doesn't clutter it up as much as it would the living room.  

Here's my dining room table.  I LOVE this reindeer.  My aunt had one just like it the year that I got married (8 years ago), and she told me that she got it at Pier 1 for $40.  After Christmas that year I went by Pier 1 and bought it for $20.  And since I registered there for my wedding, I bought it with a gift card that I got as a gift.  Score!  I love it so much that I actually keep it out all year round (just in a window sill and not on the table).  The table runner I got for Christmas a few years ago from my step-mother-in-law.  I love getting Christmas decor for Christmas, but I'm always scared to give it as a present (just in case it doesn't match their decor).  She always does a great job, though.  And the placemats are my latest addition.  I went to the Dollar Tree yesterday, and there they were!  I bought 10 of them for $10!  You can't beat that!  Love it!

Here's my itty-bitty tree.  I splurged on the angel back when I was in college and bought it for $20 from the Christmas store nearby probably 11 years ago.  Little did I know that it would cost more than my tree (which was $17 from Target 7 years ago)!  Hopefully this will be the last year to use this tree as the only tree (we may use it as a second tree somewhere).  I'm hoping to buy a totally awesome tree on clearance this January, but I'm thinking that I'll need to go right before the baby is born (the 1st or 2nd).

This is the bookcase that's right next to the tree.  The case has my silk wedding bouquet in it that my mom made that stays out all year round.  The nativity that I bought for half off at Kirkland's for $5 probably 10 years ago is on top of it.  My drag-queen, nutcracker angels are on the left.  (Click on the pic to enlarge it, and you'll see what I mean.)  I bought them for probably $5-7 on after-Christmas clearance from Target.  I love them.  :)  And I like how they match my candle sticks.

This is my latest craft, just like the "Give Thanks" banner but it says "Believe".  I really like it and am glad that she offered it free on her blog!

I really like nutcrackers and try to get a new one each year, but I almost never buy them full price (they have to be at least half off to be a deal, so between $5-10).  The snowman nutcracker is my latest addition (half off at JoAnn's last month).  The tiniest one in the front is the first one I ever got when I went to my first performance of the Nutcracker when I was about 15 with my mom.  She bought it for me for $8 in the lobby, and I just thought it was the coolest, most special thing ever.  BUT, one only needs one or two "special" ones, and the rest you can get on sale.  ;)  Also, the stockings are usually hanging on stocking holders in that tall window sill with the "Believe" banner in it, but my kids pull them down and break them, so alas I've given up and put them on ribbon on the bookcase.  So far so good; they haven't pulled them off of this yet!

Here's Michael's stocking.  I really enjoy embroidering them myself.  They're so personal that way, and I feel proud every time I look at them.  Thanks for teaching me to embroider when I was a kid, Mom!

Here's mine.  I switched from the one that said "Annie" when I had kids.  I like this one a lot better anyway.  It looks like a mom's stocking.  :)  I like the gold embroidery thread, too.  It adds a classy touch to the velvet top.

This one for Samuel was actually the first one that I embroidered.  I love how it's so nostalgic looking, but I like that all of the stockings are different at the same time.  With his fabric and thread I was able to be more spindly with the letters.  I love the way it turned out.  They're all different but similar since it's my writing and embroidery style.

Levi's was probably the hardest to embroider because the hat part of the stocking is really thick felt in front of cotton.  I had to use yarn to embroider it with a really thick needle, so it was tough to pull through.  I like the way the white letters pop off of the black, though.

That's it for my simple Christmas.  Next year this house is going to be a winter wonderland!  Haha!  It'll have to be a childproof one, though, with an 11 month-old on the loose.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Who Are We Fooling?

I let my music take me where my heart wants to go.
-Cat Stevens from The Wind

That line is my all-time favorite song lyric, ever.  I really love a good song.  That was one thing my dad did right with me; he taught me a love for music that grabs your heart and makes you feel something deeply.  It's such a joy in my life to have that, and I'm grateful that he imparted that to me.  If a song sounds great, that's one thing.  But it has to grab my soul for me to love it.

As I've gotten older and had kids, I haven't really tried to keep up with the hipster, musical Joneses, so I know that I'm way out of the loop with what's new out there, and I could totally be missing a lot of good stuff.  (Although, I do try to find new things on Pandora from time to time.)  What do you do?

But I love it when a great song drops into my lap!  Michael happened upon this song the other day, and I am in LOVE!  I haven't heard a song that grabs my heart like this in a really LONG time.

I won't overanalyze it so that you can just listen to it and enjoy it, but Michael wrote the perfect summary of it:

One of the best written songs I've heard in a while. This captures the inevitable tumult in every marriage. Marriage develops a strange dynamic of tangledness that defines you over your lifetime. Its messiness becomes its beauty.

That's why I married him, folks.  ;)  Isn't that a beautiful description?  Anyway, here are the lyrics for you.  I hope you listen to it, although, I understand that songs hit people in different ways, and this one may not hit you like it hit me.  And that's okay.  Enjoy.  :)

Who Are We Fooling?
by Brooke Fraser

So we're back here again
Tiptoeing 'round the edge of the end
Wondering who will be last to admit
That we're finally over

Turned 21 on the day that we met
Terrible shoes, implausible dress
It's funny how sad the funny things get as you grow older

Better or worse
But what else can we do?
When better or worse
I am tethered to you
If it's not either of us
Tell me who are we fooling?

I learnt the art of biting my tongue
I tired of trying to guess what was wrong
Both agreed on where we should go
But not how to get there

We tried and tried to loosen the knots
Thinking once we're untangled we'll be better off
But it’s these failures and faults that hold us together

Better or worse
But what else can we do?
When better or worse
I am tethered to you
If it's not either of us
Tell me who are we fooling?

This beautiful tangle that's bruising us blue
Is the beautiful knot that we just can't undo
Together we're one but apart tell me
Who are we fooling?

'Cause real love is hard love
It's all we have
It's a break neck
Train wreck
It's all we have

So we're back here again
Turning away from the edge of the end
Arm in arm

Better or worse
But what else can we do?
When better or worse
I am tethered to you
If it's not either of us
Tell me who are we fooling?

This beautiful tangle that's bruising us blue
Is the beautiful knot that we just can't undo
If it's not either of us
Tell me who are we fooling?

Together we're one but apart tell me
Who are we fooling?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Another Mind Enema

Nice title, right?  Hehe.  I haven't really had much to write about lately, but a lot of little things have been on my mind.  Like...

Body Stuff
I'm so ready to be skinny again.  Why do I take it for granted and think I'm fat when I'm not!  That's so annoying.  Being pregnant makes me thankful for my non-pregnancy size.  It feels so good to be able to not have to worry about squeezing through tight places and not need help to get up from sitting on the floor.  I'm SOOOO ready to get in shape again after this baby is born.  I haven't ever felt this crappy in my body, and I know it's because I haven't been able to work out during this pregnancy.  Bleh!  I'm ready.

Yoga Love
So Michael has felt the same way about fitness lately, so he's been going to the gym a lot.  And the other day he was in a yoga class and some girl hit on him.  He obviously told her that he was married, and he told me about it when he got home.  But he said that it made him feel really good.  Haha!  And I totally felt happy for him.  It feels great to know that the outside world still finds you attractive when you're in married world.

Great Expectations
We took the kids to see the Polar Express at the IMAX at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.  They had advertised that they were having special "Pajama Parties" on Saturday mornings where the kids could come in their PJs and they'd serve hot chocolate, so that was the one we chose to go to.  Well, it was so lame.  Plus, we had to sit in the front since it was so crowded.  But I started realizing that I'm just really picky when it comes to events that are supposed to be "special".  I don't want them to get my hopes up by making it sound like a bigger deal than it is.  I'd rather them impress me once I'm there instead of getting my hopes up for grandeur and being let down.  At least the kids liked it, though.  They didn't know any difference.  

I'm getting a little nervous about my upcoming C-section.  I've probably already mentioned that, but with 3 weeks and 5 days to go, I'm feeling it more.  The thought of them cutting my abdomen open while I'm awake freaks me out even more now than it did when they did it for the first time.

Well, speaking of, I better go get ready for my OB appointment.  These dark circles under my eyes don't cover themselves!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Three Little Birds

Not that it's going to happen any time soon, but I'd really like to get a tattoo at some point in the future.  Michael really doesn't like them, but I'm hoping he'll change his mind in the next few years.  Our favorite song around here is "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley, and that's what I want to get as a tattoo for my three little birds.    

Here are a few images that I found off of the internet that I like, although I haven't found the *perfect* one yet .  I haven't decided where I would put it, either.  These are in no particular order:

I think this is my favorite (without the script, of course).  But I'd want it to be just a little less sketchy looking.

I really love this one, and I like where she put it, too.  I might add a pattern or shading to these guys, though.  

This is the exact same one on the back of a forearm.  I like it on the back of the neck better.
source unknown
I liked this, but it might be a little too quirky for me.  Cute, though.  
This is cute, but you'd have to have a really talented tattoo artist to make it transfer to a tattoo well.  
I like this (minus the words, of course), but I'd want to de-feminize it since the "birds" are supposed to be my boys.  ;)
This one is interesting to me, but it's a little too sketchy.
source unknown
I like the idea of this image a lot with the "branch", but I'd want the birds to be a bit different of a silhouette.  
I like the idea of this one, but it's a little too babyish and flowery for me.  (Sounds like I don't like it, huh?)
This is the same one with a different take on it.  I think I like this one better but with no words.
Now, if I see any of you get one of these tattoos before I have a chance to get it, I'm gonna be really pissed!  Haha...but for real...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving '10

As promised, here are my pictures of the Thanksgiving table.  I use all of my favorite dishes, the Johnson Brothers' Friendly Village collection that I've been collecting since we've been married.  Each plate has a different, beautiful, snowy scene on it.  All of the linens were meticulously ironed.  The place cards were carefully crafted.  The silverware and glasses were hand-washed and dried so that there were no spots.  I looked up and experimented with different ways of folding napkins.  My satin-type napkins weren't stiff enough to do the fun folds, but I liked this one well enough.
The boys got "special" turkey plates and cups.
My Great-Granny Susie's doilies adorned the table runner.   Oh, and there was hot apple cider brewing on the stove the whole time.  The recipe was ridiculously good!
And I think it all came together really nicely.  Oh, and in the bottom-right of this picture below you can see that Samuel taped up our names on the wall.  He said it was so that everyone would remember who lived here.  Haha.
Since we live in a small, old house, our washer and dryer are in the kitchen and oftentimes have to serve as a countertop.  That's where I put the lemon-water and ice.
No rest for the weary!  After dinner I just can't stand for the dishes to sit around, so I pushed through a little more.  I like to rest after it's all cleaned up (well, mostly cleaned up, anyway).
So after everyone left, this was my favorite part of the day...watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with Michael and the boys.  I couldn't have done anything else even if I wanted to.  My back and legs were DONE.
And after all of that thought, preparation, and work, I realized that I totally neglected my kids on Thanksgiving.  :(  That made me really sad to recognize.  I spent so much time and energy doing stuff for the "grown-ups" (and me, if I'm really honest about it) that no one really even notices (because the things are so subtle, not because they don't care).  The crafts, the shopping, the cleaning, etc. took a couple of weeks of my time and energy.  Then I started working "full-time" on Thanksgiving (cooking, more cleaning, decorating) on Tuesday afternoon all the way through Thursday.

Upon my request, Michael basically just kept the boys out of the house while I worked on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, and then he kept them busy on Thanksgiving morning.  I feel like I totally blew it with my priorities.  It's so clear when I'm writing it all out, but it's not so clear when I'm in the midst of it.  I was too much of a perfectionist and people-pleaser when it came to my preparations.  And, ironically enough, when I'm all in my "zone" I'm not even a good host because I'm all stressed and frazzled.  

Then after the adrenaline was gone (that was what kept me going while I was working), I was so tired afterward (being 8 months pregnant and all) that I didn't have the energy to participate with my family in the Christmas activities that they did on Thanksgiving weekend, like the local tree lighting, church, and a Christmas tree farm.

Next year I really want to get my priorities straight and make Thanksgiving special for my kids.  They deserve that after my craziness for the past 6 years of hosting Thanksgiving.  I think I'm done hosting for now.  My mother-in-law mentioned just doing a BBQ dinner or something of the sort over at her house with everyone the night before Thanksgiving next year.  That way we're free to do whatever we want on Thanksgiving Day with just our family.  I like that idea.

An old friend of mine went to New York with his wife and kids over Thanksgiving and saw the Macy's parade on Thanksgiving morning.  Then I think they went to a nice restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner and had a great weekend as tourists in NY.  I just loved that idea.  They were building great memories and having a wonderfully nostalgic Thanksgiving weekend.  When the kids get older I definitely want to do that.  How fun!

Anyway, I hope you all had great Thanksgivings.  This is a good reminder to keep my Christmas priorities straight!  I don't think I'll have a choice, though, since I'll be quite pregnant at that point. Did you all know yet that January 3rd is the big C-section date?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grocery Dilemma

Throughout our almost eight years of marriage, I have tried SEVERAL different grocery methods.  I'm pretty organized, so we've always made lists and had a plan.  And we're always tweaking our plan to make it fit our needs more appropriately.

Currently I have a spreadsheet with every possible grocery item on it, and when I need something I put the quantity in there and then hide everything that I don't need.  There's a meal list (7 days worth) on the same page.  So I first make my meal plan for the week, then I fill in all the groceries that I need, print the paper, and shop.  It's pretty easy and straightforward.

My problem right now, however, is that this plan only works if I FEEL like sticking to the plan.  But when I'm pregnant, tired, and not feeling all that great all the time, sometimes I just don't feel like cooking.  We've been "cheating" and getting take-out lately when that happens, but that's not exactly the best option for us.

So does anyone have any healthy and cheap options of how to keep to a sane diet while worn out and tired?  I don't want to get take-out every time I don't feel like cooking, and TV dinners are just about as expensive and not much more healthy.  I'm stuck...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Love and Whatnot

I was at church today, and the sermon was so good.  It was on 2nd and 3rd John.  I had been thinking a lot about this topic lately, love and whatnot.  It kind of seems trite, right, but man, I don't think it's as easy to get as it seems.  Our pastor made the point that John wrote these books in his old age, and with all his wisdom from walking with God for so long, being an Apostle, etc., he chooses to harp on the topic of love above everything else that he could write about.  That's fascinating to me.

I'm still dealing with a lot of control issues.  I learned a lot during marriage counseling about how the key to overcoming that was so centered around empathy.  And I think that empathy leads to more love in so many ways.

So anyway, I wanted to think about these things some more, so I wrote some questions down during the sermon that I could journal about later.

1.  How does my need for control not exhibit love?
2.  How can relinquishing control of others exhibit love to them?
3.  How am I like Diotrephes?  (He was a pastor who loved to be first and who didn't welcome John or other believers walking in truth.)
4.  How am I like Gaius?  (He was the one that the letter of 3rd John was written to, faithful, loving, and commended by John in a divinely inspired letter.)

I probably won't be putting the answers to these up on the ol' blog, haha, but I thought it was some good food for thought that I would share with you.  Love you all.  ;)

Give Thanks Banner

I saw this banner the other day and LOVED it.  So I made it last night and added it to the pine coney window.  The PDFs are available there on the website, so all you have to do is print it up on some colored paper.  They used brown, but I didn't have any, so I used orange construction paper.  If you print on construction paper, you have to first cut it down to letter size (8 1/2" x 11") before you can put it in the printer (for most printers, anyway).  And instead of using ribbon, I used some hemp string.
It's so way easy, though.  And I think it's so pretty.  Sorry for the poor quality picture.  I took it with my iPhone at night.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pine Cones O'Plenty

So we've been up to our ears in pine cones lately. I think if I do pine cones again I won't paint them anything but gold with spray paint.  It was so easy and quick and looks so much nicer.  Or I might try just leaving them brown and glazing them.  That looks pretty, too.  Although, Samuel can have his time to paint with the acrylics if he wants.

Anyway, I'll show you what I made out of them, but first note that I'm not a regular crafter.  Yes, I think I have some creative genes, but I don't regularly craft.  It's really just because I'm cheap and don't really like to spend the money on it.  I do like to decorate my house for free, but that's just the thing with crafts; you have to spend so much money on the materials.  Like the spray paint for the pine cones was $4, and I could have bought a bag of cinnamon pine cones for that (although I wouldn't have gotten as many).  Oh well.  

So first I put some pine cones up in this window that sits above our dining room table.  It looked plain, though, so I bought some Spanish moss and a pick of berries to add to it.  I like the way it turned out, all woodsy.

For Samuel's pine cones, I put them in his Indian headband that he made at school with a paper plate taped to the bottom with some Spanish moss inside, and now it's a centerpiece for the kids' table at Thanksgiving that he can show off!

This is a garland that I made out of the rest of the pine cones (with a Christmas chain in front of it that Samuel made).  I don't really like the way it turned out, but I'm planning on adding some Christmas greens to it to spruce it up for Christmas.  It would look better if I had a fireplace mantel to put it on.  Oh, and don't mind the lack of a window treatment.  I'm not bothering with them until the kids are old enough to not play in the curtains (something they LOVE to do in my bedroom).  

And this is not pine cones, but it's the other craft I did for Thanksgiving.  I like to do place cards each year.  One year I did pieces of chocolate and wrote everyone's names on them with either white chocolate or butterscotch.  But I also do 4x6 cards that everyone writes what they're thankful for on and save them in our Thanksgiving photo album.  

So for some of the years I let the 4x6 cards double as place cards.  That's what I did this year.  These cards are actually about 4" x 5 1/2" (the brown paper bag part) folded in half.  The other part I printed a template from the Martha Stewart website (they always have such great ideas on there) onto cream paper and glued it onto the brown paper.  They had the idea of gluing it to a piece of Thanksgiving stationary, but that would have cost money.  So when I happened to get a brown paper bag the other day, I seized the opportunity.    

That's all I got for now.  :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pine Cone Painting

I really love pine cones.  I love picking them up while on walks and decorating with them in the Fall and Winter.  This friend of mine has a TON of pine cones in his front yard, so I've gone over there a couple of times this past week and "cleaned up" for him.  I let Samuel help me paint them, although I've recently learned that you're really supposed to either wash them and let them sit out first or bake them to clean them.  I realized the importance of this while a few bugs fell out of a few of them.  Oh well.  
Samuel, hamming it up, had a great time painting.  I like to let him paint in this cut open cereal box.  I also covered the TV tray with plastic wrap.

The more colors the better, for Samuel.  His pine cones will likely go in his room.  ;)  I'm thinking that I might make a Christmas tree out of all the ones that he paints by attaching them to a cone shaped piece of foam from Hobby Lobby.  Or I might make a garland out of them and hang them across the window in his room.    
I painted a variety of colors.  Some are more fallish and others more winterish, but all are pretty neutral.  
The fallish ones I'm thinking of making a garland out of and hanging somewhere in the house.  I may even make a few Christmas trees out of them, too.  The really Christmas colored ones I'm thinking that I'll hang on the Christmas tree.  
The only problem is that I got mostly big ones.  I need to go somewhere and find some small ones now.  I'll be sure to post the pine cone creations once I get around to actually making them!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Internet Finds

Today I'm not feeling too great (maybe a cold virus), so I've been on the internet a bit more than normal.  Oh well.  I thought I'd make the best of it and share some of my favorite internet finds this week.  Are you bored?  Here you go:

  • I subscribe to GOOP and found this awesome email in my inbox this morning.  It's an interview with Jessica Seinfeld, who I LOVE and who just wrote a new book called Do It Delicious, a follow-up to the amazing Deceptively Delicious.  It's filled with simple recipes aimed at cookers and non-cookers alike.  Her website has a bunch of videos that she made for her friend that can't cook at all, teaching her to cook very simple recipes.  I watched the one on halibut over spinach, and it looked SOOO simple.  I'm totally going to try it.  I highly recommend this to anyone that's busy and wants some simple ideas or is wanting to learn to cook.
  • I'm sure you've all seen the hubbub going on with the Amazon scandal and the book on pedophilia.  I know there are many different opinions on the matter, and I respect those, but this blog post from Joyful Abode best sums up what I feel about it.  I could have written my own blog post about it, but she did a much better job with all of the research, so I'll just link to hers.  :)  
  • Erica Jong wrote what I consider to be a pretty absurd an article in the Wall Street Journal about how attachment parenting victimizes women.  It almost sounds like satire until you realize she's serious.  The Undercover Mother wrote a beautiful rebuttal to this article that I very much enjoyed reading and appreciated.
  • And finally, I leave you with this hilarious lesson from SNL on how to be debt-free.  Enjoy.  :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Having Christmas Bliss

I was reading this post from Simple Mom about preparing financially for Christmas, and I LOVED it!  I'm totally on board already with everything she mentions (take a look; it's a great article).  The only thing I can't really do is take a seasonal job to earn more money and get a store discount - great idea, though.  I think the idea of the article, though, is that you have bliss during Christmas and not stress!  That's the way it should be!

The thing that I loved most about the article is: #5 "Make a bigger deal out of the little Christmas activities."  That's such a great idea!  We Hedgies tend to do this with Fall activities (festivals, pumpkin patches, etc.), but I'd like to be more intentional about doing it with Christmas activities as well.  We all could use a little less emphasis on the material side of Christmas (you gotta admit our culture is a bit ridiculous about it).  There's so much materialism and gluttony surrounding the holiday, and it just makes me feel guilty and gross, so why not try to minimize it!

So here are some ideas of things we've done or things I'd like to try out:

1)  Last year we did karaoke at our family Christmas party.  It was so much fun and brought such a light and festive mood to the house.

2)  Last year we went to a fun Christmas tree lot that had lots of activities for the kids and was one of the highlights of our whole month.  I think we'll go again this year but not buy a tree.  (Is that ghetto?  The tree last year died a few days later, so I want to use a fake one this year.)  

3)  I'd love to have Christmas movie night where we watch either one of those old, claymation, Christmas movies or Elf (my favorite) and string up popcorn for the Christmas tree.  Or the kids can make those paper chains to put up on the tree.

4)  When we put the kids to bed we always sing Christmas songs this time of year.  I think we'll look back and remember it as a special time.

5)  Visiting Santa at the mall is a great memory maker.  We visited him three times last year and only bought the pictures once.  If you go during the day on a weekday when there's no line, Santa is not rushed and totally doesn't mind chatting with your kids for a bit.

6)  Hanging Christmas lights is a big event here.  It's just such a nostalgic thing, and the kids LOVE seeing the lights up every night.

7)  Going to the Christmas Eve service at church is a wonderful time for me.  It puts my heart in a really warm, loving place and reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas.

8)  Reading the Christmas account in the Bible on Christmas morning during our French toast or pancake breakfast has become a nice tradition for us that Michael started.  I love it, and as our kids get older they can read it to us!  Also, reading the Christmas verses (from the old and new testaments) during my own times of devotion throughout December helps keep me from losing sight of what it's all about.

9)  I know this involves money, but we're going to go to the IMAX to see The Polar Express (my kids' favorite).  We have passes, so it won't be that much money.  Plus, Samuel is saving his chore money to pay for his own ticket.  We're going to a Saturday showing that they invite all the kids to wear their pajamas to, and they serve hot cocoa.

10)  This isn't an event, but it's a non-materialism mindset thing.  Because I can't travel in December, we can't go to see my family in San Antonio.  So to cut down on costs and the general materialistic spirit of Christmas that stresses me out, we're not going to do gifts for everyone down there this year (sometimes I feel obligated, but I'm just not going to this year.)  We are going to mail photo books to my parents and sisters (I hope this isn't the one time they read my blog), but sorry nieces and nephews - you'll get enough gifts and won't miss the absence of ours.

Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE giving and getting gifts during Christmas.  But there is a line that can be crossed with everyone where it is stops being done out of an overflowing heart of love and joy and starts being done out of a bitter sense of obligation (to varying degrees, of course).  I like to try to stay away from that line when I can.

Anyway, do you have anymore events or small things you like to do during December that don't involve a lot of money spending or sugar eating?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

PDFs of Our Rules :)

A few of you said that you'd like the signs of our rules, so here you go!  I hope it works; I've never attempted file sharing on my blog, so we'll see if it works.  I put them in PDFs since I don't use Word (I use Pages).  But if you want to make your own they're pretty easy.  I basically just got all of the images off of the internet using Google Images.  I did have to add the circles on a couple of them, but it was pretty easy.  But if you don't need to edit them, then feel free to print these!

"No Throwing" Sign
"No Screaming" Sign
"No Hurting" Sign
"No Climbing" Sign

Friday, November 5, 2010

We Gotta Good Thing Going

Lately we've been experimenting with a new household system.  We've give the boys four specific rules and four specific chores to do daily before the bedtime routine. It has been working so amazingly and has totally made our lives better! It sounds like I'm exaggerating, but I promise I'm not.

Our four rules are:

They're pretty self-explanatory. They are specific to the prominent issues that we were facing in our household, haha. Our thought: keep it simple. If they break a rule, then they go straight to their room for time-out. No drama or yelling or threatening. Just time-out. We posted the signs on their bedroom door so that we can point to it and remind them of the rule as they're going into time-out. It works great, but the trick is to be consistent (as with everything in parenting).

I think maybe since it's posted and they helped make the signs on the computer that they got on board with the rules. So when they break a rule they realize that it's fair to go to time-out. They still put up a fuss sometimes, but it works well for the most part.

Samuel's four chores are:
1) Clear the table and push in the chairs.

2) Pick up the toys in the living room and tidy up.
3) Pick up the toys in their bedroom and tidy up.
4) After shower time put the dirty clothes away in the bathroom and tidy up.

Levi's one chore is to put away all of the toys in the bathtub after his bath is over. He's usually pretty eager to help Samuel with all of the other chores, too, though. They each get one quarter upon the completion of each chore.

Samuel is so motivated by those quarters.  He's been able to buy a lot of things that he wants (fun bands, a Woody doll, kettle corn at the pumpkin patch, ice cream from the ice cream truck, and more), and he saves for things, too.  I love the lessons that it's teaching him about money and hard work.  We also ask him how much he wants to give to God each Sunday.  He loves to do that and gets really excited about it.

I also love that it's making housework a family effort!  It's so wonderful.  Our house stays pretty clean now, and we work as a team.  There are nights that NONE of us want to clean up, but we know that it makes the next day so much better if we prepare the night before.  If we skip a day of nighttime chores, then the next day is more than double the work.

So this is working really well for us right now.  I'm sure that things will be shaken up quite a bit when the baby is born, but I'm hoping that we can get back into this routine pretty quickly after we're back home.


So on our home phone line we had the bare bones package where you can only make a certain amount of outgoing calls a month and there were no features at all. It's kind of annoying not having Caller ID, but you get used to it. So yesterday I was home, and got this totally disgusting perv call (I won't gross you out with the details). Even remembering it makes me want to vomit. I was so disturbed by it, so we got a normal phone package again with the Call Trace feature. It's free until you have to use it, and then it's $9 per use. It alerts authorities when you get an offensive call. All that to say, some things, like peace of mind, are worth the money, even when you're cheap like us!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Today's Sonogram

I had my long awaited sonogram today, and it turns out that I don't have excess fluid afterall! So no polyhydramnios here! Woohoo! We'll check for it again if I end up growing more than I'm supposed to, but for now I'm good. I'm just so relieved that my doctor didn't see any need to take the baby early. He was actually discouraging me from it, and I was like, 'Yeah, no problem here, that's what I want, too.'

So at almost 30 weeks our little monkey was estimated to weigh 4lbs 10oz, and his length is 16.7in. That's about the size a 35 week baby should be. My belly is still measuring at 7 weeks ahead of schedule, but that's just because he's big. My amniotic fluid is measuring on the high end, but not too high. The fluid index is considered high when it's more than 20cm, and mine is 19cm right now. So that's not bad. I had 36cm with Levi, and that was pretty miserable considering I was measuring 9 weeks ahead with him.

Anyway, all that to say I'm pretty happy with where we're at with that, and I'm hoping I don't go into premature labor so that I can hold out until January to have this little guy. I can't wait to meet him! During our sonogram today he was moving around a ton and trying to put his toes in his mouth. He's going to be such a handful; I can tell. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Interesting Things My Kids Did Today

I'll start with Levi...Today we were at Walmart spending their money that they get when they do chores. Each night they have to do four chores (clear the table, pick up the toys in the living room, pick up the toys in their bedroom, and pick up the clothes in the bathroom), and they get a quarter right on the spot for the completion of each chore. We weren't going to include Levi in on this little experiment, but he jumped right in with more enthusiasm than Samuel! He really busts it and is excited to clean up.

So he picked out some Hot Wheels cars to buy, and we went to the checkout. He put his cars up on the conveyor belt, and I told him that he needed to give his quarters to the lady if he wanted to take the cars home. He was extremely opposed to this concept because he didn't want to part with his quarters. We asked him several times, "Do you want the cars or the quarters?" And every time he chose the quarters. So we walked away and told the lady to cancel the transaction.

This reminded me of what Dave Ramsey says about spending cash. He cites a Dun and Bradstreet study that states that your brain registers actual emotion pain when you spend in cash as opposed to credit (and even debit to a slighter degree). I guess that's what was happening with Levi. Haha! I hope that lasts; I'm totally fine with him being a saver!

Now on to Samuel's story...So this evening Samuel was taking a shower, and he was taking a really long time in there because he was playing with toys and dilly-dallying. Michael caught him pouring all the body wash into one of the bath cups so that he could make bubbles. I came in there and told him that until he could show us that he wouldn't waste the soap anymore that we would have to put the soap on his washcloth/bath ball ourselves. His "privilege" was taken away because he wasn't mature enough to handle it.

Then a while later after he had finished his shower he told me that he didn't want to pray tonight because I was mad at him for wasting the soap. I told him that I wasn't mad, just a little disappointed that he wasted the soap but that it wasn't a big deal. I said that if he wanted to feel better he could say he was sorry to me and that I would reassure him that I forgave him already and that it wasn't that big of a deal. He didn't want to do that either, and he didn't join me, Michael, and Levi in our bedtime prayers.

I was sad that he felt that way, but I thought it was such an astounding picture of how our sin separates us from God. He didn't want to pray because he did something wrong (moreso in his own eyes than anything - he was sad mostly that he disappointed me even though I assured him it wasn't a big deal). And all he had to do was ask for forgiveness from me to feel better (for his benefit more than my own), but he refused for some reason, keeping him from wanting to talk to God.

I love the honesty in which kids express their thoughts and emotions. It makes grown-up thoughts and emotions more simple when you see a kid exhibiting them. I'm sure that Samuel will come around tomorrow, but I thought it was a good thing to let him feel those feelings tonight so that after he slept on it we could make sense of them together tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Belly Update & OMG Moment

So just as a little update, I'm not freaking out anymore about my fluid issue.  I was a little scared at first, but now I'm thinking rationally.  You know how it is...your doctor tells you something is not normal or routine, and you start to go down the worst-case-scenario list and consulting Dr. Google.  So anyway, I'm trusting my normal doctor and waiting and seeing what the sonogram says in two weeks.  On the other hand, we are preparing ourselves for the idea of possibly having the baby a month early.  It just seems like the practical thing to do so that we're not caught blindside, especially with Michael's project at work.  

Okay, so my OMG moment of the month...Michael and I had marriage counseling today, and we stopped at the Starbucks in Southlake afterward for a drink and a bite to eat.  So we both ordered drinks and sandwiches, and I ordered a piece of low-fat banana cake.  The total was $20 and change.  I give her my debit card...denied.  "Let's try that again," she says.  Denied again!  OMG!  What??  There were like 7 people in line after us.  I had like $3 cash and no other cards to call upon.

They graciously gave us the drinks for free since they already started making mine, and we embarrassingly left the two sandwiches and cake on the counter.  We had to stand there and wait for them to finish making Michael's drink for what felt like an eternity while we made eye contact with no one.

While we were talking to the cashier we remembered that our bank was switching from Mastercard to Visa debit cards and that they had sent us the new cards in the mail telling us that the old ones would no longer work as of yesterday.  Well, yeah, we forgot.  And we hadn't activated our new cards yet or put them in our wallets yet.  We went straight from there to home to get our cards and then to the bank to activate them.  (We didn't do it over the phone because we wanted to change our pins, in case you were wondering.)

The three things that made it better were knowing that we had the money in the bank, getting the drinks for free, AND knowing that it would have been WAY worse if the kids were with us and we made them put back their chocolate milks that they usually get there.  That would NOT have been pretty.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I went for my first biweekly OB appointment yesterday.  As my doctor was measuring my belly, he was kind of surprised.  I am now 27 weeks, but I measured at 34 - yikes!  That's almost 2 months ahead!  I hadn't measured ahead until now (unless I'm remembering incorrectly).  The most likely reason for this is polyhydramnios, or excess amniotic fluid.  Yes, I do also have big babies, but even with as big as Samuel was (10lbs 13oz), I never measured ahead of schedule.  With Levi, however, he was much smaller (9lbs 8oz), but I began measuring ahead of schedule in my third trimester.  So to measure SO FAR ahead of schedule in my second trimester kind of worries me.

My sister-in-law Sharon suggested that I get them to take the baby early because of this, and at first I didn't think I wanted to do that because having a premie really scares me, but now I'm kind of thinking that's a good idea.  Since it will be my third C-section the risk of a uterine rupture kind of scares me.  It's really SOOO rare (and usually only happens during labor, which I likely won't be in), and I shouldn't be scared, but the thought of my uterus stretching so much so early on concerns me.  If my doctor is concerned that I would go into preterm labor, then he may suggest taking the baby early.  So we'll see.  I guess bedrest might be another possibility (I really don't know), but I can't even think of that right now.  :-P

I'm having another sonogram in two weeks, and they'll assess how much amniotic fluid I have.  There are several birth defects that Isaac could have that would cause excess fluid, but I'm trying to stay positive that it's just a fluke like it was with Levi since he ended up being fine.  Most of the causes have to do with the inability to swallow.  At this point he should be drinking and peeing the amniotic fluid, keeping the fluid in balance.  But if there were a problem with him swallowing (like pyloric stenosis), then this could cause polyhydramnios.  There are also more severe causes, but I'm optimistic that it's not any of those.  I did take a Quad-screen test and was cleared.  And my glucose test was yesterday, so hopefully I'll be cleared from that, too.  

**Sigh**  Well, for now I just have to wait 15 days for my next sonogram (hopefully they'll do a 3-D), and try not to think of worst-case scenarios.  At least I have a valid excuse for my crazy amount of back pain, round ligament pain, and shortness of breath!  :)  So if you think about it, please say a little pray for little Isaac and me.  Thanks!


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