December 26, 2012

What's the motto with you...

I love Christmas.

Only Fall and Football season are as close to the top of my list of favorite times of the year.

And this Christmas we had a lot to celebrate...
Ryan's first Christmas, Jake finished up his classes and will be student teaching in the Spring, Rachel is growing up and turning into a little lady.

I made cookies (even more than last year); we put up additional decorations so the house looks extra special; Jake and I went on our annual Christmas shopping spree together; Rachel asked almost every single day if it was Christmas yet.

But...

For some reason, this year my heart just wasn't into it.

Maybe it was because we missed church almost every Sunday during Advent due to sickness and schedule conflicts and didn't make it to the Christmas Eve service this year (again) because Ryan wasn't feeling well.

Or, maybe it was because we are all tired from months of sleep deprivation and the stress of raising a newborn and an extremely independent/willful two-year-old who refuses to eat or do anything that isn't her idea.

Perhaps it was because in the weeks leading up to Christmas I made a fairly sizable mistake at work- one that caused me to toss and turn and fret and stew for over two weeks before I finally picked up the phone and sobbed out an apology to one of my superiors. But not before being stabbed in the back by a co-worker/friend, which kind of ruined things at work for a few days.

I guess it could have been because I didn't send out Christmas cards or letters this year or because we missed more than one Christmas party that I was looking forward to attending.

The cherry on top of the disappointment was probably how we spent Christmas morning... while everyone else was opening presents and enjoying each other's company we were struggling with Rachel and her refusal to apologize to her daddy, which she had to do before presents could be opened (long story). So, instead of rushing downstairs to open presents in wondrous excitement, Rachel insisted on reading a book while Jake and I watched TV for almost an hour before she finally broke down and agreed to apologize. That kid...not even the prospect of opening presents is reward enough to do something that she does not want to do.

Whatever the reason(s)...I would like a do-over.
I would like another opportunity to teach my children about the real reason for Christmas.
I would like another opportunity to listen to quality Christmas music and feel the excitement of the season in my soul.
I would like another opportunity to take a family Christmas picture that doesn't involve crying or naked dolls.
I would like another opportunity to drive around and look at Christmas lights without getting lost and ending up on the other side of town.
I would like another opportunity to snuggle with my baby boy in his Christmas PJs instead of feeling anxious about guessing whether or not he will sleep for more than 60 minutes at a time.
I would like another opportunity to get my little girl to eat more than just a few bites of bread at both Christmas dinners (why, oh WHY, won't that child EAT?!).

Basically, I would just like to do this whole thing over so in the spirit of being a true Cubs fan (and, apparently a Hawks fan) I will quote my favorite motto....

There is always next year.

December 19, 2012

Happy birthday, sort of...

I'm really disappointed in myself. Here it is...over half-way through December and I haven't written one single post. Plus, my special little guy is over four months old and I have yet to add him to my blog's banner. Oops.

A few weeks ago I turned 33. It wasn't anything too exciting. You know, just another birthday. My co-workers had birthday signs hanging in my office when I arrived and I drank my birthday drink from Starbucks but the fun pretty much ended after that. Don't get me wrong, nothing terrible happened, but it was kind of a disappointing day.

When I started working at this institution I worked in a patient scheduling area and every few weeks we rotated desks so that we could each take a turn at the "busy" desk. In order to accommodate our personal items we each got a small wheeled filing cabinet that we could push around with us as we desk-hopped.

After five years of that I got a secretarial job with a desk. The desk stayed in one place but was located in a reception area. I had my own personal space but I also shared a lot of room with other items that belonged to the department.

My next job moved me from a reception area to my very own cubical in an administrative office. To have so much space was a dream come true. And it was quiet and personal and very nice.

Then, I got my current job. I took this job without seeing where I would be sitting and just about peed my pants in excitement when I saw my new office...with a door and a window! Wow.

But, never does life stand still. Never do things stay the same. Never does a progressive office keep the same number of staff members. And so, on my birthday I was given the news that I pretty much knew was coming....I am getting moved from my office to accommodate new staff members. My new area is a cubicle. It was kind of hard to hear the news, but I completely understand the situation. My supervisor hated to give me the news on my birthday, and not to anyone's surprise, the news made me cry (must I cry at everything?!). But, really I don't think it's going to be that bad (I keep trying to reassure myself of this). The new area will be fully renovated and I will still have access to windows. Plus, I will actually have more desk space than I do now, which will be very much appreciated.

But still...

It kind of stinks that I have to say good-bye to my own little personal space. I love my office. I have it decorated so nicely. And it has a door. I love my door. I use my door a lot. I'm going to miss my door.

In honor of my door I would like to make light of the situation by remembering some of my previous birthdays, which were way worse than this one.

16: When I was a kid, you could get a full-no-rules-completely-real license when one turned 16 (I'm pretty sure they come with strings attached now days, which is probably better anyway). However, when I turned 16 I didn't get my license. My twin brother got his but I did not. A few months before my birthday I drove (illegally, I might add) my boyfriend to his job and wrecked my car on the way back. I wasn't wearing a seat belt and when the car hit a culvert, went air born, and landed on it's side in the ditch I hit the passenger side window out...with my head. So, no, I was not allowed to get my license right away. I had to wait.

16 (again): Wow, in general this birthday probably takes the prize for worst birthday ever. I broke up with my boyfriend (same guy from above) about a week before my birthday, which was really stupid on my part. I wasn't allowed to go on dates that were not group dates until I turned 16 so, duh, I really didn't think that through very well. Even though we were no longer "together" (really, when you're 16 what does that mean?), we decided to go on my first "single date"  anyway and it was a disaster.

18: In high school my friends and I made a big deal out of birthdays; some of the celebrations we had were quite elaborate. But, when I turned 18 my friends decided to think outside the box and try something completely different. They decided to pretend to forget my birthday and didn't say a word to me about it all day. It was devastating. That night I called a friend of mine from another school (I'm sure I was probably crying) and she immediately invited me up to her place to watch movies and celebrate my 18th birthday together. What I didn't know was that my friends were planning to surprise me a few days later by waking me up at the crack of dawn to take me out for breakfast. Those crazy ladies.

21: No joke. I got pulled over on my 21st birthday....for what the police officer thought was drunk driving. Nope...it was just me trying to reach into my purse and I moved the steering wheel a bit too much to the side when I leaned over. At first the officer was excited to see that he had caught someone in the act but as it became obvious that I was completely sober he shrugged, told me happy birthday, and sent me on my merry way.

28: When I turned 28 Jake happened to be, "Not in a fun birthday mood," as he put it. We went out for dinner but it was snowing really hard so we had to go somewhere close, which happened to be one of the worst restaurants I have ever been to. The food was awful. The company was awful. The ride home was awful. The day in general was just not fun.

30: When I turned 30 I was 8 months pregnant and still suffering from "morning" sickness. Enough said.


So, finding out that I'm going to have to move from my office really wasn't so bad. Plus, what girl wouldn't want to be given a fairly sizable budget and told they can design their new work area using professional-looking materials? Plus, I get to choose my desk first and I pick...the corner one, next to all of the windows!

November 30, 2012

Baby eczema...

You know how sometimes you have those days when you feel like the worst mother ever?

I'm having one of those days.

Poor little Ryan; it has been one thing after another with that little guy (this must be payback for Rachel- the child who has only been to the doctor for routine exams).

A few weeks ago his little cheeks started to get red and bumps appeared, which we assumed to be your standard baby eczema. Rachel had this too and I didn't really do very much to treat it because it never got any worse, appeared only on her face, and went away after about a month.

So when those familiar red bumps began to show up on Ryan we felt bad that he would look a little red in holiday pictures and went on our merry way.

Enter the "horrible mother"

About a week ago we noticed a dry red patch on the back of Ryan's leg. Again, we felt bad for the guy and continued on with life as usual. By the next day the patch had gotten bigger. So, after his bath we put some baby oil on him, smeared a little extra lotion on his face and put the little guy to bed.

Within a few days it became obvious that we needed to be more diligent about putting lotion on him. And on Tuesday when we went to pick him up at the sitter we were shocked to discover that his face was covered in dry scaly patches. On Tuesday night we gave him a bath, scrubbed his face, slathered him up and put him to bed. We awoke on Wednesday to find that the patches had returned and within a few hours the spots were oozing something.

Every day he has been getting worse and last night it finally occurred to us, the worst parents ever, that perhaps we should take our little trooper in for a look-see with the doctor.

He is currently covered head to toe in dry itchy red patches. He is obviously terribly uncomfortable and doesn't want to be held because that just makes him feel worse. Yesterday afternoon I stripped him down to his diaper, covered him in lotion, gave him some Tylenol, and wrapped him in a soft warm blanket. He was able to sleep for about an hour, which is probably the most sleep he has gotten in a while.

Jake is taking Ryan to the doctor today and I just feel so bad because, why didn't we do something about this sooner?! What was I thinking? When we dropped him off at the sitter this morning he was able to muster a smile for us and my heart sank. He trusts us to take care of him. He even smiles for us when he is in pain, and this is the hand is gets dealt?

So, anyway, I'm praying that the doctor will take one look at him, diagnose him immediately, and send Jake on his way to the pharmacy for some ointment or medication that will have him feeling better by morning.

Hey, miracles can happen.


A quick note about some other news....
The other day I accidentally pulled Rachel off her little stool while I was trying to yank her socks off. Her bottom hit the floor and her back hit the stool and we both cried (see, worst parent ever I'm telling you). Yesterday I went to remove her socks and she said, "Mommy, this time don't pull me off the stool and hurt me."

Oh my aching heart.

November 19, 2012

All I want for Christmas is (regular) sleep...

Very seldom can someone claim to know why God does what God does.

But...

I am almost 100% positive that I know exactly why God gave us the ability to have children when we are young and carefree rather than when are much older and wiser...

Because children age us.

And make us so TIRED.

I know that I was never this tired with Rachel. Ever.

When Rachel was a baby I don't believe that I would have ever thought of, much less condoned, setting up a picnic table in front of the TV. And then to do it for more than one meal in a row?! Gasp...No!

And I feel like I would have always found the energy to put laundry away every week. I have had a basket of clean, unfolded, children's clothes setting in the dining room for so long that Jake seemed almost shocked to learn that he had to go upstairs to get an outfit for Ryan this morning.

And poor Rachel. Three times this weekend (three times, I kid you not) she asked me if I have another baby in my tummy whenever she saw me slumped over on the couch. Apparently she remembers, quite vividly, how tired I was during my pregnancy and now associates my sheer exhaustion with having a baby in my tummy. I asked her once if I look like I have a baby in my tummy and was relieved when she said no.

She must know that it has been almost a year since full nights of sleep were the norm for her mother.

Every night before I go to bed I call out to God, sometimes in tears, asking him to please let us all sleep through the night. I beg him to miraculously keep Ryan's tummy full until at least 5:30 AM...and to keep the array of noises that both children make in their sleep to a dull roar so their racket cannot be heard over the baby monitor. I would turn the thing off except that I still wouldn't be able to sleep because I would just lie awake in fear...fear of missing something important.

Sigh....

Jake and I always kid with each other that we need a vacation but this past weekend we talked about it like it wasn't a joke anymore. I read a blog not to long ago about a woman who left her newborn home with a sitter to take a much needed vacation. The poor lady was attacked by other mothers and accused of being selfish and a bad mother. To that woman I say....

Who was your travel agent and how might I get in contact with her?

November 13, 2012

Happy tuesday...

For those of you who might be keeping track, it has been a very long time since I last wrote on my blog. But, have no fear...I can pretty much sum up the last few weeks in just one word:

Busy.

I returned to work on October 30th and as I walked back into my office I was struck by a very strange thought, how is it possible that time continued to march on at my office while I was gone?

And, how do I know that this happened?

It has taken me two weeks to get us back up and running...well, to my standards anyway.

In the meantime, our lives outside of my office also continue to move forward. I have pretty much given up trying to potty train Rachel for now. I bought her a toy from her most very favorite show (Jake and the Never Land Pirates), set it at her eye level so can she see it every single day, and told her she can't play with it until she goes poopy in the potty. That was over a month ago. Don't get me wrong, she sees it every day and she can even tell me why it's there, "I have to go poopy in the potty before I can play with my toy." but she has yet to feel compelled to do the deed that she speaks of.

Ryan is growing like a little weed. I'm not kidding. That little guy may not have rolls of chub but he still packs quite a punch and tipped the scales at just around 14 pounds last week. He is even wearing his 3-6 month clothes and has started to outgrow his bouncy seat. Dear God, no! Not the bouncy seat! What on earth will we do when he cannot fit into that thing anymore?!

Jake is less than a month away from his LAST FINAL. Can you believe that? We are just a few short weeks away from ending a journey that we have been on for almost 12 years. And when he finally graduates next May I might just do something crazy...go back to school myself and start the entire process over again. I know. Duh. Anyway, he will start his student teaching in January and we are just about to pee our pants with excitement as we wait to hear where he has been placed. A few weeks ago he was pleased to hear that he was the first person in his cohort to get placed (the only person to do so in the first round) and even though I couldn't be more proud of the guy I am really anxious about how this will change our lives (not to mention our morning routine).

And because I just cannot resist posting a few pictures of our two little pains in the rear  bundles of joy.....

Happy Tuesday!






October 22, 2012

Mother knows best...

It is really hard for me to believe that today begins my final week of maternity leave. In some ways it feels like I left work just a few weeks ago but when I look back over the past three months it seems as though I have been gone for an eternity.

When I left for lunch on June 28 I let the receptionist know that I would most likely not be back before 1:00 because I was planning to have lunch with my cousin. And as I headed out the door I remember turning around and saying, "See you later." That was 12 weeks ago.

I have mixed emotions about returning to work. I'm really not cut out to be a stay at home mom and I'm looking forward to getting back to my office, my job, and conversations that don't include words like "diaper", "bottle", "pacifier" and "crying". However, on the other hand, I don't feel ready just yet to leave my son. My entire life has centered around him and his every move for three months and I'm not sure that I remember how to function without him. Ryan's arrival brought with it so many emotions- joy, frustration, fear, peace- that it seems almost impossible to suddenly change directions and go back to life as it was BR- "Before Ryan."

A few thoughts...

1. When I left for maternity leave the Summer Olympics was just beginning, it was still 100 degrees outside and had not rained in several weeks, and back-to-school shopping was in full swing.

2. We spent the majority of the month of August in the hospital so August was pretty much a blur. During almost the entire month of September Ryan was absolutely miserable and I spent most of my time feeding him and trying to find little things to make my day a bit more enjoyable. I really have no idea where October has gone.

3. I cannot wait for my hands to have the opportunity to go back to normal. Because I am forever washing my hands and making bottles they have become extremely dry and I have cracked and bleeding knuckles.

4. This maternity leave has taught me a lot of things but I would have to say that the most valuable lesson that I learned is to never give up, never accept an answer you do not agree with, and to always stay the course.

Before Ryan was even born we learned the importance of refusing to accept, "I don't know" for an answer. We had almost a dozen doctors following my case and almost every single one of them had a theory as to what was going on and what should be done. And through it all Ryan's heartbeat continued to be healthy and strong so I believe that he too was learning to fight for his need to be heard.

New, expecting, or not so new parents- Listen. To. These. Words.
If you think that something is wrong with you or your child do not let someone try to convince you that you are wrong and never allow someone, even a highly respected doctor, to encourage you to give up and accept your circumstances as normal or something that will just have to be weathered until it passes.

I spent the majority of my maternity leave fighting for Ryan's health and comfort and our family's sanity. I absolutely knew that something was wrong with him (not just colic) when he refused to eat more than 1-2 ounces at a time, cried during and after feedings, screamed through every bowel movement, and went only 60-90 minutes in between feedings (and for those of you who may have forgotten, that is 60-90 mintes from the start of one feeding until the start of the next). It took me countless visits to the doctor, numerous phone calls and emails, several trips to the store for new formula and bottles, and hours of research before I believed that my beautiful and perfect son was again the happy baby that I know I brought into this world.

He now takes medication twice daily for acid reflux, gets gas relief drops after every bottle, is on a mixture of regular and low iron formula (which can only be found online or special ordered through a grocery store), uses special bottles (Dr. Brown's) that help to reduce the amount of air he takes in while eating, sleeps either in his bouncy seat or is laid down in an elevated position to help control the acid reflux, and does bicycle kicks to help with bowel movements.

And it only took us 12 weeks to get all of this figured out.

I will be the first to admit that he certainly isn't happy every single day and things are not always flowers and rainbows and unicorns around our house but since we started this entire regimen two weeks ago we have had a completely different baby living at our house. Ryan now sleeps in his crib instead of next to the couch (we were taking turns sleeping downstairs with him because he woke up so many times during the night that it wasn't even worth trying to go to bed), wakes up 1-2 times per night (once he even slept through the night and didn't wake up until almost 5:00), eats about 3-5 ounces each feeding, and no longer screams in pain during or after feedings or while he is trying to have a BM.

I don't call that perfect but I do call that progress. And progress makes everyone a bit happier.

And so today, rather than taking my baby out into the rain to get groceries, I am going to stay home and enjoy the last few days that I get to be alone with my son. The grocery store will still be there tomorrow.

October 19, 2012

The great pumpkin...

A few weeks ago we got to take Rachel and Ryan on their first trip to a local pumpkin patch.

It was like Heaven to Rachel, who apparently watches way too much TV, and was thrilled to be trekking across the countryside with her map, in search of treasure. Does this scenario sound familiar to anyone else? Enter Dora and Jake and the Neverland Pirates...now does it sound familiar?

Sigh...

Anyway, lucky for us Rachel loves maps and the outdoors and pumpkins and was very excited to be at the pumpkin patch.

First we had to stop here...


then it was off to the pumpkin patch.

The adventure begins...must find the perfect pumpkin.


Grandma Marcia showed Rachel just what to look for.
Daddy was along to carry the treasure back up the huge hill (not pictured, which is a shame because it really was a big hill to have to carry a pumpkin back up).


We told Rachel that she could pick any pumpkin that she wanted...


and she picked this one.


While hiking back up the HUGE hill we noticed that another young family was also trying to carry their special find back. The father, who was carrying their prized position, was gasping for air and when I saw the size of the pumpkin he had I could tell why- it was probably one of the largest ones in the field. His young son, who was about Rachel's age, was skipping along beside him and grinning from ear to ear. I just couldn't resist the opportunity to chat with them and said, "We told our daughter that she could pick any pumpkin she wanted, and she got this one," which I then pointed to in Jake's hand. He replied, "(gasp) We told (gasp) our son he could (gasp) choose any pumpkin (gasp) that he wanted (gasp) and he picked (gasp) THIS one (gasp)." To that I responded with, "Yikes, shucks for you."

Maybe next year Ryan will be able to help pick out a pumpkin.

A few days later it was time to learn how to carve a pumpkin. Rachel didn't want to cut into her's so we had to buy another one that was worthy of going under the knife.

A beautiful fall day in our backyard

The finished product. Perfection.

October 12, 2012

The day Rachel taught me to read my Bible...

I hate to say this but I have kind of been dreading today for awhile. Why? Because today our daycare provider is on vacation and since I'm still on maternity leave we couldn't justify the expense of taking Rachel somewhere else for the day. And so we had a mommy and kids day today.

And, to my surprise, it has actually been quite enjoyable (does that make me sound like a monster?)...right up to the moment that Rachel's excessive chatter during nap time woke up her little brother.

Honestly though, with all that we have been going through with Ryan I have to admit that sometimes it is hard to find joy in our daily activities. So when I noticed that I would be home with a crabby newborn and a defiant two-year-old all day by myself I could feel myself sinking into a puddle of despair.

Will I ever learn that God is always listening and watching and waiting to help me?

Yesterday we started Ryan on a low iron formula and early signs are pointing towards a positive change for the little guy. He has been sleeping better, eating less frequent but larger meals, and crying less when trying to create a stinky diaper. That alone would have made today a better day so it was made almost perfect when I combined that with the fact that Rachel kept her same pull-up on all morning (and is super excited about the toy she will get once she opts to go number two in the potty) and legitimately beat me in a game of Memory.

Actually, you know what? There was a cherry on top of it all. Rachel found our Bibles and insisted on "reading" through one while I read the other. And while doing so I came across a verse in Proverbs 31 (the "how to be a good wife and mother" chapter), and it made me smile... because it was just what I needed to hear today (and tomorrow and probably the next day and most likely the day after that and...).

Proverbs 31:25
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

And all of the tired mothers of newborns said, "Amen!"

October 2, 2012

The thrill of the hunt...

Ryan is a good baby but it is becoming more and more obvious that he was born too soon; he wasn't ready to enter the world on August 5th. I have been told that babies who are born early often have trouble adjusting to life outside the womb (I believe this is often referred to as the 4th trimester). They tend to be fussy and often have problems sleeping, which is exactly what Ryan has been up to. We keep switching formula but I'm starting to feel hopeless and helpless and I'm afraid that we might have, gasp, a colicky baby on our hands.

Dear Lord please help us.

He doesn't cry all of the time but instead is forever grunting and screaming in what we can only guess to be a cry of pain, especially after he eats. Formula is expensive enough without having to purchase a million different kinds in hopes that we will find the right one for him.

And so we will continue our hunt for that magic formula, the one that finally makes him stop grunting and squirming and screeching, but until then....here are a few pictures of our little pumpkins.

Enjoy!

Oh yeah...please pray for us and our sanity and our wallets.

Here he is... our little pumpkin


My other little pumpkin, Rachel, with daddy and the pumpkin they carved together this past weekend.

September 21, 2012

Isaiah 40:11...

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.


I first heard this verse when I was pregnant with Rachel and it now hangs in my childrens' bedroom as a reminder to our entire family of the promise that God has for us...that he is with us and will tend to our needs.

But, the part that almost always makes me cry is the last line...."He gently leads those that have young." Yep, I'm pretty sure that part was added in there just for me. Because the Lord knows that raising children is hard, taking care of newborns is even harder, and being a good parent takes the grace and guidance that only God can provide. Can you imagine how terrifying it would be to try to care for a child without His loving arms around you? The thought makes me shutter.

Last night I prayed a different prayer before I went to sleep. Instead of thanking God for all of the blessings that he has given us and blah blah blah I cut right to the point and said, "God, I can't do this without your support. If you think I'm going to survive another night of getting up every 60-90 minutes you're crazy. I need some sleep God! I need some rest! I need to know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Please show me that eventually my child will sleep through the night."

And you know what? He did.
Ryan slept from midnight until 4:15 AM, which means that I did too. I woke up from a dream covered in drool and unable to determine my exact location. Now that is good sleep!

Thank you God!

I have no idea what Ryan's sleep schedule will be like tonight, but it's Jake's turn to be up with him so I suggest that he too pray like he has never prayed before. 

I'll be upstairs....asleep in our bed.


September 19, 2012

Q and A...

Question: What do you do with a seven-week old newborn, that should technically only be one week old, who eats every 60-90 minutes, still gives you that creepy newborn stare, has yet to sleep in anything bigger than a car seat, and spits up a lot?

Answer: Do your best to love him as much as you can; give him lots of kisses; and keep plenty of stain remover on hand. If that doesn't work add lots of prayer....and maybe some extra tears of frustration.

Oh, and also.....what is the least amount of pictures I can take before I'm considered a horrible mother? I haven't taken any in awhile because, well, a sleeping newborn can only be photographed in a certain number of positions before all of the pictures pretty much look the same. Besides, Ryan looks so much like Rachel that I figure we can just look at her newborn pictures if we need a reminder of what he looked like....just kidding.

Here's to the next five weeks! May they be full of fun stuff that should have happened last month.


September 13, 2012

This too shall pass...

Repeat this with me.....

"The days are long but the years are short"

Now, where was I?

Oh yes, I was just about to complain about how tired I am and how I'm pretty sure that I'm never going to make it pass the, "I have a newborn, which explains my blank stare" stage.

It saddens me to see how long it has been since I last found time to write on my blog. Where has my time gone? I'll tell you where it has gone....to the bottom of a trash can full of dirty diapers and expensive formula containers.

I love Ryan very much and even though he has been with us for less than two months I cannot imagine life without him anymore. I look back over the summer and wonder where it went, when I ever found time to complain about the heat, and how I survived the month of August.

And then....

The screams of a newborn jerk me back into reality and I am reminded that it will be a very long time before my days (and nights) are no longer consumed with feedings and all of the other struggles a new mom faces.

There are days (and nights) where I find myself feeling like an absolutely horrible mother. Would a good mother tell their newborn miracle that they need a break from them? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, I feel blessed to be able to spend time with Ryan but on days (and nights) that he requires a bottle every 60-90 minutes I begin to feel a bit trapped. My entire life revolves around bottles and diapers and hot water and swaddle blankets. Some days I'm not sure if I'm really living or just surviving.

Lack of time is only part of the reason why I haven't written on my blog very much lately. I also haven't been writing because I'm not sure what to write about. I'm tired and feeling almost completely drained of energy and creativity. And besides, if I was perfectly honest with my feelings I would probably come across as sounding like a horrible monster or someone who doesn't deserve the perfect little boy that God has given us.

But the truth is.... I love Ryan and I have to remind myself that this period too shall pass. Hopefully, before I know it I'll be sleeping through the night, cutting up fish sticks for two children, and looking back on these days as fond memories. The fears and frustrations and post-partum baby blues will eventually be specks in my rear view mirror.

And so, until his little tummy gets a bit bigger I will continue to feed Ryan every 60-90 minutes and try not to fret if my house is dirty and my laundry isn't done. And, I will try to find joy in each day, even if I haven't managed to change out of my pajamas before 2:00. Because after all, this has to end at some point, right? Eventually my son will sleep through the night and my daughter will be potty trained, correct? And, I will miss the time I had at home this fall.

If not....

Then this frazzled mom is going to turn into a true crazy lady. After all, I already have the cats and the nasty dirty hair.

August 30, 2012

Ryan in pictures...

Here they are (finally)....a few (or several) pictures of our little Ryan!
I apologize to those of you who have already seen most of these on my facebook page. Oh well...I think he is perfect enough to justify another look (or two).


Our special little guy, Ryan Edward (named after his father and great-grandfather). This picture was taken the morning after he was born. I couldn't walk yet and had to carry a barf bucket with me to the NICU but I HAD to see my baby, even though the nurses had advised me to wait for a few more hours, until I felt better.



Here I am...seeing Ryan for the first time since his birth.



Jake with little Ryan. He had spent the previous night dividing his time between sitting with Ryan in the NICU and being with me in the recovery area. The poor guy was just as exhausted as I was.



Right after I was discharged from the hospital on Thursday afternoon I got to hold Ryan for the very first time (he was born on Sunday at 10:50 PM). Yes, those are tears on my shirt and more are falling from my eyes. I cry at everything you know.



And here is daddy, also holding Ryan for the first time.



Yea for clothes (finally)!



Ryan spent the second week of his NICU stay in an area that is set aside for babies that are close to going home. It was nice to finally have our own space (with a private bathroom and TV even!). During this time we had to learn how to take care of Ryan, including learning how to give him a bottle.



Day 13: Going home! Wow, we felt so very blessed to be leaving the hospital so soon (long story there).



Our first family picture.



Rachel and her baby brother (whom she adores....for now anyway).



Jerry, Rachel and baby Ryan (I wonder what toy he will have to drag around with him everywhere).



Our little pumpkin.



Kisses from the big sister.



And another close-up of the little guy.



What baby post would be complete without a bath picture? Ryan loves taking a bath. This was his first bath at home and he ended up falling asleep.




So sorry for taking so long to get these posted. This past month has been a blur and I can't believe that my first month of maternity leave is already over. Bummer.

Here's to another few great months at home! May I have lots of time to snuggle my baby Ryan, take him to fun places, and post pictures of it all!

August 17, 2012

Mama, I'm coming home...

I hate being on pain medication. It turns me into a bumbling idiot who can't remember anything or hold coherent thoughts in my brain long enough to spit them out in a decent conversation.

So I'm not surprised that I forgot to bring my camera with me to the hospital today, which is a shame because today is a perfect day for pictures.

For the first time since he was born, Ryan has no tubes in him and his entire adorable perfect little face is visible for us to see.

And, he is finally going to come home. Tomorrow is the big day!

This morning we started "family training", which is basically a quick rundown of instructions on how to care for our little guy (no, I really don't feel any more confident in my ability to care for him and I'm still just a little bit terrified of taking him home). Every time the nurse comes into our room we check one more thing off our list of things to do before we can be discharged. The list is almost complete and the road home is getting shorter.

We started this journey on July 31st (when I was first checked into the hospital) and, hopefully, it will end tomorrow.


August 15, 2012

Update on Ryan...

I made it through our first week in the NICU in one piece. I also made it through the first week of the baby blues in one piece.

I call that a win.

Ryan is doing very well. In fact, he is doing so well that he might get to go home this weekend!

And now it is time for me to panic.

I am excited about taking my son home from the hospital, but there is just one problem.... I'm terrified of him. Perhaps more specifically, I'm terrified of being alone with him. I don't know how to take care of a boy. I don't know how to take care of a preemie. And, I certainly don't know how to take care of a preemie boy who has just learned how to breathe on his own.

Last week I struggled with balancing baby blues with the guilt I felt for not being able to be with both of my children at the same time. This week I find myself struggling with fear and the stress every mother feels when they take home a newborn.

And so, I must remind myself that the only way to get through this is with prayer.... lots and lots of prayer.

And when my pain meds finally run out I might change that to lots of prayer and a tiny bit of wine.

August 10, 2012

Ryan Edward...

Ryan Edward was born on August 5, 2012 at 10:50 PM via an emergency C-section. He was 19 inches long and weighed 5 pounds 11.8 ounces.
And he came six weeks early.

You might remember that I spent the better part of last week in the hospital but was sent home on Friday (a week ago today) with instructions to take it easy and return to the hospital on Monday morning to see how things were going. But, God had other plans for us and decided to send us back to the hospital on Sunday morning at 5:30. We spent the majority of the day doing more tests and finally at 9:00 PM we discovered what the problem was.... placenta abruption- the placenta was tearing and it was time to get this baby out. After he was born daddy got to hold him just long enough to bring him to my side so I could see him and then he was quickly wheeled away to the NICU.

But, our little guy is a fighter. He is doing well and we have a lot to be thankful for. In fact, we expect to bring him home in about a week.

I cannot begin to describe all of the thoughts and feelings and emotions that I have had over the past week.
And through it all we have been blessed.

We feel blessed because...
1. Ryan may have been born almost 6 weeks early but he is relatively large for his age and was born with few health problems. Right now he is just working on getting his lungs more developed.

2. We have very good health insurance. The other day I had to call our company to verify a few things and I can honestly say that the conversation was actually quite enjoyable. As I was reading through the folder of information that is given out to NICU parents it broke my heart to see that the majority of the information was for those who are in need of financial assistance. We may not have a lot but I am so very thankful that on top of everything else, we don't have to also deal with financial issues right now.

3. We live close to the hospital. We live only 15 minutes away from one of the best hospitals in the Midwest. We can come and go as we please without having to worry about paying for a hotel or taking out a loan to buy gas.

4. We live close to family. I do not know what we would have done without the support we have received from our family. My parents (bless them!) have been taking care of Rachel, my sister and her family have been helping us out when needed, and Jake's family was able to visit us in the hospital several times which was certainly a huge blessing.

5. God is in control. Yes, he is. He has been in control of this situation from the beginning. Even his timing has been incredible. There is a three-week period during this entire summer that Jake is free from classes and that time is now, like right now. I'm not sure what we would have done if this had all happened when Jake needed to be in class. I certainly couldn't have done this by myself as he has been at my side every day and every night since this all started almost two weeks ago.

6. Our friends have been amazing. I know they're praying for us and thinking about us because we can feel their support. If ever there is a time that one needs to feel the support of their loved ones it is now.

7. We were (almost) ready for the baby to come. Because of the previa, which eventually corrected itself, we had been told to be ready for baby by August 1. We took that advice to heart and when July 31 rolled around (the day this whole ordeal began) we were almost completely ready for a baby to arrive. Except that....we weren't ready for baby to arrive quite like this.

8. Our little guy is perfect. He's beautiful. He was named after his daddy (Ryan is my husband's middle name) and his great-grandpa (Edward is his great-grandpa's middle name) and when Jake's family heard his name it made them all smile.

9. I'm doing well. I'm sore and very tired and an emotional train wreck but at least I'm healthy.

10. We get to hold our son. We held him for the first time on Thursday afternoon. I cried (of course I did). The nurses saw me crying and quietly closed the curtain so that I could cry in peace. Bless them.

And here he is.....
Our beautiful baby boy.

August 3, 2012

This is not the vacation I had in mind...

Well, it is finally Friday. Fridays are almost always good days but today, hopefully, is going to be extra special.

Today I hope to go home from the hospital.

Yep. I've been in here since Tuesday night.....when I started gushing blood (I'm sorry if that is tmi). Thankfully the heavy bleeding stopped fairly quickly. Unfortunately, the doctors cannot figure out where it came from.

And so, they decided to keep me here until the bleeding stopped and I really think that as of late last night it was done. So this morning I got up early, packed up my stuff, and am awaiting my discharge orders. Oh dear Lord please give me my discharge orders.

If I have my way I'll be back to work on Monday.

But when does that ever happen?

The reality of the situation is that I'll probably be on bedrest until this little guy gets here. And I'm really not sure I can handle that. Besides, I don't have time to sit around all day for a month. I've got things to do and places to go....

And I'm going to need all of your prayers. And in return for your prayers I promise to keep you all updated as much as I can.

Thanks everyone!

July 30, 2012

At least Batman can't smell poop...

Has anyone ever had this thought cross their mind while dining at Perkins?

"I wonder if that Batman taking shots of creamer can smell the poop on my pants?"

Anyone?

Up until yesterday I would have placed that thought in the "it ain't ever gonna happen" column but, then again, up until yesterday I had never had poop on my pants or sat next to a Batman who was trying to pass the time by taking "shots" of creamer.

My story begins with this.... We're working on potty training Rachel.
(insert the standard, "ohhhhhh okay, now I get it" nod from all of you mothers).

Rachel is doing really well with potty training. She's been showing interest in it since she was about 18-months old but we didn't actually start working on anything until a week ago (she just turned 2 1/2 years old). The first day was a disaster, which was to be expected. But, by day two we had both figured out the rules:

Rule Number 1: Never ask if she has to go potty. You just take her when it's time to go.
Rule Number 2: No touching mommy with "pee fingers"
Rule Number 3: Pee in the potty, not in Dora (her pull-ups)

She has woken up every morning with a dry diaper and has also been doing rather well during nap time, and I couldn't be more proud of my little Pooh Bear.

Except that, I'm getting frustrated.

When is this kid going to learn to poop in a potty?! I have tried just about every trick in the book but keep telling myself that eventually she'll get it. I really wish that she would have "gotten it" before church yesterday.

We were about 10 minutes from the end of the service when that familiar kiddo poop smell hit my nose. I looked to my right and realized that we had inadvertently sat next to the sound booth; rats, trapped in. To my left was an older couple that couldn't really move out of my way and beyond them....the center aisle. Oh the dreaded center aisle. I decided the poo problem could wait and began counting down the minutes until the final hymn.

When the service finally ended I picked up my little girl and sprinted (I use that term rather lightly, after all, what pregnant mother carrying a child sprints?) to the ladies restroom. Thankfully the larger more roomy handicapped stall was open. I knew there was a good chance that a herd of older ladies was making their way to the restroom and that they too would want to use this larger space but decided that my situation warranted the additional room, and besides, how long could this possibly take?

As soon as I set Rachel down I realized that this wasn't going to be a quick in-and-out kind of thing. It was going to be a disaster. And, as I tried to free her little body from her Dora pull-up I realized that I was correct....it was a disaster. There was absolutely no way I could get that thing off without the entire contents being dumped onto the floor. I sighed and got to work and then it turned ugly.

Eventually there was a big glob of poop on my pants, Rachel's foot was covered in it, the floor was sporting a pile and the toilet was smeared with it. Don't ask me, I have no idea how this happened in such a short amount of time. To combat the situation I tucked Rachel's dress into her pony tail holder (yes, it was necessary to put it up that high), stuck her on the toilet and gave her strict orders not to move and, for once, she listened to me and sat very very still. I could hear that a line was quickly forming outside the stall so I tried to work fast, but it was too late. Those little old women began to question what was taking so long in the third toilet and some of them were becoming increasingly annoyed that it was still occupied. But, I didn't care. I had my own problems to solve and figured that being covered in poop trumped making them have to use a shorter toilet in a smaller stall.

I finally got everything cleaned up, put Rachel's shoes back on (she insists on using the potty with nothing on below her waist), and emerged from the restroom, which by now, was empty. Jake was waiting for us with a puzzled look on his face. "Where have you been?" he asked, "I was looking all over for you." Oh really? Did you check the handicapped stall in the ladies bathroom? Because that's where we have been for the past 20 minutes. And yes, I'm pretty sure I left my dignity in there and yes, I do smell poop; I'm pretty sure that I left a smear of it somewhere on my pants.

When we got to our Sunday School room I headed straight for the chair in the corner and whispered a little prayer that maybe, just maybe, no one would notice the smell drifting from my part of the room.

After church I was too frazzled to think about making lunch so we decided to head to Perkins for pancakes. I wish I would have remembered to do one thing before we got there...stop at home and change out of my poop covered pants. Oops.

We got seated at a table that was literally surrounded by teenagers who were in town for a comic convention. Enter Batman. He must have been the ringleader of the group because everyone seemed to be enthralled with his ability to chug a shot of creamer and they all followed suit by also giving the amazing, yet death defying, trick a try. Their waitress noticed what was going on but decided that it would be easier to refill the creamers than try to control four tables of costumed teenagers.

Oh yes, did I forget to mention that these teenagers were still wearing their costumes from the night before? I'm sorry, I should never have left out that minor detail. After all, it did add a special little something to our dining experience.

Their food finally arrived and they all settled down for a bit and that's when I began to wonder if Batman could smell my poop-covered pants.

When we left the restaurant we met Batman walking down the street in his cape and I laughed out loud when Rachel exclaimed, "Look mommy, there's a super hero!" Thank goodness he didn't have a super-human sense of smell, and thank goodness none of his friends did either.

Just in case the day needed a little cherry on top, we discovered that our outdoor momma cat, who had given birth the day before, was the proud mommy of not three (as previously believed) but nine new kittens. Yep nine.

And then I felt just a little bit bad about all of my complaining for having to be pregnant in this summer heat...and vowed to be thankful for air conditioning and single births.



July 27, 2012

Happy blogiversary...

Happy Blogiversary to me!
(wait...blogiversary...is that a word? Oh well....)

Wow. I cannot believe that it has already been two years since I started this little blog. As with most blogs, mine began as a place to collect my thoughts and try to regain my sanity after Rachel was born.

And here I sit, two years later, trying to survive one of the hottest summers on record...pregnant.

Apparently my sanity has taken a hit but at least I have collected my thoughts enough to know that I'm nuts.

I have met some fabulous people, been blessed with wonderful friendships, and taken aboard some very generous and kind readers. Thanks everyone!

Here's to another great year!


July 26, 2012

It's all good...

Today we had another ultrasound. I got there a bit early and was actually on my way out the door before my appointment was even scheduled to begin.

Everything looked grand. The placenta has moved 2 whole centimeters in the last few months, which is pretty big bananas around here. This means that baby is healthy, the placenta looks good, and we're about six weeks away from baby!

And then we had the due date conversation....

sigh....

Oh the due date conversation. Why can't that just be done already? At this point we should all be able to agree on a due date. To a lot of people one week might not seem like a very big deal but when you're trying to schedule a C-section it really can alter things quite a bit.

We're going to stick with the current due date of September 11 (even though some people don't really agree with this) and keep the surgery scheduled for September 6th.

And, after that.... it really doesn't matter what we do because baby will arrive whenever he wants to. If he wants to come "early" so be it (yes baby, please decide to choose that option). But, if he wants to wait until September 6 then okay....we'll go with that.

As for me.... I'm just counting down the weeks until we're finally done. I'm ready to meet this little guy (we saw his chubby cheeks this morning on the ultrasound) and judging by how low he is right now I would say that he's about ready to meet us too.

July 23, 2012

SAHMs...

This morning I was trying to pre-live my maternity leave in my mind while I was getting dressed (I was daydreaming about wearing sweat pants and old ratty t-shirts every day for a few weeks) when I thought of something quite profound, at least it was profound to me anyway.

Has it ever occurred to you that Stay-at-Home-Moms don't get maternity leave?
(or am I the last one to the boat on this?)

Wow.

I cannot believe that I've never realized this before.

I get to think about maternity leave with my second one as the same way it was with my first. I only have to take one child to the doctor. I only have to concentrate on feeding and taking care of one child for the majority of the day. And, if I allow myself to, I really can rest while he's sleeping.

And all of this is possible because I'm a full-time working mom who can take my other child to our regular daycare while I stay home with the baby.

And when this thought hit me this morning, I truly felt blessed.

I feel blessed because I will actually get a maternity leave. And, for the most part, I might get a chance to recuperate from this whole "being pregnant" thing.

How in the world do SAHMs do it?

July 18, 2012

Okay, I lied....

I have to print a retraction to my previous post, the 33 weeks update.

I know that due dates don't mean anything and that the baby will come whenever it's good and ready to come but....

I just came from another doctor appointment and it's official....

They're moving my due date back to September 11.

So, that means that I'm still at 32 weeks.

ugh!!!!

When it's 110 degrees outside and you have a baby sitting on your lungs every day that moves you closer to your due date is a bonus. So, to have to go backwards at this point in the game is rather disgusting.

But, on the other hand I'm thankful that my doctors believe that, for the most part, we're out of the woods and will make it to the end of my pregnancy without any problems.

And that's wonderful news.

But still.... September 11? January 2014 sounds about as close to today as September 11.

And I get to grumble about this because it's hot and we have to curtail our energy at work and my fan is broken. So, to this I say Bah-Hum-Bug!

July 17, 2012

33-weeks update...

33 weeks is odd.

I'm far enough along that I've had enough of this whole pregnancy thing and I am so very ready to be done. But, it's really not far enough along to wish that I would just give birth already.

At 33 weeks I finally look pregnant (at least I hope I do). And here are a few other fun bits of information that I'm sure you're all dying to know...

1. Baby apparently feels perfectly comfortable in an oblong position. I can see something, either the rear end or head (?) pointing directly out of my stomach.

2. Out of all of the summers that I could be pregnant I had to choose this one. Last summer we went above 100 degrees about five times; this summer we have spent at least a month well over that mark and July is only half-way done. Yes, I'm miserable.

3. They're b-a-c-k...the morning yucks. This happened with my last pregnancy too. For some reason I just can't seem to shake this whole morning sickness thing. And, let me tell you, it's a lot harder to pray to the porcelain god with a big tummy in the way.

4. Holy cats, am I ever exhausted! I don't remember being this tired last time around. Perhaps it doesn't help that I'm not sleeping very well right now. It's just too hard to get (and stay) comfortable and, of course, it's hot!!!!

5. Due to the extreme crazy weather that we have had this year, my garden is on track to be done producing anything of merit in about a month. That means we're working harder right now to get everything canned and frozen before it rots. On the flip side....we'll be done a lot earlier than usual and I think that sounds fabulous!

6. Rachel seems to be just as ready as I am to meet her new baby brother. She's tired of not being able to play with mommy and it's a good thing that she has a little tiny be-hind because there isn't a whole lot of room left on my lap to snuggle on, which is quite frustrating for her. I do, however, see at least one snag in her perception of the situation.... I have yet to figure out how to explain to her that she isn't going to be able to play football with her baby brother for quite some time.

7. Jake is also ready for this little guy's arrival. Plus, he's looking forward to having less responsibilities around the house. I don't know what I would have done without him and his ability to take orders this summer. He is my hero.

8. The way I see it.... even though I have 7 weeks until d-day I'm pretty sure I'll never make it that far so, really, I only have 6 weeks left. And, no one really expects anything much from you during those last few weeks so actually, I just need to get through 5 more weeks. And 5 weeks is pretty close to a month and some months are short, like 28 days- which is 4 weeks, so if you think about it, I only have about 4-5 weeks. There. I like the way that sounds.

9. I cannot remember the last time I put on a pair of socks. The last time I wore anything other than my flip-flops was June 20, which was the day I bought said pair of flip-flops.

10. The other day Jake asked me out on a date, which I thought was absolutely adorable until I realized that his idea of a "date" wasn't quite what I had in mind. We're going to go see Batman on Friday and he's super excited. Me? I'm just praying that my butt doesn't get too sore.

Take care everyone!

July 10, 2012

Excuse me, are you pregnant...

Is it ever okay to ask a woman when her due date is?

Or, perhaps even more controversial, should you ever ask a woman if she's pregnant?

According to my friends and I....no. Never.

Granted, our group might have been a bit biased given that the majority of us having this discussion were either pregnant or holding a newborn but still.... it's just not a good idea.

When I was in labor with Rachel (yes, in labor) a nurse in my doctor's office asked me if I was expecting. I responded with, "Expecting what?" I mean, how else would you answer such a stupid question?

But, for those of you who insist on being in the know.... here are a few questions you might ask yourself before you ask that lovely lady if she's pregnant or just fat?

1. Is she in line for chicken fingers and fries?

2. Does she waddle, walk slowly, or gasp for air while heading up a flight of stairs?

3. Is she wearing flip-flops with an otherwise dressy-dress?

4. Is she of child-bearing age?

5. Does she have swollen ankles, fat fingers, and a flush complexion?

6. Is she barfing, gagging, coughing, sneezing, and/or blowing her nose (perhaps even simultaneously)?

7. Can she bend over and touch her toes?

8. Does she carry Tums in her purse?

9. Is she holding a newborn?

And perhaps most importantly....

10. Is it really your business and if so, does she have a friend you can ask instead?

July 3, 2012

Yep, she's two...

I will never be Mother of the Year, and I'm okay with that. But, I may have hit a new low- even for me- this morning....

I confessed to Jake that I would rather work tomorrow than spend the day with our grumpy little girl.

I'm awful. I know.

She's two. I'm seven months pregnant in the middle of the summer. We're all hot and tired and bored and stressed and frustrated and grumpy. Close your eyes and just imagine the boat-loads of fun we're having at our house.

Work has been very stressful lately but at least in my office it's quiet. My coworkers don't get mad at me when I can't pull them in a wagon or play catch outside. There is never a battle going on over my lunch break- I can eat in silence without having to scold the person next to me for putting her feet on the table or throwing an apple. When I ask someone what they need help with I'm given a straight answer instead of just a shake of the head followed by a tantrum on the floor. I never have to force anyone to pick-up their toys or come to me for a diaper change. It's just....easier. Most days.

Rachel is one smart cookie and she knows that the times, they are a changing. She sees the crib in her bedroom and the clothes hanging in her closet and knows her time as the only child in the house is coming to an end. And she doesn't like it. She doesn't like being told that soon she'll have to learn to get her own milk, clear her own plate from the table, and share her daddy.

Life has a funny way of throwing change at us and it doesn't matter if we're two or thirty-two... it's difficult. So tonight when we pick up Rachel from daycare I'm going to say my daily prayer that she'll be in a good mood (for at least the next few hours). Except this time I'll add one more request... that we will all learn to get through this together.

June 29, 2012

I can cry if I want to...

So the last 24 hours or so have been tough. I'm exhausted, emotionally drained, frustrated and hot.

I had some problems yesterday and ended up in Labor and Delivery for several hours. At first they wanted to keep me overnight for observation but I was eventually discharged and told to go home and rest. So naturally, we headed straight for the all-you-can-eat soup, salad, and bread sticks at Olive Garden since Jake and I were both starving. Then, we went home and I did my best to relax. Which, honestly, is not possible with a two-year-old running around.

This morning, still exhausted, I returned to my doctor for a follow-up appointment. I was supposed to be there at 10:30 but due to a transportation issue (apparently the campus busing service wasn't stopping at my stop today) I didn't make it in until closer to 11:00. But, whatever. Yesterday I was given a shot of steroids, which will begin to help develop baby's lungs in case we deliver early and today I was to receive my second round. Apparently the shot was ordered at 10:00 this morning so it would be waiting for me when I got there. It wasn't. In fact, it didn't show up until 1:30. Oh my goodness. Do you know how long of a wait that was?! And guess what else.... I'm not even sure that I actually got any of the medicine since most of it dripped down my arm. ARGH!

So now I'm hot, tired, hungry, annoyed, behind in work, and very very grouchy. And to top off my cherry of a week (and let me tell you, it has certainly been a cherry of a week), my doctors are at odds about when my due date should be. My co-workers have asked me how I'm doing and really, I just want to cry. Does that make sense to anyone? I really think that if I could just cry I would feel better. I tried closing my office door so I could let the tears come out but two people stopped by to ask if I was okay and kind of ruined the moment. I know they meant well though.

I feel like such a basket case.... a very tired basket case.

June 26, 2012

Just one of those days...

Today is one of those days.

You know, the kind of day that makes you tired just thinking about it.

And the kind that makes you confuse things like "State of Residency" with "Citizenship"- as in, which state do you live in versus what country where you born in?

Sigh....

Oh well, at least the jackhammer outside my window is finally silent and the drill in the office below mine isn't running anymore.

I'm just thankful that the end of the fiscal year is finally upon us, which means some of this craziness is destined to end soon....hopefully.

And I finally reached 30 weeks so that's a pretty big deal. We've got 2-9 more weeks until the real craziness sets in. And to that I say...

Bring. It. On.

June 22, 2012

Only in my dreams...

I was a bit late (later than usual) for work this morning.

I kept hitting the snooze button....

So I could keep dreaming.....

Because in my dreams, I was married.....

........

.......

To this guy.
(Name one person who wouldn't have done the same thing I did)



But, of course, he could never hold a candle to this guy.

June 21, 2012

My (un)vacation day...

Yesterday I used a day of vacation and stayed home from work. But, let me just clarify one thing....I was most certainly not on vacation.

My day started with a trip to the grocery store. Here's a side note, the grocery store is a strange place to be on a Wednesday morning- nothing like the store I've come to expect on weekends. Shelves were full, workers were actually, gasp, smiling, and not a line could be found anywhere. Odd. Almost eerie.

So, I shopped and spent up a storm, loaded my groceries (while parked in the spot reserved for new and expecting mothers, of course), and directed my checkbook onward to Target.

Oops...couldn't quite make it past Starbucks. Stopped there....AND then on to Target.

I really wasn't planning on being in Target for that long but, holy cow, I was in there forever. There is a small chance that I might possibly, just maybe, have gotten a tiny bit carried away in the baby section.

Okay, I'll be honest....

I couldn't hold back tears in the blanket aisle so, just to make sure that I really was buying the right one, I got three.

Once home I unloaded the car, which also took forEVer.

Then, it was time to unpack everything. By now it was becoming quite obvious that I wouldn't have time to both sort baby stuff and make meals for my freezer so I trashed the rest of my game plan, tried not to feel guilty for trashing my game plan (still working on that one), and started making freezer meals.

Here's a picture of some of the baby stuff. Fun, huh?

And here is just a portion of the ingredients that went into my freezer meals.


One thing I really must keep in mind for next time...don't forget to account for the amount of time that it takes to fry up 12 pounds of meat and 2 packages of chicken. If you're wondering....it takes FOREVER.

When it was all said and done I had 10 casseroles, 4 meatloaves, and about 8 quarts of chili.

And my feet hurt. And my back hurt. And my hands hurt. And my wallet hurt.

And now, we wait for baby to come so I can justify using this food.

I would have to say that the highlight of my day came at the very end (no, I didn't have time to drink my celebratory bottle of sparkling white grape juice). When Rachel got home and saw all of the stuff on the table she wanted to look at everything (of course). I was a little nervous that she would want to play with some of the stuff or, worse yet, feel compelled to cry because none of it was for her. Instead, she pointed out each and every item, confirmed that her baby brother would love it, and finished with, "Oh mommy, I'm so happy for my baby brother!"

Pause for heart to melt....

P.S. For those of you who have been asking to see a "baby bump" picture....you're in luck.
But, I feel compelled to warn you that it really isn't a bump. It's really more like a baby gut. I envy those women who have cute little baby bumps (Julie, I'm looking at you here). I am not a cute pregnant woman with a cute basketball-shaped roll under my shirt.

And so, with no more procrastination left in me.
I give you...

The 29-week picture. Enjoy!