Monday, December 19, 2011

The road to flirting

When I arrived to pick up Scout from school today, I found her in an excersaucer jabbering with a little boy in the exersaucer next to her.  She was giving him an earful.  He was laughing at her.  It was incredibly funny and all I could do was stand there and take it in.  I was able to get a little bit of video of her "talking" to him and him laughing at her like he knew what she was saying and that it was funny.  She has been "talking" a lot in the past 24 hours...but here is the video so you can hear it as well!

I am not quite sure what her daddy is going to think of her talking to boys already...she totally acted shy when she realized I was watching her talk to him.  Cracked me up!  She then started being all kinds of coy.  I think we just started down the road of "Scout the obvious flirt".

Sunday, December 4, 2011

God's Rule and God knows

My husband enjoys a nightly bedtime snack of Oreo's and milk.  Most times, he waits until Kale has gone to bed before indulging.  Tonight, either the snack time came early or God had a point to prove.  You choose.  I'm going with God having a point.

Kale discovered his daddy indulging in one of his favorite snacks.  When I say his, I mean both of them.  Kale asked his daddy to share.  Knowing that Kale has enjoyed several "snacks" since dinner, he firmly told him no.

Kale did what most four year old boys would do when daddy doesn't share.  He told on him.  Kale came to me and firmly said, "Daddy isn't sharing.  God tells us to share.  God says daddy should share."  Um, yes son, you are correct.  I couldn't help but laugh and told Ep good luck with that one.

Ep laughed as Kale climbed up in his lap and took over the Oreo's and milk.

God knew we needed the laugh.
God has been making us pay for our raising all afternoon with Kale, who has been a hellion on wheels.
God knew I needed the reminder that the sacrifices ($$$$) are worth it for the Christian daycare he attends.
God knew Kale probably needed a relaxing moment in his daddy's lap.
God just knew.

God has rules and God knows....I am reminded of these things because my husband wouldn't share his Oreo cookies.

Funny how God works.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ages

Its been ages since my last post.  I can't even begin to fathom how I will catch up.  So....

Kale turned four, had a party at the park, had a great time, he threw a 2 year old fit (twice), he really liked his presents.

Scout started eating cereal around four months...moved on to baby food mixed in around 5.5 months...had an allergic reaction to instant mashed potatoes (can't be outdone by brother) which required an ER visit and now we think maybe she is allergic to milk?  She loves sweet potatoes, squash, and bananas.  She isn't sure about green beans.  The coming weeks will bring carrots and peas to her mouth.

Speaking of eating...its paying off for Scout.  She went from 14lbs 5oz to 15lbs 5oz in a matter of a few weeks.   Her body weight shifts a lot though: at the ER she weighed 15lbs 10oz....and the NEXT day at the doctor she weighed 15lbs 15oz.

Since she is packing on the weight, Scout has started her own exercise program.  Its called the "roll, wiggle, scoot, and rock to get where she wants" program.  She really got into it this week.  Its a matter of moments or days until she is crawling and then I will be dead.  So, if you don't see another post from me, that is why.

Kale is, well, Kale.  He loves his little sister to the moon and back.  He truly adores her and compliments her daily.  Several times a week, he will randomly tell me that "I love my baby sister".  Melts my heart.  He is lashing out a bit at me and his dad.  Don't blame him.  The only constant in his life this year has been unexpected change.  New houses (twice), new school (twice), and a baby sister.  He likes structure and knowing how things are going to be...and he can't figure out his daddy's work schedule at all.  Heck, I can't figure out my husband's work schedule most of the time either.  Kale is the kind of kid who wants to know who/where/what/when/how ALL the time.

Kale recently spent the night at my parent's house and while he was there, he learned the hard lesson about who is in charge.  He thought he was in charge.  By the time he came home, he knew my parent's were in charge.  I asked him, "Kale, who is in charge at Mema/Papaw's house?" and he replied "Mema and Papaw".  I then got hopeful and followed up with "so who is in charge at our house" and the kid didn't miss a beat and said, "I AM!".  We are slowly trying to change that.  Given that he got a double shot of stubbornness, strong will, persistence, and "I like things my way"....this isn't going to be an easy or quick battle and we know it.

My work keeps me busy.  I hit the door running and don't stop all day.  My day starts with kid related stuff, moves on to work, goes back to kid stuff, and then ends when everyone else is in bed.  I randomly might get to bed before my husband about one night every few weeks.  Kale still wants me to lay down with him and its going to be a hard wean to get him away from that addiction.  It doesn't help that his mommy enjoys that cuddle time with him.  We are just enabling each other.

My husband seems to work all the time these days.  Such is life when you are a wildlife officer in the middle of major hunting seasons in a huge hunting state.

We are trying to find the new normal and settle.  We will see....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kale's prayer

My heart just might explode.

Kale's prayer tonight: Dear God, thank you that I got to play outside, thank you that my daddy came home safely, and thank you for Mema taking care of Papaw with his boo boo eye. Amen

That's right kid, AMEN!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet Brother

Tonight, Scout wasn't feeling well. She settled down and fell asleep on my chest as I stretched out in the recliner. Kale came into the room and I told him that sissy didn't feel good. He walked over, didn't say a word, and kissed his sister on her forehead. He then turned and walked away. Meanwhile, my heart was overwhelmed with the love my children already have for one another.

A few moments ago, as I was snuggled up to Kale, I told him it was sweet that he kissed his sister earlier. His reply? I know mommy.

My lesson for the night? Life is in the little moments!



Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Notes

Someone must have talked to the kids at Kale's school about notes.  All of a sudden, I am getting notes at home from Kale.  He will ask for paper, get his marker, and scribble scrabble a note.

Last night his note said this:  Dear school, Kale is not allergic to eggs.

God help me.  He is writing a note with a blatant lie at age 3 (almost 4).  I am scared of where that will lead when he is oh, say 8 years old and forging our names.

His note to me this morning was apparently a combination of a note and prayer:  Dear mommy, I want to stay home with you, daddy, and sissy.  Amen.

Gotta love him!

Each night

Each night I lay down with Kale as he falls asleep.  This started again after we moved.  I had once escaped this routine, but moving and him suddenly being on the other side of the house just messed his whole bedtime routine.  Since we are moving again soon to another house in the area, I am waiting to "re-train" him until we are moved and settled.

I lay there next to my son and as his sleepiness takes over, he becomes really calm and snuggly.  I often end up staying there beside him in bed after his breathing has found steady pace and he is snoozing.  It is in those moments that I relive his day with me and wonder how I can sometimes get so frustrated with such a loving and sweet boy.  Oh...it would be because while he is awake, he will push all of us to our limits repeatedly.  He can't help it, as God just made him that way.  It seems he inherited all of the same characteristics that his parents had that drove his grandparents crazy at he time...and then God threw in a few extra just for giggles.  Still, he is an amazing, loving, and wonderful boy.  I wouldn't want him any other way.

So, when you read a post about Kale and its time stamped after 9pm, you can pretty much bet that it was written on my phone while I am cuddled up next to him.  Just wanted to document the origin of those posts...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pant shopping with Kale

Dear Kale,

Once again son, you have run me ragged. Actually, life in general has run me ragged and you are God's reminder of what is important and why I do what I do.

Taking you "pant shopping" today was not what you had in mind as a special surprise. See, you have decided that non school days must include a special surprise. We managed to find some pants that fit and you scored some new John Deere shirts too! Your face literally lit up when you saw those shirts.

Thank you son for giving me the chance to practice my patience while trying to get you to try on pants and for reminding me that you are almost as strong willed as me! My apologies to the people in Kohls who were nearly run over by an almost four year old cart pusher who was running from his Mema and momma. My apologies also go out to those who nearly lost their hearing as you screamed the whole way to the back of the store because you knew you were in trouble.

I love you son. I hope you grow like crazy this next year. If you do, your daddy will be taking you short shopping in the spring!

Love, Mommy

Love, mom

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dear Kale

Dear Kale,

Son, sometimes I really wonder what on earth kind of madness your daddy pulled as a child to make us both pay so hard for our raising. See, there is no way that the paying we are doing while raising you is my fault! Ok, that is probably not true.

You get your persistence from me. Your poor daddy is just up a creek if your sister is as persistent as you and me. You get your stamina and metabolism from your daddy. You just NEVER stop.

Today, at different times, you managed to push both of your parents to the "about to go crazy" limit.

Yet, as I lay here next to you in bed listening to you breathe, I know that I wouldn't want you to be any different than exactly who you are....

The little boy with his feet thrown over my legs because you have always preferred to your feet touching me. The little boy who is scared of lightning and "sunder". The little boy who is singing to me more and more and who melts me every time he asks me to sing the Jesus song. The little boy who gets in trouble because he loves his sister so much that he just can't stay out of her face and is always trying to kiss on her...feet, head, legs...you want to love on all of her and it's the sweetest love too. The little boy who is fascinated with all things involving wheels, especially tractors. The little boy who asks "what today is it?" and truly has his own concept of time going.

Yes Kale, mommy loves you more than ever and for being exactly who you are, even on the days when you make me feel like I hit a brick wall.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The park

I recently dropped Scout off at home with her daddy and 
enjoyed some "at the park" time with Kale after work.  
He had a blast!  Can you tell which slide was his favorite???









This pretty much sums up what he 
thought of our adventure to the park!

Slowing Down

So, apparently, I am supposed to slow down.  How do I know this?  Well, I am pretty sure that God is trying to send me that message on the road. 

Each day, I make a 30 minute drive to work with both my kids, who are dropped off at daycare just before I get to work.  I have to leave the house by a certain time to beat the traffic, drop them off, and be at my desk by 8am.  Just a few minutes delayed, and the whole commute turns stressful in a hurry....more traffic, more rushed getting the kids to their classrooms (although their teachers are great and I can literally drop Scout off still in her car seat...one guess as to how I know this). 

Monday, after I had picked up the kids, we were on our way home.  We had gone a few blocks and were approaching a busy street.  I had the green light but slowed to make sure traffic was stopped or would stop.  I came to a stop before I entered the intersection because despite having the green light, there was an approaching "box truck" (think big UHaul type truck) that either never saw the light or just didn't care to stop.  I was thankful the car behind me stopped and didn't ram me either.  If I had proceeded into the intersection, we would have been hit on the drivers side of my truck and that would mean all three of us would have taken a direct hit.  Kale sits directly behind the driver's seat and Scout is right next to him.  Scary thought.  It made tears come to my eyes when I realized that "driving ahead of myself" had possibly just saved our lives.  Even though the truck passed a good 15 feet in front of me, it still made me shaky to think about what could have happened. 

Then there was Wednesday at lunch.  My husband doesn't even know this part of the story.  I went out for lunch, which included grabbing a quick fast food meal and then browsing a consignment shop.  On my way back to work, I was cruising along and was thankfully paying attention when a young woman carrying a baby in an infant seat started across the crosswalk in front of me.  I had plenty of time to stop, but she didn't seem to care if traffic was going to stop for her.  She just walked right on out into the street.  The crosswalk isn't at an intersection with a stoplight, so its not as noticeable.  Had I not been paying attention, it could have been a bad situation.  

Apparently, I wasn't getting the message.  So, Thursday morning I had another opportunity to get the message.  My husband had to leave extra early so I was solo with getting myself and both kids up, fed, dressed, and on our way.  My days start at 5:30am and I am not a morning person.  If I am lucky, my bedtime is 9:15, but usually ends up being later.  So, by Thursday morning I am dragging and feeling the wear of the week on my body.  I was a good ten minutes late getting out the door.  Yep, I hurried on the commute.  I got the kids to school and to their classes and got back in my truck with just enough time to get to my parking spot, make the trek into work, and get to my desk on time....if I hurried.  Its easy to hurry until the blue lights show up behind you.  In 21 years of driving, I had never been pulled over until Wednesday.  When I saw the blue lights, I hoped it was my brother because he was working that morning.  When he didn't immediately open the door and hop out of the patrol unit, I knew I was in trouble.  So, I did what any sister would do, I called my brother and begged him to somehow have the officer show me leniency.  I got pulled over for not letting an old lady get on her bicycle and completely leave the crosswalk.  The street is extra wide with parallel parking on both sides and is a one way street.  I was on the right side of the street and she was on the left, a few feet from the curb and had paused to get onto her bicycle.  I went on through the crosswalk.  Here came the blue lights.  The officer stepped out and was a beanstalk.  He told me why he stopped me, took my license, registration and insurance, and went back to his unit.  I immediately called my brother. 

**Side note:  I was mean as all get out to my brother when we were little.  I loved him immensely (and still do), but I also tormented him.  He saw his chance for some revenge and took it.  He let me know the officer was working special assignment crosswalk patrol and couldn't write me a warning.  I was getting a ticket.  I wanted to cry.  I didn't.  But I wanted to.  The officer brought me my WARNING and let me go.  It was only then that my brother sent me a message to say he was just messing with me about the ticket.  Silly younger brother...you got me, but I will get you back, don't you worry!  Ok, side note over.**

You would think the word "WARNING" might get my attention.  It did, but not enough.  I knew I was going to be late for work, but was hoping it would only be by a few minutes at this point.  I turned into the parking lot and groaned.  There wasn't one parking spot.  Oh wait, there was one spot.  It was way down at the end of the row that is assigned for state employee parking (that is me!).  I considered myself lucky because I have been told that if you get to work after 7:55 you may not find a parking spot you won't have to pay for, as there are not enough spots for the number of employees.  Whew.  I got a spot.  I parked and took off for my desk.  I completely missed the fact that the last two parking spots on that row are marked with numbers and not the "state employee parking with permit" signs.  The numbered spots require you to pay a lot meter.  I walked out of work that afternoon and was looking forward to some time with the kids and my mom as we ran a few errands.  Oh look, a yellow envelope on my truck!  Even better, a parking ticket inside the yellow envelope!  I started laughing.  Ok God, I get it.  Slow down. 

I managed to go from never getting pulled over to pulled over and given a warning and scoring a parking ticket all in one day...in less than 9 hours.  Besides the slow down lesson and my brother getting the chance to have some revenge, the only other good thing I can name from the experience was that at least my husband was out of town at training as they ran my license plate not once, but twice in the same day.  If he had been in town, he could have easily heard it on the radio traffic.  It might have stood out to him since he would have heard his own name go across the radio. 

However, I did do one thing in a hurry...I paid my parking ticket.  I was warned by both my loving officers (husband and brother) that if I didn't pay it, a warrant would be issued for me.  I think I will draw the line at having to ask them to come bail me out of jail because I didn't pay a $5 parking ticket. 

I get it God, slow down!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

12 years ago

I love this time of year.  The weather FINALLY starts to cool off, I can start changing the clothes from summer to winter in my closet (because I am bored with my summer clothes at this point), Razorback football gets into full swing, and I get nostalgic about that one fall where God threw a huge kink in my plan and then showed me His plan. 

**right here is probably where my husband is rolling his eyes and will quit reading**

Twelve years ago, I had just met my husband.  I didn't know he would be my husband.  I didn't even know I was in the market for a husband because I thought I had already picked mine out.  Yep, really.  Seems God had a different pick and was about to let me know it.  I was starting my senior year of college.  After a rocky spring/summer with the guy I was supposedly going to marry, I walked into my fall classes ready for a fresh start and determined not to let my world completely revolved around my love life.  God laughed. 

So, yeah, I walked into my first two classes on Monday.  They were back to back.  There was this one guy in both of the classes and I remember thinking that he and I needed to become friends so we could cover for one another if one of us should decide to skip a day.  Then I went to class on Tuesday...again, back to back classes.  Well, guess who was also in both of those classes?  Yep, same guy.  He was in all four of my classes.  Then I really decided we should be friends because we could skip TWO days and still be ok with one phone call.  I didn't perpetually skip class, but I didn't mind skipping from time to time.  So, I had intentions of making friends with this guy because he seemed nice enough, was friendly, and we were in all four classes together.  God laughed.  The irony is that my attendance that fall was probably better than any other semester.  The reason?  I wanted to see that guy and knew I could see him if I went to class. 

Did I mention that I was um, seeing someone else at the time.  Um....I don't think God laughed at that one and boy did I ever create one big chaotic mess there. 

So, back to this guy in my class.  One day I read an essay in class.  That same day, after class, there was a note on my truck window with his name, number, and call me written on it.  I still have the note.  I remember standing there wondering how this guy knew which truck was mine since he hadn't walked with me to my truck (yet).  I was too flustered by the thought of should/shouldn't I call him to be worried about the fact that the guy had basically stalked me (and this might have been my first clue to him choosing his eventual career...and I totally missed the clue).  I didn't call him.  I apologized the next day.  I don't remember what excuse I gave.  The truth was that I couldn't find the guts to call him that night.  God laughed and then gave me the guts as I moved forward.

What started as group lunches after class turned into just me/him lunches.  And I wasn't exactly single.  It was like I was a boomerang.  The more I tried to run from the situation, God turned me right around and flung me right back towards it.  You would think I might have clued into that, but I didn't.  I still thought I was in control.  God laughed.  You might think that the moment I knew I was in over my head would be surrounded by chirping birds, romantic music...something like that.  Nope.  We were sitting in a Taco Bell and had been there for over two hours.  We ate lunch and just kept talking...and talking...and talking.  I have documented this story here before and what happened through the rest of that weekend was tormenting, exciting, and life altering.  The bottom line is that by Monday morning, I was no longer seeing the other guy and wasn't sure where I was headed with this new guy. 

That new guy turned into my husband, eventually.  He is a fisherman.  However, he had absolutely NO IDEA that he had just landed one really feisty and persistent fish.  When he did figure that part out, he tried to throw me back a few times.  It didn't work.  He would turn around and I was right there in the boat.  God had a good laugh at him too. 

I am a few weeks early on this, simply because none of this story unraveled over night.  Those group lunches started weeks before I finally got the message to end one relationship for good and start fresh with someone else.  At least I finally got the message.  On Sunday, October 4, 1999, I got God's message loud and clear.  I could choose who I wanted, but He had his own plans for me and they weren't the plans I had designed.  He not only showed me who my life mate would be (although I didn't know it that night), but He also reminded me of who was in charge.  There have been a few times since that I have slipped back into thinking I am in charge...and every time God sends me a reminder and its usually through my husband.  Most times, when that happens, I am not even sure my husband knows how much God is working through him. 

So, here we are, 12 years have passed.  We just recently moved back to the town where we first met.  My husband's new job and career brought us here.  Talk about coming full circle.  We left here twice before...yet here we are again and this time with two kids in tow.  We know God has a plan for us here, because we know that God's plan is always in action.  After all, we are the result of God's plan in action. 

I'm just thankful for the man God gave me as my mate and the father of my two amazing kids!

Kale's prayer tonight

Dear God,

Thank you for the orange tractor and the blue tractor at my Mema's house.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Look Out!

Look out y'all...I have time to write a post.  Kale is at Mema's house, I have a day off from work, Ep is at work, and Scout is sleeping.  It will probably have to be another holiday before I have time to post again. 

Things are well here.  I don't want to write an entire book, so I am just going to bullet what has been happening around here:

  • I got a new job.  It was the first job I applied for after we moved here.  I am a program eligibility specialist with DHS.  
  • The kids were attending two separate daycares.  I put Kale in daycare this summer so that he/I wouldn't kill each other.  He was tired of me and bored with the "newborn in the house" lifestyle, so I found a "school" for him and he liked it there.  That school didn't take kids under 2, so when I landed a job sooner than expected, I had to find a place for Scout.  It only took a few weeks of carting each of them to different places and knowing that Ep's help with that would be limited this fall...and I finally found a place that would provide great care to both kids!  Plus, they are only five minutes from my work, so I don't have to come all the way home if I need to run errands.  
  • We had a close call last month.  The dry weather and some kids being stupid led to a fire that came way to close to where we are living.  We experienced one near evacuation and thankfully I didn't unpack us much from that because a few days later we had to evacuate for real.  Nothing like leaving your house with your kids and what you could throw in your truck and seeing flames shooting out of the trees behind the house while your husband has just thrown his work clothes back on to go work the situation.  Thankfully, we have wonderful friends here and they opened their door to me and the kids.  Our house was fine, but I did find some burned debri that landed in our yard...thankfully it did not ignite.  
  • Kale is doing great and being three.  He is testing us daily.  We experience our fare share of temper tantrums, yelling, and other boundary pushing fun.  When I get frustrated with him, I try to remember that he is three and has had his whole work turned upside down multiple times in the past 4 months.  
  • Kale has adjusted pretty well to being a big brother.  If he hears his sister crying, he comes running.  More times than not, we have to tell him to not get so close to his sister's face....he loves to talk to her, love on her, and is completely smitten with her.  She just encourages him by smiling big at him. 
  • Scout is growing literally daily.  She talks to us (lots of gggaaa and maaaa) all the time.  She only fusses when she is tired or hungry.  She smiles at us all the time and we just melt every time.  About a month ago, I bought her 3 lovies (small square velour blankies with an animal head...monkey, giraffe, and hippo).  She loves all three and currently will shove any of them in her mouth if given the chance.  That and the amount of drool we are seeing makes us wonder if the teething adventure is right around the corner. 
  • Kale still likes to zick (lick) a sucker, has a hoke-a-matrol (remote control) car, and still loves anything with wheels (especially tractors).  
So...thats us...thats not everything, but its a start...and my little sleeper is waking up now.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Scout on the move

Well, you can see how much time I have to blog lately...none!

Wanted to get in a quick post to document a milestone for Scout.

This afternoon, her daddy put her on the floor for tummy time and instead of protesting, she just resolved the problem of being on het tummy by turning over to her back. I walked in right after it happened...but didn't see it. She hasn't yer done or again bit has been trying now for at least a week. It's only a matter of time until she gets it figured out and then she will be rolling everywhere!

For the record, she has been doing pinwheels in her crib for weeks now. She is really good at 180's and every once in a while will complete a 360 just to show out.



Monday, July 18, 2011

FREE Happy Baby Product coupon!

This is awesome and there is actually time for me to sit down and share this with you!  If you are a mom to a baby or toddler, you will want in on this deal!!!  Yes, I will get credit if you sign up for RECYCLEBANK, but I assure you that I would not refer my own family and friends to do something like this to just get credit if it were junk.  Its NOT!  This is a chance for me to share the opportunity for you to get a free Happy Baby Coupon!  It took me about 10 minutes to sign up and earn enough points for the coupon last night. 

Sign up for RecycleBank HERE

I noticed today that the FREE Happy Family Product Coupon on RECYCLEBANK that has been sitting at 200 points forever has changed to only 150 points.

This coupon is a mailed offer, not a printable, so it will be accepted at Target, and it is valid for ANY Happy Baby/Happy Family product up to $6! If you are new to RECYCLEBANK earning the points for this coupon is super easy with all the ways to earn right now in the Green Your Vacation Challenge too.

IF YOU ARE NEW TO RECYCLEBANK
To get this coupon, you will first need to sign up for a NEW RECYCLEBANK accountIt’s completely FREE to join and if you are completely new to  RECYCLEBANK then you can quickly & easily follow these instructions to earn enough points for this coupon: 
1) You will first need to Sign up or log in to your RECYCLEBANK account (completely FREE to join).
2) Come back to this post and click on this link:  RECYCLEBANK'S GREEN YOUR VACATION
3) Once there, click on the word “travel” above the closed suitcase, to get it to open like in the photo.
4) Once the suitcase is open, click on  any of the animated items (train, ship, plane, both cars, raining clouds, red suitcase on the train, and flying bag) to quickly and easily earn points in your account! Once you are done with the Travel area, click on the “Beach” and “Camping” areas to collect even more points!

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT
If you already have a RECYCLEBANK ACCOUNT just click on the “get rewards” tab once you are signed in to access this coupon under grocery & beverage on the left.U sually Recyclebank is pretty fast at mailing out coupons too.

If you haven’t done so yet be sure to check out all the ways to earn under the Earn Points tab, including the RECYCLEBANKGreen Your Vacation Contest under the “Earn Points” tab. The “travel”, “beach” and “camping” areas are now open on the Green Your Vacation Home page, and you can easily earn points in each of these areas! You will also earn points when you refer your friends and they complete activities in the “Green Your Vacation” contest too. The other category, staycation will open up randomly sometime the latter part of July offering more opportunities to earn points. Top point earners will win various prizes including a vacation to Costa Rica or the Galapagos Islands!

Not Familiar with Recyclebank? Recyclebank is a great program that rewards you for recycling by working with a variety of partners. You can add points in many different easy ways, answering quick questions, purchasing specially marked products and trading in your old electronics. Just go here and sign up for RECYCLEBANK to find out all the ways to earn and save!

Scout Gracyn Fletcher

On May 17th, at 38.5 weeks pregnant, I went to the hospital to deliver my daughter.  It was a scheduled c-section.  My birth plan was simple because I had learned from my son's birth---don't plan too much because it will NOT go as you plan.  My birth plan for Scout was for my husband and I to go back to recovery and then my room together and spend time alone with her before allowing her big brother into the room to meet her and spend some solo time with her.  Then, only after her brother had loved on her a bit, would everyone else meet her.  Pretty simple.  Scout had a different birth plan.  Apparently there is a sign in my uterus that says "be dramatic with your birth and show mommy who is boss!"

By the time I checked in for delivery, most of the nurses already knew me from my three previous "observation" visits over the past couple of weeks.  My nurse knew I was specifically scheduled that day and asked to be my nurse.  Hey, I am just thankful that not all the nurses were running the other direction from me at that point!

I was scheduled to deliver at 11:30am.  I was prepped.  My anxiety over the epidural (it took five tries with my son) placement was all for nothing, as the epidural was easily placed on the first try.  I definitely had the jitters.  I was chewing ice like crazy because it was the only thing I was allowed to have.  During all this, my husband read the paper and investigated financing for a possible vehicle purchase.  Don't get me wrong, he was supportive of me and knew his role...but he also knew that all the prepping was up to the nurses.  I was all ready to go when the nurse came in to let us know that an emergency c-section had just bumped me back an hour, which translated to an hour and a half.  When it was finally my turn, all my jitters had gone away and I was remarkably calm given that a doctor was about to cut a six inch line into my belly. 

They rolled me to the OR and Ep had to wait outside as they prepped everything and finished prepping me in the sterile room.  The doctor appeared and then my husband appeared.  Everyone was chatting.  All was well and the procedure began.  Ep was sitting near my head.  I had already cleared it with the anesthesiologist for Ep to be able to stand up and watch them pull Scout from my belly.  I wanted him to see his daughter being born, just like he watched his son be born.  So, the doc let him know to stand up and he watched as they literally pulled Scout from my belly.  And he took pictures.  Now I know what it looks like.  Yes, really.  Its amazing.  No, I will not post the pictures here.  I will tell you its incredible to look at a picture of your own child being pulled from your belly. 

Scout was born at 1:23pm weighing 8lbs and 5oz.  She was 20 inches long and had fat rolls, including a double chin.  She hollered at us.  I was laying there when suddenly I see the doctors hands holding a baby over the drape.  There was my daughter's beautiful scrunched up face looking down at me.  She looked like this:

Scout was then taken over to the baby warmer, where the nurses poked and prodded her.  Her daddy watched from afar until the nurses summoned him over to take more pictures and also to start filling him in on a concern. 


Scout had some concerns of her own and let us know by hollering at us.  She was not happy to have left my warm belly and arrived in such a cold room!
They prepped her for transfer to the NICU because she was raspy with her breathing and seemed to have fluid somehow in or around her lungs.  As the nurses explained this to me (the drape had been lowered and I could somewhat see them and Scout), I am pretty sure that my brain just kind of left the room and took my emotions with it.  I didn't say a word to anyone, but I nearly passed out.  I felt myself start to fade, but rolled my head the other direction and snapped myself out of it.  I am not even sure if the anesthesiologist realized that happened.  All I know is that then I had a massive headache. 

By the time I went through recovery (they said it would be a couple of hours, but my husband and I both agree that we think it was less than an hour!), Scout had settled in up at the NICU.  They wheeled my entire hospital bed into the NICU for me to see her again before going to my room.  I will be eternally grateful for that.  This is Scout all snuggled in her NICU bed and wearing a diaper backwards.
  
And this is Scout at one day old, still wearing her diapers backwards.
Although it broke my heart that our birth plan did not work out, we were thankful for things to go as well as they did despite the circumstances.  Kale got to see his little sister through a glass window instead of getting to hold her.  We did not allow anyone else in to see her because she needed to rest and a quiet and calm NICU room was what we needed her to have for a quick recovery.  My parents met Scout the next day, but they were not yet allowed to hold her.  I got to hold Scout when she was right at one full day old.  My husband held her when she was two days old. 

We stayed in the hospital for 3 nights and were both discharged together on Friday when Scout was 3 days old.  She was in the NICU until about 10 minutes before we were discharged.  They gave me the option to stay and room in with her one night, but all I could think about was all of us getting home and her big brother finally getting to touch her and not have a wall of glass between him and his sister. 

Scout decided that we needed just a tad more drama and didn't want to be any less dramatic than her brother.  We requested an EKG to rule out the heart defect that her older brother has.  The EKG ruled that out.  The the doctor said BUT...as in but we found something else that concerns us.  There was concern over a part of her heartbeat called the QT wave.  Thanks to Kale, we are familiar with what the QT wave of a heartbeat is.  Scout had a long QT wave in her EKG.  They told us that most times when this is found at birth, an EKG a week later will show that it has resolved itself.  Apparently Scout just wanted to make sure that her parents were on their toes...because a week later, she had a clean EKG. 

That is Scout's birth story.  Her first two weeks of life were another fun adventure and definitely not your average newborn's first two weeks.  More on that later...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rambling

There is so much on my mind tonight.  This is just a ramble.  Sorry about that. 

My poor brain won't slow down.  Job hunt, frustration with someone who won't take time to listen, hurt because I am tired of going in this circle, fear that this will keep happening, sick of trying to explain something that I am starting to believe can only be understood by experiencing it, considering turning tables, knowing that a reduction in pay is worth it but that it will be an adjustment, trusting God to do what He does best--lead me and provide me the right opportunity in His perfect timing and trying to be patient with that process.  Simply overcome with love for my kids, even when one of them makes me wonder if I will survive raising him.  Maybe I just need a good cry.

I really want to write tonight about Scout's birth, but its nearly midnight and I need to go to bed instead.  I need to write about it soon, before I start "losing" the details. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Scout's Name

Many people have asked where we came up with Scout's name.  Some simply assume its from the book, "To Kill a Mockingbird".  Although my husband and I both like that book and I thoroughly relate to the characteristics (intelligent, thoughtful, confident, fights with boys, and is essentially a tomboy) of the Scout character in that book, that is not where her name originated. 

While my husband was attending training for 16 weeks, I needed a weekly gut check.  It would have been easy to feel sorry for myself...pregnant, juggling a 3 year old, trying to sell a house, and only seeing my husband 48 hours each week.  I kept reminding myself that military spouses have it soooo much worse.  Then God supported my gut check by sending a tv show my way.  Its called "Coming Home" on Lifetime.  Its about the homecoming and reunification, often a surprise, of military families.  There wasn't one week that I watched it with a dry eyes.  The week two episode rang true even more for me.  Sure, my husband was absent 5 days a week and missing the last half of my pregnancy.  However, he was around some and would be there for his daughter's birth.  The week two episode featured a father who would be returning from a year long deployment and meeting his 2.5 month old daughter for the first time.  He had essentially missed all of his wife's pregnancy and even his daughter's birth.  I bawled.  The baby, a little girl with fair skin and dark hair, was named Scout.  The name rang out to me.  I knew my husband would either love it or hate it.  He loved it.  He loved it so much that week after week, he let me know it was still his favorite until he finally told me that I would have a hard time getting him to agree to naming her anything other than Scout.  I realized then how much he truly did love that name.  I also realized how much I loved the idea him being so steadfast about her name.  I wasn't going to mess with that.  So, we named her Scout Gracyn Fletcher. 

The middle name...it was one that was on the list of first names at some point.  After we settled on Scout, we threw around a few middle names.  I wanted her to have something different, yet feminine.  We also toyed with a middle name that has a little bit of meaning to us.  It all boiled down to the morning she was born.  On the way to the hospital, we were dropping her brother off at school so he could have his normal routine until it was time for him to meet his sister.  As we drove, I asked him which name he liked: Gracyn or the other name.  He very boldly and frankly said "Gracyn! I like that name!" and there you have it, that is how she got her middle name. 

The defined meaning of the name Scout depends on which source you prefer.  Some will tell you it means "listener" while others will tell you it means "observer". 

Want to see the little one that our Scout is named after?  You can see her in two places...
Here:  The blog of Scout's mom
and Here: Pic of Scout

It was only after I had Scout did I realize all their physical similarities...I went to the web searching for photos of her and found those listed above...and was simply brought to tears. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What I don't recommend...

Wow, this blog has been quiet huh?  I wonder why?  Oh, I know why.  For the past 6 months or so, my life felt like its more of a secret than open like usual.  I don't normally keep too many secrets about myself.  So, when I go quiet, its a signal that something is up.  And oh, things have been up alright!  The following is what has been going on and what I really don't recommend doing...

I will do individual "posts" on some of these events, but I am just going to lay it out here in bullets:

  • In January, my husband started a law enforcement academy.  This entailed 16 weeks of him leaving the house on Sunday evening and not returning until Friday afternoon.  Thankfully, he was able to call most nights to talk to Kale and check on me.  I was 20 weeks pregnant when he started the academy.  
  • We put our house up for sale.  We knew there was a small chance we would be "placed" in Pulaski county, but we also knew there was a greater chance we would be moved to an adjacent county or even further away.  Ever tried to be 20+ weeks pregnant, chase a 3 year old, work full time, and keep a house "show worthy" on a daily basis?  I do NOT recommend it.  Thankfully, my mom came running anytime I needed her help.  Between the help of my mom and watching a show on Lifetime called "Coming Home", I kept my sanity (mom) and perspective (show).  
  • Somewhere in here, we started packing.  Part of our stuff went to storage.  Our house was 2000+ sq ft and we were pretty certain that our next place might not be that big.  Ever tried to pack a house and still live in it for an undetermined amount of time?  I don't recommend that either!
  • The first week of April, my blood pressure started climbing.  Given my experience in my last pregnancy, my doctor sent me home on bed rest.  He thankfully allowed me to work 4 hours each day from home and my employer agreed.  However, that four hours was either from the bed, couch, or chair with my feet propped up.  I started going to the doctor weekly, getting to pee in a jug for 24 hours each week, and visited the hospital for a short (4 hours or 12 hours) stay three different times over the next 7 weeks.  Doc let me know that one little hint that I wasn't following my strict orders and my tail would be confined to the hospital.  I played by the rules.  This is pretty much where I took my mom hostage Sunday night through Friday afternoon.
  • My husband got his first assignment (location) and his graduation was nearing.  He was headed to Sebastian county.  Our house still had not sold.  I had a baby to birth in Little Rock (not changing docs or hospitals).  His graduation was April 28th.  He reported for duty in Sebastian county on May 1.  The rest of us were still in Little Rock.  I fully took my mom hostage. 
  • We got a date.  After almost 38 weeks of carefully growing our little girl, it was decided that she would arrive via c-section on May 17th and be full term.  Yay!  
  • Scout Gracyn Fletcher was born at 1:23pm on May 17th at 8lbs and 5oz.  She was 20 inches long.  Her daddy watched as they pulled her out of me, just like he did with her big brother.  The next thing I know, my little girl is looking over the top of the drape at me (thank you Dr Breniman for doing that!) before she was whisked away to get cleaned up.  After several minutes went by without them bringing her to me, I knew something was wrong.  Scout had managed to get some fluid in/around her lungs and the nurses weren't happy with how her breathing sounded.  So, to ensure her entry into the world was dramatic like her big brother's, off to the NICU she went.  We kept her NICU room quiet and visitor free to let her rest and heal.  The only person in our family who saw her on her day of birth was her big brother.  Everyone else had to wait.  Its not easy explaining to your family that they have to wait yet another day to meet a new baby, but my husband did a marvelous job of managing that task.  An EKG was done on Scout to eliminate her having the same heart condition as her brother.  She does NOT have WPW.  However, she showed the doc that she had a long QT wave at the time, so that resulted in a follow up EKG and cardiologist visit. Scout recovered quickly from her lung situation and was released to my hospital room about 10 minutes before we all left the hospital.  We had spent 30-60 minute blocks of time with her in the NICU.  This straight from NICU to home thing came back to haunt me.  
  • Scout came home, her brother finally got to touch her instead of just look at her, and all was well for a few hours.  Then mommy promptly started falling apart.  Call it what you will, but I believe it was a small case of post traumatic stress combined with postpartum emotions and hormones.  I was completely bombarded by anxiety, fear, and emotions.  I stopped being able to keep food in my body.  It was a very rough few days. 
  • We took Scout to the pediatrician on Monday and got a clean bill of health.  We took her to get her follow up EKG on Tuesday and waited to hear back on that.  
  • On Wednesday, I managed to get an appt with my doc to get control over whatever was going on in my body.  On our way there, with Kale and Scout in the truck with us, we got rear ended in my mom's Yukon.  Traffic was stopped.  We stopped.  The car behind us did not and was pretty much totaled.  The Yukon stood up like a concrete wall and that amazed me.  I still look at the back of my mom's truck in amazement.  We eventually made it to the doctor.  I told the nurse that maybe the accident would snap me out of whatever was going on within my body.  Apparently, I was right.  That evening, I was starting to feel better and it was all uphill from there.
  • Somewhere along the way, we came to the decision that we were not going to continue living in two separate places after Scout was born.  So, pretty much for the week following me/Scout coming home from the hospital, our house was being packed.  We had some generous help from family and a few close friends.  By the Friday that Scout was 10 days old, our house was empty and the keys were handed over to our renters.  I don't recommend having a baby and moving all in 10 days either. 
  • We arrived at our rental house in Greenwood and it took us all of a week to decide that a 1400 sq ft house is not big enough for these four Fletchers!  Yet, here we are.  The unpacking commenced and is still ongoing.  
  • Somewhere in the moving madness, one of us got strep.  Scout is the only one who escaped it.  I don't ever recommend getting strep, but I REALLY don't recommend getting it on the backside of having a baby and moving.  
  • It didn't take long for Kale to be sick of his mommy 24/7.  Each day he would ask me "mommy, what are we going to do here today"?  He didn't quite understand or like the reply of "Kale, its hotter than hades outside and you have a newborn sister...we aren't doing much besides taking care of your sister, playing with toys, and watching tv."  He kept begging to go outside.  That is when I started looking at summer daycare options.  He has been enrolled now for 2 weeks and it is working out well so far.  He gets to play with kids his age and not hear me telling him no constantly.  I get to keep what little sanity I have left.  
  • I have quietly started looking for work here.  As of Friday, my employer now knows I have moved and will not be returning from maternity leave (unless they let me work remotely, which I doubt).  I actually had a job interview last week.  Notifying my current employer was what required all of the chaos above to be kept quiet as it was ongoing.  I didn't feel comfortable with the stability of my job situation and wanted to be sure that I would have my maternity leave.  
All that said, I don't recommend doing all that the way we did it.  But we did.  And we survived.  And it didn't kill us.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Another trip

Well, that makes my third trip to labor/delivery due to doctor's orders. Thankfully, since it didn't result in a delivery, it was my shortest visit yet.

I've been to the clinic and l/d enough times that the nurses and staff all seem to know me.

My bp had been up for two days, but just an hour at the hospital calmed that down. They processed my labs, which looked good. So, home was my destination.

Maybe we will make that scheduled date after all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

36 weeks and then some

I saw the doc again yesterday.  I got to once again walk into the clinic carrying my 24 hour jug 'o pee.  Yes, lovely, I know.  My bp, which had been up all morning, suddenly decided to drop a bit since I was at the doc's office.  I suppose my body knows when to be on its best behavior?  There was protein in the small sample I give them every time they see me, but they decided to wait until they get my 24 hour jug results back from the lab before making any decisions.  So, they sent me home. 

I had a conversation with the doc about the delivery of sassy pants.  Its pretty obvious to me that its going to be a c-section at this point. I am ok with that.  However, I wanted to know if we were past the point in this pregnancy where sassy pants would automatically have to go to the NICU after birth--which is what happened when I had Kale.  He was so early that it didn't matter how well he was doing on his own, he was going to the NICU.  Thankfully, we have passed that point with sassy pants.  Unless there are some unforeseen complications, she will be able to hang out with us in the OR and recovery and then go back to my room with me.  This made me nearly jump off the table and hug the doc, but I was sans pants so I stayed put. 

I am hoping that sassy pants can come to my room with us and have some bonding time with just her mommy, daddy, and big brother for a little while.  We need and deserve that time as a family at this point.  When we are settled, stable, and ready...we will allow visitors into the room to meet sassy pants. 

It won't surprise me one bit to get a call today from the doc telling me to head on to the hospital.  Of course, it seems every time I think they may send me there, they don't and vice versa.  So, who knows.  I have made it past my 36 week goal and surpassed what I think the doc thought I would do several weeks ago.  I believe he truly thought we were headed down the same path as we did with Kale.  Thanks be to God, that wasn't the case.  I learned my lesson and have followed the rules better this time around.  I remind myself that I am sick, even though I don't feel it.  I remind myself not to feel guilty for laying on my tail while the world goes on around me and other people take care of things that I want to/should be doing myself.  The support of our extended family and some close friends have been helpful beyond words.  I have been the one responsible for making good choices and carrying sassy pants this far into the pregnancy, but I could not have done it without the help and prayers of so many others. 

And now, we wait....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Is the heater broken?

I haven't turned the heater on much lately, despite mornings of it being 61-65 degrees in our house.  However, yesterday morning, it was 63 and the sun was refusing to shine.  I decided to turn on the heat to warm the house up to 65-66 degrees (which feels like a heat wave to me, but keeps everyone else mostly thawed out).  I turned it on, heard the click of the heater starting, and then nothing...no warm air. 

My mom gave it a try.  Nothing.  I took the batteries out of the thermostat and put them back in...nothing.  I knew the batteries had just been replaced in the past week, so dead batteries wasn't the problem.  I started getting frustrated.  I got in touch with my husband and he told me to call the heat/air company for them to come check it out. 

The heat/air guy showed up within a few hours and discovered the problem, although he wasn't sure who caused the problem.  For a mere $86 service call, he let me know that the problem was the gas had been shut off at the unit by the switch.  There is a lever on the gas line that runs to the unit (right beside it and very near the ground) and the lever had been switched to not allow the gas to flow through the line.  Hmmm, I just wonder who might have touched that lever?  I know I sure didn't and that the last thing my mom or husband would do would be sabotage any opportunity to have the heat on during cold mornings/days.  So, that leaves one culprit.  Yep, for $86 I found out that my son had turned off the gas to our heat/air unit...when he has been told several times not to mess with the heat/air unit.

I don't remember doing such things when I was little or hearing stories of me doing such things.  So, my guess is that this is just more proof that Kale is his daddy's boy and is following in his footsteps because I do know I have heard similar stories about his daddy's shenanigans. We are in deep trouble!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another Dr Visit and May

So, today was Thursday and a trip to visit the doctor.  I didn't see my regular doc because he had some kind of emergency.  The doc who checked me out decided to skip the NST (non-stress test), which was fine with me.  I had one on Monday and the sassy pants did perfect. 

Today, my bp was so low that I blurted out "wow, thats awesome!", which got the nurses attention.  She decided to take my bp on my other arm just to be sure...it wasn't quite so low on that arm, but it was still in good range!  Then I saw the doc, who measured my belly and listened to the sassy pant's heartbeat.  All was well and he sent me on my way. 

Not a lot to share about the appointment today, and that is definitely how I like it. 

My current goal is to keep growing sassy pants to 36 weeks.  That means growing her for at least 8 more days.  If I can get to 37 without my body going bonkers, that would be full term and be even more wonderful. 

My husband and I have both been living by a mantra that a friend taught me 10 years ago as I struggled through a transition.  He told me to take it one day at a time and to keep myself focused on that goal with this mantra:  "If I make it through today, I can make it until May." 

Ten years ago, I made it to May.  I am determined to do it again, albeit for a much more important reason.  My husband is going to make his May goal as well.  Who knew that such a simple statement from a friend would be so helpful not once, but twice and that my husband would benefit from it as well.  Funny how God works. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Doc Appointment

I had another doc appointment today. For once, my bp behaved while I was there. That was the good news.

The doc is fairly sure that I am starting to show more than a trace of protein in my urine (sorry, no ungross way to say that). They sent off the 24 hour jug to the lab and I probably won't know anything on that until Wednesday morning. I asked what would happen if they found protein in my urine jig and they said they weren't sure yet. I guess or depends on what they find and also how much they find.

The great news is that sassy pants is doing just fine. They hooked me up for 20 minutes to a monitor (NST) for her heartbeat and movement. It didn't take but minute or so for her to find the straps around my belly and start pushing on them with her legs, knees, and feet. She likes her space and for people/things to stay out of her space. Yes, she is our child for sure!

I go back on Thursday for another NST and for them to check my bp and urine.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Idea

Kale was asking some questions about his baby sister. He wanted to know what she is doing. I told him that she is just growing. He asked if she was "wewaxin" (relaxing). I laughed and said yes.

Then he made a comment about her being a boy. I told him that she will be a girl...he will be my boy and she will be my girl.

His reply? Mommy, I think that is a good idea.


Me too Kale, me too!

The TorMado

Late Thursday night, severe weather was headed our way.  Thursday night shifted into Friday morning as I watched the severe weather approach.  I woke my mom up and had her bring a very confused and still mostly asleep Kale to my bed.  She then crawled in with us.  The tornado threat had seemingly diminished and the biggest threat was straight line winds, but they were expected to be 60-80mph as they moved through our area.  Yikes! 

As the storms closed in, a tornado warning was suddenly issued for several different locations along the stomr line.  One of those areas was ours and we were smack in the middle of the area of concern.  I asked my mom if she could move fast.  She headed to get her shoes, some shoes for Kale, and then came back to grab him out of my bed.  He was one confused little boy at that point. 

We were quite the spectable as we made our way out onto our deck to take shelter in our room under the house.  We got drenched.  My mom was carrying Kale, who was crying because he was getting wet.  The wind was going crazy.  The rain was pouring down.  We made our way down the deck stairs...me 8+ months pregnant and all. 

When we decided the rough part of the storm had passsed, we made our way back upstairs.  As we came inside, Kale asked what was the noise he heard.  I told him it was the tornado siren, which was still going off at the time for other storms in the area which were not a threat to us.  He was ready to crawl back into bed with me and go to sleep...and I was ready for some sleep as well, given that it was 3am!

The next morning, I heard Kale having a conversation with my mom.  He said something about the tormado siren.  I heard him...tormado...not tornado.  Then, I nearly fell out of bed laughing as I heard him tell her that he could show her a tormado.  He took her to the kitchen counter and pointed to the tomato on the counter.  He then told her that the tormado siren was for that tormado...and pointed to the tomato on the counter. 

So, the next time your local tornado siren goes off, take cover...but watch out for those tomatoes!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reality

The reality of my daily life right now is not appealing, although I am VERY aware that it could be so much worse. 

This is my 10th day of being on home bed rest.  Yesterday, I stepped out on the front porch for about 3 minutes.  I am doing my best to be more careful and cautious (read: stricter with myself) this time around.  Its hard to keep laying on your hiney when you feel there is so much that you need to be doing around the house.  I just have to remind myself what is more important...cooking this baby longer or getting that stuff done?  Yeah, I will go with cooking the baby.  There is still a weird sense of guilt that hovers around me though, as I watch my mom taking care of so many things that my brain says I should be doing.

When the doctor mentioned the onset of pre-eclampsia on Tuesday, there was a small section of my brain that still said...maybe not?  God took care of that doubt for me yesterday.  I made some poor food choices yesterday and my bp reacted to that.  It was up most of the day, but not to the new level that would require a hospital visit or phone call to my doctor.  I won't lie...it did inch close a few times.  I did what I was supposed to do...laid down on my left side and chilled out, which resulted in a 2 hour nap.  So, now I am on board with the doc's diagnosis.  Not only am I tired from just the reality of growing a baby, but I am also dealing with pre-e. 

I am also coming to terms with the fact that a repeat c-section is most likely in my future.  I am thankful for an online conversation with a good friend yesterday.  She is a former L&D (labor/delivery) nurse and I have known her since we were about 7 years old when she walked into our class and stole the heart of every boy there!  Anyway, she shared her helpful point of view and answered some questions--that really helped and I am thankful for her support and conversation.  One of the biggest struggles I had with the delivery of Kale is wondering if I had made the right choices or asked the right questions.  The whole experience left me feeling like I had been completely unprepared for the road we took.  I just did whatever the doc's and nurses's said.  I didn't ask a lot of questions and felt completely out of control with what wa happening to my body.  I know God was watching over us all and that it turned out fine, but the wonder and guilt lasted in my head for quite a while.  Part of that problem was not realizing how sick I was at the time.  I was truly on a "see as we go" type of path and I had no idea how it would all turn out.  This time, through my entire pregnancy, I have asked more questions.  My doc has talked to me about different paths that we might take.  So, I am arming myself with a new set of questions for him next week, since I now know that a c-section is my most likely path. 

So, this is my reality right now.  A lot of sitting and laying.  I don't watch a lot of tv during the day.  I am working 4 hours each day from home on my computer with my feet propped up on the couch or the ottoman.  I am sick of just about every type of food we have in this house.  My hospital bag is slowly coming together...ok, its more of a hospital pile at the moment.  I keep the thermostat on 65-67 and my mom/husband think I am trying to freeze them to death.  Then they will feel my hands or feet and realize that I am still sweating.  Fun stuff! 

I am so ready to meet this tough little girl growing inside me.  However, I am not so anxious to meet her for the next few weeks (at least)!  I wonder about her daily--what color will her eyes be and what color will her hair be?  My biggest prayer is that when they pull her out of me, she screams at all of us just like her big brother did when he was born.  We don't have one single birth picture of him where he isn't either screaming or puckering up his lips in a pout.  I also hope and pray that she will be big and strong enough to completely avoid the NICU.  One of the biggest concerns with early delivery is lung maturity.  Oh, and I also wonder what her name will be, because we have yet to decide on that!  We have a working list that we narrowed down some recently...but we are still undecided about her name. 

If you are wondering about specific prayer requests, here they are:
  • My blood pressure to stay down and for me to monitor it closely enough to do the right things if it starts creeping up.
  • The protein stays out of my urine.  I can't do anything to prevent or control this.  I am pretty sure if protein shows up in my urine, my new home will be the hospital until delivery.
  • That baby girl continues to grow and thrive as long as possible in my belly. 
  • That I don't go stir crazy from all the sitting/laying all day long.
  • That my husband is able to focus on his training and not be distracted by worrying about me and baby girl (or Kale). 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

33 weeks

I had my doctor's appt today.  There was good news and not so good news.

The good news:  I get to stay on bed rest at home.  Last week, that wouldn't seem like good news, but as opposed to hospital bed rest, this is good news. I am able to work from my computer at home for up to four hours each day, which is a blessing.  TMI alert...don't read the next sentence if you don't want to know about my urine.  They test my urine at each appt and once again, there was no protein in my urine, which is great news! 

The bad news:  my blood pressure (bp) was 140/90 at the doctor's office.  The doctor said the dreaded sentence:  this is the onset of pre-eclampsia (which is the same thing I had with Kale). 

For a few minutes, I really thought I was going to be hospitalized today.  Instead, my doc told me that if I kept closely monitoring my bp and such, then I could stay at home for now.  I am pretty sure that if I end up with protein in the wrong place, that will be when I am put in the hospital....or if my bp goes over 155/95, which is the new magical number. 

The final chat that I had with my doc went like this. 
Me: I will be happy if I can make it to 36 weeks
Doc:  I will be happy if you make it to 35 weeks

For the record, today I am 33 week and 4 days. 

This means it is very likely that I will have a repeat c-section.  I have been hoping for a vbac (baby coming into the world on the normal route, not through an incision in my belly, despite there previously being an incision there).  However, I can not be induced (previous c-section prevents this) and will most likely need to deliver early....so a c-section is most likey for me now.  I am ok with that and have tried to keep an open mind to all options this time around. 

I left the doc's office with an appt for next week (meaning I am now going to be seeing him weekly), a urine collection jug to bring with me after "collecting" for 24 hours prior to my appt, and also an appt for a NST (non stress test) where they will just monitor the baby for a while to make sure she is moving around and being active enough and not in any distress.  There is no reason to think she is distress right now, so nobody should worry about that.  This is just standard for my situation right now.  They did this with Kale.  He never showed one sign of distress (on the NST or anytime he was monitored after my hospitalization).  I am hoping that his sister completely ignores the chaos going on in my body as well!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kale and the Humidifier

So, one of the items I scored for cheap a few weeks ago was a vaporizer for Kale's room.  He is congested tonight, so we have decided to see how well the vaporizer helps. 

Kale saw Mema come in with the box and asked what it was.  Of course, he HAD to know what was in the box.  We told him it was a humidifier.  No matter how many times we told him it wasn't a toy, he was bound and determined to inspect it to be sure. 

So, as Mema sat there reading the instructions, Kale informed us that he wanted to plug it in and watch it shoot fire.  It took me a minute to figure out why he thought it would shoot fire.  It took a few more moments for Mema to catch on.  Have you figured it out yet?

Come on....its a humidifier....which sounds a lot like humidiFIRE to a 3 year old who can't spell!  He took one look at the top of the humidifier/vaporizer, saw the openings for the steam, and deducted that the fire MUST come out there! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

32 weeks

I am writing this mostly for me...so I can look back at it in the future, if I so wish.  However, it can also help bring you up to speed on me and what is going on in my pregnancy right now. 


The good news is that I am past the 32 week point in my pregnancy. 

At this point in my pregnancy with Kale, I was on full bed rest at home.  I later flunked home bed rest and was grounded to the hospital for 3 days before my body told the doctors that it was time to deliver.  Kale never showed any signs of distress and the ultrasound completed 3 days before he was born showed he weighed 4lbs, 11oz.  The reason he was born at 33 weeks and 6 days was because my blood pressure continued upward and the protein in my body was showing up in places it shouldn't.  It wasn't a matter of if my liver would start to have issues or if I would have a stroke or seizure, it was a matter of when.  So, Kale was born when the doctors felt they could no longer wait and put me at any higher risk.

So, back to now.  I started swelling in my right foot and lower right leg over a week ago.  However, the doctor was not that concerned with the swelling simply because it is no longer considered a key indicator of pre-e (what I had with Kale).  I was told to keep taking my blood pressure (bp) at home and go to the hospital if I got a reading of 140/90 or higher.  Over the weekend, I was aware that the top number on my blood pressure was rising and was over 140 at times.  My lower bp number was fine though, so I stayed put. 

On Monday, I had taken a vacation day.  I wouldn't exactly call the day my idea of a vacation day.  I woke up and knew something was not quite right.  It was strorming and I was hoping that after the storms passed, the pressure in my head would lighten.  I took my bp and the reading was higher than 140/90.  Ugh.  What happened next was a typical me response.  I eventually took Kale to school and went to the hospital for a tour since I hadn't yet seen the new labor/delivery wing.  While I was there, I asked if they could take my bp.  Since I was not a patient, they were not allowed and they told me to call my doc.  My doc said I could come by to have a nurse check my bp.  I went there, they checked my bp....and sent me right back to the hospital for observation. 

I spent 4 hours being observed.  They took blood, tested my urine, and took my bp every someodd minutes.  Each reading went lower and lower.  During that four hours, I made the most of my time.  I rested.  I also made a mental list of what I needed to do in the event I go on bed rest.  At the top of the list is get my hospital stuff together for me and for baby girl....

When I left the hospital, I got to take a jug with me to collect urine.  Fun stuff.  Or not.  At least it was only a 12 hour collection and not a 24 hour one.  Its the little things!  They told me to take it to my doctor in the morning (Tuesday).  So that is what I did.  I was hoping I could go to work from there...nope.  They sent me home on bed rest until they get my labs back.  My intial reaction was to just look at the nurse and say a quiet Nooooooo.  She promptly looked at me and told me Yes and that she wasn't above tanning my backside if I didn't follow directions.  She knows how everything went last time and has a pretty good grip on me and my tendencies.  I told her "yes ma'am" and headed home.  Ok, I ran two errands before heading home. 

I am hoping that tomorrow they will release me and let me return to work and just take it easy until I go in for my next appointment (next week). 

So...that is 32 weeks.  One good thing I learned yesterday was that the ultrasound estimates that baby girl already weighs 4lbs, 13oz.  That is 2oz more than her big brother weighed at birth.  However, the estimate can be off up to 12oz, so she could be as small as 4lbs, 1oz or as big as 5lbs, 9oz.  They were on target with Kale's estimate, so I am just going with the idea that they are on target for baby girl as well. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pics of Kale

Random recent pics of Kale snapped with my phone...you would think he actually knows what is headed his way in the form of his little sister from the poses in a couple of these...

 


...our little lefty in action

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gratitude

This one goes out to my mom.  There are a lot of people who have been looking out for us, especially over the past 6 months and I am grateful to them for any and all help they have provided to us.  However, I am especially grateful to my mom. 

I can't tell you how many times I have taken her hostage.  Today, I took her hostage again. 

Before I get going, I should explain that I missed work last week in Thurs and Fri due to being sick.  I worked from home on Monday to avoid sharing my fun junk.

Back to taking mom hostage.  It started at the unreal hour of 3:30am.  I woke up next to a very, very warm little boy.  After a short struggle and him telling me that he was not going to give me any treats, he let me take his temperature.  I told him that I didn't want any treats and that I just wanted to see what his current roasting level was.  He also cracked one eye open at me when I said that.  The thermometer revealed the damage.  101 and some change.  Great. 

I wasn't worried about missing work, but I was worried about missing my doctor appt at 9:30am.  I couldn't take a feverish child to daycare and I sure didn't need to be taking him to an OBGYN clinic that is usually hopping with pregnant women.  I knew his daddy was out of the question due to mandatory training.  Anybody want to take care of my sick child so I can go to the baby doctor? 

I debated it for about 2 minutes, and then called my mom.  Most mom's would have hung up on me when I said that nobody was dead or hurt.  She didn't.  She listened.  Then she told me to call her back at 6am.  I set my alarm and finally drifted back to sleep around 5am. 

At 6am, the alarm went off and I called her as promised.  She answered and let me know that she was already on her way here.  I nearly cried, but was too sleepy.  I whispered a thank you and crashed back to sleep. 

By 8:30am, Kale was awake and watching tv while I got dressed.  As my mom's dog ran into the room, Kale simultaneously said "who is that" and literally jumped out of bed and ran down the hall.  In the first 90 seconds of seeing her, I heard him say three things:
  1. Where is Pawpaw?
  2. I love you Mema!
  3. Thank you for coming to see me!
I could pretend that she came just because of me.  I would be half right.  She came for both of us.  I will be eternally grateful for my mom's love and giving heart.  I will never in this lifetime be able to repay her for all the times she has come running whenever I called, regardless of the reason.  When I was younger and had the mixture of an out of control mouth and teenage angst, I used to tell her that I would never be like her and I would be such a better mom.  With age comes wisdom.  Its true that I will probably never be like her.  I don't know of many mom's like her.  I also know I will never be a better mom than her.  I can try and maybe I will excel in some areas she didn't....but I know I will also fail in areas she didn't.  I can't say it enough, how thankful I am for her loving, caring, and generous heart. 

If you are one of those who have helped us over the past several months or just even offered to help, please don't take this as an insult or ungratefulness by comparison.  Not my intention at all.  I am just overly thankful for my momma.  There is nobody quite like her in my world.  I just wanted to shout that out for public knowledge. 

THANKS MOM! (for all you have already done and for all you will do....)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Observations

Here are some random observations from the land of Fletcherville....

Kale said "something" this morning.  He didn't say "sunkin", he said "something".

Last week, Kale still called toothpaste...pooftaste.  It sounds so funny and I laughed so hard that I nearly peed myself.  I guess I got what was coming to me for laughing.

Sneezing is not a pregnant woman's friend. 

Kale doesn't like policemen.  Not quite sure how that is going to fit in with his daddy's new profession...

If its loud, Kale doesn't like it.  Fire trucks, police cars, ambulances...they all scare him because he thinks the siren could start sounding at any given moment.  This may be part of the reason he doesn't like policemen. 

Kale starts in his own bed at night.  By morning, he is comfortable in our bed.  For some reason, no matter how far I push him back towards the middle or his daddy's side of the bed....within a nanosecond he is once again trying to sleep right next to me.  He is a cuddler by nature, but only when he is sleeping!  He won't stay still long enough to cuddle when he is awake.

He thinks the postman is amazing because he keeps delivering new dvd's to Kale...even though I tell him that Mema ordered them for him, he still thinks they come from the postman.  Its so bad that he now asks if any of the mail is for him. 

I am pretty sure that the fedex/ups man knows I am pregnant or thinks we have a new baby already.  So far, they have delivered about 10 boxes of diapers.  I have one more box on the way.  If Amazon gets Huggies back in stock, I will have probably another 5 more boxes coming.  Nothing like paying .07, .51, or .66 for an entire box of diapers!  (yes mom, the deal got even better!)

I don't remember the last time that there were so many "things" that affected me that were so out of my control or influence.  Oh wait, yes I do.  It was the last time I was pregnant.  Hmmmm, starting to make a connection here....

I choose to see all these "things" that are affecting me without my control or influence to be reminders from God that He is in control, not me.  My daily ability to cope with this and have the right attitude does fluctuate though.  I could blame that on pregnancy emotions and hormones, but the reality is that its just because I am who God made me. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Photos from recent snow days (2 storms: one little, one big!)






 No nap + pushing a dump truck about a mile in an inch of snow = passed out!  
This was the first time he has ever just sacked out on us like this!