Tuesday, December 31, 2013

'Cause Ya Gotta Have Faith

At the end of 2012, I read about some bloggers who were choosing a word of the year for 2013. The idea was to pick one word that you could focus on for the year, rather than creating the traditional resolutions. I thought long and hard, and decided that my word for 2013 would be "faith."

I was struggling at the time and felt that if I decided to focus on my walk in faith that just maybe I'd get closer to God, closer to where I wanted to be.

You know they say not to pray for patience because things will happen that test your patience like never before. I'm finding that it happens like that with faith too.

Last year I said that we would need faith to make it through 2013, and I couldn't have been more correct. Just to sum up the big pieces: I quit my job in January, Ronnie had wisdom teeth surgery in February (had complications and he missed work), Ronnie and the kids got sick with flu and strep (he missed more work), we had a baby (perfectly healthy, Praise the Lord!), and in November, Ronnie quit his job.

We started out the year with some nervousness about going from two incomes to one, but we felt secure because we had saved up some money and got a surprisingly nice tax refund. I felt like I had stepped out on faith by quitting my teaching job, but I was still depending on what I had built up. I kept getting reminded that true faith is relying completely on God, not ourselves. I wasn't ready for that yet. Throughout the year, things went well, but it seemed as though our money was running out fast. Too fast for my comfort. We did all we could to keep our savings, but it eventually had to go. I was devastated. How could we make it on just the one income that had proven itself to not be enough? Thankfully Ronnie reminded me to not worry, to have faith.

I did my best to trust God. I would look at our bank account and stress, but then I'd remind myself that God is in control. I read and reread verses on faith. I continuously thought of Luke 1:37, For with God nothing shall be impossible. At times I believed it was impossible to pay our bills and buy food and gas, but there was always a way. One time in particular, we were low on funds and a friend of mine wanted a photo shoot. I went to her family and had a great time with them. At the end of the session she gave a small gift bag which included a rubber snake and a check. The check was more than I charge and definitely more than I would have ever asked her for. But you know what? That check was just enough to get us through to the next pay check. Isn't my God amazing?!

Around that time I realized that God was working on breaking me, making me realize that I need to get out of the way to let him work through me. About two weeks later, Ronnie quit his job.

If this had happened before this year, I would have flipped out. Don't get me wrong, I was upset, I cried, and started to wonder how we would make it. But I went back to the verses that had been bringing me comfort. Matthew 6:25-34.

*  *  *
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Wow! Think how much more God loves us than the birds in the sky! That gets me every time! 

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

He's talking to me...I'm the one of little faith. Jesus knew that I would need help trusting Him, and He told this story so that I could see that God won't forget about me. 

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Why should I worry? God knows what I need before I need it!

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Trust God! And He will make sure you have all that you need!

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Don't worry about tomorrow. You have enough today so why think about something that's not even here yet? You can handle tomorrow when it gets here.
*  *  *

It's been almost two months and Ronnie doesn't have a job yet. I'm still not working, but you know what? We have more food in our pantry/freezer than we have in a while, we have clothes on our backs, we have paid most of our bills (and are working with the people on the other), and we're healthy. The amazing part, though, is that God has known our needs. He has spoken to others and they have listened and have helped us tremendously. Our bank account went into the negative unexpectedly and someone showed up with more than enough funds to get it back in the black. We didn't have the money to get our kids' Christmas, but someone paid our lay away. Plus others gave the kids small gifts. Our deacons and preacher decided to help us out without our asking. I went to pay our light bill only to find it had already been paid. Someone anonymously gave us money in a Christmas card. Let me say this - we have asked NO ONE for any help at all! Our God has known our needs and supplied them! 

I did need faith to make it through 2013, more than I've ever needed before. And though my life may look bad to others, it is looking more beautiful than ever to me. When Ronnie quit his job, the old hymn ran through my mind, "God will take care of you/through everything or all the way/He will take care of you/God will take care of you."  Yes, He will, if you have the faith to let him.


One of my favorite sermons by my husband: Faithfulness 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Remembering

Tonight I went to the funeral home for the viewing of a school friend. I had been Ronnie's neighbor for all of our lives and we had attended the same schools all the way to graduation.

When we were 2 or 3, Ronnie's family was in a car accident that left him a paraplegic. But, as I was telling my mom tonight, we never paid attention to the wheelchair. Ronnie's personality was bigger than what we saw when we looked at him. He was nice, friendly, funny and always upbeat. I know he had hard days and probably had more to complain about than most of us, but I don't remember him using his different abilities to gain sympathy. He was just one of the kids.

In high school I decided to pursue a career in the health field and took some of the classes related to that. Ronnie was in those classes with me because he wanted to be a doctor. I always thought that was an awesome goal. Like me, his goals changed and he had been pursuing a degree in information systems. He didn't let his disability affect what he wanted to do with his life and I find that admirable.

More recently, Ronnie had fought cancer. He had a bone marrow transplant and seemed to be doing well. Then all of a sudden, he had complications from pneumonia and he passed.

Seeing someone your age, that you grew up with, in a casket is hard to take in. It's a big reminder that we should live each day as though it's our last. We should tell those that we love what they mean to us. Live your life with meaning. Make others smile. Live so that others will say that you were an inspiration, just as I heard so many say about Ronnie tonight.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Enjoying the Small Things

Some small things I've been enjoying:

-seeing Melia's smiles and hearing her giggles
-Ezra's bubble booty in big boy underwear
-Elijah saying "dang" at random points in a conversation
-hearing Ethan perfectly spell his spelling words
-snuggling with Melia when she wakes up in the middle of the night to eat (and we sleep together the rest of the night)
-Ezra talking like crazy and us being able to understand him (the clarity came overnight!)
-Elijah helping me out in the kitchen
-alone time with Ethan when he's getting ready and waiting on the bus in the mornings
-the way Elijah and Ezra run to Ethan with their arms stretched way out for hugs when Ethan gets off the bus
-the way all three boys love on their sister (she often has snot in her hair from kisses, I worry about her being squished from tight hugs, she is picked up at the slightest sound of a whimper, Ezra helps push the swing when she's in it, Elijah "babysits" when I need a free minute, and Ethan calms her down almost as well as I do)
-the sound of the boys playing
-listening to Ethan read scripture from his Bible
-watching Elijah become more big boy than toddler
-seeing what mischief Ezra can get into (I seriously need a lock for the fridge and pantry!)
-Ronnie's hugs when he gets home on Thursdays
-the security I feel when Ronnie is home
-all Melia's tiny little features (she's growing too fast already!)
-that I'm doing more photography these days
-researching/trying to decide what job path I want to take
-hearing the kids singing in the car
-Ronnie wrestling the boys and then being so easy with Melia
-the way Ronnie loves us and provides for us

Life is so good! I am so blessed! Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 30, 2013

30 by Thirty - September 30

How many times can I use 'thirty' in the title of a post? Good grief!

I've gotta tell ya, that scale just will NOT budge one tiny little bit! It doesn't matter what time of day I weigh, if I've eaten recently or not, or whether I've drank a gallon of water or not, I weigh the exact same thing! Right down the the ounce! It's very frustrating! I know I'm not doing too great on eating, but I'm doing better than I was. And I know I'm not exercising much, but I chase around two toddlers all day while I'm nursing, and then we run all around the country in the evenings to various events. Couldn't that count for something?! Oh well....

On a positive note, I have lost some thickness. I measured everything a couple of weeks ago and then re-measured today and had lost half an inch around my waist and 1/4" on the hips. Those are the only places I measured today, but I was happy with that because it means I'm getting closer to getting out of my stretched out maternity clothes. I'm going to miss their comfort, but it will be nice to have more than two outfits again!

Until next time!

Friday, September 27, 2013

That time I thought my van broke down...

Tuesday afternoon Ethan had baseball practice. No big deal. We got there and he took off to the field with his coach and team mates. I sat in the van with sleeping Elijah, hungry Melia and impossible-to-contain in an open area Ezra. A friend from church came over to chat and we talked a bit while Ezra bounced all around the inside of the van.

At 6.30, I went to the field and got Ethan since we needed to leave to go to church. We all got back to the van to load up, and I went to crank the van. There was a problem. The van wouldn't crank. I tried again. And again. And again. No luck. But then I couldn't take the key out of the ignition. I had to idea how to fix the thing!

I looked around and found one of Ronnie's friends. I had him come over and see what he could do. He found that the battery posts were corroded so he tried cleaning them off and then hooked up jumper cables to jump the van off. No luck. He cleaned some more and we tried again. No luck again. My friend from church came over with her drink and we poured it on the battery. Once again we tried to crank it, but had no luck. At this point Ronnie's friend got another vehicle brought over and we tried to crank the van with two vehicles' batteries. No luck.

In my head I'm calculating how much this could possibly cost me with towing and a mechanic, plus finding a rental we could all fit in. I'm wondering how in the world we'll be able to afford the repairs and trying to keep from crying.

By now, there were several people around. All of them were trying to figure out why in the world my van wouldn't start. It just didn't make sense. The friend from church tried to crank it one more time. And when she did, she asked why the van was in "neutral" rather than "park." No one knew, but she shifted it into "park," and tried once more to crank it. Lo and behold, it started! The only problem was that it had been in the wrong 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guess Who Didn't Show...

Thus far, Ethan has lost five of his baby teeth. After the first three, the tooth fairy showed up, deposited a dollar bill, and left a happy child in her wake. That's how I imagine her process works on a good night,c anyway.

With tooth number four, there was a slight hiccup. By this I mean that Ethan's daddy was home. One would think assistance from a father would help the tooth fairy remember the task at hand, but no, it didn't. That fairy stayed up late talking to the man of the house and forgot why she was even at our house in the first place. Shame on her!

The next morning Ethan flew into my room in quite a tizzy exclaiming, "The tooth fairy didn't leave me any money!" Yikes! Not what parents want to hear. Ronnie quickly grabbed a spare bill and went to the kids' room to help "find" what the tooth fairy had actually left. Ethan bought it. Whew! Surely that tooth fairy had learned her lesson!

Last night, Ethan told me that his other top front tooth was loose. And indeed it was. I instructed him to wiggle it really good and saw that it was time to be removed. I offered to yank it out, but he declined, saying that he could do it himself. Alrighty. Sure enough, he got brave and pulled hard enough only to look down at his cloth to see no tooth. It was quite funny to watch. With his mouth hanging open, trying to keep his pearly whites visible and talk at the same time, he mumbled, "Is it still there?" "Yes, sweetie, it's still there. You're going to have to really pull on it hard to get it all the way out." And that he did! He pulled and there was his little tooth on the cloth! "Take a picture, Mama!" (It looked gross, so I'm not sharing.)

Off to bed went my happy snaggle-toothed little boy, anxiously awaiting his crisp dollar bill at wake up.

Only the money wasn't there when he woke up. Yup. That tooth fairy done messed up again! Apparently she was super tired and totally forgot the previous evening's events and didn't even think about delivering a reward for Ethan's bravery. At least that's what I heard. Someone really should fire this chick and get a more reliable fairy for these kids.

I was feeding Melia when Ethan comes charging at me with his Kleenex-bound tooth, declaring in an angry voice, "She didn't even come! My tooth is still here and there's NO money!" Uh oh. I explained that she had probably been, but why would she really want your tooth anyway, and told him to get dressed while I went to see if I could find his money. For a second I saw a look on his face telling me that he has the worst tooth fairy in the world. I agree, sadly.

I quickly grabbed a dollar and headed to his room, pretending to dig under his pillow and yelled out to him, "I found it! I don't know why you didn't see it! It's right here! Come see for yourself!"

Did he buy it? I don't know. Did he get his dollar? Yes. Was he happy? Yes, he was. Is the tooth fairy in trouble? Yes, I think she is. Maybe she'll redeem herself next time.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Well Checks Times Three

When I scheduled Melia's two month well check, I also bravely scheduled Ezra's two year and Elijah's three year as well.

Yes, Elijah was three in January. I've been a busy woman.

After I scheduled the appointments, I worried about the logistics of my choice. How will I hold Ezra and/or Melia while they're getting shots while also caring for the other? How will I console each one after said shots? Everyone knows that Mama's hugs take the hurt away.

When Grandma Jackie heard I was taking them all at the same time, she quickly volunteered to tag along and help out. So this morning, after I loaded up my clan, we headed to her house to pick her up and go on our adventure.

First of all, there's nothing like the looks of other parents in the waiting room when the nurse comes out and calls not one, not two, but three names and you're the only family moving. Then there's nothing like trying to get toddlers to stand still to be weighed and measured. Who am I kidding? There's nothing like doing anything with all these kiddos.  :)

Nurse Pamela and Dr. Connors are so awesome at taking care of children. They love their jobs and it shows! They both handled my three-in-one appointment very well and I was very appreciative.

Ladies first! Melia weighs in at 10lbs. 1oz. She's still a light weight! This puts her in the 23rd percentile for her age. She is 23" long which is the 60th percentile so she's just about average in length. We're hoping she starts to bulk up soon!

Ezra weighs in at 33.6lbs. He is 35" tall. His weight is the 93rd percentile and his height is the 60th. Therefore, he's average in height, but a little on the chunky side. The good news is that he is more slim than he was at his last checkup so he's moving in the right direction!

Elijah is in the 84th percentile for height, measuring 41". And his weight is 41.6lbs., which is the 84th percentile. I was told he was on the heavy side as well, but I'm really not too concerned. He really isn't big at all!

Everyone is healthy and growing, but we're preparing to investigate Elijah's speech a little further. While I can understand most of what he says, there are times that I have no clue what he is saying and we end up playing charades. Many times, when he's asked to repeat something a few times, he gets frustrated and stops the conversation. I feel so bad for him when he can't get his point across! He's a smart boy and has lots to say, but it is difficult for him to articulate. Dr. Connors explained that I should definitely be able to understand nearly everything he's saying, and others should be able to understand the majority of his speech, but that's not the case. The doctor's office is making contact with the proper venues and we'll be referred for evaluation soon. Today his hearing was tested and he passed with flying colors so we were able to rule out any audiological problems, thankfully.

And I must say, these three kiddos were awesome today! Elijah and Ezra took the flu mist with no problems, Ezra didn't flinch when he had his toe poked for blood tests, and Melia only cried a little when she got her THREE shots. I'm so thankful that they are well cared for and that we have the means to take them for medical care!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Snake!

I hate snakes. It's biblical. Remember in Genesis when the serpent convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit? And then Adam did and God found out? Then when it all came out, God told the serpent he'd have to crawl on his belly and that there would be enmity between the serpent and the woman. Enmity means hostility or hatred. Therefore, there is enmity between me and any snake I happen to come into contact with, especially when he decides to enter my home.

Last Thursday, the kids and I were getting ready to go to the library for preschool story time. I told the boys to go to their rooms to get shoes. They both went to Elijah's room, so Melia and I went to Ezra's room. Right about Ezra's shoe basket was a hole that Ronnie had to put in the wall in order to work on the bath tub faucet in the next room. I'd been after him to patch it up for awhile, but it hadn't been done. I was standing in the bedroom, looking down in the shoe basket, when some movement caught my eye. There was a snake crawling into my house through that hole! I lost it! I started screaming and yelled at the boys to get out of the house. They had no clue what was going on, but they started screaming and took off.

I ran to the phone and called Ronnie. Being 3.5 hours away, there wasn't really anything he could do. He said he'd get someone over here, but I told him it wouldn't matter because there was no way I was hanging around waiting on them. When we hung up, I went back to Ezra's room, but didn't see the snake. I wasn't about to go looking for him, so I shut the door and sealed the room off by shoving towels under it. Then I got out of there until Ronnie could get home.

When I got home that night, Ronnie had looked through the room, but had no luck finding the snake. But he was sweet and moved Ezra's bed to the other room. The door was shut again and the towels replaced.

Friday, Ronnie repeated the search. He went through the room, looked in all the dresser drawers, and messed around in the closet. (The closet is messy because that's where all my craft stuff is and it is far from organized here lately.) No snake.

On Saturday, my dear husband decided it was time to patch the hole. Finally. He did a good job and I was appreciative. He looked again, but found no slithering critter. He assured me that the snake had more than likely gone back out the way it had entered. After all that time, the door was left open, but Ezra stayed in the other room.

Monday morning, Ronnie got up and left like normal. I got up, sent Ethan to school, and then I took the other kids to my mom's so I could help her out some. We got home in time to get Ethan off the bus, to do homework and fix supper before heading to church for revival. Things were going well.

Then I had to go to the bathroom. Sorry if this is TMI. I was sitting there when a movement caught my eye at the full length mirror across from me. It was that stupid snake. I jumped up and ran out the bathroom and then out the front door. The boys followed me. I was looking for the shovel, but I couldn't find it. I started looking for anything to kill that booger with. He wasn't getting away again! (In my mind I was trying to figure out how to get everything we would need for the rest of the week in 2 seconds in case my plan to kill this thing didn't work.) Looking around our yard, I saw a tomato plant and there was a porch rail that Ronnie had used to stake the plant. I ran over to it, yanked it out of the dirt, ripped the plant off of it and started back inside. I yelled for Ethan to get Melia and to keep everyone outside.

In the bathroom, the snake was still where he had been. I stepped onto the bath tub and rammed his body with my stick. He took off under a box that was sitting at the wall. I used the stick to throw the box out of the way and started jabbing him with the stick. I couldn't see his head because he went under a pile of clothes, so I was hitting his body. That's when he brought his head out and struck of the the stick. I tried to hit his head, but missed again and he struck again. I just kept hitting him with the stick with all I had, the whole time praying out loud for God to please help me because I couldn't do this. Finally, I hit his head and he stopped striking. I hit him a couple more times for good measure and walked out of the bathroom.

I called my daddy and asked him to come dispose of the corpse, then I called Ronnie to tell him that I had gotten the snake. Neither of them could hardly understand me because I could barely talk. I could barely breathe and I was shaking like never before. I walked outside to where my babies were and fell on the ground. I just sat there, shaking, until my daddy got there.

My sweet daddy went in and got the snake out. He made sure it was dead and then disposed of it for me.



I had trouble sleeping last night because I kept seeing that snake every time I closed my eyes. But I am thankful for many things in this situation. I'm thankful that I was the one who saw it both times. If the boys had seen it in their room, they probably would have picked it up, thinking it was a toy. I'm thankful it didn't bother my babies while they were sleeping. I'm thankful it didn't bite anyone. And I'm thankful that God gave me the strength and courage to kill it, because that wasn't me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

30 By Thirty - 9/23

Not too much to post about this week because I didn't do very well. I tried eating less, but I was hungry all the time. This led to me overeating right before bedtime. Then there's the fact that I only exercised one time all week. Not a good combo.

I forgot to weigh this weekend, but I remembered today. It was lunch time (I like to weigh first thing in the morning) and I had been eating and drinking through the morning, but I was right around where I started. So, I didn't lose, but I didn't really gain too much either. And that's a good thing.

Oh well. I'll try to do better this week. I'm trying to eat more at breakfast to curb daytime snacking. We're also eating supper earlier because we have revival this week so maybe that will help as well.

Monday, September 16, 2013

30 By Thirty

I'll turn thirty in February.

On one hand that seems so young, but on the other it seems a little old, er, mature. I don't feel old, but I've had a few health things that have reminded me that it is time to lose some (all?) of the baby weight I've accumulated in the last seven years.

There's the whole gestational diabetes thing. I've been diagnosed three times and was told that because of this I am at a much higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. I don't want that.

Then Ronnie and I had physicals done for a new life insurance policy and it revealed that my triglycerides were slightly elevated. My dad is on medication for this issue and I really don't want to follow in his footsteps.

So what's a girl to do?!   Well, this girl decided that she is going to attempt to lose thirty pounds by her thirtieth birthday.

I weighed at my parents' house (I don't want scales at my house so I don't become obsessive.) last weekend and again yesterday. And in the first week I'm down .6. Not too bad!

I'm not going on any crazy diets. I won't limit myself to only certain foods or take anything crazy. I'm going to work on portion control and some exercise. I'm not going to stress if the pounds don't melt away because I'm still the sole source of nourishment for Melia.

I plan to post periodic updates here an d am using myfitnesspal.com to log food and exercise. I hope these two things keep me accountable!

Are you trying to lose weight? Or get healthier? What are you doing? Is it working?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mister P

Elijah has just informed me that his baby sister's name is Mister P. He went over to the pack n play and asked me, "Where is Mister P?" Once I figured out that he was talking about Melia, I told him I was feeding her. Silly boy was looking at her the whole time. So he comes over and starts singing a personalized song for Mister P. It went something like this:

Mister P, Mister P, all woo do is dwank, and dwank, and poop and peeeeeee!
And sometimes you fro up on w'all (while looking at me).
I wuv woooo!
I wuv wooooo!
And that is the end!

Ahhhh...these are the moments!

Melia's smile while sitting with Elijah.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What's In A Name - Part 4

The final post about names! Baby Girl is here!

Ronnie and I knew what we were going to name her when we found out we were having a girl, kind of. Melia was originally going to be her middle name, but I decided I didn't like the first name we had picked as much as I once thought I did. So we decided to name her Melia. For those that haven't figured it out, "Melia" is "Melissa" without the two "s"es.

Since the name isn't common and I spelled it weird, I have found several different meanings for Melia. I've seen several meanings according to "Melea" in the Bible, which include "fulness" and "supplied." I like to think that God supplied us with her after we prayed for her and also that she has made our family full. It is also a common Hawaiian name which means Plumeria, a beautiful flower.

Her middle name is Pearl. This is for two reasons. The first is that my great grandmother's name was Pearl and we try to incorporate a family name as the middle name of each of the kids.

The second reason has a cute little story. Ronnie taught Sunday School for the first time back in the spring, in May, I think. While he was teaching, he mentioned patience, and that he had been told he has the patience of a clam. One of the pupils, who had never heard that saying, asked why a clam was considered patient. Ronnie explained that a clam has to be patient in order to take something that irritates it, a grain of sand, and turn it into a beautiful pearl, a process that takes a long time. The student looked over at me and told Ronnie that he must be patient because he got his pearl, meaning me. After that class I told Ronnie that he had been patient and was finally getting a girl (he always wanted a "Daddy's Girl") so I thought it would be neat to name her Pearl. He agreed and now we have Melia Pearl.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Baby Girl's Birth Story - Part 2

It actually didn't take long for the nurse in L&D to call me back, but at the time it felt like forever. When the phone rang, I grabbed it, but hesitated to answer. I was wondering how I would react when she told me to call back or wait until the next day.

I answered and was told that I could come on in, to get there when I could. What?! Seriously?! I'm getting to go to the hospital? Okay!

That's when the real nerves sat in. I was about to have my baby.

Ronnie and I loved the boys bye and sat out to the hospital. On the way we stopped at McDonald's so Ronnie could have something to eat since hadn't eaten anything all day either.

We arrived at the hospital around 11.00. We were quickly whisked into the room by a nurse and I was promptly given instructions to get into a lovely hospital gown.

Last pregnant picture. 


Once I was changed and in bed, the nurse arrived to start getting me prepped. I was so happy that it was Donna, the nurse who was with me when I had Elijah! The doctor came in once I was on the IV and explained that the antibiotic needed to be in me for four hours before delivery to prevent a longer hospital stay and since she felt that I have fast labors she wasn't going to start pitocin just yet and wouldn't break my water until around 3.00. I said that would be fine. She checked me and I was only around 2 cm dilated.


So for the next three hours Ronnie and I hung out in the room waiting for the action to get started. Finally around 3.30 the doctor came back to break my water. I was only around 2.5 cm when she did that, but once my water was broken, I really started to feel some contractions.

The contractions really affected my back. When I would get up to visit the rest room, I would feel better, but as soon as I had to get back in that bed, my back hurt so bad. I mentioned this to Donna and she asked if I wanted the peanut ball. I had no idea what she was talking about so she said she'd bring it to me and see if it helped. I found out that this is a peanut ball:
Oh boy did that thing help! Donna helped me get on it and I bounced and swayed on that ball for about two hours! I could still feel the contractions, and some of them hurt, but I could adjust myself so that my back didn't hurt so bad.

The problem with the peanut ball was that the external heart monitor wasn't picking up baby girl's heart rate too well. Part of it was that she was moving and part was that I was bouncing all over the place. Because of this, I had to get back in the bed for a bit so we could be sure she was doing okay. Once I hit the bed, the contractions felt 10 times, 100 times worse than before. When everyone left (but Ronnie) and I had the chance to focus on my body and nothing else, I started thinking about the epidural.

Soon after it was time for Donna to go home so she introduced me to Sue, who would be with me through the night. Right after shift change, I asked to be checked. When I was told I was 5.5 cm I opted for the epidural. I felt that I had too far to go and that I was hurting too bad to make it without one. I was disappointed in myself because I had really wanted to deliver without one, but I just couldn't hack it.

It seemed like it took forever for the anesthesiologist to get to my room, but she was there rather quickly since she had just left a C-section down the hall. Ronnie was told to sit in a chair across the room because too many daddies had passed out during the administration before. This made me nervous because he had always been right there with me before. But Sue was great at helping me do what I was supposed to. I was sitting on the bed with my legs crossed (as well as they would cross with my big belly in the way) and leaning onto Sue. Let me say, this was the worst, most painful experience of my life. The lady stuck me with some numbing stuff, then tried to insert the epidural. She couldn't get it to do right. Then she stuck me again and jabbed around in my back. She pulled out and stuck me again. More rough pushing. Oh my word, I thought I would die! I don't remember if she stuck me a forth time or not, but she was pushing and talking my ears off about crap I didn't care about. Then she hit a nerve, literally, and my leg moved with a sharp pain and I screamed. Then she did it again and again. Not having control of a moving body part is such an odd feeling. She asked if I had ever had trouble with an epidural before and I told her no about the time she got it to work.

During that process my contractions were coming faster and harder. Before she got it in, I told her and Sue that I needed to push. Baby Girl was coming and I needed to push her out! NOW! I  had to sit in that position for a couple more minutes while the anesthesiologist finished up. Once she did, I was told I could lay down, but I couldn't move because I was in  the midst of a crazy contraction and had I moved, I believe the baby would have shot out of me! When the contraction was over, I turned in the bed and the nurse checked me. I know it sounds gross, but she barely touched me and announced, "You're complete!"

The doctor was called in and was working on getting dressed in her scrubs while I was told to not push. Hardest thing in the world is trying to hold back a baby that wants out! Finally I was told that I could push and I did with all my might. Her head came out, then her shoulders on the next push and finally the rest of her on the last push of the contraction.
Melia Pearl was born at 8.01pm on July 19, 2013. She weighed 8 lbs. 9 oz. and was 21 inches long.


The doctor placed her on my chest and her daddy cut her cord and we have never been happier!





Saturday, August 31, 2013

Baby Girl's Birth Story - Part 1

On Monday morning, I called the doctor's office to inquire of the order of events for Friday morning's induction. I have always been told when to call L&D and not to eat or drink after midnight the night before, but I was literally told nothing this time. When I spoke with nurse Donna, she had already been planning to call because she realized what had happened. She told me to call the hospital at 5.00 Friday morning and to plan to be there at 5.30 if a bed was available. I thought it was early, but it would be alright.

On Thursday, Ronnie got home and we took the boys out for pizza before we dropped them off with overnight bags and sleeping bags at Grandma Jackie's house. I felt terrible leaving my babies, but it would be so much hassle to get them out so early the next morning. Ronnie and I went home alone and did things around the house the rest of the night until I finally fell asleep sometime between midnight and 1.00.

The alarm went off at 3.30 a.m. and I waddled to the bathroom to take my last pregnant bath. I soaked for a bit and watched Baby Girl wiggle around in my tummy. We got everything packed into the van and I made the call to the hospital at 5.00. It was then that I heard what I've never been told before. There were no open beds. I was told to call back at 7.30. At this point it was nearly impossible to go back to sleep, but Ronnie forced me back to bed and eventually I did get a little more rest.

At 7.30 Ronnie called back to L&D while I stayed in bed. He was told that there were several patients scheduled for discharge, but they were still full so I would need to call back at 10.00. At this point I felt like we wouldn't be meeting our baby that day. I was tired and emotional, but Ronnie was so sweet and tried his best to keep me calm. I was also starving because they still said I couldn't have anything to eat. We decided to go see the boys so we left and stayed at my grandma's until it was time to call back.

At 10.00 I called once again. This time I didn't receive information to call again or to come in. I was asked for the phone number where I could be reached and simply told that I would get a call back later.

I was beyond upset. I felt so down. I had prepared myself for this day for two weeks and now nothing was going like I had pictured. I should have been in labor by then, but I wasn't even in the same town as the hospital. I wanted to cry, but I was too tired. I wanted to do something, go somewhere, but I was stuck at my grandma's house until I got a call back. I was just ready to have my baby.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Last Month

At 37 weeks pregnant (July 3rd), I visited the doctor that just loves to schedule me for inductions. This appointment did not disappoint. He was pleased with my blood pressure, blood sugar and weight, but he really felt that it would be better for me to go ahead and get on the schedule. I had a growth ultrasound before the appointment and it revealed that Baby Girl weighed approximately 7lbs. 9oz. Not small by any means, and there were three weeks before she should arrive. Therefore, I reluctantly agreed to the thing I wanted least. He wanted to schedule me for the 17th, at 39 weeks exactly, but I asked for the 19th so that Ronnie would be home and not have to miss any work. He agreed that it should be okay.

The next week, at 38 weeks, I saw Dr. Richardson (he delivered Ezra). He was disappointed that he wouldn't be delivering our baby (I was too) and offered to change the induction to Monday, July 22. Ronnie and I debated heavily on this, but ultimately decided that we would stay with the 19th.

We left the doctor's office after our final appointment, knowing that we would be meeting our little girl in one week.

The next post will begin her birth story.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's In A Name - Part 3

Part 3 means that we are to our third son. And, I must confess, when we were told "boy" for the third time, we had no name prospects whatsoever.

Ezra getting ready to go home.

By this point we felt that we needed to use another "E" name and that it should probably be biblical. That didn't leave very many options. We tossed around a few names and had decided that we liked Ezekiel. That was the baby's name and we just needed to find a middle name to go with it. But then we had a discussion and decided that we might like Ezra better. We were so indecisive! Finally, not long before he was born, we decided that we like Ezra and that would be baby's name. Ezra, incidentally, means "help" (another Hebrew name) and the Lord knew I was going to need help with this child!

But then we needed a middle name. Gosh! Naming babies is hard! We talked about names that are in each of our families and decided that William was well represented on both sides, and it's a good, solid male name. Then there's the fact that every time I was pregnant one of my colleagues would rub my belly saying, "I know there's a Will in there!" Her son was William and he is a great young man whom I wouldn't mind my boys looking up to. 

And not long before he was born, we decided that this little man would be Ezra William.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's In A Name - Part 2

Last week I shared how Ronnie and I chose Ethan's name. This week I'll talk about our second child.

Elijah on his birth day.

We didn't have such an easy time choosing his name, but we finally agreed and we love it still. Mr. Elijah Hayes. I remember writing a list of Bible names that I liked (I love Josiah, by the way, but Ronnie said no!) and giving it to Ronnie. He'd tell me yes, no, or maybe for each one. I heard "no" a lot. But I didn't hear "yes' very much. And there were a few "maybe" answers. Eventually we reached a truce and we decided that the first name for this little boy would be Elijah. It's another Hebrew name and means "the Lord is my God." Plus there's the fact that Elijah was a great prophet in the Bible.

When we got to the middle name, we decided that we would name him after someone in my family. Vernon, after my dad? No. Arlie, after my grandpa? No. Robert? Leroy? Eugene? Martin? Rueben? Obviously all a no. (I have some strange and old-fashioned names on my side!) I decided one day to go through the geneology book that my grandpa Arlie researched many years ago. It was there that I discovered my great-grandfather Rueben's middle name was Hayes. I liked it immediately. I shared it with Ronnie and he liked it too. It flowed well with Elijah. And we had the name for our second son.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What's In A Name - Part 1

I thought it would be fun to explain the reasoning behind the names that Ronnie and I have chosen for each of our kids. I don't think I've ever written it down and I'd like the boys (and girl) to have the story of how their name was chosen to read when they're older.

I'll do Ethan this week and go through until Little Miss is born and we announce her name. :)

Ethan at his 2nd birthday party.

When Ronnie and I started dating we told each other that we didn't want to have kids. Ha! We were just going to date for awhile and then go our separate ways. Ha! At least that's what young me thought since I was heading off to college and wanted to explore the world without being tied down. 

Wasn't I silly?

Within a few months I began to realize that this Ronnie guy wasn't very easy to scare away and that there may be something to our relationship beyond weekend dates. It didn't take long before we were talking marriage and dreaming about our future family. 

For some reason we decided that we wanted four kids. He has three sisters and I have 2 siblings so a smaller family just wouldn't cut it. In our minds at the time we thought we'd have 2 boys and 2 girls and we picked out their names. 

The very first name we picked was the first name we used: Ethan Tate. I had always loved the name Ethan and didn't know very many guys with that name. It is of Hebrew origin and has a good meaning: firm, strong. Just what I'd want my boy to be, firm in his beliefs and strong, both physically and mentally. Ronnie didn't argue as he liked it too, but he was very particular about the middle name. He wanted him named after his grandfather. So we decided that Ethan Tate sounded good together and we tucked the name away to use when we had our future children. 

Fast forward 5-ish years and when we went for the gender ultrasound of our second pregnancy and found out that we were expecting a boy, we knew automatically what his name would be. The easiest time choosing a name we've had yet. 

Just a little side note: we ended up not using any of the other names we chose when we chose Ethan's name. How odd is that?

Friday, June 28, 2013

36 Weeks

I had yet another appointment this morning, but it actually went pretty well.

I was scheduled to see the doctor that is always running behind. And he didn't disappoint. After we had been in the waiting room for 25 minutes his nurse came around telling everyone that he was running behind. I mentioned that I wasn't sure if I needed an NST today or not, so she went to check for me. A few minutes later I was being taken to a room to get started.

Nurse Joan is the sweetest, most wonderful lady and she got me hooked up, watched the strip for awhile and asked if I was thirsty. Of course I was! I stay thirsty these days. I ended up getting a cold water and an ice pack for my neck while Baby Girl kicked and moved around. Thankfully, everything on the strip looked great and we were told she's doing well.

There is much debate on whether cervical checks are worthwhile or not so I was asked if I wanted to be checked or not. Last week I was only a fingertip so I was curious to find out if anything has been happening with all these contractions I've been having. Surprisingly the doctor said that I'm almost a 2! Yay! I was super excited!

We talked about my glucose levels. I forgot my book so I told him how they've been and he seemed pleased with them and didn't make any adjustments to my medications.

He also mentioned that he wants to have another growth ultrasound so that is scheduled for Wednesday. He's concerned because I "tend to grow big babies." Yes, I know.

Finally he mentioned an induction and choosing a date. I don't know if I'm crazy or what, but I politely declined, telling him that I'd like to go into labor on my own this time. He seemed pretty supportive, but cautiously advised that there was no reason to go past my due date and that it would be advisable to not go past 39 weeks. But he understands that I'd like to skip the pitocin.

Therefore, at the moment, I am scheduled to go into labor on my body's timing. We are being optimistic that I will go into labor by my due date and skip the induction process. The worry is that Ronnie is working 3 hours away four days a week. I'm concerned that I'll go into labor while he's gone and that he may not make it in time. And then I worry about what I'll do if I do go into labor while he's gone; what will I do with the kids, will I drive myself to the hospital, will I be alone in the delivery room? Ironically, I'm not stressed or worried about it. I'm trying not to think about it too much, but I'm pretty excited that I may get to experience spontaneous labor.

Keep us in your prayer! We need them!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

35 Weeks

Since the last baby update I've been to the doctor twice so I think it's time for another, even though there isn't much happening.

Ronnie went with me for a 34 week check up. It was one of those where they check weight and bp, measure the big ole ball on my front side, listen to the baby's heart, ask if we have questions and send us on our way in less than 10 minute visits. I never have questions, but Ronnie is a talker and has to talk even if it's just to hear himself. Just kidding. He talked about my glucose levels with Dr. Mannino. He told her how frustrated I get when my numbers are high and that he tells me not to stress, but I don't listen. So, with him sitting there grinning, the doctor agreed with him and reminded me that my numbers are looking very good and not to stress. Thanks, hon!

Then we were told that it was time to start weekly visits! That, my friends, is how we know we're getting close to meeting this little (big) lady!

I went this past Thursday for a 35 week visit. I had to take Ethan with me since we came straight from his summer camp. Huge thanks to Gram Jackie or I would have had all three with me when they told me they were going to do the Group B Strep test. That could have been interesting. But Ethan is a pretty good kid and entertained himself with an I Spy tube in the hallway during the personal moments.

Dr. Lennon was pleased with my glucose levels and said everything sounded/looked good. Thank you to him for not mentioning the 4 pound weight gain this week. (Why can I go for 3-4 weeks maintaining and then BAM! a huge gain at one time?!) And then he checked for dilation and all these stinkin' contractions have gained me a whole fingertip. I was hoping for more, but its a start so I'll take it.

And that is the baby update for now. Only five more (give or take one or two) and I'll be sharing Baby Girl with you all!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Eye Funk

A couple of weeks ago the boys played in the massive mud pit that is our yard. (But we're oh so thankful for all the rain we've been getting this year!) They were literally covered from head to toe. They got sprayed off with the water hose in the back yard and then came in for baths it was so bad. Ethan had actually gotten it on his face, rather close to his eye. Ronnie and I cleaned them all up and we went on with life.

The next morning I noticed Ethan's left eye was a little red. We cleaned it out and figured it would get better. But a couple of days later we noticed a bubble on his eye. He said it didn't hurt so we just kept an eye on it. Fast forward a couple more days and the bubble was gone, but the redness was back. Worse. I started to get more concerned, but everyone assured me it would get better and not to worry over it. Okay.

The day of field day when Ethan came home his eye was more red than it had ever been. He told me his teacher had sent him to the nurse and she had cleaned it out again. I decided it was time for a doctor trip. I called the pediatrician and they said they'd make an appointment with an eye doctor. That was cool until they called back with the appointment....11 days later. Thanks, but no thanks.

I called my eye doctor and they said to come on down. Like right now. And he was seen within the hour. The doctor said that it was probably an allergic reaction to something. No telling what. Maybe even something that was just floating around in the air. He could see mounds on Ethan's eye and that it could be cleared up with steroid drops. Awesome!

So here we are six days later and we've followed up with the doctor. Ethan's eye is clear and he's being weaned off the drops. Moral of the story: don't play around with eye care!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

One of those days...

Things have been going well around the Kidd house. Normal everyday life. Its been nice, but sometimes things have to be shaken up to make you more thankful for the good times.

Today was one of those days. The "shake it up" kind.

I guess it actually started yesterday afternoon when I took Ethan to his ballgame, but for some reason just couldn't get there on time. I drive 30 miles with a kid who complains of a headache and two brothers that are intent to make him feel worse, just to be within a mile of the field to get the call that the game has been called because of weather. Really? Like the warning issued by the National Weather Service couldn't help you make that decision an hour ago? Anywho. We drive home in the storm and safely arrive in order to get ready for another day.

The dog barked all night. Which scares the bejeezus out of me because he only barks when something or someone that shouldn't be here, is. So I sneak glances through the blinds, but can't find the culprit.

I finally get some sleep and wake up to get Ethan off for his day of school and things are going alright. I slip back into bed, snuggled between my two smaller cuddle bunnies and get some more rest.

Ezra woke up and wandered through the house before I got up. He was supposed to go get his diaper so I could change him, but he just walked around playing for awhile. When he finally came back to me (It really was only a few minutes. I don't let my kids goof off forever without adult supervision.) he had poop all over his little legs, leaking from his diaper. It. Was. Nasty. I scoop him up, take him to the bathroom and get him cleaned up in the tub. That wasn't so bad, even if I didn't want to deal with crap (literally) first thing this morning.

Clean and fresh we head to the kitchen for breakfast. That's when I find it. The trail of poop he has left throughout the house. Ugh. Across the living room, to the kitchen (especially in front of the fridge), into and back out of the laundry room, to the boys' bathroom (where he must have tried to use the potty or clean himself up...I really don't want to know) and I'm guessing a repeat back through the living room to me.

Sorry that was so gross. I'm just keeping it real.

We do some things around the house (clean a poop trail) eat breakfast and play until lunch time. After lunch, the boys are laid down for a nap. Except they really don't want to take a nap today. Of course not! Who wants a nap? Ezra sneaked into Elijah's room and, since they were playing quietly, I let them be. Until Ezra let out a blood curdling scream. I take off. He looks fine, but he's crying like nobody's business, obviously hurting. I look for Elijah. He's lying on his bed like he's been there the whole time trying to take a nap. Yeah. Right.  I try to get Ezra to tell me what's wrong, but he can't get it out. I'm looking him over and asking Elijah what happened. "Me don't know." Finally Ezra tells me, "JiJi. Hit. Head. Hurt." Poor baby got knocked in the head by his "innocent" brother. I start looking at his little head and then I see it. Blood. Coming from a little gash. Ewww. I'm looking around trying to figure out what caused the damage and he shows me the dinosaur that Elijah knocked him with. Great. What do I do? Do I need to go to urgent care? Or the ER? Wait...I have a kid getting off the bus in thirty minutes so I can't go anywhere. I clean it up and send Ronnie a picture. He thinks he'll be okay, but I may want someone else to check it out. I decide to keep an eye on it for a bit just to see what happens.

 I baby Ezra for a bit, go get Ethan, come back to the house to cook supper so we can get ready to go to the game that is being played tonight. (Another 60 mile round trip. Yay.) I start cooking the meat and turn on a pot of water for some noodles. I remembered I needed to ask my mom something so I give her a call. I'm sitting at the desk, on the phone, when I hear something. I look up in time to see a Pyrex dish and the plate that was on top of it explode and fly across the kitchen in thousands of tiny pieces. And then there's the fact that Ezra was in the kitchen, only a few feet from the stove. I abruptly hang up on my mom, grab my shoes and go grab my baby. Thankfully he is fine with only one little boo boo on his arm. But it was all my fault because I turned on the wrong burner. Pregnancy brain? I think so.

I send all the boys to their room so I can clean glass shards, only to hear that same scream from Ezra once again. Poor child fell on the toy he was playing with and has a bruise on his cheek and one on his chin.

About that time Rondo starts barking. I look out and my cousin is here. Which is fine. She's picking something up for me and she is awesome enough to check Ezra's head. I tell Ethan to get his uniform on every 5 seconds while they're here so we can leave when they do. They leave. Ethan is still in school clothes. He couldn't find his uniform. Even though he had it on last night. I got irritated.

We finally leave home about 5 minutes before we should be at the field. I'm good, but I can't do 30 miles in 5 minutes. Or 25 for that matter because every single person I got behind insisted on driving 5-10 mph below the speed limit. Errr. We arrive and the rude lady at the gate takes my $2 even though I was told we wouldn't have to pay. Ethan hops out to play ball and I sit in the car with sleeping babies. Remember, they never took a nap. They wake up and I go out to watch the last four hits of the game. That, my friends, is $2 well-spent.

We hit Cookout on the way home and things were looking up. Everyone happily ate fatty food and talked until we got to our driveway. About that time Ezra coughed. I looked at him and asked if he was alright. He told me he was. 3.6 seconds later he spewed vomit all over the place. Great. I got him out of the car seat and helped him out of his clothes, the boys helped me carry things in and we got Ezra to the tub. I specifically told Elijah not to go in the kitchen since he didn't have shoes on. And guess what. I'm giving Ezra a bath when Elijah walks in with blood running out of his heel. Cut by glass. I wanted to say "I told you so," so bad. But instead I explained why I give him instructions and boundaries to keep him safe. Which, bless his heart, makes him cry harder that when he gets any other punishment.

And it only took an hour and a half to get them all settled in bed tonight. Too much excitement today.

I'm sorry this is so long, but I've got a point to make. I was all upset about everything that had gone down today. I even cried to Ronnie because everything was falling apart. I was ready to write this post and call it something like "Stay at home mom and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."

But my mentor and friend messaged me on facebook and my outlook changed. I didn't tell her all that happened today. We talked about how glad we are that we aren't teaching anymore and how I'm glad I made the decision to stay home. I even said/typed "a bad day at home beats a good day at work." It hit me hard when I did that. Yeah, today was less than ideal. I didn't get much done, my kid has at least four new boo boos for his daddy to kiss when he gets home tomorrow, I lost some dishes and had a mess to clean up, we spent more time on the road than playing baseball, but at least I wasn't dealing with all the junk I'd be dealing with at work. I chose to become a stay at home mom. I chose to deal with my kids 24/7 and that involves the good and the bad.

And when we finished up our conversation, I said that I needed to "re-tuck" the kids because they'd all gotten out of bed. Again. And she told me, "I miss that...you have no idea how much. Enjoy, my girl. Enjoy." I had tears in my eyes. I may get overwhelmed at times. And my hormones contribute to me getting more flustered than normal, but I can feel it. I can sense that the boys are growing right before my eyes. I saw it in Ezra when I cut his hair and he didn't look so babyish anymore. I saw it in Elijah when I realized he isn't so bow-legged anymore and his pants started creeping up higher than his ankles. I saw it in Ethan on his field trip last week when he was content to hang out with his friends and looked like a big kid walking around with his new-found confidence. It hurts to think of it, but my kids will be gone all too soon. I can't stop them from growing up. I wouldn't want to.

So even on days like today, I need to stop and remember that this is only a season. My days won't be like this forever. One day I'll be sitting in a quiet house without boo boos to kiss or games to drive to and I know I'll miss it. And when I remember this I'm thankful that God has given me the opportunity to mother these three little boys. I'm blessed, but I often forget it. Today I'm thankful that Ezra didn't need stitches. I'm thankful that he wasn't hurt by flying glass. I'm thankful that Ethan got to do something he enjoys. I'm thankful that I worked on teaching Elijah to say "yes ma'am" instead of "why" when he's told to do something. I'm thankful that I get to be so involved in the lives of these little people.

I am so blessed. I just needed to have one of those days to remind me how much.
 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

32 Weeks

I had a normal appointment scheduled today with Dr. Mannino. Then I had to add an ultrasound before that so I was expecting to spend all afternoon at the OB office. I got to the office five minutes early (yay me!) and was called back with three minutes to check out Baby Girl's growth.

For everyone who keeps telling me how huge I am, or that I look like I could birth a baby any minute, I'm telling you what the tech told me today: Baby Girl is 4lbs. 6oz. and healthy.(This is 60% for 32 weeks.) And she is "taking up every bit of space that she has available." I think she's going to look like her brothers (all their ultrasounds seem to look the same to me) and she has hair (time to make some baby bows!).

Then I was sent back to the lobby only to be called out for my normal appointment like 30 seconds later. Weight was the same as last week and BP was good with the top number starting to creep up a little. I really thought I was going to be out of the place within 30 minutes, but I spent 20 waiting on the doctor to come in. (No worries since I still left 20 minutes before my scheduled time.) She looked at my glucose log and said my numbers this week looked great and to keep doing the same thing. She measured me and we listened to the heart and I was sent on my merry way for 2 weeks.

So thankful that everything seems to be going well!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

31 Weeks

I saw Dr. Richardson on Wednesday to check up on Baby Girl. I just went last week, but since I was started on medications to control Gestational Diabetes, the doctor wanted to keep an eye on my glucose levels.

Here are the highlights:
*I lost 1lb.! I've really gained too much weight this go around so I can most definitely handle a loss at this point. So I've been on the GD diet for 2 weeks and have maintained weight.

*Medication started at the previous checkup will stay the same for another week. 2.5mg of Glyburide at night to keep my fasting numbers down. But if they continue to creep up I'll be started on a morning and evening dose next week. I'm happy as long as I don't have to give myself insulin shots!

*Due to me taking meds for GD, I will be getting another ultrasound to make sure Baby Girl isn't a little too much on the chunky side. And to make sure that her growth isn't slowing due to the medications. It's been scheduled for next Thursday before my normal appointment.

*I don't have to start NSTs (non-stress tests) yet. Depending on which doctor I see, I'm told a different week to start them. I imagine it will be soon though.

*Nothing has been mentioned about induction yet. I really want to go into labor on my own, but I'm afraid that an induction will be necessary around 39 weeks like it has been in the past. I've had more intense Braxton Hicks contractions this time than I had with any of the boys so maybe my body has figured out how to go into labor on its own. We'll just have to wait and see on this one.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Getting Through It

I hate that I vented in my last post, but I was just keeping things real. Everything isn't always wonderful and I want to remember that when I look back through my posts. (Since I've had this blog awhile, I love going back and reading old posts.) Sometimes life gets tough, and I almost titled this post, "Getting Over It," but that's not what we do. We don't "get over things." We take each experience and use it to shape who we are afterwards. We don't have things happen and then forget they ever happened. We work through things. We learn. We struggle. We pray. We work. We make it through. And that's what I'm doing. Sure, it's tough being a mother, a wife, a daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, a friend. But I don't want to get over any of those roles. I want to continue those roles and enjoy the path that I'm on.

The last post helped me to remind myself to look at what I've been blessed with and I've enjoyed listening to a dear young lady (actually a former student) sing a song entitled, "I Have Been Blessed." If you have a chance, you should give it a listen.

And special thanks to my friend, Renee, for reminding me of the following scripture:
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Overwhelmed

Warning: This isn't a fun, life is going hunky dory post. Just in case the title didn't give it away.

I'm vaguely aware of the fact that Mother's Day is Sunday. I probably wouldn't think too much of it, but my sister called wanting to know what I'm getting our mom. Ummmm....I have no idea. Nor do I know what I'm getting any of the other mothers in our lives. What's Mother's Day got to do with this post? Glad you ask. Mother's Day is a day to honor the women who helped make us who we are, the women who made all the sacrifices look easy, the women who would gladly go back and do it all again, even knowing what they know now. But I haven't been feeling worthy of the honor. I haven't been doing so well with all the "motherly" things. I'm overwhelmed and feel like I'm going under.

The kids aren't listening. I have to repeat myself 439 times to get my point across, but by the 15th time I'm yelling and red-faced. Ezra almost refuses to wear a diaper....or go to the potty. I'm tired of cleaning crap up, literally. Ethan is in some sort of weird funk...he's bossy and mean and I can't get him to open up to me about it. Elijah thinks he's a big kid and yet, still wants to be a baby and therefore, I clean up more crap, again literally.

My house is a disaster. I haven't felt like cleaning and apparently no one else who lives here full-time does either. (I don't include Ronnie because he's rarely here and most of the mess isn't his. His biggest mess is a suitcase of dirty clothes to wash every weekend, but I didn't even have to touch that last week.)

The laundry is still piled up from the great washing machine fail and I just can't seem to catch up. Then I can't find the laundry detergent I like anywhere around here. Errrr.

The dishes are piled up, but I can't stand at the sink to wash them because I feel like there's a baby about to fall out from the pressure. Plus there's the whole awkward stance thing since this belly keeps me from actually getting close to the sink.

Then there's the fact that the responsibility of cleaning my grandmother's apartment out has fallen to me and my mom. Cleaning 10 years of a pack rat's junk is definitely not fun. (One would think that seeing all of her junk would motivate me to clean, but it just makes me tired.

Then the nurse from my OB office called today to tell me that I failed my glucola test. Miserably. And that I need to do the three hour test. Unless I think I'll fail it too. Guess what? I'll fail it. So monitoring begins immediately. Except when I got to the pharmacy to get my supplies, the doctor hadn't called them in yet.

And those are the big things. There are so many little things irritating me here lately....like every single little thing. I've been in situations that were far more stressful and felt fine. Why am I going crazy now? I pray its just hormones and goes away soon.

Why did I post this? To show that life isn't always perfect. My kids aren't perfect. I'm not perfect. Also, I needed to get it all off of my chest and didn't want to get to the point that I was emailing Ronnie to please come home because every time I talked to him on the phone all I could do was cry.

And because once I got it all typed out I started realizing my blessings. And that's where I needed to get. My kids are healthy. They are all boy and keep me on my toes. I'm experiencing a (mostly) healthy pregnancy and I have great doctors who are watching out for me and Baby Girl. I'm fortunate to have a home and all kinds of junk to go in it. We have clothes to wear, food to eat and love to share. I'm lucky to still have a mom and grandmas, even though they all can drive me crazy to a point. My mama sleeps late, but she always has food to share. Gram Jackie is always asking me favors, but I'm so blessed that she'll call me anytime she needs anything. I probably know her better than any of the other grandchildren and my boys love their "old" grandma beyond words. I'm blessed that my Grandma Summerlin knew my name yesterday. She called me by it at least twice and it made me want to cry. (Never mind the fact that she asked about me being fat (pregnant) five times in as many minutes. I'm blessed with a hard-working husband who does all that he can for me on the days that he is home. And I have a God in Heaven who is watching over me and reminding me not to worry so much because He is still in control.      

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baby Update!

I've been meaning to post an update, but there really isn't much going on. But that's a good thing! Since the ultrasound, I've had 2 appointments, 20 and 24 weeks.

At the 20 week appointment, I did a 1 hour glucola test. I dreaded it. When I got to the office the ladies at the front didn't know anything about it, so I thought I may get to skip it. No such luck. One lady looked up while on the phone and asked the famous question, "Orange or fruit punch?" Ugh. )I always get orange because red foods/drinks give me headaches.) The lab tech brought me my drink and it was stinkin' fruit punch!  What's a girl to do? I put on my big girl panties and guzzled it down to wait my hour.

I went in for my appointment with the OB, a new woman, and everything looked great. Baby's heartbeat is strong, She said I was okay with my weight and asked if I had any questions. I mentioned my sinus issues and that my ear had been bothering me so she checked it out and wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic.

I went back to finish my one hour wait and then had a finger prick, a "You passed!" and I was on my way for another month. (I was ecstatic since that was the first glucola I had passed since I was pregnant with Ethan!)

*  *  *

Four weeks later I returned, accompanied by Ronnie for the first time. Yay! I hate going by myself. The whole appointment didn't last 20 minutes, but I got upset because I had gained SEVEN pounds in those four weeks.I still don't know what happened, but God bless that doctor (same new lady), she didn't mention a word about weight. I could have hugged her for that! She did re-check my ear, but I couldn't help myself. I started laughing and she asked if I was okay. I told her I was, but I was the only person I know who goes to the gynecologist to get my ears checked. That's when I found out she has a sense of humor, thankfully.

The heartbeat and everything else was good and she sent me on my way for four more weeks, when I'm scheduled for the normal glucose test.

I have an appointment Friday, so I'm praying that I pass and that everything looks good with baby!

*  *  *

Pregnancy Brain
Seems that this phenomenom has been rearing its ugly head with me lately. I'll just use the past 24 hours as an example. 

After attending a play at Ethan's school yesterday, I helped Grandma take a quilt to the Senior Center and took a quick trip to WalMart. Upon leaving the store, I couldn't find my van. I walked around the parking lot for 10 minutes (not even exaggerating, wish I was) with 2 babies in the cart before I finally found it. 

Yesterday afternoon, Ezra unplugged my alarm clock. I re-set it before church so I wouldn't have to worry about it at bedtime. When I went to bed, I set the alarm so I could get Ethan up and to the bus on time. This morning I hear Ezra moving around, and when I open my eyes discover the sun is up and the birds are chirping and its 7.30 rather than 6.00. Looking at the clock, I think that I never even heard it go off. Upon further checking, I realized that I got my a.m. and p.m. mixed up last night and my alarm won't go off until 6.00 this evening. 

Oh well. Two and a half months and I won't be pregnant anymore. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's Gonna Take Surrender

My word for 2013 is faith. I've been having to constantly remind myself that God is in control and that I have to trust Him. I seem to struggle daily. The words to this song by Steel Bridge help me and I hope they help you too.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Accountability

Operation: Let's Get This House Organized/Clean/Less Cluttered is underway!

I'm thinking if maybe I blog my progress that I will get more accomplished? Hold myself accountable, per say? (I don't know how to spell per say.) I just know that I'm tired of trying (and failing) to control this cluttered mess and I'm in a weird spring cleaning/nesting phase so I'm going to go with it while I can!

I'm working on a post for toys and will get to one on clothing. Then we'll see where this goes.

**Renee, you better make me stick to this!**

  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Homemade Stuffed Animal 'Chain Gang'

If you have children, you have stuffed animals. They start to get them as gifts before they're even born. And then they multiply in your children's rooms until you want to pull your hair out! No, maybe not. But when you have a husband who thinks the claw machines are the ultimate challenge and plays them anytime he's out with the kids, then they seem to multiply. And Heaven forbid that you try to get rid of one. Your kid will know exactly where it came from, what he was doing when he received it (or Daddy won it) and then proceed to tell you all the memories associated with the animal.

Really, I guess my kids don't have too many, not for three boys anyways, but I was just not finding a way to store them that suited us. I had them in a tote. But the kids would throw them all around the room and play in the tote. Then Daddy took the tote for something else. We had them in the toy box, but they took up too much valuable space. Most of the time they just floated around the room and I was tired of seeing them strewn everywhere. So I started researching my options.

Toy hammock 
Okay, I had one when I was a kid. I remember wanting a toy, climbing to get it, deciding to dump the whole thing, then not wanting to get them back to the ceiling so I didn't utilize the hammock, rendering it useless. I saw the ideas where people hang them lower on the walls, but I needed something more vertical since we'll have two kids in each room soon and we'll need all the space we can get.

The Animal Zoo
THE ZOO Stuffed Animal Storage by Littlezookeepers
Honestly, the idea is good, but I think it's tacky. It takes up quite a bit of floor space and I wonder how sturdy it is.

Bean bags

 Product Image
I found some bean bag type chairs that you can put the stuffed animals in, but right now I really don't know what color I want. I'm still deciding how to decorate this room. I know, what a problem.

Then I found the Stuffed Animal Chain Gang. When I think of a chain gang, I think of the prisoners back in the day that were assigned various work duties outside of their bars, working together in a long line, connected by chains.
I'd never heard of a chain gang for stuffed animals. I'm sure you can imagine the mental picture I got when I saw those words, right? But this was exactly what I was looking for! I found it on amazon for $9.99, but when I went back to show it to Ronnie, the price had increased. Being the hopeful DIYers that we are, we schemed about the items we could buy to make it ourselves.

This is what I came home with: a 15' dog chain (I couldn't find a plastic chain at my Wal-Mart and this was actually the cheaper, sturdier option.) and some multi-purpose hanger clips I found in the laundry section. The original idea was clothespins and some sort of hook to connect the pin to the chain. These clips worked for both items.

The chain was $5.97 and the clips were $2.97 per bag. So I spent about $12, but we can cut the chain in two and have one for each room, but I'd probably buy another bag or two of clips so it'd be $18 for two chain gangs. I also used an eye hook to attach it to the ceiling. Actually Ronnie did that, but that's all I had him do since I didn't need to balance on the table he did to attach it. I'm a little "front heavy" these days.


Our final project! I'm pretty proud of it! The animals are off the floor, they are visible and they don't take up much space! 
   

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Are we there yet?

You know how annoying it is when you're going anywhere and all you hear from the backseat is, "Are we there yet?" Apparently we can be going somewhere five minutes from home and yet, to the kid in the backseat, it seems like we'll never arrive.

I'm that kid. Inside my head I'm screaming, "Are we freakin' there yet?" Except we're not going anywhere. We're holed up at home because everyone is sick.

Let me preface this by saying that when I worked in a school with germ-ridden teens everyday we were a pretty healthy family. I guess my immune system was pretty tough and I brought home just enough grossness to build up the immunities of the boys and we were good to go. Quit my job and all of a sudden my family turns into some of the sickest people I know. (Don't quote my science there because, well, it's probably not very factual.)

So a couple of weeks ago Ezra started throwing up out of the blue at an ungodly hour in the morning. Great. I did the loving mama thing and he was all better when he woke up later in the morning. But then the next day, it hit me. I was so sick I couldn't function - and I had three kids to take care of alone. Not an hour later, Elijah got it too. We were a hot mess. And Bless Ethan's heart, he was doing his best to take care of us. Everyone finally made it to bed and it hit Ethan. I was sick and taking care of sick boys and one wild toddler.

No problem. I'm a tough chick. I can handle it.

But.........

This past Saturday was beautiful! We ran all of our errands together with the windows down, we played at a park while we waited to meet someone, we even grilled out for supper.

While he was cooking, Ronnie started to feel "not quite right." Hmmmm. By early morning I could hear him in the bathroom and it didn't sound pleasant. His fever would go up and then break just to go back up again. He was achy, he slept a lot and he looked like crud. This went on all day. Monday he got up and left for work. Soon after the sun came up I heard a truck outside and there was my husband, looking worse than before. He ended up staying in bed all day Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday he moved to the recliner. I hated him being sick, but it was manageable.

Tuesday, again at some ungodly hour (I don't do interrupted sleep very well.), Ronnie brought Elijah to me. The child was on fire. Where's the thermometer? Nowhere to be found, of course. Tylenol it is. I've got this. All day long his fever would go up. I'd do Tylenol and a cool bath. Or Tylenol and a damp washcloth. Remind him not to bundle up in his blanket. All he did was lay around. I felt so helpless. Wednesday he woke and exclaimed, "Me feel gwate!" Awesome, kid. Why are you still running a fever?

By Thursday morning, I had had it with Elijah's fever. Got an appointment for him and off we went to the doctor. Lucky little guy had an ear infection, flu and strep. Gross. I felt bad for not taking him sooner, but he said he felt great. Oh well. Luckily, the doctor took mercy on me and when I mentioned that I'd be seeing her next week for a brother, she wrote prescriptions for Tamiflu for both of them! Awesome and thank you!

After hearing all this, Ronnie decided to go ahead and get an appointment. Yes, he suffered all week, but he knows how to use the phone as well as I do.

He went to the doctor Friday morning and got the same diagnosis, minus the ear infection.

But wait! There's more! When Ethan got home Thursday he told me his throat was hurting. Say what? Kid, you have got to be kidding me? I brushed it off until Friday morning when he woke up crying that it hurt so bad that I told him to go back to bed rather than go to school. I made him an appointment and he tested positive for strep too. Joy.

Needless to say, we've been on quarantine for a week now. And I'm going a little crazy. I keep wondering when the other shoe is going to drop and either Ezra or myself will be sick, but so far it hasn't happened.

Are we there yet? Are we all healthy enough to go out in public?