Monday, December 20, 2010

The To Do List

It is getting longer by the second.  I have a lot to do this week and the awake hours don't seem expansive enough to encompass the list, which seems to grow exponentially.

I have to retract my statement about Keaton.  His stinkiness has greatly improved.  We prayed for his little tummy at 2 different Bible studies last week.  Then, on Wednesday night, I had a chiro at our church adjust his little back.  I am not sure if it was the prayers AND the insight to have him adjusted or just the prayers.  Either way, he is way better, which is way better for us all.

The big kids are stinkin' excited to see Grannie and Grandpa and all of their aunts, uncles, and cousins!  They've been counting down since 12 days.  They are also excited to see their other grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins in a couple of weeks.  So much family time!  WOO HOO!  They are looking forward to Christmas, as well, but I think that they are more excited to see everyone than they are about the presents!

I, once again, did not get out a Christmas card.  It just doesn't happen.  I think that I got some out 1 year of the 8 we've been married.  You all know what has gone on throughout our year, though, so all you REALLY need is pictures.  You shall have some after the first of the year.

Oh.  I need to get a few things written down about Keaton.  On Friday (the 17th) he laughed for the first time at me tickling him.  It was a great laugh, too!  He's made some other random laughing sounds, but this was a response to tickling.  Also, he is really not too far from sitting on his own.  Crazy, I know.  He's not even 3 months yet.  He has always had really good head control and it looks like his entire back is going to be strong and have good balance.  He plays so well with his toys on his floor gym.  He will grab onto something and shake it while watching it very closely.  Then, he'll let go of it and reach for one of the other toys.  He prefers the octopus, which I purposely put to the side and not really in his reach.  He will stretch to grab it.  It is so cute!

Well, that's all.  I need to get going and get busy.  First item on the agenda today is to clean out the van and get the *ahem* presents all wrapped, camoflauged, and ready to go.  Pretty sure we didn't need to get them anything at all with the grandparents, but we did in the name of the jolly elf.

I hope that you all have blessed holidays with lots of love with family and friends.  Let us remember that the secular part of the holiday is lots of fun, but the holiday was created to celebrate the birth of our savior...our only hope of salvation.  He left His throne to put on one of these lowly bodies, be limited, and eventually tortured and killed for YOU!  Merry CHRISTmas to you all!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How?

How do I begin to update what has happened over the past month and what is ahead of us? 

Well, let me start by saying that all is well with our family. 

Mark is enjoying his job and is really learning the ropes.  He goes to railroad school for 2 weeks in January.

I am exhausted.  Utterly and truly exhausted, but I am maintaining and have found that things aren't really much different with 3 kids.  The two big kids entertain each other so well. My hardest thing is getting everything that I need for all 3 kids and myself whenever we leave the house.  Coat, Coat, Coat, Blanket.  Hat, hat, hat.  Gloves, gloves, gloves.  Diapers, Diapers.  Wipes.  Nursing Shawl.  Burp Rags.  Snacks.  Stuff to keep the big kids entertained.  I need to add baby toys to my list, because Keaton has been restless at church already.  I just need something for him to look at.  Anyway, I'm learning and forgetting stuff a lot less frequently.

Cassie is amazing.  She is learning to sound words out.  The other day, she sounded out the word 'butterfly.'  The only thing that I had to add to it was the extra 't.'  She is such a great helper and loves to do things to help her brothers, which is a bonus for me.  She gets her and Conrey's toothbrushes ready every time and they brush until Mark or I come in to really brush their teeth.  So cute!

Conrey is amazing, as well.  His speech has exploded.  Those of you who were around him a lot in Wichita will not believe how much and how well he talks now.  He, also, is sounding things out, though not very well.  He just likes to be like sister.  He loves to help baby brother and is my little gopher going to get anything that I need such as diapers, burp rags, my phone...whatever.   He is so loving and caring.

Keaton is...you guessed it...amazing in his own little way.  God blessed me beyond belief with a laid back, sweet, and good natured baby.  He never cries unless he is starving to death or has woken up in his carseat.  He then thinks that he needs to get out.  Imagine that!  I will say, though, that he is the STINKIEST baby EVER!  He has some gassy issues that we're trying to figure out.  If you have any suggestions beyond gas drops, be sure to pass them along!!!  He is so sweet and smiles a lot. As he has gotten fatter and fatter, he has developed a dimple on one cheek that is precious and I LOVE to see it! He has...honest to goodness...been mimicking me saying "hi."  I have 6 witnesses now...well, 8 if you count Cassie and Conrey, but they aren't always reliable sources.  :)

I guess that's about it with our little family of 5.  Our house is coming together slowly, but surely.  There is a much newer house that is $150 cheaper per month on the other end of town.  We might go look at it.  We do NOT want to move again, but 150 a month for a newer house with the same amount of space might be totally worth it!  We would almost definitely save money on utilities, as well.  We'll see what the good Lord has in store for us.  Cassie told my m-i-l that she and Con share a room.  Then, she said, "Oh, and we have a rec room.  We call it that 'cuz it's always a wreck!"  I laughed until I cried!  That is where a lot of boxes and random things are at the moment.

For now, we're planning a time to go to the nearby "big" city to do some Christmas shopping.  It is an hour or so away and has a Walmart and Target.  The thought of going to Target is almost overwhelmingly thrilling.  I miss it soooo much!

I will leave you with a recent conversation between the kids and me.  Cracked me up.

Cassie, whispering to Conrey: Let's ask mommy if we can go to the zoo today! (we had 6 in of snow, btw)

Me, whispering back: There IS no zoo.

Cassie: You heard me?  I nodded.  There is no ZOO?  I shook my head.  How about the donut shop.

Me: No donut shop.  Both of their little mouths fell open.

Conrey: Chuck E Cheese, even???

Me: Nope.

Cassie: What IS there to do here FUN?

Me: Not much, my sweet girl.  Wait until warm weather and then there will be more to do........

I think that they are scarred for life!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Travel

The best thing about my childhood?  Memories...specifically memories made on family vacations.  It's time to start making memories with your children, husband, wife, parents, whatever your family looks like, memories are what will last a lifetime.

I have recently become a travel consultant with a great company that is on the fast track to greatness.  People that I know are having great success with this awesome company and I'm extremely excited to be a part of this great company.

If this opportunity interests you, I would be thrilled to share more about our company with you.

However, that is not the purpose of this post.   The purpose is to ask you to consider booking your travel with me...to consider sharing my website with your friends and families that might need to book travel at any time of the year.  I have done many searches between my site and others and I am almost ALWAYS cheaper.  In fact, I just searched for flights between Wichita, KS and Portland, OR and each ticket was FIFTY DOLLARS CHEAPER between my site and the other top travel sites!  How can you beat that?!? 

My site is: http://www.vickersvacations.rovia.com/ and I would be honored to have you check it out.  OR, if you prefer help booking your travel, I would love to do the searches for you and let you know the results. 

Not only can you book flights, hotels, cruises, etc on my site, but you can also book all-inclusive packages that are AMAZING.  If you're looking to travel, please check out my packages, because there are some awesome deals available! 

Please, friends of cyberspace, help me get my name and site out there!  I would greatly appreciate it and will work to get you the best deals available!

And don't forget, if you'd like to find out how you can get a piece of the action, just let me know!  :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Home is where the HEART is

thank goodness it is. we are home. put that home in quotes. the function key and the shift are not working on my phone for some reason. the only way that this is home is the fact that our family is now complete and reunited. it is cold and we have 6 inches of snow. i am slowly trying to find places for everything. 2400 square feet of furniture. storage containers. toys. and stuff does not very well fit into 1500 square feet. it is going to be a process for sure. we are here though. we do not yet have internet and i am not sure when we will get it. just wanted everyone to know that we are alive and kickin up here in snowy nebraska. i will update more when my keys work better.

Monday, November 1, 2010

LAST CHANCE!!!

Last chance!  Tastefully Simple is being packed up, loaded up, and moved to Nebraska!  Here's the list of what is left:

Artichoke and Caper Slow Cooker Sauce (10.72) 7.72


Asian Honey Mustard Dressing (7.23) 5.21

Balsamic and Basil Dipping Oil (9.65) 6.96

Berry Sunrise Pancake and Waffle Mix (9.65) 6.96

Cake Batter Chiller Mix (8.04) 5.79

Creamy Caramel Sauce (9.65) 6.96

Gotta Lotta Garlic Salsa (9.65) 6.96

Juicy Watermelon Slush Drink Mix (10.72) 7.72

MMMMM Mojito/Juicy Watermelon Mini Bucket Drink Mix Duo (10.72) 7.72
Onion Onion (9.65) 6.96

Samba Sangria Slush Drink Mix (10.72) 7.72

Simple Salad Dressing Mix (6.03) 4.34

Spinach and Herb Dip Mix (9.65) 6.96
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Mix (10.72) 7.72

Sunny Orange Pancake and Waffle Mix (9.65) 6.96
Sweet Pepper Jalapeno Jelly (6.84) 4.93

Truffle Fudge Brownie Mix (8.25) 5.94

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Overwhelmed and Underpaid

I don't get paid enough for this job...

I had better get lots of hugs and kisses from my husband once I get up to Nebraska!  I'm pretty sure he owes me big time!

I am in the midst of packing...packing an entire house!  Yes, you heard right.  We've decided to move the whole house.  It is mainly a financial thing.  It is going to cost us around $1000 minimum to move.  We don't want to do it twice.  It would shave the cost down a bit...maybe $700 each time, but STILL!  We don't want to do it twice!  So, we're going to get it all packed up, loaded up, and shipped out.  What does this mean?  That I am TERRIBLY behind schedule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two weeks ago, my sweet friend was going to come help me pack.  I opted for a girl's night instead.  BAD CHOICE!

That same week, a sweet friend DID come help me pack.  I sent her home early saying that I just didn't know what else needed to be packed at that point in time.  BAD CHOICE!

This past week, I rounded up some ladies for a last hurrah at Carlos O'Kelly's instead of rounding them up to come pack.  BAD CHOICE!

A different day this week, I had people over and had them do minimal things because I didn't really think that I had that much left to do.  Keaton wouldn't let me put him down, so they did a few minor things while playing with the kids and I took a shower, got all dressed and fixed up, etc.  BAD CHOICE!

Do you see a trend here?  I seem to be losing ground here.  Don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't go back and change my choices.  I needed those times with the girls and everything.  At the time, we were planning to only move the essentials.  Now, we're moving out everything that we own.  We're clearing out the house and our lives from Wichita as far as material possessions are concerned.  We went from half moving to full house moving and it is a LOT to do with 3 kids.  When mom comes to help, one of us is doing something for the kids the whole time.  It's kind of like trudging through mud!  I know we're making some progress, but it is SLOOOOOOW!

Now, dear readers, I ask you one question: Why am I taking the time to do a blog update when I feel this way?  Simple.  I needed a "get my mind together and straight" break before I lost it...my mind, I mean.

Now, I feel better and refreshed and I'm going to go pack up some DVDs.

the end

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Let's try this...

I have videos of both kids singing the old testament.  They both have learned all 66 books of the Bible.  Conrey's is hard to understand, so you might want to watch Cassie's first.  Sorry they're sideways.  I don't know what to do about that.  I hope that they'll upload!

video


video

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let the countdown begin

So, we're in the home stretch, ladies and gentlemen (If there ARE any gentlemen that read my blog.   No, Dustin...you don't count...sorry)!  The event that we have been looking forward to...waiting and watching for...it is almost here!  I can finally say that, Lord willing, 11 days from right now, I will be in my new home in Alliance, Nebraska!  WOOT!  We have been waiting since the beginning of July to be able to plan a day that we would all be together in NE.  At first, it was "as soon as baby comes."  Then, it was "as soon as Mark finds a house."  It was "this" and "that" and we thought that it was NEVER going to all come together.  Now, my dear readers, it has and we're going to be reunited on Nov 6th! 

So, obviously, we got the house.  Now, there was confusion about the floorplan.  No, there is no bedroom with a bathroom in the middle of it out in the open.  That was a misled conclusion.  But, there IS a rec room that has a sink in it and a closet with a toilet in it.  There IS a laundry room with a shower in it.  There IS a masterbedroom with old, orange carpet.  We are getting a brand new dishwasher.  We are just pretty stinkin' excited to get there.  Mark moved in tonight.  He got okay'd to move in yesterday, packed up everything he had last night, and moved today.  How's that for desperate?!?  :)  He was more than ready to kiss his old, yucky apartment good bye.  Thank you, Lord, for an awesome anniversary present for him!

Oh, did I mention that it's our 8th anniversary today?  We made it through the 7-year itch with no itching problems!  :)  Years 6 and 7 were T-O-U-G-H.  However, our marriage has never been stronger.  We have never been closer.  We have never loved each other more.  We were in the burning fire, but found out through it all, that we are fireproof...and we intend to remain in that state with a lot of hard work and prayers.  Alliance is a town with little to do.  We're excited to spend real, quality time with each other and with our kids with no cable TV (they have cable service...we're just opting out)!  This morning, my doorbell rang and I was presented with 8 roses for 8 great years by the Dillon's delivery man.  What a sweet guy I married!  He's so thoughtful and considerate!

So, that's where we stand.  We will pick up anchor either the evening of the 5th and drive part way or the morning of the 6th and drive straight through.  Either way, God is bringing us back together and we are ecstatic!

Thanks everyone for the continued prayers, the strength and encouragement, and for holding my hand through all of this.  Keep the prayers coming over the next couple of weeks!  I'm gonna need them!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tastefully Simple SALE

[EDIT] The list continues to shrink!  If you're undecided about something, you'd best jump on it before it is gone!!!  If you have any questions about my products, please don't hesitate to ask!

Here's what I've got left, folks:  I sold a BUNCH today and will only have these items on the 30% off sale until I move...then they'll be back to full price.  If I talked to you about a specific product today, I probably took it off of the list to save it for you, so ask me...don't just think that it is sold.  Thanks!

Artichoke and Caper Slow Cooker Sauce (10.72) 7.72
Asian Honey Mustard Dressing (7.23) 5.21
Balsamic and Basil Dipping Oil (9.65) 6.96
Berry Sunrise Pancake and Waffle Mix (9.65) 6.96
Cake Batter Chiller Mix (8.04) 5.79
Creamy Caramel Sauce (9.65) 6.96
Gotta Lotta Garlic Salsa (9.65) 6.96
Juicy Watermelon Slush Drink Mix (10.72) 7.72
MMMMM Mojito/Juicy Watermelon Mini Bucket Drink Mix Duo (10.72) 7.72
Nana’s Apple Cake Mix (6.84) 4.93 (ONE left)
Onion Onion (9.65) 6.96
Samba Sangria Slush Drink Mix (10.72) 7.72
Simple Salad Dressing Mix (6.03) 4.34
Spinach and Herb Dip Mix (9.65) 6.96 (TWO left...this one is a HOT item)
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Mix (10.72) 7.72
Sunny Orange Pancake and Waffle Mix (9.65) 6.96
Sweet Pineapple Chipotle Salsa (9.65) 6.96
Sweet Pepper Jalapeno Jelly (6.84) 4.93
Truffle Fudge Brownie Mix (8.25) 5.94

Pictures

Be sure to check out the post below about my Tastefully Simple Online Open House Sale!

Now, for some pictures of the kids.  Keaton, Cassie and Keaton, Conrey and Keaton, and the most hilarious baby picture I've ever seen!

Thanks to my friend, Donna, for taking these last night when she was helping me pack!





Hope you got a giggle out of that one!

Tastefully Simple

[EDIT] My products are going fast!  I am price checking several others for people, so if you want something, you'd better claim it quickly!  Thanks!

With the slow, agonizing death of my business, due to my pregnancy, I am going to sell off a lot of my inventory.  I have plans to restart soon in Nebraska, but for now, I will just clean my slate and sell a bunch...mostly so that I don't have to move it!  :)

So, what does this mean to YOU?  Well, I have a list below of the products that I have that I'm selling for 25-30% off of retail prices!!!  What a bargain!  For example, you can get the beer bread for only $3.85!  I only have limited product and it is first come, first serve.  MD, I have your garlic pepper.  Sorry I'm a lame-o slacker!  I will do my best to bring it tomorrow night to church.

So, if you'd like something, contact me ASAP at mdvickers@juno.com or on facebook.  They're going to go fast, I have a feeling!

Absolutely Almond Pound Cake (6.18) 5.17 (ONE LEFT)
Artichoke and Caper Slow Cooker Sauce (10.72) 7.72
Artichoke and Spinach Warm Dip Mix (8.04) 5.79
Asian Honey Mustard Dressing (7.23) 5.21
Bacon Ranch Dip (5.87) 4.23
Backyard BBQ Dip Mix (5.87) 4.23
Bayou Bourbon Glaze
Balsamic and Basil Dipping Oil (9.65) 6.96
Berry Sunrise Pancake and Waffle Mix (9.65) 6.96
Blue Ribbon Blueberry Bar Mix (6.43) 4.63
Bold and Bossy Honey Mustard Sauce (7.50) 5.41
Bountiful Beer Bread Mix
Bountiful Beer Bread Value Pack (15.55) 11.20
Bruschetta Cheese Ball Mix (7.50) 5.41
Cake Batter Chiller Mix (8.04) 5.79
Corn and Black Bean Salsa (9.65) 6.96
Creamy Caramel Sauce (9.65) 6.96
Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto Dry Mix (9.65) 6.96
Gotta Lotta Garlic Salsa (9.65) 6.96
Juicy Watermelon Slush Drink Mix (10.72) 7.72
Key Lime Cheese Ball Mix (7.50) 5.41
MMMMM Mojito/Juicy Watermelon Mini Bucket Drink Mix Duo (10.72) 7.72
Nana’s Apple Cake Mix (6.84) 4.93
Oh My Chai (10.72) 7.72
Onion Onion (9.65) 6.96
Perfect Parmesan Biscuit Mix (6.96) 5.01
Perfectly Potato Cheddar Soup Mix (9.11) 6.56
Pomegranate Chipotle Sauce (9.65) 6.96
Roasted Garlic and Herb Dip Mix (9.65) 6.96
Samba Sangria Slush Drink Mix (10.72) 7.72
Savory Wheat Beer Bread Mix (6.43) 4.63
Seasoned Salt (9.65) 6.96
Simple Salad Dressing Mix (6.03) 4.34
Smoky Bacon Grill Sauce
Spinach and Herb Dip Mix (9.65) 6.96
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Mix (10.72) 7.72
Strawberry Rhubarb Spread (8.57) 6.17
Sun Dried Tomato Veggie Dip
Sunny Orange Pancake and Waffle Mix (9.65) 6.96
Sweet Pineapple Chipotle Salsa (9.65) 6.96
Sweet Pepper Jalapeno Jelly (6.84) 4.93
Tasty Rye Bread (4.82) 3.47
The Trio (Bacon Bacon, Garlic Garlic, and Onion Onion single use)  (7.50) 5.41
Truffle Fudge Brownie Mix (8.25) 5.94
Twisty Grahams (5.35) 3.85
Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing (8.25) 5.94
Warm the Oven Savory Cheese Dip Mix (9.65) 6.96
Warm Up Mulling Spices (9.65) 6.96

Monday, October 18, 2010

I've Only....

This is a post by one of my friends that she posted on Facebook.  I thought that it was really good and needed to be shared.  Imagine how we could increase the self-worth and confidence in our children if we never indoctrinated them with the "I've Only's."

*************************

I’ve got them. Not the Mondays. The “I’ve Only”s. And it gets worse…it seems I have passed them along to my kids.

Little Sister’s school has a fitness challenge going on where the kids run during recess and someone tallies their laps. Once they reach five miles, they get a little keychain charm in the shape of a foot. She was talking to Leader Pam about it today, and I overheard her telling her, “I’ve only run 2 miles.”

Big Sister is getting great grades in high school, which is a relief, because she struggled in middle school. At the beginning of the year, it because she’d “only” had a few assignments, but she’s keeping up with it and we are so proud of her. She’s a great artist, too, but “only” because she had a picture to guide her.


And me. Since giving birth ten and a half weeks ago, I’ve only lost 25 pounds. Since joining Weight Watchers again 9 weeks ago, I’ve only lost 8.6 pounds. I went back to the gym recently, but I’ve only been 6 times in the last three weeks.

Why? Why do we qualify our successes with that word? Why do we make them seem less important, less impressive than they should be? Leader Pam asked the question at my Weight Watchers meeting this morning—why can’t we celebrate our own successes?

For me, it’s because I’m not done yet. I have a hard time seeing the place I came from because I’m looking at how far I have to go. It’s hard to celebrate fitting into regular, not maternity clothes because I’ve still got boxes of clothes I can’t fit into. It’s hard to celebrate losing five or ten pounds because I’m nowhere near where I want to be.

It breaks my heart that my children have picked up on this and started qualifying their own achievements.

So, this week, I’m challenging myself to celebrate the small things and stop demeaning my success. I DID go back to Weight Watchers. I DID go back to the gym. I WILL continue to lose. And I will set a better example for my children while I’m working on it.
 
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Mine can be qualified in other ways that are limitations, as well.  "I've only slept 4 hours...I've only sat for 20 minutes the whole day...I've only..."  This type of speech limits me in different ways, as it is still negative in nature.  If we could get the word only in its proper place in our vocabulary, I believe that we would have much more power in what we acheive, our attitude, and even how we feel!  Let's all strive to put this limiting qualifier back in its place and encourage ourselves for the great things that we DO accomplish!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Crazy Days of Packin' Heat

I'm packin' heat around here.  No, I'm not a member of the NRA.  I'm just packing like crazy and it is crazy  hot here in Oz.  We had 86ish as our high today...Oct 16th...What in the world?!?

Does anyone have ANY idea how difficult it is to pack up SOME of your stuff to live with for who knows how long?  How do I know what to take?  How do I decide what items to take and what items to leave behind.  What if I forget something.  What if I make a dumb decision in the midst of the crazies?!?  I just don't know what to do.  I go into a room and freeze up unsure of where to start and what to do after I've started.

Do I sound like a wreck?

In the packing department, I am.

Life in general, however, is beautiful.  Sure, I'm exhausted.  Sure, I am outnumbered and sometimes do not have enough appendages with opposable thumbs (might have helped if God gave moms monkey feet...I'm just sayin').  Yes, I miss my other half terribly.

However, life is beautiful.  I am feeling good.  I am fulfilling my role as mother to 3 with, I believe, more grace than I had anticipated.  I get up each morning with joy and I drop into bed with thanksgiving.  I have had 3 pregnancies.  Twice, I have felt AWFUL for weeks afterwards.  This time, when I needed it most, God has blessed me with health both mentally and physically.  From the day of his birth until now, I have felt well and I haven't had complaints other than a few minor aches and pains that are to be expected...are normal...NORMAL.  I don't typically fit that bill, medically speaking.  God has been so gracious to me to grant me good health when I am on my own with 3, packing, getting little sleep, and surviving...no flourishing daily.

So, the questions that I've been asked over and over again that I would like to address now are as follows:
1.  Has our house sold?
2.  When are we moving?
3.  Did Mark get the house we were talking/praying about?
4.  How is Keaton?
5.  How are the other kids?

1.  Our house is past the 100 days on the market mark with no signs of selling any time soon.  However, God is sooo much bigger than the economy and we know that it will sell when His timing is perfect.

2.  I wish that I had a solid answer to this.  Let's combine this with #3.  We pretty much have the house.  The lady hasn't had showings and is sending him the application, which he will fill out and send her with the deposit.  Mark wanted us there next weekend.  Not gonna happen.  We wanted to be together for our 8th anniversary (Oct 26th), but we're not going to be able to be, I guess.  Now, we'll either be going Halloween weekend or the first weekend of November.  As soon as I know, I'll be sure to pass the word.

4.  Keaton is awesome.  He is the best baby.  Again, God blessed me with just what I needed in this difficult situation.  He is still a very chill baby and he never cries unless he is REALLY hungry.  Thank you, Lord, for a calm, contented child when we I needed it most!  Mark doesn't get to be included in that because he hasn't experienced the 3-children thing yet.  We'll have to initiate him once we get up there.  :)

5.  The big kids are great.  They love their brother so, so much and have adapted well.  We still have issues of them messing with him, but I just try to remind myself that they just love him to pieces!  Cassie is doing great in preschool and I terribly hate to have to pull her out at the end of the month.  Conrey's language skills have exploded to where other people can understand him a lot of the time.  It is so great to be able to meet his needs much more effeciently now that we can understand what the heck he's saying!

Welp, that's about it.  If anyone out there wants to A) help me pack, B) come play with the kids while I pack, or the best option...choice C) come do all of the packing for me while I enjoy a relaxing trip to the spa, be sure and let me know.  I would love any and all help that I can get!

I'll keep you all posted with the details of our lives once I know them.  Over and Out.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Happenings

So, Mark has a place that is pretty much on hold for us with one exception.  The house is on the market.  The lady made a deal with the realtor to have no renters for the first 30 days that it is on the market.  That should end some time before the end of this month.  The lady has tried to sell the house off and on for 10 years.  SO, we're not too worried about it going before then.  I guess it is a weird floor plan with a bathroom literally in one of the bedrooms or something like that.  Plus, 3 bedrooms are on one side of the house and the other is on the complete opposite end (it's a long ranch).  We'd use that room as a playroom/office, probably, because it is by the kitchen, livingroom.

Here's the deal, though.  Mark hasn't seen the house.  He won't see it until the lady is in town towards the end of the month...she lives an hour or 2 away.  He is ready for us to make plans to move up there before he even sees it.  Seems risky to me to plan on something sight unseen.

SO, if you all would be praying about that decision AND about our house here selling, we would really appreciate it.  If the house here would sell, we would just buy something up there and avoid this whole mess of trying to find a place to rent.  There are lots of good, cheap houses for sell up there.

Thanks for the prayers that I know you all have and will offer up for us.  You've been our rocks through all of this!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

And then there were 5...well, kinda...

You'd think that I'd be plastering this computer with pictures of my sweet one, wouldn't you?  Well, not possible.  You see, my camera is in Nebraska.  Lovely.  So, if any of you out there in blog land have pictures of my baby that you can send me, I'd appreciate it.  :)  I will try to copy and paste some from facebook that my parents have uploaded.

So, we are a family of 5 now, though it doesn't really seem like it with Daddy away.  Life this past week has been good, though extremely tiring.  I feel like I fairly float through each day.  By the end of the day, I just want to crash.  At the same time, I know that it will be a short nap before I have to wake up to feed, so it is sometimes hard to make myself go to bed thinking of the next time that I'll have to get up.

My good friend and I were due within 5-1/2 weeks of each other.  She has a 3-y-o, a 19-m-o, and an almost 7-week-old.  During our pregnancies, we were both praying for contented, laid-back babies for both of us.  I cannot speak for her as of late,  ;)  but I can say that I believe that God has blessed me with just that.  Keaton has the BEST disposition.  He does not cry unless he is hungry and then it is a very slow progression from talking at me to fussing to crying.  He just does not get mad.  He sleeps great for a newborn.  He's getting up every 2 to 2-1/2 hours, sure, but he falls right back asleep after being fed and changed.  He is just a sweet little man and has stolen all of our hearts.

I will leave you with this picture.  It is our first family picture as a family of 5.  It is from the day after delivery.  Cassie and Conrey had been outside, so ignore their crazy hair.  I had just delivered a baby the day before, so ignore mine too.  :)


Also, I want to show you this side-by-side of Conrey in the hospital and Keaton to see if you see the similarities that everyone else has seen. 


First is Conrey and then Keaton.  What do you think?
Well, that's all for now.  The kids are driving me bonkers about wanting dessert from lunch.  Well, not Keaton...he's sleeping peacefully in his swing.  


It's about time!

So sorry for the delay of posting.  I know that many of you have been anxious to hear about our labor and delivery...especially after I started updating about it and then quit at 10 in the morning!

So, it wasn't too terribly long after 10:10 that I got my epidural.  I knew that the really rough contractions were coming because the pitocin was in full swing.  So, I got it and did really well with it.

I got to a 6 and -2 station (you go -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, and then 3 station...3 station is where you're crowning).  Anyway, the next time they checked...6 and -2.  The next time...6, -2 to -1.  The next time...you guessed it...still stuck.  Oh, and all of those checks were 70% effaced.

Pretty quickly, I started getting a lot of pain down in the "delivery region" and they gave me a boost of epidural med to help.  They checked me just after this and I was at a 7-8.  The dr noticed with this check, though, that Keaton was face up and not face down, as he was supposed to be, so he flipped him.  I started complaining of a BUNCH of pressure right away, so she checked me again and I was at a 9 and 100%, but still -1 station, which is really high.  This was like 2 minutes after the 7-8 check. 

The dr was putting on his "gear" by this point.  I said, "He's coming!"  They said, "Ok....."  I said, "He's coming NOW."  The nurse lifted the sheet and said, "Yeah, we're crowning, Dr.  You probably want to come over here...."  From the time I was dialated to 6 until the time he was born was somewhere around 6-1/2 minutes.  It was crazy.

After the extra epidural medicine, though, I noticed my pelvis/hips really hurting even though I was completely numb in my legs with no function whatsoever.  The nurse said that it was just the bones moving around for baby to pass through.  I really didn't believe that because I'd done this twice before and never felt that feeling, but considering the fact that I was in the process of delivering a baby, I didn't argue.

As I pushed him out, the pain severely increased.  They got him out and by this time, I was in agony in my hips, pelvis, thighs, calves, and feet...this confirmed that it had nothing to do with the bones moving around for delivery...something was NOT right.  I believe by this point I was...not screaming...I'll say loudly proclaiming my discomfort.  Moving helped minutely, but remember that I'm completely numb at this point and have no control.  My sweet, sweet doctor and my loving, concerned husband are moving my legs around trying to help relieve my pain.  I cannot describe it except to say that it was like the most extreme restless leg syndrome I can imagine combined with charlie horses in every inch of my lower half.  I was griping the bed rails trying to move myself around to a position that would offer minimal relief, but could find none.  The doctor ordered stat valium as a muscle relaxer/sedation.  Apparently, by this point I was screaming, because my dad's patient was working in the pharmacy when the stat order was placed and she could hear me screaming in the background and she wasn't even the one ON the phone!  They gave me the shot and it did nothing...absolutely nothing.

Needless to say, I was scared and confused as to what was going on.  It didn't help that my dr and nurses were at a loss too.  My dr had told me earlier in the day that he had delivered over 14,000 babies.  Now, he was telling me that he had never seen or heard of anything like this.  I kept saying, "I DON'T UNDERSTAND!"  I kept my eyes mostly closed because the dr and nurses all had bewildered looks on their faces...especially after the valium failed.

He then ordered a stat order of Toradol, which is a really strong pain reliever in the same family of meds as ibuprofen.  Somewhere between that shot and the epidural wearing off, I noticed that I could tolerate my legs being still a second longer than the time before.  Then, it was 5 seconds longer.  Finally, by the time the med was fully in my system and the epidural was worn off to the point that I could move my legs on my own, the pain was pretty much gone.

I'm not sure if it was the pain med or the lack of epidural meds that made the pain stop or if it was the combination of the two, but either way, I was back to normal and had no lasting effects.  It was extremely strange (but I've always claimed to be a girl of medical mysteries...I was severely sick for 6 years and no cause could be found by specialist after specialist) and I would not ever wish it on anyone.  I have never had  severe pain in completely numb parts of my body before...that is the weirdest part to me.  I couldn't feel the shots (I'm feeling them now, boy  howdy!).  I couldn't feel people touching my legs.  I couldn't move them.  However, something was sending severe pain signals to my brain.

I finally...FINALLY got to see my baby boy.  I really hadn't to this point because I was thrashing around in the bed like a psychopath.  My nurse actually told me that she was waiting for my head to start spinning! :)  Anyway, he was all cleaned up and wrapped up and all before I ever got to see him or hold him.  Instant gratification for all that I'd endured when I laid eyes on that boy.  I must say that he was and is one of the prettiest babies I've seen.  Everyone commented that he did NOT look newborn.  I think that it was because he had no time to be squished in the birth canal.  He was only in the birth canal for a total of about 4 minutes.  In that moment of gazing into his little eyes, I dare say that I fell in love for the 4th time.

Did I mention that my 1st love was there with me the whole time.  He was my strength and my focus through it all.  I truly do not know what would have happened had he not been there.  I might have been hysterical.  But, the good Lord provided what I needed, as always, and he was by my side.

So, that's the long story of my delivery (really post-delivery is where all of the action was).  If you're one of my preggo friends, don't let it freak you out.  Remember...my dr has delivered over 14,000 and never seen OR heard of anything like this.  My poor, poor nurse was 13 weeks along with her first and I dare say she'll be thinking about my delivery as she approaches hers.

More updates to come on life with 3

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Home Free

We are home.  I promise to update soon.  Thanks for all of the prayers and FB comments and all! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

10:10 a.m.

Dialated 4 70% -2.

Started

Pitocin was started at 8:45.  I've already been contracting all morning, so maybe this will be short!  :)  When they checked me, I was 2-2.5, 50%, -2...not any difference from Wednesday.  Guess that's about it!

Showtime

We're checked in.  I'm in a lovely gown (but at least its green...my favorite color).  We're sitting and waiting for our nurse to return.  Her password to log in was expired.  Please don't let this be a sign of the day ahead.  :)  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Labor Eve

My husband is on the road. 

My in-laws will be leaving KC shortly. 

My baby is hours away from breathing his first breath...truly his first breath of life. 

My daughter is excited to see her daddy, her grandparents, and to meet her baby brother. 

My son is already feeling the changes that are about to occur saying that he doesn't want baby Keaton to come out. 

So much to happen in the next 24-48 hours and beyond.

Overwhelming.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Final Days of Pregnancy

So, as I explained before, I'm a bundle of emotions.  I have my good moments and my bad moments.  Church is sometimes pretty difficult because of all of the "well intentioned" people that make comments about how big I am, how I need to get that baby out, or "you still haven't had that baby?!?"  I know that they all mean well, but most of it is very counterproductive and/or discouraging when you're a blimp.  Today, however, was a good day for me.  I felt pretty decent and was able to smile and honestly tell people that I was doing well.  I was also able to let the comments roll off of my back without bothering me...both of those considerable accomplishments, I would say, at 38 weeks, 4 days pregnant!

As I approach induction day, I am also conflicted on wanting to pray that I go into labor beforehand and wanting to not go into labor beforehand so that Mark doesn't miss the big event.  From my 2 past experiences of natural labor and induced labor, being induced sucks big time.  I would say that the pain involved was about 300% more severe being induced than natural.  I always said that I would never, ever be induced again.  Never say never, right?  However, circumstances have changed my plan and my mind.  I want so badly to be done, but I don't want to wish or pray for that, because I feel selfish...that means that Mark would miss it.  It's a tough spot to be in.

Also, approaching labor and delivery, I've noticed a big change in my kiddos.  They are driving me nuts, actually.  Conrey has become aggressive and Cassie has become an emotional wreck much of the time.  She cries over anything and everything.  Conrey does all kinds of things to rial (sp?) her up and to destroy things.  It's been fun...let me tell ya......

Along with the emotions, sitting has become quite uncomfortable thanks to my iron intake.  I'll leave it at that. 

All in all, we're ready to be done...all of us.  We're ready to see Mark and we're ready to meet Keaton.  So, sometime within the next 5 days or so, we'll be holding him and loving on him.  Prayers are, of course, petitioned!  :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let the Countdown BEGIN!

One Week.  From tomorrow, that is.

One week from tomorrow, at the very latest, I will be holding Keaton James in my arms instead of lugging him around in my belly.  We are scheduled for induction October 1st if he has not yet made his way into this world.  The thought is overwhelming with the multitude of emotions that accompany it.

Excitement

Elation

Trepidation

Anxiety

Relief

Fear

Joy

Sorrow

Discomfort

Impatience

Patience

Peace

Exhaustion

Expectation

Anticipation

I'm going from 2 to 3.  I don't have that many hands, eyes, or arms.  Someone is going to be left out, overlooked, and/or will have to wait.

I get to meet my little man after a loooong pregnancy.

I get to be with my husband soon!

I will experience the joy of watching my two big kids fall in love with their little brother.

Will they?  Will they love him and care for him and protect him?  Will they resent him and hit him and try to punish him for taking over?

I will watch the world change for my sweet Conrey Graham.  No longer will he be the baby...the spotlight.  It breaks my heart.  Momma's sweet baby isn't such a baby anymore and he'll have to grow up even more once there is a baby around.

I am living in the mode of expectation right now.  What was that twinge?  How many contractions have I had?  Was the my water breaking?  It is both exciting and frustrating.  The anticipation of each moment is overwhelming.

And yet, I can sit and be still and know that God already knows the minute of his birth.  God has it all under control and I just have to TRUST.  I can be still and rest in the peace that I've had.  Sure, I hurt like crazy all over.  Sure, I want him out.  But, I can still say that I am at peace with my Lord who is orchestrating it all.  All of those emotions are human and okay to be feeling.  However, they aren't so overwhelming when I realize that God knows each one.  He has been tempted and tried in every way and He overcame.  If He was stronger than those emotions in the flesh, He can certainly help me overcome them in the spirit.

Dear Lord,

I ask that you give me an unending supply of your peace, your rest, and your assurance.  I ask that you be with my sweet, baby boy through the remainder of this pregnancy, delivery, and really throughout his life.  Right now, though, my focus is on the present in the next few weeks to come.  Protect him.  Give him strength, health, and the breath of life that only you can breathe into his tiny lungs.  Help our labor and delivery to go smooth, to be timely, and to be nothing but pure joy as we act out the pattern of life that you have established.  Be with the doctor and help him to be sure of hand and quick to action if need be.  Be with the nurses and help them to nurture us through this process and to make good choices for baby Keaton and myself.  Be with my support people as I do this with or without my husband.  Help them to keep focus on the matter at hand, the situation, and the needs that Keaton and I have.  Keep Mark safe as he travels here whether it be in a rush or in order to be here for the induction.  Give Cassie and Conrey understanding, gentleness, and joy.  Fill their little hearts with love for their brother.

I ask much, Lord.  I know that you will provide and will protect our baby boy, myself, and my husband.  Thank you for being all that you are so that we might live to a higher standard in your shadow.  We love you, Lord.  In  Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

40-Year Legacy

The average length of marriage right now for my parents' generation is 24 years.  Saturday, my parents celebrated their 40th anniversary.  Sunday, we had a reception for them to honor their legacy of love, laughter, life, and family.  Sorry..."family" broke the alliteration.  :)  Anyway, it was a looooong week for me with the planning, preparation, and then actually pulling off the reception, but it was definitely worth it.

We started out with the reception as a surprise, but then my oldest brother, Derin, decided that mom needed preparation and time to shop for something to wear, etc.  :)  So, we told them about it.  What mom DIDN'T know is that my brother, Dustin, was going to fly in for the occasion.  Dad knew about this.  What neither of them DID know, however, is that he was bringing his littlest little angel, Kiera, with him.  She is 6 months old and therefore, free to fly.  We were all sad that his whole family couldn't come, but at 500 bucks a ticket, it wasn't possible.  We were all thrilled to get to spend time with him and sweet little Kiera.  They left to go back today.

The reception had a great turn out and we were so pleased that so many people came out to honor my parents and their 40 years together.  It is a huge accomplishment that has been done with prayer, committment, likemindedness, having God as a foundation, blood, sweat, and tears. 

Congratulations to my wonderful parents who have left a legacy for us to pattern.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TERM!

So, we've hit full term with this pregnancy...well, as of tomorrow, that is.  HALLELUJAH and AMEN!  He is definitely preparing himself for the big event.  He has shifted into a different position to where I cannot see my belly button unless I lean waaaaay over.  That is different than yesterday.  Also, I feel a huge pressure/ache on the underside of my belly with this shift of distribution.  I feel like I would like to just set my belly on a shelf.  That would be helpful, I do believe.  :)  He still moves an incredible amount for a baby of this size.  They say that he should have slowed down by now due to lack of space, but he apparently didn't get the memo.  What can I expect, though, from a baby that I felt move for the first time at 13-1/2 stinkin' weeks!  He's a wild one!

I've been trying to prepare the kids...well, Cassie really...for the big day as far as different ways that it can happen.  I wanted her to be somewhat prepared in case my water breaks.  I told her long ago that he's in a swimming pool that is like a bag of water with him inside.  I have recently explained to her that it could break and all of the water would come out like it did when she came out of my tummy.  She thinks it's cool and I think she's hoping to see that happen.  I've told her that mommy might be in a lot of pain.  I've told her that she'll be with someone else (and have told her the options of whom she might be staying with depending on day or night, etc.).  I've explained that she might wake up to me gone, but that someone else would be here.  I've tried to cover as many bases as I could come up with so that she's comfortable with things.  Most of all, I've just tried to play up when she gets to come up to the hospital to meet her brother and that Daddy will be coming home again.  Those are the 2 best parts!  :)

Conrey is clueless and I feel sad that his little world is about to be turned upside down.  He is SUCH a mommy's boy and there is no way around the change that is coming.  I will just have to do my best to make it as smooth of a transition for him as possible (and for sister, of course).  He is not fond of sharing mommy with anyone at ALL, so it could be interesting!

So, he can safely come at any time and I will be more than happy for him to come sooner than later.  Be watching for updates that he's on his way!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Potty Training

So, I just wanted to put a little something about our potty training.  It is going really well for the lack of effort on mommy's part.  Conrey is doing a great job of remembering to go and of staying dry.  Mommy, however, forgets to ask him a lot and therefore he does have accidents.  I mean, he's not even 2-1/2!  He loves wearing Pull-Ups.  The disappearing pictures are great incentives for him.  However, I plan to switch to undies this week and see how that goes.  I just don't have it in me to be on the floor scrubbing pee right now with my big belly!  He wakes up from naps dry and nighttime every 2-3 days he's dry.  The others in between he's wet, but that's probably my fault since he takes a drink to sleep.  Well, really Daddy's fault for starting that with Cassie, but..........

[EDIT] We've had a few setbacks today and a triumph. He kept saying he needed to pee pee and I was tired of sitting in the bathroom for hours on end. He won't use the potty chair, so I couldn't just bring it with us wherever we went. There is no comfortable place for an almost-37-weeks pregnant lady to sit in a bathroom. So, I told him to just go sit and try. I heard a strange splashy noise and looked up from where I was sitting in his bedroom. He was standing on his little stool peeing with all his might into and on the potty! I was so proud of him for taking the intiative...though I had a nice little mess to clean up! He has peed in undies twice today. Once, he was standing next to the potty. What in the world? He just didn't want to go on the potty. He had just woken up and was a grump. The second time was on my sheets. Yay for that. Guess who's getting clean sheets tonight?!? That's my update on potty training.

Along the same line of toilet talk, Cassie randomly dunked her head in the toilet last night.  I don't know why.  I don't know how, really...  Strange girl.  Who would ever think of doing such a random thing.  We don't have TV anymore, so I'm fairly certain that she didn't see that on anything.  We only watched Nick Jr. and PBS anyway.  So, she gave herself a swirly.  Hopefully, it will be the only one she ever gets.

I guess that's it.  I just wanted to update on the potty training and say that he's doing well. I'm off to bed.  Peace out.

No, wait.  First, I want to remember 9/11.  I know that we all will always remember what we were doing, where we were, how we felt, etc. when we heard about it.  Don't forget.  Tell your children.  Pray for those people and their families when you remember.  Take a stand as a Christian in this great nation.  Cassie has recently learned The Pledge and my heart swells with pride to hear it from her little mouth.  ONE NATION.  UNDER GOD.  JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An unknown peace

So, I've done this pregnant thing twice before.  Both times previously, I have been dying...DYING to get the baby out by this point.  I am 36 weeks, 1 day as of today.  Typically, I am gearing up with all of the natural induction methods to try to get baby out as soon as 37 weeks hits.  Nothing has ever worked for me that early.  In fact, the only self-induction that HAS worked was the castor oil with Cassie at 39 weeks 2 days.  I tried it again with Conrey and puked after the first drink.  Just thinking about it makes my stomach churn.

So, anyway, I was driving to my OB appointment yesterday and I thought to myself, "It doesn't really matter what he tells me today after checking me.  In fact, why is he going to check me.  It won't really make any difference."

For a reason unexplainable to me, I have received, without thinking to ask, I might add, the peace that passes all understanding.  I am not in a rush any longer.  I mean, don't get me wrong, if he came sooner rather than later, I will certainly not be complaining.  However, I don't feel the need to get my arsenal ready.  I don't feel like I need to eat an entire pineapple.  I don't feel as though I need to be pushing all of the pressure points or other awkward go-into-labor things.

I just feel like he'll come when he's ready and that timing will be right.  SO not my feelings the last 2 times.

I can only explain this one way.  For the past year and a half, we have been cruising down the highway of God's timing not knowing when or where our journey would lead, but just trusting like we never have before.  It has been scary, yes.  It has been trying, yes.  We have tried to get off at exits not intended for us and it has gotten us quite lost, but we always managed to find our way back (well, we had to be led back, of course...we're not THAT smart).  I truly believe that this is what has allowed me to receive this peace that God has offered.  I'm not doing things on my terms or timing, but simply trusting the master of the universe whom is, afterall, creating this little boy within me every second of every day.  It's so foreign to me that I am kind of bursting with joy over it.

Two Sundays ago at church, by the time I walked out of the building, I was in tears.  I have been soooooooooo tired of people asking when I'm due and then freaking out when I say how long I have left.  I'm tired of the twins comments.  I'm tired of the "are they sure they have your due date right?" questions. 

Last night, I had a completely different perspective.  People would ask how I was doing and I'd tell them honestly that I'm doing well!  Sometimes I would add in how tired I am, but what pregnant lady ISN'T tired?  What mom of 2 isn't tired???  However, it was just so refreshing to say that I'm doing well and mean it!  It is just such a different perspective.  I have my normal aches and pains that are associated with end-stage pregnancy, but they are manageable...they are tolerable...they aren't nearly as bad as they could be!

I know I'm rambling.  Sorry.  I probably have said the same things over and over.  I just cannot describe the joy that has accompanied the peace.

God has most definitely used some close people in my life to encourage, uplift, and root for me.  Yes, even those that think that they haven't been a good support for me have kept me going and have helped me get to this point.  With the help of a fellow (formerly) preggo, we decided that we will not succumb to the control of hormones ruling our attitude, mood, and way we treat our spouses and children.  God made those hormones and we choose to let Him shine through us even when we want to scream at our children (or when we are weak and DO scream at our children and then need a time-out, to apologize to our precious babies, and refocus).  We choose to not allow society to lead us to believe that we have the right to behave as we choose when we are hormonal and everyone else just has to deal with it.  God did not make them to give every female a grouch pass, but to allow our bodies to do amazing and beautiful things.  So, today, along with my joy and peace, I will practice love, patience, kindness, goodness, gentless, and self-control with  my children, my family, and my friends in spite of the fact that I'm exhausted after little sleep, I have a pressure-y head, and have to get the house ready for a showing before my baby shower.  I will rest in His promises of daily supplication and in the peace that is so foreign to me, yet so welcome.

Sorry for the long, babbly post.  Hopefully, it made some sense somewhere in there.

So, whether baby Keaton comes out tonight while at my shower *smile* or somewhere in the next 4 or so weeks, I will do my best to continue to dwell within His sphere of peace.

*I wanted to add a disclaimer that I absolutely believe that hormones can do things that are not in a woman's control and that it is a difficult battle for many.  I don't want to discount the struggle that we all go through with hormones.  I simply choose for this moment to overcome them through GOD'S help.  God has provided medications for some that need it...counseling for others...great friends for, I pray, all of us.  I just didn't want anyone to think that I was being condesending.  If I ever had depression or other hormonal issues, I would not be afraid to seek help, so I just wanted to make that clear!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to Life...Back to Reality

The reality is that Daddy went back to Nebraksa and that Baby Keaton will, Lord willing, be here safe and sound SOON!

Yes, Mark made it home safe and sound.  Thank the Lord for that.  We had a good weekend with a few stresses.  Overall, though, it was good to get hugs and kisses whenever I wanted them and for the kids to enjoy Daddy so, so much!

This morning, my dad said, "Conrey, where is your Daddy?"  His response was, "Nebraksa.  Choo-Choo Trains."  I thought that that was pretty smart for such a little guy!

Today, I am 35 weeks, 5 days.  In one week and 2 days, I will be full term.  There are times when I look back at this pregnancy and feel that it has draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaged on.  However, I think of the fact that I'm that close to term and only 1 month today away from my due date and I almost cannot believe I'm so close!  I am so anxious to have this section of our lives behind us.  This separation has been tough!  Willing it to hurry by is so bittersweet because I don't want to leave my family and dear friends, but at the same time.  However, we NEED to be together as a family as soon as possible!

Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.  Daddy's trip home is over and done and we're back to the reality of what has been normal for us for over 5 weeks now.  We will not have to wait that long again and we'ew ALL happy about that!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Mommy Moment (or 2)

So, Cassie started preschool this week, as you all know.  If I had had the time, the pictures would be already uploaded to go with this post.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  My entire Thursday (today) was spent at the hospital, but we'll get back to that...  Anyway, thanks to my sweet friend, Kelly, I actually HAVE pictures of her first day of school, but they are still on her camera waiting to be uploaded.  Mark has our camera in Nebraska.  Bad planning on my part.

So, she walks up to her class.  We hang up her backpack.  She stands by the classroom door for an obligatory picture.  She walked in and never looked back...

I stood there for a moment trying to figure out what to do.  I weakly called out, "Have fun..."  She never turned around, but went to join one of her best friends, Xander, on the rug with the other kids.  I thought to myself, "Well, I guess I'll be going then......................"

We work and work to get our kids to do things independently; getting dressed, walking, feeding themselves, playing with others.  Then, when it is time to turn them lose, we must struggle against the tether that ties them straight into our heart. 

No, I did not cry.  I figured, if she's not, why should I?

When I picked her up, before she even got to the classroom door, she called out, "MOMMY!  You were RIGHT!  Preschool IS so much fun!!!"  My heart soared as she reconnected that tether and began describing he day in detail.

*********************

[WARNING: POSSIBLE TMI AHEAD]

My other mommy moment was the day spent at the hospital.  Started out this morning with fluid that ran down both legs.  Concerning in pregnancy?  Quite possibly.  I was not concerned, but was curious as to the origin of said fluid.  I called up to the dr's office on the advice of several and said that I didn't think it was, but thought I should call anyway, etc.  Of course, what do they say (and why do I even bother calling them)?  You need to go to the hospital. 

*sigh*

I get there and it is quite a long process before the nurse gets around to testing me.  Negative.  However, in that long process time, I start contracting a lot.  No biggie at first, but I find myself contracting harder and harder and closer and closer as the minutes tick by.  By the time the 15-minute test finally comes back negative, my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and were really pretty painful.  I'm not talking this-baby-is-crowning painful, but enough that it would bring tears to my eyes occasionally.  Then, I started having some super duper contractions that were lasting 4-5 minutes WITHOUT A BREAK!!!!!!!  I was NOT lovin' that!  That did all kinds of tests with a urinalysis, various swabs, etc. to see what was causing this.  Answer?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Negatory.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm a medical freak?  Well, I am.  BUT, at least I'm not a flesh-eating bacteria freak like my brother.  *ahem*  The severity of my anemia has never been explainable.  I was sick for nearly 6 years with no diagnosis.  Now this.  Love it.  Nothing like hearing, "We don't know what's causing this, but......."

Anyway, bad contractions for several hours.  I then get up to potty (for the 3rd time) and when I get back in bed, they start to slow and decrease in intensity quite rapidly.  Soon, I am no longer contracting but once every 30 minutes or so and they are not even bad enough to make me quit talking.

So, negative tests plus no contractions equals no reason for the hospital to keep you longer!  WOO HOO!  I'm home now and am enjoying the lovely, chilly, fall-like weather!  It is currently 68 degrees here...perfect for a big 'ol pregnant lady!

Thanks to everyone that knew what was going on and prayed.  Let's just keep him in here for 1 week and 6 days longer until 37 weeks to be on the safe side!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Title not necessary

I.  Am.  Done.

I'm done with the separation.

I'm done with the gallbladder attacks.

I'm done with the house payments.

I'm done with not sleeping.

I'm done feeling lonely.

I'm done with people telling me that: a) I should have had this baby by now, b) when in the world am  I gonna have this baby, and c) that I'm huge and/or look like I'm having twins.

I'm done with the financial struggles.  We've done it for 16 months.

I'm done with having no energy because my body is losing iron at an alarming rate...again...

I'm done feeling like I have to have a strong/brave face for everyone around me.

I'm tired of talking to my husband on the phone at night instead of him being beside me.

I'm done wrestling the kids at church by myself.

I'm done with the heat.

I'm done with my husband and I living separate lives.

I'm done with headaches.

I'm done with not being able to walk when I get up from lying down/sitting.

I.  Am.  Done.

Ironically, the only thing that I'm not feeling over done with is the pregnancy.  It stinks not sleeping, but that's not going to change when baby comes.  I certainly have aches and pains, but he's actually very well contained in there and, for the time being, I am just fine with him hanging out in there.  Besides, I want to have this coming weekend with my husband and then want him to come back to visit.  I don't want to be jipped of that second visit.  Don't get me wrong, I have my moments when I am done, but for now, I will take the self-containment that is my womb.

However, I don't have the luxury of being done.  I don't have the luxury of throwing in the towel.  I have two precious kids that are depending on me; two precious kids that are gracious about my impatience.  I have two precious kids that count on me to get out of bed each day; two precious kids that count on me to bathe, dress, and nurture them.  I have two precious kids that get me to get up for church; two precious kids that are dependent on me to drive them to church and then train them how to sit properly in church.

They may not understand all of the stresses that make me act the way I do, but they love me regardless of my attitude, my tone, or my lack of energy.  They give me hugs and kisses at just the right time.  That makes it bearable for 5 more minutes.  The snuggles and giggles make things bearable for 5 more hours.  The excitement of this week with Cassie meeting her teacher and starting school will make things bearable for 5 more days.  That's all I have to make it this round...5 more days until my helpmeet/partner/best friend/love/biggest support holds me in his arms and tells me that we'll make it through.  As long as I don't think about his departure, I can make it through the week for the two precious kids, the precious, precious baby that I carry, and my husband who is working hard to turn things around for our family.

Five days until I get a recharge.

Five Days.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Such a BIG girl!

I am so, so proud of my Cassie girl and had to shout it on my blog!  She got FOUR nasty shots yesterday.  There were 2 nurses, so it was 2 poking times with 2 shots each.  Her eyes got really big and she whimpered, but she didn't cry.  Then, when they were done, she said, "That's it?"  Her legs were pretty sore last night and they have been today, but overall, she's doing amazingly well!  I'm very proud of her!

Monday, I'll take her to meet her teacher and then Wednesday, she starts preschool!  I can't believe she's that age, but she's definitely ready!  I just hope that we don't have meltdowns when mommy tries to leave. 

ONE WEEK from tomorrow is when Daddy gets to come home for a brief visit.  As you can imagine, we are all BEYOND excited!  The kids think he's coming 1 week from Saturday, because he won't get it until 2 a.m. Saturday, but I'm still counting it as Friday for MY sake!  :)  We are just about to die to see each other.  Cassie is counting down the days big time!

Well, that's it.  We have a big week ahead of us.  Sometime before Wednesday, we have to get some school shoes and get her backpack packed up.  Can't wait for that first day of school picture!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nesting already?

I sure hope not!  I don't have the energy to do this for 6 more weeks!  I just can't sit still.  In fact, just taking a break to write this is killing me as I think about all of the things that I want to get done today.  What in the world?!?  For those of you who know me, this is not typical WHATsoever.  So, either I'm nesting already which will make for a really tiring 6 weeks or we're going to have a showing in the next few days and God is just putting a proverbial fire under my proverbial butt to get things in order.  Either way, I'm pooped!

We had a really loud, long thunderstorm this morning.  It was one of those where it is constant lightning and thunder.  I already couldn't sleep and then that lasted for over 2 hours (of when I was finally asleep, of course).  I wasn't nervous of it or anything...it was just loud!  At least the kids slept through it, though!  I think that I probably slept 3 hours total.

Add that to the cleaning/organizing/nesting and I'm exhausted!!!!!!!!

The kids are currently having a picnic on the livingroom floor watching Cinderella.  It is my all-time favorite Disney movie and they seem to be enjoying it quite a bit, though I don't know if Cassie's food has even been touched yet!  :)

Today is my hubby's birthday.  I wanted to say a thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you that sent him cards.  He was overwhelmed and blessed by all that he's already received.  I hope that his mailbox is full again today!  As of yesterday, he had received 17 cards!

I haven't really said much about the kids lately that wasn't Daddy-related, so I'll leave with a little update on each of them:

Cassie is amazing me with all that she has learned lately.  She now sings the books of the New Testament and I am so, so proud of her!  She wanted to learn it and asked me to sing it several times.  Now, she does it on her own quite well!  She also has been doing memory work including John 3:16 (at church) and Phil 4:13 (at home).  She has a passion for scripture, it seems, and my heart could not be happier!  She starts preschool a week from tomorrow and is thrilled.  She is even willing to get shots just so that she can go to school!  She will be going to a Christian preschool and I hope that her love for letters, words, and scripture will be greatly nourished!  Oh, yeah, she has started sounding words out, too.  She read cat, dog, God, bat, and Keaton the other day.

Conrey amazes me often, as well.  He, too, sings the books of the Bible.  It is difficult to understand, but he is, indeed, saying them.  His favorite is to say, "PEEEETUH!"  You can tell by certain syllables of each one that he is doing his best to say the correct word.  He has started saying things like, "Sure," which I always think is cute.  He has become quite ornery and pesty towards Cassie and myself.  He tries to irritate her, that is for sure!  He'll grab 1 thing from whatever she's playing with and run off with it.  He'll come up and pull her hair and then run away.  Such a naughty little brother!!!  :)  The thing that we've had to work on lately, though, is that whenever he gets mad at me, he tries to hit or kick my belly.  He knows that I'm protective of it and tries to make me mad back!

Keaton is still "tall."  I feel like he might reach his little hand right out sometimes as he pushes and pokes.  Not my favorite feeling.  I have an appointment tomorrow where my dr will check me.  Not my favorite feeling either.  :)

Well, that's it on the kiddos, but I wanted to give a shout out to an ADORABLE baby boy that made his way into this world Sunday, Mr. Seth.  He is beautiful and has the sweetest dimples!  So happy for the Tysons on their new nugget!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A little reminder

On the way to church yesterday, God used the mouth of my 4-year-old daughter to remind me of His role in our situation.

Cassie: "Momma, so, Daddy is all alone up in Nebraska?"

Me: "Yes.  He misses us very much!"

Cassie with an ornery twinkle in her eye: "NO HE'S NOT!!!  God is ALWAYS with him!!!"

She was pretty proud of herself for "catching" me with this one.  I confirmed the absolute truth of her statement and reminded myself that indeed, God is not only with us every second of our separation, but His hand is orchestrating our future including when we'll get to be together again, when Keaton will be born, and when the move will happen.

Thank you, Lord, for using our precious babes as your best messengers!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mommy with a broken heart

My daughter is having a tough, tough time.  It is, obviously, making it tougher on me, but I know that I understand the situation, that I was part of the decision making, and that I have a much better concept of time than she does.  I just feel so heartbroken for her and am not sure how to help her.

She has had several breakdowns in the past several days.  Wednesday, I believe it was, she was just sobbing her little eyes out when she called to tell Mark goodnight.  She had her eyes squeezed as tight as she could with tears streaming down her little face.

This morning, she woke up crying.  She came and got in bed with me and all she could say was, "Daddy....."  She cried for Daddy a few other times throughout the day.  Finally, she said, "Mommy, you wanna know why I cried this morning?  I dreamed that we were in our new church in Nebraska and I looked and looked for my Daddy.  I finally found him, yelled 'DADDY!' and ran up to him and gave him lots of hugs and kisses!  But, then I woke up and it wasn't real life at all..."

It was almost enough for me to head to the airport to buy the next available tickets to our new town.  It seriously rocked my world and made me realize just how deeply this was affecting my baby girl.  I know full well that God has led us to this opportunity, this situation, the church there, and the job.  I know that He is looking at the big picture and that His timing is perfect, though we don't understand.  I understand that this difficult situation will give us all a bright, bright future.  My baby girl, however, just knows that she can't see her daddy.  She doesn't know when she'll get to again.  She doesn't understand the why's of the situation.  I don't know how to help her understand.  I don't know that she could understand if I tried. 

She's hurting and there is nothing that I can do in this moment to help her.  I am doing my best to heap on the love, care, and extra attention.  Beyond that, I'm at a loss.

This is only temporary and I believe that God would NOT have led us to this situation if it was to harm us or our children.  I believe that He holds the future and that He provides the bread we need for today...not tomorrow, but for today and that is sufficient because He will provide for tomorrow when it comes.  I just hope and pray that my little one is getting her daily strength from my great God and that that is sufficient to sustain her.  In the name of Jesus, dear Lord, please protect my little girl's heart and mind from the evil one so that she might have your peace throughout the rest of this trial.

Friday, August 20, 2010

33 week doctor's appointment

So, I had my appointment today.  It was scheduled for 2:50.  I saw him around 4:45.  Fun.  I don't normally talk to the people in the waiting room.  Today was different.  I know about the due date, gender, and pregnancy complications of about 10 different women.  The girl that started the conversations was quite...um...animated...to put it mildly.  We knew about every detail of her pregnancy including the fact that she's lost, LOST 45 lbs throughout the pregnancy. 

I finally got back there and as I'm waiting for the dr, start to feel the onset of a gallbladder attack.  Great.  When he finally comes in, we talk about my near accident at the beginning of the week, my gallbladder issues, and ongoing contractions, which have been really painful back contractions all day today with a few good belly ones here and there.  Anyway, he goes to measure me and his eyebrows go up.  He listens to the baby and then sits on his stool with his laptop to document.

"Well, you are pretty big..... *long pause*  I think that we've got a tall baby......  *long pause*  How big were your other 2?"

I told him 8 lbs and 8 lbs 9 oz., both 5 days early.  "What did I measure today?"

"A little over 37.  You're 33 weeks?"  I nodded.  "Well, I think that you're on track to have at least that big of a baby, but probably bigger.  I think he's tall."

Ok...at that point, I'm thinking to myself, "Is that like telling a girl that she's 'big boned?'"  From his demeanor and wording, it seemed that he was pretty surprised at the change.  I had been measuring 2 or so weeks big for awhile (down from 3 when we first started measuring).  That was just 2 weeks ago that I was 2 weeks big.  Now, all of the sudden, it's 4 and his measuring was accurate...he checked it twice.

So, now I have an explanation for why I feel so miserable and have so much pressure...I'm the size of a woman who is about to have her baby.  The joy of the situation is that I get to carry this guy for 6 or so more weeks.  Yipee....

But, he's healthy.  He seems to be happy.  He's being knit by the hands of the great creator.

So, though I'm feeling like this guy is ready to come out, I will be patient because I know that God is forming him just right in accordance with His design.

Now, if only I had a husband here.....  :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

TRYING NOT TO GET MY HOPES UP

Mark told me that he might get to come home for labor day weekend.  I am SO trying not to get my hopes up!  It would be pretty much right in the middle of our separation AND would be the weekend just before my 30th birthday.  OH MYLANTA!  I think that it would be JUST the pick-me-up that I need at that point!  But, I am not going to get my hopes up.  I am not going to look forward to it.  I am not going to plan on it.  I'm just going to go with the flow and pray about it.  *sigh*  Easier said than done...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summertime Reds

I've got the summertime blues, but they're actually the summertime reds.  It is SOOOO hot that I find my face beet red quite often.  It is so hot that I don't want to go anywhere or do anything.  If it weren't for my 2 favorite munchkins, my fellow miserable preggo with her munchkins, and my mom, I would probably just hide in the house, thermal curtains drawn, laying around doing nothing 24/7.  It is miserable hot out there.  We were in this pool this morning.  I seriously doubt if either of us moved more than 5 feet in any direction the entire time we were in there.  We're both worn out and I feel like I swam laps in an Olympic-sized pool.  Seriously!  The heat is just overwhelming.  I've never handled heat very well in the first place.  Add the 50% extra blood pumping through my veins, the 30 lbs of extra weight strapped to my abdomen, and the record highs this summer, and you've got a preggo that is struggling to stay active!  I am just thankful that I have those motivating factors keeping me going, because without them, I might just be sleeping this summer away! 

I seriously do not remember EVER being as hot in my entire life as I have been this summer. 

So, in an effort to maintain my sanity and to stay as cool as possible, I'm asking all of you in bloggity land to share any cooooool ideas or suggestions.  Anything that you recommend for staying cool in the summer that is fun, tasty, etc?  Recipes are always welcome!  :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

A bit of advanced warning

Mark's birthday is coming up Aug 24.  I was hoping to flood him with birthday cards.  Obviously, I'm not going to post his address online for the world to see, but if you would like to send him a birthday card, I will be more than happy to share his address with you.

In Mark news, he was on the locomotives for the first time today.  He learned a lot and it was very interesting.  He got to see them do some pretty cool stuff, too.  His left heel is really torn up from his new boots.  The right one hasn't bothered him a bit, but the left one has made him raw, bleeding, and in a lot of pain.  He HAS to wear the boots every day, so he's not sure how he's going to get it to heal up with the constant irritation.  He had the boot shop rework the back of it.  Since it was already injured, though, it still made it worse today even with the improvements.  If you'd pray for healing with that, I would appreciate and I know he would too!

Weekends are pretty rough for him right now being all alone and having nothing to do.  Saturdays stretch on forever.  If your hubby is a friend of his, a call on any Saturday might do him a lot of good.

Overall, he's doing great, though.  I'm so proud of my husband.  I know he reciprocates the feeling.  We're both in a tough situation right now and we've never felt closer, though we're 9 hours apart.  Thanks for the continued prayers!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ready or NOT!

It has hit me.  I'm about to have another child.  Suddenly, 8 weeks doesn't sound like much.  Suddenly, the thought of going through the baby phase again is stifling...heavy...hard to accept.

Don't get me wrong, I am READY to be done and I am READY to meet my baby and love him SO much.

I just am not mentally prepared to nurse him full-time.  I'm not ready for the diapers, sleeplessness, and 100% dependence.

ON. ME.

I think that that is why it is suddenly a burden to think about.

It's all on me.

Yes, I know that I have multitudes of people that are there for me and whom will be very helpful, but that's not the same as my husband who lives with me and helps me and comforts me.

The parenting...that's all me.

Wow.  It's all coming whether I'm ready or not.  My question is this: How do you GET ready for all of that?  Seriously?  I have no answer.

****************************************

On a somewhat unrelated note, my baby boy has turned into a bully.  He bullies his friends.  He bullies his sister.  He tries to bully me.  He is still the most loving little boy I've ever known when he wants to be.  Other times, he tries to kick baby Keaton because he's mad at me.  He has been hitting, kicking, and biting...mainly his sister.  He is slooooowly learning that hitting mommy is a baaaaaaaaad idea.  But, he still hits me quite a bit.  His Bible class teacher told me that he was hitting his friends a couple of weeks ago.  I never thought that HE would become THAT kid.  He has always been the lovey friend.  The only thing that I can figure is that it is because of all of the transitions and now Daddy isn't here to be the strong male enforcer.  Don't get me wrong, I do NOT let him get by with it, but I'm not respected the same way that Daddy is.

Any advice from you bloggity friends?  I need him to be back to his old self before baby brother comes.  I'm afraid that that is not going to happen.  He is learning independence and, for some reason, this is how he is choosing to display it.  *sigh*  I want my baby boy back!


Mark is doing well.  He is excited to get to be on the tracks working Monday.  Thank you for all of your prayers for him.  Please keep them heavenbound.  They are working and appreciated!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Preparation @ 31 weeks

So, I've decided that I'd best start at least THINKING about preparing for this baby or he's going to sneak up on me and I'll have nothing done!  Luckily, I thought at the last moment...the morning Mark left...to have him get the bassinet and bouncer down from where he had stored them on the ceiling of the garage.  WHEW!  Dodged the "baby has nowhere to sleep" bullet!  Today, I bought a couple of different types of pacis and I also found some 'paci wipes.'  I'm of the "take 5 pacies with you in case one falls on the floor" school of thought.  I DEFINITELY don't put the paci in my mouth to "clean" it.  I typically don't take the time to go wash the offended paci.  I typically just put it in the dirty bag and get a new one.  So, I think that the paci wipes will help.  Anyway, I picked out 3 different types of pacis.  One is "nipple shaped."  I thought that that was...um...awkward.  Couldn't they come up with some better explanation than that?  I hope and pray that this baby loves his paci as much as his siblings did.

I ordered my diaper bag this weekend and it is set to be delivered today!  I'm super excited!  With Cassie, I had a great, girlie, froo-froo bag.  With Conrey, we were on a VERY tight budget and I got one that was like $10.  This is a 2-in-1 bag with a diaper clutch and a paci pod.  I'm just so excited!  Since Conrey is still in diapers and needs a bag, the 2-in-1 feature should be quite handy!  I can't wait to get it, load it up, and have a convienent, handy bag!

I haven't purchased diapers yet, but can I get an amen to how precious newborn diapers are???  I am just so excited to compare them to Conrey's big 'ol 5's and just oooh and aaah over how tiny they are!  For my newborns, I am definitely a Swaddler's mom.  I think that they do the best and I think that they smell like baby.

Finally, I need to go through my clothes, figure out what will work and what won't for this baby, and get stuff washed.  Oh, and get the bedding all washed.  My good friend is being induced in 2.5 weeks and I need to see what things of Conrey's will work for her little guy.  Her boys and my boys are both opposite seasons.  That's what happens when you both have little surprises!

For me, I suppose that I will begin to make a list for my hospital bag.  It gets shorter and shorter with each passing kid.  I had a duffel bag with Cassie, a tote with Conrey, and I'll probably just take an overnight bag with a change of clothes and my PJs for Keaton.  All of that "fluff" stuff just gets left in the bag, it seems.  I will definitely be taking a picture of my hubby with me in case he doesn't make it.  I need him there in one form or another.  He'll probably have to labor with me on the phone if he's not there!  :)  Hair bands/clips, a brush, toothbrush/paste, shower stuff, deod, and make-up will probably about do it.  Oh, and mints.  I always bring mints for the people breathing in my face.  Not much is worse to me than being in labor and smelling bad breath!  :)

So, we're at 31 weeks and I've been telling Keaton that he is getting evicted as SOON as he's baked.  I'm trying to convince him that 37 weeks sounds pretty fabulous!  That would put us mid-September.  That would be great with me!  You can be assured that I'll be walking my little feet off, eating my "Go Into Labor Cake," and lots of pineapple (among other home remedies) as soon as September 15th (37 weeks) hits!