Friday, May 28, 2010

Random thoughts

...because I don't like to use MckMama's "Stream of Consciousness"...for whatever reason.

We've been busy. Hence, the lack of posts lately. I put in hours upon hours into Stevie's 1st year photo book. It's amazing because I spent so many hours, and it will definitely not look like I spent hours. I need a photo book program that allows me to arrange the page layouts instead of providing the given options. Those are nice but limiting. I had a coupon for a free one, so that was nice...until I put 16 more pages in it than what was free, but I only had to pay for the additional pages (and shipping and tax). So, it all worked out. It's ordered, and I hope it arrives for his birthday.

Stevie's 1st birthday is 1 week from today. Wowzers. It's definitely bittersweet. More sweet than bitter, but I just miss my little baby. We're going to have a family party for him. Ohh, the party.

Can I let loose on some frustrations? I want to enjoy preparing for his little party, but there is a big road block. We are in the process of moving...buying a house, whatever. The closing date is still not set...even though we are past our "tentative date." That is a little frustrating. I understand it happens, but the timing of it all right now is not so hot. We were supposed to be moved in to the new place by Stevie's birthday party. Because of all this uncertainty, I had to send out his invitations saying our new address and underneath a little asterisk with my parents' address in case we are not there yet...which previously thought, would be a little ridiculous not to be there yet. I'm tired of this and have so detached myself from any excitement that I'm not sure how worth it this deal is going to be. Hopefully, I change my mind if this deal does go through. Don't get me's a beautiful house and there were many things I looked forward to about it. It's just that we have been gracious through the whole process...but things are getting out of hand (as I see it in my inexperienced eyes), possibly because we have been so gracious? So...I know. I need to not let this get in the way of trying to celebrate a wonderful first birthday! It's time to suck it up cupcake, right? He won't care where it is or if his invitations have white out all over them.

So, Stevie's party. It's farm "themed" because Stevie still loves cow things. He likes the plates, napkins, invitations, personalized placemat (ha!), and greets them with a huge smile and "Hi!" Yes, there's a cow on them. They are very cute, but not as cute as my boy. A-hhh, I'm feeling better already from the previous paragraph. I am going to attempt to make a barn cake. Pictures may or may not be posted of that attempt. Ahem. I'm no Betty Crocker. My cooking show as a young girl (Cooking Witb, Witb is not my typo...but my brother's on camera, and it stuck) consisted of play doh and water ...and toy cookware...and a giant apron, my mother's old high heels, some singing and whistling, laughing and bloopers. I don't know if I'm going to do a trial cake. I was planning to, but then we got this hot weather, and well, I didn't feel like cranking that oven up. Now, we're so close, there's no way our family will eat all that cake just to eat another one next week. Umm, I don't even really like cake. I'm sure Stevie will enjoy it no matter how it looks. Are there any bakers out there? When is the best time to bake the cake and cupcakes? I'm thinking of doing the cupcakes the day before, but the cake? How do I work this? The idea is the cake will be out of the pan when all is said and done, something never attempted by B...(no, I will not share the beautifully perfect picture example on the Betty Crocker or whatever website to help show what I mean...because once you see my version, it might make Betty feel badly about hers or something) so I want to keep it fresh. Hey, I already admitted I'm no Betty Crocker ...or Martha Stewart. (Random thought within the random thought: I just realized I said Betty Crocker a lot so I added Martha to the mix.) If it turns out terribly, well...there's always ice cream cake...and that I do love. Thank you for the back up, Carvel!

Oh, speaking of Martha, I have been working hard on another project. I just had to have a family name sign a couple of months ago. When things were moving along with the house, I wanted one even more...for our first home. So, I looked and looked online for what I wanted. I didn't find one that quite fit my desires (or price range), so I'm making it. It's certainly not perfect. When it's done, I'll share a picture...hopefully, of it hanging somewhere on some wall. This was a more enjoyable project than the wool balls. I'm still finalizing the verse I want on the bottom. Guess what the colors are? Those who know me personally and know my decorative colors of choice...yup, red, white, and blue. I'm a primitive/Americana...and patriotic... girl at heart. Wow, this is getting long...soo, on the red, white, and blue note, Happy Memorial Day! I always have difficulty saying "happy" Memorial Day. I am thankful for our freedom, but happy doesn't seem to fit when honoring those who have given their all for our freedom. So, I'm going to have a Thankful Memorial Day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Us Moms Really Think on our Toes

....or whatever that saying is. So, here's the deal. I was tired the other night. Stevie was a little too, but he was a bit on the hyper side. He, like usual lately, was wanting to get into everything, and I was ready to stop chasing him around for the evening. It may not look like he was everywhere just before this (the camera sometimes has that effect)...but oh, he was.

What else was there to do than this? -Put a cup on my head while I relaxed, so Stevie would stick around...and share some laughs too. Some days, I may look like I'm losing my mind. No, we're just having fun. Ignore me, and enjoy my boy! I especially like how Stevie is tired and laughing so hard he's toppling over.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Proposal

Matt proposed to me 4 years ago today. Unfortunately, it wasn't a big surprise for me. It's my own fault that I often ruin his surprises. Apparently, I have a hefty intuition, or something. He was supposed to meet me at a certain time that day to take me out. I think the place or thing we were doing was supposed to be a surprise...clue 1. We had been talking about engagement for awhile at this point. (Yes, we met in May 05 when he was on leave, started talking in September 05 long distance, he came home from the military the 1st time in December 05, and we were engaged by May 06...married December 06.) I told him I had a surprise for him too.

Well, he was late coming to pick me up, and I remember him being really late (though, who knows how late he really was). I remember debating whether to call him or not. He said he had some errands to run in the morning...clue 2, how many errands does a guy have? After "awhile," I decided to call. He said he was hung up at the mall, he'd be there as soon as he could. Clue 3, he doesn't "mall" shop. Clue #4, we had gotten my finger sized at the mall a month or 2 earlier because I don't wear jewelry and had NO idea what size my finger was. I was also able to look through the inventory, haha. (Matt purchased the ring a few days before the proposal and needed it resized. That was the hang up at the mall. Apparently my fingers are small. I needed a size 4 and the ring they had was a 7 or something, but we decided on 4 1/4 because I was worried if my hands swelled, like in pregnancy or whatever, they would get stuck. Yes, this girl thinks like that.)

So, when he finally arrived, we went to the surprise I had for him first. Matt likes cars and well, stereotypically all things boy, so I had wanted to take him to this go-cart racing place. It ended up being a little silly because we were the only ones there. So, he drove around while I took a few pictures. Then he took me to a park we frequently went to for picnics, walks, and runs. Clue 5: He brought his coat up with him. Matt hardly ever wears a coat and to just "bring it" in his hand was weird.

Prior to our engagement, we had a discussion about the proposal, and Matt had asked me if there was anything I wanted. One thing I said was I didn't want a bunch of people around....mostly because I could picture him doing it like in the middle of church or something. Well, he took that very literally. He took me to a picnic table along the water (umm, we didn't have anything to eat with us, so Clue 6), and we sat down...and he put his arm around my shoulders and dug and dug and dug into my shoulder. Deep tissue massage people. I tried to pretend like I didn't notice him looking over my shoulder every 2 seconds to check the status of "people present." I honestly have no idea how long we sat there, awkwardly. My man waited until there wasn't a person in sight for miles. Finally, I don't remember exactly what he said (I think it was, "I have something for you." He pulled out the box for me to open, and then, "Will you marry me?"), but it was fast and short. (Later, he mentioned he had this whole thing he wanted to tell me, but forgot it all in the moment, haha.) I said "Yes," and then I think that's when he told me he loved me. I could have it reversed. Like I said, it was fast, haha. We waited until our proposal/engagement to say we loved each other. Then he put the ring on my finger.

I think the only other thing I had mentioned in our "engagement discussion" was that I thought it would be really neat if we then washed each other's feet (for a life of service...and remember that dream?), and I gave him this special blue washcloth someone had embroidered for me in college with my name on it for whenever he chose the special event. Beyond those things, I wanted everything else up to him.

You know where this is headed right? Well, Matt remembered the ring, and the "no on-lookers rule" (yes, he got that one to a T, way above and beyond what I meant), and the washcloth. That's it. So, after the proposal, he pulled out the washcloth (yes, his coat pocket was huge with a ring box and squished up washcloth. Clue whatever number we were on) Ok, so it doesn't get any better than this: We had no soap, and no water, just the washcloth. So...we went down to the nasty canal water, dipped our feet in...laughing hysterically that we were "washing" each other's feet in this way...and over the fact that I was practically falling in because there is no good "entrance" to the canal water from the path. The water level was quite low at the time. Oh man, and did we ever stink!? Then, we had nothing to "dry" our lovely smelling feet with. Thankfully, I was wearing flip flops at the time which made it easy for me. Matt on the other hand, just threw his socks back on his wet feet and tied up his shoes. Yuck!

After all this, our stinky selves went to Lugia's (our favorite ice cream place where they have huge servings...the man knows my heart). Then we went back to my parents' house to announce our news. But of course, they already knew.

At the beginning of our relationship in December...once Matt had my "ok" that yes, I was really interested, etc., Matt asked my Dad to court me. My Dad was prepared for this discussion. He was sitting in the rocker in the kitchen, cleaning his gun! True story, folks. The next time Matt "talked" with my Dad (of course they talked a lot throughout our relationship, but you know what I mean), was to ask his permission to marry me. My parents live on a little farm, and my Dad had been out doing some work outside, so he was wearing shorts and farm boots. A little different ambience than the last discussion...So, from what I know, my Dad gave his permission and blessing.

Anyway, shortly after our engagement (or maybe it was after we started courting, either way), this Rodney Atkins song came out. Maybe I'll call in to the radio station today! It was written about us. Ok, it wasn't really written about us...but is seriously our story! Then, this song played the day Matt left when he was recalled to the Marines. It also played on my way to pick him up from the airport. It's a special one for us. Just in case you haven't heard it, well, here it is:

Yes, Matt, I would say "Yes" again! I'm so glad I did!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yeah, I Remember May 9th

May 9th last year, that is.

I was reminiscing with Matt and my sister-in-law about the date May 9th. My due date for Stevie was May 22nd and was then changed to May 28th (though, seriously, umm, May 22nd would've given my little bun enough time in there...and my midwife Aunt always went by that earlier one for me and was a little upset that they "changed" it...anyway...). I had an appointment with my OB the first week in May and had "increased" to between 2-3 cm and was 80% effaced (may have been 75%, but I believe that was at the first "checked" appointment). Anyway, the Dr. was really excited (I love her...she is always excited). It was good improvement from the last week, and she thought for sure I would not make it to the next weekly appointment (even though cervical dilation means nothing at this stage of the game). We had looked at the calendar and saw that May 9th my Dr. was on call and it was to be a full moon. (You've heard of that, right?...Statistically, more women go into labor during full moons.) May 9th is also Matt's brother's birthday. Perfect timing! Well, May 9th came and went...and if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have ___you fill in the blank____.

A FULL MONTH went by before Stevie made his arrival. What little lovelies can I laugh about now...since he didn't arrive for another month? Well, there are many!

-For one, I drove around with an all-purpose baby pad on my case my water broke. In church, I carried that partner in crime water bottle (to spill "accidentally") for the same reason. (Hey, I had some teenagers point and laugh and say, "Wouldn't it be funny if her water broke?" "Yeah, especially if it got all over your shoes!" No, I didn't say that. I just waddled away.)
-I had some lower back aches in addition to the braxton hicks I'd had for months.
-I see that huge watermelon on it's side in my belly in pictures and feel the stretching just thinking about it. I just saw some pictures of a girl who at 39 weeks pregnant looked like my belly after Thanksgiving dinner. (Maybe that would account for a 3 lb difference in the size of our babies). What can I say? I ate my double cheeseburgers and enjoyed my milkshakes too. I was called "fat lady" by the time April rolled around, asked if I was carrying twins....and if I was sure that I wasn't. Matt didn't call, "Timberrr!" for nothin' when I'd get into bed!
-The grocery store looks had begun far before then. I never did understand what was so really was like I was the first pregnant person the world had seen.
-I couldn't walk nearing 8 months and called it "Cowboy syndrome" until I learned it's actually "saddle sore." Stevie put so much pressure on my lower self, it felt like I had pulled muscles in my groin. And yet...we carried on.
-Matt hit a deer on the way to work and we had the whole car switching fiasco...of carseat base and hospital bag, etc. from rental car back to newly fixed car.
-We passed by what was supposed to be a joyous May 9th. Entered into May 10th (Mother's Day...that would've been fun too), 11th, 12th, 13th, etc....the contractions continued but no baby.
-Fast forward to May 30th. 21 days. 21 days later, I pulled that awful ligament in my back getting up for one of those thousand trips to the bathroom at night. That hurt so. bad. I've had some injuries, but that was bad, probably also because I had a 40 pound watermelon pulling me down from the other side. I was so afraid I might be having back labor on top of it (weird, I know, but one of my mom's labor pains began in her shoulder blades!). My husband went to fight off the bad guys (umm the other paint ball guys!!) while I laid on my old high school bed at my parents' with ice and heat, and groaned. I thought I was going to die. haha. My mom loves to tell the true story of how I laid on my side and my back touched one end of the bed and the tip of my belly touched the other edge. I was that huge!
-Right after this lovely day, I started getting those itchy red bumps all over my belly...thinking it was Matt's gift to me of poison ivy after playing paintball. Nope, just PUPPS! Couldn't get much more miserable.
-Fast forward to June 3rd. Still having back pain and the itch is intensifying...and I'm stretched beyond what I think is possible. I went in for my non stress test and ultrasound. Because, wait for it, I still didn't have Stevie yet. The grouchy ultrasound lady tells me the baby is 9 lbs 8 oz. I'm ready to burst into tears. She sends me on my "merry" way to go home (except for non stress test first) and wait for induction on June 6th. I go back out to the waiting room, tell my dad, and explain ultrasounds can be up to a lb off. You could tell he was feelin' for his little (well, once was) girl! He looked nervous for me. I tried to remain upbeat and figured, well, what was I gonna do? I got called back for a non stress test, while Dad did some calling of his mom, and said that the baby was 11 lbs. She then called my sister in law...and on and on it went. Maybe they set up a prayer chain, I don't know. I had my test. Stevie was still very active (both technicians/nurses couldn't believe how active he was being the size he was and how far along we were). Yet, she kept telling me I or he...whatever...was failing. Over and over, she told me that. At the end, she took it to the Dr. He thought it was "great" and sent me home on my merry way to wait for my induction on the 6th. Could you cut a girl a break? Do you know what 3 more days does to a hormonal, emotional girl pregnant with a 1st grader?...I was thinking he would be 11 pounds by then! They must've had some confidence in me. Well, that prayer chain worked. I think this day was officially the end of my rope.
-That night, at 11:30, my water broke. Halleluiah! It had taken me a month (since early May) to go from 2-3 cm to a whopping 2-3cm when I checked in to the hospital! haha I was still the same, but at least I was 100% effaced. Still don't understand how you can be 100% and still have some dilation to go...but whatever. (But the residents also told me I was having a 7 lb what do they know? Just kidding, I liked them a lot and think they were very smart to tell me smaller!)
-I ended up having a wonderful labor and delivery (I say that tongue in know, as wonderful as that sort of pain and stuff can be). But, we won't talk about the explosion of the PUPPS all over my body the day we left the hospital (this is not my picture...warning, it's bad, ...but it was me!), my 4 month recovery, and my surgery. Ahem.

-So, on June 4th, my beautiful baby boy finally made his much welcomed appearance in the world, 9 lbs 1 oz, 21.5 inches (sooo thankful for the 7 oz difference).

At least May 9th is someone's birthday...hehe. Really, I do laugh about these I've heard of women going over a month overdue and having much larger babies than I. Bless. their. hearts. So, really, what have I to say?

But, June 4th was perfect. June 4th, I will always remember! And you know what? He was worth it all!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm so glad You were born!

Cotton Babies is hosting a $100 giveaway! I ordered my recent diapers from them and have been very pleased with their company. I'm entering this giveaway and thought others would like to hear about it too! They just ask you to leave a comment explaining why you are so glad a child in your life was born! Here's the link!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Stephen Letters

Dear Stephen,

Maybe you wonder why I write you all these letters. Maybe these will never be important to you, but just in case, I'll keep writing anyway. And, here are some reasons why...

I like to record memories. I have not been so good at keeping track in your baby book though. Maybe it's because the milestones are randomly thrown down on the same page just leaving a line for the date, and I'd rather write more. There is so much more to your life than typical milestones and dates. They are wonderful. They show how you're growing. But, I want you to know more about the kind of Mom I am to you while you're little, and give you a glimpse of your personality and life as a little boy.

Mostly, I really really want you to know how much I love you. I tell you that, but sometimes I'm a better written communicator than spoken communicator. My writing is one way I show you how much I really love you.

Morbid as this may be...I have a fear. When you were 10 weeks old, I had to have surgery. I'd never had surgery before. I dreaded it. I had never left you...ever...until that day. That was so hard. We dropped you off at Grandma's, and I had put you in your swing. I kissed your head with tears in my eyes and told you I loved you. I was scared to have surgery. Chances were slim, but there is always a chance (weird anesthesia somethings or whatever)...I was fearful that if I did not come home from that surgery, you would never know me, remember me, or...really know how much I love you. Like I said, morbid, I know. It's even hard for me to write. This just isn't commonly talked about with some reasonable reason. It's a reality though. I am struck with the thought every now and then when I pass an accident or hear of tragedies on the news. Life on earth can be short. If for whatever reason I am not here, I want you to be sure of my love for you and your siblings forever. (Hmm, makes me think of the wonderful gift God's Word is. We have the Holy Spirt and God's love letters to us to share more about His love for us while we don't have the opportunity to experience a physical Jesus.)

You see, my entire life I wanted to be a mom. As a little girl, I surrounded myself with dolls and imaginary older children I was mom too. I often had anywhere from 7-10 or more children...all named. We'd spend days together, and even take trips to the store on my car bed. Silly little girl...dreaming of that time in the future. Now, you are here. I couldn't have dreamed of a cuter, happier, more loveable first child. I choose to be home with you. I may not go to work, but you are my job, you are my joy, and my passion lies in Christ's love overflowing through me to your little heart. How old are you now, reading this? Did you know that? Did you see that? Did you feel that? Has He overflowed your heart?

I write you letters so that you will have records of those milestones, records of those silly memories and the cherished times, but most of all, so you will understand and maybe know my love for you a little bit more. Of course, I still feel like I'm not able to put it in words, but this will have to do for now.

As you grow, this is still so strong on my heart: "A Mother's Prayer" by Rachel Aldous

With love and a kiss,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dear Stephen

Dear Stephen,

You have been experiencing the "outside world" now for 11 months. I really think this is my favorite age of yours so far. You are such a joy! In many ways it is more difficult though. You are becoming more bold, you are exploring so much more, you are getting into many more things you shouldn't be, and you are expressing your will more. We hope and pray that boldness will shape into fearless God following. We hope your curiousity continues but you seek out things that are good, and true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. And, we also pray that as you grow your desires will yield and be molded by God's desires.

You are often a very happy boy. I certainly would not trade that! You still wake up cheerful, with your hair curling around your head, lips forming a rested grin, and your chubby little hands rub the sleepiness out of your eyes. Once the sleepiness is rubbed away, your energy often comes out in full force. You race-crawl to one end of the crib to the other and pull up to your knees on the crib bar. You nuzzle into your burp cloth (your nap blanket) and blankets...or pull the blankets down from the end of the crib and laugh. Speaking of nuzzling, you still favor your cow stuffed animal, and every time you go to him, you smush you face into him or give him a huge hug! Then you sort of wrestle him on the floor. It's extremely cute. Last night, you saw your beloved cow in your pack and play, and you cried because you could not get to him to let him out to play. Don't worry, Mommy came to the rescue.

Another milestone is checked off the list! Yesterday, you pulled yourself up to your feet for the first time! I find it amazing that when you learn something new, it just seems to click. You do it over and over again like you have been doing it forever. I think I counted at least 6 times yesterday...and you first pulled up sometime in the afternoon. You've also been sitting back on your knees sometimes. Pretty cool, little man!

You are probably most content any time you are outside. We could spend all day in the stroller walking if you had the opportunity. As we walk up and down the driveway, you like to watch the tree leaves and branches sway in the trees, the neighbors' dogs and cats, and especially the cars and trucks that go zooming by on our busy street. I am really looking forward to having a more suitable place to go for walks with you! Last weekend, you did alright mall walking too! Daddy strolled you down the halls of the car show while Mommy did a little wedding shopping. Then I took the stroller because Daddy's too tall for it to be very comfortable. This little orange umbrella stroller is not the finest of all strollers, but it was a hand me down we didn't need to pay anything for (we're very thankful for that), and it does the job. But, when Mommy pushes it, sometimes the wheels go a little funny. You find it hilarious every time the wheels suddenly get stuck and swerve you one direction to the other. I would imagine it is similar to a jerky roller coaster for you....but you couldn't be happier as you whip around and your hair blows back.

Food. You still like any food you are given. Sometimes you shy away from the green veggies, but once they hit your tongue, you remember how good they are. You have had fruits and veggies (jarred food and what we eat), crackers, breads, cereals (baby and regular), Puffs, graham crackers, a few goldfish, some meat (real, not jarred) and meals....and some of an oatmeal cookie at Grandma and Grandpa's. Mommy caved and let you have some of her cookie because it was a "healthy" cookie. Grandma still doesn't believe that's the only dessert you've had! :) Boy, did you enjoy that! We're gearing you up slowly for that birthday cupcake...which is coming in 1 it will taste that much better!! Cheerios are still suitable snacks for you too. They are yummy, but more than that, they are super fun to shoot out your mouth. You have perfected the Cheerio shoot in the past couple of months. You blow them out and watch them fly (they do ever so much better than your Puffs)...then look down at the floor over your high chair to see where they landed. I need to get that on tape sometime.

Our days are getting busier, but I need to write these things down before I forget them! I love these days. I love our time together! Most of all, I love you!

With love and a kiss,