Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas! and Baby R - 15 weeks

Scott can't get home from work soon enough. I am ready to hit I-35! The cooler is packed with enough snacks to last hours. Thank goodness it is only a six and a half hour drive. Although, my bladder may prove to make it a longer trip this time.

Baby R is doing well. I am 15 weeks now. I have been slacking on the blog updates. Last week I finally was relieved of the 24/7 nausea. I get little waves here and there, but all in all, I am feeling GREAT....and just in time for Christmas so I can enjoy family time. Baby R is about the size of an apple this week - 4 inches long. I have a mini bump, but nothing to rant and rave over. It mostly just looks like pudge. A few more weeks, and I am sure I will have some nice belly shots.

I look forward to having some lovely photos and fun stories to share from Christmas! I feel that I need to take one day at a time and enjoy each moment of being there because I know it will go by very quickly.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

HP TouchSmart Giveaway

Way too cool! Click here to enter the contest to win the HP TouchSmart.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"Super Cousin" and Baby R - 12 Weeks

Last night Heidi told me the cutest story.

Jacob and Andrew were wrestling....no big surprise. Jacob said "you can call me 'Super Dad'!" Andrew replied, "you can call me 'Super Cousin'!"

Too CUTE!

I didn't know he was so excited about being a cousin. He keeps asking Heidi if I have had the baby yet. Funny how kids have no perception of time.

Heidi has been putting Joely (almost 16 months) on the phone when we visit. She says "hi Hannah", "hi Scott", "I love you", and all sorts of other very adorable lines. Makes me so ready for Christmas so I can squeeze those kids and give them loots of kisses!

Because of the continued bleeding, I had another sonogram to ensure everything is okay in there. Placenta and cervix look great. Baby and fluid look great. Unable to pinpoint source of bleeding. But, I did get reprimanded by the midwives for house cleaning over the weekend. I guess vacuuming and cleaning tubs is not in the pregnancy protocol if you have ongoing issues. Ok, ok, now I know.

Scott is convinced the baby looks just like him! Ok, I guess I can kind of see that...but considering this little tot is only about the size of a lime, I am not gonna hold my breath that the features won't change slightly. It was so neat to see the tiny arms and legs floating around. One photo looks like Baby R is sucking a thumb.

I am thankful to get this sonogram. It confirms to me that things are great in there and baby is not experiencing the same things that mommy is right now. Baby was moving a lot during the sono. (I had given her/him a heads up to try and dodge the ultra sound waves. Already obeying me, good Baby R!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

thankful for you

I am glad it is Thanksgiving week. It is just an extra reminder of what I am thankful for. Although I am thankful for many things, Baby R tops the list. This pregnancy hasn't been the breeze I had conjured up in my mind before becoming pregnant, but maybe that is okay...just a constant reminder that I am a mother-to-be.

I went in for my fifth round of blood testing today. Waiting for the results and praying the hormones are in a good range. Baby R let us hear its heart beat too. It started out faint, but then picked up...I think she (or he) was giving us a show. It was a relieving sound.

Baby R is the size of a fig in this week eleven of pregnancy and almost fully formed. The hands can open and close into fists and some of the bone are beginning to harden. What an amazing miracle!

I miss coffee. I passed a Starbucks today. If it weren't for the tight budget these days I may have pulled in for a decaf. I restrained myself.

Scott has started his new coaching job at the private high school. He is head coach to the JV girls team. Isn't that cute? He comes home with some great stories, I must say. He commented today that he has already said more in two weeks with them than he got to say at Texas Wesleyan the entire season. Needless to say, he is loving it. Despite all the estrogen he gets there and the hormonal wife he comes home to, he doesn't complain one bit.

I haven't felt like working through the nausea to start massages again, so I have been working on Christmas projects. Heidi doesn't read my blog, so I can tell you what I have been making for Joely in all my down time. Heidi says she is very girly these days. (I wouldn't know since it has been almost 6 months since we have seen them!) I got a fun idea for a tutu at a craft fair over the weekend. It isn't done though, but soooo cute. I will make a matching bow and watch her twirl around. She is also very much into babies and dolls, so I made her a stuffed rag doll. And, of course, what girl doesn't look great in a pink and black sundress? Spoiled by her auntie Hannah...I know. If you read my blog, don't spill the beans, I want it to be a surprise! (arg...my photos will not upload at the moment!)

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baby R - Week 10

It's hard to believe that I am already 10 weeks. Baby R is the size of a kumquat or a really large grape.

I had another blood test yesterday to check the progesterone and HCG levels. The injections made my numbers soar, so I am quite confident that we are safe and sound from here on out. They are wanting to check the levels as a precautionary measure now. Hopefully it will not be for too much longer. It takes a toll on the ol' pocket book to pay for these without insurance.

I have discovered that the key to staying steady and not ridiculously nauseous all day long is to keep food in my stomach. They tell you that, but who really wants to eat when you feel like vomiting instead? The key is to eat the moment I wake and the moment before I go to bed....and many points in between.

* Cravings: Subway sandwiches - A couple of weeks ago, I made chicken and sweet potatoes for dinner. By the time it was finished, the smell of it all was just too much and I couldn't eat dinner or even stand the sight of food. But, when we went to bed at 10:30pm I was starving. I needed Subway! It was, of course, closed. I talked Scott into driving me to Wal-Mart to get a deli sandwich. He graciously got out of bed with me and took me with no complaints! Thankfully, I haven't had anything happen like that since then. Baby R also like sweet fruit like grapes, apples, and oranges!

* No belly yet, but a little weight gain - enough to break out the stretchy pants from now on.

Monday, November 9, 2009

being green and falling leaves

After reading and hearing about several other very sick pregnant women who are due around the same time as me, I have grown to appreciate that my "morning sickness" isn't nearly as traumatic as what others are experiencing. I am so thankful that I haven't even thrown up yet. And, since I have started loading up on massive amounts of progesterone, I have to admit, I really have no more nausea. There is definitely a sensation in my belly, but it isn't my food about to come up.

I don't have the results for my blood test from Thursday yet. I called today and they said it will be tomorrow before the test comes back. No worries here though. I can feel that everything is just fine now.

I have been looking at ideas for Baby R's bedroom. I am trying not to get too radical because we plan to co-sleep or room share for a good portion of the first year at least. But, the baby does need a room to play in. My sister and her husband have started a new company called Greenovation Builders in Arkansas. They are in the business of renovating and building green (or eco-friendly)! She told me not to paint until we can get our hands on some of the paint that they will be distributing that is safe and green. So safe, she said I could paint the room myself while I am pregnant! And, just like any other "big" home improvement store, they can match any color! Even better! So, we will go and pick a sample that we like and send it to her and she will get us the paint. The best part is that the company that started this paint business is not looking to make a fortune. They live off the land somewhere here in Texas with minimal resources. These people are looking to change the way the population thinks one green product at a time. We can get this paint for the same price you can buy low VOC paint at the store for and it is even better and safer than those paints. Let me tell you, I am so excited about this! I told my sister that I would go back to school to finish my interior design degree just so I can move back to AR to work for them in their green company! Well, maybe not, but sounds fun.

And finally, the leaves are falling at our house. We have the most leaves on the whole block. Still not exactly sure what we plan to do with all of this, but they surely cannot stay on the ground piling up.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

a literal bummer

So, I keep texting my sister that I have to get shots in the bum and her text response is "bummer, he he he!" Ok, so that is kind of funny. She is a real jokster.

We were supposed to be in Arkansas visiting them for the weekend. Due to all that has been going on, we decided to stay home and shelter Baby R. Sadly, we will have to wait until Christmas to see them. We haven't seen them since June....way too long. We had a stay-cation instead. Watching movies and football. Scott took me on a ride this morning just to get out. That was after he made me pancakes and eggs, cleaned the kitchen and folded the laundry. Then this afternoon we took another trip for the dreaded shot in the bum.

But, since getting shot in the bum twice this week, I am feeling incredible. Seems as though the hormone levels are getting back on track and no more nausea. Not sure what the progesterone results are from Thursdays blood test, but we should know Monday. Hoping and praying that the feeling good part continues.

Tonight we watched the movie Food, Inc. It pretty much summed up the book I read a while back called Stopping Cancer at the Source by M. Sara Rosenthal, Ph.D. It was about the food industries processing and production methods. Let's just say that I am so glad that I am already willing to spend a bit more to buy organic foods. We are looking forward to planting a small, organic garden in the spring....when I am 6-7 months pregnant. Thanks to my book Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening, I am all set to get going. Can't wait for fresh cucumber and tomato salad, garden beans, and fresh herbs!

Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. Baby R and I seem to be a lot better. We hear and feel your prayers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

hang on baby r

Although I am feeling very pregnant with all day morning sickness these days, I have had to have some blood tests taken at six weeks and then again last Friday just before the eight week mark because of the continuous bleeding I have had since week six. My HCG levels are doing well, but the progesterone levels which sustain the pregnancy are continuing to drop to very low levels. Today I was prescribed progesterone tablets and shots. Yes folks, I had a shot in the bum today. It didn't feel great, but if Baby R needs it, then mommy can take it!

Thanks for your continued prayers. I have mixed feelings about what is going on. I put a necklace on today that says, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. I am doing that to the best of my ability. One of my dear friends also brought me over a necklace last night that she made for me. It has stones that are encouraging for a healthy pregnancy. So, that is also around my neck today.

Monday, November 2, 2009

not your average parents-to-be

Halloween was spooky, but not because we celebrated in any form or fashion. We were out with some friends of Scott's family all evening.

So, what was so spooky?

We finally got our first taste of negative reactions from people opposed to our non-traditional style.

As a side note: I am so grateful that I am married to someone who believes in the same things that I do. In my teens, while struggling with depression, our family got introduced to alternative health and natural healing. Since then, it hasn't always been easy for others to understand why we choose not to go to the doctor or medicate with drugs for illnesses. I am so thankful that I have a husband that supports me in all aspects of my health. He is very much on board with our decision to have our baby at home.

So that being said, he likes to share our ideas and plans with others. Seems like several years ago I quit being so outspoken about our "natural" beliefs. We got a lot of flack growing up with all of our herbs and natural healing techniques, so I found it easier to just play "normal". But, the hubs isn't so afraid. He isn't scared of a little conflict.

On Saturday night, Baby R's coming was announced in a large group. Of course everyone loves an expectant mommy and daddy and have all kinds of questions. While I was off chatting it up in one corner, Scott got asked the question from a lady...."what hospital are you having your baby at?" Without hesitation he explained we will be having our baby at home. She didn't have a response. She immediately turned and walked away.

On our way home, we were talking about it. It comes down to people not understanding and not being informed about what a home birth really entails. (That will be another post.) Scott said that lady probably thought he was going to be catching our baby all by himself.....hahahaha! Now that is funny.

One thing that I have heard over and over from veteran mothers and fathers is not listen to all the all the flack and horror stories from other people. I know that other people who have been through it have their ideas and opinions. For instance, we also got one persons very strong opinion on how pregnant women should have the H1N1 and flu shots.

We are very confident in our decisions about our birth for Baby R and trust that what we are doing is the best for us. Being experienced in pregnancy and birth already, and having read many books and articles on health and pregnancy, I am sure that we are making the best decisions we know we can make.

I do have to say, though, that for my contest going on over at Bellies In Bloom, I have asked for advice and have gotten some really great comments and great suggestions!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baby R - Week 7

Looks like Baby R is happy as a clam in there. I am feeling very much pregnant these days. I must admit that keeping up with everyday life is not so easy. I am just not the type of person who likes to be down and out. I am an on the go type of gal. Guess that pregnancy starts preparing you for motherhood from the get go.

Some highlights from week 7:
  • Nausea set in big time this week. It comes waves throughout the day. I have seemed to avoid puking...thank goodness. The last thing I feel like doing is eating when my stomach is turning, but I helps every time. This week I like oatmeal and Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast. I have been craving beef and I don't even eat beef. Guess this momma needs iron!
  • Daddy makes sure that I talk to the baby every day. Each night in bed he asks "have you talked to the baby today?" Sometimes yes, and sometimes I haven't yet. Most of this week I have been apologizing to Baby R for my crazy schedule and telling "it" to hang on tight. Since I have been pregnant, I have been at 4 births. I know it isn't easy on Baby R because it sure isn't easy on me sometimes. Scott likes to tell Baby R to make mommy feel better.
  • Hormones are going nuts. Yesterday I was nagging at Scott all day for the dumbest things. Today I cried during the football game (well, someone got hurt!). Last night I cried for about 15 seconds feeling sorry for myself for not feeling well. I realized how ridiculous I sounded and dried it up real fast!
  • This week I discovered that wearing a sports bra to bed is AMAZING! Apparently I should be anticipating my breasts to grow 2 sizes while pregnant. I don't even know what size comes after DD! I may be one of the only women in the world that is looking forward to getting smaller after breastfeeding. My back will be thankful that is for sure.
  • I am not sure if it is the pregnancy or what, but I have been having very vivid dreams these days. These dreams keep me on the edge of sleep and many times I have woken up Scott while talking in my sleep. I have never done that before. I can usually fall asleep in about 1.2 seconds from my head hitting the pillow at night though. Sleep is a luxurious!
  • Yesterday I got some more blood work done. I have been bleeding since week 6. They want to ensure that the HCG and Progesterone levels are staying in a good place and increasing. I have a miscarriage tea that I am supposed to be drinking. Tastes like bark, but I choke it down when I can. While we were at the birth center getting blood work, we talked to the midwives about setting up our first prenatal appointment. We are thinking about waiting until after the holidays. I just have to make sure I check in with them if there are things that aren't going like they should.
  • I have realized that being a pregnant doula has its downfalls. I know way too much about birth. I was asking all kinds of "worst case scenario" questions to the midwives yesterday. I was kind of freaking Scott out. In the past I haven't been thinking "worst case scenario" and I lost a baby and a tube. I would like to be fully prepared and in the know from now on. I have full confidence in my midwives though. I have seen them in action at two home births and even resuscitate a baby at one of them. I do feel better and more at ease knowing what they would do in all cases.
Check out this website. We are thinking about having this amazing photographer at our birth. What do you think?

Week 8 starts Monday!

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

celebrate with me

Check out the contest I put up on Bellies in Bloom as a celebration of my pregnancy. Today I woke up and was determined to feel GREAT!!! And, guess what....I pretty much do! I had to be at work today...things to do, people to see. I will not let this get me down. I keep thinking about the little angel I will get to hold in my arms in just a few months! That makes me feel better! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

welcome to parenthood

My poor husband has been a trooper with the new pregnancy symptoms I have been feeling. This morning he said "I am just not used to my plans changing", as I couldn't decide whether or not I was going to leave the house and go to his mom's for lunch. We had already skipped church. My response was, "welcome to parenthood". Leading up to becoming pregnant, I was reminding him that there may be a time where I could possibly not be feeling well in the beginning. I guess you can't really prepare a man enough for having to cook, clean, and get groceries while his wife lays nauseous on the couch or sleeps for four hours at a time during the day.

I just made a list for him to go to the grocery store and sent him on his way. We shall see what he comes up with at Kroger. He was lucky I didn't send him to our usual Central Market way across town. That place can be a mad house on Sundays. I told him to just make sure the produce is organic as he slipped out the door. Praying he doesn't forget on his three block journey.

Thankfully I have not been full blown vomiting, just nauseous about 75% of the waking hours and 25% of the hours I should be fast asleep. I am so torn about keeping up with my massage schedule or just allowing myself to take a break for a few weeks. Last week I worked on the husband of one of my clients. He smelled like he had just dumped the entire bottle of cologne on before he came. I had to hold back gags for an hour.

When you have wanted a baby for quite some time like we have, you want to take whatever comes with it....sickness and all. That is definitely easier said than done.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

announcement

Sitting on the BEST news ever has not been easy for us. We are so ecstatic to announce that Baby R. in on the way! Yes, that is right...I'm Pregnant!!!

Wanna know how it all went down? Well, the finding out part anyway. I am sure I don't need to explain more than that. We found out on October 4th. We had friends in for the weekend with their new baby and Scott and I got some serious snuggle time with one cute little guy. I had a hunch that I might be pregnant, but I had thought that before so I wasn't getting my hopes too high. I was expecting my period that day or the next. When our company left, I peed on the stick, sat in on the shelf, and jumped in the shower. It was probably the 10th or 15th stick I have peed on in the past year, so I wasn't getting my hopes up. In the shower I was trying to remain calm and told myself not to get upset if the stick said no....again. I wrapped a towel around me and still dripping wet, I peered over to see the stick. It actually had two lines. I lost my breath. I started to cry. I ran out of the bathroom and upstairs where Scott was working on the ceiling. I was yelling his name and he dropped everything and ran over to me. He thought I was hurt. I was trembling, but told him I was okay. I pulled the stick out and showed him the positive result. We both cried and then set on the sofa trying to let it all soak in. I took two more test in the next few days so that I could settle any doubts I had in my mind. Of course, all were positive.

The first two weeks I felt amazing. I was working out, cleaning house, keeping up with clients, and doing all my normal everyday life things. But this past week it hit me. The slightest smell of anything can make me feel nauseous. But, there are not complaints here. I will take feeling sick any day if it means I can have my precious baby. So far I haven't actually gotten sick, just feeling all the usual pregnancy symptoms like breast tenderness and nausea.

With feeling so good in the previous weeks, I think I overdid it a bit and started bleeding last week more than I was comfortable with. We had already decided long before pregnancy that we were going to plan to use midwives that I have worked with at a couple of births with clients. When I began bleeding for the second time in two weeks, I called them and they got me in for some blood work for HCG and Progesterone and a sonogram. My blood work came back great. Two of the midwives accompanied me to the lab for a sonogram. I had not intended to have a sonogram, but with my history, bleeding is not a sight we like to see. The last pregnancy ended in losing the baby and parts crucial to reproduction. I could not risk losing another tube and becoming infertile.

The day I got the sonogram, I was six weeks pregnant. If the technician and I held just still enough we were able to hear a tiny heartbeat. It is truly incredible that something the size of a grain of rice can have a heartbeat. And, a heartbeat is just what I needed to hear to confirm that everything will be just fine. Little Baby R. is ready to come into this world and be in our arms.

As of today:
Baby R: about the size of a blueberry
Due Date: June 14, 2010
Caregivers: Cleburne Birthing Center - planning a home birth
Boy or Girl: We think girl (just a feeling), but I guess we will know for sure in June
Names: We want to see our baby's precious little face before we settle on a name
Cravings: sweet potatoes, banana nut muffins, and salad
My Current Mood: vicious, moody, giddy, happy, peaceful
Scott's Current Mood: happy, giddy, patient

Friday, October 23, 2009

baby waiting

A bomb went off in my kitchen, I have about 4 loads of laundry to do, and we really need groceries...BAD.

But, I am waiting to see if this mom (of almost four any day now) is going to call me back to tell me she is in labor for real. I think I will go back to bed and sleep so I can be all rested to be her doula if she indeed needs me today.

Thanks to my dear husband who said he will do all the housework as soon as he gets home from his lunch meeting! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

bugs and supplements

What is really funny is that I was watching one of the morning shows before heading off to work this morning and they were showing how to avoid the flu. The masks we are wearing in the picture below were used as examples. The man even put mine on as a demo! Then I left work early because I wasn't feeling well. How ironic.

It isn't the flu, just a little bug. I am sure that I will feel better in no time. In the meantime, Scott is taking great care of me and I have been loading up on vitamins and special immunity teas. I was one of the only people at work to forfeit the free flu shots for me and my family. No thank you.

In other exciting news, Scott (my supplement MAN) has found a new supplement that he has become a huge fan of and has even gone to training to become a rep for the product. Even after working for a vitamin store and trying tons of products in his life, he thinks this is the best one he has ever tried. And believe me, he has tried many! It is a glutathione accelerator. Glutathione is the most prevalent anti-oxidant in body. After the age of 20 years old, your body stops producing as much of it because of increased stress, environmental pollution, poor diet, etc. The result from taking the supplement can vary from person to person, but I can already tell a huge difference in the hubby! He isn't taking naps in the afternoon between shifts at the gym and he isn't drinking as much coffee to get going like he had been. And, this has just been in the past three weeks. Plus, I have noticed a big change in him motivation to work and help me out at home more too! Yay! I am a believer now, that is for sure!

Monday, October 12, 2009

no, we do not have swine flu

Home repair projects are getting dusty.... must wear masks.

We got the ceiling down and the radiant barrier put in place on one side. Yesterday afternoon I helped Scott put back the insulation. That is as far as I go though. He will have to recruit some help to put the sheet rock pieces back up.

I also got him to clean out the oven this weekend. But, we aren't sure what the deal is with the racks. They don't fit in the space. We may have to order special parts. Seven months later, I am still cooking in a toaster oven.

Friday night we went to a beautiful wedding of a co-worker of mine at Gladney. It was so nice and Gari-Anne looked gorgeous!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

yummy hummus recipe

I have been munching on hummus and pita chips all day. Thought I would share this great recipe I found.

Spicy Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

1 (15 oz) can drained garbanzo beans
1 (4 oz) jar roasted red peppers
3 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 T. tahini butter
1 clove garlic
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (I used about 1/4 t.)
1/4 t. salt
2-3 T. olive oil (I added this extra)

Mix it all in the food processor or blender. Top with chopped parsley before serving if you wanted to make it fancy!

mmmm...mmmm...good!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

weekend renovation project(s)

Do you all remember from the previous post about our upstairs before and after pictures? Well our renovations just got a little more extreme.

Unfortunately, the upstairs addition to our house was done without a city permit back in 2007. We think 2007 because the pieces of sheet rock that we took down yesterday had March 2007 dates on them. The stairs and the two upstairs rooms were not done to code. When we bought our house, we got a great deal on it because we did not have an inspection done. We don't regret not having that inspection, but we have found so many things that need fixed because of a shoddy job that was done on it. It looks pretty, but when you start getting in behind the walls and realize that the bad wiring and insulation jobs could set your house on fire at any moment, it gets scary. Thank goodness Scott is handy, because these are not cheap projects!

The upstairs is not temperature regulated with a thermostat although it does have ventilation. Because the roof is directly on the other side of the ceiling, it gets pretty hot in the Texas summer heat. It is insulated, but not with a radiant barrier. Our project this weekend was to take the ceiling down. There was no need to preserve the pieces of sheet rock because they put up 1/2" instead of the fire protective 5/8" ceiling sheet rock that would make it to code.

You would think that this picture is a finished project compared to what you are about to see below, but it is not. These are before pictures.




Once we realized it was 1/2" and not 5/8" we got after the demolition. And it was so hot up there. We were sweating so much. There is at least a 20 degree difference between up and down.
Screws were my job. Although, I did rip an entire piece of sheet rock down all by myself with my incredibly ridiculous strength!!
An hour and a half later, we had the entire ceiling down and what seemed like 5,000 screws.
We are kind of debating on whether to take this door and wall down. It would make the room bigger and roomier. If it isn't structural we are going to do it. What do you think? We want to make this big room an entertainment area and a guest room divided with Soji screens. It is plenty of room and privacy upstairs even without the wall. It just seems kind of awkward to come up the stairs into the claustrophobic, dimly lit hallway where you have to duck to go either right or left into a room. For now, until we can get the sheet of foil radiant barrier and the new sheet rock, this is how the room will stay.
As if that project wasn't enough, he just had to start tearing down the popcorn ceiling in the kitchen today. Thankfully, it came off in easy sheets. The ceilings in our house are all connected. So instead of popcorning the ceiling where he fell through into the hallway a few months ago and replaced that portion, we opted to take off the very dated popcorn all the ceilings. This also is a messy project. A lot of sneezing involved.
But, when it is all said and down (who knows when...probably years) we agree that our house will look pretty awesome and definitely not be a hazard. We will have a lot of equity in it that is for sure.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

my soul smiles

HAPPY FALL EVERYONE!!!

Today is the fall equinox and I am lovin' every bit of this cool weather! This big pot of soup is to celebrate.

I made the soup when it was storming so badly last night. Every time it rains, pieces of our back yard fall to the ground. Luckily, no one was hurt.

I was so proud of myself for cleaning and organizing the pantry on Sunday afternoon. Even though we have only been in this house for about 7 months, it was getting a bit cluttered in there. I am all stocked up on beans though!


Some of you may know that I have blog contests on my Bellies In Bloom blog everyone once in a while. I have been poking around some other blogs and decided to enter the Dallas Etsy Two Year Anniversary contest. Out of 195 entries, I WON!!! And, this FedEx box arrived on my doorstep today. It was like Christmas. I waited until Scott got home late this evening to open all 14 of the individually wrapped presents. I never win these things.....I got lucky!!! What goes around comes around I guess.

Then, after I carefully unwrapped each gift made by all different creative artists in Dallas, I laid everything out to admire it all. Everything here is handmade. I love it! Sometimes it amazes me how creative people can be. Check out their blog here!

At lunch, Scott brought home some gifts his client brought him from Japan and Mexico. Definitely interesting. Candy that looks like sushi, tequila, wine, ice cream that you shake up and put in the freezer then eat...not too sure on that one???, and some other random things. Guess we shall see about all that. I may have to pass.

Then he brought home his Texas Wesleyan 08-09 conference champion ring tonight. He helped coach them last year and got a ring from it. This year he will be coaching at a private high school in Fort Worth. College ball schedules get a little bit out of control.


What a great day! Full of great weather and fun surprises.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

i heart the rain

Now it is a humid because it rained all weekend. I think from Friday morning until literally Sunday night it rained non-stop here in Fort Worth. Apparently, that isn't normal for Texas. Scott says this is a first for him. I love it! I love rain. I believe that fall is my favorite season. I love brisk, cool, football weather. I am not a fan of hot seasons and in Texas we have about 9 months of what I would call hot. With all the rain, we got to thinking about how it reminds us of Arkansas. It rains in Arkansas a lot....or so we remember anyway. There are many things that I miss about Arkansas...family, the smell of the air, the Razorbacks, friends, the natural things, Pilates, the beautiful scenery and changing of seasons, and the list just goes on.....I get so many things done with the weather is nice out. I did all the laundry yesterday and got my house all in order for no particular reason other than I felt like it.

Yesterday I read a blog about a girl and her husband who are trying fertility treatments to get pregnant. I am hoping never to have to think about that. Plus, the cost is too great for us and without health insurance you can pretty much forget about it. But, I have decided to get serious about my own fertility treatments. So, yesterday I took my first Yoga class in a very long time. My eating habits are about to drastically change as well, and I am going to do something every day that will help me to relax and focus on all the good. Scott has a very care free attitude about getting pregnant. I can only hope to get to be more like that very soon. It can become very consuming to want to get pregnant. I never knew the thoughts and emotions that are behind the scenes of the road to becoming pregnant until I was actually on that road myself. But, seriously, I am taking new steps to become less preoccupied with fertitily and more preoccupied with the here and the now.

Oh, the ramblings of my day....thanks for living in it with me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

moms and babies...that's what I do

I normally only write about my work related events on Bellies In Bloom, but I had such a fantastic birth today that it warranted telling you all the story.

About a week and a half ago I got a call from a mom to be who was due in three days. She had a previous cesarean birth with her son and after much reading and discussing with her husband they thought that a doula would be very helpful for them for the VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) birth they desired to have with their daughter. Usually I get weeks to prepare with clients, but these were special circumstances because we were so close to the due date.

In her eighth month of her pregnancy she changed care providers from her doctor to a group of midwives who practice at a local hospital. (Side note: changing care providers late in pregnancy is always an option if you are not satisfied. As long as the baby is still inside of you, you have choices. Get the kind of care and birth that you desire!) So, after she changed groups, she decided to look into a doula. Thanks to a referral from a previous client, she was led to me.

As her "due date" came and went, she was visiting the midwives to assure that her pregnancy was still going well and that she and baby were fine. Of course, everything checked out and she was given 14 days past her "due date" before they would do any sort of medical intervention.

On Friday, six days past her "due date", she had an appointment with the midwives for stress testing. Her cervix was dilated to a four, but she and baby were fine and she was not in active labor so she went home. I went over to her house to work with her. She had taken Castor oil, been walking, and was ready for anything more at that point. I arrived early in the afternoon and worked with her for several hours doing acupressure and labor enhancing massage techniques. She was having contractions and things were seeming to move forward, but when the evening approached, I felt it best to let her rest and try and get a good nights sleep in case labor did come on. I did not want her to be too tired for what was ahead of her.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to find I had not received a call in the night. When I called her that morning, she told me she had gotten a good nights rest and that she felt that things had progressed in the night. I told her I would come later that afternoon to work with her more unless her labor started before then. At about 4:00 that afternoon, I went back over to work with her some more. This time not much was happening. The contractions were few and far between and she did not feel as though they were as productive as they had been the day before. Her mother and sister arrived at about 8:00pm. Again, I decided that it would be best for her to rest and at 9:00pm I left them for the evening with instructions for she and her husband to take a walk and relax.

On Sunday morning at 2:24am, I received a call from her husband telling me that contractions had picked up. I didn't get much information other than they were coming on stronger than ever, but told them I would head over to help them labor at home, and it was their call on whether to head to the hospital at that point. It took me about 10 minutes get dressed and head out the door. I said many prayers on the way. I was unusually calm as I drove down the road in the middle of the night. The streets were bare and the rain was falling. I had a good feeling that this was going to be okay. Just as I approached the highway to turn left toward their home, he called and told me they were headed to the hospital. I could tell there was no time for talking and I told them I would see them there. I took a right onto the highway instead of a left and headed to the hospital downtown. I parked in the parking garage, which can be kind of scary at that time of night. My birth bag was in the trunk and I wasn't sure what to take out of it or take the whole thing in. I popped the trunk, hurried out of my car, grabbed the bag and got back in my car and locked the doors. I searched for a couple of minutes through my bag before deciding just to take the whole thing in. After all, there is no telling how long these births can last. With my cell phone in hand and my purse and birth bag tucked tightly against me, I headed for the parking garage elevators down to the ground level and into the hospital. I was greeted by a security guard. He asked me who I was coming to see. I said "I am a doula, and I need to get to maternal observation." "A doula?" he replied. Well, once we got that all straightened out, I was off to meet them on the maternity floor. I waited in maternal observation. When I saw the dad behind the double doors I got my things and went on back. He rushed past and told me he was headed to the restroom and she was in room 4. I thought I heard room 4, but then I second guessed what I had heard when I got down the hall. Then I heard the moans of a woman in labor and he nurses in the room calling her name. I knocked on the door and two nurses suddenly yelled at me to move the wheel chair in the hall out of the way and that the baby was crowning. They were telling my client not to push as they rushed her in the bed down the hall to labor and delivery. I ran with her, leaving her husband behind. I wasn't really sure what to do, but felt she needed someone with her, so it was with her that I stayed. As she approached L&D the nurses rolling her bed were shouting, "she is crowning!" About six nurses rushed into her room and I moved off to the side while they got her squared away. They pulled up her gown and I could see the baby's head. Her mom and her husband got to the room and we all squeezed past nurses to get up next to her as she began to push.

At 3:24am, just one hour after I received the phone call, they were holding their baby girl in their arms. She did it! She had a VBAC! It was a success for them and for me, as now I can say that I had my first VBAC and it was successful doulaing experience and they can go on to have many more children vaginally as they plan to.

When we all settled down after the birth to admire the baby, I sat on the sofa next to my unopened birth bag. You just never know.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

too busy to blog

Too busy working on the house, having gatherings, and working that is...

But, the good thing is that I have taken some pictures of all the happenings. Henry is still in town, so he hooked us up with some sweet tunes for our bbq this evening.

I wish I could claim that I took these precious pictures of the kids, but I haven't seen them since June. They are just getting so big. Grandma and Grandpa T. took these and I borrowed them and made some prints for the fridge.

I think there is a picture of Heidi that looks just like this one hanging in my parents house on the stairs! Too cute! Miss those kiddos!

G and G T. just had a new litter of pups. Who can resist those cuddly little things? But, Scott says a medium sized dog costs $16,000 throughout the course of their lifetime and therefore has vetoed me on getting a dog.

Is this not the cutest picture of bro and sis?

The hall bathroom has been one of our first house projects. I seemed pretty "safe". (I say safe because the only danger was paint fumes, no ceiling incidents here!) So, with Henry in town, we decided to tackle it. This picture was taken before we moved in. Kind of sad and in definite need of some TLC.

It then evolved into this hodge-podge of odds and ends decor. Leftover mirrors, hand me downs, and eclectic accessories. It wasn't so bad until my shorter clients were having a hard time seeing themselves in the mirror when coming for massages. Scott had it positioned just right for our 13" height difference. But, we use this bathroom the most since our master, well, let's just say it's out of commission for the time being. We decided that the bathroom needed a fixin'. We had some leftover paint from the house we were supposed to buy last year that fell through. It was just sitting in the garage and needed to be put to good use.

So, River Stone Blue it was! The fronts of the drawers screwed off and I was put to work sanding and painting. They look pretty shnazzy now, if you ask me.

Although, painting under the pecan trees in the backyard is not recommended for future projects.

This is what we came up with for our finished product. We have searched high and low for that perfect bath mats, but so far we've come up empty handed. The new cabinet paint is just the shade of off white that makes white mats look crumby. It is one of those "we'll know it when we see it" kind of deals. So far, we haven't seen it.


Tonight we had a little bbq party in our backyard. Everyone spread out on blankets and lawn chairs. We had grub from the grill and were entertained by some fine blue grass tunes from Henry's guitar. It was a great night with good food and good friends. A bit hot, but we sweat it out. Unfortunately, I was too busy being hostess to take any other pictures. Hopefully my friends snapped some keepers.

After everyone left, Francesca insisted that remaining of us "sit" and listen to Henry. It was funny to hear her say "Scott, sit down". We had a knee-slappin' time!

video

Saturday, August 29, 2009

blogs and brothers

This week I realized that my Bellies In Bloom blog gets readers from all over. Scott gets embarrassed that I write so candidly about women's issues. Someone has to do it and, well, I have a passion for sharing and am not shy about it. I got an email from a lady in WI (I think??) who found my blog and realized we were like minded. This lady created a company that makes a line of organic mama, baby, and body products called Lusa Organics. She offered to share some of her products with me if I ever had a giveaway on my blog. Well, as "luck" would have it, earlier that day I had been thinking about doing a giveaway for my 100th post. Click here to check out my giveaway. The gift set of booty balm, lip balm and sugar scrub is so fantastic, so enter to win!

Henry is in town indefinitely now. Playing at open mic night and then the next night as the solo gig, he was offered a weekly gig and has more prospects in the midst. I am happy for him and think this may be a good change for him right now. He is coming over today to hang out with us. He has been staying with friends in Dallas. As a good big sis, I will feed him a good home cooked meal from the grill and do his laundry.

Thanks for reading guys! Have a good weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

birthday week

Happy Birthday to me!

This week has been fantastic! I have hung out with friends, gone to concerts, and this afternoon I am getting a massage and facial.

But, last night was especially fun. We went to Dallas to watch Henry play a solo gig and then all the open mic artists got together and played improv! It is so cool to see four guys play that have never met each other before and how they can make the most awesome music! Not used to staying up and staying out late, so we have spent today trying to recover.















video

Monday, August 24, 2009

hippie wannabe

I think I was born in the wrong era. Well, not really, but I would probably have been a hippie back then. My inner self is crying out for braids, long skirts (oh, the long, flowing skirts), tie die shirts, bell bottom pants, and several more pair of Birkenstock sandals. But, my closet is full of high heels, flip flops, tennis shoes, and straight cut jeans. I don't have a garden (yet), but I eat organic and prepare strange foods. I am kind of crazy about natural birth and I make my own concoctions to cure my illnesses and injuries. But, I wear make-up and fix my hair every day. I do burn incense in my house...can't do scented candles. What to do?

So as for my inner hippie or at least the inner 70's in me....

I would not be much for anti-war protests or bra burning (well, possibly bra burning, but only for my own sake - dang under wires!). I doubt I would have worn my hair parted down the middle with peace sign jewelry all over me and a leather tie around my forehead. But, if lived back then, I would quite possibly have decorated my home with macrame plant hangers and wall hangings - probably of an owl, and big shaggy rugs. I would have had a big orange, brown, green couch that was most likely extremely uncomfortable to get comfy on. I am sure I maybe would like to watch Mary Tyler Moore or go disco dancing. Did hippies watch t.v. and dance? I would be the exception.

I would have the most amazing brown kitchen appliances and herbs growing in the windowsill above the kitchen sink (the legal kind of course). There would be orange and gold checkered carpet on the kitchen floor. Ok, that just sounds gross. I would grow all my food out in the garden.

I would ride my banana seat bike everywhere. It would have a basket on the front of it. I may have a car, not sure. I would read at the park in the afternoons on my quilted blanket. I may roll my eyes as I pass a phone booth where 20 people are trying to stuff themselves inside.

Of course, I wouldn't have a cell phone back then. But, then again nothing is "urgent" (unless you are having your baby of course) and if I am home and you call, I would visit with you. Otherwise, call me later.

I wouldn't wear make-up and my hair is long and flowing. Sometimes I would put it in braids.

My record player would play Bee Gees and Fleetwood Mac.

I might actually have a pet rock too!

Not sure my occupation. I would probably be a some sort of birth support person, but that was before the word "doula" was around. Maybe I would be a midwife when midwifery was coming into play and birth was coming back out of the hospitals again.

If I were a mom, I would play wooden blocks with my cloth diapered babies and take them to the park in a sling. The thing about all of this is that these people did this and didn't even try. There was something instinctual about it. Now you hear about all these parenting ideas and gimmicks. "Do this and your kid will learn this"...."do that and your kid will be do or say that".....I don't think they they consciously thought about it back then. Wearing your kid in a sling was quite possibly "just what you did". Kids didn't sit in front of the t.v. for hours. They played outside. Parents didn't worry about them running around the block with the neighbors. Oh, and I would be that mom who attends a breastfeeding group since breastfeeding would just be coming back. I can see it now, all the moms sitting in the park in a circle on blankets breastfeeding their babies while their older kids run wild in the park. Makes me kind of giddy to think of it because these women would have come from the generation whose parents formula fed and they were breaking the cycle!

Well, I am a child of the 80's with side ponies, Barbie doll houses, My Little Ponies, and over-sized shirts tied in a knot on the side with leggings and jelly shoes. Now I am an adult in the the 21st century with all kinds of technology and fashion that I can't get away from if I wanted to. Oh, how I wish I was a hippie living on a mountain off the land somewhere.....

I wonder if I would have been friends with my parents back then?

Stayin' alive, stayin' alive, ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin' aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

it's official...

I am the worst house keeper on the planet. This afternoon as I swept cobwebs out of windowsills, cleaned dirt out the shower, loaded 5 loads of laundry, and dusted until I sneezed, I realized, I am not good at this. Some women pride themselves in having a spotless, clean house every day of the week, while I, utterly embarrassed, allow parts of my house to go to ruins. Well, the hiring someone part is out of the question. I had to chuckle when Scott asked me if I was done yet. He had quit helping a while earlier. I proceeded to tell him that "house work is never done, don't you know that!?" Ugh....the mere realization that housework is ongoing just makes me exhausted thinking of it. I love a clean house, don't get me wrong, but I wish I had a magic wand or my nose wriggled just right. Growing up we had lists on Saturday for cleaning. We weren't allowed to do anything until the list was done. That must have been around the time that I took a true disliking of cleaning. Even to this day, I feel guilty if I take a break in between the things to do on my "to do list". Like Mom is going to track me down with a dust rag and tell me to "get busy or no friends over." I remember saying things in my cleaning rage like "you only had kids so they could help you clean your house!" Hmm...that idea doesn't sound half bad right now.

Scott and I got an early start to the weekend with a half day Friday. We decided to piddle around Lowe's for ideas for a bathroom remodel on a $200 budget. Looks like we may start painting over Labor Day weekend. It has turned out to be a fabulous, long weekend for me. By long, I mean two days off. We closed the spa on Saturday and I actually did whatever I felt like yesterday. I slept in, then we lounged around the house before seeing a matinee. I drug him to Julie & Julia. It was a cute movie, but the audience was filled with a bunch of elderly ladies. We were two of the first people there and he crouched lower and lower in his seat each time another lady would come down the aisle looking for a seat. He may kill me for telling you, but he actually like the movie! Then we went and got some things to cook for dinner and came home. The real excitement of it all was that Scott got to cook out on the new "mini" grill we purchased this weekend. My husband finally feels like a manly man out by the grill now. It is amazing how giddy a man can get when grilling a meal to perfection! Well, actually it wasn't perfect, the squash and zucchini turned to mush, but the corn on the cob and chicken was good. I gave him a break for the first time grillin' at home experience. We have been married three years and this is our first grill. I must say that I regret not having one before. Meals are quick and simple and the clean up is a cinch! The two days off in a row is what started the house cleaning extravaganza in the first place. I guess I was not sure what to do with myself for two whole days and that is when I got the urge to clean my house. Thank goodness that is over....for now.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

thank goodness I am bored

Well, I am not really bored, but I was pondering today about the past several summers and how involved they have been...especially in August.
  • August 2008 - Recovering from surgery
  • August 2007 - Moved to Arkansas (on our 1st anniversary)
  • August 2006 - Got married
  • August 2005 - Moved from Kansas to Texas
  • August 2004 - Getting ready to quit Wal-Mart and start massage school
  • August 2003 - Actually, I think this particular year was pretty uneventful
  • August 2002 - Recovering from my burns
  • August 2001 - Moving to Arkansas to go to U of A
  • August 2000 - Again, kind of uneventful
  • August 1999 - Moved to OKC for my first year in college and Oklahoma Christian University
Then, there are always several family birthdays (including mine), vacation, and school starts back. I miss celebrating August birthdays. When we all lived in Mac, which none of us do anymore, Heidi, Emily, Henry and I used to celebrate all together....usually with a DQ ice cream cake. Wish I had a picture of that. By the way, Happy Birthday you guys! Oh, and I can't forget sweet Joely who just turned the big #1!

Happy 1st Joely!


Happy 23rd Hen!


Happy 29th to me,
Happy 26th Em,
and Happy 27th Heids!


But, this August, other than our trip and my conference (which was actually a lot), it has been pretty calm around here. Our first two anniversaries had major events surrounding them. I am glad that this year we didn't. It was a nice, quiet dinner out. Nothing too fancy. We ate at Mac's on 7th and then to Curly's for frozen custard. It was nice to have time to sit and visit about our goals for marriage in the upcoming year. I want to write them out and put them in our memory box and take them out in six years and see where we are at. We sure aren't where we thought we would be three years ago, but that is okay. We have come a long way. People say that the first year is hard. I have to say the first two years have been especially difficult for us. But, we are in this together and can see great things ahead!

So, since I am so bored....I will go read the library books on pregnancy and childbirth I checked out today! That ought to keep me busy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

dear baby

Dear Baby,

It's your mom here. It has been a year since I found out about you and lost you all in the same hazy moment. I think about you all the time. I am thankful for your short presence because it truly did change me. I know that sounds so cliche, but it did. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if you had decided to really come and live in this world. I tease you that you wanted to be big and muscly like your daddy and that is why you didn't make it all the way down the tube. That gives us a bit of comic relief. But, if you were here, I wonder what you would look like. Were you going to be a boy or a girl? What would your personality be like? All these things I want to know about you.

When I say I think about you all the time, I really do. I know your time here inside of me had a purpose. You weren't meant to make it and sometimes I wonder why? I kind of know better, but still I ask why? God placed you inside of me for a reason and I guess I don't need to know all the whys right this moment. I know enough.

We really want you back though. I take it a lot harder than your daddy does. I wonder when I will see you again. Will you come back or will it be another? I try and tell myself not to take the tests...that I am only setting myself up for disappointment when they only have one line instead of two. Sometimes I beat myself up and wish I had been a more observant mother. If I had, then my tube would not have gone with you, or maybe it still would have, I don't know. Saying or thinking that won't change what is though.

So, baby, I want you to know that we are waiting for you. You are very much anticipated and being prayed for constantly. I will be a good mommy and your daddy is amazing. We can't wait to meet you. I know that you are waiting for just the perfect moment and that is really okay. We will do our best to be wait patiently. I will try not to cry the tears of sorrow any longer. It makes your daddy sad when I cry for you. You just come when you are ready.

I love you baby.

Love,
Mom

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

love. love. love.

This time three years ago, I was about to walk down the aisle! A lot of ups and downs have happened since then. We have moved three times, lost of a baby, and lost and gained jobs. I am thankful for friends and family who have been supportive of everything we have gone through. We are hopeful that the 3rd year of marriage will be the best one yet!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

planes, buses, and automobiles

We just returned home today from Kansas for my 10 year high school reunion and from a family reunion in Virginia. We had a great time catching up with old friends and family we hadn't seen in several years.

Our trip started last Friday when we woke up at 3:30am to catch a 5:50am bus downtown in Fort Worth. Needless to say, we have decided that we will not be taking a bus trip again....EVER! We got to Wichita around 1:30 and my cousin and her kids picked us up and took us to Hesston to hang out with more cousins. We went to my parents for a quick nap before the evening reunion festivities.

After the weekend of reunion events, we caught a 6:00am flight on Sunday from Wichita to Richmond. (Don't ask me why we take these early flights, it really isn't our thing to be dead sick and tired once we reach our destinations!)

REUNION

Yes, you are seeing double! Scott and Hannah M. and Scott and Hannah R. What a fun reunion we had there!! Unfortunately, I was not feeling well that night, so we had to leave a bit early and skip the bowling activities.
Laura and her adorable little girls came to the barbeque on Saturday at lunch.
Scott and Hannah have three cute little girls. This is their oldest. She is full of drama just like her mama!
This is Hannah's youngest who will be 1 in a couple of days. She is so cute!!!
And, yes the Hannahs again. It has been way too long. We really need to get together more often than we do, but the distance is a strain.
Chelsea and Davin just had a precious little man in June! It was so great to see them as well. I got to meet her husband for the first time.
The Hannahs, Katie, and Laura.
Hannah and her Scott. Such a cute couple!
Me and my Scott.
Katie and Travis. They have two sweet little girls. Unfortunately, I didn't get to snap a pic of the kiddos over the weekend.

VIRGINIA

Scott took a liking to his cousin's baby, Andre, right away. The poor little guy was so wiped out that he fell asleep right on Scott's chest.
Scott's Aunt with her grandkids, Claire and Mac. They love to read books at that age.
Scott, his cousin, the two little guys, and I all went to the children's petting zoo to feed the animals. All we left behind was sun screen and water or we could have stayed all day. Mac was having so much fun even though the goats were biting his hand when they ate out of it!Mac and Tine feeding the goats. Mac got really attached.
Mac made a new friend while he was visiting the pygmy goats. When he ran out of feed, he thought they may like to eat sticks and pieces of grass off the ground. Well, it was worth a try.
As we were leaving, they had a stand with drinks and sno cones. Mac was excited to get a red sno cone on our way out.