Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sick Days.....:( take 2

Well, the boys do seem to be doing better today.  Its interesting to me to see that even though Zekey got sick first, Braden is having a rougher time.  I'm hoping that Zekey's fever is gone now, but I'll have to wait until tonight to be sure.  Braden's cough is worse and his fever keeps popping back up, but I think by tomorrow (or hopefully tonight) that will be gone and then we'll just have to wait for the cough to clear up.  Of course he doesn't like the medicine for his cough.  He says its spicy!  I tried mixing it with grape juice, but he still made a face trying to get it down his gullet!:D  Maybe in yogurt?  I'll have to try that for the next dose or something.  I'm hoping that he sleeps well tonight, not just for my sake;), but so he gets some rest!  I did get the cool mist vaporizor out last night and that did seem to help.  There was less coughing.  (We got a really neat vaporizor.  It' s a froggy.  I bought it at Target a couple of years ago.  They still sell them.  They have penguins, elephants and even a Thomas the Train one.)  Hopefully, tomorrow's update will be smooth sailing ahead....

Ezekiel's Birth Story - pt. 3

Finally, I knew I needed to take a test and get started on doctor’s visits and all that jazz. I was already taking prenatals because we had stopped preventing. (Gotta make sure you get the folic acid!) Well, I took the test and, sure enough, it was positive! I was really very excited! I went to the doctor to get a blood test and to get started on prenatal care. I would have really liked to do home birth or a birthing center, but all of my care was completely payed for as long as I used a hospital and doctor and all that, so it was a blessing. I found a doctor that had his office at the hospital where I would give birth. I liked him a lot because he would listen to my concerns and give me the time of day. He would also let me bring Braden to my visits. That’s a plus for me. :)

I like surprises, so I talked to Sam about doing something special to let everyone know we were expecting again. He was fine with it and so I started planning. We were headed back home two weekends later for a visit and everyone usually gets together for lunch after church on Sunday when everyone is there. I decided to order a cookie cake from the cookie place in the Longview Mall. (Mmmmmmm.....cookie cake!) I told them to write “Guess who’s expecting?!” on it. I was going to pick it up that Saturday evening so that we could have it ready for Sunday.

I made it to Wednesday before the nausea set in. At first, it wasn’t too bad. At least compared to later. In the previous 5 years, I had only thrown up twice. Before that it had been 11 years! I wasn’t used to throwing up, but boy did that change!!! I started throwing up breakfast and I would be sick to my stomach for the rest of the day, but could still keep food down. Then over that weekend it just got worse. I could only keep certain foods down. (I think milk was one and I honestly can’t remember now what else, but it wasn’t much.) I tried sprite and crackers...threw them up. I tried acidic foods....threw them up. I tried fatty foods....yep, threw those up, too. The awful thing about it all was I was litereally starving. I would be soooo hungry, but anything I ate would come right back up. It was so frustrating!! By the time we were getting ready to go home for a visit, I was not doing so well. I had to call and tell some of my family that I was pregnant because I needed a major prayer session. I was getting really scared about the baby not getting enough nourishment. I couldn’t keep food down much less vitamins! (A whole lot of crying happened during this time.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Great Breastfeeding Website!

My friend Juliet just emailed me this website: .  It is a wonderful source of information on how the breasts produce milk and how to get your supply to increase.  There is a list of herbs that are for increasing milk production.  There is also a list of herbal no-nos.  Its been 10 years since I really looked into anything having to with physiology, so it was great to get caught up.  Its also not an overwhelming site to navigate through.  I've added it as a link in the Preggos and Nursing Mamas sidebar.  Check it out, you'll be glad you did!:)  Thanks, Juliet!!

Sick Days.....:(

Well, both of the boys are sick today.  Zekey woke up with a fever Yesterday morning and Braden followed suite at about three this morning.  This is the second time they have both been sick at the same time.  For the most part, they both hung in there well today.  As long as I kept the Tylenol and Motrin going to keep their fevers down, they were playing and feeling pretty good.  Zekes got his naptimes in, but Braden didn't slow down until around 4 pm.  Poor little guy!  Its very frustrating that fevers come back with a vengeance in the evening through the night!  The time you need the most rest, ya know?  Well, I'm hoping that in the morning they will both be better.  It seems to be a virus and Braden has more symptoms than Zekers does.  We'll see.  Until they are better, we'll just be home chillin' and having play/movie days and lots of love, care and popsicles! :)  The cool washrag on the forehead is always a big hit too.  The thought of that when I have a fever still brings memories of comfort from my childhood.  Please pray for a speedy return to health for them both and lots of rest for all of us! :)

Ezekiel's Birth Story - pt. 2

Getting used to living in a small space like that wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I really liked it, in fact. There were some things we would’ve liked to be different in the layout, but it worked for us. Also, there was a certain smell in the trailer due to the fact that there was a lot of oak cabinets and fixtures. (This would prove to be a problem later as you will see.) Also, another bit of info that needs to be provided here is we have two cats, Bob and Abby. They were staying with a family member until we could get settled in. They had been moved around several times, from Texas to California and back. They had to stay with my Granny for six months while we lived in Hawaii because of quarantine issues, then they were back with us when we moved back home and now they got moved into the trailer. Oh, yeah a full house!!!

I had also been trying to keep a regular exercise routine so that I could stay in shape during a future pregnancy. So far so good... I didn’t take any pregnancy tests just to see because I didn’t want to get my hopes up if they were negative. I was still really excited about possibly having another baby, though! It was the middle of October when I started to suspect that I might be pregnant. When I would exercise, I would get out of breath almost immediately and when doing floor exercises, I would get dizzy and it would be uncomfortable. Also, my bosoms were very sore and tender and the ligaments around my uterus were stretching. Sam said, “Why don’t you take a test to make sure?” I didn’t want to. I didn’t want whatever it is that clicks inside my head to make me into a hormonal weirdo when I know for sure that I’m pregnant. I’m also a stomach sleeper and wanted to maintain that as long as possible. :) I just wanted to keep it all low-key. So, I didn’t take a test for about another week.  More next time...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Things I wish I had known about starting with my first pregnancy!

1.  Promise Stages Vitamins - I write about these in Zekey's birth story.  They are so wonderful!  They are formulated for each stage of your pregnancy from preconception to breastfeeding.....  They use a coated iron so they are much easier on your stomach and help with nausea.

2.  The Moby Wrap - I'm stealing this from my friend Michawn.  I saw it on her blog and was like, "That is soooo cool!  I want one!!!"  I found them on as well as some other websites...just google it.

3.  Bella Bands - Also stolen from Michawn:)  Very cool for being able to wear non maternity pants for a bit longer before you start wearing maternity clothes, also good for some support after birth as well as helpful when breastfeeding not to show the jiggly post-preggo belly!

4.  Postpartum Support Belts - Medela makes one.  I haven't tried them, but you can be assured that I wish that I had known they existed.  I had a really hard time after both of my deliveries!  If we are blessed with more kiddos, I will be ordering one!:)

5.  Night nursing bras - Yeah, didn't know they made those.  I was really only seeing whatever Target had to offer....I'm a one-stop shopper for the most part.  Medela makes some as well as some other brands.  They give support, but are comfortable to sleep in.

6. Bum Genius Diapers - Also another goodie from Michawn.  (Yes, there is a trend here....I prefer to let others find out about these things and then I can go and research them...hehe.  Thanks, Michawn!;)  These are the coolest diapers!  They are a one size fits all cloth diaper that has a pocket that you stick an insert in for absorption.  Check them out at

7. Home birth/birth centers/water births - Now I did know about these things, but I had fear of the unknown and fear of no chance for epidural! ;)  Well, after experiencing giving birth minus the epidural, but in the hospital....I totally regret not seeking out a more natural and calm way to bring my first two kiddos into this world!  I'll tell ya right now, that I would rather be in a supportive, non-rushed and birth friendly atmosphere where I was encouraged to let my body take its time and do what it does so well on its own than to be hurried up so that the doctor can be on his/her way out the door as fast as possible.  I also don't think I would have torn EITHER time had I been attended by a midwife instead of hospital staff!  Also, water birthing sounds so much nicer than flat on your back in an uncomfortable hospital bed.  I'm just saying.....! :D

8.  Robeez infant shoes - These are shoes that I did know about, but were super expensive when Braden started to toddle.  I could have found similar ones that weren't as expensive and would have been better first shoes for Braden like the ones at Target now : Ministar.  Zekers will be benefitting now. ;)

So far, that's all I can think of... If anything else presents itself, I will totally do an encore post!

Ezekiel's birth story - pt. 1

WARNING!!! Again, I’m very detailed in my description of what happened. That includes all of the bodily functions and fluids therein. Just so you know......

Also, this story is much longer than Braden’s. Read on and you’ll find out why.

After Braden was about 2 years old, Sam and I thought we were ready to have another baby.  We wanted Braden to have a sibling and we didn't want them to be too far apart.  I figured that about 3 years apart would be good. (Don't you just love how I'm trying to make all of these decisions in my own understanding?!)  We again called Juan and Donna to have them pray over us and just let them in on our plans.  We decided to stop preventing and because it seemed like I possibly ovulated right after my menstrual cycle, we thought maybe we had a better idea of timing.  At this time we were living in Diana, TX near family.  We had come home to mend our relationship which I will talk about in another post, but when we came home, Sam took a huge pay cut.  After about 11 months, we were in way over our heads with debt and just getting deeper.  We talked and prayed about what we should do.  We were in agreement that we couldn't stay where we were because there just wasn't an available job for Sam that would cover our expenses.  So, we felt that we were released to go back to contracting, so that we could get out of debt completely. (There are previous posts on this and I will keep you updated on how God is blessing us in this area....) 

 Sam got a job in Corpus Christi, TX.  Even though we were not thrilled about living there, we viewed it as an opportunity to get our foot in the door and use it as a stepping stone.  Unfortunately, we didn't realize that once you get hired on there with this particular company, you pretty much stay there!  We were also living in a weekly rate motel while we searched for a place to live.  We were just about to sign a contract for an apartment when I just didn't feel peace about it.  Also, Sam had mentioned several times that living in an rv would be right up our alley, since we planned on traveling a bunch for his job.  At first, I wasn't sold on the idea because I had memories of camping in a little dinky camper and it was NOT a pleasant experience!  We started going to some rv lots to see what was available and boy was I surprised!  We ended up going with a fifth-wheel trailer.  It had two bedrooms in it on opposite ends.  I also really liked the fact that I wouldn't have to pack up any boxes when we moved!  Fabulous!!  More to come....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Braden's birth story - THE FINALE!!!

I can't, with words, do justice to the emotional roller coaster that I was on at this time.  I was crying all the time.  When we got into the room. they tried to take blood from Braden, but he was so dehydrated that they wound up having to put in an iv to get it and also give him fluids.  I can't explain the failure that I felt.  I couldn't believe that I hadn't noticed how yellow he had gotten and that he wasn't getting enough fluids and so on and so on.  I was also just angry that my body wasn't working the way it was supposed to.  I remember just praying about all of this constantly.  I was also just wondering why other people could breast feed okay, but I couldn't.  Very stressful time for me, not to mention for Sam as well.  He was having to deal with me dealing with all of this!  I was also really upset because we couldn't just hold Braden all the time.  He had to lay on a biliblanket and also under lights to get his jaundice to go away.  Even though it was a pain in the neck, I was grateful that we had to count poos and ounces and other things because it kept my mind occupied.  I was also given a breast pump to use while in the hospital and I can remember just crying every time I had to use it because my breasts were just so swollen and sore.  It was just a very trying time.  
Finally, about three days later, we got to take Braden home.  About a day or two after that, the engorgement went down and it was such a blessed relief.  I never was able to just breast feed Braden exclusively after all that, though.  Despite weekly visits to the lactation clinics and pumping and lengthy tries with breastfeeding times and all other manner of tactics.  I had to settle for supplementing breast feeding with formula.  In all honesty, it wasn't what I wanted, but Braden was not the worse for it.  He was just fine with it.  He got the nourishment and immunity that my milk provided and the full tummy that the bottles provided, so really it was okay.  Also, for about a week, we had to keep going back to the hospital for various tests and I can't even remember how many times that little punkin got stuck by a needle.  Let's just put it this way.  He eventually got to where he wouldn't even wake up even while they were squeezing the mess out of his feet for a few drops of blood!  He had little band-aids all over both feet.  Poor little guy!!!  Well, needless to say he survived just fine.  The hardest time for me after all of that was when I had to go back to work.  I was only going to be in the military for a few more months, but it was still a huge struggle.  I had looked for a daycare or person I trusted to take care of him during this time.  The friend that I had hoped would be able to take care of him, found out she was pregnant not too much before Braden was born.  Since this was going to be her fourth kiddo, she and her husband had decided against her doing any outside childcare.  Then I found a daycare that wasn't too far from work and they had an opening.  I went while I was still pregnant to interview them and take a look at the facility.  While everything was kept super clean and the kids were taken care of just fine, I was not settled about having my baby there.  I talked with several friends and family members about my struggle here, including Juan and Donna who we had asked to be Braden's Godparents.   Unbeknownst to me, Nina and Padrino had discussed it and Donna offered to keep him for me during the day until I got out of the military.  Also, she did it for free.  I was going to pay her the amount that the daycare was going to charge me $400/mo., but she said she wanted us to be able to have that money for the move.  Such a blessing in so many ways!!!!!!!  You'll see what I mean....(They are such an awesome part of our family and I wish everyone could see how much they love their godchildren!!!)  More drama arose when he was around 3 or 4 months old.  (My timing is off, but I'm in the general time frame;)  I was very close to getting out of the military and Sam and I decided that he should go contract to be able to support us.  He got a job in California and had to go there for about a month before I went on terminal leave from the military.   Of course I did not prefer being on my own with our 3-month old son.  I was keeping things together as best I could while still living in such a strong fear on a daily basis.  One night at around 9 pm, I kept hearing a gulping noise.  Like the toilet when the water drains out of it.  I went to check but didn't see anything.  Braden was also being super fussy and wouldn't go to sleep.  I was tired and getting cranky.  I believe this happened on a Friday night, but I can't remember for sure.  All of a sudden, I noticed that the carpet outside the bathroom was wet.  I went in and the floor was flooded.  I started to totally freak out.  I grabbed all of our towels and threw them on the floor.  Then, I started to panic.  When I went back in to assess the damage, the flooding had gotten worse.  It was coming up through the drain of the bathtub and spewing out from the bolts that hold the toilet in place on the floor!  (I found out later that someone had flushed wipes down the toilet in our building and it had backed up the communal sewer pipe....yuck.  By the way, it wasn't me...I grew up with a septic system and had it ingrained in my brain that you don't put anything but toilet paper down the potty....sometimes not even that!)  Anyway, I rushed to get everything off of the floor as best I could in our little one bedroom condo we were renting.  I didn't know what else to do, so I called Juan and told him the situation.  He and his son Felix immediately got in his car and came to rescue me.  They helped me pack everything up that I would need , including my cats, and told me I was coming to stay with them for as long as I needed.  I was so grateful and relieved even though I did not want to intrude on them.  I actually lived with them for over two weeks.  The flooding had caused some expensive damage.  The walls were wet on the inside, the carpet had to be completely removed and some other stuff had to be replaced.  I took care of as much as I could for our landlady.  She was such a blessing and I miss being her tenant at times!  Anyway, I was not able to go back and live in our condo for the rest of the time Sam was in California that month.  Boy, did God provide for Braden and I, though.  Juan and Donna have such servants hearts and attitudes.  They are so loving and giving and I am so thankful for them.  They are gonna definitely have some crowns stored up in heaven!  Hopefully, we will get continuous opportunities to bless them as well! 

After that, Sam came back, we got all packed up and moved out to California.  I was still living in fear, but God was totally with me the whole time. During that first year, I flew on a plane with a breastfeeding 4 month old to California...yeah, that was not fun.  I made the drive from California back to Texas over the course of five days.  I was traveling with my 9 month old son, two cats and a Jeep packed up to the brim.  I stayed in four different Holiday Inns (they let you bring pets:).  I also, flew on a plane to Hawaii from Texas with a layover in Las Angeles, CA with my 10-month old Braden by myself.  Sam had to go there a month before us.  Have I mentioned that I get the full security check EVERY SINGLE TIME I FLY?!?!?!  That time, we were moving there, so we had all the suitcases you could possibly bring, a big honkin' stroller, and a car seat that was not designed to ride in the stroller.  Not to mention the diaper bag, purse, snacks, toys and other paraphernalia that goes with a first baby!  Yep, security, I had missed my first non-stop flight.  Let's just say that the tears of frustration and pity for myself flowed freely all the way to Las Angeles.... ;)   Not until Braden turned 1 did I lighten up.  (I had read somewhere that the elderly and babies under a year were the ones that got sick the most and easiest.)  Yep, didn't care if he ate something off of the floor or put dirt in his mouth after his first birthday.  Its so funny to see how much God has taught me through all of this and also how much grace and mercy he gave me!  So, there it is the story of Braden's birth in all its glory!:)  Hope you enjoyed reading about it and maybe my experiences could help someone else overcome similar trials.  Oh, a p.s.  Sam and I have agreed that I don't fly by myself with kids anymore.  He was with me the last time we flew and he got the benefit of a security check by association and so has lots of compassion for me! ;)

Here is a photo montage of Braden:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Braden's birth story - pt. 7

After the epidural kicked in, I was laughing and feeling just great.  I started having to push on the contraction right after it took effect.  I was also feeling so little pain that I was actually snoozing between pushes!  How crazy is that?!  Also, at this time, I was the first one to give birth that night and all of the doctors and nurses on duty decided to come to my room to watch the show.  Normally, that would have been something I would have spoke up about, but at that point I just didn't give a flippety-do-dah! :)  I pushed for an hour and out came my sweet little Braden-boy!  What an amazing little guy!   He was born at around 1:20 am (can't remember exactly anymore and am too lazy to get the books out to look :), was 7 lbs 6.7 oz and 19 1/2".  I just couldn't believe he came out of me!  Isn't God's handiwork so amazing?  Yeah, so even though I had the epidural, I totally felt him come out.  Apparently, I wasn't numb right at that area and it IS a ring of fire!  Well, I got to watch them do the apgar test and he did just fine.  Then, I got to hold him.  I also got to nurse right away.  It was really such a sweet time with him.  Getting to meet him and finally have him in my arms.  During the meet and greet, my placenta was delivered and I had a second-degree tear so I had to get stitched up.  The doctor had to numb me some more because I could totally feel it!!!  Poor Sam!  He's not one to handle blood and goop very well, but when Braden came out, he had been up for about 36 hrs and he was just a bit delirious!  He actually watched the whole thing from Braden popping out to the placenta being delivered!  He was even watching the doctor checking to make sure everything was normal with my placenta and asking questions, too.  It was kinda funny to watch because normally he would have been up near my head to avoid all of that! ;)  I had a catheter in, so I didn't have to get up to go to the potty right away. (It was the aforementioned good kind.) Besides, my legs were still numb. :)   When the doctors and nurses cleared out and we were left alone, Sam was looking a bit like a zombie, so he went straight to sleep.   He didn't hold Braden for the first time until after he woke up.   I was so tired the whole time I was in labor and even a little afterward, but when it was just me and Braden, I could NOT go to sleep.  I was in awe and I stayed that way well into the next day!   I was only in the hospital a total of 2 days, during which Braden got his circumcision done.  Sam went with him because I didn't want Braden to be in there with people he didn't know all by himself. :(  That was an interesting experience for Sam.  I think he is still scarred by it. ;D  At this point, I was having a lot of trouble getting around.  Every step I took was excruciating.  It took me about a week and a half to be able to walk right including my joints getting back to their normal positioning and for the stitches to heal enough to make a difference.

We went home early and everything was going well, until my milk came in.  It came in the same night we went home while I was asleep, so I didn't realize it.  Well, I got super engorged and Braden couldn't get anything out.  Again, didn't realize it.  The nurse that does checkups for early releases came to our house the day after she was supposed to because of a schedule complication.  She walked in, took one look at him and was like, "He's really yellow."  She got her little instrument and checked him, but it kept giving her an error message.  She then said she wanted to get Braden checked back into the hospital for tests and treatment.  She felt like his bilirubin was high enough to worry about it.  She also asked if we had formula in the house and to give him a bottle to start him pooping out the bilirubin.  Of course, hormonal me just broke down.  I was bawling and super upset.  I could barely get up off of the couch much less anything else!  She said that she still had to check me and make sure I was okay and that I shouldn't be getting up and moving a whole lot yet.  Sam wound up having to take Braden back to the hospital by himself.  Thankfully, my mom was there with me and she helped out so much.  The nurse checked me out and then asked about the nursing.  I told her that I was engorged and she checked that out and was like, "Oh, my goodness!"  She suggested the cabbage leaves and alternating hot and cold packs.  She also asked if I had a breast pump.  I did, but I hadn't gotten the attachments for it yet.  Well, as Sam was trying to check Braden in, the admittance person told him that I had to be there with him too.  This was actually a relief to me because I did NOT want to be away from my baby!!!  My mom got me into her car and off we went to the hospital.  (Some visit for my mom, but I was so glad she was there!)  We got checked into a room on the children's ward, not NICU.  I didn't realize it at first, but there were all kinds of sick kiddos on that floor.  That was pretty much the one thing I didn't need to see at that point in time........ Next time....THE FINALE!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Girls Night Out

New friends:  Juliet, Emily and Angelyn (Holla! :)

We had a girls night out at Angelyn's house on Wednesday and it was so much fun!  After Sam and I had gotten the boys to bed, I went over to Angelyn's house to meet up with the rest of the posse.  We had snacks and talked and laughed until the wee hours of the morning.  Several times I thought I was going to need a Depends..hahahaha. Emily was smart and had her husband call her at midnight, so she went home at a "decent" hour, but Juliet and I stayed until after 2 am!  I haven't done that since my sisters Jennifer and Mollie and I used to go to the midnight movies after the kids were in bed over a year and a half ago.... Man, has it really been that long?!  I got home at around 2:30-ish am and went to sleep.  Sam, my precious, wonderful husband fed Zekey that morning before he went to work so that I could sleep!  Yay!  So, in all I got about 6 hrs, even though it wasn't consecutive.  I actually woke up on my own before Braden came in and got into the bed, so we just layed there chit-chatting for a little bit.  Zekey didn't wake up until almost 9!  I know!  Wow, what a blessing it all was.  I was very tired by 8 pm and we decided to go ahead and get the boys to bed early last night and then we followed suite and got a really great night's sleep!  These gals are so neat and so much fun to be around!  Thank you God for bringing them into my life!  I am so grateful.  I can't wait to do it again.  Woo-hoo, girls night out!

Braden's Birth story - pt. 6

So, we finally make it to the Jeep and away we go to the hospital.  Up until this point, I had had no contractions whatsoever.  Then about five minutes into the car ride, they began.  Uuuugggg.  So that's what those feel like.  Well, they did keep getting stronger and stronger, but to be honest, I was more concerned with the continuing flow of the "water".  It was so uncomfortable and it was totally grossing me out.  I just wanted to get to the labor and delivery floor and get checked into a room so that I could lay down and let nature take its course!  Well, we get to the hospital.  Yay!  Then I had to walk to the elevators, ride up to the fourth floor and walk to the labor and delivery ward.  Fun stuff.  Then when we got there the observation room where they do the preliminary stuff before checking you into your own room was full.  So I had to walk back out to the waiting room until they could get to me.  Yeah.  I was NOT a happy camper.  I thought for sure that I was going to leave a sopping wet mess on the chair.  Eeww.  Finally, I get in there and instead of having to go into the observation room, I was taken straight to a private room.  Woo-hoo!  Now, comes the most fun part of all.  After all the poking and prodding and who knows what else, I was finally getting into hard labor.  (haha, that's funny.  hard labor..)  The total time I was in labor from my water breaking to Braden popping out was 6 1/2 hours. The nurses kept asking me if I wanted an epidural over and over again, but I kept refusing.  I wanted to do without it.  Plus, honestly, I was scared of it.  I had read and heard stories about how people had had complications because of an epidural.  I made it to the 5 1/2 hour mark, was fully dilated at 10 cm and I said, "Can I still get that epidural?!"  Yep, the transistion period was taking so long and I just couldn't take the pain anymore.  Because, Braden hadn't crowned yet they said sure.  The anesthesiologist came up in a jiffy and told me I would have relief in about 3 contractions.  Well, I must say that the needle puncture for the epidural actually hurt more than the contractions!  He was hitting a nerve or something and it did not feel good.  So, he had to try again.  Finally, after that fiasco, I was feeling mighty fine! I need to add here that since the epidural, I have had some interesting back problems.  My back has gone out twice in the area he administered the epidural.  I mean I literally could NOT move, get up off of the floor or anything.  The first time I was bending over to get Braden out of his play pen when he was about a year old!  That was very scary!!!  The second time was in the shower when I bent over to shave my legs about 6 months after that.  Since then, I've had times where I can feel it start to act up and I just quit what I'm doing and relax until it passes........

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Braden's birth story - pt. 5

The doctor left the room so that Sam and I could discuss whether we wanted to have her do that or not and when she came back in the room, she checked me again.  I told her I guess she could go ahead and strip the membranes and she looked up and said she already had.  I was like, "Oh...."  So, then we headed home and we fixed dinner.  By this time I wasn't feeling very well.  I ate maybe two bites of chicken.  After that, its a bit of a blur because I was sitting on the couch and all of a sudden my water broke....
I have to go off on a bit of a tangent here because there is some history about my water breaking.  Where I worked while I was in the Air Force there are always pregnant women.  Well, there had been a case or two of women going into labor while at work and this one, in particular, whose water broke and they had to dispose of the chair. Now usually there are two types of water breakage: gushers and seepers.  Well, I was just worried to death that that was going to happen to me!  All I could think of was that I would ruin a chair and then someone else would have to clean all of that yuck up!  I just nearly couldn't bear that thought.  I voiced my fear aloud to several ladies who had been pregnant before, some several times.  They assured me that when your water breaks its just kind of a gentle flow almost like you are going to the bathroom.  So, that calmed me down and I was fine for the most part.....
Ok, back to sitting on the couch.  I made it just in time to get to the bathtub before the deluge.  Yep, mine was a gusher!!!  Thank you, Lord, that you had me at home for that part! :)  So, thankfully, I didn't ruin a chair, but I did get one of the few preggo outfits I had super-duper wet.  (Also, it was right about time for doing a load of wash that I hadn't gotten to yet.)  After that, we knew, of course, we needed to get to the hospital.  Sam got some more clothes out for me and I changed and we got everything ready to go.  Sam loaded the Jeep up and we were just about to walk out the door when....  You guessed it.  Another deluge!!!  What?!  I thought once your water broke that was it and then you labored and out comes the baby....  Yeah, didn't know the water keeps coming even after the baby comes out! ;P  Silly me.  So, I made to the bathroom just in time again, but not to the tub.  Basically, it looked like a small flood in the bathroom.  The really bad part was that Sam had to come back later and clean it up.  What a wonderful guy!!!  So....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trying to customize my blog

Well, I'm in the process of trying to customize my blog.  I'm going to have to redo some of the links that I had before, but I'm going to do it a little at a time.  I've checked all of the FAQ's to see if anyone posted an answer for this question, but so far no dice.  Does anyone know how to make the image page element tag allow you to put a bigger picture up?  I just want to enlarge the one already on there, but I can't find out how to do that!  I'm just a little frustrated, so any help would be much appreciated!:)

Braden's birth story - pt 4

So, kidney stones, joint pain and spotting so far.  Once again, Braden was perfectly fine.  Just more irritating body stuff on my part.  That's pretty much how first and second trimesters went.  Now, we did have a really fun time when we decided to register because I got to watch Sam get a hold of the scanner and have a great time using it.  That was really fun.
Moving on to trimester three.  About this time is when I was able to do a bit more around the house and trying to get things ready.  I was really blessed in that my sister Sara had lots of baby clothes that she gave me.  My mom also was buying all kinds of stuff for Braden.  I was very grateful because we didn't have to buy a whole lot, but at the same time, I was getting very overwhelmed.  Something I forgot to mention earlier.  I'm not normally a very emotional person.  I love to laugh and do quite a bit.  On the flip side, I have to constantly watch my temper and tendency to get easily irritated.  That's about it.  I would really only cry during a sad movie or if I was so angry that was all I could do.  All I have to say is I am NOT the same person when I am pregnant!!!  Sam would come home from work and walk in the door and I would just start crying.  I would even be aware of the fact that I was crying for no reason and wonder why on earth I was doing that.  Very odd experience.  Another kinda funny thing I have to add here....the joint pain was pretty bad.  When we went to the store, I would end up having to ride those scooter carts around because walking was so painful.  I just kept getting slower and slower....  Organizing was a big ordeal as we didn't have a lot of room for storage, but I managed.  My due date kept creeping closer and closer.  I was due June 9th and on Wed. May 26th I had a doctor's appointment at around 5 p.m.  She said that I was already almost 5 cm dilated.  What?!  I never really felt any contractions or anything to tell me I was dilating.  Very strange.  She then asked if I wanted her to go ahead and strip my membranes.  My first question was, "Will it hurt?" :)  She said it might feel a little uncomfortable and then I asked what it would accomplish.  She said it would either jumpstart my labor or it would cause me to go into labor a few days sooner than expected.  Then.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Braden's birth story - pt 3

I have to insert something here before moving on.  I am very much an organized, like-to-be-prepared-type person, so of course I was reading like a maniac.  Every book that was recommended to me, online stuff, the whole gambit.  Unfortunately, a very deep fear took root in me and I lived in it the whole time I was pregnant all the way up until Braden was a year old.  I've been delivered from that now and I'm so thankful that God carried me through it even though I did not lay it at His feet for a long time.

So, Braden was fine, my body was being funky as always.  Well, right from the start I started having body aches and things going on that don't usually come on until later in pregnancy, so by the second trimester I was having some joint pain issues.  I was fine until the bed rest thing because I was so scared of losing the baby that I didn't want to start up a new exercise regimen.  I started to gain weight a lot more quickly, though I wasn't eating/drinking any chocolate or any caffeine of any kind.  The fear strikes again.  By the way, I still was going to work as usual by this time and where I worked the parking lot was like a mile away from the building I worked in, so I was getting some exercise, just really not enough.  The truth be told, because of all the pain I was in, I got slower and slower and slower.  I remember watching some of the other pregnant girls just waltzing around like no big deal and I would think, "Why do they get to have such a great pregnancy?" :) 
Well, things continued to progress and because I was considered a high-risk pregnancy I did get to have a lot of sonograms.  That was really cool.  We knew that he was a thumb sucker because we would see him sucking his thumb all the time on the sonograms.  Let's see, I think I was around six months along when I started having this major back pain.  It was horrible!  It felt like I had pulled my muscles and they wouldn't relax.  I tried everything I could think of to make it better.  I even brought my heating pad to work hoping that would help.  It didn't.  That same day, I went to the bathroom and saw blood on the toilet paper yet again.  Let me tell you, my heart just dropped!  I wiped again and realized that is was in my urine, not vaginal.  Also, what looked like a little stone was on the tp as well.  Off to the birthing center I went.  I was put in the prep room and had to get a catheter.  There's a first time for everything!  That was definitely a painful experience.  I found out after they put it in that there was another kind that wasn't supposed to hut, but they didn't have one in that room.  Right.  Just as I thought...I had kidney both kidneys.  More fun times.
More next time...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Braden's birth story - pt 2

After finding out I was pregnant,  I had a busy morning. I called into work and told them I had to go in to see the doctor. That's how it works in the Air Force. I had to go get verification via a urine sample and blood test to prove that I was actually pregnant. Then, I had to go get a physical activity waiver, so that I wouldn't be doing activities preggos aren't supposed to do. (Yep, a whole lot of paper work!) Then, I had to fill out more paper work so that I would get a preggo clothing allowance for my uniforms and so on and so forth. Fun stuff. All the while, I was still wiggin' out. Sam was just in a bit of shock, I think for the first week. It took a while for it to become reality for him. Well, everyone was excited for us and we got excited with bouts of being terrified throughout the whole pregnancy. The first trimester was fine, except I kept having spotting. That was very scary for me and since they can't really do anything for you on the doctor's end, it was just a waiting game to see if I would get through it. Finally, I was into my second trimester and I started spotting again. Up to this point, I was still exercising and had only a slight case of nausea with no throwing up. Well, the doctors (I saw many different doctors through my entire pregnancy) were worried and after many sonograms found that I had a clot over my cervix due to a small section of placenta being detached from my uterus. Yep. that scared me even more. I can't tell you how many times we heard miscarriage during this time. I had decided that if one more person mentioned that to me again, I was going to blow up! Thankfully, the doctors decided to put me on bed rest for two weeks right before Christmas. The clot just went away on its own and the great thing is, Braden was just dandy the whole time. It was my body that was having all the issues!
Still more.....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Braden's birth story - pt. 1

Warning...I'm into telling things like they are, so if you don't want to know about bodily processes and birthing processes, I would recommend you just skip this one.............................

I just thought I'd take a little time to tell about how Braden came about.  First things first, I have to tell you about the boys' Nina and Padrino. (Their Godparents.) Juan and Donna are amazing people.  We first met them at Vinyard of San Antonio when I was stationed there.  We didn't even really know them, but knew they were special.  We were less than a year into our marriage having the usual first year struggles of merging two separate, independent lives into one and decided to seek out a couple to mentor us.  Anyway, we asked them to be our mentors and they were just exactly what we needed!  God is so amazing that way.:)  Anyway, Sam and I had talked about when we would like to start having kiddos and I was very adament about our having a strong foundation in our marriage first and so thought that having kids around the three year mark was a good idea.  I was also still in the military and just couldn't see how I could have husband, kids and job and make it all work.  Now Sam was just fine with this because being a man, made to carry the burdens God made him to carry, he was concerned with logistics: house, money, etc.  Well, we got to the 2-year mark and God put the desire to have kids sooner in my heart. (Best laid plans of men, right? ;) So, I approached Sam about it, let him know what was going on in my heart, but left it up to him to say when.  Finally, not long after that, he said he agreed and we should stop preventing and let God do the rest.  We went to Juan and Donna and asked them to pray over us and just walk with us through everything.  Well, I have never had a regular menstrual cycle and since I was a teenager had to use birth control off and on to regulate it. (Very frustrating, since I'm extremely forgetful!)  So, trying to get a handle on when I ovulate was a nightmare to say the least.  I wasn't about to go pay a ton of money that we didn't have to get ovulation kits because I would have had to use them the whole month since I wasn't able to guestimate.  Well, about a year and a half went by and I was referred to the infertility clinic at the base hospital.  That was going to be a two-month wait at least.  However, my doctor who was a really neat lady (nurse-practitioner-mid-wife) said that she could start me on some of the preliminary tests that the fertility clinic would do so that when we got there we would be that much ahead of the game.  The medication she gave me was clomid.  If any of you aren't familiar with clomid, basically you take it at the end of your menstrual cycle to make your ovaries release an egg.  Then if you don't have success getting pregnant with this step, they look at why you may not be ovulating and so on.  Well, I started it and we followed all of the instructions and waited to see what would happen.
Now, about a month before the doctor put me on clomid, Sam told me that God told him in about nine months we were going to have a baby.  I trusted that this would be so, though I have to admit, I was a little irritated that God didn't let me know personally, too.  :)  Okay, now during the waiting period, our cat Bob ran off.  He was gone for two weeks and I was just completely beside myself with worry.  (My cats were my children.)  I put up tons of flyers, knocked on neighbors doors, checked with local vets and went to the animal shelter every other day for two weeks.  Just as I was about to give up, one morning Sam came in and woke me up at around 5:30 and said, "Guess who's back?"  I was so excited and relieved!!!  Well, for some reason, I decided to take a pregnancy test right after that.  (The whole time I was was worrying over Bob, I had completely forgotten about the clomid and getting preggo.)  So, about thirty seconds after i took the test, I found out I was pregnant.  I was seriously freaking out!  Its really funny because after I got married, I knew that I had the ability to carry a baby in my body, but it was a surreal experience to know that I actually had a little life growing in my womb! 
More to come...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prelude to Braden's birth story

I will be posting Braden's birth story int 8 parts.  Then I will post Zekey's story.  I want to share this because not only did I go through things that I know many other women struggle with, but I also want to show a progression of faith that God had and has things under control, trusting Him to provide and to be strong for Sam and I in all of our weaknesses and the growth He caused in us by refining us in the fire of adversity.   After I have posted the entirety of both stories, I will put up a post about an area of our lives that we were not giving over completely to God's control.  All of these posts combined are the story of what God is doing in our hearts and how we have come to this point.  Hope you enjoy...

Play date review

Well, we went to the play date on Wednesday and we had lots of fun.  Braden had so much fun playing with the other kiddos and climbing all over the playground equipment.  Zekey had a good time, too.  He really liked the mulch that covered the ground.  He kept putting pieces of it into his mouth and chewing on them. :)  The moms are super nice and  very welcoming and friendly.  They are all unique, but are definitely united in the pursuit of homeschooling their children.  I'm hoping to start  Braden on a preschool curriculum this fall, so I'm excited to meet with these moms.  Unfortunately, I did forget to bring the camera, so no pics this time.  Hopefully, I'll remember next time.  We have a couple of play dates to go to next week, so maybe I'll have some pictures then. ;p

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

I really want to see this movie.  I'm hoping that I won't have to wait until it comes out on video.  Check out the trailer.....

Book/Bible Study and Play Groups with new friends

Well, today we are going to be attending our first play group with Emily B. She is a very cool new friend from church (Hey, Emily!) She invited us when I went to her house for a preliminary meeting for a Bible/Book Study we are going to be doing. The book is called Be Fruitful and Multiply by Nancy Campbell. (I'll have to keep you updated as we go through it.) I met some very neat ladies. I'd like to give a shout out to Amanda, Angelyn and Julie! I'm so excited about our study group. :D

The reason we are even able to go today is because my husband found an inexpensive motorcycle which he will be using to go work while I am left with the van everyday! Yep, we are no longer a one "car" family. I don't know what to do with ourselves....the possibilities are endless!!

Hopefully, I will remember to take my camera so that I can take pictures. Gotta make sure it is okay with the other peeps that I publish them on my blog. ;p

This Cracks me up....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Writing From the Edge: The New Priests of Materialism

Oh, I just love this!  You get on wicha bad self!!  Anybody up for an interesting view on reconciling the biblical account of creation with the natural?   Its so good, you just have to read it!!!

Writing From the Edge: The New Priests of Materialism

Friday, April 11, 2008

Straw-bale Houses, Wind Chargers and Solar Panels, Oh, My! Our Desires for our Family's Future....

I know the title of this post may seem a little strange, but if you have spent any time with Sam or I, you know its not really that weird.  Right now we do live in a motor home, but we hope to get out of debt as soon as possible and we are totally trusting God to lead us and bless our faithfulness and submission in that.  Now, we have had many people ask us where we are going to live and what we'll do for work and all that.  Here's what we are dreaming right now.  Please remember that we are totally being open to what God wants to do in our lives, so if our "plans" don't come to fruition, we believe that God has something better for us down the road!

We talked about several things.  First, where would we live.  To be honest, we don't really know.  We've loved California because we really enjoy all of the places you can go and all the things available to do.  The people are very nonchalant and we pretty much like that.  There are also some pretty amazing churches there, too.  We really liked Norman, OK, as well.  It is very much a college town and has that feel to it.  We have some very special friends there (Hollah, Matt, Kristina and Luke!!)and its very laid back.  (We like that style of living if you haven't figured that out yet ;)  We would still like to make it to the Oregon/Washington state region as well as Alaska.  We hope God will bless us in an opportunity to go up there for work.  Who knows, we may end up waaaaay up there!  So, as you can see we haven't received that memo yet.  We're just gonna relax until God says, "Go!"

As for land and a house....there are several ideas that we have come up with.  Sam has always thought it would be really neat to renovate an old church and turn it into a house.  We've also talked at length about building a straw-bale house.  I know it sounds strange, but its not a new technique, they are super sturdy (just as much or more than a regular frame house) and the insulation factor is literally off the chart!  Plus, you could have window seats in every window and the decorating possibilities are endless.  I encourage you to google straw-bale houses and see what you find.  Mighty interesting reading!  We also would like to have lots of acreage.  At least 50 or so.  (There's a plan involved in having that much land...)

So, what's the plan for all that land?  Well, we've talked about possibly doing an rv park on some of it to start out with.  Seeing as how we've seen several in action over the last year and a half, I think we'd have a pretty good shot of doing well.  Also, I've always wanted to have a bed and breakfast. My sister Sara has that dream too, so maybe it would work out as a partnership.  That would be sooooo fun!!!   That would also be put on the land...  It could possibly incorporate the straw-bale house or renovation of an old building ideas.  Another thing we would like to do is have a youth camp.  Cabins, lake, fun stuff to do, ropes course, campfires, the works!  Not only that, but we want to be able to provide it free to those churches or youth members that can't afford it.  Wouldn't that be amazing?!?!?!  Also, while we are at it, why not throw in an area for pastors and missionaries and their families to come to be rejuvenated?  For FREE!  Another thing that would be neat to see happen is a petting zoo/working farm.  Sam wants camels and I want alpacas and pigmy ponies.  Of course, we'd need goats, chickens, a couple of milking cows, regular sized horses, some potbelly pigs, etc.  Kids could totally come and get hands on experience on a farm.... oh, yeah, I can see it now.  (I think we're going to need to make duplicates of ourselves to make all of this work!  hahahahahaha)

Last for now, but not least:  the solar panels and wind chargers.  We would like to be off the grid as it were.  We would like to make our place as "green" as possible, too.  There are lots of things in this area that we are exploring and researching.  We'll have to keep you updated.

Yep, we have lots of dreams and don't know how much, if any, of it we are gonna see happen, but what fun stuff to dream about, right?

So what do you guys think?  Let us know.  I think this is interesting stuff to talk about.

More silly pictures

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spork of the Beans....

I just had to write about this because it just cracks me up.  As a family, we are really into Veggie Tales.  I was introduced to them in College and have enjoyed them ever since.  Well, Braden likes them, too, and we had gotten him Lord of the Beans after it came out.  Well, he was really scared of it for the longest time.  He didn't like the sporks. Then one day he was picking out one of his movies to watch and he chose that one.  I asked him if he was sure he wanted to watch it and he said, "I want to watch Spork of the Beans!"  It was so funny!  So, that is what the official Braden name for Lord of the Beans is.
Some other things he has said:
"You are crackin' me funny!"
"You are doing a good job Daddy.", as Daddy puts his shoes on.
"You're a good mommy."
"My heart is broken and now I can't walk!"
"I can't go poo-poo cuz it would tear me up!"
"I have to go poo-poo BAD!"
More later as he comes up with them and then stay tuned to see what Zekey has to say:)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Braden's and Zekey's outside adventures:)

Today is a good day to give a little insight into how our days typically go.  Not that there aren't plenty of atypical days.  Anywho, here goes.  Normally, Zekers will wake up between 4 and 5:30.  There are people in this rv park who leave around this time in deisel trucks.  I usually stumble in to give him a bottle and then put him back in his bed when he is done.  He usually sleeps until 8 after that.  If he wakes up before then, I go get him and put him in bed with me to get a few extra winks, but all I do is delay the inevitable.  So at 8 we get up and if Braden is still asleep, I let him stay that way, but usually he gets up by about then.  I get breakfast ready and depending on how adventurous I am, it can range from cereal to biscuits and gravy/pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc.  Then unless it is raining, I get both the kiddos dressed (Braden dresses himself, I just set out his clothes) and then usually Braden goes outside to play for most of the day.  He is such a boy!!!  Loves to dig in the dirt and "go to work" and help do outside chores.  Its amazing to watch God's handiwork!!  The funny thing is, Zekey wants to do all of that, too!  He is all about getting his feet in the dirt and pushing it around.  He loves to dig in the sandbox.  He's already making little matchbox cars drive around like they are supposed to, thanks to some pretty hands-on teaching from his big brother.  He even fusses to go outside and play.  I can remember with Braden, I was so uncomfortable with him being outside and getting into stuff. (I dreaded the cleaning up part.)  Now, however, I love that both my kiddos love the dirt.  First of all, it keeps them from having some serious sensory issues. (Both my mom and my sister are occupational therapists, so I'm quiet informed about such things.)  Also, its just plain fun.  Seriously, having Ezekiel gave me such another perspective.  Thank you, God!!  (I know Braden has benefitted from me relaxing in this.)  Anyway, about a month ago, we actually had to get Braden his third pair of rain boots.  (Totally love the rain boots.) His Aunt Jenny and Uncle Ben had given him a really great pair for Christmas, but he managed to tear them up in less than two months!!!  Amazing.  So, we went to Academy and got some heavy-duty camo boots with pull up loops.  So far, so good.  They may last as long as the first pair he ever had. (Those had to be replaced because he literally wore the tread off the bottom!) I also love that he can put them on himself. :)  Zekey also has some, but they are for a bigger foot, so he has to grow into his.