Sunday, June 30, 2013
A little over a week ago Lily lost her first tooth!!!
Is it possible that this little baby of mine is already old enough to loose a tooth? Apparently she is. And oh boy was she excited! It had been loose for a good week and a half and everyday she would wonder if that would be the day it would fall out. And each morning she would ask us if we thought she lost her tooth that night. And then last Friday we were at the playground...we had been there for a few hours with friends and we were getting ready to go. I was holding my friends baby while she packed up and Lily and Eli were playing around me. I could see that Lily was looking for something in the grass and then she ran over to me...she didn't say anything, she just gave me a wide grin and of course I knew right away that she had lost that loose little tooth! Yes, she lost it from her mouth and she lost it at the playground...literally, it was lost...we searched the grass but never could find it! I thought she might be upset about that but she took it wonderfully. She couldn't have been more excited to ride her bike home and show her dad! And that afternoon together we wrote a little note explaining to the tooth fairy what happened to her tooth and where it could be found. And of course that night the tooth fairy left a little bit of money, a Hello Kitty bracelet, and a note letting Lily know that she did, indeed, find her tooth by the bench at the playground!:) And I have to say, that I was just as proud of Lily as she was of loosing her first tooth...because a few days ago (entirely of her own accord) she gave her tooth fairy money away while at her summer VBS program to help children at another church, much in need, be able to go to VBS. I didn't even know about it until she told me. And, in fact, the next day she emptied a good portion of her piggy bank as well to give. She is growing up and I couldn't be more proud of the young lady she is growing into.
Friday, June 28, 2013
We had our latest ultrasound yesterday and baby boy cooperated very well.
There weren't too many surprises. We knew he was going to be big...though I didn't really think he would already be 8 lbs and 6 oz!!! That's right...at 38 weeks (today) he's already that big and we'll just call his head size on the pretty much huge size. I'm a little scared!
They also found that I have a moderate case of polyhydramnios (basically I have a large amount of amniotic fluid). It's just another thing they need to keep an eye on, but it really shouldn't cause any complications. I have to say I would appreciate it though if they stopped finding something wrong with me each time I go in!
So...here we go...12 more days or less. Would you please pray that it might be less? The larger this "little" guy gets the more potential there are for complications...and he's already larger right this moment than Lily was when she was born! We sure would appreciate your prayers for this, but most importantly for a safe birth and healthy little boy (no matter when it happens)!
And yes...he does look like he's smiling in the first picture...makes me wonder if he's just a little too comfortable in there!:)
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I am full term...just about 38 weeks along! These pictures are from a few weeks ago (around 35 weeks) but you get the idea! I'll try to get a few more before baby boy arrives. And speaking of...we are hoping that he will make his first appearance anytime now!
Yes...it is time (in my opinion anyway)! I found out a few weeks ago that I am borderline diabetic so now that I've had to cut way back on sweets and carbs I'm even more ready for this little guy to arrive (and to have a giant Starbucks frappuchino, slice of lemon cake, and ice cream)!:)
My doctor left last week for Italy (where she is from) and we decided before she left that I would be induced the day after she returns (July 9th) due to baby boy's large size. We'll find out more tomorrow at our next ultrasound, but we are hoping to keep him under 10 pounds (and avoid any further complications). We are all still hoping that he decides to come early on his own, but it's nice knowing that we are in the home stretch (13 days) even if he doesn't!
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
We are excited to share that we are going to be home for the WHOLE summer! You read that right...the whole summer! While other people are busy dreaming of and making plans to get away from home for the summer we are excited, for once, to not be making such plans! You see this is our first full summer at home in 9 years! Normally we are traveling for work for at least part of the summer...to lead a summer project in Maine or Colorado or somewhere else, to our staff conference every other summer in Colorado, to lead a Lifelines expedition, etc... it's just part of our normal life.
But this summer everything aligned just right for us to be home for the whole summer. First of all we were well overdue for a sabatical and a break for our normal summer assignment. Second, while our staff conference is indeed taking place this summer in Colorado it just so happens that our baby boy is due to be born the day before the conference starts thus excusing our whole family from making the trip out to Colorado. And since this pregnancy wasn't exactly planned I just take this as God's goodness to us in giving us a break this summer!:)
Our original plans for the summer were to move to New Hampshire and to have a baby. Of course some of those plans changed. So, then what are we up to? Well, we are still obviously having a baby (and thus taking some maternity leave coming up pretty soon here)!:) We are also spending much of our work time this summer fundraising as we have a pretty significant need right now. We have a good chunk of monthly funds to raise to be able to remain in ministry at U-Maine full time so this is great timing to do that. Joe is getting caught up on some technical skills training that he needed (he just got back a few hours ago from finishing a whitewater rescue course). We are doing some work in our national roles with Lifelines and towards the later part of the summer we will get to spend more time than we normally get really planning for the fall on campus and laying a good foundation.
And when we aren't working we are excited to just be home enjoying Maine and the normal summer activities that most people might take for granted...like growing a garden! I will be the first to admit that the summer already seems to be flying by too fast and just today I was feeling a little bit disappointed at some plans that have fallen through. Truth be told I was probably dreaming too big about all that we could accomplish, and do , and enjoy this summer. I probably need to lower my expectations some...or a lot...and just go with the flow a little more. Oh, that just doesn't come easy for me, but I shall try. And there have been things we have been able to do that we normally don't...we planted a garden, Lily planted her own flower garden, we are raising tadpoles, Joe painted the trim on the outside of our house, we adopted our puppy, we cleaned and organized our basement, we refinanced the house, and we actually get to be around for some family events like birthdays and weddings!
Maybe better than anything is that I don't have to pack and unpack and live out of my suitcase, I get to sleep in my very own bed, and in only a few weeks we will be welcoming our newest little Mainer into our family!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Lily played spring soccer for the first time this year and she was on a really wonderful team! Her coach was the wife of the U-Maine women's soccer coach and she did such an amazing job with the team. The kids came such a long way in their skills and they all played together so well and with such teamwork! As much as Lily enjoyed playing though I think that this may be the last time we do spring soccer for a while because the games are all on Sunday afternoons. We thought that this would be fine, but it often had us really rushing around to make it to the games on time after church and it just felt like a bit much. But we were thankful for this great year, for friends from her old school on her team, and for a wonderful coach!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Our little Sadie girl has been a part of our family for almost two months now! That puppy newness and excitement has passed a bit but we still pretty much adore her. As I thought in those early days she is proving to be a great fit for our family and she has settled into our home and family like she was always meant to be here!
We have learned a little bit more about her background...we learned that she is from Florida and that the rescue we adopted her from saved her when she and two siblings were abandoned on a dirt road with nothing but a bag of dog food and a blanket. Apparently this is a pretty common practice in that area and most dogs don't survive...and many of the ones that do are sent to kill shelters where they never make it. It's heart breaking to think that this could have happened to our Sadie girl. Lily says all of the time, "Mama, I can't believe anybody would just leave her on a dirt road." Thankfully, she made it through that and fought off a life threatening illness and now she is very far from that dirt road! Since we have had her she has doubled in size and the patches on her ears that they thought would never grow fur have filled in completely (you can see the bald ear patches on some of the first pictures below and see on some of the later ones how they are now filled in with fur)!
We still don't know exactly what kind of dog she is (we probably never will) but with a little help from some friends I think we have some of it figured out! We believe that she is mostly a "Dalmadore" which is a black lab and dalmatian mix! I never would have guessed dalmatian, but a friend of ours suggested it and sure enough when I googled "dalmadore" I found that the ones who are mostly black in color look JUST like our Sadie (with the exact same shape white patch that she has on her chest). And sure enough...in the last few weeks she had started to get black spots on her white chest (one is fully in and she has about 4 or 5 more forming)! So, we believe that she is black lab, dalmatian, and likely a few other things mixed in there. Our vet didn't know, but he also is guessing that she is a little bit of weimaraner! The funny thing is that Indy was a black lab weimaraner mix and she does have the same shiny, smooth black fur as him (most labs have fur that is a little more dull and coarse)!
What's also funny is that if you research the personality of the dalmadore it pretty much fits her perfectly! Sadie has never met a stranger (human or furry) and she seems to believe that EVERYONE should be her friend. She loves all people, other dogs, and even cats...she wants to play with them all! While I love this it does make it a bit difficult to have her off of her leash outside at this point...because she will follow anybody and everybody down the road, she has not figured out that cars are not her friend, and while she will generally stay around our yard she also loves to run across the street to visit with her favorite friend (our neighbor's dog Griffie)!
I think my favorite thing about her is that she is a total sweetheart, very affectionate, cuddly, and loves to give kisses. Sometimes she will go to lay on her own, but quite often she likes to snuggle right up to one of us. She doesn't exactly fit in my lap these days since the both of us are growing every day, but she still tries her best to snuggle right up to me in the recliner and in the morning when she is allowed to come in bed she curls right up to me and sometimes even rests her head on my belly (it's the sweetest thing...I think it's her bonding time with the baby)!
The other thing that we are loving about her is how playful she is. Of course this can be exhausting at times too, but we love that she loves to play...and we especially love how great and playful she is with the kids. I think it would be an understatement to say that they adore her. As we had hoped in getting a puppy Sadie is truly as much their dog as she is ours. They have so much fun playing with her and she is incredibly tolerant of them. Thankfully now that she is getting a little bigger they try to pick her up and carry her less!:) But even when they were trying to carry her around all of the time she took it like a champ and most of the time she really seems to enjoy playing with them. And the kids have actually been very helpful with her...playing with her when she needs to burn a little energy, feeding Sadie her meals, and Lily can even take her outside to use the bathroom all on her own! I think they really feel like Sadie is their dog and they can often be found loving on her.
Yep, I think that Sadie is a wonderful fit for our family, but don't be fooled into thinking that it's all sunshine and roses. She is still very much a puppy and there is still much training left to be done. She's not entirely housebroken yet, but I would say that most days she goes without an accident (a vast improvement from what seemed like 20 accidents in the house a day the first week or so...that was exhausting)! She's also mouthy...she loves to nibble on fingers and play by biting...she is a puppy after all...and she is slowly getting better about this. And she is a chewer...she'll chew just about anything...but wooden objects, shoes, and down comforters seem to be her favorite!:) She has chewed holes in 2 down comforters (ironically the day after I posted the picture of Indy chewing a down comforter), she has destroyed one pair of Joe's shoes and one pair of Lily's, and ruined one flying disc toy. Thankfully the other things she has chewed and destroyed have been pretty minor...many wooden blocks, pencils, clothes pins, plastic flowers from Lily's flower shop, etc... We keep a pretty good eye on her most of the time so while she runs off with everything under the sun she usually doesn't get very far! Which is amazing considering how much there is for her to find around the house!
And that's our Sadie baby. I call her my bundle of sweetness (or bundle for short) because that's exactly what she is. Yes, she has much to learn, but she is still just a puppy...and one of the sweetest puppies I have met. I am not a morning person at all, but even I can't resist her puppy kisses in the morning, and even when my back is hurting I can't help but let her curl right up next to me and snuggle. She is just a sweetheart and we adore her!
See her first little black spot?
Friday, June 7, 2013
Lily has been asking and asking to take the training wheels off of her bike. We tried this briefly last summer while visiting my parents in Wisconsin, but it did not go well at all and we quickly decided that she just wasn't ready and she worked instead on learning to ride her scooter. But she has been determined to learn this summer so the other day Joe finally honored her requests.
To be honest I thought it was going to be ugly. Lily tends to get a wee bit feisty, emotional, and angry when she doesn't catch on to something right away. I have NO IDEA where she gets this from (dang, it's hard to see yourself in your children sometimes)!:) So, I was anticipating that this was going to be a long, tear filled road.
But do you know what? Lily did AMAZING! Joe started helping her out and in just minutes she was doing it on her own. She did take one tumble and got fairly upset so we just had her take a break to calm down. She was convinced that Joe had been holding her most of the time and she was upset that she wasn't getting it...so I showed her some of the pictures I was taking that showed that she was actually doing it herself! After seeing the pictures and taking a few minutes to calm down she was off again and this time there was no looking back!
I am still stunned and amazed by how quickly she learned and by watching her zip around on her bike you would think she's been riding without training wheels for the last year!
Way to go Lily!!!
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Hospitals, doctors, and waiting rooms...we've had more than enough of these over the last few days.
It started last week when I finally went in for my glucose test. Yes, I should have had it done almost 2 months ago, but I've been putting it off...not because I was nervous to do it, but because I was just lazy and never got around to it. Also, to be honest, it felt a little pointless to me because I've passed them just fine with all of my other pregnancies. But I promised my doctor I would do it so the day before my next visit with her I finally made the time. And it seemed to go just fine.
Until the next day when my doctor's appointment didn't go as smoothly as I was hoping. As you have probably guessed I failed my glucose test. Uggghhh...that was just frustrating and annoying. I also found out that I am anemic. This is also a bummer, but not all together surprising since I'm borderline in my everyday non-pregnant life and I was anemic when I was pregnant with Lily. It also probably explains why I have been so exhausted and weak and sometimes shaky feeling and why my blood pressure has been so low. The doctor went on to tell me that they still want to do another ultrasound at the end of June. Everything with baby boy's bowel looked good, but they just want to keep an eye on him...especially to watch his size (which is just nothing short of big)!:) This isn't really a big deal...just one more thing to do (and pay for)- not to mention that ultrasounds still make me a little nervous. And finally I learned that at every appointment from now on my doctor wants to do a stress test and monitor the baby...she says they like to do this with most women like me who are of "advanced maternal age." Yep, that's right...I'm old and while baby boy seems well I seem to be going downhill! So that was my bummer of a doctor's appointment.
Then a few days later we were having a nice, normal day playing outside. Lily was learning to ride her bike without training wheels (more on that later) and Joe was pushing Eli on the swing in our front yard. Only instead of going back and forth on the swing the boys thought it would be fun to go in circles. And I think it was fun until Eli lost his grip and fell off and landed directly on one of the paving stones surrounding the tree. It was just one of those things...because there was no way if he was just swinging back and forth that he could have hit anything other than grass and ground, but because he was going in a circle he hit the stone with the back of his head. The thunk was loud and awful...the kind where you just know immediately that the result isn't going to be good.
I was (and am) thankful for many things in the those following moments. I am thankful that Eli never lost consciousness (he was screaming from the moment his head hit). I am thankful that Joe was right there to scoop him up. And I am thankful that my husband is an EMT and that not only does he have a pretty good idea of what to do in these situations, but he is able to think calmly and clearly. I'm not awful in these situations either (I'm generally able to stay pretty calm) but it's so good having someone who just knows what to do.
Head wounds bleed a lot and Joe had it under control all pretty quickly and before I could really even think it through we had thrown the dog in her kennel and all of us loaded in the van, with Joe sitting behind Eli's car seat to try and keep the bleeding under control, and we were off to urgent care. Eli was fairly upset and really, really didn't want to go to the hospital or the doctor. As much as we tried to reassure him that the doctor would help to make him feel better, I think he just knew that what he was in for wouldn't be all that pleasant.
We got there and urgent care didn't really act all that urgently!:) We were there for 3 very long, intense hours! After about 45 minutes Joe had to leave...ironically to take an entrance exam for his EMT intermediate class. We only had one car and we were still waiting to be seen so Joe had to take a taxi. Thankfully the bleeding had stopped for the most part and the kids were fairly content in the waiting room watching cartoons. Until, after an hour and a half of waiting, they took us to an adjacent office. As soon as we stepped into the office Eli lost it. He just LOST IT. He thrashed and cried and we couldn't even get him to put his finger in the device that monitors his heart rate. Then one of the nurses put some cream on his head wound to numb it and it was all over from there. He went into total, utter meltdown mode. The numbing cream also made the wound puff up and start bleeding all over again. And then...well then they sent us back into the waiting room. Seriously. They sent me with my very large pregnant belly and my two children (one who was screaming bloody murder and dripping blood down the back of his head and all over the both of us) back into the crowded waiting room. I think I was just in shock and if looks could kill those nurses probably would have been bleeding too (my mama bear instincts were in full affect). Thankfully the other patients were incredibly understanding and helpful (getting me tissues and trying to encourage all of us).
After about 15 minutes we were finally were taken to a room and thankfully my looks couldn't kill because once inside those doctors and nurses could not have been more helpful and patient and understanding.
Because what happened there was nothing short of total panic from my boy. I had to hold him on the scale just to get weighed, it took two of us to hold him just to make him take some pain medicine, and putting more "magic numbing medicine" on his head was awful.
I left the room to use the bathroom and I nearly broke down in tears because I had NO IDEA how I was going to handle the rest of it myself. They hadn't even cleaned his wound yet, much less anything else, and I felt just felt awful for my baby. Thankfully a few minutes later I got a message from Joe saying he was done with his test and immediately I called him and told him that he needed to get another taxi back to the clinic because Eli was in such a state of panic. And no, that wasn't just my assessment...as soon as the doctors and nurses found out that Joe was on his way back they told me that they wanted to wait for him because they knew that I needed help (that we all needed help)! Apparently they doubted my ability to hold my screaming, thrashing 3 year old with my very large baby belly!:)
And boy were they right. Despite the doctors and nurses best efforts ( and boy did they try) to win over Eli's trust there was just no reasoning with him. And once Joe got there is took four of us (four adults) to restrain him enough just simply to begin cleaning the cut in his head. I was on the ground looking up at him, holding his arms and legs and looking him in the eyes while Joe had him in a lock down and the doctor and nurse were doing everything they could to clean his head. IT WAS AWFUL.
Thankfully the bleeding had mostly stopped at that point and the wound had sort of sealed itself (it had been nearly 3 hours after all) and because of that we were given some options. Because of Eli's response the doctor told us that there was no way he could do stitches or staples there...that we would need to go to the hospital where they would have to sedate Eli and re-open the wound, clean it, and stitch it. That sounded like more pure torture for everyone involved (especially Eli) so we opted just to leave the gash as it was. That means of course that Eli will have a scar because we choose not to stitch it, but it's on the back of his head and in the end it just felt like the right decision.
So after 3 hours, a lot of blood, tears and hysteria we were able to go home...and I had just enough time to eat some McDonalds before starting my fast for my 3 hour glucose test the next morning. Not exactly the meal I had hoped for, but it was my only real option.
Thankfully Eli was exhausted and slept well that night. And the next day I headed out early to spend 4 hours at the hospital having my glucose test done (it's called a 3 hour test, but really takes closer to 4 hours). After having my blood drawn 4 times I was feeling a bit like a pin cushion but with lots of work to do on my computer the time actually went pretty fast.
But it didn't end there because that afternoon Eli had to go in for a follow up appointment to get his head looked at. And I kid you not...after waiting for an hour at our doctor's office (15 minutes in the lobby and 45 minutes in the exam room) the nurse came in to tell me that the doctor had been called out to the hospital and I could either continue to wait or come back the next morning. I, as politely as I could, explained that we had spent an incredible amount of time in hospitals and waiting rooms in the last 24 hours and that I would probably just go home and not come back (because we were pretty sure that Eli was doing just fine). But just as I was gathering up our things to leave the doctor arrived back in the office and came right away (lucky for him). And he was very nice and reassuring that Eli was doing just fine. He was a little surprised at first that Eli didn't have stitches, but when I explained the whole thing to him he confirmed (multiple times actually) that we had made a good decision for Eli and that while he will indeed have a good scar that his hair will likely cover it and it will be nothing but a crazy story in a couple of weeks.
Sheeessshhh....I am so very DONE with hospitals and doctors and waiting rooms! Except that I can't be done because I have another baby boy to give birth to and because with two boys and one active little girl I KNOW that we are far from being done with doctors and hospitals and waiting rooms. But if we could have a break for just a few days that would be nice!
And that's my story for this week!
Eli just a little bit before his swing accident.
And here he is a couple of days later beginning to heal.
P.S. And in case you are wondering Joe did an incredible job on his test despite all of the craziness (I guess he works well under pressure) and no, they don't give bonus points for being covered in blood (even though it is an EMT test)! And though Eli still doesn't want anybody to touch his head or his cut or his boo boo he did have a wonderful time the next day picking out a special treat (a stomp rocket) from the toy store!
And while he is not afraid of going on the swing, he does not want to go in circles anymore!:)
Monday, June 3, 2013
About 2 months ago our family had a major change in plans. It's taken me a little bit to adjust and for all of the realities to sink in. So in case you haven't heard yet, here's a little bit from our last ministry newsletter...
Ever since we found out last fall that we would be moving to New Hampshire we felt both excited and nervous, hopeful and yet sad. We were, and still are, very excited for what the Lifelines team in New Hampshire will be doing across our region. It’s our hope that God is going to use them to reach many, many students in New England never before exposed to the Gospel. And yet as the months have gone on we have felt increasingly unsure and unsettled about moving our family to New Hampshire. We were cautious, however, not to let our emotions get the best of us. We didn’t want to go, but we were willing and we prayed over and over again for the Lord’s direction. And we tried our best to let Him know each step of the way that as much as we wanted to stay we wanted His will MORE.
And little by little, month by month came more reasons for us to stay. Over the last semester the ministry on campus has really been growing! We started the year with 3 students helping us to lead the ministry (all who are graduating seniors) and we are going to end the year with over 10 students who are excited to lead the ministry here with us. Joe comes home from student meetings excited and amazed and encouraged to see these young leaders with a passion to share their faith. God is working and we want to stay a part of it. In addition, Joe accepted the role as the National Lifelines Medical Director. He’ll spend some of the next two years getting more medical training so that he can in turn train all of our Lifelines staff across the country (helping to keep them, and our students, and our ministry as safe as possible). It has become increasingly clear that it will be easier for Joe to receive the medical training he needs here than in New Hampshire.
I could go on and on, but I’ll sum it up by saying that God was giving us more and more reasons to stay. And yet we weren’t really sure if we could. The Lifelines and Cru structure had changed and we weren’t sure if we would be allowed to stay here at U-Maine to do the things we believed the Lord was calling us to. So in faith we decided to simply ask. And after two days and many phone calls a little while back we were given permission to stay!! In fact our Lifelines team agrees that it makes much more sense right now for us to stay. And our regional Cru directors expressed how excited they were to have us stay and continue the ministry at U-Maine (especially since they didn’t have anyone currently to take our place)! They are making some exceptions for us, but we couldn’t be more excited. Such sweet, sweet confirmation!
So we will continue to call Maine home for at least a few more years! And I am reminded again that God’s plans are good. They aren’t always what we naturally desire (as we have certainly experienced over the last two years) but they are good and we can trust them. The Christian life is full of adventure and it is our privilege to continue at U-Maine to bear witness to that adventure. We’ll be excited to share more in the coming months about what God has been doing on campus and about how we believe He is leading us in this ministry moving forward.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
I'll have an update later today or tomorrow on our new pup Sadie... but what I can tell you is that our sweet little girl is a chewer. This is new for us because Indy never really was (even as a puppy). In fact, I believe he put teeth marks in exactly one pair of my shoes. The only things he ever chewed when he was a puppy was two down comforters ( I think it was the duck feathers that drove him to it)! I still have this fond memory of walking into our spare bedroom one day (back in 2005 when we had a spare bedroom) and seeing this...
Oh, I laughed so hard!
We are loving Sadie, but I sure do still miss my first baby!