Today is a good place to be.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Baby Bumps

I wish I had a picture from last night and hope its a mental picture I will never forget: I was laying on my bed and my kids were trying to feel the baby kicking- one on each side of me- it was sweet to see their small hands on my growing tummy. Jeremy heard the joyous laughter when I made my tummy move and they thought it was the baby and soon his hand joined theirs. It was a very happy moment for us.

Our appointment went well on Friday- they couldn't see if my placenta had moved much and were happy with the decrease in spotting, but I am not on "bed rest" per say, but am supposed to take it very easy. The complications that can come up could end me up in a lot of trouble if I am not listening to my body and taking is easier than I probably want to. Its been a tough road for me, an emotional one. I know my baby is safe and sound, but having to limit myself for my health is not anything I have ever needed to do before. I have always been able to push myself thru my hard times. I am also very tired, which is likely from the anemia, and I can tell exactly when I need to lay down and often drop everything to do so.

Now, we were undecided on finding the gender of our baby. I finally decided I needed to know, but should we tell the kids? Thursday night before we put the kids down we told them they needed to go right to sleep because they were going to go to Christy's very early in the morning. Leila asked us why, even though she was thrilled to play with Elizabeth. I told her we were going to see the doctor to check on everything. Leila started crying: real crying, not the fake stuff she pulls. I pulled her into my arms and asked her what was going on and she told me she would miss me and didn't want me to be gone. I realized she was probably reflecting back to our ER trip when we pretty much ran out the door and she stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for the night and Aunt Amy's the next day. I think she was more traumatized then any of us realized. I told her it would be OK- we were going to make sure the baby was growing nice and healthy and everything was OK with mommy. She wasn't calming down. So I decided to let her know we would be finding out if our baby was a boy or girl. This made her very excited and helped stopped the tears.

So-- onto the fun stuff: Our baby was asleep and didn't want to wake up much for this little ultrasound. Our baby is around 12 oz(Our little can of coke, or root beer depending on your pleasure). We found out our baby is a GIRL! Yay! Everything else looked great. They couldn't see the heart well enough because she wouldn't move into the right position, being so sleepy and all, so we will go in again for another ultrasound, which we would need to go in anyway to check on my placenta.

Telling the kids is another fun story. See for yourself:

So as you see, Nathan wasn't thrilled, and Leila was more than thrilled. He cried for a full five minutes under our dinning room table after I stopped recording, and if we brought it up again he would just say no, it was not a girl. Silly boy. But Last night he told me he loved our baby sister. That change of heart happened faster than I thought it would! Jeremy and I like the name Kathryn, but exactly what she will be called is not clear. Nathan likes Koko, Leila likes Kiki, Jeremy likes Katie, and I like Kate. I think she will just have to come out let us know what she prefers.

Welcome little Girl. We Love You.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Other September Activites

Since its highly likely we won't be going on any more adventures this month thanks to my "condition" I will take a moment to fill in the few things I haven't bloged about yet: On September 6th we went down to the Gilbert Museum in Salem. It was a fun activity to do with the kids, and free thanks to the Library Cultural Passes(Have I mentioned how much I love the library?). Check them out online and see the many many many activies for them to do-- it was a lot- almsot overwhelming. Surprisingly it was not very busy for the first saturday of the school year-- we loved that.

On September 8th we caught Ali in the act of some hunting. We aren't sure exactly what she was saying to the fly but it sure sounded sweet.

On September 13th we went up the Gorge for some hiking.
Then we headed out to the Bonneville Dam because Leila simply asked me what a salmon looked like(not the kind on your plate, she specified, but a living swimming salmon). What better opprotunity to show her than drive a few more miles to the Dam where we could see the fish ladders. I will reveal a very bad mommy thing about myself: My kids thought I was saying my favorite bad word, not the name of a destination. I found that kind of funny, but have changed my ways a little and they haven't heard it nearly as much as they are used to since then.

On September 20th the kids started swimming lessons. We had a reprieve from summer and I was anxious to get them both in the water. Nathan is not a water baby, and I am determined that he be one- he is afterall, my child. I love the water and grew up swimming and living the pool during the summers. Fun memories and I do believe you can have fun and that swimming is a vital skill for protection of self and family. Nathan is in a toddler and me class where mom or dad get to go in with him. I was so dissapointed that I couldn't do it thanks to my modified bed rest. I was watching from the sideline(You can't expect me to stay in bed all the time!) and was annoyed that Jeremy wasn't listening to the teacher, he wasn't making Nathan do what the other kids were doing, he was simply holding him and playing with him. It was about five minutes to the end of class I realized how great Jeremy was for Nathan. By the end of class Nathan was kicking and laughing(with 4 of his cars clutched in his hands). Jeremy was simply focused on Nathan and his comfort inthe water and I think he will be the perfect partner for Nate. Leila was feeding off of Nates' anxiety and cried before she got in the pool. It didn't take long for her to make friends and enjoy her teacher(She has a great big guy teaching her-I think he made her feel very secure). I sadly forgot my camera as we were trying to force two screaming kids out the door before we left. I simply told them they had a choice about swim lessons- go happily, or not. They chose not. But this Saturday they both promised not to cry now that they know what they have in store.

The rest of my days are spent trying to take it easy. We go in for an appointment on Friday- I will post an update this weekend about any news or changes to my situation. Thanks again to my sweet friends and family helping us thru this time-- its harder than I thought it would be, but it isn't forever. And I know what the end result will be, and that makes it worth it.

Here is a cute photo:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What a girl has got to do to get a break...

My body has definitely told me to SLOW DOWN. I have been so busy this pregnancy, probably doing more than usual, pushing thru the hard times. I am finally starting to feel better and have more energy when I started spotting pretty badly and went to the ER last Tuesday(9/16). I had some light spotting earlier in August and I now figure it was because of this issue. But I do know from having children in the first place that my earlier spotting was my body telling me to take it easy anyway. Tuesdays episode was heavy enough my doctor told me to get in to the ER right away. I had several blood tests done, and an ultrasound where we saw that our baby has those beautiful big conser lips that Jeremy and Nathan both have. We also found out I have placenta previa, which isn't as scary as it sounds, but the results of this diagnosis is to take it easy as in modified bed rest. Yuck. But, luckily I can still do stuff- make simple meals, drive kids to preschool. Just no exercise(not sure about yoga yet, I will wait to verify at my next appointment) or heavy housecleaning(folding laundry on my bed doesn't count as heavy house cleaning). Oh, and I have to take iron pills too.

The kids are trying to be more helpful, and thanks to my sister taking them the first two days and my mom coming over to help me out a bit around the house and meals from several people who love me the bleeding has stopped as of yesterday(9/19). I feel much more comfortable with the bleeding stopped, but still need to take it easy. I go in for another appointment next week and they will simply start monitoring my placenta to be sure it moves up to where it should be before game day(day of delivery). Only about 10% of these cases diagnosed early are still a problem at delivery time, so odds are I will be just fine. That along with all the prayers and well wishes of those who love me. And if it doesn't move up, the doctors are aware and will know what actions we need to take at delivery to ensure optimal health to both me and my baby.
Of all the things that could go wrong, I consider myself lucky. Being told to take it easy isn't the worst thing in the world to hear- I have to push away all of my feelings of being lazy and unproductive and wasteful because my insides are quite busy taking care of the baby and my body. Its hard work to grow an organ and a baby after all. I realize how important I am to my family. Not only am I growing and caring for a child inside of me, I have two beautiful children and a husband who love and depend on me for so much that I have to take care of myself. Thankfully I am getting the support I need.

For those who have offered, thank you so much. It just helps to know you are out there, and I promise, I will call you if I need you. Thanks to those of you have already helped me and are planning to in the next few days. It really does take a village to raise a child, and in my case I am needing a village just to get thru this part of my pregnancy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will update you if anything changes, but I only see positive changes and a normal pregnancy ahead of me.

Here is my growing bump.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Man Who Puts Up with it ALL!

He finally married me... 7 years ago, after being together for 3 years(Wowza!). And he is a wonderful man- I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is good for me and helps me out in so many areas of my life and personality. Yes, he can drive me nuts sometimes, and I have complaints most wives have, but his goodness, sincerity and love far outweigh any annoyances I can come up with. That being said, I often wonder what in the world I give him that makes him want to stick around? I see how much extra work I put on him- dealing with me and my personality flaws, dealing with my turning over the kids so very often so I can get a break. Whatever it is that he finds good enough to stick around for, I am thankful he has it.

We were married on Sept. 15, 2001- the Saturday after the planes flew into the World Trade Centers in NYC. We met at our work MEI and had pretty much everyone in the company excited for us(one day I will blog about the long story on how Jeremy and I met, and finally started dating a year later- but not today). We felt we could not stay local and celebrate our wedding day without inviting everyone from work. They meant a lot to us, but we just didn't want a big deal, nor did we want to pay for a big wedding. I dreamt of going to Hawaii or the Caribbean to get married with bare feet on a sandy beach somewhere, but we also knew our families couldn't be with us, and that was very important to us. So we decided to tie the knot in Sunriver, OR- just west of Bend. Far enough away to escape the obligations of inviting the world, but close enough we could drive there. We found a great home with an atrium and indoor water fall. Our families joined us. Jeremy's brother Chris was the only one scheduled to fly in, but he drove to attend from San Francisco-- we were grateful he made it. My sister Amy was on bed rest for her pregnancy with Annalina and couldn't make it, but she listened by phone. We also had two couple friends that had been with us pretty much from the beginning of our relationship. It was small, but sweet, so very sweet.

As everyone in this country, we were struck by the violence of the 9/11 attacks. But getting married after these attacks ended up giving us the respite we needed. We turned off the TV on Friday and didn't turn it back on until Sunday. We were reminded during our wedding by the sweet Bishop who married us that we never know when its our turn to go. How many people left for work that day and didn't come home? How many people rushed out the door and didn't kiss their loved ones good bye? He challenged us to kiss each other goodbye every morning and kiss hello every evening. We have been pretty good about that, missing a few days here and there.

Last year we spent our Anniversary at the Sandlake Country Inn B&B- a wonderful place that every couple deserves to spend at least one night in. This year we don't have much of a budget to celebrate, however I have saved up some gift cards to one of our favorite places, and we will enjoy an evening out.

7, or even 10 if you count our unmarried years, later we have gone thru a lot of changes. We both have changed and adjusted for the other one. We both have learned more patience and less selfishness. We have built a comfortable life together, and it was truly together we did so. I am so grateful to have found my special someone to discover the greater things in life. And the journey to this discovery has been amazing. He definitely makes me a better person. He makes me laugh. He makes me think. He does drive me crazy, but that is something I have adjusted to most of the time.

Jeremy: I love you. Thank you for loving me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baby Update - Week 18

This week, week 18, little Baby C will be getting his or her ears "hooked" up to his or her brain. I have been telling the kids for weeks now they have to talk nicely and not yell as much around me because the baby will hear them and they will set a bad example before the baby is even born(No pressure on them huh?). I am glad I will no longer be a liar. The baby is also figuring out how to swallow this week too. He or she can make faces by now, fat is accumulating, and is making urine and reflexive muscle movements. By week 20 our baby will be around 1/2 foot long, and just over 1/2 pound. Most exciting, I have been feeling bumps from the inside on a nightly basis. WOW! My tummy is popping out and one might wonder if I am pregnant, but no one is brave enough to ask or comment on it yet.

We are still undecided on finding out the gender. We will have the opprotunity to find out at our next appointment in a few weeks. We orignally thought the surprise would be fun for everyone waiting for this little one to join us, but I now think I need to visualize my baby-- a little bundle of pink or a little bundle of blue would be so nice to think and day dream about. We have names already picked out for either one. The next thing will be if we decide to tell our kids or make them wait. If we make them wait, then sorry, our lips are sealed to the rest of you. I couldn't risk anyone else telling my chidlren about thier brother or sister before I do. So I will nicely ask all of you dear friends and family, please don't ask. We will share the news if we decide to, if not, I would prefer not to lie to those I sincerely care about, or be suspected a liar(not sure which is worse!).

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gone are the curls....

There is much to be troubled about in this life. This is a crazy world we live in where there is much discrimination and hatred, much crime and poverty, sadness and pain. I know this is a silly thing to be sad about, but my baby's curls are gone. My husband has not loved my sons hair as much as I have. I admit it was getting quite long, but I love his red locks. If you see pictures of me at his age, we have the same hair- same color, same curls. I loved running my fingers thru his curls and feeling the sweet silk in my hands, feeling his small head against my palms. We shared many quiet moments of love and affection with this tiny act- many, many times a day.

Jeremy talked Nathan into letting him cut his hair, something he has wanted to do for quite some time. We all went to the garage for showtime. Jeremy showed Nathan how the electric razor wouldn't hurt him, in fact it tickled against his hand. I stayed with Nathan to help him not cry. As his beautiful curls fell to the ground, I watched my baby boy turn into my big boy of almost 4 years old. He has been a big boy for a long time now, but in my mind I enjoyed seeing that baby face framed by gorgeous hair that I wish my daughter could have. His curls delighted those who saw him: The little old ladies at the market, the big tough men working on the street by the library, and everyone in our family. I left the garage before the cut was complete. I couldn't watch anymore. He doesn't look like my Nathan anymore. The good thing is that Nathan was not worried at all. He completely trusted his Dad and started enjoying the process, even swinging his head around in rock star fashion during the cut. He looked at himself in the mirror and told his Daddy he likes his short hair and won't have curls ever again.

Gone are the curls... broken is mommy's heart. But happy I am that my son is strong and healthy. The curls would have to go eventually. I am watching my children grow and develop every day, and for this my heart is full. For this I am grateful. I have so very much in this life- so much I can only let myself grieve my sons cut hair for only a few minutes, and then count my blessings.

Dermabond... cool

SO today when my sweet boy took a nose dive and the little black bench in our living room got in the way he ended up with a gash between his eyes just under 1/2 inch long. Poor baby. He doesn't even have long hair to cover it. It was quite deep and everytime he moved the muscles in his face it would open up and more blood would come out. EEEEK! What do I do? Call my mom of course. Then the advice nurse. I was able to get him in to see a doctor at his primary doctors clinic- our doctor doesn't do stitches on the face, but one of her associates does. They were great- they got us right in, the treated Nathan so well. When we drove up to the clinic he started crying realizing where we were. I told him to be strong and brave and it woudl be OK. Thru his tears he said: "I am strong and brave mommy. I just don't want to be here." How sweet and truthful. They decided dermabond would be acceptable in this situation- much better than stiches. Less of a scar will be there. He will be all healed up in 5 days- we just have to keep it dry for 2 days and make sure he doesn't pick at it. Oh and it can't be exposed to the sun for a full year-- good thing Nathan likes hats. My sweet boy is acting better than ever... running around, talking a mile a minute. He came home with a Wall-E sticker and a Hot Wheels Sticker. So he was happy.

My mom thank goodness was available to run over and get Leila from school, and also picked us up all frosty's- I knew I needed one after my crazy afternoon! Thanks Mom!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Birthday Events-mostly songs...

I love birthdays. Especially now that I have children and can celebrate theirs! Yay!

Leila had a wonderful day today. She got up early before Daddy went to work and we all sang to her. Nathan and I had to go to his eye doctor(His eye is improving, but still needs more time to determine if he needs surgery or not), so my BFF Annie happened to have today off and she took Leila for the morning. And boy did they have fun! Leila helped Annie shop for a baby shower, and Leila picked out Spooky Halloween Barbie, which Annie bought for her. She did Leila's hair. She painted her nails. Leila had a blast and wasn't so happy to return home to me.

At school she was sung to twice! She was in charge of treats and picked out rainbow m&m cookies and fruit snacks. Yum. She came home with a crown and a lot of well wishes as well as a magic towel with Clifford on it. After school I needed to run out to my Dads, so she was able to be sung to by Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Beth. Gabe and Zach smiled at her. When we got home we had a message from Grandma and Grandpa Conser with a song on it. Annalina called up and she and her mom sang to her. We had a visit from Lucy and Carson with a card and some cookies. We baked her Birthday Cake- Leila helped and was very excited about decorating it. Daddy came home and sang to Leila AGAIN! Then Leila picked to go out to Red Robin for her Birthday Dinner. In my home we would get to go out alone with mom and dad. That is a tradition I would like to start very soon- maybe next year. At Red Robin Leila had another BIRTHDAY SONG(she wasn't super impressed, but Nathan was- see video)! She was sweet and shared her ice cream with Nathan. Then we came home for some cake and yet again, ANOTHER SONG! Yahoo! All I can say is thank goodness we don't have to pay royalties to anyone from singing this song. Leila was cute and would make a "sssssss" sound when the birthday song started. We opened gifts and she was very excited to have Cinderella from Nathan. She really liked her Horse Shirt and Pink Converse from Mom and Dad. She also looks forward to reading her Baby Bear book while holding the stuffed animal bear from the book. She had a special package from Belgium, and cards from Belgium and McKenzie River. She did ask at the end of the evening that we don't sing to her anymore.

My kid has some self-control. She was able to hold of on opening her packages and cards for several days. Nathan and I wrapped up her presents while she was at preschool. They were sitting out when she got home, and she didn't even try to peek! She did want to open them before dinner, which we felt was just fine.

WOW- Can you believe my baby is 5 years old! 1/2 of a decade old! 5 years ago holding this new little person I couldn't even imagine her doing the things she does today. She is so confident, she is so talented. She is simply an amazing person. One I am so glad I know. One I am so glad I have in my family so we can be linked to each other forever.

Our Big 5 Year Old - Sept. 4, 2008

So my Darling Daughter turns 5 today! We have been talking about everything that will change when she is 5. She will not be afraid to go upstairs by herself. She will not be overly grumpy or sassy to her mommy for no good reason. She will grow and grow. She gets to wear her new shoes and new outfit(As seen in her pictures).

Leila is a special girl- definately a Star! I have so many special reflections of my daughter. My journal is full of my thoughts and feelings since she was born. She has enlightened my life. She has taught me not only things about being a Mother, but also about myself and being a person worthy of her respect. Raising her is proving to be quite challenging, however the rewards by far outweigh any challenge she could send my way. I am grateful to Leila who loves me despite my shortcomings.

I love you sweet Angel Leila Estelle.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kids Rock!

This is a look back to April of this year(2008). My sister and I took our kids to the Children's Museum after checking out a cultural pass from the library. It was a lot of fun- we felt our kids deserved it after months of very little mommy time when were we consumed with "Tax Season". The kids had a blast. Joseph and Nathan drove the ambulance. Joseph cared for the babies(I am convinced he will be a pediatrician). The boys finally warmed up to the water exhibit(Nathan isn't a fan of water in any form-no pics- too wet). The girls painted their faces and dressed up in the theater room. We all played with clay and ended up at story time which lead us to the music hall. I took a video of the lovely music they played. They were so very intent and a bit intimidating to any other kid who dared come their way.