Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tea Time

One of the things I've been having to work on lately is relaxing and trying to not get stressed out. My blood pressure has been a little on the high side lately (wonder why? lol). I have been doing yoga semi-faithfully and trying to just find times in the day to calm myself and relax. One of my favorite things to do now is to make a good cup of tea and sit down and drink it slooowly. So delightful!

So when an opportunity came for me to participate in a tea swap with friends, I was giddy with delight. Free tea AND mail from friends!!! ;-)

My friend Christy's package of tea arrived just after Thanksgiving. Although she was the one who actually came up with the rules of the game, she apparently forgot to obey them ;-) We were supposed to send four bags of tea to our tea swapping partners. Well she sent me like a million ;o I'm NOT complaining, though. I will be enjoying Christy's tea from now until Christmas.

Have you ever heard of Eggnogg tea? Neither had I! I'm sure that it must be sensational so I'm saving it for when I'm having a sour day. Mostly I've been having good days so it's still waiting for me. I just get a happy feeling by simply thinking about what it must taste like. Yes, I might be a bit silly.

Green tea has always been a favorite of mine. I used to drink a quart of green tea every day. I have started doing that again (I'm neither pregnant nor breastfeeding... hallelujah!!). I drink green tea cold. With local, organic honey. Yummy!!

Christy also sent me some holiday flavored tea. Mmmm. Sunday morning was the last day of our Thanksgiving activities and I knew I needed a pick-me-up so I sampled some delicious Sugar Plum Spice tea. I felt like a fairy for the rest of the day... Well, that's not actually true ;-) But it was very holidayish and fun to drink!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ten Thankful Things

That last post was more than a little depressing. But it's genuine, folks :)

What's also genuine is that there are GOOD things in my life!! Every time I turn around I may find a reason to cry my eyes out... but I also have things for which I can thank God.

(1) Let's not get too mushy... but I'm thankful for my husband. He is definitely the biggest hero I have on this earth. I have decided to stop asking myself multiple times a day why he likes me and just be glad that he does. Sheesh, the boy has been through a lot lately too but he rarely complains. He's flat out awesomeness defined. (Okay, I promise I'll stop now.)

(2) Kleenex boxes. If you are sent to buy Kleenex boxes in my family, you better not come home with some ugly generic Kleenex box. (Now y'all really think I've lost my mind. haha) My mother knows what I'm talking about :) Happy Kleenex boxes make happy people. Ellie has a Toy Story 3 Kleenex box and I have three or four pretty Kleenex boxes in within ten steps of where I'm sitting right now. If you are not having a good day, go buy yourself a pretty Kleenex box, have a good cry and then thank me. :)

(3) Real Honey. No, I'm not on drugs. (Unless Benadryl counts ;p) I just love me some real genuine local honey. This might have a small bit to do with the fact that Nicholas was a beekeeper when I first met him. Beekeeper suits can be sexy if they're on the right person. Nick was that right person. :) And there's nothing that says, "I reeeeeeaaaaaaallllly like you," more than a delivery of fresh honeycomb. Nick is not a beekeeper now but he did buy me some genuine local pure honey the other day. And it makes me happy.

(4) Tea. I haven't always really LOVED tea. I'm more of a coffee girl actually. But recently I've found tea to be a very soothing friend. No cream. No sugar. Just pure tea.

(5) New Pillows. Our beloved daughter recently vomited several times on our favorite pillows. It's okay. We forgave her because she is just too cute for words. But we were sure missing our pillows until they got replaced by some new, cheaper pillows (I'm thinking that while we have children we will go with Target's $5 version. At least they can easily be replaced.)

Okay, I'm too tired to think of more than 5 things. I'll come back later :)

I'm Not OK, But Thanks For Asking

Is that a really blunt title? :)

I've been asked a lot lately how I'm doing. I'm never quite sure if that question means, "Hey, what's up?" or "I've been thinking/praying for you and am wondering if you need to talk?" :) Since I don't know and I don't want to assume the wrong thing, I usually just say, "I'm fine. Thanks."

When I was giving blood for a bunch of tests (which we're still getting billed for 9 weeks later; thanks for the reminder, St. David's) the day I gave birth, the tech asked me what was going on today. Um, awkward. I kind of chuckled and said, "Well, I'm here to be induced to give birth to my still born child." Silence. "Actually, I was asking about ESPN. I noticed you were watching it." Very awkward chuckle. "Yeah, that's just on to distract me. I really have no idea what's going on." ;) See, I get easily confused.

So if you're asking how am doing regarding Maggie, here's the straight answer: I'm still grieving. I went about 4 or 5 weeks without crying and I thought I was doing tons better. My blood pressure is almost back to normal... Oh, you didn't know anything about that? Well, that's because when you asked "How I was doing?" I wasn't sure if you wanted to know the details :) Now you know.

This past week was very raw for me. I couldn't put a bandaid on the pain I feel as I know that I would be in the final trimester. I know that final trimesters are no fun. I've been there. My final trimester with Ellie lasted longer than I'd hoped. But in the end, I had a baby. At the end of this final trimester it will be the middle of January and I will not have a baby in my arms. To be honest, it scares me half to death. I have no idea how I'm going to get through the month of January.

You may be wondering where the bright and happy "Becca" went. She isn't gone for good, I'm sure of that. But she is grieving. Tomorrow marks 10 weeks from the date when I went in for my ultrasound. I was crying the Sunday before the ultrasound... for no apparent reason. Looking back, it's almost like my body was preparing me for what I didn't know. When all of that was happening, I cried, but I also felt very peaceful. It was easy to place God in complete control because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I couldn't handle any of those difficult moments on my own.

I cry now. And I also question who is in control. It's harder to place God in control of every little detail when dealing with the mundane. When I'm washing dishes and I look over and see Ellie cuddling and loving on her baby dolls, I want to bawl. And when people post or show pictures of babies via ultrasound, I really lose it. I still have sweet Margaret's ultrasound pictures on my fridge. Why? Because she looks perfect. Because she is my daughter. Because I don't want to forget her. For whatever reason, you can't see the deformities in those little ultrasound pictures. I vividly remember her at 7 weeks waving to me as if to say, "I'm OK, mama! And I love you. And I can't wait to meet you!" Little did I know that I would never get to hold her until she was already with Jesus.

I miss my baby. Whenever I'm out and see pregnant mamas I automatically start guessing how far along they are and then am reminded of how far along I would be. It hurts. It's like drinking bitter water. When I see newborn babies (especially girls) I smile but I feel like someone stuck a knife in my heart.

Am I depressed? You bet. Do I have hope? I do. But I have to work a little harder these days to feel that hope. I haven't been to Margaret's grave since the plaque was placed. I will go there on Tuesday. And I know I'll bawl. Psalm 113 is inscribed on her marker. I wanted that reference there in case another grieving parent is visiting and wonders if there is hope. Psalm 113 points to the hope we have in God. It's a chapter that I've started putting to song and singing to Ellie when I feel like my world is falling apart. My world is (seemingly) falling apart. I never dreamed I'd have a perfectly healthy little girl and then have another daughter whose little body was so messed up that she couldn't even survive.

In the midst of this suffering and heartache I have to point back to who God is. He is a God of passionate love and purpose. I don't understand His purpose right this very minute. But I already know there is a plan greater than anything I can comprehend. I have been through difficult times before only to look back on them and see God's signature clearly written across those past chapters of my life. He hasn't signed off on this chapter yet. I think He's still working on my heart. And I believe that in the nights when I can't stop crying He is lovingly singing songs over me.

Someone posted the shortest verse in the Bible on their FB status the other day: Jesus wept. John 11:35. Jesus did weep. He knows the pain I feel.

So when you ask me how I'm doing and I say, "I'm fine" and you are wanting to know something more than that, you'll have to ask. And if you really want to know, be prepared for the blubbering idiot to come out and bawl on your shoulder. Because this is not an easy time in my life. I have no "memories" of Maggie. I'm not sure it would be easier if I did. But I picture her everywhere I go. I picture Ellie with her and I grieve that my sweet girls will never get to hold hands and play together here.

Margaret Jacquelyn, I know that you are with Jesus and that you are painless and free. I love you so much that I'm choosing this time in my life to focus on the pain associated with losing you. When people ask how I'm doing, if you hear me say, "I'm fine" know that the only reason I am able to cope is because I know that one day I will see you again. And I long for that day, sweet baby! I miss you more than words could ever describe!

P.S. - I promise the next post to be more uplifting.... after writing all this out and dabbing my eyes with 10 Kleenex I am feeling much better. God really is SOOO good to me even when I feel like a blubbering idiot 7 days of the week ;)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday I'm In Love

I'm so happy right now :)

It's not even 9AM and I'm on my second cup of coffee. My heart is never going to be completely over the ache of missing my 2nd born daughter. But I am going about life as I know she would have wanted me to. So I'm embracing LIFE. I can have caffeine without limit. =D

My little heart goes pitter-patter when I'm in the kitchen with a cookbook flipped open to a new recipe. Yes it does! And yesterday I found myself in the kitchen with a Bon Appetit magazine opened to a certain Spiced Cranberry Bundt Cake and my computer screen had a Green Chile Crockpot recipe on it and I had a Maine Cookbook opened to a Little Meatballs recipe. I was DELIGHTED to be back in the kitchen!

Ellie has somehow turned from infant to toddler overnight. Who told her she could do that?!! I took a quick shower (did you know it's possible to get clean in 20 seconds? I will tell my children this when they're older!) and was greated by a precocious child "folding" laundry in the living room. She was doing a great job!

Whenever I'm in the kitchen trying to concoct something fantastic, Ellie must feel the happy vibes because there is NO other place for her to be than at my feet. She has recently discovered how to empty the lower kitchen cabinets and get in them. And since our laundry room is nestled inside the kitchen she has recently discovered the inside of the dryer. So, you see, my heart goes pitter-patter for different reasons. It is partially because I love cooking and it is partially because I am having to keep Ellie from harming herself or my favorite kitchen tools :)

I bring this all on myself; I realize that I could install child proofing locks on all my cabinets. But I have this theory. Nick scoffs at my theory. Here's the idea: If Ellie learns to love being in the kitchen as much as I do then maybe and if she loves folding laundry more than I do (any love at all for that would beat mine) then maybe in another couple of years she will be whipping up her own goodies in the kitchen and I'll sit down sipping coffee while she folds my laundry ;-) Here's hoping :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Books of the Week

Today is library day.... that means we have to return somewhere around 20 very good books. That makes me sad, BUT it also means that we can pick up more books ;} Hooray!!!

One book that I picked up three weeks ago is Jim Trelease's book The Read-Aloud Handbook. What an inspirational book!! I would highly recommend it to every parent, grandparent, nanny, babysitter, teacher - well, anyone who cares for kids! Trelease not only gives advice on the importance of and how to read aloud to children. He also gives book reviews and recommendations for specific age groups.

I've taken a list of recommendations from Trelease's book and started checking them out at our local public library. Thank goodness our library does not have a limit as to how many books a patron can check out at a time. :) I also gathered a few books that just interested me or had been recommended by friends.

Bye Bye Baby by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is one that we need to put on our wish list for Ellie's home library. I had requested this book from another library and the day I had to pick it up was the day after I delivered Maggie. It wasn't a pleasant day to say the least. But as Nick and I were driving home from the library I opened it up and read aloud the first page:
"There was once a baby who had no mommy. This baby lived in a little house all by himself. He fed himself and bathed himself. He even changed his own diaper. It was very sad."
I ended up reading the entire book out loud and we both were just laughing at the hilarious antics of this poor baby. It has a very delightful ending. I imagine anyone who picks up Bye Bye Baby will not be disappointed!

A nanny friend of mine recommended The Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. (Jim Trelease encourages parents to read the names of authors and illustrators every time a book is read... so I'm learning to do that. It has a great advantage which I'll explain in another post.) I really like reading children's books that rhyme because it usually holds Ellie's attention well. The illustrations in The Bear Snores On are so adorable! It is easy for me to imagine myself sitting amongst the forest animals sipping tea and eating popcorn, until... Well, you'll just have to check it out and see what happens. ;) We're definitely going to be checking out more books from this series!

I love to bake! Being in the kitchen just fills me with endorphins from head to toe. But I'm also accident prone... ;p Hattie is accident prone too. Can you imagine how Hattie's baking accident could cause this wedding calamity?
The wind chimes were silent, the judge had to squint, the musicians could not play a note, the groom had no socks, the usher no ring, the flower girl cried for her shoes, the sky was dark on the faraway side, the bouquet of roses was missing a bud, and there wasn't a kiss for the bride.

"We can't have a wedding without a kiss," said the judge. The bride only cried.

Check out: Hattie Baked a Wedding Cake by Toby Speed and illustrated by Cathi Hepworth. What a fun-filled, nonsense read-aloud book for kids! It will bring a smile to your face. If Ellie were a bit older, I would mix up some cake batter with her and read this book while waiting for it to bake.

Monday, September 27, 2010

One day at a time...

I ache so badly today for my sweet baby Margaret. After I delivered her I held her tenderly for only a couple of minutes. It was so difficult because she was so, so fragile and her poor body was just a mess (not just because she had been dead but because of her deformities). I remember when Ellie was born how I just hugged her tight. I never got that chance with Maggie. It's hard to squeeze and kiss a dead baby :(

Today is hard. It's not just hard to see the pregnant women and babies around me. It's hard to ever dream of getting pregnant again. I'm not sure I want to put myself through that again.

But then Jesus reminds me... He carries me ONE day at a time. One moment at a time, He pours His grace upon me. Sometimes I am such an impatient person. If you don't believe me, ask my husband :) I don't deal well when I have to wait for something.

And on days like today when I feel that everything within me is broken and hurting, I literally look up to the heavens. There is one good and stable and faithful thing in my life; it's God. He is a rock when I am weak. He is powerful when I am powerless. He is faithful when I feel so unstable.

Today I'm not thinking about whether or not I'll ever be able to choose to get pregnant again. I'm thinking about how deeply His grace runs through me when I allow myself to be open to His will and ways in my life.

I can't imagine why He chose me to walk this journey... but it's amazing to feel His constant presence. He's there. I just have to choose to acknowledge that fact.

And today - when I was planning on making myself put away my maternity clothes - I know that He is OK with me grieving again over the loss. I can put the maternity clothes away another day. Right now, I need some time to just cling to Him more.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Books Beyond Borders

It started out as a very simple venture. Last night I had somehow come across an advertisement on Cragislist for "free, used children's books." I think my heart started racing immediately. Of course it had nothing to do with the fact that I had just downed my 3rd cup of coffee in the last hour (Hey, I'm not pregnant or breast-feeding so this is allowed!). I tried not to act too excited as I calmly walked across the living room to tell my beloved husband. "It's free," I reminded him sweetly.

I can't imagine why Nicholas would roll his eyes at me. He has somehow conjured up this fear that I married him for his money. He thinks one day he will wake up and we will be living in a house with books wall to wall, ceiling to floor. For some strange reason that doesn't make him happy. I keep telling him that I didn't marry him to steal his money; I married him because I thought he was cute and muscular. Somehow my reminding him of that fact seems to come about when I'm trying to convince him to take another adventure with me...

And so, at 8:20AM on Saturday morning, I was up, dressed, and "bouncy"... I was trying to be patient, but when free children's books are calling my name, it's hard. You would understand, wouldn't you? Well, I should have brought coffee to his bed. That would have probably smoothed things over immediately. Somehow my dear husband kindly managed to get himself ready in the nick of time. Ellie Bear was ready too although she was giving kind of a wondering look.

I have lived in Austin for only 2 1/2 years so I'm not completely familiar with the area. I scribbled some directions onto a sticky note and felt fairly confident that my fearless leader could get us there by the time the doors opened at 9AM. We would have made it there in plenty of time if I had written down the directions correctly. After about 15 or 20 minutes of meandering around east Austin with little to no clue as to where this warehouse was located I convinced Nicholas to stop at the postal service and ask directions. Unfortunately, there was no one there.

While Nick sat in the car trying to get directions from my mother on the phone, I saw a man coming out of the post office. He looked kind enough so I ran up to him and asked him if he could tell me where the warehouse was. In broken English he explained that it would be much easier to show me where it was than to tell me. So I ran back to the car, jumped in, and we quickly followed him in our car. In a short jiffy, we arrived.

To our surprise there were only about half a dozen vehicles at the warehouse. Aha! I knew we were in luck. Now, husbands who drive their wives some place on Saturday morning and end up getting lost and having to get help from complete strangers because their wife asked, need a special reward. I was trying to tell Nicholas how much I appreciated his kindness. I think he would have rather I just shut up ;D

We entered the warehouse and what did we see??? Thousands of books. Thousands of them, I tell you!! All of them just waiting for someone to take them home. Nick and I immediately grabbed a box and began to dig through, looking for the richest, most precious of treasures. (Well, I may be exaggerating a tiny bit...) It was wonderful. An hour later, we walked out of the warehouse sweaty and tired. But we had two boxes FILLED with books that we both agreed needed to be brought home.

Another day I will share a few of the treasures we were able to procure. But for now, I need to get busy trying to tuck the books away into their new home. I think they are as happy as can be!


Friday, September 24, 2010

A New "Normal"

Wow. For weeks I've been planning to start blogging again. Somehow life with a very active one year old and being pregnant seemed to drain me in every way. ;-) I woke up this morning realizing that today begins a different way of life for me. I would give anything to be able to still be pregnant with my sweet baby Margaret but obviously that wasn't God's plan for me.

I am learning about grieving... it's not one of those things you can schedule. I've lost loved ones before, but I never could have imagined how deeply a mother could love a baby even without ever getting to see that baby alive. I'm so glad for the moment I got to hold my baby. She was so delicate and tiny. So tiny!!! It may seem silly but I'm so, so, so grateful for the tiny footprints that the nurse gave me. Anyway, I am glad but Maggie is with Jesus but I must admit I'm more than a bit jealous that He gets to have her first ;-D

So life moves on... we're not going to forget the place that Margaret has in our hearts. But we're also not going to go on moaning and groaning because we have another dear daughter who needs our love and affection :) And Ellie has been a dear!! Today after I found her "reading" books aloud to her baby dolls I just started bawling. I know she didn't understand but she hugged me and kept smiling and saying, "Heeey!! Hey!!" It was too precious!!

So... I am working on some blog ideas. I'll be back when my brain is functioning a bit better ;)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Margaret Jacquelyn Harris - September 15, 2010

Our sweet baby Maggie went to be with Jesus... What a long week it has been. Rather than try to recap everything, I am going to paste the updates I posted on Facebook last week.

Update on 09/13/10

For those who have not heard... we went in today (21 weeks, 6 days gestation) to see our precious little baby. Just a routine ultrasound. I had been suspecting something was wrong for a while but had been reassured by everyone not to worry - I was probably just having a "normal" pregnancy. We could tell immediately that the sonographer was worried and, rather than beat around the bushes, I just asked her straight up, "What's wrong?" When she asked me if I had still been feeling pregnant I knew that the baby was dead. And she confirmed.

Thank you all for the love and support! We are still grieving but it was an amazing peace to get to see our baby girl via ultrasound this afternoon. As far as anyone could tell there was nothing in the world wrong with precious little Margaret Jacquelyn. She must have just been terribly anxious to go see her Creator! ;)

The roughest part is ahead as I will have to be induced and go through labor. (Past 14 weeks gestation they cannot do a D&C because the baby is just too big. It's also not really considered a miscarriage but a still birth.) Please pray that my body can rest before we have to go through that process and that it would be quick and without complication. Since we're still not sure what caused sweet MJ's passing we are all (dr's and nurses included) a little cautious about starting any induction until we know if there were further complications with my body.

God's grace has been sufficient. Grieving is part of the process and I truly believe God sees each tear and is putting them into a bottle... our grief is written in His book (ps 56). The support from friends, family, and our wonderful church family has been overwhelming. There have been times today where I really felt like a burden was lifted and we were being carried as we went from appointment to appointment.

We'll continue to keep our friends and family updated. Thank you for your continued prayer and support.

- Nick, Becca & Ellie (who has remained completely oblivious and has been totally spoiled with attention today)

Update on 09/15/10

A month ago I went in for my 17 week check-up. Michelle was the same midwife I had seen the last time (at my 13 week check-up) which is a little unusual because they try to rotate you between 5 midwives for each of the visits so that you are familiar with them all. She was so, so happy to hear that I was not sick. We had a very normal check-up. Sweet baby Margaret's heart rate was in the 130s which I noted as being a little strange because the very squirmy girl (who I actually didn't know was a girl then) had been having higher heart rates of 170 at previous check-ups. Michelle assured me that was normal for it to fluctuate.

I had one concern that day which makes me laugh now. I was very worried about my labor with Margaret being really fast ;-D Ellie's labor had only been 7 hrs and they told me to expect a somewhat faster labor the second time around. What a silly thing to worry about at 4 months ;-) But I always seem to find something to be "concerned" about...

Journal Entry:

"Michelle told me that I need to have some mantras to tell myself to settle my mind for labor.

"The curious thing about that is that I already have been memorizing Psalm 113.[I had memorized Ps 121 when I was very young and God chose that chapter to come to mind when I was in labor with Ellie. It was so comforting. This time I was proactive in picking a chapter and had memorized it already] The first verse says 'Prasie the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD.'

"Michelle suggesed some mantras such as, 'I am healthy. My baby is healthy. I have gone through labor before and I can do it again.'

"That's all fine but what if something changes? What if I or the baby or both of us have complications? Then what mantra can I rely on?

"There is POWER in God's name!!

"And I believe the truth of Ps 113 is that God is to be praised ALWAYS. God is holy! He is all powerful. He is to be praised.

"This morning we [in church] we sang songs of grace and redemption. The thought that God as my name enscribed on His hand and that no one can snatch me from Him?! Amazing! POWERFUL. And such a responsibility to pass on the legacy to my babies."

End of Journal Entry

God knew. He knew that I would be going into labor 4 months earlier than we had planned. He knew that when I went into labor that Margaret would have been with Him in Glory for a month. It's not fair that I have to go to the hospital this morning and be induced and go through all the things a normal mom goes through only to deliver a lifeless form. It really hurts and I'm not going to pretend like I have it all together just to prove to myself or others that I'm awesome or super spiritual.

I can say this, I have been bought. I'm redeemed. And the thought that my precious, sweet baby will never have to be in a world of sin and that she is with her Creator this morning is so precious to me. I am filled with peace although I have tears just rolling down my face as I type.

There have been times in the last 3 days that I have had a difficult time "feeling" like God is with me. But I look back on Ps 113. And I realize how powerful, how holy He is. I realize that He sent His one and only Son - HIS ONLY SON. I have a daughter already and I can't tell anyone how much she has helped already to heal Nick's heart and mine. She is a precious treasure to us. But God only had one Son and He willingly gave His Son to be sent to a corrupt and wicked world. He would have allowed His Son to be beaten and tortured and for Him to die a lonely, agonizing death just for me.

If I had not received God's gift of salvation I just cannot imagine the hopelessness I would be feeling right now. But I did receive that grace. I personally asked Christ to forgive me. I believed that He not only died, but He ROSE AGAIN. He lives for me now. He has given me the Holy Spirit which is not just a warm and fuzzy feeling inside me. Right now I don't feel warm and fuzzy at all. But the Holy Spirit speaks truth to me when the world and circumstances and my sinful nature speak lies.

And it's 5:03AM and I really need to go dry my hair and get ready to birth this baby girl. ;-) Please just continue to pray for strength. I'm not the only one hurting this morning. My parents and Nick and his parents are hurting knowing what we are all about to go through.

I don't want Margaret Jacquelyn's death to be in vain. I don't believe it is because it's already brought me so much closer to my Heavenly Father. But if there were one person out there who had never accepted the redemption that is in the cross, I wish by her passing that someone would see that there is a hope that all can have.

I love you all so much. Thank you for the continued prayers and love. I slept WELL last night and that's just a miracle. It may have been my imagination but I think I started contracting some through the night so here's hoping things move quickly this morning.

- Becca

Update on 09/16/10

I almost did not post this here because it is somewhat detailed. Just beware that it is the details of labor and if that makes you queasy or uncomfortable, please stop here.

Wednesday's Notes:

I just got home from the hospital. Thank you all so very, very, very much for the prayers!!!!

When the Dr. came in yesterday morning she reminded me that I was considered a high risk labor and we were really trying to act okay but to be honest, I was very afraid I would never walk out of the hospital alive. That may sound weird and paranoid but the clotting issue that they were considered about was a real risk. Thankfully it ended up not being an issue at all!! Thank goodness!!

My mom and Nick were with me through the whole labor. I feel really, really bad for the poor young nurses who were with me when I delivered. One looked like she was either going to cry or pass out.

They gave me Stadol (sp?) to sedate me after about 4 or 5 hrs of contractions. Because of how small everything was the monitor was having a really hard time tracking my contractions and I have a somewhat high pain tolerance so the nurse really couldn't tell where I was at... But since I'd had Ellie I could compare the pain I was in with where I would have been when I was pregnant with her (if that makes any sense at all). So I knew about where I was at without them telling me how far I was dilated.

Anyway... I hated the Stadol! It made me feel really weird (like I closed my eyes and pictured Santa Claus in our room) and I kept saying weird things. Nick was having a great time making fun of me but I could tell I was not making sense. BUT, I could feel every contraction and it was very painful.

The Stadol wore off after an hour and by then things happened fast. Around 4PM I started getting the shakes really, really bad!!! My mom was trying not to freak out and I knew it was transition but the nurse was just like, "Well, your hormones are changing, that's natural..." She suggested I get an epidural and I had already decided I wanted one... so she sent for the anesthesiologist.

The shakes were starting to settle down which made me think either I was getting really close or I was losing my mind and didn't have a clue what was going on. The anesthesiologist started prepping me and as I was leaning like I was worshiping something, I just started praying my heart out because I was in so much freaking pain. I wanted it all over so badly!!!

I couldn't tell but apparently the anesthesiologist had to go through three pairs of gloves before he found some that fit. Just as he got the right pair on and was about to insert the needle I felt a very strong urge to push. I told the nurse and she kind of freaked out and was trying to figure out if I still needed an epidural. (I was thinking, "Duh, no!") The poor girl was clueless (she was very young and I don't think she'd been through this kind of labor before). She decided to send the anesthesiologist out and he peaked his head in right after to say he could come back if I needed him. I just rolled my eyes. I took charge as she and the other nurse (who Nick and my mom think was an intern) stood there trying to figure out if they should get the Dr. or what... they helped me lay down (and I was in excruciating pain). One push and poor Maggie's body was delivered.

After that it was pretty quick. Everything except one large clot delivered within just a couple of pushes. We realized once we saw our sweet baby's body that she was extremely deformed. We really can't tell how long she had been dead, but it was probably not as long as we first thought. The doctor said that Margaret's body was the size of 16 week baby which didn't make sense with what we already knew. I told her that we heard the heartbeat at 17 weeks. She said that she understood... but although Margaret's heart was still working, her body had probably not been forming correctly for a long time - maybe from the beginning.

I rested well last night. I painlessly passed the very large clot last night and the recovery has been good.

Somehow they managed to get us footprints of Maggie's teeny, tiny feet. It breaks my heart but gives me peace at the same time. What's really super bizarre is that a week ago on Ellie's birthday we bought Ellie a "big sister" doll that happened to come with a little sister doll. We kind of laughed when we bought it because I kept saying that our baby was a girl and Nick said it was a boy but we didn't know then. Ironically, the baby doll that we bought is about the same size that Maggie was. I hope that doesn't gross anyone out but it makes me smile.

Another ironic thing was that sweet little Margaret was delivered at 4:44PM. Ellie was born on 09/09/09. I know that's just a little silly thing but it just makes me happy.

I am so happy that we had a baby girl... she is with Jesus and has a perfect body that will never have to suffer.

The chaplain came by today to help us make funeral plans and she had just come from NICU. She didn't tell us what the situation there was but it made me realize... if Margaret had been born full term I just don't know what we would have done. I really believe that God gives you difficult situations only when He is willing to allow you to go through those times with His grace. For whatever reason, He decided that having Margaret full term was not a situation He was willing for us to undergo. I am thankful for the peace that we have in Him.

Nick has had to work on making funeral arrangements today... and I am working on resting (or at least that's what I'm supposed to be doing). In the next day or two they said my milk will come in and I'm not looking forward to that but hopefully it will not take too long for me to get back to normal. Emotionally, today has been a lot more difficult for me than yesterday. I can't tell if it's PPD or just sorrow. I didn't have any PPD with Ellie so if that is what it is then it's a new experience for me. I am being very cared for and my Dr. gave me her personal cell phone number in case I need her. But I will have regular post partum check-ups with her too.

I can't express my gratitude enough for all the prayers and concerns. We've really been upheld by all the thoughts and prayers and I believe it is only by God's grace that I wasn't right in the middle of getting that epidural when I felt the urge to push. I can't imagine how uncomfortable that would have been.

Although Ellie has no idea what has been going on the last few days she is having a little bit of a rough time having been away from me so much. I'm not really supposed to be lifting her right now but I'm about the only person she wants so please just pray that my body bounces back quickly and that Ellie will let other people hold and love on her when I can't.

Thank you all so, so, so much!!!!


Monday, July 12, 2010

13 weeks tomorrow

This first trimester is just like classic pregnancy. Sick. Heartburn. Exhausted. Sick. Etc.

We go in to see the midwives on Wednesday. Last time the heartrate was 175. And there's a debate in our house over this baby's sex. Daddy said that he is the one who determines those things and the final answer is: IT'S A BOY. BUT... I'm a skeptic. Could I really be this hormonal with a boy?! Surely not.

And we don't have a girl's name picked out. And if I ever ask Nick's opinion on my picks he just repeats: It's a boy. Silly guy. He acted the same way with Ellie. So maybe he's right. But surely his luck must run out at some point.

Meanwhile, I would very much like a bunch of fairies to invade my house and clean it pronto. Everything is making me sick. Including something really nasty Daddy made for lunch. I am not going to lie - during his lunch break I spent 30 minutes with my head in pillows trying not to puke.

Oh, I'm just going to mention that I am exactly where I should be on the minimum amount of weight to be gained for this pregnancy. Woo! I was very concerned because our scale is broke (improper use of the English language - shoot me!)... so I hadn't weighed in over a week and have been eating and puking at various times. Nothing healthy going on here at all! But I stepped on the scale today and there we had it - a huge sigh of relief. Major undergoings are going to have to take place to keep myself from puffing up like a blimp this time. I think keeping up with Ellie is the only way I'm not blimping up yet.

That's life, folks.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Feeling Mighty... Not Fine

Well, we're at 10 1/2 weeks now. We've almost made it through this last week. This week has probably been the worst for morning sickness. My family got to come down and share some time with us at Sea World. That was fun. If I hadn't been sick maybe I would have remembered to bring a camera. Whoops. Oh well. It was nice to have a change of pace for a few days. Nick had his last trip for business for a while... which is somewhat of a relief to me. (I get to be a bit of a bear when he's gone for more than 8 hrs at a time...)

So this little baby (or as my sister says, "Bubba") is making me so exhausted. And we're not going to get into any details of certain events taking place this week, but if you're looking for a babysitter for your children for an extended period of time or on a regular basis, try to find someone who is NOT a mother of a 9 month old AND pregnant. Because if she has any brain at all she will say NO. Moving on...

I think we're going to take this weekend to RELAX. I will be surprised if we get out to do anything other than go to church. It's about time we all had a vacation... but seeing how hot it is and that I don't feel good a weekend vacation of doing nothing sounds pretty good to me! =D

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bing Crosby and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

You know what I decided this morning? I decided that we are going to decorate our house for Christmas (for the first time in our married lives) this year (nevermind that it's 6 months away! I'm pregnant and I can talk about what I want to ;p). AND we're going to leave our Christmas decorations up until the baby comes. I LOVE Christmas music and the general Christmas feel and you know how it's always kind of depressing to put it all up in the winter and then just feel really nasty and wintry. Yeah, we're not going to do that. We're going to have 60 days of Bing Crosby and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. And it's gonna be awesome!

Expectantly Waiting

I've hit what I hope is the worst part of the 1st Trimester. I've been so blessed to not feel really, really sick all the time during this pregnancy. But this week has taken a turn. I've been extremely sick. I can't decide if I should say "unfortunately" or "fortunately"... Either way, Ellie doesn't have a clue what's going on. So I am really having to work double-time to keep her busy and safe and entertained and fed while keeping myself rested (hahaha!) and hydrated and all the stuff you have to do to take care of yourself while pregnant. It's been a crazy week and it's only Wednesday morning. Oh dear...

This week I did get to take a peek-a-boo visit with little Piglet Baby. It was adorable. This time I pretty much knew what to expect and I was a bit emotional. Nick was in Boston on business (staying at a bed and breakfast. SUCKER!) so I was solo on this adventure. Piglet Baby was VERY awake. It was pretty amazing considering the fact that I had not caffeine that morning and the only sugar I had was a little black cherry-lime vitamin water (my new favorite flavor!). Heart rate was 175!! Ellie NEVER had a heart rate that high when we visited her during our pregnancy. Her high was like maybe 155. It was usually around 135-140.

Anyway, PB was waving it's little arm like a tiny maniac. Like if I didn't pay close attention I might miss seeing it. I was laying on the bed laughing and literally just burst out, "THAT is adorable!!!!" It was really a very precious encounter. It's kind of ironic too because Ellie is just getting really good at waving a lot.

I've really struggled with being very happy about being pregnant this week. But God knows just when I need a lift. :) GOD IS SO GRACIOUS to His children! Sometimes I think my load would be a lot easier to bear if I would just ask for His help more often :)

This week we will be making our 3rd trip to Sea World since this pregnancy began. I presume I'll be pretty sick but I am going to be sure to stay really hydrated. I am not interested in getting puffy feet like I did last year. :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

9 1/2 weeks...

I'm EXHAUSTED. Just totally drained....

But our first appointment today was really great. Except for handing over that first payment. OUCH! Oh well. This time our insurance is actually covering a large chunk of our bill. What's really stupid is that they'll cover the cost of all our prenatals and 6 weeks after the birth. BUT they won't cover the actual birth. That is just flat STUPID. If they think the midwives are capable of doing exams, they should cover them taking the baby out. I noticed when signing our papers that one of the midwives has delivered over 2000+ babies in the past 7years. Anyway... I'll got off my soapbox but beware! I'll probably come back to this at some point.

So we had a fantastic exam... and we will be going back on the 21st for a dating ultrasound. Nick won't be here. So we'll have to figure out transportation.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

9 months & 9 weeks

Both of my babies are at a "9" milestone.

I cannot believe Teeny Tiny is already 9 weeks along!!! What I can't believe more is that I've been able to keep it a secret this long... well, every week that goes by it slips out a little more. But still, this is really good for me. It definitely helps the pregnancy go by faster!!! We go to the midwife tomorrow for the first time and it should be interesting. I was hoping to have lost more weight before now but this morning sickness hasn't been bad at all. (I say that now at 10AM... last night at 10PM I thought I was going to die. haha! It's definitely worse at night.)

I can't wait to see our Tiny baby and actually see it's little heart beating. It'll be interesting because we're bringing Ellie along. The midwives haven't seen her since she was 6 weeks and it'll be fun to show her off...

Speaking of The Big Sister... We just got home from her 9 month appointment. It was good as far as charting her developmental skills. Of course she rocks in that area. As far as weight gain... well, let's just say she doesn't take after me. The pediatrician kind of raised her eyebrows when she discovered that I was nursing AND pregnant. Ha! Yes, I'm awesome. J/K haha. I was ready to quit nursing until she mentioned formula.... eh. For some reason I have a very hate/hate relationship with that stuff. I'm not sure why. So our lovely pediatrician told me I could just nurse 3x a day as long as Ellie has a cup of yogurt and two slices of cheese included in her daily diet. Which means I need to go to Target. Nice.

Big Sister is NOT a friend of the male nurse at the dr's office. He gave her two shots today and the adorable pink camo bandaid did not make up for the pain she received. Oh well. She's snoozing away her sorrows now. Which means I should do some laundry or something.

What I really want to do: take a nap........ Zzzzzzz

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Ellie is 8 months and 4 weeks now.

I have done the most horrible job at keeping up with her accomplishments and her baby book is mostly empty. That's sad. The very important first few months were filled in... but it's something I just totally forget about now. I fear I haven't been taking snapshots of her much either. Oops.

Anyway... the past few days she's been a JOY to have around. Her top two teeth broke through and that seemed to be what was causing so much fussiness during the day. Ellie's the type of kid who seems to be a happy, jolly, social baby bug around everyone else. It's just when she's home and not feeling well that she gets fussy. And I don't deal too well with fussiness. It's especially frustrating when you have no idea what's wrong.

So I was reading some stuff on blogs and in a parenting magazine, I think, about reasons for not having a 2nd baby right away. It's like, well, we're already there so why read it, right? haha But I think it's interesting that one of the reasons people don't want to have another one right away is because they're afraid the first one won't get the attention they need. I laugh. Ellie is the only child we'll have who will receive this much attention, I think. If anything, I would be worried about children #2, #3, #4, or however many there are. Unless something tragic happened, Ellie is the only child who will ever get to experience being an "only child." I guess we'll have to come back and ask her in ten or twenty years if she felt like we should have given her more "her" time. I think it's silly.

Reasons I can justify not getting pregnant right away: Because it's pretty safe to assume I won't feel well... Hm. I can't think of any other reasons. hahaha. Cost is not really that big of a deal since we got gender neutral things to begin with. We're not the type of family to have "themes" for each child. They can certainly have themed bedrooms once they are old enough to understand what they like. What Ellie likes are lots of books and toys. She likes books about tractors and animals just like a boy would ;) I'm sure we'll be introducing Madeleine and Fancy Nancy pretty soon. But right now she can't even tell the difference between boy things and girl things. I cannot believe how many clothes we've been blessed with since having Ellie. I'm sure God will provide because I have complete assurance that this child was His will and He is not a neglectful Father.

In Sunday school this week we were reminded that God provides! He provides for ALL our needs! But in today's society there are so many things that we think we "need" that we actually don't. Did you know you can live without cable, smart phones, and new cars? It's possible!!! haha. We're proof! And in reality, I would venture to guess that we're a lot happier without those things because we don't have to worry about paying for them ;-) Our entertainment consists of long outdoor walks as a family and playing together.

I have no doubt that God's going to prove over and over again that He is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider.

So as far as this pregnancy goes... I am feeling a lot better than I have! I felt sick all night last night. But it felt like a bug... not so much like morning sickness. I don't know/sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. But I've definitely felt more energetic. I think Ellie has a lot to do with that. With my pregnancy with her I had the luxury of not having to keep up with nearly as much. Now I have no choice. haha. I like it better this way actually. It makes the days go by so much faster!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What comes after Christmas but before Valentine's Day?

A baby! A baby is coming our way!

So this blog post will be in draft mode for as long as Nick and I can keep this a secret... we have no idea how long that will be. Maybe July??

I'm sure there will be people wondering so I'm just going to clarify that, No, this was not an accidental pregnancy. Have we lost our minds by purposefully having kids less than 18 months apart? Probably. But we talked about it a LOT and it's just what we felt was right for our family. Do not necessarily expect us to repeat this scenario every year and a half though. I have no idea how well I'll handle two under two just yet.

So currently I'm like, 4 weeks and 3 days - I think. Funny, I think this pregnancy (at least the first tri) will go by faster than my pregnancy with Ellie. It's only been a couple days since we found out and I'm already worn out. ;-) Breastfeeding + Being.Pregnant + Not.Taking.Vitamins = Very tired and unhealthy feeling mama. I don't know what happened to my prenatal vitamins. Somehow they got lost in the move. However, I did buy some last night. I did find myself dry heaving after taking them. Thankfully they did not come up ;-p

Actually, speaking of feeling sickly, I started feeling extremely tired/nauseated around 2 1/2 weeks. (that's like a couple of days past conception) Very uncool. I woke up in the middle of the night around 3 weeks feeling like I'd eaten something bad. Threw up a lot. Ugh. And I went back to bed. I didn't get a positive pg test for a week but I'm sure it was morning sickness. I'm not one to randomly throw up in the middle of the night ;-)

As I expected, my feeling nauseated has to be put aside at least somewhat because I have an 8 month old who needs me almost every hour of the day. Also, it's not like I can complain to anyone other than Nicholas about it because nobody knows. haha.

We are planning another birth at the Austin Area Birthing Center. This time, Lord-willing, we'll be in SOUTH AUSTIN at the new facility!!! It opens in August. Just before Ellie's birthday in September we should be having an ultrasound... and, Nope, we're not planning on finding out the sex. We both feel very strongly that it's a boy. We had Ellie's name picked out before I was pregnant yet we never did settle on a boy's name. This time Nick picked out a boy's name before we knew I was pregnant and he's declared that we're not going to pick out a girl's name because, duh!, it's not a girl. ;-) so we'll see. If it is a girl I guess she will be nameless for a while. haha

Okay... that's all for now. I'll probably come back and add some more secret posts that will all be unlocked once we have let the cat out of the bag. Until then, I think I need to clean up the kitchen. (I'd rather nap but Ellie's napping and it's easier to get things done when she's asleep. Imagine that.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not what I expected...

You know how when you're little you're always dreaming... dreaming of becoming older and being a mommy... For me, it was dreaming of being older and rescuing orphans. I was always wanting to play like I was an orphan running away from a horrible orphanage - or better yet, prison camp. I had a happy family and a happy life so I have no idea why I was always dreaming of "escaping", but I was.

As I got older my dreams got a little bigger. I would travel the world and rescue orphans. Ironically, that sort of ended up happening. Well, I didn't "rescue" them exactly. But I did end up living in a 3rd world country for almost 5 months working with orphan teenage girls. It was a pretty sweet deal all around. I got to encourage them to grow in their faith and ended up growing as a person in ways I could have never expected. I ended up getting a pretty sweet guy out of the deal too. ;-* Lucky me.

So the guy and I got married with the intent of growing a massive family. Ended up that we aren't ravid breeders like people expected. Ha. We liked that - being something other than what was expected. One day we did end up finding out that we could procreate and now we have Ellie whom we love a LOT.

And now my husband travels around the United States while I stay home and figure out once again who I am. I'm glad that he doesn't travel more than he does. We're at a very happy place. His being gone a couple days of the week is good for both of us. It allows us to appreciate being together on a deeper level than we once experienced. And I am somewhat forced to come up with creative ways to make the time pass quicker.

I feel like my creative juices are just beginning to come alive and it's been interesting.

I'm pretty sure I'm not a seamstress. I haven't completely given up, but I am pretty disappointed. I come from a family of fabulous seamstresses. My aunts can all make the most beautiful things out of cloth in a matter of no time at all.
My maternal grandmother, the one for whom Ellie is named, was the one who orginally tried to teach me to sew. I'm not sure that she sewed a lot, but she did sew some. She made all of her children baby quilts which we've cherished. She was working on one last baby quilt when her Alzheimers began. It was nearly finished but got set aside and forgotten. After she died my mom got to take it and once she's finished it will be Ellie's. I like that a lot.

My dad's mother is just crazy about sewing. I think the woman could make anything. Every time I think of her house I imagine quilts everywhere. That's probably because there are quilts everywhere. I actually have three from her in my home. They're lovely. My aunts, Janice and Jennifer, are much more articulate seamstresses, I think. I'm pretty sure they follow instructions better than Grandma. And Janice's daughter, Jessalyn, has made the most beautiful clothing for her two daughters!

I'm pretty sure I can't sew anything other than straight lines. I don't like following directions. I do much better with pictures and copy-catting someone else's work.

Give me some diapers to dye or some recipes to cook or some pictures to frame.

I do so love being a wife and mom. Sometimes I think my husband's job is much more exciting than mine. He gets to eat fine foods, stay at nice hotels, and listen to people give interesting speeches. I mostly eat junk, don't go to bed until I'm about to pass out, and carry on non-sense conversations with my 6-month old while he's gone. But I'm learning to enjoy it more every day.

Someday I think I'll read more, learn to play my piano better, and have a smallish large brood of children who will teach me to be more creative than I am today. Maybe I'm just dreaming... but maybe half or a third of that will come true.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The One Where He Goes to Florida While I Stay Home and Dye Diapers

By the time anyone is reading this he will be home. Because I'm not really a fan of displaying for the general public that my husband is not home ;) [as if the general public reads this, lol, but whatever...]

It's 8:28AM. I heard loud banging outside. Our apartment building is getting a makeover. :) I wish they'd give the inside of our apartment a makeover. I'd like some turquoise paint in here, please. And maybe a chandelier or two.

So, yes, Nick is out of town. I always forget what him being gone feels like until he actually leaves. We both really do love his job a lot so I try not to complain too much. He's mellowed out a LOT in the past couple of months. He said it's because he gets a little stressed every time he goes out to a new job. Once the job's complete, what's there to worry or stress about? < that's what he told me yesterday on our way to the third craft supply store on a hunt for Dylon Fabric Dye. This was after we had to drive to two elementary schools during rush hour traffic to vote. He was my hero! He even bought me a bag of jordan almonds and LEFT THEM HOME before he flew out this morning. Um, that's love!

Back home on the ranch, baby girl is snoozing. She loves sleeping. haha. I do too, but not when Nick's gone. And actually, I get so excited about the littlest things lately so I'm not really much of a sleeper anymore. I guess Ellie's making up for the lack of sleep I got last night.

I'm dying some diapers. I'm excited to see how it turns out. By the time I post this I'll have them all done and can post pictures. YAY! ;-)

Lately I've been thinking a lot about where I am in life. I LOVE this stage of parenthood. Ellie's juuuust starting to get into everything within reach. She's "crawling" but discovering more than moving around. I did find her sucking on the wheel of her stroller yesterday. If you knew where all we go with that stroller you would realize how disgusting that is! UGH! It makes me shiver.

Nick loves his job and is getting paid more than enough to keep food on the table. I am finding ways to get my creative juices flowing. I feel healthy. I don't take that for granted too much anymore having had 8 months (the first month doesn't count since I didn't even know I was pregnant) of all-day nausea. While another little bundle would certainly seem fun to add to the mix, I think I'll enjoy today being healthy ;-)

Target and Garden Ridge are Ellie's and my hangout places now. We can walk to either place in ten minutes which is pretty cool. If Nick throws me a little cash every now and then I stay happy and so does he ;)

I feel like my brain has somewhat turned "off" in the last months. I can read blogs and forums online but find myself skipping around as I read... not staying on one track for very long at all. My Bible reading is like only effective if I read a few verses and journal. Otherwise I can't remember an hour later what on earth I read.

I've been reading aloud to Ellie out of a great kids Bible I picked up new at Goodwill. It's great. We started sometime around a month ago and we're already in Exodus. I'm sure she's getting a lot out of it. Heh. Most of the time I'm just trying to keep her from eating the pages. But I'm hoping in time she will learn to sit still and listen to me read like I used to do with my mom.

Well, Nick's probably not even off his first flight and it's about time to do something with these diapers. I might let them sit a while longer so I can grab some much needed quiet time.

Day 2 of him being gone to FL.

So I decided to run to Target. Elle was having a bad day. Can't figure out if it's teething or a cold or both. So we headed to Target and enjoyed the gorgeous 66* weather. I love Austin ;-)

I became instantly enthralled over household cleansers. That was actually my real reason for going to Target. They had some coupons on Lysol products so I loaded up. Normally my husband's not a fan of me spending money while he's gone. But I figured it's for his benefit so he won't mind. Besides, I know he got breakfast delivered to his room at a nice hotel this morning. Justification, justification... :)

I loaded up my stroller with several Lysol products and some glade candles. (LOVE glade candles!!) When getting ready to check out I discovered that I was missing my credit card. AHHHHK! I apologized to the cashier who was already ringing up my purchases. She was like, "Oh, I sell you a card?" It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about. I reluctantly agreed to sign up for a Target credit card - like that is gonna make Nick not so happy. Lol! It was a small purchase though, so I don't think he'll mind.

So I proceed to fill out the information needed to procure the Target card. Meanwhile two older women are talking to each other in line waiting for me... I was trying to hurry because I hate people having to wait for me and at any moment I knew Ellie could realize that she hadn't eaten in a few hours. So I'm rushing and giving the cashier info while putting my purchases into the buggy. I was finished and then she needed to see my driver's license one more time. I had put it back in my purse, or so I thought. Ugh! I couldn't find it anywhere. I was digging through everything, she was looking through my wallet (lol!) and the women behind me were trying to comfort me, "Oh, honey, take your time! It's okay, we're not in a hurry." I was apologizing profusely and telling them I was having a really bad case of mommy brain. The one said to the other in a loud whisper, "Aw, look, she's blushing so bad!" (that of course made me feel oh so much better. not! hahaha) I finally found it - in my wallet. Oh dear.

And that was my adventure for today.

Came home, fed Ellie and put her down for a nap, made some brownies (added two jars of baby food to make it somewhat healthier - apples & blueberries and a jar of carrots - not bad, actually), and started cleaning. Called my sister to discuss what fluffiness we will purchase for our unborn niece or nephew and continued to clean.

Right now my living room, well my whole house actually, looks like a disaster zone. Hubby will be home SOON so I better get back at it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our Love Story: When We Met, Pt. 1

In May 2006 I headed to Darkhan, Mongolia to do missions work for 5 months. The missions org I was working with had a very, very small group of Americans: a married couple that headed up the organization, a guy in his 50s who got there the same time I did, and two guys who had been there for over a year before me - Nick and Adam. Of course when I left my mom was all, "You're gonna end up marrying one of those guys." And I was like, "Psh! THAT is never going to happen!" (I was interested in a guy back home and really chill with NOT starting something with any guy I'd meet overseas.)

I met Nick about 2 minutes after arriving in Darkhan and I was very nonchalant about him. The first thing he said to me was, "You look like your brother." After about a week of being around him briefly I thought he was VERY rude because he hardly gave me the time of day. He just totally ignored me and I thought, "Great. Five months and these are the only English speaking peers I'll have..."

That all changed over the course of time.... we ended up being put together on small projects and then chose to spend more and more time together. But from my perspective, I was just like a little sister bugging Nick to death all the time. He didn't seem to mind, though Smile I was always having computer issues and he was the only one who could help. When it started getting cold in the fall he would make coffee for me almost every morning as a bribe to get to see me each day before we went our separate ways for our work.

In the middle of October, we parted ways after a very long trip home together. I honestly figured I'd never hear from him again. My family picked me up at the airport in Dallas and we made the four hour trip home. When I got home I had an email from him. ;o I couldn't believe it! I was sort of wanting a "define the relationship" moment but he was just keeping lines of communication open.

I sulked. And moaned. And cried. I really thought he just saw me as a friend and would never pursue anything else. There were times I wanted to stop emailing him altogether because I didn't want just a chummy relationship with him. So I would "ignore" him sometimes but it would never last too long.

In May of '07 I was getting ready to help teach at a child evangelism seminar. Two of Nick's sisters were going to be there. I was really upset that he hadn't done anything in the months we'd been home to define our relationship. I was just having a really hard time with the whole thing... Meanwhile my sister was getting ready to leave to Africa for the summer. So we were both packing. The whole day my mom kept saying, "Becca, just try to be happy! Why don't you put some makeup on or put on some nice clothes." I was like, "Um, we're packing and I'm not going anywhere today. So why would I?!" She was just acting super retarded. lol. It was really weird and my sister and I kept rolling our eyes at her.

About 10 minutes after my dad got home from work my mom decided we'd have an impromptu family picture taken. We knew at that point she'd lost her mind because we weren't all even home and she wanted ME to go get the neighbor to take our picture. I'm like laughing just because she's being SO dumb. So I just blurted out, "I will only go outside if Nick Harris is out there." And my mom's all like, "OK!" She drags me out the door and I glance up and he's getting out of his truck!!!!!!!!!!!!! I FREAKED OUT BIG TIME!

I literally screamed loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear, then ran inside and fell on the floor. My dad said he thought I was going to pass out. My whole body just started shaking and I went pale. Once I gathered myself together, I managed to have a very awkward time visiting with him. About an hour later he explained that he'd been talking to my dad since January and he'd just been working on finishing school and working three jobs but definitely interested in a very long-term relationship the whole time. Shocked

We were engaged six weeks later. We did the long-distance relationship for 11 months. It sucked! But we have a box filled with love letters we sent each other during that time. So that's kind of special. We got married on May 10, 2008 - just less than two years from when we met. I can't imagine being happier!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Almost 5 months...

For now, we're gonna have to stick with pictorial blogging. I'm not sure that's even a word, but whatever.... Ellie is growing so fast and developing faster than we expected. Her newest thing is "growling" at Daddy to get his attention. It's stinkin hilarious. She gets louder and louder until he plays with her. Funny, she doesn't do this to me. :)

My brain cells are not lost but they're confused right now. I feel sometimes like I now feel what my grandmother felt in her last years of Alzheimer's. Hm. I prepared myself to have postpartum depression, anxiety, etc. Instead, I just got confused. Literally. I am a very happy person, but I've lost the control of my brain. So, like a woman, I blame it on hormones. ;-)

I demand clean these days... I've only seen Ellie crawl once. But she gets around by rolling everywhere. It's truly amazing. Since her adventures of mobility began, I have to vacuum constantly... pick up and clean all.the.livelong.day. It's awesome. And of course she would discover that we had these carpet threads sticking out of the floor. Thanks for the notification, lovie! ;) She also goes around barefoot a lot now because I can't keep her songs on. She can drink a bottle of breastmilk on her own... and she's been drinking water from a two handled sippy cup. She always grabs things with her left hand. Hmm...
People who are only around Ellie occasionally don't hear her laugh, rarely hear her make any noise, actually... but she is a babbler around those she knows well! ;-) I did NOT plan on Ellie starting any solids until at least 7 months. BUT... we decided that she is so ready. And she proved me right. She gobbled up MOST of her cereal this morning like an excited little kid!! *sigh* That was immediately followed by a bath!

Ellie has eaten, been bathed, had her baby massage, and been changed. I have had my coffee, but that's it ;-) She's a daddy's girl, for sure!! And she's probably the chillest happiest baby we've been around.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's January

I make no promises that I'll keep up with this blog. Good gravy, my blogging addiction has diminished significantly since I've been married ;-)

So it's a new year. And we're moving. Yay!!! Hopefully this is our last lease until we move into a house. We'll be excited to have a place to call our very own. Until then, we're pinching pennies to save for that home.

I keep thinking about how a year ago this month we were moving from our first home to this apartment. I was so sick I couldn't even pack or clean. I felt horrible to have my mother and inlaws (& of course Nick) do everything for me. I laid on the couch while my mom cleaned our old apartment and just made trips back and forth to puke in the bathroom. My, then ten-year old, sister with Down's Syndrome would sit there and cry asking if there was anything she could do to make me feel better. So funny to remember now :)

This year I feel so much more energized. And hopefully once we're fully moved in I can start bundling Ellie up and going for long walks. I'm so looking forward to getting more outdoor time. (Right now on a 2nd floor it's just so awkward to lug the huge stroller up and down the stairs along with a 15lb baby!)

We've been gone for more than half of December. I'm SO glad to be back in Austin... we're waiting for a phone call any day now to let us know that a van in OK is available for us to buy. Hopefully that phone call will come tomorrow! (That's what I've been thinking for a few weeks now - haha)

Well... I packed like six smallish boxes today and made homemade laundry detergent. (And spent a ton of time with E who is very spoiled after being around relatives so much lately! I love that baby girl!!!)