Friday, May 30, 2008
I am truly married to my best friend and love of my life. And I'm looking forward to many, many more years of us growing old(er) together!
It's kind of hard to put a lot of focus on our anniversary, since it is also CJ's birthday. What a huge (and scary) surprise for him to enter our world on our two year anniversary, three and a half months before he should have!
We had a nice evening. We all went to Bugaboo Creek Steak House and had a wonderful dinner and a great time. More on that later, because there is a little story!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SWEETHEART! I love you more now than I did the day we got married. Thank you for putting up with me all these years!
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a Mom. Sure, there were other things I thought I'd like to be...a teacher, a flight attendant, even a freelance photographer. But being a Mom was always top on my list. I even decided that being a flight attendant, even though I thought it would be a blast, was out of the question because it would take me away from my family too much.
And of course, to be a mom, I knew I would be a wife first. And I wanted to stay home and take care of my husband and children.
16 years ago today, I became a wife.
And 14 years ago today, my greatest dream came true, I became a mom.
However, as exciting as that was, it was a very scary day, and we knew we had a long road ahead of us. Scary, because our precious baby boy decided not to wait the three and a half months longer to be born, but to come early instead.
I was only 24 weeks along with CJ. I woke up on Saturday morning, May 28, 1994 just like any other day. Something was a little different that day, but I didn't think too much about it. I went about my day, with plans to go shopping later for some new shoes to go with my first official maternity outfit that I had planned to wear to church the next day. I was barely showing, so I really didn't have much need for maternity clothes yet. But my MIL had bought me a beautiful red outfit, and I was excited to get to wear it. But I never did.
The morning went on, and we ordered pizza for lunch. But something just wasn't right. I kept feeling some cramping, and it was happening pretty regularly. No pain, just a little discomfort. So I called my doctor. She urged me to come in. I asked if I needed to make an appointment. She said no, that she wanted me to come to the hospital now. I didn't think there was too much concern in her voice, so I didn't get in a big hurry. As a matter of fact, we waited for our pizza to be delivered and ate it before we left.
I had full intentions of going in, getting checked out, and then going to shop for my new shoes!
The hospital was 45 minutes away. Chip was driving very fast. I told him, "I'm not in labor, you don't have to drive so fast." And he informed me he was practicing for the real thing.
We arrived at the hospital and got signed in. The nurse looked at me and asked if I was in labor, to which I answered "No." She asked if I needed a wheelchair, and I told her I was fine. It was a LONG walk to where we were going, in which I had to stop to breathe a couple of times. By this time I was wishing I had said yes to the wheelchair!
I was being examined, and still had no clue what was going on. But I noticed some very concerned looks on the nurses faces. And then I heard things like "She's complete" and "She's 100% effaced" and I had NO CLUE what those things meant. Apparently, since I didn't react to those things, one of the nurses realized I was in the dark.
So she very calmly and sweetly explained to me that I was indeed, in labor, my contractions (so that's what that cramping was)were two minutes apart and I was about to deliver this baby.
I was terrified! They explained to me that if he was born now, he only had a 50% chance of survival. However, if we could manage to "keep him in" for three more weeks, his chances would increase to 80%. Of course, I was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. So they put me on magnesium to stop my labor.
On Sunday, we realized we were going to be in the hospital for at least three weeks, so Chip went home to tie up some loose ends and get us some clothes and things we would need.
While he was gone, the doctor and nurses decided that I was in a fragile state, and even moving to get on the bedpan was too much of a risk for me. So they decided to insert a catheter.
I had had catheters many times before (due to some bladder issues as a child), and I knew what it was supposed to feel like. Once they were finished, I looked at them and told them, "You put it in wrong." They looked at me as if I had two heads...of course they didn't think that was possible. So I repeated myself, a little more insistent this time, "You PUT it In wrong!" So they checked. I saw a horrified look from one nurse to the other.
They then explained to me that my water had ruptured. Apparently, since my cervix was so thin at this point, it had managed to break my water. In other words, it looked like it was time for this baby to be born.
My husband was at home - 45 minutes away! I was so terrified that this baby would be born, and I'd have to do this all alone because my husband wouldn't make it back in time! I was just a little bit hysterical.
This was before we had cell phones. But Chip had a pager. They paged him. He had just arrived our house when he got the news. So he FLEW back. I'm not joking. He made the 45 minute drive in 25 minutes. The one time he prayed to be pulled over so he could possibly get an escort...but that didn't happen.
When he arrived at the hospital, I could tell he was as terrified as I was, and his cheeks were tear stained. But he was there with me, and I was so thankful to not be alone.
But we went through the night with no baby. My water was only punctured, so it was a slow leak, and that gave us a little more time.
That night in the hospital, Chip had finally fallen asleep in the uncomfortable chair that is supposedly for sleeping.
I couldn't sleep. I was miserable. I couldn't change positions, I was stuck on my back, with my head lower than my feet. I was so incredibly uncomfortable, and had no idea how I was going to be able to lie there like that for much longer.
I caressed my belly and sang to my sweet little boy (which I still didn't know for sure if he was a boy - but that's what I was praying for). Then I began to pray. I told God that I would do anything for this child. I told Him how incredibly uncomfortable I was and asked that if I was going to have to lie in that bed for weeks, could He please make me a little more comfortable. Then I told Him that this child was His, that He had created him, and this child belonged to Him. Then I prayed the hardest thing I had ever prayed in my life. I told God that if He wanted this child, then He could take him, but if He was going to do so, please do it now, as I couldn't bear the thought of lying in that bed for days or weeks only to not have a baby to take home in the end. But I told Him that if He allowed me to keep this baby, that I would do everything I could to make sure he was raised to love and serve Him, and would know the miracle he is.
At that point, the most amazing feeling came over me. It felt like a blanket being placed on me from my head to my toes. I almost can't explain it - it was well, amazing! I knew it was peace, and for the first time, I was sure everything would be ok.
On Monday morning, May 30, 1994 - Memorial Day, my contractions began. I knew at this time that this baby would be born, and there was no turning back. But I was at peace. I looked at my husband and told him it was time. He made the necessary phone calls to inform our family. They were at the hospital shortly after.
I was very grateful for our dear friend, Laura, (who had grown up with Chip and was like a sister to him) who was by my side the entire time. We had no clue what to expect, and since she had been through giving birth, she was a great help. My husband was the greatest support, but he knew nothing about giving birth either!
She was fantastic - telling me what was going on and what to expect. She would guide me through breathing during a contraction and assure me it was almost over.
As my labor progressed, our family would come in to check and see how things were going. It was a great comfort to know they were there.
I remember talking to the doctor who would be taking care of CJ about how big he would be. I had been measuring a little large, so I asked if he would be a good weight. She told me that I would be "lucky if he was one pound." And then she proceeded to tell me all the difficulties this child would face IF he survived. The possibility that he would never walk or talk or live a normal life. I guess they have to prepare you for the worst.
And at this point, I still had no idea if this baby would live or die, but I knew God was in control, and I was very much at peace about the whole thing.
Then I was told it was time to push. Now, I had never been in this position before, but I had always heard that you would KNOW when it was time to push. And I didn't feel like it was time. But, being the good patient, I did as I was told. I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. And nothing was happening, except that I was getting very tired. I remember seeing the walls lined with masked faces - nurses, respiratory therapists, and who knows who else, for the baby. They were all waiting. I was finally told to stop pushing, that it was actually not the right thing to be doing at the time. Hmmm...
So I fell asleep! That was the first time I actually got a few minutes of wonderful sleep since I had been there.
And then there was a shift change! All those masked faces disappeared and there was one nurse in there. Then it happened, I felt the urge, and I KNEW it was really time to push now. The nurse told me I couldn't push yet, and to breathe through it. Yeah, right. I kept insisting that I couldn't and that I needed to push! And she actually said, "Ok, fine...push!" So I did. I actually was pushing at every urge when the doctor finally walked in. A different doctor than before, because of the shift change. And he introduced himself. I didn't care who he was, I just wanted him to get this baby out! And it wasn't long before that happened. At 10:34 AM, our son was born.
Now, I had always imagined the moment I gave birth, and the doctor would hold my baby up and shout, "It's a _____!" And we would rejoice. Well obviously, the sex of this baby was the LAST thing on the doctor's mind at this point, so that's not exactly how it happened.
So when CJ was out, I remember looking and seeing that he was a boy, and I shouted out, "HE'S A BOY!!!!!" loudly enough that our family, who were waiting outside could hear, and it brought tears to my Mom's eyes.
I heard one tiny, brief cry from CJ, and that was it. He didn't cry anymore, as he wasn't even breathing. But I knew, because of that one little cry, that he was alive. And I knew the answer God had given me. He was going to allow me to be the mom to this precious child.
They laid CJ on me so I could hold him briefly. And let me tell you how amazing God is. When they placed him on me, the doctor said, "He's not breathing, but it's important for mom to hold him." And they were bagging him the entire time. I did NOT hear that being said to me, and I never even noticed the bag attached to his face as they were squeezing air into his lungs. All I saw was a perfect baby boy who I was immediately in love with.
Later, Chip and Laura told me what the doctor had said, and that they had looked at each other in fear of what my reaction would be. They couldn't believe I had not heard it. But God is amazing, and he allowed those few moments be very special for me.
(Eventually, I looked back at the video of me holding him those few short moments, and I realized he was this teeny-tiny little purple thing with a bag on his face. It's amazing that that is not what I saw when I was holding him.)
They took him away to the NICU and that would be the last time I would hold my baby for quite some time.
That evening, once all the visitors had left and the phone stopped ringing, we were alone and had time to think about what was ahead of us. It was at this point we realized it was our two year anniversary, and that we were the parents of a tiny 2 pound 2 ounce little boy, and we weren't sure what the next days, weeks and months ahead of us were going to be like. I got out of the bed and crawled into my husbands lap, and as he held me, we wept together. Tears of relief, tears of fear. There was a lot of emotion - it had been a big day! We were young and a little scared, but most importantly, we knew God was in control.
And the next 3 months were a bit of a roller coaster. The joys of visiting our little boy, the sadness of not being able to hold him for so long. The excitement walking in one day knowing this would be the day we were going to get to hold him, and the crushing let down, when there had been a setback, and we weren't able to hold him. Then the elation on the day we were able to finally hold him. And the terror on the day he coded and we thought we'd lose him. So many ups and downs until the day it happened, and we brought our almost 3 month old, 5 pound son home - the most wonderful day of our lives! We really did have a son, and he was finally to be home with us, and no one was coming to take him. It actually took a while for it to sink in for me...that he really was ours, and we could keep him!
And in the blink of an eye, he turned 14. How on earth did my teeny tiny little boy turn into such a handsome young man so quickly?
CJ - you made my dream come true...you made me become a Mom. And I love you with all my heart.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON!
And now for a few photos from then: (Sorry about the quality - this was before digital cameras, so I had to scan these.)
He was so tiny!
We finally got to hold him on Jun 21st - 23 long days after he was born.
The first time I was able to bathe him:
The car seat test: (To make sure he could tolerate being in the car seat)
The hospital photo, taken the day he got to come home - August 19
CJ and Daddy hanging out in the floor:
You may notice all the wires, he came home on a heart monitor. Almost 4 months later, in December, we were very happy he was able to come off of that!
And isn't this just lovely of me? LOL! I would feed CJ in this chair, and we took lots of naps here!
In the beginning, I had to hook him up to the oxygen to eat, as he had a difficult time breathing and eating at the same time.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I woke up this morning at about 5:30. This is not typical for me. Some mornings I will get up and say goodbye to my hubby, but then I go right back to sleep. But this morning, after I saw him off, I sat down at the computer with my cup of coffee. I was quite proud of myself for not going right back to sleep, and was looking forward to a productive day.
Very shortly however, I realized I wasn't feeling very well. Just kind of icky all over, and my stomach wasn't feeling to great.
I managed to make it until about 10:30 and couldn't do it anymore. I was feeling awful. So I went to lie down on my bed. And I fell asleep. A couple of times I could hear CJ whispering to Ruthi. I realized he was looking after her and trying to keep her occupied so I could rest.
Thanks to him, I was able to sleep for a while. I woke up around 1:00 to discover Ruthi had already eaten lunch (courtesy of her big brother) and was playing happily.
I was up, but still not feeling too great. I realized things were very quiet and thought maybe Ruthi had settled down and fallen asleep. But she was in CJ's room and they were watching a movie.
What an amazing son I have! Most days they are driving each other crazy. But when it counts, he really steps up and helps out...even without me asking sometimes! I really am proud of that boy!
So I'm feeling a teeny bit better. I still don't feel great - tired, and kind of icky, and sort of rundown, but I haven't done anything to be feeling rundown, so that doesn't make much sense. And my energy level is super-low today.
But I am so thankful for a wonderful son who can see when his mom needs to rest and takes care of his little sister so I can get that rest!
And on a funny note...I cracked up earlier when Ruthi informed me that sometimes I "aggabate" her! Too funny!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Monday: Shepherd's Pie (we never got to it last week)
Tuesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Thursday: Chicken Coleslaw Wraps (Laura had these on her menu last week, and they look very good!)
Friday: TBD - we may go out, as this is CJ's birthday and our Anniversary
Saturday: Either Hamburgers or Pizza - haven't decided yet
Sunday: It will be just me and Ruthi, so we will have leftovers.
For more menu ideas, be sure to visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
But, the RIGHT DAVID WON!!!!!!! I ADORE David Cook, and was completely thrilled when Ryan announced him the winner. My faith in AI and the general public have been restored!!
And just a few thoughts about the show...I usually get very bored during the finale and just wish they would hurry up and get to the winner. But this finale, I think, was the best one ever! If this group had been singing like this all along, I would have enjoyed it so much more than I did!
But, has anyone else noticed, as the number of finalists grew smaller...when they would sing together...there was a LOT of help from the back up singers, and this group really didn't sound all that great together? That has bugged me for the last few weeks. But last night, they really sounded good together.
However, I'm pretty sure that their pre-recorded voices were being filtered through while they were singing. Because at one point - right after Amanda Overmeyer sang a solo part, they went back to singing together, and you could clearly hear her voice (it is distinct after all) and her mouth was NOT moving, and she wasn't holding her mic to her mouth either. (And could she have possibly looked more thrilled to be there - you'd think she could at least pretend to be having fun!) I'm not saying they weren't singing live - I totally believe they were, but there was a little extra help there.
Anyway...I usually would fast forward through large parts of the finale show, and this time the only thing I skipped was George Michael singing. I just thought he looked awful, and looked like he was in pain while he was singing. And it was too painful for me to watch. So I skipped him.
BUT...in my skipping ahead... I ALMOST MISSED IT!!! Did anyone else catch it? During the commercials....There was David Cook doing the Tom Cruise scene from Risky Business. It was AWESOME!!!! Then in another break, little David did it too, but I didn't think it really worked as well for him.
That's about all I have to say...I'm just very happy that "America got it right"! Go David Cook!!!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I did a big tackle this week! Actually, I did this last night. I've been tackling all along, but haven't done anything really big, so I haven't been participating in Tackle it Tuesday. But last night I took on a pretty big job....
I know I've tackled it many times before...but this time I didn't just clean...I cleaned out! Every nook and cranny. I went through everything and threw away broken things and got rid of things she didn't use/play with anymore.
She was a trooper, right beside me the whole way. She was happy to let go of things she no longer had an interest in.
Here are some before pics:
Other play area
Disaster Area - I can't believe I'm even posting this one. She likes to bring her toys to the living room to play. They had started accumulating, so I told her to put them away. This is how she did it - right smack in the middle of the floor!
And after pics:
Other Play Area
And I didn't think to take another picture of the middle of the floor, but it is empty now!
This is the stuff that will go to a new home:
And then there was some trash too!
I also cleaned out her dresser drawers, which was long overdue!
I put away her winter clothes, and pulled out quite a few clothes that were too small that will be passed on.
It feels very good to know her room is so clean now! Yay! I was even able to clear out a couple of bins in her closet to move her puzzles to. They were under her bed before, and not as easy for her to get to, or to put back. So things are much better now!
Monday, May 19, 2008
This will be a very simple menu this week. Saturday we will be celebrating CJ's birthday, which means I need to get a lot of cleaning done this week, and I don't want to mess the kitchen up too much - lol! Anyway, I just wanted quick and easy stuff for the week, so it's a super simple one this week.
Monday: Leftovers (we have so many leftovers in the fridge, they have got to be eaten!)
Tuesday: Shepherd's Pie (I need to use up the mashed potatoes in the fridge!) ~ Salad ~ Rolls
Wednesday: BLT's (yes...again...we love them!)
Thursday: Breakfast (Eggs, toast, cereal...whatever)
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: We will either be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, or we will have Mexican, which will either be a taco bar or enchiladas. I haven't decided yet!
For more menu ideas, be sure to visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
He restored my computer settings and everything is working like a charm now...well, at least as good as it was before anyway.
I am a very happy camper. And getting my pictures backed up has moved up on the priority list!
We had a great day yesterday. We visited hubby's parents. It was my MIL's birthday on Thursday, so we celebrated it and Mother's Day. We took lots of pictures, but most of them are going to need some serious editing. The ones we took outside have awful shadows and bright spots, so hopefully I can make them look a little better.
I played around with one of them - you can see it in my sidebar now. That one was a little difficult, because I took Chip and CJ's faces from one picture and Ruthi and my faces from another and combined them. Ruthi was frowning in one, and Chip and CJ both had funny faces in the other. I wanted one where we all looked "normal" and that's what I came up with!
As soon as I can get some more worked on, I'll post them.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Nope, nothing is wrong with my kids or hubby, or any family member or friend.
Something is wrong with my very loved computer!
When I sat down at the computer this morning, I noticed that my status bar was missing. I really didn't think much of it. But then it acted up a little, and when I closed everything out, I noticed that all my icons were gone too!
I didn't panick immediately, as something similar has happened before. So I rebooted.
Nothing. Still no icons or status bar.
Panick began to set in. What about all my pictures that I haven't managed to back up? There are tons of them!
I then used the ctrl/alt/del keys, and that opened my task manager. I was very happy to discover my pictures are still there. And I can access the internet through it.
But the mystery remains...still no icons or status bar. I googled it, and I'm hoping it's not a virus. One thing I read was to make sure I didn't have the icons hidden - checked that - not the problem.
So, the panick is over, but the problem is not solved. And of course, the wonderful hubby is on duty today. He will have to look at it tomorrow, and hopefully work some magic!
I really hope it is going to be a quick and easy fix. But if I'm not around for a few days, you will know it wasn't!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Here we are:
And here is one with CJ too.
Why is it so difficult to get a picture of three people that has everyone smiling nicely and looking at the camera at the same time? Several were taken, and that is the best of them. Not the 'perfect' picture, but it will do!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Last Monday we "ditched" the dinner plans and picked up burgers and went to the park. That shifted the menu, and we never got to the Fajitas. So they are back on the menu for this week.
Monday: Sloppy Joes ~ Homemade fries
Wednesday: Fajitas ~ Refried Beans ~ Chips and Homemade Salsa
Thursday: Sticky Chicken ~ Broccoli Rice Casserole
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
For more menu ideas, be sure to visit Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
My Mom is enjoying an Alaskan cruise (with my Dad) at the moment, so I can't call her to tell her Happy Mother's Day. But I told her before she left, and we will celebrate later.
I'm enjoying my day...just relaxing for the most part. We didn't make it to church this morning. We planned to, but lack of sleep played a little part in that.
Chip was at work last night, so I knew that it was a good possibility he wouldn't get much sleep. And he didn't. But he still would have gone to church with us this morning if I had wanted to go.
But I didn't sleep well either. We were under a tornado watch all night, and that just doesn't make for good sleep for me. I tried to sleep, but I was in and out, keeping check on the weather, and praying we wouldn't have to take cover!
Thankfully, the worst of it missed us. Sadly, for many, the outcome wasn't the same. And my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones in this band of storms.
I texted Chip this morning to see if he had mangaged to get any sleep. He didn't get much and told me the decision to go to church was up to me. I knew that meant he was tired, but would go with me if I wanted. Since I was quite tired too, I just closed my eyes and went back to sleep.
He was a sweetie and brought breakfast home. And we've just enjoyed a nice, relaxing morning.
We are going out to eat later and I'm looking forward to completely indulging myself with Mexican food. I will enjoy every single bite.
And tomorrow? I start getting serious again about getting some weight off!
A few weeks ago, I sent Chip an email with a link to an Etsy shop with a gift I'd like to have. It was matching mom and daughter aprons. I've been wanting one, and when I saw the matching ones, I decided that would be perfect. And of course, he bought them and gave them to me (us) this morning. I'll get pictures of us wearing them later. Maybe now I'll quit ruining my clothes when I'm cooking!
I'm off to enjoy the rest of the day. All you Mom's - have a fabulous Mother's Day!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
He didn't have to ask me twice. The chicken went back into the fridge, and I was set!
So that's just what we did. We ate our burgers at a little picnic table and then enjoyed the evening. Ruthi had a great time swinging, sliding and climbing.
CJ asked his buddy Jake to go, so they took off on the trails that go through the park and goofed off.
We witnessed a duck fight while we were there. I had never seen anything like it. There were a few mallards and a few white ducks (I have no idea what they are called!) I heard a ruckus and then saw one of the mallards being ganged up on by the 3 white ducks. I'm not even joking - one of the white ones was holding that poor mallard under water! They were quite angry about something and were very loud about it. The two that were doing the most fighting really had their feathers ruffled! It was quite entertaining.
We were having a great time, but had one minor incident. Ruthi decided she wanted me to swing so she could "push" me. So I was swinging and letting her "push". All of a sudden, I went back and my head collided into hers. I jumped out to pick her up off the ground. It had to hurt, because my head was throbbing.
I felt like such a terrible mom, that I had not even thought about that happening. How was she supposed to know not to come closer to me? But she was fine in less than a minute and playing again.
I, however, had a headache the rest of the night.
She's one tough cookie!
She wanted to push me some more, so I made sure I was watching her every second and was ready to stop quick if she stepped too close.
We were only there for a couple hours, and we took over 100 pictures! How crazy is that? I don't know how many there were exactly, but there are 95 that I kept. I deleted all the ones that were out of focus or just not good. And I deleted a lot of them! Sheesh!
But I'm NOT posting them all - don't worry! But here are a few:
Look! I got a picture of CJ smiling!
Right after the "incident".
OK, so I don't really like this thing, but Chip was trying to teach Ruthi how to get to the top of it. He was teaching her to move her feet side to side and work her way around the spirals. She was so cute, as she would move her feet, she would say, "Side to side. Side to side."
But then she saw some bigger kids climbing it, and they were going straight up. So she was determined to try it that way. It was, after all, much faster!
She made it! (With Dad's help, of course!)
And then Chip and CJ were being silly. Chip "helped" his little boy climb up too! He didn't want him to feel left out! LOL!
And Ruthi helped Mommy get down the slide.
I thought this pic was cute. Chip took it (obviously) as we headed off down the trail. That's CJ and Jake out in front.
So, I suppose that was more than a few. But hopefully it will make up for my lack of posting pictures as often as someone (I'm not naming names...ahem....Dad...ahem) would like for me to!
(Although, since he and my Mom just set sail on a cruise ship to Alaska today, it will be over a week before he sees these!)