Friday, January 29, 2010

Health

I guess I've always taken Justin's health for granted. In the years we've been married he's been to the doctor because he was ill a whopping--ONCE--in ten years. It was some virus and he was over it two days later. I'd had some issues growing up and I've struggled with my back at times over the years, but not him.

Shortly after Christmas I went to buy a scale. Ours had died during my pregnancy (not because I weighed too much, just because, like most of our things, it was ten years old) and I hadn't bothered to replace it among the bi-weekly and then weekly weigh in's at the midwife's office. When Justin got on it, he told me he'd lost 40 pounds. At that point I woke a little from the sleepy haze I'd been living in since the arrival of our newest bundle and realized my husband HAD lost forty pounds, since the baby came, without reason.

We debated what to do. We're bright, educated people, so we knew that there were many possible explanations. They ranged from his metabolism being kick started by the soda and juice he had dropped from his diet to the ominous. Some where mixed in the middle of these opposite ends was diabetes. The most likely culprit, we knew.

Assuming he had type II diabetes, we started watching what he ate closely and his weight loss ceased, easing our minds of the worry of leukemia. We had scheduled him for a physical in a few weeks and we were pretty confident of the diagnosis and that we had it pretty well under control. At my mother's urging, we went ahead and bought a glucose meter. We were sure his levels would be slightly elevated, but not a concern. We were quite surprised at how high his glucose levels were at that first reading.

He moved his appointment up to the next day and it's been a whirlwind of a week ever after. Lots of learning, tests, and a slightly different diagnosis. We're dealing with Type I diabetes. That means injections and needles and a keeping track of insulin containers.

My measuring cups are getting a work out as I measure all of Justin's food now. I've learned that diabetics don't go on low carb diets--they go on equal carb diets. We just have to be sure of how much he gets at every meal to equalize it to the insulin he takes before he eats. I'm sure I have much more to learn and we have many decisions, from the big to the small, to make.

We, as in all things, trust that God will see us through this challenge. We are making our way through as best we can, with prayer, each other, and friends and family who care. We appreciate the prayers that are being lifted up for our family, and Justin in particular. And we are looking forward to the day when his body is healed, here on earth or in the kingdom of heaven, where he assures me his first stop will be at the dessert table at the wedding feast.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

FIVE

I was standing on the scale willing away a few more of these pregnancy pounds and thinking of how much I've been up and down in my weight the past few years with the three pregnancies when it hit me...I got my first positive test FIVE years ago this month, so I've had Kate with me for five years now. WOW!

I remember it so clearly. I was shaking holding the test with two little lines. I couldn't get Justin awake and had to go to work without telling him our secret. The joy of telling everyone. It was an amazing time.

And so began my adventures in motherhood. It's been a ride full of excitement, learning, and so much more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Their Favorites

Just in case you forgot what they look like, here are my totally cute kiddos:


And here's what they've been up to lately:

Kate

Favorite food: Chinese
Favorite song: Jesus Loves Me
Favorite color: Black
Favorite game: Candy Land
Favorite toy: Henry (her female sheep)
Favorite phrase: "No matter what you do, you won't make me stop." (yikes)
What she's learning: To trace letters, sound out short words, and some very basic addition. She memorizes everything she hears (unless of course it's something we want her to know that she'd prefer not to know--like that it's time to clean up).


Gabriella

Favorite food: him and hims (M&Ms)
Favorite song: I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Favorite color: yellow, it was black 5 minutes ago...
Favorite toy: baby
Favorite phrase: "Don't tell me what to do!"
What she's learning: To use the potty (YAY!!!), to recognize letters (we have 'O' down pat), to color. She can count to 20, but leaves out 15. She knows songs that I don't remember teaching her, and is speaking in 10 word sentences. She knows shapes and colors. She sometimes struggle with white/yellow and gray.


Nate

Favorite food: milk
Favorite song: Old McDonald had a Farm (He likes Ei-Aye-Ei-Aye-Oh)
Favorite color: ???
Favorite toy: my hair
Favorite phrase: Gooo
What he's learning: A little bit of everything! He's learning to take a bottle, make new baby sounds, and blow bubbles. He holds his head very well, pushes himself to standing in our laps if we balance for him, smiles, and giggles.



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Him & Hims















Can you guess what these are for?

We're in the midst of potty training munchkin #2. Kate started with it very early, showing interest at 18 months. She has proven in all things, to be a stubborn young lady, and was finally day time potty trained just before she turned three. It was a long battle ridden process.

With Gabby, I have let her take the lead much more. She did use the toilet some over the summer and occasionally asked through out the fall. We praised her and gave her stickers. Sometimes we'd ask if she wanted to go, but progress was pretty slow. I pulled out the training pants this past week and asked if she wanted to try them. In taking her every hour, we still weren't 100% successful, but she did start getting her positive reinforcement (2 him & hims--M&Ms anytime she goes and she gets to call Gam when she goes #2). At her request she's back in diapers, but still using the toilet often. Today she asked me to go three times, plus at the church nursery.

I completely skipped the potty chair this time. Call it second time lazy mom not wanting to empty out and sterilize the chair if you want... We keep the potty chair in the van in case of emergencies. It actually takes longer because Gabriella insists on putting the ring in herself and moving the stool on her own, but it saves that transition and it helps with public restrooms. She also requires a lot of time to get undressed, as she likes to do it herself. I've started letting her go ahead of me and get set up before I go in because the entire process can take up to 15 minutes, which is a long time to leave Nate waiting or stand there holding him.

Mama's Boy





Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Been Awhile

You know you've been married awhile when you pull out a recipe that your husband raved about when you were first married. You prepare it and he says that he doesn't care for it. Oh, the things we do for each other when we're first married...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A New 'Do

I finally did it.

Gabby is nearly two and a half years old and yesterday I gave her, her first hair cut. I've trimmed her bangs a few times, but I had never cut the back of her hair. It turned out cute, if I do say so myself. It's a little shorter than I intended, but the little Miss kept turning her head back and forth, so I had to do a little extra trimming to even it up. I took off a good three to four inches of the longest layer--her hair grew in with two layers, a long one underneath and another on top, about two inches shorter. I cut the layers out so that it's all one length now.

I didn't think to do before and after shots, so here's a recent picture from Christmas time and two from last night.


Before


After

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Gone!

It's gone! It's gone! It only took 28 days, but the snow has finally melted. *Dancing a jig!*

Now we have mud. Lots and lots of mud. But I can drive down the right--not left--side of the street!

Compassion Donation @ Bring the Rain

Angie Smith from Bring the Rain is donating 25 cents per comment to Compassion International (Compassion is a wonderful ministry to children in need.) for Haiti. She's counting tonight, so if you'd like to head over there and leave a comment, please do! You can also read about her beautiful family there as well.



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Decisions

Parenting is full of millions of decisions I never really contemplated before. There are little ones and big ones. Little ones that seem like big ones and big ones that seem insignificant at the time.

They start from the moment the baby is born--breast or bottle, to vacciante or not (and when), pacifier or no. Who can hold baby, when to go out, to return to work or stay home. How often to bathe the baby. When to introduce solids, and in what order. When to wean, how to discipline, to send the child to preschool or not. If so, then where and for how many days and hours. For school: public, private, charter or home.

And they keep coming until the child heads off to college and beyond, how much assistance you give financially, do you offer your advice or wait to be asked, when to bite your tongue.

And you just hope you make more good ones than bad and that you don't mess them up too badly.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gabby-isms

I sweep wid me widdle wam on me piwwow.
(I sleep with my little lamb on my pillow.)

********

Sleeping Booty
(Sleeping Beauty)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti

We are beyond blessed. We live in a country where almost all of us are safe, we have clean water to drink, food to eat, and at least basic medical care. The stories coming out of Haiti are heartbreaking. In a country where people already have so much less than we do, they are struggling with inoperable hospitals and chaos beyond our ability to comprehend.

There are many people in need of more assistance than we can imagine. Here are three ways to help.

Haiti Donate Online





Kate-isms

Kate: "What day it will be [sic] tomorrow?"

Me: "It will be Friday tomorrow."

Kate: "Aw man, I hate Friday."

**********

Kate: "I want a sister."

Ann: "But you have a sister." (gesturing to Gabby)

Kate: "She's not my sister, she just visits here from time to time."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two Months

My little man turned two months old yesterday! I didn't get a chance to post this then because we were graced with friends coming by for dinner, but I was sure to torturer him with my camera yesterday!


Here he is with his baseball glove. He's growing so fast!

The little guy is no longer getting up every 90 minutes during the night. We are even getting some nights where we only get up once--hurray!!

We are getting frequent toothless grins and occasional giggles. He's making all sorts of fun baby noises, crying less, and paying more and more attention to what is going on around him.

He hasn't rolled himself over lately, but he can push himself to stand from squatting in our laps.

I love to snuggle the munchkin and kiss his little cheeks. He likes that too and smiles when he gets kisses.

I love you Little Man!



So snuggly!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just Call Me Grace

We're finally getting some relief from the frigid temperatures we've had here since just before Christmas. I even saw a spot of pavement on our road today, instead of the ice we've had for three weeks!

This means the mountain of snow that has been piled in front of our garage is starting to melt--yay. Once that's gone the garage can be rearranged--some of our Christmas things have been haphazardly stashed out there due to the cold and the lack of easy accessibility to their rightful locations.

All this is wonderful.

Yesterday I carried Gabby to the van because she insisted on wearing a dress for MOPS. She never does this, but it wasn't a big deal. She was wearing dress shoes instead of boots and the girls have been kicking the snow as they walk to and from the van, so I thought it best to take her out first rather than letting her walk. As we were walking, I was paying no attention to our cleared driveway. The problem was that it was, in fact, no longer cleared. The melted snow had refrozen over night and formed a nice little sheet of ice, which I discovered as my hip hit the pavement.

I didn't drop Gabby and I was fine. "Mama fell down in da snow. Mama all wet!"

I was so thankful that she wore dress shoes, so I didn't have them all three at once. God is gracious--giving my two year old a desire for a dress, even when I'm not graceful!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Difference...

My girls have some similarities for sure, but it is striking how very different they can be. When we went to leave the house, the hood of the van was open.

Gabby, who likes everything to be neat, orderly and the same, orders, "Close it!"

Kate, our adventurous and inquisitive child, says, "I never knew cars had that!"

I wonder what Nate will say when he sees something like that. Or will he be all boy, and be climbing up to inspect and "fix" it before we can answer those questions.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why? This Time with an Answer!

What a morning! I got us all bundled up and ready for a trip to the grocery. Ubber exciting stuff, I know. It was 28 degrees, which is ubber exciting stuff around here! I got everyone strapped in and turned the key. Nothing. Nada. Not even the little clicking sound. I try it a couple more times--absolutely nothing.

I get everyone back in the house...crying. Nate's mad he's in his seat and is not afraid to let the world know it. Gabby is crying, "I wanna go to da stoe!" Kate is crying, "What about lunch and gymnastics?" I'm so upset I can hardly stand it--between their crying and knowing this disaster has ruined our day and probably my checkbook. I go back out one more time in some desperate hope I can get it to start. Still nothing. I hit the lock button. The battery is so dead the doors won't even lock.

I go back in, dejected. I get everyone unbundled and call Justin. It's the first day of the term, so he says he'll be home after classes today to see what he can do (probably replace the alternator), but Kate's gymnastics class is before that. Even if I could get the car from him, I can't put all three car seats in it.

I call my friend, who has been having her share of technical difficulties. She is sympathetic and even offered to take Kate to gymnastics for me. I was feeling much better after we chatted. At least Kate would get to her lesson and I could get the groceries later, after Justin was done for the day. I always keep a few extra days of food on hand in case we can't get to the store for some reason anyway.

Then I call my mother to tell her. She lives in Kentucky, so there's nothing that she can do, but sometimes it's nice to whine to someone. The only thing is I feel guilty because I know it makes her feel bad and want to do something.

In this time, I've started lunch for the girls. Then Justin calls back. He thinks it's odd that the brand new battery (see story here) discharged over night. I leave the girls with their lunch and Nate in the play pen to go check on the leads of the battery. One of them was a little loose. He told me to tighten it and try again.

It worked!!!! I was over the moon. I got to call Ann back and tell her how very much I appreciated her generous offer, but that I could take Kate myself. I got to tell my mom that we didn't have to buy an alternator. I even posted it on Facebook.

It reminded me of the story of the Lost Coin (Luke 15: 8-10). I felt like calling everyone and rejoicing.

I believe that these annoying things happen for a reason, be it to teach a lesson or keep us from harm. Usually we don't get to see the "why." This time I did. As I packed up the diaper bag for gymnastics, I found my wallet. It wasn't in the little bag I take shopping, but instead it was in the outside pocket of the diaper bag. I would have gathered my groceries, just to find out at the check out I couldn't pay for them.

Sometimes God is saving us from a bigger hassle in those little annoyances.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Three...

I've heard it said that the change from one child to two is much harder than from two to three. That was not true for me. This has been a challenge in the way that adding Gabby never was! Perhaps that's in part due to their close ages or that I felt woefully unprepared for a third child, even the week that Nate was born. Or maybe it's just because I no longer have one hand for each child!

But I have gained new knowledge with my new position. The middle child doesn't get left out--she wouldn't let me if I tried. You sometimes have to let one child cry for a minute while you take care of someone else, and it's truly okay. It might take a little longer, but I can manage to get all three children out the door, through the grocery store and back in one piece, all by myself. I can even somehow pull off cooking dinner most of the time.

We've made some changes... We've yet to attempted dinner out. The idea of one of the kids having a melt down, yielding a chain reaction is just too daunting. Preschool activities are fit in on the fly, whenever there is a free moment. And we spend much more time at home, instead of trying to get out several days a week.



Life with three is a fulfilling challenge. I'm sure that while the physical intensity of motherhood will decrease over the coming years, there will be a multitude of new challenges. I am grateful for my little charges and pray that God will give me the wisdom (and the stamina) I need to help these little people love and follow Him.

Nate-isms

I thought I better include the cute things Nate is saying too!

video

Friday, January 8, 2010

To Tie an Apron

When Gabby asked me to tie her apron by asking, "Tie me up?" I didn't think much of it.

It did give me the giggles when she wanted it undone and she asked me to... "Tie me down."

I hope she doesn't tell other people that we, "Tie her up," or, "Tie her down!"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

When I Grow Up

When I was a baby, I said to myself, when I grow up I'll be a crazy one.
~Kate

Ain't that the truth!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Snow...again?!

This is only our third winter in Kansas, so perhaps I'll adjust, but I really don't think so! Besides, it's never been this crazy here before. It started snowing on Christmas Eve. Here we are two weeks later...and it's snowing again--for the fourth time in that period! I haven't seen a blade of grass in two weeks. Forget that--I haven't seen the street in two weeks! Or the end of our driveway--we can't clear it because of the work the city did, leaving us with a bunch of gravel and ice.

The girls have been begging to play in it, but I hadn't let them out all week because it had been so terribly cold. Today we had a heatwave--it's 20 degrees, so the munchkins were frolicking in the white stuff. Gabby came to the door nearly in tears, "There's snow all over me boots!" I chuckled. No joke--there's close to a foot of it on the ground. I asked if she wanted to come in. "No! Me wanna play in the outside."






I don't mind the snow on the lawn, really. I do have trouble with handling getting all of us out with the constant mess on the driveway, roads, and parking lots. I'm not a big fan of -12 (degrees Fahrenheit--units included for my husband the chemist, aren't you proud of me for remembering?) either. Happy winter Kansas!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Special Visit

We've been living here in Kansas for two and a half years now. In that time we've rarely had the opportunity to see our old friends. With the distance being so very far, when we do head for my hometown, we don't take time for people beyond our families. We have made a couple of stops in Evansville, where Justin spent most of his growing up years and we've seen a dear friend in Cincinnati a couple of times, but no one had made it out our way beyond our families. So last night was a real treat!

Justin became friends with his physics lab instructor when he was an undergrad at WKU. He and Chip started hanging out some. Then the three of us led music at the Wesley Foundation--they played guitar and I sang. When we got married, Chip was one of our ushers. In turn, Justin was an usher at his and Angela's wedding that fall. They moved from Bowling Green a short time later for Chip to go back to graduate school to get his PhD.

Since Chip grew up in the area, he brought his bride back for a trip to celebrate their tenth anniversary. We were blessed to have them come and visit us last night for dinner and a nice chat. Chip is a physics professor now, so he and Justin were able to talk shop. Angela and I are both SAHMs (Stay at Home Moms), so it was nice for us to talk too.

The girls were exceedingly good. Gabriella was shy, and refused to speak to our guests, but she wasn't clingy or afraid. Kate was quite courteous and didn't interrupt our conversations (a true act of grace for a child who loves to talk). The girls played quietly in the other room and went to bed without much fuss. I couldn't have asked for more. Nate fussed some, but was a good baby overall. It was truly a wonderful evening.

I am so thankful we had a chance to visit with some friends whom we hadn't seen in nearly ten years. What a special treat.

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. --Acts 2:42

Gabby-isms: breakfast edition

I think she doesn't like my cooking at breakfast...

What Gabby Says What Gabby Means

Awfuls Waffles

Ovens Muffins

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What a Decade...

What a difference ten years makes.

2000:
Ten years ago Justin and I were newly weds. The first among our close friends to get married. I was half way through my junior year at WKU. Justin was a chemist at a plating factory. We moved across town when our lease ended to a larger place with a more sane landlord.

Thanksgiving '00 at my parents

2001:
The next year brought my graduation, my first move from my home town, and a teaching job for me & grad school for Justin. It was a whirlwind. To add to that, Justin and I decided to have a baby.

Graduation--May '01

2002:
We bought our first house, a cute little cape cod, halfway between UC and my school. It brought with it a lot of renovations--a remodeled bathroom, new doors, updated electrical, removed wall paper, removed carpet, and lots of paint, just to name a few of our projects.

Our first house '02


Our bathroom during demolition!

2003:
This was a bit of a calmer year. I was busy with my teaching responsibilities and Justin with his graduate studies and research. We worked on projects around the house.

Justin at the bench at UC -- '03

2004:
One of my dear students passed away suddenly. It was a difficult time. Also, after years of hoping for a baby, Justin and I decided to adopt from Guatemala.

One of our pictures from our adoption packet--Fall '04


2005:
In a great surprise we found out that I was pregnant, the agency called off our adoption with our news. Kate was born that September. We were enthralled, even if exhausted, with parenthood.

Katherine--September 26, 2005

2006:
We decided for me to stay home with Kate at the end of my contract year in May. We left our home in Cincinnati. It was hard to leave behind our dear friends and the home where we had planned to raise our family, but we relocated to Alabama for Justin to take a temp to hire position with GE plastics.

Kate in our house outside of Cincinnati '06

2007:
We found out that Justin's position would be ending, as GE was selling off the division he worked for. The next week we found out that Gabby was on the way. God provided us a position in Kansas. We moved in stages, first to our parents' houses for a month and then to Kansas. During that time my grandmother passed away. Gabriella was born that October.

Gabriella October 18, 2007

2008:
A fairly quiet year. We settled in as a family of four here in Kansas. Took a short vacation with friends at a lent out cabin in Missouri. The girls and I spent nearly a month in Bowling Green between a friend's wedding and my family's reunion at Thanksgiving.

The girls--July 2008

2009:
Another baby! Nate was born seven weeks ago, in November.

Nathaniel--November 13, 2009

I can't believe how much has happened in that time: six moves, three babies, a career begun and ended, not to mention all that Justin has done. I look at the decade ahead and expect it to be full of fewer of the big milestones. More of the quiet life, but I know that only God knows what He has in store for us.


* * * * *

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11