My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ironic...don't ya think?

Since this will be my last post in 2009, and hopefully my last post of this nature, I decided to post it now. I find it ironic that the year will be ending this way, but it is very fitting I guess. It is also very ironic when you think about what Ben just went though and what they thought it was at first.

We are anxiously anticipating a new year with hopefully better health, less doctor visits, less hospital stays, and more low key news to share. That is our style and that is what we can hopefully have once again.

Since this year seems to be the one of crazy, random and innumerable illness/injury for our family, I might as well add this last one to the list, ya know, just to end the year with a bang. And then...it is on to better items of business...the posts about this rockin awesome trip I am still enjoying, and of course, an update on the baby ultrasound!

So, do you all remember my back pain??? The pain that happened the week we left to come here to Idaho. The pain that had me on my hands and knees in tears. Yeah, that one.

Well, throughout our trip, the pain started turning into attacks, or at least that is what I will call them. The pain comes right after I eat anything, it is sharp, it is in one spot on my back and rib cage, and it is HORRIBLE! It makes me sick to my stomach and it makes it hard to breathe. It lasts about 6 hours.

I have had 2 attacks every day since we have been in Idaho, so I finally cracked today and went to the doctor.

The verdict.....gallbladder. Yup, you got it right, gallbladder.

The doctor is 90% sure.

So, when I get home, I get to have two ultrasounds. One fun one for the baby, and one for the gallbladder.

We may just end up starting the new year, or ending the old one (as I will be thinking of it) with yet another random, out of the blue and unforeseen surgery.
I guess we will know soon enough.

For now, in order for me to make the 11 hour drive home safely, with only minimal pain, I am on a diet of carrot sticks and fat free saltines. Ha! The only food that will not cause an attack that will make me unable to drive, according to the doctor. Go me!

Anyway, there it is. Another Maynard medical mystery, and hopefully the last.

I have not let the pain ruin the trip though. We truly have had a GREAT time and it has been nice to have so much help when the attacks get really bad. I am so glad I am here, and I am REALLY excited for the New Year festivities tonight. Bowling and of course, the annual tree burning!!!!! (pictures coming soon) Time to blast in a new year and blast out 2009.

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hello From Pocatello!

Hey everyone,
We have had and are having a wonderful trip here in Idaho! We have done so much, and the posts will be coming when I get home, but for now I wanted to share the pictures the kiddos got today. They are in various places on top of the blog and along the sides.

I absolutely LOVE them! I am so so so happy with how they turned out! The kids have Birthday's within 8 weeks of eachother, so we got both Birthday pictures done at the same time. The kids did so well and we brought all sorts of bribes and people to help the process go well. Mary was just like a little diva in there doing her thing, and Sam ate lots of fruit snacks to keep the smiles coming.

A big thanks to mom, Devin and Jessica for keeping the kids smiling.

We are having a blast here, and all is going well. It has been a much needed trip and we have been playing non stop. We do miss Ben so much though.

More posts about the trip coming soon (and one of them will be an update on the big 19 week ultrasound I will have right when I get home). Stay tuned..... ;)

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It is FINALLY here!!!!

Tonight, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.

Tomorrow morning we will get up, pack our bags, pack our gifts, pack our dog, pack ourselves, and jet out of here.

And no, we don't know how the heck we are going to pack the car. It should be interesting. Neither of us are in any condition to lift anything more than a pill to our mouths.

I have been counting down the days for what seems like forever. I don't see my family much, so when the time comes for a trip to Idaho, I can't help but grin (and grin and grin). And this trip will be awesome! We will be spending quality time with Ben's family, and mine.
We will celebrate Mary's 5th Birthday with all of her cousins, a trip to build a bear, and a grand ol' party with fun games. We will celebrate Christmas Eve with my family and all of the wonderful traditions that go along with it. We will celebrate Christmas Day. Ben and I will celebrate our 6th anniversary. We will celebrate the end of this year and the beginning of the next with lots of family, friends and fireworks. We will see tons of family and friends, we will play games, we will eat too much, we will stay up late, we will watch movies, we will laugh, we will love, we will share, and we will soak it all in.
I will stay an extra week with the kids and have some fun time with the fam. I plan on getting my mullet finally fixed (if that is even possible), shopping, seeing my life-long friends, visiting BYU-I and the memories that come with it, hangin' with my mom, sister and sister-in-law, making something cute and crafty, laughing at my brothers until I can't laugh any harder, and getting some much needed rest and relaxation.
I have no doubt that Mary and Sam will have a blast. They always do.

Getting to Idaho may be a challenge, but hey, what's new.

My back continues to get worse and worse. I can't even describe the pain I am in, and have been in. I ended up calling Ben in tears today because the pain was literally unbearable and I was on my hands and knees. I was up most of the night as well. I took some percoset, and that didn't even totally kill the pain. Morphine is the only medicine stronger, and that is not an option....yet. I went to the chiropractor today. I had relief for about 20 minutes when he almost boiled me to death with a heat blanket, but no answers. He can't do some of the tests and X-rays because I am pregnant, but he did have some guesses. One guess was kidney stones. When he said that one..I burst out laughing. How ironic would that be! I am almost 90% sure that is not the case. But it was a good guess. Can you imagine, Ben and I both having kidney problems in the same week! From the severity of the pain, I feel like something is going on with a nerve or a disk, but who knows. I just want it to go away, and go away now.

The 14 hour car ride will be VERY interesting. Once we get to Idaho, I plan on going to another chiropractor or just straight to the ER so someone can just knock me out. who knows what Ben may be feeling like. I don't really want to go there right now.

Ben is getting better, but not 100% yet. He is off the heavy drugs, so he can officially drive safely now. He is still very fatigued though. His body has been through a lot. Mary asked me the other day why Ben was walking like a sloth. I fell into fits of laughter and then got serious and showed Mary Ben's scars. She understood after that.

Aren't we quite the pair! Go us.

So, we may end up taking 20 hours to get there, but by all means, we will get there. We may not be in once piece. Ben may look like he just got out of a gang knife fight, and I may have to crawl for two weeks, but we will get there. We have to get there. We must get there. If there was ever a time this year for things to go right for us, this would be it. WE NEED THIS TRIP and we will get there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Maynard's...doin' our thang. (Christmas Card included)

*Please pause the playlist on the right hand side of the blog before viewing this post...and turn the volume up!!!


After my tirade yesterday, I will say that things are a little better. My back is still incredibly painful, but the muscle relaxer (that I take when the kids are watching a movie) and the heating pad are helping a little. Ben is also slowly improving. After a crappy week, I am trying to cheer up and get in the Christmas mode again. I decided to make our Christmas card in order to help me pull out of my slump...and it worked! After laughing my head off, I am cheered. Few! (Along with the fact that we leave in just 3 days and I CAN'T WAIT!)

Sorry we didn't get Christmas cards out this year, but we wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
If you have been following our blog, you know the events of our year, so I will spare you the summary.

Love to you all,
Becky, Ben, Mary, and Sam

Enjoy!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 14, 2009

And the rain came tumbling down..again and again and again

You know those moments when all you want to do is cry, but you know it will get you nowhere and make nothing better. In fact, it will probably freak out your kids, give you a headache, and leave you feeling more tired than before.

I am there. I am sooooo there.

As I type this, I am hunched over and standing up. Why you ask? My flipin' back went out on me! Yes, you heard me right, my back is trashed to the point of no sleep, no standing upright, no sitting and constant never ending pain.


Great timing huh. I couldn't have planned it better myself. Because Ben's surgery, Christmas, Mary's Birthday, our anniversary, pregnancy, Mary's breakdown at gymnastics, an out of control two year old, and the events of the whole stinkin' year haven't been enough as it is. I might as well have my back go out this week...just for kicks ya know.

I called the doctor today, after a night of no sleep and horrible pain. I won't even start on the dreams I had about losing the baby. Those were fun.
Not to mention that this is the glorious week I have been dreading. The week I lost the baby in my last pregnancy. And guess what the first sign of the miscarriage was....yup, severe back pain (the only other time in my entire life that I have had back pain). Hooray for me. And hooray for the timing of it all.

I called the nurse and they got me in within the hour. Dr. Weary must have known what my mental condition was, having back pain on this very week. Much to our HUGE relief, the baby is just fine. My back however, is not.

There is nothing severe, just muscles so tense that I feel like my back is pulling into itself and out of itself at the same time. I can't stand up straight, picking Sam up makes me literally gasp, lying down is the worst, and best of all driving KILLS!

Guess who is the designated driver for our 14 hour drive THIS FRIDAY. Me. Why? Because Ben is drugged and just had surgery. Not the best mixture for being behind the wheel.

Dr. Weary did prescribe some stuff for me, but I can't take it. Not while Ben is so drugged. He needs his drugs more than I need mine right now. Who would take the kids, take care of meals, clean the house, finish up Christmas, drive us to Idaho, call Walmart Customer Service about the calendar they lost that took me 3 months to make for someone, tame our wild kids and basically hold down the fort. I can't do that while taking a serious muscle relaxer, or vicodin, as glorious as that sounds.

I honestly think that through everything we have been dealt this year, we have held our heads high. We have kept the faith, we have continued to put one foot in front of the other, and we have tried our absolute best to keep our attitudes in check. Many of you, by this point, probably figure that our family is just one of those that "always has to have something wrong." I can assure you, after this year, I have wondered that myself, but honestly, it is not true. I can think of no other time in our lives that we have had so many crazy things happen to us, and no, we don't enjoy even one second of any of it. For whatever reason, this year has just been one of serious trial and illness for us. We have put up a good fight and we have tried our hardest to take what has come. None of which was brought on by ourselves. Fate had fun with us this year. We have been slammed.

I think this may just be the last straw for me. I am tired. I am sick of being sick. I am EXHAUSTED not only from the past week, but probably from the last six months. My ability to stay strong and keep holding on is tired and weak. My body and emotions just can't handle much more, and neither can Ben's.

I can assure you that on New Year's Eve, as my family and I stand around the Christmas tree with our Roman Candles ready to start the blaze, I will hold an extra one, just for us. Just to blast this year away. I am so ready for a New Year, a new season, and hopefully some time of peace and calm in our lives.

So, there is my post. I am sure it left all of you feeling so warm and fuzzy inside. Sorry...just keepin' it real. Very, very real. Think what you want of me...negative, complainer, scrooge, wimp. I don't care anymore. A year of this will do that to a person. I have tried, and I am still standing, sort of. That is enough for me.

Now I will go see why the kids are literally screaming at eachother for the 10th time today. I am sure this will be so fun. Oh wait, Sam is now bawling and asking me to hold him. Joy. My back will love this.

After I put the kids in time-out for the 10th time today, I take my hunched over self to the closet for a good cry, maybe a prayer, and then I will get up and start putting one weary foot in front of the other.
What else is there to do.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Surgery

Ben had surgery on Thursday...here are the details.

Why: He has had these horrible attacks for nearly four years. Lately, they have been happening at least once a month. The week before surgery, he had two. The attacks last about 12 hours and involve lots of pain, throwing up, nausea, exhaustion and flu like symptoms.

What: There is a tube called the ureter that goes from your kidney to your bladder. Ben's is being pinched off due to a random blood vessel that is in the way. Therefore, his kidney can get up to almost 4 times its normal size and has been slowly dying.

The fix: Cut the ureter and connect it to a better place away from the blood vessel.


How it all went down: They used a robot, which malfunctioned in the first hour of surgery. The surgeon was on the phone with customer service trying to fix his robot for AN HOUR while Ben lay there out cold on the table. Nice.

Robot was fixed and surgery went well until it was time to put the stint in. The stint wouldn't go in. It took a few tries.

After 5 hours, of what was supposed to be a 3 hour ordeal, the surgeon talked to me and said that they may have to repeat the surgery the next day if the stint wasn't in the right place. I begin to freak out in all sorts of ways.

Ben goes to recovery and I don't see him for another hour.

Finally I see Ben. He is totally out of it and very uncomfortable. There is a tube about 1/2 inch thick coming out of his stomach and his stomach looks like he just got out of a gang fight with big knives. It made me so sad to see him like that.


Under that patch is an amazing hole that the tube was in.


Ben gets a CT scan that reveals that all is well with the stint...no surgery the next day. We all celebrate!!! Ben gets some jello for dinner.

I stay with Ben as late as I can and then head home. Ben has a rough night and doesn't get much sleep. He does get some morphine though. ;) I try to help the kids get a good sleep and explain what is going on.

I get back to Ben in the morning. They wait until after lunch and decide he is good to go. They pull the 8 inches of tube out of Ben's stomach. Holy Moly! They unhook him and send us home.

Ben is now home and doing o.k. He has been King Itchy due to his drugs, so we are trying something new. He is very sore, but can kind of get around if he has to.
His kidney is 75% dead and there is nothing that can be done. However, the 25% that is working should be good to go now. His other kidney will make up for everything. Bodies are so amazing. He is one tough guy and I feel for him. Surgery is no fun. He is being a good sport though.

Many thanks to Adri and my visiting teachers (and to Colleen for being on call and ready to help on her Birthday). We would not have been able to do this without your help.

We are now surviving the best we know how. I am hanging by a very small thread, but somehow pulling through. I am failing in many areas (like my patience and exhaustion), but trying my best. The pregnancy pains and fatigue, last minute Christmas madness, the kids that are totally out of whack, keeping it all together by myself, and trying to be there for my husband, can feel like a heavy load, but we just have to survive one more week until we can get to our families and hopefully get some much needed rest.

Thanks for all your prayers, I know they were heard.

Here's to a speedy recovery! I love you Ben.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pictures!

A very kind lady in our ward called me up today and said that she read on our blog about our computer problems. She told me that her husband worked for Quest and would be willing to come over and check things out.

Our computer and internet work again!!!! Hip Hip Hooray for kind people who go out of their way to help another. Thank you Mike! Thank you Coke's!

So, here are some pictures that I have been waiting to post and blog about.


Thanksgiving buddies. I don't have a picture of Megan for some reason, but here are the three Ben's on the couch, and here is one of the kiddos (minus one kid) outside of a store after we visited Santa at the mall. We had a great time with them.






This next one is a tear-jerker. It was for me anyway. Mary made an ADORABLE get well card for Ben today. Mary also drew this picture for me. There is a picture of me with a big pregnant belly. Next to it, it says...
"Mom and baby. Don't die baby."



I also talked to Robin (my wonderful visiting teacher who watched the kids for 8 hours yesterday). She said that while talking with Mary, Mary imitated the cry I did when we were in the car in the parking lot of the doctors office, right after I found out we had lost our baby. Robin said it was pretty sad. I remember thinking that the kids were in the car and that I had to pull myself together, but my heart was so shattered and I was in a horrible state of grief. My efforts were in vain. I tried to get them home and away from my emotional state as fast as possible, but it wasn't fast enough.
I think the words hospital, doctor, worried (about Ben), complications, etc. may have brought back some memories for Mary. I also have been worried about the baby a lot, and I think Mary may have heard me express my concerns to Ben at one time or another. She also didn't see Ben or I for a day and has had three babysitters in the past 24 hours, which is what happened when we lost the baby. She knew it was because Ben and I were at the hospital.
Either way, Mary and I are having a talk tonight. She is WAY more in tune than I figured. I feel so bad.

These last pictures are of a "suprise" Mary made for me last week. Like I said, she is very in tune. She could tell that I was exhausted and being pushed past my limit in several different directions. There was an hour or so where I put Sam down for a nap, and completely crashed myself. I was out cold.
I woke up to these cute little lights leading the way down the stairs. When I got downstairs, the Happy Birthday sign was hanging up. Past the sign, was Sam's bed mattress with my pillow, blanket, and bear that Ben gave me when I had Swine Flu.

Mary told me that she could tell I was "way too tired," and that I needed a fun bed to sleep in. She even got out my water bottle and put on a movie for me. I was speechless and so touched. What a sweetheart she is.






Mary took this last picture of me on the bed.



So, there is my picture update. I realize that I need to post more about Sam, and those posts are coming soon. There have just been a lot of Mary moments lately, and I don't want to forget them. I love my family so much.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Child's Prayer



When I was 9 years old, my only wish, hope and desire was to have a little sister. I had three brothers, whom I love, but I REALLY wanted a sister. I wanted a baby to dress and feed and carry around. I wanted a sister to teach about make-up and hair. I needed someone to back me up when I didn't want to rent Ninja Turtles for the 20th time, or when I wanted to play Barbies for real, not Barbies being attacked, kidnapped and be-headed by army men and dinosaurs. I was so sure that if I prayed hard enough, wished on every star, and did all of those silly superstitious things like holding my breath and touching a screw and making a wish when driving over the railroad tracks, that I would be blessed with my extreme desire.

And I was granted my wish. When I was 10 years old, I stood in the ultrasound room with my mother and fidgited like crazy while the doctor looked for the gender of the baby. I think I almost cried from joy when he announced that it was a girl. I loved everything about "my baby" when she was born, and we shared a room until the day I left for college.

The other day Mary came up to me and said that she needed to tell me something. The conversation went as follows.

Mary: "Mom, I did something today that I am shy to tell you about."

Me: " What did you do Mary, it is o.k. you can tell me."

Mary: "I prayed four times for the baby in your tummy to be a girl."



Me (a little taken back) "Oh really. That is so sweet Mary. Why to you want the baby to be a girl?"

Mary: "Well, I already have a brother, but I don't have a sister. I REALLY need one of each."

Me: "Would you be o.k. if it ended up being a boy?"

Mary: "I guess, I mean, I do like Sam and everything. I just need a sister so that I can have one brother and one sister."

Me: "I think Heavenly Father will send us whatever child needs you to be their big sister. He needs you to be a big helper with the baby he is sending us. He will send the one that really really wants to meet you."

Mary: " I know. I already know how to feed and burp the baby. I even know how to do a ponytail, so he can send a girl now because I can do her hair."

Me: "We will find out pretty soon Mary, and we will be so happy with whatever comes...right?"

Mary: "Yeah, but I am going to keep praying for a sister."

EEK!

Ben and I are completely neutral when it comes to wanting a specific gender. We have one of each right now and we love them just the same. We will be thrilled with whatever comes our way. We just want our baby. I just really hope that Mary's pure little faith won't be rocked if things don't turn out the way she is praying for. She is a good kid, and I am sure she will be fine. Why does she have to be so stinkin' cute!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What's on my mind

So, I just got on facebook for about two seconds, and it always asks, "What's on your mind?"

I guess I have never noticed it before, but I have a lot on my mind lately, so it kind of stuck out at me today.

I called Quest to try to fix our other computer, but all I ended up with was a dude with a serious accent, a screaming 2 yr old, a yelling 4 yr old a husband in the middle of another kidney attack and lots and lots of confusion. Nothing came of the phone call. Ben will try next time. I also tried to hook the camera up to this computer...no luck.

So yet again, a picture-less post. Dang!

My mind is very full at the moment, and in order to try to get some sanity back and some sleep at night, I will try to empty it and get my thoughts down. Here is a jumbled view of my jumbled mind right now.

Christmas...my favorite time of year. I am soaking it all in as much as possible. It keeps the cheer in my heart. It keeps my mind on others and on Christ. I love the spirit of the season. I am concerned about some last minute gifts, and how I am going to get them in time, but it will work out somehow. It always does.

Surgery....the surgery is in two days. That alone puts a lot on my mind. I worry about Ben, the surgery, the kids being home without us, Ben spending the night alone in the hospital,the recovery, and to be honest, I am REALLY worried about the days following. I am going to be a very needed and busy person in all areas. I just hope I get that second trimester energy that should have been here a while ago. I am still pretty dead on my feet. I also worry about Ben and the amount of pain he could be in. We just don't know what to expect. Ben was so wonderful to me during my weeks of having no blood. He really pampered me and took such great care of me. We did have the help of grandma's...but I believe that even without them (which is the case this time), Ben would have taken it all on and done just the same. I hope I can do the same and be a good nurse for Ben, mother to the kids, cook, house cleaner, Christmas gift shopper/planner, trip packer, taxi driver and everything else that comes with being a mom and a nurse. I can get grumpy when I get stressed while being so hormonally tired, and I hope I can somehow do it all with a good attitude. Ben deserves that.

Preschool....I have preschool here this week. Our little co-op has been wonderful, but I admit, the last time it was here was the week before Halloween, and it was VERY VERY hard and the house got trashed. I felt like I was taming the zoo. I was dreading it this week, but today was great! We were missing one kid, so Sam was able to participate instead. That helped take care of him, and the kids were all so calm and behaved so well. We got a ton done and everyone was happy. I am very relieved. There are a great group of kids and we had a lot of fun today. They were all smiles, and it was cute to see. Tomorrow should be a good day as well.

Our trip.....We leave on the 18th and will be gone for two weeks. Well, me and the kids will be gone for two weeks. Ben will get back the Sunday after Christmas. I am so anxious for this trip I can hardly focus on the here and now. I LOVE spending Christmas with family! I will be so ready for the break and for the fun. We have fun things planned for Mary's Birthday with her cousins and for the holidays. Oh, I just can't wait!


Sam.....I don't know what on Earth happened to him. He has been such a mellow, calm and easy kid. We haven't taken it for granted. When Mary was his age, it was a very different story. This past week or so, he has literally been next to impossible. He yells, hits, throws toys all over the house..just to make a mess, he throws fits, won't eat anything and refuses to sleep in his bed. It has been unbelievable! It is like the terrible 2's hit right before he is to turn 3. It has been very trying on my exhausted and pregnant body. I am a clean freak, and the messes he makes all over the house all day have me cleaning and going up and down the stairs all day long. Add in the fits and the constant teasing with Mary, and I am wasted physically and mentally. I really hope this is some weird phase that will magically end on Thursday when Ben has surgery. I can tell, deep down, that he is still the sweet, soft-hearted little Sam, I just wish he would let it out. I want my little Sammy back.

The baby...my mind is always on the baby, always. I am 14 weeks along. Aside from being so incredibly tired, the pregnancy continues to be wonderful compared to the previous three. I am hoping to be able to feel the baby move in the next few weeks. Then, I can finally relax and know the baby is o.k. without relying on getting the heartbeat at the doctor appointments. If it is anything like the last ultrasound, this baby will be a serious wiggle worm, and I will be thrilled. I am starting to pooch a little and my jeans are getting snug. I don't know if others can see it yet (Ben says not quite yet), but I can sure feel it. My tendons are also acting up like crazy. This is new to me, and quite painful, but I will gladly take it over nausea. I am so anxious to have this baby in my arms, I actually find myself day-dreaming about it a lot and feeling baby hungry very very early for me.


O.K. I know this last one sounds so silly, but it is actually a huge weight on my shoulders. I HAVE to clean the dang house before Thursday and I have absolutely no energy to do so. I just know that having a nice, clean and organized house will help us all get through the next week a little better. I will have so much going on, and I will just feel more organized and fresh with a clean house. For whatever reason, I am just avoiding it like the plague. I just can't get the energy to want to clean, but I really want the house to be clean. Blah! Tomorrow will be the day. I will enlist the family and we will get it done, and it won't be that big of a deal, and it will all be fine. I am just dreading it and the energy it will take. Go ahead and laught now...I won't be offended.

So, there you have it. Those are the main things on my mind this week. Of course, I could keep going, but this is enough.

Oh yeah, I should update. The mouse problem is officially over! We haven't seen, heard or smelled a mouse in our house in a month or so. We won! bahahahahaha! So long Eddie. Sorry Oreo, who continues to get out and search for her lover. We killed a total of over 30 mice in about 4 weeks. Crazy. VICTORY IS OURS!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A shock of an appointment; literally.

I had my 13 week check up today. As usual, I was very nervous. This appointment I was more than nervous, because it will be the time between this appointment and the next in which I lost the baby last time. As the weeks inch closer, I keep thinking about how much closer I am getting to the 16 week mark,and I just can't believe I lost a baby that far along. But, it also makes me believe more than ever that it can and does happen...not matter the odds. I will be in Idaho that week, and hopefully having so much fun that I won't have time to freak out.

When I got there today, I was taking nice deep breaths, and found myself pleasantly relaxed. I had to bring Sam with me, but he was being really good. I was finally getting my act together in that office. Hooray for me!

My blood pressure was normal, and I was proud of myself for being so relaxed this time.

Then came time to find the heartbeat.

I was in the same room, with the same nurse (who I love), at the same time of day, as I was in June. I swore I would never go to that room again, but I was there. It was the only open room.

She could not find the heart beat.

The nurse searched and searched. She had me move around a little. Nothing. She told me to relax. Nothing. She got my heartbeat, I got excited, but it was only my heartbeat..getting faster and faster and faster. Nothing from the baby.

Then, after a LONG time and lots of silence, the nurse asked me the question that she asked me in June, but this time, I knew the meaning behind it. "Did you go to the bathroom before you came, maybe your bladder is just full." In other words, I cannot find the heartbeat, and I am trying anything at this point before I get the doctor and do an ultrasound.

I didn't answer the question. The tears had started flowing and I was biting my lip off trying not to start completely bawling.
The nurse looked up at me while I brushed at my eyes, and without a word, kept looking.
She continued to try for another minute or two in vain. My whole abdomen was covered in goo from the doppler thingy. She was looking everywhere and pushing very hard. The look on her face was the same look I have seen before. It did not help the tears.

A million things went through my mind as I lay there and cried. Why me? Not again? My heart can't handle this. How will I tell Ben (who is in the middle of another Kidney attack today). I can't do this.

And then the words that I thought I was dreaming were said. "I got it...wait a minute, no...yes, hang on....ah, there it is. There is your baby's hearbeat! How about that. You can dry your eyes dear. Take some deep breaths and relax. Your baby is here and doing just fine. That is a nice strong beat. Wow, I was getting nervous there, that sure took a while." (you're telling me)

And there it was. The whooshing sound that sent waves of relief flooding through my body that was totally in shock at that point. The nurse let me listen to it as long as I needed to in order for me to calm down and really believe. I think she was taking deep breaths and saying prayers of thanks right along with me. The relief in her eyes was very obvious.

I almost demanded an ultrasound to prove that it was real, but I held back, even though he nurse was more than willing.

Dr. Weary came in after that and apologized for me having to go through that. He said that at 13 weeks, the heartbeat can sometimes be hard to find. He felt really bad though and made sure I was o.k. several times before I left.

We made small talk for a long time about Ben's surgery, our trip, Dr. Weary's crushed hand and his fall from the ladder, ect. He brought up the miscarriage and asked me how I am mentally doing from that and about similarities and differences with this pregnancy. He even asked me what my heart was telling me about this pregnancy and baby. It was nice to just talk for a while. I think he was letting me recover, but it was really nice.

The best part....my ultrasound is scheduled for the week I get home from Idaho! Yippee! It feels good to have it on the calendar.
The one where they tell us the gender and look at everything going on with the baby. We meet with Dr. Weary right after to discuss the results. I am really excited to see my little jellybean again. Of course, I am nervous for the whole thing. I know now, with all of my heart, that to form a whole and perfect baby takes a miracle. I don't know what the ultrasound will bring (and normally I don't think twice about it, except for the gender...not the case this time), but I just want to see my baby and the heartbeat. That is what matters to me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Good times, Good people, Good food

Our computer that we download our pictures onto isn't working right now, so you are stuck with words for this post, sorry. I will will keep it short in hopes that people will actually read a post without pictures. We will see.

Thanksgiving was a ton of fun. We had a good friend, Ben, and his wife and kids stay with us. We haven't seen Ben for years. I met him the same day I met my Ben. Crazy!
I experienced the best summer of my life with these Ben's, and it was great to talk about one hilarious memory after the next. I can't believe we got any studying done that summer. If I were able to re-live any time in my life, before I was married...that summer would be it..hands down.

They got here on Wednesday and left Sunday morning. We talked, went to Garden of the Gods, shopped, talked, watched our kids go nuts, watched movies, talked, ate good food, and had a great time.

Thanksgiving was really nice. We had "the good neighbors" over to join our group. The 5 kids under the age of 5 behaved well for the most part, and we had a good time. The only major accident was when Mary decided to try a front flip over the kids table in order to get to her seat. You can imagine how that ended up.
The cooking was really easy this year, and there really wasn't any stress. It all worked out great! Mel's homemade pumpkin pie was the hit of the day. Yummy!

I have a picture of the three Ben's (my Ben, my little Benjamin Samuel, and Ben Caswell) , and it is so cute, but I guess it will come later. Dang.

Ben's wife Megan, my best friend Katie and I shopped our brains out on Black Friday. We got up at 3:30am (I had been in the bathroom puking since 1:00am with this random stomach bug) in order to get two very specific items that I HAD to get. The deals were just too good not to try to get. It was a very close call, but we got them!!!! Oh my goodness, I can't wait for Ben, Sam and Mary to get these gifts. We scored big time and came home with a Pathfinder loaded to the bursting point and grins plastered to our faces. It was an absolute BLAST!

Megan and I were dead on our feet after the 5th store, but I honestly think Katie could have gone all day. She is a crack up. Megan had her things taken from her at one point and put back on the shelf. By the time she could get to them, they were gone. I felt so bad! She was a good sport...but still. Not cool! It was fun to get to know her and her cute little boys. We miss them already.

Monday was a shocker when all of the sudden Ben was back to work, I was here at home standing in the middle of the aftermath of our fun, and life went on. We did get our Christmas tree though and our house smells wonderful! We are decorating it tonight. The spirit of Christmas is in the air and we are all so excited to get ready for it the next few weeks and we are really looking forward to being with our families.

I have a doc. appt. tomorrow and of course, I am a nervous wreck. I automatically plan on finding out that there is no heartbeat and I go through the motions in my head of how I will still try to make the holiday fun for the family. I wonder if the anxiety will ever end. I will be glad to have the appt. over with and to hopefully have some peace of mind.

Ben's pre-op appt. is also this week. We are hoping to find out more details about just how long the recovery will be and why the surgery takes 3 hours. I am kind of nervous and not sure of what to expect. We do know they are going through his stomach and working their way back to his kidney. That may be what will take so long. I am trying to arrange things so I can be with Ben before, during and after the surgery. I don't know if I will be able to stay the night with him though. I just hope it all goes well. I am not a fan of the unknown. I think he is a little nervous too.

So, there you have it. My very wordy post. I will try to get pictures up soon. I have a great one that I took of a "suprise" Mary made for me the other day. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Answers, and yes....surgery

Ben got into a kidney specialist and we FINALLY got some answers to these horrible attacks he has been having for the past four years. Lately they have been closer together and more severe. It has been so sad to watch and so painful for him to go through. We were so sure it was his gallbladder...wrong.

There is a tube that runs from your kidney to your bladder. In Ben's case, he has a random blood vessel in the way of that tube (from birth) that is pinching the tube and causing his kidney to lose function and slowly die. Yeah, kinda scary.

His kidney is more than double the size of his other one, and it is only functioning on about 25% of what it should be doing. Not good.

So, he has surgery scheduled for December 10th. Yup...two weeks away. 8 days before we drive to Idaho. The doctor wants to get down to business before any more damage can be done.
It will be a three hour surgery and he will stay overnight. The recovery is roughly two weeks before getting back to normal living.

It is kind of funny actually. Just the other day, we were driving past the hospital, and I told Ben that I hoped the next time we had to be there would be for the birth of this baby, and not for any other scary or terrible things. ha!

Neither Ben or I have ever had surgery or anything really major happen to us up until this year. We have both been pretty dang healthy people our whole lives. Now we are both spending the night in the hospital and going through surgery just 5 months apart. This is a year we will NEVER forget, but in some ways, wish we could.

They will be re-routing the tube that is blocked by the blood vessel. They are going to cut it and re-attach it to the other side of his bladder. Hopefully this will fix the problem and allow his kidney to shrink back to normal and start to heal.

We are happy to have answers. It stinks that it has gotten this bad, but at least there is a solution. It is also a good thing that we didn't discover it too late. That would result in him losing his kidney because, well, it would be dead.

It isn't a crazy huge life or death surgery, but it is no small thing either. It is a big deal to us. We are both nervous. I just hope all goes well and that Ben has a full recovery and never has to go through another attack again!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reflections From A Thankful Heart

Thanksgiving is in just two days! I really love this holiday. Not especially because of the food, even though it is great, but I just like the feeling that comes with it.

There are so many things I am thankful for, but each Thanksgiving, I like to look back on the last year and think of the things I have learned to be even MORE thankful for.

So, here is my list of things I am more thankful for this year.

#1 Health....I don't think I need to elaborate on this one. Let's just say that the weeks I am completely healthy are gems to me.

#2 Insurance/Ben's job.....these things have been literal lifesavers for us this year. I am extremely grateful for both of them.

#3 Good friends....I spent a good 14 months without a good friend to be seen. That was right before we moved here. It was terrible and so lonely. We moved here and BAM...friends everywhere! I cherish all of my wonderful friends near and far. My friends have been a great source of happiness and support for me. I thank the Lord every single night for blessing me with so many wonderful people in my life.

#4. Visitors....I only see my family twice a year. My parents were never able to come visit us when we lived in California, and up until June, they hadn't been here either. This can be so hard for me. I am very close to my family and I get lonely for family easily. My mom was able to come here in June and stay for a week. Even though I don't remember much of it, she left her spirit here and our home feels more like home knowing that mom was here. Jolene also makes frequent visits to our home, and we look forward to each and every one like it was Christmas!
I LOVE having company in our home and it always leaves our home feeling happier and more full of love. I am so thankful for visitors.

#5. Ben....yeah I know, everyone says their spouse, but Ben has been my rock this year. We have had some great times together, lots of laughter, some rough times, some tears, and some wonderful bonding experiences. I feel closer to him than ever and I am so thankful for such a supportive, loving and always so tender husband.

#6. A home....this is our first home we have lived in since our marriage, and I absolutely love it. I love driving right into the garage, having a yard, having so much space, and having a cute home to decorate. It has been so much fun. I am very Thankful for a home, and especially the one we have now. I love the location, the ward we are in, the neighbors, the cute little porch, and just the whole package.

#7. Blogging, facebook, email, ect.....As mentioned earlier, I don't get to see family much, or my friends back home. It has been wonderful to feel so in touch with everyone via "cyber world." I am grateful to be able to reconnect with old friends, keep up with the new and current, and feel like I know what is going on with everyone on the days where I feel so far away. It is a great way to stay saine and somewhat adult while living in "kid world" 9 hours of the day.

#8 Pregnancy...I have never been a fan of pregnancy. I am a huge fan of what you get out of it in the end, but I really do not enjoy the journey. It is so uncomfortable.
Now, I don't take much for granted. Hearing the heartbeat is all the really matters to me now. I am VERY thankful to be pregnant at this time and I am also thankful for a wonderful and caring doctor who has been there through it all.

So there it is folks. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Peace. Love. Happiness. And Pumpkin pie!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Happened?

Lately, I have looked at my "little" girl that will be turning five exactly a month from today, and I ask myself..."what happened?"

The past few months, Mary has really grown up in a lot of ways. She is in a "do it yourself" phase, and it involves everything. Truly.

For example...



Mary frequently gets Sam ready for bed. We don't ask her to do this, she just does it. She gets his clothes off, puts them in the dirty clothes. Gets his night time diaper on him. Puts his p.j.'s on him, and sometimes she even puts toothpaste on his toothbrush for him. ha!

She can actually clean her room. She organizes all of her toys, hangs up her clothes, and even sorts things by type or color. It is not the normal, put stuff in the closet or under the bed. She truly cleans her room to the point where I don't have to do any "touch-ups." It is great.

We took the training wheels off her bike the other day, to teach her how to ride her bike. Last night, she wanted them back on. Ben and I were busy, so we told her to wait. An hour later, we went to the garage. Mary was out there with the tool box, and the tools. She had literally screwed her training wheels on all by herself. It was amazing.

We took her skiing for the first time this season. She rode the chair lift for the first time and did great. Ben was so excited. I took a picture of it, but I guess the camera or my fingers were too frozen by that point.



When JoJo was here, there was a day I was not home when they came back from gymnastics. Jolene said that Mary set the table, got out the peanut butter, jelly and bread and made lunch all by herself. Crazy! She has done this SEVERAL times since then.


Getting out lunch items.



Making hot cocoa "almost" by herself. We have to draw the line when there is boiling water involved.





(above) Today's lunch set up and made by Mary.


She is really into art right now, but she wants no help. She has come up with some very creative projects. I love the ones where she spells stuff without help. I don't have the heart to correct her yet. It is just too cute.


She is now doing her own hair. The ponytail is her favorite, which is just fine with me, because I don't have to battle her anymore about me pulling too tight.

She gets her own snack out while I am laying Sam down for his nap. Sometimes this means dragging the stool over to the pantry, climbing the shelves and then getting the food she needs. She will then put her own DVD in for quiet time, make her own little bed, and settle down until I can get back to her.

She is really into playing "store." This weekend, after helping at a craft botique, we came home, and Mary set up her own Lemonade stand. She made the Lemonade herself and the signs. It cracked me up.






My favorite part are the signs. She writes it exactly as you say it.


She teaches Sam all sorts of tricks. Today, it was how to slurp your long spaghetti noodles. She has also taught him the splits, how to do a bridge, how to get his socks off, and how to open the sliding door. She is also in the process of teaching him how to get in and out of his carseat himself.


She gets herself dressed everyday, and spends a good amount of time "accessorizing" at her "Diva Corner" in her room. I must say, she can match like none other. I was not that way as a child, and I LOVE the fact that Mary has such a great balance of being girly, sporty, fun and dirty and pretty.



While grocery shopping, Mary makes her own list before hand (of things she knows I will "happen to forget") and she brings it to the store with us. She usually gets the produce for me, and makes sure I never forget to put money in the red bucked outside by the bell man.

Lately, she is very into how the car works. I honestly think, if she was tall enough, she would know enough to be able to drive.

She tells Ben and I if we don't match, or if our shirts aren't "cute."

She has asked me several times if she can help feed, change and rock the baby when it comes. I believe she really will do all of these things too. My answer is always..."you bet!" And yes, she has now learned that the baby does not come out the belly button. It is much earlier than I wanted her to know, but she would not let it go. I pray that she doesn't start asking about Santa in too much detail.

When JoJo was here, we had a really warm week. Jolene was planning on it being a lot more cold, so she only brought a few t-shirts. She ended up having to wear the same shirt two days in a row. I didn't notice at all, but I guess that afternoon, Mary walked into her room where JoJo was, and without looking up, or really even talking to anyone in particular, she sighed and said to herself in a matter-of-fact kind of way "same shirt," and continued on her way.

I still can't think about that without laughing my brains out.

This last Sunday was the primary program. Mary knew her part forward, backward and inside out, but that isn't what mattered to me. I just hoped that she would be able to stand there and actually talk.

She surprised us all by standing tall, looking at us, and saying her part (with some help due to stage fright). I was a very proud parent at that moment. That is a BIG DEAL for Mary. She can be so shy in public and she HATES attention (I wonder where she got that from). She did a great job.

She has been in a gymnastics class with 5-6yr olds since August. The coach was very worried about "maturity" level and Mary being able to jive with the older girls. I just talked to the coach today about Mary's progress, and they are very pleased with Mary's ability to get along with and keep up with the other girls. I am very proud of her. There have been some tears shed because of the difficulty of the class, but no tears about not getting along with the other girls. In fact, they have a blast out there talking, giggling and comparing nail polish and earrings (and working their buns off). No one notices or talks about the age gap. She still loves the sport, and comes out grinning every day. She has been a good team-mate and friend.


I could go on and on and on about all of her do-it herself things she has been doing, but I guess my point is that my little girl is a not so little girl anymore. It is bitter/sweet to me. There are a lot of perks to it all, but it also makes me a little sad.

It is giving me hope that there will actually be a time in our lives, where the kids will be able to fend for themselves, and I will be able to focus on other things about them aside from the physical non-stop tending to and caring for. It will be so wonderful.

At the same time, I am also beginning to feel the pain of not having a rewind button.

Like I said...bitter/sweet.

I am so glad she still loves to snuggle with me at night, and she still has a her little chubby hand for me to hold.

I don't care what anyone says if girls or boys are harder, more emotional,less emotional, better, worse, smarter, slower,blah blah blah. Oh, that is so annoying. I have one of each, and I love them just the same. And their differences are what make them so special. People are constantly asking me which gender is easier and what gender I am hoping for. I will be perfectly content with either gender, because I love both the same. Each gender has special perks and sweet blessings that come with them.

I love my little girl with all of my heart and she is my precious little buddy forever. I am glad I have such a fun little helper by my side. Why, oh why do they have to keep growing?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bliss!

So, in my last post, I elaborated a little on my "walking hormone" slump I have been in. Life had just seemed so blah, lonely and slow lately. Not to mention, my moods have been ALL over the place this pregnancy like never before and the exhaustion has been at its absolute worst. It is incredible.


I have almost hit the 12 week mark, and I have to say that these past few days, life seems SO MUCH BETTER! I can feel the energy slowly seeping back into me. I am still very tired, but I am not dead on my feet. The dreams have calmed down, so I am actually getting a good sleep. It is really nice. I am feeling a lot more ups than downs, and if it all goes as it usually does, my moods and my hormones will be right back to normal within the next week or two. Luckily, with my past pregnancies, I am not a walking hormone the whole nine months. I am grateful for that. Three months is bad enough. I am already feeling a drastic change and it is WONDERFUL!

I am going to have a rockin' awesome girls night out tomorrow night with great friends. We all seem to be overdue for some girl party time. We are going to New Moon, and I am very very excited.


Ben and I are going on a date, yup, an official pay a babysitter, do something fun, eat something yummy, just the two of us, date on Saturday night. Ben is planning it, and I am really excited to just spend some good time alone with him. His schedule with work and school has been CRAZY this past week or two, and it seems like we don't have a moment to talk or just to "be." That will be slowing down now, much to my joy and his relief.


Our date will be just after taking Mary snow skiing for the first time this season and then seeing Shaina, a good friend who is in Denver right now. ;)

Next week, Ben has no early morning meetings and way less late night conference calls. We have friends coming from out of town to spend Thanksgiving with us, and the good neighbors will also spend Thanksgiving with us. It is going to be a week of fun and celebrating. My best friend in the whole world is also going to be here and will be shopping Black Friday with me. That in and of itself, is an experience. I went for my first time last year, and it was a blast. I get a kick out of all of it.


I am buying the beginning of all of our Christmas/Birthday presents today, and I am SO excited. The lists are done, now is the fun part. I am a major gift giver. It is my love language. So, I absolutely love Christmas shopping and planning.

In about a week, our house will be all things Christmas...including the tree. WAHOO! I caved in early this year, and the Christmas music is already playing. It is taking all restraint necessary for me not to put all of the decorations up right now. We just have some dang cute Thanksgiving stuff out right now, and it would be weird to take it all down before Thanksgiving.



AND

I found an incredible deal for Ben to get a plane ticket back home after Christmas (to get back to work) so I get to STAY WITH MY FAMILY IN IDAHO FOR AN EXTRA WEEK!!!!!!!! I only get to see my family twice a year, so this is a big deal to me. I was only going to be able to see them for three days, now it will be one week and three days!



Life isn't perfect, of course, but it is much better. I am looking forward to the next month or so. Lots of great things are coming up. One of the best things of all will be that I will be done with the first trimester, and hopefully this baby will continue to stay with us and let us know if it is a he or a she within the next little while. (depending on how many ultrasounds I will continue to have).

Speaking of ultra-sounds, I guess I should let you all know the update with Ben.
We thought he was having problems with his gallbladder, so he went in for an ultrasound. His gallbladder was just dandy, but his kidney was enlarged. His blood test also showed that there is a problem with his kidney. He had a CAT scan on Monday. The kind where they put iodine stuff in you via and IV to make it all show up better. We are awaiting the phone call any second now to get the results from that. We are a little nervous, but staying positive that it will be something easy to fix (even though it may be painful for Ben)....like kidney stones or something. We are hoping for the best.



I am just grateful that life is ever changing, because sometimes, a change is all we need.

Monday, November 16, 2009

When church is cancelled because of snow.

I was shocked when we got the phone call. Church was canceled due to just 4 inches of snow and some ice on the roads. I think it is so funny that we live at 7000 feet right next to the Rockies, but for some reason there is a serious fear of snow and ice here. Oh well, I guess it makes for some fun cozy days at home. I was so sad about the primary program being postponed, but we made the best of it, and we really
did have a very fun day. It ended up being just what the doctor ordered.

My due date wasn't too bad after all. I went through some blog posts during that time that I haven't read since I wrote them, I looked through my special heart box, and I talked a little with Ben about some very special feelings and revelation we have been given related to the baby. I ended the day with a full heart and a lot of gratitude.

Mary was out in the snow for almost 4 hours total, dark and light. She was in heaven. There is just something about playing in the snow that makes you smile. I even got out there and attempted a snowman. The snow wasn't quite snowman making material, but I did get the bottom half done. It brought back so many childhood memories.

Ben and Mary were successful in making their first ever igloo. It is pretty neat.
Most of the pictures are dark, because they finished it at night. If you look hard enough, you can see them in the igloo.






I was just happy to finally have snow and to start feeling the holiday spirit inching its way through my body. I have been battling a serious case of the grumpies lately. I am just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am also pretty dang lonely. I get VERY homesick around this time of year, and it seems that my peeps have all gone missing. I heard a Christmas song on the radio today, and I blasted it. I sang every single word. It was so refreshing.
I am ready for some action around here. Anyone else out there feel like the world just kind of shut down around you? I can't go to playgroup (due to the day and time), and I don't think I have hung out with any friends for well over a month, my family is so far away, and the blogging world seems to have slowed down as well. Where did everyone go? BOO! Thank goodness for my sweet husband who is planning a date for us this weekend which includes going to New Moon. I had planned on going to it with my good friend Mel (the midnight first showing), but midnight is not the best time for me with this pregnancy. So, Ben stepped up. What a guy. Willing to suffer through it, just for me and my boobing around phase. I am very excited.

Let's get on with the holiday parties, the movies, the goodies, the decorating and the cheer! I think I may decorate early this year. What the heck, once you feel it, you feel it. And I'm feelin' it folks! I am ready to par-tay!

I am so pumped for Thanksgiving next week. It will finally mark the end to this BLAH, boring, lonely, sludge phase I am in. That will be the beginning of the Holiday non-stop madness for us, lots of friends and family, a full house, full hearts, decorating, excitement and go, go, go. I CAN'T WAIT! I am more than ready. The countdown is on! YIPPEE!



Shoveling the driveway turned into making a sledding run for Tyler and Mary. They were all smiles.


Tyler got out his "Jeep" and pulled Mary on the sled. She laughed so hard she could hardly breathe.







Saturday, November 14, 2009

Due Date

Tomorrow, November 15th, is my due date for the baby I lost in June when I was 16 weeks along.

I didn't think it would be too hard, just because I am expecting again, and it fills me with inexplicable joy. It has been very healing.

However, it has actually been a little rough for me. It has come as a surprise really.

It is just hard knowing what could have been. There are so many pros and cons, but no matter how I look at it, it cannot be changed and I have learned to work through that and accept it.

The biggest struggle for me I guess, has been the fact that I could be having my baby any time now, but instead, I am back to square one. I haven't been that sick at all (which is a first for me and SOOO wonderful) but no matter what, pregnancy just makes me feel icky and so so so tired. This is my first pregnancy where there is a lot of cramping and very sore tendons. I will take it over morning sickness any day, but it does nothing good for the paranoia. It is a little frustrating to lie there on the couch feeling so exhausted and blah, knowing that I already did this part not too long ago, and I could have been done with it and reaping the precious rewards any day now. It has been harder than ever to look at infants lately. I haven't had any problem with that, but it is rough right now. I am sure it will end soon.

There are some good things though. We are now able to have a great Thanksgiving with two wonderful families coming over. I am SOOOO excited for that! We will also be able to travel for Christmas and be with family and loved ones. Both of which, would not happen if I were to be giving birth tomorrow.

There is also the comfort in knowing that is just wasn't the right time for us or the baby. Having the baby tomorrow was not in accordance with the Lord's will. That brings me great peace.

Another hard thing is the domino effect losing the baby has had on me. I have been sick for the majority of 7 months now with my previous pregnancy severe morning/all-day sickness and various illnesses that all trickled down from the events of the day I lost the baby. Some of which, were incredibly hard and lasted a long time, some if which I still battle along with this pregnancy. Some of which I have suffered silently, because I don't want to feel like the "girl who always has something." Mono, severe anemia (actually, well beyond severe), swine flu, ear infections, colds, aches, exhaustion, are just a few of the wonderful trickle effects. It has been much much much harder than I have let on, and it has effected the way I am handling this pregnancy. I just don't have much spunk or energy left. It is hard to deal with even the smallest aches and pains and blahs, because it has been so long! You would think my tolerance would be greater now, but it actually is getting shorter. I am down to my last reserves, and I haven't had time to re-fill them before the next thing hits. My body has been through enough to last several years, in just 7 short months. I just need time to get some spunk back, and then deal with it all. The road has been very rough, but we have traveled it.

A good thing though, is that I have been able to have more ultrasounds, which means I have been able to see my baby more than normal. I also don't take ANYTHING for granted when it comes to this baby. I am a paranoid mess, but I have a new understanding of what miracle must really take place in order for a baby for form, grow and mature in the womb, and to have it all work out in the end. It is amazing. It has brought me closer to my Savior as I plead every night for this baby of mine and try to have faith that all will be well.

I am so grateful the primary program tomorrow and especially that the theme is eternal families. It will be a good source of comfort. It will be nice to have this date done and over with. I am going to feel what I feel and let things sink in, and it will be hard (I may even have to cry in public) and then I am going to do my best to say goodbye and put it behind me.

After all, I have a new life forming inside of me, and I know and feel that it is a very special and precious being inside of me. This is no ordinary pregnancy for me, and this is no ordinary child. I have been blessed to have my heart tied to my babies heart (even if I tried not to) and to feel the special spirit inside. This child is one of hope, comfort, miracles, healing and peace. A cherished gift from above. A healing thread to a broken heart.

Thrills on Wheels


The only picture I have from when JoJo was here. Pathetic, I know. I love this picture though, because it shows the lengths she will go to in order to keep the kiddos happy. Such a great grandma.


Yesterday, Ben had a good chunk of time off work, so we pulled out the bikes.
He got Mary's bike all fixed up, I added a cute little bell to it, and we TOOK OFF THE TRAINING WHEELS.
I always picture learning to ride a bike as being some quality daddy and me time. My dad taught me and my siblings to ride a bike, and it just stuck in my mind.
Thankfully, Ben had the same idea.
With Mary on her bike, and Ben running up and down the road, she made some great progress! She did it on her own a few times, and gained some confidence.
It was crazy for me to watch her and how grown up she looked. So weird.
It was adorable though and the "lessons" will continue once the snow melts.


Getting some pointers.



Try and try again.

Little Sammy LOVES riding Mary's old Dora tricycle, but he is so small, he hasn't been able to reach the pedals. It hasn't stopped him though.
He will start at the top of the driveway, push off, lift his feet in the air and zoom down the driveway, he will turn just before flying into the road (his favorite part, my heart-attack part) and zoom down the sidewalk until he slams in a garbage can. (second favorite part, second heart attack for me) At this point he is laughing is head off.
This is the part where I come to him, unwrap the dog leash I have tied to the bike, and pull Sam back up the sidewalk and up the driveway, so he can do it all over again.
I think we did this well over 30 times yesterday.

When daddy got home, he jimmy-rigged the tricycle and we put Sam on it. His feet reached the pedals! Sam tried it out a few times, and with a HUGE grin on his face and a voice full of excitement, he looked up at me and said, "I CAN REACH MOMMY!"
All of my pregnant hormonal self started holding back tears and I just clapped.

Sam has talked non-stop about his bike and how he can pedal. He and Mary both went into the garage once it got too dark outside, and rode their bikes for another hour.
So cute.





See the dog leash wrapped around the bike. It saved my back!
Sam was so happy in this picture, because he could finally reach the pedals.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Star-crossed lovers

Oh man...the song playing is just too perfect. hehehe


So, since the last post about our gerbil Oreo, the following has taken place.

We monitored her very closely for a day or two, to make sure she was o.k. and would live, after being in a dogs mouth and being rolled around in the snow. She did just dandy.

Three days later, I walked downstairs and found her standing in the middle of the rug looking at me. She was taunting me...just daring me to try to get her. I spent the next 20 minutes catching her and getting her back in the cage. I covered the cage with pillows.

One day later...we were sitting on the couch and we heard a bang. Oreo somehow got through the pillows and was out of the cage again. She was making a run for it. Ben caught her with his amazing lizard catching reflexes (learned from childhood) in about 2 seconds. We put her back in the cage. We covered it with the sled from the garage this time.

We then discussed why she could possibly want out after the trauma that happened to her. We came to one conclusion....love, true, passionate, undying, everlasting love. It is the only thing that would drive something to be so crazy and so daring. She was in love, and the only thing she could possibly be in love with would have to be Eddy. The last standing mouse. The one and only, guts of steel, sly, clever, and oh so sneaky Eddy. Dang Eddy.

The only thing is...we hadn't seen any mice in our house for a few days, and we we hoping that we had finally ended our problem (after killing 25+ mice before we stopped counting).

Nope...the "scratch, scratch, munch, munch," has started up again. Eddie has returned.

Grandma JoJo arrived on Tuesday. Wednesday morning she announced (laughing and in good humor) that she had a visitor in the night. A nice little mouse that came upstairs, got in her suitcase, went past her clothes, ate through a plastic bag, and proceeded to munch on her herbal drink packets. AAARRRGGG! Yeah, I felt like a real winner. That was our fist experience with a mouse being upstairs. Poor JoJo. Dang Eddy.

After a million apologies and a million "it is o.k., no harm done" replies, we set out the mouse traps that night.

The trap went off, the food was gone from it, no mouse. Dang Eddy.

The next night, we arrived home after dinner to find Oreo standing in the middle of the rug staring at us. I am sure this time she was cursing us and everything we stand for. Ben wasn't there to help us with his amazing skills, so it was up to me, Sam, Mary and JoJo (who doesn't enjoy to touch gerbils, and I don't blame her). We cornered, baited, chased, poked with a broom, moved furniture, and every other thing you can imagine, but nothing worked. Finally, JoJo grabbed a magazine and the next time Oreo went running across the room, she scooped her up in the magazine. JoJo then panicked and with a shriek, flipped the magazine. Oreo flew up into the air, and somehow zoomed far enough to make an arch and land right in the cage. It was quite the flight. We about died laughing.

The sled didn't work, so we then covered the cage with a towel. Two seconds later, the towel was down and had 3 holes chewed through it. rats! (no pun intended)

Last night, we heard Eddie munching his way through whatever, and he was squeaking like crazy. He was sending his love song out to Oreo, his one and only. He was letting her know that the house was almost done and the food storage was going well...really well. What do you know, about an hour later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Oreo in a mad dash running from the room! She was going to be with Eddie if it was the last thing she could do. I could see the red gleam in her eyes.

We eventually caught her again, after a valiant fight, and put her back in the cage. I can only imagine what must have been coming out of her mouth. We then watched as over and over again, she jumped and scratched, trying to get out. The other two plump gerbils just sit there and watch her, like two little old ladies sitting on the porch drinking lemonade and gossiping about everything non-important in the world. They look at her like she is crazy. And she is...crazy in love. We put a bigger towel over the cage this time and it is out of reach.

We also caught two mice with one trap last night. Both were too small to be Eddie, but small enough to know that there is some pro-creation going on behind our walls. Eddie will not surrender. He will make up for what we have taken from him, and he is doing it very quickly.

And so the story continues. Oreo and Eddie will forever be trying to be together. Eddie will continue to get food, make his home for he and Oreo and re-create his colony. Oreo will continue to run in her wheel ALL night to get fast enough and strong enough to reach him. And one fine day (or most likely night), they will re-unite, and the world will see, for the first time in history, a mouse-gerbil baby...or 20 of them. Will they be called a mouerble, or a gerouse, only time will tell. But, one thing is certain, that will be the day we will declare our surrender and bomb the house.
Dang Eddie.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Say What?

We are having a BLAST this week with grandma JoJo here. It is wonderful to have someone to talk to during the day, and the extra helping hands during these "exhaustion" days are a great perk also. I can't complain though. I am feeling great aside from being tired, and I will take that any day. Once you have experienced horrible morning/all day sickness (three times for me), you will take almost anything in its place. I even remember one time contemplating if I would eat dog poop in order to get rid of the nausea, and I think I actually decided that I would.

So, as we were at Kohls shopping today (I am in the can't fit old clothes, but can't fit maternity, phase) grandma JoJo graciously told Mary and Sam they could each pick a toy.

Sam grabbed a little tractor truck, and I shopped around while Mary was changing her mind every 10 seconds in the toy section with JoJo. I figured she would end up with a puzzle, a stuffed animal, or some doll with a horse.

Was I ever shocked when she came running up to me with the weirdest toy I have ever seen in my life. It said "Bakugan" on the package. I asked her several times is she was sure she wanted the bauhaghan, backagon, bahooga thingy. She was VERY sure.

So, we came home with these little balls of plastic and no one knew how the heck to open them. I spent a good 15 minutes poking, shaking, prodding, picking and eventually getting out a knife and working on the thing. Grandma JoJo read, re-read, and re-re-read the package for any info on how to open the dang things.

We finally gave up just as Mary chucked hers onto the wood floor, and BANG, the dang thing popped right open! Ah Ha, that must be it. So we all continued to throw them onto the floor and watch them pop open until one finally broke. I was ticked. Who makes a toy out of plastic that you have to chuck onto the floor?

It wasn't until 45 minutes later that I noticed there were cards in the package, and I soon realized it was a game!? I read that you roll these things onto a card and they just pop open. Yeah right! After all we did, rolling the thing would open it, sure.

Alas, we tried it and whadda ya know, they all popped right open. So, so, so weird. Although, one of them pops open a little funny, due to my knife prying. oops. Go me.

I have been watching Mary and Sam fight over and over and over again for the past hour regarding who gets to play with these toys. I just can't believe it. They love these things.

Now I am learning that these are on the "hot item" list for this season and lots of stores are out of them with LONG waiting lists. Geeze, I must really be behind. I though I was going to be the big cheese mom of the year for getting Mary a Leapster. Little did I know, I should be buying these buka-whatever plastic balls instead!

j/k Mary is actually going to LOVE the leapster, I have no doubt.
It just cracks me up that no matter how much I ask and observe, I can't figure out what really floats her boat. I never in a million years, would have bought these strange plastic toys with weird cartoon people on the package...straight out of China for sure. Can't wait to see what's next.