12.07.2010

A giant fork in the road.

Well, we are on the road to succeeding with Judah. Which means we will no longer have to worry about a tube for our sweet boy.

But with new changes, brings more changes.

Nick and I have been throwing around things for the past few months. Thinking about where we are going to go and where God wants us to be.
Praying. Praying. Praying.
Waiting for an answer.
Praying some more.
Waiting.
Praying.

And it seems like God has been silent in this matter.
I've come to realize that maybe God is being silent because we are at a fork in the road.
Maybe it's up to us to decide from here, where we are going.
There are a lot of different things going on.
So many, it would take too long to describe them all.
But maybe, right now, God's letting us decide where to go.
Maybe no matter what we choose, we will have the opportunity to do good, to be good, to live for Him.
So with that being said.

A lot of changes are coming.
Maybe not permanent, but I've also come to realize, no matter what path you take it's going to have it's rough spots.
Stay, Go, Come back, Leave. It's all going to be hard.

I'm not afraid to say that Nick and I have gone through a lot in the past few months.
It has brought us to our knees in ways we never imagined.
It has strengthened us too.
But this journey is only beginning, and there are many many difficult things in store for us.
But also many beautiful and wonderful things.

I've always known that God puts us through trials.
They strengthen us. The bow us before Him. They show us the dark side of evil, and the beauty that can come through despite everything.

So we have bowed our heads before God.
And we are listening, still, waiting for even a breath of an answer for this.
But we realize that in the end, He may be letting us make our own path at this time.

I hope we choose the one that is best for our little family.
But you know, no matter what.
I know my God is bigger than anything we could go through.
And his Mercy will carry us even when we choose incorrectly.

God bless our Judah.
God bless all the babies in the NICU.
God bless babies who struggle to eat, breathe, live.
God bless families who are struggling.
God bless the broken hearted.
God bless us.
God bless my family.
God bless Nick's family.
God bless our Church family.
God bless everyone we touch.

12.06.2010

A single soul in two bodies

"What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies."

I love this quote. I am too lazy to look up who said it, but I know it very well. A friend introduced it to me in high school when we were best friends, and now I realize the depth of what it truly means.
I'm beginning to think marriage is crippling and strengthening all in one. It cripples you, in the sense that your spouse becomes your literal other half, and you can't seem to function if they aren't around... And it strengthens you in the sense that there is someone who gives you a reason for living, a reason for being able to function. They are your strength, they are your secret-keeper, and they are your love.

As marriage gets older, it's said that you bond in a way that is unlike any other friendship. You know what the other person is going to respond with, you know what they are thinking (sometimes), and you know that you can tell them practically anything, and it's safe.
Although you go through times where you can be a little bit "snarky" with each other (lol), the only reason you can really get away with the 'snarkiness' is because you know that the love is not going to end because of an argument. The love is not going to go away because you are cranky. The love will still be there when you are feeling a little bit selfish.

I think the reason people coined the term "you fight like an old married couple" is because to old married couples, it's not really fighting. It's creative talking. (I know this sounds ridiculous). The arguments that you have, you often don't recall a week later. A day later, even. They are pointless, most of the time, and it's because you are under the understanding that it's safe, safe to argue this way, safe to talk this way to one another.

Now I'm going to relate this to God.

God is our heavenly father. He knows our tantrums and our worries and our fears. He knows how we are probably going to react, and what we are thinking before we even think it. He already knows we aren't perfect, but his love for us is so strong, is such a bond, that he will always be there. He is safe.

God doesn't run off when you tell him that you are angry, that you are sad, that you are scared. He doesn't mind when you take it out on Him, he will be there when you get back, and He will hold you in his open and loving arms.

I recall screaming at God when I was younger. Yelling at Him. Blaming Him for things that weren't really his fault. Telling him that I hated Him at one point.
How could He love me after I had treated him with such anger.

God loves me more than Nick loves me. God loves you more than your spouse could ever love you. He loves you more than you could ever comprehend. Loves you more than the first time you held your baby in your arms, more than that love. More than the amount of love your parents could ever feel for you.

Why do we think that we have to act a certain way in front of God? Why do we think we have to stand a certain way, raise our hands a certain way, worship a certain way. Why do we think we have to put on our sparkly, wonderful, perfect personality on to be in God's presence? He loves us, he knows us, and despite every flaw we have.

I saw a girl dance at a Grand Prize (Esterlyn) concert about 5 years ago. She was unashamed. Everyone was staring at her, she was the only one dancing (spinning, twirling) at this concert, in front of everyone, with her eyes closed. I remember thinking "Wow, how strange." But as I watched her, I knew that she wasn't putting on a show. She wasn't worshipping like everyone else, it was beautiful. She was beautiful, despite her difference, despite the way she chose to worship her father.
"I want to be like that." I thought.
"I want to worship God with all of my heart, unashamedly." I decided from that day that I would.

See, everyone in the congregation can follow their own set of rules, but I know that biblically, people DANCED before God. They sang, spoke in tongues, danced, celebrated, and it was like a rush of WIND, like a parade of horses, it was beautiful.

Why do we choose to dress up our love? Complete abandon is the most beautiful. Abandon your ideas, although try not to scare other people off of the idea of worship. You don't have to put on a show, that's not the point. The point is that you worship as God appoints for you to worship.
If he asks you to worship him on your knees, with silence, tears flowing, with laughter, with singing, with speaking in tongues, with prayer, with dancing, with arms lifted, with spinning, with playing musical instruments, playing drums- don't hold back what is in your heart of hearts.
God will use your reckless abandonment for his will, for good. Give your heart to him in worship, and you will see the fruits of His labor in you.

Don't be afraid to tell God what's in your mind, what's in your heart. He already knows, and he knows you to your core.
Let him stir in you a fire that the world cannot explain.

12.02.2010

Thing 1 and Thing 2 of having a baby:

Thing 1:
Turns you into an emotional wreck.




Maybe it's the insane amount of hormones surging through your veins, or maybe you feel that it's your new perspective on life, but you can't escape the emotional wreckage following (and during) pregnancy.
When you watch shows about families where the child dies or is in danger, or the parents are worried about their children, you find yourself coughing and turning your head so people don't see you crying. Maybe you were emotional before pregnancy, but for many women, this is a whole new ball game.


Thing 2:
Turns you into a zombie.




Did you have days where you got all your laundry done, your house cleaned and found your keys? Say goodbye to those days (at least for a few months). Unless you have a live in house cleaner, you are going to get bamboozled (oh yes I did) by six billion diapers, wipes, formula (unless you get to breastfeed), bottles, spit up covered clothes, and that's if everything goes well. Just wait for the unexpected diaper explosions and projectile vomiting- that's when it gets really interesting.
If you are still awaiting your little bundle of joy, take advantage of the days where you get to shower, put on makeup and leave the house. They are limited and you will miss them.

12.01.2010

7 months old

Judah is seven HUGE months old this past week, and it's flying by like crazy.
I think you finally grasp a HUGE concept of time when you have a child, and how quickly it truly passes.



We remember the first time we saw Judah like it was yesterday (it feels like it really was yesterday to us), and we remember the second we could tell something was just 'not right'.

Now we have removed Judah's tube entirely and it has been absolutely breathtakingly amazing. Judah was adorable, tubed or un-tubed, but he is especially adorable un-tubed. And the relief we feel every time we look at him is indescribable- almost like this dead weight has been lifted right off of our shoulders. The relief is something that God has done, it doesn't make sense but it's there, and it is fantastic.



Isn't he adorable without his tube? :) You have to admit, it's pretty cute.

The next part here is for mommy's with NG tubes, it's just kind of the process we went through, so that a mommy dealing with this might have a little bit of insight if she has to do it herself.

Judah was placed with an NGtube at birth, but it was never used. It was removed and he was fed via bottle (he would not breastfeed due to breathing issues) until he was almost 4 months old.

Judah would only ever eat 2 oz at a time, never more. He acted as if it were exhausting, he refused to suck, he would turn his head away from the bottle and refuse anymore. This was okay at first, but at almost 4 months, he was losing weight and we thought we were going to lose him. He didn't gain more than 2 lbs by this time.

After demanding that something was wrong with him for months and months, we finally got to see an ENT. We had seen the same ENT before, but he hadn't scoped Judah's throat. Judah was a loud breather and he had what they call stridor from laryngomalacia. Normally, laryngomalacia is not treated surgically, but his was grade 4, so they used a laser to trim his larynx and treat the tissue. I honestly wish that we hadn't done the surgery, because either way the end result was a feeding tube.

Judah was given a feeding tube 1 week after surgery when it was discovered he was aspirating liquid into his lungs and had developed pneumonia. He kept the feeding tube for 2 months before he finally passed a swallow study and was no longer aspirating.

His suck reflex had entirely disappeared in the two weeks before he passed his swallow study. He didn't really suck on his pacifier very hard and he didn't know what to do with a bottle. The speech therapists demanded he would not be a bottle baby.

I wasn't going to take that for an answer, as I had seen him suck on a bottle two weeks before the swallow study.

I let Judah get very hungry, and then I gave it a try. Sure enough, he knew how to suck when he was hungry, but he wasn't very interested in the idea of it.

We didn't opt to use thick it or a thickener in his formula, because he was not showing signs of struggling with the actual liquid, but with the sucking idea alone.

Our speech therapist, Sky, came out to visit weekly and she and our doctor had come up with a 'plan' of how to feed him. The idea was to let him take as much as he would by mouth and put the rest in his NG tube. He was supposed to eat 6 ounces every 5 hours.

He was barely doing 1 at first, and not eating all of the time. He increased over the next week to about 2 ounces, but he really wasn't interested.

We were still doing 10oz feedings overnight for Judah at this point as well. The speech therapist (Sky) and our doctor decided to take away his night feedings to help drive his hunger. We were great with this idea, although it took away his sleeping through the night, we obviously were excited to work towards getting the NG tube taken out.

After we took away the night feedings, his interest increased in eating, but it wasn't dramatic still.

After 2 weeks, he stopped showing interest in eating during the day, but he would wake up at night to eat and would drink about 4 oz 3 or 4 times a night.

He decided eating during the day was optional, simply because either way his tummy filled up at the right time. (our theory).

at just about a month after we had started, we decided to remove the tube. This was because he was eating well, but only at night, and we wanted to see if his eating habits would change with removal.

As it turns out ANY baby at 7 months old is hard to hold still to eat, and Judah really didn't WANT to hold still, but if we swaddled him (or took him for a car ride) and sang a song or played quiet music in the dark (or dim area), he would be just stuck enough to eat and would take anywhere from 3-5 ounces this way.

Judah started eating from the first day, and now on day 3 of no-tube, he has been eating around 4 ounces every feeding about every 3-5 hours. It's going to be a tough thing to get him on a regular eating habit, but it is absolutely possible and it's going to happen for sure :).

More to come.

Blessings to you and your families :D

11.10.2010

The Greatest Gift



Judah is now 6 and 1/2 months old. This past monday, we finally got the news that Judah is no longer aspirating. I cannot even begin to describe how elated I feel this many days later with the idea that Judah is finally going to recover from this. I cannot describe with words how thankful we are to God and to the many, many prayer warriors who have been blessing Judah since his birth.

The past 6 and a half months have been the most amazing, joyful, exhausting, scary and fun I could ever have experienced. When I held Judah in my arms and realized his breathing was not right- when I watched him cry constantly of hunger and slowly starve, when I finally got to see him gain weight...

Tears start coming.

I think about how bad he beat me up just before he was born, kicking me in the ribs constantly and nudging me to get out of there, I never expected him to have difficulties, not even one... And here they were. We are so blessed..

Many people never get to say 'our difficult journey is finally going to be over', many people never get to have a doctor tell them "Your baby is healed.", but we are the lucky ones.

God, you are so good.

I can't help but cry in joy, as I had been accepting and giving up on normalcy. I thought I would have to toughen up, but I finally get to hold my baby without wondering if he will ever be the healthy and happy baby we had prayed for.

God, you are so good.

For every Mommy, every Daddy, ever baby and child who struggles to eat, to breathe, to live... That's who I am going to pray for, every day. For every moment we wondered "Are we going to lose our baby?" God knew. Every moment I wasn't sure if God's intention was to heal my Judah... He knew.

God gave us the greatest gift of all. A deep compassion and understanding for those who suffer for their child. For every Mommy's worried tears.

How can we begin to say thank you for this gift?

Judah will begin the process of eating via mouth, which may take a few months to master, but it will happen. Thank You Jesus.

God, you are so, so good.

Fall Favorites :)

Alright, you ready for my favorite fall clothes? Me too! I can't buy any of these, but when I finally get that dream job, these will be mine (muahaha). These are all modest, but cute clothes for girls who want to look beautiful, but maintain their modesty at the same time- *very possible, by the way*.
Christian Styles, I suppose.

FOR WOMEN:

The first fall favorite is off of Here it is :



If you feel like it's too much shoulder for you, that's just fine because it would look great paired with a great tank-top undershirt or a nice blue scarf! :) You can find this for 50 dollars on the link above :).

Which leads me to my favorite::: Layering Sweaters



I love these because you can mix and match so many different options, including t-shirts, camis, other sweaters (if it's especially cold out) and turtlenecks, if you are one of the fortunates who can pull off a turtleneck. I found this at forever21.com for $19.80.

Now I HAVE to mention my new favorite store! It is Rue21 in Boise Town Square. Why? Their clearance is AMAZING and their clothes are too! They have many fashionable clothes for guys and girls and accessories too. You can visit them here : RUE 21 Link
Their website does not do them justice, you definitely have to browse their store (upstairs near Dillards at the Boise Towne Square).
Now, a few clothes I would buy from them:


3/4 Sleeve Boyfriend Cardigan

Followed by


Or


And


Then

And of course




















As you can see, I like neutral colors :) They are easily mixed and matched, and there's not much guessing involved. Rue 21 offers all of the things I showed you in different colors, whites, blacks, bright colors too :). They also offer fantastic jewelry and boots!

Like these~


So get in and take a look. I'll post men's fall fashions later :) Love to all and happy thanksgiving!

10.22.2010

Thrifty Mommies

Alrighty, here goes, I've been wanting to start to do this for quite some time, so here are some money saving tips and ways to get those things you may not need but most certainly would enjoy having :).

Tip 1: Sign up for rewards and get on mailing lists for local retail stores.

First of all, Kohls is the champions of champions when it comes to being on a store mailing list. Every 3-5 months they will send you a $10 gift card (10 dollars off any $10 you can spend) and you can use it on anything. Nick and I will use this to buy things like candles, outfits for Judah, Toys for Judah, Socks and anything in between. Little things we would like to have :). Sadly this leaves Kohls making very little money off of us, but we have a great time!

There is also lots of great benefits, like for example, Fred Meyer, Albertsons, places like those have Gas Rewards so if you buy groceries there, you get a discount on gas. Albertsons is amazing, you can get something like up to 1.70 off a gallon when you max out your rewards, and Fred Meyer offers 10 cents off a gallon with every 100 dollars. It can be used in one refill, but both of them are awesome!

Now then there's the spendy stores like Baby's R Us and Bed Bath and Beyond who will send out out a lot of coupons if you are on their list (20% off usually). They work well when you need a decent deal, but they aren't the most fabulous money savers.


Tip 2: Free Samples, Anyone?

Free samples are an excellent resource, as well undoubtedly know. First of all, if your starving at the grocery store, they are a great little snack, but that isn't all!

Free Samples come in many shapes and forms, including food, beverage, and even makeup and lotions! When you can't get a free sample, often they will have one at a very low price so you can test out the item before you buy it.

For example, I am currently looking for a mineral makeup to use, but I don't want to buy 35 dollars worth of makeup just to find out it's a dud, of course. So I type into google : Free Mineral Makeup samples.

What do you know, I can walk into JC Penny with a coupon from online and get a free sample of Bareminerals! http://f.chtah.com/i/2/95827765/20100210_Sephora_Coupon.jpg
I also found many $3 samples of different mineral makeups, or free samples where I only had to pay shipping, but of course I would rather walk into JC Penny and try one out for free.

This leads me to another conclusion:

Perfumes, makeups ect are often available for sampling at many stores (as long as you aren't too afraid of other people's germs!). Often my girlfriends and I will go into Kohls, or Victoria's Secret and test out makeup to see if there is any we are going to plan to buy in the future. Often, there is!

Free Samples are the greatest when you have a small budget to work with. Also if you are in a hurry for a date and can't go home, stop by a store that offers free makeup samples, do yourself up pretty and spritz on a nice smell, you're ready in a jiff!

:) More to come!

10.12.2010

Little Ones to HIm Belong They are Weak but He is Strong



Nicholas and I have been married a year and a half. We've known each other for almost three years then, therefore I think we are safe to say that we know that the other one is not perfect. Shocker! No, really, I think we expected as much. I mean, if you wait around for the person with no flaws, you're gonna be single for a long time. Most likely forever.
But somehow you find this person, who has no flaws that you can't seem to look blindly past (most of the time), and who loves you despite your flaws. That's romantic, if you ask me.
I am one lucky woman. My Nicholas is sweet, handsome, kind and loving, even when I'm a grouch from grouchville.
And I'm probably not exactly that description to him, but I do love him, desperately. I can't live a day without him.



Judah was a gift, a complicated, unexpected, wanted, beautiful, exhausting, worthwhile gift. Every day I am amazed at him, at how beautiful and fun he is despite every thing he's been through.







We're having a great time being a family right now. Hiking and hoping for our future together. Judah is now 15lbs and as cute as can be :)

9.17.2010

Judah's little life

Judah has had a rough start. Not his fault at all, but it's true.

He was finally diagnosed with Laryngomalacia about three weeks ago. What that means is that his larynx overlaps and makes it extremely exhausting to breathe, and especially to eat and breathe at the same time.

Doctor Beck (an ENT) scheduled his surgery for the following Monday. (It was friday when we were seen). Surgery went well, although they told us they would call us up in 20 minutes and it was an hour and 20 minutes later that they finally did, so I guess they wanted to make sure we were nice and worried. Judah slept the whole day after surgery (waking up only to cry and be cuddled until he could go back to sleep for a bit). He was a real trooper though, I think.

We went home the next day with a feeding tube for 'just in case he didn't want to eat his whole 3 oz'. He wasn't using it at all so I took it out (as it made him gag and puke, you see). About 5 days later he started sounding really congested. He wasn't reaching for his toys and was breathing rapidly and shallowly. I got beyond scared and drove him to our nearest primary health. They called an ambulance to take us downtown.

I guess I hadn't been listening to the 'worst case' scenario when we were excited for the surgery to correct his eating problems, but apparently aspiration and pneumonia are fairly common in babies who have this surgery. Judah was in the beginnings of pneumonia and was hospitalized for 2 days.

Aspiration simply means that when you are eating or swallowing liquid, it goes into your lungs. His was pretty severe and he was no longer allowed to eat by bottle or mouth. He was given a feeding tube through his nose (NG tube) and would be eating through this for the next at least 3 or 4 weeks. Then we will do another swallow study and pray that his aspiration is healed. Everyone kept saying "This will have a happy ending, I just know it." I know it will too, but when your infant son who is underweight stops eating and can hardly breath, your mind thinks... What if? And you begin to have a mental breakdown.

I cried for about an hour and let it all out. After that I had it out of my system. I have to tell you, hearing your child screaming bloody murder as people stab him with IVs and NG tubes and all else... It is awful. Absolutely awful. I had no idea infants could scream, but they certainly can. My gosh it is awful.

Judah has improved since the feeding tube. His congestion keeps going back and forth, but for the most part he sounds rather decent, at least today. He would cough and cough until he threw up but barely did once today.

His mood has improved quite a bit, whether that is because he is able to eat or because he discovered the usefulness of his hands and toys, I don't really know. All I know is that I have a happy baby who is getting healthy, and I am so happy to say that.

Judah is 4.5 months old.

He is 25 1/2 inches long.

He weighs somewhere in the range of 12 lbs.

Cute as a button and friendly too :)

8.02.2010

3 months!

Judah is three months old as of 3 days ago :). He's getting to be a bigger boy, definitely longer and a lot of fun. His smiles are so contagious. I'm pretty sure you would have to be heartless to not be melted by his little smiles.

The funniest thing about his smiling is the random times he chooses to do so. Like this morning, I was telling him how exhausted I was and how I really needed a nap and he smiles this big smile at me. Then I got enough energy to entertain him for a while.

I miss month one. All you had to do was feed them and change them and tuck them into bed. Sleeping, all the time. It was amazing. Month 2 and three have been much, much different.

He wants to be standing ALL of the time. It's pretty funny. Your arms go numb and he still wants to stand. If you lay him down, he throws a fit! I was surprised by this.. Isn't he too little to start throwing fits?

Starting yesterday going to sleep has been a major issue during the day. Judah wants to 'say no' to naps. Usually, if you put him in his swing, in a swaddle- with a binky in, he would pass out in about five minutes. Now it's much more difficult. He figured out if he wants to stay awake the best way is to cry and complain, and he can't do that with a pacifier in. So he wiggles his head back and forth until it is out and begins wailing his sad little wail. I put the pacifier in and he does this again. Finally, about the 50th time putting the pacifier in, Judah gives up and takes his nap.

The poor little dude is already teething. (He started a while back). I think his first tooth will be the bottom left. It got extremely red yesterday when he was complaining of his teething pains.

I desperately need to take a picture of him getting baby orajel to numb his gums. His face puckers up, like you stuck a lemon in there. It's so adorable.

So the news is that we are to start packing! We are headed to Grandma Barbara's house for a while, then perhaps to Seattle for Christmas again. Hard to believe last Christmas Judah was just a little bump. :)

This week will begin the stages of packing and organizing. Sometimes I just want to throw EVERYTHING away and start again. UGH!

Anyway. My stomach is still hurting pretty badly. Nick and I were at the hospital this week twice. My stomach swelled up and I had nausea and pain. Poor me hahaha.
Anyway, I got a catscan and things look well. I still feel pretty terrible, but it's nice to know that most of my organs look extremely healthy!

Now that I've had 3 catscans I'm sure I'm going to have high odds of developing cancer later in life, but heck, at least I know I'm healthy(ish) right now!

Even though Judah is a lot of work, I honestly can't wait for number two. I kind of want him to have a little toddler friend his age to play with. So maybe next year? Nick and I have been talking. It would be easier to plan a family if we knew what things will be looking like financially in the future.

Oh well. It's like people always say "If you wait till the right time to have a family, you'll never have a family." I guess we should just do everything at the wrong time, hehehe.

Can't wait to start paying on debt. Wish us luck in that journey!!!

6.23.2010

Recalling

I remember in the beginning my heart thudding in my chest. I have no idea what it was that made my heart beat so desperately. It's like there was a gravity induced pull on me, bringing me towards him. I couldn't escape it, even if I had wanted to. He touched my heart, the core of me- in a way I can't explain. I didn't want to be the same person anymore. I wanted to be good for him, completely and wholly and wonderfully his.

I don't know if it's the same for him, if it was. I don't know if he held his breath whenever he saw me. When he got a message from me. When he got a text... But I remember feeling like if it wasn't him it would never be anyone. I would've wanted to give up searching if it wasn't him.

Thank God it was.

Now here we are with a little boy, trying our best to raise him and help him grow without melting down or freaking out. Babies are the most wonderful and exhausting thing in the whole world. Thank goodness he's in a place with love. I could stare at his little face all day (I usually do). Every little wrinkle of his eyebrows, every little stretch and all the little changes that happen daily.

Love is pretty much the greatest feeling in the world. The first time you fall in love completely and wholly.

The first time you hold your child. That is indescribable. I don't think you could understand that love without experiencing it. Not in it's full capacity. It is a love you never knew existed. Selfless and pure love.

6.10.2010

One and a half months old! (Oh MY!)





It seems like every day I look at Judah I have to beg him to stop growing- his face is changing, he's getting chubbier, he's outgrowing his very cute clothes... It's a little bit heartbreaking, to be honest. But at the same time I am VERY much looking forward to smiling and cooing and learning to talk/walk/crawl/bounce... I can't wait to see him grow up.

I guess that's also my biggest fear. You don't realize how much you REALLY want to be a fantastic person until you realize that you REALLY want your child to be a fantastic person. How do you do it? I don't honestly know. I've seen wonderful parents raise hellish children and terrible parents raise absolutely fabulous children...

That's the scary part- you can pour everything good that you have into your children... But they still can break your heart and come out to be a bit disappointing. I've seen the heartache it gives mom's to have their children grow up to be... Jerks. There's other words but I will use jerks.

"Judah Alexander- are you going to be a good man?" He looks at me very seriously when I ask this. But he's pretty serious all the time, so I suppose it could be a coincidence. :). I guess I just pour my love into him and hope for the best.

As parents you can only do your own best. You can only pour into them with the knowledge and tools you have been given and gained. I don't think it makes a difference if you've had thirty children before or if you've never held a baby- when you get your child it is an individual. From the very beginning they are learning and absorbing loads of information that they will use to teach you as they grow.

God, please make me a good Mom. Only you can help me with this one.

Well, got to go take care of cutesie boy Judah. <3 more later.

5.22.2010

Baby = glorious gift/mental breakdown waiting to happen

As parents undoubtedly already know, babies are the most taxing and rewarding thing on the planet. I was semi-prepared for this, but unfortunately I think Nick has fallen victim to fatherhood for the time being. It's really hard, as anyone can guess, and he already has a full plate on his hands... Including a needy wife who wants/needs attention as much as possible.

Well, as far as breakdowns go, I think we are doing okay! Venting helps, so we just sit there and vent to each other while I get teary eyed from exhaustion.

However, I'm having fun with these experiences. Every time I get covered in baby up-chuck or have to change a beyond stinky diaper I laugh (at least on the inside) and realize that this is the only time Judah will be so needy in his whole life. I get to take advantage of it!

Anyway, today is our anniversary (celebration) and we are going out to dinner with no baby- it should be fun! Tomorrow is the real deal, one year of marriage to my best friend and ally in crime :)

More later, perhaps :)

5.21.2010

Out of the loop? (Birth story beware lol)



So if anyone ever reads this, I have left you far far out of the loop for about 10 weeks. Sorry about that. I can't believe I actually have a moment to write- it's so oddly refreshing.

Well, to update you on how things went we'll start from where I left off. We didn't end up inducing labor (we didn't have to!). When I went in for my checkup at 36 weeks I was already 4 cm dilated. I was really excited (I thought for sure that I would have my baby soon!) I hadn't had any contractions at that point, but sure enough they started the day I was checked. Now, no one tells you that contractions can go on and on and on forever and not really do anything. Well they can- and it's pretty annoying when you go to the hospital and find out that nothing has really changed.. Especially when they send you home. It feels like an epic failure for some reason.

So we went to the hospital (as I was having contractions about 5 to six minutes apart for 3 hours) and then the hospital kept us for about 2 hours before sending us home. (As the contractions slowed down and weren't doing anything).

So about a week later (and many contractions later) I was having contractions 10 minutes apart from 10pm until 10am. I decided that I couldn't deal with it anymore and went to my doctor to get checked out. Finally I had progressed to 6cm and the nurse sent us to take a walk. I took a walk and when I got back we were having contractions 2-3 minutes apart. They weren't 'bad' contractions though (I thought women were pansies at the time because they were so easy to deal with)... But we checked into the hospital and waited while things progressed.

Now I want to mention that we almost had to go into an operating room for the birth- reason being that the hospital had SO many women coming in to have their babies. It was CRAZY! Apparently it was a full moon and thunder-storming- which causes women to go into labor like crazy. There were a bunch of women there with their waters broken but they weren't having contractions. (FYI if your water breaks you cannot be sent home from the hospital). So I was lucky I guess!

We finally got a room for labor after about an hour and a half of waiting. (They had acted like I wasn't going to be getting one at all- we were shocked). The room was AWESOME and huge and it had the jacuzzi I had been waiting for. Lol.

So our nurse was super great, after they got me all hooked up and monitored for a while, I got to get in the jacuzzi and chillax. I also got to eat a popsicle and 3 different types of juice. I was being spoiled- it was fabulous.

Well, unfortunately getting in the jacuzzi caused my contractions to almost stop (back to 10 minutes apart) and I realized that they might send me home again (boo!) so I asked the nurse to call the doctor who was delivering and ask if they could break my water.

Thank goodness the doctor said yes and pretty quickly a lady came in and took care of that. The nurse informed me that I couldn't go home now (The whole reason I had it done) and we were for sure having the baby.

Now, I had wanted to avoid getting any pain medication and any epidural if I could help it... But I have to tell you that I was SHOCKED at how painful contractions became IMMEDIATELY after they broke my water. (Oh my gosh it was terrible)

I got in the jacuzzi and felt no relief from the pain. Scared and freaked out I told Nick that I thought I needed the epidural after all. Luckily I asked for it just in time. I had to make it through about 9 contractions before the epidural lady arrived and we got it taken care of. Epidurals are fantastic. I almost cried at how fantastic they are. Please, do yourself a favor and get one if you think you might need one. It's SO worth it and made the whole experience FANTASTIC and fun. Who knew that having a baby could be fun?

Well, it worked on most of my body but soon it was wearing off on my whole right side. This meant they had to redo the epidural (luckily it was already numb in that area so it wasn't too bad). Once they redid it, I was in heaven. My whole left side was dead (couldn't move my leg at all), and my right side was numb finally. I watched the contractions happen and felt nothing at all... Until I felt the urge to push- which didn't feel painful at all.

So anyway, the whole pushing part took thirty minutes. I was determined that he wouldn't have a cone shaped head so I got him out as fast as I could, lol.

The most crazy part was when the doctor had me slide my hands under his armpits and pull him the 'rest' of the way out- up onto my chest. He had swallowed a big gulp of fluid before he got out (boo) and they had trouble clearing it out.

They took him away from me almost immediately (Not a good thing for someone who just had their baby) and took him to NICU due to breathing difficulties. He was born with a strange "double breath" problem. It's not something they had seen often so they kept him for observation for FAR too long. He never had any trouble keeping his oxygen levels up and never had to be on any support of any kind, they just wanted to watch and make sure he was okay.

Anyway, from that point it's a really long story of in and out of the NICU and into Pediatrics, but the main point is that we got him home after 3 days and it's been awesome and tiring :).

His name is Judah Alexander Malachai McAllister. He was 8lbs 3oz and 20 and a half inches long. (He dropped down about a lb after but gained most of it back at 3 weeks).

Cute as a button and with spiky hair just like his daddy :)

I'll post more pics and write a little more info later (not about the birth, lol)

The end for now :D

3.02.2010

Getting close!

Judah is 30 weeks and 2 days at this point :). Although by regular calculations, we would have 10 weeks left, according to our doctor's appointment we have 8-9 weeks left until they are going to induce.
Normally I wouldn't go with this option (Although I feel like there's twelve bowling balls in my stomach) but we recently (2 days ago) found out that my brother James will be shipping out for Basic training on May 4th. Judah is due May 9th.
Yesterday Nick and I mentioned this to our nurse and she told us some very helpful information - that the doctor is ready to induce at 39 weeks- May 2nd. So, if induction works for me (although it didn't do much for my mom), Judah's due date has changed to May 2nd. (I might ask them about the first since it would be cute for him to be born on May day).
So assuming Judah is still in there by May, we will be getting some help inducing if we are dilated at all.

The pregnant belly is quite obvious now, although I'm shocked that no strangers have made any advances whatsoever. People told me this happens a lot, but so far it's only been friends and family with the crazy poking and touching. It is a hard life for a shy person with a bubble like mine.

Nicholas and I have been having a splendid time on our "babymoon". I've read about people taking vacations in advance of their babies coming to celebrate their last moments of "alone" togetherness. Nick and I don't have money to fly out and bask in the moonlight on a beach- but we've been enjoying each other nonetheless. We took a romantic walk downtown after our baby appointment- had the BEST time.

It's so easy to find the reasons I fell in love with Nicholas. He is my best friend and my kindredest of kindred spirits. Holding his hand is my favorite thing to do, being with him, talking with him, joking with him.

Anyway, I'd better get to finishing my nails, acrylics are hard to do by yourself- luckily I am fantastic at random things like this :)

Love <3 <3 <3

2.17.2010

God, pregnancy, life in a handbasket.

So today I am 28 weeks and 3 days pregnant... Feeling the wonders of pregnancy. Judah has lodged himself in and begun kicking an area that does not enjoy/like to be stomped or kicked at. Unfortunately I'm trying to keep the grumpy under control from this added fun- and it's not working too fantastically.
Less than three months left, supposedly. Good thing I get a wonderful little boy out of this- otherwise this effort would not be worth it at all.

Did I mention that I have stretch marks? Not on my stomach yet, although I'm sure they will happen- but on other less mentionable areas that need a larger size bra. There are so many changes I wasn't thinking about when we found out we were having a baby. Pregnancy looks pretty nice and cute from the outside looking on, but when you are pregnant it is not as cute, although it does have it's cute moments... Mostly it's nausea, leaking growing and feeling extremely flabbergasted. But the baby shopping and the baby make up for it. Just be sure you want a baby first or it's going to be pretty lame for you.

On a better note, Nick has been doing awesome at work, several (and I'm serious when I say several) supervisors have been asking if he has been considered for a manager position, and now it looks like he will be there in the next 3 months! How exciting! That comes with a raise. Hopefully we'll be able to get aflac or something so we have insurance that isn't cruddy too!

I keep praying for favor for my dear Nicholas, and God has been faithful to give him favor from managers and others- it's been really amazing to see God working in our lives.

With May approaching faster and faster (or slower depending on my mood)- I've developed that feeling of loss for the future alone time Nick and I will be losing. I'm not sad about this, rather just am realizing that it's going to be a lot different soon, and those events of alone time may not come frequently or as optionally.

We've been cherishing our last months and moments together, although with the belly the cuddling and all that has become rather sad looking and interesting, teehee.

Can't wait to have our baby in our arms, definitely can't wait for our lives to change... Can't wait to see what God has for us :)

2.04.2010

LoVe My Valentinos :)

So it's nearly valentines day and here I am with my two lovely men :).

Little baby Judah Gabriel is so active it's mindblowing. I have been feeling him since 13 weeks pregnant, which is really early- but now if he isn't doing flips I have to be concerned! He is so much fun. Now if you poke at him or sing to him he responds by kicking or spinning around.

I can't wait to kiss his sweet toes and little chubby cheeks and fingers... Aww my sweet tiny boy. His room is getting finalized, no paint yet but he has a lot of things all ready for his arrival.

To give you a rough idea, here's what we've collected so far!

-Crib with a bumper set, crib from cousin Elizabeth and bumper set from Breeann
-Changing table with changing pad, table from cousin Elizabeth and pad from Brenna
-Glider rocking chair with new covers, Chair from Grandma Linda and covers from Mom :)
-Little overstuffed corner couch chair, courtesy of craigslist's free section :) May need a cover but super comfy.
-Super soft teddy bear that Nick and I bought him when we found out we were pregnant.
-NB sized shirts and onesies :) Lots on hangars! These are courtesy of Breeann and from our random Savers shopping trips. He is so spoiled!
-3 month sized onesies, jackets, and pjs. These are from Nordstrom's samples that Nick's mom aquired for us. They are soo soft and cute!
-Blankets and burpies from various locations and people. I love burpies and I can't get enough :)
-2 boppies and one boppie cover from Breeann
-A bassinet from Brenna
-A stroller from cousin Elizabeth
-A front facing carseat for when he gets a bit bigger- courtesy of free craigslist again
-A carrier carseat with a base from craigslist for 15 bucks :) I probably will want another base but it's super lightweight and easy to get on and off. I <3 craigslist.
-A diaper genie 2 - got the manual online and I think I'm prepared :D teehee.
-Some nb and small sized diapers that Breeann and Brenna had leftover- they're so teeny it's just ridiculous!
-A few pacifiers
-Two or three pairs of little shoes :) Nick and I LOVE these.
-An F150 electric battery powered truck, one seater power wheels. Hehe. He won't be able to use this until later on, but it was 10 bucks on craigslist and super duper fun!
-High chair from Brenna
-Hook on high chair seat from cousin Elizabeth
-Baby bath from someone at Nick's work hehe.
-Baby swing from Breeann
and a couple little toys we couldn't resist.

So now that I've gone through that list! TeeHee. We really still do need things, I'll make an example list for those looking to the baby shower...

-Binkies
-The little things that you attach the binky to the baby with so it doesn't disappear
-Bottles
-Bottle warmer (not a necessity but would be nice :)
-Diaper bag
-Little socks :)
-Dress clothes for church for a little guy :)
-Baby products, bath supplies- diaper supplies- nail care ect.
-Houseproofing supplies to keep babies fingers out of sockets and from opening doors
-Boppy covers
-Portable foldable changing pad
-Extra sheets for crib and bassinet
-Dresser
-Changing pad cover
-Wipes
-Wipe warmer (I have no idea if this is something I really need but it sounds cool)
-Diaper stacker holder mabobber
-Recieving blankets
-6 month - 9 month sized warm clothing (at six months old it will be November)
-Any size little clothing you see that you think is cute for a mini Nick
-Toys of any type
-Toys or things for him to chew on while teething
-Storage boxes to store his future baby clothes and toys in.
-Bath toys and perhaps one of those cloth bath chairs.
-Anythings that might be handy for a nursing mother (I have no idea)...


Please think of things I haven't thought of too. :) I just want people to have a rough idea of what I have and what they can look for. Of course if anyone wants to buy me upgraded versions of what I already have I would have no problem with that, haha.

Well, I'll continue this blog later, got to give some attention to my husband :)

1.10.2010

Lemons and Lemonade

We had a wonderful Christmas in Seattle with Nick's family- lots of legos involved as well as barbie.com :).
Our little guy is getting bigger and bigger, doing excersizes in the tummy to build up his leg strength- he is going to be strong! We had our second ultrasound and found that all his little body parts have developed perfectly. Perfect heart, lungs, kidneys, legs, everything! So here we sit imagining what he will look like, what he'll be like as a teenager, if he'll break our hearts (of course he won't, right? hehe). I know he belongs to someone much bigger than Nick or I- so I guess that's how parents get through this- he's ultimately in God's hands. That definitely helps the thought process.

In other news, we finally got to the point where our finances were stable and matching up, and WHAP back to reality- Nick's vacation time isn't paid after all. Apparently he was misinformed. It was a huge shock to find out that instead of paying our bills like we were excited to do, we would again have to call everyone and tell them nevermind.

I take this news with a bit lip- not nervous for what God can do here, but just disappointed that we aren't there yet, that place where you don't have to worry about who we haven't paid- although I guess since we can't pay anyone except rent, it's not much of a worry, heh.

Sigh.

I'm probably feeling a little down right now anyway, as I took it upon myself to do my semi annual re-reading of blogs from high school. Maybe to remind myself where I came from- so I don't forget what it felt like back then. How miserable and how broken I was- it's almost like if I don't keep reminding myself, I'll forget how much I went through and I discredit that girl that I was. But that's ridiculous. Ohhh well.

Beautiful day. Need to clean the house. The baby is attempting to kick the laptop off, so I'd better get up and be productive.

In small news- Chuck's new season opens today!! YAY!
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