Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Resolutions RECAP :)

25 resolutions was A HUGE undertaking, and since finding out I was pregnant in July, I pretty much crapped the bed on just about every last thing and barely tried at all.  But hey, I definitely put in a valiant effort from January to July :) 

# 1 : My #1 most important goal for 2011 is to finish reading the Bible cover to cover. According to my YouVersion App, I'm not done.  :( Fail.  The only book I know for SURE I have not read is Revelation all the way through but I've read about 85% of it. 

# 2 : Spend more time with my husband and getting to know how better and growing closer to him. I love him <3

# 3 : Get to my goal weight!!  This one will have to be put off but for really good reason.  I did do weight watchers this year and lose 15 lbs!  But pregnancy has definitely changed that haha.

# 4 : Quit biting my nails. :)

#5 : Get pregnant. DONE!  See here.

# 6 : Personally lead at least 1 person to know Christ as their personal savior. Done! See here.

# 7 : Spend more time growing my friendships.  I think the people that I have grown the closest to this year are my sister in law, my mom and my husband.

# 8 : Join some kind of a small group. I did some classes at church for a little while there, but Jack and I STILL haven't joined a small group. :(

# 9 : Get more involved with our church. We went on a Couple's Retreat and Couple's Date Night, and attempted to start an Infertility Ministry.

# 10 : Become members at our church. January 23rd!

# 11 : Finish at least 10 quilts. (For me!) Nope! Not even close.  I did ONE baby quilt. 

# 12 : Read at least 75 books.   Check out my progress at my Master List!  I think I finished 55ish.  :/ fail.

# 13 : Keep my house cleaner! yeah. I think I've done a pretty good job considering how sick I've been in the last 6 months haha.

# 14 : Get to know my neighbors better.  fail.

# 15 : Sing in front of my church congregation. Nope

# 16 : Save $.  We didn't meet this goal.  We got to about halfway to where we were aiming.

# 17: Pray for my family and friends daily. Yup.

# 18: Finish reading the Bible through the first time  and read it a second time all the way through. Didn't finish 1 complete trip through it. Big fail.

# 19: Rely on God for the big things and the little things.  This is a daily goal lol.

# 20: Share my faith with at least 1 new person a week.  I don't think I did that well with this one, but mostly because I was pretty antisocial all year.

# 21: Find a person to bless each week.  I really concentrated on Jack.  I was much better about this when I was working around other people and stuff.

# 22: No Fast Food and No Pop. We did pretty good with this for about 6 months.  We are definitely doing this again.

# 23: Paint my 2nd Bedroom. Done!! I wish I had remembered the date, but I think it was in March or April.

# 24: Learn something new. I've learned a lot of new things :)

# 25: Take a vacation. We went on lots of vacations in May!! I'm hoping we will have one more this fall but I don't know if I will be up to it. 

So - Overall.... I think I did really well on my resolutions... I don't think I'm going to be quite so ambitious in 2012.  But this was a fun challenge!! And I think my favorite resolution was leading at least one person to Christ.  That was an amazing experience that I hope to have over and over and over again in my life!! 

29 Weeks / HAPPY NEW YEAR!

How far along:  28 weeks 1 day
How big is baby: 
(from TheBump)

You’re probably already getting a little preview of baby’s personality, the more your feel him move. You might get some playful kicks and jabs, and start to feel little hiccups, too! At 29 weeks, he’s not just moving a lot, he’s also plumping up. And as he continues to put pressure on your digestive system, you’re going to feel the effects: hemorrhoids, heartburn, pelvic pain and frequent urination are all common at this stage in the game. Week 29 is a good time to start finalizing stuff, like stocking the nursery with baby care essentials and checking out a few potential day cares. You’ll also want to start packing a few things you know you’ll want with you at the hospital at baby’s birth. Leave it by the door, so you can add stuff you think of along the way -- and so you can grab it at a moment’s notice.
Your baby's the size of a squash!
Baby already measures about 15.2 to 16.7 inches long. Right now, we weighs about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds but he's still got a ways to go -- can you believe he'll triple in weight before birth?

your baby at 29 weeks
  • He's getting a little cramped in there, since he's growing so fast. But you probably already realize that, since you're getting all those jabs and kicks.
  • He's growing white fat deposits under his skin, and his energy is surging because of it.
  • Feel a subtle twitch? It might be baby hiccupping.

pregnancy symptoms at 29 weeks
  • Lots of kicks! (All that crowding.)
  • Headaches and/or lightheadedness, possibly due to difficulty sleeping, but it could be from low blood sugar too, so make sure you're eating at regular intervals.
  • Itchy belly. Your skin is stretching thinner, making it more sensitive.
  • Back, leg or pelvic pain.
  • Hemorrhoids. Baby's putting pressure on your digestive system, and hormones may be relaxing your intestinal muscles. Eat plenty of fiber.
  • Constipation. This isn't really helping the hemorrhoid situation, is it?
  • Trouble sleeping -- still!
  • Gotta pee -- again! The more your uterus expands, the more you'll probably have to hit the restroom.
  • Varicose veins. Don't worry! These should fade after delivery.

Maternity clothes: yup definitely.
Sleep: Still not sleeping well.  I think this is just a permanent fixture :)
Best moment of the week: Seeing my sister and her getting to feel AJ kick!!
Food aversions: Nothing really.
Food cravings: Nothing really.
Symptoms: Throwing up wasn't too bad this week but I definitely did a few times, lots of nausea, back aches, leg cramps, sore belly
Movement:  All sorts of movement every day!
What I’m looking forward to: Both of my Baby Showers are in the next 14 days!!! I am SOOOOOOO ExCiTED!
Next appt: This week!  I get to meet a Natural Birth Friendly doctor in the practice and I can't wait to talk to her about a birth plan!! :0)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

28 Weeks Pregnant / Merry Christmas!!

How far along:  28 weeks 1 day
How big is baby: 
(from What to Expect)

Your Baby in Week 29 of Pregnancy

29 weeks pregnant
How big is your baby this week? She weighs nearly three pounds now and measures about 17 inches. Though she's getting pretty close to her birth length, she still has to chub out a bit. In fact, over the next 11 weeks, she'll more than double — or even come close to tripling — her weight. And as she grows and the room in your womb gets tighter, you'll be less likely to feel those big kicks and more likely to get poked by an elbow or jabbed by a knee.
Learn more about your baby in week 29 and baby fat.

Your Body in Week 29 of Pregnancy

Unsightly yet harmless, varicose veins are simply swollen blood vessels that often surface on your body for the first time during pregnancy, especially if your mom or grandma had them. You may have a mild case (minor achiness and swelling) or you may be unlucky enough to experience real pain and bulging blue veins, usually from the ankle to the upper thigh. There are things you can do to alleviate this veiny situation, including watching your weight, keeping your blood flowing, and avoiding heavy lifting.
Learn more about your body in week 29 and varicose veins during pregnancy.

Week 29 Pregnancy Tip: Counting Baby's Kicks

Have you counted your baby's kicks today? Once you've passed week 28, you should be counting them every day. To make sure that you do — and to make sure that everything's A-OK in your belly — make a habit of counting your baby's kicks twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Best to do your counting lying down (since babies are more likely to kick up when Mom's lying down — a pattern they tend to continue after they're born). If you can't lie down, sit. Count any and all movements (even swishes and rolls) until you hit ten. If you haven't reached ten within an hour (your little Rockette may just be on her break right now), have a light snack and try again — that blood-sugar rush is likely to get baby on the move again. Just remember that fewer than ten movements within two hours warrants a call to your practitioner. Chances are everything's fine, but it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Week 29 Pregnancy Symptoms

Constipation: Pregnancy hormones cause your muscles (including those in your bowel) to relax, which can cause your system to get backed up. One way to get on track is to eat yogurt with the probiotic acidophilus (look for yogurt brands that contain “live active cultures”) since these beneficial bacteria can aid in digestion and help get things moving.
Occasional headaches: When a headache (even a migraine) hits, alleviate pain by lying down in a quiet, dark room with a cold compress on your neck or forehead.
Hemorrhoids: If the veins in your rectum have begun to bulge and pop out (as a result of increased pressure and blood flow to the pelvic area), reduce discomfort and irritation by using gentle wipes or warm water on soft toilet paper after bowel movements and, of course, drinking lots of fluids so your stool isn't hard.
Forgetfulness: No wonder your brain feels especially foggy these days — hormones are wreaking havoc on your memory and your brain-cell volume actually decreases during the third trimester. Try not to take this temporary pregnancy symptom to heart — stressing about it will only cloud your pregnancy brain even more.
Itchy abdomen: Your stretched-out belly can cause your skin to become dry and itchy. Apply moisturizer regularly and consider soaking in a warm oatmeal bath to ease the itch.
Skin, hair, and nail changes: Even though your nails may be growing faster than ever, pregnancy hormones may also cause them to become dry and brittle. Trim them regularly.
Difficulty sleeping: If heartburn is keeping you up at night, avoid eating too much and chowing down too close to bedtime. Also, avoid coffee or chocolate in the evening since these energizers will make it harder for you to get to sleep. 

Maternity clothes: yup definitely.
Sleep: still not sleeping well.  My belly is cumbersome and last night I started to get mini charlie horses :( I guess that means I need to drink MORE water
Best moment of the week:  Today is Christmas :) thinking about next Christmas :)))  Also, I passed my Glucose Tolerance Test, no Gestational Diabetes for me :D And the test wasn't anywhere close to as miserable as I thought it would be with my severe morning sickness.  I only came close to throwing up in the first 45 minutes or so but I had to do a 2 hour.  The worst part was getting 3 blood draws and being bored for 2 hours.
Food aversions: pretty much everything
Food cravings: Nothing really.
Symptoms: Throwing up wasn't too bad this week, lots of nausea, back aches, leg cramps, sore belly
Movement:  All sorts of movement every day!
What I’m looking forward to: Christmas today :0) and my baby showers and then Jack's birthday and then my birthday and then Valentine's Day and then AJ's due date :))))) it's going to go by SO fast!!
Next appt: in 2 weeks!!! I'm already down to the every 2 weeks appointments!! This is just craziness.

Monday, December 19, 2011

27 Weeks Pregnant

How far along:  27 weeks 2 days.
How big is baby: big? Lol
Maternity clothes:  yep. Although today I'm wearing Jack's sweater.
Sleep: snoogle pillow is not for me. I'm just learning to fall back to sleep quickly!
Best moment of the week:  um, I'm really not sure. Kicks are getting stronger and stronger.
Food aversions:  sweets
Food cravings: Steak. This one is super strange since I hardly ever eat red meat. I am a chicken eater mainly. But I wanted Steak really bad and went to a steakhouse yesterday and I had the most delicious steak with veggies.
Symptoms:  Still throwing up and lots of nausea.
Movement:  All sorts of movement every day!
What I’m looking forward to: Christmas this weekend and baby showers in a couple weeks!!
What I miss:  Nothing, it's definitely worth it.
Next appt:  This week is my glucose test.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I haven't had much to do lately... and all I have wanted to do was go shopping and get every single thing ready and prepared for AJ when he comes.  Jack has to keep reminding me to stop shopping so that there is at least *something* left on the registry for our showers.  As it is right now, since we prepared so much for babies when we got licensed to be Foster Parents... there really isn't very much on our registry.  We have already purchased a lot of the "big" items and our nursery is completely done. 

I went through clothes that I have been saving (that you saw in my last post) the other day and did an inventory of sizes. 

I am also scouring pinterest (If you don't know what Pinterest is by now, first of all... come on out from under that rock, I know it's scary out here... but present day isn't that bad... and second, check it out.) for organizing solutions and ideas for a baby/kid's closet.  I haven't decided yet if I want to hang or fold his clothes.  Jack says who am I kidding and the clothes won't ever come out of the laundry basket... but whatever.  When Caleb was here, his clothes were washed and folded and put away... in drawers.  So actually, I think I really liked that system.

As far as the big things we are waiting and hoping to get if not at the shower, right after because I am too impatient to wait...
This pack'n'play will go in our room, next to my side of the bed so AJ can be close by for nighttime nursing.  I'm super excited to rearrange our bedroom (and get those dang dog cages out of there again) so that we can fit AJ in better and have everything look good too.  

This swing I am in love with.  I love the pattern... and honestly, the only thing that could make it better is if it were elephants on the mobile instead of turtles ;) Maybe that's something I could sew!  Plus this swing is a plug in swing... so no batteries!! And, the swing is also a bouncer seat combo... so it's a 2-in-1 kinda deal :)
Most of the other things on our registries are odds and ends and then we have an entire registry dedicated to cloth diapering.  I am very very excited to cloth diaper.  I've been slowly purchasing cloth diaper odds and ends here and there as I go along, so hopefully we will have a full stash after our shower!

I bought this adorable set of onesies in just about every size there was... along with some matching pants.  My friend Lindsey sent me this adorable blanket right when we found out I was pregnant that matches the outlined zoo animals one and then after I found out it was a boy, I went back and bought as many pieces and different outfits from the set as I could find.  I LOVE this set.

 I found this gem on Pinterest... I am in love with this onesie... and I will have to have one somehow for my little mister.

Well that's all my baby thoughts for now...
I guess I should find something else to do.... maybe I'll go dust something lol.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

26 Weeks Pregnant!

How far along:  26 weeks! 98 days to go!! Yesterday I hit double digits!! Amazing considering I started 250+ days ago :)
How big is baby: He's still growing in the 13.6- to 14.8-inch and 1.5- to 2.5-pound range, and developing his senses, features and talents!
Maternity clothes:  Yup. I got some new ones in the mail that I ordered from Old Navy last week and I love them :) Yay for Old Navy not sucking!!
Sleep:  I can't sleep.  (Now if someone tells me I should get used to it, I will slap them... so... be warned.  Grumpy, uncomfortable pregnant lady here.)
Best moment of the week:  Still feeling Arie kicking and my best friend online FINALLY got her BFP!!! IVF#1 was a success and she is "exceptionally pregnant" ... please head over to Megan's blog to congratulate her!!!!!
Food aversions:  Ehhh... I really don't like sweets.  I think I've been saying that a lot lately, but I really really don't.  They make me feel sick.  
Food cravings: None really.  I ate some pickles this week and felt like a quintessential pregnant lady :) 
Symptoms:  Still throwing up, my joints are all losing their power and my knee keeps threatening to go out just about every time I put weight on it.  My back is also out, but I haven't made it to a prenatal chiropractor yet... and when I stretch my legs in bed, they are constantly threatening to cramp and charlie horse right up, but they don't.  So thankfully I've avoided the dreaded leg cramping :)
Movement:  All sorts of movement every day!! I think the most surprising thing to me about the movement is how much he kicks and WHERE he's kicking.  This little man can kick all the way up into my ribs!! Only a couple weeks ago the only place he was kicking was below my belly button!
What I’m looking forward to: According to my Pregnancy Day by Day, I'm in my 3rd trimester.  So, I'm going with it.  I'm starting my 27th week (26 weeks, 1 day is the 27th week) and that is close enough for me.  I am really really looking forward to my baby showers :) I know we have 99% of everything that we need and one quick trip to the store will really have us squared away since we bought so much for our foster kids, we have it all... but I am really just looking forward to getting together and celebrating with my loved ones and friends!!
What I miss:  Nothing, it's definitely worth it.
Next appt:  Right before Christmas. 

 This is the only sex specific outfit that we bought since November 2007... Jack picked it out... and it has waited and waited in a box for our son!
 This is the first outfit that we bought when we started trying.  I'm thinking it was probably January or February of 2008.  Hard to believe that it will be over 4 years later that our little muchkin gets to finally wear my favorite outfit that I've ever bought.
 This is the pile of clothes that we have saved for Arie since we started trying (give or take a few onesies that I have bought in the last 3 months) ... The sign says it all.

This is me trying on a maternity coat at Target.  While the coat seemed like it would be comfy and there would be lots of room to grow... my mom laughing at me and insisting she take my picture to send it to my sister (who later replied that I looked "immense") leads me to believe that a maternity coat is not going to be the most flattering choice for warmth this winter.  I'm thinking that I will just stick with wearing Jack's coats.  I felt like the size of a house wearing this crazy coat!! I am not that big yet, I swear.

Monday, December 5, 2011

First Dream About Arie

I have always had very vivid dreams and usually remember them at least once a week... and since I've been pregnant, I have had all sorts of dreams relating to the baby.  I had a couple dreams in the first trimester where the baby was a girl...

One I can specifically think of was of me at the grocery store and needing to go nurse, so I left my cart outside the bathroom with her car seat in the basket (which I would never do, I plan to baby wear, so there would be no car seat coming in to the store with me) and grabbed a blanket and walked down the little hallway to the bathroom.  Before walking into the bathroom, I turned around one last time to check on the cart with the baby's car seat and diaper bag in it and noticed this fellow that I went to school with since Elementary school running off with it.  So, naturally, I did what any mother of a 5 day old baby would do... I tossed that baby aside (literally - tossed, like a doll) and chased after the person with my cart.  Then people all around (because suddenly, I was no longer in the quiet secluded hall by the bathroom, I was completely out in the open in front of dozens of customers) began to gasp in horror at what I had just done.  In embarrassment, not even out of concern for my baby, I pick the baby back up and carry her with me as I am chasing after this fool who stole my cart with my belongings!  I never got the cart back.

And for the years that we were trying to conceive, I would occasionally have dreams about babies, and all of those babies were boys.  I would have dreams of what their names would be (Elijah - Eli for short, is the only name I can remember that really really stuck with me.) or holding them or being out in public with them, that sort of thing.

Last night, I had my first dream of what this baby would look like.  He was a brand new baby.  My BFF Ashley and I had gone to some sort of a gym... only it wasn't a normal gym, it was like a virtual gym... so essentially we were playing a big game of Wii.  Ashley wanted to play this weird racket ball game and I had no idea what I was doing.  Apparently, Ashley had left her infant at home (her baby was born over a month ago) and we dropped my baby off in the nursery.  Well, we hit the showers, and I wanted to go get my baby so I could nurse him.  Ashley went with me and we had to sit at the counter like a pharmacy and wait for the baby. 

This place was run by people in scrubs and this woman comes up to tell me about my baby and how he did.  And she was saying that he was the most loved baby in the nursery (naturally) and how one of the nurses finally got him to eat.  At which time, Ashley and I caught each other's eye... he's breastfeeding... they would have zero reason to feed him in the nursery.... So in my dream I was worried that I hadn't made it very clear that I was exclusively breast feeding.  And then she started handing me all of this merchandise that I "needed to buy" to comfort my baby, starting with the scrubs outfit that the nurse who fed him wore that smelled like the nurse who fed him.  And then finally, this group of nurses walked forward all crowded around the one holding my son and handed him to the nurse who was running the window and she handed him to me.

Ashley and I slowly looked for a place to sit down in this now suddenly crowded lobby type area right outside where people were playing their wii games on big screens and I looked for something to cover myself with while breastfeeding.  I just kept staring at this little man's face and for the first time, I could see what he looked like.  Very much like a wrinkly old man.  A la Benjamin Button.   I kid you not.  Ashley was getting annoyed that I wasn't walking and that I was just staring at my kid and I tried to explain to her that this was the first time I had seen him and I just wanted to look at him.
I tried to nurse him and for some reason, I knew and he knew what we were doing... and, the only other small detail that I can remember is that he weighed only 4lbs.  I have no idea why he was such a small baby! 

Even though he looked like a creepy, old man baby... I still loved the crap out of him.  I also remember in my dream feeling like these creepy guys were super curious about what I was doing under my shirt when I was trying to breastfeed him.  I'm pretty sure I had a dream about that because I was just sewing a nursing cover... but still.... weird.  And I loved it anyway.

There's only 103 days until my due date.  That seems so close!!  About 5 weeks until my baby showers.  I was just talking to my dad yesterday about how I feel like I'm having a hard time doing normal nesting because we set up the nursery completely in May before we ever found out that I was pregnant.  It's been painted and prepared and organized for a baby, and I have nothing left to do.  We have made all of the big purchases and we only have a few small purchases left, like a baby tub and a nursing pillow and little odds and ends like that that are on the registry... as well as a cloth diaper registry.  

I think I might be coming down with a cold which makes me super sad, I really did not want to get another cold while I was pregnant but some things are really out of my control... and with my compromised immune system thanks to my growing boy... I guess it's more inevitable.  Jack had a cold all last week and somehow just now I am getting it.  I haven't even kissed my husband in almost a week and I'm feeling a bit run down last night and today. 

Jack and I went to Joann Fabrics last night to pick up a couple things really quick and as we were walking down I just kept being so surprised by my belly that leads the way.  I told Jack that I wasn't used to this idea yet and that I didn't think I would be getting used to it any time soon, and that I was pretty sure that by the time I got used to it, it would be already gone.  How is it that at 25 weeks, I am still so unbelievably shocked and overwhelmed and grateful that we are experiencing this miracle?  I hope that feeling never goes away and that I never forget how huge of a gift and a miracle this baby boy really is to us. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

25 Weeks Pregnant

How far along:  25 weeks! 
How big is baby: According to the baby websites... almost 2 lbs and 14" from head to toe... that's unbelievable that I have a baby growing that's over a foot long!!!
Maternity clothes:  Yup.
Sleep:  I think I might need a body pillow... or a bed to myself ;)
Best moment of the week:  Jack being able to feel baby kick all week.
Food aversions:  None, but no cravings either.
Symptoms:  Still throwing up, it's not every day though.  I had a big spurt of energy this week and cleaned and cleaned my house.  Man, Jack just does not clean the same way I do :)   
Movement:  All sorts of movement every day!!
What I’m looking forward to: 3rd Trimester!! 2 weeks ... that's just unbelievable.
What I miss:  Nothing, it's definitely worth it.
Next appt:  Right before Christmas. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Liebster Blog Award!

I was given this award by the my internet BFF and soul mate, Megan at This Space For Rent. According to Megan, Liebster means "dearest" in German. This one has been floating around the blogosphere this week, going to folks with less than 200 followers.  Thank you Megan... you warm my heart lady.

Here are the rules to pass this baby on: 
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!
Here are 5 bloggers I would like to pass the award on to:
(okay - First place would be Megan, but obviously I can't pass it back to her lol) 
2.  Leah, from Olive You
3.  Heather, from Every Day Evans
4.  Jackie, from Let's Sit Outside
5.  Missy, from Death by Chocolate Martini

Monday, November 28, 2011

What's in a name? Arie Jackson.

I am not sure if I have mentioned before, or even explained at all in detail where we got the name that we chose and have been holding onto dearly for the last 4 years since we got married and started trying to have a family.

We chose the name Arie Jackson.  Arie is Jack's paternal Grandfather's first name and Jackson is our tribute to Jack, as his father, but since Jack's Grandpa (Arie) goes by Jack, and Jack's Dad is Jack and Jack is a Jr... Things get a little bit confusing in the Irons family.  (Did I confuse you? I'm not surprised... Most of the time we still just say Jack to each other and then once in a while, it's clarified with a, 'my Jack?' ... and that's a story for another time... but, Grandma Phyllis has her Jack, mother-in-law has her Jack and I have mine.)

While we were dating, I had the pleasure to get to know Jack's Grandparents.  I still had all of my own Grandparents alive and well, and I enjoyed getting an extra set.  I remember the first time I met them, I was super nervous.  We went over for the Daytona 500 and it was right around my birthday, I was about to turn 20!  (My how time flies lol)  I carefully planned what I was going to wear... I wore a tan skirt and a sweater.  I was ridiculously overdressed for the occasion!  I quickly learned that Daytona 500 watching involved wearing your favorite driver's polyester coat and jeans. 

When Jack and I got married, we did not have an easy go.  Long story short, there was a lot of issues that we did not predict... although others in the family told us they saw the situation coming years previously back up the road, but I was not expecting it and Jack was expecting it to a degree... and it was way worse than either of us could have imagined.  We had a very limited support frame for our brand new marriage... and the two strongest pedestals in our marriage building us up and encouraging us to leave and cleave as the Bible tells us to, were Grandma and Grandpa Irons.

Jack had always loved his Grandparents, but this made them so much more special to both of us.  Getting married is not easy, being newly married and learning what that means is also not easy, and navigating the difficulties of relationships with families as things change and grow is really not easy... and they were just an unbelievable amount of support and love that really were the supports and glue that helped hold us together through the rocky first years as we learned to hold close to each other and let what may come our way not knock us down or pull us apart.

Since we started dating, both Jack and I knew that we wanted a family.  Preventing a family from getting started was really never in the cards for us, and we waited and waited... and I'm pretty sure any of you who read this blog at all probably know the rest of the story.  But shortly after we got married we began to really "try" for this family that we have been dreaming about and waiting for.  And in that dear time of blissful ignorance of our situation, we were able to dream like normal first time newlyweds who were trying to become first time parents... and we quickly decided what our first son's name would be.  We knew that we did NOT want a Jack Irons The 3rd... so Jackson is what we quickly came up with for a middle name... and fell madly in love with Arie being the first name.

Obviously, we waited a LONG time to share this with anyone.  Mostly, there are name snatchers out there everywhere... and this name was so precious to us, and ever more precious as the months and years crawled by that we didn't have a chance to even think of using this name.  And, the longer we had to wait, the more heartbreaking it was to not get to use the name.

As soon as we found out that I was pregnant, and came back down to Earth after those first few weeks (and months, who am I kidding) of disbelief, we wasted no time sharing the names that we had chosen for a boy.  We knew for sure that if this child was a boy, he already had a name.  I had a feeling from the beginning that this was going to be my little Arie Jackson all along... even though I was the only one who felt that way, I still knew in my heart that God had given us a son.

Once we announced what we were going to be naming our son, and how to pronounce it (R - E) we began to experience some backlash and arguments about how Arie was truly pronounced.  Phonetically, Arie is pronounced like it's spelled.  Mother-in-law and father-in-law were convinced that it was pronounced Airy or Aerie.  I have no idea why.  Eventually, father-in-law called his dad and asked him how to pronounce his name.  Grandpa tells him, "Arie is pronounced R-E."  Thus ending the argument from MIL and FIL, but regardless of how Grandpa pronounced it, we were still going to pronounce it R-E.  Anyway....

Then there was even more confusion in the family... Grandma calls Grandpa any number of things... From Arie to Ira to A.J. to Jack.  So what is his *real* name??  And why is there so much confusion about Mr. Jack Irons Sr. Sr. ? (ha inside family Joke I suppose)

This past week, we got the chance to see the eldest Mr. Irons and I got to ask The Man himself.
(You may remember this little gem.)

Jack and I went out in the garage with his cousin and Grandpa to check out Jack's 1962 Plymouth Savoy that he is putting up on eBay to sell, and while we were in the garage I asked Grandpa if he found the conversation odd that he had with his son (FIL) when he called to ask how his first name was pronounced.  He said no, it's not odd, for some reason no one knows how to pronounce it.

Then, dearest Grandpa launches into the story of how his name came to be... and why everyone calls him something different.

When Grandpa was born, his father's name was R.L. for Ralph Lafatte (or something like that) and Great Grandma told the person who was filling out the birth certificate that she wanted his name to be R.E.  (kinda like his dad's name, only different.)  Well the person heard her and wrote "Arie".  Being good down home country folk from Tennessee, she didn't see the need to correct it since it was just details.  Great Grandma brought Grandpa home and her father, Great Great Grandfather took one look at baby Arie and said, "Uh uh... no way. I am NOT calling that child Arie.  His name is JACK."  So, This is where he got Jack Irons from.  He grew up introducing himself as Jack and his family called him Jack.

Then comes time for Grandpa Jack to be enrolled into school.  Great Grandma takes him up to school and while she is telling the person filling out the paperwork his name, she tells her Arie... and the woman writes down, "Ira."  Being the good, down home country lady Great Grandma was, she didn't see the need to correct this lady at the risk of being rude and all... so Jack Irons became Ira Irons.

Ira went along through his school years, making friends and eventually growing up and getting his driver's license... which said Ira Irons on it, and started dating this pretty little thing named Phyllis... Grandma Phyllis.  Grandma knew Grandpa as Jack, as he was known to his friends, and Ira, his given name.

Now, like I said, Grandpa is a down home country boy... and them country boys sometimes don't see eye to eye with the law, and as it goes, Mr. hotrod got pulled over a time or two.  Well, one of these times when he was about 16 or 17 years old, this nice old Police officer didn't quite understand why Grandpa's driver's license read "Ira Irons" and his birth certificate read "Arie Irons."  Grandpa had no idea what to tell the man... and went home to ask his mom.  Great Grandma explained that his real name was Arie, and how it got messed up while he was in school.  So he had to go on through all the hoops and change his name on his driver's license to Arie Irons.

Then Grandma and Grandpa got married and started having kids... the first born being Jack Sr (FIL) and he grew up hearing his mom call his dad "Ira" because that's how she knew him.  Nevermind what his given name was, and sometimes he was called Jack, especially by his friends and other family members.  Arie was just a detail that really didn't matter.

So... that's the long convoluted story of how Grandpa is called so many different names :) However, when we name our son, we will purposefully be naming him Arie Jackson ... and I'm guessing he will be called Arie Jack a lot to fit in with this family of Jack Irons and under his legacy. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

24 Weeks Pregnant and Viability!! (And Bump Pic)

How far along:  24 weeks !! Viability day :))))
How big is baby: No idea, but bigger than last week haha.
Maternity clothes:  Yup. Definitely in maternity clothes now.
Sleep:  still sleeping poorly. 
Best moment of the week:  Today is viability day!!! (Meaning the baby would have a great chance of survival if born after today!)  Thanksgiving was super fun too. 
This is Jack's Grandpa and I... This man right here is who we are naming Arie after :P  I LOVE this guy... we also got to have a long conversation with him about how he got his name and why everyone in the family calls him something different haha.  It's a great story that I will have to write down for AJ's baby book :) 
Food cravings:  I wanted some ice cream last night... so on our way home, Jack and I stopped at Kroger and bought 4 different kinds of ice cream... LOL.
Food aversions:  Nothing really sounds tasty.
Symptoms:  Still throwing up, although I've had a couple days off this week from that.  
Movement:  LOTS of kicking.  I think Arie is having a party in there for Viability day, because he's been kicking like a mad man all morning!!!
What I’m looking forward to:  Getting my house back in order... My sister stayed the night on Thanksgiving since she's in town, and that helped me to get all of Caleb's stuff cleaned up and out of his old room.  I just need to move my sewing area back into that room and then I'll be golden :) I'm ready for my house to go back to normal instead of being a cluttered mess.
What I miss:  Riding my dirtbike lol
Next appt:  Right before Christmas... I have my glucose test.  Yayyy.  
 My belly this morning... @24 weeks.  Definitely growing and definitely getting more and more round.  As Jack would say, "It's really sticking out there!" I look much more pregnant standing up and look much more chubby sitting down lol. But this is definitely a baby bump :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today was an awesome day.

Today was one of those days where you drive home at the end of it thinking, "I have GOT to write this down in my diary."  And since I no longer keep hand written diaries... this is as close as it gets.

This morning, I spent the morning like every other morning of late, and drank my hot tea slowly and concentrated on not having to use my barf bowl that I kept close by my side.  I caught up on Sister Wives (and by the way, besides the fact that I do not agree with having multiple spouses... how on earth is it that these 3 women lose a collective total of 16 lbs in 2 months of working out?? Didn't they go to the gym daily?  Did this trainer not explain to them that they also needed to change their diet?!)  Finally my alarm went off on my phone telling me to head up to my doctor's office.

This is another story... which I am going to go on a little tangent here and insert... I think I mentioned previously that I had gotten a letter in the mail both from the hospital where my doctors have rights and from my insurance company stating that my insurance would no longer be accepted at that hospital.  Which leaves me in a predicament, because, like I said, that was the only hospital where my doctors had rights.  Last week, my doctor and the billing lady from the doctors office informed me that she spoke with the insurance company and allegedly they have agreed to continue to cover the patients who are currently pregnant through their delivery. 

Jack and I have thought long and hard and made the decision to just switch doctors now instead of having or trying to deal with an insurance company that will be able to deny that claim for labor and delivery... since we don't want to deal with the stress of fighting a $25,000ish bill... It really seems like a win-win to just switch to a doctor and a hospital where we know that we are covered.

So anyway, I went up to my doctor's office really really not wanting to do this and really not wanting to deal with answering MORE questions and defending my decision on why I am choosing to switch OB's and practices... and I asked for the release form.  I quickly filled it out their form and signed it and gave it back to her.  I asked her when she might be able to fax my information and she told me probably by the end of the day... I thanked her and said that will be great.  And quickly ran out of there.  I was so relieved to not have to answer any questions or talk to anyone... and then a few hours later, I received a phone call from the doctor's office, but they didn't leave a message.   I'm assuming they were going to want to discuss it, but I didn't want to so I didn't answer.  :D lol


Back to the great parts of the day.  My mom called me while I was working on finishing up my Moby Wrap copy that I made my BFF Ashley and asked me to meet her up at my church so that I could fill out the paperwork for my baby shower and that my mom could pay for the room.  When we pulled into the parking lot, I got super teary eyed.  It is still so shocking and moving to me that I am pregnant.  And yet, there I was.. at my church... getting ready to start planning MY baby shower... for MY baby!! It was just unbelievable really.   The receptionist is always such a sweetheart and was super excited to hear about my pregnancy and help us to plan the shower. 

After that awesome visit at the church with my mom, I headed over to the doctor and took care of business... and then I went to my BFF's to visit with her and her 2 1/2 week old newborn son. She was pumping when I got there so I decided that today was as good of a time as any to make a phone call that I have been putting off for months. 

I called the RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) that told Jack and I that "It would literally be a miracle" (Click here for May 3rd 2011 Blog entry about that appointment) for us to conceive on our own.  I left a message to put a note in my chart that "miracles happen" and that I was 24 weeks pregnant.  The nurse was shocked and couldn't really speak when I explained who I was and when I last saw the doctor and our last conversation.  I said, so ... I guess I'm one of those miracle cases :)  That was definitely the best experience and the most amazing way to end my journey with the RE.

Once I finished my lovely phone call, I went inside and visited with my best friend and her baby.  I cuddled her little boy and got to watch her love on him and feed him and I got to hold him and cuddle with him :)

I finished the day by meeting Jack at the grocery store and we grocery shopped on his way home from work.  Then I cooked dinner and decided to try one of the recipes that I found from this 96 year old woman who is on YouTube and makes depression era recipes... so tonight I tried Peppers and Eggs. 

I definitely did not cook with cooking oil like she did... and I used whole wheat bread instead of making my own bread ... only because time did not permit me to make my own bread before dinner, otherwise I would have.

The verdict?? Peppers and Eggs tasted much better than both Jack and I could have predicted!!
And I also didn't use even half the amount of salt that she used haha. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Caleb is no longer with us.

I wanted to write a quick note to let all of my readers know that our foster son, Caleb, is no longer with us. He has moved to another foster home that has the potential to adopt him if the situation pans out that way. 

This is a long story, and I'm not sure if it's one that I'm going to share on here.

The bottom line is, we both felt that Caleb was not meant for our family and was not meant to be with us long term and that there was another family out there that was waiting for him as their forever son.  For now, they will still be visiting with birth parents, but it truly appears as though that will be coming to an end in the next several months as the birth parents are not complying with their treatment plans whatsoever. 

The family he went to is a wonderful couple who I liken to Jack and I before I got pregnant.  Just so much love to give and just desperately wanting to be parents.  There are no other kids in their home and they have 1 dog.  We will definitely continue to pray for Caleb, but we know that God has plans for that child and we know he is in the right place for him now.

Saying goodbye was definitely the hardest part of this process.

And in case anyone is wondering... we will never be working with Bethany Christian Services again, our experience was entirely negative with everything that had to do with that agency.  THAT is the post that may never happen, or may be for another time.  I'm really not sure if I feel like talking about it, but as it stands, I would NOT recommend Bethany Christian Services of Madison Heights, Michigan to a friend.

23 Weeks Pregnant and Belly Pictures

How far along:  23 Weeks!! I'm in my 6th month... this is just nuts.
How big is baby:  Over 12" long and a bit over 1lb in weight :) It's really hard to guess this because at this point, babies start to vary quite a bit in size and without an ultrasound, it's hard to know exactly.
Maternity clothes:  Yup... I still wish they made maternity hoodies... Although I did buy a zip up hoodie yesterday at a maternity outlet store.  I spent $165 on 5 long sleeve shirts, 1 tshirt, 1 super cute sweater, (which I will put the picture in at the bottom of this post), 1 zip up hoodie and a pair of matching sweatpants.
Sleep:  Still crummy sleep... I wake up every couple hours to go to the bathroom.  Last night I almost fell asleep on the toilet.
Best moment of the week:  Feeling those kicks all day long.... and our 4th anniversary.
Food cravings:  We went to Frankenmuth, MI yesterday ( where we went on our "honeymoon") and I asked if they had peppermint icecream in yet and they said they don't get that until December... but somehow, four years ago, I got it on our "honeymoon" ... so that was really the only food that I was hoping I could eat.  On the way home we bought some Edy's Peppermint Ice Cream but it just wasn't the same and wasn't nearly as good as whatever we had 4 years ago.
Food aversions:  Not really... nothing really sounds super amazing or tasty
Symptoms:  Throwing up, Round Ligament Pains, Back pains
Movement:  Lots and lots of kicks and rolls. 
What I’m looking forward to:  I guess meeting my new set of Doctors and in the same token, NOT looking forward to going in to my doctors office to get my records sent over to the new place. 
What I miss:  Being able to brush my teeth without throwing up ;) And spending a morning without hugging the toilet.
Next appt:  This week.  Doctor's appointment from last week went fine, measured great, my blood pressure is great, baby's heartbeat is great... everything's great.  

These are my 23 week belly pictures... taken in the dressing room at Motherhood Maternity while trying on my new sweater.  It's sparkly and I can't wait to wear it for Thanksgiving.  My stomach definitely looks different depending on how much I have eaten that day. I think this belly was after a donut and a (decaf) coffee.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

22 Weeks Pregnant

How far along:  22 Weeks already!
How big is baby:  Over 12" long and a bit over 1lb in weight :)
Maternity clothes:  Yup... I still wish they made maternity hoodies.
Sleep:  Sleep is still pretty crummy.... maybe I'll buy one of those pregnancy body pillows... but I'm not sure where Jack would sleep.
Best moment of the week:  ... This feels like the best thing/worst thing game that my mom and dad used to play with us when we were little at the dinner table... you had to have a best thing but didn't have to have a worst thing.  This week it seems like all I can come up with is a worst thing... The hospital I was supposed to deliver at decided to no longer accept my insurance as of Jan 12th... and that's about 2 months before I'm due... so No GOOD.  But -- I get to pick a better hospital, which is great... but I'm bummmmmmed to the max about switching doctors because I adore my doctor and it took me years to find a keeper.
Food cravings:  Nothing.
Food aversions:  Orange Juice doesn't taste bad or sound bad but I can almost guarantee that I'm going to throw up after I drink it for some reason.
Symptoms:  Throwing up and I desperately need to see a chiropractor.  Also Round Ligament Pains :P
Movement:  little kicks here and there :)
What I’m looking forward to:  In 5 days is our 4th Wedding Anniversary <3 I love my husband and I'm RIDICULOUSLY excited to give him his present... I've been planning it for 11 months lol.
What I miss:  Being able to brush my teeth without throwing up ;)
Next appt:  Next week... but then I am switching OB's since my insurance is dropping my OB and I want to get to know the new OB before January.... So I might have 2 appointments this month.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's a boy... by the way :)

I think I forgot to make an announcement on here.

We are having a boy!!!!!!

His name will be Arie Jackson.  (A.J.) 

(Arie is pronounced R-E.)

Little Blurb... foster parenting

I only have about 15 minutes until I need to pack Caleb up into the truck to head to pick up my mom and then head to the agency for his meeting with his parents.  I have started to take my mom with me to the meetings because I don't like that I have to take Caleb out to the parking lot and then buckle him into his car seat all out in the open while I am by myself while his parents are around.  I don't know them from Adam, I have no idea what they might or might not do, I just never felt safe with that.  I guess I assumed that one of the Bethany workers would accompany Caleb and I out to our car and see to our safety while we were there... not the case. 

** Stay tuned for a Bethany Christian Services rant in the near future.... to say that I am pleased with working with them so far in the last 3 weeks is a gross exaggeration. **

Foster Parenting is MUCH harder than I could have ever anticipated.  The amount that it takes away from normal life and the amount that it is different from normal parenting (parenting a child that is yours to keep) is astounding.  It's different than babysitting, because this kid is here, in your house, 24/7.  The challenges that come along with parenting someone else's child are not even able to be numbered... and we are learning that very quickly.

The challenges that come along with taking a child into your home and not being able to bond for permanency are numerous too.  Jack and I are taking it day by day, and trying to squeeze in time to remember that I am pregnant with our son... I am trying to steal a few minutes to myself every day to enjoy the little baby kicks that are coming in right below my belly button.  We try to take a few minutes before we fall asleep to just be husband and wife, if only for a few minutes each day.

People will naturally say, well that's what happens when you have kids... but I whole heartedly disagree.  When you have children, whether you birth them or adopt them, you know that they are a permanent fixture in your home.  You have the ability to think about and plan for the future.  With a foster placement, there is no future that you can see, you have no idea how long they might be with you... so planning for things like, how will our foster son adjust to us having a baby?  Are things that we don't know if we do or don't need to worry about. 

I've started to stress about how I am going to breastfeed our baby... Mostly because I have no idea how I'm going to run around after Caleb and care for a newborn at the same time.  I am also stressing about the amount of screaming that happens around this house... there are lots and lots and lots of hissy fits that come from Mr. Caleb.  I'm worried about how that will effect what little sleep Jack and I will be getting with a newborn and if it will affect how much sleep our newborn gets.

And again, before you say that two year old hissy fits are normal, I am just going to laugh at people who believe that a child who was raised in a stable, normal environment his whole life is exactly the same as one who has not.  That is the most ridiculous statement ever.  Yes, Caleb is a two year old... but he is far different from other two year olds.  He has no permanency in his life yet, he doesn't know just like we don't know if our home is the place where he's going to grow up.... He doesn't know anything for sure... and that is a LOT to put on two year old's shoulders. 

Anyway, I'm just going to cut this short... Long story short... it is VERY difficult to have a foster child.  He's a fun kid when he wants to be and 99% of the time, he's a lot of exhausting work.

One more little statement... again... before I get one silly comment from a parent of a two year old or a parent who has had a two year old... "Two year olds are all rotten, thats why they call them terrible two's."  Yup... for YOUR two year old... every bad habit that they have... they learned from YOU.  Every single thing that we have to discipline Caleb for, We have NO clue where he learned it because we were not responsible for him up until less than 3 weeks ago.  If your child hits, it's likely because he saw you hit... if Caleb hits, we had nothing to do with that.  So, again, don't tell me it's the same.  Because it's not the same.

I'm also dealing with the stigmas that come along with Foster Parenting.  The media along with many people that I know think that Foster Care is the worst thing that could happen to a child.  Oookay, as if the foster parents are the monsters in this situation.  What happened to get the child placed into foster care was the worst thing that could happen to a child.   Just saying.  There are so many horror stories about foster homes... but what I don't get is why aren't there horror stories about how the child came into a foster home?? Children do NOT get taken from their homes without warrant.  I just don't like the idea of the concept of Foster Care being the bad thing in society... Foster parents open their homes to children who have no place else to go.  They feed them, bathe them, care for them 24/7 and lose sleep over these kids... They drive them all around town to their doctors appointments, meetings with social workers, meetings with parents and family members... It's unending the amount of work that goes into being a foster parent... so before you judge one... Take a walk in their shoes for 24 hours. 

And I'm not trying to talk myself up here... I'm just saying this is the kind of stuff that I have been dealing with for the last 3 weeks.

It's about time for me to take off and pack Mr. Caleb into his car seat and drive an hour away for a 2 hour meeting. 

I hate to give foster parenting a bad rap, or try to discourage someone from doing it... but I feel like we were absolutely lead to believe something that wasn't true.  The amount of information we have and the amount of turmoil that our life goes through with a foster placement was never accurately described in a few short hours of classes.  (Maybe 15 hours? I don't even remember how many hours of classes that we had to take.)

As far as the whole aspect of why we were foster parenting in the first place.... yup, we still feel like we are called by the Lord to care for orphans and widows.  We still feel called into service and called into action.  And service is WORK... and WORK is not supposed to be easy and we know that.  And every thing that we deal with and stress and worry about on Earth is building up our blessings in Heaven... and we know that too... all of these hard days (and nights) for weeks... we do as a service to the God who created us.  It is not Caleb's fault the situation he's in, or for his behavior that he exhibits, or for the things that we have to do for him as required by the State of Michigan.  Caleb is still one of God's children that He loves dearly and because of that, WE love Caleb dearly... and we remember while he is screaming for the 8th time in the middle of the night that he doesn't want to go to bed, that God loves this little boy... and this is not for nothing what we are doing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

21 Weeks Pregnant

How far along:  21 WEEKS... this is the fastest pregnancy ever I swear.
How big is baby:  About 10 1/2 " long and about 12.5 oz!
Maternity clothes:  Definitely wearing maternity clothes.  My size Medium shirts that I bought in the beginning of the pregnancy no longer fit because they have gotten too short and don't cover my belly... I think I'm going to retire them until after birth and my belly size is going back down.
Sleep:  Sleep is still pretty crummy.
Best moment of the week:  Definitely feeling A.J. kick all over the place!  And meeting my best friend's baby... I held her baby and whispered that I had it's best friend cooking and that he would be here in just a few months!
Food cravings:  Nothing really.  I asked Jack to make me some peppermint hot tea this morning and I had two cups of that... I'm not sure if that counts as a craving.
Food aversions:  I projectile vomited my sushi (cooked sushi) that I ate yesterday... Yeah that was fun.  That's the first time that I've had such an immediate and violent reaction to food that I just ate. 
Symptoms:  Still nauseous and throwing up.  Sore back.  Thank the good Lord that I am not having the horrible leg cramps that everyone talks about :)
Movement:  Lots of little bumps and kicks at night... and whenever I slow down or sit down now!
What I’m looking forward to:  Ashley's baby coming home and me learning every little tip and trick that she has for a newborn baby and breastfeeding :D I feel bad for her because I've already asked her about 3000 questions... and I plan to keep them coming haha.
What I miss:  No back pain... but I can deal.
Next appt:  Middle of November some time.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

20 weeks!!!!!!!! Half way there!

How far along:  20 WEEKS
How big is baby:   a little over 6.5" from crown to rump!!  Next week he's measured head to toe :)  And about 10.5 oz :)
Maternity clothes:  I bought more maternity clothes yesterday!!! Loved it.
Sleep:  Still not sleeping well... I'm thinking it's a combo of Caleb getting up in the middle of the night and me waking up to pee and flopping from side to side because I'm uncomfortable. 
Best moment of the week:  It's been a good week, just having fun with Caleb & hitting 20 weeks is amazing.
Food cravings:  I kinda wanted some candy yesterday... SHOCKER I know lol
Food aversions:  Nothing too bad this week.
Symptoms:  Still nauseous... I've got >= 20 weeks to go. lol
Movement:  Lots of little bumps and kicks at night... and whenever I slow down or sit down now!
What I’m looking forward to: Ashley having her baby !!! Any day now!!
What I miss:  ehh. 
Next appt:  Middle of November some time. 

Seriously, 20 weeks pregnant feels like a huge and amazing milestone.  The next milestone I am anxiously looking forward to is 28 weeks, and viability day.   I cannot believe I am officially halfway (or more or less lol) through my pregnancy.   This is unbelievable. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

19 weeks!!

How far along:  19 weeks today
How big is baby:   a little over 6" from crown to rump!!  And about 9oz in weight :)
Maternity clothes:  I definitely need a better maternity clothes wardrobe.
Sleep:  Not so great... back hurts, need a big body pillow... and now Caleb up through the night :P
Best moment of the week:  Feeling baby kick.  And Caleb here bonding with Jack and I.
Food cravings:  None.
Food aversions:  Junk food.
Symptoms:  I have thrown up every day since last Saturday :P  Also going pee a lot.  And just an all over heavy feeling in my uterus.
Movement:  Lots of little bumps and kicks at night.
What I’m looking forward to: feeling bigger kicks and Caleb getting more settled... and my best friend having her baby... hopefully some time this week!! 
What I miss:  ehh. 
Next appt:  Middle of November some time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

First day with Foster Son

First day home with C went really well. 

Jack and I drove separately to a park and ride to drop off his truck so that it would be easier for him to leave for work after picking C up.  We rode together the next 35 minutes of the trip, and then we were early.  About 30 minutes early. Naturally lol.

We got some breakfast and waited... and waited.  C's caregiver got there right on time and again, our placement worker was almost 20 minutes late... better than the 45 minutes late she was earlier this week... but hey... apparently she didn't learn the traffic the first time.  *shrugs*  No biggie, just made for an awkward 20 minutes as we sat with C and care giver. 

Jack was excited to meet C for the first time and enjoyed playing with him at the meeting place.

Finally it was time to go and Jack carried C's things out to the truck and I carried Caleb.  It was only slighty tearful goodbye and then C settled right in to our car seat that we had waiting for him.  I gave him a snack of cheerios and a sippy cup of water and we headed home.   He fell asleep probably 5-10 minutes before we got to the park and ride where Jack left us and went to work and I headed home.  He slept the rest of the way home. 

I couldn't decide what to do with him when I got home.  I wanted to give him a bath and change his clothes and get him settled in, but I didn't want to wake him up.  This kid needed a nap.  So I sat in my truck for a few minutes and finally ended up deciding to take him inside and if he woke up I'd give him a nap.  He woke up, so in to the house we went and into the bath we went.  It took some coaxing, but he wanted to get in the tub once he saw that he could throw all the foam letters into the water and his rubber ducky.

After bath it was lunch time and I made him grilled cheese and gave him some prunes.  (Hey, odd combo but it was all I had so that's what he got lol.)  and he loved the prunes.

After lunch, I was hoping he would be sleepy and want to take a nap... but instead he spent literally 4 hours exploring his bedroom while I laid on his bed waiting for him to settle down... nope didn't happen.  So I changed his clothes (again lol) because he had spilled water all down the front of himself.  I thought we would be able to grocery shop and then I gave him a snack and he fell asleep in his high chair eating his snack lol. 

Little man slept for 2 1/2 hours and I took the time to clean up the Tornado that he had ripped through the house haha.  I started dinner and waited for Jack to get home from the grocery store.  (I sent him at this point since C was still sleeping.) 

Dinner was ready and on the table as Jack was coming through the door.  Turns out C doesn't like homemade mac n cheese haha... I'm pretty sure not many kids taste that and the mac and cheese they are used to comes from a box.   Well not in this house ;)  He LOVED the green beans though, he ended up asking for more green beans 3 times! He ate a plate full of beans haha.

After dinner we had to do another bath and this time Jack got to help.  This was Jack's first time giving a kid a bath ever... then followed by first time changing a diaper (well putting a clean one on after bath) and getting a kid dressed.  It was pretty funny watching him learn how to do it.  I forgot how weird it is the first time you do that.  I was probably 8 or so the first time I changed a diaper and got a little kid dressed, maybe younger.  I don't even know!!

Then Caleb was pretty sleepy so we attempted to get him into bed.. that didn't go quite so well and we tried to take turns rocking him to see if that would get him to fall asleep... he definitely preferred me over Jack at that point.  We did our best and I ended up just settling with me laying down in his bed with him until he fell asleep.  I think I finally crawled in to bed around 10:30pm.  And Caleb slept through the night! 

I got up at about 7 and went down stairs with the monitor.  He slept for another 25-30 minutes and then I went up and got him.  Changed diaper and then went down for breakfast of bananas and oatmeal with raisins.  Oatmeal = messiest breakfast I could have ever picked. 

During breakfast my morning sickness had me in the bathroom... only took a few minutes and then I was back at it.  It was great that he was contained in his high chair so I could throw up in peace haha. 

After breakfast clean up we went upstairs and changed into today's adorable outfit.  I love dressing this little man.  He's just much smaller than I thought he would be so a lot of his clothes are a little too big.  He's in 18 month tops and wears 24 month bottoms but they are a bit too long. 

He's been playing with Dixie all morning... which Dixie is just still SO excited about him that she plays a little too rough.  And of course, Dixie's tail is perfect height to whack C right in the face/head.  He doesn't seem to mind though and runs circles around the house while Dixie chases him. 

I'm hoping that his caregiver was telling the truth when she said he takes a morning nap but I'm not entirely sure that's true :P  I know he needs a schedule and I'm working on it, but hey I've now had him officially 24 hours.  and 23ish hours in the house.  So... I'm doing good so far I think.  I am most glad that he slept all the way through his first night!

This post is probably choppy but it has been interrupted just about at every paragraph with me getting up and running after him to see what he's in to or discipline the dog for taking his toys or pacifier.  (He calls it a binky.)  So I apologize for that... and maybe after bed time today if I am not dead tired I can do a better update. 

I think I have a couple pictures that I might be able to share because they don't show his face at all, I'll have to look through what I have and see what would be okay.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meeting Caleb & Doctor's Appointment.

Yesterday I woke up early and got ready to go meet Caleb. 

Threw up my frosted mini wheats while brushing my teeth.

Got to the meeting place a half hour early... and if you know me at all, that is not even remotely surprising.

I went inside about 10 minutes early, looked around for anyone who was official looking... I was meeting my Bethany worker there too... or any ladies with a 2 year old boy.

I waited... and waited... And played hanging with friends... which reminds me, I probably have words to solve right now... and waited...

Finally this woman walks in with this little boy in her arms.  I stood up and introduced myself. 

We sat down and visited.  I met little Caleb.  Fell in love immediately.

The visit went really well... except that the caseworker didn't show up for a good 40 minutes.  >:/ fail. 

When the worker finally got there, she asked what we had covered.  We covered schedule, habits, likes and dislikes, how far along in potty training, sizes, really everything I could think of. 

Then caseworker dropped the bomb... so how does Thursday work?  Can we meet in the same spot about the same time?  Okay? Good, alright well we will see you then.

Caleb left with his caregiver & caseworker and I sat and talked some more.

She said I would have some paperwork that I would need to fill out.

But Thursday I will officially be his caregiver. 

After that, I drove back home... but before I got there, I knew that I had some stuff to do and shopping that I could get done.  I facebook stalked my friend who was in town from Japan that I haven't seen in months (maybe longer I don't even remember!!) and we went shopping.  She had stuff she needed to do and get for her sister's wedding that is on Saturday and I had lots of Caleb shopping to do.

We went to Babies 'R' Us and I did some damage.  Fabulous.  Also went to Costco to get diapers and wipes.  I can't even describe what a crazy feeling it is to be pushing a cart around full of baby stuff... and DIAPERS.  CRAZY.

I wish that I had my cloth diaper stash already... because it bothers me how much disposables cost... but hey... I can work on that.  Plus he's potty training, right?  Hopefully that will only take a few months at most... so maybe I will only have needed to buy the one pack of diapers?  Who knows.  I know nothing about potty training... but I definitely wish I could be cloth diapering right now too.

I bought a bunch of clothes for little Caleb and I'm super excited to go shopping for some more.  I think I want to hit up Children's Place (or whatever it's called) and maybe Gymboree and maybe Old Navy or something.  I want to get some stuff. 

He needs shoes and a winter coat.  And stuff like that.  Mittens and stuff.

I probably should be getting toys and stuff too but that stuff is expensive so a little at a time will do it!

So after all the shopping and lunch with my friend, I had to go to my OB appointment.  My OB appointment was pretty anticlimactic mostly because I have my own Doppler... and can listen to the baby's heart beat any time I want.  Basically we just heard the heart beat, told my doctor that we are getting this 2 year old foster placement and he said whoa it's just raining babies all over you guys! haha.  Other than that... pretty non eventful... said I should be feeling movement daily pretty soon.  So that was about it on that.

Jack and I went to the chiropractor (who for some reason still insists that we name our unborn child Gus... um no lol)  and both of us got adjusted and then we drove home forgetting that we left Jack's truck at the doctor's office which made us double back and head to the doctor's office again.  We decided to stop at this amazing place to get dinner (Gregg's.. mmmmm)  I had chicken ceasar salad and Jack had pizza.  I barely ate any of my salad and Jack took it home and ate the rest later.  It was still super tasty though, I was just full. 

Jack and I got home and the power was out... which is surprising that it hasn't happened more times this year because it goes out a lot here... but there was still about an hour left of daylight so Jack went out and chopped leaves on the lawn mower and I went inside to put together the high chair for Caleb.  By the way, I love the high chair more in my kitchen at the table than I did in the store!!  Yayyy.

Then MIL called... we chatted about 2 year olds... then I was exhausted and I went to sleep.

Woke up this morning running to the bathroom again... so I suppose the morning sickness is back... but at least it happens before 8am... so hopefully all the throwing up will happen before Caleb wakes up and gets out of bed for the day! 

We still need a few more things for him, but I think we should be good for a little while.  I would like to get him his own blanket set and stuff to make his room a little more boy friendly and less institutional and plain. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

This is a big week... Baby & Caleb

This is a pretty big week over all.

On Monday morning, I am meeting with Caleb and his caregiver and also my Bethany Caseworker.  I get to meet Caleb face to face and get to ask all sorts of questions to get to know him and get an idea of how to prepare for him better and how to make him living here much more successful.

I'm trying to write down a list of questions so that all I have to do is write in the answers and it will be organized for when I get home or when I need to reference it for his care.

Things on the list include:  clothing size, diaper size, what kind of bed is he sleeping in now (crib or bed), any information on potty training, what kind of clothing/toys/stuff is he coming with, what is his schedule like, what foods does he like/dislike, what things does he like/dislike, allergies, medical history, etc.

As far as Caleb goes, we are realizing more and more how much time this will take up with the first several weeks to months with him bonding with us.  Typical parents begin bonding with their children during pregnancy and right from birth... Caleb will meet me for the first time tomorrow, and I have to form a bond with him so that he knows that he can trust me and that he is safe with me.  We are figuring things out and changing plans as we need to, in order to be able to stay at home and make sure that critical bonding time happens. 

We also installed his car seat in my Durango today just in case he might be coming home with me tomorrow, so that way we will be all set up and ready for him.  I'm hoping that it will be Tuesday that he comes here or after because that will give me some time to shop and have some clothes ready and things like that for him when he comes instead of having to scramble and figure all of those things out after he gets here. 

I sure like the way it looks in my Durango with a child seat :)

After my meeting with Caleb, I will have some time to go shopping before my doctor's appointment which got bumped from last week to tomorrow.  I am excited though, because I will have my appointment with my Doctor instead of another doctor in the practice.  Jack is meeting me at the doctor's office for my appointment this time.

For this appointment, I will also be bringing a pad of paper because I have a list of questions that I'm curious to ask about labor and delivery since this hasn't be discussed yet.  I know this is early, but if I am unhappy with something or find something to be unacceptable (I have no idea what I would find unacceptable... but just in case) I would like to have some time to find another hospital or doctor that more closely fits my needs/wants during delivery. 

Mostly though, I'm just curious what my doctor's practices are and what the hospitals practices are.

Then this week will be filled with the whirl-wind of stuff with getting prepared for Caleb's transition to our house and getting everything set up and ready for it.  Things like if he's sleeping in a crib, then we need to lower the crib down since it is now set up for an infant and not a toddler.  Other things like if he's sleeping in a bed, we need to get a sheet and blanket set for him.  

We have lots of stuff going on around the house too as far as getting ready for winter goes.  Jack is still plowing through our wood pile... I'm REALLY hoping that we can hold off for a little while longer to not have to start burning, but if we get Caleb here it might be sooner rather than later that we start burning.  I think we started right about this time or a few weeks later last year... and last year we were COLD.... But we were waiting to buy and install the boiler and all that jazz and we were so happy and thrilled with the heat once we finally got it all in place :) 

Jack has spent the whole day working on stuff outside.  My mom came over this morning to help me clean out a couple things, she scrubbed the cupboards with me in the kitchen and helped me scrub my bathrooms out.  Jack moved the second twin sized bed out of the bedroom upstairs and into the storage room in the basement. 

For the most part, our house is basically clean!!

I still have a bit of stuff to organize like my sewing area... and I'm not sure when I'm going to go near that again... but I suppose I'll have to put stuff away and out of the reach of a two year old.  I'm also going to need to install the gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.  I'm kind of thinking that we might just put a gate on his bedroom ... but I'm not sure yet.  Depends. 

I'm really excited for everything we have going on.

I hope everything goes really smoothly and that Caleb has no problems transitioning.  So your prayers as we go through this first placement are truly coveted!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Caleb update

Things have been a little bit of a roller coaster when it comes to whether or not Caleb is going to come to stay with us. 

At this point, it looks as though he IS going to come now, but I can't be sure yet.  I don't know when he will be coming.

This is such new territory for me with having an experience that I can't share fully, so I'm being very careful about what I write and what I share.

I won't be able to share pictures of Caleb on here or on Facebook, he is not our child and we have no rights to do so. 

I think mostly I just plan on sharing my experiences with what it's like being a Foster Mom... but for the most part... I can't share anything about Caleb specifically.

This is the most random post.... sorry :)

18 Weeks

How far along:  18 weeks today
How big is baby: 5.6" from crown to rump!!  Grew 1/2" in length from crown to rump !! That's huge!
Total weight gain:  3-4lbs.
Maternity clothes:  I definitely need a better maternity clothes wardrobe.
Sleep:  Ehh doing okay.  I have more energy during the day and I'm more tired at night so that's great.
Best moment of the week: Being able to feel where the baby is laying.  And getting the calls about Caleb.
Food cravings:  None.
Food aversions:  Junk food.
Symptoms:  I threw up last Saturday morning and then not again until this Saturday morning... slowing down?? Stopping??
Movement:  Not too much really.
Gender:  It's a surprise.
What I’m looking forward to:  Bringing Caleb home and getting him settled in and then letting the whole family come and meet him. 
What I miss:  I think it's crazy how little I can tolerate sugary foods.  We bought a bowl full of halloween candy and I ate a couple pieces last night and felt sick all night and threw up this morning... I don't think I like sweets any more.
Next appt:  October 17th!   So Monday :)