"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Favorite Things

For a couple of reasons I have decided to write a blog entry devoted entirely to things in life that I absolutely love... the things that make me tick, smile, get through the bad days and have shaped who I am as a person and made me a unique child of God. I have to first give credit where credit is due -- I got the idea for this after reading my good friend Annalisa's blog. Her writing always makes me think deep and remember our good times together throughout high school and beyond. (So thank you Annalisa - I love you!) The other reason I wanted to write this blog is entirely selfish. I have become the type of pregnant woman that I used to laugh at. I never could understand how some pregnant women get so dang impatient when they are SO close to their due date. I would always think to myself... "you're gonna have that kid any day -- why are you so crabby?? You should be HAPPY!" Well now I get it. I am officially just 10 days away from my due date, and I am crankier than ever. (Sorry Cody). Each day now seems like an entire month. Some hours I almost convince myself that I will never go into labor and that this baby doesn't want to meet his mommy. I've been throwing myself a pitty party. So in order to try and snap myself out of it (at least for as long as it takes me to write this) -- I am going to think about all the positive things in this world. So here it is...

The things (big and small) that I LOVE (in no particular order):
-The FIRST snow fall of the winter
-Life in Iowa
-70 degree weather
-Owning my own home
-Watching Jaden grow up every single day
-Cody's hugs
-Jaden's smile
-Jaden's voice
-Walking while holding Jaden's tiny hand
-Everything about Jaden
-Date nights with Cody... fancy or not fancy... it's a piece of Heaven since it happens so seldom
-Pictures of all of my memories
-Buying a new piece of home decor
-Orchard Hill Church
-The smell inside the UNI-Dome (call me crazy, but that place holds an infinite amount of memories for me going all the way back to when I was a baby -- and the smell in that place reminds me of all of them -- and of all the people associated with them. I love walking into that building after not visiting it for a while and breathing it in... it usually forces a big sigh out of me as if to say "welcome home, Nicole.")
-The UNI Panthers
-Disney World
-Romantic comedies
-Fall and spring
-When the sun sets around 8/8:30 at night and the temperature is perfect
-Lit candles
-Christmas, decorating for Christmas, the reason for Christmas... everything about Christmas
-Dogs - especially the ones I had growing up - Duffy, Shane, Lucky -- you were all beyond special!
-My scentsy pot (no idea how to spell that)
-Being a mom
-Being a wife
-Freshly washed bed sheets
-Thunderstorms during the day
-A book so good you have to force yourself to put it down
-DVR - a sincere ginormous thank you to whoever invented this
-Thinking about the "beginning" moments of Cody and my relationship... there is nothing like new love!
-Our family -- we are lucky to have such supportive parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Most people say this but we truly are very blessed.
-Knowing that I have the same best friend I've had since diapers - Casey - no matter how seldom/often we talk
-Thinking about my high school and college days... I really did have the time of my life
-When the seasons start changing... Variety is the spice of life!
-Walks with my boys when the weather is just perfect and the sun is just starting to settle down for the day
-Cody's grilling
-Finding a song that you swear was written for you and how you are feeling at that particular moment in your life
-Ultrasounds of my babies
-Starbucks Frappuccinos (again.. spelling?)
-Game nights (why don't we ever have them???)
-Sweatpants and sweatshirts
-Diet fountain pop
-Watching old home videos
-Watching Jaden learn how to pray.. a recently new development!
-A night time sky full of stars
-Looking at our wedding pictures
-Getting emails and snail mail that AREN'T work related or bills
-Ordering something online and getting home from work to find it waiting for you
-The childhood that I had. I grew up in an awesome neighborhood surrounded by good people, and I have life-long friendships due to that neighborhood. As well as a lifetime full of memories - riding bikes, swimming in our backyard, etc. etc.
-Chocolate shakes
-Lightning bugs... we have a creative God don't we??!
-Pink flowers
-Nights spent with our entire family... dinners out, cook outs, whatever it may be...

...I'm realizing I could go on and on but these are the first things that come to mind. This list will soon no doubt be added to with the birth of our second baby. (If he ever decides to meet me... Ha! Just kidding...) ;)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pregnancy Update

Well I finally feel like there's a light at the end of the tunnel! We are now officially just two weeks away from my due date. The end of this pregnancy definitely feels different than it did with Jaden. They planned my induction date with Jaden almost months in advance for special reasons... so we KNEW when he was coming. This time around... we're on the edges of our seats.

At my appointment last week, they checked me for dilation for the first time. During this appointment I wasn't dilated at all and Dr. Moussa was unable to feel the baby's head. She immediately worried that he was head up instead of head down so she got us into the ultrasound room right away. Sure enough -- his head was up by my ribs -- not the right way to be by that point in the pregnancy! Her plan was to give him a week to turn around on his own. She looked at the placenta and realized that with the way it was positioned she did not want to try and turn the baby herself because she felt she could cause damage to the placenta... which would not be good. So we spent a week thinking good thoughts and praying that he would turn on his own. If he didn't turn by Wednesday of this week, she was going to possibly schedule me for an early c-section. I'm trying to avoid a c-section at all costs!

At our appointment two days ago we got a mix of good news and so-so news. The good news is that baby boy did turn himself around and is now head down - yay! However, I still haven't started dilating at all, and she did another ultrasound. During the ultrasound she did a bunch of measurements and the estimate is that he's over seven pounds already. This would be fine if I were going to go into labor any day, but since I haven't even started dilating... we're a little concerned he's going to be huge by the time I do go into natural labor. This could possibly require me to have to have a c-section anyway. So now we play the waiting game again... at my appointment this upcoming Wednesday she is going to check for dilation again - make sure he still is head down - and then if I haven't made any progress, she is going to strip my membranes. I'm hoping that is not needed! Once she strips my membranes I will have to be checked again within a couple of days to see if that made any progress. She still mentions inducing me before my due date to avoid him being too big but she wants me to be somewhat dilated before I get induced so that the labor doesn't take too long. (Sometimes being induced can make for a really really long labor -- so it's even worse if I'm not dilated at all by that point). People have asked me if I'm feeling any contractions -- and I've really only had a couple. They've been very very mild and I haven't even had one in a few days. I never felt any contractions with Jaden, but when I arrived at the hospital with him and they hooked me up to machines - they told me I was having contractions three minutes apart. I hadn't even felt them!

So last week the prayer was that he would turn around - this week the prayer is that I start feeling some contractions so we can make some progress! All of this is making Cody think this is going to be our "difficult" child out of the two ;) Everything else still looks just perfect for mommy and baby. As long as he comes out healthy... that's really all I can ask for!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Jaden's Birthday Week

Whew! As much as I loved making Jaden's birthday a great few days for him, I am somewhat relieved the week is over. I'm exhausted -- and incredibly grateful that I wasn't even closer to my due date than what I am.

Even though I'm not a big fan of my own birthday and don't really care much about it... it is my goal to make my kids' birthdays very special every year... so that they know how special that day of birth really was! I had been mentioning Jaden's birthday to him for a few weeks so that when the celebration took place he maybe had somewhat idea of what I'd been talking about. His actual birthday was on a Thursday with his party being on Saturday. We decided to do a football themed party because he loves football. (Don't know where he got that from). On the morning of his birthday, Cody and I walked into his bedroom with a balloon for him. Anytime we're in a grocery store or any place that has balloons, he gets incredibly excited. But because they're not his balloons - just display balloons - it's always a disappointment for him that he can't actually play with them. I thought it'd be a great way to kick off his day by having balloons for him he could actually play with. I was right - his face lit up when he saw the balloon we carried into his room for him. He held it the entire time we were getting him dressed, and then when he walked out into our living room there were more balloons for him scattered around the floor. He was in Heaven. It was so hard to get him out the door to head to daycare -- he didn't want to leave his balloons, and I didn't want to make him leave! I had made cupcakes for the daycare kids to help Jaden celebrate and decorated them like footballs. So he was able to have an extra special day while Mommy and Daddy were at work. He and his buddy Carter, who is about a year and a half -- both LOVED the treat at daycare. Apparently Carter got the frosting all over his hair and everything. A quick apology to Carter's mommy for the mess! The night of Jaden's birthday, we decided to cook one of his favorite meals - spaghetti. He devoured a whole bowl of it plus two bowls of fruit. (He got whatever he wanted for about three days straight!) We enjoyed the meal just the three of us, and when we were done both sets of grandparents came over with their presents for him. It was funny to see the difference one month makes. Over Christmas he really didn't care that much still about opening presents -- but on his birthday he knew exactly what to do and was even excited about it. After he opened the presents from the grandparents, Cody brought up our surprise for him. We bought him his very first "tool bench." He was pretty excited about it, although he still doesn't really know what it's used for. I think it will be something he gets more interested in as he gets a little older and starts relating it to what he sees Daddy doing around the house. After presents, we lit two candles and sang Happy Birthday to him - then let him eat ANOTHER cupcake. I have this process on video, and I will post it soon. It was hilarious!
The Friday morning after his birthday he had his two-year appointment with the doctor. He had one more shot he needed to get -- but now we're done with shots until he's five! Yay! He is 32 lbs. and 36 1/2 inches long. He is in the 95th percentile for everything!

Saturday was party day. We held it at my parents because our house just isn't capable of comfortably holding the number of people we invited. We had all of the little cousins, grandparents and big cousins over. Here is his awesome cake from HyVee -- and I'd like to thank Coach Farley for gifting Cody and me with this nice UNI appetizer helmet for our wedding a couple of years ago. It came in very handy! ;)
We asked everyone to wear their favorite team's football jersey/shirt for the party... in order to keep with the theme ;) I was pleasantly surprised that everyone participated. Including baby Lily! Jaden absolutely loves her!!
The big surprise for Jaden was having the UNI mascot TC make an appearance. I thought of this idea a few months ago because when he saw TC for the first time at a football game, he was immediately in love with him and had no fear whatsoever. He even chased him half the length of the football field after a game one time. He quickly learned how to say "TC" and has continued to talk about him quite frequently since then. I was pretty nervous leading up to the party that he would turn out to be afraid of him when he saw him again... so I couldn't wait for the big moment to arrive -- and to be over with in case it didn't turn out very well ;) But Jaden LOVED having TC show up on Saturday. He immediately went to him and pet his nose and gave him a high-five. The whole party he kept saying "TC!" "TC!" TC was GREAT with all of the kids (and the adults, too) -- and it was fun to get pictures of him in my dad's "Panther Pit." TC also brought TC coloring books and trading cards for all of the kids -- and made a special coloring page with a message to Jaden on it - "Happy birthday Jaden." This will go great in Jaden's new room. We have pieces of the old UNI football turf that we are going to be hanging in his room with a bunch of Jaden's sports pictures on it - kind of like using the pieces of turf as a bulletin board. This special picture from TC will be proudly hung on the piece of turf! It's now funny to think that TC surprised Cody and me at our wedding reception, too. It's beginning to seem like we can't have a big event without him! ;)

TC also autographed Jaden's stuffed TC for him - a very special memento!

I have a long video of our TC visit that I will upload soon. Thank you TC and all of Jaden's birthday guests for making it a very fun day for him and for his mommy and daddy. Every day Cody and I continue to be in awe of our little boy. Can't believe it's been two years since we met him -- don't remember what I ever did without him!