Thursday, December 30, 2010

Case's Library

I was a second grade teacher before accepting my current job of mom/housewife/secratary.  With teaching comes a LOT of stuff that you buy on your own (turns out schools don't give teachers tons of money to help teach their students).  You can ask our garage, my brother's barn, and my parent's basement if you don't believe that with teaching comes a lot of stuff!  As a teacher one of the things I invested a LOT of money into was books.  There isn't much more important than honing reading skills in second grade.  Now that I've traded my 27ish students in for my one favorite student you can imagine that he has a lot of books to pick from.  Now most of my classroom books are still boxed up so that they are in one piece when it comes time for Case to start reading on his own but I kept the board books and some of my favorites out for him.  The point is that between my library and all the people that have gifted us books, Case has a bunch!

In the last couple months he has really started to enjoy us reading to him.  This might stem from Daddy reading him a story before bed each night, or maybe it's genetic and he gets it from his daddy's love of reading (pretty sure he didn't get it from me).  Whatever caused it, it caught on and I love it!  Case must bring me at least 30 books a day.  He'll pick out just the book he wants and if I'm sitting on the floor he'll hand it to me then turn around and back up into my lap.  He loves to turn the pages but I'm really impressed that he listens to most of the books beginning to end, minus a few that he gets bored with.

Here's a look at ONE of today's reading marathons (this wasn't the first one today and it won't be the last).

Picking out just the right book

I can tell you Tootle was NOT it... that one's WAY too long for him to sit through!  I'm pretty sure it should have been made into a chapter book!

The books we read at this sitting:-)

I love that he loves being read to.  I love that time with him and I love that there's so much he can learn from (good) books.  I hope that he continues to enjoy books as he gets older!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

28 Weeks

This is my weekly pregnancy update. For details on the story behind these updates you can visit my first one here.

Pregnancy Play-by-play

How Far Along: 28 Weeks

Size of baby: Baby J is the size of an eggplant.  13.6 to 14.8 inches long and 1.5 to 2.2 pounds

Total Weight Gain/Loss: + 10.5

Maternity Clothes: Maternity jeans and T-shirt, "The Suit(s)" or sweatpants and some maternity shirts... pretty much anything that I can get on without it looking like a spandex disaster straight out of the 80's.

Gender: BOY!!! Ty Athen???  Yes I'm still saying it with a question mark... again with the commitment issue!!

Movement: Anytime I stop to focus on him I usually feel him move.  He doesn't seem to move as much as Case did but I don't know if I feel that way just because I'm not further along and he'll get there or if he really does move less.  Either way he usually puts my mind at ease if I start to worry.

Sleep:  I'm still sleeping pretty well.  I feel like I'm just sleeping hard (if that makes sense) and having crazy dreams (I don't usually remember dreaming when I'm not pregnant) and it is like I wake up exhausted from all of that.  Does that even make sense???  It has helped that I've regained control of the pillows again, after Wayne's first run in with Diverticulitis (which is probably worthy of it's own post but who knows if I'll ever get there... suffice it to say it involved half a day in the ER and about three days straight of him being in bed) I had to cut him some slack.  The good news is he is better now thanks to the antibiotics and will hopefully learn to "just say no" to popcorn from now on.  

Cravings: Jimmy Johns.  I've had Jimmy Johns about three times over the last week and now that I'm typing it I think I might need to have it again.  I LOVE their veggie sub, although it does take all the self-control I have to tell them to leave the sprouts off the sandwich because they are my favorite part!  I always have to buy a pickle though... can we just talk about this for a second.  What kind of sub shop doesn't have pickles as one of the optional toppings, or doesn't at least give you a pickle spear to go with your sandwich?!?!?  I really don't think I should have to pay EXTRA for a doggone pickle!  Oh and if I am paying extra, then explain to me why you can slice it up and put it on my sandwich!  Seriously!!!  Just needed to share that little frustration!  Extra pickle charge and all, I still love their sandwiches!

Symptoms: Nothing really... this is the easy part!  Wayne would probably like to start his own blog listing the various symptoms but this is mine and I say there are none:-)  

Best moment this week:  Being surrounded by family for Christmas!  Oh and I don't know if it is the best or the scariest but I've realized this week that I'm not onto every two week appointments with my OB!  I LOVE seeing her and hearing that the baby is fine but it means this due date is getting VERY close and that makes me a little nervous because I don't feel prepared yet.  

Side note:  I have my one-hour glucose test on Thursday.  This is now tomorrow because I've been so late in arranging my picture with Wayne (but I do start the post with the intention of it actually being on time).  Yes, I know it seems like an easy enough task but it requires more forethought than one might think.  I actually had to change out of my pajamas (talk about dedication:-) for the photographic genius above!  Anyways, I passed this test with Joshua and Caleb and with Case so I'm hoping I'll pass again but it's something I always worry about.  Too bad you can't study for this test!  It probably isn't going to help my odds knowing that I had pizza and peanut butter brownies for dinner tonight.  What was I thinking (other than how good it all tasted)?!?!?   I'd appreciate prayers!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

What an amazing Christmas!  I can't begin to explain the overwhelming feelings of being surrounded by my amazing family the last few days.  I love that Christmas is spread out over several occasions... from Wayne's siblings, to his Dad's house, to my parents house to home.  We have an amazing family and love them all dearly!

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite parts.  It started this year, as it does every, with dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse (you know... one of those cheesy hibachi grill places where they throw the shrimp and make onion volcanoes).  This tradition started on accident, which is how the best traditions start in my opinion.

My parents, my brother, Wayne, and I were looking for someplace that was open for dinner on Christmas Eve probably 10 years ago (this was before everyone stayed open for everything) and the Japanese Steakhouse was it.  They have to fill the tables so they end up sitting other people with you.  We ended up sitting with 3 people wearing funny Christmas hats.  They were super nice!  The next year we ended up at the same place for the same reason and low and behold the same family was there.  We sat with them again and now every Christmas Eve at 7:15 we meet them there.  The restaurant expects us and we are known as the group with the crazy hats.  It has grown with my brother getting married, to my sister-in-law's parents and brother, to Wayne's dad and step-mom, and now Case.  An added bonus this year was that a bunch of Wayne's family happened to be there too!  It was funny to run into them there!

Crazy Hat Christmas Eve Dinner 2010

Case's first attempt at chopsticks

My brother, his wife and her family

Wayne with his Dad and Step-Mom (I was so glad they got to join us this year!)

Case checking out the fish pond

Case's crazy hat, while it was on!

And off it goes!
After dinner we went back to my parents house to have Christmas with them, my brother and his wife, and us.  Case did REALLY well!!!  He got so many great gifts from Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Ben and Aunt CoCo.  He also managed to stay awake until about 11pm!

Scoring his first basket on the toy from Grandma and Grandpa... Grandpa couldn't be prouder!

First trip down the slide

More gifts from Grandma and Grandpa

Silly boy in his silly hat:-)

Us... will I ever learn to look at the camera and not at Case?!?!?

He loved drumming on his gift from Uncle Ben and Aunt CoCo

Oh and climbing on it!

Sitting on the cool toy Aunt CoCo and Uncle Ben got him

Playing with Grandma's Christmas tree even after he was told not to about a hundred times!

Trying out his new boots, which I think might be the cutest thing I've ever seen!  Oh and this outfit was originally meant for one of Case's friend's to wear but it was too big for him so Case got to wear it!  I LOVE this outfit!!!!  There's something SO cute about a toddler in a one piece outfit!  Tangent:  Isn't it funny how when he was a tiny baby I wanted to dress him in all these "big boy" looking outfits and now that he's a toddler, which I still have trouble typing, I want him to wear these "little boy" outfits?

Uncle Ben reading to Case

Aunt CoCo reading to Case

I love this picture of Case with Aunt CoCo

On Christmas morning Case slept in... you'll have that when you keep your one year old that usually goes to bed at 8:30 up until 11:30.  We all enjoyed this gift!!!  I got up first and started chocolate chip pancakes, which by the way were amazing if I do say so myself.  I don't know why I've never had chocolate chip pancakes before but I was DEFINITELY missing out!  Throw a little peanut butter and syrup on top and you've got yourself the most amazing breakfast ever!  Case agreed with mommy... Daddy ate plain old pancakes.

Yummy!!!  Truth be told, I've been eating the leftovers at just about every meal since Christmas morning!

All of Case's packages were wrapped except one... his rocking chair.  He has always loved the rocking chair at Grandma and Grandpa's house and we don't know why we never thought to bring the one I used to have in my classroom in from the garage.  The thought occurred to us about 4 days before Christmas so we decided we'd just make it part of his presents.  Is that wrong... the whole re-gifting a rocking chair to my son that hundreds of my former students used first?  I don't know but he sure is a big fan... used or not!  It was the first stop when he got downstairs... even before the chocolate chip pancakes... this is beyond me!  He loves this rocking chair and gets in and out of it about 100 times a day!

Seeing his "new" chair for the first time

After breakfast we opened packages.  Case wasn't super interested in helping because all of his presents from Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Ben, and Aunt CoCo were still sitting out.  So I sat unwrapping all of the packages that I spent all that time wrapping just days before... that might be one of the dumber moments in my life:-)  We got him some puzzles, books, a lawnmower (starting to rethink this purchase), pull toy, and I can't even remember what else.  We didn't spend a ton but got him a lot of little things.

Case with all his presents!

Helping Mommy

Yes, Daddy did wear those socks with those shorts:-)

I'm pretty convinced this lawnmower is the nosiest toy ever made!

Daddy got Mommy a new crockpot!!!  This might be an "off limits" gift for some women but I'd take this over jewelry any day!!!  I was VERY excited!

And he got me a new hair dryer... this was also a very exciting/necessary gift.  Mine would spark if I put it on high heat.  I'm guessing that's not good so to prevent our house burning down or my hair from disappearing, Wayne was kind enough to get me a new one!  Thanks babe!!!

After his nap we went to my parents house where my mom's extended family gathers every year to celebrate. We end up with a lot of people in one house and I love every minute of it!  There's nothing better than being surrounded by family!  Case also got some great toys at this gathering! 

No he doesn't look the happiest but I had to include this picture because this was his Christmas Day outfit and I think it's adorable!!!  Take a look at those boots!!!  I'm pretty sure that, like his Momma, he would much rather be in some sort of sweat pants that are stretchy and easier to move in because he was pretty grumpy the whole time he had these jeans on but once we changed his clothes his mood was much better!

Notice the smile and the change of clothes!  He LOVED this tunnel/tent gift from his Great Grandma and Great Grandpa!

And after a long Christmas Day we finally got home.  Before I could even take his coat and hat off he ran to his rocking chair:-)

I think this is pretty much how all of us felt by this point in the day... ready for bed!

It was a wonderful few days we had surrounded by so many of the people we love!  I would love to explain how blessed I feel to have such an amazing family but I have no idea how to verbalize it.  It is just so comforting to know that they are there for us no matter what and that our little boy is loved beyond words.  Thank you to my amazing family for loving us!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yep, He's Mine!

So it turns out that Case probably has more of my genetic make up than we first thought.  I've mentioned before how he loves to go into his room to pick out a book and bring it to anyone sitting at the computer because all attention should be on him at all times.  Well yesterday I was in the laundry room, Wayne was at the computer (let's hold him responsible for this injury:-), and Case was in his room (right beside the computer) looking at books until he found just the right one to take to Daddy.  He grabbed the book and took off full-speed out of his room only to be stopped in his tracks by his head meeting the door jamb.  He started screaming immediately and of course both of us were in his room in about 1 second.  By the time I got there, again this was only about 1 second after it happened, he already had a bruise and a huge knot right in the middle of his forehead.  I gave him a paci and we sat in the rocking chair.  He calmed down faster than usual.  I couldn't figure out how this kid wasn't screaming in pain for a long time.  My only thought was he must be delirious (reminder: I'm pregnant and irrational).  I called the doctor because I thought for sure they would want to see him.  They said (in that "calm down you crazy mother" voice) "you did the right thing by calling but if he's acting normal and doesn't seem to have any vision issues (other than the one where he ran smack into the door jamb?) then he's fine.  Just keep an eye on him and you only need to worry if he starts complaining of a headache (because you know he's so verbal that he'd be sure and tell me if he had one), or if it seems like he's having trouble seeing.  Case has been totally fine since about 2 minutes after the collision but I have to share pictures of what he looked like yesterday with you.

I'm sure these pictures aren't going to do the 3-dimensionalism (is that a word... spell check says NO) of this goose egg  justice but hopefully you'll get the idea

 Do you see it sticking out???  Wayne said he looked like a Klingon or whoever those people with the weird foreheads on Star Trek are.

We can discuss his hair issues later... for now let's focus on that forehead!

It's so big it has a shadow!!!  Are you seeing this people?!?!

In case you were worried, the door jamb is fine, at least for now... I'm sure this isn't the last run in those two will have!  Today Case looks much better.  The swelling has gone down quite a bit but there is still a nice bruise left behind, which I'm sure will look beautiful surrounded by all the red and green in the Christmas pictures!  The good news is that if the doctor's ripping him out of my stomach wasn't confirmation enough that he is in fact my son, I think this is!

27 Weeks

This is my weekly pregnancy update. For details on the story behind these updates you can visit my first one here.

Pregnancy Play-by-play
I'm sure you're all relieved to see me back in my standard weekly pictures uniform!  Yes that means I FINALLY got caught up on laundry:-)  Go me!

How Far Along: 27 Weeks

Size of baby: Baby J is the size of an eggplant.  13.6 to 14.8 inches long and 1.5 to 2.2 pounds (hmmm... I'm no mathematician but I don't think that adds up to the 9.5 pounds I've gained!)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: + 9.5

Maternity Clothes: Maternity jeans and T-shirt, "The Suit(s)" or sweatpants and some maternity shirts... pretty much anything that I can get on without it looking like a spandex disaster straight out of the 80's.

Gender: BOY!!! Ty Athen???  I heard the name Carver (it was someone's last name on a TV show) and I like it too.  So yes I'm still saying it with a question mark... again with the commitment issue!!

Movement: He's moving more and more... I LOVE that feeling!!!

Sleep: Case is STILL teething and so on the nights that I can get the pillows just right I'm still sleeping really well!  On a happy note, I think one of the (at least) 4 upper teeth he's working on might actually pop through before his 2nd birthday!  It's SO SO close and, dare I say, might actually be starting to break the skin.  

Cravings: I'm not Paula Deen or Rachael Ray but I'm a culinary genius in my own right (*I hope you're learning to pick up on my extreme sarcasm because I'm pretty much the furthest thing from a culinary genius).  We have a small (so glad it's small because small = leftovers!) Christmas get together with one of my best friend's family every year and this year I made brownies.  Yes, they were from the box but the culinary genius comes in when I share the secret ingredient... peanut butter chips... a lot of them!  They tasted good that night but today they were AMAZING!!!!  I am glad they kept half of them because I'm pretty sure I could have finished the entire pan!  So as far as cravings go... affirmative... peanut butter brownies!  

Symptoms: Nothing really... this is the easy part!  Wayne would probably like to start his own blog listing the various symptoms but this is mine and I say there are none:-)  

Best moment this week:  Going to the doctor.  I LOVE going to the doctor and I was excited that Wayne could go this time.  I know he waits anxiously when he can't go and holds his breath until the phone call comes telling him everything is fine (back story... he was at work when I found out we lost Joshua and Caleb and when I found out we had the first miscarriage).  Baby Ty sounded perfect.  His heart rate was between 140 and 151 the whole time we listened to it.  She said I was measuring 2 weeks ahead and that that was normal for me.  I needed explanation on the whole measuring tape to tummy thing.  It just doesn't seem accurate.  So she explained that she has no problem feeling my uterus and when she measures from pubic bone to top of uterus each centimeter represents 1 week.  I was measuring 29 weeks but I've measured 2 weeks ahead the whole time.  She said as long as I stay the same 2 weeks ahead throughout then it was normal.  I asked how that measurement can be accurate since I'm so much "fuller" in the middle than the average bear.  She said (I LOVE that she didn't use this opportunity to simply say "that's why you always measure 2 weeks ahead fatty") when her "90 pound scrawny girls come in they will measure 2 weeks behind.  Very nicely put Doc!  I love her for throwing the scrawny girls under the bus and not me (yes, this again is sarcasm... I have nothing but jealousy towards the scrawny girls)! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Things I Love About Case

  1. I love how Case picks up a totally inanimate object, which is sitting in the place where I keep it, and brings it to me almost to say, "Look Momma, I got the curling iron you wanted off of your shelf in the bathroom for you because I know you need it when you do the laundry!"  The proud look on his face makes me giggle every time and I all I can say is "Thank you baby!" and then go put it back where it belongs.
  2. I love how Case does this tensing up thing just because it makes me laugh, and that my laughing makes him laugh!
  3. I love how Case gets excited for me to put his shoes on just because he likes the sound they make on the kitchen floor.  He'll run to the kitchen and start running in place... we call it his "Happy Feet".  It's very cute... I need to capture this on video!
  4. I love how Case finds a pair of our shoes in the living room and picks them up with a sigh and then takes them over to the gate and drops them on the other side by the front door like he's told us a million times not to leave our shoes in the living room.
  5. I love how Case sees me sit down on the floor with something to eat and he starts dancing/running in place in front of me because he can barely contain his excitement knowing that he's about to get a bite of something.  
  6. I love how Case's paci makes this squeaky sound when he first sees me in the morning because he's smiling and trying to keep it in his mouth at the same time.  He is SO happy in the morning!
  7. I love how Case's kisses, when he's willing to share them, consist of his mouth being WIDE open and usually leave a ring of slobber around mine.  Nothing like a good wet Case kiss!
  8. I love how Case immediately stops when he hears music so that he can "dance," although it looks more like he's directing an orchestra.  So cute!!!
  9. I love how Case hates it when I'm sitting at the computer.  He has started bringing me books and crawling up in my lap so I'll read to him and not pay attention to the computer.  I'm a sucker for my little boy wanting Mommy to read to him so he always gets his way in this situation!
  10. I love how Case goes through the downstairs gate (when I leave it open for him) and heads directly for the Wallflower (plug in air freshener).  He walks up to it and gets as close as he possible can without touching it.  He'll point to it, with his little finger as close as it can possible get and then make one of his funny sounds and look back at me.  He knows he's not supposed to touch it so he just gets as close as possible without breaking the rules.  Oh so much of Mommy and Daddy in that little boy!!!
  11. I love how Case makes a beeline for the refrigerator anytime it is open so that he can pull each of the salad dressings out and then stack them on the inside ledge and then throw them down and then stand on them and so forth... no putting them back is not part of his routine!  
  12. I'm pretty sure I could go on and on about all of the things I love about Case but I'm going to stop here for today.  Suffice it to say that I feel incredibly blessed that God has chosen me to be this little boy's momma!  Somehow my love for him grows more and more every single day!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Praying for The Harrison's

My heart is breaking for a family that I don't even know.  It's breaking for a Mommy and Daddy who lost their baby girl.  It's breaking for the little girl that lost her twin sister.  It's breaking for the difficult journey of healing that is ahead of them.  It's breaking because it's my understanding that this isn't their first loss.  They lost another child shortly after birth from what I can piece together via other blogs linked from theirs.

I PRAISE God that it sounds like this family knows Him well and is growing closer rather than farther from Him.  I praise God for the courage that this mom is showing.  I praise God that already they are seeing blessings coming in from every direction.  I ask that you would join me in praying for The Harrison's.  They had 20 month old twin girls, Evie and Ramsey, until the morning of 12/9/10 when Evie just didn't wake up.  According to one of their fellow bloggers it sounds like the autopsy showed that she had Meningitis.  All I know is that regardless of what took this precious little girl, I know this family is living with a hole that will never again be filled.  I can't imagine the pain that they are feeling.  I don't know or understand how one recovers from such a tragedy.   I don't understand why things like this happen and I don't understand why tragedy is allowed to strike one family more than once.  I do know that NOTHING happens without God allowing it and I also know that He is the ONLY way through it.  I just pray that this family will feel God's supernatural healing power surrounding them and that He will provide them with the comfort that only He can.  Please join me in praying for this family!

26 Weeks

This is my weekly pregnancy update. For details on the story behind these updates you can visit my first one here.

Pregnancy Play-by-play

Yes, I know this isn't my typical outfit.  My shirt and jeans were in the laundry and I was lazy!  That's it... no other excuse just pure laziness.  Apparently my laziness outweighs my need for consistency.  Who knew?!?!

How Far Along: 26 Weeks

Size of baby: Baby J is the size of an eggplant.  13.6 to 14.8 inches long and 1.5 to 2.2 pounds (hmmm... that doesn't really add up to the 8.5 pounds I've gained!)

Total Weight Gain/Loss: + 8.5

Maternity Clothes: Maternity jeans and T-shirt, "The Suit(s)" or sweatpants and some maternity shirts pretty much take care of my wardrobe these days.

Gender: BOY!!! Ty Athen???  Yes I'm still saying it with a question mark... again with the commitment issue!!

Movement: He's moving more and more... I LOVE that feeling!!!

Sleep: Case is still teething and so on the nights that I can get the pillows just right I'm still sleeping really well!  Maybe someday his teeth will actually pop through, although it is starting to seem more likely to me that his teeth will be all the way in but still covered by his gums.  I mean seriously... how far can they stick out before they break through the skin???  Poor kid!

Cravings: Baked goods and caffeine free Coke. Thank you to Meijer for putting Coke products on sale FINALLY!

Symptoms: I don't notice much but Wayne reminds me over and over again that I have a crazy sensitive sense of smell.  This conversation came up tonight when I was upstairs and Wayne was downstairs making popcorn.  I was pretty sure he had moved the microwave up to the computer desk the smell was SO strong!  I felt like I was IN the bowl!  He just shakes his head and tells me that I was the same way when I was pregnant with Case and the popcorn actually smells the same way that it always has.  

Best moment this week:  Watching Ty "kick" Elmo, which Case had set in my lap.  It was funny to SEE Ty kick something other than my bladder!  He gets more and more "real" to me all the time!  I love being able to feel him kick with my hand and not just from the inside.  It doesn't happen all the time yet but I've felt him a few times.  One of these days Wayne will feel him too but as of right now Ty stops moving when Wayne touches my belly.  Let's hope he has the same calming effect on Ty once he's here on the outside, especially at say 2AM-ish!

26 Weeks with Case          26 Weeks with Ty
I had to actually crop about two feet of arm fat out of the Ty picture because I couldn't bring myself to post it otherwise.  I'm pretty sure my short sleeved shirt privileged should be revoked!  Enough arm fat talk... let's remember our focus is the growing baby belly :-)  I don't know if I had a bigger belly with Case or with Ty... it's hard to say since my shirt isn't laying flat... I think I need a redo in order to keep my variables to a minimum and make an informed decision on size!