Friday, December 31, 2010

Fluffy White Stuff

Snow. It's cold. It's white. It's pretty. Today, it's fluffy and falling beautifully outside!

This photo, to the left, is one of my all-time favorites that I have ever taken. It was taken January 20, 2009, apparently. These snowflakes were on my windshield, and I couldn't resist capturing their perfection.

I love watching snow fall. It's completely serene and mesmerizing. It calms me and lulls. It entrances me. I just found myself staring out the window watching the precipitation dance as it fall to the ground, for 15 minutes. It whirls and waltzes with such grace that I could have watched it for much longer, had I not the urge to sit here and write about it instead.

I love that snow is so soft after it's first fallen, that you can pick up a handful, and blow it away like a wish, or like a dandelion that's gone to seed.

Last year, my sisters and I were so excited about a snowfall much similar to that of today, that we
bundled ourselves up to go play outside, taking pictures of ourselves throwing snow, playing in it, blowing it around, and making snowballs as perfectly round as we could. It's one of my fonder memories of us spending time together.

I also adore how calm and peaceful the world looks as snow settles upon the ground, the stair railings, and the trees. It's as if it's been kissed with the beauty of heaven. I know that sounds corny, but I feel it to be the truth. Before the plows have thrown muddy snow onto our yards, or animals leave their marks in the fluff, everything looks like it belongs on a postcard of some sort. I absolutely love that pristine white landscape!

The one thing I really dislike about snow is that it makes traveling quite treacherous at times, especially if it is proceeded by rain and ice, and accompanied by wind.
If I am allowed to be safe at home, I do not mind it nearly as much, because I know that my safety is not threatened. Though, I worry about my husband on wintry roads, because he travels for work. Really though, driving in snow really makes me nervous. If it's just a little snow, that's fine, but as soon as it accumulates, or slushes, or ices, I'd much rather just stay at home with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and watch it falling out the window, much like I am, today!

After roads are safe for travel, however, I do enjoy a venture out into the snow dusted world, especially if I have my camera in hand!

So, all this babble, and no real point, other than the fact that I do adore the aesthetics of a lovely winter snowfall. I don't even mind the cold so much, so long as I'm not forced to be outside for long in one of the famous midwestern sub-zero windchills. But a merry little jaunt to the yard to throw a few snowballs, make a snowman, a snow angel, possibly a fort, or just throw some snow around taking pictures? That sounds like a delightful way to spend a winter day. I can't wait until Spencer is a little older and can enjoy the snowfall
with me.

(All of these photos were taken by me, except the one of me, which was taken by my sister, Samantha. You can see the ones I took that day (and some that she or Allison took) by clicking this link. Please, do not copy, save, paste... well, steal, these photos.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Songs to Sing and Dance to

Pure joy is: dancing with your baby boy in his bedroom as he snuggles against your cheek and singing softly in his ear.

At least, that's an example I would give to define it.

Spencer has a cold. It's his first one ever. It breaks my heart to hear him cough, or hear his raspy yet screechy cry throughout the day as he just doesn't feel right.

Often, I sing to him. I sing a ton, every day. I rock him in the chair or sway with him as I stand, or sit.

Today, I decided to dance with him. I don't know why I hadn't before, but it felt perfect the moment I started.

We danced, and he snuggled up against my cheek and fell soundly into slumber. I sang "Never Grow Up," by Taylor Swift, which was introduced to me just yesterday by his uncle Jesse.

As I laid Spencer in his crib to nap, I got to thinking about how there are so many songs I turn to when I'm going to sing to him, and how I wondered if some day, he'd remember them. I know they say musical memory is one of the first types of memory you acquire and it also stays with you the longest, so I am sure he'll remember things like "You are my Sunshine," until he's a very old man, because I sing that song the most frequently. But there are so many others I sing to him, or I play for him that are mainstream songs, and he might not remember any of it when he's older.

So, I decided that not only would I make him a playlist of the songs that I sing, play, or dance to for him, but I will make a CD as well. And I'll put it in the fire-safe box we have for important things like social security cards and birth certificates. And if I add more songs to the repetoire, I'll add them and make a new CD later. I think I'll cut it off to those I frequent the most, in this first year. I just don't know, but I thought it was a great idea, and I'm sticking with it. Someday, I hope he'll appreciate it.

And, for curious minds, here are a few that will be on there:
  • Circle Song - Jewel
  • When You Dream - Barenaked Ladies
  • Godspeed - Dixie Chicks
  • A Page is Turned - Bebo Norman
  • When You Come Back Down - Nickel Creek
  • Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift
I have some more, but I'll leave you to wonder, or perhaps catch, if you're ever around when I'm with my baby boy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Wish.

This morning, I was sitting in the chair next to the Christmas tree, doing what I do every morning when I get up, when I had this flashback to last year.

Before Christmas, it was just the two of us and our dog. We set up the Christmas tree on December 5, after playing with the lights and camera.

Come Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we were snowed in at our house, just us, due to a lovely blizzard. I recall lying on the couch, staring at the beautiful Christmas tree, recalling years of setting up the Christmas tree with my family, my siblings and I taking turns every year with who put the angel on the top. I could see my dad putting the icicle tinsel on, making our tree shimmer. Putting up the Christmas tree was always one of my favorite traditions, and I was very happy that Jake and I started putting it up together last year, as I had done it alone the years before.

I recall sitting there, praying, and wishing that by Christmas of this year, I would be pregnant. We had been seeing the reproductive endocrinologist for not that long yet, two months, but I was hopeful. I was so tired of the constant heartbreak watching people have babies, and feeling like I was so broken as a woman, so hopeless, and feeling like I just might not have that lifelong wish of mine ever come true. But, I sat there in silence, praying my prayer.

In January, as a gift, my husband and his best friend enrolled me in the Landmark Forum in the twin cities. Begrudgingly, I went, though I felt forced into it against my will, and it really made me not want to go. But, I'm thankful for the experience, and happy that I went anyway, and didn't walk out when the offer was presented to me. I left the forum understanding my feelings better than ever before, and finding more peace within myself. I knew I was perfect as I was, and I had to accept me for who I was. It's not to say that I couldn't wish to be a mother, but I realized I really wasn't broken, that was a lie I was telling myself, which was effectively killing all my hope, really. I mean, my hope was there, but it seemed kind of shallow and superficial hope, just putting on a happy face while secretly still thinking, "yeah, it will never happen." That all changed. I found peace with myself, peace with my past, and peace and anticipation with all the brilliance that my future could hold.

While I was there, actually, I was so hopeful that I was actually pregnant. My cycle was a week late with no signs of showing, but each test I would take proved what I had felt and known to be true up until that point "slim chances it would ever happen."

The evening I was on my way home, I got my period. I wasn't mad. I didn't even really cry about it that much.

As miracles would have it, less than a month later, I found out that I was pregnant. It was funny, that cycle I didn't think it was going to happen either, but it wasn't bogging me down. I thought "next time, you never know." I had changed. And God blessed me in the biggest way. He gave us a pregnancy, one without complications of any important kind, and nearly 40 weeks later to the day, He gave us a son.

This morning, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and joy as I realized that this year, there were three people in our house when we put up the Christmas tree. A daddy, a mommy, and a son.

What a beautiful Christmas gift.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I really did grow some balls.

When I was pregnant, before Jake knew we were having a boy, he told me once to "grow some balls." I thought to myself, "I AM!" and laughed out loud, as I knew that our baby was a male.

Truthfully, I can be a total pushover. I don't always see it as a bad thing, because a lot of the time, when I am being a pushover, it's for things that really aren't important, like what movie to see, or where to eat lunch, or whether we should go to one store instead of another. If I know someone is set on something, but I want something else, normally, I'll let it up. A nice way to say that would be a people pleaser, I guess.

But I can be very passive. I let things slide, and sometimes I really don't stick up for myself.

Well, that's starting to change, at least in some areas.

As you may know, our upstairs neighbors drive me nuts. They're loud, especially the girl. They stomp, yell, drop or throw things, pretty frequently. The other morning they woke me at 5am. This morning, I heard them doing that all at 6:15am.

Tonight, the guy came home, and no sooner than I heard the door close, I heard her yelling and screaming and swearing and stomping, and then of course, he did the same. I let it continue for ten minutes before I took the broom to my ceiling. Normally, this gets their attention for at least a little while and I have some peace. It didn't, and they kept on. Well, that woke up Spencer, and then the dog started getting uptight. So I tried one more time. No use.

I decided to call the cops.

Jake has called the cops on them for this sort of thing before, sometimes it sounds like they're throwing things or getting violent as well as loud, so it's partially out of their safety, but also because they're a bother to us.

Usually, I just let them continue and I fume silently or vent on facebook about the nuisance.

After Spencer was born, I became a little more ballsy, though. I wrote a letter to the landlord. I put a note on the door asking them to be quiet in the hallway. When she didn't respect that request and was yelling outside my door before six one morning, I opened the door and had words with her.

And tonight, for the first time, I called the cops.

I realized afterward that I have become a little more aggressive, ballsy, or brave after having my son, at least when it affects my family and their well-being. I want him to grow up in a loving household environment, not one that's volatile and full of hostility and anger. Sure, they don't live in our apartment, but when we can hear them very clearly through the floor, it's like they do. Spencer doesn't need that in his up-bringing. I find that I won't stand for that.

So, sure, I might still be a pushover and people pleaser, but I'm working on changing that, at least when it's really important.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What I'm Loving Wednesday.

Generally, I don't do these sort of blog posts, but... well, Spencer is sleeping soundly, I already showered and did my hair, and got dressed, and got the mail, and did dishes... and my new friend Marybeth did this, and it inspired me to do my own. Peer pressure! Well, there was no actual pressure...

What I'm Loving Wednesday

<--- My new facebook profile picture:

Yesterday, Spencer was doing some tummy time on mine and Jake's bed, while I was taking pictures of his new diaper to show the woman who makes them.

After I had a photo I liked, I flipped him to his back and decided to take photos of his pretty dark blue eyes. The light in the bedroom was yellowish orange, so the pictures don't show the true blue, but I had fun anyway. Then, I realized we don't have more than a few photos of the two of us together (mostly from right after he was born), and I wanted to remedy that. I laid down beside him, and started taking self portraits. He was making funny noises and flailing as I did, but I was pleasantly surprised with the results, and how he was smiling and making cute faces in nearly all of them.

This is my favorite. It cracks me up.

I love looking at it!

Cloth Diapers

Yes, that's right. I LOVE them. I love all the fun colors they come in, the designs, the styles. I even like to wash them and watch them transform from being icky to being sparkly clean, and then stuffing them! For some reason, I like doing that. It's relaxing and kind of mindless. I like to stack them neatly and see how pretty they look on the shelves. And I love choosing which one I'm going to put on Spencer at each diaper change. It's almost like playing dress up! I love seeing Spencer in just a cloth diaper. It's so cute! And I love showing people his diapers, even though sometimes that seems strange. I also like that my family thinks they're cool!

Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

The other day I purchased a box of hot chocolate, and remembered to get marshmallows this time! Last night I had three cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows and Peppermint Mocha coffee creamer. So delightful and calming!


I love popcorn. It's one of my favorite snacks. I'll even sift through a bag of mostly burnt popcorn to fetch out the good kernels, like I did last night.


I love when Jake comes to bed after his shift with Spencer and cuddles up next to me. And, I love cuddling with Spencer on the couch during the day.

My Husband

He works so hard for Spencer and I that I rarely ever see him, but I know he's doing what he feels is best for us financially, and I support him in that. I'm so excited, though, that he will have Christmas Eve off, and we will spend three days of holiday time as a family! What a wonderful first Christmas!

Random Titles of Emails in my Inbox

I don't open these, of course, but seeing the junk mail sometimes really gives me a good laugh... like the one that just arrived, "A local senior single wants to join you this holiday!"

Monday, December 20, 2010


Christmas is upon us. Every year, I get excited to put up the Christmas tree, choose gifts to give to those I love, and spend time with family and friends. Sometimes, I feel a little ashamed that the "commercialism" of the holiday grabs a hold of me, but I strive to always keep the real reason of Christmas in the forefront of my mind. With his help, I've been pretty good at it.

The past few months (since October), Jake and I have been going to Falls Church here in Sioux Falls. The services are wonderful, thought-provoking, and always personal. Pastor Lance is amazing at speaking to me, as well as Jake, and many others.

Anyway, a fun thing about our church is that it has "series" for the services. In October and November, it was "Lemonade," where it was focused on turning your crud into wonder by giving it all to God, basically. For the advent season, it's the "Born" series. Yes, it's mimicked (title-wise) after the Bourne series in film, but it's all good.

Last week, there was a clip to get our attention, talking about what the real meaning of Christmas is. Immanuel, meaning "God is With Us."

That really hit me. It said things like, "the woman on the verge of divorce: God is with you. the teenager gripped with addiction: God is with you. the man who watches all of his friends be married and he waits for that someone to find him: God is with you." The Bible, in Isaiah, tells us that the baby Jesus is God given to us, on this earth.

Christmas is the symbolism that we are not alone on this earth. God gave us his son to be on this earth with us. To walk among us. To experience with us. To live beside us and be our friend.

That's pretty powerful stuff.

I've always thought of Christmas as Jesus's birthday. That's pretty special. But to think of it as God giving his son to be with us, beside us, always... while I knew that before, it's pretty powerful. It hit me all over again.

It's comforting to think that although Jesus rose to heaven again, he is still with us. God, Jesus, the Spirit... they're with us always. God isn't just our father, he's our friend. He wants us to keep him with us, to cherish that gift. Don't just throw it away or put it on the shelf and take it out once a year at Christmas-time.

God is with US. Christmas changed the world over 2000 years ago. But the meaning of Christmas, "God is with us," can change the world, every minute, of every day.

That's phenomenal.

If you want to hear the message from last Sunday, the first message of the "Born" series (including the gripping narrative I tried to replicate (and didn't do verbatim)), feel free to listen here: [THE BORN SERIES : week one]

Another powerful thing to keep in mind: We were made in God's image. We're not wrong who we are. We're exactly who he imagined us to be. And when we sin, we don't hurt Him. His heart breaks, not because we're sinning against Him and hurting Him, but because we're hurting ourselves: we are hurting the perfect image that He created us to be.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When did I stop?

When I was in high school, my main goal in life was, "to make a difference." That's what I'd tell people. That idea carried on through high school, to college, and after college... for a while.

Recently, I feel like I've lost that. Not that I don't want to make a difference, because I do, definitely. But, I've stopped vocalizing it. I've stopped using it as a driving force.

I'm conflicted about that.

I didn't necessarily think I was doing big things when I was working on this goal. In high school, it was writing poetry, mainly, and sharing it with the world. I know it sounds totally strange, but man, I was popular when it came to the online poetry community. I was on boards and people were reading my work left and right, praising me, and telling me how much they could relate. I received so many thanks and comments on my webpage (now deceased, due to the collapse or whatever of geocities) that I was completely astonished with myself. I didn't think I was really good at writing, I just wrote because it's what I could do. It was an outlet. It was a release and hey, an avenue for my ever burning creative fire. I made friendships with my poetry, online, and offline too. Even after my mother read my poetry about my inner pain and got mad at me for writing it, I continued, because it seemed to mean something, not only to me, but to the world. I felt powerful.

After high school, I joined outreach groups and other activities in college. At Augustana, I did youth overnight lock-ins with the IXOYE outreach ministry. It was wonderful! We were sharing the love of the Lord with so many children. It inspired me to work at Shetek Lutheran Ministries the summer of 2003 as a camp counselor. I loved the work we were doing. I returned the next summer as a daycamp director, and took other staff along with me as we shared the Lord with children all across southwestern Minnesota and southeastern South Dakota. I remember one camp where we re-wrote the Lord's prayer with the children, in their words. I still have my camp binders. I sang the love of the Lord with my guitar, for me, for staff, for children, for families. I felt I was really making a difference there, too.

I was an RA in college at Southwest MN State University two years later, and I was able to counsel and support freshmen students in our house as we went through some crazy situations. I allowed a random guy, who was drunk and drugged up, to grope and harass me for the protection of the students, and then work through it with them. I did everything I could for that house of students, everything they would let me. We formed some really great relationships, and it was really hard to say goodbye and get married that summer knowing I could never be an RA again.

During my junior and senior year, I worked at a Crisis Center in Marshall, doing supervised visitations. It was a relatively simple job most times, though it was always hard to pry children from their parents. But, I felt like I was making a difference, I was allowing these families to have time together that they wouldn't have otherwise.

My senior year of college, I took an internship at Western Community Action, and made it my mission to help combat the terror of poverty in our area. I loved it. I worked at the food shelf, basically running it, helping people have food. I helped run a free tax clinic where those who couldn't afford others to do their taxes could come and we would help. It was wonderful. I fell so in love with it that I applied to work there after graduation, and was hired. I then took on the food shelf, and started a group for girls, where they empowered themselves and learned leadership skills and other useful things. I ran a Big Buddies program in Redwood county (mentoring), and then my final project was to help form the Circles of Support program, where the community would come together on a regular basis, to relate, learn, lead by example, fight poverty, and form relationships, across all lines that are considered barriers (class, race, age, gender, etc.) I really felt I was doing something big.

During this time, I also volunteered at my other employment, the crisis center, as a Crisis Line advocate. The crisis line was a wonderful way to make a difference, with late night calls reporting rape, and I'd drive to hospitals to be an advocate for women who were going through perhaps the worst situation in their lives. I was there for suicidal callers. I was there for so much. They didn't always know me, but I was there. I was making a difference.

When I resigned from my WCA job and started as a preschool teacher, I felt important then too, not as important, but important. I mean really, I was educating young minds. Same goes for when I moved to Sioux Falls and started working in an infant room. But the impact didn't feel the same. I'm sure it's meaningful, but it just wasn't the same.

I sit here, raising my son, and am very, very proud of it. But at the same time, I don't feel like I'm making a difference like I hoped for, dreamed of, and wanted. I don't know why I feel that way. What did I actually mean when I told myself that? Was it to make a difference for countless people, or could it mean to make a difference in the life of one little boy sleeping on my bed? I don't know. I don't think there are clearly defined boundaries for my dream.

I think I just need to work on seeing the way things really are, and that I am still making a difference, just in a different way than I expected.

And who's to say I can't do something big, yet?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Confessions of a "bad mom."

I must admit. Most of the time, I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job at mommy-hood. I mean, it seems pretty obvious Spencer adores me, he smiles at me all the time and calms at my voice. He loves to snuggle with me so much that he'll inch his way upward on my chest so that he's snug up against my neck, and he'll even try to squirm a bit higher than that before I pull him back down (gently) to where I find it the most comfortable.

But there are times when I have these "I'm a bad mom" thoughts running through my head.

For example, last night, he was a bit fussy. I had a terrible, splitting headache, and Jake had worked a long day and got home super late, so when Spencer started getting hungry and fussy at 1am, I got up and fed him, but found myself crying the entire time because my head hurt so badly. Then, he wouldn't fall asleep, and I tried everything I could to get him to. He was obviously tired as his eyes were very heavy, and I was calmed down by this point, but I couldn't him to sleep. Eventually, around 4:00am, I left him in his crib to fuss it out. He did after about ten minutes, and slept until 4:44.

Of course, when I nudged at Jake in bed to see if he could get SJ this time, he barely acknowledged me (I think he was very sound asleep which baffles me because Spencer was loud), so I started crying again as soon as I stood up and my head was pounding, as I went to change the diaper and start the process all over.

This time, I couldn't contain my tears, and after half the bottle, I walked back to the bedroom with Spencer in hand and begged Jake to take him.

As I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, but unable at the same time, I kept thinking, "I am kind of a bad mom, I just cry and cry while I'm trying to feed him and get him to not cry, yeah, my head hurts, but seriously, I'm kind of ridiculous."

There are times I feel like I could really use a vacation. I feel bad about that. I mean, for years I prayed and hoped for this little boy, and now he's here, and I want to get away from him? Yeah, sometimes I do. Not forever, but hey, for an hour? Maybe two? Sometimes I would like to get away for six hours, just to sleep non-stop and not have to worry about him or hear him cry. When I admit these things to myself, I feel really badly. But, I have to tell myself, it's only wishing them every once in a while, and not permanently, and hey, every mom needs a break once in a while, right?

Jake gets a night away once a week, in a hotel, for work. Not the best atmosphere for him, I'm sure.

I have been away from Spencer for 57 minutes since his birth. I mean away as in not in the same household as him. I have been "away" from him, in different rooms and such, many times, but I've only left without him once, for 57 minutes, to run to the post office. Sometimes, I feel a burden when leaving, because I always have to pack him up and bring him with. I don't like admitting that, but it's true.

Jake went to the mall on Sunday, alone, leaving me with Spencer. I had wished, in a way, it was me doing the shopping for my brothers. I felt bad about that, too. I feel like Jake can leave whenever he wants without a second thought because it's my responsibility to feed and take care of SJ. I know that's not totally true, it's obviously a responsibility for Jake too, but let's face it, a newborn is usually attached to his mother's hip.

I feel many times throughout the week that I'm totally unimportant. It is my honor and blessing to make Spencer the most important one in our family, and I have no qualms with that whatsoever. It's a joy to me. But then there's the dog, then I feel like Jake comes next, because he works and provides income so we have food and a place to live, and then there's all the dishes and the laundry and the cleaning, and sometimes, if I remember, I find time to nap. I try to remember to eat all my meals and drink enough fluids. And when Jake asks me how I am doing, I feel bad admitting that I have a horrible headache, or my back is killing me, or my shoulders, and what have you.

And I also feel a little shameful when I think about how I'd really like to go out with my husband, alone, for a few hours, where we're not just dividing up household chores or who has to change the next diaper. At the same time, I mentally kick myself for not wanting to be around my baby every waking moment of every day. Though, I know it's not healthy to be around him all the time.

Now, I don't feel depressed or that things are really that bad, but let's face it, it's not always rainbows and butterflies in mommy-hood. I knew that coming in. I just felt the need to let this all out, so that when Spencer wakes up and wants to eat in a few minutes, I can feel much better about myself.

I know I am a good mom. I just need to tell myself that when I feel stressed out.

Now, I feel much better.

Oh, and for now, the computer is fixed again. I think it's got evil trolls living in it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I miss our computer.

Advanced apologies for lack of paragraph breaks. My phone won't allow me to make them... 2 weeks ago or so, our computer bit the dust. I was devastated at the thought that we were going to lose all of our pregnancy photos and all the photos we had of SJ, but luckily, a friend's husband looked at the computer and said they were salvagable. The motherboard is toast though so until we can afford it, we are without a 'puter. I miss it. When home all day and chores are done and naps are taken but SJ is sleeping, I miss being on facebook or email, message boards and blogs, playing games and editing photos, and so much more. I feel kind of pathetic admitting it but it is true. I'm lucky my phone has limited internet but it doesn't allow much. Yes, I'm whining, but I'm done for now. Time for popcorn and a movie.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

15 Days.

Spencer is 15 days old today.

The first week he was home, Jake was home as well, and I tell you what, that week flew by at the speed of sound (figuratively, of course).

We came home on Wednesday the 3rd, and were met by my dad, and my sisters. After they left, the rest of the week, looking back now, is somewhat of a blur. I know on Thursday we went out as a family and were shopping, and each day we tried to leave at least once. We went to Barnes & Noble one evening, and to church that Sunday, where everyone was in awe of his tiny cuteness and newborn status.

After Jake went to work the following Tuesday (the 9th), the week seemed to drag on. I was home alone with Spencer most of the day, still attempting to (successfully, mind you) get out of the house at least once a day, but with SJ sleeping most of the day and no adult to talk to (Wendell isn't really much of a conversationalist, despite my efforts to coax him into being one), the days got pretty long.

But I'm not complaining.

Jake and I discussed multiple times in the last 15 days how crazy it is that someone so small and... well, in a way, boring (he doesn't do much other than sleep, eat, and poop, really), can be so entertaining at the same time.

Here are some of my favorite Spencer moments:
  • hearing him make silly grunting noises from across the house
  • his super squeaky hiccups that sound like a kid's toy, which he gets from me
  • his "puppy yawn" where it sounds like he's panting like a dog
  • watching him make smiling faces in his sleep
  • watching him make an "ooh" face as he stares around the room
  • when he's lying on the floor and Wendell comes up and licks him and he doesn't even mind
  • cuddling with him on my chest
  • hearing Jake laugh as he changes a diaper, commenting on what's inside, or if SJ pees on him, or the wall, or the floor, or himself
  • hearing Jake talk to Spencer and telling him stories
  • seeing Jake and Spencer cuddling together on the couch or in the chair
Yup, you could say I'm already infatuated with this little guy, and in love with all the small moments.

For the record, I didn't realize I could be more in love with my husband than I already was, but I find that having a son has definitely brought more love for Jake as well. I wish I could explain how or why, but I can't. I just know it's true. And Jake has been the most wonderful companion, help, and father already. He's willing to get up in the middle of the night to give a bottle so I can sleep, or change any diaper at any time, and I don't have to ask. He has not complained about it once. He doesn't get frustrated when Spencer cries or anything. It's... absolutely amazing.

On Thursday of last week, he had his overnight route, and I didn't know how I was going to make it through the night without him. I did (because I'm a big girl, after all), and on Friday, Spencer and I drove to Howard, SD, to meet him for lunch... and then I followed him around town as he showed off his son to various customers. Melted my heart. I have never seen such a proud daddy!

And, in non-baby news...
(Well, this first part sort of is...)

The other day I was on the phone with Jake, and lonely, and I started crying, while holding my phone with my ear against my shoulder, and wouldn't you know it, it fried the keypad. The battery worked fine, but none of the buttons did, so I couldn't do anything with the phone, except answer it in the very off-chance that I noticed a call coming in. So, yesterday, SJ and I went to Worthington and I got a new phone. It's an LG Script. It's a pretty blue color. I'm not really a fan of texting with a full QWERTY keyboard, so I avoid using that function if possible, but other than that I don't hate it. Too bad, in January or whatever, AT&T is buying Unicel/Verizon and we'll have to get brand new phones anyway. But whatever. Since we were so close, we went a bit further and visited Jake's mom for four hours or so, before coming home. It was pretty fantastic.

Jake and I rented movies on Sunday (Jake actually picked them all out and brought them home), and despite my initial hesitation to watch The Karate Kid with Will Smith's son, I actually really enjoyed it. We are planning to watch it once more before it needs to be returned. We also watched Grown Ups, in which my friend Desi's cousin, Ashley Loren, has a small role, and I'd been wanting to see it ever since Desi told me that. It was hilarious!

Speaking of Desi, I gotta say, she sent us an awesome CD last week. It's the Barenaked Ladies Snacktime. There's a song on there about Ninjas! And my favorite is "Crazy ABCs." I listened to it at least 8 times in a row when I heard it. Here are the lyrics.

While watching a movie (not the two I mentioned) earlier in the week, there was a preview for Gone with the Wind. I told Jake I wanted to see it, because I never had. He asked if I had read the book, and I haven't, so we went to Barnes & Noble and he got me a copy. I was told I'm going to hate Scarlett O'Hara, but I'll love the book. I'm on page... 23 or so, but I'm really enjoying it so far. It's been a while since I read a book, actually. I feel kind of bad about that.

I need to do dishes and switch the laundry, so I should go.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We can hold our miracle in our hands.

This is the story of the day that Spencer Jacob joined the world, from his mommy's perspective. Perhaps Daddy will write one of his own sometime, you never know.

At our 39 week prenatal appointment, the doctor said she thought that we were measuring a little large, and asked us if we would be open to induction. The thought of a giant baby freaked me out, so of course, I said yes. She said they figured later in the following week, but would let me know.

Well, later that afternoon, I received a follow-up phonecall and was asked to choose either that Friday morning (the 29th) or Monday morning (November 1st). I told the nurse I'd call her back after speaking with my husband, who decided with me we would wait until Monday, so we had the weekend to prepare and rest a little before our lives changed so drastically.

The weekend went by super quickly, and after a night of little sleep, we drove to the hospital at 6:45am Monday morning. I was very calm, I think, partially due to the lack of sleep, I assume. Jake was all smiles as we registered and went into the room.

They broke my water just before 8:00am, and checked me. I was still only 2cm dilated, so we knew it would be quite a long morning. They let me wait until about 10:00am to see if the contractions would speed up and get more intense on their own before starting me on pitocin at about 10:45. The contractions prior to the IV were about every 4-5 minutes, but they were more "crampy" than painful, and that just wasn't going to cut it (but believe me, I wish I could have).

The pitocin kicked in slowly as they upped the dose incrementally every half hour from 1 unit to 7, at which time the contractions started becoming pretty intense. The nurses would ask me to rate them on a scale of 1-10, and it wasn't long before I went from "3" to "5 or 6" as I tried to breathe calmly and silently through them as they passed every 2 minutes. The nurses would look at me like I was kidding when I'd rate them, because I really wasn't making much for noise. I would sit there and breathe and I would bite the corner of my lip and try not to clench up as I stared off at the television screen in front of me. Jake's twin and his mother were there for this part, and they were very chatty with Jake, who could tell I was in some great deal of pain as I did not converse and instead just bit my lip. The nurse had estimated at this time, Spencer would be born between 10pm and 2am, most likely, if progress continued at the given pace.

They checked me again at about 2 or 3pm, I forget, and I was to 5 centimeters and almost 90% effaced (I think, this part is kind of blurry to me), and asked me if I wanted to switch positions from the bed to the ball or whirlpool. I got up and used the ball for a little bit, but I couldn't stay stable on it with my back hurting so badly, so after a short discussion in which I admitted the thought of having someone inject something into my spinal space really did freak me out quite a bit, I decided to get the epidural so I could at least relax and not have to be in intense pain all night long.

Getting the epidural was intimidating, but truthfully, getting the IV put in my hand earlier in the day was much worse. Perhaps that's because I was having back labor and contractions while the anaesthesiologist was doing his thing, who knows. It was successfully administered and I was instructed to lie on my side and not move, which wasn't completely possibly anyway because I was lacking most sensation in my abdomen, butt, and legs anyway. So, laid there, I did. This was pretty boring, for both Jake and I, because I couldn't even really get up to face him or move or anything. But, we both got a nap in!

That nap was a blessing in disguise, even though it wasn't totally quality as the automatic blood-pressure cuff went off every 30 minutes and woke me, as at 5:00pm or so when I woke up, Jake's father and step-mother were there, and I was comfortable enough to chat with them and such before my doctor came back to check me.

We were all in for a big shock when Dr. Schriever came in, checked me, and said, "guess how far along we are." I think I guessed 6, not sure. She said, "9 to 9.5." He was still up a little high though, so she suggested we labor down for a little longer while he tried to move, and also positioned me to try to get him to turn from his crooked-facing front position to facing downward. She said she was going to run home for supper quickly and be back for the delivery, which she figured wouldn't be nearly as late into the evening as we originally though, but possibly between 8 and 9, if he moved.

Then the surprise treat of my life came upon me... in which my epidural started wearing off, and I could feel everything. The contractions got very intense and I went from being able to be silent through them to clutching the bed, shaking, and crying, trying to breathe, and trying not to shake and cry. It wasn't working. They called another anaesthesiologist and asked him to come and up the epidural so I could be comfortable as we labored down, and he did, but it still only got worse. The contractions were almost constant, and I couldn't handle the pain any longer, so they said we could start pushing, and called the doctor to come back. This was about 6:30pm.

I was told that pushing could take a first time mother up to 3 or 4 hours, but they didn't think it would probably take me that long. I was completely effaced and dilated when they checked again, so they helped me roll to my back through the excrutiating contractions, and instructed me how to push.

Let me tell you, pushing is wretched. Especially when I could feel everything, except the progress I was making. They would have me push and I would "scream" (though not really a scream) and try to "curl up around him" inside of me like they instructed, but I tell you what, that's really hard! You have a long hard body inside your body and you're supposed to bend around it? Yeah right! But I tried, and told them it was hard, and it hurt, and trying to take a quick, deep breath between pushes was equally as hard and painful, but somehow I managed. I thank Jake for being there and being super calm and supportive and just telling me how good I was doing, and informing me that I was actually making him move down even if I couldn't tell necessarily.

The, however, they brought out the oxygen mask! No! That was wretched too. My mouth was so dry that licking my lips didn't help, and having ice chips in my mouth was making me gag and I'd spit them out on the floor anyway when a contraction would come. I kept trying to turn my head away from it, but Jake kept bringing it back to my face, which I know he needed to, but yeah. In between contractions I said "I wish I had chapstick!" Jake vanished, and thanks to my dear friend Jillian, I had chapstick and was more comfortable pushing.

When they could see the top of his head, Jake peeked, and I was told Spencer had a lot of dark hair! I was so excited! I had dark hair, as did Jake, and I hadn't been able to wrap my mind around the possibility that our baby could be born baldish. They asked if I wanted to see, and I quickly passed on the opportunity, but as we continued pushing, Jake watched intently, while somehow still being supportive and at my head, as his first-born son entered the world. He cut the chord, and I started sobbing immediately.

They took him away to the little station to clean him off, weigh him, and check his vitals, and as I looked over, I could think nothing else but, "He looks JUST like his daddy, he's even got his long skinny feet!" and "How did he fit inside of me!?" or "I can't believe I did this."

Unfortunately, I had a level 2 tear from the birth, so they had to stitch me back up as they checked him over, but finally brought him to me to hold. Jake was right there with a camera taking pictures as I tried to smile through my tears. Jake had huge tears in his eyes too as we gazed at this miniature being who was so mad at us for putting him through the trauma of making him be born.

He was taken back to the station where they monitored his oxygen, which was a little low at first, they figured becuase he still hadn't coughed up all the gunk in his lungs, and they finished stitching me up, though I lost a lot of blood and went into a slight shock I guess, as I began freezing and trembling uncontrollably. After they had the area cleaned up, they finally gave me a warming robe and some blankets. By then, Spencer was breathing better, and we were able to hold him again. I let Jake hold him, too, of course, because he hadn't gotten to, and I just watched as his eyes lit up and felt my heart melting and surging at the same time with such expounding love that I didn't know how I'd ever be able to handle it.

When all was cleaned up and ready, Jake's brother and his wife, Jake's dad and step-mom, and our dear friends, Robert, Jillian, and Spencer's new best friend, Grayson, all came in the room to meet him. It was absolutely wonderful.

I won't bore you with the rest of our hospital stay, but by the end of yesterday, Spencer met half of his aunts and uncles (roughly), and all of his grandparents, and was completely loved by each and every one of them. Jake and I, after everyone had left yesterday, just stood in the kitchen, embracing, in complete awe and wonder at the huge change that has occured this week, overjoyed with tears, and filled with more love than we ever thought possible.

After over 3 years of struggle and heartbreak, God finally let us meet the miracle that he blessed us with back in February. I have not felt this blessed since the day I married my husband.

I'm scared, excited, nervous, anxious, and anticipatory for each and every day to come.

Spencer Jacob, born Monday, November 1, 2010, at 7:34pm Central Standard Time. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and is 20.25 inches tall.

He is perfection in our hearts.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anything like her.

As my friends and family know, my maternal grandmother, Leora, and I were very close. I consider her to be one of my very best friends in this life, and was completely devastated with her passing in 2007.

My sisters tell me from time to time that they don't really remember much about grandma Leora, because they didn't have the experiences with her that I had. It always makes me sad to know that they didn't really know her like I did, and they were unable to spend as much time with her, growing up with her, learning from her, and having her help shape who they were as individuals. Yes, they had some time, but I really had the most.

This weekend, I received a manila envelop filled with old pictures, from my dad's sister, my aunt Jan. In it were various shots of my dad growing up, mostly as a baby or toddler, but there were also other family photos, including those of my dad's parents, grandpa Edwin and grandma Edna.

My dad's parents died when I was younger. I remember bits and pieces about my grandpa, like how he'd always have candy on him, because he was diabetic, and we'd get a piece. I feel very disheartened at times, knowing I don't remember much more than that. Sometimes, I wonder if that's even a memory, or something I made up in my mind from what others have said. He died in 1988.

When it comes to my grandma Edna, though, I can more than relate to my sisters. She died when I was just over 2, in 1986, just days before my first brother was born. Sadly, I remember nothing of my time with her. I know that she had time with me, but to me, there really was none.
I sit and wonder, as I look at the pictures of this tall, beautiful woman who helped give me life... Am I anything like her? Would she be proud of me? How did she shape who I am as an individual?

I know her through stories, but I haven't really heard that many of them. The one I remember most vividly is how she waited to pass on until my dad could be there, so he could say good-bye. What I have been told beyond that, I'm ashamed to say, I do not remember much of.

While I'm blessed to know that I'm much like my grandma Leora in many ways, I feel sad to know that I am unable to see the ways in which I may be like my grandma Edna. I know there are others out there who probably feel the same way about their family members influencing them, so I know I'm not alone. I also realize there are other who never met their grandparents, or even their parents, and I hope that there is someone out there who can help them discover them as well.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'll give them the best of my life.

This afternoon, I received a text message from my husband, Jake, saying "Lead Me by Sanctus Real." I locked it in my phone, knowing I would come home from work later and look it up. I hadn't a clue what the song was, but I figured it must be a good one if he took the time to send the message.

He called this evening, before I had a chance to make my way for home, and asked me if I had received his message. I told him that I had. He went on to explain that one his way to one of the little towns he has his route in on Friday, he heard that song and it completely overwhelmed him. He said "It is how I feel sometimes."

Needless to say, as soon as I got home, I had to look it up.
Here are the lyrics.
Here is the music video.

I would summarize the song as a prayer to God, from a husband and a father, who feels like he has wasted time away from home, chasing things that didn't matter nearly as much as he being a role model and guidance for his family, and he asks God to help him to change that.

A few weeks ago at church, the pastor was talking about marriage, and how God calls men to be the spiritual leader for the family. He talked about how rare it is to see a man bring his family to church, as it is usually the wife bringing her family along. It's rare to see a man alone as his wife sits at home, or goes off with her friends, instead of going to church, but you see women alone and their husbands off playing golf, for example.

After church, I made a point to tell my husband how much I appreciate him, especially in regard to being a spiritual leader. Yes, I'm Christian, and I believe, and I pray, and I try to live my life the best I can to be a role for others, but for example, it was Jake's idea to find a church to go to together, and actually keep going to it. Yes, now we share in the leading and following, but really, Jake has always been a guide to me in my faith journey. Truly. He helped me years ago when I was starting to question what it was I really believed.

I also thanked him for being who he is to me. He isn't the kind of man who just shoves his family aside, or doesn't stop to pray, or who ignores things at home.

When I heard the song tonight, I broke down in tears. I can understand how Jake feels that way sometimes. We've been married for four years, and in those four years, it really does feel that we haven't really seen each other much, or spent a ton of time together. We have, but we haven't. He works so hard for our family, providing the main income and stability, 12-16 hours a day each day he works for Schwan's. He works so hard for us that he even works on his days off sometimes. I used to hound on him, truthfully, for "avoiding being at home" or "avoiding me" or "neglecting me." The argument was always the same, I felt I valued time and he valued money, and that was that. I realize, especially as of this past year and a half, that's not the case, and we haven't really had an issue with it.

I understand why he works so hard. I appreciate him for that. Yes, I hate that he's gone and I am guilty as charged for telling him how much I hate his job and how I hate that he's gone, and how I hate being lonely at home "all the time," but I know it's for a good reason, or one that is at least valid.

I've often told him I'd rather be dirt poor than be without him. It's true. But we've found a way to make it work that we don't have to make that the reality.

He really is an amazing man.

I know he loves me.

I just don't want him to miss out on us, on our home, on our lives, and on the love that I have to give, and that his son will have to give.

It amazes me how he can work such long days, almost every day of the week, and yet, he still comes home and the first thing he wants to do is wrap his arms around me and hug me as tight as he can... giving me what I need, and what he needs, despite physical and mental exhaustion. He even takes the dog out for a walk most nights, even in the cold, even at midnight, just so that I can rest. He takes out the trash when I ask him to, or brings the laundry basket up the stairs because I can't carry it and see where I'm going. He even makes a late-night snack if I need it. I find that he would give me anything and everything I need before he even sits down to take time for himself, most nights. It's an awe inspiring thing, his devotion and love for me. I hope the world knows that of him. I'm not sure that they do.

I feel like a cruddy wife sometimes, when I think about all those small, but intensely meaningful gestures he makes so that I feel and know I'm important to him. I sit and question if I do the same in return. I try, but I too feel like I fail.

In a way, I feel that song was written for me, too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I just came upstairs from the basement.

While in the basement, I moved a basket full of newborn baby items, blankets, and bath-time necessities from the washing machine to the dryer...

for the first time.

Well, maybe not the first time ever, as I probably did some baby laundry for my younger sisters when I was growing up (though, I didn't really do laundry back then, so maybe not after all).

As I was dumping items from one appliance to the other, I had this sense of overwhelming excitement. I literally wanted to cry, to laugh, to jump up and down, and to pee my pants, all at the same time.

The official due date is November 2, 2010. But, since I'm 38 weeks pregnant now, our baby could, really, be born any day between now and four weeks from now. Hopefully, it won't be after the due date, though of course, there's a pretty good chance that it could be, statistically.

I know I've talked so many times about my dream of becoming a mommy, ever since I was younger, but as I did this menial task that I have grown to hate (doing laundry) tonight, it hit me like a fly-swatter, quick and snappy, that I'm going to be a mommy, and soon.

That, for lack of a more glitzy term, is simply amazing.

Knowing that the chore is part of a miracle dream coming true makes it much less a nuisance tonight.

Hopefully, that feeling will not fade too far away in the hundreds or thousands of loads of laundry that I will end up washing, drying, folding, and putting away for my son that I will do in the future as well.

Baby Shower, Birthday, Blah, blah, blah!

This will hopefully not be too long, but I mean it to be an all-encompassing update post about the last few days!

Saturday, my best friend, Michelle, and my dear cousin, Tarah, hosted a baby shower for Jake, Spencer, and I, at cute little house at Tuthill Park, here in Sioux Falls.

(M, J, N, T)
There was a very good turnout, in my opinion, and despite my fears of feeling awkward and stared at the entire time, it was a blast! We are truly grateful to those who attended in celebration of Spencer's upcoming birth! Of course, we are also very grateful for the variety of gifts that we received, all of which will be put to good use, soon!

I really wish my grandmother could have been there, though.

My favorite part of the shower was the fact that Jake came. I know that generally, guys don't do baby showers, but Jake was more than willing and excited to be a part of it, which I appreciated greatly. He helped open gifts, and made it even more fun!

Following the shower, Jake, Michelle, and I came back to the house and relaxed a bit, before going out to supper, and then to a movie. It was wonderful to have her around for the evening, especially since my birthday was on Sunday!

I am 27! Jake is 27! We'll be 27 when our child enters the world! That's pretty exciting stuff, right there.

For my birthday, we went to church, then out to Hu Hot (my favorite restaurant), for lunch. After Michelle left town, Jake and I put away baby gifts, and I watched Jake assemble the baby swing. I was overwhelmed with excitement and started crying to myself realizing that we're so close to meeting him! Later that afternoon, we met up with an old friend from a former job (Western Community Action, 2007-2008) and her husband, mother-in-law, and 3 month old daughter. They surprised us with a diaper cake that she made, given to us by her, and two more of my former colleagues, whom I miss very much! Then, we went to another friends' house, where I cuddled on the couch with their 4-month old son while she made birthday supper. Jake and I went to a movie together that night.

Yesterday, I worked a really long shift, and felt like I might never wake up again after I got home and started falling asleep on the couch, of course, after meeting up with a friend to help choose paint colors for her basement.

This morning, I had my 38 week (holy moly!) doctor's appointment. Turns out, I'm at least 1.5 centimeters dilated, close to 2 she said, and 60% effaced! He's also at -3 station, which means he's moving lower, though he hasn't "dropped," according to what most people would call it. But he's getting closer. As I was going to leave, she said, "See you next week, if not sooner!"

Unfortunately, today is the day my husband guessed his son would be born, and I don't think he's going to win.

Post-doctor's visit, Jake and I met up with his dad and step-mom for belated birthday breakfast and coffee. As I was on my way home to prepare for work, I received a phonecall from an anonymous number. I answered, and was informed that Mr. Wendell (who was the star of my last post), went on an attempted "shopping trip" at the 12th street Ace Hardware! His leash appears to be cut, though it could be a nice clean tear? Who knows. The guy who caught him made sure to tell me he watched Wendell use the crosswalk properly, and at the correct time, as he ventured to the Ace Parking lot! I got a good laugh out of that.

Alright, now, I must head to work. Until next time...

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Easter Bunny was Bombed.

I just left the computer room from replying to a facebook message from a friend, to find what appears to be... the remains of the Easter bunny (assuming he's aqua colored inside) exploded all over the living room, hallway, and kitchen.

Gee, I wonder who did that?

Mr. Wendell, of course.
Wendell Rupert, our "darling" 4 year-old beagle, has been somewhat of a terror this past week.

Monday: I came home and he had destroyed the garbage, and pooped on the floor.

Tuesday: He knocked over the garbage again.

Wednesday: He was pretty well behaved, but he chewed up a corn-dog stick (I have no idea where he got it) and left it in the hallway.

Thursday: He was IN THE GARBAGE CAN when I got home.

Friday: He was sleeping soundly in his chair, and there wasn't a mess... until after I took him for a walk and let him do his business, then fed him, watered him, and went on Facebook.

Now, he has his moments where he's pretty naughty, and has since we got him (when he was a puppy, he ate The Complete Works of Shakespeare while I was in class. I was not amused. Another time, he ate an entire bar of Special K bars while my friend Matt and I went to rent a movie. We didn't know he was capable of jumping on the table when he was so small.

Sometimes, I find it hard to be mad at him, like, when we leave him and didn't take him out first. Or when we forget to pick up something and it's something he'd obviously tear apart. But the other times, I just am furious. Luckily, he's cut down on those majorly since last winter...

until lately.

I've heard a few theories: He knows that we're having a baby and wants his attention. He is mad at me for being so exhausted and not spending as much time with him lately. He is upset with all the changes (losing his "wife," children, and "boyfriend") when we moved again.

Whatever the reason, it's not cool.

And now, I have to go clean up the fluffy blue remains.

(Although my mom won't read this, because she doesn't have the internet, it's her birthday, and I love her!)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'll just wash the poop away!

Baby poop doesn't bother me. Adult poop... disgusts me. Dog poop... makes me want to lose my lunch. But baby/toddler poop, I can deal with.

Before Jake and I even conceived our child, we decided (many thanks to our dear friend Randi, for helping make this decision) that we were going to use cloth diapers for our children. A lot of the time, when I would tell people that, especially those who are older than me (like, my parents age), they would look at me like I was crazy. Sometimes, we'd find a gem here or there that would support us and ask questions, but generally, people assumed that the only kind of cloth diapers there were are the fold and pin and try not to skew your infant style ones that existed so long ago.

Boy, were they wrong. Cloth diapers today are much more awesome. I told someone recently they're a cross between regular disposable diapers and underwear, at least in terms of function. They're even pretty cute!

Recently, Jake and I started looking into our actual options for cloth diapers. I was quickly overwhelmed with the variety that are available.

I won't bore everyone with all of the details, but after visiting a local store and getting a quick "seminar" on options, we left feeling even more excited and confident in our decision.

People wonder why we decided to go with cloth diapers. Part of it (and Jake really appreciates this decision, seeing as he's more finance-minded than I), is that you save a lot of money using cloth. Upfront, it sounds and looks pretty scary, when you can spend around $20 PER diaper, and you need, from what we've learned, around 20-30 if you don't want to do laundry every day. So, potentially, that's $400 in diapers. But then, you actually research and compare costs, and you realize, you're saving around... $1,000 - $2,000 just by using cloth. More, if you have multiple children I researched this online, as well as with some of the hand-outs we received with our lesson. And, the resources used for washing are pretty minimal, compared to my next point...

I also like how cloth diapers are much more eco-friendly than disposables. It can take up to 500 years for one diaper to break down! That is CRAZY. According to the handout received from Thirsties (a company/brand of diapers), 25 million trees are made into disposable diapers yearly. That's just not cool.

Cloth diapers are also "chemical-free," unlike disposables that contain gel-like agents and various toxins that absorb into a baby's bottom.

There's also found to be less instances of diaper rash with cloth diapers if you launder them correctly!

So yeah, sure, we're going to have to scrape poop off the diapers into the toilet, and do some extra laundry. Big deal.

Really, most diaper brands have fine print on them that say you're supposed to scrape the poop off into the toilet anyway and most people just don't follow it. Instead, there's a crap-ton (haha) of poop in landfills that seeps into our water supply and breeds viruses and bacteria. Stellar.

Anyway, as luck would have it, the other evening I realized I still had some cash left in my paypal account from when I used to sell photography on etsy, and after being directed to a "lesser known brand" of cloth diapers, called Nubunz (which are basically the same thing as the ever popular Fuzzibunz), I was able to purchase two. They arrived yesterday! I won't lie, I was beyond excited to receive the package, open them, see how they work, and put them on the shelf for our little Ninja to use once he's born and big enough!

Here they are, because I obviously was so excited I needed to photo document the occasion.

We put together a cloth diaper online registry, thinking maybe people would be interested in helping us get to our 20-30 goal, but we'll see how much support we really receive. Most people are more interested in buying outfits and toys, I figure (not that we don't appreciate or need those things, too).

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Memories

Jake and I attended a new church yesterday, Falls Church. We hadn't been to church, truthfully, in quite a few months, but recently decided we should start attending again, and find one that we could call "ours." I enjoyed this church immensely, although, I will be honest, the music was ridiculously loud.

After church, I was completely exhausted. I nearly fell asleep on the car ride home. I had a headache as well, which didn't aid in my staying alert and awake, so when we finally were home, Jake suggested that I take a nap.

We laid next to each other a while, as he felt the baby move, and I drifted in and out of sleep.

At one point, shortly before I finally crashed, he asked me what I was thinking.

"I was thinking about when my grandmother owned the Lamberton Cafe and she would let me have a piece of warm apple pie with cinnamon ice cream."

It was a very random thought, and though I wasn't sure where it originated, it became an all encompassing memory in just seconds.

"On Sundays?" he asked.

"Any time really." I replied. The tears started to flow, and he asked what was wrong. "I just... miss her."

I broke into sobs. I couldn't stop crying. I kept thinking about the scent of warm apple pie and cinnamon ice cream, how it had been so long since I had the delicious combination (I had it after she sold the cafe so many years ago, but it has still been quite a while). I kept thinking about the baking we would do together, the enticing, welcoming, comforting aroma that would flood her kitchen and the entire house as she created some of the most delicious baked goods.

And, of course, I could not stop thinking about spending that time with her, learning from her, helping her, hoping to grow up and be like her.

Then, the overwhelming sadness flooded through me, in that she had been so excited for Jake and I to be dating, then engaged, then married, and then hoping for and trying to start a family... and... she is missing out on the pregnancy, and will miss out on the birth, and seeing our family actually grow. The pain is truly raw, when I think that she will not be visiting us at the hospital with the rest of the family. She will not hold our baby boy. I will not hear her say his name.

I truthfully haven't baked much since she past in 2007. It's an unconscious thing mostly, as well as the fact that I'm alone often and don't see the point in making something fresh and not being able to share it right out of the oven. Perhaps, I should start.

I'm hoping, though, one of these days, Jake and I will be out and about, and we'll come upon a place where they sell warm apple pie and cinnamon ice cream... either that, or maybe, just maybe, we'll have it at home. I cannot wait for the aroma that I will always associate with those warm, happy, grandmother-granddaughter memories.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

One Month Left.

One month from today is the "official" due date that we were given back in February. Now, granted, that doesn't mean a whole lot, as the baby could be born any time between next Tuesday and six weeks from now.

But, it's a pretty momentous day for our little family. I know that I was always doubting that I'd EVER see a due date, let alone be this close to reaching it. Yes, I was pretty pessimistic about the possibility of being a mother. I just figured that since my body was working against me all those years, and it wasn't very likely to change.

Luckily, I had my wonderful husband, an amazing family, and exceptional friends who helped me to find the positive, stay focused on the goal, and support us as we attempted to conceive a child.

And it happened.

We did it. We conceived.

We made it past the first trimester, where the threat of a miscarriage was highest.

We made it the 27 weeks or so that is considered the "point of viability" in which the baby could survive if born early.

We made it within a month of the due date.

On Tuesday of this upcoming week, I'll be considered "full-term" in this pregnancy.

Then, it's just a matter of waiting for that day to arrive in which our little miracle decides he's ready to come on out and face the world. I'm nervous, a little scared, but excited beyond belief.

It's truly a miracle!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm having Michael Jackson's baby... and other things.

Last night, I had a bizarre dream. I was in a hotel room, with my brother, and we were just spending the night for fun, because Jake was on an overnight route and couldn't be home with me.

While I was sleeping, I had my baby. And my baby was a very dark, chocolate brown color. My brother and I were a little confused, but didn't think much of it, as we packed up and walked to the hospital to check in and make sure the baby was okay.

We called Jake from the hospital and told him he needed to be there right away, so he came as fast as he could. And, while we sat there in the waiting room, Jake met his son. He said, "That's not mine."

"Yes it is, you're the only guy I've ever slept with." (This is a true fact, I am very proud to say.)

So, Jake demanded a DNA test. The test proved the child was in fact his.

We asked the doctors how that could possibly be correct, and their explanation was either
A: the fertility treatments we went through altered the baby's genetic make-up so that he was born resembling an African-American baby,
B: my husband was born African-American, but his parents didn't want him to know that, so they bleached him white.

I woke up laughing, thinking to myself, "I married Michael Jackson."

Obviously, that's NOT what happened to Michael Jackson, but I mean, come on. Haha.

In other news, I decided tonight that I wanted to catch up on my hand-written journals, despite the fact that I had been typing them up on my laptop months ago, and the laptop screen is broken, so I couldn't see them. I was going to find the journal I had been writing my typed entries in so I could see where I left off with that at least, and then do a "briefing" of the last four months or so (I figure, it's hard to say exactly where I stopped typing them up thinking I'd get my screen fixed), and then continue with my thoughts.

Well, I can't find the journal I was using. I have dug through quite a few boxes and places and can't find it anywhere. I'm feeling a little defeated and it's actually prohibiting me from just starting in the new journal like I had decided I would for part two of my plan. That's just lame. I should not make excuses.

Tomorrow, my step-mother-in-law is coming to town, and she's bringing us a crib she found at a thrift store! It's pretty cute. I thought at first I might feel strange having a used crib, but it feels... perfectly fine. It makes more sense financially, and since it's in tip-top shape, why not? And it's not like the baby is going to care.

I'm pretty excited that the soon-to-be grandmother is so excited for the arrival of our son.

The other night, I was sitting writing a thank-you (okay, last night) and got completely overwhelmed knowing there are SO MANY people out there who prayed for us to finally conceive a child, and have been praying for us and for his health ever since we found out we were having a child. I don't even know HALF of the people. I've never met them.

We're truly blessed.

Alright, time for some supper, and then attempting to start this new journal. At least begin it...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Now that's what I call a grocery list.

Yes, I just blogged an hour or so ago.

After I finished my last post, I took to my next task at hand, making our Schwan's list.

For those who don't know, my husband is a "Schwan's Man." Yes, that's right, I have the priviledge of being married to one of those fellows who, in the summer, wears those sexy tan shorts with reflective tape on them and a blue and white table-cloth-like shirt. He drives a big yellow truck with frozen food on it.

(I love Jake.)

Anyway, although my husband is a Schwan's man, we have another Schwan's man stop by our house every other Thursday. This happens to be the "every" Thursday he stops on. So, I needed to make a shopping list.

Since I throw out the catalogs I find lying around the house, I found myself without one this particular evening. Thus, I decided to make my list online.

I went about my business, opening up a new tab for every item I desired for my initial wish-list, and then added each item to the cart for review. I was about to go through and purge things I didn't really want/need this time around and then ask Jake for his thoughts, when I suddenly noticed my grand total...


Well, what the heck, right?

I had to do a double take, and then I realized this is what my final cart ended up looking like:
4096 - Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel Poppers $26,583.04
- SCHWAN'S SNACK ROLLS® Buffalo Chicken $18,411.52
1024 - SPECIAL RECIPE™ Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza $5,109.76
512 - Tomato Basil Soup $4,602.88
256 - Loaded Baked Potato Soup $2,301.44
128 - Chicken Tortilla Soup $1,150.72
64 - Macaroni & Cheese - Limited Availability $447.36
32 - Fiesta Lime Chicken Meal for Two $319.68
16 - Chicken Enchilada $159.84
8 - Tuscan Vegetable Soup $28.72
4 - Pepperoni and Three Cheese Calzone $35.96
2 - Classic Club Oven Baked Sandwiches $17.98
1 - Italian Melt Oven Baked Sandwiches $8.99

Apparently, every time I added a new item, it doubled the quantity of the item I added before!

I about peed my pants laughing, and then of course, had to share my amusement with others. The visualization of all of those items had me in a fit of uncontrollable giggles when my husband called me on the phone to laugh about it with me. Can you imagine all that pizza?! I wonder how many guys in shorts it would take to carry them all here. Heck, I wonder how many big yellow trucks it would take? I'd need a meat locker to store all the pretzels in. I'd share though, that's for sure. I mean, we could have a pretzel-popper-palooza every day for at least a week! Yay!

For the record, our new list is much smaller, and much more affordable!

Yeah, it's wet out.

I like the rain.

I mean, it's dreary and wet and such, but I love the sound of it. I like how it looks when it's splashing on windshields and in puddles. I used to take photos of it any chance I had (I've been lazy about photographing anything since February 22, 2010 though).

When we lived in the other place, though, rain was not my friend. It flooded the basement nearly every time, soaking the carpet and growing mold in random places (and of course, our shitty rental company, A+ Rental Realty in Sioux Falls, refused to do much of anything about it (but I'll get into all that another time, of course)), and causing tons of stress.

Here, not so much a problem, so I'm back to enjoying it.

I like how it is a lullaby that sings me to sleep as I snuggle up with a blanket in the middle of the day. Though, that's not always a possibility, like.. when I'm at work. (I envy the babies instead.)

I don't much care for, of course, my hair getting all frizzy and six inches high off my head, but hey, whatever.

I feel bad, though, because my husband has to work in the rain, and that's just miserable. Especially when it's chilly out. I guess when he gets home tonight I'll have to wrap my arms around him and give him a big warm hug.

Wendell... doesn't so much like the rain. I think it's actually driving him crazy. It's been raining fairly steadily since yesterday. This morning, I went into the living room, and he's going balls-up-berserk-tastic as he ran from the kitchen to the chair, scooting the chair back a few inches at a time as he bounced against it and back to the kitchen and to the hall and around me and to the chair and running into me and... you get the hint. I think he lost it. Though, he seems pretty content next to me right now, lying comfortably on the floor.

When I got into my car and turned on my iPod this morning, in an ironic twist of melody, the first three songs that played, in shuffle mode even were "Rain" by Creed, "Please Don't Stop the Rain" by James Morrison, and "Rain King," by the Counting Crows. (No joke.)

A few months ago, the week of our anniversary, Jake and I got caught in a torrential downpour as we ran into Starbucks to beat the closing time. It was awesome. I laughed so hard. It was like something just out of a romantic comedy.

Not so fun, however, was the point at which I was driving down Cliff on the way to work and a pick-up truck comes up benext to (haha, I can't believe I just typed that) me and moved, barely quicker than I was, through gigantic puddles. It sprayed my car and windshield so badly I couldn't see for about 15 seconds. I was having a miniature panic attack thinking for sure the person behind me was either going to hit me, or I'd accidentally swerve into him or the lane next to me. Ack.

So, there you have it, a random, out-of-sequence posting about various rain topics.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Well, it's official. We've moved. (If you want my new mailing address (and I would love to receive mail), send me a text or a facebook message and I'll get it to you ASAP.)

We moved 9.5ish (almost 10, but hey, I didn't count actual footage) away. We're living in the main floor level of a two-story duplex. It's small, but quaint. It's not as small as we thought it would be, seeing as how the furniture we really need and use all fits and there is still room to move around, but it's smaller than most places we've lived. It's a short-term (6 month, then month-to-month) lease, and it saves us one of my entire paychecks a month in rent, which will be wonderful once Spencer is born.

We were allowed to choose paint colors and paint it, so the living room is "fresh sawdust," our room "Aegean accent," and Spencer's room "blue sky." Okay, I don't actually think that's the name of his color. I should look at it again. I was wrong, it's "sky watch." Oh, and the bathroom went from a bizarre bumble-bee-esque yellow to "mountain peak." I'll let you decide what you think those colors are.

So, everything is here, except the piano (we still need to find a way to move it), and mostly unpacked, except the random stuff we're storing.

It doesn't quite feel like home yet, but I'm sure we'll get there. It will help once Jake and I have had time to spend together here. We've been so busy that it's been work, and really no leisure. Plus, we weren't here for half the weekend anyway.

I must tell you, though, Jake has been absolutely amazing. He works up to 14 hour days, usually 5 days a week, and somehow, he's found the super-human will-power, strength, and energy, to do almost all of the moving and work by himself. I mean, I helped pack somewhat and I did most of the painting, and a little unpacking so far, but he's taken the brunt of it all upon himself. Not to say we didn't have help. Our friends, Jillian, Robert, and Jake's brother, Jesse, helped too. Jillian helped pack up a bunch of stuff, haul, push furniture, organize the kitchen, keep me company, and let me play with her 4 month-old son, Grayson (I adore him). Robert, her husband, helped with some packing, and hauling the big furniture, along with Jake and Jesse.

But really, Jake... did so much. Not only did he deal with my stress, my freaking out, my random bursts of sobbing, my worry, and my inability to do things, but he packed, he cleaned, he hauled, he unpacked, he organized, he hauled some more, and then he still got up this morning to work another 12-14 hour day. And he will come home tonight and wrap his arms around me and tell me not to worry and that my most important job is just to keep our son safe.

I love that man.

Sorry if I've bored you.