Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And baby makes four.

Early in the morning on Sunday, August 7th, Jake and I "aced another test." Though, truthfully, (in grand Nicole fashion), I didn't believe it was true.

I woke early to Spencer crying, and changed his diaper and gave him his bottle. Then, I decided to test. The test came back positive, and I ran from the bathroom and woke Jake. My exact words, "I might crap my pants!" He said, "then go to the bathroom." I replied, "I just was!" and I handed him the test. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, and when he saw the word, he was immediately awake, happy as could be!

To be honest, we were trying. We were going through the infertility battles again. I did not know if I wanted to do it publicly this time, because I didn't care to hear negative opinions people might throw at us at having our kids "too close together." We felt it was the right time for us, and knew that's all that mattered.

This was round three of the battle, and we won.

Blood tests confirmed the pregnancy was legitimate on Monday and again on Wednesday, and the ultrasound was scheduled for this morning. Since then, I've been a ball of nerves (though, trying to remain at least calm looking). Much like with Spencer, we found out really early (3 weeks 4 days this time) and I have been terrified that we'd go in for the ultrasound to find a non-viable pregnancy after all.

It's been a long 3.5 weeks.

But this morning, we saw Sprout on the screen. Heartbeat was 128 BMP, and baby was measuring 0.81cm. Right on track for a due date on April 18, 2012.

We are ecstatic, but of course, I am still nervous. We aren't out of the critical time frame in which most miscarriages happen, but I am trying to rest assured it will be okay. It was with Spencer!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Get a grip on it.

For the past few weeks, I've been feeling a little more overwhelmed and stressed out than usual. Part of it is being exhausted, I think. Spencer hasn't slept through the night in WEEKS, which is so odd, and somewhat frustrating at night, considering he had been for well over a month up until he started cutting his teeth, and then it's just been back to the old ways, up at least once a night, sometimes up to four times. Ack!

I think that having Jesse and Sam move also didn't help, but I am much more at peace with them being gone now. I definitely miss them, though, that's for sure. They've only been gone a full week! How crazy is that? It feels like weeks have gone by since I said goodbye to them at the airport. I think the fact that they both got cell phones right away, and a mailing address, helps. I've been able to at least correspond with them every day, and on Wednesday of this last week, we had a family Skype date! Jesse and Samantha in Alaska video chatting with Spencer, Jake, and I in South Dakota! It REALLY helps bridge the distance. We're going to have another date tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, I'll be more awake this time (so will Spencer, less crabby, I'm thinkign). I already sent them two letters, and received one. And, it's barely over two months until we get to be in the same room as them again! So, yes, I'm feeling better about them being so far away, though, I do miss them dearly. It's very different without them being a part of my evening plans during the week!

Lately, I've also really been missing my brother, Bryan, who is in Kuwait. He called over a week ago, and I didn't get to answer, so I didn't get to talk to him. I have his voicemail still saved, thankfully, so I can listen to it when I'm thinking about him. I'm praying constantly that he's safe!

Fortunately, though, I have been able to spend multiple nights in the past week with my darling cousin and best friend, Tarah (yes, I have about 7 best friends, and I think that is totally okay). She's helped me battle the loneliness and stress by just being around, helping me with Spencer so I'm not frazzled when he's screaming at me because he wants a bath and I'm in the middle of something, for example. I've also got an amazing husband, who holds me when I need it, and tries his best to make my every day wonderful. He loves me. And that's awesome. And I have many other friends, too, who will listen when I need it.

I must say, I am also really blessed with the church family that we've become a part of. I know I have many friends there who are always willing to say a little prayer!

Spencer and I have spent about 3.5 hours at parks over the last two days, covered in dirt, sand, and fresh air. It's been wonderful. I LOVE how he gets excited to walk barefoot in the sand and leads me quickly around in circles. I always wonder where he's taking me, and it's usually... nowhere in particular. But it's fun. He loves throwing sand and getting it in his hair. For now, that's okay. We'll work on it when he's older.

Enough babble. Time for SJ's bath.

Friday, August 19, 2011

See You Later.

This morning was hard on me.

This morning, Spencer and I said goodbye to Jesse and Samantha at the airport, as they ventured off to a new life in Alaska.

The past few days, actually, have been hard. On Wednesday night, I watched Jake hug them both goodbye, knowing that we'd see them again in November, and not knowing when we would after that, if it'd be months, a year, or more. That was hard. I cried quite a bit, knowing that it was the last time my husband would see his twin for quite some time.

This morning was our turn. They both crawled into the backseat for a few moments and said goodbye to my baby boy. Then, after numerous hugs and kisses on the cheek, I got into the driver's seat, and pulled away.

Luckily, November is barely over 2 months away, so it wont' be "too long" until we see them again. And, we purchased a webcam, so the three of us can Skype with the two of them. And of course, we have text messages, Facebook, and hand-written letters to look forward to. But, we won't be in the same car, park, room, what have you, for quite some time, and that's hard.

I try to figure out why I am so emotional over the entire situation, and I think I have it figured out.

Samantha and I met this year, she met me in March (after my surgery), which I don't remember, and we met for real in April. We quickly became close, talking, laughing, and spending tons of time together. We realized how similar we are, almost like sisters, and definitely new best friends. It's amazing! Then, she was blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime and was offered a job in Alaska, doing what she dreams of doing. Obviously, I am ecstatic for her, but it's hard to see her go. It's hard to let someone so close to you go, especially after only having her around for a short period of time.

And then, there's Jesse. We've known each other for almost 10 years, but unfortunately, I would say that we weren't really friends, or close, until around the time that Spencer was born. Now, I love him (not just like a brother-in-law, but as a brother, and a dear friend), and we have been able to really get to know each other, and finally spend quality time together. And now, too, he is on his adventure, and it seems all too soon for me. That, and he's my husband's twin brother, and the only uncle Spencer has within two hours time (roughly). So, I'm sad for all of us that they're gone.

But, as I said, I am very happy for them. I LOVE seeing them together and I know that they're deeply in love. I support their move and their lives in Alaska, wholeheartedly, and I want them to have the most amazing time away from us. I hope that we can visit them soon. I can't wait for Spencer to be able to spend his first vacation with them there. We've been talking about it for weeks! Only a few more years...

But, obviously, the conflicting joy for them and sadness for us doesn't make it easy to know they're gone.

Sam, Jesse, if you're reading this... I... WE LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

So many thoughts, so few words.

Do you ever have so much on your mind that it's hard to put your thoughts to words?

The past few days, that's how I feel.

My sisters left on Sunday, after a wonderful day visit with my father and his girlfriend. I was sad to see them go, but Monday was the sadder day, when I arrived home from work and the house was empty. They weren't here to greet Spencer and I. I miss them already.

I've been thinking about poetry lately, again, and how I haven't written any in ages. Perhaps my poetry has turned to prose, which is modeled solely after my personal thoughts and reflections on my blog. I guess that should be more acceptable to me than it is.

There is so much evil in the world today. On Sunday, a friend told me of a little boy, seven years of age, who was decapitated in Louisiana. The mother's boyfriend apparently confessed to the slaughter. As I updated my knowledge on the story, apparently to agitate my emotions more, or something, I read further that the evil man did it because he'd gotten tired of taking care of the boy, who was wheelchair bound, among other difficulties, and left the head on the sidewalk for his mother to see. Of course, I broke down sobbing for the poor child. I just cannot wrap my head around the vile act, though, of course, I don't really want to.

Then, I further began thinking about how some people in my life are just mean and spiteful. I wish that I, and the rest of my dear friends and family, could avoid them. I don't feel like anyone should be put through some of the things that they are, especially when it's from someone that "loves" them, so to speak. It just blows my mind, and makes my blood pressure boil.

I'm trying to be positive, but not looking forward to the end of the week, when one of my new, but very best friends, and my brother-in-law, leave early in the morning for a new life in Alaska. I know I'll see them both for Spencer's birthday, but beyond that, there's no saying when we'll be in each other's geographical presence again. Yes, we'll have Skype, email, Facebook, text, phonecalls, and letters, but they never truly replace the act of being in the same room.

But, with all the garbage, there's good surrounding us all, too. Sometimes, the smallest gestures are an incredible sign of compassion and love. It's amazing. For example, I'd wanted a hamburger since Saturday night when I picked up Jake from work. Yesterday evening, I still wanted one, and randomly posted it on Facebook (as I do many off-the-wall thoughts), and some dear friends from across town had a hamburger left. He even drove it to our house so I could enjoy it! What a wonderful, spunky, blessing!

And of course, I cannot forget to mention how absolutely amazing Jake is for me. The past week or so, I have been exceptionally exhausted and emotional, and in the middle of the night, more than once, when it wasn't even his "shift," he willingly awoke to change Spencer's diaper and put him back to sleep. I know he loves me. I don't deserve it.

There's more, I'm sure, but I would really like to cuddle up with our beagle (who has been naughty lately (and turned 5 yesterday)) and relax a bit before actually going to bed.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Please, don't take them!

Tomorrow, my dad is coming to Sioux Falls to visit. When he leaves, he'll be taking my younger sisters back home.

They've been visiting since I picked them up on July 29th. We've been having an amazingly fun, laughter-filled time together. While, I'm sure they're probably ready to be away from a baby crying in the middle of the night, I hope they're a little hesitant to leave at least.

We've had a lot of fun adventures since they arrived. We've gone shopping, swimming at pools, playing at the spray park, going to the water park, volunteering at the humane society, taking a trip to the butterfly house and aquariums, watching a movie in a park, enjoying the falls, relaxing at Barnes and Noble, playing at various playgrounds, renting movies and eating popcorn, going to a Go Fish concert, writing with glow sticks in the dark, going to the Sioux Empire Fair wandering around downtown, eating cupcakes, and laughing our butts off until we could barely breathe. Many activities involved other people, too, like Jake, Jesse, Samantha, Tarah, Rena, and Kayla and her family (of course, Spencer, too).

I think we've acquired at least 3 new punchline-inside jokes that keep coming up in our daily conversations, causing us to giggle like freaks.

We've taken over a hundred photos of Spencer!

It's been amazing. I wish they lived closer. Even though they're 12 and 16 years younger than me, we're close, and we have such wonderful times when we're together. I HATE seeing them leave.

Tomorrow, like I said, my dad will come, we'll go to the zoo, and then they'll be gone.

I wish we could pause tonight, just for a little while. Next week, the house will seem so quiet, and lonely.

Friday, August 5, 2011

And there is no secret to the source of this much life...

Ah, the memories.

<-- Five years ago this afternoon, this is what was going on in my life.

I was so excited... and maybe a little nervous due to the fact that so many of our friends and family were staring at us as we publicly committed our lives to one another through God. We wrote our own vows, and I got a little choked up saying mine, but I did not break into tears, which I thought was an excellent accomplishment. When I cry, you can't understand what I am trying to say, really, so I had hoped I wouldn't start sobbing while trying to read my vows to my ne
w husband and he would be wondering "so, what did she just promise anyway?" Haha.

When it came time for the exchange of the rings, I think the magnitude of the moment hit me, and I tried so hard to put Jake's wedding ring on the ring finger of his right hand. He tried to stop me, which made me try harder to get the ring on the incorrect finger. Then, I realized what I was doing, and we all had a great little laugh. That's what the picture here is showing, us laughing as I place the ring, finally, on the correct finger. That is one of my fondest memories from the entire wedding ceremony. It's just... perfect.

I am still, fortunately, able to "play" the wedding day over and over in my mind as I please, and I pray that those memories never fade. We never received a video of our wedding, so I have never been able to actually watch the ceremony, but we were blessed with an audio CD recording from the church in which the ceremony was held. I have only listened to it a few times, because I feel like I can still remember it so well on my own.

It's been five years since Jake and I became husband and wife. I can't decide if it sounds like a short time or a long time.

I remember our first wedding anniversary (which we celebrated a few days early by this moment, because friends of ours were getting married the day before our actual anniversary and we were going to the lake the day of our anniversary) when I waited in my wedding dress, in the dark of our living room, with our first dance song queued up on the CD player with a note that said "press play." I sat, waiting, and waiting, for him to come through the double doors after his long day at work. I wanted to have our "first dance," again. I had planned that second first dance before we were even officially married. It was a wonderful surprise.

I remember thinking how big a deal the FIRST anniversary was. ONE YEAR! Wow! Consequently, each passing anniversary I have thought of as a bit more important, or monumental, anyway, leading up to today.. our FIFTH. I joke and call it our "golden anniversary," seeing as how we were married on August 5th (yes, I know the 50th is the official gold).

Five years is, in my opinion, the second big milestone for marriages. It's half a decade, which makes it sound like a long time, but it's only 5 years, too, a single digit number.

Regardless, I hold today with high esteem and great importance. It is a monumental day in our lives.

Unfortunately, this year, Jake is in Howard, SD, working a long day. He has been there since yesterday, not coming home due to DOT laws. So, I have not seen him since yesterday morning, and there's a good chance I won't see him until tomorrow morning, as he is usually home past 1am on this route day.

While I am sad that I cannot be "with" him physically to celebrate this wonderful day in our lives, I was blessed to have him call me and tell me he loved me. And, tomorrow, he does not work, so we have the entire day to be together. That's worth being thankful for, too.

So, to summarize, I can't believe that this milestone anniversary is already upon us. I am blessed beyond measure to have Jake as my husband, and to have started a family together (this is our first anniversary with Spencer celebrating with us!). We're already "growing old" together, which is something we looked forward to for many years.

I cannot wait to celebrate our 6th anniversary... and every anniversary after.

Jake, I love you. Thank you for choosing me.