In nine days I will be with Paul!!! I am so very excited about that =) It will have been nearly six weeks apart ... far too long. But it is much, much better than what it would be if this were an overseas deployment... I don't know how those wives survive the 18 month deployments, and I hope I never find out.

It has been a busy week - I have eaten too much and been on my feet too much!! It is so hard to stay quiet when there is so much exciting stuff going on! =)
Christmas day was a very enjoyable day. I missed Paul, but it was fun to be with my crazy siblings Christmas morning =)
Grandpa and Grandma Crowe and the 'adopted' grandparents - Mr. and Mrs. Nummey - joined us for Christmas dinner. I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon away.

This baby makes me SO tired some days!! I nap most days for 2-4 hours.
On Wednesday I had a check up and the doctor said all is well =) He said my stomach will likely grow another four centimeters - FOUR!!! I am not sure how my stomach will stretch out that much further, it feels stretched to its limits right now =)


Thursday Thirteen #5

1. Willow Tree pregnant belly ornament
2. Nearly one dozen Oprah Book Club books
3. Swaddling blankets for baby! (handmade too!)
4. A little lumber jack jacket for baby
5. Make-up brush set
6. All the little outfits for baby... they are all cute and I can't wait to dress him in them!
7. A tea cup - the start of my collection
8. Jewelry - one can never have enough!!
9. A maternity shirt
10. A sewing basket filled with all the supplies I could need should I decide to take up mending =)
11. The book 'Captivating'
12. Dvds - including "Jack and the Bean Stalk the untold story", "Arabian Nights" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
13. Scrapbooking supplies for baby's album

More Thursday Thirteen


A little of this and a little of that

We have an apartment!!! Woohoo!! I can't wait to get down there and see it! Paul signed the lease for it today.
Best movie quote "If you fall I will catch you. And if I miss I will sit by your side and nurse you back to health."
-Wolf, on The 10th Kingdom
I have absolutely no self control. Amanda came over for the evening last night and brought my Christmas present. She told me I could open it if I wanted to, and I asked if she'd opened hers, which I had given to her on Sunday. She said she hadn't... she was trying to wait till Christmas day. So I said I would wait. She said I could open it if I wanted to... but if she could be strong, I could too, right?? Uh... no! She wasn't even gone five minutes and I opened the gift from her. A rather snazzy gift - two different body butters and a full make up brush set and cosmetic bag. Self denial is not my thing.
This afternoon mum and I went to Mrs. Yuille's where the two of them were hosting a tea for some of the older ladies at the chapel. They made me promise not to "share our secrets or go home and laugh at what we talked about." But I do have to say this - I hope my girlfriends and I have their sense of humor when we're their age! The ladies were a riot. And one of them got engaged just moments before the tea... and didn't tell anyone!! Another lady noticed the ring, and after said engaged lady left, the observant lady asked if anyone knew if she was engaged... seriously, it could have been my girlfriends chattering away excitedly trying to figure out if she was or was not engaged - and if she was why she hadn't told anyone. Mrs. Yuille used her connections and called someone and got a confirmation - the thought to be engaged lady really is engaged! I am pressuming it shall soon be known to all - but all I will say is
"congrats to the engaged lady."
The baby's kicking has slowed down, and he now seems to be spinning. Whatever it is he is doing inside me I like it =) It feels pretty cool. Only TEN MORE WEEKS till our little guy is born. Woohoo! There are Christmas presents under the tree for him and I am so excited to see what the baby is getting =)

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen Gifts I have bought for different people this year:

1. Calendar
2. Makeup
3. Christmas ornaments
4. Stationary
5. Book
6. Gift card
7. Cologne
8. Picture Frame
9. Shirt
10. DVD
11. Baking
12. Shower Gel
13. Cookbook

... no one knows what is for who though!

More Thursday Thirteen


Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen gadgets I wouldn't want to live without

1. Computer/laptop
2. Digital Camera
3. Cell phone
4. Dvd Player
5. Lights
6. Fridge/Freezer
7. Speakers
8. Hair straightener
9. Electric Kettle
10. Wireless Mouse
11. Washer/Dryer
12. Printer
13. My husband (best gadget I’ve ever owned! He fixes all the other ones. And is cute too.)



Pictures I found

This was me in Nigeria - the 'international country singer.'
Kristie, Angie and I made that up to discourage a persistent admirer!

One of my girls in Nigeria

I miss him!!

Think our kids will have curls?? We're hoping!
My favourite picture of us!
Paul has been adopted for Christmas day!! I am so happy knowing that he isn’t going to spend the day sitting in his barracks watching movies and eating microwave food all day long. A family from the church invited him to spend the day with them, and I am so grateful that they did =)

He has been faithfully hunting for apartments for us… first floor or second floor? Two bedrooms or three? One bathroom or two? Small kitchen and big bathroom or big kitchen and small bathroom? Closer to work or closer to church? So many things to decide when trying to pick a place to live!
I have complete confidence in his ability to pick our place – I cannot wait to move down there and be with him!

Weird thought – I might actually pick up the cute Georgia accent. It’s too bad I wouldn’t even notice it if I do pick it up.

A Guilty Pleasure Abused

I have come to the conclusion that the enjoyment in reading is found when it is a guilty pleasure, a luxury, or a reward. When you steal time away to read just one more chapter in that gripping book it is enjoyable. When you reward yourself -at the completion of your “to do list” – and sit and finish off that book it is a treat.

But when you have absolutely nothing else to do but sit and read the novelty quickly wears off. Very, very quickly wears off.

I am sure in the months and years to come I will look back at this time with great envy, wishing I had the time to just sit and read all day long.
However right now it is hard to find the enjoyment in reading when there is not much else to occupy my time.
I have been reading quite a bit, but something is lost in the enjoyment and simple pleasure of it when it is all there is for me to do.

One book I recently finished is worth writing about.
A novel by Jodi Picoult entitled Plain Truth. It is the story of Katie, an 18 year old unmarried Amish girl who secretly gave birth to a baby boy that dies of unnatural causes. The body is found in a barn and local authorities are called in and an investigation is launched as to how the baby died.
Katie doesn’t want a lawyer, however a distant relative, Ellie, is a defense attorney who is visiting an aunt to get away from her stressful job and she volunteers to defend Katie.
Ellie moves in with Katie and her family on their farm and it becomes a clash of will, worlds and ethics for both women.
Ellie who is a successful career woman would stoop to any level to win her cases and Katie, whose core being is bound to her faith and to her morals will not allow lies to be told or fabricated in the court room.
The twist though is that Katie does not at first remember having ever been pregnant or giving birth. And she consistently denies any knowledge of how the baby died.
Ellie must work through her own frustrations at the apparent simplicity and ignorance of Katie, gain her trust and stretch her own abilities as a defense attorney.
Katie has to face the harsh realities of an outside world with a system of laws entirely different than that of her Amish ways.
The book was absolutely fascinating.


Thursday Thirteen #2

thirteen seemingly pointless and/or irresponsible things I would like to do:

1. Backpack around the world with Paul
2. Go bungee jumping
3. Go skydiving
4. Get a nose ring
5. Be on a ‘Best Friends’ version of “Wheel Of Fortune” with Paul
6. Do a road trip that covers a good portion of North America
7. Do something memorable in every US state
8. Go white water rafting on some real rapids
9. Cut my hair short
10. Dye my hair blonde
11. Take a cake decorating class
12. Own a pair of shoes in every color and heel type
13. Have my leg hair permanently removed

More Thursday Thirteen



Last Day

We did the stupidest thing of our lives - this morning we got up at 4:45 to make it to Walmarts 5:00AM opening - we hadn't gone to bed till 2:30AM.
There were hundreds of people there! It was quite insane and the view from my wheelchair wasn't so nice. People were pushing, rushing, jamming aisles and cramming their carts full of things. It was unbelievable to watch all the people! We did enjoy ourselves, but now are SO tired!!

We went out for breakfast with Nathan, Anita and Levi - a final goodbye! Now we need to load the car and head out ... our life here in North Olmsted is over. Weird thought.
I think I shall sleep most of the way up to my parents! Though that is a little rude, seeing as I am the one who pushed Paul to go out with me this morning! I should stay up and keep him company!! I WILL be sleeping in tomorrow morning!

Nathan and Anita

Uncle Paul and Levi

The pregnant bellies! Our babies are due just a couple weeks apart!


Tursday Thirteen #1

13 Books I Love

1. Do They Hear You When You Cry? By Fauziya Kassindja
2. Husbands and Wives By William J. Peterson
3. Gone With the Wind By Margaret Mitchell
4. Night By Elie Wiesel
5. Princess
6. The Mark of the Lion triology By Francine Rivers
7. The Bible
8. Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austin
9. Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail By Malika Oufkir
10. Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte
11. Redeeming Love By Francine Rivers
12. My Sister's Keeper By Jodi Picoult
13. Most of Mary Higgins Clark =)

More Thursday Thirteen

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am not sure which is worse - having to sleep on the floor, or having a baby that dances on my bladder in the middle of the night! Either way, neither are making for a good nights sleep and today we slept in VERY late.

We had our thanksgiving day meal at the Golden Corral - mmm! All you can eat steak, turkey and pot roast! I ate lots of those three, and then some mashed potatoes and some gummy bears. Gotta love weird food cravings. I enjoyed myself though! =) We are now back in our very empty apartment just hanging out. We'll probably watch a movie a little later, and Paul might start packing the car - we've decided to leave for my parents tomorrow afternoon instead of Saturday morning. Tonight is my last night in this apartment! Weird thought.

Things I am thankful for:

A personal relationship with Christ
A sweet and lovin' hunky husband
Our baby kicking away in me as I type this
That Paul is going to Georgia and not Iraq!
Friends back home that are ready to do the "bed resting" thing with me =)


Just click on the link!

I`m my own grandpa


It's a sad fact that our apartment is cleaner now than it has ever been in the time we have lived here! Mum and Paul have been cleaning away and our place certainly smells like it!

Monday night Paul's dad, brother and another man from the chapel came and took away all of our big stuff! Our place is looking empty!

We are 'camping out' in our own apartment =) Plastic forks, knives and spoons. Styrofoam plates and cups - we are the height of style and class!

Tomorrow I am taking Paul on a 'surprise' outing - I had won two $25 gift certificates to a local spa, and since we're leaving I decided to use them tomorrow. But upon calling them to make the appointment I found out that the certificates cannot be combined, they need to be used for two seperate services either by seperate people or on different days!
So I had the brilliant idea that I would schedule an appointment for Paul with the second certificate - so he is getting the first manicure of his life tomorrow at 4:30! =) He doesn't have a clue - ah, this will be fun!! =) When you see him make sure to ask to check out his nails, they should be all purdy pretty soon!


Things I love about being pregnant - in no particular order!

~I have a baby growing inside me!
~All the extra backrubs I get from Paul!
~Eating mac & cheese with green olives!
~Bubble baths
~Debating all the baby name options
~Actually deciding on a baby name!
~Feeling the baby kicking
~Ginger snaps with cheddar cheese
~Looking at baby clothes
~Buying baby clothes
~Being given baby clothes!
~Paul talking to the baby =)
~Getting to eat MORE food
~Foot rubs from Paul
~Our baby mobile (thanks Max and Sage!)
~Cute maternity clothes
~Baby magazines
~Hearing the babies heartbeat
~The smell of baby shampoo – can’t wait to use it!
~Working on baby’s scrapbook!
~Working on baby’s birth announcement cards
~NOT being so cold all the time!
~Baby belly pictures
~Paul feeling baby kicking
~Talking to baby

Pass the Packing Tape and Sharpie Marker!

Thanks to my mum, Paul's mom and Paul our kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and hall closets are ALL PACKED!!!

Paul got the bedroom, bathroom and closets done this evening, and I think plans to work some more and get the computer room done too!

His dad was able to get more boxes for us today, so we drove out to his work to pick them up - I think we have all the boxes we could possibly need - at least I HOPE we do! Packing is really not very fun! Tho I think the baby is enjoying it! The baby has been dancing away in my belly all evening!!

Between Sunday and Monday we hope to get everything moved out of here and into Paul's parents garage. Then Tuesday - Friday we have to finish off my health insurance details (headache!!), clean the apartment, pack up the belongings that are to go to Toronto and Georgia, say goodbye to friends and do anything else that my pregnancy brain has made me forget about!

On Saturday (25th) we are heading up to Canada - to a new couch for me to recline the days away on =)

Paul will stay with me until the 28th, then come back to Cleveland, do some last minute things and then he flies out on the 1st!

We are excited about Georgia ... rather randomly I found a Xanga site that belongs to a girl that I slightly remember from the camp I use to go to - I recognized the pictures of two other people that I knew quite well from camp, and seeing she lived in Georgia I sent her a message to see where she was from - she lives RIGHT around where we are moving to and goes to the church we were thinking of going to!! So cool! =)



I am a proud Army wife.

On Monday we went to the Golden Corral. In honor of Veterans Day they had free dinner for any vet. The place was PACKED. It was both sweet and sad to see all the men (and a few women!) who had served. There were old men and young men. Healthy men and disabled men. Standing in line waiting to be seated I did choke up and almost cried. I don't think it can be blamed on the pregnancy hormones. I am proud my husband is one of the men that serves.

Today the husband of the lady who lives on the lower level of our apartment is returning from Iraq!! He has been gone for 14 months!! There is a huge welcome back planned for him - Channel 19 News even plans on being here for it! Last night I couldn't sleep very well - I am just so excited for this lady that her hubby is coming home!! Hurray! Or should I say "HOOOAH!"


Going through my jewelry box....

The necklace on the left is a locket my dad bought for me when I was born!

The one on the right is a jade necklace Paul bought me when he was in Korea.

It's such a horrible picture of a very beautiful bracelet! Aunt Polly gave me this - she got it for her birthday when she was growing up! =) You can see her name engraved in it.

A necklace and bracelet set that Grandpa Dibble gave to Grandma on their wedding night! Grandma gave it to mum on her 16th birthday, and mum gave it to me on my 16th birthday!


The Orders have arrived!

We got Paul's orders today!! We have been waiting for them in order for us to get started on things like my health insurance, getting out of contracts here and having an official time line!

The orders state that Paul isn't allowed to drive his own vehicle down, and he has to live on base, and a few other details that we're not very excited about. So it now makes a few added complications to our situation... but they are things that wil have to be sorted out once he is down in Georgia, so we're not even going to think about those things right now!!

Our little baby has been very active lately!! It's fun feeling baby move around though baby is making it hard for me to sleep at night - it's so hard to get comfortable!!

The 'great name debate' is over!! We have finally settled on a name that we BOTH love! Whew, I never knew it could be so much work to name a baby! =)
The name is a secret - though it is none of the names Caleb and his friends suggested - names that included (but not limited to!); Lemon, Timberlake, Paulisa, Queen, Tootless, Kit-kat, Super-tank-child and Tonka.
No offense to you and your buddies Caleb... but those names were all rejected. Thanks for the suggestions though! Your time and creativity in those names was greatly appreciated!


Date day and other things

My sweet hubby took me out for a date - first to the grocery store (hey! I'll take what I can get!!) then he took me to Starbucks. Mmm - I got Caramel Apple Cider. YUMMY!
We sat and talked for a while and then Eric and Carrie walked through the door!! So cool =) They joined us at our little table and we talked for quite awhile longer. Fun times.

Earlier today Paul's mom came over and Paul and his mom got our kitchen all packed up! Hurray. This place is slowly getting packed up!

My mom left me lots of little presents for me to open - just one a day - after she left. Todays present was a kids book "What Was That!" It was one of my favourite books as a kid - though I had completely forgotten about it till I opened it this morning. So of course I had to read it to Paul, and he liked it too. =) Thanks for remembering it mom!!! And thanks for all the times you read it to me... I don't think I can stand to read it over and over and over and over again! Good thing I have Paul =) Daddy can be the story reader!


A colorful family!

Baby twins born with different skin colors!! Check out the story HERE


Staying postive =)

“I’m actually looking forward to being liberated by childbirth. While my fellow expectant mothers anticipate losing mobility and independence, I can’t wait to be off bed rest and carry my baby and his hundreds of accoutrements through the house and out into the world. I’ll be free!” - a quote I found online

A cool website

Send a postcard to someone serving overseas - LET'S SAY THANKS

Belly pictures - 23 weeks


October 25

Paul left bright and early this morning - he had to be at the airport for FIVE in the morning!!! Many thanks to Josh for spending the night and driving him there this morning!! =)

I had another doctors appointment this morning. I got there and the receptionist told me I was seeing Dr. "X" - the same doctor I saw on Friday that I DID NOT LIKE. What are the chances? I have seen SO many doctors in the last two and a half weeks, and none of them twice - what are the odds that I would be seeing the one I don't like twice?? And twice in a row at that! I asked the receptionist if she could please let me see a different doctor... she was really nice, but said she couldn't get me to see anyone else that morning - but that she'd make note on my records for me to not see that doctor again!

I was kind of upset, but there wasn't much I could do about it - but as it turned out, I got a different doctor!!! HURRAY! Dr. "X" was so bogged down that another one was helping her out and seeing some of the patients!!!
So this other doctor checked me out and such, and then called the high risk doctor - I always have to see the high risk doctor before they'll let me leave now!
I had met this particular high risk doctor before, and absolutely love him! He was really pleased with how well things are going, and said to continue taking it as easy as I am.
I was able to ask him about future pregnancies, and he said that although he doesn't believe in the "once a cerclage always a cerclage" (his exact wording!!) he does think that because I had the "emergency cerclage" and "silent dilation" that I will need a cerclage for every pregnancy.
But, on a positive note, he doesn't think that other pregnancies will require so much care!! Because future cerclages will go in between 12 and 15 weeks they won't be considered "emergency" and therefore I won't be on bedrest!! Hurray - we may actually have more babies knowing that =) I can't imagine being like this with my own child to care for too... agh!

We (ok, mum!) got a little bit of packing done today - ornaments, books and picture albums! It is going to take a long, long time to get this place all packed up!


Doctors orders

I wish I looked like I was supposed to be on bed rest! Maybe if I had a cast, or had lots of swelling, or was purple and blue! It’s hard enough that I feel perfectly fine – it’s hard for me to remember to not lift things, or to not be on my feet to much, or walk to much, etc. But to be pushed around in a wheelchair while at Wal-mart (my weekly field trip!! =), and to have my mum- who uses a cane and walks with a limp- be the one stuck carrying things… I look like a brat!
Maybe I should wear a sign around my neck that says “The doctor ordered this!”

Paul is leaving early tomorrow morning for SRP – he’ll be gone till Thursday night. I am hoping he finds out all the information that we want to know!!!
Paul picked up some packing boxes for us today. Mum and I may start packing books and ornaments and little things like that tomorrow.

I have a craving for these boneless chicken wing type things that Uncle Rick and Aunt Laurie fed me when I was at their house a couple months ago.

Pregnant women be warned: don't try new foods that you're going to love if it's not easily attainable - it is a cruel form of self torture!


Pictures from the weekend!

Amanda and me

The two love birds - and Nicholas! =)

Nicholas dressed in his BDUs - I made them! =)

He spent Friday at drill with Paul.

Nicholas in front of one of the Army medic tents.

Nicholas in front of the Army vehichles.


"Military Wedding Vows"

Dear family and friends, we are gathered here today in the sight of God and the Department of the Army, to witness this exchange of vows, and see the love that these two dedicated, loving people have for one another.

"Wilt thou, __________, take ___________ (who will now be referred to as the "dependent"), as your family member, to dwell together in so far as the Department of the Army will permit?"
"Wilt thou love her, comfort her, via the postal service, email, or over the phone, make sure she knows where the commissary, PX, and church are, and what time she is scheduled to use the laundry room the day she arrives, wherever you are stationed?"
"Wilt thou attempt to tell her more than 24 hours in advance that you will be leaving for two weeks, beginning the next morning?" This especially applies to the years you will live in a foreign country!

"Wilt thou ____________, take this soldier as thy wedded husband, knowing that he is depending upon you to be the perfect (well almost) Army wife, running the household as you see fit, and being nice to the commander's wife?"
"Furthermore, you understand that your life with your husband (little that you may have together) will not be normal, that you may have to explain to your children, not once, but twice, and more often in the same day, that mothers do have husbands, and that children do have daddy's, and that the picture of the man on the refrigerator is not the milkman, but the same individual who tucks them in at 2200 hours, long after they are asleep. This soldier is their daddy, who loves them very, very much.
"Wilt thou love, respect and wait for him, preparing his favorite cookies and pictures of yourself and the kids, so he can remember what you look like?"
And last but not least, put on the outside of your door his "Welcome home" sign when he's due to arrive?"

"I, ____, take thee ____, as my independent wife, from 1900 to 2200 hours or as long as allowed by my Commanding Officer subject to change without notice), for better or worse, earlier or later, near or far, and I promise to look at the pictures you send me, maybe not when they get to me in the field, but before I turn the lights out. I will also send a letter, if time permits, and if not, to somehow, some way, make the time."

"I, _________, take thee _________ as my live-in/live-out husband, realizing that your comings and goings and 0330 staff meetings are normal (although absurd to me) and part of your life as a soldier. I promise not to be shocked or taken by surprise when you inform me that, although we've just arrived at our new duty station, we will be leaving within the month. Yes, I'll have you as my husband as long as while your are away, my allotment comes through regularly, and that you leave me a current power of attorney and the checkbook at all times. I am a family member and proud of it, dependent upon myself and my resources. Although I miss you when you are away, I know I can handle whatever comes across my path."

"Now then, let no man or woman put asunder what God and the Department of the Army have brought together. The Army hereby issues you this lovely, dedicated, independent woman, knowing that she'll be an asset not only to your marriage, but also to the mission of the United States Army, which is, as you all know, to remain in a state of "Readiness."

By the authority vested in the Bible, elaborated in the regulation and subject to current directives concerning the aspects of marriage in the Army, you are now a Soldier with a Family Member. Best Wishes and good Luck."


The Military Wife

I found this online and liked it. It made me cry, but then almost anything can make me cry these days!

-I would like to recognize these often underestimated, unseen, and unheard heroes.

This is for the young women that are waking up at 6 a.m. every morning, laying out clothes and packing three lunches for those small precious children that they have been left alone to care for.

This is for the pregnant Military wife wondering if her husband will make it home in time to watch their miracle happen.

This is for the childless Military wife, living in a town or on a base alone where she is a complete stranger to her surroundings.

This is for the women that feel like a third leg when they go out with their friends and their husbands.

This is for the Military wife that canceled all her plans to wait by the phone, and even though the phone broke up and cut off every time you spoke to him you waited anyway.

This is a pledge to the women that cry themselves to sleep in an empty bed.

This is to recognize the woman that felt like she was dying inside when he said he had to go, but smiled for him anyway.

This is for those of you that are faithfully in that long line at the post office once a month, handling 2 large boxes and 2 small children like a pro.

This is for that woman that decided to remodel the house to pass time, and then realized that she had no idea what she was doing and sighed and wished she had a little help.

This is for all the lonely nights, all the one-person dinners, and all of the wondering thoughts because you haven't heard from him in days.

This is for the sad Military wives, the angry Military wives, and the strong Military wives.

A toast to you for falling apart, and putting yourselves back together.

Because a pay check isn't enough, a body pillow in your bed is no consolation, and a web cam can never compare.

This is for all of you no matter how easy or hard this was for you.
Our soldiers/sailors are brave, but so are we.

So the next time someone tells you that they would never marry a Military guy, don't bother explaining to them that you can't control who you fall in love with.
Just think of this and nod your head, know that you are the stronger woman.

Hold your heads up high, hang that flag in your front yard, stick 100 magnets on your car, and then give yourself a pat on the back.

Be proud to be the woman that you are, be proud to be an Military wife!

Saturday, October 21

Mum has decided to stay another week! Hurray! Between Paul's pure adoration for her homemade chili and her fear that I will do too much - she was easy enough to convince to stay on another week!!
Paul is working a second job so he is INSANELY busy, and to top it off his SRP is this week, and he needs to travel out of state for that, so he will be gone Wednesday and Thursday of this week. It will be nice to have mum here to keep me company, drive me to my appointments and do the grocery shopping for another week =)

Amanda and Craig came to visit this week - woohoo!! They got here Thursday evening and just left this morning. We didn't get to spend tons of time together as they went to see a Leafs game in Columbus on Friday, and spent most of the day out there waiting in line for tickets =) But we had the evenings and mornings together - I can't wait for them to be married so we can go visit them together in Scotland!! =)

We don't know too much more about us moving - Paul will find out more things this week while at SRP. We do know that the army won't give orders for me to move with him right away, so it looks like I will be at my parents for the month of December. It looks like we're going to have to start collecting moving boxes ... it does not sound like fun packing up an apartment of stuff (to be put in storage for an unknown amount of time!) while in the middle of a high risk pregnancy. I won't be able to do ANYTHING - just sit and watch people pack up for me... I think I'll camp out at #8 while that happens =) I will be too tempted to get involved.

A lot of things are going to be happening over the next 40 days!

Random movie quote of the day:

"If you're going to act like that, how are we going to know when you really are going senile?"
- Corner Gas, season 3


Nicholas is here to visit!

Nicholas2, originally uploaded by pandjmorris.

I got my flat person in the mail today - HURRAY!!! =) We are going to have to get creative about things to 'do' with Nicholas since I am stuck on partial bedrest.
Our 'introduction' letter (from a student named - what else? Nicholas!) says that he is 8 years old and in third grade.
He likes to 'shoot my bo ane arro' !! =)
Nicholas is from Arizona, so we need to introduce him to wonderful COLD Ohio... the first thing is taking Nicholas to my (FOURTH!!) ultrasound tomorrow - we already know the babies gender, but not many people do know, so Nicholas will be one of the privileged few that know!


Friday, Oct 13

I can't seem to go a day without something happening. Thankfully todays ordeal wasn't such a big deal. It was scary, but everything was ok!
I started bleeding again today and called the nurse and she said to come in right away... so we did. The doctor who did the exam said that I have a 'fried uterus' - meaning it is irritable and sensitive and that it will bleed when it is too irritated, and that having had the surgery and stitches in place means that it will be very sensitive and I'll likely bleed lightly quite frequently.
BUT baby is fine and everything else that's suppose to be in me is in proper place and doing it's job! Yay!

Another positive thing about this hospital visit: we were able to get doctors orders saying I am on restrictive bed rest, which is a letter that could be helpful with the Army drama.


He will be our guide

When we got married we picked a verse to go on our wedding invitations that we thought would be a good 'blanket verse' for our marriage.
The one we chose was Psalm 48:14;

"For this God is our God, forever and ever.
He will be our guide even unto death."

There are a lot of great thoughts and promises in that verse.
First and foremost that God is our God forever - He's never gone, He never leaves us. As confusing and hard and hurt as we may be He is still there and He is still God and He is still in control.
Then the promise that He will guide us - through good and through bad the hand of God can be seen. He guides and directs and carries us through, even when we don't understand or know where we are going.
And He does that even unto death. Until the end of our lives. Until we join Him in heaven. He will guide us.

That verse has taken on a whole new and special meaning the last several days. We aren't just dealing with the complications of a high risk pregnancy right now.
On Monday we found out that Paul has been mobilized and the Army is moving him to Georgia December 3. We don't know too many details about it right now so I won't say too much more, but it adds a whole new series of complicated twists as the Army won't move me there too and if I moved on my own I wouldn't be able to live with Paul until his training was over (we think that would be January) so I am thinking of moving back to my parents, but we don't know if the Army health insurance would cover me up there as I can't use the Ontario Health Insurance as I haven't lived there for the past three months.
At the end of this month Paul goes away for a couple of days where he's suppose to find out more and be able to ask questions, so we'll know more then. Until then, we wait. And not so patiently at times!


Wednesday October 11

The appointment today went well - they found an infection in my urine (Strep B) so they have me taking Amoxicillin for that - but appearantly it is a common thing in pregnant women (my google search says %30 of pregnant women test positive for it.)
We listened to the babies heartbeat, I got poked a lot, and we were able to ask lots of questions. I can't say it enough: I love the doctors at Metro.

Amanda sent me this verse this morning:

Pslam 22:9-10
Yet You brought me out of the womb;
You made me trust in You
even at my mother's breast.
From birth I was cast upon You;
from my mother's womb You have been my God.

We have both been amazed at the amount of people praying for us and the baby - and too at the sense of peace God has given us about this situation. He knows everything that is going on with the pregnancy - how awesome it is to know the Creator of life, and to have the ability to take this to Him in prayer. And that others can do that too. We are so grateful for all the prayers and love and support from everyone.


Tuesday update

We spent three hours back in the hospital early this morning - 3am - 6am. I thought I might have been contracting and was having pains.
They hooked me up to a moniter and examined me and did a blood test. The moniter and the exam were both ok and didn't show anything abnormal.
The blood test however showed a slight positive towards infection - but they decided that they would let me go home then, as it wasn't a conclusive test, and they'll just check me again soon.
Soon being tomorrow.
I have an appointment tomorrow morning at 10:00am at the high risk clinic. Hopefully they won't find anything.


Please pray

This weekend has been a whirlwind and a nightmare. Sunday morning I woke up (7:15AM) to find a little blood when I peed. Though neither Paul or I were overly concerned we thought we’d better go into the hospital just to make sure that everything really was ok.

They took me into a room and the nurses took blood samples and a urine sample, did a Doppler and asked tons of questions. The dr then came in and he did an ultra sound and thought everything looked fine. He got his superior and that dr thought everything looked ok too. There was a med student in the room the whole time and she put a speculum in and took a look inside me - I could tell something was wrong as she jumped out of her seat pretty quickly and gave the doc ‘the look.’ I wish I had missed that look. It did nothing to make me feel comfortable or at ease about the situation. The dr took a look and said that my cervix had dilated to somewhere between 2 and 3 cm and that my fluid membrane had gone down into my vaginal canal.

They very quickly moved me over to high risk, set me up in a special bed where my feet were up above my head, hooked up an IV, did a second ultra sound and continued monitoring me for the next 8 hours. They wanted to give my body the opportunity and time to have the membrane return to where it should have been, and they didn’t want to do too much to me at once and risk an even higher chance of premature labor.

We had oodles of doctors coming in to see me - one to discuss the procedures that would be happening to me. The anesthesia doctor to discuss the risks and side effects of the spinal that they would need to do to me. Another one to discuss my options. Did we want an amnio? Did we want a cerclage? So many decisions to make. Then there was the surgeon. It was a lot to take in in a very short amount of time.

We decided that we did not want an amnio. The surgeons would not have done the cerclage had the amnio showed any bacteria or infection (the membrane dropping increased the odds greatly that there would be bacteria). If the cerclage wasn’t done then there was less than .5% that the baby could survive. I wanted the doctors to do absolutely everything to save the baby. So we decided to just have the cerclage done.

The nurses wheeled me into the operating room. What a cold, spooky place!! I have to admit though, for such a serious thing, the drs and nurses had me totally at ease and it was a very comfortable environment. We talked throughout the whole procedure - they showed me the needle they used for the spinal (AFTER it had gone in me!) and they also showed me the size of the thread used for the suture, the needle they used and the tool used to hold the needle. It was fascinating. I couldn’t have gotten nicer drs or nurses had I gotten to pick them all out myself.

For the next hour and a half they had me hooked up to tons of machines and kept a very, very close eye on me.
About 8:30 pm they decided that the surgery had gone really well. There were a lot of risks going in to the surgery, and God took care of us and guided the drs.

They moved me into a much more comfortable room for the night. Esther and Paul hung around till 11:30, then I was left on my own to sleep. I didn’t sleep very well - with bathroom breaks and nurse check ups throughout the night.
When the dr came to see me in the morning he said I was ok to go home today! Paul and Esther picked me up just after 10am, and I am now stuck at home, just playing a waiting game really. There are still so many risks. The surgery may have aggravated things and my water could break and I go into premature labor. There could be an infection. The stitch might not hold things.

So that is the weekend in a nutshell. It has been quite crazy and rather intense. We are just waiting and praying.
I don’t see a dr for two weeks - I am suppose to just take things easy, not lift anything - not quite bed rest, but still pretty restrictive - for the next two weeks. Then the dr will reevaluate and see what needs to happen next.


Just bloggin'

Esther is on her way!!! Hurray!!! Poor girl has been sick all week and called this morning (bright and early!) to say she wouldn't be able to make it. Then just after lunch she called back to say she was feeling a lot better so she'd be coming after all! HURRAY! It'll be a fun weekend =)

Paul is such a funny dude. Wednesday night he made some really yummy chocolate cookies - from scratch, with a 'made-up' recipie. It was quite impressive. On Thursday he took a huge plate of the cookies in to work and told the guys at work that I had made them for them!! (Which I didn't have a single part in those cookies - I didn't even lick the bowl clean, I was fast asleep when he made them!!) Evidently I need to step up my job as wifey and start baking things for his work buddies =) The plus side to this is that there's a group of guys at Metro who think I am a great cookie maker =)

Another piece of exciting news: We are going to get to 'host' a flat person. A teacher friend wants to educate her after school group of kids on different parts of the country/world so she is having her students make little paper doll type people - 'flat people.' The flat people will be mailed out to people all over the country/world. Then we, the hosts, have to take the flat person with us and take pictures of the flat person in different places and keep a journal of the 'adventures' the flat person has with us! And then after a couple weeks it'll all get mailed back to the students. I am so excited, I think it is such a brilliant idea!! =) I can't wait to 'meet' my flat person =)


Our four days in Stouffville

The past few days were so much fun! Wednesday evening Paul and I headed up to my parents (arriving at two in the morning! Oops!!). We stayed until Sunday afternoon and had a very busy and very fun time seeing everyone, going to the fair, and helping celebrate Esther's birthday! =)
The bride to-be! Amanda's got the coolest dresses planned out for her bridesmaids! =) I am excited! We spent Thursday night at the mall, then went to the Mongolian Grill (a place we use to frequent on occassion together, and somewhere Paul had never been. Poor guy, he put up with a lot of wedding talk!!!) Then we went to look at a place I thought would be so pretty for her summer wedding pictures - though we were there at 9:30 pm so it was very hard to see, but I think she liked it :) I think I was helpful :) Hurray!
On Friday we met Grandpa and Grandma Crowe in Orangeville - halfway between their house and my parents. We went to Swiss Chalet - mmm yum! I had been craving their food! We had a nice visit together. Later that afternoon Paul and I went to the Nummy's house to pick up some baby things they had for us - they had everything!! :) We got an infant car seat, a stroller, a playpen, a booster seat and some blankets! It's so exciting!

Saturday Caleb, Essie, Paul and I spent the day at the fair (though we lost Caleb to his cooler-then-us friends) It got SO cold and wet nearer the end of the day, so we didn't stay for the Monster Truck show or the fireworks, but we had fun walking through the exhibits, watching the bike show and the horse show and eating all the samples! =)


Aunt Polly's peanut butter cookies...

Last night I made some peanut butter cookies - using Esther's quick and easy three ingredient recipie! - and it made me think of Aunt Polly's peanut butter cookies. Hers were always my favourite and I have fond memories of, as a little kid, going over to her apartment and having free access to her cookie jar =) One of the things that made her peanut butter cookies so special is that she always did that cool fork thing to the top of her P.B. cookies - just the way it should be!! I think every time I make P.B. cookies I think of Aunt Polly =) Her and peanut butter cookies just seem to fit together.

We picked up our food today and our freezer is sooo full!!! Paul used his marvelous packing skills to fit everything in - there's a lot of steak (yum!!), TEN POUNDS of popcorn chicken, lots of chicken breasts, a pot roast, ribs, chicken cor'don blue, tons of veggies, hot dogs, sausages... we've got a little bit of everything in our freezer!! It's popping at the seams! I think we should have a dinner party soon! I was so proud of Paul fitting everything in I took a picture of our full freezer! :)

Pictures of ultra sound pictures

I know, I know... pictures of ultra sounds are hard enough to make out. Now I am making you look at a picture of an ultra sound picture!!! Paul thought we should post them, so this is my attempt!!! Here is our baby:
^ This is the baby - you can see its head and little eyes and nose.
^ Babies arm!!
^This is babies foot... you can't really tell though!!!


Oh baby

We had the ultra sound today, as well as my second dr's appointment.
Sadly, we do not know the sex of the baby :( The baby is in a breech position and had its legs crossed. Sigh... so much for all the talks we had with the baby telling him/her to be good and let us know what he/she really is!

We did get some cute pictures from the ultra sound - ok, so I had to convince myself that they're 'cute.' Ultra sound pictures aren't something to be oohhed and ahhed over, in my personal opinion. Our baby really just looks like an alien right now. But, of course, the cutest alien-look-alike there ever was in an ultrasound picture!!!

Even though we don't know the gender of the baby there is some great news! My doctor wants me to have TWO more ultra sounds!! HURRAY! It's for a very silly reason, but I don't care - I have TWO more chances of finding out if we're having a boy or girl and two more chances to see the little person in side of me! The reason the doc wants me to have two more ultra sounds is because I have had malaria in the past and he just wants to make sure everything with the baby will be ok - my mother and all other people who have lived overseas for awhile will find that reason dumb - but who cares really!! I get TWO more ultrasounds! My next ultra sound is in three weeks.


Can't keep it in any longer!

I am just so excited about Christmas - and I have kept that in for weeks and weeks now =)
I just can't keep it to myself any longer - Just over three months till Christmas!!!! HURRAY! =) Paul is even excited about it, or at least pretends to be. He's already started saving money for Christmas gifts, and will talk with me about plans for Christmas - We've started planning what to buy people for Christmas gifts, and what we'll do for the family Christmas parties. We're debating whether to have a real tree or a fake one (last years tree was borrowed.) And we're trying to figure out all the baking we want to make this year =) Paul even suggested that we go out and get a freezer just so we have the extra space for our baking!!! He has been converted and loves Christmas (almost!!) as much as I do!

Mmm, yum! And to think, I get to eat for two this holiday!!! I can't wait till Christmas!!!


Spenny the soft hearted

Three cheers for Levi helping to break Spenny's dislike for little kids!! For whatever reason Levi got it in his head that "Spenny" sounded like "Bunny" so that is what he called Spencer all evening long!
Then when Spen flexed his oh-so-impressive muscles Levi was there to admire - which made Spencer realize that his future niece or nephew could very well end up living in awe and admiration of him - which I think made him realize that little kids can be great for boosting ones ego, so maybe they're not so bad after all.
I think Spenny's heart is melting. I think he likes kids. Just a little bit.


Yesterday there was a funeral for a police officer that died in Cleveland last week. There were thousands of police officers present at the funeral - from all over the state of Ohio and PA, and some even came from Toronto.

Paul and I were driving to the hospital yesterday for an appointment, and we were on the highway that the funeral procession was going to be taking. There were hundreds and hundreds of people lined up on the side of the highway and on overpasses looking down on to the highway.
It was amazing to see. Police and firefighters in uniform. Men, women, children of all ages. It was incredible to see all the people that were there to honor the police officer that had died, I have never seen anything like that before, and it had me near tears, as it did to Paul too.

On a lighter note... today I found a place that makes near replicas of Tim Hortons Ice Caps. Mmm yum!


Confessions of a pregnant cry baby

I have become such a big cry baby. There is the given - sad movies, sad books, being homesick, getting stuck in traffic and the sad commercials on tv that without question can make me cry. But then there's things like watching Spiderman - the whole thing made me cry - especially whenever Spiderman got hurt or us not having any bacon in the house when I felt like eating bacon, a store not selling any maternity clothes, someone cutting in front of me and beating me to a computer in the library, the fact that there aren't any Swiss Chalet's around here... I am in awe of the silly things that can make me cry. And the funny thing is that sometimes while I am crying I am laughing at myself knowing it's so ridiculous. I am going crazy!! And poor Paul gets to live with it!! He is such a great guy =)

I was at the hospital today and was chatting with a lady who was from West Africa - I didn't catch the country as she had SUCH a strong accent!! West African women are so beautiful though, and she was dressed very similarly to the Nigerian women, so I was pretty sure she was from West Africa. And then when she opened her mouth and spoke I knew for sure that she was from there!!! She is expecting her first baby too, though she is now 7 months along. She couldn't believe I was almost at 15 weeks and she had me pull my shirt up to look at my stomach!! She asked me if I was sure there was even a baby in me as she thought I was so small. It was quite humorous to me! I have gained just 3/4 of a pound so far.

I have lots of shopping to do today as Spenny and Stevie ate most of our food!


"It's because she's pregnant"

At least I have an excuse for my new found 'stupidness'!! From putting dirty dishes up in the cupboard with the clean ones, to 'losing' a recipie card for a full twenty minutes WHILE I was in the middle of making the thing on the card (only to find I had put it back in my recipie binder!!) - I am certainly losing my mind!

Spen and Steven have only been here for twenty four hours, but already the phrase "It's ok. It's because your pregnant" has come out of their mouths more times then I can count. From me finding a huge fat man on a supped up sports bike funny to me craving ice cream enough to treat them both to it if they'd go to the ice cream store with me.
Now that the phrase has been created for me I think I'll adopt it.

These are the lines I am practicing:

"Sorry Paul, none of the laundry got folded, it's because I'm pregnant."

"Lets eat out tonight, again, because I'm pregnant."

"We can only watch chick flicks since I am pregnant!"

"I can't fill up the gas tank because I am pregnant!"

"I need a back rub and foot massage because I'm pregnant."


Baby in the belly

We are now telling everyone so I might as well post it on here too - we are pregnant! We are absolutely thrilled =) I am thirteen and a half weeks right now.
Friday was our first appointment and we were able to hear the babies heart beat!!! It was so exciting! After that they did a whole bunch of blood work, which wasn't very fun, but they shouldn't have to do too much more of that =)
My next appointment is three weeks from this Wednesday and they're going to do an ultra sound!! Hopefully it won't be too early to tell the sex of the baby! We really want to know!!!

My regular clothes barely fit me now - none of my pants do, and only my "big and baggy" t-shirts do. It is so much fun shopping for an entirely new wardrobe of clothes! I have vowed to not wear ugly clothes throughout the pregnancy. I have discovered that there are a lot of very ugly maternity clothes out there - it is my goal to avoid all of them!!! And I am well on my way... my super cool and thrifty sister got me all the (nicely kept and stylish) maternity pants I could possibly need - jeans, dress, khaki, cords, sweats and pjs - from our favourite place - (Markham's) freecycle. And then Natalie and Mrs Beange surprised me with two really nice shirts. I can't wait for the belly to grow and to fit them all properly - I am still at a rather akward size!

This past weekend was tons of fun - we had Eric and Carrie over Saturday afternoon for a fundue supper. Mmm, yum! Paul had made meatballs - he rolled out about 200 of them!! - so we had those, some veggies and bread to dip in the cheese. One of the grocery stores has cheese on sale for $1/half a pound of pre-grated cheese, so it made for an inexpensive and yummy supper. ( I feel the need to defend myself in regards to the fact that my husband was the one to make the meatballs *ahem, mother dear* I mixed up all the ingredients minus the raw meat as raw meat has been making me queasy - I do cook for my husband, and the cooking he does do is because HE enjoys it!!) After supper we played a very fun game of 'Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus.' None of us had ever played it before and it was interesting to say the least. Paul and Eric won the game =)

Sunday morning we went to church with Eric and Carrie, then rushed home to do some grocery shopping and get everything ready for Mr. and Mrs. Beange who were coming that evening for the night. Poor Paul slept through most of their time here (having worked the night shift) but the little time he spent with them, and the time I had with them was really nice =) Other than family and Amanda they're our only Markham guests!!! Come on Markham people!! We would love to have any of you come for a visit - Paul can cook you a very nice meal =)

Speaking of visits... this will be a busy week for us. Spenny and Stephen Barnett may be coming here from Wednesday - Saturday =) I am excited at the thought of that - those two are so much fun, and to think, I can take them grocery shopping with me and have them carry ALL the groceries up the flight of stairs!! I won't stock up on groceries till they're here to carry it all... hmm, maybe pay for it too?! :)
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