Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pictures

The kids and I are spending the afternoon at my parents house, so I thought I'd take advantage of their high-speed connection and share some pictures :)





Sled riding with Daddy

A sled made for two

I can't move in this snow-suit!


Eli has just recently taken a great interest in books

This was actually taken at the motel we stayed at
for Joel's brother's wedding. I just forgot to ever post it!

This was the incredibly delicious Valentine's chocolate

cheesecake that a church friend brought us on Valentine's

Day while I was on bed-rest.


Cosette's signature. Sorry it's a little blurry. I was impressed

with her hand-eye coordination to be able to do this.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Our little miracle

Yes, you can probably tell from the title of this post that we have good news to tell!!! I had an ultrasound today, and Joel and I got better news than we ever could have hoped for. But, I thought I'd take a minute to describe things in a little more detail for you, so you can understand exactly what has happened. (Disclaimer: I'm about to go into some fairly detailed 'pregnancy' info and pictures, so please only read on if you have the stomach for it and desire to :)

At twelve weeks, I was diagnosed with placenta previa (the first time that I ended up in the emergency room with the heavy bleeding). There are three 'levels' of previa---low-lying, marginal and complete. Three weeks ago, at my last ultrasound, I was told that it was definitely complete placenta previa. Complete placenta previa is where the placenta covers the opening of the cervix, instead of being further up in the uterus, where it belongs. You can see this in the picture below.


Doctors do not yet know what causes this to happen for some women and not others---it just does. Complete previa is the worst kind, because it is so unlikely to move. Marginal or low-lying placenta's will often move out of the way, but this is much less common with complete. I was told by my doctor to not expect it to move much, if any. Our plan of action was to take ultrasounds every few weeks and access if the placenta had moved any. Complete previa can cause many different complications, such as:

1. If it continues for the whole pregnancy, the mother will be required to have a C-section; this is obvious, since the placenta is covering the opening of the cervix.
2. It can cause fairly heavy bleeding, which I had.
3. It can cause the placenta to pull away from the uterine wall, which was beginning to happen for me.
4. It can require the mother to have need large amounts of blood transfusions.
5. It will often lead to pre-term labor, thus, the need to do a C-section before the baby is full-term.

As you can see, three weeks ago things were looking fairly questionable. That's why I was on bed-rest, to try to avoid some of the more major issues that previa can cause. We went into my ultrasound today hoping to find that the placenta had started to move, at least a little. But, you know what we found out?? Not only had it started to move a little, it was completely out of the way!! In fact, it is now considered to be in a normal position!!

Folks, do you realize that this is highly unusual?? In less than three weeks time, my placenta went from being complete previa to a normal position. Usually, it takes months for a previa to move even a little bit. Amazing! This was definitely, definitely, a blessing and gift directly from God! Thank you all soooooo much for your prayers and support!

Soooooo... what does this mean for us now?

Well, first of all, we should be looking at a normal delivery in July, instead of an early C-section, which I am completely thrilled about!!

Second of all, I am now off of bed-rest! That feels soooo nice. Just getting my kids ready for bed tonight was a tremendous blessing, and felt so nice.

Third of all, I am still supposed to 'take it easy'. Because my placenta was in previa position for a while, it did begin to separate slightly from the uterus. Fortunately, now that it is back in a normal position, this should heal itself over time. However, in the mean-time, I am supposed to avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, hard house-cleaning, etc. Next to a month of bed-rest though, that'll be a cinch!

Apart from the whole placenta issue, we also got to have an incredibly detailed look at our baby (who is definitely a boy!) We got to see feet, toes, arms, legs, the usual, as well as detailed views of different organs, the brain, and the four chambers of the heart! Our baby boy looks strong, and healthy, praise God.

So, I will end this novel now! I was just so excited, I had to share all of our good news with you all!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pictures...Finally :)


This first picture was actually taken before I
went on bedrest. Cosette announced one night
that she wanted to dance with Daddy, and so
they did :) I thought it was an incredibly sweet
moment! They would waltz around the living room,
and Joel would twirl Cosette around, and she would
squeal in delight. So cute!


This second picture was taken just the other day.
The rather odd outfit is Cosette's choice of clothes
these days. She would wear that little white slip every
day, all day, if I let her. She wears it on top of clothes,
under clothes, with her p.j.'s, all by itself, etc, etc. I think
she just loves that it's so 'fancy'. I finally got sick of it, though,
and asked Joel to confiscate it today. Hopefully, she'll forget
about it, and I can replace it with some more
modest 'dress-up' clothes :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Caught

My sister was here this morning to help me. I was sitting on the couch reading, and she was busy changing Eli's diaper. I was eyeing the canister of pretzels on the counter, really wanting some. I told myself to sit and wait patiently. I didn't want to be a pest to Kristin. But, I could hear her and Eli in the back room, and it sounded like they were now busy playing. Oh bother, I thought. My legs aren't broken. I'll just get up really quick, grab a handful of pretzels, and sit back down. No on will ever know! :/ But, as I reached my hand into the pretzel jar, a little voice behind me said:

"Mommy! You're not supposed to get off of the couch!!!"

Rats, darn and diddly-squat! I was caught red-handed by my three year old! (Or was it red-footed??)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy



Okay, so let's thank God that I don't really look like the woman in this picture. But her excitement pretty much matches mine right now. Why? Well, a few, kinda silly , reasons.

1. Tomorrow is hump day. I know, I know, what is hump day? The middle of the week! Wednesday! That means I've made it through half of another week of bed-rest. And Joel gets to stay home with us for the whole day! Wouldn't that be enough to make any wife excited? But, in addition to that...

2. My next ultrasound is less than a week away. It's next Monday, the 25th. It's a level two ultrasound, which I've never had before, so I'm pretty sure we'll get to see the baby in 3D. Pretty cool, huh? But, to top that all off.....

3. When I go for my ultrasound, Joel, of course, is going with me, and he's going to take me out to dinner afterwards, whether I'm off of bed-rest at that point or not!! (He wants to keep his wife sane, I think)

4. And last, but not least, Cosette wrote her whole name this morning! I was so excited for her. No, it wasn't perfect, some letters were crooked or backwards, but for just turning three, I was pretty proud of her. I may have to frame that page.... :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

What to do with your worry

The following is my own paraphrase of an idea from a book I read by Charles Swindoll entitled "So, you want to be like Christ?" I finished it a while back, but the idea has stuck in my head for a while.

The idea of not being concerned about something is absurd. Bad things do happen. People die, companies go under, natural disasters turn lives upside down. When Christ said not to worry, He didn't mean to forget about all these things and pretend they don't happen. What He meant was this: Take it to God. Tell Him all about your concerns, your fears, your apprehensions. And then, leave it with Him. Let Him take care of it. You no longer have to be bogged down with fear or worry about what will happen, because you have left all of that with Someone who is far more capable of taking care of it anyway.


I liked that thought. Again, that was in my own words, but the idea was what was presented in that book. It has really helped me. I can be worried all I want to be about what will happen with this pregnancy, how things will turn out, how long I'll be on bed-rest, etc, but, in the long run, it won't do any good. I have to, as my mom said, '' leave it with God". I have to admit, I haven't quite reached that point yet, but I'm working on it!


And, in the meantime, my computer still refuses to down-load any pictures, so if you'd like to see some recent cute stuff of my kids, I invite you to visit my sister's blog. She has a bunch of 'Cosette and Eli' stuff on there :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day.....Then and now

It was Friday at last! I lugged my week-end bags down out of my dorm-room and to my car. I was headed home for a few days. A nice break from classes and practicing. It hadn't even really crossed my mind that it was Valentine's Day, since for the past 20 years...well, I hadn't ever had a Valentine up to that point! :)
However, as I opened my car door, I was surprised to see a little white teddy bear sitting on the front seat, holding a red heart. The heart had one letter on it--'I'. I smiled, and then frowned. How'd it get there? It wasn't there when I parked my car last time! It made perfect sense that it would be from Joel, since we'd been courting for quite a while at that point. But my college was a good hour and a half from home. How did that bear get there? I mused on this the whole drive home.
When I walked in the front door at my parents, I took my stuff back to the bedroom. There sitting on my bed was a box of chocolates (a really good, expensive box of chocolates--like chocolate covered oreos!) and another red heart. The word on this heart was 'love' "Hummmm....", I thought, as I happily popped a chocolate in my mouth.
I walked out to the kitchen to say hi to my mom. Go get ready! she said. Joel will be here any minute. You're going out to dinner! And, as the love of my life walked in the front door, he presented me with an armful of roses and, yes, another heart that said 'you'.
(And in case you're wondering, yes, he had driven all the way to my college to put that little bear in my front seat. ) Wow, I thought. This is one romantic guy!!
Fast forward five years. That same romantic guy has gotten even more romantic. Only this time, his gift has lasted for weeks. Almost three weeks of bed-rest, to be exact. What is his gift? Oh, it has come in the form of scrubbed floors, folded laundry and vacuumed carpets. It has come in the form of washed dishes, scrubbed cupboards, and re-organized drawers. It has come in the form of children well taken care of, movies and books brought from the library for a bored wife, and pastor's retreat plans that were totally cancelled.
You see, my man was totally romantic five years ago. He won my heart. But now, he has moved even further beyond 'romantic'---he has showed me love in it's truest human form. It says ''I will love you, serve you, and take care of you, even though you are incapable of doing anything but sitting on the couch right now." Who could ask for a better guy??

I love you, Joel! Happy Valentine's Day!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Funny stories

I put my daughters hand on my belly. "Sit very still, and maybe, maybe, you will feel the baby kick.
Silence. Then, 'kick-kick'
I nearly jumped in excitement. 'Cosette, did you feel that??'
My daughter answered with equal enthusiasm. "Yes, Mommy, I felt it, I did!" And then, a little more soberly, "But, I sure wish it was a girl, mommy!"
I coughed back my laugh and said "Well Cosette, I'm sure you will love the baby when it comes, even though it is a boy! He will be so cute and snuggly, and you can help mommy take care of him. And besides, maybe after this baby grows up some and gets older, mommy might have another baby. Maybe it will be a girl!"
Cosette, sighing a sigh way too big for a three year old: "Maybe, but it will probably be another boy!"
************************************************
The other day, Eli found a baby bottle. He was carrying it around chewing on it. I said "Eli, no, no, that's yucky. That's not for big boys like you! That bottle is for our little baby!" Eli looked at the bottle, looked at me, and then looked genuinely confused. However, he crawled up on the bed beside me, took the bottle, pulled my shirt up ever so slightly, and then held that baby bottle right up to my tummy!
**************************************************
Whenever we ask Eli to say grace before a meal, he says, with his eyes closed and looking oh so serious, "mommy, baby, mommy, baby, mommy" Then he opens his eyes, looks at Joel and I, and nods his head as if to say "Okay, I'm done!"
**************************************************
Cosette spent the night at Grandma's house last night, and when mom brought her home this morning, she was eager to show us all the treasures she had brought with her. She started to open up her over-night bag and pull stuff out. "I brought some bagels to have for breakfast. And I brought a piece of chocolate candy." And then, she pulls out this big tupper-ware container full of gold-fish crackers. "And look, I brought these too!" My mom looked slightly startled and said ''Cosette, I didn't know you brought those with you!!" Apparently, my little thief was confiscating all the good stuff from Grandma's house that she could.

Food!! ( And lots of it!)

You would not believe the out-pouring of love we've received in the form of food! Friends, church family, and family have been bringing meals and frozen food almost every day! It is such a blessing, especially for my husband! I would hate for him to be cooking on top of everything else he's doing. One lesson I have already learned through all of this is how to be served. Sounds crazy, I know, but I think sometimes it's easier to give help than to receive it! But, I'm getting better the longer this goes on :) And, just to get your mouth watering, and to record it for my memories sake, I thought I'd share just a sample of some of the delicious meals we've had brought to us.

1. Chicken and Rice casserole (A favorite of mine from Joel's mom)
2. Kidney bean burritos (loved these, had them left-over too!)
3. Tamale Pie (A yummy twist on corn bread and chili)
4. Home made lasagna
5. Several jars of homemade vegetable soup
6. Homemade bread
7. And the list goes on!

We've also been blessed with several complete frozen meals that we've put in our freezer to have whenever needed. We truly are blessed people right now :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Something different

Okay, so you all have been hearing alooooot about my bed-rest lately, probably more than you'd like to hear! So, I thought I'd do something totally different today :) My blogging friend audra tagged me to do this 'meme'. I thought it would be something fun to do for a change! (By the way, I apologize to all of you who mostly read my blog to see cute pictures of my kids....I still can't get my lap-top to cooperate. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to have bed-rest at my mom's house sometime, and I can catch up on all of my picture downloading :) In the meantime, you'll have to settle for this.....


Six things meme

Here are the rules:
1.) Show some cyber-love to the person who tagged you. -- What in the world does this mean?? Um, thanks Audra? :)
2.) Post the 5 Meme Commandments on your blog so no one cheats. --
3.)Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself without grossing anyone out. --
4.) Tag 6 random people at the end.
5.) Let the lucky winners know by commenting on their blog.

And now, on to the meme.....

1.) I refuse to throw away matches after I light a candle. I sit them on the sink, sopping wet for days, until I'm sure they won't burn the house down.
2.) I have always been a very cautious/unsure driver. I've never had an accident, but it did take me three attempts to finally get my license!
3.) I have to brush my teeth after every meal and snack. Have to. Drives me nuts if I can't!
4.) I always forget to put fresh sheets on my bed. One time, I think I went, like, months without changing them, when Joel finally said, 'Um......'
5.) I can't swallow pills. I would rather chew up a tylenol than swallow it whole!
6.) I can't stand the taste of fresh coconut. It reminds me of sun-screen lotion.

And now, I'm going to break the rules and tag three people instead of six--- my sister Kristin, my cousin Jenny, and my friend Elizabeth

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Going to church?

Well, I am anxiously awaiting tomorrow morning. You see, my husband has agreed that if I 'behave' myself during the week and stay on the couch, and don't try to do things I'm not supposed to, then he will let me go to church on Sunday!!!! Yes, my bed-rest is 'lenient', so to speak. I don't have to be, like, laying flat on my back or anything like that, and we've agreed that one trip in the car per week would be safe for me. Of course, I wouldn't play keyboard or teach Sunday School or anything (duh), I would just walk into church for the service, sit down, and walk back out. Seems harmless enough. I am really looking forward to it. However....Cosette has been fighting this really nasty cold all weekend. Cough, runny nose, stuffed up head, and watery, puffy eyes. She's miserable. And then today, Joel and I noticed that Eli's one eye was starting to get all puffy too... Bummer! We've agreed to see how they feel in the morning and then decide if we can go to church or not. Obviously, I shouldn't drive myself over there. So, if they are too sick for us to go, I am going to be doing some serious 'Satan-bashing' tomorrow, and trying to get that nasty devil off of my family's back!! (How I'll do that, I don't know. I'm thinking maybe light-saber and high-jump karate kicks....nah, that's definitely not bed-rest acceptable!! Maybe I'll just stick to praying :)
Anyway, on a lighter note, here are some things the kids have done/said lately that have made me smile. Hope they lighten up your mood as well.

Cosette said the other day that she had the most amazing dream last night! She then proceeded to tell me about angels going up and down a ladder to heaven, and God standing at the top, and she was sleeping outside....humm, I wonder what Bible story Daddy read to her last night.

Eli is starting to use a few more words to express himself. They're pretty cute. His word for ice-cream is 'beam', and his word for movie is 'moo-moo'. Yes, like a cow!

I think I've been doing good so far keeping up a positive attitude, but, unfortunately, Cosette caught me on the couch tonight in a weak moment, having a nice little pity party for myself. She said, "Mommy, I will pray for you! Dear Jesus, please help mommy, 'cause she doesn't want to be on the couch anymore, but she has to be, for the baby! Then, when the baby comes out, she can get off the couch! Help mommy to be happy. Amen"

Eli brought me a Clifford book tonight and said "Mommy, puppy?" ( He wanted me to read the book to him) "Sure Eli I'll read the book to you. What else is a mommy to do when her little boy asks so nicely?" To which he replied "Yes ma'am!" I think maybe he didn't understand what I was saying :)

Eli has taken to biting his finger-nails lately. Every time I turn around, he's biting the end off of another one! Anyone ever heard of a not-even-two -year- old doing something like this?? He also likes to count his toes. He'll hold them up in the air and say 'Mommy, toes! Two, two, two, two, two, two' Yep, that's the only number he knows :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

An update and a favorite book

Just an update for everybody on what happened at my appointment today. Pretty much, nothing. Everything seems the same, nothing much has changed. My midwife felt that it was still too early to do another ultrasound. So, she did the typical blood pressure check, listened to the babies heart-beat, and talked to me more about bed-rest. I have another ultrasound scheduled for Monday, Jan 18. If I would somehow get fabulously good news then (like, the placenta has moved, or the tear is healed!!), then I would be off of bedrest. Otherwise, they will wait until my next appointment, three weeks later, and probably do another ultrasound. Until then, I am still on bed-rest. Well, 'modified' bed-rest. I'm allowed to walk around the house a little, but only when necessary. I am absolutely to avoid any lifting, hard work, house-cleaning, cooking, child-care, etc. My mid-wife said, almost humerously "So, that pretty much leaves out everything except sitting on the couch!" So, that's what I'll mostly be doing for probably the next several weeks, at least. We'll have somebody coming in each day to help me out while Joel's at work. Thank God for family, church family, and friends! In the mean-time, pray that God would do what seems almost impossible right now and push my placenta up out of the way! ( I know, more gross details than you wanted!!) Also pray that he would keep our little guy safe through all of this. And now, on to a lighter topic.......


This book!

This is currently Eli's most favorite book in the entire world! If I've read it to him once, I've read it a thousand times. In fact, the other morning, I begged Joel to please take it back to the library for me!! He was happy to oblige. But, later that morning, Eli went to the library bag. He hunted through the bag for quite a while and then said, with concerned eyes "Mommy, Boo?" (That's what he calls the book) I explained to him that Daddy took the book back to the library. He looked like he would cry and said "Daddy, Boo, home!!" We must have gone through this exact same scenario a dozen times yesterday morning. So, I finally called Joel and asked him to renew the book at the library. So, 'Boo' happily abides in our library bag again, and Eli laughs every time we read it like he's never heard it before. I must admit, the annoyance of reading this book over and over is completely drowned out by the joy it brings my little man :)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The prayer of faith

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven"
James 5: 13-15


In obedience and faith to God's Word, some people from our church came over this evening, including our pastor. I was anointed with oil, and prayers and petitions were offered to God on my behalf and for the baby. I am at total peace. Whatever is to happen is in God's Hands. It is simply my job to not doubt, and trust Him in all things. We have an appointment tomorrow at 1:00 with my mid-wife. We will see at that point how things stand and what our next steps should be. We covet your prayers!! I will be totally okay with more bed-rest, for the sake of my baby boy. But, we would also rejoice at good, encouraging news. We will keep you updated on everything! Thank you all for your prayers and support! (Oh, and I can definitely feel the baby kicking now! It is the most exciting thing I have ever experienced :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

For your reading pleasure ( I think)

Days go by much faster so far then I thought they would. God has been giving me grace to get through them, and even 'enjoy' them. I told Joel tonight that it makes a huge difference having somebody here all day to talk to. I'm used to it only being the kids and I most of the time! The past week for me has looked like this: (Warning: The next paragraph is long, and about as interesting as, oh, say....I can't think of anything to compare it to, but believe me, I'm not exactly living the exciting life of a sky-diver right now)

6:30 Wake up, move from bed to couch. Read peekaboo book with kids, eat breakfast, knit a little.
7:45 Bid hubby fare-well for the day, and welcome whoever is coming to help me.
8:15 Get up off of couch (yeah!!!), go take shower. (Which I have been greatly pro-longing, because it's the only time during the day I'm allowed to be 'up'....ssshhhh!!!!!)
9:00 Sit back down, Read Bible, pray, then boss (he hem, kindly direct) someone on how to care for my children, straighten up my house, and do my laundry ( I always feel so bad about this!)
10:00-- Do Bible Devotions with kids. Stretch out legs, do leg exercises (from the couch, of course), read a book, do some knitting, read Eli's peekaboo book to him again, talk to the person who is helping me for the day. Read more of Eli's 'peekaboo' book to him.
12:00 Get up off of couch (yeah!!!) walk to table and eat lunch. Sit at table as long as I can with nobody telling me to go sit back down. Give kids kisses, and watch somebody else lay them down for afternoon nap.
1:00 Move back to bed for change of scenery. Spend kids nap-time blogging, reading, knitting, making phone-calls, watching a movie, etc.
3:30 Move back out to couch. Talk to helper some more. Give directions on how to start preparing dinner. Do more leg and foot exercises. Play a board game with Cosette. Read Eli's Peekaboo book again.
4:30-5:00 Welcome Joel back home!!!! Say goodbye to helper for the day. Watch Joel finish getting dinner on the table.

And, thankfully, the rest of our evening times have been fairly normal, it's just that poor Joel is doing everything, and I just sit and watch! But, he hasn't complained even once. What a man!! (Oh, I can brush the kids teeth from the couch----it always feels like such a huge accomplishment :)

Three additional thoughts:
1.)My next appointment with my midwives is this coming Thursday. ( I get to go outside, in the car, and go somewhere!!!!!!!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!) Pray that we will somehow get good news during this appointment, and pray for my good spirits if they decide to keep me on bed-rest.

2.) We have got to return that peekaboo book to the library!!

3.) I am still trying to figure out how in the world to get pictures to download on this computer...

Monday, February 04, 2008

I am smiling :)



Isn't this sweet? Helen from muisto thinks that I have a 'loveable' blog, so she kindly bestowed this blogging award to me this past weekend. Well, okay, she bestowed it to Cosette, for making the blog so loveable, but let's not get hung up in details :) Thanks Helen, it made my day :)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A dancing girl and a slow lap-top

Well folks, I was going to share an incredibly cute photo with you all. But, my lap-top refuses to let me up-load it! (Since I'm on bed-rest, I'm using my lap-top upstairs, rather than our regular computer downstairs). Unfortunately, it's not the fastest thing in the world, and after nearly an hour ( I have lots of time on my hands!) of trying to get this picture downloaded, I gave up! A hopeless cause :) So, I'll just have to tell you about the picture instead.

Cosette has been watching The Soundof Music alot recently. She is totally captivated by all the songs and the dancing in the movie. She is constantly dressing up 'like the beautiful lady in the movie' :) The other night, we were playing her favorite board game before bed. I asked her if she'd like to play another round. She thought for a moment and said "No thanks, Mommy, I think I'll go see if Daddy wants to dance with me!" And so he did! The picture was of the two of them, waltzing around our living room. It was the cutest 'Daddy-daughter' moment I've ever seen!

So, that was going to be my picture for the day, but you'll have to imagine it instead :)

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