Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'd rather eat Lima Beans

I stare down at the pile of peas. I hate peas. I always have. But it gets 10 times worse every time I am pregnant. Those little tiny veggies that I simply dislike suddenly become big, terrible things that just won't go down my throat. I like most veggies. I enjoy carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, corn on the cob, squash, green beans, radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, and brussel sprouts. I can even stand a serving of lima beans every now and then, if they're mixed with corn. But those little tiny green peas just get me every time. You can serve them fresh from the garden, out of a can, or covered in cream sauce---it doesn't help. They're nasty every single way!

Needless to say, we hardly ever have peas when I am pregnant! I only fixed them today because tomorrow is grocery day and they were the last veggie I could dig out of the freezer. I had probably bought them to put in a cold salad, or something. I briefly contemplated fixing no veggie at all for lunch, but that would be totally against my meal-making habits.

I shudder as I stare down at them on my plate. My turkey dog is gone. My baked beans are gone. Now, I am only left with this nasty little veggie. They look up at me, seeming almost human, laughing, knowing that it is only a matter of time before I scrape them into the trash can or try to sneak them onto Noah's plate. I feel like a little girl again, wishing that non-existant puppy would come trotting by so I could scrape them under the table to him. No such luck.

I looks over at Cosette, who is already chowing down on her second helping of peas.

"Okay Jaime, it's for the baby! Buckle down, and eat your peas!" I shudder involuntarily as I scoop up a bite, making sure it's one with plenty of feta cheese on it. But even with the cheese, they taste just as I expected---dry and nasty. I made a horrible face without meaning to.

Cosette looks over and giggles. "What's the matter with your peas, Mommy?"

"Oh, um, nothing Cosette. They turned like I meant them to!"

She giggles again as I frown at my second bite. "You don't like them, do you Mommy?" *sigh* When did this little girl become so smart?

Joel laughs from the end of the table. No, Mommy doesn't particularly care for peas.

Eli smiles at his Daddy. "I do, Daddy. See, mine are almost all gone!" I look over at Noah, who is happily eating the ones that haven't already fallen into his bib.

I sit at the table longer than usual, willing every dry and taste-less bite to go down. I wonder how anybody can like these detestable little things! I wish unsuccessfully for a pile of applesauce to bury them in and hide the taste, like I used to when I was a little girl. I remember my sister telling the story of how she used to stuff all of her peas in her mouth when she was a little girl, and then go and spit them out her bedroom window. Seriously. Pea-hating must run in my family.

I finally finish my last bite and look up in triumph! I've finished them all! (Except for the small handful that 'accidentally' rolled onto the table, and we all know that you can't eat food that rolls onto the table, unless it happens to be chocolate brownie or cookie crumbs)

I place my plate in the dish-washer. "There! I finished them! For the baby's sake!"

Joel grins and pats me on the back jokingly. "You're such a good role model for the kids, Love", he says with sarcasm in his voice.

I laugh along with him. But inside, I'm thinking "That was my nine months worth of peas right there!!"

Saturday, January 30, 2010

4-Part Harmony

I grew up in a church where there was always instruments accompanying the singing (at least a piano and organ), and songs were almost always done with just the melody line being sung. Even today, Joel and I attend a church that has a full worship team, and when the occasional acapella piece is done, it's not often in 4-part harmony.

However, I sang in a concert choir at college, and, as nervous as I felt about my own alto singing, I loved the sound of the whole choir singing together. There's just something special about voice-only 4-part harmony---it's beautiful!

I remember the first time I visited Joel's grandparents church. It's a Mennonite church, but a bit more conservative than the one we now attend. All of their singing is done in 4- part harmony, and they are GOOD at it! My husband's relatives grew up singing 4-part like this, and it seems to just come naturally to them. I remember the first time I heard that church full of people swell in the sounds of Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass, and I imagined that this is probably just a small taste of what heaven would be like some day.

Joel and I went to a pastor's and elder's retreat this weekend. (Joel was recently asked to serve as an 'Elder' at our church, even though his age doesn't match his title :) At this retreat, they did one song without any instrumental accompaniment, and being the group of Mennonites that it was, they quickly added their 4-part harmony.

Now, I am not good at picking out the harmony line all by myself--never have been. But, with a hymnal in front of me to follow the notes, and the other people around me to listen to, I had fun joining in with the alto line.

Our worship team did a song in church the other day that really spoke to me. It was new to me, and part of the chorus said something like:

"You shattered my darkness, spoke through my deafness" (I'm really bad at remembering lyrics properly, but they were something like that.)

So, I love the 4-part harmony, the strong, clear voices singing together. I also love the sound of our worship team enthusiastically joining together to glorify our Father, to offer encouragement in words such as "You spoke through my deafness". I also know that there were those in my growing up years who loved the sound of the organ strongly offering it's sounds up, although that was never 'my thing' :)

And everything put together just made me think of what an awesome gift music is. How it speaks to our souls, up-lifts us and comforts us, encourages and strengthens us, expresses our joy and our sorrows, and most importantly, lifts up our Creator.

4-part harmony or single-line unison? Instruments or Acapella? The mature, trained voice of a professional singer, or the simple, pure voice of my son? It doesn't matter. It's ALL music to God's Ears :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


It was 25 minutes into nap-time. I hear the pitter-patter of 'not-so-little-anymore' feet.

"Mama, I can't sleep!"

"Cosette, this is the third day in a row. You really need to try to go to sleep, honey."

"Mama, I think I'm getting too old for a nap!"

Now, at five years old, this may not seem like an impossible thing. But my Mama heart was telling me that she wasn't ready to give up nap time yet. When she doesn't sleep during the day, she's almost always grumpy and unreasonable by dinner time.

So, nap time came today, and I was still pondering what to do.

"Tell you what, Cosette. Here's what we'll do. You go back to Mama's bed and get all snuggly under the covers and do your best to go to sleep. Do not get up and tell me that you can't sleep. If you can't go to sleep, fine, just lay there and rest. After a half hour, mama will come back and check on you. If you are not sleeping yet, I will get your Little House CD, and you can listen to some of the story quietly for the rest of nap-time, okay?"

She agreed that this sounded like a fine plan. She laid down at 2:10.

At 2:40, I went back to check on her, and this is what I found:

Apparently, she is not too old for a nap quite yet!

Oh, and here is my littlest man having his nap. Doesn't he make you want to just squeeze him? Oh, and the basket with all the cloth kittens was not in his bed when I put him down! He has recently discovered that he can reach stuff off of Cosette's dresser from his crib, and I have yet to remedy that situation :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Library Day

When I was a little girl growing up, I loved going to the library! At that time, the library closest to us was a little brick building on Main Street. The children's section was downstairs, and it always reminded me of going down in a deep, dark dungeon :) The building was old, and the books were mostly old, so the library had a peculiar smell to it. Kind of like a mixture of dust and mildew :) But, I remember that I associated that smell with an arm load of new books to read.

Today, I still love going to the library. Fortunately for my children, the town we live in now just built a new library soon before Cosette was born. It's big and bright and clean with huge windows and a much better selection of books. (And it doesn't even smell like dust and mildew!) I'd like to know how many hours my children and I have spent in that library over the past five years! The librarians all know us by name, and we are quickly working our way through every book in the children's section! We 'hurrah' and clap our hands when they get a new shipment of children's books in :)

Today was 'library day'. We hadn't been out for a while due to busyness and cold weather, so we were eager to stay and browse and take a nice selection home. *Ahem* 'Nice', as in a whopping total of 36 items! They filled our huge library bag , and Cosette still had to carry an arm load herself! I am quite proud to say, however, that we have only ever had to replace ONE book. This is a miracle, considering we've probably checked out hundreds and hundreds!!

A common site after we return home is to see three children, all sprawled out on the couch or floor in the living room, happily looking through books. Cosette has been excited recently to realize that there are some books that she can read all by herself!

There are two simple rules that we have around our house in regard to library day:

1. Mommy or Daddy pick out or 'okay' each book before it is brought home. Mostly there's no problem, but occassionally a child will bring to me a book with a title something like "My dumb brother', or "The magic witch makes a special potion". Um, I don't think so, no thank you! I only want my children reading things that will edify them, or at least provide them with harmless amusement.

2. All library books remain in the living room ( or in a bed-room if special permission is asked first), and they must be returned to the exact same shelf where we keep all of the library books. This way they don't get mixed in with our own books. This is how we prevent books from getting lost and never returned.

Have you ever realized that there is nothing cozier than snuggling down with your munchkin sweeties under a fuzzy blanket and reading through a stack of books? I have my own memories of times like this with my own parents, and I hope my kids will too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Can't resist

Okay, Okay, I've decided to give you all a hint as to what our baby's name is. Are you ready for this? Drum Roll, please. It starts with....a letter of the alphabet. Hehehehe!! You didn't REALLY think I was going to give you a hint, did you? :)

An answer

Have you ever heard of this?Me either. At least, I couldn't put a name to it. But, I have experienced it several times now, and it is terrifying.

The first time it happened, I thought Noah was throwing a temper tantrum. The second time, I thought he was choking on something, and the third time I was just down-right terrified. It's happened several times, and I had no idea what to call it or what exactly was happening.

What 'it' is, is this-Something will upset Noah---either he hurts himself, or he is disciplined for something---and he starts to cry. Really. Hard. And then, it's like he can't take a breath. His mouth is wide open, but nothing is happening, no sound, no breathing, nothing. His lack of oxygen causes his lips to turn blue and purple, and he loses control of his head and neck because there's no air-flow. If he was standing up when it happened, he gets all 'dizzy', almost looking like he's drunk, and topples over. You can try the whole 'blow in the babies face' idea, and nothing happens. Sound scary? Um, yep. The whole episode might last a grand total of 30 seconds, but that's long enough to scare a Mama out of her wits, so to speak. Over time, I was realizing what was happening, but I still had no answer as to what exactly 'it' was.

But then, Elise, bless her heart, did a new post, and it had a link on it that answered all of my questions. Apparently what happens to Noah is called BHS (breath-holding spells), or Expiratory Apnea. It is an involuntary, reflexive occurrence that the child can not control. It is a common occurrence in small children (although I had never seen it!), and they usually out-grow it by the time they are three or so. In the meantime, it's not harmful, and has no permanent negative 'side effects'. All you can do is lay your child on their back when it happens, remain calm, comfort the child, and wait for it to pass. We are fortunate in that it only happens maybe every other week or so to Noah, although some children experience this every day!

Elise did her new post today having no idea that it would be so helpful to me. Just another proof to me that God is working 'behind the scenes' even when we don't think about it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fun in the anticipation

I admit it, the neon pink was getting old really quickly, even for me. I thought a softer purple might reflect our baby girl happiness just as well for a little while :)

On that same topic (which you're likely to hear alot of over the next couple of months), let me make a confession. I went baby clothes shopping today. I didn't necessarily intend to. Well, not really. I was just going to check out a good sale that a friend had told me about. But, that led me to thinking how Cosette and this baby are going to be different 'seasons'. In other words, Cosette was born in the winter, but this baby is going to be a summer baby. So, more than likely, their clothes may not 'line up' completely. I knew, for a fact, that Cosette had very few onesies when she was newborn---I mostly dressed her in warm fuzzy sleepers, sweaters, long sleeve shirts and pants, etc.

Anyway, I ended up at my favorite place to buy clothes--GoodWill! Yes, I am a die-hard GoodWill shopper. The same little Carter's dresses that I was pricing for $30-40 at a department store were priced for just a couple of dollars at GoodWill. Yeah, they're slightly 'used', but a good washing and drying will quickly remedy that, and I just spent two bucks for a Carter's baby dress that would have cost me at least 30 if I had bought it new. In my mind, you can't beat that!

Look at my good deals from today:

You might be looking at this picture thinking "Um Jaime, it's almost all pink or purple". Of course! What did you expect?? :)

Cosette was wondering what we would do if the baby surprises us and is a boy after all. I assured her that I'm sure we could find a cousin or friend somewhere who could use some pretty baby girl clothes if that happens :)

By the way, anybody want to take a guess at how much I paid for this whole lot of clothes?


My mother and father-in-law became official 'empty nesters' a few weekends ago when their youngest son got married. They have six children, so it's been a while since there has been no off-spring living in their house. I wondered at first if their house would be quiet...if it would seem a lot different, especially for them.

But then, we went to visit last night (mostly so that Joel could watch the playoffs for the Super Bowl, since we don't have TV). When we got there with our three kids, Joel's sister was already there with her four kids. Just a little while later, Joel's other sister with her two girls came. Oh, and Joel's newly-married brother and his wife were also there. Sound like a houseful? Oh yeah!

There was the child who spilled grape-juice on the floor, the one who made a mess on the dining room floor, three of them sitting at the island at the same time, eating ice-cream, one of mine who can never remember to close the baby gate at the top of the stairs, and ALL of them running around, yelling, and having a good time.

Was my mother-in-law's house quiet and peaceful, so that she could enjoy her new 'empty nest' status? Um, No! It was anything but that! The poor woman, it's probably actually alot more chaotic these days than when her own six children were living at home!! And, I happen to know that her calendar is quite full this week just with watching grand-children. (I know this, because at least two of the days she is watching MY children while Joel and I go on a church elders retreat....) And I'm sure there will be other grand-children hanging out at her house on other days.

So, I (soon to be) four children, so far, are about the same distance apart as her first four were. Does this mean that some day, there will be NINE (or soon to be TWELVE) grand-children running around my house, eating my ice-cream, drinking my grape-juice, and making messes? Oh, thank God, for His blessings are MANY :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Three Princesses

Everybody needs a couple of cousins to play dress-up with :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Glad to live when I do

I don't think I would have survived 150 years ago, when you had to heat your bath water over the fire. I would have been one of those people who always walked around looking sad and down cast, and nobody would have realized that all I needed was a really hot bath! Oh, that, and a pair of really good hearing aids, which wouldn't have been invented for another century or so. Oh, and also a good ultrasound machine to detect the placenta previa I had with Noah and prevent me from bleeding to death upon delivery. And I have to admit, I'd be lost without my electric fan blowing on me every night, and my huge humidifier keeping my hands from getting all dried out. So yeah, just thinking tonight how kind the 21st century has been to me---I don't think I would have made a very good pioneer girl, as fun as I imagined it to be when I was seven :)

Baby Girl thoughts...because that's what's on my mind:)

I know, sorry, I'm obsessed with this baby girl thing. But, I've been waiting for five years for another little girl, and I'm thrilled. Now that I know we're having a girl, (at least, we're as sure as we can be at this point) you know what is torture? Well, two things, actually.

The first, is realizing that I still have another four months to go, and that it's WAY too early to go dig out all the baby girl clothes from the tubs in the basement. They've been in storage for five years, and I was beginning to think that they might never come out again....However, that said, there aren't that many 'frilly' newborn things to get ready for this baby. You see, at my baby shower for Cosette, I didn't yet know that I was having a girl, so all of the wonderful people who 'showered' us with baby clothes made sure that they were 'neutral'---lots of whites, yellows, and light greens, which was fine. Cosette just looked fairly 'un-girly' for the first six weeks of her life :) I plan on having a good shopping trip before this baby is born and splurging on some new-born 'pink' stuff and lots of hair-bows and ribbons :) (Because, if this baby looks anything like Cosette did, she'll need lots of hair-bows to hide the fact that she doesn't have any hair ;) I'm really looking forward to doing the whole baby dress, baby tights, 'look at my precious baby girl thing' all over again :)

The second thing that is torturing me is keeping the name secret. We have picked out a really cool girls name (well, I think it's really cool :), and I SO want to tell you what it is. But nope, I am keeping my lips sealed :) Before Noah was born, we referred to him as 'Hooper-humperdink', just to tease the kids and keep us from accidentally saying his real name. Cosette thinks our 'code' name for this baby should be toucan. TOUCAN??

Joel and I have yet to come up with a 'just in case' boys name. I don't want to get to the delivery room and be surprised with a precious baby boy, look at him and think "Now, what IS your name??" I plan on being prepared, just in case :)

There will be almost the same distance between Cosette and this baby girl as there is between my sister and me, minus a year. Isn't that cool?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To even things out :)

Does my new color scheme give you any hint as to what we found out today at the ultrasound??! ;) Of course, there's always that chance that it could be wrong, but we got a very good 'view', and the technician feels confident in telling us to "THINK PINK!!" I have to admit, Cosette and I squealed out loud :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Real quick...

First of all, thank you all for your prayers. I LOVE my new hearing aids--they're great! It's nice to be hearing again like I used to.... well, closer to it, anyway :) Also, it's an amazing thing, but over the past week or so, the tinnitus symptoms have really been reduced. The noises in my left ear are gone by like 85-90%! My right ear still has a ways to go----I'd say the noises there are reduced by about 40%, but even this has made a HUGE difference! Could it be that the hearing aids 'retrained' my brain that quickly? Could it be that the antibiotic for my ear infection helped that much? Could it be that my stress level being lowered by the new hearing aids reduced the tinnitus symptoms? Could it be that the pregnancy progressed to a certain point that it just naturally corrected itself, like the doctor thought it might? Was it a combination of all of the above? Or was it just God answering all of your prayers on my behalf? I think it must have been the last option......Please continue praying. I'd love to update you all in a few weeks and say that it's even less annoying, or completely gone!! :)

Second thought---we're going tomorrow to find out what our baby is! I'm so excited. I will try to update here tomorrow and fill you all in :) (That is, AFTER I make that phone-call to my sister at work, who is almost as anxious as me to find out what this one is! She was there for Noah's ultrasound, and I know it's killing her to not be there tomorrow :)

Right now, I'm headed to bed. Tomorrow, I have laundry to catch up on, first grade to teach to a certain little girl, an 18 month check up and shots for Noah, and right after that, the long-awaited ultrasound! (Kinda convenient both our pediatrician and OB/midwives are in the same building :) It's going to be a busy day....


I used to hate Monday mornings. I still kind of do. But I'm trying to get over that. Monday's are a chance for a 'fresh start'---new books to read, new ideas to try, new chances for areas where we screwed up last week, and, in my case, three children with lots of new things to learn! I was especially inspired this morning as I read Elise's post. My children all still take long afternoon naps, but when they're a little older, this is something I'd love to try. Go read her post!

Also on my mind is Cosette. This morning, she got dressed, cleaned her room, brushed her teeth, and combed her hair. "Cosette, Mommy is so proud of you! It's nice to see you taking initiative and doing these things without being asked!" She smiled and said ''Did you see me taking initiative last night and carrying things in from the van?" *smile* This mama's heart is glad.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Too good NOT to share.....

Warning: The following is a hilarious story related to me by my sister. It's unlike anything I usually post on here, but it's really too funny not to share. I have to rate it PG-13 :) Actually, it might be a story that only fellow parents can truly appreciate.....

So, Eli spent the night at 'his buddy's house' (my Dad is his 'buddy'), and went to church with my parents this morning. Kristin said that somehow, she and Eli and my parents got stuck sitting all the way in the front row for Sunday School. She said Eli was being a good boy and sitting still. Then, he noticed a pretty necklace that Kristin was wearing. He looked up to admire it, and then said, in his 'quietest' Eli voice (which is pretty much nothing less than a dull roar) "Aunt Kristin, if boys didn't have wee-wee's, would we have to wear necklaces too?" Horrified, Kristin tried to hush him, when he insisted on repeating the exact same question, just as loudly. Kristin said she sat stone still, unwilling to turn around, sure that everybody behind her was laughing hysterically:)

Two lessons to learn from this :

1. ALWAYS teach your children 'cute' substitute names. You'll never regret it.

2. Boys will be boys. And everybody knows that. When those situations arise when you want to swallow your gum and fall through the floor, just smile and laugh with everybody around you :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

A few worth sharing...

I was looking through pictures on my camera tonight and found this one from a few weeks ago. Noah had found a hat, and he discovered that he could put it on all by himself! He wore it for a long time that day. I thought he probably couldn't get any sweeter. See those chubby cheeks and BIG brown eyes and those perfect little pink lips? How can a Mama NOT resist stealing kisses from someone so cute?!

This next picture is from Joel's brother's wedding last weekend. These are all of Joel's Grandfather's Great-grandchildren-- 15, I think, unless I mis-counted, which is possible :) So that makes all of these kiddos either first or second cousins. Can you believe we got them all to sit still long enough to snap a picture??
By the way, just to prove what a 'big' guy my Noah-boy is---see his cousin sitting next to him in the front row in the little pink dress? She is only six days younger than him :) When Joel's Nonnie (grandmother) was still with us, she would often say "You all need to stop having so many children---I'm running out of room on my picture wall!" But we all knew that she loved them to pieces and wouldn't trade in a single one :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Menu Plan

I've been feeling more myself the past couple of days. The tinnitus has really calmed down in my left ear, and I'm hopeful that as I take more antibiotic, it will calm down in my right ear as well :) That was said to make the point that I felt more like making our menu plan today than I have for a while :) I'm keepin' it simple this week! Joel even gets to go grocery shopping with me tomorrow :)

Today: Tacos and Fresh/Frozen corn from the freezer

Friday: Ranch-Cheddar Burgers, Roasted Asparagus

Sat: Greek Chicken over egg noodles (This contains your whole meal in one dish--chicken, green beans, canned tomatoes, pasta--yummy! One of my favorites :)

Sun: Health-Nut Sandwiches, Chips and Dip

Mon: Family Get-Together

Tuesday: Pancakes and Eggs, turkey sausage and fresh fruit

Wed: Roasted chicken and potatoes, steamed broccoli

Thurs: Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese

Friday: Spaghetti with homemade garden vegetable sauce and salad

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On a lighter note

I love...

  • That Eli calls his Grandpa his 'Buddy' "Mom, can we go see my buddy today?"
  • That Noah loves to wear his new slippers EVERYWHERE, even to Grandma's house :)
  • That Cosette is now old enough to want to keep her room clean, without me asking
  • That the baby doesn't start kicking until around 8:00 a.m. Could this be a fore-taste of sleeping schedules yet to come??
  • That my husband doesn't complain when he has to dig our van out of the snow bank in my parent's drive-way because I accidentally put it there!
  • That Noah now has a favorite blanket and loves to cuddle up on my lap with it.
  • The jumps in technology that have been made (see my former post for more info.)
  • When there is Root Beer AND icecream in the house at the same time! :)
  • Cosette's curly hair after she's taken a shower
  • How Eli still says 'sweeping' instead of 'sleeping', and 'yogrit' instead on 'yogurt'
  • Being a Mommy to three with another on the way....

The long, long road....

It's been a lonnnng journey for me. A journey filled with pride. Way too much pride. And it's been well over twelve years. But, I think, that with this last little while, I may have finally, through the help of my Savior, 'conquered' this pride.

You see, we didn't 'discover' my hearing loss until I was about 15. We don't know if it just suddenly got worse at that point, or if all of my 'extra-curricular' activities like Bible Quizzing and Music were making it more obvious that I had a problem. Whatever the case, looking back, my parents are now pretty sure that I probably had a problem since I was a little girl, maybe even since birth, who knows. The cause of my hearing loss is believed to be in the little spiral thing in your middle ear (the name of which I can't now remember), and it's possible that mine doesn't have enough 'spirals'. Or, it could be damage to the little tiny hairs that pass the sound waves to your ear drum.

Whatever the case, when I was first diagnosed at age 15, I refused to admit it. It was pride. 'What do you mean? I'm quite 'normal', I always have been!' My hearing loss was minor enough at that point that I managed to make it through college (as a MUSIC major, none the less!), without ever putting a hearing aid in my ear. I absolutely refused. I had major battles with my parents over this! THEY couldn't see why I wouldn't accept the help of the hearing aids, and I couldn't understand why THEY didn't see why I didnt' want to wear these huge, obnoxious, ugly, demeaning things out the side of my head (my twisted perspective at that point!)

But then, I graduated, and I was realizing that I was rather annoying to talk to, because I constantly said 'Huh?', or, 'Could you repeat that, please'? Joel, my fiancee at the time, assured me that he would think none the less of me if I wore the hearing aids. Well, that finally did the trick, and we eventually bought a new pair of nice digital hearing aids. I was hooked. I could no longer survive without them. I couldn't believe all the little things that I had been missing!

However, with my willingness to WEAR the aids came my UN-willingness to let anybody know that I had them. I was ashamed. I felt 'less than complete'. For a while, only my family and very close friends knew I wore them. Eventually, I started telling more people, but only as necessary, and only if I HAD to. There were still alot of people who were completely unaware that I had a hearing loss. I had fairly small aids, I wore my hair down, and I didn't talk about it alot.

But then, came all of this new annoyance over the holiday season. The tinnitus. The additional hearing loss. My complete and utter frustration over it all, and feelings of helplessness. I realized that I needed prayer---and LOTS of it! That's when I posted a few things on my blog, asking you all to pray. I even mentioned it on my Facebook status. It was the first time that I had openly admitted to the 'world' that I wore hearing aids. Maybe more people knew than I realized, I don't know. Whatever the case, it was very therapeutic for me to open up and admit this to you all.

I've come to realize something through all of this. I don't need to be ashamed. Is my hearing loss annoying? Yes! Do I wish I didn't have it? Yes again! Was it my fault? NOPE! Was there anything I could have done to prevent it? Not a thing. This is no different than what many other people are going through----people suffer from poor eye-sight, from diabetes, any number of things. I think where my difficulty bothered me is because it affected the way I interacted with people. Someone can go through the line at WalMart, and you have no idea that they're suffering from stage two diabetes. However, whenever I go through the line at WalMart, it's immediately apparent what my problem is, because I fail to hear the clerk say "Hi, how are you?" I appear rude and stuck-up, when I seriously don't intend to be! So, I'm swallowing my sinful pride and letting you all know now, loud and clear ;), that I have hearing issues. Yes, my hearing aids help a great deal and allow me to function at a normal level, but my hearing will never be as good as yours (unless God chooses to heal it!), and yes, you may still have to repeat some stuff to me once in a while :)

I picked up my new aids this morning, and they are INCREDIBLE!!! I LOVE them :) It's like the whole world has opened up around me, and I knew it would be that way! The audiologist also found some fluid behind my right ear drum, which he thinks is causing the major part of my tinnitus. So, I'm going tomorrow to get an antibiotic to clear that up, especially since it's also affecting how I hear out of that ear! So, with my new hearing aids, the antibiotic, and hopefully the clearing up of at least some of my tinnitus, I will feel like a brand new person! I already feel like I can concentrate better, like my stress level was down about ten notches today, and like I'm less edgy and irritable. It's amazing what two tiny little pieces of technology can do for a person! Thank you all for your prayers. I'll ask for them one more time as I go tomorrow to hopefully get an antibiotic and clear up my right ear.

Getting all of this hearing stuff taken care of has been my top priority for several weeks now. I hope to have it all 'taken care of' here soon. Hopefully then, I can concentrate on more important and fun things, like doing school with Cosette, and finding out next Tuesday whether we're having a boy or a girl :) :) :) :) :)

And that, folks, I guess, is my second 'real' post of the year :)

I promise to quit boring you all with such long-winded information about me---I know it's my kids you are seriously interested in :) I will get back to our 'regularly scheduled program' before too long :)

And bless your heart if you actually read this far!

Monday, January 11, 2010

What's on my mind.....

  • I'm sorry for lack of pictures lately. I have been very stressed. This is unusual for me. I have a wonderful life and am usually pretty laid-back, but my stress levels lately have been sky-rocketing. Why? Several things---The main source has been my increased hearing loss over the past few months and Tinnitus issues, which the Doctor seems to feel have both been caused by my pregnancy. He was encouraging the other day that they might improve after the baby is born. He said that many women who have previous hearing issues often experience a temporary 'worsening' of them during pregnancy. Regardless, it's moved my hearing loss from 'moderate' to 'moderately severe', and it has me totally stressed, and with the tinnitus on top of all of that, I feel like my nerves are on edge all of the time. HOWEVER, I am going to pick up my new, totally incredible, state-of-the art, TWICE as powerful hearing aids tomorrow morning (which, by the way, are just as small and in-conspicuous as my current aids!!), and I'm so hopeful that they'll help my hearing, as well as maybe take the edge off of the tinnitus. Please be praying. Oh, and added on to my stress level was the disappointment of deciding 'no' on the new house last week, and also the fact that my pregnancy hormones are just sailing all over the place. When I'm pregnant, I tend to have really UP days, and then days that are...not so 'up'. All this added together has me feeling, well, 'down' :) Hopefully tomorrow will make a difference, as I hope to re-enter the world of the 'normal ears' ;)

  • I took the kids over to our local nursing home today to help out with some singing that our church was doing for the resident's monthly birthday party. As I was standing there during the party and my kids were helping to hand out cake, an older lady resident walked up to me and said "My dear, you have popped!" (Meaning, of course, my baby belly) ;)

  • Joel and I used a left-over gift certificate from Christmas for Apple-Bees tonight and I thoroughly enjoyed their Fiesta Lime chicken. GOOD stuff!! Have I ever mentioned on here that I absolutely LOVE my mother-in-law?? After a very full week-end for her (her youngest son got married!), she happily and graciously watched all three of my children for the entire evening just so that I could 'un-wind' over dinner with my husband. No, no, you can't have her, she's mine ;)

  • We had a 'heat wave' today--temperatures were actually in the teens!! Never-the-less, do they really have to display bikinis at WalMart already? I mean, seriously, who walks into WalMart with frozen fingers and toes and is thinking about buying a bikini??

  • Eli informed me the other day that when he grew up he was going to marry me. I told him I was already married to Daddy, so that wouldn't work. So he said he'd just marry Noah instead :)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Blogging 'Real'

I read a post recently about blogging 'real'. In other words, not hiding our true selves, or trying to make ourself look better on our blog than we are in real life. I try not to do that anyway, but I may have been guilty of it once or twice ;)

Anyway, on that theme, I am going to share with you my first 'real' blog of the New Year, and you will see the 'real' me, at least the 'real' me right now, how I'm feeling at 3:18 this afternoon :)

Joel and I just made a tough decision. And I'm feeling down.....WAY down.

You see, we feel that God gave us this house that we live in right now. When we were looking for houses to buy six years ago, this one just kind of fell in our lap. It was the right price, it was a great starter home, and it would suit the needs of a growing family ( a theoretical idea at the time!) just fine for several years, at least. We've never regretted buying this house---we both feel it was pretty much handed to us from God. We've been working REALLY hard this past while to put every last penny that we can into our Mortgage fund and, well, pay it off :)

However, with that said, let me state this. Joel and I have never really felt like this was our 'dream' home. It was the RIGHT home at the RIGHT time, and we love it, but it's never been our 'dream' home. We could live here the rest of our lives if we needed to and we'd be grateful for the house, but if we had our say, we'd rather not. Especially me!

So, when we were driving in a near-by town the other day and saw a house for sale that looked interesting.....we decided to have a look. We went over that very same night, and we both FELL IN LOVE with this house! Me especially! It was gorgeous. It had everything that I would want in my 'dream' home. It was not a 'cookie cutter' style house---it had 'character', and I like that! Hard-wood floors throughout, beautiful windows with wooden shutters, TWO stories (which was a must for this girl who has spent her entire life in Rancher style houses and doesn't paticularly care for them), a school room/music room, a HUGE kitchen, a dining room that I absolutely LOVED.....the list goes on. It was like, MY house. It was just screaming "Jaime!!" I was already picturing hanging garland on the stairway next Christmas and bringing home my new baby in a few months to this house...... We were scheduled to do a final walk-through tomorrow and sign a contract.

But then, my wonderful, practical, ever-wise husband was having second thoughts.

We could have afforded it. We could have made our budget work, especially if we'd gotten renters for our current house. But, it would have thrown back our plan to have this house paid off and be debt-free by several--SEVERAL years. It would have made things very tight, and over-all, it just wouldn't have been the wisest financial decision. We've worked SO hard to get where we are financially right now, and we'd be throwing alot of that away. Our HEARTS were telling us to buy it, but our brains were shouting NO the whole time.

Thankfully, Joel and I usually see things on the same page. As much as I hated to admit it, he was right. We COULD buy this house, we'd LOVE to buy this house, but right now is just not the BEST time for it. We'd be 'kicking ourselves later' (his own words :)

So, he's making the call this afternoon to cancel our final walk-through. I have to admit, in the spirit of keeping this post 'real', that I am TERRIBLY disappointed. I really, really, wanted that house. But, I love my husband MORE than my 'dream' house, and I've always trusted him to do the right financial thing, and I trust him on this issue as well. I'm not mad, I'm not upset, just disappointed.

I'll probably eat an extra bowl of ice-cream tonight and shed a few tears on my loving, understanding husband's shoulder, but then that will be the end of it. I still have EVERYTHING that God has already given to me, and to fret about this much more would be selfish. And so, at least for the time being, we'll stay here, in our quiet little home of six years. I'll continue to be a 'rancher' style girl, until that double-story dream house presents itself at the RIGHT time. I'll bring my new baby home in June to this house, the same house I've brought all of my babies home to, and I'll count my blessings, one little head at a time.....

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Baby Update

Mama: Looking healthy with a good, low blood pressure (which probably has something to do with the ringing in my ears), four pounds gained over Christmas (a miracle it wasn't more than that!), and measuring in at 20 cm, which is right where I'm supposed to be. (I'll be 20 weeks next Monday).

Baby: Kicking all around,made it hard for the doctor to find the heartbeat, but he finally did---It was strong and steady, right around 130. It was 168 the first visit, 155 the second, and now 130. I had my theories about boy/girl possibilities based on the first two readings, but now that is completely thrown out the window! However, we have an ultrasound scheduled for TWO weeks from today, during which (hopefully!) we'll find out what we're having for sure :)

How am I going to live with the 'monotony' of the next TWO weeks? I'm dying to find out what this baby is! I feel like a little girl waiting for Christmas....
Other-wise, the doctor stated that this pregnancy looks 'perfect' so far, and I'm SO glad. Thank you ALL for your prayers. I was concerned about how this time would go with all the trouble we had last time with Noah. But, you raised up your petitions to the Heavenly Father on my behalf, and I'm ever so grateful :)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Growing up

I'll give you two guesses as to what our New Year's Project is going to be this year.......

Well, it's going to take a while, but I'm determined to have this project finished before the new baby comes. Two kiddos in diapers does not thrill me. Eli was mostly trained before Noah was born, so hopefully Noah will be too. Today we mostly just ate snacks and showed off our new chair to Daddy :)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful....

and inside, my children are anything but delightful! We've all had bad chest colds all week, so playing outside in the snow has been a no-no. And now that we're finally starting to feel better, we have wind-chills in the negatives! So, little kids, sick all week, stuck inside.......yeah, they're running around my house like little monsters :)

I didn't take a single picture over all of New Years. My cold had me under-the-weather, and I just didn't feel like it. Still, some high-lights verbally:

  • having Joel home alot over the course of several days-----we always love that
  • trying out my new vacuum cleaner----awesome new toy :)
  • buying new hearing-aids with TWICE the power of my old ones---oh yeah, bring on some conversations!! (Well, I don't have them yet, but I'm looking forward to using them when they get here, next week hopefully!)
  • spending time with both of our families---my family braved our colds and came up for Cosette's birthday on Tuesday evening, and we spent the evening of New Year's Day with Joel's family----we are very spoiled having all of our family so close by!
  • feeling the baby kick more and more! I'm about 19 weeks now, so hoping to have an ultrasound soon and find out what we're having

We're starting school up again on Monday, so I'm kind of looking forward to getting back into a routine around here :)

Some of the highlights of the New Year that I'm looking forward to:

  • Joel's brother is getting married next weekend! You gotta love a winter wedding!!
  • Finishing up the second half of first grade with Cosette! It's on to clock reading next week...
  • There are THREE children being born in Joel's parents family this spring---his brother Jesse and his wife are expecting in the beginning of February, his sister Lisa is expecting in mid-April, and we of course are due at the end of May. That will move the grand-kid head-count up to a dozen---all five and under:)

My only New Year's Resolution?

To know Christ more fully, living in His power day by day.


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