Saturday, March 31, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I swang forwards and backwards, but the best is to swing around in a big circle.
The old oak tree has just started to put on new leaves. The view from the swing is beautiful.
I soon talked Adam into giving it a try.
After much coersion, I got my dad on the swing, too.
He loved it.
Mom didn't take much convincing after Dad gave it a try. She was dying to get on from the beginning. She is much more of a free spirit than she lets on.
Luke enjoyed exploring. And of course, eating dirt, acorns, and rocks. (According to my mom, he gets the fascination with eating dirt from me.)
Sunday, March 18, 2007
This week has been Spring Break for us. One of the perks of being married to a teacher is having my husband home during Spring Break. So, I have been spending time with family rather than at the computer.
We have had an eventful week. Here's what's been happening...
Luke was especially fascinated by the flamingos and ducks. He must be his Grandpa D's boy.
In case you are wondering, that bison is trying to get the animal food we threw to it. You can buy special food to feed the animals at our zoo. I don't know if this is common at zoos or not. When I was little, they sold animal crackers that you could eat or share with the animals. We usually ended up eating the majority of them ourselves. Now, it is just for the animals.
One of my favorite parts of our zoo is the bridge over the giraffes. Usually, the giraffes are right up under you, so you can feed them. Their long, purple tongues are quite nimble in picking up the smallest crumb. Unfortunately, we went pretty late in the day, and I think the giraffes had already had their fill of crackers.
At this point, Luke was more interested in grabbing crackers for himself than looking at the elephants. We were glad to have brought along some Luke food, too.
Are you ready for it?
On Monday, Adam and I BOUGHT A HOUSE!!! We are so excited! Can you tell?
God has been so good to us in this whole thing. When we started actually thinking about where we wanted to live, I decided I wanted to live on S Drive. Now, S Drive is in my parents' neighborhood, and pretty much out of our price range. Also, as we started thinking about what we wanted in a house, I thought I would like to have a study, something else I knew we could not afford in a house. We began to look at the houses in the neighborhoods close to my parents that were closer to our price range. However, we soon became discouraged with them. Most of them were built in the 50s, the looked run down, and in the nicer ones, the bathrooms were unbearably small. So, we came to the conclusion that we are newer house people and needed to look at houses built more recently than the 1950s.
We looked around in the neighborhood where I grew up, a subdivision built in the 80s. Unfortunately, not much is for sale there. We were able to see one house there, but it didn't fit us. We also checked out the new construction in town. The houses there were significantly smaller and only a tiny bit less expensive than the houses we were looking at close to my parents.
In all this looking, a nice little house on S Drive had come for sale. We drove past it, week after week, noticing the sale sign remained. Then, on Sunday the 4th, the house was open. Well, Luke was ill that day, and the rest of my family had gone to my grandmother's for the day. So, I told Adam, "I will go look at the house while you stay home with Luke. If it is something special, then you can go when I get back while I keep Luke at home."
I was shocked at what I found. This house, built in the 50s, is well kept and well updated - new carpet, new tile, new thermopane windows (something Kirsten can appreciate), new gas line, new electric line. The bathrooms are big enough for two people to stand in without touching each other or infringing upon personal space. Both back and front yards are beautifully manicured in such a way that requires little upkeep (I am not a yard person), and there are plenty of big, old, mesquite trees in both yards. (I have learned that you have to be a West Texas native to truly appreciate mesquite trees.) And, to top it all off, as I round the corner of the kitchen, I came across a comfortable little study.
When I got home, I wouldn't tell Adam anything other than he needed to go check it out himself. He came back impressed as well. So, we sat on it for a week, praying about whether or not this was the house God has for us. I wanted to jump on it and make an offer right away, but I knew that if this was God's house for us, then he wasn't going to let someone else buy it. And, if it sold while we were praying about it, then it wasn't meant for us.
So after a week of growing excitement through prayer, we went to the bank on Monday the 12th to apply for a loan. We were approved, through the grace of God. We then headed to the realtor and made our bid. Monday night, we came to an agreed price with the seller. We spent Tuesday going back and forth between the bank and the realtor to continue moving through the paperwork. We will be able to move in at the end of April, so long as everything else checks out. We meet with the inspector on Tuesday.
We are so excited!
Less than fifteen minutes after they took Luke from us, he was back in our arms. It was hard to watch him wake up from the anesthesia. He cried a lot. Then again, I tend to cry when coming out of it myself. Once he finally did wake up completely, we had a good day. I was expecting a hard day, but he was pretty much back to himself after his afternoon nap.
Adam and I had cleared the day so that we could focus on Luke. So, as Luke napped, we just rested and recouped from the previous days' stress and excursions.
At the park, Luke went down the slide with Mommy. (I know, my sunglasses are goofy.)
Luke played in the swing.
So, on Friday, we packed up and headed for Dallas. We left Luke with Grandma D and went to check in at our hotel. It was very nice. We changed into our nice clothes and headed to III Forks. The meal was incredible. We both enjoyed a scrumptious Filet Mignon. As Adam likes to say, the steak there is so tender, you can cut it with a fork. Everything was delicious, from the salad to the garlic mashed potatoes to the rosemary corn. To top it off, we indulged in the Chocolate Ganache Cake.
The last time we had been to III Forks, I was about 8 1/2 months pregnant. Adam had taken me for my birthday last year. At the end of our meal, we tried the Chocolate Ganache Cake. I cannot tell you how amazing this cake is. Every bite was heaven. However, we were both already full when we ordered the cake, so we were unable to finish it. We left just a little on the plate. The waitress asked if we would like her to box it up for us. I said no thanks, thinking that there really wasn't enough left to make it worth taking home. Well, for at least the next two weeks (and this is no exaggeration), my very first thought upon waking up in the morning each and every day was, "Oh, I wish we had brought that cake home." So, a year later, I finally got to have more of that cake. And, it was just as good as I had remembered.
Adam and I had a wonderful time, dining slowly together. We enjoyed uninterrupted conversation together on interesting, thought provoking subjects. It was lovely. My husband is so wonderful and so sweet to pamper me and treat me like a queen.
The next day, we shopped for Luke's final birthday present - a forward facing car seat. We then had lunch together at one of the other, more every day Dallas restaurants that we don't have at home. That probably sounds funny. We don't eat out every day, but we did eat out a lot when we lived in the Dallas area. It is one of those strange things about the Dallas culture. I once heard that Dallas is at the top for most restaurants per capita.
Anyway, we then headed down to Grandpa D's house to pick up Luke. Adam and his dad spent 30-45 minutes installing the new car seat, and then we loaded up and headed home.
As for the new car seat, Luke likes it. He is higher up and can see out the windows. He was so engrossed in the passing scenery, that he would throw whatever toy I gave him on the floor. The only problem with a forward facing car seat, is that it sits up much more than the rear facing ones. Therefore, one's head fall's to one's chest when asleep.
Oh! He is getting to be such a big boy!
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Now, I have to admit, that in my mind, getting pregnant was supposed to take time. Most couples I know have struggled with getting pregnant for months or years. So, I was a little unprepared when we were pregnant in June. The next 9 months were not easy. Let it suffice to say that at 20 weeks my weight was the same as before I was pregnant. Not good. I then learned the joys of Reglan, which I took before each meal and before bedtime. This helped. I then proceeded to become very large.
On Thursday, March 2nd, my mother accompanied me to my weekly doctor's appointment. Dr. Hassan walked in the room, measured my belly, and gasped, "This child is big! We gotta get him out!" I sat there thinking, Did I not just see you last week? I know we haven't grown that much in a week! She then proceeded to ask if I was okay with inducing on Tuesday. "Yes! Please get this child out of me!" Walking down the hall, smiling ear to ear, I suddenly realized, Tuesday is March 7th, my birthday. Oh well! Who cares! Get this baby out of me!
We arrived at the hospital at 10pm on Monday night to get checked into my room and start some drugs that would ease labor the following day. We started the pitocin drip at 7am on Tuesday, along with a healthy dose of Stadol, which pretty much just knocked me out. This was nice as I had gotten very little sleep during the night. There was a woman down the hall giving birth. She wasn't near as bad as her 2 or 3 year old who was running up and down the hall screaming.
I woke up after a couple hours and asked the nurse, "When can I have my epidural?"
"Whenever you want it."
"How about now?" I salute all you women who are brave enough to go through labor and delivery without drugs. Me, I thank God for the science of pain killers.
The anesthesiologist, Dr. Montague, soon arrived with his blessed bag o' meds. I liked him as soon as I heard his name. How can you not like someone named Montague? After shooing Adam to the other side of the bed to hold my hand instead of watching the procedure, Dr. Montague made all my pain go away. On his way out the door, he told me to give him a call if I needed a stronger dose. After all, his moto is, "No pain... no pain." What a lovely man.
I slept the blissfull sleep of the drugged.
Around 4pm, the nurse informed me that I was at a 10 and ready to go. Yea! They got me into position - a very strange experience as my legs were so numb I felt they didn't belong to me - and I gave a big push.
"Excellent," the nurse said. "It is so good to have a mom who pushes good. This baby will be out in no time."
I relaxed back against the pillow. "Thanks," I smiled. "I've had lots of practice with all the constipation."
The nurse left to get my doctor. She returned alone. Not good. "I'm sorry, but Dr. Hassan has been pulled into an emergency c-section. We'll have to wait. I'll get Dr. Montague to give you a stronger dose through your epidural so you can wait more comfortably."
At 4:45p we started pushing again. Once again, I was told how great a pusher I am. This was not encouraging after an hour of "pushing great." If I was such the great pusher, why wasn't this baby coming out? The doctor soon discovered that he was face up, and stuck on my pelvic bone. Another 30 minutes of pushing and I was exhausted and crying like a baby.
At one point, as I am sobbing, "I can't do this! I can't do this!" (not very brave, I know), Dr. Hassan says, "Well, we can push him back up and do a c-section."
I thought, Are you crazy? If we were going to do a c-section we should have done it two hours ago, before all the pushing. I said, "No."
We (I mean me. Really, who's doing the work here?) continue pushing, with very little progress. Finally Dr. Hassan reluctantly says, "His head is already too torn up to use the vacuum. I am afraid it would tear his head up more. We can try the forcepts, but they are harder on mom."
"I don't care! Get the forcepts! Get him out!"
After a couple pushes with Dr. Hassan helping with the forcepts, Luke's head finally pops out. Now, this is a very exciting moment, because it happens so quickly that Dr. Hassan, who had knee surgery about a month prior, goes flying back onto the tray of intruments and then to the floor. Every eye in the room follows, with gasps, as she tumbles and pops back up to finish the job. Luke wasn't going anywhere without her.
Then it gets a little scary. I hear her say the cord is wrapped around Luke's neck, and it is very short. Luke had shown no signs of distress throughout the entire labor and two and a half hours of pushing, but he is a little blue. I hear the nurse say, "Come on, baby, breathe," as she rubs him. After what felt like an eternity, blessed screams come from my not so tiny boy.
At this point, I get another dose of Stadol for reasons you probably don't want to hear. I am sure I have already shared more details than some wanted to know. So, at this point on, everything is a fuzzy haze as anxious family members come in one or two at a time to say "hi." At one point, I tell my mom, "I don't know what's real and what I'm dreaming."
There is no doubt in my mind that God's hand was on both Luke and me. It is only through his grace that we both came through relatively unscathed and healthy.
On the way home from the hospital, Mommy and Daddy heard a new sound and smelled a new smell. We looked at each other, "Was that you?"
Luke wasted no time in getting us well acquainted with dirty diapers. If you look closely at the picture, you can tell by the look on his face that he is preparing a surprise for us.
Luke showed us early on that he is his daddy's son.
May 10th - Luke is 2 months old and finally gets his first real bath. He is not amused. It took two months to get in the bathtub because Luke does not like change and would not give up his umbilical cord. At his two month check up, his doctor finally just cut it off, leaving what I think is a somewhat interesting belly button.
July 22nd - Adam enjoying the Sand Dunes. Adam hiked nearly to the top of the Dunes. Luke was off playing with Pop, Granny, and Cousin Amelia at the entrance to the Dunes. They weren't interested in hiking across the sand.
July 27th - Here we sit by the campfire in Colorado. This was Luke's first big family vacation. We stayed in a cabin, way up in the mountains. The closest thing to civilization was a tiny little town called Creed, an hour down the mountain via scary, windy, narrow dirt road. It was beautiful. We went horseback riding and four wheeling (I nearly fell off the mountain - a story for another time). Adam learned to fly-fish with my dad, brather, and cousin. We even got to join up wiht Adam's family who were vacationing in Silverton for the week.
July 26th - Jeff (my brother), Cynthia (Jeff's wife), Brian (my cousin), Me, and Adam enjoyed the scenary and the personalities of our horses. It was amazing how we were paired up with horses that matched our personalities. You can see both Brian and his horse like to be the center of attention.
July 28th - My dad was determined for Adam to catch a fish. So, on our last day, we wathed as Adam caught a big one.
August 4th - Luke is nearly 5 months old, and he has his first taste of peas. He is not a fan.
September 11th - Luke is 6 months old. Daddy spoonfeeds Luke for the first time. What a mess! Perhaps he should have started with something less colorful, like applesauce.
Daddy's way of cleaning up is to stick Luke in the sink and hose him off. Luke is still a mess, but at least now it is just water.
October 3rd - Luke decides it is more fun to eat when feet are involved. After fighting a losing battle, Mommy gives up trying to keep the feet down and runs to get the camera.
Luke soon discovers that two feet are better than one.
October 15th - Luke is 7 months old. Uncle Brian brings home a chair that is just Luke's size. Luke loves it. This is the first time Luke poses for the camera. We laughed as he made lots of funny faces.
October 17th - Luke loves the vacuum. He and Cousin Amelia get in close to investigate after Daddy turns it off. Luke will sit and watch the vacuum go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...
November 6th - The day before Luke turns 8 months. he crawls for the first time.
November 11th - We return to Dallas for a family wedding. We got to stay with Kelly and Jonathan. Luke had fun playing at Kelly's house. She has lots of fun cat toys...
magazines to shred...
and the coffee table is the perfect height for pulling up.
Here I must pause to include a small caveat on the ways babies sleep, and the way I as a first time mother dealt with my sleeping baby. There is nothing more precious to gaze at than a sleeping baby. Just yesterday, I quietly mooned over the face of my sleeping child. When we brought Luke home from the hospital, we could hardly put him down. I would hold him throughout most of the day as he slept against my chest. It was heavenly. On the rare occasion when I would lay him in his cradle to sleep, I was sure to place him on his back or side as the pediatrician had instructed, or hounded really, every time we saw her. This is very important for infants, according to studies on SIDS. As a new mom, who wasn't quite sure her baby could continue breathing if she wasn't holding him or watching him, I diligently checked every few minutes to make sure his tiny chest continued moving up and down. Even during the night, I would wake up and check on him periodically. The ironic part is that most babies tend to sleep better on their belly. As soon as Luke learned to roll over, he would roll to his belly to sleep. This terrified me. For the for the first week or so, I would actually check to see if he had rolled to his belly and roll him back to his back. He, of course, would just roll back to his belly a few minutes after I had gone. This continued night after night until I heard God speak in compassion to my heart, "This is my child. I will sustain him through the night."
Then, when Luke started crawling, things got funny. He began to sleep in the funniest positions, most involving his rear raised in the air:
It has been an incredibly short year. I can't believe my baby is now one year old. God has been so good to us. Luke has already brought light into our family. I pray that he will continue to fulfill his name and bring light into the world for the Lord.