Monday, January 31, 2011

Stirrup Queen

I was supper excited the other day when I stumbled upon Melissa's blog that has offered me so much support that I can not express my gratitude for her. You can find the Stirrup Queen's List of Blogs (though she will love you forever if you also call it "the Stirrup Queen's Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves That She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer") here.

Melissa has also added me to her Lost and Found list as well. In her words (and not mine because I'm just not that eloquent) "It's a great chance to reach out to other bloggers either in celebration or comfort. No one needs to be alone in this suckhole.  It's also a great way to spread your own news or ask for support.". I love this. Its the perfect meeting place the worlds shittiest club for Mothers. To read my story about Caroline Elizabeth you can go here, here, here, and here.

I can't wait to stop by and visit others blogs similar to mine! And just because I can't post with out a picture here are a couple of cute ones from this weekend!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby It's Warm Outside!

Oh my gosh! Is anyone else just completely floored with how WARM it has been in Texas this week?? This is just totally nuts! I do have to admit that the boys have loved playing outside right now though. No more bundling them up in 19 layers to go outside and play!

Isn't Grady soo funny here?! He just could not wait this morning to go outside so he pulled his boots on over his footed pajamas and put his little jacked on.

I can't wait until Grady is old enough to do actual yard work! Graham at almost 9 is leaning how to drive the riding lawn mower. Now all we have to do is convince him to mow in straight lines :)!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Early Nutrisystem

I know that I've been trying to do Bobby's Nutrisystem updates on Sundays (the morning he weighs), but I'd like to bump it up to tonight as tomorrow will be a crazy busy day for all of us!

I could not be more proud of my awesome husband. He has been sucking it up for almost a month now trying to diet while the rest of us around him eat regularly. A couple of times while eating out he has had to make some really hard choices. He ordered the healthiest things on the menu and then still managed to leave some left on his plate in order to control his portions sizes. I know for me, that is the hardest thing that I certainly struggle with. I sometimes just can't bare to leave things un-eaten. Especially when they are tasty! Crazy right?

Just today, he took off for the deer lease with his father and his one day soon  BIL. He packed his own snacks and lunch! They usually stop to eat something really yummy and terribly bad for you on the way back (you know how food and tradition go hand in hand...) but he resisted and ordered the grilled chicken salad. GO BABY GO!

Here is this weeks pictures.

I am so thankful to my husband for every day that goes by that he stays on his diet! By doing this for me and our little family he is adding time to our lives that we get to spend together when we are old and grey! I tell my husband daily how much I love him for taking on this monumental task!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photo Phun Phriday!

So lately I've collected quite a few emails from friends and family that have taken the cutest pictures of my boys. I never know what to do with them so they just sit in my inbox. Well today is the day that I am cleaning out my inbox and posting them for all of us to enjoy!

This picture is from LAST YEAR! My nephews Cooper and Colton, and then our Graham. They had just gotten done putting on the 1st grade music show. Graham and Colton are in the same school and same grade. What lucky cousins!

These 3 pictures are of when Graham and Grady got to sit in a "life flight" helicopter. They were beyond over the moon when the pilots said that they could crawl all up in. Funnily enough, we in a little town called Harper in the middle of the Texas Hill Country (just outside where my husband has a deer lease) for a fish fry to support local charities and they had flown the helicopter in for a fun display in a neighboring field. Can you see the wonder in Grady's eyes in the last two pictures? Too Cute! (and don't you also just love the hunting clothes they are wearing? they sure do!)

This is silly Grady at our old house right before we moved this summer. I love his hair here. We (I) may have to get him a super cute cut this summer!

I found this picture when I was going through my camera last week. Guess who stole my camera and went and took pictures of himself?
 Hope everyone has a really great weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Something Lighter

Lately I just been down in the dumpies (like you probably haven't noticed... HA!) I'm trying to slowly pull myself back out of the hole that I sometimes feel like I dig for myself and then put myself into. I'm going to make the conscious choice to focus on what I DO have instead of what I DON'T have. That's not to say that I still won't think about baby Caroline every day, but that I will focus more of my time and energy on Graham, Grady, and Bobby. It's too late for me to do anything for Caroline, but there are soo many wonderful ways to spend my time and my life celebrating with my boys! So starting today I'm putting my best foot forward so to speak.

I love all my boys soo much! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Picture's That I Can Bare Only Slightly...

I know that I had said yesterday that I couldn't bare to post any pictures of Caroline yesterday, but I do have these that I would like to share with everyone.

This is Caroline's little urn and hand and footprints.

The hospital was nice enough to do the plaster mould of her hands and feet for us as a keepsake. I'm not sure how they will appear to you on this blog, but in person, they are beyond tiny. The urn, we were able to find online from a company that sadly, was used to dealing with these situations and bent over backward for us during the engraving and shipping process.

Caroline now rest in a place of honor up on our mantle. It sickens us to a degree that no parent should ever have to face to have her up there like that, but we are forever grateful to the Lord for allowing her in a lives for such a brief moment.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Caroline Elizabeth ~ Part Two

It feels like I've been working on this post for such a long time now. Sometimes I just don't have the emotional strength to relive the worst moments of my life while I'm typing it. Sometimes I allow myself the excuse of "I've got too many other things to do" so that I don't have to sit at my computer and proof read this post and cry and grieve. Sometimes I just want to forget all of this and never cry and grieve again. But, reality smacks me in the face and I realize that I must cry and grieve and write Caroline's story if I'm ever to be ok again. And I so desperately want to be ok again. I feel as if I have just word vomited this whole story just to get it out of me. I felt, as I wrote this post, cold and as if I was floating out of my body. It's not a pretty story, its not sweet, its probably not moving or meaningful. I wish I could put a better spin on all of it complete with a happy ending filled with things that I've learned. But my blog is not a "Hollywood story" complete with ghost writer that makes everything sound perfect...

Hmmm... now lets see where did this crappy story end off last time. Oh thats right... I was on my way to the hospital to deliver our daughter early (sorry that this totally sounds like a sob story, but oh well it is).

One of the nurses from my OB's office wheeled me over in a wheelchair. A nurse came out from around the desk on the Labor and Delivery floor and showed us to a room right in front of the nurses' station. I guess she saw me crying and thought that I was in pain from labor because she didn't seem all that concerned. I could tell that she was trying to make polite cheery conversation with me and ask me how far along I was. When I told her 21 weeks her face went white and told another nurse that we shouldn't be using "this room". She had me pushed to the very end of the hallway in one of the last rooms. I remember being super pissed off at the time as I could tell that this was some special far away from the other mothers rooms. This was a room reserved for special shitty outcomes (please pardon my language but as this my blog and this situation can be described as no other way that's how I'll refer to it from now on).

Very soon after I was settled in a hospital bed two ultrasound technicians came in to check me out. I can not even begin to describe how surreal it is to see your baby with a death sentence moving around in your stomach and knowing that in couple of hours she'll be gone. Sadly or not so sadly, however you choose to look at it, she looked ok. They said that I had a very high leak in my bag of water but that even her fluid measured boarder line ok. By this point her heart rate was a little high.

The nurse on the day shift who was caring for me was wonderful. She said that she was praying for us and said that just the other day she had a mom who had made it to 29 weeks who was in a very similar situation to ours. From this point now 3 months later I can see how she was sweetly and kindly shielding us to reality so we wouldn't be too upset so soon. We had yet another ultrasound done and then another neonatologist came in to speak to us. She basically said that legally she had to confirm what our doctor was telling us to make sure we were not ending a viable life. Of course she concurred with my doctor and so we were able to start pitocin on me.

The next hours, thankfully, are somewhat a blur to me. I remember some family and some friends (only the very near and very dear on both accounts) visiting me. The anesthesiologist came in and after many tries got an epidural started for me. The whole time the doctors were saying that it wouldn't take long for her to be born and that most babies this size can be delivered at around 5 cm. They also said that if I "felt anything funny down there" that I should call a nurse right away to see if I had unknowingly delivered.

I started to notice about 30 minutes after the epidural was placed that I could feel the contractions again. The doctor tried to adjust it as much as he could until I finally had him stop when the pain from him sticking me in the back so many times was worse than the contractions.

Around 8 that evening things were still progressing very slowly but I was starting to feel just terrible. We had finally reached that crucial point where the infection in my body was beginning to overwhelm me. I became tachycardic (heart rate way too fast and irregular) and my oxygen was in the 80's  (it should be very close to 100). It was becoming very clear that I was starting to have multiple organ failure. I finally saw at that point very clearly what I could not see earlier in the day. I kept asking my doctor if I could just have massive amounts of antibiotics and save the baby and he had told me to imagine my entire body cavity filled with pus (sorry for the TMI) and it being both mine and my baby's life lost. I was so afraid at this point. Afraid of dying myself and leaving my husband and two little boys at home all alone, and afraid of what was to shortly be happening.

At 9 things reached a critical point with me and (sorry here goes TMI again) the OB doctor on call that night basically pulled her from me during what I thought was the friggin worlds worst exam to see how far dilated I was. He had said while he was "checking me" that she had turned herself sideways and wasn't coming out. A C-section was out of the question (even though I delivered both of my boys that way) because of the spread of infection if they were to open me up. I won't go into crazy details here but you can imagine a vaginal birth with no medication and the entire hand of the doctor in my lady business.

When she came out and I realized what was happening a turned my head onto my husbands arm and wouldn't look. I could not even remotely bring myself to look at her. I heard the doctor say that she looked perfect. Just stillborn. I had been wondering if she would be moving and not breathing or what but she had already passed. I never asked if the nurses or doctors knew when.

Bobby's mom and my mom were both in the room when she arrived just tucked out of sight for my modesty's sake. Right after she was born our sweet pastor came in so we could baptise her quickly. Our close family and a couple of friends that were at the hospital with us came into our room to witness it and see her for a second. We were able to hold her briefly while we waited to see what her placenta would do. After an hour we passed her back to the nurse so I could head to the OR to have the placenta removed. The doctor had said that all the infection would still be present as long as it was there and we were still trying to move quickly. Thankfully I was totally knocked out for this procedure and when a came to a little while later I was so messed up from so many meds that day that I was a complete space cadet. I see this now as a blessing in disguise. Not that I ever want to try and block out the pain or the grieving but for that night it was a great relief  from the anxiety and pain. After that they gave me an ambien to go to sleep that night . The next day the doctor said that I still was running a fever but could go home if I promised to come right back if my fever got any higher. I think that they realized that its so hard to be away from your family at the times that you need them the most.

I post this now with the unfortunate promise of the rest of the story is soon to come. Caroline's due date is now less than a month away and I have no idea how I will even begin to make it though all those long days. My husband and I pray nightly for comfort and strength to continue for the dark days that still lay ahead of us. When events like this happen it just feels like the crappy milestones just keep coming and the pain and grieving will never end.

(If you want something a little sweeter and a little more poetic you can read my sister-in-law'sblog post from that day. She was unbelievable that horrible day and even took pictures of our sweet baby. I may or may not one day post a picture but we'll see..)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baptism Weekend

This weekend Bobby and I loaded up the boys and got the chance to visit a new church this weekend. We are Methodist by faith and the church that we were able to attend was a Methodist one as well but so different and so fun! It was lay Sunday and so the sermon was delivered by the lay leader of the church. She was wonderful and delivered the most special message about finding the gifts inside yourself that God gave you and then using them and sharing them to help others! It really gave me food for thought that I plan on giving some serious consideration on over the coming weeks. Aside from enjoying the message, the main reason we attended was to celebrate the baptism of a very special little boy!

The ministers were so awesome. After they got done with the baptismal portion they allowed Clay to put his little hands into the water and play for a second. Talk about heart melting!!

Yes! I was the crazy person taking pictures in the middle of church (in my defense I totally checked and saw that baby Clay's grandmother was also taking pictures so I HAD to take some myself =)).

Baby Clay is one of the sweetest babies I have ever met. I talk to his mother, Deborah, almost every morning and I can always hear him talking and playing so sweetly in the background! Bobby, myself, and the boys were so proud that we were able to share such a special day with this awesome family!

Love you baby Clay!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Year New Look!

Ok, ok. So technically we are a little past the beginning of 2011to be introducing my new blog look but close enough. So what do you think about the little update? After blogging for a couple of days as a newbie and settling for what I could do to make my blog look cute I turned to my husband (the computer wiz) for help. He did what he could for me and that lasted a good month before I realized that dang-it! I needed even better! So I turned to a fellow blogger that I've been reading for-evah. Leslie over at Lamberts Lately does just the cutest blog makeovers. If you are needing an update you should totally check her out! Her prices are great and she does amazingly quick work. She also re-did my sister-in-law's Melanie's blog. It is so super cute also that I almost wished that I had picked the package that she did!

My family and I has had such a great weekend! I'll update a little bit more later when I have more time but it includes a baptism, a family photo shoot, and a crazy surprise! Here is a small preview from a plaque on a bench we saw this weekend that completely sums up our life right now and a quick look at where we took the neatest pictures!

This is just a small portion of the San Antonio Botanical Garden where we took a lot of family pictures. I can not wait to get them back from the photographer so I can share!

My husband noticed this little tiny plaque before I did and knowing how the word HOPE has meaning to me he had me take a picture! Love you Bobby for catching this for me!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Housework Saturday!

What a day we have have so far! My super-sweet hubby helped me out with our wild bunch so I could quietly take a shower and get ready for the day. I know that this totally doesn't sound like much, but to me its a big deal! Rarely am I ever able to get ready without like 400 interruptions. Then I was able to run a few errands BY MYSELF!

Here I am all cheesy and excited because I'm all alone in my car! Funnily enough I was a little worried if the neighbors saw me taking my own picture but then I saw a crazy one on a morning walk with her camera taking pictures of one of our bushes?! (It totally was not even an exciting plant... so weird)

 I was able to run to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to exchange an un-needed item and in exchange I picked this little beauty up...

It was almost an even exchange :). I just fell in love with it the minute that I saw it! I got it to go in what would have been Caroline's bathroom, which is just off the spare bedroom we now have. In speaking of this small full bath, that was another thing that Bobby and I started to tackle this weekend. I won't show you all of what we've been up to in there. I'll just show you the horror of what we are dealing with as far as trying to erase all traces of 1985 from in there! HA!

This is the yicky before picture. Can you see the pink and blue plaid wallpaper and the mirrored shower doors! Yummy!

This I thought was the biggest change. Taking down those horrible doors that closed off the shower area! Bless the little old mans heart that lived here before us. Can you see the shower caddy hanging in the shower? Can you see it not hanging off the shower head area? He drilled screws through the tile and hung it beside the spout area. Heaven help me as we find all his "personal" touches and try and correct them.

The tools of my trade!

I can't wait to show the final result. I'm starting to really be proud of the "manly" work that I can do myself around the house now! Hopefully it will be done in just a couple of days and I can post the final results!

On a random side note, I have added a new button on the right hand side, last one down. This new button will direct you to a super sweet blogger named Ashley who is in the process of international adoption and needs our help! If you could take a second and check her out it would be awesome.

Hope you're having a great weekend!



Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun Friday!

I just love the Friday's like our family has had today! It was so relaxing with not too much going on. Bobby was able to sneak out of work early today and be home just in time to surprise Graham and get him off the school bus. You should have seen the brightness of his smile when he saw his Daddy home early from work. This really is a rare treat for us and we cherish every second that he's here with us. Usually he isn't able to home from work until 6:30 and that's just soo close to when the boys are going to bed. It hurts my heart when I can tell that they haven't gotten their "Daddy Fix". I feel the same way too =).

Can you see how green the grass and plants are behind them? You have to love Texas in the winter!

While Grady was napping Graham and Bobby changed clothes and did a little work outside together! Can you see the joy of my sweet Graham's face to be hanging out with his Daddy so early in the day?! They managed to get all the straggling Christmas odds and ends put up for me. When that was done Bobby went to check on our fruit trees that we have on our property. Guess what he found RIPE and just waiting to be picked!!

Are these not some of the most beautiful lemons you have seen?! It was 29 degrees here this morning. How the heck does fruit even ripen in weather like this??

I told Bobby that I wanted to make some Winter-time lemonade for us this weekend with them. In the meantime though they sure do spruce up my kitchen table! I love them with my Rooster and Chicken!

Hope everyone else has a wonderful weekend spent with their loved ones!!



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I feel like lately I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm trying to have a better outlook on life and really try much harder to appreciate even the really little things! So with out further ado...

I'm thankful that my kids have such a big, safe backyard to play in!

I'm thankful for the new soft rug for my feet to walk on!

I'm thankful that there is at least one man in the house that helps me clean!

I'm thankful that I have these two beautiful little boy souls in my life!

I'm thankful American Idol is starting!  I really need a good laugh and this is always a guarantee!

I'm thankful that hunting season is over and I get my husband back! (Please pardon this really old deer lease picture from last year. I totally could not find this years batch!)

I realize that some of these are just purely silly things to be thankful for. But, I am truly glad that I have big things, small things, and all the in between things in my life that make me feel complete!



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Save the Drama for Your Momma... Oh Wait, That's Me!

Lately we have been having drama with Grady and his new-found hatred for his highchair. Can I say just how much I am NOT ready for him to be done with his highchair yet?? Aside from the part that he just isn't eating as much as he used to, YOU SHOULD SEE THE MESS HE MAKES AT THE TABLE!

In the good old days, pre-highchair strike, he would gladly sit in it and eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks so peacefully. I could get dishes done, floors swept and mopped and countless other chores done all while he.sat.eating.But, alas, there is no more sitting.and.eating. There is only running.and.playing.and.drama.

Exhibit A: My sparkling clean Chico highchair
Once peaceful dinner times at our table are now completely over (at least for the next year I'm guessing). My ahem sweet child now spends these meal times running, playing, singing, or whatever catches his fancy at that second. He might on a good night dash past the table where I can shove a chicken nugget in his mouth before he can escape me.

Want to see what a candy bribe can do?

Exhibit B: My son sitting perfectly in his perfectly clean highchair saying "please" as hard as he can for candy.

Exhibit C: And now here is Grady once the candy is all gone and he can't have more. If only he could eat candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Drama Drama Drama! Thank God he's cute.



What They're Loving Wednesday!

This Wednesday I decided to change things up just a little bit on my end when I joined up with Jaime to do What I'm Loving Wednesday. This week I am doing a blog post about what my KIDS are loving this week!

The first thing that they are both loving and in turn I am adoring is...

I am crazy about how my kids think that they are eating Popsicles and really its frozen fruit! How awesome is that! They will eat these winter or summer without complaint!

The next thing they are loving is...

Bristle Blocks! You gotta love it, old school toy in new school colors. The boys both loved them when Grady got this as a Christmas gift. It really promotes creativity and dexterity at the same time.

Graham made this creation for me. Can you see the flower garden on the left and the house and trees to the right of it?
 The next thing that they are loving is the movie...
Despicable Me

Can I just say how much I love to see movies that entertain my kids and myself as well! Plus, Steve Carell is just the funniest man alive. Bobby and I were both cracking up during this movie. It really makes my heart so happy to truly enjoy every moment spent with my children. Movies like this that we can all enjoy together are just the absolute best!


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