Sunday, December 30, 2007

Question for all those Mommas out there...

So my child is killing me! More specifically she's getting us out of bed twice a night. It seems that brea*stmilk is only holding her 5 or 6 hours max. She'll sleep that long once, and then its 3-4 hour stretches after that. This makes it rather difficult when you've got to be at work at 7 am.

I've thought about just letting her cry at night, but I think she's really just hungry. She always goes right back to sleep after eating. So I've had it suggested to me that I put a little rice cereal in her bottle. She turns 4 months old in a little over a week and I'm seriously contemplating this. Do I need to buy another nip*ple for the bottle we have or can I just make the hole a little bigger? Should I try this out during the day for fear that a tablespoon of rice cereal in her last bottle of the day would keep her up all night? Please share any lessons you've learned with me so that I can give this a whirl. I need to get some more sleep!

Groggliy yours =),

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Well the season is upon us! Hard to believe. But the presents are all wrapped and the baking is all done and we're just about to settle down to our Christmas dinner of smoked turkey, potato casserole, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, fresh-made rolls and a homemade apple pie. Ahh... tis the season to gain 5 lbs.... or more.

Kevin and I have just made a big purchase - we found an elliptical machine on craigslist (of course) that is going to help me lose the last 16 lbs of Natalie weight. This is all going to have to happen AFTER the New Year though, because I really have NO resolve at the moment - not with all of the yummy things to snack on. =0

Yesterday, December 23rd, Natalie was dedicated at church. It was a special day for all of us as my parents are in town for Christmas and Kevin's family was also able to witness the event. She had a melt-down before we left for church and right after the dedication, but she was as good as gold during the event... great job, Kid!

Natalie is growing up quicker than ever. Looking at pictures of her from the last time my parents were here I realize how little she used to be. Even though she's still little, she's developing right along. Here's a picture of her standing - just using me for balance.

I know next Christmas will be a completely different experience. For starters, the lower half of the Christmas trees will be bare. =)

Kevin and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by family this Christmas. We alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with each set of parents and instead of going to KC this year for Christmas, my parents and sister offered to come here - so nice! We've had a good time seeking out fried pickles and french onion soup, making shrimp and scallop tortellini, shopping, making Christmas cookies and looking at Christmas lights. I love this time of year!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


You'd never guess that something so small could make so much laundry. But, alas, I've invested in a economy-sized tub of Oxy Clean to keep up with her blow-outs and spit ups. Ahhh... but isn't she just so cute?

The past few days have been busy ones for me. I guess I'm trying to keep up with the pace of my old life and its a bit impossible. Saturday I went scrapbooking for the day with a girlfriend of mine. It was a much needed time to focus on the ever-growing pile of pictures. I'm only a few months behind (knock on wood). After I get caught up, I've promised to go through all of my family's old photos that have been collecting dust in shoe boxes. To my moms credit, she did put SOME in photo albums. But once you get very far behind, its hard to keep up and many have found their home in a shoe box. Its been fun going through them with my family when we get together. Its lots of "remember when...?". Ahhh... which brings me to Christmas traditions. We never really had something we did EVERY single year, but I've always loved Christmas and tried to make it special. For those of you that don't know this about me, I've made it my goal to put a Christmas tree in every single room of the house. I haven't quite gotten there - still collecting trees - but I do have a fair amount of trees throughout the house. I think it makes it so festive. Its too bad that Christmas is only once a year. This year I feel like its come up so fast. I'm not even tired of Christmas songs like I usually am by this time. Maybe its because I can't really get out to shop (a lot of it is online this year) and therefore I haven't been inundated with "Rudolph" and "Jingle Bells". Its so hard to believe that Christmas is only two weeks away... I mean seriously! I haven't even STARTED composing a Christmas letter. Hmmm... Maybe it will be a New Years letter again.
Oh... so back to being busy. Sunday night I had a rather enjoyable girls night out with Kera and Melissa at BoneFish Grill. My pan-Asian salmon was spectacular and I thoroughly enjoyed the pear pomegranate mojito that I sipped on alongside it. Ahhh... being pregnant was great, but right now has many benefits too. =)
Then last night I went to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) get together and sampled like 10 different homemade soups and breads. So yummy. I have to say that as much as I enjoy it, I, for some reason, still dont feel like I fit in quite yet. Nothing about the group - I just think I still have to remind myself that I'm really somebody's mother now. Ha!

I'll end this ramble with the following picture...which really doesn't require any introduction. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Short and Sweet!

Ok... this is going to be short because it's late. However, I realize that we haven't posted any pictures of Natalie in a while and I thought they were a bit overdue. We got a new camera (another GREAT purchase) and have really enjoyed learning how to use it (its a digital SLR). I think it takes better pictures than our other camera (which we'll still use for movies...since its also a camcorder).

Anyway... I'll post more later, but I wanted to get these out there. Enjoy!

Friday, November 23, 2007


Last week we took our first plane ride with the kid in tow out to good ole Kansas City. She screamed all the way through the Baltimore airport and we were pretty concerned that it was going to be a L...O...N...G flight. Fortunately for us, all that screaming tuckered her right out and she was rather subdued the whole flight. We followed the advice about feeding her on the way up and on the way down so that her ears would pop. Whew... that might be our easiest flight with her ever!

During our stay out in Kansas, little Natalie got a cold. It was actually the first night out there. She's never been sick before, so I got rather beside myself and was calling our pediatrician and local pediatricians to see what they recommended. We decided to wait to take her in to the doctor and just give her saline drops to see if we could make her feel better. She did a lot of sleeping in her carseat, but all in all seemed to make out all right. In the course of her sickness, though, she managed to pass along her lovely symptoms to both Kevin and me. Kev got it worse than I did. Ah well what would the first official sickness be without it being a family affair? Now THAT'S one for the scrapbook (first booger!).

We had a terrific time in KC with all of the relatives. My grandparents (Mommo and Poppo) were there to see Natalie for the first time and my sister and uncle also made it. We ate a Thanksgiving meal and celebrated my grandmother and sister's birthday's. All in all it was a fabulous time and difficult to leave. I'm definitely wishing we were a little bit closer to my family right now. It would be nice if it were a bit more manageable driving distance (20+ hours is a bit much). We could just opt to get rid of all of the states in between... who needs Kentucky and West Virginia anyway???

Can't wait to see the fam again at Christmas.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy 2 Months, Kid.

Well, it's crazy but I'm already feeling like we've lost a few opportunities with her. "What?!?!" you ask. She IS only 2 months old after all. Well the procrastinator that I am, I didnt get a foot print when she was just born for my scrapbook. Granted her little foot is still just that... little, but not as little as it was.

And then there's the feeling of holding her when she WAS just 5 lbs. Perhaps it was that I was just constantly tired when she was that size, but I'm having trouble remembering now and that makes me sad. Yes, she probably hasn't hit 10 lbs yet, but its different now. Good, mind you, but different.

I've found myself over the years wishing that we could take snapshots of moments (favorite vacations, extended hugs with loved ones, snuggling with a new baby) and put them in a box to be enjoyed later. This would be kind of like a picture album, but I would want to capture the feeling that all my senses are experiencing. Unfortunately I'm just not that good at remembering all of those things myself. It seems like memories become muted representations of what I was truly feeling during those special times. And I KNOW there have been times when I've thought "I want to remember this moment forever" and I can't remember where I was or why it was significant anymore.

If it weren't for the whole Big Brother thing, I think it would be interesting if life were kind of like that movie Final Cut. Now I'm not all that good at remembering whether movies have scandalous scenes in them so don't go watching it with your kids because I'm blogging about it. But the gist is that its the future and you can get a microchip planted in your kids brain if you're rich to record everything that they see. Then when they die some person takes the contents of the chip and makes a movie about them to be seen at there funeral. Ok, I'd like to see the movie before my funeral, but I think it would be a REALLY interesting concept. How many memories of mine have I altered in my head because I was affected a little negatively by someone or something? How many events have I forgotten? And how many memories have I simply made up? (Yeah, I didn't know that contrived memories existed until a few years ago.)

Anyway... this is getting long. I guess I just wish in some ways that I remembered more. I guess it makes me good at living in the moment, but I think there's a lot of benefit to remembering details about the past.

Well, what's a "Happy 2 Month" blog without a picture? Here's a two month picture in the bath. We were supposed to do pictures at Penneys that day but we rescheduled for her 3 month birthday. She LOVES the bath, by the way, and can be calmed instantly by half submerging her in the warm water in the sink. She wont be small enough to take baths in this sink much longer. I'm filing all the memories away about it that I can!

Monday, November 5, 2007


Natalie is officially 8 weeks old today and last night she slept a whopping 8 hours straight! Granted, she was in the swing the entire time, but hey... who cares?
She seems to be out of most of the preemie things she had. Thanks to all who helped clothe her in these first couple months of life. It really seems like its gone by fast, yet it seems like she's been here longer than two short months.

Things she likes to do: grunt (she's really good at that), smile (although she still makes you work for them), sleep (she really does sleep a lot more than I expected), eat (she's a S_____ after all) and poo (she's quite accomplished and I keep oxy spray next to the hamper just because of her). =)

Here's a few pictures taken today...

So we're traveling with her soon... and I have to admit I'm a little nervous. Taking a newborn with you anywhere seems to be like planning to emigrate to a foreign country. You want to take everything with you "just in case". However, in striving to be somewhat low maintenance, we are trying to be reasonable about what we pack in a flight across the country. Staples (like swings, bouncy seats and pack n plays) are all out. And the little angel in the pictures above COULD just turn into the devil child that you loathe to be seated near on a long flight. I can just imagine people near us on the flight glancing over at us as our child wails uncontrollably. My dad just told us that Southwest has recently changed their policy about pre-boarding passengers. Great... just when I get around to having a kid is when they decide to cut out the special privileges. Just my luck. Ah well... I'm sure it wont be as bad as I'm envisioning it.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Good Times

I know I probably should say anything as it will probably jinx us, but she slept 5.5 hours last night straight! Woot! My mom was in town the past few nights and I REALLY appreciated having someone get up one of the shifts at night (it has been averaging 2-3 times per night). But last night she only got up once. Could we be turning over a new leaf?

My mom and I had a good time together the past few days. We reminisced about me living at home and how we used to both enjoy being on the go. We're really very much alike in that respect. I was always interested in going with her to the grocery store or to the mall or wherever needed to go. So last night on the way to the airport we had a little time to kill so we hit up this big mall a few miles away. It was the plan to run in and find a few cold weather things for Natalie - as lots of the things she has that fit are short-sleeved. We ran in the mall and hit up Osh Kosh and the Children's Place outlets and then with an hour till her flight left hauled butt down the mall to the Auntie Annes for a pretzel and some lemonade. Then it was a mad dash back to the airport where she arrived only 40 minutes before her plane took off. In case any of you are wondering...YES I have missed a plane before. Two of them actually. One on a business trip. Ouch. Ah, but we made it. Ha! The queens of cutting it close and trying to cram TOO MUCH into too little time have done it again. It keeps things exciting.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I'd just like to take this moment and say, Happy 55th Birthday, DAD. Having you as a Dad constantly makes me proud. I love you and think you're the best Dad a girl could ask for. XOXO

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Diets Stink

So lately we've been on this diet. I still have about 23 lbs to lose and Kevin put on a little sympathy weight with me during the pregnancy. My appetite has definitely gone down, but I'm annoyed that I can't seem to lose weight as fast as I put it on. I think I gained 7lbs in the span of a week and a half at one point in my pregnancy.

Anyway... with a kid now I dont have a lot of time to work out so we've just been trying to eat well. Kev's old boss lost more than 100 lbs on this diet (lean meats, fruits and veggies mostly) but none of it has been "quick" to fix for dinner, etc. Tonight we're having chicken and frozen peas. Not sure HOW its being prepared, but that's what's for dinner. The frustrating thing about all this is that I was fairly proactive before Natalie arrived and made dinners for such a time as this so that we'd have quick meals we could just throw in the oven and warm up. However, they're things like baked spaghetti and beef enchiladas and they didn't quite make the diet cut. Anybody have any alternatives to chicken and frozen peas? Because that's what I think we're having for dinner. *sigh*

Out With Obsession...

My kitchen floor is dirty... and I dont know when I'm going to clean it. To be honest though, its not even on my list. My ironing board has been in the middle of our living room for 4 days now and the shower curtain really could use washed or tossed because it's turning colors. I think I've turned a new corner for me. Who know's if I'll go back to the obsessive list-making, die-hard clean freak that I had turned into pre-baby, but I realize right now that I could literally be busy round-the-clock with chores and it's really not worth it. I'm taking a break from my obsessive self and it feels good!

Back to Work

Well yesterday I went back to work full-time. Despite how difficult it was to be away from her all day, it really was quite smooth. Thanks to all who were praying for me. Please continue to pray for me, as I continue to work full-time,
that the Lord would direct us and reveal what His will is for us. This is a tough one.

Natalie came down with an eye infection over the weekend. How do you know when your child has an eye infection? You go to pick your darling baby up out of her crib to discover Ugly green gook crusted to her eye. Ahh... lovely. The doctor phoned in some antibiotic drops for us to start on Saturday morning and told us it was probably a blocked tear duct. When I got the prescription filled the pharmacist told me that this medication was not recommended for children under 10
months old. This had both Kevin and me really concerned so we decided to wait. By Sunday the gook still hadn't gone away so I called the doctor again to ask about it. I'm sure he was probably annoyed that I questioned his judgement,
but he was very gracious and assured me that they use this stuff all the time in young babies. Well, come to find out her infection was also VERY contagious. Lovely. Just the day before I had wiped her eye and then rubbed my watery eyes
right away. Kevin opted to stay home with her yesterday since she couldn't be at the sitter's. That made my first day back to work a little easier since I could go home for lunch and see her - but it was still hard. Thank goodness I have a good sitter who I trust. That DOES help.

A lot of people ask how she's been sleeping and the answer depends on the day. Sunday night she slept 2.5 hour intervals. I think the Chinese used to torture their POW's by not letting them sleep longer than 90 minutes at a time - close. It made them go C*R*A*Z*Y. That's how I felt yesterday. But then last night she slept like a baby... hmmm, that phrase doesn't make sense to me now. Anyway, she slept from 10:30 to 3 and then from 330 to 6. I felt like a new woman this morning! Amazing that I get excited about a 4.5 hour stretch of sleep like that, but I do.

Kevin's got a business trip next week and my mom's coming to town to help me out - is she fabulous or what? I can't WAIT to see her.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tales from Week 5

Well not a LOT has changed around here, but we thought we'd post some pictures for those of you who would like to see. When I think about what I've got to write about, poopy diapers and sleep schedules hardly seem like big headlines, but I guess those of you with kids can appreciate just how momentous those things are at first.

Natalie seems to be growing like a weed and we can actually see the beginning of a few fat rolls starting to sprout. Why is that so cute on babies anyway??

It's been so nice being home, but next week I'll be returning to work full-time. Please pray for us that the transition goes smoothly. I wasn't offered a part-time position at work and its going to be hard doing full-time right now, but who knows what the Lord has up His sleeve. We're still praying.

I got my flu shot yesterday as Natalie is too young to get one this year. I asked the nurse how common it was to feel achy and generally "yuck" after a flu shot and she said it was really rare. Well, do I get a gold star? I officially have felt like crap for the past day now. Hopefully it will pass soon and I'm guess I got it out of the way before next week, but geez. Luckily for me, I'm married to a pretty wonderful guy and he came home from work to watch the kiddo so I could take a much needed nap. I slept 5.5 hours before Kev had to wake me up because he was out of bottles and soothing techniques. Its been a LONG time since I've had that much sleep all in a row and its AMAZING what it does for a person. I feel on top of the world at the moment... I can't wait for her to sleep this much at night!

Oh... speaking of looking forward to more sleep, I ran into this lady at Target yesterday who has a baby about Natalie's age. She's nursing but at night she has been supplementing with 1.5 oz of formula so he'll sleep 5-6 hour stretches. I did the same last night and only got 1.5 hrs of sleep before the next feeding. I DID switch bottle types when I gave it to her, but 1.5 hours? Come on, kid!

Left Pic: Tummy Time (she normally hates it)
Middle Pic: Smile for the camera!
Right Pic: She's balding in front and looks like a friar!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One Month Old

It's hard to believe, but Natalie just celebrated her one month birthday yesterday. It seems like its really gone by fast. She's weighing in at 6lbs 15oz (she's been gaining about .5oz per day). She's STILL not sleeping very long stretches at night (3.5 hours max) but hey... she's only a month old so we'll let it slide. Here are some of the latest pictures of her.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


So our new little addition has been awake a bit more lately. Hence, no blogging as I try to get used to the mad repetition of wake, feed, burp, diaper, sleep. We've all been doing well, although I (Lauren) could use a little more sleep. Natalie seems very adept at sleeping for 2 hour periods at night and teases us with 3 and 4 hour naps during the day. Ahh... if only I could get her to turn that around. I finally had to move her to her own room yesterday because I was getting no sleep in the wee hours of the morning when she insists on grunting quite contently. Geeks that we are, we set up the web cam in her room complete with night vision so we could peer in on her as she slumbered away. I still didnt get a ton of sleep, but I guess that's normal for a parent of a almost 4 week old.

Anyway... enough about that. A good friend of ours Meggan took some pictures of Natalie at 9 days and did a brilliant job. She's just started her own photography business ( and I know she'll be successful. She's very driven and has a good eye when it comes to portraiture. Here are some of the awesome pictures she took:

Oh! Update for any of you that have been following our blog. We got a FANTASTIC letter in the mail two weeks ago and I forgot to mention it here. My credit card has decided to make permanent the conditional credit they gave me for the dresser nightmare (reference this post). PRAISE THE LORD! I love happy endings!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Diaper Duty Anyone??

So I just got done changing a diaper that leaked out the sides and manifested itself on the pants of a cute little pink number. Hmm... cute no more. =) Not 10 minutes later, new outfit cutely in place, I realize that the entire thing is soaked and the diaper I've just put on her has failed. The new outfit and ME are the lucky recipients of a bunch of infant wetness... Nice.

So I'm soliciting diaper changers.

I know I havent written any all week. Each day I have fabulous intentions to conquer the chores and each day I've been surprised to find how LITTLE I actually accomplish. This is definitely an eye opener for me as I develop a new appreciation for mothers everywhere.

Here's some pictures of Natalie from the past week though... just to catch you all up.

I woke up to find her sleeping like this one morning. We call this one "Undercover Baby".

He's a changed man.

Sleeping baby pics are my fav!

Monday, September 17, 2007


This post is for my mother - who wanted to see how big Natalie was next to a set of hot curlers so she could get an idea of her size. My family is coming to visit on the 26th and they've been chomping at the bit to see the little peanut. I've included a 12 inch ruler for the rest of you who dont use hot curlers. =)

Sweet Petunia

We made it to church yesterday - what a feat! It took us 2 hours to get out the door and the cat insisted on barfing on the carpet to make the affair that much more dramatic. =) We were late, but we made it and enjoyed showing her off to everyone. She thought it was so great that she slept the entire time we were there... ha!

Kevin went into work today to take care of some things but will be home with us the rest of the week. We were both surprised to learn last week that he was being promoted (God is SO awesome) to the position of I.T. Manager. Its a timely answer to prayer (indirectly) and just continues to prove how faithful God has been to our family.

Here's some fun pics of Natalie from Saturday night. I kept taking pictures of faces that I thought were really cute only to end up with a completely different shot once the camera got around to snapping the photo. These were some of the most amusing from the batch!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Videos, Videos, Videos!!!

Kevin Here! Here are some video clips from this past week. I hope you all enjoy them :)

NOTE: Don't click on the play sign in the middle of the video windows below... click on the smaller play button on the bottom left of each video... then it will play the video right on this website.

Natalie on the way!

Just Born, 15 minutes ago!

With us only 30 minutes... and under the heat lamp!

Snuggling w/ dad

After first bath at home. What a cutie...

Thanks for watching!!!!

Getting adjusted to life at home...

Lauren here. I have to say I'm rather impressed at how Kevin kept up the blog in my stead the past week. He captured some great moments that all seem a bit of a whirlwind for me now. Its hard to believe that only six days ago we had yet to see Natalie's cute little face...

It's been three days since we came home now and each has been a bit of an adventure. Natalie has seen a home nurse each day. She was diagnosed with jaundice at the hospital and they wanted to keep a close eye on it. We got a bili-blanket (designed to decrease her bilirubin levels) on Thursday and had to keep her on that 24/7 until our pediatrician appointment on Friday. We were REALLY hoping that they were going to let us go off of it on Friday because it was a hassle to hold her and feed her with the blanket attached. She looked a bit like a glow worm when she was all swaddled with the bili-blanket around her. Praise the Lord, though, she's now off the blanket and her jaundice seems to be disappearing. Here's a picture of us on Thursday afternoon (before we got the blanket) doing a little sunbathing (that's also helpful for kicking jaundice to the curb).

One of the effects of jaundice is being a little sleepy. And sleep is one of Natalie's FAVORITE things to do right now. The past two nights I've had to wake her up every four hours to eat and then had to syringe feed her (with an orthodontic syringe) because there was NO WAY she was going to wake up enough to nurse. It's gotten kind of comical as Kevin and I get all excited when she actually opens her eyes. Its a bit of an event for her to be awake - since it's so rare. I imagine we'll have a whole different baby on our hands once the sleepiness goes away. But for now... we rest. =)

One of Natalie's other favorite things is barfing. Well, I guess when they're infants it's called spitting up. But, she's rather talented at it and has sent many an item to the wash in her three short days at home. We gave her a sponge bath yesterday to wash off some of the crusties. Here are some memorable pics from that.

Stay tuned! I have a feeling this is only the beginning!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Natalie's First Sunrise

Well, Momma and Natalie made it through the night with just a few interruptions. This morning has become a bit rainy but soothing. The poor little peanut is just so tuckered out she doesn't even want to eat! Can you imagine anyone in MY family who doesn't want to eat?!?!? It really must have been a tough day yesterday for her . :)

Here she is, mustering up enough energy to peep an eye to say hello to ya'll out there...

Natalie is a very peaceful little girl so far (of the 24hrs we've known her, hah!) and even when she cries its for good cause. I love the little pipsqueak. :)

She loves to lay on her side, just like her momma... (as seen below)

If ya can't guess, this is a capture of my very first diaper change ever. She can really fill up a diaper, let me tell ya! I made it through....somehow....

My mom came to visit this morning bringing hot breakfast and coffee. Lucky Lauren got a huge breakfast in bed from Food Services. I wish they'd feed the dads!!! Lauren is finally getting a well-deserved shower and I'm not hearing any screaming so I think the pain meds are working well :) Poor girl. :( The nurse just took Natalie's temp and while she had been struggling to regulate her body temperature yesterday, it seems she is on track now at 98.1...yay!!! Now if we can just get her to eat like a big girl...


Monday, September 10, 2007

Natalie Amelia

Words not needed....

Baby is Born - 11:09AM, 9/10/07

5lb, 5oz.... My ears :) ... name to follow :)

She is adorable.


10am update

5cm, 2-3 minutes between contractions. Lauren has her epidural and is feeling no pain through these contractions. Thank God for medical science.


A quiet over-night

Well Lauren got some pain meds which knocked her right out around 1:30am last night. Apparently the contractions stopped for a good while too and she didn't make any real progress come this morning. The Doc came in around 6:30am this morning and decided to break her water to get things moving along so its a waiting game now... Lovely window we have here at least :)

Lauren is in active labor !

Well we are here at the hospital, after lauren's last news. Lauren wasn't dillated any more than she was a week ago, and the contractions slowed. We were pretty bummed because we might have to go home. The doc said for us to walk for an hour. So walk we did. We had already walked 2.5 miles this evening, so we knew we needed something more robust than sissy walking. Thus, the dancing and skipping commenced, along with several hefty heaving up and down the "Grand Staircase". An hour later, contractions were 4-5 minutes and she is now 4-5cm dillated!! Woohoo, our prayers paid off, and they've just admitted her. We are now in our room and they're asking Lauren all kinds of questions and getting her all hooked up. We're getting some pain meds ordered up (the oral kind) for now to help ease the contraction pain and possible let Lauren get some shut-eye. I've got the geek-dom gear all set up w/ my cellular broadband and web-cam, so hopefully I'll have some pics for everyone shortly.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Is she coming???

So this morning at church a friend of mine who is a nurse told me I looked puffy and that I needed to go get my blood pressure checked. I didnt really FEEL that more puffy than normal - I seem to ALWAYS be puffy of late. But, we swung by CVS pharmacy as a precaution and checked it out. To our surprise, it was 160/90. That's REALLY high for me - I'm usually around 100/70 to 120/70. So we called the doctor and he had us go into the hospital to get checked out further.

Once we were there they hooked me up the the fetal monitor and checked my blood pressure. It started to go down a bit, but still stayed a little high. Then they took some blood and said I looked all right for now and sent me home. Kev and I just got back from a couple mile walk and I've been having steady contractions about 5 minutes apart for the last 45 minutes. Could this be it??? We'll be calling the doc again here soon to find out!

Whoo Hoo! I may NOT have to go to work tomorrow! *grin*

Saturday, September 8, 2007

What are Kevin and Lauren up to today???

Lets see... we've done a little yard saling, picked up the last vehicle from the shop (yeah!), played computer games (Kevin), made empanadas from scratch (Kevin), took a nap (Lauren), walked around Home Depot, gone to the grocery store....

Have you noticed that "have a baby" is no where in that list? Yeah, so did we. The yard sale activity and walking through Home Depot were supposed to have helped encourage that little bugger to come out, but she's rather content to stay where she's at. So, here it is, the DUE DATE, and no signs of her. I (Lauren) am convinced they'll have to induce once "two weeks late" rolls around. I guess we'll just have to see.

Man, am I going to be depressed to have to get up and go to work on Monday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Automobile Mis-adventure (by Kevin)

I know this blog seems to really just belong to Lauren, but I just had to write in and tell you all about our seemingly laughable week in autos.

I know it is redundant by all means to start this story by reiterating the fact that L is 9mo's, 28 days pregnant, w/ a turkey timer for a belly button, but hey, it really adds to the drama, so....

Here we are, last Thursday.... (me) "Hello".. (L) "Uh, Kev? We have a really really big problem........*silence*..... "My car is dead"...

Here I'm thinking she just gave birth on a sidewalk in Edgewood (edge of the hood) with that first sentence. I pictured her sitting on the curb, baby in hand, umbilical cord still connected, crowd staring and one hand on the phone :). I told her later to never ever ever use that preface again because I was now ill and about to barf. I had to swallow my stomach. :)

So we come to find that her gear shifter was as disconnected and wobbly as a bobble-head and the car was just stuck at the library. I was able to drive it stuck in 2nd to the shop, thank the Lord, but also gave it a nice overheat in the process, as the cooling fan apparently was also not having its best day. The following morning we were told that unfortunately it wasn't going to be fixed until mid-week the following week because of labor day weekend, the backlog, and parts. ACK!!!!!! It's the ONLY car we have that can hold a baby seat!!!! 8-

So labor day weekend begins a search for a new vehicle. We spent all weekend scouring the Internet, going to a car show, doing quick dealership drive-by's, pouring over consumer reports data... We ended up bringing home a 2004 Buick Rainier CXL, all-wheel-drive SUV, that we really really liked, on an extended test drive. We loved it, but we found out through the help of my caring father-in-law that consumer reports rated that year a no-buy. /ugh! We spent the remainder of the weekend looking for 2005 models.

So..... we find one about 1 1/2 hrs north of us in PA, but they were closed Monday. We decided to take a ride up Tuesday night after work. So off we went last night. Things were going well on the drive... nice scenic back roads, meandering through the country, quite lovely. Suddenly..... chug...chug....chug.chug.chug.... My truck's engine sputters and shakes and gives up pushing on anything but a flat road, right at the MD/PA line. We literally just sat there looking at each other like, Nuh uh!!!!!!!!!!!!

TWO dead cars in 1 week!??!? Is that even possible??? Someone pinch me!! We came to find out Lauren's mom was praying I'd stop driving the truck because it doesn't have air-bags. Momma B, you gotta be more careful what you pray for!! For the love of Moses, here we are stranded w/ ZERO cars 30 miles from home at the PA line w/ a 9mo prego wife. It was picturesque. Its stuff stories are made of!

Thank the Lord my mom was home and available and she quickly came scurrying to get us, and whisked us up to Lancaster just before they closed for the night, whereby we were able to procure a very fine gem for a price far below all the competition we had found. We ended up getting this 2005 Buick Rainier CXL AWD which was in mint condition, and thanks to the lovely depreciation of american-made cards, we got it at about 50% its original sticker price new. Some poor shmuck bought this puppy new, drove it for 2 years and paid 50% of it for us (probably more since it was a trade-in, ouch). It is quite plush and rides like a Cadillac, but is all-wheel-drive and an SUV. Perfect combination. As someone else put it, it's the best SUV no one ever heard of. I'd never even seen one till this past week. We like the fact that its a rare car.

So now we have at least one good vehicle, and I'm borrowing my buddy Larry's truck to go to work with for now. I was so sure Lauren was going to go into labor as soon as the truck broke down at the PA line. :) That would have been straight out of Hollywood. :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Sleep, Elusive Sleep

Everyone says you sleep really poorly when the baby arrives as you're up intermittently for feedings, etc. I believe that, but I'm not believing how poorly I'm sleeping at present! Maybe it's natures way of preparing me for what lies ahead. For the past 4 days, I've yet to sleep all the way through the night. Does that mean she's coming soon? Lets hope so!

So its 4 am and I'm up with a nice case of acid reflux. Against my better judgment, I had marinara sauce from a local Italian joint (so good!) with my dinner last night and I'm now paying the price. I thought I had covered my bases with some Tums shortly after dinner, but apparently not because I woke up about 45 minutes ago with a lovely feeling of hurlage in the back of my throat. Ah, the joys.

Then my mind started racing about the size of diapers I have - I think I have too many newborn diapers. "Would Target take them back? Did I have the receipt? Where did that pesky little thing go? Better get up and go look for it." So, yup. At 345 am I was up looking for a Target receipt with diapers on it. I believe "insanity" might be the word to describe that. Well, I'm AWAKE now. *sigh* More Tums still hasn't helped. At this point I'm ready to swear I'll never eat marinara again...

So we've had a bit of a setback here over the weekend. Our only baby-mobile (one of these) died. I picked up a book from the library and got in my trusty little car only to find that I couldnt shift out of 2nd. Actually, it turns out my linkage (I didn't even know what that was until this weekend) broke. Hmmm... nice timing (1 week prior to due date). Trying not to panic, I called Kevin at home and informed him that I had some "really bad news".

Fortunately (or unfortunately) we were able to drive it to the shop, but by that point it was supremely overheating as my newly installed radiator fan had also busted. So not sure of what damage is going on there. And did I mention that I also need rear brakes? When it rains... it pours, folks.

Actually, Kevin and I thought it rather ironic in light of all of the events going on recently. God has been teaching us a lot about how FAITHFUL he is. And He's been giving us a lot of reasons to really have to lean on Him for things. There's been a lot of things recently that have been out of our control and we're either still trusting Him to work things out (because there's not much else we can do) or we've seen Him answer prayer and provide in miraculous ways (that were totally not of us).

So after a lot of prayer and contemplation, we decided to take advantage of the Labor Day sales and look for a new (new-to-us) car that might be a suitable baby-mobile. Mini-vans are straight out for both of us. Neither one of us are extremely fond of the look and feel that there's a sort of "grown-up-ed-ness" that goes with one that we're just not ready to embrace. We decided to look at an SUV to accommodate a family AND all of our gear (camping, luggage, baby-crap, etc) for many years to come. We're actually on an extended test drive this weekend of a Buick Rainier and have really liked it so far. Although the one we're test-driving is not the one we're going to get (we learned that this particular year had some issues), we are hoping to drive up to PA tomorrow (oh... I guess today - its IS 4:30 am) and buy this 05 model.

Its a big purchase for us - we have been enjoying the land of no-car-payment for some time now and the thought of a loan really makes us cringe. But neither Kevin's truck nor my little Saturn (if it is completely fixable) is a terrifically safe car. (My car has seen 3 hoods - I used to be a bit of a speed demon in college - and the airbags have NEVER gone off). So, hopefully this SUV is available when we call about it later today. If not, we may be renting a car for a few more days (in case I go into labor) and will be back to the drawing board about what to buy. Somehow, I'm not sure they let you put your newborn in the basket of your bicycle and pedal away...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

False Alarm

Last night I began having contractions. The excitement mounted as some of them came 3-5 minutes apart. I had been just walking through the house when they started so it seemed that this was really going to be it! We decided to head out to dinner with our neighbor to celebrate his birthday. The restaurant was close to our house and I planned on eating something light so I wouldn’t have to "relive" it later. =) Besides, my doc said that I needed to time them 5 min apart for an hour before I came in - so we had some time.

Throughout dinner I kept getting them, but they were more infrequent and lighter than they had been - although I wasn’t moving around a lot, being seated and all. Once we got home, they picked up again and continued until we went to bed around 1030. Kev scrambled to pack the car and we even did a video diary (real world style) right before bed of "our last night before the baby came". But alas, this morning Kevin and I awoke to the sun streaming in our windows and no more contractions. Bah... So back to work it is. This little girl is such a tease!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Doctor's Update

I went to the doctor this afternoon and he predicts the sonogram is wrong! He thinks this kid is at least 6.5lbs right now. So we'll have to take bets. I thought the sonogram would be the best judge, but he said that there was a doc at the hospital recently who sent a woman in for a sonogram b/c he thought the baby was going to be big. The sonogram measured the baby at 7lbs 7oz. The baby was born a week later at 12lbs!!! Hmmm... I guess you have to take those measurements with a grain of salt! Lets all hope this baby isn't THAT big. =)

Down to the Wire....

Kevin and I were commenting last night how weird it was being down to the wire like this on the pregnancy. I feel like a ticking time bomb and we both thought it was a bit nerve-wracking. Each day we get up and wonder... Will this be the day? In many ways we're like - "lets just get on with it!". But in other ways we think... "lets not wish these last few days together away so quickly". So much anticipation for this event that could happen while I'm at work, in the middle of the night, etc etc.

Feel free to share your stories of where you were when you realized you were in labor.

Prayer Request...

I'm going to ask for prayer for my job. I spoke with the "powers that be" and it seems that the probability is great that I'd only be able to do full-time or nothing at my current position. Kevin and I were hoping that I'd be able to drop down to part-time once I return from maternity leave so now we're at a crucial decision point. Please pray for clarity from the Lord regarding the decision we should make. Neither one of us take this one lightly...

Time for the Eviction!

Ok, so this kid has 4 days to get here... Or else! Its been my mission for a while to have her before Sept 1st, because that's the school cut-off here and I know that she's going to be tall. But, alas, nature takes its course and doesn't really ask me for my timetable. =)

Actually, Kevin and I are officially ready. We packed the "bag" last night and I've caught up on journaling all of the pregnancy moments up until this point. I had been a couple months behind on that and wanted to get caught up before all the memories started fading and I had a whole bunch of new things to write down. I'm hoping the journal will help me look back and say... Oh, I had gained x amount by this point last time.

Oh speaking of weight, I had high hopes (very lofty indeed) of only gaining 25lbs. I've run into so many women who say "I only gained 20lbs with my pregnancies". Well I scowl in your general direction. I've managed to pack on 40 - much to my dismay. I'm very much looking forward to the insta-weight loss that I'll get when I have this baby, but I know that with 40lbs I'm definitely going to have to work to get back to pre-pregnancy weight. Grrrr.

Kevin's work threw us a shower last week and it was really really nice. They had a potluck lunch for us on Friday and several gifts from the group as well as some nice individual gifts. I got one of these recommended by Miriam and a couple of these and one of these with lots of refills - so nice!

We had a sonogram last week because the doctor still thought I was measuring small. The baby is apparently smaller than average, but within normal limits. The sonogram tech estimated her at 5lbs 4oz last Tuesday. She was super positive about it though and just thought that she'd be skinny - so we're not worrying. As long as she's healthy, I say small is great news. The doc also is estimating that I'll go into labor sometime after this Saturday (that's into September, folks). =( Ah well, I've already decided that if I hit Sept 1st and haven't delivered yet, I'll just wait as long as I can to see if I go naturally. I'm not big on being induced (got really sick last time from the meds) and I might as well make the most of these last few days as a DINK (Double-Income No Kids).

Here's a 38 week pic so you can see me in all of my pregnant glory...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Baby Update

So I had a doctors appointment and... drum roll, please... the baby has done a somersault and is head down! And I thought I needed to worry about it. Hmm... maybe standing on my head really DID help! I guess I'll never know. =)

Anyway, the doctor checked me out and said that from the looks of things he's guessing I won't deliver until right around my due date. So that takes a bit of the guess work out of things and gives me a few more weeks to relax and enjoy time with Kev and (most importantly) sleep. I took a nap after work today and it was fabulous... I better snag those while I can!

I'm still not sure what baby book I'm going to try to adhere to. My friends Alex and Miriam have tried them all apparently and have resorted to bits and pieces of various books. I'm currently borrowing Baby Wise from a friend, but I've looked into "Healthy Sleep Habit, Happy Child" and have also heard that "The Happiest Baby on the Block" was good. I know I wont be doing any sort of routine for the first few weeks or so other than feed, burp, change, sleep for 2 hours, repeat... but I'd like to have a plan of sorts ready to try as soon as possible. I honestly don't have time to read at the moment though - so I'm wishing that the books had little cheat sheets that I could just glance at and run with.

Kevin and I are still attempting to get through the 7th Harry Potter saga. Its SO good, but we're still only a few chapters in. This is only because I'll read it to Kevin before bed and before I know it he's snoozing and missed the last several pages - much to my annoyance. =) In fact, he's in bed right now and was out around 1030... such a lightweight! Its funny how much less sleep I need than him - even when I haven't had a nap. I used to be able to sleep him under the table - 12-14 hours. Strange how you grow out of certain things!

Well, I've done enough rambling for one evening. Better make myself go to bed or my OCD tendencies will kick in and I'll find some project to do here at midnight (yes, its midnight). Is this hormonal??? Or have I always been this way???

The Nursery

Whew... I finally finished the nursery...well, I may put up some additional pictures on the walls down the road, but for now, I'm happy with the way it looks. Its small and my camera angle isn't very wide... so here are the best pictures I could get....

Looking in from the hallway at my $35 craigslist bookcase! I love a bargain!

The awesome glider my in-laws got us - very comfy!

Behind the door, I just hung this coat rack by myself... I'm so proud! The outfit on the right is the first brand new outfit I ever owned (when I was a baby) and the sweater and cap were crocheted by my uncles mother-in-law... so cute!

The closet. End of story. =)

Changing table ala Craigslist. The quilt squares on the wall belonged to my Grandma Shirley - who I know would have LOVED to have known that they would grace the walls of her great-grandaughter's nursery. I miss her!

Craigslist crib - matches the side table and the changing table, but not the rest of the furniture in the room (ah well, do you think the baby will mind?). Yes, I'm using a crib bumper for now. No, the pillow is NOT staying in the crib. I could always change my mind down the road about the bumper since "they" say they aren't a good idea for SIDS and stuff. But I bought a nice baby monitor that's supposed to alarm me if she stops breathing - so hopefully that will give me some peace of mind. Oh, yes that IS a wolf on the wall above the crib. I always thought it was a nice picture, but Kevin pointed out it COULD be a bit traumatic to wake up to. Hmmmm....

And finally, our "his and hers" diaper bags. Kevin's is the camo backpack (of course) and mine is the Vera Bradley knockoff from Boscovs. I'm beginning to think it might not be big enough, though. I like to take EVERYTHING with me. =)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

9 months pregnant.....

So, its official! I'm 9 months pregnant and things seem to be changing. Thursday I felt significantly different. We think the baby has dropped down into my pelvis because my waddle seems a little more pronounced and things are a little more uncomfortable. My stomach also seems to be pointing a bit more forward and down. Last night I was up every two hours taking a pee break and thinking that my back was about to break and that acid reflux was something I MIGHT not miss once the baby is born. Hmm... Lets hope this baby flipped on her own and isn't breech still. Can they still flip once they've lightened? I guess I'll find out at my doctors appointment tomorrow. She HAS been moving around a lot so I guess its possible she flipped and I didn't know it.

I know I said I was going to post nursery pictures, but I REALLY want to get some pictures on the wall, so I'm going to postpone posting them until tomorrow night. All the furniture is in place though, and I'm breathing a sigh of relief THAT's all done. Funny thing... the bookshelf we order from Walmart arrived last week CRACKED IN HALF! We have had the worst luck with furniture purchased from the web. So I found one on Craigslist (my current addiction) and sent Kevin to pick it up. Its not EXACTLY the right color, but for $35, can anyone really complain?

If "nesting" is any sign of the baby showing up soon, then this baby is coming this week. =) This past Saturday Kevin had to go into work mega-early so I got up with him at 445am. By 730 I had the entire house clean and by 830 I had some curtains made for the baby's room. I busted around all that day and did errands etc. I'm almost thinking that having to sit at home and change diapers is going to be exactly what I need. I have a few OCD tendencies when it comes to lists and getting stuff crossed off of them... Lets hope that's not genetic!

Here's the most recent pic!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Turn, Baby Turn!

So last week at my doctors appointment I was talking to my doc about the baby's position. At our sonogram a few weeks prior (32.5 weeks) she was breech. I had a feeling she was still breech since I had been feeling kicks way down low. So I asked the doc if she could still turn this late in the game and he said it WAS possible. I also asked him how successful he was at turning the baby by pushing on my stomach once I was in labor and he said that has a less than 50% success rate... not so good. Then he jokingly mentioned I should try standing on my head.

Well, you dont mention that to a woman who is scared of c-sections and willing to do anything to avoid one... So I decided that I'd give it a whirl. Hmmm.. to all 8.5 month prego women out there... standing on your head is a feat I'm not sure I'd advise. I had Kevin in on the deal... he was the ankle-holder so I didnt go toppling over. He was was convinced I needed to stay on my head for a good while for the baby to get the idea so he helped pull my ankles up to the ceiling so that I didn't kill my neck. I dont think I was up for longer than 2 minutes (although it felt like an eternity), but, in that time, I think every last drop of my blood rushed to my head and all I got out of the deal was a whopper of a head/neck ache - no flipping baby.

So, then I tried laying on my back with my rear-end higher than my head (propped up under pillows). This is a much more comfortable position than a headstand, but still didnt seem to do the trick. I've researched the whole "coaxing your baby to flip" subject and one website recommended crawling around on your hands and knees for 10 minutes with your head low to the ground. I'm not sure what that's supposed to do other than give me rug-burn and make me look like I've lost my mind, but I may give that one a try.

To anyone out there who's gone through this before - should I be worried if at this point (35.5 weeks) the kiddo is still breech? Any ideas about what to do to get her to do a sommersault? Take a minute and, after you get done laughing at me, drop me a line.

Birthday Surprise

So last weekend Kevin took me on a mystery date for my official birthday present.

Well, before I elaborate let me explain something. The way things work around our house is that I keep the schedule and he checks with me as dates approach to see what we have going on. I have everything scheduled out to a "t" usually so that we make it to everything and the world keeps spinning. He really appreciates the fact that he doesn't have to stress about the schedule. Honestly, before we met he used to tell people not to ask him to plan stuff more than a couple days in advance b/c it stressed him out too much. Ha! I guess I do the secretarial work and he does stuff like taking out the garbage and mowing the grass (stuff I really appreciate)... we complement each other that way. =)

Anyway he broke the mold and planned ahead for my birthday and told me to save the last Sunday of July for my official birthday surprise - and what a wonderful surprise it was! Kev arranged for us to go on a sunset dinner cruise at the Baltimore Harbor on an old paddle boat called the Black Eyed Susan. The cruise came complete with murder mystery theme - making it even more fun! So as we dined on crabcakes and beef tenderloin, we got probably the BEST view of the harbor of all... Isn't my husband wonderful????

5 weeks now to doctor's on vacation for the next two weeks, so this baby's gotta stay put for at least that long. After that, I just might be ready!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


So I've been reading a friends blog that has a big following of women who have lost babies. And let me just say... I'm humbled. Although we've lost a little one too, I feel somewhat unworthy to be having a healthy little girl in a few weeks. Just the other day my friend posted a contest asking what you were most thankful for. (she had a prize for the best entry). As I thought about it more and more I realized, right now I'm most thankful for all of the aches and pains in this pregnancy because it reminds me that this little one is thriving inside of me - how awesome is that!

At the same time, I'm really fearful of all of things there will be to worry about once she comes - all of the external forces that I will have no control over and all of things she COULD have wrong with her that the doctors may not know about yet. I'm taking precautions to buy an expensive monitor to alarm me if she stops breathing in the 1st several months and I'm wondering if I'm going to have a hard time leaving her with different people that I'm not sure would watch her as closely as I would. Yet, I don't want to live in fear and hold her so tight that she can't grow and thrive and be her own.

I guess after losing one, you just feel guilty - guilty for celebrating another's birth. I have so many cute outfits lined up for her, the room is starting to come together (I'll have pics next week!) and we're really looking forward to her arrival with a lot of anticipation. But, in a way, it feels like that excitement in some way is helping us "move on"... And that scares me, because I don't want to "move on" if it means forgetting. At the end of this month, we would have had a 2 year old running around our house. In so many ways, I can't even fathom what that would be like. I just know and appreciate all of the good things that the Lord has brought into our lives instead. However, I want to FORCE myself to imagine a 2 year-old boy running through the house and playing with the cats - because if I don't, then I feel like somehow he didn't exist. And I think it's the fading memories of his life that scare me the most.

I may always keep a stocking up for him at Christmas - after all, Joseph was a member of our household if only for a brief period of time. I guess I don't really think celebrating our future children is forgetting his memory. But I realize now that choosing to preserve his memory is a choice I'm going to have to fight to make. His memory is what makes this upcoming celebration that much sweeter.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The dresser that wasn't.

I wasn't going to post anything about the "dresser from hades" but I've cooled off enough about it to post. More comical now than anything I guess...

I recently purchased a dresser online for the baby's room. I'm not really sure what I was thinking, but I had looked at several and didn't notice the poor reviews for this one until after I had made my purchase. I quickly called Babies R Us and attempted to renig my purchase as it had not yet been shipped. They told me that they'd try to stop the order, but that it was being sent from the manufacturer and they couldn't guarantee the cancellation. A few days later, I received an email confirming the dresser had indeed been shipped. So, Kevin suggested I call FedEx and request a return to sender. I did, and was informed that it would be returned to sender without being delivered. Perfect!

But, a few days later, I had a dresser on my front porch. Frustrated, I spent a lot of time on the phone with FedEx and Babies R Us (BRU) and finally got BRU to return the item at their charge - via UPS at their expense. So we set out the dresser to be picked up by UPS and I breathed a sigh of relief. This was finally out of my hair. Granted, I would have to eat the $30 shipping that it cost to get it to my house, but I could swallow that.

As I arrived home from work that day, I found the worst possible scenario - cementing this dresser as truly the "dresser from hades". There was a note from UPS on my door saying they had attempted to pick up the dresser and could not. The dresser was officially gone from my front porch and some loser was the new proud owner of a baby dresser. *sigh* I've since filed a police report and contested the BRU charge with my credit card, but I'm doubting anything will come of it. Some people just suck.

Aloha, Baby!

My girlfriends Jill, Kera and Melissa threw us a baby shower a few weeks ago. I just got the pictures in to post and I thought you'd enjoy seeing the fun we had. It was a luau theme complete with kabobs, Jill's famous guacamole, a humongous blowup flamingo and a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake (praline pecan flavored... yum-o!). If you notice in the picture, Kevin and I are wearing, yes, coconut bras. We also had grass skirts to complete the ensemble. =)
The shower was actually supposed to be a surprise, but I found out about it a few weeks ahead of time by seeing an invitation for it accidentally left out. Initially I was bummed to have found out, but it turned out to be a cool thing because I was able to find a cheap flight for my parents to come in town to celebrate in the festivities. We had a mini-family reunion of sorts as my aunts and uncles came also.
We got a lot of fabulous things for the baby and felt so blessed by all of our friends and family. I felt like I did at our wedding - it was so anticipated and over so quickly. What a good time we had though!

Jill, Me, Kera, Melissa (new mom to Joshua Caleb!!!)