Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday

Today I thought it would only be right to post a Thankful Thursday post. This year we have so much to be thankful for. I can't possibly list everything but here are my favorites from the past year:

1. A relationship with the King of Kings
2. The birth of our extremely wonderful baby - Ainsley
3. A continued loving healthy marriage
4. An incredibly supportive family
5. A wonderful job
6. A great house that we can call home
7. A country where freedom is the rule, not the exception

There is so much more. As the day passes today, I encourage you to spend some time thinking of what you are most thankful for. Remind yourself that today isn't just about food and family, its about being thankful to the One that gave us life and life abundant.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Sweet Voice

I hadn't talked to my mom since Saturday morning. I got busy on Sunday and then on Monday she had her episode. I didn't talk with her when we found out she was headed to the hospital. I didn't get to talk to her throughout the day today. I was starting to feel very frantic.

I know I was probably overreacting but I have a tendency to think the worst. I was beginning to feel like I would never hear the sweet voice of my mother. I spoke with my dad twice today, fairly early. Even though my dad told me that she was going to be OK and that they were still running tests, I needed to hear in her voice that she was doing OK.

I think about people who I have known and lost and I realize that their voices is what I miss the most. You can always look at pictures, but so much of who we are is communicated with our voice. Our emotions, our feelings, and our souls all come through.

At 2:30 today, I finally got to talk with my mom. The familiar "Hallow" greeted me at the other end of the line. I felt the instant connection that I was craving. My mom was OK. There are still issues, but she sounded good. I know someday I won't be able to hear that voice again. That day will break my heart. For now, it looks like that day won't be today. I can only thank Jesus for that.

As for those of you who want the real health update, here it is...She is staying another night in the hospital. They did an MRI of her brain and they found a small spot where an artery had expanded and calcified. This seems to be an old issue and not the current problem. They are going to do an ultrasound of her kidneys tomorrow to check for artery blockages. They have given her new medication and are observing her for now. She will be in the hospital again tonight. If all goes well, she will be released tomorrow. They will wait for her BP to stabilize and then she will need to take a stress test. To sum it up, they really don't know the cause but they are trying to stabilize with medication. Continued prayer is appreciated.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Do Not Fear

My life verses are Isaiah 43:1-4. I have relied on them many times in my life. They were the verses I turned to during labor. They comfort me grately.

Tonight my dad called for the second time in a week saying that he and my mom were at the hospital. My mother has high blood pressure naturally, but twice in the past week, it has gotten dangerously high. They ran all kinds of tests on Friday and sent her home not knowing what was causing it. She has been monitoring it for since then.

Today she took it again and it was 216/102. They called the ambulance and headed back to the hospital. They live in the middle of no where (I mean it) and the closest hospital is 45 minutes away.

As I sit and wait it out, my human nature tells me to freak. I am a worrier by nature. I think to some degree, we all are. I always forecast the worst. This is why I must cling to my Jesus. He is the great comforter. When I have a need to fear, I must remember that he has conquered the grave. Even if the worst were to happen, I know that I am a daughter of the King. So is my mom. Grace has covered us. So tonight I again rest in this...

Isaiah 43:1- 4

1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush [a] and Seba in your stead.

4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Here You Go Ryan

Ryan has been asking for pictures on my blog. Here are a few from the past few days.

I've been experimenting with Picasa this morning. Click on this for the full size view.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holy Crap!

****WARNING: This story is not for the weak stomached. My co-worker literally gagged this morning****

This morning started out like a normal Wednesday. I got up and got Ainsley's stuff ready to go. I woke her up, fed her, and dressed her. When she was all set, I put her in her Bumbo on the kitchen table to watch Ryan eat breakfast. My choice of the Bumbo (a molded rubber seat) was divine intervention as we don't usually use it in the morning...but I'm getting ahead of myself. I kissed my sweet girl and my loving husband goodbye and headed to the shower. Normal day so far.

As I was in the shower, Ryan comes in and says that he thinks that Ainsley has "crushed" her diaper. If you know Ryan, he often refers to "crushing" the toilet. I calmly say, "Well, I am in the shower so you are going to have to change her". His response was that it would make him late. I told him that I was in the shower and couldn't help him right now and to bring her in her poopie diaper to Grandma Anne's house. She would understand. He walked away. I thought, "My goodness, must I do everything"

Not even a minute later, Ryan walks back into the bathroom and says "You need to finish up in there, I need help NOW! Ainsley is sitting in a puddle of poo". If you know Ryan, you know he has a tendency to over exaggerate. I figured she had pooped a bit out of her diaper. Not a big deal, just change her outfit and head on. I quickly got out of the shower, dried off, threw my hair up in the towel, and draped myself in my bathrobe. I was going to make him feel bad.

I got to the kitchen and there was my sweet girl sitting in her Bumbo laughing at us. She was literally laughing. I took her shoes off (thankfully I had that fore site) and picked her up. Ryan wasn't over exaggerating. She was sitting in a huge puddle of poop. I picked her up, turned her over, and ran for the tub. Ryan followed picking up the drops of poo that we were leaving. She was dripping out of her pant leg.

I set her down in the tub and started to undress her. It was cold today so she had a onsie on under her outfit. Figures today would be 2 things that had to go over her head. As I took her clothes off, I was smearing this poo all over her arms and her belly. She loves putting her hands in her mouth and so I was freaking about not letting the poo get on her hands. As I lay her back down on the tub, she started to pee down the tub. Why not empty everything out? I reached for the wash cloth and turned back and she had poo on her upper lip. There is no doubt that she has eaten some poo. I got her in her tub and rinsed her down. I emptied the tub and started over again. I then got her re-dressed and ready to go.

Meanwhile, Ryan is cleaning up the rest of the house. He is already dressed in his shirt and tie and worried about getting poo on his nice clothes. I ask him to put Ainsley's clothes, diaper and all, in a plastic bag on the front porch. I will deal with that when I get home.

I finally finish all this and send them out the door. I get dressed as fast as I can and throw my hair in a bun (OK, that's normal for me these days anyway). As I am in our bathroom, I smell more poo. I look in our shower and there is the Bumbo with the puddle of poo still in it. I rinse it out and run out the door. I make it to work at 7:58. I was so afraid I was going to have to call my boss (who doesn't have kids) and let him know I was going to be late due to poo, but I made it. Ryan emails that he made it to work at 7:59.

All day, I can think of one thing. There is a bag of crap on my front porch. I worry that I have sent my child to Grandma Anne's with poo still on her, especially in her hair. So when I say my day was crappy, I mean it literally.

What was your worst baby poo story?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Love My Doula

I have eluded to my birth before, but I wanted to talk about my experience in relation to having a doula. I gave you my doula's perspective a bit ago with our birth story and I think its equally as important to give you my perspective of her role in the birth of Ainsley.

For the first half of my pregnancy, I firmly stated that I wanted the epidural early. I didn't want to feel anything, I just wanted my baby. It was about the mid point that we went to the child birthing class at the hospital. I began my journey of learning more about birth. At first I was frightened. I was still set on the drugs. By the end of the class, I began to feel differently. I was beginning to realize that this was what God designed my body to do. Birth was meant to be experienced and not just survived. I changed my tune. I wanted to be a part of the most important day of my baby's life.

I still had fear. I wanted to be able to give birth from a position of confidence, not fear. We began to think about doulas. We were given a name of a local doula who was early in her practice. Being who we are, we thought that this might be a more inexpensive way to go than the most experienced doula. God used that lapse of judgement for our benefit. I called Mary on a Sunday afternoon and she and I immediately "clicked". I felt as if I knew her from the start. She was such an advocate for God's plan. I knew she knew my Jesus and I knew I wanted her there for the birth of our daughter.

She met with us extensively before the birth. She tried to prepare us for what was to come. She encouraged us to read some great books. She looked up scriptures for me. She was giving me the confidence I needed to really be involved in the birth process. I felt good about what was to come.

The week I was in labor (I consider the prelabor that I experienced to be part of that week), Mary was never far. We spoke regularly on the phone. We emailed. We were very in touch. She coached me through the beginning contractions over the phone. She told me to rest. She just encouraged me. I felt very loved.

As the week progressed and it became obvious that this was "it", she was there. She came over at 3:00 in the morning as we were having contractions at home. She used many great doula techniques to help ease the back labor that I was experiencing. She regularly helped me keep my focus on our baby. She gave Ryan and I space to experience this process as a couple and stepped in when we needed more support.

At the hospital she did all those things as well. She helped us through some rough decisions. She helped me to read the signs my body was giving. She helped me decide the appropriate times to call for interventions. This was hard for me since I had the idea of doing this 100% naturally. She helped me to realize that taking Pitocin and an epidural isn't the end of the world and that I wasn't a failure for doing so. I was doing what was best to ensure a healthy mom and a healthy baby.

As we pushed for hours and felt like days with little progress, Mary encouraged both Ryan and I to continue to trust on Jesus. My body was doing what it needed to do. Our baby was just a short time away from arriving.

As Ainsley arrived, Mary was the one that captured the early pictures. She aided us in our initial bonding experience. I don't remember much of that time but I do remember that it was exactly as I wanted it. I remember feeling complete. I remember feeling empowered. I remember feeling like I had experienced this life changing moment and I would be forever bonded to the people in that room.

Since Ainsley's birth, I have continued to be loved by Mary. She is a member of our family now. Nothing will ever change that. She loves us and we love her. I know this for sure, the first call outside the family if I get pregnant again will be to Mary. I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Parenting Books...Love Em or Hate Em

It's very interesting to watch your parenting styles unfold in front of you. I am quite different than I imagined I would be. I am a very uptight person in most of my life. Surprisingly, I am not that way as a mother. I am actually very laid back. Ryan is the uptight one. Today he told me that he though Ainsley had Measels when she only had a little scratch on her nose.

In light of that, I have found that I have not been overly interested in parenting books. I have been committed to reading Your Baby's First Year Week By Week. They did a great pregnancy book so I thought it would be a good book as my 1 parenting book. Each week it gives you milestones that your baby should be hitting, the average weight and height, potential illnesses, types of play that baby might enjoy, and general parenting suggestions.

We are now at Week 19 and I have decided I hate it. I'm thinking about not replacing it with any other book. Each week, I find myself wondering if Ainsley is behind or too big or if I'm ignoring some grave illness. This is the 3rd week in a row that it has mentioned that baby should be rolling over with ease. Rolling over isn't even on Ainsley's radar. They are going into great detail about eating solid food. Ainsley is not ready for solid food yet. They say she should weigh 14 1/2 pounds. A week and a half ago she weighed 15lb 3oz. Frankly, I hate the games they come up with for play. They often involve a song I have never heard before or some silly motion. They described playing "So Big" but instead used "So Tall". Whatever!

So I am putting my book aside. I give up. Is there another parenting book that I might like better? Will I forever feel like my child is not normal if I continue to read them? Is she so far behind because she can't roll over at 19 weeks? Am I stressing for no reason?

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Hard Reminder

On Tuesday I spent some time talking with one of my oldest friends on the phone. She and I grew up in Connecticut and have always been very close. I have always felt very welcomed by her family and I hope she can say the same about mine. I consider her one of my best friends. We have one of those friendships that you don't need to talk all the time to still be great friends. We often go months at a time without speaking but everytime we do, its like we just talked yesterday. Outside my family, she knows me the best. Our relationship is nice and easy.

She called to wish me happy birthday and to find out the goings on of the Krumroys. I updated her on the joys and hardships of motherhood. Overall, the Krumroy update was easy and good.

Her update was a little bit more mixed. She told me of the trip to Hawaii that she took with her now serious boyfriend. It was a great to hear the joys of this relationship in her life. Then she got to the hard part. Her parents, who started dating when they were in high school, are getting a divorce. It's hard to believe it. Her parents are like a second set of parents to me. I spent many weekends at their house when I was young and even a few since we have been married. I know that people don't air their hardships for everyone to see, but this took me by complete surprise. This couple had been together for so long and seemed so stable and together. My friend seems to be handling the situation with the grace that echos through the path of her life.

As I got off the phone and Ryan asked me what was wrong, it really hit me that marriage is work and that no one is without a vulnerable spot here and there. I don't know all the details of this break up so I can't judge it at all and that's not my point. My point is that it was a reminder to me that we need to continuosly work on our relationships. We can't just assume that since we have been together for a long time that we will always be together. We must continuosly rely on the One that has put us together. Without His strength, we can not even begin to be a success at marriage.

Now I will pray for my friend and her family. I will pray for our marriage. I will pray for the marriage of my parents. I will pray for the marriages of my friends. I will pray for all the marriages that I am surrounded by. Chances are we all need those prayers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I May Be Insane

Every year since we have been back in NC, we have thrown a Christmas Party. Its a dessert party. I love to bake and it's my one time a year that I commit to it. I usually make a ton of desserts. I make cheesecake, layer cakes, cookies, brownies, candies, eggnog, sangria, punch, and more. I even make fancy place cards to label all the food. Every year people tell me that I have done too much.

Last year, I was 11 weeks pregnant and I had a very bad cold. Of course, I couldn't take anything for it because I was pregnant. I plowed through and ended up flat on my back in bed for 5 days after it.

I sent out my evite yesterday. It wasn't until this morning that I actually looked at the numbers. I sent it out to 120 emails. Holy crap. 120 emails means that it could be 240 people if everyone brought a guest. Of course everyone won't come. But what if they did?

Am I nuts? Be prepared for my blogging to cease leading up to December 20th.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mixed Bag

Yesterday was my 31st Birthday. It was definitely a mixed bag of emotions.

Last year as I was turning 30, I was very upset. I didn't want to turn 30. There was one major thing that I wanted to have done before I was 30, have a child. I was barely pregnant by the time I hit the actual day, but it was a very hard couple months leading up to it. This year, I really didn't think too much about my birthday leading up to it. It wasn't a major milestone. It just wasn't a big deal.

My day started out at 6:05 when MaryBeth called to tell me that she wasn't going to be able to keep Ainsley. She was cramping and bleeding and was going to the doctor to check on the baby. Right then, I knew this was going to be a hard day. I quickly called my mother in law who graciously agreed to watch Ainsley for the day. I was off to work.

Work was a horrible Monday. I am a computer programmer and there are times that my job makes me irritated. If you know anything about system administration, you know that when Microsoft forces automatic updates on you, things can very awry. This was the case on Monday. I was putting out fires left and right.

By the time I left work, I had gotten an email from MaryBeth that she had been to the doctor and they couldn't find a heartbeat. She was scheduled for a DNC today. My heart broke for her. I just can't imagine the pain that she and Rob are going through. Please pray for them.

When I got home, I had scheduled for my neighbor to come watch Ainsley while Ryan and I went out. I had no idea where we were going. He came home and we rushed out to Sweet Basil, one of the nicest restaurants in town. His mother and stepfather met us there. I thoroughly enjoyed my goat cheese risotto with a portabello mushroom on top. Ryan, who doesn't drink wine, ordered us a fabulous bottle of wine. I have to admit that I drank more of it than anyone else. It was awesome.

From there, we left and headed downtown to Gnache. The display case of desserts is at least 20 feet long. They all looked so good. I finally decided on a Chocolate Cake soaked in Baileys (although it wasn't too noticeable) with buttercream and toffee icing between the layers covered with a rich chocolate gnache. What a heavenly dessert.

By the time I got home, I was still feeling happy from the wine and the cake. I talked to a great friend on the phone for a bit and headed to bed. I am still incredible sad for MaryBeth and Rob but all in all, it was a pretty good birthday.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

4 Months

I can't believe that 4 months have past. Here are some pictures from the past week. She looks so grown up

With her Mommy and pugs.

Wearing her new outfit from Uncle Taylor and Aunt Jenny

Fists in her Mouth - Her most favorite thing

Wearing her first bow

Thinking that Daddy must be crazy

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ah the Memories

On Wednesday night, our friends Jason and Leah welcomed a new son into the world, Logan Thomas. He is so adorable and little. He looks just like his Dad.

Last night, Ryan and I arranged with Papa B to come watch Ainsley as we went to the hospital to visit them. When my sisters had their babies, we always lived too far away to go to the hospital. It was such a fun experience to be on this side of a birth.

As we sat in the hospital room, visiting this new family, I couldn't help but think back to our experience. Having a baby is one of the most exciting things that can ever happen in one's life, and yet the process seems to blur so quickly. It has only been 4 months and yet it seems like a lifetime ago. I was asking Ryan about specifics of our experience and neither one of us can remember.

For our birth, Ryan and I hired a doula. It was one of the best decisions that we made. Not only did she help us through our extremely long labor process, but she also wrote out a birth story for us. I have to warn you, it's long. It would have to be for the 32 hour labor that I had. For those of you who would like to read it...Here it is

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Daylight Savings Time 4 Days Late

I really figured Daylight Savings time was going to screw us up with Ainsley. She is such a scheduled child that I assumed it was going to throw her for a loop.

Sunday morning, she woke up at 7:30. I was psyched. She adjusted. No problems there. That night she went to bed right on time. Sweet. No problems. It wasn't until Tuesday that things went haywire. She has been getting so cranky at 6:00 for the past few nights. She usually goes down at 7:00/7:30. I have had to stretch her through an hour of crankiness for the past 2 nights.

I had heard from a friend of mine that they adjust their children by 10 minutes every night for the whole week before. I always thought that was crazy. Now I'm not so sure.

What does everyone else do? Has anyone ever experienced a delayed reaction?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Toy Confusion

There is mass toy confusion happening at our house.

My dogs love their toys. They have a basket of both soft toys and bones in the family room. They usually tear all the stuffing out of the soft toys. They don't leave much of the toy intact.

Libby will gladly play with any toy that is around. Tucker is very picky about his toys. He is partial to the pink bears and the frogs. Sometimes he mixes it up and goes for a bone. He always searches the basket for the toy he is looking for. Last night he even climbed through the handle of the basket to get to the toy that had fallen out on the other side of the basket.

Tucker is fully aware of what toys are his and what toys are Ainsley's. No problems there. Libby, as usual, is the problem dog. She thinks that every toy in the house is hers. Ainsley has a pink bunny with long ears that Libby likes to steal. Today I caught Libby with a large teddy bear that was just given to Ainsley on Saturday. It was still in the gift bag on the floor. Libby pulled it out of the gift bag and started to play with it. I had limited time to get it away from her before it lost its stuffing.

My real question is, how much of a problem is this going to be when Ainsley starts thinking the dog toys are hers?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Part 2

Here are the promised pictures of her in costume.

This picture of Ryan and I didn't showcase our costumes well. For those of you who are wondering, Ryan is a bag of tea (his Lipton tab doesn't show in this picture) and I am Black-Eyed Peas.

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