34 Weeks

Last night I was lying awake in bed having fairly regular, fairly strong contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart and lasted 1-1.5 minutes each. They kept on like that for about an hour and a half before fading away.

As this was happening, I started thinking to myself, "Wouldn't it be kind of nice to go into labor early for a change?" All three of the girls came late; I wouldn't mind going a little early this time.

When I woke up the next morning, there were two different posts on facebook about babies who were struggling for their lives. One was born full term but with her cord wrapped around her head. She wasn't breathing on her own for about 8 minutes after birth. The other was born at 24 weeks and will spend at least 3 months in the ICU.

Immediately I was reminded of the frailty and unpredictability of life. I told God I was sorry for complaining about all of the uncomfortable late-pregnancy symptoms and thanked him for a healthy baby boy. I am more than happy to carry this baby as long as needed; I don't care how big or swollen I get. Just keep my baby healthy, Jesus.

Rosie is 2!!!

I can't believe I failed to post about Rosie's second birthday! Our sweet Johnye Rose turned two on the 12th, and although we didn't do much to celebrate, there is no downplaying the overwhelming joy and gratefulness I feel to have had her in our lives for two years now.

Rosie is the definition of "sugar and spice and everything nice." She is definitely a stinker, known to test her limits to see exactly what she can and cannot get away with; but she is also so freaking cute and affectionate that it's actually hard to get mad at her when she's being a stinker. Many times I have to hide my smile & giggles in order to discipline her.

Rosie is adventurous, loving, conniving, an excellent communicator, very smart, independent, goofy and full of smiles. She thinks she is the oldest child but takes advantage of her "baby" status. She loves attention and will seize any moment to wrestle with Daddy or snuggle and read with Mommy. She is fearless, except when it comes to loud noises. She is strong-willed and stubborn, yet seeks to please. She adds an exciting and heartwarming dynamic to our family that we could never dream of living without.

Johnye Rose, you fill Mama's heart with the sweetest kind of love in the world. Happy birthday, Pook-a-loo!


Hard Drive Woes & 33 Weeks

My posts are few and far between these days, and I have no photos with which to make this one more colorful. For those of you who are not subscribed to my Facebook sob stories, my hard drive crashed last week. We have something called a Time Machine that is supposed to have everything backed up on it, but of course it wasn't functioning, so I had nothing saved.

I already had a new hard drive, so I took it to Micro Center (an hour away, with three kids) to see how much it would cost for them to swap everything out and transfer the files from my old drive. They wanted $300 IF there were no problems, and my first born child if there were problems. I probably should have just choked it down and gotten it over with, but being the cheap people we are, we decided to try to do it ourselves.

JP is amazing. He did a little research and printed out step-by-step instructions on how to swap out a hard drive, then did it himself without any trouble. I then went to install the operating system, only to remember that my CD drive is also broken. I had to drive down to Elk River to buy an external CD drive, then successfully installed the OS.

While I was at Micro Center, I spent $17 on a hard drive to USB adapter which was supposed to allow me to plug in my old hard drive and transfer over all of my stuff. Unfortunately, my hard drive was too far gone to be able to do that myself, so now my old hard drive is at a computer repair shop here in Princeton as they attempt to recover all of my data.

The whole thing has been extremely stressful for me, especially since I was in the middle of three different photo shoots I needed to edit with two more coming up in the next couple of weeks. I am now way behind, and now that we've started homeschooling for the year, my time to edit is even more limited. Thankfully, all of the people who are waiting for photos have been extremely understanding and patient.

If you think of it, please be praying that our little computer repair shop is successful at recovering my files. The thought of all of that stuff being lost makes my hair fall out.


In baby news, I am now 33 weeks along. There has been some confusion about when my due date is, but today my doctor confirmed October 30th based on my first ultrasound.

The baby is fine, although my doc says he is measuring quite big; perhaps 2-4 weeks bigger than normal. That scares me since JP was over 9 pounds! It's not pushing him out I'm worried about, it's carrying that big of a baby around for the next six weeks! I'm already swollen and experiencing several other crappy late pregnancy symptoms; I have a feeling this last month and a half could be pretty tough.

The other day I told Rae I needed to get off my feet because my ankles were swelling up. She looked at my feet for a minute and then said, "Where are your ankles? I can't see them?" Exactly.

It's still strange to me that JP and I still haven't settled on a name yet. I almost wonder if he will remain nameless until it's time to fill out the birth certificate.


The girls are doing great. Rae is doing My Father's World Kindergarten this year. So far it is very easy for her. I knew it would be, but I also decided I didn't want to try to skip over Kindergarten and jump right in to first grade, especially with a newborn on the way. She loves school and doesn't like taking two whole days off on the weekends. We studied the sun in her first unit, so we took a little field trip to the Planetarium at St. Cloud State University for a presentation on the solar system. She loved it.

Ruby is doing a preschool curriculum called "Little Hands to Heaven" by Heart of Dakota Publishing. I can already notice the major strides she is taking in just two weeks. The program is full of fun crafts, songs, finger-plays, and hands-on activities to make learning fun and engaging. Even Rosie is picking up on basic concepts.

Rosie started potty training a couple weeks ago, and while she hasn't perfected it, she's definitely doing awesome. She hardy ever has accidents with #1, but is more hesitant when it comes to #2, which is normal. She is very reward driven, and if I slack of on giving her some sort of treat or reward, she loses interest quickly. Ruby is night trained now, too, so with the exception of Rosie wearing a diaper at night and nap time, we are diaper and pull-up free in this house for about a month and a half! :)


Time to elevate my cankles. Have a great night, y'all!


Pregnancy Update + My Sweethearts

I'm 32 weeks along in my pregnancy! Not much new has happened, except writing 20+ thank you notes after my surprise shower triggered a case of carpal tunnel syndrome that hasn't seemed to go away. My Auntie-in-law clued me in that this can be common during pregnancy due to higher fluid retention.
Long story short, my right hand has been tingling, numb, and experiencing dull pain for the past 5 days or so. It's really annoying.

What's not really annoying are these sweet faces that I can't get enough of.

Surprise Baby Shower

On Sunday, August 26th, I thought I was going to my friend Nicole's house for a laid back girl's night. What I actually stepped into was an unbelievable SURPRISE baby shower! Apparently Nicole had been scheming for months. She managed to pull off a gorgeous shower during a small window of time in which my sister-in-law Missy was in town from KY and my dear friend Bethany was in town from TX.

I was so shocked. Completely clueless. Overwhelmingly blessed. Even after everybody yelled, "surprise," I still wasn't sure what was going on. I kept thinking, "But my birthday was two months ago...??" Finally someone yelled out, "It's a baby shower!" and I, of course, burst into tears.

My sister caught this photo...my face says it all, but Rae's face is my favorite! (click the photo to see it bigger.) 

And then, the tears. 

I don't know how, but somehow these ladies gathered many of my closest friends from every aspect of my life. Family, friends from high school, friends from my old church, friends from my new church & life in Princeton...it was amazing. 

Only second to the company was the incredible spread: tomato/mozzarella kabobs, chicken salad sandwiches, build your own fruit pizzas, and lemon cupcakes! All themed around my favorite color: green.  I even got to take home the mums!

I could not believe the onslaught of generosity. We already have all of the "big" things we need for a baby, but I had barely any boy clothes. I had collected a few things here and there and received a few hand-me-downs, but up until this shower, this is all I had, from size 0 to 4T: 

After the shower and another friend stopping by with a bunch of hand-me-downs, look at what this baby boy now has! There is nothing this child needs.

Thank you, Nicole, for the unbelievable shower. And thank you to everyone who helped pull it together, brought food, brought decorations, wrote encouraging notes, and gave so generously. I've been moved to tears several times since the party just thinking about the love and thoughtfulness all of you showed our family. I love you all!