Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Capturing our Moments

Clint's cousin Mike married a wonderful lady who has been such a blessing in our lives.  Not only is she one of the most kind hearted people I know, but she is an amazing photographer.  I believe that she is much more talented than she believes herself to be.  She is constantly challenging herself and continually working to learn more.  We first asked Lisa to take photos at our home of our family the first Fall that Jude was here.  We were so happy with the pictures that we decided we would make getting Fall photos an annual experience.  With Gwenyth's expected arrival, I knew I wanted Lisa there to capture one of her and Jude's early encounters and our family together in the hospital.  Luckily, she was available to come the following day when Clint was able to bring Jude for his second meeting with her. 

Here are some of the photo's Lisa took.  If you can believe it, these are unedited pictures!  I would have sworn that they were edited because of how wonderful and clear they turned out. 

I am so happy with the way that they turned out.  They were exactly the types of pictures that I had in mind.  She has captured so many priceless moments for us and I cannot tell you how much I cherish them.  I highly recommend her if you are ever in need of a photographer.  She has an amazing blog that can be found here, and you can search Pictured Poetry Photography on Facebook to see some of her work showcased there as well.  She is creative and full of ideas and works with you to get exactly what you have in mind and more. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gwenyth Rosemary

We have all returned from the hospital safe and sound and most importantly, HEALTHY!  I cannot express to you how overjoyed I am that Gwenyth has arrived with no complications what so ever.  Not only is she healthy, but so far (knock on wood) she has been the easiest baby ever.  We have always said that Jude was such a good baby, but his baby sister may have him beat.  We thought for sure that no one gets that lucky twice!  But....this girls sleeps like a champ, eats like a champ and I am unsure if she even knows how to cry sometimes.  In the short time she has been alive, I am pretty sure she has cried less than a total of ten minutes and that includes the crying that occurred when she immediately came into the world. 

Jude has taken to his baby sister really well.  He adores her.  The first time he met her he seemed a bit in shock that she was no longer in my belly and was now visible.  He hugged and kissed her over and over and wanted to be the only one that held her.  It was a moment I will never forget.

Everything went pretty smoothly with the induction and the labor.  The one fear I did have was the epidural, and of course what went terrible and was absolutely traumatizing?  The epidural.  I should mention first that I was already having heavy contractions and was in pain.  Not in the mood at all for any craziness.  So when the Anesthesiologist came in singing the only words she knew to the song, You're Beautiful by John Mayer to herself in a terrible singing voice...I had a bad feeling immediately.  I was right to think so.  Not only did I get the whole epidural experience one time, but my lucky self got it FOUR times!  Yay me!  Not!  The lady kept talking to herself and was saying things like I am not sure if I can do this because you are small and your have smaller spaces to go between, then she would attempt it.  She kept jabbing me and saying, I keep hitting your bones....and said "if I were to get an epidural for anything, I would have so and so do it".  She mentioned the name of a coworker.  She said, if I can't get it, I will have to call him down.  Needless to say, she was overly confident for awhile and kept attempting it between each of my contractions.  Then she said, "I better stop because I will end up giving you a spinal headache if I continue."  She called her coworker down and he got it in less than 15 seconds.  Her three attempts took an hour and a half.  It was an hour and a half of HELL!  For some reason, I am too kind to hurt someones feelings and be rude, but as soon as she left the room, I burst into uncontrollable tears. 

When she was born, I looked to see if I could see any physical characteristics of Down's Syndrome, I didn't.  I had asked my doctor at one of his checks during the waiting period for the Pitocin to kick in what they would do if the baby came and did have any characteristics of Down's.  He said they would do some bloodwork and some chromosomal testing.  I was too nervous to ask once she was born if the tests would be necessary.  During my pregnancy, I read a lot.  Something I came across, (I don't even remember where), a woman had a baby with Down's Syndrome and was in complete denial.  She so badly didn't want to believe it was true that she kept dismissing the idea that her child actually had it.  She kept telling herself that this or that unusual physical feature was like so in so's in her family, etc.  She said she made excuses for everything.  The first night in the hospital, Clint stayed with me.  The second night, I wanted to stay alone with the baby and have him stay with Jude at home to help Jude adjust and let me have longer to recover and rest.  That second night alone I just stared at her wondering if maybe I wasn't seeing things that maybe others were; that maybe I was doing the same thing that woman was doing and everyone else was just too nice to say anything to me.  From the time she was born, everytime a new nurse came to check on us, I kept waiting to see if they would react strangely or I would say, "everything is fine, right?"  It was almost as if I needed to hear it over and over from everyone that she was just fine.  Every time I heard it, I was more reassured. 

I want to thank all of you that kept our family in your prayers and even added us to your church's prayer list.  I am confident that it is through your prayers and support that we were blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby girl.  Words cannot express our gratitude.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baby time

So...we are at the hospital ready to have baby Gwenyth. It is crazy to think that today is the day.  At the moment, we are just in the waiting stage.  To be honest, I am bored out of my mind and am starving.  I want more than ice chips and popcicles please.  I thought eating egg and fruit for breakfast would hold me over but I was wrong. 
I am so ready for her arrival.  I just want to get the show on the road.  I haven't been given any pitocin yet but was given something to soften the cervix.  Depending on the status of my next check, they will break my water which will definately speed things along from what I remember last time. 
My doctor came in to see me and asked me if I had any questions...and I did.  I wanted to know what would be done to check for Down's Syndrome since we have such an increased chance.  He told me they will just look for characteristics, etc. first.  Then, if need be, do some chromosonal testing. 
I am scared of what my reaction might be.  I have not been able to think of anything else in the last two weeks.  I just have the phrase "please don't have Down's Syndrome...please be healthy " repeating in my head.  I am scared that the moment she comes out I will be looking for all the "signs" of it and not just being thrilled with the moment. It makes me feel guilty.
I know that either way we are blessed to have a baby than no baby at all.  We will get through it together.   I am hopeful everything will be just fine.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Bench Revival

I acquired this bench from my dad.  He built it last year and left it outside sitting without any sealer on it to protect it.  Needless to say, the Michigan weather reaped havoc on it and the finish looked like this:

Yucky, right?  The stain was coming off in most parts, the finish was uneven, etc.  We needed something for our front porch.  Most of the time, we place two patio chairs on the porch, but we wanted something different and since this bench was simply going unused and wasted, I asked my dad if we could have it and if he would drop it off to our house.  He did.  Yay.

Obviously, I wasn't going to display it looking the way it did.  So I had to revamp it.  I sanded it down, restained it and added a coat of polyurethane.  Luckily, the bench will be he protected from the elements sinec our front porch is covered but I still love the shine of the poly.
Here is the end result.  I wasn't able to move it back on the porch until Clint got home since my preggy belly wouldn't allow it.  It was one thing to drag it off by myself but for some reason I couldn't find the motivation to drag it back.  Maybe it was the exhaustion from the days work?  I am so happy with it.  I even made a pillow for each seat. 

I will soon post pics of it with the pillows and some other changes that took place on the porch. 

Two best part about this one---(1)  FREE!  No cost for the bench and my dad brought over the stain and poly.  I had the brushes.  (2)  We now have a comfy spot to rest our behinds and enjoy the front yard.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kid in the kitchen.

Since Jude has been waking up so early lately and I am usually up since I am unable to sleep because of numbness in my arms I decided to let him help me make breakfast in bed for him and daddy tis past Monday.  It worked out nicely since Clint was home from work because of Memorial Day.  Jude loves to watch me cook and is eager to help in any way possible.  He loves to sprinkle spices, mix things with an egg beater, crack the eggs or pour one thing into another.  On this particular day, he cracked an egg, poured milk, beat eggs and made toast!  He was so excited and thrilled when it was all done.  He couldn't wait to tell daddy how he had helped.  It was too cute.  What's even cuter is this picture. 

I think it is so wonderful to watch kids in the kitchen.  While Clint was away this past week helping out at his Grandma's, I bought the fixings for homemade pizza.  I thought it would be a fun activity for Jude to make dinner.  He has helped make pizza before, but was only allowed to put toppings on.  This time he was able to "paint" olive oil on to the crust, pour and paint the sauce, add the cheese and place all the toppings.  He eound this thrilling.  Oh, the little things.  Here are pics of my cutie making dinner for himself and mommy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pet Peeves anyone?

Everyone has some sort of pet peeve;  something that occurs that just gets under their skin that may go unnoticed by most or just simply do not seem like a big deal.  I thought that I would share some of my own.

If you know me at know that I am quite a positive person and I also like things to be clean, tidy and organized.  I have eased up a bit on my obsession with order since being married.  For heaven's sake, I use to alphabetize the beverages in the fridge and would go bananas if they were out of order.  Crazy, I know.  After taking a step back and realizing how unreasonable I was being, I decided I needed to slow my role. 

Like I said, I have eased up but I still find no reason for any one with the means and access to cleaning supplies and those who are able bodied to live in filth.  I believe this is even more true if you have children.  It's one thing when you only have yourself to think of, but come on.....don't make your kids live that lifestyle.  Notice I said "filth" and not "messy".  Messy is acceptable at times but filth is not.  Filth makes me cringe as I simply cannot wrap my head around it.  I believe that in some way, ones standards are lowered when they have a child as they are trying to adjust to this new little person and their "things" taking over their home.  At some point, you have to snap out of it and get in a routine and get your head back in the game. 

You may be reading this thinking I am completely off my rocker or something of that nature, but that is just me.  I do not function well and cannot feel at ease when things are in a disarray.  If my space is cluttered or just not right, so is my mind.  I have always been this way.  For as long as I can remember, I have had to have order.  Everything has always had a place or I have always had some kind of system in place for organization.  Is anyone else the same way?  (Please say "yes")!

Not all of my pet peeves are focused on cleanliness, order or organization, but many do.  I am going to share my list below. 

Here it goes:

1.  I do not like when people talk bad about others.  This is especially true when people talk negatively about complete strangers.  It is just something I do not understand.  It is just plain hateful and makes me believe that this person must be just plain miserable with their own lives.  I have surrounded myself with such great, positive people and am fortunate not to have the type of people who do this sort of thing in my life, but even when I overhear complete strangers doing it, I am bothered.  If you are going to talk bad about someone, at least have a reason or some sort of experience with that person to back it up.

2.  This is a big one for me.  I cannot stand when clothes are hung in a closet with the hanger facing the wrong way.  The wrong way means that the hook of the hanger is facing towards you!   (See below-I was able to find this pic via a Google image search.  I promise, this is not a closet in our home).  My hubs had a closet once where the hangers would only hang this way and he just simply had gotten used to doing it this way.  Once we married and began living together this habit needed to be broken.  It took awhile, but he has been cured of this terrible problem.  I also have all the fronts of shirts all facing the same way and things in my own closet are usually color coordinated and by sleeve length.  In Clint's closet, his shirts all face the same way and are by style. 

3.  I think there is a right and a wrong way to put a roll of toilet paper on the fixture.  The end of the roll should be on top.  This is hard to explain.  Luckily, I found an image that explains it perfectly.  See below.    This bugs me for some reason.  If I see it the wrong way even if it is in a public place, I will most likely change it.  I am respectful though.  If I knew a person believed the opposite was true from my thinking, I wouldn't mess with their t.p.  I know how I am and if someone is the same way but just have a different opinion, I would not step on their toes.  Usually, I am happy (even for the opposing opinion) just to see others are as anal as I am and that they have standards they like to uphold. 

4.  I am picky about the way clothes are folded.  I must admit that folding laundry is my most hated chore, but I could not ever let anyone else do it with the exception of my own mother.  She folds the same way I do.  I have considered hiring out laundry services, but couldn't get over the fact that they may fold the shirts or towels all crazy.  By "all crazy" I simply mean different than the way I do.  It doesn't bother me when I see others fold differently than I do in their own lives, but when I find something in our drawers folded incorrectly, I am bothered and will fix it.

5.  The whole idea behind this post came from seeing this for the gazillionth time yesterday morning.  I don't know why but this is a habit I cannot seem to break of Clint's.  As much as it bothers me, shutting his drawers and closet completely has just become part of my routine.  He use to leave them wide open, so I suppose this is an improvement, but he can never seem to close his drawers and closet after getting what he needs every day.  My thing is, if you are going to close the 90%-98% of the way, why not 100%?  As I was shutting them again yesterday I thought about all the other adjustments Clint has made to please my OCD with cleaning/organization.  I realized, what is the big deal?  I will continue to let it irk me and close them each day for the rest of my life, smirk and say "Uh, Clint!" as I shake my fist in the air each time.  It takes five seconds of my day and it reminds me, Clint is Clint and I love him, open drawers and closet in all.  

*These are actual pictures from our bedroom.  I will sometimes takes pictures like this on my phone and send them to him....with no words at all to accompany them.  He knows exactly the reason for the message.

6.  Next, as an example, I do not understand why when people see this sign: 

...they believe it is acceptable for their speedometer to look like this:

This is just a no brainer.  Unacceptable.  I have to say that not every moment of every day should be rush rush, but come on!  At some point, everyone has a time when they are running late, are in a hurry or simple cannot afford the extra 10 minutes it is going to take to drive behind your slow butts!  Hit the gas people!

7.  I cannot stand when people think they have it so rough.  Regardless of how bad your situation may be, there is someone at any given time that has it much worse than you do.  Of course, if one is having a bad time, they should be able to feel what they feel and express themselves, but at the same time, as you are experiencing these things, ther comes a moment where you just need to say, look at all the blessing I do have.  I must admit that this took me awhile to learn.  It was during my study abroad trip in London my junior year in college when this came full circle for me.  That experience changed me.  I mean really changed me.  During that experience my eyes were open to so much beauty and truly made me appreciate the situations I faced. It wasn't just the beauty in the scenery, it was the lifestyle, the time to reflect, finding myself and the people and experiences I encountered.  During that time in my life I truly learned how good I have it and all the positive that really surrounds me.  I was fortunate to meet some of the greatest people who were just what I needed to help me come to these realizations.

8.  This is another one that I would think others would agree is unacceptable;  littering.  I am willing to bet that when one makes the decision to litter, they would have come across an acceptable place of disposal with a few minutes of where they dropped their trash or would have at their next destination.  Do your part people.  If you have something you want to dispose of, how hard is it to hold onto it for just a few more moments until you come across a trash can or recycling bin? 

This pretty much sums up my list based on the things that are on the top of my head.  I am sure I could think of many more if I took a long moment to think about it.  Some of them may seem silly or quirky, and others I believe are widely accepted pet peeves.  Do you have any pet peeves that are the same as my own or that you could share to help me feel more normal?  If so, please leave a comment telling me what they are.  I would greatly appreciate it.