Thursday, March 31, 2011

Surgery Update #2

We're on. We got confirmation about the insurance confirmation late last night and so this morning, we're on our way to the hospital. We'll check in again soon.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Surgery Update #1

The surgery has been scheduled for 12pm tomorrow... Now we're waiting and praying that the insurance will approve it on such short notice. Will update again soon.

PS Since you're here already, scroll down a few posts, I've posted some new pictures of the babies! :)

Snip, Snip

Well, its official. Nathan needs surgery. Its a relatively minor, outpatient surgical procedure but it has to be done under general anesthesia.
Honestly Kids, two surgeries in three months? Are you kidding me?
Of course, Jillian's response was jealousy - she will be the only one to not yet have experienced a surgical procedure... Once I reminded her that she was the only one to have had a broken bone in our family (except Daddy), she felt special again and got over the temporary bout of envy.
Because our insurance runs out on Thursday, the office is doing all they can to schedule the surgery for Thursday. Its very short notice - we only learned of the need for this little snip yesterday... But I'm thankful because we did find out about it. And we do have insurance until Thursday. Chloe's bills are being covered, the kids all went to the dentist and doctor, and my co-pays for the pregnancy are being covered... So, in the midst of this latest little hiccup, I'm grateful for our many blessings.
As for Nathan, I'm trying to have faith that one of three things will happen: either 1. God will provide a gap in the schedule to fit Nathan in and the insurance will approve a "short notice" surgery, 2. we'll miss the deadline, a few months will pass and the problem will correct itself (the specialist says this is unlikely) or 3. we'll have to have the surgery in a few months and we'll have the financial resources to pay for it some other way.
Nathan is nervous. He's the most weak stomached of the kids when it comes to pain and he's just more worrisome in general. I've been doing my very best to calm his fears and answer all his questions. I strongly believed that kids who are well armed with knowledge are less fearful of any kind of medical process. If I know ahead of time, I will tell them before an appointment if they're going to get a shot. And I tell them if something is going to hurt. I believe they should be prepared. And I don't ever want them to feel tricked or betrayed. It has proven to be very effective thus far.
Bless his heart, in addition to being worried about what is going to happen to him, he's stressing about missing school. Odyssey, their school, is very particular about attendance and Nathan has learned that one of his classmates will not be eligible to return to school next year because he's missed 22 days this year. Nathan panicked because I've had to check them out early 4 days in the past two weeks due to all these appointments and now he may miss Thursday entirely. Also, he has a spelling test and a Viking test on Thursday.
On one hand, I appreciate the struggle of the teachers and educators that know how important school is. On the other hand, stressing out my 8 year old because he needs to go to the doctor is completely inappropriate. Granted, I don't know how much of this pressure is actually being applied by teachers and staff and how much of it Nathan is assuming for himself. Either way, its distressing as a mom to watch this little boy stress about these things. I have tried repeatedly to reassure him that I will stand in the gap for him. I will support him and I won't ever intentionally do something that will endanger his school career or his grades. Quite on the contrary, I am the one who pushes him to excel.
Nevertheless, he worries.
And so I worry about him worrying. I wonder where he learned how to stress so much?
That's a sarcastic comment, but also a sad one because I don't want to teach him my bad habits. Hopefully by him watching me learn to lean on Christ, he'll learn too. That's the hope. And hopefully, I'll learn fast so that he will too.
Until then, I'm going to intentionally not worry. For both of us.

I find out today, most likely by 11 am, whether or not the surgery will be scheduled for tomorrow. I'll let you know.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Baby Shower

I had my baby shower on Saturday. It was thrown by one of the girls at work at her mom's house. Almost all of the girls who came were from work - the one exception was Abby, one of my Bottom East-ers from college. It was great to re-connect with her and to catch up a little. We both said that we need to get together soon for some real bonding time!
I was very blessed and spoiled by everyone's generosity. I got a ton of adorable little clothes, a Snuggli, bath products, some yummy blankets and fun toys and a little collapsible "play pen" for the baby to use until he's big enough for a real play pen. My grandma also gave us the money for a car seat. I also received money at the shower and I used it to get the crib mattress and some crib sheets.
I also received a gift card from our friends in South Dakota which I used to get a body pillow so that I can get some sleep!!! And a table for baby's room to make room for the crib. (I'm using the scrapbooking room and it was a mess!!! Now I have somewhere to put all the stuff that was all over the floor - and viola! we have room for the crib! :) ) ***PS thank you Kroeshce's! I've been meaning to get a card in the mail and it just hasn't happened yet... Your thoughtful is very appreciated!!!!!!!
Basically, we have all we need except a stroller, the bigger play pen and a name!! (I need the play pen because he'll be coming to work with me occasionally) And, of course, all those thousands of diapers that we're going to go through. Ugh. Still unsure about Eric... Middle name? First name? I'm not in love with any of the options so, for now, he's just "baby"...
I also went to WIC while I was waiting for Chloe to get her root canal. I made an appointment with them for later this week so that I can get signed up for all the formula and fruits and veggies. That is such a great program!!! I'm hoping that we qualify financially.. Praying about that one because formula is EXPENSIVE!!!!!

I'll post some pictures from the shower as soon as I get copies of them.
Thank you again to all of our family and friends for the thoughts, prayers and encouragement! We've only got 10 weeks to go...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our Busy Schedule

Yesterday was the first of what is proving to be two weeks of doctor appointments. Chloe and Nathan went for their annual checkup yesterday. Both kids have fantastic eyesight, 20/15, and both are in the 50% of height and weight. Nathan has been complaining lately of "growing pains" and so the doctor ordered blood work to be sure that there isn't an underlying cause. She was fairly sure its just because he's, well, growing. :) This was the first time Nathan had had blood drawn and he was not thrilled about the idea but I went over and over it with him - the process, what would be happening and how I thought it might feel. I encouraged him to relax and that, honestly, it doesn't hurt when Mom gets blood drawn... He was brave. Much, much braver than he was the last time he got a shot when I had to physically restrain him. He did get a little pale at the end though, and the nurses had to get him to take deep breaths because they were worried he was going to pass out. :) I was very proud of him for being so brave and this morning he was excited to show his "hole" to his friends. Chloe is perfectly healthy and we learned of an easy treatment for her "spots". She has patches of skin that are lighter than the rest of her body sprinkled on her torso and back. The doctors have always told me that she'll grow out of them, but this doctor yesterday said that by washing her body with an anti-dandruff shampoo, we may be able to speed up the process. She's excited about possibly being spot-free by Christmas! :) Today is Boogie's turn. I'm not sure if she'll be getting a shot - the other two are done with vaccinations until they turn 11... I don't know about Jillie. She has been excited for almost a week about going to the doctors but that may change when the needle comes out. I have to say that I LOVE the doctor that they are seeing!!!! Absolutely love her! She was upbeat, encouraging and made them feel at ease. She was also great because I had a couple of moments when I felt like less than the perfect mom. She was never belittling or tried to make me feel guilty or upset. I just love, love her! Thank you Lord for her! Thursday we have 3 dentist appointments - everyone is getting a cleaning and checkup. This will be our first venture to the dentist - and before you freak out -- I know, I know. Its terrible that my kids have never been to the dentist and I've felt plenty guilty about it. Its always been a financial thing. So, now we're going. I'm hoping for a relatively painless experience - for them and for me! :) Next week Lowell has training. I have to adjust my work schedule around it which has made for some interesting maneuvering at work. Also, with Nathan's doctor's appointment, she referred us to two specialists for some minor issues that Nathan has been dealing with so there are now two more appointments in my world... Tuesday I have to leave work at 2, pick up the kids and then get to the doctor's by 3:30. Wednesday, leave work at 2, pick up the kids and be to the specialist on the other side of town by 4:15... And blissfully, I have to take Thursday off completely. My own schedule is interrupted by OB appointments ever two weeks now, but I did get some good news at my last appointment on Monday. I learned that 1. I don't have gestational diabetes and 2. my protein levels suggest that I won't go into labor for at least the next 10 days. :) This just might be my first full-term pregnancy. Fingers crossed.

Friday, March 18, 2011


I've been convicted lately about praying for those around me. It is so frequent that I talk to someone and hear about how they're struggling. Almost without fail, I will honestly say to them "I'll be praying for you." I know the power of prayer and I love that people come to me and trust me to bring them before the throne. I know that the Bible says to pray unceasingly, and honestly, with the amount of people I have in my life who are hurting, I should be praying almost constantly!!
But I'm not. Most of the time, my prayers consist of, "Lord, You know. Just help!" Or something even less articulate that amounts to little more than shooting up an arrow of thought with their name on it...
On my prayer list currently, I have:
-A friend who recently, suddenly lost her job. She is up and moving to Virginia to be with family.
-A dear friend who is about to embark on an adventure with her family and who is praying for peace, financial support, health, and safety.
-A co-worker who is struggling in a new relationship, dealing with all the baggage that comes from previous relationships, having children out of wedlock etc...
-A co-worker who is suffering from a serious medical condition
-A friend who has been desperately trying for a baby for over a year, and who just had to have an emergency hysterectomy
-Someone with cancer, others who's mom/daughter/sister/brother-in-law have cancer, two people with premature babies just born in their families, back issues, pain issues... so many health related concerns
-A close friend who is struggling with getting pregnant
-Basically the whole country of Japan
-Someone struggling with getting over her divorce
-Someone contemplating divorce and working to keep her marriage together
-Someone struggling with an addiction
-Someone fighting bankruptcy and overwhelming debt
-Someone starting a new career
-A friend struggling in her marriage and a husband dealing with addiction
-A friend experiencing a difficult pregnancy
-A family member going to Afghanistan
-Someone dealing with custody issues and the heartache that accompanies it
-2 moms with daughters who are pregnant and very young
And that's just off the top of my head...
I need to get off here and start praying!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yin and Yang

My husband never ceases to amaze me. One of the things that I appreciate most about him is his ability to be calm and logical under pressure. There is a story that we love to re-tell from when we were in college and going on a middle of the night KrispyKreme donut run. Our good friend Nate was driving (the car that he had affectionately named Elvira) and Lowell, myself and two other friends were with him. We were excitedly headed toward our destination of fresh-out-of-the-oven doughnuts when we entered an intersection... And the car suddenly, completely, died. In the middle of the road. 4 sets of eyes all turned to Lowell and Nate frantically spoke the words on all of our minds -- "What do I do?" Lowell, calm as a cucumber said, "Try to start it." His first instinct was to get us out of the intersection and out of harms way. Logical and calm. The car started right up and never had that problem again.

This morning, I was in a little bit of a panic. Back story: I have a Jetta with the automatic door lock key fob. You know, the little black thing on the keychain where you can unlock or lock the doors. That's how I get in my car.
Anyway, I left my cell phone in the car purposely because the battery was about to die and I didn't want to use the phone while I went in Walgreens. I came out of the store only to discover that the lock option was fully functional on my key fob but the unlock button was inconveniently NOT working!!! What am I going to do? How do I get in my car? I can't even call Lowell to tell him I'm stuck!!
I did open the trunk, (that button on the key fob was also functional) and try to unlock the rear seats to climb into the car that way, but I couldn't get the seats to fold down... So I went back into Walgreens and asked to use their phone. Lowell answered and I explained my situation.
My expectation was that he would be frustrated because these little key thingy-ma-bobbers are not cheap.
Instead, he said "Use the key."

Honestly, the thought never crossed my mind!!! I have NEVER used the actual key to get into my car because I have the neat little button that lets me in.
Lowell, however, was not stumped. He was logical and calm. And very helpful!

In light of my often very emotional responses to life, it is soooo reassuring to know that he is there to balance me out. And bring me back to reality.
He's my match. :)
Almost like it was meant to be.... :)

How Do I Do It?

With no arrogance intended, I get asked this question a lot.
How do I work full time, mother three beautiful children, stay happily married, have a (relatively) clean house, be a volunteer leader at church, go to school full time, be pregnant and still have a little time to do the things I enjoy?
Or, from those who know my story, I get asked how I can be happy and semi-well-adjusted even having lived the life that I've lived.
Both questions have the same answer. Jesus. He's the answer to a lot of the questions in my life.
How do I keep my children motivated, encouraged, moving in the right direction, safe and growing? Only with help from Jesus.
How do I stay emotionally healthy when I have multiple women in my office each day crying their eyes out, sharing stories of the horrendous abuse they've suffered. Or when I watch children be neglected or abused and I see the pain and hurt in their little eyes... How do I cope with that on a daily basis? Jesus.
How do I move on after suffering the abuse that I have experienced? How do I let go of the memories and the pain? Jesus.
How do I make my relationship of 15 years work - and have it get better over the years instead of dull and boring? Jesus.
How do I deal with a husband who has a temper and who works ridiculous hours and never sleeps enough? Jesus.
How do I forgive myself when I repeatedly screw up and not live up to my own expectations for myself? How to I let it go when I am not a good wife or if I'm a grouchy mother or an inconsiderate friend? Jesus, Jesus and more Jesus.

So, really the question becomes, how could I get through life without Him?
I sin everyday. Some days, I S-I-N!! But He gives me grace and forgiveness and love and allows me to share them with others. He moves in my heart and softens my anger, lessens my hurt and allows me to forgive.
On days when I'm not paying attention to my relationship with Him, my temper is quicker, my feelings get hurt much easier and my focus is almost always on myself. And that makes for a person that no-one wants to be around - not even me!!
So, I make a choice. Daily. I decide to put my eyes on Him and to let Him guide my steps because I believe that not only does He do a better job of directing my steps than I ever could, but that I am better at loving people when I have my heart in tune with His.
I make a choice. Its not an easy one, and I'm not always successful, but I keep trying.
Jesus said that those who follow Him must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Him.
I believe its worth it. Its the only way I know how to get through life and still have joy.
Jesus also said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He carries the heavy stuff so I don't have to. I just make the choice to follow Him.

So really, I can't take credit at all - I'm cheating. Jesus is doing the work and I'm just following along letting Him carry me on bad days and skipping along on good ones.
Either way, I'm thankful. Because I couldn't do it without Him.

"So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I'll stand
My soul, Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blessings - Laura Story

Loving this new song....

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if the thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
As long as we have faith to believe
When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise


Today my baby turns 6! My little angel, my Booga and my princess.... I watched her this morning as I dropped her off at school and got more teary eyed than I did for her first day of kindergarten because I could see how much she had grown. She's confident, happy and so smart. And getting so big. I smiled though because she's still not quite strong enough to open the heavy door into her school. She still has to grab the handle, pull with all her might, and then either wedge part of her body in the little crack she can create or she has to leverage herself with her foot on the wall and pull on the door with both hands. This morning was the wedge because she had her lunch in one hand. :) She's so adorable and precious and special. And I'm so lucky to be her mom. I feel so blessed. I have the most awesome kids. Thank you Lord, for entrusting them to me - they are my biggest source of joy and reward. Especially my Booga. Adorable just doesn't begin to cover it. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

4 Months of Changes

Its getting closer.... I am 6 months and 3 weeks today. I hear a lot of comments from the girls at work that my pregnancy seems to be just flying by. I have a somewhat different perspective. I can't believe it was only 4 months ago that I found out!!! It truly seems like I've been pregnant for at least a year. That being said, a lot has changed in the past 4 months. For one, I've lost 25 pounds. Yep, lost - not gained. I currently weigh 25 pounds less than I did the day I found out I was expecting. I'm not 100% sure how that works because I didn't really have morning sickness with this pregnancy... I'm just not hungry. Ever. And on those rare occasions when my tummy rumbles, I take about 3 bites of something and I'm full. Weird, I know and I would really like to bottle whatever is causing this for after the baby's born!
Another circumstance that is very different from 4 months ago is that Lowell is much more at peace with the baby. He said this morning that he might even be a little excited... :) The kids are excited, for sure. And my co-workers can't wait for me to bring him to work with me. I have the best boss in the world who wants me to bring him in once a week or so so that I can still have Mommy time. I am so blessed.
Yet another change is that I'm not doing my practicum right now. I just can't. I've been applying for other jobs - and I've gotten 4 or 5 offers for interviews, but each time it just didn't seem like the right job or the right situation, and now its too close to the baby - I can't afford to lose my health insurance. So, I'm staying where I am for now and putting off my practicum. It is a little discouraging because I worked so hard to finish my program early so that I could graduate and move on, and now I'm only postponing things further. I have to keep reminding myself that God has a plan that is above and superior to mine, I just need to be obedient and patient and thankful.
Another big change comes in the form of my attitude. I've been working on my own feelings about this baby and God has shown repeatedly how faithful He is and how He has everything worked out - I just need to be patient and obedient. I have struggled with how I can continue on with our original plan and still have this baby, but I've realized that plan A needs to be scrapped because that's not the agenda anymore. I am having a baby and I can't change jobs right now. I can't work 60 hours a week without complicating my pregnancy and I also can't dedicate that much time to my job when I have a newborn. On the other hand, this new plan may allow me to be more involved in the other kids' school and also be more effective at home.
I still don't know what the plan is - and, I guess the biggest change of all is that I'm learning to be okay with that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Best Husband in the World

My husband and I have been together for almost 15 years. Since I was 15 years old. I am now (Gag!) 30... To put it mildly, a lot has changed in the last decade and a half.
One of the things that is different is how my husband shows me that he loves me. When we first started dating, he expressed his affection with roses, cards, poems, letters and with acts of service. Recently I've expressed that I miss those original displays of his feelings for me. He reminded me that a lot has changed so, I've been on the lookout for how he is showing his love for me now. This is what I've noticed:
The cards and letters have gone by the wayside replaced by much more practical displays of devotion. Its not as easy for me to appreciate these symbols of love because I tend to crave those loving words, but if I really pay attention, I can see him showering me with loving gestures. For example:
**Not only did he go grocery shopping Monday night, but he bought the "expensive" shampoo to spoil me.
**I had to drive to Mesa today for work and I was nervous about it. Not only was I going somewhere completely unfamiliar, but I had to do it in a 15 passenger van! Lowell understood my fear and called to check on how I was doing as well as giving me a suggestion of a faster, less congested route to take.
**He listens to me - even when I think he's not paying attention. He remembered to get cream cheese from the store even though I didn't say anything to him. I just muttered about it in the fridge.
**He loves his kids. And they know it.
**He pushes me to overcome my fears.
**He goes to work every day whether he's slept or not.
**If he drives my car for some reason, he almost always brings it back with a full tank of gas.

Just some of the everyday ways that Lowell shows that he loves me. I'm lucky.