Wednesday, February 22, 2012

34 Weeks...

Well I'm still on bed rest and trying to make the best of it. One day I'm ok - the next day I'm so over it. :) I'm blessed to have people who remind me that this is only for a short time and I know it's what's best for me and Sydney. Even though the thought of being on bed rest for 5 more weeks makes me think I might go crazy. My doctor encouraged me to just take one day at a time and to focus on the prize at the end. Our sweet Sydney.

I am beyond impressed with my husband and his ability to go on less sleep (he didn't get a whole lot before this), to run to the store bi-weekly, to run get whatever I'm craving at the moment, to take Amelia to the doctor by himself, to keep the dishwasher loaded/unloaded, to keep the house picked up, to care for Amelia in every way. All the while going to work early (some days at 4am!) so he can work from home from 2-5 for the rest of the day. He is amazing.

I'm also impressed with my little toddler. I couldn't ask for a better child to go through this with. She plays on her own so well and will play in the same room (wherever I am) for the longest time. I'm pulling out little surprises for her each day that I hope make this a little easier for her. It's hard not being able to be up and down, playing with her like I usually do. She's constantly saying, "Mommy, I take care of you" and will bring me a delicious meal that she whipped up in her little kitchen. Melt my heart.

So while this is a hard's also a special time...a happy time. My devotional continues to be exactly what I need each day. Reminding me to be thankful in all circumstances. A few days ago my devotional read, "thank me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still."

It made me smile.

God is good.

Love to all,

Monday, February 20, 2012

Random Thoughts While On Bed Rest...

I have lots of things going on in my head these days. That's what being on bed rest will do to you. Thinking. Lots of thinking. So here are some random thoughts for this Monday morning.

1. I woke up with lips twice the size of what they were last night.

2. My face is three times the size it was last night.

3. I wore my hair down today - in an effort to cover the ever growing lips and face.

4. It didn't work. My nurse mentioned the "puffy face" upon sitting down in her office.

5. I feel like a free woman when I get to leave for doctor's appointments twice a week. Since I've been put on house arrest.

I mean bed rest.

6. After stepping off the scale today, I asked my doctor if it was ok to take diet pills while pregnant.

He said that's the easiest question he has been asked in quite some time.

7. No diet pills for me.

8. I looked at our bank account today. I blushed with embarrassment on how much $ we've given Shake's Custard in the last two weeks. Their strawberry shakes are to die for and I've been craving them. A lot. My marriage almost ended over a strawberry shake while I was in the hospital a week ago. Long story. All I can say about it is...bless my husband's heart. Can you say HORMONAL??

9. I wonder why I've been gaining so much weight lately?

Such a mystery.

10. This is the second week that friends and family have been bringing meals to us. I haven't cooked a meal since I was put on bed rest. Every day a meal is dropped off and I close the door and want to cry. We are blessed to have so many people who love us and want to serve/bless us in this way - when we need it the most.

11. I went to Target right after my doctor's appointment today and bought hand soap and dish soap. We've only had one bottle of hand soap in the house for a couple of days and I've been carrying it from bathroom to bathroom or to the kitchen to wash my hands. I was only at Target for 5 minutes but it was so much fun.

12. I miss Target.

13. #11 was more of a confession.

14. Dr. S, if you read my blog...I'm sorry I broke the rules and went to Target.

15. My baby girl is up from her nap now...time to move from the bed to the couch.

Love to all,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Amelia's 5th Verse...

Brought to you by the letter "E"

"...every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God."
-Romans 14:11

Love to all,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Amelia's Valentine Party...

I went to the doctor on Thursday and by the end of the appointment they wanted me to go to L&D on Friday to run some more tests. I quickly told the doctor about Amelia's Valentine party and he agreed to let me have it (as long as I had help with the party) and could go to the hospital afterwards.

Sweet man. I was going to have the party no matter what he said but it was nice of him to agree with me. ;)

Here are a few pictures of Amelia's long-awaited Valentine Party!

Starting with the invitation. I gave Amelia four different ones to choose from and this is the one she chose. She said, "I want the one with a baby doll."

Welcome to the party!

My SIL, Sara, painted me a set of these - one for each month. I just love changing them out each month.

My SIL, Elaina, made us some cute banners to hang for the party.

Here's the table. I took pictures before I tied the balloons to each chair. The balloons made it a little more festive as well!

She also made these cute hearts for the back of the chairs. Each guest had a little mailbox with their name on it at their place setting. Amelia put her valentine to each of them inside the mailbox and then when it was time to trade valentines - they all went around and placed them inside each other's mailboxes. Majority of the decorations came from Target $1 bin or Dollar Tree.

I must say that I'm a huge fan of the doily after this party. I used them on everything. I'm also a huge fan of using wrapping paper on the tables! My friend, Mandi, told me about this and I think she's just brilliant. I already had this red and white wrapping paper in my gift closet so that's what we used.

I ordered wooden forks and spoons stamped with a Happy Valentine's Day message for the kiddos to use. I love Etsy!

Here's my sweet Valentine - anxiously waiting for her guests to arrive. She had a hard morning and wasn't feeling too well. I gave her some medicine and after lying down for a little bit she was ready to go. The doorbell rang at one point and she said, "IT'S MY FRIENDS!!" Unfortunately, it was the UPS man. She said, "it wasn't my friends, was just a package." (LOL)

Kandace arrived early which was very nice. She and Amelia played for a bit while Elaina and I finished things up in the kitchen. I ordered Amelia's dress from HERE. Love this Etsy seller...all of her dresses are very retro and in bright colors. We'll be ordering from her again!

This was our drink station. Amelia chose strawberry milk and lemonade as the drinks for the party.

Raspberry lemonade has been one of my cravings for several weeks now. I specifically love Cracker Barrel's raspberry lemonade and if you call a few days ahead - you can order it by the gallon for a party! I forgot to take a picture but I also bought a heart shaped ice cube mold ($1 bin at Target) and made some out of lemonade to go in our drinks. I used little mason jars for the lemonade and covered the lid with scrapbook paper and parchment paper. Alex actually gave me the idea of the parchment on top of the scrapbook paper - I was pleased with how they turned out. The paper heart straws came from Etsy.

Here's the food table. Or I should really say the SWEETS table.

We had heart marshmallows on a stick, heart rice krispies on a stick (thanks to Aunt Joy), heart cakes, and jello. The jello was a specific request by Amelia. :)

Another request she had was powdered donuts.

If you want to win my girl's heart...give her a powdered donut.

My sis, Joy, also made white chocolate popcorn with pink M&M's. This stuff is addictive. We still have some and I can't stop eating it!

My blog friend, Robin, made these adorable valentine cookies for us. They tasted as good as they look! She's so talented.

And the only real food we had....Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets with dipping sauces. We also had strawberry romaine salad for the Mamas!

I apologized in advance to all the Moms for sending their kiddos home on a sugar high. How often do you get to have a table full of sweets like that though!? :)

After the kiddos were all hyped up on sugar - we did a little crafting. I'm the first to admit, I'm not a real crafty person. I've used a glue gun twice in my life and burned myself both times. Trying to find a craft for the party was the hardest part for me. I spent over an hour in Michael's trying to find something they would enjoy doing, that wouldn't take long (because their attention span is so short), but they would actually use. I finally decided on heart/flower felt barretts (like the one in Amelia's hair), felt heart magnets, and chalkboard hearts.

After crafts the kiddos played some more and then our friends had to leave, but not before we gave them goodie bags with all sorts of candy, crazy heart straws, play-doh, crayons, notepad, bubbles, stuff like that! I ordered some round stickers that had a little message from Amelia on them from where else...Etsy.

And every little girl needs some jewelry on Valentine's Day.

We also sent them home with a little more candy. I wrapped some scrapbook paper around a package of Rolos. They turned out so cute! Rolos are one of my favorite candies.

Here's all the munchkins on Amelia's bed. I hope they had a great time. I know my little girl did. She'll never forget her first "Balentine" party.

Thank you to my sister, Joy, and to my sister-in-laws. There's no way I could have done it without their help. They made things and ran errands for me so I could stay on bed rest. They knew how much this meant to Amelia and me and just made it happen. I don't know what I would do without my family!

Love to all,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012...

We had a little bit of snow yesterday. Very little, but Amelia was very excited. There was more on the back deck than anything. Alex promised her they would build a snowman the next time there was snow. He came home early before it all melted so they could build the tiniest snowman ever. He kept his promise.

Daddy of the year.

He brought us home Valentine goodies as well. I received red tulips. LOVE THEM.

He brought Amelia home a balloon, flowers, and huge teddy bear.

He knows the way to his sweet little girl's heart. I'm not going to lie, seeing him treat her so sweetly and think of her on Valentine's Day on his own like that...makes me fall in love with him even more.

That teddy bear MADE HER DAY. She slept with it in her bed last night. She crawled up in his lap a dozen times over to say, "Happy Balentine's Day, Daddy." She told me over and over that Daddy was her "balentine" and her boyfriend.

Melt my heart.

I bought these little envelopes to go on the back of the chairs for Amelia and Sydney. I wanted to get Amelia's name on hers for this year but wasn't able to in time. Next year we'll have two little Valentines! :)

Going through her goodies this morning.

Alex picked up Kobe for of our favorites. I went off bed rest for 10 minutes to make him a heart shaped brownie. My man loves chocolate. We watched the movie Courageous after dinner. I've been wanting to see it for a long time. Such a good movie. Great message.

Today I'm thankful for my sweet Valentine. He has been working from home 1/2 days to take care of me and Amelia. He has so much on his plate but always puts us first. He's the best husband to me and Daddy to Amelia.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love to all,

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Time To Rest...

Just as soon as I make plans - something happens that throws them out of whack.

Few things about me:
I'm a planner.
I love lists.
I love to check things off a list.
I love to plan a party.
I love for parties to go as planned.

God started showing me a few year ago that I was so wrapped up in planning the party and stressing about things going as planned that I was unable to actually ENJOY THE PARTY. Not something I enjoyed hearing but it was SO TRUE.

I didn't want to be a Martha - all up in the kitchen, frazzled about the details and unable to enjoy my company.

I wanted to be a Mary - sitting down to enjoy the ones I took time to invite into my home in the first place.

Allowing God to change my heart in this area changed everything. It's not that what Martha was doing was unimportant - I believe she had a servant's heart - she just lost focus of what was MORE IMPORTANT. She let worry and anxiety about everything being "just right" for Jesus and His disciples distract her. And Jesus called her out on it.

I guess you could say Jesus called me out on it too...through my husband's wise counsel. :)

Few more things about me:
I have the gift of hospitality.
I love to cook a good meal for someone.
I love to make it special in some way.
I enjoy serving others in that way.
A fun party to me is in the smallest details - that's my way of making it special for those who attend.

I've been wanting to spend special time with Amelia before Sydney arrives. I'm so excited for her to be a big sister and yet I have this need to soak up our last few weeks of her being an only child. I want to make the most of every minute - right down to forgetting the laundry for a bit and doing simple things like coloring together.

One of the things we've been so excited about is her Valentine party. We picked everything out together. She even picked out a lot of things on her own. I've laughed at the things she says she needs at the party. She has talked about this party for months. She knows every single guest that received an invite and talks about them every day. I love to hear her say, "is today my balentine party?"

One day she'll pronounce her V's and talk like the rest of us...I see no need to correct's too cute hearing her talk right now.

We were running errands yesterday morning (for the Valentine party) and I started having some major abdominal pain. The pain brought me to tears and lasted for a few hours. I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon and they ended up checking me into L&D to run more tests for preeclampsia. They made me stay the night.

Couple of things about today:
Amelia's Valentine party was today.
We had to reschedule it.
Party didn't go as planned.

Old Martha made an appearance and I had a mini-meltdown.
I got distracted and started getting anxious...worrying about the details.

Worrying that Sydney would arrive before she was ready. Worrying Amelia would be heartbroken and think I'm a liar because this is the 2nd party in her short life that we've talked about for months and didn't go as planned.

I was sent home this afternoon and I'm officially on bed rest until Sydney arrives. We started steroids to prepare and we're praying my body will cooperate so Sydney can stay put for a couple more weeks.

After a little minute (or 24 hours) I realized:
It doesn't matter that Amelia's Valentine party will take place three days after Valentine's Day. She just wants to eat cake and have friends over to play.

I also realized:
My sweet Sydney is God's child, not my own. He will take the very best care of her.

How many times over will I have to learn that lesson? I can't even tell you how many times He has reminded me of this.

Not knowing exactly what my body is going to do can be terribly frustrating.
Not being able to care for my husband & daughter in every way makes me sad.
Not being able to cook for my family is something I already miss.
Not being able to wash my own laundry is terribly humbling.
Not being able to go to the store to run a quick errand is a bummer.

But I'm choosing to give my worries/anxiety to God. Because all worry/anxiety does is take my focus off Him and I start trying to handle it all on my own.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7

After my reading this afternoon, I also realized I must find ways to be thankful during this time.

Something I'm thankful for today:
I'm thankful that I'm not having to spend these next several weeks in the hospital (which my doctor will totally do if I don't cooperate) and can rest at home with Amelia.

He requires one thing of simply surrender it all to make Him the center of my every day surrender my worries/anxiety to Him on a daily basis.

“My strength is not found in how intensely I struggle...but in how completely I surrender.” -Ken Gire in Intense Moments with the Savior-

I WILL FIND JOY in this time of rest.

Love to all,

Amelia's 4th Verse...

Brought to you by the letter "D"

"Do to others as you would have them do to you." - Luke 6:31

Love to all,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

32 Weeks...

I had my 32 week appointment yesterday. It didn't go as I had hoped. I'm starting to show signs of preeclampsia. 32 weeks is when I started showing signs of it with Amelia as well. My blood pressure was up, I had gained 10 pounds in 5 weeks, I've been having some pain in a certain area that concerned my doctor, and he couldn't help but notice my puffy face. Sooooo...I now have to go twice a week to see my doctor. They're going to see if it gets any better and if it doesn't, we'll start steroid shots to prepare Sydney for an early delivery. I cried most of yesterday afternoon. I really don't want her to have to spend time in the NICU like Amelia did. I don't feel prepared for her arrival in regards to her room and things like that, but mainly I just want her to be able to stay put for as long as possible. I learned with Amelia's birth that her room is the least of my worries. :) We were supposed to set the c-section date yesterday but my doctor said he didn't want to do that. He feels like it's going to be earlier than what we want regardless. I've been instructed to take it easy, drink lots of water, and put my feet up while laying on my left side for at least an hour every day.

By now, Sydney weighs about 3.75 pounds and is about 16.7 inches long. She'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb.

I could most definitely sit and worry and let my mind go to all of the "what-if's" but I'm choosing to give it to God every time I'm tempted to worry. My devotional a few days ago spoke about how we have to ask the Holy Spirit to control our thoughts, for the mind controlled by the Spirit is Life and Peace. It went on to say, we can have as much of God and His peace as we want, it all starts with the many choices we make during the day. We'll never run out of things to worry about but we can choose to trust Him no matter what. (Jesus Calling - February 5th)

I'm giving it to God each and every time my mind starts to wander - I'm choosing peace over worry.

"The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace." -Romans 8:6

Love to all,

Monday, February 6, 2012

She chose HIM over ME...

So there was a big football game on last night. We watched the Super Bowl from home. Alex watched all of it. I watched between doing laundry, picking up dinner, stuff like that.

I really just wanted to see the commercials. There were a few funny ones and a couple that almost made me cry!

What can I say...I'm pregnant...I cry a lot.

Amelia wasn't that into the Super Bowl. She played and watched Caillou on the ipad.

She WAS into the dessert I made though. My friend, Susy, posted a picture of brownies right before the game and I immediately had a craving for them. We topped our hot Ghirardelli brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries. SO YUMMY.

So like I said earlier...I'm pregnant...I cry a lot.

And my 2 year old totally made me cry last night.

I was leaving to pick up the pizza for dinner and asked her to come with me. She immediately responded, "no, I don't want to go, I want to stay with my Daddy."

I was like, "what?"

So I asked her again, assuming she didn't understand my question.

She responded, "no, I want to stay here with my Daddy."

I proceeded to ask her 20 more times and she made it quite clear that she didn't want to go. Alex tried to make me feel better by saying, "it's okay, she does that to me all the time."

I was like, "exactly, she does this to YOU...she always chooses ME."

I left with tears in my eyes. It was like she took her tiny, toddler hand and slapped me in the face.

Alex quickly sent me a text that she was asking for me as soon as I left and he also sent me a video of her saying, "I want my Mommy."

Not sure how many M&M's it took to make her say it - but it made me feel better. :)

And I just have to share what I walked in on her doing last night.

Me: "Whatcha doing Amelia?"

Amelia: "I cookin' my baby."

I explained that we don't cook our babies and asked her to remove it from the microwave immediately, but not before taking a picture. All while trying to keep a straight face. I left the room laughing so hard.

Looks like we'll be starting therapy a little sooner than I thought.

Crazy kid.

She totally made up for making me cry this morning though. While watching Super Why she reached over to hold my hand.

Melt my heart.

I love her so much.

Happy Monday!

Love to all,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Week Away...

Alex went on a business trip and has been gone for 9 days/8 nights. I can't remember the last time he had to be away for that long but I can tell you that none of us are a fan of Daddy being out of town. Alex helps with Amelia A LOT when he's home. He enjoys spending time with her and knows these days of her being little will pass quickly. He plays with her as soon as he gets home, gives her a bath, reads her stories, and gets her to sleep every single night. He's a hands-on-Daddy...a wonderful Daddy...we've missed him so much.

I'm reaching week 32 in this pregnancy and I've been really tired. Giving Amelia a bath with this growing belly of mine seems like a workout. So we packed up and went to my parent's for a week! It was so nice to have the help and Amelia enjoyed spending time with her Papa and Granny.

We skyped with Daddy several times and that made it easier being away from him for so long. Amelia wanted to do nothing but kiss the screen of the computer the entire time and would ask Alex to give her kisses.

My brother and his family live about an hour away from my parents, so we drove to Missouri to take my little bro to lunch for his birthday while we were there.

We ate at Lambert's. This is where they throw the hot rolls across the restaurant for you to catch and serve your tea in the largest container known to man.

Yet I still needed a refill.

Pregnancy makes me thirsty.

And y'all...let's just get it out of the way and talk about it...the pregnancy face has arrived. Every morning I wake up and think "my face is even bigger than yesterday!" It's just part of it for me...I always gain weight in my face. Unfortunately, there's just not a flattering angle anymore. Trust me - I've tried every angle - it's still large no matter if my chin is down and my head is tilted to the left. I've come a long way in the vanity department though - because I wouldn't have even posted this picture when I was pregnant with Amelia. I still have my skinny ankles though so I'm not complaining. HAHA!

After eating at Lambert's, we headed back to my brother's home to have cake and ice cream. I brought him a big 'ole cookie cake and my SIL made homemade snickers bars...they were YUMMY.

Amelia doesn't get to see Jackson and Millie very often - they played up a storm.

Millie's room truly looked as though a tornado hit it by the time we left.

On Sunday we went to my parent's church. I bought Amelia this little hat and was going to let her wear it Sunday evening, but she insisted on wearing it on Sunday morning. Girl LOVES a hat on her head. It doesn't even have to be cute...she just likes to wear hats.

I was so excited to hear my Daddy's message because it has been such a long time since I've been able to sit under his preaching. Just FYI - my Daddy can preach - he preaches straight from the Word (Old & New Testament) and I so appreciate that. I never realized just how blessed I was to have my Dad as my pastor for so many years...I took it for granted. I hope as they get older, Amelia and Sydney will realize just how blessed they are to have Alex as their pastor. Daddy's message was on "the tongue." What a convicting message. So much power in such a small member of the body. If I'm going to speak - I want to speak life and encourage those around me. There's power in our words, y'all.

They had their annual men's chili cook-off after church. And what do you Daddy won this year!! Here he is holding the golden chili pot and golden chili spoon. (LOL!) He was so proud of himself. This was his fourth year to enter but first time to win. We'll never hear the end of it now. :)

Amelia went to Awanas on Sunday night. She cried at first (when I took her to her class) but was dancing in front of the entire Awanas group by end of the night!

We made a trip to the mall while there...she always remembers the ice cream cone truck and wants to take a ride.

She was allowed to stay up past her bedtime every night and do fun things like have a dance party at 10:30PM. Only at Papa and Granny's! :)

She read books and watched some of her favorite shows.

And thankfully, all but one night, she slept really well. My Mama bought these little cots for the grand kids to sleep on when they visit. This was Amelia's first time to sleep on one. I put it right beside my bed and she slept until at least 9AM almost every morning. I cannot sleep with girlfriend in my bed. She's practically laying on top of me by morning and that = zero sleep for this Mama.

She took a good nap for me on the way home and now we're just waiting for Daddy to get home. He should arrive home around 9PM this evening!! I can't wait to hug his neck.

Thank you to Papa & Granny for your help this past week!!

Love to all,