Fall is here... We are busy... But not that crazy busy I can get where I can't remember to put on mascara because I am running around trying to get everyone dressed and out the door, just busy...
We started home church again which means that every Sunday evening we have people from our community over to our house for dinner and to discuss the morning sermon and just fellowship together... So, this Sunday, day 11, I celebrated by fellowshipping with good friends and neighbors and it was great. We met new people and caught up with old friends. It is always fun to reconvene after a busy summer to find out what everyone was up to.
Today I found our video camera, which I haven't used in quite a while...Since Caleb joined us in fact. My old Iphone took great and easy videos so I used that a lot instead. Alas, I am using a somewhat ghetto old original Iphone (never thought I would call an Iphone ghetto, but after having even a 3GS, this granny is indeed, ghetto), and it doesn't have a video camera...Iphone side note, I am waiting in earnest for the latest version to be released. Rumor has it, it will be soon, but not soon enough!
Back to my story... I pulled out the video camera and started watching old videos from back when Brooks was just a burrito and watched...and watched, and watched... hours of home videos. I am blown away at just how very similar yet very different the boys are. It was a great treat for day 10.... and to top it off, Bryant came home early from hunting, so we got to spend the evening together... and I always love that.
Bryant went out of town to go hunting (he didn't shoot anything, not even a cow) and I did, well, nothing too exciting if you happen to be a single 20 something, but for this 30 year old mom of two who has gone to bed at or around 9:00 for the past 2.5 years, I went to bed around 10, and stayed up watching movies on my laptop, then read about 100 blogs I hadn't read in ages and went to bed in the wee hours of the night wondering when a little blonde baby boy would wake me up for his nightly snack...but, he also celebrated day 9 and slept straight through the night until 7:30 Saturday morning (wow, I wonder if Mrs. McCarty would have given me an "F" for that informative, but run on sentence?).
Happy birthday to me! It hasn't happened since then and since he is around 25th percentile for his weight I don't want to force him to stop is mid-night feeding, so for now, it continues. And, I haven't slept through a solid night in recent memory (years) and I really doubt I will for the next 20+ years, so I am not sad/frustrated/in denial about it. Frankly I secretly enjoy the quiet mid-night cuddles I get while sitting in my closet (Caleb's current bedroom), especially since I usually have a crazy toddler wanting attention during the mid day feedings. Oh the joys!!!
Shoo. I have been 30 for a week already! Last night was our 4 year anniversary and I wish I could tell you it was incredibly romantic and we got a babysitter and got away, or even went to dinner... but, alas, we did no such thing...but, after such a crazy week/weekend we are still recovering and needed another night at home. And it is hunting season in Colorado, which means, I am a hunting widow again. I am praying hard that the hubster brings home some meat this weekend, and never, ever utters the words, "I could have shot a cow," in my presence ever again! :-) Doesn't he know that cow meat tastes better then bull meat? Killing a bull might provide a trophy in the form of horns and boost a man's ego, but since my husband is not a fan of hanging horns in his home, they should not be a factor in his decision of whether or not to shoot an animal in front of him or not. Please hang on for a second while I step off my soap box. I am so glad he is out stomping around the woods with his buddies. I really am. It makes me smile to think about their conversations around the camp fire. Last year Amy Jo and I snuck up to camp to drop off a warm apple pie when we knew they would all be out hunting and later found out that a fellow hunter and friend from Texas razzed Bryant and Trevor so bad and said, "The only thing worse then a woman in hunting camp is the man that brought her," as he shoved a piece of pie in his mouth. Dudes.
But, back to my 30 days of 30. Like I said, last night was our anniversary, and I wanted nothing more then to spoil my husband and say thanks for being such an incredible husband and father... and what better way to feed his soul then by feeding his stomach! I made him chicken fried steak and mashers with fried okra and gravy...There was a lot of oil and butter involved. My house still smells like hot oil. It was my first attempt at chicken fried steak and it actually turned out really good. So, my way of celebrating day 8 was by trying something new, a recipe that has always intimidated me, but wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. And my husband's Southern taste buds loved every bite of the food and he not only had seconds last night (my quality tester), but he ate the left overs for lunch today. Success!
Today started with a group of ladies and their kiddos coming over for pray and play. It was great to have them here and the kids went nuts downstairs while we were able to hang out and enjoy each others company and pray for each other with little distraction. That sure doesn't happen very often!
Brooks took a nice long nap and Caleb went down for part of it too, so I got to work on my Joshua & Co. project with some peace and quiet.
To celebrate day 7 of 30 today, the boys and I loaded the Chariot and walked up our road to the top just to soak in the view. It was pretty amazing and we got to watch a storm come in over Snowmass Mountain. Bryant even caught up with us in his truck on his way home. It was a nice surprise. On our way home, our walk was topped off by a gorgeous double rainbow. An extra treat from God, like He was smiling down at us as we headed up the driveway...
On a side note, I want to share this so I don't forget it. After Bryant put Brooks in his pj's tonight, he grabbed his toy tool box, came into the kitchen with his lips puckered for a mama kiss and said, "Bye! Love you!" and I said, "where are you going?" He looks back as he is walking down the stairs toward the front door and as serious as a heart attack says, "work, mama." Whoever told him he could grow up so fast needs a big spankin!
On a side note, I have been pretty diligent about taking pictures every day of the fun things we have been up to, but just need an extra hour to go through, edit and post them... So, I will put them on their respective posts soon!
Day 6 was a very relaxing day. We woke up to rain and fog, which is really rare for summer in Colorado, but the forecast is more of the same all week. I welcome it, though. After such a busy weekend I needed a low key day at home.
Kelly and I watched True Grit while the boys played in the play room, then Amy Jo came over and Kelly made delicious potato soup for a perfectly soupy day. We all hung out for a few hours as Kelly packed to go home, and last night I took the Bucherts to the airport.
So, although there wasn't anything all that exciting about day 6, my special way of celebrating was just relaxing and making the most of the last few hours with Kelly and Ben's company. It is especially hard to say good bye to both Kelly and Sarah. They are two of my bosom buddies and neither of them live very close to my family anymore, so it is much harder to get together. Kelly and Ben just moved to Pendleton, Oregon and Sarah and Josh moved to Kona last Spring.
Today has been event filled, but nothing noteworthy yet... Maybe I will venture out on hike after Bryant gets home, or maybe I will go sit at a coffee shop and read the paper this evening. I will let you know tomorrow!
Monday was an exciting day too! We went into town after the guys finished up a mountain bike ride and walked around for a while, had lunch at the Cantina and watched the semi final matches at the Mother Lode Volleyball Tournament.
That evening we joined the Everetts and Bucherts at Cache Cache, an incredible French restaurant in Aspen. We had such a fun evening and ate like kings! After dinner we walked to Paradise Bakery and got cookies all around and hit a few art studios on our walk back to the cars.
I love no kiddo evenings out with close friends! I love laughing and remembering old times and getting excited about the future too! It was a lot of fun.
Sunday always starts with church, and this week was no exception. We heard a great sermon from Steve and headed home to get the kiddos ready for their babysitter.
Sunday evening, Trevor, Amy Jo, Ben, Kelly, Bryant and I headed down to the Snowmass Center to see Zac Brown Band. Want an incredible concert! I was blown away by their talent and ability to entertain! They sang "Devil Came Down to Georgia" better than Charlie Daniels Band... It was awesome!
We had a blast and even found a great spot on the lawn for our blankets! The weather was perfect and so was the company!
I love having such cool events right in our back yard! This weekend is 12 hours of Snowmass and Oktoberfest in the Village Mall. So much fun.
Saturday we rolled out of bed and Bryant was insistent that we head into town on our bikes, so I geared up, loaded the boys into the chariot and we went on our merry ways. It was a nice ride, but there was a lot of extra traffic on the normally calm Owl Creek Road due to the weekend concert festival in Snowmass.
Once we got into town, he rushed me to my favorite hideaway in Aspen... Autumn in Aspen, Nature Spa!!! I have been going to see Autumn for over four years now. She is not only and incredible massage therapist, waxologist, etc etc... she has also become a dear friend, and is the one who encouraged me celebrate 30 days of being 30. He purchased a massage/facial for me, took the boys and left me in the very talented hands of Autumn. I was a very happy, and very relaxed mama! It was an amazing way to start the day.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Aspen. I convinced the baristas at our local Starbucks to sell me a Pumpkin Spice Latte on the 3rd even though they weren't supposed to sell it until the 6th! I gave them my puppy eyes and told them it was my birthday and they were selling it on my birthday last year, and they had sympathy and swore me to secrecy! It was delicious and worth the pout! (I am only telling now because they are able to sell it today!)
We got home that afternoon and the plan was to go back to Trev and Amy's for PW lasagna for my actual birthday dinner. Once we got to the top of their hill, Bryant says "hey Ben (Kelly's husband), I want to show you those huge bucks I was telling you about in this field." So, we drove down this long dirt road and into a driveway, where I finally clued in and noticed a bunch of cars I recognized and saw my friends under a big party tent waiting for me! I was totally surprised! I had no idea who owned the house we were at, but it turns out it was a friend of Amy Jo's and they had been conspiring for quite a while to pull this all off. The evening was perfect! The tent felt like the party scene on Hope Floats with white lights and hay bails. Perfection!
My husband, Amy Jo, Trevor and Kelly did an awesome job pulling everything together and keeping it all a secret! I am so thankful for them. It was the perfect way to spend day 3.
Friday, my actual birthday was perfectly relaxing. I woke up to a great breakfast prepared by my best guys, and Kelly and I walked up to the village to get a birthday latte and do a little shopping...
Kelly joined Amy Jo for a trip to Glenwood (to prepare for a surprise I didn't find out about until Saturday). So, while she was gone and Bryant finished up some "work" (also preparing for above mentioned event, but using work as a guise) I decided to give myself full permission to chill out on the couch while the boys slept and read. It was perfectly perfect.
That evening, we ordered bbq take out from Smoke and ate it on the Everetts deck, which is always a treat!
I felt very special on my birthday and loved that it was very relaxing, and I had no idea what was in store for the next day!!!
Today marks a big milestone in my life... I am three decades old... Shoo, where did the time go? I have two beautiful boys, and Bryant and I will celebrate our 4th year of marriage next week! A good friend challenged me to celebrate 30 days of being 30 by doing something small, but special every day in the month of September... So here I go. (although my birthday is today, I started yesterday, so I can celebrate every day in September!)
Day 1: Stay in my pajamas until late in the day, for no good reason at all and top if off by (getting into normal clothes) and going to a great dinner in the Village on a beautiful night!
Yesterday, my cousin Kelly (who is visiting from Oregon) and I stayed in our pjs most of the day, and enjoyed every second of it! No pictures of this day because well, we were in our pjs, but I promise to start cataloging the rest of my days as I continue on my adventures of 30 days of 30! A side note about my great cousin Kelly, she is 9 months younger then me and we have grown up together, gone to college together, were in each others weddings and are having kids at the same time together... I just wish we lived closer to one another! She has been there for several monumental birthdays, but one of my favorites so far, was 9 years ago when I turned 21 and she went sky diving with me! Love that girl and her adventurous spirit and I love doing life with her... truly one of my bosom buddies!
Today has been great too, but I won't write about it until tomorrow in case something even more great happens before midnight! :-)
This week I had to make breakfast for Bryant's elder meeting. I ran across a recipe that looked pretty tasty in Mary Jane's Farm Magazine and decided to give it try. Even though I didn't get to taste it, all of the men who did, said it was great, and my dear husband, who is somewhat of a breakfast connoisseur said it was the best breakfast dish he has ever had! So, I won't make you wait any longer. Your friends and family might even love you a little more for introducing this to their taste buds! :) It was really easy to make and you have to put it together the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is pop it into the oven. I even made the sauce the night before and Bryant heated it in the microwave before serving it. Bon Appetite!
Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Blueberry Sauce
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes
12 Slices day-old bread (I used a french loaf)
16oz Cream cheese
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
2 cups milk (I used whole because that is what we have on hand for Brooks)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1. Cut bread into 1" cubes. Place half of the cubes in a buttered 12x9x2" glass baking dish
2. Cut cream cheese into 1" cubes and layer on top of the bread. Top with blueberries and remaining bread.
3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, and syrup. Pour over the bread mixture. Use a spatula to press ingredients down into the liquid and make sure all of the bread pieces are coated.
4. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat oven to 350
5. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake until the top is golden brown and mixture is set in the center, about 25-30 minutes.
6. Serve with Blueberry Sauce
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Makes: 1.5 cups
1/2 cup Sugar
1 TBS Cornstarch
1/2 c water
1/2 c fresh or thawed frozen blueberries
1 tsp Nutmeg
1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add water and boil for 3 minutes.
2. Add berries and simmer until they burst, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in nutmeg.
We welcomed our second son, Caleb Alexander Ragan into the world on Friday, February 4th at 2:09am. He has stolen our hearts. Just when we thought we couldn't love any one as much as we love our Brooks, one look at Caleb and our hearts doubled in size. We are blessed beyond measure and so grateful for two amazing, healthy boys. God is so good.
Well, Caleb is anyway. He is still floating happily in his mama's womb. I went to see our midwife today and I am a 2 and 50%, which is indeed more progressed then last week, but I was secretly hoping and praying I would be a 6 or 7 and asked to go directly to the hospital...do not pass go etc, etc...But, God has a different day for sweet Caleb's birthday and in all truth I am ok with that. I am not anxious or over it yet, just excited to meet the little bugger. I am still feeling great, but losing more and more physical energy by the day, and I am really anticipating the feeling of sucking my stomach in again. A little random, I know, but I am pregnant and hormonal, so I can be random.
We are quickly approaching the closing date on the sale of our house (two weeks from tomorrow), and still being pregnant is allowing me to do several things, 1) sleep 2) spend extra quality time with Brooks and Bryant and 3) think about and wish I was motivated to pack my house. Because we still have yet to secure a rental I am having a hard time getting excited about the move, but once I can picture where we are going, I will be much more excited to get a move on things.
Our midwife now says she will let me stay pregnant until the 17th (also our closing date and the day we hope to start moving), so I am going to start praying Caleb arrives well before that date so I can at least be present during the move to direct where things should go.
We are looking at a house today and praying for favor. It could just be the one! :)
My trusty doula, sister in law, and professional life cataloger, Amy Jo of Lotta Love Photo took the afternoon on Monday to do a belly shoot of Caleb and me...the day I turned 39 weeks...Youza. But, despite her subject (me) being grossly pregnant and HUGE, they are great. She is so talented and did an amazing job taking flattering shots. Once she gives me the go ahead, I will share a couple of them.
Until I can write something a little more exciting...
When I was pregnant with Brooks, Bryant and I had decided on his full name about midway through my pregnancy. We just kept it a secret until the end.
This time around, we were given Caleb's name really early, but can't agree for the life of us on a middle name. Yesterday we spent a lot of time and energy making a list, crossing names off, researching name meanings and...came up with another long list of possibilities.
We like the way a longer name sounds between Caleb and Ragan, such as Caleb Alexander Ragan vs. Caleb Gunnar Ragan (although I love Gunnar and it's Scandinavian origin!).
Picking a name is probably the most intimidating decision for me when it comes to having a baby. Seems silly, I know, but a person is stuck with their name forever, unless they become stupidly famous like Madonna or Shakira. But, I have a feeling Caleb and Brooks will be known for bigger things than dancing 3/4 naked on a stage... Things that require a full name, such as their talents on the baseball diamond or pulpit (he he he! A mom can dream!)
If you have any good suggestions, please feel free to let me know!
Today marks the last official week before my due date. I am still venturing out in public and I actually feel really great (thank you, Lord!). Yesterday Bryant and I went to morning and evening church at Crossroads and I did feel the sympathetic stares and looks of "oh my goodness she must be ready to burst any day!" as I tried consciously not to waddle through the aisles. It is so funny to make a mental log of the things people say and ask. It is as if their internal mufflers shut down when they see an extremely pregnant woman. Anything that comes out of their mouth is fair game. Lucky me.
I also had several people ask if I am "ready" to have this baby. Let's be realistic about this question. Can you ever be "ready" for an event like labor not to mention bringing another baby home...the sleepless nights, diaper blow outs, burping, umbilical cord care...etc? Actually, though, I think I am. At least I am more ready than I was with Brooks when I had no idea what we truly had ahead of us.
A lot of people told me the first time around that labor is like a marathon, you know it will end, but it is hardest thing you can do. Ummmmmmmm, I have run a marathon and it lasted right around four hours, it was gorgeous and I had a team of over 50 people from Aspen cheering me on to the finish who I had trained with all summer, not to mention my future fiance ran the entire race by my side (yes, he is incredible!). My labor with Brooks was 12+ hours start to finish, much more painful than a marathon and I didn't know most of the people in the delivery room (nurses and staff) who were cheering me to the finish...although my team of Bryant, Amy Jo and my mom did a great job! But, humor set aside, labor and delivery with the right attitude is a pretty amazing adventure.
Physically I am doing the regular, "get yourself ready for labor," things recommended in most doula/midwife circles. I am going to get a massage and chiropractor adjustment this week (I might save this one for next week), we have another check up with the midwife on Wednesday and I am sitting on a fit ball several times a day. I have been drinking raspberry leaf tea for a couple weeks now and occasionally I have a glass of pineapple juice or order a juicy burger in hopes that something might just start something. But, the difference between this pregnancy and my last is there is zero desperation or expectation for what these "methods" might do. I am doing it all in an effort to prepare my body for labor, not put myself into it. There will be nothing drastic, like castor oil this time around. I am much more conscious of God's divine timing than my discomfort level.
Aside from the usual tasks recommended to physically and mentally prepare us for labor, we have made a conscious effort to prepare ourselves spiritually not only for L&D but Caleb's introduction into our family. Bryant and I have listened to "Supernatural Childbirth," an incredible book about living free from the curse and praying consciously for a God centered childbirth where no fear or pain can be present (yes, I said and mean no pain), praying specifically for the things you want to happen in the time frame they should happen (no three hours of pushing this time around please!). If you ask my close friends, they will tell you I am a big fan of praying for specific things with supernatural expectation, and I have them all laid out for Caleb's delivery. Bryant and I have big expectations, from the staff we want at the hospital, to the room we hope to get, to the pain level, to the timing. It has been incredible to kneel by his side in agreement and ask the Lord to bless this experience.
We have also been praying for Caleb as a new member of our family. For his health and development, his sleep patterns, his role as Brooks' little brother, specifically their relationship as brothers, and so many other things. God is so good and He desires nothing more than for us to surrender these desires/requests to Him...
Thanks for wading through this post. During this pregnancy I have really enjoyed going back and reading my thoughts on my pregnancy/delivery with Brooks, so I am trying to chronicle some of the little details this time around so we can share them with the boys when they get older...and so I can re read it all when I am (gulp) pregnant again!
Thank you, dear friends, for joining us in prayer and agreement that we will have a perfectly formed baby boy through supernatural childbirth in God's perfect timing...
Until I have something to report about my "progress"...
Today Brooks made up for his 30 minute nap yesterday and slept a whopping 3.5 hours! When he got out of bed he would not leave his doggy in the crib, so "Frank" came down for snack time. On a side note, while I was in the shower this morning, I heard Brooks give a wail of a yell in the hallway. I quickly ran out to find him sadly holding his head. I think he fell off of the chair and hit his head on our door trim... There is a big vertical red line from his forehead to the middle of his cheek on the right side of his face. Oh, boys. And I am going to have two of them.
Today was our second adventure to the Aspen Gymnastics Toddler Gym. It was a blast! Brooks ran around like he owned the place and made some friends along the way. I am loving this program and shoo, does it ware the little guy out! We might have to start going on Tuesday mornings, too!
It is me again, updating you, my dear family and friends who are anxious to hear about the arrival of Caleb, to tell you that he is safe and clearly comfortable in the womb and doesn't want to be exposed too early to the freezing Aspen air.
We had another great yet uneventful appointment with our midwife...so uneventful she gave us the green light to go to Denver Friday night (a four hour drive over two 10,000ft+ passes) for a pending business meeting Bryant is trying to schedule. She did feel around my blossoming belly to see if she could guess on his weight and at 38+ weeks she thinks he is about 6lbs and if he is born on/around his due date, he won't be the 8lb 6oz his beasty brother was at birth. (thank you, Lord!)
I am still ok with the non news, although, sometimes when my hips feel like they are 95 years old and my back aches as I lay in bed with insomnia, I get a little twinge of hope that something will happen and he will at least figure out which way is "out" so he can start heading (pun heavily intended) in that direction. (to be clear, he is head down, but he needs to move down).
Today is toddler gym class for Brookser and I, and I will be bouncing on the trampolines with him... Maybe gravity will be my friend! :)
Until then though, we are soaking up every cuddle and tickle bug fight we can with our Brooks because we know that although they will still be regular occurances, his life is going to change pretty drastically, pretty soon.
Thanks for your prayers and support... I really am doing my best to keep my head and smile up and it hasn't been too hard to do so thus far! At the most, I will only be pregnant 23 more days and that is if I go until February 19th...12 days past my due date... no, thank you. :) This time, I am bound and determined not to do any of the drastic at home induction methods, but let things happen on their own, in God's timing...which is always perfect.
My sister in law, Amy Jo hosted a beautiful and perfect shower for baby Caleb and me last night. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such incredible women who love the Lord and are a great support system.
As a surprise she had asked several women from my Bible study and church to come early and share a verse of encouragement and pray over the end of my pregnancy, my delivery and baby Caleb. It was incredible. They are incredible. Amy Jo is incredible. I am blessed beyond measure.
Here are some of the verses they shared:
Exodus 1: 18-20 "Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive." (although I really do want my midwife in the room. :))
Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Psalm 127:3-5 "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
Isaiah 43:1 "I have called thee by they name; thou art mine."
Psalm 139:5 "You both precede and follow me, and place your hand of blessing on my head as I go."
Job 10:11-12 "You gave me skin and flesh and knit together bones and sinews. You gave me life and were so kind and loving to me, and I was preserved by your care."
Isaiah 44:3-5 "I will pour out my spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water. This one will say, "I am the Lord's" and that one will call on the name of Jacob and another will write on his hand, belonging to the Lord."
Numbers 14:24 "...Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went into, and his descendants will inherit it."
Numbers 32:12 "Not one except Caleb and Joshua because they followed the Lord wholeheartedly."
Deuteronomy 1:36 "...except Caleb...He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly."
Thank you wonderful women...there were more, but they are in cards in the other room. I can't wait to read these over the boys as they grow. God is so good. Our cup overflows.
Shoo. Life is busy these days. We have been looking at houses, getting ready for Caleb's arrival, trying to squeeze in extra time with friends and at church and just doing life this week. It has been great to stay busy because it keeps my mind of off the two weeks (which can some days feel like an eternity and others feel like not enough time) before Caleb's arrival...as I mentioned before, our midwife will let us stay pregnant until February 19th, but I really don't think we will make it THAT long... (right, God? :-))
I am just now getting to the point of feeling excited to not be pregnant some day soon, but I am not "over it" quite yet. I guess being a little unsettled in life is playing a major factor in that. Since we are in transition to a new home I am not nearly as put together as I was for Brooks, but I just keep hanging on to the promises that God will never give me more than I can handle and He will supply ALL of our needs according to His riches in glory, and I am told not to worry about tomorrow, and last and probably most important to remember, to be anxious for NOTHING, but let my requests be made known to God... So, all that in mind, I am content with where He has our little family and excited for where He is taking us today and next month and we have huge expectations for 2011.
I am so thankful for those promises and don't know how I would hold back the frequent urge to cry (thank you pregnancy hormones) because of all that is changing for us, if I wasn't totally certain they were true. He is good, and He has great things for us...Thank you, Lord.
We have been so blessed by the local Everetts and their support through all of this and incredibly grateful that we have such close friends and family near by. We have been praying daily that somehow we can all live closer together...(hint hint moms and dads, brothers and sisters!)
My mom arrives on February 4th for three weeks to help us welcome Caleb and transition into life with two boys, and I can't wait for the extra support and to spend quality time with her. I am so thankful for a mom who can and will drop everything to support her kiddos through life's big adventures. What a blessing. My dad will be joining us for her last week here and I can't wait to introduce him to his next little hunting/ski buddy. (#8 grandchild for my folks!)... and then in April we plan on a trip to North Carolina to spend quality time with Bryant's amazing family and I will FINALLY get to play on his old stomping grounds and meet the notorious Thomasville buddies I have only heard in the legendary stories!!!
We feel blessed beyond measure by all of our family. God is so good!
I have had such a bad memory lately, I think Caleb is sucking all of the nutrients that should be going to my brain. That being said, I keep forgetting my camera, and on gorgeous, fun days like today, that is a big bummer!
Brooks and I were invited to try out a class at our local gymnastics club for parents and toddlers. I can't believe we didn't go sooner! It was such a blast! They have a dozen different trampolines, a bunch of soft bouncy blocks and fun things to climb on and jump off of, and a big parachute to play on and under. Brooks had an absolute ball. So did I! Not only was it so fun to watch him play with the other munchkins, but I knew so many of the parents I was able to do a little socializing too, which is so nice since we have been pretty house bound lately.
I have a feeling we will be frequenting this class, even after Caleb arrives. It will be a good way for LB to get out and play with the big kids.
I will do my best to remember my camera next time because it was so darn cute to watch him have such a blast!
Now, it is extreme nap time for both him and me. Shoo, it is hard work growing a human! :) And because I was asked at least 20 times today, I will answer it one more time... I am due in just over two weeks and we are having another boy. The last few weeks always bring out the stares and random questions from people who would not normally stop to inquire...People crack me up. :)
...and nothing new to report other than we had rain in Woody Creek a couple days ago (so very odd for this time of year) and now it is finally back to snowing. But, aside from the weather, there really is nothing new to report with the pregnancy. I had an appointment with my midwife today and my trusty, amazing doula (and sister in law), Amy Jo came with me. It was fun to chat about our birthplan with Nancy and it did get me a little more excited about the delivery. I have been warned by both of them it is high time I start packing my things for the hospital because second deliveries are typically pretty fast. (I love that they keep speaking that over me!) So, I will pull out the bag and at least lay it on the floor to start tossing things into as I think of it. So much different than my first pregnancy... I am pretty sure I was packed by a week ago and ready, just in case...such a rookie move! :)
A couple from our marriage group and church had their baby boy this weekend and it made me excited that we are going to be joining them in the second time parent club in a couple of weeks, too! They found out they were pregnant after us, but she was more pregnant than me at the time!
I have been drinking raspberry leaf tea because there are rumors it makes labor shorter and easier. I am all for that!
We have a busy week next week, so #38 should hopefully fly by...although nothing could possibly creep by slower than my first pregnancy!
Oh and our Brooks is still getting more delicious by the day! He is saying so much and understands an amazing amount. He is great about saying please (with hands desperately clasped below his chin) and thank you and when he calls the dog, Mali it sounds like Wayi, which really sounds like Hawaii, so we dream of the beach quite a bit... especially because my best friend from childhood and her family are moving to Kona in a couple of weeks!
Until I have something more exciting to report about my pregnancy...
We had the wonderful opportunity to take advantage of a silent auction item we won last summer just before Caleb arrives. Trevor and Amy Jo watched Brooks for the night (my first night in 21 months without him!) while Bryant and I went to a tiny (really, really tiny) town in southwestern Colorado called Gateway. In the mid 1990s an adventurous millionaire visited this one horse town and had the vision of creating a world class adventure destination. What has become of it is a 50ish room hotel/resort on a huge piece of property that caters to pretty much any desert adventure you can dream of from flying bi planes through red rock canyons to 4x4 jeep rides in and around canyons and cliffs, it is an incredible facility.
We happened to be there in the offest of off seasons, which was perfect for us. We prayed on the long drive down for favor at check in and a random upgrade, and God is so good, we got both. I think we were one of two rooms in the entire resort. We ate at the only restaurant open for all meals and the rest of the time enjoyed being still and not chasing a toddler around or wondering what he was getting into. It was amazing. We watched movies, read and prayed together. And despite warnings that I might not, I slept like a baby. There was no pressure to get out and do anything because there was absolutely nothing going on.
It was the perfect retreat before we welcome another infant into our lives.
I am 37 weeks tomorrow and still feeling great, although getting more easily exhausted by the day. Somehow, after just curling my hair for church today I had to take a little rest. Shoo. Where did the energy go?
Brooks is doing awesome and getting bigger by the day. Amy Jo took some new pictures of him while he was at her house this weekend and he just looks so grown up and delicious. I love that boy. It is hard to imagine having equal love for another little man, but I know it will happen as soon as we meet him. Brooks is saying so much and talks (jabbers) all of the time with such confidence. If only I knew what he was saying, I bet we could solve the world's problems together.
So, we have hit the infamous Aspen milestone of 36 weeks. Which really only means that if I were to deliver early, I wouldn't be sent on a one way jet ride to Denver to deliver Caleb because his lungs should be matured enough to handle living at 8,000+ft. That is relieving! But, I am still comfortable, and apparently, so is he.
We saw our midwife yesterday and she did an ultrasound check and I am still the same...1cm and barely effaced. This pregnancy has been much easier from the start to stay within the "ideal" weight gain which has made this home stretch much more doable. I will still be on the higher side, but not nearly where I was when I delivered Brooks thanks to the water retention from preclampsia... But, when I struggled to put my socks on today I did start to look forward to not being pregnant for the first time.
Although coffee, chocolate (sweets in general) and cheese were staples in my diet up until two weeks ago, our church is doing the Daniel Fast (eating only what comes from the seed...fruit, veggies and whole grains) for 21 days. Because I felt lead to and in an effort to support Bryant I am participating too, but adding in protein (fish, chicken & yogurt). The good news is in the last two weeks I have actually lost 1/2 lb by cutting out those "c's," and I feel really healthy too. I do have to fight off the "I am cheating myself and not taking advantage of being pregnant" thoughts when I am seriously craving a chocolate chip macadamia nut, coconut cookie from Roxy's, but other than that, it has been pretty easy to do. Oh and I can't not mention my daily craving for a cup of coffee...or better yet a latte from Starbucks, especially when grocery shopping, but it is all for a great cause.
We have had a serious bout of colds/flu this winter so far, which is so much different than my pregnancy with Brooks. I wasn't sick once with him with the exception of being really stuffy the first six weeks of his pregnancy, but I think that was allergies. I got a cold the day BR left for South Africa in October, had another really bad cold over Christmas, got the flu (or ate something really bad) a few days later and am just getting over another head cold now. So in an effort to destroy this seemingly ongoing trend, we are doing the only thing I did different in my last pregnancy, we finally bought Greens First, a veggie/fruit supplement that I took every day last time. So, hopefully with prayer and greens we will all be healthy and ready to meet Caleb in a couple of weeks.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support with regard to the sale of our house. Things seem to keep going smoothly with the process. We are set to close in mid February, about ten days after my due date, and thank you, Lord, I have total peace with everything happening at once. In fact, I am pretty excited about all of it. It will be a good way to keep my mind off the end of the pregnancy and I will be able to spend my days in March/April getting settled where ever we land...oh yeah, and we don't know where we are going yet either. But, like I said, I am at total peace that it is all going to work out and someday, Caleb will have a perfectly decorated room to himself, but for now, his bassinet will have to do.
We have weekly appointments scheduled with our midwife until we deliver, so I will keep updating on any...if any...progress.
Until then, we are going to get away for a quick babymoon and enjoy some alone time (my first night without Brooks...pray for me!)
We had a super easy Christmas and enjoyed a lazy morning of Brooks opening presents (and playing with each one in between which took a couple hours), then a great afternoon and dinner with the Everetts. Having a toddler who sort of "gets" presents made me so excited for morning, I was the one who had a hard time sleeping!
New Years was also easy and we were all excited to be in bed before 10:00. Shoo, we must be getting old!
I am 35 weeks pregnant now and had my first of several weekly check ups... funny enough, I am almost exactly as "progressed" as I was with Brooks at this stage. A small 1, and 20%...both of which mean nothing at this point, but it is good to know.
I have a feeling this little one is going to come a few days past his due date because he has consistently measured a 1-3 days small. So, my head is in it for the long haul. February 14th would be a fun day to have him because it is my late Grandpa Jack's birthday, he and Grandma Sonja's anniversary and my best friend's son, Ryan's birthday too... not to mention the day of love, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate then to welcome a new little man into our family...
I am still really comfortable, my rings still fit and I am still in jeans I had long outgrown with my last pregnancy, so all in all things are great! I have finally washed all of the newborn clothes and the car seat in anticipation of Caleb's arrival and to wrap my mind around the fact that we are bringing home a new baby in less than 49 days (at the absolute most)...
We are still in the process of selling our house and aren't totally sure where we will be when he arrives, so nesting isn't really possible. If this were my first baby I would probably have had several melt downs by now, but since I am well aware and ok with the fact that Caleb will be sleeping in a bassinet for at least a couple months and doesn't need a perfect nursery, I don't need any of the frills this time around. It is a much more relaxed experience, for everyone!