Thursday, April 29, 2010


We had our ultrasound 2 weeks ago. I first reported that everything was completely normal. Well, techically, they still are. However, the day after the ultrasound, I got a call from the nurse who told me that she just wanted to let me know that the doctor wanted me to have a follow-up ultrasound at 32 weeks to re-check the baby's kidneys.
While the measurements of his kidney's were still within the normal range, they were on the higher end of normal and the doctor is being thorough and making sure everything really is A-OK. The (little bit of) concern is that it could be Hydronephrosis. Basically, it's the dilation of the renal collecting system within the kidneys. Most of the time, if it does end up being hydroneprhosis, there's just a lot of monitoring both before baby is born and after.

I waited to say anything about this until now because we hadn't talked to the doctor yet to see what he had to say. I still think everything will turn out fine, but a small prayer that everything is normal would be really appreciated. I really don't want the next 12 weeks to be filled with worry over something that was in the normal range, but thought that prayers can't hurt! :-)

You can read the link that I included above for any more information that you'd like. I really just think it's this baby's way of being a stinker. He has shown me that he's going to give his brothers (and probably everyone else) a run for their money! Yesterday at the doctor's office, it took them 15 minutes of searching to try and find his heartrate. He just kept moving all around and hiding from the doppler. We would hear a few heartbeats and then he'd move. Eventually, they just brought in the portable ultrasound machine so that he couldn't hide anymore. :-) I could feel him moving all around and imgained him teasing us, saying "Na Ne Na Ne Boo Boo!"

Stay tuned for a name announcement soon! We have chosen what it will be and just need to tell a few more family members first.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Realities....Full Force

The other day, Brian called his future unit to talk and see what they could tell him.

I got home from my Mom's Morning Bible Study and started in on lunch, not knowing that he had made this call. He came in the kitchen and said he had some good news and some not-so-good news. I don't like when he says that.

The good news is that he talked to the guy in charge of where he'll go. He doesn't know much about what he'll be doing but knows what section he's going to. Plus, he's excited that he will finally get that Airborne tab that has alluded him since he had to turn down a class spot due to our wedding (long story).

The not-so-good news is that deployment is a little sooner than we would like. Most likely when the baby's only 4 months old. The bright side is that he should still be home for Christmas.

We have a lot to do though. Preparing Austin is going to be tough. There's no way to prepare Colten or the baby, but Austin had such a rough time with accepting Brian after he got home from the last deployment. I'm hoping school is a good distraction for well as his cousins being in the same area. I really worry about him this time around as he's older and will most likely have a lot of tough questions. Tough questions that usually have tough answers.

So, we are back to facing the realities of a military family full force. Before we even get to Fort Bragg. We knew they were there...I think we were just ignoring them until it hit us in the face.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Secret Hideout

There is a place outside where I know to look when I don't see Colten right away. Our grill.

I know, it's weird, but it's not like he's sitting on the actual cooking surface or anything! Our grill has a cabinet door and he has figured out that he can climb in there and shut the door and he can't be seen.

He thinks he's being sneaky, but I'm on to him now. It's the first place I look when he's not out in the open.

My only complaint is that it's a really dirty place to hide. We have to make extra sure he doesn't go near it when we are grilling, but he's starting to get the word "HOT" and walks away to find something else to do. It is pretty funny to look through a crack in the top of the door and see him peek back out at you and know he's smiling.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arkansas Democrat Gazette Wildcats

Austin had his first t-ball game of the season on Friday. He was so excited! We had to be there a little early so that they could get their uniforms. Of course, when we bought his white pants (a mother's worst nightmare, right?) they were out of black belts and we waited until the last minute to try and find one. We went to three stores on the way to the game and finally found one at the 3rd store. Brian said his son was NOT going to play in a game with a non-matching belt.
Anyway, Austin got his uniform (shirt, hat and socks) when we got there and they all looked so good! Austin LOVES his his words, "it has holes all over it!" Very cool!
I originally had Colten in the stroller. He didn't last long in it. He played at the fence for a while, watching the older boys and shaking the fence. He walked around a bit as well, but never walked too far away from where I was.
Austin's team was in the outfield first. You can tell exactly what these kids want to do more than anything. They all looked so BORED out there! They couldn't wait to get their turn to bat! Most were looking all over the place, playing in the dirt, putting their gloves on their head and all kinds of other things instead of watching what was happening in the game. I didn't have my zoom lens, so I didn't get very good pictures of the outfield play. Austin watched pretty well, but looked a little jealous that he wasn't hitting. LOL
Finally, it was the Wildcats' turn to bat! In this league, every player gets to bat before the inning is over. In case you noticed, Austin bats left-handed. No, he doesn't throw left-handed. No, he doesn't write left-handed. He does some things left handed and some right. He is starting to switch hit a bit, but is still better at left than right. We'll see how he develops over the years.
He really keeps his eye on that ball! Brian said he's a little flat footed, but he hit pretty well the first time around.
Here he is on third base.
Meanwhile, Colten took to climbing the bleachers. I think he's trying to say, "Don't mess with me, woman!" He was doing his own thing and when he got to a certain level, I would put him back on the ground and then he would climb back to that level. He thought it was a fun game, and I didn't have to chase him, so it was a win-win situation!
Brian coming over to say hi when the teams were getting ready for the 2nd inning.
In the top of the 2nd inning, Austin was at 2nd base. He did really well. There were a few plays where he it was like he instinctively knew what to do, but they hadn't gone over that in practice, so he was a little cautious about it. He was correct though and it was neat to see it. Brian and I talked about it after the game on the way home and we are both impressed.
His second at-bat wasn't as good as his first. He hit the tee a bit more and although the ball looks like it didn't go very far, he made it to first base just fine.
While the rest of the team hit, there were a few boys sitting in the dugout and they figured out that if they pushed the fence out enough, they had a space to use as a door. I guess the coach telling them who was up next wasn't paying much attention, so they had fun "escaping" the dugout.
After the game, I went out to take some pictures of the two teams saying "good game" to each other. Colten went and got Austin's bat and this shot looked as if he was "on deck." Coach, put him in, he's ready to play! :-)
The boys being good sports. I love this part. It's so neat to see them give the other team fives after the game. Austin is number 10; giving the other team's coach five.
Austin will only be able to play 2 more games in this league. I thought I had searched high and low for a league in North Carolina and didn't find one that started later than what the ones here do. We asked Austin if he wanted to play even if he couldn't finish the season and that's what he wanted to do. He was still bummed about it though and I saw something online about a YMCA league that starts right when we move to N.C.
I called them the other day and got him on a team. I have to send in the registration and payment, but he'll be able to play more when we get there! This league is a little different where it's a combination of t-ball and coach pitch for his age. I think he'll do great as he's hitting balls from his pitching machine (thanks Aunt Nancy for that and his batting gloves!) really well. I think he hits better from that than he does off the tee. Anyway, he's really excited to be able to play more and we can't wait to see what his new team will be like.
Oh, and by the way, I got his white pants, the ones that had grass stains, dirt and who knows what else all over them, COMPLETELY CLEAN! :-) We'll see if it stays that way over the course of the next 2 months.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Standing Up for What's Right

Tonight, I had a conversation with Austin about standing up for what's right, even when we think our friends will laugh.
The other day, Austin's friends across the street had found a bird's nest and somehow, the older brother broke one of the eggs. Austin was pretty sure it was on accident. I found out that he had also held one of the eggs, but that it didn't break. I quickly explained that we NEVER touch a bird nest or the eggs inside and why.

Tonight, the topic came up again and I asked him if he would touch an egg next time he saw one. He said no. Then, I asked what he would do if his friends wanted to touch an egg; would he ask them not to or would he let them do what they wanted? He asked, "what if they laugh at me?" We talked a few minutes about how we would rather the bird egg be ok and that friends that laugh at you for standing up for what's right are not really good friends to begin with. He seemed to understand it, I guess only time will tell if he'll choose to do the right thing or not when it really matters.

We had a similar conversation almost 2 months ago when he didn't want to wear a shirt that he loved, to school. He was worried that kids at school would laugh at him for wearing it. Worrying about what other people think is something that starts so soon!

I want our sons to think for themselves; to know and do what is right, despite what other people think; to be self-confident even during those awkward teenage years; and to be comfortable enough with what they believe in to share that belief with others. The hard part is showing them this and getting it to stick. I can only hope that Brian and I are doing just that.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How's It Going To Work?

Yep, that's the question going through my mind right now! I know people do it everyday. Other families have 3 kids, other families have kids close together and all in carseats at the same time. I'm not scared of having another one added into our household, but the planner in me is trying to figure it all out now. :-)
I think I'm just trying to figure out how the day to day things are going to get done with the two little ones (I basically imagine them tag-teaming me all day!). I'm trying to figure out how the school drop-off and pick-up is going to go with both of them since Austin will be going to Kindergarten. How to get everything loaded into the car in a reasonable amount of time and how to get everything unloaded and in what order. :-)
I think I have some things figured out, but will just have to wait and see if it works in real life or not. The biggest area I have no clue about is how the evenings will go. You know how crazy that part of the day is. Everyone is starting to get tired, dinner seems to take forever to get done and I'm sure the baby will need to be fed at least once or twice in there! Oh, and did I mention that I don't even expect Brian to get home until dinner is done or even later? Yep, it's back to the realities of military life for us!
I don't think I thought about this stuff as much when pregnant with Colten. I mean, Austin was going to be 4 when he was born, I had Brian at home and I just felt that it wasn't going to be that big of a deal. And it really wasn't. We had a few snags here and there, but nothing bigger than we had when Austin was a baby. It was the normal crying and diaper blowouts to deal with.
So, while I'm not stressing about it (honestly, I'm not), I'm just trying to plan for things and see how it goes. I just think having a plan is much better than flying by the seat of your pants right away. If my plans don't work, then we'll figure something else out.
Anyone have any suggestions as to what worked for them? If you're in the same boat, what do you plan on doing when the going gets tough?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bobo's Harley

While in Little Rock, Austin got to check out Bobo's (Brian's Dad...that's what the grandkids call him) Harley. He is interested in motorcycles right now and recently asked Daddy if he was going to get a motorcycle soon.

He asked very nicely if he could sit on the motorcycle. He enjoyed wearing the helmet and goggles and acting like he was really driving.

Of course, he had a little brother watching the entire time. Colten didn't make any move to join his brother, but I'm not convinced he's the cautious one of the two either.
Anyway, I'm just glad I don't have to worry about Austin trying to get a motorcycle anytime soon. And no, he won't be allowed to have one until he's out of the house and can buy his own! I think trusting him to drive a car safely is a big enough chance to take for me!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


After taking Austin to school one day, I sat down to check e-mail real quick before taking Colten out back to play. It was a gorgeous day already and I guess he thought I was taking too long.
I heard him banging on the screen to the open living room window. I opened an e-mail and then looked out the kitchen window to see Colten taking off across the backyard (don't worry, it's all fenced in and completely safe!). What in the world??? I thought maybe I hadn't latched the door shut all the way when I let the dogs out, but when I turned around in my chair, I saw it.
The little booger popped the screen out and crawled out the window.

It only gives me a glimpse into what the teen years might be like!

These pictures were taken about 5 minutes later when Brian got up and Colten decided that he'd use the window as a door just for fun, even though the door was wide open at this point.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Healthy Baby

Happy and Healthy...that's all we want, right? First and foremost, that's what our baby is. The official word isn't in yet (the tech really isn't supposed to tell us if anything is wrong or not), but unofficially, he is healthy and active.

Yep, that's right! I said HE! We are having our third BOY! We are over the moon happy and can't wait to see him!
The tech told us when we got in there that she would do the measurements first, then take a peek between the legs. Austin was all into seeing the baby and really thought it was pretty cool. Colten was a handful, to say the least. He just wanted to sit with Mommy and there just wasn't anyway for that to happen. We got to see the 4 chambers of the heart, the 3 vessel cord, the stomach, leg bones and brain. He hid a bit when she was trying to take a look at his face (just like Colten did!), but it was pretty neat when we finally did see it. Everything is perfect (you know, unofficially) and he is already loved so much!
When the time came to see if it was a boy or a girl, I knew immediately. There's no mistaking it. LOL He wasn't shy at all (typical, right?).
In fact, as if he wanted us to be absolutely sure, he poked it out a little bit more. It was pretty funny...we have it on video as well. If I can get it uploaded, I will, but it's already on DVD, so I'm not sure it's even possible. Anyway, it's going to be fun to have another boy, and I think Brian's a little relieved that we won't be spending a small fortune on clothes for a little girl. :-)
Austin was a little disappointed. He really had his heart set on having a sister. He was already coming around to the idea of another little brother by the time we left and is ok with it. I really think he wanted to see how a sister would be since he already has a brother. It will be fun though...they're going to have a blast with each other!

So, there you have it. Our third boy. God knew what he was we just have to wait for his appearance so we can finally see him!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


While we did play at the park a lot today and played on some swings, I'm talking about this kind of swing!

Austin had t-ball practice again tonight. Next week will start his games. So exciting!

He really enjoys t-ball. I'm glad he does...and I know his baseball-loving Daddy is too! He's doing so well! He hit the ball pretty hard today and when he was playing 1st base, he had a good play and got the player out (although, it was just practice and the boy stayed on base). He also threw the ball really well, right to home plate! He has really grown and improved his skills.
However, the best (and most important) part is that he's having fun and loving what he's doing!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby to Boy

How do you turn a baby into a little boy?


Give him a haircut!
Yep, his curls are all gone (sniff, sniff!) and now we have a little boy instead of a baby. How did this happen with just a few snips?
While I know some people are happy that he looks like a little boy (we were getting an awful lot of comments about our "little girl"), there are others who miss his little curls. As for me, his Mommy, I like both ways. It's just much easier to take care of now that I don't have to fight him to brush his hair!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CAM...Are You Aware?

April is Cesarean Awareness Month (CAM). Did you know that? Did you also know that our nation's c-section rate is now at 32%??? That is up 53% from 1996. The WHO's (World Health Organization) recommendation is 5-10%. Recent studies suggest that anything above 15% seems to do more harm than good. The numbers don't look very good, do they?

I wrote a post about CAM 2 years ago. I'm going to post it again, as I am really having a hard time putting my thoughts into words. I've tried writing this post for a few days now and just can't do it. It's a sensitive topic for me, which was sort of explained in this post I wrote a few weeks ago. Making this decision doesn't prevent me from having a little hope that somehow I'll still go into labor on my own before my c-section and have our baby the way I really want to.

Without further ado, here were my thoughts 2 years ago (keep in mind when it was written...some stats have changed, and not exactly for the better!):

I don't normally do this. I'm a blogger who basically just lets everyone know about what our family is up to with pictures and stories of Austin...and of course Brian and I. However, with this month being Cesarean Awareness Month, I wanted to do something different here.....just keep in mind that I'm a horrible rambler....and will jump from one point to another and it might not make any sense where I'm going! :-)

Did you know that our Nation's c-section rate is hovering around 30%? That means ONE out of every THREE moms will have MAJOR abdominal surgery. The World Health Organization recommends a c-section rate of 10-15% for best outcomes. Did you know that the US has the second WORST newborn death rate in the modern world?? We also rank 41st in maternal mortality rates out of 171 countries. There are other factors that play into those horrible stats...but along with obesity, our c-section rate is contributing to those stats the most.

Most, if not all, of you know that when Austin was born, I was that one in three who had surgery to give birth. Luckily, I had a text book recovery...very easy and didn't have a whole lot of physical pain. But, that's not the way it's supposed to be. I didn't get to hold Austin for HOURS after he was born...we missed out on that early bonding time that we needed. I count myself lucky that I only had to deal with minimal pain (with a LOT of swelling) and the usual bonding/breastfeeding issues of c-sections. There are others that aren't so lucky and have a miriade of complications from incision infections and intense pain to a baby who is having problems breathing (which is common with c-section babies) and needs to go to the NICU even after being considered "full term." I thank God that He blessed me with the easier recovery.

Now that I've had one c-section, there are a lot of hospitals and doctors who think that I will always need a c-section. They think the risk of uterine rupture is too great (it's less than 1%) or at least more risky than surgery (do you believe them?). Many hospitals ban vbacs (vaginal birth after cesarean section). The bans are the effect of a "recommendation" that ACOG (basically, a doctors' union) put out saying, "Because uterine rupture may be catastrophic, VBAC [vaginal birth after cesarean] should be attempted in institutions equipped to respond to emergencies with physicians immediately available to provide emergency care." They recommend this despite their own admission to there being no scientific evidence to support this statement! So, many hospitals have stopped accepting moms who wish to vbac....which makes you wonder if they aren't equipped to handle an emergency in a vbac, how can they be sure they can provide emergency care for ANY laboring mother???

In fact, for those in Arkansas...did you know that a lot of hospitals in Arkansas are not allowing vbacs? Yes, I have already checked into it....seeing as how we DO want to expand our family and give Austin a sibling. Missouri is also having their own problems with maternity care in hospitals vs with midwives....I'm sure there are the same vbac bans that plague AR, throughout Missouri as well.

I recently watched a film about the state of our maternity care system. It is The Business of Being Born. I HIGHLY encourage everyone to watch it. You can get it on Netflix right now and it becomes available for sale on May 6 at . It's a documentary that was produced by Ricki Lake, who after a horrible hospital birth had a homebirth that she loved. She started researching and what she found out is documented in her film. The major point they make is....Hospitals are run like businesses.

Check it's eye-opening!

I close with this....With our c-section rate at 30% and rising, what will the maternity care system look like when Austin and his wife are pregnant and giving me a grandchild? Surgery is great when it's can be life-saving and I'm so glad there are surgeons to do so much good. However, I highly doubt that 30% of the births that end in c-section were ALL emergencies.
If you or someone you know has had a c-section OR you know someone who's pregnant and want to avoid a c-section, please go to

Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had visited this website while pregnant with Austin.

Coloring Eggs

Is it bad that next year I want to boil 2 dozen eggs and after the kids go to bed, color my own eggs? I really just love doing it and I don't get to sit down and enjoy it anymore!
This year was especially stressful, but fun as well. Colten is at that age where he wants to help, but is a little clumsy and stubborn about things. We did end up with a cup of dye knocked over, a few eggs with cracked shells and one so mangled that it had to be eaten as soon as we were done coloring them (thanks Uncle John for making sure it wasn't wasted!). Overall, I think we had some gorgeous eggs (although, I didn't get a picture of them since I was a little busy!)
Brian took this awesome picture of Austin waiting for an egg. I just love the colors in all the cups and how's he waiting so patiently for them. Plus, you can see Colten's chubby fingers around the handle of one of the cups.
Me helping Colten...but making sure he doesn't dump another cup (especially since I didn't want it on me).
Yep, two pictures of me in one post! :-) Brian took some good pictures, but I just look a little stressed, right? I think Colten is part octopus...his hands were everywhere!
Austin was so happy to do the eggs. He had fun doing it and see how the eggs turned out. He was really excited that there were two different greens and was so patient while he waited for them to get as green as they could get!
Plus, I had to put this picture it...I just love it so much!

Easter Egg Huntin'

On Saturday morning, our church had their Eggstravaganza Easter Egg Hunt. We took Austin to this last year as well, but Colten wasn't exactly old enough to participate.
This year, not only did he get to hunt for eggs, he also got to chow down on some yummy treats while waiting. Proof he is a piggy!
While we waited for the hunt to begin, the church had two bouncers set up, some treats (obviously) for the kids to eat and the Easter Bunny to visit. No, I didn't get Colten to sit on his lap...I meant to, but just got distracted and by the time I thought about it, he was gone. No biggie...he was kind of scary. :-)
Since we had two kids doing the hunt this year, we thought we had to split up. Which meant that Brian wasn't going to be able to see how Colten was for his first Egg Hunt. What we didn't know was that Austin's age group went later than Colten's and he could have come up with us and watched. Bummer!
Despite that, Colten had fun and was very particular about what eggs he would actually pick up and put into his basket. He walked right past a ton of eggs only to pick up a certain one that he had his eye on. I had no idea what it was that would catch his eye, but he knew exactly what he was doing.
Oh, and once he figured out that the eggs actually opened and had treats in them, he would open them and see what was inside before he moved on to the next egg.
Almost like he's a little put off that he had to look up for the camera, huh!
So, since Austin's group went later, I got to take pictures of him hunting for eggs. I was worried that I wouldn't have any since Brian would be with him and I would have the camera. Surprisingly, he was also particular about the eggs he picked up. He ran right past 20 or so eggs to get to a certain area with other eggs. We didn't get it. We kept saying, "Austin, you're runnign right past all these eggs!"
He must have known what he was doing something since he ended up with one of the coveted eggs that had a number in it, meaning he got an extra prize. Nothing too spectacular to us adults (just some novelty items that was Easter themed), but so special to a 5 year old!
The kids had a blast and it was a great morning activity while we waited for Aunt Nancy to come visit.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

8 Years

Is it really? It can't be! It just seems like yesterday. Yep, I've been married to this wonderful man for 8 years now. Sexy, isn't he?

We've been through a lot. Two year-long (or more) deployments, two kids (with another on the way), lots of Army training, 2 crazy dogs and a cat, and multiple moves. This is just to name a few. There's so much more than I want to put on here. Let's just say that while marriage isn't easy, it's totally worth everything we've been through.
The last year and a half has been really good for our family. Having Brian home all the time has allowed us to have some really good quality time. We've been able to reestablish his relationship with Austin, bring Colten into this family, and bond more as a family AND as a couple. In May, we'll be moving again and going back to reality. It's alright though. We've had this much-needed time and now we are renewed and ready for the next adventure that the Army throws at us.
8 years...and MANY more to come. I love you Brian. You are the best father our kids could have, but the life we have now wouldn't have been possible without you being the best husband I could ever have! You are, without a dout, the best thing that has happened to me and the love of my life. I look forward to walking the same path with you and growing old with you as the years continue.
Happy Anniversary!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Signs of a Visitor

We had a visitor this past weekend. Can you guess who it was?
Let me give you a hint. It's someone who is known to spoil the kids a bit. She is famous for her shopping trips. She did the same thing, but in a grander scale (if you can believe that!), for her nephews.
Yep, Aunt Nancy came up to visit us this weekend! She got here on Saturday morning. We had a great afternoon of visiting, then we went out to eat. We had a great dinner (her treat, of course!) She really does spoil more than just the kids! Of course, dinner wasn't enough. We headed for Toys R Us next. The boys got to pick out some outdoor toys.
A tee that also pitches the balls for Austin.
And a motorized 4 wheeler for Colten.
We are always thankful for everything Aunt Nancy does for us, but most of all, we are thankful for just Aunt Nancy! :-) She's a warm, thoughtful, wonderful woman who loves her family so much! She is a giving person who does so much for everyone around her (sometimes so much that I think she overdoes it a little!).
Unfortunately, while we had big plans to go to church for Easter and have a wonderful afternoon outside with her, Aunt Nancy woke up feeling ill. Poor girl! She was in bed all day and evening, sleeping. I felt bad that she was feeling this way on Easter Sunday and didn't get to see the kids as much as she wanted! I tried to get her whatever she wanted or needed, but I think all she needed was some rest.
Today, she got up feeling good enough to drive back home, but did get to visit with us a bit before leaving. I'm glad she got up, and only wished she hadn't felt so bad on Sunday! It was fun to visit with her though!

And yes, Colten CAN drive the 4 wheeler...he just doesn't get the whole steering concept, so he goes straight until he runs into something. Then, we have to pull the vehicle around so he can go straight in another direction! He really likes it though and I'm sure he'll be steering correctly in no time!
Thanks again, Aunt Nancy! The boys love their gifts, but loved seeing you even more!