Monday, March 31, 2008

Birthday Story

JD's first birthday is rapidly approaching. I still can't believe it has almost been a year. I remember how scared I was to have a baby (actually delivering it) and then how nervous I was about taking care of a tiny little life.

At my last doctor appointment before JD's due date, he mentioned coming in to be induced. He reasoned that it would be better to have a more controlled environment for the birth since JD was getting large (by estimation of our last sonogram). He hoped that we would avoid a c-section this way.

I was pretty fearful of a "large baby" birth and I really wanted to make sure that JD would be not be in any danger during the process, so we agreed. I wanted to wait until at least JD's due date though, so we didn't go into the hospital until his actual due date - April 2.

They gave me the inducing drugs in the evening and we went to sleep. Or as much sleep as my constant bathroom trips allowed. Poor Jon had to help me in and out everytime because I was hooked up to an IV.

The next day was pretty interesting. Although I was in labor (having contractions), I made very little progress, so the doctor mentioned breaking my water to get things going. He also let me have an epidural early, which was the best thing that had happened all morning. After he broke my water, he found meconium in the fluid, which is a sign that the baby was getting a little past due and needed to be delivered prettty quickly. You don't want that stuff sitting in their lungs. Plus, there were other signs that JD was wearing out his welcome inside of me, so he needed to move along!

But unfortunately, the intensity of the induced contractions made little JD's heartrate go skyhigh, so we had to make a quick decision to go ahead with a c-section. Jon and I wanted to the best thing for the baby's health and for my health at this point.

They prepped us both for surgery and I started to get nervous again. Not about the surgery, but about how quickly I was going to have a baby in my arms after it would be over! We went in for the procedure and the doctor asked if we would be okay with music playing. Garth Brooks' The Thunder Rolls was playing, a song that Jon and I both liked to make fun of for the cheesiness factor.

They checked to make sure I couldn't feel anything (and I couldn't) and they started. The next thing I remember is the doctor saying 'He is huge!' Then he quickly said, 'Oh no. That was just his head.' Then we had our sweet little baby boy. They brought him over to the table beside us and cleaned him off. Jon took pictures and went with them for the first checkup. JD was the perfect size (in my opinion) - 7 pounds, 13.5 ounces and 20 inches long.

They finished all the procedures on me and wheeled me all over the place (it seemed like). I finally settled in to our room and got to hold JD for the first time. I was slightly drugged, but I knew I had the sweetest bundle of joy in my arms and I thanked God for such a wonderful baby boy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm Not Imagining This, Am I?

I experienced a very strange sensation in my car the other day. Jon and I were driving back from a dinner in Fort Worth late on Saturday night. We had a couple of other passengers in the car with us and I was the designated driver for the evening.

I am not as familiar with the highways in Fort Worth, but I have driven on them a few times. It was around 9:30 in the evening, so some of the crazy drivers were starting to come out. I stuck to the speed limit - 60 mph for the most part. But drivers were whizzing around me left and right, several times nearly missing us.

I finally got onto good ole George Bush Freeway (ahh - the tollway) and felt a little more at ease. The wind had started picking up and was really gusting in some places. I glanced down at one point and noticed that I was only going about 45 mph, but since the wind was really strong, I figured I had not been compensating with the gas pedal.

So I revved up the gas and passed a couple of cars. I looked down as I was doing all of this and the speedometer never budged from 45. I thought, my goodness the wind must be really strong! But I felt like I was still going pretty fast. I asked Jon if he thought we were going fast too and he said yes. So I asked him was I imagining that the speedometer said we were going 35 miles per hour?!

Everyone in the car got interested then and we all watched the speedometer dropping from 35 to 30 to 25 and then eventually to 5 mph on the highway. All the while, I was staying on pace with the cars around me. By the time we pulled into the parking lot, we were actually driving under the 0 on the speedometer.

So I guess it would be safe to say that our speedometer was officially broken. Although I think our Yukon is suffering from amnesia because it started working again the next day. Our car probably doesn't want to get an operation to get a new dashboard so it is trying to fake being well. But we will be taking her to the hospital soon...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter!

JD had a successful Easter weekend. I can't call it his first because technically last year was his first, even though he was only 4 days old. It was a very busy weekend, but it was nice to be able to spend some time with both families for Easter.

On Saturday, we went out to Jon's family's house for the day to enjoy the sunshine and visit with his grandparents who stopped in on their way back to Colorado. Jon fired up the barbecue and made some great food. The guys had a new toy to play with since his parents had just purchased a new lawn mower. They all took turns riding it around and mowing around the property. JD enjoyed walking around and playing with the dog.

But he really got in the spirit of things on Sunday, hunting for Easter eggs and eating yummy food. Jon spent most of the church service chasing JD around since he couldn't be quiet in the auditorium. After church, we went to an Easter egg hunt, where JD's favorite egg activity was banging them together. It was a little chilly, but the sun came out for the kiddos when the hunt began.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Visit with the Easter Bunny

I took JD up to our local recreation center to take his picture with the Easter Bunny yesterday. I had no real expectations since I know that a lot of kids get pretty scared of large stuffed animals that can move and wave hello. He did pretty good with his Santa Claus visit back in December, but that was a whole three months ago and kids change leaps and bounds (sometimes not always for the better!) in that amount of time.

Our rec center was charging $5 to take a picture, get a frame and a cookie, so I figured it wouldn't be a huge loss of money if it didn't work out. When we got there, I let JD warm up to the Easter Bunny and he actually waved (while the other arm was wrapped tightly around my leg). While we were up there, we saw some Baby Boot Camp friends - Jennifer, Bri and Noah and Aunt Cara and Cousin Marin came too!

So we took his picture - no great smiles, but no big screaming either!

He was SOOO excited to see his cousin Marin come up too. We got the Easter Bunny to let us do a freebie shot with our cameras for the cousins.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Dream Come True

Since we have been married, Jon and I have always hoped to someday have a pool in our backyard. I have such fond memories of the swimming pool in our house growing up, with pool parties and swimovers (instead of sleepovers). I spent most of the summer in the pool from morning until nighttime.

Jon and I decided that it would be so wonderful to be able to provide this same experience for our kids. In our last house, the backyard was tiny, so it was not an option. In our new house, we decided that the pool would have to be pretty small in order to make it fit, so it probably wouldn't work either. So we embarked on the journey of building a nice patio to enjoy, thinking that we would pursue a pool in our next house.

Until yesterday, that is. After the torrential rain pour, our soon-to-be wonderful patio had turned into a pool! So I guess our dream came true at last!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Getting Closer

We had a special treat at church yesterday. My brother and his wife and their little girl Marin came to church with us! In honor of the occasion, all of the cousins dressed alike. We took their picture after church, which started off rocky. Ellie really didn't want to take a picture at all and Emma had her silly smile on at first.

But we finally got cooperation.

Later that day, there was a shade structure-raising (like a barn raising) which lasted most of the afternoon. But they were successful and it looks great! The patio is going in this weekend!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

In Progress

I'm posting some pictures as updates against my last blog.

My mom and I finished the curtains in the kitchen! Now on to the living room.

The boys started working on the posts for the shade structure today and we got the stone border put in for the patio. Getting closer!!

If you look closely on this next one, you can see a little guy in the doorway, just wishing he was big enough to help his daddy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Starting New Projects

I am so blessed to be married to a do-it-yourself kind of guy. He takes on any project, big or small, and learns as much as he can about it to make it the best result possible. My family was never very good at that. We usually saved up our money and paid someone else to make it the best result possible (after we tried and messed it up).

But my husband lived out in the boonies for most of his life, where it was required to do it on your own or not do it at all. He has done lots of projects for us over the years - a new built-in medicine cabinet, tile backsplash in the kitchen, recessed can lights in the kitchen, cabinets in the garage, painting various rooms, changing our oil in the cars, installing a doorbell, installing surround sound wiring and speakers, etc, etc. Not to mention all of the projects he has done at his brothers' houses and his parents' houses.

So when he mentioned installing a patio, shade structure and outdoor kitchen in our backyard, I wasn't too surprised or worried. He knows what we like and wants it to look awesome also. The trick is that we want to get it done by JD's birthday (April 3) so we can have his family and mine out to celebrate JD's first birthday at our house.

The project has started off slowly. We had to get approval from the city and our homeowners association to even get going. Now Jon has our backyard marked out and we got a big supply of lumber yesterday for the shade structure. I'm starting to get excited as I picture what our new backyard will look like!

We are also fortunate because our neighbor that lives behind our house does landscaping and yard improvements for a living. So he is giving us great advice and help along the way. Guess we will keep our fingers crossed that the weather stays nice and we make some progress!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Time Change Recovery Day!

Don't pretend you don't know what I am talking about...who isn't feeling the effects of the lost hour on Sunday morning??

What a fun weekend! It started out with a good ol' fashioned girls sleepover with my sister-in-law Heather. Her husband was having a baby shower of sorts (the guy version) with his fire department and all the brothers on Friday night. Jon went, of course, as one of the brothers for the night. So she and I ordered up some Chinese food (neither of our husbands like to eat it) and we had lots of girl talk, while we played with JD. We had on a movie, but ended up chatting more than watching. Lots of fun! JD LOVES to play with his Aunt Heather, so he had a great time too.

On Saturday, my mom and I took JD to a baby shower and had fun watching JD flirt with all the ladies, flashing his cutest grin all over the place. On Saturday night, Jon and I went out to eat with JD and enjoyed catching up (since we hadn't seen each other in almost 24 hours).

We had a busy day on Sunday again, since we had Jon's family birthday lunch at our favorite lunch spot after church - Spring Creek Barbecue. Then we had to go over to set up for Heather's church baby shower, which I was helping to hostess. The shower was lots of fun since a lot of her family came into town and she had lots of gifts! But I never get tired of looking at cute baby girl clothes and pink stuff, so bring it on! And I don't think you can ever have enough pink when you have a baby girl.

Last night, we watched a funny British movie called "Hot Fuzz," which is a parody of police action movies. I'm not endorsing or anything, since it had plenty of silly gory parts and bad language, but it was kind of funny.

Back to "work" today, with Baby Boot Camp this morning and then working on curtains all afternoon. Someday, I will finish all of the curtains in my house, but I'm not holding my breath. We are getting close in the kitchen though. I will post pictures soon.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Eyes Wide Shut

We had a photo session with JD a few days ago to commemorate his 10 months of life. As many parents do, we have been taking monthly photos of JD throughout his first year so that we remember all of the fun changes that he has made.

This past photo shoot happened to be in the evening (most are in the mornings - best smile time) so we had to use a flash. JD decided during this photo shoot that the flash is really bright so he should shut his eyes before it goes off.

I have many more similar to this next one...

So getting his picture is now even more difficult because he is convinced that the camera causes blindness. I tried again today and here were the results...keep in mind that it was in the morning so no flash even went off.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Too Cold

I took JD out in our rare Dallas snow this morning. It was either too early for such cold temperatures or he just plain didn't like the cold snow, but he cried most of the time we were outside.

I told him that in a year he would be begging me to go outside to play in the snow, but he didn't seem to care.

Monday, March 3, 2008

What's Cooking

Well, we had another jam packed weekend. The highlight was Jon, Josh and Jordan cooking up a birthday feast for Jon on Sunday. To prepare, on Saturday, Jon built another table to put beside our table and increase the seating capacity by double.

We had fun getting the table ready and decorated. We created little menus to put on each placesetting.

The guys had a blast cooking up in the kitchen, restaurant style. I think the results were pretty tasty too!

We started with some shrimp skewers and homemade chips and salsa. Both really yummy!

Then we moved on to the first course - Roasted Pork Tacos with grilled corn salad. Delicious!

Next we had mini burgers, where we could pick the kind we wanted - Hickory style, Baja or Build-Your-Own with homemade french fries. Can't go wrong with that!!

Dessert was a choice of root beer floats or chocolate shakes, both with homemade ice cream. To die for!!

We had my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife, two of Jon's brothers and their wives and our friend Jordan and his wife Emily over for the dinner. Our conversations seemed to steer toward babies and related topics since two of the wives are pregnant, two have young babies and one has two children. Kind of funny! A couple of years ago, all we could talk about was the trips were going to take and the movies we had recently seen. Such a shift!