Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just call me HRH...

Seriously...anyone who actually has met me in person (and especially knows about my alter-ego "The Princess") knows that whenever I am wearing the crown (Yep, I wear a crown in school. Often. For no reason. Other than I am a princess, of course.) and people call me "The Queen," I am *very* quick to correct them and tell them, "Nope, I'm just a princess. There's too much responsibility in being the Queen! Princesses just get to look cute, smile and wave!"

Well, thanks to pee-your-pants-funny Mala, looks like I am going to have to step up to the plate and bear the burden. The burden that is being QUEEN OF ALL THINGS AWE-SUMMM! How in the world is John going to live with me now? (Good thing I buttered him up with my last post so he'll be more amiable to treating me as the *Queen* I now get to be!)

As is the case with any acceptance of a royal title, there are responsibilities. They are:

1. List seven things that make you awe-summm.

2. Pass the award on to seven bloggers you love.

3. Tag those bloggers to let them know that they are now Queens of All Things Awe-Summm.

4. Don't forget to link to the queen that tagged you.

5. If you would like, copy the pic and put it on your sidebar so everyone knows that you're a queen. *OH YEAH!*

So, here are seven things that make me awe-summ.

1. I have AWE-Summm grammar skills. Yes, it is true, not only am I a grammar freak, but I have wicked grammar skills that back that freakiness up. I don't doodle in meetings--I diagram sentences. I read grammar books before bed to bone up. I cringe when I hear educated and credible people ask if you will just contact, "Lori or I," or some other 'sounds-like-it's-correct-but-it-SO-is-NOT!' statement like that. And though I do it sometimes, I really and truly try not to end sentences with prepositions.

*****It is at this point that I say to my husband, "What else makes me awesome?" and he, being the funny man he is, says, "That's about it." He's a riot, isn't he?*****

2. I have AWE-Summm husband picking skills! The line above proves it--he sure can make me laugh sometimes! While I won't say I had people beating the doors down, I will say that in the beginning hubby o'mine worked really, really hard to interest and enchant me. He thought I was some catch. He even won a gag award for 'Worshipping a girlfriend' because he was so into me. HA HA, sucker! Look who's vacuuming, cooking, cleaning up after and doing the laundry now?

Seriously, I have an AWE-Summm husband and he helps me be AWE-Summm.

3. I have AWE-Summm friends! Some I've had since grade school (thanks, Facebook!), some since John and I were a brand new married couple in the military, some just since we've moved to Maryland, some I've come to *love* through the internet, and some from relationships with parents and fellow teachers throughout all my years teaching. ALL are freaking AWE-summm, let me tell you. I am so deeply humbled and blessed by how many people have been overwhelmingly all about me--from the first day we decided to adopt to every time somebody talks about my belly. I have friends that are closer to me than flesh and blood family members, and truly, my friends are some of the biggest blessings in my life.

4. I have an AWE-summm sense of obligation to others. Now I admit, this often consumes me and I have a hard time pulling myself out of situations that I am 'helping' with to save myself, but that's just who I am. If you need it and I have it, it is yours. If you need it and I don't have it, I'll work hard to get it for you. And if you need it, I don't have it and I simply can't get it for you, my heart will hurt for you. I wouldn't trade my compassion for all the money in the world, but hurting for others takes a toll.

5. I am easily (but only once!) underestimated. People are often thrown by my diminutive stature and my girlish charm. HA. Screw with me or someone I love and watch me cut you to the quick. Give poor customer service or treat others with poor customer service and be prepared to be belittled. I worked my TAIL off through high school and college--ALL in customer service jobs. There is NO reason to act as if you are doing a favor to me by simply doing your job. Now, I'm not always proud of my ability, I admit, because I don't like being nasty. But don't doubt that I can be--and in a way that a good friend termed "Nasty Nice." Nice because I am smart, civil, justified, well-spoken (never a curse word) and most importantly, RIGHT; Nasty because you probably feel so bad about yourself after I've given you what-for, you'll feel like you need a shower. People don't expect this from me. Which makes me an AWE-Summm fighter for the underdog who would normally get the screw job from many people. Not when I'm around!

6. I have (or used to) an AWE-Summm memory---photographic in many instances. This was (and is) an incredibly helpful skill for me in school. I have the type of memory that got me good grades because I could not only remember where I read something, but I can remember the page, paragraph and sentence in which the information was found. Same thing with numbers. I can still remember my phone number from the house I lived in when I was 5-- 703-494-1305. Don't call that number because some poor schmuck in Northern Virginia will probably not appreciate it, but I promise, that was my number. As I've aged, I've noticed this AWE-Summm ability to be not as precise as in younger years, but I still can hang.

7. Last, and certainly not least, I am AWE-Summm because that is the way God made me. Period. I have an awesome God and I am humbled and blessed beyond belief that He calls me His own. Especially after admitting to the Nasty Nice.

WHEW! That was hard. Heck, I would have been honored just to be nominated, but that gal Mala made my day! There are a TON of gals I find Queens of AwE-Summm, but several I know who would kick my butt for tagging them when they are moving, caring for several children, already nominated, not feeling like blogging, etc. So, here are seven more (who may not mind being assigned a list!)I'm adding to the royal court!

Titanium Woman--Super mom and Super friend.

Rachel--Such a kindred spirit and funny gal!

Cindy--An absolutely AMAZING woman. May kick my butt because she's got an insane schedule these days, but regardless--totally a Queen of AWE-Summm!

Mandy--Cute beyond words and so dear to me!

Monica--More than a trooper...UBER-trooper!

Beth--Another unbelievably compassionate and funny gal!

Christina--Fabulous mom and advice giver!

Mala, thanks again for the honor. I promise, I'll do my best to maintain the reputation of the crown. Heck, I'm pregnant. There's not much I can do right now to dishonor it, is there?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Behind the picture...

Well, I have to say that though I wasn't excited about picture chronicling, I really appreciated all the sweet support! I told John that I'd do one picture a month for him. Though I *truly* can't see myself ever wishing that I had taken a picture and didn't, I certainly don't want to have that regret, just in case.

In any event, the point is that I took the picture for John. I have to give him another shout out because he has just been uber daddy-to-be. He cooks dinner every day, and cleans up after! He's been doing laundry like gangbusters. He has religiously been cleaning our bedroom--stripping linens and all--to keep it as dust free as possible since I'm not taking as much of my asthma and allergy medicine. He talks to baby every night, lips right to stomach. As I sit and type, he has just leaned over and patted my tummy--saying hello to baby--as he does constantly. Today he told me that while he was doing some research (yep, he is very willingly, and sometimes annoyingly, researching the heck out of pregnancy) he read that now that we are at 10 weeks, we lose some statistical miscarriage points. He also told me that yesterday was the end of the embryonic period. Oh, and sent me several videos about pregnancy development that he was dying to watch with me. All this, he does on his own.

When we were in Florida for spring break, we went shopping and he even helped me buy some things to grow in. Now, mind you...he HATES shopping. He can BARELY TOLERATE it if stores have what he calls the (forgive the language) "A**hole Chair"--you know, the chair that men sit in and pout while their wives are shopping the racks and trying things on. Yet, he was a very nice shopping assistant.

Much to his dismay, we will be using cloth diapers. I think they are better for baby, better for the environment and better for the pocket book. He is VERY squeamish about bodily functions from babies, if you get my meaning, but is still going to suck it up and do it. On the same token, not only does he fully expect a boy to shoot us up all the time, he knows the proper terminology for an item to help--the Peepee Teepee. Secretly, I think he's excited to buy one! Normally, he'd fight me tooth and nail if he didn't want to do something. Sadly, he's so stubborn that he'd probably win.

He's going to have to be out of town for about a month and a half--or more--this summer, and I'll be by myself. Normally I'd think he was being this nice and helpful because he feels bad about being gone. I don't think that's it, though...he's just absolutely and positively excited about baby and is not only totally stepping up to the plate, but going above and beyond.

The least I can do is take some pictures for the guy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The snake that ate the mouse....

Well, John is *determined* to document my growing stomach. Friends, again, I find no reason for this whatsoever. I do not have that burning desire to have the cheesy (forgive me if I offend...what I think is cheese may be your cat's meow and vice versa) belly pictures with John and me looking lovingly at each other as we look lovingly at my belly. Heck, when we got married, we were supposed to gaze lovingly at each other while our singers sang the song...yeah, no. That did NOT happen. My poor pastor desperately kept trying to whisper through his clenched smile to me and tell me to look sweetly at John and I, just as sweetly through my clenched smile said, "NO!" Anyway, I stomach.

Friday was the day that I had to pop open the jeans (that I wore just fine only a week before!) and use the old rubber band looped around the button and through the hoop trick. I was really pretty uncomfortable for most of the weekend, but again, in my continued quest to try not to complain about my BLESSINGS, I just sort of sucked it up. Today? Man, oh MAN did I show! All day, people kept telling me I looked like a snake that just ate a huge mouse, and they are sort of right. I told John baby was showing out pretty big today and he also was amazed when he got home. Tomorrow is 10 weeks, so I guess technically it makes sense that I'd be showing, but wow!

Now, for reference, I am NOT a big person. I am 4' 11 and 3/4" (that 3/4 makes a big difference!) tall. Most days, I way between 93-98 pounds. I know, I know, I'm very lucky. I was born 4 lbs. 4 oz., and have had the pleasure of coming from small women and having respiratory ailments for which treatment included drugs that stunted growth (as if I needed that!) Don't hate me because I'm little, because in truth, it carries its own issues, trust me.

So, though the picture may be deceiving, here in the Ennis household (as well as the school arena--one of my kids told me today "it was a good thing I told them I was pregnant because otherwise he'd have thought I was packing on the pounds!" Ah...out of the mouth of babes!), the stomach is already making quite the debut!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Super hot weather and the Swine Flu

Not that the two go together, but they tend to be the topics of the day...

YEAH hot weather! I love it. I'm sure this summer I'll be hating it, but now, I love it! I love the sun, I love the warm weather and I love the COLD being gone. Have I mentioned how much I do NOT like the cold? Do NOT like to be cold? If not, let me emphasize now, I DON'T! At all. So, bring it on sunshine! I love ya!

Swine flu? As if I don't have enough things to worry about. So, in advance, forgive me for not shaking hands, using public pens, touching doorknobs or condiment bottles, drinking public ice or coming within 50 feet of you if you cough or sneeze. Wait! I do all that already! Yep, I think I'll be good. Seriously, people make fun of my germaphobia, but hey, if the World Health Organization says to do it, who am I to argue?

And before anyone thinks they need to email me and tell me about how it's good to expose yourself to germs, build up immunity, yada yada...don't. Trust me when I say that growing up, my mother (God love her) would NOT have won any Good Housekeeping awards. (Probably one of the reasons I am such a germaphobe as an adult.) I was in the backyard all the time--playing in and eating dirt, pulling crawfish out of a little creek in the back yard between our house and the house behind ours--and then eating them just to prove to George Forsythe that I would...believe me when I say that I had quite the childhood opportunities to build up immunity. And did I? NOPE. And that's medically documented. So, now, as an educated adult who has been diagnosed with a weakened immune system, I take precautions. You betcha.

My point is that yes, it is important to be exposed, to a degree, to germs to build up immunities. But one is nuts to just go willy-nilly germing it up all over the place in the name of immuno-building. All the germ-exposure in the world doesn't always equal immunities and keep you healthy. I'm living proof of that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just needed some funny...

Today was not a fun day. I won't even get into it. I will say that I stumbled across a few things that thankfully made me laugh and cheered me up a bit. Here are a couple, borrowed from friends in the blog world and Facebook:

Bringing Home Beck. Just go there today and try not to laugh. Seriously.
This site also has shown itself on Mala's blog, but today it was refreshed to me through old sorority friend/new (not really anymore) Facebook friend Jenny. She also is a riot.

My mood today....

This is right up my alley...

Exactly how I felt today!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our First OB appointment...

....was this morning, again with Dr. Davis. I like him a lot. He is friendly and personable, straightforward and forward-thinking. He recognizes that we have been through a lot to get to this point and respects us for being so mission-oriented. I had my list of questions and he was glad to see the notebook, even encouraged me to ask him the same questions again in a few months to check his consistency. A man after my own heart.

So...I'll see one of the three doctors about once a month, until about 30 weeks. Then I'll see one of them every other week until week 36 and then once a week from week 36 to delivery. We have first trimester screening on May 11 in Annapolis, where I should get another ultrasound, and he said they may even have me come back a few weeks later for another one in case some things they are looking for haven't yet developed. Then I will have an ultrasound between weeks 18-20 and that's all we'll see baby until he debuts. Unless there is a problem, which, much as I love the ultrasounds for peace of mind, I'd rather not have them if that meant all was well. We'll probably opt once, later, for the 4-d ultrasound--there's a place in Bowie that does them.

He's fine with me taking the acidopholus and Omega-3 supplements (of anchovies and sardines, no mercury) but would rather I take more of my asthma medicine. Obviously he is concerned about baby getting enough oxygen, and though there are far more instances now where I am out of breath easier, if I sit a minute and gather myself, I'm ok. I WILL take the albuterol if I am having an attack, as no breathing for me is really bad for baby, but otherwise, I am staying away from the class C drugs. He's ok with that decision as well.

He considers all pregnancies high-risk (love that) but doesn't see too much abnormal with me. The cyst? His opinion (a little less concerned than I'd like, but oh well) is "So what if it grows? We'd just have to operate, which we obviously wouldn't do."

"What if it ruptures?" I asked. His response? "Well, there'll be some pain and we'll deal with it." Oh. How easily that rolled off his tongue. I found out that the cyst is nearly as big as the baby! At this point, no one seems worried, but you better believe *I'm* on it. He also isn't concerned about the cramping (very little and more when I strain or cough) where my ovaries are. Normal, he says. Okay, he's the doctor, so for now I'll go for that.

As for the Cesarean...he didn't even want to talk about it since we are obviously way down the road. Let me preface this next part with the following: PLEASE don't email me or tell me that you think I am nuts because I want a cesarean delivery. A) I'm not SURE I want it, though I'm leaning that way and B) It's MY choice. Period. Yes, I know women have been birthing babies for thousands of years, yada yada...Great. MY bottom line is that I know my body better than ANYONE and I'm smart enough to make my own decisions based on my own research. I realize there are pros and cons to EVERYTHING...including getting pregnant in the first place...and I am entitled to my opinion and my desires. I'm not even 5 feet and I have the hips and pelvic bones of a 14 year old girl. Let's just be honest when we say that for me, a vaginal delivery may be a little more complicated than the average woman. Yes, I know little women (and 14 year old girls) deliver all the time, but I PASS out from straining. Yes, PASS OUT. I know too many women who tried to deliver vaginally and then ended up not being able to and if that is what is going to end up happening to me (and I have a strong suspicion since my mom had to have both my sister and brother cesarean and my sister had to have both my niece and nephew cesarean--none of us are/were big women) then I'd like to circumvent that from the get-go.

In any event, Dr. Davis and I (more me) agreed to 'revisit' that topic later. We will, trust me.

John liked Dr. Davis because he said he challenges me. I'm not sure that's a great reason to like your doctor because you'd hope you are on the same team. I like Dr. Davis because he's knowledgeable and respectful and has seen ALL of this--before Shady Grove even--as a mission to bring a healthy little one into our household. I'm ALL about that, so it's obvious we are on the same team. Make no mistake, though, friends. I am NOT a stupid woman and I do not make decisions lightly. The bottom line is that there's ONE MAIN player on Team Baby right now. That's ME. My first priority is to make sure I am healthy and comfortable so BABY is healthy and comfortable. I will not do anything that *I* think would jeopardize this baby--including taking my asthma medicine more like my doctor would like me to. I realize and acknowledge his expertise, and wouldn't be going to him if I felt it wasn't exactly what I needed with regard to Obstetrics care. It's his expertise that I refer to when making decisions and following directions.

But don't forget...I never, ever, EVER said my world would be over if I was never pregnant. If I was never a MOTHER, well, that's a different story. But pregnancy for me is the means to the end--a sweet little one to mother. I'm certainly enjoying all the neat and fun stuff that goes along with it, but I am NOT the gal that thinks we should frame the placenta or thinks that childbirth will be the most beautiful and meaningful process I'll ever be witness to. John keeps asking if I want pictures of my stomach growing. Is he nuts? WHY on earth do I want pictures of my bulgy, weird looking body? And I sure as heck am NOT going to want the whole thing taped or photographed. Ever watch A Baby Story? CHILDBIRTH IS GROSS. Thank you, but NO to the historical archiving of me pooping on a table in front of 5-7 of various people. I think I'll be just fine WITHOUT the memories of the gore.

Gone may be the days where you just walked in, they put you to sleep and you woke up with your baby, but as close to that as possible is exactly what I'd like the doctor to order.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

And they said it wouldn't last....

Yep, I know that was said at my wedding, 12 years ago today. I heard everything from "You are *totally* different people with *totally* different personalities," (my pastor) to "Lori should have been the Marine," (my best man) to "Lori will be such an asset to John," (my matron of honor) to "We'll see how long this lasts," (some wedding crasher--seriously).

My pastor was right--John and I are totally different in a lot of things, but as happens in most successful marriages, as you grow up together and learn together, you find you come to the middle on more things than you thought. (He was into black, steel and marble decor while I loved all my Americana country. Our house right now is nowhere near either, but very accommodating to us both.) Where I am an immediate action necessary kind of gal, John is a mull-it-over and be sure guy. Both of these mentalities are extremely successful for each of us as individuals, and together, we can handle just about anything as it should be--one way or another. When John and I married, he was far less conservative than he is now and I was not budging from one single platform of the Republican party, if only for principle sake. John now finds himself listening to Fox news; I often have NPR on. Neither of us are fundamentally changed in our beliefs or convictions, but as we have had to listen to each other for 16 years, we have agreed that we both married smart people who have valued opinions, and though they may be different than what we may have always believed, there is room for growth in our realms of thinking.

As for me being an asset to John--I'm going to have to agree with that. But insomuch as I have been to him, he certainly has to me. I think I helped John grow up some while he helped me relax a little--I seem to have been born a grown-up. John hasn't always been the most *driven* person, if you will, yet you would never know it by how successful his career and relationships are. Maybe I've influenced that a little.

Me being a Marine? Yeah, right. They'd throw me out in two seconds. I'm far too opinionated and have too strong a sense of "FIX THIS NOW" to be a Marine. But John? He's fabulous. He is just as opinionated and just in his thinking, but he has the amazing ability to just let things roll...he's known to just about anyone as a very laid-back guy who doesn't always say much, but what he has to say is worth it. I can't think of anyone who can find any solid beef with John because he is simply an all-around good guy. He is not malicious, even though he's been in situations where it would be humanly expected. He is not vengeful or spiteful and he can shake wrongs done to him off almost as he feels more sorry for that person who wronged him than he does himself. I, well--not me. He is reliable and dependable and more than that, he is incredibly talented. He is truly the most intelligent man I know--the things he can think in his mind and then make come to life? Spectacular. If he wants a shed built, he'll draw out a plan, go buy the stuff, and voila, a day later a shed. An amazing shed. Build a chest? Bookshelf? Fence? Deck? Who needs plans? Not John--he sees it in his head and then he makes it happen. Truly, his talents have no limits I've seen (well, his spelling and grammar skills maybe, but he makes me SO proud when he hears people end sentences with prepositions and talks about how they must live between A and T at the end of preposition street!) and they are such blessings to me!

We really don't argue--though we "banter" a lot and are pretty sarcastic with each other. To some, this may seem like arguing, but it's really and truly not for us. On those few occasions we *really do* argue, just leave us alone. But, for the most part, we are the basis for the Ray and Debra characters on Everybody Loves Raymond, and we also see a lot of each of us in Jon and Kate--the best part is that we recognize those things in ourselves and are able to laugh at ourselves (in retrospect, of course) for it! We liken ourselves to little old couples married forever--some days can't live with you, but never can we live without you...

And now, with me being pregnant...I absolutely love the way John is. I asked him if he was being extra nice to me because of the baby and he said, "Yes." Well, I'll take it! (An example of our banter...) Seriously, though, he is adorable. Annoying sometimes when I am suffering heartburn or something and instead of just getting me the flipping Tums, he explains the physics behind it all, but adorable nonetheless. He won't admit it, but he was just as emotional about the ultrasound Friday as I was. I may cry outwardly, but his excitement and love for this baby is so very evident. I have ALWAYS known that John would make a wonderful daddy--boy or girl, biological or adopted...and I am very thankful to God that I am able to see the wonderful man I married in this new light.

Is he stubborn? Yep. Way more than I am (and that is A LOT). Is he somewhat passive aggressive? Oh yeah. Does he drive me NUTS when he is on some secret agenda he shares with no one? Repeatedly.

But I wouldn't trade him for the entire world. I remember walking down the half-court line in my church's gym, wearing my wedding dress (a NOT funny story then, but hilarious these days) and looking up at John in his brand new Dress Blue-Whites. He was very handsome, and he thought so too, because instead of looking at ME, his BRIDE come down the aisle, he was checking out the shiny buttons on his new uniform. Seriously, I have that on video tape. Anyway, I remember thinking, "Dear I making the right decision? Forever is a very long time. Maybe all this wedding catastrophe is a sign?" (Really, the wedding itself was full of craziness.)

Yep. Totally the right decision. Happy Anniversary, John!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Our little Gummi Bear!

Today we officially graduated from Shady Grove Fertility Clinic. We went for our 8 week ultrasound and it was amazing. I cried even more this time. I was just not prepared for what I saw--in just two weeks, baby has gone from this little jelly-bean looking itty-bitty thing to a true Ennis--big head and all! I couldn't believe how much he had changed, and how so very human looking he was. The heart rate was 162, fabulous. The doctor said I was measuring about 8.5-9 weeks (yep, 8 weeks and 3 days!) and all looked great. I asked about my ovaries being swollen still (they STILL hurt, one side more than the other) and he said they weren't too bad but I did have a small cyst on my right ovary.
"Cyst?" I asked him?

"Oh, it's probably nothing," he said. "I know you had some cysts before, but it's probably nothing. It could be your corpus luteum."

"If it's not? What could it be?"
"Uh, I don't like to talk about the 'what-ifs'."

"Yeah, well, since you brought it up, how about lets?"

John told him he didn't realize who he was dealing with (it wasn't our regular doctor) and the end result was the mental note to make sure my Ob-Gyn monitors the heck out of it. At that point, the doctor seemed uneasy with my drilling him and hightailed it outta there. That's ok, because all that was left were the final parting words from Joyce the nurse.

After all the funny (though costly) jokes were made about how we were successful on the first try (STILL don't know how) and have just given dear Dr. Kipersztock a hefty little bonus for doing so, Joyce sent us off with our framed picture, some more medicine information (Vagi-pops down to once a day! Yippee!) and a referral for a maternal care specialist since I am OLD. (Okay, I remember when I was younger that 36 sounded ancient, but now that I am here, I'm getting pretty tired of people telling me that I am sooooooooo maternally old....way to give a gal a(nother) complex!)

So, now our little fishie-jelly bean looks like a little a sweet little Gummi Bear and we couldn't be more proud!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, the tears....

So, my dear mother-in-law bought me What to Expect When You Are Expecting last week from our local bookstore (which is very local and very little)--not knowing I had already ordered and received that book a couple of weeks ago! I took it back to the bookstore today because I wanted to get the Pregnancy Journal (which they didn't have, of course, but I did get the Dr. Seuss book you read to baby in utero and another pregnancy book) and as I was looking through, I saw a couple of cute books in the "Gift" section. I am sure that most of you who read and are adoptive parents either have heard of this book or have it, but I was just overcome with emotion (and am right now as I type) when I picked it up. It is called Every Year on Your Birthday and is written by Rose A. Lewis. It is the absolute sweetest book about her daughter coming to her from China and how she feels about her on her birthday.

Friends, I cried and cried in that bookstore. Lots of hormones running, sure, but I was just so touched by her words and I could almost feel myself in her shoes. It was sort of bittersweet, because though I am so excited to be pregnant and carrying a little miracle, for so long, my heart ached for a little girl from Kyrgyzstan and I just imagined myself with a story similar to hers. The update about the conference call for the PAPs of the 65 matched children didn't sound like it was very productive or definitive for them and again my heart just aches.

Anyway, if you were not aware of this book, the next time you are at your local bookstore, I'd look for this one--It's truly heartwarming!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Security Words

Okay...I am back to the miserable sinus pressure I had before Florida (I keep telling John I was MEANT to live in Florida!) and this weather doesn't help. So, I am presently warming my sinus pad, about to put some lavender oil on my cheek bones and will go upstairs for a little rest. Growing a baby makes one rather exhausted.

HOWEVER, I liked some of the security words I came across in blog-hopping and thought if they didn't mean something, surely they COULD if someone just gave them the right context. So, here goes:

PRIZED: (Easy, by the way) The little girl's selfless act was obvious as she gave her prized possession to her sad best friend.

GRALKLER: (A little harder) My sprinkler broke, so I had my husband buy the new multi-gralkling gralkler. Now the lawn looks great!

DENES: (Harder still, although in hind-sight, my Gralkler effort wasn't the best) The list you make when you can't spell. NOT the Dean's list.

Okay, those stink. In theory, this post was funnier in my head. Really.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! I never cease to be amazed at how moved I am in church as I sing about Jesus dying on the cross for me. ME. Little old pain in the rear me. He lived to die, and for me. And you. Unbelievable.

Ever since John and I have been married, we try to take a 'family' photo every Easter. Some years it works out, others it doesn't. This year--sorta. Our family pictures of course include whatever furry babies are living with us, and as anyone who calls a dog a pet knows, they sometimes cooperate and sometimes act like the could care less. Today was one of those days. It is also Dixie's 3rd birthday, so maybe she felt like she could really just do what she wanted to do, being birthday girl and all.
As I am totally on the Blurb Book Ball (remember how I love alliteration!) I thought I'd see what I could dig up as far as Easter pictures of years past...many were taken with (gasp) regular film, and doubtfully scanned in for their digital effect, so not sure what I have and what I don't. I also thought I'd throw in a birthday picture or two of our little Miss Dixie Belle. She sure is a spunky gal, and I'll admit it, I love her even more for it. Just don't tell John I said that!

Easter, 1999--TEN YEARS AGO! This was in our wonderful Pensacola with our sweet boy Random...where has time gone?


Easter 2000--one of my favorite pictures, even though we are missing several key family members...our princess niece, Ellie; our old Raleigh Bear and our PITA Dixie Belle.


This is John's mom and dad Easter of 2002, on their back deck. I've always loved this picture of them.


This is John, me and our beloved Random Easter 2004. MAN do we look young!


Easter 2005--on our deck in North Carolina. Neither Raleigh nor Random wanted to cooperate!


Easter 2008--Raleigh and Dixie mostly cooperating. This was also one of the pictures we took for our adoption portfolio.


Easter, 2009--one of my new favorite pictures! Raleigh being his goofy self, Dixie with a pained, "I hate this look" and baby included, though you can't see him very well because he's hiding in my tummy!

Some birthday girl pictures:

The first day I met her...she was so sweet.

May 25, 2006--the day my kids "surprised me" with her. Don't be fooled by how cute she was. That's just a decoy. Really.

Right before she was one. Doesn't she *look* angelic? Yeah. She's not.

I'm 1! I'm 1! Can I eat my cookies now?

2 looks yummilicous too!!!

What? I turn 3 and no cookies? 3 STINKS! (Note Raleigh laughing hysterically in the background!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

We're Home!

Well, after spending a little under a week at the happiest place on earth, we are home...where I am also very happy to be. The ride home was not is not being very nice to his mommy and my stomach has just been churning all day. John told him to be nice, but he apparently is a stubborn little guy and doesn't listen well. (I can't really attribute that to my or John's genes because we are both like that, though John is more stubborn and listens less, so I'll give it to him!)

We had a wonderful time with our dear friends. They are moving to Okinawa for THREE whole years and I will miss them terribly. There's a group of us who all met so many years ago when we were all young and newly married and we are family. We try to get together at least once a year (usually around Labor Day) and that may be more difficult now that Okinawa is in the mix! We'd love to trek to Japan, though, so we'll have to buy baby some travelling clothes at some point!

We did end up dealing with the horrendous Spring Break crowds, to the point of being turned away at Magic Kingdom yesterday because they were full by 11:30...Yep, FULL. Shut out at Disney! Thankfully, we have been before, so we weren't that disappointed, and we did some shopping and had dinner, but I didn't know that Disney actually shut parks down. Makes sense, with all the crowds, but still...

I also got to meet Rachel! It's amazing how you can *meet* someone online and then in real-life, it's like you've always known them! And let me tell you, her Alex and Scarlett are just flipping adorable. Unbelievably cute and sweet and just adorable. We took a picture, so that will be forthcoming. Needless to say, shopping and lunch were very fun!!

And now...home. I got several things to wear this summer---thank goodness Loft and White House Black Market are into stretchy knits, as I think I should be able to grow and still look like a human. I also bought two maternity dresses, and have to say that I teared up as I went into Motherhood. I still can't believe that I am so blessed and actually was shopping for me.

My cup certainly runneth over. As we look to celebrate Christ's victory over the grave this weekend, I am just overwhelmed with appreciation and gratitude for my life. This is so much more significant for me with my mother gone...on this day, 6 years ago, she passed away in her sleep. She valiantly fought breast cancer, and though she lost, right up until she died, she believed she would be fine. I miss her so much that it takes my breath away right now as I type. I wish I could share pregnancy stories with her, and most importantly, I wish she would be able to see the baby that I know she always wanted for me. She called my niece and nephew "Grandma's Revenge" because though my sister and her ex-husband both had brown hair and brown eyes, both Kayla and Jacob were born and looked JUST like my blond, blue-eyed mom. With my mom and John's dad gone, I have to admit that I pray I'll be able to see them in this little miracle inside of me.

I miss you, mom.

Friday, April 3, 2009

One healthy heartbeat!

Okay...I'm in BIG trouble (I thought pregnant women didn't get in trouble?) because we are leaving for vacation in Florida tomorrow (YIPPEE!) at 0:dark-thirty, and I have yet to pack, but I HAD to show off baby's 2nd picture... he's (I'm convinced it is a boy...though I did have, for the first time ever, a dream in which I had a baby girl! She had a head full of red hair and we called her Molly Jane. I'm attributing the fact that she was half-hamster to the crazy hormones running around in my body...) an itty-bitty little thing, but he's there and his heartbeat was looked like a little strobe light. They could even measure his heart rate--101 bpm.

I, of course, cried.

Okay...gotta run, John is going to KILL me if I don't get moving!

And yes, I am disappointed a bit that it wasn't twins, because that means one of my little fishies didn't make it and that's sad. I am absolutely over the moon, though, that this one did--and is doing EXTREMELY well!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Prayer, please...

Okay...I admit...I have baby's first sinus infection, says my doctor...and still feeling icky. SOOOO...I stole this from Maria. I don't think she'll mind...and it's truly, truly important...

Please PRAY!!
I just got this information off the Kyrgyz Yahoo Group of which I am a member. For those of you who read my blog, please take just one small second and pray that this meeting brings about WHATEVER is needed to bring those 65 babies home!!!*************I know that so many of you are praying for those of us waiting for our children. The Kyrgyz Parliament is supposed to hear recommendations on adoptions at this meeting. Please pray for that meeting.9 pm on Wednesday night (central time) is 9 am in Bishkek. Please join us in prayer at that hour. None of us is very sure what will come of this meeting. Please pray that the families who are waiting will gain some clarity as to where this situation is going and that compassion for these children is what prevails as the leaders discuss these matters.

Friends...prayer matters and makes a difference. Please pray for the hearts of all those in the meeting to be spoken to in a powerful way. Those children need to come HOME!