Tuesday, November 27, 2007

more holiday pictures

In an effort to preserve more of our Thanksgiving memories, here are a few more pictures from our holiday. Gracie took some of them. You can probably tell which ones! I'm sure my parents would love that I'm posting these pictures of them-especially my dad with the apron on!

Here are the girls enjoying a little movie time while Pappy watched football in the other room. Notice all the pink-what in the world are we going to do if this new baby is a boy?!?! He'll be so outnumbered, poor thing! He'll probably enjoy sitting in the other room watching football with Pappy, Uncle Josh, & Daddy. He will if Daddy has anything to do with it anyway!

The funny thing about us having a new baby and Grammer & Pappy already having 4 granddaughters is that they just recently redecorated one of the bedrooms to be a "granddaughter" room. It's pink, yellow, & green with monogrammed sheets, etc. I guess if this is a boy, he will enjoy having his own room across the hall! If it's a girl, she'll fit right in! Not that there's that much room in there, but I'm sure we'll make it work!

Here I think the girls are playing "Principal's Office." I think Grammer is playing the role of Principal at the moment. The funny thing is that Morgan & Katie have no idea what a principal is and Gracie & Ann Elise aren't exactly the type of students who get sent to the principal's office! They had fun imagining what would happen if they got sent there though!

Here are some pictures Gracie took. Like I said earlier, I'm sure Grammer & Pappy would be soooo happy to see these posted online!

Here are the 3 big girls posing with Uncle Josh.A group granddaughter picture with Pappy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

a Happy Thanksgiving for all!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! We had a good time in Atlanta-early pregnancy blahs & all! We left for Atlanta early Wednesday afternoon and made a stop at a "special store" to get something for Gracie for Christmas. She's old enough to know that when we're in the store and then Mommy stays in there while she, Daddy, & Katie leave to know that something is going on, but at least she doesn't know exactly what! We then stopped to eat before heading on to my parents'.

We got to their house and the girls played for awhile then went to bed under their protest because their cousins weren't there yet. However, it was late and apparently the traffic from Nashville to Atlanta was pretty bad so I wasn't sure how late it would be. The rest of us stayed up to wait for them although I almost didn't make it! Ann Elise immediately wanted to go to bed since Gracie & Katie were already in the "granddaughter room." Morgan, the almost 2 year old, didn't have the same idea!
The next morning, the 3 big girls were up early with Pappy, eating his "Mickey waffles." The rest of us eventually got up and hung out for the day while Grammer cooked. I offered to help, but she had it pretty well under control. We snacked then ate a late lunch for our Thanksgiving meal. It was good and traditional for which I was glad. I had watched a Food Network Thanksgiving challenge where the people had made all these weird dishes. I told Mom I hoped hers would be traditional and it was! I was just glad I felt like eating most of the normal things; I'm not sure I could have handled weird things! That night, my brother & his wife (Josh & Beth) and Chris & I went to see "Dan in Real Life." I thought it was really cute.
The next day we headed out to do a little shopping, but none of that early, early morning business. None of us were up for that! I think we left the house around 10:00-after Josh discovered his flat tire! We went to Lenox Mall and wandered around. I really wasn't feeling too well while there so I wasn't real into it, but it was neat to be out looking. Lenox Mall is more to me a "looking" kind of mall anyway, rather than a "buying" mall. It has fancier stores than your typical mall-to me anyway. I did buy 2 Christmas ornaments and we ate lunch in the food court. The 3 big girls, along with their daddies, rode the "Rich's Pink Pig" which is now I guess the "Macy's Pink Pig." It's kind of an Atlanta Christmas tradition although with most things it doesn't quite have the character it used to have.
Josh & Beth and their girls left from the mall to head back to Nashville (after buying a new tire for their car!) and the rest of us went back home where I think most of us took a nap! I went to Mom's antique mall with her after my nap then we hung out at home, eating leftovers and watching "Diary of Anne Frank" and "Christmas Vacation." Well, this is only after Chris & my dad watched TONS of football! The girls didn't watch either movie with us either. Unfortunately, as funny as Christmas Vacation is, there is so much that is inappropriate. The language is ridiculous! The girls were happily watching a movie in the other room-Nemo I think.
We got packed up Saturday and headed for home. It was a fun Thanksgiving! We got off I-20 and headed into a little town to "explore" a little before continuing on our way. We ate lunch at this great little place-"Shane's Rib Shack." Chris & I sure do miss good 'ole beef barbecue the way they do it in Texas-YUM! Most everything here is pork. It's okay, but it's not brisket! However, we got the ribs and they were actually really good-pig and all!
We're happy to be home and thinking about Christmas decorations for the house. Eventually, it will get done! Have a Merry Christmas season everyone! Also, I'm wanting to do some sort of "Christmas countdown" with the girls. Something we can make inexpensively and look forward to doing everyday.........any ideas?!!?! "baby Shanks" seems to be doing well. If feeling icky is any indication, then he/she is doing really well! These are exciting times!
Here are a few pictures from the week:
Grammer trying to get Morgan to sit & watch the movie without being directly in front of the t.v. where the other girls can't see.
The 3 big girls playing in Pappy & Grammer's leaf-filled backyard. Pappy had Morgan with him on the swing.
Katie & Ann Elise being silly for Gracie who was practicing her photography skills.

Monday, November 19, 2007

full weekend

We had a full weekend!

Friday wasn't really so full, but the rest of it was. Chris didn't work too long on Friday so he was home by the time it was time to pick up Gracie. The 3 of us went to pick her up then we headed to the library-a favorite of our girls. I hate to say it, but by the time I'd sat in carline then spent about a half hour at the library, I was about to fall out. I was exhausted and was feeling pretty bad, so we headed home. I was hungry but nauseous but not sure what I wanted. I finally thought I had it figured out what I wanted so Chris went to get it. It was a bad call! I ate it and it was okay, but I think I felt worse after I ate it. *sigh* I hate it when a craving goes bad! The rest of the night we just hung out at home not doing much.

Saturday, Chris & the girls left the house before 7:00 to head to the church to help with something. I opted to stay home. Later, I talked to my sister-in-law to get Christmas ideas for my nieces who we'll exchange gifts with this week when we see them. I was feeling better so I got ready and Gracie & I headed to Target and one other store to get their gifts. By the time we'd gone to those 2 stores, I was again ready to rest and not feeling great. I ate some crackers and read on the couch and actually fell asleep.

A little later, it was time to get ready to go to a "Hobo Feast" we'd been invited to by some people at church. It was really fun and I actually felt much better getting out rather than staying home on the couch! Everyone was supposed to bring a can of vegetables along with bread, a drink, or a dessert. I wasn't sure how the food situation was going to go for me with the nausea and all, so I actually ate a little something that sounded good on the way to their house which was about 30 minutes away.

It was really neat. They live on quite a bit of land and had a fire built with a little ledge for pots. They had already started stew meat and some seasonings and everyone dumped in their cans of veggies and made stew! We ate out of our cans-well, she had cups for the kids. I actually ate some of it too. It was kind of satisfying which is odd for me to say right now! The girls had a great time playing with their red-headed golden retriever. I'm not a dog person at all, but that dog was so sweet. He looked like the "Bush's Baked Beans" dog and I promise you he smiled at me when I was rubbing his head. They confirmed that he really does have a sweet disposition. I promise he did because I'm typically scared of big dogs, but he didn't really make me nervous at all. It was a fun night! They started a really big bonfire that seemed to get out of control pretty fast and I was ready to grab the girls and head off in the van. I kept thinking of a couple of the ladies there who couldn't move too fast and wondering how in the world they would get away. I really was nervous, but the man got on his tractor and ran over the escaping flames with a "sled" of tires and put it out. *whew* I figured he had it under control, but it was moving fast-and towards the cars!

We had to leave a little early because Texas Tech was on t.v. that night and my husband actually got the game this time! One thing about leaving Texas he complains about is that he doesn't get to watch Tech as much as he likes. He gets to watch the Cowboys a lot this year because he bought some special NFL package through the satellite.

Sunday, we went to church then ate a quick lunch then headed back to the church building to meet some people to go to the zoo. We arrived at the zoo and had a short devo about animals then headed in. There were about 26 of us and it was really fun. It was great weather!

Afterwards, we headed to Fuddrucker's to eat. I had felt quite a bit better yesterday and Fuddrucker's sounded okay. I do have to say that 2 people sitting across from me had o-n-i-o-n r-i-n-g-s and I about lost it! I didn't say anything to them because I didn't want to make them feel bad, but that is one thing that seems gross to me right now. I had eaten some the day I found out I was pregnant and I enjoyed them. Then, I found out I was pregnant and for some reason I keep thinking about them and feeling icky. I survived; I just tried not to look at them too much!

Today starts a 2 day school week for Gracie then we'll head to Atlanta to my parents' on Wednesday. My brother & family will arrive from Nashville late Wed. night and all 4 girls will be together to wreck havoc on the playroom! It will be fun though.

I am feeling really good this morning and I'm thankful! I'm going to start attacking "Mt. Washmore" as it has really built up!!!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

born on the 4TH OF JULY?!?!?!!

We had our first doctor's appointment yesterday and it went great! The only drawback is that he pushed me back about a week based on the measurements of the sonogram. He said he doesn't usually change the due date when it's just a week but because of a particular "uterine abnormality" that I have, he is concerned with getting me to a certain point and wants to know for sure when we've reached that point. Both of the girls have gone technically full term (Gracie 36 1/2 weeks & Katie 38 1/2 weeks) so I'm not too concerned. However, I guess we'll go with his date of the 4TH OF JULY as my due date! Of course, he & I both agree that I'll never make it to July and the baby will for sure be here in June, but July 4th is the due date and that's a pretty cool due date!

My Lilypie counter seemed to be kind of messed up so I'm not sure if it's right or wrong. The doctor said the sonogram measured me at 7 weeks 1 day yesterday and then he said July 4th as the due date. When I put that due date in Lilypie, it doesn't show me that far along so who really knows?!!? All I know is that when the lady did the sonogram we saw that sweet heartbeat fluttering along and then got to hear it! Yippee!

I had been really nervous that we were going to get in there and have them tell me I was crazy and that my 3 home pregnancy tests were false and that I wasn't pregnant. It just still seems a little surreal that this has happened this way! It was a delight to see that I really did have a child growing inside of me and that the heartbeat was strong!

This is a new (to me) doctor in a new (to me) practice at a new (to me) hospital and we were more than impressed! Everyone was so nice and congratulatory. The doctor sat with us in his office for about 30 minutes before he did the exam and then about 10 minutes afterwards. He was so nice and the nurse was so sweet. I am really, really happy that we made the switch. I liked my last doctor but I always kind of felt like a number rather than a person, especially once I made it to the hospital. I didn't feel like I was special at all. I know, I know, I'm no more special than anyone else, but I think most of you mommies out there would agree that it's nice to be treated special by your doctor when you're having a baby. I do feel like Katie was well taken care of at the last hospital but I know this new baby will be just as taken care of at this new hospital. It's used by many of my friends from church.

As I mentioned above, I do have a "condition" that lends itself to premature labor but God has blessed us with almost full term births with both of the girls and they've been healthy-although small-upon birth. The doctor saw my sonogram before he saw me and he told us that he told his student, "The concern with this patient will be premature labor." One of the first things he asked me was whether or not I'd had other children. When I told him that I had 2 and gave him the details of the pregnancy & birth, he seemed relieved & to have more confidence in things going well. I try not to read too much about this condition on the Internet because th statistics can be kind of scary, but I can look at my sweet Gracie & Katie to know that things can turn out well! I won't go into all the details but I'd be more than happy to share with anyone who actually wants to know about it. I kind of felt like I was on Grey's Anatomy when he asked permission for his student to come & observe my exam. I think she was maybe a little disappointed but I guess she felt there was the potential to see something interesting! How could a Grey's fan turn down an opportunity for a student to learn from me?!!? She kind of looked like Lexi Grey too!

Don't get me wrong; I'm not like a freak or something! I guess maybe it kind of sounds like that but I'm not. Just someone with something a little interesting!

Another interesting thing about this pregnancy is my age. Apparently, "35" is the magic age for getting extra lectures about some things. I won't be 35 until May but that will be before this baby is here so I got to hear about all sorts of available testing for all sorts of diseases & complications this baby could have. The doctor said his wife had their 1st at 36 and their 2nd at 39 so I was perfect as far as he was concerned. Chris & I will most likely not do any of the "extra" testing because we wouldn't do much with any worrying information other than worry so what's the point. We wouldn't choose to terminate based on a scary diagnosis. We wouldn't feel that was right. We were thrilled when the doctor made it obvious that his values along this line were pretty much the same!

I have been soooo nauseous and yesterday I was nervous before the appointment. The last thing I did was have about 4 vials of blood taken. I really dislike having blood taken and having only eaten a sausage biscuit & a pkg. of peanut butter crackers all day (and it was around 4:00!) we went to eat afterwards. If something hits me that I'd like to eat I figure I better eat it since so often nothing sounds good. We went to The Olive Garden! I wanted their breadsticks with alfredo sauce-yum! I probably ate more in 15 minutes than I'd eaten in 2 days. I had to remind myself to slow down. By the time I got my manicotti, I was pretty full and not enjoying it as much as I'd hoped so most of it is in the fridge for someone to eat later. The breadsticks were great though!

All in all, it was a great visit and it was thrilling to see the baby! I can't figure out how to scan the picture but I'll have Chris do it later. My friend Mary Beth kept the girls for us then 3 friends have called to check on the visit and 1 has emailed so I feel loved!

Dear Lord,
Thank you for a good doctor's visit and for allowing us to see our precious baby! I'm so thankful for technology that can give me peace of mind during my pregnancies! Please continue to let this child grow as You would have him or her do. Please give the doctor wisdom & strength.
In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

GIS day

I have my first doctor's appointment today so I'm sure I'll be updating later today! I'm a little nervous and anxious for it to be here!

This week is "Geographic Awareness Week" & yesterday was "GIS day." Since this goes along with his career, Chris did a geography presentation yesterday at school for the entire 2nd grade. He did a really good job. I hate that our camera isn't that good because it really doesn't capture the moment. Mrs. Zimmerman had Gracie introduce Chris and it was really cute!

Here is a picture of my sweet Katie Boo!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

busy day

What a busy day! I was ready for bed about 2 hours ago, so I'm not sure what I'm doing still up!

We got up this morning to find that the electricity had gone out for some reason-I think early this morning. The computer wouldn't come on which has been a problem lately-to get it to come back on once it's been turned off. Seeing as how I spend so much time on the computer, I get a little panicked when this happens. I was thinking of bills that would need to be paid online as well as important things like blogging! LOL
I started some breakfast for all of us and put some toast in the oven only to glance down at the door once I closed it and saw what looked like sparklers going off inside the oven! I don't know what the deal was but it wasn't good. After a few seconds-which felt a lot longer-Chris went for the fire extinguisher, but they finally died down. There were never any flames but plenty of sparks that could have started flames. So......we have a little problem with our oven right now. UGH! Remember the plumbing problems we had earlier in the week.....when it rains it pours right?!?
Well, we decided to head out to McDonald's for breakfast then Gracie & I went to her Master Violin Class while Chris & Katie went to get a part for the computer. Once Gracie & I got to her class I realized this was a little bigger deal than I thought it would be so I called Chris to come & bring the camera. There were about 25-30 people there-definitely something where I felt I needed a camera. Another dad had one along with his video recorder!
This was a special 2 hour class where any of the music students-violin, cello, piano-could play and be "critiqued" by any of the instructors. I felt a little bad for Gracie because all of the other students were playing real songs while she just did an exercise from her book. She's only taken around 5 lessons so she hasn't gotten to real songs yet. Her instructor is so sweet and played with her and then she got some pointers from the other instructors. Her instructor, Miss Diana, seems to think she's doing really well for never having had any formal music instruction and just starting.
Her recital will be in December. I asked Miss Diana if Gracie would be able to participate since she hasn't really learned any songs yet. She said the director of the program was going to write something for them to play together. I am really impressed with this program. It's at a local church and it's a really nice atmosphere. I'm glad Gracie is enjoying it and hope to keep her going with her lessons.
As soon as that was over, she & I went home where a man from church was waiting to take her & Katie to the park for a picnic. His nieces were in town and he wanted to get them together for a playdate so he & his brother took them to the park. The girls had a blast. I love to see my girls having relationships with people in our church-especially people who aren't necessarily those we normally hang out with just because we're in different stages of life. This man & his wife-who was shopping today-don't have any children of their own, but they are so sweet to our girls and the girls in turn love them! We even made a special trip to their house after church on Halloween at their request to do a little trick or treating. Last year, they had the girls over-along with a few others-for a tea party at his mom's house.
Soon after they got home from that, they changed clothes and we dropped Katie off at a friend's house and went to see a local production of "The Music Man." Gracie was excited to see Miss Diana playing in the orchestra pit in first chair violin. There were 8 people from our church in the play so it was fun to see them. One of them was the lead female and she did a great job!
We then picked up Katie and went to eat dinner where Gracie & LA quickly "made plans" for Gracie to spend the night. She wore a dress to the play so it was decided that she could wear that same dress to church tomorrow and could wear some of LA's pajamas and use an extra toothbrush. They had every detail worked out!
We came home and Chris gave Katie a bath; she played a little; we watched a little t.v; and now I'm heading to bed to read. Yes, Chris got whatever part he needed to fix the computer.....but we sure are hoping to get a laptop soon because this computer isn't going to last long! Of course, we might need to invest in a new oven too........There's always something, right?!!?
It's been a good day though; we are blessed!

Friday, November 09, 2007

this week

Things from our week:

*Chris & I (along with some others from church) have suffered from a tummy bug since we got back from our church retreat. Some others have suffered from poison ivy or sumac or something like that. We don't know what was going on, but I know one of my friends mentioned calling the person in charge of the camp and having them do a throrough disinfection of the place. Not that that would really help with the poison whatever, but it would probably help with the tummy bug. It's just weird.

*Have I mentioned that I'm pregnant?!?! (hee hee) I really am excited and find myself just smiling about it sometimes. I also find myself going into minor panic mode thinking about how in the world we're going to put the girls both in Gracie's small bedroom, how we're going to put all 3 of them through college, how I'm going to give Gracie enough attention as she starts 3rd grade and I have a newborn..........but then I find myself smiling again and knowing that God will provide and it will all work out. I have 2 other friends at church right now who are pregnant with their 3rd child and they all have 3 bedroom houses and they don't seem stressed. It'll all work out and I'm thrilled to be going through this!

I'm just really excited and still a little bit surprised. I have definitely been feeling the "early pregnancy symptoms." Nausea, extreme fatigue, etc. Late afternoon, early evening seems to be my worst feeling time. I'm having to remind myself to EAT BREAKFAST and to try to eat something substantial because I've had some really icky feeling times late morning and I know it's from not eating a good breakfast.

With both of the girls we have not found out their gender until they arrived. I LOVE the anticipatory feeling of having my water break (which it did on its own with both of them which I also love!) and knowing that "this is it!" and wondering if the baby will be a boy or a girl. We have already had lots of pressure to find out what this one is but we haven't decided. It's just so fun to be surprised. If it's a girl, Katie's room can stay pretty much as is for a nursery. If it's a boy.........it would need to go through a complete transformation. Chris is VERY into sports so it would be something along those lines. Probably vintage baseball with reds, khaki's, & navy blues. For awhile, Gracie was asking me if I wanted a boy or a girl. I kept avoiding the question. Katie said, "Gracie! Let God choose!" She said that because I had told her that myself. God gets to choose-He already has-He just hasn't chosen to reveal it to us yet. I did have a dream last night though........

*Katie had orginally said that it would be a boy named "Van." Then, she changed it to "Vince." We had no idea where she'd gotten the names from. Last night, I was reading a "Little Einstein's" book to her. At the end it showed a painting by Vincent Van Gogh and told the name of the painting. I told Chris that is probably where she got those names from because she watches Little Einstein's a lot! It's such an educational show-I love it! (BTW: Van & Vince are not on the list!)

*Gracie had standardized testing 3 days this week and seemed to do okay with it. I could tell she was a little nervous about it, but we assured her she would do fine. Tomorrow she is going to a "Master Class" for violin. I don't really understand the whole concept because it doesn't really make sense to me that it's free, but it'll be 2 hours where she (and other music students) can go and talk with the instructors and have their questions answered and get tips on their playing, etc. Her lessons are only 1/2 an hour each week so 2 hours is like a month's worth of lessons and it doesn't cost anything! I'm sure there will be lots of other students there so part of it may be listening to other students play. I'm really not sure, but when I asked her she said she'd like to go.

Tomorrow afternoon, we're going to see "Music Man" at the local playhouse. Katie will be staying with a friend. I didn't think she'd like it $16 worth! Gracie is excited because her violin teacher will be playing in the orchestra.

*Chris did the sweetest thing. He told his boss that he was going to change his starting time for work (he usually got there around 7) so that he could take his daughter to school until I got over my morning sickness. Isn't that sweet? Of course, like I said, mornings are usually okay and I go to bed so much earlier that I'm usually not that tired either! I think I'd rather him pick her up in the afternoons, BUT that would be way too early to leave work. I just thought it was so sweet that he did that!

*We had to have some plumbing work done this week. Aagghhh! "Merry Christmas" is all I can say because the money we had to pay will likely come out of our Christmas money we'd saved. Plumbing is just one of those things you have to have!

*Some friends from church are planning a "Progressive Dinner" for around the holidays. Sounds like lots of fun! I offered to help one of the hosts with their portion, but I didn't offer to host. I thought about it, but it's just in a couple of weeks and I didn't see any way I could have my house ready for Christmas by then. This first trimester has pretty much zapped my energy!

*I go to my first doctor's appointment in less than a week. This will be a new doctor-with a new hospital-so I'm anxious to see how it goes.

*I'm sure there's more to say but I need to get up and do something before the afternoon "blahs" hit!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

still so excited!

Thank you for all of the "congratulations" from so many of you! I am really very, very excited and am praying that things go well. I think my due date will be around June 24th. I go to the doctor on the 15th of November, so I'll know more then. I haven't been feeling too bad other than the little tummy bug that Chris & I seem to have which has made me feel pretty icky. I have had *ahem* symptoms that don't seem to be pregnancy related along with a few that I'm sure are pregnancy related. After trying a year & a half to get pregnant with Gracie & about 7 months to get pregnant with Katie, I just feel so blessed to have had this happen. Deep down I kind of wanted it to happen, but I wasn't willing to invest emotionally in officially trying to make it happen. I'd had too many months of disappointment and was happy with my 2 girls, so I'm just really happy that it happened this way. Please keep all of us in your prayers for a safe, happy, healthy pregnancy & baby!

Here are a few pictures of Gracie from yesterday's "awards day" at school. She got one for having "all A's" for this first 9 weeks, one for having an "A" in conduct, and also a "trophy" necklace for being chosen as "outstanding behavior" student for August. (Each class chooses 1 child for each month.) We are very proud of our little girl! Here is the assistant principal shaking her hand for the all A's award.
This is one of the teachers giving her the "trophy necklace."
Here she is sitting with her class holding her necklace. You should have seen the look of embarrassment she gave me when I had her turn around & smile!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Guess what?!!?

Thank you Lord for this blessing!

Yes, we have been a bit shocked & surprised-but very excited-that God has blessed us with another child! We are just beginning this journey and I ask that you please keep us in your prayers. The girls are excited and Gracie has taken it upon herself to be my health guide. I told her last night she should be proud of me since I'd only had 1 diet coke that day (as opposed to the many I usually have.) She said, "We need to get some vegetables & protein into ya!" She is already a good big sister to Katie and she's going to be the best "big, big sister!" Katie is excited, but you know....she's only 3! We'll see how it goes with her being the middle child!

Psalm 139
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.