Wednesday, March 31

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Bathtub Fun!
Brendan at 20 Months Old. I just love those Big Eyes!

Tuesday, March 30

Pregnancy Brain has taken over! (Week 33)

On Saturday, I was (am) official 33 weeks pregnant, 7 weeks to go! I must admit the most difficult pregnancy symptom I am experiencing during this week is the Pregnancy Brain I have been experiencing.

I Googled Pregnancy brain and found some pretty interesting articles. The debate between Pregnancy Brain being a myth or reality is pretty in depth. says “Pregnancy brain is a condition that affects expectant mothers, usually during the first and third trimesters. Sometimes known as placenta brain or baby brain drain, the condition is usually characterized by short-term memory loss or forgetfulness. Some medical experts say that pregnancy brain is a myth, but evidence shows that many women have experienced this condition.” I’m not sure if it is a real condition or just a combination of lack of sleep (I now get up to pee in the middle of the night at least 4-5 times) as well as losing focus for a number of reasons. But either way, Pregnancy Brain has really set in for me!

This afternoon I was walking out to my car, as I put on my sunglasses and caught a whiff of a familiar sweet smell, I could not place what it was! I smelled my hands to see if it was the soap I had just used, I smelled my sunglasses, my keys, my cell phone. Then I realized, it was my own perfume that I had put on this morning!

The worst part is that I seem to misplace everything lately. This morning I searched for 15 minutes for my car keys so we could leave, as Brendan followed me around saying “Keys? Keys? Keys?” Yes Brendan, Mommy is looking for her keys so we can go.

To date, I have lost/misplaced (and not yet recovered) my work keys and house keys, my debit card, my checkbook, my camera cord (to download pictures off my camera), my black slacks, (I know, crazy right? Where could they have gone?) my sons windbreaker, a gift I bought a friend 7 weeks ago, and my pearl necklace.

It started with my keys, which I have been using the spare set that we keep in the house, I blamed Brendan that he played with them and hid them somewhere in the house. But after everything else started disappearing, I’m wondering if my son is even responsible for the keys!

I’m going to have to clean the entire house the weekend, top to bottom and hope everything turns up! I’m praying for my “nesting” instinct to kick in soon…

In other updates, the baby is moving around a lot now of days, he has hiccups frequently, which has actually become an irritant to me as it is distracting and makes me lose focus (which I really don’t need right now) but it is fun to feel him move around and push as he runs out of room in there. He has begun to kick my ribs, which of course is unpleasant, but every once in a while he will move and make me jump and then giggle.

Things at the top of my to-do list include: 1. Taking a tour of the hospital (I am considering switching to a different hospital from last time). 2. Cleaning out the closet in the baby room. 3. Organizing Brendan’s outgrown clothes for the new baby. 3. Next Doctor’s Appointment, next week. Discuss delivery expectations. 4. Consider Maternity pictures (need to talk to Scott about how he feels). 5. Clean out our bedroom & closet to make room for cradle.
That is all for now, I can only handle so much at once! I’ll let you know as we have more progress! Until then, there is a belly shot that has been requested (ERIN!) and long overdue….

Monday, March 29

New Ride

I almost forgot to blog about our new family car! Remember back on Valentine's Day weekend when our four-door Hyundai was totaled? After much waiting on AAA and paperwork to be processed, we finally received a check for the value of our vehicle. To my surprise, the check we received was more than I expected to get for our little car. With the check from our insurance and some extra money we have saved up and received from the government (tax refund) we were able to put a down on a nice family car for us to enjoy.

We have been talking about getting a family car since I was pregnant with Brendan, but the timing was never right, or we just did not have the money. God took care of us and was able to take our bad situation of our car accident, and provide a bigger car for us! Of course now we are back to having a car payment for the next 5 years or so, but we really got a great deal, less than what Kelly Blue Book lists as Suggested Retail Value.

I am so excited for our new car, after months (possibly years) of asking for a minivan (nagging)for the family, Scott took me to the Honda dealership without a fight. Quite a few hours later, we walked out with a 2007 Honda Odyssey EX. I love the features of the car.

When we went to go purchase a new car I only had 3 request for the car (I’m flexible right?) I told Scott it didn’t have to be a minivan, but there were 3 items I was not willing to compromise on: 1. I wanted sliding side doors that would not close on me as I leaned over a car seat (basically a minivan). 2. I wanted enough trunk space to carry a stroller while all seats were up. 3. I wanted at least 6 seats so that I could go somewhere with my sister or friend and we could take one car that would hold us and our children. Basically, the only car that will meet my criteria would be a minivan. We drove the Mazda5 as a rental for a while, it was like a mini-minivan, but you got either storage or extra seating, I want both at the same time.

So we looked at a couple models, but we really liked the Honda Odyssey and were afraid that if we left to go to other dealerships we would miss out on the excellent price on the 2007 model we found. So we bought it!
If we were to have bought a brand new van, we probably would have bought the standard model, because that is more in our price range. But because it was used, we were able to get the Odyssey EX which comes with extra features that we typically would not have paid for. Like automatic sliding doors that open with a push of a button. Or the nice Baby mirror (“conversation mirror” as Honda calls it) where I can watch Brendan in his Car Seat, a 6-disk CD changer, and other little perks. We are very happy with our purchase. Even Scott has admitted that the sliding doors are nice, the storage in the back is great and the bigger vehicle (8 seats!) really is more practical for our growing family. (Although he probably won’t admit it to you, especially in so many words, he will tell you that he just got the car for me, but I know he love it too!)

Friday, March 26

Can't it just be Teething?

I was thinking back to Brendan's mood changes over the past year and a half. Before he was a year old, whenever he would get fussy, cranky, or have a noticeable change in behavior, people would tell me "he's probably just teething" and the pain from cutting teeth would explain away any difficult behaviors. When his sleep pattern was off it was usually "he must be going through a growth spurt". My favorite was during his infrequent or picky eating sessions was typically blamed on "teething."

Now my baby is 20 months old, although he still has a few teeth to cut, we usually have the signs of teething down. So the frequent mood changes, resistant attitude, temper tantrums, lack of eating, or pickyness in feedings are no longer able to be explained away by his developing mouth. The excuse I hear now from other parents, day care and others is "it's just a phase he is going through right now."

To be honest I think I preferred the teething. At least you knew with teething the change in behavior would go away after a few days. With the "phase" you never know how long it could last. We could be in this "phase" for a couple days, weeks, months or with my luck, until he is a teenager. I guess then it isn't a phase.

I'm not saying my kid is a bad kid, he actually minds pretty well, and isn't a complete terror. But our daycare says that his actions are starting to emerge that she expected 6 months ago. He finally learned the word "no" at 20 months, has started being more aggressive with the other kids, including hitting and pushing when he doesn't get his way. I do want to clarify that Brendan is not a bully, he has three other toddler boys at daycare with him, and they all seem to be going through this together. Brendan's little temper has started to emerge as well, especially when we tell him no. Nap times are more difficult as he has begin to fight us on these, although it is fairly obvious when one is needed. By the time I get him down for a nap, it is nap time for myself as well. I understand this is a learning time for both me and Scott as parents, but also for Brendan as he learns boundaries and right and wrong, but I much preferred when I knew it would only last a couple days.

I have a feeling the terrible two's are upon us!

Thursday, March 25

Spring Sunshine!

Lately, we have been receiving a fair amount of sunshine in Southern California. Last Thursday morning before I went to the Dentist office for my Root Canal, Brendan and I had the opportunity to play outside, at 9:00 in the morning, the weather was beautiful!

Brendan got a Slide Castle from his Grandparents for Christmas. He loves to climb and play on the castle, mostly, Brendan just loves to be outside. I was able to catch some shots of my big boy playing outside. Scott's afraid that once the new baby comes, Brendan wont get as much attention. I'm afraid of the opposite happening. Just look at that adorable little kid! How could you not pay attention to him?? In reality, I think that it will take some adjustment for our family, but we will have enough love and attention for both of our boys!
After playing outside, w headed in for a nutritious snack before going to daycare for the day. This isn't that big of a deal or really blog-worthy, but he is just turning into such a little man that I had to share, he looks so big holding that banana in his hands, and yet, he is still my baby. I can't believe he ate the entire thing!

Welcome Spring! Thanks for the Sunshine and the opportunity to play and enjoy life!

Monday, March 22

Week 32 - Cravings

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant! Crazy I know! About 8 more weeks to go, more-or-less. One of my favorite questions in pregnancy is "What have your cravings been?"
To some extent I am a little skeptical of the whole concept of pregnancy cravings. Are they really pregnancy related or is this my excuse to eat the silly things that I want just because I have a baby growing inside? I'm not sure how deep I want to dive into this issue, mostly because I like being able to have "cravings". I admit, some are stronger than others. There are times when I really want something salty, like NOW. And other times Ice-cream sounds good, so I'll blame my desire for sweets on a craving. My husband just shakes his head at me at my response of "The baby wants ice cream, I can't help it" (with an innocent smile). Craving or not, I like the excuse!
If we do want to believe that the cravings are true, I thought I would reflect on what my cravings have been so far with this pregnancy.

With my pregnancy with Brendan I remember craving Jell-o. That one I truly believe to be a craving. I don't eat Jell-o that often, but while pregnant, I couldn't get enough! I also craved Goldfish Crackers, which now my son eats like crazy.

With this pregnancy, I crave mostly salty things. My second trimester I ate pickles every night. For a couple weeks I wanted Peanut-Butter and banana bagels. But the biggest thing I have loved almost the entire pregnancy has been Gardettos. Chex Mix will not do, I like the salty mix of the Gardetto's Snack Mix, I love the crisp rye crackers, the pretzels and the sesame bread sticks. I wish the cafe at work sold them, because just talking about them right now is driving me crazy!

My other guilty secret pleasure (which wont be a secret any longer) is my cravings for Cadbury Creme Eggs. It's not even Easter yet and I have already had 6 eggs. I buy a pack of four at a time, keep them in my desk and eat them slowly savoring the much too sweet soft fondant center and creamy milk chocolate. I know I am crazy, but I love it! I don't know what I am going to do when Easter is a stash that will last me though May?

So those are my cravings thus far at 32 weeks. We are getting close to the end now, I still feel good, but reality is setting in that I have 8 more weeks and a lot more work to do! I'm sure with Gardetto's and Creme Eggs I will make it through!

Saturday, March 20

The “Big Boy Bed”

Last Saturday, Scott and I put together a toddler bed for Brendan to start the transition from crib to bed for our little boy. I must admit, the bed was probably the most difficult thing Scott and I had ever put together. The directions did not make sense, the holes did not line up and the screws would not go into place. But after much yelling and frustration, dedication (on my part, Scott was ready to throw in the towel before we had finished the first step) and good ol’ man power, we were able to piece together Brendan’s Handy Manny Bed.
Handy Manny (as I may have mentioned before) is Brendan’s favorite show. As soon as we had the bed together, Brendan recognized “Manny” and was excited for his new bed. He especially likes that he can crawl into his bed on his own, he is very independent!

We were a little nervous for the transition, as we have never done this before. We talked about the bed, put brand new sheets and a pillow and tried to get Brendan to understand the concept. Call us crazy, but as if the change to a brand new bed (and whole new concept) wasn’t enough, we decided to begin the transition the same night as time change. So at 7:30 that night (8:30 for the new time) we got Brendan ready for bed, and walked him to his new bed, in his new bedroom. (The room still looks a little bare, we are working on it).
Overall, the process was not bad at all. Brendan got out of bed once crying and trying to open his door. We got up and put him back into his bed, covered him up and told him to stay. “It’s bedtime now, you get to sleep in your new Manny bed, you need to stay in bed now. Good night Brendan.” And we walked out. Much to our surprise, he stayed. He cried for a bit, probably about 10 minutes, and then went to sleep.

That night I did not sleep my best, I was worried that he might try to get of bed in the middle of the night and hurt himself, or that he might now even stay in his bed and we would find him sleeping on the hard wood floor. He woke up a couple times in the night, whimpered and immediately went back to sleep!

We have now had 7 nights in the new bed, all has gone extremely well! Brendan only got out of bed the first night. He now lies dawn, even when he does not want to go to bed yet, he will cry for a couple minutes, but does not get out of bed. In the mornings, he will stay in his bed until one of us walks in and tells him he can get up. The whole process has gone better than expected. The novelty of “Manny” has not yet worn off; he is still excited to see Manny there on his bed every night and morning. This is how we found Brendan the first morning in his bed. Still learning the concept of a pillow! :)
We are very proud of our boy. This was another big step to “boyhood” and away from being my baby. I’m sad, but so excited at his possibilities. Next step…Potty Training!

Friday, March 19

Root Canal

Well I did have a root canal yesterday afternoon. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I am sore today, my jaw hurts and of course the tooth is still sore, but I am hoping the pain will decrease over the next couple of days I will go back to feeling normal again. The actual procedure was not too bad, I was prepared for the worst, but it didn't take as long as I thought it would, and I felt fine for the most part when it was done. Scott took me home and I spent the afternoon laying on the couch.
I was given a prescription for the pain and an antibiotic. I'm not sure if it is the medication, but this morning I woke up feeling very nauseous, I wasn't sure if I would make it through the day. As the day has gone on, I am feeling better. I no longer feel sick, but am in more pain than this morning. For now, I am doing fine, trying to keep a good attitude. At least I was able to have the procedure done! And I am thankful I was able to get pain medication approved to take during pregnancy!

Thursday, March 18

Dentist, Tears & Unanswered Questions

Tuesday was quite an emotional day for me. My tooth had been bothering me for a couple days; originally, I thought that I just had something stuck in my gums so I tried flossing and brushing but nothing really helped. By Monday after lunch, it had gotten worse. By the time I got home for the evening, it was almost unbearable. I took Tylenol (being pregnant and without much options) but it was not doing anything. Monday night was one of my worst nights for sleep, I woke up almost every hour because of the pain, and it was a constant throbbing pain on my lower right side of my mouth.

Tuesday morning I tried calling the dentist for an appointment. My biggest fear was being 7 months pregnant, I had heard that they do not like to do dental work on pregnant women. I was able to get a dentist appointment at 3:00 in the afternoon. Since I am still without a car, I had to schedule it at a time that I could borrow my sister’s car. By the time I left work for my appointment, the entire right side of my face was in severe pain. It had spread to my jawbone, cheek, top molars, even under my eye and starting to cause a headache. This pain was so bad, I was not sure if I would be able to tolerate it much longer.

At my appointment, they did not want to do an x-ray due to the pregnancy, but the dentist came in to do a visual exam of my mouth, looking at my charts, she reminded me of my last appointment. Back in May, I had a filling completed; during the procedure, she told me it would most likely have to be a root canal at some point. That was exactly what I thought it was going to be. They did not bother with the x-ray but began the referral to a specialist to have an emergency root canal scheduled since I was in so much pain. Only one problem…I am seven months pregnant. I was told they usually prefer to do dental work during the 2nd trimester, and I was well into my 3rd.

My next step was to call my OB and request approval for a root canal to be sent to the specialist approving what medication could be used and everything else involved. The receptionist was for one, not very customer friendly, or supportive of my situation. She made it sound as though it was not likely to get approved since I am 7 months along. By the time I hung up with her, I was in tears. The pain was too much and now I did not even know if I would be able to get it fixed. For those of you that do not know me very well, I actually have a high tolerance for pain, but this pain was just too much for me, all I could do was cry. The dentist office went ahead and scheduled the Emergency Consultation with the specialist pending the approval from my OB for the work to be completed.

As I sat in the car outside the dentist office, tears streaming down my face, I am at a loss of what to do. I guess just go home and wait it out. Just then my best friend calls to ask if I want to go to the mall the evening. How did she know that I needed a distraction? She didn’t. She didn’t even know I was in pain, but God did, and knew that right then I needed a friend. She picked me up, we picked up Brendan from day care and we went to the mall. The distraction was perfect, I wasn’t thinking so much about my tooth, the pain, or the whole ordeal with not knowing if I would even have the procedure this week or not. We were just two girls (with two active toddlers) looking for a dress at the mall.

An hour after I originally spoke with the OB’s office, I still had not heard back. I tried calling again to find out the status. After waiting on hold for a good 5-10 minutes, the receptionist comes back and tells me the work is approved, but an approval letter will not be able to be issued until Thursday morning, and the office does not open until 9:00. She also agrees to call in a prescription for me to take for the pain. Finally, relief is in sight.

So here we are today. I took the day off from work to have the root canal done. My poor husband also has to take time off since I have to have someone drive me there and back. At this point, I don’t know if it will just be a consultation with an x-ray (if approved) or if they will actually do work on my mouth. At least we are headed in the right direction to getting it taken care of. My appointment is this morning, I'm not sure how long it should take, or how long it will take to where I feel back to normal, hopefully not too long! There are still many unknowns, I still haven't seen the approval from my OB, I am praying it come through in time.

It is times like these when I have to just trust that God will take care of us, it will all work out, and in the scheme of things, this will seem so minor compared to everything else in our lives.

Wednesday, March 17

Disneyland Again???

Are you tired of all the Disneyland posts? I think I might be starting to; however, the pictures are just too fun not to share! Therefore, if you are tired of my Disneyland stories, or jealous that we got to go and you did not, you may stop reading and wait for tomorrow's post! :)

For the rest of you....

Since Disneyland was out of the question on Saturday, we chose to try again on Sunday. We used the time change to our advantage, we got up and out of the house early enough (after double checking that it was not a block-out day for us), hoping to beat the rush of people headed to Disneyland who may not adjust so well to the change in time.

Parking on Sunday was SO much better than the experience on Saturday; we got into the park, shared a yummy cinnamon roll with coffee (decaf) and walked around Main Street a bit.

Even though the park was expected to be pretty busy on Sunday, we were able to ride 8 rides without much waiting. Brendan really enjoyed himself, and I enjoyed watching my family explore the place together.

We saw the elephants on the Jungle Cruise,

Watched the pirates while riding a boat,

Rode through the Hundred Acre Woods,

and got to give Pooh Bear a hug after the ride!

Next, we galloped on a horse next to Daddy,

and Drove a wild car adventure on Mr. Toads Wild Ride.

By the time we finished with Fantasy land, we were all getting a little tired, the park was starting to fill-up and my feet felt hot in my tennis shoes and were hurting. We ate lunch in the park with our gift card and headed home to do our errands for the day.

It was quite a day!

Tuesday, March 16

Happiest Place on Earth?? I don't think so...

This weekend Scott really wanted to go to Disneyland. We had not been as a family since January 3rd (remember, our last day with the Monkey). Although Brendan and I had been a couple time since then, Scott wanted to go as a family. So on Saturday, we got up and got dressed and headed to the Happiest Place on Earth.

It was not the happiest place on earth on Saturday.

As we were getting ready Scott mentioned that the park opened at 8:00 am, "but I didn't check to see if it was a block-out day for us." We both couldn't think of a reason that it would be, it wasn't a 3 day weekend, no holiday's nearby, and last Saturday Brendan and I went.

Guess what? It was a block-out day. Except, we didn't know it until we waited in ridiculous traffic just to get into the parking structure. It took us at least a half hour just to get from the signal at Ball to the parking structure. When we finally get to the front, the woman looks at our pass and tells us, "oh, today is a triple block out day, all passes are blocked out today!" When we ask if she knows why she tells us that she doesn't know, but the only thing she can think of is that some schools are starting Spring Break. I now know that every Saturday from now until the end of Summer on August 21st are blocked out.

So after a VERY FRUSTRATING entrance to the parking structure, and an extremely long line just to get into the park, we immediately were turned around to exit. I turned to Scott, "Did your dreams come true today?" Although we could not think of why we would be blocked out, apparently something was going on because everyone was at Disneyland on Saturday trying to get into the park, and not being very polite about it either.

We realize as we are leaving that Brendan will not sit in the car for too much longer and we will need to let him out and run around soon or we will all be cranky. So we drive to Angels Stadium. At this point, Spring Training has just begun in Arizona, the stadium is pretty much empty. But Scott took the opportunity to walk Brendan around his favorite teams home turf. It wasn't exciting, but it was something to do at least. We had no plans, but like to "go" on the weekends, so we made do with other "free" things we could do in Anaheim.
Daddy is excited to take his boy to Angel Baseball games this summer.
After perusing the stadium, we went to the Block at Orange which is an outdoor mall near the stadium. We started at Krispy Kreme donuts to let Brendan watch through the window and see the donuts being made. They also gave Brendan his own mini donut, it was the perfect size for him! Yes, it was a little messy, but being dirty never seems to bother my child.
What started as a frustrating trip to Disneyland, ended up being a pretty relaxing, cheap and easy day spent together. We walked around, watched the skateboarders at the skate park, let Brendan ride on a quarter helicopter ride, splashed in the fountain and just walked (ran) all over the mall.

It was a good day, despite the change in plans.

"The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, gang aft agley." -Robert Burns

Monday, March 15


Today as I was walking back from lunch I overheard a college student on his cell phone. Now I don't usually eavesdrop on others conversations, but the load voice was difficult to ignore, as I was walking past I hear him say, literally "L-O-L!"

Seriously? Have we gotten to such an age of technology that we cannot let the person on the other end of the line know we are amused without using an acronym? We have to say "L-O-L" instead of actually Laughing Out Loud?

What is this world coming to?

Saturday, March 13

Disneyland: Just Mom & Brendan

Last Saturday, Scott had training for his college classes for most of the day. Daddy had gotten Brendan up and dressed by the time I got up, so when Daddy left, Brendan thought it was time for us to go too. “Bye, bye? Bye, bye? Bye, bye?” He was not happy that Daddy left and we were still home. I quickly got dressed and thought I would take him out for the day. We ended up going to Disneyland, just the two of us!

It was actually very nice. We got to Disneyland at about 9:45, since it was a Saturday, and typically is a little more crowded, I immediately went into California Adventure which seems to be the quieter of the two parks. We started with Breakfast and Brendan danced to the music.

We then rode our first ride, Monster’s Inc. Brendan was very excited to ride the car. He pretty much enjoyed the ride, it was a little long and he was ready to get off. I actually think Brendan’s favorite part of the day was the car parked outside of Monster’s Inc. We kept coming back to it to climb in and out of it. By far, our favorite adventure of the day.
Brendan has been watching a little more TV as he gets older. One of his favorite shows that he watches is Handy Manny. He and Daddy will watch an episode together in the evenings while Mommy cooks dinner. I decided to take Brendan to see the PlayHouse Disney Live on Stage show. They have puppets from 4 Disney Channel cartoons. They are puppets and completely cheesy, but Brendan sat on my lap through the entire thing watching it. He was most excited when Handy Manny and the tools came out to sing. Brendan will sing along to the song, although you cannot understand the words, you can actually tell by the “tune” that he is signing that it is the Handy Manny song.
After the show, I took Brendan by to meet Chip & Dale and get our picture taken. He doesn’t do too bad with the characters, he is still a little uneasy, but he will give them a “bump” of the fist and stand there as long as I don’t try to walk away.
We walked around a little longer, climbed on the car some more and rode King Tritons’ carrousel. The rides are not really Brendan’s favorite, he doesn’t mind them and acts excited to get on, but then he is ready to get off before they are over. His favorite part of the park is the places that he can just run and climb himself. He does not like to be “Strapped down”
By the time we left, it was well past Brendan’s naptime. He wanted my sunglasses, so I let him play with them as I drove out of the parking structure. I filled up with gas before leaving Anaheim, when I got back in the car; I turned around to see my baby, fast asleep.
It was a long day for the little guy. I'm so thankful that we have passes that I can go to Disneyland for just a few hours, and enjoy the day with a toddler without feeling like I have to give-up nap-time justbecause we paid money for a ticket. We are lucky to have the oppertunity to use Disneyland as a quick outing when we don't know what else to do.

Friday, March 12

Week 30-31 - The end is near!

It is hard to believe that I am now in my 30th week of pregnancy! Less than 10 weeks to go! (If my baby comes on time, which I am not banking on…) I realized last week that I have not taken a single “Belly shot” with this pregnancy. It is sad but I guess there is a lot more attention on the first baby than the others. It does not mean I will love him any less, probably just have less pictures. As my sister says “It’s good to be the first!”

In week 26, I had to have a Rhogam shot due to being RH negative.

In week 28, I had to have my glucose testing done. They want to check to be sure that I am not at risk for diabetes. Although the drink made me feel really sick all day, the test came back negative and all is well. It also gave me time to just sit and think.

My sister has started planning my baby shower, which I am excited about! We weren’t going to have one at all since we are having a boy and don’t really need a lot of stuff. But Bekah thought it would be nice for us all to get together and celebrate the new baby together. We are keeping it very small, just family and a few of my closest friends.

Sleeping has gotten a lot harder lately. There is more pressure and I can feel there is less room in there for him to move around. Which mean I get more “jabs” in the ribs and jumps that startled me. It is fun though to feel and see him move so much.

I also find myself short on breath easily; I need to sit down more frequently. Even standing to do my hair and makeup and be too much and I need to sit down halfway through.

The end is in sight and we are excited…So much to do!

Wednesday, March 10

Scrapbooking Weekend

A couple weekends ago, I had the opportunity to have some quality girl time. Some friends from work invited me to go away with them on a scrapbooking getaway. To be honest, I was a little afraid to go. I have not scrapbooked in almost a year; my excuse was that it was difficult to do so while Brendan was running all over. I also was a little afraid of branching out and going someone where overnight with a bunch of people I did not really know that well. However, since I had missed the one in November due to family issues, I had promised that I would go on the next one.

I decided not to go up on Friday night with everything that had been going on at home; I thought I would only leave Scott home alone for one night. Saturday morning Natalie picked me up, bright and early and we headed up the mountain to big bear.

The drive up was an adventure in itself! We made it about 1/3 the way up the mountain and were told that we could not go further without chains. Natalie and I turned to each other and realized we would have to turn around and get chains to get up the mountain. (Here is the part where my husband inserts “I asked you before you left the house if you had chains!”) We ask where the nearest place to buy chains were and are told to turn back and go to Wal-Mart or Chevron in Highland. Our first stop was Chevron since it was closest, $80 for chains, and we find out that it will cost us $40 to have them installed once we get up the mountain. We decide that $80 is too much and go to Wal-Mart. Of course, everyone driving up the mountain that weekend needed chains as well and they were out of the size we needed.

Our next choice was to either go back and wait in line at Chevron, or drive back to the Wal-Mart in Redlands for chains. The chains at Wal-Mart were only $35, much better than $80. Two hours after we left my house, we are less than 30 minutes away at Redlands, but on our way again! (Husband: “I told you so!” Yes dear, you were right). We did have to stop and pay the nice men in yellow install our chains. I told Natalie I had seen it done before and instructions were included but I was not about to stand out in the snow, pregnant, trying to put chains on the tires. We finally made it up to the cabin in the snow, but it was beautiful. The snow covered mountains, the white silent trees, all spoke of God’s Beauty to be admired and praised.

Although the drive was long, I was very thankful to have the time with Natalie just to talk. We talked about work, life, family, her newest Grandbaby that was due to arrive in just hours, all the usual topics. We were also able to talk about our walks, God’s beauty and I was able to share how God had been moving in me lately and get some feedback from someone who has been there before.

As far as the actual scrapbooking weekend went, I had so much fun. For not having scrapbooked in over a year, I had a lot of catching up to do. One of my goals for this year (Count this as another resolution) was to get caught up on Brendan’s Baby Book and Scrapbook before the next baby comes along. I was able to crank out 22 scrapbook pages for Brendan’s album. I was so excited. It really motivated me to get back into scrapbooking. I realized that it is one of my stress relievers. IT gives me the opportunity to just sit down, let my creative juices flow, and create something that came just from me to be admired for years. It documents my son’s life and is filled with the love of his mother. I hope to keep it up and continue to create pages for his scrapbook. Maybe not 22 in one weekend again, but if I did only one a week, I would get caught up.

On Sunday morning, we got up, had breakfast, and scrapbooked some more. We left the cabin about 1:00 in the afternoon. The snow had stopped so we did not need the chains on the tires anymore. I ensured Natalie that taking chains off was so much easier than putting them on. The man in yellow instructed us not to pay someone more than $10 to remove the chains. Instead, pregnant me got down on my hands and knees and removed the chains from the tires! (Sorry, no pictures to prove it). I did have some help from the other girls, and it really is not that difficult. The trip back down was much less eventful, but I was happy to be home to my boys.

The weekend really made me appreciate the opportunity to make new friends, and get together to share something we all have a passion for. Later this month one of the ladies already has a scheduled Saturday to come over and scrapbook at her house, I am excited!

Tuesday, March 9

Car Trouble

I actually started to post this blog post a few weeks ago. I had started drafting it to come back and finish later. Then, everything changed.

I was going to talk about paying off a car. If you remember, a couple months ago, we made our last payment on our 2004 Hyundai. It reminded me of that bank commercial that talked about how easy it was to make a payment using your phone. As the couple is driving in the car, she makes a payment and says something along the lines of “Our car is now paid off!” Just then, the rearview mirror falls off.

That is how we were feeling, as soon as the car was paid off; we had to start putting money into it to fix little things. Our car needed another oil change, new brakes, and there was a “ticking” noise that had been going off since December that we were not sure what was wrong. Our suspension was it was the alternator. Our car repair shop was going to charge us $85 an hour just to figure out what the noise was, not to fix it. Therefore, we had been putting it off, knowing we needed to get it fixed, but that we really did not want to spend that kind of money right now.

It was a good car, it had driven us around for almost 5 ½ years, and best of all it was paid off.

Unfortunately, on the day before Valentine’s Day, it all changed. Driving home from Temecula on Saturday afternoon, Scott had just filled the car up with gas, $35 later we were driving home on the 215 freeway and were in a car crash. Although it has now been over 3 weeks, it is still hard for me to write. The accident was 100% our fault, no arguing that fact. Traffic slowed down suddenly, Scott and I were talking and he did not see the truck breaking in front of us until it was too late. With construction dividers up right against the freeway line, and only two lanes, we had nowhere to go but straight into the pick-up truck in front of us. I braced myself for the worst (having crashed my own car on the same freeway 5 years earlier) and watched as our little Hyundai crumbled at the force of the impact and the strong bumper of the large truck in front of us.

I know that my husband was not thinking logically after the crash, although in his mind I am sure he was. AS soon as we stopped, he turned to me and started spouting off all the consequences of the crash “Our premiums will go up, we will be down to one car for a while, I am so sorry, I was so stupid, we are going to have to cut back on expenses, start cutting things out…” While he was correct, it was not the time to start listing everything that was going to change because of the accident. I sent him out to deal with the other driver as I tried to calm Brendan down in the backseat and call AAA for towing.

I didn't take any pictures of the car even though my camera was in my purse. Looking back I really should have, but Scott was so upset after the crash, feeling as though he put his entire family at risk, that I didn't want to make him feel bad by taking pictures of what "he did".

One of our biggest fears after the accident was if the baby was okay. I did not feel funny, just a little sore, and the air bags did not go off (which they probably should have but I was worried what the impact of the air bags may have done. Bekah & Kevin picked us up from the tow yard in Menifee to take us home. They kept Brendan and Scott and I went to the ER to get me checked out. The doctor looked me over and said that everything looked good, I would probably be pretty sore the next couple of days and to take Tylenol. They listened to the heartbeat and sent me home.

The next day we spent the morning after church cleaning out our one car. Scott washed and vacuumed it out. We scheduled an oil change for Monday and got the car ready to serve as the “Family car” for a while. Monday morning we had to deal with the insurance company and figure out the logistics. Luckily, Scott had the day off and was able to take me to work and deal with a lot of the insurance business while I was working.

I was very impressed with the way AAA handled the whole situation, from our first phone call minutes after the accident to our follow-up conversation today. They immediately sent us a check for a new car seat, since you are not supposed to use the same car seat after an accident. They paid for us to have a rental car for 2 weeks until the determined the value of the car, but now, unfortunately, we are processing paperwork, and can’t get new car until our check comes to us. We are now back down to 1 car for the two (three) of us. Once again, we are lucky to have our little car. It may be a two door and a little cramped, but it is a good car, that runs and once again, is paid off.

We hope to get our check from AAA soon so we can start car shopping. We have been pretty lucky so far. I used the rental car for 2 weeks, last week I was able to borrow my sister’s car while she was out of town, and this week, Bekah and I are carpooling to work. God does provide for us.

Monday, March 8

Let's talk about Doctors....

Specifically OBGYN’s….

When I was pregnant with Brendan, I had one OB. Due to my insurance, (HMO) I have to be “referred” to an OB by my Family Practitioner. For the most part, I did not mind this doctor. His PA irked me a bit, I felt she was ditzy and a bit clueless, and less than helpful. However, they were little things that I was able to get over. That is until it actually came to my due date. My induction date was scheduled, finally, 2 weeks (okay, 12 days) after my due date. Since this was my first baby, I did not really know better, I had heard that being induced was painful (it was) and so I was willing to wait for my baby to come on his timing. I may not have waited gracefully, but I did wait.

When I finally began progressive labor on early Sunday morning, the day before my induction date, I was excited to finally deliver. I knew that my OB had been “off duty” but with my induction date being on Monday at 8:30 am, I was hoping he would be there to deliver the baby. Without going fully into my labor story, after a LONG day/night in the hospital I finally gave birth at 8:26 Monday, July 14, just minutes from my scheduled induction. Guess who never showed up?
Nope, not for the delivery.
Not for a check-up later in the day.
Not even to release me to go home.
The nurse finally had to call him at 6:00pm the next day to ask if I could be released. Without ever seeing me, talking to me, checking me out in any way, I was released to go home with my newborn.

Needless to say, I was not happy with this OB, and determined not to have the same one for this baby.

Once again, I received a “referral” for a new OB, this one was in the same office building, Great! I thought, close to home and easily accessible. Until I realized I could only schedule appointments on Monday afternoons (at 2:00) or every other Friday. Frustrated I was determined to make it work. The little things kept adding up. I was frustrated, but Scott had never met this OB or his PA so I had no one to talk to and see if I was just being crazy or if I should switch. On January 4, I was told that I was considered “High Risk” because of Blood work being done in the 19th week of pregnancy instead of the 18th. Nothing came back negative with the results; it was just done in the wrong week. Which I was not told specifically what week to have the test done. I was frustrated. A friend of mine was talking to me about it on January 6, without being pushy; she encouraged me to possibly find a new OB that I would be happy with.

I convinced myself that it was not worth it to switch halfway through the pregnancy, it was not a big deal, I could get over my frustrations and lack of communication on my doctor’s office part.

Although the “High Risk” should have been my final straw, on February 8, I had an appointment. Once again, they had delayed my physical that should have been done in my 10th week. The lack of communication was too much for me. Was it so difficult for the office & doctor to read my chart to see what needed to go on? At dinner with my girl friends that night, I brought up my problem. I had just started my 3rd trimester, was it worth it to switch? The answer was “YES! Do what makes you feel comfortable!”

The next day, I made the call to request a new “referral” from my regular doctor. Feeling high maintenance, I had to call and verify that they would take on a new patient at this late point in my pregnancy. The new office said they would. I have now been to visit this office twice. I have seen the doctor both times, I do not know if there is even a PA in this office. The office is small, quiet, and very helpful. I am encouraged that maybe this one will work out.

Feeling confident in your OB is very important, and being comfortable should not be put on the back burner. I will keep you updated on how this doctor goes, because switching again would be a bit ridiculous!

Really brief update, more to come

Wow, I cannot believe how long it has been since I have posted; so much for my resolution. Do not worry; I will try to catch up as quickly as I can. The truth is, there has been a lot going on that I have wanted to post about, but they are longer posts and I just cannot find the energy to sit down and write them. Do not give up on me I am trying. For now, my family is happy (for the most part) and healthy (for now) and we keep plugging away at our daily lives.

Scott has been busy lately, which means not much time for the gyms after work. To most of you, this is not that big of a deal, but when Scott does not go to the gym, he does not release his stress. Instead, he brings it home with him and in turn, the entire family becomes stressed out.

Brendan is going through “a stage” that I fear once it leaves will only bring another to replace it. For now our “stage” is not using the 52 words we know, but grunting and whining for what he wants “eh, eh, eh!” I cannot handle the constant whining; it really makes me crazy. I am constantly telling him “use your words!” I am not sure if he understands what that means, but I try anyway. His new things is also “Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama” and when I answer, he just continues “Mama, Mama, Mama” Oh Lord, please help me through this stage.

As for me, lately I have been learning more about myself, and digging deeper, as well as expanding my horizons, and just trying to make it to the end of this pregnancy. Every once in a while, I look at Brendan and think, soon, I’m going to have two of them; two boys to love, but two “stages” to go though. I am tired and stressed, but who isn’t? I know that I am not the only one struggling with something right now, and when my focus is in the right place, I will get through it (More on this later).

So, for my brief introduction back into my life, we are all alive and “well”. I will be posting more updates as what we have been experiencing the past couple of weeks.