Tuesday, November 15, 2011

back to our regularly scheduled program

We are all alive and well! Lydia joined the world at 7:47am on October 24th at 7lbs. 9oz. and 19 inches long. She looks a great deal like her big sister (and me for that matter) but she has a few things all her own. She was also born with loads of dark hair that has many different shades mixed in to make her look like she's had highlights (just like big sister's) and she has those beautiful blue eyes so far as well. Overall, though they were almost exactly the same size, Lydia is much more petite, with littler hands and feet than Lucy ever had and we can't figure out where she got her tiny mouth/lips and pointed chin. Lydia also has a different temperament. If I thought I was spoiled with Lucy, I'm even more so now. Lydia sleeps, a lot... which I'm not complaining about, just stating the facts. And overall she just seems to be more laid back and go with the flow. So at least she got something from Gary! :) In addition to Lydia spoiling me, I've had such an incredible recovery this time around compared to my last c-section and I am so happy to have such a good report. Today I went in for a 3 week post-op and actually had to ask to be weighed. I was happily surprised to have lost more than I expected -the 5 pounds I gained with Lydia and an additional 25!!! I'm not gloating here people, I have needed to lose weight for a while and this was just a nice jump start to a healthier me. I've also found a great app (thanks to Sara) called MyFitnessPal, which tracks calories and exercise. I highly recommend it! I know I'm probably forgetting something but give me a break, I am a little sleep-deprived, but thankfully only a little. I'll post again soon... as soon as I get back into some sort of normal schedule.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pregnancy update: Week 38

Pregnancy: 38 weeks, 2 days

Weight Gain: +2 lbs. - I can totally live with that!

Sleep: Yeah right! The bottom line is this baby is way too big not to be lying on something of mine and making me uncomfortable about 80% of the time. But I'm ok with that, because I better get used to not sleeping!

Feeling: So ready, not in the "I can't take this" kind of way, but in the "I can't wait to hold her" kind of way. :) Also, I'm not nearly as nervous this time. Though I know each of my children will be different, I at least feel confident that I can keep her alive and well since Lucy has held on for this long. Haha

Health: Overall I would say I'm feeling good. The random pushing down on my pelvis that she is so fond of isn't very comfortable and neither are the braxton hicks contractions, but they are not terrible enough that I can't deal with them. By the end of the day I'm wiped out, but lots of women with toddlers feel that way, so I'm not feeling defeated by the pregnancy or anything. Swelling is happening in my face, hands, and feet, which is disappointing because my face isn't very slim to begin with but again, I can easily handle it.

Movement: She stretches and wiggles and kicks and dances often throughout the day, and I love it! And thankfully, she likes to hear me and Lucy sing.

Belly Button: barely there!

Cravings: Throughout this pregnancy I've had much more of a sweet-tooth than normal, but nothing over the top. My normal preference in terms of "junk" is something salty, so this is different but has been consistent for most of the nine months. Tonight Extreme Moosetracks sounded fantastic, and thanks to my wonderful husband that can't get enough sweets, we had some on hand.

Next Appointment: Wednesday, October 19th
Additional Notes: At yesterday's ultrasound, we discovered that Lydia is already a chunky monkey. Doc guestimates that she's already what Lucy was when she was born (7lb 10oz) and that if I make it to the 24th, she's easily be an 8.5lb baby. You could literally see her super chubby cheeks on the screen. It was precious! Between those and her tons of hair, I'm even more anxious to see who she looks like when she's born. I tried to get hubby to call his mom to find out how much he weighed, but his memory isn't the best and that's just not something to nag him about. I can't wait to see if there's another me entering the world (poor Lucy can't deny me AT ALL) or if Lydia will resemble her daddy more. Also, doc said that Lydia is very low and he wouldn't be surprised if I go into labor, but he can't predict if it will happen or not. I'm just glad we made it through the 13th without her appearance, because I would hate for her to ever have Friday the 13th as a birthday. I know, I think of the strangest things....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 36 weeks

Pregnancy: 36 weeks, 3 days

Weight Gain: -.5lbs, so it looks like I won't make through this pregnancy with no weight gain, but I'll still be in the negatives once she debuts!

Sleep: I wake up frequently in the evening for two reasons: either I need to switch sides because all of baby has made her way to that hip bone or I have to pee... again. Overall I have been getting to bed earlier and waking up earlier, both with little trouble. And Lucy has opted out on naps, so there's no daytime napping on my behalf either, but it's probably best that way.

Gender: girl

Name: same (Lydia)

Feeling: SO excited and ready to meet her - still feeling really good overall

Health: I'm keeping myself super busy and in turn getting worn down by the end of the day, but I feel healthy and content. And my hands and ankles are fairly swollen by the end of the day, but I'm not surprised with all that I'm still trying to do. My blood pressure today was a little high for me, but doc isn't worried, so neither am I. He said that I am doing great overall and that he thinks my entire pregnancy has been a very healthy one. 

Movement: She has the hiccups much more often than Lucy did and she seems to react to voices more too. She stretches and moves a lot and I love it!

Belly Button: still exists :)

Cravings: no new cravings- I still can't make myself choke down something that doesn't sound great

Next Appointment: doc is out of town next week, so I could see one of his associates or I could just schedule for two weeks, so I elected to do that later and if for any reason I want to be checked, I can just call and be worked in next week - all of that to say Wednesday, October 12th

Additional Notes: My doctor does an ultrasound at every appointment, which I love. During the ultrasound today, he pointed out from multiple angles that Miss Lydia has TONS of hair! You could actually see it on the screen, it was the coolest thing. I just can't wait to see what she looks like and to discover her temperament. Also, I'm still convinced that I'll be having her early, and it is not wishful thinking, just this crazy notion that I can't shake! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 35

Pregnancy: 35 weeks, 3 days

Weight Gain: I gained .5lb in two weeks, so I've lost a total of 1.5 since I found out I was pregnant. This is really encouraging and motivation for a slimmer me once baby girl has arrived. I'm very proud of myself.

Sleep: As always, that would be a hit or miss. Last night, I slept for 9 hours, of course with frequent waking to turn to the other side so that baby girl wasn't laying on one hip for too long. Regardless, I'll take what I can get!

Gender: girl I suppose, doc didn't comment today

Name: same (Lydia)

Feeling: excited, excited, excited! And I've started "feeling" super pregnant, which I guess I am.

Health: I still feel great overall, just getting more worn out by the end of everyday. But that's to be expected when I'm keeping myself as busy as I can stand, so that time flies by. Also, I'm trying to make myself get more exercise overall (just walking and such, not anything strenuous). Today I got a flu shot, which I'm usually quick to decline every other year, but Dr. Brody talked me into it for Lydia's sake, since those antibodies transfer to her. Also, Lydia is already weighing in at 5.5lbs with a big head. :)

Movement: She still moves a lot, but she's getting so big that they aren't quick jabs now as much as her squirming around or reacting to my or Lucy's voice. She seems to love Lucy's songs and laugh because that gets the most reaction these days.

Belly Button: Barely an inny still but Dr. Brody said he doesn't think it will poke out.

Cravings: nothing in particular, most things either sound great or gross and I can't make myself eat something that doesn't sound good

Next Appointment: down to once a week visits now! Thursday, September 29th

Monday, September 12, 2011

shame, shame

Look who didn't even log-in on her blogiversary and make a post... shame, shame. I guess if I think life is busy now, I'm about to have a rude awakening. It's funny, in a masochistic sort of way, that Gary and I acknowledged this weekend we've just reached an era with Lucy, in which we can actually take her along to most events, and we're about to "restart" the time frame of home-bodies again with Lydia. The person this will bother the most is me. I don't care how selfish it sounds, I'm a social person and I like being out and about, doing things with my husband and with our friends. But the bottom line is we haven't been in a place to do that nearly as often as I would like until pretty recently. Lucy is mostly well-behaved and my anxiety-levels about her likelihood for becoming sick, etc, have waned. But here we go with round two in SIX WEEKS! Aside from all of this, I'm far more excited about baby girl #2 arriving and all that entails, than being disappointed in our level of activity dropping off. I have recently (which is a relative term) made some wonderful friends that are in the same place with babies and kids and I love these women! I missed real connection and deep friendships, and I'm basking in those things again. Don't get me wrong, I miss all the wonderful friends that I have spread out around the country, but having someone you can call up when you just want to talk or when you really need to call on someone to physically be there for you, it is wonderful. And because these "new" friends are on the same page, it makes everything more easy and natural and authentic. I feel very blessed, in all areas of my life. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 33

I'm really not trying to turn this into a pregnancy blog, life has just been crazy and the only time I think to update is when I get home from the OB. I just don't want to forget any of this stuff! Saturday is my four-year blogiversary, so I'll be sure to post something normal then. :D

Pregnancy: 33 weeks, 4 days

Weight Gain: -2lbs! I'm not kidding, I wouldn't make this up. I can't believe it either, because with eating every 3 hours, I definitely feel like I should be gaining. At this point, even if I started gaining, I would still lose weight overall by just having her, which is excellent news in my book.

Sleep: Overall, I shouldn't complain. I've been doing my best to eliminate any and all things that keep me from crashing at night. I have started taking my baths in the a.m. so they don't wake me up at all and I'm doing my best not to nap at all. I've also started getting up earlier again, completely at Lydia's demand, which also helps.

Gender: Dr. Brody scared me today when he said "he" but it was just a slip and she's still all girl!

Name: same (Lydia)

Feeling: nesting (if that's a feeling...), optimistic, excited

Health: I honestly feel great. And if I'm not mistaken, I'm feeling better further into this pregnancy than I did last time. I am finding myself winded more and more, but I'm pretty confident that Lydia's just getting huge and my lungs don't have enough room. :) (At least that's the excuse I'm going with...) Also, thankfully, I haven't been swelling too much yet either. But my belly is getting pretty huge!

Movement: She's still a wild child and she has the hiccups often. I love watching my belly dance!

Belly Button: Barely an inny still!

Cravings: spicy stuff, meaty stuff - I'm glad I stopped wanting cupcakes!

Next Appointment: Thursday, September 22nd

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 31

Pregnancy: 31 weeks, 4 days

Weight Gain: -1lbs! Woo-hoo! I'm so proud of myself for this one. Baby girl is 4lbs now and I still haven't gained an ounce. Of course, I know weight fluctuates, but I was weighed right after lunch yesterday, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. I would love to gain nothing overall but I'm at least to the point now that I don't see how I can gain too much weight to lose quickly once she's here.

Sleep: Eh, who needs sleep anyway?! Just kidding. Overall, it isn't terrible and still average 6-7 hours a night. The problem is that's the average, which means I'm sleeping 9-10 hours one night and 4 the next. Oh well, I better get used to the 4 or less. I just look at it as my body getting me ready for a newborn again.

Gender: all girl!

Name: Lydia Alexandra, and it's sticking! No name changes here.

Feeling: happy, overwhelmed, ready, not ready, weepy, ecstatic (I would consider myself bi-polar if I didn't have the pregnancy hormones to blame!)

Health: Since my doctor put me in the loop about hypoglycemia, I am doing much better overall. I had a couple of days with low pain/hip pain but I wasn't surprised and other than that, I've been great. I can tell that I'm starting to get winded much easier but let's face the facts, my lungs are being majorly invaded at this point and aren't working at the maximum capacity. :)

Movement: Miss Lydia loves to dance, I may have my hands full with 2 tiny dancers soon! I love that she responds most when I sing and that she gives me a million little nudges a day to remind me that she's there.

Belly Button: still normal but firm - I wonder if this time it will pop out, I guess there isn't too much time left for it to make an appearance though.

Cravings: lemon cupcakes (again), steaks - otherwise, I've been loving lots of things: almonds, smoothies, all kinds of fruit, and peanut butter

Next Appointment: Wednesday, September 7th

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I think that the world that we live in is so complex and so intricately designed. Chance really has nothing to do with it. I can think about each of my relationships and how they have effected me in small ways and big ways... how they've led me ever so delicately (sometimes with a nudge other times with a shove) into meeting someone else and the results are far-reaching in my life. I am a big believer in fate and God's incredible, intricate plan. He pursued me for 19 years. One of my favorite examples: I poured out my heart and soul about the most random of things on my Xanga many, many moons ago and my husband happened a glance at it, I saw that some random guy was looking at my page and happened a glance at his and then messaged him. We later discovered that we attended the same church, but how many times had we passed each other by without a word. We weren't doing it right, so God changed up our plan. I have meet people that have little impact on my life, that then introduce me in passing to another individual that eventually greatly influences it. I just don't believe that chance really exists. I love examining these intricate webs our lives weave. It's just another way for me to feel blessed and looked after, like even if I screw things up, God has some other not-so-obvious way to make things happen anyway. I know this was a fairly broad post, and I'm really not talking about anything specifically, I just like thinking about how people come in and out of your life and the way they shape it. And for that matter, I love knowing that He's loving me in this incredibly unique way. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011


Hubby and I jumped on the bandwagon and recently started reading The Five Love Languages. I realize this book has been around for a number of years, but there's still a bandwagon and so far, I feel that it has a lot of information. Before Dr. Chapman dives into the info about the languages, he addresses some interesting and thought-provoking points. He talks about the "in love" infatuation that happens to most couples in the beginning, which leads them to want to marry in the first place and he talks about how people develop their primary love language. (Side note: I'm special, because I'm bilingual, which can be seen as extra complex or easier to show love to because I "speak" two love languages.) Of course, like any good non-fiction book, I'm examining all this information carefully and thoughtfully. It's interesting to see how my relationship with my parents shaped me and I was a little surprised about my second love language. Also interestingly enough, the "in love" phase only lasts about two years, and then the hard work comes into place. I think that because I had a couple of relationships before Gary that lasted roughly that length of time, I wasn't completely infatuated and blind to his flaws. Yes, once we were married, I found more and I became less tolerate of others, but neither of us walked into marriage expecting the other to be perfect or expecting to always like each other for that matter. I'm kind of proud of us for not being as oblivious as the author says most people are and for knowing before we started this unique journey that no matter what, we would continue to fall in love, true love, forever. I'm sure I'll post more about this book later, because I think it's fascinating.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

Pregnancy: 29 weeks, 4 days

Weight Gain: I'm back at my pre-pregnancy weight, which means I gained 3lbs in 3 weeks but still none overall. I really hope I don't gain a pound a week until she gets here, but even if I do, that's only a total of 12 for the whole pregnancy, which I can live with. And the good news: Dr. Brody estimates her to be about 2.5lbs already, so it's pretty much all baby girl!

Sleep: Some nights I sleep great, but often I have crazy dreams that wake me (not scary, just random or weird) and I'm still having trouble falling asleep a few nights a week, but things aren't terrible and I'm still getting lots of rest overall.

Gender: girl, and she wasn't shy about it on her ultrasound today either

Names: Our lovely little girl will be named Lydia Alexandra, to carry on the alliterative tradition we started with Lucy and in memory of the incredible dearly departed Nana Graves. 

Feeling: happy, anxious, excited, hopeful

Health: The good news is that I passed my 3-hour glucose test with flying colors. For that matter, this pregnancy I am in quite the opposite predicament from my experience with Lucy, I am now hypoglycemic. So, praise the Lord, there is a reason for my fatigue. I was advised that I need to be eating every 2-3 hours to keep myself at a normal blood sugar level, which will also help my overall energy levels. When I was told that my iron levels were great and that I couldn't be anemic, I was still not convinced that the only reason I was so worn out all the time was merely pregnancy and chasing a toddler, so I'm glad to know something else was going on. And this is definitely something I needed to address pregnancy or not, because though I probably overeat to some extend, my biggest weight problem is a SLOW metabolism. I would often not eat breakfast and half the time forget lunch too, so my body is used to being in starvation mode.

Movement: Baby Lydia is much like her big sister and does flips and kicks and all kinds of craziness inside my uterus. Dr. Brody told me to start counting her kicks for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, to ensure that she's moving enough, he wants 10 at each of these times. Tonight's 10 kicks took baby girl all of 10 minutes to accomplish. She's very strong and mobile. :)

Belly Button: normal but definitely firm

Cravings: A nice random array: One night I wanted a huge bowl of black beans, another afternoon I asked Gary to stop on his way home to buy Lydia some Oreos (because it really is all her :)), and still another evening brought a craving for queso dip, which to be fair, is something that always sounds pretty awesome to me.

Next Appointment: The every-two-weeks-appointments are beginning, so August 25th it is.

Monday, August 8, 2011

making life easier

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my new goal of making my life easier in any way I can. I was finally able to win the baby-name battle (which to be fair, wasn't much of a battle, more of an on-going/entirely too long discussion), and baby girl #2 will be Lydia. I'm happy about it and hubby was a true gentleman about the whole endeavor. And I do not use the word endeavor lightly, it was a real journey trying to find the perfect name. Because even if my new philosophy is to make my life easier, the truth is I am really known for my ridiculous tendencies for making everything harder than it needs to be. Anyway, back to how I'm making life easier.... I've been considering what we'll do for dinners once the new baby is hear and so I set out to find tasty, gluten-free meals that could be made and frozen, to carry us through at least a few weeks of "new baby adjustment." We both got really tired of eating nearly every meal out the last time around and it got expensive fast. So with my pre-planning, I've found this whole new world of cooking once a month and freezing everything, from breakfast to dinner, to be cooked as simply as pulling a frozen pizza out and popping it in the oven. And the best part, THEY ARE ALL GLUTEN-FREE! So my poor husband won't be having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for weeks on end and we won't spend any ungodly amount of money on dinners out. I will admit, at least one night a week, regardless of my menu and planning, we wind up eating left overs or simply going out to make life easier. Unfortunately, this doesn't work with the way we want our budget to, so I always feel terrible about it and get grumpy, not truly making my life any easier at all. So, I'm planning now to adopt this not only for Lydia's arrival, but from now on. Because I want to see how things go, I'm planning to do this at first in two-week intervals instead of any entire month, and I'm hoping everything turns out well. We've already been making smoothies and freezing them, which we've loved, especially with all the wonderful fresh summer fruits. Wish me luck! I really want to make this work and make it a way of life for us and I think I can do it well. Here's to finding more "making life easier" phenomenon!

Friday, July 29, 2011

yah and nah

Yah for my three-hour glucose test, I passed! So even though this pregnancy seems a little more difficult for me than the last, in truth it's been a breeze on paper. :) I'm just so glad that she and I are both healthy and I have less chance of being diabetic later in life. This week we've been pretty confined to the limits of our home. Lucy was diagnosed with strep throat on her birthday (though I'm really not sure how much I believe that when she never acted like she felt bad), so no playdates for us. I miss our friends and it's only been a week! In other news, (the nah) I'm still really struggling to name baby girl #2. I have been stressing myself out about it all and obsessing over every detail that comes along with my decision. I think it has something to do with my depression. Though I've been struggled with depression on some scale for many, many years, becoming a stay-at-home mom and not having work plus one hundred other things on my plate to keep me distracted, has finally made me start to deal with it. And I can't help believing that making decisions of any size or magnitude have become much harder for me. So, I'm pretty sure that while this baby has a name and it will be so obviously perfect once I find it, I'm having major difficulty falling in love with any of them right now. My poor husband, he's loved three different names that I agreed to and eventually backed out on! Thank God he's a patient man and he loves me no matter what. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 26 & Lucy Turns 2!

You get a double post because I'M JUST TOO LAZY TO MAKE TWO. :)

Pregnancy: 26 weeks, 5 days

Weight Gain: -3 lbs total, still... which is good news for my after the baby body :)

Sleep: I'm still having issues with sleeping well regularly at night. Thankfully, I'm only getting up once to pee! Which I feel with increase in the very near future, but I'll take what I can get for now.

Gender: girl, and a wild woman at that!

Names: Yeah, so about my last post "Audrey for sure," that's not happening. I've always loved that name but once again we aren't going to use it. There are a variety of reasons: it seems to have blown up overnight, it just doesn't feel right, I dislike how close to Aubrey it is, which is another name that has become super popular. Anyway, Gary and I couldn't decide between Lily and Lydia and neither of us is willing to compromise. So, as of today, we're starting back at square two (square two because we DO have a middle name still, haha).

Feeling: I'm very happy and kind of in shock that we have less than three months to go. I'm also anxious because there's still so much to do but I think that once we really pin down a name, I'll be feeling much better.

Health: I had a few more issues this month with my exhaustion and cramping but we're in the clear on both. My numbers are good, with the exception of my one-hour glucose test results. I took the three-hour test yesterday and hope to find out the results tomorrow. I'm really hoping that since I've had no weight gain that indicates no problem this time around, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Movement: This baby is a total mover and shaker. There's really no way to predict when she'll move because I feel like she's constantly playing in there! Of course, caffeine has the biggest effect on her but I'm serious when I say she loves to dance. Also, on the ultrasound Friday she yawned and covered her mouth, it was the cutest thing ever. :)

Belly Button: normal

Cravings: No more dip cravings. I did crave lemon cupcakes for a few days but only gave in once and was pleasantly satiated. Not really any other cravings that I can think of...

Next Appointment: August 12th - My doc wants to see me in three weeks and then to start seeing me every two from that point on. However, I'm thinking that if I am borderline diabetic again, I'll be called in as early as next week to meet the nutritionist. 

And now the Lucy is TWO update:
My baby girl is really very little "baby" anymore. She's gotten so big and so independent and every other cliche you say about blinking and your child being grown! She's very smart (I know, all parents say that) and her memory amazes me. She already recalls things from a month or more ago and constantly surprises me. We had her Ladybug Birthday Party on Saturday and she was showered with love from a large group of our family and friends. And today was her 2-year well-visit with Dr. Tigar. She is 31 lbs. and 34.5 inches tall, so if the saying is correct that they will double their 2-year height, she'll be roughly 5'8 or 5'9. I knew she would be taller than me! There are no words to express how much joy she brings to us and I am so grateful for a happy, healthy toddler.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

it's the simple things for me

I have spent many years of my life in fast forward, unwilling to slow down and truly enjoy things. Fortunately, having a child slowed me down a lot but I really think it's the best thing that could have happened to me. Slowing down and truly enjoying and savoring the simple things in life has become such a treasure to me. I realize I sound cheesy, but I don't care! It's really too bad that my tendency is still to try to do too much or to be in a rush, but thankfully, my children and my husband are working hard to keep me grounded. I love the friendships that I've gained from becoming a mother, the kinship that motherhood has brought to me is incredible. I can't blame Lucy entirely, I know that God has been working on me for years and this is definitely an area that He orchestrates regularly for me, because if I was in charge, I would just mess it all up. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

too selfish

I've decided that I may be too selfish to have six children. I'm not selfish with possessions, I feel that I'm capable of giving nearly everything, except enough time. It seems weird to acknowledge, but I was fine giving all of my time to Lucy when she was a baby. I just don't know how I'm ever supposed to keep myself sane if my only time without her is from 9pm-7am. And if I have six children, I'm concerned that I will never have any time again. To be fair, I think I'm having a little breakdown because I'm pregnant and spent 11 hours traveling home from vacation yesterday, in which Lucy seemed EXTRA needy/whiny/cranky/mean.... I guess I'll see how I function with Lucy and Audrey before I continue to meltdown. I've always been one to look too far into the future and allow myself to wig out about the unknown... definitely one of my downfalls. But I also wanted to acknowledge that I'm starting to panic about how little Gary is here because of work and my confidence is shaken after the last week with Lucy. Time to regroup and do some deep breathing!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pregnancy Update - Week 22

Pregnancy: 22 weeks, 4 days

Weight Gain: -3 lbs total (and possibly as a repeat, I didn't gain any with Lucy until I was 6 months, so this is my normal)

Sleep: Fortunately, it has been much easier for me as of late to go to sleep at night. I do still get more exhausted than normal but I attribute that to Lucy's energy. I'm still taking naps a couple of times a week when she does, but overall, I feel like I'm improving in the sleeping area.

Gender: It's still a GIRL! :) I know I mentioned last time that I was a little apprehensive about buying much until I had my next appointment (because my doc does an ultrasound everytime), but I had nothing to worry about. So let the buying begin!!!

Names: Audrey as a first name for sure, but we're still not certain between Alexandra or Cassandra for her middle name. Thankfully, either will commemorate Nana Graves and we have a few months to decide.

Feeling: Since she's moving more and more, things are getting more and more real and I, in turn, am getting more and more excited. I just can't wait to meet her and get to know her personality and temperament. Thankfully, we aren't nearly as nervous this time, because we have gotten our feet wet a little bit. :)

Health: The most annoying of my pregnancy reoccurring themes is leg cramps that wake me up in the middle of the night. I did ask my doc about that today and he suggested that I begin taking a calcium supplement 2x a day, which he feels will take care of the problem. If it does, I'll have the most pregnancy ever, because that's really my only complaint! Otherwise everything is going quite well. I still feel good and all my stats are still great.

Movement: Gary has still yet to feel her moving, but he's seen it from across the room! Like I said before, she's a mover, but she seems to already be on a schedule with her movement, whereas Lucy was just a wild woman all the time. 

Belly Button: normal

Cravings: I'm still craving dips like crazy and I've been loving all kinds of fresh fruit. Otherwise no crazy late night Taco Bell runs or anything.... yet. :D

Next Appointment: July 22nd - This visit will include my glucose test, which I'm hoping does not show that I'm borderline diabetic again. He did ease my fears a little by saying that because I was borderline with Lucy, that does not include me in the 50% of women that develop diabetes later in life as a result of gestational diabetes. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

vacation is coming

Our family vacation is coming up quickly, YAH! I'm totally a beach/pool bum and will spend as much time sitting by one of those with a book in my hands as I can arrange. That being said, can anyone recommend any good, fun beach reads?

Friday, June 17, 2011


Since most of the recipes I post are designed for the crockpot, I'm sure most of you have gathered that I think these are one of the best inventions of all time. I have three, I'm like an addict. I have a small one for warming dips and such. I have a medium because I bought it for super cheap one year at the day-after-Thanksgiving sales. And I have a large (ok, make that huge) one that I registered for when we got married and was quite delighted to receive. And it's nice and fancy, with the digital timer, the attached lid that you can just open and not have to find a place to put it while stirring, etc. Unfortunately, this one is about to bite the dust. The metal has been scratched (don't ask me how, I have boys clean-up my kitchen after dinner each night and I'm blaming them), and the lid that attaches has lost a screw and it stripped anyway so I can't use that part properly. The timer and warming are still great and intact but the fancy has worn off. But when I'm making ribs and forget to thaw them, it doesn't matter, this monstrous thing holds them anyway and that makes me still love it. And so, unless I find a killer deal this year after Thanksgiving, I'm planning to keep my slightly broken but beloved huge crockpot, because I couldn't be good wife or mother and make yummy meals nearly as often without it. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

could I just sleep, please?

As you can see by the crazy hour in which I'm posting, my sleep schedule is a bit odd right now. With my last pregnancy, I went to bed early and got up INSANELY early. And things started out that way this time around too, but have taken a completely different turn. I don't know if Audrey is already trying to assert how different she will be from Lucy, or if my hormones are just different, or there's no good explanation and I just can't sleep well when I want to. I have to say, it's pretty annoying. I spend most of my days chasing an almost-two-year-old and feeling run down. More than once a week, I take a nap when she does, but not everyday, because I do have to get SOMETHING done around our home. :) But no matter if I nap or not, I seem to really wake up around 7 or 8 pm and then really fight to get some rest. I get pretty restless just trying to make myself go to bed and in turn get up after 30 minutes of sitting here waiting for sleep to overtake me. I then get up to read or peruse the interweb... It's extra annoying that reading no longer puts me to sleep and more than once I've gotten sucked into a book and stayed up even later. All of these sleep issues wouldn't be such a big deal if not for a) Lucy and her sleep schedule and b) feeling like doing anything during the day when everyone else is awake and wired. I feel like I'm not there, even if I am, because I walk around all day so drained. I even tried not napping for an entire week to reset my internal clock, but found that it helped not at all and made me feel worse overall. I hope this isn't a sign that Audrey is going to be a nightowl baby for a super long time. Oh how I love sleep, I just wish right now I felt that it loved me!

Friday, June 3, 2011


I was super productive today and to reward myself, I've been "window shopping" online for entirely too long this evening. I've looked at everything from more clothes for Lucy (which she definitely does not need), to ideas for her birthday party, to new baby items for Audrey, and home decor items for our little renovation. I love the satisfaction of shopping online because I get tons of ideas and I compare prices and I plan my real shopping trips this way. I'm getting giddy with excitement about preparing for Audrey and all the things we need to do between now and October. Unfortunately, for the first year or so of her life, she won't be able to wear any of Lucy's hand-me-downs, but I think I can do my necessity shopping on a tight budget and I'm excited to find all the new tiny clothes again. Because I'm slightly paranoid about all the people around me lately that received incorrect gender predictions the first time around, I think I'll wait until after my next appointment and ultrasound to actually start buying anything. I'm also really excited to be spending so much time at the pool and with my girlfriends this summer. Lucy's already having a blast and getting such a beautiful brown tan. I'm jealous of her skin tone, it's so beautiful!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pregnancy Update- Week 17

Pregnancy: 17 weeks, 4 days

Weight Gain: -5 lbs. total, I can't believe I'm not gaining! Not that I'm complaining...

Sleep: Eh, I don't know if you can ever get enough sleep when you're pregnant, especially with a toddler that wakes you up early. I haven't been as exhausted though unless I do tons of stuff during that day. 

Gender: It's a GIRL!!! I wasn't surprised really and I would have been happy either way. I am, however, slightly doubting this because two of my friends that are also pregnant, just further along, have recently found out much later in their pregnancy that the first gender determined was wrong. So I'm a little paranoid. :)

Names: Audrey Alexandra - We originally had Audrey picked as Lucy's name because I've always loved this name but it just didn't feel right when I found out that she was a girl, so I went with my gut and named her Lucy, which couldn't be more perfect. So, Audrey was put away for just the right baby! We decided to go with Alexandra to honor Gary's Nana that recently passed. Her name, Sandra, when we looked it up in the baby name book says: short for Alexandra or Cassandra. So, because one of his cousins is Cassandra, we didn't feel right taking her name. I have to say, it was harder to pick another girl name than I thought it would be.

Feeling: excited and relieved to know the sex so I can start planning

Health: Blood pressure is still great and we did blood work, which as far as I know, was normal. I have been dealing with headaches and backaches but nothing too terrible. I'm probably going to restart my regular chiropractic visits soon to keep this stuff in check.

Movement: I've definitely been feeling her dancing in there! She's a wiggle worm, just like Lucy was. Gary hasn't been able to feel her yet, but with how often she's moving, surely soon it will happen.

Belly Button: normal

Cravings: dips - I've been craving spinach dip and jalapeno cheddar dip. I think it's hilarious!

Next Appointment: being rescheduled because I wasn't thinking when I scheduled it originally, but sometime in June

Saturday, May 28, 2011

and then

And then for the past week I've been laptop-less because of a massive amount of viruses that killed my hard drive. But really this time, I should be around and back in action....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

where have you been young lady?!

Thankfully, we didn't die or even really get any damage from the tornadoes in our area a few weeks ago. We were unfortunate enough to live on a small street that's power outage was easily overlooked for six days, but we obviously survived that as well. Additionally, the day after our power came back on, my husband's car broke down during rush our traffic in the rain, in the center lane (which made it impossible to get off of said busy road). We've also come through that with a small repair bill. And in the midst of the craziness, I finished school and kept making a baby in my uterus. So we're good, just busy.

I've continued therapy, though the new therapist that I found (and loved) just a few months ago, moved two weeks ago to Asheville, NC. My new new counselor is a nice guy and I feel that we're getting to know each other well enough that I'm nearly ready to spill my guts and get some help. I don't want to be any less than wonderful for my children, so I'm hoping I can get my depression in check and do so as efficiently as possible. Maybe  the hardest part of depression for me is having to admit that I'm not in control of myself anymore, that I can't just make this go away and continue to bury the floods of emotions I have inside of me. There's no maybe about it, I HATE THAT PART. Weakness is not easy for me, I'm not good at being vulnerable and out of control. I grew up believing that I couldn't cry, so everytime I leak, I feel ashamed and angry. Of course, that's exactly what they want me to do, talk about things with emotion, rather than state everything matter-of-factly. I understand why, and I truly want to get well, its just difficult to break a 26 year habit.

Enough about therapy! Well, mostly on a different topic, the depressed me has a hard time motivating for anything that doesn't HAVE to be done. And that's just not the real me at all. I love staying busy and I'm normally very tidy and happy to be. So for entirely too long, I've done what I had to if people were coming over and/or enough to keep myself sane. Since I'm finished with school and have more time to recognize how much this bothers me, I've decided to do something about it. I joined a website called flylady.net way back in August and never did much with it. Essentially she breaks everything down into baby steps to keep people from being overwhelmed and therefore unmotivated. I finally took out my control journal (you'll have to check out their website for an explanation) and have been working on way overdue projects and general house upkeep all week. It has definitely improved my mood and in turn I'm much nicer to my husband. :) I love feeling that I'm getting things done and I love that he noticed before I said a word about it. Maybe I'm on the right track!

Last little tidbit for tonight, we're going to the OB Thursday afternoon to (hopefully) determine the baby's sex. I'll post my pregnancy update by the end of the week! Anyone have any guesses? You all know mine....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

i often wonder

I often wonder if I had all the little things that I want, just the way I want them, would I just find that I want a few more things? Or would I be content, at least for a while? I think my personality is difficult for my husband to understand. I don't actually expect perfection, but I do expect that we keep trying until we can achieve goals, whether these goals are small, insignificant ones or huge, moving mountains, nearly impossible ones. As a prime example of this, I love our house, but because I want to change this or paint that or add this, Gary thinks I'm completely unsatisfied and complaining. Thankfully he doesn't see it as nagging, he just thinks that I'm already tired of our home. I don't think I'm being unreasonable for wanting a patio in the back to enjoy and invite people over for a BBQ. I don't think I'm being unreasonable because I want a new front door with AT LEAST a peephole, preferably a little glass. And I don't think I'm being unreasonable because I want to paint two rooms in our house. You don't just buy a house and plan to do nothing to it until you sell it. Of course none of my requests are have-tos. We COULD change nothing and continue on with our lives here until we've outgrown the place, but why? I think this is less of a men vs. women debate, and completely our personality types. I guess he's of the school of thought that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I, however, like to see things evolve, hope to improve our home so much that we won't want to move. I'm sure I'll be updating eventually on who wins this war... but I'll give you one guess who I'm betting on. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

family stuff can be difficult

I've been mulling over our recent family occurrence for a few days, and decided to write about it because getting it out and "on paper" always seems to make me feel better. I don't think I've mentioned very much about my sister-in-law on this blog, but that's probably because just thinking about her for the past two years creates a knot in my stomach. She's much younger than my husband and I (11 years) and going through those wonderfully awful teenage years. But as I remember my own teen years, I was at least sneaky when I was awful and I would have never been so blatantly bad in so many ways. I'm not expecting an award for making it through those years with my parents truly being oblivious, and to be honest, I never thought about being as rebellious as she is. It doesn't matter what I think of her, or how she's parented, because talking about those things would bring out the mean in me. The long and the short of it is that I don't want to be around her anymore and most importantly, I don't want my child around her. Maybe I am an over-protective parent, but that's my right. I don't care that my daughter isn't quite two, she's smart, and she's absorbing everything around her. And I refuse to put her around someone that dresses how she pleases, does what she pleases, is completely disrespectful, and gets into just about every kind of trouble I can think of. I'm not doing it anymore. And I know I hurt my mother-in-law, but I put my foot down anyway. I had to do what was best for my family. The good news: my sister-in-law is at boarding school through the week, so Lucy can still visit my in-laws and her uncles during that time. I don't think I could have taken her away from everyone unless the situation was much, much worse. I still love them and I hope they understand. My husband agrees with me, but he's also pretty worried about how his mom is taking it. I guess time will tell. The bad news: this year for Easter, we will be all alone. I suspect we'll attend the church we've been visiting for a few weeks and I'll bake a ham, but it just won't be the same. Of course, it wouldn't have been anyway, because Nana is gone, and her house was the destination for all holidays and family gatherings before. I miss her.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Week 12

Pregnancy: 12 weeks, 3 days

Weight Gain: -4 lbs - my doctor said "Are you sure you haven't been sick? And you're still losing weight?!"

Sleep: Still sneaking naps a few times a week, when Lucy naps of course. And otherwise, I've completed cut out my coffee, so I'm trying very hard to get 8 hours a night. It doesn't always happen, but I'm trying.

Gender: I wasn't going to make any predictions, but I've decided to anyway. I mean I have a 50% chance of being right! Since this pregnancy is exactly the same as my last and the heartrate is so fast, I'm going with girl. I guess we'll see in May.

Names: I don't really want to think about it until I know the gender, but I do have a few names in mind that we've agreed on.

Feeling: less exhausted, more excited - and I'm ready for the semester to be over with school so I can focus on entertaining my toddler for the summer :)

Health: My skin has improved, no more acne, but it is a lot drier than normal. My diet has gotten much better overall and I've been trying to do a lot more walking. I'm ready for summer and swimming! :D

Movement: I still believe I've felt a flutter here and there. And today on the ultrasound, baby was wiggling ever so slightly.

Belly Button: normal

Cravings: Cheerios oddly enough, but otherwise, the power of suggestion is still pretty intense.

Next Appointment: May 19th

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

improving my mood

I think that just getting this week over with, regardless of the outcomes, my mood will be greatly improved. I'm not sorry I went back to school, I'm actually glad I decided to just do it. But, I think being pregnant and chasing a toddler takes so much out of me that schoolwork (which used to be fun) has become a huge pain. I thought I might take a few classes this summer, but there's no way with all the other things we have going on. Plus, I really want to devote time and energy into the mommy group. I'm hoping to have a great summer with all the ladies in the group. We get along so well and our children play wonderfully together. It has been such a blessing to have this group of people in my life. Speaking of the group, I received two e-mails yesterday for women that wanted info about joining. I guess the fact the the weather is warming up makes everyone want to find a friend and get outside. I'm excited to meet more new people. I feel like God is placing these other mothers in my life to create the friendships that I've been missing for quite a while. This of course is improving my mood as well. :D

Monday, April 4, 2011

what I should be doing

I love making to-do lists and crossing things off. I don't know anyone that doesn't get satisfaction from that task. Unfortunately, I have a much stronger desire to post on here than to write a paper for Religion or study for either of my two tests this week. I'm pretty sure I've posted before about how there are not enough hours in the day and how I lack the energy to do everything I want to after chasing Lucy around all day. So here's to getting more done than not and not being too hard on myself when I'm not perfect. And here's to having a better attitude instead of falling into everyone's nasty moods.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

an amendment to my last post

I've decided that I don't care if there will be two Noah William Langes. Both she and I have as much right to use these names as anyone else and though the middle name is not nearly as important to me as the first (and obviously the last), I'll go with my husband's lead about the middle name as well. I e-mailed her last night to tell her that essentially and added that I hoped she understood and that hopefully she wasn't upset. I received a one-liner back but I'm not worrying about it anymore. Let's see what happens in two months and then I'll ponder the whole situation again. After all, we can name our child whatever we'd like. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

freak-out post: you've been warned

Let me start by saying that rationally, I have nothing to be upset about. The mess of a story I'm about to tell you is probably coincidence because no one remembers every word that I utter, whether they should or not. And lastly, please don't judge me for being irrational.

Many years ago, sometime when I was in high school and read "The Notebook," I fell in love with the name Noah. For me, it wasn't the biblical connotation because at the time I didn't really know much about the Bible (though the fact that the name is biblical has added to my love of it). The character in that book (as you may have guessed, he was named Noah) was just so passionate and dedicated and loving and romantic, that I cataloged that name for my future son. And just over two years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was CERTAIN I was having a boy. So I lovingly explained to my husband that the child in my womb would be named Noah and he could pick the middle name. (Thankfully he's a good sport most of the time and allows me to think I'm always winning.) I must have told every person on this planet that when I have a son, I'm naming him Noah. Since I am not actually in charge, which I've come to terms with, God did not give me a son, but my incredible daughter instead. So, the name Noah was put back on the shelf to wait for it's recipient at an undisclosed later date.

Fast forward to this morning.... my husband's cousin and wife are expecting their first child two months before we are expecting our second. They had the excitement of finding out the sex of their child today, which as you may have guessed is a boy. I'm very happy for them. They are obviously excited as well. And when I asked if they had any names in mind, I received a message that said they were naming him Noah William. Let me add that the middle name Gary had chosen for our own son one day, was his middle name, ALSO WILLIAM. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. So, if (and I know there's a 50% chance here that I'm wrong) I am carrying a boy this time, both families will be having boys with the EXACT SAME NAME (because we all have the same last name) that are two months apart. This isn't some friend who may drift in and out of my life, this is family and all three names being identical is insane! I am upset and cannot keep obsessing about this. I rationally believe that they do not remember (or may have never known, which I find hard to believe with how big my mouth is) that I had chosen this name for our son... whenever he decides to make an appearance. BUT I can't help myself, this really bothers me. Do I keep "my" name and just deal with having to defend it to our family forever or do I find another name that I love? I'm not sure if that's even possible! I've loved this name longer than I've loved my husband!

And of course, the most obvious comment that my husband repeated OVER AND OVER tonight: You don't even know if we're having a boy or a girl! Yes, I realize that but everything is still fresh and I can't just let it go. This will eat away at my mind for two months... These are the times that I wish I wasn't so passionate and stubborn about things. I'll just pray that God will soften my heart about this whole situation and I'll probably add a few extra prayers for a girl, even though I know the sex is already set in stone....

Monday, March 28, 2011


I know that when I'm pregnant, I'm clumsy and forgetful and scatter-brained but this does not bode well for my streak of straight A's. Two weeks ago, my geography prof posted our scores for an assignment and I had a zero. I wig out, look at the dropbox and see that I NEVER TURNED IN THE ASSIGNMENT THAT WAS SITTING ON MY DESKTOP FOR 3 WEEKS! Seriously?! It's just one assignment and it's one that mattered very little in my overall score but the point is I did an assignment and then forgot to turn it in. And this morning I log-in to my classes and find that I have a million things due on Friday and I had just sort of forgotten about them. I am the model student normally... the geek that gets the assignment done within a couple of days of it being assigned, not the one that procrastinates until the last minute. I am excited to be having another child, but I'm going to need to get through this semester without screwing up again, or I'm going to have an emotional breakdown. Is is summer yet?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

spring has sprung

The weather has been so wonderful for nearly two weeks now and I'm in awe of it all. I love Spring, almost as much as I like Autumn. And the only reason Autumn wins, is college football season. :) I digress... A couple of weeks ago, I began waking up with my normal seasonal allergy nose and throat funk, so I returned to my trusty Zyrtec and have since been allowed to return to the beautiful outdoors. Lucy loves being outside. She hates the sunscreen (already) and won't wear a hat, but we're lucky because she's not as fair-skinned as me, and she's already getting brown. (Don't worry, I am still fighting her and putting on the sunscreen, it's just her natural tendency to get a tan!) She loves being outside so much that we've been at a park or wandering our own pathetic yard everyday, playing soccer or simply exploring. She's at such a fun age. She's learning new words everyday and gets SO excited about every noise or discovery. I mentioned our pathetic yard... We have big plans to level is off a bit more in the back and buy her an awesome swing-set/play-ground for her birthday. I am just so glad that she is enjoying the weather now when it's mild yet warm. I just hope we (ok, I) can keep up when it starts getting into the 90s/100s again. Being pregnant during the summer is hard, but at least this time I won't be full term in the South at the end of July!

Friday, March 18, 2011

pregnancy update - the real 8 weeks

Pregnancy: 8 weeks, 5 days

Weight Gain: -2lbs - since I was overweight for my last pregnancy and this one, I'm hoping not to gain too much... maybe 15-25lbs. I did it with Lucy (only gained 14lbs), so surely I can do it again!

Sleep: I have still been waking up insanely early, but not everyday. There are days that I don't get a nap in and if that happens, I usually sleep a little later the next morning. Otherwise, no tummy sleeping anymore. :( And my Snoogle pillow is more in the way at this point than helpful. So with my standard pillow, I'm sleeping pretty good. And I think I'm snoring again this time around. How crazy is that?!

Gender: good question! Any early predictions? (yeah, I know, same as last week!) Maybe we can find out in May...

Names: I think I've been repeating myself and being annoying with the whole name idea, so I've left Gary alone about that line of conversation. We still have time. :)

Feeling: exhausted... still.... but otherwise, just too busy with my ridiculous demands on myself to feel much else. I know, BAD MOMMY!

Health: I feel very good. A little freaked out that I already have a baby bump that I can't hide, but otherwise I am feeling healthy and excited. Regardless of the gallons of water I'm drinking and the skin treatment I've tried, I still look like a teenager, but oh well!

Movement: I swear I've felt this baby, but rationally, I know it's too early. My doctor kindly mentioned that maybe it was just gas. "HA! Thanks!"

Belly Button: normal

Cravings: none this week... but the power of suggestion is pretty intense

Next Appointment: April 13th

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

a nerd the night before the first day of school

Tomorrow is my first OB appointment with my new doctor and with regard to our new little babe. As the title implies, I can't sleep regardless of my exhaustion. And I can't sleep because I'm more excited than a nerd the night before the first day of school. :) Ok, ok, I was the nerd too. But that doesn't matter. Of course, I'm excited and interested to know just a little more about our little bean. But to be completely honest, I have a hunch that something wonderful and crazy and unexpected in going to happen at my appointment. My mind has been racing for weeks... Am I carrying twins? Am I further along that I thought? Am I carrying a prodigy? Who knows?! But at least a few questions should be answered tomorrow. I'm excited to see this new doctor and to be completely honest, it's mostly because he does an ultrasound at every appointment. Just say a little prayer for me that all our news is good and we have a healthy little babe. I'll post something more of interest soon... assuming I ever stop feeling so exhausted that I fall asleep at 9pm (hence my 1st real post after that time).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

pregnancy update- the first of many

Pregnancy: not exactly sure - my cycles have been very odd the past few months, so I'm not certain about that until my OB appointment next week

Weight Gain: I weighed myself today for the first time, so this isn't applicable just yet (and I'm not brave enough to tell you how much I actually weigh, just how much I gain :D)

Sleep: I have this crazy pregnancy thing that makes me an extreme morning person. I literally wake up BY 5am every day. However, I'm still in my 1st trimester, so I'm always tired and usually snag a nap at least a few days a week. I have been waking up a lot at night for the last few weeks, but easily fall back to sleep. 

Gender: good question! Any early predictions?

Names: I have a huge on-going list. I think I've been adding and taking away names regularly since I was pregnant with Lucy. Thankfully, I decided on her name the day I found out we were having a girl, so maybe it won't be so hard once we have that info.

Feeling: as I mentioned, kinda whiny/emotional... hope this passes soon

Health: Luckily, there's no morning sickness, but I have discovered that if my stomach gets empty, I don't feel so well. Also, my skin is taking a hit this time around and I feel like a teenager with acne. I'm hoping this disappears soon but I'll live it doesn't.

Movement: not yet

Belly Button: normal

Cravings: Spinach Alfredo Pizza (last night was my first real craving)

Next Appointment: March 16th

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

why must being pregnant turn me into a baby?

I wouldn't say that I'm an emotional person, typically. Yes, I am a girl who has a good cry, but rarely. And yes, I care about people and what's going on in their lives, but very few people can truly hurt my feelings or bring me to tears. Until now.... Being pregnant turns me into a baby. Sometimes a commercial brings on the waterworks. Other times it's something that really matters, like the passing thought of Nana Graves. Either way, I'm not exactly a fan of this factor in my pregnancy. The problem for me is moreso that I don't like being so easily hurt. I'm taking way too much personally and I just feel like whining about it when something has been done to hurt me. I'm really kind of annoying... I wouldn't want to hear me and I doubt very much that my husband does either. Thankfully, he is dealing with it all very well... I, however, am not. I'm kind of mad at myself, which I also realize makes no sense. Thanks for letting me vent.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lucy says good morning to all of you and she has an announcement:

Yah! I'm so glad our little family is growing. I really don't care if I have a boy or a girl because I plan to have so many kids that SURELY I'll have at least one of both. :) We're due in October and I'll have more info/updates after our first doctor's appointment on March 16th.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

our deal

I'm not sure if the deal Gary and I made was sometime during our engagement or quickly after our marriage.... regardless, I am thankful we made it. I made him promise me that I could die first. I know that sounds a little morbid and that normally God doesn't exactly give you a choice, but I'm hoping that He'll let us have a say in this situation. I really do rely on God but He made my husband just for me and He has to know that I would fall apart if Gary was taken from me. Because of the recent events, I wonder if Nana and Grandpa Graves made the same sort of vow. You see, Grandpa has been sick with Alzheimer's for many years and Nana only became sick within the last year. So the fact that she passed away first and that he so quickly followed makes me believe this is the case. What a testament to true love! What a gracious and loving thing for God to allow for these two souls! Of course I wish neither of them had been sick, but I'm not in charge and I don't know the reasons they were. It doesn't matter and I won't be trying to figure that one out but I will keep holding on to hope that Gary and I will have a long and happy marriage, full of kids and grandkids and great-grandkids, and that I'll get to go first.

EDIT: As an attachment, I thought you should all check out one of their daughter's blogs and the letter from Grandpa to Nana 48 years ago. Love Eternal

Saturday, February 26, 2011


My last post was sloppy. I got tired and the opposite of witty. I hate deleting posts, so instead I decided to write a rebuttal that said you should probably ignore that post. It doesn't convey my true message but I don't really have to time or brainpower right now to accomplish that. So... please disregard. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

i'm a professional

How very haughty of me to make such a statement! But it's true... I'm a professional at dealing with stress. I was born and bred to take everything that's thrown at me and just to keep on keepin' on. It is my nature to just do it. And so, I want to offer a tidbit of my infinite wisdom: it is NEVER as bad as it seems. Period. If you could just look at your situation in the context of the rest of the world, I'm going to say 99.999999999999...% of the time, someone has more stress, more heartache, more "bad luck." (On a side note, I think luck is a complete myth, but I'll shy away from that topic for tonight.) I find myself wigging out at the amount of schoolwork I've got to accomplish before Spring Break and for that matter, before the end of the semester. And then you pile on the INSANE rising gas prices, which are truly screwing up my budget. And most significantly, consider that my husband's family (and then in turn me) is dealing with an excruciating amount of loss with Nana's (and likely very soon her husband's) passing. And....and....and....BUT then I consider that even I have lived with harder times. And I KNOW I can name at least 30 other people off the top of my head, who have a much more stressful life. So, listen, don't stress! Trust me, I'm a professional.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

i love pictures

At the suggestion of one of my awesome followers, I decided to give everyone a little slice of my humble knowledge about Nana Graves. I doubt very much that this will be in any sort of rational order or that I'll do her any justice, but I like the idea of putting some of my memories to "paper" since I don't have any photos to help me out. A little background about Nana: she was raised in a small Georgia town. She was married for nearly 53 years to a lifetime Army man and traveled the world beside him, eventually bringing along three daughters for the ride. She instilled in those women a strong faith and an amazing ability to love. She adopted all of her sons-in-law easily into her family and loved them generously as well. God gave her eight grandchildren, one granddaughter-in-law, and a great-granddaughter. She loved us all more than I think we can ever appreciate. But to be honest, she just loved and loved and loved people, all people. It was what she did. She cared for them. She prayed for them. She fixed the problem if there was anyway that she could. And if she couldn't, she would pray that someone could. I have never met someone so generous with her resources. She taught classes for Weight Watchers. She and her husband were very active with the Gideons. She sponsored missionaries. She let missionaries stay in her home. She invited anyone and everyone over for something as simple as President's Day, if that meant she could feed them and let them swim in her pool and that she got an opportunity to show them love and kindness. She was just so generous! I've never known anyone before that the old saying "they'd give you the shirt off their own back," applied to, until I met her. She took the time and spent the money to bring all of our family (all 18+ of us) together for a family vacation to Hilton Head Island each summer. She was thoughtful. She remembered everyone's birthdays and anniversaries. I loved sharing my birthday with her and Sharon (one of my aunts-in-law) every year.

This afternoon at the funeral home, there was a disc of photos from throughout her life. I love pictures. Just to add in another cliche, they really do say a thousand words. Have you ever noticed how many simple memories erupt from a single photo? I witnessed so many of her important moments through her photos tonight... but also so many that were at one point probably so insignificant. There was a photo of Nana with one of her granddaughters and they were in the PJs, probably the morning after a sleepover at Nana's house and it just struck me that at the time that picture was taken, a memory for Kelsey was made. She will always have that simple picture to commemorate the many times she had a sleepover at Nana's house. It can be her reminder for the one night or it can conjure a memory of fifty different nights. That makes me happy. It makes me happy that Nana truly lived her life and that not one of us wonders where she is or how much she cared. It couldn't be more clear.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I've started and deleted and restarted this post about twenty times. I sit here with tears in my eyes and in a state of disbelief. All these human emotions of love and sadness and guilt and doubt and a million more keep flooding my mind. You see one of the greatest women I've ever had the privilege to know died this afternoon and though she's been sick for months and was given a life expectancy of 6-12 months, it is just too hard to believe. No amount of time can prepare you. She was only part of my life for the past five years but I'm just in shock that she's actually gone. I feel strange that it's my husband's grandmother and that I'm the one who has been crying all evening. I know men typically react differently than women and I think he just hasn't accepted it yet either. Unfortunately, I feel like I will be imposing on their family at the funeral home when I am sobbing. She wasn't mine to lose and yet at the same time I have lost her. She was gracious and generous and loving, unlike anyone I've ever known. Rarely do I conduct myself so sorrowfully but today I feel broken by her death. I cannot imagine the world we live in without her there. But as one of her daughter's so perfectly worded it: "At least she gave us the gift of never doubting where she is now." I'm not mad at God, I just selfishly wish we had more time with her.

<>< Cass

Monday, February 14, 2011

my baby made my heart melt

Happy Valentine's Day friends! Today was beautiful here in Chattanooga and we took advantage of it. My friend Laura and I took our girls to the TN Aquarium (Lucy's first trip) and then had lunch. The kiddos were so stinkin cute with all their pink and they loved the trip. I finally put Lucy's hair into pigtails again (since the last attempt a month or two ago was pretty sad) and they completed her cuteness. It is always so much fun when I get to hang out with the women from my mommy group. We all mesh so well, our children all adore each other, and a good time is had by all. And in keeping with the festivities of Valentine's Day, my darling girl told me she loved me today... for the very first time. I love her so much and she melts my heart. It was so clear and sweet when she said it. Of course, I spent a large chunk of the rest of the day trying to inspire her to utter the words again, but to no avail. I don't care! She said it once, and that's good enough for me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

guilty until proven innocent

I hate when people lie to me. And I hate when I make plans with people and they cancel regularly. I always used to think that it meant that a) I wasn't a priority in their life or b) they were lying. Now in my defense, I said people that REGULARLY canceled on me. I know that life happens sometimes but I never really understood until I had a child. Now I feel like the flake. And now I see how wrongly I judged those others. Well, in all fairness, I probably misjudged about half of them. This year (yes I know, we're only forty days in), we have had an array of crazy and unlikely things take place... which forced me to cancel various playdates, lunches, and dinners. The worst part is that I feel guilty. I feel bad for being quick to judge others and I feel bad for having to cancel on my friends. I hope they all understand (since most of them have children too). The pattern for this year thus far makes me want to not make any plans, so as not to disappoint others.

Monday, February 7, 2011

i can't hear you

"I can't hear you." This has been the over-used phrase of the day. Unfortunately, I have lost my voice. The illness I mentioned in my last post has remained mild for me. There has been no fever or sore throat. But last night after the Super Bowl, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that I was getting a little squeaky and that my voice was failing every few words. I rarely lose my voice. But I awoke this morning without it. Lucy thinks I'm playing with her and she replies in whispers most of the time. It's really pretty cute. But when she's about to do something I really don't want her to, the absence of a stern "NO" makes her think she can go right ahead. I also made the mistake of answering the phone a few times. Thankfully it was just hubby and he can say "I can't hear you."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

a bunch of sicklings

Hopefully, this won't be too insulting to everyone, but to be honest, I'm not one to do something out of duty. Maybe because my relationship with my own family is lacking or maybe because I've always kind of done what I wanted to. Regardless, I think it's silly to do anything because someone else makes you feel like you should or even that you owe them. I can't help myself, I'm a fiercely independent person. However, this evening I dressed up my family and we met hubby's family to have pictures made. The reason the whole "duty" thing comes into play, is the fact that Lucy and I are sick. It's nothing too terrible, just that a faucet replaced our noses and we feel run down. And I HATE when people are sick and in public. It makes me want to spray them with Lysol and tell them to go home and keep the sick there. But we went, because it was important to my husband, to his mother, and to the rest of the family. And I have to brag about Lucy: no one could even tell she was sick. She was cooperative, happy, and playful. She made me look like a liar. But praise the Lord that it all worked out and we got some awesome photos. I'm happy that even though I went into this kicking and screaming (ok, mostly bitching and moaning), it turned out exceptionally better than I planned. And maybe I learned something about doing what others want me to, not just being Miss Independent.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

hopefully the last of it

I hope that this is the last post I make about my frustrations with money, but I'm not making any promises. And for that matter, it just isn't likely. :)

When I met my wonderful husband, he had a nice little cushion of money. He'd been living at home most all of his 20 years (wow, I can't believe I knew him before he was legal, ha!). He never spent a penny, not because he was a tightwad, but because he didn't have to. He liked his parents and they took good care of him financially. Additionally, his grandmother's generosity had helped. Enter Cassie. Cassie had been struggling financially since she was 17 and moved out of her parents home. She felt the need to maintain her independence and dig herself into debt, just to "make it" on her own. I didn't do EVERYTHING wrong. I was never late on my rent or my utilities, and I bought both of my cars by paying cash for them (and stayed up to date on my insurance). I just never quite grasped that just because someone offered me a credit card, didn't mean I had to take it. Or use it for that matter. Anyway, I walked into our marriage with about $8000 in debt and I quickly brought him down to my level. When we wanted to get married and didn't have the money for a wedding, we did everything ourselves and put it on the credit card. When he didn't have enough money for his fancy private college, he got student loans. When we didn't have enough money to pay for a new car that I desperately needed, we put a pathetic $500 down and got yet another loan.

Yesterday I was doing the budget for February and it hurt to see the numbers. We DO NOT live an outrageous lifestyle, to say the least. And I have definitely learned a lot about the hows and whys of money. It just makes me so mad at myself for not being smarter earlier. We are not struggling, not even but, we aren't paying off our debts as quickly as I would like. And it is very frustrating to feel as though I'm responsible for getting us into this mess. On the bright side, the budget for has a spot for something like ten different debts (it's the Financial Peace University form) and we only have two now. I love doing the budget, but I just hate money...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

couponing 101

My oldest friend (as in known the longest, not as in her age) and I took an excellent couponing class in March last year. Before then, I clipped coupons and thought I was rocking it but I was really missing out until I learned the ins and outs at that class. I'm not as hardcore as some, but I get 5 newspapers delivered to my house on Sundays, I print out anything I think I'll use, and I love to find store coupons because my store of choice takes all competitor coupons. With sales and doubled coupons and store/competitor coupons all rolled into one shopping trip, I save more than I spend every time. Of course this is slightly time-consuming but I always feel that it is worth it. And I LOVE seeing the amount saved at the end of the month. And even though most of my girlfriends now live far away, even my beloved oldest friend, my sweet husband tries to act as excited as he knows those ladies would. I know he does it just for me, because my level of satisfaction and joy is quite nerdy. :)

So, in lieu of organization for my coupons, I feel less that impressive. I've tried a few different things but I think my current system is too inefficient and I would like some feedback. What works for you?

Friday, January 28, 2011

new year resolutions

I'm a bit smug about New Year's Resolutions. I don't think I've ever made one... and if I did, I was like ten and have no recollection. Anyway, maybe I'm being negative, but I think they are a bit silly. Why do people feel that the need to start anew at the beginning of a year and then get all flustered and give up about a month in? If I recognize I need a change in my life, I start whenever it comes to my attention. If I modify things and they don't work out, I don't get all discouraged and feel like a failure. I just think the whole thing is odd. I guess I mentioned this because I saw the local YMCA parking lot PACKED OUT  for the first two weeks of this year and noticed yesterday that it wasn't nearly as full. Here's the smug part, not only did I notice, but I laughed. I guess that's less smug, more mean, but you get the idea.

This week has been so expensive and quite irritating. We have saved a good deal of money to finally buy Gary a new car, and then Tuesday morning, woke up to broken heating & air unit. Not only was it broken, it caught fire and caused some damage in our garage attic. We're really lucky, no blessed, that our home didn't go up in flames. That's the thing I am trying to stay focused on. Because it's the middle of winter and we have no heat. Well, that's no true, we have two space heaters and have made arrangements for the 3 of us accordingly. We aren't freezing and to be abundantly honest, we have had a great number of offers for housing through all the trouble. It is just frustrating for me to deal with our homeowners insurance because it isn't worth it for this particular problem. So, bye-bye to a new car and hello to a new heating & air unit. Yes, we'll have enough left over for a down payment on a vehicle, but we were hoping to squeeze by without a car payment.

An update about the therapist: so far, he seems to be exactly what I was hoping for. Of course, I've only been once, but our first conversation was mostly an overview of his techniques and what I'm hoping to achieve. And that conversation was already fruitful. The only downside is that he doesn't deal with insurance, so I'm paying out of pocket. It's ok, we have worked it into our budget, but I wish I was using some of the insurance we're paying for. :/ Oh well, this is a sacrifice I'm willing to make!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I believe I said a few months ago that I was in therapy for my long-lasting and never-say-die depression. I'm not kidding here folks, it just won't go away! Anyway, the counselor I was seeing for a few months, literally did not let me talk. In the typical one hour session, I MAY have spoken for 5 minutes of the time. This is not therapy and I tried and tried to think of ways to improve this situation and various attempts failed. So, I stopped going. I tried to do everything on my own, and was completely unsuccessful. I have no interest in taking an anti-depressant. I'm not being judgmental, but for me, who wants to conceive another baby like yesterday, it doesn't make sense. Additionally, I feel like I need to do things the old fashioned way and just talk them out and work on myself. I said all of that to say this: Today I'm meeting a new counselor. I sucked it up and made another call (after a ridiculous amount of research about various individuals). And as a nice little cherry on top, the poor man probably thinks I'm more nuts than anyone else he's ever worked with, because I sent him a LONG introduction e-mail, in hopes that I wouldn't chicken out or glaze things over and that I would actually get somewhere this time around. Because I have to say, these days I have one awesome, hopeful, encouraging, productive day, followed by one hopeless, miserable, worthless day. And having about half good/ half horrible days is not in my job description... I'm a mommy and my daughter is happy all the time. I have to catch up! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

snow in Chattanooga?!

Hello friends. I know it has been a while, but I always come back. :)

Sunday night brought our lovely home 8 inches of snow, which meant no work for Gary Monday or Tuesday. And Wednesday, he finally borrowed his parents SUV and parked it at the bottom of our hill, so he could make it to work the rest of the week. We live on a ridiculous hill that has been a solid sheet of ice and there have been no comings and goings around here all week. Can you say cabin fever?! I think it is quite beautiful, but I'm a social person, and sitting in my home with a toddler as my only conversationalist, has made me rather whiny also. It isn't just me... Lucy has reached an all new level of whine master. We need to see our friends!

In other news (or additional news), the starting of my classes has been postponed until Tuesday. I know if makes me a geek, but I'm sad about this fact. My classes are online anyway, and I would very much like to have something to do while I'm home-bound. I guess it's a good thing though, because UPS can't make it up the hill to deliver my books anyway. :)

A few things I did accomplish over the month+ I've been off:

1. Gathered an insane amount of things to donate
2. Went through Lucy's belongings and packed some away for another babe and put the others aside for resale
3. Read more books for pleasure
4. Gathered books, DVDs for McKay's
5. Made new menus

And lots of other boring things....

Much love and many blessings,

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