Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes to End the Day

We finished our Halloween 2010 extravaganza with yummy cupcakes---Noah's favorite right now! Happy Halloween, my sweet Noah! Mommy loves you SOOOOOOOOO much! Next Halloween you'll have a brother! Actually, in 2 days you'll have a brother!

Trick-Or-Treating 2010

2010 will be the year that will go down in the history books as the 1st year that Noah understood and really enjoyed trick-or-treating! HE DID PERFECT! After we saw our neighbors, I asked Noah if he wanted to go to trick-or-treat at Gay Gay's house, and Noah didn't hesitate. "Gay Gay's house!" He didn't fuss about the costume or anything. We loaded up and went to Gay Gay's house and then went trick-or-treating with Gay Gay on her street. Michael & I actually had fun! It was funny to hear Michael say, "That was actually fun, huh?" Everyone thought Noah was just so cute and friendly. Noah would walk up the the houses and say, "Good morning, friends!" Seeing Gay Gay was such a treat that Noah would go to a few houses and then return back to Gay Gay's house and say, "High Low Gay Gay!" Noah sat on her lap for a few minutes and watched the kids come up in their costumes and get candy. It was just such a treat...for all of us.

Pumpkin Carving 2010

Pumpkin carving 2010~ Noah helped Daddy carve our pumpkin this year. He was not too interested in the guts, until he realized that the pumpkin seeds would A) throw easily into the pool and B) raked nicely. Needless to say, I told Daddy to carve quickly! When Noah realized that Daddy was giving the pumpkin a face, he became much more excited and said, "Jack-O-Lantern!"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Update on Pregnancy and Contractions

I couldn't fall asleep the evening of October 28th, which is VERY unusual for me. I'm usually asleep these days as soon as my head hits the's waking up and not being able to fall back asleep that is usually my probem! Several hours later, contractions began about 1:30 am. And contiued. And continued. I have an Iphone app for that. Very easy to just press a button and it times it and all. Anyway, I never got to sleep. I woke Michael up around 6:30 am, thinking that this was the last that my doctor was on call and maybe I should call her just to see what she said. At that point, the contractions were about 8 minutes apart, so we decided against it. Good thing. The contractions died down as Noah woke up, and Michael went to work. Not a wink of sleep did I have, and it made for a VERY long day. I was able to sleep last night but have been up since 3 am this morning. Some contractions, but I'm almost afraid to get my hopes up that we could have a baby today. Michael is working again today & tomorrow...unless I go into labor, so this will make for another interesting day, I'm sure. I must say, it is very hard for control freaks like myself to just let things happen as they are going to happen! Here I "declared" that we would not have baby Jackson until November 2nd, when I could have my doctor there. (She's not on call this weekend). I declared that I didn't want to be in the hospital over the weekend. I declared that I would not have the baby on Halloween...all of which are a very strong possibility, indeed! Who knows? I guess this is where that whole, "Let go, and let God," statement comes in.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Noah's footprint artwork

I love the idea of saving pictures of the artwork Noah has done, since I know you can't keep it all. Today, Noah made a ghost using his footprint dipped in paint! I LOVE IT! He also made his trick-or-treat bag. I brought all the kids a pumpkin treat bag as an extra treat. FUN:)

Halloween Cookie Cake

Here are pictures of Noah enjoying the Halloween cookie cake at his preschool party today.

Pajama & Pizza Party Day at Oak Tree

Noah's preschool had a pajama and pizza party day today! The kids made trick-or-treat bags, ate pizza, and went trick-or-treating at the different classrooms. They were SO cute, and I'm so glad that I got to be there. I actually ran into my OB doctor while coming in. She said, "You're o.k., right?" So funny. No baby Jackson today! After trick-or-treating, the kids had a Halloween pumpkin cookie cake for a special treat. What a fun day!

38 Week Appointment

We had our 38 week appointment yesterday. As of yesterday, I was STILL 50% effaced, 1 cm dilated! Seriously? At this same time with Noah, I progressed to 1 1/2-2 cm dilated and 75% effaced. Today I'm 38 weeks & 2 days. That's exactly when I had Noah. Dr. Willis did a sonogram and checked Jackson's heartrate for 20 minutes. She said, "Everything is just perfect. If this were my baby I'd be very happy. He's just happy in there!" So, we are set to induce on November 2nd. Voting day. I vote for one big epidural and a speedy and healthy delivery!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Festival at Oak Tree Academy

Today was the Fall Festival at Oak Tree Academy. There were ponies that took us on a hayride, lots of fun games, and we topped it off with some fun cupcakes and treats that I made for Noah's class. (I was hoping that riding the bumpy hayride would bump me into labor (no such luck), as I am officially 38 weeks today. I had Noah at 38 weeks and 2 days.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Noah's artwork this week

Noah came down with a 102 fever, vomiting, and a nasty cough this week, so he was only able to go to preschool one day this week. But it was a fun day, as they studied spiders and pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

37 week prenatal appointment

We're officially 37 weeks and 1 day pregnant with Baby Jackson. We saw Dr. Willis again today, who, coincidentally, sends her son to Noah's preschool & his name is Jackson...just a little fun fact I learned recently. We had several questions, and to quote Dr. Willis, "I didn't give you any of the answers you wanted today." Michael asked if I thought I was any more dilated today. I said, "I don't think so. With Noah at 37 weeks, I stayed at 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. It's probably pretty close to that." Well, we were exactly as I thought. No progress there. Of course, I had Noah at 38 weeks & 2 days, so maybe there's hope we'll be meeting Jackson sooner than later. We asked about an induction on October 29th...Friday, before Halloween; Michael wouldn't have to take as much time off work. She considered it, then recalled she wasn't working that day. Then she said, "Well, maybe I could strip your membranes before then and that would help." A glimmer of hope. Then she recalled, "Oh yeah. I can't do that. Your test for Group B Strep came back posistive so I can't do that. And you & the baby will have to stay in the hospital 48 hours for monitoring." What? I didn't have THAT with Noah! She said, "It's transient. You can have it one month, not the next. We have to give you antibiotics when you go into labor." She then explained that it was good that we got good prenatal care, because this is entirely normal and fixable, but ladies that DON'T have this information often have kids in the NICU for about 2 weeks. Ick. I'll take my antibiotics and 48 hour hospital stay, thank you very much! We scheduled a tenative induction for November 2, 2010, but Dr. Willis said that she thought I'd probably go into labor before then.
On a different note, we decided to do the umbilical cord blood banking this pregnancy. We didn't do it with Noah, but knowing this is our last pregnancy, we just both had the gut feeling to do it this time. It's funny. Dr. Willis used the same company with her son, Jackson, so us listing her as a referral source gave her a free year of fees paid. Michael and Dr. Willis joked about how maybe now we wouldn't be giving her a free year of blood banking. (Joking of course! We love her!)
For some reason, when Dr. Willis left, I felt a little tearful. Just not the answers I wanted to hear, I suppose. But Michael was right there and a huge support. He has been there for the scariest days of my life, and that's a huge bond. Shortly thereafter, I was able to get out of myself, and called to check on Terence Thedford, a wonderful local fireman that has done so much for cancer awareness and relief efforts. His wife was being induced today in Dallas because their son was diagnosed with HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome). Basically, the baby has to have heart surgery next Monday, at 3 months, and then probably again after that. And here I was caught up in a little Group B Strep? Give me a break, already! Get outside of yourself, Brenda Joy!
I quickly regrouped and feel better about it all now that I've had a little perspective and gratitude for my blessed baby and life.
So, now we wait!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Noah's Preschool Art

Here are some more of Noah's artwork created at preschool. I really like the fireman painting with all the blue water!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 14, 2010

October 14, 2010~ Today marks 13 years since I lost my sweet mother. I still miss her so much. I especially miss her this day...being 9 months pregnant with Baby Jackson and staring at the most beautiful red-headed toddler in the world. I just wish she was here to feel the joy, to hold and hug these precious babes. I love you and Miss you, Mom.

Rather than focusing on the loss, I want to focus on your life and the love you so freely gave. I honor you by living and loving.

Michael sent me flowers today, beautiful gerbera he has done for the last 13 years on this day. Wow. I don't mention the day. He just knows, and tries to be a comfort.

I also received a sweet text message just when I needed it from my dear Mary Beth, many miles away. Oh, how I am blessed.
We celebrated by living and laughing...eating Mexican food (Noah's favorite right now!) and having cupcakes for dessert. And as I felt Baby Jackson moving and kicking even more than usual today, I am reminded of the circle of life...and that life does go on.
"Fear not. Only believe."

Noah & Mommy's first locks

People are always asking me where Noah gets his red hair. I always tell them that I had red hair as a baby, and that we have a lot of red hair in my family, and that if Michael lets his beard grow out, there's definitely red whiskers! Well, the proof is in the pudding. I found my "baby book," and I use the word lightly, because technically, it's a book to document your baby's firsts, but I was the 2nd child, there was no internet or technology to help, so there are a handful of pages completed. But I'm thankful for every page. There's something about seeing my mom's handwriting....gosh, she had beautiful handwriting...that feels so warm and familiar. Her handwriting feels like love, really. Anyway, inside my baby book, taped in the page where my handprints & footprints were supposed to be, I saw that my first haircut was taped inside. I showed the book to Michael. I had to tell Michael that it was my hair he was looking at, and that I put a lock of Noah's first haircut next to mine. He couldn't believe it. The proof is in the picture. Noah's hair is the hair on the left, and mine is the hair taped down on the right. You can see how Noah's hair has curl, a trait he definitely gets from Michael!
In these pictures, the hair on the far left is Noah's hair. The hair in the middle and in the baggie on the right is mine.

Another surprise I saw in the book was how Mom described how I got my name. It states, "We called Mary Gifford to stay with Denise about 7 AM. She came and we talked till about 10 o'clock AM when we went to the hospital. Fred came home and told Denise she had a sister. She asked if it was a boy-sister or a girl-sister. Everyone was very happy and full of joy-which is how Brenda got her middle name."

Halloween Card 2010

This is our Halloween card 2010- If I can only get it sent out in time! This will be Noah's last solo card, except for his birthday cards. Surreal.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

36 weeks- Current Stats

These are pictures at 36 weeks of Baby Jackson. The sonographer said that these were actually really good pictures for a sonogram this late. She said that the baby is so cramped for space, it's often tough to get a good picture. So here is our preview!
We went to the OBGYN's office today, as we are now starting our weekly visits. Everything looked really good. We did a sonogram and Baby Jackson is perfectly healthy. The sonographer, said, "Oh, look at that! That's really good!" I stared at the screen not knowing what I was looking for. Then I saw it....The rise and fall of Jackson "practicing breathing." I could watch on the sonogram as he practiced breathing in and out. The sonographer said that was "a great sign," and that baby showed, "no distress at all." Good words to hear. FYI, she also said, "Did you see that again? He really likes showing off that he's a boy!" When Dr. Willis entered the room, she said the same thing! I measured 1 cm dilated & 50% effaced today. Ironically, that's what I measured at 36 weeks with Noah. Noah arrived at 38 weeks, so we'll see just when Baby Jackson will make his debut. 38 weeks would technically still be in October, but not by much! Dr. Willis said that her guess would be that Jackson would come around 38 weeks, especially since Noah came at 38 weeks, and he was a 1st baby. "The second ones usually come out earlier," she said. Either way, she was open to induction at 39 weeks if Jackson doesn't come sooner. I must say, I'm all for that!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our 1st preschool bump

I've heard so many nightmare stories about the adjustment to preschool. I tried to prepare myself for the worst, and hope for the best...and we've had an unbelievable first 2 days. I had a lot of anxiety about today, because Noah's teacher was scheduled to be out. In addition, Noah woke up today with self-inflicted scratches to his torso and the back of his neck. We trimmed the roses the other night and Noah was in the grass a lot and complained about itching yesterday. I hadn't seen the extent of his scratches until this morning, and my initial response was to keep him home today. Noah complained of itching and was much more tearful and fussy than usual. Noah said, "go school," so I decided to suck it up and take him. Noah was not too hip on some new teacher being there, and when I left, Noah began screaming for me and throwing a fit. I held back the tears and hid but listened. The staff were wonderful, though, and completely understood my concern. A teacher took Noah to go look at Fudge, the preschool pet guinea pig. Noah quickly calmed down and joined his class again. I told the owner to call me if he began crying again. I wanted to know, even if I was going to give them the opportunity to handle it. I called once and the owner said that Noah was doing great. The Tyler firefighters were visiting with the fire truck, and she said Noah was having a great time. When I picked Noah up, he was in his class playing Simon Says, smiling. BIG sigh of relief for Mommy. The teacher said that Noah did "great" the rest of the day. I asked if he had any accidents. She said that he had no accidents, but he did start to get tearful when she'd try to take him to the potty, so she didn't force him to go. But no accidents. Bless his little heart----Noah had been holding his pee pee from 9:30-1:00. I encouraged him to go pee pee on his school potty, and he did, so again, that's progress. Sweet little angel. SUCH an adjustment for us both!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Black & Whites from Pumpkin Patch

Every now & then, I just like a black & white photo. Here are some black & whites from our day at the pumpkin patch.