Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 30, 2009

Another Pregnancy Update...

I visited the OB yet again today. The Dr. I saw today is probably my favorite. She's great; very enthusiastic and personable. Not like some of the others who are nice enough but not that friendly. She said my Blood Glucose Levels look great and the baby's heart rate is perfect. I have to say, the heart beat was the strongest I've heard it yet. She also said I'm measuring right at 33 weeks, which is about where I am now. That's a good thing...it means so far the baby doesn't seem to be too big. However, when I go back in two weeks they are going to do another ultrasound to check the size. We want to be on the safe side, and though the ultrasound is not completely accurate at this stage, it will give us a good feel for the size of the baby. Then we can think about what type of delivery I should have...we'll need to decide around then. If I have not gone into labor on my own and if they have not induced labor for any other reason, I will have a third ultrasound when I am 37 weeks along to check the size again. Corbin's (at 38 weeks) showed him at 8.5 lbs. I ended up going into labor that night, so did not get the results for a couple of weeks...but he actually weighed a pound more at 9.5 lbs. They (and I) do not want to let this baby get that big if possible. We talked about the possibility of a c-section today. The doctor, at this point, is not completely convinced it is going to be necessary. I think she is leaning that way, though. If the baby is large it is the better option...for mom and baby. So we will have more information in a couple of weeks and can make a better decision. In any case, we are only about 5 weeks from having the baby if not sooner. In some ways that's forever, and in others it's way too soon! We still have lots of things to do/get before her arrival. AAAGGGHHHH!! You'd think I'd be ready, but no....I've procrastinated. :(

The main things are a car seat/stroller and cradle sheets. I think we have pretty much everything else we'll need at the very beginning. We'll have time to go out shopping for other things once she's here. Oh, and a NAME!! We still don't have one that we both like. I'll ask for opinions here. This is what either Karl or myself have come up with so far:
  • Emma Grace
  • Sophia Rose
  • Elliana
  • Zoe
  • Chloe
  • Kendall
  • Jasmine
  • Isabella

Tell me what you think. We may not go with any of these, but it would be nice to have opinions other than our own. Also, if any of you family members have suggestions for family names that would be great. I would like it to be from mine, simply because we already used Karl from Karl's side, but we will of course consider names from either side of the family! :)

That's it for now...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Corbin's latest...

Today, during 'school time' I had Hailey and Logan do some jumping jacks between saying their memory verse for this week. Corbin was in the bathroom at the time, right off the living room where we were, and could not see what they were doing. Pretty soon, we heard his little voice saying, "Mama, are they doing apple jacks?"

Just had to share...

Counting My Blessings

I once took a bible study while we lived in Florida with a friend of mine. I actually helped her facilitate it...a class on organization, but of course all sorts of subjects come up during classes such as these. One morning we were talking as a group about moving, and organizing our homes, etc. This friend of mine spoke to us about something that she has always done when planning to move into a new home. She prays for the people that will be her neighbors, asking God to allow her to be a witness, to have a good relationship with them, etc. I thought this was an absolutely awesome idea, so I did this when we were buying our Florida home. The land right next to us was for sale...we could have bought it from the people who had owned our house but being our first home purchase couldn't really afford it. Anyway, I prayed for the family that would eventually buy the land and build there. I asked that we would have a friendly relationship, that maybe they would have kids for our kids to play with, those sorts of things...hoping that I could somehow be a witness for Him to them. It turns out that a family moved in there that had 3 children, and their youngest was between Logan and Hailey in age. The kids became close friends during the time we lived there. That little girl was at our house quite a bit; I even babysat for her and her middle brother for a short time. She attended VBS with us once and church sometimes, and occasionally we went to visit with her mom or her mom with us. I feel that God answered my prayers. I don't know what kind of impact our friendship had on that family, but for me I have great memories. I feel as if that little girl is part of my family and I miss her now that we're not there. I actually still have contact with her occasionally.

I'm telling about all this so that I can say how blessed by God I feel. He is in the details of our lives...if we just look and see....we can 'taste and see that the Lord is good'...

I feel blessed for many reasons...we have a beautiful home, Karl has an excellent job where he is recognized for the great work he does and it provides a good income for our family, I have been given a husband who loves me no matter how little I deserve him...all these are blessings from my Father in Heaven...because He loves me even though I don't deserve His love! One thing I am feeling blessed about at this moment is our neighbors. God lead us to this home, even after we quit searching, and it is perfect for us. Plus, there are children right next door that our kids can play with that are their ages. I am so impressed with the manners of these children...they are so polite, always speaking to me and asking how I am when they see me. I've been around lots of polite kids, but have never had them asking me personally how my day has been. I've also seen my share of bad-mannered children, and these kids far outshine them! Again, when we were searching for a home here, it was my prayer that we would have good neighbors, find a good neighborhood, that there would be neighborhood kids for our kids to play with...and God has so answered my prayers! The neighbor kids are outside right now helping our kids shovel our driveway...can you believe it?! I sent all 3 of ours out to shovel the driveway and walkway before Karl gets home, telling them they had to finish before they could play with the neighbors. Well, when the neighbors came out our kids told them "we just have to finish the shoveling first" (I happened to be standing at the door at the time). What was the neighbor boy's response? Did he run off and play, telling them he'd see them when they were done? No!! He asked if they needed a little help, grabbed our last shovel, and began shoveling our driveway with my three kids! Now I'm really impressed, and blessed to have such a great example living right next door. I'm sure both kids have their own issues, as all kids (and adults) do, but I'm very pleased at what God has done here. He placed us in the perfect house for us, in a great neighborhood, with neighborhood kids to play with...He's answered my prayers and I'm so grateful. I'm counting my blessings today...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a good day. We (Karl and I) woke up to watch a beautiful sun rising over the snow-covered field from our kitchen windows. It was a cold day (29 degrees) but sunny and wonderful. The kids and I got some school work done, but had to end early to have lunch then head out to their first day of home school bowling. I decided to sign them up because we can pay by the week, and don't have to pay if we don't attend. This gives us some flexibility in the coming weeks, as I don't like to drive in the snow and with the baby's arrival quickly approaching we may have to miss some classes. This way we can attend when the weather is good, but not lose money if we don't go due to weather conditions. It provides the kids with some welcome social interaction with their friends (and me some interaction with the moms!) as well as some needed physical activity. They had a great time....and Corbin had the high score for the day with 87 points...way to go buddy! They arrange the children by age into teams. Corbin is with the 5-8 year-olds and Logan and Hailey are with the 8-16 year-olds, though the kids on their team are all between 8 and 11. They met some new people, so that's a good thing.

Shortly after we got home the neighbors came to ask our kids to play outside with them. So, they spent the last of the daylight hours sledding in the back yard. Apparently it is very icy out there right now, so although they use the sled they also are able to just slide down on their backs or bellies. It's kind of funny to watch, and they really have a blast doing it. I'm thinking we need to go out looking for some new sleds closer to spring when they're on sale, just so we can have more for next season. Right now they have to share one most of the time...they do fine with that, but I'd like them to each have their own. I'm looking forward to next winter when I can get out there and sled, too! ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Week

We began our new school week by reading about some health issues...health is required in this state. We have been learning all about the respiratory system and cigarette smoking, and how smoking can affect your breathing and overall health. It's been pretty interesting. My kids have never been that intrigued by smoking, they think it's gross, but I hope learning about what it can do to your body will stay with them and they will refrain from trying it themselves. We were able to see an unhealthy lung that has lung cancer, and I think for now they want nothing to do with cigarettes, second-hand smoke, etc. Next I'm thinking of covering Diabetes/Gestational Diabetes, since we are dealing with that in our family right now. We already try to eat pretty healthfully but I think learning about an issue that they need to be careful of due to genetics will help them to really understand why healthy foods are important.

We have also been making some special cards today that we'll be sending out. The kids have had fun with it and have gotten pretty creative, I think. Some of you may be receiving these cards in the mail real soon. ;)

We've just finished lunch. I'm letting the kids play while I take care of some emails and write this, then we'll get to our history and science readings, as well as the basic math and english we do each day. We've been enjoying learning all about Ben Franklin and his inventions. Next we will learn a bit more about George Washington.

I think we've finally found a church that we'll call home. We've been attending for about 4 weeks and Karl and I really like it. The music and speaking are much closer to what we were used to in Florida, and it seems there is much to get involved with if we choose. We're thinking of getting started in a home group but haven't found our place yet. So, those of you that are praying specifically for our church life, please pray that we'll find a good group where we can form great friendships and grow in the Lord. Thanks!

Other things we're doing:
  • the kids will all start in the homeschool bowling program tomorrow being held at one of the facilities here
  • Hailey begins piano lessons at the end of February (we have a piano teacher that will come to our home, plus Hailey has taught herself two short songs on the piano so we thought it was time...the boys and I may try to learn through listening and practicing with Hailey's lesson book.)
  • Registration for baseball has begun...we've decided to go with HIS baseball again because it is much less of a time commitment than the city league. It begins at the end of April.
  • We may do some activities through Camp Arrowhead again beginning in the spring...whenever the snow has pretty much cleared out.

That's all I have. I'll try to post again soon.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Meanderings after Midnight...

I am up at 1 a.m. again...I did go to bed but was unable to sleep despite being tired. Sometimes I have so many things running through my head...ADD anyone?

Karl and I were able to go out to dinner alone tonight. We have a neighbor, 2 doors down, who has a 16-year-old daughter. When we moved in she and her daughter came over and brought us a grape pie to welcome us to the neighborhood...and those pies are to die for, by the way! Anyway, they left us their number and said to call if we needed a sitter. Of course we need a sitter...God is so good! Since moving here, in both locations, we've had available tweens/teens to sit with our kids...and we didn't have to DRIVE to pick them up. Yeah! So, I called her today and she happened to be available tonight...after 7:30. So we had a late snack and got ready to go out to a late dinner. It was so nice to just get away for an hour and a half, to sit together and talk about our day and enjoy a good meal. We tried a new place, a Mexican restaurant called Blue Cactus. It's right in the Village of Fairport...across the street from our realtor's office, actually. The food was very good, if slightly more pricey than most Mexican fare we've had. But, we got great food and service so I can't complain. I think it will be somewhere we'll go again, and Karl even says it might be a good place to take his customers.

I have been contemplating more about our home school... what type of 'curriculum' we should use, whether we should move to a more independent type curriculum or stick with what we've been doing (which involves more of my time)...that's actually one of the things 'running through my mind' tonight that was keeping me from needed sleep! I am reading many different books on homeschooling and homeschooling methods, trying to pinpoint my philosophy. It's interesting stuff. Actually it fascinates me how many ways there are to do this and how each family is different in their needs, philosophy, and methods. It's a learning process, and I have noticed that it is a constant state of learning..as is homeschooling (and life) itself. The quote I have on my blog, by G.K. Chesterton is coming to mean more to me the more I search.

The most important fact about the subject of education is that there is no such thing. Education is not a subject and it does not deal in subjects. It is instead the transfer of a way of life.

-G. K. Chesterton

When I first posted it here, it was more an ideal of what I would like education to mean to me. Now it's more of a reality. I am seeing each day that we all learn despite the curriculum I may use, and we learn best when it is something we are interested in knowing more about. Hailey can spout off facts about animals that I know I never taught her. She's learned these things from watching educational programs on the National Geographic channel, or reading about them in books, or in her National Geographic Kids magazine, or in the Ranger Rick magazine she and Logan get each month. Logan can do the same with facts about space, the planets and constellations, etc. All from watching program and reading. Though I have been working with Corbin on math and phonics, I have not gotten as much done this year as I had intended. However, he is still learning despite me and my failings. Almost daily he comes to me with new information he has acquired, either through his own thinking or with something he learned from his brother or sister. He can tell you what 4 + 4 is and I did not teach him that. He can now count to 30 (most of the time) and it's not because I have practiced with him. I will...but he is already learning these things. Amazing! Obviously there are things that each child needs guidance and help with, as do I, but it fills me with wonder how smart they are and how motivated they become to search out the answers when it is coming from themselves rather than something I have assigned. It really is a way of life...I like the way he puts it that it's a transfer of a way of life. I love that!

The kids and I actually left the house today..woohoo! It was a clear day, no snow, so I decided we needed to go to the post office, bank, and library. It was good for all of us to get out. We had a good time finding books we wanted and needed from the library. I was happy to see that each child, even little Corbin, is completely comfortable (if not completely then at least willing) asking the librarian for help in finding a book or movie. I remember being so shy as a child that I would not order an ice cream from the window at Dairy Queen, and calling someone (unknown) on the phone as a teenager required practicing first...even then I was shaking as I completed the call. If they get nervous they don't show it much and they surely don't let it stop them. :) I'm not sure what we've done to enable them to do this, maybe nothing. They order their own meals at restaurants too...maybe we started this at an early enough age that it's just normal for them? I'm just glad that they don't have the same hang-ups I did as a child...it can only help them in this life.

I have to say I am so looking forward to spring. We have only had 1 official month of winter, but we've had a lot of snow and VERY cold temperatures already...I'm looking ahead to the thaw. We're going to start planning the garden; yes we're going to try to have a real garden this year. I am also going to begin looking into which field trips we need to take. It's important to take advantage of the nice weather when we have it, because there is not a lot we can do right now unless I want to drive in the snow...I do not. Here are some ideas:
  • u-pick strawberries (this summer)
  • visit the sheep farm that is right down the street from us
  • visit the Dairy in Pittsford
  • visit the Longhouses that are around from the Indian villages
  • go to Auburn, NY to visit Harriet Tubman's adult residence
  • take the kids out to Lake Ontario...we still haven't been with them
  • possibly get passes to Seabreeze ( a local water/amusement park)
  • sign the kids up for VBS
  • possibly canning some veggies if our garden does well
I'm not sure what else we might do. Sometime this summer we hope to travel to AL to visit family, and possibly to FL to visit family and friends. We would also like to spend some time in GA at my in-laws' cabin on the river. However, we may not have the time to do all those things. We'll see...I'm just in the pondering stage right now.

It seems I've meandered enough. I think I've gone off on enough tangents that all of you must be completely and thoroughly lost by now! Good luck finding your way back...I know I need it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Visit to OB

I had another visit to the OB on Wednesday. My blood sugars had been well within the required range (60-95 in the morning and below 140 1 hr. after a meal) the entire week since I saw the nurse. I took my level sheet with me so I could show the doctor. He said the numbers look very good...he was pleased. He also listened to the baby's heartbeat and said it's a rate of 140, so she's very happy and doing well. My weight was down by about a pound...I know the goal isn't really to lose weight in pregnancy, but at this point I think they were happy because I was gaining too quickly. With the special 1800-calorie 'diet' I'm on now we should be able to control that much better until the birth. And supposedly, the gestational diabetes will go away shortly after the birth.

Now, I did not think before I found out I have developed gestational diabetes, that I was feeling poorly. I just thought the aches and pains I was feeling were normal...I have done it 3 times before after all! However, over the last week I have begun to feel better. I am not as uncomfortable, I had a foot that was swelling and that is much improved, just in general feeling good. My blood pressure was higher (not high) at my previous visit...I think it was 130/90...which is a good bit higher than is normal for me. At the visit this Wednesday it was 106/60...so much better. Apparently, a development in pregnancy that can stem from gestational diabetes that is left untreated is pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure with possible resulting seizures), so I am glad we found out and both the sugar levels and blood pressure are under control.

I still don't know how big the baby actually is. At this point she's supposed to be around 3 lbs. I anticipate having another ultrasound within the next several weeks to check the size of the baby. We're hoping for a 'normal' sized baby instead of one as large as Corbin (9.5 lbs.) because his was a difficult delivery for both Mom and baby. I'd love to have a baby that doesn't have to be whisked away to the nursery or NICU! However, we are so thankful that God has taken care of each of our children during their births, providing just the right doctors when needed. He's brought us through some scary experiences, for sure. And I feel confident that no matter what happens with this delivery He will do the same.

I've begun researching pain medications that can be used during the birth. With Logan and Hailey I had something called Stadol...this allowed me to rest a bit between contractions, but I could still feel them. It helped some and I was able to have a normal delivery. However, Corbin's birth moved so quickly, I was unable to have any sort of medication for pain relief. It was actually on order and never made it to my room before he was born. My memories of that one are not as pleasant....it was definitely very painful, and I'm sure more so due to the shoulder dystocia issue. So, I've been looking into what is available as well as reading up on epidurals and cesarean deliveries. I don't know what type of delivery I'll end up having, but I want to be informed. It makes me feel better to know what my options are. I expect to speak to the doctors over the next weeks to find out what they recommend and decide from there.

That's all I have now for an update. I'll post more once I see the doctor again.

In other news, Logan celebrated his 11th birthday yesterday. It does not seem like he should be that old already! He made his own cake (while I looked on) and we celebrated with Dad after dinner. We did let him open his gifts after his requested waffle breakfast, so he spent all day building the various Lego and Bionicle toys he received. I think he had a good day. Next is Hailey's birthday on Tuesday...the ripe old age of 9!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Prayer for friends...

I just want to pop in here and tell you all of a prayer need. Karl has some colleagues, Jon and Marissa Rust, from Florida that he spent much time working with while there, and he became good friends with. We've just found out that Marissa and Jon are in CA; Marissa is scheduled for brain surgery on January 20. I do not have all the knowledge or information I would need to explain the disease but here is a link to their blog. Please read about what is going on with them and pray as you feel led. They will be away from home for several weeks it looks like, and Marissa's parents are flying over from Hawaii to be with them during this time. Thanks for giving your time for this.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pregnancy update...

I've spent the last week traipsing back and forth between doctors, labs, and dieticians. Now I have the information I needed to be able to tell you all about it. Around 26-28 weeks in a pregnancy, the doctors typically have expectant women take a 'sugar' test. This just consists of going to the lab, having blood drawn, drinking a sugary drink, then having more blood drawn in an hour to find out how the drink affected your blood sugar. The purpose of this little test is to find out if the expectant mom has developed Gestational Diabetes during her pregnancy. There are several factors that can affect the development of the disease. Some of the reasons a woman is at higher risk for developing this disease are:
  • over the age of 25
  • having given birth to a baby over 9 lbs. previously
  • having a family member (mom or dad) with Type 2 Diabetes
  • having weighed over 9 lbs. herself at birth

There are other factors too, but I can't name them all. See the link to find out more about the disease.

I have all of the above risk factors, although I did not develop the disease in any of my previous pregnancies. However, when I took my test last week, it came back a bit high. After spending 3 hours doing the fasting test on Saturday, I received a call from my nurse yesterday to tell me that I do in fact have Gestational Diabetes. So, they referred me to Highland Diabetes Healthsource Center at Highland Hospital in Rochester. I saw a dietician today, and a nurse. They went over all my risk factors, how this will affect me and the baby, and what and how much to eat each day. They also gave me a machine to check my levels and strips that go with it. I will be checking my blood sugar levels about 4 times per day, and reporting to the nurse once per week...just to keep track of the numbers to be sure they do not need to intervene any further. It will be difficult at times I'm sure, because I do love my carbs. However, it doesn't seem as if I will feel deprived. I can still have anything I want to eat, just in controlled portions and it must fit within my caloric goals. Sweets will have to be eaten sparingly, which is probably going to be good for all of us anyway.

I just wanted to let everyone know the latest. Things should be fine. I feel I have a good handle on what I need to do now. If there are any other developments I will be sure to inform you all. I hope things are going well for everyone. Take care...I'll try to post again soon.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Looking ahead to 2009...

Well, we're a few days into the New Year now, and I've been considering what my goals might be for the year. I don't normally make 'resolutions' but I do think it's good to look ahead and try to plan out what might be some realistic goals to meet; what I want to accomplish in the months to come. So here are a few things I'm looking at for our family:

Educational goals
  • begin phonics instruction with Corbin
  • continue to work on Hailey's reading (improvement)
  • make sure Logan begins learning to write a paper (essay)
  • continue to educate myself about homeschooling, and anything else I have an interest in
  • (Karl) continue in classes for Masters....to be completed by March 2010

Spiritual Goals

  • continue to improve my own relationship with the Lord...through Bible reading, church attendance, prayer, and praise
  • do more Bible study/devotions with the kids apart from our school time
  • continue to read the Bible with Karl to improve our marriage relationship in the Lord

Physical Goals

  • make necessary dietary changes to continue with a healthy pregnancy
  • eat healthfully and begin anew an exercise routine to lose the 'baby weight' after the birth
  • find fun ways to get the whole family outside and moving...such as wrestling classes, swim lessons, soccer, baseball, etC.

These are just a few of the things I want to accomplish in 2009...there are many things that need to be done. I thought the above were the most important in each area. I plan to look at this list often to remind myself of where we need to be heading.

What are your goals for the year?