"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Pictures

This was quite an event-filled year for us - our first with Marley (since we got her for Christmas last year), we fostered Bamm Bamm and Peanut, we welcomed another nephew into the world, went on a couple vacations, and now we're expecting a baby of our own. Unfortunately, some of our best pictures from this year include Bamm Bamm and Peanut, so I can't post those...but hopefully the ones you do get to see will be a pretty accurate description of our exciting year.
 Seriously, could she be any cuter??
At the Strawberry Festival
 New Orleans Hornets game
Max and Marley are so cute together 
 And I'm very thankful that Marley is good with kids :)
 My loves :)
 Ziplining in Branson
Peanut's birthday party
 Our nephew! Dominic 
 Logan is a proud godfather :)
 Dominic with his parents and godparents
 Goofing off on the beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina
 Hilton Head Island
 Max loves his little brother!
 Our baby :)
 My parents' dog likes to take Marley's bed when they visit
It's been a great year - can't wait for 2012! Happy New Year everybody!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Our little saint in heaven

I'm pleased to report that Logan and I survived on Thursday. Logan was extra paranoid that something was going to happen with this pregnancy, and I did have my tearful moment when looking at Levi's pictures and ultrasounds, but overall, it was a good day. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

I'm realizing that it'll always be a bittersweet day, because as much as we wish Levi were here with us, we know he's in heaven - which is just so much better. I thought being pregnant this year would make things easier, but it really didn't. We are beyond thankful to still have this baby with us, but it doesn't change the fact that we didn't get to see our first baby grow up. And it scares the heck out of me to think that we might not get to see this second baby grow up either. I know things are looking much better this time around, and I'm grateful...but anybody who has lost a baby will tell you that the possibility of losing another is always on their mind. Maybe that will change once we have a successful pregnancy...but what won't change is how much we miss our son.

It'll never cease to amaze me how much I miss a baby that I carried for just 5 months. I'm already in love with this baby too, and it's only been 3 months. I don't know what we're going to do when we get to hold a healthy baby in our arms. It makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We'll never forget

Logan and I had a really enjoyable Christmas. But I'm not going to lie, we both couldn't help but think about 2 years ago. I was pregnant with Levi, we had a wonderful 1st Christmas together as a married couple, and it was so exciting to think that the following year we'd get to celebrate the holidays with a baby.

Never in a million years did we think 4 days later, we'd be in the hospital, holding our son and having to let him go. I still can't even think about it without getting emotional.

Here we are, 2 years later, and things are feeling eerily similar. I'm pregnant again (15 weeks this time as opposed to 22 weeks last time), we celebrated Christmas at home just like last time, and heck, even the New Orleans Saints are having a similar season as they did 2 years ago - NFC South Champs, and assuming they win on Sunday, they'll have the same record. Hopefully they'll win another Superbowl too. :)

Let's just pray the big difference is that I'm not in the hospital until June, this time with a much better outcome. We're trying not to think about it, but it's hard not to with all the similarities. I really miss Levi -always will - but we feel abundantly blessed to have this baby with us now. If there's anything we learned from losing Levi, it's to enjoy the time you have with what you've been given.

1 Corinthians 7:24- In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Week 14

Yesterday I saw Dr. C (high-risk doctor) for the first time since the cerclage. Although my cervix is actually dilated 3mm (not cm, whew), the stitches should prevent it from opening any more. Dr. C said everything looked good, so I'm fine with that. For the next 2 weeks, I have to take progesterone pills everyday, and then I'll start taking those fun progesterone shots. I'm not sure how that's going to go along with work, since I need to go to Dr. C's office every week just to get a shot. Not the most convenient thing in the world, but I'll do what I have to.

Oh, and I actually thought to ask what the progesterone was for exactly, and it's supposed to help my cervix. Once she saw that my cervix was slightly open, Dr. C said I needed the shots. They don't work until 16 weeks or so, which is why I'm taking the pills until then. Just in case you wanted to know. ;)

I saw Dr. H afterwards, as I always do, and I'll see him again in 2 weeks after my first progesterone shot. I won't see Dr. C for another 4 weeks, even though I'll be going to her office a couple times before that. But that's totally fine by me, because it must mean things are looking good so she doesn't need to see me as often.

Now for the fun part! Ultrasound pictures. :)

The first one isn't the best shot, because the baby was laying sideways or something.
The next one makes me laugh (other than the fact that the baby looks like an alien), because the hands are behind the head while the baby was sleeping. Talk about relaxing all cool!
And this one is my favorite, because it's 4D and you can see the features more. My little baby :)
I'm thrilled that things are looking good, and I'm also thrilled that my morning sickness is FINALLY easing up. Just in time for Christmas, which is what I was hoping for!

Monday, December 19, 2011

So blessed!

Dr. H checked my cervix this morning, and it's closed and the stitches are intact. He said he's glad we did the cerclage, and after my exam, he said he's happy. So I'm happy too. :) We also heard the baby's heartbeat, which of course is my favorite part. Dr. H didn't want to do an ultrasound today since I see Dr. C on Wednesday and she's going to do one then.

I was actually able to go to work after my appointment, and I have to say I was totally overwhelmed with the number of people who said they've been praying like crazy for me and my baby, and that they will continue to pray. I have the best coworkers ever.

Dr. H did say to avoid prolonged standing and lifting, and I still need to take it easy. Logan has already decided that I'll be on bedrest when I get off work each day. But that doesn't surprise me. ;)

God is so, so good. Thanks again for all of your prayers and words of encouragement!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ultrasound pictures! Finally

I'm getting close to the 14 week mark, and these are from 11 weeks and 12 weeks. They're the most updated pictures I have though, since they didn't do an ultrasound at the hospital on Monday. First up is our baby at 11 weeks!
Dr. C gave me this next one in 4D (also 11 weeks) once she put me on bed rest so I would be motivated by looking at my "gummy bear." I thought that was pretty funny, since our baby does look like a gummy bear at this point. Still cute, though.
And this last one is from my 12 week appointment. The baby was moving all over the place, which was pretty cool.
Although it is a bit inconvenient to see my doctors every week or two (well, when I'm working anyway), I do have to say it's pretty awesome to see my baby via ultrasound this often. I love seeing how much difference there is week to week! Go back and look at week 6 and week 9 and you'll know what I mean. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Waiting with God

My follow-up with Dr. H was scheduled for this afternoon, and I was planning to go back to work on Monday. Well. My doctor is out sick today, so I had to reschedule my appointment for Monday.

I know there are worse things in life, but man...I'm pretty bummed. Not only am I anxious to see if everything is okay (you get addicted to hearing a baby's heartbeat, not going to lie), I am also so ready to get out of this house. And I was looking forward to going back to work since next week is a short week because of Christmas.

I'm trying to enjoy this time, because I'm pretty sure it's going to be the most peaceful time in my life for quite awhile, but some days it's hard. I can't clean, exercise, or do much of anything (doctor's orders), so laying down all day makes me feel pretty unproductive.

It's going to be so worth it in the end, I know. And I've been trying to remind myself of something I read a couple of days ago...that we need to wait with God and not wait for God. There's a big difference...

2 Samuel 22:31- God’s way is unerring; the LORD’s promise is tried and true; he is a shield for all who trust in him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yeahhh, second trimester

We're home now, and boy, I am so thankful that it's over. I don't remember the last time I got that nervous for something.

Right before the cerclage, Dr. H checked my cervix and said there was a lot left and that it was a good thing. There weren't any problems with the procedure itself. Honestly, the worst part about the whole thing was getting the spinal anesthesia, which is similar to an epidural. First off, it hurt, and second, I didn't like not being able to feel or move my legs for a few hours. So, so weird.

I was told to expect a little bleeding and cramping the next couple of days, which is pretty nerve-wracking because those are the same symptoms for a miscarriage. But I am very relieved to report that I really haven't had to deal with that. Some women have it and others don't, so I'm one of the lucky ones. Thank you, Jesus.

This week Dr. H told me to take it easy, and I have an appointment with him on Friday to make sure everything looks good before I go back to work. I guess you can say I'm on a modified bed rest, because although I still need to stay off my feet for the most part, I can still walk around the house if I need to. Logan has banned me from doing certain things, though, like walking up the stairs. I haven't seen my bedroom in almost 2 weeks, and it doesn't look like it'll happen soon. I sure do miss my bed.

While at the hospital, I got a progesterone shot, and Dr. H said I'm a candidate to get the shots weekly once I'm 15 or 16 weeks. I didn't ask what they were for -silly me - but after doing some research, it looks like the prosterone is supposed to keep me from going into premature labor. Whatever works, I guess - it just stinks because the shots are given in your bottom, and I'm still very sore from the shot yesterday. Like, I have trouble walking. TMI, I know...sorry. But at least now you can pray for me and my sore butt, because I would love to be able to walk like a normal person again.

I think that's enough details for one day, don't you think? ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Irony and success

My cerclage went well! We're still at the hospital, so details will come later, but I just wanted to let everyone know things are good. Dr. H should be coming by in a little bit to talk, and hopefully we'll be heading home before it gets too late.

Let me just say that irony seems to be a frequent part of Logan's and my life together. Because we are most definitely in the same exact room we were in 2 years ago. AND we have the same nurse (who totally remembered us, by the way). WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

We can't really complain, though, because our nurse is really good, and it was actually pretty cool already knowing her and having her know our history.

Thank you again for all the prayers. We love you all!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Yes, I'm nervous

65 hours until my cerclage. Yes, my husband is special since he put yet another countdown on his phone. I do love him though. :)

I know I'm a nurse and everything, but thinking about the cerclage is starting to make me nervous. There's only two times (that I remember) where I was actually a patient in the hospital, and not a nurse or visitor. First time it was a quick ER trip for stitches (on Christmas day, I might add), and of course the other time was when we lost Levi. On Monday I'll be on the same unit as we were almost 2 years ago, since the procedure is done in Labor & Delivery. Maybe that's a good thing, so we can get all our negative feelings about the place out of the way. I don't know.

Dr. H said I'll be getting spinal anesthesia for the cerclage, which I'm not all excited about. But I suppose that's a small price to pay for a potentially life-saving procedure for my baby. It always goes back to that...that anything I have to go through is worth it for this little life inside me. Totally puts things into perspective.

1 Peter 3:17- For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I have good doctors. Just saying.

So, my appointments went rather well. They always do an ultrasound when I go to Dr. C's office, since high-risk doctors keep a close eye on the cervix. My cervix actually looked a little better (or so Dr. C said, it looked the same to me), but I still need a cerclage. It's a little nerve-wracking, since she told me my cervix tries to open every time I bear down. But the good news is that things haven't gotten any worse. Praise God.

Dr. H is doing my cerclage on Monday, and he's pretty optimistic about it. I just have to say that there is a chance that it won't work, but after he explained the procedure in detail, I felt better. I honestly think the worst part about it is that I have to fast after midnight the night before. That wouldn't be so bad if the procedure was scheduled in the morning...but of course it's in the middle of the day. And heck, I'm pregnant. Plus I still have the whole nausea thing going on, and if I go too long without eating, welllll...it's not pretty. But I guess in the big scheme of things, I shouldn't complain.

As of now, it looks like I'll be off bed rest after the cerclage is done. Dr. C even thinks going back to work will be okay, as long as I take it easy and sit down a lot. Thankfully I don't have a typical nursing job that requires me to be on my feet 12 hours a day. Gotta love working in a school. :)

Oh, and the baby is doing great and was totally moving all over the place. Maybe I can get Logan to post the ultrasound pictures...

Thank you all so very much for the prayers. Please also say a prayer for 2 women I know who've lost babies in the last few days. It just breaks my heart, since I know how devastating it is to lose a baby. And it's also pretty scary since both of these women had due dates in June like me.

Isaiah 55:8-9- For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor or your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tomorrow is only a day away

Oh, I hope tomorrow gets here soon. My nerves are getting worse the closer it gets, since last time I went to the doctor my world was rocked. At least this time I'm not going to the appointment alone- my mom has been here for a few days and is going with me. Whew.

Today makes 12 weeks in my pregnancy. Last time I was pregnant I breathed a sigh of relief at this point, since I know the chances of miscarriage go way down.

Needless to say, I'm not sighing with relief this time around. I probably won't be doing that with any pregnancy now until I'm actually holding a healthy baby in my arms. It kind of stinks to think about how I'll probably never have a normal pregnancy, but then I think about how some women aren't ever able to get pregnant. So I definitely know I'm blessed. It just goes to show you how everyone has their own thing to struggle with in life.

Romans 8:28-We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another daily update (I have too much time on my hands)

Dr.H called me first thing this morning- he was out of town all weekend. He thinks it's a good thing that we know that I need a cerclage now, since there was a lot of back and forth about it. I'm going to see him after I see Dr.C on Wednesday, and we'll probably schedule the cerclage then. Dr. H thinks we'll probably do the procedure on Friday or next Monday.

I wish I could see what my cervix looks like now, since I'm slightly paranoid that things could have gotten worse. It's hard not to be paranoid, with all the different things I've been feeling down there. That's part of pregnancy to begin with, but having this cervix issue makes me over-analyze every little twinge and cramp.

46 more hours until I see the doctor. Logan must be rubbing off on me.

Psalm 62:8-Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My brain needs an off/on switch

64 hours until my next doctor appointment. Logan thinks having a countdown will make time go by more quickly. I'm not so sure it works like that...

I have to say that the first two days of bed rest are the worst. There are still several moments where I feel like I'm going crazy, but trying to keep busy is helpful. I think I'll be catching up on some reading.

It is very hard not to think too far in the future. Will I make it to the cerclage? Will the cerclage work? Is this whole bed rest thing going to last longer than another week or two? HOW IS THIS ALL GOING TO END?

Oh, how I would love to turn off my brain sometimes.

It's depressing to be in the season of Advent, my favorite, and not able to go to mass. I nearly lost it this morning because I was trying to watch mass online, and it wouldn't work. SO FRUSTRATING.

All things considering, I guess you could say I'm doing alright. God gives us the grace we need, when we need it.

Romans 8:25- But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's a good thing this dog is cute

I think God wants me to work on the whole humility thing. Because I'm having to rely on other people to do pretty much everything. I'm very fortunate, though, to be surrounded with many wonderful people who are willing to bring me food and pray for our baby. Thank you, Jesus.

We've been leaving Marley in her kennel whenever I'm home by myself since I can't chase her around or let her outside. And I seriously think that it's one of the worst things about being on bed rest- I have to listen to her whimper all day because she knows I'm home. Poor puppy.

Due to Marley's frequent "imprisonment", I let her lay down with me while Logan ran a couple of errands. Everything was going really well, since she fell asleep. Then she randomly woke up and started heaving, which happens when she's about to throw up. I didn't know what to do, since I can't do any heavy lifting and wasn't about to push my 25-pound dog to the floor. I managed to put a blanket under her mouth as she threw up, but somehow I still ended up with dog puke on my hand, arm, and pillow.

Not exactly the best scenario for someone who isn't supposed to be moving. And can you believe Marley just curled up and fell back asleep on the puke-covered blanket? So I got to lay there for 20 more minutes until Logan got home to rescue me.

Did I mention that I think God is teaching me humility?

Well, the good news is that Logan came home with my early Christmas present...a Kindle Fire! It's so, so cool. And I'm actually using it now. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bed rest = insanity

It's only been one day, and I'm already losing my mind. But thankfully I have a very, very good reason for being stuck in bed all day. Dr. C even gave me a 4D ultrasound picture to look at for motivation, which is awesome, but it totally makes me cry when I look at it. I really want this baby to make it.

Now that I'm past the initial shock of the whole situation (yeah, yesterday morning was rough), I just want to share a few more details about the appointment. Dr. C also said that my placenta is over my cervix - AKA placenta previa - and that if my cervix keeps opening, I'll lose the baby. And that statement right there made me lose it because all I could think about was how we lost Levi and how I really, really don't want to go through that again.

But that's where faith comes in. God is giving Logan and myself the opportunity to cling to Him, and He's giving me all the time in the world to spend with Him. [One of the first things Logan told me when I was put on bed rest was, "You get to spend more time with Jesus. Lucky."] And I'm praying that I will be at peace with whatever happens, because ultimately God has reasons for why we're going through this.

I'm just trying to stay positive (key word is trying). Can you tell? ;)

People have been asking why we have to wait to put in the cerclage, and the reason is that the baby needs to be fully formed, which isn't until the 2nd trimester. Plus they want to make sure I don't have a natural miscarriage that can happen in the 1st trimester. It's all about the timing - you don't want to stitch up the cervix too early or too late.

Isaiah 26: 4 - Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal rock.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Week 11 - Good news, bad news

The good news: baby is doing good. I have ultrasound pictures but those will have to be posted another day.

The bad news: I'm on bed rest. I saw the high-risk OB, Dr. C, this morning and she saw on the ultrasound that my cervix is starting to open. So, for at least the next 2 weeks, I'll be laying on my back, only getting up to use the bathroom. The goal is to make it to 12 1/2 or 13 weeks so Dr. H can put in a cerclage.

Funny how life can change so quickly.

We're trying to think positive (oh, it can be so hard!). Thankfully, we found the problem early, and Dr. C thinks I'll be able to make it to get the cerclage. I don't know what will happen from there...but I'm trying not to think about that yet. One day at a time.

Of course my regular OB is out of town, which stinks, but I'm sure he'll be giving me a call once he finds out what's going on. Because he's awesome like that.

As of now, I see Dr. C in one week. Please, please, please keep us in your prayers.

Updates won't be very long since dealing with a laptop while lying flat on your back isn't the most comfortable thing in the world. Anyone want to buy me an iPad or Kindle Fire? ;)

St. Andrew, pray for us.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Give thanks


I was so going to write about the fact that I haven't thrown up since Wednesday, and that (4 days) is by far the longest time span I've gone without throwing up for several weeks. But then I threw up a couple hours ago. I blame the fact that I was in a car for 3 hours.

I was hoping the nausea was getting better, and maybe it is, but regardless, some days it is really hard to remember that it's a good thing I feel bad. If that makes any sense. However, I truly am thankful that I did not throw up my Thanksgiving dinner. :)

I'm also thankful for Logan, who is the silliest but sweetest man I know. (His Christmas decorating skills are also top-notch. Which is totally important since I'm a terrible decorator.)  I'm thankful for Levi, the son I will meet someday, and for the baby I'm praying I will meet next summer. And I can't forget about Marley, who is the cutest and goofiest dog ever. 

I'm pretty blessed. :) And now for my favorite time of year - Advent!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 - In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I knew eating that hot dog was a bad idea

When I was pregnant last time, I threw up several feet away from a toilet, and Logan has never let it go. "The toilet was right there! You couldn't have made it there in time???" Despite his complaining, he cleaned up my mess and gave me a glass of Sprite. Because he's awesome. (And in my defense, I was making my way to the toilet, but sometimes it comes faster than you're expecting.)

Well, it happened again. One of the churches we frequently attend served hot dogs after mass, and I just knew I shouldn't eat one. But heck, I'm pregnant. So I ate half of one. Everything seemed to be okay.

And then I got home and tried to take my huge prenatal vitamin. And it actually went down on the first try (which is a miracle these days due to my lovely gag reflex), but then I coughed. And I said, "Oh no." Then before I knew it, that hot dog (plus whatever else in my stomach) was all over our kitchen floor.

I wish I was kidding. The whole reason I'm even telling you my puke stories is because Logan was going on and on about how he's "going to blog about this" and I figured if I beat him to it - which isn't hard, considering he hasn't written anything in a loooong time - it'd be less embarrassing for me.

I do have to say that once again, Logan picked up my mess. And he just thought it was so funny how he opened the refrigerator door and then closed it, and in that time span I managed to make a mess of the entire kitchen.

Yep, that's how I roll.

On a more serious note, I would totally appreciate any prayers that I can actually keep down my dinner, because this seems to be happening more frequently (and I swear every other time I've made it to a toilet). I feel bad because I know I'm supposed to eat healthy, but most days I feel like crap, and then throwing up my dinner certainly doesn't help. Hopefully this will only last for a couple more weeks...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Week 9

It's amazing how much difference 3 weeks can make. Just look at our baby now! :)


The high-risk doctor, Dr. C, did the ultrasound. Everything looks good, including my cervix. I'm slightly annoyed at the fact that I've apparently been taking the wrong prenatal vitamin for 20 months. What really stinks is that I just got a refill last week that should last for 3 months, but Dr. C told me to throw them out - or give them away. Yeah, throw away $180 worth of vitamins. And then buy another 3 months worth of expensive vitamins. UGH. (Since Dr. H is AWESOME, he told me he'll track down a drug rep for free samples. Hollerrr.)

Dr. C has also apparently changed her mind about me taking Lovenox, which is totally fine. I am going to start taking some extra folic acid pills (that are also expensive...sigh) - a high dose for the next 3 weeks, and then a lower dose for the rest of the pregnancy. So, right now it looks like all I'll be taking is prenatals, folic acid, and baby aspirin. Not too bad. ;)

I saw Dr. H after seeing Dr. C, and he decided to pull out the doppler and see if we could hear our baby's heartbeat. I was a bit surprised, since I didn't realize you could hear it earlier than 10 weeks. Well. Just like our first ultrasound, we were pleasantly surprised - we heard a heartbeat! So, so cool.

The other issue is the cerclage. Dr. H still sounded like he wanted to do the cerclage at 12 weeks, although he did want Dr. C's opinion. He actually called me this evening after consulting with Dr. C, and it looks like they decided to hold off on the cerclage for now. I think the main reason is because a cerclage could cause problems if I don't actually need one. Things could change, of course, but for now they'll just keep monitoring my cervix.

All things considering, we're counting our blessings. Next appointment (with both doctors) is in 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Yay for morning sickness

One of the most frequent questions I've been getting lately is: "How have you been feeling?" Since I do have the whole nausea thing going on, with occasional throwing up (yuck!), I usually say, "Eh!" or "Not so good." And I just have to laugh because most people get really excited and say, "That's great!" Because apparently everyone thinks having morning sickness is a sign that it's a healthy pregnancy.  Regardless of whether or not it's actually true, I'm trying to be thankful that I'm feeling crappy, because it does indeed mean that I'm pregnant. That's a good thing!

I see both doctors next Wednesday, which is exciting because I get another ultrasound. But it's also not exciting because the high-risk doc will probably say it's time to start Lovenox. A lovely daily injection to add more pleasure to my day. ;)

On a completely random note - not pregnancy-related - our home development worker called me a couple days ago to give me an update on Peanut (because she's awesome like that!). He's adjusting to his new home, and although he is doing the same stuff he did with us (i.e. biting kids at daycare), Peanut is doing okay. What's really cool is that our home development worker is also the worker for Peanut's new caregivers, so she was able to fill me in on how he's doing. So hopefully that means we might get an occasional update.

"We are at Jesus' disposal. If he wants you to be sick in bed, if he wants you to proclaim His work in the street, if he wants you to clean the toilets all day, that's all right, everything is all right. We must say, 'I belong to you. You can do whatever you like.' And this ..is our strength, and this is the joy of the Lord." -Mother Teresa

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our fostering future

I know I never gave too many details about how it went when Peanut left us, and I apologize (we were leaving for vacation the next day and I needed sleep). We had been talking to Peanut about the situation for the entire week leading up to him going to a different home, so he actually handled it pretty well. He wasn't upset - in fact, I blew him a kiss when his worker was pulling out of the driveway with him in the backseat, and Peanut blew a kiss right back with a big smile on his face. 

It is hard not knowing how he's adjusted to his new home, but we've been praying for him.

People have been curious as to whether or not Logan and I are still going to be foster parents. Although things could certainly change, right now we are still open to fostering at some point in the future. But our home development worker agrees with us that taking on another foster child in the midst of a high-risk pregnancy is not the smartest thing to do. So, we still got re-certified for another year (until next October), but our worker placed us on a suspension list - or "on hold" list, whatever you wish to call it. We're going to wait until next summer - after I give birth to our baby, God-willing - to decide on if we're going to continue taking foster children. People have told me that we're not going to want to do that after we have our own child, which I know is entirely possible, but for now we're just leaving it open. We'll let God decide that for us. :)

"Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?" -St.Gerard

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Suffering is necessary

I just want to say that Logan and I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have told us they've been praying for us to conceive and will continue to pray for us throughout the pregnancy. You all are awesome.

I've been thinking a lot lately about God's timing. Even though I've always known that God's timing is perfect, there have been times in the last 2 years where I started to doubt that. And of course, God is making it very clear that His timing is indeed perfect. I don't think it's a coincidence that we decided that Peanut should be moved and then the next day we found out I'm pregnant. I also have to point out that this summer I felt like God was telling me to hold off on the fertility thing, and I didn't understand why at the time - now I know. :)

I could list more and more reasons why God's timing is just way beyond our understanding, specifically about the last 2 years of Logan's and my life, but I think you can get the point. Logan and I were just talking a few days ago about how suffering is necessary, as much as it sucks sometimes. Because there is just so much we would not have learned had we not gone through losing our son, trying to get pregnant for longer than we hoped, and fostering a 3-year old. And we can honestly say that experiencing all of that has made us more thankful for our new life growing inside me - more thankful than we could ever put into words.

St. Gerard, pray for us.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The house is quiet

Peanut moved to a different home today. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. There's feelings of guilt and worry, and then feelings of relief. So I don't know. It is very strange to go from 3 people and a dog to 2 people and a dog. The house is much quieter.

I don't know what else to say about it (probably because it's past my bedtime), but I'm sure something will come to mind soon enough.

Keep praying for the little fella.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The baby dot

My first OB appointment was yesterday. Dr. H wasn't sure if we should do an ultrasound, since it's early and it wasn't a guarantee that we'd see anything. He didn't want us to do an ultrasound, see nothing, and then have me worry when everything could be completely fine. Well, we did an ultrasound anyway, hoping we'd get lucky. And we did!

I'm 6 weeks along, and the ultrasound tech said that it was probably the earliest we would have seen anything. Pretty cool, huh? I know the baby just looks like a dot but I'm still excited.

After going over what happened in my last pregnancy, Dr. H told us (my mom and Logan were there) that he's considering doing a cerclage when I'm around 12 weeks. That's basically where they stitch the cervix closed so it can't dilate prematurely. It's certainly possible that an incompetent cervix caused me to lose the baby last time, so I think he just wants to play it safe. Totally fine by me!

I see the high-risk OB, Dr. C, in 3 weeks. She's going to do another ultrasound then. I'm stopping by Dr. H's office right after to talk to him about everything. It looks like the next 8 months will be one appointment after another. But I am totally okay with that - I just hope it's worth it and we'll have a cute baby to hold next summer. My due date is June 19, by the way. :)

To change subjects, we found out that Peanut is indeed being moved on Friday. I'm starting to feel guilty about giving up on him, but I know I can't do this anymore. So it's a weird situation. And I don't think Peanut really grasps the fact that he's not going to be living with us in 3 days. I'm afraid it's going to hit him like a brick wall once he gets to his new home.

Romans 8:18 - I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The final week

Peanut will be gone by Friday. And as much as that thought makes me sigh of relief, I'm also worried. It's one thing to say you can't handle a foster child anymore, and it's another thing to actually have to give him to someone else.

In just 3 months (can you believe it's been that long???), Peanut became part of a family - with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I'm not sure how his life was before he came to us, but I can say with confidence that he's been surrounded with loving people during the time he's been here. Thankfully, Logan and I are blessed with family and friends that support us in this crazy fostering thing.

Since we know Peanut is leaving at some point this week, we've started to talk to him about it. The first time we said anything, he immediately started talking about going back to "Nana's" house (yeah, remember her?). And then when we told him he was going to a different house and not Nana's, Peanut started pouting and said, "I want to stay with youuuu."

Oh dear. Another thing that worries me is how my nephew is going to handle it. Peanut and Max have become best friends, and the fact that they're the same age makes the situation completely different than when Bamm Bamm left and Max asked about "the baby".

I know I shouldn't stress myself about all of the details, but I can't help it. Like I've thought before, I never really saw Logan and myself with Peanut forever, but I could never see us giving him back either. Even though I know we're doing what is best, it's still hard. This kid calls me Mommy, and in a few days he won't be here. And chances are we won't know how he's doing or what kind of situation he's in. That's probably the hardest part - not knowing anything. We were fortunate with Bamm Bamm.

One thing is for sure - we'll be praying for Peanut for the rest of our lives.

"God wills that our desire should be exercised in prayer, that we may be able to receive what He is prepared to give." -Saint Augustine

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm trying to be lazy

I'm getting less and less sad about Peanut leaving. I know that sounds terrible, but seriously. This kid is just out of control. Sigh. Please pray for him.

I must have the word FRAGILE stamped on my forehead. Nobody (at work, specifically) will let me do anything once they find out I'm pregnant. And pretty much everyone is telling me to take it easy and not to do anything strenuous. Not that I'm complaining, though...Logan cleaned the house for me on Monday. Heck yeah. I'm really trying to take it easy - you know, by laying down on the couch A LOT - but sometimes it's hard when you have a 3-year old throwing a tantrum and getting into everything, and a puppy chewing on everything. And sometimes both the kid and the puppy are trying to climb in my lap while I eat.

Just so you know, I literally JUST chased Marley around because she stole my shoe and ran off with it. Yep. I don't know what I'm going to do if my doctor ever puts me on bedrest. At least we won't have a 3-year old running around by then.

Psalm 124:8 - Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm not stressing...yet

People are pretty much assuming that Logan and I are both excited and freaked out all at the same time about our big news. And that's somewhat true. Yes, the thought of losing another baby is frightening, but at this point, we really just feel blessed and thankful that we were able to get pregnant again. Because no matter what happens, we still have 2 children. I'm sure Levi is the happiest kid in heaven right now.

I'm not that far along at all in the pregnancy, and I know a lot of people wait until they're past the first trimester to spread the news. But there is no possible way Logan and I would be able to wait that long. Besides, new life is always something to be celebrated!

On Friday, Dr. H (my OB/GYN) called me to see what the hematologist said. [Seriously, he's the best doctor.] After I explained how the appointment went, Dr. H asked me, "So what's the status on you trying to get pregnant?" To which I had the pleasure of telling him that I'm actually pregnant. He was pleasantly surprised and said he's looking forward to seeing me at my first appointment. Which is on October 24th, by the way. :)

There is no doubt in my mind that Logan and I made the right decision about having Peanut moved. As Logan loves to tell people, I'm "very hormonal." And that means I have no patience. At all. Thankfully, Logan is wonderful and has taken over dealing with Peanut for the most part. But that makes me feel bad because Logan doesn't have all the patience in the world either (sorry, babe). I think the only thing that is getting us through each day is knowing that Peanut isn't going to be with us much longer. I'm starting to wonder how the heck we made it this long.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more...It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events." -Melody Beattie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Never thought I would say this

A lot has happened in the last few days, so this may be a long entry. But you will definitely want to read the entire thing - trust me.

Tuesday night was when Logan and I decided we were done with Peanut, unless they could offer help - because with all of his issues, Peanut needs some kind of services. I finally talked to his worker Wednesday morning and explained how we felt. I insisted that they get him some help or we were done, because thinking about Peanut growing up doing the same things just flat out scares me. And if he doesn't get help now, well...I don't want to imagine that.

Peanut's worker didn't know what to do or what to tell me, so she said she'd talk to her supervisor and see what they could come up with. She promised to call me back. But of course I didn't hear from her for the rest of the day.

That afternoon (Wednesday), I actually saw the hematologist (I'm still amazed they fit me in that quickly). After hearing my story and looking at my records, Dr. B agreed with the high-risk OB/GYN I saw back in the day who insisted I take baby aspirin daily and then whenever I'm pregnant, to take a daily Lovenox shot (blood thinner). Dr. B did not think I have a bleeding issue, and she didn't really think I have a clotting issue either - but considering I already lost one baby, she strongly encouraged anticoagulation therapy (aspirin and Lovenox) for future pregnancies. Even though I didn't find out anything new, I'm still glad I saw the hematologist because I've never been 100% sure about what the high-risk OB/GYN had told me - so having a second opinion put my mind at ease.

When I got home from the appt., I decided to take a pregnancy test. Logan and I still have trouble believing it, but...the test was positive! After a year and a half of trying, I'm pregnant. Oh.my.goodness. You have no idea how excited we are.

Considering my pregnancy is high-risk, Logan and I decided it was best to have Peanut moved to a different foster home, regardless of if we were offered any help. I just cannot be under that kind of stress right now. And after talking to his worker yesterday afternoon (finally), we probably would have made that decision anyway (having him moved), because they basically aren't able to do anything to help Peanut. That makes me so unbelievably mad. This kid needs help and they're not doing anything. Ugh.

They are currently finding a new home for Peanut, which could take a couple weeks. Logan and I are praying that they can find a home who is better able to deal with Peanut's issues than we are. I am a little sad knowing he's not going to be with us much longer, but whenever he throws a fit or is downright defiant - which happens way too often - I'm reminded that it's for the best. My mind and body can't take that stress right now.

There's lots more I could say - about Peanut and being pregnant - but I'll leave that for another day. In the meantime, please pray for Peanut and his future, as well as our baby and the pregnancy.

Whew. It's been quite a week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We're at that point


I'm sure you all think I sound crazy by now - one day I'm talking about how Peanut's behavior is TERRIBLE and the next day I'm convincing myself that things aren't as bad as they used to be.

Well, here I go again.

For reasons unbeknownst to us, Peanut has been rather difficult for the last few days. I seriously did not know a 3-year old was capable of this amount of anger and emotional instability. And for those of you who do not believe me, come live with us for a day. You'll see. (Although maybe not to the extent that Logan and I have the pleasure of witnessing, because Peanut always seems to be a tad bit better when other people are around.)

Today at daycare, he did pretty much everything - bit a child, hit his head on the wall, threw furniture everywhere, and even tried to strangle a child. Things didn't get much better when I brought him home. I literally - and I mean LITERALLY - took almost everything out of his room because he had that much rage. He was throwing things and knocking things over - the rocking chair and bookshelf are only 2 examples - and he was at the point where he doesn't respond to any type of discpline. (As foster parents we are not allowed to use corporal punishment, and that probably would have been the only effective discipline. Sucks for us.) Thankfully Logan got home 10 minutes later and took over. He's been having a lot more patience than me lately.

Logan and I have decided that whenever we get a hold of Peanut's worker - I called her earlier but no answer - we will request IMMEDIATE help (psychological, emotional, SOMETHING)....or we are done. As in, we're requesting them to remove Peanut from our home.

When we got into this whole foster care thing, I told myself we would never give up on a child. Never. But I really, really can't do this anymore. Peanut has way too many issues, and I don't feel like we're getting any help from the agency. This weekend Logan and I had his parents babysit Peanut while we went to a party for a couple of hours (even though children were welcome), and we both realized how much happier we were not having him around. We also had a conversation about how neither one of us feels much of a connection with Peanut the majority of the time. So basically the past 2 1/2 months have felt like a 24-7 babysitting job. Not cool, my friends. Not cool.

I do have to say that my heart is torn about Peanut leaving us because I know he does like us. But I'm praying that if he does leave, that there will be an even better foster home out there for him. Right now I don't think it's us.

Prayers for us, especially Peanut, are greatly appreciated. We still never heard anything back about Peanut going back to his previous caregivers, so we're assuming it's not going to happen. Not that it really matters right now, anyway.

Blessed Mother, pray for us.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The joys of waiting

We haven't heard anything about Peanut's future. Logan called the agency office, but they didn't find out what the judge decided. The wait is killing me.

On Monday, I decided (randomly) to call my doctor (Dr. H, let's call him) and see why he hadn't gotten back with me. It turns out that he had surgery and had been out for a few weeks, and Monday was his first day back. Ironically. (He hadn't forgotten about me, yay!)

Dr. H referred me to a hematologist - well, technically she's an oncologist, but apparently the two go hand in hand. I've spent all week trying to get a dang appointment scheduled with this doctor, and it's taking an act of congress. I would love to explain but I feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it. Let's just say that I'm hoping by Christmas it'll happen. Ha. I guess it's a good thing I decided not to wait on this whole thing.

"If we are to trust God, we must learn to see that He is continuously at work in every aspect and every moment of our lives." -Jerry Bridges

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tug o' war

I know I talked about Peanut taking a million steps back, but he really has gotten much better overall. His daycare people say he's a different kid. And I know that. Sometimes it's just easy to forget when Peanut is throwing a huge temper tantrum or tries to scratch or pinch me.

Today, we found out that Peanut could possibly be going back to his previous caregivers (not his mother...I know, it's complicated). A decision is supposed to be made this week. Logan had gotten a phone call about it, and when he told me, I wanted to cry. I know we're still not sure about the whole adoption thing, but Logan and I both agree that Peanut does not need to go back to these people. He's come too far and made too much improvement to be thrown back into that environment.

And even though Peanut drives me nuts sometimes, I would still miss him if he left.

But like Logan reminded me, God is in control. Please pray that His will be done (and that we're okay with it!).

Philippians 4:6-7 - Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

So much for that...

I was going to write about how Peanut and I had a pretty good evening together yesterday (Logan was filming a wedding), and how this past week we've noticed much improvement in Peanut's behavior.

And then today happened.

It seriously feels like every time we think things are getting better, Peanut takes a million steps back. He's been crying for about 2 straight hours. And he's probably done everything but punch a hole in the wall in his room (well, maybe I should go check...). It really reminds me of the day I wanted to quit. But I think Logan and I are both too tired to let it get to us the way it used to. If that makes any sense.

I knew kids could be stubborn, but MAN. Peanut wins the grand prize for sure. When he doesn't want to do something (i.e. clean his room), he fights it. Like today. It is very obvious that his caregivers before us let him do whatever the heck he wanted.

People can be so ignorant. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

1 Peter 4:19 - Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God's will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fertility update (kind of)

This won't seem like a fertility update. But it's the closest I'm going to get...

I think I've only mentioned it briefly once or twice, but at the end of July I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. Recovery was a bit difficult, since all of my teeth were impacted, and I have a small mouth. I even have a lovely scar on the corner of my mouth where the dentist accidentally cut me during the surgery due to me having a small mouth.

A couple weeks after getting my wisdom teeth out, I was still having trouble eating, and I was still in pain. The left side of my mouth was still swollen, so whenever I ate, I was chewing the inside of my cheek. Lovely, I know. So I made an appointment with my dentist, and he said to stop chewing. (Stop chewing? Seriously?) I was on a lovely soft/liquid diet for even longer (which I mentioned during this lovely post). The swelling got slightly better, but my mouth still hurt. The following week, my mouth started bleeding a lot in the middle of the night, so I made an appointment with my dentist again. Because seriously, my mouth looked BAD. Red, swollen, and just plain disgusting. And I still couldn't eat.

One look at my mouth and my dentist immediately said that he had to remove what he initially thought was extra tissue in the inside of my left cheek. So they numbed me up right then and there, and as he started the procedure, my dentist realized the large mass in my cheek was a hematoma. Apparently it had formed slowly after my surgery. He removed it, and the entire office thought it was the most interesting thing ever - like hey, this girl just got this huge blood clot removed from her mouth, come look! My dentist even looked at me and said, "You know what? I've been practicing for a long time, and I have never seen this before." His partner agreed.

So, the reason I'm even writing about this is because my dentist made a comment about clotting issues, and I explained how I was pregnant before and lost the baby, and they thought it was a clotting problem at first. So he told me to mention it to my doctor.

The following week I called my doctor. He told me he was going to call the high-risk OB/GYN I saw way back when, and then he'd get back to me. We talked about me seeing a hematologist, but first he wanted to talk to the high-risk doctor.

Well. It's been at least a couple weeks, and I still haven't heard from my doctor. I know I could just call him back, but then I realized I won't have time to do any tests or blood work right now anyways. The whole wisdom teeth craziness made me leave work early several times already, plus I asked off for a few days for a family trip later on.

It's frustrating...because if I really do have some bleeding issue or something - that could be affecting my fertility - I want to address it. But LIFE IS TOO CRAZY. I might just have to wait until Thanksgiving or something.

So there you go. An update on my fertility (or lack thereof).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Herein lies the dilemma

Some days I really think Peanut is getting better and can see the potential in him to be a great kid. And then other days he is so defiant and his behavior is UNBELIEVABLE where I can't help but think this is hopeless.

But like his teacher reminds me, it's not his fault. Certain adults in his life did some terrible things and did not properly care for him, and that makes me very, very angry. Children are blessings, and they deserve the best that we can give them.

I have to bring up the whole adoption thing again, because it's been weighing on me lately. The last 2 months have been some of the most difficult in my life - which is saying something, considering what I went through with losing Levi. And to think about committing my ENTIRE LIFE to this child that has made life so difficult is just really hard to imagine.

But then I think about Peanut and how he really needs a stable environment with discipline, family, and friends. And if we give up on him now, there's a good possibility he will go from foster home to foster home until he's 18 years old.

I can't live my life knowing that we gave up on a kid just to make our lives easier.

But I also can't live my life on the verge of losing it every. single. day.

Am I making sense? I hope. I also hope that somehow his mom miraculously gets her act together and can care for her son. But I really don't think that's going to happen.

Philippians 2:2-3 - "Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also for those of others."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God bless daycare workers

I think I'm writing this post for myself, because it will serve as a much-needed reminder. Everyday.

Logan and I are very, very thankful that Peanut is going to a daycare that has been working along with us to improve his behavior. Before he came to us, Peanut was kicked out of his previous daycare. And I'm fairly certain that 99% of daycares would have kicked him out already - but fortunately we picked one of the few that is hanging in there. [The director used to be a foster parent. Now how perfect is that??]

Many days I end up talking to the director and/or Peanut's teacher for a good 10 minutes when I pick him up in the afternoons. Today I was talking to both of them, and his teacher brought up a few points that will hopefully help me stop and think before I blow my brains out. Some of it are things I've thought about before, but somehow hearing someone else say it made it much clearer...

Peanut has spent the last (and only) 3 years of life doing whatever the heck he wants, whenever he wants. And in the last several weeks, we've basically told him that everything he's used to doing is wrong. Can you imagine? Spending your life thinking you're running the show, and then BAM. You have two foster parents who choose to discipline you, and suddenly you're not in charge. I guess we can't blame the little guy for being overwhelmed. I really, really need to remember that when Peanut gets upset over the littlest things. Which happens all.the.time. But like his teacher pointed out, we're pretty much re-programming his brain. That's a lot for a 3-year old to handle.

Peanut is obviously trying to hold on to some sense of control. I'm totally fine with him throwing his toys all around. And he can cry his eyes out as far as I'm concerned. But the whole banging his head on the wall or on the ground...not so much. It's getting worse, so we're definitely going to address it.

And I just have to say that God showered his wonderful graces upon me this evening, and I didn't raise my voice once. It's a miracle. Things spiraled downhill as they usually do (Logan got off work late so I was by myself), but I managed to stay calm and be consistent. Amen and Alleluia.

Praise God.

"Patience, prayer, and silence - these are what give strength to the soul." -St. Faustina

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Let the good times roll

I'd have to say that Thursday was my all-time low point...if that wasn't completely obvious. I'm trying to have a more positive outlook about everything, but I just can't help but think how dang defiant Peanut can be - and it drives me nuts. People have been asking about the possibility of Peanut becoming available for adoption, and I reallllly don't want to think about that. But for those of you wondering - yes, it is very likely that he will come up for adoption. And yes, they usually expect foster parents to go ahead and adopt a kid they've been fostering. But at this point, I honestly don't know what we would do. We don't want to ship him off somewhere else, so to speak, but I also do not want to lose my sanity. Because I'm coming really, really close to losing it.

For those of you wondering about the most recent "fun" going on at our house, we caught a large mouse in our attic on Friday. Oh, the excitement keeps coming.

I'm saving the best for last - yesterday was Marley's 1st birthday. She was cute when we first got her, and she's still cute now! I love my baby.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My patience is wearing out

I would love to say that Logan and I finally got around to watching the rest of the 1-2-3 Magic DVD and that things are going beautifully. Welllll. We went on a weekend trip, then I got sick, then Peanut had major hives, and you can just see it's been another one of those fun weeks. So no. We did not watch the rest of the video. Sigh.

It's hard to say exactly how things are going with the whole discipline thing, because some days are great while others are awful. Like today. Logan left to get a haircut, and things always seem to spiral downhill when I'm by myself. I don't know if it's because I'm a female or what, but Peanut just DOES NOT LISTEN to me. Seriously. He doesn't stay in time-out, he tries to hit me, and he laughs at me.

I'm having to fight every temptation to call his worker and tell her I'm done. Maybe it's just because I was sick earlier this week and I'm still recovering and I'm just plain exhausted, but whichever way you look at it, I don't know how much longer I can deal with this.

Prayers are appreciated.

"I see that the will of God has not yet been fulfilled in me, and that is why I must live, for I know that if I fulfill everything the Lord has planned for me in this world, He will not leave me in exile any longer, for heaven is my home. But before we go to our Homeland, we must fulfill the will of God on earth; that is, trials and struggles must run their full course in us." -St. Faustina

Thursday, September 8, 2011

1-2-3 Magic

Life is a bit crazy this week, so I have to keep this short. But I just wanted to say that the whole discipline thing is getting better. Thanks to one of my wonderful aunts, Logan and I have been watching a discipline video called 1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behavior in Children 2-12. We haven't gotten a chance to watch the entire thing yet, but we have started to implement the whole "1-2-3" concept. And seriously, we're seeing a big difference in Peanut. Praise God. Logan and I already feel less stressed about everything.

The next part of the video is on the types of testing and manipulation, which will be oh so very useful, I'm sure. Because Peanut can be quite the manipulator. He's young, but he's smart. Too smart, sometimes.

Hopefully we'll keep seeing improvement. Because really, if we have more days like this, this whole fostering thing will be the death of me.

Here's to a better weekend than the last one! ;)

Blessed Mother of God, pray for us! (And happy birthday!)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I am DONE with poop

You know, I really wasn't envisioning having to pick up puke and poop throughout the holiday weekend. Yes. It's been a relaxing few days. NOT.

Peanut was complaining of his stomach hurting Friday evening, but after going to the potty a few times, I thought he was just constipated. We put him to bed, and a couple hours later, Peanut started crying. A lot. We found him in bed with puke EVERYWHERE. He threw up again yesterday morning, poor thing, but I think he's okay today. Hopefully.

Last night during the LSU game, Peanut was playing in his room. Logan went to check on him, and found baby powder all over. Our extra diapers and baby supplies are stored in one of Peanut's closets, and he discovered them. Obviously. We picked up the baby powder, thinking it was good enough, but about an hour ago we went upstairs and found baby lotion all over the walls and Desitin on Peanut's bedsheets. Needless to say, our baby supplies are now where Peanut can't get to them.

You think I'm done with the craziness? Nope.

Thanks to Tropical Storm Lee and the constant rain, we're having to let Marley outside with a big umbrella. It appears that she doesn't like to poop in the rain (who can blame her?), because we've found poop in the house twice. Or maybe Peanut's shenanigans are just scaring the crap right out of her.

And if that isn't enough (are you ready for the finale?), this morning Peanut actually played quietly in his room instead of waking us up at 6am. I woke up at 8, surprised that Peanut hadn't bothered us yet, and Logan commented, "Maybe it's a miracle day." Because Marley also had not gone bonkers in her kennel yet, which usually happens at 6am. Well. I brought Peanut to use the potty, and I noticed his underwear was on backwards - that usually happens when he uses the bathroom by himself, which is only when he wakes up before us. I asked him if he already used the potty, and he looked me straight in the eye and said, "Yeah. I made poo on the rug."

This is where I'm thinking to myself, there's no way this kid took a crap on the carpet. I called out to Logan to go check in his room, while I helped Peanut wash his hands. The look on Logan's face said it all. Waiting on the carpet in Peanut's room was a big ol' pile of...that's right. Poop.

This weekend has been a load of crap. Literally.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cry me a river

Peanut is getting better when it comes to biting himself and all of that nonsense. I think we've only had one time this week where it was an issue (hmm, maybe twice...). But like I mentioned Wednesday, he's been getting really upset lately.

This morning Logan and I were hugging each other in the kitchen. Peanut walks in, sees us hugging, and then runs into the other room crying and calling my name. We found him on the ground crying. Then a few minutes later, Logan was showing me something on his phone, so we were right next to each other. Peanut walks in the room, sees us, and then runs off crying again. He was saying "Mommy" over and over, and he hid behind a chair.

I know I've said this before, and I'll probably say it plenty more, but...what the heck are we supposed to do with that?? Peanut either (a) thinks Logan is going to steal me away from him, (b) wants my undivided attention, or (c) something else entirely (sorry, I can't think of anything else at the moment, but feel free to enlighten me with your ideas :) ).

Peanut is doing more and more of this - seeing Logan and me together, and then running off crying. We've tried talking to him about it, but some things are hard for a 2-going-on-3-year old to express/understand. This evening the same thing happened, and I told Peanut that I love him and that I love Daddy Logan (we're trying to get him to say Daddy instead of Mr.). So hopefully by reassuring him that I love them both will comfort him. It's worth a try, at least.

I guess we should be thankful that we're seeing some improvement in his behavior. Peanut still isn't listening all that well (but I guess toddlers in general are bad at that?), but at least the aggressiveness is not as frequent. Whew.

Have a good (and long) weekend! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No baby for Jen

Things have gotten slightly better than Saturday. Thankfully. To be more specific, instead of hurting himself now (i.e. biting or hitting his head), Peanut is just getting really, really upset. For no reason at all, sometimes. He runs around crying and calling my name. Since the more aggressive behavior is decreasing, maybe that means we've passed the worst of it...

I really hope so, because this girl is TIRED. Peanut is just a bundle of energy, and on the off-chance that he's not running around like little boys do, he's following me around the house saying, "Hold me, Mommy Jen. Hold me." There's only so much of that I can take.

On Monday, our home development worker called me to see if we still had Peanut, because they had a baby they were trying to place. And oh, I so wanted to tell her we'd take him! But Logan once again was the sensible one who shut down that idea really fast. I know, I should thank him.

But man, I really want a baby.
I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect. -Romans 12:1-2

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Follow through is a beast

This is the day where I seriously am reconsidering this whole fostering thing. I asked Logan earlier, "Why exactly are we doing this again?" And his smart aleck response was, "Because you wanted to!" In my defense, it was more because I felt like we were supposed to be foster parents than me actually wanting to, but I guess it doesn't really matter in the big picture.

Today was by far the most difficult day we've had with Peanut. And that's saying something, considering he bites, kicks, hits, and bangs his head on the wall. It was like he totally woke up on the wrong side of the bed...twice, because taking a 2-hour nap didn't seem to help AT ALL.

Today his new thing is to fling himself on the ground, and throw his head back - hitting it on the hard floor. On purpose. What the heck are we supposed to do with that? He's been getting upset over the smallest things, and we just don't understand it. Things just don't make sense today. We were supposed to go to a birthday party around lunchtime, but Peanut wasn't listening and even hit and pinched me - for the first time ever. So, after saying we weren't going to go unless he behaved, we decided to follow through with that and not go. Even though Logan and I were really looking forward to the party. Sigh.

We went to mass today, and you can pretty much imagine how that went. All of the older ladies tell Peanut how he's sweet and cute and everything, but like Logan and I told each other afterwards, they didn't see him roll underneath the pew just to get away from Logan's grasp. Yes. He literally rolled under the pew in front of us because he knew he was misbehaving and wanted to get away.

It could be a coincidence, but yesterday he was supposed to have one of his supervised visits. Unfortunately, a certain family member didn't show up. Of course the social worker didn't find out until Peanut was on his way, so the poor little guy is probably really confused. And he's probably mad at me because I was the one who told him he was visiting his family.

Sometimes Logan and I want to knock some sense into certain people.

I think one of the hardest things to deal with as foster parents is how you're the ones dealing with behaviors that wouldn't be a problem if previous caregivers had just dished out a little discipline. Because we know how sweet this kid can be. Logan and I are hoping this is just a typical relapse. If it isn't, well....I don't even want to think about it.

"Then Jesus said to his disciples,
'Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.'"
-Matthew 16:24-27

Friday, August 26, 2011

Some things you never forget

Today is 2 years since the day Logan and I found out we were pregnant with Levi. And I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was a Wednesday evening around 5:00pm. I had been feeling funny things in my stomach for a few days, and the week before I kept waking up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night - something I hadn't done before. We had taken a pregnancy test the previous weekend, but it was negative. Since my weird symptoms persisted, we took another test when Logan got home from work. It was a cheap one, and the positive line was very, very faint and took a few minutes to show up. Logan actually left the bathroom at first because we thought it was negative again. But then I looked at the test, saw a blue line, and ran to tell Logan. We both didn't believe I was pregnant (pessimism at its finest), so Logan actually went out and bought a more expensive test that made it really obvious that I was pregnant. We were overjoyed. And totally overwhelmed.

That same evening (right after we found out), the priest who officiated at our wedding came over for dinner. And he totally celebrated mass right in our dining room. It was seriously one of the coolest things ever - the first mass (and only, actually) that was celebrated in our home was the first mass I knew there was a baby inside me. (I'm thinking you need to be Catholic to fully understand the joy behind this. Just saying.)

We're entering the time of year where I remember all of the dates that are associated with my pregnancy. And I don't think I need to explain how difficult it is to think about, especially considering we still haven't gotten pregnant again. The pain has decreased over time, but it will never fully go away.

My precious Levi, pray for us.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I need a vacation

Well. This past week or so has probably been the most difficult since Peanut came to us. It's probably normal for a kid to seem to regress, considering all that he's been through, but man...it's exhausting. He's constantly - and I mean CONSTANTLY - wanting me to hold him. We could be in the car, at the dinner table, you name it, and he says, "Hold me, Mommy Jen!" I can't hold him 24-7, nor would I want to, obviously, but the problem is he gets really upset sometimes if I can't hold him.

The other problem is that he hurts himself - intentionally - when he doesn't get his way (including when I don't hold him). At first Peanut just bit his wrist, but it's progressed to hitting his head against the wall. Of course, that makes him even more upset than he is in the first place, so he wants me to hold him. But I don't want him to think I'm going to hold him every time he purposely hurts himself. And at the same time, I don't want to refuse to hold him and then have Peanut hurt himself even more. Talk about a catch-22.

We've been trying everything, or so it seems, and I'm very thankful that his daycare is working with us on this. Our new strategy is to give him more one-on-one time (I'm not going to lie, Logan is better at it than me), so he won't feel the need to beg for attention all the time. It's hard, though, since I already feel like I'm neglecting laundry and cleaning the house and everything. I decided to stop coaching soccer because life is busy enough already. But I know that in the end it will be worth it.

Oh, and let's not forget about Marley. As much as she loves Peanut (seriously, she's been known to run in his room and wake him up to play if we're not careful), Marley is also constantly begging for my attention. Except for when Peanut is throwing a fit - then she looks at us like she's the innocent one.

If you're ever bored, stop by our house. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"How's the baby?"

We still have people asking about "the baby" (AKA Bamm Bamm), because they don't know he's not with us anymore. It's a bit depressing to have to explain it over. and over. and over...2 months after he went back to his family. When we explain how we have Peanut now, I'm sure people must be thinking we're crazy. Like one co-worker told me today, "You fall in love all over again!" Yes, it's true. You do fall in love again. And we are crazy. But oh well.

Speaking of Bamm Bamm, we got to see him over the weekend. It seems like he's doing well, and he's still as cute as ever. We would totally take him back in a heartbeat, but we know that's not going to happen - so we're just thankful that we still get to see him.

On a completely random note, yesterday a co-worker asked if I was pregnant. Apparently, it looks like I'm pregnant (she said I had a puffy belly thing going on...). And I think that's just ridiculous considering I've lost weight after getting my wisdom teeth removed. I wanted to say, "No, I'm not pregnant, but thanks for reminding me. AND THANKS FOR CALLING ME FAT."

I'm kidding, because I totally would never say that. Instead, I just told her that I was probably bloated due to the wonderful soft/liquid diet I'm still on because my mouth refuses to heal.

And that's just a glimpse of the wonderful week I've had so far. [Please note the sarcasm.]

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just call me Mommy Jen

Peanut officially calls me "Mommy Jen" 99% of the time. He still calls Logan "Mr. Logan", though. I think little boys just like saying mommy, because when I brought him in Target the other day, Peanut kept pointing at me and telling everyone we passed, "That's my mommy." (I didn't have the heart to say anything.)

When we had Bamm Bamm, I was worried about how hard it would be for us to give him back. Now that we have Peanut, I'm still worried - but this time, I'm more worried about how Peanut will handle it. And I say that because he is older and has become more attached to Logan and me than Bamm Bamm did, even though it's only been 3 weeks. When he's not driving us CRAZY, he's constantly giving us hugs, and lately he's been crying occasionally during the night until I go in and comfort him. And when he's upset (due to him either being in trouble or getting hurt or something), he cries for "Mommy Jen" and asks me to hold him.

Even though he does have a biological mother, he sees me as his mom right now, because I'm the one doing all of the "mommy" things. I totally get that. But it's still hard to think about what will happen if/when he leaves us. The poor little guy has been through enough already. I guess it's just one of those situations where you have to trust that God will work things out for the good of all, even when it seems like someone will get hurt, no matter what happens.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without men's ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Discipline, it's what's for dinner

I just have to announce that Peanut has been PACIFIER-FREE for 3 days now. Hollerrrrr.

I also have to say that I may have made it seem like things with Peanut have been going 100% smoothly and that we have this parenting thing in the bag.

Not true. Whether it's the "terrible two/threes", or how he was raised in previous homes, or that he's just too smart for his own good, there have been several times where Logan and I have been beyond impatient with Peanut. We're both working on letting things go, because we do realize Peanut is just a kid and that he's not perfect. But boy, he really does know how to test us.

I'm starting to wonder how different it would be if it were our own child. Would we have more patience with him (or her)? Would the whole discipline thing be easier because we would have started at day one...and not day 1,000 or so? Or would it actually be harder? Perplexing questions, I tell you.

Logan and I are currently putting Peanut in time-out whenever it's necessary, but we'd love to have suggestions for any other methods that might work better - because sometimes time-out is effective, but other times Peanut totally sits there singing the "Happy Birthday" song and couldn't care less that he's in time-out. So, any suggestions would be appreciated. :)

All things considered, we are very glad that Peanut is cute and sweet and keeps us entertained. Fostering is hard, but definitely worth it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"We're heeere!"

Peanut is a trip. I guess he's gotten used to us by now, because he can be one goofy kid. And he is starting to be extremely friendly with everyone.

Yesterday, for example. We're walking into a very small church for the vigil mass, and the priest is talking to a few people in the last pews before mass starts. Peanut runs up to him, saying, "We're heeere!" and gives Father a big hug. It was super cute. Since it was a small church, though, Peanut's voice echoed. Loudly. And then he sees a man holding the tall crucifix. Peanut runs up to him, asking, "Is that a toy??" Once again, it echoed. Everyone, particularly those in the back of church, was quite entertained. Peanut was relatively quiet for the actual mass, thankfully. :)

Logan bought a slip'n'slide and a sprinkler thingy to occupy the little guy, and our neighbor came over to chat. We needed a second hose, so Peanut follows our neighbor back to his house to get one like he'd been knowing him his entire life - and not just 5 minutes.

We all walked to a snowball stand yesterday - Logan, Peanut, Marley, and myself - and Peanut was just a bit excited. A lady walked by us and he tells her, "I'm going get a snowball!" On the way back, there was a guy sitting on his porch, and Peanut yells at him, "I have a snowball!" He continues to carry on a conversation with the random stranger as we walk by, until we pass the house. Peanut makes sure to yell "Byeee!" before we turn onto our street.

Behavior issues? Okay. This kid hugs everyone he meets. He does have his moments where he doesn't listen, though (oh, does he!). And he has this annoyingly bad habit of biting his wrist when we put him in time-out (yeah, we're working on that one). But I'm convinced that most of behavior issues are because of the environment a kid is in or has been exposed to in his life. At least that's how I feel about Peanut.

Last night, we had another 3-year old over for a few hours, and the two boys got along great. And Peanut started daycare this week since I went back to work, and although I was extremely nervous (you know, about those possible behavior issues), he did really well. One of the daycare workers even told me, "He's a great kid!"

Yes indeed.

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