Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tick Treatise

Dear Ticks

I know I'm succulent. And with my extra blood volume at the moment, I probably set off your radars as soon as I venture outside. How else to explain that I can acquire 2 of you critters after a 5 min. walk outside while others have nary a tick despite spending hours outdoors?

But I have one small request: can you please attach yourself to a part of my body that is north of my belly button? Since I'm quickly losing sight of anything below my belly, it's really not fair of you to imbed yourself in an area I can't even see let alone protect. At least if you are on my torso or higher, I have a fighting chance at locating you and dislodging you before I contract Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever or the bubonic plague.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Introducing ...




Group shot

We had our 16-wk check up with the perinatologist and found out we are having two girls and a boy! Mike already is dreading the dating years and paying for 3 weddings, but overall we're thrilled. All the babies look healthy and great - even Baby A, who the dr had a slight concern about last time.

Here's a rundown of what we learned:
  • each baby weighs about 5 oz.
  • Alwanda is positioned really low right now, so dr said I am still at risk for cramping and bleeding until she moves up more in the uterus
  • Alwanda and Cletus are positioned head to head and will probably end of smacking each other a lot
  • Cletus wants all the world to know he's a boy. We didn't even have to do a btw-the-legs shot to see him waving his flag :)
  • Dr. said he will severely limit my activity in about 4 wks.
  • He also said I need to gain more weight. By week 20 I should look to be full-term pregnant with 1 baby

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dear children, I apologize in advance

It's true: you can't choose your family. Lucky for me, I wouldn't choose any other. Where else would I inherit such an anthology of family lore and stories - which I have chosen to share with you?

  • I had a great great uncle who killed his wife with a hammer
  • My grandma fell out of a moving car 
  • My grandpa had his head run over by a car; his father was driving
  • My dad once thought the best way to kill fire ants on a tree was to set the tree on fire
  • My dad also thought it would be cool to soak his hand in lighter fluid and set that on fire, too
  • My dad has seen the inside of Disney's jail; he was caught trying to steal a souvenir
  • My brother was caught ordering alcohol on a plane; he was in high school and it was a church-sponsored trip
  • My parents accidentally locked my infant brother in the car. During Mardi Gras.
  • My other brother was part of a break-dancing group. When he moved to a small country town, he told the guidance counselor about his hobby - to which she replied, "We have the rodeo here."
  • One night when I was in middle school, I broke curfew to watch Star Trek: TNG. My dad confronted me and said, "It's just a show." To which I screamed, "No it's not, and someday I'm going to be on it!!"
  • I broke my dad's hand wrestling for the remote control
  • My brother has 1 dimple, which occurred when my elbow met his face while jumping on a trampoline
  • I went to college thinking you could get pregnant by swimming in water with boys
  • My mom swore to us kids that it was safe to swim in rivers that had gators in them because "gators always stay on the riverbank."
  • The first time my husband met my family, we went skiing in a gator-infested creek. All was fun and games until a gator popped up next to my brother who was preparing to knee board. My dad gunned the engine as my bro. held on to the rope for dear life. Once we stopped, my other bro proceeded to toss bread into the water and call out "Here, gator gator." To this day Mike thinks my family is crazy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Life Lessons from Florida

  • When ordering tea at a Mexican restaurant, do not ask if they brew their tea - unless you enjoy blank stares as you try to mime brewing tea to the non-English speaking waiter
  • If your brother starts a sentence with, "Remember when I used to entertain myself in the shower ..." - run
  • Afternoon rain showers may involve hail, thunder, and wind - or a 5 min. sprinkle. Either way, you'll see some kind of precipitation when you are preparing to go swimming
  • Have an explanation prepared for when your toddler daughter points at a group of women at the beach and says, "Look, mommy! Whales!" In this instance, she was trying to say "waves."
  • I need to invest in an inventer who can create a portable personal cooling system that will aid pregnant women who are visiting hell ... I mean, Florida

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I will be right here waiting for you

A few nights ago, I dreamt Mike and I were participating in a couples retreat when the leader announced we would be hiking. I absolutely refused to go. I dug my heels in with every ounce of stubbornness I could muster and said it was the stupidest idea ever. Mike didn't comment or argue; he simply shrugged and continued walking with the group. Several minutes later, I felt guilty about how my choice would leave Mike all alone in a group of couples, so I decided to join the group. I finally caught up with them, but when I searched for Mike I couldn't find him. I abandoned my fruitless search and fumed my way back to the car - determined to wait for him while my anger seethed.

And then I saw him.

Sitting on a rock along the path, Mike was patiently waiting for me to come back. Before I could say a word he said, "I'm not going to force you to do anything you don't want to do. If you don't want to go, we won't."

My dream was a perfect echo of Mike's attitude these past few months. Time and again he has gone along with whatever idea I concocted or request I made. He purchased me a new body pillow when I couldn't find my old one because he heard me talking about how uncomfortable I already was becoming. He allows me to pick most meals and/or restaurants knowing my stomach has been touchy lately. And he made a split-second decision to take off a week from work and drive to FL in order to scout out jobs in Jax - because I decided I needed to be near my mom and dad. At every turn, he has been more than patient. He has been accommodating, comforting, encouraging and inconvenienced.

I have a lot I can learn from him. Namely, how to be as flexible and unselfish as he has been toward me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I get by with a little help from my friends

The past week has seen its shares of highs and lows. We had a safe trip to FL and are enjoying time with my family (yay!) But Mike has been disappointed on every front in his job search. I said from the beginning that I was willing to take God's closed doors as much as His open ones, and if He directs us away from Jax then so be it. But it's a lot easier for me to say that when I'm not the one running into the closed doors. Unfortunately, Mike is experiencing some really low lows.

But in the midst of our confusion and disappointments, God has encouraged me from unexpected sources. A former co-worker, Mark Kelly, very graciously sent a call to prayer to friends and supporters. His email has generated lots of other emails and words of prayer and encouragement for us - which mean more than I can explain. Mark also has offered to serve as a sounding board for us since he doesn't have a stake in whether we stay in Richmond or move - he simply wants to advise, listen and encourage.

Another friend, Danielle, has been so sweet to send me emails of prayers and to continue checking on us. She and her husband, Dennis, have time and again called, texted, emailed and reached out to us at just the moments when we needed a friendly pick me up.

Tonya hates to think of us moving but continues to pray for us. Already she has talked about making meals for us in the event that I have to go on an unplanned bed rest. Without any prompting or requests, she already is putting feet to prayers and is offering whatever help she can.

I am so very grateful to all those who have prayed, written, or thought of us while we continue on our journey. We honestly don't know where we will land, but knowing we have so many supporters assures me that our landing will be soft.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

If only...

If only it was one less baby ...
If only I was stronger ...
If only my family wasn't so far away ...

then maybe we wouldn't be thinking of moving
then maybe I wouldn't continually hear "I hope this isn't a bad decision"
then maybe I wouldn't be disappointing so many people

If only the story was different then maybe I wouldn't be the villain

Friday, June 08, 2012

Cuddly sheep and heart attacks

When I was pregnant with Addie, I dreamt cute, cuddly dreams. One in particular featured a bus ride with a friend as we meandered past a field filled with sweater-wearing sheep (see illustration). The sheep were so cute in their pink, blue and purple sweaters! I then left the bus and walked to a nearby farm where I enjoyed a down-home dinner with friendly strangers.

Oh, I also frequently dreamed that I had taken up smoking but was trying to hide it from Mike.

This pregnancy hasn't been at all the same - including in the dream world. This week alone I experienced my first night-terror followed by a wacky dream in which I was on trial after being falsely accused. I don't recall the specifics regarding the terror dream, only that I awoke with a pounding heart that took 20 minutes to calm. After that, if I even thought the word "dream" my heart would begin racing again.

If I were into dream interpretation I'd say the first dream meant I was looking forward to the soft, cuddly aspects of a new baby and that I was at peace. I also was hungry.

The second dream probably means I was either hiding something from Mike (I honestly can't remember doing so) or that I was longing for a time I could be rebellious.

This week's dreams indicate I'm in a time of panic. Also, there's a good chance I'll be forced to fight off someone in Florida who is trying to eat my face.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

VA vs. FL

I make lists for EVERYTHING. To do lists, pro/con lists, grocery lists. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd remember most tasks or ideas if I didn't have a pencil and pad near me at all times.

But how is it that my life currently seems to be laid out in a VA vs. FL list? When we first discovered we were pregnant with triplets, I was ready to pack my bags and move to Jacksonville to be near my parents. No way was I going through this without their help. And after talking to several moms of twins, I was even more convinced that I would need their help.

A few weeks ago, though, I began to feel like maybe staying in VA was the best option. Our friends, church and Mike's job are here - not to mention Mike's family. So I suddenly swung my opinion in favor of staying.

Well, as of this week we no longer have Mike's job as a string tying us to VA. Since he resigned, we now are left to consider where he will find the best opportunities for work: FL or VA. Also, my mom has said she's sure we would find a strong base of support in FL if we were to move there. So now I'm back on the fence. This is my current list:

VA Pros:

  • approx. 10 families we think we can count on for moral support and assistance (like meals, baby holding, etc)
  • Mike's mom and siblings
  • our church family
  • beautiful greenery (hey, it's a consideration!)
  • familiarity. We already have drs., play groups, routines, etc. all right here

FL Pros:
  • my family (mom, dad, siblings, cousins, aunt)
  • beaches
  • possibility of building support system through my parents' church
  • did I mention my parents? Because, really, this is a biggie. If we stay in VA, one of my parents can maybe come help for a month so that there will be 4 adults tackling the crazy midnight feeding schedule that I'm anticipating. If we go to FL, though, there will be 4 adults to tackle the schedule for far longer than just a month.
And in all of this Mike and I continue to pray, pray, pray. Ultimately we want to be where God wants us. Also, we know we're in a time crunch because I have maybe just 3 more months to make such a move before I'm the size of a house and lose sight of my feet. So for now the list remains unfinished and I remain undecided.