Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another successful holiday season down. It’s amazing how you run the marathon for a month, and before you know it, it’s all over! We had a great season this year. Christmas Eve I had a short run to the hospital so I could do my non-stress test and BP check. Once that was complete (and good) we went over to sis-in-law’s house for dinner and presents. This year we decided to just buy for the kids – and that was great. There’s so many of us now that we’d all be broke feeling like we had to buy for everyone. Aunt Danielle bought the boys suits of armor. The sword fight was fast and furious. They had a great time!

Robin, my other sister-in-law, is only a couple of days ahead of me in terms of gestation. Our original due dates are only a couple of days apart!

We went back home so I could rest for an hour then we were on our way to Nate’s mom’s house. My sister came with all of us – it’s so great that Nate’s family not only accepts me into their lives as their own, but they accept Jenn, too, just because she’s my sister. Maysen had a great time but the kids were about fried at this point. Believe it or not, Maysen had a harder time staying patient between present opening – so he started helping Grandma hand out presents and was actually more content being the Helper than he was at opening his presents!

Maysen was over-exhausted and cried during his whole bath. It was then my idea to bundle him up and go outside to see if we could see Santa up in the air. That was a soother-idea and he bought it. We came in and laid out the cookies and milk. There was a bit of an “incident” with MY Christmas cookies so I had to grab spares from Danielle’s house. Jenn, Maysen, and I baked the night prior and I was starting to hurt so got a bit side tracked. I forgot the baking soda and after 13 min of being in the oven, discovered nothing but a melted-dough mess on the sheet. (Unfortunately didn’t grab the camera for that … too much evidence).

I woke up earlier than everyone else Christmas morning. I was afraid Mase would get up and see the presents and I wanted to watch him see them, since this was the first year he really understood the meaning behind the “theory” of Santa. We finally went and woke him up – only to be greeted with “I don’t want to see my presents”. Oh really?! Well, after 30 seconds of thinking twice he was ready for action. The first thing he saw was his dump truck – that he had seen previously by accident and we convinced him it was Grandpa’s “tool” he had left behind a few weeks ago.

One of the gifts we’d been very excited to give to Maysen was his drivable race car. He has been driving the neighbor girls’ Barbie car, so it was time he got his own. We bought him a STOP sign – hey, we’re teaching him early. So we put that up before the garage door and I said “What’s this stop sign doing here? Who stops at stop signs?” … “CARS!” and then he opened the door and saw his car. He was so excited, it was priceless.

I can say that I’m more prepared for Griffin to show up any day now because I feel like now I can focus on him and not be distracted by other events going on (ie: holidays, etc). Today we got our tree taken down and the house back to “normal”. Thanks to Papa and Sherrill taking Mase to Portland today, Nathan and I – er … wait, I’m on bedrest (eh-hem) NATHAN got the whole house cleaned. I think we’re prepared. I have my doctor appointment tomorrow – and I have a hunch my BP will be up. So, again – if you don’t hear from me, you know that our Baby Griffin is here and I’ll post as soon as I’m allowed.

Please view my Flickr site for full Christmas 2007 pictures.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I passed!!

Seems my BP is cooperating these days ... so I passed my visit yesterday. I do have to go to the hospital on Monday to have a non-stress test but I don't have to see her or anything, just show up and do it. Merry Ho Ho Ho to me! But then I see her again Thursday next week. She made a comment how things are looking good - perhaps I could wait until 38wks. HUH!? Everytime I see her I feel like we're on the same page, but then I realize that she's on a different complete book everytime I see her. Very emotionally exhausting. God, speed this up!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My doctor requests my presence in her office at 8:00am tomorrow morning. Who knows, could have a baby tomorrow if my BP isn't cooperating. Such a strange feeling having so much ride on something so out of your control. If you don't hear from me, that's what happened - and Merry Christmas early!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So, amazingly enough, NO BABY today. Can you believe it!? Upon going into my doctor appointment (after getting mentally prepared, packed, and having the “brother” talk with Maysen) my BP was fine!! My doctor was off today (apparently upon giving me my ultimatum she forgot her day off was Wednesday), so I saw Dr Reilly. Nathan and I were both totally shocked as we were expecting to head to the hospital. So here I sit again – on the downhill grade of a roller coaster – a really unfriendly roller coaster. If any of you know someone who can reverse voodoo, let me know because I’m convinced I have a wicked spell cast on me! I am so emotionally exhausted right now, only because I’ve been all over the map for the last 3 weeks. Dr Reilly told me she’d talk to Dr Freidman today and have her call me because she assumed “.. she’ll just call you to schedule a delivery date.”

So far no call. My BPs have been stable all day and Christmas is right around the corner. So, “my” plan is to wait and see if she calls me tomorrow (which she’s off tomorrow, too). If she does not call me, I’ll ring her office Friday afternoon and we’ll discuss setting up a delivery/surgery date hopefully for December 26th. She told me she wouldn’t let me go past 37 weeks (which will be December 28th) and since her office is closed until December 26th once we pass Friday, that means no more office visits.. I’m convinced it’s the pure office visit that makes my BP rise. I’m just sorry to all my family and friends who, like me, are on pins and needles waiting because it has been a wild, wild ride so far. One that I’m ready for it to be over!! I’m not questioning things, as I’m sure this is all God’s will, I just wish the emotional crazy roller coaster is over soon.

Last night we put our ginger bread house together (or “candy house” as Maysen calls it) – one last thing I wanted to do as a 3-person family. It went really well, actually. In the kit you get from Costco they give you TONS of candy and pre-made icing (aka: glue). We were done with a bin still full of candy (thanks to this, one 3yr old wasn’t asleep until 11pm).

Last week Maysen had his first school Christmas Program. His part lasted 5min but it was perfect. I smiled so big the whole time and we were all so proud. The first song he was sort of Aw-Struck, but he warmed right up into the 2nd song with the help of Christmas bells to ring as hard as he could. It was so much fun – looking forward to many more of these!

*Sigh* So, believe me. This baby-thing is no sad attempt to keep some of you coming back (like a pathetic soap opera ploy of demonic presence in one of the main characters, or who's baby is so-and-so pregnant with). I truly hope that Griffin is born soon and will keep you posted as I get new info - because at this point it seems to be a 48hr by 48hr type of melodrama.

Monday, December 17, 2007


So, where have I been? Well, I'll tell you. In the hospital! I have been there since Friday morning. I had my Dr appt on Friday and my BP was 180/110. Admittedly I was totally freaked out and full of anxiety, as I had already hospitalized me 3 times prior, and I was really frightened I'd end up back there. And I was, despite all the prayer to calm me down prior to my BP being checked.

I struggled all weekend with having to be there. It was so difficult. Some would think "TV, Books, relaxing in bed, what's the big deal?" Well, let me tell you. It was one of the hardest thing just making it through 3 days. Mainly because my BP was PERFECT upon admission and remained that way for the entire time, my non-stress tests were perfect (being done twice daily) and all my labs were fine. So it was hard on me only seeing my family for about an hour a day, the hour in which Maysen couldn't have cared any less because he was not happy being restrained in the room.

On Saturday, Dr Lee (who was covering for Dr Freidman) actually discharged me because I was so stable, but Dr F actually called him back to tell him not to let me go (GRRR). So, this morning when she walked in, I pleaded with her to let me go home as I'd be much less stressed at home. She finally caved this morning on one condition: That I come back in on Wednesday to have my BP rechecked and if it is as high as it was on Friday, then she's just delivering me that day. I will be 35w4d pregnant.

I struggle with the idea of having him early simply because I have major anxiety going into her office. At the same time I understand that just the "ability" of my BP getting that high is dangerous. And the reason my BP can get that high is related to pregnancy, so for the health of me - it's better to just not be pregnant at this time. I am praying that "if" I have to deliver on Wednesday then I'll be able to go to my hospital of choice - the one I was at for the last 3 days. The only thing, is that they have no NICU there if (God forbid) Griffin has problems. She had told me she wouldn't deliver at that hospital any sooner than 36wks (even though their policy allows delivery at 35wks) then she would make me delivery at SH hospital. It's OK - you should just see MCW hospital - all the rooms are private, whirlpool tubs, microwave/refridge, quiet. SH is busier, cramped, no guarantee of a private room, etc. So, it's in God's hands at this point as I realize I (in reality) am not controlling all of this.

Right now just for the next day or so I'm enjoying being home with Maysen. Tomorrow we're doing a gingerbread house and getting some quality time in. Nathan quit working officially for RealPro today; his last day was supposed to be Friday but in light of events, he just wrapped up today. So, he's working from home for W (his side contract job) until he starts working for his new company in Jan. So theoretically he's "off" until Jan 15th, working from home as little/much as he wants.

One blessing is that if this baby comes Wednesday then I will be home for Christmas. I was starting to get anxious that I wouldn't be home for Xmas due to a) recovering from CSection still or b) still being "Monitored" through xmas. I just hope and pray that Griffin is healthy, despite being a month early. Please keep us in your thoughts on Wednesday!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


So, yesterday I had my appt. Take one guess. Yep! Ended up in the hospital for a few hours to monitor BPs. My non-stress test was perfect, my labs were perfect, but because my BP had been 154/98 in the office I had to go. She told me to just hang in there until 36wks, which will be next Friday. At this point I can tell you we will for sure have Griffin in our arms between December 21-28 - which is in just a few weeks!! On one hand, I'd like to just have him on Dec 21 which will be when he turns 36wks; however then I'm likely not going to be home on Christmas. I hopefully can talk her into waiting until right after Christmas. I've been very excited for Xmas this year because Maysen is "getting it" and I really want to see his face on Christmas morning.

Nathan got a new job - I've been waiting to say something until he had his paperwork. His new boss is amazing and told Nate he would let him come in and work just one day in December so his health insurance started sooner. He has chosen this "one day" to be December 26th, so my ideal birthday for Griffin would be December 27th, just one day shy of 37wks.

I had my ultrasound today ... and get this. He is 34w3d old - and he weighs 7.5lbs already!! I couldn't believe it. His measurements are that of a 37w6d baby - 3wks ahead of where he is. So, we have a big boy here! I can't imagine going full term with him - he'd be 13lbs!! My next appt is Friday so I'm hoping to know more then as far as when we could be scheduling this surgery.

Yes; so Nathan got a new job. He wasn't completing what he had hoped at his job he's had since July. He accepted a position as a more senior software engineer at a more established company in Eugene and felt it would be a better career move for him. I agree. Although he hated leaving a job he'd only been in for 6mo, he felt it was important to our family and I agree. His last day at his current job will be December 21 (if we don't have a baby on or before that day) and his new job is allowing him time off to be with the family and he starts January 15th. That means Nathan will be home for 3.5 weeks with us. Thank the Lord how that worked out!

We moved our office out of the spare room to accommodate the nursery. We now just work on our laptops if needed, and our scanner has yet to be hooked up so I can't post the CUTEST ultrasound picture. Fin's head down, and his head is in a pocket where his hair is sticking straight down. He's got a baby mohawk already! So cute!

I also changed the look of Fin's site ... check it out if you have a free moment.

On a last note, tomorrow is Maysen's first school Christmas Program. Mase has been getting treats because he is one of the only ones who really belts it out on stage. It's neat hearing him sing songs I remember singing in school. Will be posting video on it after the program tomorrow.

What I hear right now: "Come on Baby Brother, lets play trains ... OK! Lets go. Lets fix the tracks because it's broken. That's fun brother ... CHOOOO!" This is going to be fun!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fin's nursery and recipe

I didn't update about my doctor appointment on Friday. I (for once) didn't get admitted on Friday. I relaxed in my recliner during my non-stress test and my BP came down to 142/70 which allowed me to come home. No protein in my urine - thanks to bed rest. She confirmed she is going to deliver Griffin at 36-37wks, which is in about 2 weeks. I am hoping to stay at home and out of the hospital until she decides to deliver, but it'll probably be an appointment-by-appointment thing, which my next one is Tuesday. One thing's for sure - Griffin will be here either right before or right after Christmas. Our little Christmas Bee!

This weekend was spent going 100mph again (Nate, not me. I watched - which is just as exhausting!) Knowing that we could have a baby in a matter of days depending on how things go put us in gear to get Griffin's nursery done. We've been putting it off and I'm such a "preparer" that I like things done and in order (some call it OCD).

Nate let me sleep in today while he and Maysen made French Toast. We got started on this nursery yesterday. Nate put all the pieces together and Maysen conquered his fear of the drill. Such a proud look when he said, "Dad and Maysen fixed this!" and pointed at the dresser. I love that!

As you can tell, we've chosen a firetruck theme, which so far has been fun. What I'm excited the most to try is the video monitor that is perched above the crib. It's actually pretty cool!

Maysen has new light on this Griffin business. He's realizing that there is a baby coming and it wasn't until we got out the baby car seat that he wanted to revert to the baby. "I'm baby Maysen!" He's even climbed up into the crib on occasion. This could be interesting, as he's insisting already that we move his bed into Griffin's room. This is going to be fun, I think.

I apologize for not putting this up sooner, but I've had a couple of people request the recipe for the caramel I made, so here it is:

1/2c butter
1c brown sugar
1/2c whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

1. Cook butter and brown sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts.
2. Stir in whipping cream; Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil approx 30 seconds.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; Allow to cool slightly.
4. Serve over ice cream or with fruit, such as apple slices. Or pour into jars for gifts. Makes about 2 cups.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ho Ho Ho

Last week before all this bedrest stuff started, I made homemade caramel to give to neighbors, teachers, friends. It turned out really well, and was extremely simple. Finished off with wire bows and some tags, they're ready to go! Let me know if you want the 4 ingredient recipe.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Well, I think I'm running a competition for how many times I can be hospitalized prior to delivery. Yesterday I had my appointment/recheck. I was anxious to talk to her about my prior hospitalization (because I saw the on-call Dr) but when I checked in, she was at the hospital and there would be a delay. "Ok," I thought, "that'll give me a chance to relax before she comes." Well. They take me back and hook me up to the monitor. No baby heartbeat. Then we'd hear it, but he'd move. We did this for 20min. They like about a 20min record of the heartbeat to watch for irregularities, but we weren't even getting 20 SECONDS on the monitor. The nurse looks at me and says "Well, we might have to send you to the hospital for monitoring if this keeps up." *GULP*. Just then another doctor walks in, says she'll be talking with me since Dr F was at the hospital and asks the nurse if she's taken my BP. Well, she hasn't and now I can feel it out the roof in light of all that's going on at this point. Sure enough! 162/94 (for those that don't know, normal BP is 120/80) That mixed with inability to keep him on the monitor landed me BACK in the hospital last night. She also told me that my protein/urine came back from last week at 298, which is diagnosable as mild pre-eclampsia.

I got there, and my BP did come down a bit, but not as much as it had on Friday. It was running about 140/78 on average. They drew stat labs, which all came back OK - even better than last week, which is good. They released me after about 3hrs, but the nurse did "advise" me to pack a bag because I can "skate by for now" but will eventually be kept permanently until delivery. Dr Franz, who was covering, said that they would probably delivery me at 37wks, which is the week of Christmas. Is it ok that I'm starting to sort of panic??

Many have asked how strict and complete bedrest is going with Maysen. I have a great family!! My sister-in-law is picking up/dropping off Maysen at school on Wed, Thurs, Fri mornings. I called the school and they're letting him stay for lunches so he'll be gone from 8:15-12:00 and I won't have to make lunch. Then the school called and offered to let me bring him on Monday mornings, too. So, I have all morning alone and free 4 days a week except for Tuesdays. He does pretty good at coloring and watching cartoons (which I hate all day), but now that he'll be going to school 4 mornings a week, that will get him out of the house and doing stuff rather than sitting at home.

On a humorous note, I'm teaching Nate how to take blood pressure. I know, crazy. But it's hard for me to do it manually. Last night he did rather well, but kept forgetting to let out the air, so my arm is blue and he just starts walking off stating what it is, and I'm like "Uhhh..." Then he lets the air out too fast and he's all "Oh! Ohhh!!" :-) Funny Mr Nurse.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension

This is one of the pictures we got while on the Polar Express with Maysen. It was magical to see his eyes light up. He loved it!!
I had my OB appointment on Friday. I had to see the on-call doctor this time due to my OB doc being in NY for a conference. I LOVED Dr R, the on-call doc. She was great. They hooked me up to the non-stress test machine and she came in to look at it. Of course everything was fine, but again my BP was really high. So she took me back to the room to recheck it. No change. So she made me lay down with "O" magazine from her office. 10min went by and here she comes again. Sure enough - still no change in my blood pressure. So I had to be admitted to the hospital. I understand the legality. If I have a 170/100 BP written in the books that didn't resolve, then they can't legally let me just go home. So, to the hospital I went. Within an hour of being there, it was down to 112/60 and stayed there for the next few hours I was there. Luckily after lunch since my BP was stable I got to go home with strict orders for bed rest. Dr R was very clear that this wasn't an option and "..if that means you have take-out every damn night, no laundry gets done, your house is a wreck, you feed your 3yr old Popsicles all day ... then that's what it means!" So ... I'm home and trying to stay still. The protein in my urine was down drastically on Friday so I'm waiting to see today if it's gone. I have a feeling that it was so elevated last week due to dehydration from having the flu. We'll see.

Here's my frustration: It's documented that at home resting my BP is fine - perfect if I stay "being good". It's when I get up, hustle around, go nuts, etc that it spikes. They are having me come to the office twice a week to check up on my blood pressure and make sure there are no ill effects .... BUT the only reason it's high when I get there is because I've not been resting (like my orders) when I have to go twice a week. And this isn't just a 20min ordeal. I have to get ready, I have to M ready, drive 30min to the babysitters, drive to their office - all on a strict time schedule, get there only to hike it across the office to the bathroom to leave my sample - then they hike me up on the table to strap the cuff on my arm. Frustrating. So they want me to stay home and rest so my BP stays down, yet they want to see me twice a week to check on my high BP that's only high because they make me go in there. So, I'm not sure what to do ... but I feel like I should say something. My labs are stable ... my BP is stable at home resting ... my non-stress tests have all been fine ... so why am I having this BP spikes twice a week because they make me go in there? Wouldn't it be healthier to keep me resting at home? So .. this is a question I will pose today when I see my doctor.

Yesterday Nate got the spare room/office all cleaned out and put in the garage. The carpets are going to be cleaned this week, so this coming weekend we'll (Nate) be putting the nursery together. Need to get that all ready to go. I have to tell you how amazingly fast this pregnancy has gone. I can't believe that in about 1mo I will have another son. At times I sit here sad because my life with only Maysen is going to change - and I feel sad for that. But after reading EJ's site, it reminds me that my heart will only explode with love for both my boys!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ah Ha!

I am psychic. I swear. I told everyone I would get the dreaded flu everyone else was getting on Sunday night, just in time for Nate to go back to work. What do you know! About 7pm I started throwing up for an 18hr round-the-clock session of puking my guts up. I was starting to get concerned with my heart rate around 130 andmy blood pressure sinking lower and lower due to dehydration. Thankfully I was able to keep liquids and food down 18hrs after this ordeal happened. I have the best husband - upon my first urgent trip to the bathroom, he started calling around for a place for Maysen to stay so I could rest (ALONE) the next day. And boy did I need it!! I'm just so thankful to Aunt Bonnie for being so generous with her time in letting us drop Maysen over there when we needed it the most.

I had my OB appointment today. Griffin is still doing well, however pre-eclampsia is rearing it's ugly little head in me. I didn't really have any problems until 39wks with Maysen, but I'm starting early with this one! My BP was elevated (again) but did come down after a 10min rest and re-check. The bad part is that I'm spilling protein from my kidneys into my urine already. I am now seeing the doctor TWICE weekly for regular checks and fetal non-stress tests. She made a comment about how she would take me off of work, had I been working, for modified bed rest and how I'm sort of doing that now that I'm home. Ha!! I said "Do you have a 3yr old?" Modified Bed Rest being a stay-at-home mommy with a 3yr old. I don't think so! So, I have to make a conscious effort to let the laundry go, let Maysen color more, and get used to watching the same cartoons over and over and over. I definitely need to start taking it easy ...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Long Road - Trip

I am happy for one thing: My Grandma is in heaven now with Grandpa after being seperated from him for 5 years now. I thought this trip might be harder for me. Don't get me wrong, it was difficult leaving the only home I'd known as "grandma and grandpa Harbaughs'" for the last time; it was hard seeing grandma lay in her casket; it was hard seeing her pictures, clothes, puzzle, and magazines just as she had left them days prior not knowing she wouldn't come back. All this was hard - but I knew deep down she was OK and that somehow made it all easier. I found this great picture of my grandma when she was about 5yrs old, posing beside HER grandmother back in the 1930s. Doesn't she look like Shirley Temple?

I have been home now for 24hrs and man has it been a long, trying, exhausting, taxing, but alltogether great trip. I got the hesitant "OK" from the on-call OB doctor that I could travel to Iowa to attend my grandmother's funeral. Just 12hrs after I got the call that my grandmother had died we picked up our nephew, Jonas, on our way to Portland to ride the Polar Express train for Mases' 3rd birthday just as we had promised to do months earlier. On Sunday we traveled home only to be greeted by my dad and Jo, do laundry, and travel back up to Portland. We stayed in a hotel and at 3:30am were up and getting ready to catch the shuttle to the airport.

The flight to Chicago was great - but we were met with dense fog and a 6hr delay on our flight. We finally made it to Iowa, climbed in our rental van, and headed for Waterloo, IA. We had to find a hotel that night due to a miscommunication and by 9pm we were all snug in our beds in Iowa.

Tuesday was grandma's funeral. They laid her to rest first, then had her memorial. I had never experienced one like this - but it was refreshing; no "body" at the front to stare at during great stories of her life. We all had a day of visiting with family, which was great. Tuesday night we were back at Grandma's house spending the night with a houseful of people. Luckily Maysen went right to sleep. That is, until 2am when he woke up throwing up everywhere. Maysen has only had ONE episode of throwing up, so this was confusing to him stating "I coughed" repeatedly. We cleaned him up and put him back down only to have him throw up every 30min until 7am. He then (along with me) slept until 11am. The rest of Wednesday was great!

Wednesday night the family got back together at Grandma's for dinner. Nate and I decided that we'd just get a hotel room for the remainder of our trip as to keep Maysen rested and non-distracted by other company ... nor to spread any more germs! We were eating dinner when all of a sudden Maysen had another throw up episode so we hiked him back to the hotel. After a 13hr sleep, he was ready to rock and roll for Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving was a great day - filled with relaxing and memories. It was fun watching the little cousins who had just met for the first time play pool in the basement just as we had done many years previous with our cousins. Maysen loved seeing and playing with his cousins Colin, Milo, and Bailey for the first time. We hope to see them again soon!

We got up bright and early on Friday (yesterday) for the long jaunt home. I was rather dreading this trip home as I knew what the trip up was like. However I was surprised that both flights from Cedar Rapids ---> Chicago and Chicago ---> Portland went off without a hitch. Maysen even slept for half of the 4hr flight to Portland which was great. The only downside was that Nate started getting sick on the flights home - even throwing up most of the 4hr flight home to Portland. He slept on the drive from Portland to home, so that was OK. Dad and Jo spent the night and left early this morning. It's great to be home.

The only hard part about getting home was getting the mail last night and realizing we had received Grandma's birthday present to Maysen which she had just mailed a few days prior to her death. We opened it today and Maysen looked up and said, "Fank You, Nana!!".

I was thankful overall for an abundance of things on that special day, but more importantly that we were able to spend Thanksgiving together - something Grandma would have wanted.

Please feel free to visit my pictures from Maysen's Polar Express party as well as our trip to Iowa on my Flickr page (click on the Flickr shortcut on right).

Saturday, November 17, 2007


The voice over the phone was my dad. He sounded quiet, concerned, worried. Not my dad. Then he softly says, "Grandma died tonight."

I broke down hard. I did, because deep down in places I didn't know existed, I already knew but I just didn't know that I knew until right then. I knew because out of the blue at 10:00pm my pregnancy hormones flew out of control for no reason. I started crying with this impending-doom feeling coming over me. I focused it inward toward my immediate family and felt as though something bad was going to happen to Maysen - or Nate. But the truth was, was that Grandma was struggling and was passing.

Feeling that I needed some alone time from confused Nate, I walked into the bathroom and prayed. I asked the Lord to please give my sons a guardian angel to watch over them the rest of their days - to protect them from any harm or wrong doing. I said, "I don't know if that is you, Grandpa, or who, but Lord please give them someone." My Grandpa died 5 years ago in July.

30 minutes later I walked outside in the pouring rain to our dark backyard - feeling sorry for Maysen's yard toys getting so wet. I went out, picked up a set, walked to the deck and set them down. When I turned around to enter the wet grass again I noticed a small white mist/haze that wasn't there before and tried to recreate it with blowing my breath into the air. That did nothing. And I honestly didn't think much of it. The haze was lingering right outside Maysen's bedroom.

I now know what all this meant: I felt it when she was passing ... I can feel her here ... she's his guardian angel ...

It's 2am. I'm exhausted. I am hoping to gain medical clearance to join my family in Iowa next week to be with her body as she's laid to rest. I will write more about this later. I'm too tired to think more.

I love you Grandma Harbaugh (Nana to Maysen). I feel ever-so-grateful to have known you the years I have. I look back with nothing but the fondest of memories of you. What I am thankful for the most is that Maysen got to meet his Nana last year for the first time. I would say "last time" but I now know and understand you will be with him all of his days .... his Guardian Angel Nana.

Monday, November 12, 2007

All Aboard ... Alllllllll Aboard!

He rounded the corner to the sound of The Polar Express soundtrack being played as family onlookers waited for him. Blue balloons waved in the stagnant air tied to chair-backs. He saw his cake table, complete with Polar Express cake, filled with presents and the window right behind it held the movie poster to The Polar Express. Yes, he is one lucky little boy.

We celebrated Maysen's 3rd birthday on Saturday with family. More importantly, his cousins were there to play non-stop with him. Luckily the room we had reserved had an all access pass to the playroom, where the kids spent most of their time. We were in a high traffic zone of kids, but it was a lot of fun!

Maysen has been drooling over watching the kids outside play on their scooters. He has tried, with no avail, riding one of these scooters. We were lucky enough to find a wide-base one made by Radio Flyer at ToysRUs that was just perfect for him. We waited until the last to unveil it, and he gasped and rode it like a pro first thing. It truly is amazing re-living such vivid memories as a child through your baby's eyes.

Jenn was here, of course, for the weekend celebrating Bean's birthday. On Sunday we got some great family photos to put in Holiday cards this season. View my Flickr account (on the sidebar) for full album from Bean's party and of our family photo shoot on Sunday. (I won't tell you which one we're using for holiday cards, but if you have a suggestion or favorite, let me know!)

Maysen's having a party at school on Wednesday. Then Saturday is our big extravaganza to Hood River to ride The Polar Express train! I am very excited for this as he'll love it with his cousins, but deep down I'm looking forward to having it over with. It's our last "big outing" planned.

The boys are at swimming lessons, so I am taking advantage and getting in the warm, QUIET, bathtub. This will be a challenge - or more getting out is - but worth every grunt. Night.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Photo Safari

Here are some pictures from my first "photo safari" with my new camera last week. Of course it was all about Maysen, because he's the best thing to photograph. I was "pretty" happy with how they turned out, but I can't wait to get to learn more about my camera in the future. For the rest of the set, please visit my new Flickr account (which is great!!).

Next project is to do family pictures for our Holiday Cards for this year. Jenn will be here this weekend for Maysen's family birthday party on Saturday at the pizza parlour. Hopefully while she's here she'll be able to get some great shots!

I'm doing a Polar Express theme this year because next weekend we're taking him and 2 other cousins to the Hood River Polar Express Train ride. We're spending the night, swimming, and then doing the train ride. Read HERE about it. It sounds really fun; the kids get to wear their PJs on the train, have hot chocolate, listen to the story of The Polar Express, and even get to the North Pole to see Santa and get their own Christmas Bells. Am I crazy? Yes. But I planned this awhile ago, so I don't have an excuse now!

I also had my OB appointment yesterday and another ultrasound. I was disappointed because I was under the assumption that if I brought a DVD/CD in they'd record my ultrasound on it. However when I got there, she said they only download the pictures to it. With Maysen, they recorded every one that I had, so I have a good 30min+ of Maysen's ultrasounds recorded. The important thing is that Griffin is doing well. So well, in fact, that he's measuring 3 weeks over what he should. He should weigh around 3lbs, and he's almost 5lbs so far. My blood pressure is still a tad high, so starting now I start my 2 week checks and have to have fetal stress tests done, although she assures me it's just precautionary and everything looks great!! I've *knock on wood* only gained about 16lbs so far, but I'm sure once the water retention hits, that will sky-rocket! At least it did with Maysen. She says that they'll "probably deliver early", but I want to go at least 37 weeks, because if I deliver 36wks or sooner, than I don't get to go to the hospital of my choice, which is why I see a different doctor than I had with Maysen. My old doctor stopped delivering at my hospital of choice because balancing 2 different ones was hard on her with her own babies at home. I understand, but if I go early as in 36wks or less, that means that my new doctor will deliver at the hospital my old one would have.

Those of you ladies with kids: Did you experiece HHRWJ?? I've made that up, and it stands for Husband Hormone Release Without Justification. I swear my husband thinks he's pregnant. Only because he's flying off the handle at little things, having outbursts, and emotional breakdowns almost as if he's pregnant. No, it's not fair. Because this is MY time to act irrational with an excuse!!! I asked him if he was on his period the other day, and got "the look" that I always give him. Scary ....

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Oregon vs Arizona

If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I was a football fan, I would have said, "No way!" I went to school at Kansas State University and although I enjoyed a few good games, I was no where near the "football fan" status. If you were to have asked me 5 years from now if I was a coffee drinker, I would have said, "No way!"

Upon moving to Oregon when my husband returned home from Iraq and discharged from the US Army, I discovered that not only to be a true Oregonian but also a true *insert last name*, I had to succumb to being one. I am still no longer a coffee drinker (due to lack of interest in taste, not desire. I love the smell of coffee, just can't muster the taste). Out of process of elimination, one must assume I am now an Oregon Ducks football fan. This is true - although treading lightly on the word "fan".

I supported them the last three years, but this year has been different. Mildly paying attention when the season opened, my interest was perked. I decided I'd surprise my husband early on with a pair of home football game tickets. The only two games not sold out were Houston vs Oregon and Arizona State vs Oregon. I picked one. The "one" happened to be the biggest game in PAC 10 history (or one of them). This was proven by ESPN's College GameDay to not only appear at Autzen Stadium once this season, but to return BACK for a 2nd time in one season said alot!
Totally stoked about my great blind pick of a game, we boarded the bus on Saturday to head to Autzen Stadium. Finding clothes that don't make me look freakishly "obese" vs pregnant is a challenge these days, but I decided "what the heck" and settled with an over-sized t-shirt and called it good. When we got to the overwhelmingly-packed stadium (59,345 people to be exact), we asked for help to our seats. We were met with "Oh man!! You guys got GREAT seats!". He was right. One leap and we would have been on the field!! The energy in the stands was electric and I could feel myself get pumped up, almost emotional! There were ASU fans there, too, and watching them be heckled was painful, but I still felt proud to be "A Duck". Below was a tense moment near our seats.

The game was amazing ... Autzen Stadium is noted for being one of the LOUDEST stadiums around and man was it! I covered my ears on more than one occasion! Griffin wasn't too impressed, and nearly made me sick by the end of the game with all the flip-flopping. We overtook the undefeated ASU Sun Devils and are now #1 in the PAC 10.

In other news ... I now have my new camera!!! I haven't had much opportunity to get out and around with it yet, but plan to soon! The above were taken via BlackBerry (which I'm still impressed with!).

Thursday, November 1, 2007


In Chicken language that translates to "Trick or Treat". Last night was really the first time Maysen "got" Halloween. By the 3rd house, he literally would say "bock bock trick or treat". It didn't come out that smooth, but you got the general idea. He was quite the life of the neighborhood. About a million neighborhood kids swarm our street and as we walked down the street you could hear the people "Look at that chicken!", in which Maysen would flap his wings. He had a great time, but after an hour said, "Ok. Go home now." We got home and he lined out all his loot on the couch. He wore his chicken costume for the next hour.

On another note ... after much frustration I'm getting my Nikon tomorrow!!! I'm sure it'll take me the next 20yrs to figure out all there is to this camera, but I'm going to have a blast figuring it all out. My sister's birthday is Nov 21 (day before Turkey Day), so she's coming down and we're spending that day together doing a photo shoot. She has a Nikon D70, so it's going to be a lot of fun! Hope Halloween was fruitful (if it was only fruit!) for you all!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nikon D80

Merry Christmas, Happy 8th Anniversary, and Happy Birthday TO ME!! I finally got to order THIS awesome digital camera today. I can't wait to be able to go on photo shoots with my sis, Jenn. Not to mention that I get to bring back a passion of mine - one I haven't done since high school. This will be refreshing. I might add that I did actually win contests in photography while in high school - Chelle, remember taking pics around the farm and surrounding abandoned areas near you for one assignment in school? Fun times. If I had my ultimate dream it would be to own the equivalent but in film vs digital and have my own dark room. I can dream! But this should be here before Maysen's birthday parties, but more importantly I'm excited that I have this before Christmas and the birth of Griffin.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I propose that Halloween candy be illegal to go on sale until the day before Halloween. Of course it's on sale today ... buy 4 get 83 million free. Augh. I have no will power ...

And what's up with all the presidential candidate's wife hype? I swear I've heard more from the wives and what they think than I have the candidates themselves. And it's a typical Real World Gotta-Have-a-Catfight episode ... all the estrogen talking for itself. Where's Bill at when they have the spousal debates? Pedicure, maybe? Don't blame him :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Full week

This past week has been a blur! It started with my dad and Jo coming up from California on Wednesday. Jenn came down on Thursday and we had a great time. Dad's birthday is in a week, so we celebrated while he was here. Friday night was my sister-in-law's baby shower. She and I are just a few days apart on due dates. No, the pregnancies weren't planned together!

It was very nicely done, being held at King Estate Winery near here. It was beautiful! It was held at night, and when we left at 10pm, there was thunder, lightning and it was raining buckets! Jessica and I were driving together and chatting about our common love of Ghost Hunters on the SciFi channel when, of course, we missed our turn in the forest and got lost. At any time I was imagining my van shutting off spontaneously shutting off and mummies coming out from the trees. It was funny because any time we're together we get lost; we went to Disney World 2yrs ago and we would take the kids back for naps. Every time we left the park we'd get lost - all of course while I was driving. I'm glad she just laughs, because it defuses the stressful situation!

On Saturday, Jenn and I met my long-time friend, Amanda, for brunch at Ihop. I haven't seen her in awhile and she was coming to MY baby shower being held later that day. On my way to meet Amanda I got a call from Bob saying that Bonnie was having terrible stomach pains (again) and was leaving the art show. On Tuesday she had such bad pains she was nearly to her knees - I asked if she had ever had pancreatitis before which she had not. I told him he needed to take her to the hospital as something wasn't right. Turns out she had pancreatitis and her liver enzymes were out of control. She's currently still in the hospital as they're trying to rule out what caused this.After brunch we headed to my baby shower, hosted by Nate's mom and my sister-in-law (the always-get-lost-and-loves-Ghost-Hunters sister). It was a great time! Some of my friends from work were there along with a few of my favorite patients. We laughed and just had a blast! I got MAJOR loot including 24 pairs of socks (thanks matching-sock game), a video hand-held monitor, lots of open-ended sleepers, diapers, wipes, bottle drop-ins, great blankets, gift certificates, lots of firetruck goodies for the nursery, and numerous other things. My spare bed is completely filled with packages and stuff that Nate and I are going to re-go through tonight.

I had my OB appointment yesterday. She cleared up some questions I was having. We went through Griffin's measurements again and despite the fact that 3 of the measurements were showing 3 wks over, when combined, he's only showing 1wk 5d over my due date. He is still 15oz overweight - but Maysen was a big baby, so this one will be too. She said that they'll schedule my C-Section about a week before my due date, so around Jan 12th. I have been having Braxton Hicks, which I never did with Maysen - I never went into labor at all with Maysen! She said that even if I go into labor this time, they'll either stop it if it's too early or they'll just do the C Section then. My pelvis is too small to facilitate birth the natural way, so I have to have the C-Section. And to be honest, would prefer that. I was up sweeping my floor about a week after having it. I did great! Unfortunately my blood pressure is "creeping up" so I have be seen in 2 weeks and to have another ultrasound. She asked if I was ever on bed rest with Maysen. Goody. I can't imagine being on bed rest with a 3yr old..

Thanks, Jenn, for taking the great pics again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Weekend

This weekend was our annual Lone Pine Pumpkin Patch weekend with Auntie Jenn (which took these wonderful pictures). We had pizza with Poppi, then went to the farm where Maysen played in the playground there. Nate stood in line for the horse-drawn hay ride out to the pumpkin patch. We let Maysen pick out Griffin's pumpkin, his pumpkin, and Auntie's pumpkin, which he did a great job!

Stinky Goats...
Maysen's pumpkin
Griffin's Pumpkin
Our loot (from L to R): Daddy's, Griffin's, Maysen's, Momma's, and Auntie's
Gutting his pumpkin

We had a great time carving pumpkins. We laughed, drank apple cider, and listened to cheesy "Ghosts and Goblins" CD with howling wolves and cackling witches. We had a great time and I hope Maysen carries with him these fun memories. Jenn stated in her blog last week about fun fading as age approaches. I hope you saw this weekend, Jenn, that it doesn't have to be like that. Didn't this take you back, perhaps for a minute, to when we used to do this at home when we were 8yrs old? I have these moments every day ...