Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Extreme Sleep Deprivation & the Reason for the Season

I sit here with blood shot eyes and a dazed expression. My 9 week old stays up until 3-3:30 am almost every single night and then I have to get up with Landon around 8 am. As you can imagine this has made life quite difficult. Not to mention, we are in the throws of basketball season which means I'm doing it all by myself all day everyday.

I'm so sleep deprived rather than clean my house when both kids are napping, I'm laying down to rest. When my house is clean and organized no matter what's going on I feel like I'm in control. When it's not, I feel overwhelmed.

Recently, I've been to several holiday parties or events. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone by dazing off during conversation or if my responses have made no sense at all. I met some new people at these holiday events and I'm secretly hoping never to see them again--because they probably think I'm a weirdo.

Our friend played Mary this year in her church's Nativity Presentation. It was in this beautiful, ginormous, Catholic, cathedral with stained glass windows and high ceilings. Anthony was coaching out of town that night, but I really wanted to go. So, the babies and I went without him. What the heck was I thinking?!

Landon ran around the cathedral in and out of pews, shrieking, and throwing balls at people. I just prayed Harper would stay asleep in his car seat as I chased Landon around like a mad woman. Harper woke up crying during some one's solo. Just as I picked him up to feed him, Landon ran up on stage. So, I'm carrying a screaming baby and running down the aisle in front of like 400 people. I grabbed him from the stage as he screamed and tried mightily to wiggle away from me. Humiliated beyond belief, I could hear snickers and giggles as I carried my unhappy boys outside in the foggy cold to wait for the play to end.

Amidst all the chaos, I left the play thinking about the true reason for the season. My boys were quiet for about 42 seconds during the presentation, and I watched as Mary danced across the stage. I thought about the fears she may have had as she traveled a long distance with this most precious child in her womb. She must have felt exhausted. She must have felt great responsibility. I thought about how absolutely wonderful she must have been to be chosen as the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Savior of the World. I thought about our Father in Heaven, and the greatest gift of all. He sent His Son to die for us that we might live. He sent his Son as our ultimate example. During this Christmas Season, I am committing myself to live more like Him so that when I meet my Maker I can be proud of my works on Earth, and I hopefully I can teach my boys to do the same.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Getting Gall Bladder Out and Getting Back to my Boys

Initially I was really worried about Landon being jealous of the new baby, but he's doing great. He tries to brush Harper's teeth, brush his hair, feed him crackers, and put shoes on him. His favorite thing to do is hold Harper. He climbs up on the couch, puts a pillow on his lap, and says "BayBay!"

I had my gall bladder removed on Thursday. The surgery went really well, but I missed my babies so much! I convinced them to let me go home a day early because I just wanted to be with my boys again.

It's funny how different thier personalities are. Landon is super enthusiastic and loves to make people laugh. Harper is mellow and serious. I have never seen a baby so serious! I just love them both so much and I think thier personalities will really complement eachother. I think our family needed some of Harper's seriousness because we are all kind of wild. Sometimes I feel like Harper is looking at us like, "Um, you guys are crazy. Are you sure I'm at the right family?"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Big Brother


Dear Landon,

I'm sorry you were sick this week and I had to leave you for almost three days. And then when I came home, I had a new baby with me. Don't worry, he could never replace you. You will always have an important role in our family. You are special for so many reasons. You are the firstborn, the big brother, you made me a Mommy.

I love when you kiss your brother. I love how much concern you show when he cries. I love that you try to give him toys even though he can't hold them yet. It's nice of you to share and feed him goldfish crackers, but he's not quite ready. I know this week has been rough for you, but I think you're doing great, and that Harper is lucky to have a brother like you.

Daddy and I love you so much!

Love,

Mama

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Labor Story


I know the part everyone wants to read about is how labor went. I don't blame you. I want to hear the labor story of every woman who walked the face of the earth. It's fascinating to me.
Monday morning Bubba and I woke up with a lovely cough and some serious congestion, so we went to the Emergency Room. The line was ridiculously long, so I decided to see if his doctor could squeeze him in later in the week. Anthony said, "Well, since we're already at the hospital, why don't you go up to labor and delivery and have them check you." I have a history of silent cervical dilation, so it's never a bad idea.

Landon and Anthony went to the mall. I went up to L&D. My midwife, Christine checked me and I was only 1-2 cm! Dr. Bass said I was 3 cm more three weeks ago! (Turns out my water bag was hanging out, so I felt like 1-2) I said, "Okay, I'm going home to do laundry." And Christine suggested I walk around for an hour first. So, I power walked in circles while the nurses and med students laughed at me. They were like, "You really want it to happen today, don't you? It's not gonna happen."

Christine checked me after an hour and I was a 5! I hadn't felt a single contraction, so I was feeling pretty excited. She said she has delivered thousands of babies and has never seen someone labor like that. I decided to keep walking around, and 15 minutes later I was a 7. At this point, I really did not want my water to break on the floor, so I decided to sit down.

Nikki and I were eating Reeces, reading Star magazines, and asking Anthony questions like, "Would you rather marry Oprah or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?"

I wasn't making any progress just sitting there, so Christine decided to break my water. I wanted an intrathecal first, just to make sure I didn't feel any pain. It's kind of like an epidural, but it's a one time shot and wears off in 3 hours. So ofcourse, three hours later he's still not born, and I felt some pretty heavy contractions. Nikki timed them. 4 minutes on, 30 seconds off. That was pretty awesome. Within about a half hour I very suddenly felt the urge to push. I yelled, "I'm pushing!" And the nurse ran in. The intrathecal had worn off entirely, and I am not good at pushing. It was the most intense pain of my life. I thought about Landon and how much I love him; how he was worth every pain, and this baby would be too. I prayed. After almost an hour, when I thought I could not take it anymore, the angels entered in and Harper was born.

I was thrilled to hear him cry right away, and they placed his tiny little body right on my chest. He sobbed and sobbed and held onto me. He kept one eye open and looked around while clinging tightly to my chest. We stayed like that for over an hour, and it was bliss. I started to feed him and tears welled up in my eyes. I had this surge of love overcome me completely, as his crying subsided and I was able to comfort him. It was an amazing day, and just like Landon, he was totally worth it!

"There is no other closeness in human life like the closeness between a mother and her baby."

--Susan Cheever

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Here

Harper David Matthews
was born at 8:54 p.m. on Monday, October 26, 2009.
He weighed 7 lbs, 11 oz and was 20.5 inches long.

Once again, I am in love.

Also, congratulations to my dear friend, Andrea who brought Jeremiah Eloy into the world on the exact same day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Farm

a wiggly boy who just wanted to play

he was in pumpkin heaven, after all.

three of my favorite ladies, thanks for bringing your cute families!

it was a wonderful night.
To see our trip from last year click HERE. Crazy how Bubba has grown since then! Oh, and me too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spooky Cookie

I love holidays! Especially Halloween. I've had my front porch decorated since the beginning of September. Is that lame or what? I just love it though! The pumpkin mazes, haunted houses, fun decorations, and the best parts-- dressing up and getting candy!


So, the other night we did our part to add to the Halloween spirit and decorated spooky cookies with Nikki and Sheldon. Fact: October is National Cookie month. Weird, since we get plenty of candy. I'm not complaining; the more sugar, the better. ;)

*sorry, some of these are sideways

There's either a baby in there, or I've had way too much sugar. Or both.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Prayer

{bubba in the nicu}
I found out at my appointment today that I have not made any progress this week. Despite daily (sometimes hourly) contractions, I am still 3 cm. Amazing.

Once again, I am glad that baby has stayed in this long, and it is looking like he will make it to term. It's been kind of an emotional whirlwind wondering when he's going to come, and I'm starting to feel like I can finally relax. Although the end of pregnancy can be extremely uncomfortable, I'm so thrilled that the chances of him spending time in the NICU are slim.

I am grateful to have a Heavenly Father who loves us and listens to our prayers. Sometimes it takes a trial of sorts to bring us to our knees and remind us of where are blessings come from. I hope that even in times of good, I can remember to pray always. My greatest desire is to maintain a close relationship with my Father in Heaven; to have His spirit with me and recieve the guidance that we all need so much. I am humbled and grateful for all the blessings we have recieved from His hands. Through prayer I have been given peace.


{this oh-so-lovely picture of me demonstrates what a contraction feels like}
I'll be praying a lot during those.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Micke Grove Zoo

Bubba turned 18 months yesterday. I feel like the time has flown by so quickly, but at the same time I feel like I've been a mother forever. You kind of forget what life was like before kids. I was just looking at old photos, and it's so crazy how different things are now. I can honestly say though, the last 18 months have been the happiest of my life, the last 2 1/2 years, really. I think part of that is just learning to put others before yourself. When you become a spouse and then a parent, you realize what's really important. You learn to love and serve each other, and that's the best part of life.

I've been 3 cm dilated since at least Friday, so who knows when the next baby is coming. I really wanted to make sure we had a day for just Bubba before he gets here. So, we took Bubs to the zoo yesterday with Nikki and Sheldon. Bubba called almost every mammal a dog, including the monkeys. And every bird was a duck. He cracks me up.


















{the adorable Nikki & Sheldon}
















{the *three* loves of my life}

And the award for creepiest animal goes to...















This baboon that was staring right at me. Freaky! And this bald bird. Seriously, these pictures don't even do the creepiness justice.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Did You See NieNie on Oprah?


I got married just before my 19th birthday. We had our first son weeks after our one year anniversary. I couldn't be happier with those choices. Some wonder why I chose to start a family at such a young age, and maybe why we chose to have another baby so soon {We're so excited}!


I was just fortunate enough to fall in love with a wonderful man, who I knew would love me, respect me, and take care of me. We have the same values and same goals in life. I also knew he would make an amazing dad.


I am so grateful that this is the path I chose. Motherhood is often taken for granted, even looked down upon in our society, but I know this is where my influence is most needed. Some people go through life not really knowing what thier purpose is. I know mine, and that is to nurture, to teach, and to protect my children, and to be a loving, supportive wife. It's not always easy, but amid the challenges are shining moments of joy and satisfaction. I have never been more fulfilled.


After hearing about NieNie last summer, I really cannot take my role as wife and mother for granted. She is the most inspiring mother I could ever think of. If you did not get the chance to see her on Oprah yesterday, go HERE to read a commentary. Then make sure you go HERE to watch a video of Nie's struggles at home since the fiery plane crash. If I need a pick me up and don't feel like cleaning my house or reading I Spy Animals for the bajillionth time, I just click into her archives and feel so uplifted and inspired to be my best self; to try a little harder and not take my family or my time here on Earth for granted.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Family BBQ

{me and my cute aunts. please, excuse my extreme plumpness}

I may or may not have been greeted, "Hey fat girl! You look like a pumpkin!"

Totally the look I was going for.


Sunday night, we went to my Aunt Cindy's and Uncle Greg's for a family BBQ. It was so fun to see everyone and play out back with Bubba by the lake. He and I fed ducks which as you may know, are one of his favorite animals. He was ecstatic!

The food was amazing! Uncle Greg is seriously the BBQ Master. He made beef burgers, salmon burgers, and my first ever Boca burger {he's a vegetarian}. Not even lying, it was the best burger I have ever had. I'm not just saying that because I'm pregnant and everything tastes better. It's true. Topped with mushrooms and sauteed bell peppers, it was simply perfection.


Eww. I'm drooling.


In other news, as of Friday I was still 1 cm and still 90% effaced. I have another appointment in 2 days so we'll have an update then. And in just 4 days, we are in the safe zone, so once again thank you for your prayers, without which Baby Boy #2 may be in the Nicu instead of safely in my belly. Although I'm really looking forward to the day when I have my body back.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Naps


Yesterday Bubba decided since Daddy was home from work early, life was way too exciting for him to need a nap. So, he stayed up to play and crashed for the night at 7:30 {much earlier than usual}.

Guess what time he woke up today?

3:30. That's right. Three freaking Thirty.

Guess what time he decided he was ready for nap?

8:30.

Just in time for me to start getting ready for my 10:00 doctor's appointment and not take a nap.

Update: Nikki came over and picked Bubba up that afternoon for several hours so I could sleep. I LOVE HER.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stretch Marks


I sat on the couch, scratching my belly, and noticed a little red mark. I shrieked, ran to the bedroom, and lifted my shirt in front of the full length mirror. In horror, I cried, "Ahhhhh....!!!! I have stretch marks!"

Then Bubba came running in after me, lifted his shirt up and stood in front of the mirror to stare at his belly.

I couldn't help but laugh. Immediately my perspective changed. I thought, I am getting another Bubba! How can I complain about stretch marks? These things are a badge of honor for carrying a child within my body and bringing life into the world. I should be proud of these "mommy badges". Now, now don't you worry, I won't be wearing bikinis and belly shirts any time soon (or ever for that matter) but I'm starting to finally become happy with my body. I've come to realize that it's not so much what my body looks like as it is what my body can do.

I'm happy baby has stayed in for this long. Thanks for all your prayers! In just 2 weeks, the doctor says we're pretty much in the safe zone, meaning I can resume all activity, including you-know-what. Although it's been kind of fun to just make out for the last month. It's kind of like we're dating again, and now we're just looking forward to the honeymoon. ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Letters For Landon


My Dearest Landon,


Can I just say how fun you were today? You woke up early {too early} and sat next to the bed where I still lay. You grabbed your own sippy cup and "Come Unto Christ". You drank from your cup and flipped through the pages. You've been seeing Mama read a lot more lately and have taken an even greater interest in books. You already seem to have a gentle respect for them. Thank you!

We went on a walk today with Nikki and your best bud, Piper the Italian Greyhound. Even though I'm supposed to be on bed rest, I know how hard it is to keep you cooped up inside. As I pushed the stroller, you were so excited and pointed to every tree saying, "Tee!" in your cute little raspy voice. You also held Piper's leash for awhile and loved that, but I'm afraid you almost choked her once or twice.

You saw your first real live snake today, too! A lady had one around her neck at Lincoln Center. She said you could come see. I brought you close and I'm not sure what you thought. You got real serious and just stared at it.

Last night Piper came over and you two ran around and around and around. You were both so excited to see each other. I haven't heard you laugh so hard and so long ever! You just love Piper, and I hope to get you a dog one day soon. But first we'll have to get used to your little brother.

He will be here so soon! I'm excited to see you with him. I know you'll be such a great big brother because you are so sweet and loving to everyone. He will be blessed to have you and I know you'll love each other and have so much fun together {'cause I'm gonna make you}.

I love you!

Mama

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mom's Getting Her Book Published!




An average book buyer gives a cover three seconds before moving on. My mom was recently offered a contract with a big publishing company out of Oklahoma City, and is officially an author now. The company's graphic designer has come up with these cover designs and my mom has to pick one to represent the book by Friday. I'm really undecided, especially with the first two. Love them! I would love the third, but I think the lipstick writing looks kind of tacky. So, be honest and tell me what your oppinion is.

{My mom}

Friday, September 18, 2009

Child of Mine




Soon Bubba and I will have another playmate {but hopefully not TOO soon}. It's starting to feel REAL to me and I'm getting more and more excited. It's going to be a big change. For the last year and half, it's just been me and Bubba--all day, everyday. I love it. Even though it's hard being a mom to a toddler; it's active, it's messy, it's crazy.

Our time is spent playing together, reading together, laughing, singing...going on walks, playing catch, and ofcourse watching Elmo. I'm so grateful for my time with him. We have a really close relationship and I hope that it just gets better with the new addition.

Bubba already loves babies. The other day we were at a shower and he sat at the base of this 7 week old's carseat. The baby was sleeping and Bub just sat there staring at him. He then started to touch his cheek, his nose, and I got nervous so I said, "Don't touch the baby's face, but you can touch his feet." So I pulled back the blanket, then Bubba leaned over and placed a big, smacking kiss on the bottom of his tiny little foot.

I can't wait to see him with his little brother. But I'm nervous about being in the hospital away from Bubba. Hopefully, everything will go well and the baby and I can come home right away. With the baby being so high at risk for premature delivery, I'm nervous about time I may have to spend in the NICU, so we're just praying for a healthy boy, and I'm hoping we can bring him home as soon as possible.

Here's a video of Bubba...being Bubba. Here's another video that really inspired me today.

video

Monday, September 14, 2009

Irritable Uterus


You wouldn't know from this peaceful picture taken yesterday by MonicaJane that I have an "irritable uterus". That is seriously the name of my condition. So funny, but not really because since about 26 weeks my uterus has not stopped contracting. It's all day everyday pretty much no matter what I do which is a problem because contractions cause cervical changes and cervical changes cause the appearance of BABIES.

I'm only about 32 weeks, so I don't want to see a baby right now. I've been feeling a lot more pressure down there so I decided to go in and get checked. Turns out I'm 90% effaced, and about a 1/2 cm dilated, and his head is "right there". They did a test last night to detect fetal fibronectin which is the "glue" that holds the placenta together and if it's found in your nether regions, labor is very possibly imminent. If negative you have less than a 5% chance of delivering in the next 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I tested positive, so it's likely that he could come within 2 weeks, but I'm hoping not. I want him to get all nice and fat and cute and develop those little lungs so I don't have to see another baby in the NICU with an IV and tubes. It's the hardest thing ever.

So, as much as it pains me I have to learn to "take it easy" even when my toddler does stuff like this:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Apartment Living


kitchen.


picture wall.

living.


Bub's room.

more to come later. <3








Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tiger






Bubba insisted I put this tiger costume on him that happens to be size 9 months. I squeezed him in, brought him to a mirror, he squealed with delight, then ran around the house. Have you ever seen something so ferocious?


And you bet that's my sexy, sophisticated husband in the background. Don't tell him I told you-- But he's actually reading Harry Potter.


Husband: I love Harry Potter more than anything!
Me: What about me?
Husband, corrected: I love you more than anything. So, Harry Potter is my second favorite. Wait, I love you, then Bubba, then Harry Potter. Oh, wait, I love basketball and food more than Harry Potter. So, I guess Harry Potter is my fifth favorite.


This is the point in which I realized my husband was a nerd, and indeed not the coolest man alive as I have mistakenly been lead to believe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More on Clark



HERE is a newsclip of Clark. It's difficult to watch. :(

I just talked to Clark. He's still in ICU but is doing better. He's managing to flirt with the "hot nurses" but informs me that he is wearing a diaper. Hope that's working for him.

Clark

Clark and Bubba




The last couple of days have been especially traumatic for my family. We came close to losing my little brother, Clark who is loved so dearly. He is the sweetest kid you'll ever meet. He's 14 and still tells me he loves me every time we speak. He gives hugs out like candy at a parade, respects his parents, gets along with everyone. Clark is just someone everyone really enjoys being around.

But unfortunately teenage boys sometimes do stupid things. He and his friend, Conner heard you could get a natural high if you ate Jimson weed seeds (moonflower). They found some planted in Conner's backyard and ate them. So, my parents got a call on Sunday from Conner's parents. They found Conner halucinating and he was rushed to Pediatric ICU, but no one could find Clark. My parents and friends looked everywhere. Someone found him hallucinating in a field hours later and called 911. He had been there 8 hours, was severely dehydrated, sunburned, and really scared. He didn't recognize my parents until yesterday, and he finally stopped thrashing, twitching, and hallucinating today.

And it's been a rough day for him. He's been in Pediatric ICU unable to eat for the last 48 hours and remembers a very scary experience, to say the least. It breaks my heart because he's such a happy kid and I just called to check on him and he's just sobbing. He said he was so scared. For eight hours, he walked around trying to find someone that had a cell phone so he could call his mom, but everyone he talked to would turn out to be just a tree, or disappear. It's the furthest thing from a pleasant experience. If he wasn't found at that time, he would have died.

Clark and my mom have agreed to talk about this experience, to have a Public Health Warning issued and to educate parents on discussing the danger with their own children. Kids have died from ingesting this flower before. It's not an illegal flower; in fact it grows wild in a lot of places, so I just hope that there's no long term damage and that other kids learn from this. They'll probably be on the news tonight. Here some newspaper clips and a video about them in the meantime...

Prayers would be appreciated. The doctors are saying Clark could have permanent liver damage.


http://www.news9.com/global/story.asp?s=10983561 There's a video clip to the right of this article.



http://newsok.com/2-in-hospital-after-eating-weed/article/3395190?custom_click=rss


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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Seven Months

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So, here I am bursting with belly, among other things. He's a big guy. He's an active guy. He's still a nameless guy. I can't wait to meet him. I can't wait for Bubba to meet him! If I could fill my house with children I would. I want a baby girl from China. And one from Africa. I want all the babies in the world. Is that selfish?

Oh, wait...I can barely handle mine today. But he's cute.

Sideways. Oops.