Thursday, June 30, 2011

Would You Keep It Just To Keep It?

I almost ran over my neighbor's pet pig this morning.
I'm thinking that would have been a disaster.

My mom and her siblings have been cleaning out my grandparent's house.
It's been an interesting and somewhat entertaining process to watch.
Years before my grandma died she went through her house and put tiny numbered stickers on the bottom of almost every thing she owned:  pictures, china, dolls, etc.
And then on a piece of paper that she guarded with her life, Grandma put names next to each number.
She showed me that list over and over again, and often asked my opinion about who should get what.
I knew it was safer to stay far away from such decisions, and so I mostly just kept my mouth shut.
Grandma had her favorites, and it was obvious that the list was biased towards those favorites.
If I cared more about 'stuff' I probably wouldn't find it as humorous as I do.

My mom accuses me of being a minimalist.  I rarely hold on to things for sentimental reasons. 
When my other grandpa died my parents were living far away in the land of Brazil, and so it was up to me to clean out his house.  It was a simple process.  I threw almost everything away, or gave it to good will.  There were a few things I kept and stored for my mom...and a few things I kept for myself.  My aunt took what she wanted for herself and her kids, and the rest I got rid of.

So when my mom came home Saturday night with a trailer full of stuff, and FIVE huge bags full of clothes from my grandma's closet I just shook my head.
When she put all of Grandma's costume jewelry out on the floor and asked each of her daughter's to choose what they wanted, I chose nothing.  That's when my mom just shook her head at me. 
Last Sunday afternoon Mom gathered all of her daughters around and said, "Let's go through these clothes.  I need you to help me decide if there is anything worth keeping."
At one point even my brother-in-law joined in on the fun.

My grandma was 90 something when she died and hadn't been shopping for years.
YEARS.
Also, Grandma was afraid to wash anything because of the possibility it would get ruined.
Grandma had 14 pair of white pants.  White pants that she wore every day of her life...even when she weeded the garden.
We didn't keep any of the white pants.
I think had we not been there, Mom would have kept more than she did, but we were pretty strict.
"Mom, you can't keep that."
"Don't even think about it...put it in the good will pile."
"No Mom...we do not want Grandma's lingerie."
"M.O.M - take that out of your to keep pile right now."

Bless her heart...
That mother of mine is just so sentimental.

When we finally finished with the last shirt, the good will pile was huge.
My sister kept a few things for her dress up box, and another sister actually kept one of Grandma's *cough* nightgowns.  She held it up and said, "Happy Anniversary to my husband," and my mom kept a pile for herself...with our blessing.

Every day I come to work and find a few more of Grandma's things added to the room that I was going to use as Emily's nursery, here in my office.
Mom doesn't have anywhere else to store it.
After dropping a few things off yesterday Mom called me.
"I have a proposition for you."
I don't know about you but when I hear the word proposition I think that there will be something in it for me.
Not that I'm a 'what's in it for me' kind of person...but when someone wants to make you a proposition, it implies that there might be a benefit for you.
"I have a few boxes of papers that we took out of Grandma's office," Mom began.
I quickly realized that this was not the beneficial kind of proposition.
"If I bring them to work and put them in that room, would you go through them when you have time and decide what we should keep and what we shouldn't?" Mom asked.
"You want ME to decide what you should do with Grandma's papers?" I asked.
"Yes.  I just don't have the energy to do it."
Funny thing about energy...I don't have it either, but I couldn't exactly say no.

But here's my concern.
Are my aunts and uncles, AND my mother, going to kill me when they find out that I threw everything away?
Because the likelihood of me tossing it all is so much greater than me keeping anything.
I've seen the kind of papers Grandma kept in her office.
Would you like to take a guess as to how many scrap books she filled with papers?
At least 112.
Bother.

Oh...and too?
Mom and I have made a compromise.
She doesn't have to worry about going through her 'stuff' now...she can keep as much of it as she likes for sentimental reasons, as long as she doesn't come back to haunt us if we choose to get rid of it later.
Bother.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Own Personal Battle

This is my family.
All of us.
Just thought I'd introduce you.


In spite of yesterday's great news I found myself feeling discouraged and down all day long.
I have no doubt that part of those emotions were a result of exhaustion.
In fact, when Jason and I got home from our second doctor visit of the day we both crashed.
We slept solid for at least an hour.

Last night I snuggled close to Jason and asked the questions that had been burning in my heart.
"Why is it that I can't accept today for what it was?"
"The news we got today is a miracle, and I have no doubt of God's intervention."
"Why can't I leave it at that?"
"Why do I feel like in order for this experience to truly be a trial of my faith, it has to get worse before it gets better?"
"Why do I keep waiting for the next bad thing to happen?"
"Why do I feel like I shouldn't expect miracles, or that I don't deserve them, because so many people around me aren't getting the miracles that they're praying for?"

When I had finally exhausted all of my questions, Jason looked at me and asked a question of his own.
"Do you want me to answer you or is this a time when you're just talking and I'm just listening?"
We've only been married a year and a few months...he's a quick learner.

I told him that I wanted an answer.

He gave me a lot of things to think about.
He referenced the general hesitation anyone feels about asking someone else for help.
And he pointed out that perhaps we're denying someone else the blessings that their helping us would bring into their lives.
"Maybe in a way, you're doing the same thing to God."
"You're hesitant to ask for and to accept His help because you think you have to do it all on your own."

After several suggestions and ideas Jason said, "I can sum it all up in one word."
"Uncertainty."

And with that it all clicked.
That's my problem...that's exactly why I'm so afraid to believe in a miracle being simply that...a miracle.
It's the uncertainty of everything.

With every ounce of good news we've heard it's been overshadowed with bad.
Even yesterday.
There's blood flow, which is amazing.
And had the doctor left it at that I would have been grateful.
But just after the doctor told us the results of the echo-cardiogram, he told us that they will have to test for yet another syndrome after she's born...one we've never heard of before.
"There's a 20% chance she's got Di'George Syndrome."

And you know what, it doesn't even matter to me if she does.
Just like it doesn't matter if she has Down's Syndrome.
Just like it wouldn't matter if she were born with just one arm.
We'll deal with what we're given.

But for just one day...one appointment...I would really love to leave the uncertainty unspoken.
Uncertainty makes me tired.
Uncertainty is what makes me cry.
And uncertainty makes me think that even though I have faith, I somehow need more.

And now I'm going to take a deep breath and shake it off.
Thanks for 'listening.'

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For Those Of You Who NEED To Know...with the sub-title 'Breathe Amy Breathe'

Let me give you some advice.
I'm hopeful that you won't need it.
If you are going to your local children's hospital for an appointment, and there's a chance your child will soon be a patient there, wear waterproof mascara.
I was fine through the ultrasound/echo cardiogram.
I was fine through the room full of doctors (3 of them...plus a social worker, and someone else) going over the results of the ultrasound.
I was fine when I was asked twice, "Are you sure you don't need a bathroom?"

I was NOT fine when we walked into the cardiac newborn intensive care unit.
I would have been...
If it weren't for the tiny little baby I saw...hooked up to a ventilator, with a million other little tubes all over his body.
He couldn't have been more than a week old.
I missed the entire speech our 'tour guide' gave us...I was too busy trying to control the tears.
In a few short weeks that would be my baby, hooked up to tubes...and the reality hit harder than I thought it would.

I broke down one other time.  It was when the tour guide took us across a bridge to the other hospital, where I'll deliver Emily.
It's a long walk from where I'll be to where my baby will be, soon after she's born.
And as the tour guide explained that due to my circumstances, I'll be in a room with a window connected to the NICU so that I can see my baby for as long as possible before they take her to the other hospital, the reality hit again.
I'm going to have a baby.
And that baby will be in another hospital.
And it will be 48 hours before I can spend any significant amount of time with Emily.

I made it to the car before I cried enough to have it be embarrassing.

And all of this came AFTER the visit with the cardiologist...where we got good news.
I'm thinking in the future they should do it the other way around.
Hit the soon to be first time mom with the hard stuff first, and then end her visit with the good news.

The good news?
There is blood flow through Emily's pulmonary artery...where there hasn't ever been signs of it before.
It's not a lot but it's there.
Blood flow means that she's on the mild end of the spectrum.
According to the cardiologist blood flow means that we got the 'good' heart condition.
Blood flow means that there's a small chance she won't need surgery right when she's born...although at this point that's not likely the case.

Prayers and faith = blood flow to Emily's arteries.
And all of you can take the credit for that.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart...which by the way, does have good blood flow.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pretend I Was Never Here


Hello?

I'm not here today.
I'm hanging out at my other blog...Dear Emily, Love Mommy.
The post there is a tad cheesy...
I guess you can either deal with the cheese or not read it.

Tomorrow is a big day as far as doctors appointments go.
We're headed to Primary Children's Hospital to meet one last time with the pediatric cardiologist.
Jason and I are both hopeful and apprehensive.
Amazingly, Jason will be here for this appointment, and for every one after that until Emily is born.
It almost seems a miracle that he's done traveling...until well after Emily arrives.

Wait...I wasn't supposed to be here.

I'll be back tomorrow...with news...hopefully of the 'good' variety.




Saturday, June 25, 2011

The World Needs More Trouble

When Trouble's daddy goes up in the lift Trouble likes to tag along.


But the excitement gets too much to handle and there's only one thing she can do:


Shortly before Trouble fell asleep she asked me when my 'baby bath' was.
I told her that the baby shower was today at Grandma's house.
This little Trouble...
I never get tired of hanging out with her.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Remember When I Wrote Posts That Had A Point?

Do you want to see what a simple mosquito bite does to me?


Probably what you can't see is how red it is all around the bite, and how swollen my leg is.
And that's in addition to the pregnancy swell.
It makes me bitter.
By tomorrow it will be a dark purple color.
BUT...
Aren't my shoes cute?
I bought them in Guatemala once upon a time.

Last night at 11:17pm the garage door opened and I ran down the stairs.
Well, as fast as a girl can 'run' in my delicate position.
Ha...delicate position...
I sound like I'm from the 1800s or something.
I opened the door to greet my long lost husband and told him that he was never allowed to leave again.
And then I kissed him.
And then I told him again that he was not allowed to leave...ever.
I thought that perhaps by kissing him I would have more power of persuasion.
Guess who's leaving again today.
It's not me.

I think even that baby girl of ours knew that her daddy was home.
She kicked and wiggled all over the place for at least 20 minutes, and Jason loved every one of those minutes.

Jason went with me to the non-stress test today.
My fluid level went down by nearly 10!
I got all excited until the nurse laughed and said, "But Noelle, you're still at 50."
Should I remind you that a level of 10 or 12 is normal?
That little Emily...she switched sides three times.
Just when the nurse would have her heart beat on the monitor for a minute, Emily would move.
It's the personal swimming pool she's got...she's just trying to take advantage of every minute.

The City of Fun Carnival makes it's home in my hometown.
I drive by their storage site every single day on my way to work.
Back in the day, when my sister and I spent a lot of time together, we would drive past and she would say "I wonder where they are this week?"
She asked this question at least once a week.
I used to laugh at her constant curiosity of the carnival's current location.
One year I had the brilliant idea to track down the person in charge of the carnival and ask for their yearly schedule.
I was going to print it out and frame it and give it to my sister for her birthday.
I called and called, and never got anything but the voicemail.
I've noticed that recently when I drive by I have the thought, "I wonder where they are this week?"
One week out of the year I know where they are...
Right here ... just down the street ...
Maybe next year when they set up I'll head over and ask to speak to the manager.
I wonder if he would give me their schedule?

I don't know why I just told you that.

Happy Weekend Friends!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You Tell Me...Do I Demand Too Much?

I don't know you guys...
Maybe my expectations are way too high.
Maybe I demand perfection from people incapable of giving it.
Maybe I need to lower the standards I hold people to.

I got my first clue that perhaps I'm way off base when a customer:

-walked into my office
-sat down at my desk
-picked up my scissors
-cut his fingernails with my scissors
-and let his fingernail clippings fall to the floor

I feel like I need a shower now...
...or at the very least I need to douse my scissors in some kind of disinfectant.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blah

I'm not feeling so hot today.
In fact, I feel pretty crummy.
And I'm not convinced that my baby girl is going to wait for another month.

And that's all I've got for today.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Have Forgotten What My Husband Looks Like

Our very loudest customer just yelled at me from across the nursery.
"Noelle, get in your office right now!"
"You will not have a baby today!"
"Stop walking and get in your office!"
I wonder how he would suggest I get to my office if I'm supposed to stop walking?

Another customer who just left, said as he walked out the door, "Noelle, don't go into labor today."

Want to know the crazy part?
These two particular customers don't even know that there is a risk of me going into pre-term labor.

I have babysitters everywhere I go.
Last night I went into a store to get some plastic containers.
As I walked up to check out an employee of the store saw me and said, "Come over here so you don't have to wait in line."
And then she said, "Ma'am, let me get you a cart for those."
"Ma'am can I have someone help you out?"
"Are you sure you're okay?"

I went to another store to buy a blanket for our bed.
I got a little carried away and bought some other things too, and when I went to leave, the girl who had bagged my items said, "Are you sure you can get to your car okay?"
I was in the mall ... in a department store.
I'm guessing they don't regularly offer to carry things out for their customers.

All of them probably think I'm going to have a baby at any second.

* * * * *

Wouldn't your day at work be better if you had these visitors?


* * * * *

I can't think of anything clever to end with.
Hmmm...let's see...

How bout this?


(I know, I know, I've posted this before...)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Big Blessings Come In Small Packages

My cell phone just rang.
I answered and Trouble was on the other end.
"Hi Well."
"Hi Sami."
"Well, whatcha doing?"
"I'm working, what are you doing?"
"I just went to Joshy's house, but now I'm at Grandma's house again."
"Did you have fun at Josh's house?"
"Uhh huu...how's Elimy?"
"Emily is fine Sami."
"But why she got a broken heart?"
"Her heart didn't grow right."
"The doctor gonna fix it?"
"Yes Sami, as soon as Emily is born, the doctor is going to fix her heart."
"Okay, bye."
And then Trouble hung up.

That phone call probably saved my life today.
Or at least it saved me from yelling at someone.
Somehow that little Trouble has the ability to soothe anyones troubles.


Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm Such A Lady

I'm pregnant.
Did you know?

And too?
My amniotic fluid went up again!
I asked the nurse this morning, "Is there a point where my body can't take this any more?"
She smiled and said, "You're to the point where your prayers are being answered."
So to all of you?  Thanks for those prayers.
You're keeping my little Emily where she needs to be.

Between Emily and fluid, I have no room for anything else.
Like food.
It's become somewhat of a game.
I can eat a small breakfast, and I can eat a small lunch, but after that I never know.
I usually manage to keep a piece of toast with some bottled peaches down but then, not always.
Last night I was STARVING!
It had been two days without being able to eat much and I was dying for real food.
I stopped at the closest Cafe Rio and ordered a chicken burrito - enchilada style - without any extras.
I ate about half of it and for the first few hours I thought I might be okay.

But then...
Then...
I laid down.

Did I mention that Jason came home for the night?  He drove 6 hours so that he could spend the night at home with me...he's leaving again in a few hours.
He and I were in bed talking.
It went something like this:

Jason:  "Did you see the awesome tent poles I got in the mail?"
Noelle: "Yep."  And then a big burp.
Jason:  "And the other boxes?  I can't wait to show you what's inside!"
Noelle:  Burp.
Jason:  "Did you know that ..."
Noelle:  Burp...and then a mad dash to the toilet.

A few minutes later as I waddled out of the bathroom I muttered, "Dang chicken enchilada," and then asked Jason "Aren't you glad you came home for this?"

Amazingly, the man loves me even when I burp.  Just as I was falling asleep he said, "I'm going to say a prayer." 
Me?  I said, "Okay."  BURP.  And then I laughed...because really?  What else can I do?

And for those of you who asked -
I'm happy to tell you what book I read that kept me up until 2:30am.
On one condition:  you can't mock me.
Seriously.

Did any of you read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?
The author just wrote a 5th book that takes place 10 years later.
It's called Sisterhood Everlasting...and I enjoyed every page.

May your weekend be filled with sno-cones and water parks!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What Are You Craving?

Last night I did something I haven't done since before I got married.
I stayed up until 2:30am to finish a book.
A book that I started last night.
I don't sleep well anyway and figured why not lose sleep over a good book rather than just trips to the bathroom?
In a strange way, it felt good.
I love a good book...way more than I love chocolate.

I've been looking at the mountains and wishing I could go for a hike.
I think I'm actually craving a hike.
Jason's going to be so happy to read this.
Not because I can go for a hike any time soon but because I haven't lost my desire to hike.
I was looking through some pictures trying to find one and got distracted.
Here's what I've been distracted by:




I think I'll at least go for a drive through the mountains.
That ought to do something.

All right...I've got to go and raid my sister's office.
She has food and I don't.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Being Friends

If I were in charge, there would be a parking spot or two reserved for pregnant women...right next to the handicapped parking.  Just so you know...

Yesterday as I was finishing up with my twice weekly non-stress test I got a text from one of my dearest friends.
She was texting to let me know that she wasn't pregnant.
I started to cry.
I had been hoping and praying that her latest round of fertility treatments worked.

I thought about the girl who had come into the hospital in handcuffs and who was accompanied by two armed guards, who was just through the curtain from me, having her own non-stress test done.  I thought about her baby, a girl, who will go into foster care the minute she's born...and I was mad.  I was really mad.

I didn't stay mad, because being mad doesn't do anyone any good...

Today I got this email from my friend:

My husband made me smile this morning...
On our way to work he said, “you are going to Noelle’s baby shower this weekend, right?!” When I replied “of course” he said, “good because you need to go – this is really really awesome and I hope that they know how excited we are for them. We have to get them a killer gift...”


So did you decide to register anywhere?  I need to find you a “killer” gift under his orders (like I wouldn’t anyway!) If you didn’t, what do you need?

I hope that I can face my own heart aches and challenges with as much grace as my friend does.
I'm blessed to be able to call her friend.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thank Goodness The Day Is Half Way Over

I'm breaking records at the Maternal Fetal Medicine office.
It's a proud moment.
The nurse said to me this morning "Well that does it.  You just broke the record for the most amniotic fluid I've ever seen."
Go me.

"And I can't believe they haven't put you on bed rest yet," she said.
I smiled sweetly and said, "And you're not going to suggest it are you."
She said no...but only because my contractions are almost non-existent.
Bless her heart.

As I was driving home from the hospital I realized my wallet was missing.
It wasn't in my bag.
It wasn't in my car.
My sister is going to call me any minute and tell me it's not at home.
Do you know how I know?

Because a random stranger just called me on my cell phone and said, "Noelle, I found your wallet in the parking lot of the hospital."
For the love of Walley...
There isn't even a hole in my purse.

How lucky am I that a kind-hearted, honest woman found my wallet and called me?
She's keeping it safe until I can get to her house tonight after work.

I swear...
Actually, I normally don't...
But it's been a day.

My mom ... bless her heart too ... has been at her wits end with an employee.
I suggested that she do something about it...
She took my suggestion...did what I told her I would do...
And boy howdy did that employee unleash on my poor mother.
My kind, loving, tender-hearted mother...
And it was because she followed my advice.
I'm sorry mom!  I'll keep my mouth shut in the future!
And maybe I'll say something to the employee.
Maybe...

And now that I've typed everything that has come to my mind I'll get back to work.



Sunday, June 12, 2011

Counting My Blessings

And just like that Jason's gone again.
This time for ten days straight.
I try not to complain too loudly; his job is half the reason we can run the air conditioner.
And it's because of his boss's generosity that we were able to purchase every ounce of baby furniture we have.

Today was a perfect day.
I woke up so tired this morning and instead of getting out of bed to get ready for church, I looked over at Jason and asked, "Want to go to church with my parents?"  They go to church two hours later than we do, and when Jason said sure I snuggled into his pillow and slept for another hour.  It was heaven.
I love going 'home' for church.
I get to spend time with people who watched me grow up and who were there for all of my best stories, and I always come away feeling so uplifted and loved.

My entire family was together for dinner tonight.
You might think that's a regular occurrence, but in reality, it's not.
Someone is always gone.
Tonight my nephew asked me, "Noelle, do we get to go on a walk today?"
I couldn't say no to him, but I did shorten the length of the walk.
We walked to the top of the street and back, with the kids giggling and running the whole way.

Back at Grandma's house Trouble curled up next to me in a big chair and we read stories.
And while I read to her she kept her little hand near where Emily's head was, and rubbed my stomach every few minutes.

I can't even begin to tell you the amount of peace I feel when I'm with my family.
There is a little boy in my parents neighborhood who was recently adopted by his foster family.
He's 8.
As I watched him in church today I thought of his first 8 years and my heart broke for the life he had missed out on.  And I got a bit emotional as I thought of the life he has now.  I watched him there, sitting next to his new mom.  He would lean over and whisper to her every few minutes and at one point she winked at him.

I know that not all people were blessed with close, tight-knit families.  Not all people have supportive parents and loving brothers and sisters.  And today as I watched that little 8 year old I made it my goal to never take what I have for granted.  And I hope that some day God will give me the opportunity to give a child or children the safe haven they so desperately need...even if it's just temporarily.

Friday, June 10, 2011

On A Friday Night

If you weren't aware...
There is something incredibly humorous about watching your husband box with the WII.
Jason's opponent won't stay down and Jason's bothered.
Oh wait...Jason just got a knock out.
He's dancing around the room as if he were really in the boxing ring.

It's been a long day.
I wish I could say I handled everything about this day with grace and class.
However, the pity party for one I held on my bed a little while ago pretty much made grace and class fly out the window.

Thank goodness Jason is home for two days and was here to remind me that I'm not a wimp...
That it's okay to cry once in a while...
That it's okay to tell him how much I hurt all over...

Speaking of Jason...
Guess what he told me when he got home from his most recent business trip?
We're going to be getting boxes and boxes of new 'gear' in the mail: tents, pads, down blankets, packs...
You would have been proud of how excited I acted.
I said all the right things and was giddy in all the right spots.
Inside I was thinking "Oh my honk...just what we need...another tent."
Don't ask me where we're going to put it all - the storage unit is full and Jason's office is bursting at the seams.
Maybe I'll secretly open an Etsy shop for backpacking gear.

That future daddy even ordered a 'demo' size air mattress and down blanket...one that will be the perfect fit for Emily...until she's about a year old.
I wonder how much camping he thinks we're going to be doing while Emily is a baby?

One of my dear friends is hosting a baby shower for me next Saturday.
Because some of you have asked...if you'd like an invitation, just say the word. 

I must go do my wifely duties and cheer my husband on during his WII tennis match.
I'm glad to see him finally using his Christmas present.

Have a fabulous weekend friends!

PS.  To the 'Shrew in Farmington'...I adore you!  Just so you know...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Was Schooled

My mom has a ginormous vacuum.
I think someone custom built it for her.
Seriously.
Here...I'll show you.
It's so big I had to take two pictures.



Don't mind the dust on my pots.
I'm working on it.

Yesterday I asked if I could borrow the vacuum.
My dad about had a fit.
"It's a bad idea."
"It's going to get broken."
It didn't get broken because we threatened the lives of the employees who brought it to me.
They loaded it in the back of our 6-wheeler and drove it slowly to my office.

I turned it on and was disappointed.
Somehow I thought it should be making more noise than it was.
With the amount of dirt on my floor, I expected something louder.
However, the floor looked cleaner so I persisted.

I vacuumed off and on the entire day.
Turns out vacuuming causes contractions and I had to take it easy.
At some point during the day my sister came into my office.
She saw what I was doing and said to her 8 year old daughter, "Erika, can you vacuum the floor please?"


This is Erika.

She said, "Sure Mommy.  Do I put it on 2?"
My sister said yes, Erika turned the vacuum on and...
There was noise...lots and lots of noise...just as there should have been.
"Erika?  What did you put on 2?" I wondered.
She showed me, I tried it, and what do you know...
Three hours later and I finally figured out how to use the vacuum.

It's a hard world to live in for us old people.

And for your enjoyment...
I walked into the kitchen in my office and found this:


She was just hanging out in the cupboard.
I wonder if I could fit in there...
It looks like the perfect hiding place.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Confession

I have a small addiction to Hostess Ding Dongs.
I think I'm in trouble.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Love Notes

Dear Husband,

Sometimes when you go out of town I don't like it.
Last night when I had to go into the snake infested field to hunt down our stray garbage can was one of those times.

Trouble thinks you're in Colorado.
She told me to call you and tell you that her flip flop that fell in the yucky river is probably in Colorado by now and you should bring it home to her.

I told her I couldn't call you because you were in a meeting with your boss.
This is what she said:
"Jason is the boss of Colorado!"

Also...I'm still as big as a house.
I have a picture to prove it to you.
Even Amanda told me yesterday, "Noelle, you're ginormous."
Or something like that...



Oh and Husband?
Don't mind the hair.
At least I washed it today!

Thank you for sending me the picture of the glass of milk you had at the bar last night.
You don't look as big as a house, by the way.

I am really behind at work right now so I better get busy.
I hope you have a great day!

Love,

Your Wife


Monday, June 6, 2011

Better Late Than Never

A few minutes ago the back door to my office opened and I heard someone walk in.
"Amanda?" I asked hopefully.  (You might know her as Baby Sister.)
She answered and I whimpered, "I need you."
That Baby Sister of mine...she's an angel.
It doesn't matter when or how often, if I say I need you, she's there.
Some days it's to run a deposit to the bank for me.
Other days it's to grab lunch for me.
At the moment she's out buying us lunch...with my car and my money...lest you think I take advantage of her kindness...
And she's in search of orange soda, because dang it, I've been craving it since Saturday.
I love that sister and I just wanted you to know.

I'm at the point with my blog where I can't sit and write about everything that comes to my mind.
I wanted to tell you a story last week about something that happened, but it involved someone else who might not appreciate being talked about in the blogosphere.
It was nothing negative...in fact, it was quite humorous...
But do you know how many random people come up to me in a week and say, "I read your blog."
I had no way of knowing if the person I wanted to write about reads my blog...or maybe someone who knows this person reads my blog...and so in the long run I chose to keep the story to myself. 
Just to make sure.

With that said, I asked Jason if I could tell you another story and after telling him the beginning to the end of the story, he thought it would be okay.

Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a girl who I saw every Sunday at church.
I never really got to know the girl, as she made it clear that unless you were in her circle of friends, she wasn't interested in getting to know you.
I'll be honest...I wasn't a big fan of the girl, and mostly just thought she was a snob.
In the year or more that I saw her every Sunday my opinion never changed.
And when she started dating a guy who I thought was a really nice guy, I hoped that she was nicer to him than she was to the rest of us.

Fast forward...

Last Friday I had just come out of the bathroom of my temporary hospital room.
I was adjusting the lovely and ever so modest gown they gave me when the door opened and the nurse walked in.
The nurse happened to be the girl from church.
She looked at me and asked, "Noelle, do I know you?"
I mentioned that we had gone to church together for over a year and she said, "It's great to see you!"

And all the while I'm thinking, 'She's going to do the examination?  She's who is going to be taking care of me?"

But here's the thing...

When the nurse walked back into the room a little while later, and saw me in the middle of my small emotional breakdown, she sat down on the bed next to me, and just listened.
She listened to my fears and my concerns...
She gave me permission to cry my eyes out for a few minutes...
And she was as kind and compassionate as anyone could have been.
And later as I was leaving the hospital, all I could think of was that I was grateful that she had been there.

Isn't it nice that life sometimes gives us second chances to see what we might have missed the first time around?

Friday, June 3, 2011

And Now I Think I'll Take A Nap

You know what's fun?
It's going to the hospital for a routine non-stress test and then being admitted to the hospital because your stress test wasn't so 'non'.
High amniotic fluids measure at 25.
Last week I measured 28.
This week...40 something.
"Noelle, do you feel that contraction?" the nurse asked?
I didn't.
A few minutes later, "Noelle, did you feel that one?"
Again, no.

And then 20 minutes later the nurse comes in and says, "Okay, we're checking you in to labor and delivery for a little while so that they can monitor you and see if you're dilating."

I called Jason once I was in the gown and in bed and said, "Remember how I said you didn't need to come with me this morning because it wasn't a big deal?" and then I burst in to tears.  I was still crying when the new nurse came in.

"Oh why are you crying?" the nurse wanted to know. 
The easier question would have been why was I not crying?  I was crying because I was tired, and scared, and sick of not knowing and worrying and and and...oh, and I'm as large as a house.
It was a rough few minutes.

At the end of my little stay in the hospital it was determined that I am having contractions, they are not very strong nor consistent, but they are happening.  My cervix looks good which means that as of today I'm not yet on bed rest, although she let me know that I had rules...very strict rules.

And as a final good measure I got a big fat shot of steroids...not for me but for Miss Emily's lungs.  Because, unless something miraculous happens, it's not a matter of IF I'll go into pre-term labor but WHEN.  A uterus can only take so much fluid did you know?  I asked "do the steroids help with heart growth too?"  They don't.  That would be too simple...and do I need to remind you that I can't go into pre-term labor?  You know, because of the fact that Emily's heart has to have as much of a chance of developing as possible...

Oh...there is this...the nurse was amazed at how stretch-mark free my stomach is considering that it's the size of a cow...

At least I've got that going for me.

PS.  For the love of Walley...would three of you just push follow to get me out of the 297 range?  Please?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's Because I Love You Dad

97% of the world's population is intimidated by my dad.
He's just got that look I guess.
The stern, don't mess with me look.
I can think of a handful of people over the years who saw right through his look, and got to know the dad I have always known.


The dad who is addicted to peanut M&Ms.
The dad who goes through phases of being addicted to burnt almond fudge ice cream, and eats it every night, right out of the container.


One of the few to see through my dad is my sister-in-law Rachel.
I think secretly she's got Dad wrapped around her little finger.

Dad has been a working on a list.
A list that would probably intimidate you if you picked it up to read it.
It intimidated me.
But not Rachel.
Instead, Rachel just added to the list when Dad wasn't around.
And her additions are the reason I'm glad she's a part of our family.


Thanks for the laugh Rachel.
And thanks for sticking up for me when Dad sees that I posted this on my blog.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It Is What It Is

To tell you the truth I was hoping for something different than what the doctor told us today.
A part of me really wanted him to tell us that Emily had made remarkable improvement...
...that he was shocked and amazed.

He didn't say that.
She's made improvement, but it's slight. 
Slight enough that the doctor is hopeful but also concerned.
"If those pulmonary arteries don't keep growing, there won't be anything we can do for her."

A few weeks ago in church a woman offered us the use of her camper for our stay at Primary Children's Hospital.
She is also the mother of a 'heart baby' and understands what it means to have a place to call your own while your little one fights for it's life.
Up to that point Jason and I hadn't thought the details out that far.
I think maybe we were hoping we wouldn't have to.

The reality...and all that it represents...
Today it's heavy...
But through that heaviness we know that God is in charge...that Emily is His child...and that no matter what, she'll be okay.
And for the next 8 weeks we'll be praying with everything we have that Emily's little arteries will grow.