February 28, 2009

Nolan Luke Koper!

7 pounds, 13 ounces, born at 6:21pm EST. Holly had Nolan after only 4 hours of labor! She got to the hospital after about 1 1/2 of labor at home, was already 7-8 cm and he was born about 2 1/2 hours later. She was already too far along to get the epidural that she had planned for. I just talked to her and she sounded wonderful. She said he has a little bit of brown hair and she doesn't know his eye color, yet because he's been sleeping. He's had a long day!
I love you so much, Holly and Nolan!
I will post pictures as soon as I get them :-)

About to be an Aunt!

I just got off the phone with my sister, Holly and she and her husband were leaving for the hospital. While he was on his way home from work, I was timing her contractions over the phone. They were about 4 minutes apart. So please keep her in your prayers. May God keep Holly and Nolan safe during labor and delivery and keep Holly calm and give her an easy labor. Oh, I can't wait to see my little nephew, Nolan! I will update as soon as I know more!

February 27, 2009

Random Update

So, things have been pretty crazy here, lately. First of all, keep my sister, Holly and her baby boy Nolan in your prayers - Holly's due date is TODAY. She is BEYOND ready for this boy to make his appearance. She said she had a lot of contractions yesterday but nothing consistent and so far today, she feels fine. I said to her on the phone this morning, "I hope you start having some really strong, painful contractions soon." I don't think I've ever wished that for someone before but I really do hope she goes soon, because she's pretty sick of having this baby on the inside! I've never made it all the way to my due date, so I can only imagine how she feels today. She'll be induced on Wednesday if he doesn't come by then. So, I pray that he will come on his own sometime this weekend.
Steve is at his last day of SERE training, today. He has the weekend to sit around in Spokane, Washington (where the high temperature today is 36 - ick!). Monday, he'll fly to Pensacola, Florida for water survival training, then fly home next Friday (the 6th). Packers get here on Monday, the 9th, load up our stuff on Tuesday, and we head out of town on Wednesday, the 11th. We'll drive to Abilene, drop off some stuff and stay the night and get up and drive to Little Rock on Thursday, the 12th. So if you don't hear from me between the 6th and 12th, that's what we'll be doing!
This week, I've been on a "room-a-day" plan, making my way through the house, organizing, cleaning, removing wall-hangings and separating out things to go with us. Today I am doing the bathrooms, which doesn't sound like a lot of work but a.) there are three of them and b.)our bathroom has a HUGE closet that is full of....stuff. It's kind of a catch-all and will be a lot of work to sort through.
I took the kids on a bike-ride to our play date at the park this morning. It was going to be a six-mile round-trip ride, but one of the gates was closed for the aircraft and we had to turn around and go anther way and it ended up being quite a bit longer. It was EXHAUSTING. I have been sitting on my couch trying to recover for over an hour, now. I really do need to get up and get started on cleaning and sorting all or bathroom stuff, though. Maybe one more big glass of water and I'll be ready....ok, here I go.

February 23, 2009

Big Belly and Moving Updates

So, every time I get on here and see my 20-week picture over on the right, I think, "Oh my Gosh! Am I really THAT big??? I don't FEEL that big? I didn't think I looked that big?" And it kind of freaks me out. Here's what I think. Wearing the tight, non-maternity tank top for the pictures is a BAD idea. I look huge. And having my hair up did something, too. It must have. Really - I am not THAT big. So, just now I took some pictures of me in regular clothes. I am 21 weeks today, so this is one week after the picture on the right. I just got home from my last MOPS meeting (yes, last...sniff,sniff). No, I don't wear pearls every day - I just wanted to dress nice today. Anyway. I NEVER wear that black tank-top except to take my belly pictures in. So, here is what I actually look like on a daily basis in regular clothes.



See, I'm really not a giant beast-like pregnant woman at the half-way mark. I'm sure I'll get there in a few months, but right now, I'm at that stage where people sometimes notice my belly but are usually hesitant to ask about because it could just be fat....

Okay, I'm done defending my size. Anyway, as you can see in the background, my house is getting ready to move. The living room has been re-arranged to make room for toys. Everything from the toy-room is slowly being brought into the living room so that the toy-room can be filled with things going to Little Rock with us. That way, on packing day (which is 2 weeks from today), I can just tell the movers to move everything except what is in that room. So, after the toys are moved out, I will start sorting through the house picking out everything we need to survive for 5 months; all of our clothes, a few toys and books for the kids, a few kitchen things, toiletries, some linens, books, baby bassinet, baby carseat, everything else a baby 2 months and younger needs, camping supplies, bikes and bike trailer....I'm sure there is more.

The place we will be staying is furnished, including the kitchen, but I'm assuming the kitchen is pretty basic, so I will be taking things like a mixer, an electric griddle, some extra pots and pans, a crockpot and extra plates and such. I love to be in the kitchen and I don't want to sacrifice that while we're there because of lack of equipment. From what we have come to understand of Little Rock, it is a big out-doorsy kind of place. So, we have decided to take the camping equipment and try to camp at least once a month while we're there. There's also a lot of biking/walking trails, so we're going to take the bikes and the trailer. And yes, I plan to bike-ride all the way till the end of this pregnancy. I love it and it's a fun way to exercise, so I think that makes it good for me and the baby! (even if SOME doctors say it's not a good idea) Anyway, we will probably have to rent a small storage unit to store the camping/biking stuff in but it will be worth it.

And my house isn't the only thing getting in moving-mode. I am trying to make good use of everything in the fridge/freezer and pantry so we don't have to move much food. So the kids and I have been eating some REALLY random meals. This was dinner last night:

In case you can't tell, that is a meal of soft-shell tacos (taco beef, refried beans, tortillas and salsa - no cheese, no sour cream, no lettuce), french fries and peas. Oh, and to drink: a bottle of sparkling red grape juice....just to make it fancy...and because I have two bottles we need to use - Steven and Gabby LOVED it. The three of us finished off the whole bottle :-) We'll see what I come up with for tonight's dinner. I have pancake mix, beef broth and marshmellows in there.....hmmmm....what. to. make.... I'm just kidding. I'm just trying to eat what we have and then I will go back to the store to get us through the next few weeks. I really want to avoid eating a lot of fast-food while we're moving.

Well, I better get going. Today's task is going to be removing all wall hangings and curtains from the entire downstairs.

February 20, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a good day. I can't say that without singing Ice Cube. You know the one...THIS one. Anyway. Today really was a good one.
First of all, as I was getting ready this morning, I got a text message from MY HUSBAND! I was so happy to hear from him. I haven't heard from him since last Saturday. We texted for a while. He got in late last night and his roommate was sleeping and he didn't want to disturb him to talk, but as soon as he woke up, Steve called and we talked for a little while. He sounded SO tired. He said he had lost quite a few pounds and had 5 stitches in his finger, but was doing well and said he had fun out in the field. A very good start to my day.
Then, our Friday playdate met at the McKenna Children's Museum in New Braunfels. The kids had SO much fun, and I took SO many pictures of them. We met all the other mommies there at 10am, and they all left around 11:30 but Steven and Gabby and I stayed until almost 2pm! They were just having such a good time, I decided to stay until Gabby was too tired to play anymore.
We came home and Steve was done with work and I talked to him some more. To top off an already fun day, he gave me GREAT news. We got our orders!!! (We've been waiting on them so we can figure out exactly when we're moving, where we will be living in Little Rock and to set up movers and just get everything in line for the move - we've been a little stressed not knowing any of this up until now.) So praise the Lord for answered prayer, we have a TLF (temporary living facility) unit reserved in Little Rock (it's like a REALLY small, furnished apartment), which is a HUGE answer to prayer. We don't have to "move" to Little Rock. We'll just load up the Expedition with what we need for 5 months, and not have to have our furniture and stuff shipped, unloaded, unpack it, then 5 months later, turn around and do it again. Our household will be packed up and put into storage in Abilene and be there waiting for us when we get there in the fall.
Woo-hoo! What a great day!
I'll end with some of the pictures of the kids at the museum today.















And here are some cute pictures from earlier this week:




Okay, that's probably picture-overload. But now you're all caught up!

February 18, 2009

A good Read

For Mommies out there - I loved this post. It's by Lindsay Ferrier and she SUCH a good writer, and really funny. I totally agree with her on this and yes, sometimes I want a break - but not often. If I can get to the grocery store by myself for 20 minutes once a month, I'm good to go. Sunday school with the kids in the nursery is plenty - and I've been tempted more than once to just bring Gabby with me to Sunday School, even though I know she has way more fun the nursery. I just kind of miss them. Anyway. Loved this post and wanted to share it.

February 16, 2009

Tidbits

I thought about doing McMama's Not Me Monday, but I just didn't do anything very interesting this week. So, here are some random thoughts, instead.

* I am 20 weeks pregnant today. Wow. Half way to my due date. I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is going. I kind of hope the second half goes a little slower. I'm feeling really good, so I think it's much easier to carry this baby on the inside. So far, this is my easiest, most comfortable, smallest, fastest pregnancy. There's a new 20 week belly picture over on the right. It's not the same angle as the last few since I didn't have someone to take it for me - and I don't know why it's so much smaller. I think I'll have to switch to the maternity black tank-top for next month's - I was maxing that one out!

* I miss Steve. He left for the field yesterday morning. I won't hear from him until Friday. This is definitely the longest we'll go without talking. I hate it. When he's gone, the highlight of my day is talking to him on the phone in the evening; to tell him about the kids, hear about his day and just feel close to him. I'm praying for him every time I think of him this week. He is hiking in the snow with a heavy pack, sleeping outside, killing and eating rabbits and who knows what else. I hope he's having some fun.

* I can't believe how cold it is outside. It was so warm last week and the last 3 days have been under 60 degrees. We still enjoy going outside but now we have to bundle up.

* We went to Austin on Saturday and spend the day with my friend Julia and her three kids. We had SUCH a fun day. We shopped at Ikea (which ended up being kind of stressful with 5 kids under 4), got together with a sweet couple from our old church, and then just hung out at Julia's house and relaxed. It was a wonderful Valentine's day for the two of us with out-of-town hubbies.

* This week, I started refinishing the bench that goes at our dining table. It had a black painted top that got pretty scratched up so I stripped it and I'm just staining the top to match the table so I don't have to worry about chipping any more.

* Gabby woke up at 7am today, was so cranky and fussy during breakfast that I put her back to bed around 8:30 and she slept until 11. I guess she just needed more sleep. She is in the corner as I type this. She is a monster today.

* I watched a really crazy show on Discovery Health last night called I Didn't Know I was Pregnant. One woman was in labor with twins and didn't even know she was pregnant. The other thought she had a tumor until she went to the hospital in pain and pushed out an 8-pound baby. I cannot imagine.

* I watched another show last night called Amazing Love Stories or something like that on TLC. It showed two couples stories of their amazing life journeys that just kept bringing them together. It made me cry.

*I watch way too much TV when Steve is gone. After the kids go to bed at night, the house feels so empty and quiet, I have to fill it with something. Like that All American Reject song goes, "I'm not alone 'cause the TVs on..."

* Gabby is going to be VERY confused with it is time to potty-train and she doesn't get to stand up to pee. She sees her brother go pee-pee before they get into the bath all the time and she has started going over to the potty, lifting her shirt up, pulling the front of her pants down and pretending to hold her "pee pee" and aim it into the potty. She says "Pee Pee" while doing this. Oops. I guess we shouldn't have let her see him do that.
* I had to go buy the kids new toothbrushes the other day after I caught them both stirring the toilet water with theirs. Steven even stuck his back in his mouth as I was running to grab it. Gross.

* I was really pleased to see that I've only gained 10.5 pounds so far this pregnancy, until I read that at 20 weeks, my baby weighs about 10 ounces. I know the rest is all other pregnancy-related stuff but still...I'm having a hard time accepting weight gain after I worked SO hard to get it all off after having Gabby.

*Speaking of weight gain, I'm starving...again. I'm going to go eat some lunch. But I will leave you with some pictures from the last few day.

Wendy, Gabby, Sarah and Frank, Steven, Heidi

Julia's kids, my kids and Sarah, the daughter of our church friends we visited in Austin.


Gabby and Steven playing at Ikea. Everything in that store will probably fall apart in a month, but it is such a fun place!

On a walk to the park yesterday. They were the Mommy and Daddy. Baby started crying half way through and Gabby had to carry her home while Steven pushed the empty stroller. Steven kept calling Gabby, "honey" while they walked. It was so cute.

February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Here's what came to my door this afternoon. Someone knows I'll be in Austin all day tomorrow, so they came a day early.




How Sweet!

February 10, 2009

100th Post

Feel free to congratulate me on my 100th post. Thanks.
It's been a REALLY long week, already. The kids drove me nuts today. Steven seems to get worse the longer Steve is gone. It's like he knows Daddy's gone and Mommy's just not that scary so he's EXTREMELY disobedient and it make for a really long day with him. Gabby was just so fussy. I sat down and cried this afternoon after about the 5th time they both threw a fit at the same time.
To relax this evening, I was surfing baby names on parentcenter.com. Steve and I have compiled quite a list of favorites. I've added a few that I'm sure he'll veto as soon as he gets home ("Is it me, or is Veto starting to sound really good?" - Friends) Here's our list so far:
Names we've picked together:
jack
austin
jackson
jase (not pronounced JC, rhymes with vase)
gavin
jacob
cade
lucas
evan
Yes, all the names we've together agreed on are boy names - Steve thinks it's pointless to even consider girl names since we're not having a girl...
Here are the names I've added to the list on my own. I know that not many will make it past Steve, but I like them.
Girl Names:
aila
ava
ella
brenna
brynn
Boy names:
sawyer
brayon
axel (yep, you're reading it right - it's on my list)
quinn
And yes, I like Sawyer AND Jack for a boy. Do I watch too much Lost, or what? Honestly, I'm not in love with any of these names. We have more than enough time, but with Steven and Gabby there was never a second thought to their names, so picking one out of the clear, blue sky is a little hard. Middle names are easy - for me, the middle name has to be family-related. Steven has the same middle name as his dad (obviously - he's a Junior) and Gabby has the same middle name as my mom and I.
I'm going to go do some yoga because my back is killing me.

p.s. I talked to Steve, and in case you're concerned, he's doing good. He's learning how to tie different kinds of knots and different ways to start fire...that's all he told me about, really. But he says it's pretty interesting and going well.

February 8, 2009

A long weekend

Friday we went to a playdate in the morning. Steven was fine all day Friday, then at about 1am, Saturday, he woke up crying. He NEVER went back to bed. He cried ALL NIGHT. It was worse than having an infant. I finally put him on the couch in front of cartoons (Thank You, Lord for the Boomerang network - 24 hour cartoons!) at about 2:30 am. I came down and checked on him periodically while trying to get some sleep. He was howling and calling for Daddy for much of the night. He ran a low-grade fever during the night but at 8am, it was 103. He did not budge from the couch all day Saturday. He hardly made a sound. He wouldn't eat. The only time he drank was when I was holding a straw in his mouth. He never slept. He just lied there staring blankly at the TV. He didn't care what was on it. He was like a little zombie. I felt so bad for him. I hate when my kids are sick. It was awful. I called the triage nurse who just said to treat his fever and bring him into the clinic on Monday. All day I debated in my mind whether I should just ignore her advice and take him in anyway. I knew it probably wouldn't be covered by my insurance since my provider told me it wasn't necessary but it still just made me nervous every time I took his temperature and it was 102 or 103. But I decided to wait. I've never seen him like that - so quiet and still all day. He lied in his bed last night with the light on - he didn't sleep much so he wanted the light on. I checked on him every few hours and he was always awake when I went in. He had a fever around 3 am but hasn't run one since! He woke up this morning, almost himself. He's not too into eating, but he just wants to play and hasn't stopped talking all morning. I feel so relieved. I am making him rest and sit on the couch with some toys. He would rather run around. It is really hard to make him sit still but so far so good. I am exhausted. I didn't get much sleep Friday night and I was up a lot with him last night. I did get a nap yesterday I will be getting one today. It's been a long weekend but it's almost over! Please pray for Steven, that whatever he had is gone and that Gabby doesn't get it.

February 5, 2009

Blue

I feel blue. The kids and I dropped Steve off at the airport at 6:30 this morning. I feel like I shouldn't feel this way. He's only going to be gone for 30 days and I will get to talk to him all the time - almost every day. I feel like I shouldn't feel like this because the next time he has to leave us will probably be for deployment and that will be so much longer and so much further and our communication will be so much less. As of right now, the deployment schedule (or so we've heard) at Dyess will be four months on, four months off. Again, that should not make me feel sick to my stomach like it does - it should make me happy that he won't ever deploy for a year, like so many do. But it makes my stomach turn to think of him being gone for four months. I know that no matter how long he is in and no matter how often he is gone, this will never be something I get used to. I won't ever be used to sleeping alone. I won't ever get used to days that the kids ask for Daddy and I have to tell them he's not coming home today. Ugh. I feel crappy.
I should not feel so sad, but I do. I don't like when my husband is gone. I just miss him so much. The last time he was gone, was when I started this blog. I may be blogging a lot this month - it helps to put my feelings down in words and put it out there. This is such a good outlet and I appreciate all of you who read and comment and make me feel cared for in this blog-world that I come to throughout my day.
Last time Steve was gone was the first time I was ever on my own. I learned a lot about myself during that time. I learned that I was capable of doing so much more for myself than I ever had. I could take care of the house and pay the bills and take the trash out. I came closer to the Lord during that time time than I had been in a long time. I have kept that closeness to Him since then and He has taught me so much more about myself than I ever knew. I know that I can get through times that are tough - not because I'm strong but because He is strong. He will walk me though anything. And He will get me through this month. With His strength, I will take over the roles of Mommy AND Daddy even without a break to sleep in or just get out for a minute by myself. With his strength, I will prepare our house for movers to come and pack it up the week after Steve gets home. With His strength, I will be a nice, loving, patient Mommy even when I'm tired, stressed and feeling sad. With His strength, I will get through this month and it will be over before I know it.
Okay, I'm actually feeling a little better, now.

p.s. On an unrelated note, I think I've been feeling JJ the Jet Plane (previously known as The Hudson Hornet, name change courtesy of Steven) flutter around for a while but it's so light that I always think, "Oh, it's just gas or maybe I'm hungry and my tummy is gurgling." But last night, he was MOVING. I pressed on one side of my stomach and I felt him flop against my hand - he was doing gymnastics in there or something!

February 3, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday....updated

***Update at the bottom with Grog definition***

I've been trying to figure out how to make this a Top Ten Wednesday since I didn't get around to posting this yesterday...then I realized that today IS Tuesday, so I'm okay. Seriously, I NEVER know what day of the week it is. When Steve had a normal M-F job, I was always aware of the day of the week since he was home on weekends. But the last few weeks and especially this week, since he graduated on Friday (I know - Yay!!), he's just home all the time and it totally throws me off. Every day feels like Saturday. Anywho, we had a REALLY busy week, so here are my
Top Ten Favorite Pictures From this Week


1. We took our Frommer's Guide downtown and did the walking tour mapped out in it. We had been to most of the places many times before but there were a few places on it that we never even would have known about. It was a really fun day.



2. We stopped at a park on our walking tour and for some reason, Gabby kept laying down in the leaves. Steven joined her for this shot.


3. At the dinner held for Steve's flight the night before he graduated. This is him accepting his Certificate of Aeronautical Rating from his flight commander.


4. I just love Steve's face in this one. He was so grossed out. I had to drive home that night after he was sent to the grog 4 times.



5. This was us at the end of the evening. We took several pictures, but someone did something stupid in the background in EVERY one. This is the dress I went to Ross and bought in the non-maternity section shortly after a recent post seeking wardrobe advice :-)



6. I LOVE this picture. My husband looks SO handsome and my children look like little angels. What a beautiful family I've been blessed with. This was taken the afternoon of Steve's graduation. We had the ceremony (during which my children were NOT angels) and then toured Steve's training plane and simulator.



7. Saturday night we went camping at Canyon Lake. It was pretty cold, as you can tell from the way this child is dressed. She found Steve's gum and was trying pretty hard to open it with mittens on. It was pretty funny to watch - she was unsuccessful. (Gabby LOVES gum. Whenever Steve leaves a pack out in her reach, I can count on finding her with a chewed up piece or two in her mouth, wrapper and all)



8. We walked along the water's edge around sunset and it was just beautiful. This was taken on a tripod made of rocks - we were totally alone out there.



9. Steven and I on the beach. What a sweet boy.



10. Here we are getting ready for bed Saturday night. We all slept in all our clothes and all together on one air mattress. It was such a fun way to spend time together before Steve leaves (he leaves Thursday for about a month).


As you can see, we had a really fun and busy week. That's not even taking into account that Sunday, we got home from camping, showered and cleaned up then had a bunch of friends over for the Super Bowl. Yesterday, Steve and I (mostly I, since Steve kept getting frustrated) painted over our "accent wall" in our living room since we'll be moving soon and had to make it white again (our living room looks SO dull). Today, we shopped in the morning then went on a 7 mile walk around the base. Tomorrow we plan to go back downtown to finish our walking tour of San Antonio (we only got about 1/2 way through it last week). Then, Steve leaves Thursday morning and I plan to be lazy and rest for the rest of this week! I'm going to try to drag Steve inside now, it's 9:30 pm and he's outside with a friend working on a motorcycle. I'm about to fall asleep.


And now you're all caught up!

***The grog is a staple to the Dining In (a formal military dinner). There are many variations to the grog, however in this case, everyone from Steve's flight brought an ingredient to either the alcoholic or non-alcoholic grog. The non-alcoholic grog included things like, energy drinks, soy sauce, slim fast, powdered cheddar cheese, ginger ale and other soda. There's always one person who wants to make the non-alcoholic grog as disgusting as possible to "encourage" everyone to drink. The alcoholic grog included many different alcohols. Steve said it tasted like cough syrup (which is better than frothy cheese-goop). A set of "rules" were set before the dinner and when anyone was caught breaking one, they could be sent to the grog by anyone who noticed the violation (it only pertained to service members - I was safe!). There is a formal procedure for sending someone to the grog, and another procedure for drinking the grog, including holding it upside-down over your head after drinking to prove that you drank it all. Steve said he got his hair wet after every drink. He got sent up for using someone's first name, as opposed to their last and drinking with his right hand, instead of left, among other broken "rules" of the night.