Good news all the way around!

I *finally* got Firefox to work on my computer. I haven't been able to use it since we switched over to satellite internet. Well, today, I tried again, and it works GREAT! I love Firefox.

We got GREAT news back about Brother Tim!!!! He went in for his heart cath today, and they've discovered that his problem is NOT serious. He just needs to cut out the salt, drink more water, and let his heart and the new arteries take some time to grow and strengthen. They'll be putting him on some medicine to help those arteries, but that's really it. He should be doing fine soon. Praise the Lord!!

Also, there is a lady in our church who has been battling cancer for some time. Sweet, sweet lady. They found some spots on her liver about a month ago, and they went in Tuesday to operate. They ended up taking out 75% of her liver, but they were encouraged that the spots hadn't grown at all since they found them a month ago. She will need a lot of time to heal and recover from this surgery, and it will take time for her liver to grow back, (Did you know that it did that? I had no idea!), but overall, the doctors were really, really encouraged by how good everything looked. Praise the Lord again!!!

Good news all around! Thank you all for your prayers for Brother Tim. They meant so much!!

Baby is kicking up a storm tonight, and I am STARVING, but refuse to eat right before I go to bed. Have to head to a Ford dealership tomorrow so we can get our key code for the Expedition, so I've got a VERY early morning ahead of me!

Hope I can figure out what the dog-gone problem is with this blog! If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

My day with 6 kids...

I kept Mandy (yes, THE Mandy) and her brother Matthew today. What great kids! They made having 6 kids here SO easy. And, since my boys love Mandy so much, they found ways to entertain her all day long.

I felt horrible, though, because not two minutes after they arrived, the kids decided they wanted to play outside. We get out into the grass, and Matthew gets stung by a bee. OMG. I could have died. I made sure he was fine, got some ice for him, and called his mom to make sure he wasn't allergic. (He wasn't, thank goodness!) I was worried that it ruined his whole day and that he would NEVER want to come back to Ms. Angie's house, but he was fine the rest of the day, and his mom said he had fun. (I really hope he did. I still feel just awful. What were the odds?!)

Since Matthew got stung, we decided to have a movie day. The kids watched one movie, we had lunch, and the rest of the time, the boys either had every single board game we own out, or they were playing with Mandy in their room. They had SUCH a ball today. I can't even begin to describe how much it meant to them to have Mandy and Matthew here!

So, I survived the day with 6 kids. Maybe I'll be ok once this baby arrives. And maybe then I can talk hubby into adopting one more down the road! ;)

Edited to add: Please continue to pray for Brother Tim. I spoke with him a moment this evening before handing the phone to Gene. He sounds good, and says he's feeling pretty well, and that he goes for his hear cath tomorrow. We would all really appreciate your prayers for him.

Mailbox full of prizes, and other ramblings...

I opened my mailbox yeserday, and found that 2 of our recent prize winnings had arrived. Fun, Fun!

The first one I opened was our bib/burp cloth set from Silly Jilly Bean. OH MY GOSH! How incredibly CUTE!!!!!!!!!! The set is just perfect. I can't believe how soft the bib is. Lucy just loves it and has worn it most of the evening. Here.... look how cute this set is:
Thank you, Jill. I absolutely LOVE this set and can't wait for Parker to get here to use it!

The next one I opened was from Lori and her contest. The bag is ADORABLE! Although, I think Ashley is going to try and steal it from me. I need to fill it up quickly so that I don't give her the chance to grab it! :) The nailpolish is perfect for Lulu's little toes, and I plan to paint them tonight. SO sweet! Here's the set we won:
Thank you, Lori!! And I have to tell you how much I LOVE your business cards. They were absolutely beautiful. I also got your note, and plan to use it soon! Ash's birthday is just around the corner!

Now, for more news and ramblings...

I'd like you all to meet Mary Jane. That's what the kids have named our car. Why? Well, because Mary Jane (from Spiderman) has red hair, of course, and since our truck is red, we *have* to name it Mary Jane. Ah, the logic of a child.

So, here's Mary Jane....

Pretty little thing, isn't she? We just love her. It's SO nice driving down the road and not worrying about not making it up the next hill.

And, my friend, Danielle, tagged me. I'm supposed to post my 5 favorite YouTube vidoes. Here's the thing, though. I can think of TWO videos that I've actually watched on YouTube. One was the song "Safe in my Arms" by Plumb, and the other was one that I saw on Danielle's blog that had baby ducks swimming in a tub. That's it. If I see a video on a blog, or on a website, or anywhere, I never, ever play it. Not sure why, I just don't. Crazy, I know. So, sorry, Danielle,but I'm not a very good participant this time around. Ask me what my 5 most favorite flavors of ice cream are, and it'll be a totally different story. :)

I think that's it for the updates... for now. The baby is doing somersaults in my belly daily now, and I LOVE it. I like being at this point. If only I knew why I am so swollen! My legs, arms, feet, and hands are so swollen that it feels like it's been stretched beyond where it should be. Small price I pay, I guess.

Other than that, things are great! :)

And, again, nothing that has to do with this pregnancy...

But, I feel the need to post it.

I know many of my readers are Christians, and believe in the power of prayer.

I am asking prayer tonight for our dear friend Brother Tim. (He's the one who built my amazingly fabulous steps recently.)

Brother Tim has a bad heart. On Friday, he ended up in ICU because of it. They released him Saturday, and he was at church today, but he will be going down to Atlanta (or Gainesville, I'm not exactly sure) to meet with his heart doctor. They will most likely be doing a heart cath and seeing where they go from there.

Brother Tim truly is the most amazing man I have ever met... aside from my husband. Tim has always been an encouragement to Gene and I, and he has helped lead my husband in becoming a better husband, father, and spiritual leader. He has cried with us, laughed with us, and become a very important part of our lives. Our children adore him, and we feel blessed simply to know his family. As of this morning, Tim was voted on as Associate Pastor at our church... with a 100% vote. He's such a blessing to so many.

So, I'm begging for prayers for Tim over the next few days. Pray that God will heal and restore him so that he might continue to bless people and bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. But, pray, most of all, that God's will be done. He is in complete control, and to Him we give all the honor and praise for whatever His plans are for Tim.

Pray also for Tim's wife, Carol. I can't imagine the stress and heartache she is dealing with right now.

And, for their children: Amber and Jacob. Two of the most respectful young people I have ever met. I remember when my Daddy was the one hurting, and my heart goes out to them.

Thank you for your prayers. I know Brother Tim would appreciate them as well.

Shameless plug for another great new site!

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No longer a minivan mama!!

We traded in our Honda Odyssey this evening, and purchased an '03 Ford Expedition. I LOVE it!

With the baby coming soon, and a MIL that I have to drive around, we needed a vehicle that seats 8. Our little minivan just wouldn't cut it anymore - unless, of course, we wanted to tie MIL to the roof in her rocking chair! ;)

The Expedition is in awesome shape, and is fully loaded... DVD player, 6 cd changer, it even has heated AND air-conditioned seats! Now how cool is that?!

I didn't want to have to deal with another car payment... I rather liked having my van paid off, but we really have no other options.

I'll post pictures of our new car soon. She's too pretty not to share.

A new obsession...

Several weeks ago, on another blog, I stumbled across Bit of Whimsy Dolls. You all know that I'm going through this "nesting" - or whatever it is - of wanting to sew and be more crafty, and when I saw Bit of Whimsy's etsy shop, I was floored.

She sells the most amazing handmade dolls. As I went through each of her items for sale, I noticed that not only did she sell the dolls, but she also sold the patterns to make the dolls yourself!

It was perfect! I quickly purchased a PDF file, and also selected the free file she sometimes offers, so that I could make my dear friend Natalie's little girl a present this year. To me, a homemade gift is so much more special than something you can buy at your local super center.

I received the file quickly, and opened it right away. I couldn't believe how easy the steps were to follow. She provides clear, easy directions on how to create each adorable little doll that she offers - and pictures to boot! Let me tell you, I am one who learn by watching, and the pictures made a world of difference to me in following the directions.

Swing by and check out her shop today. She just added a new elephant to her collection, and it is just the sweetest thing! She also offers a pack of PDF files, so if you can't choose between her adorable creations, you can get a bunch without breaking the bank!

You won't be disappointed in all that she offers, and her customer service is the best! I highly recommend her, and will definitely be back to her shop again soon! She's got a bunch more patterns that I can't wait to try!

Update on JJ....and a pregnancy update, too

I called the emergency department at the local hospital at 11 am, just like they told me to. I sat on hold for a few minutes, and then a lady from the lab picked up the line. She told me that they were still running a battery of tests and that the doctor we saw Wed. night wanted to speak with me directly. She said they were testing at that moment to see what the sample is sensitive to. Ok... whatever that means.

I cannot tell you all of the thoughts that went through my mind over the next 4 1/2 hours while I waited for his call back.

About 3:40, my phone rang. It was the doctor that we had seen the other night. He asked how Jace was doing, and I told him that things were the same as Wednesday, no better, but no worse, either.

He said that they ran more tests on his culture than he could even count, and they still aren't sure what it is. He said the good news is that it's not strep or a staph infection, but the bad news is that they don't know if the antibiotics will kill it. He said to keep Jace on the meds, and if he's not better by Monday, than we either need to get him in with his doctor's office (which will be impossible!), or we need to take him to the local dermatologist. His hope (and mine, as well,) is that the meds just haven't had enough time to kick in yet, and that by Monday, Jace will be doing much better. He apologized that this has him stumped so badly, but he's certain it's nothing serious. He said that if it had been serious, Jace would have had a lot of other symptoms on top of the blisters on his bottom. He also said that if I had an problems between now and Monday to call the ER and they would get a hold of him, and he would call me back directly. I'm telling you, he is the nicest ER doctor ever.

So, it's nothing serious. Praise the Lord and Hallelujah! Now, here's hoping he's better by Monday so that we don't have to deal with any more doctors.

In other news, my doctor's office called me today. My sugar test came back just fine, so I don't have to give up the ice cream... although I should probably tone it down a bit! ;)

AND, for the first time this pregnancy, my belly moved!! This is my absolute favorite part of pregnancy... where you can see the baby move inside you, because your entire belly moves. Love, love, love it.

I think that's enough for now. Thank heavens it's Friday and we have NO plans this weekend!

99 more days to go!

Or maybe I should start singing "99 bottles of beer on the wall"... since that's been stuck in my head most of the day.

I finally made it out of the triple digits in this pregnancy! We are down to 99 days to go! Woohoo!! Let the countdown begin!

Had a heck of a day today. I finished up Lauren's gift, got that all packaged up and mailed off, I hit the pharmacy, hit the grocery store, actually remembered my appointment at the health department, and then came home to do a mess of laundry and work on a website. I AM POOPED.

Tomorrow, I plan to lie in bed, worrying about Jace's test results until I can call - sometime around 11am. (Yeah, right, like my kids will let me stay in bed until 11!)

I really am worried about his test results. I made the mistake of sitting here tonight and googling "Staph Infection." OY. The internet is so bittersweet. It can be a wealth of GOOD information, or it can be a wealth of "Scare the poop out of you" information. My googling results tonight were the latter. I remember doing the same thing when Lucy was diagnosed with SUA. All the horror stories I read and heard. Did nothing to calm me down, just made things a million times worse.

I really pray this is nothing, and that he's going to be just fine. I am sitting here on pins and needles, though, scared out of my mind.

I thought this pregnancy was long, but 11 o'clock tomorrow morning feels like an eternity away.

Praying for good results tomorrow. Praying SO hard.....

Another trip to the ER with Jace. (graphic)

I'm telling you, this child is going to be the one to send me to the looney bin. I feel like we live at the ER with him sometimes.

Last week, Jace and Lucy both had a bug. I was changing diapers and wiping butts every 15 minutes between the two of them. The bug lasted from Tuesday until Friday.

On Sunday, Jace started complaining that his butt hurt. I looked, and he had several little tiny blisters all around his butthole. I put butt paste on it over the next few days, but it didn't help at all... it just seemed to keep getting worse.

Tonight, we had a revival instead of a regular church service. It was outdoors in this gorgeous pavillion. The entire time we were there, Jace was whining and crying because he couldn't even sit down, his butt hurt so bad.

I took him to the bathroom at one point to check him, and the blisters were pussy and there were dozens of them.

Toward the end of the service, I told Gene we needed to leave so that I could get Jace to the ER.

We went home, changed clothes, and Jace and I headed to the hospital.

We got to the hospital, went through triage, registered, and then got put in a room. A few minutes later, the NICEST doctor I have ever met in an ER came in. I explained what was going on, and he took a look at Jace's bottom.

As he's looking, I commented that I've worked with thousands of kids over the last 20 years, and I have never seen anything like this. The doctor was silent for a moment, sat back, and said, "I've been a doctor for 28 years, and *I* have never seen anything like this."

Just what you want to hear from the doctor, right? No. I wanted to hear, "This is what it is, and this is how you treat it." No such luck.

The doctor left for a few minutes to do some research, and came back a few minutes later. He said that Jace either has a strep infection or a staph infection, so he's treating him with antibiotics for both. I'm supposed to call on Friday morning and get the results of the sample they're testing.

Go figure. It can't be something easy that a magic cream would fix. It has to be something that has even the doctors stumped.

I guess we'll find out on Friday what's going on. I just hope these antibiotics kick in and actually help until then!

I am completely and utterly exhausted. I need ONE DAY of quiet and rest. I just don't see that happening any time soon.

Doctor appointment today.

Today was the super fun Sugar test. It really doesn't bother me to drink the super-sweet syrup, so I didn't care much.

My appointment was for 9:45am. But, when Jessica called me yesterday to remind me of my appointment, she told me I could come in any time before that to drink the stuff.

I showed up at 8:45 this morning. I figured I'd get there, drink the stuff, sit there for an hour, get my blood drawn, and then see the doctor. Well, that's what I figured, anyway! I went up to the desk, signed in, and told the idiot lady behind the desk that I was there early so I could drink my drink for my sugar test. She proceeded to look at me like I was an absolute moron. She looks at the sign in sheet and says, "You're an hour early for your appointment. You're not scheduled until 9:45."

Oh.My.Gosh. DUH! So, I explained to her that Jessica said I could come in early and drink the stuff so that I wouldn't have to fast for most of the day.

Idiot Woman She turns to the other lady behind the checkout desk and says, "She says she's here for her sugar test and that she was allowed to come in early and drink it. Are we allowed to do that?"

So, at 9:15, I FINALLY got my sugar drink. So much for getting there early! SIGH. I drank the drink, and the nurse did all of the pre-visit stuff: urine sample, blood check, weight check, etc. Everything looked good. I gained 6 pounds this month, so I gasped a little at that. Apparently, I've finally found my appetite this pregnancy. Guess I need to lay off the ice cream a little bit! BUT, the good news is that this is the first 5 pounds I've gained with this pregnancy, so I'm doing FAR better than I have with any of my other pregnancies. Losing so much of it early in the pregnancy helped.

Ifinally saw the doctor around 10:15. She listened to the baby's heartbeat, reviewed my kick count chart, and we talked for a long time about how little the baby moves. She was SO sweet and said that if I ever have a feeling like something is wrong, to call her immediately. Even if there's no justifiable reason, and I'm just being a worry wart, I should call her. I love my doctor.

I mentioned all the contractions, and she said that she's still not putting me on bedrest. (Do you know how NICE it is to hear this?!) She said that she'll most likely start doing cervical length ultrasounds to make sure my cervix is still nice and long. She'll also do the Fetal Fibronectin test every so often to make sure it comes up negative. She's not going to send me to the hospital every time, and I have NO worries about her giving me mag sulfate.... my very own source of kryptonite!

All in all, things went well. Parker's heartbeat was in the 150's, and is just the sweetest sound. Especially with him not moving so much.

My uterus is measuring a little over 26 weeks, so it looks like we'll be having another big baby! :)

I go back in 3 weeks, and then it's every 2 weeks after that! Maybe now this pregnancy will start flying by!

I don't believe it. I simply don't believe it!

Today, I spent most of the day at our church. We're doing our church directory portraits, and I had to be there to oversee the set up, sign people in, etc., etc. I had to take Lucy with me, because Lucy is just too much for MIL to watch. Lucy did NOT make things easy today. Thank heavens, Gene stopped to get her on his way home from work.

I got to leave around 7:30 when Ms. Sabrina (aka Mandy's Mom) relieved me. I called Gene to find out what he wanted me to pick up for my and his dinner, and he couldn't decide. (Men!) So, I went to the grocery store since I needed to pick up a few things for the rest of the week.

I get into the store, get my items, get rung up, and my debit card won't work. I KNOW there's money on it, but it won't work. She runs it 3 times, and it's declined every time. SIGH. Luckily, I had cash, so I just paid that way.

Get out to my car, put the groceries in, put my key in the ignition, and ................ NOTHING. Car is as dead as dead can be. Great. I call Gene to come rescue, but he has no jumper cables, so a lot of good he is. A friend from church pulls up (thank heavens for small towns!), and she doesn't have jumper cables either, so she goes inside and has them page over the intercom that we need jumper cables. A guy comes out a few mintues later, and helps us jump the van. It starts right up, and I drive to pick up the kids (withOUT turning my car off!), and then head home. Get home, turn it off, and it won't start again.

We get out of the car, and there are two boxes on the porch. The first is from my dear friend, Kim. More bows for Lucy to do some more bow modeling! YAY! I knew this box was coming, just didn't know when.

The second box was from Due Maternity. Gene immediately wanted to know what I had ordered, how much it had cost, blah, blah, blah. I *knew* I hadn't ordered anything, and it just didn't make any sense. I open it up, and I find out that I'm the winner of their weekly contest! I didn't even remember that I had entered it! Inside was a big box of skin care items. Actually, it was this kit. There were also a bunch of samples of other body care items! How cool is that?!

Also, Due Maternity sent a special coupon code. If you go to their website and place an order of $25 or more, you will receive 10% off your order. The code you need to enter at checkout is AngelaV. Hope that helps someone out!!

I really can't believe it. My awful, awful day, and I come home to find out I've won another contest.

I really do need to invest in that lottery ticket!

A sewer, I am not!

But I sure wish I was!

So, I've been in a MAJOR craft mode the past few days. I'm not sure where it came from, but I've decided that I want to make gifts for people instead of buying something from the store.

A while ago, I had seen a post on Mandi's blog about a cute new pattern she had found. I immediately fell in love with the pattern, and *finally* purchased it the other day. (I can't tell you what the pattern is, only because my *goal* is to make one for a good friend/reader's little girl who is having her 2nd birthday party soon!)

I have now made 2 items from this pattern. I gave Lulu the first, and she loves it. Drags it around everywhere. I've already had to restitch it a bit in several places. (Which, is good - now I know which areas to stich a little heavier beforehand.) After I finished the first one, Jace decided that he wanted one. We found some scraps of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fabric and made him one. (A little more little-boyish than the girly fabric I used on the first one!) He is in LOVE with his as well, and proudly took it to church tonight to show it off.

While it's great that my kids love them, I just don't think they're gift-worthy yet. I don't want to send someone a gift, have them open it, and be like, "Wow. What the heck kind of fugly gift is this?!" Ya know?

I can't seem to get everything attached right, and it's driving me insane. I've tried 2 different ways, and I'm just not happy with either. I'm thinking I'll try again tomorrow and see if *maybe* I can get something semi-decent out of it.

Just so frustrating. All this pent-up craft desire, yet total suckage when I actually attempt to do something.

I did make 2 fancified travel wipes cases yesterday, and those are cute, but they're easy. I paid a lot of $$ for my sewing machine. I'd like to put it to good use!

Wish me luck. Oh! Nat, I may be sending you a gift fit for REX instead of one for Lauren very soon! ;)

Having tons of contractions today....

and I've done NOTHING today. Drove my Aunt to the fairgrounds and came home. Kids and I have bummed around the house, playing board games, coloring, and doing calm, quiet things. No running, no jumping, no chasing anyone around. (It's too hot for that!) I just can't figure out why they're coming one on top of the other.

I'd say that I'd take it easy, but I have been... all day. No pain at all, just lots and lots of contractions.

Weird. Guess it's pregnancy as usual around here. So much for hoping for an easy one! ;)

So bummed! :(

Had to drop my Aunt Linda off at the fair today, so I thought I'd find out how our booth did in the judging yesterday.

The judges are supposed to judge booths by what the display says it will contain. For example, the Boy Scout booth should have items pertaining to the Boy Scouts. If it does, they receive a blue ribbon. If it doesn't, they receive a red ribbon.

Well, I said that my booth was for a photography studio and a boutique. I thought for sure we'd get a blue ribbon, not based on the design of the booth, but because of how the juding is supposed to work.

We didn't.

We got a red ribbon. My booth and one other booth received red ribbons. I am so, so bummed about this. How's it going to look as thousands of people walk by and see that big bright red ribbon on my booth? SIGH. Not good.

I asked if I could take it off.... or at least stop by with some blue spray paint, and I can't. It has to stay there until the fair is over. Bummer, bummer, bummer.

The nice thing is, though, that all the ladies who work in that section of the fair were quite upset about my booth only getting a red ribbon. One lady even called out the 2 male judges and said that they didn't know what they were judging - with them standing right there! Apparently, my booth and ribbon were the topic of discussion all day long, and Aunt Linda thinks it may be the discussion for the remainder of the fair. At least I have all those ladies on my side! :)

So, we didn't get a blue ribbon. We got a red. I still really hope this brings something my way. It's still a bummer, though.

Pictures, pictures, pictures!!!

As promised, I have TONS of pictures to share with you!

Here are Zander's birthday pictures:

(I haven't done his portraits yet. Hoping to do that today or tomorrow.)

Here are the pictures from my mom's visit:

And, here's a post on the Studio Blog about our display at the Fair:

Thanks for looking! Let me know what you think!!


I got a phone call today that I can have a "booth" at the Georgia Mountain Fair. This is a HUGE deal, because the Georgia Mountain Fair is HUGE. People come to our area for vacation just to go to this fair. Think of all the exposure.

So, I hit panic mode today (bcause the fair starts TOMORROW, and I got the call today!), and start making TONS of bows. I was told I had to have all of my stuff over there by 4pm.

I get over there, and I'm not up with the crafters, I'm over in the Exhibition Hall. It's not all bad news. No I can't sell anything, but I can set up a display for my photography and my boutique. Still TONS of exposure.

Only problem was, I brought stuff to sell. My booth looks like crap next to all the other professional booths. So, tonight, I have cranked out a HUGE display that I'll put up tomorrow morning. I have SO much space to fill.

I'll take pictures once I get it all set up tomorrow. I'm hoping that it turns out as nicely for real as it is in my mind. ;) I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Wish me luck! The fair runs from tomorrow until July 27th, so there's a chance for TONS of exposure. I really, really hope this works out.

Oh! And the contractions are still coming, but nothing at all like they were yesterday. I only get one every couple of hours now. MUCH better than yesterday!

I've got so many pictures to share. I'll share them all soon!

So many contractions today...

I was really, really hoping that this pregnancy was going to be different. After all, since we've found the reason why I can't have a baby without Pitocin, I was really hoping that maybe, just maybe, the contractions wouldn't start so early in the pregnancy. No such luck.

I did a lot today. A lot of walking, and a lot of uphill and downhill walking. I mean a LOT. My mom has been in town visiting since Saturday afternoon, and today we decided to head into Helen. When I was younger, and we came to GA for vacation, we almost always made a trip into Helen. They really have the world's best funnel cake, and we love walking and looking in all the little shops.

So, since Mom was in town, we decided a trip to Helen was called for. Well, being pregnant and dealing with 4 kids, keeping them from touching every little thing, is a lot of work. I'd forgotten how spread out Helen is. While you can easily walk anywhere you want to go, there's a lot of uphill driveways and entryways, and just a LOT of walking.

We didn't spend but a few hours in Helen today. The kids were so good, but we were all just ready to come home. I sat down on the couch, and immediately,the contractions started. These are not Braxton Hicks contractions. These are honest to goodness contractions that I've spent many a night in the hospital for. But, because I don't have to worry about dilating, there's not a blessed thing I can do about them.

I really wanted this pregnancy to be different. I really wanted to have the contractions start about 36 - 37 weeks. Not 24 weeks. It's just too early. I still have so far to go.

Off to drink more water and lie on my left side. Maybe I just over did it today and tomorrow will be much better.

I'll upload pictures from today soon, I promise!

24 Weeks Today and the Importance of Kick Counting

Today, I hit 24 weeks. The baby is now viable outside the womb. Today, I will start kick counts.

I am surprised by the number of pregnant women who don't know what kick counts are. Although, I shouldn't be surprised. I didn't know what they were until my last pregnancy!

When I was pregnant with Jace, my 3rd, I didn't know what kick counts were. I never heard of them before.

Toward the end of my pregnancy, I noticed the baby didn't move as much, and I made a comment to the doctor. He kept insisting that it was just because the baby was bigger and didn't have room to move. I knew in my heart that wasn't it, but who was I? I don't have a medical degree, I just had to trust my doctor. Doctors know everything after all, right?

At 39 weeks, I went in for my scheduled induction. The baby was born with a true knot in his cord. I'll never forget hearing the doctor say, "Oh my God" and telling me that if the baby had been inside me as little as just one more day, he probably would not have made it.

2 years later, I got pregnant again. I still didn't know anything about kick counts, and was scared to death the entire time because of my previous pregnancy AND because baby #4 was diagnosed with the Single Umbilical Artery - or two vessel cord. All these cord issues made me terrified!

A photographer friend of mine was pregnant the same time that I was, only her baby was due a couple of months before mine. She ended up losing him at 39 weeks because of a true knot in his cord. I remember all the "what ifs" I felt, and how it very easily coud have been ME just 2 years prior.

She has since started the Baby James Project and is an advocate on kick counts now: - this is her information on kick counts - this is the story of her sweet baby James.

I don't say this to scare you, but people need to be informed. Get to know your baby. If you notice a change in movement, SAY SOMETHING. You know your baby better than anyone else. I wish I had known to do kick counts with my 3rd baby.

After Blair lost James, I started doing kick counts with my pregnancy religiously. I felt better knowing her patterns and habits.

Now that I'm pregnant again, and I am way more informed this time, I'll be doing kick counts religiously again this time.

I've done LOTS of research on kick counting, and here are some great tools for starting kick counts:

I purchased this for my own peace of mind. Best $40 I ever spent:

I cannot stress the importance of getting to know your baby while he/she is inside you. Even if you never do a kick count during your pregnancy, if you feel a decrease in movement, or something just feels "off," talk to your doctor. Make them listen. I wish I had with Jace almost 4 years ago.

Ok, I promised a 24 week belly picture, so here you go:

In more news, we won ANOTHER contest!!!! I can't believe it! Thanks, Lori!!
I think I should go buy a lottery ticket now!

Complete and Utter Disbelief

We were sitting at home this evening and the UPS guy pulled down the driveway. I wasn't expecting anything, and sent Gene out to take care of it.

All of a sudden, Gene comes into the house carrying a box with THIS cradle in it!

We searched the outside of the box to see who sent it. Nothing. We searched the inside of the box. Nothing there, either. No way to find out who sent this.

So, I emailed my friend Natalie. Nat was born with a heart of gold, and I figured that if anyone was behind this, she was. Well, I was right. Nat was behind it. Along with Heather, Karen, Lisa J., Julie D, Tricia, and Jenni.

I met these lovely ladies almost 6 years ago when I was pregnant with Zander. We've changed message boards, several times, dealt with blow ups, pregnancies, loss, and lots of trials and joys. But through it all, we have always kept close.

I've met all but Tricia and Julie D in person, but I feel as though I've known all of them for years and years.

So, girls, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. My baby will now have somewhere to sleep the first few months of his life, and it's one more stresser that I can cross off my list. I absolutely, positively LOVE the cradle and can't wait until Parker gets to use it.

SIGH. Baby Stuff....

Ok, Lori! Your post has been driving me CRAZY!

You see, I am in LOVE with this nursery set:

I am obsessed with turtles, monkeys, and giraffes. This could not be a more perfect set for me my baby. Honestly.

I decided to show it to hubby tonight. And, well, here's how our conversation went:

"Honey, come look at this bedding set. Isn't it cute?!"
"Oh, I like that. Very cute. But we don't need it."
"I know we don't need it, but wouldn't it be perfect for Parker?"
"Angie, you KNOW that Parker is going to be sharing a bedroom with the boys and it will have a Spiderman theme."
"Yes, honey, I know. But this is just SO cute. I bet that if I design 2 or 3 websites, I could pay for the entire set!"
"But don't you think it would make sense for you to design the websites and buy something that we actually need for this baby? We have no place for him to sleep after he's born. Or how about the fact that we have very few clothes for this baby. Nor do we have a high chair, baby toys, a car seat, a stroller, nothing. You remember that, right?"

SIGH. Hubby quickly snapped me back into reality. We sold every "baby" item we had when we moved. We figured why move what you'll never use again. So much for that theory!

But, man. That has to be the cutest set I have EVER seen. I may just find the monkey rug and put it in our room. That'll show hubby! ;)

So, I guess I'm going to have to make the baby a special "Spiderman" quilt for the crib he doesn't have.

Hmmm....... guess that means I should probably learn how in the heck to quilt!

Zander's Birthday and Other Fun Stuff.

What an awesome day we had. I was SO desperately in need for a day like today.

I got a call from a friend this morning. Sabrina, aka "Mandy's Mom" said that she ended up with the day off and asked if I'd like to go get my driver's license and spend Zander's birthday with them. Well, I didn't even have to ask Z! Mention Mandy's name, and his entire face lights up! So, of course, I said yes.

Now, those who know me, KNOW I am NOT a morning person. Sabrina called at 9, and I was barely moving. So, I told her we'd meet up as soon as I got my shower and got ready.

We got to her house a little while later, left the kids in the hands of her more-than-capable teenage daughters, and Sabrina drove me over to the DDS. (Not dentist - think driving. LOL) We get over there, and it's the same girl working there that was there on Thursday. GREAT. So, I walk up to the counter, reminder that I was just there, and hand her my birth certificate, social security card, and my Ohio driver's license. Then she says, "Ok, now I need your marriage certificate!" WHAT?!?!? Because my name is different on my Ohio license and my SS card than it is on my birth certificate, she needs proof that I'm actually married. SIGH. I think I could have burst into tears then and there. I told her she didn't tell me I needed my marriage license, just a birth certificate, and she actually got really nice. She said it was fine and she'd process it anyway. Then, she asked me what I brought to prove I live here. I told her I had a water bill in my car, and asked if I could go get it. She said yes, and then I turned to Sabrina and realized my car was at HER HOUSE! We drove Sabrina's over to the DDS. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. Sabrina laughed, and drove me back to her house to get the water bill, then back to the DDS to finish up and get my license. After all that, I officially became a Georgian. Took me long enough!

After that, we headed back to Sabrina's to get the kids and headed over to the local swimming hole. We had a little picnic of pizza and chips, and the kids were ready to hit the water. Only,there was a little thunder in the background, so the lifeguard kept kicking people out of the water. The kids played in the sand for awhile, but when they made us stop using the outdoor sprinkler to rinse off, we had all had enough. (And, believe me, I made sure the lifeguard knew what an idiot I thought he was that he wouldn't let us rinse of in the lake OR at the actual rinse station.)

We headed farther into town, got my Georgia license plates for my van, then stopped at the grocery store to get stuff to make Z's birthday dinner. He wanted "Chicken on the bone" - or fried chicken - with augratin potatoes and green beans. Rather than pay $10.99 for 10 pieces of chicken, I decided I would fry it myself. I make fried chicken all the time - with boneless chicken breast - but I've never worked with chicken on a bone. Thought it might get interesting.

We dropped the chicken off at home to put it in the fridge, then headed back to Sabrina's to spend more time with Mandy. When hubby called to say he got Z's cake and was almost home, we headed home and started making the "chicken on the bone."

It actually turned out really well. Zander told me I'm a better cook than KFC, so I took that as a compliment. After dinner, we headed up to Granny and Pa's for cake and presents. I took lots of pictures, and I'll share them soon. I want to take Zander's 5 year portraits first and share them at the same time.

This was the first really good day I've had since I turned 30. I was worried for awhile there. But, today, I discovered that I have a real, true, honest to goodness friend in Sabrina. I haven't had someone that lived nearby that I could talk to, do things with, etc. since before I moved back to Ohio. It's been a very, very long time.

So, Ms. Sabrina, THANK YOU for a really good day. Your Mandy is so special to my boys, your daughters are beautiful, Matthew is such an awesome little boy, and you are so dear to my heart. I love you, girl. Thanks for putting up with my over-loaded pregnancy brain, and for the grown up conversation. I have enjoyed every second of today. Love you!

Catch up after the holiday weekend.

What a fun weekend we had!

On Friday, we stayed around the house and made lots and lots of cupcakes for our church bar-b-que. We headed up to Grandma and Grandpa's for lunch and stayed and played for awhile, then headed back home to get ready for the church activity.

We got to the church field, sat around and talked for awhile, then ate way too much food. Once it started to get dark, they started shooting off fireworks. Now, these were not professional fireworks by any means, but they were WAY more fun than I have ever had watching fireworks, and I've been watching fireworks for 30 (gasp) years now! The fireworks are always my favorite part of the 4th, and I certainly was NOT disappointed that evening. Even the kids did well with the fireworks. I was quite proud of them!

If you want to see LOTS of pictures, you can check them out here:
Celebration photos:

On Saturday, we waited ALL DAY for my "overnighted" birth certificate to come. I was on the phone most of the day with every post office I could think of - the one that mom sent it from that promised to have it here by noon on 7/5, our post office in our little city, the post office in Athens (the hub from Ohio to our city). The Athens and the Ohio post offices both promised to have it here by 3 pm, while our post office told us that it might be here by Wednesday. WEDNESDAY?! Are you freaking kidding me? Mom paid for overnight service. Does that not mean anything to the USPS? Ridiculous. So, it's Monday morning, and I still don't have my birth certificate, still have an expired driver's license, expired tags, AND I just got a call that my grandpa's in the hospital. This 30 thing is not going well for me.

Saturday night, hubby and I left the kids with a sitter and ran to Walmart to get some stuff for Zander's birthday that's coming up. We ordered his cake from a local grocery store, and bought everything Batman or Spiderman related that we could afford. I think he's going to have a very happy birthday. At least I hope so anyway.

So, I'm still trying to recover from this 30 thing. Gene told our friend Brother Tim how hard of a time I'm having with turning 30, so Tim made sure to give me quite a hard time about getting older. Gotta love him. ;)

One of these days, something will go right, and maybe 30 won't be so bad. For now, though, I'm just taking it day by day.

Jewllori's Summer Contest Fun

A fellow mom and blogger, and friend, Jewellori is having a Summer Contest entitled "What's in your bag." I love contests, so I just had to enter this one, too! :)

So, here it is.... my purse and all the necessary contents (Click for larger view):

Here's the list of contents that are ALWAYS in my purse (I did remove the 800 grocery store receipts and empty candy wrappers, even those are also ALWAYS in my purse! This was a great excuse to clean out my purse! Thanks, Lori!):

1. A New Testament. (KJV, of course!) I don't like to go anywhere without a Bible on hand. This has been a habit forever.
2. My camera. It's my crappy point and shoot, but I HAVE to have one on hand, just in case.
3. Infant Motrin for Lucy. Never know when you're going to need it.
4. Lip gloss. More for the kids than for me. I don't like anything on my lips, but hate seeing the kids with chapped lips.
5. My cell phone. There's a special pocket in my purse for the phone, but do you think I use it? Nope. I'm always digging through my purse looking for this darn thing.
6. The kids' immunization records. Why I carry these around, I have no idea, but I do.
7. My wallet. Never has any money in it, but it's stuffed with other people's business cards, my debit card, insurance cards, etc., etc.
8. A mirror - with a picture of my kids on it, of course.
9. Candy. Lots of it. I have such a sweet tooth and gum makes me sick while I'm pregnant, so I have to have lots and lots of candy in my purse at all times.
10. A pen - with my business name and website on it. Gotta market... all the time!
11. An extra pair of contacts. Why I carry these around, I don't know. I guess in case one pops out of my eye, I've got a back up.
12. Business cards for my boutique and my photography studio. I hand these out all the time.
13. Keys - to the van, our house, and to our house in Ohio that's no longer ours. Not sure why I still have that on there.
14. A bobby pin, a pony tail holder, and a couple of extra hairbows. Just in case Lulu needs them!
15. Tracts. The million dollar bills are very cool, and I pass those out quite often. I like to leave them when we go out to eat. (With a really good tip, of course. I hate when people leave tracts and are really bad tippers. What kind of testimony is that?) I also carry several of the Atheist tests. I'm actually running low on tracts, and need to order some more.

So, there you have it. My purse essentials. And, yes, that's a picture of my kids on my purse. I took that picture when Jace was just a few days old. It's still one of my favorites.

Check out Jewllori's contest and be sure to enter it yourself!!

My day did get better...

Hubby came home with a couple of cards and the biggest tub of Tums I have ever seen. It made me smile from ear to ear. I just love him.

We went out to dinner and the kids behaved like angels. Lucy's still running a small fever, but it's nothing like it was, and she's been acting just fine.

After dinner, we all snuggled on the couch and watched National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and then sent the kids off to bed.

All in all, it turned into a really good day. I may just be okay after all.

My Next 30 Years.

Today, I turn 30. I really, truly hope that today is not an indication of what my next 30 days will be like, because today has royally sucked.

I still have not gotten my drivers license changed over from Ohio. I know, I know. I should have done this months ago, but I haven't. Well, my license expires today. Here's the problem: I LOST my birth certificate. The last place I remember having it was at the WIC office, but I called and they don't have it. So, I know my mom has a copy. I tried calling the DDS (the "Department of Drivers Services"), to ask them if they can use a fax copy, only they don't answer their phone. I decide to just go over there and try and get my license anyway. I finally get over there, and get in line. I tell the girl what I need, and she says, "Ok, I need your certified copy of your birth certificate." I explain that I lost mine, but my mom has one that she can fax over. Nope, no good. Gotta have a copy in hand. Crap. So, I ask if there's a grace period if your license expires. Nope. Crap. Now I can't drive until I can get back to the DDS office with a birth certificate in hand, and I can't get back to the DDS office unless someone can drive me there. Just great. Gene doesn't get home until 5 o'clock every night, and they close at 5.

Now, anyone who knows me, I mean *really* knows me, knows that when someone tells me something I don't want to hear, I have absolutely no problem lashing out. I tell the woman that it's ridiculous that I have to have my birth certificate. If I've already gotten a driver's license in another state, doesn't that prove that I was born??? Her response, "We need it to prove that you are, in fact, a US Citizen." To which I respond, "Ok, so I'm as white as white can be, I don't speak with any kind of an accent - not even a Southern accent - I reside (legally) in the state of Georgia, I have no warrants out for my arrest, but there's that very small chance that I might not be a US citizen." I rolled my eyes, told her she was an idiot, and walked out. (Yeah... gotta love pregnancy hormones on top of an already bad mood!)

So, I get out into the parking lot and burst into tears. (Again with the hormones.) I call Mom, crying hysterically, and tell her that I can't get my license, I can't drive, and I have no idea how I'm going to be able to get back to the DDS office. Mom, being a mom, says, "Well, I guess you shouldn't have waited until the very last second, huh?" Thanks, Mom. I'm looking for sympathy, and you give me reality! Come on! So, Mom has promised to overnight a certified copy of my birth certificate and have it arrive on Saturday. Gene will be home Saturday, so I'll just have him drive me over there as soon as the birth certificate arrives. He's just going to have to chauffeur me around tomorrow. ;)

BUT, because I couldn't get my license, I can't purchase new license plates for my car. I have to be a Georgia resident and have a Georgia driver's license. So, now my plates expire, and I can't renew them until Monday. GREAT.

So, I decide that while I'm out and still have the ability to drive, I'm going to pay some bills. I pay the electric bill, then head to pay the water bill. Get to the water company and there's a sign on the door. "Closed. Please use drop box." Ok, well, our bill is $28.28. I only have twenties, and certainly don't want to overpay them. So, I drive into town and get a few groceries so that I can break one of the twenties.

Get back to the water company, finally, and they're open. They only closed for a minute while the girl ran next door to get some lunch. SIGH.

After all that, I get back to Grandma's to pick up the kids, and Lucy is running a fever. We get home, take her temp, and it's 103.4. I'm telling you, I am running away.

It is now 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and I am ready to call it a day. I really, really hope this isn't an indication of how these 30 years will go, because I will find a cave to hide in for a very, very long time.

As I'm finishing this post, to go out with the kids, I hear Jace scream. Head over to the side door, and the child has a knot the size of a golf ball on his head. He was going outside and door knob hit him right in the head.

I give up.

We won!!!

Remember how I asked you all to vote for Lucy in the "Curly Hair Munchkin" contest? Well, this morning, I received an email from Jill telling me that we had WON!

I picked out this set and am having it personalized with Parker's name. I'm so excited!!

Be sure to check out Jill's shop. She has got some really cute stuff over there. My new favorite item is this pillow (the turtle one), and I'll be ordering it soon!

Thanks to those who voted, and thanks to Jill for such a fun contest!!