Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Here We Come!

2011 was definitely packed with tons of amazing memories. Most of them having to do with Austin and all the "Firsts" that he got to experience from Birth to One year. I hesitate to approach 2012 but know that it too will have amazing moments and memories to go along with all the tough times that are to come.

The build has just begun and is already in the framing stage but I know that it will take up lots of Jason's time as he helps with getting it finished by the end of the summer. Not looking forward to moving all of our stuff one more time but at least this time, we are only moving 10 minutes away from our current residence AND we at least have a plan that we'd like to stay in this house for 15+ years. So knowing that I don't have to move again, or at least thinking that, makes me feel as if this move won't be anything but exciting!

Ava has already tried to sneak into this world early and we are thanking the Lord everyday that she stays put and continues to grow in my belly. It will be her turn to show us all the fun "Firsts" all over again, and yet Austin will be growing into a toddler already and how exciting that will be as well.

I can finally get comfortable in my new surgical job in oncology since just as I thought things were going smoothly, I was put on bedrest with Ava, and even if I get sent back to work soon, I will be having her in the next 8 weeks with a maternity leave, so I'll be M.I.A. at work once again.

So much to anticipate and yet the lesson I am learning with bedrest is that I truly can only take it One Day At A Time.

On this current day, I had the pleasure of watching my parents and Austin play around, which gave us all tons of laughs! Seeing Austin continue to learn how to walk on his own as he takes more and more steps everyday keeps us yelling 'YAY Austin' and clapping to give him praise, as he loves that part the most!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Build: Basement

Crazy how just a few days makes such a big difference when your building a house. Here's a look at the basement with the pre-made walls.

A look from down by the lake

The framing goes up for the rest of the basement.

You can now walk through the basement and get a feel for how things are laid out.
How exciting!! Next step is the flooring to go on top of all this. Hopefully they will be working on that tomorrow if the weather cooperates!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Split Second Christmas

What happened to Christmas!? I think I blinked and it's already gone. We spend so much time preparing and then in a flash, everyone is putting away the decorations. This year Austin was able to enjoy opening his presents, least the wrapping.

My camera barely made it out of the bag as we were busy eating, catching up with family, and playing with all the new and fun toys. I often wonder what we could even get the baby on the way in the future, as we seem to accumulate every toy on the market for Austin. Our townhouse living room has been taken over by toys that seem to be getting larger!

We didn't even have but a chance to snap a family photo and Austin wasn't too thrilled about having to stay on Daddy's lap.

But I always try and capture a picture of my handsome boys......

This year we split our family Christmas into two days. This way more of the family could be together not once but twice instead of one long day. It works out well since we now have little kiddos that need to sneak in naptime and get some time away from all the chaos. 

Over at my Aunt Nancy's on Christmas night, Austin found it more fun to be IN the bin of toys as Isaiah put the toys in and Austin threw them out.

For Austin's second Christmas, no longer any 1st Holidays for him, he sure did enjoy the family time, even if it was over in a split second!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Build: Walls

Just a few days into the build and things get more and more exciting.

Footings are placed
Here comes the walls already pre-made and ready for placement

I love seeing progress!! Glad the weather is cooperating at the moment....although I know a white Christmas is just what everyone loves but I am ok without it this year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Build: Ground Breaking

Now this puts a smile on my face from ear to ear.......
Nothing like seeing our lot of grass turn into a BIG hole! Hard to believe the time has come. I feel like we have been facticiously telling people we are building....but now we have proof! Not that I don't love blogging about home life, but now I have something else to get excited about blogging about. This next year will bring tons of blogs regarding this build and I love that!

This is a look at a partially dug area for the walkout basement.
I could have parked a chair in front of the lot and just watched them dig the hole.....just so darn exciting!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Austin visits Santa

One of the first things I thought of when I was put on bedrest was, 'Can I still bring Austin to see Santa?'. I definitely didn't want to miss out on that activity! Thankfully this week my ultrasound was normal and my doctor thought I could slowly increase my activity over the next week in hopes that I can do more and the contractions stay away. Today we took the trip to the mall and stood in the long line so Austin could get his chance on Santa's lap. I just prayed that Austin wouldn't cry but I knew that he wasn't going to smile. Just like the visit to the Easter bunny, Austin was tired and just didn't know what to think. He kept looking back at Santa like 'Who are you?'. But we got some pics and that's all that matters.

After Santa, we let him ride on some of the mall toys to see that dimpled smile!

I was not only excited about the trip to Santa and that success, but then I picked up some winter boots for Austin for a great deal. The boots complete his winter outfit and now once we finally get some good snow, we can dress Austin up and take him sledding at Grandma and Grandpa's. I can't wait!! Although, Jason and I just got done telling my Dad to stop including snow in his prayers for Christmas since we start building on the house this week. We need the ground to be clear and the weather to crank up a notch or two so Jason doesn't freeze too bad!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

13 months

I thought it'd be more realistic to stop posting monthly updates about Austin and do just regular updates as things came along, but so much changes with Austin from month to month that it's hard to not to try and keep going.

He is SOOOO close to walking, but just won't take the steps yet. He stands alone and plays with whatever he can get his hands on but then the moment he wants to move, he plops down on his butt. I would never wish Austin to be more mobile as crawling proved how destructive one little boy can be.......but right now I am on bedrest with Ava. I kinda want Austin to be able to walk so I don't have to feel so awful when he wants to be picked up and I am not allowed to do so.

He talks so much! He says ball, dog, and book the most. He tries to say other words but nothing comes out quite as clear. And of course there are many words he says that we can't quite figure out what they mean yet, like "tucka tucka". Always said twice.

He loves finger foods but the textures that he likes changes daily. Some days he spits out string cheese and other days he eats it like there is no tomorrow. Most days he gets home from school just starved!! So I shovel in a jar of baby food and any leftover yogurt from breakfast before he can settle down enough to eat finger foods.

He definitely knows what he wants and when he wants it. His frustration gets taken out when he bangs his head on the carpet! He also hates the car rides these days. He screams and chucks toys all over the place. We got away with him loving the car for SO long. Now I can understand why they invented the DVD players for the car. We don't have one, but know that if this continues for much longer, I may suck it up and buy one rather than pull out more hair! He is still a terror when it comes time to changing his diaper. You better have some really good toys in hand or he will kick and scream as if you are torturing him!

We are lucky to still get two naps out of this guy! When he is at home all day, he naps from 10 to noon and then again from 3 to 5. Sometimes we have to wake him up if those naps continue. He is still sleeping from 6:30p to 6:30a every night.

We are also lucky that he has been in 18 month clothing for a while. It's been nice to not have to buy new clothes all the time. Although who can resist the adorable collared holidays shirts!

What a difference a year makes!!

Stir Sticks

As if my mom and I didn't have enough DIY crafts and projects on our list....along came Pinterest! Just by browsing for a few minutes, you can find enough to fill the weekend and more! We decided to tackle hot chocolate stir sticks for all the upcoming holiday parties. Here is the link for the inspiration

We wanted to modify the inspiration and try a few different ways of making them. We tried mini cupcake foils with marshmallows already in place.

We also tried using a candy mold that we picked up from Michaels.
So we made some plain ones with Ghirardelli 60% cocao chocolate chips.....
And we also made some festive stir sticks with green sprinkles, holiday polka dots, and crushed peppermint.
We let them cool outside for a few minutes and then unwrapped the foil, placed them in clear bags and tied with silver twist ties. What a cute thing to have around for holiday parties or give away as cute gifts! I think I'll leave a few near the coffee maker at work so the early birds get an unexpected treat to go along with their morning coffee!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The day Ava tried to come early

I woke up Friday morning and stood out of bed only to develop a sharp pain in the lower right side of my abdomen. It didn't feel like contractions, but more like I had ran a marathon without stretching. I was able to get Austin and I ready for the morning and get him down to school. It was a tough morning since it was the first day where we had legitimate snow on the car and on the ground so I had a tough time since I wasn't prepared for that. Austin of course wasn't in the mood for much so I strapped him in and got him off to school. I got to work and never yet have I felt that I was waddling with this pregnancy but sure enough I was horribly waddling with the sharp pain. I had a meeting that morning to sit through and I was able to do so because sitting was actually relieving. But the moment I stood up after the meeting to walk upstairs, I knew I had to call my OB. Thank goodness they are right across the street and could fit me in right away. The Dr. thought I had appendicitis! He wanted to send me right back to the hospital for direct admission. As I walked out to my car, I just kept thinking that maybe I was being dramatic or maybe I wasn't handling pain very well. Needless to say, I finally called my mom to tell her what was going on and my parents came to the hospital in Jason's absence. Of course this all happens when he is on army leave. They hooked me up to the monitor and they ran some testing and I wasn't contracting at this point. But sure enough, not long after I had been there, the contractions began. So not only were we worried about appendicitis but now we were worried that I was in preterm labor. Not good!

So the testing began and everything was coming back practically normal. I kept getting good news after the other with the exception of starting Magnesium, what an evil drug. They gave me a 6 gram bolus which immediately gave me the feeling like I was run over by a semi-truck and was burning from the inside out. They kept me on a dose of 2.5 gram for the rest of the day so I don't remember much since it was just an awful feeling. Over my hospital stay my contractions started to slow down and after about 48 hours on the magnesium they were finally able to take me off and see how I would do. I got down to about one contraction every 10-12 hours and I wasn't having any cervical changes (which really defines preterm labor) so more good news. I also had a fetal fibronectin test that was negative which predicts going into labor over the next two weeks.

I really don't want to post this picture but I have to remember it's more of a documentation memory not  a beauty contest....
I was a basket case the whole time with the exception of day of discharge. I was missing Jason and of course missing Austin. My parents brought Austin by once a day but it was hard for him to stay in a hospital room and be entertained. It was short visits, probably for the better because I so badly wanted to get out of that bed and play with him. I had great visitors but it was hard to ask everyone to come since I was so tired and on that awful magnesium that lying in bed at times was tough enough.

I had a great ultrasound which showed that Ava was measuring right on time at 27 weeks and 5 days, and 2 lbs 6 oz. Even though that doesn't sound like a lot, I was thrilled to hear her weight because babies are born at that weight often enough to do just fine. The neonatal team even stopped by my room reassuring me that she would be well taken care of if she were to show up and that some babies are sent home at just 3 lbs!

I definitely feel God has been pointing me to patience right now as anyone that knows me, knows that I would be at work in two seconds if someone gave me the go ahead. But even I know that that is not the safest option for Ava. Thankfully I am reminded by many people that this time will fly by and it will be such short period of time in my life to be away from my career.

I have an ultrasound scheduled for this Thursday to check my cervical length to make sure it isn't shortening in preparation for delivery just yet. Praying for the continued good news that Ava gets to stay in the oven and cook that much longer!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reindeer and Christmas Trees

My thought this year is that Austin may not do so well with sitting on Santa's lap. He is not a huge fan of strange people right now but certainly he seems fearless when it comes to animals. When I found out real live reindeer would be at Frederick Meijer Gardens, I was all about it! They said they would be available for pictures and petting, so I thought maybe I'd get some great pics of Austin and the reindeer.........or not so much. The reindeer decided to be really lazy, just sit on their butts, and do nothing.
Which is ok, because there was plenty of other wonderful things to see and check out! Like all the trains making noise and going under the plants and over our heads.

I can't believe how many orchards there were, but THEN to see them in chandelier form!? Just gorgeous!
And unique...
We made sure to stop and get plenty of pictures with the trees while taking our turn passing Austin around
I think Grandma and Grandpa had just as much fun as Austin did....

What's better than taking a break to bang on the window overlooking the sculpture park (it rained so we stayed indoors)
It was hard to hold Austin back as he wanted to touch each and every tree
And we ended the tour of the trees with a break in the cafeteria....and since they were fresh out of cookies, we bought Austin a brownie. He couldn't have been happier! The dimples came out with each and every bite along with all the sounds of something yummy......"mmmmmmm".....

I can't wait to bring him back when the butterflies are in bloom!

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