Thursday, December 15, 2011


Since I am subbing and can't talk to anyone about this I am blogging about it.  It is the only way I can get it out right away before it consumes me.  So, I'm sorry if this post seems scattered, but I'm writing with suppressed emotions here.
I am currently sitting in a mostly empty classroom with 6 middle school students (the rest of their classmates are on a field trip), and I'm having trouble holding myself together.

Today Jackson had his 2nd speech therapy evaluation, as most of you -- my friends and family-- already know.  Bryan took him and called me with the news immediately after.

Jackson does qualify for speech therapy services.  There's such a mixed bag of emotions flooding thorugh me right now.  I prayed that he'd qualify, I knew he needed them.  But the wording of the diagnosis is what has me drowning.

"A mild delay in speech and a moderate delay in auditory comprehension."

It seems simple and mundane, but it's killing me.  I fully expected the "mild" delay in speech.  Knew it. Owned it.  But what's got me is the "moderate" delay in auditory comprehension.  Moderate.  MODERATE?  As in, medium quanitity. As in, worse than mild or none at all.  As in, worse than I thought.

Trust me, I know it could be worse.  The adjective used could've been severe, or extreme, or excessive.  But just the words "moderate delay" have me sitting fighting back tears in an 8th grade classroom.  Praise God that the lights are off, while they watch a movie, and I can blame my sniffling on the cold I've had for the past few days.

The only other information I have is that there were several things that the teacher was trying to get Jackson to do and he couldn't/wouldn't do it.  He seemed distracted and then would fuss when she took away the distraction.  She even put him in a high chair to help him focus, and it didn't help much.  Part of me wants to say the "moderate delay" is just his stubbornness, but then I wonder if I'm just making excuses for him.  Bryan said where his development was on the chart compared to where it should be was difficult to swallow.  I wish I would've been there to witness everything, but maybe it's for the best that I wasn't.  I may not have been able to hold myself together.

We are supposed to get a phone call from the Therapy and Learning Center about when he will have speech therapy.  I'm thinking it will be once a week but that was what I assumed when I just thought the delay was in speech.  It may be more now that it's both speech and auditory comprehension, and moderate...

As we know more, I'll try to keep the blog updated.  In the meantime, just pray fervently for Jackson.  Pray that he outgrows this, pray that the teachers he works with will be able to see exactly what he needs and fix the problem, pray that we all get a little comfort from the Lord.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just a few updates...

We've been super busy in the Parsons household since the fall started and now we're well into the Holiday Season.

What I've been up to...
I started substitute teaching, which has been a tremendous blessing both financially and for my soul.  It definitely makes me NEED to get back into the classroom.  Plus, without that extra income I'm not sure how we'd afford Christmas.

Speak of Christmas, I did my first Black Friday shopping as a mom this year!  I got some awesome deals - a play kitchen, play tools, Vtech laptop, Elmo DVD, Elmo Memory game, an immersion blender, Dirt Devil dust buster/hard surface vacuum, and plenty of clothes.  All in all we spent about $300 and saved at least that.  All of Christmas is taken care of except for parents and grandparents -- and I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing for them!

Since my last post, I've been trying to be a bit more creative.  Thanks to my good friend, Tara, I've learned how to knit!  I just know the basics right now and am not very good at it.  Plus, I can only knit when Jackson is in bed because he is fascinated with the knitting needles.  His favorite thing to do is pull them right out of the project I'm working on, which sends me into a BLIND PANIC every time!

I've also been in the kitchen a lot more.  Thanks to Pinterest I've tried several new recipes.  Including Nutella hot chocolate, 2 minute mug brownies, and a DIY Hibachi dinner complete with fried rice, teriyaki chicken, and shrimp/white sauce!  It's by far my new fav meal!!

Is your mouth watering? Because it should be.

I've also been spending a lot of time on and trying to work on my photography.  We had our FIRST SNOW of the season yesterday and was able to get Jackson out for a bit to take some pictures.  I am eager to get my new Auto lense from Santa because by the time I kneel down (remember 25 weeks preggo here) and adjust the focus on the lense, the shot is gone!  Plus, I had the blue snow problem (slightly fixed with editing) -- but I'm still figuring out white balance settings.  Here's some shots from yesterday...and I don't think they're too shabby at all...

This one's blurry but that face is to DIE FOR!  Ah, he kills me!

I'm going to try and do some Holiday family portraits of us and some friends of ours this weekend with twinkle lights.  I'm SUPER excited yet trepidatious about it not working.  We'll see how it goes!

An update on Jackson...
He had his 6 month evaluation and he is still pretty far behind in his speech.  Farther behind than we originally thought which was heartbreaking to find out.  The good thing about all of this is we now have a new Interventionist and she does so much more with him than our previous one did.  You can tell that everything she is doing has a purpose and she isn't just coming over to be a big toy.  It makes me feel a lot better about the intervention and gives me hope that it will start to help him more.  Also, they are recommending him for another speech therapy evaluation.  It'll take several weeks for us to get in and see if he qualifies.  Last time he tested out, so we'll see this go'round.  In a way I hope he doesn't test out.  I just want him to get all the help he needs to get caught up.  Do you know how hard it is to watch your sweet little boy try to tell you something, but not have the words?  He gets so frustrated and it upsets him so much.  It rips the heart right out of my chest.

Lastly, a pregnancy update...
Ok, so this second time around I have definitely been slack.  I haven't taken ONE baby bump picture yet and have a tough time remembering how pregnant I am on a daily basis.  I have my glucose test next week, which makes me nervous.  Sweets haven't been too agreeable with me during this pregnancy, which makes me doubly nervous that there is a reason why.  Sweet Ruth is moving around like crazy.  Her favorite times of day are late at night and starting at about 6 am.  I never woke up because of Jackson moving, but this little girl seems to wake me up all morning long!  I'm thinking she's gonna be an early riser!

We've started clearing stuff out of the extra bedroom to make it Ruth's nursery.  So far we've cleared all but the linens out of her closet and emptied out most of the drawers in the furniture.  We also cleared out a cabinet in the kitchen to use for extra baby bottle/container/etc. storage.  We put a shelving unit up in our laundry closet and already have it filled with the contents we've cleaned out of the cabinet, drawers, and closet.  Next, we just need to finish clearing out the room and sell the furniture.  Once we get it all cleaned out, we can paint and start putting everything together!

Speak of...I'm gonna get started on that now...


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Do you ever get bored with yourself?

I do.

I don't know why.  I don't think I'm a boring person, really.  I actually think I'm fairly interesting and fun to be around.  But sometimes, I feel like I need to add to my repertoire.

I get bored with my everyday routine.  Because in all actuality, I do a lot of nothing very interesting.  My days consist of these activities, and not necessarily in this order -- wake up, play with my son (which is actually very fun and interesting), clean the house or do laundry of some sort, check facebook, twitter, and pinterest a gajillion times a day, read a couple blogs I follow and maybe write one of my own, shower and make myself presentable at some point, maybe take a nap, play with my son some more, feed my family at least 3 times a day, and watch wayyyyyy too much TV.  Some days I work on improving my photography, but not nearly enough.  Some days we actually make it outside of the yard and go do something fun, but again, not nearly enough.

I've been following several blogs lately and have several crafty friends and family members that have really inspired me to tap into my creative side. has really helped with that too -- although pinning doesn't make you crafty unless you actually do the things you're pinning!

So here's a list of the things I am GOING to learn how to do and hopefully do on a regular basis.

1.  Learn how to crochet and/or knit.
-  I have several family members and friends that can do one or both and they make some of the cutest things.  I would love to be able to make Ruth cute hats, headbands, and blankets.  Or make myself an awesome scarf.  But I've got to learn how to do it first!  Check out my incredibly talented friends, Liz and Melody, and their awesome creations at Babymine Creations and Melodyjoy1983.  Also, I have to mention my cousin, Carrie Ann, and her blog.  She doesn't mention how talented she is at crocheting, but she is and hopefully she'll be selling her stuff soon!

2.  Learn how to sew.
-  I used to know how to sew.  In fact, I did it so well in middle school Home Economics that my teacher would get me to help her finish her own projects.  However, between 8th grade and now I've lost every bit of knowledge.  I can't hem, can't use a sewing machine anymore, and can hardly sew on a button!  My good friend, Tara, sews very well (she knits too - should've mentioned her above) and is always making stuff for herself, her two boys, and nieces.  You can check out some of her stuff on her blog as well - My So Called Motherhood!

3.  Plant a garden and preserve all the home grown goodies.
-  I have fond memories of my grandmother and grandfather planting a huge garden every Spring.  Corn, tomatoes, okra, green beans, squash, cucumbers, carrots, etc etc etc.  They also had fruit trees and pecans galore.  I'd watch them till, plant, maintain the garden, and then harvest.  We'd shake down plums, apples and pears, and lay out huge tarps to collect bushels of pecans every year.  We'd eat the fresh goodies all Spring and Summer and then my grandmother, mom, and aunts would can the rest to eat throughout the Fall and Winter.  We always had canned green beans, pickles, jams, jellies, and other delectables to choose from all year long.  Now I know all of those aren't achievable but a small garden with enough to give us fresh produce during the Spring and Summer and enough leftovers to can would be possible.  And, I could collect local produce from the famers market to can throughout the year.  I NEVER thought  I would have a desire to do this until I started following some blogs* about gardening and canning.  I don't want my children to grow up without those memories, so I've GOT to make this happen...for me and for them.
*I decided not to post a link to the blog because I tried to contact the blogger to get permission to do so, but never heard anything back.  If you'd like to follow it yourself, send me a message and I'll shoot you the link.

4.  Get in the kitchen with my kids and explore old family recipes.
-  Between seeing my friend Tara (yep, same one mentioned above) do lots of fun things in the kitchen with her kids, hearing my cousin talk about my late great grandmother's fried apple pies, having an old memory of an old picture of that same great grandmother making apple butter in her backyard (thanks to this post) -- I've been thinking a lot about old family recipes that will go extinct unless my generation passes them along.  I've already forgotten many of the things I grew up eating and feel a NEED to dig them up.  I come from a long line of amazing, Southern women who knew what they were doing in the kitchen.  And, I'd be doing them a disservice if I didn't continue their legacy.  So, this Christmas - I'm asking my grandmother for a box of passed down recipes.  And, I will make EVERY LAST ONE!

5.  Go exploring with my little boy
-  OK.  One last mention of Ramblings of a Lovesick Mommy, and My So Called Motherhood here.  These two mommies inspire me to get out with my little one.  They are constantly doing fun things with their babies - whether it be a walk down the road to see the fallen leaves, a trip to the museum, or just doing a fun activity outside where they can make a mess.  I don't do this nearly enough.  We spend WAY too much time indoors...and that scares me.  I've never been big on the outdoors, but I want my little boy to be.  I want him to be active and wild at heart.  So, I've gotta suck it up.  And besides, every time we actually do go outside and do something fun, I always have a blast.   

I know all of these things will take some time.  I can start learning to knit, crochet, and sew before this little girl comes into the world.  Gardening and canning will have to come next Spring.  But getting in the kitchen with Jackson more and taking him exploring can happen at least every week.

And it should!


Friday, October 28, 2011

21 Weeks!

How far along? 21 weeks today!

Total weight gain/loss: I think about 7-8 lbs.  I averted my eyes at the last appointment when I saw that I'd gone above the 5lb mark. 

Maternity clothes? Yep.  Still can wear some of my pants/jeans if I use a belly band or hair tie though!

Stretch marks? None so far and the ones left by Jackson have pretty much disappeared on my baby bump, which is kind of nice!

Sleep: Waking up 2-3 times a night - once due to pregnancy and 1-2 times due to the 2 year old.  Between the stomach virus and now a cold, a full nights sleep hasn't happened in almost 2 weeks now.  Yeesh.

Best moment this week: Getting the 20 week ultrasound!  She was just perfect and very active.  Weighing a tiny 12 oz and a heartbeat of 150.  All her organs and brain looked excellent and she was definitely still a girl!

Movement: Tons of movement.  That's usually what wakes me up at least once during the night.  As soon as I get comfy, she goes nuts.  Then she gets comfy and I have to switch positions.  

Food cravings: Not having any strong, consistent cravings.  For a couple days I was addicted to hash browns, but that's over now.  I can finally eat sweets without feeling sick so I've been wanting more of those, but have been careful about eating too much of them.  

Gender: ALL GIRL! - Little Ocie Ruth!

Labor Signs: Nope.  -- Although we are starting to discuss the birth plan and are strongly considering going with natural childbirth.  I have to talk with my doctor/midwife about it but I'm thinking it's the way to go considering the problems I had with my epidural which in turned caused problems for Jackson during birth.  If you have any info to share, I'd love to have it!  

Belly Button in or out? The top half is flattening and the bottom half is still in.  I have a feeling it'll be an outtie much sooner than it was w/ Jackson.

Wedding rings on or off?  On!

What I miss: Being able to lay on my stomach to sleep.  I get uncomfortable in bed a lot and just wish I could roll all the way over!

What I am looking forward to: Talking with the doctor about our birth plan.  Starting on the nursery and starting to buy baby girl stuff!  Now, who is gonna plant that money tree in the back yard again?!!

Weekly Wisdom: I have pregnant brain - I can barely remember my own name let alone give some wisdom!

Milestones: Feeling little Ruth move like crazy, finally got some medicine to help with headaches, I can eat sweets, and the 20 week ultrasound which revealed that she is indeed perfect!


Friday, October 21, 2011

A VERY belated birthday post!

I'm just now getting the chance to write this blog post about Jackson's 2nd Birthday Party that happened 20 days ago.  That's just ridiculous.  Both that he is already 2...and that it has taken me almost 3 weeks to put this together.

Sorry about that!  In that time my mom and mother in law came to visit, I've dealt with debilitating pregnancy migraines, and the stomach flu hit our household.  We are slowly recovering from the stomach flu, but we are getting there.

So here's the story on Jackson's birthday --

We had a "Little Monsters" theme which was super fun.  (And, no that is not a nod to Lady GaGa!)  I found TONS of great resources on as I am not a very creative person on my own.  I can, however, appear to be UBER creative as long as I can steal someone else's ideas!

I made just about everything by hand from the party bags, party hats, food, decorations, and even the monster cupcakes.  I saved a ton of money that way.    
All the decor is from Hobby Lobby and Target.
A close up of the cute monster ball pillow and the tray of cupcakes.

Paper cups with googly-eyes hot glued on them.

Home-made banner made with a silhouette machine and cardstock.

I just loved the monsters in between!

Even made a high chair banner with the silhouette machine.  Notice the monster shirt.
Thank goodness his bday is near Halloween or we never would've found one!

Daddy rockin' the hand made, felt, party hats!  Super cute.

Even Clifford enjoyed the party hat.

Party bags with card stock eyes and mouths glued on.
Inside them - monster goo, pencils, candy, monster finger puppets, and monster stickers

Even the food went along with the monster theme...

Monster toes = Mini pigs in a blanket

Monster eyes = Meatballs

Monster cupcakes = Funfetti boxed cupcakes, piped cream cheese frosting with green food coloring
and powdered sugar added to help it hold up, candy eyes, and black gel frosting for the smile.

Monster smiles = Mini-marshmallows in between apple slices,
held together with peanut butter.  

We had about 15-20 people there including children which was a perfect number.  It allowed everyone to talk and get to know each other without anyone getting lost in the crowd.  I was so pleased with how everything went!  Jackson loved all his toys and has barely touched his other toys since.  (Time to purge!!)

Blowing out the candle.

I cannot believe that Jackson is already two.  I thought the first year flew by, but the second year seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.  In his two years on this earth so far, he has taught his Daddy and I so much.  We've learned to how to do just about anything one-handed, learned how to share EVERYTHING, learned to laugh and not take things so seriously, and learned a lot of patience.  Not just patience with behavior but patience with development as well.  Even though he is doing so much better on his speech, Jackson is still a little behind but I think it's more stubbornness than delay.  And he gets that honest!

Jackson - you have brought us so much joy in the past 2 years.  Our hearts are so full and I don't know how we ever lived without you.  You have made your Daddy and I better mommies and daddies, husbands and wives, and better people overall.  You've shown us how to love unconditionally and the true beauty of our Heavenly Father.  We are the luckiest people in the world that God chose us to be your parents!  I cannot wait to see how great of a big brother you are to little Ruth and how much more joy seeing you two together will bring our lives!

Opening presents with Mommy.
Birthday ritual - Reading "On The Night You Were Born"
before bed with Daddy.

If you want to know where I found any of these ideas for the bday party, or how I did anything, just let me know.  I can send you the links!


A special thanks goes out to so many people who both helped and attended the party!  I didn't want to include pictures of them or their names and this is a public blog and I didn't have their permission.  You all know who you are -- THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!  An extra special THANK YOU goes to my pastor and his wife and my mother in law - if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have had the playset put up, any food or drinks, or any of the decorations made with the silhouette machine.  I would've been lost without you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Living up to my blog title.

Joy comes in the smallest of victories...

...Like how I just installed our new dryer (connected the "pigtail" aka power cord and hose) ALL BY MYSELF!  All with a 2 year old literally crawling on my back.

I know this may be an easy task to most of the male species out there, but it made me feel very empowered.  A feeling I haven't felt in quite some time considering how life keeps throwing us curveballs.

Today I proved that I am "More than a Mommy."  I am also a handy-"wo"man!

So I just have to say,

"I am woman...HEAR ME ROAR!"


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sugar and spice and everything nice...

...That's what little girls are made of!

And, we are THRILLED to announce that the little one I have cookin' in the oven seems to be made of all those things!  That's right folks...IT'S A GIRL!

Now, I know what you all are thinking.   Isn't it a little early to tell.  I thought so too, so I'll just give you the account of how the gender identification came to be.

I had my 15 week appointment (actually 14 weeks 6 days, but who's counting?) last Wednesday.  The night before I told Bryan that I was going to ask if it was possible to see the gender yet.  First, because I was DYING to know and second because we were going to see my family over the weekend and I wanted to surprise them with the news.  See, my mom lives in Singapore most of the year and is only in the states for a few weeks, so it would be the only opportunity I had to do something cutesy to surprise her.

I went in on Wednesday, and the conversation went something like this...

Doc:  "Everything seems to be fine on your lab work and with the doppler.  Are you having any problems or do you have any questions?"
Me: "Nope."
Doc:  "OK, then.  I'd like to see you again in 4 weeks."
Me:  "Actually I do have one question...and I normally wouldn't ask this.  Is there any possible way we'd be able to determine the gender today?  The only reason I ask is that my mom lives in Singapore and is only in the states for a few weeks and I'm going to see her this weekend and would like to surprise her..."
Doc: (Excitedly) "Well let's go see!"

I jumped off the table, grabbed all my things including Jackson and practically ran to the ultrasound room.  Unlike Jackson, this baby did not want to show it's goods.  The ultrasound tech tried for what seemed like an eternity to move it around and even had me turn over a couple times, but that little goober would not uncross it's legs.  Finally, I got up did jumping jacks and hip circles and it FINALLY spread 'em.  (I can honestly say this is the only time I'll ever encourage her to spread her legs!)

It's still a little early but if you know anything about the anatomy of boy and girl parts, I think you can see that it's pretty clear that this one's a little girl!

Uh, yeah...definitely girl parts!

I actually didn't see for myself during the ultrasound.  The tech wouldn't even let me look at the screen.  She put the pic in the envelope and I rushed to Bryan's office where we sat in the car in the pouring rain and opened the envelope together.  It was a special moment to do be able to do it together.

I was able to keep a lid on the secret (for those of you who know how big my mouth is, this was huge for me) and surprised my family with the news when we got to Pigeon Forge Friday.

I wrapped 4 gifts - one for my mom, stepdad, brother, and sister in law - and had them open them all at the same time.  The gifts were clues about it being a girl -- a Mounds bar (because Almond Joys have nuts, Mounds don't), a box of tacos (I don't have to elaborate here, do I?), sugar, and spices.  It took a minute for them to get it but, of course, my mom was the first to figure it out.  They all were overjoyed and my mom and stepdad cried...SHOCKING! :-)

Now onto the coolest part of the story...the name...

Bryan and I have known that for some time now that we wanted our little girl's first name to be Ocie, after his grandmother.  But, we also knew we didn't want her to go by Ocie, so we wanted a good, classic middle name that would be cute for a little girl but that would also grow with her and sound just as good if she was the CEO of some huge company someday.  We'd tossed a few names around and narrowed it down to Ocie Claire and Ocie Ruth.  I know, you're thinking, how is this cool?  Just wait...

In July, Bryan started a journey to read the Bible from cover to cover.  Almost everyday he's read 3-5 pages.  On the day of the ultrasound (keep in mind we had no idea if we'd find out that day), he started the book of Ruth!  In typical Bryan nerdiness, he did some statistical analysis of the probability of that happening and came out with the probability of him starting that book on that particular day at 0.02%.  (I know...he's such a dweeb.)  

Anyways...that pretty much settled it for us!  We are super excited to welcome our little Ocie Ruth in March.  We can't wait to meet you Ru-Ru!

I'll leave you readers with a few of my favorite pics from our weekend in Pigeon Forge.  We had a blast!!


I love a mountain view!

Waiting on the Shakonohey show at Dollywood.

Had to get one with the owls.
He LOVED the carousel!

Riding the elephants with Nana.

All those rides wore him out!

"One, two, three...GOOOO!"

Outside at the Apple Barn.

Swinging on the porch of the Apple Barn with Uncle Brad and Nana.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Viva la Red-dog!

Recently, my sweet Red-dog has decided to live on the edge.  He's gotten pancreatitis, run off into the corn field only to find two girlfriends down the street, and has eaten his fair share of tissues, paper towels, and various other food and non-food items.

He's always had an affinity for Christmas Tree Cakes.  But, who doesn't?

His latest was a bit more dangerous -- an entire stick of all natural Boo-Boo Balm -- made of beeswax, tea tree oil, and various other all natural ingredients.

The dangerous thing about this, is tea tree oil is HIGHLY toxic to both dogs and humans.  I had no idea.  You think if you have something all natural in your home, that it is safe.  That simply isn't the case.  In fact, many all natural products are actually more dangerous because they are home-made and some of the levels of ingredients vary from item to item.  Also, many of them are toxic whereas the unnatural products to use on babies and children are purposefully made from products that are non-toxic, just in case they are ingested.  Because we all know babies like to eat things they shouldn't.

And babies in my home include the human and furry variety.

My three babies - Blue, Jackson, and Red.

The good news about the Boo-Boo Balm incident is that I caught Red in the act, preventing something fatal.  The bad news is that because this product was made from tea tree oil, it could have had a lot more effect than we initially thought.

The vet took blood work from Red the day of the incident and it showed that his liver enzyme levels were high.  He said this could be from the tea tree oil or maybe that something else is wrong.  So, we went back a week later to do fasting blood work.

We got the results back yesterday and his levels are still high.  This was not the news we wanted to hear.  Either the tea tree oil really did some damage, or something even worse is going on -- and the vet wouldn't elaborate on what worse means, which scares me even more.  They are going to put Red on medication for a bit and run some tests again in a month or so.  (At first it was 3 months, but we just didn't want to wait that long.)

All of this has made me think back and reminisce about the past six years of having Red.  How his droopy eyes and big ears drew us to him immediately.  How we were told that he had been beaten up by some bigger dogs before they rescued him and they thought he wouldn't like other dogs because of it.  (Boy were they wrong about that!)

He was so tiny!
With Daddy in "their" chair. 

How he ate the cover off my bible but didn't eat a single Word of God (he knew what was up), has chewed up countless pairs of shoes, ate my cookbooks (What? They tasted like bacon.), and even chewed up the molding around a door at the first apartment we lived in (it's amazing what you can do with spackle and a little creativity).

"Hey. How YOU doing?"
Born to be King!

"Who wants to pump some iron?"
Plain ridiculousness...

How he knew, before I knew, when I was pregnant both the first time and when I got pregnant with Jackson and would refuse to lay on my stomach. How he never left my side when I was miscarrying and let me use his fur to wipe my tears.

Momma's boy
Snuggle time

How much he has loved Jackson since the day we brought him home.  Red lets him pull his ears, play with his feet, and yank on his tail without as much as a grimace.  How protective he is of Jackson and gets in trouble for busting in Jackson's room at night, thus waking Jackson up, just because he wants to sleep in the same room as him. And, how Red will just about knock me over so that he is the first one to greet Jackson in the morning when I go to get him out of his crib.

Love at first sight!
He makes an excellent seat, too!

How he might be the jumpiest, loudest, much too friendly, and most annoying dog in the world at times - but that he will always be my first baby.  I wouldn't change a thing in the world about him.

He's only six years old and that is just not enough time for us to have with him.  So, Red - we need for you to get well and we need God to heal your liver so that we have at least another 10 years with you!

We love you Reddrick VonStufelstein Parsons!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

11 Weeks

I know I haven't been blogging regularly and promise to get back into routine as soon as I get rid of this "morning" sickness crud.  When you feel pukey all day, it's hard to think about anything else.  I'm starting to plan out Jackson's 2nd Birthday Party, reading up on potty training, and we are gearing up to start our college ministry in just a couple weeks so things are about to get super busy.  My morning sickness seems to be getting better b/c I have moments of feeling well (even days) but then it strikes again with fury.  Pray that my nausea ceases within these couple weeks so that by the time things get SUPER busy, I'll be running at 100%.  I'm also still waiting on my second set of PRAXIS scores so that I can transfer my teaching certification and start subbing this fall.  Pray that we find trustworthy and reliable daycare for Jackson once I start.  

Until, I can blog about something a little more interesting, I'll keep you updated on my pregnancy via pregnancy survey...

How far along? 11 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: +1.4 lbs - slow and steady...let's keep it that way! 

Maternity clothes? Still not in them completely.  I'm definitely having to use a hair tie to button all my pants now though and am trying to wear baggier shirts as my belly doesn't look like a baby bump, but resembles more of a beer gut right now.  I don't think I'll get a lot of "Oh look, she's pregnant.  How cute?!" looks, they are more like, "Wow, Lindsey's really put on some weight!" looks.

Stretch marks? Only the ones left by Jackson.

Sleep: I'm taking phenergan about every other night to help with all-day sickness so I'm sleeping pretty darn well.  At least when Jackson let's me.  I don't want to talk about it.

Best moment this week: Went to the doctor Monday and had another ultrasound!  The baby was super wiggly and we could even make out it's hands.  It was measuring a little big so they moved the due date to March 8!

3 mm long.  Heartbeat was 164.  

Movement:  Too early to feel it but the baby was clearly squirming like crazy on the ultrasound!

Food cravings: Haven't had many in the past couple weeks.  My biggest problem right now is a bad taste in my mouth that makes the nausea worse.  So, I'm always drinking or eating things with fruity flavors to help get rid of it.

Gender: Chinese gender calendar says girl.  It was right with Jackson.  We'll see!

Labor Signs: Am I going to have to keep answering this question for the next 29 weeks?

Belly Button in or out? In.

Wedding rings on or off?  On!

What I miss:  Having an appetite, and not feeling pukey.  I'm definitely ready for this part to be OVER!  

What I am looking forward to: Knowing the gender.  I don't know how I'm going to wait until the end of October.

Weekly Wisdom: The end of the "morning sickness" should be drawing near.  When you are ready to break down b/c you're not feeling well, think "The Little Engine That Could."

Milestones: Starting to show, saw the first movement on the ultrasound, nausea is getting better gradually.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

8 weeks 3 days

How far along? 8 weeks, 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: So far no loss, no gain.  Not completely sure of my exact weight before I got pregnant.  But from the last time I was weighed to a couple weeks ago at my appointment - I'd lost almost 5 lbs.  

Maternity clothes? Not having to wear them yet.  By the time I was 8 weeks with Jackson I was having to use a hair tie to keep my pants buttoned and I've only had to do that with one pair of pants but was able to button them after they'd stretched after a couple hours of wearing.

Stretch marks? Only the ones left by Jackson.

Sleep: Definitely having some insomnia.  Not sure if it's due to feeling icky or the fact that I take so many cat naps during the day that it's messing up night time sleep.

Best moment this week: The moments in which I feel normal.

Movement: Only the churning of my stomach!

Food cravings: Whatever I can hold down.  Mostly bland foods.  I did feel really good several days ago and wanted a cheeseburger and recently I've been loving macaroni salad.

Gender: Won't know for a while.  I go back and forth on what I think it is.  For the past few days I've been stuck on girl.

Labor Signs: Not even close.

Belly Button in or out? Still in, and let's keep it that way for a while.

Wedding rings on or off?  On!

What I miss: Feeling normal.  My stomach always feels queasy and gross, my bowels are all screwed up (TMI sorry), and I'm always weak and tired.  

What I am looking forward to: The end of the ick.

Weekly Wisdom: Try not to let how you feel dictate your life.  Get off your bum and get moving some everyday.

Milestones: Morning sickness, excuse me, all day sickness has struck.  It's no fun but a good sign that everything is going well.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do you know how to make God laugh?

"Tell Him your plans!"

Since Bryan and I had Jackson and moved to TN, we've talked a lot about our plans for when we wanted to have another child.  We know we want more children (at least 1 more, maybe 2) but were trying to be smart about the timing of it all.  We wanted Jackson to have some time to feel like an only child, we wanted to wait until his speech development caught up, and MOST OF ALL we wanted to keep our guest bedroom for a while.

Now, I know that sounds silly, but keep in mind that we live in a 3 bedroom home, at least 9 hours from family.  That means if people want to come visit, they need a place to stay.  The entire time we lived in SC, we didn't have a functioning guest bedroom.  And, it's the one thing I looked forward to the most when moving to a larger home.  I wanted a place for our family and friends to come and visit and feel comfortable.  And, I've loved having it!  So, Bryan and I decided we would wait to add to our family for a few more years.  Maybe by then we could afford to move into a bigger home...or maybe the baby itch would be so bad by then that we didn't care.

Well, God had other plans.

While visiting family in Maryland, I was supposed to get a visit from my "monthly friend."  When she didn't come on the day she was supposed to, I was perplexed.  I'm never late.  NEVER.  My cycle is like clockwork.  I can just about predict the tides by it.  Nonetheless, I pushed the concern to the back of my mind...Maybe it's the stress of the 17 hour drive?  Maybe I calculated wrong or didn't write it down correctly?  She'll come tomorrow.  I was determined to enjoy my vacation and really didn't think about it until the next evening, when she still hadn't paid me a visit.

I broke down and told Bryan that I was a day late and was a little concerned that something was going on.  He was wide-eyed but immediately asked me if I "felt" pregnant.  See, when I was pregnant with Jackson, I felt it before I even got a positive test.  In fact, I had so many symptoms so early that I got a positive test almost a week before I was supposed to get my period and we even thought I could be pregnant with twins because my hormone levels were so high.  I told Bryan that I didn't feel pregnant at all, so I just thought I was late.  If I didn't start by tomorrow morning, we'd go get a pregnancy test.

Well, the next morning rolled around and I still hadn't gotten my monthly friend.  So, we went to the store and bought a test.  I decided to wait to take it until the next morning, just in case.  Plus, they're more accurate if you take them first thing in the morning.

On the morning July 4th, in my grandmother's bathroom, we had our own little fireworks show when I saw this...


Bryan and I were SHOCKED!  I had convinced myself I wasn't pregnant, and I couldn't believe I was.  We proceeded to tell our immediate family, and I began the process of going through the bag of emotions that comes with an unplanned pregnancy.

Bryan was over the moon, and I was too.  But, I was also scared.  Scared of miscarriage because I've had one before.  Scared that I wouldn't love this baby as much as I love Jackson.  Scared for my sanity of being a stay at home mom of two children.  Scared about finances.  And, what would happen to my lovely guest bedroom?!  Where would family stay when they came to see this new baby?!

I don't have the answer to the guest bedroom question yet.  And, for some ridiculous reason, it seems to be my biggest concern.  I know it's silly, I know...but I can't help it!

God has given me peace though.  It took a scary weekend of some pretty severe cramping, which just turned out to be a bad UTI, but I got peace.  We praised God and breathed a huge sigh of relief to see that the baby was just fine and already had a strong heartbeat at just 6 weeks and 2 days.

Hello, little Sweet Pea!

And, we are VERY, VERY excited to welcome this new baby into the world in March!

Please continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby as miscarriage is never far from our minds.  We know that once you get a heartbeat the chances of miscarriage decrease significantly, but we also know from close friends that there is never a "safe point."


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Control Freak

Today I feel like control is absolutely slipping through my fingers.  And, for me that is a big deal.  I am a control freak.  I love to be in control - control over the daily schedule, my emotions, my family dynamic, my career, my ministry.

Most days I feel like God knows this about me and lets me think I've got everything under control.  Then days like today happen and I realize I have no control at all.  No control over a teething toddler who clearly has a mind of his own and has since birth.  (I think he may have inherited the control freak gene, which should make things VERY interesting!)  No control over our family unit and our future (sorry, gotta be vague here but it's nothing bad I promise!).  No control over my teaching career (I should mention that one of the reasons I love teaching is that I have control over MY classroom).  No control over various aspects of the college ministry Bryan and I are leading.  And, no control of my own emotions.

I feel like the more I try to hold on, white knuckled, for control -- the more I am losing it.

In fact, I've done this a lot today --

I know that God is trying to teach me a lesson in this.  It seems to be a lesson that I'll never learn --

First, that my life is not mine.  Second, that I was not designed to have control.*

Jeremiah 10:23 -- I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.

I know that I should, "Let go and let God."  But that is SO HARD for me.  Sometimes I just want to shout, "I've got this, Lord! I promise I'll do a good job if you just give it to me!"  

But, then I hear him say the same thing right back.  Except His is a promise that can't be broken.  Because, how many times have I failed if I try to keep control?  Do I have to think back over time, or can I just count today?  Because, I think the dozen face palms I've given myself today answers that question.

My grandmother's favorite verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 -- Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 

Days like today, find me leaning on this verse with all I am.  I know that I will fall short of fully trusting the Lord and not trying to do things my way, but I acknowledge that; and I acknowledge that His plan is so much more perfect and wonderful than mine.  

So, right now I promise to give all the control to Him.  Even if that's the hardest thing in the world for me to do.  

Is it bad that I still hope He'll clue me in a little? :)


*I'm so thankful for wonderful online devotionals like this one that can direct me to scripture and explain how it is relevant to exactly what I'm going through.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Family Vacay

Sorry it's been a bit since I posted, but we've been out of town of vacation.

We had a wonderful time but are finding more and more that vacations with a toddler are mixed with times of pure delight and times of pure stress.

The drive from TN to the Eastern Shore of Maryland is 17 hours.  On the way there we stopped through WV to see Bryan's dad and Grandmother and stayed the night.  We were able to see some friends of the family and they were able to meet Jackson for the first time which was great.  On the way back we drove straight through because the water went out at our house.  Jackson was such a trooper and did great with NOT ONE MELTDOWN.  Bryan and I were absolutely amazed at how well he did.  We are so lucky to be his parents!

In Maryland we ate more steamed, blue crab than seems possible, spent some quality time with family, and even got away on our own some to have Mommy, Daddy, and Jackson time.

It's funny how vacation teaches you things.  We learned that Jackson loves the pool, but not when there's a lot of people in it.  He is terrified of fireworks, but is absolutely addicted to watermelon.  Both of which are staples for celebrating the 4th of July, in my opinion.  Hopefully next year will be better when it comes to fireworks.   He wouldn't eat any of the crab, so we'll definitely have to work on that in the upcoming years!!  No one can be in our family and NOT eat blue crab! :-)  I also learned that I'm TERRIBLE at taking pictures.  I only got a handful of pictures of Jackson with Bryan and my brother in the pool.  I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing that I forget to take time to try and capture the moment on film.  I'm vowing right now to fix this.  Especially now that I've got a DSLR camera and can learn how to use it to take spectacular pictures.

This vacation also taught me to live in the moment.  Don't dwell on the stresses of less sleep and a different schedule, which can cause mini-meltdowns.  Instead, enjoy the change because the good times outweigh the meltdowns.  Things like - sharing a cup of mint chocolate chip on the sidewalk of a quaint, shore side town, watching your little one run joyfully through a family owned toy store, laughing at the squeals of delight when playing in the pool, and kissing the sticky-sweet, watermelon skin of a little boy that just can't get enough of the stuff.

Plus, vacation with my brother and sister-in-law always makes for good laughs.  Here are just some of the things that made us laugh this week:

"Rub in your chapstick.  It looks like you ate paste for lunch."

"The drive's not that bad.  Think about the positive.  See...we don't get to see corn that often."

"What stinks out here?"
"It smells like taco night at our house."
"Surely your tacos don't smell that bad?"  
"I think he was referring to the gas emitted after the tacos."
"Oh, ha!  Yeah that makes more sense."

"In the summertime he prefers the satin ones bc they're a lot cooler."

"Free Willy!"

I hope you had a wonderful 4th as well!