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!