Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Few Photos...

I have many photos already (are you surprised?) but I thought I'd just put a few up here before adding more to a gallery on our Smugmug (photo) page.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm Tired and Here's Why

Well, let's recap. Saturday afternoon we went out to dinner with my parents. I tried to eat something spicy... I'm not sure if that made any difference. We left Lucy with them because I had a strange feeling it wasn't going to be much longer. When we got home, we went for a walk, and even ran into some neighbors who are expecting a baby on October 4 (I guess they had the same idea we did). We talked with them for a while, and went back home to relax. We actually stayed up late enough to watch a half hour of SNL - this hasn't happened in ages!

I had some vague pains so I was hoping not to go to bed that night, but when midnight rolled around, we figured we might as well get some rest even if I were to go into labor soon.

The next morning came, and we got up, had some coffee, and went for another walk. I found myself having to take more frequent rests, and when we got back to our front porch and sat down, I started feeling pains with an "arc", which I knew were contractions and not just Henry wiggling around. Before too long I was antsy to get our stuff in the car and head to the hospital, which we did around 11:30 a.m.

In triage, I got checked out and we were instructed to walk for an hour. I was at 6 cm and my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart. After a half hour of walking I wanted to go back and lay in the bed in triage. Some nurses apparently thought it would be a good idea if I was just admitted then instead of waiting any longer, so by 1:00 p.m. I had my bracelet and we were staying. Yeah!

My water was broken when I was at about 7 cm, and after that things progressed fairly quickly. I'm not sure what time that was, but by 3:45 or so I felt ready to push. The baby was still a little high so they had me "labor down" a bit before I could actually start. Once I started pushing I felt a lot better and got the hang of things again. After about 20 minutes Henry was born! He was a good loud cryer and scored a "9" and a "9" on his Apgar... and I couldn't believe he was 9 pounds!

So, we had the nursery take care of him overnight and tried to get as much rest as possible in a hospital room... but by today we were feeling alright and ready to come home. Lucy is back home with us and she goes between acting very tender and loving toward her brother, to almost seeming more hyper and more defiant than ever. It will take some adjusting on all our parts! Phew... okay I have to take a computer break and I will post pictures as soon as I can!!! Maybe later tonight. For now, however, I need to get back upstairs!

We Have Some News!

This is Ron posting for Mindy ...


We are very excited to announce the birth of Henry William, born Sunday, September 28th at 4:19PM. He was 9 lb 0 oz and 21 inches long. Everyone is doing very well and we are planning on returning home tonight.

Since we are still at the hospital, pictures will have to be posted later, as well as more details about our day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

...And the Doctor Said

Well, as of yesterday afternoon I am 5 cm dilated and 75% effaced. She did a membrane sweep, which was not painful, although some say it can be. I had that done at 38 weeks with my last pregnancy as well. As far as labor induction methods, it can only be done if you are partially dilated, and it will only kick-start labor if your body is ready, usually within a couple of days. She said, "maybe I'll see you tonight" but alas, this did not happen! That's okay, I have another load of laundry I wanted to get done. ;-)

We got everything set to go in case I woke up with contractions, but I haven't felt any yet. I do feel some familiar pre-labor symptoms, like mild queasiness and cramping, and essentially no appetite. So, I probably won't post anything new until after the baby is born... unless something extraordinarily exciting happens in my life between now and then. The fact is, this is pretty much all that is on my mind right now and I am not going to blog about it daily and drive myself (and everyone else) crazy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

38 weeks

These will be the last photos I take of myself pregnant! I think I'm a bit bigger than I was at 35 weeks, although I weigh the same. Maybe it just looks that way because I feel like my belly is a little lower now. Anyway, I am definitely getting anxious, waiting and wondering when labor will start. I know I have 2 more weeks until my due date, but considering how much I was dilated a week ago (and the fact that Lucy was born early) I don't really think I will get to October 8. I have an appointment later today and we'll see what the doctor says...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Our friends' daughter Lauren turns 2 today. We celebrated at their house on Saturday with all our friends, and some of their relatives. I can't believe she (and soon Lucy) is two! We had a good time, with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, and of course cake and ice cream.

No More Leaks

We have a new slider! Installed! All we're missing is some trim pieces, etc. but it's fully functional and has the cool blinds between the glass panes (in the air space), which I already love. Ron and my dad worked on it yesterday and also put in our 2 new windows on the side of our garage (the side of our garage faces the road (we're on a corner) and looked like the side of a barn, because it was just a big blank wall with nothing. The windows really dress it up, and I'm hoping someday to have window boxes where I can plant some flowers, etc. Not to mention, it lets a lot more natural light into the garage (as opposed to none, which we had before... unless the garage door was open!).

So, the old French door is on Craigslist for free, and someone already called and is coming to get it. I think with some repair, perhaps it could work for someone. I don't know... it wasn't working for us, but that's why we're giving it away and not selling it.

We're getting close to the point where we have to decide on a siding color...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Getting Closer!

37 weeks - I will probably take a photo today (I last took one at 35) and post it. Maybe it will be the last time I have to get the tripod out and do that. Hey, I just found a random mini Nestle Crunch bar sitting here. Anyway, my body hasn't changed much since two weeks ago, but I had a doctor's appointment yesterday - my weight is the same, my belly is about the same size, and a cervix check revealed that I am almost 4 cm dilated (I was at 4 cm at 38 weeks last time)! I was thinking I might be 1 or 2 at the most. There's no reason to think I'll go into labor this weekend or anything, but it gave me the reality check that it won't be much longer. I still haven't devoted enough thought to make this all seem real, despite the belly constantly reminding me. I decided that over the next week or two I will make more of an effort to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare for the upcoming change in our lives, because until now it seems like it's just been happening in the background. Is it even really possible to get ready?!

Anyway, I look at the dilation as progress in the big picture, and hopefully a little less time that I have to spend at home or in the hospital enduring contractions!

One thing I have lately are very extreme appetite shifts, and extreme energy shifts. Either I want to eat nothing at all throughout the day, or I will eat a huge plate of pasta. I get spurts where I want to clean the house top to bottom, or else I just want to lay around and do nothing. Just this morning I slept through 3 half-hour cartoons while Lucy played on the floor and when I woke up I saw her laying on the floor watching Clifford... so I'm feeling a little guilty about letting the TV babysit, but I just couldn't keep my eyes open! At least she wasn't getting into trouble (although I woke up from a dream where she had gotten a huge glass pitcher of ice water out of the fridge... which we don't even have in there). Speaking of dreams, I finally had one about the baby's gender: and it was a girl (newborn) with dark hair. Maybe it's a sign, or maybe it's just more random craziness going on in my brain.

The nice thing about the first time I was pregnant was I could rest as much as I wanted. Overall, though, it's not as hard as I was afraid it would be, taking care of one kid while growing another. I expect (hope) to feel a lot better physically after the baby is born, and then I'll be better able to get out and do fun things - just in time for my favorite season, autumn, and pumpkins, orchards, apple cider, maybe even a hayride this year (I'm pretty confident Lucy would sit still on a hayride and love it... and the new baby wouldn't have much of a choice!). The leaves on our trees are actually starting to change color a little bit...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rain = Slider Delay

We had so much rain this past weekend - finally everyone's lawns are starting to look alive! We're happy about that, but disappointed that we weren't able to install our new slider (currently sitting in our garage). Of course, the old French doors definitely did NOT hold up against all the extra rain - I had to soak up quite a bit of water from the carpet and Ron put a tarp on the outside of the house, covering the doors and draping away to keep any more water from leaking in (looks great from the inside and the outside!). Maybe by the end of next weekend we will never have problems with it again! Can't wait!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Photo of Lucy Getting Nervous

I think she heard a loud truck or motorcycle and it caught her off guard. Usually she doesn't get scared about noises like that...

Photo of Ron Getting Nervous

I try to tell him that she can't fall out (or at least, it's not very easy to fall out of these bucket swings) but he still doesn't like when she leans back like this. Shouldn't the mom be the one who tries to prevent her child from landing on her head?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Now that seems like a big number :). According to "the books" I am supposed to pack my bag now with essentials for the hospital for myself (and Ron too). However, I'm drawing a blank as to what is needed, other than a few clothing items and toiletries... I'll make a list and start getting that together. I think it's a tad premature to pack (last time I overpacked, bringing things that I definitely did not need!), but I don't want to be unprepared either.

I had a checkup yesterday and everything is fine as usual. I'm up 23 pounds from where I was back in January... so pretty close to the 20 I gained with Lucy, and it should pretty much taper off now. My doctor didn't check for any dilation yet, but I can't help but wonder if that process has started. Odds are it is minimal if anything. I'm feeling a lot of those sharp pains, which are fun little surprises sprinkled throughout the day! In a magazine at the doctor's office I read someone's comment about it being the baby trying its different janitor's keys. That's kind of what it feels like... neat huh? Although a couple aspects of this stage of the pregnancy are unpleasant, I feel relatively great overall. It's just a sign that I'm nearing the end, which I feel is a good thing! The baby's head is down, which it has been for a little while now. I don't think we are having any more ultrasounds this time. With Lucy we had one at just before 37 weeks, but I'm not sure why, since I wasn't measuring "big" or "small"... it was cool to see the baby fully developed, but if everything is going fine I know it's unnecessary and a waste of time and resources (which someone is paying for, even though our insurance covers all those tests). Also, it will eliminate the obsessing over the little baby's face, trying to figure out if it looks more like a boy or a girl!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Front Porch

... the home improvements just keep coming! Maybe Ron has the nesting bug too (or he's just hustling to get things ready for our siding to go on ;)). Yesterday he spent the afternoon ripping the old rotting boards off our front porch, and readjusting things to make the whole thing level. He then replaced rim joists and deck boards so it looks like a brand new porch! Well I suppose it is a brand new porch in a way. The gaps between boards are much smaller too, which we both prefer to the XL gaps they used to have. He just has to do the step in front of the porch (which means busting out the old concrete step first) and that will be one more thing checked off the list.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sunday School

Yesterday our church went back to its non-summer schedule - two services instead of just one, and also the start of Sunday school. On our way to church, I was a bit anxious about whether she would take the other kids' crayons, throw a tantrum, or some other bad behavior, despite our constant efforts to teach her manners (especially not throwing things!). But, I was also excited for her to be moving on to this big-kid stage, and know that things like this always get better and better each time. Lucy is in the group of kids who turn two by December 1 (she turns 2 in less than a month!). We've taken her to nursery for a while now, and she never seemed to be crazy about it. She'd usually frown or cry a little bit, and then slowly warm up to it throughout the hour, playing a little, but not very enthusiastic in general. Well, yesterday she literally dragged Ron by the hand down the hallway toward the check-in table, and after she was given her name tag she took the hand of one of the teachers and marched right to the classroom, never looking back! We were shocked, but very happy, to see her go without any hesitation! Who is this child?

Maybe this age seems late for her to finally be totally comfortable going with someone new, to someplace new, with people she doesn't know, but Lucy has never been a daycare kid so I suppose this kind of thing takes a little bit longer for her to get used to. It was nice not to be distracted by thoughts like, "I wonder if she is crying..." during church. We can't wait to take her again next week! The structure and more stimulating activities of Sunday school as opposed to nursery made all the difference in her mood for the morning.

Friday, September 05, 2008

New Roof

Our new roof was put on yesterday (completed in one day).Here is a photo that shows work while it was going on. We decided to go with a layover (no tearing off the old shingles) to save some money. We had one soft spot repaired, and went with the upgrade type shingle, so it still has the 25 year lifespan... and we saved several hundred much needed dollars.

We are going to do the vinyl siding this fall. The new slider is coming in the next couple of weeks (we want that in before siding goes on). We are replacing a French door that is literally rotting, drafty, and leaking (not to mention we do not like how it opens into the house, whereas a slider stays flush with the wall), and that will improve our energy use through the winter significantly, it was that bad! There are a couple other little things that need to be done before siding (a couple windows, and the front porch). We will be able to redo the back deck next year, ourselves. These major exterior improvements (roof and siding) are the most fun - they don't require US doing the work (and it's worth it!).

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Rainy Day

I came home last night from hanging out at my parents' while Ron was at his grad class. I opened the garage door (everything seemed fine), and as I did Ron opened the door between the garage and the mudroom to greet us. The garage door opener (on the ceiling of the garage), apparently had had enough. Two little plastic screws that held something in place finally broke after 22 years. This caused something to come loose, and as Ron was reaching for it to see why it was hanging all goofy, it smashed onto the logic board. Looking up from the driver's seat (I was still in the car), I saw a bright flash and a shower of sparks, along with a loud pop sound. Hence our garage door opener no longer works. Ron called the manufacturer (Chamberlain) and reported the problem and not surprisingly, the model is discontinued and no parts could be purchased. So, at 9:30 PM Ron ran out and bought a new garage door opener, to be installed later today.

I know the rule - plan on something unexpectedly breaking or needing replacement and have a stash of money for just such an occasion. It's not a matter of "if", but "when" something will get fried or start leaking or fall apart. Or as Dave Ramsey calls it, have a "rainy day fund". Well, we try to always be in a position to manage these little catastrophes, but honestly it's easier said than done. Luckily we had an in-store credit from Menard's (from a coupon they honored after we purchased a slider), but we weren't really planning on spending $120 on something so random. Because of plastic screws.

The Roof

Roofing was to begin today. We are also finally getting a much-needed rainfall. Unfortunately those two things don't mix very well. I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

School's In

Ron is back to work, his first "real" day with students (he's been back since last week, a few days here and there getting ready, going to meetings, etc.). His schedule is pretty great this year, and we both actually enjoy how much more regular it is than his summer job's schedule. It's still going to be a busy fall since he is taking 2 grad classes for his master's degree, on top of everything else we have going on.

So, here's to another year (his 8th!). I hope it's a good one, tragedy-free, and full of hard-working students with positive attitudes!!! Maybe that's a little bit wishful but you have to start somewhere on day one, and for the most part his students are happy to be in his class. Some things are beyond anyone's control, but good or bad, it will be interesting to see what the year will bring.

Pow - Pow - Power Wheels!

My dad got a deal on two new toys for Lucy from someone at work, and she tried them out last weekend - a little motorized 4-wheeler and a Caterpillar dump truck (more photos on our photo site). She can make them go, but she hasn't quite figured out the steering!And here she is playing on the big dirt pile they had in their front yard last weekend (they are redoing their lawn after a few trees were removed). I guess she's come a long way from the days when she was terrified of sand. She just loves being outside, no matter how miserably hot it is...


These two are engaged! Heath proposed to my sister over the weekend in Traverse City. We all think he's the perfect guy for her. I can't wait to hear more about wedding plans, but nothing specific has been decided quite yet...