Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

Escapades in our New Home

This week dawned bright and early Monday morning. The half-light was stealing beneath the shade, gradually softening the darkness in our room, accompanied by the dulcet tones of the cat throwing up under our bed while we were in it.

So that kind of sets the scene.

We also had the great joy and pleasure to witness water dripping in our kitchen. Not in a friendly and expected location, no. Water from inside the wall was dripping through the window frame and plopping onto the sill. Water that we can only presume has somehow broken free of the confining tile tub surround. So…does this mean no more showers until we get it fixed? I couldn’t say. We are thinking of hanging an extra plastic curtain on the inside wall of the surround to see if that stops the water, but there are actually a number of locations where a crack may have breeched the seal. We knew the bathroom tile was something we would have to do sooner rather than later, but we were not planning to do it this soon. Plus…the available evidence suggests leaking has been a longtime issue, so I’m afraid to think about what the condition of the interior walls may be. I’m sure whatever the case, their condition is going to be expensive.

100_2102100_2103100_2104But there have been lots of fun escapades, too! We went to an early-season yard sale over the weekend and bought a little plastic kids’ bowling set. We took it up to our finished attic that is currently empty since we haven’t decided what to do with it yet. Well, I guess we decided it should be a bowling alley!

We have also been unpacking boxes at a ferocious rate. I told a friend on the phone that we are “almost done” unpacking, except for four or five boxes of knick-knacks, five or six maybe seven boxes of books, oh and all those flat picture boxes that have who-knows-what in them. Yeah, almost done, indeed! Well, we sure are close to being all unpacked considering where we started not even two weeks ago! Our house looks more like a home every day. Our furniture looks really good in this house, almost as if we collected each chair and lamp with the mystical foreknowledge that we would end up in this very house. The wood tone of our bookcases matches the woodwork of the house. Our flower-print rugs coordinate with the existing color schemes. Our big brown sofa that I wanted to slipcover actually looks perfect in the cozy living room, just the way it is. Amazing.

Today Stephen and I had some fun in the neighborhood, too. We went to a local antique store to pick up some housewares that I decided I would rather not buy new. The store was wonderful, had a bit of everything, and I can definitely see myself popping over there any time I need a couple more wine glasses, or a large serving bowl, or some picture frames, or long-handled teaspoons, or a cool tablecloth, or a old-fashioned door handle, or, or, or…

Today I purchased a number of small glass jars and bottles to use for storing spices. Some additional forks, spoons, knives because we only have four of each. Some vintage linen cloth napkins. Four ceramic soup bowls since the only “soup” bowls we have are Christmas-y and melamine. You can’t put that stuff in the microwave. I already thought of some more items I would like to find at an antique store. I recently read a book about “being green” by recycling and reusing antique stuff. It creates waste to buy a new tablecloth, so it is “green” to buy a vintage tablecloth. I can see the truth in that, and I can honestly say I never thought about that aspect of antique/second-hand items. I’ve always just gravitated towards that market because it’s more interesting to me, but now I will do it more intentionally!

Finally, our escapades frequently take us to the local branch of the library, which is within easy walking distance. Even for Stephen! He knows the way, and he always assumes we’re going to the library if we go outside or go for a walk elsewhere around the neighborhood. He is such a cute little bibliophile. His current favorite library book is Wooby and Peep. I like it too. The illustrations are very interesting, and the animal characters are likable. The neighborhood animals appear to be nosy, looking over the fence, and they often have funny comments about the action. There is some subtle humor adults can appreciate, and broader comedy for the kids. I recommend it.

Hopefully our escapades continue more in this fun direction and less in the cat-puke direction. I would appreciate that. Kthxby

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Pascha Most Sacred!

“Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered. Pascha most sacred is revealed to us today; Pascha new and holy; Pascha so mystical; Pascha most ven’rable; Pascha which is Christ the Redeemer; Pascha so spotless; Pascha so very great; Pascha of the faithful; Pascha which opened for us the gates of Paradise; Pascha which sanctifies all the faithful.” (from the Paschal Hymns of Resurrection Matins)

Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen!

Dressed in our Easter finery.

Dressed in our Easter finery.

On Sunday my family celebrated Easter for the first time in the Byzantine tradition. It was beautiful, edifying, moving, and inspiring. I was able to attend liturgies on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning, and each was beautiful as part of the whole story of Great and Holy Week. On Friday, we processed around the outside of the church with a Holy Shroud, an ornately embroidered cloth with an icon of Jesus laying out as though in a tomb; the icon was made of fabric, I think. We processed then took the shroud back into the church where it was laid in a “tomb” surrounded by candles and flowers. Each parishioner then approached the shroud, crawling on our knees, to kiss the face, hands, and feet of Jesus. On Saturday, the liturgy focused on the theology of baptism as passing from death into new life. During one of the songs, the priest picked up the shroud and laid it across his shoulders. He carried it out of the “tomb” and put it on the altar where it always rests. The sacrament of Holy Eucharist takes place upon the icon of Christ at every liturgy. I never noticed that before this week.

On Sunday morning, we started with the Resurrection Matins, which are sung only on Easter morning each year. Matins begins with another procession around the outside of the church, this time with the icon of the Resurrection. During Matins we sang the refrain, “Christ is risen from the dead! By death He conquered Death, and to those in the grave He granted life.” When I say we sang that refrain, what I’m saying is we sang it about five million times. After Matins, we jumped right in to Divine Liturgy. It was a long morning, but so beautiful and joyful. At the end of liturgy, Fr. Sal suggested all the parishioners go out to the front steps of the church for an Easter morning group photo. All the parishioners. That is one of the wonderful things about belonging to a smaller parish.

Our traditional Easter foods, and my natural-dyed eggs.

Our traditional Easter foods, and my natural-dyed eggs.

Jeremy and I also participated in the Ukrainian traditional Easter foods. The tradition is to fill a basket with the foods you will eat after liturgy on Easter day. You bring the basket to church Saturday and the priest blesses the food. Then, you take it home and you have to eat all of it, because it’s blessed! If you don’t want to eat that last egg, you have to bury it in the ground; you can’t just throw it away! The traditional foods are ham and/or sausage, hard cooked eggs, pascha bread, butter molded into the shape of a lamb, cream cheese, and beet horseradish relish. It was not like Easter dinners I’ve eaten before, but it was delicious!

For our Easter eggs, I decided to try natural dyes. I used some of the juice from my purple sauerkraut, and turmeric. I added a bit of water and vinegar to both. The eggs turned out blue and yellow, which happen to be the national colors of Ukraine! I did not plan that at all, those were just the natural things I had around that I thought would work to dye eggs! It was really fun using the natural dyes. I would like to experiment with other things, and I don’t see why colored eggs should belong to Easter only. I’m going to do it any old time!

So, after a long break away from my blog, I am happy to be back! We moved to a new home last week, so for a few weeks we were working flat out to pack up at the old place, then we moved and didn’t have internet yet, and we were working flat out to unpack the essential items. Now things are calming as we have reached the point that whatever is in a box isn’t urgently needed, so we can work at a more reasonable pace. And we obviously have internet again!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holy day. Remember to keep the party going: Easter lasts for fifty days!

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Our “Old House”

93 Casterton photoStephen likes to read this book we found at the library called The Old House. It features an anthropomorphic, run-down house that looks so shabby, no one wants to buy it. In fact, most people think it should be demolished. Obviously this makes the house feel very sad. Then one day a family stops by and thinks they might want to buy the house and fix it up. They do that and the house ends up very happy. Stephen really likes this book and he calls the house we are going to buy “our old house, just like in the book.” We did go over and fix it up a little last weekend, so we’ve reinforced the idea. Stephen is very excited to finally arrive at the moment when we can go over to the old house and walk in without having to wait for someone to let us in. And then we can stay there. Sometimes we drive past the house when we are out and about, and it always makes Stephen sad that we can’t go in. We have to tell him that soon, soon we will be able to go in whenever we want.

And that day will be coming very soon now. The house has finally passed all its inspections and we are clear to organize the closing! Hopefully we can get it done next week, then we can move in to our “old house” and stay there. We went past the house today actually, to spy on the work we hired a contractor to do for the inspection. While we were in the neighborhood, I got excited about how ideal the location will be. We went to lunch at one of the local restaurants and since we had driven down, we had to maneuver the car around the postage stamp-sized parking lot only to discover it was full. When we live in our old house, we will be able to walk to that restaurant. Here is a list of all the things we will be able to walk to from our house:

Restaurants: chinese take out, middle eastern dine-in or take out, pizza by the slice, italian dine-in, subs, mexican, “american” take-out, wally waffle, ice cream, coffee shop. at least.
Services: movie theater, the bank, drug store, library, pet supplies, veterinarian, laundromat, music lessons, tax preparer, grocery store (coming soon!).
Other conveniences: bus stop a block away, park with playground, bar with frequent live music. at least.

The only things not within walking distance are our church and our family physician. We could bike to visit Agnes at Glendale Cemetery or take the bus. That bus stop is very convenient. The line that goes past our street can take us downtown where we can go to street festivals or the minor league baseball games, or the main library branch, or restaurants downtown. That route also goes the other way, out toward Fairlawn where it stops in front of our favorite wine bar where we like to go on dates, the main Acme grocery store, a couple major shopping centers, more and more restaurants and fun services. The only limitation would be the bus schedule, which from what I can see, the bus stops along that route at least every thirty minutes or less. It drove by at least two or three times while we were eating lunch.

We are looking forward to hoofing around much more, and enjoying our great new neighborhood. We have even met our neighbors on both sides and they all seem very nice. There is a young family on one side with a little boy to play with Stephen, and a group of girls who are university students on the other side. Maybe babysitters? Or maybe they’re too busy. We’ll see!

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7 Quick Takes September 13: Dream Home Edition

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary like you do on a Friday.

Jeremy and I have been getting in to long-term-planning mode for our family, which includes some concrete goals about our future home. We are planning our savings each month to bring us closer to the time when we can afford a home of our own and move out of my parents’ house. We are doing some hypothetical math to see how long this might take us, so we can set a deadline for ourselves. We are looking at real estate listings and dreaming about the day when we can go house-hunting with pre-approval from the bank, ready to make a serious offer if we see something we like.

Along those lines, here are some quick takes of qualities we are looking for in our dream home in Akron, Ohio.

1. Decent neighborhood. There are a lot of great little neighborhoods in Akron. We plan to ultimately home-school Stephen, so school systems are not much of a factor, but we are going to start being mindful of the schools since Agnes will transition into special education services through the public schools when she is three or four. All we’re really looking for is a street where we don’t feel like we need to install security bars on the windows, or lock the car doors when we drive up to our house at night. A street with a high ratio of occupied homes and reasonably kept up properties is all we want.

2. House with character. We lived in a house built in 1911 when we lived in Billings. It had lots of great little details and a historical feel, even though it had been updated recently. We want that again. Built-ins, a butler’s pantry, sloping ceilings on the top floor, deep front porch, that kind of thing.

Woodwork, hardwood floor, character, built ins! Asking price on listing is $79,000.

3. Mostly hard floors. I’ve lived in places with wall-to-wall carpet, and I have come to realize that I don’t prefer it. I would much prefer hardwood floors or even decent looking laminate or tile. It’s so much easier to keep clean, and I also love area rugs!

4. Cool woodwork. A lot of the houses in this area have thick wood frames on windows, doors, around entryways between rooms, and baseboards/crown molding. Some houses have this woodwork painted (how could you?!) and some have natural wood. Oh, it’s gorgeous.

5. At least 3 bed, 1.5 bath. We really need three bedrooms now that Agnes has to sleep in her own room. And I would prefer 1.5 baths to 2, because I don’t really like cleaning a tub and shower!

6. Close or at least convenient to Akron Children’s Hospital and our church, Holy Ghost. Honestly, these are the two places we go to the most often. You know, besides the grocery store.

7. Less than $80,000. It’s possible! Housing in Akron is exceedingly affordable, especially right now. And if you refer to my first take, the price all depends on the neighborhood. We’re looking at the Firestone Park neighborhood or the Highland Square neighborhood, both of which have many homes with our desired characteristics, and more! We are excited about house shopping in Akron!

Head over to Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

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Top Ten

I find my blog’s “dashboard” to be very interesting. I especially enjoy reading the column that tells me which of my blog posts are receiving a lot of traffic on any given day, and for the whole week. Sometimes I am surprised at which posts show up in the list. Just for fun, I clicked through and looked at the list for my most-viewed blog posts in the history of the blog. A couple of them surprised me! Here are my blog’s top ten posts since I began writing in February 2013.

10. What I Wore Sunday: June 9

Thank you, Fine Linen and Purple for hosting this link up. I always get a ton of traffic when I participate! And thank you, other bloggers, who take the time to visit my corner of the webs. I appreciate it greatly!

9. A Hard Day

Having a baby in the hospital is really stinkin’ hard.

8. What I Wore Sunday: May 26

From our second week going to Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church. Also, Agnes starts to fail her prenatal tests.

7. What I Wore Sunday: June 16 Baby Eve!

The day before I went in for my labor induction! Nervous nervous…

6. What I Will and Will Not Miss

This surprises me, making the top ten. I wrote this when we were getting ready to leave New Mexico.

5. Ventriculomegaly Update

The third installment of Agnes’ prenatal saga.

4. Chimayo, New Mexico: Holy Dirt

This post shows up in the “top posts” list every week. My family made a little pilgrimage to Chimayo to pray and collect some holy dirt.

3. Agnes, Woman of Mystery

This is a really good one, folks. I can see why it’s top three. And I’m not just saying that because I wrote it.

2. Agnes Makes Her Debut!

Who doesn’t like an exciting birth story?

 

and the number one post of all time….

1. Ven-TRIC-u-lo-MEG-a-ly

This is from when we first found out about Agnes’ condition at the 20 week ultrasound. I can see search engine terms that bring people to my blog, and this comes up a lot. If you have a kid with this, you are absolutely not alone!

 

Thanks everyone who reads my blog. I started writing to help myself appreciate the day-to-day ups and downs and to recognize blessings in my life that might not be obvious at first. This blog has helped me to do that, to put events into perspective, and to organize how I think and feel about what happens in my life. I love that I have been able to touch people with my stories. I love that my blog has been a resource, however minor, to other moms and dads who have special needs children. It is so worth it to me to keep writing!

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Moving On Back

So on Tuesday morning before the crack of dawn, Agnes was moved from the front room of the NICU back to the fourth room, which is technically the sub-intensive care room. This evening she moved again: even further back in the unit to the TLC rooms. The TLC rooms are like private alcoves with a folding partition that you can use to either leave the room open or closed off for privacy. There are three nurses for the TLC group of rooms, six patients total, and I guess they mostly just leave the families alone unless it’s time for nursing care. It is my understanding that Agnes will be discharged from this room when she is ready.

I’M PRETTY EXCITED!!!!

I still don’t know exactly when she will be discharged, but the end is definitely coming near. It is looking more and more like she will come home with a feeding tube, but I think she will eventually be able to eat from a bottle. We have been offering a bottle at most feedings since Monday, and she has only taken 5 ml on average. Yesterday the day nurse had a bit more luck: Agnes ate 10 ml for the nurse a couple times, and about 10 or 11 ml for me in the early afternoon. She didn’t really eat from a bottle overnight from what the nurse told me this morning, but at her 10:30 feeding, Agnes took a whole 17 ml from a bottle when I fed her! I guess they didn’t offer a bottle at 1:30, and she only took 7 ml at 4:30, so to make a long story short, who the heck knows when Agnes will be able to eat a full feed–50 ml–from a bottle?

My thinking is, if she is ready to come home in every way except the feeding, I’ll take her with a tube. At this point, I want her home as soon as possible, even though I get kind of nervous when I think about caring for her without the medical staff around; without handy heart rate, breathing rate, oxygen saturation monitors; without emergency medical attention available in the next room. How will I know if her O2 level drops dangerously and suddenly? What if she doesn’t fuss enough and I sleep through her 1:30am feeding? I don’t know what a yeasty rash looks like, so how will I know when to use the special butt cream they have for her? What if the cat smothers Agnes while she naps? What do I do if her n/g tube falls out and I can’t bring myself to stuff 24 cm of plastic tubing back down her nose?

Seriously, that last one is a biggie because I can’t even manage to spritz saline nose spray up my own nose if I have congestion. I sit there with the tip of the sprayer up my nostril and I just can’t pull the trigger. I don’t know what it is. It really freaks me out.

Plus since Agnes has her own special kind of trisomy disorder, I have no idea what I need to be concerned about or what precautions I need to take. Is she going to be more susceptible to infections? Do I need to take extra care sanitizing surfaces and sterilizing bottles and other things she uses? How concerned about her weight will I need to be? Maybe she’s not supposed to grow at a normal rate because of her genes. Will she have lots of allergies? Do I have to worry every time she sneezes? Can I wash her clothes and bedsheets with the same laundry soap I use for the rest of the family or is her skin too sensitive?

My big hope is that Agnes will be more or less like a regular kid for me when it comes to the day-to-day activities. I know she will have lots of appointments with assorted therapists, and she will take several special medications, and I will have to be mindful of her predicted developmental delays, but I’m hoping I will be able to treat her like a regular baby for the most part.

I think it will be good for me to help care for Agnes now that she is in the TLC room at the NICU. It looks like a fair approximation of home, with less intrusion from the nursing staff. I’m even planning to take some clothes from home for Agnes to wear!

Hopefully we can get some new pictures of Agnes soon. Our real camera ran out of battery power and we can’t find the charger! We’re stuck with blurry snaps from Jeremy’s cell phone camera, but the NICU rooms are so dim because of the sleepy babies that any photos turn out quite poorly. Anyway, I’ll see what I can do to get some more current Agnes pics up on the blog!

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Moving Slowly

We’re all moving slowly around here, at least that’s what it feels like. We spent the past three days moving bookcases around to room after room trying to find where they fit. Then we started unpacking books. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of helping us move out of a house, I will say we have a lot of books. A LOT of books. So that went slowly. Jeremy also shifted around our box piles to make it easier to get around the room, but what his work really did was disguise our unpacking progress.

Moving Slowly.

We also began painting the little room that will be our office. Taping the edges goes slowly, but luckily the actual painting went quickly on this room. We bought fresh paint for this room, and we went with the “premium” grade for maximum coverage. So worth it. But we have all this office furniture ready to be placed in its final destination, and it’s just sitting around being moved from one room to another.

So it feels like we’re moving slowly.

Then there’s me, trundling around like a huge pregnant lady. I feel pretty useless right now since I can’t lift anything heavy, or work for very long without a rest, or do anything risky like stand on a two step ladder. So my contributions to this whole moving in project seem minimal. Plus my doctor has me keeping a record of how many times I feel baby movements throughout the day. Three times a day I have to lay around for thirty minutes concentrating on how many kicks I feel. Then I have to write down that number on a chart the clinic gave me. I’ve found that I can’t even read a magazine or anything while I do this because then I lose count. So I have to just lay around doing. absolutely. nothing. for 90 minutes every day.

Moving slowly.

Except baby girl is the only one who has it kicked into high gear. Was it this morning, maybe? I counted 60 kicks in one thirty minute period. Go, girl.

I better go count some kicks now for my record. Tomorrow hopefully we’ll finish the office painting and be able to load in all the furniture. That will really feel like good progress because we’ll also get to unpack some books into that room. Then we’ll have something completely finished!

Okay, I’m off for the night.

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Moving Stuff from One Room to the Other

We’ve been busy around here, but when I go to tell someone what we did all day, it ends up being a very short list. Essentially what it boils down to is simply moving stuff from one room to another room. Sometimes we put the stuff in a box and take it elsewhere, sometimes we bring a box of stuff to a room and take everything out of the box. Mostly what we did today was put stuff that was in one box into another box, then take that box to the basement or out to the trash can. We also did a fair amount of sorting stuff that was in a box or a bag into a couple different boxes…

It was really boring.

In somewhat more exciting progress, we finally finished painting in our room so it is totally and completely done! All we need to do is find homes for all the loose stuff [put it in a box?] and then I’ll take a picture of the “after.” Here’s the before:

Our room, almost ready.

Our room, almost ready.

Here the window frames are still waiting for their second coat of paint and the wall sockets are still missing their covers, but you get the idea. I also want to get some curtains to hang with the blinds that are already there, but that is not even close to being a priority.

We also cleared out the room my parents were using as an office. My mom moved her computer downstairs so Jeremy and I can use that room as our own office. We’ll put our computer in there and also our icons and religious images so we can pray our family rosary in there.

We’re going to paint in the office, too, since it’s empty. We have to go pick out a paint color which might be either very easy or very difficult. It has to be something neutral, preferably pale, more on the warm side, and look good with the wood closet doors and hardwood floor. That narrows the field of choices down to about several dozen, so it’s a start.

I’m chomping at the bit to get Stephen’s room finished as well. We did end up arranging his furniture and unpacking all his toys. We couldn’t have him sleeping in a pack-n-play any longer! But we didn’t get a fresh coat of paint up in his room yet, and it really needs a facelift. Hopefully his room won’t be far behind the office. Here’s a picture of Stephen’s room “before”:

Stephen's room, close to being almost ready.

Stephen’s room, close to being almost ready.

You can see he’s still living out of a suitcase at the time this photo was taken last week, and there is still residual “sewing room” stuff to be removed. Stephen’s room looks really nice now that it’s all set up, except for the dingy walls. I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow of his cute little set up, then maybe another photo when everything is done.

Anyway, I won’t say that we’ve been having fun with all this, but we are making visible progress and each day we can feel satisfied with what we’ve accomplished. That’s something, and I’m grateful to have a big project to sink my teeth into, even if it feels overwhelming at times.

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Epic Road Trip: Hustle East and actually we’re home

Okay. So after we left Billings, MT we really booked the heck across the country. We drove from Billings to Richardton, ND where we spent one night at Assumption Abbey. Assumption is a men’s Benedictine community whose main industry is hospitality. They have a large guest house that used to be the dormitory for the school that closed back in the ’60’s. They rent rooms to groups and families at a very reasonable rate, plus then you can go to the liturgies which are always a breath of fresh air after you’ve been busy at life. We had a nice little stay with the monks.

Then we hustled to St. Joseph, MN just outside of St. Cloud. We spent one night there catching up with a couple friends we haven’t seen in a long time. It was great to hang out and chat with them.

Then we tried to leave St. Cloud, which was really difficult because all the on/off ramps to the interstate were closed for road construction. We ended up following a lengthy detour and getting on the interstate in Clearwater, a detour that added 30 or 40 minutes to our trip. But we were fortunate to buzz through Minneapolis when we did because as soon as we left apparently they got a Happy May Day snowstorm and the highways were closed because of all the snow fall. Ah, Minnesota.

We drove to Milwaukee and had a little time to visit with some more friends who live in a really cute neighborhood about three blocks from the shore of Lake Michigan. We were able to take a walk to the lake and stand on a hill, gazing at the vast ruffling waters. Then when we got tired of leaning against the bitter gusting wind, we went back to our friends’ house. It was a great little visit.

Then yesterday we drove from Milwaukee to Toledo, OH where we have some relatives. We were able to fairly breeze through Chicago, which was unexpected and very pleasant. We bought an I-Pass thingy for the Illinois tollways which made it super easy to get through the city. The I-Pass works everywhere EZ-Pass is accepted, which means it will work on the Ohio Turnpike. We will be using the turnpike a lot to get between my parents’ house and all my relatives in Toledo. Plus we have friends in Chicago and Pittsburgh, so we can use it to visit them, too. It was a good purchase. Anyway, we spent last night with some of my wonderful relatives, and we made the final short journey home this morning.

Maybe you are sensing that we’ve been pretty much either driving or sleeping this past week. Actually, I’m glad we did the trip this way, because we never had to drive an unreasonable length of time in one day. We got a few hours of decompression time in the evenings with our friends, then we were off the next morning, bright and early. Stephen did just marvelous in the car the whole trip. I think if we had had longer driving days it would not have gone so smoothly. As it was, he was able to mostly entertain himself with toys and playing silly games with whoever was in the front passenger seat. He took some naps and ate some snacks and looked out the window. I would do this again, but I will say I am very glad to have reached our final destination.

It doesn’t feel final for me yet. I still kind of think we’ll have to be up and on the way again in the morning. As soon as I can get a domestic routine going the better. I need to start cooking and doing some housework and I’ll settle in fine. Our U-boxes are being delivered on Tuesday and we’ll really get to start moving in. It will be an adventure to move back in with my parents and we’ll have to get used to living together. I think it will go okay; the animals are going to have the hardest time living together! They’ve been growling and scrabbling at each other a fair amount, trying to suss out a pecking order. Hopefully they get it worked out soon. They’ve come pretty far already since my cat arrived two weeks ago, but things are still a little testy. I’m hoping we can smuggle our cat into our bedroom tonight so we can sleep with our kitty again. I really missed our kitty Sashimi!

Now that we’ve made it home, I should be able to post every day again. Stay tuned for my riveting updates on moving in to my parents’ house and trying to apply for Medicaid with only approximately 8 weeks to go on the pregnancy. And I will be keeping you posted on the status of our little one. My first appointment with my new doc is Monday. Please keep praying! Especially for her to stay in her hot tub as long as possible so I have time to get on Medicaid!

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Epic Road Trip: Denver, CO

So here we are in Littleton, CO which is just south of Denver.

Our move out of the apartment went well. Several of our friends came over to help carry down boxes and furniture, and fit the puzzle pieces into our four U-boxes. We finished loading the boxes around noon which was awesome! Then some other friends came over in the afternoon to help clean the apartment which was so helpful. We were able to leave the place on Saturday around 4:30pm. All that was left for us to do on Sunday was wait for the U-boxes to be picked up, then turn in our apartment keys. Everything went smoothly.

The guys loaded up the boxes like 3-D puzzles.

The guys loaded up the boxes like 3-D puzzles.

It's really crammed in there.

It’s really crammed in there.

On Monday, we had a last minute doctor’s appointment which really had me nervous. I was afraid they would tell me I can’t go on a two week road trip. But everything was fine. They told me the only thing I needed to be concerned about was if I can’t feel baby movements like I normally do. So far so good. One piece of great news: at the appointment our baby’s head was finally tilted toward down! Hopefully she stays that way until birth. That will really increase my odds of avoiding a c-section.

So we made it through the first leg of our journey and we are officially on the road. We had good driving conditions for almost the whole trip yesterday. We only drove into snow about 5:00pm when we got to Colorado Springs. It did snow here all night, but I don’t think any more precipitation is forecast for the next couple days. Stephen was just wonderful in the car. He was able to entertain himself pretty well with his basket of toys, and we stopped at a couple playgrounds along the way so Stephen could run around a little before getting back in the car. He took a little nap too.

We are having a nice lazy visit with our friends here. I think we might go out and visit the local Ikea after lunch since I’ve never been to one. I know, that’s a strange family outing, but I think it will be fun. Tomorrow we head out again, just a short trip up to the Abbey of Saint Walburga just north of Fort Collins, CO. We’ll visit the nuns for a day before our next long leg of driving on Thursday.

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