Monthly Archives: November 2011

How I Got Pregnant

You didn’t REALLY think I was going to tell you all about that did you? That’s what we would call a little TMI. Besides…I think we all know how that process works by now. If not, I’ll refer you back to 10th grade health class with the creepy coach/teacher guy who would scratch his crotch while teaching everyone about Gonorrhea. Oh, wait…was that just at Pleasant Grove? My bad.

Nah…my title was just about getting clicks 😉 Now that you’re here, I’ll tell you what you probably already knew or guessed: I’m pregnant again. Yes. It’s true. I’ve known since November 16th and I’ve wanted to blog about it several times since then, but I’ve just been tired. SO tired. I only *thought* I was tired when I was pregnant with Harp. Whoa, buddy.

Aside from the fatigue, I’ve been feeling great so far! I’ve hardly been sick at all….A-MAZING! (Don’t worry. I’m not going to update you on how I’m feeling every day, like I did with Harper. That was a little overboard)

I don’t want this to be long, but there are a few things I want to write about lest I forget 🙂 Benji and I weren’t planning on trying to get pregnant again until he got into a professional librarian position. He has always jokingly said that the only sure way to prevent having a baby is to want one and the only sure way to get one is to not want one => that was true for both of our pregnancies. Not that we didn’t “want” a baby. Babies are always welcome in our household, I think. We just weren’t planning one. With Harper, we planned and tried for ten months before finally getting pregnant. With this one, we decided to wait and BAM! We got pregnant. Pretty hilarious, if you ask me.

The part I want to remember is how I found out the day after God worked a huge miracle in our lives. Remember how someone broke into my car and stole my purse and how God provided for a new window, among other things? I found out the very next morning. I’m pretty sure if those events hadn’t taken place, I would’ve had a giant panic attack over having an unplanned baby. However, with the happenings of the previous day, it was absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for me to worry over it.

The other thing I want to remember is the week leading up to November 16th. I fell asleep every night at 7PM and I had lots of baby dreams. Because of the dreams, I had a feeling that I was pregnant and even wrote a note about it in my phone. I honestly thought I was just being paranoid, but I guess I was completely sane after all 🙂 I love that before I actually knew I was pregnant, my brain was dreaming about it. That’s just so cool to me!

We told our family with this little booger:

And here’s a video of Benji’s family finding out on Thanksgiving (lots of hugs were given to me, so some parts are kind’ve shaky and weird)

So there you have it! We couldn’t be more thrilled about little bean #2. I’m so glad that God’s timing doesn’t always line up with our own. It makes for some awesome surprises!

My first ultrasound is December 6th. In hopes of avoiding another c-section, I’m seeing a midwife this time around. Should be VERY interesting 🙂

 

 

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Harper the Grump

Harper has been extremely hard to handle here lately. He’s usually really easy going and happy, but that hasn’t been the case for about a month now. I spotted the culprit about a week ago. Yeah…it’s a tooth – one of his K-9’s, to be more specific. That sucker must’ve hurt coming through because Harp has been so so so SO grumpy. I thought the grumpiness would soon be coming to an end since I could finally see the tooth, but then Harper got croup…again.

This week has been rough to say the least. And I had a meltdown today. My friend Susanna called me after seeing something I had written on Twitter about emotional eating – I was shoving cheese-sticks down my throat when she called. I ended up turning into a crying basket-case while on the phone with her. Harper had calmed down by that point, but I was still frazzled over the 1.5 hrs he had spent crying before she called.

In the end, Sus made me feel better, as she always does. It’s nice to have a level-headed friend on your side. She talked me through it, encouraged me and reminded me that he’s not going to be a demanding little grumper for forever, and then she prayed for me. I’m blessed to have such an amazing friend.

I’m feeling much better (for now). I say “for now” because I’m starting to realize that this motherhood thing is FULL of ups and downs and it’s only a matter of time before the next “down” hits. One minute I feel like a pro, and then the next, I doubt every single decision I make. It makes for a wild ride, folks. Six flags ain’t got nothin’ on motherhood!

I had planned on writing about something I was thankful for in honor of Thanksgiving, but this came out instead. So I’ll end with this:  I’m thankful for Harp keeping me on my toes (and keeping it interesting!), I’m thankful for God for keeping me humble, and I’m thankful for the beautiful JOY (and the struggles) of motherhood. I really do love this gig…even on it’s hardest days 🙂

Hearing from God (an update!)

Just an update for everyone who read my previous post: Hearing from God.

My mom called me a few hours ago and told me to call Safelight Repair for an estimate to repair our car. She works for State Farm and knows her stuff. She told me to call them instead because a dealership will charge out the wazoo (the $400 quote was from Toyota). Well…she was right. I filled out a form online for a quote and the total cost (for EVERYTHINGGGGGGGGGGG) was $198.95. Umm…awesome, right!?

If that wasn’t awesome enough, I received an e-mail from Paypal stating:

“Dear Ashley Waldrop,

Just thought you’d like to know ___________________ sent you $200.00 USD.”

This person didn’t know about the Safelight quote and thought she could only cover half of the $$$ to fix the car – amazing! I really want to shout this girl’s name from the mountain tops, BUT since she wanted to send it to me anonymously and couldn’t, I’ll keep her anonymous here.

My mind has been blown by Jesus, kind strangers and amazing friends. Wow.

Hearing from God…

I woke up to this today

My first thought was “holy crap…where did that rock fall from?!” I started looking all around…in the trees…on the roof…even up in the sky (maybe it was a meteorite?). It finally dawned on me that someone had to have thrown it through our window.

I realized I was out of gas in the car late last night. I was going to be getting up early this morning so Benji and I went ahead and took it to fill it up so that I wouldn’t have to get up any earlier. I saw my purse in the floorboard when we got home and thought about taking it in, but decided against it (I’m lazy). We live in a good neighborhood (or so I thought), and I just knew it’d be safe there for a few hours. Wrong!

By the time this morning rolled around, I had already forgotten I had even left it in there. I couldn’t imagine why someone would bust our window out for no reason at all. It was scary to think someone did it just to be mean. I started racking my brain trying to remember if I cut someone off while driving last night, or if I turned without signaling, or if I just made someone mad while we were out and about. Benji finally caused me to remember that my purse had been in there – duh!

I was somewhat relieved to know that there was a reason behind it all, but that relief didn’t last too long. At some point in the morning, I found out that WE would have to pay the $400 to fix our car because our deductible was too high (remind me to change that tomorrow, btw). What a sickening feeling: being tight on money and having to pay for damage caused by someone stealing from you. I was also freaking out because some stranger had my driver’s license and Social Security card (hello, identity theft!). Basically…I ended up in our bed, in the fetal position, crying. Gosh…I really hate to admit that. It’s embarrassing.

During my “panic attack” I heard these words: “he is able to do exceedingly more than we ask or imagine.” This isn’t a verse I’ve committed to memory and I actually had to Google it to know where it could be found (Ephesians 3:20, if you’re curious). A peace settled over me and I stopped crying. I just knew it was from the Lord. I felt compelled to ask him things regarding the situation, so I did. I prayed that we would find my wallet, I prayed that God would provide the money to fix the car, and after several subtle, and annoying (if I’m being honest) reminders to bless the thief instead of cursing him/her, I began to pray blessings on the person who did this. During my prayers, I saw a picture of a house that’s right around the corner from us. I pass it whenever I walk, so I assumed that it just randomly popped into my head because of that…ah, when will I learn?

After having lunch with one of my dearest friends – who is also letting me borrow her car for the week because she’s amazing – I decided to go check the mail at our old house. When I got there, this was on the door:

I called and it turns out that this kind, wonderful woman lives REALLY close to us. Can you guess where?! If you guessed in the house that I pictured while praying, you’re 100% correct.

Also…everything was in my wallet….EVERYTHING. My credit card, my debit card, gift cards, driver’s license, Social security card…EVERYTHING.

I’m so blown away by God’s goodness, I just had to share the story. A-mazing.

Weight Loss Update (Pictures Included!)

Something great happened today! I fit into a size 16 pair of jeans for the first time in about a decade. I get excited with each new victory – no matter how big or small – so my apologies if posting about them too much annoys anyone. It just helps me to keep going 🙂

I ended up with some “me” time today so I decided to go try on some clothes while I had the chance. I went to Target and grabbed the first size 16 jeans I could find. They happened to be skinny jeans and ended up being the only size 16 jeans I could find. I headed to the dressing room expecting to come out disappointed, but ended up being really encouraged. They fit! WOO HOO!! I honestly thought it might be a fluke, so I headed over to Ross to see if I could fit into a size 16 there as well. And I could. Dude…it felt so awesome!

Here are the pictures:

Target skinny jeans.

Ross jeans! Yippee! (the shirt is a lil’ too tight, but whatevs)

So far I’m down a total of 42 lbs. Yesterday was actually my Weight Watchers four month anniversary 🙂 The past month or so has been difficult. The weight loss has slowed a bit. I’ve had a lot going on – family visiting, birthday parties, etc. I lost my cat. We moved. The weather has gotten colder, so I’ve walked less. I walk about 2-3 times a week now, whereas in the beginning I was walking just about every day. My days have just been very unpredictable. It’s easier for me to make healthy choices when I know what to expect so this has been very hard to stick to recently. BUT I HAVE.

I’ve been losing about a pound a week for the past month. I’d prefer to be losing closer to two, but I always tell myself “at least I’m not gaining!” I’m proud because I’ve kept going. I’ve stuck to this. Even on days/weeks when I have been discouraged. That’s a victory for me.

There is one thing that’s driving me absolutely insane that I’d like some advice on: MY ARMS! Oh my gosh. My bottom half keeps shrinking and shrinking, but my arms are staying the same. I feel very disproportional right now. What should I do? Will they eventually shrink or should I be doing something to help them along like…lifting weights? If so, how much, how long, etc (and PS: I don’t want to bulk up…)?

So yeah…thoughts? Advice?

THANKS! ❤

Ten On Ten!

(If you click on the image, it’ll take you to one of my favorite blogs!)

So I haven’t done this since June!! I always plan on doing it and then completely forget about it! Today was different though. Yeah…I still forgot, but I happened to open Google Reader while the babies were napping and was reminded of it! Yippee!

Here is my first (and last) Ten On Ten post: Ten On Ten – June. Basically, on the 10th of each month, you take one photo an hour for ten hours. It’s such a fun way to document your day! I didn’t have my SLR camera with me today, so I just took pictures with my iPhone and made them look pretty with my Instagram app. You can read about that here: My Favorite iPhone App (it’s free!)

And here’s my day:

 Surfing the net while babies sleep

Babies still sleeping – starting to get bored!!

They’re awake! Yippee!!

Walking around with mommy

Theresa & Aylen come for a visit!

Dog vs. Scarecrow (RIP)

Resting after the scarecrow smack down

Going on a walk.

Me & P

Naptime again!

I took that last one about 30 minutes before I was supposed to, but I couldn’t chance waiting. I only have time to blog while the babies sleep 🙂 I hope you guys enjoyed this post – go check out A Bit of Sunshine, if you haven’t already!

My Favorite iPhone App (it’s free!)

I’ve been using the iPhone for a little over two years now and I’ve found a lot of good apps along the way. A while back, I downloaded a photo app called Instagram because one of my friends posted an Instagram photo to Facebook that I really liked. Unfortunately, I totally forgot about it once it was downloaded and I didn’t use it for a pretty long while. I rediscovered it about month or so ago, and I’ve been playing around with it more and more since then. Let me just tell you, folks…it is awesome! Not only is it awesome, but it is also FREE!

I just wanted to share some before and after photos I’ve done with it and to tell you to download it if you haven’t already 🙂 It’s super fun!

Before

After

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After

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After

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After (I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!)

Bedhead Before

Bedhead After

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After

Before

After

So…there you have it! It’s just a nice, simple way to turn an “alright” photo into an awesome one! I kind’ve love it…a lot.

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…

Cry tears of joy, that is. Good Lord, this is late! If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you’ll know that we had Harper’s 1st birthday party on October 23rd. It…was….AWESOME! We had it at Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet, Virginia and were impressed with how it turned out. I was so impressed that I even mentioned having it there again next year to Benji.

We had a turnout of about 35 people and it seemed that everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves while there. The party started with everyone going out into the orchard and picking apples. Afterwards, Harper (aka mommy & daddy) opened his presents and then everyone had cake. I enlisted the help of Harper’s aunt Marcy and uncle Nathan with cupcakes and the birthday cake. Nathan made the cupcakes because he rocks at them and Marcy made Harper’s cake. Here’s a picture of it:

Beautiful!

The birthday party package at Chiles was $150 and included:

Ø  Party host to get things started

Ø  Reserved picnic table(s)

Ø  Container for each child to Pick Your Own fruit (in season)

Ø  Cup of frozen yogurt or ice cream for each child

Ø  Birthday Donuts and candles

Ø  Party-themed tablecloths, napkins, plates, utensils

Ø  Goodie Bags as take-home gifts

Ø  Special gift for birthday child

In my opinion, it was a steal. There are some amazingly talented mamas out there who would die to plan their child’s party, bake the cake and hand-make all the decorations. I am not one of those moms (I won’t lie though…I sometimes wish I was one of them). I dreaded just the thought of having to plan a birthday party….especially a first birthday party! I wanted the party to be good for everyone, not just Harper, and I really didn’t think I had it in me to do all that was required for that. That’s why Chiles ended up being the perfect thing for me. It took all the worry and stress off of my shoulders. They pretty much did everything short of sending out invitations. My friends…that was TOTALLY worth $150 🙂

If you’re living in or around the Valley, I highly recommend the orchard for birthday parties. Heck…I highly recommend that place for just a simple visit. It’s such a fantastic peace of earth!

In Memory of Mumbles

Cutest kitten in the world, right? This is my Mumbles when he was a baby. I never knew him when he was this small. Benji got him when he was about a year and a half old. He was my birthday present for the year of 2008. I still remember the very first day we brought him home. He was terrified. We would come to find out that it wasn’t personal, he just hated change.

We were living in the Cedar Crest neighborhood back then. The apartments we were in don’t even exist anymore (they were destroyed by the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa back in April). Necessary fact: our bathroom sink was circular and deep. When we let Mumbles out of the carrier, he ran away and disappeared into our apartment. We couldn’t find him for a while, but after some searching we realized he was hiding in the sink. He had wrapped his entire body around the inside of it and all you could see was his head poking out of it. I knew right away he was going to be awesome once he warmed up to us.

I was right. It took about three weeks for him to stop hiding inside the recliner, the sink or behind the dryer, but one Saturday morning at about 6AM, he started talking outside of our bedroom door. I was so excited that he wanted to socialize that I got up to play with him without a second thought. He never acted afraid of us again.

I’d say it took about a year for him to fully warm up to us and to completely be himself. I know some people who don’t have pets are probably rolling their eyes at this point, but whatevs. He definitely had a personality, and it was fairly easy to pick up on it. We began to learn his preferences, his quirks and his dislikes.

He didn’t like to be held, but loved to have his belly rubbed. He loved windows. If there was a window in sight, he was in it. He liked to chew on blinds. He freaked out if you changed his surroundings, so much so that I never bothered with vet checkups. It just wasn’t worth getting him upset. He talked. A LOT. I’m guessing that’s why he was named Mumbles in the first place. He was really smart and would eventually learn how to open doors by twisting the knobs with his paws. He liked to hide inside of our kitchen cabinets. And he would always come when I called his name. Almost like a dog.

When we were living in Memphis, we had a big sliding glass door in a our livingroom. He loved it! And so did Harper. They would often sit in front of it and look outside together. It was adorable.

It was pretty obvious that Mumbles wanted to go outside, so we decided to let him try it out. We let him venture out into our backyard one day in April and he did great. We started letting him out for a little bit each day and when we moved to Virginia, we let him stay outside full-time as we had a much bigger yard. He lovedddddd it and never went too far from the house. I could always walk outside and call his name and he’d come running to me.

When my parents visited two weeks ago, he mysteriously disappeared. I wasn’t really worried until he didn’t show up for two days in a row. I called his name several times and he never came. I knew something was wrong.  If he was able, he would’ve come running for a belly rub. I mean…those were his favorite and he never passed them up.

My parents speculated that maybe he didn’t like that we had visitors and was hiding out until they left. I didn’t really feel that this was the case, but told myself “maybe so” in order to feel better. Once they left, I continued to search for him every day. I would come home from work just knowing he’d be on my front porch, only to be disappointed when he wasn’t. I’d go into the backyard and yell his name and get nothing. I’m sure the neighbors all thought I was crazy.

By Friday, I was really down and out about it. He had been gone for six days and we were moving into a new house that day. I was really beginning to feel like I’d never see him again. I assumed that he was either dead or someone had taken him, but I had no closure. I knew that if I didn’t get closure, I’d drive over to the old house constantly to look for him. I couldn’t handle the thought of him coming back to an abandoned house and it was driving me crazy. I decided to go into our backyard and swing while praying about it. Again…I know people are probably thinking I am crazy for praying about a cat, but I just had to.

I sat in the swing and began to pray. I don’t know how long I prayed, but I kept asking that if he was alive, that we’d be able to find him that day. During the middle of my prayers, I heard his meow. It was so real that I jumped out of the swing expecting to see him running towards me. I looked and looked and there was nothing. I thought maybe I was crazy. Feeling defeated, I went inside and asked Benji if there was ANY way he could’ve gotten trapped under or near our house. I told him what had happened and that I thought I was hearing voices…or meows 😉

Benji ended up going to look around outside while I stayed in and packed. A few minutes later, I carried a box outside and saw Benji rounding the corner with Mumbles in his arms! I WASN’T HEARING THINGS AFTER ALL!! He had found him in a little shed under our house. We had previously checked there and hadn’t found Mumbles, so I’m not really sure where he was or how he got there in the end.

He sat Mumbles down on the ground and he immediately fell over. He could use his front legs, but couldn’t move his back legs. He was incredibly thin, so I scooped him up and sat him down in front of the food bowl. He ate and I decided a trip to the vet was in order. Everyone wanted me to wait 24 hrs before taking him, but I thought I had lost Mumbles once and I wasn’t willing to do so again…at least not so soon.

At the vet, we learned that his pelvis was broken. The veterinarian speculated that he may have gotten hit by a car and then crawled under the house to heal. He told me that a broken pelvis would heal itself and that I’d just need to keep Mumbles in his carrier for 7-10 days. I was so happy just to know that he was going to be okay and that I could take him home again.

I was already vowing to never let Mumbles outside again when the veterinarian asked me to come back inside the examination room. He said he had some bad news…that Mumbles had feline leukemia and that they recommended putting him down. I don’t even know what to write about that moment. It was awful. Honestly, I felt like I had been pranked by God and punched while I wasn’t looking. And I cried. A lot.

I asked if I could sit with him while they did it. Needless to say, I sobbed all the way through it. I also petted his head and nose the entire time. I couldn’t get to his belly or I would’ve petted that instead since that was his favorite. He purred the whole time. It was so sweet and peaceful…and so hard.

Now that it’s been a few days and the emotions aren’t so raw, I know that me finding him was a blessing. God allowed me to have closure. When my sister passed away in 2000 from a car wreck, I prayed and asked God to never take someone special away from me again without letting me say goodbye first. I never thought that that prayer would apply to an animal. Maybe I’m silly, but I really think God was honoring my request by allowing me to say goodbye to Mumbles. I really feel like he cared about that small small detail in my life and I’m so touched by it.

Here are some of my favorite pictures and a video of Mumbles:

And here is a link to a cute video of him: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=74590426771