Sunday, August 31, 2008

I enjoyed this post.

Click here.

Even when you have the money, how should you spend it? Do we keep a clear line drawn between needs and desires? Even with that line drawn, how many of those desires should we fulfill, even if we can afford them? How often do we think, "Well, I've earned it"?

All questions that Chad and I have to continually ask ourselves. When you are very poor, in college, and in debt, it is pretty easy to look at a $50 dinner at Carraba's and think, "How many groceries can I buy with that?" When you are no longer poor, can you still look at that $50 dollars and translate it into how many groceries it means for a family that is still in the struggling phase of their financial history? Can you look at that money and ask what it would mean to someone in a microfinance program?

Don't get me wrong, I think we should allow ourselves some little luxuries. I'm not saying that we should never go out for a sit-down meal or buy a pair of cute shoes that we have been eyeing. I just hope and pray that no matter how much money I have, I will always keep my "poor perspective." I hope that no matter what, I will never think that I "deserve" a $500 pair of jeans or a $200 a plate meal. I hope that I will always use a coupon when I can.

Obviously financial decisions are very personal and even after close examination, all of us are going to define the word "luxury" in a different way - I just hope that I always do stop and make that examination.

When it comes down to it, do we actually believe that our money is also our Heavenly Father's money, and we should use it for what he wants us to do with it?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hospital to Home

Click here to see pictures of Oliver from birth to his arrival home. Hopefully I will post more updated ones soon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh, the comfort!

Remember my 3D ultrasound with Oliver? The technician couldn't get a good shot of his face because he always had his hands up there.

No matter how much you swaddle the little guy, he always works those hands out of the blanket and up to his face. Chad and I find it absolutely charming and sweet and adorable. Have I mentioned that we love the little guy?

More pictures tomorrow.

*edited to add: And I was right about the scowl, nose, and chin! And yes, he looks SO much like my other boys!

Dear Colin,

On Monday we dropped you off at school and then drove to my doctor's appointment. I was crying the whole way there, just as I had been crying in your classroom as you sat down with a smile and immediately got to work. Your little brother moved within me, but I didn't want to think about him right then. I wanted to bawl and fall into the memories of the two and half years when it was just you and me. I know that parents don't have favorites, but you will always hold a special place in my heart for all the hours we spent alone together and for all the first parent lessons that you taught me.

Your daddy used to call us "best buds." Every morning, your smile was the first thing I saw when I woke up. Not all kids wake up with a smile on their face, as I would later learn, but you always did. We could wake you up at 3 am to drive to the airport, and you would just laugh and go along for the ride. I quickly learned that your "love language" is spending time together. Do you know how much that meant to me? To always have this beautiful little boy next to me who wanted to just be in my company?

Your dad and I marvel at your natural goodness. We have seen you make friends with every kind of kid, and we have seen the respect you pay your leaders at church. You want to be responsible, and all we have to do is provide occasional reminders. We realize how lucky we are in that way.

We also love to see your natural confidence. Even though you can be shy and cautious, you love to tackle new challenges and you never seem to doubt that, with time or practice, you can accomplish whatever you try. You have complete faith in yourself, in the sweetest way possible.

This is probably what scares me most about you starting school - knowing that not everyone out there is as dedicated to preserving that self confidence as your dad and I are. I know that you are going to face teachers and students whose eyes don't see you for what you really are - people who will at times make you forget that you are a child of God.

So now all I can do is try and make you remember that whenever you are in my presence. I can hug you, and love you, and encourage you, and pray for you, and hope that it is enough to build a shield around you the rest of the day.

I am sorry that I cried your first day. I was trying not to, but it started before we even got to your classroom. What I am not sorry about though, is that you didn't cry. You sat down and started coloring that picture as well as you possibly could. You didn't cry and you came home with a note that said, "Colin is a good boy. He followed directions." And even though Mom and Dad weren't there to pick you up, you still smiled and happily hopped into your Aunt's minivan, confident as always.

One day down.

Please remember.



Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Thanks everyone, for the congratulations. We came home from the hospital yesterday evening and have been sleeping as much as possible since then. Oliver is a champion nurser already and only squawks occasionally when getting his diaper changed.

The other boys are doing well. They were both totally off the hook yesterday, from what Chad told me and what I saw when I got home. This picture shows it all - they wouldn't even look at the camera. They both fell apart last evening - and who can blame them? It was a huge couple of days for them. We have all had a very lazy day today though, and they are back to their normal selves.

Even at their worst, Colin and Gabe were never anything but incredibly sweet to Oliver and very interested in him. Both of them already adore their little brother, and I am so excited to have another Coleman boy to be a part of their fun little group.

Dad is the hero here. Chad has been so attentive to my every need, and handling the boys with ease and patience. And of course he is in love with his new one.

I will do an all-picture post soon and hopefully some with semi-coherent words not too long after.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Oliver's birth, Part II, No more waiting!

August 25, 2008 - five days after Oliver's due date

Right by the hospital I was delivering at is a Wendy's. We went through the drive-thru on the way there because I knew that once I checked in, I wouldn't be allowed to eat any real food. I ate a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. YUM. We got to the hospital at 11:15, and they were expecting us. Even though I was pre-registered and they knew I was coming, I still had to fill out some paperwork. They took me to my room and I was happy because it was one of the rooms with a enclosed patio attached to it. It was a little strange getting changed into a hospital gown, not being in labor but knowing that I soon would be.

The midwife on call came in. I hadn't seen this midwife since my very first appointment (they rotate you through all of them so that you will know them all), so I actually barely knew her. She had gotten a new hair-do and I didn't even recognize her, and I could tell she didn't remember me at all. She checked me and said that I was at 4 cm's. HUH? I really dilated 1 cm on the way over? She laughed and hooked me up to the contraction monitor thingie, and it showed that I was having small, fairly regular contractions. The midwife said, "Wow, maybe today was going to be the day anyway!" I just kind of nodded my head, but I was thinking, "Yeah right. These contractions are NOTHING compared to what I have been feeling for weeks."

After seeing that I was at a 4 and had some contractions, the midwife decided to break my water to see if that would get things moving along. This was at noon. When she did, there was meconium (the baby's first stool, which they normally expel after birth) in the amniotic fluid. He had already passed it inside of me. This sent me into a slight panic - I knew this was more likely with babies that went past their due date and it sent an alarm off in heard. My midwife didn't seem too bothered by it, but I had always heard horror stories about babies aspirating meconium, so that I thought it was really dangerous. I threw a couple of questions at her about it, and she said that she had seen this in probably 100 deliveries and not once had the baby ended up having a problem. They would just have a pediatrician on hand when Oliver came out and they would suction him out really well.

As soon as she left the room I had Chad google it (he had his laptop and our room had wireless internet), and read me all the information he could find about whether it was actually dangerous or not. The information he found seemed to confirm what she had told me, so I was able to calm down a little.

My midwife and nurse also talked to me about what kind of labor I wanted. I told them that I didn't want an epidural, and they both told me that it would be difficult to do that with an induction and to keep my options open. By this time I didn't really care that much either way. I just wanted to have my baby here safely. I told them that I really wanted to try a lot of different positions but didn't really know how I was going to do that being hooked up to everything. I already had an IV in and there was a monitor strapped around my belly and hooked up to a machine that monitored my contractions and the baby's heartbeat (that beeped like crazy whenever it was knocked out of place). It just didn't allow much freedom of movement. They said they would help me move all the cords around whenever I wanted to.

After my water broke, my contractions stayed about the same. I didn't really feel like anything was going on, and not much was showing up on the monitors. The had me sitting on a birthing ball and swaying side to side. I put Pride and Prejudice on, and Chad surfed the internet.

At 1:30 the nurse gave me first dose of pitocin (the drug that induces contractions). She informed me that it was the smallest dose and each dose after it would be stronger. I thought in my head, "I bet this does it. I bet I won't be getting a second dose."

After just fifteen minutes my contractions started getting stronger. I was on the phone to Audra and I had to cut the conversation short because it was getting harder and harder to talk through each contraction. By this time I had been on the birthing ball for an hour and it was not feeling good at all. Mr. Darcy was asking Elizabeth to marry him (for the first time) and she was telling him off.

I told Chad that I needed him and asked him to put his laptop down. Then I asked my nurse if she could help me find a better position. At 2:00, she raised the bed up so that I could lean on it. Each time a contraction came, Chad would massage the small of my back as hard as he possibly could. It helped me to draw my focus away from the pain and I imagined riding a wave up up up and then over the crest and back down. It worked well for awhile. I was having Chad massage my back so hard that it actually hurt, but the pain of it felt great compared to the rest of the pain. He talk lightly to me between each contraction, watching the monitor, and knowing to shut up and start massaging each time he saw another one coming. I felt really close to him, and he was being the perfect partner - helping me to stay calm and offering me drinks between each contraction. Sometimes I would turn around between the contraction and just hang on him. He was also taking notes for me, which is why I know all times that this stuff happened - I have the notes he took right in front of me.

I started to get a little frustrated because, although I was able to handle each contraction, it was getting harder and harder to relax between each one. The pain lingered after the contraction ended and stayed until the next one began. I wanted to be able to use the time in between each one to refocus and breath. I expressed this to the nurse and she told me that this was probably just the way it was gonna be, but we could try another position. I also asked her when the midwife was going to check me again to see how much I had progressed, and she said she wouldn't until I really got going. Once again, I didn't say anything (although I should have) but I wanted to tell her that things were definitely "going" now. I knew that big things were happening and wanted to know how much I was progressing so I could feel like at least these contractions were doing something, and so I could know how much more to expect. I was really starting to feel overwhelmed. I wanted some encouraging news and I also wanted the midwife and nurse to realize what my body was doing (I hadn't even seen the midwife since she broke my water).

(I vaguely remember Pride and Prejudice being on still and Elizabeth and Darcy meeting in the field)

I kept thinking, "I don't think I can do this. Which, according to the all books, means I am a probably in transition and the end is near. But what if I'm not? I can't do this!"

The nurse suggested that I get on the bed on my hands and knees to see if that position would help at all. Just getting up there was a pain, with all the cords to untangle, and as soon as that first contraction hit me in that position, I knew it was a mistake. It was HORRIBLE. I said, "That's IT! I want an epidural." I had warned Chad that me saying that was a sign that I was in transition, so he did what I had instructed him and tried to make sure I was really sure. I told him I was sure. I told the nurse I was sure. I was SURE. The nurse then told me that she would have to give me some fluids through the IV first and then we could call the anesthesiologist. Then we would have my midwife in to check my progression. I asked her to do the fluids as quickly as possible.

I honestly think she was dawdling, thinking that I could wait awhile longer. After all, it was 2:50 - I had just gotten a tiny little dose of pitocin an hour and 20 minutes before.

Now the contractions were at their peak and I was just laying on the bed, getting the fluids in and not trying any different positions or anything. Every time a contraction came, I would grab Chad's shirt and twist it into a ball and moan and groan. I remember very clearly that I was saying things like, "I can't do this! I can't do it." and "When is this going to end?!" Chad just brushed my hair out of my face over and over again and told me that everything was going to be okay and I was doing an wonderful job. I remember thinking how wonderful that felt. I kept telling him thank you.

Finally, at 3:18 (28 whole minutes later!)the anesthesiologist was there giving me the epidural. Getting a huge needle threaded into your spine is not pleasant to begin with, but when you so far into labor it is really hard to sit still. The nurse had me curl up and into her chest, and told me to grab her shirt as hard as I wanted. I was having contractions one of top of each other, so right as I could feel the needle going in I was having one, and I gave a huge jolt. She held me tight and calmed me down.

I felt the epidural working almost immediately. I felt a little drunk with relief. I turned to Chad and said, "I want you to turn the camera on, turn it to the video, and record me saying this - 'It isn't worth it! Why? Why not get an epidural?! It isn't worth it!!!!' so that I will never forget and try that again!!!!!!!"

It felt so good to be rid of the pain. I asked Chad if he could call Bobby and ask how Colin's first day of school was. Then right as the pain subsided, I could feel Oliver moving very very quickly down. It was so strange because the contractions didn't hurt, but everything else did and I could still feel all the pressure of the baby moving down. I told the nurse, "He's coming. I can feel him coming." She checked and said I was right and called my midwife in. Chad was chatting with Bobby and I called to him to get off the phone and get the camera ready.

My midwife came in, I pulled my legs up (they still had all the feeling in them), and they had me push. It was a very strange sensation because I could just barely tell when I was having a contraction, but it still hurt a lot to push. With my other two births, I had only felt pressure, not a lot of pain. But I could really feel Oliver coming out. I wasn't sure if I was doing it right because it felt so different. My nurse and midwife assured me that I was. I remember saying, "Wow, that really hurts!" Uh yeah, Katie, of course it hurts. I was about to ask them to for a mirror so I could see my progress, but the pushing went very quickly. One final huge pain and then his head was out, and then his body. Oliver Charles Coleman was born at 3:38 pm.

The midwife put Oliver on me and I remember just saying over and over, "I can't believe you are here. You are finally here." So much anxiety and longing, and it was finally over and I finally had the little boy to look at.

Oliver's first picture

They weighed him and he was 8 lbs 6 oz. He skin was really cracked all over and his fingernails were way longer than my other two boys' had been. Too much time in the womb buddy!

I realized that I still had all the feeling in my legs and wanted the nurse to turn the epidural off so that I wouldn't get numb. I asked her about it and she informed me that she hadn't ever even hooked the epidural bag up. I had just gotten the dose from the anesthesiologist when he had put it in. I was SO happy to be able to stand and walk around right after giving birth and of course now I was really glad that I hadn't gotten it til the very end.

They had suctioned Oliver out really well after he came out and the meconium wasn't an issue at all. He got a 9 and a 10 on his Apgars.

Chad left soon to get the boys. They came back, with a pizza for me, before Oliver even came back from getting his first bath. I got to greet them and get hugs from them before the nurse came him with Oliver.

They loved him of course. I was exhausted but all hyped up and ravenous. Chad went home with the boys and I spent that night nursing the baby, eating as much as possible and trying to sleep. I ate my dinner, the whole pizza and a whole snack basket that the nurses brought.

I really hate being in a hospital bed. I asked to go home as early as possible and got my wish granted. It is always such a wonderful feeling to drive home with your baby and then nurse them in your own bed.

I turned to Chad that night, as we looked at Oliver laying asleep in our bed, and said, "Doesn't he seem like he knows he is home? He seems so comfortable. It just feels like he already knows he is a part of our family."

Oliver was a great nurser. He ate every two hours for about 15-30 minutes. He liked to be swaddled for the first week or so, as long as his had his hand out, and then after that he wanted to spread out. Oliver loved to be held and cuddled. He started smiling at a very young age and the only time he cried was occasionally when he got his diaper changed.

I won't go into it too much, but the emotional side of recovery was way more intense than I remembered. I was very very moody. I can remember bawling and having absolutely no reason for it. I would tell Chad, "Don't worry - I'm not crying over anything. I just really really need to cry." Chad was really taking care of things for me, but I had a hard time not being able to be in charge of everything that was going on in the house - not knowing if all the laundry was done like I wanted it to be, where the boys shoes were, if Colin's lunch was packed, etc. (and I am usually not a very controlling person). It was a big adjustment, and Colin was bawling every night too about not wanting to go to school the next day. There were a lot of tears shed for about three weeks. Oh, and I remember driving somewhere about a week after he was born, and thinking, "Why do I feel weird? Something is missing. Oh, it's the contractions that are missing!" I had gotten so used to feeling them that it felt so strange to finally have them end!

Written on May 3, 2009

Oliver's birth, Part I, Waiting

From the very beginning of my pregnancy with Oliver, I assumed that although his due date was August 20th, he would be here by the 13th, possibly earlier. After all, Colin had been born 12 days before his due date, and Gabe came 7 days before his. This was my third child, and my labors had never taken more than five hours, so yeah....of course he would be here at least as early as his brothers. Colin was set to start kindergarten on the 25th, and had his open house on the 21st, and I always just assumed that there really wouldn't be a conflict with either of those dates. I thought it would work out well that we would have a couple of weeks together as a family to adjust before he started school.

We had our family reunion a month before my due date, which I was really happy for. It kept me busy. I felt like nothing was really going on with my body, and the first time that my midwife checked me, at 36 weeks, she confirmed that nothing was going on.

At my 37 week appointment, I told the midwife not to examine me...I really didn't want to know. I had been dialated to a 2 for three weeks before I had Gabe, so I knew that knowing really wouldn't tell me anything.

Unfortunately, I had a vomiting episode and had to go in later that week, and I found out then that I was dilated to a 2 and was 50% effaced.

This was the point where I started to go really crazy. I tried very very hard to keep busy and not think about it, but it got harder as each day went by.

The most frustrating aspect of it was that I was having a lot of contractions that bordered on being painful, especially at night. Just when I was getting my mind off my pregnancy, I would be roped back in by a group of contractions that forced me to think about it. I remember being woken up sometimes by some contractions so strong that they had been a part of my dreams. I would lay in bed, watching the clock, trying to will myself back to sleep so that I be as rested as possible whether it was labor or not. I would always end up getting up, and then they would subside and I would go back to bed.

In the meantime I was reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and trying to prepare to give birth naturally, something I hadn't done with either of my other boys. By the way, I would recommend reading this book regardless of whether you are pro-epidural or not. It is quite interesting. I felt that this time, with the help of my midwife, I would be able to avoid getting an epidural. I really didn't like the detached feeling it gave me - not even being able to feel my legs or walk for hours afterwards. I felt like it cut my emotions off a bit too - neither birth had even brought tears to my eyes (and I am a crier) - they just seemed surreal.

At 38 weeks I was 3 cms dilated, but the head was not yet engaged, which didn't surprise me at all. I could feel the baby up in my ribs. My midwife said my body was "completely ready" and she wouldn't be surprised to see me again soon.

Though I was frustrated that I hadn't had the baby yet, I knew that wishing for it to happen before this point had just been wishful thinking....but now it was 38 weeks, I was 3 cm's and it really was time. Woohoo! Right?!

One day at about 38 1/2 weeks I started having strong contractions about 5 minutes apart. I timed them for about an hour and a half, we went to our favorite Thai restaurant, where they continued regularly...I started thinking about whether everything I needed was in my bags, and then....they just stopped.

I still had days when I managed to not focus on my pregnancy, but those days were fewer. I was huge, I definitely FELT 3 cm's dilated, and I was having diarrhea every morning (which can be a sign of labor). It was almost impossible not to obsess over it.

Now I was really starting to worry about Colin's first day of school. I wanted to have the baby before it, but not so close that I wouldn't be able to go with him. So the baby really needed to be born NOW!

Chad was obsessing as well. He was taking a month or so off (paid- woohoo for BofA) when the baby was born so he felt like he was just biding time at work. No one wanted to give him any new work because they knew he would be leaving soon, and not knowing exactly when that was going to happen was very frustrating. When I was 38 1/2 weeks his boss told him that he could start working from home. Probably not the best idea because now we could obsess ALL DAY LONG together.

When Chad wasn't working his normal job, all of his extra hours were spent fixing up our flip house. We had a deal - he could work all he wanted over there at night (and he did - usually from 5-11 every night), but after the baby was born he had to take a whole week off before devoting himself to it again (full-time, since he would be off from BofA). So Chad was also awaiting the birth because it totally impacted when he could finish the flip house up and have it on the market. The summer was coming to an end and he really really wanted to have it up for sale soon.

The contractions continued. I didn't sleep much. I found myself on my knees over and over again, asking Heavenly Father why I wasn't having the baby. I know that sounds petty, but it really really felt by this time that there was something going on with my body. All these contractions and no progress and I could just feel that the baby's head just floating around. Some days I could feel it work down, and I would feel a ton of pressure with a lot of discharge, and the next day he would be up in my ribs again. Gabe had been born "sunny-side up" and I wondered if maybe that was what was going on.

At 39 1/2 weeks I was still 3 cms and the baby's head was still floating around. My appointment was on a Tuesday (the 18th) and my midwife made an appointment for the next Monday, saying that if I hadn't had him by then we would talk about inducing.

I cringed when she said "induce" and said that I really wanted to avoid that. I had had pitocin when I gave birth to Colin and remembered the horrible contractions and the fact that I had to constantly be monitored, and I knew it would not jive with the plans I had in place for a natural birth.

Let me just mention that we had definitely tried every "method" for inducing labor at this point, and she recommended that we keep trying.

Now I was at that point where I almost wanted the baby to wait a few days so I could insure I was at Colin's first day. What was frustrating was that I didn't know for sure when his first day was. In our district, they had the kindergarten students start school on staggered days for the first week. Each kid only goes to school for one day that week. So the teacher will have five or so kids each day and then they start going every day the next week. We still hadn't received information telling us which day of the week he would be starting. We called the school and they told us we would get something in the mail, and we finally did on THURSDAY, telling us he would be starting on Monday the 25th. When we went to his Open House that night (the 21st), I told his teacher that I would be having the baby any day and asked her if Colin could start school a different day if I happened to go into labor on Sunday or Monday, and she said that should be fine. Getting the Open House out of the way and finally knowing when he would start was a huge relief. Now I was mostly okay with not having the baby until after the 25th (though of course I still wanted him to come NOW). I felt a lot more calm.

We went to Stake Conference that Sunday and I only lasted through half of it because I was so uncomfortable. Everyone who saw me there was shocked that I hadn't had the baby yet. Of course I was too. I can't emphasize enough the fact that we had never once considered that I would go PAST my due date. It really never even entered into our thoughts.

We took Colin to his first day of school and then went directly to my midwife appointment. She checked me and said"Darling (in her English accent), what did I tell you you were last week?" I told her 3 cms. And she said, "You are going to hate me, but you really haven't progressed at all and the head is really high."

She took a deep breath and said we should talk induction - I think she was remembering my opposition to it the week before. She said, "When is the earliest you would like to consider it?"

I told her as soon as possible!

She laughed and took us into her office, put us on speaker phone with the midwife on call at the hospital, who told us we could come right over, and just like that we were off! We called Robert and Sabina and asked if we could bring Gabe over. They met us at the house, I made sure I had everything I needed, and we left for hospital. I was sad that I wouldn't be able to pick Colin up from his first day of school, but I knew that he wouldn't be bothered by having Sabina do it (he loves his Aunt.) I was very nervous. I really felt like it was time to induce (I just plain didn't understand or trust my body at this point) but I was also afraid that something was going to happen to the baby because of the pitocin. When I had had it with Colin, his heart rate had dropped dramatically towards the end and they had screwed one of those little monitors into his head. I barely knew what was going on at the time, but looking back and knowing more about pitocin and emergency c-sections, it really scared me. I didn't want to end up with an emergency c-section just because I was going crazy with impatience. Chad and I were joking and listening to "Viva the Vida" the whole way to the hospital, as I tried not to worry too much.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Presenting Oliver Charles Coleman

Both Baby and Katie are heatlty and happy resting at the hospital right now and I'm sure more pics will follow accompanied with more detail than you would ever want to know. Katie was omitted to the hospital at 11:30 this morning to be induced and at 12:10 the Dr. broke her water. At around 1:15 the Potosin started. After laboring for about 2 hours, Katie ended up with an epideral at around 3:20 and baby Oliver entered the world at 3:38. Katie did such a great job and I am so proud of the way she handled herself. She actually feels much better than she did post-Gabe and Colin so if all goes well we can have her back tomorrow night. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and prayers and more pictures and details I'm sure are on the way! Sorry for the atrocious formatting - I can run and build SQL code or build you some Macros in Excel, just don't ask me to align pictures in Blogger...:)

Off we go!

We are on our way to the hospital! I had a doctor's appointment this morning and hadn't dilated at all in the last week despite having irregular contractions for the last three days. So I am going in to be induced. Definitely not how I wanted things to go, but at 5 days late I am willing to roll with it.

Oh, and Colin is at his first day of kindergarten. I am just glad that I was there to drop him off, even if his Aunt has to pick him up.

Wish me luck and keep me and the baby in your prayers! I'm very nervous.

First Annual Back-to-School Dinner

The very sophisticated menu, chosen by the five year-old guest of honor, was hot-dogs (at least I got the Nathan's instead of the Oscar Meyer that he wanted), macaroni salad, and corn on the corn with chocolate cake for dessert. Great brain food.

School? This guy?!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An Evening with the Colemans

What? Don't all families pile in the mini van after dinner and go for drives down the bumpiest roads possible?

We had a really hard time finding roads bumpy enough. I kept wishing I was in the mountains on a Kubota.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Should I send Chad to Walmart?

Here is one way of trying to induce labor that I haven't tried yet. Whaddaya think?

Perfect summer supper

I love this couscous that I find at SuperTarget.
Last night I made some salmon, topped with a tomato, onion, cilantro and olive garnish, and paired it with the couscous. Yummy, fresh, filling, yet still light.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Colin C.

Well, I did it. I gave my firstborn a trendy name. We got to his open house today to discover that there are two Colins in his class! Just as I was Katie J. in kindergarten, he is Colin C. The really sad thing about it is there are only two Chinese classes in his grade level so if they both continue at this school, their chances of being in the same class are always 50/50.

Now for the really weird part - we didn't meet the other Colin, but according to the teacher, it is a girl! Same spelling and everything. Have you ever? I sure hope it is just a mix-up with the wrong box getting checked somewhere.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Argentine Love

Is there are faster way to a pregnant woman's heart than hearty and delicious homemade gnocchi with meat sauce and cream on top? I highly doubt it.

Sabina knows that we have mainly been eating frozen meals for the last couple of weeks so she came and cooked for me last night. I lounged on the couch, and Chad actually took a little (well-deserved) nap while she slaved in the kitchen. It was the best night I have had all week. Thanks Sabina!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Dear Kind Lady at Discovery Place,

It was 9:15, only a quarter of an hour after Discovery Place opened, and I was the crazy lady asking you if you had a spare diaper, and um, maybe some wipes too. Yes, I remembered to pack sack lunches, yet brought nothing to change my son. He must have sensed this because he went number 2 for the first time in public in probably a year and a half. Thank you kind lady, for giving me two diapers with shining eyes that told me you genuinely understood and were happy to do it for me. Because I really didn't want to have to go all the way home and I really didn't want to wander around Uptown Charlotte trying to find a place to buy diapers.

Spacey Mom

Dear Hotdog-in-tortilla-with-cheese,

You rock. Guess what? I have only gained a pound in the last month, so I don't give a darn if you are loaded with calories, fat, and tons of fake stuff. I deserve you. You are the perfect snack at 10 pm, accompanied by ketchup and mustard. I even got Chad to try you today - even though he went overboard and had two hotdogs in a tortilla, which I think is just overkill (especially when you have high cholesterol!) Thanks for not giving me gas, even though I had it coming to me.

With love,
Self-Pitying Katie

Dear Mother Nature,

Thank you thank you thank you for the morning showers yesterday and thank you for the autumnal afternoon. I actually went out in my garden and took a little walk with the boys. Thank you for providing a brief respite from the typical August weather. It was noticed and appreciated.

Briefly Revigorized Nature Lover

Dear Friends and Family,

I haven't been commenting on blogs and I keep missing phone calls (I swear that part hasn't been on purpose- I've been keeping my phone in it's charger "just in case"). I am in total witch-mode right now (ask my kids), so you should probably be grateful that I have been removing myself from society. I promise if you leave a message I will call you back. And I am still reading and enjoying your blogs.


Dear Full-Moon this Saturday,

I have heard rumors about you and I am counting on them being true. You are my last chance before having to go to church again when no one is expecting me to be there. I don't want to answer the due date questions again. Just please don't make the delivery rooms so full that I don't get one of those rooms with the outside patios, because I really want one of those. Oh, and if you could somehow take control of my amniotic sac a day earlier (meaning tomorrow - Friday), I would really love it, because my midwives don't work on the weekend. Okay, that's a lot to ask, but I will take any of it.

A pathetic woman

Monday, August 11, 2008

Operation:Keep Busy, Day 6

We took our butterfly nets to the garden this morning and spent a good 2 1/2 hrs there. It was a lovely morning.

After that, we had Panda Express and a trip to Target for groceries. Then Evan and Santi came over for the rest of the afternoon. We made super sleuth masks and they kept my boys entertained.

Operation:Keep Busy Days 3,4, and 5

Day 3 started off with a trip to the library.

We then stopped by Target to see if Olivia's pear wreath was on clearance. It was, but not low enough. It was okay though, because I got another wreath that I love just as much. I will have to post a picture soon. By the way, Target raised the price of their popcorn combo (medium drink and popcorn) from $1 to $1.50! I am outraged! Of course, that didn't stop me from getting it.
After Target we went over to Levi's so that I could watch the two youngest girls while he went to tend to Audra in the hospital (she had surgery last week and the five oldest kids were in the mountains). It was SUCH a treat to hang out with the two of them.
Ask Chad, I have been raving about my sweet nieces since then and have even mentioned possibly requesting a female when we adopt (even though I have always said we would just take whatever referral came first). They really melted my heart.

Jovie and Callie are less than four months apart and each is so adorable in her own way.

I ended up spending the night there so that Levi could go be with Audra in the morning. Then Sabina came in the middle of the day on Saturday to take over the babysitting. I went home and lazed around the rest of the day. We went out to dinner as a family to Olive Garden, mainly because I ate Olive Garden the night before I went into labor with Gabe and was hoping for similar results :o) Obviously didn't work, but it was yummy anyway.

Also lazed around yesterday after church (I deserved it - we had 22 kids in nursery!), and started to drive myself crazy again, but it wasn't too bad because I got to spend the WHOLE DAY with my adorable husband, which was quite a treat. He has been quite busy lately "flipping" a house, so time together is precious. Oh, and I got to take a nap. :o)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Operation:Keep Busy, Day 2

We used the free kid's meal certificates that the boys earned by completing our library's summer reading program and went to Bob Evan's. The boys really enjoyed it and totally pigged out. Click on Gabe's picture and check out his coloring. He is amazing!

Then we went to Hobby Lobby and wasted a lot of time walking around. I let Colin choose a craft, so we got some Suncatchers. Did you ever do those when you were a kid? I did, and I loved them.

And of course Sabina and I watched the Finale last night! I was a little surprised that Katee got kicked off before the two boys, but I didn't have strong opinions about who should win. Honestly, besides the money, I don't think winning makes much of a difference in anyone's life. They have all gotten the same amount of exposure and does anyone remember Nick or Sabra better for winning? I was happy for Joshua and his sweet little story.

Oh, and the show itself was GREAT! Loved seeing all the previous season participants coming back.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Operation:Keep Busy

Day 1:

Watched TMNT with the boys at the summer movies. Two movie theaters near us have had not-so-new kid movies playing all summer - one for free and one for a dollar each. We have taken advantage of it whenever we have had the time. Movies seen this summer: Happy Feet, Prince of Egypt, The Water Horse, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Madagascar. I bring lots of snacks to keep the boys satisfied and busy. Today it was Wheat Thins, string cheese, and grapes. By the way, TMNT was really really really lame and way too violent (and not even in a cool way). I really should have checked it out beforehand, but I probably would have gone anyway because it kills an hour and a half and it is air-conditioned.

After the movie we stopped by Old Navy for some new flip flops for me and Chad.

The rest of the day was dedicated to cleaning things that have been driving me crazy - the downstairs shoe closet, under the couches, inside the bench in my front room - and a ton of normal cleaning that I have been bad about. My feet are killing me, but I can no longer see scraps of food under the couch, so I am a happy girl.

Now Sabina is coming over to watch the top 4 on So You Think You Can Dance. Woohoo! I think I will make some mango smoothies and relax. Wish you could be here Audra!!!!!!!

One more day down, and I didn't waste it....

I really want some Orange Chicken right now

Maybe this is old news to a lot of you, but next time you go to Panda Express, save your receipt and look at the back. It will tell you how to go online to take a survey and get a free entree next time you buy a 2-Entree Plate. A 3-Entree Plate is just the right amount of food to feed me and the boys at lunch time. My tummy is growling.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Just finished reading....

Breaking Dawn.....does anyone else smell a spin-off book involving a specific character that was introduced in this book?

*linking to it made me aware of the reviews on Amazon, which are interestingly varied. I think I am way more okay with this book than a lot of other people. Maybe because some of friends told me beforehand that it totally spun off in a different direction than they expected, so I was prepared for that. I have to say that a lot of what happened was stuff that I had found myself wishing would happen. Interesting indeed.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Yesterday was the beginning of tax-free weekend in North Carolina. I got the boys up early and headed straight to Target with Colin's list of required school supplies:


2 – plastic pocket folders with 3 prongs
4 – 125 count boxes of tissues (plain tissues – no antiviral or lotion added!)
5 – 80 count baby wipes boxes
10 – BIG Elmer's glue stix or 20 small glue stix
1 – Kinder mat (for resting), or towel or small blanket
1 – Playdoh (please get this brand!)
1– wirebound notebook
1 – hand sanitizers
3 – 500 sheet pkg. of copier paper
2 - packs of white erasers
1 – pack of construction paper

A regular size backpack - no wheels!

And of course uniforms.

A little different than when we all went to kindergarten, right?

The one thing Colin was really excited about was the backpack. He knew that he was going to get to choose it and keep repeating - "no wheels, right Mom?"

I shouldn't have been surprised by the one he was immediately drawn to. It was camouflage - a pattern I have never purchased for him, despite it's popularity. It was on sale, held everything that he needed nicely without being too big, and he loved it, so camouflage it is. He insisted on getting a lunch pack that "matched", so it is black camouflage.

We went to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast after the shopping and I called Chad to let him know how it went. Colin excitedly interjected, "Tell Dad about the soldier backpack that I got."

Yes, in case you didn't know, my sweet sweet 5 year son is obsessed with guns and has been since he was about 2 1/2. And now he is off to conquer kindergarten with a soldier backpack. Sigh.

Friday, August 1, 2008

One more way to go batty.

At about noon today, I laid down with Gabe to get him to take a nap. All of the sudden I started sweating. A lot. Then I got nauseous. I called Chad and talked to him for a couple of minutes, mainly to try and get perspective, and then made a trip to the toilet to violently throw up. The whole time Gabe was pretty mad at me for getting up and was yelling at me. As I finished vomiting, I heard him calling to me "I go poo-poo!" Is there a worse thing to hear when you have just hurled? I paced back and forth for a few minutes, trying to figure out what I could handle and wondering if I could let him sit in his poo until someone else could take care of it. I finally decided to just do it, and I did. A few minutes later I threw up again and called Chad again. I wasn't sure how bad it all was and if he should come home for me. Coming home earlier than planned is a big pain in the neck for him, not just because of work meetings and such, but because his bus doesn't make any runs in the middle of the day. After talking to him I decided to call my doctor's office, to see what they would say. When I got a chance to talk to a nurse, this is basically the conversation that took place:

Hi, I'm 37 weeks pregnant and I just started throwing up about an hour ago.

Are you having any contractions?

No, I'm really not.

Do you have any pain in your stomach?

Yeah, a little....

Have you been able to time the pain?

No, it doesn't really come and go in intervals like that. Just a little achy.

Well, vomiting can be a sign of labor, so we definitely want you to come in.

Proceeds to set up an appointment for me while I say that I feel silly coming in because I am actually starting to feel better.

So I called Chad to tell him I needed to go in and didn'tt know if I can drive myself. He said he would leave work and come take me, but of course it will take an hour or so to do so, because he has to now take LINX to connect to a bus that will take him to the Walmart park-and-ride where his car is. In the meantime, I was feeling better and better by the minute. I called Bobby and Sabina to ask if we can drop off the boys, and I called Levi, who had been planning on coming over with the whole family late that afternoon, to let him know that that wasn't going to work out. Since I was feeling better I started to feel like I am being a drama queen. Googling let me know that sometimes vomiting can proceed labor by a day or so. Sometimes, not necessarily very often. I packed my hospital bag and overnight bags for the boys just in case.

All of this, and a 45 minute wait to be seen at the doctor's, and when my midwife walked in, the first thing she said is "So, you think you are in labor."

I quickly informed her that, no, I didn't think I was in labor. I was throwing up and the nurse told me it could be labor and had me come in. My midwife just kept apologizing and saying that they shouldn't have said that, especially since my next appointment is on Monday, and asked who it was I talked to. Of course I couldn't remember. She said it was probably a virus, or the heat, or something else. I apologized and said I didn't want to seem like one of "those women" and just tried to get across as much as possible that I knew I wasn't in labor.

The one upswing of the whole thing is that she examined me and found out I am almost 2 cm's and 50% effaced. Which actually, I would probably rather not know (I opted out of the internal exam at my appointment on Tuesday) because really, how much can that tell you? I was that dilated for almost three weeks before I had Gabe. Just one thing to drive me nutty.

SYTYCD Tour 2008

We (Audra and I) got our tickets today! Did you? Presale passwords are CANDANCE, NIGEL, and SOYOU.

We learned last year that in an arena, the best seats are NOT on the floor, so we chose our seats this year (on the side in the first raised level) instead of selecting "best available." November 12th, here we come!