Monday, August 31, 2009


I just had a phone call a minute ago. The new students I just took on were the students of a young man who just went to college. So there are a few kids that have no teacher now. The parent of my new kids passed my name on to one of the other parents, who called me to see if I could teach his son too.

It killed me, but I had to say no. I now have students Tuesday through Friday evenings. And Oren wants his lessons on Mondays. I feel that if I took on any new ones it would leave me with very little time with my own children in the evenings, especially since Mark is at work until after they are in bed. With Oren, that's already 10 kids. I could schedule later in the evenings, but that's pushing into dinnertime. I had to tell him that my evenings are booked, all I have are daytime slots open. I didn't even mention taking October off to have a baby.

I really wish I could have said yes, but with my schedule and the kids, and all my other students, not to mention having a baby in 4-6 weeks I just didn't feel that adding another obligation would be wise for my stress levels. Mom, you'd be proud of me for not overloading myself.... It would be nice to get some homeschooled or adult students during the daytime, after the baby is born I only have therapy once a week. The money is nice and I love teaching! I feel worst for his son, who is teacherless and I don't know anyone else who teaches on base. Bummer.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Utter Panic!

Oren bought a new remote control car at a yard sale today, it only goes backwards in circles, but it's been the cool thing at our house today.

While on the phone with Stephanie, Oren took his new car out to the driveway, followed by Nathan and William. I instructed Oren to keep the car on the driveway, since William was outside with them to watch the car and he may wander off if they went somewhere else. Then I got some dinner stuff ready.

Nathan came back inside, but no William. When I poked my head out there was nobody on the driveway, Oren was down the street showing his car to a friend, and no William. No William at the little park, no William behind the house, no William playing behind the neighbor's bushes.

No William anywhere!

Total panic! I hung up with Steph, got Mark outside, and asked around at various neighbors who generously dropped what they were doing and went out looking with us. I'm no so fast these days. It's 5pm, hot, and he has no shoes on..... No real awareness that the road is dangerous and that he's so short people wouldn't be able to see him. And he's fast too, wicked fast.

He's still not anywhere and I'm about in tears worried about my baby, who I can't find. Mark headed back inside and called the base security forces (base cops) to report that he's missing, because it's so hot and he's barefoot and small and we don't want to waste time in case he got hurt. Just before we called, a couple 2 streets away called reporting a toddler they chased down and didn't know his name or anything. They matched us up together and I ran/waddled to the address. One of the neighbors got there just before we did, but I got the story from the people that found him.

He's so fast that 2 teenage girls on their bikes couldn't get him to stop. The lady that called chased him quite a ways before catching him and couldn't believe how fast he could run. We think he followed his brothers a couple doors down to a park behind the houses and ended up on the wrong street, got scared, and started running. Because I didn't have my eye away from him for more than a couple minutes, and look how far he got!

They gave me a ride back to the house, since I was hurting a little bit, and there were 3 cop cars pulled up in front, my neighbor holding William, and a nice flock of base police standing there. I have never been so relieved in my whole life! They took down all our information, I let them know what happened, that he's never been allowed to just hang out in the front yard before like that, and that I don't allow him to be in an open area unsupervised because of how quick he is. I'm not sure if Mark will be in trouble with his commander over this, hopefully not, but at least he's safe and sound - his feet aren't even burnt. He was thirsty though!

Needless to say, the other boys are grounded and lost the car for leaving the driveway against my express orders!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nesting and Laundry Woes

So, apperantly I was nesting today. And a little but yesterday when I had to scrub the kitchen down. Today was my shower. The best way to scrub it is to get inside it and scrub it down, which means I get cleanser all over. Which irritates my skin. So I cleaned the shower while taking a shower, odd but works. We now have a very clean shower, and I am still a tad itchy..... And then why have this gorgeously clean shower (which for some odd reason just had to be done before baby gets here...) when the counter top is all messy, and dusty, and sticky. So that got clean to.

Which led to the discovery of just why my sink is always coated with odd grey stuff and has hard water stains all over the faucet although I never use it, and Mark's sink that he shaves in and everything is so much cleaner. My sink has a leak somewhere where the handle connects to the faucet base. Ahhhhh! 2 years that's been bugging me, and we finally figured it out!

My other goal today was to get laundry folded. There was a literal mountain of laundry to be folded, and quite a bit more that needed washed. I innocently tossed the boys clothes from the basket into the washer, and then transferred the load into the dryer. 60 minutes later I went to switch the load out and put another in to dry when I discovered the gorgeous magenta polka dots and streaks decorating the clothes! One tiny chunk of crayon had escaped into the wash somehow! I set those clothes aside to figure out what to do with them, and scrubbed out the dryer to remove all the wax.

Then I put the next load in to dry. Guess what color those came out as? Black dalmation spots! An entire load of my maternity shirts, and our underclothes. Are you kidding me?!?!?!? Now I have 2 loads of laundry covered in crayon wax, and have to scrub the dryer out again! And this belly doesn't fit in the dryer very well..... Mom wasn't home to ask for advice, so I turned to my trusty internet. And discovered the best recipe, I'll have to keep this one handy at all times.

1 cup Wisk (or 2-3 capfulls 3x concentrated Wisk HE)
1 cup oxyclean
1 cup color safe bleach

Combine in the hottest wash water the clothes can stand and your washer can put out. Agitate with the clothes for a few minutes, open lid and let clothes soak for about 30 mintues. Then continue with washing. Shake clothes well and pick off any wax flakes before drying.

No more crayon marks! Except the dye from the magenta crayon stained some of Mark's whites, but I may be able to get that out with some RIT dye remover. It took all the black wax off our other white underthings, which was most of the ones that we owned. So that would have really not been fun to have to replace somehow. 2 loads of laundry, from delicates to denim, saved!

I did end up getting most of the laundry folded, and if it wasn't 11:00 I'd find some other project to do!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kudos to Mark!

Man, I need to be hugely pregnant, tired, and busy all the time!

The last few days Mark has just been the sweetest guy. Yesterday morning he massaged away one of the worst leg cramps I've ever had in all the pregnancies combined. That was one mean sucker. I had to wake him up at 6am to get it out for me, and he didn't complain at all. Just gave me a kiss and went back to sleep! Thanks honey, what a guy.

Then he woke up and helped with the morning rush, got William ready for the day, hauled bunk bed parts to the garage, took Nathan to school, went shopping with me so he could haul the basket or push the cart for me, put all the stuff away, and started laundry.

This morning he got up early and took Nathan down to get his stitches removed although he had been up until 3am. That way I could take Oren to school and come back home with William instead of hauling a bunch of kids all over the place. Then he took Nathan to therapy right after, and I was able to go grocery shopping with just William - so much easier than all the kids with me! He fed Nathan lunch so I could eat before I took Nathan to school. I came back and he was mowing the lawn! Entertained William for a while so I could catch a nap before he went to work.

And all this was without me asking for his help a single time! All on his own! He said he doesn't want me stressed out if he can take some of the load, and he knows I get tired a lot more easily right now. Awwwww! What a sweetie!

(sometimes you just gotta give the guys some credit.....)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School!

We made it! We survived the summer!

The boys started school on Monday. Well, Oren started school, but Nathan had a kindergarten orientation. Met the teacher, learned the classroom rules, toured the school, got to have some story time, and practice going in to the school and out to the kindergarten waiting area to meet parents. Today was his first official day.

You may notice that there is a bandaid under his right eye. That's to cover his stitches. Yep, poor kid had to start kindergarten with 2 stitches, courtesy of his loving older brother who thought it would be fun to drop trucks off the top bunk of the bed at 10:00 at night. So Sunday night Mark ended up taking Nathan down to the Urgent Care clinic for stitches. I didn't want it to scar, and it was too close to his eye for a bandaid. Plus, it wasn't a clean cut, but an indent wound. But we beat our record of longest time between ER visits! Last time was 6 months ago, Nathan needed stitches above his eyebrow thanks to the piano bench. I don't think Oren has ever had stitches, but this is Nathan's 3rd set on his face - 2 thanks to Oren. Poor guy! Plus his surgeries and all those stitches.

Needless to say, they lost bunkbed priveledges. 2 twin beds, how boring. And we had to move William into the baby's room in hopes of easier bedtimes. So far so good, he went to sleep fine tonight. Hope he won't decide the crib is funner to sleep in!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shoshone Falls

We wanted to go "do something" as a family before school started. Mark pointed out that we've lived here for nearly 4 years and have never gone to see the Shoshone Falls! How did that happen? Not sure, but we rectified it today. The boys were sooooo excited, they've been asking all about the falls the last couple days.

We got there and it was a gorgeous view. The overlook is at the top of the falls, and I was very glad it had a fence so I didn't have to worry about the kids.

The boys were full of energy after being in the car for 1 1/2 hours straight. They were so cute running down the hill.

Just a really pretty part of the waterfall. I loved the green against the white rocks. This was zoomed in quite far, we were nowhere near this fall!

Another really pretty one. I loved the curve.

They had a wood/dirt "staircase" up to get the the canyon rim trail. It looked pretty steep.

But Mark and the boys figured they'd be adventurous and head up there for a look-see.

I forgot to inform them that I was going to attempt the climb too. That was a mistake! But here is a shot from the top proving that I got all the way up there. Not sure how, since I was wearing flipflops and it was kind of slippery. I did bring real shoes, but they were in the van.... which was locked and Mark had the keys. By the time I got up there Mark and the boys had disappeard. There were several different ways they could have gone and none of them looked like something I could hike. So I headed down. A very nice couple were headed down too, and the woman walked down with me, insisting on literally giving me her hand over the worst spots. Her daughter just had a baby, so she was used to helping very clumsy, heavily pregnant ladies. Just one of the angels I met today.

While I was waiting for Mark and the boys, and waiting, and waiting, it was getting very hot and I was very thirsty. There was water in the locked van and I couldn't get it. My sugar was also getting low, I had checked it nearly 2 hours before but hadn't figured on being there so long and hadn't eaten a snack like I should have. My snacks, like my water, were also locked in the van. Mark had been hiking with the boys for a good 30 minutes and I had no idea how long it would take them. But I was getting very shaky and not feeling well at all. So I walked over to the gift shop/ snack bar and asked the lady behind the counter if she knew how long the trail was. About 1 mile. Not too bad for a single person, but with 3 small children?

I started to tear up because I knew that if I went to go find them I'd be worse off, I had no money to buy something for my sugars or water since that was.... locked in the van..... and there were no drinking fountains at all. A gentleman overheard me explain that I was diabetic as well as pregnant, since the lady was asking if I was going to be alright. He insisted on escorting me to his car, where he then handed me a package of crackers, some cheese dip, and a ice cold bottle of water from his cooler. He was on his way to Boise and had plenty of snacks, he said, and just couldn't leave a pregnant lady without something to eat especially being diabetic too. I wanted to cry again at how thoughtful he was. I hope he was able to get to Boise safely! And once I ate some of the crackers and cheese and downed the entire bottle of water I felt so much better. So I was dehydrated as well as shaky.

15 minutes later Mark arrived back with 3 exhausted and thristy boys, and because the gentleman had taken care of my water needs, the boys were able to get enough to drink to last them until we got to Golden Corral for dinner. He hadn't realized how long the trail was, and was very grateful that the gentleman had taken care of me. There were truly angels around today!

After their long hike and big dinner, we had some very tired boys. Oren has only fallen asleep in the car a handful of times, so you know he's tired! That's the Bounty towels I forgot to bring in from the store the other day. Makes a great pillow.

Of course, since they slept the whole way home, it's 10:15 and they are in their room making all kinds of noise. It's going to be a long night!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Whee! Look at me!

I was so proud of myself today. Not wanting to be the wife that nags for 2 weeks "Are you going to put the blinds up?" when it was my idea to get them in the first place, I did it myself.

Which meant I had to stand on huge windowsill/windowseat, probably not smart, but oh well. I had to take down the old hardware from the set Oren broke and literally tore apart. I had to figure out the new hardware, predrill the holes, screw the bits in. And I did it! It looks good, too. If I do say so myself. Mark just thinks I'm funny. He's glad that I'm the type that can just do it myself for the most part, instead of bugging him to do things for me. I've never hung blinds before, and now I know I can. Which is good, because the boys room needs new ones too.

I even got the valance up in the window! I still need curtains, but that's why I did the blinds. So there would be something to cut the light and give privacy so I can get just the right curtain setup. But see, there are 2 windows in that room. And I'm sad to say, that the other is still totally uninspiring. After installing blinds and putting up the valance there was just no more energy left to drag a chair from the other room so I could reach the rod and hang the other valance up. Sad!

Maybe tomorrow? Maybe I'll even get the wall hangings up too. You never know!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Almost time for school!

School class lists came out today! And school starts on Monday. Wow. We're a little unsure about Oren's teacher. She was dealing with cancer (I believe, don't quote me on what exactly it was) the last couple years and was out a lot, leaving a sub. Problem is, Oren needs a consistent teacher because he tends to act out with subs. So we'll see how it goes and we'll switch him if it becomes a problem. Nathan is in afternoon kindergarten, which leaves us with the same schedule as we had last year. It'll work. But they are excited to start and were hoping it was this week instead of having to wait.

I had a total pregnant moment the other day. I was cooking a huge amount of ground beef because I had to thaw out the whole 5 lb roll, and forgot to drain it into a bowl. Instead it drained into the sink! So the next morning when neither sink was draining at all, I didn't even remember about the ground beef incident. Sure enough, when Mark took apart all the pipes to look for the clog, there is this huge plug of solidified grease sitting in the u-bend. Couldn't figure out what it was, for the life of me, until I was washing the pan I had cooked the beef in. Oops..... And of course, he couldn't get the seal back into the pipe as it went into the garbage disposal, so that was leaking and we had to call maintenance to come fix it. We didn't have the right tools. But at least they didn't have to unclog it and I had the use of one side of my sink instead of none!

Note to self: Always remember to drain the grease into a bowl!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Family Fun!

Mark's brother and sister-in-law were on their way back to Utah today from visiting family over the weekend. So they stopped by the base and had dinner with us. So much fun! I'd been wanting to make enchiladas, but hadn't wanted to have so many leftovers to eat. Feeding 10 people is a good way to ensure not many leftovers.... :-) Finally bought myself a trifle dish and did up a quick dessert with angel food cake, blackberries, and cool whip. Yum! The kids went nuts over it, because it was all layered and of course because it had cool whip. What kids doesn't like cool whip?

They got the baby all worked up though. He's been stretching all evening, and whatever he is stretching onto does not feel good. Ouch! I'm scared I'm going to run out of room for this little guy! But I am having fun with the "how huge!" comments I've gotten. I never really got those with William, wasn't big enough. Somebody I hadn't seen all summer said it looked like he was going to be 10 lbs. I know he's big, but not that big! :-)

My sister in law was so sweet. She scrubbed my table off for me while I put the enchiladas together, and graciously ignored the floor that hasn't been mopped for..... um..... well, a while. The table is getting harder to scrub, thanks belly, and the floor kills my back. It was so much fun to get to chat with her for a while. We really don't get to see them enough, since they live in Utah and they both worked full time until recently. The boys were so excited to play with their cousins, who I can't believe are growing up so fast! I remember when their oldest was riding on her daddy's shoulders singing the "Bob the Builder" song at the top of her lungs. And now she's going in to the 4th grade!

We officially have all the boys school supplies. And they find out who their teacher is on Wednesday. How is Nathan old enough to be going to kindergarten? Yikes! I get William at home for an extra year, he barely misses the cut-off. This baby will too. It's good for William, an extra year to get taller so he won't be the shortest boy in his grade. I can't believe how fast the summer has flown by though. Mark was talking about going and doing "something" before school begins. He's been wanting to see Shoshone falls for a while, we may go do that this weekend. Sad we've been here 4 years almost and still haven't seen it.

(He's also talking about how we should have moved to a 4-bedroom. Well, I'm not getting on the list now! We'd get a house about the time I deliver, and no way am I moving this pregnant.... Too funny though.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

What a guy!

Just a little thank you to my sweetheart!

Yesterday he got up early and took Nathan to therapy. I didn't ask, he volunteered and then actually did it! Gassed up the car, got Nathan up, the works.

Today he started breakfast for me. And got William changed and dressed for the day, helped the boys clean their room, and made lunch. All while I had a meeting/chat session in the living room with our doula to put together my birth plan.

AND............ he took out the trash!

What a guy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So excited!

Amanda and I put our heads together, and realized that we had planned the shower for labor day weekend. Um... it's a military base. Nobody will be here! 4 day weekend, everyone takes off.

So September 12th it is! Which means that Steph and Jeff are coming up to hang out for a couple days and we get to go to Zaylee's birthday party and all my sisters will be at the shower! HURRAY! (Steph, can you tell I'm excited to compare baby bumps....?)

We've got a game planned already and are trying to come up with ideas for a few more. (Any input would be lovely...) And we've got a menu floating out there. Chicken Salad on Croissants, some veggie salads and mixed fruit salads, punch, and one of my cakes. The chicken salad will be made with grapes and smoked almonds, of course.... :-) All 3 of us pregnant ladies who are having this luncheon/shower are so excited!


Baby managed to flip himself over the other day. Nothing like feeling all the kicks slowly travel up your side until he is in your rib cage. Loads of fun. And I was told that I not only look very pregnant, but that it looks like he's already 10 lbs! Of course, this friend hadn't seen me all summer, and the shirt had horizantal stripes which makes you look even bigger. I just thought it was funny, because with William I have been told that I didn't look pregnant at all and that unless you knew, you couldn't tell. So I'm enjoying the belly this time around.

And I am probably one of the few people that can't wear their wedding ring when they get pregnant, but can in the 3rd trimester. Random fact that Mark and I discovered the other day. Fun stuff! We meet tomorrow with our doula to go over our birth plan, which the doctor is very much okay with. Not even a "one of those people grimance". Great guy. Blankets got sorted today, and put away. I went psycho with the steam cleaner and after taking the covers off the couch cushions to wash them, I steam cleaned the whole rest of the couch this evening. Then to go the whole hog, did my recliner too. Ugh.... that was gross. To think I've been sitting on that!

Can we say nesting?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Looking good and big!

I just got back from the ob. Everything looked great, heartrate and fluid levels were good. But somehow he's jumped from weighing about the 50% to weighing in the 70%! I still have 7-9 weeks of growing this kiddo, and he already weighs about 3lbs 11ozs.

This does explain why it's literally such a pain to bend over lately......

He is still very definitely a little boy, which is great because the crib set is already bought and on the crib and curtains are being planned. And he's breech currently. Funny, I could have sworn I felt him kicking around sideways the other day. He just felt like he was feet down. But 95% of babies will turn over in time, so we aren't concerned about that yet.

At least I don't waddle yet!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Finally some pictures!

Saturday morning I went to go let out a friend's dogs while she was on vacation. I got home to this!

William said the dishes were taking a bath. He had a blast helping Daddy fill the dish drainer, and despite the very wet floor under his stool, did a good job of it too!
Even cuter was when he said the dishes in the dishwasher were taking a shower..... :-)

Sunday we fed the missionaries, finally! There aren't often Sunday spots open, and because of Mark's schedule that's the only time we can feed them. I forgot they told me there would be 3 missionaries this time, so it's lucky I cooked a big chicken and lots of potatoes. I was planning on leftovers of both - there weren't any. I love just putting a whole chicken in the crock pot to cook. I tried to lift the bird out to carve it up, and the breast bone totally came away from the rest of the chicken! All the joints seperated super easy, it was the fastest carving job I have ever done. I even got Mark to vacumm the living room. He must have felt sorry for me watching me try to bend over to pick stuff up. It was pretty funny looking. I have to spread my feet way apart and squat down, and I usually end up grunting because it helps. I swear, it does.

Today we just hung out, and I griped about not feeling well. It got really cold and rainy on Thursday, and I got sick. Of course, I didn't think to check if I could take Sudafed for my poor sinuses until last night, so I went and got some this morning. Felt better fairly quickly, although I coughed my way through my entire phone conversation with Amanda. I never get sick, and when I do I'm miserable, Mark is very glad that I'm feeling a little better now.....

And tomorrow, I get to go to the "baby doctor". That's what Oren calls it. We'll see how big he's getting, make sure I'm not anemic, and then get a great big shot in my hip. Joy! I'll also talk to the doctor about doing a birth plan and submitting it. After this I go every 2 weeks. Yikes!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Go figure...

The first time the entire summer we have the van washed, and it rains!

We are very happy to have our van back, and plan on going to the Discovery Center tomorrow in it. It took until Thursday, because the pump they put in was defective and they had to get another one and redo the job. But it runs great now!

Nathan got some very happy news today. He's graduated to therapy 1 day a week! When we did the first surgery, he was up to 3 days a week, pretty intense stuff. Then we got to move down to 2 again. Now we're just sort of fine-tuning things, and his therapist told us today she feels comfortable moving him down to once a week. That eases my schedule a little bit, and we are so excited at the progress he has made. He won't need therapy for much longer. It's been a long 2 years of hard work but it's been worth every minute!

And I got the crib mattress today. After being paid for piano lessons, the boys and I ran down to the store and picked out a mattress. I was tempted by the one with a 15 year warranty, but since this is likely our last unless we get a suprise at some point, I went with the cheaper one. It was lighter, which makes nighttime blow-out sheet changes much easier. Now I can get all the bedding together, since we've already put up the crib! Getting close!

Close enough to start stressing a little about whether to pray for a scheduled induction or going into labor naturally, as far as babysitting goes. I'd rather not use pitocin, but there's not much of a head's up with natural labor. I have 1 solid babysitter who can take one of the boys to school, possibly would be willing to do both boys. And several "In case it's 3 am" people who have volunteered, for emergencies. A couple volunteers for William if I need, which is great. We live in a great ward....! So it's just a matter of firming the list of people to call, who's just backup and who's first call. Mark is going to start on the leave paperwork soon, and his leave will start when we have the baby. Because I'm full term in just over 7 weeks, and will have him sometime in that 2 week window between 37 and 39 weeks. (I'm kind of hoping on the 10th, cause that's my dad's birthday and that would just be fun...)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Moan and Groan

Our poor van finally had something go wrong with it. We've had it nearly 4 delightful years of nothing but new brakes and tires, knocking on wood. But, we turned it on Sunday and took it to church with the loudest metallic moaning sound imaginable when we turned the steering wheel. I thought the thing was going to blow up!

We called my dad, who said it was the power steering, and sure enough our reservoir was practically empty. Must be a leak in the system. So we took it in 1st thing Monday morning.

I still don't have my van back! I know we've only been a 2-car family for 1 1/2 years, but my schedule wasn't so full then. That's why we got the second car. Plus, I'm sure Mark's little car groans when we all get in it. We can fit, but just barely, and William's the only one in a car seat because 3 seats don't fit.

It's the pwersteering pump apperantly. Completely bad, needs new seals too and everything. They gave us an estimate based on what we thought the problem was. When they called to let us know exactly what it would be, it was $200 higher than their max estimate. Now I'm groaning....

But, we are counting our blessings that it wasn't something major, the car was still driveable and I wasn't stranded on the side of the road on the way to Boise with all of the kids in 100 degree weather. And....... the one silver lining...... they are washing the outside and vacumming out the inside. For free! Which is great, because I never have time to wash the van, and as for vacumming...... yeah. :-)

Oh yeah, and we officially hired the doula on Monday. Our meeting went great! And when I read the part in the contract about what she'll do in labor out loud so Mark could hear, and came across the phrase "Massage the father's shoulders", his response was "Where do I sign?" We're so excited!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Nathan!

My sweet little Nathan turned 5 years old today. And what a year it's been! Since his last birthday he has gotten heavier than Oren and nearly as tall. He was diagnosed with some major cleft muscle problems and had 2 major surgeries within months of each other. He moved into the big kid preschool and graduated knowing all his letters and tries to spell words by how they sound. He gets to go play with the neighborhood boys with Oren. And he can still sleep through the fire alarm!

But I remember so well the day he was born. My water broke early in the morning, but I wasn't sure what was going on so went to my baby shower anyway. By the end I had rather wet britches, embarassingly, and went to the hospital. His head plugged the leak by the time I got there so they sent me home thinking I was crazy. As soon as I got home the leaking started up again but I waited to in until later that evening.

He took his sweet time getting here, and it wasn't until he had been out for several minutes and they didn't tell me anything or bring him to me that we realized something may not be right. We were able to hold him for a few precious seconds before he was rushed to the oxygen mask, just long enough for us to know his name was to be Nathan. Hebrew for "gift from God", fittingly enough. Later that morning he was loaded up in an incubator and an ambulance took my baby to a hospital 30 minutes away. Halfway there, it blew a tire and had to have another ambulance meet it and transfer my sweet angel over. My little boy was so tired that when they got to the hospital, he had nothing left and started crashing. But truly a gift - they were in the parking lot and were able to get him stabilized just in time.

So we didn't get to see him until the next day, when I was released. We didn't realize that there were 2 hospitals in that town, and went to the wrong one. Imagine our panic when we were told there was no NICU there! But they were able to tell us where the big hospital was, and lovely information assistants took us to see our baby, sleeping peacefully in his incubator. His nurse, "Auntie Wendy" had left us a note about how he had done that night, which is safely scrapbooked by his picture with his CPAP hood.

With this begining, and all the problems he's had with various things since his birth, I cherish every birthday. Because he truly is a gift from my Heavenly Father, and one that I am grateful for every day. It gives me a chance to think back and remember the close calls, and the miracles, and the blessings we've been given for him. All the things that seem to come together just when they need to. He hasn't just been a gift to our family, his life has been one big gift from his loving Father in Heaven who truly watches over him and knows his needs.

Happy Birthday, Nathan, and I can't wait to see what other gifts your life brings!