Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

New Year's Eve is a bittersweet holiday for me. It holds many memories, mostly good, but some very painful. It's a time to look back, and that is not something that I enjoy doing, but sometimes you have to look back to realize how far you've come. This year I take a moment to sit down and wish you a happy holiday, and to record for my son what he was doing on this momentous evening--his first New Year.

He's asleep.

My husband is downstairs with Anne and Bryan playing a game--laughing and having a great time. I can hear them from one floor away. Jack is upstairs in his little bed, dreaming of....what do babies dream about? Breasts full of milk? His daddy's face? At any rate, he is peaceful and so very sweet in his little bed.

And I am here, realizing with every tick of the clock that I am sooooooo blessed. I have a wonderful husband, and amazing children to share my life with. It doesn't completely erase what went on before. There was another life, not so long ago. There were other people that I loved and shared myself with. I wish them joy and happiness, and that they will trust God in the new year.

Well, it's time for me to join my family downstairs. I love them so much. God is so good to give me back ten-fold what was lost.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

All Smiles

It's official. Jack smiles knowingly. He's not asleep or half asleep or even passing gas. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it's enough to send everyone into fits of laughter because it is so darn cute. We haven't captured it on film yet, but we're working on it. Number one person that Jack smiles at--big sister Anne!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

First Christmas

Merry Christmas, Baby Jack. You are the best Christmas present ever!

(And Merry Christmas to all of you as well!)

Friday, December 23, 2005

The Preposition "On"

The other day Jeff and I were talking about all of the things that we have experienced with the birth of Jack. I started naming off a list of things that had particularly happened to me, and Jeff turned to me and said, "You're prepositionally challenged!" He's right. See for yourself.

In four weeks I have been:
Cried on
Sneezed on
Puked on
Pooped on
Peed on
Sucked on
Burped on
Boogered on
Slept on
Screamed on
Tooted on
Breathed on
Gazed on
Splashed on
Frowned on
Smiled on
Loved on

The list goes on
And isn't he worth every one?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New Discovery

I've come to the realization that Jack is just a fussy baby. Isn't there an old wives tale that if you have an easy pregnancy and easy delivery, you won't have an easy baby? Well, I'm beginning to believe it. He is just the sweetest baby ever....when he's asleep, or being snuggled by mommy in a certain position (me laying back with him on my chest). But if he's awake and not being snuggled in exactly the right position, then he is generally crying. Now that we've got him sleeping at night, the crying is much more bearable during the day, but it is still crying none-the-less.

Today, however, I discovered the stroller. I remembered that in the nursery at church nothing will soothe a baby faster than putting him in a stroller and wheeling him around the nursery at top speed. I myself have done this several times. So, I thought, why not try it at home? It worked! He's asleep right now, in his room, in his stroller, and I have time to sit and write!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Under The Weather

Mommy's not feeling good today. It's a good thing she's got this sweet baby boy to keep her company. He's better than any cat and doesn't shed at all.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Happy Friday!

I sat down to blog and realized that I don't really have anything significant to write about. Things are going really well. Jack is still sleeping most of the night--at least enough of it that I don't feel like I'm walking around like a zombie! We've dug out the Christmas decorations and have a tree up, and we are eagerly anticipating Jack's first Christmas and Anne and Bryan's journey home! We can't wait to have all our kids together under one roof again. It's hard being apart, and we really want Jack to grow up with his brother and sister so they will be close.

One random thought: It seems kind of sad to me that my days have so run together that I have to check my own blog to find out what the date is. Hmmmmm.....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Let It Snow!

This post is for Anne and Bryan. Hi guys! I thought that you might like to see what it looks like here. I think that there could be some snow fort building in your immediate future. Yahoooooo! And if the snow is not deep enough for a fort, then your dad will just go get on the tractor and pile it all up for you!

Too Cute

More pictures of my favorite men.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Like Father, Like Son

Since the moment that little Jack came into this world, his biggest fan has been his daddy. During the labor and delivery Jeff was by my side, helping me, encouraging me, giving me a play-by-play account of what was happening "down there" where I couldn't see. But from that incredible moment when Jack was born, I lost a little part of him. Don't worry, I'm not jealous. I'm only too happy that Jeff is so in love with his son. I never dreamed that I would have this much of a partner, a husband to link hands with me in this unbelievable journey called "having a child". I could not ask for a better daddy for my baby or a better husband.

Before Jack was born, his Grandma Poo gave me some things that were Jeff's when he was a baby. There were several little outfits and a beautiful blanket. I was so glad to have them. A friend of mine once taught me the importance of saving those memories, so I was thrilled to be able to pass these treasures on to Jack. After Jack was born, she got out Jeff's baby book and gave that to me. In the first few pages of his book was a picture that took my breath away. There, staring back at me, was what I could have sworn was a picture of my son, only it was his father. There is NO doubt about "who" Jack looks like. So tonight I dressed Jack in the same little outfit that Jeff's mommy dressed Jeff in, and took his picture. Grandma Poo, that picture is for you, for being such a good mommy to my baby's daddy. Thank you.

Monday, December 12, 2005


I received this email from my very good friend, Lisa, and it was such an encouragement that I thought I would share it with you. Lis, hope you don't mind!

Regarding "tracheo malasia":
Welcome to my world. That is exactly what Justin has.
Don't you just love the "HONK"! Justin really struggled in the beginning with it, but I promise it gets better. Often when he would start the sound, I would hold him in my hand, on his stomach, face looking at the floor. This is what the doctor taught us. The from part of the neck is the floppy air way, so if you have that hang down it IMMEDIATELY opens back up. It worked every time. He slept in our room for 6 months. He still has it at 4 1/2 years old, but it only happens when he throws a screaming fit, or has alot of coughing, and is forcing it to work hard.
Doctor says it is not the norm, but not rare to have it last this long. Justin can control it himself now.

I think the more common time frame is around 2 years old. Hopefully Jack will follow that pattern.

I am glad you have your mother-in-law. We went to the ER and then to the pediatrician before we got a diagnosis.

I know how scary it is, but I PROMISE it will not always be this way. Once he can roll over well, it gets alot better!

This email came on the discovery that if we put Jack on his tummy, the "honking" and troubled breathing stops. There is something about having him turned that way (facing down) that opens up his airway. I am SO pleased to report that he has slept almost ALL night now for TWO nights on his tummy--only waking up once in the night to eat. I am still feeling pretty sleep deprived from the last three weeks of no sleep, but I'm starting to get better with the "extra" sleep from the last two nights.

I know, I'm NOT supposed to let him sleep on his tummy. I struggled horribly with this. The bottom line is: he was having so much trouble breathing laying on his back, that the risk of his having an apnea seemed greater or at least as great as him laying on his tummy, so I turned him over. When I saw how much better he breathed, and how deeper he slept, I realized that this is one baby that needs to be on his tummy. So, mommies and doctors out there in cyberland, don't judge me too harshly, please! He is in God's hands, and if God wills that he should have SIDS, no amount of my staying awake in the night or turning him on his back will stop it. Instead, I believe that for us, right now, God wills that my baby get a good night's sleep and that I get a good night's sleep. So tummy it is. Thank you, Lisa, for the email and letting me know that I am not alone and that Jack will be alright!!

Friday, December 09, 2005


This is Wilbur. He is a horse/pacifier that Grandma Poo brought home from her hospital. Jack is still getting used to him, but I just think he's so dang cute, I keep sticking him in his mouth!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

World's Biggest Yawn

Awww.....look at the cute baby! He's just had his bath and is ready for a little nappy (as is his mommy).

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Monday, December 05, 2005

Grandma Poo To The Rescue!

Jack, you have the most amazing Grandma Poo. The night before last I stayed up with Jack almost all night, getting a whopping 2 1/2 - 3 hours of sleep, half of which I got after 6:00 a.m. when he finally gave up and went to sleep himself. For various reasons I did not get to nap on Sunday at all during the day, so by Sunday evening I was really hurting for sleep, and Jack started cranking up at exactly 11:15 p.m. Jeff got up with him and took him out of the room so I could get a couple of hours in, but Jack was evidently really crying hard, and Jeff called his mother, a 27 year veteran of the NICU, for advice. This woman's passion in life is for her children first, and secondly, for other people's children. Her job---she takes care of babies! And she is an excellent educator. Her knowledge has been invaluable to us throughout this whole thing. Last night when Jeff called her, she not only responded to his questions, but she got in her car and drove all the way here (25 min) and took care of Jack for the rest of the night while Jeff came to bed and I kept sleeping. I know that my own mother would have done exactly the same thing, if she didn't live 3 hours away, and I'm so thankful to have parents that are so caring and concerned, and love Jack (and us) so much. It also turned out to be a really good thing for us medically, because it gave her the opportunity to observe him for several hours and she has concluded several things. First, we really feel that Jack is more premature than just 2 weeks. We felt all along that my due date was off by a couple of weeks, and with him being born a couple weeks earlier than the due date, that makes him just about a month early. He is exhibiting signs of a preemie that is at least 36 weeks old. He has something called "trachial malasia" which means that his trachia is soft and collapses on him as he breathes/sucks. It results in a "honk" when he breathes (especially when nursing). It happens because he is trying to take in air, but his windpipe is cutting off the breath. It is not to a dangerous poing, thank goodness, but it's enough to make me extremely nervous, and every little sound that he makes jolts me up from sleep when I finally DO get to sleep. He also has trouble organizing his breathing/swallows. He doesn't breathe in the right pattern when he DOES take in air. So he needs to be watched carefully. He will grow out of all of these things, but for right now, it makes his life, and ours, a little more stressful. I am so thankful that we have Jeff's mother so close by, and with so much knowledge, and a desire to impart that knowledge to us to make us better parents. What a God-send she is! Thank you, Grandma Poo!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Jack-Jack Attacks

He looks so peaceful, eh? Don't be fooled. That angelic, sleeping body turns into a screaming, kicking, non-sleeping fiend at night. Does it matter? Do I love him less? Do I think him any less perfect? Not at all. I just sit bleary-eyed like a fool, loving his purple face, giggling a little when he cries so hard that he makes no sound. He's mine, and I love him. And besides, what do you expect when you name a baby after a superhero who spontaneously combusts when provoked?

For the last few nights Jack has kept both Jeff and I awake all night with his wailing. We can't figure it out...he sleeps fine during the day. He will sleep for 4 hours without waking up. I have to wake him up just to feed him, and then he goes back to sleep. I've tried everything to keep him awake during the day.....wet washclothes on his face, stripping him down to his diaper, tickling his feet, even running his feet under cold water....all to no avail. But at about 11:00 p.m. something happens and he is inconsolable. Is this colic? Gas? I've tried the gas drops. They seem to help for a little while. Consequently, Jeff and I have been walking around as dead people during the day. Let me tell you, the lack of sleep does nothing to help with the already billowing, emotional hormone roller coaster. Today we tried to take some evasive action. He goes to sleep again about 6:00 a.m., so I went to sleep with him. He woke up and ate around 9:30 a.m. and then we both went to sleep until almost 1:00 p.m. Jeff worked all day on a friends' porch, and when he came home we ate dinner and then he took Jack while I went upstairs and took another 2 1/2 hour nap. Then at 11:00 p.m. he came to bed and I took Jack downstairs to the living room. He's sleeping fitfully in his little boppy chair, but so far no crying. It just seems to be when we try to lay him down in his bed and go to sleep ourselves that the crying starts. So here I am, at 1:56 a.m. writing in my blog, and not feeling too bad because of my naps, hoping that daddy is getting some good sleep. I have the Christmas music on, and so far Jack's favorite CD is of Titus Curtis "Sunday Afternoon Christmas". I think he likes the guitar music. Whatever makes him happy makes me happy. Any suggestions, moms? Feel free to add your comments, encouragements, "I told you so's", etc., below. I'll be up with nothing else to do!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Daddy Helping

Precious Hands

Present at the birth was Jeff's mother, Sharon. I love this picture because it is Jeff and Sharon's hands with little Jack's footprint tying them all together.

Together At Last

Mommy and Jack


Monday, November 28, 2005

Beautiful Boy

I awoke Monday morning thinking of all the things that I needed to "do" before the day ended. Anne and Bryan were coming for a visit, the family was coming to have Thanksgiving dinner, I needed to go grocery shopping, get all the beds ready, plans the meals, clean the house, etc., etc., etc. So right then and there I decided that today was NOT the day that I was going in to labor. I had too much to do. So I worked--all day--up and down the stairs, all the groceries in the cart, out of the cart, in the car, out of the car, in the cupboards, the vaccuum cleaner upstairs, the beds made, and on the list went. I finally collapsed in my bed at 11:30 p.m. but I couldn't sleep. Nothing unusual--I hadn't slept well in weeks. I sat in bed and read a book. I must have dozed some after 1:30 a.m. At 2:10 a.m. I woke up with a bad cramp, and a warm trickle. I was shocked. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom, and, thank you Lord, I made it to the toilet before the "big gush" came! So there was no mess and I was positive that my water had broken. I sat for a minute just waiting. I wasn't sure what I was waiting for--I think for contractions to immediately start or something. I woke Jeff up and broke the news to him. He took it well. Since I was not in any pain, I suggested that he take a shower and put fresh clothes on while I got the rest of my things together. By 3:30 a.m. we were on our way to the hospital, calling Grandma, Nana, Lee, Gaylene and Mark and Laurie on the way.

We got in our room at the hospital and got hooked up to all the monitors and such. From there was just sat and "relaxed" while we waited for something to happen. About 8:00 a.m. they checked me and found that I had not progressed in my dialation at all, so they started the pitocin drip. At first the contractions were very manageable, and I was enjoying the whole "labor" thing with the breathing and the relaxing. Turns out that I wasn't really doing anything and once the contractions started to come every 2 minutes and extremely hard, things got a little scary. We went from relaxed breathing to frantic "hee hee hee hoo's" in no time. It was NOT fun. At about 11:00 a.m. I started begging to be checked in case I was ready for my epidural. The nurse was skeptical that I could have progressed so far in such a short time, but she decided to humor me. Surprisingly, I was a 4! And the anesthesiologist was on his way! Dr. Hutchinson breezed in the door and became my best friend in the whole wide world! The epidural was NOT painful at all. It was very easy and I wouldn't have cared where they were sticking it, as long as it got rid of the pain. It took effect very quickly and in 15 minutes I was asking for my lipstick. From there we just played the waiting game. Everything I knew told me that it would be a long wait, but before long (just a couple of hours) I started to feel a lot of pressure and asked to be checked. I had progressed to an 8! We were so excited! By 2:30 p.m. I was complete and ready to push. It took me a little while to get the hang of the pushing thing, but I was driven by everyone's encouragement. Jeff stayed beside me the whole time, holding my hand, counting for me, taking the breath with me (and as a side note, he was also pushing with me, so much so that he had to leave the room for just a minute to, um, use the restroom). As the baby's head came out he would lean over and look down and tell me what he was seeing. We quickly ascertained that Jack had blonde hair. I pushed for about an hour and was ready to have him, when word came that my doctor was in the next room delivering another baby! So I did little "half" pushes for about 20 minutes until Dr. Harrison arrived. Then I pushed for about another 5 minutes and out he came! It was truly amazing. I don't think it could have gone more perfectly, and suddenly my greatest dream in the world was lying in my arms. I am amazed that my first birth went so smoothly, but then I shouldn't be, I had prayed for it, and God had been faithful to answer my prayers up to this point. I cannot describe the feelings that I have for this little boy. I know, every mother gets choked up about their children, so I won't gush into great detail, but I am just overwhelmed with the incredible grace of God, that He would choose to give me this gift. I am thankful, humbled, fearful and completely satisfied. Enjoy the pictures. I wish that you could all see the real thing!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Jack Douglas Gray

Our little Jack was born November 22, at 3:57 p.m. He weighed 6 lbs and 12 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. He is PERFECT. Absolutely beautiful. The labor and delivery went great and we have been home now for 24 hours. I apologize for the sparseness of this blog, but being the holidays, we have a whole house full of family, including the big sister and brother, so things have been kind of crazy. I promise a full report with pictures and everything very soon. For now, praise God for His unbelievable grace to us in giving us this precious gift!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Week 38

I now officially have only two weeks more to go. Of course, that is really a load of hogwash since you can't tell when you're going to have a baby! Over the last couple of days I have experienced several good "signs" that would indicate the beginning of labor, but when you look it up in the books they tell you that you could go for another two or three weeks with these "signs". So, it's completely inconclusive and totally exasperating. I went all day yesterday thinking that maybe it was the "day". I even made Jeff load my suitcase in the car (which is where it will stay from now on) and strapped in the baby seat since we were going to be spending the day in Lafayette and we might need it--"just in case". Well, we didn't need it. I came home just as big and pregnant as when I had left. Oh well. I decided today when I got up that I couldn't live from minute to minute thinking that every little thing I felt was an indication of labor. I have a whole houseful of people coming for thanksgiving, including the twins (yeah!) and I need to get some work done. So today I'm going to do my best to just be normal and prepare for the holiday. I'd have to do the same thing if Jack was outside my body, so I may as well get over it and be glad that I can carry him inside, instead of in his heavy car seat!

Monday, November 14, 2005

True To Form

I'm nesting.

Last week I didn't have the energy to even get up off the couch and cross the floor to answer the phone. Today my plans include: finish painting Jack's room, vaccum the floor, shampoo the floor, and get ready to hang the border. What???!!

It might have to do with the fact that the ladies at church gave me a TERRIFIC shower yesterday, but all the presents are still in the truck because at this point the room is not ready enough to move them in. It could also be that as the time draws closer I'm freaking out a little bit about what the labor and delivery part is actually going to feel like, so I'm content with occupying my mind with other things. Or it could be that I'm just following the same form that pregnant women through the ages have followed and I'm "nesting". At any rate, I've got to go because there is just too much to do!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Words In The Night

Since I posted about my time of "sickness" I've been finding myself thinking about that time alot. I have to say that it really was a nightmare time for me for several reasons. We were going through some trials other than the pregnancy at the time and the stress of those situations seemed to make my morning sickness that much greater. God has a way of using the choices that we make and the consequences for them to draw us closer to him, and this time was no different. During the worst times, in the middle of the night, when my husband would wake to find me moaning and thrashing around our bed, he would put his arms around me and draw me very close and start praying out loud to God to help me. In those times I felt so close to my husband, and knew beyond a doubt that God was there. I can't say that I always felt better, but somehow I was able to calm down and handle it better. I can't say enough about how much I love my husband. To me, he did the best (and only) thing that he could do for me--he brought me before God. I pray that you have a friend or close loved one that would do that for you. I am so lucky that I do! I love you, Jeffrey B!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Our Little Girl

From the moment that I discovered I was pregnant, I was SURE that I was having a girl. I don't know why, but I just felt that as the mother I had this "sense" that I would know the sex of my child. I passed this on to Jeff, who was only too happy to believe me. We named her. Grace Renae Gray. "Gracie" for short. Jeff would talk to her and I would answer back in this little Gracie voice. It was so real. I imagined what she would look like and what I would dress her in. I had her room all planned out in my mind. I saw us walking together out in the fall leaves, this little curly blonde-haired girl named Gracie. We were so excited when we went for our first ultrasound. It was an unusually clear picture. We saw her little hands, her little feet, her kidneys, her bladder, her legs, her.......what the heck was that? Um, seems that Gracie isn't a Gracie after all. We were STUNNED. Jeff was very excited. After all, he didn't care if it was a boy or a girl, and neither did I, except........if it was really a boy, then where would Gracie go? You see, she was already real in my mind. I had made her up. I was a little sad--not that I was getting a boy--but that there would be no Grace. She is still there in my mind, my little girl, just waiting for the right time. But now there is this sweet baby boy. This boy who kicks me and has the hiccups. Baby Jack, with his little foot that moves when I push on it and turns little flip flops. His room doesn't look at all like Grace's. It's red, white and blue with an American flag border on it that says the Pledge of Allegiance. All of his baby blue clothes are waiting for him to wear. I couldn't be more in love with him if I tried and he's not even here yet. Don't worry Grace, your time may come. For now my world is filled with Jack.

Little Tidbit

Ok, here's a juicy little morsel for the grandmas and the other "eager beavers" out there. I went to the doctor today and had my Strep B test done. Don't know the results yet. She also checked me and found that I am 90% effaced! For those of you who have no idea what that means, it means that the baby has dropped and pretty low down. She was surprised and said that I am more effaced than most normal first time pregnancies. She also told me to make sure that I had my bag packed and my hospital registration done. Evidentally there is some "rule" (old wives tale) that says I could deliver in a week. But we all know that it could also take MUCH longer than that and the effacement could mean nothing! But it was a good incentive for me to get the suitcase out and drop my paperwork off at the hospital. So I'm ready to go. Now I'm sure with all that done it'll be a longgggggggg wait.

For those of you who see this as too much information, I am indeed sorry, but get used to it!

Monday, November 07, 2005


I'm taking a break from "catching up" past events to write about a current event. Currently I am HUGE. I have four weeks until my due date. I am slow. I waddle. I have back spasms and leg jerks. My belly button is popping out. I wheeze when I go up the stairs (which I try not to do). I am having braxton-hicks contractions hourly (and yes, sometimes by the minute, although nothing to rush to the hospital with yet). I am miserable, and I love it. My baby is sticking his heel in my rib as I write. I can't wait to see that little heel.

I also have cravings for PIE! Any pie will do, but particularly pumpkin pie and apple pie with ice cream and caramel sauce dripped on top. MMMmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Here's a picture of a pie I made just last week. I find that my cooking skills excel with the cravings that I have. This is the best apple pie I think that I've ever eaten. My hubby is diabetic, and I think I almost killed him, but he's still alive and I got to eat my pie......(what is it about pregnancy that numbs me to the needs of those around me? What was I thinking--making a pie that I KNOW my husband shouldn't have? I have to admit though, I ate a whole lot more than he did, and not because I wouldn't share, but just because he wasn't fast enough!) Maybe he'd like to blog about my second favorite craving.......Dairy Queen Pecan Mudslides! I've been loving enough to "share" mine with him! Go ahead, darling, tell them all about it.

A Word From The Big Sister

Yep, that's my dad and step mom (she is the coolest step mom
ever!) They are very nice. I am 11 years old and have a cat named Sally. I love horses and rabbits! My favorite hobbies are soccer,horseback riding, and fourweeling. I like to hang out a lot with friends and family! I get some A's,B's, C's, and D's. I'm going to get a baby bro in a few weeks! His name is Jack Jack. Well thats all folks!

Posted by Anne-marie

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Can You say "SICK?"

I've debated about just how much of this period in my pregnancy I want to share. On one hand, it would be a great way to remind Jack of "just how much Mommy went through" with him, and on the other hand, remembering it in any amount of detail could very well be the main deterrent to having a second child. At any rate, nothing will make me forget that I was SICK.

It started out just being an afternoon thing. Around 4:00 p.m. or so I would just feel a little bit nauseous, but it was very manageable at first. A couple of weeks after that it was full-blown, 24/7, if I wasn't vomiting then I was either thinking that I was going to, or worse, wishing that I could so I could just get it over with. I think that it was also a very hard time for Jeff, because I was so miserable, and there was nothing he could do to help. I tried two prescription medications before I found the combination that would work--one B6 vitamin and one Unisom tablet taken simultaneously. It knocked me out, but, what a relief that was! My constant morning sickness lasted into my 4th month, and then it started to taper off, much like it had begun. Here are some interesting statistics for you......

How it started: a strange metallic taste in my mouth
What seemed to help: Nothing, really, although it seemed to be more bearable if I ate
What I really didn't want to do: Eat
What I ate: Mashed potatoes and gravy, Banquet frozen dinners (more specifically turkey with dressing and mashed potatoes, and yankee pot roast with mashed potatoes)
Weird cravings: None at this time. It was more of what "sounded" like it might stay down if I ate it
How I slept at night: Sitting up in the bed, leaning over my husband's legs. I have no idea why this helped, but it was the only position that I could get to sleep in. Once I fell asleep I would be able to lay back down after a while, but I could never fall asleep in a lying down position.
What disgusted me most: Smells. Any pregnant woman will tell you that it really is the smell of something that will get you. Also, kissing. I could NOT stand to have something covering my mouth. My poor, newly wed husband went through several different brands and flavors of toothpaste trying to make his mouth more appealing. Poor baby. He was glad when that part finally started to subside.
Most miserable moments: Jeff took me with him to Milwaukee on a work weekend. We stayed in this quaint little hotel with an Irish pub attached. The room was very romantic, it was springtime, I love Milwaukee, I was free to explore downtown while Jeff worked, and all of our meals were covered by Jeff's work. I spent the whole time in the hotel room, too sick to even watch TV. When I wasn't in the hotel, I was with Jeff at work (after hours), laying in the floor of one of the bosses' office.

You know, that memory is enough to make me stop thinking about it. Time to move on to better things.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

New Family

About a month after we were married we took a trip to Florida to visit Jeff's kids. It was the first time for me to meet them, and I was instantly in love! They are the greatest kids, and I'm so fortunate that they have not only seemed to accept me as a special person in their dad's life, but they genuinely seemed to like me! We had a great time with them and made some very special memories. One of our favorite places to go was Bathtub Reef. It was wonderful beach with a natural coral barrier that kept out the waves and the sharks, so it was a great place to take the kids. It was my first time to actually SWIM in the ocean. Up until this time I had only just waded. It was so fun! It also became the inspiration behind the bathroom that Jeff designed and built for me. At any rate, it was on this trip that I started to not feel so well.......

The Color Pink

It was April 1, 2005. We needed to have a tire checked on the car, so Jeff sent me to town (Delphi) to get the deed done. I decided to sit in the car while they checked it, and during the inspection, I fell asleep. REALLY asleep. I was so asleep that I didn't even know that they had jacked up the car, changed the tire, and let me back down, until the attendant knocked on my car window to wake me up! I thought to myself, "What is wrong with me?" A little niggling thought entered my mind at that moment, but after my past experiences I quickly dismissed the thought that I could be pregnant. It just couldn't happen THAT fast. However, I am very "in tune" with my body, and I knew that it could be possible.....nah, I was just being paranoid. Jeff came home from work, and our friend Lee came over to watch a movie. For some odd reason I got up during the movie and went to the bathroom where I knew there was a pregnancy test (I used to stockpile those things). I took it. I didn't have to wait 3 minutes. A pink line that I had never before seen on ANY test that I'd taken immediately came into view. I stared at it. I giggled nervously. I kept staring at it, as if somehow the pink line would disappear as fast as it had appeared. But it only got pinker.

I went back downstairs and curled back up on the couch. I had to wait for the movie to be over and for Lee to go home before I could tell Jeff. And I needed the time to really process the realization that had just been confirmed--I was just about to turn 35--and I was finally pregnant. When we were alone, I showed Jeff the test. He stared at it. He giggled nervously and said, "Is this an April Fool's joke?" Ha! I'd forgotten what day it was! I assured him that it was not a joke. I watched his face as the truth dawned on him and he smiled the biggest smile I have ever seen! Then I watched him strut around the room with his chest out declaring that, oh yeah, he WAS the man..........oh my word. It was very funny and had I known he would react that way I would love to have filmed him.

And that's how we found out about our little girl, Gracie.........

Monday, October 17, 2005

A New Beginning

Our story has an amazing beginning. After much personal hardship in both of our lives, a loving, heavenly Father chose to cross our paths, and unite our lives. We were married on February 25, 2005. That in itself was a beginning, but it doesn't end there. After a little over a month of married life, we discovered that we were pregnant with our first child. After years of infertility issues in both of our previous marriages, we had managed the impossible! And in a very short amount of time! This is the story of our first days of marriage, and consequently, the journal of our pregnancy. I'm actually starting a little bit late--I'm already 33 weeks along. After looking at several baby books in stores, I realized that I needed to do something, and quick, to preserve these wonderful memories. So, this record is for the friends and family who are out there clamoring for more information, more pictures, and more stories, and it is also for Jack, our sweet baby boy, whom we've not yet seen face to face, so that he will know the difference that he has made in our lives.