Texas Fall – Not Fail

I’m a little sad as I sit here to write this blog. I had intended to write about showing the world that Texas does INDEED have seasons and that fall is one of them and that just because it doesn’t get miserably cold here doesn’t mean we don’t have seasons! But as I opened up my blog, I realized I haven’t posted in almost 5 years and I read about Ohio and I read about Jack and I got oh so very sad.

So now a pep talk to cheer myself up.

Yes, we moved back to Texas this past June of 2016. I am so happy to be home and in and around stuff that I know and love. My family was able to come to Jack’s birthday party for the first time in his life. I get to go to Bryan/College Station on a regular basis and I can’t help but smile every time we pass the exit that says “Texas A&M University”. I got to drive to see my new nephew last week, and then turn around and drive back home, no airplanes involved! I’m very happy.

But I miss Ohio. I miss my friends. Oddly enough, I miss the chill in the air for this time of year. Don’t get me wrong. I’m loving 80 degrees in mid-November. But when I am deciding what to wear in the morning, it kind of throws me for a loop to be looking for a short sleeve something versus a long-sleeve and appropriate jacket.  And did I say I miss my friends? Well….I miss my friends.

So – let’s talk about Texas Fall. When I moved to Ohio six years ago, all of you Ohioans tried to convince me how much better Ohio was than Texas because “hey, at least we get the four seasons”. My response was usually a highly offended “well, I don’t WANT four seasons. I want hot and not so hot!”

Now that I’m back with a different perspective, I am appreciating the beauty of a Texas Fall. True, we don’t have much of the brilliant yellows, golds, reds and oranges that make Fall in Ohio a perfectly beautiful time of year. But we do have our own Fall, not a “version” of Fall, but our very own Texas Fall. My trees are losing their leaves. Each week, my yard is full of fallen brown and gold leaves as the trees prepare for winter sleep. There’s a change in the air. It’s drier. Yes, it’s warm with an occasional cool front, but it’s not HOT. The mornings are chilly, like I-can-see-my-breath-when-I-walk-my-dogs chilly. The air comes from the north sometimes. We get some dreary, cloud days with no rain. The days are short and the sun is gone by 5:30pm. And we all know – Winter is coming. It may not last long, but it IS coming.

Texas Fall is great. And I’m sorry I didn’t give it the proper credit when I lived here before.

So just because we don’t have DRASTIC seasonal weather changes, just because our winter doesn’t last from October to May, just because we can sometimes wear shorts over the Holidays, doesn’t mean we don’t have four seasons in Texas.  I’m grateful for my time in Ohio. While it was never “home”, I made the best friends of my life while I was there (and did I mention that I miss them?) and it’s given me a new perspective. I often spoke to my Texas friends about how much I hated the fact that my perspective on Texas was going to have changed when I got back home. But now that I am back home, I realize that my perspective has changed for the better. I never thought I could love Texas more. But oddly – I can. I do.

 

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Jack’s Back

I’m blogging again. AND I know what I’m going to say. How do I know? Because I knew I’d be blogging today. How did I know that? Because we’re on a schedule. Yes, a schedule.

I never thought it could happen for Jack and me. I’m a scheduler and coordinator by nature, but, as my fellow mommies know, babies just throw your schedule and all your schedule making skills down the toilet. But we have a schedule.

We’ve been working on it for about a month. However, last week, when I downloaded TrixieTracker to my iPhone, iPad and bookmarked it on my laptop, did my baby schedule world totally take off. I’d been writing down all of Jack’s sleep and eating habits for a couple months, so I knew what he was doing. But, with TrixieTracker I can track his sleep patterns, eating patterns and trends, likes and dislikes, diaper changes, measurements, medicines…you name it, I got it. PLUS I can compare where he is and what he’s doing to what other babies his age are doing AND it automatically adjusts to him being a preemie. My life is, well, sweet!

Not only are we adjusting to life with a newborn, I”m training for a 5K (yes, I’ve changed my mind, I’m actually going to RUN the Lightning Bug Run now!) have a goal to be fluent in Spanish by the end of year, have begun to work a few more hours per week and not to mention, am trying to maintain a household and constantly improve a marriage. Plus, I’m working on being a regular blogger! Not bad for a day’s work, huh? So now I know (to a degree) how I can get it all in!

Now I’m not a schedule stickler. I don’t make poor Jackie lay in bed till the time he’s supposed to get up or make him take a bottle when he’s clearly not hungry. So we’re doing what’s called a “Combination Schedule“. I know what his schedule is like, but allow him to implement it when he’s ready. I work my schedule around his nap times and it’s working so far so good. Did I tell y’all that I love my TrixieTracker?

And as for my decision to blog, I want to keep all my friends and family updated on Jack stuff, but I also want to expand my audience to help other moms with what I’ve learned. I have been blessed with the ability to stay home with Jack, and I’ve got some time to work on things and figure some stuff out. And Lord knows there’s plenty of information out there for new moms, plus all of the good advice you get from your network. So I’d like to create a forum for people to share what works (has worked!) for them with their little ones. For example; I’m still struggling with how much to adjust for Jack’s being  preemie. Of course, he was 6 weeks early, so technically he’s a preemie. But he’s a giant preemie! My last measurements are 26” and 19# at 4mo 3wk…and he wears a size 9 months. He’s doing everything babies at his corrected age are doing, but he’s also starting to do things that a nearly 5-month old should be doing. So I’m trying to figure out Jack’s development as he’s clearly on his own calendar, as he has been since the day he was born!

Jack is eating solids now. I give him solids twice a day: Banana Oatmeal cereal with applesauce in the morning, plus his bottle with vitamins. Then for lunch we have a veggie, plus some rice cereal with applesauce.  We’ve tried green beans (yes), carrots (eh) and are now on to peas (yes). He resisted a little at first, but after I explained that there is no way he could every eat at Chickfila if he didn’t start eating with a spoon now, I think he got the message!

Jack likes peas!

So that’s our update for this week. I’ve got some topics planned for the coming weeks, and of course, as any breaking news hits, we’ll keep you informed.

‘Til our next adventure!

Surprise!

So, here’s the thing. Jack’s due date has come and gone and those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook are probably wondering what the heck is going on. Well, if you’ll remember from my last post on September 30th (sheez, almost 2 months ago!) the doc diagnosed what the bleeding was and told us to be careful, yadda yadda yadda. Well that weekend, I was super careful. I didn’t even vacuum anything! On Sunday, October 2, Jason and I went down the street to the Grays’ house for dinner and it was fun!

We talked about what the doctor had told me. We talked about how I was tired of being pregnant. We talked about how good wine would be one day! We had a great time at dinner! Then…after dinner…the real excitement began. I started bleeding TREMENDOUSLY, like, seriously, tremendously. We  headed to the hospital. I called ahead to let them know we were coming. They told me my doc was out of town, so the fill-in told me just go on to Fairview hospital…the hospital in Parma wouldn’t be able to help us. SOOOO, we took a detour and Jason and his fancy speeding skills (good thing I got him hooked on Nascar!) got us to Fairview. I won’t go in to the details of everything that happened when we got there, it’s just important that you know that Jack Randall Warden was born at 10:51pm on October 2, 2011! He came in at 5lb 7 1/2oz and was 17 3/4 inches long!

So Dr. Moodley was right about everything! My placenta abrupted…Jack was right about where they estimated for weight…and he had long bones! Now 2 months later, my little Jack weighs around 9 lbs and has even longer bones. I must admit I’m glad it happened how it did and everyone is fine!

We are coming home to Texas on the 9th of December, so we’ll get to see everyone then. I promise to do better about updating my blog, too!

‘Til the next adventure…

Answers!

Yes! Two posts in as many days! We went in for a follow up Ultrasound and got some much needed information that makes me feel oh so much better!

First of all – Mr. Jack weighs an estimated 5lbs 10 oz already (and we’re just at 33 1/2 weeks!) and our perinatal specialist says he has “long bones”. So Dad may get his wish of a baller…let’s just hope he doesn’t get Mom’s athletic abilities!

Secondly, the specialist says the bleeding I’ve been having is coming from a hematoma (blood clot) on my cervix AND he says the blood is coming from a placenta abruption (I like big words!). What this means is the placenta has begun to separate from the uterus, which is potentially not good. Dr. Moodley says the baby is in no danger at all right now, I just really, really, need to be careful and not cause further separation. If I have ANY pain or ANY increase in blood I am to call in IMMEDIATELY. So I guess, I really must take it easy!  He did also say that in cases like mine, that if they can get the mother to 38 weeks, they induce labor then. So Jack will definitely be at least a couple weeks early. We just need him to stay put till 38 weeks!

So, yay! Answers! Being armed with information is always so much better than “Oh, well, maybe this is just what you do”. Just a couple more weeks of being helpless – Jason’s been a great help and I appreciate everything he’s been doing in my “delicate condition”. We’re excited to meet our little man! We get to go tomorrow for another ultrasound session, so we’ll post some good pictures of Mr. Jack soon!

‘Til the next adventure…

33 Week Update

Well, at first I thought it was an isolated incident, so we kept it to ourselves. But since things are officially rolling – I think it’s best to give you all the update!

So August 29 I woke Jason up at 4:30am with some contractions and bleeding. Doc sent us to the hospital where we spent the day on IVs and doing NOTHING. Doctors said they couldn’t tell where the bleeding was coming from, so they wanted to keep me until it stopped. A sonogram revealed that Jack is doing nicely and is apparently a nice-sized boy. Finally my contractions stopped and the bleeding stopped and they let us go home. BORING.

Then, September 9 – same thing, though this time there was a little more bleeding. So back to the hospital we go. No IV this time, just fluids, sonogram and another boring day at the hospital. Since then, I’ve been prescribed for twice weekly Non-Stress Tests where my Thursday visits have been plagued with contractions that mean a minimum 4 hour stay in the observation room. Why Thursdays, I don’t know. Perhaps Jack’s gettin’ ready for the weekend!

All of this to say – Dr. Pelagalli says we’ve begun pre-term labor! As of today, I’ve dilated 2cm and am about 60% effaced. Dr. Pelagalli has been telling us for a couple of weeks it looks like Jack’s going to make an early entrance. If we can keep him put for another 2 weeks, everyone will feel better about it. So for now, it’s resting as much as possible. Feet up. No exertion. No stairs (as much as possible). Good thing I’ve got Jack’s Christmas stocking to sew on to keep the time occupied!

So nothing to worry about – just wanted to give everyone the heads up in case he does come early. Dr. Pelagalli says it looks like he’s going to do what he wants on his own schedule. I just laughed and said, well, he may get that trait from his Mom AND his Dad, so he comes by it honestly!

In other news, it looks like this weekend will be the first weekend we stoke up the ole fireplace in the Warden house. High is supposed to be 50 for the next two days with rain. Oh, Texas friends and family, how I wish I could send this your way!! The leaves are changing and starting to fall – looks like fall is going to come whether I like it or not!

‘Til the next adventure…

A Planned and An Unplanned Post!

Looks like our uneventful days are numbered!  So much has happened this week…I guess I should start where I intended on Saturday…

We got to go in for a vanity Ultrasound session at Babywaves on Saturday. We got to spend 30 minutes just watching Jack do what he does in there and got some good videos of him doing his thing. I think he kinda looks like me…the ultrasound tech said she thinks he looks like Jason. Check out some of the pictures in the slideshow:

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As for our unplanned post….Monday morning I woke up at 4:30am to some bleeding. We agreed we needed to call Dr. Pelagalli and she instructed us to go the hospital immediately. When we got there, they hooked me up to all their monitors and said they couldn’t figure out where the blood was coming from, and I was having some contractions. So they kept us for “observation”, which translates into an all-day hospital stay doing nothing, absolutely NOTHING. So the contractions stopped, Jack was fine, bleeding was stopping, so I promised that if I took it easy and came back if the bleeding didn’t stop completely, could I PLEASEEEEEE go home. The doc on call agreed and by 10pm that evening we were all okay. Dad got to go to his dinner meeting, I got to rest on the couch and dogs were happy to see us.  They did tell us at the hospital that Jack’s measurements were more on target for a November 9th due date rather than November 15th, so YAY!

We go tomorrow for the official ultrasound to check on the previously diagnosed placenta previa, but the folks at the hospital seemed to think everything was okay there too. We’ll keep you posted.

Until then, enjoy seeing Jack’s happy little activities online!

‘Til our next adventure….

Jack’s 26-week update

Well, I guess boring Doctor’s appointments at this point are actually good news! We got to visit Dr. Pelagalli last week and all’s well. Jack’s little heartbeat is slowing down (Dr. says this is fine) and is still strong.  Mom is growing and weight gain is right on target.  I went yesterday morning for my glucose tolerance test (results forthcoming…I guess the fact that THEY haven’t called yet is good too, huh?). Jack’s moving around quite a bit these days, and between his kicks, my increasing appetite and a more stringent dog-training policy, my nights are getting shorter and shorter. But I guess this will help me prepare for what’s in store! So all in all…things are good!

Jason and I are headed to the Michigan International Speedway this weekend for the NASCAR race! It will definitely be a good time – I just hope Dale Jr. gets his act together at this track and pulls out a win for me!

Next weekend we go in for a 28-week vanity ultrasound. They take a 30-minute video of little Jack in utero, and we get some pictures for friends and family (of course you know, I’ll post them here!) Then we’re off to tour the hospital and pre-register. I can’t believe it’s already time for all this! As of today, we have 88 days til our due date! Oh my!

The other “kids” are doing well. They’ve been enjoying some drier weather for a change and are happy to be running around in the back-back and looking for badgers. Little Niecy is all set up with her Invisible Fence training, so she can run around back there too and I don’t have to worry about her escaping. Of course, I’m still a little trepidacious about letting her out without me, so if she’s outside, Jason or I are outside too. But it does make it nice to know she can’t go somewhere where we can’t get to her!

I wish I had some more exciting things to report…but for now, quiet is good!

‘Til the next adventure…