Monday, April 25, 2011

Car Seats: Check!

Last night, we decided to get the car seat bases put into the cars so we were ready should little Miss Gaines decide to make an early appearance.  I must say, I was rather impressed with our car seat skills.  I had visions of arguments and it taking way longer than it should - but we had it figured out in about 15 minutes!  I'm sure all of you moms and dads are laughing that we are so proud of ourselves!  Here are some pictures to commemorate our success!

Dan sitting on the base to make sure it was tight (and talking on the phone with his brother - hi Mike!)

Putting in the carrier to check if the base was installed correctly

We have an appointment on Friday at the children's hospital here to see that we did in fact install them correctly.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Festival at Fellowship of Oso Creek!

Today was our church's annual Easter Festival.  It reminds me a lot of Bethel's Easter Eggstravaganza, which naturally makes me miss West Lafayette.  Dan and I signed up (and signed our friends David & Leah up with us) for helping with the inflatables.  I was thinking, "How hard can it be?" - we'll sit outside the entrance and make sure there's not too many kids in there at a time.  Sounds like a perfect job for a lady who's nearly 9 months pregnant!  Then the people who have been at Oso Creek for a while started telling horror stories of their experience with inflatables.  It seems that it's always the new kids on the block who sign up to do those, because they have no idea what's in store!  Fortunately, it wasn't nearly as bad as the stories were leading us to believe (or we had worked it up in our minds that it was going to be so awful, that once it actually came to pass it wasn't so bad at all!).  I, of course, made my bounce house the most controlled fun a kid can have (Guys, rules are good!  Rules help control the fun!).  No more than 8 in at a time, you get 4 minutes to bounce around, and the new group doesn't go in until the last group is out.  I sprinkled in some "under 2 only" times so the little ones could get in without getting rough housed by the older kids.  Worked out pretty well! :-)  Here's some shots of the day:

Dan and Leah getting ready to man one of the slide inflatables!

Dan's post for the first couple of hours...he got to help kids get up the stairs and down the slide at the top.  Probably a good thing for this white Indiana boy because he was for the most part out of the sun!

At the end of the day, we all had an overwhelming desire to wash our hands (and shower, really...but the hands were key) after helping all of the kiddos in and out.  Dan's favorite was a kid with a string of snot coming out of his nose that became extra sliding power for the next kid.  When we got home he told me, "Those things are disgusting, we're never letting our daughter get one.  Only we will because she'll want one and I won't be able to say no.  But they are gross!"  We'll just have plenty of Lysol and hand sanitizer ready!

It was a little windy, which was actually a blessing and a curse.  It kept it fairly cool so it wasn't stiflingly hot...but it blew a ton of dirt around because our church building is basically in between two fields right now.  It was one of those fun, sunscreen mixed with dirt stuck in your ears kind of days.

Here were my pregnant, swollen, dirty feet at the end of the day.

Although Dan's take the cake!  :-)

All in all, though, it was a good day!  We were both pretty exhausted when we got home - but it was fun to bless the community and serve the Kingdom!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bread Extravaganza!

These have been taking over our freezer the last few months...

So today I decided to get them out and bake some banana bread.  Naturally, we aren't going to be able to eat it all at once, but I figured having some frozen will come in handy over the next few months!  I ended up baking 7 loaves of banana bread...but why stop there?  I also had several cans of pumpkin in my pantry that needed using, so I added another 6 loaves of pumpkin bread of top of the banana bread (literally on top of it, in my freezer now!).  Dan told me, "Sometimes I think you forget that you're pregnant...go sit down!" - and did the dishes.  Love that man!  I was feeling a little like my friend Hollie, only she really bakes, and bakes really yummy things (check out Fed by Bread).  This should get us through the summer...or so!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Belly Shot: 34 Weeks

My belly at 34 weeks...
Funny how I feel so much bigger when I see this than when I look at myself in the mirror...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Prenatal Classes

We've started our prenatal classes through the hospital that I will deliver at.  They have a series of classes that you can pick and choose from, so we've selected those that we think will help us most. So far, we've had:

Hospital Tour
Here we got to tour the hospital, including the nursery, labor and delivery rooms, and postpartum rooms. The rooms are pretty nice and spacious, which will be nice!  In the labor and delivery room there is a bed/cot in the corner for Dan to get to sleep on (which will be particularly nice if I got my younger sister's genes).  I think his favorite part of those rooms, however, were the spotlights for the OB.  They are situated in the ceiling, and controlled by a Star Wars looking almost light saberish wand.  Dan thinks they are going to let him play with it during delivery. I'm hoping he is focused on other things at that point. :-)

This was a class full of women, except for Dan and one other guy.  He'll say I made him come, but in reality he is just the best husband in the world.  Through all of these classes, I have felt very blessed to have him by my side.  Many of the women are alone, and even in the cases where the men do come, some of them are pretty cold and borderline unsupportive - you can tell they were forced to be there and they weren't real happy about it.  So I'm very thankful for Dan, and I'm glad he is who I get to go through all of this with!

Infant Care
This was the last class we went to, where you learn all about bringing baby to take their temperature, give them baths, care for their umbilical cords, swaddle, etc.  I felt pretty fortunate to have as many nieces and nephews as I do, and that I've learned quite a bit by watching my sisters with them (not to mention my overnight babysitting for the Buxman boys when Gage was about 6 months old!).  

Here are some pictures from our Infant Care class this week!  Dan volunteered to be the support person who got to learn in front of everyone.  One of the many reasons I love this man, he's never afraid to make a fool of himself in front of other people (actually, he did pretty darn good!)

Dan demonstrating the cradle hold

Learning how to give the baby a sponge bath - cleaning out her eyes

Telling me to zip it - and demonstrating how to change a diaper
He was praised by our teacher for knowing to grasp both legs to do this (way to go Gunnar, Katie, and Heidi...Uncle Dan's been watching!)

Demonstrating the football hold after he swaddled the baby

We have two more classes coming up - a labor/delivery class that lasts most of the day on Sunday, and a CPR class the first week in May.  Today I was lecturing to my students about how youth sport coaches usually don't have any training, and so they don't know that screaming at a kid is not the most effective way of managing behavior.  And I thought parenting is pretty similar...we don't really get an instruction manual other than God's Word and these few classes that we're able to take.  I just pray that we will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's guidance - and raise this baby girl up knowing Him - and if we mess up on a diaper change or two, we'll probably survive! :-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Weekend with Emily and Tim

One of my best friends, Emily, came into town last weekend!!  We had such a fun time catching up in person and spending time with our buddy Tim McGraw.  She flew in on Friday afternoon, so we dropped her things off at the house and quickly headed out for dinner and the concert.  When we were getting onto the main road to take us to the concert venue (for your Corpus people, merging onto Crosstown from SPID), Em asks me, "You have the tickets, right?"  Ummmm, let's just go south on Crosstown instead of north real quick.  So we took another quick trip by the house to grab the tickets, then officially headed downtown.  I haven't been downtown in a while, and I was super sad to see that both the Mexican restaurant and the burger joint I was going to take her to for dinner were now closed.  Sad!  So I took her to the original Whataburger instead!  She has now joined the ranks of those who have experienced a time honored Texas tradition.  (In reality, I think McDonalds is way better than have no fear, you aren't missing out!)

After dinner we headed to the concert venue.  The Band Perry and Luke Bryan opened for Tim - loved the Band Perry, wasn't real impressed with Luke Bryan.  Pretty much every song was about drinking, driving, and driving while drinking.  Neat, buddy.  But, then Tim came on!!  Our seats were in the back of the venue, near the floor (perfect pregnant lady seats - since Em and I are both expecting - on the aisle and the bathrooms were close by!), but the stage sort of weaved it's way around the floor.  This was especially cool because Tim actually opened the show about 10 yards from us at the back of the venue!

Here's a shot of how close he was!
(totally stole this from Em...because mine didn't turn out as good)
The concert was so good - he sang a good mix of old and new - and really, what Tim song isn't good?!

Here's our self-portrait from the show
(again, stolen from Em, because I always mooch pictures off people when they take them instead of taking my own!)

On Saturday we slept in - which isn't anything new for this pregnant lady on a Saturday morning - but for Em with 3 beautiful daughters at home, I'm sure it was glorious!  Once we woke up, we headed to the beach!  The last time the Nyes visited, our beach day was AWFUL.  It was seriously the worst day I have ever been at the beach.  Picture a Saudi Arabian desert with sand blowing in every direction - then having to clean that sand out of every crevice for about 2 weeks (but you put sunscreen on, so it sticks to your skin, making said cleaning nearly impossible!).  Fortunately, Saturday was NOT like that day!  It was gorgeous - about 90 degrees with wind coming straight off the water, so it felt much cooler.  I'm hoping our Texas beach has, at least somewhat, redeemed itself!  The only bad thing is we both ended up with really odd sunburns that ended up blistering and were really painful.  I guess at least we didn't have that bad of a burn all over, just in weird small places!

Em and I on the beach, with a little seaweed in the backdrop!
(again, stolen picture!)

And a nice preggo shot on the beach...hoping my daughter will appreciate this some day!
(and this picture was actually my own!)

Saturday night Dan joined us and we went to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in town.  Those of you who have come to visit, have definitely been taken to La Playa!  I was stoked because my favorite burrito didn't cause my blood glucose levels to go high! :-)  After dinner we went to see the movie Soul Surfer, which was incredible!  I bawled through about half of it (fortunately so did Em, so I didn't feel so bad).  Dan really enjoyed watching it with two sobbing pregnant women! :-)

Her last night in town...we had to wait for a while after the movie so our eyes wouldn't be red and splotchy!
(yes...stolen picture!)

Thanks so much for coming, Em, it was such a memorable weekend!!  I'm so sad that we live so far apart now, but am glad that we are still a big part of each other's lives!  And I hope you get your boots in a couple of months! :-)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Beauty from Ashes

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me. April 2nd was my due date for the baby we lost in the ectopic pregnancy we had in the fall of 2009. While we never knew this baby's gender, we affectionately called "him" Jimmy. So yesterday would have been Jimmy's first birthday. There are so many reasons to be sad and hurting over losing our little Jimmy, but yesterday I was reminded of the beauty God promises to bring from ashes. As I think back over the last 18 months, I can see God's hand in every step of our journey, and there are pieces that I would never trade back. Dan and I grew so much closer during that hurting time, a time before we really had a church home or friends here in Corpus. I'm fairly certain I never would have finished my PhD had we carried little Jimmy full term. Knowing what it took to finish up the last 6-8 months of that process, and now knowing how draining pregnancy is on your body and mind, I certainly wouldn't be finished now. But by the grace of God, here we are, nearly a year after my defense, closer to each other than ever, and awaiting a new miracle - the most beautiful thing to ever arise from ashes. I thank God daily for her, and will do everything that I can to introduce her to the Lover of her soul...the one who promises to raise beauty from ashes, and does.