It's a.....


Ha -- I'm having too much fun with this!

Okay, so seriously, they did do an unexpected ultrasound today. However, that was just to verify the hearbeat, not to do a full blown ultrasound. So they didn't look very hard or long but they did make a GUESS. BUT, not wanting to cause any confusion, I think I'll just keep this guess to myself. Everyone only has 14 more days to wait. I think you can handle it!

Otherwise, things looked surprisingly "normal". Blood pressure was normal, weight down 2 pounds (yipee!), cervix length was normal and everything is thick and closed, as it should be. Fasting blood sugars have been high so they've put me an a pill called Glyburide which wasn't a surprise. I can't get it filled until tomorrow because of insurance and I want to take it when I'm sure Jonathan will be here in the mornings. I have to take it at bedtime and I have fears of it causing my sugar to drop too low so I want to make sure I have someone here to get me help should I need it. Pray that the medicine will do its job but not work too hard and cause me to get sick. I don't want that for me, certainly, but I don't want to scare the kids in any way. Go back in 3 weeks, unless something happens. And of course the big ultrasound in 2 weeks. Anyone want to make a guess as to what you think they told me the baby is?!?! Could be fun.... :)



Nathan's latest art creation. What do you think?

"Flowers on an October Day"

by Nathan Stevens


Just call her Chef Elizabeth

Cute story that I just had to share! Elizabeth and John were at Candace's house for preschool today and we had just returned home from picking them up. It was time to start lunch but I noticed I had a few emails. I said my usual "what should we have for lunch today" and Elizabeth said she'd just check the freezer. She said she'd like to have chicken nuggets and I said fine. She then said she'd get the pan. I turned around mid-way through my very few emails and saw her with the broiler pan. Told her that was the wrong pan and to put it back. I then turned around to hear her getting out a cookie sheet. Then, while concentrating, I neglected to notice her actually pouring out the nuggets onto the sheet. Next thing I know, I hear the oven door open (thank goodness it wasn't on yet!). She had gotten the chicken nuggets out of the freezer, found a cookie sheet, put the nuggets on the cookie sheet and placed them on the cookie sheet into the oven, all in the time it took me to read 7 emails! After a lesson in not going near the oven when it's hot (something I've said a millions times), I turned the oven on to bake the nuggets. It's so weird to realize how closely she's watched me do that in the past and that she knew exactly where to go and what to do. At least she's imitating something I'd actually want her to imitate!



Did that title make you look? Well, guess what? It's true!! :)

But I didn't say it was MY baby, now did I? (excuse me while I laugh outloud....there, I'm better). Okay, so seriously, it is a girl but seriously, it is not my baby (meaning we just don't know yet). My brother and his wife found out yesterday that they're expecting their 3rd little girl! Kinda hoping for a little boy since they plan on this being the last one but they are thankful for a healthy mom, healthy baby. As for me, I'm seriously planning on hearing the opposite at my ultrasound....just assume it's a boy and be surprised, that's my philosophy.

Onto more good news -- my liver enzymes are down, completely in normal range! BP not a problem (at least for now). Everything thus far seems okay. Having a hard time adjusting to the diabetic diet but it's mostly because of the food we currently have in the house and the fact that we're midway between pay days (and yes I realize I should have already been following the diet so please refrain from yelling at me over that one). Can't really go buying a whole new set of groceries so I'm trying to do what I can. Monitoring my BP here and it's been normal. I am beginning to suffer from those side pains I've had in the past. With John, I was plain ol' miserable! Thanks be to God for answering prayers, I didn't deal with them too much with Timothy but if the drs are right and it's muscle fatigue, then it stands to reason I'll have them more with this baby because my body has had zero time to recover between pregnancies. I was expecting them but I am highly disappointed that they're already starting and I'm only 17 weeks. :( Also with being with a new dr/new hospital, I'm afraid if I complain too much they'll start running a bunch of tests that reveal nothing and I'm already spending enough time at that place!

In other news, first day of "preschool" with Mrs. Candace seemed to be a hit with Elizabeth and John! Thanks, Candace, for taking this on! The kids had a great time and are looking forward to seeing you again in the morning!


Mixed bag

....of updates, that is. Nathan's tooth extraction went smoothly! :)

My appointment today went smoothly but took a dreadful amount of time! :( Poor me? Think "Poor Candace" at home with 7 kids! Anyway, not-so-great news right up front -- blood pressure way high. Drew some blood to check my liver enzymes to compare with the levels they drew back in August. If they're going up, we might be in some serious trouble.... Good news, though -- cervix measured over 4cm (40mm)!! Dr. Iames said "Normal with a capital N!" And as his resident said "Stay boring!". Glucola test was dreadful but yielded a result of 193. Thankfully, Dr. Iames was merciful and said that was close enough to 200 to declare diabetes without the 3 hour test! Can't tell you how exciting that is! So then I ran around meeting with the dietician and the diabetic clinic's nurse. Normally, I would have come back on a different date to do that. I thought it would be better if I could get it all done in one hit and they were very accomodating. The diabetic clinic's nurse, Cathy, is scratching her head and was really wanting that 3 hour test. (WHY? It's not like it's going to yield a different result!!) This is her point -- Normally, a placenta doesn't start excreting (sp?) enough hormones to cause gestational diabetes in a woman until around 24 weeks which is why the glucola test is normally given around 24-28 weeks. So that's why she asked me to have my A1C drawn a few weeks ago. Her question -- if my A1C was 5.5 (a perfectly normal result which should indicate that I don't have type 2 diabetes) then why am I testing positive for gestational diabetes early (now being only 16 weeks)? To her, something doesn't add up. I'm with her and wouldn't quite frankly be surprised to learn that I have type 2 diabetes. However, her answer certainly doesn't lie in that 3 hour test! We already know how my body reacts to the 50mg of glucose (sugar) in the drink I drank today. There's no possible way it would act differently with the 100mg of glucose they give you to drink with the 3 hour test. The question really is -- do I have type 2 diabetes? How do we find that out, if the answer doesn't lie in my A1C? I have no idea! I'm sure they'll come up with some other test(s) to do on me when I go back. That's one bad thing about going to a university hospital....they're blood suckers!

Bottom line -- no signs of preterm labor. Exactly what we wanted to hear. Repeate cervical length scans every 2 weeks; level 2 ultrasound (gender time!) on 11/14.


How do you like them apples?

With a 20# bag of apples, I've been trying to figure out different things to do with them besides apple pie ('cause I am not a baker!). Have several recipes that sound good but I don't ever seem to have all the ingredients on hand. Then I tried this recipe and the answer to the question is -- we LOVE them apples!

*apples, peeled and cored (I used an apple wedger to make wedges but I'm sure you could even chop them), approx. 6-8 medium (I used golden delicious)
*1/4 c butter
*1/2 c brown sugar
*1/4 t cinnamon
*1/8 t nutmeg

Melt butter in skillet. Add apples then add sugar and spices. Saute' 15-20 minutes 'til done!

And it was just as simple as it sounds. Now the only thing missing is some ice cream!!



Much better night for me! Still feeling wiped out, though. Many thanks for any and all prayers! 2 things I want to point out today for those of you keeping up with us:

First, Timothy's hearing aid evaluation has been moved to this Wednesday. Long story but I'm happy with the earlier appointment.

Second, I've talked with the preterm labor clinic today about my suggested course of treatment. Starting this Friday, they will do what's called cervical length scans. Not a pleasant experience but necessary to make sure we do everything we can to keep this baby in where he/she's supposed to be for as long as possible! Imagine a zipper -- we want the zipper to be nice and long (4 cm would be a great result; 3 cm is acceptable but not necessarily a good sign; 3.5 cm is average) and for the zipper to completely zipped up, not starting to unzip at the top (very bad!). Depending on my results on Friday, this will be repeated either in 1 to 3 weeks (and always on a Friday). Pray for a good result this week most importantly for the sake of the pregnancy but also so I can keep my sanity by not having to run to the drs office all the time! This week, they'll also be doing a Glucose Tolerance Test. This is the test that will tell them whether or not I have gestational diabetes. Expecting a bad result there. And this may sound like a weird request but pray that it's either really good (like less than 150) to where they'll either declare me not diabetic (unlikely) or they'll tell me I can repeat the test in a few weeks OR pray that it's really bad (like 200) to where I'll have the diagnosis. That's for 2 reasons -- 1, I avoid the awful, awful 3 HOUR test and 2, the earlier I know I have it, the more I can do to keep things under control. They will not be doing an anatomy scan this week so don't expect any boy/girl news this time. They will be doing that in 2 or 3 weeks, depending on when I have to come back for another length scan. And last but not least, I will be beginning progesterone injection therapy. More than likely, that will start 11/1 or so and a nurse will have to come to my house once a week to administer the shot. Thankfully, though, my insurance will pay for the shots and for the home nurse.

That's it for now!


Mom down for the count?

I know there's not much chance anyone will see this tonight but, if you do, please say a prayer that I get some rest tonight. Wednesday night was bad (as you already know), Thursday night I only snagged sleep from 1-6:30. Friday night was good and I was hopeful this cold/cough was on the mends. Last night, though, was awful. Went to bed around 11:30 but was violently woke up at 2, 2:30, 3:30, 5, 5:30, 6:30, and eventually for good around 7:30 with coughing fits -- the kind where you can't catch your breath in between coughs and you cough so hard you make yourself sick (and, dare I say w/o embarassing myself too much -- I usually have to go change my clothes afterwards, too; darn the pregnancy bladder!). I did get an uninterrupted 3 hour nap today (thank you, Jonathan) but I've had these coughing fits all day long otherwise. Still, I'm feeling very tired, almost weak, and really must get school work done tomorrow as Nathan has a deadline tomorrow and he didn't get any school on Friday (Caleb didn't get any on Thursday or Friday). My grand plans of house cleaning/cleaning out closets for Saturday were spoiled 'cause I didn't feel well so the laundry has mounted again, although it's mostly clean and "just" needs put away (as if that's a quick task!). Anyway, I'd really appreciate the prayers.


New design

You like it? There are many of them at TheCutestBlogOnTheBlock.com. Let me know what you think.


Timothy update

As I type, Jonathan is at Children's spending the night with Timothy (they're keeping him purely as a precaution since he already has a cold/cough and they stuck a scope down his throat today; he's doing just fine and will come home first thing in the morning). Isn't my hubby wonderful to give me a break? I plan on popping the other 4 in the bed in just a minute but wanted to get the word out. Good news is that his airway issue is stable, in fact, a little better than it was in May. No need to worry about his airway unless he starts to show signs of distress. They will continue to follow him with bronchoscopies until he reaches the point where they're able to pass a normal-sized bronchoscopy scope down his throat. His next bronchoscopy his dr wanted him to have in 6 months but that's too close to my due date so we're going to schedule one the end of January/early February. As for his hearing, that's the not-so-good news. Thankfully, his right ear tested with completely normal hearing. His left ear, however, showed mild to moderate hearing loss; a kind that is permanent, something he was probably born with and most likely not related to his fluid issues. He will need a hearing aid for his left ear. No surprise there, right? What really took me off guard today, though, was the fact that it is permanent which means he will have to have a hearing aid for the rest of his life. The impression I rec'd from them before was that it if he needed hearing aid(s), it would be a temporary situation. Because the other kiddies have normal hearing (although they way they yell at each other all the time, it makes me wonder!?!), the chances of this being genetic and therefore something the new baby might have is slim. Unfortunately, this is a type of hearing loss without a known cause. If we don't know how he got it, then we don't know if the new baby can have it. At the next bronchoscopy they will also do a CT scan of his ears just to make sure it is not a structural issue. The chances of that, though, are next to nothing. We will probably never know why Timothy has hearing loss. So, we just have to learn to adjust to life with constant appointments with audiology and living with hearing aids. With a hearing aid in, he should develop a normal speech/language pattern (he's already babbling which is great). The next step is the hearing aid fitting session where they make a mold of his ear which will be in the next week or so; then it's 3-4 weeks after that before he'll get his actual hearing aid which he should have in place by Thanksgiving or so. Since he's constantly growing, his mold will constantly have to be replaced. No need to learn sign language or anything like that, although I'm sure it wouldn't hurt. Just speak mostly on his right side until we get the hearing aid in and get him adjusted. I think that's about it but my brain is very fried. If you have a question, drop a comment and I'll try to post the answer tomorrow.

Out the door

It's 5:40AM. Will be getting the kids up in about 10 minutes to walk out the door (they'll be staying at the Bauer's today). Timothy is scheduled for 8:30 but we have to be there at 6:30 for check-in, etc. Very rough night. Long story as to why but we've been putting John to bed in the bigger room with all the bigger kids and that's not going well at all. Add to that the fact that he couldn't find his blankie last night and we fought him for a very long time. I tried to put him, Caleb, and Elizabeth to bed at 7 since I knew we had to get up so early. I fought John off and on until Jonathan got home from church/his mom's at 9:30. It was finally after 10 before he fell asleep. I came out of the shower at 11:15 and tried to go to bed. Caleb was up a little after 12 with a tummy ache (I hadn't fallen asleep yet -- it takes me a while); then I was up a couple of times with John who realized in the middle of the night (1-ish) that he didn't have his blankie. Finally laid back down at 1:55 only to be woke up by Timothy at 2:57. I've probably had 30 minutes of sleep since then. Poor guy didn't want any part of the juice and I was told no formula after midnight. He was fine while I was holding him but didn't want to be put back in his crib. Finally at 4, I put him in his crib with his light on and some toys to play with. Lasted 30 minutes. Jonathan dealt with him after that but I heard his alarm go off at 5 before mine went off at 5:30. Timothy is finally asleep -- sitting in his jumpy-thing (kinda like an exersaucer). Well, off we go. Hopefully we'll have some good news later.


Update -- we're on the move!

Many thanks for your prayers. Everyone seems at least a little better today, some of us better than others. My throat is not nearly as sore as it was yesterday which is great, IMO. Timothy is still the only one I'm worried about and that's really only because he has those tests scheduled tomorrow. Otherwise, I'd be very happy with the progress he's making. He's got a bit of a cough and it did seem to wake him up a few times last night although he never cried and always went back to sleep, sleeping 9 hours (although I would have preferred those 9 hours be from 10 to 7 as opposed to 7:30 to 4:30!). He sounds congested like he did for months after he was first born. But, I keep telling myself they put him under anesthesia while he was making those type noises before, maybe they'll go through with it after all. I just want to get this done so we can move on, one way or the other, KWIM? So far, we haven't rec'd a phone call from anesthesia saying they want to postpone and they do know he has a cold. So, we're expecting a phone call after 4 today to tell us what time to be there tomorrow.

As for being on the move, that's not just referring to everyone seeming to be a little better today! Timothy has officially started moving, not a up-on-all-fours kinda crawl but what we like to call the "army crawl". I'm almost certain all of my kids crawled like this first. In fact, I'm almost certain 1 or 2 of them never crawled the conventional way but I can't remember which ones that might have been. Put him down by the couch yesterday while I was making dinner and about 20 minutes later, he was in the kitchen. Put him down in the living room after dinner and turned around and he was down the hall. We've tried to get him to do it on carpet and he can move but he definitely doesn't have the speed he has here on our laminate flooring. I'm awful at posting videos (and taking them in the first place) so you'll just have to imagine him moving in your head! :) Sorry! And for anyone keeping track, he's officially 10 months old, as of Monday. His buddy Justin is 10 months old today. I know....WOW! (That means we're almost half way through the pregnancy! Yikes!)


Pray for the Stevens Clan

The kids have been fighting colds off and on for a couple of weeks or so. With Timothy's procedure coming up on Thursday, I took him to the dr yesterday just to make sure it was "just a cold" as his symptoms had seemed to disappear but then came back. Thankfully, it isn't anything more at this point. Still, he's starting with a cough now and I'm fearful they'll cancel on us when we get there on Thursday. That I definitely don't want to happen if we can help it. Also, I started having a scratchy throat yesterday. I woke up in the middle of the night, though, in terrible pain. My throat was sooooo sore it burned and hurt to swallow and my ears were aching. My throat feels a little better this morning but I'm unable to really say much. Overall, I feel kinda yucky, although I've certainly felt worse. Your prayers are certainly appreciated.


Biblical Parenting - Tedd Tripp

My hubby's post. Several years ago, our then Teaching Elder ("pastor") turned us on to the book "Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. Unbelievable book! There's a video lecture series that goes along with the book called "The Case For Kids" that normally costs about $100. Jonathan found this info, though, a gold mine! Take advantage of this RIGHT away....

Dr. Tedd Tripp author of "Shepherding A Child's Heart"
The video series The Case for Kids covering this material cost $99.95 but Tedd and TheResurgence.com are giving it away! This is only session one and two of the complete seminar, but I believe more is to come.

  1. Biblical Parenting - The Call to Formative Instruction

  2. Biblical Parenting - Giving Kids a Vision for God's Glory


7 children; 2 teeth

Hodge podge post....

All of my parent's (current) grandchilren
[My nieces Madisyn (blonde) and Olivia (red head) on the left]

A shot of Timothy's first 2 teeth barely poking through

Vacation pics 3

These are pictures from my niece's birthday party in Tennessee. They had this jumbo slide.
Elizabeth was one of the first ones down
Nathan made sure I got a shot of him going down while waving
At first, Caleb had to be forced to go down, being carried by my brother Kevin
But by the end, he was going down all by himself

Vacation pics 2

Some pool shots


Vacation pics 1

Just some random shots to share from vacation....

Caleb, Elizabeth, and John relaxing on my parent's back porch (doesn't John look thrilled?!?)
This is the view from my side of the van on the way to the beach
Bubba's -- where we ate dinner on Wednesday night
Don't know if you can tell but everyone (but me) is actually in this picture (Jonathan and Nathan out in the ocean; Caleb at the edge of the water; John and Elizabeth playing in the sand)