I Am Baker

2013

After all the trials and tribulations of 2012, I was determined to embrace hope for 2013.  I desperately hoped that in 2013 there would be no deaths, no heartbreaks, no disappointments, no rejection.

Just. No. More.

Recently I posted a story that I consider life changing.  You know, one of those stories that sticks with you and pops into your head in the most opportune moments.  When I recall it, I am in such awe that someone can put their own baggage and sense of personal loss aside to embrace a greater good moves me in a way that I can only describe as divine.

Its been about five months since my husband lost his father unexpectedly.  For some reason, the pain of losing him has not lessened.  Every new holiday that is our “first” without him, every new circumstance that we must handle without his wisdom and guidance, every memory that brings the most acute and sharp pain to our hearts… I just cant seem to find acceptance in that fact that he is no longer here.

I remember in the immediate aftermath of his passing of being so inspired by his life.  The way that he gave, the sacrifices he made, the impact he had on those around him.  Every story that people told made me realize what a gift I had in just knowing him.  And how blessed my kids were to call him grandpa.

His life moved me to the point that I wanted to change mine.

Over the holidays we spent a great deal of time with family.  My kids got used to seeing their grandparents and cousins.  When the New Year started and we didnt have plans to see them immediately, they were visibly saddened.  It was just so normal and so right… being with the people that we love.

While in Fargo we even had family pictures taken.

Looking at them now, I am trying to look past my double chins and huge belly and less than stellar fashion sense and see the family around me.  When I start to feel sad about Dennis I need to remember what his life was about.  He loved people and took care of them and gave them everything he could.  He lived.

My “i am mommy” blog might take a different turn this year, as I start to post more and more about family.  And about my growing family!

About little moments that may not mean anything to others, but mean the world to me.  (Like this one, with my Audrey and one of her namesakes, Grandma Audrey) The pictures and memories in the making that one day will hopefully mean as much to them as it does to me.  I will be sharing my faith, as I truly believe that anything that inspires and moves you deserves to be shared.

I dont have resolutions for 2013.  I know there will be trials and pain and loss just like I have faith that there will be highlights and joy and new life.

And lots and lots of laughter.

 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

I Am Baker

A Little Of This…

I cant believe its been over a week since I last posted.

I feel like it was just yesterday!

That being said, let me share a bit.

I am now about 35 weeks pregnant.  I saw a picture of myself and was like, “WHO is that outrageously fat person?”

Um, me.

I have a toothache.  About a year ago a portion of my farthest back left tooth fell off and its been slowly disintegrating away ever since.  I have been treating it naturally… raw garlic, clove oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, and charcoal.  I have been able to tolerate the pain, but generally speaking, its always there.  Hitting my third trimester I was suddenly in excruciating pain day and night.

And being preggers means no drugs.

Yay me.

Finally went to the dentist and (long story short) they are just going to take out the tooth.  No repairs can be made.

Did I mention ever since I started treating teeth issues naturally that I encouraged my husband to cancel our dental insurance?  Yeah.  Should be a fun bill.

I am officially homeschooling Colton.  We started curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications, through a recommendation from Christy.  I really like it as it is detailed!  Tells me exactly what I need to do and teach and when.

Colton is not such a fan.  I really need to do more research ito how to make school more fun for him… as I don’t seem to have any creative energy left in me lately.

My favorite 50mm lens that I use for EVERYTHING died.  I panicked and called my husband in a tizzy and was totally incoherent.

Apparently I am addicted to my camera.

He came home with the most beautiful Canon 2.8 100mm macro lens.  Its like… gorgeous.  Wish I could take a picture of it. ;)

IMG_0398.parkers

Macro lens’ are good for close ups of eyes.  My favorite thing to photograph.

I have so many things I want to share… about life and love and faith and family… but never seem to find the time to get written down. (Does anyone else sorta use thier blog as an online journal??)

Oh, and we still need to think of a baby name.

At least we know its a boy.

I Am Baker

Sock It To Me

IMG_9225.socks

These are my socks.

I like plain socks.

Light weight cotton.

Ankle length.

White.

 

IMG_9227.socks

These are my husbands socks.

They are considerably sturdier.  A more dence and thick cotton.

 

IMG_9229.socks

My socks.

His socks.

The other day  accidentally put on a pair of his socks and to my shock and dismay realized that they FIT me.

My completely huge and swollen feet FIT into his used to be huge for me socks.

I just hope I dont accidentally put on his pants one day.  I dont think my ego could take it.

I Am Baker

My First (And Last) Red Bull

At the festive hour of 8pm last evening, my hubby and dear children and I set off from balmy Florida for the cold, frozen lakes of Minnesota.

We were thinking that the children would sleep through the night, and hubby and I would drive in shifts.  This seemed an alright idea to me as I am often up four to five times a night anyway, and usually wake up for the day between four and six am.

Around 2:30am, I awoke from a fitful rest and informed hubby it was my turn to drive.

I was wide awake… I had thought.

At about 3:00am, I realized I was about to fall asleep!  Well, this really freaked me out seeing as I was totally responsible for the four people I loved most in the world who were sleeping peacefully and completely trusting me with their lives in the back seats.

RED BULL!

I had to pee (I do all the time anyway since I am pregnant and sitting upright puts baby right on my bladder) so I stopped, ran into a convenience store peed and purchased a Red Bull, a container of Original Pringles, and a box of Junior Mints.  I figured that combination would keep me awake!

Well.  I have never had a Red Bull in my entire life.  Never.  I have no idea what possessed me to try one when I am six months pregnant and driving in the middle of the night!

 The next five hours are a blur for me.  I was teetering between two crippling conditions at all times.

1. A new crack like addiction to Red Bull.

2. The inability to go more then 13 minutes without having to pee so bad it was painful.

About five minutes after my first ever sip of that mysteriously fruity concoction, I was filled with energy.  My mind was racing.  I was singing the Red Bull commercial in my head and thinking, "It really DOES give you wings!"

I thought of no less then 40 amazing tweets that I was desperate to share on twitter (but totally unable to since I was driving and it was like 4:00am) that I have now completely forgotten.

When the GPS annoyingly reminded me for the zillionth time to "Stay Right" I exuberantly answered, "Yooooouuuuuu betcha!"

I stopped four times to use the restroom over the next five hours.

The first time I threw up Pringles and Red Bull.  (who am I kidding.  I had eaten some Junior Mints too.  I have no shame)  Seeing as I was now addicted though, I bought another, even larger size Red Bull.  

As well as a large cappuccino.

The baby was kicking me like mad, adding to the fact that I felt like I needed to pee a measly four minutes after I had left the bathroom.

And to top it off, I was STILL exhasuted and fighting the dreaded drooping eyelids.

Right about the time I thought for sure I would have to pull over and just give in to the fatigue, the sun peeked its bright head over the horizon and the breaking dawn rejuvenated me.  

Well, for about another half hour.

Then we stopped for breakfast, I realized that I was sick to my stomach again, and that I would probably never ever consume another Red Bull as long as I lived.

To top it all off, I cannot get the wretched taste of Red Bull out of my mouth.

And now I sit nauseous and sickly (not the glorified Victorian thin version, just the pukey one) in the back of a mini-van trying to share this with someone in the vain hopes that I am not the only one who has not had a good experience with Red Bull.

I gotta go before I puke on my computer.  (going for a record of how many times I can say the word puke and Red Bull in one post)

*I do NOT condone the use of Redbull during pregnancy.

I Am Baker

Dear Baby

Precious Little One,

I am sitting here amazed by the extreme roller coaster of emotions that I have experienced with you already.

When I found out you were there… growing so steadily… I was overcome with joy and hope.  Another blessing for our family!  Another chance to watch a brand new personality develop.  Another chance to love someone with all my heart.

However, I was quickly overcome with frustration as I became so sick that functioning as a mom of three was no longer possible.  I was always sick, always fatigued, always nauseous, always achy.  Something had to be wrong… being pregnant had never hurt this bad before!

And then, I was told I might lose you.  I felt like it was all making sense… now I knew why this pregnancy had been so much more difficult then the rest.

A life style change was going to be necessary if we wanted to keep you (full bed rest for the next 7 months)… we were going to need lots of help and lots of faith to get through this.

Thankfully we had both.

However, even though I trusted God with any outcome, I was unable to control the grief and fear that overcame me.  Had I done something wrong?  Was this chance of losing you possibly my fault? What was God teaching me through all this?

And, if we did end up losing you, how was I going to go on?

Seven short days later, it was revealed that the doctor had made a mistake.  There was nothing wrong with me or you… in fact, you were absolutely perfect!

Such a tremendous weight had been lifted… I remember dropping on my knees and praying grateful, joyful, exuberant prayers to God!

That day, I hit week thirteen of my pregnancy, and the horrendous illness of my first trimester lessened considerably.  I was able to stand up and cook and hug my kids whenever I wanted to! (Much to their dismay, hugs in the middle of Curious George are not always appreciated!)

I laid in bed nights and prayed for you… longed to hold you… cried tears of joy that I would be lucky enough to meet you.

And with this latest trip to Disney World, where we have been walking around the beautiful theme parks all day long and spending lots of time in the sun… I have really gotten to know you!  You love to tumble and kick and move around as often as possible!  

Even though you are my fourth child, I have never experienced activity like this in pregnancy… and its absolutely wonderful!

But.

As much as I love you and long for you, I am still struggling with fear sweet one.  Will I be able to take care of four kids?  

How can I possibly adequately love all of you the way you need?

Will I be able to handle it?

I am so thankful for Gods perfect timing in this.. I know I have just the right amount of time I need to deal with any fear that might arise.

And even though I didn't think it possible, to feel my love for you grow with passing every single moment.

I cant wait to meet you little one!

Love,

Your Mama

 

I Am Baker

The Best Mistake Ever

I am still in shock I think.

But in a good, good way.

I just got back from the perinatologist.

Her reaction to looking at my ultrasound?

"Well, everything looks great.  Why exactly were you here today?"

To which I responded by bursting into tears and trying to speak but having only, "mfphgmnfphphp" come out.

She was entirely confused, "I dont understand, itsnt that good news?"

After I managed to gain something that resembled composure I sorta cried out, "Its amazing news!  I was told I might lose the baby or that I could go into labor or that I might have to be on bed rest for the next 6 months.  This is AMAZING news!"

I seriously felt like a weight was lifted right in that moment.

Turns out my doctor has just read her ultrasound wrong.  She had requested that I bring in the copies of pictures she had taken last Wed. and when I showed them to the specialist, she said, "Oh yes.  These are normal.  Looks like she just measure wrong."

Like almost 3cm wrong!  She told me I was 1.2 cm but today I measured 4 cm!

I felt like a million bucks as I got to make phone calls to my hubby and mom and dad.  My mom got choked up a bit, and told me how lucky I was to have all the prayers and support. 

I could not have agreed more.

I have been so nervous to get excited about things I had planned in the future… blogging conferences* and family vacations and of course, the birth of this precious child.

But now I am filled with excitement and hope!!

Thank you so, so much for your prayers and kind words and Scripture and thoughts.  You never know, there just might have been a divine miracle at work here!

*I was asked to be a speaker at BlogHerFood in San Fransisco this year, which is actually just taking place in one week! 

I Am Baker

Perspective

I have to say… mine has been off.

I have been feeling sorry for myself. 

I have been unfocused.

I have been disengaged.

When I posted on my blog about the news the doctor gave me, I was in such a sad place.  Feeling alone and hopeless and just beaten up.

But something changed in me.

I felt defeated because I lost sight of the big picture.

One specific Bible verse has played over and over in my head:

Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

God has allowed this trial in my life because there is much work that needs to be done in me.  I am fairly certain that I need to regain my eternal perspective… that God is in control.  That I CAN trust in Him, and that I can sing his praises even when it seems that life is hard and dark and lonely.

I heard the song "All My Praise" by Selah and one line really struck me.

"Even in the shadow of death I will praise you…"

Before I had sung that and liked it, but it never resonated in me.  

With this latest pregnancy scare and the uncertainty of my baby's future… I can truly say that I felt like I was in the shadow of death.  

I felt like I had no control over my families future.  I felt like I had done something wrong.

I was right.

I dont have control of the future, and by not living fully in my faith, I had done something wrong.  I did not place my trust in God.

Thank goodness for this renewed sense of faith and desire to obey… and for the constant prayer and support.  So many wonderful people have offered Scripture and verses that were meaningful to them.  It now holds a special meaning for me as well.

No matter the outcome of this season in our lives, I am trusting God.  I am hopeful again for the future, and I am grateful for support and prayers.

I decided to embrace every single day of this pregnancy… to appreciate every single moment I have been given, and to pour out my love on this child and my family.

One thing that (prior to the cervical news) I was embarrassed about was how much I am showing already.  I am no skinny minny by any means, but I was busting out of my regular jeans by 10 weeks.  

Its just not normal!  

So I had planned on not showing any pictures until it was more socially acceptable to look like I was six months pregnant.

Like, maybe when I was six month pregnant.

But enough of that!  

This precious little life that has captivated our whole family is going to be celebrated in any way I can!


IMG_3768.stamp
 
 

Isnt is crazy?  I have never shown like this with any of my other kids.  I guess this sweet baby is just making his own path right from the get go!

In other awesome news…

Chad is home now… we are spending the day laughing and playing and cooking with the kids and its been wonderful!

Life is good.

No matter what, this life is good.


I Am Baker

I Lay it at His Feet

This is hard for me to write because my emotions are all over the place and hubby is still not home… as I have to admit, I am really just hanging on by a thin thread.  

Its been hard enough being an emotional, nauseous, throwing up, dizzy, tired mess.  But now this.

I am horrible at details and retaining medical information so I am going to do my best here… you may see lots of external links, that might be more for my benefit then yours!

I went to my first OB check up today and we wanted to find out my exact due date.  Since I was kinda sketchy on exact days of things my Dr. decided to do an ultrasound.

There were these long, long pauses and it seemed she wasn't seeing what she wanted to see. So she decided to do a (sorry if this is gross) vaginal ultrasound.

The baby was moving all over and perfect with a wonderful heart beat and two arms and legs and big ole' head.  I kept looking at him. He was beautiful!  (sex yet to be determined)

She kept looking at something else.

She says, "I am going to recommend you see a specialist. I'm not comfortable with your cervical length."

Then she said, "This could be a high risk pregnancy.  The specialist can explain everything better and give you all your options."

Apparently I have a shortened cervix.  Normally it should measure between 3cm and 5cm.

Mine is 1.2cm.

I have to go see a perinatologist.  They might have to put a stitch in, or a cervical cerclage.  A stitch in itself is quite controversial and not always successful.

I am just going to copy and paste some info here.  I found it at babycentre.co.uk.

A vaginal scan is the best way to measure your cervix because it can be seen much more clearly this way. The cervix looks like a tube on the scan, between 3cm and 5cm long, with one end at the top of the vagina (the external os), and the other end inside the uterus (the internal os). It is the internal os that can begin to open first, and this will look like a V shape on the scan. As the os opens further it becomes U shaped. This is called funnelling. If the closed part of the cervix measures less than 2.5cm, a stitch will be put in to stop the cervix opening further. 


The risk is that if you have a shortened cervix, you can go into premature labor or lose the pregnancy.

They have me on progesterone which helps to relax the muscles so that I can hopefully avoid contractions.  I might need to be on full bed rest. 

I have to say, this has been to most diverse pregnancy I have ever had… and getting this info. certainly gives me some insight as to why.

Chad is still out of town.  I am still feeling sick (hopefully that will pass soon!!!) and now I am just so overwhelmed and upset, I just sit here crying. 

I know I need to calm down and stop sobbing and realize that God has me here for a reason, and that I need to trust in Him.  Like, truly trust in Him.  


Thank you so much for your prayers and well wishes… they are much appreciated!  You know how strongly I believe in the power of prayer!



I Am Baker

I’ve Got News

(this is a long-winded post for me… I hope you dont mind!)

If anyone still reads this little mommy blog with bad spelling and questionable photography and silly stories, then you might have been wondering where the heck have I been.

Or not.  

You might have been wondering where your kids other white sock went or if the housing market is ever gonna turn around or if the Minnesota Vikings have a shot this year.

Or not.

I have no idea if the housing market will ever turn around or where that other sock went (but check in their long johns, I always find socks in there) or if Favre can lead the Vikes to a victory season.

But just in case you were thinking… that jabber mouth Amanda has been strangely silent lately… whats her deal?

Then I can help you.

I have been gloriously happy.

I have been dejected and down.

I have been excited and enthusiastic.

I have been shuddering at the idea of the next wave of pain.

I have been tearfully thankful.

I have been a sobbing mess.

I have been eating lots of bread and and generic lemon lime soda.

I have been throwing up every single food that ends in…well, any letter in the alphabet.

I have been planning out my future… so grateful for that joyful, hopeful mental journey.

I have been dreading the next moment… especially when it involves migraines and vomiting.

I have been sitting by myself in a quiet room just contemplating how blessed this little family is.

Have you figured it out yet?


It is my greatest pleasure to share with you that we are pregnant.


Ever since we started a family, and I got right with God, I knew that the greatest role I would ever have the privilege to fulfill is that of mommy.

I am constantly surprised at how lucky I am to be at home with my kids and be able to watch every milestone and delight in every smile.

The timing is, of course, perfect. (thank you God!)

However, it has been a very difficult pregnancy so far.

I am very, very sick all day long.  I already suffered from motion sickness, but this first trimester has rocketed that to a whole new level.

I cant read.  I cant look at a computer.  (meaning I cant read blogs or emails or anything very much… please forgive me!) I cant even look through my camera lens without potentially parting with my most recent meal.

I feel lethargic all throughout the day and have been crawling into bed around 6:30 every evening. 

I have been teaching the kids how to play on Starfall and PBS Kids so they are learning and playing while mommy just 'lays down quick'.

I never knew I could be so filled with joy and hope and gratitude yet so discouraged and down and miserable at the same time.

I know this will end… its just a stage and it will pass and honestly, I am SO thankful that I can say I have morning sickness.  As someone who has lost pregnancies before, this is a constant reminder at how efficiently my body is working to sustain this amazingly precious and coveted life growing within me.

I am truly so happy… I cant even begin to share with you the joy!

But please forgive this stage, where I have cancelled playdates and cookie orders and big blogging/crafting conventions that huge bloggers are traveling to MN for.  

Please forgive me that I have not read any blogs or left comments or checked in one you.  I seriously lay in bed thinking… how is Libby and Londa?  I wonder how Renee and Taylor and Karen and Joy and so many more are doing.

I cant wait until my eyes can read clearly and my stomach can sustain a good blogging 'catch up' session.

I cant wait until I can eat a meal with my kids and not have to bolt into the next room.

I cant wait to meet this newest addition… and am trying to savor every moment I have with him right now. (We kinda think its a boy… but we have no idea!)

And yes, I totally want to find out the sex.  My hubby could wait.  I am trying to convince him to see it my way. :)

I Am Baker

Three Ways to Make Me Want a Baby

1. Have a baby within 50 feet of me.

2. Go shopping (browsing) in Macy's baby section.  Can you say ca-ute?

3. See a perfect baby belly.

The kids and I went over to cousin Leah's  yesterday.

She asked if I could come and take pictures of her flawless baby belly (my words, not hers) and I said yes.  I tend to do that when anyone asks me to do anything. 

I told her I had never taken pregnancy pictures before and she just shrugged and said, "You cant do any worse then my husband."

Ha!  Love it.

IMG_9199.leahsoft 

She has about two weeks left… I am SO excited!!

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Is that not the most perfect baby bump you have ever seen??  She should be on the cover of magazines!

So yeah.

Its pretty safe to say I have baby fever… but thankfully, Leah will be having her baby soon, so I will get to hold a precious newborn!

Do you think that will help my baby fever or make it worse? ;)