Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Say What?

It's been a while.

Kora is 8 and a 1/2 months old!
Paige graduated PreK and will start kindergarten in the fall!
Jeremy just got promoted to a supervisor position at work.
I'm rolling along, taking on new tasks at work and trying to balance life.

Let's start with Kora - I feel like I've been to the pediatrician's office every week since February. I'm probably exaggerating a little - but it's been a lot. She got her ear tubes on April 20th and we are still fighting some infections/drainage. But at least the tubes have been doing their job. She's allergic to at least 2 antibiotics and today she had blood drawn to get tested for a food allergy - peas (which apparently can be related to peanut allergies) and eggs. It was rough for me to help hold her while they drew her blood but they did a great job and so did Kora! She fussed but I don't think she shed a single tear and stopped fussing right after they did it! Such a tough little kid!
She now has 2 teeth and is tearing up the house! She's crawling around everywhere and you can definitely tell that she wants to try standing, she keeps trying to pull up on the furniture. She's a happy baby and a pretty good sleeper (until she wakes up, wants her paci, but can't find it).

Paige. We were pretty fortunate - I think we skipped the terrible 2s and 3s... but landed in the ferocious 4s. This kid can be pretty stubborn at times, but still a great kid! She had a great year in PreK and I'm constantly amazed at what she's learning and how she's growing. And for the most part she's staying pretty healthy!

Jeremy is, as always, being an amazing husband. I've been gone to a conference, ladies night outs, a weekend getaway, training for a mini-marathon and so much more. He's always supportive, loving, and the perfect match for me. He loves our girls more than anything and it's always a joy to watch him with them.

Then there's me. Time to get a little transparent. So dating back to high school and college, I occasionally had trouble staying awake in class. Never really thought much of it back then, just chalked it up to being busy, not getting enough sleep, etc. Fast forward to my job at Regenstrief. I knew going into the job that staying awake in meetings would be tough. I also struggle to stay awake in church. I get restless legs when I sit for too long, always twitching and moving around to get comfortable. I never really thought much of it, just that it was something I had to live with. As I predicted I've had trouble staying awake in meetings... for 6 years. Why haven't I thought to ask a doc about it sooner? I just thought maybe I hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before, or maybe I was just 'lazy'. It's been getting worse since Kora was born. I get exhausted in the evenings, I always want to take naps at my desk, and now I'm getting sleepy driving to work sometimes. That's when I knew things needed to change.

So I finally scheduled an appointment with a PCP and got in to see him May 12th. He thinks I have Narcolepsy, so he referred me to a sleep doctor. Initially I wasn't supposed to get in until August 8th, but I asked to be put on a waiting list and praise God I was able to get in on May 13th! The sleep doc thinks the same thing. Possible Narcolepsy without cataplexy or it could be related to Restless Leg Syndrome. Essentially, my brain is not making the connection to when it's supposed to be awake vs. asleep.

What happens now?? Well, I'm heading up to Community North for a sleep study tonight and tomorrow. Tonight I just sleep 'normal' with sensors and what-not and tomorrow I get to stay there all day and take 15 minute naps (which I just found out about today). Praying that I get some answers from this. It really sucks feeling 'tired' for most of your day and not having the energy at night to workout or play with your kids.

Thanks for sticking with me through this update :) Hope you all are doing well!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kora's Beginning... Part 2

Okay, so it took a couple days longer than I thought it would but here is Part 2 of Kora's beginning.

You can reference Paige's birth story here. But be warned, it's not anything like what most 'first deliveries' are.

VBAC or Repeat C-Section
After getting pregnant one of the first questions going through my mind would be getting another c-section or trying a VBAC. I knew it was something I needed to talk with my doctor about. We discussed it in one of our earliest visits and she gave me a statistic that would help me make my decision pretty quickly. 60-80% of VBACs are successful and it depends on the reason for the c-section. Basically I fell into the range of 60% - there was only a 60% chance that a VBAC in my situation would be successful, the way that I understood this was because of my anatomy and that I would have a harder time pushing out a baby. So we scheduled the c-section for Sept 18th.

The Pregnancy
I didn't blog about this pregnancy the way I did with Paige's. The main reason being I was just so tired or didn't feel well most of the time. The heartburn was the same, if not worse than it was with Paige. Overall, the pregnancy was fine, I didn't have any major complications and we always had good news at check-ups. Once again, however, I just didn't enjoy the pregnancy. The closer the due date got the more anxious and ready I was to get her out of me! Fortunately we had a pretty mild summer so that was good, but I was always hot, tired, and out of breath anywhere I went.

The Delivery
I never thought September 18th would come around. Even when September 1st hit, the 18th still seemed so far away!! I wouldn't have minded going into labor early, but I knew the chances of that were pretty slim. I did start have braxton-hicks contractions around 37 weeks, so I had them for about 2 weeks off and on before she was born (something I never experienced with Paige).
As the day approached I kept getting more anxious and nervous. I mean, it was a major surgery after all. We had to arrive at the hospital 2 hours early to get checked in and prepped. The IV was first, and I almost passed out after that went in! I spent the next hour or so just resting and waiting. I walked back to the OR around 11:45 where they did the spinal (not fun) and getting me prepped for surgery. Jeremy didn't get to come back until right before they were ready to open me. So after everyone was set and ready to go the doctor came in right at 12:00 and got to work.
This was a completely different experience for me as I don't remember much from Paige's c-section. I was much more alert and aware of what was going on this time. It didn't take long before I heard them say 'okay - you are going to feel a push on your stomach to get her out' and at 12:09pm I heard the beautiful sound of little Miss Kora's first cry. The rest of the time was spent cleaning her and getting me put back together and I was wheeled back to our room around 1pm.

The Recovery
Oy... if only I could remember what happened most of Friday afternoon... I thought I was doing okay, until I got sick 3 times and kept getting hot. But they wouldn't let me take the blankets off because my body temp was actually low. Looking back on it I don't remember much of Friday, which lines up with those that told me after the fact I didn't look very good that day :)
4-days post-op now and I'm doing okay. The pain meds are definitely still needed, but I'm walking around better and have a few 'good hours' during the day where I don't feel much pain or anything. Jeremy is still being the rockstar husband that he always is and helping out with pretty much everything and giving me the 'stink eye' 'when he thinks I am doing too much. Paige has been fabulous and is just so excited for her baby sister to be here.

The Name
Finally, I wanted to share with you the reason behind her name. Let's start with the middle name: Sue. This is my mom's middle name. With Paige we decided not to do a family name. So I always knew that if we had a second child we would somehow incorporate a family name. If it was a girl I wanted the middle name to be Sue. I wanted her to have a piece of my mom.
Cora was my grandma's name. I remember going out to breakfast with my mom and grandma very early in the pregnancy and we were talking about names. My grandma said 'well I think you should name her Cora, you never hear the name Cora anymore.' I had kind of dismissed it at the time, just thought it was her being funny. When I brought it up to Jeremy later he said he actually liked the name - but we both agreed we liked it spelled Kora rather than with a C.
We went back and forth with this name and others. When grandma got sick back in June is when we really had to start thinking about the name. We both really liked it and I loved the woman that the name came from. I love that grandma was the one that suggested it. My grandma was a strong, beautiful, amazing woman of God and I can only pray the same for my little Kora Sue.
It stinks that grandma didn't get to meet this great-grandchild who would carry on her name. But I know that baby Kora would've been loved and spoiled by Mimi Cora.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Kora's beginning...

Kora Sue has finally arrived. The first words I heard were 'look at those cheeks'... probably the same words that were mentioned if I could remember what they said about Paige. I do remember the doc saying both times that they 'good size' little girls :).

Let me back up for a minute. Paige was born in 2011. A time when Jeremy and I were still fairly 'new' in our jobs. Jeremy was working nights and I was working days. Those of you that have had that arrangement with a firstborn know how difficult that can be. Of course Jeremy was great, and it was nice on the weekends when he kept to his night shift schedule and would let me sleep and just bring Paige to me when she need to eat.

But I didn't enjoy pregnancy, I had a very different birth story than most and that first year of her life was rough. I wasn't ready to go through pregnancy again, let alone raising another baby somewhat by myself at night.

It took me a long time to be mentally and emotionally ready to even think about getting pregnant again. And Paige was actually a great baby. She's been a very happy toddler and we've seen her develop and grow into a beautiful little girl. In April 2014, Jeremy and I finally had the conversation that we were ready to start trying for another baby. One of our goals was to get our study loans paid off before having a second baby and we knew we were close to that goal and we knew that it could take a while to get pregnant again (it took almost a year with Paige). Come December 2014 we still weren't pregnant and my parents had just invested in the Disney Vacation Club. So we started planning a trip to Disney World in September 2015, with the thought that we would put off trying to get pregnant for a few months, or altogether. We still hadn't decided.

Then, January 22nd rolled around. I was only about a week late but felt something was off so I decided to take a pregnancy test... I'll bet you never guess the result :) Oh... and did I mention we paid off our student loans on January 21st... hmmm....

I was nervous, excited, scared, and to honest a little upset. I had just planned 2 vacations for 2015. One in July to go to Florida and then Disney World in September. Sounds selfish, right? It was. I know that God's timing is everything and it's not up to me :).

And of course, I'm so grateful and thankful and blessed by God because now I have this beautiful face to look at:

And I got to see this look on Paige's face which was worth everyday of the pregnancy:

Kora's birth story was obviously way different than Paige's... but maybe that story will come tomorrow :)

For now I'm rejoicing in the Lord for my beautiful babies and I'm excited to see what God has in store for their lives.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Top 10 Games

We moved to Indiana 6 years ago. At that point if you had asked me what board games I knew how to play I'd say the typical Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, or Candy Land. Fortunately, I met one of my now best friends who changed everything.

Our best 'couple' friends Adam and Krista introduced us to the expansive world of board games that we were missing out on! So since I've been 'gaming' for about 5 years now, I think it's finally time I created my own Top 10 list.

10. Guildhall - I first played Guildhall at IndyCon I think two years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time I played. With the addition of the expansion this game can change each time you play. Basically you are trying to collect different professions to score victory points, but certain professions allow other players to steal from you, so beware :). 

9. 7 Wonders - This was one of the first games I was introduced to. It is an easy game to learn and a fun one to play! This game is played over 3 rounds and you are drafting cards with other players to build resources, construct your ancient wonder, and explore the sciences of the world!

8. Mission Red Planet - This was my very first game to play at my first IndyCon. This is a quick, easy game to learn. Exploring Mars by sending your crew on spaceships with different characters that might allow you destroy your opponents crew members! Unfortunately it's out of print and super hard to find!

 7. King of Tokyo - Oh man, it's Yahtzee meets King Kong! You each have individual monsters and you are trying to conquer Tokyo by either destroying the other monsters or getting the most points! So easy!

6. Jaipur - This is a great 'travel' 2-player game! Krista introduced this game to me a while ago and Jeremy and I finally bought it last year! You are trading good to win 'Seals of Excellence' to be invited to he Maharajah's Court! It's a short easy game to take on the go if you have some time to kill!

5. Dungeon Lords - This is not a game for beginners! It's easily a 2 to 2 and a half hour game with 4 people. But it's so in-depth and fun! I've only played it a handful of times (and won once!)! The pieces of this game are what make the game! You are building a dungeon to try to keep the heroes out! Can you dungeon and monsters defeat the heroes?!

4. Tokaido - Take a journey in Japan! The legendary Tokaido Road connected Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo). Along the way you are stopping for encounters with the locals, collecting souvenirs, visiting the hot springs and collecting the beautiful scenes! You will also visit 4 inns to rest and enjoy the Japanese cuisine! This game is really fun 2-5 players and is a good family game!

3. Lords of Waterdeep - I will admit, I had no desire to play this game, none whatsoever. I had this notion in my head that this would be a 3-4 hour game with lots of weird stuff. I was dead wrong! This is a great game! You are vying to become the Lord of Waterdeep by going on quests! The learning curve for this one is fairly simple! Jeremy and I really enjoy playing this one 2-player!

2. Bruges - this was a 'spur of moment' purchase at GenCon last year and a great one! We knew it was going fast at the Z-Man booth and if we wanted it we needed to just grab it and go! We hadn't even played it before we bought it! This is another that is fairly easy to learn and easy to teach! You are building houses and recruiting people to gain wealth and influence city!

1. Ticket to Ride - This could very well have been the first game I was introduced to! It's so simple to learn and it's the one I most often teach to 'newbies' :) Take a cross-country adventure by placing your trains from city to city across the US! This game has blown up and there are so many versions available! Nordic countries, Europe, Africa, Marklin, Asia, the list goes on! This is such a great family game and is great for the younger kids!

Honorable Mentions: There are a few more that were close to making the list, but I just couldn't get them into the top 10!
Omen: A Reign of War - another game I was hesitant to play, but really enjoy this quick 2-player game!
Carcassonne - a great beginner game!
Agricola - as much as I hate to say it, I do enjoy this game, just need to get better at it! A very in-depth but great game!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In a blink

This past Sunday at church was the Graduation Celebration for the graduating seniors in the youth group. I hope in 16 years I remember how I felt sitting there watching those seniors receive messages from their loving parents and youth pastor.

Everyone says it. "Don't blink." "It goes by so fast." "Where did the time go."

I know in 16 years I will say the same thing. I think I had met one of those seniors, but each one got me a little teary-eyed. Their parents expressing their love for them and how amazing it has been to watch them grow into the wonderful person they are today. The youth pastor giving examples of the fun they had in the youth group and the impact they've made in the church and on the lives of others through missions.

In 16 years I want to say the same things to my daughter and have those things said of her. It made me excited to be in the church we are in right now. While I haven't had much involvement with the youth group yet, I really enjoy the youth pastor's sermons. You can hear the love and passion he has in his voice for those kids. I am excited for her to experience that.

Yes, it will happen in a blink, but I will be there every step of the way for her. To encourage her to do the things she scared to do, to love her when she succeeds, to be her rock when she may fail, to be proud of her through every wise decision she makes. And most of all to show her the love of Jesus and pray for her that, instead of chasing bubbles (Pastor Scott's sermon on 5/18), she chases Jesus.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A heart like mom's

I didn't get around to actually posting Happy Mother's Day yesterday. I was busy hanging out with my mom :)

I love my momma so much. She has a heart like I've never seen. She cares so much about others around her and always has just a little bit more to give.

About a month ago she had asked me to come up to Huntington to help out with a Ladies Build Day with Habitat for Humanity. The house that is being built is for some friends of ours that we've known for a very long time. Their house was completely destroyed in a fire a few months ago (praise God none of their family was in the house when it happened!). I couldn't be more thankful that I said yes.

Getting to work side-by-side with my mom on such an important project is something I will never forget. She was so awesome and it inspired me to want to do something like this with Paige someday.

I love this woman and I'm so thankful I get to call her mom! I hope that I have enough room in my heart for others around me as she does!

Thanks for showing me how to love and care for others!

Here are a few pictures of the build day and a few of Mother's Day as well!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

13.1 - Half Crazy

Today I ran my first Mini-Marathon, well, mostly ran. I did walk three times, but overall probably only walked less than a mile! I was overall very satisfied with my total time and pace! I had two goals, either finish in 2:30 or keep a 12 min/mi pace. We'll my overall time was 2:31:33, so I did get under my 12 min/mi pace and just barely missed my goal time!

It was definitely an awesome experience! I think everyone should try it at least once. For the mini I would actually suggest running your first one with a buddy. You should both have similar goals in kind, but be willing to have fun too! I wish I would have stopped to take pictures along the way a few times, but felt weird doing that by myself. I think if I did it again I would want to run with a friend.

A few other things I learned:
- the pack never thins out
- you are always either getting passed or passing someone
- always go to the back of the 'pit areas' they are less congested
- it's really really hard to run and drink out of the paper cups
- the pain does go away

This was a fantastic experience and so well run! Seriously the 500 Festival staff and volunteers were awesome! I think I would love to do this again and hopefully with Jeremy or a friend! Although next time I will definitely invest in one of those belts that hold water... Those pit stops and paper cups are no fun!