House news, as promised!

Okay, quick update on the bun in the oven...I'm decidedly more achy every day and I waddle like a duck. It's super graceful. That's really about it. Nothing happening, so it looks like we're getting a May baby.

About the house--some of you know this, most of you don't. The end of February we met with our Veteran's Representative, Tamara, from AW2 (Army's Wounded Warriors), who told us about a group of people (Coalition to Salute America's Heroes) who were wanting to help do house repairs for some vets. She asked if we needed house repairs and I jumped all over that. We got a call in 3 days from Morris, who is a contractor for a construction company in Dallas. He and his wife came out that Sunday and introduced themselves as the parents of an Air Force retiree, wounded in Afghanistan. They said that the Coalition had helped their son when he came home and they wanted to give back to the group, so Morris' company was going to help some other vets.

To give you an idea of what we live in--our house was built in 1915. It's a beautiful historic home, but needed a ton of upgrades. The only upgrades done to the house were done in 1955 and they were VERY shoddily done. Allan has done a ton of work on the house, insulating some walls and putting up new sheet rock, etc. Most of what we have accomplished, though, is demolition, because remodeling takes more money and time than we have right now. So, back at the ranch...

Morris came out 2 weeks later to do a full report on the house and what needs to be done. He said that they intend to insulate, update the wiring for the electrical, update the plumbing, replace the windows, put in central air and heat upstairs (we currenly only have these downstairs), and reside the house. Needless to say, we feel more than just a little bit blessed and we were excited at the prospect of being comfortable in our WHOLE house, not just certain rooms.

Then we heard nothing. For the last two months we've been waiting. I've been in contact with Tamara, Morris and the fundraising guy from the Coalition, but no one seems to know anything at any given time. Of course this has been a little nerve-wracking given the circumstances. We haven't finished our bedroom, which we slated to have finished in February, therefore we haven't even STARTED the baby's room, which we figured would be done by the end of March. So we set up everything in my computer room, which is fine, but the windows in there are not sealed properly and there are lots of bugs in there. We were afraid to move forward because we didn't want to end up doing the walls and having the window guys ripping up half the work.

Yesterday on our way home from our totally unproductive appointment, Allan's phone rang. It was Morris. He said that we will have a window contractor, an insulation contractor and possibly a plumbing contractor here tomorrow morning at 8:30am. WOOHOO!! He said the ball is finally rolling again and that there will be a slew of contractors in and out of the house in the next week or so. I am SO thrilled to see what they have planned for our house. I can't wait until we can live in ALL of it, and it will be such a relief to have the entire house at one temperature for the baby.

I know this is going to be stressful--living in an active construction zone for the next who knows how long, but it will be so worth it! So if we could get prayers from everyone for this to go smoothly and quickly and well, that'd be great. I know it's not over till the plastic is on the walls and the nails are flying!


Absolutely no progress!

Well, the midwife gave me the lovely news that I am STILL at 1cm and 50% thinned. She said that she THINKS I might go within the next week, but she can't guarantee it and so we set up a "labor start" appointment for next Tuesday. They will strip my membranes, make us do some nipple stimulation, walk for an hour and come back for monitoring and send us out to do it again. After that they'll send us to the movies so we can sit and see if things will progress. If not, it's a waiting game again. She said she would prefer to do the labor start at 41 weeks as opposed to 42 because she thinks it's just too dangerous to wait that long. I'd have to agree with that sentiment and I'm glad we're on the same page with that.

We have discovered something interesting about this baby's personality--it LOVES Dave Matthews Band. Every time I put DMB in, the baby starts wiggling like crazy. We went to lunch together today, (Allan is on break and officially a senior WOOHOOO!!!), and a DMB song came on and the baby was dancing like crazy. In the car on the way home a DMB song came on the radio and the baby started dancing again. It doesn't wiggle a whole lot these days, (running out of room, are we??), so it's very blatantly obvious that this child already has FANTASTIC taste in music!

We got some awesome news today, but I'll post that tomorrow. I don't think I'll have much pregnancy update tomorrow, but I do want to post lest anyone think I'm birthing a baby, so I will talk about the house in the morning.

Caving In

Well, I think I've officially given up on hope for an April baby. I really wanted a diamond in my mother's ring, too!! Of course, it could still happen, but I'm not holding my breath on it. As it turns out, 2 weeks past the due date my midwives have me set at, (yesterday), is May 12. I have an appointment today, so I'm sure we'll discuss options if it goes on that long. They won't touch me past 2 weeks overdue. I REALLY don't want to be sent to the hospital, so PLEASE, EVERYONE pray this baby shows its face prior to May 12.

The problem with that is--their due date is wrong. As it turns out, they just HAVE to take the date based on LMP, (last menstrual period--mine was a miscarriage), instead of ovulation, (which I happen to know because we were charting), unless the ultrasound confirms the date is more than a week over. Both ultrasounds, (one at 12 weeks and one at 18 weeks), agree with my date exactly. But they won't change my chart because it's not more than 1 week difference. You'd think I'd be thrilled to get 4 extra days to possibly have the birth center birth that Allan and I so desperately want to repeat, but the reality is there are all kinds of complications that can arise once gestation lasts that long. Specifically I'm worried about the placenta being too old or the baby being too big. The last thing I want is to try to labor at the birthing center, have the baby's head be stuck and be transported to the hospital via ambulance for an emergency c-section. If I have to be at the hospital I'd rather start out there!

I know I sound like a nervous nellie, and I am. Believe me when I say that I AM leaving this all up to God, and I know He has a plan for this birth, this baby and this mommy. I'm just nervous about what that plan is! I still feel very calm and pretty good, really. I'm slightly more achy and tired every day, but that goes with the territory. I'm officially carrying around 32 more lbs than I'm used to carrying, so it's to be expected.

So--the great pictures, (not!), you see above, Allan took last night. 40w3d. I had to do something to make myself feel like not such a beached whale. So what do I do? Strip down, put on a swimsuit and beach myself. HAHA. Oh well, they're artsy and there's a BABY in there!! One of the only miracles on this planet that God lets us participate in. :) If you don't like it, be sure to contact PETA. I'm sure they'll take the case.

Hope everyone is having a great day! We love and miss you all!


This is the blog that never ends...

Well, I'm still being blessed with a certain calm, but I'm also still VERY done with all this. I had Allan take another picture last night, thinking, "I couldn't have gotten any bigger..." Uhm...YES, I DID. I hate to even post this, but in the spirit of updating everyone, I will. I'm also including a super cute picture of my Gracie-Girl to offset the "all-kinds-of-scary pregnancy picture."

Nothing much going on today. Allan has his last final of the semester this morning and he's VERY excited to be done! He will officially be a senior at 12:00pm and he's THRILLED because now they will start to work on Prosthetics instead of Orthotics. He says this is what he's been waiting for the last 5 years. I'm glad one of our waits is over! It feels like that's all we do. And in all things He is teaching us patience!

We went to Waffle House last night to escape some of the drama that's been going on around here. We probably shouldn't have spent the money, but we really did all need to get out of the house and enjoy ourselves. GraceAnne ate a TON and, of course, so did the fat preggo lady.

I have another appointment with my midwife tomorrow. Let's hope there's some progression going on. I'd still love to have this baby today...4/28 is a GREAT number. 4x2=8 4x7(my birthday!)=28 Yes, I am a huge dork, but it's a nice number! Gracie is 6/15...halfway through the year and halfway through the month. And even better, she has her own day on the Doyle family calendar. That's next to impossible! I'm not sure if 4/28 is taken or not, but it's still a good number.

Here's hoping and praying, right??


Not yet!

40w2d and not a productive contraction in sight. What's insane is that this little one must be nestled in REAL comfy-like, because other than regular pregnancy discomfort, I'm feeling better now that I was a month ago. Sometimes I forget my belly is there and try to squeeze through a spot I would have been able to get through before we conceived and then bump it, realizing that OOPS...I'm just not that little anymore! I still wake up several times a night to go to the bathroom, and it's painfully obvious at those times that I'm still knocked up, but it really doesn't seem to be as big a deal as I'd like to make it out to be. Maybe I'm getting just a little bit of God's blessing while He makes me wait for this child.

I lied--I'm going to church today. I might hide. I don't think we'll make it for breakfast, but we WILL be there for Sunday School class and we will be there for the service. I might walk outside of the building to get GraceAnne, simply because I don't want to hear that ragged question, ("You're STILL pregnant?!), in fact, any sentence or question with the words 'still,' 'ready' or 'wow' will probably not seduce me into speaking with someone today. BUT--I want to go to church and worship God.

I might make a sign to wear around my neck...I think it should say, "Yes, I am past due. Askers beware...there will be a $1.00 charge applied to everyone who has anything to ask or say about this baby. " Maybe I can make a couple bucks off the deal and go eat some more spicy food tonight. ;)


Another Taurus

Yepp, this baby is about as stubborn as its daddy, I guess. After all that work yesterday, (stripping membranes, squatting, walking like crazy, EPO, RRL, foot/ankle massage, cumin tea, spicy foods, bumpy car ride), I started having REAL contractions around 6:05pm. They were strong and steadily about 10 minutes apart. When I had visited the midwife on Monday she told me to come in IMMEDIATELY upon noticing that my contractions were regular. She said she had a gut feeling she had to tell me that. She even said, "don't you dare get in the tub at home, you get HERE and get in the tub!" I took it as God letting her know this baby would come fast when it was ready to. Well, after 2 hours of 1min+ contractions at 10 minutes apart, I called. She told me to take a bath and go to sleep. WHAT?? We live 40 minutes away!! So I walked. Some more. While we were walking the contractions went to 7 min, 6 min, 6 min and 5 minutes apart. I got back to the house, (we were at a friend's), and sat down to see if they would keep up. No such luck. For the rest of the evening they stayed at 10 minutes apart. I came home and took a bath around 10pm, and sure enough, there they went. *sigh* I was woken up a couple times in the night with them, but nothing regular or serious--just enough to make me pee.

So here I sit this morning, huge as ever, writing to an audience...I hope said audience exists!! Maybe this baby got tired of hearing the midwives tell it that it's due on the 28th and decided that IS the real due date. So much for my dreams of a sheet cake with half Hello Kitty and half Darth Vader! We'll see ya when we see ya, baby. I'm going to continue to take my herbs, but I'm done with trying so hard for a few days. It's exhausting!

On the super plus side, Allan had a great birthday. He drove through a rain storm that he thought was pretty cool. He said it was the "best storm I've seen in Texas!" Then he came home and GraceAnne had gotten him a pretty little dress for the baby and I got him a new spy book, because he just finished his other one in time for this semester to be over. We also made him lemon cream cheese cupcakes, (they were so pretty! See the picture), and we went to Chili's for dinner. We considered a movie, but it was pretty late when we got home, so we just went to bed. No, I'm not going to even talk about what happened in there. This is not a tell-all, just an updater!

Other than no baby...it was a great day! Hope everyone is well and good. We love and miss you all.


Here we go?

I went to my appointment with my midwife and she said I'm currently 1cm dilated and about 60-70% thinned. She went ahead and stripped my membranes for me, (this makes me bleed a little and contract like a mad-woman), and told me to go home, stay hydrated, squat, (I'm doing this as I type), and walk. So after GraceAnne eats lunch, we're going to walk to CVS to get Evening Primrose Oil. She said this is much more effective than the cohoshes and she likes them better for what we want to do. Then she said the most magical words I've heard in a while--"Maybe we'll see you tonight!!" Sounds heavenly to me! Of course this really could still take days, if the baby is not ready, but hopefully we'll still have a birthday present for daddy!

The squatting was prescribed because apparently the bone-against-bone grinding I've been feeling is the baby's head on top of my pelvic bone. Squatting should "pop" baby into place and bring it further down INTO the pelvis so that we'll be completely engaged in the correct position.

On the other hand, I'm beginning to think the idea of laboring alone with a 3-year-old was a very assenine thing to "plan." I'm very sore at the moment and my patience is thin. Luckily I have a very understanding, loving daughter, so hopefully we can meet in the middle. In the meantime I'm praying for patience and peace and counting the hours until Allan comes home...t-minus 3 hours until he'll be here to help! YIPEE!!

I still have my massage scheduled and the way I'm feeling now, I think a serious nap will be in order after that. I'm sure 'exhaustion' is my new middle name for the next few months.

Set 'em all up to watch them fall down!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREATEST HUBBY IN THE WORLD!!!! I love you, SOO much and I hope you like your gluten-free cupcakes and I hope I can give you the present we've been working on for the last 10 months! If not, accept my apologies and the book I gave you 2 weeks early, "just in case" :P

Today is the day this baby receives its official eviction notice and therefore we must kick out the big-ger guns. I'm still taking red raspberry leaf, (for those not in the know, this strengthens and tones the uterus to make it easier for my body to push that little sucker out), and today I see my favorite midwife at 10am. I'm going to talk to her about the blue and black cohoshes that Allan brought home for me, (those make contractions happen!), and see if maybe she'll strip my membranes. Yes...that sounds fairly gory and I'm sure it is a little weird, but that is also supposed to kick-start labor. This is not something I ever would have considered before, but at 40weeks exactly, I'm done. Hopefully so is baby, but it WILL be a Taurus just like its daddy, so we'll see how much provocation it takes from me. Stubborn turds!

Yesterday we moved lots of furniture in our room and that got some good contractions going, but nothing that lasted, as usual. So I've got a foot/ankle massage scheduled today so we can try to hit some acupressure points that will supposedly induce contractions, too. I'm not sure what else I can do at this point. Even with all these plans, it's still up to God when this baby comes. I don't want to get too serious with castor oil and other nasty things like that, because I don't want to have a stalled labor. If baby isn't ready, baby's not ready. I won't be trying anything that would definitely put us into active labor, (read: pitocin or any other synthetic drug).

So just put us on your prayer list for today, PLEASE! And hopefully I won't be around to blog tomorrow morning. Don't worry, everyone WILL get phone calls when the baby shows its face and we will definitely post some pictures when it happens.

Speaking of pictures...I don't have a 40 week picture yet, but I do have a picture of me at 39w6d in our new chair! (THANKS TRISH!!!) I'm so excited to have a recliner :D We haven't had more than a couch and our beds ever, so this is a big step for us. HAHA


A hopeful new day

Now I know that yesterday's posts probably make me sound like a hormonal, cynical, amateur comedienne...so I got a little bit convicted and decided to make today a more positive day. Yes, I'm nervously, anxiously and not-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of this new blessing, but I'm not blind to the blessings I currently have, either.

Like being able to sleep--maybe not ALL night, but mostly--right next to my husband. Yes, there's a belly between us, but it's kinda like a little secret just for us. Only we know the baby. It lives in its silent world of water and lets us know its there with its kicks and twists.

Or like being a mother to only 1 precious child. For a few more days I'm totally GraceAnne's. I've been trying to keep her cuddled up and loved on for the last week or so. She tells the baby every morning it's time to come out and prays for the baby to come today. I've spent so long trying to project her future role as big sister in my head, (she's gonna be a great one, by the way!!), that it's been nice to simply enjoy her as an only for a few days. She's such a good girl, and I know that this new child will have its own endearing qualities and will cause my heart to grow 2-fold, but there's only one Gracie-Girl and she's mine! Thank God!

The quiet is fantastic, too. Right now I drop GraceAnne off at school and I come home to do whatever it is I do, (okay, typically nothing...), and it's so peaceful. I used to hate that noise (yes, silence can be a noise!), when I was younger. I hated to be alone and not doing anything. It's so powerful and necessary to me now. Hopefully I can train myself to look at my bible more often during these quiet times. It won't be long until there will be another child vying for my attention and drawing me away from the silence.

I took myself out to pancakes this morning at IHOP. I had to go to the bathroom, (duh--it had been 10 minutes!!), and while I was washing my hands a very nice older lady asked me when my baby was due. I told her tomorrow and she started to beam. She told her friend that my baby was due tomorrow and her friend smiled and said, "your last big day out by yourself!" I told her I sure hope so. As much as I love all of the blessings this life holds while I'm the closest to a miracle I'll ever get, I can't wait to meet my new child and see what new blessings unfold in the days, months and years to come.

Here's hoping for a birthday present for Daddy!! :)


The Survey Says:

I have talked to my midwife and she has given me the go-ahead on a couple of herbs I've been reading about that are rumored to bring on contractions. I'm probably going to try to start tomorrow. Of course, we all know the old adage--"You tell God your plans and then He laughs." I guess I'm just the butt of a big joke right now.

I was supposedly 1cm dilated and 60% thinned, but that has now changed to "closed and long" and I will "probably be feeling the way I feel for several more days." Anyone who has been pregnant knows that this is about the worst news you can get at 39 weeks 5 days gestation and several more days feels like millenia.

Other than feeling VERY anxious to have this baby, I feel alright. Physically this pregnancy has been MUCH easier than GraceAnne's. I'm not numb in half my body, I'm not being battered internally and I don't have to take a dump every 5 minutes. I am, however, officially more pregnant than I have ever been. Miss GraceAnne decided she was fed-up with me at 39w2d, so I'm not sure where to go from here.

Emotionally this pregnancy has been much harder. Of course, we're more settled into our lives now than we were with Gracie, but the hormones have been killing me almost since day 1. They've only gotten worse and I cry or scream at the drop of a hat. I'm terrified that this labor and delivery will not go as well as GraceAnne's did. I'm scared of the baby being too big or meconium in the waters or being transported to the hospital. There are a number of things I'm scared of, really, but I'd prefer to not manifest them through words and will instead just ask for prayers. Peace would be fabulous right now!

I've been playing around with herbs, acupressure and I hope to get a foot and ankle massage soon. Anything safe and natural to get the ball rolling on my end will be tried.

I hope all is well with everyone. I love and miss you all, (and myself!!), and I hope to be normal enough to talk soon without being able to re-write, edit and censor myself. ;)

In response...

**disclaimer**this blog is entirely tongue-in-cheek. If you are easily offended, please don't read it. I'm trying my best to keep in touch, because I want to, but I'm having a hard time handling phone calls and the same comments/questions over and over without tears. I hope this makes you laugh and gives you enough of an update to please you. **disclaimer**

I decided to start this in response to some phone calls I've been getting and comments I get when I'm out and about these days. I'd like to answer some common questions and keep everyone informed, as well. Here goes:

Yes, I am definitely a hormonal pregnant woman. I have always been a hair sensitive to hormones and those that accompany pregnancy seem to grip me by the throat and shake me around violently, causing me to be less than a stellar friend, wife and mother. I try, please believe I try. If you are victim to my hormonal imbalance, please accept my apologies in advance.

Yes, I am happy, despite my hormonal rages. We are thrilled to be welcoming our newest member to our home, HOPEFULLY SOON.

No, I have not "had that baby yet." My daughter can confirm this for you, because she asks every single morning. She has also been praying every morning for our newest arrival to show his/her face. I think this is the most comforting thing I've encountered and if you all can pray for the same, I'd appreciate it.

Yes, I am "still pregnant." See the picture for proof of this answer. My husband would definitely let you know if I were not still pregnant, as I'm sure he's ready for it all to be over, too!

Yes, I know what kind of nocturnal bedtime Olympics can induce labor. If it can be done and done naturally, I have tried it. I will not be giving in to castor oil, however. No, none of my methods has worked yet, didn't work when I was pregnant with GraceAnne, either.

Am I nesting? Well, if that includes the strong urge to sleep, sit on my butt and eat whatever comes close to me while being totally PO'ed that my house is a wreck--Yes. I am nesting. If that means I should have super-human energy and strength and my baseboards are scrubbed, then the answer is No.

Why yes--my belly really has popped! I'd suspect that by week 39 it should have done that, but thank you for the observation. I feel like a huge cow, so please no comments on the "all baby" "baby in the butt" or anything containing the words "huge" "big" "enormous" or "monstrous." Please do not find a thesaurus to look up clever words that mean the same...I will probably be less than impressed at your attempt to be humorous at this time.

I am officially due April 25th, (read: Friday...Allan's birthday), and I surely hope we have a baby on that day. Until then I'm probably not going to answer my phone or go into public at all. After then, if there is still no baby, I will definitely not be answering my phone or going into public!


Our Travels

Keep and eye out here for where we've been and where we're going!

June 2013-move from Kansas to NY via route outlined above (day 1 post, day 2 post, day 3 post, day 4 post)
June 2013-Boldt Castle in 1,000 Islands region
July 2013-Niagara Falls
Aug 20-From NNY to Kansas for Dr appt via PA, OH, IN, IL & MO.  Back home by same route Aug 23 (blog post)
Sept 2013-Poconos, PA for family get together & New Jersey for Gluten Free Expo (blog post)
October 2013- Philadelphia, PA for Moms Meet WOW Summit (blog post)

Our Sponsors

Sample green products with other moms

Maker of green shoes & custom clothing
Keep your family healthy naturally with essential oils

We are currently working on procuring sponsors for our trips.  Sponsors are offered ad space on this blog, ad space on our vehicle and/or special blog posts.  If your company is interested in becoming a sponsor, please CONTACT ME.  Put "Running Down a Dream Sponsor" in the title of your e-mail so that I can rescue it from the spam box when it comes.

Sponsors we are interested in:

Gluten-Free (3 of the 4 of us are gluten intolerant)

And I'm sure we can talk about many other things.  Please keep in mind this is a family blog.

Who are We?

We are a family of 6, missing our big sister and Daddy for right now.  Those of us left are:

Tara: mom, teacher, chauffer, blogger, planner, chef, etc.

GraceAnne (9): daughter, big sister, 4th grader, helper

Violet (5): daughter, big sister, little sister, Kindergartener, encourager

Corbin (3): son, little brother, Kindergartener (leniently so), adventurer, brony

Our family's goal has been to be a self-sufficient, organic farm family.  We love to garden and raise animals.  Our "farm" has consisted of many crops (small gardens in both Texas and Kansas), ducks, chickens, crazy dogs and longhorn cows.  We have spent years prepping ourselves for living off the land, attending classes and reading countless books.  When we found 7 acres in Kansas, we thought our time had come, but after just 6 months there, Daddy's job changed.

When we found out that Daddy would have to go to Afghanistan, we considered our options.  The home we were in (in Kansas) was too big for us to care for on our own and staying would mean missing out on the last few months of Daddy before he leaves, so we sold everything we owned except what we could fit into the back of our 1996 Chevy Suburban:

and a 5x10 storage space:
and set out for a new life!  We are currently in Northern New York (summer here is fab!), but when Daddy deploys in October, our plan is to travel the country, road-schooling and finding adventure until he comes back.  Join us on our adventures, be inspired, go have some of your own and tell us all about them.  We love to read other blogs!