What am I thankful for?

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I feel like a giant cop-out cuz we're going to our pastor's house instead of actually cooking. To be fair, they did ask me to bring a turkey and stuffing. Cop-out again because the stuffing will be stove-top this year. With 2.5 weeks to go until our due date, I'm too tired to really concentrate and I'm definitely too tired to clean it up afterward! For the record, every year since I left home I've made a huge dinner for whoever I can. We invite anyone who doesn't have a place to go and I typically start cooking 3 days early. Everything is from scratch and SO TASTY! Maybe next year I'll get back on track. LOL

So what am I thankful for this year? This will get long. I intend for it to be that way. The more we count our Blessings, the less yelling there is, the less grumpy days there are...it's wonderful.
-that we are no longer living in our guest house
-that our house actually looks like a home and we're putting pictures up on the walls after 3.5 years
-that Allan graduated from school after 5 long years and 2 cross-country moves
-that he got the residency he wanted at the VA
-that even though this isn't what we thought it would be, it's stretching us and teaching us
-that we're expecting our 4th child
-that he's a boy! the girls are SO EXCITED! he will be spoiled rotten!
-that God is *slowly* turning me into the mom I would like to be, (so as not to bust me, I suppose!)
-that we found a church to call a home and a group of people to call a church family
-that I've found my ministry--cooking for the kids on Wednesday nights!
-for the 3 girls I already have and the beautiful young ladies they are growing into
-for my fabulous husband who is never disappointed, but continually thrilled with my growth
-for a new relationship with my little brother
-that Allan got his Segway and we are going to use it at the mall, Christmas shopping with GraceAnne on Saturday
-that even though the economy sucks we get to have a comfortable Christmas
-for Dave Ramsey
-for my mom and sisters, who drive me nuts, but I love them and miss them like crazy
-for our pretty ducks who give us 2 eggs per day (I haven't had to buy eggs in months!!)
-for our lovely backyard with the huge pecan trees
-for the Weds night bible study which has caused me to read EVERY day instead of just once in a while...amazing how much I've learned in the last couple months!
-for the chance to witness to people
-that in 23 days we will have all four of our babies under one roof!
-that I don't have to cook this year!!
-that this week the girls have been off of school
-that the hospital seems slightly open to "my way" of giving birth
-that my doctor has finally stopped harassing me about "his way" of giving birth
-that we get to have a doula with us for the labor
-for my great friends here in town who call just to say "what's up?" or stop by for movies and popcorn
-for my stupid, old, crappy car that I don't care if gets messed up by the kids cuz it's stupid, old and crappy--but it gets me where I need to go!!
-for my sweet 5-year-old who is singing praise songs in the dining room while she patiently waits to decorate gingerbread cookies
-for my sweet 19-mo-old who is standing next to me sucking her thumb and loving on her baby doll
-for my sweet 13-year-old step-daughter who is more of a joy to me than I let her know and still has the gumption to love me whole-heartedly
-that my children all love to give and share with others
-that my computer pooped for 5 days and I realized that despite being a bit of an inconvenience, my life really is better without it.

Truly, there is so much more, but I really need to get on this cookie decorating thing. I hope you all have a fabulous holiday and that you all have more Blessings than you can count. We love and miss you all!


Public Service Announcement

**this post will probably be a hair more graphic than most of the ones I've written in the past, but it needs to be put out there**

To my loving OB.

For your information, I am not a vagina with legs. (Furthermore, if I *were* a vagina with legs, I would still be DIFFERENT from every other vagina with legs that you look at on a regular basis). I am actually a human being with my own feelings and belief system. I'm sure that in your umpteen years of baby-catching you've seen some crazy and even disastrous situations, but I'm willing to bet, from day-to-day, your job is fairly boring. It boils down to this as why...


I'm sorry if that upsets you to the point that you have to make snarky comments to me, but I'm really okay with it. In fact, it comforts me that I don't have to leave the most basic and natural of "bodily functions" completely to someone else. So for the record:

1. You do NOT need to cover your own butt by putting a hep-lock in my hand. If there is an emergency I will be perfectly still and I happen to have FABULOUS veins for sticking.

2. I do NOT need a bag of fluids *just in case.* On the contrary, I will be drinking just as much water as I need to consume. I know my body better than your needle does.

3. You do NOT need to give me a shot of pitocin when it's all over to get me to birth my placenta *just in case* No...I just birthed a baby and I think I can handle the placenta on my own, too. In fact, I've done it twice before.

4. Your hospital does NOT have to take my baby away from me for 2 hours. And let me just say very vehemently it will NOT HAPPEN! It will NOT be a welcome break after the "trauma" of birth, nor will it be an opportunity for anyone to look him over. Anyone who wants to look my son over can come into my room and do it with me there.

5. Your hospital does NOT need me to stay for 12-24 hours afterward. I'm going to eat, drink and pee 2x and then I'm out. I have children at home who are MUCH more lovely to me than the nurses and staff at the hospital.

I understand that all of these things are precautionary measures to be sure that no one can sue the pants off of you. I also know they are placed under the guise of the medical community actually giving a rat's behind about me and my son. Let me let you in on a tiny secret, though...


I could *almost* understand if I was some idealist first-time mom who had no clue about childbirth, but I am on my 4th pregnancy and 3rd live-birth and I would like to say that qualifies me, (because I have made it a qualification by reading and researching, not just for the simple fact that I've popped babies out), to know exactly what I need and want from you. Last I checked MY insurance company will be cutting YOU the check, which makes ME the boss in my own healthcare.

I am sorely disappointed by the medical community in this pregnancy, (I suppose that's obvious??). I have had two completely natural, (no hep-locks or anything, *GASP!!*), childbirths and I would like to do it again. Does that *really* make me crazy? Does that *really* qualify people to make stupid comments to me? I'm not in denial. I'm aware the 5 percent of pregnancies end in emergencies. Just let me have a little faith in the Lord that He's brought me this far and He will continue to provide just the type of birth I want.

Do I want hands-off care? No. I'd like to be doted on, talked to, etc. But I do want to be LISTENED to and when I ask you to take your hands off of me, PLEASE DO SO.

Alright...I've rambled enough. I have to drop the kids off at school. I want everyone who doesn't already know this to realize that this is YOUR body and YOUR birth. Barring any serious complications, they CANNOT do anything to you that you don't want them to. Women have been giving birth for millennia and most of that was before the medical community descended upon childbirth like a bunch of vultures. Your body was DESIGNED to give birth. It's as natural as pooping for us. I am in major appreciation for what the medical community has done to increase the odds of those who need them, but speaking for the rest of us, LEAVE ME ALONE!!!


So grateful and so undeserving....

Happy Veteran's Day to my totally awesome husband! Yes, I'm a hair late, but I've been out of town and trying hard to kick this computer habit. For Veteran's Day we were in San Antonio because the physical therapists at BAMC suggested he apply for a Segway back in June. He did and he got accepted along with 35 other disabled veterans with mobility issues. They told us 2 weeks ago he was accepted and that they'd be paying for our travel, hotel and all food. We got to stay in the 100 year old Sheraton-Gunter hotel. Only 3 blocks from the riverwalk!
GraceAnne can never get enough of the ducks. You'd think they'd get old since we have 3 in our back yard, but nope. She loves them more than ever. Honestly, I think they're one of my favorite animals, too. We walked around the riverwalk on Tuesday while Allan did his training on the Segway. We saw lots of pretty stuff and took a riverboat ride.

here's the boat!
That evening Allan and I took the girls to the Children's Museum. It was awesome fun!

He's as big a kid as they are!!
They took us to Ruth's Chris steakhouse that night. We were nervous about having the kids there with us, and it was a little nerve wracking, but mostly it was awesome.

Not often I actually get makeup put on...maybe I should do it more often. Figured steak was worth a little effort. HAHA
Here's our fancy table.
Wednesday Allan actually got to keep his Segway and Violet loves the helmet. She thinks hats are awesome.
Allan on his Segway.

They had a ceremony to present all the Segways to the vets. It's so neat to see all the history in San Antonio.
Here is the famous part of the Alamo. COOL!
Allan accepting his Segway. This organization is called Segs 4 Vets and they're amazing people! The entire organization is non-profit right on up to its president...no one gets paid a dime--every penny donated goes to getting vets Segways.
This thing is going to be amazing for us. Allan had a SegVator installed on his truck so we can cart it around. He rode it to church and took back our movies on it yesterday. We can't wait to take it to the zoo or the mall or somewhere else we avoid because Allan's leg bothers him after a mile.
Like I said earlier, 35 vets were awarded this time around. In the last 3 years they've given more than 400 Segways away. The humility of these men blows me away and I'm humbled by them. I was glad to get to spend time with them and wish we could have thanked them each individually.