Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chaos [Edited]

Sitting here while the movers pack up my things.
Directing traffic, essentially.
Theo has Tate's and my cold. I feel horrible about that.
He's slept 6 hours straight the past two nights.
Tate doesn't know what to do with the "one man, nudder man" in the house packing.
He is excited to move to Grandma and Grandpa's house though.
Mostly because of Jazzy and Mac (their dogs).
Mark has another job fair today and tomorrow.
There are two jobs he's especially interested in, and they are very interested in him as well.
We love Orion.
That's the company we're using to help find us a job.
If your husband is ever post military job hunting, use them. They are nationwide and do a great job of finding a place that fits you, and they don't try and force you to move to areas you don't want to live. Other companies we've looked into (Bradley Morris, Lucas Group, Cameron Brooks, etc) haven't been so understanding of our desire to stay here.
Anyway, these are my random thoughts for now.
I'm really excited to get this show on the road.

I'm ready to put down roots and know that we won't have to leave in 18 months to 3 years.
I'm ready to buy a house and not fix it up just how I want it only to leave.
I'm really really ready.
Quote of the Day:
Tate: Guess what, Man?! (He called the movers "one man"and "nudder man")
Man: What?
Tate: I tooted.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Baby Theo is eating Momma's belly button!"
Tate is having a hard time understanding the concept of nursing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yay for Christmas!

Ok, so usually I'm not big on stuff like this...I feel like I'm selling something and I'm really a horrible salesperson. You can ask my brother...there's a story about us selling candy bars for a fund raiser in jr. high, and I couldn't sell to ANYONE, and Stephen managed to sell a candy bar to a homeless man, so that tells you how bad I am. Anyway, I want to tell you all about my favorite new thing, swagbucks!

Mark and I are currently doing Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. We love it. We're all about baby steps and 'living like no one else so later we can live like no one else." One way we're doing this is by sticking to a strict budget, saving where we can, and coming up with creative ways to save. Enter Swagbucks. I joined to see what the hype was about, and I love it. You join for free (by clicking on an above link) and just download the tool bar, and use it as a search engine (like google, MSN, yahoo, etc). You earn swagbucks for searching, and then you can redeem them for prizes. Since whenever it is that Mark and I joined (I think October, but it may have been later, I don't remember) we've earned $30 in gift cards! $30 for doing nothing except searching online like we would be doing anyway! So our big plan is to use these gift cards for all the gifts we have to buy...birthdays, Christmas, etc. I'm not sure how much we'll have at the end of the year, but we're working hard to earn our swagbucks, trading them in for Amazon gift cards, and saving them up. We don't do big Christmases (personal choice, nothing against people who do) but we love to celebrate birthdays big at our house, so I am excited to get Tate something fun in August, then start saving again for something fun for Theo in February!

Anyway, if you're not into this kind of thing, please don't hate me for sharing. I just know that the economy is bad right now, and every little bit helps!!

Ok, that's it. I just wanted to share this in case anyone wanted to join.

Love always,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Big Helper

...Apparently Mark doesn't do enough around here, because Tate feels the need to help out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Being Honest

I'm getting a little anxious these days.

Mark has less than 4 weeks left at his Navy job, then we're done.

We've known no other life, so this is huge.
Luckily we have about 68 days to relax, hang out (in Central America, yay!) and figure out where to go from here.
Yes, we're headed (back) to Guatemala! I can't wait.
Mark is going to take language classes, and we're staying with the same family I stayed with while I was there. Then we're going to Nicaragua to work in an orphanage for a few weeks. We are really excited to start off this new life with service and time away from everything. Time to reevaluate and really choose what's important to us.
Mark has done well in the job market, but we don't have anything for sure yet. That's what I'm anxious about. It's scary not knowing what's coming!
I know that it's all going to come together, but it's hard to wait sometimes.
Our orders came in yesterday so we're in the midst of planning our a mere 2 weeks.
OH! And because I forgot to mention it earlier because I was giving birth, I'll share now.
We have renters!
Praise the Lord!
So, that is all for now. Please shoot up prayers for us if you remember. We're fine, really, but we do have a lot going on in the next couple of months.
Thanks, Friends.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My New Normal

Consists of:
This Cutie Pie doing really cute stuff for attention every day

(yes, that is a balloon tied to head phones...he loved it)
This Cutie Pie relaxing and watching (and, no doubt learning) from his big brother.

My new normal is Fabulous!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So, for all you who are interested, here are the specs.

The plan was to induce me on Friday morning because of Blood Pressure issues. The Dr thought it would be better to just get the baby out and move on from there. So Friday morning my mom and I went to the hospital at 7 am, and Mark was planning on getting there around 10-after he checked in at work. Mark's Dad watched Tate, which was wonderful for all of us.

Well, when we got there the hospital lot was FULL, so I thought we might get bumped. We didn't! They got us in a room, my Dr came in to tell us the plan (Cervadyl or something like that) and then we just waited. Finally around 10 a nurse came in to get us started. The medication is like a tampon, and it's used to just soften your cervix, but not actually start labor generally. The protocol is to leave the Cervadyl in for 10 hours, then give me a 30 minute break and then start Pitocin.

We just relaxed during the morning hours, and around 2 or so I started having contractions. I was told that in a small number of cases the Cervadyl actually starts labor, so I was praying for that. The contractions started about 4 minutes apart, and stayed there for a few hours. After dinner and several more nurse changes, the contractions spread out to 8 minutes apart, but they were very strong. Tate came in for a visit, and it was great to see him and play with him for a while. Mark's mom (Vicki) also got there and was able to hang out with us. The plan was that Mark, Vicki and my mom would be there for the birth.

At 8:00 they took out my Cervadyl and I had dilated from 1 to about 3. That was encouraging. I got to shower, eat and walk around a bit before we hit the next phase. My Dad came in for a visit, and then left to get Tate and take him back. They hooked me back up to the monitor and my contractions were very regular, every 1 to three minutes, so they decided not to use the Pitocin! I was very excited and relieved about that. My prayers were most certainly answered.

At that point I chose to have an epidural. I didn't with Tate, but knew that I wanted one this time. I was really nervous about it-it's my nervous system after all, but it hurt really bad, and it was time. The doc came in, and had me sit up for it. As soon as my legs go numb, the doctor says "We have a problem." He didn't elaborate, just, "we have a problem." I was calm on the outside, but my first thought was that I would never be able to walk again. I finally pry out of him that he went through a vein so instead of an epidural I have an IV. He managed to fix it without much stress added to me, so we were back on track. I did get a little sick feeling, but that quickly passed. He told me that the ligaments in my back are as hard as bone, and by my back it seemed as though I had been a dock worker all my life. He asked if I was a jock, I said that I was back in the was nice that it's apparent somewhere in my body that I workout!

Well, after the epidural I was numb and able to relax. We finished watching Fireproof (excellent movie, by the way), and I took a nap. Vicki went back to the hotel to get some sleep, and Mom and Mark also decided to rest. I woke up a while later, (about an hour and a half or so) and was in quite a bit of pain. I asked for more drugs because I was hurting so much (it was about 2 am). At this point my mom and Mark woke up and sat with me again. The nurses decided to check me again, and I was dilated to 9.5! Cecilia's words were "Wow! I'm going to let Mia check you and then I'll give you the good news!" (This was Mia's first delivery). We called Vicki and woke her up, and then just waited. They wanted to let me 'labor down' and wait for my water to break. I waited and waited, and was nicely numb (to the point that I couldn't feel my leg at all, or move it. I was really uncomfortable with this-it's so freaky to feel my leg with my hand, but not feel my hand on my leg).

At about 3:30 Cecilia and Mia decided to have me push to break my water. I asked if they would call the doctor, and they said they would wait until he was crowning. On about the third push my water broke (3:37 am), and I was feeling a lot of pain. They checked it right away, and Cecilia said "Oh, there he is. Mia, call the doctor now-he's crowning." They wanted me to wait to push any more until the doctor got there, and I was able to just lay there for about 2 contractions, then I started sobbing because they hurt so bad. At this point they called in a bunch of nurses (there were 5 in there for Theo's birth) and let me push. At 4:07 am Theodore Stephen Tidrick Stearns entered the world! As his head came out they tried to suction him, but he came out so quick and immediately lifted his head, arched his back and screamed. They put him on my tummy as they cleaned him up and Mark and I were able to talk to him, love on him and enjoy the time together.

Dr. Zapata walked in about 5 minutes too late and said "Well, what happened here?" It was pretty funny. He was the one to stitch me up, and he was able to do that in about 20 minutes and right in the room! Praise God! I think right after Theo was born my words were "Gosh, Mark, I could do this again!" All I meant by that was that it was such a better birth experience than Tate's, much less pain and better care (in my opinion, obviously). I now retract that statement, for the record.

So, I had a third degree tear, which is much better than the fourth degree and episiotomy, from last time. Also the tear was not in the same place. All around much better. Check Spelling

And, now Theo is here. Sorry it's taken me forever to get this posted-I have shorter time increments these days.

Thanks for all your prayers these last 9 months, this experience was so great and I know that's a direct result of the Holy Spirit answering all of our prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Jenni (& Theo!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My New Breast Friend

My 24 hour supply...on top of everything that Theo eats. Each package is 6 oz.
My Medela Pump in Style Saved my Life.

Please, dear friends, don't hold this against me.

Don't see this as a replacement,

but rather, as a temporary 'boost' on my 'top friends'.

This is Patty Pump.

We've gotten quite close these last 24 hours.

So much so that I doubt I would have survived without her.

That said, she won't be around for more than a year.

So, again, don't worry.

Your place on my 'top friends' will be back to normal soon.


Monday, March 2, 2009

What's in a Name?

So, according to strangers, Mark and I are no good at choosing names.
The reason we didn't want to share Theo's name early is because of all of the comments we got about Tate when we shared his name. Here is a sample of what we got:
"Tate? I don't really like that. Have you thought of something else, like George?"
No. We haven't. We like Tate and George is my best friend's Dad's name. It would be strange to name him after my best friend's Dad.
"Hmmm...I'm not a big fan of Tate. It's not very common."
Yes, I know. My name is very common and I'm fairly sensitive about that. In a math class my 7th grade year there were 4 other Jennifer's. There were 27 of us total.
"Tate, like in Tater Tots? I think he'll get made fun of a lot for that."
It builds character, don't you think?
"Oh, is that your last name?...No? His first? Hmmm."
If you're going to have an opinion, you might as well just share it.
And, to be clear, all of these responses were from people that we didn't really know very well. At all. Kind of discouraging, and, at the same time very appalling...who gives you the right to name a stranger's baby? So, when it came time to decide on a name for this baby we chose to not share, thinking that would help. Not so much. Just in our time at the hospital this is what we got (again, from strangers).
"Theo? Like Theodore? That's really old."
Yes, it is. But it's not too common and not too strange. That's what we like.
"Wow. That's...unique."
Nice way of being backhanded.
"Theodore isn't very trendy these days."
In all fairness, I don't think this was a bad comment, but I didn't really know how to respond. You're right. It's not. That's why we chose it.
Tate Jeffrey Duke Stearns: Means Cheerful Peacemaker. We both really liked the name and the meaning. Jeffrey is my Dad's name and we wanted Tate to have a family name.
Theodore Stephen Tidrick Stearns: Means Royal Gift from God. With him being due on my birthday, and being such a huge surprise we really felt like he is a gift. Theodore is also my grandpa's name, and Stephen is my brother. Tidrick is a family name on Mark's side.
We chose our names because they meant something to us. I'm sure everyone chooses their child's name similarly. You choose something you like, for whatever reason, and it's special for you.
I'm happy with our names. I love having a Tate. And a Theo.
Their names mean something to us, and they are special to our families as well.
So, strangers of the world, if you choose to criticize the names of my children, beware. I'm a postpartum mommy who is a little sensitive these days. Perhaps it's the hormones.

But then again, maybe it's just you.