Monday, December 31, 2007

...and a New Year begins.

I've always had mixed feelings about New Years. As for New Year's Eve, I'd rather be sleeping when the ball drops and I think that has to do with the beginning of 1987 when as a naive 12 year old, I heard that Nostradamus predicted the world's end for that year; I was terrified to no end. I always get kinda "weirded out" about this time of year since then. Yet, the New Year for me is like getting a new notebook...the possibilities are endless on what you can fill it up with. As time goes by, I try hard to change my negative attitude toward the holidays; my old life is past me, and I treasure my new life with my wonderful husband and my little man-child. But for tonight, you can bet that I'll NOT be awake at midnight!

I am the type of person that always has to have something to look forward to, and I must always be prepared for what may happen. Right now, I'm busy with making sure that Sarah will have what she needs to begin her new life. I ordered her car seat/stroller system this morning and I will soon wash and put away her wardrobe, since now it's safe to say she's still a girl. Sarah got lots of presents for Christmas, so that helps me a lot with the whole what-does-she-need (or what do I want) what-is-left-to-buy thing. I'm also packing hospital/babysitter bags for myself, Phillip and Gabe in case we're caught off guard when she finally does decide to make her appearance. If any of you have any suggestions so I don't forget to pack anything, please send them my way. (I realize that I may be preparing a bit too soon, but Gabe made an early arrival...Sarah may do the same.)

This year will bring plenty of new changes for us, and I have some plans for the year as well. Here's a list:
  • Sarah is due to arrive soon. (+)
  • This is NOT a resolution, because we all know how those go, but I do plan on dropping some much un-wanted pounds (+).
  • Gabe will play soccer in the spring. (+)
  • Phillip will be deployed again during the summer. (-)
  • At least a couple of my/our really close friends will be moving away, or going with Phillip on that deployment. (-)
  • To help ease the "blow" of the above mentioned deployment, I plan to take the kids to Louisiana for at least a month during the summer to spend time with family and explore the area (Gabe LOVES exploring...we looked forward to each weekend excursion while Dad was away the first time) and end that trip with the traditional end-of-summer Gulf Shores trip with Phil's parents. (+)
  • We might get to find out towards the end of 2008 if we stay here or move to another post when he comes home. I LOVE Texas, but I'm ready to explore a new area. (+)
  • I can also get to work on planning our next family vacation, which is more of an after-deployment celebration. I'm pretty sure it will be Disney again, which is OK by me! (+)
  • I don't plan to return to work until after Phillip comes home, so travel back home to see family will be much easier for me...though it's always nice to be re-assured that the road goes both ways!
I'm sure as time goes on, I will be able to add to this list. I admit that I am scared, but excited at the same time, of what the year will bring and how I will handle it. But as before, with God's help, and the fortune of having good friends and family...we will be just fine!

Happy New Year, Ya'll!

The holidays are over...

Since my doctor advised me not to travel back to Louisiana for Christmas, Phillip's family came to us. Angie (Phil's sister) and her family arrived on Thursday night, and the rest of the Lopez's got here some time on Friday afternoon.
Here I am, with my 32-week belly and pregnancy spot on my left cheek, presenting Angie and Phillip's mom with a special gift that I made for all the mom's of the family. Judging from their reactions, I think it went over well. My Mom and Step-mom will get theirs later on this week, so I can't spoil the surprise for them, but I think they'll enjoy their gifts too (at lease, I hope so!).
As you can see, there were lots of presents. Our living room was a total disaster area, but I didn't mind a was nice to see everyone enjoying the moment.

On Saturday, while the women went to check out the sales at Hobby Lobby, the men and our niece, Elise, went to see where Phillip works. From left to right are: Phillip, Manuel (Phil's Dad), Greg (Phil's brother), nephews Brigg and Adrian, Elise, and then Gabe.

After a nice breakfast at the Historic Stagecoach Inn in nearby Salado on Sunday morning, everyone headed back home. We were sad to them all leave, because we had such a nice weekend (spending time together, eating some really good food). Gabe was especially sad, since he loves to be around family, but we reminded him that very soon when Sarah is born, we'll have visitors again.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How was your Christmas?

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We did. We spent the morning, opening and playing with our presents, and then we packed up our car and headed out to Rob and Margaret's house for a late lunch/early dinner with them and some other friends (Chris and Christie). We had a really nice time, as it's always nice to be in their company. Right now, the "boys" are playing with the new Wii while I catch up on the computer...

Word must've gotten up to the North Pole that we have a very special stuffed tiger living among us. When we woke up yesterday morning, we were surprised to find a box of candy under the tree for Sassy. The note reads: "From one special animal to another...For: Sassy From: Rudolph. PS. Share with Gabe."

Do you guys know what it's like to have a tiger running around this house with a "sugar high"? Thanks a lot, Rudolph!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to All!

I've mentioned before that my huge collection of Christmas decorations would be complete when I finally get a replica of the lamp from "A Christmas Story". On Saturday evening, we met our friends Craig and Mary at their house and Mary, with a sly look on her face, presented a big box to me. Lo and behold, my much coveted lamp was inside of it! That Mary sure knows how to bring a smile to this girl's face. Thanks again, Mary.

On another note: Craig got to witness what happens when a VERY hungry pregnant woman gets impatient with a waitress that we've seen maybe twice over the course of 25 minutes. When Phillip inquired about my Gyoza appetizer (we were at Nami, our favorite Japanese restaurant) and the waitress looked at him like she had no idea what he was talking about, I snapped and told her in a not so quiet way that I was 8 months pregnant and STARVING! The look of shock and amusement on Craig's face was priceless, as I am normally a "sweet" and polite person.

So, to make amends for my bad behavior, and because this holiday season is supposed to be one of good cheer, I will say that I have not been myself lately; please forgive me if I've been a little grouchy (you can't really tell in my posts, but if you're in my immediate vicinity, you might detect some negative energy) or if I've been on the anti-social side. This pregnancy is wearing me down....

I am ending this post with a most sincere wish that everyone, near and far, has a Merry Christmas. I hope that this New Year brings you positive new changes, and that you continue to walk the path of safety, happiness and health.

May God Bless You All!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Here she is...

Introducing Sarah Evangeline. She's 31 weeks old today. We're biased of course, but we think she's a little beauty. The "thing" partially covering the right side of her face is the placenta and the shadow on top of her head does not mean she has lots of hair, it is actually a shadow. We checked for hair and it looks like she'll be a bald baby, just like her brother was!

I did not realize that my belly was so big; friends say that I've "popped out" recently. The lady who did the ultrasound for us was super nice and very knowledgeable. She explained lots of different things to us. In the above pic, I am watching the whole session on a huge projector screen.

I just love Gabe's reaction. He could actually pick things out on the old-fashioned 2-D images and his face was priceless when we got to the 4-D images.

The very excited, and nurturing, big brother helped me get positioned more on my side while Daddy took pictures. Both Phillip and Gabe had to help me roll over at times to get better viewing angles, since it's kinda hard to move these days. It seems that Sarah is running out of room (her nose is smashed up against the walls of the womb) to grow and I had to get in awkward positions so that there was enough "pocket" to get the proper images. Oh yeah, and in one particular image, Phillip asked if he was seeing her leg and come to find out it's a very chunky little arm. She might be a little butterball!

What a Christmas gift for our little family. Go to the left side of this page and click on photo collection and then Sarah to see the rest of the images taken yesterday (there are about 26 of them). Enjoy and have a great weekend!

PS. Image #10 in the photo collection is her chunky arm and image #19 is proof that she is a girl. For those of you who are not familiar with Shutterfly, you can double-click on the first image in the album to get the option to see a slideshow. Again, enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I love Welcome Home celebrations. As you walk up to the crowd of people waiting, you can feel the anticipation and excitement. Music is blaring as you wait for the announcement that the soldiers have left the airport, and you know that in a few minutes, you will finally see your loved one in the flesh. You get butterflies in your stomach. You hope that you look beautiful to him (though you know you will) and you don't care that he may stink after days of traveling. You try not to cry, though you really want to because the deployment is finally over. Everything that you had to do to keep things from falling apart for the past year, every decision that you've had to make alone, all the times that you got so frustrated over simple everyday life, simply just melts away....because the other half of you is about to get off of that bus. No more worrying, no more loneliness. You feel an overwhelming sense of pride, in yourself for being such a big girl, but most importantly for him. You finally get that much needed hug and life once again goes back to normal.

That's exactly how I felt a little over a year ago, when Phillip came home from Iraq (and to see that look of relief on our son's face was absolutely the best moment of it all). I think it's safe to say that Mary felt pretty much the same way yesterday.

I even started to cry, because it's such an emotional and deeply personal event.  Out of respect for the happy couple, I won't post other pics that were taken. I'll just say that indeed, it was a wonderful day. A husband (and a good friend) came home and I'm glad that we were able to be there for it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I survived.

Lately, I've been blogging about Adasia, Gabe's friend. Well, she and her mom just came over to exchange gifts and say good-bye. I've been dreading it all day, because I figured that someone would start crying. I'm happy to announce that things went well; I think it's because the gifts were a distraction. We promised to keep in touch and tonight, while we're all sleeping, they will make the long drive to the east coast. I'm pretty sure that it will hit Gabe tomorrow, or soon thereafter, that his best playmate/classmate is gone.

On a much brighter note, tomorrow we will attend the Welcome Home ceremony for our friend Craig. Mary and Craig have been our friends since we were stationed at Campbell; they're both from South Louisiana, and they are so much like us. We're so happy that he is coming and sound. It's gonna be a good day.

It's weird how we adapt to military life. Saying hello, saying good-bye. Not knowing what life will bring in the next year or can kinda get to you at times. But hey, what do you do? You keep on truckin'. After all, it's a good life and no matter what, there's always something to look forward to.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm having a major moment here...

Okay, I changed the yellow (see post below). Now what I need is a snazzy little title picture like Beth and Tracy have.

Any volunteers on making one for me? ha ha ha snort

Pardon the Construction

I am having a major prego moment and can't decide what colors I want to do my page in. I thought that black was just getting kinda dark, but you know what? I might go back to it, because I'm thinking that this yellow is kinda weird.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Quick Update

I realize that I tend to ramble on in my posts. What can I say other than I have lots to say? Not today though.

I'm happy to announce that with Gabe's new medication, he no longer "whistles" in his sleep. He no longer sleeps all over the bed either, but actually stays on his pillow like a good boy should. I think he's a lot more rested these days. We're still waiting on the allergist's office to call us with the okay to go in for the shots; the serum mixed and ready, it is not.

As for me, with the new meds that I've been taking, I've slept like a baby for the past two nights! No more wandering the land like a zombie. I think I may be getting my "glow" back! Whooooo hooooooooooo!

And now, I'm off to take a nap! Have a great weekend ya'll.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I want my body back...

Right now, I'm at 29 weeks (7.5 months). People ask me how this pregnancy is different from Gabe's. Well....I'll tell ya.

The above picture was taken this past Saturday; and I just LOVE how I'm looking all matronly, but I guess it could be worse. I'm short, so the prospect of me being one of those long-legged, sleek, not-so-swollen pregnant ladies is out of the window. ( I'm really not liking my haircut these days, but that's a whole 'nother story)

With my first pregnancy, I was stuck in Lower Alabama and missing the dickens out of my husband, because he was away for most of the nine months. I was very fortunate not to have morning sickness and everything went so smoothly until the last two months. Then, I swelled up like a puffer fish! As Gabe got bigger and bigger, he started pressing on my Vena Cava and the fluid in my body was having trouble finding it's way out. It probably didn't help that I was insatiably hungry and would wake up in the night to eat a peanut butter sandwich either. My Ob/Gyn was watching me for toxemia, and was about to put me on bed rest when at 37 weeks to the day, I waddled into his office and threatened someone's life (it could have been anyone at that point) if I didn't give birth in the next week. He heard me loud and clear and a little over 14 hours later, Gabe came sliding out like butter! Let's just hope that anything like this doesn't happen this time (I'm talking about the swelling part).

For this pregnancy, things are different. I wouldn't say it's a whole lot different, but it's just....different. With Sarah, I had nausea and even got sick a couple of times. With both pregnancies, I've been exhausted. I'm definitely more active with this pregnancy, and I'm a lot happier and not so lonely this time. I've been so sick with allergies, name it. I don't sleep well at night, so I try to nap while Gabe is in school. I also crave ice cold water and fruit, but my appetite is no where near what it was with Gabe, so I eat much less. As for the baby, I feel her a lot more. I think she's more active than Gabe was.

I went to see my Ob/Gyn today and he could see (and hear) that I'm having trouble breathing. I love his personality. I used to work with him so I know he's a great doctor; I totally trust him. Anyway, he prescribed some strong antibiotics because he doesn't want what might be in my system to get worse, and he gave me an inhaler for the difficulty breathing. He also told me to slack off on the Allegra D that I've been taking. Sarah has also made her way to the "head down" position and I only gained four pounds since my last visit (which was about 5 weeks ago).

So, we have about 2 months to go, and besides the sickness lately, I'm pleased with how things have been going. Next week, we have a 4-D ultrasound scheduled and I can't wait!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Too cute!

I had to post this picture (taken last Friday afternoon). Gabe's friend, Adasia, lives in our neighborhood and so it's really easy to just get her off of the bus along with Gabe and bring her home for a play date. They play so well together. Here they are, in their imaginary boat watching a movie....and there they stayed for at least a half an hour, resting after a looooong day at school.

School Performance....fa la la la la, la la la la

Gabe had a Christmas Carol performance last Wednesday in the school cafeteria. I admit, I got kinda teary eyed; there's something about watching children sing that just gets me all emotional (that, combined with pregnancy and allergies...I'm can be a total wreck at times!). The last pic is of Gabe and his one of his best friends, Adasia. She's the one that, as I mentioned in an earlier post, will be moving away soon. Oh, I dread it....

Friday, December 7, 2007

Enough is Enough

I don't know if you guys can see the picture above. I took it yesterday with my cell phone, so it's not the best quality. If you look closely, at the lower left of Gabe's back is a big red spot that told us that we could proceed with rest of the 4 rows of numbers (I believe it's 67, total) which represent the allergy skin test that was done on him.

Gabe has had allergies since he's at least a year and a half to two years old. Ever since we lived at Fort Campbell, and maybe even while we were at Fort Rucker, he's had to take an antihistamine EVERY NIGHT. If a dose or two has been missed, he will get sick. Lately, it seems that he's developed a resistance to his meds, and we're constantly giving him nasal decongestants, steam showers etc. to un-clog him. He whistles when he breathes and we've finally had enough! I really don't think he's ever known what it's like to breathe normally. About a month ago, I went to his primary care physician requesting a referral to see an allergist. Though I hate the thought of having to take him in for allergy shots, I cannot just sit there and not deal with the problem either.

So, I made an appointment with a local allergist. They mailed tons of paperwork for me to have filled out and ready for them, and included were the instructions to stop his meds at least 3 days before we do the skin test. Easier said than done. On Wednesday night, I put him to bed and about 15 minutes later, I heard this awful noise coming from his room. I went in to check on him and his whole body was trembling as he struggled to breathe through his nose. I broke down and gave him his medicine, which I knew would most probably mess up the results of the test but....what is a mother to do? I called yesterday morning to tell the nurses at the docs office what I had done, and they told me to bring him in anyway. They told me that I had done the right thing, and that they could do a control test to see if he had enough antihistamine in his body to mess up the skin test. Thankfully, we were able to carry on.

The skin test itself was not easy on Gabe; he tried so hard to be brave, but after the first row of skin scratches, he decided he'd had enough. I ended up having to hold him down for the rest. As we waited about 15 minutes for the results, he went into my purse to get a pen so that he could write something on the disposable tissue sheet on the bed. He asked me to help him write, "This hurts." on the tissue and my heart broke...again.

By the time we'd left the office yesterday, we'd found out that he is allergic to Pine and Mexican Tea Weed specifically. Though he is only allergic to these two things, the doctor does feel that the shots would be a benefit to him, so he will soon have to go in twice a week for at least the first 32 shots, then once every two weeks until I'm not sure when. He will also have to take Zantac at night to help with reflux that goes along with his sinus drainage and Nasonex spray to help clear his nasal passages. Hopefully, he will start to feel better soon.

I realize that we are very fortunate to have allergies as our only health problem. We have friends who have bigger issues to deal with, and they are always in our prayers.

On another note, Gabe really liked the doctor because Dr. X is a train lover (so they had lots to talk about) and had a track that runs along the ceiling of his office. I too, got some information from the doctor about some of my own issues. Time will tell...I have to get done with this pregnancy before I can proceed with anything on my end. And lately, I've been so sick. Stay tuned, I might rant about that soon in another post.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More Evidence

I plan on one day publishing this here web page to keep as a family journal, so I scanned this picture for that reason and to keep on my hard drive (just in case it gets lost or something)...I'll put it in Sarah's keepsake box or better yet, I'll start a box of "See, You really do love each other" momentos for when times get rough between brother and sister.

I found it in Gabe's book sack a few days ago and I assumed that his best friend, Adasia, made it for him. "No, Mom. I made it for Sarah." he said.

He talks about it often....he can't wait to meet his little sister. And I'm pretty sure he'll make a great big brother. For now, he's excited, but he really doesn't know how life is about to change for us. I just hope that adjusting to life with her won't be too hard on him.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I hope you had a good weekend...

We had a pretty laid back kind of weekend over here.

Phillip had the day off on Friday, and so he and I took the opportunity to do ALL of our Christmas shopping from start to finish while Gabe was in school. With proper planning, we had all of it done in two hours! We even had time to hit up a store we hadn't tried yet for a Wii, and totally lucked out; someone had been in the store just 15 minutes earlier to sell his (he needed the money) and we were able to snag it up before anyone else did. Phillip was giddy all day, because he's been looking for over a month....NO ONE in the area keeps them in stock for more than a couple of hours and he really wanted one for Christmas. We also had time to see Beowulf, the movie, before picking Gabe up from the bus stop.

We were supposed to go to Salado, TX this weekend to get our Christmas tree, but it rained all day on Saturday. The weather was so nasty out here that it was a perfect day for another movie. We went on to the nearby town of Copperas Cove to see Enchanted at the Cove Theater. I think everyone enjoyed the movie; Gabe thought it was a little "girly", but he still had fun. We like going to Cove Theater. As soon as you find your seats, a staff member (dressed in some sort of silly costume) takes your snack order; a short skit is performed before the movie begins and then...Showtime! After bringing Gabe to get a much needed haircut, we went home and lounged around for the rest of the day.

Phillip caught the allergies/cold/lung funk that I had during Thanksgiving and all last week, and so yesterday after church, Gabe and I watched Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel, played with play-doh and then hopped onto the computer to play some of our favorite games while Phillip took a nap. I really like playing these games with him, because it gives me a chance to see what he's been learning in school; I can also teach him a few things myself and we are both spending quality time together. (some of these sites are not really meant for teaching and learning, but they're still fun!)

Here are our favorite sites:
1. Noggin
2. Cartoon Network
3. Hasbro
4. Hotwheels
5. Kindersite (my absolute favorite)

We finished off our weekend by going on over to a friend's house (Beth and Abe) to celebrate another friend's birthday (Randy). Luckily, Beth let Phillip stay inside the house with all the other healthy people....

Oh, and if you want the recipe for some killer cupcakes, go to Beth's name on the right side of this page and go to her link for "Best cupcakes ever". They really are the best cupcakes ever!
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