Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm shedding eyebrow hairs

I suppose it's high time for an update. Will is growing like a weed. He's now in 3-6 month clothing and has grown six inches since birth. Even so, he's in the 18th percentile for weight (definitely nothing new on my side of the family). He's recently started to roll over and seems surprised every time he succeeds. His eyes get wide and he kind of freezes in an awkward position until we smile at him and reassure him it's a good thing that he's learned to do this. He also loves to babble; especially to the animals on his sheets when he wakes from his naps. His ability to sit up is really coming along and I think we may be approaching the wonderful milestone of sleeping through the night.

He had his 4 month appointment this past week, which went very well. Vaccines are next week, unfortunately. Never fun to watch the poor little guy get poked. Andrew and I have enjoyed so much watching him become more and more aware of his surroundings. Sometimes you can just see those wheels turning when he's playing with a toy or listening to us talk to him. Although it's a bit early, we like to enforce "Mama" and "Dada" as often as possible. Hey, you never know! For me, his little laugh is the best part of my day. I completely underestimated how happy it would make me just to hear my little boy cackling and having fun. Much different from when he was a newborn and I was never exactly sure how he was feeling at any given moment except when the crying clued me in.

We are counting down the days until we get to go to Philly for Christmas. Will and I will be leaving on the 18th and Andrew will be coming a few days later on the 22nd, which is the first day he is allowed to leave. I'm anticipating a bit of a difficult trip there since we'll be stopping in San Jose, Phoenix and then flying into Newark to face the drive back to Philly. Definitely not ideal, but the cheapest way to go. Thank goodness for my sweet parents who are willing to pick us up at Newark at 11 o'clock at night. I'm sure there will be some fussy times with Will and we'll both be exhausted by the end of the day, but overall he's a real trooper whenever we have to drag him around places. His one hatred has become his car seat. As soon as he feels those straps click into place it's panic in the streets. It makes me miss when driving around the block used to be the only way to get him to calmly go to sleep.

We'll be staying in Philly until January 2nd. I'm especially looking forward to Will finally being able to meet my two brothers and their families. It's so fun to think about him running around playing with his cousins in just a few short years. We also be having him baptized on New Years Day at my church. And who better to baptize him than his very own Papo?

Some exciting news in our family - Andrew recently got promoted! He is now an E-4 and will be having his frocking ceremony next Friday to get his crows. I'm so proud of him and so blessed to have such a hardworking husband. Speaking of which, he was able to attend the Seahawks-Eagles game recently here in Seattle and help perform the opening ceremonies. He'd been talking about trying to get to that game for months, so I was excited for him that being in the military paid off! Apparently, service members are treated well around there. Him and a friend were able to jump in front of a long line of people outside a local Seattle bar and were given drinks on the house. It's nice to see people showing their appreciation for our guys.

"What ever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord." Colossians 3:23

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I hope you don't mind that I put down in words... wonderful life is now you're in the world.

Corny, but true. Our sweet little boy was born on July 28, 2011. The day before (Wednesday) I had gone to the doctor for my 40 week visit (I would be 40 weeks that Friday). He checked to see if I'd made much progress and, to my complete disappointment, I hadn't. He told me he guessed I would need to be induced at 41 weeks, so we got that all scheduled and planned on being back there in about 9 days. 

That evening I decided to take an extra long hard walk just to see if that might make a difference. I had been taking walks pretty regularly, but they got more intense as I started losing my patience to meet our baby. I went to Trident Lake on base and walked around it 4 or 5 times. I remember thinking it was hurting more than usual to walk and I had the feeling that there was a bowling ball between my legs. By the time I got home I collapsed on the couch and complained to Andrew about how sore I was. This was one of our last nights of just hanging out before he went back into the wire to stand posts, so we stayed up until 1 AM or so just watching TV and talking. I remember waking up at 3:45 AM and realizing that I had been dreaming that I was having contractions. It turns out, I actually was. I wasn't positive it was the real thing at first because I had had so many BH contractions and was never sure what to take seriously. I went to the bathroom, came back to bed and woke up Andrew to tell him that I was feeling a lot of pressure and we might need to go to the hospital. He'd heard me say things like that a million times before, so I can't blame him for not taking me too seriously. He told me to let him know and rolled over and went back to sleep. Not 10 minutes passed before my water broke and I flipped the light on to tell him it was definitely time to go. I think he was more flustered than I was at first.

Overall, labor couldn't have gone better. It was long, but I expected that and I ended up being so grateful for the epidural. One of the first things the hospital staff told me was that my contractions would be more intense since my water already broke. After 10 hours of dealing with the pain and finding out I still had 4 or 5 cm to go, I decided I needed to get some rest before it was time to push. Thankfully, the epidural didn't seem to slow anything down and I was complete before the pitocin even started to take effect. I pushed for about an hour and William Andrew Matthews came out at 10:52 PM, happy and healthy. Well, maybe not that happy, but definitely healthy! 6 lb. 10 oz. 19 in. long. 

Since then we've been a happy little family of three. Of course, there have been some times we've wanted to pull our hair out, but that comes with the territory. We had a little scare last month when Will had a fever and had to be admitted to the hospital for four days. Everything turned out fine, but those four days were stressful. They had a very hard time finding veins where they could draw blood and place his IV, so he had to get stuck by needles roughly 15 times. I'll never forget how hard that poor baby cried. He ultimately had to get his IV placed in his head and had to have a spinal tap as well. I was so happy to get him home and am still thanking the Lord that there was nothing seriously wrong with him.

In other news, we found out that our orders here have been extended two years, which means we'll be here until April of 2014 instead of September of 2012, as we originally were told. Our initial reaction was disappointment, but God gave us peace about it since this was clearly Him telling us where we need to be right now. I'm very grateful for a husband who saw the bright side of things and was able to pass those feelings along to me when he delivered that news. Silverdale would not be our first choice of places to live right now, but it's really not about what we want. I know God will bless us here and there are many good reasons to stay, especially with Will in the picture now. 

Will and I are going to start attending a Bible Study Fellowship program through our church. I'm really looking forward to meeting some young christian moms and maybe even finding some future friends for Will, now that I know we'll be here longer! I'm trying hard not to be the paranoid, obsessed mother who is afraid to drop her baby off in the nursery, but, I have to admit I'm failing. The bible study is only a couple of hours, so I know he'll be just fine. The worry that comes with having kids really catches you by surprise.

Our one year anniversary is coming up this Sunday and sweet friends of ours are coming to babysit Saturday night so that we can go out for the first time without Will since he was born. It will be some much-needed time to spend together without spit-up on our shoulders.

Oh, and the cats are good, don't worry.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Yes, I'm still pregnant

39 weeks and one day and still no baby! I've been seeing signs that could mean it'll be soon... or not. We'll just have to see. I have a scheduled induction for August 5th or 6th (most likely the 6th). I'll know next Wednesday at my appointment for sure. I'm really praying hard I won't have to be induced since there are so many drawbacks to taking that road. Obviously, as long as he's safe and happy then I'm happy, but it would be so much better if my body could just go into labor naturally without having to go through all the medication and interventions that are involved in inductions. The only happy thing about being induced is that would mean my mom and dad would be here for the birth since they arrive on August 5th! So fun. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the last few days of just Andrew and I. Funny to think we've had 10 months of our marriage alone and we'll be at least 40, probably more, the next time it's just the two of us again. God has crazy plans that I never would have guessed in a million years. But they're perfect!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"For I know the plans I have for you..."

Make a list of prayers, worries, practical things you need, etc. and put it aside for a few months. Then look back and see how God has answered them. It's really amazing and a good exercise in humility. I made a list months ago when we first found out we were pregnant of practical items we would need for the baby, house and other things. I remember having a lot of anxiety that we wouldn't be able to get everything we needed in time and it was extremely hard for me to put that list in the Lord's hands. I just got finished looking over that list and realized that God has provided almost every single item one way or another. The couple things we haven't received are not near as important as I thought at the time and we are just fine without them. I have no idea why I insist on worrying myself sick instead of just trusting the Lord to take care of us. He always does.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Patience is a virtue

We are SO grateful that baby is doing well. He probably weighs a little over 5 lbs. now, which is small for gestational age, but that's what we expected! His abdomen and femur measure just fine and he is growing beautifully. Now that I am full term (37 weeks and 3 days) it is getting very difficult to be patient. So right off the bat, that's now our main prayer request. I've always had a very hard time waiting for exciting things like this and trusting the Lord's timing. It's so hard not to get excited and turn that into frustration that he's not here yet, even though it's still plenty early. It's also difficult for me mentally because I've been having pretty regular contractions which never turn into real labor. So I have to talk myself into believing that they're probably nothing every time they start and just wait until they get painful enough that I know they are the real thing.

But enough whining - we are SO happy that our sweet little guy will be here within the next few weeks and God will bring him at the absolute perfect moment. His birthday is set in stone; we just have to wait for it! And everything is ready for him! Car seat installed, diapers in the drawer, onesies all washed up, etc. :) It's so fun to watch Andrew get pumped to be a daddy as I'm also looking so forward to finally being a mommy. That's what I've wanted ever since I can remember. I get anxious and nervous about it from time to time, but I know the Lord will show me what to do every step of the way just like He always has. It's easy to start thinking that we're on our own with this whole parenting thing, but He always reminds me that I can do nothing apart from Him. That's so comforting to know right now.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalm 139:13-14

"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things."
Ecclesiastes 11:5

"For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."
Romans 8:24-25

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Doc Appointment

A quick little update:

Had a doctor's appointment yesterday that went well except for a couple issues. Apparently, on the last ultrasound I had a couple weeks ago, the baby's femur and abdomen circumference measured quite small for gestational age. This could just be the way he is, but it could also signal some problems with the placenta or another unknown issue. In my second trimester ultrasound he was 50th percentile and he's now dropped to 17th percentile, which concerned my doctor (and Andrew and I). So the next step is I'll be having another ultrasound tomorrow morning to see if he is still small and showing signs of not growing like he should. If that's the case, a few things may come of that. Probably more tests to see what's going on with the placenta, possibly delivering at another nearby hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit (the naval hospital does not have one) and most likely coming in twice a week until delivery to be monitored for 20 minutes or so to make sure the baby is still doing alright.

It's funny, when I used to hear about other parents dealing with little issues like this throughout their pregnancy, I was sympathetic, but a part of me often thought they were just being paranoid. I've discovered it's completely different when it's your own kid. Even if there is a 1% chance that they might not be alright, it's hard not to focus on that 1% and want to demand the attention of every doctor in the area to figure out what's wrong. Prayers for me (and Andrew, but this is more my department) to stay worry-free and trust the Lord on this would be appreciated. Also that the doctors can figure out what's wrong, if anything, quickly.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Children are a blessing from the Lord... remember that at 3 AM."

All three of us are still doing well, although we've made quite a few trips to the labor deck over the past few weeks. I've had some pains and strange symptoms that the nurses have been concerned enough about that they've wanted me to come in to get them checked out. A few visits have resulted in putting me on antibiotics, but I've mostly left with instructions to rest and drink as much water as humanly possible. We had a moment of concern yesterday when the baby's heart rate dropped too low during a contraction, but they continued to monitor him and he looked completely fine. So, we're thankful for a healthy baby, but I'm definitely getting more impatient to pop this guy out!

Andrew and I are going to a Phillies/Mariners game tomorrow, which should be so fun. Obviously, Andrew is much more excited about seeing the Phils than I am, but I'm also very aware of the fact that this will probably be one of our last times "out on the town" just the two of us for a long time. :) Plus, I haven't been to a baseball game in years!

Andrew did survive his camping trip with all of his buddies last month and I had a wonderful time in Charlotte seeing Jared get married! It was also so great to see some family members that I hadn't seen in so many years. I got lots of good time with my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and Joel and his family. The hardest part is always saying goodbye, especially to those I know I won't see for a long time. Being away from family is always a difficult thing, but the thought of our little boy being away from his grandparents, aunts and uncles is a little much sometimes.

Happy Father's Day to the best dad there is AND Happy Birthday to the best nephew there is! I can't believe he's going to be 4!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Babies having babies

Well, I am closing in on 30 weeks pregnant and still feeling good! I've had some minor issues here and there, but our baby is checking out healthy at every appointment and must be studying to be a kick boxer. He likes to wait until I've settled down to sleep for the night to show off his moves - a habit I hope he breaks once he's out of the womb. No high hopes on that though. :)

Our nursery is finally painted and we've been gathering most of the items we'll need for the little guy, thanks to generous gifts from our friends and family! I've had a blast putting everything together. Andrew laughs at all of my lists floating around the house - things we need at the diaper station, best ways to get babies to sleep, things to bring with us to the hospital, etc. I do like to be prepared! Some may say having all of the baby clothes and blankets washed and ready to go 10 weeks early is a bit excessive, but it makes me feel better. It also makes everything feel a little more real. We both have to remind ourselves occasionally that we're going to have a real live baby in this apartment soon.

I'd really like to have a natural birth if I can. I was all about epidurals for the first few months because I was under the impression that the only reason to refuse an epidural is pride. And I have none of that. ;) But after speaking with a few people and doing a little research on my own there are quite a few benefits to going all natural. I'm preparing myself for the fact that they may suggest an epidural and, obviously, if it's in the best interest of me and the baby then I won't refuse that. My main prayer is that I won't have to have a C-section because of my small figure or any other reason. I know these things are done daily and it's really nothing to worry about, but the idea of it flips me out a little. I would really be disappointed to lose the experience of pushing my baby out myself.

So Andrew will be spending the rest of this week alone with the cats while I'm in Charlotte at Jared's wedding! We were both extremely disappointed that he was unable to take leave for this week, but thankful, at least, that I'm able to go. It'll be wonderful to see family and spend time with everyone before the baby comes. Andrew has plans of going out for beers with some friends and possibly camping...with no tents...and sleeping with a knife in case bears come. Sigh.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Baby update

I am 24 weeks today!

I had a great prenatal checkup this week. The doctor said I'm right on track with my weight gain, which was a great relief after hearing so many lectures about being so skinny. I'm not showing quite as much as normal, mainly due to my long torso and the fact that our baby will probably be a bit smaller than average, but I should be popping out more pretty soon. The baby's heartbeat is healthy and strong! He's gaining about 6 ounces per week these days and his facial features are almost completely formed. :) I've been feeling good, for the most part. My main complaint is lack of sleep, but I'm hearing I should get used to that.

Andrew's been working hard standing posts for the last week. It's been a very tough schedule because many of the guys in his division are gone temporarily for various reasons, so everyone has to pull a little more weight than usual. He's been very tired, but thankfully only has one more week to go of these difficult hours.

Thanks to all those who read our little updates and pray for us! Much appreciated.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It's a boy!!

We officially found out a couple weeks ago that Andrew and I will be having a little baby boy in roughly four months! Tomorrow actually marks exactly four months from my due date. Obviously, we are ecstatic. We've already decided on the name, but will be keeping it a surprise until our little guy is born.

Andrew's brother, Jon, just left yesterday from a week long visit here. The three of us had a great time wandering around Seattle, playing late night games of Scene It, eating at every restaurant Washington has to offer and showing him a little bit of our lives here on the west coast. We were so sad to drop him off at the airport yesterday, but so happy we'll be seeing him again this summer when he comes to meet his new nephew! Here's a great shot from when we took Jon to see Mt Rainier. Unfortunately, there was too much snow to go up the mountain, but the boys made their own fun by throwing enormous rocks and sticks into this river.

An exciting piece of news from the Oliphint side of the family is that my brother, Jared, will be marrying Jenny Pemberton on May 20th! I already bought my ticket to Charlotte, NC where the wedding will be held and we are praying hard that Andrew will get his leave approved to come as well. Besides the obvious fact that we want to be there to see Jared and Jenny get married, it's also a great chance for Andrew to meet some of my family that wasn't able to make it to our wedding last year! Their engagement pictures aren't quite ready yet, but here's a cute shot of the betrothed couple. :)

Andrew is currently finishing up his two weeks off and heading back to standing posts this coming Friday. My parents will be coming to spend a few days with us here around Easter, which we are looking so forward to! 

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister-in-law, Kate!! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things are great.

The only semi-bad news is we have a little longer to find out the gender than we thought! Apparently, the doctors and ultrasound technicians disagree on which weeks are best for that. So, we continue to wait with bated breath. Hopefully, another 3-4 weeks or so.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to show, which is very exciting for me! Having never weighed more than 102 pounds, it's amazing to watch all of these changes. I know this is the most obvious statement in the world, but you just can't help but say it when you're pregnant - I can't believe there's a human inside me! Whoever is in there is definitely a kicker. I get a kick (harharhar) out of laying on the couch and feeling those little nudges for minutes at a time. Andrew has yet to feel it, but that's really due to timing not capability. The kicks are strong enough that I can definitely feel some of them on the outside against my hand.

Andrew is mustering up as we speak and concluding his two weeks of standing posts. We are both looking very forward to the next two weeks of relaxation and normal nights of sleep! He enjoyed standing posts for the most part, although it was hard to keep a regular schedule when he would stand post 6PM to midnight and then 6AM to noon the next day. On the bright side, he made friends with some seals and raccoons while on the job (ask him if you're curious enough to know the stories behind that).

One decision we are in the middle of making is whether it would be smart to move to an apartment off of the base. We've looked into a few and the biggest reason for moving would be to save a little money each month on rent. With a sweet little one on the way, we can always use a little extra cash. :) But there are other factors to consider and we want to make sure we make the best decision all around on that. So, we could definitely use prayers in that area that the Lord will make it clear where we should be right now. We only have a couple days to decide and let our current landlords know.

Quick side note: today is our five month anniversary! 

I'm going to Philly for a few days next week to spend time with the fam and whichever friends I have time to see. I'm sure Andrew is looking forward to spending time here with ESPN and the kitties. :D Speaking of which, we've decided Winnie is half puppy dog. Even if she is on the other side of the house, all I have to do is say "Winnie come here!" and she comes galloping over to lick my cheek. Philly, on the other hand, has toned down a little bit. I'm not sure if Winnie tires her out from all of the playing or if she's just feeling she needs to set a mature example, but she's not near as hyper or attentive as she used to be. You can be sure we still force our love on her and anyone who knows the story of Andrew and his poor little hamster knows what I mean.

The picture below shows nap time at our house - a fairly frequent occurrence when Andrew gets home from work everyday. Winnie and Philly are always happy to keep him company.

Also, Happy Birthday (a couple days early) to Papa Matthews and Mama Oliphint!! Love you both.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Being content and cute kittens

Well, we're a little under a month away from finding out the gender of our little peanut! I've already picked out some neutral colors for the nursery (light green and yellow) and have the two paint colors I like best narrowed down. So painting the nursery will be a fun project that I very much look forward to.

We've been attending the church in Bainbridge Island that we liked and have really started to enjoy being there. It's a good-sized church, which makes it a little difficult to get involved in, but the music and sermons are wonderful. The sermon this morning was on "chasing glory" and was very convicting. It went along well with a book my mom recently gave me called Calm My Anxious Heart. It's all about being content with what the Lord has given you, no matter the circumstances. It's one of those books that makes you realize just how self-centered and ungrateful you are. We all struggle with coveting different things based on our interest or needs at the time. I struggle with wanting pretty things for our apartment, more little pets to take care of, more time with my husband when he's at work, a job I love to keep me busy, etc. Andrew, on the other hand, struggles with wanting things like a new phone, a higher rank, a nicer car, more time to spend doing things he loves, etc. We both want more money, to be closer to friends and family, the honeymoon that we never really got - it's fairly easy to come up with a ridiculously long list of things we both want. Some are silly little things and some are important things like financial stability. But the main message God has put in my life recently is that your own circumstances are not supposed to dictate your satisfaction with life. This book I've been reading makes it clear that being content is a state of the heart.

The man who preached the sermon this morning has been fostering a little baby boy for the past few months. He said he and his wife's philosophy was to have one more kid than you're comfortable with to force yourself to rely on God. He was half-joking, but I loved that. We're always supposed to be challenged by God so that we can learn to trust Him completely. If you are completely content, it should not be because of your circumstances because even if they are great, circumstances can change in a second. There are so many people that have demonstrated contentedness for me over the years, but the first people that always jump to mind are my teachers in high school. I got to watch them firsthand for four years and admired them more and more as time went on. They work harder than many people I know and do it with a smile. They get very little thanks or recognition and while they should be getting paid like NFL players, they are definitely not. I never stop admiring how much they care about their students and their willingness to always work around the clock. What a great example of being content where the Lord has placed you.

So, since I don't have much of an update on what's happening in our lives right now, there's what's been on my mind. Here's a picture of our new kitten, Winnie, hanging out on the changing table next to Philly. They're best buddies.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Exciting news

Well quite a bit has happened over the past couple months. The last time I posted was just three days before Andrew and I found out we are expecting! Our complete surprise was accompanied with overwhelming joy and we are excitedly preparing for the new member of the family due on July 29th - my birthday.

We had a blast telling both sides of our families the news on Christmas. What a relief to know we don't have to keep that secret anymore. After the families' jaws had un-dropped, we all enjoyed discussing name ideas, nursery decorations, etc.

Obviously because of this change in plans, I won't be looking for a job anytime soon. One thing I've heard of many military wives doing is becoming a nanny/daycare provider for another family during the day and keeping their child with them. It's a great way to earn money and not have to put your own child in daycare. So, that's one long term prayer I have. I'm sure we won't start thinking about anything like that for another year or so.

Andrew has been put in Alpha 2nd, which means he is stationed at the waterfront. This is great news for us since we've heard that those working the waterfront get much better hours than those who are in the limited areas. It sounds like he should be able to return home most, if not all, nights when he's working. Alpha 2nd started work this week, but Andrew and a few others are held back simply because of some equipment that they have yet to receive and are unable to stand post without. So he could be detained for up to another month before he will officially start work. Things can change by the minute around here. Flexibility is crucial in the military!

Along those same lines, Andrew has it on fairly good authority that we will be stationed here for four years instead of two. Of course, we realize that anything is still subject to change, but it's sounding more and more definite with the more people he hears it from. There are pros and cons to this news, but our overall reaction was disappointment. We are happy in Silverdale, but Andrew took his job here based on the fact that it was a two-year ballot. He probably wouldn't have taken it if he had known it would be four years. So, there are many things to consider now - whether he wants to change his job description after two years, how this will affect his decision of reenlisting or not after four years in the service, etc. The definite bonus of this that I am very thankful for is that he will probably not get deployed in the next four years. Especially with a baby on the way, that goes a long way in calming some fears.

So, our main prayer requests are these:

  • That we stay content, no matter where the Lord places us over the next few years
  • That our "little bitty" stays healthy over the remaining months
  • And that God continues to keep Andrew safe in what he does
We are also struggling to find a church that we really love. We went to a church on Bainbridge Island last week that we liked more than any of the ones we've tried so far, but I'd love to find one that I can really get involved in. It would be great for me to know that I have a support group while Andrew is working and out of touch for the better part of two weeks at a time. I'm really starting to miss the fellowship and worship of my church at home and would love to find something similar out here.

Thanks to those who continue to read these very spaced-out blogs. I think I'm afraid if I write too often it'll turn into my own personal diary that no one would take any interest in. :) If there is something to write, I'll write it. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!