Sunday, September 29, 2013


Here in Italy kids start school very young...usually at 18 months.  We decided to wait about a year so Miles just started this month.   He is going to a small private school run by the sweetest nuns I've ever met.  It has a beautiful garden out back with slides and swings, and they have chickens and turtles and birds.  He was a little nervous the first couple days but now as soon as we get out of the car he RUNS for the door.   Here are a few pictures from his first couple days:

All ready!  It was so blurry because he wouldn't hold still. :)

Walking him to school the first day

His class made this poster...aren't their little hands SO CUTE?!! Miles' hand print is the red one near the top.

Miles and his teacher.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Boy or Girl?

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I have wondered if this wee one is of the male or female variety.  I have my hunches, as do others...but we don't know for sure yet.  But that hasn't stopped my curiosity.  So I began snooping on the web for old wives tales and the see what I could find.  I know they are not's a 50/50 shot.  But it keeps me entertained for the next four weeks until we know for sure. 

The one that I find all over is the Chinese Prediction is supposed to be super accurate but you have to use one that calculates your lunar age, not just your calendar age.  The Chinese think it's a GIRL

The Mayan Gender Predictor...legend has it that the Mayans determined a baby's sex by looking at the mother's age at conception and the year of conception.  If both are even or both are's a girl.  Of one is even and the other is's a boy.   At conception I was 32, and the year is according the Mayans, it's a BOY

And now for some old wives tales:  First up is beauty.  It is said that if you have never looked more beautiful you're carrying a boy.  But if you've developed icky skin and you are feeling a little less glamorous it's a girl.  Well, I've been broken out for three months and when I wake up I look like an extra from the set of The Walking I'm going with GIRL on this one. 

Next is leg hair.  Legs looking a little like a National Forest?  Must be the extra testosterone.  Let's just say I need a waterproof weed wacker these days....BOY.  

Dad's weight gain is a funny one.  Is he getting chubbier?  It's a little girl.  Is he staying slim?  A boy.  Well...Nathan has thoroughly enjoyed my eating for two...and he was cursing his church pants Sunday because none of them fit...GIRL.  

Sleeping patterns.  This one I had never heard of before my friend alerted me to it.  Apparently, if you prefer to sleep on your left, it's a boy...right, it's a girl.  I have been lucky enough to still be able to fall asleep on my stomach...but I usually wake up laying on my back or my right side.  GIRL

Morning Sickness.   This Old Wives Tale states that if you had a smooth pregnancy with no morning sickness you've got a wee lad, and if the sickies had you down you've got a lass.  Well...I was best friends with the bathroom floor for GIRL.  

Cravings.  Sweet= girl.  Salty= boy.  I've been craving pickles and anything I guess that means BOY.

Moodiness.  Supposedly carrying a little girl adds to your hormone cocktail and makes you moody...calmer dispositions are due to a little boy.  I've been grumpy as a bear cat.  GIRL

Heart Rate.   If the heart rate is above 140 it's supposed to be a girl...below 140 a boy.  I was at 136, then 140, then 150.  So this one could go either way. BOTH

 Then there's mother's intuition...I've been thinking pink all along.  GIRL

What about you?  I'm curious to know what you think this wee one will be...boy or girl.  Drop me a comment or use the handy poll on the right and let me know. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Glucose Fun

I went to the doctor last Friday for my 15 week check-up and he was slightly concerned about a couple symptoms I was exhibiting.  So he told me he was planning on me doing the Glucose Test at 20 weeks but the symptoms made him want to push it up.  I showed up to the lab at 7:30am Monday morning after 12 hours of fasting expecting to do the 1 hour test...well to my surprise I had been set up for the 3 hour test - oh joy.  At least I brought a big book to read!  

The first needle stick went well...then came the sugar drink which actually wasn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be.  Sure, it's sweet but it wasn't horrible.  The second needle stick was quick, hurt a little...then started to ache.  It cause this lovely souvenir:

The next two rounds of blood drawing were not so nice.  Four sticks for the third round and three needle sticks for the fourth.   The poor phlebotomists...they could NOT find a good vein.  They ended up having to take the fourth draw out of my hand.  OUCH!  

I finished my four hours of solitude and headed to the car where I scarfed down the snacks I'd brought.  Apples and peanut butter had never tasted so good in my ENTIRE life.  It had now been 16 hours since I had eaten...and even pre-pregnancy that would have been no bueno.  Now that I have little Skeletor to answer to it wasn't pretty.  

The following day my doctor called with the results - I had passed with flying colors!!  Yay!  I'll likely have to repeat the test at 28 weeks like a normal pregnancy...which I'm ok with...I just need to have a good talking-to with my veins.  

That little souvenir above?  It looks like this now:


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Peace and panic in Switzerland

Remember the week I spent in Switzerland last summer?  Well the opportunity came up again this year (the Rome Temple is still not completed) and so we made plans to go as a family.  Nathan put in the leave request and it was approved.  I was excited to be able to share this time with him, and with Miles.  Then a few days before we are supposed to leave Nathan gets word that his deployment is being extended a couple days...and will keep him from going.  So now we have a choice to make.  Do Miles and I still go or do I go and leave Miles here with friends for the one night until Nathan gets home?  After much debate we decide that I should still go...and go alone.  The trip is non-refundable so someone should definitely go yet me in all my morning sickness glory trying to wrangle a very active two-year old who just learned the word NO all while sharing a twin size bed with him?  Not. Gonna. Happen.  

So I make the arrangements and start to make my packing lists.  Sunday comes, I drop Miles off, and a friend drops me off at the bus station.  The bus ride up was HORRIBLE.  Seriously...I was in tears and seriously considering getting off in Milan and hopping a train back home.  But I wanted SO BADLY - and needed, really - to go to the Temple.   So I prayed to God..."Dear God, I want to go spend this week at the Temple.  Please help me to make it through this bus ride."  The bus didn't leave our area until 8pm and we were stopping every two hours...the whole way up.  My smashed-by-fetus bladder was very grateful for the frequent stops, but herding 80 Italians through a rest stop every two hours was trying on the group leader's patience.  I was also sharing a row with someone, and sitting behind a GIANT man.  Seriously...think offensive lineman.  When his seat was reclined it came a hand width's distance of my face (put your hand in front of your face, perpendicular...notice where your pinky is? Ya, that's where the chair was.)  We didn't get to Bern until 1pm the following day.  By then my feet were swollen, I hurt everywhere, and I was long past queasy.  As soon as I got the key to my room in the hostel I went in and took a nap.  It was heavenly!  

The following morning I was able to attend the Temple.  I was overcome by the Spirit more than once...moved to tears.  It's such a wonderful place to be and I had missed it so much.  (The Swiss Temple is our closest Temple...until Rome is done)   Over the next couple days I was able to go each morning and each afternoon - which was WAY more than last year.  I soaked in the Spirit of the Temple as much as I could.  

In the evenings, after the Temple would close, I would feel lonely.  I was on the trip by myself, with a bus full of Italians.  There were a handful of Americans but they were all with people.  There were a couple times I was so frustrated.  I was so sick, and so tired, and I was hungry but didn't want to fight the crowd in the kitchen of the hostel to make something.  That's when something happened...twice...that made me remember that God knows me and knows when I am happy and when I am sad.  President Romano (our branch president...kind of like our pastor) came outside, saw me on the bench and told me in Italian that there was a plate for me at their table.  He is so in touch with the Spirit...he felt the whisperings to seek me out.  He is a man of God and for that I am so grateful.  The Italians from our branch welcomed me into their "family" (it was a hubby and wife, a few older ladies, and a couple older guys) for two meals.  Both on evenings where I was on the brink of frustrated, lonely tears.  God is good ladies and gents.  No heartache is too small for Him.  

Thursday morning I had just finished my session in the Temple...I didn't feel good.  I was crampy and just felt off.  Then I went to the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding.  My heart dropped to the floor.  I quickly left the Temple, hurried to the hostel hiding my worried, panicked tears...hoping that our room was empty.  It wasn't.  I crawled into my tiny twin bunk and willed the others to leave.  They did.  I texted Nathan.  Over the next 30 mins we played text-phone tag. He called the OB clinic and played middle man for news.  I was advised to lay still, relax, and see what happened.  If the cramping and bleeding didn't stop in one hour I was to seek medical care.  I was terrified.  I speak German...but not THAT German.  And where was the closest medical facility?  And how would I pay?  And what would happen if - God forbid - I was miscarrying.  The thought of suffering a miscarriage in a shared hostel room or on a 16 hour bus-ride home added another layer of worry to my already troubled heart.  I prayed.  SO HARD.  I begged God to spare my baby.  But I acknowledged His will and asked that if I was going to lose the baby that it would wait long enough for me to be home.  That was a hard prayer.  But I learned years ago that submitting my will to His was much easier than trying to bend His will to mine.  I prayed for comfort, and peace...and following the prayer I was able to sleep for an hour.  When I woke I went to check for blood and found no new.  And my cramps were gone.  Tears of gratitude fell on my cheeks.  I let Nathan know the developments, and then prayed some more.  Later that evening I asked one of the men on the trip for a Priesthood Blessing.  The Spirit that flowed through the blessing brought me comfort.  The words that were spoken are sacred and precious to me. 

The following day we packed up the hostel and loaded the bus.  I was adament that I needed two seats for the journey home.  I succeeded and did my best to wedge my body in positions of comfort.  It wasn't perfect but it was SO MUCH better than the bus ride up had been.  I arrived home to the loving arms of a worried husband and an excited two year old.  

I learned something in Switzerland.  Well, I guess I can't say learned because it was something I already knew.  I guess I should say I was reminded of something.  God will just have to ask.   That doesn't mean He'll always provide what you ask for...rather, He will provide what you need.  

I needed patience, and I got it.
I needed love, and I got it.
I needed healing, and I got it.
I needed peace, and I got it.