Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hey Mom!

Trotwood is really starting to like his own version of swimming. He even begged us to let him have swimming lessons again, which he will start up this week. I know I'll feel a lot better when he can swim on his own without a life vest. I just wish we had more opportunities to go swimming together as a family during the summers.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mr. Rochester's Adventures in Utah

Tuesday, Mr. Rochester left to attend an academic conference held in Provo, UT. Usually, I would have done everything I could to go with him because I would have loved to visit with friends in Utah and revisit some of our favorite places together, but since we are expecting a new baby, I'm trying to save up all of my vacation time for when the baby is born. So, instead, I get to live vicariously through him as he visits his favorite University - the University of Utah.
Check out those blue skies over the U...it almost looks like BYU blue to me. Mr. Rochester and I halfheartedly banter back and forth about BYU and the U but since I'm an alumna from both, I actually love them both. BYU was great for me during my undergraduate program and I loved attending the U as a graduate student.
Mr. Rochester visited Crown Burger and I'm sure got the famous pastrami burger. We miss so many great restaurants in UT like the Red Iguana, the Bombay House, the Training Table, Crown Burger, and more! There were lots of places we wanted to try but never got to and lots of places we never got to see while we were there. Alas, such is the life of a student.
Since Mr. Rochester has been gone, there's been no end to Trotwood saying "I miss Daddy." and "Daddy does it this way." and "Daddy is better at this than you are." and "When is Daddy coming home?" It's actually kind of funny. I've also learned that I'm a horrible working, single (pregnant) mom. Seriously. I admire single parents and all that they do. My sister and sister-in-law have both had to do single parenting from months to years at a time because their spouses were away on active military duty assignments and there is no end to my admiration for them and what they did. (My sister was even pregnant with her second child and had the baby while her husband was on a foreign military tour - pregnant and working full-time while caring for her first child). Amazing. I'm going to try and learn from their examples and be grateful we will be reunited with Mr. Rochester after only a week. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Gardening

This year, I wanted to plant a vegetable garden, but we were just too busy wrapping things up with school during the normal planting season that we couldn't make it happen. So, instead, we have four potted plants - two tomato plants, one bell pepper plant, and one strawberry plant and we're going to see how that goes. Back in April, we planted everything and then got a late freeze causing everything but the strawberry plant to die. (I had no idea strawberry plants were so hardy! Oh, and the freeze took me by surprise or else, I would have brought my portable potted plants inside.) So, we tried again with tomatoes and peppers and now, I can see a lone cherry tomato growing on our cherry tomato plant. A few days ago Trotwood harvested (and ate) the first strawberry from his strawberry plant. He was really excited about it, and oh yes, the strawberry plant is his plant!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fathers Day

We had a nice low key Father's Day yesterday. Mr. Rochester spoke in church on fathers in the scriptures and I really enjoyed his talk. His father passed away a few years ago and it was neat to hear Mr. Rochester talk about how even if we don't have our earthly fathers with us, we have the examples of fathers in the scriptures, our Heavenly Father, and other father figures in our lives such as friends, other family members, and home teachers. It was just a good reminder to me to look for even the smallest blessings in my life every day and be grateful for them.

For Father's Day, Trotwood's primary and preschool class both had him answer some questions about his dad and it's funny to compare what he came up with on two different days. According to our four year old son, Mr. Rochester is either 15 or 27 years old, his favorite color is green and blue or orange, he is the best at "karate chops" and he is "as big as applesauce." Oh, and Trotwood loves his dad because they "watch TV all day" and Mr. Rochester "train fights all day long with" him. (Train fighting is a father-son bonding activity in our house, akin to wrestling, that I'll need to write about another day. In fact, I've been meaning to do a scrapbook page about this for some time but because of school, work and being pregnant, I haven't scrapbooked since December! Oh, actually, I found a scrapbook page I did for Project Life last year that talks about "train fighting".) I think my favorite thing on the worksheets is that Trotwood and his dad like to "laugh together." It always warms my heart when I see them just laughing and enjoying being together.
After church yesterday, Trotwood really wanted to go on a family walk so we took a stroll down the street. It turned into a rather warm day but that didn't stop Trotwood from running around and exploring things.

Life is beginning to slow down and I'm ready to enjoy it while I can.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cautious Optimism

It's been almost two months that this blog has been silent. Not to give excuses, but since January, our lives have been pretty crazy and I have high hopes that things are starting to settle down at least for the time being. And here's why...In May, I finished a master's degree in Educational Technology and since finishing, I have enjoyed the luxury of having my evenings free of homework! Just yesterday, Mr. Rochester found out that he passed his comprehensive exams for his PhD program so he is now officially ABD (all but dissertation). Preparing and taking these exams was very stressful and work-intensive for him and it's a huge relief (for both of us) that he passed and is one step closer to finishing his degree. Now, all that he has left is to write his dissertation, which I know will take a long time and be very work intensive, but I think Mr. Rochester is actually looking forward to all the writing and research he gets to do for this. So, with a few of our academic endeavors successfully ending, I feel like life might slow down for us for a bit...until about mid-September at least. Why, September? Well, of course, Trotwood will be starting kindergarten and Mr. Rochester will be teaching classes but we are also expecting a baby in September!
As many of you know, over the past six years, we have had two baby girls born via emergency C-section at 37.5 weeks gestation and both died inexplicably shortly after birth. Since our last daughter died in 2012, we have sought the advice and help of various doctors and specialists to help us figure out what happened with our two girls and how it could possibly be prevented in the future. After much discussion and various testing recommended by doctors and specialists, we still have no answer as to what caused the deaths of our two babies. After discussing this with one specialist, he pointed out to me that as unsettling as it may be to me to not have an answer, the fact that they haven't been able to pinpoint a specific disease or find something genetically wrong with us might actually be a good sign. When I asked him about having more children, he stated that he thought Mr. Rochester and I could be "cautiously optimstic" about having another baby. And so after much thought, prayer, and consideration on the topic, Mr. Rochester and I felt like we could be cautiously optimistic about trying to add a new member to our family once again. (We are still trying to adopt and still have an adoption profile up at itsaboutlove.org.)

Currently, I am 22 weeks pregnant and we are having another girl. My due date is October 10th but we are planning on delivering at about 36 weeks in light of what has happened in the past although early delivery is no guarantee that something may not happen again. As of right now, everything is fine with my pregnancy but it always has been at this point. I'm working with three doctors - a local OB & MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist) and an MFM in St. Louis associated with Washington University in St. Louis - and we plan to deliver in St. Louis. With this pregnancy, Mr. Rochester and I are just trying to be prepared for anything because we have no idea what might happen. Everything could go fine and we might have a healthy baby girl, we could have a baby with severe disabilities, or we could end up with the same outcome as our last two baby girls. Although we continue to realistically examine our situation, we are still trying to remain cautiously optimistic about the future with the hopes that this pregnancy will end with a different outcome than with our last two girls.