Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's almost time....




So, the countdown to Christmas begins... Do you remember doing this as a child? Opening each day on the advent calender and thinking we're one day closer to Christmas? Growing up in a Methodist church we also had an advent wreath. Each Sunday another candle was lit on the advent wreath...another sign that Christmas was closer! When Christmas Eve came, my brother and sister and I always had a hard time sleeping. Our mom would make us a glass of warm milk or sleepytime tea to help us fall asleep because we were so excited. I don't think it helped - the anticipation was too great! We couldn't stop thinking about what the morning would bring us! Well, we were never disppointed, and our expectations were usually exceeded. I have wonderful memories of Christmas as a child. It is such a joy to be on the other side now and watch the same excitement in my own children about getting out the decorations, doing the advent wreath and counting down the days. I've been reminded frequently of these memories and feelings because Christmas is coming early for me this year. Our baby girl will be born in 2 days. I have found I have felt the same antcipation, the counting down of the days, and the sleepless nights as I did when I was a child waiting on Christmas. But this is so much bigger - and the countdown started much earlier!! Although I have 2 children and have gone through this before, we had a harder time conceiving this child and she has been wanted for a very long time. Could we really FINALLY be just 2 days away?? It's so exciting!!!!!!! I'm going to have to drink warm milk or sleeptime time tea the next few nights.




Though I am blogging about the anticipation of gifts/gift, our family knows that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:16-18 Though our family has lots of fun at Christmas time we celebrate in every way the true meaning of Christmas in all of our festivities. The birth of Christ our Savior. A few years ago, I was told about a wonderful book that I recommend. It's called "The AVENTure in Christmas" by Lisa Whelchel. It shares the stories and biblical meaning behind each of our Christmas traditions from decorating the tree to baking cookies. It's wonderful in incorporating Christ into every aspect of the holiday celebrations. My prayer is that your family is making wonderful and fun Christ-filled memories this Christmas, full of excitement and anticipation! Merry Christmas!




(My next post will be a birth announcement! Yippee, yippee, Yay!! Yay! I'd better go warm some milk...)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Forester's 7th Birthday




I am a couple weeks behind on posting this, mainly because I didn't get very good pictures and was going to get some from my mom. But, I may never actually get around to doing that so, it's now or never.
Forester had a Bionicle theme for his party. Know what a Bionicle is? I hardly do either. They are made by Legos and they are these alien looking things that have to be put together and they are all the rage with boys these days. Forester received 4 new Bionicles for his birthday and it "was the best birthday ever!". He also wanted a pet turtle. After some investigating it turns out turtles are pretty germy and disgusting and very expensive to take care of. So, we opted for "Sunny" the hamster instead. So far, she's very cute and well behaved and is probably more my pet than the kids since I keep after her. Oh well, I don't mind!
We had a kids party here at the house just to play in the backyard and let me tell you, it was total chaos! I think there were 11 kids and some parents and...my house and yard never felt so small. Things were crazy! I'm never doing that again. Hosting kid birthdays is never fun for me. And doing it somewhere other than your house or park is SO expensive! We just can't afford it. The whole thing just stresses me out! I think I'll go back to family only parties from now on. What about you? Are you like me or maybe the opposite? Do you enjoy planning the parties every year?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Slade On the Move

Here is a short video of Slade moving around a bit. She moves around a lot! Hard to see from a camcorder due to lighting and angle so I put a remote control on my belly. Enjoy!
video

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My new love...

If you know me, you know music is what I breathe. My latest love is Eric Hutchinson. He's been around for quite some time but is now getting some recognition even making the VH1 top 20 with "Rock & Roll". If you haven't heard him, check him out. He reminds me of Jason Mraz, Gavin DeGraw, Stevie Wonder to name a few. Great musician and his music makes me HAPPY!

"Ok, It's Alright With Me"



"Rock & Roll"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update on Baby Slade



My last few dr. appts. have been pretty encouraging. While I still have Polyhydramnios (the condition of having too much amniotic fluid) and still have about 10 contractions an hour they haven't increased or changed at all and the growth of my tummy slowed down just a little bit. Instead of measuring 7 weeks ahead, I was starting to level out only measuring 4 weeks ahead. Well, that changed on Tuesday. I had a regularly scheduled appt but I had a feeling I would have different results. Over the weekend I had started averaging about 20 braxton hicks contractions an hour. They haven't really let up since. My appt revealed that I am now measuring 43 weeks (back to 7 weeks ahead). May I remind you that 40 weeks is full term!! I needed an ultrasound to see what was going on. The ultrasound revealed that my fluid level had increased, (it's is now 31 cm. - 24cm and below is normal.) and that Slade is already estimated to be 8lbs 11oz. YIKES! What does this mean? Well, not much. I'm already having a c-section so that eliminates a lot of decisions that would have to be made if that weren't the case. I pretty much have to endure a couple more weeks of being uncomfortable and pray that more stretch marks don't appear! Many have asked why they won't go ahead and take Slade early if she's already so big and I'm measuring so far ahead. While she may be chubby, there is no way to know if her lungs are fully developed and ready to breathe room air. Weeks 37/38 are critical for lung development and it isn't worth the risk of her having breathing problems just so I can get some relief. I can make it a few more weeks! 18 days to be exact. So...I've started taking bets on her birth weight. What's your guess??


Happy 4th Birthday Micah!
















October 29th was Micah's 4th birthday! We had a wonderful day as Grandma came for a surprise visit. We kept busy baking the cake and letting Micah open little presents through out the day. Then we met up with Muzzy and Pop at the bowling alley. Micah just loves "goaling" as he calls it. It was so much fun to be together as a family. And, I even bowled a strike or two (don't tell my dr.!). After bowling we had pizza, cake and presents at the house. Pete's oldest friend from childhood, Kyle, was in town (he's in the Air Force Reserves) and came by for the celebration. A real treat as both the boys LOVE Mr. Kyle! All and all a wonderful day celebrating our beautiful gift from God, Micah Slade Bradburn. Thank you Lord!!









Halloween

I'm behind on posting but determined to get caught up!! Every year we have a group over for pizza and pictures and then trick or treating. It's amazing that some of our kids have been taking these Halloween shots together for 5 years! Time seems to fly by (when you're not pregnant). We had a great time. Amazingly...or maybe not, I didn't get one picture of just my 2 boys together. So they're mixed in with the rest of the kiddos. Forester was Iron Man and Micah was Batman. Slade was a painted pumpkin. ;o)
Our Spider Web Pumpkin



Sweet Bee, Susanna Fortney

Lovely Ladybug, Caroline Fortney
Ella Cow! Sooo cute!
Most of the kiddos for a group shot.
Micah (batman) and Emma (pink tinkerbell)
Susanna showing Joshua some love....
Heading out to get some loot!! Happy Halloween 2008!





video

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Poor me... I don't think so!



Well, Pete is gone again this week. This will be the fourth week in a row that he has had to travel to PA for work. Ever since taking this new job 8 months ago, Pete has been required to travel quite a bit. This has taken some getting used to but I think I'm getting there. I know my attitude about it really stunk back in the spring but I realize now that Pete doesn't enjoy leaving anymore than I like him going. It's just as hard for him. I have to say the hardest part so far is the toll it's begun to take on Forester. He now seems to have at least one bawling crying episode each trip these days. He just misses his Dad and wants him to come home. It breaks my heart and there's nothing I can do about it. I've received a lot of sympathy from those around me who say "it must be so hard, especially while pregnant" or "I just couldn't do it. I couldn't handle it by myself". And though from time to time these comments tempt me to feel sorry for myself, lately God has enlightened me to the truth. I AM BLESSED. I have a husband. My husband has a job. I have 2 healthy kids with one on the way. We have a house to live in and food to eat. We have family close by. How can I even begin to think about feeling sorry for having to do it alone sometimes in light of all that I have been given and blessed with? I don't even know the true meaning of hardship and having a husband who travels certainly doesn't qualify!! Sometimes my circumstances and what I know on a daily basis of being "normal" can be quite sobering and frankly, makes me sick. I am one spoiled rotten American girl who whether I am conscious of it or not thinks I am entitled to certain things just because everyone else around me has it. GROSS! Having Pete gone half the time has allowed this pouty spoiled attitude of entitlement to raise it's ugly head and for that I am thankful. God has revealed it to me and is hopefully purging it and allowing me to see things as they really are. I'm sure I've only seen the tip of the iceberg but it's a start, right? I am beyond blessed and I am thankful!


Oh yes, and did I mention that I think single moms have the hardest job in the world? ;o)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Get ready for the DRAMA...


The most common comment I have received about having a girl is "get ready for the drama". Apparently this seems to be the biggest difference between raising boys and girls...according to those around me. I occasionally get a little dramatic flair from my 6 year old and I can't stand it and hardly have the patience for it. I need to be praying now. Hard. Slade, seems to be embracing this stereotype and has started the drama already. I couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend painting her room an adorable pink. Shortly after I started to have a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. I've had these with every pregnancy but not this many. I was up to 23 in one hour. So, I called the doctor who informed I shouldn't be having more than 5 an hour. Uh-oh. She told me to lay down and drink lots of water and come in the next day. Thankfully, I was checked out completely and these contractions don't seem to be doing anything which is good. It is probably a side effect of the high amount of amniotic fluid I'm carrying and the fact that Slade is already a big baby, measuring in the 95 percentile for her gestation. This means I'm measuring 7 weeks ahead. So, I may be 31 weeks but my belly looks like it's 38 weeks. Uh...excuse me, can I get a tummy tuck with my c-section please?? Yikes! All in all, I've been ordered to rest and take it easy. Not an easy task while being a single mom 2 weeks out of the month due to Pete's job. But, we're taking it one day at a time and surviving. I am thankful that Slade is growing and healthy and this drama will end in just 8 weeks. I guess it will be then that the real drama begins...

Friday, September 5, 2008

My New Nephew is Here!





Jack Slade Swaney entered the world on August 27th at 8:06pm. He weighed 8lbs 11oz and was 21 inches of ADORABLE!
Katie did such an amazing job. I keep telling her she's my hero and I mean it! She is!! After 2 days of induction, 6 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing, Katie and Steve finally got to meet their first born.
For me, it was a whole new experience which is ironic since I have 2 children. But, I have never been in labor, never had a contraction. Forester was 2 weeks late and they finally had to go get him by c-section since he was so big (9lbs 11oz). Micah was also a scheduled c-section. SO, this was my first time experiencing labor and delivery first hand. Unbelievable and miraculous. I have a new appreciation for all the women who have delivered babies! WOW!
Below are some pictures of my sweet nephew whom I am in love with and miss dearly!

**so you may have figured out by now that Slade is a family name. It's my mother's maiden name. My grandaddy (my mom's dad) was John Thomas Slade but everyone called him "Jack". Jack Slade Swaney is named after him. My daughter's name will be Slade (after my mom's side of the family of course) Katherine - named after my sister, Katie (Katherine).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

First Day of First Grade


Forester started first grade this past week. A big milestone for the Bradburn family. Forester was in half day Kindergarten last year so this is the first year of "real" all day school. 8:30-3:00. It seemed like he was gone forever. And poor Micah missed having his brother at home. He kept asking, "Is it time to go get Forester yet"? I think that question started at 10am. Forester on the other hand couldn't wait to get to school and his new class. He came down the stairs at 6:45 completely dressed down to the shoes. If you know my kids, this is not typical! Thankfully he wanted me to walk him into his class everyday this week. Don't know how long that will last but it warmed my heart.


Micah has yet to attend a mothers morning out or preschool program. But, that will change September 4th. He will attend a Christian preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He's excited about going to school like his big bro but nervous that it won't be at the same place or the same class. He would choose to be with Forester all the time if he could. I'll let you know how that first day goes...


Update on my sis. Katie is scheduled to be induced on Monday night/Tuesday morning. Yay! So, Jack should arrive no later than Tuesday August 26th! My next post will be pictures of my new nephew!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's a GIRL!!




Slade Katherine Bradburn is due to arrive by c-section on December 1st and we couldn't be more excited! Pete had always wanted a daughter so his dream is coming true. I am THRILLED! Hair to play with! If you know me, you know how much I love to mess with hair. But, I promise not to dye Slade's hair before she's a tweenager.



The boys are super excited about having a sister and I think they will be great big brothers. This little one will be protected! I've been busy reorganizing the house so I can get started on a nursery. Micah is getting kicked out of his room and my office will become his new bedroom. Thankfully, he's excited about a new room. I have crib bedding picked out and can't wait to start painting the walls. I'm in the 2nd trimester and I'm feeling SO much better these days. I even have some energy! Woo-hoo! God is good!



Meanwhile, my sister, Katie, is in her 38th week of pregnancy and is more than ready for little Jack to arrive. So far, no signs of labor. She isn't sleeping well and is having lots of typical aches and pains that come with the last month. So, lets all pray she goes into labor tonight, ok? Hopefully my next post will be announcing Jack's arrival!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's SUMMER!




Do you remember when you were a kid and you couldn't wait for it to be summer?? For me, I didn't enjoy school at all, so being out of school was the best part and of course NO homework! But I loved all the summer fun. I could have sleepovers and live at the pool, go to Stone Mountain (I grew up in Atlanta), and play at the lake. We also got to stay up an hour later in the summer - a huge treat!! I loved summer. I still love summer. It's like taking a big deep breath and relaxing in a hammock. Life just slows down a bit and it's fantastic. This can also be a challenge for me and my personality though. Taking a break or slowing down comes easily for me. In fact, I can convince myself most of the time that I need to and actually deserve it! I could easily live in a never ending lazy Saturday for quite some time. I LOVE my pajamas...and reading...and naps... But, I have children. The never ending lazy Saturday is not conducive when raising children. I took the first week of summer "off" and I heard a lot of: "what can we do now? I'm hungry (again!), I'm bored, what else can we do?" No schedule is no good. So, I'm working really hard at having a schedule this summer - and a fun one! So far it's going pretty well but I would love some input from other moms and dads out there. How does your family fill the long summer days? What are some of your favorite activities? So far, the highlight of Forester and Micah's summer is catching small frogs in our backyard. They've made a little home for them (OUTSIDE) and they are up to 7 frogs! Now, Forester is trying to figure out how to catch and kill flies in order to feed them to the frogs. How cute is that? I love my boys!!






Here's some pix of Slip n Slide fun.






































Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bradburn Baby Due Thankgiving 2008!




Well, it's been 3 months since my last post which makes complete sense to me because it's been 3 months since I found out I was pregnant!! This is wonderful news and a huge answer to prayer (well, mine anyway...not so sure about Pete's)! Unfortunately morning sickness hit right away and HARD. With Forester, I felt a little green from time to time until I hit the 12 week mark. With Micah, it was much worse -24/7 nausea, and vomiting from time to time until 16 weeks. With this little one it started right away with vomiting several times a day and not being able to eat anything! Aren't you glad you're reading this post?? Needless to say, I have been in survival mode for the last 3 months. My goals during this time were to make sure my children and I stayed alive. Pete's new job has required him to travel A LOT so this added an extra challenge to the mix. But, we survived. I am alive and so are the boys. My doctor gave me some drugs to get me through. They have helped tremendously and I am hoping that the morning sickness passes for good in the next couple of weeks. So far, all is well with the baby. We had a great 12 week ultrasound and we're looking forward to finding out the sex at 16 weeks. 18 days and counting! I'm dying to know who's in there!! The boys are both asking for a sister - so is Pete. I think I'm a little afraid of girls....we will see!!!!
I hope to be posting on a regular basis now that I'm coming out of the fog.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Time Flies










In the last couple of months we have reached a milestone. Micah is potty trained. For other moms out there reading this you know how big this is. If you have young kids and haven't endured this process you're dreading it. If you have conquered this task, you're so glad it's behind you. Me too. But, I've found myself in an unexpected place. I was in the grocery the other day and it had been awhile so I needed - everything. When I need everything I usually take a trip down every aisle because I'm sure I'm forgetting something. So, just like always, I made the trip down the "baby needs" aisle, got to the end and realized I don't need anything from this aisle anymore. This is the first time in 6 years I haven't needed to travel down that aisle. 6 years! So, a boring trip to the grocery became "a moment" for me. In a way it's a great relief and it's so nice not to have to change or BUY diapers anymore, to have kids that can do things for themselves, etc. But, it's also hard to realize that my babies are growing up. A part of me wants them to stay little forever. To need me forever. Everyone says it because it's true: time flies.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Battle That Satan Won












Last night we got word that my cousin, Noah, overdosed yesterday and died. It's devastating and sad on so many levels. Noah is one of 4 children of my Dad's brother, Mike. I believe he was 26. He started doing drugs when he was 10 years old and has never stopped except for the occasional stint in wilderness camp and more recently in jail. Noah was sentenced to prison a few years ago for attempted murder because he stabbed a guy. This of course was related to the drugs. It seemed prison was the best thing that had happened to him. He had transformed himself inside and out. He was released from prison shortly after thanksgiving and only survived in the real world a few short months. Here is an excerpt from an email my Dad sent about Noah's release. It seems so hopeful which makes it all the more sad.


"I visited Mike after Thanksgiving, learned this good news: Noah gets out of prison tomorrow. Mike and Norma say he is profoundly changed inside and outside. Outside, the skinny, unhealthy kid has become a competition bodybuilder. He now weighs 210 pounds. He'll be living at Mike & Norma's, working for Mike. You might want to drop him a note to tell him that you care and that you're praying for him. I don't think he has many people who do either."



I feel horribly guilty. I didn't write him in prison. I didn't write him a letter when he got home. In fact, the last time I saw Noah he was probably 10 and before that he was 2. I don't even know what he looks like as an adult. I want to post a picture of him but I don't have one. And yet, he's my family...and he's gone. My dad has been asked to speak at his funeral and I know he is agonizing over this. He is devastated by this loss. And, what do you say?? We know Noah read the Bible in prison but we don't know if he was saved. I don't think there are many positive things to say about the way this drug addict behaved - he wasn't himself , ever. At least not after the age of 10. He wasn't the person God created him to be. He was a drug addict. I wonder who that person was under the addiction. I wonder what the plans were that God designed when He created him. Before the enemy had him in his clutches and took him down. I'm just sad. Really sad. Sad that I didn't try. Sad that I didn't share Christ with him. Sad that he's gone. He was in North Carolina. I could have visited him. I could have gone and come home in one day. One day. But, I'm sure the deeds of "that day" were too overwhelming. Like any of that crap matters. Not really. Not when it comes to salvation. Life or death.


I'm learning a lesson and it's a painful one.


Please pray for our family and my Uncle Mike, Aunt Norma, and Noah's siblings, Shane (wife, Deepa), Josh, and Claire (husband, Preston).
UPDATE: Noah was a Christian. He gave his life to Christ in 2005 while in jail and completed several formal Bible studies which he was very proud of. He lost his battle with addiction. He fell asleep in this world but woke up in the arms of Jesus. Praise God! Therefore, we can be sad and miss him but rejoice that his struggle is finally over and he is truly free.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Balance?









It's been way too long since my last post. I feel horrible that my last post was up for so long because that was a really bad day. Really bad day. I don't always feel that way, and I guess it just felt good to get it out since I'm not a crier. Perspective is everything! Yes, I may struggle but I am so incredibly blessed. I have a body that functions well, feet that can walk or run, all 5 senses, a roof over my head, food to eat, a husband who loves me and children that teach me more about who God is and how He loves us , and more than I EVER wanted to know about myself (ouch!). My life is my dream come true. I LOVE my life!!!



Moving on...it's a new year and I'm not one for resolutions. Why set myself up for failure? (tee hee). I do try to set monthly or quarterly goals though. If I don't accomplish them then I move them to the next month or quarter - not as much pressure but still working on something. This month my main focus is to DE CLUTTER my house! We moved into this house a year and a half ago and there are still boxes in a closet that have never been reopened since moving. I'm guessing we don't need whatever is in there. I'm not the most organized person but I wish that I was. I think people like Katie Brown are amazing (not my sister, she's more than amazing!...the TV chick) . I am constantly purchasing things that will get me organized. I LOVE the Container Store. Strangely enough, I still have little piles of things everywhere. Hmmmm. What does that mean? It must be my strong Sanguine personality that gets in the way. Why unload and load the dishwasher when you can play Chutes and Ladders with the kids instead? In that moment, I honestly could care less what my kitchen looks like - it's just stuff, it's just dishes. Does it matter? Eventually, yes. So, I want to find the balance. I love that I am spontaneous, and that my schedule is packed. I may run around like a crazy person sometimes and I'm always drowning in laundry, but I truly believe my life is more fun! ...until I'm completely overwhelmed with all that needs to be done around here. So, maybe my goal this YEAR should be balance. I think I could apply this principal to every aspect in my life. ...but that's a topic for another blog.


I'm off to reorganize! Anyone wanna come over and help me?