Monday, November 19, 2012

More than Halfway to Holding Hudson

It has been a long time since I have made a normal post.  My last post announced that James and I are expecting.  I am now 22 weeks, 3 days into the pregnancy.  We have had a very exciting, busy, joyous, and sometimes stressful few months.  As I'm typing, little Becker is moving around relentlessly, which I love!

At 13 weeks I had a little scare.  I decided to call the doctor and they got me in a few hours later.  After discussing all the possible issues (which was terrifying), the doctor did an exam and the next thing I knew, I was in the ultrasound room.  Everything turned out fine.  I was so excited to have a chance to see the baby but I wish James could have been there with me.  Luckily the woman who did the ultrasound gave me six photos to share with him...and everyone else of course!  During the entire ultrasound Baby Becker did not stop moving.  It looked like he was swimming around in there the whole time.  You can see in this first photo he/she had his/her legs scrunched up and in the second one, his/her legs were straight out.

We had another ultrasound at 18 weeks and found out that we were having a little boy!  Since then James and I try to imagine what life is going to be like having a son of our own running around this world.  Having several friends with little ones of their own, makes fathoming James and me with a son a little easier.

There has been more and more talk lately about the fact that our baby is most likely going to be mammoth sized which terrifies me a little.  I was considered a large baby but James fell into the 10+ pounds category.  When I went to one of my appointments, I voiced my concerns to the doctor about my possible "giant baby".  She said, "You are small so you will most likely have small babies."  Next I told her how much James and I weighed.  She stared at me for a few seconds, then said, "You are most likely going to have a large baby."  No false reassurance from her.  At least she is honest. :-)   Amazingly, she didn't seem at all shocked when in the next breath I told her I plan to have a natural birth.

James and I have started Bradley Method Classes.  I am well aware of the fact that I am most likely going to have a large baby and I know that the only chance I have in a natural birth is if I feel comfortable with the process, learn exactly what my body needs, and know that I have James there to be my support through the whole journey.  Whatever happens, it's in God's hands.

I had a little "episode" at work last week.  I had hot flashes, lower abdominal cramping, and blurred vision.  Then all of a sudden I blacked out and lost my hearing.  I sat down on the ground and in a little over 5 minutes, it was all over.  I was well hydrated and full of food, so I knew that wasn't the issue.  The doctor told me I should go in to see him.  He told me that most of what happened can be somewhat normal in a pregnancy.  However, he was a little thrown off by the hearing loss.  He told me that if it happened again I needed to see a Neurologist for testing.  Apparently pregnancy can cause issues to a mothers nervous system.

I was at work today and felt the same thing coming on, only this time Whitney was kind enough to pick me up and take me to the doctor (I didn't want to chance losing my sight and hearing while I was driving).  By the time we made it to the hospital, the "episode" had come to an end and everything felt normal again.  I am in the process of trying to get in to see a neurologist to get the testing but in the meantime we are praying that everything is fine.  Of course the baby is most important and he was perfectly fine in the ultrasound.  He has a strong heart beat and continues to move around what seems like all hours of the day, which is wonderful!
God is in control.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Becker Baby is Coming Soon!!!

James and I went to Clearwater Beach, Florida in the beginning of July with Emily and Nathan (my sister in law and her husband).  

While James and I were in Clearwater, we discovered that there will be a Becker baby coming into the world!  There is both a bit of fear and a whole lot of excitement associated with this news.  Even though this is a terrifying time in our lives to think about the expenses of having a baby, it's God's time and that is all that matters.  For the past five years James and I have talked a lot about the possibility of having children.  It's so strange that the time has finally arrived!  We are both extremely excited!

Yesterday was my first prenatal appointment.  James was not able to make it to the appointment so Emily (my amazing sister in law) came with me.  Everyone had told me not to get too excited about the first appointment because all they would be doing is taking blood samples, other tests, and have a ton of paperwork for me to fill out.  After keeping myself from getting too terribly excited about the appointment all day long, it was finally time.

The doctor went through all the routine questions and answers.  When he told me we would schedule my first ultrasound appointment for three weeks from now, I resigned to the fact that I would not have a chance to hear baby B's heartbeat until the next appointment.  I decided to clarify by saying, "So at 12 weeks I will be able to hear the heartbeat?"  I wanted to cry as I was saying this because even though I had been told by everyone that there was a slim chance I would get to hear the heartbeat at the first appointment, I was secretly holding out hope.  I was surprised to hear him respond with, "I think we may be able to do that today"!  I think I pulled a muscle in my cheeks because I have never smiled that hard!

The doctor started doing the doppler ultrasound as he reminded me that we may not be able to find the heartbeat because it is so soon.  It took the doctor about 30 seconds to find.  I know most women tend to cry when they hear their babies heartbeat for the first time and I probably would have if James had been there but instead I looked over and saw Emily with a huge grin on her face and that's all that I could do was smile.

The previous week I had worked 91 hours in a 7 days period and heard story after terrifying story from women about their past experiences in the beginning of pregnancy.  It was such a relief to know that Baby B. was okay and had a strong heartbeat.

We are due March 22, 2013.  More on the vacation and Baby B. later...time for a nap!

Emily and I found this little outfit at a surf store near the beach.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Adventure In A Parking Lot

These past few days have been quite interesting.  Late on Tuesday I started my trek up to Novi, Michigan for the International Women's Show.  I didn't have any idea what I was getting myself into.  Typically I ride to these shows with my brother.  Plans changed, so two days before the show my brother realized he was not going to make it up, which left me to drive up alone.  I had glanced at the weather radar and all the storms appeared to have passed.  I was wrong....very wrong.  First of all, had I been driving my little Corolla, I wouldn't have had a problem but I was behind the wheel of the West Chester Molester (a giant creepy van with which I share a birth year).

The West Chester Molester looks even worse in person.

I might as well have been driving this thing!

Of course this special vehicle had many little quirks.  I felt like I called my dad every 20 minutes to inform him of a "unique" aspect of the vehicle and each time he replied with "I forgot to mention that".  Luckily I had only been out on the road for an hour when he called to let me know that when the gas meter reached half a tank, it's time to stop for gas.  Otherwise, I would probably have run out of gas and ended up on the side of the road somewhere.

Anyway......I realized by the time I hit Findlay, I was not going to survive a drive through the night.  I was exhausted and couldn't even see any of the lines on the highway being as it was dark outside and pouring rain.  I was simply following the tail lights in front of me and praying they remained on the road so I wouldn't end up in a ditch.  I decided to pull off the road and sleep in a Walmart parking lot.  When I pulled into the Walmart, there were three police cars surrounding a vehicle.  I'm assuming it was a drug bust of some sort.

I proceeded to park and enter Walmart.  I headed straight for the family bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth.....such a strange feeling.  After freshening up, it was time for me to buy a blanket and a wrench so I could prepare my bed.  I had to use the wrench to manually crank my seat into a 150 degree angle so I wouldn't have to sleep sitting up.  :-)  Good times.  I hadn't thought too strategically when choosing my parking space.  I parked in a spot directly between all the truckers that were sleeping in the parking lot and the entrance to the Walmart so a few times before I fell asleep, truckers walked right by my door which freaked me out a little until I remembered which vehicle I was sitting in.  No one in their right mind would have approached a vehicle like mine.

I made it the rest of the way early in the morning and got everything set up and ready to go for the show, with the help of Matt Phillips and Adrienne George, which I am so very thankful for!  Adrienne came in and saved the day since my brother couldn't make it and she blew everyone out of the water in sales, which is so exciting!  Our location at the International Women's Show was not a choice spot but we made it work.  We were right in front of the entertainment stage.

This is a photo of the aisle right in front of our booth during the firefighter striptease.  People were so packed into the aisle, you could hardly squeeze through.  Adrienne and I were shocked at the way these women acted, like they've never seen a man before.

Anyway, it was wonderful to spend some time with Matt and Adrienne.  Unfortunately there was not much opportunity for down time but it was still wonderful to see both of them.

Next stop on the show schedule, New Orleans....

At the same time all this "show" craziness is going on, we are working on our new line.

It is strange to see my face on the labels and I will be so happy when it is all completed.  I can't wait for life to slow down for a few minutes.  Things have been so hectic.  Soon I will have my hubby home and I will surely be taking a few days to enjoy his return.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Time Slows Down and Memories Fade

These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for me.  It seems that since there are only four weeks until I see James again, time has almost come to a halt.  I had not seen his face since Christmas, which was killing me.  Luckily I got a chance to Skype with him on Easter when I was with his whole side of the family.  He got a chance to see his second cousin who has grown so much since James has been gone.  My heart broke when I saw his expression of excitement and longing all at the same time.  He was so happy to see everyone but at the same time we were all reminded that he is over 7000 miles away.

Second Cousin, Jayce

It's amazing how quickly memories fade.  The first few months after James left I could still feel him beside me.  It is so difficult to hear his voice and not be able to fully picture the expression on his face with every word he says.  You would think that after nine years of life with James, his expressions would be engraved in my mind, but the simple fact is, that's just not true.  Memories fade.  I'm so excited to be able to say that in less than a month I will be able to hold him in my arms again, and refresh my mind on these little details.

It has been really difficult at times but I am so thankful that we are actually able to talk on the phone for a few minutes most mornings.  Even though I have only been able to Skype with James a handful of times over the past five months, I am blessed that I even had the opportunity.  When I think about situations other people are going through, it really puts everything into perspective.  I have nothing to complain about.  In just three or four short weeks James will be back!  :-)  I have a wonderful life with my amazing husband, our two cats (Smokie and Bandit), and our newest addition to the family, Achilles!    

 James with Smokie and The Bandit- He would kill me if he knew I put this up here.  hehehe.
He doesn't like how the camera lens distorted his head. 

 Bandit (the murderer)

 Smokie (the sweet one)

Achilles (my cuddle bug)

James sent me an email last week in which he had talked about several dogs he saw on an animal shelter website by our house.  He does this occasionally but this time I decided to go check them out.  Long story short, I managed to find something wrong with each of the dogs he had chosen, except for Achilles (previously named Brad Pitt).  I tried to find a reason to not take him but he was just too adorable.  We adopted him a week ago and he has done nothing but snuggle!  Now I just need to figure out how to make Achilles and our cats love each other...

In the past 3 months I have had shows in Cleveland, Gatlinburg, Indianapolis, and Nashville.  This time last year I never would have thought I would be travelling this much for work.  These trips have been both exciting and extremely agitating at times.  I've learned that travelling for work is not something I want to be doing for a long period of time.  Luckily my brother has come on all of the same trips.  Jon and a few others have helped me maintain my sanity along the way.  :-)

Between all of this travelling, I am still managing to squeeze in one class at UC.  Slowly but surely, I will get done, even if it does take me 16 years. 

Several other exciting events have occurred over the past few months as well.  

Elise and Ryan Hayes welcomed a baby boy into their lives on January 27th, 2012.

Shannon and Kyle Phillips got married on March 30th.

News spread that Nick and Adrienne are having a little one of their own!! So excited for them!

Since I was young I've always looked forward to being 25.  I'm not really sure why....I guess I've just always felt like it is going to be a great year for me.  I guess we will have to see how it plays out but I started my 25th year of life off right with an evening out with many of my favorite people! 

Minda, Mandy, Me

Kyle and Jess

 Maira, Minda, Mandy, Me, Kyle, Joe, Drew, Chris, Jon, Sean
(looks like I need to color my hair brown....I don't seem to fit in)  :-)

Me, Maira, Dad, Joe, Jon

My cousin Kyle married his stunning bride, Jess.  The wedding was beautiful and it was great to spend time with many of my family members whom I only get to see about once a year.

This has surely been an eventful couple of months.  I'm curious to see what the rest of the year will bring and I am sooo excited to be able to spend the last half of the year with James!  Come on May!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keeping Myself Distracted

James deployed over two months ago now.  I have purposefully kept myself as busy as possible in hopes of distracting myself from missing him.  I feel that I've done a fairly good job of this so far even though there are times when I can't keep from having a little breakdown.  

When people ask how I'm doing since James left, I typically reply with "I'm fine, he'll be home before I know it".  I tell people this because if I really stop and think about it, I will end up in tears.  To be completely honest, I am doing fine and I do know that the time will fly by but there are still moments that are unavoidable, that I miss him so much and just wish I could hold him in my arms.  Last time James was gone for nine months total but at that time James and I weren't married and living together.  I knew this time would be different, going from spending every day together to none at all.  It amazes me that after 8 1/2 years, I still am able to love him more and more with every passing day.  I am so thankful James has the opportunity to call most nights and send Facebook messages, emails, and even Skype on occasion.  I don't know how couples dealt with only being able to send letters back and forth with no other avenue of communication.  

God has blessed me with friends and family who have helped me succeed with keeping busy.  I know I sound like a crazy cat lady when I say this but I also don't know what I would do without my cats, Smokie and Bandit.  It's crazy how they know when I am upset, and they comfort me.  Two nights ago I was crying and Bandit (our semi evil cat) licked the tears off my face and curled up with me all night long.    

This is Bandit, the semi evil cat.

I'm sitting here trying to think of the exciting things I have done since James left, the people and events that have kept me busy over the past two months.  Of course I was able to spend a lot of time with family throughout the holiday season.  There are five other things that come to mind.  

1.  My sister-in-law Emily and her husband Nathan just purchased a house so I got to help them paint a few rooms and move them in.  It's so exciting to see Emily, Nathan and Rosie in a house where they can expand their family one day.

2.  Tara taught me how to crochet.  I have wanted to learn how to do this for a long time but for some reason when I tried to learn the first time, years ago, I really struggled with just using one crochet hook rather than two knitting needles.  I was meaning for this hat to fit an adults head but you can see by the photo that it is meant for a child's head, so my little sister ended up with an extra Christmas gift. :-) Now I can check "learn to crochet" off my bucket list....I never said the crochet project had to turn out exactly as planned.


3.  I've always had a fascination with wanting to learn how to fix cars and wanting to learn the skill of carpentry.  The reason I haven't attempted either of these things before is that I don't want to break a nail....not because I'm a girly girl, just because I have to keep my nails nice for work.  This month, with my brother Jon, I learned how to replace a slave cylinder on an Eclipse.  It's amazing how something so small can stain your nails so badly.  It was worth it.  I will have to save carpentry for another day.

4.  I spent New Years Eve on Fourth Street in Louisville with my mom, dad, and brother Jon.  Even though it was killing me not to be with James that night, it was nice to be with my family.  It was the first New Years I spent with both of my parents together that I have any recollection of.  I just wish my older brother Joe could have been there as well....and Micki of course.  :-)   The street was packed and a live band was playing.  They even had a ball drop at midnight.  I would highly recommend New Years on Fourth Street. Just know that every bar is a $30 cover.... restaurants are free.


5.  I got my Concealed Carry License!  I went shooting several times, then took my classes with Jensine and Jamie at Woodhill Training which I would highly recommend.  They made the classes interesting.  I was expected something like drivers ed where you just sit and read from a book for 8 hours straight.  It was not like that at all.  They set you up in different scenarios where you are getting money out of an ATM when someone confronts you.  Sometimes you got attacked, sometimes he just asked for the time.  Every situation was different so it was interesting to see how everyone responded to the scenarios.  You also have to shoot 30 rounds at the class. Some of the people who attended had never shot before which meant that they needed a lot of help.  The shooting portion was very structured.  You had to load for first clip and wait for further instructions.  Once you shoot your first 10 rounds, you are asked to load your next clip.  Halfway through my second clip, the instructor asked me to run in place while shooting.  Still made every shot well within the target.  Jensine and Jamie did the same.

Now I just need to figure out what to do these next four months.  :-)

Monday, January 23, 2012

3 years, 1 month, 3 days

3 years, 1 month and 3 days ago (December 19, 2008) I added "Donate Hair" to my bucket list.  When I researched a little bit about the guidelines regarding donating, I had to work on a few specific problems.  

First of all, donations are not accepted if they have been bleached.  In January of 2008 my hair was extremely dark brown.  In spring of 2008 I bleached my hair back to blonde in preparation for our wedding day.  I realized at this point that this was going to take a while.

Second of all, when you tie all of your hair in a ponytail to cut it off, you have to be able to take at least 10 inches of hair.  Well, at this time my hair was about to my chin which didn't matter anyway because first I had to go through the process of growing out my natural hair color.   

3 years, 1 month and 3 days later....


Halfway through Rhonda sawing off my hair, I remembered I had forgotten to take a "before" photo.  Leave it to my wonderful reliable.

So Rhonda stopped mid chop to get a "before" photo.

And... After...

There were many times when it was so tempting to cut and color my hair over the past three years.  Two of those years I was working at a salon, so every day I would watch women leave the salon with fresh cuts and color.  Torture.  

In the end the polytail ended up being 12 inches long!

Next stop....highlights!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Precious Memories

I have contemplated starting a blog for a while now.  I mainly want to blog because I have a terrible memory and I don't want to forget all of life's precious moments.  

Up until this point I have captured the events of my life in journals and scrapbooks, two of my most prized worldly possessions.  A single photo can cause memories to flood back to my mind.  Opening my journal and reading a simple description of our afternoon walk in Paris can almost bring back the taste of crepes, the feeling of utter bliss as I stare into the eyes of the love of my life, the sound of two women having what sounds like a heated discussion in French just a few feet away.  It's amazing how just a few simple words can replenish memories that seemed ultimately lost and forgotten.

I've been asked the question many times "If your house were on fire and you could grab only three things, what would they be?"  First I would make sure my family is safe, including our two cats ("Smokie" and the "Bandit"). My other two things I would be sure to grab are definitely the scrapbooks and journals.  I have always had a deep fear of my house catching on fire because I am afraid that if I loose those two items, the memories are lost forever.  So I've been thinking, if I start a blog which contains both written memories and photos, this fear will not be lingering over me so heavily.

Thankfully I have a husband who is blessed with a wonderful memory and a gift with words (two things that are  absolutely not my strong suits).  Even though he has the ability to refresh my memory, I still like to keep a detailed description of moments that I want to remember and cherish.  No one can remember every single detail.

My little sister, Maira, is seven years old now.  There are so many hilarious things she has said over the years that I thought I would never be able to forget because they were so precious.  Lesson learned, write everything down.  I recorded very few of these responses over the years and I highly regret it.  As James and I are nearing the time to expand our family, I really want to make a habit of chronicling our lives.

After years of debating joining the world of blogging, I'm in!