Thursday, April 30, 2009

{Introducing Robert Dixon Meyers}

How do you begin to describe the experience of welcoming a new baby into your family? There truly is nothing like having a baby. I would do it again and again if only Cory agreed!

On Monday morning I woke up, took a shower, and got ready for the day as usual. I recall thinking that it would be great if my water broke as I was getting ready in the bathroom; it would be easy clean-up and I would know for sure that my baby was coming. I suppose I got my wish! While I was checking my email I had to get up to chase a cat off of a counter and my water broke! That was at 8:10 am.

I immediately called Cory, only to discover that he didn't have his phone with him. I left him a message and started calling other key people: my grandmother, my mother, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law. No one answered their phone except my mother, who was at school teaching! I didn't panic, but I couldn't help but wonder how things would play out. I had to have someone at the house to care for Sasha and Clara.

Finally, I called my mother-in-law's school and got in touch with her. Thankfully, she dropped everything and came over to watch the girls. Cory also got the messages (there were more than one by this time) and called to say he was on his way home. In the meantime, I got the girls up, dressed, and fed. I finished packing my hospital bag, unloaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen. I had so many things I wanted to get done before I left! I really didn't want to come home to a dirty house, so I did what I could to take care of the worst of the messes.

Cory and I got to the hospital at around 9:45 and were checked in by 10:15. I got settled in a room and got an IV of fluid going so I could have an epidural as soon as possible. I was having contractions but they weren't very strong and weren't consistent. Regardless, as soon as I got an entire bag of fluid, which took about an hour, I asked for the epidural. I did NOT want a repeat of my agonizing delivery I endured with Clara. Call me a wuss, but that is an experience I only want to endure once in my life.

I was nervous that the epidural would make me sick the way it did when I had Sasha, so I told the anesthesiologist that I wanted a light dose and anything he could do to prevent nausea. Whatever he did, it worked! I felt fine and was quite comfortable.

My mother and sister arrived around 2:00. Shortly afterwards, I started to feel very intense pain "down there" with each contraction. I endured it for a while, but by about 2:25 I couldn't stand it anymore. The nurse checked me and I was dilated to 8 cm. She left the room, and five minutes later I thought I was going to go crazy if I couldn't get rid of the pain. I called for the nurse again, and I was ready to push! After an initial practice push or two, I gave one really good push and Robert Dixon was born. I had asked Cory to be the one to tell me if the baby was a boy or a girl, but as soon as he was out I looked and saw for myself. I was actually the one to say, "It's a boy!" Cory is so thrilled to have a son it's ridiculous.

I was in intense pain for some time after Robert's delivery, and for a few minutes we weren't sure if the placenta was going to come out on its own. But thankfully everything worked out.

So it's with great pride that I introduce to you Robert Dixon Meyers! He weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 inches long. He is the biggest of my babies, but still so tiny. I'm not sure what I'm going to call him yet. I like the idea of calling him Dixon, but the nickname potential isn't that great. I don't want to call him Robby, Bobby, Rob, or any other variation of Robert, either. But I don't know how I feel about just Robert. What a dilemna! We're just going to feel it out for a while and see what seems to fit him best. I'll explain more about his name sometime soon, but for ease of posting I'm going to call him Robert for now. This picture was taken shortly after Robert was born. Man, I look beat! Cory took this picture of Robert's little foot. I'm impressed with the boy's photography skills! He rarely picks up the camera, so this is pretty cool.Later that night, Cory went home to bring the girls in to the hospital to meet their baby brother. I had them looking super cute in the morning, but they ended up playing hard on their Aunt Megan's farm that afternoon which led to them needing a bath. No one does their hair the way I do, so while they don't look horrible, this isn't quite the image I had in mind for their first meeting with the baby. Nevertheless, they were still cute in their big sister shirts and I am so grateful to Diana and Megan for taking care of them for us.

We didn't let anyone tell them if the baby was a boy or a girl until they got to the hospital. They were so smitten by the baby that I don't think they cared much that he's a boy. They both just wanted to hold Robert and give him kisses. The next day was fairly peaceful for me. I didn't have a ton of visitors during the day, so I got to hold Robert and just relax as much as I could in that rock hard bed. At 2:46 I took this picture of us together - Robert is exactly one day old here. We left the hospital Tuesday evening so I could help Sasha and Clara get back to "normal". Clara wasn't doing too well at home without her Mommy, so I left the hospital earlier than I had planned. Today I managed to snap this shot of Cory holding his son.
We are beyond happy and feel overwhelmingly blessed to have this little boy in our family. Already I can't imagine life without him.
Be prepared for lots and lots of posts about our little man!

Monday, April 27, 2009

{Baby's Coming!}

Well, my water just broke! And wouldn't you know it, NO ONE is answering their phone!

I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

{Our Girls Are Nuts}

Oh, the things kids say and do.

Sasha has been asking to have a picnic outside for weeks. Since it has been a gorgeous day today, we agreed to eat outside on the patio. So the girls are outside seated at the table and Cory and I go inside to grab a couple of things. We were literally inside for all of 30 seconds to a minute. What did we see when we came back outside?

Clara, naked from the waist down and holding her shorts and big girl panties.

Wanna know why?

Because she had to pee. And she had to pee now. So she dropped her drawers and peed on the side road right in front of our front lawn, in plain view of the neighbors and all the passersby on the street.

She apparently couldn't make it the exact same distance into the house to use the potty.

Cory and I couldn't help but find this funny, as improper and embarrassing as it was. When you gotta go . . .

So after I cleaned up Clara and we all got settled to eat our lunch, Sasha says this:

"I want to kill a bird and eat the meat."

Huh? Again, Cory and I were so startled by this statement coming out of our little girl's innocent mouth that we had to laugh.

Where do kids come up with these things? Gotta love 'em!

Friday, April 24, 2009

{Quick Baby Update}

Well, I'm two weeks away from my due date. For me, that means this baby could come literally ANY time. Sasha was three weeks early and Clara arrived eight days early, so if I make it all the way to May I'll be surprised. But then again, this stinker could be late! Wouldn't that be something?

Overall I'm feeling well. I haven't slept much the past four nights, but I still get up and feel like I have enough energy for the day. I've also been doing quite a bit of the "nesting" thing. I've never been so caught up on laundry! I've gutted the nursery and have been cleaning it and the girls' room so they at least look pretty. The downstairs is tidy (for my standards, not my mother's) and now I want to tackle my bedroom. I'll find myself doing random things at odd times, too. Like two nights ago I decided that the toilet needed to be cleaned at 11:00 at night. Hey, I don't want to come home from the hospital to a dirty potty!

I had a doctor's visit yesterday afternoon and I thought for sure the doctor would check to see if I'm progressing at all. She didn't make any mention of checking me, so I asked her to do it. She said no! Not until next week. I'm bummed! I want to know what's going on! Honestly, I think she was just in a hurry to get out of there. The office closed early yesterday and I was her last appointment. Even her nurse flitted in and out without much interaction with me at all. I wonder if they were having a staff meeting or something special and didn't want to take the time to do an exam. Oh, well.

So I'm waiting, getting more and more anxious every day. I know I've done this twice before and that women have babies all the time, but I'm still scared. I wish I could just bypass the whole labor and delivery part and have the doctor plop the baby in my arms! Mostly, I'm nervous that I'll experience the unimaginable pain and complications that I had when I delivered Clara. And even though I plan to have an epidural this time, I'm nervous because of how sick I feel on anesthesia. I'd love to be one of those women who goes into labor, gets an epidural, and then laughs, jokes, plays games, etc. until the doctor says, "OK, push!" and out the baby comes. So far I haven't been that fortunate.

So I have no choice but to keep plugging along as normally as I can until God decides this baby is ready to join our world. Tonight I'm having some friends over to scrap and I know we'll have a good time. It'll be great to hang out and get my mind off of things! Then on Sunday I have my last Tastefully Simple party until June with a super fun group of gals. Cory and I want to do more yard work this weekend, too. The busier I am, the faster time goes and the sooner baby will appear.

I'll keep you posted on my progress! Hopefully I'll be posting baby pictures soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

{Digi Scrappin'}

Since I finally finished our Disney World vacation I've been working on catching up on all those "other", everyday, photos that I have stored on the computer. I decided to start with 2008 simply because it's freshest in my memory. Then I'll go back to 2007 and try to get that year completed. I think I even have some 2006 pics to scrap! But I will say that it's much easier to get pics scrapped digitally than it is when done the paper method. The main reason why is I can get so many more photos on a page by resizing them, which saves me from doing lots of double page layouts and multiple layouts of one event.

Here are just a few of the pages I've done recently.

The first one is for Sasha's preschool album. This was a really fun field trip to an apple orchard that we went on this fall. It's pretty obvious, but this layout is from the 4th of July last year. I LOVED their outfits so much I had to do a photo shoot!
A monumental moment in any family's life: potty training!
We're animal freaks, as you know, and this guy was a cat that lived somewhere nearby last summer and visited us every time we went outside to play. The girls called him Dude. We haven't seen him since the fall, and I'm guessing his family moved away.
These photos crack. me. up. every time I look at them!
That's a sampling of what I've been doing! I'm sure I'll continue to post more pages from time to time. It's so much fun to document our lives this way, and I know the girls will appreciate it when they are older. I think I'll try to scrap another page tonight!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

{Easter Beauties}

What a gorgeous day we had to celebrate Easter! How fitting for the sun to shine so brightly on the day Christ rose from the dead. We had an eventful day to celebrate this miracle, and here are a couple of the highlights.

We began the day with Easter baskets inside. The bunny brought LOTS of chocolate this year. I had given up chocolate for Lent, so I made sure to get a big peanut butter egg, a bag of milk chocolate bunnies, and a box of Cadburry Eggs just for me. Yum!

The girls have been begging for Bendaroos (like Wiki Stix) for months, so we got them some for their baskets. We also gave them a soft vet kit from Pottery Barn, a princess cookie cutter set, and matching princess aprons. Once all the sugar is out of the house I'm sure we'll have fun making some cookies!

Next we went outside to hunt for eggs in the backyard. The girls had a blast! Sasha refused to look at me while hunting for the eggs because the sun was too bright for her eyes. That girl has the most sensitive eyes ever! So the best pics I could get of her were simple running through the yard shots.
Clara, on the other hand, wanted me to take a picture of every egg she found. She's quite the ham.
After our egg hunt we headed to church. It was a really nice sermon and it was great to see such a packed house. During the service some of the older kids went outside to decorate a cross with flowers donated by members. It turned out beautifully, so we took the kids outside for a photo. Aidan, Ryan and Kari were here for a few days so we were blessed to have them with us, too. They all looked so adorable in their Easter outfits!
We headed to my mother's house for lunch right after church. She made a yummy brisket and cooked a ham from the pig we bought together (the best pig ever). We had another egg hunt at her house, this time with candy-filled eggs. The kids got another basket full of goodies, too.
This is the only family photo we got all day. I don't think it's too bad, but Cory hates how he looks so if you see him tell him he looked handsome on Easter Sunday. :)
One of the cool surprises we enjoyed on this day was finding a momma duck nesting under one of my mother's bushes in front of her house. I guess we stressed her out by getting too close for a picture because she waddled away in a not-too-pleased way. Believe it or not, there are TWELVE eggs in her nest! We're a bit concerned about the ducklings, though, because there isn't a water source close by. They'll have to waddle down Rt. 30 and then cross the highway to get to a pond that's about a mile away. I hope they make it!
Our last stop for the day was at the Meyers Picnic Woods. Almost all of the Meyers clan as well as most of the Scarlatta clan was there. We arrived after everyone ate - just in time for another big egg hunt. There were over 200 eggs filled with money and some candy! There were lots of kids there (about 15) of all ages, and the only unfortunate part of this hunt is that there are no rules. It's a total free-for-all. So Clara ended up with only five eggs and Sasha had seven or eight. It's not my event to plan, but I do wish there was either a separate area for the little kids or that everyone was allowed to find the same number of eggs. Oh well, they still had fun!
We celebrated Easter with Cory's other side of the family the night before instead of Sunday night, which was nice. So we spent the evening relaxing at home, eating leftovers, and stuffing our faces with candy.
I hope you and your family had a wonderful, fun, and blessed Easter!

Monday, April 13, 2009

{Walk For a Cure}

Most of you probably already know that two of my nephews, Aidan and Ryan, live with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. Ryan was diagnosed first at about 15 months of age and Aidan was diagnosed a few months later when he was just shy of 3. Since then, their parents and our entire family have been praying for a cure for this disease.

Initially, the boys had to have their blood tested numerous times every day and then they had shots of insulin administered to adjust their sugar levels. They were pricked constantly. Thankfully, they are both now on insulin pumps so they don't have to have the insulin shots every day. Instead, they have what are called site changes every few days, which basically means their parents move the pump injection site to a different part of their body: the backs of their arms or the tops of their butt cheeks being the primary spots. They still have to test their blood sugar constantly, though, so their little fingers always have tiny prick marks all over them. And their parents have to get up in the middle of the night - every night - to check their blood sugar to make sure they are OK while they sleep. Imagine never sleeping through the night again!

So many thousands of children are living with Type 1 Diabetes. It is becoming quite an epidemic. Aidan and Ryan are just two of the faces of this disease, and we are fighting to find a cure so they can live normal lives without the constant threats of sugar shock, comas, seizures (which Ryan had just a few weeks ago), and even death. Diabetes is a very serious disease and we need to find a cure.

For those who don't know Aidan and Ryan personally, they are both very active boys. Aidan (on the far right in the photo below) is extremely smart. He taught himself how to read before he entered Kindergarten and he doesn't forget a single thing he hears. He often tells us school is boring because he already knows it all! He loves putting things together, especially Legos. The more complicated it is, the more he likes it. Ryan (on the far left in the photo below) has always been ornery. He just has this look about him that tells you he has the potential to be up to no good, even though he is a total sweetie. He likes all the typical boy things: dinosaurs, sports, and play of all kinds. Both boys love tai-kwan-do (I hope I spelled that right) and are working their way through the ranks in their weekly classes. They also dote on their little sister, Kari, and are awesome big brothers in every way.

Aidan and Ryan are simply joys. They don't deserve to live with a disease like Diabetes! Last year their parents organized a team to walk in the Annapolis JDRF Walk For A Cure in Aidan and Ryan's names. The goal was to raise $10,000, and we did it!
Even though it was a windy, chilly day, we had a great time participating in the walk and knowing that we were helping to find a cure. Below is the team of family and friends who were able to walk together for Aidan and Ryan.

This year I am unable to physically walk for the team because of my pregnancy, but I still want to help my nephews and all the thousands of children like them who have Diabetes. The best way I can do this is to help raise money for the team.
If you are interested in donating to JDRF and Aidan and Ryan's Warrior Walkers, please leave a comment and let me know. I will be in touch with you to let you know exactly what to do. The walk is at the end of April, so I'm hoping to have all donations within the next two weeks.
Thank you so much for considering a donation! Every single dollar makes a difference and is so very appreciated. Researchers are so close to finding a cure, so close to making these kids' lives healthier and more normal. Until that happens, we will continue to be Aidan and Ryan's Warriors!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Every Tuesday morning I attend a Bible Study with an awesome group of ladies. Sasha and I look forward to Tuesdays because I get to participate in awesome discussion and discovery and because Sasha gets to play with "Big Clara". The church provides child care and two wonderful gals work there: Wanda, who is as sweet as she can be, and Clara, who is amazing with the kids and parents alike. Sasha has really taken to Big Clara and so enjoys her time with her and all the other kids.

This Bible Study group has greatly affected who I am as a Christian. I've never before felt so connected to Christ and I'm learning how to become the person He wants me to be more and more as we study our lessons and discuss them each week together. I know without a doubt that I wouldn't be growing the way I am if it weren't for the ladies in this group. I feel so comfortable with them and I am constantly amazed at how we are able to support and uplift one another. I'm beyond grateful that we all decided to continue with a new study once this one ends in a month!

So yesterday I was the first to arrive (I usually am one of the first since I drop Clara off at school downstairs a half hour before our group meets). One by one, the others came in and each one had food. Occassionally someone will bring something to share, but not everyone! After the third person came in with food to share I commented that I felt like a loser for not bringing something myself. I got a couple grins, and that was it. Then I saw a big box of wipes with a bow; I immediately knew something was up. And I was right! Wouldn't you know it, these kind women had planned a baby shower for me! I guess I shouldn't have expected anything less from them since they are the most generous, thoughtful people I know, but I truly never imagined that they would do this. It isn't like this is my first baby!

So we skipped the Bible discussion for the week (a good thing since I didn't get all my homework done) and we partied instead. Check out the gorgeous cake that Christy B. made - I wish the photo showed all the detail because it was a work of art! The cake was for our fearless leader, Tammy, who celebrated her birthday last Friday. The gifts were so special as well. Steph made this adorable diaper wreath with all kinds of baby goodies tied to it. It's so darn cute I hate to take it apart!A few people included Desitin in their gifts, and I couldn't help but think of that cheesy Desitin commercial where the mom-to-be opens up yet another tube of Desitin and says something like, "Do you know something I don't know?" (She probably said something way different, but my memory isn't all that great!)
You just gotta love the cute little sleepers!
We don't know if this will be a boy or a girl, but apparantly Kim has felt some boy vibes. There is nothing in my house that looks like this, so it was strange to actually hold it in my hands!
There were lots more goodies - lots of diapers and wipes which is very nice - and I was totally blown away by the thoughtfulness of these gals. They even loaded everything into my van for me! Thank you so much, my Tuesday morning friends! Thinking about what you did for me and my baby warmed my heart all day. I am so blessed to know you and to grow with you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

{"Family" Portraits}

A couple of weeks ago the girls had picture day at school. The kids tend to get excited about this day since they get to wear dresses and look extra pretty. I tend to get nervous. What weird face will they make for the photographer? Will they smile? Will their hair look ratty by the time it's their turn? So many things can go wrong! Plus, parents have to buy a package before they see the results, so you never know if you are spending money on an adorable photo or one with closed eyes and snot running into their mouths. It's a gamble.

Before you get to the actual photos, I need to put out a disclaimer. These pictures are scanned, and my scanner must be really rotten because the color is WAY off. I even tried to photoshop them to make them look closer to the real deal, but nothing worked. The colors are far better on the actual picture than what you are about to see here!

Here is Sasha's picture from last year. Pretty cute, huh? She looks so tiny, so squeezeable! The funny this was that the photographer wrote a note on her order form that said, "Would not smile". I wonder what his idea of a smile is?
This year Sasha was really sick during the days leading up to her picture and she still wasn't any better on picture day. So I brought her to school in the morning so she could have the photo taken and then I took her home. I simply crossed my fingers that she would look alive in the shot.
Not too bad, but the smile is definitely forced. Poor kid. But doesn't she look so much older? Man, how kids change in the course of a year!
Clara had her picture taken the day before. I think she felt like hot stuff, because she let loose with a nice big smile. Not bad! And trust me, her teeth don't look yellow and rotten in the actual picture. And her dress is pink. And her eyes look really blue. And . . . Darn scanner!
They both have nice expressions in the class pictures, too, so I guess overall we lucked out this year. Thankfully they haven't repeated what I did when I was in nursery school: In the class picture I was seated in the front row on the floor. I was wearing a dress. I crossed my legs Indian-style. Use your imagination to figure out what was visible in that shot. And I'm so comforted knowing that the entire class has a copy of that photo and that many of those kids are people I still know. So if you are a teacher, PLEASE don't allow little girls to sit on the floor in a dress for a picture! The results can leave lasting scars!
Now to switch gears a bit. Sasha's absolute favorite thing in the world to do is art. She will draw, color and paint all day, every day, and never get bored. It's rare to walk into our house and not see her artwork and a plethora of markers and crayons all over the floor. She will NOT clean them up until bedtime when she knows the art is done for the day.
I feel kind of guilty about this, but I end up throwing away most of the artwork. It's simply too much to keep. Between Sasha and Clara, there are probably fifteen new pieces of art every day, at a minimum. So I keep the ones that are extra cute, and the rest get tossed.
Yesterday I happened to look over Sasha's shoulder to see what she was working on, and I was delighted to find this:
My rotten scanner isn't big enough to fit the entire paper on it, so the top that has a window is cut off. But you can clearly see Sasha's "family" portrayed here. Sasha is of course the bigger girl on the left and Clara is on the right. Below are our pets: Barbie the boy cat, Ariel, Jasmine, Simba (the big fat cat), and Perdy. Are they not the cutest little dogs and cats ever?
I'm so glad Sasha loves art. What a wonderful outlet for her to be creative and use her imagination. I feel fairly confident that she and I will spend a lot of time together being crafty in the years to come, because I love art, too.
Follow your passion, Sasha!

Friday, April 3, 2009

{Stick a Fork In It - It's DONE!}

Last May we took the girls to Disney World. It was their first trip and we all had a fan-freakin'-tastic time! Honestly, I don't know who enjoyed the week more - the girls or Cory and I!

Being the scrapbooker that I am, of course I took over 1,000 pictures and came home ready to dig in and make a Disney album. At that time, I was just beginning to think about going digital, but I had only dabbled in it and wasn't very confident in my skills. However, I started finding all kinds of awesome Disney digi "stuff" and decided to do this book digitally.

It has taken me TEN LONG MONTHS to finish this one week of our lives! I have scrapped nothing except Disney since last May and I'm just now finished. Whew! You can only imagine how far behind I am with everything else I want to scrap. I truly will never be caught up, but that's ok.

So here's the finished Disney album in all it's glory. There are some things I'd do differently now that it's done, but hey, it's DONE! I'm not going back and changing it now. :) You can see the entire book by going to this shutterfly link (it will roll as a slideshow but you can pause it or flip forward if you want to):

View Project at Shutterfly

Now I can hardly wait to start scrapping some everyday life moments. Anyone wanna scrap with me?