Monday, December 19, 2011

3 Months

Our little guy turned 3 months on December 8th (I know, I'm a little late - just now found the cord to our camera!).

At his 3 month shot visit, he was 15 pounds 13 ounces (only a pound increase from last month). He got his HiB and Prevnar vaccines at his visit. He seemed to be a tad more cranky on the days following the vaccinations - or it could be that coincidentally, he started teething at the same time. Who knows!?

He is standing up at every chance he can get, smiling big with those adorable gums, biting down like crazy on any finger or toy that enters his mouth, and drooling too!

Still sleeping 8+ hours every night, and exclusively breastfed every 4 hours during the day!

Onto the pictures of our little "squibby" :)

Sweet Baby Foot

If I don't post again before the New Year - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks - Part 3

15 – My job, I’m so thankful that get paid to do what I love – help people!
16 – My car, it may not be the SUV I miss and dream of – but my accord has never given me any huge issues in the last 2.5 years that I’ve had it!
17 – David’s job, although M-F 3p-1:45a is not an ideal schedule, we only have to find someone to watch Blake 3 days a week from 2-8, which is pretty awesome and affordable!
18 – Chocolate, I eat way too much of it, but YUM!
19 – David is such a great dad, he has soo much fun with Blake all day when I’m at work – and when I call to check in, I love to hear Blake cooing in the background!
20 – Online grad school! I cannot get over how cool it is that I will be able to reach my goal to become a family nurse practitioner online – Dec 2013 I will have FNP behind my name!
21 – Elliptical machines, if we didn’t have one – I would probably say that I haven’t worked out one bit since Blake has been born!
22 – Having all of our family within 30 miles
23 – That Walmart is open so late!
24 – Carbohydrates, and not feeling guilty eating them (since I’m not pregnant – I’m not a gestational diabetic anymore, yay!)
25 – I know I’ve said my husband a few times now, but today I’m thankful that he runs errands for me and does so many things on his days off for me while I’m working – makes my life soo much easier!!!
26 – Sleeping in, and not having to set an alarm!!!
27 – Christmas decorations – lights are up outside, and the tree is almost done!

Monday, November 14, 2011

2 Months Old!

Wow, seriously - if you don't have a child then you have no concept of how fast time can fly by. I never thought life could move this quickly! Seeing Blake's sweet face every day and watching him grow is so much fun!!! I remembered reading on a friend's facebook status a couple weeks ago that she jumps out of bed every morning (like it's Christmas) to see her newborn son - I couldn't agree more, especially since he is smiling and cooing back at David and I now. Being a mom is, by far, the best thing on the planet.

Today, Blake weighed 14 pounds and 13 ounces (98%) at his 2 month checkup, and was 25 inches long (95%). He got his rotavirus oral vaccine, Tdap vaccine, and second Hepatits B vaccine today. Poor little thing really hated being stuck, but he calmed him down in less than a minute; and with the Tylenol today - he's been fine ;)

We go back in a month for the pneumococcal and HiB vaccines (I'm doing a non-traditional vaccination schedule, after reading Dr. Sears' book "The Vaccine Book" - not eliminating any vaccines, just spreading them out).

Blake is still rolling from front to back, and now he has been standing up and only holding onto our fingers. Such a strong little man :) He usually only lasts a couple minutes on his feet, but it's so cute to see him stumble to hold himself up!

Onto the pictures of our little guy (the part people really want to see!)

Giving Thanks - Part 2

Nov 7 - Such a helpful mom that will drop everything for me to help me out. She is such a blessing to me! Don't know what I would do without her :)
Nov 8 - We were able to conceive little Blake without any difficulties. I know far too many people recently who either cannot get pregnant, have had miscarriages, or have sick babies - ugh, breaks my heart!
Nov 9 - Being able to type this blog with Blake sitting in my lap calmly. I know this won’t last forever, but it sure it nice to be able to get everything done that I need to without little hands on the keyboard!
Nov 10 - Friends, quality ones. I love having a few people in my life that would drop anything for me. I would do pretty much anything for others, so it’s finally nice to have it reciprocated for once :) {Special shout out to my good friend, Liz - my lunch date today!}
Nov 11 - Being alive on 11-11-11, how stinking cool is a date like that? Won’t happen again for another 100 years!
Nov 12 - Since yesterday (Veteran's Day) was filled with being thankful for the cool date of 11-11-11, today I’m thankful for my veteran. Not just because he’s my husband (that would be too easy) – but, he truly is the most humble man I know. He hates it when people ask for veterans to stand up (I have to force him to do it). He did not serve this country for any recognition at all, and that’s pretty awesome in my book. So, thank you for your service, sweetheart!
Nov 13 - We found an awesome church up here. Since we moved back to the Atlanta area, David and I had struggled with finding a service that met our needs after attending the phenomenal Church of the Highlands in Birmingham (seriously, after one Sunday there – you will know what I mean!). We really enjoy the newlyweds small group and Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, but it’s 35 minutes away now and we really didn’t crave the worship services like we used to in Birmingham. David’s best friend, Patrick, invited us to Mountain Lake Church in Cumming where the lead pastor actually knows Chris Hodges (lead pastor of Church of the Highlands) and he pretty much runs the church exactly the same! What a relief it is to finally have a church we cannot wait to attend! The only thing that would make it perfect, would be bringing our JFBC small group up to Cumming!!!
Nov 14 - Pediatricians who work with parents. I opted to do a non-traditional vaccination schedule after reading “The Vaccine Book” by Robert Sears, M.D. – I’m still giving Blake all his vaccinations, but not letting him get more than two shots at once, so his little body and nervous system can process things better.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giving Thanks - Part 1

November is the month of one of the yummiest holidays, Thanksgiving. But, there is so much to be thankful for that I cannot fit it into one day!

Nov 1 - This one is easy - but not to be forgotten - GOD! I'm so unworthy to be forgiven and saved!
Nov 2 - Health, of everyone in my family. It's so important not to take for granted when we are healthy and feeling well!!!
Nov 3 - Blake, my precious 8 week old son (as of today!) - so healthy, happy, eating and sleeping great. I could go on FOREVER about him! SO blessed :)
Nov 4 - My c-section incision isn't coming apart like I thought, just a big blood blister! Thankful for doctor's offices that can fit me in last minute :)
Nov 5 - Having NOTHING on the calendar all day long so I can enjoy our little family for once!
Nov 6 - My loving husband who does a great job helping me around the house and yard. We re-planted the bushes that Molly destroyed this afternoon and we were a great team :)

Green Chili Enchiladas

I cannot believe I have not shared the most DIVINE recipe with you since my time as a blogger! Take a look at these mouth-watering babies ...

David's mom introduced me to this recipe from her cookbook that has tons of great recipes that you can throw in your freezer for use later :)

1 1/3 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion (frozen chopped onions work great)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 packet taco seasoning of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
6-8 flour tortillas (if you use the smallest ones, you will need 8-12)
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 cups for inside tortillas, 1 cup to top with)
1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 4-ounce can diced, green chilies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 13 X 9 X 2 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Brown ground beef/turkey, and saute onions (if I'm using turkey I like to cook it with at least a cup of water to keep it moist, I drain it after the meat and onions are done cooking). Combine with taco seasoning, chili powder, salt and pepper. Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of meat into a tortilla, sprinkle enough cheese to cover, and roll like you are making an enchilada. Place seam side down into baking dish.

When tortillas are completed, combine soup, sour cream, and green chilies to make a sauce; pour over tortillas. If you are cooking now, place in oven for 20-25 minutes - the last 10 minutes sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese on top.

Makes 6-8 servings.

[If you are freezing, cover dish with foil, and freeze with remaining bag of cheese taped to it. To prepare for serving after freezing, thaw completely prior to cooking.]



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Things they never tell you about c-sections and your recovery, but SHOULD!

Everyone's experiences with delivering babies are so varied, but I wanted to share mine with you in hopes to prepare some of my fellow cohorts that are expecting ...
(All the men and ladies not wanting to hear about personal girly stuff best be clicking exit on the screen now)

I am so thrilled I had a scheduled c-section, truly. My husband and I were there together - well rested and prepared, we were able to plan with our families and friends so people could be there right after he was born, Blake's head was perfect and round, mommy didn't have her girly parts ripped apart from birthing a huge head (yay!), and the list could go on!

A few things that were not so great about having a c-section was:
-Being on bedrest, not being able to eat real food, and having a foley catheter in for 12 hours (that was facility protocol where I delivered) after delivery
-Watching Blake gag on all the mucous in his throat for the first 24-ish hours (super common for c-section babies that didn't have the opportunity to squeeze all that junk out of their lungs on their way out)
-Gas pains! I woke up in tears around 3 am with excruciating right shoulder pain. Apparently, with abdominal surgeries, air can get trapped in your body and the most common place - due to the anatomy of your heart and how it pumps blood - is your right shoulder. I truly believe that was God's way to make sure I knew how to empathize with my post-surgical patients with gas pain. I've never had a worse pain in my LIFE!
-Pain pills. They made me feel so nauseated and loopy - I took 2 percocet 4 hours before they took out my epidural, then another 2 when they took it out and those were the last ones I had! I never took another pain pill besides tylenol or motrin during my entire recovery process. I had the doctor write a script for tramadol to take at home (comparable to an extra strength motrin/ibuprofen), but I never took it - still have the entire bottle in my medicine cabinet!
-Soreness. This was probably mostly since I refused to be doped up on the pain pills, but my lower abdomen (where your uterus is) was so much more sore than I thought it would be. Yes, I know I had major surgery - but even taking a light walk around my neighborhood was really painful at 3-4 weeks. It's starting to get better, but I just am impatient and want to be back to normal!


Some questions I got about having an elective planned c-section have been ...

Did you not wanna try for a vaginal delivery? Of course I would have preferred to have the ideal type of delivery for mom and baby (vaginal). However - I put all my trust in my doctor with 30+ years experience (and has been my doctor for a mere 12+ years). He strongly advised with the ultrasound estimated measurement of 9 lb. 11 oz. the week before his delivery that a scheduled c-section would be his first choice with the baby measuring so big because of my gestational diabetes (his head was 99% in the ultrasound measurement also, and he was convinced with induction that he wouldn't make it through safely - broken collar bone, etc.). Although he was only 9 lb. 4 oz. (less than 5% off of the estimated weight) the following week when he was born, his head was 15 inches around (the average baby is around 13 inches) and I would NOT want that coming out of there!

Do you regret not waiting and letting yourself go into labor naturally? Don't you sorta feel like you took that power away from God? When my husband and I were deciding on whether to do the scheduled section or not, I truly thought I was playing "God" by picking what day and time slot he was going to be born. I asked my mom and a few other close friends their opinions, and I came to the consensus that God gave doctors the knowledge to keep us safe and healthy, and we were making the right decision. So in other words, no I don't regret it at all. First time babies are up to a week late sometimes. He was born at 39 weeks and over 9 pounds, I could not have imagined how much he would have weighed or how much bigger his head would have been if I waiting another couple weeks!

Let's not forget that our mortgage depends on my paychecks. Therefore, taking leave before he was born was NOT an option unless my health depended on it - and I was SOO uncomfortable the last month of pregnancy that I could not have managed any longer at my sometimes highly physical job (medical-surgical nurse with up to 6 patients who can hardly do anything for themselves)!

I understand that women used to not be able to have the luxury to plan a c-section, but they also didn't have the luxury to have an estimated weight/size before they came. Don't they say ignorance is bliss? If a woman only knew she had a baby to deliver, and not that he was 98-99% bigger than most babies and estimated to be about 10 pounds - the process wouldn't be as scary for her!


All in all, I'm soo happy with our decision to get a c-section because it was clinically necessary for both Blake and me. However, I don't recommend it for everyone. If you have an average sized baby cooking in there, I say you totally need to NOT be induced (a very large percent of inductions cause undue stress to the baby end in c-sections, so WAIT!), and have a vaginal delivery if at all possible - because it's the best thing for you and the baby! But if somehow you have to get a c-section, don't sweat it. It's really a great option, too :) Best of luck either way!


Hope you all had a great weekend - here's an adorable picture from yesterday - Blake's first trip to a pumpkin patch :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Month

What an amazing month it has been at home with Blake :) I've recovered rather well from my c-section and mastitis (I'll save those for a future post).

I cannot imagine what my life was like before he was here and I would never go back! I feel so blessed when I get to look at Blake's sweet face every day. I absolutely LOVE being a mother to such a precious, adorable baby. He loves to sleep as much as I do and he already went almost 7 hours between feedings the other night! On average I'm getting 9-10 hours of sleep every night (yes, I know this is a lot - but I love my sleep!), which is no change from before I was pregnant. I'm actually getting more sleep than my last trimester because I'm not getting up every hour to go to the bathroom :)

Here are a few of my favorite things about him ...
*Blake holds his head up very well, but flops it back down when he gets tired
*He snorts and fake coughs when he's ready to eat - such a cute little noise, never heard anything like it
*He usually falls asleep in the bath, or just sits there contently while he becomes a human sprinkler, ha ha
*He's eating every 3-4 hours during the day and every 4+ hours at night
*He is the noisiest eater I've ever heard, but the sounds of enjoyment are so precious!
*Practically, the only time that he cries is when he's hungry
*It seems that every time we go somewhere, it takes him hours to wake up (which makes traveling a breeze!).

We are beyond blessed to have such a good, healthy baby. Honestly, I was petrified of how difficult this first month was going to be with limited sleep and a whiny baby, but Blake has made it so easy :) I know I'll be eating my words as he gets older and more awake, sitting, crawling, etc. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying this calm time!

We went to the doctor yesterday for his one month well-baby check up:
Weight: 11 lb. 14 oz. (he's gaining a pound a week on average since birth)
Length: 22 3/4 in.
Head: 15 1/2 in.

Here are his one month pictures!

Staring at the light, what he does best nowadays

I'm over sitting up, and I'm hungry!


Hope everyone has a great week :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

2 Weeks

As my little one is napping, I figured I would update the blog. Everyone keeps telling me how much this time is going to fly by and I don't want to forget any moment :)

Blake had his 2 week check up this morning, and he is now weighing 10 pounds 2 ounces (almost an entire pound heavier than his birth weight!). His umbilical cord fell off yesterday (well, it was dangling by a half a thread and I might have helped it off a little - whoops!) and the pediatrician cauterized it this morning since it was still pretty yucky/wet looking.

We still haven't used any formula, but we do the vitamin D drops his doctor recommended a few times a week (I'm supposed to give it to him daily, but I can't stand the look on his sweet face when he tastes that nasty stuff!). Once I run out of the free bottle she gave me, I don't know if I will continue to use it ... Apparently vitamin D doesn't pass in breast milk, but I'm not convinced that it's necessary to dose him daily if he's out in the sun.

He's sleeping for 3-4 hours at a time at night, he gets up and eats and goes right back to bed in his crib. During the day, he likes to eat anywhere from every 2-4 hours depending on how tired he is. David is a huge help to me, day and night time - which is a blessing. He really is such an awesome dad. I'm finally to the point where I'm not that sore - so I can handle most of the night calls myself so he can sleep before work.

Blake is in 0-3 month clothes, poor kid is wearing a newborn outfit today and the pants look like shorts on him - poor buddy!

Well, let's not bore everyone with my random blabbing ... Onto my favorite mobile photos since he's been born!

Blake's first picture all cleaned up in recovery with mama :) 9.8.11

Coming Home 9.11.11

Bathtime 9.12.11

First Fauxhawk @ 2 Weeks 9.22.11
P.S. The light makes his hair look like it's red, but it's definitely brown!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! We are traveling to Augusta to watch my "little" brother get his white coat for medical school :) Praying Blake behaves in the 160+ mile car trip!

Love, Brooke

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baby Essentials

Hope these last few HOT days have been treating you well :) Glad we all made it through the "rapture" yesterday - crazy people, huh!? Just makes me laugh.

Well, I had a doctor's appointment Thursday and my updates are that Blake's heartbeat was 156, he's constantly moving around it seems, and I'm up 13 pounds since the beginning of my pregnancy. Praying that I can keep it under 25 pounds all together with 15-16 weeks left. Might be wishful thinking, but it's my goal!

We've made a few purchases this past week that I am beyond excited to receive in the mail/pick up! Let me share a few of them for all the other mommies (and mommies to be) out there ...

1. Moby Wrap - I had been struggling with picking a somewhat fashionable, comfortable, and affordable baby carrier. For all you baby Bjorn lovers (including my awesome sister), I just cannot bring myself to spend $100 on something that doesn't even look that great. It's not UGLY or anything, I just don't love it. I've always seen these Moby Wraps (pictured below) and they look so cute and comfortable. Only thing that stinks about them is that you have to buy them directly from their online store or in specialty shops (not big name places that I could add one to my registry). Needless to say, I'm excited about trying the different options out when it gets here next week!

Of course I went with the black! It has to match everything :)
Their website explains all the different options for different carrying options that can be done with the wrap - according to age.

2. Crib!
My mom and dad gifted us this beautiful crib! We will be using another bedding set, but this 4-in-1 crib can be converted into a toddler bed, and then a full sized bed later in life which makes us even happier to not have to make another bed purchase for a while.
Babies R Us should be calling us this week to go pick it up :) Thanks again, Mom and Dad!!!

3. His bedding :)
I was told to be patient and wait until showers to get his bedding set, but I am really impatient really want his nursery to be somewhat put together in the next couple weeks. I'm not entirely fond of room decorations/bedding that scream a baby or child lives here (i.e., primary colors, planes, trains, boats, ABCs, sport themes, cartoon characters, or gender specific colors). I want the room to look chic and remain a color that we will not be forced to change if we end up transitioning the nursery to an office or guest room someday.

Here is the set we decided on ...

We only purchased the 4 piece set, which includes the bumper, dust ruffle, fitted sheet, and quilt. I will sit on my hands and wait for any other accessories in the collection :)

4. Maternity scrubs
I had thought that I would make due with what I had, but wearing tops without pockets is really driving me crazy. I splurged on one set of scrubs by Cherokee called flex-i-bles which I hope will be really comfortable (I ordered them on Amazon). I'm sure I won't look as fabulous as the model in the picture does, but Blake is excited about not being squished in my Grey's anatomy tops anymore :)

That concludes my shopping spree for the week! Hope everyone has a blessed week!

Friday, May 13, 2011

22 Weeks :)

I was going to try to update every 4 weeks (so as to not bore my readers with weekly updates on the pregnancy), but there have been a few big changes already since the last update!
*How far along?: 22 Weeks 2 Days
*How big is baby?: Papaya
*Weight Gain: Haven't unloaded the scale from the moving box yet!
*Sex: Sweet baby boy!
*Maternity clothes: Still loving my maternity jean capris!
*Stretch marks: No new ones!
*Sleep: I really like to sleep on my back (I know I'm not supposed to) or my left side
*Symptoms: Sleepy still and let's just leave it at - Blake is definitely not going to go hungry when he gets here!
*Movement: He is moving quite a bit now, early in the morning or later in the evening I can get him to kick my hand back when I press on my tummy :)
*Food cravings: Really anything, still not digging the super sweet stuff!
*Labor signs: Nope
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Sleeping on my tummy!
*What I'm looking forward to: Decorating his nursery and getting everything unloaded and our house organized! And 4 months from now, he will be in our arms!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Almost Done Moving!

I just spent about 6 hours at our old place scrubbing tubs and packing the last boxes of random junk while David was at work. Have I mentioned how much I hate moving? I cannot tell you how we are going to get the storage unit and the apartment moved by Friday before our walk-through when David works every day this week. Looking forward to this all being in hind sight, so I can start organizing stuff and starting on Blake's nursery :)

On that note, I'm sore all over from all the physical activity today - so I'm gonna go relax in the tub! Have a great night everyone!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Carrie Grier Lowe 08-02-1984 to 04-27-2011

Many of you saw my facebook post a few days ago when I found out that one of my classmates from Samford lost her life in the tornado a few days ago. Carrie and another classmate, Jennifer Long, were my two closest friends in nursing school - without a doubt. Those girls meant more to me than either one of them probably ever knew. Through the years and distance between states, we had lost touch since I left Samford in 2005 to come back to Atlanta.

I came across an article in the AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution) on those that lost their lives in the twister. Although it is painfully descriptive, I believe that we should never forget how terrible that day must have been for her. Here is the portion of the article with her story ...

"Back in Pleasant Grove, Jonathan Ford watched from atop the cab of his pickup as his neighbors slowly climbed from the rubble in the silent landscape.

Then, from where Curt and Crystal Grier's house had once stood, two doors down, a voice pleaded: "Please help! Please help! We've got babies stuck!"

The Grier's and brother-in-law Josh Lowe had escaped from the crawl space under their collapsed porch. But the couple's two children, Curt's sister, Carrie Lowe, and her newborn baby, Tucker, remained trapped. All that was left of the house was the brick front steps. Slowly, the men extracted the screaming children from the rubble. But when Jonathan Ford went to help dig, and he reached for Carrie Lowe, hunched over her son's car seat, her body was cold to the touch. The baby was alive, in the seat.

Later, after the rescue crews had come to take away her body, friends marked the spot with a red rag tied to a splintered piece of wood and placed a Bible found in the wreckage on the steps."

I knew that she had lost her life and that a room collapsed on her, but to read the details about her clutching to her baby in her last moments brings me to tears each time I read it. Selfishly, I think about myself as a soon to be mother and only a month younger than Carrie. I cannot IMAGINE how scared Carrie must have been that day for herself, and her family.

My heart goes out to you, Josh (Carrie's husband), and almost 8 week old, Tucker. Carrie was an AMAZING woman and I am deeply sorry for your loss! May the Lord be with you and surround you and your family during this time. We love you :)


To look her up on facebook - her name is "Carrie Grier Lowe" from Birmingham, Alabama. Her profile picture is a beautiful black and white photo of her new family.

Monday, April 25, 2011

20 Weeks!

Just got back from the doctor's office and the final walk through of the house! Everything went great at both appointments! Since David was at work, my mom tagged along for both appointments, which was really fun :)

Blake's major organs are all functioning appropriately. All his organs are inside where there are supposed to be, the heart has four chambers, his stomach is visible - which means that he's been swallowing great for over 5 weeks now (you can also see his stomach - the little black spot in his abdomen - on his last ultrasound), kidneys - there are two, and brain looks great! All of those things are such a relief for a medical professional to hear :) Doctor said that little Blake is measuring a week ahead on size, which was no surprise to me at all! Might move my due date up at some point, but we will see!

Here is one of his profile pictures from today's visit!

His arms and legs are overlapping in the picture, so it's hard to distinguish his limbs. His little feet are not on the screen in this shot. Speaking of little limbs, I got to see him punching and kicking at the ultrasound probe for the first time today. I had been feeling it inside when he jumps up and down on my insides, but it was so neat to actually see his reaction when he was being prodded at. He already has so much force in his movements! He's gonna have some spunk like his mom, I think :)

Well on to the update!
*How far along?: 19 Weeks 5 Days
*How big is baby?: Small cantaloupe
*Weight Gain: 9 pounds
*Sex: Sweet baby boy!
*Maternity clothes: I need to buy some new scrub tops soon. My favorite article of clothing is my maternity jean capris!
*Stretch marks: Nope
*Sleep: I still can sleep like it's my job :)
*Symptoms: Just sleepy a lot, that’s about it!
*Movement: He moves the most right after I eat. He’s turned on his side, so when he kicks and moves his little hands my insides are the only thing that feel it!
*Food cravings: Really anything, I just really am not fond of cakes and other super sweet/sugary things right now. I’ll eat some chocolate no problem, but no really sweet stuff!
*Labor signs: Nope
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Sleeping on my tummy!
*What I'm looking forward to: Closing on our house Thursday so I can start decorating Blake’s nursery!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Student for LIFE!

Well, not really - but that's what it feels like! In a week, I will finally have my bachelor's degree from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama.

While I should have rightfully had my BSN 5 years ago (at 21, not 26), I'm honestly thankful for the "ride" that I've been on. Without the hiccups along the way, I would not have met all the amazing people that I know now, and I wouldn't be employed at the place that I'm at right now either. Which makes me sad to think that I would not know the people that are closest to me now. God definitely has a plan for each of us, far beyond what anyone could grasp on their own. No matter how much control we think we have on our lives, God constantly reminds us that he has a distinct plan for our lives.

Back to my nursing program ... The nursing program was entirely online, and truthfully - the easiest college courses I have taken thus far. I finished the program on the president's list for all three terms (I cannot say that about any other point in my college career). I would HIGHLY recommend JSU's STEP nursing program to any ASN nurse that seeks an online BSN program. There are no clinicals at all, and their is no out of state tuition (and it's a state school, so it's AFFORDABLE!). Strangely, my place of employment does not even give me a penny raise for this higher degree. However, my real intentions for getting a bachelor's degree was to continue on to my family/primary nurse practitioner career goals as many of you already know.

I was recently accepted into Auburn's Primary Nurse Practitioner online program for this summer (I thought I was applying for Summer 2012), but after many prayers I believe that starting a program before Blake is born would not be good timing. While finishing school BEFORE he was born would have been ideal, I didn't want to be a 30+ first time mom. Timing will never be right to have a family, so David and I prayed that ONLY if God wanted to bless us with a child that it would happen. And a few months later, it happened!

Many of you know that I always have a million things on my plate at a time, and honestly I love keeping myself busy (maybe I'm a little crazy!? ... don't answer that!). While many other mom's may not agree, I plan to start a nurse practitioner program in January 2012 (when Blake is 4+ months old). I know that it will be hard to be a new mom and in school, but if anyone can do it - I can, with a lot of prayer and support from my family :) I figure that it will be easier to juggle him and school when he's not involved in a ton of activities. Once I'm done with the 5 semester program (less than 2 years if I go full time), I'll be DONE with school. (Unless of course, someone pays for me to get my PhD later in life!?)

I am in the process of applying to Samford in Birmingham, Alabama (where I started my nursing school journey - so it would be pretty neat to finish there), Kennesaw State and Georgia State. All the programs are primarily online and allow you to do clinicals with an approved "preceptor" at virtually any hospital. I pray that it will be a fairly seamless process.

However, I'm looking forward to having the next two semesters off - the most time I've taken off of school in years!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Babies and Wedding Bells!

I think that 2011 is totally going to be the year for weddings and babies :)

Let me list the weddings so I don't lose track ...

Amanda - Dear friend of mine for about 6 years now, we were introduced by fate alone and our friendship has been life changing, for both of us!
Andrea - A sweet friend of mine in Florida is finally marrying her sweetheart at the end of this month!
Taryn - My bridesmaid, and friend from college, and now work, too!
Erin - From work, although I've only known her for about 5 months - we go together like peas and carrots :)

And now the babies ...

About 4 girls I know from college have already had their babies this year, so let's move on to the ones that are still due to pop :)
Chasity - Friend from work, is due with little Beckham at the beginning of May
Elizabeth - One of my highschool/church friend's little sister's is having her second baby boy in the middle of May with little Henry! Love keeping up with her cute little family on her blog!
Nicole - Friend from college, is finally adopting her precious baby Lily from China sometime before the end of May!
Jennifer - Met through a mutual friend, is due with little Liam at the beginning of June!
Heidi - Although we only met at work orientation, we keep up on FB :) Her little girl, Hunter is due in July!
Tracey - Friend from college, (I think we met in Physiology, how fabulous was that class girl!?) is due with her little one in the beginning of September!
Me - Due mid-September!
Andrea - Met through a mutual friend a couple years ago, is having her little one about a week after us!
Casey - Friend from work, is having her little one in the beginning of October!
And another friend that I've known since high school just found out she's due at the end of November!

If I missed you on the list, it surely wasn't intentional - I just cannot believe how lucky we all are to be starting and making families of our own :) God is SOO Good :) Can I get an AMEN!?

I want to take a minute to share my favorite proposal story and my favorite baby story! My favorite proposal story for this year has to go with the couple that has been engaged the shortest (only a couple days!), miss Amanda and Aaron! I cannot just start with the story, have to give you some background! Amanda is my godliest friend, by far. She has taken two seven month mission trips overseas and even donated her 2004 accord (paid off completely by her, might I add!) to her fabulous sister, Steen! Needless to say, Amanda is so selfless! Well, I digress ... On one of her mission trips, she met a girl friend who happened to live in Canada, named CJ. After their return home from the mission trip, they kept in touch and Amanda even went up to visit CJ at one point. Cue Aaron :) Amanda met Aaron through this CJ's boyfriend at the time. Well, needless to say. The rest is history! Amanda and Aaron have maintained a Christ-centered relationship, across two countries. I truly am impressed by their dedication to each other an the Lord. They could not ask for a better spouse :) Well, on to the proposal story already!!!

Aaron came to visit for Amanda's birthday this last week, and while he didn't propose to her at her surprise birthday party like we all thought ... He went above and beyond any of our dreams for our sweet Amanda :) Amanda and her family took Aaron to the beach over the weekend. Aaron finagled a helicopter ride over a beach with "Amanda, Marry Me!?" written in the sand! Now, isn't that like only in the movies!?!? I cannot stop smiling just thinking about how my patient, amazing friend finally has her prince charming!

I think they are thinking about an August wedding, and I cannot wait to help her plan (if she will let me!)!!! God is going to bless this couple like crazy and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for their lives together!
Now, onto my favorite baby story! Hands down, without competition - my friend from college Nicole, get's this award in my book! Nicole and I met at Jeff State's nursing school in Birmingham. Well, I have to give a little background on this amazing woman, too! ... Nicole was inspirational to me in a number of ways, but the three most prominent were her genuine, caring attitude, her wealth of knowledge (always the highest scores in the class!), and the fact that she has lost nearly 200 pounds with exercise and diet alone! I mean, WOW! Just to type those words alone it doesn't seem like one person could possibly lose that much weight on their own, but she did it!

Nicole and her husband Jeff have been married for a number of years, I'm thinking like 15+ maybe? [Correct me if I'm wrong Nicole :)] And they have never been able to successfully conceive. After years of trials in attempting to have a family, they decided that adoption would be the best option for them. They decided that they wanted adopt from China (which happens to be the most difficult country to adopt from). After nearly a 6 year wait, they were finally matched with their sweet, Lily Faith a little over a week ago! I cannot tell you how much paperwork they filled out, how much money they spent on the process, or the physicals, but I can tell you - it's a LOT OF WORK! I had no idea that adoptions were so complicated! Every time I talked to Nicole about her adoption on our study breaks (I miss those talks by the way - not the studying!), I always admired her courage and patience with the process. I always thought to myself - wow, I wish I could be like her! I'm the least patient person I know!

Nicole and Jeff are, by far, the most deserving parents I know! I cannot wait to see the pictures of when they finally get to meet their sweet baby girl for the first time in the next month or two! I am so excited and happy for you guys :)

Well, I think that concludes my novel of a blog post - MAN, I wrote a lot! Have a great rest of your week!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Don't Blink!

Can you believe that three months ago our lot was only grass and today it looks like this?

It's hard to believe that in less than 3 weeks that we will be spending our first night in our house! As you can imagine, I am beyond excited to decorate Blake's nursery :) I have another appointment scheduled for Monday, April 25th for an ultrasound. That way we can see that Blake is still a boy and then I can get started with his nursery finally! It's been so hard to hold off on buying a ton of stuff for him, particularly since we would have to be moving it again in a few weeks. I did, however, buy him a three-pack of onesies with little froggies on them!

I decided to get 6 month ones, since I'm sure he will be a little porker like the rest of us! For those of you who don't remember, I was a whopping 12 lbs 2 ounces when I was born (no, mom wasn't a diabetic, yes, I was a c-section, and I was 17 days late). Well, my superwoman mom had three children, and her smallest was 9 lb 14 ounces - wow, I know! My sister managed to have two little girls in the arena of 8 lbs, but for some reason I think he's gonna be a big baby ... Maybe I should start saying prayers now, huh?

I got the title of this blog from a comment my sister made to me on facebook the other day, she's so right. I'm challenging myself to take each day at a time and enjoy it to the fullest. If any of you interact with me on a daily basis, my thoughts are constantly consumed with what I have to get finished and the future. I'm going to try my best to sit back, and enjoy life for a change - day by day. I have a feeling that this year is going to be a whirlwind of memories when it comes to the end of December :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

16 Weeks

*How far along?: 16 Weeks
*How big is baby?: Avocado

*Weight Gain: Holding steady at 5 pounds
*Sex: Precious little boy :)
*Maternity clothes: Still rocking my maternity jeans/pants, but I try to wear dresses as much as I can because they are so much more comfortable!
*Stretch marks: Nope
*Sleep: It’s hard to find a comfortable position already (no more tummy sleeping, boo!), but I still have no problems sleeping once I find the right position
*Symptoms: Definitely been having some lower abdominal stretching pains, I get nauseated if I don’t eat something every 4-ish hours, and he’s already moving :)
*Movement: I can feel him moving a every now and then when I’m driving and any other time I’m sitting up, it felt like bubbles or butterflies in my lower abdomen initially, but now I’m certain it’s Blake moving around!
*Food cravings: Taco Bell’s bean burritos, no onions :)
*Labor signs: Nope
*Belly button in or out: Super innie still
*What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach
*What I'm looking forward to: Graduating and closing on our house in a little over four weeks!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's a BOY!

Yesterday, March 26, 2011, we had an ultrasound of our little one. Allow me to introduce you to our son, Blake David Augestad :)

It is so amazing how much we love him already! God's creation is so amazing.

We announced our little boy to our family yesterday evening (Mrs. Augestad was in Texas with her family, but everyone else made it). We passed out cupcakes and instructed each person to take a bite to reveal the color of the icing inside (blue = boy, pink = girl).

The guesses for boy or girl among the family were split right down the middle ... half of the crew thought boy, half thought girl. Most of the Augestad boys guessed boy (all of the children on the Augestad side have been boys for quite some time, so I should have figured the odds were against us!).

His aunt (my sister) and cousins (my two nieces) already got him his first toy ...

We are so thrilled to meet our little man in about 5 months :) He has a whole family waiting on him and praying for him! He has no idea how much love is coming for him :)

God is so good! Hope you all had an amazing weekend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Welcome to the Second Trimester!

I just had my official "workup" this morning (pretty much means blood and a couple other tests) for all that genetic testing stuff. We had our ultrasound at our last appointment, so we only got to hear the heart beat with the doppler this morning. However, that little heart beating at 150 beats per minute sounded pretty amazing :)

It's amazing that a week from tomorrow that we will know if we are having a little boy or little girl! We are telling our family together that afternoon, so we will be sharing it with the rest of you that evening (3/26)! I really hope our little one cooperates so we can see what they are working with :)

*How far along?: 14 Weeks 2 Days
*How big is baby?: Lemon
*Weight Gain: I'm ashamed to announce ... Already 5 pounds :(
*Sex: We just want healthy! We eventually want one of each, so either would be great! (However, we still both have a feeling it's going to be a girl)
*Maternity clothes: I got a couple pairs of maternity jeans and they are so much more comfortable that regular pants (can I get away with wearing these things FOREVER!?)!! I'm still not showing, but in the last couple weeks I cannot handle direct pressure on my tummy from my clothes.
*Stretch marks: Nope
*Sleep: I still can sleep like it's my job :)
*Symptoms: The two biggest symptoms that I notice daily are my moodiness (sorry honey!) and nausea if I don't eat every 4 hours.
*Movement: I thought I felt flutters a few days ago, but I dunno yet
*Food cravings: Anything carbohydrate :) Some proteins really don't sit well with me, depending on the day
*Labor signs: Nope
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Nothing!
*What I'm looking forward to: Finding out the sex next Saturday 3/26, and sharing it with our family that afternoon! Closing on our house 4/28, and my graduation 4/29 are a couple other, non-pregnancy related things we are looking forward to!

Thank you to everyone in sharing our excitement with us!

Love, Brooke (and David)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Big News :)

We're not going to post this to the public until sometime in March, but we just found out that we're expecting yesterday! We have shared the news with a few close friends and all our family! David and I are a little scared, but beyond excited to start a family of our own :) As of right now (if my timing is right), the due date is October 7, 2011! So that makes my maternity leave all through the holidays :) Couldn't have planned that ANY better!!!

*How far along?: 4 Weeks and 3 Days
*How big is baby?: The size of a poppy seed :)
*Weight Gain: Just starting all this, so nothing!
*Sex: ??
*Maternity clothes: None
*Stretch marks: None
*Sleep: I randomly woke up at 5:45 this morning, hoping this is not a sign for the preceding future! I fell asleep about 30 minutes later, though!
*Symptoms: Dizzy when I watch David play video games or my iPod touch, and the "girls" are sore
*Movement: Nada
*Food cravings: Nada
*Labor signs: Lord no!
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Nothing yet :)
*What I'm looking forward to: Our first ultrasound/sonogram!
*Best moment of the week: Looking at these tests!

Update :)

So I haven't posted in a little over a week, so I figured I would update our family from afar on our status!

*How far along?: 5 Weeks and 5 Days
*How big is baby?: The size of an apple seed :)
*Weight Gain: Just starting all this, so nothing!
*Sex: We just want healthy! We eventually want one of each, so either would be great!
*Maternity clothes: None
*Stretch marks: None
*Sleep: I'm a sleeping machine!
*Symptoms: Still having some dizzy spells, nausea is the worst between 3 pm and bedtime
*Movement: Nada
*Food cravings: Nada
*Labor signs: Not for at least 30 more weeks, k?
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Not being dizzy or nauseated
*What I'm looking forward to: Our first ultrasound/sonogram next Monday on Valentines :)
*Best moment of the week: Completely unrelated to the pregnancy, we sent off all our loan documents and finished of the final home paperwork (we're getting an electric stove with a flat cook top, yay!) They are supposed to be breaking ground on our home within the next week or so!!!

7 Weeks!

*How far along?: 7 Weeks
*How big is baby?: The size of a blueberry
*Weight Gain: Still nothing
*Sex: We just want healthy! We eventually want one of each, so either would be great!
*Maternity clothes: None
*Stretch marks: None
*Sleep: I'm a sleeping machine!
*Symptoms: Seems like anytime after 9 pm is my prime time for nausea
*Movement: Nada
*Food cravings: Nada
*Labor signs: Not for at least 29 more weeks, k?
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Being able to fall asleep without feeling nauseated
*What I'm looking forward to: Our first ultrasound/sonogram next Monday 2/21 :) They decided to push it back a week so we could see our little one's heart beating (this week is the week the heart forms quite a bit so you can see it more clearly via ultrasound).

Moving on Up!

So, we had a big surprise at our ultrasound visit today. We were certain that we were 7 weeks and 3 days before our visit, but the ultrasound tech said, "and now how far along do you think you are? ... because this baby is measuring almost 11 weeks!"

Here is our little peanut's first picture :)

Needless to say, we were a little surprised (I had a little inkling that we might be further along since I was already feeling nauseated mid-January) but excited to have our little one in our arms even sooner!

*How far along?: Approximately 10 weeks and 5 days
*How big is baby?: The size of a prune
*Weight Gain: Still nothing
*Sex: We just want healthy! We eventually want one of each, so either would be great! (However, we both have a feeling it's going to be a girl)
*Maternity clothes: None
*Stretch marks: None
*Sleep: I still can sleep like it's my job :)
*Symptoms: Nausea from 3 pm to midnight, headaches, and I'm a little more moody than usual (just ask my poor husband and co-workers, ha ha!)
*Movement: Nada
*Food cravings: Nothing really, just starting to feel a little more picky when I'm eating
*Labor signs: Not for at least 26 more weeks, k? Let's at least get to term (36 weeks)
*Belly button in or out: In
*What I miss: Nothing!
*What I'm looking forward to: Finding out the sex in about 3 weeks at one of those 4D places :)