Cowgar Family Adventures

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas...again, and again, and again!

Where to start. This holiday has come over and over again it seems. The weekend before Christmas, Nana and Papaw came up to visit and see Avery for the first time. That brought lots of presents. Then we went to my Aunt and Uncle's, since that is where Nana and Papaw stayed. Bring out even more presents.

Christmas Eve my family does a gift exchange, but they decided to do it at 8PM since people were working. We were not staying out that late, so we dropped our gifts off at my dad's so he could take them. Chelsea stopped out though, on her way to family over here in Wooster. That's a few more presents, since we exchange gifts, seeing as I watch Kendra and all.

Christmas Day...obviously presents. The girls got bikes from us, so Moon Sand, art stuff, car stuff, and a TV microscope that they are probably a bit small for still. We packed up and went to dad's, since mom was showing up. So we get PJ's and ponies and play-doh and then gift exchange gifts. We eat the family lunch and head home for the day.

Boxing Day we spend on Luke's side since it fell on a Saturday, everyone could show up and Christmas was less hectic for everyone. Even more presents. Arts and crafts stuff, baby dolls, clothes, and much more. Luke's mom found left handed scissors and can opener, since Luke told her I complain about the right handed stuff in this house. I tried that can opener the other day, and it feels quite odd to use it after using a right handed one for my whole life.

The Sunday after we stuck at home and tried to clean up the piles of cardboard and gift paper (recycling them of course), but Keith and Angel stopped by with Kaden, so we could gift exchange. more round of presents. They announced that they are expecting again...should be early this fall sometime!

I think if we wouldn't have just had a baby, the gifts may have been a little less, because Avery got a compilation of Christmas and just being born gifts.

I have pictures galore to go through before I can tell Luke which ones need resized and put up for the blog, so bear with me. Just wanted to update and hope everyone had a good holiday. We certainly did.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Minor setbacks...

Luke and I have decided to lay down the law and keep me on my butt for a few days. I woke up today feeling like I had been hit by a truck! Dull cramps, increased bleeding, kind of dizzy, and just feeling blah. I guess the lack of sleep is catching up with me, and I have been pushing myself with my normal housewife duties.

On a good note though, Luke finished editing his senior sessions. Now we need to focus on doing some more newborn photos of Avery, and getting announcements ordered. I think we decided to skip Christmas cards and send out wallet photos with the announcements.

We started supplementing Avery with formula at night, hoping that it sticks with her longer so she will sleep a little longer. We have a few sample cans that we received in the mail that we have available to us, and I am pumping at night, so we have a nice little stockpile of breastmilk to fall back on after the cans run out. It's nice to have someone else feed her occasionally. We supplemented with Lexi since I went back to work after 6 weeks, but Lilly was exclusively breastfed and would refuse a bottle of any kind, so I never had a break with her.

I've been sitting on my butt most of the evening, and my sweet hubby is making peanut butter cookies with hershey kisses right now :)

Nana and Papaw are coming up tomorrow, so the big girls will have a bunch of fun tomorrow evening and on Saturday. I've felt bad since they haven't had nearly as much attention since Avery came home, but they seem to be doing just fine.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We Are Surviving...

I guess it's probably a few things all put together... Lexi and Lilly are older and need entertainment, it's been at least a year and a half since we have had to be up numerous times at night, and probably the fact that we are a couple years older, and a couple years more out of shape, but adjusting from a family of four to a family of five seems like a bit more of a struggle than going from 3 to 4.

I think Avery is mixing up her days and nights. The literature that the hospital sends home suggests feeding every 2 hours during the day, that way you are interrupting sleep all throughout the day, so I tried that out today. I will wake her up one more time here in a few minutes to nurse her and get her changed and swaddled for bed, and hopefully she isn't wide awake half of the night. It wouldn't be too big a deal, but Luke has a lot on his plate right now with the photography business, on top of his day job, so he has been staying up later to do editing, and by the time he comes to bed, Avery is up and needs bounced around for another hour, so he is running on little sleep.

Nursing is going OK, although it seems that she has a problem latching on the left. I get a nice pain every time, so I tried doing the football hold instead of the cradle hold, and it works out a lot better. She must not like lying on her right side to eat. The football hold is a bit more difficult to master in chairs, so I end up in bed or sideways on the couch now, but at least I don't hurt so much. I remember everyone saying to give breastfeeding 6 weeks, and with Lexi, it was exactly 6 weeks before everything fell into place. With Lilly it didn't matter, since I had only stopped breastfeeding for about 2 months before she was born.

We are surviving though, and that is the important thing! Our goal is to get through the end of the month, and then starting in the new year, we will re-do the budget and home improvement plans, and see if we can get ahead next year!

Friday, December 11, 2009


We've lasted the week! Although today has only begun... Avery went to the pediatrician on Wednesday, and checked out just fine, weighing in at 8lbs 10oz, so she gained 2 oz from her discharge weight. She has figured out the latching on thing, but we've still been supplementing with a little formula and pumped breastmilk. I don't want a baby that won't take a bottle when I need a break, and we ran into that with Lilly, so I don't want to repeat that again. She's been doing fairly well at night, she has a 5-6 hour stretch, and then 3 hour stretches after the big one.

We tried out some quick newborn shots yesterday, so we can get birth announcements done. We may try to do Christmas pictures this weekend, so we can get everything ordered all at once.

It is my goal to sit on my butt most of the day today, because I have been much too active the past 2 days with household stuff, and it is physically showing, so I need to take it easy.

Luke has tons of work to do, not only for AMPS (the company he works for), but also editing our newborn and future Christmas pictures, plus 2 senior sessions, plus fixing a friend's computer, plus numerous other things. I really don't want to depend on him too much, because he is already getting little sleep from staying up late to edit, and then he helps with the baby at night.

It's proving to be tough right now with two toddlers and a newborn, but I think once Luke's workload lessens and the holidays are over with, along with some healing time for me, that things will work out a lot better.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Welcome Home

We were discharged from the hospital about 4PM yesterday (Monday), and made our way home. The girls were super excited to meet "The New Baby", and we caught their reactions on video, which Luke will have to upload a bit later. Lexi read her stories and shared Mo with her, and they both would "pet" her very gently and wanted to give her toys to play with. We just hung out for a bit before getting the big girls in the tub, and then they helped give Avery a bath. We had Avery in her little papasan chair in their bedroom during storytime, and as Luke picked up the chair to bring her out so we could shut their light off, Lilly lost it, screaming "No, my baby!" Apparently, she thought Avery was going to sleep in that chair on her floor all night, so we had to explain to her yet again that Avery sleeps in our room for now. They did just fine though.

Avery, on the other hand, doesn't seem to want to do things my way. She still isn't latching hardly at all, no matter what we try, so she has been eating formula, and any milk that I have been able to pump. She has also been doing some cluster feedings, so right now I am just working on a game plan to keep my milk stimulated, while still keeping Avery content.

Avery's discharge weight was 8lbs 8 ozs, and we go to see the pediatrician on Wednesday afternoon. I am good to go and have my checkup on the 21st of January.

Thank you to everyone for you congrats and well wishes!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So Much for a Play by Play...

Darn wireless internet, we couldn't figure out how to get it to work until now. Now for the birth story...

We arrived right on time at 8PM, and got put on an IV drip and the monitors, just to see what baby was up to. At 9PM pitocin was started on the lowest dose, and Dr. Laing came in to break my water. I was measuring at 3cm and about 70%. We got hooked up to the wireless gadgets so we could walk around, and made it a total of 3-4 laps before I needed to be in the room. Emotionally I was not ready whatsoever to go on with the induction. I decided I should do a nubain shot at 11PM, and I was check and at a 5 and about 80% effaced. I sat in bed because I felt loopy in between contractions, but it didn't do very much for the pain. By this time, I was seriously contemplating an epidural, and had asked the nurse tons of questions about it. I could have up to 4 nubain shots before they would suggest an epidural for pain, and would you believe it takes that guy a half hour to get here after you call for one? That's crazy! I decided I should try one more nubain shot, because a needle to the back terrifies me, so at midnight I had my second shot, and I was at a 7-8 and 90%. About 10 minutes til 1AM I started feeling like I needed to push with each contraction. I was an 8-9 and fully effaced, and the crash carts were set up and the bed was moved around. I had been shaking uncontrollably for awhile, and by the time the doctor sat on the bed, I was pushing out a baby while the other nurse was calling for an assistant nurse. I had 2 big sets of pushes and out came Avery at 1:11AM. She weighed a whopping 8lbs 15 1/2 ounces, and is 21 inches long. She had a little bit of a purple face, from bruising, and I needed 2 stitches (which I received without a pain medication shot) and so far we are doing well.

I had a little more bleeding than they would like, and so far she is not nursing at all, but eating well from the little bottles of similac they have here. Right now we are just hanging out, waiting for visitors and taking naps. Here are a few pics that Luke also has up on facebook...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

For Your Enjoyment...

The title of the last post made me think of Europe, so Luke and I set out on a search and came across this.

Europe Video

Please take a few minutes and enjoy the hair, pink lipstick, jacket change, on stage slow motion, cheesy guitar solo, and flames. And make note of the date on the top of the building...1986. I was 2 :) Gotta love the 80's!

It's the Final Countdown! T-9 and ticking...

Well, tonight is the night. I didn't sleep worth a darn last night. Fell asleep about midnight, was up at 4:30, and didn't fall back asleep until about 8:30, just in time to wake up at 9:15 this morning. I had some contractions for a little while about 10 minutes apart, but obviously it was nothing.

I have the bed sheets in the wash along with other miscellaneous laundry. All of the floors have been swept except the kitchen. The dining room is ready to be set up into a studio for this double senior session that goes from 2PM-6PM (although the first part will be outside).

On my to-do list...

1) Make bed
2) Clean out car
3) Finish off kitchen trash and dishes after lunch
4) Finish packing hospital gear
5) Try to relax

My mother-in-law (Trish) is coming about 1:30 or so to help with the girls during the photo shoot, and she will stay tonight with them. My dad will be over sometime tomorrow and he will stay Sunday night with them since he is off work Monday.

The hospital doesn't have WiFi in the rooms, but they do in the reception area, so I will periodically type something out for Luke to post here on the blog, to keep everyone up-to-date with the situation.

The plan is to be at the hospital at 8PM tonight, and we will see how we start from there.

Friday, December 4, 2009

An Afternoon at the Hospital

No baby yet. I had contractions for 3 hours that were 5-7 minutes apart last night, that even lasted through a bath, but they weren't strong enough to keep me from falling asleep, although each time I got up to use the bathroom, I could feel them.

We had our ultrasound at 2PM for the AFI (fluid check) and it was like 13.6, which is great the tech said. Baby is head down (which we knew) and we saw a hand, which was blocking the goods shot, so even this late in the game, baby is still modest and won't give a clear shot. With the family statistics though, and the 4 techs thinking girl at the 20 week ultrasound, I can't imagine anything else in there but another little girl.

We went down to labor and delivery for the NST (Non-Stress Test), so I got to lay in bed for 30 minutes while they monitored the baby's heart rate and any contractions, and I got to push a little button whenever I felt the baby move. They had the stats they needed within the first 10 minutes, but had to keep us on for a half hour to make sure. After that half hour, apparently the baby had a heart deceleration, so they called Dr. Laing, and I got to stay on the machine and drink some water. All in all, I was hooked up for an hour and a half. Everything is fine though, and I even had some contractions show up on the monitor. Being in that bed for that long though, I have no idea how I am supposed to stay hooked up to all that equipment while going through pitocin contractions. I am going to need to move around, or this induction just isn't going to happen.

On another note, as we walked through the door, they had a sign posted that said no one under 18 will be allowed to visit patients, which means the girls won't be able to visit. Luckily Chris was off work early today, so we left the girls with him. This makes me very upset, because this whole H1N1 is getting blown way out of proportion, and now it's affecting a very important moment in my family's lives. I told Luke we are going to pressure everyone around us to get us discharged as early as possible. I don't want to stay the 48 hours I did with the girls...hopefully we can get out at 24. I don't want to rely on family for so long when in this economy, people shouldn't take off work unless absolutely necessary.

I'm hoping something happens this evening or tonight, or even tomorrow morning, even though it would ruin Luke's photo shoot. I just want to keep away from a pitocin induction if at all possible, but this baby is not helping this situation!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Finally!!! Some Baby Progress to Report...

Had my doctor's appointment late this afternoon (3:30). I went from nothing last week, to 3cm and 40% effaced, although the cervix still feels a bit thick she said. She went ahead and stripped the membranes which brought us to 4cm when it was all said and done. When I was 2cm and 50% with Lilly, we had the membranes stripped, and I went into labor 9 hours later, so hopefully this does something tonight or tomorrow, because I really don't want induced.

In the event that nothing has happened, we go to the hospital tomorrow at 2PM for a Non-Stress Test and an ultrasound to check fluid levels since I will be 41 weeks, and officially a week overdue. Luke has a senior shoot scheduled on Saturday, and our induction is scheduled for Saturday evening at 8PM, so at the latest, we will have a baby by Sunday!!

Since I am dilated and effaced, we will not have to start off with any gel, just pitocin (which I really don't want), and then we can break the water a little while after that. I hope it doesn't come to that, because I don't want to be stuck in bed hooked up to a bunch of monitors, especially when I won't have an epidural (I refuse to take a needle to my back), so I guess I need to think of some pain management techniques if I end up stuck in bed not being able to move.

Hopefully the next time I post I will be in labor or holding a baby!

Monday, November 30, 2009

"In Goddard We Trust!!"

Or how about "Trust in Goddard!" Anyone in Northeast Ohio should know what I'm talking about! The one, the only, Fox 8 weatherman Dick Goddard!!!! He was literally 2 blocks from the house on Saturday at our local Discount Drug Mart, signing autographs and raising money for his animal causes. Drug Mart carries his calendar every year. Luke got the car tags and stopped by the store and saw that he was there and called me, so I hurried up and dressed the girls and when he got home we packed the car and went to go stand in line. We got calendars and stickers and Luke took a picture of me and the girls with him. That darn store had windows in the wrong place, and being almost 1PM, the sun was shining right on us, so our faces are all blown out from the sun, but it didn't matter, because I met Dick Goddard! I've only watched him my entire life, and my mom has watched him for like, her entire life, so it was pretty cool. To give you an idea, he is AMS Seal #45. He is an original weatherman. Just Wiki him....he is awesome :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Late Turkey Day, and a Birthday for Luke!

Wednesday was our weekly doctor's appointment. We went to Orrville for this one, so Luke got his Ming Hing for lunch ;) Still no change going on in there, but she didn't want to poke too much, since she left Thursday for vacation and won't be back til Sunday evening. She doesn't want to miss the birth. We have an appointment on Thursday, and if there is still no change, we will be discussing induction options, which I really don't want to do. I think that she is thinking that weekend...which Luke has a double senior shoot scheduled that Saturday. Needless to say, I am very anxious and nervous about this induction thing, but I'm just taking it a day at a time, and hopefully there will be some change come Thursday.

Yesterday was the big Turkey Day, and we didn't do anything! We skipped my family's get together, for the sake of our health, and Luke's side was up in Cleveland, and we didn't want to travel that far from home in the event that the baby decided to come. Luke's parents brought a feast back to us in the evening though, so after the kids were asleep, we had a nice Thanksgiving Day dinner while watching "Major Payne"

Today is Luke's birthday, and we haven't done much at all. His mom had brought some old slides down, so we've been looking at those and starting to scan them in. We need to get a new tag for the car, and of course the BMV place is closed today. Not even a government holiday! Hopefully they will be open tomorrow. That's what we get for waiting last minute when his birthday is always so close to a holiday :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home Improvement/Organizing Weekend

We decided that having a working shower would probably be a good thing after the baby comes, so we started finishing the windows in the bathroom (both windows touch the shower surround). Luke primed them a couple coats, then caulked around everything on Saturday. On Sunday, he started painting, only to realize that the caulk we had bought is non-paintable!! Even after attempting to put primer overtop, we are just left with caulk, the paint will bead overtop of it. I told him, screw it,it's a shower, there is supposed to be caulk everywhere anyways, so he went ahead and did a couple coats of paint on the windows.

Fast-forward to the christening last night...

#1 The fabric shower curtain makes the shower a bit dark.
#2 Even though the curtain said you didn't need a liner, we will buy one anyway.
#3 Apparently semi-gloss paint hates being in the shower, and it started to bubble up on the window from getting wet.

The new plan...

#1 Look for paintable caulk and rerun a small bead overtop of the non-paintable, so it's less noticeable.
#2 Buy all weather indoor/outdoor white paint for the bathroom trim, so we know it can stand up to the constant water exposure.

The shower was nice though! Easier to wash hair in a shower than a bathtub when you're this pregnant.

I went through a small cleaning spell on Sunday, and got the crib cleared out, bedroom more organized, baby clothes more organized. All the floors were swept, 2 loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away. Dishwasher is almost ready to run again, garbage was switched out, and best of all, we bought one of those 9-bin toy organizers for the girls, and went through all of the toys. They now have special places for blocks, animals, cars, track, food, and many other things. Clean up in the living room is now easier, because they don't tear everything out looking for a specific toy. It also helps Lilly tremendously, because when all of the toys are on the floor and we ask them to clean up, we believe she gets very overwhelmed and her brain just doesn't process taking directions. She gets so lost, and we have to give her specific tasks like "clean up the cars and put them in this tote" while physically showing her, and helping her out. She seems to be able to handle this organizer more on her own, so I'm sure she will adjust even further as they learn where all of their toys go.

Still no baby. I've had plenty of miscellaneous contractions, but nothing consistent...

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Just got back from the doctor's appointment. NOTHING has happened! Cervix is still high and tilted back, and no dilation or effacement. So needless to say, so membrane stripping, since nothing is favorable. I will go back next Wednesday morning in the Orrville office and she will check progress and we will go from there.

It's a bit odd, since I dilated early with the other girls, but we were also going by estimated due dates. I know exactly when I ovulated for this pregnancy, so I know my due date is correct. I guess baby just needs more time to bake. Mom says Thanksgiving Day. The doctor said she normally wouldn't care, but since she is going out of town, she doesn't want to miss it, so maybe baby will wait for her and we will have a very late November/early December baby. Anything could happen though, we may not make it to Wednesday, since things can change rapidly. Dr. Laing says we won't worry about induction until after she would get back from vacation. I would be overdue by then. She said I have such easy labor and deliveries, there is no sense in forcing an induction when nothing is going on up there, so we won't go that route unless we are too far overdue and nothing has happened.

So that is where we stand so far. I guess I need to start scrubbing floors on my hands and knees and going for long walks ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feeling Pooey!

I woke up this morning feeling like poo! I ate some cereal, which I in turn threw up, and took a bath, which didn't seem to help my overall state :( I feel crampy and tired and shaky, which is how I felt for 2 days before I decided to go to labor and delivery with Alexis, only to find out that we were 6cm and I was being admitted. If something noticeable doesn't happen by tomorrow morning, my doctor's appointment is at 11:15AM, and as long as things are soft and ready to go down there, the doctor will strip the membranes to see if anything starts.

In the meantime, I'm trying to take it easy, even though I have a 5 mile long list of things that need done between now and tomorrow, and we are trying to keep the girls from getting sick. Lexi's nose started bugging her yesterday evening.

In other news, Luke had his first print order and we delivered it yesterday, and he also got a phone call for another print order. Just waiting on the check from that one and we will have it on the way.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today's Doctor Visit

So as you may have noticed, Thursdays are our weekly visits, since that is the only day the doctor is in Wooster and not Orrville. Just more convenient to drive 5 minutes up the road as opposed to 20 minutes to the next town. Everything went well. Weight is more than I'd like ::cough:: 204lbs ::cough:: but that is actually down a pound from last week. Blood pressure was 100/62, which is normal for me, and the baby's heartbeat was 148bpm, which is within normal range. She noticed that I'm swelling in the legs just a touch, but my ankles have been pitting for a few weeks now. No concern though.

If we don't have a baby by next Thursday, she will check me to see if I'm dilated and how the cervix is doing. If things seem favorable in there, we will go ahead and strip the membranes at that appointment. I had that done with Lilly, and I went into labor that evening. She is going on vacation for Thanksgiving, so she gave us the option to induce Tuesday the 24th if nothing happens by then, but I won't get induced unless my health or the baby's starts to deteriorate, or I go overdue too long. We just may not have her delivering the baby if we pop around Thanksgiving.

All and all, I'm hoping to not make it to next weeks appointment. Dr. Laing told me to do some jumping jacks, and I think we may hit some bumpy roads this evening. I guess we will see what happens :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Baby Today :(

Well, it's 10PM, so unless labor comes super fast and ends quickly, I don't think I will have a baby today. We didn't do too much today, and you can certainly tell by looking around. Lots of toys laying around, floors need swept, and dishes need exchanged in the dishwasher. Thankfully it's trash night, so a little bit of the mess will go thanks to Luke (as long as he remembers to take it out).

We went to some craft stores today, scoping out items for a few new crafts I've discovered online, although it looks like I may need to buy most of the supplies online, as it seems a lot of people have trouble finding some of the items locally, including myself...

So, I gotta call from the doctor's office. They left a message saying they had called in a prescription for iron at the local Rite Aid, because my bloodwork came back and I am now slightly anemic. I guess it explains the dizzy, tired, irritable spells that I go through, but the most interesting thing I found on the Internet, is that some anemic people crave ice. I've been eating ice by the tray for about a month now! Weird eh? Some people seem to think it has to do with needing oxygen since the red cell count would be low.

Back to the baby though, the next available day for labor would actually be Friday the 13th, since tomorrow is Veteran's Day, and Thursday has a few birthdays already. Hopefully I will get well rested tonight, and get some house maintenance done tomorrow. My next appointment is Thursday, and we'll see how things go.

Jeremy's flight and My Pick!

Yesterday we had Kendra for a couple hours, and packed all the kids in the car and took off for Wayne County Airport. Jeremy (Luke's brother), got his pilot's license over the weekend, and his first passenger was his 3 year old Anne. They flew out of Skypark and met us at Wayne County for some Klondike bars, and Jeremy wanted some pictures...which of course Luke can resize for facebook, but not for my blog...

The girls had a blast though, and Lilly cried when we left. She absolutely loves airplanes. Nana found an airshow shirt that has some planes and helicopters on it, and that is all she ever wants to wear anymore besides her Halloween shirt with the ghosts on it (thanks to Aunt Angie).

As for today, well it was my pick for having this baby. The date is 11/10/09...and I believe that there are no birthdays in the immediate family on this day. Unless things get moving soon though, I don't think it will happen. Lexi was around 16 hours of labor, and Lilly was 12, so I am expecting at least 8 hours this time around. I just want labor to start after I get up in the morning, and not be in active labor overnight like with the other two. Tomorrow is Chelsea's pick, but it's Veteran's Day, and I really don' want to pop on a holiday.

I have Kendra for a few hours over lunch today, and I guess I should try to keep up with general house maintenance, so the house doesn't look completely trashed when someone comes to stay with the girls.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A long night...

Starting off with was absolutely gorgeous outside. I had no idea it was gonna hit 75 degrees in November!! And today the NOAA is calling for 72. I raked some leaves that Luke put on a tarp and took down to the curb for the next leaf pickup.

Last night I tried watching some Indy, but I felt so blah, so we must have been in bed by 10:30, only for me to wake up about 1:30 feeling tired but alert with a nice dull back ache. I decided to take a bath and by the time I got myself situated back in bed it was 2:30AM and I felt a contraction. by 3:30 Luke was up in bed downloading a contraction timer program so we could keep better track of them, although for the past hour they were about 5 minutes apart. They continued every 3-5 minutes for another 45 minutes - 1 hour before they just fizzled out, so we laid back down and got a little sleep before the girls woke up and Luke had to start his workday. I'm surprisingly up and about this morning for having so little sleep. The dishwasher is going, laundry is in the wash, and the kids have been fed, so I'm not doing too bad.

I'm kind of bummed they fizzled out, but my guess was the 10th anyways...not the 9th, so maybe it will happen again tonight, but stay constant. Either way...I guess this means we need to finish packing the hospital bag and getting a list of phone numbers together :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Our Saturday...

First of all...still no baby. I am going through every labor is coming soon symptom in the book, so hopefully something will happen soon.

Luke had a photo session this morning, finishing up his last senior. Hopefully he can get these shots edited down this week and have her gallery up, and we will be done with photo sessions besides our own until after baby gets here.

Girls are watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...thanks Nana! Now they love that movie.

Luke just got back with some lunch from the little dariette place downtown. Mmmm, broccoli and cheese soup and grilled cheese. Yummy!

Now to enjoy a mostly clean house for a little bit, go through some senior pictures, and figure out how to start labor ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dear City of Wooster...

I thank you for taking a little pride in the city and scheduling the annual leaf pick up so the neighbourhood yards look a little better this time of year. It is also very nice for the environment, as I know the trucks take all of the leaves to be composted, so next year I can pay $5.00 a bag for mulch that came from my own backyard. However, why do you insist on picking it up at 7:30AM!!!! I understand that the majority of people are up with full-time dayshift jobs, but not in this house...or neighbourhood for that matter. I am ready to pop this kid out, and I have two toddlers sleeping that were woken up asking "What's that?", as they heard the huge vacuum truck pass by. I am fortunate enough that Luke works from home, and can help out with them in my time of need, and as for the neighbours, most are on some kind of assistance, so they have nowhere to be that early. 9AM would have been fine, just not 7:30!'s gonna be a long day.

On another note, Halloween went well. We trick-or-treated in Burton City at Grandpa Perkins house, ate a bunch of candy, and continued eating candy on Sunday. The girls loved the princess dresses and pumpkin baskets. Still no baby, although I'm not considered full-term until Friday. My next appointment is Thursday morning. I had some throwing up and contractions on Sunday, but unless some fluid spills from my body, I feel tons of pressure, or an insane amount of pain, I plan to just hang out at the house as long as possible. Easier for the girls and myself.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Week With Nana...and other updates...

On Friday the 16th, Luke had asked if I had heard from my grandma on whether or not she was coming up that weekend from West Virginia. I had emailed her the day before, so he suggested I call down there and see what the plans are. Low and behold, grandpa tells me she is already in Ohio, and will probably be over that day!!!!! Surprise to us. We got the dishwasher loaded and started wiping the microwave and in pulls mom and grandma. Luckily, the house wasn't too out of shape, but I wasn't expecting her until Sunday afternoon, not Friday.

She stayed the week and the girls had a ton of fun. They walked up to the Gault Family Learning Center and played on their "playground". We walked around the block and picked up some leaves that we put in clear contact paper to preserve. We raked some leaves outside to jump into. They did lots of puzzles and colouring.

Luke and I worked on the bathroom a little bit, cleaned the basement just a touch, and got my Geo Metro hauled off for scrap :( I got $180 out of it from the guys that took it away, but I cried as they hacked away at it on the trailer before they even left our house! I told Luke, I had that car longer than I've been with him. I will miss it, but the frame was beyond fixing.

Wednesday was Nana's birthday, but we waited until Saturday to celebrate, since Grandpa came up Friday and they stayed over at Uncle Rob and Aunt Taresa's house. We had lots of ice cream cake and cheese :)

My doctor's appointment was Thursday, and we didn't bring the girls since Nana was up, so the doctor decided to do some swab test and check things out in there. She said the cervix was high and closed, which is good, since I still have 2 weeks before I'm considered full term, and my belly is measuring at 38, although I really believe that I look smaller than I did with both girls. I'm hoping for the second week of November (the 10th to be exact), but we will see how things pan out.

Luke had a senior shoot on Sunday at Silvercreek. We dropped the girls off at Rob and Taresa's (for more ice cream cake) and I went and held the reflectors and flashes for him. They will be coming over later this week for the studio session. He actually left about an hour ago to do another senior shoot at Lake Anna, and then we will have to schedule a studio session for them as well, so needless to say I will be busy cleaning all week!!

Hopefully I can muster up the energy. There are so many little things I want to get done, especially before the baby, and how he will have two seniors to edit, and I just hope he can get the editing done before I pop. I actually think the baby dropped a bit, must have been the walking at Silvercreek yesterday. Hopefully we can get some things finished up...if anyone wants to buy me some drywall and put it up for me, I will love you forever ;)

As always, pictures will show up sometime, we have lots of senior pictures to go through, so I'm sure the first pictures that will end up getting posted on this blog will end up being whenever the baby comes, and then we will catch up with everything else one day....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hi...Welcome Back!

To myself that is... My laptop had a charger lost for quite some time, and Luke hogs his other computers a I never really found the time to get on here and update as usual.

September flew by. I'm really not sure if we did anything memorable either :( We had our 4 year anniversary, had the house to ourselves (with kids) for a week while Chris watched Luke's parents' house while they went on vacation. We did go to the Cleveland Airshow over Labor Day weekend.

The big news throughout August/September is that we got the photography business up and running...somewhat. The webpage ( now works, with galleries and pricing. Luke had a couple senior sessions at the beginning of the month that he is almost done editing, and we will see how those go! Unfortunately, we launched at the wrong time. The nice weather is ending, and we are getting super close to Baby #3 being here ( 4 weeks until full-term!!!)

Speaking of baby, everything is going well, I go back on the 22nd, and then we think we may go down to seeing her every week until baby arrives. Heart sounds great, and I'm measuring a week ahead. I am hoping for the 10th, but we shall see I suppose.

We still have so much to do around the house. We have closed off the sunroom as a toy room for the year since it has been so cold, so now it is cluttered with items from our little foyer area just inside the front door. We had to clear it all out because we will be removing a door that goes into our bedroom and making a little coat closet in there, so we are gonna take out a door, slap some paint up on the walls, finish the wood floor and then clutter it back up with coats and yardsale boxes for next year. Then we will be able to work on our bedroom, although I don't think we will be anywhere near done with it by the time the baby comes. We are also steps closer in the bathroom. We need to finish some window trim (prime and paint) and run some caulking around the tile, and the shower will be usable, which will be nice since my Doctor doesn't really recommend a bath after delivering a baby.

I know I've said it the past few times, but one day I will get Luke to get some pictures ready to be put up here. There are tons of miscellaneous ones to go through.

As for a more recent update. Today we went up to Walsh Farms in Doylestown to pick out pumpkins. The kids have been really excited seeing pumpkins of front porches when we drive, but they didn't seem nearly that excited when we went to pick them out. I think they were cold and crabby, and I was too, so they went the the little straw maze a few times, then we picked out one big pumpkin to carve, and they each picked a smaller pumpkin, and then we got teeny tiny ones that we will probably let them paint.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Long Overdue Update....

Where to start off? We've had a hectic month. My birthday was July 26th, so we celebrated by going to the Cleveland Zoo for the day.

We are starting to get a little deeper into the photography business. We had a shoot with my Aunt and Uncle, a senior shoot with my brother, a family shoot with an old friend of Luke's, and we have inquiries from both family and strangers for family and senior shoots. Luke had some editing to catch up on this week, and we've been making price lists and pamphlets, but it looks like there is no turning back now, Luke has officially picked up a part-time gig as a photographer.

Lilly is still doing really well with potty training. She still wears a diaper when we go out and at night, but as her communication about going potty gets better, we will switch to underwear more and more for her. Right now she is distracted easily when we are out and will not tell us until it's too late, and she sleeps like a brick so she doesn't wake up to go potty.

We had a family reunion last weekend for Luke's Mom's side of the family. It was a big success. Luke got some pictures, but his sister had her laptop and scanner set up so we could scan in pictures and information that family members brought, so that was the #1 goal for the day. The girls and I got a little sun, but they spent most of the day playing with an old well pump that still worked, so they were soaked most of the day, which worked out nicely, since it was over 90 degrees and sticky.

My monthly baby checkup went just fine. I think I've gained about 5 pounds, and everything looks and sounds great.

I'll have pictures to put up sometime, but I don't want to bug Luke about it right now since he has lots of photo editing to do. For now though, everyone is doing fine, and hopefully this blog gets updated a bit more now that we have the office moved back upstairs and Luke's server issues under control!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Quiet Weekend

Last Tuesday, my grandma drove up from West Virginia in preparation to take the girls down to her place in West Virginia over the weekend. She stayed Tuesday and Wednesday night, and took the girls to the park and cleaned things (she always has to clean something). On Wednesday my Aunt and Uncle came over with their boys, and we paid them to pull out the weeds in the front flower beds. They kept the girls entertained in the yard, and we ordered pizza and showed off a few pictures Luke had edited of the boys, (we did a photo shoot at their place on Sunday).

Thursday morning, grandma took of with the girls to pick up my brother and head down to her place. Lexi has stayed the night away from me once or twice with grandma, but it has been at my Uncle's place, 30 minutes away, not 4 hours into another state! To say I was scared/anxious/depressed would be an understatement. She called when they hit the border and stopped at the rest area, and at 2:26PM, I realized it was the first time I had ever been separated from my babies by a state border!

We had so much planned for when they were gone, but I physically and emotionally just felt ill by not having them. We caught the new Harry Potter movie, we hit some thrift shops and yardsales, and we finished adhering the shower tile (it still needs grout and sealant before the shower is usable again). We got our small fish tank set up on the fireplace, because we plan on transferring our fish out of the big tank. We are gonna sell the big tank, it just takes up too much space for Luke's "studio" in the dining room. I also set up my yardsale stuff and made about $20, not as good as last month when we made $50, but still...every little bit helps.

I truly believe that we actually get more accomplished when we have the kids. I function better when I know they are here and safe with me. It doesn't help that I am halfway through a pregnancy, so my emotions are wackey times 5,000!

Needless to say though, the kids are back safe. We picked them up Sunday in Marietta after hitting the local Kmart there and getting lots of toy deals :) We took them to a park before we came home, since Nana had said that we would, and Lexi never forgets! They had a blast in West Virginia, and missed us a bit, but wouldn't talk on the phone (a skill we need to work on) They played in a little pool, and sand, and the creek, and down the street at a neighbours.

I'm just happy to have them back. They may be exhausting at times, but they are my babies, and my responsibility, and it feels really weird to be without them!

Pictures to come soon...

My Best Friend!

On July 9th, we met up with my bestest bud Diane, and her son Miles at our local Applebee's. Chelsea and Kendra also came, seeing as we all went to school together, and had kids the same age and all.

I hadn't seen her since Lexi was little, and I had never seen her son...only in pictures, so it was fun to go out to eat, then we hit Cohan Park here in town, which is just the right size for little kids like ours to play on.

She is in the Air Force, and stationed out West (I won't disclose her location ;) ) I miss her lots, and can't wait until she moves closer!

Pictures to come soon...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Fourth of July

Every year we spend the day of the fireworks hanging out with my dad at the fair in Orrville. This year, we headed up to my cousin Josh's house, which isn't too far from the high school where we normally sit each year. It was convenient, because being pregnant, I have to go potty every 1/2 hour or so, and a bathroom is better than walking half a mile to a port-a-potty.

We walked down to the park to take a look at the fair, and asked Lexi what she thought about the rides. Well she saw the helicopters and wanted to ride those. She is only 3! No one else can go on with her because it's for 56 inches and under. I of course, had a panic attack right there. Luke waited in line with her while Lilly, dad, and I stood by the gate. Luke strapped her in and I took pictures, and then when he left he took video. She did fine, but it took everything I had to not break down and cry that she was on a ride all by herself! She didn't seem thrilled with it, and she didn't pull her bar back to fly the helicopter, but she said she had fun. I took both of the girls on the carousel, and Lilly had a blast on it, and cried when we got off. We also played the Lucky Ducks game, and they each picked out a blow up SpongeBob as a prize. We also bought some incense sticks, cotton candy, fair fries, and a funnel cake...all of the usual fair needs.

We hung out at Josh's, playing with cars and sparklers, and when it was close to 10PM, Luke walked down to the high school so he was closer to the fireworks for pictures, and I sat back with dad and we each held one of the girls while the fireworks went off. The girls loved them, and they were just as great as every other year we've gone. Instead of throwing ourselves in traffic, we waited since Luke had to walk back up from the high school, and then we casually packed up and headed out of town. It only took us 20 minutes to get from Orrville to Burton City to pick up the dog, which is the shortest we've ever been stuck in traffic. I really think the girls were asleep before we left the parking lot as Josh's apartment!

A Birthday for Kendra

Actually today (the 7th) is Kendra's birthday, but the party took place over the holiday weekend. On Saturday, we hooked up with Chelsea and Kendra, and another friend from high school (Angie) and her daughter Katy. We spent the afternoon at Chuck-E-Cheese in North Canton, and let the girls have some pizza and play some games. Lexi likes collecting tickets for prizes, and we had enough to get a lollipop and a spider for both Lexi and Lilly. We used a couple of the tokens to get some pictures of us together. I'm pretty sure they are probably the only family shots we have of all four of us together since Lilly was born!!

Kendra's party was on Sunday, and she had picked out SpongeBob invitations, so her party was themed for SpongeBob. It was basically just her family, and then us, so the girls had some fun swinging and blowing bubbles and eating cake. Kendra got lots of puzzles and colouring books, and we got her a shovel and some other sand/outside toys.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ultrasound Update!

Wednesday morning I was woken up by a call from the hospital asking if I could come in that day instead of Thursday for the ultrasound. Well yeah...I'll take a day early! I drank my 8,000 ounces of water before 1PM and did the potty dance while waiting to be called back. I had a student tech that did the ultrasound, so she had 2 other techs in the room with her, and a third that finished up at the end. They took all kinds of pictures of my insides...and of course the baby.

Gender wise...well, the baby wasn't nearly as stubborn as Lexi and Lilly. The glimpse we got suggests to all 4 techs in the room that we are having another girl!!! Oh boy! We are now accepting donations for weddings and shotguns.

I really cannot imagine 3 girls. Lexi and Lilly are so close in age that they can be in the same extracurricular activities. Same teams, same groups, etc... But throwing in another girl that is 2 1/2 years younger means I have a whole other set of activities to attend, and as of right now, she will be alone...which makes us contemplate one more baby. A girl would give us two groups of two, but if genetics failed in the Cowgar family and we ended up with a boy, then I would have 2 sets of girl activities, and then a set of boy activities, although they would be close enough in age that they could still be playing partners like Lexi and Lilly are now. I guess we will see how this pregnancy and delivery goes, and if we catch the baby fever shortly after like we did after Lexi was born!

Oh, by the way...the name we have for our new baby girl is Avery Sapphire!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Po-Po Smackdown!

So, yesterday, we decided to go do a little shopping for potty prizes up in Medina. On the way back into Wooster, we notice a helicopter circling around, and at first thought life flight, but it was getting further away from the hospital. Upon reaching the house, the thing is hovering around OUR house! We stay outside and watch it...noticing now that it is a sheriff chopper. We look up our street, and of course there is a cop car there now, and tons of guys with bullet proof vest and US Marshall shirts. Wooster decided to do another drug raid. I guess they had units spread across town from all over the county.

They did this last fall when we had gotten back from the Cleveland Zoo, and we were just at the Akron Zoo over the weekend, so we are thinking if we keep going to the zoo, maybe the city will get cleaned up quicker! Last fall though, it was right outside the house, the duplex across the street was raided and there were people running everywhere!

Needless to say...we need to get rid of this house. That is twice in less than a year we've had a helicopter circling with cops running around guns drawn and all! So, everyone...feel free to volunteer to come over and help finish projects so we can put this place on the market. I have a LONG to do list!

Potty Training

Lexi was fully potty trained day and night by the time she was 2 1/2, and it was pretty easy with her. She initiated herself, and just never looked back. I have a goal to get Lilly potty trained by November, so we only have one baby in diapers, so I have casually gotten ready for her. I have a potty chart in the bathroom to put stickers on, and a bin with a few potty prizes. She didn't really seem to have much of an interest with the potty in May, but I started asking her before bed and before bath and in the morning, and she would sit for a couple minutes and tell me she's done.

Well, the past few days there has been an explosion! She is running around naked right now and has only had one accident, and it was poop. She loves getting her stickers, and her Lightning McQueen cars as prizes. I can't stop her!! It will be interesting to see how she reacts when we are out, and she will still be in a diaper at night for now, although this morning she had pulled it off and went on the potty chair in the bedroom all by herself.

And I can't leave out Lexi. We have a little potty chair that goes into the bedroom at night, and stays in the living room during the day, which she has used faithfully since not wearing diapers. She has now graduated to going into the bathroom, putting her potty seat on the big potty, getting her stool over there, climbing on the potty, doing her business, wiping, and putting everything away and flushing. So I've got potty duty going on all over the place lately! Hopefully it stays this easy.

Weekend at the Akron Zoo

We became members of the Cleveland Zoological Society, which means we can not only get into Cleveland Zoo for free, but also the Akron Zoo...along with a big list of other zoos around the country for free or discounted admission.

On Saturday we decided to finally make it to the zoo, and had an awesome time. The girls loved walking around, and it is small and very kid friendly. The big attraction was 3 jaguar cubs that were born back in March, and I saw them better in the pictures that Luke took than I did at the zoo. There were two or three guys with huge cameras completely hogging up the glass, that even the girls couldn't get through to the glass to see them. They are only on display in the morning, so it's a madhouse around there.

We saw lots of other animals though, penguins, jellyfish, flamingos, a snow leopard, lemurs, bats, and lots more. We ate lunch at the Komodo Cafe, and took some time in the garden's so the girls could play in the foutain.

We went back Sunday morning for a few hours since we pass it to get out to Newton Falls. Would you believe the same guys with cameras were still hogging the jaguar display!!! They must live there or something. I swear if they are there the next time we go, I am going to send Lexi towards the glass with her camera and chew them out for not letting a child get through to see the exhibit!

We have some video that will be coming soon...

Mama Cowgar's Birthday Bash

Her birthday got trumped by Father's Day and Papa Cowgar's IFR test, so this past Sunday we celebrated her birthday at Great-Grandpa Caldwell's house in Newton Falls. We had hot dogs from the famous hot dog shop in Warren, and then had some cake. The candles were the kind that are "magic" and keep relighting themselves...if Luke and I would have been let in on the joke, I would have recorded it, but, we only have pictures. The girls had a fun time playing with their cousins, but we were pretty tired and didn't stay very long. We had been at the Akron Zoo that morning, and all day on Saturday, so I was beyond exhausted!

Father's Day

For Father's Day we did little wooden craft projects for the boys in our life. We bought some pre-made choo choo and airplane wooden wall hangy things and had the girls paint them. We did airplanes for Papa Cowgar, Uncle Chuck, and Uncle Jeremy, and choo choo trains for Grandpa Perkins and Great-Grandpa Caldwell. We did a picture frame for Papaw in West Virginia (sorry, I haven't gotten an envelope to mail it yet!)

Luke's present was a spare battery and a 5 pack of 2G cards for his camera that we purchased before the Indy airshow.

We started the day at Grandpa Perkins' house with some Dairy Queen. We hung out on the porch for awhile and then went up to Mama and Papa Cowgar's to wait for Papa Cowgar and Jeremy to get home. Papa Cowgar has his private pilot's license and took is IFR rating. They took a lot longer than expected, so we ordered pizza, and when they got here we celebrated his test passing with some angel food cake and some chocolate covered cherries.