Things to be Thankful for…

Good Morning! 

I’m sorry it’s been so long in between updates from me again…  To be honest I don’t have all that much going on in life right now… I mean you can only say “I’m PREGNANT” once and you can only say I’m sick as a dog so many times… And since those two things have pretty much ruled my life since the second week of October I find myself with very little to actually say.

However, this week was a little bit different! 

For those of you who will ask, we concurred the skunk!  I’m washing the very last load of skunk affected material right now.  I’ve found that pouring a bit of vinegar into the bleach trap takes the smell right out.  As far as Gandalf goes… well, if you get right up in his face his jowls still smell of skunk a bit so we just keep applying the spray.  BUT the rest of him smells lovely from all that expensive skunk shampoo! 🙂  The worst part of this whole ordeal is that he is MY dog.  He comes to ME when he wants attention, petting, lovin’ on, ect.  And because my nose is so darn sensitive at the moment, I pretty much have to beat him off in panic if he comes up to me unexpectedly…  because, let’s face it, close up dog breath perfumed with Pepe Le’Pew’s new Ode de colon… “Week old skunk” is NOT good right now.  It breaks my heart to see his face fall and have him walk away with the “what did I do wrong mama?” face on.  I’ve been making Ryan spend lots of time with him and every time I walk by when he’s laying down I make it a point to pet on him and rub his belly with my toes… but I know it doesn’t quite make up for it.  Poor guy!

Back to the news! 

This week we had unexpected guests!  Ryan’s parents, Denny and Cheryl, surprised us a few days before Thanksgiving and asked if they could come to us for the holiday.  We, of course, said the more the merrier!  This was the first big holiday that we’ve been with any of our family since Christmas of 2005 so it was a banner day for us!  They got in on Wednesday night and stayed until early Saturday morning. 

In those two and a half days I got exactly ONE picture!  Pffffftttt….  I whipped out my camera just before we ate and got a picture of the spread and only my Father in law, Denny, is in it because he was ready to eat!

We had; turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry stuffing, vedalia onion cornbread, sweet potato pie, rolls, green bean salad, corn nuggets (these lovely little local bits… cream corn breaded and deep fried! YUMMO) and of course off the table are my famous Pumpkin Cheesecake (I hope everyone I shared the recipe with found it a great addition to their holidays!  I know it’s one of my very favorite recipes!) and a homemade Pecan Pie.  It was quite a lot of food for four and I have to be honest… I left out a few of the traditional family dishes just to cull it down a bit!  CRAZY!


As for the rest of the time they were here…  There isn’t all that much to do in Del Rio…  we spent a lot of time just visiting, which is a GREAT use of time in my opinion!  On Friday we had a slow morning and then hit the town.  We took them on a tour of the town… it took about 30 minutes 🙂  Then we went to the base and showed them all it has to offer… That took about 15 minutes…  Then we showed them Ryan’s office and headed home.  Then on Friday night we hit the town for some good old fashioned Texas BBQ.  They treated us to dinner at Rudy’s which is a fun place to eat.  I have pictures from a dinner when my mom and dad were here but I FORGOT MY CAMERA this time.  I was so bummed!  I was looking forward to doing a post about the Rudy’s experience (you sit at long picnic tables and eat off of a wax paper placemat with your hands then wash off at a trough when you’re done… it’s a blast!!!) and I still will but I wanted pictures of both sets of parents…  BUMMER!  I’ve just gotten out of the habit of taking my camera along these days… there isn’t all that much to see around here.  🙂

All in all we had a lovely time!  It’s always fun to have some good one on one visit time.  We’ve been the visitors for so many years now that we almost never have a chance to get a lot of time with any one person or couple during a trip.  Having a HUGE family and usually only 10 to 14 days to visit all of them does create a very busy trip! 

The only problem with their visit was that we could NEVER stop talking and as a result we were all up until 2am on Friday night.  They woke us up on Saturday morning at 6:45am to say goodbye and hit the road for their 13 hour drive after only 4 hours of sleep.  THAT I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  YIKES!  They made it home safe, sound and exhausted!  We had a great time… Thanks for the last minute visit Mom and Dad!!!

The last bit of news is that I am now in my 2nd Trimester!!! 

After 9 years and 3 miscarriages I’m only a few weeks away from feeling my baby kick for the very first time… It doesn’t feel real… not one bit.  No matter how sick or tired I am I just keep expecting to wake up! 

One thing that’s making it feel a little more real now is that I already can’t button my pants… In fact the little hairband trick isn’t working for me anymore either!  Because of the nature of my surgery five years ago the doctor doesn’t think I’ll gain very much weight during the pregnancy because I’ve maintained a solid weight for over four years now.  I seem to have the perfect balance of getting just the nutrients I need and nothing more.  This is why, in my doctor’s opinion, I am VERY anemic and they’ve now put me on B-12 supplements as well.  He thinks I get just enough for me and the baby is taking it all so I’m running on empty!  LOL  In fact at 13 weeks and bit pregnant I have a HUGE pooch and I’ve actually lost 3 pounds.  I can’t even throw up so who knows where it’s going.  I now have to up my calorie intake as well.  So they are anticipating a small gain and due to the nature of the surgery and my body shape (as in I literally have 4, count ’em, FOUR inches between the bottom of my rib cage and the top of my hip bone) they think I’m going to look like a torpedo!  Should be fun…

All that said…  Everyone is asking for belly pictures and I happened to actually feel good enough to get out of my PJ’s today… so here you go! 

This is the only comparison picture I could find.  This was last Christmas on my four year anniversary of my surgery and I have not changed a bit since then… well UNTIL I got pregnant.


I swear I’m standing up perfectly straight.  I’m straight up and down with that bump.  INSANE! 


Well, that’s it for me today!  I have permission from my sister to share all of my pictures of my new nephew, Aaron, so those will be coming soon. 

Auf Wiedersehen!  (Yes I know I’m on the border of Mexico… but I just can’t switch… I love the German!)




17 thoughts on “Things to be Thankful for…

  1. I’m so excited to read up on how you are doing!!! I always include you in my prayers Courtney, I am rooting for you so hard on this!! You be VERY proud of that bump! Love you!

  2. Make sure you follow dr’s orders on the nutrition.  It is IMPERATIVE!  Baby will take take take from you… and while you’re pregnant, it’s not so bad.  But once baby is  BORN…then you are literally left with NOTHING which can cause all sorts of problems.  Protein protein protein!  Ever consider protein shakes???  Preggie moms need MUCH more protein then they normally do.  Dr. Bradley (of the Bradley Childbirth method) advocates 80gms/day!!!  EEK.  Seriously, hard to do…but so worth it. I’m CONVINCED that is why Maren was so healthy despite the fact she had the cord wrapped around her neck 4x for who knows how long.One other thing… have you guys thought about how to introduce baby to your other babies??  The dogs have been around a long time with no real competition for attention.  Baby is going to throw a huge wrench in their lives.  SO happy you’ve crossed into the 2cd trimester! YEAH!  I hope you are feeling better and can really enjoy being pregnant.  I found the 2cd trimester to be so enjoyable.  You’re not sick anymore, you’re not so huge that you can’t move… you’re just feeling good and all is well.  I pray you find the same. 

  3. @babybooties33 – Actually due to the nature of my surgery nutrition is VERY much stressed.  For years now I’ve been on a diet that includes 80 to 100 gms a day of Protein!  For my particular surgery it is the most important thing for me to get.  In fact they told me that calories, fat, ect don’t matter.  I just have to have the protein and the rest will balance out.  It’s worked so far for me!  It is tough to do but I’ve gotten in the habit!  I don’t think I’ll have much of a problem in that department they just want me to take in some more calories because I don’t exactly have any fat stores to borrow from…  (BTW I developed a sharp hatred of protein shakes in the months after my surgery…  I could only have liquids for 3 months and I could happily never see another one!)  They are just worried about me getting enough of my vitamins because my body is now mal-absorbent so I have to take the extra so that I have exactly what ‘we’ need on board.  No problems there for me!  I took pills for years after the surgery I only got to stop taking all that junk a year ago so it’s no big deal to pick it up again.  As far as the boys go…  When we got them we immediatly started preparing them for a baby in the house.  We of course didn’t think it would take this long so they’ve had years of training.  We pull their ears and tail while they eat and sneak up behind them and talk loudly (I know that sounds mean) and we’ve done it for years so that no noises or pulling will phase them.  They also immediatly lay down in the middle of playing if you say ow and they respond instantly to drop it even if the it happens to be their very favorite toy or bone.  As a result they are awesome kid dogs!  Every baby or kid that they come in contact with loves them and they behave wonderfully.  Obviously a baby in their own home will disrupt their everyday lives and there isn’t really a way to plan for that but I’m confident that they won’t snap or be impatient… the rest we’ll just have to do slowly and make sure we pay attention to them so they don’t get bent out of shape.As far as the 2nd tri goes… I’m already feeling better.  A lot less queasy and some more energy!  I don’t feel great yet but if I HAVE to get up and do something it’s not like a slow death anymore!  LOL All the cooking for Thanksgiving tired me out but it was fun… I actually enjoyed the activity!  I’m anticipating feeling great in a few weeks so that we can tackle that soon to be nursery room and have fun back home with the family for Christmas!

  4. @fallensparrow – Oh wonderful!  Sounds like you are all set in the nutrition area.  🙂  You know, after my sisters accident and susequent surgery, she had a feeding tube for awhile.  Well, to get her OFF the tube she had to down I can’t even remember how many shakes in one day.  It was TORTURE for her.  Since then, just the mention of a protein shake sends her into a nervous twitch!  ha ha ha Seriously though…. someone has a feeding tube and you expect them to drink protein shakes?!  They aren’t hungry!  Anyhoo…. I can sympathize with your aversion to shakes.  I’m so so happy for you guys.  This has been a long road.  God is good… and often sneaky! 

  5. I’m so excited you got to post a belly picture! 🙂 I can’t get over how tiny you are – I’m a year out from getting the band and I can’t wait to get to your size, mines just taking it’s precious time. *lol* I’ve got a lot of skin that I’m going to have to get taken off though. :(I love your plates, Germany? Too pretty. :)I understand about always having to travel to family and getting in as many visits as you can – we’re going in this Christmas after over a year of not seeing anyone, and people want us to see them and we’ve only got 8 days! It’s a bit overwhelming.

  6. LOOK AT YOUR BELLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That makes me smile so big!!!I’m so glad you enjoyed Thanksgiving with Ryan’s parents.  It sounds like you all get along really well, which is stellar!  It makes family time that much nicer!Who’s plate is it with the seperate food areas?  hahaha That made me laugh!I’m glad Gandalf is slowly smelling better… poor guy!

  7. @BrieanneVanessa – LOL that is actually a really funny family story/tradition.  When Ryan and I first met I had a food thing where I didn’t like my food to touch… Not in a really big way I just didn’t like my corn in my mashed potatoes ect.  🙂  Well, Ryan goes “Oh no you’re just like my mom!”  Turns out not at all.  She’s insane about her food touching!  She always bought divided paper plates even for BBQ’s because the juice of a hamburger could not touch potatoe salad!  LOL  So when I bought my pottery in Germany I bought a divided plate just for her in anticipation of family dinners!  This was the first time I ever got to use it and she was pink with pleasure!  It was a great moment!

  8. @Mommy2Hannah – It was supposed to be this Friday (the 4th) but I JUST got a call from them and they have to cancel my appointment.  The next available was next Wednesday (the 9th) so I’ll be 14 1/2 weeks.  They are supposed to do a check up u/s too because I’m technically high risk so maybe I’ll get another picture!  🙂  And thanks!!!

  9. I was going to comment on the divided plate, but you already explained that.  I love the pottery, too :). I liked it when I saw it with your pot pie recipe before you left Germany; but had no idea that you had plates and stuff to match it.  Congrats on your getting into the second trimester!  I have been praying for you guys, and hoped you’d get over the “queasies” when you got into the second trimester.justmecm

  10. Happy to hear the thanksgiving was a success, and I’m sorry your still having the morning sickness (or all day sickness). You look good w/ a baby bump….2nd trimester here we go! Praying for you. *hugs*

  11. I’m glad you explained the divided plate to Brie already because I was going to ask the same thing.  Lol.YAAAAAY for a belly pic!  I’m so excited for you!  I can’t wait for you to feel the first kicks.  How exciting that will be!  And for Ryan to eventually be able to feel them too!I’m glad you were able to have family with you for your first Thanksgiving back in the States!  How fun!

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