Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bribery still works...

Okay, so sad to admit it, but bribery still works. Caleb has been staying clean and dry during the daytime hours, being motivated by underwear with Lightening McQueen and Mater on them. And he's been doing such a good job...I must admit, they do look pretty cute on him.
And Miss Emma, who has been daytime potty trained for about a year, decided to stay dry at night so that she could pick out some new Cinderella underwear for herself. Ha, now, if I could just start working on Noah...=) Just kidding!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Update on the kids

Today when I picked the kids up from church I heard the words every parent longs to hear:
"Your children have the best manners of any children I've ever been with. Emma said, 'May I please have my snack?' I don't even use the word 'May...'"
This was of course exciting, but Emma usually is pretty polite, especially when food is involved. The other teacher promptly came up and said, "Oh yes, and Caleb kept telling us, 'Don't talk to me!!'"
Oh well, we'll just have to keep working on it...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2 week check-up

Noah was 7lbs. 4oz. at birth, and the doctor said they normally give babies two weeks to get back to their birthweight. Well, at Noah's 2 week check up he was 8lbs., 7 1/2 oz. So, I think he is doing okay!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A lesson from Noah...

Well, things are pretty crazy in our life, needless to say. Still working on renting the house, etc...still working on a job for Ben (although we are extremely thankful he is able to work for the landscaping business next door until he finds something else...just means he works REALLY hard and comes home REALLY dirty). Still working on getting some sleep! =)

But anyway, I learned a lesson from Noah that I've been trying to keep in mind in the midst of all this chaos. I almost forgot what it was like to have a newborn...literally, I could stare at him all day. I love him so much...the other day I was just crying, holding him, thinking how much I absolutely love and adore him. Then a crazy thought came to mind, "Could this possibly be the way God feels about me???" And of course, not only does God love me that much, but even more than I can fathom...And so I realized that if God loves me that much...then everything is going to be okay.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Noah Benjamin Hester

At 1:41 pm on Thursday, October 26th, 2006, Noah Benjamin Hester was born. He weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz., and was 21 inches long. He is wonderful, perfect, beautiful...so precious. We are all doing well and Emma and Caleb seem to enjoy him as well. Thank you all for your prayers, we are so blessed!

Pitocin is from the Devil....

Okay, I know that many times my friends who have had to endure the wrath of pitocin have joked that it must be from the devil. I personally haven't had to have pitocin...Emma was induced, but cervadil and breaking my water was enough. Caleb, well, I didn't even have an IV or anything with that kid...we just went to the hospital and he came!! But this child has (his introduction will be my next post) proved to be different from the beginning. For the last month I have had contractions...ones that get stronger and closer together, and then go away all together. After being a week overdue, our doctor said it really was no longer our choice to wait for the baby to come. He was going to induce. The many jokes and horror stories of pitocin came and haunted me...but I just had to trust that the risks of waiting longer for the baby to come were greater than inducing my labor. (Or helping it along, anyway...)

Well, we got to the hospital at 6 am. Then we waited for a long time. At 9am, the doctor came and broke my water, which Ben and I were hoping would do the trick!! At my request, the doctor gave me a couple of hours to see what would happen. Sure enough, within an hour I was having regular contractions at a good intensity, coming 2-3 minutes apart. YEAH!! I was so excited...then the nurse came in and said that the baby's heart rate was dipping with my contractions, so she had me get in bed and lay on my side. And much to my disappointment, my contractions completely went away. Now, even though this had been happening to me all month, it was really frustrating now because I thought, I will have to start all over again!! Anyway, the doctor had left instructions to start pitocin at 11am, so shortly thereafter the medicine began to drip...Of course I noticed a difference very soon after, and the contractions were stronger and more intense...but the medicine did what it was supposed to do! So just over 2 hours later, our little miracle joined us, and we all survived. Now, trust me, I would not argue with anyone who says that pitocin is from the devil...it's surely not pleasurable!! But just this once, I may have to say that surely the Lord was watching over us, and that His perfect gift to us came in the dreaded form of pitocin. I have to be thankful for it, because without it I might STILL be having contractions that go away and do not accomplish their purpose.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A new cousin and some stitches...

Well, on Thursday evening (my birthday) Scott and Cher-ami went into the hospital to be induced. On Friday morning, October 13th, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Jackson Rae. Mommy and Baby are doing well, and my brother I think has met his match!!! I had had contractions all day myself, but, alas, they went away and our little guy has decided he is not ready to come yet.

This morning (Monday) we had many errands to run and things to take care of, but wound up spending the morning at the Emergency Room instead. Yes, for the second time, Caleb has had to get stitches. He fell off the piano bench, and about 3 of his teeth made their way through his lip, so he got two stitches. He did very well, and we took the kids for ice cream and play time at the park as part of the recovery! Poor guy...but he is tough!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Caleb's New Words

Caleb has become quite the chatter box!! Here are my personal favorites:
Upon noticing the reflection of several things in the lamp next to my mom's bed, I repeated after him, "Oh, you see mommy?"
And he turned to me and said, "No, I am talking to my grandma."

He gently rubs my belly and tells me, "Oh, baby's getting so big!" (as if I hadn't noticed). And then, "Baby's coming out soon?"

And then he was running around the backyard today saying, "Swiper the Fox! Swiper the Fox!"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Doctor's Appointment

Okay, so I saw the midwife today...she says I am 1 cm dilated (which is nothing much to speak of) and "soft" (I can't remember what that means either), and the baby's head is way down there. This all of course could mean nothing...
She asked if I wanted to go over to St. John's tomorrow and have things moved along a bit, since she seems to think it wouldn't take much to just get me going. However, I wasn't really comfortable with that idea...I would rather have this little man come on his own. So, I said no thanks...
My next appointment is Tuesday at the Oxnard office, where the Dr. will probably want me to just go over to St. John's since it will be convenient for him...The midwife says that if I make it to Tuesday, I can deliver at St. John's, if I deliver before then, it will probably be at CMH. I'm okay either way, but I think it will be nice for the baby to come on his own timetable!!! I haven't had any contractions at all, just really crampy the last two days. So, we'll see!!

I have two sisters-in-law that are preggo-Kelly, who is due in March, and Cher-ami, who is due about 1-2 weeks after me. Well, Cher-ami is now on bed rest because they think she might be in pre-term labor!! Yikes! So, I have been trying to help out with Ethan as much as I can...it will be interesting to see what happens, but we have joked about trying to just give birth at the same time so our families can be there!!

P.S. I took Caleb with me this morning and we enjoyed a lovely IHOP breakfast together. It was so fun to be out just us two--it felt so special, especially since I'll have another little guy soon. Caleb was so sweet, he kept telling me he was "so excited for breakfast!" And when I told him I love him, he said, "I love you too, mom." Emma enjoyed making fresh orange juice with grandma...I am so blessed!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Little bursts of laughter

Emma (to Grandma): I don't think mommy should go to work with you guys. Mommy stays home and works all the time. She washes my clothes for me, and gets me a tissue for my yogurt and she tells me what time it is for snack.

Upon reading the title of our new book...
"Froggy Plays Soccer."
Emma, "And so do I!!"
Caleb, "Me too!!"

Caleb, "Mom, I got stinky poo-poos..."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pee-wee Soccer and other stuff

So, this Thursday Miss Emma starts pee-wee soccer. Now Ben played soccer in high school, and yes, even I have some dusty old soccer team picture burried away from my elementary years, but let me just say...There is not much cuter than a tiny girl burried beneath pink shin guards practicing her "super soccer kick." The shin guards are of course pink, because as Emma says, "Pink is for girls, so I have to have pink ones."

Caleb loves to copy EVERYTHING big sister says...so I often get to hear everything two times. This morning, since Grandpa brings home donuts on Sunday mornings, Emma announced (and Caleb repeated) that "Grandpa brings home all the GOOD stuff."

And of course, in response to my mom's cut on her finger, Emma told her, "Well, you have to be VERY careful. My mommy is always careful."

And Miss Nikki in the nursery at church informed me that after several drinks of pretend hot tea, Emma told her, "Oh, whatever, I'm sure it's okay to drink by now!"

And at the gymnastics class we went to on Thursday, Caleb was practically running across the balance beam, with my finger of course. He even did a summersault on the beam with mommy's help. Emma walked across the beam by herself and did "flips" around the bar. They had a great time...I was busy trying to run in two different directions and didn't see or talk to anyone who I had planned to see and talk to. But I left with happy children. Then at Wendy's (fast food), my worn out little boy threw such a tantrum that he fell asleep on the floor. Wendy's must have been good, because as we passed the one in Ojai Emma said excitedly, "There's Amy's!!"

Un-answers...and lessons in faith

So, we are moving back to Ojai. I can't exactly tell you when, although I think I've already moved, technically...The kids and I are here, as well as all our clothes (well, at least the ones that still fit my largely protruding belly) and Ben is in Crestline with a house of furniture and other stuff that we must not really need since we are without it and getting along okay. There are so many things that have brought us to this decision...so many that I wouldn't even know where to start. It's hard when people ask why or how or what made us decide to come back to Ojai, because how do you condense 15 months of things you don't really understand into a simple answer that would satisfy? But God is ever so faithful...answers I do not have, but I have oh so much more. Like a husband who is willing to make sacrifices in order to take care of his family. Like two beautiful, perfect, ornery children who light up my life. Like a healthy, large (at least he feels that way!!) baby waiting to come make our family into something it's never been before. Like parents who are willing to revisit the years of unending questions, late night wake-up calls, and waiting in line for the bathroom...with no promise of a quick end in sight. Like a God who is so faithful and so patient, who provides all that I need. And so these days, I am short on answers...I don't have the answers about what happened in the last 15 months, or what really went on in Crestline (except for a few important life lessons), and I don't have the answers about what lies ahead for us...Ben's job, what we're going to do with the house in Crestline, when the baby is coming (although that could be soon...). But I have a faithful God who is most worthy of my faith, my trust, and my confidence.
"Without faith it is impossible to please God, and anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
"According to your faith will it be done to you."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Without Internet

Okay, so a few people have asked, since it's been so long since I posted. Well, we've been without internet (and still are technically). So, I haven't been very good at returning e-mails or keeping everyone up-to-date. A lot can happen in a month!! We got moved into our house and discovered some plumbing and electrical problems. After some drama and a little trauma, all those things are fixed and working. Anyway, after much prayer and a few crazy situations...we have decided to have the baby in Ojai. So the kids and I are staying at my parents house. I have five weeks until my due date, and I am only about 2 1/2 weeks away from when I delivered Emma and Caleb. So, we are here, awaiting the arrival of our little boy, who, by the way, still doesn't have a name. I think that's as much catching up as I can do for everyone right now. Thanks for loving us and praying for us!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mealtime prayers...

Miss Emma's prayer for lunch today:

Thank you God for this day, and thank you God for our toys, and thank you God for our new house, and thank you God for our bed, and thank you God for my ladder, and thank you God for our table, and thank you God for mommy and daddy and Caleb and Emma and the new baby, and thank you God for the trees and the sky, and thank you God for our paintings that we did today, and thank you God for our food...in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

I knew Veggie Tale's would pay off one day!! =)
"Cuz a thankful heart is a happy heart...I'm glad for what I have, that's an easy way to start, for the love that He shares, cuz He listens to our prayers, that's why I say thanks everyday!"

The Big Move

So...we are in our new, teeny tiny house!! I call it that affectionately...it is absolutely a miracle that somehow, the Lord enabled us to buy a house on one income...especially a camp ministry income. We are still working on finding a place for everything, and hoping to garage sale a bunch of stuff soon. But slowly and steadily we are becoming more settled in our first little house. We are so thankful for all the help and prayers and love of our family and friends and we will see what adventures lie ahead in our new little place...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It might be time for a vacation...

Well, Ben has been working really hard...long hours at the camp, then his Paid Call Fire Academy on Saturdays. Anyway, this Saturday is his last academy and then he will have his "graduation" on August 15th, where he will receive his pager and start responding to calls when he can. This week is the last week of program for summer camp, so hopefully that will mean no more super late nights, although I'm sure his days will start earlier. And, in a week and a half, we will close escrow on the house and move for the third time in 13 months. I think everyone in the Hester house is a little tired, and I know that we are all wishing for a little down time.

When Caleb woke up from his nap the other day, he was crying, "My daddy!! My daddy!!" When I came in the room he looked at me and yelled, "No my daddy at work!!"
I guess someone is really missing Daddy...

This might be jumping the gun...

Okay, now, I do not mean this in any way to put down people who work in a coffee shop. Because really, the camp coffee shop is not at all on the same level as Starbuck's or anything...there's only like, between 200-400 campers per week, and this week is high school, so trust me, not many of them are jumping out of bed before 9am, even for coffee.

But I told Ben...it's been at least 3 1/2 years since I went to work (with the exception of Forest Home Ojai Valley, here and there). And yet I seriously have worked harder every day of those 3 1/2 years than I do at the coffee shop. Which I guess is a good thing, I think. I mean, getting up early I was already doing. Having to use my brain the minute my eyes are open, I was already doing..."Mommy, what are we going to do next?" "What's for breakfast?" "What am I going to wear today?"

And, I am so spoiled because the campers and counselors that come in are so amazing, and I love hearing their stories or just seeing that they are enjoying their time here at camp.

Now, check back in a few weeks, and the early mornings might be starting to catch up with me. But so far, I am really enjoying it. And hey, my first day on the job one of the summer staff came in because she bought me a maternity shirt and wanted to bring it to me. And at about 8am, Ben brings the kids in to visit me (and get a "special drink"...an inch of hot chocolate, with some milk) and for the first time in their lives they are excited to see me because they've been awake for about an hour and a half and I'm not there. So, thank you God for something new and fun!!! Less than two weeks until my first payday!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

My new job

Well, tomorrow morning I will start my new job...I am going to work in the coffee shop here at the camp. Now seriously, I am thinking, why did this idea just occur to us? I am up very early anyway, and Ben is home until about lunch time. So it works out pretty well. It will only be for a few weeks (obviously), and it's only for a few hours a day. But, it will be a chance for me to get out of the house, a chance for me to interact with some of the campers and the other staff, a little break from the kids, and oh yes....a paycheck!! =) So, all around, it seems like it will be a good deal. So, bright and early tomorrow, I will put on my LARGE Thousand Pines shirt and start something new. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Emma's First Prom...Well, Caleb too

Tonight the staff at the camp had "prom." I don't exactly know how it all came up at first, but I know that they took the idea and ran with it. The even decided to take donations for it to benefit Invisible Children, a Christian organization trying to raise awareness about the horrible conditions for children (starting with Africa).

We have had a long week, so we had a hard time deciding whether or not to go. But, we decided to throw caution to the wind and have some fun. So we got the kids and ourselves dressed up (as dressed up as you can be at 7 months pregnant!!) and went to prom. We even taught Caleb how to hold out his arm for Emma, and we enjoyed ourselves on the dance floor...not to mention the punch, cookies, and strawberries!!! We had such a great time with all the staff, and the kids felt so grown up with the strobe lights and loud music.

All in all, it was great. Now this was a prom I can handle them going to. Maybe Ben and I will have to go to all their proms. =)

Also, for more information about Invisible Children, you can visit their website at

Sunday, July 23, 2006

El Capitan Theatre

Well, needless to say, with no close friends or family here in Crestline, it makes it a little difficult for us to get out. But, all the summer staff was going to the El Capitan Theatre to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2. There is a really nice lady named Joyce who works in the kitchen, and she had sort of volunteered to watch the kids on a Saturday since her husband works nights. Well, Ben reeled her in and she came over to watch the kids last night. So Ben and I drove two of the other summer staff down to Hollywood and saw the movie. We didn't get home until 2am!!! Poor Joyce!! And of course, I didn't notice until later since it was so late, but she mopped our floor, cleaned our stove, and probably did at least two loads of laundry!! So, the Lord provided a little date night for us, and the kids did great. Emma came downstairs this morning and said, "Where is Joyce? I didn't want her to go..."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Homeowner's Insurance

Okay, buying a house is a lot more complicated than I previously thought. But, the only way you really learn all of this is by doing it, I guess. So, while we are still working through all of this "stuff" with the loan, etc...we are simultaneously trying to figure out a homeowner's insurance policy. So, our car insurance is with AAA, so I thought I would start there.
They ask me what year was our house built: 1932
Has the plumbing been redone: (uh, I'm not sure..., maybe) yes!
Has the electrical been rewired: (uh, I'm not sure..., maybe) yes!
Has it been retro-fitted for earthquakes: Huh? No.
Sorry, we can't insure your home.

Okay, so, now we only call insurance companies up on the mountain, because they are the only ones who will insure mountain homes. Lesson learned. The quotes range from $600 to $1700 for the year...some with requirements (like installing some sort of gas shut-off emergency valve, etc.)
Anyway, I'm sure we will figure it out, but it is just one of the many new territories we have ventured into lately.
Isn't it amazing that anytime you purchase something nowadays, you have to buy insurance for it???

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Too Good to be True

You know how they say that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is...well, that's sort of where we're at. This lending company promised us a certain rate, payment, etc...and within 24 hours they have changed their story twice. And it turns out that one of the other offers we received is better than what they are giving us now. SO, we are back at square one, trying to get our loan all figured out. It is frustrating and scary...but the Lord knows what is best for us, so we will just have to wait on Him. Please pray for us that we will get our loan stuff figured out since we're already "in escrow." And we will just all have to wait and see what God will do.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Swimming Lessons

Today was our first day of swimming lessons for the kids. Now last year, the kids went to the lifeguard training as guinea pigs, so to speak, as they were training all the lifeguards on how to teach swim lessons. They both clung to me for dear life...we had only been in Crestline a week, they didn't know anyone, and they had just left the only home they'd ever known. Ben was so busy, there was no way I could take two little kids to swim lessons all by myself. So, we skipped them.
What a difference a year makes!!! Now the kids are so much more familiar with the camp and the staff...so of course, while a few of the other kids were screaming the whole time, mine were happily swimming and I was just praising the Lord that they were enjoying themselves. Not only was Caleb jumping off the side of the pool and diving for rings (with daddy's help), but both Emma and Caleb were blowing bubbles, floating, and practicing "big kicks." It was great. And, it totally wore them out so they had pretty good naps and are in bed (7:40pm).
Swim lessons are a great idea!!

The War of the Lenders

I am totally new at all this mortgage, lender stuff. I have no idea what I am doing. However, our realtor has a lender that she frequently works with, so she kind of hooked us up with him and he is here locally (right behind the realtor's office, actually). Now, this guy has been so great to work with, he has really worked hard on our behalf, and provided the pre-approval letter for us when we made the offer on the house and everything. It just so happens, however, that I had gone on to lendingtree.com before we started looking at houses just to see what they would say. So we had at least a couple of other companies contacting us here and there. Well, let me just say how that works to your advantage. We didn't mean to make all these people work so hard for us, and we certainly didn't even mean to work them against each other or anything because, well, we're just not that smart. But, it worked. So, we have chosen our lender...and let me just say to our local lender's credit...that when he saw the deal we were offered, even he said to take it. He just said that if it didn't work out to come back to him. So, hopefully it will work out because it looks like we will save almost $150.00 a month on our mortgage payment, not to mention about $1,000 in closing costs. Yeah!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Our first meeting with escrow

Where to start? The past week or so has been an amazing chain of events. The Lord has been with us, and we are amazed at His blessings!! Either today or tomorrow, we will open escrow on our first home!!! It is really tiny...less than 600 square feet. But we don't care!!! It met all of my main qualifications:
1. Level entry (a rare and precious comodity here in the mountains)
2. Flat land/yard space (an even more rare and precious comodity)
3. Two bedrooms

There are so many stories along the way of how God has worked...I will try to pick a few. First of all, we found a property that we really liked, and so we had one of the guys here at camp do an inspection on it for us (he's a general contractor). He said, "No way, don't buy it." It had structural problems, among others, which is not uncommon here in the mountains. Most of the houses we looked at are very old, some smell funny, and almost all of them have lots of stairs less than two feet wide which are really steep and just not super kid friendly.
Finally, our realtor took us to see this little house...it had just been listed, and wasn't even on the computer's MLS yet. Right away, we loved it. But we had learned from the first property we really liked that there might be problems we couldn't see. This house was older as well, but had been completely redone, including the roof, the drywall, etc. There was a perfect little spot meant for a stackable washer/dryer, so that was a plus but there were no hookups. Also, we have no money for closing costs, so we made an offer on the house and asked the seller to pay our closing costs. He made a counter offer, and we decided to agree to his counter offer with the condition that he put in the hook-ups for the washer/dryer (in addition to paying our closing costs). He agreed!!!
Now, time for the home inspection. Our friend went over and did a two hour inspection and we received the report in the morning. There were no major problems, but a few things such as the water heater, bathroom window, and a breaker needing to be fixed. The seller agreed to fix all these things...he didn't even contest any of it!!! Next, the lender called and told us what our payment would be. It was about $25-30 higher than what I had budgeted, so I gave him my amount and asked if he could get it there. He got it within three dollars, so we were so excited.
So, it is with great excitement (and some trepidation for our first time paying a MORTGAGE) that we have our first meeting with escrow. It should begin today or tomorrow, and we will close and move around August 12th!! Yeah!! Just in time to get ready to have our baby....

Monday, July 10, 2006

Good-bye Cable...

Well, I guess technically we had dish, not cable. But, after our cable company raised our rates for no apparent reason, so we were now paying about $10-15 more a month for our service, and they didn't give me any warning, we finally decided it was time to be done with it. Altogether, this will save us $55.00 a month, which could be a lot of things...maybe even a gym membership for Ben and I someday. Who knows, but it was time to go, and so now it's back to the good 'ol days...DVD's, VCR tapes, and oh yes...books. =)

Yes, Jesus Loves Me...

At night, we read stories from a little children's bible story book. It's a green book, and the kids know this is their "bible." Sometimes during the beginning of my pregnancy if I wasn't feeling very well, Emma would run and get this book and assure me that it would make me feel better, and that Jesus would help me to feel better.

So, last night after we read our bible story, Caleb was holding the book looking through it and started singing, "Yes, Jesus loves me." After our story tonight, I was putting the kids to bed and we all sang "Jesus loves me" together. As I put them to bed, Caleb just kept saying over and over, "Yes, Jesus loves me..." Yeah, that's certainly a nice way to end the day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Caleb turns two!

After a week of declaring, "I having birthday party!!" Caleb has finally achieved the age of two. We had a nice little family gathering at Soule Park, and although it was quite a warm day in Ojai, it was pleasant and Caleb felt loved. We enjoyed pizza and cupcakes (which Caleb also refers to as "birthday party").
We all ended up coming back to Crestline, a little earlier than we had planned, but the thought of possibly catching a glimpse of Ben here and there was just too tempting. So, this morning we tried to let Daddy sleep in while we ate breakfast, and rode scooters on the deck (well, I supervised.) Then once Daddy was up we enjoyed playing with new toys that Caleb got for his birthday. Then we sent Ben off to work and tried to settle back into life as we know it in Crestline. It's just nice to be a family again...even if we don't see as much of Ben as we'd like.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

More Garage Sales, and oh yes, the ache in my heart

Okay, so Saturday was Caleb's second birthday!! Yeah!! He has been stealing Emma's scooter (the pink one from the garage sale last weekend) and riding it. Then they fight over it, I regulate taking turns, etc. Well, the Lord was with us! Despite a busy morning trying to organize the most unorganized birthday party...we decided to go garage sale hunting again. We scored!! I found two more of the toddler scooters (the ones with two wheels in back) only $2.00 a piece. Also, I got a "big wheel" tricycle for $2.00. Too bad they are all pink...but Caleb doesn't seem to mind, he's just enjoying being able to ride his own scooter. Ben says he will have to spray paint it, and then paint a skull and crossbones or something over the pretty white basket attached to the front of it.

Ben came from Crestline, and made it to the birthday party at about 3:40pm. The minute I saw him, I was already crying. I miss him so much...and I've never really missed anyone before, at least not like that. Anyway, so when 2pm rolled around today (Sunday) and it was time for him to head back to Crestline for work, it was no shocker that I was an emotional basket case. But, we made it through, he's on his way home, and I will see him again soon...I will just have to keep myself distracted until I can see him again. I'm sure my hormones, and the fact that we really hadn't seen him at all for the two weeks before we left are all adding to the mix. And he's never really seen me miss him this much before, so he says it feels good...just not when I cry.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Okay, I know it sounds silly...but one of the things I miss the most about the mountains is that there are no garage sales. They only exist on Labor Day weekend and Memorial Day weekend, and since those are two of Ben's busiest weekends....(when is it not Ben's busiest time????) I can't go unless I attempt it by myself, which is not smart with two small kids, a big 'ol belly, and a car wider than most mountain roads. So, one of the things at the top of my list for what to do while I'm visiting...Garage Sales!!! Mom and I mapped out our route, including ending at McDonald's because we like their coffee. So, we headed out, and the first stop had some children's books. I hop out, start looking...and the friendly lady ends up telling me to take as many of the books as I want, to save her the trouble of sitting out in the sun!! Score= 8 children's books, including The Very Busy Spider and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
After some driving around, we get to another stop and see a bunch of small kids toys and other things...
Score= elbow and knee pads for both kids, a Medela double breast pump for $20 (I have all my own attachments in case you were wondering), a helmet for Caleb that's a little big but will fit him soon, and two motorcycles which literally entertained Caleb for the rest of the day.
And the last stop before McDonald's:
Score= a scooter for Emma ($1!!!), a scooter intended for Caleb ($3) but which he probably won't be able to ride, and a Dora ball.
I love treasure hunting!!!

Fun in the Sun

The fun day:
We got up (the kids, Grandma Nash and I) and walked down to the coffee shop for scones. (Oh, this was after I had been up with the kids for about 3 hours, and we had already had some breakfast). We enjoyed our "snack" (mom and I called it breakfast) and then went over to Wachter's Feed to see the guinea pigs, rabbits, fish, and lizards. Then we walked over to the park. After climbing, swinging, and sliding, we went by Rainbow Bridge for a smoothie and then by my mom's work to show off the kids. Then we came home for some lunch, ran some errands, and came home. The kids played in the backyard on the swings, in the little pool, and just ran around. After dinner, we played in the front yard with their cousin Ethan, and they enjoyed the sprinkler and some old G.I.Joe and He-man figurines compliments of my brother's collection. What a great day!

The Insurance Battle

So, for those who have been asking...no, our insurance company, as of right now, will not cover the services at the Birth Center. Unfortunately, I don't have the money to pay the cash price for their services. And, it's actually more our medical group that won't allow me to go there. See, we have an HMO, so our medical group decides pretty much everything in regard to our care. Our Insurance company allows coverage for birth center services, but only if they are approved by our medical group. Well, it just so happens that we have like, one of the largest medical groups in CA probably...and if they let me go to the Birth Center, then they will lose money, and it might lead to a whole bunch of people trying to go elsewhere for services. So, they have denied my request on the basis that there is someone in our medical group who can provide the same services that a midwife can, so they won't let me go. I am in the process of appealing the decision through our health insurance company, but it's not looking good. One step at a time...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Woman in Urgent Need of Medical Attention!!!

Now before I freak anyone out, the title was just because you start to feel this way as a pregnant woman these days. I remember with Emma, I was probably less than a month away from giving birth, but I was feeling good and wanted exercise. So Ben and I took our roller blades down to the point to have some fun. Now, first let me say that it's not as if you can really call it roller blading, we were barely moving...it was more like walking at a very slow pace. But I still had at least a few people coming up to me telling me that I shouldn't be doing that.
With Caleb, I had a lot of people telling me how I shouldn't be holding Emma while being pregnant, but she was barely a year old...so I carried her when it was necessary.
And of course, I got a few weird looks the other night when we went roller skating, but I really am careful...it's not like I want to get hurt!!!
Anyway, my point really is that when you go through your first pregnancy, you tend to just do what everyone tells you to do. You don't know any better, you're scared to death anyway, and you figure that they must be right because the doctors do the same things for everyone. With Caleb, I got to the glucose test (around 28 weeks), which is of course where you come in fasting, they draw your blood, and then they make you drink this sugary drink and they draw your blood again after an hour. Man, I felt sick that entire day!! When I saw my doctor for the results, he asked if I had been sick. I was so suprised, I thought, "How did you know?" He said that my body processed the sugar too well, so it sent me into some sort of shock or something...and that I didn't have to do that test ever again. Of course, now I've moved, and my new doctor doesn't really care what my old doctor says...they want me to do the test. But for the first time I started thinking, you know, it doesn't seem like that smart of an idea to starve a pregnant lady and then pump her full of sugar just to see how she'll respond.
At the birth center, they draw your blood on an empty stomach, then they have you eat 2 eggs, a piece of toast, and 8 oz. each of juice and milk. Then they draw your blood again after an hour. I thought to myself...now there's a test I can hop on board with!!!
So, the title was just because I've been feeling more like a specimen, or a co-pay, or a medical emergency when I go to the doctor rather than a woman having a baby. Hopefully I will find my way through this mess and find a happy medium...I don't want to be that patient that refuses to do any testing or anything they want me to do. Seriously, I want to be compliant and wonderful and not make any fuss. But I also want to make the very best decisions for our family and our babies...and so I guess that means I better make sure and educate myself so I can do just that.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The yuckies come to the Hester house

Well, Thursday night we had planned to go to Costco...we needed to purchase a bunch of stuff, especially since I was cooking dinner Saturday night for 24+ people. Interestingly enough, Emma didn't eat any of her dinner. This is not normal. She said her stomach hurt, which she frequently says before needing to use the restroom. We get home and take her to the potty when she throws up. Uh oh. This was not what we were expecting!!!

We decided against Costco, called Michael and Julie to let them know I couldn't watch Brooklyn Friday, and then secretly prayed that this was some mysterious food poisoning that we could not attribute to anything in particular.

Not so much. Friday morning, both Emma and Caleb had yuckies coming out both ends...it was awful!!! We made it through the morning, just sort of laying low. I made a grocery store run for Gatorade, chicken noodle soup, and only things with whole grains. After nap time (which was about 3+ hours...) they both woke up like their normal selves. Ben had to go out to Banning to get one of the carts fixed, so we made it a family trip and went to Costco. $450.00 dollars later, and I only wish I was kidding, we made it out and came home. Everything seemed to be going well. It had been almost 24 hours since anyone had thrown up. So, I washed, disinfected, and cleaned the whole house to prepare for our guests that evening.

Ben had his first day of the Fire Academy, and brought home a huge bag with his "Structure Fire" gear and his "Wildland Fire" gear. They have to practice being able to get in on in one minute. Anyway, he came home exhausted, and we had about half an hour until our guests started arriving. We made tons of food, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and all Ben's staff had "Christmas." (that's where Ben hands out backpacks, whistles, ref jerseys, waterbottles...etc, to all the staff). It was a success and even though the kitchen was a mess, I decided to leave it for the morning. The plan was for Ben to sleep in (Happy Father's Day) while I cleaned up and made breakfast.

Well, unfortunately, it was my turn. So, I spent Father's Day dead to the world, Ben got to be on kid duty all day with no help from me, and oh yeah, Caleb had a relapse and threw up again. And, six out of the twenty-four staff members who were here on Saturday already have the bug.
So, Ben is working extra overtime...or extra extra overtime...in order to make up for missing six of his staff members. I am mortified that all these people are sick because of us, and I am praying and praying that no one else will have a visit of the yuckies because of us. =( Oh, and that Ben doesn't get it!!!

I know it's summer

How do I know that it is summer?
1. It's so hot that we ate breakfast outside on the deck...in the shade.
2. I can no longer keep track of what hour it is when Ben gets home from work...I stop counting after midnight.
3. Ben has informed me that yes, he will have to work on Sunday evening/night...even though that was going to be his day off.
4. I wasn't shocked in the slightest bit.
5. There is not enough ice cream or popsicles in our freezer. Probably because I don't buy them....but, I don't usually even want them to be there!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The baby in my tummy

Now, I am sure the kids are a little confused because Brooklyn is around quite a bit, yet we keep talking about the baby in mommy's tummy. Anyway, today Emma really wanted to hold Brooklyn, so I was helping her. She then tells me, "When baby Ava comes, then I will hold HIM and he will be really little."
Caleb thinks this is hilarious, so he starts chanting, "Baby Ava, Baby Ava."
I am unsure what to say because when I say it's not Baby Ava, they ask, "then what baby is it?"
(Ava was our baby girl name)
I am having serious concerns about Russell (Rusty) because it means "one with red hair." And my kids are toehead blondes, so I just am not sure if I can name our little boy that. I try saying that it will be a baby boy, but that doesn't seem to satisfy. And, since Ben and I don't have any other names picked out yet, I just go with it and decide that I will suffer the consequences later.
"It's Baby Rusty."

Doctor's Visit

So, Monday was my doctor's visit. Ben had staff orientation this week, beginning Monday, so with 24 staff members to train, I knew it was up to me to get to the doctor with both kids successfully. So, I packed snacks, books, and prepared myself for a really rough time. Now, I had already called the week before my visit and made the request for my doctor to transfer my care to the birth center. They must have put it in BOLD letters on my chart because every nurse I saw said, "They are reviewing your case, and we should have an answer for you next week."
Anyway, got the kids down there, got myself checked in, and paid my co-pay. I usually wait in the waiting room for at least half an hour, and then another 15 to 20 minutes in the exam room. So, I took Emma potty, washed everyone's hands and settled us all in chairs for some Green Eggs and Ham. Half way through the book, they called me in. They weighed me...total weight gain so far=5 pounds. We go to the room and finish our story, when the doctor comes in. I bust out the fruit snacks and get the kids in their chair to eat them. The doctor listens to the baby's heartbeat (about 150 bpm), measures me, and tells me everything looks fine. So, then we go out to the waiting room so the kids can finish their fruit snacks. We get ourselves back into the car and I ponder the remarkable successfulness of the trip. I think, "Wow, the Lord has surely been with me today!!!" Then I think, hey, maybe we could go to Trader Joe's...or Target...or....and then I realize that I am so absolutely thankful that this trip has been successful and I would really like to leave it that way! So we head home, and I return with hope for the next time!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

You really have to hear it...

Okay, so occasionally, when I've asked Ben to do something (like take out the trash), and he realizes a few days later that I went ahead and did it...he'll jokingly say to me, "My bad, boo..." and we all laugh.

So the other day, Miss Emma had finished going to the bathroom when I came in and saw that she AGAIN had been wiping on her own...So, I am giving her the speech about how she MUST tell mommy that she's done so I can make sure she's clean, when she shyly looks up at me and says, "My bad, boo..."

I laughed so hard, I couldn't even hold it together. But you really just have to hear it for yourself to catch the full effect.

Now it is too late, past midnight, Ben is still at work, and I really, really need to go to bed!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Crazy Day and the Australian Girls

Okay, so Ben and I had made plans to meet up with Nathan and Lisa at UCLA to visit Aaron, and hopefully drag Natalie away for some much needed distraction. Then Ben calls me and says that two of his summer staff girls are flying in to LAX from Australia, and need to be picked up. So, I'm thinking...UCLA is pretty close to LAX...No problem!! We'll work it in.

Now, Ben is crazy busy. So talking to him about anything is sort of a rare privilege at this point. But, the person coordinating pick up finds me the night before we are to pick them up and says that she got disconnected while talking to the girls, but found out that at 8:30 am they will call us before boarding a shuttle to Ontario Airport, where we are to pick them up. This makes for a tricky situation, and they only have our home number because they got disconnected. And the only information I have is a phone number to the hotel where they were staying near LAX.

So, at 9am, Ben goes to pick up his fire crew gear, and I am awaiting the phone call from the girls, trying to figure out how in the world I will get to LAX and be at Ontario Airport at the same time. Well, about 11 am, Ben comes home and I still have had no word from anyone regarding the Australian girls. Ben calls the hotel and the man in charge of the whole Australian girls coming to work at our camp situation informs us that he has no idea where the girls are. Hmmm....interesting.

So, at about noon, we leave the house headed for UCLA or Ontario...we're not really sure. We decided to stop at Ontario Airport just in case, but we see no one matching the description of two college age girls wearing CCUSA shirts (Camp Counselors USA). So we eat and head to UCLA. We are updated on Aaron, and Lisa and I stand with Natalie outside the ICU doors trying to pry information out of anyone who will talk to us. After we finally sneak Natalie in to see Aaron, pray with her, and even watch her eat dinner (yeah!!), Ben and I decide we should probably get going because it is 6pm and we still have not found the Australian girls...(Ben has been making phone calls to various people and locations.) Just as we're walking out of the hospital, someone calls to say that they just checked the camp voicemail, and that the Australian girls left a message at 3pm saying they were at Ontario Airport waiting for someone...and we're still an hour and a half away.

We make it to Ontario just before 8pm, and I am running around looking for them, but I can't find them anywhere! Finally, on our fourth trip around the airport, we get a call from the camp answering service, who connects us with the girls, whom we finally find. I am feeling so terrible, and yet I do recognize that there was a lot lacking in the whole organization of this endeavor.

These girls...Evelyn and Olivia are the coolest girls ever. They are not upset in the slightest bit, have great attitudes, and are in general the most pleasant people ever. So, we took them to B.J.'s for a nice dinner (late, but nice) and they have their first Pazookie!!! (a dessert of warm cookie with ice cream on top). All is forgiven...they still love us, we are so absolutely impressed and excited to have them on our staff...and we all came home with tummies full of yummy food. And the kids even made it without any major meltdowns. And everyone involved in this great search was saying, "Praise the Lord, we found the Australian girls!!!"

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Gear

Well, this morning, Ben went to one of the fire stations to pick up his gear. I don't know what all that entails, but it is still kind of exciting. Against all odds, Ben will be able to attend the paid call fire academy...So, Monday through Friday he will work from lunch to midnight or so...and a full day of the academy on Saturdays. Please pray for us, as this will be a very busy summer. But it is so exciting, and Ben will have his graduation from the acadamy in mid August. I already feel so proud of him. Anyway, he begins the acadamy this Saturday, and I know he's already a little worn out from working so much at the camp. Just pray that the Lord will sustain us all, and that He will continue to go before us will all the details regarding scheduling. God has already made a way, with the camp being so willing to let him do this in the busiest season of the year!! And, God even answered a secret prayer of my heart...The ONE Saturday they won't be doing the acadamy training from now until August is July 1st....which just happens to be our little man's birthday!! Yeah!!

The Birth Center

So, the kids (including Brooklyn) and I all went to visit the Birth Center in Redlands. The waiting room has toys and kid videos, and even when they were giving me a tour, the girls at the front desk offered to just watch the kids play while I saw the center. The main birthing room is a large room with a big bed, your own bathroom, a big 'ol whirpool tub, and a washer/dryer because once the baby is born, they wrap the baby in warm towels. There's a kitchen at the center, so you can bring/make any food you want. There are so many statistics...too many to list, about how birthing centers and even home births attended by a skilled birth attendant are twice as safe as hospital births, involve far less medical intervention, and cost far less. So, being my third baby....this would be my choice for where to have this next little bundle of joy.
Only problem? Insurance won't cover it. Isn't that sad? But, we are working on trying to see what we can do....

Monday, June 05, 2006

Expecting Again!!!???

You always get mixed responses when you tell people you're pregnant...especially depending on how many kids you already have, and how close they are together etc. I am used to people coming up to me in Target and first, asking if Emma and Caleb are twins. Then I explain that, no, they are 14 months apart (just under, actually). Then they tell me how crazy I am!!! So imagine if those people knew I was having another one!!!! But, anyway, I don't even necessarily think I would argue. I am crazy! Some days more than others, and yet Ben and I were sitting with the kids eating ice cream (a special treat for the Hester kids!!!) talking about how we just could not imagine life without them. Even the tantrums, the craziness...it just wouldn't be the same without their precious, eternal souls having been entrusted to us. And God knew that. So, yes, it is only going to get crazier around the Hester house, and I wouldn't think that what is right for us would necessarily be right for every other family, but luckily the Lord knows what is best, and God, in His wisdom, knew that Emma and Caleb would need each other when we moved here. And I can't wait to see what this new little one will bring to our family!

Ben's Favorite:
"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Psalm 127
I was nervous, scared...unsure of what people would think when I found out I was pregnant again this time. After all, I'm not sure I'm doing a great job with my two...and I am definitely not doing a great job with our new life situation, etc. However, God spoke to my heart so clearly when we came up to the camp that first morning knowing I was pregnant and Marco, the head chef greeted us. "I'm pregnant..." I said. To which he replied immediately, "Oh, the Lord has surely blessed you!!"And the tears in my eyes and the joy in my heart most certainly confirmed that he was right.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Someone we love

So, Ben (in all his spare time) is doing some interviewing/training with the fire department up here because they have a paid call fire crew, or a crew of people who train with the department periodically and then receive a pager and respond to calls when they can.
So last Saturday he went to the general overview and introduction, and this morning he did the physical agility test, and will have an interview tomorrow. (You could be praying for him about this, he is really interested, but afraid it might take away from his current responsibilities at the camp. But it's also a good way to get a foot in the door in case he ever wants to try and actually get on with a fire department.)
Anyway, I heard his car pulling up in the driveway and I said, "Someone special is here! Someone we love very much!!"
Emma responded, "Is it Grandma and Grandpa??"

The Ultrasound

Okay, so today I had my "real" ultrasound at the doctor's office. We decided that it was best if Ben just stayed home with the kids, and Renee came and met me there so that I would have someone to come in for the ten minutes of precious "family time." Anyway, the technician was very nice, and she seemed to get all the measurements she needed. She did also seem to agree with the "mall ultrasound tech" that we are indeed having a boy. Even I could tell pretty well.
Of course, having had ultrasounds before, I was anxious to hear if his size was normal, was my due date accurate, did he seem nice and healthy....To which they tell me that they can tell me nothing and I will just have to wait to see my doctor. After twenty minutes of measurements and very little answers to any of my questions, they let Renee in and we got to see the little man with his legs at a perfect 90 degree angle pushing out on the bottom of my uterus. This kid wants out already??? Oh no, no...we need him to be patient!!! But, I thought he looked very healthy and wonderful.

P.S. Upon showing the ultrasound pictures to the kids, I said, "This is a picture of the baby!"
Caleb responded, "Oh."
Emma said, "How did you get a picture of the baby?"

What we're going to do next...

The most frequently heard phrase in our house these days comes from Emma.
"What are we going to do next?"
And even when I give multiple answers to the question, I still hear it...only like this:
"So, after my nap, and after we do puzzles, and after our snack, then what are we going to do?"
I've even tried things like, "It's a suprise!" or, "We'll just have to wait and see..." but these don't seem to satisfy her.
Now seriously, I have thought about making a colorful little schedule that she can help me with to post up on the wall, so that I can refer her to the schedule and she can learn to answer the question for herself. I think it's a good idea...but then I realize...that the reason I usually don't want to answer the question is because I am tired and I don't really want to think that hard. So, do I really think I will make a chart? Well, who knows...we'll just have to see what we are going to do next.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Being the Wife of a Movie Star

Okay, maybe movie star was a little strong. But, every year for camp, they put together a video for the kids....they show part of it every night, and it all comes together with the theme and the messages for the week. So, this is filming week, since camp starts in two more weeks.
Today Ben was "down the hill" shooting the video at various locations...a cemetary, the police station, the court house....hmmm....bet you all wish you could see it!! Me too!!! But I will have to wait like the rest of the viewers.
Anyway, he came home for dinner time, but is back to filming...he says he won't be home until midnight, with another long day of filming tomorrow.
Well, it better be good!!! He, he. And, I know it's a little sad, but yes, it totally gives me butterflies in my stomach to think about seeing Ben on TV, even if it's just a camp video.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


Okay, so what is chaos?
Chaos is 26 kids ages 3-6 running around with just me and one other person.
Now, it really is my fault because I usually tell Ben how much I want to be involved with the camp...but it just isn't usually possible with two little ones running around. Well, three weeks ago, they had "Helping Hands" weekend, where a bunch of families come up and do projects around the camp property to help get us ready for summer. Well, they needed help with childcare, so I figured, hey, that's something I can do!! That day, we had three camp staff, and one camper/helper and about 15 kids ages 3-6. That was a crazy day!! At the end of it I was exhausted!!
So this weekend, we had Family Camp. They were short on help for childcare again, so I thought I would help out Friday and Saturday. It was just me and one other helper, but the children's ministry director said there were 15 kids, so we should be able to make it through one measley chapel service??? Well, our count was a little off. They dismissed the kids from chapel and 24 kids came running at me, all looking to me for direction, while I am having trouble enough with my own two!!! Anyway, we made it through our time together, all in one piece, and everyone left with the parent who claimed them, so I am thinking it went okay. But I am so exhausted, I told Ben I should not spend my days "off" from watching Brooklyn by watching other kids.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tons of words

Caleb: "Mommy, I want water."
"Hi Gandma, I went in the water. Ba-bye."
"I want chocolate..."
He is so full of words!!! I am amazed how much my little man is talking.

I don't think there is much that Emma can't say. But some of her favorites (definitely not mine) are after I give her an instruction she responds with,
"I don't want to do that!"
"I don't like______, I want _______."
And, in my efforts to try and keep her from being so nosey...her favorite line when Caleb receives discipline,
"So, that's between mommy and Caleb?"

The Big, Small Things

It is so great to have friends and family.
Like, when your daughter needs new clothes for her birthday...It's the grandparents who remember that she probably needs new underwear as well.
And it's the grandparents who remember that she probably (as well as little brother) need new pajamas also.
And it's the grandparents who realize that with new twin size beds, they probably need bedding, at least until we parents can get it together and get everything.
And it is the grandparents who fall for Little Miss proclaiming her undying love for Dora sheets at Target. And buy them.
And it is best friends who remember things like extra big packs of hair-ties...because I certainly never think to buy them. And it is best friends who just can't resist buying little brother a present too, because he doesn't understand that it's not his birthday!!
Anyway, I know this is a little late...but thanks to all of you, family, friends, and everyone who made Emma's birthday so special. The most special part was getting to see everyone she loves so much, and looking forward to seeing those of you whom she didn't get to see this time, but will hopefully get to see soon. We love you all.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's a boy!!

Well, we are pleased to announce that we will be welcoming another young man into our family!! Our ultrasound yesterday showed pretty clearly that we will be having a boy!! Now, they are having me come back in two weeks to be sure, but it is pretty clear according to Ben!! So, with my brother Mark's permission (he shares the same middle name as my dad), we will probably be naming him Russell Arlen Hester. (Arlen being my dad and brother's middle name). Look out Emma, now Caleb has back up!!!

P.S. When we told Emma, she said, "Oh, I wanted the baby to be a girl!"
I told her, "Well, honey, God knows what is best for our family and He thinks it best that we have a boy."
To which she replied, "Oh, okay."


I remember going to Rose Boydston's birthday party in like, 6th grade. I accidentally knocked over a vase, and it broke. I was so mortified, and yet Anne was so kind and gracious.
I remember CABSAPFKIOV....? Did I get that right?? College Age Bible Study and Prayer...something in the Ojai Valley...Well, you who were there remember. The bible study at Aaron Boydston's where we all met and got to be friends. I remember that blonde guy who walked in late carrying a guitar that first time I went to the Bible study...oh, 10 years ago or so. Never in a million years would I have guessed then that he would become my husband.
I remember when Ben told us all about the Ham and Egg breakfast (dedicated vs. devoted). You know, the chicken was dedicated, he gave an egg, but the Pig, he was devoted, because he gave his life.
I remember when Aaron drove Paco (you know, that big 'ol car....) into my cute little Honda...and walked me up with a pillow in case I wanted to beat him with it. We hugged instead.
I remember crazy late night hikes up behind Aaron's house, not having a clue where we were, and Aaron always talking some sort of nonsense with words I wasn't sure I understood.
I remember Ben, Aaron, Nolan, and Nathan (and sometimes Todd) always being so goofy together....while Lisa, Becky, Rose, Melissa (Hahn), myself, and sometimes Heather Bennett watched on just laughing.
I remember Lisa's dungeon apartment in Ojai, which was the coolest place to hang out. I remember the day I tried to give Lisa a "makeover." Now I need one!!! I remember laying around on the futon bed at Lisa's with all the cats...I remember leaving Bible verses on the white board on Lisa's door when she wasn't home. I remember that Pontiac, the little green one, where we always seemed to end up going to Ventura late at night for no good reason.
I remember the first time Natalie told me she liked Aaron. We were in the hallway at Northridge, between classes, and she shyly whispered, "I like someone..." And when she told me it was Aaron, I remember thinking, "Wow, that actually makes sense. They DO go together..."
I remember how nervous I was to sing at their wedding. I thought I would pee my pants!! I remember Natalie calling me the morning of her wedding saying, "Can you come over and do my makeup??" I remember the scandal as Aaron and Natalie tried to hide from me the fact that Ben was going to propose that night or the next day, and they wanted to tell me so bad!!!
I remember right after Aaron and Natalie came back from their honeymoon, and a bunch of us were over, and Natalie scurried me into the bedroom to tell me she was pregnant!!!
I remember the boys playing video games while we tried to catch up, or maybe we were chasing after children already????
I remember how much I love you all...and am amazed that you were able to love me then, when I was so messed up...well, I probably still am, but in a bit more mature of a way.
I love you all...thank you for being my friends. We are all praying together for our friends, Aaron and Natalie.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

We Need Your Hope

Oh Lord, we do pray for Aaron and Natalie, that you would bring hope to them now, while Aaron is sick with leukemia. Bring hope to their babies, and to their whole family, reminding them that you are good and you are in control.

For anyone who knows Aaron and Natalie Boydston, please be praying for them and their family.

The Baby Burrito Song

So, I watch Brooklyn four days a week. So, the kids are pretty much used to having her around. When it's time for Brooklyn to have a nap, we lay her down and swaddle her in a blanket. Each time Emma says, "Oh, look, she's a baby burrito!!"
So, this last time she actually made up a baby burrito song to sing while I wrap Brooklyn up. Now, I could never replicate this song...you'll just have to use your baby burrito imagination!

My Favorite

This morning when asked if Emma wanted to wear her striped shirt, or her new Dora shirt, she replied emphatically,
"Oh, the Dora shirt is my favorite!!"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Doctor's Visit

Okay, so I went to the doctor yesterday for my check-up, or the baby's check-up I should say. I am almost 18 weeks along (tomorrow) and so I was excited for getting to schedule an ultrasound. Now, I realize that I was utterly spoiled with Emma, because I had at least three ultrasounds, and with Caleb even more so because they had me do a 3-d ultrasound (they thought something was wrong, but there wasn't!). Anyway, this baby, I have not gotten to see even once yet, and by now, it's killing me!!! I have been babysitting a two month old, and if it's done anything, it's made me so absolutely excited to meet my little one.
Anyway, I got to the Doctor's office, waited twenty minutes in the waiting room, then twenty minutes in the exam room (luckily, I brought a book). Once I see the doctor, she measures my tummy, then listens for a heartbeat, and gives me a look. I don't know what the look means, because I have never seen this doctor before. But the look says that something is weird, or she's thinking I am the size of a house when I should only be a shed....I don't know. But then she asks, "Have you had an ultrasound yet?" And I say, "No, but I'd like to!!"
So, I get my paperwork and rush off to make my appointment.
Okay, now if I had never had two kids already I wouldn't know any different. I realize that. But, they tell me that for the first 20-30 minutes of the ultrasound, Ben (or anyone else) can't come in. Then, for the last 10 minutes he is allowed in the room. They don't allow video taping, and if I arrive 10 minutes late, then Ben doesn't get to come in at all. The only appointment they have is on a Saturday, when Ben is working and I am babysitting. But it's either then or in two months, so I take it.
I leave crying. I call Ben. I miss my OLD doctors!! I miss CMH, where I delivered both of my other babies! I miss Frank, our old ultrasound technician. I miss Ben coming to my doctor's appointments with me because we have a babysitter. And then Ben gives me what I am lacking at that moment...HOPE!!!
He reminds me that the Tyler Mall in Riverside has an ultrasound place. So we make an appointment for this coming Monday (YEAH!!!) and they will let Ben in the room. Hey, they'll even let the kids come too if we can't find a babysitter.
So I relax, I calm myself. I eat lunch. I feel much better.

P.S. So far, my total weight gain= 2.5 pounds. Now trust me, it will all come. And it will come quickly. But it definitely looks like more...


Well, it seems as if they just grow up overnight...
Yesterday I was gone for a few hours at my doctor's appointment. I came home to a rather mischievious Caleb...
He seemed to be in a good mood, so I said, "Are you my baby?"
He answered emphatically, "NO!"
"Are you my big boy?"
Again, he answers, "NO!"
So then I ask, "What are you?"
He simply replies, "Ca-bub."
I am immediatly close to tears, because he has never said his own name before. So I guess I should be happy to know that he's not even two, and yet, he already has a sense of who he is.

Shopping for The Party

So, Emma and I are at Stater Brothers getting all the necessary supplies for her (then) upcoming birthday party. She is holding two cake mixes, two tubs of frosting, two boxes of pudding, and two packages of Princess napkins. She looks at me with wide eyes and says, "Oh Mommy, this will be the best party EVER!"

Simple pleasures.