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, 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 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 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'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 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 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 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 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 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 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.