Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A busy bumble bee invades the pumpkin patch

Halloween Story Time at the Library
Today Brittany & Gretchen took Zbug to a fun Halloween story time @ the library. They listened to some fun books & went trick or treating around the library. Lots of Zoe's good friends were there, too. She had a great time! Later, they went to a pumpkin patch. Thanks for a fun day!
Happy Halloween!!!!

A Day in the Life with Aunt Gretchen
Zoe has had such a great time the last 2 1/2 weeks with Aunt Gooch! They have gone to the park, invented all kinds of new games, gone on fun outings, and played, played, played!!! As you can see, having so much fun has been an exhausting experience. Twice now ~ Zoe has fallen fast asleep at the lunch table! We have always called Gretty - Gretchen Anna - and now when you say, "Zoe...who is your favorite aunt?" She will yell, "NANA!!"It is super cute.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Welcome to my Womb
Thirty-Seven Weeks and Waiting
Recently, one of my best friends ~Naomi, came over to do a photo shoot of my belly. She did a fantastic job, & we had a ton of fun. She is really talented. Here is a little preview of her work. Thanks, Gnome! Iam so lucky to have such talented friends.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We really thought yesterday was the day, but alas, we are back at home with 2 empty car seats! It all started at 3 AM when we swore my water broke. We called my monitrice, midwife, & OBGYN. We decided to go into the hospital around 10 AM. We spent several hours in triage for evaluation & it was determined that my water did not break, there was just some funky mishap. The babies were monitored via ultrasound & external fetal monitors & both looked great ~ plenty of fluid, lots of movement, very reactive, both head down, & happy. We were checked for dialation & were dialated to 4 cm...but not in any real rhythmic pattern of labor. The lovely Jamaican doctor that was treating us told us we could go for a walk around town & come back in a few hours to see if the labor was progressing or we could choose to be admitted. We chose the walk around town. We went to get a bite to eat & walked around the hospital & went back to get checked a 2nd time. Nope! No change. No further dialation. No more established pattern of contractions. Nada. Nothing. So, we loaded everything back up & headed home. Who knows how much longer my little ones will choose to stay inside my lovely womb. I have completely stopped even trying to guess. I am just going to go with the flow for now & see what happens. Today it is back to the same old routine of non-stress tests. I am kind of bummed because I was really looking forward to meeting these kids, but I guess I can wait a little while longer. They can't stay in there forever, right? I just pray they come out to play before Aunt Gretchen goes back home on the 8th. Thanks for all of the thoughts & prayers that were offered on our behalf yesterday. We really appreciate all of your LOVE & SUPPORT!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

baby update
well, another prayer has been answered. we have made it to 36 weeks (the deadline considered to be full-term for twins). if the babies come now, they will not be classified as premature...phew. what a relief. last monday, we had another growth estimate done at our ultrasound & baby girl was estimated to be 5 1/2 lbs and baby boy was pushing close to 6 lbs. they should continue to gain 1/2 lb a week each from here my guess is that now they are both 6 lbs +. i am now measuring an incredible 48 inches around my waist...yes, that is 4 feet! :) wow. no wonder my skin is itching like crazy and none of my pants fit. i have been having some great warm up contractions for the past week or more. on sunday, they were coming every 10 minutes for over 7 hours. i started to think we might be dealing with real labor, but i took a bath & everything came to a screeching halt. oh well, it's probably better anyway because my midwife & monitrice were both out of town this weekend for a midwifery conference. now that everyone is back in town & zoe is comfortable staying alone with aunt gretchen, we are all anxious to get this party started!!! hopefully our healthy, happy babies will be arriving shortly. we'll be sure to let you all know when that moment comes! in the meantime, thanks again for your love, prayers, & support!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

You don't choose your family.
They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
~Desmond Tutu

A Legacy of Love

My greatest heroes have always been my grandparents. The lives they have lived are a shining testimony of hard work, love, dedication, dreams, and sacrifice. Two years ago today I flew home to surprise my Grandpa Sherd on his 80th birthday. He was so shocked...I will never forget the look on his face when I walked into his home. It was one of the best days of my life. We had a huge party to celebrate his life and the love and adoration we all have for him. Sadly, it was the last time I saw him alive...he died just 6 short months later. I am so grateful for all of the love and laughter that we shared during our 30 years together. I always felt like he was the one person in the world that 'got' me. I never felt like he judged me....he only loved me. And so today with a heart full of love & gratitude I want to say, "Happy Birthday, Pops! I sure do miss you. You mean the world to me. You always will."
Til we meet again...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.
friends forever ~ katie 7 years & gretchen 16 months
Aunt Fudge Has Finally Arrived!

On Saturday, my little sister Gretchen (aka Fudge) flew in from Salt Lake City, Utah! She will be staying with us for the next month & I couldn't be more grateful or excited! Gretchen is one of my dearest & closest friends. I have missed her so much while living in MI. We talk on the phone nearly every day, but nothing compares to having her by my side. I am so thrilled that she will (more than likely...cross your fingers) be here for the birth of the twins. What an extraordinary experience to share. Gretchen is a wonderful aunt and has already taken over Zoe's heart. Zoe won't even nap so far because she is so thrilled to have a friend to play with non-stop! Gretty is also worth her weight in GOLD! Within an hour of setting foot in my house, she had picked up every single toy that was strung about the living room & swept the kitchen. She is constantly on the, cooking, washing, entertaining Zbug, and helping me complete little projects that have been on my to do list for far too long! I can not express how much I LOVE my little sister and how grateful I am that she has put her life on hold, sacrificing time & money, to be here with me at this time. I don't know if I will ever be able to repay her. The words "Thank You" just don't seem adequate! I love you, Fudge! You are the best little sister & friend in the world!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

mama zoe & baby arianna

mama arianna & baby zoe

best friends forever! zoe loves you anna!

A day full of PLAY
yesterday zoe had a huge day full of play....and she loved every minute of it! in the morning, her long time boyfriend corban came over to hang out. zoe was very attentive to his every need. you can see below she is trying to feed him apple snacks and assist him with his sippy cup. she is such a hands~on, touchy~feely kid. she loves to give hugs & kisses!!! luckily, corban is a good sport & took all of her manhandling in stride. in the afternoon, zoe's best friend arianna came to play. they had a great time pushing each other around the house in the stroller. it was hilarious. the person pushing would act like the mommy & give the person in the stroller a binkie so she could pretend to be the baby. it was so cute! this kid cracks me up! thanks for making me laugh every single day z-bug! i love you!

" here corban....take a sip....there you go!"
"now let me give you another fist full of apple snacks!"
" maybe if i lean back far enough
he'll get the hint that i want to be kissed!?!"

"maybe i should come at him from the side...

...that might get me some lip lockin'!"

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Zbug & Uncle Nashwan
Lots of hugs & kisses for Uncle Nash
The Chappells & Uncle Nashwan
Zoe & her 2 favorite uncles...Austin & Nashwan
One of my first & favorite students while teaching in Ann Arbor was a young man from Yemen, named Nashwan. He had a fantastic personality and always made me laugh! We grew to be very close friends & have remained in touch over the past 2.5 years. Wes & I even officially adopted him as a younger brother. On Sunday, we met Uncle Nashwan for dinner at a delicious Middle Eastern Restaurant in Dearborn. We introduced him to Austin & had a lovely night. The best part of the evening was watching Zoe love & kiss him! She thought he was great!
Picking out a Pumpkin @ the Pumpkin Patch
Goats and Sheep & Pigs.....Oh My!

fall time in michigan
last weekend we took a trip to a local cider mill and had a blast welcoming fall to the midwest. we played in a pumpkin patch, visited animals at a petting zoo, and enjoyed some delicious fresh apple cider and donuts. yummy.