Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thoughts at 34 Weeks

This is my FIFTH pregnancy, and honestly it is hard to believe that Howard still wants anything to do with me after enduring pregnant Kristy FIVE times! Luke was born at 35 weeks so for me my nesting instinct kicks into FULL gear at 32 weeks, just in case. This house has been a whirlwind of sorting, packing dusting, and organizing. One by one the projects are getting done and the house is becoming more "ready".

Yesterday I took inventory and made another list of things to be done before our little girl's arrival. As I looked at all that has been accomplished in the past 8 months it is hard to believe that a mere 15 months ago I stood in a similar place. Asher was born two days shy of 34 weeks because he was showing signs of distress in the womb. His little sister has already spent more time with me than he did. It is an eerie feeling. We are so very excited for her arrival, yet so very broken yet from his all too quick departure for Heaven.

The term "sorrowful yet always rejoicing" takes on new meaning. Emotions become so complicated I can't even sort them out. Hormones run high and I find myself walking a fine line between longing for Asher and grieving the loss of him and jumping for joy that our next little miracle is almost here.

The next week or two will be pretty big here. This weekend is my baby shower. I was reluctant to the idea at first, but I must say I am glad I have friends who know me well and pushed me just enough. I am really excited to celebrate our new blessing. It almost feels like I am cheating though. Like my overwhelming joy for the gift of her somehow takes away from the love I still hold for Asher and I know that this is simply NOT true, but it is just a tough line to walk. Each of our children, whether they live in Heaven or here on earth hold their own place in our hearts that only they can fill. Baby Girl, could no more fill Isaac or Asher's place than Luke or Ben could. They are each their own special gift.

The Lord makes it more and more clear to me each and every day that He is doing a new thing and yet in the dark hours of the night fear sometimes creeps in. I am at the point in pregnancy where I am up pretty much every hour or so for a bathroom break or a TUMS or a drink of water. Sometimes I lie in bed, unable to fall back to sleep, my mind racing with the what ifs and unknowns. My dreams often become more vivid and scary, though pretty out there and silly. Nighttime is often a constant battle of my mind. I obsessively do kick counts to reassure myself that all is well and the baby is fine. I have made one trip to labor and delivery so far to set my mind at ease and just see the lines on the monitor.

In so many ways I wish I could be pregnant forever. I really do love it. It is so amazing and I am more aware than ever of what a gift it is just to be able to carry a baby in my womb. And in many ways I cannot wait to hold this little ones in my arms. I am reminded of the reality of life when my sweet five year old son speaks of his sister saying " it is going to be awesome to have a baby in this house IF she lives". He too is aware at his young age that there are no guarantees and while that makes me sad for him, it also makes me glad to know that he does not take any of it for granted.

This coming Tuesday is my next and final "Level 2" ultrasound in Pittsburgh. Again, Howard cannot go. I am more at peace this time for sure but there is always that sneaking fear that creeps in. Part of me wants to skip it all together because it is tough to organize childcare and travel since we are still on only one vehicle, but I know that last time it did provide me with peace. So we will see.

Thank you all for continuing to check in on us and support us. We are so very blessed and we covet each of your prayers.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thank You!

Can you spot me? I am the one who looks like she is smuggling basketball! :-)

Sunday was our March for Babies here in Erie and I have to say it was a great day! Typical weather for our area in April is around 60 degrees and often rainy, but this day was in the 80s! (in all honesty, a little hot for me, but the sun was shining!).
We are so grateful for each of you who walked and for each of you who donated. This team means so much to us. There is so little we can tangibly do as the parents if Isaac and Asher and we have been so blessed to be able to share them with the world through the March of Dimes this year. Just having you walk with us is so important!
The photo above is this year's team. Lots of people are missing however because we had to take an earlier photo time than usual because Howard spoke before the walk began so lots of 11:00 church goers missed the photo.
Howard did a GREAT job speaking and sharing our story at the event despite his nerves and the boys got to ride the first part of the walk with us in a FIRETRUCK. Can you imagine the excitement little boys would get out of that!? This has been such a great experience for them!
On a side note...a few of you who walked at far away sites, who ordered team tshirts, I will get those in the mail and I apologize for not having them to you sooner. There was a problem with our order and I did not even have the shirts until Saturday!
Also...if you have a burning desire to have a Team Isaac and Asher Tshirt, I do have some left. It seems the sunny weather called people other directions and we have leftover tshirts. If you would like one just email me at the cost is 5 dollars plus shipping. First come first sizes available. :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Temporarily Offline

Easter Morning

Luke the Rockstar!

Painting Baby Sister's Room

Ben doing an art project in his paint shirt and Krispy Kreme Hat!

Ben Super Bowl Sunday!

We have been having some trouble with our current Internet Service Provider and are in the midst of switching so I likely won't be online again until Saturday. Here are a few pictures of the boys to make up for my absence! :-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

March For Babies

There is still time to join us! Go to and join us or donate to help make sure ALL babies are born healthy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Letting go of Fear

So today I am 32 weeks pregnant with my fifth baby. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I LOVE being pregnant. I find myself daily stuck in the wonderful world of feeling her kick and roll and reveling in the miracle that is and wanting it to last forever, all the while allowing myself to dream of what it will be like to hold her and gaze up on her face (that she refuses to show us despite serial ultrasounds).

Luke was born at 35 weeks, Isaac and Benjamin were both born just before 37 and Asher was born at 33 weeks. Looking at my track record makes me panic just a little to know that this pregnancy is coming to an end, likely within the next six weeks by her choice, and if not we will surely meet her June 3rd, my scheduled c-section date.

Because Luke came five weeks early, around this point in pregnancy I always become a little restless if things are not done. I have put off doing many of these things for quite sometime out of fear. I am well aware that that fear that has taken residence in my heart over the past eight months is not from God. I feel him nudging me daily to put down the fear and embrace the joy of the new things he is doing in my life and though I have resisted he continues to be patient and continue gently nudging. I am reminded that whatever time the Lord blesses me with this little gift, I will embrace and love her whole heartedly. I hope and pray with every ounce of my being that we will get to love on her and watch her grow and that she will outlive us all, but I also know that that is sometimes not the path the Lord chooses for us.

I have often wondered if God was punishing me or trying to teach me a lesson that my stubborn heart refused. I mean, how else do you explain him allowing me to endure the heartache of letting go of two of my children so soon? But I have come to this conclusion: The Bible tells us that children are a gift from the Lord. They are a blessing. I believe the Bible to be the word of God, I believe it to be Truth. Because I believe these things, I must also believe that the Lord would not ever use a child as "punishment". They are a gift, some remain with us for many long years and others only moments, but either way they are a gift, a blessing from our Heavenly Father.

That is not to say that there are not lessons the Lord has taught me on this path, and ways he has shaped me into a person I never would have been without Isaac and Asher, but his plans are good, they always have been. The truth is that those boys, like us were not created for this world. They were created specifically for the time they were here on this earth, they lived the lifetime God intended and changed our lives profoundly, just as each of their brothers and sisters will. Though it broke my heart this Easter to fill two baskets instead of four, I could not help but be reminded of where those other two boys were celebrating Jesus' Resurrection in the presence of Jesus Himself. Though my heart aches, I can't imagine a more perfect place.

I have felt in the past few weeks a peace that I haven't felt in quite some time. I was tempted to get a little discouraged by the anemia and gestational diabetes issues, but was quickly reminded that it is all temporary and that God has it all under control. I am taking the supplements needed and adjusting my diet as necessary and this baby is growing well.

My heart is still aching for my boys in Heaven but it leaps for joy each time I walk past the nursery, my sweet husband labored in for weeks to make the perfect pink space for our sweet girl. I breathed deeply days ago when I washed the first load of little pink things friends have already purchased for her and hung them in her closet. This is all uncharted territory for me and I have to say that the change is welcome. The Lord knew I would need this. I never imagined myself the mom of a girl, and yet it fits.

Last night we installed new carseats in our car. We own a Scion XB and if you know cars, it is small. We drive a lot and need the fuel efficiency and since it will be paid off in a year or so we did not want to replace it so instead we chose to get new carseats for each of the kids so that we could fit three across the back seat. The boys' seats came on Tuesday and yesterday Howard installed them and we went to the library. It was so cute to hear them talking about how there was now room for their baby sister and all of the things they would be able to do to help care for her in the back seat. For the first time my heart did not jump into my throat wanting to remind them that they may never get that chance.

Right now we are gradually preparing our home for this new blessing and I have to say I am enjoying every moment of pregnancy and being the mommy to a five year old who is reading and doing math like a champ and a two year old who is really getting the hang of potty training and making us laugh every day. I am in awe of the gifts the Lord has given me. And don't even get me started on the husband he blessed me with. I was so discouraged when he was not outwardly gushing with excitement at the idea of a baby GIRL, but the way he took over the nursery project and made her the most creative beautiful space I have ever seen melts my heart. I was nervous and had trouble giving over control, but it is perfect. (I will post pictures as soon as I find my USB cable)

I guess all in all I am excited, I am rejoicing in today for that is what I have been given, and really, I have been given so much!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Reflections

Tonight we attended our church's Good Friday service, which I must say each year is one of my favorite services of all. I had been thinking a lot lately about Jesus' Crucifixion, suffering, and pain. A few years ago, Howard and I went to the theater to see "Passion of the Christ" and though I must say I thought the movie was good, I vowed that it was one I would NEVER see again. I cowered in my seat and sobbed throughout the entire movie. For days I would see a scene flash in my head depicting the intense agony our Jesus suffered and it made me very uncomfortable.

This year, I purchased the movie. The one I swore I would never again watch. As I reflected on Good Friday and the reason we remember this day I realized that maybe I needed to be pulled out of my comfort zone. It is in no way entertaining or enjoyable to see my Savior being beaten and tortured in such a graphic way, but maybe, just maybe that is what I need. He LIVED it. I need to be reminded of what he sacrificed, the cost of His life, for mine. I am not saying this is what everyone needs to do to prepare their hearts for Good Friday, but for me I needed to be jolted back into the reality that this is all real. That Christ suffered a more intense and immense suffering that I can even fathom, and He did it willingly for ME!

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around that. I sometimes get so caught up in my own self pity an guilt that I lose sight of the big picture. He paid the ultimate price because of His love for me and because of that I will have eternal life. I will once again see Isaac and Asher. It really does blow my mind.

Tonight as we sat in a candlelit somber worship center I was captivated, captivated by the kind of love it would take to make such a painful sacrifice. My heart began to overflow, really it felt like it literally. I sang the words to some familiar worship songs and as I sang the words "I lay every burden down at the foot of the cross." Tears began to roll. This is something I struggle with. I am pretty good at laying them down, but I am also pretty good at snatching them back up. I thought about the pain Jesus endured and the suffering both physically and emotionally and I found myself wondering if holding on to guilt and pain and continually laying it down at His feet only to pick it back up again does any justice to what He has done for me.

We walked up and took communion and the moment the pastor said "Kristy, the body of Christ Broken for you." Tears began to stream down my face. He ended with "and he has good plans for your life" and it was all I could do to make it back to my seat without giving in to the ugly cry. The body of Christ, broken for ME! Not just for certain people, not for the rich and famous, but for ME! For YOU! For each and every one of us. He died so that we can live. He loves us and He has a good plan for our lives. I know that in my head I KNOW all of this, but my heart so needed to hear those words today.

I sat there reflecting and worshipping as I ate the bread and drank the juice. We stood and sang one more song (Nothing But the Blood) and I was reminded that there is not a thing I can do to EARN God's favor, not a thing I can do to make Him love me more than He already does. It is done. Period.

We all exited church silently and after we picked up the boys, Luke asked what was up with the quietness, I explained to him that we had just been remembering that Jesus died for our sins and that He suffered. Luke then said "well it is a good thing we know he rose again on Easter or this holiday would be no good" :-) I agreed, but then began thinking of those who in the moment did not know Easter would happen. The drama at church kind of touched on that and still has me thinking of what it would have been like to be one of the disciples at that time. It is easy now to look back at them and wonder how they could turn their backs on Jesus the way they did, but if I were in their shoes, I can't really say for sure that I would have been able to do it differently.

I am so very thankful that we do know that on Easter, the tomb was empty. I cannot think of anything more worthy of our celebration! I hope you all enjoy your families and reflect on the amazing thing that was done for us. Jesus paid the ultimate price, and God loved us SO much that he was willing to sacrifice his ONE and ONLY son so that we can live in Heaven. After losing two of my own sons, the meaning that holds is so profound. It is a love I cannot even wrap my mind around. You are loved so much, I am loved so much! Praise God, we are loved and never alone!

A Busy Day for the Boltes

Well today seems to be a day that much like the Energizer Bunny, just keeps going and going and going...

We got up this morning and got everyone bathed, showered, dressed, and fed and headed out the door to head to a local TV station to shoot a commercial for the upcoming March For Babies. I was so proud of us...we were running ahead of schedule and everyone seemed happy.

HA! That is until we were about fifteen minutes from the station and Benjamin begins to throw up EVERYWHERE in the car. He is covered, his carseat is covered, the floor, everything. Howard, calmly pulls over and gets Ben out and begins cleaning him with wipes while I try to do the best I can with his carseat.

After that we sat for a moment debating whether to turn around and head home or to push on. Ben seemed fine and was still his happy self (I am convinced it was the bright red cherry Trix yogurt I allowed him to have for breakfast) so we decided to make a quick stop at Target for a pair of fresh jeans and a new sweatshirt (we were at least smart enough not to put the boys in their shirts we wanted them to wear on air until we arrived, so that was safe.) We were now running late which if you know me, is a pet peeve of mine. I cannot STAND to be late.

We arrived at the studio and were greeted with smiles and such kindness. We were then led to a control room and made a few changes to our script in the prompter. The kids were in awe of all of the TV screens and buttons. We then shot the commercial and after only about four takes we were done. The boys did pretty well. BOTH had to sit on my non existent lap and Ben had his hands in his mouth most of the time, but they did well.

Then they let us go back into the control room and watch each of our takes. The boys thought it was so cool to see themselves on TV. After that the reporter that did the commercial with us was so sweet, she took us on a tour of the studio and the boys got to see it all. I must say though their favorite part was getting to play around a little in front of the green screen where they shoot the weather. They put up a background of the city of Erie and the boys ran around and pretended they were flying over Erie and laughed wildly as they watched eachother soar over the city. It was really neat. I cannot get over how welcoming they were and how willing they were to show everything and how it all works to the kids. It was a really neat experience for them and Luke cannot stop talking about it! (if you live in the area it should start sometime next week on channel 12, if not, they were also kind enough to offer to email it to me so I can post it here for all to see) :-)

Then, since Ben seemed to be feeling just fine we headed to lunch. The boys LOVE TGIFridays and so we took them there. We had a great lunch and really enjoyed spending the time with the boys.

Next on the list for the day was a stop at Home Depot for one more color of paint Howard needs for the nursery ( I must admit I am getting a little nervous having handed over control completely, but I do think it is awesome that he WANTS to do this for her). Then we headed to Sams Club for some household necessities and groceries. (I won't even get into the madhouse that was or the rudeness displayed by many who were out shopping)

Next we stopped at the mall to pick up the boys' Easter sweaters (waiting until the last minute is what we always do..they are on clearance by then) and we got some ice cream and a few things from the craft store that Howard needed for the nursery ( I know, I am very curious too!).

By this time we realized there was NO time to head home before church so we headed right on over to church for Good Friday services, which I am still reflecting on and will share my thoughts on that later. I will just say, I am so very thankful and in awe of our Savior. I would love to think I would pay the price he paid for each of us, but sadly, I don't think that would be the case.

Last stop...OOPS! Mom forgot to get eggs to color! What kind of mom forgets to by eggs for dying Easter eggs? This one! I have decided to no longer adorn the house with bunnies and eggs at Easter time, rather to just talk about the REAL meaning of it all and reflect on the price that was paid for us, all of the decor and hoopla seemed to confuse the kids and I want there to be no mistake about what we are remembering and celebrating at this time of year, and I must say we did it so well, we forgot completely about the eggs which we do still like to do for fun on Easter as we celebrate Jesus' Resurrection!! :-)

Now we are at home and Howard is busy at work in the nursery, the boys are in bed and I am off to rest! What a busy and fun filled Good Friday. We have so very much to be thankful for. I am just in awe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Give me your tips...

And by the way, I know many of you are so sweet that you do not want to give unsolicited advice so I am soliciting...any tips for snacks, treats, etc with the gestational diabetes would be fantastic! I am still trying to figure it all out and not completely starve myself. So let me know what worked for you! I love the ones you already have given me! I think I just may go get myself a Dilly Bar now for my evening snack! :-)

PS...yes I will post a picture of baby's room when it is finished. :-)

Lots of Random Thoughts

It seems like it has been forever since I have had a minute to sit and post, though it has only been a few days. I thought I would update you on the goings on around here.

Baby girl's room is still under construction. After much ambivalence toward all things girly, Daddy has taken great interest in painting her room in a creative way and Mommy has just stepped out of the way and allowed him the freedom to do it (which is NO small feat on my part). Our goal is to have it finished by next weekend before showers and celebrations and all things girly begin to over run our home. :-)

April 6th was a big day here. It was one year from my due date for Asher which all seemed so strange, and it was also the date our doctors scheduled my c section for this baby. It was all kind of too coincidental for the day. Our doctor appointment went well, baby is doing well, growing well, and is still as stubborn as EVER! Once again we came out of the ultrasound room with only a picture of a foot! (you have got to be kidding me) I guess we will know what she looks like soon enough. The date of the c section is June 3rd. The day after our wedding anniversary and the day before Howard is done with school for the year. I must say we have little confidence that she will hang in there that long though. I will be 39 weeks at that point, and I have not carried any of our four other children beyond 37 weeks, so we will see! I have a distinct feeling that though a planned delivery would be nice, she will still choose her own date, and that is fine. :-)

On the Gestational Diabetes front...I am doing well. The diagnosis was confirmed a week ago and I have been able to manage it well at this point. I did have one minor breakdown at ten p.m. about three nights in when all I wanted was a big bowl of ice cream. I have since learned some snacks that will suffice when that craving hits. I have lost two pounds already actually and am checking my blood sugars four times a day. In some ways I have to say that there is something almost comforting about the GD diagnosis. In my pregnancy with Asher, once there was a diagnosed problem, all I wanted to do was to be able to DO something to help and there was nothing I could do, with this, at least for now I can and I have taken it all very seriously and am hoping some of the changes made will be lifelong changes for our family and all of our health.

We are also counting down until the March of Dimes, March for Babies. As you all know we are the ambassador family for this year and we are so excited! There is still time to join us if you would like! Just click on the button at the side of this page and join our team even if you don't live in the Erie Area, you can walk at the site closest to you and still join our team! I am hoping to get our tshirt order in by tomorrow morning so if you want a Team Isaac and Asher T-shirt, for the walk let me know! They will be five dollars.

Mostly I have just been spending my days counting my blessings. My body is in full nesting drive and I am trying to make room for a baby in this house and am just in awe watching my boys as they learn and grow. They are so amazing and bring so much joy (and some arguing) into our home. There is never a dull moment!

Thank you all for your continued prayers for our family! We are so grateful for all of your support!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Please Pray for Emily and Baby Abigail!

My super awesome friend, Emily is in the hospital right now being induced. Her blood pressure has been elevated and continued to rise and today due to her BP and protein in her urine they are inducing her. She isn't quite 38 weeks and I am sure is so excited and yet also a little nervous. Please take a few moments this evening to pray for her family and/or stop on over to her blog and leave her a message. I know she covets all the prayer she can get!

I am SOOO excited for this great family! Stay tuned to their blog for updates!