Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Tried To Smuggle Her Out...

... but she was too big to fit in the car...

52 Inches! ...and only getting bigger! Not really enough room in my little Sentra for her... oh well, heh heh.

Inquiring minds wanted to know... and now you know!

We're getting very excited, only 3 more weeks to go!

In other news, we discovered that Kristin has some sort of ... ... ... disease... disease seems like a scary word, but this isn't too worrisome. We discovered that the itchiness Kristin has experienced isn't just the dry air in the hospital, but what is known as Cholestasis. (<--- click the word for wikipedia)

They'll put her on some meds to help ease the crazy itchiness, which can be so intense, that she'll actually wake up in the middle of the night with the urge to itch!

We'll keep you posted as the week rolls along!

(OH! AND - important news coming - the Lions play the Packers tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 - a weird time for NFL, but it's American Turkey Day ... it's a long shot for my Lions, but here's hoping the Packers are sleepy after a big turkey lunch!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What A Day!

The LIONS WIN! Oh yes, you heard correctly! The 1-8 Detroit Lions beat the 1-8 Cleveland Browns, making it 2-8!

Matt Stafford, our rookie QB threw 5 touchdowns, the last one with 0:00 time left on the clock, and with an injury! The field goal put them 1 point over the top.

My brother, who graciously cooked me wings, even after I invited myself over, enjoyed the game - I know he pretends to be an Eagles fan (and his act is quite convincing at times), but today I realized that he's probably just a closet Lions fan, scared to show his true colors because of our 5 year record...

Calvin Johnson (WR) dunks the football through the arches after one of our 5 (count 'em, FIVE) touchdown's today!

Okay, on to more important things...

It's pretty shameful that it's been so long since my last post. I suppose it's a testament to how busy my life has been - running back and forth from the hospital - trying to put in a full week at work, and tending to everything else that life throws at me. If any one is still reading this, I applaud you. heh.

We are 30 weeks at this point, and these babies are getting ready to make their entrance to the world, and into the arms of new parents. Only 25 days to go!

We did get some news this week though, both good and ... not so good. The good news is that Kristin's heart is doing well - not growing bigger at this point, so that has been very encouraging. The not-so-good is that Baby C is not growing as quickly as the other two. At this point they've run some tests and it's not tooooo concerning, but they will keep an eye on it. It seems that the blood flow to Baby C is a little hindered, but his growth is still even - just slower. Sometimes when this happens, the baby's head grows bigger, and the body doesn't, because the nutrients go to the brain, and there's not enough left to fatten up the body. This isn't the case with our little one, but they want to keep an eye on things.

Over the next week they'll do a few more tests to monitor the blood flow from the placenta - there's nothing else they can really do to improve the blood flow. They measure growth every two weeks, so unless something more concerning comes up during the tests, they'll re-evaluate the situation next week (the week of the 30th). The only other option is to take the babies out earlier and feed them outside of the womb, but for the most part they want to keep them in as long as possible. So... I hope that's a clear picture of what's going on (It's clear in my head, I'm just not sure if I have described it adequately).

So we ask that you continue to hold us in your prayers, especially little Baby C. God has blessed us in so many ways, and we have had a lot of help, visitors, meals and support, and that has really kept us afloat; physically and emotionally.

I will try to post more often, with more pictures, because I know I haven't posted enough pictures!

For now, I'm off to the hospital... I'll post again shortly! Thanks for continuing to check in and journey with us!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

8 Years

It's hard to believe that it's been 8 years since my father passed away. Time flies. 8 years since that cloudy, cold afternoon that we stood by his graveside, silently, with tears in our eyes, and sadness in our souls.

My brother, sister and I made our annual trip to Park Lawn, in the big city, a trip we try to take every year. It hasn't always worked out, but I'm glad it did this year. It's pretty special to have the 3 of us there to reminisce and spend a quiet moment together.

Last year was different. After 7 years, I didn't feel the tears come easily. I silently berated myself; how could I not feel the same intense emotion I have in other years? I wanted to cry - I felt that I would be betraying my Dad's memory if I didn't - that somehow he would be less significant if I didn't feel the pain so intensely.

In the days that followed, I realized that God has, in many ways, healed my heart. It's not that I don't remember - it's not that I don't feel the pain - it's just that I've realized that ... it is what it is. It happened for a reason, and God designed it to be this way. And I'm okay with that.

It was dark this year; we didn't get there terribly late, but the sun had set, and the cemetery was dark and eerie. My sister took this picture; it seems to reflect how eerie the deserted cemetery was.

Sorry for the quality - we had a flashlight and a cell phone camera! It you can't make it out, it reads:

In loving memory of
a beloved husband
and father
Dec 24, 1953 - Nov 10, 2001
You will fill me with joy
in your presence, with eternal
pleasures at your right hand.
Ps. 16:11

This week, Kristin and I were blessed with a visit from my Grandparents, and when they left, my Grandpa gave us a business card, as he often does.

On the back of that card is a prescription; he had written a verse from my Dad's favorite Psalm - 16. His Rx read: "Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure."

What an encouragement!

The last verse my Dad ever shared with me was verse 8, and I had the reference tattooed on my left shoulder: "I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

The Psalmist continues, "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let you Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

Tonight the tears come easily. Tonight my eyes are filled with tears - I am incredibly sad that my children won't get to meet their Grandpa Stimers in their life. I feel pain because my Dad won't get to hold his grandkids. He would have been an amazing Grandpa, and would be so proud to hold his grandbabies.

But he hasn't been abandoned. Jesus has not left him alone in death - he has not abandoned my Dad to the grave, and in that, I take much comfort!

And, through my pain and tears, I can rejoice - I can rejoice because I know my Dad is enjoying the eternal pleasures that are promised in the Bible. I pray that I will raise my kids to know Jesus - to know and walk with Jesus in a profound way, that they may enjoy the amazing gift that awaits them. I pray that I can, and will, raise my kids to follow Jesus - even when it's hard - even though it's not popular or easy - I pray that they will follow the legacy that my Grandfather left me, the legacy that my father carried, and the legacy that I intend to leave for my kids.

Milestones are hard. Graduating college was hard. Getting engaged, and marrying the most amazing woman in the world was hard - knowing she won't get to meet my Dad until Heaven. And having my Dad's first Grandkids... is hard.

I miss you Dad.

Thank you all for sharing this with me; thanks for letting me share this with you, because it's important to me. For those of you who knew my Dad, who shared time with him, prayed with and for him, and supported him in ministry, thank you. Thank you for supporting, praying for us kids as we went through a difficult time of mourning, and thank you for those of you who don't let my memories fade.

His hair was going to fall out, so he asked me to shave it off. I took great pleasure in doing so!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Parking Wars... oh, and an Update too...

I try to be pretty laid back. I'm not sure if I always (or even sometimes) achieve that status, but I do try. When it comes to on-street parking, however, I get all rattled.

Our neighborhood consists of elderly folk who have been here for 40+ years, some families, and an assortment of those middle-years-empty-nesters. There aren't a lot of renters on our block, but there have been a few more recently. Too be honest, I'm not a big fan of renters. I find that they, as people go, are usually quite nice and amiable, but many (in our neighborhood) don't take care of their property, and seem to have little regard for others on the block.

I know I'm stereotyping, but this is my experience with the two houses that are within spitting distance (not that I would spit at them, mind you...)

My big beef isn't un-mowed lawns or recycling bins that are left on the driveway 5 days a week, my beef is parking.

Our street is small, not a boulevard or main thoroughfare, just a quiet residential street. That's why it bugs me when my renting neighbors park illegally, and tonight, he really turned a screw.

The guy that rents the basement across from us has 2 vehicles - a mid-sized sedan, and a pick-up truck, but no parking in the driveway at his home. The other people that live in the home have cars as well - 3 more. They have a garage (which has never housed a car) and room for one car in the driveway. That means that 4 cars end up on the street, two of which end up at my house, rarely leaving a spot for our guests.

Last week, our neighbor parked his pick up on the street - attached to the hitch was a 12 foot trailer filled with chain link fencing. Annoying, because it takes up so much room on the street, but not the problem. The problem wasn't even that he was parked facing the wrong direction - it was that he was parking in the intersection! So... I called the municipal parking enforcement, and 30 minutes later he was ticketed.

I hoped that this would help solve the problem - that he would quickly learn to park legally on our street. It didn't work.

I arrived home tonight, from visiting my wonderful wife, just before 10pm. I feigned surprise when I came across the illegally parked pick up... again. He was loaded up again with his 12 foot trailer, this time with a bobcat on top. This time he decided to park right in front of our fire hydrant! But that's not all - he collected several construction pylons (the 4 foot tall ones) and put them all around the fire hydrant, effectively (or ineffectively) hiding it.

What a guy.

So, I called in, again. I guess I'm not so good at being laid back.

Kristin and I already endured a flooded basement this summer; we really don't need to have our entire house burn down because someone parked in front of the hydrant. Sigh

Ah, here's my parking enforcement buddy now - I love the look of his white SUV!

See you next week, my friend....


On to more important matters! Kristin is doing quite well - fighting off the boredom as best she can. The many visitors that she has enjoyed make the days pass quickly, and she very much appreciates them! Only 38 days to go! Kristin is feeling ... enormous... and gets tired of lugging that big bowling ball around, but we're in the home stretch! The end, er... beginning, is near!

We have much appreciated the steady stream of meals and snacks - Kristin especially enjoys some of the goodies that give her a break from the salty hospital food! They have made my life easier as well, cutting down on food preparation time so I can get to the hospital, so THANK YOU!

We'll have more updates this week as we have cardiology appointments and ultrasounds, so check back often, and I'll do my best to keep things updated. We've learned that they believe the babies to weigh well over 2lbs each, and we're very excited about that!! Way to go, babies! The heart beats have been steady and normal; baby "c" has had some irregularity that comes and goes - the don't believe it to be anything serious - most likely just an immature electrical system that will correct itself. More on that later!

Thanks for checking in! Please continue to hold all 5 of us in your prayers - we appreciate it very much and we are constantly aware of God's goodness and provision towards us!

Oh - more pictures coming soon!