Wednesday, December 19

Tuesday, November 27

I've been spoiled the last few days having Blake home, we had a great time during the Thanksgiving holiday. Blake was off starting on Wednesday. We enjoyed the holiday and got some good things done around the house including a new Pergo (laminate) floor in Gwyneth's room and the living room, no more yucky carpet! I took Wilder and Gwyneth with the help of Jud & Lynda (nana and pappy) to the doctor yesterday. I haven't ventured out of the house with both babies yet, just for a walk so far. I was pleased that both are doing well, Wilder was off the charts in his height and 28% in his weight -definitely his daddy's body. And Gwyneth is already 10.5 pounds! The nurse said it was obvious the breastmilk was working out for her. I must say that I am so thankful that breastfeeding is going so well this time...yet another answered prayer and blessing. Today was back to being home with the two. It is getting easier each day...except when I'm really tired. Wilder has been in a better mood this week and has shown some interest in Gwyneth and likes to kiss her now. We spent about an hour in the backyard today. I had Gwyn in my front body carrier and Wilder was content with his usual rock collecting and feeding the neighbors dog sticks through the fence. I managed to make the most of the time and did some excercises...probably looked a little silly but multitasking is a must!

I'm planning on returning to work part time on December 10th, less than two weeks. At this time I am not looking forward to it but it's necessary for us right now. I'm a little worried about how Gwyneth will do, and me too actually. So keep us in your prayers.

The pic below we took at grandmother's house on Thanksgiving. 4 generations of women! (plus Wilder) I think that's pretty amazing.

And Blake is turning 30 on December 5th. If feels so wierd! I keep teasing him about being so much wiser than me now and how I'm reminded of things we did when we were in our 20's! Wow how time flies.

Roy really never is excited about bathtime so this just topped it off adding Wilder. Good dog....

Yep, my baby got his first haircut last Wednesday. He did so good! I had a hard time letting go of the curls but I do think he looks really handsome all cleaned up!...and

Isn't fall the best.

Friday, November 9

Instead of taking Wilder door knocking (he still wouldn't understand) we let him pass out candy on Halloween. We were surprised at how coorperative he was in his costume. It's like he knew he looked cute and he was super hyper that evening...could have been all the chocolate. The baby in the chili pepper costume is Jonas, son of our good friends Chris and Jen Holbert. He is only 2 months old. Some day these boys will love us for this one!

And just another photo of Wilder. I know it's because there is a newborn in our house but he is definitely growing fast and is more fun everyday! (and a challenge at times but the good outweighs the difficult!)

Isn't it amazing how one day can change your life completely? When we were driving home from the hospital it was bizarre to think just the day before we were on our way and now we were driving home with a new family member. I specifically remember everything seeming a little prettier that evening, like something had changed. The sunset was pretty, giving everything a special glow. Maybe I was just more observant that evening.

A few photos I wanted to share. This is my doctor, Dr. Larson. I am thankful her and her practice. I appreciate that she goes the extra mile to give women the opportunity to have the type of labors they desire. She is one of the few doctors in the state that chooses to carry the type of insurance allowing her to perform VBAC's. (Vaginal Birth after Csection). I love this photo. There aren't words to describe how awesome this moment was when Gwyneth was finally born. I got to hold her in all this goo! It was amazing.

Gwyneth has been an excellent baby. I am definitely getting more sleep than I did Wilder so far. The hardest thing has been Wilder and I adjusting to there being a new baby. It's been emotional at times but he is doing better and I am learning and realizing what life is going to have to look like in order to take care of both of them.

Thursday, November 1

Gwyneth Ann Collins

I at least wanted to get a photo up for everyone to see. This is the photo from the web nursery on St. John's website. I have a lot more to share eventually! We are doing fine and still celebrating a successfull delivery and a healthy baby girl! More to come!

Sunday, October 21

A quick update, this may be the last time I get to post for a while! I went to the doctor last Wednesday and found out I was already 4cm dialated. The doc predicted sometime early next week, tomorrow or Tuesday that I'd be in labor. So I guess she could come anytime but who knows I could go on like this for whle too. We were glad we had the weekend to get a little more ready for her here at home. Mom and dad came and helped us get her room painted. The doctor is very positive about me trying a vaginal birth so we're going to give it our best try! I'm praying she does come this week so she doesn't have a chance to get any bigger! And I am planning for a natural birth (no meds, or epidural). I feel it will increase my chances of having a successful birth, so keep me in your thoughts and prayers for strength! And pray for Blake too...that he will be able to be the support I need.

Wednesday, October 10

See that blue slide down below, well I went down it today with Wilder. What a sight I'm sure, me in my shorts and huge belly trying to get down it at 9 mos pregnant. There were some other ladies at the park that probably thought it was amusing. What could I do, I couldn't let him go by himself, he doesn't really understand the feet first concept yet.

I met with my new doctor today for my 36 week visit. It was a positive visit and we talked a lot about the possibility of a VBAC. We will know more next week when we do the in-depth ultrasound and she examines me. At that point we will have more of a plan and will be able to make an educated decision. I'm trying to just take this one day at time. I have a strong desire to try this but I also have a strong desire to do what's safest for our baby. Thought I'd share.

Meanwhile, she'll be here in about 4 weeks however she's born! I can't believe it, life will change again as we know it!

Wednesday, October 3


I can't believe it's already October, what happened to September? Well it being October 2nd, I am 35 weeks pregnant today. This little girl is growing and I have the belly to show for it. We are slowly getting things ready for her arrival. For some reason at the Collins' house we seem to do a complete remodel on a room before it becomes a nursery. Our 3rd bedroom, formerly our office/art stuff room is currently under construction. We (ok, Blake) pulled the carpet out and just finished scraping the popcorn stuff off the ceiling. So now we need to paint the room and put in our new floor, fun!

One reason I haven't posted in a while is because I've been busy thinking, and researching. I'm not sure exactly why the timing was so late but I've been exploring the idea of having a VBAC (vaginal birth aftet csection). If any of you didn't know I've had a planned csection up to this point. There is a lot to explain that I won't elaborate on but I would appreciate everyone's prayers. I would love the opportunity to try to have this baby naturally but am most concerned about her being born healthy and not putting her or I at risk. I recently read this and I think it's true, I think pregnancy is a very spiritually fertile time and that's what it's turned into for me. I am choosing to completely trust God with this pregnancy and so far through doing so He has opened my eyes to several things! More to come.

I have something really cool to share. Last week my grandmother Bernice gave me a baby gift. I opened it and it was her baby quilt made by her great grandmother. She had cherished it for 75 years and has passed it to me to enjoy and keep for a very long time. Our little girl will have a quilt made by her great, great, great, great, grandmother. I may have added an extra great, I'm tired and I can't say it without looking at the geneology. Grandmother typed out the geneology for me and even gave me copied photographs of her great grandmother who made the blanket and photos of her (Bernice) as a baby. I am so proud of this beautiful baby quilt and can't wait to display it in the nursery. I will try to post a photo on the blog soon.

Time to roll this body into bed, it's been a good but tiring day here at home. Two walks, lots of laundry, playtime, cooking, finishing up my thank you notes. Wilder and I had fun today. Today was the first day in a while that I was able get caught up at home or at least not feel like it's overtaking me! I was able to prepare a pretty healthy meal for us and we all were able to sit down and eat it together! Wow!

Thursday, August 30

Tonight required an emergency trip for ice cream. Did I say in my last post that Wilder was pleasant?...I meant most of the time. He definitely got on my last nerve tonight. It was just him and I and I was trying to cook dinner, he was over tired from the day and well the rest just went downhill from there. At one point there was spilled milk. I decided to try to put him to bed early for his sanity and mine and that didn't go over well. Blake came home and got him out of bed and we went for a walk and he fell asleep. Then a chocolate mix with cherries to which I credit my current stomach ache.

Anyway, kinda random, I thought I would post a few things we need. I'm getting ready to start looking at garage sales and resale shops for these things but I thought it might help if friends and family kept their eyes open too, couldn't hurt.

1. A computer desk, currently I am sitting on the floor in our bedroom writing this post, not too comfortable for a pregnant lady. We sold our big desk tomake room in the office for the new nursery so we need a small desk for our bedroom.
2. A baby sling. I am wanting to try a different kind with this little girl. I want the one piece kind that drapes over your shoulder, no straps. There are a few specific brands that I know of but I am open to anything tht will work.
3. A baby play yard! You know the ones that look like baby gates. I could have used one tonight. I am going to have to have one when the new baby comes and I'd like to get Wilder somewhat used to it before she comes.
4. A glider. I was anti glider with Wilder because I thought they were ugly. So I went with a hard rocking chair. I'm definietly into comfort now. They can be expensive so a nicely used one may work.
5. Maybe another crib and/or a toddler bed...not sure how this will all work out yet!

Also, a follow up on the teaching front. I received my certification in the mail yesterday. Feels good to know that I am set to teach when the right thing comes available. I am ok with not having a job this fall. I have to believe that God knew it was more than we could probably handle with a new baby. So possibly the Spring or Fall. There will be a position opening up in Owasso that Blake knows of next year so there is some potential there. If we both work in Owasso we will probably have to move a little closer. I will just have to hang in there at my current job. It's pretty bad, I've been at Urban Tulsa for about 2 years now and am a little tired to say the least of building ads for....hmmm bars and adult clubs (ok that 's not all I do but it still gets old). Also, somewhat beside the point here, we got a letter in the mail saying they're going to build a huge mine in the woods right behind our house! yikes. can you say decrease in property value? Who knows, maybe we'll move sooner than we think.

Sweet dreams everyone.

Wednesday, August 29

Wilder's birthday photos...and...

I felt the need to announce that I am feeling better and not so overwhelmed today! Thank you all for your good comments to my last post. Ultimately, I feel peace in trusting God and feel good knowing I can only do so much to keep my family safe and healthy and that I have to trust God for the rest.

So, yes, today was a good day. Wilder and I hung out all day. We went to the park and played for a while, it was nice there was nobody there but us. I am trying to really cherish the time we have together now just him and I knowing our lives are about to change. It's been hard being this pregnant and keeping up with him but he's worth it! I'm amazed at how pleasant he is and I love watching him play and discover new things and the expression on his face when he is so proud of himself. I felt like God was telling me to just be quiet and enjoy the blessings He's given me today, to focus on what is most important and to take time to rest. This peace was nice in comaprison to yesterday when my brain was running a hundred miles per hour thinking about all the issues I mentioned in my last post.

Meanwhile I am 30 weeks this week. Our little girl is coming soon. Still seems unreal that I will have two children. What will a girl be like? I am a little nervous about managing everything once she's here but I also feel confident that the last year has prepared me to handle whatever comes our way and that I will be able to really enjoy having her here. I almost went to a mommy meeting with a friend today and the topic was "How to manages stress as a new mom" or something like that. At first I thought I might benefit from it but ultimately I think I already know the answer. I need to pray more. I'm serious. I know it's that simple. I know I need to trust God more and depend on him for more things and the only way to do that is through a stronger prayer relationship. To be honest, I dont' really know how to make this happen. Since Wilder was born my prayer life has become really inconsistent and usually is just a few thoughts here and there. I must say though, surprisingly I don't really feel like God is distant, I know He has given me lots of grace this past year and am thankful He knows my thoughts without me having to tell him. I'm curious though, how do you find time to pray? What is your prayer life like? I am aware of the power of prayer and how life changing it can be, I want to make that more of a reality in my life again. So if anyone wants to share their experiences or what works for them I'm listening.

Tuesday, August 28

I've wanted to post this for a while. I have a problem. You may think all this sounds futile and silly, that this could cause me this much anxiety, but the reality is, lately it does. What is this problem you ask? Basically I've become an enthusiast for all things natural. Food, cleaning products, health and beauty, healthcare, mothering, name it. Why do I say this is a problem? This is a problem for me because it can get to the point sometimes that I wear myself out thinking about these things, I worry. Let me explain.

It all started at Wilder's birth. I think it's common for women to start thinking about these things when they have children. I think I have always been hardwired this way but now it just seems to just be surfacing. As I mentioned before I had a bad experience in the hospital with his birth and my doctor that somehow indirectly pushed me to learn to question mainstream healthcare in general as the patient and to always think about all your options. First thing-antibiotics. Most doctors prescribe them instantly to cure whatever symptoms or infection. On the other hand, a holistic, natural approach is to treat beginning signs of infection naturally with whatever it may be (when I say naturally it could mean homeopathic medicine, herbs, diet, supplements, etc.). I had done some reading - usually what causes me trouble. too much reading, about antibiotics and why some people don't like them because they destroy good antibodies along with the bad which can weaken the immune system. Of course reading this I did not want to give Wilder any. But alas his first ear infection came and the doctor prescribed amoxicillin. The whole thing felt insensitive and wrong to me even though she was doing what she knew to do. I fretted but I gave it to him anyway because I knew he needed it. Mainly because it was too late to treat anything naturally - and what did I really know about treating something on my own naturally - I'm not a doctor. It's scary to go into a natural health store and look at all the products...actually it's overwhelming because it all looks so good but where do you start? For example, one natural health care professional I talked to recommended giving Wilder some probiotics after his rounds of antibiotics to replenish his system. Why didn't my pediatrician tell me that? This is the most frustrating thing - There are two extreme opposite opinions about everything and I'm usually somewhere in the middle trying to figure out what's best or necessary. I've learned the difference between natural healthcare and conventional. One treats symptoms and one is more focused on treating the body as a whole and preventing problems. Ok, so that's the first category - Medicine. I still give Wilder Tylenol when I need to and am reluctantly giving him his Rynatan the doctor prescribed for his allergies/runny nose.

Second category-food. I would like to feed Wilder everything organic, but let's face it, who can afford it? I do as much as I can but not all things. I read that the pesticides, hormones, etc in non-organic food are bad for babies and small children because their bodies are smaller and developing so rapidly. I went through a small period where I decided I would make all of Wilder's food- puree it, freeze it. Yikes, who has time to do that? Like I said, I do what I can but don't obsess over this one. The hard thing about this one is that I'm not the only one that feeds Wilder. You can imagine what kinds of problems this brings up.

This one is funny and is an example of how you should NOT believe everything you read on the internet. I had read that in Great Britain or somewhere over there a study had been done connecting SIDS to mattress toxicity.
Basically chemicals in the materials in mattresses combined with moisture from a baby form a hazardous gas that the baby inhales. I was prepared to go get the special plastic recommended and cover Wilder's mattress. Also mentioned was the occurrence of SIDS happening after immunizations because of fevers and sweating. Of course, Wilder had some shots the day I had read this so of course I could hardly get to sleep that night. Luckily, after talking to my rational husband he convinced me again, not to believe everything on the internet and that Wilder would be fine, so this one I got over.

So this leads me to immunizations - oh my goodness. This is such a controversial subject that trying to dig and find an answer is very hard and overwhelming. Some think immunizations are bad. For several reasons, mercury contained in the shots, possible reactions and side effects. And why are kids still getting shots for diseases that aren't even found in this country anymore? Are immunizations (and the drug industry for that matter) just a way to make more money? I went through a stressful time deciding whether or not go get Wilder his immunizations. He's had them all to this day. I'm still not 100% sure I'm doing the right thing when he gets them. I always ask the doctor what he's getting and why and that helps a little. Eeek.

I've recently spent the little extra money on natural bath soap for Wilder. They carry "California Baby" at Target now and I'm thrilled about that. To sum this one up, I read in a magazine (more reputable than the internet) that the FDA isn't required to standardize what goes into health and beauty products like they do food. So pretty much anything goes. A lot of the chemicals and ingredients used in health and beauty products in the US are banned in places like Europe. There is a cool site (cosmetic database) that tells you exactly what is in specific products and gives each product a risk rating based on the ingredients and the possibility that they can cause cancer, reactions, and whatever else. This is what I'm up against people!!

I worry about cancer and behavioral things like autism, ect. I think it's an obvious fact that cancer is more prevalent today than 50 years ago. Blake says it's because there are more people in the world, maybe he's right. But what if it's because of increased exposure to hazardous chemicals and just how dirty the world is getting?

Sigh. Cleaning products, yes. I try to clean as much as I can with vinegar and baking soda now. I told Blake I need a t-shirt that says I heart baking soda (obviously making fun of myself). I was so excited the other night in the shower I cleaned my shower, washed my hair and face with it (interesting) and it was good for the drain too. What an amazing product! I can't stand the idea of Wilder crawling on the floor after we use the swifter and the solution that comes with it. Antifreeze-like products can't be good. This leads me to probably one of my biggest pet peeves - everything that is good for you or the environment is expensive!!! Seriously, I understand why but if we're really serious about our well being and the condition of the environment why are these products so inaccessible? I did spend extra money to try the earth friendly dish detergent and clothes detergent from Wild Oats one time and the truth is they just don't work as well. People want their clothes and dishes clean, so what can you do? Blah Blah.

I'm sure you get the point by now. The list can go on, there is potential danger in almost everything right. I need to wrap this up because I hear a baby stirrin. Please excuse the messy grammar, I was in a hurry!

So where does my faith come in? Where does God fall into all of this? I have to trust Him. I admit I don’t as much as I should. I let fear take over and I know fear is not from God. At times I find peace knowing He is ultimately in control – has control over our bodies and everything else, but sometimes it's not enough. I need prayers to accept grace. I know that the world is not perfect and we cannot shield ourselves from every potentially scary or hazardous thing. The line I’m constantly trying to find is trusting my instinct AND trusting God. I need prayers for wisdom. Especially with a new baby coming. I want peace.

Now I am thinking in these terms for this pregnancy and new baby. One thing specifically, I really want to be able to breastfeed this baby. I had mastitis (breast infection) twice with Wilder and basically gave up after a couple of months. I have asked my doctor what I can do to prevent this from happening again and he says “keep the breast clean an empty”. I need more than that! I’ve read that some women are just more prone to getting them and have read about some preventative measures that I’m working on getting more information and finding some local support groups. I think most importantly I just need prayers that everything will work this time! I also have some stress about hospital procedures and am thinking about declining the hep B shot they give newborns in the hospital until later. Of course, this causes quite a stink because that's just how things are done in hospitals.

So please give my your comments and opinions on these issues. I’m curious what other people think about them. I don't want to get caught up in any sensationalism and want to be wise in our decisions. What concerns you? How do you cope?

Wednesday, August 15

You are no longer a little baby you are definitely a little boy...all that is boy. You don't get excited about giving me kisses, you hate having your face wiped, you aren't too crazy about snuggling, and you LOVE to be outside, not to mention you never stop moving. When I think about August 16th one year ago I have bitter sweet memories because of all the dificulties that came with your arrival. None of it matters now because the blessing you are overshadows any painful memories. Although, I do believe everything happens for a reason and difficult times do make us stronger. The experience I had with your birth has caused me to hopefully be a better mother. I learned not to take everything for granted and to question what and how is really the best way to take care of you and to trust my instincts as a mother.

We are amazed by you every day. Still amazed that you are ours and God created such a beautiful little boy. You are curious, determined, forgiving, silly, strong, sweet, fearless, and at times incredibly frustrating. It brings me such joy and satisfaction to take care of you. I want what's best for you in all things, I try my best to provide it for you whatever it is (almost to the point of driving my self crazy worring about the little things). I've had to realize that I can't protect you from everything in this world but I can take comfort in the fact that your Heavenly Father loves you more than I do and provides plenty of grace where I or the world falls short.

You have changed me, tested me. I never new I could be so tired, I've found patience I didn't know I had, I've also regretted not being patient enough with you at times. You are constantly finding ways to steal my heart and make me fall even more in love with you. Ooh how I love that little pointer finger of yours. Constantly pointing at new things and saying your word for everything "Dah". I look forward to watching you grow and to see the individual you continue to become.

You are my precious ONE sweet Wilder. Happy first birthday.
Love mom

Tuesday, August 7

I guess sometimes food is just meant to be played with.

Sunday, August 5

Well here it is, a pic of my 6.5 mos belly! We went to the park last week and took some family photos. Mainly for Wilder's one year photo but my friend insisted on getting some of me and Blake too. Anyway, time is going fast and I know our new baby girl will be here before we know it. So far, few preparations have been my mind I'm getting past Wilder's birthday party first plus there is all the busyness of trying to find a job right now. Speaking of that, I went to Oklahoma City on Friday for my interview with the state panel for my certification. It went really well, I met with two ladies that were moms themselves so we hit it off immediately. They said they would recommend me to the state for my certification. So now all I have to do is wait for my letter then certification in the mail. I can't believe how fast all this has happened, it seems like everything has gone so smoothly. I'm hoping that it is just verification that this is what God wants for me and our family. We're still hoping for the small possibility that I get a job this fall.

Sunday, July 22

Good news, I passed my tests! Thank you Lord!! I was releived. Now, all the annoying last steps like waiting for an interview with the state and going downtown to get my fingerprints made for a background check. Not to mention the $100 that I have to send with my request for the interview. Anyway, the job hunt is on. The chances of me finding a teaching this fall are very rare but it could happen! If a school was willing to hire me even though I'm getting ready to have a baby that would be absolutely wonderful! Wonderful because I would have a paid maternity leave versus unpaid at Urban Tulsa.

Not looking forward to another long week at work. (5 days plus some evenings). I'd appreciate prayers for energy and patience!

Friday, July 13

Tonight is the end to a long week. I worked 40+ hours this week for the first time since Wilder was born. Trying to get some extra time in while Blake is home for the summer to help save for my time off again with the new baby.
I missed Wilder this week! I think it's been good and fun for Blake and Wilder to have so much time together but he still missed his mamma! He is almost walking now and I think he says dad sometimes. Other than that just lots of deedle dee's. (the mad deedle dee's are the best).

I had a scary experience last Sunday. I had a wreck. I hit anothe car that pulled out in front of me driving about 45. Luckily it wasn't my fault. Pretty good crunch but to Blake's disapointment the Saturn probably won't be totaled. Wilder was in the car but was protected just fine in his carseat, and I was OK. I think this was divine intervension - just the day before we had taken our car to the fire station to get Wilder's forward-facing carseat installed. He would have been in it but we had to take it out because we realized the front straps weren't connected. He probably would still have been fine but still may have hit his head. So yeah, he's still in his rear-facing seat for now.

I felt fine but was worried about the baby so I went to the hospital to get checked out at my doctor's recommendation. We were lucky not to have to wait in the ER but got to go right up to labor and delivery to get checked out. They put me in my own room right away and hooked me up to the monitors. Everything seemed to be find but the doctor wanted me to stay for 4 hours! I guess to make sure I wouldn't go in to early labor. So, Blake and I just watched HGTV. Mom was sweet to come over and stay at our house until about 12:30am until we got home.

The funniest thing about the wreck was Blake's arrival on the scene. I had gone to the store and somehow managed to take both sets of keys. After the wreck I of course called him hysterical and he said he'd be right right there from our house to 41st street, about a mile. poor guy. Meanwhile the ambulance and firetrucks came and I asked a girl that was standing with me to go and try to find Blake and give him a ride. Before she got back I saw him riding over the top of the hill on his bike as fast as he could then jump off the bike and throw it in the grass. He said he didn't realize until later how embarrassed he should have been in front of all those firemen and cops. Guess you had to have been there, it was pretty funny.

But yes, we are very all things.

Friday, June 29

Thanks for the congrats everyone! Crazy that they can tell it's a girl from this photo. All I know is it looks a lot different than Wilder's did! We're excited! Now the hard part - girl names, Blake and I don't agree on many yet so it'll take some work. Yes, Janet, I may need some more predictions!

Thursday, June 28


Sunday, June 24

Wilder's First Swim!
Today we took Wilder to our friends Chris and Jen's new condo and tried out the pool. I was so excited to go to Wal-Mart (rare, I know) and buy him "swimmer" diapers and a baby floaty thing. Wilder loved it - way more than I even thought he would. This kid has no fear - kinda scary. It was so fun watching him and Blake play. Blake would throw him up and catch him in the water and Wilder just laughed. He didn't even care if he got water in his face. He was even trying to eat the water. We all had a blast. Lately I have been so amazed at how physical and curious he is. I keep thinking, "he's only 10 months!" I actually feel really blessed that we have a happy, thriving, healthy little boy even though he's crazy! What else could we ask for? I have had my moments lately that I start feel overwhelmed with what's coming - especially when its difficult to get Wilder to bed..."how in the world am I going to take care of two babies?" I know, it's possible and we'll manage!

Yesterday I took my tests to get my teaching certification. They took me longer than I anticipated, it was along 8 hour day. Hopefully I passed, there were some hard spots but a lot that I know I did well on too. We'll see, maybe I'm one step closer to becoming Mrs. Collins and making this much desired change for us.

And...Wednesday is my big ultrasound. We've decided to find out if it's a girl or a boy. I came around once I started thinking about specifics as to what we would need and felt the need to be able to plan things a little better. So hopefully the baby will cooperate Wednesday and we'll be able to tell...check the blog!

Monday, June 11

Happy June everyone. I say that because June is my favorite month. We have our anniversary, my birthday, and it's the start of summer! Blake and I went to Branson last week (I got a good deal through work) and celebrated our anniversary. We stayed at the Chateau on the Lake-probably the nicest resort in Branson so we felt pretty special. No, we didn't see any shows, just drove through the strip and were amazed at what a wierd little town it is. Wilder stayed with his grandparents and did great.

We've kicked into summer mode meaning I'm at work and Blake's at home. I'm trying to work an extra day this summer while I can before the baby comes. I do hate being at work when Blake and Wilder are at home - keep your fingers crossed for that teaching job, it will be so nice if it all works out (I take my tests on the 23rd). Our goal this summer (in addition to getting another baby's room done, weren't we doing this last summer?!) is getting some work done on our house. Blake has started peeling wallpaper in the kitchen-"bye bye cherries and teapots!" addition to trying to keep a very active 10month old entertained!

I'm working on getting a new camera so I can post pics again. More soon.

Thursday, May 31

A quick post! I had an ultrasound yesterday, isn't this cool? I told my mom today that I think it looks like a girl - ha! A longer update coming soon!

Tuesday, May 8

Finally an update. I'm sure everyone has been tired of looking at that same 'ol pic of Wilder, me too. Usually when I sit down to update the blog I have a photo in mind that I want to post and it goes from there but I haven't been taking any pictures because my digital camera is dead. However, I had Wilder's photo made a few weeks ago, this is our favorite pose. If you're wondering about the shirt, it looks dated because it was Blake's when he was a baby! Wilder is doing really good, it won't be long before he's walking and he's getting 3 more teeth on top. He's a really happy baby most of the time and I decided tonight that the sound of his laugh is probably my favorite sound.

Well seems like the Collins household is busy as usual. Blake is working towards the end of school which is a crazy time and mowing as many yards as he can afterschool. I am about 14 weeks pregnant now and already have a little belly. I've been feeling good - past the sick stage and to the "give me food now" stage. Fortunately I've been getting a walk in almost everyday so hopefully I won't get too huge! I go to the doc tomorrow to see how things are going. I know it won't be long before we can see what the sex is but Blake and I aren't exactly agreeing on that right now. I think it would be fun to wait this time and be surprised in the end...for lots of reasons that I don't want to go on about here, however, I can see Blake's point of wanting to find out so we can be prepared. So we'll see how that turns out. But geez I have been tired! Lord help me to get through this pregnancy and to take care of Wilder to the best of my ability and superpowers for when there's two!!

Today was "bring your wife to school day" for Blake. Actually I was a guest speaker for his classes. I talked about all of the different things in the art field that I've done since college (which is little bit of everything) and the different careers you can pursue as an artist ect. (I got paid a nice little sum of money that made it worth my while :)) Boy do I have an even greater appreciation for Blake's work. We did seven classes in a row with a 20min lunch! There's barely time to go to the bathroom! It was good to be in the classroom and get an idea of what it would be like to be a teacher. Some of you may know that I have plans to try teaching. Yes, kind of an idea that took me by surprise but actually if it works out will be very ideal for a working mom as far as the schedule goes. And Blake and I will have summers off together. I'm going to try elementary or junior high art. I won't go into detail but there really isn't a ton that I have to do to get my alternative certification and start teaching. I'm taking some tests in June that I'm studying for now and if I pass those I'll be on my way. I'd appreciate any prayers for this new endeavor - for the timing and for finding a job!

Hope everyone is doing well, I'd love to hear from you.
Love Shelly

Sunday, April 1

Our parents didn't exactly get the shirt right away, we had to help a little! It's true, Wilder will be a big brother this November! A happy surprise indeed. I'll post more later, I'm ready for bed now! Just wanted to let everyone know!

Love Shelly, Blake, & Wilder

Saturday, March 17

I know, I've been way behind on my updates. (thanks for the nudge Sheila) Here is a photo of Wilder swinging at the little park by our house. He loves the baby buckt swing (I know, I've got it covered because I'm a little anal about germs). As you can see, the patch...only one more week of wearing them. His eye surgery is this coming Friday the 23rd. Please pray for the him and the doctor. Keeping up with him has been quite the challenge lately, he has mastered crawling and is into pulling up on anything he can get his hands on. I think we've got an early walker here!

Without rambling on about all the stress lately, how about something fun! I got free tickets at work for Blake and I to see Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard (and other old guys) in concert last Thursday. Blake loves old country and I'm coming around. I'd never seen either of them so it was fun - wow, they are OLD. The coolest thing, UTW did some trading so we got limo ride to the concert! Fancy huh?

To all of you who read this, I'm glad you do. I wish I could stay in touch better. Deanna, Brandy, Emily, Saundra, Kaci...I hope you all are doing well. Leave me comments, I'd love to get 'em. And you all should get blogs too.

And the pic of roy is just for fun. Currently Wilder's most favorite thing...the magic beagle.

Isn't Spring refreshing. Just makes life better doesn't it.

Love Shelly

Monday, February 19

OK, I was just joking about food poisoning! We were misdiagnosed at the hospital, it was a stomach virus after all. Sunday evening Blake and I thought we were out of the woods but shortly after we put Wilder to bed he started vomiting. I've experienced this weekend what I'm sure all mom's agree is the hardest thing as a mother - to see their babies in pain. Not fun. It was very scary actually. I knew how hard the virus was on Blake and I, I could only imagine how it would effect a baby. I was scared he would get dehydrated and pass out like I did. We went straight to the emergency room and spent an awful night waiting and made it home about 5am. I HATE EMERGENCY ROOMS!!! It's true what they say you have to literally be dying to get any immediate care. Blake and I just took turns holding Wilder. Fortunately he slept through most of it, he would just wake up to vomit, cry, then go back to sleep pretty quick. Finally the doctor saw him about 1:30am and gave him a couple of supositories that stopped the nausea until he was able to keep fluids down. The little guy never got dehydrated and amazed me at strong he was during the whole thing. God definitely answered our prayers and was close to us. At one point afte the doc had examined him he woke up and was just as happy as he could be (between rounds), he was was like God knew we needed to see that he was ok and see him happy for a little while. He amazed me at how much better he was today. He didn't vomit anymore and is recovering fine. Blake and I both stayed home from work today to rest and take care of Wilder. I have fallen in love with my little guy all over again! (I'm sure this is only one of many more times). I so enjoyed being his mom today.

So thank goodness this weekend is over! Hopefully none of our parents get sick from not knowing it was a virus. And I thought it was worth mentioning that Blake and I did not have left over turkey chili for dinner tonight - we weren't taking ANY chances!!

Today was so nice outside. Finally, some Spring-like temperatures. It felt so good to get outside, the weather was so calming. Blake worked in the back yard and Wilder and I hung out. I liked this pic becaue it looks like he's posing for the shot and he's saying "mom, i'm gonna be ok!" Sweet little face!

love to all.

Sunday, February 18

Well Blake and I didn't exactly spend our Saturday as we would have planned. We both got food poisoning Friday night. We have narrowed it down to the ground turkey he bought from WalMart on Friday. Mine started at 3am Saturday morning with four rounds of vomiting. The last round I passed out I guess from we decided I should probably go to the hospital. I got an IV and was feeling better at the hospital then it hit Blake. Poor guy had to wait 3 hours in the waiting room for me while he was sick himself. We made it home about 4pm Saturday and both went straight to bed and pretty much slept through till 7am this morning. Luckily mom and dad were available to take care of Wilder. He had his first sleep over away from home. He did great! We are so lucky to have family here. I can't imagine both of us being sick and not having anyone to help out. Thank you mom and dad. We are feeling pretty good today just tired.

I meant to post this earlier. On Valentine's Day I went to my aunt Sheila's wedding! Here is a pic of the happy couple, Mr and Mrs. JR Dilliard. It was really sweet, from what I know thus far JR he seems to be a great man and I know their marriage will be blessed. After the wedding I rushed home to make my heart-shaped cake. (for some reason I was determined to try it this year) in efforts to make Valentine's sweet for us. I thought it turned out OK. Blake did some artwork for me for VDay - I was so excited. It's been a while since he's drawn anything for me. It's an illustration of me all wrapped up in different color ribbons that represent the sun, the sky, and the sea...three of my favorite things. (I guess maybe I've been whining about Winter too much lately so I guess he figured this would help me imagine another place!) You just have to see it!

We've got a busy week ahead. I take Wilder back to the eye doctor on Tuesday morning then to his regular doc on Wednesday for his 6months - can you believe he's 6 mos - appointment which means shots, yuck.

And today is my mom's birthday too. Happy Birthday mom. She received a wonderful serenade from everyone - our entire family and all the other happy customers at Mazzio's for lunch today. I do think she was a little embarrassed...and mad too!

Take Care everyone.

Tuesday, February 6

Thanks to everyone who said they would be praying for Wilder. He goes back to the doctor on the 20th to see if the patches are making and progress. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile it's been a struggle to get him to wear them. Mainly because they're sticky and come off. I'm going to look for a real pirate's patch with a strap today to see if that will help, plus it's much cooler! Here are the pics of the VBS decorations I mentioned.

I'm looking forward to the warm weather today. Bre (Blake's sister) is coming to visit and we're going to head to the park with Wilder in the Jeep stroller to enjoy it while we Winter over YET?

This litte duck seems to be one of Wilder's favorite toys right now, funny huh.

Friday, February 2

It's Friday evening and I'm happy to finally be home. I had a busy two days at work and left today with work still to do! Don't you hate that?

Blake has had a busy week as well. The word got out at church that Blake is an art teacher and guess who was volunteered into doing decoratins for VBS this Saturday? You guessed it. Mannford is having a one-day winter VBS, the theme is Survivor. So the auditorium is complete with a waterfall with actuall running water and a smoking volcano! In addition to helping to construct those Blake made huge cut-paper murals of a jungle scene and an ocean scene. He probably spent about 25 hours this week getting it all done...all for a 5 hour VBS! Crazy! I'm proud of him for using his talents and I know that his work will be a blessing.

Anyway, I wanted to give everyone an update on Wilder. I took him to the eye doc on Tuesday and he does have Strabismus - the type in which the eye muscles pull inward. He is going to wear eye patches for three weeks then go back to the doctor to see if there is any improvement. The doc didn't sound too optimistic that the patches would correct his vision (straighten his eyes) and said more than likely he would have to have the surgery. I was discouraged because everyone I've talked to told success stories of babies that wore the patches, did eye exercises and they were fine. Maybe his eyes are worse, I don't know. Please pray that God will correct his vision with the patches and that he doesn't have to have surgery. Even though the surgery is an easy procedure it still makes me a little uneasy.

Looking forward to the weekend. I'll post some new pics of Wilder soon and some of the decorations at church.

Tuesday, January 23

Wilder's mobile. Um, Space Cowboy theme! Complete with cutout aliens and flying horses...He loves it!

Wilder mid scream and laughs in his saucer.

Doesn't he look all grown up sitting up like a big kid!

Did you know that here is are Bald Eagles along the river and Avery Drive? We've had fun looking at them and their nests when we pass by. Blake took this pic last week when he took the Beagles to the river. Apparently they don't get their white heads until their about 6 year's old...animal fact for the day!


Starting with the ice storm two weeks ago - yes, I felt sorry for all those who had problems with their electricity being out and such but wow it was awesome being forced to stay home. A lady at church made a good comment that maybe it's just God's way of making us slow down when storms roll in, I agree. Blake and I stayed in, built a fire, got the house super clean which felt awesome. When that was all done we actually had some time to work on getting our office (second bedroom) cleaned and actually hung some things on the walls around the house - it's actually starting to look like we live here now! And I got my sewing machine that I got for Christmas out of the box and started reading the directions...ok, it's a start. I even worked on a photo album/scrapbook with pics from our wedding and honeymoon that I've had for 3 years! We even finished Wilder's mobile and have it hung over his crib. Yeah so slowing down makes me feel rested and is goooood. So now that the office is functional I have no excuses to start working on a piece of art every now and then. That's my goal. So it's up to all of you to hole me accountable!

Blake ended up being out of school for the entire week and was ready to go back Monday. can you say stir crazy? Hey but the time in the house has prompted us to start peeling the wallpaper in our kitchen - bye bye cherries and teapots! So soon I will be deciding what color to paint, maybe I'll post a photo and get suggestions!

This past weekend Blake and I made time to go out with our friends and Wilder got to spend time with his grandma and grandpa. We saw the new James Bond movie. On the way home somehow we got on the topic of our favorite movies and tried to name our top ten to think about...what's yours? Here's what I came up with (not in any specific order)
1. Almost Famous
2. My Best Friends Wedding
3. Forrest Gump
4. Signs
5. Blue Crush (soley for the surfing not the acting)
6. The Pursuit of Happiness - have you seen it? it is sooo good, i cried my face out.
7. The Parent Trap
8. ...ok, that's all I can think of for now...

Our little man is doing much better now that he's over his ear infection - please pray that he doesn't get any more. He has been more like himself the last few days with his laughing out loud and he's screaming again so I think he feels better :)
He is sitting up now and making attempts to crawl. I love him so much and he is truly the joy of my life!!

Much love to all!

Sunday, January 7

Friday, January 5

OK Anonymous! more pics to come! Hopefully this weekend I can get the blog caught up. Our precious Wilder is doing great, he had his best night of sleep yet last night! And he is just so stinkin' cute right now! I don't want him to grow up!

Thanks for all of the encouraging comments :)