Saturday, December 6, 2008

A view into the past week...

It's hard for me to believe that Katherine is now 6 weeks old...
My love for her intensifies and grows every day.... She is an amazing creation...
She had her one month check-up yesterday...she's growing! :)
She gained 2 lbs. 2 oz. and now weighs 10 pounds, on the dot. :)
She's growing in length...she measured 21 1/2 inches long...up from 17+ inches at birth...

She was an absolute angel...cooing and smiling at Dr. M the entire time. :) She wasn't too happy when the nurse came with her shot...we went from smiles and happiness to a very red face and the I'mnotgoingtobreathefor30seconds cry... You know...the one that makes you hold your breath for a moment, too...

Here are some pictures from the past week... :) Enjoy... :)

A full house...

It's been awhile... We've had company for the last two weeks... First, my parents came...and then Ry's parents came... :) It was a relaxing but busy time... :)

Thanksgiving was really nice this year. For the first time since 1995, I didn't have to travel "home" to PA...instead, my parents came here this year. :) It was nice to be at home instead of on the road fighting the traffic and 18-wheelers...and it was wonderful to have a nice feast with family and friends. At HOME! :) :)
This year's Thanksgiving was very different than last year... I was instantly reminded of a very quiet Thanksgiving with my mom in the thick of recovering from her chemo and radiation last year with Ry and Dad. We didn't have a meal that I can even remember...we were just together, which was just fine with me. :) This year, Mom cooked a juicy turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, fresh cranberries, stuffing, rolls...and Mrs. Smith took care of dessert! :) We had quite a spread...filling and YUMMY! :)
It's strange how, sometimes, when you think back to just a year ago, you couldn't have predicted the many new things that you would be thankful for in the upcoming year...
I am ThAnKfUl for...
~Our family...obviously. :) All of our family is reason for thankfulness...we are so incredibly blessed with parents and extended family who are wonderful. But this year, especially for me, having a mom who is fighting her way back to a new normalcy is a reason to be thankful... :) I loved having her at the table this year...eating...talking...smiling. :) And, of course, the "littlest" (but perhaps the biggest) reason to be thankful...Katherine. I cannot believe she's ours... incredible. :)
~Ryan... A new level of love for my husband of nearly 5 main squeeze of 13 years (woah)...he's a daddy now...and I stand in awe of how awesome and wonderful he is. :)
~Our Friends... Without a doubt, we are probably some of the most blessed people on Earth when it comes to our friends. Our hearts are filled so much because of these people...
~Our home that's warm and cozy...we know we are blessed...
~Our jobs...we are both gainfully employed, and we love our jobs (on most days :)).

We are always overwhelmed because of what we have been given... We cannot really express our feelings of thankfulness...

Enjoy some pictures of Katherine in her Thanksgiving Day outfit... :) Our Little Turkey! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 try not to get emotional

I have to admit that having Katherine nearly one month ago has changed me in ways I could have never imagined... I can't even put my feelings into words... All I know is that I would do anything for this incredible miracle...I would give my life for her... My love for her - it's not even possible for me to describe it with words... immeasureable... My gosh, I do love her beyond words...
In the last month, the flood of emotions have hit at various points... Like just before we were going to vote, I was feeding Katherine and looking at her beautiful face...and she was holding onto my finger. As I thought about what we were about to do, I instantly felt a wave of emotions... My vote this time was going to be mean so much more because of her... tears...
So, there are various times where I just start to tear up and cry for "no reason at all"
A most recent example... :)
In my travels to Madison, I've listened to a mix CD I have in the car. It's nothing "significant," but there are some awesome songs on the CD... Meanwhile, I heard this song back in the early summer for the first time... I thought it was pretty to listen to, didn't know the title or anything, but I recently found it again and bought it on iTunes...
And, in those intial "listenings" in the summer, I obviously didn't listen to the lyrics... But now, after holding my beautiful baby in my arms, oh how the words mean something so much more... tears... (and it doesn't matter how many times I hear it...still...tears...)
let me know if you need a tissue :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cooing and Giggling

A much happier Katherine after eating... She's cooing and giggling a bit... :) So daggone CUTE! :)

Baby K about to erupt :)

It's around feeding time... :) Enjoy the little babe as she starts to fuss... :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

dummies in the waiting room...

Katherine's first doctor's appointment...
~We were late because we couldn't find the pediatrician's office (duh)... I even looked up the directions online...and they had us turning at the street before the correct one... At 10:05, imagine the receptionist's face when she hears, "Umm, yes, we're supposed to be at your office for a 10:00 appointment..." on the phone... Yes, we had to call for directions...
~We get finally get there and get a lengthy sheet to fill out on our new baby... We sat in the very calm waiting room...filled with a mother and her infant son and two little boys and their mom... I got one word, our last name, filled out on the sheet when we hear the name of the infant called... Within a few minutes, we hear "Katherine..." from the doorway... I look up and see the two little boys (who are obviously not Katherine) and think, "Awww, someone didn't show up for their appointment... I don't think those boys are named Katherine..." I go back to filling out the information sheet and hear, "Katherine" spoken again...this time, with a little more urgency... I look around the room, then at Ry, and say, "ohmygosh..." Umm, yah...that would be us... :) I asked the nurse who was calling us to forgive us; we'd never heard our daughter's name called out loud before... :) Before we left, I think I saw the receptionist note "parents...not too swift" on our baby's record sheet... *sigh*

K's big hairy brother... :)

Beezer, who has been the center of our world, really has had an interesting adjustment time in the last few weeks. When I say he was stuck to me 24/7 for the last 8ish years, I'm not kidding. He's been our "baby boy" for a long time... :)
When we brought Katherine home, we let him greet her at the door after I came in to greet him and love on him. He knew something wasn't right, though...he wasn't at all "the same" with me when I walked in... He knew someting was different...
For the last 3ish weeks, he's had very little to do with me. He didn't follow me around or anything... He'd lay there and just look at me with his head on his paws... Doggie depression, without a doubt...
When we took K for her first doctor's appointment, we put her in her carseat to travel, and you could see Beezer's eyes light up. I know he was thinking, " they brought this thing in the house with this chair...if they're putting her in it again, maybe that means she's LEAVING!!!" How sad he was to see us return with her later... No such doggie luck for him... :)
In the last week, he's started to come around. He lays next to me now...and comes to sit next to me for a neck rub or for a head scratch. He's even decided that it's OK to sleep near me again...
He doesn't really bother Katherine...he will give her a sniff every once and a while, but generally, he just admires her from afar... :) This is a good thing; I was concerned about his reaction and interaction with K... So far, it's been great, but I still don't trust him...

I should probably give Beezer more credit than he gets... He is funny with Katherine... He follows me around with her and wants to always see what she's doing or what I'm doing with her. For example, on Thursday, K was back in our bedroom sleeping in her bouncie seat, and I ran to the kitchen to grab some water to drink. (Beezer comes with me; I never leave him alone with Katherine.) She started to cry, and Beezer immediately looks at me and communicates with his big, brown doggie eyes... When I didn't move quick enough, Beezer walked into Katherine's room to see if she was there. When he realized she wasn't, he stood at her doorway and looked at me in the kitchen. Then, when I didn't come to him, he walked into our bedroom to see if she was there...when he spotted her, he rotated his body and stared in my direction and wagged his tail a if he was trying to say, "Here she is!! I found her...can you please come and get her so she won't cry...?" When I got her out of her bouncie seat, he sat right at my feet and let out a big sigh...

And thus we learned two things...

~He must hate hearing her cry as much as I do...(Gosh, that rips my heart out...)

~K has a great big brother... :)

amazing... :)

It's been awhile since I've posted...sorry! I always have good intentions and never follow through because SOMEONE always diverts my attention... :) I wouldn't have it any other way, though... :)
We've been LOVING having this new little bundle of joy... I don't know how many people I've told, but if I would have known parenthood would be this wonderful, I would have done it a lot sooner! There are no words to use to convey my love for this child... :)
Ry was off the week of Nov. 3rd...which was great. We enjoyed being together as a family! :) We voted on the 4th, which was also my 32nd birthday! (WOW!) After having Katherine, there wasn't anything that I wanted/needed...she is the perfect gift! :)
We also visited my school one my wonderful teacher friends could meet Miss Katherine. :) I also visited my classroom briefly but was really taken back at how different my kids were. It was like they were muted or something...hard to explain. Their faces lit up, but they were scared to come up to see me or Katherine...I know having a sub has been difficult on them. Anyway, it was great to see everyone, and we'll need to go back soon... :)

Katherine had a Dr.'s appt. on the 3rd, as I mentioned before... It was a much better appointment (she cried almost the entire time for her first appointment), and she managed to make it very exciting. Well, she managed to poop all over the exam table when she had her temperature taken, which meant that the nurse had to clean off the table and Ry had to hold her while I was getting wipes from her bag. Well, Ry didn't pick her up with her blanket for "protection," and she managed to pee all over the front of Ry's shirt, on his jeans, and even on his sneakers. Fun times... :)

This week, K and I hung out "just the two of us" and had a great week. While we missed Ry, we did enjoy being together. Generally, K and I spend the day hanging out, eating (her more than me :)), going for a walk with the dogs, and catching a few TV shows at various points. :) When she naps, I usually eat lunch, take a shower, or do something around the house. At times, I do nap, too...but I've not been that tired during the day... :) I'm loving being here at home with's amazing and wonderful! Oh, this week, we did go in to the high school to visit Ry on his teacher friends could see her, too! :) She was a hit, of course! :)
And, Miss K officially hit the "3 week" mark... :) I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since I had her... Time is flying...

K had her FIRST real bath by us this week, too! :) Her belly button finally fell off on Sunday, so Tuesday was the "big day." She enjoyed her luxury tub...and liked that we ran a space heater for her to make the bathroom all warm and toasty! :) Then, she got to have another bath on Thursday...unplanned... :) We had a nice "explosive" diaper experience...but she came out of the tub clean and smelling beautifully!

I'm loving every single second of this "mom" stuff...and Katherine is really wonderful, amazing, inspiring... When I look at her, I just about lose it thinking about how amazing it is that she's here...and how incredible her life is...and how perfect she is... She's changed my perspective about nearly everything in so many ways...

I can't wait to see what the next week brings... I can't imagine it getting any better than it already is... I'm in love...again. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

some new pictures :)

Click on the link below to see some pics of Katherine :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

A few pictures...

K in the birthing room - the first time I got to hold her. :)

Our little angel

Well worth the wait...

It's been a long time since I've posted... :) I'm sorry... ;)

It's a girl!!!!

Katherine arrived on October 23rd. :) After 23 hours of labor and 3 1/2 hours of pushing, I can now say she was well worth the wait... :) I remain in awe...

Name significance...
First, we need to say it took us awhile to choose a name, officially. It wasn't until the lady came from the records dept. at the hospital that we finally picked... :) Let me just state one fact: It's hard being teachers and naming a child... :)
Katherine is just a name we liked... We like Katie or Kate, too, so we'll probably call her one of those names eventually. We didn't choose it for a particular reason... After thinking about it during my long nights at the hospital, I remembered that Katherine was also the name of my Nanny's mother. My Nanny, my father's mom, passed away in the early 90s, but her mother, Katheryn, is a mystery to us. She died when my Nanny and her siblings were very young, and they were all given up for adoption. No one has a lot of information about my great-grandmother... On my maternal side, Katherine is also a family name...
Elizabeth, her middle name, is also a family name. My mother's middle name is Elizabeth, my grandmother's first name is Elizabeth, and my middle name is a shortened version - Beth. I think the name Elizabeth goes back even farther, but I couldn't think of a better way to honor the most incredible women in my life... :)

We've been home for a little over a week now... :) Everything is going beautifully... I cannot complain about anything, really... Yes, I'd love a little more sleep, but just picking her up erases any sleepiness or anything that I may be feeling at that time. :)

She's nursing like a champ - she's gained about a pound since her weight check last week. :) Woo hooo! :) We got the "OK" to let her sleep as long as she'd like during the night so that we can start to establish a schedule/routine. :) This was music to my ears... There was a time right after we first got home when I have to admit that I was totally...incoherent with the feedings throughout the night! :) I would wake up to feed her but wouldn't remember what time, for how long she fed, etc. That was sort of funny as I was showing her pediatrician my "recording sheet" with question marks instead of true data... :) Now, I'm doing a little better with that... :) She tends to wake every 3ish hours, anyway... :)

Our families were here for the first week or so... :) When we got home from the hospital, my parents arrived a few hours later... My parents left and Ry's parents arrived 3 hours later... :) It is wonderful to have everyone here, yet I have to also admit that it's wonderful to be here as "just the three of us" now.

Katherine is a great baby... She's a good crier, but only when she's really tired, needs her diaper changed or is hungry. She's quite fond of her changing table area - we have lots of great conversations there. :) I love her little coos and baby talk... :) Ry and I are in total and complete love with this child... I stare in amazement as I take in the fact that she's "ours" and that we "made" her... She grew inside of me for several months...and that I was able to give birth to such an incredible human... And, equally so, it's scary to think how much we'll be doing and how much we'll devote to making sure Katherine grows and develops and becomes a person who is honorable and wonderful. We want her to be, simply put, her very best. :)

There is just so much to write, but I'll keep this post short. :) Birth story, various funny or interesting stories, pictures, etc. - they're all to come, I guess... :) When there is time... :)

We stand amazed and in awe of this life we've been entrusted with... We are in total and complete love... :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Waiting Game

Well, we've officially gone past the due date - 4 days past...and now we're playing a waiting game here at Chez Rakow. Poor Ry still has to go to work each day wondering if his cell phone will vibrate with a phone call from home saying something is happening. This waiting, of course, is after getting the surprised looks of his fellow teachers as he comes in to work at 8 AM, still baby-free... I'm sure he enjoys having "we want a baby!" being shouted in the halls! :) I still sleep a choppy 4 hours a night, maybe, if I'm lucky - and I can't fall asleep at a decent time... Then, the hips...I feel like a pig at a Hawaiian luau fire that has to be turned every hour... The hips just aren't happy any more... :)

I really thought that we'd have a baby by now...but I know it's not about my timing... Little R will get here when he/she is ready. :) I'm thinking that it was a little silly to start my leave from work on Oct. 13th... While being off has been restful and nice, right now, I just don't see the benefit of being at home, bored, each day... :) I know, I will cherish these days in a short time, but seems unwise.

I'm becoming Suzie Homemaker... Last night, at midnight, I was cleaning the little burner "catchers" on the stove top...with the Brillo pad and all...seriously scrubbing...who cares that it was midnight??!! I am actually PLANNING meals for Ry for dinner...we don't have the usual, "What do you want to eat?" conversation like we did when we both were working. Tonight, after making dinner, I baked 20 muffins and 2 loaves of banana bread... Just call me Paula Deen... :) (Speaking of, I used her recipe...very tasty, I might add!) I do wash regularly, not just on the our laundry baskets are rarely full! The dogs and I take a few walks a day saving the long one for the evening when Ry gets home... Now, if I could just bend and comfortably weed the gardens...and plant some pansies...I'd be set! :) I know I could totally be a stay at home mom and be content... :) But, the mortgage calls do the other bills... :) And, well, you kind of have to have a KID to say you're a stay at home mom...unless you call me a mom to our hairy children, which I guess I am.... :)
Our human baby is still baking, apparently... :)
We have our LAST (hopefully) OBGYN appt. tomorrow afternoon... I don't know what all they will discuss...but I hope that dilation, effacement, and stations have changed... I don't really feel that much pressure or cramping, but I do feel it pretty regularly, so I will be interested to see if the pressure and cramping are doing anything "down south." They'll discuss induction, too...I'm sure... I'm shooting for Friday instead of Monday...or earlier, if they suggest it! :) We'll see... I'm not going in with a prescribed idea...I am not horribly uncomfortable...I just want to see this little person...and meet him/her... :) I walk by the baby's room here and just gaze in there thinking, "Will you ever have a baby in there?" Soon...I know...PATIENCE...I know... I'm being trained and prepared... :)
More tomorrow...after the doctor's appointment... :) :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Words of Wisdom

In my "leisurely" passing of hours in a day (now that I'm not at work), I actually get the chance to catch Oprah... Today's show is on etiquette and how being rude can negatively effect our general health and well-being...
She had a great quote on... It just reminds us how much of an impact we have on the people we meet - strangers or friends - I thought it was too good not to share! :)

We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace. ~Peggy Tabor Millin~

The Waiting Game... :)

Nothing earth-shattering to report from the land of waiting... :) hehe :)
I had my 39 and 3 day check yesterday... I was "almost" at 2 cm dilation...lost 4 lbs....and had a higher blood pressure. Since I am not experiencing any head aches, swelling, or change in vision, they attributed the higher blood pressure to the fact that maybe it is a sign that "things are starting to happen." Dr. Owens thought that maybe something could start in about 36 hours...but probably for sure by the weekend... If nothing happens, we're going back for another appointment on Tues. the 21st...and they probably won't think about inducing me until the 24th or the 27th... Let's hope that it will not come to that... :)
Little R is doing A LOT of moving these days... It's like having a karate class going on in my upper stomach... Hopefully he/she is trying to push his/her way down to make my water break or something! :) hehe :) Ry enjoys the free show that can be viewed through any t-shirt!
I think we'll go on a nice walk this evening...once it cools off a bit (nearly 90 here today!)...
I was very crampy and achy yesterday...not bad at all today...cleaned the bathroom, decided to make some jello salad, did a load of wash consisting mostly of baby blankets/clothes, walked the dogs...let's see what else I can do... :)
I will keep everyone updated...when there is something to update... :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Week 38+...No Changes :)

Hello All! :)
Well, there's nothing to report from the land of Oz here... :) Tuesday's appointment showed no progress...again, not a problem with this girl! :) hehe :) The heartbeat was in the 140s this time...which is normal...and that was about it! :) The exam wasn't too comfortable this time...but I survived... :) I was a little crampy for several hours...and was hoping and praying that nothing was getting started just yet... :) It all passed... :)

Had an interesting experience on Monday... I was walking the kids out to recess and wasn't paying attention to where I was walking (I was talking to the kids). Where the sidewalk meets the grass was just a little uneven...and well, I "became one" with the grass! :) hehe :) I went down...knees and belly flop... I have an ongoing issue with my ankle anyway - I broke it (unknowingly) back in college and hobbled around on it for awhile...messed up the muscles and stuff... So, of course, that's what sent me to meet the grass in such a non-graceful fashion... I had a nice big swollen lump on my ankle...still have it but I wrap my ankle and that takes care of support and whatnot for the day. Now it's lumpy and bruised... :) I skinned my other knee up pretty nicely and bruised it...hurt my was a fun time... :) The kids all gasped... They asked if I was OK or which I replied, "It's OK...I'm OK...the only thing that's really hurt is just my pride!" hehe :) How embarrassing!

My last day at work is tomorrow...until Jan. 5th, 2009. That sounds like a long time... :) I will have to go in for a few things, without a doubt...but it will be nice to be away for awhile while getting used to this new job I'll have...mother... Woah buddy...
I will miss my fellow 3rd grade teachers and the people I work with...I always hate not being able to see them regularly... When I think about it, it just makes me realize how wonderful and blessed I am to have a job where I really do love the people I work with... I will be visiting often... :)

On ANOTHER note...we have discovered a pretty serious issue with our plumbing... Our water bill has increased steadily for the last several months...but we thought it was mainly due to us doing more wash, etc. with the impending arrival of the baby, etc. It didn't make a lot of sense to me...but I just went on from there and paid the bill. THIS month, our bill is $80...which made me question what in the world is going on... Our bill has pretty much quadrupled... We did some troubleshooting and found that we have a leak in the line running to the house...underground... Our wonderful plumber came out and did some investigating... It looks like the water line probably runs under our driveway (sigh)...which is paved (sigh again...). We'll see what will come of this challenge... :) Of course, this month will be when we also get our new doors from Pella... *cha ching* I have faith it will all be OK... :) It's just another thing to have added to the many life experiences we're about to have... :)


Well, I will wrap this up... :) I hope you are all doing well... :) I will be in touch as the time passes... :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lack of's a good thing! :)

Hey all,
Had another appointment on Wed. afternoon... A scheduled simple ultrasound since I was measuring at 39+ weeks last week... They wanted to check the size of the baby and the fluid... :)
The ultrasound was fine...a little painful (they really press hard!) but it was good to see the Little R in there... We saw a lot of its face...pretty cute if you can call an ultrasound picture cute... :) It makes me really curious to see what he/she looks like! Something to look forward to...
Anyway, the ultrasound showed that everything was fine... The size of the baby is normal for 37+ they kept the due date as Oct. 17th. The fluid was good, too...and they said Little R was probably around 6-7 pounds. Not bad... I was especially happy to confirm that he/she will NOT be gaining a huge amount of weight in the coming weeks. The doctor said that, at this stage, it may gain 1/4 of a pound a week... I can handle that... :) My quetion is...why was I measuring at 39+ weeks? The doc I saw on Wed. said he got a normal I guess that meant 37 weeks? So, where did those 2 extra weeks come from last week? Is that just how fat my non-baby belly is in real life??? Dag...
The nice internal check showed that there is NO progress this week! :) YEAH!!! :) I sort of cheered and a big smile spread across my face when he told me that I was still 1 cm. dialated and 50% effaced... He was a little confused...I guess most people are begging to get it all over with at this point. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not super comfortable, sleep is difficult...and being on my feet all day in the classroom is really hard on me... BUT, the pure and honest truth is that I am not ready to give birth yet... I am ready here at home...and probably just fine mentally (I think)...but I just don't have everything finished with school yet.
I'm not sure how much a person is to do for a long-term subsitute...Mrs. S., the angel "copy Goddess" has been absolutely amazing with lending her hand and time to make copies for me... So, I have 3 copy paper boxes organized now... 3 units for Science, 3 units for Social Studies (not finished yet), and lots of other things for reading and math in the last box. Fabulous... However, I just don't know how to write up stuff... :) I got smart and did a calendar for Reading - I just put the stuff in each week, but I'm not sure it's as easy to do for all the other subjects - with exception of Spelling... Anyway...enough with that... I will do what I can and hope and pray that she can make sense of my wild notes. :) I also know that I have 6 AWESOME 3rd grade ladies who will step in and help in any way they can... :) AND, I remember every day that I will NOT fall off the edge of the Earth when this baby comes... I will still be able to communicate and stuff... :) So, maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill...?
Either way, I'm going in this weekend to get the last bit of copying done...and I will be working on report cards... They go home on Oct. 9th. Thankfully, I've been smart and kept up with doing report cards won't be a tough thing to tackle. It's just another thing to add to the list of "to dos." It's just that the list keeps growing... :) And, another blessing...I've had parent/teacher conferences this week and will finish them up next week... I won't have to write lengthy comments on the report cards since I'm meeting with so many of the parents... :) I think a "Great job, and keep up the awesome work" is going to be adequate! :)
And, strangly enough, my feelings about leaving the kids are bittersweet. I am excited to be meet the baby, etc., but I'm sad to know that I'm going to be leaving the classroom and my "kids." At the beginning of the year, I just kept thinking, "You can make it until October 10th...when you get there, it'll be great and you can leave..." But, now that I've met them, I feel connected to them and don't want to leave them for nearly 3 months! I mean, I don't want to come back early or anything...but I just will be so amazed and surprised at how much they will grow and change in the time that I'm not there. I know that may sound cheesy...but it's something that I think and feel. Again, I remind myself that I am not falling off of the Earth or anything... I can bring the baby in to meet the kids...and see them and stuff... But, I will be strangly sad to know that, next Friday, the kids are in another person's hands for 46 school days...and that they will be a little different when I come back! :) Strange..........
Well, I'm tired and want to head to I better wrap this up... My long rant and randomness needs to end... :) If you're not sleepy after reading this, then I'm better at my stream of consciousness than I thought... Sorry to bore and thanks for reading... :)
I'll keep you up to date...until then, keep smiling! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Hey all,
Well, it looks like this baby may be "closer" than farther away at this point... :)
I had a nice appointment yesterday... 1 cm dialated, 50% effaced, and a -1 36+ weeks. I am measuring at 39 knows! :) I just wonder how I measure at 39 weeks when it seems like I hardly have that nice, round belly... Interesting... I guess it's just my body type? Hmmmm....
Sooooooo, they scheduled me for an ultrasound next week (Wed.) to see the size of the baby...and to check the fluid levels, etc. Then, I'll have my regular appointment with the doctor afterward...
So..."mild panic" sets in for me with school... Thank the LORD for a wonderful lady, Mrs. S., who I call "Goddess" now... :) She's been helping me with getting copies made... The kicker is that she is the parent of a 4th grader...and when her daughter was in 3rd grade, I didn't even have her. That's how daggone awesome she is...what an angle!!!! So, we almost finished Science copying for now... Social Studies will be prepped next...and I need to get some things written out for the sub... I don't have much down at all...but the sub is totally capable... I would just feel better with more things finished and "in place" since the impending departure is maybe sooner than Oct. 10th...
Status now... ohmygoshthisisreallygoingtohappenandwe'regoingtohaveachildandourlivesaregoingtochangeforeverbutforthebetter... scary stuff!! :)
More to come...................

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Updates...I know, I am bad at blogging... :)

There really isn't a whole lot to report from Rakow world... :) Just random-ness... Probably nothing that is interesting... :)

~We've enjoyed lots of rain in the last week or so... thanks to the hurricanes. That means the lawn needs to be mowed more...and that makes Ryan happy. :) (just kidding)

~We had our 34+ week appointment on Tuesday... I gained 2 lbs. and all else checked out just fine. The heart rate of Little R was 150... Our next appointment is in a little over a week - which will be the beginning of the weekly appointments. I can't wait for those weekly exams... *sigh* :) At least it means that we're growing closer to meeting Little R. :)

~We're still not sure about names... We're going to work on that in the next few weekends... It's really hard to be teachers for 9+ years and choose a name for your child... :)

~We had two good weekends prepping for Little R. Ry and Dwayne got the furniture up into the bedroom a few weekends ago...Ry put the crib together (someone, please give him the Bob Vila award :))...and I've been busy putting stuff away and doing loads of laundry to get things ready. Last weekend was devoted to all bedding & bath items... We have about a million blankets... :) I got the crib all made up...Pooh bumper, a little bedskirt, cute Pooh sheets, etc., so it's all ready. :) I have a little more to do in the room before it's really "ready." :) We need to get a blind, the window treatment that matches the bedding (Burlington Coat Factory trip upcoming...)
This weekend, I'm working on washing baby clothes...just the newborn to 3 month sizes...what Little R better be wearing when it comes out! :) hehe :) The loads of laundry for this portion is significantly less - clothes don't take up that much space when they're that small! :) Ryan just loves that everything is all yellow, white, or green, too... Hey, it makes separating laundry easy! :) hehehe :) The pink/blue/boy/girl stuff will follow soon enough...
We'll get some pictures of the baby's room up on here soon - once I get the clutter in the room taken care of in the next week or so... :)

~Beezer had his "doggie check-up" this morning...he's all ready for the next year or so. :) He loved the plethora of treats he got from one of our favorite vets, Dr. Barbara, and our MOST favorite vet tech, Chrissy. :) Fun times... :)

~Baby shower #2 - The Virginia Shower... We had a shower over the Labor Day weekend with the VA people... :) Ry stayed at home with my dad, but my mom and I had a great time. :) Becky, Marcie, and Ella threw quite a nice was a fun time. :) We have been so blessed with thoughtful friends and family... This child will want for nothing... :)

~I'm officially 20 work days and counting from the beginning of my maternity leave...unless the Little R comes early. It begins on Oct. 10th at 3:00 when the big yellow buses depart for the day. :) It's really not been too bad working...but I'm really tired and my body is tired after beign on my feet all day. Teaching isn't the easiest job when it comes to needing to sit. I dress in my nice sneakers every day... :)

~Sleep... Not something I get a lot of these days... I guess it's just preparing me for the new baby... In the last week, Beezer has been very "clingy" when going to sleep... So, for 2 nights this past week, I woke up to Beezer butt in my face... Pleasant... At least he didn't have gas! :)

~Snickers...mmm MMM good... :) I think that's my craving now.... And a good ham sandwich, too...

Enough for now... :) I will write more later... :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's not a's a...

SKINK! :) Imagine my surprise this afternoon when going out to the van... :) I was slipping on a pair of crocs that I keep by the door to walk the dogs in the morning... And I see something wiggle under the shoes... :) I see its little blue tail and immediately realize that we have a LIZARD in the HOUSE! :)
While the little Blue Tailed Skink was probably more scared than any Blue Tailed Skink on this side of the equator, I quickly caught him in a little cup and let him out into the garden. :) Definitely a first for me...a little skink in the house!!! :) (No, we're not sure how it got in...but we have have a lot of rain recently - maybe he was just hoping for some dry location?) :)

Farewell, my little lizard friend! Go and run with your other lizard friends! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

30+ week check-up update, etc.

Hi All :)
We had another appointment on Monday and wanted to give you the latest... The heartbeat was 156, I didn't lose any weight (woo hoo), and I measured exactly where I should be measuring (with the belly tape). We saw another one of the docs in the practice and liked him a lot. :)
Now, we go every 2 weeks for a month, and then we will have to go each week! Fun times! :)
We started school - no kids, just teacher work days - yesterday. I am generally unmotivated...hehe :) Ry helped a lot - setting up furniture, moving books, hanging posters, etc. since I'm so "limited" for lifting and standing on a ladder... *sigh* I think the room looks pretty presentable...I will have a few more things to finish up, but it shouldn't take long... :)
I'm surely tired at night, that's for sure... Those darn Olympics have me glued to the TV late into the evening, but I hope to be in bed earlier as I become less interested in the events or the Olympics end. :)
As it stands, I have 22 kids in my class; the largest I've ever had. I don't know much about the kids, but I hear good things... I will be eager to meet them at Open House on Monday. :) To make me feel old, I am teaching kids who were born the year I started teaching... I actually have a little boy who was a newborn when I met his oldest brother, who was in my first class. :) WOW! :) I hear this is nothing compared to when you start teaching your students' children or grandchildren... :) The question is: Will I make it THAT long? :)
We're praying for a snow day on August 20th - the first day of school. :) That may not be out of the question considering that the temp. yesterday morning (around 6:30 AM) was a chilly 47ish! CHIILY! :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It's been awhile...

I just realized that it's been nearly a month since I've posted... OOPS! :) Here's what's been going on! :)

~We've been doing lots of random things around the house... Our most notable achievement is finishing the painting in the future baby's room. We had to strip wall paper before applying the primer and then the paint...and then the woodwork and doors needed two coats... It turned out to be a pretty big job, but we finished last week! :) Woo HOO! :) We've also had to empty that room of all the furniture...we got the carpets cleaned...and now it is ready for the crib and the bureau...and other baby things. :) We have a lot of the baby items already - they're in the (yep, you guessed it) basement (finished part) and we'll be recruiting some friends to help carry it all upstairs... :)
In all honesty, I think we "bit off more than we could chew" with our goals this summer... We wanted to do so much...and while we got a lot done, there is still a lot of unfinished/half-completed chores. I know that we will have about 2 months before the baby arrives, but I really wanted to have it all finished before we started school again. *sigh*

~We're trying to organize our VERY cluttered basement. It's become a general dumping ground for anything - paint, pet items, etc. We have bagged up a lot of clothes to donate...and books... We got some shelves and are working on reorganizing a lot of the items that are down there... There is still a lot of organizing to be done...

~After about 2 months of struggling to get a new front door/side windows, a new screen door, and a french door for our kitchen, we finally gave up and returned what merchandise we received... We ordered our doors from a local "home improvement" store, which, unfortunately, has a bunch of incompetent people working in many of their departments. ALL of the doors were the wrong size, we never even GOT the new screen door, the contractor was impossible to get in touch with to schedule installation, the contractor refused to install the doors when he realized the doors were too small...the store ordered the doors too small on "purpose" but didn't bother telling anyone (our doors are odd sized, apparently, and it's normal for the doors to be slightly smaller - but no one told us that!)... All in all, the contractor should have known that he could install the doors but would need to do a little customization...he wasn't interested in doing on the first installation date... He suddenly decided that the work could be done after we contacted the manager of this home improvement store...of course... We're in the process of getting all of our money back and Pella now has our business (and a lot more of our money- they're more expensive! :)) However, there's no price for professionalism, quality, and satisfaction - which is what Pella has done for us so far! :)

~I had a glucose test a few weeks ago - typical for this stage of pregnancy. The orange flavored soda-ish drink wasn't bad...and I haven't heard anything, so I assume no news is good news... :)

~I've been feeling pretty good... I find that my "range of motion" is more limited - meaning I don't bend so easily any more... :) Sleeping isn't as fun as it used to be... I'm finding that my lung capacity is another thing that is lacking. I have to take deep breaths after going up a set of stairs...or after bending over to pick things up! :) My bladder is seemingly smaller...and I make more frequent trips to the bathroom... :) I hear all of this is typical... :) I try not to push myself too much...I seem to tire after about 4-6 hours of good, hard, physical work... :) If I work beyond these hours, I seem to pay for it the next day with soreness and just an overall fatigue. This makes me sooo excited to begin a school year... I wonder if I could slip a short nap time into our schedule each day??! :) hehe ;)
I still don't have a cute "round" belly...and have been told I hardly look pregnant. As a matter of fact, many people don't even know that I'm pregnant...they must just think I am fatter! :) I am carrying very "internally," they say...which makes everyone say that I'm going to have a girl. :) I, on the other hand, feel that I look much fatter... I don't know if I'll get that nice round belly, but I will take whatever I get. I'm at the 30+ week mark... :) I can't believe that in about 9 weeks, we'll have a baby... WOW!
I had a dream last night that we had a baby boy...5 lbs. 5 oz. - with no name. :) Yes, we haven't picked out any names yet...but we do have a list of names we like. :) I also kept forgetting to feed the baby in this dream... I am going to look forward to the dreams as this birth approaches...I hear they can get quite vivid! :) hehehe :)

~We had our birthing classes and tour of the hospital at the end of July. That was fun... I decided to go into this whole giving birth situation with a completely open mind. I feel like I have a pretty high tolerance to pain, but I hear that labor and its pain is something we can never imagine... :) I don't know if I'll get an epidural...or any meds...I may need them... I want to see how things go before I make that decision... After talking to my mom, she "only" labored for around 9 hours without any real medication (she thought she had a shot of Novocaine?) and said she just laid there for the entire evening without any pain! :) Then, she pushed for only 24 minutes before I was born... I pray I have her genes in this area! :) I love the hospital where we will have the baby...they are very patient-oriented, caring, giving, and the rooms are like home... I think it will be a wonderful place to be... :)

~We made on last "summer" trip up north to see our families. Beezer and I spent time in PA with my parents while Ryan traveled about 1 1/2 hours northeast to Bradley Beach, NJ to spend time with his family. We had a nice time... :) On Saturday, the 2nd of August, Ry's mom gave us a baby shower in NJ. We had a great time playing games, eating (of course), and opening lots of wonderful and sweet gifts! My mom came, too, and had a wonderful time! :) It was great to see her out and about... :)
My mom is doing really well... While she is still recovering, I noted how much more animated and funny she was... Her humor is coming back, and that's really refreshing. We had a great time at Babies R Us doing some shopping, too, and I loved just spending time together. :) Her most recent trip to the doctor revealed that her throat/tonsils look WONDERFUL and completely normal/healed... What a blessing... :)

~We officially head back to school on Aug. 12th - just the teachers. The kids will return on August 20th. :) I hear that I have a very nice class and recognize some of the children...they are siblings of students I've taught, etc. It should be another fun year... :) It will be a difficult transition for Ry and I - getting up around 6 AM will be a change...we will be in for a very rude awakening! :) hehe :) We'll see how all of that goes... :) I'm sure there will be lots of stories... :)

~I am going to try to be better about posting more... I know that I get on daily to read several people's's something that I really look forward to reading. I'm sorry that I'm not being as productive and serious as others! :)

~I hope all of you are doing well! :) I will be writing more... I promise! :)


Monday, July 14, 2008

Week 26+

Another trip to the doctor today! All is well... Things are progressing along as scheduled. I actually got measured for the first time today...stomach, that is... He said that I measured between 26&27 weeks, which is right on schedule! The heartbeat, which was found on the FIRST try this time (woo hoo), was between 140-150.
I did get spoken to about my lack of weight gain throughout this pregnancy. I didn't get the feeling that I was in trouble at all, but he just reminded me to eat several small meals a day, especially since I'm not interested in food at all and fill quite easily. He suggested that I supplement my calories with an Ensure or a Boost each day to help with calories and to get some essential vitamins that I may be missing from my issues with many foods. We'll see... I don't want to do anything to hurt the baby, of course, so we'll see how things go! :)
We go back to the "lab" next week for the infamous "blood glucose test." This is to test for gestational diabetes. I get to drink a very sweet drink (orange flavor :)), and after an hour, I will have my blood taken to test my sugar level. If I fail the test, I get to go back for the same test again, but the retest would last for over 3 hours. Ryan informed me that he wouldn't be sitting there with me for over 3 hours, so we'll hope and pray that I pass on the first try, or I'll have one very grumpy husband! :) hehe :)
Well, I must sign off... One of my favorite shows, The Closer, is having its season premier in just about 4 minutes... :) Yeah!!!!! :)
Hope all is well! :) Lots of love to all! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's becoming more real!

On Monday, Ry and I traveled to Fredricksburg, VA to officially begin the "baby shopping" life... We had lunch at the Olive Garden! (yum!) Then we shopped a little around at various stores before heading to Burlington Coat Factory's Baby Depot. We had heard that their cribs and other items were significantly cheaper than places like Babies 'R' Us and other comparable stores, so we decided to take the road trip to find out...
We spent over 3 hours in the baby section. I kept saying how overwhelming it was to see was like we didn't know where to start!
We did register for some items there...things like a stroller, a pack 'n' play, a bouncer seat, etc.
We didn't find lots of clothing items or blankets, though, so we'll register at a place like Target and/or Babies 'R' Us for those items... It was neat to register; we've never had the chance to do that! :) Ryan enjoyed going around and using the scanner on each bar code... :) I think we may have registered for around 50 items...
We also made a decision for the crib... We walked around looking at the cribs and other matching furniture about 10 times...only to find another area with more furniture! The "hidden" area was where we found the crib and hutch we ended up deciding was so pretty! It seemed much nicer than some of the others...and we liked the other 2 furniture choices that matched with the crib. So, we brought home the crib, a mattress, and the hutch... The hutch will work as a bureau first...and then we'll attach the shelves. The hutch will be the changing table, too, which is looks really nice! It's a natural wood finish with a honey tone. (I've posted pictures below...)
We also picked out the bedding - Winnie the Pooh's "Hunting for Hunny." It's really cute...and it features Eeyore, one of our favorite characters! :) It seemed non-gender specific and is a cute, bright, and cheery choice!
I realized a few things while we were shopping...
First, it's really hard to find items for a baby that you don't know the gender of just yet... It's very obvious that retailers cater to those who find out the sex of their little one. I kept telling Ryan that it would nice to know what we were having after shopping at the Carter Outlet and at Burlington! :) He didn't see my humor... I still stand by the wonder and amazement of having a wonderful surprise in October... I think it will be so neat! :) Plus, we have a lifetime of choosing clothes for the baby after it's born... :)
Second, buying things for a baby is really expensive!! :)
Third, there are soooooooooooooooo many things out there for babies! We we were amazed at the choices out there... Wow! :)
Finally, there are lots of nice people who shop in the baby section! :) We met a nice lady with an 11 month old little girl (who was very cute, by the way :)). We were wearily looking at the 15 bouncer seats...and I just said to Ryan, "Choose which one you like the best...I don't really care" after not knowing which to pick! This lady was looking at car seats close to us and asked if we wanted her advice...and thus began our conversation! :) She gave us ideas and her evaluation of things from a more experienced point of view...after all, she knows a lot more than we do at this point! :) She not only helped us with the bouncie seat, but she also told us about the strollers, various brands, and the Consumer Report information she knew about different products. :) She was so helpful... :)
At 8:30, We left Burlington a little exhausted...but I kept glancing at the packed van (with the furniture) and grinned... It's really real... :) I'm getting more excited... :)

Sorelle Vicki 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

Sunday, July 6, 2008


As many of you know, we traveled to the mid-west to visit with my grandmother last week. It is a long trip but well worth the time with one of the most amazing ladies I know! :) It takes us around 13-14 hours to make it from VA to little old Fairmount, IL. :)
We decided to break the trip up this year (we usually drive straight through) as we traveled to and from my grandma's. We left IL to return back home home on July 3rd and stopped in Cross Lanes, WV. We had around 5 hours of our trip remaining when we left on July 4th. While driving somewhere in Eastern WV or Western VA, we were surrounded by mountains covered with trees and little streams. As I was looking out the window admiring the beauty, I spotted one of the most amazing birds I've ever seen...a large bald eagle perched on a leafless tree. I've never seen a bald eagle in the wild before...I wish we weren't driving 65 mph so that I could have gotten a picture. So, you'll just have to imagine the appropriate symbol of America on this 4th of July. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Third Time's the Charm :)

Well, we had our THIRD ultrasound today! :) The second one, about 2 weeks ago, went well but they couldn't get a "good look" at the aorta, the spine, and the cord. (I see Little Rakow is being uncooperative at an early age! :)) So, off to the doctor this morning for a follow-up, and I'm pleased to say that Little R was much more cooperative! :) The aorta, spine, and cord were all "looking good" (as the doctor put it), and as it stands, things with the baby look normal and healthy! :) Here are some stats: Today, the heartbeat was 147 bpm (it was 150 two weeks ago). Two weeks ago, Little Rakow weighed in at 14 ounces, and today it weighed 1 pound. Contrary to the wishes of some, we did not look for certain anatomy during either ultrasound - a surprise will be in store! (Although I think I saw a "little something" between the legs, but I'm not a certified sonographer...maybe it was the cord?) Perhaps Ryan's chants of "third leg...third leg..." for the last 2 weeks may be paying off?! We'll have to see... Oh, and I'm 23 weeks and 3 days along... :) I'm feeling completely normal - no complaints at all! I'm still not really interested in food or eating, but I eat so that we don't have a "malnourished Ethiopian child" (Ryan's words). :) I'm still not wearing maternity clothes...all of my regular clothes fit just fine, so I'm sticking with them for now. As I've said, in this area, it pays to be on the fatter side! :) I think I've lost around 8-10 pounds so far... I do have bouts of heartburn, but 2 Tums or a glass of milk seems to do the trick for curing that small malady. I'm feeling lots of movement feels like I have a roller coaster in my stomach at times. The baby seems most active during the evening and late-night hours... :) I guess he/she is getting me conditioned for those late nights and lack of sleep?
Here are some pictures... :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Home Wet Home

We had been out of town for about a week last week...a trip to PA for the night and then onward to NY (Albany) for Brittany's graduation...and then back to PA for a few days... It was a good trip! :) We arrived home on Wednesday night around 8:30 to find that we had a leak in our finished part of the basement... I thought there was an animal in the basement but soon realized that the rustling sound was the water hitting a plastic bag I had sitting in a box...

When I poked a hole in the ceiling to help the mystery water drain, about 2 gallons poured out of our ceiling in about 3 minutes... I got smart and turned the water off to the house until we could figure out where this small flood originated. Needless to say, we called for help from Dwayne, our dear friend, and at 10:00 PM, our plumber arrived and had the hole in our cold water pipe to the upstairs sink repaired in about 15 minutes. We have no idea how long the leak had been going on, but we now have a 4 ft. x 2 ft. hole in our ceiling and carpet/padding that's in the process of drying... We are really blessed - we know it could have been MUCH worse... :)

And to think I was anticipating a nice, quiet night in my own bed... :) I got there, eventually - around 1:30 AM :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Remember us?

In case you forget what we look like...not the best picture of me (pale and tired), but it's good of Ry and Brittany (sis-in-law)... This was taken last Friday at China King Buffet... :) Use it to scare away the mice... :)

Long time...nothing to report! :)

I haven't written in a really long I figured that I should probably write something so no one thinks I've fallen off the edge of the earth...
We only have 6 more days of school...and trust me when I tell you I'm counting down the hours. I really have NO reason to kids are really a tremendous blessing...and I know that I will miss them terribly. However, I'm just so tired and worn out that I will enjoy waving to the big yellow buses on June 6th as they pull away. :) We had a field trip today that involved a lot of walking...I think my poor legs are just plain old exhausted... Early to bed tonight!
I'm still pregnant, I think... My last appointment (2+ weeks ago) was not eventful... We barely heard a heartbeat (the doctor struggles to find it each time...but we heard the heartbeat in the placenta area, I guess, he said... My thinking is that it must be like finding a needle in a haystack?)... I had to have a joyous exam (sigh) b/c of higher white blood cell counts in my urine...but he didn't find anything. I guess we'll see how the levels are when I go back on 6/10.
I lost another pound...the nurse made me think I was going to be sternly spoken with about that...but as it turns out, he wasn't concerned. I still have no interest in food...I eat to keep myself going...but it's a serious chore. For example, tonight I could barely eat a baked potato and some macaroni and cheese... I guess this pregnancy "diet" is just what I needed...maybe I won't be so fat when the kid comes out... :)
I can still wear all of my clothes...and I'm approaching 20 weeks... I know that I'm really blessed...of course, it helps that my fat belly was already fat before the whole baby thing came along... :) I have a feeling we'll be making a trip to Motherhood Maternity soon, however...I don't think I can live in dressy pants for the summer... :)
For the next appointment, we'll be having the last ultrasound... It's the big "do you want to know what you're having" ultrasound... I still don't want to know, but Ryan and every other person we know wants us to find out. My opinion is that there are few surprises in life...and the gender of a baby, at least for the first birth, should be one of those incredible surprises. People are bribing me, telling me it will be so much easier to know... I still feel like I don't want to know... Ryan told me, however, that he knows I'll be able to tell what it is during the ultrasound...I have that weird medical mind (wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember) that can tell these things... Of course, it will probably be more obvious than my medical knowledge... :)
We're not teaching summer school this year... I'm eager to enjoy the lazy days of summer...which won't be so lazy... We have a basement to clean/organize and a baby's room to prepare... I'm sure we'll be shopping for furniture for the baby's room...and taking birthing classes... We'll be traveling some in June... First, we'll head to Albany, NY to cheer on my sister-in-law at her high school graduation... We'll stop in PA to stay with my parents going and coming back... Then, in late June, we're going to Illinois to spend some time with my Grandma... As I mentioned in my first blog, she had a stroke in mid-February...and well, she's an incredible woman... She's now at home and has recovered amazingly... While she said she still struggles for words at times (they're in her brain but she has to "find them"), she has done wonderfully. She enjoys the flowers outside and listens to the birds... My mom and dad will be going to Illinois at the same we'll all be out there together, which will be pretty awesome. I can't think of a better way to honor the two most influencial women in my life... Both of them are just so incredible... These last several months have made me feel so honored and blessed by their strength... :)
So, I will try to blog in the coming weeks...after our next appointment. I love to read what a friend of mine writes about her cool kid stories... I don't have much to share at this point, but at least you all know what's going on! :)
In the meantime, I'll go and finish my "slurpee" from this afternoon...that's really the only "craving" I have... Lord help this child when it comes out hooked to the pure sugar frozen drink... :)
Lots of love to all of you... :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's only a matter of time... :)

Well, now that I know there's really a baby in there, I've spread the word among my fellow teachers at school. Lots of hugs and smiles...and a few shocks, too... :) :)

I knew that my kids would start to hear things now that people know (Madison is very small and news travels quicker than the plague) I wanted to let them know the news before they heard it on the soccer field or at the local pizza parlor! :) I didn't want them to feel uncomfortable asking me if the rumors were true... :) So, we played hangman with the spaces that spelled, "Mrs. Rakow is going to have a baby." It took several letters before they called the "b," and I knew then that they'd figure it out. A gasp came from the center of the room when one little girl figured it out...and she turned around to whisper it to the others near her. The kids were so cute... :)

The questions were my favorite...

~"Does Mr. Rakow know?"

~"Oh who will our sub be when you're gone?" (after this year and traveling to PA, my kids have seen their fair share of subs! :))

~"Do you know what it is yet?"

~"Umm, did you even WANT kids?"

~"Does it have gills?" (During lifecycles in science, we talked about how, as little babies on our mom's tummies, before we develop lungs, we have gills to help us breathe...)

~"If we hug you, will we crush the baby?"

~"If we hug you and we squish the baby, will it kick us?"

~"Can I tell my mom?"

~"Mr. Rakow wants a boy, doesn't he?"


Thank GOD no one asked, "How did this happen?" :) hehehe :) Maybe they'll think to ask that tomorrow... :)

Hope you all have a great week! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

a summary and a surprise

Hello, Friends! :) We wanted to share the latest happenings with the Rakows! We feel at a loss to keep in communication with our family and many of you live far away, and we don't do a great job keeping in touch like we'd like to do! So, a blog seemed like a great way to keep everyone up to date... :) Please come back and check us out often! :) After a challenging Fall and Winter with Robin's mom battle with cancer, Ryan's grandfather passing away suddenly, and Robin's grandmother having a stroke, things are looking up! Robin's mom is recovering after simultaneous radiation and chemo...and also had lymph nodes removed in February. Then, after a roaring infection and 30 days of antibiotics, we really feel like we're on the TRUE road to recovery! We're thankful for everything and stand in awe of her strength and grace! Ryan's family is dealing well with his Gung's passing. Gung was quite sick with metastatic cancer, but he never indicated feeling poorly until 3 or 4 days before his passing. He was a funny, smart, and honorable man...we will miss him. Robin's grandmother is doing much better...after some time in a rehab., she's regained all of her abilities and her friends report that they haven't seen her so good in 8 or 9 years!! We're looking forward to seeing her in the next few months... The blessings are abundant... We're excited (and Robin's still in awe) to report that we'll be welcoming a new family member into the Rakow household in October. A little Rakow will be gracing us with his/her presence around October 17th (which happens to be Robin's mom's birthday). We had our first ultrasound today and heard the heartbeat for the first time, and as Robin said, "I see it...this must be for real." This has been quite a surprise for wasn't what we had planned in the grand scheme of things, but we'll take it! We both feel like it's just what we all need considering everything that's happened over the last several months. Life is more precious and our previous "self-centered" needs and comfort grew to be so small in comparison to what awaits... We'll add a few pictures, too…:) We figure you'll need time to soak in this news, too! :)

The Littlest Rakow

The first two are of the feet and legs (the legs are crossed at the ankles in the second picture). The rest are bird's eye views of the baby from the head looking at the arms, the whole baby (looking at the face) and then a side profile...
He/She measured 4.69 cm and the heartbeat was 176 beats per minute.