Monday, June 30, 2008

Taco Bueno at 2 days old

Where do you go for dinner on Sunday night? Taco Bueno of course! We got out of the hospital just in time to meet up with everyone at Bueno! Daddy Steve and Namaw brought Brody up to Bueno. He was sooooo excited to see Barrett! He wanted to hold him as soon as we walked in the restaurant.

Billy, Paula, Brett, Amanda, Amanda's parents, Caleb, Audria, Daddy Steve, & Namaw were all there to eat dinner with us.
Brody really likes Paula (and I think she has a thing for him too ;) He didn't have to try too hard to mooch some cinnamon chips off of her plate.

After Bueno it was time to go home and go to bed! Let me say that our bed felt WONDERFUL after spending the last 3 days in a hard, hospital bed!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday in the Hospital

We had a quiet Sunday morning in the hospital. Daddy Steve and Namaw took Brody to church and then came over to the hospital to see us. When they got there Mike, Daddy Steve, and Brody left to go find some lunch. They walked down the street from the hospital to the Jack-in-the-Box only to find it closed due to construction! So they ended up driving to Whataburger. Mike got a neat shot of the hospital when they were on their walk. It's MUCH larger than the Lyons Hospital where Brody was born!! Brody was happy to see us and spend time with us. He climbed up on the bed with me and helped me eat my delicious hospital lunch.
We felt like we were just waiting around all day to be released from the hospital. Around 4 pm Mike took all of our stuff to the car and brought back the carseat. The last time it was used Brody was the one riding it it. Mike re-adjusted all of the straps and we put Barrett in for a test fit. We couldn't believe how TINY he looked in the carseat!
Since Barrett was due July 4th, we had red, white, & blue outfits picked out for everyone to wear home. We decided to wait and get dressed after taking a shower at home...but we went ahead and put Barrett in his duds. These are newborn shorts...and they look like gangsta pants on him!
I was pushed out of the hospital by the hospital staff. I was excited to see that I got to ride in something a little more exciting than a wheelchair. I finally know what it's like to be a kid and ride in the fun carts at Home Depot!
You'll notice that Barrett is wrapped in a white blanket. This is a blanket that all of the babies in my family have been wrapped in when they were brought home from the hospital. It's fun to be able to carry on the tradition.

Delivered by Daddy

It's been fun having wi-fi at the hospital for Barrett's birth. When Brody was born we had to wait until we got home from the hospital to post any pictures or stories. This time Mike was able to give you play-by-play commentary! What he didn't take time to tell you about was the delivery itself.

After they checked me and determined that Barrett's head was right there, Tania (my midwife) looked at Mike and said, "Do you want to cut the cord?" He told her, "Of course." Then she said, "Do you want to deliver the baby?" He looked at her with a shocked look on his face and said, "Are you serious?!?" She said, "Sure! I'll be right there beside you telling you what to do every step of the way." So they got everything ready and during my next contraction I got to push. I pushed 3 times during that contraction and then Tania told me to stop. With those 3 pushes I had pushed his head almost all the way out! {Side note: The awesome thing about the epidural was that I could feel the urge to push, I could feel myself pushing, but I didn't feel the INTENSE "ring of fire" that I felt when I delivered Brody! It was great!} Tania then told me that I didn't need to push but that I should just let the next contraction push him out. What?!?!? I pushed for 1.5 hours with Brody...and now I only had to push 3 times?!? This was AWESOME!!! During the next contraction Mike saw Barrett's head slowly come out. Then Tania instructed him to sandwich Barrett's head between his hands (holding onto both ears) and push down on Barrett's head while pulling and pushing down to get his top shoulder out. Then once the top should came out he continued to pull...but pulled up to get the bottom shoulder out. Once both shoulders were out the rest of his body came shooting out! He then laid Barrett on my belly while he put the top clip on the umbilical cord and Tania put the bottom clip on. Then Mike cut the cord between the 2 clips. What an AMAZING experience! How many men get to deliver their own sons? It was so cool! I'm glad that I had the epi so that I was relaxed enough to make Tania feel comfortable letting Mike deliver our precious little boy!

Yesterday morning Daddy Steve and Namaw brought Brody up to the hospital to visit us. He was soooo excited to get to see his little brother! He came into the room and immediately crawled up onto my bed and asked to hold Barrett. When I put Barrett in his lap he started to hug and kiss him. He's gonna be such a good little helper to me!
Yesterday afternoon Jan, Ron, Julie, Lauren, Katelin, & Collin stopped by. The girls were very excited to get to hold Barrett. Julie said that she had asked Lauren if she wanted to come (she was at her other grandma's house and Julie told her they'd come see us sometime this week if Lauren didn't want to come to the hospital yesterday). Lauren told her this was a "once in a lifetime experience" and that she had to come! So sweet!

This morning they did the circumcision (ouch!) and now we're just sitting in the hospital waiting to go home. They will release us this evening (the dr said that means "after 6 pm"). We're very ready to go home. Hospital furniture isn't nearly as comfortable as our own home furnishings! I think that Daddy Steve and Namaw are planning to bring Brody up to see us after that should help pass the time.

Don't worry...there are more pictures to come ;)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Barrett Daniel Knowlton

Barrett has arrived. He was born at 10:05pm, weighed 7.18lbs, and was 19 inches long. He is a beautiful baby! Here are a few pics to hold you over until tomorrow. What a great day!

9:54 PM

So much for 10:30... Staci is at a 10... Gotta go help push! Thanks for all the prayers!

9:36 PM

The epidural was a huge success! The nurses felt that Staci did a terrific job having contractions and holding still while they plunged that huge needle into her back. :o She is still around a 7 so they are turning up the PIT. They will check her again in about an hour (10:30pm CST).

Aren't these the most beautiful feet you've ever seen!!

Evidence that the Epidural is working!!

This is a picture of the monitor. The blue graph is the babies heart beat and the bottom yellow one represents the contractions. The vertical lines represent 1 minute in time.... As you can see the contractions are coming pretty often now.

7:40 PM

Unbearable Pain!!! Staci is such a Trooper!!! I've never seen a someone so tough! It's now 7:40 and Staci is getting an epidural to help her relax from such a crazy long day. She is currently a 6.5 - 7cm and is progressing nicely. Her contractions are getting really hard and are coming about every 1.5 - 2 minutes. I pray it won't be to much longer!

6:24 PM

Staci is now 5cm dilated, but contractions have slowed back down to every 5 minutes. They have started her back on pitocin to see If that will speed up the process. She is getting a little tired, so she's going to try and take a nap before the pitocin kicks in. Keep up the prayers for strength and perseverance!

3:42 PM

4.5CM dilated and 100% effaced. The CNM just broke my water.... No turning back now. Please keep up the prayers.


Baby's head had moved back up a little bit this morning so my CNM didn't feel comfortable breaking my water.... I was 3cm dilated and 50% effaced. At 9:30am they started me on Pitocin in hopes that would further drop the baby's head as well as thin out my cervix. At 1:20pm I was 4cm dilated and 75% effaced. Hopefully if all goes well, they'll be able to break my water in a few hours. We'll keep you posted!

6:41 am

We're up and getting ready to head to the hospital. We're supposed to be there by 8 am (since we're not sure what traffic will be like we're gonna leave here in about 1/2 an hour). I'm excited...but nervous. Since I've done this before...I know how painful it is and am not looking forward to the pain! However, I know that it is worth it. I can't wait to hold our sweet little boy! Please continue to pray for my labor & delivery and that both baby and I will remain healthy throughout the process.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

2:09 pm

My midwife tells me that I'm now a good 3 cm! That's as dilated as I was when I got to the hospital to have Brody! The baby's head is down further now and my cervix is really soft. She said it was easy to strip my membranes. It didn't feel that great...but it wasn't too bad. She said that I will probably have more contractions this afternoon/evening. If I don't end up in the hospital sometime tonight, I'm supposed to be at the there at 8 am tomorrow and they'll start with breaking my water. So hopefully tonight will be my last night with the baby inside me! That means tomorrow I may have some pictures of the baby to post! I know you're excited about that ;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

11:53 pm

We just got home. Mike and I dropped Brody off at my parents' house around 4:30 pm so we could go to the mall and walk. We ended up just letting him spend the night there and went to dinner and a movie (Get Smart). I had some pretty strong contractions during the movie. We're gonna try to get some sleep now. I have an appointment with my midwife tomorrow at 10:50 am. I'll update the blog if we leave for the hospital before then. Thanks for all of your prayers...keep them up!


This morning I woke up to contractions around 4 am. This isn't an unusual thing for me lately...but this morning they kept coming. I got up around 5:20 to go outside and tell Dad (who was waiting in the driveway) to go on to the gym without me. I finally fell back asleep and woke up at 7:15 to Brody crying hard! Mike went in there and couldn't comfort him. He felt really hot! We took his temps and he has a fever of 101.7! He doesn't act like he feels bad at we're thinking it's probably from an eye tooth that's trying to come thru his gums right now.

Anyways, the contractions have still be coming. They're every 8-10 minutes right now. I think we may go on a walk to try to get things moving along. So when we ask ourselves today, "Is today the day?"...we're thinking, "Maybe?!?" I'll let ya know if there's any progress.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Still Exercisin'

There were several people who were surprised to see me at the gym this morning. I guess it's not the most common thing for a woman to still be working out just a few days before she's going to have a baby. This morning I walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes. Tomorrow I'll probably do the Body Pump class, Wednesday the Cardio Attack aerobics class, and Thursday I'll walk again. I guess if stripping my membranes doesn't send me into labor on Thursday, I could go in on Friday morning and do one more Body Pump class before they break my water that day. We'll see. I did have one guy say, "So Friday's the big day? Guess we'll see ya in here on Monday?" lol! I told him I might take a few weeks off ;)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Plan

I'm 2.5 cm dilated! My cervix is "soft and ripe" according to my midwife. So here's the plan:

If I haven't gone into labor by my appointment next Thursday, she's going to strip my membranes {Wiki's definition: "Membrane sweep", also known as membrane stripping - during an internal examination, the midwife moves her finger around the cervix to stimulate and/or separate the membranes around the baby from the cervix. This causes a release of prostaglandins which can help to kick-start labor}. She said that she expects me to be dilated to a 3 or 4 by next week (based on my progression this past week and the current condition of my cervix). If that doesn't get labor started for me, she'll have me go to the hospital on Friday and they'll break my water. She thought that by breaking my water and having me walk around that labor would progress quickly. She said that if necessary they could give me some pitocin...but with the condition of my cervix she didn't think it would take very much pit to push me into active labor.

The good news is that my 2 favorite midwives are the ones on call next Thursday and Friday! The other good news is that I shouldn't be pregnant after next week! Just one more week. I can do it!


As we near the end of this pregnancy, the question is thrown out there every day..."Is today the day?" This morning as I was walking on the treadmill at the gym I was feeling a lot of pressure. I was also feeling kinda nauseous. I have an appointment today at 11:20 and am hoping the midwife can tell me if I've made any more progress from my dilation last week. Tomorrow I'll be 38 weeks hopefully the longest we'll have to wait is another 2 weeks.

Here are my belly pics from this past Sunday. I was 37 weeks 2 days. Brody insisted on being in the picture with me...but he refused to smile! lol

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


STILL no internet at our house! It was supposed to be installed by 6 pm last night...and we're still waiting. Hopefully Mike can get it up and running today (I'm sure he'll love being on the phone with the internet company all morning)! I have so much to blog stay tuned!

I will tell you that Brody woke up this morning saying, "Donut shop?!?!" I have no clue why he woke up talking about donuts...but I persuaded Mike that he should listen to his son and go to the donut shop. Then he should stop by my office and bring me a few donuts on their way home. They were yummy!!! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Back in Texas

We're back in Texas. We are currently without internet at our rent house, so I haven't had time to blog much the past few days. I just wanted to let you know that we made the move safely. It was VERY hard to leave our friends in Kansas...and also hard to close the door and drive away from the house that we've invested so much in. I'll blog more about it later.

I will say that Brody is so happy that we are back together as a family (as are Mike and I). Last night as Mike put him to bed he said, "Daddy happy? Mommy happy? Brody happy! Together again!!"

Monday, June 09, 2008


We did it. Yesterday we left our home/town of 8 years to move to Texas.

Tyler, Ann, Daddy Steve, and Namaw went up to Kansas to help us move (thank y'all so much!) and after they left the house yesterday, Mike and I walked thru every room just one more time. There are so many memories in this house. We talked about them as we walked thru. The memories of everything from pouring the foundation to learning how to wire/plumb the house, to the finishing touches like the floors. We talked about the first night we ever spent at the house. It was Mike's birthday and I surprised him by taking a blow up mattress out there along with a few other essentials (a gridle to make pancakes and a stereo for music). There wasn't any carpet down yet, so we were sleeping on the mattress on the concrete floor. What I didn't account for was the heat. It was so hot that Mike went back to our house in town to get a window unit so we could stay out there all night!

We started building this house with just the two of us and now we have Brody, Baby K (in Heaven), and another little boy on the way! It has taken lots of sweat and tears to get this piece of ground from a wheat field into the house you see below. Locking the door and walking away was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

Mike and I spent 8 of our 9 years of marriage in Sterling, Kansas. Our relationship has grown so much during these past 8 years. As sad as it is for us to leave, we are really looking forward to our future in Texas. We are so excited to get to be close to family. We don't yet know everything God has planned for us there, but we are looking foward to it with anticipation!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us during our time apart and will continue to pray for us during this time of transition. If you're ever in Texas, our door's always open!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Andersons

Chris & Teri are very special friends of ours. Mike remembers his friendship with Chris beginning when Ben Little invited Chris to go with him and Mike to a tool sale in a neighboring town. Before long I was spending Saturday's visiting with Teri while Mike and Chris went hunting. There were several weekends over the years that we've watched all 4 kids so that Chris & Teri could get away by themselves for just a day or two. It has been so much fun watching their children grow. Collin and Erin were both cubbies the first year I worked with AWANA. It's amazing how much they've grown! We're going to miss watching them play sports and perform in plays at school. Their youngest, Alan, used to make Mike smile at school. Mike would walk into Alan's class to help his teacher with a computer issue and Alan would say, "Hi Mikey!!!" Then he'd tell his friends, "I know him! He's my friend!" So sweet!!

Teri was the first person in Sterling that I told about being pregnant with Brody. It was fun to see how excited she was for us! It was much harder to tell her about us moving. They were the first people we told about us moving...and we were all crying by the end of that conversation. We may not have gotten to spend as much time with each other as we'd have liked, but we'll always have a special friendship.

Chris farms the ground around our house. Not many weekends have gone by that he and Mike aren't working on a project together (whether it's at our house or his house). They've cut trees down for firewood, hunted, built a garage at Chris's house, and built our house (among other things). Chris likes to tease Mike about "chasing around a little white ball" aka playing golf and Mike teases Chris about "playing in the dirt" aka farming. Chris has a bit of lively sarcasm and is a "tell it like it is" kinda guy. He wasn't very happy with Mike when we told him we were moving...and he didn't hide it. I think he even told Mike he was going to take him off his speed dial (of course he then had to admit that wasn't true because he didn't know how to use speed dial so he didn't have anyone on speed dial! lol). I don't know how many times Mike and I have asked each other if we're doing the right thing by moving. The Andersons are one of the reasons it's so hard to leave!

After the going away party Chris came by our house to pick up Remington (to take to Bill & Paula's). Brody kept running to him and asking for just one more hug...over and over again. I thanked him for being such a good friend to my husband as I hugged him one last time. The tears were rolling down Mike's face as he told his friend goodbye. I know that we will always remain friends...but I also know that it will be different. We may not see each other every week, but we will think of each other, email, and call one another often. Chris said that he'll look forward to telling friends that his "buddy from Texas" is coming up to hunt.

Thank you Chris and Teri for loving our family so much and for being such wonderful friends! Here's to many more years of friendship and an eternity together in Heaven!!

The Wilsons

Dwayne, Rene, Sydney, Kaleabe, Taya, Kidist, Titus, and Cedric along with our family. Mike and Dwayne's friendship was formed during a game of dodge ball. They were game time leaders for AWANA. I think they actually enjoyed game time more than the kids some days (as they were trying to pelt each other with the dodge ball)! Before long we were sitting by them at church every Sunday. I remember one Sunday where I realized that they were sitting at the other end of the pew with Cedric (a baby at the time) and we were at the other end with the three other kids fighting for our laps!

Dwayne & Rene started a Bible study in their home on Sunday nights several years (and kids) ago. It was during this time that our friendship really grew. When the Bible study started we were the only childless couple. We'd be the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave. It was Dwayne that convinced Mike it was possible for us to build our own home. He's a dreamer (like Mike) and they loved planning the build together. Dwayne was an invaluable resource to Mike during the build. Not only did he help with the work, he brought entertainment for those long days (in the form of kids!)

When I got a deal on Denver Bronco's tickets, Dwayne and Rene dropped everything to make a last minute trip to Colorado with us. They have a love for the mountains like we do and Mike and Dwayne were always searching for property to buy out there where we could build a mountain retreat. Instead, Dwayne's parents bought some land. Mike went out there one weekend to help Dwayne work on the log cabin he was building for his parents. The next year it was complete enough for both of our families to go for a long weekend vacation. This was before they adopted Kaleabe and Kidist, so there was room for all of us (and Brody) to ride in one suburban. I was amazed that Brody's crying (the ENTIRE trip to CO) didn't even phase their kids (or them). I guess they'd been there before.

Mike and Dwayne spent weekends cutting down trees for firewood...and also planting trees! One year they decided they wanted to buy 1,000 trees to plant and maybe even have a Christmas tree farm (remember I told you they're both dreamers). Rene and I put a stop to that one. They still bought several hundred trees...but not the 1,000 they dreamed about. Rene always told me that she was nervous when it was just Mike and Dwayne hanging out. She said that they were dangerous together and she never knew what plan they would hatch! Mike is really going to miss Dwayne. They worked together, prayed together, played together, and dreamed together. We're also going to miss watching their precious children grow up...and getting to know the new additions (Kaleabe & clue if I'm spelling their names right!!!)

It is very hard to think about leaving this dear family. Rene doesn't blog (like Teri does), so I'm afraid that we'll lose touch easier and that I won't be able to keep up with what's going on in their lives. I do know that we'll always remain friends and hopefully we'll get to spend many more weekends at the cabin in Colorado together!

Going Away

This evening our church hosted a going away party for us at Sterling Lake. The wind was blowing which kept the mosquitoes away and kept us a little cooler. It was fun to get to see some people one more time before we leave, however, it was also very hard. The people at church have been our family over the past 7 years! As hard as it was for me to be so far from our family in Texas, it was made a little easier with the love and friendship that was showered on us by people at church.

Here are a just few pictures (and memories) from tonight (and the past 7 years).

Jan has been a good friend to me. We've been on several ladies retreats together and been in many Bible studies together. She's led a lot of the in home Bible studies that I attended and I always learned so much from her. She has been a Titus 2 woman to me in every essence of the passage! Thank you Jan for sharing your heart with me!
Marvin & Fleda have sat in front of us at church for several years. She is so involved in the different women's ministries at church and has inspired me to do the same. She always has a smile on her face and a hug for the kids.

Tom is one of 3 brothers that Mike became friends with while we lived in Sterling. Tom and Christy (along with their six kids Luke, Keena, John, Camille, Natalie, and Adam) are so much fun to be around. Keena (in the green shirt) was one of my very first Cubbies (she was 3 years old). I've also been blessed to get to teach John, Camille, and Natalie! Tom was always willing to offer a helping hand (or equipment) as we were building our house. In fact, the day that my parents came to take me and Brody to Texas he was the one that rescued us when the Durango slid into a muddy field! The were many days that we were the last ones to leave the church parking lot and it was because Mike was talking to Tom (and usually Chris).

Teri's brother, Bill, and his wife, Paula, moved to town a few years ago. They jumped right into serving at church. They took care of Mike for me and sent home leftovers after Wednesday night dinner (at church) several times while I've been in TX. They have also become the proud owners of an amazing labrador retriever, Remington. We made the very difficult decision that it would be in Remington's best interest to let him continue living the life of a country, hunting dog rather than constrain him to a small square of grass in the city. They will be giving Remington a new home and I'm sure Bill and Chris will make sure Remy still gets to hunt.

Our preacher, Tim, and his son, Titus, had to leave early, but we got a picture with Brandy, Maddy, and Carlie. The Elsners come to Sterling from Nebraska a few years after we moved here. Even thought I've taught all the kids, I still can't remember if I spell the girls' names right! lol. Brandy is the prime example of a woman with a gentle and quiet spirit. She is such a compassionate person and always makes you feel like she cares about any and everything you have to tell her. She has been a wonderful leader in our women's ministry. I always love hearing her perspective on things we've discussed in our women's Bible studies.

When the dark of night arrived (and it was way past Brody's bedtime) we finally forced ourselves to say goodbye to our wonderful friends. We climbed into our car and drove away from Sterling Lake for the last time (as residents). We drove home to spend one final night in our Log Cabin in the Plains.

Monday, June 02, 2008


I've almost made it! I've been away from Mike for a little over 3 months now...and I only have one more night alone!!! Tomorrow after work we'll drive up to Kansas to start packing. I can't wait to have our family back together again! Brody and I have missed Mike soooooooooo much! Mom and I will work on packing up the house Wednesday thru Friday while Dad and Mike work. Friday night Tyler and Ann are going to come up and then Saturday we'll spend the day loading up the moving truck. Sunday morning we'll head for Texas. I don't really want to think about what it will be like when we pull away from the house on Sunday morning. (I'm sure I'll blog more about it later.) Right now it just makes me want to cry!

I have been so blessed these past few months to get to stay with my parents. I know a lot of people would not enjoy moving back home at the age of 28. I had a lot of people ask me how I was gonna handle it...and told me that if I needed a break that I could come to their house to hang out. I have to say that it has been a joy. My parents are two of my best friends, and I have really enjoyed getting to spend so much time with them. I can't speak for them, but I don't know of any time where we got on each others nerves or "needed a break". I don't know if I could've made it 3 months away from Mike without their support. I know it made him feel better just knowing that I was here with them. Thanks, Dad & Mom, for helping us out so much these past few months. I couldn't have done it alone! I love you!