Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kohlman Christmas

Brad and I counted yesterday. This year we got to celebrate 6 Christmases (if you count the two of us together, which we do), and we even missed a couple more because of our schedule. Then I got curious and went back in time to count... the first year or two we were married, we had 9 separate Christmas celebrations, all of which we attended. Crazy. We only made it to all 9 that one year.

We are very, very blessed to have so many opportunities to share this season with our families.

Kohlman Christmas (with Brad's grandpa, uncles, aunts, cousins) is usually about a week before Christmas. This year we got together on the 16th at Barb & Jeff's new house in Cottonwood Falls. They have the perfect place for big family get-togethers.

This was at home that morning before we left - about 27 weeks.

There's always plenty of food...

As usual, we got fantastic gifts from Brad's aunts and uncles and had a great time visiting with everyone (and playing ping pong). This year, Baby K had his fair share of gifts under the tree, too. Apparently we start the spoiling early in this family! :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

heavy hearts

You know those days when it just doesn't feel right for life to be going on as normal? Like last weekend? But somehow it does.

Today is one of those days.

Brad's second cousin, Tom, and his wife, Brandi, have a little girl with special needs. This fall, Kaci has been in and out of Children's Mercy in KC a couple of times. You can read her story here. Tom and Brandi are amazing people. Their outlook is continually positive, no matter what is happening with Kaci's health, no matter how many days they have to spend in the hospital, no matter how many hours Brandi spends trying to get medical equipment. I admire them so, so much.

Kaci got to go home yesterday, for the holidays. Brandi and Tom were so excited; they got to surprise their son, Troy, by picking him up after school.

And then, last night, their house burned down. (Update: you can read about it here.) They all made it out safely, which with Kaci's needs is a huge praise. But they have lost everything. At this point, they have a place to stay (the landlord of their former place/Tom's boss let them move in right away) and have their basic needs are met (people in Lyons have furnished the house and provided necessities for them). Kaci has to stay in the hospital until they get her medical equipment replaced (she has a trach tube, among other needs), but health-wise she is just fine. 

Tom and Brandi are doing well. They are already working to put their lives back together; they even sent Tom's mom home so they could have some space. They live in a small town (Chase) near where they both grew up (Lyons), so the community support has been overwhelming, even in the short time since the fire.

I have no doubt that they will be just fine, but there's so much to take in and take care of, especially in the midst of the holiday season. Please pray for them as they start to get back on their feet.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I am now, as Brad likes to call me, a "Master of the Library."

Part of me can't believe it's all over, that I actually did it. Another part of me is so relaxed now that it's over.

I am so grateful to my family, in-laws, and friends for all their support over the last 2 1/2 years. There were definitely days when the only reason I came home from work and did my homework was because I didn't want to have to tell them that I was quitting because I knew that they believed I could do it (even when I didn't). I could go on, but I'm starting to get emotional just writing that.

Now for the Praxis test and the job hunt!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

hide and go seek (aka 26 weeks)

I had my 26 week appointment today. After she measured fundal height, my doctor told me, "He's measuring perfectly. You hide that baby well."

She sure does know how to boost a pregnant lady's self-esteem (which is good after said pregnant lady has to step onto the scale).

I was supposed to have my one-hour glucose test today. I arrived early to drink the special "juice" and wait my hour for the blood draw. Much to my chagrin, the lab was out of "juice." Seriously?! I didn't know labs ran out of such things. I even avoided the chocolate cake in the lounge today! So I'm going to a different lab first thing tomorrow morning. My doctor did say I have a two-week window... but I really want some cake. ;)

Other than that, there's not much to update. Things are pretty boring at my appointments, which obviously is a good thing in the medical world. My nurse said something about how easy I am, I replied that "I try to be," and she told me that's just how they like their patients.My next appointment is at 30 weeks, and then I start going every two weeks! Wow... it's amazing how quickly this is going.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Name Game

Well, I have to say I knew it would only be a matter of time before Allison asked about the name. And I'm glad she did.

Yes, "Baby K" has a name. He actually has a number of them right now, from various people/groups of people: Jolis, Theodore, Baby Angus...

And, he does have a real name that will go on the birth certificate and social security card when he's born. We've decided not to share until he's here, for several reasons.

1. It will be fun to have some kind of surprise to announce (other than "he's here!").
2. I've heard people are less likely to be negative about the name once the baby's officially here. I'm not really worried that people won't like it, though. (Although I'm pretty sure I know what my dad's first comment will be.)
3. By now, it's become kind of fun. :) There are some people who really, really want to know and try very hard to get us to tell them... which makes it even more fun to keep the secret. I realize this makes me sound just a little bit sadistic. But seriously. Is it really that big of a deal if you have to wait another 14 weeks (give or take) to know?

We decided on our "boy name" before we actually knew it was a boy. Brad suggested it long ago (maybe even before we knew I was pregnant?), but it took me a little while to warm up to it. The deciding factor was finding a middle name that met my criteria and worked with this first name - then I was sold. Crazy enough, considering that between the two of us we've had at least 500 students go through our classrooms in the short time we've been teaching, neither of us has ever had a student with this name. That fact also helped win me over.

We've been calling him by his name since we found out the gender... but only at home with each other. Brad's come close to slipping up once or twice (I won't say when/to whom), but he caught himself just in time. At this point, it would probably be safe to share because I honestly can't imagine calling this little guy anything else; it's his name now and won't change. But the surprise will be fun. And the apparent torture this secret causes is also enjoyable.

I'll post more about the name and its significance and meaning when Baby K is here and you all actually get to know it.

If we needed a girl name, things would have been quite a bit more difficult. (And, Allison, you are definitely at the top of my list for if/when I do need advice! I do want to hear about Ezra's name - especially the two middles - when you have a chance to post.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


A lesson on perspective...

In the span of 5 minutes today, I was told:
"You hardly even look pregnant!" -co-worker
"Your belly is getting really big!" -student

I'm going to have to agree with the student.

Today marks 25 weeks of pregnancy. Some days I can't believe I'm this far along already. After all, this was the point at which I was going to let myself stop running without feeling at all guilty. (Instead I ran 2 miles this morning and plan to keep going as long as I possibly can.)

A few weeks ago we hung up the curtains in the nursery. This nighttime picture does not do the room justice, but I promise the paint and the curtains look great in person. Baby's room is going to be, by far, the most put-together/decorated room in our house. By far.

I have my one-hour glucose test for gestational diabetes next week. Yuck. I've gone back and forth on being worried about it, but I'm pretty sure that there's not a whole lot I can do about it, anyway.

Other pregnancy things... I have not been sleeping quite as well as I was, but I suppose that's to be expected. I don't get sick unless Baby K really doesn't like something I eat. I have yet to feel warm (but I guess some women never do).

I'm not really sure what else to say about being pregnant right now. It kinda just is. Any questions?! 

My portfolio presentation is Saturday. Yikes! I have ten minutes to present and answer questions, but I get to spend the hours from 9 am to 3 pm listening to everyone else present. The good news is: a. By noon on Saturday I will be done. Completely done. With the whole degree, and b. I have to present in Overland Park, so we are going up on Friday, picking up my cap and gown on the way, and going to eat at Cheesecake Factory. :) I am terrified of giving this presentation. Every time I practice I practically hyperventilate. I know in the back of my mind that it will be absolutely fine. But I'm still terrified. I am also worried about what to wear. My maternity wardrobe does not have the "comfort" clothes (you know, the ones you always feel safe and comfy in, like a security blanket) that my regular wardrobe does.

I got out all the Christmas decorations last week (pretty much right after getting home from Chicago), and we bought and set up our tree on Friday night. The tree is a post in and of itself, but let's just say that this was almost the year I gave up on having a real Christmas tree ever again. My parents and siblings will understand how big that statement is. Fortunately, we persevered and it all worked out, including lessons learned for future Christmases.

I decided we are starting a new family tradition of pictures in front of the Christmas tree. Baby K is becoming more and more obvious from every angle. But, can you find Jazzy?!