Wednesday, October 2, 2013


No, this isn't a post about my first pumpkin spice latte of the season or how I love pumpkin in everything (this is a common theme in the blog world right now), but it's about this....

My little pumpkin, Joel!
He is 6 months old! I cannot believe it. I love this little dude. He has such a great personality. He is very smiley and silly. He loves his mama, daddy and brother. He makes some great faces, and I think he gets that from me. I always made some killer faces when I was a kid. He is about 18 pounds right now (I think), he rolls around all the time. He likes to 'talk'. He isn't sleeping well because he just got his first tooth. He really likes to put his arms up (kind of like in the above picture) and he is just so so cute! See for yourself.

The day he was born!

Super smiley baby at 3 months old.

Beach pose!

Those eyes....

Fun at the beach at 5 months old.

Drooling on my skirt.
He loves to 'plank' on the floor.
We are so thankful that God has given us two very sweet and healthy little boys. They are a handful, but in a good way. They are teaching mommy a lot and they are keeping daddy on his toes. I can't wait to see if Joel ends up looking more like John as he gets older. Things are just going to get more fun around here! Love you Joel!

Friday, July 5, 2013

New mom advice to myself .....the second time around

You will not be getting any sleep for a few months, or maybe a year or so, but it's not the end of the world. Your baby is new to this world, and sleep is not the same thing to them as it is to you. Their little bodies are wired differently than yours. Don't worry about waking up to feed your baby. It will not make them spoiled if you let them nurse even if they might not be hungry. Sometimes a baby just wants their mom, and that is not a bad thing! Oh, and co-sleeping is not evil. I'm pretty sure most people in most other countries sleep share with their babies, so as long as you do it safely, you will enjoy that extra bond and those extra cuddles with your sweet little boy. After all, your toddler won't even cuddle with you for more than 20 seconds these days. Don't you wish you would have cuddled with him more when he was a baby?

Just because a pediatrician tells you to do something, it doesn't make them right all of the time. Sure, they went to school and all, and they are the 'expert', but at the end of the day they cannot tell you how to raise your child. Do your research about things, and do what feels right to you. After all, you are the mother.

There is no cookie cutter mold to being a mother. You will learn new things with each kid. Just as little John taught you so much, little Joel will teach you even more. Keep an open mind and be teachable. Each kid is different, and that's a good thing.

Your body will never be the same, in more ways than one, but it's okay. God designed your body for childbirth, and it's a beautiful thing. So what if you never fit in your old jeans again. As long as you take care of yourself and your baby you are fine. Just realize your wide hips are probably here to stay.

Don't get in a hurry for your baby to get bigger so they are more 'fun'. Enjoy the little coos and smiles as this age. Before you know it, this cute little baby is going to be running around the house and jabbering in his crib when he is supposed to be napping, just like John is today. Babies don't keep. That's for sure.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. You are doing your best and you are your own worst critic. You've got this, mama!

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Family Update and Joel's birth story

Wow. I haven't posted in almost a year! It's crazy to think how time flies, but we now have another cute baby in our home. I also find it amusing that I named our blog Dresen Dynasty and now the show Duck Dynasty is super popular. I did not name our family blog after that show. I didn't even know it existed last year when I created this blog! (We do watch the show. It's pretty funny sometimes.)

The biggest update besides the new baby is that last October we moved to Georgia for Steven to take a ministry position. He is the minister of families and youth at FBC Sylvania, Georgia. I like to think that I have adjusted ok to small town living, what with being from the big city and the 'burbs and all. I like it. I like the South. I like living in a small town for the most part. I think I always kind of wanted to be Southern anyway! So we love living here. Our church is great. There are so many sweet and genuine people there, and we are truly blessed that God has finally shown Steven where he needs to be in ministry. It's an incredible journey.

Moving on to this year.

I was blessed to see Steven become ordained at Trinity Baptist church in Vidalia, Georgia in January. I am so proud of him.

John turned one in February!!
Yum. Birthday Cake.

We were both blessed to become parents again in March!

I was about 16 weeks pregnant when we moved, if my memory serves me correctly. I had seen my OB in Kentucky twice, and I remember at my last appointment she told me in a couple of weeks we could find out the gender of the baby. I was sad to tell her that we were moving, because she was such a great doctor. She knew Steven was looking for jobs and she was really happy that we were pregnant again. So, after we moved, I had to embark on a journey to find prenatal care for the new baby. It took awhile, but I found out that there was a birth center in Savannah. If you don't know what a birth center is, it is basically a place where low-risk pregnant women deliver their babies with limited or no medical interventions under the care of a nurse-midwife. I had tried a non-medicated natural hospital birth with John, and that did not happen because I was in labor for two days and had terrible back labor. He was born after pushing for almost three and a half hours. I had an epidural and did not like it. I think my body just went through so much with hours of labor and then all of the pushing and the after affects of the epidural. I did not have a great recovery. So when I found out there was a birth center near us in Georgia, about an hour and fifteen minutes away, I convinced Steven that we needed to check it out. Not only is it cheaper, but it provides a more private and calming birthing experience, and that is exactly what I wanted. I did not want Pitocin. I did not want an epidural or any drugs. I personally do not want those things while I am laboring and delivering a baby. I had heard the benefits of natural non-medicated labor, and I wanted to try it again. So after a visit and a lot of confusion about whether our insurance would cover a birth center birth, we found out that we got accepted to be patients and that our insurance would cover more than we expected. So we went on with our prenatal care. We saw three different midwives in the practice, and I think it was a great experience.

Joel's birth was of course different than John's. I had heard that usually the second is at least half the time of the first. So if John's birth took about 40 hours, I could look forward to about 20 hours with Joel. Still seems like a long time, doesn't it? Well, I was so blessed, and Joel's birth only took about 12 hours total. It was a Saturday when I was 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I felt like I was having some contractions, but they weren't bad, and I didn't expect it to lead to real labor anytime soon. Well, later that evening I busted out the exercise ball and realized the contractions were getting closer. I called the midwife around 9pm and she told me it sounded like it was time. So after an hour plus drive we arrived at the birth center. At night. When we were both tired. Kind of like last time. We just really wanted to have a baby when we were well rested, but that is obviously not going to happen for us.

I labored through the night. I got on a birthing ball, I got in the shower some, and I moved around the room. I finally was able to get into the birthing tub and before you know it I had made it through transition without any drugs (transition is the worst part of labor, in my opinion!) and it was time to push. It happened so fast that I was not feeling mentally ready to push. I had an epidural at this point last time, and I just didn't know what to expect. They wouldn't let me deliver in the tub, so I had to get out of this nice warm bath and get on the bed. Things get kind of blurry at this point, but I remember freaking out a little and not being able to breathe. I kept telling Steven to stop touching me, and I think I was yelling at the nurse and the midwife. It seemed like I was pushing forever, but it was only 30 minutes! The baby came out and I was just amazed. It was Easter morning! I kept saying I hope he is born on Easter, and he was!  He was born at 6:33 am, which is neat because John was born at 6:05pm and also on a Sunday.They said he looked big, which was suspected with all of my measurements and ultrasounds, but I was in denial. Well, he was 10 pounds and 5 ounces! That is exactly two pounds bigger than John was, and I delivered Joel a week early! The funny thing is I tried to eat healthier foods with Joel. I was on a high protein diet for most of the second half of pregnancy, so who knows if that is where the extra pounds came from. I didn't care how big he was because he was so healthy and beautiful, and still is.
A few hours old. Wearing the sweet hat that the midwife knitted while I was laboring. So sweet.
This picture was taken the afternoon after he was born, at home. That's right. We got to head home as soon as possible. I love birth centers!!
Joel at 3 months old!
Joel is such a sweet baby. I can't believe how much personality he has already. He is so smiley and adorable. I just really really love him! We are so blessed with these sweet little boys. They are a hand full, but in the best possible way!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's been 5 months baby?!

Well, little John is 5 months old today! I was thinking yesterday how crazy it is that he is that old already. He has changed so much, and he acts more like a toddler than a baby most days. He is full of energy, has such a sweet smile, and is so fun. He also is starting to teethe so he has been wearing his fussy pants a lot. I feel bad for the little guy. He just fell asleep in his bouncy seat. He took a nap an hour ago, but he woke up, so I'm going to keep him asleep in his bouncy if he is comfy there!

I wanted to keep a blog so our kids could look back at it one day and read about themselves. Also, family should stay up to date too, since they are all so far away from us. So here are some recent milestones if you so wish to read about them!

This is one of the first pictures I got of him smiling. His daddy got him to smile here. At first he would mostly smile at daddy, but now he smiles at mommy a lot! But, he still laughs harder at daddy, but I understand, he is the goofy one in this family.

His first trip to an Amish restaurant, and not his last! We got to go to Columbus for less than 2 days at the beginning of June to get our anniversary cake from the man who made our wedding cake. This is at the Der Dutchman restaurant. He got to see grandma Connie and grandpa Dean, and his great grandparents too! He is hoping to visit grandpa Mark soon!

First baseball game! Mommy was excited about this one. We were blessed by free tickets to a Louisville Bats game and we took John. It was not fun for him at first, but as you can see he warmed up to it. He didn't watch much of the game, but he did sport his cute Yankees jersey and a sideways ballcap.

This is what happened when we let crazy kicky boy be unbuckled (yet supervised) in his bouncy seat. He is a mover for sure! Look at him trying to stand....kind of...

This was June 24th, we had just moved into our new apartment where John finally got his own room and a big sliding glass window to look out of. He loves the view from 'his' recliner.

On his 4 month birthday. Looking all cute!

. Not long after he turned 4 months, he just suddenly starting rolling over from his back to stomach. He looks happy here, but he still gets frustrated sometimes, especially when he rolls over at night and wakes up. Notice that him sleeping through the night is not a milestone he has reached, and no, I don't want to talk about it....

At around 4 and a half months we introduced him to rice cereal. He does a great job with it. Some people might think we started him too early on that, but the pediatrician recommended it and so far he has done great with it.

Mommy tortured him and dressed him like a cow so she could get free food at Chick-fil-A's cow appreciaton day. How cute. He has such pointy ears for a cow...

John discovered that he likes to suck on his toes....

John endured a sunny day to let us get some family photos done. A woman at church was sweet enough to do them for us. I really like them!

Well that is all for now. I am sure there will be even bigger milestones coming up. I need to blog about them more frequently though, because this post took me a long time to write!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The first long awaited Mother's Day

I was so thankful to finally get to celebrate Mother's Day as a mom this year. I think a lot about people who have trouble getting pregnant, and my heart mourns with them. I almost feel bad sometimes because I got pregnant two months after Steven and I got married. Some couples go years trying to start a family, but God blessed us with a little one very early on. On the other hand, I know what it means to long to be a mother.

Growing up, my mom used to babysit in our home full time. I was around babies and kids a lot when I was younger, and I liked babies a lot. Once I hit the teen years, the influence of feminism got to me. For some reason, I really started to disklike kids and always thought they were annoying. I used to tell my grandma, "I'm never having kids!" I think she knew I would though. That whole period of my life where I disliked kids is so crazy to me now. I love kids. I light up by the cuteness of what kids say so easily. I am easily amused by their sweetness and innocence. After I became a Christian and learned what the Bible says about biblical womanhood, I felt more of a burden to become a wife and mother. I wanted to have kids someday. I think I confused my poor grandma.

My early and mid twenties were spent praying for a husband, but also praying for children. I so desperately wanted to be a mom, even though I was not yet married. I wanted a family of my own. The past few years it got more difficult as I got older. Many people around me were getting married and having babies. My brother and his wife have two sweet kids and I started to feel left out, not because of anything they did though! Most of my cousins were having kids, and I started to feel socially awkward sometimes. I was getting older, and there was no man in site, let alone children that I could call my own. I would actually get sad walking by the baby department in stores. The burden to be a wife and mother got heavier, and much to my surprise, within two short years, God gave me an amazing husband and an amazing son.

So yes, Steven and I got engaged and married pretty fast. Ironically I used to wrongly mock those people sometimes. But we knew God brought us together, and the decision was not made lightly. We prayed over it and got counsel from good people. And yes, we had a baby pretty early on, but we were thrilled. We did not want to wait to start our family. It sounds like I'm defending how our life turned out, but I just love to sit back and see how God has written and continues to write our life story.

So for my first Mother's Day Steven and I went to dinner on Saturday night while our friends watched John and then on Monday Steven took us to pick strawberries and eat at Huber's Farm. It was a nice family day, and I look forward to many many more of those, and to many more children, Lord willing. I love my family and am so thankful to God for them!

On the wagon going to the strawberry patch. John did not like the hat I had on him.

Me and my sweet boy on Mother's Day 2012.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Steven John Dresen III

As I write this a sweet little baby is kicking me. He is not kicking me in the womb though, he is sitting by me on the couch and is 10 weeks old now! Anybody who has been a new parent knows that the first few months with a newborn are certainly life changing. The first few weeks are a blur. Everything, and I mean every thing is different when you add another human to your family. It's a great yet challenging time. No more than two hours of sleep at a time seems impossible, yet somehow I survived.

Our baby boy, Steven John Dresen the third, or John, arrived on February 26th at 6:05 pm.

After 37 hours of labor, no sleep, 3.5 hours of pushing, and almost 24 hours at the hospital he finally arrived. Notice his little fist up by his head. That is how he was when he was coming out, and it explains the terrible back labor I endured. The labor and delivery in itself were enough to turn my world upside down, let alone the fact I was given this awesome job of caring for a new baby. Words can not describe how I felt when I saw John for the first time. Not only is it nice to be done with labor, but it is amazing to see God's grace in the life of a child. He was our baby. We were still in shock for a few weeks that we made this sweet baby, and we were his parents.

Let me add here that Steven was such an awesome labor coach. The whole thing really brought us closer and was an amazing experience.

John was 8 pounds and 5.3 ounces and 21.5 inches long. He was actually a couple of ounces smaller than I was at birth. He was very healthy and still is so far. Steven and I are so thankful for him and are constantly amazed at how cute and sweet he is. We love being parents.

John has grown soooo much in 10 weeks. At his 2 month appointment he was 24 inches which is in the 95th percentile. He weighed 12 pounds and 2.5 ounces which puts him in the 50th percentile for weight. He is cooing more and being silly every day. He is a good eater and an average sleeper. He slept through the night for the first time the night before last, on May 6th.

Look at this cutie boy now!
I'm smiling now!

I love to stretch out!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

37 weeks and a new blog

Well, today I am 37 weeks pregnant!!! I feel like I have so little time yet still so much time left before my sweet little boy enters the world. That probably just means he will be 'late', or as I like to say 'on time'. Due dates are estimates for the most part, and I believe a baby will come when they are ready to enter the world. So if I am over 40 weeks and there is no baby yet, I don't think I'll be saying he is late.

Since the baby is almost here, I thought it would be good to finally get our family blog up and running. I will try to update it with lots of pictures and updates. I'm sure with John being our first kid I will overdo it, but that is allowed right? :)

Please pray for us as we get things ready for the baby, and for me as I prepare for labor and delivery. I have heard that big babies run in our family, and Steven's too, so I may be in for a big boy. On the other hand, you never know how big a baby will be. Also, continue to pray for Steven as he is looking for a more stable job with benefits.

Much love,