Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2 Months and a Whole Lot of Crazy!

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted! It's been a whirl wind around here.
First about SJ. Since her one month check up SJ has been getting progressively better. She seemed to slowly come out of all that colicky stuff and gradually responded to her reflux meds as well. She started sleeping consistently through the night by around 6wks... but still no sleeping during the day. Right before we left for TX she started taking morning naps and some other short naps in the swing! She did great on the plane both times and did really well in Texas considering all the moving and late nights she was put through.
Today she went in for her two month check up and she is 11.12lbs and 24inches long. She is in the 75th percentile for weight and for head size and in the 100th percentile for height! I can't believe it... she is one tall chic!
She also got two (out of six they normally do) vaccines and thankfully only one was a shot and she only cried for a second! woo hoo.
The past few days have been a little rough and definitely a flash back to the colic days but I am hoping it is just a phase and that she'll over come it soon. Really soon...
While we were in Texas we celebrated my little sister's wedding. It was really really crazy to do all the wedding houpla with a two month old but we all made it through. The bachelorette party was a blast, the bridal luncheon was tasty, the rehearsal was quick and the wedding was beautiful and very thoughtful! Aunt Cece was so beautiful and I was so blessed to be able to stand by her side for this special occasion. I am doubly glad that they are finally married and get to enjoy being together and not just engaged and long distance!


After all the wedding stuff was over we headed to Dallas to see Drew's fam and Stella got to meet Great Stella (Gran) for the first time. We had a little photo shoot (which I'm also considering her two month pics) and you can look at them here
We were supposed to have Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve but thanks to some beautiful and troublesome snow things went a little differently than planned. Claire and Cal got delayed several hours and ended up not getting home until 1am. My dad and uncle were gone trying to retrieve them from about 5pm on... which left a bunch of women, a screaming baby, Drew and my two cousins to wait things out. We finally ate without them and SJ fussed the whole time. Finally she ate and went to bed and I followed suit. We didn't do presents and I didn't even stay up for dessert... it was all very weird. Thankfully we were able to have some time with them the next morning as we all ate breakfast and opened our gifts. I think it really taught us all a wonderful lesson though about what is important. When you have a wedding, a baby and snow... there is very little that matters other than just spending time with those that are important to you and reflecting on Christ. Drew kept reminding us that tradition for traditions sake isn't worth it!! So we all tried to be laid back and go with the flow and I am so thankful for my family and the time we did get together.
On the way back to Dallas SJ got to meet her Gran Gran (my grandmother on my mom's side) and it was a sweet meeting. She isn't doing so well and wasn't able to be with us for Christmas and so it was extra special to be able to take Stella to see her on that day!
We then celebrated Christmas with 20ish people on Drew's side and it was quite the whirlwind as well. SJ was just about fed up with all the festivities and faces and so we were constantly juggling her in the midst of trying to love on family we rarely see.
All in all we were so blessed... blessed to be able to be around our family and friends during such a special season. We were also blessed with many thoughtful (and cute) gifts for ourselves and for SJ.
We were sad to go because these trips never seem long enough... but we were also glad to get back home and get SJ settled back in her own space with her own gear... I'm not sure how we made it two weeks with out a swing but my arms are definitely sore! haha
So now we are back to jobs and church and schedules and friends... the good, the mundane, the hard.... our life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy One Month Birthday SJ!




Yesterday Stella celebrated her first birth-day... hurray!
She celebrated by sleeping just a little during the day after a week-long protest of day time sleeping and still managed to sleep for 6ish hours at night! She also mastered rolling on to her stomach and side during the night when no one was looking (amazing and terrifying).
Stella got to play with her Aunt Claire and her mom and dad on her birthday and didn't have any wheat in her milk all day (I cut out wheat starting yesterday to see if it helps with the gas issues) and got her third dose of probiotics (which seem to be helping with the gas too). She also went to church and blew out her diaper (first blowout outside the house) on dad during the sermon ("it's my party I can poop if I want to").
Today she got to go visit her pediatrician and find out just how wonderful she is. We're also re-evaluating the reflux issue... again.
Update: Weight 9.14 Height 221/2
Started up on Zantac for the reflux



**pictures thanks to jschmale

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tagged

My friend and former band director gave me a blog award on her blog and so now I have to fill out these questions using only one word....

Where is your cell phone? table
Your hair? ponytail
Your mother? helpful
Your father? under-cover-softy
Your favorite food? salty
Your dream last night? disney
Your favorite drink? dr.pepper
Your dream/goal? write
What room are you in? living
Your hobby? baking
Your fear? lonely
Where do you want to be in 6 years? plugged-in
Where were you last night? couch
Something that you aren’t? Spontaneous
Muffins? banana
Wish list item? sleep
Where did you grow up? Texas
Last thing you did? nurse
What are you wearing? Pajamas
Your TV? computer
Your pets? Stella?
Friends? working
Your life? transition
Your mood? neutral
Missing someone? Drew
Vehicle? Subaru
Something you’re not wearing? socks
Your favorite store? Target
Your favorite color? Pink
When was the last time you laughed? morning
Last time you cried? evening
Your best friend? Drew
One place that you go to over and over? Sojourn
One person who emails you regularly? Claire
Favorite place to eat? ChickFilA

In other news, everybody's favorite baby turns four weeks old today at 4:43pm! She is celebrating by refusing all of her morning naps.... I am celebrating by letting her protest in her new swing (from the FW grandparents)!
I can't believe how fast babies change from week to week. Just two weeks ago I remember feeling like I couldn't do this... I didn't feel like I could make it to the next feeding, much less the next day or week. I was so overwhelmed with her crying and with being responsible for all of her needs. The Lord has been so faithful to answer our prayers over the last few weeks for peace, joy, strength and rest... I'm already feeling so much better and Stella and I are getting used to each other more and more each day. We are all learning how to do life when dad (the best husband and dad ever... seriously) is away at work most of the day. Don't get me wrong... I still get overwhelmed and still shed a tear here and there on those rough days when nothing makes her happy... but I also feel blessed to have been entrusted with this little one and to have so many family and friends supporting me through out all the ups and downs.
Monday is SJ's one month well check up and we'll get to see how much she weighs and what her percentages are and ask all of those burning first time parent questions we've been saving up (like: is it okay if she has so much gas... is it okay if her poop is green... is it okay if she poops 8 times a day). I'll keep you all posted!

I couldn't get these pics downloaded... so for more pictures of SJ go to:

http://jessicaschmalephotography.smugmug.com/
Album: Stella Jane
Password: Lewis

Friday, November 13, 2009

Three Weeks




I am three weeks old! Can you believe it?
It's amazing because I know my mommy feels like it has already been an eternity and yet I am still so new and getting used to life in the real world.
Let me tell you, the real world is a tough place. Some times it's too quiet and some times it's too loud and some times it's too dark and other times it's too light. I preferred my controlled environment a lot better.
It's also rough because you actually have to wake up to eat and use all these muscles to get the food out and then to take care of it on the inside and then get rid of it again... it's really exhausting work... and don't even get me started on the burning in my throat or those gas bubbles in my tummy!
The journey begins!




At three weeks I am a pretty amazing baby... my mom is just a little bit high strung and tense... but she'll work it out... I hear moms are much better by six weeks, so I am giving her some time. I like to sleep pretty well at night for any where from three to six hours at a time between feedings. I like to eat a lot but not too often.
And then...
sometimes....
I just like to practice stretching out my vocal chords for long periods of time...
I'm just gearing up for all that talking I'll be doing in just a little while!

I weigh some where around nine and a half pounds and most of those pounds are in my cheeks because the rest of me is pretty skinny!
I love my daddy, Sojourn music, Bible stories and my bouncy seat with the vibration... but only for a short amount of time, gotta keep it real! I also love to poop on people... extra points if you get their clothes, your clothes and the nursing pillow or towel!
I don't like being stuck in the car seat (unless you want to drive all day) and I don't like switching sleep locations... tradition works for me! My paci is a hit or miss sort of thing... I'll let you know when I want it and especially when I don't!
I can follow things with my eyes now and focus a little on people and interesting objects (like ceiling fans) and I give some great smiles but I prefer to frown (like I said... those dang gas bubbles!).
Lots of people love me and I can't wait to see them all again in just a few weeks...

Keep praying for my mommy... she needs sleep and even when I try to give it to her she doesn't seem to be able to get settled down. She needs a lot of strength and peace (and feel free to tell her she's not crazy).

Monday, November 9, 2009

You Know You're a Parent.....

When your daughter completely blows out her diaper and leaves your shirt, undershirt, pants and belt all covered with a soupy mess.
That's right... Drew and I were both initiated by our very own Stella Jane this weekend.
At least she's well fed!

Who me?

In other news... we think SJ has a pretty bad case of reflux.... or has just decided that sleeping from 4am-midnight is optional. So we could use your prayers about what to do and whether to start her on medication to see if that helps.
In good other news... when we got the meds that our doctor wants us to try I had her weighed and she is up to 9lbs 4oz! That's a pound heavier than a week and 3 days ago when we last had her weighed. She is also REALLY long and REALLY skinny (minus those cheeks!)... she is too long for newborn footed pjs but too small for anything 0-3month.
She is a rule breaker... unlike her mommy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Mother's View

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted an update, I am sure you are all dying for news and pictures. But let's be honest, nothing can prepare you for the leap into motherhood/parenthood. I read so many books, I prayed and met with wise wise women. We took the classes and thought we were as prepared as we could be... and I think we were. The problem is, nothing can prepare you for the change.
The thing that every book seems to leave out is the fact that your child will be different... in some way they will break the rules and defy the limits set on them by doctors and authors alike. I am a rule follower and so I expected my baby to come out of the womb eating 8-12 feedings every 21/2-3 hours etc etc... and even when my circumstances are better than average (like a baby who prefers 4 hours between feedings most of the time and still is gaining great weight)... it is still hard for me because I wonder if I am failing. I want her to be healthy and happy and a lot of the time I have no clue how to get her there except to feed her and change her when needed and try to get some sleep so I'm not crazy. But then you throw in pacis and bottles and sleep training and it's all upside down again.
Speaking of sleep... I have also come to learn that sleep deprivation and changing hormones are the deadliest combination known to mankind. It is amazing how sad and desperate I can feel when I have had little to no sleep. Add a crying or fussy baby to the combo and it is seriously more dangerous than nuclear warfare.
THANKFULLY, I have the best husband on the planet. Drew is the picture of confidence. No amount of crying (from me or the baby) can make him doubt himself (or me) or regret our decision to jump on the parenting bandwagon. No amount of pump-part washing or dirty-diaper-changing has tempted him to complain. He has been a picture of joy and peace and this has been my strength on days I feel like I am unraveling.
We have also been blessed with wonderful family on both sides, who have taken care of us a great deal. My parents came first and were the picture of helpful. They made countless trips to the grocery stores and Target to fill up our cabinets and buy all those things we forgot that we needed until we had a newborn. They were so gracious when I melted into tears over dinner (a few times) and even treated us with a date night to celebrate a belated anniversary and took care of Stella so we could get some alone time. It was wonderful to have them.
Then Drew's parents came and his mom is actually still here and they have been so helpful also and have really helped Drew get a lot of the details on the house finished up. You would be amazed at what a blessing a hot dinner is during this season of life!
We are also so thankful for our church community, who have texted, emailed and called us time and again when they have been out to eat or at the store and offered to pick us up something or drop something by etc etc... we are truly blessed.
We are also blessed because Stella is a wonderful baby and really healthy (minus some reflux issues we think we are seeing crop up- please pray). She gained her birth weight plus 6oz by her one week check up and only wakes up 2-3 times in the night. She is BEAUTIFUL and already so different than she was just a week and a half ago... it is wonderful because it means I am providing for her needs as much as I can... but it is also sad because it is already a sign of how fast she will grow up and I love her little.
Here are some pictures from the mommy seat... they aren't great b/c they are with our little camera but that is easier for me to get out and use with a baby on board. You can see how much she's changed in a few of them... if you want more, my parents have posted a TON on facebook... so you should friend them and check those out.




Friday, October 23, 2009

Stella Jane Lewis

Stella Jane has finally entered the world!
We were induced Wednesday night after an ultrasound that thought she was close to 9.5lbs with a 10cm head!
We checked in and found out I was already having contractions.... we were still medically induced and had a long hard time of it... after a few distress signals by both mom and baby we received an epidural after 13 hours and had our baby within the next 10! Everybody is happy and healthy and adjusting to their new life.
Stella is 7lbs15oz and 20inches long with a full head of long dark hair! (thank goodness the ultrasound was wrong!)
I haven't slept in almost 3 days and so that is a high priority today.
We are at Floyd Memorial and would love to have visitors, just call ahead!
Thanks for all the prayers... Drew uploaded a few iphone pictures on his facebook if you are dying to see her.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still No Sign....

Ummm.... excuse me cute pregnant girl in the ticker to the right... my baby is not four days old. I think you might have missed the memo, but she isn't even here yet. In fact, she isn't even acting like she wants to be here yet. So, if you could adjust accordingly, that would be great! Sincerely- LL
That's right folks, still not sign of our beloved SJ. I have been monitoring every little kick and cramp and was just sure she was starting to make a move over the weekend, but alas, it is Tuesday and I have had a total of one contraction in the last four days. Stella is nice and warm in her current location and isn't tempted by the sunny skies and changing leaves of Lville.
However, I feel so blessed to have had another weekend with Drew all to myself! We had a blast with friends on Friday and then more friends Saturday at the Fall Festival. After a week of clouds and drizzle is was a beautiful sunshiny day... though still a little cold. We ate and walked and I even got a really cute sling from a lady at our church. They had all these booths set up with people's homemade crafts... wow, so much talent! The only trouble was, most of it was baby stuff and of course I wanted to buy a little of it all! But I stuck with the sling and it was such a bargain! Hopefully we'll get to show you a picture of our little one in said sling soon.
We then rented a movie and went for a drive to see all the pretty colors of fall emerging. We stayed in together the rest of the night and had potato soup and garlic bread for dinner. It was a great fall day!
Saturday, after another day for D to sleep in (yay!) we had waffles and decided we should take advantage of our last day of our possibly last weekend together and so we got all ready and went to Hubers Family Farm in southern Indiana. This has been a tradition for us every year we've been here... we go and pick apples (they have pumpkins and other fruits/veggies too) and then get apple cider and other great farmers market stuff. So we went and rode on the bumpy trailer and picked a ton of apples! We also got fresh apple cider, apple and pumpkin donuts and kettle corn! woo hoo! It was a little warmer and sunny, so it was a perfect fall day for apple picking. Then we went to church and had dinner with friends. What a wonderful weekend!
Now we are back to the week days and every morning I wake up and realize that we made it through another uneventful night... it's a little discouraging but I've been trying to stay busy and distracted as much as possible. She really isn't giving any indication that she is making a move any time soon. She's about to have a rude awakening though if she doesn't....
Thank you for all your prayers and support... I have been super encouraged by everyone's sweet words and excitement for us here and on facebook and in emails... we really feel so well loved and supported.
And just to clarify... in my last post I talked about feeling a lot of pressure... that was never intended to be aimed at any one person.. I was just venting how the circumstances combined were making me feel and was trying to convey that it was my fault for wallowing and sitting around mopey... not any one else's fault for how I was feeling... it was just a precursor to explain why it was important that I was choosing to celebrate Friday... I hope that any one who reads this blog will know that we really appreciate your prayers and encouragement and love and we can't wait for all of you to meet SJ soon!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy "Guess" Date Day!

I have been saying "Happy Due Date Day" and then some one said "Happy Guess Day" and that made a lot more sense to me, so I am changing my ways! haha.
It's true, today is the day that the doctor's, nurses and websites all thought Stella might be born. There is no exact science to find out exactly what day or time a baby will be born... some babies need less time to cook and others need more and there is a lot of wiggle room when it comes to figuring out the exact day a person conceived... unless you are using some sort of method, which we weren't.
This week has been a week of ups and downs. I started the week a little low, feeling like my body wasn't achieving and that I was failing every one who thought I would deliver early. It was as if delivering early was some sort of accomplishment or noble feat... though no one has any say over when they deliver. So many people seemed disappointed that it got me disappointed in myself, which is crazy since, like I said, there is nothing I can do to make this girl appear (unless you count medical interventions, which are not only hazardous to my health but SJs also and come with many risks). It didn't help that it was cold and cloudy also, which means I wasn't doing much walking or much of anything outside the house (lack of warm maternity clothes being partly to blame). Then I decided to snap out of it. I am reading through Isaiah with our church and it is impossible to read that book and not realize that God is in complete control. He foretold everything that happened to Israel, including the coming of the Messiah and how people like you and me would one day be able to come to him with clean hearts... God knows what he is doing! He knew the day Stella would be born before I was born... how amazing is that?! I started to realize that there was no need to achieve or please any one because my life and the life of SJ is in our good God's hands and that she will come exactly how and when he has ordained. Whew... what a relief. So then, I got my hiney in gear and got a lot accomplished the next few days. Since then, I haven't always kept this great perspective and have often headed down the path of discontentment and anxiety... but thankfully I have been reminded by so many great friends and a wonderful husband about the truths that I know are true but often forget to act on.
So, because I trust the Lord's plan and rely on him to bring Stella into this world, I can celebrate this guess day with joy instead of grumbling or anticipation. There is so much to rejoice about. So many women have miserable pregnancies full of illness and pain. Many women get put on bed rest or have scary complications that bring their babies into the world earlier than would be ideal for their little bodies. Women lose their babies or have to watch them hooked up to tubes and probed and prodded until they can live on their own. I, however, have been blessed with a healthy pregnancy. I have actually been healthier these last nine months than the previous five put together! We haven't really had a single complication and I have been relatively comfortable for the majority of this adventure. I have a wonderful husband who treats me with so much compassion and care and fabulous friends and mentors who have supported and taught me along the way. It is a blessing that Stella has stayed in the womb full term, that she is healthy and thriving in there and in no hurry to rush out. I have a wonderful doctor who cares about my physical health but also about my spiritual and emotional well being. She is a wonderful, godly woman who listens to my preferences and is quick to give a kind and reassuring word. (which by the way she isn't worried about SJ at all and said she wouldn't be surprised if she came this weekend!) My husband has been given a stable job and thus enabled me to stay at home and raise our little girl and also has provided us with all the essentials we need for her comfortable arrival into our home. See, so many blessings!!
So today is a day of celebration! I had a hot breakfast (toast w/ PB and honey instead of cereal), spent the morning reading and praying, completed my work out video (which gives me pleasure that I still can at 40 weeks!), took a hot hot shower and went to the doctor. I gave my nurse (physician's assistant or whatever) and my doctor cupcakes to celebrate and then heard SJ's heartbeat. She is healthy and happy in there it seems. I didn't get checked and my doctor isn't worried she is too big and also said that she has moved noticeably further down in the pelvis.. which is a good sign! We talked about "what's next" and she is in no rush to intervene on Stella's schedule as long as things stay looking good. We'll go in Wednesday (if not before=) ) for an ultrasound just to make sure every thing is okay in there for sure. After that, it will be up to us as to when we induce with in the following week. However, we both agreed that it would be best if she just came on her own before that... and the doctor thought there was a good chance for that! Then I left and got myself a large Cherry Coke from Sonic (which did happen to put a good friend of mine into labor a few weeks ago), took some more cupcakes up to the church for the cake walk at tomorrow's fall festival, came home to some queso and apples and watched the latest episode of Glee. Now I'm doing laundry and waiting for the hubs to take me to dinner... then on to a pumpkin/fall party some great friends are throwing tonight! Tomorrow is the annual fall festival at our church and Drew's day off... woo hoo!! Lots and lots to celebrate!
So... if you need an excuse to celebrate today... feel free to celebrate a Happy Guess Date Day on our behalf!
We'll keep you posted if anything new happens with SJ.... like she decides to come out or something.
blessings!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

That's Better....


Now that's more like it!
I can't reach my toes. I can barely get out of bed on my own. I can't see anything but belly when I look down.
So, due to my obvious handicap, I felt it was necessary to get a pedicure. I meant to go this weekend but I got caught up doing other things, like taking a really long nap.
Yesterday it really hit me that if I didn't get a pedicure soon, I might not get one at all! This was an unacceptable thought and so I got my little hiney (well, it is little compared to my belly) over to the nail place. I really feel like it is important to have pretty toes to be able to look at when I'm laboring... a good relaxing focal point. I usually get a lighter pink but was convinced a darker shade was appropriate for fall. haha
I remembered another random thought... actually, more of a funny story.
The other morning I was sitting on the couch reading my Bible, eating breakfast and checking the internet. I had been having more pelvic pain than usually and getting a lot less sleep than I prefer. In the middle of all of this my phone rang. I keep my phone by the bed and so it isn't uncommon for it to stay there through out the day until I remember it. On this specific instance I didn't feel like giving any pregnancy updates (of which there are none) or getting up off the couch... I knew I couldn't get there in time to answer it any way. Sadly, it was a local, unidentified number and they didn't leave a message... so I'll never know what I missed out on... However.... the funny part of the story is way back at the beginning. I was sitting on the couch and when I heard the first ring my first unhindered thought was, "I wonder if that is some one calling me to tell me I'm in labor". WHAT? Does that make any sense to any one? I guess that just shows how much labor is on my brain these days that I would hope for a phone call to let me know... it also shows my deep hopes that maybe I am in early labor and just don't know it yet... I mean I could be completely effaced and dilating as we speak and not know it since we haven't gotten checked. That is my hope. And yet, there is another totally real possibility that I am nothing... thankfully first time mothers are actually more likely to have their baby 8 days later than their due date... they are saying that is the actual due date for more than half and so really I am still over a week and a half away from my due date... (let's all nod and pretend that is comforting).
It could be today and at least I have pretty toes! And, we didn't want her to come before our free ERAC dinner w/ Drew's work. They took us to the Cheesecake Factory (my personal craving) and it was DELICIOUS! I was hoping it would be my last meal but I already had cinnamon toast for breakfast.. oh well. We had guac and nachos for an appetizer plus their tasty wheat bread. I got the chopped salad I raved about last time and then tuxedo cheesecake. YUM! I also had a coca cola b/c ppl keep telling me caffeine can encourage dilation or something weird like that. okay!
For now I'm going to try and walk this baby out... we have a new Target in town and I just got two gift cards! Then I'm cleaning the bathroom and kitchen to get ready for our community group. I hope it's the last time I'll deep clean it before SJ arrives!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Random Thoughts

1. What do you call the shoes you wear when you are doing something athletic? Growing up I have always called these shoes... tennis shoes. I had no idea until middle school or so that the first word, before shoe, was tennis... as in the sport... as in these shoes were designed for people who play tennis. I never played tennis, minus hitting a few balls on the garage door, and really there are a lot of people in the world who will never play tennis... so why do so many people call them tennis shoes? Why did tennis shoes in particular get to become the genre instead or walking or running, which are way more common. I usually call my athletic shoes running shoes now, because that's what they are... and yet since I've gotten them I've walked in them 99% more than I've run in them (excuse being pregnancy). So should I call them walking shoes? All in all, I've decided to make up a new word that solves my problem... "tenishoe"... that is what I thought I was saying all these years anyway and it will refer to all athletic shoes, regardless of actual sport intended.

2. I didn't think I was ready to have Stella yet... I know that I'm not, actually. But today Drew's best friend and our first real married friends (as in they and we were married and hung out), the cool kids who lived in New Zealand, announced that they were in labor. Instantly I was stunned and thrilled. She isn't due until late October and has already been in labor for over 24 hours! So, I was excited, wanted the details, and thrilled for them and then in an instant something flooded over me and I just started crying. I was so sad all the sudden that Stella hadn't come yet and that I am last of every one I know to have their baby. It was so weird. As quickly as the tears started, they vanished and I was fine and we had breakfast. weird. All in all, despite the fact that I'll never be fully prepared, we are chanting for Stella to at least get moving... who knows, maybe she is already! But since she's waited this long she might as well wait until after Drew's work dinner party on Monday.. the boss is treating us all to dinner in honor of Stella (and closing an hour early!)... yay for free dinner!
(we did set up the pack n play and pack a little more just in case she wants to follow Baby D's lead!)

3. We need hand-me-downs. If you know of any one who has 0-3 or 6-9 month WARM girl clothes, please tell them we would love to have, borrow or purchase them! As we packed some things for SJ today we realized, this girl has mostly short sleeved onesies and dresses in the 0-3 month range b/c no one knew it would be this cold in October! We don't have a single pair of pants for our newborn! So, Monday I am hitting up the Columbus Day sales in the baby departments for some fleece items and more long sleeves and pants. But if you know of any one who has these items or especially a baby coat/ snow suit... we would LOVE to get some hand-me-downs.

4. Most nights I wake up several times and I lay in bed, trying to go back to sleep, and often I blog in my head. Then, when Drew has days off, I am usually awake an hour or two before he is ready to stir... I hate to wake him b/c he never gets enough sleep during the week... so I lay there, waiting to cuddle and blog in my head. Most of these are random, like #1 above, and then I decide they aren't worth posting and move on... today I finally decided to let the randomness go unhindered and now I can't even remember all the ones I thought of this morning! ugh!

If I think of any more tonight, I'll let you know! =)

Friday, October 9, 2009

One Week

Today I am 39 weeks!
I keep saying, "I can't believe it!" and I CAN'T!
First of all, i never thought that I would make it this far in pregnancy with out any complications. I was born after a long time on bed rest for my mom and then popped out early and fast. Though there are benefits to early... and especially to fast... I am happy that I have had such a healthy pregnancy. Second, I can't believe that she could come any day and will definitely be here in the next two weeks, max!
One week from today is my due date. One week from today I will see my doctor and hear the heart beat and not get checked... again (yes, the suspense is killing me but is better than a let down). One week from today I will start going to said doctor every two or three days instead of every week. One week from today none of the above could happen because we might be sitting in the hospital with our little girl. CRAZY!
I am SO happy that the trees have started to change colors and I am itching for my family to get here and celebrate with us. The last time either side of our family was here, we had a MAJOR house project going on and though we did enjoy them and hopefully they enjoyed Louisville... this time around will be much sweeter. I am really looking forward to them enjoying a Kentucky fall and have hopes for all of us sitting around smiling at Stella and each other, maybe drinking hot beverages with candles and the windows open. (Yes, I know there will also be the exhaustion, endless nursings and other post-birth wonders... but I am thinking positive right now.) I can't wait to see my parents and Drew's parents hold their granddaughter for the first time... I am sure there will be many iphone pictures, knowing my parents. It's going to be like a family reunion... did I ever mention I always LOVED family reunions? I am so happy we all have another excuse to see each other before Christmas and Claire's (beautiful) wedding. This year has been so wonderful because we have seen our families more than all the other years of our marriage combined! Hopefully when we have a grandbaby in our house it will be easier to convince said families to come and visit more often!
I also can't wait to introduce Stella to our community group and to the Bells (all her best friends and possible future mate in one family!) and all the people who have supported and prayed for us during this time at our church.
I have been slowly ticking off the last few details on my pre-baby to-do list. We met and signed up with our pediatrician officially. We replaced the rotten cabinet under the sink and got a new sink and faucet. I made up a new white chicken chili recipe that succeeded with flying colors. I also adapted a new gingerbread/pumpkin muffin that is actually healthy (Susan, you will appreciate that I snuck in a lot of wheat germ and flax seed in these) and made it with my own homemade pumpkin puree. I mopped up the mess that said kitchen projects produced. I got our travel/diaper bag at a clearance sale today for 50% off (yes I did stand in line for 1 whole hour to purchase said bag) and have caught up on all the laundry. I still need to pack and the house could always be a little cleaner and a lot more organized than it is right now. But my most pressing need is to figure out what I'm going to make my wonderful husband for dinner tonight... so I'm off!
Here's me at 39 weeks... I took a traditional and then a few more pics from my perspective... hopefully there won't be a need for any more pictures of my belly because there will be a little girl on the outside to focus on!
And yes, this is the only shirt that fits me right now... seriously.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Exciting Times

Tomorrow begins the 10 day countdown. I really can't believe it. I can't believe that we are going to have a little baby girl for the rest of our lives... starting in just a matter of days!
Thankfully, we are prepared... well, as much as we plan on being. We finally got SJ a place to sleep and the car seat came in the mail. We also got her a cute bouncy seat and I ordered my first trial package of cloth diapers... but she won't be able to fit them until after about 6 weeks or so, depending on how big she is when she is born. We also bought a few warmer things for her to wear b/c she mostly received short sleeved clothes for 0-3 months because usually October is still warm... but it hasn't been getting above 70 here and it's been getting below 50 at night. So this girl is going to need some warmer clothes.
It is nice to know that if Stella came right now, we would have enough with out having to make any emergency trips to Target.
Drew and I also celebrated our three year anniversary on Saturday! Our actual anniversary was on Wednesday but Drew was sick and I was babysitting and so we decided to wait until Saturday. Thankfully, his fever disappeared on Friday, so Saturday he had been fever free for 24 hours and thus we could be together again. I am so thankful that I didn't catch what he had and so thankful that now we can resume hugging, kissing and cuddling... and sleeping in the same bed. Except, we both got used to having our own space and so I tend to keep him up with my adjusting and re-adjusting... but that just comes with the territory in week 39!!! AHH. I can't believe it, did I mention that?
So, we went to get baby stuff and then ate at the Cheesecake Factory... YUM! It was worth the wait. I also had braxton hicks contractions the whole time we were there and we started to wonder if SJ was going to make an appearance early.. but then they went away.
We are staying very busy with last minute details before SJ arrives. We got my plates changed on my car (finally) and I've been cleaning and doing laundry like a crazy person. Drew ripped out the sink (there goes my cleaning) and is installing new cabinets under the sink this week (they were rotted and stinky!), along with getting new pipes. Hopefully we will also get all the cabinets painted before our new arrival. I am still cooking up a storm... even sans-sink... and trying to get time in with friends before SJ comes, because we have no idea what life will be like after that. We have also been finishing up some last minute baby-related reading and trying to get enough sleep.
Tonight we are touring our hospital and making the final touches to our birth plan. Wednesday we have a meeting with our potential pediatrician.
It's all coming together!
I think tonight is a full moon and my mom always says babies are born like crazy during a full moon... no she is not superstitious...at all... she is a high risk pregnancy nurse/supervisor... so she knows! So, maybe SJ will start coming today... but I doubt it. She seems pretty happy where she is at.
Finally, pictures... the bouncy seat I assembled, the diapers and car seat and a picture of us at three years... I feel SO round in every way but have been encouraged by all the compliments I have been receiving from a lot of friends... so I am posting it any way. You are supposed to be big when you are 39 weeks pregnant! (though the little girl I babysat did ask me, "why do you have to get fat when you have a baby"... hahaha)


Friday, September 25, 2009

37 Weeks!


We officially have only 3 weeks until our due date estimate!
As you can see from the picture... I have grown quite a bit. This week I have been mostly down on the couch trying to avoid the flu and trying to get a handle on my allergies. We've had crazy pressure and humidity and it has been playing games with my head! I really go back and forth about how I feel about my body these days. At first I was happy that my baby belly was looking rounder instead of bigger and flatter. I am still happy that our baby is obviously growing like a weed in there, you can pretty much feel her at any point, not just when she is kicking. There is always a knee, elbow or butt that is obvious. It's also been great to be out and about and have people tell me how small I am or how cute I look. One brave Dillards employee even went so far as to guarantee me that I was so small that there was no way my baby would be over 5lbs 9oz. Hmmm... we'll see. Supposedly at this stage in labor most babies are already 6lbs and I am really right on track... not at all under weight or under sized.
On the flip side, there is a part of me that can't help (though I should) compare myself to cuter pregnant women or really stylish non-pregnant women (or all the beautiful and skinny women in my family). Many of maternity clothes are even getting small for this baby belly and it's not really my ideal to wear the same thing 3-4 times a week. It's also hard when I spend most of the day reading or doing things around the house... because I feel useless and large. I really think this is a partly spiritual battle for me because I've been really thinking about how much we women obsess about our bodies. I would like nothing more (ok that's a lie) than to have the tightest legs, butt and abs around and to be able to fit into tiny jeans... but when does that priority become a sin? Why do we want these amazing bodies? Does the Bible outline exactly what size is a healthy size for a woman to be... or are there mandates some where in there about working out? I do think we are to be responsible with our bodies, which includes eating right and exercise and I think the opposite extreme could be a sin too... but I am just wondering if our ideal is a little off... a little "of this world". It seems like we usually want amazing bodies to impress others, to make others like us or envy us or be attracted to us. I know personally, my husband is always telling me how much he likes me and is attracted to me just like I am... so if I am obsessed with changing, it's obviously not for his eyes only.
On the other, other hand... I do really enjoy working out and I think if that is you too, it's not a sin to enjoy running or what ever.. it's when we work out to the glory of ourselves and to the neglect of our husbands and families... which God HAS given us clear commands about.
So...all that to say, I am obviously bigger and that is wonderful and terrifying thing all at once!
In other news, Stella is right on track and things are going great in the pregnancy. I have a few more aches and pains but I am encouraged because most of these pains are pointing out that labor is on its way. She is WAY down and likes to head butt my pelvic bones whenever I am walking/waddling, which is actually GREAT because that means she is getting in the ready position. She has also decided that I do not need the use of my lungs or bladder and is thinking about taking over my stomach space as well! We'll have to work on the whole sharing thing when she gets here.
We also met with our doula and she is pretty much on call for us until the birth!
I haven't been nesting like most people think... and that's because we are still waiting to purchase the major items on our list (waiting on a coupon).. but last week alone I made hummus, pita bread, chocolate pie and granola bars! They all turned out great too!
Please pray with us as we approach Stella's birth... natural child birth is much easier said than done and though I don't feel afraid, I do feel very intimidated and unsure of myself. I am reading up and watching videos to really get realistic expectations and it is all very intense! So please pray for a safe and natural birth for Stella and me and that Drew would feel included and empowered through out the whole process and as we transition into parenthood.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lville

It finally happened... I got the Linville to come to the Louisville.
My best friend from high school is in the traveling tour of Wicked and she has been dancing (literally and figuratively) all around the surrounding area but never in Louisville! We finally got our acts together and realized that when she was in Nashville she would be too close for us not to get together. I think I have only seen her two or three times, in person, since High School, which is crazy because we basically lived at each other's houses in HS.
She was supposed to come and visit two Mondays ago but car rentals were closed for Labor Day. Then this past Monday as she was carrying a suit case to the car to drive here she fell and sprained her ankle! NO WAY! So the trip was cancelled and she had to go to the emergency room. Well, since she is a dancer, this also meant no work for a while so she can heal. So... Saturday she was able to come to town!
It actually worked out perfect because I sent Drew on a weekend camping trip (more on that later) and was going to be home alone all day Saturday and Sunday and I HATE staying over night by myself. So Lauren came and we had a girls night!
Right before she got here I realized (at the hair salon) that my wallet was/is missing from my purse, but thankfully I had enough cash to pay for my hair cut and for fun stuff during the weekend (yes, this was money from my birthday in January). So things got off to a crazy start... But I don't think we stopped talking from the minute she walked in until she left today at lunch. We sat on the couch and talked until dinner last night and then hung out with some friends from our Community Group. Then we talked until midnight, got up and went to the early service at church, had brunch and talked until lunch... then she had to head back to Nashville. It was such a refreshing time and such a blessing to be able to reconnect with some one who I have so many memories with from back in the day! I can truly see how the Lord is using her in AMAZING and challenging ways to bring his kingdom into some very unreached places.
Since we did so much gabbing, I forgot to take any pictures... plus we really didn't DO anything but sit on the couch and talk... a lot. I didn't even show her the seminary or anything... though she did get to go to our church, which is probably the most important thing to us here in Lville.
So, in leu of a current pic... here is us... looking basically the same... back in the day.


ok ok, so maybe she looks the same and I look slightly different... slightly...larger... *insert moment of silence for pre- pregnancy bodies everywhere* =)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

!!


Do you know what today is?
Today is September 16, 2009.

Do you know why this day is important?
Today marks the ONE MONTH count down!

That's right, we are due exactly one month from today.

Okay, okay, we all know that those baby calculators are usually a little off and that really little SJ will probably NOT make her appearance on this very day.
I am actually fairly certain she will be a little later considering that I was in surgery the week that they started counting from... hmmm.
As of tomorrow, SJ is free to come into this world with out any intervention or worry necessary! CRAZY
I can't believe we are at this place. I can't believe three of our friends have delivered in the past week and a half and another one is in progress as I type!
For a few days I started to wish that SJ would make her appearance early. I mean, I am an american so I want instant gratification right? Usually I keep these feelings at bay by reminding myself that we have no place for her to sleep or sit and little for her to wear etc etc... however, lately that has been less effective in curbing my desire.
Then this weekend it hit me, Drew and I will never have this time together again. We will never be two people with out children ever again in our lives. We will never be able to erase the weight, joy, pain, etc... that comes with being a parent. And while I know this is a blessing and a sweet change... I also know that this time we have with just us is also very precious (I don't like that word but it is the only one that really fits my meaning). One of my biggest fears (and was for both of us before we even started this journey) was that I really enjoy my husband and our marriage and I am not in a big hurry for it to change. I don't want to add any factors in that may cause tension or discord between us. So more than I worry about our little one sleeping through the night I worry about the changes that will occur in me and in him and in us that will effect the way we live life together from now on.
Thankfully, the Lord has put a myriad of families in our lives who have excellent marriages and many children (at the same time!) and thus we know that He will be faithful to grow us and prune us and refine us for his glory and our good... and thus the good of our marriage.
whew.
So to end this little rant I'll end with a lighter note. People are always asking me my highs and lows and cravings and since we don't know when little Stella will arrive I'll take time now to reflect on the past 8 months.

Cravings:
I haven't really had any weird cravings but I have definitely had favorites among the foods I already liked..
#1. Serving me faithfully through all three trimesters and any time of day... CHEESE! I have always liked cheese and have it most days with crackers and an apple for lunch but through out pregnancy I can't get enough colby/jack in my life. Some days I make queso just because.

#2. Especially prominent in the first trimester and dwindling slowly as the third approaches... Sour Patch Kids... or really any sour candy at all. I have always liked, but never loved sour candy until pregnancy. I used to go to those candy stores in the mall and fill a whole bag with sour straws and sour belts and sour patch kids.

#3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Bagels, Cinnamon Rolls... you get the gist.

#4. Sodas. I know, I know. I'm not supposed to be drinking sodas but more than any other time in my life... sometimes I just CRAVE a soda. Since I usually only take in water or lemonade (also a huge favorite) I usually indulge myself when I get the urge... and though Dr. Pepper was always my top fave... Coke Classic has been giving it a run for its money.

#5. Mexican food, brownies, lemonade, bakes lays, cookies etc etc etc etc...

Highs:
- feeling the first flutter, kick and leg extension
-seeing the baby's movements from outside the womb
-seeing Drew talk to his baby girl
-clear complexion and healthy hair (vain I know, but true!)
-lots of sleep

Lows:
-stretch marks (just being honest)
-back aches
-lack of sleep (seemingly contradictory... but it's not)
-emotions always changing

I could go on and on and maybe I'll add and revise this later... but for now that is what's on the top of my head. TIME FOR BED!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Conquering Hero

Lately I have been hearing a lot about coupons. People back home are saving hundreds of dollars a month at their local grocery store buying things they actually use for their families! I have usually found that coupons are only helpful for yogurt, which we buy at Whole Foods or junk food, which we don't buy any where. However, I have been keeping tabs on a few online coupon sites and storing up my kroger coupons and keeping watch on the kroger weekly ad... and I am proud to announce that today I saved $50!! That is 1/3 of my total purchase! I even stockpiled a few items and bought a few extra items (without a sale or coupon) that I needed for a few special treats I am making this week (like my nana's chocolate pie! mmmm). I am so pumped! I also appreciate that Kroger ALWAYS takes my expired coupons. This is a life saver for a non-coupon guru like myself because I usually don't want to buy something until I need it and will forget it several times before actually remembering to use it.
All in all, today has been a wonderful day to be domestic. Cleaned house (including the tub/shower eek), took Drew lunch at work, saved at the store (and got at least 2 weeks worth of lunch and dinners) and got another book I had on reserve at the Library! woo hoo. Now I am going to put my feet up for a bit and learn how to birth a baby before getting dinner ready (pesto pasta with my new fresh basil from my organic basil plant!). =)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nothin' Much

This week has been sort of a blur, but I can't really think what we have been up to in order to thrill you with a new tale. We are just trying to get back in the swing of things with work and church... establishing a routine and all that. Drew was off on Wednesday and so we slept in and then did a bunch of productive things together. It was a great day! It's amazing how much more fun it is to do the mundane errands when the person you love the most is with you! He even bought me a beautiful purple hanging plant when we were at home depot for some more supplies. We also ate bacon cheese burgers, which didn't hurt anything!
I also had my doctor's appointment that day, so Drew tagged along for the exciting trip (sarcasm here). He did get to hear the heart and it was racing! Last visit she was in the 120s and this visit she was getting up to 150! She must get excited to have her dad around just like me! My Dr. said I still look good and right on track... After my next visit, in two weeks, we will start having visits every week! Only 5 weeks to go!
Speaking of babies... our really wonderful friends had their sweet little girl on Tuesday (9.9.09)! She was just a few days over due and so they induced her and everything seems to have gone really well and now they have a beautiful 8 (almost 9)lb baby that seems to favor her mommy's good looks. But then again, it's hard to tell when they are still red and squishy and new. We went to visit them last night and I thought I might have to be admitted into the hospital myself because I was SO excited. I could barely eat dinner I was so jittery and anxious to meet their little one. I spent the whole day with the mom before she checked in to the hospital and I had been on pins and needles ever since. They are a really special family.
We have just a handful more friends and acquaintances that are due before us, so it's going to be a busy 5 weeks for our church family as we welcome all these baby girls into the world!
It's really hard for me to believe that we will get to meet Stella in just about a month. I have tried all along not to think about it because I have never been good at dealing with prolonged anticipation. So, I just forget about it and treat it as if it will never happen and then when it gets close... I can get VERY excited! We still have a lot to do in preparation for SJ but I know that eventually, it will all get taken care of. It's so weird to be so out of control of something so personal. I am carrying this baby around and feeding her and protecting her and yet I have pretty much NO say about when or how she will come into the world. Of course, with all our friends delivering 8, 9 and 10lb babies lately... we would be okay with an early arrival but there is nothing indicating that I will go early or even on time... most first time moms seem to go late, so I am trying to prepare myself for that. Some mornings I wake up and have actually forgotten I was pregnant until I try to get out of bed... this has become very amusing! I am like a beached whale! It take a lot of momentum and sometimes a shove for me to get out of our bed.. .especially if Drew is in it creating a crater! (same for the couch too!) This has brought on many many bouts of laughter.
Well.... without further ado... I will show you the pictures of us with the baby... I love how Drew is pretending to be unsure about the baby in one of the pictures and then looks like such a natural in the next. I can't wait to see him holding his own little girl... he is already pretty smitten with her and he just sees her kicks...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

UP, Up and Away!

*** caution *** this blog is probably going to be a HUGE spoiler for the movie UP... so if you haven't seen it (AND YOU SHOULD) you might want to scroll down to the end and just enjoy the new belly shots and then go on about your day!

So, my wonderful husband has reinitiated "date night" in our house. We found that we were becoming so busy between friends, house and church that we weren't getting any quality time together. And for any one that knows me... that is a BIG deal.
SIDE NOTE: I'm not all about the love languages and I have found that a lot of people use this as a way to promote their own selfishness and another way of saying, "you have to do things my way". I've also found that at different times in my life I have wanted different types of love from different people. For instance, we took the love languages test in a girls group I was in during college. I scored a big fat ZERO for physical touch. I have never been a huge hugger (don't ask me how that happened in my family) and in high school I remember being forced into group hugs to build up my immunity to them. My girl friends in college, though huggers themselves, some how got the vibe from me that I wasn't a hugger and we didn't realize it until senior year but we had pretty much never hugged each other. I've grown a lot in this department over the years. However, now that I am married... I am a HUGE physical touch person. No no no... not that kind of physical touch... but sometimes I think I drive Drew crazy because I always want to lean into him, or put my legs across his lap or touch him with my feet. I melt away (aka fall asleep) when he plays with my hair or rubs my back etc etc. I love to hold hands and cuddle etc etc etc... you get the idea. So all that to say, these things change and are different depending on what relationship you are referring to. But across the board I think every one would agree that this little (or big) lady has always needed her quality time to feel connected. So.. that's a long way of saying, we are having Friday Night Date Nights! woooo hooooo
We decided it was important to start these now, before Stella is born because 1. there is a lot to talk about leading up to this huge change and I often need to just air out all my thoughts and doubts and joys etc. and 2. because we want to have it firmly established when our little bundle of joys pops in and turns our world upside down.
ANYWAY... wow, this is going to be long! Last night Drew took me to McAlisters (pregnancy all time favorite place to go it seems) so I could get mac n cheese and tea (yes I had a sandwich too but that was just a side note to the real deal). After that we went to the dollar theater and saw UP. I have been having some pretty vivid and terrible nightmares again lately so we wanted to be a little more picky about what movie we chose. I am usually down for any action, shoot'em up type film that my husband prefers but not in the middle of trying to get rid of these dreams. So, we saw UP. I had heard that just about every one I know cried in this movie but I wasn't really sure why. All I knew was it was about some old man and a lot of balloons. I figured it would be a cute and touching story with a tear or two at the end.
Boy was I wrong. It was the best and worst movie for this emotional prego woman.
It starts with a little boy watching a movie about his hero adventurer and then he meets this little girl who is spunky and happens to adore the same adventurer. She lets him be in her (one person) club and next thing you know it's their wedding day and then they get a house (a fixer upper mind you) and they start to dream about life and then their dreams are shattered *insert tears streaming down my face* and then an old dream is remembered... the adventurer and that place they always wanted to go... and a new dream begins. I won't ruin it all but just from the preview you can see... the man is now all alone. GO SEE IT (I just majorly edited that recap so I wouldn't spoil it for you so now you MUST see it!)
I was sobbing... silently... trying to nonchalantly wipe niagra falls off my face. It was too much, too hard, too beautiful and way too fast... just like life really is I suppose.
Finally, I couldn't hold my breath any longer and my nose was way too full of liquid to help in the breathing process and so I had to take a giant gulp of air, which came out as half gasp, half shudder... you know, the way babies (and most women) are after they've had a good long cry and can't quite stop their shaky breathing for the next half hour. So, here I was ugly crying and making sobbing noises in the middle of a PG children's animated film. I could feel the guy next to me giving me compassionate glances but I dared not turn my streaky face to the right or the left... I just stared straight ahead.
Anyway, the man is lost and lonely without his spunky wife and he feels like he disappointed her, let her down and broke his word. The world around him is changing and he can't go and he can't stay. It is sad.
**spoiler below**
I won't continue to narrate the whole film but in the end there is something very important that he realizes. The pages she had saved to write about their dream trip in her journal (that he could never open because of the guilt he felt over the empty pages he knew would be in there) were already filled... filled with pictures of their "mundane" life. Pictures of a lifetime of love and happiness. Pictures that told him she was not disappointed with their life together and that he didn't let her down. And in the end, she wanted him to keep on living when she was gone. It was such a wonderful moment... for hollywood to show that there is something beautiful and valuable in the every day moments. There is worth in the lives of people who never accomplish great fame or fortune. You don't have to go on expensive trips or live in luxury houses or drive nice cars to live a wonderful and fulfilling life! Of course, for us... this has to do with why we are here. We believe we are here to glorify God on the earth for a short time through his son Jesus and then go on to glorify him for eternity after death. We are not living for the world and all it has to offer, but for God... and all the joys and love we receive here are grace upon grace... blessings. It's so easy to become discontent with life... with this crazy house or our boring jobs or our lack of accomplishments... but really there are so many wonderful things happening to us (universal us) every day. For me: Laughing with my husband over dinner. Spilling food down my clothes for fifth time in one day. A cool breeze on a sunny day. Kicks and pokes from a baby growing healthy inside. Friends delivering babies. Ice tea... ice in general! Lemonade and chocolate cake. Homemade banana bread with streusel topping. Cuddling til you fall asleep. Laughing so hard your sides hurt and you cry. Changing leaves. Naps in the afternoon. The color pink...LIFE!
I loved this movie because is also promoted marriage. This couple, though never achieving the perfect life, stayed together through it all. They were very different. There were lots of trials. There was disappointment after disappointment. And yet, in the end, their love was stronger and deeper than at the first. There is also a little boy that attaches himself to the old man and you come to discover that his parents are divorced. He paints a bleak picture of a distant dad whom he adores and yet has no time for him. He talks about his hopes of adventures with his dad but well, he is really busy and his new girlfriend/wife already told the boy he was a bother. His mom can't do everything and pay the rent too! Wow! I was shocked that Hollywood would be so very un-PC about divorce. I feel like the world constantly tells us that divorce is the new normal. Kids aren't affected by it. People get over it. No big deal. But this movie showed that it is a big deal... this kid's life was forever changed.. and not for the better... because of his parents' divorce and his dad's preoccupation with work and his new life. sad sad. Thankfully that part has a semi happy ending.
So, though it made me ugly cry, I really enjoyed this movie. It made me think. It made me look at the way I respond to trials and disappointments in my own life and re-evaluate. It made me thankful for the wonderful, loving, compassionate, hard working, and mighty handsome husband that God has blessed me with.
So, if you're still reading by this point you deserve a prize... and that prize will be new belly pics! yay! I am in my 35th week, which is hard to believe. Only a couple more weeks and Stella can make her debut with out a worry. Today is a good friend's due date and so we are all on pins and needles waiting for their little one to come... it will be such a special experience to meet their little girl when she arrives because we know that we will have one very soon just like theirs (okay a little different I'm sure). These are some friends that we talked with years ago about "when we have kids" and she and I joked about having our babies together and now.. here we are ... having baby girls a month apart. They are moving soon and I am so thankful that the Lord kept them here long enough for us to travel this part of the journey together.
With out further ado.... (I granted a few requests and included one with my face this time...)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy September!

I was really hoping that I would get to wish you all a Happy September on the first day of the month, but I am proud to report that I have been too busy to post! This is great if you consider the dance with boredom I had been doing in weeks past.
September is the beginning of fall and fall is definitely one of my favorite seasons if not my top favorite all together (I struggle to commit because Spring is so wonderful and I do love the holidays!). I go for a daily walk at my favorite park and sometimes I have to restrain myself from frolicking and twirling around the track. There are not many things more wonderful to me than a nice walk on a cool day (its been in the 70s here!) with the last smells of summer and the first smells of fall mingling together in the tree sap, cut grass and drying leaves. I love the wind on my face making me cool and the warmth of the sun keeping me at the perfect temperature (which is saying a lot when you are 8 months pregnant!). I love all the bright greens and blues of nature and can't wait for those greens to turn into red, orange and yellows. Mix all of that with a great song on the ipod and it is really really hard to restrain myself! I am sure people wonder at the pregnant lady out walking every day with a huge smile on her face... it is the time of day I feel the most blessed (well that and cuddling with Drew).
With this first week of fall also came our first official community group meeting of the semester. This is just the motivation I needed to tackle the overwhelming mess that was our house. With the stairs 99% done and the upstairs cleaned and organized (for the most part), there was just not excuse for not tackling the downstairs other than the fact that it was a little overwhelming and there was a lot of heavy lifting involved. My allergies have been acting up like crazy with ragweed at its peek and all the dust and nastiness in our house wasn't helping one bit... so that's the straw that pushed me over the edge and turned me into a cleaning, organizing whiz! I started with the kitchen since I spend a lot of time there and it gets the worst the fastest. I came up with the great idea to use the top of our cabinet for some decorative storage. I have a ton of cake plates that I love but do not use regularly that take up a lot of space on countertops and bookshelves and some really beautiful vases that I also wanted to display but wanted out of the way. We have so many books (even after sorting and giving many away) that we really need all our book shelf space for actual books and not cake plates and vases. So, I did a little step stool climbing and hobby lobby browsing and came up with a great solution that really perks up the kitchen at the same time! I am really pleased (and Drew likes it too...SCORE!) and so glad to have a season theme going on. It really makes the kitchen feel warmer to me to have these personal touches around.


With this stuff out of the way I was able to clean off the book shelves and put them in their rightful rooms in their rightful place and get all the books dusted and organized on them as well. I really love organizing books... I'm weird, I know. I just love to read and love books!
After all that was situated I vacuumed the floors... twice. I then mopped all the floors...twice. And the end result is beautiful shiny wood floors that barely show the marking of massive construction! As you will see in the pictures, there are still reminder of work left to be done... sheet rock against the wall (for finishing out Stella's closet) and a ladder to touch up that painting around the stairs... but if you had been to our house at all this summer you wouldn't even notice them... I don't. I keep telling Drew that I can't believe how BIG our rooms seem now with out a million saws and drills on the floor and boxes of things and furniture piled on itself. It's been a crazy summer. But I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and his talented friends who poured so much hard work into getting this done. Our next projects will be getting stuff on the walls (like frames and such) and painting the kitchen cabinets white.
When our Community Group came over they were all amazed. Most of them hadn't been over since May when the stairs were taken out and some hadn't even been since the early Spring. Every single person wanted to take a turn walking up the stairs. They all "oohed" and "aaahhed" over how nice and sturdy they are. It was so funny because they all said first thing, "can I walk on them?". I felt so blessed to be able to have these wonderful people back in our home and have it be a welcoming place that is clean and smells nice and has a place for you to sit... instead of a construction zone where everything has a layer of dust and every surface is piled high with stuff.


In baby news (will be brief for now since this is already long)... we have several friends who are due THIS weekend! I can't believe it and I am soo excited to meet their babies. It's a great perk to have other people's babies to play with in order not to get too anxious for my own to finish baking. A little distraction is just what the third trimester woman needs.
I am getting bigger (picture to come soon) and thus a little more uncomfortable... but most uncomfortable with my allergies that have kicked in for the first time since being pregnant. Please pray that no polyps develop so that I can nurse Stella for as long as we want with out having another surgery hanging over our heads. Having surgery with a baby in the house would be a whole new challenge... one that I would rather not have to tackle. In good news... (did I already say this?) she is head down and seems to be right on schedule for delivery!
I will say though, I got a huge compliment today when some one was referring to me and said, "can't you see she's like 4 months pregnant"....hahahahahaha... I said "you mean EIGHT months" and she said, "no way, you are so little... girl you look good!". This pretty much made my day since I hadn't showered or brushed my hair and had just woken up from a nap and was in a huge hurry to get brown sugar for some cookies I had to deliver within the hour... I won't think about the fact that she had no clue what she was talking about since most people aren't showing at all by four months... I'll take the compliment and repeat it to myself when I am faced with stretch marks and clothes that don't fit and a body that looks more alien to me every day. Only 6 weeks to go!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Projects

I mentioned that now that I am at home more often, I am trying to enhance my craftiness. I still have a long way to go but I did make this little skirt for Stella with a friend the other day. I am excited to see it on her with some little brown leggings. The pattern called for elastic in the waist but neither of us had any so we just made a drawstring waist. It was really simple but a perfect way to decorate plain onesies.


Speaking of crafts, have I mentioned that the girls in my community group are SUPER crafty?! They are all so talented and artistic... I think it must have something to do with the fact that they are all elementary school teachers. Anyway... they threw Stella and me a wonderful baby shower and Stella received some more beautifully hand crafted things.

In baby news, Stella is getting close to 4lbs (or so they say) and is just about full length. We found out last week that she is also "head down", which is a great relief and a small step towards a hopefully smooth labor! Several of my friends, whom I have mentioned, who are pregnant, are getting closer to meeting their babies. One friend, (Bgirl) is 39 weeks and could pop at any moment! She if officially due next weekend, I CANT BELIEVE IT! Just this time last year she and I were both so uncertain when we would ever have babies of our own. Our other friend, who is due only 10 days or so before me actually already went into labor! Sunday she had crazy back pain and it turns out she was having contractions and dilating. They gave her meds to stop the contractions and she is now on bed rest for two weeks. It's definitely a bummer that she is on bed rest but after talking to her we agreed that it is also very exciting to know that if her baby came now, she would more than likely be perfectly healthy. It is exciting to think that we are all getting so close. By the time I get over all of their excitement it will be closer to time to celebrate my own excitement. In the meantime we have plenty to keep us busy around the house! We already shampooed the carpet upstairs and rearranged the furniture to make room for all the baby things. It looks and smells so much nicer up there already! It also helps me get the downstairs ready to have a place to put all our baby things.
So, we are moving right along.
My next project is decorating burp cloths and researching cloth diapers and vaccinations.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another L

I found another L word that makes me so happy! the LIBRARY!
I think I might have mentioned that I am (was) totally scared of the Library. It's like going to half priced books but with a lot less friendliness. How do you pick a book out of thousands and thousands? I also have a weird memory of really mean librarians!
So, though I have had many people recommend different things to me from the library, I have never been able to brave the place alone. I hoped to go with a family with kids who could introduce me around the place... but I did mention that I hate to be a burden to other people?
Well, yesterday I decided it was all just too silly. I am a grown woman, about to be a mother and I needed to over come my fear of people and looking stupid. So I played and replayed scenarios in my head about what it would be like to go to the library by myself.. I know, I know, it sounds silly. I got online to make sure that I would have everything required to get a library card with out having to make repeat trips. I checked the map for the closest branch and made sure I knew their hours. Because of the mini flood we had a few weeks ago the main library, downtown, is closed and a lot of the systems are down from water damage.
Today I woke up and rehearsed my plan for attacking the Library. I had lunch with my lovely husband and told him my plan, which he fully supported (probably chuckling at my random fears). Then I went to Hobby Lobby (LOVE that place) and got a few items needed for my craft projects (the ones that I planned to do with the audio books I would get from the library!). I got just about every item I needed for 50% off! woo hoo.
Then I drove over to the library, parked and entered. Luckily, the front desk is right by the door but unluckily there was NO ONE around. I finally found a friendly plump woman behind a computer screen and asked her if she knew how to get a library card. She was actually from the downtown office and thus had no clue where to find the right papers. After asking a few other misplaced librarians some one was found who could give me the forms. I was prepared with all my documents but they only needed my ID (which she took even though it's still not an updated address) and had me fill out a small form with usual information. TADA! I am a library card holder! I went straight for the audio books and picked out "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant. I have heard my older sister rave about this book time and time again and I think it might even be one of her favorites. It sounded interesting but I just hadn't gotten around to reading it. So, perfect, I am listening to it being read! It's told by the Biblical character of Dinah, Jacob's daughter and she begins by retelling the story of Jacob and his many wives, her mothers/aunts. While the story is definitely embellished quite a bit, it's still very interesting and follows the actual events from Genesis. I also picked up two movies. The great thing about Library movies is that they carry all the movies that I WISH blockbuster carried... and they are FREE for 7 days! I rented two classics, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Sense and Sensibility. I love that they have all the BBC classics and other old favorites... I am saving a few of my favorites for once early labor begins to keep me occupied. It will be so nice to have movies to watch in the evening when I am too tired to get out and Drew is working on the house or out with the guys... plus they aren't really movies he will miss if I watch them without him.
I had forgotten what a wonderful place the Library is. They have just about every book you might desire and you can check them out for almost a month at at time... and with the way I eat through books, that is more than enough time! Right now they don't have a lot of their books b/c of the flood and not having their system up and running to check things in.. but every one I spoke to was so kind and friendly and not a single one treated me like a moron for not knowing my way around or how to reserve a book. I walked over to the children's section and I was flooded by memories I forgot that I had. They had the old school American Girl books on display and I remember being so excited to check out the next one as soon as I finished the one I had. I remember our whole family going to the library on a Saturday in the fall and we each got to check out a book or two. Then we drove around with the windows down in the Suburban and went to a park to play. We played and read and played and read. I even remember what I was reading.... Turn Homeward Hannalee... I think I read that book a million times in elementary school... rotating it only with Sarah Plain and Tall as number one on my list. I can't wait for Stella to read those books too. They had so many brightly illustrated books and learning tools, it just made me smile and want to do little twirly dances around the room. It's such a happy place where imagination learns to grow... I can't believe I stayed away for so long! I am so thankful for parents that taught us to enjoy reading and I can't wait to begin reading to Stella and then hopefully one day see her form a curiosity of her own for stories.
In house news: Drew and our house-working hero, Paul are finishing up the work on the stairs tonight. All that should be left is calking and painting, which we are thinking of hiring a friend to do since I can't handle the fumes and Drew works so much! I keep teasing Paul that he will never talk to us again when this is done but I guess that really isn't the case since he is moving from about 2 miles away to one block away! Now we can just sit on his front porch when we need house help! haha just kidding!
I'll leave you with a picture of the stairs so far and my first finished craft thanks to my new audio book! (I know it's a little early for fall but I couldn't stand to make it and not hang it!) Tomorrow is going to be applique day!