Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peace=Highway. The final chapter.

Promises of Israel’s Restoration



Isaiah 49:8 This is what the Lord says:


“At just the right time, I will respond to you.[a]


On the day of salvation I will help you.


I will protect you and give you to the people


as my covenant with them.


Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel


and assign it to its own people again.


9 I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’


and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’


They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures


and on hills that were previously bare.


10 They will neither hunger nor thirst.


The searing sun will not reach them anymore.


For the Lord in his mercy will lead them;


he will lead them beside cool waters.


11 And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.


The highways will be raised above the valleys.


12 See, my people will return from far away,


from lands to the north and west,


and from as far south as Egypt.[b]”


Luke 2


The Birth of Jesus Christ

1In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, tothe city of David, which is called Bethlehem because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed who was with child. 6And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in  the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And  this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby  wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." 13And suddenly there was with the angel  a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God  in the highest,
 and on earth  peace among those with whom he is pleased



Since moving here we have visited four different churches. Each are doing some form of Advent. Advent is simply the celebration of the coming of Jesus as a baby and the celebration that He has promised he will return. God has been working on a lesson for me. He has been teaching me little bits of a sweet promise that changes everything. The first part being the Jesus brought Peace. The angels said so. They told the shepherds that Peace had come to those God was please with, or in other translations "who find favour in Him." A tiny baby born in a manger would bring peace. The lesson God is teaching me? Peace is not what I've expected. Not what I've looked for. Peace is not the mountain top high I've come to believe in. Church retreats are great, but really confusing. I've had some amazing intimate times with my Lord in the mountains. Moments I thought were peace. Then you come home and life is as hard as it ever was. I've had amazing joys in this life, but they always seem to be followed by somthing not so joyful.  Isaiah gave his message to the people. A broken people who had lost favor with God. That although broken and lost, one day they would be restored. This restoration?
Isaiah 49: 11 And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.The highways will be raised above the valleys.
 God didn't promise a high! This is so refreshing to me. After so long of the ups and downs I dont look forward to {highs} anymore because once you reach the top there is only one place to go. {LOW} I long for quiet. I long for a flat surface. I long for tomorow to be like today. I long to walk towards my father, not climb and fall. And guess what? He promises just that. The mountains lowered. The valleys raised up. A highway made. A highway for what? For us to return to Him. Isaiah 49: 12 12 See, my people will return from far away, from lands to the north and west and from as far south as Egypt.

This Christmas I celebrate the highway. I celebrate that God knows our lives are mountains and valleys and that he gave us Jesus. He gave us salvation and a permanent flat surface to walk to him on. A direct way to his mercy. I celebrate that no matter what happens in this life. No matter what Mountain or Valley may come. We have the promise. We have the savior.  Peace= Highway

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peace = highway part 2, the mountains and valleys

The year we lost Jim was so hard, so {low.} Life began to look more like waves of the ocean or giant mountains and valleys after that. The following June. I got the "come home now" phone call. Lucas had been laid off. We tried so hard to stick it out in Bossier, and our church even helped us financially for a while, but the oil industry was so wrecked after the election and economic downturn that we had no choice but to move in with my parents. As grateful as we were for the help, and as much as we love them, moving back home after being a grownup with kids is about the hardest most humiliating thing that can happen. Telling your children you can no longer provide for them changes your view of just about everything. Signing a piece of paper at school that says you are technically homeless... well... humbling no where near  expresses it. {low} After six months Lucas was offered a job. We had misunderstood his salary before the layoff because he had gone from a training salary to a real salary over several steps. We thought the job he was taking was a raise from before the layoff {high.} It turned out to be quite a bit lower {low}. But we found our first house to rent and were paying less than our apartment in Bossier {High}. By the end of November Lucas was working all the time and suddenly they announced that the jobs were going to be in Laredo... six hours from our home! Lucas was scheduled to be gone from home most of December. There was a chance he would even miss Christmas. {really big low}  To top it off it was again a Colorado year for Ayden. I don't remember much from Christmas last year. Lucas did get there at some point, and my mom did everything she could to make it special, but between grief and missing Ayden I spent many points during the day crying in corners and praying it would just be over.
2010 was just as rocky. We celebrated our fourth anniversary {high} and found ourselves more in love than ever. Lucas spent at least two weeks of almost every month in Laredo {low} At the end of January I found out we were expecting a baby. {high!!} Then came the sickness {low}. But we found an incredible church that drew us into authentic community and took great care of our hearts. I made great friends quickly who are still teaching me. {high} Lucas decided to leave his job and was eventually rehired by the same company he got laid off from {high} but that meant we had to move again {low}. We are now here waiting. Waiting to see what on earth will happen next. I feel myself unable to rest. I clean constantly and am so anxious because for so long life has been a roller coaster. This advent season has been so fast. I feel like I was on a spinning ride and got off and now have to tie my shoes. Like right.. that's not gonna happen. How do we find Peace when our life has been anything BUT peaceful. The answer? Jesus. seriously.   I can explain that and prove it. Tomorrow.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent: Where Peace= a Highway.. part 1

This advent season has gone so fast. So fast we weren't able to keep up with daily or even weekly readings. We tried. Really. But seriously. It just hasn't happened. We try instead to just talk with our kids as we can. While we get ready in the mornings, over meals, as we drive in the car. In the Chilis parking lot when my seven year old demanded I tell him "the truth" about Santa. We've also been visiting {lots} of different churches, so consistency is just not a part of lives right now. In fact... consistency hasn't been part of our lives in a long long time. Two Christmases ago we were living in Bossier City Louisiana. We were blessed there with amazing friends and great community and miss it every day. We even had the occasional snow storm. And Monjunis. And Strawns ice box pies. I digress. Things were very "up" for us. I was in a "high" spiritually, being challenged and growing and learning ect. Lucas was growing too and eagerly advancing in his first career job. November marked the end of his training period and so December came around and life was going great. Then two days before Christmas I was sitting in my room mid afternoon, wrapping presents and watching Dr. Oz. Or maybe Dr. Phil. Or maybe the Doctors. Something like that. My phone rang and the caller ID said it was my Mother in law. Hmm. She never calls me. She usually calls Lucas's phone. I answered and was shocked when she simply said. "Jim just died." Huh? What was that? Surely I'm not hearing you right. Not our beloved Papa Jim. Who we just saw a month and a half ago. Who rode the hayride with my boys and shot pumpkins from the pumpkin canon and made silly faces and goofy sounds with my one year old Balin. Not Papa Jim who celebrated his 16th birthday with us (not his 61st ;-) )Not "died". I had to get Lucas home, but he was on a job site working. I called him anyway and said "you need to come home now" as gently as I could. How could I do this without freaking him out? How could I get him home safely? He knew. He knew something really bad had happened for me to call him. So I had to tell him. Later, like months later, he told me about his drive home. I believe in angels.  I believe they kept my husband on the highway.
We had to make decisions. Decisions we were not ready to make. This was supposed to be our first Christmas in our home as a family. Ayden had spent the Christmas before in Colorado and this was our year with him.  I had a fridge FULL of food and Aydens Colorado parents were scheduled to come visit the day after. Due to not knowing funeral arrangements we decided to wait until Christmas morning to make the long long drive to Minnesota. We went to church Christmas eve and Santa came the next morning. Balin woke up, walked into the living room and puked. Exactly what I felt like doing. After a less than merry gift unwrapping we loaded my parents car... that I had driven four hours round trip the day before to meet my dad halfway and borrow.. and headed out on a long long highway over the course of two long long days to spend a long long weekend mourning our Papa Jim. Christmas dinner was a Chinese buffet in a tiny town in Kansas. Not a joyful Christmas. Not a year in which reveling in the Peace of Jesus made much sense... and yet we were comforted and held in his Peace all the same. Jim's funeral was led by a sweet Catholic Priest who spoke words of comfort. As I prayed with my husband Jesus was there. In the middle of our pain and chaos he was there.  Those 2000 miles of highway gave us lots of time to talk and to heal. A highway that led us to the arms of loved ones and stories. My favorites were stories about Jim's service in the Patriot Guard. Stories about the highway trips he took to make sure vets were honored. Peace was literally a highway. Did you know Isaiah tells us that Gods Peace is like a highway too? Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you more about that.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas card 2010

Good Blessings Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

Good Blessings Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shutterfly-oh my!

So fellow bloggers there is an awesome deal right now! Go HERE (Thanks Kristin!) and sign up to recieve 50 FREE christmas photo cards from Shutterfly.com! I'm super excited about this because buying cards was out of our budget this year and making cards simply beyond my time allowance right now. I can barely make dinner with a still so new baby around the house. Thanks to my sister I have some great pictures from Thanksgiving of all of my boys. I have uploaded tons of them and have lots of  ideas on which card I'm going to use and why. First I looked at this one. I love the bright colors. Plus its a stationary card, so its a bit nicer than the more simple photo cards. On the other hand though the photo cards are a little less expensive and easier to mail. They are all still so cute. My favorite though are the folded greeting cards. The options are endless and I have been  arranging (and rearanging them) right there on screen over and over and over. You can know exactly how they will turn out which is so great for a visual person like myself.  Plus many of the cards allow you to change the layout of the pre set designs, enabling you to create a custom card! I'm making ours a Christmas card/ baby announcement :-). Did I just ruin a surprise? I LOVE the card I have selected and can not wait to start sending them out. I have so many photos uploaded and cant decide which to use so I may end up making a calendar too!  Shutterfly will even mail them for you should you want that!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Old Bear


Old Bear
I bought this at Aydens book fair today and fell in love. The pictures are beautiful, simple and sweet and yet has depth and teachable elements. I think Charlotte Mason would aprove. My favorite quote : "After that he dreamed that winter was back. The world was covered in ice. It was night, and the sky was blazing with stars of all colors. The cold went on forever." Would make a great gift! Look for it at a scholastic book fair in your area. I only spent 10 on mine :-). Plus its a AR book, so Ayden gets school credit for reading it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Somebody turned two months old today! Time is as always flying by and this little one is getting less little every day. There are times.. like 2:27 am that I'm grateful for that and times like this afternoon rocking him to sleep and smelling his sweet hair on my cheek that I wish I could freeze time itself. He is growing well, and will go in on Friday for his well check and immunizations. I'm very pro shots, but that's a whole 'nother blog. I'm so grateful to live in a country where we have access to shots that prevent our babies from suffering from horrible disease that many children in this world have to suffer from. I'm thankful our grandparents and most of our parents were wise enough to take the gift and wipe out (for the most part) a host of disease that our children no longer have to suffer from. That's it for now. Don't get me started on the pertussis outbreaks... Anyway. My sweet baby will get his first shots on Friday. He can roll from his tummy to his back, but its usually because he is really ticked off at me. I haven't seen him do it happy yet. He rarely lets me put him down when he isn't sleeping. He prefers my bedroom to all others. Lay him on my bed and its all smiles. Especially with his daddy. But its all smiles with Daddy most of the time anyway. Unless he wants food and then he cries this pitiful "ma-ma" cry. We are still co-sleeping, but most nights he starts in the bassinet and moves in with me after he wakes up to eat. Working on that. I'm trying not to complain about Lucas being gone the last ten days, and frankly, co-sleeping is the only way I've survived this move and his new job. He is huge, and I cant wait to see what he weighs! Breast feeding is going well and I guess my supply is well established, but I am taking 8 capsules of fenugreek everyday to keep that going. If I take any less i run out of milk. I've also had to give up ALL caffeine. Something I didn't even do pregnant. Its been a challenge, but having a happy baby makes it worth it. I have discovered that chik-fil-a serves decaf diet coke! woo-hoo! One of those every few days and decaf coffee in the morning trick my brain into remembering the caffeine high and we are surviving:-). I love my little puddin' head. He's a snugly ball of goodness. Here's pictures to prove it.







video

Settling in

We took a big step this weekend and started visiting churches. I was given some great advice many years ago not to church shop, but to pick somewhere and plug in and serve. Church is about the body and how we can can serve the Gospel, not about what church does for us. It isnt the ammenities, its the needs you can fill. So we went to the local PCA church first. Because we KNOW any PCA church has great accountability and solid foundations in reformed, acurate, biblical practice. Everyone was kind. The service is at a great time. The pastor was genuine. I felt some of my old sinful desires creeping in though.... music is at a minimum in most PCA churches. Its about the gospel, not the show. But I have a huge heart for musical worship. So we'll see. I loved the diversity though. Its a tiny church, but there were people off all ages from great grammas to teens. There was only a handful of kids, but again its quality not quantity right? Ayden loved it. We were invited to Thanksgiving dinner with the church on Sunday. We may or may not go. Again.. we'll see :-). I am officially unpacked. I even have most of my pictures hung. I'm sure I will be shifting and adjusting until we move out again, but for now I'm plased:-). We aer still praying for friends.. for all of us! Balin keeps asking to see his sweet friend K. He needs a buddy soon! And I need someone to come sip coffee in my awesome sitting room!

Friday, October 29, 2010

punkins and pumpkins



We started getting settled and decided we should acknowledge pumpkin season, finally! The boys had a ball carving their designs and I tried to get artsy with my camera... But A. I'm not artsy and that lady must drug babies because um, naked baby on a pumpkin is not a happy baby. But whatever. It was funny. And I have these to show his wife some day:-)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

One Month









Our sweet Silas is One month old.

The Here and Now.. and Where and When

It looks like Wednesday is the big day! Today the moving company surveyor came by to take inventory of our house. He answered some big questions and was very helpful. He also acted like we really don't have much to move. Good.. I think! The theory is that they will call Tuesday evening and tell me what time they will arrive Wednesday morning. On Wednesday the packers will get everything ready and the loaders will do their thing as well. We have yet to be given a date to expect our belonging to get "home" but I'm guessing since people keep saying "get us moved by the 22nd" that on Friday our stuff will get there. We hope! I'm planning on sticking around Thursday long enough for Aydens field trip to the news station (cool! wish I could go on it!) and then its adios College Station. I never ever ever in 1000 years, or at least my own 29 thought I would feel this good about Aggie Land and actually NOT want to leave. In high school I had such hostile feelings for A&M and actually all Texas public schools that I crossed three three state lines to get to Colorado.  I am so grateful that God blessed me with deep enough friendships here that I am sad to leave them. The Michael W smith song "Friends" came on earlier and as old and sappy and cliche as it had become.. I listened to it... and teared up. Oh New Life you have blessed us. What a sweet sweet family you have and we are grateful to have been a part of it. And my lovely Aggie friends... I'm kinda sorta starting to get it. There is something special here. It isnt the creepy chants or obnoxious traditions or really stupid code words for warnings. (Seriously.. if you want people to know theres a tornado.. try TORNADO warning. Then we might actually pay attention).  It isnt the hoity toity academics.. although we know you all ARE certainly smarty pants. Nope.. all of that is beyond me. Its something about character. Something I cant even get my head around. Its the young men at the hair salon who dont even flinch when my two year old tries to climb in their lap to read a magazine. Its the cashiers at the grocery store.. who actually help. (It isnt any of you driving. You all are really really bad and scary drivers). Its the gals who want to help and get to know you and your kids (without being paid to do so). Its the students who live in every house behind me that I never ever hear. (Thank you for letting families sleep). And even though I find the color choice an almost painful shade of.. what is that anyway? I will miss you all. Especially the New Life aggies. From now on I consider myself a loyal Aggie fan sympathiser. And made one tiny purchase of indoor only clothing for my children.. not myself... to prove it :-).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dedicated

Last weekend we were honored to have the opportunity to dedicate little Silas. We got to share the sweet event with little Chandler, Silas's belly buddy. We are so grateful to have shared pregnancies and this sweet dedication with the Groves family! Much thanks for posting this on your blog so we can share it to!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

His Birth Story

Warning: this is a story of labor. If you the kind of person who would rather just believe that babies go directly from the stork to the nursery you can skip this one :-).

10:30 am September 15th. My Dr came into the exam room and told me I must have been doing something right because the hospital had room for me to start my induction the next morning.

2:00 am September 16th. Woke up too nervous to go back to sleep. Laid in bed for a couple of hours before getting up around 4:00. Ate a banana and glass of milk. Paced my house, took a shower and did my makeup.

5:20 am called into Labor and Delivery to confirm my "bed availability." They had room but told me to come at 6:45.

6:15 am took the boys to my sweet friend Eowyn's house where her own six boys were still sleeping.

7:00 am got checked in and by 7:30 was on an IV and pitocin drip. Our hospital is under construction and aparently there were lots of babies coming so I ended up in an older labor room that felt a lot like a storage closet. There was a rocker in the bathroom and the shower was full of iv stands. Glad I wasn't planning on going "natural" b/c that would have been a major problem.  There was a giant leather couch though so Lucas and my mom were able to get comfortable. Also met our horrible nurse. She greeted me by almost completely ignoring my birth plan, bringing in an EMT student that I as not happy about and telling me that she doesnt handle puke. That she can handle anything else, but not that. Right. Sorry Lady I'm a puker. Which did indeed happen while she was giving me my IV. When she went to throw it away she grabbed (maybe should say jerked) the container (its like a trash bag in a cylinder shape with a hard plastic ring at the top) from the bottom and proceeded to spill. my. puke. on.  me. yay. Then she left. She didnt say anything, but walked out. With her EMT. I'm sitting there all gross and yucky, shaking, having almost just passed out during the iv and Lucas is trying to comfort me and digging around the room looking for a new gown for his wife. She eventually did come back in to help me change, but never appologized. I was shocked. But wait! It gets worse!.
10:00 My dr came in and broke my water. Let me just say... it was painful. I believe I yelled at her. Lucas says I told her to get away from me. I don't remember. I love my dr. though.. she's great... just don't let her break your water that early!

11:00 ishI decided it was time for my epidural. I wasn't too uncomfortable yet, but I knew what was coming. The guy came in, complaining to the nurse about how busy they were. They were literally playing the blame game on hospital admin while giving me an epidural. He poked me no less than five times, hit something that made my whole back feel like a funny bone. Eventually it went in and I started to feel the warm goodness of anesthesia. For a couple of hours anyway. Eventually it wore off. I first noticed that my belly (you know, where you should be numb) was itchy. Really really itchy. I told nurse cratchit (my dad named her, not me) about the itchy belly and she made some comment about the hospital buying the cheapest material possible and that it was just the monitors.. they itch. Okay, whatever. Within an hour or two I was feeling full blown contractions and no epidural. They tried twice to give me more medicine, but nope. It just wasn't working. At this point I considered being brave and finishing without it, but then got some reality blown back into my lungs and welcomed the good anstheiologist with open arms. He poked me once. And it took. Like a charm. He gets the gold star, his friend needs to watch him a few times.

12:00 My Dr came back to visit and announced that I hadnt changed much. The baby still wasn't engaged. He was just floating. I wanted to be floating.

Late Afternoon: My Dr. came back around 4 and told me that if things didnt get moving we might be looking at a cesarean. Whereas my first and second labors with the big boys I was all but begging to get out of a delivery, the reality that I might not get to go through one scared me. We got out word to our church to pray.  I also started playing worship music over my belly with my iphone and singing to my sweet baby, trying to lure him out. I made a pandora station with the Robbie Seay Band and it pulled up all kinds of great worship... just what we needed. We chose the name Silas because he was a noted worshiper! When he and Paul were in jail, facing persecution... they worshiped. So we worshiped. Around the same time My Mother in law called to check on us. She is a midwife, or was, and has delivered lots and lots of babies. She suggested an exercise for us to try to help Silas turn the right way so he would come out. It involved my husband pulling my lifeless deadwieght legs up into a bent position (on my back, kness bent... got it?) and then helping me open my knees into a butterfly position with each contraction. We tried.. and laughed.. a lot....it was simply hilarious.  The lovely nurse came in and (after laughing at us.. really it felt much more like laughing AT us than with us) suggested I sit in the "buddah position." She sat up my bed all the way and they helped me arange my legs in a butterly position. Ahh. Much more comfortable. No more flipping me from side to side like she had been doing all day. Why did you not suggest this hours ago??

It seemed to be helping, all of these efforts. But the real reason we got out of a cesarean?? My dad went to get Whataburger for him mom and Lucas. The same exact thing happened while I was in labor with Balin. Dad went to get lunch (Whataburger) , and as soon as he got back and handed Lucas food it was time to push. No joke. Dad came back with the food and it was time. Whataburger... always brings a crowd :-).

Labor was very different this time from my others. With Ayden and Balin there were crowds of people it seemed. This was so much simpler. So much quieter. There was only the five of us. My Dr., nurse cratchit, Lucas and myself and of course, Silas. Exactly what I wanted for my last baby. Me and his daddy together focused only on him.

I pushed through three contractions and there he was. At 6:57 p.m. His chord was around his neck once, but loose. He was "grunty" and not taking very deep breaths though so after a few short moments they took him away for some time with an oxygen mask.I was scared so another prayer request went out for my sweet babe. I knew God would protect, here or wherever. I knew His plan is perfect, but I longed to have him in my arms. I actually wanted to nurse him. I wanted him with me. Meanwhile the horrid nurse came back and was transitioning me to the next nurse. She had time to make a few more comments about how they called babies like this "wimpy white boys" (if only she knew this kiddos heritage) and also to tell me, a anxious worried new mama who had chosen with her Doctors advice to induce, that "he was just a few days too soon. He needed more time. Did you notice all the lanugo on him? He just wasn't ready." GO AWAY LADY. She was inapropriate, out of line and this is the end of her existence in our story. I was taken by a new, kind nurse, to my post partum room which was very nice. My parents took off to get the big boys since Silas was in the NICU and they couldnt see him anyway.Two hours later he was back in my arms. Perfect. Squashed and bruised, but perfect. He is here and I am fully aware that although there were many anoying and irritating moments to my delivery, this was a really easy labor and delivery. I am thankful for that.

Monday, September 27, 2010

waves

Heather sent me a Kaycee :-). Thanks Heather. Thanks Kaycee.   I'm working on this whole feeding thing. Its getting better and honestly only the latch on hurts, and only temporarily. Hoping to get past it soon!

Silas update: 10 days old   We are beginning to see the jaundice really start fading. His eyes are still really yellow though. I know he's getting past it because all of a sudden he is not so sleepy! Our sweet little sleep giver who was sleeping for 3-4 hours at a time now only cat naps. What does he do the rest of the time? Refer to my last post.  He is awfully cute though. We like him. I'm pretty sure I'll keep him :-).

I want to post his birth story, but havent had time to write it all down. I will soon though:-).

On the moving front: pray for us. We cant get out of our lease. We cant get a house where we are moving to until we get out of our lease here. We cant register Ayden until we get a new lease. We had found a house and were excited about it. Lucas took Balin on a six hour road trip to check it out, and then we find all this out. So pray for us. Because we are quickly losing our minds.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Haiti, and learning not to murmur

I'm at that point of having a newborn where one of two things happen. You start to get really settled and excited and back to normal, or you lose your mind and start wondering what was I thinking? I'm often at that second turn. I love being a mama to a baby. So sweet. So tiny. So perfect. So in love. BUT theres this whole issue of feeding him. The easy route and the one I most desire is to drive to wally world and buy the big blue can of formula, bring it home, mix into a bottle, hand it to my husband, hand a beautiful baby bundle to my husband and GO TO SLEEP. But. I wont. I will instead every two to three hours gather my sleeping or not sleeping beautiful baby bundle, and procede to do the most the painful thing ever in my life.... placetender body parts in the mouth of a raging beast. Seriously. We call him gator. I've been complaining and whining. And then I read this post by Heather. She is doing Good Work right now. She and her family have given up their lives in the states for at least a full school year in Haiti. Heather gets to work with a womens ministry there and this is what she posted today about a (very)young mother and her tiny new baby. Read it. I'm right there. The crying, the cursing, the fear of the latch. I found myself longing for a Heather. Not specifically Heather but someone like her. I could go to the Drs office and see a lactation consultant, but I want a Heather. Someone personal to come beside me and cry and laugh with me as I force my body to do what it most certainly was designed to do, but most certainly FEARS. Then my close to jealous heart was hit and suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude. I have everything. An over over over abundance of anything and everything. I am so grateful that Haiti has a Heather. I don't even really know Heather. We joined their church and then I got pregnant and got to know only a handful of people on a very intimate level due to being sick and hiding the past 9 months. BUT I know that God has huge things planned for the entire Hendrick family and the lives they are touching. So now I have another baby and mama to pray for. A woman with obstacles in her life I can only imagine. I don't know what God would have me do to help women like Adema. I'm pretty sure it starts by my ceasing to feel sorry for myself. Even when I have to feed gator at 2 and 4 and 6. Even when I would rather go through an entire delivery again than face another latch on. I can wear my lovely nipple shields and use another tube of lanolin... and maybe use that time for something a little more constructive than moping about how miserable I am. I can pray for babies. and mamas. who have so little and are so very brave. I can pray for the people who have the courage to help them. And I can be grateful. Grateful that God refuses to let me wallow in my sin. That he confronts me in my arrogance. That he has given me the ability to nurse my baby. And that far far away, on an island, a young girl was blessed by a Heather :-).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Introducing

Baby Sprout
September 16th, 2010
8 lbs 11.5 oz
21 inches long

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kolache

We spent a couple of hours at a Kolache festival this morning. YUM. We love kolaches. In fact, as we were heading out the door and telling the kids where we were going Mudbug was very confused (and angry) when we did not turn towards our usual restaurant.  But with just a short drive we found ourselves in one of the adorable towns that make up central Texas and were on our way to the sugary, buttery goodness that is a kolache.  There were also vendors. Hundreds of vendors. I love festivals like this for the opportunity to talk to artisans and find out why they make what they make. I can't wait to share with you about our favorite vendor today, but as we bought a gift for my parents from him that will have to wait until they open it. The second goal, other than obtaining dessert for breakfast was trying to walk this baby out. I'm having lots of contractions tonight, so maybe it did something! In the meantime I thought I would share some of the comments I received today. As a 38+ weeker I'm used to comments and few bother me, but I found these kinda funny:
"You look like youre about to pop!" - this is a standard oh-you-are-preggo-I should-say-something comment. But really. As long as I've been alive I've never heard of a pregnant woman popping. I hope I never do.
" That must be a big baby" -enough said, bring me another kolache.
"when are you due?" -repeated more than a handful of times. I should have a worn a shirt that said "yes, my water very well might break on your feet."
and my favorite, from the aforementioned favorite vendor, a man
(to Lucas) "Keep her close to the car" and (to me) "drink water and take deeeeeep breaths!"

Friday, September 10, 2010

38/or "the waiting game"

Today marks 38 weeks. At 39 I can be induced. Yee-haw. Actually I have an induction "scheduled" for the 20th. Meaning that on the 20th I will go in first thing and have a baby or not go in if too many women go into labor on their own. I'm also on the waiting list for a spot on the 16th. (The Dr wont be there the 17th or that would have been THE day. Baby is low and from my waddle I can tell he is only gettting lower. He barely moves these days and when he does... oh golly I better be sitting down. Ouch.
 If you are my friend on facebook then you've seen me be really whiny lately. I admit. I'm not good at waiting. I guess one could easily say patience is definitly one of my sin struggles. I want to know NOW. I want to make plans NOW. I want it happening NOW. (Remember my three month courtship and nine month engagement... would have been faster if I wasnt dead set on a New Years wedding!) Now wanting to avoid waiting does not in any way mean I'm a good planner. Nope. Actually I struggle with the opposite. I'm quite impulsive. All of this to say that waiting for a baby is no fun. I'm tired of poking his toes and would much rather kiss them.  I'm ready. His room is ready. His brothers are as ready as they will get, and as of this weekend my house is clean. So come on baby boy. Lets meet you!
In another realm of life, we are waiting to see what happens with Mr. Simply's job. We've been under difficult work conditions for almost a year now. He travels soooo much, although for the past two months that has been slowing down significantly. There are so many other factors but basically it comes down to wanting to work for a stronger company with better standards. He started pursuing jobs back in early spring and a couple of weeks ago had a strong interview. We got a call last night that the manager is interested! We are negotiating salary so that we dont go backwards, as we took a pay cut to move here in the first place. (well sorta, we were laid off so actually it was a giant raise.) If they can agree to that and get him approved with upper management we are in! And will be moving with a very young infant. And loosing insurance for a month. Blah. But theoretically we will be able to move Eagle to a better school (although we like his teacher this year) and have Daddy home more often. Plus we would be within a short 20-30 minute drive of the beach. So again... we wait. And I get to practice being patient, prayerfully seeking peace and trusting that God's got this. I'll go mop again. That Im in control of.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Countdown

Pregnancy Update: Tomorrow we are officially at 37 weeks! Full term :-). I've been having ridiculous braxton hicks/ irritable uterus contraction for about a month now. They hurt. And make it hard to walk. Or eat. Or function much at all. My Dr has set the date around September 20th. We will most likely do an induction so we can be sure to get my epidural in time. There is a tiny chance we could do that on the 16th. As of right now we are only 1 cm dilated, but the baby has dropped some. I knew this because of the sharp stabbing pains I'm having. :-).  To make myself feel better I've been finishing my shopping list.

Here are a few items I remembered at the last minute that I am so glad I've learned about along the way.
*swaddle blankets :  Big ones, not receiving blankets (although those are handy too). BIG swaddle blankets like Aden and Anais or Swaddle designs. A BIG swaddle blanket makes life so much easier. (you can swaddle with regular receiving blankets but baby will outgrow them fast.) Targit now sells A & A for less than 30$ for four of them. GOOD DEAL. A friend recently said on her blog that no one had mentioned swaddling to her before her baby was born. I was sad for her. Like really really sad. Learn to swaddle. Teddy bears make good practice dummies :-). You could always enlist the help of a friend with a serger and make your own! I recommend at least two.
*Baby gowns: even if having a boy they make night time so much easier! You dont have to undo buttons or snaps to get at the millions of diapers newborns produce. Look for long ones so they don't "ride up." I bought one from Janie and Jack on clearance for 11.99 :-). I drool over it and its organic cottony softness. These are not the same as sleep sacks. Sleep sacks are intended for warmth, not quick access when you are delirious from caring for a newborn. I recommend three. One to wear, one to be in the wash and one ready to go.
*Ipod app for keeping track of feedings. Genius. I swear this stupid piece of technology that I resisted for so long has changed my human experience. No more having to write down on slips of paper when you nursed and what side. Just tap your phone. I got one called Baby Scheduler. Its free.
*Cetaphil: My sister introduced me to this when I had Eagle. Made for sensitive skin, it is a cleanser/skin conditioner that requires NO WATER. You can use it on baby until they are ready for a tub bath and it keeps their skin soft and sweet and clean. With no cold washcloths required. I buy the store brand because it is a little pricey.
*Nursing tank top: Targit again has come through. They have lots of options and price comparatively to Motherhood.... but ACCEPT returns. With a receipt of course. I plan on taking mine, my comfy pajama bottoms and a zip up hoodie for my post partum regalia.
*Coming home outfit: this was only last minute for me because I've gone back and forth on what I wanted to do. Eagle and Mudbug wore the same cardigan and pants to come home in. I wanted something different for Sprout, but was not finding anything. Have you been to Gymboree lately? BIG giant awesome sales. Plus they have expanded their newborn lines. Today we went in and found this outfit.
Again, I drool.

It perfectly matches a sweet hat and booty set my sister's mother in law made for us. I can not wait to bring him home in it!
And with that I am done spending money:-). For now anyway. Now where is my ice pad?

Friday, August 27, 2010

After: Ready for baby

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Close up of his lamp, a cricut project
A little art project to decorate his walls
I might be just a little bit in love with his name.... can you tell?

Before

Monday, August 23, 2010

First day of the second Grade:-)

Today Eagle started Second grade! What a big day. I remember second grade well. The year of hall monitors, learning cursive, multiplication, my teacher who had super long hair and would let us brush it if we were good, playing bloody mary in the bathroom (dont remember that?... creepy kid game that has permanently affected my ability to walk into a dark bathroom), first loves and so much more. This is the first year I did not feel sad when dropping him off. I'm proud of him- Joyful that he woke up well this morning and got himself dressed, choosing his better school shoes on his own and then brushing his own hair. I'm a little nostalgic though so here are some other first school days to celebrate.
Kindergarten
First Grade
Second Grade

He was so confident this morning! When he first woke up he was a little nervous, but Daddy called from Laredo and by the time they were done talking he was excited and ready to go! He drew a picture and wrote a note in his best handwriting to his teacher and gave it to her in the camo bag with an apple. He started this tradition last year, all on his own.. taking an apple to his teacher. I think its sweet. I totally meant to go get a really nice big pretty red apple, but oops. So he took a little green one from our mixed fruit bag :-). Worked for him, so it works for me! He also did not want me to take him inside. I was confident he would find his class because it is just a few steps from last years class. That made me one of five parents who did not park and walk in their child. Oh well. I'm trying to trust his lead on things like this. We had taken his supplies to meet the teacher night last week so all he had was his lunch money and teacher gift. And swagger. He had plenty of swagger this morning too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Listing

Tomorrow is week 35. Meaning in roughly 4-5 weeks, or less... I'll be holding baby Sprout. In my arms.. not my belly. There is so much left to do so I have begun the process of making lists. Lists of things to clean, places to go, people to call. Lists of things I need for baby care, for nursing. Lists of groceries, and bills so I can take care of life without thinking when the baby is here. Lists of doctors, lists of things to keep the big boys busy, happy and feeling involved. I am also including my netflix que on my list of lists because hey.. even mamas need a break from reality.

Mr. Simply has another interview next week. Thats all I'm saying. Its up to God and right now all I can focus on is getting Eagle to school next week. Which brings up another lists... school supplies. How would I fit an entire other category of lists into my world right now if he got this job and we had to start planning a move? So for now... I'll focus on the cleaning list. And the happy children list. And, of course, the Netflix.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finished in time for a start

I have been working on quite a project. Usually my projects go something like this- Meme gets an idea, rushes out to buy whatever materials are needed, stays up till sunrise to finish and ends up with a messy, not thought out piece of something that gets put in a corner and forgotten if not thrown away. This time would be different. This time I was inspired, and careful. I read lots of blogs. Lots of crafty, sewing is easy blogs. They make me drool. Because sewing for me is not. easy. I never was good at staying in the lines and sewing needs a bit of restraint and focus and well lines. I found THIS blog a while back. I'm not even sure how I found her anymore, but I enjoy her projects. And dream of living on a farm like she does. I don't. I live in suburbia in a patio home with wally world as a neighbor. I digress. On her blog she posted a quilt she was working on for her daughter and I simply couldn't resist. She made it sound so easy! Now of course I couldn't do it exactly like she did which is the traditional, correct way to make a grandmothers garden quilt. Nope. I opened one of Eagles math books, found a hexagon and traced it and then cut my own papers. But I stuck to the same idea.... just made stripes instead of flowers. It was easy! AND I loved doing it. AND I took my time. It still turned out Meme perfect.... meaning there are no straight lines and if folded over the bottom of the quilt measures a good two inches thinner than the top. oops. But my husband said it best. "the imperfections are what make it look homemade." Yup. very homemade. So here, in photographs is the story of a quilt from beginning to end. Finished just in time for the beginning of my little guys own personal homemade story. I hope his story has just as many imperfections. Just as many crooked stitches that say... I'm me. Made by God as an original.
Step one: Begin applying fabric to paper hexagons by sewing corners or edges. Sew edges together. I made stripes not flowers in the Meme version of this quilt.
Step 2: Sew hexagons into stripes and then sew stripes together.

Step 3: using my cricut machine I made iron on appliques and ironed them on :-). Then I appliqued the edges so it will last forever. Imagine a world where appliques require no iron on interfacing or pins! It does exist.
Step 4: I only used my machine on this part.. and now regret it. I cut two inch strips of each color of fabric and sewed them together to make the border. Had I done this by hand I would have added a week to my quilting time, but the stripes would have been even. Alas. At least I know they wont come apart.
Step 5: the hardest for me was adding the quilt batting and backing. I didn't take pictures. The store was out of the backing I wanted and then it took several attempts. Tip: use curved safety pins and not straight pins.
Step 6: Quilt and bind :-).
The final product. Quilted, bound and washed. Ready for snuggles!