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Monday, December 6, 2010

Someday is here

When we are very young we think "Someday I'LL be in school. . .junior high. . . high school. . . college." And one-by-one all of those somedays come and then they go. They pass by so quickly. In the midst of them, especially when they are full of hard somedays, they seem to go by slowly. Yet, even in their hardest moments, time never freezes, the next someday is eagerly on its way.
I don't remember when I started thinking about the somedays of getting married and having children, but I dreamt of them often.
"Someday I will be the bride."
                                 "Someday I will live in my own house."
             "Someday I will be pregnant."
                                                         "Someday I will be a mother."
I laid awake in bed the other night (which is foolish anyways because of how valuable sleep is, but who am I kidding, my sweetheart went to bed like a perfect angel an hour ago & I stayed up to bake a cake and blog)...anyways, back to the blog...I laid awake thinking about all of these somedays and how this huge someday of being a wife and mother is here. I am living in my "someday".  My husband was asleep next to me and yet I could very clearly remember the time when I didn't know who my husband would one day be. And in the room right next to ours my precious little Lydia Jane slept peacefully. I think what spurred on all this thought was the annual Rake 'N Run Lee does with the junior highers. It was this past Saturday. Last year during the rake 'n run, I was home alone with a cold, took a pregnancy test, and discovered a baby was on the way. So here I am a year later and that little terrifying set of lines is now this perfect, little, precious somebody who I literally cannot get enough of.

I am trying desperately to savor each day and moment--so much that sometimes it is hard to even lay her down for a nap instead of holding her--because I know her somedays will be here so quickly and someday she will be putting her own precious little somebody down for a nap.

Someday.

Now if only my "someday I will be done with school" would get here a little more quickly.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Growing as fast as a weed but as pretty as a flower

My sweet little Lydia. It is hard to remember sometimes what it was like to hold her so tiny. She was born at 6lb 5oz, but she went down to 5 1/2lbs.
This is her in the hospital the day she was born.
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In this picture she is wearing the smaller preemie set of jammies in this picture.
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She has already outgrown the bigger set.
Another good example of how much she has grown is to compare the following pants.
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And this is her wearing those itty bitty pants!! I can hardly believe it.
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And no matter how much she grows I just love & adore every square inch of her. She is still so snuggly & perfect & I cannot get enough of her. I thought I would be very sad to see the itty bitty stages go, but every stage is the best stage. I knew it would be fun to see her learn & grow, but I had no idea how much.

Love me some cloth

I've been cloth diapering consistently for a while now, but of course I have been awful at posting.
I have done lots of ordering, but the second set I received was this:
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So here's the scoop:
The traditional chinese/indian prefolds are just way to big for her. And I did get a size Medium in the Bummis Whisper Wraps to go over the prefolds and those are huge on her, as well. So she won't be wearing those until she is toddling around.
However, I wonder if I was too impulsive in ordering those and may need to try and sell them (as I have not used them) because I LOVE BumGenius. I have both the 3.0 One size and the All In One (AIO). The AIOs are a much closer fit and don't give Lydia quite as much junk in the trunk. Which I prefer because while I don't mind a chubby baby, her big bum was becoming topic of conversation & I didn't like that. So she wears a size small AIO for when we go out and she wears tighter outfits etc. Also for comfort because otherwise her little pants are too tight on the diapers & she doesn't like it. (I know because she'll sigh with relief when I take the pants off. hahaha) So I don't do that to her anymore. With her little round belly we really like one-piece outfits. :)
BumGenius has 4.0 & I don't know the difference between that and the 3.0. I buy the 3.0s on clearance at cottonbabies.com. These are the "less than perfect" ones. Supposedly some stitching or something is done wrong and isn't up to par with their full price selling ones. But I can't find what is wrong with them and I like saving the $4 on each diaper.
The one-size diapers like the Flips I have and the 3.0 Bumgenius should be able to fit her until potty training. If not, I do have the prefolds, but I'm going to have to wait and see if I will even hold on those. I'm a little disappointed with my impulsiveness to not get a smaller order and see if I liked them first. But of course my impulsiveness co$t me again. cest la vie. I will sell them if I don't end up liking them.
I'm using Planet detergent and since it really doesn't take much detergent one box has been lasting me this whole time.

I am really satisfied with the wet bags and diaper liners I got. I have the Bumgenius diaper pail liner & while it may sweat a little bit I don't really notice it. It fits perfectly my 13 gallon square trashcan. I have the bummis wet bags-a small one and a large one-I use the large one on longer trips and up in her room because i don't want a whole diaper pail upstairs when I do most of her diaper changing downstairs on the pack-and-play changer and my diaper pail is there. The keep odor and moisture in and a bonus is they are pretty cute. :)
Overall, I have LOVED cloth diapering. For some reason it is just really self-satisfying. I know that sounds strange, and who would think I would actually ENJOY it, but I do. I know it isn't for everybody and sometimes I feel a little shy letting people know I do use cloth, but it has been perfect for us. And the best part is that while this has been a big up front cost I won't be buying these for other babies. I will already have my stash built up. Of course I may need a few newborn ones for once the plug falls off my next babies tummy because I want to start sooner next time.

If you're thinking about going cloth I say give it a whirl. However, like I said, it isn't for everybody and that is totally fine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A busy November!

From November 2 to November 21 I  either had family visiting or was in Kansas visiting family.
The first to visit were Tim & Tiffany Clark. My sister and brother-in-law. Don't be confused by the last name. My sister Tiffany married a man with the same last name. Go figure.

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Tim got Lydia to giggle for the very first time on their first night here! Since then her giggles have getting louder, and longer, and more frequent. We just love it!

Tim & Tiff flew back to Texas on the 10th and on the 11th I flew out to Kansas. It was my second trip home since Lydia was born. And before she is six months old in January she will have been to Kansas three times when we go over Christmas.

This trip home was jam packed with Wonderful! Erica Haude, one of my closest & dearest friends, flew in from Denver to see me and of course meet my little Lydia Jane. I am embarrassed to admit I don't have a single picture of them together on my camera!!I know we took some on hers so I will have to get them from her.

Erica, my sister Jennifer, and I, did some serious crafting. . .
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Jennifer Jo & I are trying to mass prepare fabric flowers and these awesome headbands she makes so that she can sell them at an arts & crafts fair in Fort Riley on December 4. We're hoping first and foremost to cover our costs of being in the crafts show, supplies bought, etc. But a little profit would be nice, too! And I will post pictures soon of some of my little creations. :) I really am having a great time.

While I was in Kansas I saw my sister in the theatre production of RENT. I wish I had a picture of that. It rocked. I am very proud of my sister & very excited for her that she is pursuing her dreams.

We also did some celebrating while I was home. My nephew Clark turned 4 on Nov. 14 and my niece Sara Grace turned 8 on November 19. So we celebrated their birthdays.

Clark decorated his cake all by himself and included all his favorite things!
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I was very excited for him to open what I brought him from Lee & me. And he loved it! As soon as he opened it he did a few flying swoops through the air.
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After all of the gifts were opened and the Famous Dave's BBQ chicken was eaten (which he chose for his birthday dinner), he sprawled out on the floor with his cake decorations of motorcycles and fighting men (can't remember what they were) and his airplane.
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Sara Grace was surprised with an awesome cupcake maker. It worked like a waffle maker. You filled the spots and closed the lid. In a matter of minutes you had cute mini cupcakes. She had an awesome time making, decorating, and displaying them!
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And of course, LJ spent lots of time with her bestie Emrie Jo!
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It was, as it always is, very sad to leave. However, I was super blessed to have company come home with me! My nephew Byron came to California from the 16th to the 21st.
Together we went to the Tulare outlets and to LA where we shopped at a huge & beautiful mall and hit the famous Los Angeles  Shopping District. In the fabric blocks Byron got a handful of fabric strips to make great scarves and I got a great piece of fabric 72" X 60" for $1!!!
I loved having Byron here. Our time together was wonderful & I miss having his company, especially while Lee is at work. He is such a great kid. He loves the Lord so much & is working hard to be more and more like Him every day. I am so fortunate to call him my nephew. AND he'll be 17 years old on December 5th!!!
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And I think that roughly sums up the last few weeks! Today we head to Bakersfield to be with Lee's family for a few days. Then I think until Christmas I will have some normal, down time at home. I should be posting more frequently then.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Christmas Wish List.... so far

I am making a Christmas Wish List this year more for entertainment purposes. When I realize the things that I think, "ooh I'd like that for Christmas" I laugh at how much they have changed from my childhood. It is also very interesting to me what they reflect about my current priorities.

The top items on my Christmas Wish List right now:

A couple items from FlyLady! (a cleaning/organizing website--it's awesome) http://www.flylady.com/

FlyLady's Rubba Scrubba $4.99 +shipping (I hate shipping costs)

Timer

FlyLady's Rubba Sweepa $9.99 + shipping (dumb)

Rubba Sweepa

From another website http://www.saveathomemommy.com/ I have just begun learning how to really save $$$. But I feel to really be successful with her coupon clipping/reward earning money savings I need her already organized binder. Yes, I could make a binder myself, but I would have to go to a bunch of different stores and buy all the pieces. I don't have time for that. And while her binder is expensive, I feel you'd probably get close to spending that by the time you bought all the pieces and invested the time. And time IS invaluable to me right now.

Save at Home Mommy Coupon Binder $27.99 +shipping (ugh)
bindercropped
See info about this cool binder on her website http://www.saveathomemommy.com/coupon-binder/. Plus video of the insides and how to use it.

As you can see my focus is essentially on the home--aka "homemaking". I want to be organized and I want to save save save, because we need to, and I want to make cleaning my home as stress free and as quick as possible. Even as I write this I wonder, "who have I become?" But I am enjoying the way life has turned out, quite a bit actually, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The arrival of FLIP

My first set of cloth diapers have arrived.


Getting started was a little stressful because you have to follow the washing/drying instructions very strictly AND you have to use the right kind of detergent. I kept re-reading the instructions over and over before I finally tossed the things in the wash.

They look great on Lydia, but I still have several things to figure out to get my system ready.

1. Diaper pail
2. Diaper pail liner(s)--which one!? so many to choose from and expensive, I want to get the right one!
3. My total "system" (where will I rinse the solid unmentionables when they become too much to just wash, etc.)
4. Dry/wet bag for when we are away from home
5. More diapers & covers

I started the cloth diapers on Lydia last night right before bed. And I went through a full 24 hrs with what I have. I have enough inserts to keep going, but not enough covers for the little poop leak we had on the second cover I used. So back into a disposable for tonight until these are washed and dried again.

The only issue I am having is that my little doll's bum is wet when I go to change her. That is no bueno. Of course, maybe I waited to long to change her. I'm not sure. So far I only used the "Stay Dry" inserts (which obviously she didn't really STAY DRY). BUT, I may just need to change her more frequently. Not sure as we are definitely still in the trial run of this all. I have organic pre-folds I will try tomorrow & see how I feel about those.

I am not going to give up on the Stay Dry Inserts or the FLIP system I just need to do a little more research and ask some friends who use them.

I ordered a great 'starter kit' from bummis. When those arrive I will have 2 bummis covers, 6 Indian Prefolds & 5 Chinese Prefolds & One Snappi to hold the prefolds closed. I also went ahead and ordered a diaper pail liner and one small and one medium travel bag for the soiled diapers. These will definitely help my system here at home and on the go! I also ordered a BumGenius All-in-one 3.0 diaper just to see how I like an "all in one system". I think I will like the velcro fasteners on these better than the snaps like on the Flip covers (just because it is a little quicker). I also ordered one BumGenius 4.0 with an insert. I could have ordered this one with snaps or hook and loop closure. I chose hook and loop. Those probably won't be here until next Friday.

I'll keep you posted. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Going Cloth

So, life can be expensive. And because I no longer work--for now--I've been looking for ways to cut corners, save money, stretch a dollar, et cetera. I had contemplated "going cloth" instead of disposable diapers many times before. However, no one in Lee or I's family has done cloth diapers and I don't know many people who do use cloth diapers. Once I started asking around, though, I have discovered lots of people who have gone cloth.
One friend who recently had a baby did lots of research. I took advantage of all the work she had already done and asked her lots of questions. Then I went to a woman in our church who has used cloth diapers (I think for all six of her children). I figure, if she isn't a pro by now, nobody is. I got great insight from both women.
For solely economical reasons, the most financially efficient cloth diapering system is using 8-ply chinese or indian pre-fold diapers (your standard cloth diaper) and a water-proof cover. She recommended Bummis.
There are many modern brands that are cut around the legs, have inserts, etc. and are considered by many parents to be a little easier to use. Still, my friend from church made a valid point: when you cut away fabric to get rid of the bulk and make it more 'fitted' you lose absorbency. I have taken all of this into consideration. I based my decision on a few factors.
1) This is new to me and I want to be committed to it. I need to do what I am able to handle & not bite off too big a chunk at first. Still, I want to dive in full force at the same time.
2) I need something that Lee will be comfortable using. He has a little trouble with poopy diapers as it is, so going cloth will be a stretch for him. I appreciate his willingness.
3) I don't want Lydia Jane to always look like she has a huge bum.
4) I need a system and I need options.
So... I ordered the FLIP cloth diapers kit to get started. But I am going to order a Bummis cover or two and standard 8-ply cloth diapers. These I will for sure use for night because there is longer need for absorbency. But I am starting with the "simpler to apply" method of the FLIP system just to get us started. They are supposed to arrive in the mail tomorrow. After our next pay check I will order some of the pre-folds and Bummis covers.
Right now all I have ordered are two covers, 6 organic inserts, and 12 stay-dry inserts. That cost me $101. Eighteen inserts will not be enough to function completely on cloth diapering. From what I have heard I need about 36-48 so that I'm not doing a half load of diapers every single day in order to have some dry and ready when I need them.
This is a video review of the flip diapering system.
I am eager to jump in to this challenge and look forward to blogging all about it and keep you posted on the challenges, funny moments, and adventures of cloth diapering!
You can also google or YouTube "Bummis" and see some of the options from that system.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Who does she look like?

It's the infamous question that comes with the birth of a baby. "Who does she look like?" or "Does he look like his daddy?" It's a surprise that fortunately you still can't totally spoil. I mean, sonograms are getting more and more like photographs, but nothing compares with laying your eyes on the real flesh of that sweet baby. Round or oval eyes? Square face or a perfect circle? Hair or bald? So many things to wonder about. Then, even when they arrive, there are days they resemble one parent more than the other. And of course, everyone has a different perspective or set of eyes from which they see your baby. So while some people say she looks just like her mama, others are certain she is the spittin' image of her daddy.


As for Lydia she, for the most part, looks like her daddy. I most certainly see myself in her. (And I better after pushing her out victoriously after laboring alone and with no pain meds! :) Sorry, prideful moment there. Nonetheless, even MY parents sit back in amazement at the resemblence to her daddy grows stronger every day. I like the whole game personally--Everyone trying to figure out whose traits she has. The more I hear the question "Who does she look like?" The more I think about whose image we were all made in.
Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Lydia Jane will always have pieces of us in her that she can't get rid of no matter how hard she could try. She is made from us, from our flesh, she grew inside of me, and we will influence her greatly as she grows. We will always be a part of her. I hope she takes joy in both the physical and internal traits she carries that will make people say "Oh that face looks just like a face your dad makes." Or, "You sound like your mother." Or maybe even "Yah, that fiesty side is definitely from your mama."


But she still has choices to make. Choices that could make people wonder "Who are YOUR parents?!" Or make people shake their heads and wonder what went wrong because her actions won't line up with our teachings or beliefs. She could, it is in her capability, to live so far outside of our framework that any resemblances she carries with her could be very difficult to see. I'm just saying it is possible, though I pray for her faith constantly.


Family resemblence is a thing of wonder, a miracle in itself, and a fun blessing. But when people look at me do they see more than my mother or father or sisters? Do they see my Heavenly Father? Do they see The Author & Perfecter of our faith? Do they see love & kindness? Patience & understanding? Or do I leave people wondering who I came from or who I belong to?


It's a question I hope to ask myself every day. I know whose image I was made in, but whose image am I living in?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Vocabulary Mishaps

Sometimes Lee, while very intelligent, uses the wrong words for things. Sweet guy. I started noticing it when I was pregnant and then it continued after Lydia was born.

Here are a couple of my favorite examples:

Background: While in Las Vegas for Kelsie's wedding, Lee bought me a Dodgers maternity shirt.
Statement made while at home while putting clothing away:

Lee says, "Hey babe. Here's your onesie."
Sara Jo, confused, looks up, sees the 'onesie' aka maternity shirt and responds, "Well, I do try to avoid shirts that button at the crotch, but thank you babe."
He made this vocabulary mishap on more than one occasion. Hillarious.

The other favorite occured after Lydia was born.

Background: At home just a few days after LJ's birth, I'm in the living room with her and need Lee to get something for me.
Sara says, "Lee, can you go get me her binky please."
Lee responds, "Sure. Is it in her cage?"
Sara gives a confused look back and clarifies hesitantly, "umm, you mean her crib?"
Lee, a little embarrassed, "umm. yah."
This mishap was also made more than once and my mom and I really enjoyed teasing Lee about that.
However, I have had my share of vocabulary mishaps, as well. Only a really good one worth sharing that comes to mind and it is much more embarrassing than any of Lee's.

Background: It is a few days before Christmas 2009. Lee's family is at our home to celebrate Christmas because we will be heading to Kansas for the Holidays. Lee & I have known we are pregnant for just a couple weeks at this point and we are getting ready to tell the family. Our house is very cold in the winter and doesn't heat very evenly throughout the house so there are some "cold spots." I see my father-in-law shivering in his leather coat in the living room and I go to grab our little space heater to set up next to him.

Setting the heater next to him, I say, "Here you go! This little heater works great AND it ovulates!"
Gasp.
My father-in-law cleverly and quickly responds, "If it does that I don't want to be anywhere near it."
I am stumbling to correct, "Uh! I mean OSCILATES!"

Friday, October 8, 2010

Serious Savings

At our church mom's group a few weeks ago, Miriam Hofer shared her tricks & tips for saving money. She proved her success at shopping thrift stores by bringing in GREAT items that she got for less than $1 each. (Some were like 28 cents!!)
She gave us a handout with the information for thrift stores she shops at and the days they have sales. Yes, thrift stores have sales. So yesterday the Salvation Army in Reedley was having their 75% off children's clothing and the Open Gate in Dinuba was having 50% off infant clothes. Well, I decided to try my hand at the trade.

First I went to The Salvation Army in Reedley. I got the following:
size 12 month sweet dress for next summer
size 3-6 months brown skinny leggins with lace trim on the bottom
size 0-3 pink overalls AND i found the matching long sleeve shirt somewhere else on the rack
size 0-3 red pants with ruffle but, I love me some ruffle but on my little babe
size 12 month tutu swim suit for next summer. precious!

TOTAL COST: $2.91

After shopping the Salvation Army, I headed to Fresno to hit the mall with a friend.
We went to Gap and I scoped the clearance racks at Gap Kids.
I got the following long sleeve onesies for right now, bc my little girl has mostly summer clothes in this size and I needed some long sleeve stuff.

TOTAL COST: $9.78

After shopping at the mall I decided to hit the other deal at The Open Gate in Dinuba. So Lydi and I hit the road. When we got to The Open Gate there wasn't a whole lot there because it was already late in the day & people had already been shopping there. But it was 4:30 and I had 30 minutes to do some shopping. I grabbed a couple things and got the counter. My total was going to be $3.41 and they told me I could fill a brown paper sack for $5. Meaning, anything I could fit in the bag would still only cost me $5. Sweet. So I decided I'd keep looking. Next time I'll go early in the day, but still, check out my loot.

Four denim over-all pieces in sizes 0-3 months, 0-6, 6, and 12 months.
A vintage looking jumper for play time size 18  months.
A sweet little vintage white sweater-like onesie size 18 months.
3 size 2T dresses (botttom right, 2 pink, one denim)
Two little jumper one pieces size 12 months for next summer.
Spring dress size 9 months
A great little gap summer hat size 6-12 months
And a hand made little dress that I am going to use as a pattern to make others like it.
(Not pictured, 2 belts for myself)

TOTAL COST: $5.00
So, let's consider my savings. Two items for $9.78. Twenty-Two items for $7.91.
I'm not saying I will never go buy Lydi anything new. Of course I will. But I don't think I am okay with spending $20+ on a piece of baby clothing that she may only wear twice before she grows out of it. Truth be told, I'd rather buy clothing for myself or Lee at that cost, because we'll wear it for years. Of course it is tempting to buy the super cute name brand things right off the rack, but the reality is that we aren't made of money, so I can only shop those racks when they are on sale or clearance. Plus, if I buy her something at thrift store prices and she does only wear it once or it gets ruined then I haven't lost a lot of money. Also, the majority of the items I bought at the thrift stores don't even look used. That's because how often does a baby wear 0-3 month overalls when they probably have an excess of other clothes? I am not buying my baby dirty, old, stained clothes. At thrift stores there are definitely items you don't want to buy, but you'd be surprised the treasures you can find. And I think that is what made it all so fun. So much fun it might be a new hobby of mine... like hunting treasure.
Yay for super savvy serious savings.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

it's been a long time

When I am out and about I often think of things I would like to blog about. I have a handful of things I have yet to blog about that I have every intention of actually blogging... someday. It has been 3 1/2 weeks since I blogged. This is mostly because I went to KANSAS for TEN DAYS! What a blessing that was. I love my family so much & miss them all every day.

Here are just SOME photo favorites from the trip.


Oh these uploads are just taking way too long. I will post the whole album to my blog on the side. MUCH easier. Maybe I'll post more later.

I am also back in Reedley now and will be more committed to frequent blogging.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Make yourself at home... wasps?

Last Sunday I was in cleaning mode. So I took my handy dandy vaccuum hose on my more-than-awesome Dyson (thanks mom & dad for the rad Christmas gift last year) and I, as any good woman would do, 'dusted' (aka: sucked) the Air Conditioning filter on the ceiling in the hallway outside the bathroom. I smiled to myself w/ pride that I had actually done something productive to make our home cleaner (We've lived here over a year--that's the first time I've vaccuumed the filter).

Moving on. . .

About 15 minutes later I needed to pee. I skipped to the bathroom,(okay, so there was no skipping), took a seat, did my thing, except when I reached down to the ground to pick something up that had fallen off the bathtub ledge I got a little more than I bargained for. A wasp had hopped onto my forearm to hang out. Once I saw its creepy little face peak around my arm I flailed my arm, threw what I was holding and jumped up. My commotion caused 'something' else to take flight. It was then, like a well-filmed horror flick, I slowly looked around the bathroom *cue creepy foreshadowing music here* and saw them everywhere!

Three on the window, one on each wall, one behind the toilet. . .

but the majority taunted me from the ceiling light.


Okay, so they didn't do much taunting. Because the house was cool they were a little lathargic and didn't move fast. My brave husband swatted a few lone rangers on the wall and the next day I sucked some up with the same vaccuum hose that I believe stirred up their little neighborhood and sent them into my bathroom in the first place.

I didn't get to shower for 2 days--I was disgusting. So Lee & I wiped them all out so that I could shower. Thank goodness for that because the bug man didn't make it here until today.

Oh Life & its adventures.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I love Coupons

Get emailed a coupon every day! They are seriously good deals. I promise. :)

http://www.groupon.com/r/uu7413985

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Genesis 3:16

Last week I got to talk to a good friend who I don't get to connect with very often. I was delighted to find she shared a desire with me. Despite people's gasps in disbelief, I truly wanted to feel the pain of child birth & honestly I truly loved the whole process of it, no matter how painful. There are a dozen reasons why I wanted to experience natural child birth, but one reason that surprises most people is this:

I wanted to experience real, honest-to-goodness, painful child bearing because God intended for me to experience it.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children..."


Let's just say, God wasn't kidding. It is incredibly painful. Hands down the most physically painful thing I have ever experienced. But hands down the most rewarding, too. Even in God's consequence he administered grace. When a woman gives birth that is the highest her oxytocin level will ever be. Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the "cuddle hormone" and it is also released with an orgasm. Sorry folks, it's the truth. Point being, it is a feel good, happy hormone. And the most a woman will ever get of it is in child bearing and the most a man will ever get of it is when he is born. Aint it good to be a woman?

All that to say the point is: I am a sinner and in my mind a consequence of sin is pain in child birth. I'm no better than Eve so I couldn't pin it all on her and I wanted to hold up my end. So bring it on oh pains of child birth, I'm still going to do it again and again and again.... and again?

*Disclaimer: I do not expect every woman to feel the same as I do. Nor do I have any criticism for women who choose to use pain reducing methods in labor. It is understandable. So just for the record I do not think I am better than anyone. I am serious about wanting to experience the pains of child birth, but the "super woman" attitude in the blog was for the sake of humor. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

5 weeks and 5 days of learning

Lydia is 5 weeks and 5 days old.

In all my years of school I do not know if I have ever learned so much in just 5 weeks and 5 days.


On the humorous side I have realized the incredible amount of things I really can do one handed and that Lee cannot, just how little sleep I actually "need" in order to keep functioning, while at the same time becoming painfully aware of just how nice sleep can be. I have also learned that I can be indifferent to being peed on or getting poop on my hand, can somehow forget about what I may look like or if I have brushed my teeth yet until the door bell rings and I am snapped back into reality, and everything I used to do quickly now takes 3 to 5x as long. (i.e. This is the third time I have sat down to work on this blog in 4 days). I understand the meaning of 'mother bear' & have found myself ready to stand over my little cub and defend her at all costs. (this has increased my fear of mother bears in the wild because now I can imagine what they will want to do to me if I come close to or harm their little babe).


On the more sentimental side I have learned just how many hours can pass in a day spent just staring at this beautiful little person we have been blessed with. I finally understand what Stevie Wonder was really feeling when he said "I can't believe what God has done, through us He's given life to one." In my most sleep deprived stage of life I have learned no matter how tired I am or exhausted I feel or what hour of the night it is there is just nothing as precious or captivating as those big, sweet eyes staring at me in the dim light.

Just the other night my sweet little Lydia Jane was fussing and not wanting to be laid down. So, as I often do, I laid her beside me in bed. And there we were. Both laying on our sides facing each other and I couldn't help but surrender to the smile on my lips. She had stopped crying and was laying there staring at me, totally content. She just wanted to be close to her mama. While moments before I was in a zombie state of fatigue I suddenly felt no desire to close my eyes. I don't know how long I stared into her lovely eyes and studied her perfect face, but no amount of sleep would be worth giving that moment up.

I never knew how special it could be to be the only one who can 'fix it'. It was something I had been looking forward to for months, maybe longer, to be the mama when only the mama has the touch.



Fear has a whole new meaning to me now. As trusting of The Lord as I desire to be, in small moments I have found myself stricken with fear at the realization of the things I cannot protect her from, frozen in terror at the story of a baby being hurt or even dying, and hitting my knees in prayer as I cradle her and my mind torments me with all of the bad and scary events that could occur that could cause her physical or emotional harm.


Have I ever prayed more fervently? Have I ever been more desperate for God's hedge of protection? Have I ever cared so deeply or loved so fully? No. Never. Not once.


People told me I would know a love I had never known and be more in love than I ever had. I believed them of course, but never imagined it, never comprehended it until now. It makes me miss my mother terribly and it also makes me want to shower her with apologies for my rude junior high years, the times I lied to her or spoke rudely to her, and any grief or stress I ever caused her. But just when I become afraid she may still be hurt by me or even angry I realize how much she loves me as her own baby girl and I know that I am amazingly blessed to have a mother who loves me as greatly as I love my sweet little one.


I am not ready for Lydia Jane to grow up. I will cherish every sweet little moment and day to the best of my ability. And I will pray for her always & maybe one day she will bring in to the world a precious little baby and she will have the epiphany or realization of my great love for her. No matter how much I try to express it to her, until then, I do not think she will ever be able to grasp it.

Singing Newborn

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hello!

4 Weeks old-August 17

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Investment versus Return

When I decided to transfer from Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS to Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA and my dad saw the cost difference, he simply said to me, "I'll gladly pay for any education you want to pursue, but with costs that high you have to ask yourself if the investment will be worth the return."

He wanted me to consider what type of job I would pursue after school and if I would be able to make enough money to essentially pay for my education (not that I would be literally paying it off, because my father blessed me by paying for it, but I got the idea). Of course it would! So off to APU I went.

Upon graduation I didn't know where to go or what to do. I took a trip to China, but ultimately stayed in Azusa where finding work was quite a challenge. I ended up working at a very fun little art gallery and then 10 months later went to Buenos Aires, Argentina to study Spanish for 2 months. I got back, got engaged, got married, and started the Public Administration masters program through Walden University online. I had wanted to pursue creative writing through Fresno State, but didn't make the cut-off for applying. Two very different majors, huh?

I've learned in life that I am very impulsive. This didn't dawn on me until last year when I impulsively cut bangs without even looking in the mirror. I don't mean that I trimmed already existing bangs, I mean I grabbed the long shoulder length hair in the front of my head and hacked across them with kitchen shears. It was so incredibly impulsive. As I tried to repair the 'flaws' in my hack job it dawned on me just how ridiculously impulsive I was.

Why did I choose public administration? Well, because I like to lead and to organize. However, what I really knew nothing about before starting this course was anything about politics and/or the economy. Not really anyway. I have enjoyed the classes because they are intellectual and I am learning a lot and I enjoy to learn, but I become afraid about what I will do with this masters I am working towards. Then not to mention I go and get pregnant and have a baby right about the half way point of the whole program. I don't regret having our precious bundle for one single second, but it does make completing school work a little more daunting and undesirable. I mean, who wants to sit down and focus on text books and politics when they could be holding their 4 week old baby? Exactly.

I would really like to teach at a Junior College just one or two nights a week once I finish my masters. Yet, while I would LOVE to do this, I can't help but think how inadequate I would be to teach on the subject of Public Administration. I mean, I am barely just learning. Now, communication studies (my BA degree), that is an area I feel more fit to discuss. Can you teach at a JuCo in the study area of your BA or does it have to be your MA focus? Goodness I don't know. I just know one thing I have always known: Once I started having children I knew I would be torn between always wanting to be home with them and wanting to work.

Obviously I would choose my kids over work in a heart beat. At the same time, however, I remember the investment, not just financially, but physical and mental energy over 6 years, that I have made. When I consider the countless hours of studying, writing, and stressing out, I want to reap some benefits or rewards from all that hard work. Once again, I don't just mean financially, I just mean I want to put to use the things I have learned. Teaching at a JuCo is the most desirable to me, because it means I could be at home during the day with my kids and Lee could be with them when I worked one or two nights a week and they wouldn't have to go to a baby-sitter or day care.

And as I finish up this current quarter--desperately--I am thinking on these such things. School has been so overwhelming that it is hard to imagine starting back up again in December after taking a quarter off and not finishing until September. Do I have it in me? I guess so.

Just two final papers to start and finish by Sunday, and then one more week of small papers and I will be done with this quarter. Maybe after taking 12 weeks off I will have more motivation once again and not be so overwhelmed. I hope so.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Isn't She Lovely


Isn't she lovely
Isn't she wonderful
Isn't she precious
Less than one minute old
I never thought through love we'd be making one as lovely as she
But isn't she lovely made from love

Isn't she pretty
Truly the angel's best
Boy, I'm so happy
We have been heaven blessed
I can't believe what God has done
Through us He's given life to one
Isn't she lovely made from love

(Isn't she Lovely by Stevie Wonder)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Birth Story--the extended version

On July 11 we walked across the street to send off the Guatemala Team leaving for their two week mission trip. As I gave Miriam Hofer a hug she said, "Now don't go having that baby while I'm gone!" I just laughed, because we both knew it was a ridiculous possibility. I mean, our baby wasn't due for more than a month.

The following week I got a little crazy working on projects. Poor Lee, he was so busy and I wanted (and needed) his help for so many things. I decided to give the guy a break right before he left for church camp, I mean, after all, we would have plenty of time before the baby arrived after he returned a week later.

So Sunday, July 18, I walked across the street again to the church. This time it was to send off my husband and all of his junior high students to summer church camp for a week. Someone asked if I would be fine with Lee away. Of course I would, I had plenty of homework and housework projects to get done to get ready for this baby. Loraine Schellenberg said. "Oh yeah, you're far enough out nothing is going to happen." I honestly and whole heartedly agreed with her.

Vince Balakian advised Lee to gather all of the emergency numbers and give them to me. He thought we should be prepared in case I went into labor. We agreed. Yet, we failed to complete the task. Oops.

So after sending Lee of on Sunday I did the following:
-Primered the nursery to get it ready for Lee to paint it :)
-Then my feet throbbed so bad I could hardly stand it (in fact I wrote a post about it all) I was desperate to complete tasks, bizarrely motivated.... hmmmm, nesting?
-Worked on homework
-Suffered from some braxton hicks contractions (false labor contractions) Who knows if they were false now?

Monday I completed an entire weeks worth of homework and started the next week's. (Thank you God for that!) Then I went and hung out with Kathleen Bergen.

It was all just a normal day.

I came home & proceeded to work on more projects, suffer through more "false" contractions, and then finally hit the hay around mindnight.

At 3 am I woke up quickly and assumed it was because I needed to pee (as usual for a pregnant woman, especially at 35 1/2 weeks pregnant). But then I had that cramping feeling again. Those darn Braxton Hicks! I went pee and while peeing (sorry for details folks) I heard a "pop" and I thought to myself, "Gosh, pregnancy is so weird. Now I make sounds when I pee. Gross."

Wanting to get back to my precious sleeping I laid back down. But no way! I felt stabbing pains in my lower back when I laid down so I ruled out sleeping as an option. I went through the advised steps for getting rid of BH contractions: juice, a snack, and walking around, but to no avail. So I grabbed my text books. I guess I would do some homework if I wasn't going to get to sleep.

So there I am, sitting indian style on the bed reading a book when, hello! I think I've peed myself, depsite the fact that I had peed 3 times since waking up 10 minutes prior. Of course the thought crossed my mind that my water could have just broken, but felt a little embarrassed for even thinking so because we weren't even near my due date and I didn't want to be dramatic. I jumped up ticked that I had lost bladder control and ripped the sheets off the bed to wash them. However, even after I took a bath, had changed the sheets and my pajamas I kept 'leaking' and had to sit on a towel. So I googled on my phone how to know if your water broke. (oh modern times)

The two signs that stood out to me:
-some women hear a popping sound when their water breaks
-a consistent leaking feeling

Oh brother.
Still, I remained in denial.
I did start making notes in my phones to keep track of my "braxton hicks" and how long they were. I still have the note, it makes me laugh to look at. By 4am my contractions were 6 to 7 minutes apart and I was in a lot of pain. So I took another bath and continued to text my sister Jennifer in Kansas. I needed to talk this through with someone. I was, afterall, home alone and had no present voice of reason to snap me out of my denial.

In the bath tub for the second time I continued to time my contractions. At 5am I thought for sure I wasn't recognizing the contractions or timing them accurately, because surely they were not occuring on the dot every 4 minutes. So at about 5:15am I called Jennifer knowing it would be 7:15 in KS and I would catch her awake. I did. She hadn't got any of my blackberry messages yet. I started telling her what had happened so far when I had another contraction. I guess by the change in my voice and breathing she knew I was in real labor. She told me to get off the phone and find a neighbor or call someone (in the same state as me) to take me to the hospital.

It's almost 5:30am in California at this point so I was not surprised that my first attempt received no answer. But The Lord had it worked out. Stephanie Warkentin had been at my house the evening before to drop off a package for her daughter and son. (Oh yeah, because I was planning to drive up the mountain and spend the day with campers on Tuesday). So I called her and she called me right back and hit the road to come get me.

I headed out the door to the hospital in pajama pants, a tank top, and a t-shirt (no undergarments because I rolled out of the tub in lots and lots of labor pain and just grabbed what I could once I realized I was heading out the door to the hospital. I did grab my purse, but there was nothing in it that I needed once arriving at the hospital: no camera, no insurance card (that was in Lee's wallet), and no cell phone. I had dropped the cell phone in the front yard on my way to Stephanie's car. Bummer! Not that I would have time for phone calls because it felt like I was constantly contracting, but still!

Once in Steph's car I apologized in advance in case this was a false labor thing. Ha! Who knew I was so good at the denial game. On the way to the hospital Steph began working her magic to get a hold of Lee and telling me random stories to distract me from the intense pain I was in. I only cried once on the way to the hospital and it wasn't because of the pain. It was because I was slowly moving from denial and realizing my husband didn't even know what was going on and we couldn't reach him because cell phones don't get reception up at Hartland in the mountains.

I remained surprisingly calm all morning while laboring alone and even when we reached the hospital. We walked up to the counter and Steph started to tell them what was going on. They acted really non-chalant I think they were assuming since I was a first time mom and still almost 5 weeks from my due date that I was probably not in real labor. But of course I had a contraction while they asked me endless questions and had to squat down by the counter, "Oh don't squat here hon." They told me as if I had some kind of choice since they weren't putting me in a room.

Steph kept urging them to check me while she talked with the director of the camp about what was going on. It was a God thing that Steph would be able to get a hold of the director of the camp so quickly! The nurse tried to tell her not to have the dad drive down just yet until we checked her. But since he had a 1hr 15 min drive AT THE LEAST, Steph told the director to get him down here. It was a good thing, because when the nurse did check me she said, "Oh! About 9cm!"

It was go time. Which really, even I, Miss Denial, could have told them at that point. Yet, the big "9 cm" definitely snapped me into reality!

The next 2 hours were spent wondering if Lee was going to make it. None of the nurses thought he would. It was close to 6 when they told me I was at 9cm and Dr. Cano was on call, but Julie would be on at 7am. Julie is the midwife I REALLY wanted to do my delivery, so I knew we were at least making it to 7. :) Julie showed up and she didn't rush me. My body was pushing on its own, but I didn't feel the urge to push yet despite everyone reminding me not to wait for Lee to push. My lamazze teacher/doula said I was probably waiting for him subconsciously because my body wanted him there so it just waited. She says she has seen that a lot in women's labors.

I was practically sitting up and leaning to the side during labor. And my midwife Julie Medina was awesome and just let me labor the way my body wanted to. She was so encouraging and calm.

When things got in to full swing after the nurse checked me I was in sound mind to rattle off the things I wanted "No pain medication and delayed chord cutting. Oh, and I haven't had my strep B test yet." You see, it was Tuesday and on Wednesday I was supposed to have my 36 week appointment, get my strep B test, pre-register at the birthing center so I wouldn't have to register while in labor, and finish my 'birth plan'. Isn't God funny with his timing?

Due to this change-up in the order of things I had nurses asking me all sorts of questions "height, weight, what I brought with me, et cetera et cetera". And they wanted me to sign all sorts of things. Let's keep in mind this is in the MIDDLE of the most intense pain I have ever felt at this point in my life. So Steph would put the pen in my hand and rest my hand on the line that needed my signature or my initials. Thank God I didn't sign my baby away, because let's be honest, I wasn't comprehending much of anything they were saying to me.

A nurse asked if the bed needed broke down, but Julie said, "Nah. She'll probably deliver just like that." I was so relieved because moving brought excruciating pain. Which is funny, because I had been so worried the nurses and doctors wouldn't give me the freedom to walk and move around during labor. But then again, I did that part of labor at home alone and had all the freedom I wanted to pace around my house, which I did. :)

Lee called Stephanie's phone when the got far enough down the mountain to have reception. She held the phone up to my ear and he told me he loved me and was on his way and that I was doing great. I couldn't really respond but I gasped out an "I love you, too." Surely he would make it. I just knew that he would make it.

Some time after 7am I hit the wall they had told us about in Lamazze class. Everything 'down there' felt like it might explode and I suddenly panicked thinking "I can't do this." I literally ran straight in to this towering wall of "I Can't." Lee wasn't there yet and this was too hard. But then a comforting voice from within said the most empowering and terrifying thing I had ever heard, "But you are the only person who can do this. No one else can do it for you." I said a quick prayer, okay, I prayed through my whole labor, but The Lord reminded me in that moment that I was able, because He made me able, and He made my body to be able. So I told myself "I am the only person who can push this baby out. I HAVE to do this. I CAN do this."

So I started pushing.

Around 7:30am I heard some nurses shout in the hall, "Are you Lee!?" Moments later he came running into the room--complete in Dodger shirt and hat. :) He traded places with faithful Stephanie who had stood by my side and held my hand the whole time. That last stretch was the hardest. Every time I pushed I thought certainly that her head was out, but it wasn't yet. "I see lots of dark hair," Julie told us--and this was a surprise to me. Because of how I was sitting I was able to see the back of her head when it came out and Lee was able to comfort me and see his baby girl enter the world. At 7:49am Julie said, "reach down and deliver your baby." I got to help scoop her up and place her on my tummy. There she was, she finally made her debut. HER debut. Remember, we didn't know the gender yet. So Julie let Lee announce it, but Lee was so speechless and in awe that it took him a little while to say it.

I just held her close to me and laughed and cried at the same time and told her everything was okay and that I loved her. About 15 minutes later she nursed for the first time. It was incredible how instinctual that was for her. Isn't God amazing?! Then Lee gave her the first bath and fed her a glucose bottle to get her sugars up. They were pretty low from being premature. But she was a plump 6lb 5oz for her 18 inches length and she was perfect in every way.


"Do we have a name?" Julie asked, and I panicked and said, "No, not yet!" Though we had talked frequently about Lydia Jane and loved it all the way through, I was still so startled by her early arrival and my unpreparedness that I didn't feel ready to solidify her name. It didn't take us long though & we went with what had been so beautiful to us all along. And every single day the name is more perfect for her. And my incredible love for her has only made me more aware of my mother's incredible love for me, God's incredible love for his son that He watched suffer for our sake, and God's incredible love for us.

My little Lydia Jane, you have changed my life forever.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Early Arrival


Our precious baby came a month early one very surprising morning while Lee was away at camp and I was home alone. It was an amazing day & we're still tryin to wrap our minds around the fact that she's here with us, oh and that she is a SHE. I'll post the birth story when I have a little more energy. :) It's a good one.

Welcome to our family, sweet

Lydia Jane Waldron

6 lbs 5 oz - 18 inches

July 20 at 7:49am

Sunday, July 18, 2010

unstoppable motivation... oh wait, except for the aching feet

I have been incredibly motivated lately. Sat down to pee yesterday morning and before leaving the bathroom I am suddenly on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor. Last night I washed and ironed our new bedding and if I could, I would set up our new headboard in our room and move our bed frame to the guest bedroom. But even not pregnant I wouldn't be able to to get any of those things up or down the stairs. If only my 15 and 16-year-old nephews lived close. I would definitely be putting them to work. Today I did some serious speed shopping at walmart right after I got done with 2-year-old Sunday School. I bought all the things Lee needed for Junior High Camp this week, some groceries, and things for painting. I came home, sent my man off, and then came back home to conquer a project.
The plan was to prime a small section of one wall in the baby's room so that I could try a yellow paint sample and see what it would actually look like. (I've already gone through 4 aqua samples & have now decided to paint the room yellow. . . I think). Anyways, I started priming the section and I just couldn't stop. I painted the whole wall, then the second wall, and then a first coat on the third wall. I am motivated enough to go finish it EXCEPT my feet are throbbing!!! I just know I could finish. Now here I am wanting to work on all sorts of projects in our home and I know if I do my feet will hurt so bad it will be hard to sleep and maybe even when I get up tomorrow. darn.
So I guess that leaves me with homework. I'll do homework while my feet rehabilitate. sigh. the one thing I struggle the most to find motivation for.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sew: A needle pulling thread Part 2

My mom mailed the bumper to me and it arrived a couple days ago. Ever since it's arrival my (swollen) fingers have been working away to finish it! I am just so excited to see the finished look that I just keep sewing even if it's midnight and/or my back is aching.
I am feeling really good about how it is turning out. Yes, if you look closely at it you will find lots of flaws in my hand stitched trim and pieces of fabric that were not cut straight, but it's really okay. This is the first thing in my life that I have actually sewn & I'm proud of it either way!
The act of sewing is therapeutic and self-gratifying. Every time I finish a section or the piece of thread I had started it feels so good. My Little Bean, whether boy or girl, will one day look back at these pictures of his/her young mama just sewing away in eager anticipation for his/her arrival. :)
I just absolutley love my colors and my fabrics. It is going to look so great all together! I am just a little over a yard from having the trim completely done & all I will have left to do are the ties to attach it to the crib. Yay! :)
As soon as I'm done and have a crib mattress I will put the whole ensemble together & post some pics, but it may be a couple of weeks.
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mixed Messages

The other night I'm sitting on the couch reading for school and Lee is sitting just a few feet from me waiting for his play station 3 football game to load. It's taking a little while so he starts playing with his phone.

A few moments later I hear him kind of mutter to himself, "...August... just a couple weeks away..."

I smile and energetically respond, "I know! Can you believe it! Less than six weeks until our due date!"

One look at his face and I knew. . . "You're not talking about our baby are you?"

Lee hesitates and then responds, "umm.. well, no. August is when the new Madden 2011 game comes out... but, I'm excited about our baby, too!"

I laughed so much (and texted my sister immediately). It got me pretty good. Oh husband.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our little friend Violet

video

Violet had lots to say on the phone, but she was hard to capture because she likes to spin around a lot and I'm just not as quick on the ground with this bowling ball mid-section of mine. Still we were all pretty entertained with her little trick of talking on the phone. We're all sure she learned it from watching her mama.

video

video

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lovin' Lamaze

Did you know that right after normal, unmedicated childbirth if you lay the baby directly on the mother's bare stomach and give it time it will eventually crawl up to the breast and latch on? I watched a video on a study done and I watched a newborn baby literally push itself up its mother's belly until it found her nipple and began to eat. I am not kidding you! The baby rested and adjusted to its surroundings for about 20 minutes before doing so, but it was absolutely phenomenal! It isn't that the baby knows how to crawl at birth, the research study actually said it was a reflex. The baby is born knowing what to do and how to do it. I won't go on with too many details but there are several factors, such as the smell of a lubricant produced by the nipple that resembles the smell of amniotic fluid and thus draws the baby to it because it is most familiar, that aid in this very natural process. Yet, in hospitals the baby is often wisked away to be given shots, cleaned up, et cetera. I am not criticizing anyone who has had unnatural birth or not chosen to do it this way I just think it is incredible how God designed human beings! Think back to when there were no interventions or when women didn't have guides on how or what to do when it came to breast feeding etc. God gave babies the human instinct to find what they needed. I wish you could all see the videos I saw because they were captivating.

So I'm going to try it. Despite how much I may frustrate the nurses or get criticized, I am writing in my birth plan that no routine newborn procedures need to be done until after the baby has nursed. As long as my baby is breathing fine I'm going to lay it on my tummy and just enjoy it. I'm not going to pull it straight up to my breast and try and make it feed right away, I think I'm going to let it find its way. Go ahead, call me crazy, but even if I'm wrong it isn't like this is going to hurt my baby. Laying on my tummy is the closest it will be to its former home anyway--and I don't care if it's slimey or whatever--it will be my baby, my beautiful, healthy, happy, God made & hand crafted, instinct-given little perfect miracle.

Wow. We're going to be parents.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

7 weeks to go: Crib Assembly

Setting up the crib was a little surreal & yet strangely natural. Lee is pretty proud of his 1 hr 11 min assembly/set-up time. (I'm proud of him, too). He had no real set-backs or moments of frustration, and he did it about 99.75% by himself. I just helped unpack a few things and hold a couple of pieces for him. So he gets all the props.
It looks beautiful!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A glance back to early December 2009


Where it all began... well, kind of. ;)
Above is the moment Lee realized that my lack of a response to his question, "Did you pick up a test? And?" meant that I wasn't exactly going to offer any reassurance. He did it in a room full of junior highers so I was kind of stuck. We went home later and after neither of us spoke about it for hours we finally acknowledged the big news, but without really saying it.


It's kind of funny to look back now. This was early December--we were so overwhelmed and didn't know how to feel--and now here we are in July less than 2 months away from welcoming our little Bean into the world.
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