September 30, 2008

With A Bow On Top

So is that how this works? Ivy's first hair bow.

And we are... much better than yesterday. If you can believe it, the dinosaur has not shown up once all day.

A friend is bringing dinner.

I won something.

And I'm the blog pick of the week at Mommy Talk, thanks to The Lil' Mommy That Could.

Now if hubby brings home some chocolate I just might be able to forget all about yesterday.

FAIL

Yesterday was not my day. I thought I was doing so well. I was on a roll. I can totally do this being a mom of four thing and still be on top of my game.

Well then all of a sudden- with no warning, mind you- the universe flipped upside down and inside out and pushed me to the ground, kicked dirt in my face, and then lifted its leg on me.

This is hard, people.

Now, I'm not saying I'm giving up or anything. Like that's an option anyway. And I totally still managed to juggle nursing the baby, cook a nutritious dinner on the stove, answer the phone five times, and meet with my midwife for the 2 week checkup. All at the same time.

But then when I finally got Gray to stop headbutting my midwife and pause acting like a dinosaur for a brief 5 minutes- long enough to help Noah finish his homework and get Carter ready for a field trip today... it was time to put the kids to bed and I just wanted to collapse on my pillow or the couch or the kitchen floor would have been fine. But the baby was hungry and so was I and so there I stood at the counter bouncing her in the sling while I ate my dinner at 10:15 at night.

My shoulders sagged, I had a headache that wrapped around my face and crawled down my neck, and I was stick-a-fork-in-me done.

While dressing Gray in his jammies we had a chat and promised that when we wake up, it would be a much better day. We'd both be better than we were yesterday. So far this morning, it's still a bit too early to tell.

September 29, 2008

Ceedy Kooker

Every morning I play a new song for Ivy. I love sharing my love of music with her and knew I must get a head start before her Daddy poisons her with his taste (I know I must be the only person that does not like Journey). But seriously, one day we were listening to Pink Floyd and he said how can you listen to this? It's painful. And I almost cried and then told him to never say that aloud in public.

But now I go and out him here. Ah well.
We can laugh about it now. But I still sometimes cry about it inside.

Today's song was a tribute to what is in my blood, and now Ivy's. She's a true mountain girl.

My grandparents are from the hills of West Virginia. Just this past weekend my grandfather, whom I lovingly call my Poppal, came to see the baby for the first time. He has army "taptoos" (according to Carter) on his arms and a saying for absolutely every situation that only makes sense to him.

That'll make a tadpole slap a whale... I think this means something is really good. He's always saying he's busy stacking bbs or he's gonna take his marbles and go home.

Growing up we'd visit family in West Virginia and there was always a new cousin to meet that I'd never known about, and sometimes maybe even a new aunt popping up that no one had known about and it smelled there. Always felt old and like we were going back in time. Back then I just didn't understand that to my family, that was home.

Poppal's always called me his Ceedy Kooker. I don't know what that is, but it makes me feel special.

And so does this song.



September 28, 2008

The Fact That I Have A Girl Is Starting To Sink In

And I think the baby high just took me higher.


Two weeks ago at this very moment my water broke. Wow.

It's already going by too fast.


To see my Newbaby.com video about pouch wearing newborns, click here.

September 27, 2008

The Babywear Twitch Project

So, I've got some new videos up at Newbaby.com showing my favorite newborn carries in a ring sling and a pouch. My filmmaker comes in the form of my 7 year old and, um, hope it doesn't make you too dizzy.

Someone invent a tripod for the original Flip Video soon. PLEASE!


You can view the videos here- just click on View Videos, My Uploaded Video, and then choose from there!

September 26, 2008

Holy Cow!


This may be the only time you'll ever hear me talk about sports. But it involves my sweet baby girl's name.

Over at
Chicago Moms Blog here.

small is the new big

I'm guest posting at Slurping Life today. Please stop by if you can. And come thirsty.

I'm also talking about our very very very small house at 5 Minutes For Parenting. Does size really matter?



September 25, 2008

In Her Shoes

Well, Jenny McCarthy was on Oprah yesterday and once again up went the Google searches to my blog for "Jenny McCarthy shoes". I saw part of the episode- about Mother Warriors and have to say, go Moms. I am so a Mom Warrior. I know this.

And oh, yeah, loved her shoes.

I might write more about the Mother Warrior thing after I watch the whole episode.

But anyway, I don't know who made her gorgeous shoes or where they are from and that is probably for the best.

Because I want them.

So, I can't talk about warriors without including a link to this most awesome song.

And I can't talk about shoes without showing you Ivy's shoe collection so far. (I promised.) Just one and a half weeks old and she almost has more than me. Almost.

This Daily Ivy Provided By...



I have been sent some pretty generous gifts and caring comments & emails from all my real-life and online friends here in blog land.

Just last week Christy, one half of Ruby & Roja (they made me pretty) emailed me to see if I'd be interested in some outfits that her little girl wasn't able to wear. Free cute clothes? How could I refuse?



In just a couple days a huge box full of the cutest.clothes.ever arrived, including this sweet outfit that Ivy models for you today.


And what do you know, this very day happens to be Christy's 33rd birthday. Would you please stop by and wish her a very happy birthday? I want to rock her world with the most comments ever. I know you can help me do this for you are so
awesome! : )

If you do, I'll give you a big treat. Like, maybe a picture of Ivy's shoe
collection so far. You know you can't say no now! So click here and send your love!

September 24, 2008

Patent Pending

So, the baby high is showing no signs of wearing off anytime soon.

I mean, this is what I get to look at all day long. I tell her she's delicious and nutritious and if I could bottle up that feeling of her velvety hair against my chin and face, oh my, I would.

She giggles in her sleep. And smiles. A lot. Just the other day when I was saying how Daddy tells her that Mommy is going to teach her all about shopping, she laughed so sweetly. In her sleep, of course, but obviously she's already dreaming about shoes.


I still can't leave the house yet- not until she is two weeks old- midwife's orders. I don't mind at all. But I did sneak out into the backyard last night and my bare feet snuggled into the cool evening grass. It felt sooo good. And was even worth the seven mosquito (or skeeto as Gray says) bites on my ankles.

September 23, 2008

Free Comb

It's class picture day today and I am not buying. You can hear me out over here, and maybe even win something. And it's better than a free comb.

They are still getting their class group photo, though, and certainly will still look nice. And so I decided to just take my own shots before they hopped on the bus. Look how handsome Carter is.




And Noah, well, I guess this one is closer to what a real school picture would look like. Bus was coming. Didn't have time for a re-take.







And I know you need your daily Ivy. Here's what the other two were up to.

September 22, 2008

The Sound So Sweet

She is one week old today. How can it be? It seems as though we were waiting forever and preparing and rushing for Ivy to arrive and now she's here and teaching me to slow down.

Because I had her right here at home I never had to regain my sea legs. I never lost them in the first place. It's surreal to replay it in my mind as I do over and over.

We went from a family of five to a family of six without ever leaving my bedroom. And time, for a while, seemed to stop in the warmth of our happiness and love and life.


And when time started up again, it took a slower pace.


A fly tapped against the window early this morning before the sun came up. Would I have noticed it before? I bring Ivy to my chest and breathe in the quiet. The breeze through the screen tells early tales of autumn. Soft sighs chirp from this bundle of sleepy baby in my arms.

I've called on God's guidance in these calm moments more than ever. Lord, let me mother my daughter according to Your will. His whispers are heard so clearly when I let go of the busy.

She may be new, but she brings with her presence old stories and songs with a lazy rhythm. Appreciate the silence, Mama. This stillness is for you and me.

And this is the stuff of life.

September 20, 2008

The Name

I'm sharing about how we chose Ivy's name on video at NewBaby.com today!

Hope I don't make you sea sick... I've got the baby sway going on!

(For a refresher, click on "View Videos" and then "My Uploaded Video" and then "Introducing Ivy LaRue")



I Hope You Don't Mind



I promise sometime in the future I'll resume writing about things other than my new baby girl. But for now, I can't get enough of her girliness and how she sleeps with her rumpy in the air. And those socks! And cheeks! And the little sweater and hat I made for her. And oh my.






She sings, she really does. And I sing to her...

Your Song
Yours are the sweetest eyes, I've ever seen
And you can tell everybody that this is your song

It may be quite simple but now that it's done

I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind
That I put down in words

How wonderful life is, now that you're in the world

How wonderful life is, now that you're in the world.

September 19, 2008

Chills And Thrills


When you get more than a moment, I posted the birth story last night. I know it's long, but it's a goody.




A few hours after Ivy was born, hubby and I laid in bed and just replayed the night over in our minds, thanking God, and beaming with energy and love. He told me how he was listening to me and was just praying and the Lord told him we'd have the baby before 2 am. I told him that there was a moment I was in intense contractions and I prayed specifically that I could have her by 2 am because I thought any longer would be hard to bear.

At the same time we both said it was around 1:18 am. I remember so clearly looking at the cable box clock and it said that time. Amazing! And Ivy was born at 1:40 am.

To read another story about the birth that is sure to give you goosebumps, check out my post at 5 Minutes For Parenting today.

And for more of my new baby's yumminess, you can read my latest post at Close To Home.

Photo by Ashlee Allen.

September 18, 2008

The Birth Story

This past weekend I had said a couple times I have a feeling it will be Sunday. I don't think I had any physical indication to make me think that, but I was having more regular pressure and light contractions every day, and we also were having the heaviest rainfall in decades where we lived. Anything can happen. I had a feeling.
My midwife Lynda called on Saturday morning to check on me and tell me to "sit pretty" since she was at a birth 2 hours away. She just wanted to be sure it wasn't my time, too. I assured her I was fine and went about my day. That night I slept the best I've slept in over a week. It was wonderful and made me think that my body might be resting up for the big day.

Sunday morning hubby asked if I felt like we needed to stay close to home, as we go to church forty minutes away. I was feeling that consistent pressure again and felt like we probably should stick around here. I also wanted to call Lynda to see if she made it home!
I made a grocery list and headed to the store. I heard from Lynda and she was home and had plenty of rest. I then took Noah and Carter to Target. When we got home, I baked a beer bread, made spinach dip, and a cheesecake. I chopped up veggies and washed fruit, stocking the fridge.

I was about to head back out to Target to get a new garbage can but wanted to wait for the bread to finish baking. I sat down to check email and was just about to show Jeff something on the computer when I felt a little "burst" like a tiny water balloon. It was 5:40 pm

I jumped up and said I think something just happened! I ran to the bathroom and sure enough, my water had broke! We were all excited and called Lynda and my Mom right away. Since I wasn't really feeling contractions or anything labor-like, it was hard timing them to give Lynda an idea of where I was at. But, over the next twenty minutes I timed them and they were about 8 minutes apart. But with every twenty minutes, they were closer and closer, although still not uncomfortable. Within an hour after my water broke, I was at about 4 minutes apart and Lynda was on her way.

Jeff and I went upstairs and readied the bed with our sheets and pads. Lynda arrived and we made a delicious snack spread on the counter- thankful for my major nesting in the kitchen earlier that day!

I went about the evening as I would any normal Sunday night and got the boys a bedtime snack, watched Tom & Jerry in our bedroom, and prepared them to look for their baby sister in the morning! After they went to bed, I checked their school's website to see if school was cancelled due to all the flooding we'd had all weekend. No school the next day! I was so excited to see this. I wasn't planning on letting them stay home from school when she was born, but this was working out great! I have to say that I thought about this throughout the whole night and it really made me happy that it was working out this way.
We all hung out for a while just chatting and getting excited for what was to come. After a little while I realized that there probably wasn't going to be anything happening anytime soon, so we decided to watch a movie! My Mom went out and rented Baby Mama and we all retreated to the basement to continue our little party. Throughout the movie I could feel the pressure getting stronger, but I was able to sit and eat and enjoy most of the movie in comfort. Toward the end I decided to move to the floor and would get on all fours every now and then, or walk upstairs and busy myself as the contractions got stronger. When the movie was over, I was ready to go to my bedroom and labor alone. Everyone moved upstairs where they could be closer to me while I went up to our bedroom. They quietly let me do my thing. It was about 11:15 pm.

Gray woke up shortly after I went upstairs and I tried to snuggle with him in my bed for a while. Then he really wanted me to get in his firetruck bed, but at this point, I was getting too uncomfortable to consider that! I didn't have to breathe through anything yet, but moving around and standing at the side of the bed was helping. I did that a bit by his bed, but he really was starting to get upset. So, Daddy came in and took him to be with Mimi (my Mom) downstairs.

Jeff and I went to our bedroom and he rested on the bed while I labored beside it. Soon my controlled breathing was necessary and I continued to stand or squat a bit through each contraction. Within an hour they were coming on very strong. I sent hubby for some celery and crunched it between each contraction. It may sound crazy, but it felt so good! Hubby also was able to get Gray to bed around this time and ended up crawling in the firetruck bed with him.

Lynda and my Mom stayed downstairs but kept their ears to the stairs. Lynda said she could tell how far along I was by my breathing and the sounds I was making. There was never a need to check me to see how dilated I was, just listening to me was giving her the exact information she needed.
At this time things were starting to move along more quickly and quite intense. I felt like I was managing the pain very well by standing and rocking and squatting/bouncing through the rough ones. But they were very short and I knew as soon as one began that it would be over very soon. This kept me going. Around 1:20 am I had one very tough contraction and felt what I thought was the beginning of an urge to push, so I yelled out I think I need to puuuuuuuuush!

So, the troops all came in the room, lights still dark but some candles lit so Lynda could see. I stayed by the side of the bed while they quietly watched me. It seemed like a good ten minutes went by before the next contraction came, and during this was when I had a fleeting moment of wondering if maybe I wasn't ready to push... and what if I was only dilated to 4 cm or something?! But soon the next one came and I immediately went over to the floor and got on all fours. I began to push and Lynda said Oh yeah. It was time!

Jeff stayed by Lynda and my mom was at my front, helping me bear down as I pushed (still on all fours.) I felt like I really had to push hard and wasn't sure anything was happening, but they soon told me her head was out. Lynda had to maneuver her a bit as she was arching her back through the next pushes, but a few minutes later, after 8 minutes of pushing, Ivy LaRue was here! And she cried immediately with the cutest pouty lips ever! It was 1:40 am.
She was behind me still, so Lynda took care of her and I just remember saying well, is it a girl? And Lynda said it's a girl! She passed her through my legs like a football and I held Ivy in my arms for the first time. And yes, after a few moments I did take a peek and saw that indeed... it was a girl.

We waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating, about 15 minutes, and then my Mom cut the cord. Soon Lynda had me push out the placenta and it gently came out in two pushes. I got up off the floor and got in bed with my new sweet baby. She latched on quickly and nursed for about an hour and a half! My Mom was wonderful helping with any of the clean up- which there really wasn't much mess at all! Lynda did all the newborn checkup things and measured and weighed her: 8 lbs 12 oz and 22 1/2 inches long.

She then assisted me in the shower so I could clean off and then we went over all the newborn basics and any additional info I needed to know about taking care of myself. It was soon time for her to say her goodbyes and Jeff and I snuggled into bed with our new little girl, in awe of what just took place at the very foot of our bed.
It was very hard trying to fall asleep as all I wanted to do was stare into Ivy's beautiful face. We wondered if it was all a dream. Everything was just perfect.
Carter got up around 4 am to go to the bathroom and Jeff went to ask him if he wanted to meet his new sister. He proceeded to tell Daddy about how he really wanted an Obi Wan costume. Jeff said, ok, but do you want to go meet your new sister?

Carter crawled into the bed with us wide eyed and wide mouthed and oohed and ahhed over her. She's so cuuute! he kept saying. And did she just pop out of your tummy? He hopped down and went back to bed and shortly Noah appeared in our room- ready to meet baby Ivy. He climbed into bed with us and literally didn't leave my side until I had to force him out. He was in awe of her and I think wanted to stay close to me, too.

Gray woke up later in the morning and was all giggles at the little peeps and squeaks coming from this new baby in our bed. We were all there, one big happy family, snuggled together at home with new life and new adventures and it felt so right.

Everything was just perfect.


September 17, 2008

Girl


How does it feel to have a girl? I am asked this a lot these past few days. To be honest, I am enjoying every sleeping and waking moment of my new baby. Of Ivy. And the fact that she happens to be a girl hasn't really mattered just yet. Sure, there's the changing of the diapers and little girly squeaks and songs (she sings already, I tell you.)

But she's my baby. Gender not really thought about.

Maybe when I start to pull out more of her pink clothes and very non-boy outfits, maybe then it will start to sink in. But for now, I'm in baby bliss. It's all snuggles and kisses and her warm head resting in the nook of my neck. It's just right. And she's my girl.


Photos by Beth.

September 16, 2008

Adored

Little Miss Ivy has a band of big brothers that never want her out of their sight.

Since waking up early and appearing at our bed, just hours after her birth, Noah has hardly left my side. Ivy probably thinks I have an extra head growing from my shoulder. He's always there!

It wasn't so easy coaxing them off to school this morning and away from the new apple of their eyes.

Carter's initial reaction: "She's so cuuuuuute."

Noah: "She's a princess. And will she crawl soon?"

Gray: (lots of giggles) and "She wants a new dinosaur from Target."

Not even two days old and they are wrapped around her sweet little fingers.


Photos by Ashlee Allen

September 15, 2008

Ivy LaRue Makes Her Debut

And She's Here

I know I should be sleeping but I just have to tell you about my new baby girl!

It was amazing. She arrived at 1:40 am this morning in our bedroom, 8 lbs 12 oz and 22 1/2 inches long.

She is absolutely perfect.

She has girly hands and the lips of an angel.

I promise to post a photo very soon but in the meantime I must get back to staring into my sweet Ivy's face.

xoxo
Steph

September 14, 2008

Water Water!

I was just sitting here at my computer and my water broke! No big contractions happening yet, but I'm really getting prepared! I'm a little nervous but a lot excited! You can follow me on Twitter (I'm babysteph) and I'll try to keep you updated!

And thank you again sooooooooooooooo much for your prayers. I am believing for a peaceful, calm birth here at home.

Love,
Steph

Sitting Pretty

I have found that these last few days of waiting have been God's perfect timing, because that Mom my midwife had overdue went into labor on Friday and still hadn't delivered yesterday morning. My midwife called me and told me to sit pretty- and I assured her it's not my time yet! That baby is probably here now and I am hoping my midwife has been able to make it home safely and is resting up for me!

Yesterday afternoon and evening I felt more contractions than ever and was really wondering if it will be very soon. I was able to get some sleep and was only up a few times in the night and went right back to sleep. I really needed that because the past several nights I have been up with Carter as he's had a horrible ear infection and we've all been getting over a cold and cough. I am thankful that we're much better now- and much more ready to welcome a new baby.

Also we've had very heavy rains and many of the roads surrounding our house are flooded and closed! I am hoping there are openings today. My Mom and midwife must be able to make it to our house!

Today could be it... I am up now and as I move around I can feel the pressure again. I can tell she is moving wayyyy down and I'm starting to really prepare.

I must thank you so much for your constant prayers and excited support. I told hubby yesterday that the love and encouragement I have had poured upon me from you all is greater than any church family we've ever had.

Maybe it's because we all feel like we know each other on a more personal level, I don't know, but it's real- I truly feel it and know you are genuine in your thoughts for me. It makes going into this birth feel like I am lifted up from all sides, surrounded and covered in faith and prayer and love.
I wish there was some way I could express my thankfulness for you all. My heart is so full.

September 13, 2008

The Writing On The Wall

Each night before bed I make my sweep through the house picking up toys, finding remnants of a craft project I didn't know had been cut and glued and taped, and more Legos than you can imagine. It's an effort made many times throughout the day to keep most of the house tidy and neat and less like a thousand children live here.

Whether it's the kitchen, bathroom, or hallway closet, they leave their mark in every corner and under every cushion in the form of small clans of dinosaurs and light sabers and more Legos. And when they can't find pretty much any given thing, they ask Mommy and I always know where it is.

Tonight, most of the downstairs is free of child-like things. In the morning, that all changes, but for now, it's almost picture perfect with pillows straight and dining table clean and a clear pathway on the floor. But glance at my walls and my stomach drops just a little, embarrassed that we've yet to pick up more Magic Erasers or finally paint with something that removes crayon and pencil and whatever that brown stuff is a little better.

The red line from the top of the stairs all the way down to the entry way when Noah was making a "map." The teeny tiny signatures and stray letters of the alphabet scrawled randomly here and there.

No matter if I were to remove all crayons and markers and pencils in this entire house, there would still be writing on the wall. They have a hidden stash, I'm sure of it.

Someday their talent for hieroglyphics will fade as I catch up with my Magic Erasing and it will long be a memory, the days I was sadly ashamed of the imperfectness.

Children do live here. Little people that I love more than a clean room and uncluttered corner. As much as the noise and the trails they leave behind can- at times- dance on my last nerve, I wouldn't want to even imagine these walls without them.

Submitted to Scribbit's September Write-Away Contest, Colors.

September 12, 2008

Coming Down From The Ledge

Six days to go

... if she's born on my due date.

My heart started beating faster when I wrote that.

I hate to admit things like this, but I think I'm nervous! Not nervous for the labor or birth, but for the finally meeting this human that has been living in my body since the very beginning of this year. Like, I am almost feeling like I can't imagine not having her live inside me. Like, I am maybe so used to it now it can just stay this way. Why does what's on the other side seem to scare me a little? And in a way that I can't explain or really understand, so it's even that more intimidating? Just a little.

There's so many factors that will be "found out." Will it all go perfectly and be the home birth I've planned? Is this really a girl? Will I need to rush out and buy a ton of boy clothes? Is it really going to happen- me, having this baby that I've been dreaming of for nine months?

So much anticipation. So much wait and see. I know you are all on the edge of your seat to hear the news and I'm starting to feel the pressure. I better put on a good show!

But seriously...

deep deep down, wrapped up in faith and prayers and promises, I know that it will all be ok.

No matter the outcome, it's in much bigger Hands than mine. It's normal for me to feel this way because I am human, and I can not see the path too far ahead, for good reason.

But I know that it's not up to me, it's already taken care of, and all I have to do is be the vessel now for this amazing miracle about to take place.

And yet I get to love her and hold her and nourish her and breathe her and oh my goodness.

I'm not so afraid anymore.

September 11, 2008

Better Full Than Empty

I'm talking about that crazy wonderful thing that comes with having a big family over at 5 Minutes For Parenting today.

Pumpkin


I'm feeling pretty good. Still some restless nights, but I think that comes with the shape of things right now. I was supposed to be my midwife's only Mom due this month, but she still has a Mom two weeks late and I am really praying that she has her baby, like, today so that I can feel a bit more at ease here.





My instinct is that it is not going to be today or tomorrow for me. And I am constantly rubbing and assuring this sweet baby that I only want her to come when she is good and ready.


Carter is getting impatient. He can't wait to see how cute she will look. And he said Mommy, do you think she'll have a face like an angel?

Oh my, I can't wait (but I will wait) to see.


Belly 39 weeks

September 10, 2008

All Mixed Up

Last night I put the boys to bed and decided to get some early rest myself. I've been having contractions on and off since yesterday morning, but nothing major. I laid down in bed and had a sudden moment of panic, wanting to go grab Gray from his little firetruck bed and bring him in with me. I am really trying to get him to stay in his own bed as much as possible, especially with the new baby coming so soon, but I think it hit me that he really isn't going to be the baby now. I know oh too well that first moment of seeing my other children after a new baby is born. They suddenly look like giant children all trunky and heavy and unusual and old.

And I don't think I am ready to look at Gray that way just yet.

So when he called for me soon after I fell asleep, I leaped out of bed and brought him to me. We embraced and fell asleep tight that way. I couldn't bury my face in his hair deep enough, I couldn't stop sneaking in a kiss or two as he drifted off to sleep. And I couldn't stop feeling so very thankful for these last few days, hours, before a new baby soon becomes the smallest member of the family.

And Gray will become a big brother. He will look big all over. As long as he always knows how big my love is for him, it will all be ok.

September 9, 2008

And She Vlogs

And so I am entering the world of video blogging a.k.a. "vlogging." You can now find me at NewBaby.com where I plan to record the rest of this pregnancy and beyond!

Take a look around the site and start posting your own videos if you'd like! You can make them private or share them with as few or many people as you wish.

If you have any suggestions for videos you would like to see featured by me, please suggest away! Please head on over there now- you can click on the button in this post as well as in the left sidebar. Select "View Videos" and my latest one is New Belly, New Baby! Aside from my awkwardness on camera and again an unfriendly screen size and angle... let me know what you think!

The Perfect Person

One aspect about having a larger family is not just my gushy big heart love for my children, but also watching them love each other.

Noah brought home a writing assignment yesterday that had to be about a Perfect Person. He had written it about Gray.

Gray is my brother. Gray loves me.
Gray is funny. He is nice. I love him too.
He likes to play dinosaurs.
He is little. He is two years old.
He has tan hair. He has tan skin.
He has little and big legs.
He has little arms.
He is a little kid.


I had to send a note to Noah's teacher because he was upset that she kept trying to correct him and make him write Gary. I explained to him that Gray isn't a common name and she probably thought he was misspelling it. I assured the teacher that his name is indeed Gray, short for Grayson. That made Noah feel better.

September 8, 2008

Take Time To Eat The Cookies

This video makes me feel all sorts of things. Like, when was Carter ever that little? And Noah- how did I forget his sweet babyish voice?



It was one of those typical Mom moments where you either get really upset or run for the camera. And when I had originally found him, he had two of those chocolate cookies covering his eyes, "hiding" from me.

This was also when Noah was still on the diet and you can see how good he was, at just four years old, he wouldn't even cheat with one of those cookies.

Maybe it's this ninth month pregnancy stage, but I have been feeling more love for my boys lately than I ever thought possible. It was hard to see them off to school this morning. And pretty much everything Gray says or does makes me want to kiss him all over. I'm a big mess of mush. And I feel so incredibly blessed.


September 7, 2008

Living La Vida Belly


I've been wanting to do some sort of belly casting-ish thing for a while now. I knew that the baby was going to come sooner than later, so after walking almost three miles in a parade yesterday, I'm really feeling like she might be coming now. Last night Ashlee was kind enough to let me get her place messy and she & Arianne sculpted like the artists they are by doing a belly imprint for me.





I have been up on & off all night and am probably up for a while now. I'm thinking that maybe baby is coming soon? I know that parade walk at least did a little something...



Belly, 38 weeks


Belly Imprint by Belly Vita

September 5, 2008

Got Another 5 Minutes?

The second video of my interview with 5 Minutes For Mom at BlogHer is up today. I'm talking about blogging and commenting and hopefully you won't be too distracted by my round-ness again!

Watch it here!


Not Today

Oh my goodness. My head. It is heavier than my belly right now. Just about the time when most women in my pregnant state would be praying for baby to come out already, I am praying she stays put. Not today. Not until I get better, please! Sleep. And rest. I need.

And I'm writing at 5 Minutes For Parenting about another day coming up that could quite possibly be my baby's birthday, next week, you know the day.


September 4, 2008

A Whole Lotta Belly


I remember when I thought my belly would never make an appearance. But these days it's the first thing to enter a room, that's for sure.


Thirty eight weeks... we've come a long way, baby!









September 3, 2008

This Month!

I can finally say that I am due this month! And sometimes I even say things like next week or in a couple weeks.

It's for real. And still I don't think I am fully aware of just what is about to happen. I'm going to have another baby. And, people, I am so excited.


I got my new iPhone yesterday. All is well. And I had to take a picture in my car right away. You can also see my swollen nose & puffy lips- always a sign that baby is coming soon!


September 2, 2008

Oh, Fashion

In Target yesterday my mouth literally dropped as I passed a rack of jeans that were hideous. Acid washed. With tapered ankles and buttons. I mean, come on. I know styles cycle through the years and make a comeback but certainly there are fashion statements that taught us a lesson to never go there again... like these jeans. Please someone tell me crunchy, poofy bangs are not making a comeback, too?


In other fashion news, I finished the baby's sweater! And had enough yarn left over that I decided to make her a little hat. I can't wait for her to wear it!


September 1, 2008

A Life On Labor Day

I found this in my drafts this morning, from well over a year ago, and thought it was just so fitting for today.

There was a beautiful tribute in the newspaper about the life lived by Dr. Carolyn Mann Rawlins. I did not know this woman, but she has so deeply inspired me...

Considered by some an area pioneer in natural childbirth and family centered maternal care, Dr. Carolyn Mann Rawlins touched the lives of many.

Rawlins' family said she delivered more than 16,000 babies during her 45 years in obstetrical practice in Northwest Indiana.

Sharrie Parr, of Michigan, was a former patient who considers Rawlins a god-sent physician.

"She had an instinctive way of always doing and saying just the right thing. We (her patients) were never just a number there. Doctor thought her occupation was making families, not just delivering babies," Parr said.

Parr said Rawlins was a positive influence in many lives.

"Many of her patients formed deep friendships. She was always teaching us something, challenging us and enriching our lives," Parr said.

Chris Rawlins, her youngest son, lauded his mother at a recent memorial service.

"My mother wrote in her Bible at age 8: 'Jesus Christ was a physician, and I will be, too.' Focused, she accomplished her goal. Her specific calling to obstetrics and gynecology became evident from the first time she walked into labor and delivery and witnessed life. Her future was sealed," her son said.

"She had been trained as a physician that pregnancy was a type of disease, that mothers must be anesthetized, and that babies were to be removed by forceps. One day, a patient came to her office and asked if she would follow a book called, 'Childbirth Without Fear.' She agreed. During that delivery, the patient refused all traditional medicine had to offer, and Mom watched her first natural childbirth. She was astonished as the woman used controlled breathing, pushed, and gave birth to a beautiful baby. She was so stunned that she went into a private area, praised God, and asked him to teach her to help women give birth. A new life opened up to her, and she followed that quest for her entire life."

Just beautiful. And did you see that we are now in September? I will have a baby this month!

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