Posted in Children, Pregnancy

Mother’s Day #1

I got a new camera lens for Mother’s Day along with a salad spinner ( my request) and a bouquet of flowers.

I spent the car trip home from Lubbock playing with my new lens, capturing images of J-Dub driving, EK sleeping, Ashy posing, and maybe an accidental shot of the dials on the dashboard.

Afterwards I reviewed the pictures on my camera and found myself scrolling back. Farther and farther back, on this first Mother’s Day, back through the weeks and months. All the way back to January 28th at 4:20 when the doctor tugged a crying baby from my bulging abdomen after a very long and difficult labor that ended with a C-section.

Then my precious, post term, 7 lb baby was whisked to the NICU where the premature, sick babies go.  The place where I was told when I could touch my baby, that I couldn’t nurse my baby, and where I felt completely helpless.

My heart is so tender remembering that day. I feel anger and I feel sadness all rolled together in a snowball of grief.

As I scroll back through the photos, I’m so thankful to remember.
To remember how tiny she was, how different her hair laid, how red the little mark on her nose appeared, how wrinkled her skinny little fingers were.

Oh my goodness how I love her.

How I miss her tiny newborn self.

How fortunate I am to have her.

Although I can’t take all the credit, being her mom is the best thing I’ve ever done, the greatest gift I’ve ever been given, the most important job I’ll ever have.

To all the mothers out there…….I finally get it.

And it’s incredible.

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Posted in Pregnancy

Preggo Update

We are officially on the countdown.  Tomorrow we hit the 39 week mark.  Only one more to go.  Maybe.  And I am pleased to announce that I have finally crossed over into the land of excitement. 

We went to the doctor yesterday for a sonogram and a check-in.  While I was working yesterday morning and anticipating the idea of seeing her face, I became overcome with joy and excitement.  As I laid on the sonographer’s table, I imagined a little face that would look exactly like the one we will behold in just a few more days.  How lucky we are to get a sneak peek.   The sonographer lubed my belly up and began rolling her wand around as we gazed at the screen.  We saw her kidneys, her bladder, the umbilical cord.  We heard the heartbeat and saw the blood flowing through the veins and arteries of the cord.  We discovered that she is head down (locked and loaded) as I like to call it.  She is estimated to weigh 7 lbs 11 oz, but that estimate can be off by a pound either direction.  And then the sonographer rolled her wand on her face. 

I would love to show it to you, but she doesn’t like having her picture taken.  Her hands were covering her face.

Here is a side profile we got with her hands as the big blob in front.  That is a beautiful eye though, isn’t it?

I’m beginning to think she might be a stinker.  When we wanted to find out her gender, she didn’t cooperate by keeping her legs crossed, now when we’re dying to see her face, she decided to play peek-a-boo instead. 

So the sonographer applied this vibrating buzzer to my belly to try to scare her, and when she finally moved her hand,we got a picture of her.  However, my dreams of seeing a beautiful baby vanished.  I can’t tell whether she looks more like an orangutan or Mike Jagger.

The smushed-nose, big-lipped baby

It’s the nose.  And the lips.  Some wise people I work with told me she’s all smushed in those tight quarters and it can’t be an accurate picture.  So, tonight I stood before the bathroom mirror and I smushed my own nose to compare it with hers.  Then I made my husband smush his nose.  There we sat staring at each other with our noses smushed flat trying to decide whose nose she has.  I’ve decided she has Mick Jagger’s. 

Remember, we have no TV here.  This is what people with no TV do.

But look at these older pictures.  They were taken on the same day back in October. 

The pig-nose, receding chin baby
 

The nose doesn’t look the same in any of them.  In fact, the baby doesn’t look the same in any of them.  So basically, we won’t know what she looks like until she slides out and hollers.  Still,  I’m preparing myself to feed her lots of bananas and teach her to the words to “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” 

When we saw the doctor yesterday, we were pleasantly surprised to discover I am dilated 2-3 cm.  He said it could be any day now.  

And so we wait to meet our little girl. 

And she’ll be beautiful.

Posted in Pregnancy

My dream

Upcoming monumental events cause me a bit of angst, anxiety, and apprehension. 

For example, each August I methodically prepare to meet a new group of second graders.  I hang posters, write out name tags, copy wonderfully engaging papers, plan ice breaking activities, and decorate my classroom door all in eager anticipation. 

It seems that no matter how long I’ve been teaching, every August I still get nervous.  With those nerves come dreams.  My anxiety permeates my subconscious.  It never fails, that my dreams are unpleasant.  No matter how prepared I am in the real world, in dreamland I am usually very unprepared for the first day of school.  My papers are not copied, the children are rowdy, no one knows which seat belongs to them, I’m late to class, or simply have no control over the students.  After a dream like the aforementioned, I usually wake up, mop my brow, and expel a big “Whew, glad that was only a dream.”  And then the first day of school comes off without a hitch.

Considering my past, I’ve been a little concerned as to why I’ve only dreamed about my baby once, and I haven’t dreamed about the labor or birth of my baby yet.  I mean, it’s not as if this is not an upcoming monumental event!  Or it’s not as if I’m not experiencing some angst, anxiety, and apprehension.  By now I should be riddled with night terrors.  But I’m not.

 I woke up this morning with a smile.  Why?  Because she visited me in my dream, and it wasn’t a horrific labor that caused me to sit up with sweat gluing  my gown to my back.  Nor was she sick or crying.  She was sleeping, and I walked into her nursery and there she was lying on her stomach (yes I know, she should be one her back). 

She was a tiny little thing sleeping peacefully.  I reached down into her crib and placed my hand on her back to rub her gently.  She awoke.  Not the sleepy-eyed, grumpy kind of awakening, but rather a “yea, my mommy’s here!” kind of awakening.  You know how weird dreams can be, so although her body was small, she was much older and developmentally capable of more.  She sat on her knees with her arms outstretched.  I picked her up, but I couldn’t see her face.  Her hair was brown and mussed and it grew down into a point on her forehead, kind of like Dracula needing a haircut in the worst way.  I remember wanting to see her face so badly, wondering what she looked like.  I was seeing her for the first time.  I reached my forefinger towards her hair and swept it to the left out of her eyes.  And there she was.  She wasn’t anything spectacular or breathtaking to behold.  She was a baby.  My baby.  A baby I’ve never seen before until last night. 

She had small brown eyes, and chubby cheeks, and a pudgy little nose.  And when she smiled, two little bottom teeth appeared.  She was happy and energetic and glad to see me.  It was as if she’d been waiting to see me as long as I’ve been waiting to see her.  But what made the dream so realistic was the fact that her nose was dirty, and her eyes were sleep-filled.  Little dried sleepies rested in the corner of her eyes, and her nose had run in the night and she had dried crusties on the edge of her nostrils. 

Then I carried her to the living room and handed her to her daddy because I was late for work.  My house filled with people, strangers that I didn’t know.  I was upset because no one had woken me for work, and my face scrub was missing out of my shower, and someone had rummaged through all my cabinets and nothing was where is was supposed to be.   Then I was running a race on the highway.  You know how weird dreams can be. 

I wanted to write my baby dream down however, because I am clinging to that image in my mind.  As the hours pass, it’s vanishing, ever so slowly, because that’s what a dream will do.  There will be a fading, and then a fragment here and there, until it’s forgotten completely. 

We’re down to 11 days until her due date.  On Thursday, I’m having a sonogram.  There isn’t any concern, but the doctor would like to get a birth weight estimate and check my fluids.  I think it’s just a way to get more money, but at least we’ll get to see her little face and I’m sure I’ll post the pictures.

And then, a few days after that, we’ll get to see her face for real.  It won’t be long until we’ll stumble through the house in the dark, sweep her hair off her forehead, pick her up from her crib, clean her crusty nose and boogery eyes, smother her in kisses, tell her how glad we are to see her, and how much we love her. 

It won’t be long.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

22 days

We’ve got 22 days remaining.  Twenty-two.

Give or take 14 days here or there. 

Tomorrow, our  little Emma will be considered full term at 37 weeks.  However I’m happy for her to bake a while longer.  Like 22 more days. 

In the meantime, I’ve joined the flock of pinterest junkies.  There are some really great ideas on that site.  Like the button letters I made for the nursery.

I’m pretty proud of them, if I do say so myself.

I whipped them up yesterday.  It only took me a few hours, in addition to the six weeks it took to gather all the buttons.  So, all in all, considering the unfinished projects lying around, not too shabby!

I started with an 8 X 10 painter’s canvas and then covered it with some material.  I found a font on a word processing program and enlarged it to the size I needed.  Next, I cut out the letters and traced them onto the material using a pencil.  Finally, I arranged the buttons within the lines as best I could, then glued them down with fabric glue, as best I could.  I hotglued twine to the backside and hung them in a row.

Easy-peasy and pretty cheap too, considering you have plenty of buttons.  Or at least some friends with plenty of buttons.

 

 

 

Posted in Faith

Is that You, God?

It happened on a Sunday morning two years ago.  Or was it three?  I really don’t know.  Not because I don’t remember it vividly, but instead because I dismissed it as nonsense, ridiculousness, even poppycock.

I had gone to church that morning.  Whether I started my day with a heavy heart or whether I became burdened during the service, I don’t remember.  But it happened during that time of our church service when our pastor asked for anyone who had a need to stand right where they are to be prayed for.  This is a common practice in our church.  People have needs.  We’re sick.  Sick in body and sick in spirit.  You shouldn’t have to leave the House of the Lord in the same condition in which you entered.  He is, after all, the Great Physician. 

I stood.  I can’t recall my need now.  Perhaps it was a broken heart.  Maybe financial worries.  It could’ve been I was feeling a sore throat coming on.  Whatever it was, the Holy Spirit led me to stand.  Which is not easy.  When the Holy Spirit begins talking to me, my pride begins yelling louder.  “What are you doing?” it screams.  “Do you want all these people to know you’ve got problems?  Don’t you care what they are thinking?  Don’t do it!  Don’t stand.  You can pray for yourself.  You don’t need others to pray for you“.  But deep down, I know God desires obedience.  It will be rewarded.  So this time, my pride gets hushed, and I stand.  I can feel all those pairs of eyes boring into me.  My body temperature rises.  My neck begins to burn.  Then the preacher asks for everyone who is standing to have a prayer partner.  The sound of shuffling feet fills the sanctuary as people rise to meet the ones who are standing.  I feel hands on my back, on my shoulders.  I hear whispered prayers being lifted towards the heavens.  People interceding on my behalf.  The prayers end.  We clap our hands to the Lord, praising Him for what He is going to do.  I  look up at the ones who prayed for me.  We embrace.  Eyes are brimming with tears. 

And that’s when it happened.  A small, older man, who had never spoken more than a cordial greeting to me, with his dark skin and heavy foreign accent looked at me and confidently proclaimed, “The Lord will give you a baby.” 

I smiled politely.  
I’m not even praying for a baby I thought to myself. 

We sat down, and as the preacher gave final announcements, I remember my mind drifting to what had just been spoken to me.  I even felt a little angry.  Why do people automatically assume that I want a baby? 

Church dismissed and we went on with our day.  But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t forget that event.  I chuckled to myself.  Much like Sarah from the Bible did when she was told she would have a baby.   What a crazy old man, assuming things he has no idea about.  I told a few people and they laughed with me.  How weird.  How strange.  How bizarre.

Now fast forward to November 2011.  I’m walking out of the Sunday School room into a narrow hallway and I meet that same man.  I doubt he even knows my name.  His large brown eyes dropped to my bulging belly.  He wagged his wrinkled finger toward it and in his thick accent said, “I told you.”

“I believe you now.” I answered with a smile.  He went on to explain to me that God had been talking to him and wanting him to tell me.  He said it wasn’t just once, but two or three times.  Finally, he obeyed.  Okay, I’ll tell her, he said. 

So.  He isn’t a crazy man afterall.  In fact, he assumed nothing about my needs.  He was obedient to the voice of God no matter how crazy it sounded to me.

Just as so many women were visited by a messenger and told they were going to give birth, I too, was visited by a messenger and told the same thing.  But I didn’t believe him.  Right there, in church, during prayer, as obvious as a lightening strike, God spoke to me through someone else, and yet my ears remained closed.  I even scoffed.  I wonder how many blessings I’ve missed because of my lack of faith?  I hope I have learned my lesson.

God is speaking to you.
Listen.

Posted in Uncategorized

Decisions, decisions.

Decisions, decisions. 
Thankfully not life or death decisions.  More on the caliber of comfort kind of decisions.  As in “should I do an exercise tape or go to bed and read?”  And along the lines of “I just ate mac and cheese, but I really want some milk toast.” 

Do you know what milk toast is?  Does the very mention of those two words together make you throw up in your mouth?  I was raised on milk toast.   Probably not exactly correct, but the modern day version consists of toasting some bread, buttering it, putting it in a bowl, adding sugar to it, then pouring milk over it.  Hence the name Milk Toast.  So yeah, if you don’t like the idea of soggy bread, it might not appeal to you, but to me, it’s like manna from heaven.

Since the weather here has turned colder and the wind has decided to rear his ugly head once again, my walking regimen has been put on hold.  Now for a little cause and effect.  Because my walking regimen has been put on hold, my belly has increased dramatically in size in the last couple of weeks. 

So instead of eating milk toast, then going to bed and reading, I decided perhaps to blog and bore you with more uninteresting stuff like milk toast recipes. 

I’ve reached the age where my mind still says I can but my body says No Way Jose.  Case in point.

Weekend before last, J-Dub, Ashy, and I took a weekend trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico.  We were hoping to see some beautiful foliage, visit some family, have a nice weekend get-away, and find a house to live in.  Not really on that last part, but my husband is set on moving to Ruidoso.  Or anywhere close to the mountains. 

Ashy and I decided to take a little walk around the neighborhood Saturday morning, so we set out with our tennis shoes, no cell phone, and a camera for a nice little stroll on a walking trail that wound around a fenced off golf course. 

We stayed on course enjoying the weather, watching the crows that were as big as my yard chickens, and simply enjoying one another’s company. 

Before we set out, we were told that the trail was about 3.5 miles long.  Not bad.  We could handle that.  And we did.  We did just fine until our trail ended and we were on a street. We didn’t know whether to turn left, turn right, or cross over.   You might say we’d come to a crossroads.  Literally.   We lost sight of the trail and were forced with a decision, decision. So we decided we’d take a right turn since that was sort of the way we came.   After walking a few several blocks, we still had our eyes on the golf course and knew that we weren’t lost.  But then somehow we ended up behind some buildings that dead ended into the fenced off golf course again. 

All during our walk we read signs posted on the golf course chainlink fence that read:

NO TRESPASSING
VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED

But before you knew it, we found ourselves trespassing across the golf course.  We could see the trail on the other side.  There were runners, walkers, and all we needed to do was get over there to them.  It made sense that the quickest route to the trail we needed to get on, was to cross over the golf course. 

Decisions, decisions.  So we headed out walking across this golf course with elevated heart rates, not from the walk but rather from the thrill of trespassing, and all the while Ashy chanting, please don’t prosecute us, please don’t prosecute us. 

Our destination was in sight.  The trail was right before our eyes.  We had traversed the golf course and made it to the trail.  There was nothing stopping us from stepping onto it except the dadgum chain link fence that surrounded the entire golf course. 

There was no gate nearby. No doorway.  No tunnel.  We’d been walking at least 45 minutes.  My feet hurt.  I was getting warm.  I was thirsty, and I was tired of this adventure.  I turned and looked around the area behind us of which we had travelled.  Our choices were either to turn around and re-trespass over the golf course prolonging my misery or climb the chain link fence. 

Decisions, decisions.

“We’re just going to have to climb this fence.”  I told Ash.  Of course the fear of getting caught was weighing on my mind.  I thought surely no one would really harass a pregnant lady and a 12-year-old, but you never know in this day and age.  We took our chances.

We walked over by a little grove of trees away from the trail, behind some buildings which we later discovered to be the police station, and I stood while Ash positioned her sandaled foot just so-so inside the chain links and climbed up and over the fence.  I have never seen anyone climb a fence so slowly.  I was on high alert, looking around for golf carts and flying golf balls, men with badges, and passersby. 

“Hurry up!”  I snapped at her, hoisting her on the butt.  Then as she slung her leg over, of course her pants got hung on that pointy little part sticking over the top bar of the fence, and I had to wiggle it and yank on it to get her free as she gingerly positioned her feet on the opposite side and climbed herself down, safely on the non-trespassing side.

Now for my turn.  Piece of cake.  I mean how many chain link fences have I climbed  in my life?  At least 300.  Not only have I climbed my own fences,  I’ve watched COPS.  I’ve seen how criminals can get over a fence in a couple of seconds time.  My mind knew I could do this.  All I had to do was put my hands on the top bar of that chain link fence and hoist my six month pregnant self on to the bar, then swing my legs over and climb down.  

Now all I had to do was convince my body.  I hoisted.  I strained.  I grunted.  I jumped.  I stood on my tippy toes.   The fence was wobbly.  My upper body was weak.  After a few attempts, my heart rate was really elevated from the anxiety of getting caught climbing a fence and the exertion it was taking.   I was sweating.  In the mountains.  In October.

Finally, with all the strength I could muster, I hoisted and slung my leg at the same time.  I managed to get on top of the bar and laid there smashing my poor baby girl into my backbone, then flipped my legs over and let myself down.

Panting and red-bellied we limped home.  Well I did anyway.
Thankfully without prosecution.
But more than likely, the whole thing is on someone’s surveillance camera.  I hope they’re getting a kick out of it.

I think I’ll go eat some soggy bread now.