Thursday, January 31, 2008

Week 35


How your baby's growing:Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Anniversary

Have you noticed my new header? That was my anniversary gift from my wonderful husband! It is my one year anniversary! No we are not newlyweds, it is my one year anniversary of this blog! Thank you Stephanie, and Karen for inspiring me and getting me started. I have really enjoyed this outlet and am especially enjoying my own personal blogosphere, where I get to read all about you all! (By the way, if you haven't started your own blog yet, you should, I want to read about you!) I had intended on writing a pithy post on this past year of blogging that would bring you all to tears in laughter and inspiration, but alas, it is 3:00 AM and I am in pain. I'm having more contractions (however not regular enough to go to the hospital) which keep sending my blood pressure dipping, which is leaving me with a massive headache. Oh, that and I don't think I could write that kind of post!
Happy Anniversary to you all for putting up with this blog o' mine! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Update

I had my doctor's appointment this afternoon. He checked me and said that basically nothing has changed. He said that he still thought I would deliver early though. I now go back every week to be checked, so Monday will be my next appointment.
I'm having mixed emotions about it all. On one hand, I am frustrated that my body did alot of work (with alot of pain) with hardly any result. It makes me wonder what it will take to deliver this baby. I'm also disappointed because I was finally feeling ready and wanting to hold her. On the other hand, the longer she stays in the better for her, so I'm pleased that she'll continue to grow bigger and stronger. I need to focus on this and that God is in control of it all. I guess I'm feeling bummed out, but happy for Anna at the same time. Her health really is our main priority and concern. It is a praise that she will be able to grow in her safe little cocoon longer!

Incredible Artist!




Check out this chalk artist, Julian Beever! He is amazing! This is all done by chalk on a regualar city street. He uses a special art form that makes it looks 3-D. There is not really a hole in the street or a big Coke bottle sitting on top of it!

Snow!




We woke up to snow and it's still snowing! It is supposed to snow on and off all day with even more snow tonight. On another front, I have an doctor's appointment this afternoon so hopefully I will know what is going on in my body! Rylie spent the night at my parent's house, when I talked to her on the phone this morning, she said, "Mommy, it's winter!"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

In Limbo

Well, Anna is still in here

and not in here!
I have been having super intense contractions all weekend, combined with lower back cramping, and some other labor symptoms that not everybody wants to read about! I have been having all of the signs and symptoms of labor other than regular, consistent contractions. Last night I had them five minutes apart for almost an hour, but then it went back to every thirty minutes, then ten, then two, then twenty . . . I can't go to the hospital until they are five minutes apart for over an hour. I thought for sure we were going to be going in last night, but then they subsided. I had over forty hours of contractions and now today, hardly any! I've been having little ones, but nothing worth timing. I know I've been having contractions for months now, but these ones have been different. This whole weekend, my body has felt "different".
I have a doctor's appointment scheduled for Wednesday, but I'm going to call them in the morning and see if I can get in tomorrow. I'm very curious if I'm dilated at all and if my Doctor will know any kind of timeline. I am 34 weeks, so hypothetically I could have 6 more weeks to go!
I'm feeling very confused about it all. Yesterday morning, I was panicking because my house was nowhere near ready for Anna to come, I didn't have any bags packed, and I was worried about her coming too early. My wonderful husband came to the rescue, as did our friends Aaron and Becky! (Thank you so much guys!) Ryan spent almost four hours deep cleaning the bathroom, Becky did all our dishes and sweeping, Aaron took out recycling and fixed Rylie's new car seat (thank you soooo much Dave and Michelle!) and generally let Rylie hang on him! Then they all moved furniture around in the girls' room and set up Anna's crib. I was able to pack our bags, but that was about it. Every time I got up I had big contractions and everyone yelled at me to sit back down! I was hurting so much, I knew if I had to go through that pain every day for six more weeks I would go crazy. I felt much more reassured that things are ready for Anna to come and I was finally feeling ready. But now, my body has calmed down and I'm feeling in limbo. On one hand, I'm ready to be done with it all and hold my precious baby. On the other hand, I want Anna to be able to stay inside as long as possible so she can be as big and as healthy as she needs to be. Hopefully, I'll know more tomorrow! Please pray that Anna is safe and healthy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some times the small things are the big things. . .

like when you get a surprise Oreo Blizzard delivered to your door by a little boy in pajamas and his Daddy! Thanks Dave and Daniel!

Coffee Cravings!

This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.
-Honore de Balzac, "The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Jenaya's Blog!

I'm so excited, my blogosphere is expanding! My friend Jenaya has started her own blog! She is a great friend and all around fun person, so check out her new venture!

Fun Times


Last night some of our friends came over to celebrate our wonderful Becky's Birthday. We had pizza, brownies, and lots of snacks. We also had a ton of laughs as we played Guesstures! I wish I had my video camera out! I am blessed by such great friends that are so helpful. They brought food, cleared the table, did dishes and tonight they are bringing us dinner! We were so happy to celebrate Becky, she is such a dear friend (my best!) and everyone loves her! She is a Godly woman and a friend to everyone!

Last night our oil ran out! Ryan and Rylie went and bought another space heater and it helped some. Ryan also ordered more oil but they couldn't come until today. We did ok through the night, but it was pretty cold this morning. When Michelle called and said she was taking her boys to the play area at the mall, we decided to join her. Fun and heat, what a combination!

Rylie is feeling much better, however she's hardly eating anything. I'm not rushing her though. I had some contractions last night and then again today (Anna didn't like me walking from the parking lot to the play area at the mall!). I had a good nap, which helped a lot! Ryan on the other hand has caught Rylie's sickness! I guess all that good Daddy snuggle time has its downfalls. Please pray for him to feel better. He stayed home from work today, but he's preaching on Sunday so he really needs to have some time in the office and a clear head!

My friend, Dee has started her own blog! I'm very excited to be able to keep up with her life since we live about four hours away from each other. Stop on over and give her some blogging love!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Few Things. . .

Yesterday was a wonderful day! Three of my friends from College, Karen, Becky, and Dee, came up to visit us. I hadn't seen them in two years, so it was fun to catch up on each other's lives. Rylie absolutely loved the attention and the My Little Pony they gave her.

In the middle of the day I had to leave them for a little bit and go to our Women's Mentoring event. This is always a great time where people find out who their mentor's and mentees are.

After that I met everyone for dinner at Tokyo's Japanese Steak House. It's one of those restaurants where they cook the food in front of you. Rylie didn't appreciate the huge flames. I really enjoyed spending time with these girls that I have so many memories with. They are the type of friends that you can not see for awhile and you still feel close to them. Thanks for coming girls!

Early this morning, I woke up to Rylie throwing up. This is the first time that has ever happened to her. She was surprised when she found out she was throwing up and not just coughing. "I'm pukeying? I need some medicine!" I had to do five loads of laundry today because of it. She has been wanting me to snuggle her all day. Thankfully she is sleeping now and has been for the past several hours. My poor little girl!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Love Story

I know it's not Valentine's Day, but everyone likes a good love story! Read this one about a Russian couple reunited after 60 years!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Reality of Anna

This afternoon, at my doctor's appointment, he said that after next Thursday (34 weeks) if I go into labor, he's letting me go! People that's one week away!!!! That doesn't mean I will have her then, for all I know she could be overdue, but all of the sudden there is that possibility that is opened up. Of course I know that I will be having a baby, but it's way off in the distant future. It will happen in March, which is also when Rylie turns three. Both those events are often talked about as happening a long time from now. I have been feeling like I will be pregnant forever. Anna is part of our lives right now, I just can't fathom her being outside of my womb. Am I crazy? Is this a second child thing? Am I going to be able to mother two children? Shouldn't I have taken a course in having multiple children or something? Is it just the panic that is setting in as I realize I still have to fix the bassinet, put up the crib, buy diapers . . .! Don't get me wrong, I am very excited to hold her in my arms and kiss her, I was just struck today by the reality of that happening soon!
My cervix is still closed, but is now soft (sorry Matt and Dad, but people want to know). He did the FFN test to see if there is protein which would show some uterine activity. I won't get the results for a few days. My blood pressure has been dropping so he said I need to lay down more. He also said my blood sugar has been low so I need to be eating more during the day, several small snacks throughout the day. I never thought I'd have someone tell me I'm not eating enough! (I really don't eat that much during the day though, nothing sounds good and I'm usually too tired to actually make something. Don't worry I do feed Rylie though, she is gaining weight.) Bottom line was that I need to eat more and lay down more.
Thank you to all of you who have been praying for my little Anna Banana (otherwise known as Anna Sophia!) and helping us with meals, housework, and Rylie watching! We truly have been blessed by all of you!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Repent

Today in my Bible reading I read Matt. 11:20 "Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent." Jesus was compassionate to all the people. He healed every kind of disease and ailment. He wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty. He healed them physically, but he cared more about their souls than their physical condition. He healed them so they would realize the truth about who he was and who they were. The healing of their souls through repentance was the most important to Jesus.
How often do I care more about the temporal, physical things of my life than "soul issues"? I need to be more concerned with the things that meant the most to Jesus, not with the things that mean the most to me and the world. I need to be more concerned with my daily repentance then with how I'm feeling physically. I need to be opening my stubborn heart to him, he desires that relationship with me. He offers forgiveness for everything I repent.

For My Man. . .

To My Dear and Loving Husband
by Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee;
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me ye women if you can.
I prize thy love more then whole Mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee, give recompence.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

Friday, January 11, 2008

More Rylieisms

Rylie: "I have to go tell Abby something and then I'll go back to bed." (while we were at the beach)
Me: "What do you need to tell her?"
Rylie: "Big girl stuff."

While going potty: "I need my privacy."

"Anna doesn't understand me, but she's always there for me."

When we were discussing which restaurant to go to for dinner: "I want to go to the one with the two windows were the lady gives you the food and then we go home." (Too much fast food lately!)

While making a tower of movies, "I'm making the Tower of Babel."

"You're my precious Mommy", said as she was holding my face in her hands.

Ryan told her she was his girl and she reminded him that she was Mommy's girl too. Ryan asked her if we could share her and she replied, "I'm not a toy".

"Why? Why? Why?" This we hear 50 million times a day!!!!

And an Abbyism: "Jesus was hungry so I swallowed Him in my belly so He could eat my food."

Gratitude

I am so thankful that my family extends beyond my biological family (who I love very much) into my church family. I am constantly blessed by them. As I write this, my friend Michelle has dropped Rylie off from spending the morning at her house, and is on her way to buy me some groceries! She already brought me lunch and prepared dinner for us for this evening. She is also going to help me with some dinners in the next couple of weeks. Thank you Dave and Michelle for what a huge blessing you are to our family in these and so many other ways!
I am thankful for the others in my church family that have helped by providing meals and play dates for Rylie and housecleaning! And of course I know that my own family is always here for me and has helped tremendously as well.
I am very grateful for the prayers for myself and my little Anna. I can't wait to introduce her to you all who have cared for her so much before she even knew you! What a visible illustration of Christ's love!
It has been hard for me to accept help because I don't want to be selfish and I don't want to be a burden on anyone, but I know some of this is also due to my pride and stubbornness. God is working on that with me! He is also working on my "poor me" attitude and my impatience. I have been pretty miserable this week with almost nonstop contractions and getting little sleep, but that is no excuse for me to wallow in it. Why is it when I need the Lord the most, instead I go to my corner and pout?! These last three days have been very hard so what do I do, I skip my devotions! I turn away from the source of my comfort, peace, strength, and joy.
I apologize to those of you to whom I've been complaining, whiny, and impatient with. I'm off to spend some much needed time with the Lord!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My 2008 Book List

In my previous post I said that I will be joining a challenge to read ten books in 2008. Here is my list: (in no particular order)
1. Knowing God, JI Packer (I cheated a little on this one, I read one chapter in 2007)
2. Amish Grace, Kraybill, Nolt, Weaver-Zercher
3. Shepherding a Child's Heart, Ted Tripp
4. John Newton, Johathon Aitken
5. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
6. The Inheritance, Louisa May Alcott
7. Gulliver's Travels, Johathon Swift
8. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
9. The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis and Baby Wise (I put them together since they are both rereads)
10. God is the Gospel, John Piper
I'm also working on reading the Bible through in a year, with my church (in my new ESV Journalling Bible, thanks Honey!) I have started some books that I would like to finish this year also:
Calm My Anxious Heart, Linda Dillow
Pilgrims Progress, John Bunyan
The Valley of Vision, Various Puritans
Treasuring God in Our Traditions, Noell Piper
Lord I Give You This Day, Kay Arthur
If Audio books count, then I also plan on listening to these on my iPod: Pride and Prejudice, Young Goodman Brown, The Scarlet Letter, Agatha Christie, and the Biography of Thomas Jefferson.
This seems like quite a list especially with a newborn on the way, but I'm going to try my best. I have a feeling my husband will have a few good ones to recommend to me too!

Accomplishments

My wonderful, hard working Mother came over today and helped me go through Rylie's room to get things ready for Anna. We packed away all of the too small/big clothes and decided to get rid of quite a few things as well. We rearranged her closet and dresser so now Anna has the drawers in the diaper changing table and the whole armoire to herself. I also washed all of her 0-3 month clothes and put them away. I realized that Rylie had too many baby clothes (due to hand me downs and her baby shower), so I packed two big boxes to give to my friend Becky who is also having a girl. It feels so good to have Anna's clothes all organized and put away. I have her little rattles and crib set and boppy, etc. all organized and ready as well.
I still need to go through all of Rylie's toys and get rid of quite a few of them. She has an overabundance and her birthday is coming soon. I'm sure Anna will acquire a few of her own as well. I also have bins of Rylie's clothes in each size in the basement, that I need to go through and get rid of some and organize the others so they are stored in a reasonable manner. My basement is rather scary at the moment, I considered posting photos but I might give some nightmares! I had toyed with the idea of having a garage sale, but the thought of storing piles of things until this summer gave Ryan and I the shakes. Instead I will call one of those charities that will come to your house and pick up your junk, I mean wonderful belongings that you want to donate!
I have several projects I want to get done before Anna comes (I think I'm nesting). I need to finish the landing, go through and organize the hallway, make my closet usable, go through the bedroom bookshelf, put important papers in the filing cabinet, the HUGE basement project, etc. I'm tired just thinking about it all!
Speaking of tired, I am exhausted after all that work today and am having not very pleasant contractions. Ryan graciously brought home a pizza so I wouldn't have to cook and Rylie is happily watching Cinderella.
Another accomplishment I would like to complete in 2008 is to take the reading challenge set out by Natalie to read 10 books in the year, specifically some out of your normal "reading comfort zone". When I first heard about this, I thought "no problem", but then I remembered I will have another daughter filling my attention so it may be harder than I thought. I need to make my list of the books I will read, when I have decided on them I will post it. Does anyone else want to take this challenge with me?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Why?"

Rylie says many interesting things, but lately she has taken to saying, "why?" after everything we say. I have to confess that this is driving me crazy and I have had to apologize for my impatience with it several times over the past few days. I am glad that she is curious (when I told her she was curious she got very offended and said, "I'm not a curious, I'm a girl!") and I am glad she has a thirst for knowledge, especially Biblical knowledge.
Every night before bed, she and Daddy have been reading her new Bible (see Ryan's post tomorrow morning). She has been devouring and retaining these Bible stories and several times during the day she will ask me about various parts of the stories. I have been learning how to summarize a Biblical account in a way that an almost three year old would understand. It has been a great exercise for me to realize the main point of these stories (which I keep reminding her are really true events that happened in history, not a pretend story).
As I was doing my own Bible reading this evening I came across the verse in Genesis 15 that says that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. The thought struck me that this is one of the main things I've been telling Rylie. All these different Bible characters believed what God told them and obeyed Him and as a result were blessed by God in various ways (protection, provision, etc.) It was a great reminder to me that sometimes I get caught up in all the details (there is great value in studying the details, don't get me wrong), and I forget some of the basic lessons that are to be learned. To put it simply, we need to believe what God tells us, then obey Him and we will be blessed by this.
Thank you Rylie for your "whys" that have been teaching me!

31 Weeks!


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Mommy!!!


Happy Birthday Mom! We love you very much! Thank you for always being there for me and for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for all of the sacrifices you have made for our family and for our church. Thank you for how you minister to all of us. Thank you for your wisdom and for being a prayer warrior. Thank you for loving our girl so much and being such a wonderful Grandma! You are the Proverbs 31 woman! I hope you have a great birthday! We love you!!!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

"Immediately"

As I was doing my Bible reading and journaling tonight, I was struck by a verse in Matthew 4 that says that Jesus walked by James and John while they were with their father fishing. He called out to them to follow Him and they "immediately" followed Him. I don't know if they had heard about Jesus previous to this or if this was their first interaction with Him. It doesn't really matter though, what matters is their immediate faith and obedience. They gave up their occupation (which may have been a long standing family "business"), and their identity that came along with that. They also left their father there, to follow Jesus. I wonder what their father thought, was he mad, confused, proud?
I was struck with the conviction that I don't always immediately obey or trust God. I need to have that unshakable confidence that whatever He asks of me is trustworthy and for my supreme good and for His glory. I need to have that closeness of relationship with Him that enables me to immediately recognize when He is asking me to do something and then immediately responding in faith. I so appreciate James and John's response that can teach so many lessons this many years into the future!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Dr. Appointment, etc



This is where we are right now! Isn't it beautiful?! We are having a great time here at the beach. The big girls got to have some kid free shopping time, the kids have been playing from sunup to sundown, and the men have been fed quite well! There have been moments when I have laughed so hard I've had tears streaming down my face! I haven't been able to sleep in yet, but I'm going to take a nap right now, so it all evens out. All in all, it's been wonderful! (Thanks Mom and Dad!)
Ryan and I came back into town yesterday for my Doctors appointment. We got to hear Anna's precious heartbeat and learn that my cervix is still closed (praise the Lord)!
Our church has started reading the Bible through all together and journaling on it. If you'd like to see what this looks like from my friend Dave's perspective, check out his new blog!