Thursday, December 30, 2010

almost legal.. ;-)

Yesterday we had our third pre-natal visit and still no new ultrasound pics to post. At eight weeks the doc said we'd get one at 13 weeks. At 13 weeks we were told, 'oh no. you'll get one next month and then we'll be able to determine gender, if you want to know.' We don't want to know, but we were SO looking forward to seeing our baby again. Dr. B said we're at the point where (due to mama's age) we need a Level II Sonogram at a perinatal clinic. So, we wait.

On the bright side, Baby S will be 18 weeks on Saturday! Woo hoo! Not to mention, he woke me up on Friday, December 24, Christmas Eve with the first of many 'flutters'. That's what early movement/kicks/jabs feel like. When I text Dad to tell him, he said that baby woke me up because "He was hungry!" LOL

Well, since then I've felt the baby almost every day. Tuesday was a very relaxed day for me, so the baby was up and at 'em. According to many books/resources, in the early stages you feel the baby move most when you're still. So, that day he was kicking up a storm. :-)

Despite not getting to see him, we are SO thankful for the happy kicks and jabs and Anthony can't wait until those movements can be felt with his hand. I can't wait either. It's amazing!

Thank you, Lord. You are so good to us!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Operation Rescue



Today is Christmas! It's the day we celebrate our Lord and Savior's birth.  I will not attempt a witty but meaningful 200-comment worthy post. Instead, I'm going to share the words of Jon Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like and its equally, wildly successful blog. If you take a few minutes, I guarantee reading this commentary will blow your lid and make you do an about face on what you've been focusing your attention these past few days and possibly, for some of us, years! Trust me.

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The “R” word.

The easiest way for a store to make my wife mad is to have a complicated return policy. She refuses to shop at Forever 21 for this very reason. Their return policy is so complicated that the cashiers will often read it to you when you’re making a purchase, kind of like a cop reading you Miranda Rights. “By purchasing this melon colored scarf you realize that should you ever take it out of the bag and merely make eye contact with it, that will forever be held against you in the court of no returns.”

This type of frustration often manifests itself at Target. There have been a number of times when they’ve refused to make some return easy over an amount in question as small as a few dollars. The great irony is that Target will spend tens of millions of dollars trying to get people into their stores via advertising and then argue over $1.50 once they’re at the returns counter. If they paused for a second, they would jump at the chance to pay a $1.50 to get a customer who over the course of her life will spend thousands of dollars in their store.

That’s why I love places like LL Bean. You can bring a canoe on fire into their store and they’ll take it back. Same with Wal-mart, a store we spend a considerable amount of time in. Although the Wal-mart in Franklin is situated in kind of a pit of despair parking lot, we still go pretty regularly. A few years ago, during one of our trips there, I saw something interesting that I’ve written about before. It was a powerful action that in a strange way reminded me of Christmas this year.

One afternoon, in the middle of an ordinary Saturday, the loudspeaker buzzed to life and a less than calm voice said, “All employees, we’ve got a Code Adam.”

In seconds, every employee sprinted to the front doors. A few went outside to scan the parking lot, the others formed a wall blocking the exits. It was like an anthill had been kicked over.

Why?

Because a Code Adam means that a child is missing.

I imagine that most times, the child is found quickly and all is returned to right. That’s what happened when I saw my first Code Adam. But for a few minutes, nothing in the store mattered as much as finding that missing kid. The world of commerce and price tags and sales figures stopped dead as they tried to locate a lost child.

And I think that’s how God is too.

When I am lost. When like the prodigal son, I stumble from the father’s grasp and gaze, I don’t think He cries out “look at Jon sinning again! Look at him failing me again!” I think God cries, “Code Jon! Code Jon!”

And then He rushes outside, hoping to intercept me before I get in the wrong car, desperate to keep me from making the type of decision that is going to hurt me. Because He loves me. I am His delight. He longs, not likes, but longs to show us compassion.

And we are the reason for the greatest Code Adam moment in the history of all mankind, Christmas.

In the tinsel and the lights and the balsam flavored candles we forget that sometimes. It is a beautiful season. It is full of merriment and cheer, but at its heart, Christmas is a rescue.

From the safety and security of heaven, stormed Jesus. From the contentment and perfection of God rushed the Lord. Why? Because God had declared a Code Adam. A Code Jon. A Code Christy. A Code Stacy. A Code Chad. A Code Chris. A Code You.

When we were lost, He did more than just lock a store down. When we were beyond all hope he did more than sprint to the parking lot. He sent his son to the cross for us, to rescue us. And, he speaks this message in a thousand ways every day. He would move the mountains and the cosmos if it meant we came home safe. If it meant we returned to the father and he could stop saying, “Code Adam, Code Adam.”

That’s what I hope we all remember this Christmas.

The reason for the season is a rescue.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

mommy moment

Today I found out an old friend is also due in June. Such an exciting and welcomed bit of news and just in time for Christmas. The way my heart yielded and filled with joy felt different this time, possibly because we too are with child. I don't know. It just felt like an 'aha moment.' Like wow, we're sharing in this blessed occasion and we can truly relate to how you feel.

I think we're expecting a lot to change, but one aspect of our relationships is transforming every day and it's truly a tender thing. Every time I hear someones' baby announcement or get a piece of motherly, parenting advice from a mommy-friend it's like a fresh, awakening to what will be.

Lord willing, we will welcome a healthy baby to our family next summer and all the words of wisdom, encouragement and kindness will continue. In my career, I struggled to find a true mentor, someone to help me along the way, give me sound perspectives on my craft and professional journey. It was a little tough. Yet, so far, many have been more than willing (and beyond excited) to come alongside us and share what they've learned in parenthood.

For that, we will always be grateful to God. We pray for our family and friends who also hold this desire to become parents and grow their family. Lord, would you answer their petitions and pleas, giving them the desires of their heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Beethoven

After walking (coatless) the short two blocks to the neighborhood Christmas party, I woke up around 4 a.m. Sunday to an extremely stuffy nose and sore throat. The cold that was dying down, flared up again.

This meant Anthony went to church without me. While there he and the rest of the congregation was treated to a selection played by pianist Sam Rotman. The great music inspired Daddy to purchase our baby's first CD, Rotman's version of several Beethoven compositions. I'm listening to it now.

So far, Mommy's favorite is Sonata Pathetique.

Daddy is so thoughtful.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

sweet sixteen

Today our baby is 16 weeks! Wow! We're told she's the size of an avocado. Never mind me saying she. It's a habit. We still don't know if we'll be welcoming a baby girl or a boy, but for the purposes of this post, I figured I'd go with she. :-)

We also read that the baby's hearing is developing and my voice can now be heard whenever I speak! Wow. Talk about watching what you say. Speaking of what we say, one of the books I've been reading talks specifically about praying for our baby's vocal chords. "Lord, he'll need them to sing your praises. Or at least to make a joyful noise unto you all his days." Amen!

The same chapter challenges parents to be by asking that you list "what changes you need to make so that your speech is always pleasant." Isn't that the coolest? I love this book.

This week's chapter on week 16 is about facial muscles. Our baby is trying out expressions like smiling, squinting and frowning. Hopefully she's doing more smiling than frowning. :-)

Happy 16 weeks Baby S! Mommy and daddy love you so much it makes us cry with tears of joy (especially mommy)!

Friday, December 17, 2010

sweet dreams

This week, along with a head cold, mama has crib fever. Certainly my MacBook is about to go on strike if it has to process one more Google search for nursery decor or furniture. It's kind of exciting, though.

There are so many things to consider and so many sellers of products. It's good to start research early 'cause with all these options, making the final choices could prove challenging. Ultimately, the goal is for Baby S' room to be safe, simple, and comfortable. Of course, with a splash of chic mixed in there.

Wanna see what we've found so far?

Oh, okay. I'll share, since you twisted my arm. ;-)


To my astonishment, Anthony and I both like the one above.






Thursday, December 16, 2010

a little bump

This isn't the best picture. It was taken by me using my iPhone 3GS. Still, you can see Baby S's progress. This is the first of more monthly baby bump photos. Auntie Tamika has personally requested a monthly photo. :) So, she'll be helping us stay on track. Next time we'll let Daddy take a better picture.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the pill


Nevermind the dry, wrinkle-y looking palm, check out the purple pill. It's a CitraNatal Harmony prenatal vitamin gel cap. This is the secret weapon docs (and pharm reps) claim will make our little baby really healthy. I am not into drugs. I abhor taking any type of medicine, although that bout with food poisoning a few weeks ago was an exception. Can we say thank you, Immodium AD?

Anywho, I've not been the best vitamin taker these past 15 weeks, but that's about to change. Even if pharmaceutical companies are making a sinfully good profit, I won't protest by withholding this little horse pill from my munchkin in utero.

So, I am giving you permission to hold me accountable!

Next time you talk to me, go ahead and ask, "Have you taken the purple pill?" I won't mind. Really.

Monday, December 13, 2010

15 going on 16

It's been a while and I've been told more than once that we need to update the blog. Things are moving along very well. Baby S is now 15 weeks and according to the "experts" is moving around, wiggling and has grown to the size of an orange. Imagine that! I had hoped to post a new ultrasound pic, but we did not have a sonogram at our last doctor's visit. We will, however, have one next week for sure!

Morning sickness subsided and now mama is just dealing with some sporadic, mostly once a day nausea (rather than all day), fatigue and a very stuffy nose. I've read that all the progesterone surging through my body can cause a lot of congestion and other sinus issues. So, comes with the territory. I was feeling well enough to look around Buy Buy Baby and Lone Start Baby on Sunday afternoon. At the latter, we found this crib and chair. We both really liked the crib, Creations Summers Evening Sleigh Crib, but apparently I was the only fan of the Storytime Best Chair upholstered in Shamrock. (sigh)




Oh, one update I can tell everyone! Daddy-to-be would like to wait until the big day to find out how God has chosen to bless us. I wouldn't mind knowing if Baby S is a girl or boy, for nursery decorating and name selection purposes, but I think it would be absolute fun to wait until she or he gets here! It's one of life's few real surprises! In the meantime, if you get something for Baby, green, yellow, tan, and even orange are great neutral colors! :-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

eight weeks and counting

Today we saw our little peanut again! We also heard the heart beat, pounding away at 171 bpm's. The ultrasound tech said it usually speeds up and then slows down as the baby develops.



Baby S is exactly eight weeks and three days old. Also at this doctor's visit, we were loaded up with goodies in a cute bag. Lots of coupons, of course, some free prenatal vitamins (yeah!) and bunches of information for us to read, plus a book!

Dr. B was really excited for us and said everything looks good! She'll see us again in four weeks, right before Thanksgiving, and boy do we have a lot to be thankful for!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

baby s takes new york

Mommy and I are enjoying our last glimpses of the New York City skyline. We had a lot of fun here this weekend with Auntie Sandy and Auntie Tamika. The four of us toured Central Park, Harlem, had fabulous meals and saw an award-winning musical. All that activity has mommy and me beat. We're going to take a long nap on the plane. Can't wait to see Daddy and Zuzu. So long Big Apple. I'll be back!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

mommy and me

Hi, this note is from Baby S. I'm growing - a lot! I'm almost eight weeks, which means I'm about the size of a kidney bean and my fingers and toes are forming. I'm also moving around. All this activity is making Mommy a bit queasy, but she's always hungry. We're always eating something, like every two hours. So far today, we've had waffles and water. Yu um! I'm looking forward to lunch!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

a beautiful thing

Sharing the news of Baby's impending debut has been pure joy! Hearing the awestruck wonder, ooh's, squeals and praises of the Lord's creation is a beautiful thing. Since alerting family and close friends to our delight, we've been met with emphatic congratulations, waterfall tears of bliss and overwhelming happiness about what's to come.

One friend fell to her knees, eyes watering uncontrollably, looking and reaching her arms heavenward. Wow! The fact that God allowed us to be messengers of His will, evoking such worship, is humbling.

Another friend proclaimed, "This baby is gonna be SO loved!" Grandparents-to-be are thrilled as well as uncles and auntie's-to-be. A few days ago, our sister currently living in South Africa had this to say when we told her via Facebook chat that she and our brother-in-law are gonna have another nephew or niece:

"WHHHAAAAAAAAATTTT! AWWWWWWWWWWWW! I’m so excited. God is good. Yay! Congratulations.... May God deliver us a perfect, healthy bundle. Keep Momma strong, healthy and safe. Lord thank you for your promise of faithfulness and for Tricia and Anthony’s continued faith in you. You are working miracles and building testimonies. Your name will be shouted from the rooftops because you love us more than we love ourselves and you are unchanging.”

AMEN! We totally agree!

Friday, October 15, 2010

blessings and miracles

God is truly in the blessings and miracles business! After many years of praying and waiting, we recently found out we're pregnant and all is well. Most of you know we've had some sadness along the way, but God IS faithful and has blessed us with an expectant bundle, scheduled to arrive June 4, 2011.

On Monday, Oct. 11, we saw and heard the heartbeat for the first time! It was amazing! Seeing the 'pulse' of our little munchkin on the screen and then hearing it loud and clear at 112 beats per minute was a gift only God could give. We are so thankful to all of our family and friends who've been praying for this miracle!

Writing this blog is our way of shouting from the rooftops:

"Look what God did!!!"

Wow! Look what God did!