Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Care to take a guess?

If all goes as planned, we should be going in for our gender u/s in the next week or so. Based on all the following information, anyone care to take a guess as to what we'll find out? :)

I am craving:
salty-sour (pickles! salt-and-vinegar chips, coleslaw)
crunchy (chips, nuts, box cereal--horrible, I know, carrot sticks)
carbs, in general-- especially pasta, which I usually dislike and never cook, but we've had ravioli three times in the last week and a half.

chocolate, sadly (same with Sofi)
coffee, recently (makes me sicksicksick)

So... what does that tell you? I'll tell you my guess a little later in the week :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

More potty talk

Despite all the stereotypes of boys who talk late and less and are not as articulate as their sisters, my son is a chatter. Oh my lands. Two of his favorite times to talk with Mommy are right after he wakes up from nap and... unfortunately, on the toilet.

"Ouch, Mama, ouchyouchyOUCH! That was a ouchy poopy! Mama, that was a ouchy TRIANGLE poopy!!!"

"Ooooh! Look, Mama, I made TWO poopies! Look! A big one and a yittle one. A big mommy poop and a little baby poop, see Mama?"

Sorry, but I just had to share those two :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nobody knows who you aaaaare...

Sooo, the consignment sale has been a pretty good experience so far. At least for Judah, who purchased an EXTREMELY important wardrobe item.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's all in the consonants

Violet, after hearing me describe to Judah what Boy Scouts were and telling him that some day HE could be a Boy Scout...

"And I can be a GIRL couch!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Boys to Men

It's a beautiful Saturday morning here in the Shen Valley and I've been sitting in my living room watching Judah out the front window as he revels in the glorious sunshine and warmth. As I'm watching him, I'm reveling in the un-abashed Male-ness of the toddler boy. He runs around, brandishing his plastic sword and hollering; "I am STRONG! I am BRAVE! I will FIGHT and I will WIN! I will kill aaaaaall da Bad Guys!!"

I love it.

I will be sad when, as he grows, he begins to temper this Male-ness with an understanding of what society expects of him. The swagger will become a little hesitant. The bragging, more subtle and less pure. His drive to lead into battle will be scorned by sassy little girls in pigtails who will giggle at him behind his back. His confidence in his strength and bravery will be tested by real challenges and real fear. His ideas of bad guys and good guys will be shaken as he realizes that it's not always easy to tell-- the bad guy is sometimes the guy with the smile and the firm handshake and sometimes the good guy is in disguise.

But, please God, he'll continue to grow and mature. And by Grace, he'll learn to boast in Christ alone. He'll lead his family in the work of establishing the Body of Christ, and his community and church in rescuing the lost and hurting. His confidence will be in the strength of his convictions and his bravery based on an assurance of Grace. Dear God, purify him with fire and give him a strong heart and a clear conscience. Give him the wisdom to discern between the good and evil in this world.

Lord, make him like his Daddy...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Prayers still needed as Doctors begin the assessment and planning stage.

On Tenterhooks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tenterhooks were used as far back as the fourteenth century in the process of making woollen cloth. After the cloth was woven it still contained oil from the fleece and some dirt. A fuller (also called a tucker or walker) cleaned the woolen cloth in a fulling mill, and then had to dry it carefully or the wool would shrink. To prevent this shrinkage, the fuller would place the wet cloth on a large wooden frame, a "tenter", and leave it to dry outside. The lengths of wet cloth were stretched on the tenter (from the Latin "tendere", to stretch) using hooks (nails driven through the wood) all around the perimeter of the frame to which the cloth's edges (selvages) were fixed so that as it dried the cloth would retain its shape and size.[1] At one time it would have been common in manufacturing areas to see tenter-fields full of these frames.

By the mid-eighteenth century the phrase "on tenterhooks" came into use to mean being in a state of uneasiness, anxiety, or suspense, stretched like the cloth on the tenter.

Baby Gwenyth is on her way and I, and manymany others are waiting anxiously and prayerfully for her safe arrival. You can follow Myers' updates here on their blog. He's doing a great job of keeping us all in the loop!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

News Flash!!

Baby Gwenyth has a Birthday! If all goes as planned, she'll be a Saint Patrick's Day baby!! Check it out and wish them well! :)

And please, please join me in covering the Carpenters in prayer this evening starting at around 6 or 7 tonight!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh gosh.

I just realized that I never actually posted any details about the pregnancy :P Such as due date and other particulars. So here goes:

I have no idea. Seriously. Well, the fall sometime. What with the PCOS and all, my cycles are beYOND messed up and when we're not actively TTC I have no idea when we might have conceived. It's crazy. My best guess is that I'm about fourteen weeks right now.

We did hear a heartbeat-- praise the Lord! At around 12 weeks the midwife was able to pick it up quite easily with the doppler, which actually makes her speculate that I'm a bit further along than that.

We'll be getting an ultrasound in a couple weeks to find out the gender (which we may or may not tell you!) and get a better idea of the dates. (who am I kidding, you know I couldn't keep a secret like that for very long)

Someone asked... Denise? And the answer is, this is entirely the Lord. We were in no way expecting, looking for, or planning this pregnancy. When Judah was born, we made the decision not to ever actively TTC again. It was just too hard on our life. Marriage, Sofi, everything. It wasn't something we felt like God wanted us to do again. And, apparently, we were right! He simply reached down and whamo! Baby. Unbelievable. And a little scary.

I am starting now to feel almost confident. I say 'almost', because without feeling movement or really looking pregnant (I just look pudgy :) ), and without having gone through any of the tense months of waiting, watching and wanting, it feels reallyreally weird to be pregnant. Super weird. I keep thinking it will suddenly be revealed that it's all in my mind and I've really just put on some weight and that's that. But so far, it's real. And the heartbeat would be pretty hard to explain away :)

So. That's the story. Any other questions? Ask away :)

Sick again

Ironically, I was working on a post talking about surrendering our plans and control to the Lord and suddenly found myself walking the walk as our family succumbed to yet another bout of ill health. Judah has the runs and I spent the weekend throwing up! BLECH. We're getting better now, but the blog will have to wait a while longer. In the meantime, are you keeping up with Gwenyth's story? If you like, we are throwing them a card shower this week and you're welcome to participate! Drop me an email (addy in my profile) and I'll send you the details :)

God Bless!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh. Brother.

We interrupt the previously scheduled programming of emotional spillage to share with you the saga of Our Stray Puppy.

Yep. It's happened. In classic "Leave It To Beaver" style, my children have fallen in love with a stray puppy that happened upon us as we were innocently wending our way to the park yesterday. They have named it "Oh Shucks". Why, you ask, gentle reader? Because that was my initial reaction to it's presence. Trust me when I say that was the censored version of what was actually going through my head.

The puppy followed us home and was waiting eagerly in the yard this morning when the children went out to play.

It's rather disconcerting to hear one's children yelling "Shuuu-uucks, Oh Shuuuu-uuuucks" all morning. You can probably hear it all over the neighborhood. Vocal stamina and volume run strong within us.

This is bad. Very Bad.

I am not a pet person. I discovered this when we had our dog, Lucky. Most of you have already heard all about Lucky. I will not bore you with repetitions of his many sins. Let's just say we discovered that I prefer intact flower beds, dry couches and a flea-less existence to the companionship and entertainment supposedly provided by the canine species. No offense, Laurie and Matt.

So now what do I do? I am loathe to call the SPCA. Ours is not a no-kill shelter. As far as I know we don't even have one in this county. Any other, humane suggestions? Anybody want a puppy?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thoughts from Mid-February

One of the things that really makes me angry about PCOS, is the feeling of being robbed-- robbed of those early days of pregnancy. Robbed of normality.

I feel robbed of the joy of Telling. Normal women Tell in all kinds of creative ways-- there are entire threads in pregnancy forums devoted to sharing creative ways of Telling the News. I don't get to do that.

I don't Tell. I keep it a secret. I hide it away in a hesitant place in my heart. My first thoughts are not of new babies and cute clothes and cozy hours ahead with the knitting. My first thoughts are of pain and loss and apprehension and emotional upheaval. And then, as the weeks go by and things continue, I begin to share a little. I show the test to my sister. I call a dear friend. I ask for prayer. They jump and shout and cry and congratulate, but I caution. I withdraw. I hesitate. I hedge.

I feel robbed of all the joyful Buying. Normal women go out and shop for cute maternity clothes. They admiringly despair over their popping bellies and compare them to "last time I didn't show till at least twelve weeks!" They buy "I'm the Big Brother" shirts for the older children, take pictures and post it on their blogs.

I don't buy anything. I rubber-band my pants button and wear J's shirts and bulky sweaters and coats. I can't bear to tell my kids and run the risk of "un-telling" them later. Last time Sofi cried and asked questions and it was more than I could bear to go through again. I neglect my blog for two months and try to avoid playdates.

PCOS reduces my pregnancies to a statistic. It takes me months to relax away from "50%-60% chance of..." into being pregnant. Expectant. Hopeful.

It sucks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My first thoughts: Written in Late January

Last night we had a storm. It poured buckets all night long. It rained like tears of a woman losing her only child. The sound of the storm was like unrestrained weeping and sobs. This morning, the ground is soaked, a small stream runs in the street along the edge of the sidewalk. But the sun has slowly, over the last few hours, broken out from behind the straggling clouds. A bit watery, but strengthening to a brilliant promise of hope. The faintest scent and touch of springtime keeps teasing the senses and the children are laughing the laughter of the newly pardoned and released.

In the last five years, the Lord has been working on my heart. He tested my faith in ways I never thought I would experience. He gave and He took away-- both the Physical and the Spiritual. All the while, drawing my heart closer and closer to His. All the while providing for our every need. All the while building on the foundation of J's and my relationship. A foundation He laid years ago. Over these years, God completely re-arranged my ideas about what our family would look like. And only recently, had I come to be truly at peace with what seemed to be His Will.

And then last night, we saw this:


And all night long a storm was raging as we questioned everything we'd (again) come to expect of our lives, our family, our future. And again the Lord had something different in mind than we thought. (at some point, surely, we will learn not to second-guess Him...)

But, this morning, the sun has broken through the straggling clouds. J says, this is life. It's unexpected. It's a little scary. It's unpredictable. But, in the end, it's beautiful.

And at the end of the storm, the Lord again sent us His promise of Peace.

(our neighborhood, from our front porch)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

So now you all know half the reason why this place has been so silent this last two months. I know you're all dying to hear the particulars about due dates and such, but let me share a few more things first.

I think most of you know my story of PCOS, miscarriage and infertility, but there are a few others who may not be familiar, so let me give you a synopsis.

We struggled with secondary infertility for over a year (and miscarriage number one) before receiving a diagnosis of PCOS. We conceived shortly after that, but lost the baby to a missed miscarriage discovered at 15 weeks gestation. Just a few months later (two years almost exactly since our journey through IF began) we found out we were pregnant with Judah. In the nearly three years since his birth, through prayer and discussion, we decided together not to pursue any more children and after an initial struggle, I slowly began to be at peace with that. You can read more about my heart on that matter here and here and here.

Part of our decision was based on the emotional turmoil surrounding trying to conceive with PCOS and the trauma of miscarriage. Women with PCOS carry a 50%-60% risk of miscarriage with each pregnancy and after our second miscarriage, I knew that the risk of that happening again would overshadow any joy in a new pregnancy. It seemed to us like the Lord simply had other plans for our life. We began to plan a move overseas to teach, culminating in a position in a school in China that we began to pursue in September of last year. By Dec we had nearly finished the process and were beginning to apply for passports and visas.

There now. That should bring you up to date. And also help you to understand the next few posts, which I wrote over the last few weeks and will post now that the cat's out of the bag.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A post for saturday

The other night, when I heard this on the radio:

I cried.

I completely de-cluttered and deep-cleaned the house TWICE in the last month.

The other day, I drove to Taco Bell to get a taco. A Taco Bell taco. All the way across town.

Tonight I decided I felt like either throwing up, or eating a steak and cheese sub. J said why limit myself, just do both.

Last night I woke up five times to pee.

I've taken a nap pretty much every day since the first of the year.

I'll give you three guesses why I haven't been blogging regularly lately. Go on. I bet you can get it in one.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Catching up a little

The Carpenters are on their way to Philadelphia today, to move into their tiny apartment and wait the arrival of Gwenyth. You could stop by their blog and wish them Godspeed! I'm planning a little surprise for them coming up here, so stay tuned :)

At what point do kids learn that bigger is not always better? Judah, to Sofi this morning while she was feeding him bites of his breakfast in an attempt to hustle him along; "No, it's not a too-big bite, see? My mouth is big! My mouth is really big! My face is big, too!"

There is still snow on the ground. In March. This is a travesty. For pete's sake, we're in the SOUTHEAST!! It's so cold, we've run out of firewood and all the people we usually buy from are sold-out! This is ridiculous and I'd like to lodge a formal complaint.

I don't know if any of y'all read this blog, but at least check out this one post (read the comments) and be encouraged (as I was) that there are GOOD DOCTORS out there, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

I am so bad about birthdays. I want to publicly confess that I STILL haven't finished my sister's b-day gift (Feb 24th) and my mom's b-day is in a few days and I haven't even gotten her a card yet! I am sooo bad. If your birthday is coming up any time this year, please accept in advance my apologies for completely missing it!

Speaking of birthdays....Judah's 3rd birthday is in just two months, people! How has this happened! How do I suddenly find myself the mother of two large children, instead of tiny babies??? I did not sign up for this...

Do any of you have any suggestions for getting dry erase marker dust (black) out of the cuffs and collar of a white dress shirt? I've already tried three different laundry stain removers and bleach. Nada. I'm seriously considering just making him wear navy blue, dark brown and black shirts from now on.