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Thursday, December 25, 2008

For Unto Us a Child is Born

Verity decided that Christmas was a great time to be born. After four hours of steady contractions, we called the doctor and headed in to the hospital late last night. Seven hours later, Verity was born.

They even gave her a cute Christmas hat to commemorate her famous birthday. One friend of mine said, "She'll have to learn real soon that she'll be overshadowed by Jesus on her birthday."

Here is a photo with Cindy, our excellent nurse. She was very helpful and supportive. God always sends us extraordinarily kind nurses.

Praise the Lord Jesus for our precious daughter!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Some News

We went to the doctor today, and we had some encouraging news, but not enough to make me think Baby V is in any sort of hurry.  We couldn't get scheduled to be induced next Tuesday, so it's looking like Wednesday will be the last day.  Which, if you check your calendars, is New Year's Eve.  Looks like we could possibly have a 2009 baby.  I'm still praying she comes on her own before then, but we'll be patient with her if she doesn't.  

I'm past due and there's not a lot going on around here 2 days before Christmas, so this afternoon I made curtains and a throw pillow for the guest room.  Unfortunately, I don't have a curtain rod so I couldn't hang them after they were made.  I have to think that picking up a curtain rod from the store is easier than actually making the curtains, so I'm not too concerned about the next step.  I'll post pictures when they are actually on the wall.  

Tomorrow afternoon we're going to head to my brother's house in Durham to spend Christmas with my family - at least until Baby V shows up.  It's about equidistant from our house to the hospital as it is from their house to the hospital, so we're not any farther away in case we need to make a speedy return.  And Charissa will be staying with them while we're in the hospital so we might as well get her there and all set-up for when we're gone.  

You may not hear from us for the next few days if nothing happens.  But if there's any baby news, we'll be sure to let you know.  We hope everyone enjoys their Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Due Date Fun

Well, Verity decided that she didn't want to make her entrance into the world on her due date.  I'm actually a little bit thankful for that.  Charissa and I both got stomach bugs over the weekend and spent two days out of commission.  Even though I really wanted to see my little baby girl, I knew that it would be safer for her to stay put until Charissa and I were better.  Which we now are - so she's free to come any day now.  

Today we celebrated Christmas together as a family.  We do stockings together every year as just as our family.  Britt has two whole weeks off of work, and today was the first day of our Christmas vacation.  So this morning we got up and had a special breakfast and then dug into our stockings.  Charissa really enjoyed going through all the "socks" and finding all sorts of goodies.  

It seemed appropriate for Charissa to wear her Baby Claus outfit today.  This outfit is a little big, so it makes her look even skinnier than she is.
Here she is "helping" me open my stocking.
And now helping Daddy take out his new Dr. Scholl's.  
Reading her new "Go, Dog, Go" book.
Trying on our new bracelets.

It was a pretty fun morning.  We spent the rest of the day doing some house-keeping things (you have to stay on top of that when your baby is expected at any moment), and running a few errands.  

Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment so hopefully we'll hear some good news.  Either way they'll go ahead and schedule my induction while I'm there tomorrow, so at least we'll know when the end is.  It'll be nice to know that by X day we'll have our baby.  I'm still praying that she comes on her own though.  And soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mama's Little Helper

I love shopping with Charissa.  She is by far my favorite shopping companion.  Today we went to Jo-Ann Fabrics to try to find fabric to make curtains and throw pillows for the guest room.  I had a little piece of paper that had a paint sample on it that I was trying to match fabric too.  I bent down once to compare it to a bolt of fabric and Charissa bent down next to me, cocked her head to one side, and said, "hmm..." as if she was really considering whether or not it matched.  I explained to her that I was looking for a match and handed her the paper, and she happily trotted up and down the aisle holding the piece of paper out to all the bolts of fabric.  It was so cute!  She was really trying to be helper to me.  

On the way home we had a conversation about CJ teaching Verity how to be a big helper just like Charissa was.  She's starting to get really excited about Baby V, especially now that all of Baby V's things are out and her car seat is in the car.

Only a few more days!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby V Update

I went to the doctor yesterday for my 39 week check up and at the end I was told I needed to come in the next day (today) for an ultrasound because according to my measurements Verity hadn't grown much in the last four weeks.  Thankfully, when I went in today EVERYTHING was fine.  Verity is measuring just a few days behind, but according to the technician she is weighing in somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5 pounds - so she's definitely a nice weight (and not too big!). I was able to see a 4-D image of Verity and she has nice chubby cheeks just like Charissa did.  And she has hair!  The tech couldn't tell exactly how much, but she could see it moving in the amniotic fluid.  How exciting!  So maybe we'll get to use hair bows sooner with Baby V than we did with Charissa.  

Hopefully we'll be able to see Baby V soon (I'm praying for Friday) and check out the little chubby cheeks and hair with our own eyes.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

Me & My Baby

I think I only get to call her that for another week or so ... then she'll get relegated up to the title "Big Sister" (which in her own words comes out "Bid Sit-ter" - pray she doesn't sit on Verity!).  

I'm so rarely in pictures with my little girl, so I just had to share this one with you from when we were getting ready for the Baby Sprinkle last weekend.  

I had put on my wedding tiara to tease Britt that I was just bringing the price-per-wear down, and so it made total sense to wear it.  Of course, I was kidding - I would not wear it ... outside the house.  But I love how in this picture you see some corresponding attributes between me and CJ - even if it's just in the silly way we posed.  

Turns out, she's not all Britt after all.  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No News Is ... Well - It Means Nothing Is Happening

Some of you are probably wondering what's going on with Baby V since there are only 11 days until my due date.  But don't worry - you haven't missed anything.  Nothing is going on here.  I went to the doctor yesterday and they confirmed that nothing is going on.  In fact, I was told that I'll probably go to my due date or a few days late.  There was a twinge of disappointment, but then I realized that I don't want to have the baby this week, so I'm ok with it.  If I had my way, she'd be born on the night of the 19th or the morning of the 20th.  Britt's last day of work is the 19th and he doesn't have to go back until the 5th, so it would be perfect if Verity would come at the very beginning of that.  But all of this is completely out of my control, so who knows what's going to happen.  She will be born in 2008 though - that much I do know.  

We are getting ready for the little girl's arrival though.  We've washed all her clothes and blankets and socks, we've set up the swing and bouncy seat, I got out all the bottles, and hopefully this weekend we'll install the car seat.  So far Charissa and Verity have their bags packed for the hospital/spending the night with a friend, but Britt and I are still unpacked.  Another task for this weekend.  

This past weekend we had a wonderful "Baby Sprinkle" with lots of our friends and family.  The shower was Christmas themed so there were all sorts of Christmas treats and music.  We received adorable baby clothes, toys, a picture framed painted to match the girls' room, and a tutu.  A lot of our friends pitched in together to get us the Ergo Baby Carrier which I am so excited to use!  Hopefully it will help me balance carrying an infant and chasing after Charissa.  My parents and grandparents gave us a Joovy Caboose Stroller - a much needed item for two!  Some other friends of ours pitched in and gave us 3 months worth of Netflix - isn't that a wonderfully creative gift?  It's winter, you're stuck inside with a newborn - you're bound to watch a lot of movies.  And with the instant downloading and getting them in the mail, you don't even have to run out to the movie store!  

Pray that I continue to have patience with these last few days.  It's not that I'm uncomfortable or feeling terrible, it's just that I'm running out of things to do.  And I can't really plan any projects because I don't want to have half-finished projects waiting for me when I get home from the hospital (or a mess to clean up).  But I guess in a way it's good because it means Charissa and I have lots of time to just hang out and play together.  

Only 11 more days ... keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Book Recommendation - A Thousand Splendid Suns

Yesterday I decided I was going to just rest during Charissa's nap time since my opportunities to do that are quickly fleeting.  So I curled up on the couch with a slice of freshly baked banana bread and started Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns (He's also the author of the much acclaimed Kite Runner, which I haven't read yet).  It's completely engrossing.  I finished the book during today's nap time.  

The book follows the lives of two women from Afghanistan from the mid 50s to the present.  I felt like I learned so much about the culture, history, and hardships.  But it was weaved into the story so wonderfully that it didn't feel like a history lesson.  I was fascinated from about page 3 all the way to the end.  I think the thing that was most riveting for me was that one of the women from the story was born a year or two before me, and as her story was told  I kept thinking what I was doing at that age, and how life was so different for her.  The author included the year at the beginning of some chapters so you could follow the timeline and you realize that these things happened recently - not twenty or thirty years ago.  The atrocities against these women were very real and very recent.  There were many portions of the book that I just cried through.  And then when I got to the end, I just sat there and cried some more.  

I strongly recommend reading this book.  I now really want to read The Kite Runner.  Add one or both of these books to your holiday reading schedule!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Use Craigslist

This morning I was reminded of how much I love Craigslist.  We sold something this morning and I was thinking about how easy it was to post the "junk" I wanted to get rid of, find a buyer, and make money.  It's great!  And everything is free to use - unlike ebay or a listing in the paper.  Craigslist is really useful for those things that are a little bit too valuable to take to the local Goodwill.  And with it being local, you don't have to worry about shipping costs and making sure the item gets to the buyer. 

Basically you just go to, find your city (or the city closest to you), create a login, and then post your item under the appropriate category.  And then there's the fun of waiting for dozens and dozens of responses from people who are really excited to get whatever it is you're trying to get rid of.  Like in October when we listed our old fridge and within 24 hours I had received over 50 responses from people wanting it.  Ridiculous!  

And, it's a great resource for finding quality, used items.  We've bought a jogging stroller, a bookcase, a booster seat, and many more.  With no bidding, no shipping costs, being able to quickly and easily talk to the seller (and barter for the cost), it's a great place to look for all sorts of things.  So take a look - you might find a really good deal!  

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What A Change a Year Makes

Tonight we had Britt's assistant principal/mentor over for dinner along with his family.  We had a great time getting to know them and the kids played so happily together (they have two little boys who are 4 and 16 months).  They are also believers and were such an encouragement in how he does his job, how she cares for their children, and how they interact with each other.  

Last year at this time, Britt and I were dealing with a vindictive boss who was extremely hard to work with.  It was not a good situation.  Things are so different now!  There is so much support and care for Britt professionally, as well as just being able to enjoy a genuine friendship between the two men (and I'm sure his wife and I could be good friends if we saw each other more often).  

We have been so thankful for this job, and tonight I was shown yet another reason to give thanks.  It makes such a difference in our family that Britt is able to go to a job that 1) he likes, 2) his co-workers and bosses are supportive, and 3) that the company does an amazing job of appreciating and rewarding their employees (in addition to providing for them with incredible benefits).   

It was a good night. :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

All Things For Good

When I was in college I taught a Bible Study to a group of girls 2 years younger than me.  The semester that we studied Romans was an especially fruitful one for me, and hopefully for the girls in the study.  I vividly remember the night that we studied Romans 8:26-28 :
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
We were discussing the passage when one girl started sharing about the death of her grandmother and the intense pain that followed, but how she was able to see God moving in her family and bringing her unbelieving relatives to know God.  She cried and spoke of praying for her grandmother to live and not understanding God's reasons to let her die, but only a few short months later she could see much fruit from tragedy.  One by one, many girls spoke of how God had done much good out of the ashes of tragedy, loss, and despair.  

This past August some friends of ours lost their precious baby boy.  We knew a few weeks before that his life was in jeopardy, but we prayed and petitioned that God would show mercy and spare his life.  The night Asher died started a week of agonizing pain and mourning for me like I had never been through.  I still cry almost every time I think about their loss.  

In the midst of all this suffering, I watched our amazing friends lean steadily on the Lord for strength and comfort to get through each moment.  They were honest about their pain, but they continued to rely on the sovereignty of God and their faith (as well as many, many others) was strengthened incredibly.  

That was in August - 3.5 short months ago.  This week, God placed a baby girl into their arms.  They had just started the process of applying to adopt through the foster system, when they were chosen by a mother.  It's an amazing story of the faithfulness of God. Our tears of mourning have turned into tears of rejoicing.  

I can't really do justice to their story, so you should just go read it yourself.  

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Depend Not On Thy Retailer

I was flipping through the lastest Land of Nod catalog last week and I saw a very distressing sight:

It's a card board box.  They are selling a card board box in their catalog!  Not only are they selling it, but they are selling it for $90!  Seriously?  Now parents are supposed to buy card board boxes for their children to play in?  I thought the whole joke was that you bought an expensive present that was in the box and then the kids liked the free box more.  Now you can skip that whole process and just buy an expensive box.  

Has no one thought of going to Sears and asking for an old refrigerator box?  Kids can make a play house out of that.  And paint on it.  And make a door.  And windows.  And it's free.  I'm very distressed over this.  It's as if parents have given up on being creative and making presents or at least finding cheaper alternatives.  I just cannot fathom paying $90 for a card board box.  

I do, however, really like the idea of a play house that is completely collapsable.  And I will probably be searching for my own free card board box soon so that I can make it for CJ.  But I will not be buying her this one.  

My tip today is to not be so dependent on retailers and manufacturers.  They show us an ad, we think "I must get that item for myself or ____", and then we go out and purchase it.  Where is the fun in that?  It's so much more rewarding to think through gifts that would bless someone and then actually have a hand in creating it or forming it.  Even if you don't make any part of it, just knowing that you haven't given a generic gift is a huge reward.  And toys are a real temptation with this.  But I don't want my girls growing up having the exact same set of toys that their friends do.  When I see something I like, I try to think how I can reproduce it myself to give them something that is personalized and tailored for them.  Yes, there is more work involved than if I just went to the store and bought it, but I have a much more satisfying end product (and it's usually cheaper).  

Ok - I'm off in search of an empty, free cardboard box for the taking.  When I finish, I'll show you my results.  

Monday, December 01, 2008


Today I am 37 weeks pregnant, which means I'm full term!  Theoretically I could go into labor any day now and everything would be fine.  With that said, I fully expect to go another 3 weeks.  But it is nice knowing that I'm that much closer to actually having our baby.  

I guess in celebration of "term day" Baby V decided not to let me sleep.  Maybe she's trying to get me ready for her arrival when I'll be up with her during the night a lot.  Oh well.  

Ok - I'm going to try to get some more sleep.  Maybe I can get in another hour or so.