Jan 27, 2012

Bathroom Redo

So we're finally redoing the upstairs bath. It is much needed, but pretty far down on our immense "to-do" list for this home.

There's still a lot to do. Like...
~Install the tile (that we got from a friend for FREE!)
~Patch the drywall where Jason took out the recessed lighting (a.k.a. holes of icy coldness)
~Trim (details like that have not proven to be our strong point.)
~And maybe build in a linnen closet. (Ya know, nothing major.)

But paint is on the trim, door and walls, new harware is up and the shower curtain that inspired it all is hanging proudly! BEHOLD!

Jan 25, 2012


Let the gaining begin! I feel wonderful these days (except for a massive headcold) and have even started drinking coffee again. I'm loving hazelnut coconut. Not sure if that's a weird preggo thing but man it tastes delish right now!

You can be expecting one of these each month. I love baby bellies and I love documenting mine! It will be neat to see how it compares to last time around. Already, I think I'm a little ahead of where I was with Ella at 4 months...but I think I had a head start too :)

16 Weeks! The first go 'round I started belly pics at 12 weeks. Because I was so thing to start with that you could actually see a little bump. I could have posted a 12 week pic this go 'round and it would have looked much the same as the first one...but that's not because of baby...that's because I started out that way. So it would have been deceptive to say it was baby bump ;)

Got to hear that fabulous heartbeat again yesterday and it's just perfect. I continue to LOVE the new practice I switched to and you better believe I'm excited that my next appointment includes the 20 week ultrasound!!! I'm dying having not seen this babe yet! I'm not a good waiter. So YES, you better believe we're finding out what gender this little love is!

Jan 16, 2012

When The Snow Came...

wanting, wishing, waiting

now softly falling flakes

green needles capped with white

watching in wonder

warm in our nest

"Mamma can we play?"


trapsing, tromping, twirling

sledding, sliding, swirling

angles flapping flying

face turned toward the heavens

eyes clamped against the chill

catch some on your tongue

howling wind, rosie cheeks

"Just one more minute,

mama please!"

frozen fingers,coaxed inside

sweet promises

of tasty treats

drying clothes, thawing skin

cocoa warming

from within

sitting, snuggling, cozied up

resting nesting

tasting heaven When the snow came.

Jan 11, 2012


I'm going to take a photography class!

I'm so excited to cultivate something that is just my own!
I've not taken a class since highschool and college, and that was with my 35mm SLR, which I totally knew how to use.

This will be with my DSLR, which I've not a clue about, even though I've had it for a few years and have watched/read every online tutorial there is. And yes, I read the manual...it doesn't help.

No the class is nothing fancy. We can't afford fancy. We can't afford college courses, even at the local community college. It's our local Adult Ed. I have no idea if the teacher's any good. It's only three weeks and it's only $15! But I'm over the moon about it.

It's three hours a night for three weeks that I am out of the house, by myself (ya know except for the others in the class) trying to cultivate something I am (er...used to be and would like to be again) passionate about. I won't have on the mom hat, or the wife hat, or the volunteer hat....just the me hat, doing something for me. Yay!

If the teacher can help me figure out how to set my shutter speed and aperture so I can do cool things again and take pictures without flashes... and perhaps me how to get rid of the weird green and blue tones that my pictures keep exhibiting... it'll totally be worth my 15 bucks. And if it serves to inspire some new creativity...FABulous! Anything else is just icing on the cake!

PS: Have I mentioned lately that I love my woodstove again. I do.

Human Again

~I'm 14 weeks and some jeans are starting to get hard to button.
~I feel like that's happening sooner this time.
~It's still nothing anyone would notice, I just look thicker in the middle. joy. Double joy when I don a bathing suit for Ella's swim class. It's that super fun, don't look pregnant, just look chunky stage ;) I'll take it.
~I really like when I start showing. Can't wait!
~Ella and I are back on the "preschool" train and our letter banners are once again growing (it's amazing what a month or so has done to her handwriting abilities! She's rocking it!)

~I'm cooking dinners, and actually eating them now too!
~I'm cleaning (like deep stove scrubbing, dusting, counter cleaning, can't believe how bad things get when they're not done for a few months, cleaning).
~I'm organizing. (Like whole storage room, and utility room, game drawers, craft drawers, junk drawers, closets, purging mania, got the nesting bug early organizing!)
~I can now go to the gorcery store! (I still have to take a few cleansing breaths now and then, but I'm not fighting the urge to hurl the whole time so that's a bonus)
~I've worked out 4 times in the last week and plan another tonight!
~I had coffee yesterday! WHOAH! I don't think it'll be a regular thing yet and I still don't like the smell permiating my vacinity, but that was huge!
I still feel lightyears behind and like I'll be playing catch up for a while. I'll still take it easy when my body tells me to, but as long as it's giving me the green light, I'll be full steam ahead!

The Crunchier, The Better!

I've had it. As previously mentioned...I don't like the OB/GYN practice I'm attending. So I decided to do something about it. And now I'm SUPER....like SUPER DUPER excited to give birth!

(Don't get me wrong, giving birth the last time was a great experience, but the hospital EMMC, sucked. There's just no other words. It's birthing unit sucks. Like old, dull, institutional, small, no full baths in the labor rooms so one could stand in the shower...of course no birthing tubs, no birthing stools, nothin'. And semi private recovery rooms where you get AWEFUL roommates. I mean seriously? Sucks!)

I'm lucky I have options this time. My choices are Dover and York. I picked Dover because it's closer and a great doctor recommended them. The hospital really does seem great, but I'm not pleased with the huge practice.

So when a friend told me the midwives at York were "just a bit too crunchy" for her, I knew it sounded like my kind of place! When it comes to childbirth my motto is, the crunchier the better! Just to cover all my bases I toured the birth center and did a meet and greet with the midwives. SIGN ME UP! I left with a skip in my step and promptly called Garrison Women's Health and told their answering machine (because I never get a human!) that I was cancelling my next appointment and would no longer be attending the practice. I've not been so happy in a LONG time!

Here are some differences I'd like to Highlight:
Garrison Women's Health: Super huge, deliver 60 babies a month, wait a long time, see the providor, a different one every time, for 10 minutes who will ask you the same questions the previous one did, ask you to fill out forms you already filled out, and go over the same information the last one went over with you. And NEVER get a human on the phone and rarely get your message returned.
York midwives: Small, deliver 12-17 babies a month, always get a human on the phone, short waits, LONG and personal visit with midwife.
Garrison Women's Health: Sure you can see only midwives, we'll put it on your paper. Except out of four appointments you'll only see a midwive once and you'll have to cause a slight scene the last time just be scheduled with a midwife.
York midwives: Yup, you can see only midwives. You never ahve to see a doctor at all if you don't want to.
Garrison Women's Health: sure you can be guaranteed a midwife at your deliver... unless they're in another birth and then you'll get the on call doctor. Or if the doctor is primary call, you'll get him/her for a while, then the midwife later. Will the providor be there for most of your labor? Long story short, probably not.
York midwives: Yes you can be guaranteed a midwife. Yes you'll get her for the majority of the labor. The only exceptions would be if she had two people in labor which rarely happens, then her time with you would be divided (understandable).
Wentworth Douglass Hospital: If you're in labor, come up to this window, we'll beep you in. If its after 9pm or before 5am, go to this phone downstairs and call and someone will let you in.
York Hospital: Sweet little nurse says, "When you're in labor, just come on through that door and straight to our office and say, "I'm having a baby".
WDH: Sure you'll be in one (nice but rather small) birthing room (which likely will not have windows, and if it does, they'll overlook the parking lot) the whole time. Unless of course we deem you're not far enough along, then we'll put you in a holding room, eventually we'll move you to a birthing room and then if we're busy we'll move you to another recovery room.
York Hospital: We'll walk you down our mural painted hallways and put you in one of our (GINORMOUS) birthing rooms, (which all have huge windows and great natural light, overlooking treetops and maybe even a glimpse of the ocean) and there you'll stay.

So my choice is clear. And I'm all switched over and super psyched.

Jan 10, 2012

Long and Deep

The day I wrote that last post Ella's nap was long and deep, as was my time with the Lord. It was sweet. And I needed it!

I spent time in the Word, but even more time praying. And I spent more time sitting in silence and listening for that still small voice than I did speaking (a rarity for me) but something I need to do more often! And He met me there. Oh did He meet me.

I so clearly heard Him saying that I need to focus on the things HE gives to me, not the things I set out for myself due to guilt, idealism, perfectionism, and comparison. Oh so true. How often do I write the plans and set the goals and not allow Him to do so?

So I asked what those things were and I waited. He very clearly impressed two things on my mind over and over.
#1) Time with HIM.
#2) With the energy I have returning, make sure I give it to Ella and Jason being present and intentional.

That's it. Two things. Simple. Sometimes hard. But totally doable.

And more than anything I truly did feel His grace wash over me. And I let it. The thought was bold and clear and lasting. Recieve My grace. You'll never be perfect. So don't get bogged down by your shortcomings. It won't motivate you, it will only serve to rob you of the JOY of right now! Holy Hannah Amen to that!

And so that's what I'm doing. Focusing on the things HE gave me and allowing His grace to soak in every moment, every misstep. And it is nourishing my soul.

I'm still up to date on my Bibl in a year plan...wahoo! And the devotions and prayer time that go along with that are my fuel! I'm not pushing myself on the mornings and I'm not feeling bad about it. I still get up when Ella wakes me. But we lay in bed much less, and we're cutting back to two shows each morning. (THAT, my friends, has not flown so well with the little. A monster I created over the past few months I tell you! A PBS watching monster :) I spend time with the Lord during her naps and either work out when J is home, or while she watches her shows. It's working out quite nicely.

Thank-you friends for kind and insightful words. Check out THIS post by my friend Amy on the subject. Love it.

Jan 6, 2012

Guilt...You know you experience it... and other honest ramblings.

I'm sure some of us experience guilt more than others. I'm convinced women and mamas experience it more than our male counterparts. But boy oh boy have I been struggling with it recently. This is a bit of a processing post, so if you have time to read and pray for me and offer your thoughts or dittos, it'd be great.

I think it stems from my lack of doing ANYTHING over the past few first trimester months. I feel like a failure as a child of God, wife, mom, friend. I know, I know . . . extreme . . . and I need to give myself a break and I need to let God's grace fully soak in. I'm starting.

Recently I've been getting back in the saddle as far as organizing, dishes and laundry go. Although I'm doing more than nothing . . . which is what I was previously doing . . . I'm not fully back up to speed in the other areas like cooking, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, bathrooms etc, but slow and stead wins the race.

I've got more energy to play a bit more and be a bit more purposeful with Ella, but not as much as I used to for sure. Our preschool learning time is all but non-existant now and all-be-it educational PBS programing, TV is much more prominent. Oh how that disgusts me. But it's beyond true. It is, however, amazing how sweet, caring, sympathetic and understanding Ella is. It's like God's trying to pour out his grace through her so I can feel it in a very tangible way. Oh how it humbles me.

And recently a friend of mine posted about some goals of hers here and they pierced me to the heart with conviction. Not so much guilt here . . . well let's be honest, probably some . . . but also true conviction, because these are things that have been on my heart but I've been too much of a coward to put into words and attempt to put into action.

The Biggies are these:
1.) Read through the entire Bible.
I cannot tell you how many times I've attempted and fizzled. GRRRrrr. It's like a never ending battle. Mandy linked to a chronological reading plan with Joni Erickson Tada and I'm on track with it . . . thus far . . . it's only day 6 people.

2.) Get up before my child so that I can prepare and greet her...not let her be my alarm clock. In that time before she wakes, spend time with the Lord and exercize.
Before I got pregnant I was getting up and hour before Ella (6 am . . . super hard for this lover of sleep). 3 days a week I would exercize in that time and then spend time with the Lord during her nap time. And the other days I would spend time with the Lord in that morning time. It was glorious. Mandy also linked to this AMAZING thing called Hello Mornings where women encourage and hold accountable other women to this idea of preparing for and greeting your children in the morning.

I have not yet gotten on board with Hello Mornings because I just don't know if I have the energy right now. I've gotten back into working out and my times with the Lord but it's usually during rest times, evenings, or later mornings when J is home. I am wiped and feel like I really do need extra sleep. But is that the truth or a lie? Is that just an excuse because I really don't like mornings? I don't know. I'm processing.

I do know that I fear failure in both of these areas. I fear repeating my same old, don't carry it through patterns. And this definitely feels like a weird, difficult time right now where I want to be/do so much more than I am, but I'm not sure if . . . if that's just my guilt talking and I need to cut myself some slack . . . or if it's really the Holy Spirit's prompting and I need to buck up and do it. I'm not sure how much any of this helped . . . but at least it's out there.

Jan 5, 2012


Our baby is only about 2 1/2 inches long. His/her little heart is only the size of a mustard seed. And yet it's fully formed. And beating. A "perfect" 152 beats per minute. Ella and I got to hear it yesterday and it is nothing short of a miracle. These things will never cease to inspire awe in me.

With Ella they did an ultrasound at 10 weeks just as routine . . . so I had already seen my baby...already had proof that she was REALLY in there . . . already watcher her wiggle around. This practice doesn't do an ulstrasound until 20 weeks, so the only proof I've had is being sick as a dog.

With the the sickness now fading away. Me not showing one little bit. And having a net weight loss of 3 pounds . . . this mama needed some proof that there's a living life inside her! Maybe that sounds weird to you, but it makes total sense to me. And I am so grateful for that muffled, rapid little whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

But in that sweet moment, I was acutely aware of all my mama friends who haven't yet gotten to . . . or at one point didn't get to . . . for one reason or another . . . hear that wonderful sound. I know too many. It's a strange feeling for aheart to be so full and so hurting all at once. And I am praying for all of you in your journey and in your healing. <3

Jan 4, 2012

The Tides They Are A Changin'

I say I'm 13 weeks along. The practice I go to (whom I don't like and will likely be changing from shortly, but thats another story...) say that I'm 12 weeks along. To them I have this to say:

For two children we have collectively tried to conceive for a total of 5 YEARS. We use the fertility awareness method (general public, if you don't know what that is...look it up...read the book...every woman/couple should). I have tracked every temperature, documented every sign (trust me there's a lot of signs and I won't go into all of them beacuse it's definitely TMI for a public blog), and taken every ovulations test created for longer than I can remember! I know the very DAY we conceived. Your calculations are based on an inaccuarate, archaic, 28 day cycle, ovulate on day 14 formula. Take YOUR calculation and shove it!

But anyway, I digress. Another thing that confirms what I already know, is that when week 13 hit, a light switch flipped and I once again feel like human being. (It happened at exactly 13 weeks when I was pregnant with Ella too.) The following things have occurred within the last 4 days, that you might find simple, normal, even mundane. But to me...after months of feeling more nauseous and tired than I've ever felt, to me they are miracles!!!

~I haven't hurled!

~I cooked dinner!!! (and lunch too!)

~I started exercising again!

~I went out, to a restaurant (with many a mingling smells, INCLUDING my husbands open coffee mug on the very same table as mine) and didn't feel nauseous or hurl!

~And today, drum roll please......I have asked my husband to hook up the woodstove!

Yes that's right folks. It's not only been out of commission since the hurling began, but the smell still bothered me so much that J actually had to take it apart, and seal it off! Crazy I know. This is what it has looked like for the past few months.And might I also add, that I think God himself allowed unseasonably warm weather to occur during the period I could not stand the woodstove smell so that we didn't go bankrupt using more oil than we'd budgeted for. And now, low and behold, I feel magically better and well enough to run that bad boy again and the cold, cold weather rolls in...just sayin'. :)

Jan 1, 2012

My Hero

I remember the conversation plain as day. It was back in October, and once again inspired by pinterest, I had a grand idea!

ME:"Jason! I really want to do this for Ella for her big present for Christmas! I found an entertainment center for $15! We can totally do this!"

JASON: "We? What do you mean we? Do you realize how much work this will be?"

ME: "All you have to do is pick it up...and maybe a few small parts of carpentry that require power tools. But that's a small portion of it and you like that kind of stuff!"

JASON: "Do you know how long its going to take to paint that thing? Do you realize how many coats it will take?"

ME: "Yes, yes. I'll get ALL the supplies and I'll do ALL the painting! Please? Will you go get it? Can we do this? She'll LOVE it!"

JASON: (begrudgingly) "Alright."

The entertainment system sat in a friends garage for a bit until we had time to start this fabulous project. Shortly after it made it's way into that garage, we were pleasantly suprised by a plus sign on a stick. Shortly after that I became violently ill and mononucleosis like exhausted. Even the wafts of paint fumes from behind closed doors was enough to do me in. Guess who ended up doing EVERYTHING (except for the very last finishing touches of detailed painting). Yup. You guessed it. Jason.

This man was working 12 hour days, 5am-5pm, getting home, feeding himself because I could not think about food, let alone look at it, taking care of Ella and putting her to bed, and then going to town on this project after Ella went to bed, and on weekends too. The man is my hero. We budget every penny, and we don't do a ton of Christmas gifts, this was Ella's BIG gift, without this...I'm not sure what we would have done for her. And one day when she's old enough to read this story and see how much her daddy was willing to do because he loves her, he will be her hero even that much more! And without further ado, here is the finished project (because of course I forgot to take a before picture...but just imagine big, brown entertainment center...you get the idea)

Here's what "we" did:

took glass out of big doors and replaced with plywood

added microwave and shelf
rehinged one door so that it opens downward for oven

made 4 stove nobs out of wood

1 coat gripper primer

2-3 coats of white

Added stainless handles and door pulls

cut hole for sink and plopped in an extra stainless bowl I had lying around

found old sink lying on side of road and grabbed it, used the faucet and nobs off of that

painted oven nobs, micro and oven door black

painted burners for stove and numbers for micro

printed one of my scenic photos 11x14 and added white frame and lattice to create window.

Voila! Easy as that!