Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Baby Bump

Well here it is.

My sweet little 18-week-baby-bump that’s just barely there, just barely sitting on top of my waistline.


Though I love this little round belly of mine. And love being able to feel the hardness of the uterine muscles and to have the knowledge of the baby stretching and growing inside.

I also feel…


Oh, I’m not denying that this baby bump is cute and sweet to look at—but let me tell you, it’s a challenge to be a pregnant gal at this stage in the pregnancy. While my friends know I’m pregnant, all the strangers, cashiers, librarians, waitresses, and everyone else is caught.



Wondering, gauging, guessing, looking… at my stomach trying to determine if this is pregnancy flab or just flab, whether that’s a pregnant belly staring them down, or just the result of too many chocolate cream pies. Whether its really a baby bump or just a few extra pounds making that oh so awkward muffin top.

To make matters more awkward, I haven’t pulled out my maternity clothes in earnest yet. The maternity styles can sometimes be a good indicator of where that tummy came from, but I’m in the awkward phase of being too small for maternity clothes, but too big for most of my regular clothes.

I get lots of leading questions from perfect strangers and mild acquaintances… “Look at your three little kids, do you think you’ll have any more?” and “My shirts are too tight also” and my personal favorite, “Are you still exercising?”


So I try to make things better for all of us by either sucking in my stomach while I’m out in public (just have to be careful not to pass out!! haha), or to take care to rub my belly frequently (afterall, that’s what pregnant women do, right???).

I’m not sure if it helps or not. But oh well. That’s life at 18 weeks pregnant.


The funny thing is… that in about 4 months when the baby bump is more of a baby beachball, and I’m waddling around in the sweltering Southern heat, I’m sure I’ll be preferring this early awkwardness… to the awkwardness of people whispering “she is going to pop” “she looks like an overripe watermelon” “have you ever seen a shirt stretch so far”etc.

Yeah, funny how life is.

For now, I’m trying my best to enjoy this little baby bump, to take in the sweet little baby movements, and to delight in my ability to move around with ease. My morning sickness has finally let up. Yes, it lasted almost a full 18 weeks, though this past week I had only one sick day, and the week before only two… so I think it lessened right about 16 weeks though not gone entirely yet. The morning sickness lasted a full month longer than it ever did with my other three children.

Not much fun, though I had prayed for morning sickness!!!! And boy, did God give it to me!! He is good!! After miscarrying a sweet little baby in October, this pregnancy I really needed that daily confirmation that morning sickness brings—that there is life and growth within.

So I am thankful for it, though at many times I struggled to be content with my constant stomach upset, and extreme fatigue---especially during perhaps the most stressful time in our lives yet (January through March, the last few months of Nick’s Company Command, my time as FRG Leader with meetings & events & orienting & training galore). But God gave us all the grace to make it through that busy time with little sleep and lots of emergency bathroom stops.

So here we are. At 18 weeks and feeling good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Birthday Boy: Noah edition

Our baby boy turned TWO this week. Yes, I’m actually posting pictures within days of taking them. I know. Wow.

After having a busy week away in Washington D.C. and then coming home and going directly on a church camping trip, we decided to take it easy and forego a birthday party.

Noah’s young, and he won’t remember. I think.

Thomas the Train was the theme of most of his presents this year. Our little (big!) Noah is obsessed with trains and there is nothing he likes better than to drive them around. I seriously think his first word (after Mama, Dada, and No) were: Choo-choo TRAIN!!

So Noah received several Thomas t-shirts, puzzles, trains, and an extra set of tracks. He loved them.


The funny thing was that Noah would have been completely content with his showering of gifts. But the older boys weren’t.

In fact, Isaiah and Joshua actually started crying when we told them we weren’t doing a party this year. Neither of them could imagine Noah having a birthday without a party. They were completely distraught (yes, tears and all) at the thought of their youngest brother not having a “real birthday.”

Being a birthday person, I completely understood. And Nick had Easter Monday off, and it was gorgeously sunny and warm… so we bit the bullet and in the course of a few hours we pulled a party together for our two year old.

I texted & called 5 or 10 close friends/families figuring that most would not be able to attend a last minute birthday party. We were delighted and amazed when everyone could come. Haha. Well, two families didn’t make it, but we still had 35 guests and 20+ children attending a last minute BBQ. Not a poor showing by any means.

Normally I would plan and prepare way ahead for an event this size, but this time, supermom really came out working with what I had. I went to the freezer and found one package of frozen chicken breast, one package of pork chops, one package of top sirloin and it hit me. Shish Ka Bobs. Threw together a quick marinade and chopped up squash, green pepper, onion and pineapple that we had in the fridge and bad-a-bing. Main course, done. I also found frozen chick peas and pita bread for hummus (and I only have one small freezer connected to my fridge, so this was quite the jackpot). I pulled out a package of quinoa in the pantry and had fresh tomatoes and herbs in the garden for taboule. Score. So before we knew it (and without shopping) we had piles of food put together for a great Mediterranean feast. (okay, so we did go to the store for trifle ingredients (raspberry poke cake, vanilla pudding, and whipped cream layered in a trifle bowl) and also cooked up 30+ hotdogs for the kids, and all our friends brought side dishes).

So Noah had his birthday party and loved every minute of it.

He was a bit afraid of the flames on the cake, but his family was glad to help out.




And a great time was had by all. So thankful for my little big boy.



God is good.


**For two year old remembrances. Noah loves trains, trucks, and any kind of vehicle. He loves listening to stories and choosing books at the library (he’s quite popular among the librarians). His vocabulary is budding and blossoming and he speaks in (in)complete sentences: “Snack, please, Mommy” and the like. It’s so sweet. He cut his 2 year old molars the week before he turned two. Yes, all 4 of them all at once. Not really a very happy kid while we vacationed in D.C last week. But oh well, such is life when you are in the process of growing teeth. Noah loves to pray, and is especially mindful to thank God for his brothers. It touches my heart to hear him ask God to ’give my sints.  (forgive my sins). Noah is a little sweetheart and loves everyone once he’s had a chance to warm up. But he loves his mama the most. And because this is my blog I can say that. Haha.

Birthday Boy: Joshua edition

My three year old turned four back in February. And his terribly busy, terribly nauseated mother hasn’t sat down to blog in months, but thought I should still post these pictures and memories to capture that beautiful day.

February in the South is always gorgeous. It’s almost the most beautiful month of the year (March & April are close behind).

Joshua’s birthday and birthday party were on beautiful God-given gorgeous days. My friend Becky and I had collaborated and planned the party together—since we both had children turning four years old that week. My son Joshua and her daughter Annika turned four within 3 days of each other. So we did a double birthday party with all and only four year olds as guests.

It was great fun.

We called it a Painting Party and let the kids use their artistry and creativity without concern for messes or time constraints. They had independent painting time and we also had the kids brake into teams and take turns painting a joint picture using their imagination to create a story. The kids were each given instructions like “Paint something blue and long” “Paint something orange and round”  and they each came up with their own ideas. As you know, four year olds have quite the imagination—it was a delight to watch their creative juices flowing.



The four year olds (we know eight of them!!) followed the painting with some good hearty eating, carrots, apples and cookie cutter peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. A big hit with the kids.


Perhaps the bigger hit was the rainbow cake made by Annika’s mom, Becky. It was simply gorgeous.


Our little four year olds blew out the candles perfectly. And check out the faces of the four year olds behind them… all with mouths ready to pitch in and blow too. Haha. So cute.


The cake was truly beautiful, inside and out. HUGE hit among the kids.


Boy do I love my little four year old.



** Fun four year old remembrances of Joshua. He is learning to read after having grasped letters and their sounds this past year. He loves doing his reading book with Mom, and often is a step ahead of me when I’m explaining a concept. So proud of this kid! Joshua has basically done kindergarten this past year, so I’m not sure what I will do with him come the Fall. He’s very smart and keeps up well in school with Isaiah. Joshua loves his lullaby bear and his ragged white blanket. Joshua bravely stopped sucking his thumb (on his own accord!!) several months before he turned 4, though I still sometimes hear him smacking in the middle of the night. Old habits die hard. Joshua has memorized more Scripture and catechism this year than I can say, perhaps my favorite recitation he has just learned is a Robert Louis Stevenson poem called “The Wind.” He says it with such fervency and feeling, it is remarkable for a young one. Joshua delights all with his tender heart, his contagious smile and his consideration of others. He has a way of winning everyone’s heart just by being himself--- oh boy I’m in trouble when the girls start noticing!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...