Wednesday, July 11, 2012


And so it begins.

Happy birthday, to my dear eldest son.
We're blessed to know you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Praise God for Good News!

I was so anxious about my follow up appointment this week, after the concern at last week's appointment.
Mr. Smith adjusted his lunch hour so he could go with me.  (Have I ever mentioned how much I appreciate my husband?  I hope so.)
Within one minute of beginning the ultrasound, the tech confirmed that I have PLENTY of fluid and there is no need to worry about it any further.
After that, it was just fun!
Going in, I had been planning on asking that the monitor be turned off.  I didn't want to risk any chance of detecting the gender, and I've never really liked the idea of seeing the baby this close to actually seeing the baby.  Seemed kind of like cheating or spoiling something good.
I was so wrong!
The only thing that happened was that I fell a hundred times more in love with this little being, and I'm a hundred times more excited to birth, meet, hold, and care for him or her.
We saw a chubby baby, clutching his or her foot in the grasp of tiny fingers, we saw a mouth making sucking motions and a tongue sticking out, perfect little feet.  We saw lots of hair on a "good sized" head (all of my babies have had "good sized" heads, keeps things interesting.)
Best of all, we saw a perfect, beating heart, free of any visible flaws, including the slight concern they detected at the 19 week ultrasound I had over the winter.
Prayers answered, weight lifted.
God is so good.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Week in July

We had a really nice week around here, with the Fourth of July and a piano recital keeping us busy.
 The Fourth was hot, hot, unbearably hot.  It's so hard to break traditions though, so we headed out to our little hometown where they do the 4th of July up like no other day.  We started with the parade in the morning.  After multiple glitches, we weren't early enough to snag a coveted shady spot on the curb, so we settled in in the direct sun.  It was the hottest Fourth in recent history around here, and it only took me about 5 minutes to realize that there was no way I'd be sticking it out there.  I headed around the back of the dry cleaner's building that we were sitting in front of, and sat under the shade of their awning for the duration.
We came home to rest, but Mr. Smith decided to take an offer we had received from some earthly angels we know, for swimming in their in-ground pool.  He took the five older boys, and I stayed home with a napping Sebastian.  He thought they might swim for 1/2 hour, just to cool off.  They were gone over three hours.  These angels of ours take good care of us, and before they knew it there were hotdogs on the grill and cookies for all.  I savored my quiet time at home in the air conditioned comfort.
 I did manage to clean and prep some fruit and mini marshmallows for the boys to make fruit kabobs with when they got home.
 Always a hit.
We had crafted a bit the day before, so the house was festive.
 Then it was off to the fair.  The good thing about the heat was that there were no lines whatsoever for the rides, I don't think anyone could stand being there for very long.  The bad thing about the heat was, well, the heat.  It was really bad by that point in the day.  Again, I recognized my limits, and spent much of our time there sitting in the grass under a tent, drinking the best lemonade ever by the gallon.  It's a good thing Mr. Smith is so awesome.

 My mom and dad live near the park we were at.  All I had to do was make one phone call saying we were on our way, and minutes later we arrived to a feast.  She knew we'd be coming, but we weren't sure of the timing, so she had bought things like cold cuts, sub buns, salsa and chips, and cold desserts.  We feasted and rested for several hours over there, before heading out to the fireworks.  
It was a close call with rain, but they pulled them off, and it was a great show, as usual.  Sebastian was the only one not impressed.  He had fallen asleep and not quite come all the way to when they started.  We were quite close to ground zero and the "booms" terrified him.  He spent the entire 1/2 hour whimpering and clinging to his daddy.  Don't tell him I said this, but it was actually super cute.  He recovered, and to this day is telling us he likes the booms and the fireworks when we ask.
Overall, a really great day.


 After the Fourth, we had our sights set on today, when we hosted a piano recital for the three families that our teacher teaches.  When I said I'd host, my friend Colleen, one of the other moms, insisted that she would bring all food and drinks.  It was a win-win for me, I didn't have to deal with any food prep, and my house is sparkling clean.  One of the things she brought was this awesome set of piano keys.  It's frosted sugar cookies and brownies.  So clever.
 Owen and Peyton pulled off their duet beautifully, after months and months of giggling and/or fighting while practicing.  I managed not to get a shot of Blake at the piano, but I'm so very proud of him.  He played three songs, including Mozart's Rondo alla Turca, which he has been working on night and day for weeks.  He was the most advanced student at the recital today, and everyone appreciated his talent.  It was nice to see him in his moment to shine.
And once everything was quiet, we settled in for some down time.  I grabbed my knitting, and Blake grabbed my camera (his new hobby).  It's been a while since we've taken a picture of me, so I asked him to.  Apparently, this is what I look like at nearly 37 weeks.  Wow.  Sometimes lately Oliver will walk into a room that I'm in, almost running into me (he never stops moving and doesn't know the meaning of graceful, bless his heart), double-take at my belly, give it a quick rub, and simply say, "Whoa, your belly is huge", as if it just happened over night.  Yes, sweetheart, it is.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On a Tuesday Morning

You know what's really difficult?  Balance.

This baby is due in four weeks.  I have delivered three weeks early, eight days late, and everywhere in between.  Clearly, it is crunch time.

WAIT!  Crunch time?!  What on earth is that supposed to mean?

If there was ever a time to rest, isn't it now?  I'm eight months pregnant and it's July.  I should put my feet up, sip ice water, and finish knitting my current project, while patiently awaiting the arrival of our new blessing.

And yet, all I can think of is what I need to DO next.  Do, do, do, an impossible list of things to accomplish without enough hours in the day to do them, pregnant or not.

I tell myself to slow down, then my next thought is of all the things I have to get done in order to be able to slow down.

I've been feeling good, and this pregnancy has been uneventful.  I went yesterday for my 36 week check.  They do a "quick" ultrasound to make sure the baby's head is down.  I've never had a breech baby, so I wasn't worried.  Sure enough, head down.  Then the doctor started to check the fluid levels, and was very quiet for a few minutes.  He finally said that my fluid is low and that he was going to get a bigger ultrasound machine to get a better look.

Wait a second, this is not how my pregnancies work.  I don't have low fluid, or any other cause for concern.  I go in for my check, they say everything is fine, and I go on with my day.

He came back and scanned with the larger machine, searching out and measuring every little pocket of fluid he could find.  He was satisfied that we're at the low end of normal, and said we'll check again next week.  With a full ultrasound, looking at growth too.  I don't like having so many ultrasounds, it goes against my ideal of low intervention during pregnancy.

I don't like...
My ideal...
Go on with my day...

Really, is this what I sound like right now?  I have a healthy baby, kicking and growing, and the day that we meet him or her is ever closer.  I have lovely children who feel my tummy all day long, in hopes of getting kicked so they can squeal with joy.  I have a supportive husband, who can't wait for this baby, who loves us and takes care of us, while humoring my every whim.  I have competent doctors who are on top of everything, doing their best to ensure a safe and healthy entry to the world for our baby.

And I'm whining because something isn't going just as I planned.

You know what the doc told me to do when I left there yesterday?  Go home, drink lots of water, and rest on my left side whenever I can.  The nerve.  Hasn't he seen my to-do list?
What if the baby comes before I get it all done?!
What if?
Well, I suppose the baby will come, we'll swoon with joy and count our blessings.

Today is a slow day.  I will rest.  Mr. Smith will be home tonight, and tomorrow for the holiday.  He will not let me do a thing, if I know him.  It is summertime.  We have a sprinkler and a swing set.  These days will pass quickly, whether I "allow" them to or not, and God's Will will be done.

I will remember my humble place as His servant, and put my own stubborn will aside.  I will pray for my baby.
And I will count my blessings.