Sunday, August 31, 2008

Memorial Stones

Michael and I had been studying, prior to the Great Staph Adventure, different scriptural accounts of keeping track of the Lord's faithfulness. We had said that we want to be intentional in keeping a record -- keeping "memorial stones" (Joshua 4) -- of God's work in our lives. We discuss how it can sometimes be so easy to forget some of the ways God shows up, ways in which we have an encounter with Him. Before going into the hospital, we'd discussed some ways we could create tangible reminders of God's work in our lives.

When we came home from the hospital, I cut Michael's (purple) hospital ID bracelet off his arm. He said, "This is our memorial stone." Although our hospital experience isn't something I think we'll soon forget, I'm fearful that what we won't recall are all the little ways He made Himself so obvious to us while we were there.

I was reading Psalm 29 yesterday, and I was struck by David's call in the first two verses:

"Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness."
Psalm 29:1-2

I thought, Where do I even start? And immediately, I felt that I needed to record examples of the Lord's strength and faithfulness during our time in the hospital.

Here are just a few of the ways we experienced the greatness of the Lord:
  • Timing: We had initially planned to be out of town during this time. A few things had been rearranged the week before, so our trip to the lake fell at the beginning of that week. Also, Michael's parents were in town; their beach trip had been moved from Thursday to Saturday, and then to Monday because of the hurricane. We had no worries about childcare, dog care, etc. the entire time we were with doctors or in the hospital. As a result, I was able to be with Michael the entire time he was in the hospital, including through the nights -- which was when he had some of his greatest needs.
  • Sufficiency: Nothing was more than we could bear. Michael's struggles were physical, and although he experienced tremendous physical pain, it was not more than he could bear. When further procedures were required, anesthesia became an option that we gladly took. My emotional struggles were also tremendous, but the Lord provided specific encouragement for me at exactly the right time. I received emails and phone calls that were perfectly timed, and visits from friends or family that were the exact provision I needed for that time. I also think of the energy the Lord provided for me in the middle of the night when Michael needed me to be present; the sleep I received was always just enough
  • Relevance of Scripture: I often didn't know where or what to read from scripture, but no matter what it was, the Lord spoke sweet words of comfort to both Michael and me. Sweet friends encouraged us with scripture as well, and the scripture was always the perfect Word for our hearts. Michael has said that hearing scripture was literal pain relief for him in times of extreme pain.
  • Protection: In spite of Michael's infection being infectious and untreated for almost a week, none of us have gotten sick. Also, I was protected from any other illnesses lurking around the hospital.
  • Peace: I don't handle being "out of control" very well. Obviously, going to the hospital was not on my to do list until sometime in October, and I was supposed to be the patient. I've spent so much time focusing on how to prepare for Nora's arrival, this kink in my plans would have typically brought me tremendous stress and unrest. At no time while I was in the hospital with Michael did I worry about the project in the master bathroom, the diapers not yet purchased, the rooms not yet organized. Even now, I'm able to rest in the knowledge that I never was in control... and that God is in charge of all of these little details anyway.

It's impossible to adequately "ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name", but even the attempt causes me to love Him and want to worship Him more. I'd challenge you to try to do the same.

Free Chick-fil-A

Tomorrow (Labor Day), Chick-fil-A is giving away free chicken strips. Although I missed out on their dress-like-a-cow promotion in July, I'm all about hitting this one up. All you have to do is wear any football team or collegiate logo to score three free strips. Evidently, they're new and improved?

Anyway, Phoebe and I will definitely be going. Anyone up for joining us? Let me know! We're always up for a good adventure.

Do you think if I paint my belly crimson and white with a UA logo I can get three more free strips? Just kidding!

Friday, August 29, 2008

In Michael's Words

In lieu of a real post of my own today, I'm going to link to Michael. He's given the play-by-play of the hospital experience and has bravely decided to show pictures from our adventures.

So to read about the hospital, in Michael's words... On the Mend

I promise we'll return to our regularly scheduled Critter Photography and Stories very soon. I realize she's a whole lot cuter than facial abscesses, but... you know. It's been a big week.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Still Processing

Michael had a post-discharge checkup today with the doctor, and everything looked good. He still has a couple of tiny pockets of abscess (doesn't that sound gross?) left that need to break up, and he's still feeling very weak. As he said earlier today, "I'm feeling at about 60%, which is a whole lot better than I was." These next few days will be a challenge for him, simply because he's going to have to chill out and not overdo it. We'll have a final checkup with the doctor next week.

I feel like I'm still processing everything that has happened in the past week or so. Coming home yesterday was a bit overwhelming for all of us, including Phoebe. We're definitely still in adjustment mode, and I think the processing will come a little later. Either way, I know that a lot of people have been checking in and praying for Michael, so I wanted to continue to keep all of you updated.

We have been ridiculously, obnoxiously blessed over this past week, too. As we reflect, I know that the Lord's hand in all of this will continue to become even more evident than it already has.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We're Home

We were released this morning at 9:30, and we couldn't be happier. Michael's still exhausted and battling this infection, but there's no better place to do it than here at home.

I, too, am exhausted... so I'll update more later. I know a photo montage will come eventually, and more... but rest is required first!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Simple Pleasures, Hospital Style

Yes, we're still here... we're hopeful for a Wednesday discharge (tomorrow), but we're not holding our breath. Michael still has to remain fever-free through the night in order to come off his IV antibiotics. (He had a peak in his fever last night, but Motrin was able to manage it.) Regardless, it's still been a good day here at the hospital, and I've been reflecting on some of the simple pleasures I've been able to experience while we've been here. Michael and I are jointly compiling this list.

Here they are, in no particular order:
  • the outpouring of love shown to us by our dear family and friends
  • nighttime nurses that don't turn on the lights at 3am
  • being able to sit, right now, with my husband... in the 3rd floor waiting area.
  • don't have to worry about what's for dinner. Sometimes two options is all you need!
  • it's okay if you leave the tv on all the time
  • new, clean clothes have never felt so good
  • you never have to wash a single dish
  • who cares if you want to read/email/work puzzles for hours at a time?
  • Charmin from home
  • ice chips available, anytime
Surely there are more, but the truth is, it takes a long time to put together coherent thoughts right now. It's been a long, hard weekend. The good thing is that now the end of all of this is in sight. Michael's been able to get dressed, walk around, and be free of pain medication today. Phoebe also came to visit us at the hospital with Mops, and seeing her has never been so wonderful. We are so thankful that nasty, nasty illness is almost beat.

The next simple pleasure I hope to add to that list? Getting discharged.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Again, A Copied Update

It's already been a long day for us, so I'm going to resort to another copied email for an update here. Thanks for all of your prayers, and for caring enough to check in on us. It's already been quite the week!

Hey everyone,

I can't thank all of you enough for your prayers and encouragement these past few days. The last week has been really strange and, at times, overwhelming. What an outpouring of love you all have shown towards us!

As Carolynn said in her emails today, we did end up having to go to the OR for a procedure this morning. This was a repeat of a procedure he had earlier in the visit, but to a greater extent. We are thankful that he was able to do this under anesthesia, as the previous procedure was extremely painful. Michael did well with the anesthesia, and the doctor said that he felt confident that this would help push Michael's recovery further.

If Michael can stay fever free for the next 24 hours, we will be discharged sometime on Wednesday morning. Any fever over 100 degrees will delay the discharge further. As badly as Michael wants to go home, we're happy to stay as long as we need to in order to make sure the infection is under control.

We so appreciate all of the offers for meals, childcare, visits, etc. Right now, I think we are covered, but I will be sure to let you know if we can think of any specific needs. My mom is at the house with Phoebe and Jake. One way you can encourage Michael specifically would be with scripture; it is one thing that has really brought him significant comfort in pain and in uncertainty.

For a couple of reasons, we'd like to limit visitors here at the hospital. We initially thought that Michael had a different form of staph; however, cultures confirmed today that he has MRSA, which is a more easily spread and antibiotic resistant strain of staph. Also, Michael is very exhausted from all of the procedures over the past few days and really needs to get some rest while he can. (He also says he wouldn't want to ruin anybody's appetite... but honestly, he looks a lot better than he did!)

We love you guys so much, and are so thankful for you all. I'll continue to keep you posted as things change. You can pray specifically for:
  • Temperature to remain below 100 degrees for the next 24 hours
  • Continued improvement in his white counts, swelling, and redness.
  • Minimal/decreased pain in Michael's face
  • Protection for me from the MRSA (I have already give my OB the heads up; I will go to them if I see anything that might be symptomatic of MRSA. I cannot take preventative antibiotics.)
  • Patience as we wait through the next few days
Thank you again for all of your prayers!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And... Another One From the Hospital

I'm really too fried to think of anything extra creative, so I'm just going to copy the update I sent out to our small group. Thanks for your continued prayers for Michael!

Hey everyone,

I'm sorry I'm just now getting an update out to you guys. Michael did pretty well through the night. His pain was somewhat under control, and he was able to get by with less pain medication than he'd had throughout the day. He did, however, spike some fevers through the night.

We met with the doctor earlier today, and we are fortunately going to avoid a trip to the Operating Room. Michael's swelling has gone down some, the redness is more localized, and his white blood cell count is looking better. Because of the fevers, though, the doctor wants to keep us a little longer so that he can continue the IV antibiotics and make sure that his fevers are under control. From what the doctor said, it looks like we will now be leaving Tuesday (hopefully in the morning).

Michael has said that visitors would be fine today or tomorrow, just give me a heads up if you want to come up here.

We will be meeting with the doctor again sometime late this afternoon or early this evening, so I will be sure to let all of you know if anything changes. We SO appreciate your prayers!

Love you all,

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hospital Update

Sorry for the lapse of time in our updates... it has certainly been quite the afternoon!

We were whisked from the ER up to a private room around 11:30. We were able to meet with the on-call specialist pretty quickly after we got into our room, and within fifteen minutes he was set to perform an "irrigation procedure". At the risk of grossing everyone out, that involved making a small incision in Michael's nose and then forcing several syringes of saline (salt water,
friends) through it. We thought the procedure in the ER was bad; this one was incomparable for Michael.

Fortunately, the pain medicine eventually seemed to take effect. Michael has also had two very large IV bags of a heavy-duty antibiotic, which name is too difficult for me to remember. He's also taking a heavy duty oral antibiotic on top of all that. He's been able to rest pretty well all afternoon, now that no one is shoving things up his nose. He's been known to dose off
mid-sentence, or while channel surfing. I, fortunately, saved a good book from my most recent library trip and have been able to occupy myself with it for most of the afternoon.

We will, for sure, be here until sometime on Monday. This is our best-case scenario. The doctor says Michael's swelling will probably peak when he wakes up in the morning, and then we'll be able to see some of the positive effects of all of his antibiotics. He likened the procedure to stopping a boulder from rolling down a steep hill; it takes a while to do it once you get it started. Michael was also running a fever at their last check (his first fever in this whole process), but it appears to be subsiding somewhat. Please pray that this round of treatments does indeed prove to be aggressive as these treatments are, I'd hate to see what anything more aggressive would look like. We're also anxious to get home and be healthy again.

The wireless that was so reliable in the emergency department is spotty up here in the main hospital. I'm not sure how frequently I'll be able to update, but I'll try and keep everyone posted on Michael's progress. We sure do appreciate all of your prayers!

More ER Excitement

In spite of all the pokes and tests and general awfulness of being at the ER, Michael has been blogging fairly regularly. Check his blog out for the most recent in our adventures at St. Vincent's.

It appears that they will be continuing; our doctor has informed us that they are admitting Michael within the next hour.

What I'm Doing on my Saturday Morning

We're live blogging from the ER. It doesn't get more exciting than this, kids.

While you're reading about our adventures, please shoot some prayers up for us... Michael's in a good bit of pain, and there's still a little bit of unknown with this infection.

For lighter reading, check out Phoebe's current obsession.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Our Phoebe has quite the fondness for shoes these days. Although she is a little girl of few words, she very clearly utters the word "shoes" frequently. She loves shoes of all kinds, really; Mommy shoes, Daddy shoes, Phoebe shoes, big shoes, small shoes... they're all fair game for her.

One of Phoebe's favorite pairs of shoes is her pair of faux crocs, that Mops picked up at a CVS a few weeks ago. She bought the smallest size they had, which was about two sizes two big for our Little Bitty. No matter. Phoebe still loves them, and wears them (clumsily) just about any time she can.

She was wearing them yesterday when it was time to get ready for the bath. Daddy stripped her down, but let her run around naked -- except for the "crocs" -- before she got in the tub. (Those pictures are reserved for the grandparents.) The shoes never made it off her feet.

The entire bath was conducted with shoes on. And she was delighted.

The shoes were left somewhere on the floor at bedtime last night. The very first thing Phoebe wanted this morning? Her pink shoes. Which was just the beginning of her shoe obsessed day.

Throughout the course of the day, Phoebe asked to change her shoes six times. As in, she wore just about every shoe she owns -- including a few pairs that were too small for her. It brought me great delight to change her shoes for her. What a girly girl!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Putting Around the Lake

Mops and Pops decided that they would rent a house there instead of at the beach this year, but they weren't sure if it would be quite as fun. The verdict? Totally a great idea.

Our trip to the lake was, honestly, everything a trip to the lake should be. No schedule, leisurely meals around the kitchen table, mid-morning boat adventures, float time in the pool... we were all perfectly relaxed. We only wished for a little more time!

The house was also well appointed with outdoor recreation. Phoebe's favorite way to spend time away from the pool was, quite surprisingly, the putting green. She loved golfing around with her Daddy!

She really loved chasing after the balls, dragging the putter around, and being almost naked outdoors for an extended period of time. (I'm particularly fond of her swim diaper wedgie in the last picture.) There is something really wonderful about a little one freely having fun in the summer, isn't there?

On an unrelated note, I wanted to also update about Michael. We went back to the doctor today, and he ended up referring us to a specialist. His swelling had spread this morning, and his pain had greatly increased through the night. The specialist was able to diagnose a staph infection (not the scary, MRSA kind of staph) that was, fortunately, caught in the early stages. A drug cocktail and a steroid shot later, he's feeling noticeably better. We're certainly praising the Lord for healing, and are especially thankful that this particular variety of staph isn't dangerous to any of us girls. I'm sure that Michael's going to give a full update when he's feeling up to it.

Fun! Swap! Here!

Isn't it fun when you make a friend, and then you wind up getting to be friends with her sisters too? That's what happened with the whole Potter family for us. Dear friends for a long time, we're sad to be separated by a whole heck of a lot of miles on I-65; we're always so grateful for the fun we get to share when we get it!

Allison, the eldest sister, has a whole lot of energy and creativity stirring around with her. She has a fun blog chock full of entertaining information, and giveaways every Friday. Well, now she's topped herself and has started a swap. What's that you ask? Well, you should check out her description, because she does a much better job describing it than I ever would.

My Favorite Things Swap (Hosted By The Pink Potpourri) - Click here to join!

What you do need to know is that it looks like it's going to be an awful lot of fun, but you need to hurry! If you want to be a part of the swap, you need to sign up by Monday, August 25. You should check it out!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


We've made it back from the lake safe and sound. And for the first time in a very long time, I am the last one to go to bed. I literally cannot remember the last time this happened; it is possible that it was before Phoebe was born, if ever.

We came back a little early for a doctor's appointment. If you could pray for Michael, he's been attacked by some infection or reaction in his face; we're not really sure which. The doctor is treating him for both with antibiotics and an antihistamine as well. He's in a good bit of pain, and he's pretty swollen -- it looks and feels like he's been punched in the face. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, after the appointment we had another standing commitment that couldn't be rearranged. Michael trooped through it, and we were thankful that his parents were able to keep Phoebe overnight for all of our back-in-town events. So here we are... quiet house... even Jake is asleep.

The lake was indeed really wonderful, but no pictures yet... most of them were taken by my Mom (Michael relaxed very well at the lake), and I'm not even about to wait on Picassa to load up my pictures that I do have tonight.

But because a post just isn't as fun without a picture... here's one of the Phoebs, times two (she's posing in the mirror Michael and Dan removed from our wall before we left):

Doubly cute, don't you think?

Anyway, we're returning to our regularly scheduled life, at least for a few days, tomorrow. And now, I'm off to hit the sack with the rest of the family.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Brief Hiatus

We're heading out this afternoon for some time at the lake with Mops and Pops. We are most excited about boat time, swimming pools, and Lucky Charms for breakfast. Hopefully we'll come back refreshed and not too sunburned by the middle of this week. I'm not sure if the house we'll be at has access to the mighty internets... but if it does, we'll try and load some pictures while we're there!
(Vintage) Phoebe, trying to contain her excitement about being on the lake.

See you later!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Growing Up Too Fast

So, yesterday Phoebe was 17 months old. I posted about all of the big girl things she does at 17 months, and I couldn't believe how quickly it's all going with her. I keep remembering... "the days are long, but the years are short." And are they ever!

I was telling my mom about the eight times we read Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? yesterday. I was also telling her that Phoebe seems to not have the tolerance for "real" story books, but that I feel like it's coming. (Her preference is still to find things in pictures, and to turn pages rather quickly.)

Well, fast-forward 24 hours.

Before nap today, we read Clifford and Corduroy, real storybooks, all the way through. In succession. Without difficulty. In fact, Phoebe said, "please" for Clifford. I couldn't believe that Phoebs was sitting there, absolutely still, pointing out dogs and bears and little girls...enjoying a story. What happened to my child?

And as if that wasn't enough, we decided yesterday that the morning nap was going to be officially dropped. So. Big girl books and big girl schedule. Is this little Mommy ready for all of this? Yikes!

Doesn't she look too little to be so big?

Giveaway Alert!

No, I'm not giving anything away... I still owe Kelly a surprise from when she correctly picked that we were having a girl, so I figure I'd better do that first!

However, Kelly's sister Allison has a great giveaway going on her blog. In fact, Allison gives things away every single Friday. Her giveaway this week is an autographed book, Pull Up A Chair: You, Me, and the Gospel of John. It's a 21-week study of the gospel of John, and it looks pretty great. If you'd like to enter to win it, just leave a comment on her blog answering her question of the week.

Also, Allison has a lot of really fun features every week on her blog, so if you haven't checked it out yet... you should! (And some handsome dude totally designed her blog for her, so it's worth looking at just for the pretty!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Seventeen Months

Phoebe's past month has been one of extremely rapid change. (Do I say that every single month?) She is so much less a baby, and so much more a little girl. And what a great delight this little girl is!

Some of the month's highlights:

Phoebe is...
  • talking much more, and with much more clarity. It would be ridiculous to list all of the new words she has uttered in the past month. She is also much more willing to repeat words when prompted. Words she uses consistently are juice, drink, "ruff ruff", shoes, "shoo" (stinky), fish, duck, and more. Phoebe also says a lot more words that we don't understand, although she is very specific with what she's saying, for sure.
  • signing "thank you" (finally!) -- I should note that it is so my fault that she hasn't learned this before now... she learned it the day that I started using it consistently with her.
  • reading, well, all the time. Her attention span for books (and sitting still, in general) has greatly increased. We will often read together for a period of fifteen to twenty minutes at a time, at several different intervals during the day. I mentioned yesterday some of her current favorites.
  • climbing (with boundaries), and spinning when prompted, on occasion.
  • loving games like finding missing objects (Lamby and our cup are often the subjects of this game), and is in general "playing" more. She is beginning to pretend with some of her critters -- feeding snacks to a plastic lizard, sharing a drink with Big Dog, etc. She also has several special "friends" that she likes to kiss, hug, and wave "bye bye" to.
  • loving to seek out trying to take off Mommy's clothes. No really.
  • helping with lots of chores in a sweet way: feeding Jake, sweeping, wiping/dusting, mopping spots with a wet rag, picking up toys, throwing things away, and helping with supper.
  • loving girly things -- accessories, shoes, dresses, etc. She also gets very excited when we put on shoes, knowing that means we're getting ready to leave for somewhere.
  • currently cutting at least one tooth (her fourth molar). I can feel that one for sure; it also appears that she may be cutting at least one more on the bottom, her first canine. We'll see what pops up in the next few days!
  • using forks and spoons with some success at meals -- we're not pushing this. She loves to eat cereal with a spoon, and if the food is appropriate, we'll bring out a fork. She's much more eager to try new foods when it's offered with a utensil, though!
  • about to drop her morning nap. We are easing into this by shortening her morning nap, but it appears that we will be moving to one nap full-time by the end of this month. Honestly, I think we're both ready for it!

There's really so much more... it is impossible to express what a delight Phoebe really is. She is truly a blessing to both her Daddy and me. I can't wait to see what new things she'll do this next month!

(Also, I go to the doctor this afternoon for my 32-week checkup... praying for a routine and uneventful experience!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Scroll down for my real post... but, you should check out what Michael did last night in the bathroom. Yikes!

Our Morning Routine

I think one of the best things about being a mommy is the staying at home. I love home. And I'm learning more about being a home keeper and a home maker, which makes me love it all even more. We keep few (if any) daytime obligations; we're free to not be busy, and to be home.

In all of this being home, we've really settled into a delightful morning routine. And since changes in our routine are coming, I wanted to make sure that I documented some of our daily rituals for the sake of posterity. So without further adieu...

Phoebe's Morning:

Phoebe wakes up happy, ready to play, at around 7:30 CST (Critter Standard Time)

She quickly requests a cup of milk, and explores about the kitchen while waiting for breakfast. She often will "help" set the table with Mommy. Then, we eat together as a family.

Phoebe would never forget Jake's breakfast! She now is in charge of feeding him, with assistance. (If she had her way, though, he would eat six or seven times a day!)

While Daddy finishes getting ready for work, Phoebe helps Mommy clean up from breakfast. On many mornings, this involves emptying the dishwasher -- one of Phoebe's favorite chores.

After Daddy leaves for work, Phoebe continues to help Mommy with chores like sweeping, spot mopping, and picking up around the house. This is when we usually get dressed, too. Now we're ready for some adventures!

Weather permitting, we like to go for a stroll down the street. Phoebe brings her bucket, and we collect all kinds of "nature items" -- usually rocks, but occasionally leaves, moss, and bark. Sometimes we'll come back in to the backyard and check the tomatoes or swing.

After a drink of milk, Phoebe likes to scamper off to her room for some room time. Usually, Mommy will sit in Phoebe's big comfy chair and call Mops while Phoebe explores or reads. Phoebe will also "talk" to Mops. Today, Phoebe's chief occupation was moving her stuffed animal babies from one basket to another.

After all that fun, we take some quiet time. Phoebe requests Lamby, and she flops into her little green chair to enjoy about fifteen minutes of Sesame Street.

After saying "bye-bye" to Elmo, we return to the kitchen for one last drink before our nap. Then, we cuddle up in the big rocking chair to read a few books. This week's books? Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?; Where is Baby's Bellybutton?; Noah's Ark; Maisy's Colors; I Spy! Bunnies. And then, at least for now, it's off to dream land...

And really, this is what we do pretty much every single day. And we love it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Demolition Derby

A fan of chaos I am not.

I like things to be as orderly as possible, all the time. I do not like to feel like I am out of control, in any way. I keep insane lists, and now I even have a whole entire book devoted to my lists. To embark without a plan is, well, practically impossible for me. Spontaneity is really, really a challenge. My sweet, spontaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants husband is extremely patient with me. And the Lord is absolutely using him to grow me in this area.

Case in point?

The master bathroom.

Now, to his credit, we had discussed this project. Fixtures and wallpaper. And a new shower door. Well, he's just so cute... I just couldn't say, "No," when he asked to "expand" our project a little bit. He assured me that he knew what he was doing, could do it within our budget, and would be done before Nora arrives in less than 10 weeks.

I tell you, I'm growing. Little by little.

I've had a few minor (?) meltdowns over the whole thing, but the Lord has given me an amazing peace about the whole project. And I really, really can't wait to see the finished project... I know it's going to be beautiful!

I'm sure I'm going to post more about this, as it's become quite the "event" around our house... but I think you'd better read about it as Michael posts. He's much funnier, and full of the pictures. It's amazing what you can do with just a Saturday and a Monday evening.

Also... I've been posting much more frequently these past few days, so scroll down for some posts you might have missed!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Best Part of Waking Up... Phoebe in your cup!

No really. She has turned the entire family -- including Sleepy Bear Daddy -- into morning people (persons?). How can you help but have a good morning when this is the delight scampering about your kitchen? We are blessed beyond measure!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday Lovies

Jenny's weather forecasting abilities are incredible. Nine o'clock walks have been literally unbearable for us this past week, but yesterday we were able to spend almost forty-five minutes enjoying time outside as a family. Highs in the upper eighties have never sounded so blissful!

Before beginning the Great Bathroom Remodel of 2008 (more to come on that subject later), we enjoyed a leisurely stroll outside. Phoebe added to her rock collection, made friends with a neighbor, looked for critters, and ate moss. (She did not, for your information, enjoy the moss eating.) She also got lots of love from her Mommy and Daddy.

Daddy has taught her the meaning of hugs. All he has to do is say, "Hugs?", and she will lean in and give a good one. It's like she's a tiny little hugandkiss factory. The result?

I know. How precious is that? I love this sweet little family...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

A few weeks ago, we bought tickets for the OMPC family night at the Barons game. Unfortunately, the original night was rained out and we weren't able to attend. Fortunately for us, it was rescheduled for a night that was wide open! Although it had been almost 100 degrees and all kinds of humid all day long, we were eager to spend some time with friends and enjoy 25-cent hot dogs.

This was Phoebe's first baseball game as a big girl, although she did attend one last year in her punkin seat (I think she slept through the whole thing). She loved it. Some of the highlights for Phoebs included:
  • all the people, especially Claire and Jane, who played with us for most of the game
  • clapping with the crowd, and when someone got a hit (I think she thought the crack of the bat was other people clapping?)
  • eating bites of hot dog buns
  • running -- literally -- with arms held high -- through the stands
  • staying up over an hour past her bedtime

We had such a good time with our Little; I think what we liked most was having a glimpse of her as a bigger girl. We've loved every phase with her so far... but it just keeps getting better and better!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Little Bug

Thanks to her Mops, Phoebe is totally into ladybugs. As in, she loves to point them out wherever she sees them, and often gets quite excited when she does. For example: when reading Lucy Cousins's Noah's Ark (I'd highly recommend!), Phoebe carefully searches out and points at the teeny tiny ladybug pairs on every page. It brings her a great amount of delight, and it does us too.

After our pooltime adventure the other night, we were searching for a clean t-shirt to throw on for supper, before getting her all jammied up. Initially I pulled out her ladybug shirt, but changed my mind since sauce and meatballs were on the menu. Phoebe was a little sad, especially since she'd had a chance to play with the antennae on the shirt, but I promised her she could wear it later this week.

I want Phoebe to know that we keep our promises, so even though she had forgotten the shirt... it was her sweet outfit for yesterday. When Michael came home, we needed to water the ferns out front; Phoebe was, no surprises here, delighted by the dripping overflow. We grabbed the camera, and I'm so glad we did...

Our Little Bug is getting to be a bigger Bug... I couldn't get over how big she looked in these pictures. We do love her dearly!

PS. I feel like I need to make sure credit goes where credit is due... I take very few pictures that appear on this blog! Many of you were very complimentary of the pictures from the other day. Most of the beautiful pictures you see here are the talent of my sweet husband. We are so blessed to have so many of our memories preserved in such a lovely way! If you would like to have him take pictures for you of your family, he loves to do them for friends! Let us know!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Friends, were you aware that it is hot outside? I mean, really, really hot. It amazes me how, in July, I think it's hot. And then comes August, and it becomes really and truly, unimaginably hot. When I was still teaching, the whole back to school thing felt criminal in this kind of heat. Shouldn't it have at least the hint of fall in the air when school starts? Of course, if we waited on that around these parts, we might not be starting school until November.

Anyway, since I am pregnant, the heat feels even worse. Like, I couldn't even stand to take Phoebe on a walk at 9am yesterday. I broke a sweat this morning picking tomatoes for five minutes. It's hot. It's humid. It's disgusting. And then it takes me something like six hours to cool down after I've been in the heat. Yuck.

Well, we decided the other night that the best way to beat the heat was with some good old fashioned water play. Michael had worked really hard to make our yard beautiful; it was time to get out there and play in it. Phoebe had a blast splashing and running around with the hose; she even got Daddy soaking wet! (I managed to stay mostly dry until picking up our soaking wet little Critter.) Enjoy some pictures (finally!) of our fun...
Loving some hose in her face... really!

"I can have some big fun with this hose..."


"Daddy, I'm going to get you!"

By the way, my sweet friend Jenny has informed me that we are going to get some sweet relief from this awful weather soon. According to, she's right! Upper 80's never sounded so sweet!

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's On the To Do List

...updating the blog, that is.

But the truth is, I'm pooped. This weekend straight up wore me out, and I'm beginning the not-sleeping-well adventure of the third trimester.

We're in the middle of a bit of a nap war with Phoebs. She's almost seventeen months old, which means our morning nap could legitimately go at any time. The dilemma is that she's not very happy if she skips her morning nap, but she has a hard time going down in the afternoon if she takes one in the morning. At 3:22 today, she's not really all that sure if she wants to nap.

We're trying, for the time being, a shortened morning nap. (We have done this once before with a good measure of success; 1 1/2 hours in the morning, 2 hours in the afternoon.) I'm hoping that shaving another fifteen minutes off her nap will create some afternoon peace...for all of us.

For now, I'm going to go stretch out on the couch with a Cheerwine and enjoy the quiet. I promise, pictures and real content to come.

Friday, August 1, 2008

30 Week Update

First, can I just say that I cannot believe that I am at 30 weeks pregnant? This means we are in the home stretch of this pregnancy. And can I just say that I have done nothing to prepare for Nora's arrival? No crib, no double stroller, no new clothes, nothing. At this time in my pregnancy with Phoebe, I think we had just about everything all set up. This, my friends, is what a second pregnancy looks like -- total slack.

Anyway, I had my thirty week checkup yesterday. Here are the details:
  • measuring at 28.5 cm; meaning, I'm only measuring a teeny bit small for this stage in pregnancy. Phoebe also measured about a cm small at each checkup. We're praying for another six pounder!
  • Nora's heart rate was in the 130 range. It has been this at the past few checkups. So much for high heart rates for girls!
  • my hematocrit is borderline, meaning I'm not getting enough iron. Doctor D prescribed cheeseburgers and spinach. If the number isn't higher in two weeks, I have to take additional iron supplements.
  • my blood pressure was pretty low - 89/61. Doctor D was unconcerned, and I'd much rather have low blood pressure than high blood pressure. He said it sounds like I need to drink more water, but he totally didn't believe me when I told him I drink upwards of 100-120 ounces of water a day.
Those are all the doctor-type details. I should also add that my hip pain has, for the most part, subsided. I don't like to sit or stand in the same position for too terribly long, but I think that's just part of being pregnant. I'm also having several contractions a day, most of them mild to moderate. None of them are consistent. And although I've had up to four in an hour, I can still continue my current level of activity and not worry about it.

Speaking of activity, Nora has gotten a little more active. She is predictably active at around 8:30 every evening, and I can tell she's settling into some sleep-wake cycles. She also seems to dislike Mexican food, which I've deemed quite unfortunate.

Regardless, Nora's going to be here before we know it. We're already excited to meet her; I just hope we can get on the ball and stop slacking off so she doesn't catch us off guard!