Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Give the people what they want

Here are some more pictures



Friday, December 12, 2008

Baby Clarence is here!


Clarence Daniel was born at 5:26 pm on Monday, December 8. He weighed 10 lbs, 10 oz and was 22 1/2 inches long. We thank our good God for his mercy and tender care over our family as Baby Clar came into the world. His heartbeat stayed strong throughout the entire labor and he has been nothing but a joy to us since his birth.

I had a complication from the epidural and have been suffering from a "spinal headache" since Tuesday night. I was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon but went back in Thursday for a procedure to provide relief from the headache. It helped some, but not all the way, and so I've spent most of my time since Baby Clar was born flat on my back. They say the rest of the problem should fix itself within a week of the epidural, so in the meantime I'm waiting with pain medication and loving family to help me. We are so thankful for Jerri, Luke's mom, who has been with us since Thanksgiving. She cared for Ellie while we were in the hospital and continues to take care of all of us now that we're home. We're also thankful that my mom flew in from Boston and came straight to the hospital yesterday. There's just something about having a mommy there when you're getting stuck with more needles! Luke's dad also worked a business trip so he could go home through Albuquerque, so he was able to come to the house today and see his grandson, and will drive back home with Jerri tomorrow. We are blessed beyond measure!

Ellie loves her baby brother already. She doesn't want to hold him all the time, but she's always excited to see him when she wakes up and she's very possessive of her baby.

Baby Clarence had his first post-hospital checkup today. He's gained back almost all of the weight he lost in the hospital and is doing everything a newborn should do. We are looking forward to sharing him with more of you, especially our church family, but we're going to wait a few more days to have visitors so I can enjoy the visits, too!

Thanks to everyone who waited with us and prayed with and for us as we waited for Baby Clarence to arrive and in the last few days. We're so thankful for our son!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

We're Off to Have a Baby

Luke and I are headed to the hospital to have a baby. I'm very nervous and excited!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A December Baby?!

No, I am not in labor.

I wish I were! But Baby has decided he likes the idea of a December birthday, so here we are. Since I'm over a week past my due date, we go in for regular checks every 3 days or so. They monitor his heart rate and my (non) contractions, and then check out amniotic fluid levels with the ultrasound machine. Our checkup Saturday went great and we'll have another one tomorrow. And although I was originally scheduled to be induced this Thursday, my excellent midwife rescheduled us for Sunday evening, just to give our little guy a few more days to come into the world all on his own. Until then, I'm walking, drinking my water, and praying for the health and safe delivery of this obviously patient and content baby. If only his mommy were more patient and content!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Found!

So, I realized last Thursday that I couldn't find my keys anywhere. We don't really go out much, and it's not unusual for my keys to be MIA for twenty four hours or so. But this time, I really searched for them and they were nowhere to be found. I just knew that the last time I'd seen them was when I went out to get the mail and then walked straight from there to the playground with Ellie. I searched our route but didn't find them. I searched our house but didn't find them.

By yesterday afternoon we were on Day 6 of Katie's missing keys. I finally did some real cleaning of a few rooms in the house and still didn't find them. I called the law enforcement office and they hadn't seen them, but they did suggest I call the housing office here.

Sure enough, someone had turned in my keys just moments before I called! As Ellie said, "Yay, hurray, Mommy found her keys!" And in the process, cleaned up two rooms I'd been putting off all week.

So now that I've found my keys, I'm really ready to have a baby. Come on, baby!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

At Least I'm Not An Elephant

So it turns out that the little baby box on my blog is a big fat liar. It says 0 days to go, but apparently it didn't talk to my unborn child, because he thinks he has lots of time left.

So no, no baby yet.

But with all this spare time (when I'm not searching for my car keys, which I haven't seen since Wednesday), and since my internet was down for a few days this week, I did invent a crocheted mittens pattern. Here it is:

Katie’s Crochet Mittens
Hook Size: K (or hook size needed for gauge, which I still need to determine...)
Yarn: Patons sws solids

Ch 8
Row 1: Sc in each ch across and across other side, sc in first sc (16 sc)
Row 2: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * once more (20 sc)
Row 3: sc in each sc around (20 sc)
Row 4: *2 sc in next sc, sc in next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around (24 sc)
Row 5-16: sc in each sc around, sl st in next sc after final row (24 sc)
Make thumb:
Ch 8, sk 2 sc, sc in next sc (makes loop for thumb)
Row 1: sc in 2 skipped sc, sc in next sc, sc in 8 ch, sc in connecting sc (12 sc)
Row 2-6 : sc in each sc around (12 sc)
Row 7: *sk next sc, sc in next 2 sc repeat from * 3 more times (8 sc)
Row 8: *sk next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * 3 more times (4 sc)
Finish thumb: sl st to close thumb, fasten off
Make Wrist:
Row 1: Connect in corner between thumb and hand, sc 10 in ch around thumb and 22 around mitten (32 sc)
Row 2-5 : sc in each sc around
Row 6: *sk next sc, sc in next 7 sc, repeat from * 3 times (28 sc)
Row 7: *sk next sc, sc in next 6 sc, repeat from * 3 times (24 sc)
Row 8-10: sc in each sc around (24 sc)
Row 11: *sk next sc, sc in next 5 sc, repeat from * around (20 sc)
Row 12-16: sc in each sc around (20 sc)
Row 17: *sc in each of next 4 sc 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * 3 times (24 sc)
Row 18-22: sc in each sc around (24 sc)
Row 23: sl st in each sc around, sl st in 1st sl st, finish off

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Belly

Okay, so for those of you who don't see me regularly, here's a recent picture:

Just when I think I can't get any bigger... I do.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted!

I voted in the election today! It was the first even-year election EVER that I was able to vote in person instead of with an absentee ballot. Thanks to all the volunteers who make it possible to vote and are nice to the many, many toddlers who come along to help. (Incidentally, Ellie and Josiah both have strong and consistent opinions on who they're voting for. You can ask them all about it the next time you see them).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Right Side Up!

Luke and I went in to the hospital today so they could try to turn our little guy, and when they checked with the ultrasound to see where he was, they found his head already down! We thank God for answering our prayers! And we also thank all of you who were praying for us. What good news!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Up-side Down!

We just found out our little guy is breech, which explains why nothing feels the same as it did with Ellie. I thought maybe this baby was just smaller... but maybe not.
Anyway, I'm going in to the hospital next week to see if they can get him to turn. If not, then it's another C-section for me. Luke and I were talking about days, and when a good day would be to schedule a C-section if necessary, and it struck me just what an odd conversation that is. There's this huge illusion of control over a situation where we actually have very little control.
The point of all of this is to say that it does me good to remember how God is in control and knew this sweet baby by name before we ever imagined him. This also helps me as I start to panic, thinking-- we could have a baby in the next two weeks?! That was true before, too, but I was fooling myself into thinking November was much further away. Oh, no, wait. There it is. On Saturday!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Balloon Fiesta (or, The Great Bus Ride, or Mmm, Funnel Cake)

It all depends who you ask. We went to the balloon fiesta with friends last weekend, but the balloons couldn't fly due to wind. The evening was still a great success, because we took advantage of park 'n'ride. Ellie was thrilled to ride the bus. She kept saying "I on a bus, Daddy!" When she sees pictures now, she gets excited all over again.Luke wasn't too disappointed about missing the balloons. He still got to eat hot dogs and funnel cake. And cotton candy, too, which he shared with Ellie and Chloe.
The balloonists were there with their baskets and equipment, so after the sun went down they entertained us with some fire. It just didn't get old for Ellie, who was astounded and had to make sure I knew every time the fire came again.We saw some great fireworks and finished the night off with a snow cone and another bus ride. Who needs balloons?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Yay Luke!

We enjoyed a mini-family-vacation this weekend down at Elephant Butte, NM. Ellie and I relaxed and cheered while Luke completed an Olympic distance triathlon! It was a mile swim, a 25 mile bike, followed by a 10K run. We're so proud of Luke!
This is NOT sunset, folks. It's the other one. You have to get up very early to be a good triathlon spectator!
Here's Luke, hydrating and getting his game face on for the camera.
This is Luke's wave of athletes starting their swim. And here's Luke finishing the swim and running out of the water (and up a HUGE-- I'm not kidding-- HUGE sandy hill to his bike in the transition area!)Ellie had her own idea about triathlon. You notice she paces herself for the swim...
...but really kicks it into high gear for the run
Having left everything out on the course, she waits with thumb and puppy for Daddy to finish his race.I didn't get any pictures of Luke during the bike portion because he was just too fast! He finished the run strong, up yet another sandy hill to the finish line.
As Ellie would say, "Go Daddy go!" Yay Luke!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where Have We Been?

I looked back at the dates of my last blog posts and realized I've become a once-a-monther. Probably nobody even checks now, because I'm that girl with a blog who doesn't really write anything. Well, that's not about to change, but here's an update on us for September:

I'm now officially a licensed in-home daycare provider. Right now, our friend Josiah is our only daily visitor, and I plan to keep it that way until I feel fully adjusted to having two of my own children!

It's been great having Josiah with us so far. Ellie's learning a lot about sharing and taking turns, and I'm discovering the bossy side of her that was bound to come out eventually (where does she get that from?) They look forward to seeing each other every day, and wear each other out so that I can look forward to solid afternoon naps! For them, not for me. I take solid afternoon rests, mixed in with solid afternoon cleaning sessions, when I feel motivated enough...

Yes, the third trimester fatigue is setting in. I'm just about 31 weeks now, and while "6-11 weeks left" doesn't sound like much, I know I have a long way to go as far as swollen feet and restless nights are concerned. I had my first middle-of-the-night-wake-up-for-no-reason the other night at 3:30 am. I guess it's preparation for the middle-of-the-night-wake-up-to-feed-Baby that is to come. At least with this pregnancy, instead of calling the nurse line in a panic whenever something wierd happens, I think, "oh, yeah. I remember this now."

Adding to the fatigue is Luke's travel schedule. Other than a week of illness and a week of much-needed catching up at his desk, he's been out of town Tuesday-Thursday every week for a few months now, and will continue through the end of October. It doesn't seem like much until we actually live through it. By Thursday night when he gets home, we're both exhausted. It's helping me realize and appreciate how much he takes care of Ellie and me when he's here, that's for sure!

As much as I'll be glad to have him home more often, I don't want to rush through the next two months. Time's flying by fast enough as it is. Even though I'm not in school anymore, September still feels like the beginning of a new year to me, and as the days get shorter and cooler and we bring out the sweatshirts for mornings outside, I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be a mother to Ellie and to this baby yet to be born, and pray that He will give me strength, wisdom, patience, and grace to glorify Him and enjoy Him in the work He's called me to in this season.

So I'll leave with some words from a song by Nichole Nordeman called "Every Season" that I've always thought of at this time of year:

Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and was to come

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Learning to fly

We enjoyed a long weekend in Enid, Oklahoma with my brother Joe and his wife Megan, my parents, and several members of Megan's family. We celebrated Joe's graduation from UPT. He'll fly the A-10 starting some time next year.
Ellie was a great road-tripper, mooing at cows and neighing at horses. She's convinced that the longhorned cattle she saw were rhinos, and who am I to argue? She also had a pretty good time staying up WAY past her bedtime at the graduation dinner.
Staying up late was worth the wait for cake.
She went down the big slide at the park many, many times...
... and proved that a grandpa will do anything for his only grandchild.She made sure to show Grammy lots of love!
I had a lot of opportunities this weekend to think about my brother's accomplishments this weekend. He loved airplanes as a kid. He built models and knew all the names of all the military aircraft. Lots of kids love airplanes and dream of flying them. But he went out, got his degree, earned his commission in the Air Force, and graduated from pilot training. Part of me thinks, wow, that was a pretty short amount of time in which to learn everything he needs to know to fly an airplane all by himself. But mostly, I'm just so proud of him, for achieving what he set out to do, and I'm so thankful that my daughter has such a great example in her Uncle Joe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's About Time

Ellie and I spent an hour and a half at the social security office yesterday. I graduated from college with my husband's name and commissioned as an officer with my husband's name. I've been driving with my husband's name, paying for cars and school loans with my husband's name, and renting our house with my husband's name. For the last FIVE YEARS. Now I can finally pay taxes with his name, too.

My dear mother-in-law officially welcomed me to the family when I told her!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Oh, BOY!

Our baby's face!
We had our ultrasound today. We saw evidence of God's hand in the beating heart, working kidneys, and kicking legs of our baby BOY! Those in our church will wonder how this could have happened, since the only baby boys born in the last year or two were brought in from out of state. We're thankful and overjoyed to see that our baby boy is growing just as he should, here at the halfway mark.
Feet!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Things Two Year Olds Do

Two-year-olds sleep in big girl beds.

They help around the house.

They ride tricycles!

They help plant flowers in Grammy's garden.

They really know how to kick back and relax at the pool after a long week of doing the things two-year-olds do.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Two Years

It's hard to believe that just two years ago today, our Ellie was born. I was so excited and nervous. Many of the days that followed are a blur, but I will never forget when the nurse brought Ellie to me so I could see her. I will never forget holding her for the first time, how she fit so perfectly in my arms and how she seemed so small. She was bigger than most of the other babies in the nursery, but the tiny diapers she wore seemed enormous. Her little cry was a tiny, newborn cry, but grabbed my attention immediately, every time.

It was less than a week before I started to forget what life was like before she was born. Now, two years later, it's hard to remember what life was like before she walked, before she talked, before she carried on phone conversations with her grandparents or built block towers or laughed at Sandra Boyton books. But when I try, I can always remember the day she was born.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tiny Heartbeat

Luke and I heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time today! It was very strong and very fast. Because our baby is very little.

Praise God for new life and for this opportunity to appreciate what He's knitting together!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In Case You Thought She Wasn't Paying Attention...

Ellie and I have been reading a little Anne of Green Gables at night before bedtime. She's allowed to play quietly or look at books while I read, so I'm never sure if she's really listening or not.

Right now we're in the middle of the most memorable chapter for me, the one where Anne first meets Gilbert Blythe and he pulls her hair and calls her Carrots.

Sometimes Ellie wants to take the book and read. Normally, she flips through the pages and when I ask her to read it to me, she says, "Anne. Anne." Tonight, she said, "Anne. Anne." And then signed CARROTS.

Now it's even more memorable.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I must be feeling better

I feel like I've been in a fog the last week or so. I'm not sure I realized how out of it I felt until this morning, when I woke up feeling like myself. You know, hungry. Not nauseous. Well-rested. Ready for the day. Oh, yeah! That's how I normally am!

It was so great to feel like myself again. I had energy to play, read books, and even make some bread this evening. That's the real indication, since I hadn't felt like making any food in several days. And when it was baking... it smelled really good!

I let Ellie stay up a little extra so we could share a slice of warm bread and butter. What a great end to a great day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Big Girl

Maybe it's the fact that she's talking so much more, or maybe it's the pigtails, but I think my baby is becoming a big girl.


She started calling me "Mom" on Saturday. She's developed quite the opinion about the music we listen to at home and in the car. And she's able to carry on mini phone conversations with her grandparents. ("Hi Bopba. Hippo. Red ball. Hippo.") She's all about doing things by herself, (she shouts out "Ellie!" if I try to interfere), and she understands so much of what's going on around her. She amazes me, and I'm glad she's growing and learning. We thank God for that and continue to pray for her to grow in every way. But every time she crawls on my lap, or asks me to kiss a boo-boo, or I catch a glimpse of her asleep in her carseat, I thank God for giving me a few more moments with my baby girl.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Break with Becky

We had a blast with my sister Becky while she was here during her spring break from Grove City College last week.
We visited the zoo and aquarium, played at the park, swam at the indoor pool, and discovered Tent Rocks National Monument.


Aunt Becky taught Ellie to say "volleyball" and how to recognize the volleyball in a lineup of other sports equipment. We miss her and look forward to the next time she can come play with us and teach us the essential things in life.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Using my iPod for good

Luke gave me an iPod a few years ago. It was a terrific gift. He even loaded it up with some of my favorite music so it would be all ready to go.
Listening to the iPod helped me tune out distractions and study while I was a student. It motivated me to get out and run when I didn't feel like it. Lately, I've learned to look forward to doing my household cleaning during Ellie's nap. I started downloading podcasts of my favorite news shows and listening to them while I clean up.

My favorite news show is the Diane Rehm show. She does two hours per day, Monday through Friday. Her Friday news roundup is the best for staying informed on the news of the week. She's a very good interviewer and always polite, but she doesn't let her guests get away with too many outrageous statements. I usually download the Friday shows and then pick and choose other shows based on topics or guests that interest me.

My dad just told me that R. C. Sproul also has free podcasts of "Renewing Your Mind." I just downloaded the series on free will and God's sovereignty. I really enjoyed Sproul's "The Consequences of Ideas," which basically went through many of the different philosophies through the centuries and their impact on culture. I've found that he is able to take ideas that are complex and explain them in a way that makes sense. I look forward to listening to them. If only Ellie took longer naps...

My house is going to be so clean!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Homeschooling in California

I'm not quick to sign petitions or forward emails, but in case any of my 5 readers are unaware, there was a court decision in California that basically said CA's state constitution and education code do not allow for homeschooling unless the person doing the schooling is certified to teach.

You can read more about it and sign a petition to depublish the ruling (so that it can't be used in any other cases) at www.hslda.org.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

First Sentence

This week, Ellie started stringing words and signs together to form more complete thoughts. I called them "complete sentences," but that isn't really accurate since they lack verbs. I've been out of school for a few years now, but not long enough to forget that sentences require verbs. Not quite long enough.

Her first spoken incomplete sentence, then, was pronounced early this week, while I was making dinner and Ellie was "helping" Luke take his boots off. "Daddy home!" There's a long pause between the words, because it takes a lot of thought to convey a concept that big. At first, Luke thought she was saying "Daddy-- ow!" and he kept trying to figure out where she was hurt. But she had this big smile on her face, so for awhile it was very confusing, and then we finally figured it out. "Daddy-- home!"

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's Been Awhile...

I was chastised by a mommy for not posting in such a long time. Here's what we've been up to:

We finally made it to CO Springs on the 28th, and decided to stay until after New Years. We all had fun, and Ellie learned to throw her hands up in the air to celebrate touchdowns.

We also had a chance to see my grandmother, who was visiting family in CO.
We enjoyed having Luke home with us for several weeks before he went back to work. Ellie says "Daddy" very clearly now.
We celebrated birthdays with friends, shared meals with our church family, and enjoyed having our family all together again!