Thursday, July 31, 2008

update

I just uploaded the ultrasound pictures and they are at the bottom of the ultrasound post below ("more answered prayers")!  

singer song-writer

As I think most of you know, or at least you could figure out from our blog, Caroline loves to sing and dance. She sings the classic "kid songs" that you all know and love, some new songs I didn't know before her teachers introduced them into our lives, some songs she's picked up from listening to CD's in the car (Jeff tries to expose her to a wide range of music. Her latest favorite is Tracy Chapman), some Disney songs, and of course the old-standby: Annie songs. In the past couple of days she's started making up lyrics to the tune of the songs she knows and some of my favorite "Caroline songs" are about me!


She was singing yesterday afternoon about Jeff mowing the grass and me washing the dishes and it went something like this, "Papa is mowing the grass and Mama not let me jump on the trampoline 'cause we have to clean. Caroline needs to wash the dishes, we might need to wash the dishes." Another song from yesterday came about after she had made about four or five consecutive trips to the bathroom, but she each time, she said she didn't actually need to go. She was outside with Jeff after he had finished mowing the grass and I was in the kitchen cooking dinner. I kept hearing this faint little knock on the back door. Finally, I said, "Caroline you have to sit on the potty until you go, you can't keep going back and forth between outside and the bathroom." From the bathroom I heard this little song, "Mama not let me get out the bathroom. We not keep knocking on the door. Mama not let me stand up, I have to sit." I had to laugh.


I hear that my brother Drew is quite the King of made-up lyrics, so perhaps she comes by this genetically?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

more answered prayers

We had our 20 week ultrasound on Monday (even though I'm actually at about 21 weeks). The days leading up to it were filled with excitement and anxiety and nervousness. All of the fears were allayed as the ultrasound progressed though! We were thrilled to see a beating heart right away and as the sonographer (is that the right term?) went through studying the baby's anatomy, taking measurements, and running them through her computer, she did a wonderful job of explaining everything to us. She kept saying, it looks good, everything looks great, that is normal, and just generally encouraging us through the process. The baby was moving around quite a bit and at one point I even felt a kick and saw it at the same time, which was a first for me! Finally, after we were assured that all looked and measured normally, we found out that we are having another GIRL! We are all very excited, most importantly about her health, but also about Caroline having a little sister.

We are now beginning the process of choosing a name; I'm not sure whether we'll tell everyone or not before she gets here, so I'll keep you posted on that front. Caroline's suggestions for names so far are: Brother (we told her we can't name a baby girl "Brother"), Girl, and the most recent suggestion from this morning was "Fuzzy". We'll keep the process going.

I'm posting on my lunch break at work, but when I'm home I'll see if I can get some of the pictures from the ultrasound scanned in and posted here soon.

UPDATE:  Here are the pictures.  If you aren't skilled at deciphering ultrasound pictures, I can't really help you without being able to point at the picture, but I'll do my best to describe each picture below:  

This is her face!  


She'll kill us for this one day, but this is her bottom . . . It's a GIRL!  


The one on top is her leg extended - looks like she's gong to have some long legs like Caroline  The bottom two are her feet and toes.  


The top one is her right arm, bent at the elbow.  The bottom one is her right arm and her head, her hand is in a fist right next to her face.  

Thanks for all your well-wishes and prayers.  we appreciate them all.  

Friday, July 25, 2008

Answered prayers

Lately I've been reading back through an old journal of mine. It is from 2005, when I was finishing up law school, studying for the bar, preparing for Caroline's arrival, etc. I wrote just about life and what was going on, but mostly it has written prayers from my morning quiet times. As I read through the entries, starting in probably February of 2005, I was struck by often I prayed for God to give me His Peace and Strength. I must have been reading through Psalms, because often I'd write a verse or two from Psalms at the beginning or end of an entry. So many of the Psalms are cries out to God for peace and protection or thanksgiving for where He brought the writer.

Today, I read a few entries from July of 2005, which was crunch time for me as far as the bar exam goes. I was studying hard day in and day out to be ready to take the test which was the last week of July. On July 20, I wrote a short entry for asking for peace and a calm heart and wrote this verse, "For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock." Psalm 27:5.

Later that day while I was at my doctor's appointment, Jeff fell off the roof of the sorority house where my mom is the house mother. He had been cleaning leaves off of the roof and he backed up into a skylight, lost his balance and fell through to the concrete below. He apparently fell on the back of his head and his shoulder. My mom and my doctor are friends, so she called him to let me know what happened and sent one of her friends over to get me from the doctor's office to bring me to the hospital where the ambulance had brought Jeff. As I heard the news and on the ride over to the hospital, I was strangely not freaked out. As I walked into the ER waiting room and found my mom and another friend who had met her at the house when Jeff got hurt, I was struck by the look of concern on their faces, but I was strangely peaceful. Jeff spent a couple of days in the ICU and then a couple more days at the hospital in a regular room, but after recovering slowly at home, he was fine and thank the Lord, he did not sustain any permanent brain injury.

With all that I was facing late that summer, bar review, studying, the bar exam itself, moving into a new house, being pregnant in July in Louisiana (HOT), and preparing for a new person to enter our lives, PEACE was surely what I would need to get through adding my husband's accident to that mix. I had no way of knowing that in the months leading up to July 20, 2005, but I trust that God did. I've always kind of wondered why I didn't lose it when I saw Jeff in the hospital with bloody hair and a dazed look on his face. I honestly wondered if I was just delirious from so much studying and baby-thoughts that I didn't fully comprehend it, but now, looking back I think God prepared me for that day and gave me the peace I needed to get through those days.

Looking back on that has truly been an encouragement to me, I should take more time to remember God's goodness to me and I hope that each of you can do the same and get that encouragement too.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blueberry pickin'

Yesterday Jeff, Caroline and I went to pick blueberries at an organic blueberry farm in Clinton (about an hour north of Baton Rouge).  We made the trip with a woman I work with and her son and we all had a great time!  When we got there the owners said that there weren't many blueberries left because the peak of the season is in June, but for our small group, it was fine.  Caroline was great about picking out the bushes with lots of berries on the low branches and Jeff took care of the high branches.  It was a beautiful sunny day and we picked berries for about an hour, it got to be a little hot for all of us, so we went to check out the sheep and goats and chickens that were out on the farm as well.  With not a lot of effort, we ended up with right about 3 lbs of blueberries!  

We woke up this morning and decided to make some homemade blueberry muffins with our loot.  I rarely make muffins from scratch, but these turned out great, and I'm sure it had a lot to do with the fresh blueberries.  Here are some pictures from our adventure and from our morning baking (and of course Caroline was my assistant pastry chef).  






















Thursday, July 17, 2008

All's Quiet on the Political Front

A couple of months ago I decided to stop blogging about and linking to political commentary. There are a few reasons for that decision: 1) There are plenty of people out there blogging and writing articles about politics and there are even some who do it well, 2) I'm not going to change anyone's mind with my ramblings, 3) my friends and family (and a few people I only know via the web) have political views that fall all over the spectrum and they really come here to see Caroline, right?, 4) I think the current political climate is too intense and I'm not interested in adding fuel to that fire, and finally 5) God is in control (I don't mean that I think God will pick the next President, just to clarify - if you are really interested in what I mean by that, email me). I still read quite a bit of political commentary and news in general, but I've just excused myself from the table of discussion on here.

All that being said, HERE'S A POLITICAL POST FOR YOU!!! Do you like how I had a long intro of how I'm not going to blog about politics and yet, here I go? I think this is fairly innocuous though, as this story is something of an observation, and an observation that I've made (to myself) over the past few months. You can click here to read it. I am really just linking here for the observation, the main point of the post, there are a few jabs in there that I might or might not agree with, but I'll stop because I'm not blogging about politics anymore.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Our little helper

Caroline has always been interested in whatever it is that Jeff and I are doing, be it cooking, cleaning, working in the yard, watering plants, whatever.  Lately, she has taken it to a new level.  She insists on helping us do everything.  Jeff helps pick up all of the sound equipment after church on Sundays and the past two Sundays she has made herself part of the pick-up team.  She had a slight melt-down (complete with crying) when I tried to get her to sit with me while Jeff picked up a few final things this past week.  It wasn't worth it of course, so off she went to help bring the electrical equipment to storage.  

She's also been helping me wash dishes for the past few weeks as well.  When she hears the water in the kitchen running, she comes running too!  She pulls up her "booster" (a step-stool that puts at just the right height to our counters) and happily "washes" her cups and plates next to me.  Caroline's other love is cooking and baking.  We made cupcakes recently and she has lost all fear of the KitchenAid mixer!  She loves it and enjoyed learning to crack an egg into it while the mixer worked away at the ingredients.  I"ve got a couple of pictures of our cupcake endeavor, but for some reason blogger isn't letting me upload them right now.  I'll update soon!  

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monsters, fish, and memories

Here are a couple of random stories to update you on the happenings in our home in the past week or so:


Jeff went out and bought Caroline her first pet last Friday: a Betta fish. We thought the fish would be a good introduction to owning an animal; not much work, but you do have to feed them and no vet bills. So, we let Caroline pick out a name for her new pet. She looked and looked at her and decided on "Lauren". Then, the next time we asked her what the fish's name was she said, "Sammy". The next time it was "Sandy". The next day it was "Dolphin" and a few minutes after that it was "Dogfish". I'm still not sure what the call the fish.


Caroline loves to look at pictures. Every so often she'll ask Jeff or me to take her to the computer to go through recent pictures we've taken. Last weekend, Jeff pulled out the hard drive from our old computer and was looking at pictures from a couple of years ago. Caroline and I joined him to look at Caroline's baby pictures. The memories came flooding back for Jeff and me; we kept saying, "Oh, remember how she slept like that!", "I loved that outfit"(that was me, not Jeff), "Look at her first smile!" Caroline loved those pictures, with two exceptions: One, the pictures of the day she was born (she didn't like the naked pictures or crying pictures); and Two, the pictures from her 20 week ultrasound. When Jeff opened the folder from her ultrasound, I said, "Caroline, look those are some pictures of when you were in Mama's tummy." She looked horrified and said, "Oh no! Caroline was a little monster!" We fell on the floor we were laughing so hard


Saturday, July 05, 2008

More from the beach!

I looked back at my post about our vacation and realized that you wouldn't be able to tell from the pictures that there were other people there with us!  Here are a few additional pictures from the trip and a video of Caroline having fun in the water.  

Caroline & Drew playing in the sand


Alicia, Amelia, and Caroline

And here are a couple of videos of Caroline's dance moves in the sand and surf (We're not sure what she's singing either):  
 
video


video

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

heart

From the first time I ever heard Caroline's heart beating (it was in late February of 2005), I thought that sound had to be one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. Since losing Joshua, my opinion on the beauty of the sound of a beating heart is that much stronger. Today at my 17 week appt with Dr. Moore, I heard those wonderful heart beat sounds (for the fourth time, but it never gets old)! Baby #3 has a heart rate of 157.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Summer Vacation

We spent the past week at the beach and it was a wonderful vacation for all of us.  As I said in my last post, we met family and friends down there and had a week of playing in the sand and waves, riding in a boat, taking walks, finding seashells, flying the kite, looking for crabs, avoiding jellyfish, and lots of laughter and smiles mixed in with each of those.  We spent almost all of our time on the beach, in fact I never even went to the pool - Caroline was so happy in the sand and surf that she only asked to go to the pool once or twice.  I'll share a little bit about the trip and let the pictures tell the rest of the story.  

Caroline got more and more accustomed to the waves each day and by the end of the week she was fearless even in some fairly big waves.  By Thursday, she didn't want anyone to hold her in the water, she just wanted help jumping over the big waves.  We built lots of sand castles, sand birthday cakes, mermaids, and I'm sure plenty of other creations I missed or can't remember.  We all had fun sitting at the water's edge, letting the waves splash up on us.  Caroline spent what seemed like hours sitting in her chair next to Jo Jo just enjoying the sun and water.   

It was great to be with everyone.  Drew and Amelia spent lots of time playing with Caroline, complying with all of her requests to be taken into the water with them.  We all had fun playing with precious little Cooper and Caroline misses his company already.  We took turns cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day and consequently we ate really well and I honestly miss the great food and laughs over those meals.  

We made some wonderful memories and we're all already looking forward to next year on the beach!  


Caroline and Jeff enjoying the sand

Our fearless girl jumping the waves

Loving the waves!  

Caroline flying her kite solo!  

Caroline and Cooper chillin' at the water's edge

Caroline and Jo Jo's sand castle creation

On one of our beach walks at night

Jeff, Jo Jo, and Caroline out in the boat

Jeff, Ashley, and Caroline in the boat

Our boardwalk