Sunday, January 24, 2010

We spent this week (well, Nathan did at least, since he's off work!) getting ready to paint the nursery for BGT. We thought about keeping the nursery where it was and moving Aiden to another room, but figured in the end, it would make his transition into Big Brother World a little easier if he had some things that were constant in his world with all the changes that will no doubt be on their way soon. So, since Nathan will no longer be needing a home office (still sad about that), we opted to make this room the nursery for BGT. There have been many conversations about colors and such, but we finally opted for something a little outside the box for us semi-traditional home keepers. I'll spare you the decision and the details, but we used the latter half of this week to paint her room and will endevor to paint the rest of the upstairs next week.

I think I like it, but it's still an office, so hard to say for sure how all the details will come together to make it "hers." We also found a GREAT dresser and ordered it, so it should be here the first week of February. That might make it feel more real once we have some furniture in there other than the desk and bookshelves. We probably won't move the rest until the mattress arrives so Aiden isn't sleeping all over the place in the meantime.

I'll get some pictures up, but will wait until the room has less stuff in it before doing so. Still in the process of thinking up names. This decision was so hard for us with Aiden, but we ended up picking a name that truly suits him, his personality, his persona, and his cute little look. I'm confident we'll end up being able to do the same with her, it's just the unknown that makes the decision so hard. We probably overthink things way too much, but there are so many things we take into consideration with how we pick names. I want her name to mean something, so that in the years she finds herself hating it, she can at least know that we chose her name with thought and true intent for her. We've been taking suggestions, but nothing really sticks yet...we'll see where we land in a few weeks.

I'm 31 weeks this week and just now beginning to feel it. And while I am grateful this impatience has just now arrived, it doesn't make it much easier knowing I still have 8 weeks to go. In the same token on the flip side, in less than 8 weeks, we'll be bringing our new little one home. Hard to fathom...it freaks me out as much as it does excite me. In so many ways it feels scary and thrilling in one breath. Although I'll say the scary part is more true as the days wind down. I've begun to feel her move so much more in the past few weeks. Not that I didn't feel her before, but I think because her little space is getting smaller and smaller and she is getting bigger and bigger, I feel her all the more. This movement makes for fun evenings and interesting moments in my day - surprising quick jabs to the ribs as she's already got her head down and feet up in preparation for her arrival!

I get these weekly updates and this week said, "This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long, weighs about 3.3 pounds (four oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt." Great! (sarcasm). She can turn her head from side to side, and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath the skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. (No joke!) Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

Since I won't have an ultrasound at my visit this week (will wait until 33 weeks for that), this is the best chance I've got to see what she might look like in there (even though my "space" is measuring about six weeks behind, she's still growing right on track per my last visit...so I'm sure it looks differently, but this is about all I've got to go on for now!).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Big Boy!

We are preparing for BGT's impending arrival and spent this weekend getting some things for Aiden and for her. So we spent this Saturday shopping for some goodies. Our first stop was at Pottery Barn Kids where we got him his brand new BIG BOY BED and this makes me sad!! It is so hard to believe I won't be able to see him in his little crib anymore, but there is peace in knowing I have a few more weeks to prepare myself for it as we wait for his mattress to arrive. So he won't make the transition quite yet. And to be honest, we might wait until after BGT arrives so he can have some time to adjust to her being here before we move him. She'll be downstairs with us for a few months anyway, so we have some time.

We picked out his comforter and shams, but need to get sheets and his new artwork, pictures, and decorations for his big boy room. He'll stay in the same room, but need to update the "baby" part for some big boy stuff! I'm somewhat anxious about his transition, but I've talked with a few moms who've made the transition (and successful at that!) in the past few months and so I feel confident with as good a little sleeper as my little dude is, that we'll do just fine moving on up!

I'll post pictures when I have them, but for now, the bed's still in the box waiting for us to assemble it. He's not quite sure what is going on yet, and I'd like to delay that as long as I can...that's the selfish part in me that doesn't want to see him grow up. I know it's inevitable, but a few months is the least I can do to enjoy him being Baby Aiden for just a little longer. He is such a sweet little boy who loves to cuddle and who is vigorous about life and just about everything that he finds in this great big world of his. Yes, it is his world in case you didn't know. But for now, I will cherish my sweet moments with him reading and rocking at night before it disappears, which I know it will. How I ache for that day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hanging on...

The week started out full of emotions as a good friend of mine from high school, whom I have only been connected with mildly on Facebook since that time, was experiencing her own share of pain that spoke to me and moved me deeply. You can read her full story here, at Jeanna's blog, but in short she was pregnant with twins after years of trying. She was beyond elated and her story makes it evident how deeply she wanted to be a mother. They went for their 20 week ultrasound to see the babies, check on them, and ultimately find out the sex of the babies. Instead of finding out these things, they found two baby boys with no heart beats. They had to deliver them two days later to two terribly devastated parents. Maybe it was my current state of pregnancy, maybe it was that particular day in my life, or maybe it was the rush of hormones that pulsing through me since I am not one, but two girls, at the moment, but something in me broke. I spent that day, and many of the following, broken, desolate, asking "why?", and trying to understand how it all happened for them while also making sure not to let it control the mindset of my own pregnancy going forward. It was not an easy journey, to say it mildly, but as the days passed, my head cleared and I was able to get some peace for them and for myself.

I felt terribly I hadn't been in more frequent contact with Jeanna after high school, mostly since I found myself pregnant and identifying with her loss as I knew that feeling from several years ago. Though not the same, I, too, experienced the loss of a baby and knew how deeply and profoundly it impacted me and my desire to be a mother. I can't fathom the questions she's asking herself, but could only recall what it was I found myself searching for in the days and months that followed that experience. I know there is hope for her, as I have found, and am now able to see in Aiden's face every day...and soon enough my baby girl's face. I pray for a safe and healthy delivery and safe and healthy child, as all parents do, but maybe even more so after feeling the pain through Jeanna's experience. I am anxious to see what God does in their lives and for them as I am sure it will be miraculous and ONLY something He can do.

While I didn't mean for this to be such a bland and emotion-filled post, I found myself in a place of quiet empathy this week and felt not much else. I am not even sure how to express all I felt in the days that followed, but felt the need to share her story, if only as a means to remind myself to pray for her.

The week that followed this experience only brought with it it's own strife in the form of work. The good part was that Nathan was offered a great position at Deloitte (formerly known as Deloitte and Touche), and would be resigning from his current role this week. The bad part was that also meant his time at home with us would be shortly coming to an end. Dealing with this next challenge is probably much worse in my head than it will be in reality, and while I am thrilled he's been given this amazing opportunity, I am also terribly sad to lose the special time we have together at home. I guess a part of me always knew it would not last forever, but I dreaded the day it would come. So, beginning in February, we'll be saying bye bye to Daddy as he drives off to work and we try and man the fort. I guess the part that makes me the saddest is that he won't have the same special time at home with BGT as he has with Aiden. Time which has created a special bond between the two of them that is so neat to observe and even better to be a part of as a partner. Everyone tells me it will be better than I think, but what I think is that life will be CRAZY about a month after he starts work...and I find myself at home alone with two kiddos both clammoring for food and attention and no one to share in the day to day with. It will make me sad, but I also know that getting through it will make me strong.

I was just reviewing my list of "wishes" from my 2009 New Year's posting and realized all the things that had been true in 2008 that I'd already forgotten. Additionally, I realized I hadn't come back to my list as frequently as I'd liked in my postings or in reality. Regardless, I need to hold myself accountable for what I set out to accomplish in 2009. So here goes in short form with comments to boot!

  • Read the Bible every day
I did this! Well, kind of. As much as I wish I could say I read chapters upon chapters a day, that just wouldn't be truthful and honestly, as I found out the hard way, is much harder to do with a toddler at your toes all the time! But, I did read at least a verse, if not more, a day and did my very best to either a) pass it along to someone else in need or b) ponder it and it's impact to my life. So, I feel I gave this a good college try and in some small way succeeded.
  • Finish 12 books, novels, etc. (books, not magazines!)
I did this! I could list, but you'd be bored by my list. I think I counted 19 books.
  • Run a half marathon
I did this! April 18 marked the day I completed my first (and most certainly NOT my last) half marathon. It was thrilling, exhilarating, and I set out that day to run a full marathon by the end of the year...well, we all know how that went. KNOCKED UP! And while I did and do continue to run, 26.2 was just not wise.
  • Go on a date once a week. (with my hubby of course; see note* for further clarification)* This term "date" does not mean spend money on a meal, but just spend time out of the house and on our own away from Aiden to remember that we are first and foremost, husband and wife. Even if that means spending time at the good old Border's for some one on one reading and coffee. Regardless, to get out of the house and talk, dive in, breathe, and appreciate one another.
We did this! While I can't say with complete accuracy that each and every week we did a "date" out of the house, we did take time and spend with one another, if even over a glass of wine after a long day (or week) to decompress and talk about things other than Aiden or other children, but us, what was on our hearts, how we were growing, desired to grow, what we were feeling, etc. All in all I would consider this a success and look forward to continuing this "tradition" even as we embark on trying to pass TWO kids off to someone for a few hours a week! :) It may not be weekly, but monthly, that we make it out of the house, but we'll be trying, and I guess every little night helps.
  • Build deep and lasting friendships (dig deep into others' lives and not let myself or them get away with surface level conversations, or to let myself shy away from reaching out)
Working on this...still. We did meet a few folks this year and developed deeper friendships, we also said good-bye to some that weren't going to last us the long haul. Both ventures equally challenging in their own right, so this will be passed on as an ongoing theme for us, with a few minor changes to objectives along the way.
  • Find a church home
I (well, we) did not do this. Though we tried and looked, we have not yet found anywhere that feels like home for us. We'll continue the journey in 2010 and potentially beyond as we seek a place where our children can come to know the Lord in a way that is uniquely found in these settings...separate from our opinions and abilities as parents to show them who God is and can be.
  • Pay off a loan
I did this! Almost two. I had one in mind when I wrote this post, and that one is long gone!
  • Take at least one vacation (like how I say, "at least one"? I will gladly welcome more!)
I did this! And managed to score more than one. :) Love it. We'll see what this year holds. Hopefully the same.
  • Worry less, encourage more
And this...well, I continue to work on this. While I have gotten much better at encouraging WHEN I feel worried, I still continue to worry probably far more than I should. I realized this the most when Aiden was staying with my parents. I had some of the best sleep ever when he was there. This happened because 1) he was with someone I trusted and very safe, and 2) he wasn't upstairs with something potentially happening to him in his sleep! Not sure why I can spearate like that, but it just worked that way. Though this is a small thing, it showed me I have not let go of my worry. So...this is a work in progress, as most of my "issues" are!

Hope this update proved valuable. I know maybe not for you, but did for me. I'll be posting my 2010 goals and move forward statements shortly...maybe later this week when I have some time. I hate that it's already past the 10th and I still haven't done it. Ugh! Oh well...working on it counts.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

First Snow

Of 2010 happened this past week/weekend in Nashville. Though we doubted it would actually happen, they cancelled school on Thursday as early as 2 pm on Wednesday in preparation for our "winter blast." While we woke up to nothing, not even a flake, snow did start falling around 10 am Thursday morning and didn't really stop fully until Sunday. Nashville is the only place I have ever been where it can be below freezing all day and all night, snow continuously for three days, and yet there is accumulation of oh, say, maybe a half inch in the most rural areas of town. SO WEIRD!

Anyway, despite the lack of accumulation, we did have snow covered roads, driveways, and sidewalks for a few days and it's just now beginning to clear. As cold as it was, Aiden has no qualms about cold weather and we just had to be out in it at least once a day. Though he wasn't as interested in playing with the snow as he was walking in it and taking his usual path around to the neighbor's houses to peruse their toys and other accutraments. How the child can be outside in weather hardly hitting the teens for longer than 20 minutes is beyond me. He did NOT get this from me. I like my warmth and l-0-v-e my summer weather! I am not a fan of winter, and don't forsee that changing ANYTIME soon. Regardless, it was fun to have snow for him to enjoy and to see him enjoy it. Last year we had snow, but he was only six months old and didn't really get it. This year he got it and enjoyed it with full and reckless abandon. I know in only a few short years he'll be one of the kids making me scared out of my mind as he sleds down the steep hills in our neighborhood....I see myself waiting at the bottom of the hill fearing for his very life.

Oh the joy and beauty that comes from a fresh powdery snow. Despite how terribly cold it was, the sights around town were breathtakingly beautiful as the hills and vistas (as Nathan calls them) were dusted ever so perfectly with a smattering of snow. It was a lovely site to behold since we don't get it here that often and we won't be taking our annual ski trip this year due to someone being knocked up. Oops. Oh well. We enjoyed the flakes we got and are sad to see them go, but are grateful for the reminder it brings us that there is life underneath the cold surface and renewal beyond that. Spring, though far enough away, is right around the corner and we anticipate it with joy and fear as we prepare to have our worlds rocked by another little joy...

Pictures to come. Just didn't have time to get them on this computer. In the meantime you can view a few here.