Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Our Little Turkeys Wanted To Say...

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 to you!

How DOES One Go Semi-Formal at 8 Months Pregnant?

^^ Obviously not like this. Though this outfit is actually a step up for me... ^^

^^ ...This is my daily, 8-months-pregs uniform: fleece leggings and mens tee. 
And puffy hands and feet, of course.
Cue Fergie singing "G-l-a-m-o-r-o-u-s..." ^^

We recently accepted a very generous invitation to attend a "holiday gala"with friends from church in a couple of weeks from now. I was all excited, (because I love Christmas parties,) until I realized the tickets specifically say "dress: semi-formal."

At first I thought, "oh no big deal, I'll just wear anything but my leggings + sweatshirt combo and be good. Play that good old pregnancy excuse card for the umpteenth time..." But then I looked it up online, and there are actual rules for semi-formal dress. 

My very few experiences with formal occasions have left some not-so-great memories. I'm basically a disaster when it comes to formality. The only formal occasions I've ever been a part of were my wedding and as a bridesmaid for a friend's wedding, (and my wedding was very informal, and probably shouldn't even count.)

So even though this occasion is not as fancy as a wedding, now you might understand why I feel just slightly apprehensive about attending something labeled a semi-formal event...

...Throw on top of that having an 8 month pregnant belly that barely fits in maternity anymore, and let the nervous sweating begin!

My plan of action so far:

I have been wearing this dress this since my early second trimester - I got it for a song during a sale promotion ASOS was having online several months ago. (It's still under $50 not-on-sale!) It's very plain, and it's jersey, but the fit is flattering (in a fits-like-a-potato-sack kind of way?) and of utmost importance: I'm comfortable in it. 

I'm planning to try to dress it up with some jewelry, pretty tights and some black booties and then pray that I'm not kicked out for breaking any semi-formal rules. Wish me luck.

Now as for what to do about my hair and (gulp) makeup...if only I could get these guys to come work their magic on me...

*Not a sponsored post!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Tardis Lands in Holland

Last Saturday was apparently the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who. We've watched most of the newer Dr. Who shows, and while they are entertaining and more than a little addictive, I've never thought of myself as a "fangirl" by any means. Perhaps I am, though, because when I saw on Twitter that there was a bona fide Tardis at our favorite coffee shop downtown we packed our babies right up in the minivan and drove over to take a look.

It was disappointingly not very big on the inside. But everything else about it was totally legit. :) And I got to take some pictures for a really adorable couple who were obviously freaking out about the awesomeness of having a Tardis at Lemonjellos, and it was pretty stinking cute in an awesomely nerdy way.

I will also hereby state that no other Doctor will ever hold a candle to David Tennant, and that's all there is to say about that. 

Silas Hearts Siri

Silas sneaks off with my phone as often as he can manage. This is all my fault, because I fell into the habit of letting him play with my phone to keep him quiet when we were out, and now he's obsessed.

His favorite thing about my phone is definitely Siri. He holds that home button down until the microphone pops up, and knows to speak into it to get her to respond. When she talks back to him he lights up like he won a prize. I'm pretty sure he's in love with her. Their "conversations" are hilarious.

Silas: (Incoherent babbling..)
Siri: "I'm sorry, but I don't know what "beh meh" means."

Silas: (Incoherent babbling...)
Siri: "There are 7 places matching "pizza" in your area, 3 of which are within 5 miles..."

Silas: (Incoherent babbling...)
Siri: "I give up."

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Postpartum Wish List and A Hospital Tour

Nothing makes my "chronic 'B' face worse than being 34 weeks pregnant...and trying not to eat sugar.

I hereby officially can not wait to:

Give my maternity jeans away.

Wake up multiple times in the night to snuggle a baby instead of to empty an evil, spastic bladder. 

Just walk - not hobble/waddle/limp.

Start running/lifting again. If my @$$ is going to hurt, I want it to be from a nice workout and not from a pinched nerve from a heavy baby sitting sideways on a stupidly tilted pelvis.

Nurse my baby. Despite a hard time with the other two, I am really ready to give it another go!

Watch my two big kids get to know their new sister.


Be able to roll over at night without waking myself and my husband up.
(No one ever talks about how evil rolling over is in late pregnancy! It's the worst!)

Put on my socks and shoes without feeling like I just ran a mile.

Look down and see my feet, not my belly.

Not be asked "when are you due" anymore.

Not have doctors appointments every. single. week.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

I have been working on this list, as a form of therapeutic venting, for over a week now - and almost didn't post it, because really, I'm pretty amazingly lucky to be pregnant and not have any complications and I should really make more positive lists...

...But negative lists are so much more fun to write. :)

Last night I got to tour the hospital where the baby will be born soon. Of course we could not find a sitter at 6pm, and because Matt actually wanted to go too, we stupidly bravely decided to bring Olive and Silas.

Of course, we were the only couple in the large touring group who brought their kids. In fact, I'm pretty sure (based on some of the questions they asked the guide) we were the only couple who weren't having their first kid. It was a funny experience.

We were looking at a labor room, which was really very nice (spacious, hardwood floors, private bathroom, etc.) and when the guide asked for questions, a lady asked "do all the rooms have ugly ceilings like these? Do you provide any attractive focal points?" I think my face looked like this... 

...because really? 

And I kid you not, one of the men asked if there were in-room refrigerators or coolers for beer? The guide, who was very good humored, said they keep a cooler under the bed for the placenta, and he might ask to share that. To which the guy replied very seriously, "that's not funny." 

And then I raised my hand and asked "are you sure there's no possibility of having to room share?"

And the guide immediately reassured me that under no circumstances would I have to share a room with anyone, and if worse came to worse and they ended up being over full, then baby and I would be moved to a private room on another floor.

Thank goodness.

We told Olive if she would be quiet, only speak when spoken to, and above all not ask any questions during the tour, she would be rewarded handsomely with ice cream at home. So she behaved perfectly, because the promise of ice cream works magic on that girl.

Silas on the other hand not only fussed and squawked and wanted to run screeching down the hallways past rooms filled with sleeping infants, exhausted parents and laboring stressed out mothers - he also managed to face plant on the hard floor very hard and left with a huge goose egg on his head. (So, I'm pretty sure the other couples were just as glad they didn't have to worry about room sharing with me as I was about not having to share with them.)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wiggly Party

Confession: I feel like poo these days. P-O-O. Except maybe spelled another, not so child-friendly way? Lots of contractions, day and night. Lousy pinched sciatic nerve. No sleep. Almost-fully-cooked baby who likes to get in really horrible, awkward positions in my uterus that make my filled-to-capacity belly look like it's housing an anvil. (You can actually see that she's sitting sideways from the outside - bizarre...and ouch.)

Confession two: I am finding myself turning to my laptop to babysit my kids more and more. Bad? Definitely. Survival necessity? Yes. 

Confession three: All my son will watch is The Wiggles. Yes, these guys...

Silas' love for the Wiggles knows no bounds. He leads me over to my sadly sticky-fingerprint covered Mac notebook every day, waits patiently for me to enter the password he hasn't broken yet, (any day now, I swear...) points to the iTunes button and then points to his favorite Wiggles movie, and then settles back with a serious, focused expression to get his needed Wiggles fix.

Classic Silas-Watching-Wiggles-Face - mouth slighly agape, eyes focused, body tense. Kind of reminds me of this guy, watching his team perform on The Voice...

...except Adam Levine doesn't drool (thank goodness.) Poor Silas can not watch the Wiggles without his mouth hanging open, and he can not stop the stream of drool that drips from his mouth whenever it is not closed. Sigh.

^^ THIS look. Reserved exclusively for Olive, who tries to get a reaction out of her focused brother by dancing and singing over-dramatically along with Sam, Anthony, Murray and Jeff. ^^

While he loves all Wiggles songs, he has his favorites and his "so-so's." Like, for some reason he's not crazy for the "La Bamba" sequence and will usually distract himself with boogers or a book until that one song is over.

And every once in a while, he gets so into it and so excited that he gets up and rocks out with Olive, breaking into some fancy dance moves. I can't get enough of watching my babies dance.

And, just for kicks - my personal favorite Wiggle's song...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A First Friendsgiving

I wish I had taken pictures of our very crowded little house last night. It was warm and buzzing in the best way, with lovely people, good food, noisy children and lots of laughter. 

But I was so distracted and having so much fun that I didn't pick up my camera or phone one single time. And I kind of regret it this morning, because it was such a good night and I want to remember this first, strange Thanksgiving season in MI! So I'll just have to throw a goofy picture of Silas eating at church, and jot down some hastily-put-together thoughts and call it good enough.

When we found out we were expecting a surprise addition to the family last spring, I kind of lost my mind for a little bit. I knew that the Lord was ultimately in control and would see us through any difficulties, but that didn't mean that I wanted to go through them without friends or family nearby. I felt very lonely and sad. I started to doubt whether we were really where we were supposed to be.

It's one of those things that you can't fully explain to others, because it's experiential,  but Matt and I had together, as one, felt spiritually led to move our family up here in the fall of 2012, without knowing the reasons or purpose. So we simply "obeyed," and went, very quickly. For as big as the decision was, it was made and acted upon very swiftly, which is not characteristic behavior for us. It hurt and confused some who are very dear to us, and I hate disappointing the people I care about most. But obedience has always been important to me, it's something I am thankful to say that my husband takes very seriously and it's something we both greatly desire our children to love. 

And it was easy to obey and trust in those first few months here, where every day was an exciting adventure, and there were so many new beautiful places to explore and enjoy. But when I got sick, and we stared, agape at that positive pregnancy test, the doubts started creeping into my mind. 

We had been searching for a church since the weekend we had arrived and had not experienced a "settling in" anywhere we visited. We attended one church for almost 3 months, got involved in a small group and tried to get together with other couples, but regardless of the effort nobody ever had time to share a meal or even coffee and we still felt like strangers every time we attended.  

I'm not trying to come down critically on that church, there are genuinely lovely people there and no one did anything wrong, but it was just becoming really frustrating and discouraging to us that it seemed so very hard to get connected with people. And we really needed some people in our lives! The loneliness was hard.

Matt decided to visit another church he had stumbled upon online, and he attended for three weeks while I stayed home with the kids (still dealing with morning sickness yuckiness.) I was tired of visiting churches and tired of leaving feeling critical and discouraged, so it took me a while to agree to attend with him.

The moment I walked into the meeting room of this fellowship, though, I felt overwhelmed with peace. Now isn't that the corniest, most over-dramatic thing you've heard all day? I hate sounding like that, but I speak the words genuinely and honestly. I felt that same sort of peace the day I was first introduced to Matt. It's a feeling you can't really put to words, you just feel it and know it and are totally confused by it because it's supernatural.

From that very first Sunday we attended together, we became part of that fellowship - we simply belonged. Within three weeks of attendance, we literally went from doing nothing and knowing no one to having very full calendars and lots of new friends! We started a small group with three other young families, and this is the group that we did Friendsgiving with last night.

I haven't known these families for very long yet, but they are so dear to me already. Matt and I sat up and talked late last night after everyone had gone home, and marveled how comfortable it felt, all of us together sharing a meal and our lives together, when we haven't known each other even 6 months yet. 

I loved watching all the relationships last night - how everyone in their own unassuming way showed love to one another by helping each other out with babies and plates, trying to anticipate others' needs so everyone could relax and enjoy the evening as much as possible (despite all the distractions that little ones create.) A husband stepping over voluntarily to take the baby from his wife's lap so she could finish her meal, another young dad helping his daughter finish her dinner, big sisters taking the younger kids downstairs to play with them so grown ups could have a few minutes of quiet conversation before bundling up everyone for the ride home... I. Loved. It. I felt like I was surrounded by one big lovin' family, and it made my heart so very glad and thankful.

And that's how I'm feeling today - overwhelmingly thankful. Thankful for my God, who provides above and beyond all our needs, and Who shows us the secret depths of His great love for us through ordinary, humble people seeking to love and obey Him. It's beautiful, and it's awesome.


P.S: Also thankful for Thanksgiving food! We used this brine recipe for our turkey and holy-goodness! Best turkey of my life.

Also - this stuffing recipe, made with gluten free cornbread. The best.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This is How A Normal Day Sounds

"Mom, can I play with your phone?" (Asked at least 200 times a day.)

"Can I wear my princess dress to the store?"

"Do porcupines have hair on their bums?"

"Can God hit people?"

"How do you spell Thanksgiving?" (Asked at least 500 times a day.)

"Do you want to hear my opera?"

"Can I have some music?"

"Can I have snack?"

"Can I have a real snack after my banana?"

"Can I get a piece of paper?" (Asked about 650 times a day.)

"What's for dinner?" (Asked 800 times a day.) 

"Can I have an omelette instead?" (Asked no matter what I tell her we're having for dinner.)

"What are we doing tonight?"

"What are we doing tomorrow?" (Asked at minimum, 1,000 times a day.)

"Can you tell Silas he has to be my prince?"

"Why won't Silas dance with me?"

"When I'm a grown up, can I sleep without pajamas on?" 

"Can I have the scissors real quick?" (She's good at asking this one when I'm at my most distracted.)

"Why can I only cut paper?"

"Can you wipe me?" (Asked only once or twice a day, but uncannily ALWAYS at the very moment I sit down with a cup of coffee.)

"When I'm grown up can I be the boss?"

"Mom, when will I be a grown up?"

"Am I grown up yet?" (Asked every 5 minutes.)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Before the Wind Blows

We're anticipating some pretty big, wet, windy storms this weekend. We ran down to Saugatuck this morning for coffee, a walk and some playground time before the weather gets nasty. 

^^ It was Grace's first visit to Saugatuck since moving here last summer. I think she approved. ^^

^^ Olive was almost blindingly "pink" this morning, and very pleased about it too. ^^
Silas was tired, with a constant stream of drool and snot, poor guy. 

^^ It didn't stop him from thoroughly enjoying the playground, though! ^^

^^ We walked by the water, and I told Olive to step back from the edge at least 852 times. ^^

^^ We were all perplexed by this wonderfully weird statue. (???) ^^

^^ Christmas. Is. Coming. ^^

^^ As you can see, my unfortunate hair does not handle the wind well. At all. ^^
Also, carrying at least half my pregnancy weight in my face. Fun!
Also, Olive wins at posing. 
The end.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fridays Aren't the Same Anymore.

Fridays used to be my favorite days. I love that feeling of being at the very beginning of a much-anticipated time. The same feeling you get on the very first day of vacation? That feeling of the whole thing just stretched out before you, wide open and ready to be lived and enjoyed. All the possibilities...

But lately Fridays are the longest. I am so very very tired once we get to Friday. This week was filled with so much running around. Yesterday was the busiest - out the door first thing in the morning for physical therapy, home again to get everyone lunch and Silas in bed, out again for an OB appointment, and then a long stop at the library with Olive for some one-on-one time and book selecting. We got home at 3PM and I went to lay down on my bed, just to check e-mails on my phone, and the next thing I knew Matt was shaking me awake and it was already dark outside. I was so tired, and I woke up still tired this morning, and thinking about the weekend is making me more tired yet, because - holy-to-do-list! (Next week is going to be really nuts.)

At my OB appointment yesterday, my doctor confirmed my suspicion that baby girl is not head down. She is diagonally transverse, with her head wedged against my right hip bone. She's got a few weeks left to stop the silliness and get in the right position, but if she doesn't cooperate we may have to consider doing an external "version."Speaking of which, have you ever seen or read the "Call the Midwife" series? We were watching the 2nd season on Netflix last month and there was an episode where this was done and my toes were literally curling in sympathy pain for the mother. (Watching "Call the Midwife" while pregnant is probably not the brightest idea.) I'm going to go on brisk, half hour walks the next couple of weeks to hopefully help persuade her to move down, because a "version" sounds like the most terrifying thing ever right now.

Also, I've had more than a few people text or message me, concerned about my candy "problem" since I joked about it on here, and just to put everyone's minds at ease I've been two days without sweets and caffeine and I'm still alive! :) (And Dad, if you're reading this, we still have a couple of the Oh Henry bars you sent left in the fridge, aren't you impressed?!)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Because I Like To Write Random, Stupid Things Down...

My sweet tooth is out. of. control. And I'm hungry at all hours of the day. I am trying to balance the sugar out with solid, protein packed, whole-food meals but...candy.

And speaking of candy, Oh Henry bars are far superior to Snickers but I can not tell you why this is so.  It just IS. I can only find Oh Henry bars in Michaels craft stores, which makes them that more mysterious and want-worthy. Good Lord, I can not wait for this baby to be on the outside and to not be pregnant anymore.

Olive has been making Christmas lists for everyone in the family, and they are obviously hilarious. She has declared, among other things, that Silas needs a toy fruit salad, Matt needs coffee and socks and Auntie Grace needs more beautiful necklaces and ear rings. She also told me Grandma and Grandpa are buying all this stuff with money that they will get from the money store, which is a relief to me because we don't have money stores here in MI.

It snowed today, and I am realizing I need to just give up and enjoy it for what it is, because winter in MI is long, and unfortunately is only just the beginning of November.

Lately Silas throws a fit anytime Matt shows me any affection. He literally comes up and shoves himself between us and pushes us apart. If Matt gives me a hug, Silas needs a hug. If Matt gives me a kiss, Silas cries and demands a kiss. It's kind of funny and maybe even flattering in a weird, egotistical way because I've never had a guy be jealous over me. Though I'm pretty sure it's not going to be so cute when the jealousy turns toward the new baby in a couple of months. 

We've been studying in Philippians about being joyful in all things, and doing all things without murmurings or complaining, but... SO HUGE and uncomfortable. And I'm starting to think that more than the baby is at play here. (Candy.) You know it's getting bad when maternity doesn't even fit comfortably anymore. 7 more weeks!

Also, Grand Rapids' Forever 21 mirrors are the worst! All store mirrors are NOT equal. (I am fond of Target's and TJ Maxx's myself.) And why am I even entering a Forever 21 at 33 weeks pregnant? Because I am stupid. (And also because my sister wanted to go in and I had to give moral support.) 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Olive, on our way home from church: "Today teacher talked about God making the animals."
Matt: "What day did God make the animals?"
Olive: "Sunday."

Grace, texting me from home where she's babysitting the kids while Matt and I are on a date: Olive just told me you called her and said to tell me to bake a cake.

Grace, texting me from Target where she took Olive for an auntie + niece date: Olive just asked the woman in front of us in line if she had a baby in her belly. She didn't. Awkward...

Me: "Olive, it's time to brush your teeth."
Olive, very loudly: "WHAT SAID?"
Me: "Olive, do you listen to me when I talk to you?"
Olive: "Yes, but you mumble."

Me: "Olive I'm really proud of you for listening and obeying so quickly at the store."
Olive: "It's because I'm wearing a beautiful dress."

Olive's Sunday School teacher, while discussing the animals God created: What animal roars really loud?
Olive: SILAS!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Littlest Things

Sometimes it's just a snack. One of these overpriced squeeze-fruit snacks puts Silas in a happy mood no matter how cranky he is. Mini Snickers bars have the same effect on me. (Oh, how Halloween has ruined me.)

Sometimes it's forcing yourself to get outside, even if the weather isn't perfect. I will never get tired of watching my kids' excitement over the simplest things - like leaves and bugs. 

Sometimes its being taken by surprise by your husband pausing his work for a minute, JUST to come over and give you a great big kiss.

Sometimes its a random text from a friend, letting you know they love and miss you. I am so very thankful for faithfully texting, loving friends! They make a girl feel less alone.

A favorite song popping up on the radio while driving in the car...

A baby laying his head on your lap for the head scratch he knows you'll give him...

The first sip of coffee in the morning...

Receiving a genuine smile from a stranger...

The secret pleasure and peace that comes with feeling every baby kick...

As I get older the more I realize how surprising it is that the littlest things bring the biggest joys.