Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Newly inspired to blog

I was encouraged by a friend of mine to read The Wiegand's blog, where I received some inspiration to blog once again. The link to my inspiration is
The specific quote and what I want my blog to be about as well is
"I wanted (and still do) this to be a blog/ a place of inspiration, uplift, joy...but also truth. Because life is hard.

A lot of us have been through some seriously icky stuff.

And so I wanted this also to be "real".

It's easy to take beautiful family photos and pretend to have it all together-but who does that help?

Then Rachel (who blogs here) said this...

"To be taken seriously, I must realize the seriousness of blogging.

Not in a "I take myself very seriously" type of way at all. More in the way that you realize the importance of the words, the faith and the beliefs that you hold.

I have a responsibility and far reaching arms when I share my words and




Use your blog, your words and your person to share the Lord (and your heart) with others.

They desperately need to hear your story as much as you need to hear theirs.

Be serious. Be passionate and Be you."

Use your voice. No apologies.

We are all different and have been through different things, believe different things.... but whoever you are there is SOMEONE you can touch with your story.

Don't hold onto it."
I want to share my story....
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Camille's birth story

Camille’s Birth Story

Pre-birthing waves began on Sunday, July 31st and were different than what formerly felt like light menstrual cramps. These were a bit more intense, beginning with hardening of my uterus and spreading across to my lower back as a dull pressure. My husband and I were very excited as we were nearing our guess date of August 5th and were glad that changes were happening. I could feel my body changing as my hormones shifted and I began having signs of emotion each day in various forms, I could feel the baby sinking lower into my pelvis, resulting in pressure on my symphsis pubis, and waves began to come in somewhat regular intervals.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday around dinnertime my waves would start and we’d time them, ranging from 5-6 minutes at a low intensity of 4, lasting for an hour and then would disappear completely. I began to be concerned that I wouldn’t know when my actual birthing time would begin, but was comforted when I’d listen to the Birthing Day Affirmations and Easy First Stage tracks, being assured that I would be confident and know my birthing time.

Wednesday, August 3rd not much happened in regards to waves so hubby and I decided to order pizza for dinner and then spend some intimate time together.

Thursday, August 4th I woke up suddenly at 4:00a.m. and sat up to have a small gush of fluid come out. I went to the bathroom and tried to distinguish whether it was urine or amniotic fluid. There was no further leaking, so I wasn’t sure whether my water had broken, but turned on the light to change my panties and went back to bed. My husband knew right away that something was different and I told him that maybe my water broke, maybe not. Within two minutes I began having pressure waves that were significantly more intense than what I had experienced prior. I asked him to begin timing them and we did so for 45 minutes. The waves were 3 minutes apart and were an intensity of 6-7 out of 10. I put on my HypnoBabies tracks and really focused on turning off my lightswitch with each wave and breathing through each one. As they gained in intensity my husband got me some Gatorade and an English muffin with jam for me to eat between waves and then suggested I take a shower. He took a shower with me, as I knew I would need to hold on to him in the slow dance position. During the 15 minute shower I had to hold on to him and go limp 4 or 5 times. The warm water felt wonderful on my back and I began to get excited that our baby girl would be here soon.

After the shower we moved things downstairs and I laid on the couch with my iPod in, going limp with each pressure wave while my husband packed up the car and tried paging the doctor a few times. After 20 minutes of no response we called the hospital and they told us to come right in. My PW’s were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 60-90 seconds and were a 7-8 in intensity.

At 6:00am the ride to the hospital was comfortable and there was hardly anyone on the road. I kept my eyes closed during PW’s and talked with my husband in between about when he would text family members once we were officially admitted. We arrived at the hospital around 6:15 and gathered our bags to walk inside. I had to stop 3 times during our walk to “slow dance” with my husband and turn my lightswitch off. We walked into the birthing center and the nurses looked at me like I couldn’t possibly be in my birthing time. When the nurse tried to show us to our room and I had to stop and “slow dance” with hubby, I think they realized it was real.

We got to the room and I changed into the gown, having another wave in the bathroom and choosing to use the “Peace” cue since I couldn’t go limp. I laid on the bed on my side with my iPod in and she began asking a series of questions, which my husband tried to answer. This particular nurse wasn’t our favorite, as she seemed to emphasize that I needed to answer the questions. When she realized how close together my waves were and how I need to switch off and focus on breathing with each one, she gave up and allowed him to answer the questions. From there much of my birthing time was a blur, as my eyes were closed and I was very focused on each wave, turning off my lightswitch and breathing through each one.  Other nurses came in and someone checked my dilation, to which I heard something about 70% effaced and couldn’t quite make out the dilation. Honestly I didn’t want to know at that point. Earlier in the week at my doctor’s appointment I had been 70% effaced and 3-4 cm dilated, which hadn’t changed from the week prior, so I didn’t want to hear the same thing. I just focused internally and breathed my way through as the waves increased in time and pressure.  I soon learned that I was 8 cm! I had visualized it and it came true!

My husband nudged me to get my attention as the nurse who would take care of me introduced herself as Tobie. She had three natural childbirths herself under her belt and was very pro-natural childbirth. We later learned that she had worked in a birthing center in San Diego for many years, which explained how wonderful she was with us! Turns out when my husband gave the nurse our birth plan, they went straight to Tobie and said, “this one’s for you!”

They kept the lights off with some natural morning light coming in through the windows. I kept my eyes closed and focused on breathing out and going limp with each wave, barely aware of people coming and going. My husband taped the HypnoBabies sign on the door, which totally changed the atmosphere! Everyone who walked in whispered and knew that I was focusing.

At one point Tobie told us that we did everything perfect – waiting to come in until “contractions” were close together,  doing most of my birthing time at home, etc. and said that my doctor is notorious for interventions at that hospital – something we didn’t realize! But coming in at 8 cm and ready to go, they commented that a six hour “labor” from start to finish for a first time mom is unheard of. They seemed very impressed and said that this is the way a birth is supposed to be.

After only a little while at the hospital I felt nauseous and vomited what little I had eaten that morning. I think that could’ve been my transformation time. Soon I began to feel pushy and told Tobie, who checked me and said I was at 9cm and needed to wait a bit. She helped me out with breathing, suggesting that my sounds of “ahh” needed to be lower. I found it helpful to be vocal, especially as I entered my time to push. My husband says that I was very loud and sounded like I was in p**n, but in reality it was a release of pressure to have my mouth open and I felt my bottom open as I did so.

Minutes later I commented on how I wanted to push and the nurse checked me again, saying that I was complete and could push any time. The doctor wasn’t even there, but it was music to my ears that I could push regardless of his presence.

At first I was on my side and after my husband put the iPod on the portable docking station to play Pushing Baby Out out loud, Tobie suggested that he hold my leg up for more room to push. I continued to vocally express myself (so loudly that I couldn’t really hear the track) though I didn’t enjoy pushing that way, as the center of the bed kind of dipped down and I felt I was pushing uphill. So I decided to change positions, where they lifted the head of the bed up and I faced it on my knees, leaning on my forearms and hugging my pillow. They nurses commented on how my doctor had likely only delivered a baby in a position other than on the back a few times and they would be surprised if he “allowed” me to push this way. I didn’t really care at this point, as it felt so good to be in this position, with gravity working with me. I pictured my baby sliding out easily and continued to use the Peace cue as I pushed her out.

My husband says I pushed for less than 30 minutes, though we aren’t sure as we had taken the clock off the wall. While pushing I guess the doctor and a few other nurses came in to help and I could hear the movement and voices behind me, but was so focused that I wasn’t paying attention. My wonderful husband continued to use his hand on my shoulder and give me updates on her head crowning and then coming out. When I felt her slide out, it was such a relief and they said that she was perfect.

I glanced behind me at her and then just laid down my head to rest. They clamped and my husband cut the cord, which had already stopped pulsing and then my placenta came out smoothly before the nurse could hook up the Pitocin, as instructed by the doctor. I had a small tear in my perineum and was able to use the Peace cue, breathing anesthesia to my perineum as my doctor stitched up the area.

Camille RenĂ©e was alert and calm, completely at peace coming into the world. She was placed skin to skin on my chest and nursed within 30 minutes. It was beautiful and we are so thrilled that we used HypnoBabies!  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Welcome to the world baby Camille!

Just a brief update that Camille Renee McClain was born Thursday morning, August 4, 2011 at 10:09am. She weighed in at 9 pounds 2.8 ounces and measured 19 inches long. Contractions/Pressure waves began at 4:00am that morning and were 4 minutes apart. We timed them for about 45 minutes and then showered and prepared to head to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 6:15am and had a wonderfully intense birthing time. When we arrived at the hospital I was 8 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Within the 3 hours I completed dilation and pushed for 30 minutes or less (we had taken the clock off the wall) and she came along! She is perfect and I look forward to writing my detailed birth story soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3rd

Today seems like a good day to have a baby :)
Last night I was fantasizing about the birth announcement - Camille Renee McClain born August 3, 2011 weighing 7 lbs. 9 oz. 21 inches long - haha
I went for a good 30 minute walk this morning while listening to my joyful pregnancy affirmations on my iPod. I felt good doing it and had some light pressure waves and some pressure in my lower back. Hopefully this will get things going. I'm hoping that I can spend some time with my hubby this afternoon practicing some other induction techniques - ahem. haha
My sister has officially booked her flight up here for tomorrow night - ahhh! Part of me is excited and looking forward to....well, something to look forward to. Another part of me is feeling the pressure and am a little hesitant to have her here. In visualizing my birthing time, I only have Wes as a part of it. Having her here does add a bit of anxiety/stress. I just need to remember that I do NOT need to entertain her, nor come up with things for her to do. She is coming to support me only.
So I guess I'll make a list today of things for her to do while she's here!
Oh baby girl, please come soon? I so long to hold you in my arms!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Frustration of my pregnancy

The biggest frustration of my entire pregnancy has been....HEALTH INSURANCE!!!! What a royal pain in the butt it has been dealing with all of the claims, changing doctors, changing insurance companies, paying excessive amounts of money - it's all pretty ridiculous.
Granted the main cause of the problems with insurance has been our move. Leaving my job with the RCA, where I now realize I had AMAZING insurance, trying to get the COBRA (continuing insurance) until the new insurance kicked in with Wes' new job, the dates got all messed up. The RCA's COBRA offering was pretty much a joke as it took them a long time to get me the information and I still had to hound them on getting the paperwork and yadda yadda. Turns out that they backdated the forms and then I wound up not being covered for a portion of time, having no clue that I wasn't covered and still had to have my prenatal check-ups with the new doctor while I wasn't covered. Yikes.
THEN having to find a new doctor up here wasn't the most fun. My first doctor I saw here in Tracy was not good, but I went to her for more appointments than I should have, thinking it might get better. Well, it didn't and I didn't trust her, so then I changed doctor's at 31 weeks pregnant - which meant that my new doctor required my entire deductible as a deposit before they'd see me. $1500 out of my pocket right there and then and now I come to find out that they intend to reimburse me that amount after I have the baby.
The only good thing to come out of this? I got $1500 extra on my credit card which equals points AND I'll get that money back. So there's a plus!
I have spent more time on the phone dealing with health insurance stuff than I ever desired to. I am convinced that health insurance causes more stress than its worth.
Well the end is in sight and I am really looking forward to meeting my baby girl. Not much changing in the way of progression, though last night I did have the same experience of 1 1/2 hours of consistent pressure waves, 5 minutes apart with a 7-8 out of 10 in intensity, only to stop cold turkey when I laid down to listen to my HypnoBabies track. Who knows? She's got to come out eventually! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gradual progression

Yesterday it seemed that things were progressing in my body. Just before dinner my pressure waves became very regular - about 6 minutes apart, lasting 30-45 seconds for over an hour! By the time I asked Wes to start timing them the regularity stopped. Maybe it was a mental thing, who knows? The waves didn't pick back up regularity until I went to bed last night. By that time Wes was falling asleep and I wouldn't ask him to time them as he needed to get up and go to work today.
So today getting up I'm finding that I'm having more waves again.
My body knows just what to do and I trust it.
I have an appointment with my doctor this morning and I'm visualizing that I will be 100% effaced and 6-7 cm dilated. :)
She'll come when all is ready.
One thing I've been wondering is whether the supplements I'm taking are decreasing my pressure waves? The Utrophin PMG and Symplex F were the two I was using to stop my menstrual cramps, so am wondering if they could now be preventing regular contractions....just a thought. Maybe I'll call Dr. Kelemen today...
Either way I know my body will do what it needs to and I'll enjoy my baby's birth!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Today things are definitely intensifying. I'm so thankful to our faithful Lord for a restful night - Wes and I both feel energized and ready to conquer the day. My pressure waves are growing more intense and..a little different. They feel like menstrual cramp waves in the front one minute and then feel like constipation the next. They are radiating quite close together, though I don't know how regular they are. They seem to vary depending on whether I'm standing or sitting. Hopefully this means that things are progressing, as I continue to feel my pelvis widening and baby's head dropping lower. By the end of yesterday I was using the bathroom every 30 minutes it felt like.
I can feel her head pressing down, though no water bag breaking yet. I did see my mucous plug in the toilet yesterday (sorry for anyone reading this that thinks its too much information!) and am feeling ready.
I know I cannot rush her and she can take the time she needs - our prayer is that she will enter the world peacefully, calm and aware. We'll see if she decides on July or waits until August - today is the deciding day!
In the meantime I'm trying to stay hydrated and am so thankful for Wes - as he's taking amazing care of me! He grilled teriyaki tri-trip, asparagus and rye bread for us last night and it was so delicious! This morning I had a bowl of cheerios with milk and then he toasted me an english muffin and made a chai tea latte. I know I need the nourishment for what's to come, so am focusing on that.
We'll try to get out today and do something that involves walking, though with the almost 90 degrees plus humidity, it'll have to be somewhere indoors.
I so enjoyed my day with him yesterday as he took me to IHOP for breakfast and then we ran errands before walking around OSH and then walking the mall. We came home last night and walked the neighborhood as well - whew! Lots of walking! Last night we settled down to a movie after dinner and then got our full night of sleep. Let's see what today holds in store!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Final days of preparation

We're in our final days of preparation for baby so I figured I'd document it with photos.
Here's what we're up to in our days of counting down:
My project of cleaning out and reorganizing the pantry before baby arrives....actually before guests arrive who'll likely be cooking for us :) I figured it'd be nice if they had some kind of organized system to go by!
Nursery is pretty well set-up and ready for baby girl!
Wes already installed one carseat in my car and is now working on installing the convertible carseat in his truck.
And finally our front room reflect baby toys and a birthing ball - my seat of choice these days for helping baby's descent :) She's taken over!
With a belly ready to pop, bags packed and ready to go, we're 39 weeks and counting!

Antsy, Irritated and Emotional...

Wow what a roller coaster ride this is turning into! Over the course of the past few days we've figured out that my hormones are going through a change, which has resulted in my breaking down to tears every night over something.
My dreams have been so vivid and odd, mostly including images and people from the past - last night included my getting ready for school (I was in high school) and running late and Katelyn and Brennan getting on me for running late. I hadn't given myself enough time for breakfast or to make a lunch, so planned to stop at Starbucks and pick something up, but knew that Brennan would be upset for making him late to school. It was exam time and I couldn't remember what order my classes went in, so didn't know where to go first. I felt very unprepared and pressured.
I've been listening to my HypnoBabies tracks at night these past few nights and it seems like I'm having birthing waves while I'm sleeping, but not so many while I'm awake. Could it be that my body is doing the preparation work while I sleep and am in hypnosis?
Last night was the first time I felt irritated by the tracks. I played more than one in a row and found myself a bit disoriented when I woke up and they were still playing. That, along with dreaming through listening to my tracks, resulted in a very irritated and uncomfortable Kristen this morning.
*sigh* Of course I can analyze all of this and question whether my body and mind are not quite ready to give birth and perhaps that is why I couldn't handle listening to the Easy First Stage track? Perhaps my subconscious mind is rejecting the suggestion that this is time to give birth because it's not quite time?
Only time will tell!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Birthing time

I think it's safe to say that I've begun my birthing time. This HypnoBabies thing really works, as it is easy and so comfortable so far! My pressure waves (aka contractions) simply feel like waves of pressure radiating from my uterus to my back. I can feel my cervis dilating and the pressure of baby's head gently moving down into my pelvis.
I feel very calm and peaceful - it's almost surreal! I've kept asking myself, is this really happening? Baby has been more active as the pressure waves gently squeeze and massage her.
Last night I had a bit of emotional meltdown - as I realized I was placing a time limit on myself and my birthing by telling people the status of things. From now on I will not be sharing how things are progressing - I want to stay centered and balance in my birthing time. "My job is to simply relax and allow my baby's birth to happen" - one of my favorite quotes from the HypnoBabies tracks.
"My body knows how to give birth" "I will birth beautifully, calmy and peacefully"
I do feel very relaxed and am looking forward to giving birth with confidence.
I am so thankful that God has designed my body to do this and that it is gradually preparing for baby's birth.
Today I have few errands left to run and then I'll be settling in for a nice, relaxing weekend of patiently cooperating with my body during this birthing time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Checkup with the doctor

I had my 38.5 week checkup with the doctor yesterday and received some exciting news - I am 3 centimeters dilated, my cervix is 70% effaced (or thinned out) and the baby is at -1 station. He encouraged me to take some time with Wes this weekend as it will likely be the last weekend we have as a couple before we become a family. :)
Dr. Tsang clarified what a contraction would feel like - starting with firmness in my abdomen that radiates around to my lower back, where I would feel like I'm constipated. This description helped and I've noticed a few since then. Again, nothing regular.
I've begun to dream the last few nights about giving birth - with last night's dream so vivid that I thought I might actually send myself into my birthing time!
I listened to my birthing day affirmations cd while falling asleep and was so excited about the changes taking place that I didn't fall asleep very easily.
Wes and I have walked everynight for the past few nights and I went and walked 1 mile this morning around Hidden Lake. I feel ready and confident for my daughter's birth and am so thrilled that I finally get to meet her! I'm hoping for this weekend, but know that God's timing is better than my own. While I do have some discomfort - mainly pressure on my symphsis pubis, I am truly anticipating her arrival purely for the sake of the joy.

On another note, I found a group of moms here in Tracy who meet to run a few times each week on and I was invited to meet them this morning. (You have to be invited and approved to join the group) So I met up with a few of the women at Tioga Park in Hidden Lakes and got the run-down of how everything works. They meet Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays to run and take turns watching one another's children so the other moms can run. They seem like nice people and I am eager to join them once I can run again! This morning I chose to walk(some may say waddle - haha) the 1 mile loop and then I left. These women do races together sometimes and each person can run at their own pace or with a partner. What motivation to get running again after baby is born!

My final thought is that I'm going to begin reading the book "WEiRD", which some people from our church are going through. They'll be doing a 6 week book study, which we cannot commit to of course, but we'll do a study on our own. Since I'll be reading it on my Kindle I figured I'd blog about my thoughts and reflections here, in addition to documenting my experience as a new momma. So that'll give the blog some direction for awhile. Lots going on!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Preliminary birthing signs

Continuing the countdown and praying that our daughter will come in God's perfect timing...
This past week I've experienced some preliminary signs of birthing as I feel my body changing. About two weeks ago I began to experience some contractions aka birthing waves, which started as aches in my lower back and then lead to what felt like low menstrual cramps in my pelvis. These began the night before we drove to San Francisco airport to visit Wes' sister and her family. I was a bit nervous with that long drive, but told myself that my mind is in control of my body and that I was not going to start my birthing time on that drive...and I didn't!
Since then there have been similar experiences, but nothing regular. Earlier this week after purposefully practicing some induction techniques (walking and...ahem..time with my hubby ;) ) I developed a deep peace and feeling of 'readiness' as well as had my 'nesting instinct' kick in yesterday with a burst of energy and getting a lot of errands done. I also felt some random 'drips' and wondered if perhaps there is a leak in my amniotic sac.
I checked with the nurses at the hospital to verify that my Group B strep test was negative, which it was, and since have not had the feeling of leaking any further.
Today I just rested and relaxed for most of the day, feeling my daughter sink even lower into my pelvis, though no regular birthing waves have come.
I intend to begin listening to my birthing day affirmations tonight as I go to sleep and trust that my body and baby will do what they need to in their own perfect time. After all, once of my favorite sayings is "My job is to simply relax and allow my baby's birth to happen"
I can only give praise to the Lord for this wonderful pregnancy, for designing my body to work perfectly while He alone has formed my daughter, inside and out. I look forward to my birthing time with confidence and assurance that God will guide me through and my body was made for this!

Monday, July 25, 2011

11 day countdown

With 11 days to go until my daughter's due date, I figured now would be a good time to get back into journaling/blogging..if only to record how I'm feeling and how things are going before life changes forever.
Overall this pregnancy has been such a blessing. I have had extremely good health and excellent results with my weight gain, blood pressure, etc. My daughter has continued to grow strong and I love hearing her heartbeat at each doctor's appointment. Her movements are more limited now, as she's in much closer quarters and taking up all of that space. I can hardly wait to meet her!
I've been so blessed that I've been able to stay home and rest and prepare for her birth. Her nursery is ready as is her bathtub and also bassinet in our bedroom. I can't say that there was a certain point when I felt "ready" for her arrival, but I can say that I have such a deep peace and confidence for the upcoming delivery and start of our new lifestyle. I don't feel nervous per se, but am eagerly anticipating bringing her home and caring for her needs..outside of my body. ;)
I look forward to getting to know her little personality, her facial expressions, what her tastes are like, and her schedule. I am so in love with her already and I get choked up thinking about the first time I'll get to see her outside of me. I can only imagine myself crying and being overwhelmed with love.
As far as becoming a mother, I can only rely on God's strength to prepare me and get me through each day. She is, after all, His creation - He knows her inside and out as He is the one who formed her physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He knows her heart and what will become her passions. I can only press into Him and ask for His guidance in raising her. I so desire for her to be fully restored as His child and live in His abundance. I must surrender her into His hands, even now before she is born, and remember that she belongs to Him.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pondering relationships...

So, I've been pondering the concept of relationships for quite some time now - more so these last few months after moving away from the place I've called home for 27 years of my life. Distance truly shows a relationship for what it is. Those who want to have relationship with you will keep in contact and I with them. Others fall by the way-side. One only has so much time, energy and resources to invest into relationships, thus limiting how many relationships one has. Of course they range from acquaintances to kindred souls.
Today I read a quote that I am applying even more so to my pondering - "You can NEVER please EVERYONE but you CAN please God."
Here's some background - There are some in my life with whom I am expected to have relationship, some familial and some in other areas, however I have found myself frustrated when I try to invest in those so-called "relationships" and there is no reciprocation. What I refer to in "investing" ranges from texts, Facebook messages or e-mails, phone calls, giving gifts for birthdays or Christmas, invitations to events, etc.
When I do these things and receive no response or reciprocation I wonder, why do I even bother? If so-and-so doesn't want to invest in a relationship with me, then why do I even try?
This question comes up more so with those that I am "expected" or "obligated" to have relationship with. To take that a step further, I have found myself wondering why on earth anyone would want to be in a relationship by "obligation" and is that truly even worthy of considering a relationship?
Of course there are people in one's life, an extended family member or so, who you may occasionally come into contact with and, out of family obligation, are polite and endure a conversation; however that is not the relationship to which I am referring.
As we start our new little family with the expected birth of our first child in just a few short months, I've begun to analyze my relationships and who will or will not be in relationship with us and our child. In our own family the relationships vary so greatly. My husband's father and brother, who both live in Texas, his mother, who lives in Illinois, my mother, who lives in Oregon, as does one of my brothers, and then the remainder of my immediate family live 5 driving hours away. Two of my cousins were like brothers to me growing up and we have stayed close, while the cousins on the other side of my family I hardly know and have exchanged less than 50 words with in the last 5 years combined. Parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, step-cousins, step-siblings - there are so many people who are in our lives, all with varying degrees of closeness.
Honestly my heart wants to spend time, energy, and money on and with those with whom I am close and have a valuable relationship.
So, since I can NEVER please EVERYONE, including those who expect me to have relationships with those that I'm "supposed to", what is my responsibility and how do I please God ALONE in my relationships?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This is the life...

For so long I feel that we've waited for the opportunity to have a simple and lovely life. Days like today make me feel like we've arrived!
Starting out the day by visiting the town farmer's market where we bought fresh vegetables, fruit and flowers- we ran into some people we knew and enjoyed the comraderie of the townspeople.

We then headed over to Costco and then home for a lunch of leftover homemade pizza (artichoke hearts, asparagus, tomato and cheese - yum!).
After lunch we hit the town once more and were able to make some purchases with the welcoming of spring: a patio set for our backyard and a bbq - where we hope to spend many days and nights these next months!

My husband enjoyed the chance for the project of putting it all together and now we're enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Our chairs have yet to be added, but on this warm night Wes is enjoying being outside with a cold one, bbq'ing to his heart's content!
Meanwhile I've prepared some garlic bread and swiss chard ready to be cooked once the meat is nearing its completion.
In a few minutes we'll be able to enjoy a wonderful, home-cooked meal in our quiet home. Bon Appetit! :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring arrives with a bang!

March 20, 2011 - the first day of spring!
Yet it's hard to tell here in Tracy. Our weather these past weeks has been up and down - sunny and warm days mixed with stormy, cold ones.
We welcomed spring with quite the storm which came in yesterday accompanied by 30 mph winds, heavy sheets of rain, and very cold temperatures (in the 40's). This morning we woke up to cardboard boxes shredded in the street, a plastic bin lid from a few houses down on our front lawn, leaves and petals from the blooming trees blown everywhere, and our house address sign blown off our house!
Wes secured the sign to our house just now and we're hoping that it'll stay on.
It started raining again today, though we beat it by a hair by going on a walk around the neighborhood early this afternoon.
It's definitely fun having season-related weather, unlike where we lived in southern California. People here just keep on going, knowing that the weather will change soon and we'll experience the beauty and warmer temperatures of late spring/early summer before we know it!
In the meantime, my belly keeps on growing as does baby. Our little one had an ultra-sound two weeks ago and we were so happy to hear that all measurements are normal and see that healthy heart beating away.
Here's a photo of our half-way point at 20 weeks. Only 20 (or less) more to go!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Time to Vent

I do not want to use this blog as a place to complain, but for this post I will use it to vent my frustrations.
For the most part my first four months of pregnancy have been really nice. Minimal nausea, no vomiting, feel-good support and love from friends and family...but not anymore!
I don't know what flipped the switch in people that makes them think that they get to give unwanted advice. Is it because we are half-way through? It seems that in these past weeks that some seem to think that they have been given permission to give me advice on
1-whether to find out the sex of the baby...and when to share it with anyone and everyone immediately, including through Facebook so the whole world knows! We will share when we are darn well ready!
2-what to name the baby. I'm pretty sure that decision is up to my husband and myself: no one else gets a say. We have decided to keep the name locked up in a highly secure vault until the baby comes out of me - then we will be happy to share!
3-when, where and how to have our baby shower. Sorry, it's already decided!
As much as I've read about well-meaning people trying to give advice during pregnancy I haven't had to experience it until now. Funny that this all happens after we move 5+ hours away.
Bottom line: I don't wish this experience on anyone and I am learning that when my dear friends and family are pregnant, I will not give advice unless it is asked for!
I'm beginning to resent even being in contact with people and am considering becoming a recluse for the remainder of my pregnancy! Jeesh!
Do you honestly believe that I have lost some level of intelligence with this pregnancy? I am still the capable adult, able to make decisions on my own, without advice or suggestions unless asked for.
So, take into consideration whether you are truly being supportive of those you love in life - by not giving advice when it has not been requested.
Thank you and goodnight. :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Learning the art of gardening

Now that I have an actual backyard with grass and dirt and such, I have decided to learn the art of gardening.
Thus far this has included hours of pulling weeds. I find myself comparing weeds to life lessons.
More specifically sins or unhealthy things/people in one's life.
Some weeds are fairly simple to pull out. The ground around it gives way and it comes out, root and all. While other weeds are not quite ready. You can pull the leaves off of the weed but the root or the core of the weed won't budge. It is in there, set and not moving. Such weeds typically have a thicker base and, try as I might, it won't come out.
Throughout my hours of weeding I've had time to reflect and wonder if God feels the frustration as I do. Here I am trying to clear the dirt of these nasty weeds that would eventually threaten the life of my future vegetables and/or flowers that I hope to plant, yet some won't come out.
It isn't as simple as pulling out the green part/leaves - the part that appears on the surface of the ground and then saying "There! I can plant my seeds now!"
If I were to do that, the weeds would grow up right alongside and choke out my beautiful seeds.
Instead I have to learn patience - a LOT of patience - and go back with weed killer and try to kill the roots and pull them out, which takes time, before the ground will be ready and fertile for planting.
Whew! How often we just want to scurry to the end of our journey with God and "be all fixed up and perfect". But isn't God like a gardener who patiently pulls out the weeds in our lives?
I recall when I first surrendered my life to Jesus and God had quite the work cut out for Him! First he cleaned up my potty mouth, the inappropriate clothes I wore, the friends that were bad influences, the music with swear words, etc... and now it's pretty safe to say that, for someone looking at me from the outside, I look like a pretty clean, good Christian girl.
But over time and after those weeds were pulled God has the more difficult and frustrating weeds to work on - those of jealousy, resentment, judgmental thoughts, pride, gossip, etc. which are so much more deeply rooted and not budging. It takes time and me allowing God to soften up the dirt around those weeds so that eventually I can be purged of them.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New beginnings

Oh where to begin? This has been a season of true new beginnings.
Here I am starting a new blog in my new house in my new city as a new home-maker with our little baby growing inside of me.
Exciting things are happening and yet its a bit daunting at times.
We've been living in Tracy for just over one month and I can't say that I've really met anyone here. I haven't left the house on most days, but am enjoying being at home.
Sadly I've wasted away many days watching TV shows on Netflix but now I'm writing!
Small steps here.
I'm currently sick for the first time in these 18 weeks of pregnancy, with a nasty cold that is taking a long time to go away. I was hoping that I wouldn't get sick at all...guess that was too much to hope for. Especially when I go around sick people even though I know I shouldn't. What they say about pregnancy weakening your immune system must be true!