Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Time!

Today we were at my grandfathers having Christmas when I asked my sister if she had Braxton Hicks contractions. She said no, paused and then a minute later said, "are you asking me this because you are having contractions?" I then confessed that they had been 10 minutes apart for the past 2 or 3 hours. Before that I hadn't timed them but had had them all morning. By then my husband and brother-in-law overheard us and then the cat was out of the bag.

I'm not one to leave a party early or miss out all together. And we had planned to stay in Dallas for a few more days. My step brother and his wife were back at my mom's and my sister and her family had just arrived the day before. We had plans. Fun plans. And I knew if I hinted that I was having contractions my husband would make me come home.

I held him off for another 30 mintues but finally gave in. We announced to my grandparents, Dad, and step mom that we had to leave because I was indeed going to have this baby in the near future and we needed to head back east.

My contractions are now 7 minutes apart, steady, and not yet painful. Savannah is still back in Dallas with my sister and my mom came home with us to help.

All is well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Update with more words this time.

My cousin-in-law/friend Allison is so good about updating us on her pregnancy through her bog that she has inspired me to do the same.

Here is the latest:

The baby's room is not ready. We have had construction issues and delays. Once construction in complete then I can set up all the things I have ready. The good news is that it is all irrelevent (I keep telling myself this so I won't stress over it!) because the bassinet is set up and ready in our bedroom and that's all we will need for quite a while.

The baby has stayed head down for three days in a row (until about an hour again and now I thinks it's transverse). This little gremlin changes positions so often that I am not worried about it's current position. Our doula showed us movements I can do to help turn the baby. I played around with it a week or two ago and the baby moved to the head down position in about 5 minutes! Wish I had known that trick last time with Savannah. We could have avoided a c-section. I highly recommend finding yourself a doula if you are pregnant! They are awesome and a wealth of information. For more info on figuring out the position of your baby check out

I am due sometime between January 8th and the 13th. However I lost my mucus plug a couple of days ago. No big deal, I haven't had any contractions. But today I went to the acupuncturist and after he evaluated me he stated he hoped I would make it till after Christmas. Not knowing what he meant I asked for clarification. He showed me on a chart that all my energy is already focused on my lower uterus where contractions begin and the baby exits! Through my pregnancy my body has focused the energy higher up where the baby is growing. Not any more.

Even with the above paragraph noted I plan to spend the week after Christmas in Dallas with family. My sister and all her kiddos will be in town. With all our youngins and me so big, it will be a laid back week of family fun. Mark will have to come home and work. That will be the sad part. My doc okayed the trip since it is only 1 hour and 45 minutes from the hospital where I will deliver.

Since we don't know the sex of the baby, I am frequently asked what I think it is. I can say without a doubt that I feel it is strong and big! Other than that, only God knows. In the first trimester I dreamed it was a pig, in the 2nd trimester I dreamed it was a white tiger/mountain lion and in the third trimester I have dreamed once that it is a boy and once that it is a girl. However, Mark woke up the other day and said, "it's a girl." He stated it like a fact instead of a hunch from a dream.

On that note, I also get asked if I want a boy since I already have a girl. My reply is of course God knows best what we need and thank goodness it's not up to me to choose the destiny of my family. But if I had a choice I would say another girl so Savannah could have a sister and then Mark would be tempted to try a third time for a boy. Mark's thoughts on the subject go back to comments made by our old neighbor and friend Lee Flannery when I was pregnant with Savannah. We didn't find out what she was either and Lee told Mark it would be a girl and that he was destined to be around women his whole life (he deals with mostly women at work and there are lots of women from my side of the family who are often at our house). Mark agrees (with no frustration in his voice I might add) and said we could try 4 times and they would all be girls. At least he is totally ok with that.

Lastly, don't look for a Christmas card from us in your mailbox this year. We will be sending a Happy New Year card/birth announcement soon (but hopefully not until the new year!).

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Since I have been so bad about blogging this pregnancy, I thought I would post an update to catch everyone up.

Savannah dressed as Princess Leia for Halloween.

Me growing...

...and growing

Savannah eating a turkey leg at Thanksgiving. She looks forward to eating that giant piece of meat every year.

Making a gingerbread house which Chickory (our most mischievous cat) later tried to eat the gum drops off of.

I think we are all caught up know. I took you from Halloween to Christmas in one email. That is sad!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

...and I need your help right now.

I have realized that birth is not only eminent but also just around the holiday corner. I am due the begining of January but little Gizmo (yes, I called it Gizmo. Sometimes it acts like a gremlin. I try not to feed it after midnight.) could give us a holly jolly suprise and arrive right in the middle of our Christmas festivities. That said, I am preparing for the birth now.

We planned for the birth of Savannah by packing a bag with not only pajamas and tolitries but also tools for "coping" with labor. In tow we had a CD player with relazing music picked out, a vacation pic to use as a focal point, a deck of cards (because people say you need something to do while waiting in the hospital. whatever!) and many other things.

This bag of tricks was never opened. The whole experience was a whirl wind. There was no time to worry about coping with the labor! It began and before we knew it, it was done.

The thought crossed my mind that sometimes 2nd deliveries go even faster (if you see us pulled over on the side of the road in the next few weeks, please stop. It's likely we are giving birth!). But one never knows. Thus I am packing my bag of tricks again.

Now, this is where you come in. Both my doula and I have CDs that are instrumental and relaxing. But I am also working on a playlist of praise music that might be encouraging (but not annoying). Any suggestions?

Our doula suggested that I write words of encouragement on notecards for Mark to say to me during labor. This is code for "write down what he can say that will not be annnoying." ' Cause let's face it, Mark's first instinct might be to start peppily cheering, "Let's go let's go L-E-T-S G-O" Anyone remember that cheer? Bless his big quarterback heart. Better stick to the note cards.

When I began thinking of the notecards. Several verses came to mind. But, I would love to see what verses come to your mind. What verse would you need to hear during birth for encouragement?

Thanks for helping!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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I am adding this by edit. I just walked in my office and saw that Savannah not only blogged but published the post herself. Scary.

What's in Your Heart?

Last night I was preparing a couple of chicken carcasses to make broth (by the way, homemade broth is one of the most nutritious things you can make and worth the time to make homemade) while Mark and Savannah began marinating the turkeys for Thanksgiving. Mark asked if I needed the neck and gizzards for anything.

"Oh, yes yes yes! I need those for my broth! I buy free range organic chickens from the health food store and they don't come with the neck and gizzards. That will make my broth even more awesomely nutritious!!!" Oh, yes. I was that excited over turkey necks and organs. The only thing that would have gotten me more excited was if I had access to chicken feet! That's a testament that people can change. I grew up in a household that never served meat on a bone with the exception of steak MAYBE once a year.

Mark brought the highly coveted parts over to my pot while Savannah echoed my joy over turkey necks. She watched intently as Mark dumped in the necks and the liver. The next organ Mark picked up to identify before adding it to the pot. "Here's the heart." He stated.

Savannah leaned in to examine it closer and asked, "That's the heart?"

I knew she couldn't be grossed out. She is totally OK with knowing where her food comes from and seeing the big picture (as in, it's fun to see cows at the farm and they are yummy to eat too!) So, I wondered what she was trying to figure out in her head.

Then she spoke again as she leaned in even closer to peer inside the heart. "Is Jesus in there?"

Mark and I smiled both wanting to laugh but also touched that she was trying to get a glimpse of Jesus in this turkey heart. She's been told many times that Jesus lives in our hearts but we failed to specify that Jesus does not live in the hearts of animals.

But, it did provide a great opening for a conversation about how Jesus came to save us and He wants a relationship with us (to live in our hearts spiritually). You just never know where these conversations are going to come from!

What a sweet moment. However, now that she is sure Jesus does not live in the turkey heart she wants to roast it. I'm just not ready for that yet.....

P.S. Although I buy my chicken from the health food store, the chickens are from a local farm. If anyone would like to go in on an order with me to get organic free range chicken at wholesale price, email me. I plan to ask for necks and chicken feet as well ;)!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Savannah getting ready for a lunch date with her Peepaw.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Memories On The Tip Of My Nose

This morning I heated up a homemade cinnamon roll (we don't usually eat this sort of thing for breakfast but I have been craving them my whole pregnancy. If I have a craving for more than a week then I know it's not just a want-on-a-whim and I give in. This time it took me several months to give in and finally make them and they were worth it.) and the smell of cinnamon, butter, and yeast filled my kitchen. Do you know the smell? It's irresistible. As I took it to the table I felt the chill in the air and cozy aroma of coffee mixing with the smell of cinnamon. The combination immediately brought a childhood memory to mind.

My sister and I use to spend the summers at my grandparent's house in Colorado as children. Often my grandmother would have cinnamon rolls laying around for mornings that she did not cook. I can remember grabbing one many times on cool Colorado summer mornings.

Throughout childhood the smell of coffee brought only good memories. My parents did not drink coffee at home so the smell of coffee brewing was reserved from Granny Smiles and Papa Mel's house only. Talk about a comfort smell drumming up fun and precious memories. No wonder I couldn't wait to drink coffee when I was older!

Caught off guard, I was taken back to childhood for just a few moments this morning as the smells and the temperature came together in my senses. It's as if I were 8 years old waking up at my grandparents in Colorado. I half expected Granny Smiles sipping coffee in the kitchen as I came around the corner just waiting for me. Talk about a good morning.

As I thought more about my treasured cinnamon rolls I relayed to Savannah that this was one of her Grandma's (my mom) favorite treats to eat at her grandmother's house. Grandma says her Granny made the best cinnamon rolls (one of her favorite memories). And Grandma made them once a year for Aunt Sissy and I, usually at Christmastime (more good memories).

Savannah agreed that these are the best cinnamon rolls on the face of the planet. I think she's up for maintaining the tradition!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 4, Jamestown 1607

Taking a break from Colonial Williamsburg, we decided to visit the first permanent settlement in the New World, Jamestown. In the same style of learning as the other historical sites, Jamestown started off our adventure with a hands on (or rather feet on) map to explain the distance the first settlers came.

The new British arrivals first encountered the Powatan Indians and much of their customs are represented here. We got to help make a "dug out" canoe. They first burn the wood to soften it and then scrape it our with oyster or clam shells. However, the oyster shells back then were so large that a grown man needed to hands to hold the shell and scrape.

Savannah now wants to find a log at the farm and start building one of her own.

Check out how closely my hips fit. I don't think this canoe was for pregnant Powatans.

They had replicas of the first 3 ships that came. This was our family's favorite part. Below is the kitchen part of the cook's quarters.

We couldn't get Savannah out of here. She played "cook" forever in there!

A deck below is where men were stored as passengers (the space is probably smaller than my living room and dining room). They came to Jamestown as employees of the Virgina Company to work for 4 years in exchange for scarce land back in England. It was a financial venture. These folks weren't looking for religious freedom (those pilgrams came later.) And it was never meant to be a settlement, just a place to work.

They laid on their trunks of luggage also stored on this deck. The port holes were sealed shut for the journey to prevent leaks. For 144 days the men were shut in darkness except for a rare occassion when they might be allowed to come up to the tops deck. It pays to be a sailor. They actually get a bed and daily fresh air! No wonder only 50% of the passengers made it over alive! (They could have used some Vitamin D!)

This is on the deck above again near the captain's quarters. Probably the navigator or 1st mate's bed.

Here is a view of the ship we were just on from the outside.

Did you know the wheel shown in the recent pirate movies (that Captain Jack Sparrow steers on the pirate ships) was not invented until 100 years later. And it was not widely used until 50 more years after that. Ships were instead steered by the shepherds stick shown below. We were told that just about eveything else from the movie was fairly accurate. So, some pirates did turn into skeletons after dark? Hmmmm? I wonder what details of the movie he was talking about?
Savannah tried hard to steer the heavily moored ship. We have a lot to explain to her about sailing!

Where the Powatans lived.

Making corn flour. Savannah could have done this all day. She want's her Daddy to make her one so she can grind fresh flour for me daily. I am telling you, our family would have fit in well back then!

Checking out the bed.

Working the leather with an oyster shell.

Day 3

Day 3 began with breakfast at the colonial bakery. Mark and I had Virgina ham on a homemade biscuit. It was awesome. I also tried their ultra moist apple spice cake. It just tasted like fall. Do you know what I mean? Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples...yummmm. I wish I had a slice right now.

I took a picture of the brick oven below so Mark could build one for me. Haha. We really have talked about it before because we make so many homemade pizzas. Maybe someday....

After breakfast we visited the goal (jail). There cells weren't too bad. Did you know it was considered cruel and unusual punishment to let people sit in jail. They were only held their until their trial and then if determined guilty they got their punishment (death, public whipping, put in stocks on the town square or what ever) and then it was over. A jail sentence was not an option. Now there's a way to trim our national budget.

The famous pirate, Black Beard was caught off the coast of Virgina and his men were held in these cells. He was immediately executed.

Below is a picture of their "potty" I have no idea why it has steps leading up to it. Funny isn't it?

Savannah and Mark strolling down a lane.

Oh look, I am on this trip after all!

Here was the kitchen at the Royal Governer's Palace. They were making real food of course but you could not try any of it due to health codes. Which is ironic because it is a heck of a lot healthier than anything served at fast food restraunts.

A latern in the Palace celler.

The Palace gardens.

The Royal Governer's Palace entry way.

All of the walls were lined with weapons like this. Talk about trying to make a statement of power. He may have been British but I think with all these weapons he might have been southern at heart! (Not really, he went back to England during the revolution. Darn those Loyalists!)

The Governer's dinning room. One of the first furnaces. Call me crazy but I loved this shade of green!

Exploring the palace gardens some more. There are 10 acres of gardens.

There was an awesome maze we played around in but I never got any pictures of it. I was too busy trying to keep up with Savannah. She could fit into small spaces that a pregnant Momma just can't!

Savannah behind the Governer's mansion.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 2, Going Back in Time

We easily slipped into the 18th century our first day at Colonial Williamsburg. The beautiful homes and friendly staff dressed in pre- American Revolution clothes took us back to another time that we would otherwise never be able to experience.

In our first day alone we spent time with the blacksmiths, gun makers, sliversmiths, a shoe maker, and a wig maker. Each craftsman drew Savannah and the other children into the story of their work. They talked about what they were doing as they made actual items to be used on site or for other historic sites. Every gate hinge on property was made the way it would have been 300 years ago, along with the wagon wheels, windows, nails, and anything else that might need to be repaired or replaced. It was amazing to watch them use ancient tools and create masterpieces.

Not only were the children drawn into the conversation by the artists but they also had examples and tools for the children (and adults) to pick up and examine. This is better than any history class. You just can't get this stuff from a book.

Although 300 years ago there was not a farm in Colonial Williamsburg, they created one just outside of the area to represent how 97% of Virgin's population lived at the time. Below you can see tabacco drying after the summers harvest. They us an ox and and old plow just like back them. This is not just an easy tourism related job!

Colonial shopping was also a big hit with all of us. We explored the stores full of handmade goods just as closely as we did the exhibits. They had cool wooden toys from the time period, old maps (which were amusing to see what they thought Florida looked like. Let's just say they had it about half the size of Cuba.), sewing projects, handmade nails, hats, kitchenwares, canned goods, and the best rootbeer ever (no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavor). We all had fun with the hats.

Real rootbeer.

Savannah with a giant leaf on her head. Don't ask me why. It's a 4 year old thing.

Shoemaker shop.

Shoemaker. We listened to him for at least 20 minutes, maybe longer. I am telling you, they can hold a child's attention.

Savannah really enjoyed the court house. Which is odd because we really haven't talked to her about breaking the law, court, or jail. I mean, why would we? That's not normal preschool topics. None the less, she enjoyed learning about it and was made head judge (they had 12 back then plus 12 jurers. It was fun to learn that we kept lots of the same British ideas of law.).

Savannah was then promoted as sherrif of the court (they were always a judge as well). She is so little in the box that all you can see is Mark.

Seeing horse drawn carriages around town was cool.

The lady in the wig shoppped played her part so well that she scared Savannah as she informed her that well brought up little girls shaved their heads so the wig will fit better. She also added that she would have time to perform this task for her in an hour or two so that she could get a proper wig. She offered to shave Mark's head as well and that's when Savannah headed for the door!

We had lunch at Chowning's Tavern. Candlelit of course since we were now in the late 1700's. Mark would raise his mug periodically and yell revolutionary battle cries. I think in this picture he had just yelled out "Down with the King!" We really submerged ourselves in the experience. Can you tell?

Savannah drinking apple cider.

These are just a few highlights. We took a ton of pictures (these are unedited) and I recorded a notebook worth of things I learned (I love history, can you tell?). More to come in the next post.