Welcome!

Early this morning, my sister and her husband welcomed their first little baby into the world! I barely got a wink of sleep last night with all the texting and updates going on from my mom:) In between texts, I kept dosing and dreaming the weirdest dreams.

This sweet little baby is a true miracle baby! An answer to many prayers; a gift. I can’t wait to meet her in person and see my sister as a little mama:)

Welcome, Evelyn Riley!! Your auntie loves you!!

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Waiting…

Well, we are waiting. Wondering why you haven’t heard much from me? That’s b/c I have been in labor off and on since Saturday night! Things fizzled out after 2 hours on Saturday but I started to feel bad Sunday and went into true labor last night while making dinner.

We went to the hospital when contractions were every 2 minutes and getting intense. The nurse in triage was impressed with all the contractions and said we’d be heading upstairs soon. I was dialating and everything…only to have contractions fizzle out after 10 hours around 4 this morning.

We were sent home in “early labor” and I have been feeling incredibly nauseous and horrible today and yet….baby is still not coming!

Please pray that things can get moving soon, as my mom is already here and we are mentally and physically exhausted. I have a dr’s appt tomorrow so we’ll see what’s happening.

Until then? We wait…

36 Weeks!

Wow. 36 weeks FINALLY! It’s really nice to say I have less than a month and only 4 weeks to go! Feels like I have been pregnant….forever!
I:
*Am ready ready ready ready to be done.
*Have started to have a lot of lower back pain in past week
*Have a little swelling in the evening sometimes which is weird b/c I’ve never had it before!
*Am starting to have people eye me like the baby’s going to fall out soon
*Feel like the baby’s going to fall out soon
*Am dialated 2 cm already!
*Am definitely having a lot of contractions these days but know this could go on for awhile…
*Have decided to evict Baby E in about 2 weeks:) haha
*Cannot wait to meet her!
(I really don’t like this picture at all but B refused to take another one. Doesn’t he know what it’s like to want to feel at least semi-attractive when you are about 2 years pregnant? I guess not…)
She:
*Is supposedly head down and feels like she wants to break free
*Still likes music
*Is still pretty active for running out of room..
*Is measuring perfectly so far so I hope she’s not too big!
*Is so loved by her big brothers already
*Is going to be born loving Mexican food, Guacamole and Tums
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 Finished her quilt/blanket!

Hope she likes it!
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I just want to thank all of you SO much for your prayers. I really felt them today and appreciate you walking beside me as I battle this!

Fear and Freedom

Fear: (as defined by dictionary.com)
a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
I struggle with fear. I think the most intense battle I have ever had with fear, I fought about a year and a half ago, not long after my back injury. I went to a women’s retreat, which I REALLY didn’t want to go to and ended up really being set free from some things from my past. My friend who prayed for me warned me not to be surprised if I was spiritually attacked in the next few weeks afterwards. I was. I have never, ever experienced fear like that in my life. It’s hard to even put into words what it was like.
But after intense prayer from friends and family and memorizing Bible verses, I was really set free! I really felt peace for the first time in a LONG time. I happen to think that Satan (I really hate typing that word!) really likes to attack us in vulnerable times and sometimes with the same-old, same-old tactics that have always worked before.
Sometimes we are so strong and sometimes we are weak. Maybe I am weak right now because we are coming down off of a couple of months of intense stress. And I’m slightly hormonal and possibly 17 years pregnant….
But I am really struggling with fear right now and I am asking for you to cover me in prayer! What am I afraid of? Right now it’s all about the baby. I have longed with my whole heart for a baby girl for…well, it feels like forever! I prayed for her for a year before we got pregnant and we found out about the baby during a really difficult winter season. I had been praying and asking God what He had for us in this next year (we go by academic years around here!) and asked Him to give us some hope and something to really look forward to, to know that He was with us.
He gave us our baby.
I cannot express to you how very much I want her. I dream about her, try to imagine what she looks like. I think thoughts to her and even talk outloud to her when no one else is around. I have prepared so many things for her. We named her so early on and she is a part of our family already!
And I am so very afraid lately of losing her. Or something happening to me.
So why this fear? Probably because from a very early age I learned something from my earthly father. To be afraid and to expect bad things to happen because I “deserved” it. I feel like I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Something I want very badly? Sure, here it is…and then take it away! It happened a lot to me as a child. Cruel things that left a deep scar on my heart and affected how I even view my heavenly Father.
Everytime I work through things, God gets a little deeper into my heart; underneath the scars and old wounds that I thought were healed. A lot of fear roots were scraped out during and after that women’s retreat I went to. But there is still some there.
And I’m asking you to pray for the rest of the roots to be pulled out so I can really experience freedom and peace! I want to trust that God is with me no matter what happens. But also to feel peace as I wait to hold this precious baby in my arms in just a few weeks. I want freedom!
Freedom to live and to be thankful for the many, many blessings I have in my life!

Week-END!!

I must say that I look forward to Saturdays especially now that everyone is in school. It is SOOOOO nice to have a quiet day where we don’t have to rush out of the house, talk to anyone (unless we want to!), get dressed….it’s a lazy refreshing day!!!
My favorite things about THIS weekend so far:
1) Finally finishing a sweater for my newest nephew. Nowhere near the caliber of some other knitting geniuses I know (ahem, Danielle!) but I’m proud!
2)Finger Food Friday! We decided to take a siesta from friday night pizza night and do only finger foods. Big hit with the boys! We had pigs in a blanket, mini pizzas, cubed cheese, lots of veggies and watermelon!
3) Building forts in the living room:) The perfect hide-out for little boys! I have such great memories of building forts when I was little…

4) Two happy fort-dwellers

5)Homemade crock-pot applesauce filling the air with delicious scents!!

6)Working hard ALL day on sweet baby things! I finished 2 flannel receiving blankets….

 7) And 14 burp clothes! (ignore the yellow picture…)

8)Time, rest and football!

I love Saturdays!!

Making Room..

If you know me or have read this blog long enough…you know I like to rearrange! Occasionally. The layout of our new apartment makes it much harder to rearrange anything because it is narrow and the rooms are quite a bit smaller.
Nevertheless! A certain someone joining the family soon has forced me to be very creative with furniture placement, especially in our room.
It all started very early one morning a couple of weeks ago when Ben and I were suddenly awakened by a strange noise. “What in the-” was quickly followed by a crash and we both sat up and stared bleary-eyed at the closet shelving which had just collapsed. Again.
Down came my wedding dress and basket full of material scraps. Down came all of my nicely hung, color coordinated shirts. Down came…well, everything! Of mine, that is. Nothing of Ben’s!
And so for a few days, our bedroom looked like this.
And we slept out in the living room. But then my sister and her husband were coming to visit and we knew we had to do something! Ben reinforced the shelving in the closet while I started planning how to redo the room, since we had a couple new items of furniture on route from Ohio. Furniture for the princess, of course!
After much planning and thinking and reorganizing, Ben’s dresser went into the closet to make room for the baby’s dresser and my clothes went into some crate things that were here when we moved in . (I’m not lucky enough to have a dresser!) And slowly, Little Miss has taken over a corner of our bedroom.
This is where Ben’s dresser used to be and now the baby’s resides! My mom found this dresser on Craigslist and repainted it! My sister was gracious enough to transport it from Ohio to us:)
I found these bonnets online! Aren’t they adorable?
My craft area which was covered in junk in the second pic above has been moved to the dining room to make room for this cradle which my mom and aunt found at an auction for $10! We found a mattress and some sheets and I am in the process of making a quilt. Speaking of, I should probably finish that….
It’s still a little messy but at least she has somewhere to sleep and somewhere to put all of the clothes she is inheiriting from people!
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All went well at my 34 week check-up today! Baby is good and strong, I am doing what I should and now we wait! I have to park at parking meters when I go to appointments and they only let you park there 2 hours max. Of course, my appt went just longer than that so as I was rushing back to the car praying I wouldn’t get a ticket…I stumbled and almost fell. I landed sideways on my foot, which is quite sore tonight! And then as I was gathering supplies for dinner, Zakkai dropped a toy right on the same foot tonight. Ouch!
He felt so bad and immediately hugged my leg and said, “I’m sorry, mommy!!” He has such a tender heart lately:)
So here I hobble. And waddle. It’s a beautiful sight.

The First Day of School (and 32 weeks!)

My three favorite guys off to school!
Uncle Tim, Auntie K and the boys after school
Ms Mendez, S’s kindergarten teacher
Zakkai decorating his nametag!
Look at my big boys:)
Samuel in line waiting to go in. Please don’t tear up!!
Samuel at his table, next to his friend Fiona
Me and my preschooler and kindergartner

I am SOOOOO glad the first day of school is over! Maybe the anticipation is worse than the actual event. Maybe..

I was pretty emotional last night, I admit. My very thoughtful brother-in-law offered to pray with us before we all went to bed. I really needed that. I was pushing down feelings of panic all day yesterday over the thought of dropping off Samuel without being allowed into his classroom to settle him in. It’s so very hard to trust your child to someone else’s care for so many hours, especially when you don’t even know them!

I think maybe I was putting myself in Samuel’s shoes and feeling the intense feelings I remember as a child. I really struggled with school growing up, even throwing up the first 2-3 weeks of school every single year until 5th grade, when I made my very favorite teacher in the whole world.

But as soon as those feelings of panic arose, I pushed them down and prayed for my little one, knowing that as much as my mind cannot wrap around it, God loves my children even more than I do.

Wow. What a thought.

An amazingly after we all lifted up these two sweet boys last night in prayer, my emotions were in check and I was able to be strong for them today. Samuel woke up very emotional and was pretty teary over little things but really calmed down once I gave him a special little picture of our family to take with him to school today. He also loved the napkin I put in his lunch with a little message for him.

We were able to walk out at the same time as Ben, who was also on his way to school (to teach). When we got to school there were signs for many of the classes with balloons and the teachers waiting out front. Ms Mendez had them line up right away and greeted Samuel. He was so serious and kept watching me to gauge my reactions. The teacher thankfully let the parents come up with the class since we all had supplies. Once in the classroom she directed the kindergartners to their tables and asked the parents to be short and sweet with goodbyes. Samuel, still with a somber face, gave me sweet kisses and a hug and perked up a little when I reminded him about the picture he had with him, which he was clutching tightly in his hand.

He did SO well and I am so proud of him!

Z and I went to wait in the parent’s room til it was his turn. His class was divided into shorter sessions today to make it less chaotic. He got to have a little chocolate donut hole and sit with me for awhile. He did so great once it was his turn! I helped him pick out a cubby for his book bag and get started decorating his namecard for his cubby. He was so happy once he started decorating and let go of my hand willingly. There was only a brief minute of hesitation and then he was happy! When I got up to go out for a little bit, he said, “Okay!” cheerfully.

Zakkai was so charged up after his session! He talked non-stop for the rest of the day, with a short nap as the exception. Samuel, on the other hand, was very very tired. He actually went into his room after his snack, informing Zakkai that he needed some “quiet time.” 🙂 And he shut the door and had quiet time for a long time!

All in all, it was a very very good day. Thank you, Lord!
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Today also marks 32 weeks! I, or she I should say, has grown significantly lately! I have a big ole’ belly!
I feel good, just tired and cumbersome!
She:
*Moves a ton but is starting to run out of room!
*Still gets the hiccups several times a day
*Has more clothes than the boys ever had at this point!
*Is much anticipated!! I cannot wait to meet her and can’t believe there are only 8 (or less!) weeks left
*Is getting lots of attention from the boys, even Zakkai finally!