Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dear Grandaddy, Welcome to Heaven...

I got the call this morning that you passed quickly and without pain. Oh, how I've prayed that's how you would go--that there would be no lingering and pain.

I'm so glad I got to see you just two weeks ago--I am grateful you recognized my face and that you recognized Jonathan. I got to tell you I'm having a baby, and I'll always smile at the confused look on your face as you stared at my stomach (because I wasn't showing when I was there). I got to kiss your smooth, thin cheek and smell that "Grandaddy smell" that used to stay for weeks on my pillow when we were kids when you and Mammaw stayed in our room when you visited. I got to say "I love you" one last time. That memory is so special now. I know it's no accident that you lived long enough that we were all able to visit with you.

The Grandaddy I remember has been gone a long time so I thought it would ache less than it does. After all, I know where you are, I know who you're with, and I wouldn't wish for you to live in the condition you were in one more second. It still aches though--a sweet ache of good memories, of gratefulness for the family of 6 you started with Mammaw that has swelled to 58 (with inlaws) and will be 60 by year's end, and a sweet ache of admiration that you and Mammaw left a legacy of faith for us all.

I love these memories: the worm box in the yard which you kept fully stocked, the fish fry you held when we were all together, cleaning the boat when we first arrived (the smell of comet still makes me think of that!), your smell which lingered on our pillows for weeks, that you would get irritated when we asked when you were leaving when you came for a visit (but what we really wanted to know was how many days we would get to have you there), your grin, your nubs from your carpentry accidents, that you did not have a college education but you made sure your children did, that you overmarried and you knew it, your strict adherence to card and domino rules, the strong pat on the back you gave when you hugged me, you in hats with mesh backs, your love of peanuts, tomatoes, fried chicken, and oyster crackers, your fascination with my married name, the way I got to know you when Mammaw left us (she always did outshine you!), your generosity to your children when you sold both of your houses, that even though you were a gruff Grandaddy, you always said "I love you" back.

I've missed you for awhile, but today it's fresh again. Thanks for loving my Mammaw and staying faithful to her, for giving me my mother, for building a beautiful place at the lake for us to make so many memories, and for loving God and raising my mother to love God so she could teach me to do the same.

Give Mammaw a hug for me.

I love you,

Felix Earl Jones
February 7, 1912-June 28, 2009

Husband to Imarene

Father to Bobby, Kathryn, Bonnie, & Helen
Grandaddy to Barry, Carla, Denise, Wade, Chad, Brent, Amy, Lori,
Kirk, Derek, Stan, Mindi, & Heath
Great-Grandaddy to Macy, Kevin, Brandon, Nancy, Blake, Sam, Grady, Mark, Hannah, Jacob, Jonah, Sydney, Alayna, Taytum, Ellie, John Alan, Brileigh, Kamryn, Brody, Bailey, Landry, Kassidy, Kinley, Blaze, Cole, Kylie, Baby Bozeman and Baby Zanowiak (both due in Dec.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dear Reader, Welcome to the new place...

I blogged for a little over a year here, but now I'm starting fresh. I've always been an avid letter writer. I had pen pals growing up, always kept in touch through letters with friends from camp, and had a special letter writing relationship with my Mammaw. Once e-mail became the norm, letters through snail mail fell by the wayside for the most part. I still send snail mail, but they are mostly just notes, not the letters of the old days. I decided to make this new blog in "letter form" in tribute to the letter writing I've always loved.

I'm adding in (and backdating) the letters to Baby I've been writing since I found out I was pregnant. This blog won't be all about Baby, but these are the only letters I've written in the last few weeks to insert here.

Hope you "write back" in the comments section every now and again!

Dear Baby, We're done with the first trimester...

12 weeks

This marks the end of the first trimester...we made it! I went for some genetic testing yesterday and got to see you. I don’t know why I’m always surprised that your heart is still beating when I see you, but I am. Your heartbeat was 164bpm. You were lazy at first, but then you raised your arm, stretched out your legs, and flipped over. So far, so good.

I was in a wedding last weekend, and several people found out about you. Our friends with kids kept telling us how wonderful it is being parents. That is nice to hear. We are looking forward to the adventure.

We both got some presents this week. Your Zanowiak grandparents sent some pewter pieces for your nursery and the neatest blessing ring where I can thread cards I receive for you. Your Bozeman grandparents gave me some money for maternity clothes, and gave you a whole bunch of things---an Aggie sippy cup (so cute!), a thermometer, a nursery rhyme book your Mimi picked up for you when she went to London before you were even a twinkle in our eye…see? You were loved before you even came to be!
We both told our work friends today and some friends we had dinner with. You’ve been our little secret for seven weeks so it’s odd that people now know.

Here’s what you were up to this week:

This week you will begin to take on more of a normal appearance as the eyes move closer together and the ears move closer to their final position. The intestines have grown so fast that they actually extend into the umbilical cord, but they will begin to move back into the abdomen. The kidneys can now secrete urine, and the nervous system is continuing to mature. You may have developed more complicated reflexes such as sucking.

You are 3.15 inches long and weigh 1 ounce.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That you feel secure about your appearance, no matter what your physical appearance is. That your nervous system develops normally. That we have an uneventful second trimester.



Friday, June 19, 2009

Dear Baby, The news about you is out...

11 weeks

Well, your extended family knows all about you! We told Daddy’s side of the family Thursday night, and we told my side at the lake on Friday. It was special to tell your paternal grandfather that day because it was 10 years since his own dad (your greatgrandfather) passed away. Most people seem genuinely thrilled you’re on your way (though frankly, we could really care less what they think about your arrival—we’re super happy you’re on your way!). Some of my favorite comments: your cousin Zane offering to teach you how to play golf and your cousins Brileigh and Kamryn asking their momma if they could come see you when you get here (and informing me that you look like an alien right now).

We had so much fun at the lake and such a sweet family church service. You are being born into a family with so much love for each other and the Lord. What a legacy.

You got your first presents last night. See, you’re being loved on before you even arrive! Your Boardman cousins sent you a box of gifts. They sent two gifts that are extra special to me—two things I have given each of my nieces/nephews: a Busy Bible and the book, Guess How Much I Love You. Made me tear up! So thoughtful of your Aunt Szalan.
Just one more week, and we’ll be 1/3 of the way there. This is the first week I haven’t seen a picture of you and known that you are doing okay. I’ve got to be honest---it’s a little nerve wracking. I can’t help but wonder if you’re okay. Hang in there.

Here’s what you were up to this week:

Your head accounts for almost half of your entire length. Both the fingers and the toes have separated by week 11. Your skin is still very transparent, but your bones are beginning to harden. The external genitalia have almost completely formed, and in several weeks we might be able to know if you are a boy or a girl. Even though I cannot feel you moving around, you are very active.

You are over 2 ½ inches long from crown to rump (CRL) and weigh about half an ounce.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That you have 10 fingers and 10 toes and strong bones. That whether you are a boy or a girl, you will love being just as you are. That you will always have a strong sense of family.



Friday, June 12, 2009

Dear Baby, You had your "first" appointment...

10 weeks

We had our first “real” OB appointment this week! They gave us lots of information, asked us lots of questions, and in general, left us feeling totally behind and ill prepared (already). Have we decided on a pediatrician? Will we take childbirth classes? Will I nurse? Uhhh…we just found out about this little nugget 5 weeks ago, and we just found out he/she was here to stay last week. We don’t know those answers yet! Yikes!

We saw you again. Your little heart was beating fast! 170bpm! The doctor thinks he saw your little male parts---I will love it if I’m right! Daddy says you are a girl, and I say you are a boy. Of course, I will love it if I’m wrong, too--we’re just happy to have you at all!

I got your little onesie in the mail, and I just cannot believe how tiny it is and how tiny you will be when you come home! I have been searching all over the internet for nursery ideas and having lots of fun doing it. We already have 2 names picked out if you are a girl and know your name if you are a boy. So much fun we’ve already had this first week of knowing we can keep you!

We’re telling both sets of your grandparents and aunts and uncles about you this weekend—we can’t wait! Though it has been special that you have been “our little secret” for the last 5 weeks…

Here’s what you were up to this week:

This is the beginning of the fetal period when your organs continue to grow and mature. The majority of your vital organs, kidneys, liver, brain, and lungs are functioning, but will continue to mature throughout the remainder of the pregnancy.

Your head makes up half the length of the body, and there is a bulge in the forehead allowing for brain development. Fingernails, toenails, and hair will begin to become visible this week. The fingers are no longer webbed. You are actively swallowing amniotic fluid and kicking his/her legs.

You are a little over 2 inches long, about the size of a lime, and you weigh about a quarter of an ounce.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That your brain grows as it should—that you will use it to learn (and that you like to learn), to decipher wrong and right, to decipher truth, and to make your own good decisions (and that I would be the kind of momma who allows you to make your own decisions, even when I think they’re “not-so-good”).



Friday, June 5, 2009

Dear Baby, You're one tough cookie...

9 weeks

Well, last Saturday you gave me another scare! I got out of bed and had a huge gush of blood! I just knew “this was it”. Daddy was gone so I called the doctor, and she met me at the office. You are a resilient little thing! Your heartbeat was 157—going strong!

I was sick with worry most of the week, wondering what the specialist would say. But by yesterday, I was just ready to know-good or bad. Wouldn’t you know it? The specialist couldn’t find “the mass”! Nowhere to be found! She thinks it was either a blood clot that broke on Saturday, or a twin that my body absorbed. No tumor! Yipee!

She said you looked great, and there’s only a 10-15% chance I will miscarry now. We saw you in 3D—you were moving your little arms! (We thought you looked a little freaky at first, but you’re starting to look like a little baby now!) Your heartbeat was 164bpm. We were so happy when we left her office! We can finally be excited about you! We can’t wait to start sharing the news.

I made my first purchase for you today. I got a onesie with a “10” on it. I’m going to give it to Mimi and Pop next weekend to announce your arrival since you’re their 10th grandchild! I also ordered a “9” for your cousin. I think it will be so cute for the two of you to pose in a picture with them. I wonder which one of you will be “9” and which one of you will be “10”? The doctors say your birthday should be January 8, but since I have a bicornuate uterus, you may come early—at 36 or 37 weeks (December 11 or December 18). We’ll see!

For the first time, I actually feel like I’m going to be a momma! Glad you hung in there!

Here’s what you were up to this week:

While you are still extremely small, you are now ready for rapid weight gain. You are beginning to look more like a little person since the embryonic tail is completely gone by week 9. The eyelids are fully formed, have fused shut, and will open again during week 28.

All your joints such as the knees, elbows, shoulders, ankles, and wrists are working and allowing you to move about freely within the amniotic sac. Your heart began beating around day 24, but now your heart has divided into four chambers, and the valves are beginning to develop. You can also make a fist, and you may begin sucking your thumb.

You are about the size of a grape, measuring a little over 1 ½ inches (1.67) from head to rump, and you weigh a fraction of an ounce.

These were my prayers for you this week:

Just a great big “thank you” to the Man Upstairs that you are still here and that the mass is gone.