Friday, July 31, 2009

Dear Baby, Let me feel ya...

17 weeks

Will you please do something obvious so I can feel you? This whole “we’re soon to be a family of 3” thing isn’t totally real to me yet, and I’d really like to feel you to make it just a bit more real. I have no idea why it isn’t real to me yet (except I do…I’m a master at DENIAL); there were all sorts of indicators this week:

  • On Saturday I went through some tubs of baby clothes that your cousins wore before you (Landry, Cade, and Brody). I can’t believe you will be so tiny! My closet is officially in “maternity mode”. I packed up my pre-pregnancy clothes over the weekend and made the switch over to the maternity wardrobe. A little scary…I can’t look at the “whale pants” yet without having my heart rate go up. It’s now apparent you’re in there. My belly is starting to look like you’re in it instead of the result of too many baskets of chips.

  • We cleaned out the office (now known as your room) so that Daddy and Uncle Bud can rework your closet in a couple of weeks. It made me ridiculously sad to clean out the room, which surprised me.

  • We finally ordered the supplies to redo the closet, which Daddy has been trying to do for weeks, but I wouldn’t let him until I was sure you were here to stay.
You got another gift in the mail. My sweet friend Christine T. sent the “Happiest Baby on the Block” DVD. Hopefully it will teach Daddy and me a thing or two!

We saw Mimi and Pop last weekend, and Mimi had been shopping for you! She got you the sweetest gowns for your first months home, a stroller organizer (she knows how Momma likes to organize!), and an Aggie football (your Mimi is a Red Raider so this is quite a gesture). I also brought home one of Brody's old Halloween costumes--the cutest puppy. Fox and the Hound was one of my favorite books when I was little, and it makes me think of that.

Here’s what you were up to this week:

Your umbilical cord is not only lengthening but also becoming thicker and stronger for these last 23 weeks. Your sense of hearing is also developing since the ears have fully formed and moved into their final position. You are beginning to form adipose or fat tissue. This will help you take on a more normal appearance by filling out the fine features you have. This will be important to help regulate your temperature and metabolism.

You are a little over 5 ¾ inches long and weigh 4 ounces.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That your umbilical cord will stay healthy and won’t get twisted or wrapped anywhere it shouldn’t. That you have perfect hearing and a heart to listen. And I’ll admit it, I wouldn’t mind if you had a musical ear. That you are blessed with a good metabolism and healthy exercise habits like your Daddy.



Friday, July 24, 2009

Dear Baby, We think you're a "he"...

16 weeks

Well, the doc says he thinks you are a boy. When Daddy asked how sure he was, he said 70%. We find out “for sure” on August 12th when we go to the good sonogram machine to see you. You were moving around and looking good. I still haven’t felt you yet though!

This was a weird week. A young man where I work died unexpectedly (car accident). Before you, I felt very unattached to mortality. I was comfortable with going at any moment and even pretty comfortable with Daddy going at any moment. Sure, I’d be sad about all the earthly things I’d miss out on, really sad to walk through life without Daddy; but I know where I’m going, and I know where he’s going and going there sooner rather than later just didn’t sound all bad. But now…now there’s you. And I find myself rather attached to this life for the first time. The thought of me not being here to raise you, or the thought of me raising you without Daddy…it almost makes me panic. Definitely feelings I’ve not had before.

Next time we see you, they’ll do the “anatomical sonogram”—making sure you have all the parts you’re supposed to and that they’re developing as they should. Keep growing strong.

Here’s what you were up to this week:

You are getting prepared for a growth support over the next several weeks! Your head is more erect now than it has been in the previous weeks. Your ears and eyes are situated in their final positions. Several of your more complicated body systems are beginning to function, including your urinary and circulatory systems. Your heart pumps around 25 quarts of blood per day. By week 40, this amount will increase to 1,900 quarts per day.

You are now approximately 5.31 inches long and weigh 2 ½ ounces.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That Daddy and I will be here to parent you, but that if something happens to either or both of us, the Man Upstairs will send you the best pinch hitter(s) ever.



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dear Hannah Montana, How do you do it?

I just can't figure out what all the fuss is about. Your blond wig? The lyrics to your songs? (Surely not!) Whatever it is, little girls (including my Bri and Kam-Kam) are crazy for you. I got your Hannah Montana 3 CD for them as a love gift and enjoyed quite the concert.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dear Baby, All is well...

15 weeks

Make that two uneventful weeks! So uneventful in fact that I’m beginning to wonder if you’re still in there. I’m looking forward to feeling you move around.

We got to see your Cole cousins this weekend. Your cousins are quite the prayer warriors. Some were quite comical. Kam-Kam prayed that you would be a girl, but that if you were a boy that I would not name you Boaz (she got confused because I told her I liked Bo if you were a boy b/c it’s short for my last name), and that you would be nice to other people. Bri prayed that you would be a girl, but that if you were a boy you would not choose to go to war. I don’t know where they come up with these things, but it sure made me smile! They both laid their sweet heads on my tummy to listen to you. They insisted they heard you; I didn’t tell them it was just my tummy growling! They drew you the sweetest pictures.
We got to see your Brown and Boardman cousins, too. Alyssa said rather seriously that she “sure hoped you were cute.” Little Cade asked why my tummy wasn’t bigger if there was a baby in there. It told him it was because you weren’t very old yet. He thought for a bit and said, “It’s zero. Maybe when it’s one it will be bigger.” Too funny! Your Aunt Szalan and Aunt Collyn got you some love gifts (they must have both been thinking along the same lines!).
Aunt Collyn and Aunt Lori duded us up with little boy stuff this weekend. If you’re cooperative, we could know next Thursday if you’re a boy or girl! Modesty is not a bad character trait, but it’s okay to be a little immodest on Thursday!

Let’s keep up these uneventful weeks!

Here’s what you were up to this week:

Your skin is very thin, and your blood vessels can actually be seen through the skin. Your ears are continuing to develop externally and continue to look more like normal ears. Your eyes are continuing to move towards the nose from the sides of your head. Your bones are beginning to ossify, which means that if an x-ray was taken the skeleton would be visible. Babies at this age have also been caught sucking their thumbs on ultrasound pictures.

You are now over 4 inches long and weigh just a little less than 2 ounces.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That you have “thick skin” in this life— particularly when people say things that are hurtful to you (especially when me or Daddy do that). That all your senses will be exactly as God intended them and that you will not take them for granted. That your bones are strong.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dear Ed, Why?

Why in the name of all things masculine did you put on those kelly green daisy dukes? I spent half the time deciding whether you should be more embarrassed by the color of the shorts, the length (or lack thereof) of the shorts, of wearing a tank top in public, or of having a purple tank top to wear at all, and the other half of the time hiding my eyes to avoid a glimpse of your junk. I was certain those shorts were so short that something would inevitably slip out! Why, Ed? Why??

Disclaimer: I'm not a Bachelorette watcher (haven't watched since the days of Trista in fact), but this blog makes me laugh out loud so I tune in for the last half hour of the episodes when I can so I can see firsthand exactly what Lincee is talking about.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dear Baby, We've had an uneventful week...

14 weeks

Dear Baby,

This week was so uneventful—hurray! I’m feeling well; I trust you’re doing well, and there were no major (or minor) mishaps.

Your Aunt Jen sent me a gift card to buy some maternity clothes, and your Uncle Bud is making you something for your room. I had lunch with your Cousin Bailey this week, and she asked so sweetly, “How’s Baby?” She brought me a present (a gift card to get some maternity clothes)!Your Mimi has been shopping for you this week, too. See how many people love you already? We’ll spend the weekend with your Zanowiak cousins and get to see your Cole cousins, too.
We’re dropping off your baby furniture to be painted by Aunt Lori’s friend. I can’t wait to see what it looks like! Your room will be full of special family things. Your crib and chest of drawers was what your Aunt Lori, Uncle Bud, Uncle Heath, and I used when we were babies, the dresser was your Mammaw’s, and then you’ll have the special piece your Uncle Bud makes!

I’ve been having fun obsessing over your nursery. Just can’t quite decide what I want it to look like. I’m hoping once we find out whether you’re a son or a daughter, something will just jump out and grab me!

Here’s what you were up to this week:

You are continuing to grow and mature at this point. Your arms are going to begin to lengthen and be more proportioned to the rest of your body. The liver is beginning to produce bile, while the spleen is beginning to produce red blood cells.

The development of your brain enables you to use your facial muscles to grimace, frown, and squint. You may even be sucking your thumb.

You are now over 4 inches long and weigh just a little less than 2 ounces.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That you will have strong arms that are quick to do acts of service. That you continue to grow, and that my body continues to accommodate you.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dear Reader, I just have to tell you about my family...

When the stork was delivering babies, my mother hit the jack pot by being delivered to my Mammaw and Grandaddy. That was never more evident than this past Wednesday at my Grandaddy's funeral. The family did the service, and it was a wonderful combination of memories, tears, joy, and reflecting on lessons we learned from both my Grandaddy and my Mammaw.

My cousin, Chad, led the singing and sang an uplifting combination of songs, many with a lot of alto which made me smile because my Mammaw was a lovely alto, and several of my cousins received her gift.

My Daddy read the obituary and shared some of his memories about my grandparents. The statement he made that rang most true to me was that my grandparents wanted two things: a reunion with us in Heaven and for the family to stay close. I'm learning how much work it is to stay close as a family (especially as numbers grow), and my grandparents were a shining example of how you can achieve closeness in a large family. He also read 1 Corinthians 13 and substituted the word "family" for "love". If you've never done this, run to your Bible and do it! I can't tell you how it impacted me. I'm going to print it that way and put it in a conspicuous place so I am always mindful of how a family should love each other.

My uncles both shared memories and thoughts about my grandparents, and I read the letter I wrote to Grandaddy on Sunday. The grandsons read special verses at the grave site. It was such a loving family affair focused on honoring two ordinary people who made an extraordinary impact on their family, and by extension, many others.

One of my favorite parts was when my cousin, Amy, shared lessons she learned from my grandparents. If you don't have grandparents you were able to learn from, I hope you'll learn these important lessons from mine:

  1. Fishing is fun. Sitting on a dock at night and talking while you fish is bliss.
  2. “Kick the Can” at the lake is the most fun cousins can have.
  3. A road trip in an RV is worth more than the best, most expensive gift you could imagine.
  4. An evening playing cards and eating freshly popped popcorn is better than a night out on the town.
  5. Home is where your heart is.
  6. Life is hard, but God is good. There’s good to be found in every stage of life. Pray, meditate on God’s word, and then LOOK for good. Hold on to the goodness of God and trust Him with your whole heart.
  7. Work hard at whatever you do. Bless others with your work. Find joy in keeping your hands busy and your heart engaged. This honors God.
  8. Invest time and vulnerability in good friends. Have people over for dinner. Go on trips together. Play games. Laugh. Rejoice together and weep together. This will hurt, but it will bring such richness and joy to your life.
  9. Family matters. Be involved. Go to ball games and graduations. Drive a long way just to visit. Stay in touch. Call and write letters. Send birthday cards. Love those that God has given you in word and deed. Seek joy in people, not things.
  10. Food brings people together and shows love. A fish fry, fresh tomatoes, okra, black eyed peas, blackberries, brisket, fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, red velvet cake. I can still feel loved when I eat them.
  11. Look for good in people, even when it’s hard to find.
  12. Learn from your mistakes. Let go of prejudice and judgment, and your heart will see things that your eyes can’t see.
  13. Have fun every day. Do a crossword puzzle. Find a bargain. Make something with your hands. Eat some pie.
  14. Church is important. Invest in relationships. Encourage and be encouraged. Lift unified hearts of praise to God. You can’t do it alone.
  15. Love your children. Provide for them – time, money, encouragement, and blessing.
  16. Love your children’s children and then love their children. Invest all of yourself and it will not return empty.
  17. Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
  18. When you die, you will live on – in a legacy that brings glory and honor to the God with whom you will spend an amazingly good eternity!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dear Baby, You have such a neat family heritage...

13 weeks

We had another OB appointment this week, and you are looking good! Your heartbeat was 160bpm, and we counted all ten of your fingers! You were being a bit modest so we didn’t get any more indications of whether you’ll be our son or our daughter, but maybe we’ll know more next time! Daddy and I were talking about how we aren’t as anxious to know as we thought we would be; perhaps because we really don’t care at all—either will be just what we wanted!

Your great-Grandaddy went home this week. You are his 28th great-grandchild. What a family you have! I will tell you all about him, your Mammaw, your Pop-Pop, and your Granny Bozeman and Granny Fleming one day. Such a heritage you have!

This weekend we’ll be with your Zanowiak family to celebrate the 4th. A good time will be had by all. You’ll get to have ribs at Aunt Donna’s, and let me tell you, they are a treat!

Here’s what you were up to this week:

Up until this point, your head has been the largest part of your body, but that is beginning to change. Your head is now only about 1/3 of your total body. Unique fingerprints are now located on the tips of your fingers. The kidney and urinary tract are completely functional which allows the amniotic fluid you have been swallowing to be excreted. Covering your skin is a fine, soft hair called lanugo.

You are almost 3¾ inches long and weigh 1¼ ounces.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That you will leave unique fingerprints on everything you touch, that your kidneys and urinary tract will function normally throughout your life, and that you will know stories of your ancestors and be proud of your family heritage.



Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dear Media, Can we talk about something else...

I am so tired of hearing about Michael Jackson! Can you move on to another story? I don't Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', but I don't care whether he was Black or White. I realize you Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, but seriously...when I turn on the news and see yet another report about him, his home, his will, it makes me want to Scream! I am Working Day and Night, and when I get home, I want to know what's going on in the rest of the world (after all, We are the World), not the latest on MJ! I Can't Help It; I need more! I know it's Human Nature to look at a train wreck, but Another Part of Me thinks you should be covering more important things. Sometimes I think you just don't Get It.

Please move on soon. This is Bad. No, it's Off the Wall.

Yours truly,