Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011

This Christmas was spent with Tim's side of the family as my family was all up in Canada. Typically, since our parents live in the same city, we'll split the day in half between the two so it was kind of nice to be in one place all day. We aren't one for taking many pictures (funny, you'd think with my love of photography I'd take tons, but I tend to forget or be too lazy!) but the few I captured were of Jack in all his present-opening excitement. We also caught a video of him playing with his favorite gift of all: a drum pad thingy that Tim had picked up months ago (much to my chagrin). I swore Jack would play with it once or twice and then get bored and I kept trying to get Tim to return it. Good thing we didn't because Jack plays with it every chance he gets! Here's a video of him trying it out Christmas morning:

This year, I was inspired to create a couple "custom" gifts. This doesn't happen often, because hand made gifts make me nervous: if the person doesn't love it, I'm more likely to take it to heart. So it was a risk. My sister-in-law has a love for the Disney princesses. So, after finding out her "top 5" I created the following illustration and framed it for her.

My brother-in-law's girlfriend was unexpectedly in town and so I wanted to give her a little something too. This is a sketch of her dog and my brother-in-law's dog; I think I did better with the likeness of her pug (on the left) than I did with his puggle (on the right). She was thrilled with it though and that's all that matters.

Next year I want to try even harder to keep gifts more personal or home made. I also want to be better at sending out Christmas cards - which I failed miserably at! Perhaps I'll add it to my list of goals for the new year :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Baby Update.

The past two days are days which I have been anticipating all month.  Tuesday we had our last ultrasound before the birth. As we expected, the baby is measuring on the larger side and the amniotic fluid levels are still elevated. This was the case with Jack which is what led them to urge us to do an amniocentesis and ultimately deliver him early at 37 weeks. This is what we were anticipating the doctor to recommend once more; but he didn't. Instead, he left the option up to us - if we wanted to, we could go ahead with an amnio to see if the baby's lungs were mature and thus deliver the next day. Or we could wait it out until 39 weeks, since he felt the baby wasn't at risk for stillbirth (as had been the potential with Jack). Either way, he felt the outcome would be good - it was just up to us if we wanted to try and deliver early.

Over the next 24 hours I fretted over whether or not to go ahead with the amnio. While, in my case, there is little risk involved with the procedure it still felt as if we were needlessly taking things into our own hands. I never want to feel like I am taking over God's role in deciding when the baby should arrive, and without the doctor's strong recommendation to back up the decision (though we had his blessing) I couldn't feel completely at peace about it. However, we decided to use the amnio as a "fleece" (see Judges 6:36-40): If his lungs were mature, than it meant he was ok to come out and we could avoid potential complications down the road like the cord wrapping around his neck. If not, God clearly wanted him to stay in.  Even so, I still had mixed feelings the morning of the amnio and spent 45 minutes waffling over it in the doctor's office. Eventually, I had to defer to Tim to make the decision and it all went ahead as planned. Long story short - his lungs were way below the maturity level required and it was confirmation that we needed to wait. And wait we will until January 12 when I'm scheduled to deliver at 5:30 p.m. - unless I go into labor on my own before then!

As much as we were disappointed not to meet our little man yesterday (and as much as I'm so ready to not be pregnant anymore) we're already realizing what a blessing the next two weeks will be for us.  For the first time in about a month, we were able to spend yesterday evening just enjoying each other's company (Jack included!) without some major concern pressing on our minds. Between anticipating the baby's early arrival, grieving over the loss of Tim's step father (who passed away December 17 from brain cancer) and celebrating the holiday in between, we haven't had a chance to breathe. And while the baby's arrival is still imminent and the grieving process is far from over, these next two weeks offer a much needed respite from what has been a very intense time in our lives.

One way I intend to spend the waiting period is finishing the few projects left around the house that I never had a chance to complete. Thankfully, one thing that did get accomplished was putting together the office (formerly Jack's room). I couldn't be happier with it! Here are some pictures of the end result:

click on the image to enlarge

Monday, December 19, 2011

Job: Check Duvet Cover: Check

There's a lot going on with our family at the moment; a lot. Some of which is still too delicate to be talked about in this space. But I'm excited to report that things have finally fallen into place for us in the job and insurance department. The hand of God is so unquestionably upon the whole situation and we are blown away by how He orchestrated the events of this all coming about.

Let's just put it this way: Aladdin's Eatery is owned by a very generous man and Tim works for some very gracious people who have gone out of their way to ensure that our needs are met. And while I know his promotion to Kitchen Manager was also in the restaurant's best interest, they could have easily gone another route that didn't involve us. Best of all, Tim is excited about the position. He has lots of experience managing kitchens and he prefers it over waiting tables.


This job is an answer to prayer and so much more. In a time when few are getting the breaks they so desperately need just to make ends meet, the magnitude of this opportunity is humbling for us. It's also a call to be vigilant in being ready to assist those who are facing similar predicaments to the one we could have been in. "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" Luke 12:48

In other news, we finally have the "nursery" close to being completed. I love that I can call it a nursery because that's what it really feels like. There are still a few pictures to be hung but it's finally livable. I'll post some pictures as soon as the final touches have been done.

Also, I think I found my much-sought-after duvet cover. This will be the fourth I've tried in our room. That's right, the fourth. Am I madly in love with it as I was with the ditzy pennants one (no longer sold)? No, I'm not. But I really like it, and I think its going to compliment the rest of the decor perfectly and that's the main concern. Of course, I may be way ahead of myself here, since I have yet to try it in the room. But I'm confident this will be the winner. The picture below is actually a comforter (hence the "quilted" appearance) which is what I thought I would be buying when I picked it up from the store (the last one!) but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a duvet cover - which is what I prefer:

The best part is, it didn't cost an arm and a leg like all the other duvet covers I seem to like. Go Target. Here's hoping it's "the one."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

clementines, dates and yogurt.

It was this blog that inspired me to start reorganizing our apartment. She's now on a permanent (?) refined sugar and flour fast and I'm kind of inspired to do the same. Especially when she shares recipes like this! It looks so delicious; can't wait to try it out after I'm done with the gestational diabetes :)


This recipe is flour free and sugar free, though you can certainly add agave or honey if you are accustomed to sweeter desserts. Try it once plain. Although yogurt can be sour for some, dates are impossibly sweet. If you get a bite of date in every spoonful, you shouldn’t need a sweetener. If 2-4 dates aren’t enough, try more.
1 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1 cup peeled and sectioned clementines, about three
2-4 dates, chopped
1 tablespoon flax seed, ground or whole
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon Udo’s Oil 3.6.9 Blend (optional, but if you don’t use the oil consider regular fat yogurt)

Dump everything in a bowl. Eat.
Or, if you’re feeling fancy, divide your ingredients by halves or thirds and layer it in pretty glass dishes. Store in refrigerator or eat.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Staff Surprise!

I'm in my last month now of working for CTK and yesterday over lunch the staff blessed us with some baby gifts. It was humbling more than anything because I feel as though the small group of people I work with have already done so much for us - they have truly gone over and above to ensure we are taken care of. It's easy to feel undeserving of such abundant generosity. I was touched when they presented me with a bag of some of my favorite things, both for myself and the baby, which included:

This adorable fleecy jumpsuit I had been admiring at Target just the other day. 
It's now my "take home from the hospital" outfit for the baby :)

Owls! I'd seen this activity toy a while ago and really wanted to buy it, but like the jumpsuit it was one of those pricier extras that felt like too much of a splurge. I love it!

Cuz who doesn't need tons of diapers? Such a practical, much needed gift. 

Also included were some treats from one of our favorite stores including a gift card which I plan to spend on all the non-diabetic treats I'll be unable to indulge in until after the baby is born :)

After opening my gifts, they prayed for me, our family and for a safe birth by laying on hands and anointing my head with oil. It was really powerful and just covered me with an even greater sense of the love that surrounds us. I feel so blessed beyond belief to have worked with such an incredible group of people for the past 2.5 years.  I don't think many have the privilege of saying they love everyone they work with and who show much love in return, so I feel blessed to be able to claim that. And as much as I'm going to appreciate being a stay at home mom, I know there will be days when I'll miss the conversation and community that was shared here. 

So grateful, once again, for the way God has blessed us through His people.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

dots and thumbprints.

Tim's going out of town for four days next week and since I'll be staying with my parents while he's gone, I figure its as good a time as any to tackle the two art projects I'd like to complete before the baby comes.

The newest idea came from the picture below (don't mind the random people, no clue who they are). Focus on the amazing dot prints in the background. I'm always drawn to dot art, and this shouldn't be too hard to accomplish. This would hang above our bed. I haven't decided whether I'll use one big canvas, or two smaller ones side by side.

The second project is one I came across a few weeks ago - one which definitely has more potential to go south (what with the amount of thumb printing involved) but if done carefully could turn out beautifully.  I won't bother with putting our names at the bottom (cheesy) but I think this could look great on the blank wall in the front room.

Friday, December 2, 2011

done and done.

Without really thinking about it, I ticked another thing off my to do list: sorting and donating Jack's toys. It was spurred on by having to move them out of the way to make room for the Christmas tree. I purposely keep them in a small-ish wicker basket so as to cut down on the amount we keep out, but it had reached max capacity and it was time to purge. I didn't take any pictures (there really wasn't much of a before and after effect) but my method was basically to donate anything he'd never taken interest in or rarely played with. I hung on to some of the infant toys for baby #2, but was pretty happy with how much I was able to get rid of. I'm also anticipating the need to make room for some new play things after Christmas, so it was timely that I got it done.

Speaking of new toys for Jack, and as a tag-along to my "thankful" post, I have to thank my friend and co-worker Helen for getting him a beautiful set of wooden blocks (just like I'd wished for!) She surprised me with them at work the other day and... well, Helen - I am just so grateful for all your thoughtful gifts over the years, but I'm thankful for your friendship most of all. You have been such a blessing to me!

I also managed to accomplish one of the four Christmas decor ideas I had wanted to tackle this year. The epsom salt mason jars were really cheap and easy to put together and add a nice touch to the mantle. I was under the assumption epsom was just a special brand of cooking salt, so I had some trouble locating it at the store. A lady overheard me asking the clerk where to find it and said it would be kept with the medicinal products since you used it to soak your feet. Later that night I happened to read the back label and saw that the first instructions were "for use as a laxative." Good to know (?)

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