Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pregnancy favorites...

What a blessing it is to be pregnant now, compared to even a hundred years ago!

Just consider all the advances in medicine. In the 1800's, I, like so many other mothers today, probably wouldn't have survived childbirth. Nowadays, the focus is not only on safety, but comfort too.

How spoiled we pregnant women are today. ;) There's safe sleeping pills and cute maternity clothes and birthing balls and nursing pillows and the list goes on and on! A few of my favorites are.
  • Ginger gum- A few weeks ago, Joshua came home from an errand with a package of gum. But not just any kind, this ginger gum was designed for nausea. And, it certainly works for me. Any time I begin to feel really nauseous I grab a piece and the strong burst of ginger does wonders. Almost immediately my stomach starts to settle and I soon feel much better. Ginger has long been hailed for helping with nausea (and a recent clinical report confirms its beneficial effect). I'm so grateful they've put it into a form that's a bit easier to take than a spoonful of minced ginger. ;)
  • Fish oil- Because the omega 3 fatty acids, DHAs and EPAs found in fish oil have been shown to help brain development in the baby, many doctors now recommend that pregnant women take it: as long as it's pure, high quality, mercury-free fish oil--not the cheap stuff at Wal-mart.

    So I went to the health food store in search of high quality fish oil. There was quite a selection that met the requirements, but one made the bold assertion: tastes great! Naturally, I was quite suspicious. Fish oil tastes great? Whatever! But being somewhat nauseous already, I decided to give it a try. And, it does!! Someone came up with the brilliant idea of adding a very strong natural citrus-scented "fresh lock" in with the gel caps which masks the otherwise very strong odor excellently. Oh! I really think they should receive a "grateful pregnant woman's award".

    One Word of Warning: don't let your toddler into the bottle. The odor of popped pills lasts a long long time and through many a laundering. Trust me.

  • Peace Treaty- Though I'm not the one taking it, this has been a life-saver. About a month ago, Rosalind decided to start skipping her naps. I'd put her in her bed and she'd just lay there singing for an hour...then pop up and play with her dollies. But by 5:00 she was so cranky that I was counting down the hours 'til bedtime.

    While we were up for Spring Break, Joshua's mom handed me a bottle of herbs she thought might help. Enter Peace Treaty: a small spoonful of the stuff and within fifteen minutes Rose was sound asleep. In the month since then, I've tried not giving it to her and she almost invariably skips her nap. Though a bit pricey, it just takes a small amount. I think a bottle for a years worth of naps well worth it!

  • Unisom- Speaking of sleeping aids, Unisom is wonderful! My midwife first recommended it after Rosalind was born and I was having difficulty sleeping--half a pill later and Joshua had to carry me to bed. Not only is it safe to take while pregnant and nursing, the pill version even helps with nausea!
See more "Friday favorites" here.
photo by chris27

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No Procrastination Wednesday : Kitchen Time

Perspective is everything, right?

After visiting the law school and deciding this was where we wanted to be, we had approximately three hours and forty three minutes to look for a new home.

We found a little place and signed a lease. It's small, but I love it...all except the cramped old kitchen. I hoped we would find the ideal home for next year, but being gone all summer and having a baby made moving quite impractical. Plus, any home that we looked at that was even comparable in size (much less bigger) was significantly more expensive.

Since we are staying, it is high time to make the kitchen a place I enjoy.

The biggest problem was how completely cramped it was. We squeezed the table in, but there was only room for one to sit. For breakfast, I'd sit on the washing machine and then for dinner we'd drag the highchair and all the plates, utensils and food into the living room. With a toddler, you can imagine how often I had to vacuum. ;)

So, I talked to the property manager about removing the dishwasher (which I've never once used--the washing machine took the water hook-up since it was definitely a higher priority) and to my surprise she happily agreed.
It makes for even less counter space, but I feel like royalty eating at the table again. Plus, now that the table is more accessible, it doubles as my new counter.

Why did I wait nine months to ask?? Rather than waiting another nine months to finish getting it the way I want, I'd say I better tackle it now!

To do:
  • Spray paint shelves and add them to the left of the stove
  • Clear out the spice cupboard and place spices on shelf
  • Reorganize and de-clutter cupboards to make room for KitchenAid (which was sitting on the dishwasher)
  • Make curtains (what is with me and curtains??)
  • Make matching napkins

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Guess how much I love you...

Just had to get a picture, for memories sake. I told Joshua I'm preparing for old age and will be quite used to taking lots of vitamins.

Most of them are to make sure that William gets enough nutrients since the embolization after Rosalind's birth could cause a restriction of nutrients. Sure seems to be working! He's growing really well. Thank you Lord!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Joys of Motherhood

Wind rustles the tree's blossoms, sending a shower of fragrant petals dancing across the yard. Laughingly Rosalind bends to pick a flower, clapping her hands in glee. Could life be more delightful?

Ten months after our wedding, we were proud parents of a tiny Rosebud. In my dreams of a family, I had always pictured myself with many little ones, fairly close together. But month after month passed. Hearing of a friend or acquaintance with her first two so close together, a twang of jealousy beat. Why must pregnancy be so complicated sometimes?

But delightful as it is to have siblings close in age, the One who gives children also decides when to give them and His plan is best.

As my first baby blossoms into a little girl, I've realized what a joy it is to get to watch her enter the toddler stage without any distractions. Each morning brings a fresh adventure, alive with new delights and discoveries that I get to share just with her. Whether it is the thrill of picking flowers for her room, disturbing an ant pile and watching the scurry to repair the invasion, stepping outside just before bed to gaze at the stars or observing her sit in rapt attention silently staring at the falling rain, the innocent amazement of a child wraps the whole world in wonder for me too.

How can I doubt that He who created each delicate flower and placed the stars in their place knows what it best for me and mine? Can I forget my little child? Much less would He forget me.

As eagerly as I am awaiting the arrival of our son, these toddler days are slipping by so quickly. I am determined to enjoy each day alone with my little girl to the fullest, grateful that though "God's ways are not my ways," His ways are best.

See more "Gratituesday" posts here.

Makin' a List

Just two weeks left 'til Joshua's first year of law school is over. How quickly the time has flown by!

Once he's done, we'll be heading up to Missouri to spend the summer with family while Joshua works and volunteers. The plan is to have our son up there, so Rosalind and I won't be heading back home 'til our little family has grown.

And then it hit me... that means anything I want done here before William arrives needs to be finished now!

While I hope to tackle many of these things the next two "No Procrastination Wednesdays" there's plenty to keep me busy for the fortnight. Perhaps I'm being a bit ambitious, but posting the list will be a good motivation to work diligently on it. ;)

Early nesting:

  • Replace screen on front porch
  • Add shelves in kitchen(Don't need too! I was able to clear out enough space without them. :)
  • Thoroughly de-clutter the kitchen
  • Make curtains for the kitchen
  • Wash stroller thoroughly
  • Clear out unnecessary chemical cleaners
  • Fix bumper pads
  • Go through Rosalind's clothes to determine what she needs for next winter(if recovery this time is anything like after her birth, I will not want to be out shopping)
  • Make master list of favorite meals to help with menu planning upon return

Other projects:
  • Potty train Rosalind (she's still in a diaper for nap/night time, but that's something we can work on over the summer)
  • Completely clear out freezer and fridge
  • Order pictures
  • Make swimsuit cover for me
  • Find swimsuit for Rosalind (Thanks Candace!)
  • Make sunhat for Rosalind (Thanks again Candace!)
  • Make capris and shirt for Rosalind to finish out her summer wardrobe (the shirt's done, and her sweet Nonny already has a brown pair of capris waiting for her... so glad, 'cause I'm running out of time! :)
  • Get Kitchen Aid fixed
  • Record scriptures/catechism questions for Rosalind
  • Finish reading "Wars of the Jews" and "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions"
  • Find a good natural bug spray for Rosalind that works (mosquitoes love her)

Preparing for return:
  • Get supplies for a fall garden ready (vermiculite, seeds, planters)
  • Iron all of Joshua's clothes
  • Stock up on paper goods, personal goods and non-perishable snack for Joshua

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Catechism: "What God made?"

Rosalind just woke up from a nice long nap and is entertaining herself with a series questions:

"What Ro-Ro [Rosalind] made?" (pause)
"What God made? Fowers. Sun. Moon.
"Where sun?" Dere sun-owside!

I am constantly amazed by how quickly children pick up on things. A few weeks ago, after noticing how Rosalind loved asking and answering her own questions, Joshua said we should start catechizing her.

Our pastor's wife gave me a copy of the little catechism book she used for her daughter. It's certainly not the Westminster Shorter Catechism, but the perfect place to start--a "baby version". :)

Rosalind loves it. Before going to bed, she'll repeatedly try to say the answers. The first question was easy: "Who made you?" -- "God". We're still stuck on the second: "What else did God make?" The answer is four whole words long. "God made all things."

Even if she still jumbles the answer completely, it's delightful to watch her thinking about the question and grasping the concept.

photo by Erik Aroujo

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's been a good day...

Okay, okay. It isn't Wednesday anymore, but oh well! I finally got my list whittled down. :)

Last Friday when we went in for our doctor's visit, a sweet friend watched Rosalind (all day) for me. Yesterday, we swapped and her little girl came over for the morning. I just love "swapping babies" with other moms!

I didn't get much done on my list yesterday afternoon thanks to a nice long nap, but was able to conquer it today.

Our little compost can
After lots of research, I decided to go with a trash can composter. (Or as Rosalind call it, the "funny trash"). Not only does it contain the mess well, but keeps the animals out. It's amazingly easy to set up--- and cheap too! I'm excited to see how it works.

While picking up the trash can, I got a curtain rod. Finally. After eight months we have curtains in our living room. :) Yay!

Meanwhile, Rose has been doing her part to "go green"-- She's loving potty training and doing such a good job.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No Procrastination: "Green Edition"

cards from last week's "No Procrastination Wednesday"

"Green" and "carbon neutral" products are such a fad these days that it's hard to walk down the street without some reminder to recycle, be carbon neutral, buy earth-friendly products or even invest in reusable toilet paper that you can bleach. (wasn't bleach the ultimate evil a few years ago?)

As a Christian I am glad for the concern for the world God created, but the extreme frenzy made over the newest ideas can be ridiculous. A few decades ago people feared a global cooling! How much of the hype is a money making operation, I wonder? For example, have you noticed that recycled paper costs more now than regular because it's recycled?

As pointed out
We all know how trendy “green” and “eco-friendly” products are these days. What makes me chuckle is how most people think these can only be acquired by large expenditures of cash — like the more you spend, the more environmentally responsible you are. (see full article here)

While being good stewards is vital, God gave placed man on earth to enjoy and take dominion over it. Today people are often considered the problem and we aren't protecting the animals enough.

Several years ago, a news article came out about the Faroe Islands, my tiny homeland, advocating boycotting their exports because they kill whales.

Yep, they kill whales. Not only that, they eat them. And like eating them.

Whale killings are a part of the culture and heritage. But it is not killing for sport. Rather, when whales are spotted in a harbor, the men of the town gather together to help catch them. The village congregates and when the whales are killed they are divided and distributed among those that helped and those who couldn't help. It's not just a sport. It's a way for the community to work together, provide for themselves and help out those who need it. (I believe the instigators of the boycott later realized that they were mistaken since the whales we eat were not of the endangered kind. But that is beyond the point.)

I do desire to take care of the earth, not for the sake of mice in California, but because God has given this beautiful world for us to take dominion over and for the sake of my children and their children. Thankfully, being good stewards requires wisdom not necessarily breaking the bank.

Anyway...enough of a rant. :)

photo by Craig Jewell

In the spirit of "Earth Week" here are my No-Procrastination goals:
  • Rake up the last few leaves (yep, really procrastinated on that one)
  • Start a compost pile (using said leaves)
  • Research and order seeds for a fall garden (last fall, I searched multiple stores before I found any seeds and made the mistake of buying cheap clearance ones. They never even sprouted. This time I'm ordering good ones online to have ready to plant as soon as we come back home after the summer.)
  • Research homemade washable nursing pads (I've heard one's made from Merino wool are really good. Anyone tried them?)
Anyone want to join me?

A-Day: the full version

"indoctrination begins early here in Crimson Tide country"

Okay--since I know ya'll are just dying to see more of Rosalind on tv, I thought I'd post the full version which was kindly sent to us. ;)

A-Day: the full version from Anna Christensen on Vimeo.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan

Finals will be over in less than four weeks. It's hard to believe that we have almost reached the end of our first year of law school. What a year it has been! Though I have enjoyed meeting new friends, learning bits and pieces of the law and getting to see Joshua do what he loves, I am ready for a break from stacks of books and papers decorating the living room and Joshua's many late nights of studying. ;)

With only four weeks left, it's definitely time to start clearing out the freezer. If we could just survive without oatmeal, I might be able to skip shopping this week. But I'm afraid oatmeal is a necessity of life.

Monday- White bean with fennel soup and ham

Tuesday- Creamy bowties and chicken with steamed veggies and bread

Wednesday-Spaghetti and meatballs with french bread and salad

Thursday- Western burgers

Friday- Sauteed steak with broccoli over noodles

Saturday- Breakfast for dinner

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pregnancy update: 20 weeks

"He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young." Is 40:11 (ESV)

What a lovely reminder! Not only does God lead, but He leads gently. Even when I begin to fear or succumb to pregnancy emotions, how wonderful to know that our loving heavenly Father is in control.

On Friday, Joshua and I went in for a check-up and ultrasound. (last update here) On the way, I was fearful of what they might find, but the sweet technician didn't know to check for possible placental attachment. As the doctor later pointed out, there's nothing they can do about it now anyway. They will wait and check next time. Much as I would have liked to know now, the shots of the baby were so encouraging.

It's amazing how well formed a baby is at 20 weeks! The vessels and organs, tiny limbs and even the lenses of the eye have formed and were clearly visible. This ultrasound also confirmed that it is "most definitely" a boy.
Waiving hello to the world

Not only does William look healthy, but he is growing really fast. He measured in at 20 weeks--which would make his due date the 3rd of September, rather than the 10th like the last ultrasound indicated. What a blessing--especially after our concerns that he might not be getting enough nutrients. He's growing just fine! (Maybe he's trying to beat his uncle's 11 lb 3 oz!)

Thank you for all your prayers! I am so grateful that William is doing so well and will keep you updated.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Each spring college football teams open up the stadium for fans to enjoy a football practice game. Admission was free and we thought it would make a fun family outing.
We didn't know whether Rosalind would enjoy it, but she loved it...

"It" not being football, but getting to sit with Papa and watch Big Al. Every time the band started up, she pointed excitedly to Big Al convinced that the band, the players and all 85,000 fans where there to watch our mascot.
Of course, when we went to go meet him she was terrified. ;)
In the stands with fellow law students.

I was wishing I'd been able to capture Rosalind's enthusiasm on video. I didn't, but she was recorded... on ESPN. :)

A-Day from Anna Christensen on Vimeo.

check out more Wordless Wednesday (okay, so I can't help the words!) here and here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What shall we do?!

Each morning I am greeted by sweet outstretched arms and "where's op'um?"

Eggs, muffins, pancakes... all these can serve as the first course, but invariably comes the request, "where's op'um?"

But alas, yesterday she polished off the last of the op'um and I haven't had a chance to get more... whatever shall we do? ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No Procrastination Wednesday :)

Welcome to the second No Procrastination Wednesday. Anyone care to join me?

Procrastination is something that I've really struggled with. Since "waiting 'til the last minute--or later" is not the wisest way to run a home, I've decided to set aside a bit of time each week to focus on not procrastinating. (As a friend kindly pointed out, "that still leaves six days to procrastinate!")

One of the biggest areas "procrastination-wise" for me is letter-writing: slipping that thank you in the mail, sending a "thinking of you" card, remembering birthdays and holidays before the fact. Many times I've woken up the day of a birthday only to realize that I should have put something in the mail a week ago.

With that in mind I have two goals today:

  • Make a thorough list of all the birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays that I ought to remember
  • Make birthday, thank you, and thinking of you cards to have on hand
Hopefully having a list to remind me and cards already made will help me to be more diligent in this area. :)

photo by bbadger

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's playin'...

Though nothing compares to curling up with a good book, since there's often not that much time for reading, I just love audio books... and Librivox! For those who unfamiliar with it, Librivox is a huge volunteer project of people from around the world who record works in the public domain and post them for anyone who desires to download.

Recently a friend started stumbled upon Librivox and asked if I had any suggestions of where to start. There are a lot of books recorded and more completed daily. Of course, since it is entirely done by volunteers, the quality differs from work to work. Some are quite professional and others recorded on computer speakers, some books are read entirely by one volunteer and others are collaborative...

That said, just about everything is at least listenable, and you just have to decide how picky you will be. Most of the time, I'm either doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom or ironing while listening, so I look for works that are easy to follow with at least decent recording quality. Part of the fun is getting to pick from a broad range of genres.

Specific recommendations? Here are a few I have enjoyed recently.

...currently playing...On Liberty by John Stuart Mill: This highly influential political treatise is amazing easy to follow--due in large part to an excellent recording job! Mill argues that as long as liberty does not impose upon another's rights, individuals should be able both to discuss and practice their personal views without governmental interference.

The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy: (sequel to The Scarlet Pimpernel.) Set during the Reign of Terror this story recounts the adventures of the daring Scarlet Pimpernel and lovely Lady Blakeney. If you like thrilling tales of bravery, conflict and love, I think you'll enjoy it. After reading The Scarlet Pimpernel three times, I was delighted to find Baroness Orczy continued the drama in El Dorado and The Elusive Pimpernel. While morning sick, the Pimpernel's gripping adventures helped me survive in the kitchen and not think about the food. ;)

To make it even better, all three works are read by an amazing reader, Karen Savage, who makes the adventures a delight to listen to.

What Prohibition Has Done to America by Fabian Franklin: In the mood for something different? Whatever your views on alcohol, this little booklet, published during America's prohibition, compellingly argued that the effects of the 18th amendment on our constitution and liberty had been disastrous. While I didn't agree with all of Franklin's ideas, it was engaging and thought-provoking.

Mother by Kathleen Norris: A sweet story about a daughter's journey to come to appreciate her mother and the importance of motherhood. I was in need of encouragement when this recording was released and greatly enjoyed it.

Chesterton collection: My all time favorite work of Chesterton's is his White Horse Ballad- an epic poem about King Alfred's fight against the invading Danes which Joshua recorded for me. :) We listened to the ridiculously hilarious Man Who Was Thursday together and could scarcely stop laughing. The Innoncence of Father Brown is a collection of mysteries solved by the endearing but absent-minded father Brown. Though a good friend of Bernard Shaw, Chesterton adamately opposed his beliefs in Heretics and propounded his own in Orthodoxy.

I'm almost done with "On Liberty". Anyone have any recommendations for me?

photo by Joel

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Where sun?"

Rosalind has reached the stage where "twenty questions" is a delightful game to her... the only problem being her limited vocabulary, resulting in twenty very similar questions: "where phone?", "where keys?", "where Papa?".

Thankfully, the last few days she has found a new favorite, "Where sun?" After asking, she will answer her own question and point excitingly to the sky, "There sun!"

But this morning when she woke up the sun was covered in clouds and the view outside was wet and gloomy. "Where sun?" she asked, looking out the window.

"The sun is still there," I answered, "but it's hiding. Clouds are covering it all up."

"Oh," she responded with her most grown-up articulation and pointed to the cloudy sky, "there sun."

Then I realized the much deeper truth beneath her childlike acceptance. So often this is a picture of life. You have done your best, carefully laid your plans and then clouds cover the path. The Sun does not always shine forth brilliantly immediately and you are left without the lovely rays of Sun. But the Sun is still there, always watching and always caring, and showing Himself once again and illuminating the path not the moment you or I choose, but the moment when it is best.

"My life is just a weaving
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaves so skillfully.

Sometimes He weaveth sorrow
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why-

The dark threads are as needful,
In The Weaver’s skillful hands
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned."

by B.M. Franklin

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The good, the fun and the depressing

It's been so fun to finally feel like being on the computer again, blogging and enjoying other blogs. :)

A child's lesson: How often little children are the best teachers! A dear cousin recently started a blog and her beautiful post about the child's lesson on faith is so encouraging. You should definitely check it out!

Tedious motherhood: Though I'm certainly not worried about having to put Rosalind on any of the medications she discusses this article was really timely encouragement. It's so worth all the time training takes now!

Just for fun: After weeks of being so tired that I hardly felt like getting dressed, let alone experimenting with creative ways to fix my hair, this blog has been such a good reminder. Not only as a daughter of the King, but as a wife, it is so important to put more effort into looking pretty and feminine. So today I've started trying out some of these super simple, but really cute hairstyles. Of course it took me nearly five times longer than what they said...but I will get faster, right?

Politics....grrrr: Do you ever find you just about can't handle "the news" anymore? I thought this article especially disturbing.

Procrastination update ;)

Lol....well, I didn't mean to procrastinate in getting this posted, but though I was thrilled to get my list whittled down yesterday, it ended up being a really busy day and by the time evening rolled around I was thoroughly exhausted.
  • drop off boxes at thrift store
  • make returns
  • order checks
  • fix the vacuum cleaner (the floor is begging)
  • tackle the mending
  • go through Joshua's summer clothes
  • organize under the kitchen sink (and get rid of all the cleaners I don't use!!)
I simply couldn't squeeze in time for the mending, but was really happy to get everything else crossed off the list... especially fixing the vacuum cleaner.

Before leaving for spring break, I was vacuuming out the car and accidentally sucked up a glove. Oops! I opened up the vacuum cleaner and couldn't find it and since it still worked, assumed that all must be okay. Not quite! A few days ago I began noticing that the vacuum simply wasn't working anymore. All it did was rearrange the dirt on the floor.

I was contemplating taking it over to the vacuum repair shop, but decided to take one more look. After taking the vacuum all apart, I discovered this...

our floors are happy once again. :)

I really loved the motivation to not procrastinate, and since there is always something that's easy to put off, I want to do this more often. How about next week?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

No Procrastination Wednesday :)

It's amazing how quickly the little things can pile up from day to day! Before too long the boxes of clothes to donate become part of the bedroom decor, the pile of mending grows and we get down to two checks left... definitely time to stop leaving it 'til tomorrow!

  • drop off boxes at thrift store
  • make returns
  • order checks
  • fix the vacuum cleaner (the floor is begging)
  • tackle the mending
  • go through Joshua's summer clothes
  • organize under the kitchen sink (and get rid of all the cleaners I don't use!!)
Whew! I think I need to do this more often. Thanks to those who are joining me! It's fun to know I'm not the only one working on "getting it done today"!

photo by Mattox

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The day it (almost) paid to procrastinate

The cost of waiting 'til the last minute is usually overnight shipping fees, a trip to the post office that you really don't have time for, "night before" shopping madness and frantic attempts to find something to wear.

One of the benefits (??) to law school is the chance to dress up more often. We've been married two and a half years, and our wedding was the last time I'd really "dressed up" until this semester. Since you can't exactly wear a wedding dress to a formal dinner, it was time to do a bit of shopping. After visiting thrift stores, discount stores, Wal-mart and just about every shop in the Mall, I was getting rather discouraged. I mean, I'm not that picky. I just wanted a black dress with a bit of a sleeve that hit a little below the knee or was floor length. I naively though that it would be a simple matter of walking in, finding the right size and buying it.

As I continued the search however, and kept stumbling across darling dresses that were either XS or XXL (or any size but mine), I realized that to find anything in my size that was pretty and feminine and modest and wasn't designed for preteens or seniors would be great.

Then in the very last store in the mall I found exactly the dress I wanted---which just happened to be on a one-day sale.

After wearing it twice it needed to be washed, but procrastinated and rather than taking it to the cleaners immediately, stuck it in the closet thinking "I'll just bring it in when Joshua needs his suit cleaned. Surely I won't need it again soon..."

Right. I did need it again, but we didn't decide to go until too late to have it cleaned. And since I couldn't wear it again without washing it, I was in somewhat of a dilemma. I mean, I've washed other delicates by hand, but they were 50 cent garage sale items that I didn't mind risking...not a new dress that had taken hours and hours to find.

After a bit of searching online, I found that manufacturers are no longer allowed to put several washing labels on clothing, like "dry clean or hand wash in cold water" and must stick with just one. Therefore, though many "dry clean only" materials, like rayon, wools and silks might well shrink or loose their shape, garments made from polyester, spandex... are much safer to try at home. So I did.

And it worked. For once, procrastinating helped me save money, stay at home and learn something new...

If only we hadn't procrastinated about nailing down our tentative babysitting plans. ;)

This almost happy procrastinating story has shown me just how often I procrastinate. Rather than taking care of what needs to be done in a timely fashion, it's so easy to "put it off 'til later". With that in mind, I've decided to declare tomorrow morning anti-procrastination morning: a time to pull out that list of odds and ends that falls through the cracks on a normal day that really shouldn't be put off. Anyone care to join me?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Joshua is a PP&J fan, I am not. I love meat and cheese sandwiches but have had a difficult time finding lunch meat for less than five dollars a pound--which seems way too much to me. So I just haven't been buying it much.

But being pregnant Joshua is constantly encouraging me to eat more protein. How do you do so inexpensively?

A couple weeks ago a good friend had Rosalind and me over for lunch and served us delicious chicken salad sandwiches. After I told her how much I loved chicken salad she commented on what a great frugal lunch it was. I had never even considered how inexpensive it was compared to lunch meat.

Split chicken breasts are often on sale here for a dollar or dollar fifty [and you not only get great chicken salad from it, but chicken broth for other meals as well!]

We like ours pretty simple with just dressing, onions and celery. But even adding grapes or apples, sprouts or water chestnuts, it stills ends up costing under two dollars a pound and is loaded with protein, less processed than most lunch meats and simply delicious. Plus, if you prepare a big batch at a time, it makes for very quick sandwich prep. My new favorite lunch. :)

Thanks Candace!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Can He give bread also?

Waiting. Expecting. Not knowing what the future holds. Though perhaps one of the most common states of mortal man, it's also one of the most difficult to bear.

This year began with one blessing tumbling over upon another. Many nights I fell into bed simply exhausted from the pregnancy, but overwhelmed by God's goodness to us.

Yet as the weeks past an unexpected situation arose which I found really difficult to accept. As I kept praying and not receiving an answer I began to get discouraged and impatient, wanting a "yes" now. Then one morning I was reading from Psalm 78.

The Psalmist begins by calling us to attention: this is what we must remember and pass on to our children so they will "set their hope in God"... Then he recounts God's dealings with the Isrealites. How He brought them out of Egypt, divided the sea before them, guided them by a cloudy pillar, brought water gushing forth out of a rock.

But then they cried out against God,
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
He struck the rock so that water gushed outand streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
or provide meat for his people?”

"Can He give bread also?" The question struck home. How quickly I forget. Rather than keeping His many blessings before my eyes and confidently trusting that of course He can "give bread also", I so quickly slip like the Jews of old.

But how much smaller any problem appears when seen in light of all that God has done in the past! And so the Psalmist stresses again and again, remember the past, recount God's goodness, tell your children so that when trials arise you will not forget the one who has lead in the past.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mullet Toss and Crawfish

After Spring Break, we kidnapped my sister Heidi and brought her back home with us for a week.

While she was here, the law school hosted a mullet toss and since it seemed like a rather unique opportunity, we decided to go.

For any Yanks who don't know what a mullet toss is, let me explain: since the coasts of Alabama and Florida lie adjacent to one another it has become a tradition for Alabamans to gather the incredibly common mullet, and, while standing on the Alabama side, toss the dead fish across the border into Florida. (c'mon, can you think of anything better to do with the fish?!)

Since their is no Floridan shore near here, the next best thing is to simply have a contest to see how far you can toss the slimy dead fish.

We arrived just in time for Joshua to enter the competition. After groping around in a large pail of rather smelly water, he grasped a nice fat mullet firmly in his hand and prepared for the toss.

But as he released the fish into the air, it slipped from his grip and flew past a row of shrieking girls and smacked into the pole of the canopy, splitting the poor fish in two. One half landed squarely in senior law student's cup of beer and the other splattered into his lap. As you can imagine, he wasn't too happy.

Ummm, yeah. Let me just say that this ended Joshua's brief career in mullet tossing.

We then decided to try something more refreshments. The menu? Crawdads.

I claimed the pregnancy excuse, but Joshua and Heidi dug right in. Even Rosalind enjoyed the tasty little critters.

Lest any friends who had contemplated coming to visit begin to think better of it, let me assure you that most of our time was not nearly so exciting and consisted mainly of playing outside with Rosalind, long walks, scrapbooking, talking, time with friends, movies and just hanging out. :)

Meet William...

.... maybe!

Tuesday morning dawned bright and clear and Joshua and I headed out for a check up, blood work and ultrasound, little realizing what lay ahead.

Just in case any of you are wondering, the ultrasound was not to determine the gender. Last time, we had a 4-d ultrasound and were told "It's definitely a boy." Three months later, a lovely little daughter arrived to a home full of blue clothes, baby boy toys and William for a name. We finally uncovered one outfit that wasn't completely blue or covered with "sweet baby boy"--a rather boyish yellow sleeper with a green giraffe on front. We learned from our mistake! ;) The purpose of this ultrasound was solely to make sure that the baby was doing well (and so we can see the baby, of course!). It's too early to tell anyway.

From the day that we found out we were expecting again, my desire was to use the amazing midwife that delivered Rosalind, only this time in a birth clinic with a well-qualified OB present and immediate hospital back-up available. Even though we had unexpected complications with Rosalind, the likelihood of a re-occurrence is low and with a well-laid back up plan in place, this option seemed safe and the doctor and midwife graciously agreed.

So we headed up to the clinic for a check-up. After preliminary prenatal work, we were ready for the ultrasound. The moment the wand touched my stomach, a beautifully clear image appeared on the screen. I was taken back by how darling and well-formed the baby already appeared. Even the tiny fingers were clearly visible.

I was just getting ready to inform the doctor that even if he could tell, we really didn't want a guess as to the gender, but as he tried to determine an exact due date, he got a shot that convinced all of us (even me!) that it’s a boy…even though it’s supposedly too early to tell.

[Though I will refer to the baby as "he" until I found out differently, I'm not setting too much faith in it--but at least we have plenty of pink and blue this time. ;)]

"William's" profile

A few minutes later, the doctor stood back and said, "I have good news and bad news. Good news is you have a healthy son. Bad news, your placenta is exactly where it should not be. If you needed further confirmation that God wanted you here in law school and not in rural China right now, I think this is it. Rather than sitting high, your placenta is partially covering the cervix and, more importantly, directly across from your bladder. With your previous placenta accreta, this is very serious and could even lead to a percreta. I will refer you to a specialist who will be able to give you more information, but know that you may be as high risk as they come and expect a hysterectomy and you might not even make it…oh, and you will be having this baby in a high risk hospital in a big city. ” (paraphrased, of course, but how I took it)

Even in the midst of the tears that followed, we were so grateful to know that "William" was healthy. Our biggest concern before the ultrasound was that due to the embolization I had performed after Rosalind, he might not being receiving enough blood flow and nutrients, but still this new development was hard to submit to and it was a while before I finally regained my composure.

The doctor referred us to a Maternal Fetal Specialist for a follow-up appointment the next morning.

The consultation both confirmed and alleviated our fears: at this time the placenta has not grown into the wall of the uterus, but most accretas do not occur until further into the pregnancy. Therefore I will need to be under the care of a MFS with ultrasounds and perhaps an MRI in pregnancy to monitor possible complications. After explaining my history and expressing our desire to preserve the uterus if possible by having another embolization he said that he would recommend a vaginal birth with a radiologist ready to perform surgery unless the situation has become very serious. A C-section would heighten the risk of a hysterectomy.

Another factor that we had not considered was the possibility of blood contamination. Because I received so much blood last time, I will need to have thorough tests run to eliminate any possible problems that may arise from donor’s blood.

He concluded by telling us again that this is a pregnancy for high risk doctors in a high risk hospital. this is where things stand at this point. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for "William" and for me. Though things have certainly not turned out the way we'd hoped or planned, we know that God is in control are grateful to know so early on so we can take proper precautions.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A few more pics...

Philip, Kristian, Erik and Joshua engaged in a competitive computer game match... with Lydia cheering them on. :)

"Aunt Kathryn" and Rosalind happily reading side by side.

My awesome sistesr-in-law Becka, Crystal and Jenny, Grams and Joshua's Mom scrapbooking in the coolest scrapbooking room ever.

Reading with Uncle Jonny and cousin Mea.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pretzel Time!

Yesterday Joshua reminded me that it has been nearly three weeks since I've posted and that "that's no way to run a blog!" He's right...

Omitting all excuses for why I haven't posted, let me simply say that the last few weeks haven't gone exactly as planned (not that they ever do!)

Knowing how excited I was to get up to Missouri, spend time with family and friends, and have our baby check-up and ultrasound, Joshua agreed to head up as soon as class was over on Thursday and get in early Friday morning.

We arrived around 3:00 am, but Rosalind was so thrilled to be out of the car and see Nonny and Poppy that she didn't calm down for over an hour. After a bit of rest she was up and ready to play... and make pretzels. All told, I think we made them four different times. They're yummy. ;)

Making pretzels at Joshua's family's with Hannah, Mac and Daniel (who didn't want his picture taken).

Having a wee bit too much fun...

Mac, hard at work :)

Over at my family's home, we made some more. :)

The girls: Rose, Heidi, Kathryn, Lydia, me and Bekka