Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Can the Baby come out now?

Well, maybe. It's coming soon, anyway. We're just past 37 weeks, the legal marker for home birth. I don't really expect the baby to go late, so it's good to reach this point. It's no longer worth it to shave my legs. Or bend over. Or lift anything. The baby's fine and healthy and seems determined to keep growing despite the protests of my abdominal muscles.

Baby Stuff- blankets and animals.

We're nearing the end and I've been blessed with several different baby showers. First, the enthusiastic Lutheran ladies, at Mildred's bidding. Second, a Thanksgiving brunch gathering with NE family and church friends. Next was evening tea with a few Seminary ladies, hosted by one of the Professors' wives. This past weekend was a Country brunch with the TX church ladies; and last but not least, a brunch with a few of John's side of the family in Dallas.

Diaper cake. Not really sure where to put it, but it's cute!

That all adds up to lots of little gatherings and gifts of helpful baby items(And just a few unhelpful ones) that we probably wouldn't have bought ourselves! It's a blessing. We're thankful for friends and family helping us prepare for our first baby.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Baptismal Gown

The Baptismal gown is finished!

I made the gown from leftover pieces of off-white lightweight linen. It's a pretty simple gown, mostly because we don't know if we're having a boy or girl and John didn't want lace and ribbons if it's a boy. Plus, any children we have will have to wear this and hopefully we will have a boy at some point! So anyway, a plain gown.

The gown has pleats in front and back, and simple trim on the reinforced hem. Plain cuffs and collar. A button at the back neck and ribbons to gather in as needed.

In researching baptismal gown traditions it seems to be a more high-church tradition, with the white gown symbolizing innocence and purity(not very Calvinistic!). Our family has never had a family baptismal gown; I made one more for the sake of starting a family tradition, to make the baptism of new babies special. Plus it's a fancy, gender-neutral garment already prepared beforehand.

So that's one more thing checked off the to-do list!

Monday, January 23, 2017

January Starts the Count-down

We are seven weeks out from projected baby arrival. Lists are being made. There's lots of little things like stock up on PB&J and toilet paper, but the main two goals look like this:

  • Clean entire house thoroughly by 37 weeks
  • Put food in freezer
Current state of the baptismal gown: needing lace. Current state of the quilt I'd really like to finish: close! Current state of my last sewing order: Ugh. Buttonholes.

I've had some pregnancy discomfort, but nothing really bad. It will be nice to not be rotund in the middle again; I look forward to more variety in sleeping positions! One thing I am looking forward to being over are the comments people make to pregnant women. I had no idea! People tend to all say the same things when they don't really know what to say. It also seems like younger women have been positive about childbearing, but the older women have tended to be negative. That's hard. Here are a few of the most common comments received:

  • You look tired.
  • How are you feeling?
  • You look like you're not enjoying this stage.
  • That baby will not come early.
  • Your life will change forever.
  • I know you haven't found out the gender, but what do you feel like it is? (I get this one ALL the time and I seriously do not know!)
  • Take naps/have fun now because you won't be able to later!
  • Childbearing causes your stomach muscles to separate/brain cells deplete/vitamins become deficient/whatever horrible health consequences.
Hearing these comments over and over tends to annoy me a bit. I'm thankful for a very calm, positive midwife and a husband who listens to my rants. The subtle attitude of negativity from some has left me desiring to be encouraging about childbearing to younger women, whenever I get to that higher position. For myself, I did not get married with the desire to remain childless. I did not go through ten years of singleness to turn around and bemoan the relatively short discomforts of pregnancy(except to John!). To add more perspective, we know that infertility can be very common. We see friends struggling with this and are very grateful we have not had any such painful issues. We are thankful to be having a baby, and I for sure do not need anyone to tell me about the physical discomforts of producing one!

A baby is a total life change? Yes. But I'm thankful that I'm not going into this blind. Our parents had no clue how to take care of a baby. I helped raise four younger siblings- they were so cute. And they hate to be reminded that I changed their diapers. I welcome ideas, and advice, if I ask for it, but I don't want older women to tell me how to raise or train my baby, especially if it's presented from a negative viewpoint. I already have experience and opinions, and quite a bit of available information. Plus, I will figure out my baby when it arrives. Which I am looking forward to!

I'm thankful- for a healthy, gender-unknown baby, arriving soon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

First Texas Christmas

Christmas was abnormally warm with wind gusts from the South that put out our electricity for some of the night. John graciously accepted his very practical gifts. We're swamped with chocolate and leftover ham(both of which are totally fine). In two weeks we attended three family Christmases, of course Church on Christmas day, and one evening service with carols. New Year's and our Anniversary we have all to ourselves!

A Chair-arm pocket bag

I checked one sewing item off my list this week, a pocket-bag for our gifted glider rocker. I made a pocket for a water bottle, my phone, and a pocket that can hold at least four bars of chocolate(No, I don't plan to lose baby weight!). The purpose being, there's not much room for an end table and I thought it would be handy to have some of those things close during the first months with the baby. It turned out well! It's just a flap of fabric that folds over the chair arm and ties underneath.

Next up, Baptismal gown.

Monday, December 19, 2016


A Family/Church Baby Shower

We had a very nice Thanksgiving back with my side, the last time we'll all be together until the babies come. Lots of games and food, way too much sugar, sleeping babies and more food. We drove back late Sunday to arrive at the absolutely exhausting hour of 2am. Oh well! It was worth it.

Birthday flowers and a Christmas craft

I miss all the Christmas decorations that a family of nine collects over the space of thirty years. I miss all the nativities we set up, and I want to get a collection of our own over the years: several child-friendly sets and several beautiful sets. But we're working on it, and a recent cold snap makes it feel more like home. Now's John's off school, too, and we are so enjoying more free time and social time.

Stockings and chocolate oranges.
Next up: Getting ready for the baby!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Baby Things

One or two Mondays a month I go spend the morning with a group of retired ladies tying blankets together for charity. They're Lutherans, which is a nice break from Baptists, and while they do mostly talk about their health issues they can be an interesting group. Most of the ladies are widowed, all are retired, and all of them are well above sixty-five. Mildred is the eighty-something powerhouse ringleader.

First baby gifts!

I stayed away the whole three months of morning sickness(because I was sick), and when I went back Mildred decided they needed to give me a shower. That was Monday, and Mildred was so excited she said it was like Christmas. It was very sweet of the ladies and exciting to be given baby things. Apparently Mildred has everyone convinced that our baby will be a girl. And I now have plenty of onesies, if nothing else.

Quilt top

I've put together a quilt top for a baby blanket but I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish it before the due date. Ir's made entirely from scraps from my stash, so very practical. I'm under no delusions that this will probably be the only baby blanket I will ever make, so if I have more than one child, they'll just have to share!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Being a Good Friend

 I read this article recently and I could really relate to what it said. It hasn't quite been a year since I moved away from my life-long home. It's great to be married, and I do have a home with my husband; but I'm still lonely for women friends and the place where I had lived my life. Granted, three months out of the past year I was sick on the couch, and that sure decreases homesickness, loneliness, and in fact, all cognitive thought. But I've still had plenty of time to be lonely. It's made me think more than ever before on what makes a good friend, and I've boiled it down to these three points. Of course people have different ways to express caring; but for the most part I think these three go across the board as life habits that make for good friends.

  • Spending Time with People as a Relational Priority

Part one to this point is that meeting people is hard, and requires a lot of time. You must go through the work of introductions and learning basic get-to-know you stuff, and remember it. Then after hours of basic talking and many encounters can you move on to more substantial conversations. Meeting one person at a time while still having other friends isn't so hard- but having no friends and having to set up get-to-know-you foundations with all people you meet is draining. When I get down about being lonely it seems even harder- who has time for me? Who's available? How can I even find such a person? It takes conscious, prolonged effort to meet people, and it's a great ministry to make that effort towards new people.

Part two of this is that people today are too busy! There's someone I would like to have over for tea- but when she mentions she doesn't even have time to cook herself dinner at night, it makes me wonder if it's unkind asking for her time. I've been glad to meet a few of the other student wives here- but when they're working full time and the only free time they have is the weekend, neither of us want to give up the only time we really have with our husbands. Busyness of people's lives cut down on relationships. But what is more important? I'm not busy now; this past year has been the least busy for me since high school. But I still need the reminder that people are more important than a clean house or rest. I'm looking for friends who are willing to spend time with me.

  • Being a Listener and Conversationalist

In short, there are way to many talkative people in the world. Gift of gab? I don't think so. Being talkative is not a gift- it's a sign of selfishness. Being a good conversationalist is a gift. Everyone wants to be heard, but listening is something most people have to learn to do. Listening to someone is a true sign of caring. This is something we want to teach our children- having true friends involves having conversations; conversations involve both people taking turns talking and listening.

I want to be a good conversationalist- I need to get much better at asking questions. Unfortunately I've been blessed with a rather quiet voice, so listening isn't usually my problem; quite often people just don't hear what I'm saying so all I can do is listen!

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."  -Phil 2:3

  • Being Friends with People of Different Ages

This was a pet peeve before I ever moved- public school has trained generations of women to only be friends with their age group. This pattern cripples Christian women who read the exhortation of Titus 2 and really desire to be that woman, but have a lifetime of friendships only with peers. I've had the opposite- in my adult life, getting married later and having a small church peer group, my close friends have been either those ten years younger, or those women ten years older who could look past the age difference. And I am so thankful for those few older women! I hope I turn out like them.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." -Ps. 27:17