Thursday, April 24, 2008

Some New Pics

This is my current project. Granted I've been working on it for about 3 years. I have to give myself a little credit, I actually stopped working on it to do a couple other projects and only pick it up now and again. It's a 20x10 inch cross stitch. I have no idea how I'm going to be able to afford having it framed. Most likely I'll end up finding someone to give it to, maybe even try to sell it.
My little rock star! Even if she has to nab Gabe's sunglasses to complete her image.
I thought it would be nice to get some shots of the kids cuddling and kissing my belly before the baby comes. Gabe was happy to cooperate but Zion was feeling a little too zany. She did one kiss but was too quick then went into goofball mode. Oh well, it's important that our family photos really reflect our personalities. I think we're going to end up with a lot of these type shots.
I still haven't gotten a picture of Zion in the Easter hat that Grandma Marlene sent but Gabe decided to wear it the other day during lunch. Silly goose!
The other day I mentioned that the kids were playing in the toy cupboard. Here's photographic evidence. Why is it that they could play jammed in a cupboard but sometimes can't even stand to be in the same room together? Weird.

N, O.

Two simple letters that make one simple word (or two I guess if you rearrange them). There are times when hearing the word "no" is a good think like when you ask "Is it cancer, doctor?" and he or she says "No." Wow, that's fabulous. Who doesn't want to hear that? But in the hands - or mouth, of a 17 month old "no" takes on a whole new meaning. Zion picked up "no" a day or two ago. So far she hasn't abused the word but I know it's coming. I can picture her now, hands on hips, face stern, angry eyebrows on, barking "no" at me for something.

Yesterday she probably picked up about 8 new words, seriously. Most of them were uttered while we were looking through a book. It was one of Gabe's books so she was pointing and saying "cah" and "cuck" for car and truck. Today, I thought she also started saying "poop" (because she's been so interested in pottying lately) but then at lunch when she said "fruit" it sounded exactly the same thing. Hmmm? Scratching my head here. So when she says that word, whatever it is, do I take her potty or give her a snack? I guess we'll figure it out eventually.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Friend, An Update

My friend with the tumor is hanging in there. I haven't had a chance to see her in about a week and a half but I receive updates now and again. I guess she is starting to have a little trouble with her balance now and of course still has problems with her speech. I finally remembered this morning while I was in Zion's room to grab the poem that my friend wrote for her so that I could share it with you. Here it is:

What a wonderful little one you are
You're like a bright and shining star
Sent to us from Heaven above
A precious gift of God's own love
A tiny wondrous bundle
Of joy and great delight
To cuddle in the daytime
To hold closely in the night.
We are so glad that you have come
Into our home to stay
May we ever love and cherish you
Through each and every day.
And may the Lord be with you
Throughout all your lifelong days
As you open up your heart to Him
To be called a house of praise
May He ever lead and guide you
Hold you closely to His side
As you live and grow to love Him
And in His peace abide.
So that when you get to Heaven
He'll say Sweet One come in
For you have believed in His own Dear Son
and helped others to Him win.
by Lawanna Jean Eilers

Daddy Love

Last week at AWANA's Gabe was asked to draw a picture of his family. He was so proud to show me when he got home. The picture has one very tall Daddy and a train. That's it. No Mommy, no sister, not even the dog or Gabe's frog, Ribbit. He is all about his Daddy (and trains). It wasn't a bad picture either.

Lately all Zion talks about is Dada (if I say Daddy she looks me in the eye and emphatically restates "Dada!"). The second she hears the door knob on the front door jiggle she drops what she's doing, shouts "Dada!" and goes running for the door. During the day she points to things that belong to him and asks "Dada?" and she loves to flip through Gabe's Day Out With Thomas photo album (an event we took them to last year) and points to every picture of Rob. "Dada, Dada, Dada!" At bath and bedtime it's him that she wants. I'm loving it! Not just because it can give me a break at the end of the day but because it's just so awesome.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's My Due Date!

Unfortunately, that doesn't mean much to babies, does it? Our little guy or girl is taking after Gabe and Zion and seems to be content to be fashionably late. I had a visit with my OB today and things aren't much different than they were last week. My blood pressure is good and there are no other signs of me or baby being in distress (although I would argue about my personal comfort). I have another appointment next Monday for a check up, non-stress test on the baby and an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid level. If those things are all good then they will likely induce at the end of next week. That actually gives this baby two weeks to move out on its own.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Gabe is content to kiss my belly a dozen times a day and Zion happily points to EVERY picture of a baby that she sees and every real baby that we run into while we're out and gleefully shouts "baby!". I think she will be very happy having her "own" baby. Not to say she won't have to adjust like the rest of us but she is a very maternal little girl.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Simply Entertainment

We finished dinner just a little bit ago. Rob made Manwiches and fries with gravy (the last being especially for me). Zion apparently found it particularly inspiring. At one point during the meal, which she was enjoying thoroughly, she picked up two ketchup dipped fries, put them to her temples so that they stuck out like funny sideways antennae, and started to dance and sing a lengthy made up song. She went on and on obviously putting on a show for us. I would have jumped up for the camera but I didn't want to miss a single second. She is so hilarious. I should just start bringing my camera to the table at meals.

Though you've probably figured it out, still no baby.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just Kid Stuff (But No Baby)

I got to go to my MOPS meeting today (i.e. I was not in labor). The gals at my table were so sweet and threw me a mini-baby shower complete with the cutest cake. Thanks so much Adeliz, Chris, Nancy, Erin, Jennifer, Paula, Andrea and Jennifer! You guys are awesome!

After the meeting I went to get Gabe from the 3/4 year old room and the teachers almost wouldn't let me have him back. ;) He was the last one there and playing Play-Do and making some pretty interesting things that fascinated them. Then one of the teachers was like "watch this" and went to Gabe and "hoo-hooed" a note and asked him to do it back which he did perfectly. She looked up beaming at me and said she was a music teacher (or something to that effect) and said it was very cool that he could do that, most kids his age can't repeat a note like that. It's very cool to have someone brag about your own child to you. It's usually the other way around (like I'm doing right now I guess). They were enjoying him so much I actually had to leave and go get Zion and come back to get him.

Zion has been adding words to her vocabulary faster than I can keep track of them. Lately it's been "down" and "loud" the most. She really, really, really likes "loud" but refuses to learn "quiet". I guess it wouldn't really be Zion if she was quiet anyway. She also gets "guck" (stuck) a lot and asks for her "gip gup" (milk cup) which is sometimes also called a "bup". Lately I've noticed that if she gets an owie she tries to console herself and cries "baby, baby, baby" over again in a similar way to how I say "oh, poor baby" when I'm trying to make her feel better.

Tonight it was my project to go through Gabe and Zion's "too small" bins and pull out all the newborn and 0-3 clothes. From p.j.s to outfits to teeny shoes - oh the memories! Rob and I had to laugh though when we pulled out the tiny little New England Patriots shoes that someone had given us when Gabe was born and we lived in Rhode Island. Anyone want these shoes? Even if this little one is a boy it is unlikely that the shoes will see use from us anymore. Nothing against the Pats, of course.

Monday, April 14, 2008

No Baby Yet.

I thought perhaps that last night was going to be it. I had some really good strong contractions that started at 15 minutes apart and went down to 10 minutes. I thought at least they would turn into something by morning since this was similar to how labor started with Zion. So I got up and got the house and me ready for bed thinking that getting up and walking would make them stronger as well and that I should try to sleep if labor is coming anyway. No such luck. Typical for me my body reacted opposite how it was supposed to and by the time I was ready for bed the strength had gone out of the contractions. So no baby. My due date is a week from today. Oh well, looking on the bright side it looks like I will get to go to my MOPS meeting tomorrow. :)

Yesterday was fun too because got to surprise my sister with a birthday party. Her birthday is the 22nd. One of her friends who I've gotten to know through her had the idea that she could throw me a baby shower as a disguise for Jamie's birthday party. We don't very often get to surprise Jamie since it's hard to even find a time to have a party for her at all because she's so darn busy so this was a lot of fun. So Happy Early Birthday Jamie!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Just Stuff Today

Yesterday in the mail we got a box from Rob's mom for the kids for Easter. Gabe got a puzzle and Zion got a cute hat. Gabe started the puzzle immediately but we had to be out last night (tried to walk myself into labor running errands but it didn't work) so he didn't get to finish it until today. He really enjoyed talking about how the chicks had dyed their eggs. I failed to get a picture of Zion in her hat, will put it on my t0-do list. Thanks Grandma Marlene!
The other day Zion decided that it was funner to sit inside the empty toy cupboard then to play with the toys that she had pulled out. Today, in fact, right this second, both she and Gabe are inside the cupboard. It's going mostly well with them both sharing that close of quarters. Mostly.
Yesterday we had a special treat and the kids got a cake doughnut for breakfast. I'm not sure if Zion got more in her belly or in her lap.
I can't believe that I haven't posted any pictures of the critters yet. Here's my cat Ben in Rob's lap and Towzer our dog wishing there was enough room in Rob's lap for him, too. Towzer is a five-year old American Bulldog/German Shepherd mix. He's kind of a nut. OK, not kind of, he's certifiable. Ben is 4-years old and lost his left rear leg in an accident when he was only about six weeks old, just before we got him. Both of them joined our family while we lived in Rhode Island. When we first got Ben he could have fit in a teacup and he would steal big ol' Towzer's bed and chew on his face and poor Towz never did anything in his defense.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What a Privilege!

I got to visit with my friend today. It was unexpected but it had been arranged that us ladies who are in the women's Bible study (which until last week was led by her) could come and visit her at home this morning. So we did our discussion in class and then took our song sheets over to her house for a time of worship. I count it a privilege to be included in this time of her life. She is completely surrounded by family (she has 7 children of her own and a couple dozen grandchildren) and friends who pop in and out all day and folks are bringing food for the family all day. It is amazing to see a family, loving friends and a church body working as it should. Coming around someone they love, pouring themselves out in caring and provision and just being there for them. Anyway, we got to worship with my friend and chat and laugh and hug and yes, tears were shed, and it was wonderful. Showing her true quality and beauty and humor my friend insisted on standing and hugging everyone who came and went. When someone wanted to know what song she wanted to next she once jokingly suggested "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" which she promptly started belting out complete with hand motions. And every once in a while she would suddenly burst out about how much she knows that her husband is looking forward to seeing her, how she can picture him standing and cheering her on saying "Come on, hurry up!" and of course, how badly she wants to see him, her "Precious One".

The cancer has spread quickly. She now has it in other parts of her body and is experiencing some pain now and again, and she can't get her words out all of the time. I still hold onto a hope that she will get to meet my new baby but I've also come to a peace if it isn't to be so.

Yesterday I told Gabe about my friend's health. I sat him down and explained to him that "Ms. Wanna" as he calls her has a sick part in her mind, her brain and that the doctors can't fix it. She will need to go see Jesus who will fix her up like new but that means that she will go to Heaven and we won't get to see her for a while. Fortunately or unfortunately my son is familiar with this concept as we lost my young nephew at the age of five, Gabe was 2 and we all still talk about my nephew frequently. Gabe now understands that those in Heaven can't come visit (he asked about that a lot for a while) so he told me that we would just go to Heaven to see Ms. Wanna later. I told him we most definitely would go see her in Heaven later and that it was OK to be sad if we miss her now. He took it better than I expected though I know he can't fully comprehend it now, I'm not even sure I can yet.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My Friend

I received a call from our pastor's wife today that my friend's family is requesting a meal for tomorrow night and I had previously signed up to help. I will happily help. I got up the courage to ask the scary question of prognosis. Previously I had been told she might have a year with treatment but not how long she may have without. Well, there is no real answer for that I guess but she did inform me that according to my friend's family they are already noticing that she is failing fast. I wish with all my heart that she could hang on to meet my new little one and that this baby would cooperate and come faster than predicted. My friend wrote the most beautiful poem for Zion when she was born, she has been such an encouragement to me when I had a newborn (and every other time since I've met her) and I know that it won't be the same this time but I just want to show her the baby. Just to share our beautiful gift from God and rejoice with her for a second. I wish...

No cavities!

Took the kids to the dentist today. On previous visits Gabe wouldn't sit for the x-rays, it was just a titch too overwhelming for him. This time, however, he jumped right up in the chair and bit down on the film and did everything perfect - what a champ! Then he sat through his cleaning perfectly too while Zion sat on my lap and watched. The dentist told Gabe his teeth look perfect and then it was Zion's turn. Usually for her age I would hold her on my lap with her legs around my waist and her head at my knees, looking up of course. Then the dentist would check her teeth as best as possible. But knowing Zion like I do I suggested we just put her in the chair. She was squirming laying on my lap anyway not to mention that I don't have much of a lap left. The instant I plopped her in the dentist chair she froze and laid there perfectly still like she'd done it a million times with those silly big sunglasses they use so the light doesn't blind you. She let the dentist poke around in her mouth and brush the vitamins on and everything. She fears nothing. Once she sees someone do something she wants to do it too, that simple.

That said, I love my kids' very different personalities. They are both so fabulous and unique. Gabe is so sensitive and caring, he needs to be "prepped" all the time and know what is going to happen in advance or he can get a bit overwhelmed. He's studious, has been since birth, and hits his academic milestones early. He's sweet and funny and cuddly and affectionate with anyone. Zion careens through life like a bull on the run. She hits her physical milestones early and it's hard to get her to sit still long enough for even the shortest book. She's a tomboy and yet caring and maternal. She loves to live precariously, often pretending to "fall" off her ride-on toys or your lap while screaming "woahhhhhh!" and the next minute she's wrapping her stuffed dog in a baby blanky, carefully feeding bits of cereal to her cow puppet or craddling her baby doll. It makes me so excited to meet this new baby.

Gabriel's Dream

Gabe says he had a couple of dreams last night. I asked him if he wanted me to write them out and he said yes so here goes.

One time when we were going to church, uh, and I was in my class I went on the slide top and, uh, and it was a long way up there... and, Lily woke me up and I went down the curvy slide and she was under it and so I went under it and I said "what's wrong, Lily?" and she said "I miss my friends." and well, I gave her uh some stuff to sleep with so I could sleep. And that's the end of that first dream.

Then Gabe told me that he must have just been confused and only had one dream.

We got Gabe a writing tablet so that he can write out his stories without worrying about him writing in books anymore. He is very excited and yesterday wrote "Percy and James cause confusion and delay." If you aren't familiar with Thomas the train stories this won't make sense but this is a statement that Sir Topham Hatt says all the time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I just want to preface this by stating it is completely my fault. First, we were at the library and I noticed that they had a brand new train book displayed on the shelf. I pointed it out to Gabe and we sat down to read it right there. It turns out it's the type of book that just has pictures and no words so we just flipped through it quickly but I asked him if he wanted to check it out. He said yes so I asked "will you make up the story to go with the pictures?" because Gabe is the kind of kid who doesn't really like to do that. He said yes so we brought it home.

Fast forward to about twenty minutes ago. Rob has Zion upstairs for bath and he is going to call down for Gabe in a few minutes. I am on the couch (which by the way is one of Zion's new words - "chuch") doing my best to stay awake. Gabe was playing but then goes to the kitchen table where his craft things are and he starts asking me how to spell words. He says he has spelled "Murdoch" and "Thomas" already and wants to spell "and" so I tell him. A very fast moving thought flits through my head that went something like this "I wonder what he's writing on." which I dismiss because he has lots of paper and color books and things right there handy. Then he asks me how to spell "puffing down the line" so I tell him. When he is finished I ask if I can see his writing and he brings it to me. Much to my dismay, this is what I saw -

Oh dear. I should have checked. I'm thinking that because last month at school he was taught how to keep a journal and draw pictures to go with his entries and then my firmly making sure that if we checked the book out that he would make up a story he thought that he was supposed to write it right there in the book. Yikes! I was so proud of his writing and yet so, well, horrified might be a bit strong but it's pretty close. I've already looked up "how to remove crayon from books" online and gotten some really good ideas. I'm extra appalled because the book is brand new, honestly, I don't think anyone had checked the book out before us. Not to mention that the library is like my mecca (if I had one). I have my library card number memorized. I feel shame when I have a late fee. This is so much worse. Actual damage to a book that we borrowed. Oh the horror!!!!!!!! I really hope that I can get it off. Poor Gabe. I wanted to praise him up and down for his writing but had to restrain myself and tell him that he's not to write in books anymore. Tomorrow I told him we would get some other paper that he can finish his story on.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Looking on the bright side.

Here's the picture promised from the other day of Gabe and Zion playing in the sandbox. Apparently Zion thinks that once the dump truck is filled with sand it makes a better chair.
Gabe got to experience Fun Sticks the other day. You know those things that come with the white candy stick and a packet of powder that's essentially sugar. He got about three of them at his school's Valentine's Day party (much to my annoyance). All of his candy got put in his treat basket and he occasionally gets to pick one treat from it. I don't remember that stuff having this effect when I had it as a kid. I guess it's been "improved" since then. Whatever.
Here is Zion just hangin' with her Daddy - and playing MY Nintendo DS. Daddy was supposed to be playing with Gabe (we have two and they can be linked together for some games) but Zion nabbed it and wouldn't give it back. She loves to "play" and taps the screen with the stylus and jabbers away. We tried to trade her with Gabe's Leapster which also has a stylus but she would have none of it, she is not a kid who can be tricked and she only wants to do exactly what we are doing.

On another note, you may have noticed that the first song that plays when you pop on the blog has changed (or not, that's OK). I wanted to put the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir's song using the Psalm that goes "I will lift up my eyes to the hills from where cometh my help, my help cometh from the Lord..." in light of what my friend, Lawanna, is going through but Playlist didn't have it available. Bummer. But they did have another favorite of mine by Kirk Franklin and so I've added "My Life Is In Your Hands". I hope that you find it as uplifting as I do.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Prayer Request Update

This morning my women's Bible study met at our regular time despite our missing leader. At the closing we were informed that the news is not good. The treatment that is available to my dear friend might buy her a year according to her doctors. That being the case her and her family have come to the difficult decision to not treat. This is just simply difficult to acknowledge. The prognosis that is, not their decision which I also agree is best for them. My mind is stubbornly hanging on to her as I know her now and the fact that she is living and refusing to look forward, and thus face what is inevitable. Another part wants to argue that we have simply not had her long enough and there is so much that I want to learn from her still. She is just one of those wonderful people, warm and caring, wise and so willing to give, that you just want to be surrounded by them all the time. Yet, we trust God that He has her days numbered and that he is in control and has her best at heart. It doesn't feel like this is the best, something like this will never feel "best". I ask for continued prayer. That we will not limit God in what He can do in this situation or pray only selfishly but to pray for what is best for my friend, Lawanna.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Prayer Request

I just got a call from a friend in my women's Bible study and our dear leader, a lady whom I've grown to love and admire, has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She went in for what she thought was an ear infection and found out this instead. She will have more tests on Thursday and we will know more. For now please pray for her complete healing and for peace for her and those who love her. Thank you.