Monday, February 28, 2011

A Quicky


That's what I've been saying a lot of these days. I'm definitely in the uncomfortable part of my pregnancy, I feel like Baby is just SO low...but it's probably all in my head.

Do you see this? [Ignore the Lily just woke up and there is crap all over my floor mess] This baby is huge...and low. The front of my belly pushes out my panties...Another month of this is gonna be the end of me. BUT I'm not sick of being pregnant yet. Yes I want to meet this little baby, yes I really want to wear normal clothes again, but I know as soon as he/she is here I'm going to wish they were still in my belly, nice and warm, safe from Lily's and Rusty's slobber.

Every other day it seems like the weather is finally gonna warm up for good, but it never really makes up it's mind. I'm so ready for the pool...sigh.

And about yesterday's post.
I've never had to moderate my comments as much as I did yesterday, you guys got way, way, way fired up. My post was meant to 1) Introduce my birth team to you all 2) Say it's stupid to insult people for their marriage/parenting decisions. This is MY blog and I was defending MY choice to birth how we see fit, if I can't do it here, where can I? I felt like I got a LOT of backhanded complements, and contradictory encouragements. My intentions were not at all to offend anyone, make anyone feel like they are less of a mother/parent for not having a midwife/home birth, or preach about doctors. [So the "Well I just pray that you don't need those idiot, unexperienced doctors. Not all of us our superwoman." comments were really hurtful and rude.] I really love all of my readers and hope that I didn't offend you yesterday :\

I've got one more post planned before the big's probably gonna be about poop again ;]
OH! And look over there <<<<< I've got a nifty little poll! Go vote!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Actually, I'm Not That Brave

When you get married, you quickly find out that there is a right way to be married, and a wrong way, and everyone has an opinion on what is right and what is wrong.
When you get pregnant and become a parent...the opinions grow and intensify.
From "feed that baby whenever they cry" to "let that baby cry it out" to shots, to food, to's never ending! Sometimes I think either Lily or I would have died if it weren't for  the advice we got, other times I wish I would have never asked!

One of the most aggravating things I've been told since we got pregnant with Lily was
"Wow...You're really...brave for having a homebirth. I just like the safety of having the doctors there, I guess."

Why is it so aggravating? Because they don't mean "brave". They mean "irresponsible", often times "credulous" or "impulsive", but most likely "stupid."

They think some woman wearing overalls and a bandanna, or a muted dress covering her head to toe will come into our house with a small bag of towels and weed and sit idly by while a mother lays in her bed screaming in agonizing pain. They usually don't understand that they go through many years of schooling and apprenticing, attending dozens [sometimes hundreds!] of births before they are certified [unlike OB's who are trained for surgery, and rarely see a live birth before they graduate medical school]. 

After doing a lot more research than most people do when they birth in a hospital [IMO], Eamon and I decided very early on in Lily's pregnancy that if remained low risk and healthy, there was no reason I shouldn't use a midwife. And if we were going to use a midwife, I might as well birth at home. [Getting in a car during transition to go to the birth center or hospital just sounds like hell to me, lol!] Our home birth was a huge success, so when we got pregnant this time, we of course chose the same path.

After a few changes in the line up, lots of prayer and joy, I'm happy to introduce my birth team to you :]

Angela Friesen: As you can see, not much brings her more joy than watching a mama pull her baby up to her chest. God told her that she was supposed to be at Lily's birth last time, EVEN THOUGH I had hired someone else, and low and behold, she ended up catching my sweet girl! There was never a doubt we wanted her here to help us bring Number Two along.

Photo Credit: Amanda Gipson Taken just a few months ago at Mama J's birth of Baby B :]

Ann Crowell: Ann also attended Lily's birth, just in the nick of time too! She has attended THOUSANDS of natural births over the past 20 years. [She has THE BEST stories of any woman I know!] Please indulge me while I brag a little bit ;] During a birth convention not too long ago there was a woman representing a local hospital bragging about the fact that her cesarean section rate was about 20%. I kind of rolled my eyes thinking "Ya, but crisis rate is 30%, so you're not really doing so hot lady..." Then Ann was asked what hers was. She's been at this a lot longer than that woman, so her percentage must be a lot higher, right? WRONG! Ann's cesarean rate is less than 2%. Eamon and I don't feel that our decision to birth with her on staff is "brave" at all ;]

Photo Credit: Michelle Monk! She's our sweet friend who will be here for Baby's birth. This was taken just a few minutes after Ann delivered her own granddaughter, Hazel, just a few weeks ago <3

Leila Farber: Leila will be our doula. She will be the first person to come over, and will let the midwives know when it's time to come. Doula literally means "woman who serves". They are women who provide non medical support for women during their pregnancy, labor, and even post-partum. Luckily for us, Leila worked in the NICU as a nurse for years before deciding to become DONA certified. Again, I wouldn't say the decision to hire her was misinformed. She has become a dear friend and I'm very grateful that she will be there to assist Eamon and I in whatever way possible :]

Photo Credit: Me! I got to shoot her and her lovely boys a few months ago. Isn't she GORGEOUS?

So as you can see, I don't plan on going into this alone, and we've spent lots of time preparing for exactly who will be helping us. In just a few short weeks I'll be making "The Call" through some contractions and these women will head on over, bless us with their amazing medical and biblical knowledge, and welcome sweet Rhys or Norah with us in the comfort and safety of our bedroom. 

Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend! Only THREE more posts til my 200th blog entry extravaganza! [I'm a bit dramatic sometimes...]

Thursday, February 24, 2011

36 Weeks

We're getting so close :] I can't believe how fast it's going!

Whew...just a few more weeks...

This Little Light of Mine

At about 12:30 yesterday I said to myself

"I must have actually gone to sleep last night. And died. And went to Hell. Crap."

My lack of sheer terror should have proven to me that I was talking crazy, but for about 45 seconds I was totally convinced.

Here's what happened.

Tuesday Night
8:15 come home from an awesome sushi date with two of my mama friends sans Lily and hubby. I noticed that the lights downstairs are on and that there is furniture inside. "Oh, new neighbors" I round the corner to the stairwell and get completely bathed in the most disgusting smelling cigarette smoke I've ever smelled. I try to hold my breath as I go up the stairs, but I can't stop coughing. I want to scream "IF YOU DON'T WANT THAT CRAP IN YOUR HOUSE, WHY ARE YOU SMOKING IN THE STAIRWELL SO IT CAN GO IN MY HOUSE?!?" But I figured I should actually introduce myself first... I come in the house and vent tell Eamon about our new fumigators. I said "All I've been praying for is that downstairs will stay empty til the baby comes!" like a selfish 5 year old that just had her cookies taken away.

10:00 We're turning in to bed, and all I can hear is their tv. I'm trying my hardest to not sigh every two seconds...but it's not working. Eamon says "Mae, hey, listen to me." UUUUUGGGGHHHH...hate when he does that, it always means "I'm gonna say something you hate, but I am right and you know it." he said "You're not gonna like this but," told you so "This is gonna suck. It doesn't matter who they are, having downstairs neighbors is gonna suck. They are gonna be noisy, they are not gonna care about us, and they are going to annoy the crap out of you." I rolled my eyes thinking "Yes, that's easy for you to say, you can sleep through this..I CAN'T!"

11:00 No change in volume from their tv.

12:00 I go into the living room to try to sleep, but I get shaken every 20 mins by them going outside to smoke EVERY TWENTY MINUTES. Get a hold of your addiction people... Go suck on...well, something else, if you need something in your mouth that often.

01:30 Yup, I'm crying now. Hormones plus pure frustration equals one weepy mama

02:00 I head back into my room to see if it's still going on. YUP. I head into Lily's room since the twin is more comfortable, but The noise is just as loud.

02:30 Eamon finds me in Lily's room. The show they were watching downstairs changed and was like TEN times louder, it actually woke Eamon up.

02:45 Eamon goes downstairs to tell them to STFU, but no answer.

02:55 Their tv woke them up [THEY FELL ASLEEP!?!] so they decided to turn it off. Whatever... Eamon and I can't go back to sleep just yet so we're talking about what to do next.

03:45 Lily wakes up. WHAT?!? WHY?!?! She's been sleeping through the night for ages now...ugh. I bring her in my bed bc she's all of a sudden terrified of hers. She decides that it's the perfect time to tell me all about her adventures and why I'm a "Ba-ba-BAD DOG"

05:30 Eamon's alarm goes off. Neither of us were able to sleep with Lily in the bed. [Because she wouldn't keep her gab shut] Eamon goes off to work.

06:30 Lily finally goes back to sleep, and so do I.

09:00 We wake up. I think I'm not gonna make it through the day, but just go through the motions. I get Lily dressed and find something that fits me.

10:00 Bible study. I look like a hot mess, I can barely contribute to any conversation...but I'm glad to see everyone.

11:30 We come home. Our electricity's cut off. SON OF A...WHY!?!?! I spend the next hour or so on the phone with the phone company with a hungry toddler and a hungrier mama.

1:00 I give up on making lunch and order out.

2:00 The power comes on and lunch arrives, PRAISE JESUS!!!!

Somewhere between yelling at the automated phone service and eating lunch, I found myself laying on my bed with Lily singing to/with her. I decide to teach her "This Little Light of Mine" She loves it so much and starts singing her version of it with me. I then found myself singing my own version of it.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

Hide it under a ash tray? No! I'm gonna let it shine
Hide it under a ash tray ? No! I'm gonna let it shine
Hide it under a ash tray? No! I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

Don't let crack heads blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine
Don't let crack heads blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine
Don't let crack heads blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine
Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.

and so on...

There we are, with the power out, cracking up on my bed, singing the most ridiculous song I've ever heard. In that moment I felt Jesus more powerful than my circumstances. Yup, we live next to drug dealers. Yes, some days I feel like I'm covered in cigarette ash just from checking the mail. And yeah, there's been those nights where I've been kept up by Tupac, Selina, and the moaning of my neighbors doing it. But am I really going to let those things put out my light? Put out the light that I've SAID Jesus has put in me? I felt quite silly at the moment. Not only because I was teaching Lily to sing about crack heads, but because I felt so...flimsy. Like the strength of my faith depended on my surroundings and how comfortable I was.

Today, with the house a complete wreck from not cleaning up a dang thing yesterday, and with a full night's [pregnant woman's] sleep, I'm gonna KEEP letting my light shine. You should do the same :]


Don't forget to go help me with my Birth Playlist! I'm getting some good ideas!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lend Me Your Ear & I'll Sing You a Song

Not really...I tend to moo during labor.

Actually - Have you ever seen Orgasmic Birth? Well I was pretty mortified when I saw women, well, one woman in particular, have an orgasm while pushing out her baby. I was pretty equally mortified [I really just don't know why...] when I saw this breech video [Careful, there's some boobies...and some lady parts.] of this mom smiling HUGE at the end of each push and showed Eamon. He said "Oh ya, that's pretty much exactly what you did" Oh...weird.

Anyway, I've been thinking about my birth playlist since I saw this video of an amazing home birth a while back.
I. Love. This. Song.

Leo Hart from The Panic Room Videos on Vimeo.

Notice, neither of these moms are screaming about how much they hate their husbands or to "Get this damn things outta me!!!" It can be done ;]

Well anyway, if you read my last post, you know that I'm having trouble finding good songs this time around, so help me out! Aside from harp solos, beach sounds [both of which I actually LOVE during a massage], and praise music, have any good suggestions? I stalk your blogs, I know you people have good taste in music! So help me out!

This is what I have so far, care to contribute?

Baby Burke To Do List

Ninety percent of my friends think I'm going just a little bit crazy.


Well aside from the usual reasons, I'm in nesting OVERDRIVE...and I still have over 5 weeks to go. But there is a very simple explanation to why I'm putting everything together for this little baby so early.

I didn't get to last time.

During Lily's pregnancy I painted her nursery, folded all of her little clothes, picked out outfits, baby proofed everything-then we got infested with bed bugs [more on that some other time] We had to move in order to get out of the mess and to have a successful homebirth where my birth team wouldn't have to worry about carrying any of the little critters home. So we ended up moving into our last apartment on my due date.

The pretty mural I worked so hard on, all the sticks and spit I had glued together, all my hard work seemed absolutely worthless. And all the time that we were deciding/waiting to move, I couldn't do anything for Lily. It seemed pointless. So after my due date, Eamon let me paint our bedroom, living room, and bathroom [we both kinda hoped all the work would put me in labor, lol] and let me do whatever I needed to in order to be "prepared" for baby. But it still felt weird. It was like cramming for a test instead of spending the whole week [read: 10 months] steadily studying for it.

This time around is different.
Every few days I'm trying to get one thing done so that I'm not overwhelmed and so that I'm in a good habit of doing something exclusively for the baby. Here are some things that are on my list [some accomplished, others not ;]

Baby Burke To Do List
Write Birth Plan - I used this awesome site to help me write mine. I know that my birth team doesn't really need one this detailed, but I really like it in case of transport. I think it's a wonderful resource for any mom who wants to birth their way [regardless of what way that is!]
Order Birth Kit -  I actually did this last night! We're supposed to have our kits in at the beginning of 36 weeks, and mine is on it's way!
Create a Birth Playlist - This has actually been the tough part. Why? I live in the Metroplex. I've seen every single one of my preggo friends ask for suggestions for their playlist and this what gets recommended, every time, no exceptions. Enya, Dixie Chicks [WTH?!? Sometimes I have to laugh at the fact that I live in Texas] and then there's the praise music [Bible Belt y'all!] Don't get me wrong, but I am just not the type of girl who sings hymms during her contractions. It NEVER fails. Casting Crowns, Keri Jobe, and David Crowder Band. Somehow every other woman says they've had babies to these soundtracks. I have NOTHING against any of these artists, and do listen to them, but I am just not that type of girl... SO I got on Groove Shark and tried putting together a list... I have three songs. Ugh. You know what, I'm going to do another post just for playlist ideas. Last time I had nothing but Coldplay and Norah Jones and loved it, but I'm lookin for something a little different this time :]
Wash Baby's Clothes - DONE! I washed all of our neutral baby clothes as well as all of our little girl clothes 0-3 months that way I won't have to worry about it after the birth if it is a girl. Looking at all of the little dresses REALLY made me want this to be a little Norah 
Get out Baby Essentials - Still working on this one. I have our rocker put together, got a bouncy seat from a friend last night, my wraps and slings are washed as well as blankets. I need to wash my new pump and make sure it has all of it's parts. We brought the car seat in to be cleaned...honestly...I don't know what other baby essentials there are!
Meal Plan for a month after Baby is due - Hopefully we'll have some help with the meals/cooking after the birth, but I'm not expecting much. Last time we had a few friends bring groceries, and a few who brought meals, but I was on my own for the cooking after the first week. It was tough. I figure if I can have a meal plan and grocery list ready, Eamon can take care of a lot of that for me :] I'll also try to be putting some freezer meals together so I can just pop em in the freezer.
Plan activities for Lily - Lily's gotten pretty good at playing by herself, but I'm trying to be a little more organized with her playtime, so I'm trying to come up with  "special activities" to do while I'm on bed rest. I'm also working with Eamon to put together some special dates for the two of them so that Baby and I can have a quiet house for a few hours to sleep/nurse.
Pray. A Lot - This is being done and will continue to be done. Every night, regardless of how tired we are, or how many times we've talked/prayed about the baby, Eamon lays his hand on my belly and we pray over our little [pfft] baby and Lily.

Have any helpful suggestions for any of this? What did you do to get prepared for a new sibling in the house?
Hope you have a good day! Don't forget to go help me out with my playlist!

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Pregnancy Has Taught Lily: The Sequal

About four months ago, I wrote this post about all the little things that Lily has "learned" about pregnancy. With only a few weeks left, Lily has learned a few more things that most children didn't know about pregnancy, let's take a look.

Lily on Christmas morning learning from her "Big Book of Words" book

Angela is "the Baby Lady"
Last week while I was frantically cleaning the house as to not embarrass myself  waiting patiently for Angela to show up at our house for our appointment, I heard Lily at the window screaming "BABY!!! BABY BABY BABY!!!" I thought she had seen a baby in the parking lot or something, and went to investigate. Instead, what I saw was our midwife unloading her equipment from her trunk. I couldn't help but laugh as Lily proceeded to leave the window sill and run in circles around our living room screaming "BABY BABY BABY!!!" I'm starting to wonder if she thinks Angela is just gonna bring a baby to the birth...

You can easily outrun a pregnant lady
After figuring out that she can hide behind things that I just cannot fit behind anymore, Lily quickly figured out that if it comes down to it, she can outrun me. Eamon got to witness this yesterday when we went grocery shopping. We got down the stairs and were waiting near the parking lot. When Eamon came out, Lily took off. It's not a busy parking lot or anything, but that's not the point. Homegirl FLEW past me and proceeded to weave through the cars. Eamon watched his almost 9 month pregnant wife run around in the bent over "get your ass back here" run trying to catch his year and a half old, giggling toddler. After I gave him the "WHY ARE YOU JUST STANDING THERE?!?" look, he busted out laughing...such loving support in our marriage I tell ya.

Coconut oil is for your hoo-ha
So this one is pretty embarrassing...but it's definitely been something in Lily's learning process. When I'm pregnant, I get a yeast infection. Last time I had it from  TWELVE weeks on, this time I've had it for about 8 weeks, so it hasn't been nearly as long, but it has sucked. Major. My midwife has been very encouraging with natural remedies [despite the fact that I ate AN ENTIRE PAN of lemon squares I made within a three day period. I'm not kidding. out of a 9x13 pan, Eamon ate two...] to help me cure this dreaded infection. One of them is coconut oil. And I tell you, it works miracles! The itching and burning [whoagross] are virtually gone when I use it, but there has been one unexpected side effect...Lily thinks that this alternative cooking oil is to rub on your lady parts. Come on moms, you know it's been an eternity since you've used the bathroom without an audience. Lily watches my every move some days, this is no exception. So when I saw her reach into our container of coconut oil, and wipe herself with it, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at my failure. I thought telling her "No no Lily, that's just for mama" might make it better. Nope. What did she proceed to do? Try to help me out by reaching her hand to my nether-region...Oh Lord. That pass was quickly intercepted.

Pregnant women cry...A LOT
It's no secret, pregnant women are hormonal. Ok, well maybe not all of them, but this one IS. Lily has started doing the sweetest thing whenever I'm having a "moment" She's started wiping my tears. She'll come up, right in my face, take my glasses off if I'm wearing them, and gently wipe away all of my tears. She'll say "Oh, sweet baby. I know, I know" and give me a big hug. I think we have a very empathetic little girl on our hands :] It's so sweet.

Well, we have our birth class tomorrow, and I'm pretty excited! It's cool not being the noob in class ;]
Happy Monday!

Friday, February 18, 2011


You know what I love about blogs? This sort of community you can have with someone you've never met.
Spiritually, I've met Chelsea from Three Birds, and started talking to her on a personal level because it just got deep so quick!
In the Mommyhood world, I sorta stalked this trio turned quartet over at Pacing the Panic Room. It made sense because their little girl, Tessa is just a few weeks older than Lily. Then I found Emery Jo over at moms are for everyone! because our pregnancies are lined up [almost to the day!] this time around.

You've seen the instances where the Lord has been working on something in Chelsea's heart then starts doing the same in mine, but sometimes there are much more practical everyday occurances that happen that make me scream "ME TOO!" from my birthing ball in front of my computer.

For instance:
A few weeks ago we went to the park and there was this irritating little girl shouting at the top of her lungs, FOR TWENTY FREAKIN MINUTES
"D-I-N-O-S-A YOU ARE A DINOSAUR!" I went clear to the other side of the park to avoid Lily trying to copy her. This is one of the many times I hate going to the park. Kids swearing at the ripe old age of 4, other moms letting their kids be complete d-bags. OH, I AM that mom who says something. So I rolled over laughing when I read this post about little Tessa and her daddy going through the same thing.

Then, as I was preparing to blog about this week, I read Emery Jo's Valentine's Day experience...Holy Cow. Yup, The Flu & 35 weeks Pregnant is right! Monday night I was supposed to bring sushi to one of my newly newborn'd friends and bash The Bachelor while we coo'd over her little girl...but my lungs decided they wanted to leave my body and never come back. Then Lily and I both got fever. Her's got up to about 105 so we went to the ER and found out we had Flu A. BUT, Thank GOD it only lasted about 24 hours. We've both still got a little bit of a cough, but the doctors said it'd probably stick around for a few boo to that, but ya for no fever!

And now: some random pictures!

Lily being totally pathetic and passed out at the hospital. Her head was right on Baby's feet and it kept karate kicking her in the head and waking her up :]

When we were taking my weekly picture [which looks like total crap, I know] I let Lily take some pictures of Eamon being goofy. She LOVES playing photographer.

Eamon begged me not to post these...oops.

Lily got into some phantom lip gloss that she found while I was moving our lemon tree outside to enjoy this BEAUTIFUL spring weather we've been having here in Texas.

Last night I did about $30+ worth of laundry at the laundry mat. It was quite the experience...and work out! I was running from machine to machine for over an hour before I got a break...I guess I needed the exercise anyway.

And here's how Baby's lookin these days:

My 200th blog post is coming up soon! I've got a fun game and an amazing giveaway planned, I'm so excited :]
To keep my organized, I've got to figure out what the next couple of posts are gonna be about to get me to the big 2-0-0! Here's what you can expect:

Baby Burke To Do List
Meet Our Birth Team.
Who's Gotta Potty?
Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!
What Pregnancy Has Taught Lily: The Sequel

I left some room to allow blogging material for whatever natural disaster/poop explosion/blessings may come along until then :]
Have a great weekend friends! Enjoy the sunshine!!!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Being a Mom Has Made Me Awkward[er]

I've been waking up hour after hour every night for the past week hoping to get a text from a sweet fried saying "Start your praying, we're in labor!" With the snow the other night I even dreamt that her birth team couldn't make it fast enough and since I'm so close *I* had to go deliver the baby and photograph the birth! [Because you know, I'm an expert at both?!] Well this morning during my 5 o'clock "check your phone like a stalker psycho" I saw "2 unread messages" COULD IT BE?! I got ready to pray and then read "Woke up at 3 in active labor, H was born at 4:40" WHAT THE?!? PRAISE JESUS!!! So happy for my sweet friends, only a few more to go before mine gets here!

When I had Lily, I was just out of a very social job, hadn't been out of school that long, and still functioned like a normal human being.
A few months in [after being at home by myself for endless hours] I noticed I started losing my cool a little bit. I took Lily to a going away party for some friends one evening. The location took me over an hour to get to [hate living in the Metroplex], Lily was a hot mess by the time we got there. I was the only one there with a baby. There was another pregnant mom there, but that's about it. I sat off to the side for the most part [how do you tell the host of the party you're at to stop with the chain smoking? You'd think the pregnant lady and baby would slow 'em down, right?] Every now and then whoever wasn't afraid of a nursing mom [who had a cover on] would come and ask me how I was doing.

It was hot, [plus nursing increases your body temp to a comfy 115 at all times] Lily was getting sick of being shoved under the hooter hider, mosquitoes were gigantic and thought it appropriate to suck on my boobs as well, and I was getting sick of the second hand smoke. So like the loving, awesome mother/friend I am, I used my daughter. She was crying so I took her to the car to change her diaper. While I was there I decided "Screw it. I've gotta go." But what could I do? Lily was already conched out in her carseat, and the party was down a little trail. So I just left.

That's when it all started.

After a year of "Sorry! We can't make it, thanks for inviting us though!" Our friends were sure we hated them. But the truth is, when you don't have any family nearby, and all of your friends [read: sitters] get together, you can't do anything after baby decides it's time to go to sleep! So I counted my losses and moved on. "They'll understand when THEY have babies," I thought to myself. But then I, no they won't. The whole "no family nearby thing" kinda puts a damper on situations.

But then I noticed that the weirdo in me was coming out more and more. While grocery shopping I saw one of the patients that used to come into the office I worked at. I knew her name, her baby's name, hell, I even remembered what day of the week she came on and her phone number, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to carry on a conversation with her.

She said "OHMYGOODNESS! Is this your baby?!"
"Oh, well how old is she now? I didn't get to see her when she was born."
"She just turned a year old."
"Yeah...." trying to smile genuinely
" have things been going? I see you didn't come back to work" She looked a little disappointed [and rightly so, right? I was an awesome receptionist ;] I kid!!!]
"Ya, I just sit at home now. And I'm pregnant again." pretty sure I sounded like Ben Stein at this point.
"Aw! Congratulations!"
Her adorable little girl was staring at me from the grocery cart, just a few months older than Lily, but smaller. Her and her mom were wearing matching headbands, didn't have a blemish on them, both wearing white, CLEAN shirts. I'm in sweats and Lily's in a dress, no shoes, hair in knots, half covered in hummus. She started to push her cart away.
"...uh, your daughter's really cute"
"Thank you!" she said with that sideways head tilt thing like "Ok, we gotta go now, you're a mess"

I stood there, amongst the bulk bins of rice thinking "Did that REALLY just happen? I can't communicate with the outside world anymore, can I?" So over the next few months I began to just accept that I am no longer one of the most popular girls on campus, that I can't just strike up a conversation with strangers on the street, let alone a good friend, or be seen in public with any sort of clean clothing.

Now I'm about seven months pregnant with #2 and we're going out to eat at a place we go to...maybe, twice a month? A waitress [who sees us every freakin time we're in there] sees my on my way to the restroom and says
"Oh! You're expecting another one?!"
Poor lady hardly had time to laugh before I shot her a look and said
without missing a step.
"What the heck is wrong with me?!" I thought to myself as I sat on the toilet. Something has GOT to change!

The nail in the coffin came last week. My husband has a Non Verbal Learning Disability [It's the umbrella that covers a lot of disorders all the way down through Autism] so when he notices things, I know they are pretty obvious. Last week we were at an appointment and my doctor wrapped what I had just said up in a nutshell. I didn't quite understand how he got what he said out of what I said but moved on. Later that night I asked Eamon if he noticed anything different about me since becoming a mother. We started talking about how socially awkward I am and he said
"Well, like today, you looked at Dr. H like 'No D-bag, that's not what I meant' I mean, I'm sure he didn't notice, but you used to be able to hide that sort of thing."
I actually got embarrassed sitting on my own couch. That's not what I was thinking! That's just crazy, did I really do that?!?

What's gonna happen to me when #2 comes along? Am I just going to have to wear a sign that says "Don't talk to me, I will disappoint you" everywhere I go? Will my children be embarrassed to go out in public with me? Or worse yet, will they be the kids on the playground who say "Ya, I'm playing right now, can you go away?" I fear the worst. ;]

Hope you've had a great week, everyone!

Oh, and here's how said number two is cookin ;]

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I've written and re-written this a hundred times. It's still not "perfect" but it is my story. Thanks Chelsea for making me get it out there ;]

“So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord…but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God” (2 Timothy 1:8)

A while back someone told me "If everyone knew the things I knew about you, I don't think they'd feel comfortable around you." [To clarify, it was out of hurt, I doubt they really meant it] In the moment, I was furious. They were totally right. If they knew about My Chemical Romance fanatic, razor blade hiding, lying, lost me...They probably would never speak to me.

The summer after I graduated RFHS with the lead singer Gerard Way, of MCR

The truth is, I was not always one to cook three meals a day, call my friends just to see if I could pray for them, or resolve my anger issues by actually talking about them. I am the way I am now because of Jesus Christ. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

I was always kinda the weird kid in school, didn't have a lot of friends, the ones I did have used me to be the butt of their jokes, and be mad at just because. It sucked. In middle school I saw an episode of 7th Heaven [I was so cool] where one of Mary's "troubled friends" was staying with her overly reproductive family. Homegirl was "crazy" and they had to keep an eye on her so she wouldn't "cut." That was the first time I had ever heard such a thing. This idiot cut herself because she was sad. I thought she was a moron and a half at the time, but not long after seeing that, I got myself into a situation that I didn't know how to handle and the first thing I thought of was Mary's friend who hid in her bathroom, took apart a razor blade, and cut her wrists. I was in seventh grade.

By the time I was a sophomore in high school the little nicks had turned into cuts that not only needed to be covered by watches and bracelets, but hoodies and jackets. [In South Texas, a teenager wearing a hoody 24/7 when it's 95+ degrees 95% of the year, should raise some sort of red flags] My depression was deep and selfish, consuming every part of me. I became used to it, honestly, it's where I liked to be. It was comfortable there. It didn't take work to be depressed.

Then, after watching it from afar, my now husband sent me an email that wrecked me. While your mom tells you everyday how pretty you are, how much she loves you, how special you are, it never really takes hold in a teenager [dumb kids] I felt like I was cared for, like someone saw something in me that I hadn't seen in myself for a long time. We started dating shortly after, but I still wallowed in my depression like a pig in his own crap. It was going to take a lot more than a cute boy to make me better. One night, I had absolutely no desire to live [stress at school, fighting with parents, bitchy friends, it seemed way too much to handle] I took a steak knife I kept nearby [gag] and carved up my arm like a Thanksgiving turkey. It was horrible.

 "Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you." (Psalm 25:20)

It was then, for the first time in years, that I prayed. I begged God to save me from this pain, this pain that 20+ cuts couldn't compare to. I told Him I hated this life, and that I didn't really want to die, I just wanted that life to be OVER. Not only is there a promise of renewed life after death my friends, but there is a promise of new life NOW! I woke up the next morning, cleaned myself up and decided I had to stop living life for myself. I needed purpose, I needed to be healed. The cutting went from 3-4 times a day, to once a day, to a few times a week, to once a week, to once every few weeks, to once every few months, very, VERY gradually. I often used it as my last resort, which over time needed to be visited less and less. By my senior year 2-3 month stretches were normal and I decided [well, Jesus decided] it was time for me to be baptized, made new. I was saved and I was happy. Genuinely happy.  I was starting my life as an adult, but at the same time just born into the infancy of Christ.

A few months later the stress of college, a cuh-rappy roommate [do not ever pick your roommate based on A.) she was the first person you met at college B.) she tells you she likes Eisley] and the stress of this new identity that I was responsible for drove me to cut. It was September 19, 2007. That was the LAST time I cut. I went to the bathroom and cried and prayed and for the first time instead of hearing the devil laugh in my face saying "You weak, stupid, little girl. Just how much DO you love Jesus? You're so disobedient, so unworthy" I felt the Lord wrap me up and say "I STILL love you. You are still my child, it's ok!"

That's when He started to work on my heart, my mind, and my spirit. Now that the physical had been healed, it was time He started really making me His. Through working with a teenager at the CPS shelter who dealt with the exact same issues, to teaching me what Marriage truly means, to softening my heart into motherhood, the Lord has made me His for eternity. And I am so grateful for that. 

One year after my last slip up I went and got this tattoo. Any time you see a dove in stained glass windows, or with saints in beautiful paintings, it means the presence of the Holy Spirit is with them. I thought it suited me, and this location perfectly

When was the last time you shared your testimony? Shared about how hard it was, shared how easy it was? Gave Glory to God for the wonderful work He's done? I encourage you to just take the time and write it out, tell someone you've never told before, thank God if you haven't done it in a while! If you've shared your testimony on your blog, link it here! I'd love to read about it.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Have you been over to Us Three Birds lately? If not, you should.

In Chelsea's latest post "What's Got You In Chains?" after being inspired by this passage:

Acts 16:25-34 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and  every one's bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said,  “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them  the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he a was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

Go check it out for yourself, there is lots of prayer goin on over there, don't deny yourself of carrying another's burden!


So then I had to ask myself...What are my chains?  "What area of your life do you need to see God moving the most?"

Usually the first thing that comes up, even if you don't want to write it down is the one you know is true. So immediately, I thought of my bitter heart. My heart that tends to judge, tends to hate, tends to be the ugliest part of me. Being a SAHM doesn't help matters. I spend most of my day cleaning up after my toddler with the internal dialog that reflects that of the utmost lost sheep. It shames me. A few months ago I started working on this, started digging into the dirt, even though I was afraid of the worms and bugs that were about to surface. 
My friends, not only did I dig to the bottom of that well, but I found the water!! It was gritty, earthy, and alkaline at first, but after I crawled out, let the water fill up this hole that had trapped me for a lifetime, and let the sediment drift to the bottom...It tasted delicious.

But this well is one that I'll be tending to for a while, so even though the hardest of the work has been done, I still have a little ways to go. While looking for a verse to put on my chalkboard this week, I came across this. 

It was a very gentle reminder that my work was still unfinished.

I, like Chelsea want to open up the comment section of this post for comments & prayer requests too. If you need prayer, I want to  pray for you & so would the readers of this blog. Feel free to leave them anonymously if you want to get personal. Feel free to leave a comment of encouragement in response to a prayer request if you want to lift someone else up. Please share what God is teaching you or a way that he's answered a prayer lately. Also, feel free to just continue this on Chelsea's blog.

Now, I'm off to try and catch a nap before Lily wakes up ;] Hope your week has started off GREAT!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sticks & Spit

I'm in hardcore [I just saw someone else on another blog say "Hard Cord" and lol'd pretty good] nesting mode. It's been kind of hard with both babies building a sufficient nest not knowing how long we'll be in this apartment, or the next one, or the next house. I kind of feel like I always have to keep everything in a condition to where it is easily picked up and moved out. It sucks.

But today I got some things for me and Baby to make our nest a little cozier

We got this rocker [on sale, what what!] for our room. We didn't get a rocker with Lily til she was many months old, and it broke right under my big fat butt a few months ago. It's been something that Eamon's really wanted me to have for Lily, and now Baby.
It'll be nice to have a quiet little space for the two of us that's not in my bed.

Speaking of bed...
Eamon told me before we had Lily that we could get a new bed set...but that never happened. So we've had the same "Bed in a Bag" set that we got from Walmart the night we got married so we could have something to sleep on [it's HIDEOUS!] But since we have a California King now [Thank you Katie and Dusty!] Eamon and I decided that we definitely need to get new sheets and such because these don't fit and will get ruined during the birth since they are currently the biggest sheets/blankets we have. SO I was given permission to buy this lovely set from Target [again, ON SALE!] today to have ready for after the birth. 

I'm already pretty excited about getting into clean, new sheets [in my sexy Depends] holding my sweet, squishy new baby after our herbal bath. *Sigh....*

I've also been taking inventory of gender neutral onsies and pj's, all of our cloth diapers, covers, and wipes, making list after list of what needs to be done [freezer meals, laundry, activity plan for Lily & Eamon, bills] before Baby gets here, and trying to Baby proof Lily the house before we have another tiny one scooting around here.

In all of my list making, I've realized something though-You don't need a lot for babies. You really don't!! With that in mind:
What do you get for a new sibling when you don't know the sex? Does it really effect things that much? [I think it might] What are your essentials for your newborn baby?

Hope you're having a great weekend!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fruit of the Womb

Do you see these chubby cheeks?

That's my baby 

After a good, long look at Baby's heart, we found out- yes, it's irregular, no it's nothing to worry about. She said that it should auto correct itself before birth, and that we don't need to make any changes to our birth plan and can expect a nice, healthy baby [girl? boy?] in March :] 

I can't tell you how thrilling it was to see our little baby hiccuping away, yawning, and routing around [a lot! this baby's gonna have me nursing non-stop!] while we checked it's heart. I swear the technician said girl multiple times, but Eamon's hell bent that she said boy, so [even though I caught both of us squinting when she looked at his/her belly button and feet] we still have two more months to find out if this little squirt is a Rhys [or Sean] or a Norah. I'm glad we didn't find out, the anticipation is such a big part of labor for me!

While we were prepared to see a specialist after this if anything was wrong, and to change our birth plan, and to ready ourselves for whatever this Baby's needs may be, I cannot express how overjoyed I am that the Lord not only heard our [and your!] prayers, but answered them in a way that has comforted us so much! 

 Hosea 14:8
"..I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me."

Praise God for His fruit!!!

I want to especially thank my birth team- Angela, Ann, and Leila, Keri, Morgan, Michelle, Katie, Esther, and Whittney for walking me through this since last Friday. You ladies have been so encouraging and loving. So incredibly blessed to have you supporting me!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't be still, my heart.

In an attempt for full disclosure about my pregnancy - I've been lying low lately bc I've been worried out of my mind at times this past week or so.

Last Friday when Angela came over to check on Baby for our prenatal, I got spooked. We were listening for the heart, and it didn't sound...right. It was skippy and jumpy, not the usual locomotive chugging that it usually is. I tried to just think positively, but both Angie's silence [trying to get a good listen] and my total body shut down mode made my room a really tense place to be. I tried to be ok with it, knowing that our little bean still hasn't got it down yet, but all I could think of was Eamon's family's heart conditions- and I let fear creep in. Angela told me that we could decide to wait till my next appointment to check and see if it was still irregular, or we could schedule a sono just to make sure.
We have only had one sono this pregnancy [we did with Lily too] because I just don't think it's necessary to play picture pages with your baby every few weeks to "bond" with it when there are a lot of studies out there showing it's potentially harmful
BUT we do have sonos for a reason- to make sure our babies are healthy. So when given the option, Eamon and I came to this: We'll wait a few days and if Baby's heart is still irregular, we'll get a sono.

Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon were PAINFULLY long. Periods of absolute trust were wonderful, my maternity pictures were a nice distraction, Saturday and Sunday were spent sobbing and rejoicing, constantly giving thanks for my Baby regardless of what the outcome may be. Monday I got Lily and me in bikinis and gave Rusty a bath, vacuumed, prayed, did everything I could to just distract myself or focus on the life that is inside my belly.

Angela made her way over during Lily's nap.
I reclined on my couch, praying as hard as I could that our little baby had a strong, healthy, regular heartbeat. I held my breath as the doppler honed in, and as soon as Angela said "Well that sounds good to me!" and I exhaled...the heartbeat got skippy again. I lost it. She tried reassuring me over and over that if it was a defect that it would be inconsistent from the beginning. And from what I hear, many of my friends have had skippy heartbeats every now and then too. But with Eamon's arrhythmia, his sister's enlarged heart, and his nephew who was born with a hole in his heart, I don't think either of us are ready to take a chance. Tomorrow afternoon we'll get to take a peek at our little baby. He/she will be fully formed. It's really weird to me that we are going to be able to sneak a peek at this little one before they get here! I'm so excited...and also really nervous. I trust that if Baby does have something wrong with it's heart, or anything else, that the Lord would be giving me peace, not fear, so I know this worry isn't from Him...but man is it easy to let the fear creep in.

I'll keep you updated [maybe even with some pictures of the little one!] as soon as we know how he/she is doing. Pray that he/she is formed perfectly, and if not that we have the grace and knowledge to know where to go from there. Also, pray the little one keeps it's legs closed! We're still hoping to be surprised.

Hope you're all not snowed in like we are!