Friday, June 29, 2012

Due Date Day

The big June 29. 

I had hoped I wouldn't be pregnant on this day, but it's here, and Daisy's still in my belly. The verdict is still out on whether or not Daisy will make her appearance today. 

I'm officially 40 weeks pregnant. That's a great thing, because it means she's fully developed and healthy in there. I'm blessed that I got to carry her this far, but I'm looking forward to carrying her in my arms soon. 

Last night Zane and I spent another "last night before Daisy comes!" We've had several of those this week, hoping that each time it was the truth. Neither growth group, nor family dinner; neither Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, nor cinnamon roll consumption has brought forth a child into this world. 

Wednesday night I experienced my first real contractions from 11:45pm to 3:15am. They were coming about seven minutes apart and lasting for a minute each. I was all, "This is it!" Then they stopped, I fell asleep, and woke up at 6:00am realizing that wasn't gonna happen. 

Thursday night it happened again. 1:15 to 3:45am I had even more painful contractions, coming about eight minutes apart and lasting for over a minute each. But those stopped too. 

I've never wanted to experience pain as much as I do today. Come back, painful contractions! I've had several throughout the day, but nothing consistent. She's obviously getting ready! I know she is. Is today the day? 

I'll let you know what happens. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Wind on IMDB

The Wind is now listed on IMDB, which means I have another IMDB credit! Woohoo!


Check out The Wind on imdb here.

If you haven't already, you can watch the trailers here.
Also, check out my post from Film Slam, where The Wind took third place!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rainbow Maker

One of our friends has a rainbow maker in her kitchen window. It's a solar-operated crystal toy that spins when the sun hits it and casts prisms around the room. I love it. It makes her kitchen look all magical in the afternoon.

Last week she gave me one! She said it was something to make me happy before Daisy comes!

We don't have any true west or east facing windows in our house. I was disappointed when the rainbow maker didn't work in our kitchen window, which faces north.

Our french doors to the back patio are as close to direct west as we can get, but they have bamboo shades to keep out the afternoon heat. Zane placed it on the french door window behind the bamboo shade, and it actually still works! The bamboo slats give enough space for the prisms to cast through. On a sunny evening, the prisms dance around our living and dining room.

We haven't had many sunny evenings with Tropical Storm Debby. But I know Florida, and the rainbows will have plenty of sunshine in the future.

Thanks, Barb, for this fun gift!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Waiting for a Baby

Well, I'm 39 weeks, and the big 40 is looming ahead. Daisy may very well go overtime. The 4th of July might be celebrated with watermelon on the table and a watermelon still in my belly. 

Besides praying for her to come, wishing my Braxton Hicks would start hurting, and talking about her all the time, I've been trying to stay busy. It's getting more difficult as the day draws nearer. 

Saturday was hard, because we had a lot of free time. Errands just don't cut it. But, Zane and I went out that night to dinner and a movie. We saw Brave, which (spoiler alert!) is about a mother-daughter relationship. I spent half the time worrying about my future relationship with Daisy and the other half worrying about being a bad daughter. I think the pregnancy hormones were at work during that movie, because my sister didn't have the same reaction. 

Sunday after church, we went out with friends, and I made these amazing cookies:

They took me a couple hours, because I only have two cookie sheets, so I had to keep letting them cool and restocking the sheet for the next batch. That was good time spent. Then we had growth group. Social engagements are good time spent too. 

Monday was busy, and we had family dinner. Yay for social engagements!

Tuesday I left work early and tried baking these Cinnabon copycat cinnamon rolls:

They took a few hours because I had to let the dough rise. There were lots of steps and ingredients to keep my mind occupied, plus I had time for a nap in the middle. Baking semi-complicated recipes is a good way to not obsess over baby coming. By the way, they're amazingly delicious. 

39 weeks and counting. She's getting big and crowded in there. 

Come out, Daisy!

Tonight we're going out again. Dinner and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with friends. Our friend Josh suggested that "historical inaccuracies could make Daisy come." Let's hope so!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One More Week?

Sorry for all the pregnancy posts. It's on the forefront of my mind right now as I await Daisy's arrival.

This Friday will be 39 weeks, so only ONE more week until my due date. I'm torn between enjoying the last few days of pregnancy and wishing she would come already.

I've had a few painful contractions that get my hopes up, but they've all gone away and haven't returned for hours or days even.

I've cleaned the house, stocked the fridge, and everyday when I leave work, I make sure everything is in order in case I don't come back the next day. I don't know if any of that is the "nesting" frenzy that people talk about, but I'm READY!

38.5 weeks

Zane and I have been trying to enjoy the freedom of not having a kid, but I'm antsy to meet her already. We're also still enjoying regular DD visits for cinnamon donuts.

Rufio must sense the coming change. He's been more clingy than ever, demanding our attention and cuddling with us whenever he can. He also did a weird thing the other morning where he pooped in the closet on Zane's shoes and peed in the hallway. He has never done anything like that before. As we grumbled and cleaned it up, he sat nearby wagging his tail watching us. We were like, "Stop being so happy!!" I even stepped on his tail to keep it from wagging, but it didn't help. As soon as I lifted my foot, he started wagging it again. He's so weird.

Everyday I've been wanting Daisy to come, but I don't want her to come on Friday, because that's the day of the memorial service for our little friend who passed away last Saturday. I want to be there. It's all so sad and strange and unsettling. I think of Ecclesiastes 3, the part of the Bible that lists different seasons of life such as:

3:2 "A time to be born, and a time to die."
3:4 "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."

Usually I read these verses and think these times are distinct and different, but I'm realizing that sometimes they're all meshed together in life. There are moments of distinction, like in a crisis or celebration, but generally, I think people daily experience suffering and joy simultaneously. I can think of at least two other cases in friends' lives in recent years where death occurred the same time as a joyous occasion such as a birth or wedding.

I pray for daily joys in the midst of this intense suffering for my friends. It must be hard to find joy in anything. I think even grace and salvation can seem less worthy in the light of losing a child.

Just another musing on the two biggest things on my mind right now: grieving a death and anticipating a new life.

Also, I guess maybe my other post gave the wrong impression, based on some responses. I feel like I should clarify that I don't consider myself in a spiritual crisis or anything. I'm not living in fear of Daisy's life or mad at God. I trust Him in all this. I just wanted to share my feelings in the wake of such a horrible tragedy. I believe He's in control and has a good plan, for those who may have been worried about me in my emotional, nine-month-pregnant state. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Tragedy

Sunday morning we got news that one of our dear friends lost their baby girl. It was all very sudden and shocking and awful. The worst news in the world.

This was also the first time since getting pregnant that all my too-familiar thoughts of God being mean and cruel flooded back into my mind. Why didn't He save her? How can we live in a world where babies die? Why would He do that? How long does Daisy have? Can I even be happy that I have Daisy in the light of such a horrible thing?

I spent the morning in agony, crying and avoiding Zane and being mad. I asked God all these questions. He gave me the same verse that I used to say to myself during infertility:

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." Job 1:21

The ultimate conclusion is that God's goodness is not measured by our circumstances. No matter what horrible things happen in life, Jesus suffered more on the cross with the weight of the world's sin on His shoulders. God has not turned His back on us, and so there is hope.

There's really no way to understand or to reason why our sweet baby friend passed away, even though that's what I naturally want to know. I want to take away her family's pain, but I can't do that either.

In some weird way, I wish it had happened to Zane and me, because I don't want our friends to have to go through this. As noble as it sounds to want to take their suffering, I think that it's more deeply a selfish feeling stemming from my bitterness at God. We've already gone through some suffering, so what's some more? I think there's a natural mentality of waiting for the other shoe to drop, after you've experienced some measure of suffering. 

But, God has a plan for them through this. A good plan. I have to trust that.

I have to trust that their sweet baby girl lived all the days ordained for her, that she's with Jesus now. She'll never have to know the pain of losing a child or any other pain that we have on earth. For that I envy her, yet I still wish she had been given more years. 

Life is such a paradox. I can't believe that we are going to be rejoicing in the birth of Daisy very soon, while simultaneously mourning the death of one who would have been her friend and playmate.

Pray with me for this family and for all the lives that this death has touched. May God be glorified.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

You Can't Take the Sky from Me

Zane and I finally watched Firefly, the awesome 2002 one-season-wonder scifi/western TV show. We also lament with all Firefly fans that it only lasted for part of one season. Here's a short list of why I love this show:

1. Equal gender ratio. There are nine regular characters on the show, four women and five men. I think that's awesome. Most shows weigh heavily to one or other other side, depending on the intended audience. This was actually the first thing I noticed in the theme song opening.

2. Character diversity. The nine characters are all different and interesting. They have their own quirks and personalities and skills.

3. Juxtaposition of space and old west. When we first started watching it, I said, "This feels like a western." But they're on a spaceship. What? It's awesome.

4. Malcom Reynolds. Best character ever.

5. Incredible writing. All of these things that I love about the show come down to Joss Whedon's incredible writing. The dialogue and character development are great! So many great lines! The plots in each episode are also really creative and kept me guessing. There are some predictable things, but there are a lot of twists too, which makes for an enjoyable show.

After we finished the 14 episodes of Firefly, we watched the feature film, Serenity, which continues and wraps up the story of the show. Though it has the same characters, the feel is very different. Firefly is lighthearted and fun, but I was on the edge of my seat peeking through my fingers during Serenity. It's intense!!!

That's probably due to the different media type. A TV show tells a story very differently than a movie.

Anyways, Firefly was fun. I recommend it, but it's kind of scary at parts and there are torture scenes, killing, innuendos, occasional partial nudity, and suspense, so it's not really a kid show. I compare the content rating to that of Alias. Zane and I loved it, and now we have to find something else to watch.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sewing Room Finished

On the morning of St. Patricks Day, I took this picutre of our office right before taping it down to get a nice, festive, green paint job. That was three months ago! I can finally show you the finished room today.


Here's the same angle with the pretty green paint! 

And here's the same angle today! After!

I made the window valance and sewing machine cover. The desk was sanded down and spray painted. The sewing chair was painted and recovered. The curtains and ring-clips came with our house, but were originally hung in our bedroom. I had them in a drawer for a couple years because the fabric was nice and I can't just throw it away! I bought a dowel, sprayed it black, and hung them over the closet.

Here's the opposite wall. 

I spray painted the dresser and just hung some random stuff on the walls, including the awesome dragon painting and straw hats from around the world! Maybe the hats are a little much? I don't know. My creativity is non-existant right now. I can't find a better place to store my ironing board either.  

I'm not necessarily happy with this wall, but I'm probably not going to change it before Daisy comes (unless this mysterious "nesting" thing kicks in soon...still waiting for that to happen). 

Here's the large dresser. This is what I want it to look like, all clean and sporting picture frames. 

I cleared it off for this tour, but then decided I should show you what it really looks like right now:

I wouldn't want to deceive you into thinking I had everything looking lovely in our extra room. That's a stack of random baby books/papers, thank you notes, and clothes to be ironed. Real life at its finest. 

If baby Daisy comes before I can organize those things, then I'll just throw them all into the top drawer if we have guests stay in this room. It's a sewing/extra room, but it's also our guest room. 

This is the view from the doorway. It looks pretty inviting before seeing the opposite wall, ha!

It's been three months of pulling this room together. It's not Southern Living worthy, but it looks so much better than it did before. I hope that guests feel comfortable staying here as they stare at that dragon painting wondering what in the world I was thinking when I painted it. They can try on my decorative hats too if they feel inclined. They can even do my ironing... just kidding. Kind of. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Baby Shower Love

After years of going to baby showers, then a couple years of avoiding them, I was incredibly blessed to have a several given in mine and Daisy's honor. 

My intention for this post is to share how loved I felt over the last few months as women from my different parts of life chose to come together to celebrate what God has done in creating Daisy Love. I also want to showcase these women and their creativity in throwing showers! The time and effort given by all the hosts blew me away. I don't want to come across as showing off or bragging about getting baby showers. I seriously don't deserve any of it.

My sweet mother-in-law threw a joint baby shower for my sister-in-law and me, who are due within a week of each other. These baby girls are the first grandkids on Zane's side, so Vicky is doubly blessed as a first-time grandma!

It felt like Christmas growing up, where my sisters and I would wait to open presents together, since we knew we were getting the same thing. Daisy and her cousin will have a lot of similar things, including matching outfits!! Can't wait!!

Vicky prepared the entire shower herself! She did the all the invitations, games, decorating, and food preparation! I forgot to get a picture of the final food spread, but it was gorgeous and delicious. I got to take home some yummy leftovers too!

The afternoon was so fun, and I felt blessed to be part of Zane's family. Daisy is already loved so much. 

Here we are with our brother husbands. 

I can't believe how awesome it is that we're having kids at the same time! That was always one of my dreams in having a baby, that she would have a cousin the same age. God waited for the right timing to answer that prayer. 

After that, my sister and mom also threw me a shower. This shower was another huge blessing for me. I got to celebrate with the women in my family and close friends who shared the burden of suffering during my days of infertility. Their joy and anticipation of Daisy's arrival compounds my own joy. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the planning and "normal-ness" of being pregnant, and being with people who remind me of what a miracle this is makes me remember God's grace even more. 

I continued to feel so humbled and loved. I can't wait to bring Daisy into the world to meet all these people who love her already. 

This shower showcased my father's creativity! He carved this amazing baby carriage fruit bowl out of a watermelon!

The rest of the food was also delicious, and I enjoyed those leftovers too! Shower food is the best!

The ladies in my department at work also hosted a shower with the women of the office. I've heard of workplaces where a woman has to hide her pregnancy for fear of her job security or being treated differently, but my office is so different than that! From the moment I announced my pregnancy, I've only received support and excitement from my coworkers. I love them so much, and I feel so loved by them. 

They hosted a beautiful shower! It's kind of surreal that all this kindness was for me. I just can't believe it. 

More delicious cupcakes! And so cute!

They decorated the conference room with live gerber daisies, which I got to take home and plant in my garden

Lastly, as if I hadn't experienced enough love and showering, the ladies of my church threw me a shower. This was kind of a rite of passage for me, since I had been to (and avoided) church baby showers in the past. There are a lot of young families at our church, and the babies keep coming! I'm thrilled to finally get to join the "mom club." (Not an actual club, haha). 

Photo by Tonya Travelstead

This shower was another time of feeling overwhelmed by love! The decorations, food spread, devotional, and generosity of everyone was all so sweet.

Photo by Tonya Travelstead 

My favorite part was a tradition that our church does at baby showers. One of the hostesses creates cards with various Bible verses and inserts the family's names where appropriate. They pass out these cards at the shower, and the guests all pray for the baby using the different verses. 

An example is: 

Proverbs 3:5-7 We pray that Daisy Love would trust in the Lord with all her heart, and not lean on her own understanding. We pray that in all her ways she would acknowledge the Lord, and You would make her paths straight. Help Daisy to not be wise in her own eyes, to fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 

It was crazy to think of Daisy as more than a baby, as a person who will have an impact on the world. It was so special to have so many women praying for her in these specific ways. I cried a lot during that part. 

Photo by Tonya Travelstead
The hostesses and me and my mom and sister. These ladies did an amazing job!

Thank you to everyone who hosted these showers! Thank you to everyone who came to them and blessed me with your presence! Thank you to everyone who couldn't come, yet still sent me gifts! I have been incredibly blessed with baby gifts and hand-me-downs. 

For so long I clung to bitterness in my infertility and didn't share in the joy of others' pregnancies. I would never have sent a gift if I didn't go to a shower, and I didn't go to that many showers either! I have been treated in exactly the opposite way. It's a picture of God's grace that we get such good things that we don't deserve. 

I hope that in the future I can bless others in the same way. Thank you to everyone who has been so gracious and forgiving to me. 

Finally, thank you to everyone who has been praying for Daisy throughout these nine months and even before her conception! She's a blessed girl, and I trust that the Lord has a great plan for her life. I'm excited to see what that is. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daisy's Nursery

Time for the final reveal. My sister helped me organize a lot of the nursery items a few weeks ago, and Zane and I hung the last decorations on Sunday, so we're actually finished with this room! So many components of this room have come together in the last four months. I can't believe it.

Let me give you a tour.

Here's the view from the doorway. 

Daisy's book shelf and rocking chair are both pieces that I re-did earlier this year. The window valances were sewn by my mom. 

Rufio loves hanging out in Daisy's room, probably because I hang out in there a lot. He had all of his toys in the room this day, and I kicked them into the hallway before I started taking pictures, but he brought back in his cow. 

Here's a view from the closet side of the room. 

The Rapunzel art piece was something I did in high school. My art teacher told my mom that she could see me hanging it in my daughter's room someday. Eight years later, that's exactly what I'm doing!

The art piece on the right is a gift from my sister in China. She has a friend who sells these pretty wall hanging paintings. She painted Daisy's name at the top and wrote Daisy's verse in Chinese characters along the left side of the painting. What an awesome gift!

Here's her crib

The bedding was also sewn by my mom. As you can see, we still have stuff on the floor that we just don't know where to put. The car seat will obviously end up in the car, but I still need to find a good place for it when not in use. 

And here's the wall above her crib. 

The pictures were a gift from one of my friends, and the letters were made by my sister Lydia. 

We still have a few things in boxes and bags in the closet, but I don't want or need to deal with them just yet. We're pretty much ready for her to come whenever she wants, except for the whole taking-care-of-an-infant thing. I'm still a little nervous about that! But oh so excited!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Donuts and Collards and Fries, Oh My!

Is there anything quite so delicious as a donut? I think not! That's been my major craving lately. If I think about donuts too much, I start to smell them and long for their sweetness in my mouth. Yum. I guess I've been channeling Homer Simpson.

Here's my list of favorite donut flavors in priority order:
Chocolate glazed

I tried some other flavors when Dunkin didn't have any of the above, and I wasn't that satisfied. French crueler and blueberry? They're okay, but only just okay. If it happens again, I'm going to try regular glazed or old-fashioned. I'm planning my orders already! I'm obsessed!

37 weeks and loving donuts!

I've also been trying to eat more healthy in this last month before Daisy comes. I know, it's hard to believe after that obsessive donut speech. I've been trying to add more fruits and veggies into my diet. I asked my midwife about the vitamin K shot that they give babies immediately after birth, and she said if I eat plenty of leafy greens, then Daisy probably won't need it. It's only if she's severely bruised or her head is super misshapen.

So, I got on a collard greens kick.

A week later I had my blood drawn. When my results came back, my midwife raved about how great my blood looked. My hemoglobin levels were amazing! My iron count, awesome!

Apparently Zane loves them too. I thought I had made enough for a whole week of meals, but they only lasted for two because Zane wanted seconds and thirds! He keeps talking about how much he loves collards.

A bunch of fresh collards or a bag of frozen collards is pretty cheap ($1.50). All you do is boil/simmer them in chicken broth. My aunt made them on Memorial Day and used a vegan broth, which was also delicious. They're surprisingly filling and yummy.

After you eat a bunch of yummy collards, go out and get a yummy donut! That's what I do!

Zane and I also enjoy our restaurant trips too. We enjoy eating out, and pretty soon we'll have to cut that out since we're planning on dropping to one income. In the meantime, we're enjoying deals like $2 Happy Meal Sundays. Here's me with a cute little fry box at McDonalds. Everything miniature is cute!

That's my "cute wittle fwies" face.

I know you know this, but there's a serious connection between health and food. It's crazy how we ignore it in this country. Lately I've been reading Dr. Furhman, and the success stories of major health improvements are amazing. Check it out - insomnia, acne, autoimmune disorders, obesity - all healed through strategic changes in diet. 

I'm not one for drastic diet overhauls, but Zane and I are gradually adding more good stuff and eliminating more of the bad (while still enjoying donuts and happy meals...). Even minor changes can make major differences, just look at my blood! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Daisy's Letters

My sister decoupaged wooden letters for my baby shower, which we decided to use in the nursery as well. They don't have holes in the back, so we weren't sure how we were going to hang them. My only thought had been to use several nails for each letter.

Then my sister-in-law, who is also pregnant (due 10 days after me! woohoo!) and hanging letters in her baby's nursery, told me about this product:

They're velcro-type hanging strips that don't mess up your wall. I've heard of the hook kind, but these are designed for picture frames. They worked great for the wooden letters too!

They look great!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Crib Adventure

Zane's parents generously bought us a beautiful crib and dresser set for Daisy's nursery. It was shipped to a Toys R Us near us the week before Memorial Day. 

The Friday of Memorial Day weekend, Zane and I borrowed my dad's pick up truck with a cap on it and drove down to Toys R Us to pick up the furniture.

When we went around back, the two employees looked at our truck and said, "It's not going to fit." 

That's because the box for the crib was about the size of a full-sized mattress. The dresser fit in our small truck, but we had to leave the crib at the store until we could call in reinforcements. We called Kev and Lyd (my sister and bro-in-law), but they didn't answer. 

We were considering asking neighbors to help unload the dresser, when we got a call back from the sibs just in time! They were free! The boys did all the running around getting the rest of the furniture and unloading it. 

It was a crazy Friday night, because we also left our house keys and car keys in various different places, requiring extra driving trips to retrieve them. 

While the boys got the goods, Lydia and I moved all the baby stuff that was on the floor into another room to make space for this massive box. 

It took up almost the entire floor space of the room. 

The next day, Zane cut up all the packaging. This crib was packed incredibly well. There was no way that it could have gotten damaged in shipping. This part of the process was super tedious and took nearly two hours...or more? It felt like forever.

I couldn't help that much, but I gathered the lighter pieces and put them in trash bags. 

Rufio just watched and munched on packaging. 

At the end, Zane was exhausted. 

But he conquered the cardboard! Victory! 

We hauled it all to the cardboard dumpster at the elementary school in our neighborhood. 

We got all the pieces out, but we had no more time or energy left to put it together on Saturday. So, Monday morning of Memorial Day Zane put the crib together, which only took 20 minutes or so. 

The whole thing ended up being a three-day process. Here's the final product complete with the crib bedding that my mom made. Green and white polka dots! There are matching window valances too!

More nursery shots to come!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Maternity Loves

A short list of the things I've loved during my pregnancy:

1. Knee-length skirt. I have a black linen skirt that I bought on our anniversary trip, and it's been the best clothing item in my closet. I thought shorts would be my preferred summer attire, but my shorts were all pretty tight (didn't expect my thighs to expand so much) and too short for comfort. This flowy skirt has been a life saver. 

2. Ovaltine. I first had Ovaltine on our trip North Carolina during my first trimester when food was gross. I loved it. When I got home, I bought a large can that I'm still working on. It's the only food-type thing that I've enjoyed throughout my entire pregnancy. It's a perfect cool treat, and it's got vitamins!

Little Orphan Annie says, "Drink your Ovaltine!" 

3. Shirts that don't require an undershirt. I bought several larger shirts during my earlier months of pregnancy, but most of them required an undershirt. It's freaking hot in Florida right now, and undershirts just add to it! My friend let me borrow several light, sleeveless maternity shirts that don't require a strapless bra (yay!). I plan on utilizing those with my black skirt throughout the rest of the month!

I don't have this particular shirt, but this is what I mean. 

4. Comfortable shoes. My mom got me these shoes for my birthday. I wear them everyday and my feet don't hurt a bit. When I walk in other shoes or barefoot, my feet ache. I totally recommend this brand: BOC if you're looking for comfort shoes.

Found here. 

5. Reusable water bottle that fits in my car cup holder. I loved my camelback, but it was hard to clean, and it didn't fit in my car cup holder. My OB gave me a water bottle that fits in my car or purse, and I take everywhere with me. I'm thirsty all the time and constantly fighting off my cankles! 

6. Gum. Ever since the beginning of my pregnancy, food has a bad aftertaste. It doesn't matter how delicious it was during consumption, my mouth tastes bad afterwards. Gum has been my only hope.

These are some of my must-haves. What were/are some things you couldn't live without during pregnancy?