Monday, April 27, 2009

More random thoughts that no one cares about...

This will be a completely random post because I feel like writing, I just don't know what I want to write about.

The weather is teasing us. Can we just have some warm weather without rain, for cripe pete? I have the itch for gardening, and I've been out a few times, but it just seems all too short. I'm looking forward to the 7 days a week gardening stretch. Saturday mornings at 6:00 am, out in my jammies and bare feet, pulling weeds, pruning, fertilizing, watering, praising.... Such a treat for my soul! I love coming home from a long day of work, and heading out to the back yard to see how all the plants fared during the day - Monday through Friday. Some will need TLC, and others are just left to enjoy. This year will have the added bonus of my little boy, who now has his own gardening tools. He already loves to get his hands dirty, and is the only time he doesn't whine about it. (Any other kind of "dirty" is so not okay for him!) It's fun to assess the garden's progress at the end of the week.

I loathe blackberry bushes, but I love blackberries. I just don't want them in MY yard. Elsewhere is great. They just have a knack for taking over everything. Plants that have the ability to send out an arm and plant itself into the ground, making new roots, is evil and should be stopped.

I washed the Accord on Thursday evening... It rained on me as I was washing, which kind of made me laugh a little. The worst was when I was done, went inside to change clothes and then back outside to greet my husband who was just arriving home from work. There were 4 humongous turd splatters on my freshly washed car. And I began to wonder from whence the flock of pterodactyls came.

Scott and I were watching The Food Network (just another way to encourage couch-potatoe-ness) when on came a special on deep fried foods. And he got the awesome idea to deep fry a pickle. Let me just say this: Yum. Especially the Tabasco style pickle. It sounds disgusting, but, just like a deep fried Twinkie, it is delicious. Shut up and try it.

Three more weeks until we get to find out the sex of Wigglebean. Anyone wanna take a bet?

I ran (ok, I drove) to Love Love for a quick take-out lunch. They serve Pepsi products. **Boo** I hate Pepsi. I'm a Coke fan. Truly. Any true fan of either knows the difference. So, reluctantly, I went to the fountain to fill my cup. I thought, How can I possibly make this taste good? Then I saw the lemonade. The only way I've ever been able to stomach diet Pepsi is to add a boat load of lemon. So... I filled my cup most of the way, and added a splash or two of lemonade. I was so impressed with my ingenuity. It's really good. Reminds me of my childhood when my BFF Heather ("Head" for short - long story) and I would get dropped off at Freddies in Corvallis, with 7-11 right across the street. We would go make what we lovingly referred to as "Graveyards" which is pretty much a little bit of everything all mixed together. It had a terrible color (I can't even describe it, what with the addition of Mountain Dew), but it sure tasted good. I would imagine that now as an adult it probably doesn't taste half as good as I remember, but... it's a good memory nonetheless.

I also remember getting dropped off at the Chuck Wagon (only buffet in town) in Corvallis (right by the movie theater on 9th Street) where Head and I paid for our respective lunches in change. Yes, we were THOSE people. HA! Take that, you mean cashiers! We loved the Chuck Wagon. Mainly because we could eat as many mashed potatoes as we wanted, and we could go back for endless bowls of soft-serve ice cream with that nasty caramel sauce on top. Why is that appealing? I don't know. But it is.

Head's oldest brother (Jay) taught us how to drive. I think I was about 13 at the time. (Head was 15 or 16.) He drove this Subaru wagon... We lived in the country, and there were a lot of gravel roads, so the chance of getting caught was pretty slim to none. I remember getting behind the wheel, Jay in the passenger seat, and Head in the back seat right behind me. Off I went, only I didn't realize I had put the car in reverse instead of drive. We were headed straight for an embankment backwards. Heather grabbed my hair, screaming, "STOP!!!!!!!" I still laugh about that.

Do you ever wonder why you did the things you did when you were a kid? I do all the time. We did some pretty crazy stuff. Most of which I would never admit in public or in writing, but so much of it is just too funny not to share. For instance, Heather's family always had two Golden Retrievers. Always. I can't remember a time when there weren't two... One would die... and they'd get another one to replace him or her... Great dogs. At any rate, they had one named Flash (named after Flash Gordon, I think). He was the BIGGEST Golden I've ever seen. He had to have weighed 150+ pounds and could fit 4 (yes, FOUR) tennis balls in his mouth at one time. He was very, very large. As people approached their house, Flash would run out and grab their arm with his mouth and lead them to the door. Sounds very welcoming. The problem with this is that he had a massive issue of slobber. Once said arm was removed from Flash's mouth, there would be long strings of snotty slobber... Truly disgusting. (This is also the dog the violated me when I was about 7 years old. I was crawling on the floor for something, and he decided to hop on... Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a 150 pound dog off of you when you weigh less than 100 pounds and are flat on your tummy on the floor?)

I digress... All this to say that having large dogs meant large "accidents" (or purposes, depending on their location). Once, Head and I were in their den when we came across a pile of Flash's droppings. (And I'm not kidding when I say "pile".) We were so sick of cleaning up after these dogs... So... for whatever reason, we decided to put it in the drawer of this end table. God only knows why we did this.

Later that afternoon, our neighbor-friend Amiee came over to join us in whatever fun we were having at the time. We told her we had a surprise for her. "Close your eyes..." We led her to the end table. "Now, take a big whiff!"

So wrong. On so many levels.

We forgot about it for some time. Then, one day, we recalled. After some laughter, we decided to check it out and see if it was still there. It indeed was. Only it had grown a substantial amount of hair (aka, mold).

A few weeks later, we went back for another update. It was gone. Now I'm no expert on the disintegration time of canine poo, but there are only two possibilities: 1) the poo disintegrated; or 2) it was removed. If #2, I can only imagine the look on the face of the person who discovered it and would pay good money to know what they were thinking.

I could go on and on about Heather memories. We're still friends to this day. (Hey, Head!) We've been friends for 34 years. She's like a sister. And we're both married to Scotts. And our kids are less than 1 month apart. Our lives are always in sync. So cool.

One of my biggest pet peeves is chipped nail polish. I don't care if it's on fingernails or toenails. But, seriously... If your polish is chipping, please just remove it. Don't keep chipping away at it, and showing off the parts that are really stuck on there. I think it's worse on toenails. I hate looking down at someone's feet (and I'm a total foot person, for some unknown reason) and seeing chipped, ghetto toenails. Gross. It's especially disappointing when that particular someone is always so clean and tidy, stylish and fashionable. I expect to look down and see freshly polished toes, and cute little shoes that rock with the outfit. But, instead, I see cute little shoes with nasty, chipped ghetto toenails sticking out. Wrong. It's called nail polish remover (or good ol' acetone), ladies. Get some. And for the sake of everyone, please use it.

I'm ready to go garage saling. I'm specifically looking for a twin bed (frame, not mattress) that I can refinish, if necessary, for my big boy! Anyone know of someone looking to sell one? Or, wanna come with? I live for good deals. I'm all about "the find" on a tiny budget and being so proud of all the money I saved, and how handy I can be with sandpaper and paint or stain.

And so this edition of "random thoughts" comes to an end.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The prayer that changed my prayers

Several weeks ago, we were hanging out with our dear, dear friends Dale & Susan at their place. (This is at least a weekly thing... We spend quite a bit of time with them. We just love them to pieces!!!) We were chatting about our kids and how we pray(ed) for them. Their kids are now grown and have kids of their own. Dale was sharing with us how he just misses his kids when they were wee little (like their grandson, Colton, who is about 2 1/2, and Jeffrey who is now 21 months). We could just see the longing in his eyes as he remembered them...

We were discussing what a privilege it is to pray for our young ones. I was saying how my prayers are often turning towards Jeffrey, and now this new life within me.

They advised us to begin praying for Jeffrey's future wife. They reminisced about how awesome it was for them to pray all those years, and then to finally meet the ones that God had chosen for their sons. It was so touching.... I thought I've gotta start doing this!

From that day forward, every night when I tuck Jeffrey in, I lay my hands on him and pray over him. Among many things I pray that Jesus would meet him in his dreams and that Jeffrey would come to know his voice; that God would bless him with a long, joyful life and a meaningful ministry... (I pray other things, too, but that's just between Jeffrey, me and Jesus.) Once I'm done praying for Jeffrey, I pray for the wife that God has already ordained for him. I pray for her in a very similar way, but not knowing who she is, where she is, or anything about her family, I pray in a very specific way about her heart and the health of her soul, her family, her safety, her future, and the preparations that God is already making for the one day that Jeffrey and she will meet.

The oddest thing. Praying for a girl I likely do not know (maybe I do; only God knows) and how the relationship between her and my son will grow has altogether changed my prayer life. I can't really explain it to you with words. It's just an incredible feeling, and I can tell that God is very present with me (and likely her). Jeffrey can feel it, too. He is always very wiggly and talkative, but once the prayers begin, he settles down right away and is completely focused on my words, his eyes fixated on mine. It's so cool.

I'm looking forward to the day when Jeffrey brings home this young lady and I will have the honor of looking at her and saying, "I've been praying for you...."

Parents, if you aren't already praying for your little ones, please start. And if you haven't ever thought about praying for the life-mate that God has already chosen for them, pray for them as well. You will be blessed beyond measure.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A love for animals

Jeffrey and I were watching Animal Cops on Animal Planet last night. (I typically have to turn this off eventually because the stories of animal abuse are so sad... I can't handle it... I'm a big softy for dogs, especially.) One of the stories was about a pooch that managed to jump into a frozen lake and fall through the ice. Obviously, they were trying to rescue the little guy, who was completely freaked out so kept swimming out further and further away. Poor little thing was FREEZING and wet... so sad. Jeffrey was cuddled under my arm enjoying his pre-bedtime warm milk. He loves to see animals on TV. He points and makes all the animal noises that correspond to what he sees. (He's so smart like that.) He saw this little dog drowning and he just started to bawl his eyes out. It wasn't a little whine (like he does when the birds fly away and he can't see them anymore). This was a full-on face-contorted, crocodile tear cry. It was so cute. They'd switch to an interview with one of the officers on the scene, and he'd stop. Then they'd switch back to the dog in the water, and again Jeffrey would start to cry. It ended well. Pooch was saved, so Jeffrey and I clapped.

I'm so proud of him. He already has such a big heart for animals, much to the chagrin of my husband who really could live without them unless they are nicely grilled to a perfect medium rare and sitting on his dinner plate along side some cheddar mashed potatoes. Needless to say, Scott is not an animal lover and would never in his life shed a tear for one. I, on the other hand, cry when an animal ALMOST gets hurt... Jeffrey seems to have inherited my soft spot. So, I guess I have much to look forward to when he brings home lost and hurt animals of all varieties. Which is ok with me, because I love them. Scott, however, will do all he can to ensure that they stay no longer than one night tops - and most likely in a box on the back door step.

Two against one. We win.

Friday, April 10, 2009


This morning the Spencer family had their memorial service for their baby (Logan) who died just 90 minutes after birth due to a genetic disorder. The baby wasn't expected to live, and the family knew that if the child survived until birth that their time together would be short - minutes, maybe seconds.

I just wonder, how do you prepare for such a thing? Ever since prayer requests were emailed to the staff, my heart just started breaking for them. I think I'm especially sensitive since I'm pregnant and had to deal with some tough news early on that I might miscarry. I honestly can't imagine hearing that I may carry the baby to full term and that very soon after the child would die. I'm so impressed with their decision to carry Logan to term (rather than take the "easy" way out by terminating the pregnancy, which I think so many would likely choose). In talking to Scott about this, God must bestow a tremendous amount of grace, and, truly, this would be the only way to get through it. How unbelieving families could walk through such a horrific journey is beyond me.

It wasn't my baby, but I'm just broken over this tragic story. Birthing a child, and holding that precious life in your hands as God gently releases him from this world... you must savor every second. On the front of their memorial program was a beautiful picture of Logan all wrapped in blankets with the hands of the family laying on top - as if praying him safely to heaven. If a picture speaks a thousand words, this one spoke a million.

While there are no words that would truly bring comfort to the family, I'm quietly praising Jesus that He saved this child the troubles of this world. He will never experience pain or sadness, or sin, or loss... I would like to believe that Jesus was holding Logan from his first breath to his last, and that he never knew there was even a transition from this life to the ever-after. It's hard to worship when you experience such a loss (I can only assume), but I know that there is hope and pray that, if they aren't already, they will soon be worshipping again.

Praise that Logan is home with his Heavenly Father. I can't imagine a better place to be.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Is that the ocean?

We had another OB appointment this morning. I wasn't sure what to expect. I just come when they tell me to come. We spent quite a bit of time chatting up our midwife about birthing classes (which we missed by 4 days when Jeffrey was born 3 weeks early), and whether or not I would endure natural childbirth again.

For those of you unfamiliar with natural childbirth, either because you have never birthed a child, or because the thought of pain sent you straight into the arms of an epidural, let me tell you a little somethin' somethin'. It sucks. I won't lie. It's the most painful thing EVER. Take your threshold for pain and multiply it by about 100, to the point where you would almost wish you would just die and, in fact, you truly believe that you will... That's natural child birth. Ow. Seriously. Owie.

With Jeffrey, I was completely determined to go through this naturally. (I also thought that it couldn't possibly be that bad... Silly me!) I remember the first 5 hours or so, from the time my water broke, to the time we finally were out of triage and into my birthing room, contractions were about 2 minutes apart. Not having a clue as to what to do, and thanking God for the nurse-nun who sat with me from beginning to end coaching me along the way, I was thinking, ok... I can do this. I breathed through the contractions... They hurt a lot, but, hey, this was natural. Then... the contractions got closer together (like 15 seconds apart, barely enough time to take a breath and breathe through the next one), and for the next 3 hours the pain was almost unbearable, only to find out that after all that work (and it is work, ladies), I hadn't progressed at all. I wasn't dialating. At all. Damn.

At some point during this time, apparently another nurse arrived to let me know that if I wanted an epidural, now would be the time, otherwise it would be too late... I didn't hear this question. I was busy breathing and suffering greatly. But, my dear, wise, loving, supportive husband answered on my behalf. And this was his answer:

"No... she's fine."

This is true. Only, I didn't find this out until after the fact. Listen up, husbands. If your wife is given an option, you better make darn good and sure that she heard AND understood the question. That's all I'll say about that.

Over the next 3 hours, pain increased about 30 times and I literally thought I would die. I turned to Scott and said, "I can't do this," in between the whimpers (which were beyond tears at that point). He said, "Yes, you can!" I said, "No, I can't!" He said, "Yes, you can!" (Looking back, this must have sounded like two four-years olds going, "Nuh, uh!" "Uh, huh!" "Nuh, uh!" Uh, HUH!" ....)

But... I did it. I was told to push... I tried but was exhausted. The doc told me I needed to push through the pain because essentially I was pushing the baby just a little and when I stopped, it would sort of get sucked back in. I thought to myself, "Push through the pain? What does that even mean?" Then Scott said he could see the head. That was enough for me. I pushed with all that I had in me (ha!) and even when the doc told me to stop and take a breath, I just pushed harder and harder, until I saw the head and torso... Doc pulled the baby out and held him up exclaiming, "It's a boy!"

Even now, thinking back, what an amazing journey... All the pain is worth the reward. Incredible. This tiny, curled up human, all wet and warm gently placed on my chest... It's beautiful. If you haven't experienced this, you're probably thinking, "gross." It's not. It's the most precious thing ever.

I remember just moments later turning to Scott and saying, "You just saw my at my worst today." He responded, "No, I saw you at your best."

I have the best husband ever.

So, would I do natural child birth again? You bet. And having been through this once before, I don't have any false notions that it will be easy. I know what to expect. And the pain is worth it. God gave us pains during childbirth (Genesis 3:16). I want to walk with Him through that. I did it once. I'll do it again. (Although, I made it very clear to Scott that should a nurse come in saying that now is the time to administer an epidural, he better make sure I hear it... I can't be responsible for what might ensue if he doesn't.)

Back to today. I asked to hear the heartbeat. That's always a comforting sound. It's reassuring to hear the baby even when you can't see him or her. My midwife pulls out her little doplar, squirts some warm gel on my belly and pushes the little wand around for a while. It was like listening to the ocean... Just some waves of sound. And then in the background, we hear a rapid, "WISH-wish... WISH-wish... WISH-wish..." Beautiful. 145 beats per minute.

For the record, it's not the ocean. It's a baby.

My dear little Wiggle Bean, how I long to meet you face-to-face. I've already had the joy of hearing you and seeing what will eventually be the "finished" you. Even before you are born, I love you. We prayed for you, and God in His mercy and grace has blessed us with you. We pray daily that God's hands mold each detail of you. And while you are ours, you belong first to the One who created you. We're grateful for the gift of your life. We pray that even now, Jesus reveals Himself to you. Blessings, Little One. Just six short months to go.... Love, Mommy

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Strip Away

Being a mom is one of the (if not THE) hardest jobs. There's a lot at stake.

I'm feeling more and more anxious about bringing another baby into our family. My highest calling is to be a wife first, and a mom second. A friend, a neighbor, a member of my community follow... And eventually in that list (way down the list) is the job I get paid to do. But, somehow, in this season of life, I've had to focus much of my time on the paid job, versus the rewarding job of being an (unpaid) mom. This breaks my heart every day. I'm seriously conflicted. Scott and I have spent much time in prayer over this issue. I just wish, hope and pray that I could be at home with my little ones during the early years, working along side Jesus as He molds and makes them into the little people He has created them to be. I can think of nothing more important than that.

And I love being a mom. I love everything that goes with it - even the diapers that are so full of poop that it smooshes out the top and sides and gets all over who-knows-what, and the nights when I'm up 5 times to take a temperature and change sheets because of diarrhea and vomit, and even the stage when the fits and talking back begin... I love it all.

And because I'm a working mom, it's difficult to find time to serve others because my time is split between work and home. Every moment I'm not working, I want to be with my son... (and being domestic, because laundry doesn't wash and fold itself, and dishes don't jump in the dishwasher by themselves, and the floors don't sweep themselves, and the ceiling fans don't dust themselves, and the lawn doesn't mow itself...). So that leaves little (if any) time to love on my friends and my friends' kids, and take part in their lives. It leaves essentially no time to volunteer, or to support my friends in their ministries.

The thought of having two babies and missing out on this time with them is killing me. I find that my thoughts are increasingly at home when I'm working. I think about how I can pray for Scott, for Jeffrey, for this new little one... for Jeffrey's future wife... I think about entertaining our friends and their families so that they might be blessed in some way. I think about how I could be a better wife so that when Scott comes home, he can put his feet up and enjoy his evenings, rather than having to be the primary cook for the family every night. I think about how I could bring joy to my neighbors by showing them the love of Jesus rather than fuming quietly in my home when they park their car on the lawn, or let their garbage blow around their side yard... I think about how I will teach certain life's lessons to my children in a way that will build up their character and a love for Jesus.


But... here's the thing. I believe that God knows the desires of my heart. I pray with fervency. I realize that prayers aren't always answered in the way I want them to be... and sometimes these are dangerous prayers. Dangerous in the sense that in order to have X, big sacrifices may be necessary. (So, for instance, I want to be a stay at home mom, and God may just make that happen by essentially deleting my job... That would also suck because, financially, obviously that would be a HUGE hit, which would require some immediate changes - like selling both cars and practically everything else we own, unless we wanted to sell the house and move into some rinky dink apartment with smokers on either side, above and below us.) But... I wonder if that wouldn't somehow be a blessing? I'm sure it would. Maybe I couldn't see it right away, but, as God often works, the blessings of such a sacrifice aren't often noticed for miles down the road (translated into years, perhaps).

I wish I could share all that God has been doing in us these last several months. It has been entirely uncomfortable - often downright painful. But, oh, so tasty and rich. Maybe I'll share some of that in future posts. But suffice it to say that God has been stripping us down and helping us to see who He really is, who we are in light of that, and inviting us into a deeper worship and engagement in His beautiful Kingdom. I gladly and freely open my arms and say, "Here I am, Lord. Strip away."

I thank God for allowing me to become a mommy - not just once, but (with God's grace) twice. I've never seen more of who God is than I have since the birth of my son. When he was first born, I held him close to me and I finally experienced unconditional love. (There's a lot of talk about that in relationships, but, trust me, unconditional love doesn't just "happen" on its own... save when you have a child.) God loves that way. And now I know what He meant.

A couple of weeks ago, Jeffrey climbed on top of an end table, stood on the very edge and, while laughing, jumped off. Now... he didn't jump off because he wanted to fall to the floor and crack his head open or break his arm. He jumped because he knew his daddy was there to catch him (which he did). So, again, giggling, he climbed on top of the table, stood on the edge and jumped. Again, daddy was there to catch him. What faith! I wondered... do I have faith in my Father that way? It never crossed Jeffrey's mind that, perhaps, Daddy wouldn't be there to catch him.

Scott and I talked about Matthew 6:25-26, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Jeffrey doesn't worry about where he will sleep, or whether he'll eat, or whether or not he has clothing to wear. He just trusts that all of that will be taken care of. I want to trust that way.

If being a mom teaches me more about my Heavenly Father, then that's what I want to be - full time. I thirst for this kind of knowledge, this kind of faith.

Strip away, Jesus. Strip away.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Flutter flutter

For the last couple of days, I've felt baby Wigglebean fluttering. It's kind of an odd feeling at this stage. The first pregnancy, I'm pretty sure I would have thought that was something else. (People told me it was probably gas, but, com'on... I'm 36 and have experienced my fair share (and then some) of gas. This is not gas flutter. Trust me on this.)

I love that feeling. It's just a little reminder of a life that God has entrusted to me and the joy of an answered prayer. (That is, an answer that I wanted... Cuz I believe God always answers our prayers, just maybe not in the way we would like.)

I made the announcement at work today... I actually got a little choked up, which was weird for me. Everyone clapped, and in the midst of the claptor, we hear Scott's voice pipe up, "So, when were you going to tell me about this?" Everyone laughed... Just for the record, Scott knows. And, yes, it's his.... The milkman will be disappointed.

I've been told in the last few weeks that second pregnancies are ton a fun. I mentioned that before. And when I say "a ton of fun" I actually mean that they really are not. I'm 12 1/2 weeks, and I'm already showing. Not to mention the fact that when all this stuff was happening, my doc tells me I need to "take it easy" which meant no exercise, no heavy lifting (including my 35 pound toddler), and that I basically need to just sit and rest. I hate just sitting. But, honestly, I've been so exhausted and nauseated that it was a welcome order to which I would happily (ok, a bit grudgingly) comply. Sitting is not a good task for me. I don't "sit" well. When I sit, I become bored. And when I'm bored, I eat. You can see where this is leading. Yes, I've been eating more than I should. The funny thing is that most of what I was eating (up until about 2 weeks ago) was fruit and salad. I've never in my life craved salad. It tastes so crisp and fresh! Yum! According to the scale, I've actually only put on about 3 pounds. But my body, which has an elephant's memory of pregnancy #1, has poofed out like I'm 6 months pregnant. I'm wider. I'm plumper (or fluffier). Everything is bigger. And my belly is already showing. I'm sort of in that inbetween stage when people wonder, "Is she pregnant? Or just fat? I'm afraid to ask..." The answer to which is yes and yes. I'm pregnant AND fat. So there.

It's time for maternity clothes. I wish I could just wear my PJ's to work. That's the most comfortable.

I miss coffee. I miss martinis. I miss beer. I miss sushi. Not necessarily in that order.

But I'm grateful for ice cream, pickles, pineapple and apples, in that order.