Monday, August 31, 2009


I had a conversation with Abigail a few days ago that I didn't know how to react to. I kind of wanted to laugh. I kind of wanted to cry. It made me realize I may never truly know what goes through the mind of a three-year-old.

I was in the kitchen. She was in her bedroom, which is just off the kitchen. She yelled to me, "Mommy, can I live with you forever?"

"Well, sure," I replied, finishing up the dishes. "You can if you want to." I remember telling my dad I would always live with him and take care of him. I know kids are thoughtful until they grow up and meet their spouse. Then all bets are off.

"But will big people come and take me away from you?"

This is one of those left-field questions that makes a parent wonder what-in-the-world show did (of course) someone else let her watch that made her see a child abduction or something.

"Have you known any kids who have been taken away from their families?" I asked. I figured this would be a better look into her little head than just saying, "No, don't be silly!"

"Well, Kerry and Charlotte's girls got big and somebody took them away."

Let me pause here to explain that our friends Kerry and Charlotte's girls are in their mid-20s. One is married, and one is in grad school. They were in no way ever "taken away" from their parents.

"Oh, honey, no. Kerry and Charlotte's girls are all grown up big. One of them is married and one is in college. When you go to college, you usually don't live at home anymore. And when you get married, you don't live at home with your Mommy and Daddy anymore either. Just like when I married Daddy, I live with him. I don't live with Memaw and Papa anymore."

"Oh. Okay." And back to playing she went. I wonder how much time in her mind she spent worrying that someone was going to come, say, on her 4th birthday, and take her away from home. Poor kid.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Whew, has it been a busy few days! At the end of last week, we took a little two-day vacation up to South Bend, IN to see our friends Allan and April. I'll write more about it when I can post pictures, too, as they tell more than I could. Alas, Paul is the picture guy around this house, and I am terribly inept at knowing how to do anything that involves taking out a memory card, putting it into the computer, and editing the pictures. I think it is one of his spiritual gifts, and you know, I wouldn't want to take that away from him.

In a recap, we visited the gorgeous campus of Notre Dame (complete with Touchdown Jesus). We spent Friday at the beach at Lake Michigan. It was a terribly windy, chilly day for the beach, but Abigail stripped down to her princess swimsuit and played with gusto. So, I know in my memory, it will be this great day we had at the beach, not with me wrapped in a sweatshirt, avoiding sand blowing in my face. And Saturday, we went to the South Bend Chocolate Company for truly mediocre service, but pretty good bagel and coffee. It was a really fun, packed, exhausting trip. I feel like I am still catching up on my sleep two days later.

Now I am wondering, hello August? Where are you rushing off to, and taking my time and all of my friends back to school? Don't get me wrong...I am a fall girl through and through, so I am more than happy to have a few extra crisp days, as fall is too fast itself. I just really don't understand why time is moving at warped speed these days, and stretching my three-year-old along with it.

And this concludes my weekend recap and rant to August. The end.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Going Home Again

You know the saying, "You can't go home again"? Well, Paul and I both had these experiences within the last week, different though they were. Paul took a MoMad (Monthly Man Day) trip, which was actually a couple of days, with two of his guy friends to Alma, Arkansas, where his family lived from his ages 2-10. He had not been back since the move away, and Alma has always had this fuzzy, early 80s glow in his childhood memory. He had so many sweet remembrances of things only kids would even think about, like the tiles on the grocery store floor, or the playground equipment that busted his chin open.

Paul's childhood was quite different from mine. He was the youngest of six kids, while I was one of two. His dad worked in the military, and then for the postal service, and got transferred often, and my entire childhood was in the same little Illinois town. Even during his family's time in Alma, they lived in three different homes (I think). I lived in the same home until it was off to college I went.

My parents have since moved, but only about a half hour from my childhood home. They've lived in their current home for twelve years now, and I barely identify with my Paris home anymore. Paul's trip back to Alma last week was momentous for him, and the pictures and videos abounded. He was so excited to see the places from the corner of his memory, even if they had changed only slightly...and some places not at all.

I went with my two best high school girlfriends on a bachelorette weekend getaway. They are the only two people I still regularly keep in touch with from growing up. We had a fun time, even though our lives are all kind of shooting in different directions. We don't have all the same people in common anymore, or even all the same interests. But we have our friendship...the kind where you are friends because you have always been friends and you will always be friends.

"Home" is not Paris to me anymore, and hasn't been for a long time. Sure, I have many happy memories from there....from the house I grew up in, from my schools, from my friends, from my church. But my parents are not there anymore. Most of my friends aren't either. My home is where my family is....Paul and Abigail. There are people I love dearly, and memories I treasure. But when Paul got back from his trip with the guys...and then I left, and got back from my trip with the girls...we were both home.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I am so tired. Soooooo.....tired.
My tummy feels icky.
I heard a heartbeat of 170 beats per minute today.
My thyroid medicine needs upped....AGAIN.
My mom is wonderful, and takes very good care of me.
My husband is gone to relive his childhood memories for a couple of days and having a wonderful time.
I'm very ready for him to be home, but trying to remember that reliving childhood memories is a wonderful thing.
I have not touched laundry or dishes for two whole days.
I feel very badly about this.
My dad occupied Abigail this entire night so I could nap in my old bed. He's an awesome Papa.
I have not crossed nearly as much off of my to-do list this week as I would have liked.

It's a good thing I'm loved.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Comparison

Like it or not, I have spent the last six weeks that I have known I was pregnant comparing to my last one. My first miscarriage, last spring, seemed over almost as soon as it started, so it is hard having much to compare to there. But the second pregnancy last year gives me a larger time frame to compare to.

I think the thing that has been hardest, even though this one has seemed to be going without a hitch so far, is knowing that I was ten weeks along with my last one, and had heard the heartbeat on two occasions, with an ultrasound as well. Up until two weeks ago, I have had weekly ultrasounds with this one. Everything in me wanted to be excited...and I was...but that little nagging thought in the back of my head kept saying "But you had this the last time, too." And I would think about being seven, eight, nine weeks along and that voice would say, "But you were ten last time."

So, here I sit this week, at ten weeks and three or four days. Right at the same point that I miscarried in October. I have had no reason to be concerned. No reason to worry. And I can't say that I am just sitting around least, not in the active sense. But there is still that voice. There is still that pit of fear that gasps and thinks, what was that twinge of pain? I feel like I have been pregnant much longer this time, and I think I feel that way because it has been a much more physical experience. For the most part, I felt pretty great last time. No real exhaustion or nausea to speak of. This time, I've had all of that. And although it seems reassuring that I have physically experienced this pregnancy so much more, there are still those thoughts.....This is when it happened last time.....

Then, with the best and often too-weak confidence that I can muster, I tell myself that there is a voice of truth that I need to listen to. There are reminders:

Behold, I am doing a new thing;now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ---Isaiah 43:19

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ---Isaiah 55:8-9

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water,that sends out its roots by the stream,and does not fear when heat comes,for its leaves remain green,and is not anxious in the year of drought,for it does not cease to bear fruit. ---Jeremiah 17:7-8

These are the reminders I need. Of course, they are countless...the encouragement, the promises, the truth of God's Word. My thoughts need taken captive constantly, on a moment by moment basis. Because as much as I cling to it, this is not my last pregnancy. God is doing a new thing...and I have to trust Him in that.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Playing School

My little one will not be starting school this year. And she may or may not be starting next year. She is one of those "lucky few" who turns five after the school cut-off, so she will have two full school years before she starts kindergarten. Not that I am in any hurry, because I totally am not.
She will be almost 5 and 3/4 when she starts school, which is about the same as my experience, as we are both December babies. I already know for sure that I am keeping her home with me this year, no preschool. Oh, I think she would totally dig preschool, and bloom like the little social dandelion that she is. But I have a few selfish reasons for this decision:

1. She will be in school, like, her entire life. Why start so early?
2. This will be our "last year" together as "just us". When baby comes in March, things for my little only child will change pretty dramatically, so I want to enjoy the Abigail and Mommy time while it's still us. One of my friends who is pregnant with her fourth child said that her oldest daughter, who is now 8, and had several years of being an "only" before bro and sis came along likes to remind her parents of the "good old days when it was just us." I love this, and plan to enjoy these days as well.
3. She is mine, and you can't have her. Ahem.

I still roll around the thoughts in my head of what to do the next school year, the one before the big K. Part of me likes the idea of just keeping her home. Although I can see benefits to both sides of the coin, I think kids benefit from more time with Mama than less, so I'm in no rush. On the other hand, she may be ready for some break time after baby, and a couple mornings a week may be just what she needs to do her thing. And that is all I am really wanting...there is lots and lots of time for five days a week. If she could go a couple of mornings to a good preschool, that may give me some one-on-one time with baby that would be precious to us, too.

Because those baby days? They go like lightening.

Today, however, I tried something new. We played school. This came from the advice of my Super-Smart-Awesome-Mommy friend Christianne. She has three kids and is an elementary school teacher. A "high-ability" school teacher, no less. Cough, cough. And her oldest daughter who is about to start kindergarten is nothing short of....really smart and sweet and awesome just like her mommy. She never has sent her kids to preschool, yet her oldest could be in the running for next Doogie Howser. Or something smart like that. Her suggestion was just buying those little preschool workbooks from the store, that have little activities and stuff. Wow, I sound super smart when I talk preschool work.

So, I did. And we did. We did 17 pages today, because she just didn't want to stop. We played "What starts with the same sound?" and "What is different in the picture?" We counted, and did mazes. We colored. She loved it. Every time I would say it would be the last one, she would say, "Just three more." I was impressed with how much she understood it. And here's the real kicker....I had so much fun doing it with her! It was focused. It was quiet. It didn't require dragging out every toy into the living room. I didn't have to put on my swimsuit or lather us up with sunscreen. And just like the Grinch's heart, I think her brain grew two sizes today.