Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hair Follies

Guess who's approaching Year Two, and all that comes with it?

A few mornings ago, I was in the computer room when I heard a whirring sound come from the bathroom down the hall... a sound I instantly recognized as Paul's electric razor. I jumped up and ran into the room to see a grinning Lucian attempting to shave his head! He only managed to chop a few strands, and as he had basically nothing to start with, I don't think the patch is noticeable. That child! I don't know where he comes up with this stuff.

Only an hour later, I set the boys up at the table with a snack: apples and peanut butter. I then went upstairs to put away a load of laundry. Five minutes later, I returned downstairs to see my little boy slathered in peanut butter, attempting to wipe off his hands using his hair. Really? What's wrong with your shirt, my son? Don't normal kids wipe their hands on their shirts?

So, like the good mom that I am, I whisked him upstairs and steered him into the guest room for a photo op before plopping him into the bathtub. Hey, I know my priorities. When I told him to look at the camera, he slowly turned his head and smirked up at me with an impish grin. (Doesn't it look like he knows too much?)

Oh child, it's a wonder my hair isn't gray... yet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmastime is Here

It has been a whirlwind of Christmas celebrations around these parts! As if celebrating the birth of our Savior wasn't enough, we were blessed with a Christmas baby four years ago who deserves some celebration of his own! I think we balanced things pretty well this year, giving Max plenty of time to feel special within the Christmas excitement.

We started out our celebration on Saturday morning at home. Max woke up first and came to bring us downstairs. He stopped short on the landing as soon as he saw his Christmas gift: an easel! "Wow.... Wow! What is that? Wow!" He slowly circled it, examining the whiteboard and the chalkboard, and asked us where the markers were. Thankfully, Louie woke up soon after and Max was able to open his gift from Grandma and Grandpa Yantes: a full art supply set to go with his easel! Markers, paints, chalk, paper, paintbrushes, you name it! He opened the dry erase markers and didn't leave his post in front of the easel until he had to get ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa Radecki's house, several hours later. Louie opened a set of Automoblox, a new book and an indoor hockey set (guess whose idea that was? Oh, and of course Max got a matching one). We ate a leisurely breakfast and slowly got ready to head down to Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas Eve.

We arrived in Burnsville in the midafternoon with a trunk full of goodies: presents, cookies, mulled wine makings. My mom's parents were already there, and after unpacking we quickly settled in to the first of many games of Buck Euchre. The game went so long that we weren't able to finish it before it was time for Mass! We got the kiddos all dressed and headed to the church, where we celebrated Jesus' birth in the best way possible.

After Mass, we went home for our traditional Christmas Eve Clam Chowder, followed by present time... made even sweeter by Paul's addition of Hot Port (a new take on mulled wine, definitely a keeper! Not that I got to have nearly as much as I wanted... I had to get by on one small half-glassful). My mom tried something new this year: wrapping all her presents in reusable or recyclable wrapping! What a great idea; we ended up with only one small bag of garbage among all of us.

Someone had an encounter with some glitter...

Max was so excited for the next day that bedtime took about two hours! As we sat around the table playing cards late into the night, we were visited by a little boy nearly every twenty minutes, claiming to be thirsty or needing help getting the duplos out of his jammies that he had found and "accidentally" stuck in his shirt. Finally my mom went upstairs to tuck him in and later we found them both sound asleep in bed... all it took was snuggling with grandma to finally get him to sleep!

The next morning started way too early; even after his VERY late night, Max was too excited to sleep in, so we were all up at about seven to check stockings and celebrate Max's birthday! We put candles into a hazelnut sweetbread for him to blow out, then on to more presents. (how is this kid ever going to come down from this craziness??)

"Me and Jesus have the same birthday!"
My parents hosted Christmas dinner for my mom's side of the family, all twenty-something of us. Max loved the long table that got set up in the living room, and he posted himself at the place of honor long before dinner was served! Then the rest of the family came and we feasted on a delicious meal, opened more presents, ate more sweets, and then promptly went into a collective food coma. Perfect! 

After dancing off some of their sugar buzz with Grandma and Grandpa, the boys were ready to head home. We decided to do some Christmas light touring on our way home, but Max barely stayed awake long enough to see anything! We pointed out a huge lit-up tree to him as he was drifting off, and he managed to shake himself awake slurring, "What's a tree...." before heading back to dreamland. 

Dancing to Christmas tunes
Yesterday the celebrating continued with my dad's side of the family, where I forgot to bring my camera. Thankfully my aunt got some great pictures and I hope to get a hold of them eventually and share them with you. It was a great time, including a meal of soup and corn bread, more gifts, and an intense game of Bowls (My aunt and I totally rocked it!). 

Today has been a day of decompression, playing with the truckload of new toys that have overtaken our living room. It was a crazy few days, but what joy to be able to spend it with family!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Smile for the camera! At least look at the camera...

For an early Christmas present, my parents gave us a family photo shoot with a friend of theirs, a great photographer who took Max's 18 month pictures... wayyyy back in the day. We got all cute and coordinated in brown and blue, and made our way down to Burnsville for the pictures a couple of weekends ago. While Tom is an amazing photographer, our children were not in the mood to be cooperative! I'd like to treat you to some of the best outtakes, because they will probably not see the light of day again.

Obviously we couldn't pick this one for our Christmas card

Something smells...

Look, Ma! No hand!

It's not every day we get such a beautiful photo of our children fighting

Louie may look like he's smiling... but I assure you he's not enjoying this choke hold.
We did get some really nice photos for a Christmas card, but seeing as I'm not on the ball this year, they'll be going out some time after Christmas... hopefully still within the Christmas season! New goal: Epiphany. Hold me to it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm Dreaming...

Looks like we might have gotten our Christmas dusting of snow just a little too early! According to the forecasts, it looks like we may be in for a brown Christmas this year in Minnesota. Bummer! Max has been asking me when the snow will come back, because he is bound and determined to build a pirate fort with Grandpa. Sad to say, they won't be playing in that fort on Christmas Eve this year.

In all honesty, I'm in no hurry to have four feet of snow on the ground. Here in the midwest, we'll have snow until March regardless of when it first falls. So if it waits a few more weeks, that's only three months of battling icy roads. I can deal with that! I'm still holding out hope that we'll see some flakes falling on Christmas Eve, but I'm ok if the heavens don't open until we're safely home from our trip to Rapid City in mid-January. 

We have had two good snow days so far, and the anticipation will make the next snowfall that much more exciting! The first day it snowed, Max came running down the steps yelling, "It's a snow day! It's a snow day!" That evening he played outside for an hour, making tracks on every inch of our yard, leaving not a speck of untouched snow.

We got outside once more before everything melted, and while Max could have stayed out all day, Louie was a bit more cautious. He preferred to stand on the sidewalk and point at the white stuff. When he accidentally got some snow on his mittens, he held his hands out to me and whined until I brushed it off. Not so much a snow bunny, that one. 

According to Max, it's not actually winter until there is snow on the ground. Actually, "It was winter, but it's not anymore... but it will be soon. At Christmas." I hope he's not too sorely disappointed if "winter" doesn't come this week! I have a feeling the sugar and the presents might distract him. Then after the celebrations settle down, we can move on to sledding and skating and snowmen. At least it's already cold enough for hot chocolate!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Keeping a Secret

This weekend, Max went on a shopping excursion with my dad and came back with a present just for me! Apparently they were walking through a store and Max stopped and said, "I want to get this for Mommy for Christmas." No prompting. Melt my heart. The gift was wrapped in-store, and Grandpa reminded Max that the contents were a secret until I opened it at Christmas. "Don't tell Mommy what you got!"

That evening, when we got home from the Holidazzle parade, we met Paul who was just returning from North Dakota. Max was very excited to share the fact that he had picked out a Christmas gift. As I put it under the tree, I made a comment about how I couldn't wait to find out what was in it. As Max bounced on the couch with uncontrollable excitement, he blurted out, "They're mittens!!"


Daddy tried to rectify the situation, reminding Max that presents are supposed to be a surprise, and to throw me off-track he said, "Maybe they're socks. Or shoes. Or..."

"Or MITTENS!" chimed in Max.

Well, at least I don't know what they look like yet!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I did it!

I thought you might enjoy a quick little video of Lucian's very first sentence! He's definitely not a chatterbox like his brother, but I think he's taking everything in and will repeat it back when it's convenient for him. As you can see, he is pretty proud of himself when he knows he's said something we can comprehend. Behold: "I did it!"

Other new words in Lucian's vocabulary include "apple" (ba-pu), "hot dog" (ot-da), "help" (ep!) "popcorn" (pa-coo), "Macky" (Ka-ka), and "Louie" (Oo-Woo).

Oh, and how could I forget "Hula" (hoo-ah)? ...Yes really. It's in his favorite song, "Dance Like You've Got Ants in your Pants" by Eric Herman. You should check it out, it's under two minutes and very addictive. Lucian says "Bop! Bop! Bop!" every time he comes near the computer, which I discovered is his code for "I want to watch 'Dance Like You've Got Ants in your Pants!'" (If you watch the video you'll understand.

So, communication is slowly coming along! It's fun to hear his little voice, and I can't wait until he and Max start conversing... can you imagine the things I'm going to overhear? Stay tuned...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Spirit

The tree is up, the lights are hung, the third candle on the Advent wreath is lit, and we are waiting in joyful anticipation for the coming of Christ at Christmas! This is the first year that we will have a normal Advent and Christmas season in our St. Paul home. Two years ago, I was very pregnant with Lucian, so Christmas preparations were... well... slow and simple. No tree, few decorations, baby could come any time! Last year we traveled to Rapid City so we decided to forgo the real tree and opted for a little tiny artificial one. Not the same.

 But this year, this year, we have a tree! A real, live, beautiful Christmas tree. And we did it proud! Egg nog, Imperials Christmas music, every ornament we could find in the house, and I'm happy. For the first time, I feel like the preparation of our home is truly a reflection of the preparation of our hearts. O come, o come, Emmanuel!


Oh pregnancy hormones, how I love (loathe?) thee...

I am usually a pretty even-keel person. Well, within reason... I have my moments. But during my previous two pregnancies I went off the deep end emotionally. If you knew me at the time, you may not have noticed, unless you were my husband. He got the brunt of everything. For example, I remember a string of nights when I was pregnant with Lucian that I would decide right about bedtime that my life was falling apart. Just as Paul was drifting off to sleep, I would begin to cry inconsolably. When I realized I had no good reason for crying, I would cry even harder because I didn't know why I was crying. And then when Paul didn't wake up (or pretended to stay asleep), I would cry because my husband didn't care that I was falling apart!!

Paul, I'm so sorry. You know that, right?

The best one, though, was about halfway through my pregnancy with Max. Have I told this story already? If so, oh well, it's worth a repeat.

During pregnancy, I became very, very, very clumsy. It's as if my body forgot where its limbs were, and I hit my elbows and stubbed my toes on just about anything that didn't jump out of my way. One particularly clumsy day, I was walking into the bedroom and I tripped over a cardboard box on the floor. I threw myself onto the bed in tears, unable to believe what a klutz I was! As I sobbed and sobbed, Paul sat on the bed behind me, silently rubbing my back. Thankfully I didn't find out until much later that he was trying with every once of his being to stifle hysterical laughter. Because he knew that if that laughter had slipped out, I would have clobbered him.

But back to the present. This time around, I've managed to contain my emotions pretty darn well! I've had no insane outbursts, no late nights up crying. Paul got it rough for the first two, I guess God decided to give him a break this time ... so far.

There is just one area in which I have become an emotional wreck, and that is music. If I hear any song that I like, or that has any emotional connection in my brain, I have to fight back the tears! On the radio, it works out fine. I can change the station. But in church? Ugh... not so much. The worst is when they play a song that we used during my years as a youth minister. Last week, it was "Salvation Belongs to our God". Oh man... I spent the entire song staring at the ceiling and blinking rapidly to keep from breaking down. Everyone around me probably thought I was nuts.

And now we're closing in on Christmas. Oy. Just about every song I hear gives me the sniffles! I'll just have to start pretending I have allergies, or else take a break from music altogether.

Or I could just bring this image to mind... kind of hard not to smile when I think of this little goofball:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

O Come, O Rod of Jesse's Stem

I love the season of Advent, especially when I'm expecting... which has been the case for three out of the last five Advents! I really feel like I can share in Mary's anticipation and expectation in a concrete way. What a beautiful gift! This year is the first that Max is starting to get the idea of Advent. He knows that he is waiting for Christmas, and when all of the candles on the wreath are lit, it will be here!

Of course, at this point in his life, awaiting the coming of Jesus is about equal in importance to awaiting the coming of his Christmas presents. So to re-emphasize the real reason we're celebrating, I decided this year to do a Jesse Tree for the first time. Max is kind of hit-or-miss when it comes to projects, but something about this one really caught his fancy. Each day in December, we will read a story from the Bible and then make an ornament for our poster board tree that represents the story. Max loved the story of creation, especially the fact that "God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves..." (Gen 1:21, RSV) Sea monsters? Awesome!

I have tried to put Max in charge of as much of this project as possible, and he has taken it very seriously. So far, he has chosen the symbol to represent each story and I draw a simple ink outline for him to color in. For the creation story, he chose a sun and moon. For the story of Adam and Eve he wanted two stick figures holding hands. And for the story of the fall, he asked for a tree with a snake on it. Pretty good, I think!

This is our Jesse Tree so far, colored by Max and... uh... drawn by me. Hey, I never claimed to be an artist!

I love the fact that the Jesse Tree gives us the opportunity to learn about salvation history in the form of a fun project! If anyone wants to make their own, we used this site's recommended Bible verses. Your tree and ornaments can be as complex or simple as you want. We opted for simple this year, but I'm hoping to make this a yearly tradition that can change and grow as the kids do!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

Sunday evening was a rough one, so after dinner I tried to rest on the couch while the boys played with their toys on the floor. Silly me, I thought I could be in the same room with them and not have them climbing on me! Within seconds of curling up under a blanket, I was joined by two little wiggly bodies. When I'm feeling well, I love cuddling with my boys! But when I'm sick, I just need my own space.

So I retreated to the bedroom and barricaded the door with a clothes hamper. I heard Paul outside trying to explain to Max that Mommy wasn't feeling well and needed to rest in quiet. This was not acceptable to Max, who immediately started banging on the door and yelling, "But I want to pre-tect her! I want to pre-tect her!" I started giggling and tearing up simultaneously. I love my little protector.

Paul managed to distract them with some videos for a short while, but he was in the middle of a home improvement project, so he brought them downstairs and (I found out later) put up a baby gate to block the way to the upstairs.

I was finally able to drift off for what seemed like a few seconds, but I was awoken by more banging on the door. "Mommy! I want to be with you! I want to be with you!" over and over and over again... and as the fog cleared I also began to register hysterical wailing coming from downstairs. I got up, moved the hamper and let Max in to cuddle with me. I was just beginning to think I should go check on Louie when I heard Paul come to the rescue. He brought the poor guy upstairs, and when he saw that Max had already made it through the barricade, snuggled Louie in on the other side of me.

It turns out that when Paul had run outside to the garage for something, Max had managed to move the baby gate, get around it, then put it back in place to keep Lucian trapped downstairs! I guess Max needed me all to himself... so Lucian was left stuck behind the gate while his older brother got to go up and find mommy. Traumatic! 

In the end, everyone got what they wanted, at least in part. I got a little bit of a rest, and the boys eventually got their mom back. Poor kids, it's hard for them to have a sick mommy, especially when they don't understand why a kiss can't fix it! Oh, how I wish it could...

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Case of the Missing Pineapple Pork

I am a huge fan of Rachael Ray's recipes. When we lived at my parents' house and I was pregnant with Lucian, I watched her show almost every day. The interviews I could take or leave... but the meals she made! Oh yum... and she made them look so easy! So for Christmas a couple of years ago, my mom gave me a Rachael Ray cookbook- which I love! It is not my cookbook for last-minute "What in the world can I throw together for dinner??" meals, but if I plan ahead and pick up the ingredients I don't usually keep stocked, her recipes are generally straightforward and always tasty!

The other day I was making a grocery list to go shopping (Yes! I went grocery shopping!) and I took out my handy-dandy "Rachael Ray's Book of Ten" for some inspiration. I flipped through for new recipes I wanted to try, but I also thought I'd glance at an old standby I've made a few times: Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Pork. The book usually falls open to that page or a few others, so I was slightly surprised that it didn't show up this time. I didn't think much of it, deciding on some other recipes instead (Both major successes! Spicy Shrimp Bok Choy Noodle Bowl and BLT Soup).

Mmmm... Shrimp Bok Choy Noodle Bowl
That night, Paul and I got into a discussion about meals and cooking. I remarked to him that he generally doesn't have strong opinions about my food, and I'd love to know what he really likes and dislikes. I've picked up on a few things over the years, but unless I ask him point-blank, he generally eats what's in front of him without comment.

His response threw me off a little. In a joking tone he said, "Yeah, I figure if I really don't like something you make, I'll just rip the recipe out of your cook book."

Wait a minute.

"Did you....? No..."

Yes, he did. Paul actually ripped out the recipe for Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Pork!! I went back to the book, looked up the recipe in the index. Page 60. I flipped to where Page 60 should have been... there was 59, there was 62, but no page 60!

It turns out he did it mostly to see how long it would take me to figure it out (One day! Take that!), and to have the pleasure of seeing my reaction. I guess it's not as much fun to just say "I don't really like this recipe". Needless to say, I will not be making Pineapple Pork EVER again.

You think you're sooooo clever...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's for dinner?

At our house, food has been a little hard to come by for the last month. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but I have not been to the grocery store in over a month. The moment that morning sickness kicked in, the last thing I felt up to doing was wandering aisles filled with rows of foods that may or may not make me lose my lunch.  I even planned a day to go grocery shopping- I brought the kids to Sara's house in the morning, but I never even made it to the store. I ended up at home in bed. And to top it off, my worst "morning" sickness tends to hit shortly after Paul gets home from work, so he goes on kid duty while I crash and burn. Dinners around here have not been pretty.

So hungry, mom...
Thank God for my mom, who came over last week after Max's tumbling class. It happened to be one of my very bad days, and we literally had no food in the house. After running across the street to pick us up some lunch, she told me to write a grocery list so we'd at least have something to eat! We didn't even have bread or milk to speak of. She then took Max with her to Cub foods and I was left with only a napping Lucian to care for. Ahhhh...

Those lifesaving groceries lasted us a week, but the list I gave her did not include much in the way of dinner items. Needless to say, I've gotten pretty creative! Did you know you can make a casserole with only canned chicken, salsa, rice and shredded cheese? It's not a showstopper, but hey, it fills tummies.

But on Tuesday, it finally hit the breaking point. I was out of bread and milk again, we had no pasta, no meat, no vegetables, we were even out of condiments like soy sauce, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing... you know, those things that it seems you can always dig out of the fridge if you really need them. So I wrote up a massive grocery list and I psyched myself up to go shopping when Paul got home from work.

But then, of course, the "yucks" started to kick in. Before I knew it, it was 5:00 and I hadn't left yet. "After dinner," I tried to convince myself. Thankfully there was a frozen pizza left from my mom's grocery run, plus a can of corn in the back of the pantry. That'll do. After we ate, I realized that I really couldn't make it through a shopping trip, but I was not about to let my family go hungry again! So... I sent Paul instead. He's so wonderful. He even used the coupons I'd clipped!

When he came home with bag after bag of groceries, it finally hit me how deprived my children had been! They stood in the kitchen in awe and examined every bag as it arrived, holding each item up to me and asking if they could eat it. Grapes, apples, carrots, cereal, bread, cheese, crackers, they were in heaven! I let them snack on virtually whatever they wanted as I put away the piles of beautiful groceries. Now our home is fully stocked, we've had great meals the last few days, and I have vowed never to let my cupboards get that bare again...

Well, at least I'll try.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Learning Curve

I had a great discussion today with a friend about schooling. Her oldest is one month older than Max, so we're pretty much in the same boat when it comes to looking toward the future. It was fun to think about where he will be spending much of his time in the years to come. Will we homeschool? Will he go to St. Joseph's? Charter school? There are so many good options.

Then I had to take a breath. When did we get here? When did Max get old enough that we need to think about school? Wasn't it just yesterday that he was a tiny baby in my arms?? You seasoned moms are laughing at me- "it only gets faster"... I've heard it a million times. But wow! I mean WOW! Where does time go?

And every day he is soaking up information like a sponge. Right now he has a love of letters and spelling- he likes to list off an assortment of letters and asks what he just spelled. "What does A-Z-O-X-Q-R-T spell?" And I am left trying to pronounce the non-word that he has just spelled for me. Occasionally, he'll stumble upon a real word, which he loves! "I-O-N" was the latest, although trying to define the word "ion" to a three-year-old is no easy task.

He has also become quite an artist. Give him a pen and a notebook and he is content for an hour. Nine times out of ten, he draws a pirate ship... but he's starting to branch out a little. He also likes to draw people, houses, rockets and animals, and often the pictures are recognizable! It still astounds me. I think he's taking after his Uncle Tony in the visual arts department.

 I always knew there would be many rewarding things about parenting, but I realize that one of my favorites is watching my kids learn! It's fascinating to see them engage with their world: taking in new information, processing it, sorting it, and using it. How exciting!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Spirit Rejoices...

Someone once told me that if a woman ever says she enjoys pregnancy, she's lying.

I've since learned that's not quite true- there are actually a few women out there (keyword "few") that really do enjoy being pregnant. But I can tell you with certainty that if I ever tell you I enjoy pregnancy, I am lying.

I know I just posted about our joy in welcoming a new baby into the world, but man-oh-man if I could deliver a strong, healthy baby tomorrow I'd do it! The fatigue, the nausea, the endless symptoms yet to come... it really can be killer, I tell you.

I spent too much of my first two pregnancies wallowing in misery and self-pity as I fought to be a functioning human being. There were many "why me?" moments sitting on the bathroom floor, and my morning sickness was not even in the "severe" category. This time around, I felt more prepared to face the dragon, but in the days leading up to Week Six, I started to remember... and I started to get nervous. Then like clockwork, it hit. Six weeks on the dot, same as both previous pregnancies. And it all came flooding back. "Why is this happening to me?" "How can I be a good mom when I feel like this?" "Can I just sleep for the next three months?" "Make it go away!"

Then I read a beautiful article by a woman who is currently pregnant with her fifth child and who suffers from hyperemesis gravidarum- severe morning sickness all day for nine months- with every pregnancy. In it, she wrote about offering her body for the new life it was carrying. She wrote about how hard it is, and how she's had to rely on God every step of the way. It made me think a lot.  I realized that I would lay down my life down for this baby in an instant if I was called to do so, just as I would for my two boys. But instead God is calling me to lay down little pieces of my life- my health, my energy, the ability to eat some foods that I really love- for the sake of my child. It's not easy, it's not fun, it is a sacrifice. But it's a sacrifice that I am willing to make in order to bring a healthy baby into the world. And in offering those small sacrifices back up to God, He can use them to make me a more holy, more selfless person, more fit to care for the child that he is entrusting to me. And that I am happy to do.

So if you ask me how I'm feeling in the next couple of months, you may get more than you bargained for. I've always had a tough time suffering in silence. But I am trying to be mindful that my body is currently being used for a greater purpose than any that I could imagine for myself. If you think to remind me of that, I'd be grateful. Remind me that it's ok if the dishes don't get done, the laundry sits in the basket, the boys have a little more computer time than usual because I can't get off the couch. There is truly something amazing happening, and I have a front row seat!

Pregnant me... in the calm before the storm

Friday, November 4, 2011

Oh Joy

Today I'm thinking about joy. Do you know what brings me joy?

Surprise flowers from my husband, delivered to me by my youngest son while I'm napping in bed.

Watching my bleary-eyed boys wander down the stairs for "morning snuggle time" on the couch.

Max telling me, "You're pretty" when my hair looks like a rat's nest and I'm laying around in sweatpants. 

Seeing a little black-and-white flutter on the ultrasound monitor that means the little baby I'm carrying has a strong, healthy heartbeat!

There's Baby- the little white blotch within the black eggplant-shaped thing
Yes, that's right, Paul and I have been blessed to assist in the creation of another amazing, unique human being- our Baby Number Three! We couldn't be more thrilled. As you can probably tell from the scenarios above, my joy as of late has been of the quiet, sleepy variety... but it is joy nonetheless! We'll be welcoming Baby sometime around June 19, which will be a completely new experience for us. A summer baby? You mean we won't need a snowsuit and three blankets to come home from the hospital? 

I ask you to keep our family in your prayers, that this pregnancy continues on as uneventfully as possible. Our babies have had a tendency to want to come into the world a little too soon, but with the help of wonderful doctors, we've delivered two healthy, nearly full-term boys. I know that my amazing doctor at Aalfa Family Clinic will be watching us like a hawk as we approach 27 weeks, and I trust that God's hand will guide us through every step of the way.  

I hope that you will share in our joy, we have so much to celebrate. God is so good to us!