12.31.2010

Vote for Owen to be a Gerber Baby!

A couple of months back, Nick and I entered Owen into a cute baby contest sponsored by Gerber. There are a few prizes for monthly winners but the grand prize is a $25,000 college scholarship! The voting is now open and every computer can vote once per day for as long as the voting is open! I don't know when voting ends, but for now, vote vote vote!!!

VOTE FOR OWEN HERE!

They ask for your email address but no worries - I haven't been spammed by them and I've voted multiple times. They only need your email so you can complete your vote.

Thanks everyone!

12.17.2010

Creating an Emotional Emergency Fund

It's been a crazy month here in the Walker family. My car broke down, we discovered a water leak behind our bathroom wall, Nick's job has been unpredictable and now it's Christmas! Someone asked us the other day, "What do you think God is teaching you through all this?" I blinked a couple of times, unsure what to say to that. And now I think I've figured out why.

Until I was asked that question, I didn't even realize how crazy our month had been. All these challenges seemed small to me. Perhaps that's what God has been revealing to me - things will happen, but as long as you're prepared for the challenges, life won't seem so scary. Nick and I stayed up far too late last night talking about this and came to this conclusion:

It's important to have an emergency fund in the bank, but even more important to have an emotional emergency fund in your heart and mind.

Nick and I went through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class a year and a half ago - just before we got married - and it immensely helped us shape the way we approach finances as a couple. If you're in need of some unifying of your financial habits as a couple, I highly recommend Dave's books, classes and website. His first "baby step" to reforming your finances is to put $1,000 in the bank to start your Emergency Fund. As he likes to say it, the emergency fund is a "Murphy-repellant". The fact is, stuff will go wrong... but will you be prepared for it?

What if we could implement this strategy to our marriages, other relationships and the rest of life in general? What if we stocked up our "emergency fund" so when crisis hits we aren't flying off the handle and throwing a pity party for ourselves?

I know my emotional emergency fund was not prepared enough for the news that I was pregnant with Owen. It took me a while to readjust my thinking to God's will at that time. However, I feel that in the following eight plus months I asked a lot of questions, read a lot of books and spent a lot of time listening to pastors and other wise counselors to emotionally and physically prepare me for Owen's arrival.

To me, that's how you stock up your emergency fund. By reading good books, conversing with people you respect and learning from others - through their successes and mistakes. If we could constantly be preparing for not only the next life stage, but also other life stages that might happen upon us suddenly - death of a loved one, children, sickness, financial crisis - our emotional emergency fund will be ready to be tapped into when those rough times come. And they will come, because we live in a fallen world and this is as close to hell as those of us who love Jesus will ever get.

So how are you preparing for the challenges ahead? Are you seeking to build up your emotional emergency fund?

11.22.2010

Christmastime is Here... Before Thanksgiving!

Apparently the weathermen have been saying that this winter is going to be a La Niña year. I love La Niña years. Two years ago was also one of these years and because it snowed a foot, everyone ended up stuck at home for a week. This also meant Nick was stuck at my mom's house with me for at least three days. Win!

This year I am so excited for the cold, it's crazy. It's my first Christmas as the CEO of my own home and we're going to do Christmas the way I want to! Granted, I'll be pulling from a lot of my family's traditions since my mom is the Christmas queen but I'm really excited to take it on as my own adventure this time. I would decorate my house today, but I'm holding off until after Thanksgiving because I really don't do Christmas until the previous holiday is over and taken care of.

But today it's snowing. This changes everything!!!

I caved and turned on Vince Guaraldi this morning and Owen is presently cooing and squawking along to the music. I couldn't be a happier Mama. I am sorely tempted to get the Christmas box out of the storage shed outside but I really don't want to go totally crazy. So I'll just listen to all of my wintery music and stare out the window all day as the white flakes stack up on the ground. If I had things my way, It'd snow for two days straight. Thankfully, it looks like it's going to do exactly that!

Days like today make me realize that if Christmas was considered the fifth season of the year, it would be my very favorite. I'm always tied between summer and winter, but Christmas always wins. If it snowed like this every year in the Seattle area, winter would be my favorite, hands down. I just can't wait until Owen is old enough to love the snow and I get to play outside with him until our faces are pink and chapped and we're ready for a nap and some hot chocolate. Snowy weather will always be my favorite, but children always make it that much better.

Now Owen just needs a Santa hat.

11.18.2010

Baby Giggles

We officially have the cutest baby in the world. Last night before putting him to bed, Auntie Mel got him all hyper and excited and he would not stop giggling! I was lucky enough to get a video of him laughing... so adorable!!!

video

10.21.2010

Pumpkin Picking

My family has always been really into pumpkin picking. Every year we load up the boots and jackets and drive out to Carnation to cut our own pumpkins to take home and carve for Halloween. Now that Nick and I are married, the tradition stays. Especially now that Owen is around - I definitely want him to have those experiences as a kid. Might as well start early!

This year our pumpkin picking was doubled as a family outing for my Mom's birthday. She got the special treat of carrying Owen around in the Ergo for most of the afternoon. They both loved it - by the end, Owen was falling asleep on Mom's chest in his adorable pumpkin hat. It was so cute!

Here are a few pictures from our sunny Sunday afternoon at Jubilee Farms.










10.08.2010

Redeeming Martha

A few weeks back, Pastor Mark did a sermon about Mary and Martha. If you aren't familiar with the story, Jesus came over to these sisters' home and while Martha was working her butt off to prepare for Jesus' visit there, Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to him preach. Martha got upset and whined to Jesus that her sister wasn't helping her and Jesus rebuked her, saying, "'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.'" (Luke 10:41-42). I never really understood the significance of this story for me until Mark dissected it and it hit me over the head like Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

Not only am I totally a Martha, my middle name is Martha. Literally. Well, technically, it's "Marta", but that's just the Swedish spelling of it.

So what does this mean for me? I am at my happiest when my son is on schedule, I know what's for dinner because I planned it two weeks ago and I have my whole day - heck, week - packed full with activities and chores. I am not a natural rester. But am I choosing the "good portion"? What is the "good portion", anyway?

The good portion is Jesus. Mary understood that. She could have been helping her sister, but she saw that spending time at Jesus' feet was more important and would actually make a difference in her life. Being a Martha myself, I'm sure she understood that listening to Jesus was a great thing and wanted to do it more than anything, but she was ultimately more concerned with making sure that Jesus had something to eat. I bet Martha was really jealous that her sister could sit and listen because Mary knows that if she doesn't help, it will get done anyway because Martha is such a perfectionist. 

This. Is. My. Life.

Though I need to understand that even though getting things accomplished is great, the most important part of my day is the time I spend alone with God. If that doesn't happen, the rest of my day is meaningless. Because unless I'm doing my chores and making my schedules to the glory of God, I haven't done anything to further my relationship with Him or proclaim His name, which is the reason for living.

This ties in with Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, which says,

"Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! 
Everything is meaningless.

What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.

The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.

The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.

All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.

To the place the streams come from,
there they return again. 

All things are wearisome,
more than one can say. 

The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing. 

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time. 

There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.

No matter how "great" we are, no matter how scheduled my life is, no matter what gets accomplished or doesn't, the only thing that matters is that all the while, we are praising Jesus. So if I'm going to be in Martha mode for part of my day, I had better get my Mary time in to balance it out. So that's what I'm doing. While doing my best to communicate with and bring praise to Jesus while doing my chores and serving my family, I also have "Mary time" written on my schedule. No, it doesn't defeat the purpose - it simply reminds me that in all my scheduled craziness, alone time with Jesus is the most important thing to "check off the list".

I'm learning to sit in solitude. I'm learning to take a time-out from life. I'm learning to disengage from my natural tendency to go, go, go and do, do, do to doing... nothing. God speaks in the silent moments so if I allow for there to be none, I'm successively shutting Him out. It's time for me to get back to being close with my Father, so that's exactly what this Martha is going to do.

9.24.2010

Socks


I was doing laundry the other day and as I was folding socks, I couldn't help but notice the difference among the foot size of the three members of our family.

9.16.2010

Adventures with Baby

Last weekend we took a family trip to southern California and since we took Owen with us, it was definitely a bigger adventure than just a normal vacation! We had so much fun staying with the Laings, visiting with people in Ventura, going to Disneyland and a baseball game and eating lots of wonderful SoCal In-N-Out and Chik-Fil-A (yummm!). It was a busy weekend even excluding the baby, but with Owen in the middle of it all, it was even more of an adventure!

It was fascinating watching how Owen dealt with change, new circumstances and being passed around from person to person all day. We are learning more and more just how social this little boy is! He loved being held by all sorts of new people, but he's very particular about how he wants to be held. His favorite position is to be held with his back against your chest in a sitting position - just like the big people! I think he already wants to be considered to be a big boy and he wishes he could do all the things that we can. He also loves people and is happiest when he's looking at someone's face and figuring it out. It's so fun to watch him learn!

There were many highlights to the trip, but one of my favorites was when we went to Disneyland. We spent half the day there and by the end of it, Owen did not want anything to do with our Ergo carry pack (it faces toward the chest so he couldn't see much while he was in it) so we ended up carrying him in our arms through Disneyland. It was like carrying a little puppy around. Every person that walked by would see him and their face would melt and say "Aww! He's so little!". Finally he fell asleep in my arms while we were waiting for the World of Color to start and we figured we could sneak him back in the pack while he was out... no luck. He woke up as we arranged him in the Ergo and started crying again so Nick took him out just as the show started. Owen was fully awake during the entire World of Color and he was really watching it. It was so amazing to see his little face study the color and be fascinated by all the sounds. It was an amazing show and it was so fun that all three of us enjoyed it! Though Owen will not remember that moment, I know I always will.

When we got home on Monday, we were all a little worse for wear considering how little sleep we got on the trip, how far off Owen's schedule was and the fact that Nick's car had gotten towed four days ago without us knowing. It was definitely a different experience traveling with an infant, but in my opinion, it was totally worth it. Plus, now that we've done it, I know we can do it again!

The Laings & The Walkers
(minus Jeremiah... he was napping in the van)

Thank you Laing family for hosting us! Thank you friends for being around to say hello! Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe and healthy during the trip! And thank goodness... we made it home all in one piece!

8.24.2010

Love Grows Deeper

I love my baby.

No really. I LOVE my baby.

I don't think I knew what this meant when Owen was born. I mean yes, there was an amazement and awe there in seeing my child for the first time but I don't think I understood motherly love yet. There's just so much to take in when you all of a sudden become a parent. You all of a sudden have a whole armful of new responsibilities (literally!) and there's so much to learn. It becomes a bit daunting and the first few weeks for me were very instinctual: you take care of your baby because that's what you do. You don't have a choice because this child needs you to survive. But as the weeks go on, I'm finding much more joy and love in the whole process.

Now that Owen and I are experts at the whole breastfeeding process and he's establishing an awesome sleep pattern we've moved past the initial survival mode and things are becoming more exciting and enjoyable. Owen is so responsive and he really loves communicating with Nick and I so it's becoming much more interesting talking to him and interacting with him as he learns and grows. It's just amazing watching his little brain expand and take the world in as he stares in my eyes and works to figure out what it is I'm saying to him. He loves to smile at Nick and I even when we're just looking at him. I can't wait to see who this little man is that's waiting to blossom!

Owen is the most interesting little person I have ever met. He is, without a doubt, the cutest baby in the world and I just love watching him! I now understand those "mom looks" that my mom would give me that made me roll my eyes. I understand now that she was seeing me as the baby I once was and was recalling those past precious moments where I actually wanted to be snuggled by her and I needed her more than anything else in the world. I can already feel myself giving Owen "mom looks" and I know I will one day drive him crazy when he's a teenager and I'm still gazing at him as if he's still my little baby.

I guess that's part of being a firstborn. You are your parents' first shot at taking care of a little one. You are the guinea pig and therefore get the most pictures, the most attention, and the most mistakes (usually). I'm so happy that Owen is my firstborn baby boy and I am so excited to watch him grow and watch our relationship get stronger and even more filled with love. Every day I feel like I love him even more than the day before! It's so wonderful.

This also further puts God's love into perspective for me. Not only do I greater understand the love He has for us as His created children, but also the incredible relationship He has with Jesus and the unbelievable sacrifice that He made for us. Now having a firstborn and only son (...for now), I shake my head at the idea of giving him up to die for sins that weren't even his. What an incredible God we have and what an incredible love He has for us. We are SO LOVED. Through loving my son, I feel more able to accept the love that I am being given every day. What a beautiful world.

8.20.2010

Dedicating Owen to Jesus!

On Saturday we are dedication Owen to the Lord. This is what this means:

Some things to understand about dedicating your child to the Lord:



1. The practice of baby dedication is based on scriptural precedent, rooted in the Old Testament, in which Jesus was presented to the Lord in the Temple as an infant (Luke 2:22-35).

2. It is also based on and acknowledges God’s blessing upon and concern for the care of children (Isaiah 54:13; Matt 18:1-5, 10; 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17; Acts 2:39; 1 John 2:12-13).

3. It is you, Parents, who are doing the dedicating. It is a commitment you make in your heart before Jesus and agree together to live out in your home. The dedication we perform during the church service is simply a public acknowledgment of that commitment.

4. You acknowledge that your child is a gift given you by God (Gen 33:5; Psalm 127:3-5). As such, children are a blessing, a great privilege, and a source of joy (Prov. 23:24-25), and a lot of work, as we well know; however, we ultimately recognize that they have been created by our Father in heaven, belong to Him, and have simply been entrusted to us. Parents are stewards of their children, so that children might be raised in Jesus (Exodus 13:2, 12).

5. Parents, you commit to live by the grace of God as positive example of a follower of Jesus so your children will find it easy to follow you as you follow Jesus, and so that you will not be a stumbling block to your children’s saving faith in Jesus.

6. Your church leadership and community (elders, deacons, and members) commits to support and equip you by the grace of God to fulfill your responsibility, and likewise to be good examples to your children.

Baby Dedication is not:

Baptism: Baby dedication is not “dry” baptism of infants nor is it a substitute for baptism. Mars Hill Church recognizes a believer’s baptism as being the only biblical expression of baptism.

Magic: Baby dedication is not “magic,” nor is it a formula of any kind that manipulates God, nor does it place any kind of extra-special blessing or protection upon your children, nor does it secure or ensure their immediate or eventual salvation.










8.13.2010

Trading Smiles

The biggest news in the Walker home lately is that Owen has begun to smile. Before this week we caught one or two little grins, but a few days ago he really started getting the hang of it and has been warming our hearts ever since with his adorable little face. Seeing my son smile at me evokes a kind of love that I've never felt before - a love that is best described as protective, proud, warm and totally unconditional. It's the closest thing I can imagine that us humans can experience to the love God feels for us. It helps me better understand why He puts up with our constant ignorance and foolishness.

Not only is Owen's smile the most adorable thing on this planet (seriously - baby bunnies have nothing on my boy), it also marks the beginning of his desire to interact and communicate with people. When he smiles at me, I will talk to him in a happy voice and smile back and he'll study my eyes and face and then smile even bigger as he wiggles his arms and legs in excitement. It's just the coolest thing to know that he wants to communicate with me and right now, a smile is the only way he can.


More than anything else, it's really awesome to watch Owen grow and learn. He's changing every day and it's awesome to really see that. I can't belive he's almost a month and a half old already. The next twenty years are going to fly by and before we even know it he'll be grown with his own children. It just makes me realize more and more how important it is to soak up every day, love every minute of this and take as many pictures as possible!

8.09.2010

Shoutout to "Babywise"

Let me first preface this by saying that some babies are easier to schedule than others. But in my opion, Babywise can and will work for anyone who puts their full effort into it.


You may be wondering, what is this Babywise you speak of? On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam is a book that helps parents get their infants on predictable eating, waking and sleeping patterns so as to create a more peaceful, predictable and happy family atmosphere. It teaches that babies function better when parents take the lead in establishing the flow of the day and have a flexible schedule of when and how often Baby will eat. This isn't to keep Baby from eating or to constrict Baby's growth - it actually ensures that he will get full feedings every time and therefore get the proper nutrition.

The Babywise rules that I've found most helpful are...

1. From the very first feeding after birth, make sure Baby gets a full feeding. This will establish good habits from the start.
2. Do not get Baby used to falling asleep with props (ie: an automatic rocking swing, nursing, riding in the car, specific music, etc) or he will not be able to sleep without them.
3. Establish a defined eat, wake, sleep pattern. Reverse the pattern (eat, sleep, wake) and Baby will need to nurse himself to sleep.
4. When it's naptime, put Baby down (even if he's fully awake) and let him cry himself to sleep. This is not harmful to Baby - it's teaching him how to sleep on his own.

There are some awesome side effects of using this method. Overall, Babywise babies tend to understand the concepts of delayed gratification, patience and schedule earlier than most children. They also learn to sleep through the night much earlier than non-scheduled babies. If the parent is directing sleep patterns, Baby will follow suit and learn how to sleep long and well. And how much happier is a family whose parents are getting enough rest at night?

Owen is a living testimony to the Babywise method. Overall, he is a really happy baby and is learning how to nap and eat when it's time. Additionally, he's sleeping through the night - even earlier than Babywise predicts (they recommend dropping the middle of the night feeding at about 8 weeks). By 2 1/2 weeks, Owen was waking up only once in the middle of the night and by 4 1/2 weeks, he was sleeping at least 6 hours straight through the night. It's been the same since then and it's been really wonderful getting uninterrrupted sleep as a new mom. I can imagine this will be even more important the next time around.

I don't want to seem like I'm bragging about my child - I truly think this is possible for every family. I mean, not all kids will learn to sleep through the night this early, but it seems to me that too many families end up totally sleep-deprived for the first six months (or more) and it makes raising children a whole lot more difficult than it needs to be. Especially if both parents are working! I can't even imagine trying to work while only getting six hours of sleep broken up over three increments throughout the night. It makes me drowsy just thinking about it!

So anyway, I just wanted to propose a toast to the authors of this incredible book - it's made mothering a lot more simple, straightforward and overall doable!!

7.29.2010

The Many Faces of Owen

After eating, our little bear didn't want to sit in his bassinet all by himself and would rather hang with me, so we sat together at the computer for a while. As he was falling asleep, his face kept changing and he was making the best expressions, so I decided to capture a few of them flipbook-style. Here are some of his many expressions...


7.20.2010

Taking On Motherhood

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, to say the least! Our little family has been busier than ever before and it's definitely not over yet! It's hard for me to believe that a normal day includes breastfeeding for over 4 hours, waking up in the middle of the night and changing at least eight diapers. Funny how life can completely turn upside-down and you don't even notice it unless you spend some time seriously reflecting.

Our little Owen bear is amazing. He's a fantastic sleeper, an avid feeder and an adorable snuggler. As the days go by, he's becoming more aware of his surroundings and is spending more time awake, which is fun but also more tiring for me. He loves going on outings - we've been to two weddings, a concert in the park, Mooma's house, the doctor's office, auntie Mel's house, a basketball game and to church twice so far! He loves riding in the car and gets excited when he knows we're going somewhere. He has some hilarious expressions, especially when he's waking up and going to sleep. He loves to stretch when we take all his blankets off but can't sleep peacefully without being burrito-wrapped. Every day he's becoming a little more person-like and a little less like a pet :).

I LOVE mommy-dom so far. It's given me a new motivation to get stuff done around the house. Now that I have less time, I'm more motivated to work. I'm developing a daily schedule (and so is Owen!), which is helping me feel more productive and less stressed about my to-do lists. Nick stayed home for Owen's first week but now he's back to work and I am determined to feel accomplished by the time he gets home from the office. There's definitely more laundry to do and more general upkeep of the house to take care of and now that there are only precious slices of time to accomplish those things, I am avidly planning my days in shifts. Thankfully, Owen only wakes up once in the middle of the night so I don't need naps as often as many new moms and am able to get more done during the light hours of the day.

All in all, things are going really well. Our little mister man is a gem. We love him so much! And as excited as I am to watch him grow into a man, I'm really loving how small and containable he is right now :).

7.10.2010

The Birth Story



Our story begins on Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 which just so happened to be my 21st birthday. Nick and I went to his aunt and uncle's lake house in Olympia for the weekend to celebrate my birthday, our cousin Ryan's birthday and also the 4th of July. We already had plans to return home if anything started heating up but I had experienced zero contractions by the time we left on Friday evening.

Saturday was a really mellow day and we all spent the morning and afternoon watching TV, playing cards and relaxing in the spotty sunshine. I started feeling some sporadic cramping in the afternoon and figured that I must be starting to feel some really mild Braxton-Hicks contractions. I felt really relieved knowing that my body was starting to gear up for labor, but I figured we'd still have several days - at least - before anything serious started happening. That evening, the contractions began coming at 2 or more per hour and were feeling a little rhythmic, but I didn't feel like anything dire was in the future. Nick did some mild acupressure on my hands and ankles at about 9:00 PM, which I'm guessing caused the contractions to become even more constant. By the time we got in bed at about 10:30, they were coming at about 10 minutes apart. Of course. Right when it was time to go to sleep, there was no way we were going to get any! After about an hour of timing the contractions, Nick made the call - we needed to head home. He alerted the relatives, we packed our things and left at midnight.

We arrived home at about 12:45 AM and soon after, the contractions were coming at about 5 minutes apart. I started concentrating on breathing and let Nick get about 45 minutes of sleep. I figured at least one of us might as well be partially functional! We called the hospital at 3:30 AM to ask if it would be a good time to come in - I was at about 3 minutes in between contractions and some of them were even 2 minutes long. Needless to say, I definitely needed to focus to get through them. The nurse that Nick spoke to said we could come in at any time but we didn't need to hurry there by any means. We packed, showered and left at 5:30 AM. Nick grabbed some Jack in the Box on the way and I snagged a couple of fries but I really wasn't feeling hungry. Looking back, I really should have eaten something anyway. Take note, future moms! Eat while you still can!

We got checked in to triage and I was deemed "in labor" at 4-5 cm. Woohoo! We got moved to our room and were settled in by 7:00 AM. At that time, my contractions had slowed down a little, which didn't surprise me but still made me a little discouraged. Thankfully, my nerves calmed enough to get labor going again and we were back on track to have a baby within the day! The only problem was that my blood pressure was ridiculously high (150-160 over 90) so I was put on bed rest and couldn't walk around during labor. That was extremely frustrating because that was one of my most stressed points in my birth plan. I wanted to be free of monitors and IVs and I wanted to be able to get in the jacuzzi and walk around to further my labor. Nope! Thankfully, I was able to breathe and groan my way through each contraction while still feeling in control of my nerves. Nick was a GREAT coach and squeezed my hand acupressure point during each contraction and encouraged my pained sounds to be low and controlled. I was even taking mini-naps in between the contractions! Everything was going extremely well at that point.

By 9:30 AM I was at 7-8 cm and was progressing really well. I was blown away at how fast that happened! My doctor guessed I would probably deliver at around noon if I kept progressing in this manner. So I kept on keeping on, feeling more encouraged than ever. At 11:15 she checked me again and I was at 9 1/2! Baby was just around the corner, or so it seemed!  My water still hadn't broken on its own so she made that happen, which felt really weird. I'm kind of glad I didn't have to go through that outside the hospital because of how messy that would have been. My doctor told me that soon I would feel the urge to push and when that happened to alert the staff. She figured that would probably be in a half hour or so.

2 1/2 painful hours later I was still at 9 1/2 cm and was experiencing more intense contractions than ever.  I was trying to breathe my way through each wave, but it was getting more and more difficult because at that point, I was getting really hungry and extremely tired. In fact, I was actually nodding off in between contractions - unintentionally! I would be sitting at the edge of the bed and my head would drop on to my chest suddenly and I'd wake myself up again. Not so fun. At this point, one of my nurses suggested that I might want to add a dab of Pitocin into my IV to get my contractions to progress and get me to the pushing stage quicker. This was a really tough moment for me because I wanted to go completely natural throughout birth - no drugs of any kind. Though after thinking it through for a few minutes I decided it would be the wisest choice. If I didn't take the Pitocin, there was a good chance my body would get too tired and would be physically unable to progress. And the last thing we all wanted was an emergency C-Section! So after Nick asked me about four times if this was what I really wanted (points for the hubby - he knew how non-drugged I wanted to be and wanted to make sure I wasn't going to regret my decision) I decided to go with the Pitocin.

After that, the contractions got even more intense and I was really ready to push this baby out. At 3:30 my doctor checked me again and said I had a very thin lining of cervix left but it was next to nothing. At that moment I made up my mind - thin lining or not, I was ready to push. All of a sudden, our birthing room was transformed from a dark, calm place of focus into a bright, sterile surgical room. Three more nurses who I hadn't even seen before came into the room and everyone put on scrubs. The fluorescent lights were all turned on and the surgical cart was wheeled in. If my blood pressure was high before, I can't even imagine what it was at now!

In all honesty, pushing was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I won't go into gory detail as to what it felt like, but I will say that it definitely hurt and it took all the focus in the world to not completely lose my grip. After about 20 minutes of pushing and Owen was getting very close to making his entrance, my doctor looked at one of my nurses and was like, "Get the NICU nurse. Now." Apparently at this point I completely freaked out and was saying things like, "What? Why? What's wrong???" but at that moment Nick got in my face and told me that everything was just fine and it was only a precaution - even though he was totally freaked out about the whole situation. Because of Nick's calming response, I don't even remember being concerned (good job honey)! Turns out, there was a little bit of meconium (baby's first poo) visible to the doctor, which meant Owen was under stress. Also, his heart rate suddenly dropped to 80 (140 is considered average) so there was definitely reason to be worried! My doctor looked at me and said very directly, "Okay, we need to get Baby out with this next contraction. Ready? Go!" Thankfully, that's all it took. All of a sudden, we had a baby!! My doctor turned him around and from the angle that Nick and I were both at, we saw at the same time that our baby was a little boy.

Unfortunately, because of the doctor's worries, Owen had to have his cord cut and be rushed over to the nurses before I even had the chance to get a good look at him. At this point, I was completely hysterical. I don't even know what sounds were coming out of my mouth, but I know that it was the hardest I have ever cried in my life. Thankfully, within a couple of minutes Owen was dubbed completely fine and was brought over to my chest in a warm blanket. Nick and I were beside ourselves with joy, excitement and pride as Owen latched on and started feeding immediately. Within five minutes, all was calm and we had a warm, happy baby snuggled up on my tummy.


So there you have it. Little Owen Jeremiah Walker was born at 4:04 PM on the 4th of July. Also, it just so happens that I was at 40 weeks, 4 days gestation the day he was born! Looks like this guy has a lucky number! He is an incredible blessing to both Nick and I and we are absolutely loving discovering how to be parents. It was a wonderful journey getting here and now that our baby has arrived, our lives have changed completely... in the most amazing way possible!

For any women considering going all-natural in the birthing process, I absolutely recommend it. Like I said, it's scary and difficult (and not for everyone), but it's altogether rewarding in the end. It's really awesome for me to know that I didn't have any hormone-altering drugs (besides the little bit of Pitocin) or pain-reducers to get through the contractions easier. For me personally, I wanted to birth my baby without any potential of affecting his temperament when he was born and I'm really glad to say that I was able to do that! Was it difficult? Of course. Did it hurt? Three tears and two sets of stitches later, yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Because guess what? It's only one day. If that. And then it's over! Plus, it's pretty cool to know that my body could handle it. And not only "could" - but was made to.

7.06.2010

Announcing Owen!



Owen Jeremiah Walker
July 4th, 2010
4:04 PM
8 lbs, 1 oz / 20 inches

I will eventually post the whole birth story, but for now I'll just give a few stats. I went into labor on my birthday (Saturday the 3rd) at about 10 PM. We checked into the hospital at 5:30 AM on the 4th and Owen came 10 1/2 hours later! I was able to give birth completely naturally and ended up with a few stitches but am healing well. We left the hospital at 6:00 PM on the 5th and have been resting as much as possible since then. Thank you SO MUCH for your love and prayers! This little family is doing great!

More details to come!

6.25.2010

Still Waiting

So I guess Baby won't be coming early. At least, that's what I figure since the due date is on Monday and I haven't experienced any contractions or pre-labor signs yet. I know I was getting my hopes up without any basis of reason since most first babies arrive past their due dates but a girl can dream, right?

This weekend I'm cleaning the whole house and finishing up any last-minute projects because the truth is, Baby WILL arrive within the next week and a half. Nick and I got a great online book on using Acupressure to induce labor naturally and we're planning on starting that process on Sunday. Apparently, 70% of women go into spontaneous labor within 2-3 days of using Acupressure to tap into their body's instincts. That could put me in the hospital by next Tuesday or Wednesday!! Wow. How crazy is that?!?

Now that we're getting so close, I'm starting to feel anxious about all the things I don't know. I've only held a newborn once and I've never babysat a child under 2. I haven't put on a cloth diaper before (though I'm sure I'll figure that one out pretty quickly) and I have no experience bathing babies. I'm anxious that I won't get the hang of breastfeeding for a while and I'm nervous that with the sudden lack of sleep, I'll totally lose my mind and do something really stupid. Being a mom is a ridiculous amount of responsibility all at once and it's really daunting to be on the expectant side of things.

Thankfully, Nick is an incredible husband and it gives me great relief knowing I will be experiencing all this with him by my side. He is so ridiculously excited to be a dad! He keeps reminding me that he wants to be involved and he doesn't want me trying to take care of everything. He's a little bummed that he can't feed Baby for the first couple of months (most likely) because of how I won't be able to pump for a while because of the amount of feedings. He is SO supportive, loving, encouraging and understanding. I couldn't ask for a better partner when it comes to parenting! I know that I would be infinitely more frazzled, nervous and afraid to be a mom if he was not there beside me.

Again, to all who have walked with us through this process, thank you. I fully expect this to be our last blog post before Baby is born. No matter what happens, we will come out of this as parents but the last few months of crazy life changes and adjustments have been manageable with your love and support!! Without you guys, I would have gone totally nuts!

Okay folks, next time I write, we'll have some definite announcements to make! Prayers for a safe labor and peaceful first week would be much appreciated!

6.14.2010

The Waiting Game

We're finally here. Baby is 38 weeks, the room is pretty much ready, almost all of the family activities have passed and life is settling. It's time for Baby to arrive.

But when?????????

It is the beginning of a long few weeks. Or few days! We're at the point where Baby could burst at any moment or we could still be waiting for another four weeks (pleeeeeease Lord no). I'm trying to keep myself focused on other things, but it's pretty hard when every random stranger reminds me of the basketball strapped to my tummy with their little smiles and comments. It's also hard to ignore that I'm about to pop because every time I take a step, I can feel Baby's head nestled low in my abdomen (weirdest feeling ever!!!) which causes pressure on my pelvis. I'm at the point where I don't really want to think about the impending explosion anymore. I'll address that when it happens.

For now, I'm going to soak up the sun, read, nap, eat like crazy and spend time with friends. These are the last few days of my "free" life so I need to spend them well! It's just hard to continually think of things to do. Nick will tell you that I've been running around like crazy lately and I'm in the most intense nesting stage yet, but once you run around for three days doing all sorts of projects, you run out of things to accomplish! Sigh. The last few weeks of pregnancy are definitely the hardest ones, in my opinion. At least with Kid #1.

6.04.2010

Yep, It's Official!

I just wanted to put up a quickie post to let y'all know that I am indeed officially lightening! Baby has started his/her descend downward and is getting ready to be born! My doctor said this doesn't specifically mean anything - as far as how close I am to labor - but when I looked up some information online it seems that the average first-time mom starts lightening at an average of two weeks prior to birth.

TWO WEEKS!!!

Now I don't want to get over-excited, but this definitely gets my heart beating faster. We are SO close to bringing this baby into the world! Even if Baby does come on the expected due date, that's less than four weeks away. No matter which way you slice it, it's crunch time. Woohoo!!!

Which means now is probably a good time to buy crib sheets, diaper covers and grooming supplies. Eek! Babies R Us, here I come!

6.02.2010

Oof.

So, June is finally here. I can't believe it! We're getting so close, it's crazy. And of all the months of pregnancy, I'm sure this one will fly by the fastest! There are so many events going on this month that I get intimidated just looking at my calendar of the next few weeks. And then there's the simple concept that Baby will arrive when he or she feels like it. I can't schedule THAT event! My perfectionistic side is tweaking out at that thought.

Now that we're in June and it's month nine of the pregnancy, I am starting to feel especially big and slow. In the last couple of days I feel a little bit like an elephant walking around. My ankles are swelling up like crazy and it takes me twice as long to get up or sit down. Does this mean that Baby is starting to drop? I can't know for sure, but all I can tell is that things have felt a little different this week. I'll ask my doctor if he can tell if I'm lightening yet when I see him on Thursday. If I indeed am, we're getting reeeeeeally close, people!!

Last Sunday we had a Baby Shower with the Fenske family and it was a lot of fun! Thank you to everyone who was able to come! The food was delicious, the games were funny and the gifts were wonderfully generous. I know it just made me more excited to meet Baby! Now that we have a car seat, stroller and assembled crib in Baby's room, I'm starting to really want to put the missing piece in there too. Baby is going to be such an amazing blessing for Nick and I and I can't wait to get started in the intense learning process that is being a parent!

To all of you who are walking with us through this process, thank you. Nick and I feel extremely grateful to our family and friends who are supporting us, loving us and encouraging us as we approach one of the craziest changes in our lives. We are absolutely STOKED to become parents but we wouldn't feel nearly as prepared without you by our sides!

Alright, I have a Junior High play to costume. More later!

5.31.2010

The job is amazing!

I'm not very good at keeping up with this blogging thing - but I wanted to post something about my new job. IT IS AMAZING!

I love my job. I actually look forward to going everyday. I work at a life insurance brokerage called Efinancial.

Yes... this is what I did in California. It certainly wasn't my dream job, but it works. Things in CA didn't end so great as the company I was working for was having some problems. However, while I was there I was able to gain some valuable experience and it has sure paid off.

I haven't been selling insurance yet, as I have been waiting for my license to transfer from CA to WA. However, that is almost done and I should start selling in about a week. So for the first month I have been doing something that most people find miserable. I think it is actually fun. Why?

I get a bonus every single day! I have only worked a month so far at this new job and I have already earned about $750 in bonuses. Every day of work there is some sort of contest. Currently I am simply calling people that inquired about insurance and then transferring the calls to an agent. If I get a certain amount of transfers in a day, I get cash. Pretty simple. A number of people struggle at this, but I have actually sold insurance in the past so it has been a piece of cake for me.

Apparently what I am doing right now is as bad as it gets at my company. This is the job that nobody wants and it only gets better from here. Way better!

I'm excited to start selling because they make it so easy. I don't need to find any leads, as they have a ridiculous abundance of them. There are about 65 agents selling there right now - and they are looking to double in size in the next year or so.

I am used to doing everything the hard way. I would do handwritten applications, set up medical exams, follow up with the clients, talk to them after they are approved, deliver the policies, etc. At this company, all I do is sell. I have a few assistants that do the rest. Also, everything is done electronically.

Anyway, I don't need to bore everyone with all the details... but I really enjoy it. I have the potential here to make quite a bit of money and start paying down those student loans. I'm very excited about that.

I would say that I have to make a lot of money for all of those diapers I'll be buying... but Rachel's dad and Lori are pretty amazing and they got us 6 months of diaper service. :)

Things are going quite well right now - and apparently it is only going to get better at work. It definitely will get better in about a month when my precious child enters this world.

5.21.2010

34 Week Ultrasound

When I visited the doctor a week ago, I was told I was measuring "a little small" for how far along I am. I wasn't worried one bit. In fact, I was pretty stoked because that meant that it was time for me to get another ultrasound! I had the ultrasound yesterday and everything is just fine in there. Woohoo!

Here's a picture of our little Baby's face:


I am totally amazed at how massive our child is getting! In this photo, you can see that Baby's eyes are open (or eye, since the other one is blocked by my placenta) and that black triangle above Baby's eye is a big mop of hair!! I knew it. It looks like Baby's hair is really dark in this photo, but apparently the ultrasound doesn't pick up color - only texture. So we could have a blonde Baby, but we can't know at this point.

I am getting SO excited to meet this little thing. Baby is kicking me like mad at the moment and it makes me laugh at how amazingly active it is. I am constantly being prodded, poked, kicked, punched, stretched and pummeled. We must have a little boxer in there! I think Baby is getting annoyed with how squished everything is becoming in there. I mean, I would not like a placenta squished up against my face all the time, thank you very much. Not so pleasant.

Anyway, that's all for now! I have quite a bit of work to do today as Matron of Honor to Melissa's wedding. Tomorrow is Bridal Shower time! Yay!

5.11.2010

Housewifey

It's my new title, and I'm not ashamed to say that I love it.

In the past couple of weeks I have touched up paint on walls, screwed and unscrewed countless wall fixtures, replaced wall outlet covers, washed all the dishes I own, hemmed curtains, helped replace kitchen lighting and assembled a bookshelf, among other things. I am having WAY too much fun settling into our new place and cannot wait to see what the finished product looks like! Things are really starting to come together even though there is still a ridiculous amount to be done and it's fun to sit back at the end of the day and point at things going, "I did that!". What a feeling of accomplishment!

For example, here's a picture of the living room before we moved in:


Granted, that's only one wall of the living room and there's no stuff in the photo. But here's what the whole room looks like now:


A little better, no? As you can see, there's still junk lying around that we haven't unpacked yet. But it's all a work in progress! Also, here's what our bedroom paint and curtains looked like before we moved in:


And now:


Ta da! I'm pretty excited about our room. I still want to do a bit more decorating, but I love how it's coming together so far. We've had Justin do the painting and he's doing a marvelous job, as you can see! I can't wait until the whole house is finished. It's going to look so amazing when it's all done! And then we'll be able to actually host guests! Yay :D

On another note, Nick's job is going AMAZINGLY but I want him to write the post explaining how much he loves it. So hopefully you'll be hearing from him soon!

That's all for now... Baby is getting restless and it's time to make dinner for the hubby. Hope all is well in your world!

4.26.2010

Relocating

...Aaaaaaand, we're moving.

(!?!?)

I never expected this. I hadn't even HOPED for this! We will officially live in our own condo on May 1st. Wow!!! Just when I was starting to feel really hopeless about our whole situation, God sweeps in and gives us a job and a place to live. Not only that, but the timing is amazing. We will have two full months to prepare for Baby and settle in to our new place before we're totally zombified by our newborn. Praise Jesus! It's an unexpected blessing and I'm extremely thankful for it.

So, where are we moving to? Newcastle! It's about ten minutes from Nick's work (and that's avoiding all freeways to get there!) and very close to Factoria Mall. The condo is just off of Coal Creek Parkway and is surrounded by three - yes, three - grocery stores. Guess who gets to walk to get groceries?!? Woohoo!

Oh, and I should probably mention that the condo complex that we will be living in is called Walker's Run. Umm... yeah. I think that's pretty self-explanatory.

So anyway, it's a place we can call home! It the first place that Nick and I have lived on our own. It's the first place that I have EVER lived on my own. I am SO excited to start nesting!! Ikea, here I come!!!

Oh, and if anyone is free this Friday or Saturday, we're going to be doing a lot of loading and unloading and could definitely use a few extra pairs of hands/biceps! If you are willing and able to help us out, please give us a call or shoot us an email. We'll promise you food in return!

4.23.2010

Moving Forward

I'll make this short and sweet...

NICK GOT A JOB!!!!!

Well, yes, he already had a job at 24 Hour Fitness... but this is a real job with benefits, bonuses and career-building opportunities! Nick was officially hired yesterday by Efinancial - a life insurance agency based in Factoria. Needless to say, Nick's previous experience as a life insurance agent helped him get the job and he's really excited to be a part of that industry again in a growing company!

This also means we get to move out of the basement now and find our own home! Triple yay! We are looking for an apartment or condo within fifteen minutes of Nick's work in pretty much any direction so we could be looking at Renton, Bellevue, South Kirkland, Issaquah or Factoria. We're even hoping to move before Nick starts at Efinancial on May 3rd so we just might be having a moving party next weekend! Wow! Now that we have the green light to get out there and find a place, it's kind of overwhelming how fast everything is picking up.

I think I'm still in the shocked phase. It's all just too amazing. God provides! He always does. Now if He could give us some direction as to where we should live...

4.16.2010

A Couple Of Shoutouts

This week has been slow, but good. Nick is finally getting over his two-week cold, which I have been able to avoid...until this morning. I really hope I don't go completely under, but we'll see. We were also able to go to the Mariners game on Tuesday for Nick's birthday, which was excellent and fun (considering they FINALLY won a game!). And now we're closing in on week 29. You know what that means? On Sunday, we're approximately TEN WEEKS AWAY FROM HAVING A BABY.

Eeep!

Now that we're getting ridiculously close to me exploding with Baby, I figured it was time to start looking into making a list of what we're going to need. Enter the baby registry! Until this week, the whole thought of picking out baby stuff completely freaked me out. I was overwhelmed and was always hiding from the baby section in stores. But with the help of SimpleMom (I'll come back to her later), Target and my own Mom, I finally made a list. And it's not long, strenuous or overly-detailed. I just wanted to cover the basics. And now I officially feel like I have a hold on things! After making my list, I went to Wishpot.com and signed up.

This website, let me tell you, is amazing. Not only can you register for items from any website on the internet and put them all onto one list, but it has a Facebook app, abilities to link up this blog and my personal favorite - a Wishpot button for my Safari bar. This thing is so cool! I can be browsing strollers on Amazon and when I find the one I like, I just go to that stroller's page and click on the "Add to Wishpot" button and a little window pops up with the item I'm looking at so I can add my own details and comments about the item and then it automatically sticks it on my list! Whoa!! If you have a wedding, baby or even Christmas coming up, I would HIGHLY recommend looking at Wishpot for your gift list-ing needs.

Here's the link to our Wishpot Baby Registry.

But I never would have found out about Wishpot had it not been for SimpleMom. This is a website I stumbled across around Christmastime and discovered that it's probably the best-kept blogging secret on the Internet. The woman who started and manages this website is a Christian wife and mom to two children and, oh yeah, is currently seven+ months pregnant with her third (!!!). She blogs along with a few other women about homemaking, organizing, being a mom, creating a daily schedule, meal planning, budgeting (Dave Ramsey-style, of course) and keeping the clutter out of life. Basically, she's me. Well, who I want to be in a few years. She simplifies the logic of cloth diapering (which Nick and I are now for-sure doing), goes really in-depth about organizing and spring cleaning and discusses being intentional as a mother in raising intelligent, question-asking, independent, creative children. She's pretty much awesome. And I am SO glad I found her! I would highly recommend any and all mothers check out her writings. Even if she's not quite your style, she has a lot of wisdom to share.

I also am very close to finishing my birth plan. Our birthing class last night was the first where Nick and I actually learned a lot and we are getting really confident in how we want the labor and birth process to feel. I am SO excited that I'm starting to get a grip on what I want and need in all of this. I'm learning that if I'm going to go all-natural, I need to physically and emotionally prepare myself for it. I can't just walk into the hospital and be all, "Don't touch me!". I need to be aware of what can go wrong and prepare my body to undergo the birthing process. I'm confident that I can make it all the way with no medical interventions, but that's only if I practice my breathing and prepare my body to stretch like crazy. No, I'm not approaching things "the easy way", but I feel like I'm approaching them the right way. At least...my right way.

So I guess you could say I'm pretty content right now! I feel like I have a handle on things and even though we're still currently living in our Aunt and Uncle's basement, I'm at peace about it all. I'm healthy, Baby is healthy (and kicking like mad!), Nick and I have all the basics and God is on our side. What more could we ask for?

4.11.2010

Hannah & Liz

I did some photo work this weekend and am pretty happy with the results! I love working with my camera as well as with iPhoto to turn images into works of art. One of my favorite things about photography is looking at the collection of photos taken in one shoot and noticing an overall color scheme. Each shoot develops its own personality and overall feel just from the colors that are common in each frame. These two photoshoots went really well and made me itch to get back out there and shoot some more!

On Friday I shot my sister Hannah's senior pictures. Her shoot was very green/yellow/brown. We went to Marymoor Park to get most of her pictures and had way too much fun climbing in trees and walking around in the beautiful sunshine. Here are a couple of my favorites:




Yesterday I took some headshots and bodyshots for Liz's modeling portfolio. We walked around Kirkland and had fun keeping out of direct sunlight and managing the windy waterfront! The feel of this shoot was much more dramatic and colorful so it was a great contrast to the previous day's shoot. Here are a few favorites:




Thanks for being such great subjects, you two! And if anyone else is interested in having some photography work done for them, I would be more than happy to work with you :).

4.03.2010

Enter the Third Trimester!

It's official... on Sunday I will be 2/3 of the way through my pregnancy. How insane is that?! I feel like it was only two days ago that we found out. And yet, SO much has happened in between then and now that it also feels like it's been a lifetime.

This week I had three baby-related appointments. Wednesday I met with my new Washington State OB, Thursday Nick and I went to our first Birthing Class and Friday I went to my monthly WIC appointment. All three went fine, but were interesting. I now know that the next time around I might look more into having a midwife (key word: might) and I also will want to select our birthing classes from a list of options. Unfortunately, we're kind of limited when it comes to medical options not only because we're on Medical Coupons, but also because when we transferred up here I was in my fifth month and we didn't have time to stall in finding medical support. Next time we will hopefully be in more of a position to be picky about who we see and how we go about things. Oh well... no matter who we have as a doctor, no matter what our birthing classes are, no matter how this labor ends up playing out, we WILL have a baby at the end of it. And that's what matters.

My OB is fine, but I can't really get attached to him. There's no way to know if my doctor will be on call the day I go into labor so there's like a 1 in 6 chance he will actually be delivering my baby. That's one of the downfalls of doctors in my opinion. I want to build a relationship with my OB and discuss my birthing plan with him so we're on the same page, but it sounds like I just need to be really clear about my needs and post my birthing plan on all the walls and make handouts for all the doctors and nurses. Unfortunately, I cannot choose who assists me in labor, other than Nick. They all will just have to refer to the paper because I'm not going to be in the mood to explain myself. 

Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who stands by me in all of my birthing decisions. Granted, he still doesn't fully understand why I want to go all-natural, but the fact that he's letting me make that call and is willing to stand by it shows an amazing amount of trust in me. It just makes me trust him even more! The most important thing to me is that my birthing coach knows my birthing plan inside and out. At lest then he can relate my needs to the doctors and nurses when I'm not feeling so hot.

Birthing classes were... not what I had hoped. The first week was pretty much all review for me, with a few details about post-birth medical procedures that were new. Nick and I were one of two married couples in the room...out of nine. Most of the parents-to-be in there looked like they were about my age and I really doubt that any of the pregnancies were planned. It was just a little sad to see. I'm not trying to put Nick and I on a pedestal, but most of these couples did not seem to be in it for the long haul. It's really hard for me to see two people about to become parents who will probably not be together for that child's whole life. I see a lot of pain, heartbreak and confusion that their child will be forced to come to terms with. I see potentially repeated patterns. I see the need for counseling and therapy. I see the need for Jesus.

Maybe it'll get better as the weeks go on. Hopefully we can build relationships with some of the couples and be a light to others. After all, that's what we're called to be anyway. Sometimes, though, it's sad and frustrating to be the minority. Why can't more people love Jesus and see how amazing His love is? After all, that's what this weekend is all about.

In other news, who else is totally stoked for the movie Babies?!?!? I know I'm kinda freaking out a little because the preview looks so awesome. Plus, the brilliant directors put the preview to a Sufjan Stevens song, which always gains instant artistic respect from me as a Sufjan fanatic. The subject of the film looks totally awesome and the fact that it's coming out on Mother's Day is just too cute. On the film's website there are interviews with all four of the mothers of the babies and it's fascinating to hear their responses to the film and the other mothers shown in it. When you smash together four cultures like America, Japan, Namibia and Mongolia, you're sure to get some massive differences, as well as some curious similarities. I cannot wait to observe those as the filmmakers did!

Watch the Babies Trailer on Youtube.

Anyway, have a Happy Easter everyone and enjoy celebrating the new Life that you've been given! He is Risen!

3.26.2010

Just A Recommendation

I picked this book up from the library yesterday. I placed it on hold because of a recommendation through a friend-of-a-friend who is a doula and also because I am interested in learning more about the history behind the natural birthing process. As many of you know, my goal is to have a completely natural birth. This book definitely goes to a bit of an extreme (no, I am not about to have a home birth, thankyouverymuch) but it makes some very interesting points. If you're interested in "going natural", I would definitely recommend reading this book.


There are photographs in the book with semi-brainwashing captions that make me laugh, such as a photo of a crying newborn being held by doctors with a caption that reads, "The first moments of birth can be terrifying for a baby who is not immediately placed on its mother" but despite the fact, it makes some really great points and I'm learning a lot. I mean, even though I fully believe that going all natural, if possible, is the best solution, I do not believe that doctors and hospitals are evil.

But whatever. Point is, I'm finding this book fascinating and am looking forward to creating a birthing plan that works for myself and Nick. I'll be updating soon with some more specific thoughts on the topic.

3.24.2010

Ode To The Belly Button

My belly button used to be long and skinny. It was deep and thin.  It wasn't completely symmetrical, but I was fond of its shape. I could stick my finger inside it and hear a little popping sound if I pulled it out really fast. Yeah, not so much anymore. My belly button gets shallower by the day now. But I don't mind too much... our child needs the room more than I do. As long as it springs back into shape after the baby pops out, I don't care what my belly button turns into.

















It's all temporary, right?

3.13.2010

Floating on the Waves of Change

No, it's not always easy. But God doesn't want us to just have to deal with "easy". And I've come to accept that. It's just...I'd like to know when it'll eventually get easy!

Nick is now employed at 24 Hour Fitness as a full-time Membership Counselor. It's something... at least for now. He'll be making minimum wage to start, but once he sells enough memberships to make more commission than minimum wage, he'll switch over to that pay rate. I think that with his sales experience, he's going to do very well and will be on a commission salary in no time. But we'll see! There's the potential of making good money there, but he hasn't even started yet. We'll find out soon enough!

The next step is finding a place to live. There are a lot of great apartments in the area that are close to our price range, but it's really hard to even know what we'll be able to qualify for at this point. It's frustrating to just not know where we'll be (financially and literally) in a few months... especially with me only having sixteen weeks left until I explode with child.

That being said, I'm growing very attached to our baby as it grows inside me. It has such spunk and moves around constantly throughout the day. It's amazing that I can actually tell when it's sleeping and when it's awake! Baby will have about a half hour of really active time and then a few hours of quiet. It's just so fun to know that there's a little personality developing in there! I cannot WAIT to meet him/her!

I toured the Birthing Center at Highline (which was totally freaky and weird to think that I was visiting their facility because I am going to have a BABY) and made an appointment with a doctor there, just to start. We will meet on the 25th and then I'll decide if I'm really attached to that doctor or if I want to find someone who delivers at Valley Medical. I'm also touring the Birthing Center at Valley on Sunday, so I'll have a better idea of a comparison between the two hospitals. We will most likely end up at Valley because once we move, it will be much closer to us (since we hope to move to the Renton area). It's just finding a doctor that's the tricky part. There are so many to choose from and I don't have any recommendations! It's pretty overwhelming at this point, but I know God will lead us in the right direction.

To top everything off, I am not working, and don't know if I will be able to at all. BJs is no longer a possibility (thank you to my general manager...UGH) and even if it WAS an easy time to get hired right now, who's going to hire a pregnant woman that can work for only three more months and is not planning to come back after birth? My options are very slim right now and the fact is, we need that extra income. If anyone has ideas, please feel free to share them. Because of this, I have a very open schedule and am able to do little odd jobs. If you have anything to sell on Craigslist or need some organizing done, let me know! Even if you're not able to pay me, it's something to do that I would quite enjoy doing :). I just need a schedule to operate by or I'll go completely crazy.

In spite of all the unknown, God remains faithful and always will. I trust Him with all that I am and I know everything will work out just fine. It's just annoying that He can see the big picture and I can't right now! Sometimes my controlling nature takes over my logic and I just wish I knew everything. It takes a minute, but eventually I realize that I really don't want to know everything and just trusting in Jesus is the way to go. Please remind me of this if I'm beginning to get frustrated. I can use a good kick in the butt every once in a while!

Right now, "easy" is a luxury that we can't quite afford yet. And that is okay.