Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Weight Watchers, Here I Come!!

http://www.davidsbridal.com/bridesmaids_detail.jsp?stid=2326&prodgroup=110

Copy and paste that link and you'll see the bridesmaid dress I have to fit into on January 13th. And I don't want to just fit into a dress. I would prefer my body not look like "two pigs fighting under a blanket" every time I move. So, I have some work to do. I have 35 pounds to lose between now and January. Unfortunately, the two months between now and then happen to be the months full of gorging oneself. Eeeek! Oh well. We'll see how I do. I'm pretty determined...we'll see if I can mix that determination up with some diligence and restraint and shed some pounds. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Go On WiCha Bad Self, God!!

It truly is a miracle.

Grady was just a few hours old when he started screaming inconsolably. Of course my milk hadn't come in, but he was just ravenous. He would scream bloody murder if he wasn't latched on. That was fine for a while, but the kid couldn't stay latched on forever. He wasn't getting anything it seemed (he wasn't swallowing at all) and he was just getting tired. Finally, after having him latched on for about 2 hours straight (and for most of the time period, on and off), we opted to give him a little supplementation. This went on for the first 3 days of his life I guess...or until my milk came in that is. I think my milk came in on Monday night...I had him on Saturday morning. Anyhow, my milk came in but I never had any engorgement or anything...not even almost engorgement. I talked to several lactation consultants over the phone over the next few weeks and read tons of books and pamphlets on the subject of breastfeeding. Everyone kept telling me that they were sure Grady was getting enough...that I was just being a paranoid new mother. They said that I just needed to relax. They said that if I just fed Grady often, the supply would be there...the whole supply/demand rule of thumb. First of all, I am always pretty dadgum relaxed. I knew that wasn't the issue. Secondly, I fed Grady all the time...there was nothing there. Poor thing still wasn't ever really even swallowing when I fed him. And, even though I was a new mother, I knew my kiddo wasn't being satisfied, or even almost satisfied...he was constantly awake and crying. He was miserable. So, throughout the first few weeks, we kept having to supplement him.

Finally when he was about 6 weeks old, I decided that I was going to a lactation consultant and meeting with her face-to-face. I had already been taking some herbs recommended to me. Basically, this is what the lactation consultant told me to do: 1) I rented a hospital-grade pump and after I had nursed Grady and then supplemented him, I would pump on each side for at least 15 minutes
2) I was given even more herbs to take and more teas to drink
3) of course I drank water nonstop
Good thing I didn't have other kids at this point...these things took up ALL of my time.

When Grady was around 13 weeks old, I flew with him to Louisiana to visit family. The pumping was supposed to boost my supply by upping the demand you see. Didn't work. The lactation consultant would weigh Grady, let me feed him, then weigh him again and be able to tell how many ounces he truly was getting. Basically the conclusion, even on follow-up visits, was that I was making about half of what he required...even after the pumping and taking the herbs and drinking the teas and tons of water. So, when I flew to Louisiana I decided that God would just have to heal me if He wanted me to nurse Grady. I definitely wasn't packing along a hospital-grade pump. I decided that 6 weeks was long enough to do all of that stuff.

So, I just nursed him and when he wasn't satisfied I gave him a bottle. After about 3-4 weeks of this, my milk was completely gone. So, when he was around 3-3 1/2 months old, he became a fully bottle-fed baby.

We prayed and prayed that I would be able to feed Hadley just fine...without any complications and without having to pump or take herbs, etc. Well, she came and basically it was the same as it was with Grady. I went to the same lactation consultant before Hadley was even a week old. My milk had come in when Hadley was about a day and a half old, but still the same...not enough. I knew my history and so I was able to tackle the problem quicker this time. I did all the things that I did before. We also were able to figure out that along with just not making enough milk, my let-down response was "broken." :) I would have a let-down, the baby would actually get milk for about a minute or less...then there would be no more milk until I had another let-down, which was always 5-10 minutes later. With Grady and with Hadley I was told to take this stuff that is supposed to relax you, therefore allowing you to have a let-down easier. I took it very obediently, even though I knew that wasn't the problem. As mentioned before, I'm not the kind who gets uptight. I would be so relaxed that I was sleeping, hello...and still no change in my let-down and the baby being satisfied. So, no...that didn't work either.

I pumped and did that whole thing with Hadley for about a week and a half. Then I came to my senses and decided that it was totally ridiculous. It hadn't helped with Grady and it hadn't done a single thing in helping this time with Hadley either. I decided I was done being attached to a pump, so I took it back. The lactation consultant finally mentioned something that was a bit controversial and hard to come by. It kind of irritated me that she hadn't mentioned this when I was struggling through trying to nurse Grady, but whatever...she told me about a drug called domperidone (Motilium). It isn't approved here in the U.S. Basically there is another drug that is already approved here that does basically the same thing (Reglan), so there's no need in spending all that money to have domperidone approved, but one of the side effects of this gut medication is that it promotes milk supply...weird huh? So, we found one certified nurse midwife that would prescribe it for a short amount of time to see if it would work to get things going...the hope was that I could take it for 2-3 weeks and that would do the trick to get things going. I did that and it worked great, but I was never able to get off of it. The midwife wasn't comfortable coninuing to prescribe it, so we had to order it off the internet from Europe. :) But, thank God for domperidone...I was able to nurse Hadley exclusively. When she was around 6 months old, we started offering her a bottle (formula) at night...sometimes she would take it, but most of the time she was satisfied with just nursing. So, it was a great gift to be able to nurse Hadley, even though I did have to take medication to be able to do so.

So, there's my history. What happened this time can be explained no other way than a true healing...a miracle of God. I have done nothing differently, except that I haven't pumped or taken a ton of herbs. I have been drinking Mother's Milk Tea, but that's just because I had some and I like it...I really don't think it's necessary. I have also been drinking alot of water, but no more than anyone is supposed to drink. And, it's perfect. God totally and completely healed me and we are so grateful and thankful. It's been so great. Nursing without the hassle of all those other things is such a blessing. For all of you who have nursed your babies without any problem, I am finally getting to see how good you've had it. :)

I've never been totally against formula or anything...good thing since I needed the help of formula, esp. with Grady (just a sidenote here...my babies always preferred the breast over a bottle...no nipple confusion with them...and, they always knew exactly how to latch on, so that wasn't an issue either). And, my reasoning for wanting to nurse exclusively was not for the bonding aspect either. To put it bluntly, I don't have to have a baby attached to my boob in order to bond with him/her. We all know that breastmilk is better than formula...that's a given. But formula isn't horrible...it does the job when needed. My reasoning for wanting to nurse exclusively is two-fold:
1. It's just so dang convenient...you don't have to worry with bottles and formula and water to mix it with, etc. The baby's food is always with you. SO nice.
2. As you've seen in other posts, with most things I really prefer the all-natural way. Breastfeeding is definitely the all-natural way. It is, in my opinion, the way God meant it to be. I really wanted to feed my baby the way Eve would've done it in the Garden of Eden, and the way millions and millions of women have done it since then.

Thank God I am experiencing that now. Go God!! It truly is a miracle and we are praising God about every 3 hours these days (every time Asa nurses). :)

By the way, you can check out pictures of Asa's 2nd week on the website now: www.ebersoleonline.com.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

2 weeks

Asa is 2 weeks old as of today at 9:29 AM. She continues to do very well. She is such a sweet little baby whose favorite things to do are eat, poop, sleep, and smile. She is on a very good schedule now, even going up to 5 hours between feedings at night. It's nice. My milk continues to be plentiful and we are so very thankful for that...maybe more on that in a future post. It truly is a miracle healing from God.

Now that the baby is here and everything is stabilizing in that area (baby doing great; I am healing up very nicely and about back to normal as far as activity), our focus has been turned to our next steps as far as preparations to go to Brazil in the next few months. Several things have happened in the past week or two that have thrown several things up in the air (i.e. living in Saline vs. living in Longview until we go, etc.), so if you would, please pray for our direction as far as all of those things go.

We will keep you posted as to what is going on with us. And now here is a picture of the kiddos. Remember to go to our website occasionally for new pictures of our crew: www.ebersoleonline.com. We plan to update the pictures every week or so.



The kids keeping Asa entertained...they are very good at it. Hadley always shares her doll with Asa.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Asa Rose

I said in a previous post that I would tell you more about the name Asa...so here we are...more about her name...

Since we've been back in E. Texas, Joel's been really getting alot out of his devo.'s in 2 Chronicles. For a week or two before Asa was born, he was camped out in the story of King Asa, found in 2 Chronicles 14-16. King Asa was a great king. When introducing Asa in 14:1-2, it says that "there was peace in the land for ten years, for Asa did what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God." He tore down all of the things that were not of God and built up the things that were of God. Verse 7 says, "The land is ours because we sought the Lord our God, and He has given us rest from our enemies." In the last part of Chapter 14, Asa and his army were being attacked by the Ethiopians. They were very outnumbered. Asa cried out to God and said, "O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!" God fought the battle for them, and of course won.

In 15:2, a prophet is sent to speak to Asa saying, "The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with Him! Whenever you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you abandon Him, He will abandon you." Asa was hard-core...he followed God at all costs...he even "deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother because she had made an obscene Asherah pole."

Unfortunately, in Chapter 16 it shows how Asa began to trust in his own understanding instead of continuing to cry out to God. The plan Asa had when dealing with the king of Baasha worked great, but it wasn't God's plan. What seemed right in Asa's eyes (and probably all of his contemporaries) was inferior to the way God wanted to deal with it. "The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." (v. 9)

It goes on to say that Asa became mad, his heart was hardened, from them on he was at war and he also began to oppress some of his people. He developed a serious foot disease and even when it became life-threatening, he did not seek the Lord's help but instead went to doctors. Sad end to his life.

So, that's the Asa that Asa Rose's name came from. Even the bad part of his life...much can be learned from it and it is just such a good warning to live your life fully committed to God and His ways at all times.

Over 24 hours after Asa was born was when we named her. We were just praying about her name and we really wanted the name God wanted for her. We liked several names, but none of the names really grabbed us and we just didn't feel like they were the names for our baby. We prayed, Joel opened his Bible to have his devo.'s, and then he said, "How about Asa?" Ding ding!! I said, "I love it." Finally a name with some grab to it. We immediately felt complete peace and felt like she truly was "Asa."

I did a search online to find out what Asa means. One of the meanings I found out later was "born at dawn"...a Hebrew male name. But, the ones that I saw first were for a Hebrew female, meaning "healer." How perfect!! It was total confirmation that Asa truly was her name. Not only do we need healing in certain areas of our lives right now as far as some specific relationships and issues that I can't really discuss, but it was just totally our baby...she had been a "healer" to my body already in her short 24 hours of life. As previously stated in the birth story, there were lots of things that had been so great about this birth...hardly any tearing was the major thing. We had prayed so much for that since I had bad experiences with that in the past. The other thing which is even more huge since it is long-term is the breastfeeding issue. I have been healed, praise God. Whatever was wrong with my body and breastfeeding before...it's gone...I am still breastfeeding exclusively with plenty of milk for Asa. So, HEALER...it was the perfect name.

We have 2-word descriptions for each of our children related to their names and what they mean and just our vision for them individually. Grady's is "noble knight." Hadley's is "sweet joy." Asa's, as related to King Asa's life and the meaning of Asa..."peaceful healer."

As previously stated, Rose comes from Joel's aunt. Maybe in the future I will go into more detail about Grady's and Hadley's names and how we were given their names and all.

So, there you have it...Asa Rose.

Also, Asa was a week old on Tuesday. She is doing great. For pictures of her first week, go to our website and click on the Pictures section: www.ebersoleonline.com.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Asa's Birth Story

O.K., for those of you who don't like these kinds of stories...stop reading. :) For those of you who know me well, you know that I'm not shy about speaking in medical terms in graphic detail, even about my own body. But, this is super tame. So, just use your best judgment.

We got back to East Texas Sept. 9th. We moved into the guest house the 10th. That week we got to work getting everything ready for when the baby came...we just knew that it was going to come any day (esp. me). :) Joel took care of the kids mostly (a big job) while I set up house, made meals to freeze, bought everything needed for the home birth, etc. We were busy, hurrying to get everything done before the baby came.

Around Sept. 15th I started losing some of my mucus plug. Even though I knew that that didn't really mean anything (I knew that some people start doing this weeks before their baby is born sometimes), last time, with Hadley, when this started happening, I was in labor with her within 24 hours. So, I felt sure that it would probably be soon.

Nothing happened and the next weekend is when that horrible headache started...so that put me out from Sept. 22nd - 27th. But, nothing really happened after that...no more mucus plug, no contractions resembling labor, etc. So, we just waited...waited and walked and I was also using some herbs off and on for the last 3 weeks or so (for instance, using Evening Primrose Oil as a vag. supp.). At my 36 week appt. (on the 11th) I didn't have any dilation or anything. At my 37 week appt. I was 60% effaced, but still no dilation. I wasn't checked at my 38 week appt. because I had that horrible headache and such. I skipped my 39 week appt...I was fine and was just so ready to have a baby...I was 4 days away from my due date and just felt sure that I didn't need to go. :) I was supposed to go see my midwife again on Thursday, the 12th...6 days after my due date. But, fortunately, it happened on the morning of the 10th...I went into labor.

I had been losing more of my mucus plug over the weekend. On Tuesday at 2:15 AM I woke up and went to the bathroom. I had lots of bloody show. I went back to bed about 2:30 AM and contractions had started. They were about 3 minutes apart and I knew that this was it. I told Joel and he got up and got everything ready...finished filling the birth pool, etc. I was walking around through the house...during a contraction I would have to stop and lean against the wall and breathe through them. Around 3:30 we decided to go ahead and call the midwife to let her know what was happening. Around 4:15 the contractions got to the point of the need to moan through them (I found out with my last labor that I'm a moaner...it really helps me to moan in a low voice through the hard contractions). Sylyna (my midwife) got to our house around 5 or so. Around 5:35 she checked me and I was 3 cm and 90% effaced...at a -1 station. She checked me again at 7:20 and I was 4-5 cm. At 8:00 the kids woke up and left with a friend. The whole time I was in labor I was sipping water and going to the bathroom probably about every 30 minutes or so. At 8:50 I was checked again and was 6 cm, 100% effaced, and at a 0 station. At this point Sylyna told me that I could get into the birth pool (before this I had been relaxing, per the Bradley method, on the bed). We wanted to wait until just the right time to get in the pool...didn't want to do it too early as that will slow down labor instead of helping things. So, after I was checked at 8:50 I went to the bathroom and then got in the pool...probably about 9 AM. I probably had 1 or 2 contractions and then I started throwing up. With every heave I realized that amniotic fluid was shooting out of me. So, my water broke (although, I had been leaking since I started labor at 2:30). Anyhow, with the next contraction I felt the baby move completely down (it was a weird feeling) and I felt a huge urge to push. It was strange because with my other labors I had never actually felt that strong urge before. But, this was undeniable and I knew that I had that urge that everyone talked about. But, at the same time, I seriously doubted it because I had just been checked and was only 6 cm. I told my midwife that I had to push. She said just to listen to my body. It was 9:20. I asked her, "So, my cervix is out of the way?" She checked and said yes...that the head was just right there and I was complete. So, I started pushing then (at 9:20). At 9:28 the head was born and at 9:29 Asa was completely out and in my arms...all 9 lbs. 14 oz. and 22 1/2 inches of her. I went from 6-10 cm in 30 minutes and pushed for only 9 minutes. I was so happy...and shocked...we had thought I probably had at least 2-3 hours longer when I was only 6 cm at 8:50...it was a great blessing to be done already.

Another great blessing was that I hardly tore at all. With Grady I ended up tearing and having an episiotomy. With Hadley, no episiotomy (my midwife thankfully didn't do those), but I did tear. With Asa, I did tear, but not along my old episiotomy site and I only tore after the head was already out. Her little shoulders got stuck a little bit and when they were coming out I tore a bit on the side...but, only requiring 3 stitches. Amazing though...she's been my biggest baby by far (Grady was 9 lbs. 2 oz., Hadley was 8 lbs. 4 oz.)...and I don't think I would've torn at all if her shoulders wouldn't have gotten stuck. What a blessing, esp. compared to my history in that. So, it was just a great birth all the way around and we are so happy about that.

Also, this was interesting: even though she was due Oct. 6th and wasn't born until the 10th, she didn't show signs of being late at all. In fact, according to my midwife and Asa's appearance, it looked like she was more along the lines of a 39 week birth...Asa was born with a ton of vernix (that white cheesy stuff...babies born early usually have that more) and there were a few more things that made her look early rather than late (things which I'm not sure of enough to explain but that the midwife mentioned).

Asa is doing great by the way. I just clipped her fingernails (which I should've really done the day she was born...she came out with very long fingernails). Another great thing to praise God for ALOT is that my milk came in on Wednesday night. That is another thing that has been a struggle in the past...having enough milk supply. Although I've done nothing differently this time, I seem to have plenty of milk for Asa. Seriously...that is such a PRAISE GOD thing. We are just continuing to pray for this that it stays that way. We are thrilled that it is going so well.

Grady and Hadley continue to do great too...still loving their little sister. They still don't seem to be acting any differently or having any adverse reactions to a new little baby in the house. I think that they are just so busy with each other that a new little baby is just an extra toy or something. Every now and then they will ask about her or go over and lay their head down on her to give her a hug...they like to hold her too. We're all doing really well.

I am still not up and around or anything...spend most of my days on the couch or in the bed...as it should be. :) But, I'm getting more and more active and feeling better every day. Mama is still here too, which is a huge help. Thank God for Mama's. :) And of course Joel continues to be super-husband, so we're all very well taken care of.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

WHAT A SHOCKER!!

O.K., so here's the deal...we were so shocked that this baby is a girl. I had her in the birthing pool and couldn't really bring her up all the way to look at what sex she was because of the umbilical cord. I felt down there on the baby though and it was flat. I was like "What the heck?! Oh my gosh!" :) It was so funny. So fun though...I do love surprises.

Even though I never claimed to know for sure, with Grady I was 99% sure it was a boy...he is a boy. With Hadley, same thing. So funny that I was so shocked like that.

The good news is that now...here at 12:45 PM on Wednesday...she is over 24 hours old...we FINALLY have a name. Are you ready? Drum roll please...

ASA ROSE EBERSOLE!!

Yes, her name is Asa, the first A pronounced with a long "a" sound, the s pronounced with a strong "s" sound (like in sun, not a "z" sound). We are super excited and even though this name wasn't even on our name list for a girl, we love it and feel like it is definitely from the Lord. I'll write more on the name at another point. Rose, by the way, is a family name. Joel's mom's family is the only side of our families that hasn't been included in our children's names yet. It was their turn. So, even though I have an aunt named Rose also, and a great friend named Rose,...and Joel's sister's middle name is Rose, it really is after Joel's mom's sister, Rose. She is single and doesn't have kids of her own, so she has always been very special to Joel and his brothers and sisters. She even lived with them for a time in Brazil.

Anyhow, off to take care of Asa. And also, if you are interested in hearing about it, I will be posting the birth story in a few days too. It's a great story.

Oh, and one more thing...the kids are loving having a baby in the house. They don't seem to be acting any differently. Yesterday was fun. First of all, we've been preparing the kids for this time. We told them that when the baby decides to come, they were going to go over to Sarah's house and play and then Granny would pick them up and bring them over here. Yesterday morning, John (Graves...Sarah's dad) came over to get the kids. We woke them up and Grady saw him and immediately brightened, Joel told him he was going over to Sarah's house. Grady started asking Joel, "Baby?! Baby?!" He was so excited. It was fun...last night Mama came over from Louisiana and picked the kids up and brought them over here to our house. We had Asa back in our room. The kids came in looking for her and were also excited about Granny being here. We talked to the kids a little bit. I showed them my belly and how there wasn't a baby in there anymore. Grady said, "Baby come out?" I told him the baby came out. Joel brought the baby in and they were super excited, yelling "baby, baby" over and over. We got some great shots of them...you can see the pictures on our website.

By the way, if you haven't gotten an email from me about it yet, you need to check that out...our website: www.ebersoleonline.com.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Good Thing Is...

I can't be pregnant forever. Right?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Amazed

As I talk with different women of all ages, I am continually amazed at how little they know about their bodies. I am astonished at their lack of knowledge. Appalled really. I guess all those "a" words that mean shocked. Astounded...there's another one for you.

I like to know exactly what is going on with me and I am very in tune to my body and what is going on. Some would make the argument that it's because I'm a nurse and have had that training. But, not true. Nursing school and the kind of nursing I did when working didn't really teach me about normal, everyday happenings. For instance, having babies. I had an OB rotation of course, but I never worked in that arena of nursing. I am the kind of person that is very hands-on. If I don't experience it firsthand in some way, then I might learn the information for a time, but it doesn't always stick.

Anyhow, this applies across the board, but just in the example of pregnancy, labor/delivery, and postpartum stuff...many women (and men I might add) are just fearful. Why are they fearful? They haven't done much research. They only listen to and go along with everything their Dr. says. As I stated previously, I'm not against Dr.'s and am so grateful to have them when there is a problem. But, that's just it...most of the time there are no problems. Dr.'s are trained to be super-hyper to avoid/treat problems...some that really aren't even there...they are just afraid that they will come.

When I was pregnant with Grady, I was asked by a few people once how old the baby in my womb was. I said that since I was about 14 weeks along in my pregnancy, that would mean the baby was about 12 weeks old I guessed...since they count from the first day of the LMP...not from conception. They looked at me like I was crazy. Even the woman there (who has had 3 kids herself) said, "I've never heard of that." Crazy.

I guess it's just been on my mind lately. I've talked to several people lately who just don't know basic knowledge about such things...they get freaked out. It seems they try to get me freaked out (misery loves company), which really irritates me honestly. I refuse to join them.

Women out there (and men too)...learn. Read, ask people, grow. Obviously not just about this topic...about your own bodies and what you are experiencing medically (look into the alternative medicines/treatments as well as the conventional medical advice), about parenting, about health and exercise and good eating, about relationships, about all of the things of God, etc.

Don't just settle for past knowledge that may or may not be working. Don't just do things because it's the way they've always been done. We hope to always be learning and growing. There is a wealth of information about most anything conceivable out there. Thank God that the knowledge and wisdom is available, if from no other source than Him. He is the best source there is after all.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Big Belly

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of my belly for your viewing pleasure. I am just in some funky exercise shorts and a shirt that of course doesn't cover my belly anymore (none of them do)...and I'm looking pretty rough, as usual these days. But, these were taken this morning right after I got up.

I had hoped to only gain 35-40 pounds this time. Oh well...we'll try next time. :) I've gained about 45 at the present, about what I gained with Hadley. The problem for me this time was all the travel. I gained 14 pounds in the one month that we were in Boston and Brazil. Since we've been back in E. Texas I've only gained 2-3 pounds.

I'm no good at eating good when I'm not at home. When I was growing up, when we traveled anywhere it was a treat and we always got the treat of eating out. And, even if we were at other people's house, it was a treat. I still look at it that way and am not disciplined when it comes to eating. I get a little crazy. It's fun, but when you are traveling over a month it's not good.

So, anyhow...we're at 45 pounds, but holding since we aren't traveling. :) Here are the pictures of what that looks like: (disclaimer...the first picture is totally very un-ladylike, but, at this point, I could care less...sorry if it offends) :)
































Friday, October 06, 2006

Today's The Date

Yeah, today's the DUE DATE, that is. Is today the day the baby will be born? Looks like it's a no. I mean, technically we still have 4 1/2 more hours for that to happen, but it doesn't seem that that will happen.

It is very rare that people actually have their babies on the due dates anyway. According to an article I read, only about 5% of babies actually arrive on their due dates. I thought it would be fun to be part of that 5%, but oh well. :)

I've been walking every day and it's been really nice. It feels really good. I do a fast 30 minutes. There's one hill that almost does me in, but it still feels good. Today after I got back I immediately sat down to eat. After I ate I came over to the couch to type this up. I got up from the table and was walking a little funny. Joel told Grady to look...that I was walking like a Grandma. It was funny...I said, "Let's put a head in your pelvis and see how you walk." :) Pregnancy is so strange. Although I've done it all before, it is still just a weird thing. I mean, I truly am walking around with a head in my pelvis. It's just weird to think about. So cool though.

Anyhow, we are getting lots of stuff done and having a great time with the kids. As usual, we'll keep you posted.

Sweet Grady

I must have the sweetest little boy ever. I'm totally serious.

Last night we were on our way to church. I was the last one out of the house and I got into the van. Grady said with his big blue eyes sparkling and beaming and his dimples engaged full throttle, "You look pretty, Mama." He's said this to me before, but usually after he heard Joel say it or Joel has told them to say it. Of course I said "thank you, baby" and then promptly asked Joel if he had told him to say it. He said he hadn't...there had been no prior talk of such things. I was impressed with our sweet little boy and of course melted.

All of his teachers at church just go on and on about how he is such a joy. They just love him. It's really cool too because I've prayed this with each of my pregnancies/children...that they would just be a joy to everyone they come into contact with. I esp. consistently prayed it with Grady though (since I didn't have any other children at the time...had more time on my hands). Anyhow, last night, one of our friends, O.L., went to get the kids out of their classes for us. Grady is always super excited to show us what he's made in class and he also tells us the Bible verse they learned, but usually that part is only done after the prompting of the teacher as we pick him up. Last night after that part was done with O.L., Grady came into the sanctuary where we were and showed us all of his papers. O.L. was busy doing something else and after Grady showed us his papers he quickly said, "God keeps promises" with a huge smile on his face. I knew what he was doing of course. I was so proud. O.L. then turned to us and asked Grady if he wanted to tell us his Bible verse. It was so great that he had already done it on his own. So cute. The whole thing was actually "God always keeps His promises" but I was so glad and impressed that he had remembered it..."God keeps promises" is really all you need...that's the jist of it. So cute.

After that, Grady wanted some gum. Usually after church he gets some gum. That can also be attributed to O.L. He started that tradition at church. :) So, Joel gave Grady some and Grady kept saying something over and over. Both Joel and I were talking to different people and finally I listened really good to what Grady was saying and realized that he was saying, "Hadley wants some gum." He always looks out for his little sister like no other. It's really sweet. He's never shown any signs of jealousy or competition...he just always takes care of her. Not that they are perfect and never get into tiffs over toys and sharing and stuff. But, he really does look out for her.

Then this morning we were just hanging out here at the house and without any prompting at all he said, "I love you, Mama."

We sure do love our sweet Grady.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Romans 8

One of the best chapters in the Bible in my opinion. I was reading it this morning.

v. 24-25
For if you already have something, you don't need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.

Those are some good verses for a pregnant lady about to pop, huh? :)

Since we are planning a natural home birth, which takes a lot of focus and concentration, it is necessary for me to stay in that mode. I don't mean that I am a walking birthing zombie, with that always on my mind and paralyzing me from doing anything else. But, I do have to stay "prayed up" so that fear and freakiness don't come my way. I must stay controlled by the Holy Spirit (and not my sin nature), so that there is life and peace (and I can remain calm and relaxed in all circumstances)...v. 6. Of course we should always be walking this way, but there are times in your life where you feel an urgency to really get in line...it's a great thing. Life and peace...great things.

Our pastor talked about the spirit of adoption on Sunday. I think it was one of the best sermons I've ever heard. He talked about how the cure for any kind of fear, feeling of rejection, etc. is the spirit of adoption. It's not speaking to that fear or quoting scripture, etc. Those things totally work and are useful for sure. But, we shouldn't get caught up in trying to psyche ourselves up. The true root cure is knowing who you are in Christ (all in Romans 8) and living that out.

Everything is going fine here. Picture project is going great. I just finished putting all of my pictures from pre-school years - 6th grade into an album. That was a big chunk. Most of my other pictures are somewhat in chronological order, but that group I had to put in order. So, phew...that's all done.

Friday is my due date, so 2 more days. Hadley came 2 days before her due date, but no signs that this baby will. You'll know when it happens.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"I Go Walkin'"

Title of blog: Patsy Cline tune...Hadley and I were singing it yesterday when we were getting ready to go on our walk. She seems to be a Patsy fan.

I was supposed to go see my midwife yesterday afternoon. I didn't go. I will have to go next week if I haven't had the baby by then, but I just didn't see any need in going yesterday. I'm fine, baby's fine. I called my midwife to ask her if it was absolutely necessary that I come. She laughed at me, asked me a bunch of questions, and then said that I didn't have to come. So, with the little phone interview, the only thing not done was my weight, urine check, and blood pressure. Again, all of those things have been super perfect the whole time...no need to think otherwise now. So, I saved myself over an hour trip and instead we went for a nice long walk.

We've been doing a good bit of walking these days. The area we are in is so pretty with great, very non-busy roads. It's fun. A couple of days ago Grady decided to ride his tricycle instead of riding in the wagon with Hadley. Here are a couple of great pictures of that little outing. Fun times.


The kids on the trail with Daddy.



Joel even rigged it so that Grady was pulling Hadley along. Grady loved it. And although Grady is a great driver, Hadley wasn't so sure about it at first.







We are keeping super busy with a few projects. Joel is getting everything in order and ready to join a sending agency (lots of paperwork and doing things like passport pictures, etc....there is a lot involved). He's also working on getting our website up and running. Also, he's been doing things around here that our hosts need done (landscaping stuff, helping to clean the pool, handyman stuff). I started a huge project yesterday...organizing and putting all of the pictures we own (my whole life basically...from elementary to present) in albums. So, between all of our projects and our kiddos, we've got at least a couple of full time jobs I'd say. How are we going to fit this new baby in? :) Just kidding. Still can't wait for the new baby to make its appearance. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Our New Niece

Last Friday (that is, Sept. 22nd), Joss Ebersole was born. She was 8 lbs. 6 oz., the same weight as her sister at birth, Alexa (who is 16 months old). She's really cute. And, it's really fun to have babies so close in age. Joss and our new little one will be only days/weeks apart. Hadley is only 3 months older than Alexa. Grady and Hadley had a SUPER time with Alexa when we were in Boston. We can't wait to meet little Joss.


Joss.



Joss being held by Alexa. That is Kristin, their mom...Joel's brother Andre's wife.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

October Baby

Welp, looks like this is going to be an October baby. September is gone now and Mama doesn't plan to carry this big ole baby in her belly until November. :) As usual, we will keep you posted on the baby happenings.

Our kids are doing great of course. Hadley is really talking a good bit these days. Grady is REALLY talking alot...he just got done "reading" a book to Hadley. He's heard it so many times that he has it memorized. Hadley is infatuated with babies. They both are to a certain extent...love to rub my belly and kiss it and tell that baby to come out of there (I got them to do that part). But, anywhere we are, if Hadley spots a baby, she is blind to anything else. It's going to be fun to have a baby in the house.

I weighed them both a couple of days ago. Grady is 2 years and almost 9 months old. He weighs 36.5 pounds...he's a solid, strong, good-looking little boy. When he is on his knees, he and Hadley are the same height. :) Hadley weighs a whopping 23.5 pounds. She is 19 months old now. Grady was her weight when he was 9 months old. Isn't that funny? She's a tiny, but feisty little thing at times. So snuggly though.

Here is a great picture that Joel took of the kids the other day. Enjoy. Have a great Sunday!