Sunday, September 27, 2015

16 Weeks

Dressed up for church.

Baby is the size of an avocado this week.

How Far Along? 16 weeks
Total Weight Loss/Gain: I was down a pound at my last appointment. Up 1 lb total.
Maternity Clothes? I've finally given in to maternity jeans. I bought a pair from Target last Monday and have worn them every day since. Haha. I also ordered two more from Kohl's that should be coming soon. A few maternity shirts here and there, but mostly regular.
Sleep: Pretty sure the exhaustion is never going away. I've been having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night, so I tried to go without my afternoon nap one day this week. It was a disaster. I was so tired and ornery all day. I did sleep great that night, but it wasn't enough and I was still exhausted the next day. Missed my nap again today and am not doing well. 
Best Moment This Week: Feeling movement, another ultrasound
Movement: I'm definitely starting to notice the little taps and pops down low. Love it so much, but can't wait for them to become stronger and more obvious.
Food Cravings: Right now, I feel bloated and icky so nothing sounds good. In general, I just want Dr Pepper and restaurant food.
Food Aversions: Nothing specific
Gender: Starting to think boy again. Haha. 20 week ultrasound scheduled for October 26!
Labor Signs: I think I'm starting to have Braxton Hicks. I've been getting that tell-tale tightening when I over-exert myself. Lovely.
What I Miss: Having energy.
What I'm Looking Forward To: Finding out gender, feeling consistent movement.
Milestones: Baby can hear my voice now. 

I read something another pregnant woman said online this week: that she feels like an over-inflated beach ball. That sums up so well how I feel most of the time - like I'm uncomfortably full. I'm also starting to really worry about how big I'm getting. It's manageable and cute right now, but pretty soon it's going to be so painful. I can't possibly get bigger than I did with Lena. Oy.

The good news is I think my sciatic pain is lessening. I definitely still notice it if I walk for a long time or if I turn just right, but it's not nearly as constant as it was before.

A few more ultrasound pictures from Thursday:
The tech looked around a lot more this time. The baby is finally big enough that she could point out the kidneys, brain, four chambers of the heart, etc. So cool!!

The SCH update as copied from my facebook status:
Guess what's new with the hematoma . . . absolutely nothing! But the baby is measuring bigger than average (imagine that), my placenta looks good, and I'm not a pre-term labor risk, so I don't have to go back for another month. And we'll be able to find out the sex by then! Woohoo! Heart rate was 139 this time. I don't think it was ever lower than 140 with the girls.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Saturday 7

1. Justin decided this week that we're going to start enforcing "You eat what I make" for dinner. It's not going well. On Monday, I made chili. Lena took a few bites. Lucy took none and went hungry the rest of the night. On Tuesday, we had pork and fresh-from-the-trees stovetop applesauce. Lena ate one bite of pork and licked the applesauce. Lucy didn't take a single bite and went hungry the rest of the night. On Wednesday, I made oven baked homemade mac n' cheese with ham. Lucy watched me put a whole pound of cheese in the sauce, but when it was done she took one bite then went hungry the rest of the night. (Lena actually had two helpings!) Thursday, I made chicken nachos. All I put on them was seasoned chicken, black beans and cheese. Lena licked it and declared she didn't like it. Lucy refused to even try . . . and went hungry the rest of the night. On Friday, I rewarded myself for cooking all week and we got Subway. I got the girls a foot long (btw - what happened to $5 foot longs??). They each gobbled down their 6 inches and did not go hungry for the first time all week. Grrr.

2. Speaking of dinner, I saw a pin for "The Easiest Mac N' Cheese Ever" this week. I'm always looking for easy, so I checked it out. People. That is not easy. If it takes more than 5 ingredients it's too much work. So here is my easiest mac n' cheese recipe ever:

Boil a box of elbow macaroni. (Preferably the noodles themselves. Not the actual box.) Drain.
Chop a pound of sharp cheddar cheese into cubes.
Pour a can of evaporated milk into a saucepan.
Add one heaping tablespoon of flour and stir for a while over medium heat.
Stir in the cheese cubes by handfuls, letting them melt.
Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni, put it in a 9 by 13 pan and bake for 45 minutes @350*.
I usually add diced ham.

3. In case you're not on facebook (ahem, Kelly), I have to share the school picture debacle here as well. Lucy loooves her hair down and flowy, so I decided to let her wear it that way for pictures. It's very "her." I brushed it nicely, put a headband in just so, and double checked it before I left her at school. They had pictures first thing in the morning. (I dropped her off at 8. When I got back at 9 to help in the classroom, they'd already done the pictures.) Lucy is very photogenic, has a very natural smile, and loves being in front of the camera, so I was excited when she brought her prints home. But this is what they looked like:
Lol. What on earth?! Needless to say, we will be doing retakes. And the good news is, retakes are on a Tuesday (when Lucy doesn't usually go to school), so I will bring her in and be present while they take the pic. So I can make sure her hair doesn't look ridiculous and she gives a genuine smile.

4. I read a really dumb book this week: The Chef's Mail Order Bride. It was one of the free Kindle specials through Amazon, got good reviews, and sounded interesting. Plus the main character's name was Sadie, so I couldn't pass that up. But it was so pointless. There was almost no plot, zero tension, and totally predictable. I can't believe it got such good reviews. Fail.

5. I've also been chugging along through the Give Them Grace book.  I'm about half-way through, so I have high hopes that I'll finish before my birthday (two weeks from today, in case you were wondering). But it's very difficult. The writing isn't hard to understand, but the subject matter is. I still can't quite figure it out. I came to the conclusion this week after reading a few more chapters, that I'm just a Pharisee. And I've been one for so long that I can't figure out how to stop. Still hoping for clarity as I continue the book.

6. Lena came down with a cold this week. It's pretty mild. She doesn't have a fever, and she's acting the same as always. She's just snotty and has a cough. I've been doing remarkably well with not catching the girls' illnesses over the past year, but I'm afraid my luck has run out. I noticed last night that my throat is starting to hurt, I have a pounding sinus headache, and my ears are all plugged and weird feeling. Lovely.

7. The girls have suddenly become obsessed with playing outside together. For 90% of the summer, they refused to go outside without me, but randomly in the past week or two, they've gotten over their fear. As long as they have each other, they're golden. They have spent hours out there this week. One of their favorite activities is filling the baby pool with ice cold hose water, getting their swimsuits on, and playing in it for hours. Part of me feels a tiny bit guilty, like I should be out there playing with them - or at least supervising them - but a much larger part of me is singing the Hallelujah chorus that they're entertaining themselves for once in their lives!! And I don't really worry about them because they have each other. They know to stay in the backyard and will tattle on each other if one of them is being naughty. I suppose they could both fall into a hole or something, but I check on them enough that I'd notice if they were both gone. Haha. I'm just going to enjoy it while it lasts, because winter is coming and soon we'll all be cooped up in the house again!

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

15 Weeks

Baby is the size of a navel orange this week.

How Far Along? 15 weeks
Total Weight Loss/Gain: Up 2 pounds total.
Maternity Clothes? Down to about one pair of jeans - my loosest ones. Still stretching out my regular shirts.
Sleep: I've started randomly waking up in the middle of the night for no reason and having trouble falling back to sleep.
Best Moment This Week: Feeling movement!
Movement: I noticed this week that when I lay flat on my back and suck in my stomach, I can clearly feel my uterus. So a few nights ago, I decided to start poking at it to see if I could make baby mad. I poked a few times and felt a strong *thwack*. I did it a few more times and kept feeling it! Poking my baby is my new favorite activity. Haha. I'm anxious to start feeling movement in my day to day life, though.
Food Cravings: Burritos, Swedish meatballs, restaurant food in general
Food Aversions: Nothing. Finally feeling better and eating everything in sight!
Gender: Unknown. Although I'm feeling more and more like it's a girl now. (Probably just because I have a couple girl names I like and absolutely nothing for boys. Haha.)
Labor Signs: None
What I Miss: Having energy.
What I'm Looking Forward To: Finding out gender, the sciatic pain going away, feeling consistent movement.
Milestones: Movement

The sciatic pain is still going strong. I had it this early with both of the girls, but never documented when it went away. Still just waiting and hoping and trying not to overdo it. And I have another ultrasound scheduled for Thursday to check on the SCH again. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Saturday 7

1. When we were camping last weekend, we had a couple large family meals where everyone brought something to pass. I brought things like store-bought potato salad and bags of chips. But Justin's cousin brought homemade salsa one night. I'm usually not a big salsa eater. And I'm certainly not a big vegetable eater, but it just looked so good that I decided to try it. I loved it so much, I got the recipe from her and made it myself this week. I was so proud of myself for snacking on vegetables all week! Haha. Here's the recipe if you want to try it yourself:
Thanks, Kara (and Betsy - since I think she actually got the recipe from you)
2. My mom bought my dad a Keurig for his birthday last week and I've been greatly enjoying it. The coffee is definitely more expensive, but the convenience is worth it. And I love how fast it is. #murica

3. After a rough second week of school where Lucy cried every time I dropped her off, she did much better this week. She's getting in the groove, making friends, and getting more comfortable with her teacher. I'm loving the whole school experience . . . except for the homework. It's not actually that big of a deal. Lucy does it without complaining, but I realized this week that it's really more of a responsibility for me than her. She brings home her homework folder once a week and it's due a week later. So I have to keep track of the homework, make sure she does it, then make sure she brings it back on time. She also had a special project this week - making a timeline. It was a super easy project, but again, I had to sit down with her, print out the pictures, help her write the captions, make sure she did it on time and had it returned to school on the right day. And don't even get me started on library books and show and tell. (I forgot to send her with show and tell the very first week of school. Way to go, Mom.)

4. I helped in her class again on Friday. I work with the kids for 2 hours - playing word Bing-o and doing little science experiments (smelling things for the senses unit, etc.). I noticed this week that by the end of the two hours, I was totally going hoarse! I guess I'm not used to talking that much! Also, I forgot to share last week how weird it was to introduce myself to the kids as "Mrs. VanderKodde." Justin's mom was our school secretary for a few years while we were growing up, so she was Mrs. VanderKodde to me for a long time. This is the first time since I've been married that I've really used that moniker. Although the kids just call me "Lucy's mom" anyway, so it doesn't really matter. Haha.

5. I read a fluffy inspirational Christian book this week: From the Start (Melissa Tagg). It was cute and fun. Then I started Give Them Grace (Elyse Fitzpatrick), which has been sitting in my "to read" pile since Christmas. I only read the first chapter and am already feeling in over my head. If you scroll down to my the entry right before this one, you can read some of my scattered thoughts on it. It's going to be a thinking book. We'll see if I can finish it before my 30th birthday (3 weeks from today!) or if I'll chicken out and pick something easier. Haha. I also ordered this devotional that I intend to start this week:
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I've been trying to have a more consistent devotional life, but I find that if I just read through the Bible, I read a chapter as quickly as I can, check it off my list, and don't give it any thought the rest of the day. So I decided to try a devotional book. I spent hours on Amazon looking for something that's deeper than a little one page blurb, but not something deeply theological on every page. I figured this 11-week study was a good start. I'll let you know how it goes.

6. Last week, I read and wrote a review on Crazy Busy on Saturday. The next day at church, our pastor did a sermon on being a risk-taker, doing something, avoiding laziness. Uhhh, conflicting messages! I've actually been really convicted about my laziness lately, so I decided to throw myself into this stay-at-home-mom thing. On Tuesday, I did all kinds of housework until my sciatic nerve started hurting so much I could hardly move. I hit a wall by 5:00, but still had to make dinner, give the girls baths, and put them to bed. Justin did most of the baths/bedtime routine because I was so dead on my feet. And I was reminded once again of the need for balance between laziness and busyness.

I also had the thought that maybe this season of pregnancy is going to be a season of rest for me. I was sick for the first 13 weeks, finally started to feel better enough to get back to my daily routine only to be knocked back down by the sciatic pain. I might have a few weeks of relative comfort once that subsides, but it's only a matter of time until I get huge and uncomfortable. It's frustrating to me that I have to start asking for help already. I know the last three months will be miserable. I've already warned my family that there will be very little cleaning or cooking from about January on. But it's too early for that now! I hate feeling so worthless! Just another reason to immerse myself in devotionals and the Bible and those difficult parenting books - at least I can do that from the couch.

7. It's late, so I'll end with these cute pictures from the ACS carnival last night:
Lucy the cat.
I asked Lena if she wanted to be a cat like Lucy, but she insisted that she wanted a butterfly. Came up with that all on her own . 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Struggle with Grace

I just read the first chapter of Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and I can't wrap my mind around it. Somehow, I have a mental block when it comes to grace theology. Pastor Chris spent all summer on a grace-themed sermon series, and I didn't understand that either. My brain is so deeply entrenched in a legalistic outlook that I cannot fathom anything else.

I process by writing, so I'm going to attempt to do that here.

This is the part that gets me:
The promises of life for obedience are not meant to build our self-confidence. They're meant to make us long for obedience and then, when we fail again, they're meant to crush us and drive us to Christ . . . Again, that doesn't mean we don't teach our children God's law. We are commanded to do so but not to make them good. We are commanded to give them the law so that they will be crushed by it and see their need for a Savior. The law won't make them good. It will make them despair of ever being good enough, and in that way it will make them open to the love, sacrifice, and welcome of their Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, give them God's law. Teach it to them and tell them that God commands obedience. But before you are done, give them grace and explain again the beautiful story of Christ's perfect keeping of it for them.
Ok, number 1: I've obviously only read the first chapter. Maybe the subsequent chapters will answer the myriad of questions swirling around in my head. But for now, I need to get them out.

I can't teach this stuff to my kids when I don't even understand it myself. I asked myself what I think grace is, since I feel so resistant to the grace that Fitzpatrick is presenting. Here's what I've got:

I know that I was a worthless sinner, dead in my transgressions, completely incapable of righteousness on my own. Jesus' death and resurrection offered sanctification. When I accepted that gift, I was made clean. God sees me as righteous through the blood of Jesus. I now have perfect standing with God and am alive in Christ. But then comes the tricky part. I feel like there have to be deeds to accompany faith. (See the book of James) I'm not saying that I'll lose my salvation if I don't obey the Bible. I know there was nothing I could do to gain salvation, and in the same way, there's nothing I can do to keep it. But there has to be obedience. There has to be "dying to self" and trying to obey. Otherwise I think it's too easy to abuse grace. And that's what rankles me a little bit about Fitzpatrick. She seems to advocate for telling our kids, "Here's the law. This is what the Bible says we have to do. But don't worry if you can't do it. No one can. Jesus did it for us. So let's just be thankful and go on our merry way!"

Why is the New Testament full of commands from Jesus on holy living (and calls to "be holy" or "be perfect") if He doesn't intend for us to try and obey them? I feel like we're obliterating whole passages of the Bible and just saying, "Whew! Glad I don't have to do that! Thanks Jesus!"

I get that we should want to obey because of our thankfulness, but if that doesn't come naturally to me as a somewhat mature adult, how on earth can I expect that of my children?

An aside: Her Biblical backing for this theology is Paul's blasting of the law throughout his epistles. Pastor Chris focused on the same thing often in his series on Galatians. My niggling doubt is this: Paul was writing to Jews about the Mosaic law, wasn't he? He was showing them that the law they'd previously known as a way of life and religious obedience wasn't necessary thanks to Jesus. They didn't have to do the sacrifices any more or abide by the strict ceremonial laws. He wasn't referring to the "law" that came from the lips of Jesus in the New Testament. There are still commands we have to obey. We are still under some form of moral obligation. Right? Or is that the Pharisee in me talking?

Oy. I have a long way to go to figure this out. I'm not going to link this to facebook, because it's mostly just ramblings from my scrambled brain. Maybe eventually, I'll be able to come back to this post and say, "I was so confused, but then the light clicked on for me!" I'm praying for such a revelation.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

14 Weeks

Baby is the size of a lemon this week.

How Far Along? 14 weeks
Total Weight Loss/Gain: Up 2 pounds total.
Maternity Clothes? Surprisingly, I'm still going strong in my regular clothes. I have a couple pairs of jeans that were too big pre-pregnancy, so they're serving me well. I need to go buy a couple pairs of maternity jeans. Mine are all stretched out from wearing them to the end of my previous pregnancies and don't fit yet.
Sleep: I can't get enough. In my babycenter email this week it said the 1st trimester exhaustion has probably started to abate. Not true for me! No abating here! 
Best Moment This Week: Seeing the adorable little baby on ultrasound.
Isn't its little nose the cutest thing ever?! [13 weeks, 4 days]
Movement: I'm starting to wonder if I can feel it. Especially when I lay on my belly, I feel little taps in one concentrated area. But I might just be making that up.
Food Cravings: Fruit, popsicles, fizzy drinks, restaurant food. 
Food Aversions: Not much anymore! The nausea has all but disappeared. *knock on wood*
Gender: Don't know yet. If I keep having ultrasounds every two weeks, though, they might be able to tell soon . . .
Labor Signs: None
What I Miss: Having energy.
What I'm Looking Forward To: Finding out gender, the sciatic pain going away. 
Milestones: The baby has started peeing in its amniotic fluid. Isn't that a lovely milestone?

My sciatic pain has gotten pretty miserable. Fortunately, it's just in one spot - not radiating down my leg . . . yet. Unfortunately, there's almost nothing I can do to relieve the pain. I've tried all the stretches, but they don't help. It feels the best when I lay flat on my back in bed and don't move. Haha. And it definitely gets worse with activity. I just spent an hour grocery shopping and am pretty much crippled now.

This is old news to those of you on facebook, but for my records: had an ultrasound on Thursday and my SCH still hasn't changed. I was surprised since I had some bleeding both last Saturday while camping, and randomly on Wednesday. I thought that would mean the hematoma is leaving my body. No such luck. I have another ultrasound in two weeks. Stay tuned. ;-)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Saturday 6

1. We survived our weekend of camping. The girls loved it. I loved spending time with Justin's family. But I still just don't love camping. I wrote about some of the experience in my 13 week pregnancy update if you really care to read about it.
Some of the fam at lunch.
2. We spent Labor Day at home, recovering from camping, and playing cards with my family. Niki taught us how to ply 6 Person Euchre. I am a horrible Michigander and hate euchre, but I actually really liked 6-person. It was very different and fun. We ended up playing 3 games and having a blast.

3. On Tuesday, I decided to get serious about potty training Lena again. She's so ready. She's showing all the signs. She tells me when she pees, asks to be changed, hides when she poops, can hold it for a long time, etc. But she's extremely willful. Lucy wanted to please me and wanted to "be a big girl." She definitely had accidents, but she also had many successes and was excited to use the potty. Lena hates every aspect of it. She hates wearing undies, she hates sitting on the potty chair, she hates talking about it. And I just think she's too stubborn and isn't going to do it until she decides she wants to. I've bribed her up the wazoo, but she doesn't care. She sits on the potty chair because I make her, but I can't make her pee. She never went in the potty chair once this week. She holds it, then pees on the floor. It's making me a little crazy!!

4. I had another ultrasound on Thursday to check on my sub chorionic hematoma. I'm really starting to hate my doctor's office. After my pregnancy with Lena, I swore I was going to change offices, but I'm too lazy and it's too much work. And this one is comfortable. But it's really annoying. It's right next to the hospital, so I have to go all the way downtown for every appointment. (And I hate driving downtown.) It's on the 6th floor, so I have to take the dreaded elevator. (I used to take the stairs, but pregnancy makes me even more out of breath than usual, so I always end up gasping for breath by the time I make it to the top and people think I'm having a heart attack or something.) And the wait times are ridiculous. This week, my ultrasound was scheduled for 11:00. I got there 10 minutes early and they got me right in for the ultrasound. She was done in 10 minutes, then sent me back to the waiting room. I waited in the waiting room for a solid hour before seeing my doctor. And then she literally said, "Everything looks the same with the hematoma. It hasn't changed. Come back in two weeks for another ultrasound." She didn't touch me, didn't examine anything, didn't ask how I was doing or if I have any questions. She talked to me for 30 seconds and busted on to her next patient (who had also probably been waiting for an hour!). I kind of want to ask if I can just go home after the ultrasound next time and have someone call me with the results, instead of waiting an hour for the doctor to tell me nothing has changed. Oy.

5. I got to help in Lucy's classroom for the first time this week. Her Christian school attempts to keep their tuition rates "reasonable" by relying on parents for volunteer work. We're required to put in 20 hours of volunteer hours each year (actually, Justin and I specifically have to do more since we accepted financial aid). I don't want to paint walls or spread woodchips, so I'm getting my time in by helping out in the classroom. I was admittedly nervous about what I'd have to do on Friday, but it was a piece of cake. And I loved getting to know the kids in her class. Lucy thought it was the greatest thing ever that I was there, and it made drop-off a little easier since she knew I'd be back later in the day. I'm hoping to do it every Friday until the baby is born or I get put on bedrest for being a hippo.

6. I read one book this week: Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung. It was number 29 in my 30 before 30, so I only have one to go! (And almost a full month to do it!) But I feel like I can't finish with any old book. I need something really good to end on. Pressure.

Book #29: Crazy Busy

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Amazon synopsis:
“I’M TOO BUSY!” We’ve all heard it. We’ve all said it. All too often, busyness gets the best of us.
Just one look at our jam-packed schedules tells us how hard it can be to strike a well-reasoned balance between doing nothing and doing it all.
That’s why award-winning author and pastor Kevin DeYoung addresses the busyness problem head on in his newest book, Crazy Busy — and not with the typical arsenal of time management tips, but rather with the biblical tools we need to get to the source of the issue and pull the problem out by the roots.
This book came highly recommended from a couple of friends. I don't consider myself an exceptionally busy person. In fact, I'll tell pretty much anyone that I'm boring and lame and have loads of free time that I spend on the Internet or Netflix. But said friends convinced me it would still be a good read . . . and they were right.

The subheading of this book is "A (mercifully) short book about a (really) big problem." Love it. It was mercifully short, while still packing in a ton of useful information and relatable anecdotes. It's a super easy read, not bogged down by burdensome theology or philosophical waxing. And it was actually really funny.

I loved his chapter on parenting. The tagline is "You need to stop freaking out about your kids." He talks about how we make parenting so much more difficult than necessary, piling on more burdens than anyone needs to bear. I loved this part:
It's all so involved. There are so many rules and expectations. Parenting may be the last bastion of legalism. Not just in the church, but in our culture. We live in a permissive society that won't count any sin against you as an adult, but will count the calories in your kids' hot lunches.I keep hearing that kids aren't supposed to eat sugar anymore. What a world! (67, emphasis mine)
Seriously! I try to take a relaxed approach to parenting, (my kids eat sugar!) but I constantly struggle with the guilt that I'm being judged or ruining my kids. The whole chapter had many great points about how we as parents give ourselves more power than we should. There are very few things we can do to truly screw up our kids. Similarly, there is nothing we can do to ensure with a 100% success rate that our kids will grow up to be godly followers of Christ. It reminded me again of one of my favorite phrases: I am not my child's Holy Spirit!

There was another great chapter on "screen obsession" and our social-media-obsessed-age. This is something I really struggle with. I think it's so pretentious when people totally "unplug" from social media. Like, "Oh, I'm too godly for facebook. I can't believe you worthless pagans spend so much time scrolling through statuses when you could be reading your Bible." (There might be some underlying bitterness there.) But I've been feeling more and more convicted lately about the sheer amount of time I spend on the Internet. I honestly feel like it's the focus of my whole day, and I get annoyed with my kids and husband for getting in the way of my Internet time. (This is humbling to admit.) I feel like I'm too busy to read my Bible, clean the house, or make a decent dinner. But I somehow find 8 hours a day to spend on facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. DeYoung's chapter wasn't condemning or condescending. It was just a reminder of how easy it is to get sucked in and waste our lives away on things that are so unimportant.

The interesting thing about this book is that it doesn't lay out a "plan for action" per se. There's no 10-step program to stress-free living. The closest DeYoung gets is the title of his last chapter: "The One Thing You Must Do." The "one thing" isn't learning to say no to commitments or making the perfect daily schedule or even "committing your plans to the Lord" (Proverbs 16:3). The one thing is spending time with Jesus - making him your number one priority. It's something I keep coming back to over and over again. I love how DeYoung admits that "daily devotions" can be one of the strongholds of legalism. He carefully addresses that and ends the book by saying that we'll never change by willpower alone.
We have to believe that hearing from God is our good portion. We have to believe that the most significant opportunity before us every day is the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus.We won't rearrange our priorities unless we really believe this is the best one. (115)
He points out that we try so hard to fill ourselves with earthly, temporal pleasures - and busyness. But we deprive ourselves of that which is the biggest blessing - sitting at Jesus' feet. He ends the book with this:
We won't say no to more craziness until we can say yes to more Jesus. We will keep choosing dinner rolls over the bread of life. We will choose the fanfare of the world over the feet of Jesus. We will choose busyness over blessing . . . It's not wrong to be tired. It's not wrong to feel overwhelmed . . . What is wrong - and heartbreakingly foolish and wonderfully avoidable - is to live a life with more craziness than we want because we have less Jesus than we need. (118)
Whew! My thoughts on the book were almost longer than the book itself! I don't have a very good habit of keeping things "mercifully short." Sorry!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

13 Weeks

Baby is the size of a peach this week.

How Far Along? 13 weeks
Total Weight Loss/Gain: Idk - Dr. appt on Thursday
Maternity Clothes? No, but I'm pretty sure they're in my near future. I tried on my regular shorts this week after a few weeks of cool weather. I couldn't even get them zipped. Oy.
Sleep: Not great. It takes me forever to fall asleep no matter how tired I am.
Best Moment This Week: Making it to the second trimester?
Movement: Not that I can feel.
Food Cravings: Fruit, cold stuff, fizzy drinks.
Food Aversions: Most of today everything has sounded awful. The nausea is still coming and going. On a good day, no aversions. On a bad day, I pretty much subsist on fruit and crackers.
Gender: It's a mystery . . .
Labor Signs: None
What I Miss: Feeling good. Being able to walk and move and be the slightest bit active without worrying about my SCH.
What I'm Looking Forward To: Finding out gender, feeling better.
Milestones: Some of what I've read said the first trimester doesn't end until 14 weeks, but I'm saying 13 weeks is 2nd trimester. Time to start feeling consistently good and getting my energy back.

Also, my sciatic pain started this week. It's not excruciating yet. Just annoying.

We attempted to go camping this weekend for Labor Day. I didn't really want to go and was nervous about the toll it would take on my body, but I went anyway. It was kind of a bust. The first night was fine. We got there around 5, had dinner, went swimming, played on the playground, walked up and down the huge hill a few times and walked all around the campground. I slept surprisingly well on the air mattress and the girls let us sleep til 7:30! But by 10:00 that morning, I had started spotting. I knew it would be too much walking for me, too many hills, too much exertion. 

I tried to take it easy the rest of the day. I drove up and down the hill when necessary. I took a nap. I made Justin do all the heavy lifting. And I went home to sleep. But I wanted to try again today. Fail again. I felt sick and achy all day. I was nervous to walk much, even though the spotting had stopped. My stomach was churning, my headache came back, and I was feeling miserable. I made it 'til about 6:00, then threw in the towel and came home to stay. 

Maybe next year . . . although then I'll have a 6 month old . . . maybe the year after that . . .

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Friday 7

We are going camping this weekend, so you're getting a special advance edition of the Saturday 7.

1. Justin had this week off. We didn't do anything exciting, but I very much enjoyed having him around so I could take numerous naps throughout the week. Sleep is my life.

2. I read Amy Poehler's book, Yes Please this week (number 28 in my 30 before 30!). It was actually a little disappointing. I loved you in Parks and Rec, Amy, but your book wasn't that funny. Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling's books were much better.

3. Lucy's second week of school wasn't quite as successful as the first. The novelty wore off a little bit and she didn't want me to leave her on Monday. She was crying again on Wednesday when I left. But both days she came running out to me after school, telling me what a great day she had. And both days she actually played at recess! Making progress! Although she really didn't want to go to school on Wednesday and was super excited when I told her that she has seven days off before she has to go back. It's going to be a looooong year if she's already sick of school.

4. I'm super paranoid that Lucy is going to be sassy and disrespectful at school. I know kids are 800% worse for their parents than other people, but seriously, this story . . .

One day this week I was giving the girls a bath and Lucy kept splashing water all over the place. I repeatedly told her to stop and finally lost my temper when she kept doing it and shouted, "What part of stop do you not understand?!" Without missing a beat, she smiled and said, "The S-T."

5. I have had a headache for 3 straight days and I'm about to rip my head off. The only thing I can take is Tylenol, which doesn't touch the headache. I just drank a cup of fully caffeinated coffee, but so far that doesn't seem to be helping either. This is seriously the worst.

6. I can't remember if I've written about this before, but it's been interesting to be in the early stages of pregnancy during all the Planned Parenthood drama - especially because I've had so many ultrasounds. I saw my baby's heartbeat at 5 weeks pregnant - that's 3 weeks after conception! It's not just a random collection of cells! It's a beating heart!  I saw the baby waving its arms and legs at 9 weeks. At my most recent ultrasound (11 weeks, 4 days) I noticed that the baby jumped when the tech pushed hard on my stomach. At first, I wasn't sure the two were related, but then I read this in my weekly babycenter email:
The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it.
Don't tell me a "fetus" doesn't feel pain during an abortion if it can feel the ultrasound wand through my belly!

7. On a lighter note . . . we're going on our annual, once a year camping trip this weekend with Justin's extended family. I'm really really trying to have a good attitude about it. I really really don't want to be that whiny girl who is too good for camping. But I'm really really dreading it. I want my girls to have these memories. They will love it. But it's sooooo much work for me. I've spent hours this week making lists and grocery shopping and packing. Oh, and did I mention we're tenting it? I also don't want to be one of those women who plays the pregnancy card for everything (especially since I'm not even out of the first trimester), but I'm really not looking forward to trying to sleep in a hot tent on a sticky air mattress. I have a hard enough time sleeping in my own bed in my air conditioned bedroom. And this particular campground has a huge hill you have to go up and down to get from the campsites to the lake. When I was pregnant with Lena, I got major Braxton Hicks doing that hill. I'm not far along enough for BH this time, but my sciatic has already started hurting, and I'm honestly worried about overdoing it and having more bleeding from my SCH.

And then there's the bear anxiety. I know, logically, it is the stupidest thing in the world. I am a grown woman, not some little kid, and yet I am terrified of bears. We're camping in Newaygo, which has had a record amount of bear sightings this year, and I break out in a sweat every time I think about lying in that tent at night just waiting for a bear to come eat me or my kids.

I'm sure it'll be fine and we'll all survive, but feel free to pray for my nerves . . . and my stupid headache to go away. Camping in the 90* weather is miserable enough. I can't handle adding this headache to that stress.

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