Thursday, May 29, 2008

She's Here!

Our daughter was born at 7:17 pm, May 27th after only 2 1/2 hours of labor and 10 minutes of pushing! She weighed in at 6lbs 5 ounces and measured at 19 inches long....another little peanut! It was all-natural, baby! No induction, no pitocin, no pain relievers, no episiotomy! All prayers have been answered by the Lord except for her nursing ability. She's not a very good nurser, though she was a champ just after she was born. She's getting better, though and I continue in prayer that she improves. I pray that when my milk comes in, she'll be a great nurser. I'm also in prayer about her jaundice. Right now, it's not bad at all, but I learned with Bubby how quickly that can change, especially with her not being a good nurser.

The picture above was taken yesterday. That's me and my son and daughter. Poor hubby's not in the picture because he wasn't at the hospital at that time. He was there earlier, but I sent him home to get some rest and some food.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Church

Candy at www.keepingthehome.com has a post we can join about our churches. I decided to post about my church here:

My church is an Assembly of God church, though we're actually quite different from many AG churches.

First of all, the church is established in a building over 200 years old with the original pews. It's a beautiful brick building nestled in the northern part of an historic small city. Sometimes, before service of course, I like to imagine all those hoop skirts and wool suits sitting in the pews and in the balconies. The church also has one of the oldest working pipe organs in the United States, although we don't use it.

My brother is the pastor, the only pastor. It's still a small congregation and although we've had it in prayer, the Lord has seen it fit to not send us an assistant pastor. However, we have two wonderful, Godly deacons who will fill the role should pastor be ill.

Many AG churches are NIV churches, but not mine. We're KJV ONLY. In fact, when we have guest speakers, it always takes us by surprise when they read from the NIV.

We are a pentecostal church, but we don't swing from the rafters, quake in our seats, or pass out when someone touches our foreheads. We don't dance in the aisles or play loud rock-like music. We're actually quite traditional. My pastor believes in a spirit-led and spirit-filled worship, not a worship that induces an emotional out-come. We adhere to the Bible saying, "Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs." Yes, we do believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including speaking in tongues. However, we don't just let people blab away in jibberish. The Bible says that if someone speaks in tongues publically, there is to be an interpretation. Also, my pastor makes sure that what was said aheres strictly to the Word of God.

My pastor also does not believe in advertising or feel-good ministries. He believes in the whole, true Word of God, the happy parts and the "make you twitch in your pew" parts. Because of this, we've lost many congregants, but the ones who've stayed and who've joined have become some of the strongest Christians I know! God's Truth hurts, and it's hard and it's even offensive to our worldly minds and hearts, but it's His Truth and it sets us free!

We do have children's church and nursery care. Having grown up in a different AG church that had a very poor children's church, I'm quite wary of sending my son to children's church (although I do utilize the nursery.) However, I've talked to my mother, who's a children's church teacher and I learned that the lesson plans the church orders for the children's church is actually quite good and indepth and full of the meat of God's Word, rather than watered-down "be nice, feel nice" semi-Bible stories.

However, one Sunday a month is our family and communion service. This means that that there is no children's church and that children are to stay with their parents and the parents are to teach their children what the sermon was about. The nursery remains open, but no child over the age of 3 is allowed.

Sunday School occurs before the regular Sunday service. If you were to visit my church for the regular Sunday service, here's what you'd encounter:

You'd walk into the foyer and be greeted by smiling faces and people chatting, and no less than two official greeters who will welcome you, hand you a bullitin, and probably a visitor's package. Then, you'll make your way into the sanctuary and find yourself a pew. No one should bother you about sitting in their pew because pastor had a whole sermon at one point about how wrong and rude and unchristian-like it is for insist that you have your own pew. If you didn't receive a visitor's package, usually during this time one of our deacons would have spotted you and given you one with a hearty handshake and welcome.

As you sit in the pew and look around, you'll see groups gathered chatting, and a group down front praying fervently. This is our "prayer furnace." Anyone can join in. Often, there are individuals kneeling down in front or in their pews praying.

Pastor will enter after his own prayer time in his study and, if he sees you, he'll greet you and welcome you. So will his wife, if she's not in the nursery nursing their baby.

Service starts with Pastor saying, "Good Morning! God is good!" The congregation heartily replies, "All the time!" It's just a little fun thing we do. :) Announcements, prayer requests, Bible reading, prayer, song service, prayer, children to children's church, tithes and offerings, sermon, prayer/alter call/whatever the Lord leads us. This isn't the strictest schedule. As the Lord leads us, there have been times of a song service cut short in favor of prayer and worship to the Lord, or prayers from someone with a special need, or prayers for a need in our community or the world.

My church is very much into evangelism, too. Our most blessed evangelism ministry is to several nursing homes. We also heartily support missions.

We no longer have the typical AG must-haves of mens and womens ministries. Nor do we have "Royal Rangers" or "Missionettes." We tried mens and womens ministries in the past, but they were not blessed nor edifying, so they were done away with. While a youth pastor is on our prayer-list, God hasn't seen fit to send us one yet. PERSONALLY, I think it's for the best. As we are now, we're just one big family in Christ...no cliques or seemingly exclusive club-like ministries. No distracting, obligatory youth programs to separate parents from their children.

We don't mind "distractions" such as a baby crying, a toddler breaking loose and running around the sanctuary, a mentally handicapped person moaning or shouting out, or even an elderly, sickly man snoring. It's just all part of the service...all part of the family that we are. I don't know how many times my son recieved chuckles from the congregation when he thought the pastor preaching was the pastor talking one on one with him, and so he responded in kind! Everyone loves it when we end a worship song and Bubby claps his hands and yells, "Yay!"

It's a bit of a distance from where I live to my church, although I'm not the farthest congregant. My other brother and his wife and daughter drive an hour an half one way just to attend this church. I've had people suggest I go to a church closer to home, but my church is home. I can't imagine going to another church. I don't feel called to another church. I'm happy where I am.

Baby's Coming!!

My daughter will be born by Friday at the latest! Everything in my body is ready for labor and delivery (I'm nearly half-way dilated), but labor just isn't kicking in, so the doctor and I agreed on an induction on Friday if I don't start labor naturally before then.

Woo hoooooooo!!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Which are you?

Would you say you're more of a "domestic engineer" or a "domestic artist?"

The definitions are up to you.

I feel like I'm sort of in-between. While I enjoy creativity in the home, I have no problem getting down to business and weilding a DeWalt power drill (of which I have one of my own now, thanks hubby!).

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Admit Smugness

My son was good as gold in the stores today. While in Aldi's, this older yuppie mom with two children, probably ages 9 and 7 were having a tough little time. The children were whiney, misbehaving, running to and fro and not listening to mom at all. Everyone kept staring at them. My little 2 year old was enthralled by this, but behaved very well. He even yelled at the kids when they climbed onto the grocery-packing shelf!

So, I admit, I was a bit smug and proud of my little man being such a good boy. But, I made sure to remind myself of the times not too long ago when "meltdown" was the key word. Granted, a 2 year old is often given much more leeway with misbehaving and meltdowns than older children who are just seen as bratty. But, I'm sure every mom has a day when she needs "Super Nanny."

So, I'm really trying hard not to be smug or to judge this mom. I always have this feeling that being prideful and judgemental will bring the exact same thing down on me! Whether that's true or not, it's not good to be that way. But, I can't be the ONLY mom who's ever felt this way when their children were good, but other's weren't. I've seen moms of happy toddlers sitting quietly and perfectly in the grocery cart giving ME a smug, but understanding smile when Bubby was laying in the middle of the aisle screaming his head off. I guess we're all guilty of it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Cooler Summer for $200.00

It isn't up yet, so I hope it's ok.

Today, I bought an awning for over the west-facing picture window. It was a great deal at a bargain shop for only $189.99 (plus tax). It's not one of those cute cottage awnings you see in 1950's neighborhoods. It's more like one of those patio or deck awnings, the retractable kind. This one reaches out 8'2", which is perfect for keeping the blazing summer sun from hitting the picture window AND providing a canopy for our picnic table.

I've found that indoor window treatments just don't cut it when the sun hits that picture window. While they help a little, so long as the sun hits the glass, heat builds up like a greenhouse and it still gets dispersed from behind the shades and curtains. It's best to avoid having the sun hit the glass altogether.

Before, I just hung up a piece of fabric outside and rigged it like an awning using rope and stakes. That little bit really helped keep the house cooler, even if it did look silly to passersby. Neighbors thought it was clever, but I'm sure they'd rather see something a bit more decorative.

Anything to cut down on energy costs! Besides, we only have one window in the house that can hold an air conditioner, and that's in the bedroom! Casement windows stink! Give me double hung any day!

Now, I need to find a meat grinder. I'm pretty sure my dad gave me one. Ground beef is rather expensive here these days, but I can get london broils or roasts on sale and grind it myself more cheaply. After my poor mother lamented on not being able to afford 93% lean ground beef, I told her to just buy beef on sale and grind it herself. She was able to find two london broils at $1.59 a lb with hardly any fat. Dad ground it up and she's a happy, frugal camper.

My garden is all in, except for the possibility of some herbs. My flowers aren't in yet, but they're next. I'm just glad all my veggies are in. I don't hold out much hope for my corn, though. I didn't get one good ear off of my corn last year. I did learn from my neighbor that sweet corn needs plenty of water.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Never say never...

I was following a blog last year where the blog author was preparing to give birth. She tried many different ways to get labor going. As I read day by day, I held the haughty attitude that I would just sit by and let nature do the work.

While I'm not sucking down gallons of raspberry leaf tea, I do have this attitude of, "let's get things going here!" Even hubby's first words this morning were (to my belly as he rubbed it), "You're not here yet!?" Granted, I've still got 25 days left. It's just all this early labor scare stuff has us wondering and hoping she'll arrive any day now.

Wednesday, I find out more from my doctor.

If you'd like more indepth (warning, it can get a little detailed) play by play of my 9th month, please e-mail me at scottlass@juno.com and I'll send you a link to my preggy blog.

In other news, the weather took a turn for the pathetic. Quite cold, more like April than May, cloudy, rainy, windy, and just downright icky. At least by this weekend it's supposed to sunny up and warm up! My mom's planning a picnic for Memorial Day. Hmmm....I should send cards to the veterans and former soldiers I know.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Busy Day Push for Birth

I had an unusual amount of energy today so I cleaned the play area in the basement, put in my entire garden, took Bubby to the farm, helped hubby, wrestled with the dog when she wouldn't obey, and did laundry. Hopefully, all that helped push my body towards labor and delivery.

Everyone, but hubby, is telling me to take it easy and just sit still. I can't! Hubby's the only one who understands that. He wants me to keep occupied so I don't get all stressed and anxious about when I'm going to start labor. He also wants me to make sure I get plenty of rest, too, of course.

My garden contains:

Red sweet peppers
Roma tomatoes
Spinach
Turnips
Carrots
Beans
Peas
Cucumbers
Corn
Spaghetti squash
Acorn squash
watermelon
Cantaloupe
Pumpkins

I might try to squeeze in some bunching onions, zucchini and more cukes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Baby Stuff

Well, I'm 2 cm dilated and the baby is really low and ready to go. Even though I'm 36 weeks along, I'm actually measuring at 37 weeks. This baby is good sized, so I'm praying for an earlier delivery before she becomes "megalith baby."

I finished up the main shopping for her, other than stocking up on batteries. So many baby things run on batteries these days! I'm not going to crack open my nursing pump because I don't want to use it, but if I have to I will. If not, I'll just return it to the store.

I'm also mad at myself because I can't find my envelope full of the money I was given for my baby shower. I've looked everywhere. It's simply vanished and I'm afraid I accidentally dropped it in a store, or Bubby removed it in a store, or someone snatched it out of my purse. There wasn't a ton of money left in it, but probably around $50.00-$60.00. Still, I can't really complain. I have what I need, the Lord always provides and I'm always so blessed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Basics in Housekeeping

Candy at www.myblessedhome.blogspot.com has a great article on the basics of housekeeping during seasons in a woman's life when housekeeping tends to take the back burner such as during pregnancy sickness or tending a new infant.

As with most things, I can't cookie-cut, but rather expand on them to fit my own life situation. Here are the basics for me:

1. Put things away.
2. Dishes done.
3. Laundry
4. Vacuum

Other things I like to do are: fixing the bed, making sure the mail doesn't pile up, and having meals planned.

Things that go to the wayside include: dusting (unless it's pretty bad), washing the hardwood floors, fixing Bubby's crib just so, and my garden.

I also try to keep up on the garbage and diaper disposal so the house doesn't smell.

As an added note, a mother of a young infant can find time to shower. I'll try to shower when Bubby is asleep or when hubby can keep an eye on him. As for daughter (she doesn't have a nickname yet), strap her in the bouncy seat or car seat and set her in the bathroom with me. The sound of the water and the bathroom fan will lull any baby to sleep. By the time I have my third child, Bubby will be old enough and hopefully trained enough to play nicely and perhaps even keep an eye on his sister while I shower with the new baby in the bathroom with me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Despite coming out of 24 hours of false labor with plenty of residual pain, I had a great Mother's Day. Hubby took Bubby with him everywhere, so I had plenty of rest.

Some women get flowers for Mother's Day. I'm getting a whole tree!! Hubby is cutting down the two nasty mountain ash trees by the pond and putting in a beautiful Crimson King maple. He suggested this as my gift for Mother's Day thinking I wouldn't be thrilled with it, but it's actually what I was going to ask him for!!

I'm beginning to think I'm going to have a May baby. Or rather, I'm beginning to HOPE I have a May baby. These last few days have been very difficult and painful.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Compassionate Bubby

While sometimes I think Bubby's theme song is "My Way," that doesn't seem to detract from his natural compassion.

Yesterday, I was having a rather emotional preggy day. I was bawling over something fairly small most the day. During one particular sobbing moment at the breakfast table, Bubby climbed up onto the table, took both my hands in his, looked me in the eyes and said, "No cry" in the sweetest voice.

Today, I crashed out on the floor and Bubby tucked me in with his blankets.

It's funny how he can be so tender, but then turn around and body-slam me or bop the dog over the head with his little fist just because the dog is there!

At least with a baby sister in the house soon, I'll be able to help nurture that compassion in him and urge the gentleness and self-control he can sometimes lack. After all, he's all boy, just like I prayed for.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

If you want my preggy news...

Now that I'm getting closer and closer to giving birth, I can't seem to help but be a bit preggy-graphic in my posts. So, rather than subjecting readers to "too much information," I've created a private blog for anyone who wants to read about my preggy, labor and birth progress.

If you want to read my preggy news, please e-mail me at scottlass@juno.com with "Preggy news, please" in the subject line, and I'll send you the address to my preggy news blog.

However, if you want preggy news without all the details, just stay tuned to this blog or my All Things Feminine blog.

The estimate is 2 weeks and I'll give birth.

ladyscott

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Blessings!

Yesterday was one of those days that just went well. I felt well for most of the day and got a fair amount done. My fridge arrived and it's great! I love it! I feel like such a queen with this new, big fridge. I got it at a scratch and dent place, but you can't see the cosmetic damage and I got it for a steal! It's a Kenmore, too! The best part was piling good news on hubby and then spending the latter part of the evening chatting away. He gave me grand kudos for the fridge.

Today, a huge and unexpected blessing arrived. My in-laws back into my driveway with one of those brand new, fancy stainless steel gas grills and a picnic table! They just gave them to us. My FIL's reason was, "I bought the grill, but it's just too big for me and I don't want to bother taking it back." (Never mind that the old softy drove an extra 30 miles round trip just to deliver it to us when the store he got it from is just a few miles from his house!) His only request was that we host a BBQ this summer. We did one 2 years ago and he loved it and had so much fun.

I am just thrilled with this new grill because cooking in our little house in the summer just heats the place to uncomfortable levels. Now, I can have my own outdoor kitchen! Hubby found an old sink in good shape that he's going to rig up outdoors so I'll have an outdoor sink, too!

It's such a blessing and so undeserved. I feel like such a queen! My family is so loving and most of all, God is so good!!

On the preggy-front, everyone and I mean everyone from the kindly mother of 8 in my church to my relatives, hubby, and even a random cashier at the grocery story predict I'm going to "pop" soon. Hubby thinks within the next 2 weeks. I'll be happy just to get through my baby shower!

I've started stocking up so I don't have to leave the house that much after the baby is born. Preparations have been made for various means of transport to the maternity center and care for Bubby. I've begun packing my bag for the hospital. It feels good to be coming in on the home stretch. Soon, my daughter will be snuggled in my arms!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Childhood Surprises

Today was definately a "hard to be a parent" day. Bubby has taken to throwing tantrums at everything. I don't get it either, because we've NEVER given in to his tantrums or let him think that tantrums get him things. If he drops a toy, tantrum. If food falls off his spoon, tantrum. If the dog gets too close to him, tantrum. If mommy asks him to do something, tantrum. If mommy TELLS him to do something, an even bigger tantrum. If mommy isn't available immediately, tantrum.

He's also a flopper. He flops on the floor in protest, which is especially difficult for me because it means I have to bend my huge preggy mass over to pick him up for correction, and I'm not supposed to pick him up.

On top of it all, he's going through a growth spurt AND teething his two bottom 2 year molars.

I will say that through all this difficulty, I am learning patience, selflessness, self-control, calmness, and dilligence. God is also showing me areas where Bubby needs me more and where I need to back off.

Still, we tucked him into bed with hugs and kisses and bedtime stories and love you's and prayers and peace.

But, the big suprise occured during a trying time this afternoon when Bubby was bouncing off the walls and didn't know the meaning of "use your quiet voice." Hubby needed some rest, so I took Bubby to the basement and sat at his little table and sketched pictures for him. I usually just sketch pictures of thing I know he knows, but this time I tried for things he didn't. One of them was a square. I asked him if he knew what it was and he said, "KWARE!" I was so impressed!

I love all his "Bubby words" and hubby and I find ourselves using them. One of the cutest is his word for airplane or helicopter. He says, "Wee-oo."

My neice is full of surprises, too. She's only 3 months older than Bubby, but she's quite beyond her years. She can count to 20, say the alphabet and spell and recognize her own first name!

Friday, May 02, 2008

It's like Scotland here!

It's cold, rainy, gloomy, but everything is so green! I love seeing the green grass the the green baby leaves on the trees. May is my favorite month partly because of all the green! Next week, I'll be buying flowers and plants for Mother's Day. It'll be so nice to breathe in the dirt-scented air of the local greenhouses.

Tomorrow could possibly be new-fridge day!! Today, I cleaned out my fridge and I believe I'll have to reinstate my "garbage day fridge clean-out." I used to clean out my fridge every garbage day to keep it tidy. Unfortunately, I haven't done that in quite some time. However, after nearly losing my lunch today while opening some mystery containers, this is definately something I must remember to do, especially with my new fridge. I want to keep it beautiful and well organized and reduce the amount of food waste.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Slowly getting house stuff done...

In my latter days of this pregnancy, I need to sleep a LOT! Everyone's holding their breath, too because they're afraid I'm going to go early again. My instincts tell me that I'm not going to have another preemie.

Slowly, I am getting things together and ready for baby. The nursery is done and the pack-n-play is set up in the sunroom.

Now, my main focus is the master bedroom. My closet arrived yesterday and I got it put together. It still needs the top shelf and curtains to frame it off.

This Saturday I'll probably be getting a new fridge!! Finally! I've never had a new fridge and I'm downright excited. I'm getting a bigger, more energy efficient one.

My baby shower is coming up, so I'll have a whole slew of baby stuff to put away! I was also given a generous gift card to Target, so I can do some baby shopping!