Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Half way done!

I can hardly believe it – but this week I am at the half-way point with this pregnancy! Already I am so excited for our little man’s arrival – not that I am hoping he comes sooner than May – but I can’t wait for those “new baby” experiences!

I know that Dominic’s preference was to not find out our baby’s gender and he gave that up for me – but I have to say there is something really fun about knowing that I am carrying our son. Maybe it is the pregnancy hormones, but I am enjoying it all so much.

And if I ever doubted, it has been confirmed in the past couple of days that our son is going to be a feisty little guy! He has been kicking and moving around so much and Dominic was able to feel him move a few days ago! It is all pretty amazing. Knowing how small he really is right now and yet feeling the force behind some of his kicks – WOW!

And it has been fun documenting my growing belly. Dominic takes my picture every week and at some point I am going to print them all off and get them into this really cool album Karlena gave to me to track my entire pregnancy! With as fast as this first 20 weeks has gone I better get going – May 18th will be here sooner than I realize!

There is one member of our family that isn’t enjoying mom’s growing belly though. Gabriel gets a little stressed at times when we talk about how my belly is growing. He is afraid that it is hurting me and does not want to see my belly get big. He started crying one day when he saw a picture of another mom’s pregnant belly! He kept saying to me “I am so sorry mom that it hurts”!! It was too funny – we try and reassure him that it doesn’t hurt me but he seems unconvinced! And he still likes to sit on my lap…that is going to become increasingly more difficult very soon!

Aside from that – the boys are excited about welcoming another brother into the family. Isaac asks all the time what week I am at and wants to know how things are going with the baby. He got a kick out of the ultrasound pictures too! I am so glad Isaac is happy about a new baby, especially at his age this could have gone the other way and it is good to know that he wants this as much as we do!

Now I wanted to share a little humor from my pregnancy thus far – I do have to warn you though this may classify as one of those TMI (too much information) situations. So if you don’t want to share in the sometimes-scary details of my personal life – STOP READING NOW!

So one of the “problems” I have had throughout the past 20 weeks has to do with the increased pressure on my bladder – our little man loves to lay really low – and varying “acts” which seem to bring on a slight incontinence problem. Yes that’s right I said it…..I seem to have a problem of peeing myself at inopportune times. The first time happened when I had terrible morning sickness and was spending another moment familiarizing myself with the minute details of my toilet. Recently though, it occurred when I had a sneezing fit. I don’t know if this is a problem because of the pregnancy and the fact that I have already had 2 kids or if I am just moving towards a reliance on Depends at an early age. I hope it is the first!

And as an update – again for all who care to know – I shared the content of this post with Dominic prior to my posting it and he wanted to know where his TMI button was! I told him that as my loving and accepting spouse – he doesn’t get one. No detail is off limit for me to share with him…no matter how gross. Gotta love having a relationship like that!

Anyways, I am learning to laugh at myself through this and to appreciate all of the things that I am experiencing throughout this pregnancy! Thank God for the gift of laughter!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ultrasound

Well I just got back from our ultrasound and although we are still waiting for the "final" results from the radiologist everything that we saw looked good.

The baby has a 4-chamber heart.
The stomach, kidneys and bladder looked good.
All the legs and arms had the appropriate bones in it.
The spine looked good and we could see the brain.
The face looked good and there isn't a cleft palate problem.
The heart rate was 140, 149 at the following doctors visit.
The baby weighed 11oz and is growing at the appropriate rate.
The amniotic fluid around the baby was good and the placenta was in a good place.
We got some really good photos of the baby's profile usually with the little hands around the face.
She got a photo of the baby's footprint and my doctor said that just by looking at the size of the footprint we were going to have a tall baby.
She said that the baby would most likely take after Dominic in height, and in other ways too! :)
That's right - our SON was not too modest and had no problem sharing his "parts" with us. We have a picture in case anyone wants proof! :)

Dominic said that if she showed us the view and I could tell if it was a boy or a girl then it was ok if I knew....Well she showed us the shot and I saw it right away - Dominic didn't see it the first time and we didn't take a picture of it...but at the end she asked again if he wanted to see it himself and try to figure it out and it was quite obvious. Our son is ALL BOY!!

He was moving and kicking (Dominic commented that he was boxing) and actually flipped completely around at one point and the tech had to really work to get the photos she needed but it was a fun experience and it was so good to see that everything looks healthy.

Now we have the dilemma of agreeing on boy names - I had a girl name but not a boy one yet. We better get to work! :)

Anyways we both are very excited – I honestly just feel giddy right now and so thankful to have this good news right before Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mystery

A song I want to share with you is one that I recently discovered on Selah’s Christmas CD – “Rose of Bethlehem”. It is an AWESOME CD and one I would recommend if you were looking for something new. The lyrics to the song “Mystery” really stuck with me from the first moment I heard the song. I am really a music person – I love singing and Christian music especially touches my soul – causes me to “think” about the message.

“Mystery” talks about how God knew He would have to send His Son to save a fallen world, and yet He still created man. Knowing the sacrifice He would have to make for a sinner such as myself. The concept is overwhelming and something that I really want to try and reflect on during this season. The true magnitude of the gift of the Child – a gift freely given to me, to us by a Father that loves more than I can comprehend.

Mystery” by Selah

A child was born on Christmas Day
Born to save the world
But long before the world began
He knew His death was sure
The pain and strife secured

Mystery, how He came
To be a man
But greater still
How His death was in His plan
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His hands?

The Christmas trees
They glow so bright
With presents all around
But Christmas brought
A tree of life
With blood that sacrificed
The greatest gift in life

Mystery, how He came
To be a man
But greater still
How His death was in His plan
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His hands

I am just a man that
Cant begin to comprehend
When You look into this traitor’s eyes
What do You see that justifies the Lamb?

God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His plan
Mystery, mystery

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reason for the Season

I have been reminded lately of how out of touch we are with the true meaning of the CHRISTmas season. We have missionary friends who are overseas in a country where Christmas is not recognized. Yet they have shared that they are finding ways, daily, to be intentional about their celebration of Christ’s birth. That even if they leave the comforts of their apartment and are not surrounded by the commercialism of the “Holiday Season” that we are, their children will still be reminded of what is most important at this time of year and all year long.

I admit that I get caught up in the commercialized aspect of the season. The sales, the decorations and music etc. And we try to talk with our kids about what CHRISTmas is really about – the birth of Christ. But I don’t know that they really “get” it.

Gabriel has lots of questions right now about Santa, if he really lives at the North Pole, why he lives at the North Pole, why he comes down a chimney, what he will do at our house because we don’t have a chimney. I try to patiently answer all of these questions when he has them – over and over – but then I try to follow it up with talking about Jesus being born, which usually leads to questions about the baby in my tummy and if it is Jesus too.

We got this interactive Nativity set from Family Life that is really good – it has 7 boxes with a figurine inside each box and a pop-up manger scene and a story that goes with it. The concept talks about what God wants for Christmas and on the last day/box it is opened to reveal a mirror and information about how God wants us for Christmas. Gabriel really liked that – that God wanted him for His present….but I don’t know that he understands what that means yet.

One of my favorite songs is from the Point of Grace “A Christmas Story” CD. The song is titled “Not that far from Bethlehem” and I wanted to share the lyrics.

Underneath the stars
Just a simple man and wife
Somewhere in the dark
His words cut the silent night
Take my hand, for the childThat you carry is God’s own
And though it seems the road is long
(chorus)
We’re not that far from Bethlehem
Where all our hope and joy begins
For in our arms we’ll cherish Him
We’re not that far, not that far from Bethlehem
Let us celebrate
As the Christmases go by
Learn to live our days
With our hearts near to the child
Ever drawn, ever close
To the only love that lasts
And though 2000 years have passed
We’re not that far from Bethlehem
Where all our hope and joy began
For when our hearts still cherish Him
We’re not that far, not that far from Bethlehem

Over the next two weeks, if we haven’t already, let us all try to remember that we have been given such an amazing gift in the Christ child. God sent His son to earth, knowing He would have to be the sacrifice for me, for you for the sins we would commit daily. He knew in advance this was His fate and He chose to offer us this gift some 2000 years ago. I can’t understand it or comprehend the magnitude of that sacrifice, but I am so very grateful for His unconditional love. Merry CHRISTmas friends!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

16 weeks!!

Well I can hardly believe it but another 4 weeks has passed and we are now 16 weeks into this pregnancy! We had our appointment yesterday and got to hear the heart beat again. Something I will never grow tired of I think! It was hard to find at first because our little one kept kicking and the doctor would lose the sound, but finally she was able to get it at 145bpm.

I am still trying to guess whether this baby will be a boy or a girl – without the official ultrasound test. Although I like the idea of the surprise at the end I am feeling like a child on Christmas morning, too excited to wait for mom and dad to wake up to tear into all the presents. So I want to “shake the box” a little and try and guess what it will be without knowing for sure.

So I have enlisted the help of some very reliable (ha-ha) gender predictor tests and have come up with the following…

Chinese Gender Chart – it’s a boy

Gender Heart rate Theory – it’s a girl (although I remember Gabriel’s heart rate right around 142)

Wedding Ring Test – it’s a girl

Babyzone Gender Predictor Test – it’s a boy

So as you can see by these very scientific methods unless I am having twins, which I am NOT, I am no closer to knowing what our little package will be in May! For now I am just loving the fact that I get to be excited about the unknown and trying to practice a little patience in the process!

So what’s your guess for the next Smith family member?

Monday, December 1, 2008

What a trooper

I wanted to take a moment to brag a little about my husband today. After the weekend we had he deserves a little praise!

First we had the opportunity to host the Thanksgiving meal at our house this year. Usually we do this at his parent’s house, but I offered to do the work this year and although we have a smaller setting to have people over in – it worked out very well and I think everyone went home quite full!

Bob and Becky took the boys home with them Thursday night and Dominic and I went up to Sioux Falls to stay at my parents house. I wanted to do the traditional “Black Friday” shopping and I roped him in to come along so I didn’t have to go by myself!

Dominic has never experienced this phenomenon and I tried to prepare him for what he could expect. He has a great love for crowds and shopping so you can imagine how excited he was to get up at 4am so that we could be at Wal-Mart before 5am. J

As in other years, we had to park a LONG way away from the front doors – in another store’s lot in fact and walk. It was a brisk 20 degrees. We got a cart and headed out to stake out a spot to wait for the “5am bell” that announced we could begin the search for those amazing, once in a lifetime deals!

We found the first item on the list and decided to start there. Oh and I should describe this “list” to you before I go on. I had cut out pictures from the ad of those things we were looking for and had them taped on a sheet of paper. Sad – I know!!

So we are waiting and he tells me to go on up ahead and look for the next “thing” on our list and he will wait to grab 2 of the first item. I don’t know that the “bell” ever sounded, but he said that one woman picked up the item just to “look at it” and then another and another – feeding frenzy. He looked at the diminishing pile of that particular item and realized that he could be “polite” no longer. If he didn’t muscle his way in a bit and grab the 2 we wanted they were going to be gone!

Ahh, my hero. Weaving his way between crazed women for a present for our kids!! And I am not kidding when I say crazed. One woman lost all patience – if she had any to begin with - and started screaming and cursing at the mass of people who weren’t walking the way she thought they should be walking! It was almost comical!

After an hour and a long wait in line we made our way to freedom and decided where we would go next. Yes, we do have serious problems I know!! We made our way to Home Depot where we returned not once but 2 more times. They had some really good deals, friendly staff and NO LINES! Then made our way to a couple more stores where again it was nothing like Wal-Mart and then went for the best part – breakfast at Perkins!

We were back at home by 10:30am but the hopes of a nap were nowhere in sight. It was warm out – 43 degrees and Dominic decided that he should take advantage and try and get up our Christmas lights. So we spent the afternoon digging through piles of icicle lights in the hopes of finding just one strand that worked completely, and finally gave up and opened up the new boxes I got on clearance last year!

We – mostly he – worked non stop through until 5pm that night when we had to return back to Sioux Falls again for dinner with my parents and Beth and a meeting at 7:30pm. The meeting ended up being cancelled and so we went back to Wal-Mart, I know seriously you don’t even have to say it, where we found some more things in a much calmer environment!

Saturday was the day to put up the tree. Our nephew Casey was visiting and helped us with everything. And when I say us – I really mean me. At this point my back has all but stopped functioning for me and I had to sit on the couch and watch as the boys did all the work.

We have one of those older artificial trees where each row of branches has to be put in one at a time. In addition we have this “technique” where we weave lights in and out of each branch on each row so that it looks like the tree has lights within it. It is really beautiful but it is a lot of work!

Oh and to top it all off we couldn’t find our tree lights. I searched every bin and bag (with the exception of one) so we had to resort to opening up new lights I got last year so we could have lights on the tree. Hours later – when the kids were in bed – Dominic opened that last bin that appeared to have the stuff to put up our nativity set and lo and behold under all of that were our tree lights. Of course!!

Sunday was church and Sunday school and then it was decorate the church time after the service. We helped put up the tree in our fellowship hall. It is a sad, sad tree that is broken at the top and the bottom. Dominic, in an effort to help get the tree in an upright and safe position, sliced open his hand and said if it had been any deeper he would have needed stitches!

We – and again I mean Dominic and Isaac - finished off our Sunday by putting the garland up on our house outside and a few other things in the house. And fell asleep to a Star Wars rerun on TNT. Did I mention that Dominic is getting a bad cold and felt sick and miserable all weekend too?

Seriously – what a trooper! He made an effort all weekend to do the next right thing – even if it meant a sacrifice on his part. He was helpful, patient, understand and positive. We wouldn’t have evidence of Christmas all around our house this year if it weren’t for all of his hard work! So thank you Dominic for everything you did for me and for our family this weekend! I appreciate it more than I can express in words!


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