Sunday, April 25, 2010

My smiley baby

Johanna is doing so well; starting to sleep a little more at night and starting to fuss a little less. :)
Her smile is so cute, and she's starting to coo, which is adorable. Right now her big(gest) sister is holding her so I can do dishes and check e-mail and whatnot. Here's her pretty smile:


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"If You Want Me To"...and other thoughts on worship

As most all of you know, I spent the last 9 days in the ICU dealing with a weird strain of pneumonia, compounded (or possibly caused) by a uterine infection. I'm reeling, physically and emotionally from the whole experience. Leaving my newborn baby to get flown in a helicopter to the next state was definitely among the top-two suckiest experiences of my life. The first three days, they were just trying to figure it out. I was attended to by no less than 15 doctors (from four different departments), and a veritable army of nurses and aides. It was hard during the day, but the coughing got so much worse at night. I was on oxygen, but there was literally nothing they could do to stop the coughs (until they finally cleared up the infection). At night, when I was alone, and couldn't hold onto a breath, was running a 103 fever, and trying REALLY hard not to cry because it made the coughing so much worse, I was scared. Really scared.
The night before they ended up intubating me I remembered that Jon had said Gwenn left her iPod-iTouch-iWhatever-it-is for us to listen to. I had a really hard time navigating that little thing, for some reason. I couldn't get it to just "PLAY" and then "GO ON TO THE NEXT SONG" would keep repeating one song. So in the middle of the night, since I couldn't sleep anyway, I was scrolling through the different artists, and God just broke right through my misery and taught me about worshipping. For real. I was so breathless, I couldn't talk. So obviously, I REALLY couldn't sing. And, since you, dear friends, know me so well, you know those are pretty much my top two favorite activities. :) But as song after song just popped out of the list, all I could do as gasp along with the words that I truly felt that God was giving just to me. First came the older song (from the mid-90s) "God is In Control" by Twila Paris. I knew the song well, but hadn't heard it in years. The title was something that my sweet husband kept saying to me all week. One of the lyrics says, "This is no time for fear; this is a time for faith and determination". Next song I drift to is "Abba" by Rebecca St. James (again, hadn't heard it in years). The lyric there promised
"I'm feeling like the eagle that rises
Flies above the earth and its troubles
Oh yes he knows that there are valleys below
But under his wings there's a stronger power"
A new (to me) song by Chris Tomlin "Jesus Messiah" resonated (about three times in a row!) through my spirit. I was starting to breathe a little easier. Then came the song "Jesus, You're Beautiful" by Sara Groves. I remembered signing this song with my dear Selah sisters a few years ago. When I didn't have the air to gasp to sing anymore, I was signing the words in the dark.
"Glorious" by Martha Munizzi (from the move "The Gospel"). I remembered my Gwennie putting that song on my ipod playlist and telling me it was a great kick-butt running song.
Just before I finally fell asleep that night, I shut off the music and was just laying there thinking about what God can and will teach me under difficult circumstances. And then He reminded me of a song I had found "for" my friend Candy a few years ago, on the anniversary of her baby son's death. I hadn't heard this song before, and I honestly don't think I've heard it since. But I learned it and recorded it and gave it to her and Jim with some other music I thought they'd find meaningful. It spoke so straight to my heart (again).

"If You Want Me To"

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to

So where am I going with all this? Unsurprisingly, I'm not sure. :) I'm still processing. But I have learned two truths through all this. One: my husband loves me so much. His care for me when I needed him is something I will spend the rest of my life being thankful for. If that's ALL I learned through this, I truly think it would be worth it. But second, and bigger, my God made my every cell, and he made that man for me :) My God loves me with an everlasting love that is big, and strong, and powerful, even when I am small, and weak, and powerless.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Less than 72 hours to go...

...and the challenge today is "do I have enough energy to shower today? Or shall I skip it until tomorrow? And, if I'm in there anyway, should I try to shave my legs? Is this an exercise (*snort* as if I exercise) in futility?"
The answers to come. I'm thinking they might be, in order: yes, no, maybe, probably.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to pick things up off the floor, 9-months-pregnant version

To quote Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls): "You have to laugh at yourself, or you'd cry your eyes out."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Really neat article about my Grandpa Joe

Grandpa Joe was my mom's father. He died a few years ago, and as he lived in Texas for my whole life, I didn't know him as well as I knew her step-dad or my dad's dad. He did, however, have a very interesting life and career. I read this article right around the time he passed away, and my mom re-posted it on Facebook last night in response to a picture an old friend had posted. Anyway, maybe it's only interesting to me, but here it is!
Article about Pop

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Twenty-three days...

...until we meet this baby!
That is all.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My super-creative kid

This is a book (OK, a pamphlet) that Katie wrote about "How to make good Valentines". This was not a school assignment, just something she thought needed writing!
Enjoy. I did. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why my nephew Nico is my favorite

Well, not favorite. But seriously, I love this little guy.
1. He always, ALWAYS wants to touch my belly. He loves feeling the baby move around, and is genuinely interested in what is going on in there. I know that's not that unusual for a five-year-old, so here are a few more reasons...
2. Yesterday, he told me he had to go to the bathroom. This was right after lunch, and I was cleaning up, so I confess I forgot about him for about 10-15 minutes. Then I thought, "Crap, I wonder if he's sitting there waiting for me to help him wipe?" Nope. He had used the last of the toilet paper and was attempting to put a fresh roll on the holder. Seriously. I'm not convinced that my 36-year-old husband knows how this works.
3. Last night, I was supervising teeth-brushing of all six kids. I had bought them a blue-tinted mouthwash called "Inspector Hector Plaque Detector" (a name which never fails to amuse my children). It's a pre-brushing rinse that supposedly sticks to problem spots, and then you brush until the blue is gone. This, by the way, is a messy endeavor. I did not allow Josiah to partake in it (and he didn't seem too miffed by this. I think he was a little afraid of the blue froth coming out of his siblings' and cousins' mouths), but the rest of them were spitting and drooling blue foam all over my bathroom, nearly all of it not in the sink. While they were brushing, I took a hand towel and wiped off the counters. Nico was the last to spit out his toothpaste and rinse. He then proceeded, unprompted, to cup water in his hands and rinse all the nasty toothpaste off the inside of the sink.
WHAT FIVE-YEAR-OLD DOES THIS!? Gwenn and Nick, either you or Nahomie are doing something right with this kid.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another example of why I love YouTube

Literal videos. This is when happens when someone's got WAAAYYY too much time on their hands. They use the tune of a real song, watch the video, and make up words to go along with what's ACTUALLY happening in the video. Which, if you think of it, makes a lot of sense, because a lot of music videos seem to have NOTHING in common with the song that's being sung. Anyway, there are several examples of this type of video (worth looking up: Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That)"), but this one is my absolute favorite:
Bonnie Tyler "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

Monday, February 8, 2010

My awesome friends

My dear friends Candy and DeAnn threw me just a super baby shower on Saturday. It was girly and pink and awesome. Amanda graciously opened her beautiful home for us and Stephanie put together some really fun games. Just wanted to say thank you to all my great sister-friends who take such good care of us! I can't wait to share pictures of baby Johanna in some of her finery (I just love pink!)
Also, Shelley constructed seriously the cutest cake I've ever seen. If anyone local needs a special-occasion cake, please contact me for her number; she's just starting out in "the business" and does awesome work!

Josiah is just a mess

He is HILARIOUS. And hilariously naughty. For the most part, everything I've had to deal with with him has been "typical two-year-old" stuff. But when he hits, or pinches, or head-butts one of the other kids, and has to be disciplined, he GRINS through the whole thing. Grins like a clown even if you swat him or put him in the corner.
Today, though, was just hysterical. He said (as he does multiple times a day) "Hey Hey Auntie Gretchen"\ (that's what he calls me...not just Auntie Gretchen, but Hey Hey Auntie Gretchen), I hungry." I told him we would have some cereal just as soon as the big kids were finished with our chores. He said, "I pray now." So he's been wandering around the house, saying grace. It goes like this:
God is great, God is good.
Auntie Gretchen give me food.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Well, I always knew I was one

A superstar, that is. At least, according to my son, I am. To me, the picture looks a little bit like the Wicked Witch of the West, but he asssures me that it is, indeed, a picture of me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A bad news/good news post

Bad news: I woke up this morning to TWO wet beds in my household.
Good news: Neither one was mine. Given the stage of pregnancy I'm in and baby Johanna's penchant for JUMPING on my bladder, this is no small victory. :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

My drama queen child...part one million five

Disclaimer: (just in case you're a bit stand-offish about, um, body parts) My kids know all the correct terms for their anatomy, including the boy and girl parts. I've never seen a need or a compelling reason to call them "down there" or "peepee" or any other cutesy term. Disclaimer over.

Abbie has been feeling ill for two days now. The night before last, she was running a fever and complaining of a sore throat and a headache. I also had a sore throat and headache, and Katie started feeling badly yesterday. All the kids went to my mom's house for naptime/playtime yesterday, and when I arrived to pick them up, my mom was laughing and said, "Abbie has the strangest malady I've ever heard of." I said, "Oh, really? She's good for that." She said, "No, I've never heard of this one. She was complaining that her throat hurt, and then she said, 'Nanny, my throat hurts so bad it hurts all the way to my vagina!'"
Yeah. That's my kid. Good grief.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Breaking my blog silence for a kid funny

I swear it's not on purpose that I don't blog. I just feel like I don't have that much interesting to say. Also, since just before New Year's, I haven't had my own computer (our desktop crashed and is HOPEFULLY being repaired, so I just have a pretty slow laptop - that I am very thankful for!)...I can't upload pictures or anything else. Also, the five people that read this blog are on my Facebook or I speak to on the phone daily. :)
Anyway, yesterday I was speaking to my sister Melody on the phone, and her 2-year-old daughter Evie was being kind of whiney in the background. I knew it was almost time for her nap, and I asked to speak to her. At first she said she didn't want to talk to me, but then she decided to. As Melody handed her the phone, she (Melody) switched it to speakerphone. Here's the general gist of the conversation:
Me: Evie, are you being a crankypants today?
Evie: NO!
Me: Are you sure? You sound a little grumpy today. Do you feel grumpy?
Evie: Yeah. Grumpy.
Me: I feel a little grumpy today, too. Do you need a nap?
Evie: Yeah.
Me: How about we make a deal? Do you know what a deal is?
Evie: Yes.
Me: OK. So you go "check your eyelids for leaks" (that's what my dad says), and I'll go take a nap too, OK?
Evie: OKAY!
She hands the phone back to her mom and says excitedly, "Ma! Auntie Gretchen says when I wake up my cousins will be here!"