Tag Archives: Husband

labor pains for the husband (more out-takes from 2012…)

More stories from the last few months…

Actual text message exchange between my husband and me, two weeks before baby H was due last October.  My husband left for work that morning hoping to finish early enough to attend T’s class picnic dinner.  I texted him that afternoon, as I was packing the picnic basket.

The exchange…

Me:  “Leaving soon.  Should I pack a sandwich for you?”

His response: “WHAT?!  Leaving for the hospital?  Are you in labor?”

My response: “Leaving for T’s picnic.”

Send.

Then, unable to resist, me again…

“But I love that you think I would be at home, with three children, in labor, needing to get to the hospital, and would stop everything to text you and see if I should pack you a sandwich.”

My husband: “Ha, Ha.  I’ll take turkey.”

In all fairness to my husband, I did have him (and myself, and my sister who was visiting and helping us) spooked, announcing on several occasions that I thought I was in labor before the actual event.  The best false alarm was when I was having contractions 4-5 minutes apart while sitting on the couch, encouraging him to pack his bag and load the car.  When he was completely ready, I got up and said we should leave as soon as I had eaten something (knowing they wouldn’t let me have anything at the hospital…)  Mid-snack, the contractions stop completely and I said, “Huh.  I think the contractions stopped!  I really do.  I think we can just go to bed.”

To which my husband replied, “You’re kidding, right?  Because it’s 10pm, and I just chugged 3 Mt. Dews!

Sheepish silence from me.

Uncontrollable laughter from my sister!

(Oh, newborn baby H, the main thing you should take from these stories is that your daddy was very, very eager to meet you.  We all were.  And you made us wait 6 days past your expected delivery date!)

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Updates and photos from last month (part 1!)

So I’ve been AWOL (life has been busy!) and have been promising an update…

Here’s the short version: we’ve been having fun, which has involved a spring break “staycation”, a week recovering from that staycation (hello, laundry), a wonderful Easter, and then a great visit from Nana!

And here’s the longer version: updates and photos from our last month (part 1)…

Each girl got to pick one special “must do” for the week of spring break.  To my surprise (why did I think they would stay in my comfort zone?) E picked “make a dress for our dolls” and S picked “plant a garden”.  Holy moly.  I have no experience in either of those things.  (It did make me glad I asked however, since there is no way I would have put either one on a list of plans, and obviously they are unexplored areas of interest!)  Anyway, here we are at the fabric store…

fuzzy cell phone photo

After a “looking loop” around the store, each girl was allowed to pick out one yard of any fabric they wanted, and one foot of any ribbon they wanted.  E & S surprised me by both selecting the same fabric and ribbons.  (They wanted their dolls to match, I guess!)  T got a piece of fabric with cars on it that I hoped would become his new lovey, but alas that role was filled by the racecar and Toby train the Easter Bunny brought him.  Not conducive to sleeping – rolling over onto those loveys (especially Toby, who says “full steam ahead!” everytime T bumps him in the crib).  Oh well.  He loves them!

Anyway, here’s the dolls in their dresses.  Since I don’t know how to sew, these are more like glittery sackcloths, but they made the girls happy!

E said, “Her dress looks a little like a bathrobe, but I like it!”

Thanks to Nana who did an actual sewing lesson with the girls when she visited a few weeks after this (with a real sewing machine).  I keep a few cloths around the house for various things, and one now has random, festive stitches all over it.  An easy way to have the kids feel like they were “really sewing important things” (at least until the machine stopped working…anyone have a spare manual for a JC Penney sewing machine purchased in the mid 1980s?)  Here’s one of my new decorative cloths below.

Just look at that stitching! She’s a natural, I say! : )

We’re hoping to complete the set after (1) we figure out what’s going on with the sewing machine, and (2) Nana comes back to teach me how to thread and use it.

S’ project was the garden.  I am not a gardener, but we headed over to Home Depot (with their optimistic “You can do it.  We can help.” motto).  S & E picked out three things to plant (1) marigolds: the only flowers the deer won’t eat, (2) carrots: the only vegetable S will eat, and (3) basil: because the man who helped us said there was almost no way I could mess it up.

After hours and hours of shoveling, weeding, removing rocks, adding topsoil, planting, and lots of muddy shoes and jeans piling up on the porch, we have the smallest garden ever.  It is impressive only to me and the children.  (I promise, we truly have spent countless hours on it, but it is really only a 4 x 6 patch of ground with 12 flowers and some tiny sprouts that are either carrots or weeds…I honestly don’t know how to tell them apart, so I have no idea if I’m weeding, or ruining our only crop.  I am not kidding about this.)

The two big rocks on the left that we used to mark the rows of carrots and basil kind of look like gravemarkers for our struggling-to-survive garden. Seriously, is anything going to grow in that red clay? We added two huge bags of topsoil, but honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing.

And in the interest of internet input, can someone please click on this photo to enlarge it and tell me if any of the green things sticking out of the ground look like the beginning of a carrot-top?

OK, so if you can fight the impulse to tell me we should have added more topsoil and removed more rocks (I promise, we were removing rocks for hours…), tell me instead which of these green leaves is a carrot sprouting, and which is a weed. Carrot at the top of the photo? Weed at the bottom? All weeds? Egads. I think I’m going to go to the grocery store, buy a bunch of fully grown carrots and plant them one night after the kids go to bed and then take everybody outside to harvest them the next morning. In case you think I’m kidding with this plan, I have already done my research. Apparently, they sell carrots at Whole Foods that still have the green leafy parts on top. Score!

Anyway, the kids love watering the flowers; it has been a fun adventure, and I give us an “A” for effort.  My grandma J, who – God rest her soul – (1) won all sorts of yard and neighborhood beautification awards, (2) was in charge of all the flowers for our church for decades and (3) grew the rose petals that lined the aisle of my wedding, would applaud our efforts too.  She would appreciate that at this stage of life, we are certainly process (as opposed to product) oriented!

My grandmother would also likely laugh at the fact that the flowers we are trying to grow are in a battle to survive, while the part of our yard that received no TLC and is “supposed” to be grassy is covered in the most lush display of flowery “weeds” you can imagine.  I mean, check out the photo below.

Yes, I love them. But honestly, “My kingdom for a carrot!”

The brick wall marks the property line between our house and the neighbors.  It’s like the weeds magically stop there (much to the delight of the girls, and to the dismay of my husband).

It is uncanny. I will say that these flowers provide hours of entertainment for the children, because they are determined that none of them be chopped by the lawn mower. Every time my husband says he’s going to mow the lawn, they sprint outside to pick all the flowers and cover my kitchen in bouquets. I will miss this stage so much when they grow out of it…sigh…at least then I will know that I really did try to enjoy it all in the moment.  Bring on the bouquets, girls!

Finally, since I mentioned the racecar and train that appeared in T’s Easter basket, let me include a few photos of the holiday.  We tried to capture the meaning of the season – telling the kids an age-appropriate version of the crucifixion and resurrection (when S heard Jesus died and came back to life, she said, “Hmm.  I think that’s what I’ll do too”, then let out that little breath that almost made it sound like “Well then, that’s one less thing to worry about.  What’s for dinner?”  It was a good opportunity to tell her we can all come back to life, and live forever in heaven.  (Happy belated Easter, everyone!)

Then there were the secular celebrations.  Here we are dyeing Easter eggs

T got a plastic egg and a cup of water, and was absolutely a part of it at the age of 1!

I know you can see the plastic egg in the photo…can you also see the clear plastic cup of water he dunked this egg into for half an hour? He kept yelling out random colors while he did it, mimicking the words his sisters were saying as they dyed their eggs. I remember taking this photo. He shoved the egg right at the camera and yelled “purple!” So we have the spirit of the activity covered…we’ll work on colors next year : )

S at our church egg hunt

Hunting eggs in our house Easter morning

E & S hunting eggs on Easter morning. Note that it is still pitch black outside the windows. The kids were so excited that they woke up insanely early. Also…note to self: ask the Easter Bunny to make a quick list of where the eggs are hidden. There was one we couldn’t find for a few days, and of course it was one of the real, hard boiled eggs. Fortunately, we did find it before the smell found us! I was like Kirk in that episode of Gilmore Girls, looking for the egg…anyone else remember that episode?!

We also enjoyed spending part of the weekend with cousins and the other part with friends.  Beautiful company, beautiful weather, beautiful time.  Love all y’all!

In the “less than beautiful” category…My deviled eggs didn’t turn out exactly right…

I had promised deviled eggs, then learned that I couldn’t use the boiled Easter eggs that were hidden overnight at room temperature (health risk, apparently), so I only had the two eggs left in the fridge to work with. Me in the kitchen + no spare ingredients = no room for error/recipe for disaster. My mother-in-law gave me this awesome tray to hold deviled eggs in, and I am embarrassed to say that these eggs were so misshapen they wouldn’t even fit in the tray. Oh well. This is why no one complains when I bring pre-packaged cookies to potluck gatherings.

Between the flowers and the eggs, my grandmother would finally have to admit that I inherited absolutely none of her talents…but my admiration for those talents is ever increasing grandma!  This gardening and cooking is tricky stuff!

More updates on S’ new obsession with cooking in the next post…  Here’s hoping she has inherited my grandma’s skill as well as her interest, and that she can take over the kitchen soon!  S is actually so into cooking right now that I’m thinking of arranging an apprenticeship with my Mother-in-law, who is an amazing cook and maybe planning to visit soon.  Are you up for it Grammy?!

I’ll leave you with a photo of the laundry that accumulated while we were doing all this other stuff.  The laundry problem was exacerbated by the fact that the week after spring break was unseasonably cold, which meant I could just shove all the dirty warm weather stuff deeper into the hamper and pull out all the winter things I had just put away.  End result?  Well, check out laundry day…

There are no people in the photo because we were all basically walking around in towels by this point.

My husband, never one to complain, actually looked at the growing pile shortly after spring break, sighed, and went out and bought himself new boxers.  True story.

(And lest that be misinterpreted, know that he is actually great about helping out with the laundry and everything else around the house, but in his infinite marital wisdom realized that buying a few new boxers was probably the best investment in overall domestic contentment.  And his wife says, “amen to that”.  I don’t need a six-week retreat in Fiji.  But occasionally, I do need a week of blissfully ignoring the laundry : )

So that’s part I of our update…to be continued with part II later.  Hope everyone else is enjoying spring too!

Lots of Birds (and two chick-flicks)

Note to self and husband: Do not park under the tree at the northeast corner of the church parking lot.


If you can't see the image clearly, know that the car is covered in approximately 5 billion bird turds.

I decided to torture you with a close-up.

Additional note to self and husband: Next time, if the car looks like the pictures above, one of us should keep the children at a safe distance while the other moves the car to a safer space to load all the kids.  (Dibs on staying with the children, by the way.)

Note to dry cleaner: Our apologies.  Clearly, these were not healthy birds.

Note to Birds:  I believe my husband is in danger of going all “Steel Magnolias” on your tail feathers, should you leave the sanctuary of the church parking lot.

And a final note, to readers (because I can’t resist): When I asked my husband if he felt “going all ‘Steel Magnolia’ ” on the birds was too feminine a reference for his intended actions (despite the guns and firecrackers involved in that scene of the film), he said, “Isn’t ‘Steel Magnolias’ a movie?  The only part I’ve ever watched is the scene where Kathy Bates rams that convertible over and over again in the parking lot.  I didn’t even know about the birds.”  (Extra point to anyone who can name that non-Steel Magnolias movie!)

Clearly I can use whatever reference I like, as this man is in absolutely no danger of being too closely associated with chick-flicks.

These birds, on the other hand, are in more danger than they know.

Actual excerpt of a family conversation…

While pulling out of our garage today, just after everyone had been buckled into the car and the whole family was on its way to run errands: 

Dad:  “OK.  Where do we need to go today?”

Mom:  “I need to go to the grocery store.”

E:  “I need to go to the bathroom.”

S:  “I need to go to Disneyworld.”

[brief pause, as dad absorbs these responses, and until S breaks the silence]

S:  “Drop me off first, please.”

In case you hear sleigh bells this evening…

Just thought you might be interested to know that Santa shops on Craigslist and is picking up his main Christmas item for the girls as we speak

I just heard from him that after a successful purchase, he is in his sleigh on the way home.

(This is much better than the phone call I received from him during his last Craigslist holiday excursion, exactly one week ago, when he told me he was unable to pick up “attempt number 1” at this type of item – despite borrowing a larger sleigh from a Santa Nana – because it was “larger than he imagined”, might “crumple the sleigh like an accordian”, and made the Christmas tree twine he had intended to use to tie it down look like a piece of thread that would snap and send our sleigh crusher hurling down the highway.  In his words, “It would have never fit in our house.  Honestly!  I left it with the owner and still gave him $10 because I felt bad that he had to help me try to carry it to the car”.

(Whatever.  Those craigslist postings can be hard to interpret.  The picture made it look manageable!  I mean who knew you could get too much Christmas for an original asking price of $40?)

You may be wondering at this point what on earth Santa has been trying to get the girls that has caused this much drama.  Well (no surprise), it’s something dramatic people (like my daughters) will (hopefully) love.  Here’s a clue from the craigslist posting: “a WOW gift for your little dancer, singer, actor/actress”.  Another clue: retractable curtains.  And I made sure to check this time…it is significantly smaller, with dimensions perfectly appropriate for a 5 and 3 year old (and for a sleigh!).

I can’t post a picture because (1) it’s not Christmas! and (2) I haven’t seen it!   My fingers are crossed that it will be something that will suit us and inspire the kids’ creativity.  But I’m waiting, because my Santa is still on the road…

Updates and Holidays!

So I can already see that my blog posts will be less frequent during the holidays.  Things are joyfully busy around here (i.e. lots to write about, but no time to write it!)

Our updates:

(1) Thanksgiving: wonderful time with Nana, Aunt B, our cousins, and not a single kitchen disaster (this totally makes up for the time I cooked the turkey upside down…)

(2) Happy Birthday to my husband (!):  so grateful for the day this guy was born, the day I met him, the day I married him, the birthday we just spent with him and all the birthdays we hope to share with him in the future.  Happy, happy birthday!

(3) Advent:  As we prepare our home for the holidays, we are trying to prepare our hearts for a celebration of our Savior’s birth and our souls for the day He returns.  How’s that for a “to do” list entering each day?!

(4) Update on E: Thanks to all those praying for E, and to the doctors who have cared for her and advised us (this includes her primary care doctors as well as additional doctors in our circle of friends & family who have offered insight and counsel).  It looks like we are on the tail end of a cold that really hit E’s respiratory tract (and then took a short break before hitting it again even harder), and we have learned a lot about what to look for and do if something like that happens again.   Not since E was a baby have I snuck into her room just to listen to her breathing at night.  Let’s just say I have done that several times this week (and into S & T’s rooms too, even though they have been fine, and E is truly fine now…).  Those breaths are so, so precious.  E (and her mama) are breathing very easily now, praise God!

(5) Update on the blog: I’ll check in when I can this month, but there is so much living to be done right now I can barely find the time to write about it.   So think of us as we dress E in a sheep costume for the church nativity play, head out of state for an early Christmas/family gathering, taking E&S to see the Disney Princesses on Ice, help T eat despite his new obsession with the words “no” and “yuck”, welcome family into our home for Christmas, and celebrate every moment of hustle/bustle AND quiet/peace we find in this holiday season.

…and remind me (after the holidays) to tell you about the e-mail I sent to Santa last week  : )

Short version: I will continue to post when I can this month, but will be back to more regularly scheduled programming in January!  Merry Christmas!

Are we tending to the souls of our children? or is our time otherwise consumed?

A few weeks ago, Nana e-mailed me and all of my (three) siblings with information and an offer.  She had just seen the movie “Courageous”, which is the story of a group of male friends who – amid many challenges and conflicts, and along a dramatic (fictional) storyline – commit to becoming better Christians and better fathers to their children.

Nana was so inspired by the movie that she wanted to make sure all of her kids had an opportunity to see it with their spouses.  To facilitate this, she offered to pay for a babysitter, dinner and movie tickets if anyone wanted to check the film out.

Well, she didn’t have to ask me twice.  An inspiring movie?  A date with my husband?  Only Nana could figure out a way to invest in our marriage, our parenting, and support a great film all in one swoop, and to do it in a way that made all of my siblings, and siblings-in-law, feel good about how much Nana loved them and the roles they were playing in our family.  (She told us in her e-mail offer that this was a movie about fathers and she thought all the guys on the list were great fathers who would appreciate a celebration of that…)

So a few days ago, my husband and I hired a sitter, had dinner in a restaurant, and saw a movie about Christian parenting.  It was a fantastic night.  Thank you, thank you Nana.  The movie made me catch my breath, cry, laugh, and hold hands with my husband.

I’ll leave you with one quote from the movie’s conclusion (told as best I remember since a google search didn’t turn up the exact words):

“Someday, we will all realize that the jobs and hobbies that consume us hold no eternal value . . . and that the souls of our children do.”

Not undermining the value of jobs and hobbies here – we believe God leads us through passion for work and other pursuits and don’t want anyone to misinterpret – but that is some serious food for thought…

It is the souls of our children that hold the eternal value.

How much time have we devoted recently to the development of those souls?  To fostering our children’s spiritual natures?

Or has our time been otherwise consumed?

Thank you, thank you Nana!

And thank you Hollywood for giving us a movie I was proud to see.

For those who are interested, this is the link to a review of the movie:

http://m.cbn.com/entertainment/screen/courageous-movie-review-goodwyn.aspx

Note to self (re: navigational systems)

Note to self:

When the building you need is located on “Six Forks Road”, borrow your husband’s GPS.

Seriously.   Six Forks.   You’d think that would have been my first clue that I was in way over my head.

On the upside, I did find the building – and within it – a consignment sale where I struck gold by discovering, among other things, a pair of $1 ballet slippers for S (my budding ballerina) and an $8 Halloween costume for E (who is desperate to be Princess Jasmine this year).

So what if I spent approximately one-zillion-dollars on gas?!

It’s all a matter of perspective… (alternate title: photo of the week)

Photo of the week:

DSC_0044

From left to right: S, a ribbon-clad-dad, and E

In this photo, you see a man who has allowed himself to be covered in ribbons by his daughters.

You know what the man sees?

The football game.

I mean, he has discovered a way to delight his children while following his teams and catching up on Sportscenter.  How absolutely brilliant is that?

(By the way, my husband gave me permission to post this photo . . .  He knows that I love pretty much any photo where everyone in it is insanely happy. And I assure you, all three people in this photo are insanely happy: two as a result of their daddy’s new hairdo and one as a result of watching his team win the game!)

Which is worse?

Real conversation between my husband and me last Sunday, in the car, on the way to church (in low voices with the girls’ princess CD playing very loudly, i.e. I am positive the children could not hear us : )

Me:  Oh no!  The chocolate chip granola I was holding in my lap just dumped all over my seat and now I have chocolate chip granola on my [bum]!

My husband: That’s not good.

Me: And I am teaching Sunday School in the nursery today, which means I will be crawling on the floor with kids while greeting all the parents, and everyone will see chocolate chip granola marks all over my [bum].

My husband: Seriously, that’s not good.

Me: I just realized that if the granola got on my [bum], that means [bum] got on my granola!!!   Which do you think is worse?  Granola on your [bum] or [bum] on your granola?

My husband:  [thoughtful for a moment, then speaking…I love that this man considers even my inane questions very carefully]: Well, were you planning to share the granola with me?

Me: Yes.

My husband: Then I have your [bum] on my granola.  I’d say that trumps anything you have going on.

Touche.

(I mean, the man has a point.)