August 2009


I’ll try to keep this short for now, but this, too, will be an ongoing list that I will revisit several times.

While perusing Facebook the other day, I was looking at a picture of a friend’s little girl with her innocent face and mirthful grin. I thought, “I can’t wait until we have kids of our own.” Then, the realization set in that we are  going to have a kid of our own – in a little over three months. So, that moment of realization made me start thinking of how we want to raise her and what we hope she will be like. These are just a few of the hopes we have:

  • That she will know the love of Christ and the hope that comes with it, and enjoy her faith journey.
  • That she will look for the positive in every person and situation.
  • That she will experience genuine joy, not only at the major events in her life, but also in simple pleasures that we often overlook.
  • That she will love herself and know that she is loved, never feeling inadequate or  “less than.”
  • That she will always follow her own path to happiness and fulfillment, without feeling pressured to do things because it’s what WE want.
  • That she will see people for who they are, not what they look like. I really hope that when someone asks her what another person is like, it doesn’t occur to her to list physical attributes and that she never uses the words, “fat” or “ugly” to describe another human being.
  • That she will have compassion for others – human and animal alike.
  • That she will have the confidence to speak her mind when she knows something is not right.
  • That she will make friends easily, and will not allow things like skin color, religion, or physical/mental abilities to be factors in her choice of friends.
  • That she will not be a picky eater, although that’s not likely since both Mommy and Daddy are pretty persnickety.
  • That she will have a sense of humor and not take things so seriously that it keeps her from enjoying life.
  • That she will let her decisions be guided by her faith and common sense, rather than by the media.

I know, it’s a long list and a lot to ask. (I told you I’m a compulsive list maker.) But, as long as this list is, I’m sure it will grow as we get closer to our due date, and will get even longer as she grows into the amazing person we know she will become.

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You know, there are many reasons that people might neglect to mention certain things to a pregnant woman. There are the obvious reasons, such as not wanting to frighten the poor woman or because she never thought to ask. Then, there’s the less obvious reason that they have no idea that they are dealing with a woman who often gives herself stress-related hives worrying about every little thing, whether she’s pregnant or not.

I am that worry wart.

So, here is my second list of Things No One Told Me, and most of them are probably for that very reason.

No one told me that:

1. I would utter an earnest prayer after watching TV shows like Nanny 911, WifeSwap, and the infamous Jon & Kate + Eight. (Please, God, help these people and don’t let me be anything like them. Ever!)

2. The more I would see on TV, hear on the radio, and see at my beloved Barnes & Noble, the more I would want to hide Madeline away from all the trash. The Amish life is looking more and more appealing.

3. I would be so apprehensive about how I will fare as a parent.

4. I would actually want a minivan. Or a Hummer. Or a tank! Yes! A tank would keep Madeline nice and safe! …Where would I park it?

5. I would enjoy having another person kick me in the gut from the inside.

6.  I would be so concerned that we won’t get everything done on time and the baby will come home to no crib, no clothes, no diapers, etc. OK, maybe no one needed to tell me I’d worry about that. If I had a personal genie, it would have been done 3 months ago.

7. I would be so thankful for my level-headed husband who does everything he can to allay my worries and fears.

Despite all these insane little anxieties, I do know how wonderfully blessed I am to have the life I have and the opportunity to be a mommy at all. And, I know that we have a loving God, and caring family and friends to help us along the way!

You know the feeling of getting a song trapped inside your head, and you can’t get it out? It bounces around your temporal lobe like a caged animal, yearning to be set free.  For the past ten hours or so, the Beastie Boys have been scratching and clawing at my brain, screaming, “NO…SLEEP…’TILL BROOKLYN!”

No, I’m not going to Brooklyn. I just haven’t slept much in the past couple of nights. At all. Between the cold I seem to have picked up, the molten lava in my esophagus that won’t let me lie in any position other than on my back, Madeline’s kicking, and the incessant worrying that usually keeps me awake, I feel pretty darned zombie-like right now.  Maybe a nap is in order this afternoon.

On a happier note, I went to my 24-week appointment this morning and everything is perfect! Little Madeline has a strong heartbeat and everything seems to be progressing in a very healthy way for both of us.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I hear a couch and a fleece nap blanket calling my name.

Dan’s birthday was Friday and I believe that when you turn 30, you should celebrate for at least 3 days. Friday was the big day, so we celebrated with dinner at one of Dan’s favorite wing spots, followed by blowing out the candle on a chocolate chip Double Doozie from the Great American Cookie Company. Mmmmm! On Saturday night, friends joined us for a nice, celebratory dinner and we’ll wrap it up today with a relaxing afternoon of ESPN, I’m sure.

Happy Birthday to the best husband & daddy-to-be a girl could ask for! We love you!

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Thanks, everyone, for celebrating with us!

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The nice people at the restaurant even put candles on the cake for us!

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Because, at some point, you have to have the "Daddy's hand on Mommy's belly" shot.

You know,  Madeline will be here in about four months. That’s not very long at all! So, as we await her arrival (and because I have entirely too much time on  my idle hands) I’ve been doing some research on what’s out there to help keep the baby girl healthy.

I’ve seen the normal baby food products in the grocery store – the spinach, squash, carrots, etc.  So, I have a question. Why are there no Southern baby foods?

Think about it: supper time for Dixie babies! Strained blackeyed peas, pureed collard greens (hamhock optional), and butterbeans in a jar. Before you make a face, does it really sound any nastier than mashed turnips? I’m not suggesting that we replace turkey & rice with ‘possum & gravy, but I feel there is some regional cuisine that has been overlooked.

I figure, we’re having a Southern baby so why not feed her Southern food? I don’t have anything else to do with my time, so I would have all day to make the stuff. We could call it, “Supper Fer Yer Young’uns,” or something catchy like that.

I suggested it to Dan. He was amused but not enthusiastic. Oh, well. It was just an idea.

We had a very nice weekend visiting with family & friends in Alabama.  It wasn’t what you’d call a vacation, but I felt like we needed a change of scenery for a couple of days. I know I did.

Have I mentioned, lately, how incredibly wonderful my husband is? Sometimes, I feel selfish for having him. He’s smart, funny, selfless, a good provider, always puts the baby’s and my needs before his own, and knows the importance of having a Christ-centered life. On top of all that, he’s going to be an awesome father. I knew that already, but I had the chance this weekend to see him interact with a new baby cousin, an awesome 10-year-old boy, and a 2-year-old who is the very proof of God’s grace.

These are three very different children, and Dan was wonderful with all of them. Seeing him hold baby Ryder, talk to Julien, and play with Addie made me very eager to see the kind of father he’s going to be to Madeline.  She’s a very lucky little girl.

Dan with little Ryder

Dan with little Ryder

Dan with the lovely Miss Addie

Dan with the lovely Miss Addie

As you may know, I am addicted to checklists. I like lists of any kind, really, but checklists are a particular favorite. I really don’t see how anyone stays organized or gets anything done without them. So, imagine my joy when I discovered a personalized pregnancy checklist online! It has everything from what appointments I should make, when we should buy what, and when to start thinking about fun stuff like showers. This week, baby registry was on the checklist. As any good list maker/follower would do, we headed to Babies R Us first thing Saturday afternoon to start a registry for everything Madeline should ever need for the rest of her natural life – or at least the first couple of months.

Holy overwhelming experience, Batman! When we went to the front desk, they were very friendly and provided us with…get ready…Yep! Another checklist! Woohoo! This checklist guided us through aisle after aisle after long, necessity-packed aisle. All items on the list are labeled “must haves,” even though many of the items repeat themselves. I assume that doesn’t mean we need more than one Pack N’ Play or 6 outfits in which to bring her home.

After agonizing over whether or not the baby will have sensitive skin like mine or be tall like Dan (so should we get the sensitive skin diaper rash ointment? Will these onesies even fit? How many thermometers do we really need?) we made our way to the baby girl bedding to pick out our nursery decor. Yuck.  Is there any reason that the manufacturers of nursery bedding think that all baby girls have to sleep in 8 shades of pink with grinning butterflies and cartoon characters? Is it too much to ask for some polka dots or gingham? Not that I have any aversions to pink – I’m pretty girly – but the girl side of Babies R Us looks like a wall of Bubblicious.

Needless to say, we left Babies R Us with our free gift, sore feet, and a mostly checked-off list of “must haves.” Despite the disappointing selection in bedding, we both thought this was even more exciting than registering for wedding gifts (although that was great, too!) and we can’t wait for Madeline to get here and enjoy the things we picked out for her! Ok, she might not like the nasal aspirator that much, but we think she’ll like the rest of it.

As far as nursery decor goes, I’m very fortunate to have wonderful friends who look out for me. Fabulous Jenn came through, as always. She sent me a link to a precious, polka dotted crib set and I think that’s what we’ve decided to get! Some polka dots, some cute little giraffe accents, and we’re good.

Now that we’ve started preparing for all the “stuff” we’ll need, any suggestions for how to prepare mentally? 😉