Monday, December 31, 2007
a few pics

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Saturday, December 29, 2007
January Crop Addict Projects
Every month I tell Debbie at Crop Addict, "THIS month is my favorite kit!" I'm sure she doesn't believe me anymore. ;)

Well, I have to tell you- the January Kit really has been my favorite kit to work with so far... man, the colors were so awesome, and I loved the glitterinesss (yes, that's a word) of everything.

Here's the projects I came up with from this month's kit... and just in case you were wondering, I did all of this before Sabriel was born. I'm not superwoman, ya know. Hee hee

I didn't get to post this one to the gallery yet, but this was a gift for my mom. She's really into studying the Jewish culture and had wanted a journal made with these themes.

I also made a few cards:

And then these were for a manufacturer challenge (for Piggy Tales' "Ba, Ba, Black Sheep" collection):

These are not related to any design team work, but I was afraid to post them before the recipients saw them. I helped a girl at our church make these for her friends- the clock is a Heidi Swapp clock with a quote from "Wicked" on it and photos of her and her best friend (they've been friends since they were infants- they were born 2 days apart!). The second is a frame for her friend who attends school at the University of Alabama. I thought the little elephant turned out pretty darn cute. :)

(Sorry the pics are so discolored- I took them at night and that was the only chance I had to take them.)

I forgot to take pics of some of my other handmade gifts, and I'm kicking myself for it. Oh well. Poopy!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007
The details...
I've been a major slacker in the internet department lately... but I suppose y'all will let me slide a bit on that, right? ;)

I wanted to do a quick update just to let all those who were curious know about the details of labor and delivery (especially since I'd been whining non-stop about waiting for her to arrive!).

Monday afternoon I had an appointment with my doctor, and although I had to wait for a bazillion years, wrapped up in one of those lovely paper blankets while he helped another patient deliver her baby, it was worth it.

He told me that the earliest they could schedule an induction would be Friday (the 21st), but he ended up doing something to get labor started (I won't go into the gross details here), and said that no matter the degree of discomfort I had that afternoon, I could go ahead and call him and come in that evening. (I was already dilated to 3 cm. too- woohoo.) I could go ahead and be induced if I was having any contractions at all; and he said that he would expect to hear from me before 8pm.

I dig my doc. Hehe

So - as soon as I got in the car I started having contractions. I went and picked up the kiddos and my babysitter from the mall and started making phone calls to make arrangements for the kids. It kind of took us all off guard (as you can imagine!). By the time we got home I was having regular contractions, but none of them were particularly painful- just a bit uncomfortable.

Shaun got home and we finished up some stuff around the house, loaded up our luggage, and waited for my grams, my sis, and my cousin Shawn (who came through in a major pinch to help with the driving- rock on, little cuz!). :) My Shaun was getting antsy to leave for the hospital, but I told him I needed to wait and call the doc to make sure it was okay for me to come in. I started to time my contractions about 10 minutes before my grams arrived... and they were surprisingly already 3-5 minutes apart!

I called labor and delivery and the nurse said, "Um, you need to come in - now." About that time, Grams rolls up in the driveway and we literally follow them out of the neighborhood... they head off to her home and we head to the hospital. It was around 5 pm on Monday evening.

I prayed the whole way to the hospital that we wouldn't run into any traffic- I was scared that even though I wasn't feeling the contractions too much at this point, that once we got to the hospital I'd be freaking out in pain. We hit absolutely NO traffic, even though we were on all the major interstates and roadways in Birmingham at rush hour, the week before Christmas. :)

I got settled in by 6pm in a bed, got the ol' epidural by around 6:45, and a little pitocin to get things moving along. Sabriel did not like the contractions, so I kept having to be adjusted to my side and had to wear an oxygen mask, which was a little awkward. I also had a small prob with my epidural (it got pushed into a blood vessel for a little bit- scared the crap out of me! It was all okay, though- the people there at the hospital totally were on their game).

Once I was fully ready to push, I pushed 3 times and the nurse was calling for my doctor to get in there right away. She was holding Sabriel's head in... once the doc was in there and ready, she moved her hand and Sabriel pushed herself out. It was the most amazing and easy delivery. She was born at 9:32pm.

She has been the easiest baby ever... she sleeps all the time, doesn't fuss hardly at all (I've only heard her REALLY cry a couple of times), and eats really well. It's been great because, as you can imagine, learning to juggle three kids is definitely a challenge. I've been so thankful to Shaun and my little sis for all the help they are giving. I'm scared for when Shaun goes back to work and I'm left alone with the natives.

Big sis really digs her; big bro is kind of ignoring her for the most part- I have some cute videos of the sibling's reactions that I'll upload soon.

So that's the big story... :) I'll be back soon with some projects for the January Crop Addict kit and some of my handmade Christmas gifts.

Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
For unto us a child is born...
Introducing our sweet and
long-awaited baby girl, Sabriel
(pronounced like Gabrielle, but with an "S")

Born Monday, December 17th, 2007 at 9:32 pm,
after a very quick labor & delivery.

6 lbs., 11 oz.

19 inches long

Labor and other details will be included in a future post... Mommy & Daddy are just glad to be home and able to enjoy a little peace & quiet. We spent a couple of days in the hospital just kind of hiding out from the world and snuggling our new little one. We'll be back in touch with everyone soon!

Saturday, December 15, 2007
Just in case...
anyone was wondering, no, I'm not in labor yet.

Just been super busy with Christmas prep and the normal busy-ness of life.

I'll keep y'all posted... about to snuggle down with the hubs and zone out on some mindless entertainment. :)

p.s. I'm having a hard time keeping up with emails and returning phone calls, so if I still owe you one, I promise I'll get to it soon... it's just building up on me at the moment.

Later, dudes.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Nothin' at all, nothin' at all.
Thus far, that is all I can say about the labor progressions. I have the occasional painful contraction, but nothing regular.

I feel like in the last week or so, my body is very, very worn out. I get tired doing very simple tasks. Today was my most productive day in a long time- I did a load of laundry, re-hung a strand of Christmas lights in the living room (the other ones conveniently had blown out after they had been hung), and hung a set of curtains in the dining room.

Oh, and I bathed. That's always a bonus.

I feel like a turtle, in so many ways: slow, can't roll over if I get set on my back, sometimes look a bit green...


In other news, for too long a time to even write down, we have not had a light in our dining room. It's one of the joys of owning an older home... weird wiring and all that. So for this period of a *long time*, we've been using a floor lamp in there as lighting.

However, due to the ever extraordinary super-powers of Miscellaneous Man (who is secretly my friend Jeremy) and the logical skills of my own personal super hero (my husband), we now have a working light fixture in our dining room.

Just in time for our first Christmas dinner at home.

I am SO excited.

(Em is thrilled too- she said this morning, "Daddy Jeremy niiiice turn on light!" hehe)


Speaking of Miscellaneous Man, he also came over the last two days and helped me (read here as "did all the work") clean the house. Now my floors that have not been mopped in several months are all sparkly, the dust bunnies have been shooed away, and my whole house smells nice and clean.

Friends. They're a good thing.


Gotta go get the munchkins in pjs and settle down for a nice winter's nap.

Monday, December 10, 2007
Quick update.
Doc says I'm not dilated any further than last week (1.5 cm). :(

"Hang in there!" he says. (*insert eyes rolling here* What else am I supposed to do?!)

I will be induced a week prior to my due date if I don't deliver Sabriel before then.

The nurses all gave me hugs today and said, "We probably won't see you for six weeks! This looks like your last appointment!" One also looked very shocked at how low I was and said, "Girl, you have DROPPED!"

Let's hope the nurses are right and I don't have to "hang in there" much longer.

Later, dudes.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Christmas Cookie Exchange & Baby Shower
(Yes, I'm still around and very much pregnant. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning and will have some sort of update *hopefully* afterwards.)

This weekend brought more preparations for Sabriel.

First, I think my kiddos sense a change coming, because they pulled out this baby doll and have been fighting over her all weekend.
I think it's kind of cute, until they start carrying her around by her head or poking her eyeballs. Maybe I should invest in some goggles for Sabriel.

I finished making a few "orders" from people, so that's all taken care of now. :)
(Sorry for the poor lighting on these, I took them at night.) Em and I made cookies for a cookie exchange. She was a great help.

Here's her rendition of the Reindeer cookies. I think they may be from outer space.

When I got to the cookie exchange, I was surprised with a baby shower! The ladies at my church and a few of my friends got together to give me a fun little night, in the midst of all this holiday craziness. It was so sweet!
(Could my eyes BE any squintier??!!)
We had a blast with the cookie part of the party too. ;) Now I have a big ol' box of cookies I've been nibbling on. You think they'll stick around until after Sabriel's birth?

I'll leave you with a video of my weirdos. I mean, kids.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007
(Pregnancy update- all bags are fully packed and waiting to go. Carseat cover has been washed and is waiting to be loaded into the car. All the little extra things needed to be done are pretty much done. I feel like maybe she's dropped- lots and lots of pressure; but no consistent contractions yet.)

Sometimes, well, to be honest, I'm pretty sure most of the time, I over-complicate things. I try to analyze or look harder at things than they need to be... I tend to add chaos to things.

It amazes me over and over again, even though it seems like children complicate our lives in a lot of little ways (the many sippy cups and diapers and other accoutrements it takes to just leave the house), they also have that way of bringing things down to the base, simplest facts.

Last week was the first week of Advent. At our church, we celebrate this by lighting the Advent candles and learning about what each week symbolizes.

Our pastor taught about the perspective of Israel before Jesus was born. The coming Messiah; coming to bring Hope at a time of despair for them. They needed a we all do.

It kind of set the tone for the week for me. I kept thinking about hope vs. despair. Without going into lengthy detail, there have been a lot of reminders of despair surrounding me lately. In some cases, it seems like we have had hope snuffed out recently. Hope for a change, hope for better things...

Hope and despair are most definitely things I can relate to at the moment.

So, Em and I were driving home the other evening, around twilight. We're usually not out at this time of day, so when I heard her make a small noise in the backseat, I looked back to see a very worried little face.

I asked her what was wrong, and she said, "Oh no, mommy! It's dark!" (She, as a lot of little kids are, is afraid of the dark.)

I started to reassure her that everything was okay, and then to distract her from her worries, told her, "Let's look for Christmas lights!"

I have been trying to be conscious of any little moment I can to teach the kids about spiritual things and our faith; to make it real to them... as a part of everyday life.

So as I thought about that, I started to explain to Em about Christmas lights... in simple, 2 year old terms. And it was like- a total lightbulb moment for me.

I told her, "Let's look for Christmas lights. They will help you to not be scared. We have Christmas lights to remind us of Jesus. He came to the world to bring us Light in the darkness... to help us to not be scared in the Dark."

At the same time, I was listening to "Maybe This Christmas", a collection of "hip" Christmas tunes. This song came on... it seemed pretty appropriate.

What a year for a new year
We need it like we needed life I guess
Last one left us lying in a mess
What a year for a new year

What a night for a sunrise
And we thought the dark would never end
Reaching out to try to find a friend
What a night for a sunrise

What a day for new day
And our star shines like a miracle
And our world is almost beautiful again
What a day for a new day
New day

What a year for a new year

What a night for a sunrise
And we thought the dark would never end
Reaching out to try to find a friend
What a night for a sunrise

Soon we’ll be lying in our beds
And new dreams will fill our heads
And the old ones will be ended
Hope we’ll forget about this place
Let it go without a trace
Wipe the teardrops from our faces
Oh! What a year for a new year!

Listen here...

So all that said... I am so glad we have hope. The hope of a new year, a new day, a new life in Christ. I'm glad that I can hope in Him, because eventually, all those other things and people I put hope in, are going to fail me.

Hope we’ll forget about this place
Let it go without a trace
Wipe the teardrops from our faces
Oh! What a year for a new year!
Friday, December 07, 2007
Em's Christmas Crafts
Just a silly little video of Em yesterday, doing her crafts. Transcript below (for those of you who don't speak 2 year old. hehe)

*gibberish... or rather, Em language*

"Mama takin' a picture of the butts. [buttons]"

"Did it! *more language I don't understand* Iiiiii did it!"

Mine & the kids' bags are packed, except for a couple of little things I need to pick up at Walmart. Maybe this little girl will make her way here soon! :) Woohoo!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
It's off! :)
Em's cast, that is.

Everything is nicely healed. Woohoo!

Beforehand, while we were waiting the long afternoon away until the doctor's appt., Atticus took a nap and Em & I made one of those button trees.

She was surprisingly good with it, considering it was a craft that included straight pins and buttons. (Those who are panicking when they read that- she was extremely closely supervised.) I think it turned out pretty cute.

She was really pleased with it as well.

I must go pack my hospital bags. I'm continuing to procrastinate this task. I think it's because that I think, deep down, that once they are packed, Sabriel can go ahead and be born...
and that scares me.
It's out of my control.
I have WAY more things I want to do before she's born.
Like, a bunch of different Christmas things.
Finish prepping for her (just tiny little tasks, here and there, that still need to be done.)

Have I mentioned I've been having contractions all evening?

Now it's just a waiting game.