My Baby Shower

03/30/2015

I woke up the morning of my baby shower and thought, I’ve waited a long time for a baby shower. I don’t deserve a baby shower. It was truly a huge blessing. As soon as she found out I was pregnant, my sweet sister-in-law Ginger asked when she could throw me a baby shower. Four years prior I had organized hers and she has been wanting to return the favor ever since. When we started foster parenting, also about four years ago, some dear friends organized a quick foster-child shower. It was super helpful to us and we were able to collect some kid gear to cover the wide range we were preparing for: birth to age 5, boy or girl, one or two kids. I’m not devaluing that blessing in any way. But after four years of parenting six different little ones, this time it was a bonafide baby shower to celebrate the specific little guy we have the gift of 9 months advance notice to prepare for. Also, it’s the first time we’ve had a child coming that we know is staying so it actually makes sense to own some things rather than just borrow temporarily.

My sister-in-law organized a beautiful tea party with the help of my mom, who hosted at her house. My sister Jessica and niece Iris were able to come down from Pennsylvania and join us. Lots of friends came with kind, thoughtful gifts for our little Isaiah. I’ve so enjoyed opening, washing, folding, sorting, setting up all of his precious little things.

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All of the photos above were taken by my friend Beth Rose. Did you see how many adorable babies came to my baby shower? Isaiah already has a crew of baby friends waiting to meet him.

Alianna had lots of fun with Iris.

 

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I’m so thankful Jessica and Iris could come to visit the weekend of the party. Here we are with my mama.

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Speaking of mamas, both grandmothers spoiled our little guy with tons of presents but these handmade gifts deserve a special moment in the spotlight. My mom, “Grandma,” knitted this adorable gray sweater. She used the same pattern to make a purple sweater for Ali three years ago.

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And Jason’s mom, “Nana,” is a crochet-machine! She made Isaiah a blanket, a little stuffed lamb, a bunch of washcloths and two adorable little pairs of booties. The loafers are so tiny!

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I love, love, love handmade goodies. Those are the things I’ll keep forever. I also registered for gifts through Amazon with some links to Target.com—pretty much the only two places I shop for anything that’s not food or secondhand. A few items I was so thankful to be given that might be of interest to other new or expecting mamas:

Carter’s 2-pk. 44x44inch Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets, Blue
I love the Aden and Anais ones but let’s be honest; these are much cheaper! I love the feel of thin, flowy muslin blankets for swaddling, snuggling, spit-up wiping, etc.

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Bumkins Waterproof Starter Bib, Blue Crocs and Turtles, 2-Count
Bumkins brand are my favorite bibs for baby feeding because they’re machine washable or easily rinse/wipe-able and they pack super small in a diaper bag.

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Comfort & Harmony Peanut Air Swaddle
So I know I just said how much I love muslin swaddle blankets but for a good, long, nighttime sleep, I prefer a more secure swaddle wrap. I’ve borrowed velcro wrap style swaddlers from friends before and they’re nice. I inherited a couple of hand-me-downs of those. I’m really excited to try this one though, because it zips up the front with a split zipper (diaper changes without taking the baby all the way out) and snaps at the neck. No busting out of this one! Plus it’s pretty lightweight which will be good since it’ll be summer very soon after Isaiah is born.

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Itzy Ritzy Nursing Happens Infinity Breastfeeding Scarf, Grey Chevron
I fell in love with the idea of a jersey knit infinity scarf and ended up sewing myself a bunch (and soon I’ll have them for sale in my Etsy shop too…) but this one was my first love. I really love the gray and white chevron pattern. I’m not sure I can pull off a scarf in the summer in Nashville—even a lightweight one—but these are small tucked into a diaper bag and surely will be very useful in the fall and winter.

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Tommee Tippee Bottle, 9 Ounce, 3 Count
After using our Playtex VentAire bottles for 4 babies, I’m ready for something new. Our Playtex set, like the popular Dr. Browns have just too many parts to wash. These Tommee Tippee have the vent built into the nipple and the bottle itself is short and ergonomic for adult or child to hold. Most important (for the first time, for me) these are supposedly great for combining with breastfeeding because of the nipple design. I’m super thankful to have this new set.

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All product pics above are from Amazon.com.

I already shared about our new bouncy seat and Moses basket in this post about Finishing Touches to the Nursery.

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36 Week Froggie Update

03/26/2015

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I’m 36 weeks pregnant and just as tired as I ever was at the beginning of my pregnancy, if not more. The most basic human functions of breathing, walking and sleeping are all more challenging. I’m not sleeping well due to hip joint pain, getting up frequently to pee, heartburn and sudden leg cramps that jolt me out of bed faster than anything else. As unfun as all of that sounds (and is), it’s still totally worth it because I’m just in awe of this kid growing inside of me and the amazing transformation my body is capable of going through. And as I’ve said in my past several updates, I’m totally in love with feeling Isaiah’s movements. I love to interact with him. All of the complaints…I’m positive that it’s part of God’s design when it comes to the end of pregnancy that the mother is so mentally and physically done with being pregnant that she is ready to endure whatever it takes to hold her child in her arms. I have four more weeks until my due date (April 21) but dude is considered full term next week at 37 weeks and all the way up until 42 weeks is considered a healthy pregnancy. Lord, I know your timing is perfect and you have Isaiah’s birth date already picked out. I just pray it’s on the early side and if not, that you would give me lots of patience! Speaking of God’s perfect timing, Jason is a touring musician and he just got a new gig, which is a huge answer to prayer, especially as it pertains to income during a time when I’m about to take a big chunk of unpaid time off work. It also means he will be out of town 7 or 8 days in next three weeks. Again, I’m totally trusting that God has got the timing of all of this worked out perfectly so that Jason will be present for Isaiah’s birth. I think Easter would be a great day to have a baby…just putting that out there. I am so excited to deliver our little guy and start into the next season of our lives. Pregnancy has been harder than I expected and more amazing than I expected. I’m ready to be done now. Speaking of done

Isaiah’s room is officially done. There is nothing I’m waiting to finish. The bouncer will end up in the living room once he arrives, not in front of the closet. And we’ll have him sleep in our room in a Moses basket for the first little while so he’s closer for feedings. I love to sit in this room to pray and dream. The other day Jason came in here to open the window and sighed, “Isaiah’s room is so peaceful.” That’s the best compliment I could get on his nursery design.

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Big sister Ali loves to feel her little brother’s hiccups. (I do too!) She’s always asking me if he’s hiccuping and reminding me to tell her whenever he starts.

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The picture below is me giving Ali a bath… I put her in the tub and then I collapse on the nearest couch. “Mommy, I’m done playing. Come wash me!” she calls from the bathroom. “I can’t… I’m stuck on the couch.” Seriously, it feels like I’m pinned down by a small boulder. Thankfully Jason has been jumping in as much as possible to take over my typical mom duties and turns out she likes it better when he does her baths anyway because “you’re more gentle than Mommy.” Win-win. ;)

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And now for some pregnancy memes to explain how I really feel:

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Our bags are mostly packed. The car seat is installed in the van. Arrangements are in place with family and friends to take care of Ali and our animals. We have plans in place with our jobs. My doctor says everything is on track and looks perfect. In summary, here’s the hashtag I’ve been using frequently on Instagram: #imreadywhenyouarebaby.

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Preparing Your Home for Foster Parenthood

03/19/2015

I wrote a set of posts over on Dropping Anchors with some lists to help potential foster parents prepare their homes for their home study safety inspection as well as tips from experiences foster parents to make the transition of a new foster child easier. Check them out if you’re in that category!

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Swinging into Spring

03/17/2015

On March 5 we had a snow storm that brought 2-3″ of the dreaded white stuff. I don’t ever recall getting snow accumulation in March in the 10 winters we’ve lived in Nashville. On the bright side, I got to work at home more than usual this winter. And of course, Alianna loved it and was sure it was Christmas all over again.

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It was too stinkin’ cold to play outside that day so Ali brought a bucket of snow inside and played in the tub until it melted.

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One week later the temps were in the 60s and we were playing outside with no coats. A few budding flowers have been spotted. I can’t wait until everything really bursts into bloom. Spring is so breathtakingly beautiful here. And of course, I’ve been looking forward to Spring for another little/big reason this season. AccuWeather already has the extended forecast up for my due date. It’s currently looking like April showers and upper 60s. (Seriously, how can they predict the weather a month in advance? Crazy…) I’m so thankful for the longer daylight hours in the evening brought by Daylight Saving Time and I’m trying to get some more exercise with evening walks, lots of playing outside with Ali and eating meals on the back patio whenever possible.

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Feeding the chickens one of their favorite treats: black oil sunflower seeds (birdseed).

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Homemade Orange Julius popsicles. Mmm!

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Look! Dresses and no socks!

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He has a name!

03/16/2015

Since I first laid eyes on him as a tiny babe with a flickering heartbeat at my 8-week ultrasound he was Froggie. (Introducing: Froggie.) At Christmas we found out our growing baby is a boy and I started calling him Baby Boy most of the time. His big sister started calling him Baby Donut (and occasionally Baby Pancake). There’s a long story behind that but it has stuck for months now. I really hope she calls him that forever. Now, he has a real name! Jason and I decided about two weeks ago and have been letting our family and friends know. Time to tell the world: Our son’s name is Isaiah Jason.

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Why Isaiah?

It’s been one of my favorite names for years and was Jason-approved since before we decided to become parents. Isaiah was a very influential Biblical prophet. Several of my favorite verses are in Isaiah. This one from Isaiah 43:18-19 has been special to me since we moved to Nashville to pursue our dreams 11 years ago: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” My favorite band, Needtobreathe, recorded an album last year called Streams in the Wasteland. I’ve been praying this verse about some very specific things in my life since the beginning of this year and I ordered the record album to hang in our son’s nursery as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to make a way where there appears to be no way.

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Another one of my favorite verses that I’ve been praying specifically over our son is Isaiah 40:30-32: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

And finally, we chose Isaiah because my great-grandfather’s name was Zay and I think it makes a fabulous nickname for Isaiah.

Isaiah means “salvation of the Lord,” and we pray that he will have a passion to bring people to salvation of the Lord. 

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Why Jason?

Isaiah’s middle name is his father’s first name. Jason’s middle name is his father’s first name. Jason’s father’s middle name is his father’s first name. We thought that would be a nice tradition to continue. Jason means “healer.”

I love that his name has ties to both of our families. I can’t wait to see little Isaiah’s face and hold him in my arms. Just a few more weeks!

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32 Week Froggie Update

02/25/2015

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At 32 weeks, It’s starting to feel like my boy is running out of space in my belly. Perhaps he’s been growing faster than my body can stretch or perhaps that’s just what it feels like as he gets tighter and tighter in there until my due date. I can tell his head is down where it’s supposed to be a lot of the time now, which means it’s getting easier to tell where his arms, bum and legs are located, especially when he’s moving. Which is often. It’s neat to look down at my belly and almost be able to visualize the little guy. His nursery is all ready. His coming home outfit is ready and his diaper bag is packed for the hospital. His clothes are washed and waiting in his dresser. Diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths are all stocked. We are ready for him. Of course, there will be more nesting to be done in the next 8 weeks… I’d love to have a stockpile of frozen meals and I’m hoping for the inspiration to clean out the pantry. I started packing my own suitcase for the hospital and then realized most of what I need I’ll have to throw in at the last minute (clothes I’m still wearing every week, toiletries, chargers for electronics, snacks, etc.) In a few weeks I’ll wash the infant car seat cover and install it in our van. In some ways, I’m so ready to not be pregnant anymore, and in other ways, it feels like I’ve been pregnant for so long that I can’t imagine not being pregnant. It will be a strange feeling to not be physically connect to my son anymore. More than anything, I’m excited to see and hold my son in my arms, to kiss his little face, and to share him with the rest of my family.

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Crafting with Ali

02/24/2015

I love art and doing crafts. I always have. It’s such a joy for me to see my daughter loving art, too. She got a big bucket of craft supplies and a booklet of ideas for Christmas. We’ve been having fun working on these together on these cold, dreary winter days. I’m looking forward to the days she can do these projects more independently so she can work along side me while I work on my own craft projects. But in this stage, I’m just delighted that she’s having fun and getting creative with these projects.

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When our buddy Termain was visiting one evening they sat and did art projects together for a while. He’s an art lover too.

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One day I was able to get almost an hour of sewing projects done while Ali played with Play Doh nearby. Glorious!

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