Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gratuitous Baby Photos

Most of these are quite old. Time to do another photo session!

Spring in the Foothills

A few weeks ago we went for a nice little walk through the foothills to Camel's Back Park. It is so nice to see spring coming! I love living in a place where I can enjoy the turn of seasons.

The trees are all budding, and a few in our neighborhood are even starting to blossom already! I must find time to finish pruning our fruit trees here in the next few weeks.

Three brave adventurers! A baby is such a fun conversation starter. Everybody wants to know how old she is, and if Iain likes being a big brother, and tells us how pretty Elinor is.

We took the Red Fox Trail up the hill. Iain did a good job keeping up-- our boy is getting very big!

In the photo above you can see the Capitol dome in the distance. I love Boise. You can walk in nature within sight of downtown.

Still snowy in the mountains! After we climbed over the Camel's Back, we descended to the park and played on the playground for a bit, which of course made it all the more fun for Iain!

The struggle for order

Being a homemaker is a challenge for me. It really takes a lot of skill to do it well, but it is a job with little training, few incentives, and little respect. As someone who thrives on the approval of others, it can be a tough row to hoe. Maybe this is one way that God is starving that human-pleasing side of my personality.

With a new baby life seems especially overwhelming at the moment. So in a grasp for sanity, I created a home organization station on the side of my fridge.

I'm hoping that this will help keep me on track. No more losing the calendar or not looking at it for days, no more scraps of paper with "to-do" scrawled in crayon, buried under a pile of old mail. Since it is in itself a giant to-do list on display, I wanted to pretty it up a bit to encourage myself. The elements of the organization wall are pretty simple. My calendar, some scripture verses, a daily to-do list, a weekly to-do list, and our menu plan for the week.

I created a master to-do list of things that I find myself writing down on my lists every day and added things that ideally should be done each day. I know that I won't get everything done, but it gives me a goal to shoot for. I'm hoping I will fall into a routine and that things will run more smoothly, but if it doesn't work, I'll change it. Motherhood is teaching me to be flexible, and learning to keep house teaches me to keep experimenting with things until I achieve some level of mastery. When I first got married, I quickly became frustrated when I discovered I didn't have the skills of a woman of 50. Now I know that housekeeping is an art and a skill, and like anything else, you get better with practice.

I used magnets to keep the list on the fridge, and I taped down a piece of scrapbook paper I like to serve as a frame. I printed it front and back, so I reduced my paper waste. I put check boxes next to each task, and also added a section for Iain's chores.

I got some coordinating card stock and choose Bible verses that either encourage or exhort to display in this clear magnetic photo frame.

I found some pretty magnets to coordinate after a lot of hunting around.

This is my weekly menu plan. This is a tried and true household tool for me.

Here are the things that should be done on weekly basis (if not more frequently, but hey, we're taking baby steps here).

Domestic bliss. I hope so at any rate!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A New Baby!

I can't believe I haven't logged into this blog since November! But it makes sense, because I pretty much stopped doing everything in November. The last months of my pregnancy were very difficult due to Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction which causes severe pelvic pain. Mine was so bad that couldn't tolerate standing or walking for much longer than 5 or 10 minutes at a time. It is already becoming a bit of a vague memory, which is amazing, because it was extremely painful.

Our miracle baby, Elinor Joie Douglas, arrived on January 22, 2010. She was 8 lbs, 5 oz. She was born on the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. What a testimony to the power of God! He truly does set the days and dates, as well as open and close the womb.

Her name means: God has given us light and joy! The verse we chose for her is Psalm 30:5b: "Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning."

Here is her birth story.

On the evening of Thursday January 23 Brian and I were watching television together (The Office, I think) and Iain was safely tucked in bed when... pop! Gush. I said that I thought my water might have broken. Brian said he didn't think so. I called the doctor. I read the internet. We decided to wait and see. After about 30 minutes it became apparent that we needed to go to the hospital because my water had definitely broken. I was excited and scared and there was a lot to do. We called our friends, the Goodwins, who had kindly agreed to watch Iain when The Time Came. We got Iain out of bed and explained to his groggy little self that we were going to the hospital to get his little sister. I don't think that sank in. After Stormy came to take Iain, it was off to L&D Triage for us. They confirmed my water had broken and we were off to our own room.

The only problem was that my contractions weren't coming regularly or with any strength. So we waited through the night at the hospital. I walked the halls, I tried to sleep. At 6am our wonderful friend and doctor, Dirk Carlson, came in to check on us. We started a low dose of pitocin and waited some more. Now I was having some contractions!

After 6 hours of induced contractions, I still had not dilated at all. I was probably hitting a 7 or 8 on the pain scale. We tried an epidural as a last ditch effort to see if it help me to dilate. No dice. At 1pm we decided to go with the c-section. I'm considerably more relaxed in this picture as I'm enjoying the effects of the epidural.

At shortly after 2, Elinor was here! Papa got to hold her right away, much quicker than with Iain.

And of course, Mama got to have some snuggle time too.

When I got to recovery, Elinor was already there, screaming her little heart out. This is a sound that has become oh-so-familiar around here! After they finished checking her out, I got to hold her for the first time.

They put a sweet little bow in her hair at the hospital and everyone told us what a beautiful baby she was! She has pretty blue eyes that I just love:

After several days in the hospital recovering (which went great-- I think I'm pretty much to 100% now) we brought our little girl home.

We are so thankful for this baby, completely unexpected, nearly inexplicable. We look at her and are in awe of God.