Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Happened!?!

Theia is not making this move any easier. She has no clue what's going on, but yesterday morning she came down to our living room to find that we had packed up the Christmas tree, rolled up the rug, and packed several other prominent items. She stood in the middle of the floor stunned for a second, and then wailed "What happened!", and broke out in tears. Me too.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Accursed Business Trips!

I am preparing myself for next week when my husband will be gone for FIVE DAYS and FOUR NIGHTS. Mostly I keep telling myself how terrible it will be, and how the week will be the longest I've ever known, and how much I hate next week in general. Its working. I'm definitely getting in the mood.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Last Things...

Yesterday we embarked on the beginning of the "lasts" in the countdown to our move. And since it is the first of the lasts, I thought I'd better commemorate it with a post. Although we are excited about the provision and opportunity that the Lord has directed us to, we will miss the goodness that He has allowed us to enjoy here at this house in B____. Of course, we will miss our family the most, but we don't consider any of the time spent with them to be "lasts" because it won't be. Thank God for a loving and supportive family if you have one, and if you don't, pray that the Lord will show you how to establish the groundwork for the next generation to have this great blessing! And you will be able to rejoice as you see it happening! First on our frivolous list of lasts was a vow to have breakfast again at our favorite little hometown breakfast and bistro establishment that is within walking distance of our house. So we took advantage of the morning that, thanks to my mom and dad, began with only one child under the age of 2 and 1/2 in the house instead of the usual three. Since it was a very chilly fall morning, we bundled up this one: and took a walk through the modest but pleasant sub we live in, and ended here: After scanning the day's specials we took our seats and giggled about how dorky we looked to the other patrons since we were taking pictues of everything as if we hadn't been out in years. This little girl agreed: Then our food came. Jessie ordered his favorite western omelette and I took the chance of being spurned for the remainder of the day when I ordered the International Greek Scramble with feta cheese on it. Jessie usually won't kiss me after I've eaten feta cheese or mustard, he can't stomach the thought of being in the same vicinity of those substances in a 24 hour period (just for the record, he did kiss me again, more than once, before the day was over. Our love is strong enough to triumph even over goat cheese, apparently). Since Ingrid is NOT a seat-dweller, we took turns passing her back and forth over breakfast until she stated her preference conclusively and remained with daddy until we finished our coffee and took our leave. Then we bundled up again and headed back through the lovely Michigan fall leaves to home, sweet rental home.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Last Day of Separation!

I am ecstatic to be leaving in an hour to pick up my man from the airport. We've had a wonderful time with Aunt Robin, Uncle Brian, and the cousins, Preston, Haley and Clayton. But we are so ready to be re-united with Daddy and go home again.! I hope they have only been taking a brief hiatus from their usually compliant ways (okay, mostly usually) in Jessie's absence. We'll find out soon enough, I suppose. I have to commemorate our survival of Jessie's first ever business trip (hopefully not the first of many, I am NOT a fan). So, here we go:
Sweet Cousin Haley; such a little mother
My 5-yr old nephew Clay-Clay, and his Mommy,
my sister Robin. Thanks to Robin who didn't have the
best week in homeschooling history thanks to the invasion
of three infant nieces.
My little gals (Ingrid is the beehive-like mound behind Eliza)
during our freezing trip to the orchard. This kid should drop the cider and head to the chiropractor!
My nephew Preston who is 12, obviously.
Theia's hair never ceases to amaze

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mostly for Grandma

Ingrid's Grandpa and Grandma in Pennsylvania still haven't seen their granddaughter so I thought I would post this video of Ingrid and this adorable little nephew of mine. Ethan was so delighted to have his very own little human to play with when he visited earlier this week.

This is a sad day because I am getting ready to say good-bye to my husband for three days. He's going down to scope out the territory we will be moving into in January. This will be the first time we've even spent one night apart. I will not stay at home alone with the girls. Us girls are all packing up and heading to Aunt Robin's after church tomorrow. Goody!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cider Mills and Christmas Cards

We went to our favorite cider mill on Sunday with some church friends of ours so that we could exchange photography services for our 2008 Christmas cards. I'm gonna miss that cider mill next fall when we're in Florida. Oh, did I mention we're moving to Florida? Crazy! I've been a Michigan girl my whole life. I'm not sorry at all to leave winter behind. I have nothing for winter sports, and marvel especially at the poor deluded souls known as ice fishers. But its a pretty scary change, and a sad one since my whole dear, sweet family lives within 30 miles of us right now. Anyway, back to the business at hand! Its amazing that no matter how many pictures you take, it seems there is only ever one that passes muster. Its really hard to get one where the girls are both looking in the general direction of the camera and both have a pleasant facial expression. I would love to use this one:

but the girls' great smiles are the result of Jessie tickling them, and he looks a little rabid about it. Plus, Eliza is elbowing Ingrid out. This one was deemed the only acceptable entry by the panel of judges. It is suitably serene for a Christmas card, and is the only one that features no lip-biting, shoulder hunching, baby-crushing, finger pointing, or indecent exposure: We enjoyed the sights of the cider mill while we waited for our friends to show up. Are these the cutest farm animals you've ever seen? Theia thought it necessary to stick her head all the way out through the hole.

"Eliza! Eliza, look at Daddy! Eliza, over here! Peek-a-boo! Where's Daddy, Eliza?" It never works :).

We were mean and cheap parents who wouldn't let their children ride the ponies, but we did stand in front of them for a considerably long time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sounds like a plan!

This evening while Jessie and I were getting the girls dressed for bed Theia said to us "I'm gonna go Ny-night, an' den we gonna go to tsurch in da morning! Dat sound wike a p'yan?" She cracks us up constantly with her grown up phrases that she manages to work in to conversation. She always has a very satisfied look on her face too when she knows she sounds so grown up.
Eliza has discovered a new play area: the top of the dining room table. It just occurred to her yesterday and I've had to remove her many times since. Tonight she climbed up there after supper (while I was nursing and Jessie was working in the garage), planted her bum firmly in the center of the table, and got to work on the bowl of pork and beans I'd left out. Big mess. I don't know what to do! I am running out of places that are safe from Eliza! Not to mention safe for Eliza. She is the most accident prone kid I've come across and it does NOT excite me to see her sitting on anything that is more than 8 inches off the ground. But she sure is cute :).
I finally managed to get some pictures of all three girls together. I had some help from Jessie, who had to put on quite the show to get Eliza, who woke up on the wrong side of bed, to quit crying, and to keep Ingrid from getting head-banged. See results below:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just Catching up on Pictures

Today, at the park

3 weeks ago

2 weeks ago

Eliza's hair is long enough for pigtails now!

Last time at the park without long sleeves...

What would you do with this head of hair?

Why is my daddy acting so wierd?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rising briefly to the surface...

I have been mostly internetless for the last several weeks, I did not die. I now have internet in the evenings and on weekends, but blogging has not made its way to the top of my priority list as there are quite a few major things going on in our lives these days! God is good throughout it all, and we are loving our little girls more every day! Yesterday I was reading a book to Eliza and Theia was sitting on the floor with her doll. I glanced over at her and realized that she had the doll wrapped in a blanket and was holding her tightly to her chest under her shirt. She looked up at me with her best wrinkly-nosed smile and informed me "I'm feeding her food." She doesn't quite have it all figured out though, she had her shirt pulled up on the side where the doll's feet were! Theia has become very motherly in recent days, and she mimics everything I do with Ingrid on her doll. Eliza has turned into quite the little pocket rocket since Ingrid came. She is into absolutely everything and manages to injure herself about 37 times a day. She is very affectionate towards Ingrid, but her brand of affection is rather dangerous and rarely appreciated. She doesn't believe she can give Ingrid a hug or kiss without lying on top of her, so I can't leave Ingrid anywhere for more than 2 seconds when Eliza is awake. She likes to hold Ingrid on her lap, but when she's done she wants her off her lap NOW. The first time she held Ingrid she might have ended up on the floor because I wasn't prepared for the violent shove she gave her. I am developing very fast reflexes. But she is a very sweet and sensitive soul, and still very snuggly. And Ingrid is just as sweet as a 1 month old little girl who has just started smiling responsively can be!

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Word about Names

I love our children's names. I love saying them, hearing them, writing them, and most of all, introducing them to people by their names. Choosing a name for each of our girls has been such a joyful process. It is such a sacred responsibility and privilege to bestow a name on your child.
Aletheia Vangelis:
We came upon Theia's first name quite by accident. We had chosen a name for a boy that is the Hebrew word for Truth, and is also the name of a character in "The Last Battle", by C. S. Lewis (the name was Emeth, by the way). I was involved in a Beth Moore bible study with a group of ladies while I was pregnant with Theia, and it was in our study that I came across the Greek word for Truth, Aletheia. I was immediately struck that it would be cool to have two meaningful names waiting for our baby, one from the Old Testament, and the other from the New Testament. Both of these words in their original meaning stood for truth in its most absolute form, the implanted recognition of truth that God has written on our hearts. After we settled on Aletheia (always with the intention to shorten it to Theia, pronounced "THAY-uh") we looked for another Greek name to go with it. We settled on Vangelis (van-JEL-iss), partly for its meaning (it is derived from the Greek for Evangelist) and partly because it is also the name of the composer of the music for the movie "Chariots of Fire". That is probably my favorite movie of all time, and it has such a strong message of the rewards that are reserved for those who honor God.
Eliza Marie:
Eliza is a name that I was excited to give a daughter of mine, and I'm so glad that Jessie liked it too. Eliza means "sworn to God". What a challenge, to have a child whose name means "sworn to God". We know they are His from the outset, but our children are the hardest things on this earth to surrender to God. We pray that He will help us to surrender our children to His will and in the trust that His love for them far outsizes anything we could imagine. Marie is Jessie's mother's middle name. I initially wanted to use her first name, Jean, but Jessie grew up watching "Little House on the Prairie", and he felt that Eliza Jean sounded too much like Eliza Jane, who is not a very nice person, so Eliza Marie it was. I never thought I'd have to deal with opinions from my husband that he formed from watching "Little House on the Prairie". He can also quote you any line from "Anne of Green Gables". That's what comes from having a sister only 18 months older than you, I guess.
Ingrid Ralene:
Once again Jessie surprised me with his open-mindedness. I had already had my eye on the name Ingrid, but didn't mention it to Jessie because I felt sure for some reason that he would reject it. But Jessie brought the name up to me himself one day while he was browsing the baby name book. I was tickled pink. Ingrid means beautiful, and she is definitely living up to her name already. Our prayer is that she will also have a spirit that is beautiful and pleasing to the Lord. Ralene is my sister Penny's middle name. My parents actually took that name from another C. S. Lewis book, "The Horse and His Boy", but they actually derived it from a longer name, Lasaraleen. They definitely chose the name on the merits of its aesthetic qualities, because Lasaraleen is not a character that you would want your daughter to live up to! But, now of course Ralene is part of my sister's name, and she is definitely someone that we would want our daughter to emulate.

Read about Emeth's Name

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Blog Name

Since it seems rather rude to keep referring to Ingrid as a "bump", I have changed my blog name to Jessie's Girls. Now I need to get the Rick Springfield background music to go along with it - although I can't see how the lyrics would be relevant to anything in my blog. Eventually I'll have to get around to updating my header photo and whatnot, but I seem to be spending a lot of time nursing these days :)
Its nearly impossible to post without a photo

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Habits to work on...

Somehow this one doesn't bother me as much as...

This one!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ingrid's Birth Story

My Labor Day started pretty much like any other day on this babymoon, except that I quickly noticed that my contractions were rather closer to regular than they had been thus far. But, this being our vacation, and already having a busy day planned, I opted to ignore this fact.

By the time we got to the beach with the girls and my mom and brothers, they had grown in strength and frequency, but not quite enough to spoil my last chance to dig in the sand with my girls.

When we got home that afternoon I started considering seriously that these contractions just could develop into the baby-producing kind. Jessie and I decided to leave the girls with my Mom and go on a date, since I felt pretty strongly that it would be our last breastfeeding-infant-free date for some time.

We had dinner at Panera Bread, throughout which my contractions remained strong and steady at every 8 to 10 minutes. They weren't exactly enjoyable, but I don't think any of our fellow diners had any inkling that I was less than 5 hours from delivery. After that we headed to the pier for a walk. I figured, if I might be in labor, I want to give it a good sporting chance. The pier is a great place for walking, its also a great place to measure the size of your bladder. I swear it shrinks two sizes every time I set foot there. Fortunately there are public restrooms galore all along the boardwalk - its a pregnant woman's paradise.

Once we started walking, my contractions quickly intensified and started coming at every 4 minutes or less. Still, the evening was very pleasant, and the contractions hadn't exactly reached an intolerable level in their intensity yet, so we pressed on. Eventually I had to stop for the restroom, and was stuck in there long enough to make Jessie nervous and to catch the latest installment of a riveting teen drama (Kevin, if you're out there, be assured that Kaitlyn will drop J.D. in a heartbeat if you ever actually, like, commit yourself). After that I figured we'd better get back to the car as soon as possible and get on with my labor in a setting more conducive to childbirth.

We reached home base by 10 pm, just in time to kiss the girls goodnight. I tried lying down to see if my contractions let up, but they were coming at every 2 minutes at that point, no matter what I did. Even though I always feel guilty calling the midwives if I'm not having contractions of the white knuckle variety, I realized that contractions of that frequency should not be discounted, no matter what they feel like, so we called the midwives. Barb, who lives closest, arrived at 11:15pm and took my stats and helped Jessie get the birth tub warmed up. Patrice and Amanda had both arrived by 11:45. I was still having unpleasant contractions every two minutes or less, but I came out of our bedroom to greet Patrice and Amanda and stopped to check my email on the way back to our bedroom (Patrice later told me that she thought to herself at that point that maybe I had called too early since I was obviously in no great distress and she couldn't even tell I was having contractions). I then retreated to the bathroom and decided to go through transition right there on the toilet.

No sooner had I sat down, than my contractions turned the corner and I yelled through the next five or so (apparently not very loudly, because the midwives still had no idea that I was in transition already). It seems that no matter how laid back the rest of your labor is, transition will always hit you like a train and entirely overwhelm you. I suddenly realized that the sensation I was feeling was a definite need to push.

Jessie ran out and summoned in the midwives. I had just enough time to climb into the tub and get in my favorite "pushing pose" (on my knees with my arms and chin on the edge of the tub in front of me) before I started pushing with my next contraction. I asked Patrice, rather stupidly, "do you think you should check me? I haven't been in labor long enough to be pushing yet." She just laughed at me and told me she could already feel the head. I then realized my mom wasn't in the room, so Amanda went out and had to wake her up to bring her into the birth room. You can hardly blame my mom for thinking she had the luxury to fall asleep, since the last labor of mine that she attended was 3 days long. Once I really got started pushing, everything progressed very quickly. Two pushes was all it took to birth the head, then I had to wait for another contraction before I had my baby in my arms.

I held her to my chest and she was covered with a towel immediately, before we even knew she was a she. She didn't cry at all, but had good color and was moving. We had a couple precious minutes of snuggling and looking at her before we decided to peek and find out what we would be naming this baby. I was immediately struck by how small she was. I expected this to be my biggest baby since Eliza had been bigger than Theia. I was sure baby #3 would weigh at least 8 pounds. Ingrid weighed a whole pound less than Eliza at 6# 13oz. I still can't believe how tiny she is.

Jessie was exuberant that I managed to deliver on my due date; just barely at 12:07 am! That put to rest all the skepticism of his co-workers over our presumptuous vacation plans. He very much enjoyed sending out the announcement email to his office!

We are so thrilled to be the parents of THREE beautiful girls! I am sure we would have been equally thrilled with a boy, but having all girls really gives one such an air of distinction, I think :). I am so glad that Jessie doesn't have any machismo "need" to have a son to feel complete. He is perfectly happy to be a Daddy to little girls, and he is so good at it! He already went out by himself and bought Ingrid her first outfit. That is a tradition of his; he did it with Theia and Eliza as well.
She is so very Lovable
First Smiles

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sacred Sunday

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in
God my Savior.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear
Him from generation to generation."
Luke 1:46b, 47, 49-50

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ingrid Ralene

Ingrid Ralene was born at 12:07 this morning after only 4 hours of active labor. I will tell more about the birth later, but I can say that I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The intense, difficult part lasted less than an hour, and during that time I knew that the end was very near at hand - which makes it so much easier! Ingrid is our smallest little girl to date, 6 lbs, 13 oz, 18 and 3/4 in long. I never imagined I'd have a baby smaller than 8 lbs, let alone 7 lbs, seeing as I weighed almost 10 lbs at birth!
Ingrid and Grandma O.

I will be changing the name of this blog soon

I am considering "Jessie's Girls", or "One Little, Two Little, Three Little Girlies".

Friday, August 22, 2008

This is probably it!

This is Holly's husband; Although we took the girls to the beach again and have made several trips to the store Holly has been having contractions pretty much all day. We just got back from a lovely walk on the pier and Holly is lying down. Her contractions were about 2 - 4 minutes apart while we were walking and are now about 2 minutes apart. The birth tub is filling, the parents have been notified, and the midwives are on their way. The first midwife should arrive in about 20 minutes or so. Please pray that the delivery goes smoothly and that the baby will be a healthy one, just like the other two. I am so proud of Holly. ~Baby Daddy

Eliza Gets a Little Excited

Tantalizing Name Game

Since we have always tried unsuccessfully to keep our baby name choices secret in the past, we are especially proud of ourselves that nobody has even an inkling as to what our name choices are this time around. We ourselves did not know our boy name until just last night, for the simple reason that we had not chosen one. But now, they are more or less set in stone, unless the baby arrives looking entirely unlike a [insert boy name here], or a [insert girl name here]. We will however throw some hints out there and see if anyone gets close. Girl Name: More likely to be heard in Western Europe than in America, Reminiscent of a certain movie starlet. Middle Name: Has literary origins, rhymes with the name of a certain ruminant. Boy Name: Also has a European ring to it, character in a children's movie. Middle Name: Napoleon Bonaparte may have uttered this name frequently, more likely to be found in a dictionary than a baby name book. Happy guessing! No, you will not be rewarded with a confirmation if you guess correctly:)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ahoy there, Mateys!

We've been working hard at walking this baby out every day. And, I can report that we seem to be on track, judging from the symptoms I've been having. But, I make no promises :). Jessie's co-workers think we are crazy for taking a vacation to have a baby, as if we can predict its arriving during the allotted time. So, Jessie is very motivated (not that being motivated makes a modicum of difference) to have me deliver as close to my due date as possible. Thus far though, I've been Old Reliable. Theia was born the day before her due date, and Eliza the day after. And I'm experiencing the same symptoms that I did several days before both of their births. Still, I really have no expectations and I'm happy to hang out for a while like this because we are really having so much fun with our girls. And now my Mom and three brothers are here. They arrived late last night. Theia was so excited to see them when she woke up this morning.
The Girls in the "Boat" at Mulligan's Hollow

Theia discovered Hanging

Just Another Beautiful Sunset on the Pier Theia asks to see the boats every day, several times a day. We love this Pier