Monday, December 27, 2010


How do the girls feel about their new baby brother?



and excited.

These pictures are over two weeks old. Sorry they are so late in coming. Emeth is just over 3 weeks now, and he's definitely looking plumper, older, and clearer than he did when these were taken.

Life is BUSY. But that's partly because we got home with barely enough time to scrape Christmas preparations together for our family. Its definitely been a happy busy. Once December is over, I guess we'll find out what life with four is really like.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Emeth's Birth according to Clay

I promise I am working on the actual detailed account of Emeth's birth from my perspective. I had the chance to do some writing during our 3 day trip home while I wasn't engaged in backseat conflict resolution. But until I finish it, enjoy this account from the perspective of my 7 yr. old nephew, Clayton. Its a much better (and briefer) read, I assure you. Click image to enlarge.

Disclaimer: Although I make my fair share of noise during labor, and especially while pushing - with no apologies, everyone who was present agrees that at no point did any of those noises deserve to be labelled as "screeching". Thanks, Clay.

Monday, December 13, 2010

40 weeks

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the couch at my parent's house when I was startled by the alarm on my phone ringing loudly. I looked down at the screen to see this message: "My Due Date". I had entered a countdown calendar event in my phone several months ago so I could check on any given day to see how many days exactly were left in my pregnancy. Then I promptly forgot about it. I glanced over at Emeth and felt grateful to be carrying a six day old baby in my arms instead of a full-term baby in my belly! The view from here is much nicer after all:

I had wondered to myself four weeks ago, in my 36 weeks post, if I would make it to 40 weeks this time. I felt pretty confident at the time that I would, since I've always been a dependable due date gal in the past. The most important thing, of course, was to make it to 38 weeks plus 6 days, so as to avoid a complete overhaul of our birth plan. Mission accomplished :).
In other news, I feel like I have hit an important milestone in my journey as a boy-momma today. Yes, I was pee'd on in the middle of a diaper change. I have officially arrived.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Emeth's Birth in Pictures

A photo documentary of Emeth's birth will have to do until I can find the time to put the words together for his birth story. No worries for the faint-hearted, there is nothing graphic in here :).

Many thanks to my wonderful birth attendants; to my midwives, Amanda and Jamie, whose knowledgable watchfulness put us at ease throughout the whole evening, to my mom for staying awake the whole time ;), and for giving birth to me at home 28 years ago even though I weighed almost 10 lbs! (I appreciate that fact much more now than I ever did before giving birth myself.), to my sister Rachel for providing the wittiest remarks of the night, to my sister Penny for being our birth photographer, to my sister Robin for opening her home (and my brother-in-law Brian!) to us so we could bring our fourth baby into the world surrounded by our family, and lastly to my 2 month old niece, Rebecca, whose occasional cries caused all the waiters downstairs to think that the birth had already taken place multiple times :).

I can't list Jessie as a birth "attendant", because I think he works just as hard as I do. What an amazing supporter he is! I can't imagine getting through labor and delivery without his enthusiastic and sensitive presence by my side.

Still dressed up right after returning from our abbreviated date

- 2 hours and 40 minutes to go -

Two outfits sit waiting by the bedside

- we don't know yet which one will be used -

A lower back massage is a boon to laboring women

- I must not be in the midst of a contraction, because I'm smiling -

Getting to the point where I cannot go through a contraction without him at my side

- 1 hour and 5 minutes to go -

Time to get in the tub

- 55 minutes to go -

In between contractions

- its crazy how normal you can feel between really intense contractions -

Getting ready for the next one

- these things are requiring more of my concentration now -

Getting a lot sharper

- how much longer do I have to do this? -

Late in labor there is a lot of bad humor going around the bathroom(birthroom?)

- ask Jessie sometime about why a pitchfork is required in calving -

Jessie has climbed in with me to help me deal with my contractions

- 6 minutes to go -

I am pushing with the very next contraction

-3 minutes to go -

My Reward - unquestionably worth it

- Jessie caught Emeth entirely on his own, he was first to see his son -

These moments are some of the most memorable and beautiful of my life

- Now I can say that of all four of them -

Nobody could doubt that this is a boy's face

- 1 minute old -

Resting a minute before moving into the adjoining bedroom

- what a great "babymoon suite" this has been -

It doesn't take Emeth long to find his reward

- he's still nursing like a champ -

No caption required


Cute little wrinkled baby feet

Finally we turn him over to Amanda to do the newborn exam

- everyone is curious to find out how much he weighs -

7 lbs, 15 oz

- my biggest baby, but everyone had guessed over 8lbs -

One of my favorite parts of birth at home, the newborn exam

- always done in my presence, at my baby's pace, and with a gentle hand -

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I know I said I'd try to post yesterday, but I ended up being busier than I reckoned. I had a little piece of work yesterday evening as I helped this little guy make his grand entrance.

Emeth Garrison
joined us at 9:47 pm last night, after about 4 hours of active labor.

That's right. Daddy has a son. He's thrilled as can be :).

I'm pretty crazy about him too.

The girls met him this morning - I'll share more about that later.

Emeth Garrison

Born December 6, 2010
7lbs, 15oz ~ 19 3/4"

Sunday, December 5, 2010


We are here. I am still pregnant. The rest of our trip was uneventful (thankfully!). Michigan is cold - but not snowy; however, Kentucky was. We spent our second night on the road with Josh and Bree and their three girls in Lexington. I love having 6 little girls in the house all together. Lots of high-pitched giggles, playing "mother", and modeling of every princess dress in the dress-up bin. They woke up to several inches of snow in the morning. All the girls were ecstatic.

All except Ingrid, that is. She thought it looked great through the window, but once she was outside in it, her 2 year old little self was freaking out


I am feeling very on track to be holding a baby by the end of this week at the latest - but no promises :).

Hopefully I will have a chance to blog a little more tomorrow. We had a very full day of family today. A very blessed day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 1

...did not go as planned, but nothing a few dollars and a good night's sleep can't fix. The good news is that I'm still pregnant. The spectre of going into labor while we are on the road is one I can't shake, even though I know, from all indications, it is highly unlikely to happen.

We did have a very smooth day of travel, driving with reasonably harmonious children, eating natural trail mix and Utz pretzels, watching a few episodes of Veggie tales, working on my latch hook rag rug, and getting out to walk around and use the facilities every two hours promptly, until around 5pm. It was at that point that I mentioned to Jessie a vaguely unpleasant smell, and he noticed at the same time that we were trailing exhaust behind us. Just like that the van lost power. He pulled off I-75 immediately and popped the hood. He discovered that the serpentine belt he had just replaced yesterday (along with our alternator, at our mechanic's suggestion) had come off. We were blessed that a kind man (who we later learned is a christian, and a father of three himself) pulled over within 2 minutes of our breakdown, and drove Jessie up the road to get a new belt. Jessie had no trouble replacing the belt, but in the process discovered the reason the belt had been knocked off is because our water pump had bit the dust. Rather a frustrating development since we had just had the van in the shop and this problem went undiagnosed. Anyhow, we managed to make it to the next exit, where, providentially, there was a Dodge dealership right off the exit. They are going to replace the pump for us first thing in the morning and send us on our way. Everything else we needed for the night (lodging and dining) was right there across the street from the dealership.

I can't help but count our blessings in the midst of the annoyance though. I know too many people right now who have had incomparably more devastating things happen in recent weeks and days. Our little bumps in the road seem pretty trivial in comparison.

We hope to make up our lost time tomorrow and arrive late evening at Josh and Bree's place in Lexington, KY. Thanks to all of you our friends and family who are praying for our safe travels and for me and the baby specifically.

Here are some pictures we took earlier at one of the rest stops in Georgia, where we took some time to walk around and play with stick and pinecones. Its COLD here, by the way (which agrees with my pregnant thermostat just fine, thankyouverymuch) .

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

various and sundry

Yesterday was a very proud day for me. I actually made something on my sewing machine. I know that's probably not very impressive to many of you, but for me it was a major feat. I have been believing for years that sewing machines are highly advanced pieces of machinery that require someone with an IQ of at least 230 to master them (and mine is only 225. *ahem*). I concluded this must be so, since every time I tried to use mine (which is a cantakerous and inexpensive breed to begin with), my project ended with my bobbin thread being gathered in a malignant mass somewhere inside the bobbin case, and (this is embarrassing) I could never figure out how to get the bobbin back together correctly and carry on (unless my husband was there to do it for me, the project was usually abandoned at this point). However, I have been in nesting mode lately, which means that I've been taking on WAY more projects than anyone in their right mind would ever attempt. So, when I saw an adorable flannel print at JoAnns on black friday, on sale for 1.49/yd. and then saw a remnant of surpassing cuteness and coincidental perfect co-ordination lying nearby, I couldn't pass it up. I simply had to buy them and take a stab at it. And so I made my first official, finished sewing project. A receiving blanket. I know, I'm almost 30 and I'm proud of myself for successfully sewing four straight seams. If I were born 100 years ago I would be hanging my head in shame.

But isn't it cute?

I'm also very proud of that vintage highchair its sitting on. We snagged that at an estate sale for $5. Eliza has had many fewer spills since she is sitting on a highchair again. Mealtimes had become painful occasions around here because of her tendency to squirm and slide and sit in every way possible to maximize her chances of spilling food somewhere between the edge of the table and her mouth. And 5 dollars! And its cute!

Another estate sale find. Old piano bench. Also $5. Pretty nasty old upholstery.

We painted it white, shabbied it up a bit, and re-upholstered and padded the seat. We have a chair purchased at the same estate sale that we are going to paint and upholster to match it.

We have other things going on too, but they aren't finished yet, so I won't mention them. Lets just say buying cheap furniture (or other decorative items) to refinish is becoming a very bad habit around here.

Did I mention I've been in nesting mode?

In other news,

We had this delicious baked pumpkin french toast for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, from one of my favorite blogs, MADE. Its a great place to visit if you ever want to be made to feel entirely inadequate in your domestic abilities. I also made the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies she featured, twice. And I don't bake; well, hardly ever. Something about pumpkin inspires me.

We put up our Christmas tree

Ingrid is still adorable

And the pink hibiscus in the backyard is beautiful.

Finally, we are planning to leave for Michigan on Thursday morning. We are anxious to get this babymoon started, and especially to be safely through the driving part of it. This will be the third time we have traveled to have a baby, but the other two times only involved a 3 hour drive. We plan on stopping for the night twice (the second time with Jessie's brother's family in Kentucky), and getting out and walking around at least every two hours. I am still feeling uncommonly well for 38+ weeks pregnant, although I definitely reach the point of exhaustion pretty quickly lately.

I really enjoyed sitting down and making the blanket for our baby. I felt a closeness and an anticipation that I've never felt quite as strongly before. The baby was being quite active while I worked, and it just gave me the warm fuzzies to be actually making something especially for it. I daydreamed the whole time about welcoming our little one and wrapping it up in the cozy fabric I was working with. I can't wait to meet this sweet child!