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Monday, July 29, 2013

Counting Down to Baby

Today marks 38 weeks + 3 days!  I have a feeling that Peanut shall be joining us sooner than later, but I know that Salli & Sara are hoping that baby holds out until at least after the baby shower they're planning for Saturday!  I hope so too, but I had a few contractions early this morning that kept James and I paranoid after I woke up a couple of times.  But it wasn't time yet, so we're just making sure we're ready.

We've gone down the list of home birth supplies, and have a posted checklist of James' stuff to prep the day I go into labor.  Since the baby shower isn't until Saturday, we don't really have a lot of things to set up, aside from the few things we saved from Miles' nursery days.  I've been wanting to 'nest' for the last few weeks, but the baby will be staying in our room until we find a place of our own, so there's actually not too much to do!  I've already washed and set up the blankets and clothes in drawers, as well as put together a changing area.  

On my list:
  • James - move out night stand to make room for bassinet/sling
  • Miles - create a painting to hang on the wall
  • Get a Big Brother present for Bubbas
That's pretty much it!  I'm taking it easy, and declared (with a big smile on my face) that I will no longer be sweeping the floor!  James is a champ, and has been taking on household responsibilities as I've been growing more and more preggo.  He's always helped with stuff like that anyway, so it wasn't a huge transition for us.  I think it's just harder on me, going between feeling like I should be doing more and then feeling exhausted after trying to do one normal chore!

We're trying to take extra time with Miles as his reign as only child is coming to an end... and his role as big brother will soon ensue!  He is so funny with my belly, he'll gently pat or rub it, or lay his head down on me and say, in a super-high-pitched voice, "Aww, da babeee!  Da baby is coming soon."  He'll sing songs and tell stories to Peanut, too.  I can't wait to see him with Baby.

On a walk to the convenience 
store down the street 
(I love my preggo belly in the top right)

My purchase:  Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Bar
Good Humor, of course!

Bubbas in his bubble bath

Miles found his froggy mask from the aquarium

Well, it's time for a nap!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Birthday and Vacation

Well, I'm 31 years old now.  And to help me celebrate, Patricia came out to visit.  We were so excited to see each other for a few days that we forgot to take pictures!  It was really nice to have a great friend here to party with me, Georgia-style.  I picked her up from ATL, and we headed to the Highland Bakery and Cafe in Atlanta.  It was delicious!  Then we browsed some shops in the Little Five Points part of town, but most of them were just overpriced vintage stores that grab things off of Goodwill's rack and then mark up the prices without cleaning anything!  Still, it was great to look around and feel 90s nostalgia, since that's what occupies a lot of 'vintage' shop racks.

After that, we went to Macy's in the mall to pick up a few maternity items, and headed home.  We mostly hung out around the house, and relaxed, staying in from the humidity and heat.  We went out to eat, and played blocks with Miles.  On my actual birthday, James presented me with some lovely luggage!  I'm more prepared than ever for more adventure!

My beautiful luggage from JB!

My stowaway...

For dinner that night, we went to a restaurant in Fayetteville that has a lovely menu, and a section with authentic German fare.  My favorite part was getting free dessert because our order didn't go through properly!  The cannoli was amazing...  The next night, we ate Mediterranean food that Patricia prepared from scratch - so healthy, and so delicious!  I loved the Israeli salad with cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and feta.  Oh, and the hummus was perfect - all of the garlic and onions made it spicy and flavorful!!

The feast!

We said our goodbyes on Friday, and finally took a picture together...


Other Updates:
Most everyone on FB has seen this one...

On our way to Destin, FL with the fam

White, sugary sand at the Gulf coast

It's perfect for building sand castles!

I really liked floating in the pool and making iced coffee

Miles loved his Hulk toy from Ammy

Sleepy night-night boy.

On our date night at Sushimoto - fabulous!

JB at the Butterfly House in Navarre, FL

I took these!

Lunch at Whattabuger - 
Reminded me of a SoCal flat burger.  Yum!

The Florida coastline

Feeding gators at Fudpucker's

Miles and Olivia with a shark

Bubbas and the goyulls (girls)
plus one large gator

"Momma, lemme see that phone."

Miles loved the ocean - if I had let him, he probably would've kept running into it and become a fish!  That boy has no fear.  I was having a hard time keeping up with him because of my preggo belly, but with everyone helping, it was great.  He did really well on the drive out there and back - which totaled six hours each way with a one hour time change!  I feel so blessed to have a kiddo who has come so far - I remember when he was just a few months old, and driving from Riverside to L.A. was a nightmare! Of course, it helps that his Ammy and GrandDave have a DVD player in their minivan.  :)

Here are some more fun facts about Miles that you might like to know:
  • He will do just about anything to make you laugh
  • He's learned how to properly use the word "too" as in:
    • "Oh, Miles will sit down, too," or
    • "I like that one, too!"
  • His new favorite lullaby is The Enchanted Tiki Room song - I don't find it soothing, but he's constantly requesting it... that or "It's a Small World After All"
  • He also loves Darius Rucker's "Wagon Wheel" and wants it to be on the radio when we're in the car
    • "More?  'Mama Wock Me' on da wadio?"
  • When I told him to make up a song about peanut butter, he was inspired by the Beatles,
    • "Yeah, yeah, peanut butter/ yeah, yeah, peanut butter!"
  • It's really fun to have conversations with him.  He mostly repeats what you say, but if you ask him about something he did that day, he can tell you all about it!
  • He LOVES robots.  There's this show from the 90s on HBO called "Crashbox" and it's just little riddles and stop-motion animation, but the in-between guys are robots, so he wants to watch it every chance he gets!
  • He used his potty today!
I can't believe how big this boy is getting, and I've heard that with the second baby being born, your first seems to grow up in an instant by comparison.  But he already seems so grown up.  Kids are geniuses - and Miles is no exception.  I mean, think about all they have to process and learn from ages zero to five!  I'll bet he's using more of his brain than I have in my entire adult life!  I love observing him when he's figuring something out, or when I realize he can combine complex ideas and express himself accordingly.  I love being his Momma.  I am so blessed!

Oh, and Peanut is estimated to be here in around SEVENTEEN DAYS!  AAAHHHH!!!!!

Planning for Peanut

Home sweet home birth...

That's right, we are planning to birth Peanut at home. I told you country living is wild! Really though, this is just how God planned it all along. It's funny (not funny 'ha ha...' more like funny - dumb) moving from a state that provides health care without question, to a state where you have to wait 10 business days for a program called "Right from the Start Medicaid," and I still haven't received any notification of any free medical care...

It's just different here, is all. And in all honesty, I don't feel right signing up for Medicaid when God provided us money from the sale of our home. So we were presented with the idea of planning a home birth with a midwife - and not just any midwife, mind you, but a good friend of James' mom, and she also 'caught' the pastor's baby at the church we've been visiting! It was really great to talk to his wife, and get her take on what a home birth is like, and I have to say, I'm really excited about all of this!

Sure, I had it in my head that the state would just take care of me, and take care of baby as well, but thinking back to the birth-prep class we took before Miles was born, what I really wanted back then was a more natural labor and delivery than what RCH could possibly provide. This time, I get to move around as I please, wear what I want, and sleep in my own bed with my hubs and new baby! I won't have to pack a bag, and I'll get to eat good food!

At first, our decision was fueled by the fact that Medicaid didn't come through, and that even though I obviously qualify, I really wanted to attend my prenatal appointments and well-mama checkups. However, the overall cost of an OB and hospital care is way more than having Tanya (our midwife) do all of the prenatal, labor & delivery, and postnatal stuff!

I think what has really helped us to feel great about the decision is the huge amount of encouragement we've received from friends and family! Salli has been wonderful, and is excited for her friend to deliver the newest grandbaby... The moms I met at church that had Tanya deliver their babies were excited and told me to go for it! And having Sam's experience last year as a reference really helped. I love that my best friend planned her home birth as a first time Mom, and that she was so open to share anything and everything about it with me! I knew I wanted to have a medication-free delivery this time, but I had no idea that this is how it was going to pan out.

We've got the birth kit scheduled to arrive today via UPS, and we pretty much finished shopping for all of the other supplies. I guess I figure I'm in really great company. It doesn't say in the Biblical text, but it sure seemed like Mary and Joseph didn't plan to have Jesus in a stable - and I'm sure she wasn't exactly comfortable riding a donkey while she was in labor! - but God provided everything they needed. I can confidently say that God is providing more than we need right now, and that with this child will come even more provision. And most of all, His presence is carrying me, as I am carrying this baby.

*  *  *  *  *
Some Updates

  • I'll be 38 weeks this Friday, so it is literally any day now. In fact, Miles came on the 38 week mark!
  • Peanut loves to kick me in the ribs where Miles used to do pull-ups
  • No cravings that are different than my usual comfort foods:
    • ice cream
    • nachos - with lots of jalapeƱos 
    • veggies and hummus
    • cinnamon toast (and a tall glass of milk)
  • I've been experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions a lot - the ones that come in the weeks prior to labor. I don't mind them because
    1. They don't hurt
    2. I know they are not labor contractions, and
    3. I know they are making my muscles stronger
  • We're trying to figure out how to rearrange our bedroom for Peanut to join us, as the third room upstairs has music equipment and our boxes in there. I mean, newborns don't take up that much space, but I'm definitely in nesting mode.

I have a photo-update to come very soon, and lots of fun Miles stories to post!!  It's just a matter of uploading the pictures from my phone to my blog.  The application seems to have to think for a long time!  Until then, we appreciate your prayers (as always).

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Country is Wild


I know it's been ages since I've posted, and dear friends that has been much harder on me than it has been on you.  JB and I have had a really hard time figuring out the internet situation, and the long and short of it is:  the best deal would've taken too long, therefore we switched cell providers and got iPhones.

It's so funny because James and I were those people who were so proud of our dumb phones, but this actually made a lot of sense.  And now, I have the means to stay connected and take pictures all with one handy device!

*  *  *  *

So updates:
God has taken the Browns and led them into the wilderness.  I mean, coming from being walking distance to Riverside Plaza with both Vons & Trader Joe's and a myriad of eateries to choose from...  to having to pack everyone up and drive 8 minutes to get to the Walmart - where we do our grocery, home, and convenience shopping - is akin to manna from Heaven and water from a rock.  It doesn't get more country than, "I'll fix you some Sunbeam bread, but we're out of butter unless you want to run to the Walmart."  And let me tell you, country living is wild.

God is definitely providing.  I'll admit, I've made the 12 mile drive to the nearest Target, just to get a sense of my old normal, and having limited options of food and outings has caused all three of us to make adjustments.  But there is a closeness to the Lord that always happens when He allows your comforts to be stripped away.  James and I were laughing while we were praying the other day when he confessed, "God, there's something silly about the fact that not having internet has brought us to our knees before You..." But that's where we were!

Let's see... I wanted to address some of the common questions I got.

• Baby Peanut and I are doing well - 34 weeks now!
• Miles is having a blast and has adjusted to his big boy bed really well!
• Miles' cousins fight over who gets to hold him and play with him all the time - and he calls them "the goyulls"
• Yes, it's humid, but it's not as bad as I thought it would be - esp. with the luxury of Pop's A/C!!
• Things move much more slowly here, which has been good for me
• Southern Baptist church services are as awesome as I thought they would be
• On an unrelated note to the previous statement, we may have found a great home church to plug into :)

Miles cracking himself up with his bowler hat

"Play games?"
It's cardboard.

Dada's shoes: still a ways to go...

That's all for now, but defs more to come soon.