Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Week 24 Thank You

We are in day 3 of week 24. Time is just flying by! It seems like every day I read of someone new who follows this blog, and have been getting words of encouragement right and left. For those of you who do read- thank you! It motivates me to write! And for those of you who do comment, thank you also. I've been having problems commenting on other blogs for some reason. It doesn't accept my login information. Maybe someday I will solve this mystery...I'll keep trying for sure. Sam and Jennifer, I agree with you that staying home with our son will be such a blessing and we will see God work. The only doubt I have is in myself, and my ability (or lack thereof) to always have a cheery, 100% trusting, positive outlook. Conquering myself will prob. be the greatest struggle. I also have to trust that the photography business will grow. I have 2 potential weddings on the line for the 2008 season. I covet your prayers for this-- please, please, please pray that God will show me favor and I'll land them both! I'm so excited for photography to pick up because I love to do it, and it would work out beautifully with Keith's work schedule and taking care of the baby! I should know about one of them by next week.

As far as news on the pregnancy, I think everything is just fine! The aches and pains have begun...the unexplained backache, the sciatic nerve pain, hip pain, rib pain (this one is new)...I feel like there is something sitting under my ribcage on the right, and if I slouch, it gets really irritating. Not only does my posture have to be perfect...it has to be exaggerated in order to avoid this feeling. Ick. I've also been having pains in my abdomen on the right side so the doctor ordered an ultrasound on my gallbladder, as often times pregnancy induces gallbladder problems. I went for it yesterday and should find out the results in 3 days. I'm praying everything is alright, and these pains are just associated with growing/stretching. The little one is still very active, so even if there are gallbladder issues, they aren't affecting him. :) And that's the best scenario I could wish for!

Then there's the weight gain. Yeah let's not talk about that. :)

I'm on the tail end of conquering the Baby Registry. Woooooah it's a lot! It's hard as a first time mom to know what to put on there and what not to...what products/brands to invest in and what not to. I had started my registry at 88 items. Then I went back w/ my neighbors, who informed me that even if you don't receive items on your registry for your shower, you still obtain a 10 percent discount after. So those things that I was in limbo about getting, I put on there, just for discount sake, but now my registry is up to 125 items!!! :/ I'm really debating on whether or not to take things off just for the sake of making it less overwhelming for my poor family and friends, and minimizing the pressure....and not to look like a greedy prude. What to do... what to do...

In other news, Keith painted the nursery this weekend! It looks so good so far!! The bottom half of the room is navy blue (though slightly muted and not deep) and the top part is brown. It will have white chair rail soon, but we have only got as far as purchasing it. Also we picked out our furniture this weekend...now we just have to order it! Slowly, things are falling into place. I figure within two weeks we will have it ordered. I'm so excited! It's been hard not to be able to help Keith with the work, but he seems to be enjoying it! He loves doing that kind of stuff, and thankfully, he's great at it! I will post pictures once the junk is cleared out and the trim is hung. It's definitely looking very nautical! :)

I have a friend who is willing to take pictures for week 24, and hopefully I won't look angry or overtly rotund in these :). worse comes to worse I could just crop my face out haha!

As always, more to come!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Story of God's Promises

Ok, now I have to tell you a story. Obviously I've been overwhelmed with the work decisions, so I've been praying about it a lot. I wasn't praying about what would be "right or wrong" to do, I was praying about whether or not God expected me to trust Him to provide, or if He expected me to take on the responsibility of working. If He expected me to trust Him, then I wouldn't work. But if He expected me to be responsible, I'd have to work. And Not knowing if things would work out if I didn't work is what was bogging me down and keeping me from making that decision, even though Keith and I have always wanted me to stay home with our kids.

So anyway, lately while I have been praying I was getting anxious about how I would recognize the answer. It's a huge decision to make, which would impact our son's childhood, and my husband's workload, so I wanted something concrete and unmistakable, as an answer. On Sunday, at church, the pastor talked about Abraham. He told the story of how God promised to give Abraham children through his wife sarah, and they would turn into numerous descendants. Abraham thought this was great news, obviously, but then he turned around and took matters into his own hands, and slept with the maidservant to bear a son through her, despite God's promise. Later, he had a son with Sarah (so God's promise was true). He didn't need to sleep with the maidservant at all. He could've just trusted God. The story made an impression on me but I was reluctant to take it as an "answer" because when I'm waiting for answers, I tend to look for them harder.

THEN on Monday while I was driving in, I turn on 560 AM to hear a sermon on the way in to work, and the pastor is talking about who? Abraham. This time, though, the story was about how God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on the alter. He took Isaac, because he trusted God would raise him from the dead. When Isaac said "father, we have the wood, the fire, but no sacrifice", Abraham said "God will provide one". At the last minute before Abraham killed Isaac (he was about to), God told him to stop, because He was satisfied with his display of trust in Him.

Both of the messages (sunday's and monday's) had the underlying theme of trusting God's promises, and trusting His provision. After hearing the second message, I began to wonder if the messages were supposed to be my answer. This may sound foolish, but whenever God speaks to me through sermons, or through the Bible, it always comes in threes. I was thinking that He was def. speaking to me this time, but wanted to wait for the third occurance.

Meanwhile, i met with Michelle (my immediate supervisor) yesterday. In our meeting, she tells me that Karen (both our supervisors) is willing to work with me for part time work, but working from home is not an option, as she initially told me. Which means Karen changed her mind. No surprise there. I told Michelle right then an there "then there's no way I can come back to work". We do not want to put our son into daycare, and we do not want to burden family with looking after him, so if I worked, the only option for working was from home. Basically, my decision was made for me! I can't do part time, because my wages would only cover daycare. Which makes the whole thing invalid anyway. I was relieved that God closed the door for me, and made it as plain as day by leaving me with no choice.

Last night I was talking with Keith telling him about the Abraham stories, and then the door being closed for part time from home. I said "I suppose God was speaking this to me all along, but I'm surprised it didn't come in threes as it usually does."

This morning, I came into work to find an email from my friend Erin. She and I have been talking a lot about the work situation, because she was recently facing the same delimmas I face now. In the email, she says "I've been thinking about your situation all day, and when I heard a story this weekend it made me think of you..." and she proceeded to tell me a story about Abraham. :) This time, it was about when Abraham and Lot trusted God's power, and prayed for Him to turn from His plans to destroy sodom and gomorrah if there were any righteous living there. The basis of this story is that of praying even when circumstances are bleak, and trusting God will hear you and answer you. She used the story to make another valid point, but the story itself spoke to me of the importance of prayer, as a part of trusting God.

I was read the email and laughed about the sweetness of God's care for me...to give my heart a third confirmation, just because He wanted to reassure me and guide me. :) He is so faithful! in summary, He told me:
  1. I don't need to take matters into my own hands. He made a promise to provide, and He will do so in His timing.
  2. Even when circumstances look impossible, Keith and I need to have Faith in God and His powerful provision that He demonstrated to Abraham through Isaac.
  3. It NEVER, EVER hurts to pray-- God hears the cries of His children. When circumstances look bleak, it's important to have faith, but also to pray.

That's the story about God's faithfulness to hear our prayers, and to answer us. I hope it encourages you too, to know that you are precious enough to Him that He will reach into your life and show Himself to you if you seek Him. We are so thankful for His promises, and for the provision that He has already begun to display.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Snoogle and 21 week pic

Oh my goodness- Wednesday night was entirely sleepless due to hip pain! Called out of work thursday, napped hard core, bought the snoogle (body pillow sold at babies r us) and slept wonderfully Thurs night!!! I would HIGHLY recommend it! It doesn't take up as much space as I thought it would either!

As a side note to all this snooglicious news, I made a stop in the baby boy clothes section last night while I was there. I had always stopped at the girls (how can you NOT?) but never the boys, and I was surprised by how cute some of the stuff was! I would look at an outfit, and just giggle like an idiot...then I would realize that I was laughing and look around to see if anyone heard me. They had some adorable stuff...a western themed outfit that had little booties that looked like cowboy boots, little fatigue-print sweatpants and matching shirts...a little like men's clothes, just in miniature. It's like playing dolls! I had an armfull of stuff to buy but then put it away, realizing I should wait until post-shower to begin stocking up on what we may need. I then headed over to the bedding section to see the little sailboat print again....laughed out loud again at just how cute it is...then pondered over strollers. I have....NO CLUE....what stroller to pick. I think getting one you can stick the carseat into for the first few months would be practical, but then I didn't know which one went with the carseat that I chose. Ever since the accident, the carseat has been an area of focus for me. Rachel researched them and found out that the Graco Snugride had the highest safety ratings, so that's what we're def. going to go w/. All that to say that I'll get the matching stroller but don't know which one that is. :) I'll have to take Keith back on Saturday, both to help w/ the stroler delimma and to walk through the baby boy clothes and laugh with me. He's never been.

Keith went fishing with his uncle and my dad today, and left for the shore last night, so I had to sleep alone. Up side: plenty of room for my snoogle experimentation stage. Down side: I HATE sleeping alone- I'm used to having him there, and all the little house noises seem louder when he's not. After watching--and crying through-- an episode of Law & Order, my Shelti, Zeke, followed me upstairs and perched himself right by my side of the bed. He must've known I was apprehensive, because he usually vacates to the nearest vent and plops on top of it, so as to be the first recipient (blocker, really) of all the cold air. I was surprised to find that he stayed there by my side all night! After I got settled in the tangled snoogle mess, the baby and I played our first game of "kick for the winning name". I was giving pretty generous pauses after calling him by each name, and he consistently kicked for the second. Did not kick for the first. I do wonder whether that means he liked or disliked it. :) We will get there, and soon you will have a name, peanut.

Well, that's all for today! Back to work! I'd better enjoy it while I can!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Name Game

Today brings us to 21 weeks and 6 days! Keith and I are playing the name game now. We have three names that we both like, but also have reservations about for particular reasons. The meaning of the name is what's important to me, and unfortunately one of my favorite names has a so-so meaning. I truly believe that you live up to your name-- some more than others. I wish this decision was easier to make, but it's just so final! I thought for sure, with the amount of time I've been thinking about it, we would agree on one within the week! So I'm starting to pray that God will tell us what He wants the name to be. Worse comes to worse, we just have to have three boys to use them all up! :) Then, unfortunately, there would be the delimma of which one to use first haha!
We are getting ready to do the nursery! We have paint colors picked out, and Keith will be putting up chair rail! I wish I could actually be a part of the painting, first because I love it, but second because it would give me somewhere to funnel my excitement! Unfortunately they say it's bad, so I will have to busy myself some other way...like by making a magnificently delicious, brand-new-recipe meal for Keith and Mom (my volunteer painters, bless their hearts). The plan is to paint the nursery, then buy the furniture so we have somewhere to put it (yes, it's picked out), then buy the window treatments (prob. wooden blinds or something), then wait to see if we receive bedding, and if not, go get it. :) It's such a fun process!

As for the little guy, he's as active as ever!! He moves a lot!! It's usually during the day that he moves around the most, thank heavens! He takes about 10 minutes to get settled at night and then we'r'e good. Ironically, one of the names we like means "repose/ peaceful"...which seems to be contrary to what I'm experiencing now haha! The other day I took a mild-temperature bath (you're not supposed to make it hot while pregnant) and he went nuts! I dont know if being submerged changes sensations or pressure for him or if things sound different or what, but he was kicking up a storm! It's to the point now where I can watch my belly moving when he kicks. When I got out of the bathtub he started to calm down. If I feel this much movement now, at 22 weeks, how on earth will it feel later!? Maybe when he starts to run out of room it will change.

As far as how I'm feeling, things are still on the up-and-up! I'm feeling pretty good. I'm starting to get back the intense fatigue that hits me midday. On the weekend when I have the freedom to nap it isn't too bad. During the week when I'm at work it's torture! It's worse than any 'after lunch slump' I've ever had, that's for sure. I've heard that from here it only gets worse though.

My nights are a tad bit more restless-- I've been having to change sides frequently because my hips hurt-- so I've been trying to keep myself awake until at least 9:00 PM, hoping I will sleep well once I get there. I think it might be time to invest in a body pillow too; my tummy is starting to feel heavy and unsupported. Keith informed me that he heard of a 'special pillow for pregnant women' on the radio, and he intends to find out what it is. :) So cute. I wonder if he knows that this pillow will invade his space in big ways for the next 4 months!

I've been trying to walk on a daily basis...I dont think it will keep my weight down, by any means, but I'm sure the increased circulation is good for the baby/digestion/sleeping. Yesterday my "walk" was to conquer the grocery store, finally, so that I could get some fresh veggies in my fridge. I was hoping to be able to come home and cut up all my produce, but by the time I got there, unpacked groceries, and cooked dinner, I was absolutely beat. Anyway, back to walking...If I dont go during the day I try to go at night with Keith. I love walking around our neighborhood in the evenings! They're starting to get a bit cooler now, and the sound of the bugs in the trees is so calming. :) The tail end of summer is so bittersweet!

I have to remember to get Keith to take a pregnancy picture tonight. I keep forgetting but I want to make myself do it because I know if I don't I'll regret it later. Fortunately instead of being 3 weeks overdue I'll only be two, with the miscalculation.

Workwise things are well, too. Still kicking around multiple ideas...trying to determine what would be best for our family. Though I really don't want to do it, the option of working part time for THP lingers in the back of my mind...then I scold myself because I'm trying to have faith that at that point I should be getting more business for photography work. I know that God gave me these gifts and talents, and that since I'm trying to put them to use He will honor them. I just have to trust Him to provide. That is so much harder to do when the security of your family is on the line. If anyone reading this has a blog, and you wouldn't mind posting my url on your site to start to have it recognized by search engines, that would be MUCH appreciated!:
http://www.collierimages.com/ .

That's about all I can think of for now...I'll keep the updates coming!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Our Count Was Off!

Baby Collier is a boy!!! The 'equipment' was the first thing we saw when the technician put the wand on my tummy. It looked like he was sitting right on the camera. :) Keith was beaming the whole time, and would let out a little giggle every now and then. When I asked him why he was laughing he would say "I'm just looking at my son!". We called dad while I was still on the ultrasound table to tell him, and he's thrilled! He said "guess we get to go out and buy some boat shoes!" We called mom in Canada and she didn't seem surprised-- said she knew it was a boy but didn't want to say it incase she was wrong.

The technician measured and everything looked like it was progressing just great, only our count was off! I thought I was 21 weeks and 3 days, but I'm actually 20 weeks and 6 days, according to the measurements! She said the due date will stay the same, b/c they only change it if it's more than 4 days. I'm hoping that he will actually come a week earlier than predicted!

We're so thankful and excited for our little boy! Sailboats here we come!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

The 20th Week

I was tempted not to post today. Today is the end of the 20th week. Already! But there's nothing that's new that's going on. It's all pretty much the same. I still feel great; my belly's just getting bigger. I can feel the little peanut wiggling around a lot more often, and it's easier to feel him/her kicking from the outside. Keith felt it last week once or twice. :) it's neat! The more I feel it, the more it sinks in that we're going to be parents! He/she likes to kick at night when I'm settling in for bed. Hope that routine doesn't carry on after birth!! It's strange that I can feel how the baby has grown, too, from it's kicking-- today I felt a quick bump bump in there, but one bump was at one side of my stomach, and the other bump was way over on the other side! The little peanut is growing at an amazing rate!

We're going camping in Canada to visit mom's family this weekend. It should definitely be an interesting experience! The one time I slept in a tent, there was a huge thunderstorm, and I thought I was going to die. :) Hopefully this time around is more pleasant. It will be good to see everyone though-- I'm looking forward to that! I'll prob. take some pictures while camping, to display the 20 week belly.

Hopefully next week (on Wednesday) I'll be able to post whether we're expecting a boy or girl! I'm praying that it's easy to tell the sex right away, and that the 'guess' is accurate to what it is. I hope the baby cooperates! I'll be back Wednesday!