Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A day of lasts...

It is the last day of August.

The last day we will be a family of four.

Her last day as the baby.

My last day of pregnancy...ever.

I spent the day doing fun things with the girls. We went to the pool as you can tell, and we went to get cupcakes at Gigi's Cupcakes. If you have never been there. Please go. Right now. Stop reading this blog and go get a cupcake for the love of all that is sweet and sugary and fattening! Anyway, I had JM take this picture at the end of the day just so I could have a record of my very last day of pregnancy ever, and I wondered if it would make me sad. Looking at though, it makes me very happy. I am glad that I will never have to see my belly that huge again (hopefully) and not have to see the "pregnancy mask" on my face that leaves a big dark line across my lips and cheeks making my face look like a villain from an old silent movie. If you saw that picture and got scared that I would tie you to railroad tracks, I don't blame you. Hopefully, that will go away after I have this baby. If not, I will be calling my friend Dawn who sells some miracle beauty products for Aloette and begging for something!

Again, a day of lasts, but a great day none the less. Spending a day with Lu and Mae for the sole purpose of having fun was exactly what I needed before having this next precious daughter. They reminded me how much fun having little girls really is and how much I enjoy being a mother. This day also made me so unbelievably thankful to Jesus for allowing me to have a job where I get to serve Him and have my kids right alongside me the whole time. I feel very blessed that I get to spend so much time with them while they are so little because every day I watch them grow and learn and become less and less dependent on me. This day made me treasure every giggle, mispronounced word, funny grammatical error, and even every little tear. I love these girls and every minute I get to spend with them, and I am excited to add one more to the mix, because after today, I know she can only make it better. Anyway, here are some more pictures of our day...if you were on the fence about going to Gigi's before...this will help.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Let's Play a Game

Well, in 2 days I will be having a repeat c section to bring the third and final George baby into the world. Here she is at 16 weeks. Isn't she cute in a gray, blurry, awkwardly folded up sort of way?

I thought it would be fun to play a little guessing game about the baby's weight (since we already know the gender). I will give you some facts and if you guess the baby's weight exactly right then I will send you a little prize! :) So here are the stats:

I was 8 lbs 12 oz when I was born.

JM was 9 lbs 10 oz.

Lucy was 7 lbs 10 oz born at 38 weeks (that is 2 weeks early)

Mattie was 6 lbs 6 oz born at 37 weeks (that is 3 weeks early)

I will be 39 weeks when Mia is born, and have gained 25 lbs during this pregnancy.

Although my secret wish is that I will give birth to a 25 lb baby (hey, I am having a c section, so what does it matter, right?) I know that is not the case.

Here are the rules:

You have until Wed. morning to reply, and if more than one person guesses right, I will go with the first correct answer. Put your guess and email address in the comment section here or on facebook- it doesn't matter to me. If no one guesses correctly, then I will just keep the prize for myself! :)

(I only need your email address, so I can get your mailing address to send you the prize. I promise I won't try to sell you anything or forward you anything that tells you you have to forward this email to 10 billion friends or it means you don't love Jesus and will be cursed with chronic diarrhea for the rest of your life)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Childbirth in China

I spent a couple hours in labor and delivery a few weeks ago. I had just turned 36 weeks, so they sent me there to stop my contractions and hopefully get this baby to hang out for another week at least. This was the first time we saw the hospital where the baby would be born and we had to laugh at how different this place was than the last place I gave birth. I wish we had taken more pictures of the hospital in China, but at the time we were suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and thought we would never want to see that place again...even in pictures. Why were we suffering from PTSD? Well, I was getting over having a "natural" c section, and my husband was getting over being offered my placenta for dinner. Long story short, I ended up having to have an emergency c section and they would not allow my husband or my translator in the room with me. The epidural they gave me did not work and they did not understand that I was feeling everything! After screaming bloody murder after the initial cut they eventually put me to sleep. It was a nightmare, and recovery was even worse because they would not give me any pain medicine...not even tylenol, and treated my stomach like this... (I just learned how to add video to this blog, can you tell??) In between the "kneading" of my post surgery abdomen they placed a 3 lb bag of sand on said stomach (again, with no pain medicine...not even tylenol in case you forgot that part). My wonderfully protective husband couldn't handle the screams and yelled at the nurses not to touch me anymore and threw the bag of sand on the floor. I am pretty sure at this point they are as ready for us to leave as we are ready to, but it would be 8 more days before we were released from what we thought at the time was a place very similar to hell. Yeah, 8 days is a standard stay after a c section in China. Kill me now. Anyway, JM took this little video to give you an idea of what the hospital was like. What you don't get to see here is the blood stained bedding we had, and the fact that we had to bring EVERYTHING with us to the hospital. When I say everything, I mean even our own toilet paper and a baby bath tub, so they would give our little Mae her first bath (actually JM ended up giving Mae her first bath because the nurses weren't going to do it for 48 hours).
Again, I really wish we would have documented every second in pictures, but we were just trying to make it through the craziness that it was. Now, looking back, we laugh at it and feel totally blessed by the situation. It is really amazing to see how God can bring us from a point of suffering and misery to complete healing and joy. We now know God in a totally new and intimate way because of it, and honestly wouldn't change what happened at all. Well, JM still probably wishes the placenta incident did not occur, and it is not changing the fact that we are grateful for the hospital where our third and final daughter will be born. Here is a list of just a few things I am grateful for:

1. I will not be attached to an IV for 8 days for no real reason whatsoever. (this picture was taken on day 7, and please ignore my horrible posture...mom)

2. The other dads won't be smoking in the hall.

3. I won't have to walk down that smokey hall to use the microwave for the food that we had to provide ourselves.

4. The pediatricians will know that "white babies can get jaundice"

(note how the color of her skin is remarkably similar to that of an oompa loompa)

5. There will be pain medicine. Lots of pain medicine!!!

6. Having another precious daughter to hold and rock and put tiny socks on! (honestly people there is nothing cuter than newborn baby socks. Just try to look at them without smiling... or crying...either response is appropriate!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ugly Baby

I had a nightmare last night that I had a VERY ugly baby. In fact, I have been worried about it ever since I came across this picture. I am sorry, if it gives you all nightmares as well. The scariest thing of all is that this ugly baby is...ME! I complain a lot that my kids don't look like me. I will no longer be doing that. Thank you, Jesus that both of my kids look like my husband, and not like this hideous creature. My own mother said I looked like Muhammad Ali. Not kidding. Wish I was.

Anyway, it reminded me of a story one of the staff ladies at the MTC told us. She warned us that the tribal women will sometimes try to stir stuff up between you and your co-workers. She told us that in the tribe where she was the women would come to her house and tell her that her co-worker called her baby ugly and stuff like that. Now, she knew better of course. First of all because she loved her co-worker. They were close friends and she knew this lady was sweet, and kind and loved the Lord and would never call her baby ugly. Second, even if she was not sweet and kind and did think her baby was ugly, she would not tell it to a tribal woman who she knew would tell everyone what she said. This staff lady just warned us that we are their entertainment. They have no Soap Operas to live vicariously through, so they only have what is in their real lives to entertain them and sometimes they gotta jump in there and create some drama. I guess women are the same everywhere. Some women just love drama. They live and breathe for it. I mean just watch one episode of "The Real Housewives of _____ (wherever, it doesn't matter where they live) and you will see. It is all the same. Actually, do not watch that show. Your IQ will literally drop 10 points after 5 minutes.

Oh well, I guess that is just one more thing to watch out for, "The Real Housewives of PNG" Now that would be a great show! However, if my baby does come out looking like this, and some tribal woman comes to tell me that my co-worker did call my baby ugly. I will just have to tell her, "Yeah, I know... its ok, she is going to have a great personality!"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quick update: Family photo

Well, we got a family photo finally. My mother-in-law just took a quick picture for us while we were at her house today. It was relatively painless and took all of about 5 minutes. It is not the greatest picture ever. Lu's hair is a mess. None of us look our best. Its not going in any magazines any time soon. But it is recent, and it is of all of us, and you can see our faces. We did have to take 2 pictures, though. This is the first one...lovely, Mae, just lovely!

Why you should read this blog...

At church last night, I had several people ask me if we were living without air conditioning to prepare for the tribe. Then someone asked if I was purposefully letting my kids get stung by bees also in preparation for the tribe. I said, "NO!!" of course, and they answered, "Well, that is what we heard." I then realized that they heard it here. On this blog. Someone else read it and told them about it. But as we all know from childhood games of "telephone" that message gets convoluted the further from the source it gets. If you read my post on "preparing slowly" I talked about ANOTHER family turning their air conditioning off in preparation to go to Africa and the fact that we were spending a lot of time outside, so naturally myself, my husband, and my kids were getting stung by all kinds of insects. There. Record straight. I knew that anyone who actually read this blog would know that I, of all people, would not be turning my air conditioning off. I believe I already have about 1 million references to my love for it, and how I will not be separated from it until we are ripped apart by thousands of miles. Even then I will write it letters. And skype with it everyday. Anyway...

I would like to continue to make comments about my "list". Please notice that this was mentioned as a need on there...I do not currently have one, but I do dream about them frequently. Now I HAVE to HAVE one. I am pretty sure they will not let me into New Guinea without one. That is what that list said right? That is what I thought. I know it talked about it being a big power user but that it was worth all that power in the time it saves. Did I mention yet that all our electricity will come from solar panels? We will be living the ultimate "green" life. Oprah should have us on her show to give tips. We had a whole class on how to save the precious energy we will get from the sun. Move over Al Gore.

Speaking of saving energy, did you notice that this contraption was not on the list? I will not miss this thing. In fact, it is only a necessary evil in my life right now and I will be glad to be rid of the stupid thing. I know my hair will look terrible all the time, but it is going to always be in a ponytail, so who cares! I hate my hair dryer. It is the reason my hair is short now...so, I can spend as little time with it as possible. The end.

And now speaking of hair...unfortunately this was on the list. I wish I did not have to worry about packing this one for a few years, but thanks to my Father's early graying gene...I will be packing it. LOTS of it. While I am ok with having my hair in a ponytail all the time. I am not ok with having a gray ponytail at 28 years old. I wonder how I get a case of Clairol Perfect 10 in Dark Brown? Do I just ask Wal-Mart for all they have? Sams? Costco? Do I have to order online? Hmmm. I am gonna have to check into that. It will be vital for my ministry. Call me vain, or whatever you want. No one is perfect.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Family Photo

I had to step away from "the list" for a few days because it just made me feel like I was drowning in a sea of things I need to do, but am not doing. Right now all I can think about is this baby, but I am afraid that once the baby actually gets here, I will be in a lack of sleep induced haze and will be completely worthless. Maybe our goal of January is just insane. We were mostly thinking about raising support when we set it, and not about paperwork, packing, shipping crates...oh, and HAVING A BABY!! I think I underestimated what that would bring into the equation. I am not sure how that happened, since I have experienced having a baby before...twice. Anyway, maybe somehow, miraculously, we will still make it in time. Because to be honest, even though it might not sound like it in this blog, we are dying to get to PNG! I am dreading all the preparation, but am definitely ready to be there. If I could have any super power it would definitely be teleportation. Beam me up, Scotty! Seriously, why has that technology not been developed, yet? Star Trek was in the 80s. You think someone would have figured out how to make that happen for real by now. You know, some genius had a really bad flight one day and decides he has had enough of poor airline service, so he goes to his "batcave" or wherever and wah- lah! We can now travel from here to China in .32 seconds! Oh well, maybe now that we all have to pay for checked bags, someone will get on that! What am I writing about? I don't even know. How did I digress this far?

Anyway, we are not even prepared for all the paperwork we have to do to get our visas. We were sent the first form by email this week which asked for a family photo. The last family photo we have is the one you see above. Yeah, that is Halloween last year. And the one before that is from January of that year (2009). We have 800,000,000 of our kids (but can you blame us, have you seen our kids??) None of us as a family. So, my goal for this week is to get someone to take a picture of our family. All of us. Together. Including my enormous pregnant belly. This will be trickier than you think because to get a picture of our kids' faces one of us has to be making noises and ridiculously dancing around near the camera.

This is from that photo shoot in January 2009. See what I mean? No dancing or silliness and this is the kind of picture we get. I personally love this picture, but I am sure the folks in New Guinea might want to know what our faces look like. Who knows? Anyway, so hopefully I will have a beautiful new family photo to post this week and a wonderful success story of how we got that shot.

If not, I'll send them a picture of this family. They look nice enough. They know we are from Mississippi, so this is probably what they were expecting anyway.