Monday, September 27, 2010

Welcome, little Girl!

Eve Lynn Whitaker
8 lbs, 5 oz, 21"
born 3:28 am, September 27, 2010
I'll have some better pictures when we get home (I forgot to bring my card reader to the hospital), but Evie is here, safe and sound and beautiful! I finally decided to take castor oil and kick this labor into gear if I could (since I was scheduled to be induced Tuesday). Much to my surprise, it worked!
Regular contractions started around 10:30pm, we got checked in to the hospital around 12:30. I was so shocked to discover that I was already 8 cm! My midwife broke my water to get my contractions going stronger, but I hung out at 8cm until 3am. She mentioned the word "pitocin" at that point, but I said I just wanted to rest. Did that for 20 minutes, and suddenly it was time to go! It was by FAR my easiest labor, but pushing is still horrible. :) Fortunately it only took 4 pushes for her to arrive into the world.
She looks just like Isaac, except 1lb heavier and blonde, and I think she takes after Vance's mom's side of the family. The "big kids" are totally in love. They both held her almost constantly when the came to visit: Isaac showered her with sweet kisses, and Claire immediately took charge as the little mamma. I think they're going to do great... :)
More on her name later, but we are healthy, happy, and so grateful to have a sweet, healthy baby girl in our arms. God is so overwhelmingly kind.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

...or something like that. Do you see these cute pictures of my 2 kids? They're still accurate. Because I still have only two children available for photo shoots. The third is in hiding.
This has been a pretty emotional week. Just ask Vance :). I went into labor on Monday, but after 4 hours it petered out, and I was devastated. I was SO convinced it was the real thing, and so excited and ready and then I just felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. I've gotten progressively more stable as the week has gone by, but every series of contractions gets me wondering. Darn prodromal labor.
The good news is that all these contractions are doing something--my midwife commented that at this rate, I'll just wake up one morning with a baby next to me :). I guess that could work fine.

It's certainly been an exercise in patience and trust and helplessness. I know there are things you can do to speed labor along--and I HAVE DONE THEM ALL. All, I tell you! Except castor oil, and I might try that on Saturday if I'm still baby-less then. But ultimately, this is just an area where I'm not really in control. I don't like that very much, to be honest. But it's a good reminder that my whole life is really pretty much like that. So I'm learning patience, one contraction at a time.

Hopefully soon, though, I'll get to learn something new, like how to juggle life with 3 kids :)
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eviction Notice

Dear Baby Girl,

In case you are not aware, let me inform you of an important fact: TODAY IS YOUR DUE DATE.

I know you are your own person. I know you have your own agenda and your own personality. I'm getting over the fact that my third baby is going to be the first overdue one. Really, I can deal with it. Mostly that's due to family sickness this week--I'm actually kind of glad that you haven't decided to show up in the middle of our sore-throated, ear-infected, head-pounding, exhausted week.

But as I'm starting to climb out of my sickness-induced fog, my dissatisfaction with the current situation is growing. It's time for you to leave, dear. There are bigger and better things in store for you. Let's get on with it, shall we?

My hips are no longer interested in holding you. My arms are. See you soon!


Your mother

PS - I don't know what you've got going on tonight, but I'm free...what do you think??

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trundle Love

Recently we got Claire a big girl bed, and it has been true love ever since. Isaac was thrilled to put it together, but for Claire it represented a new level of intimacy in her relationship with her daddy. SO many times while he has put her to bed, she has hugged him and whispered, "You built this trundle bed for me". He has earned serious Daddy points.

She loves that it's a trundle bed...for now it stores her toys away, and when Baby Girl grows out of her crib, she'll get the trundle. I scored some cheap bedding on clearance today, and although she's still sleeping on an air mattress, Claire couldn't be happier.

Oh, and if you're wondering about Claire's outfit--plaid skirt with brown polka dot shirt--that's just what happens when a 2.5 year old fashion maven begins dressing herself. I'm sure I'll see much more exciting outfits in the future :)
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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In Claire's World

Claire's version of "I'm in the Lord's Army":

"I may never march in the -- YES MA'AM!!!!"

Claire going to a friend's house:

C: "I'm going to Pattea's house"
Isaac: "It's not Pattea, Claire. Her name is Mattea."
C: "No!!!! Her name is Ka Puh.... Ka Puh.... Ka Puh...(obviously struggling)"
Vance: "Pattea?"
C: "Yes! Pattea!!" (we now call Claire's friend General Petraeus :)

Claire, upon seeing me with curlers in my hair (a rare sighting!):

C: "Mama!! I see your hair! It is LILLY LILLY LILLY pretty!! Do you, are you, do you have Twizzlers in your hair?" (Note: she liked my hair better with the curlers in than out :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


It's slowly starting to cool down here...not during the day, but in the mornings and evenings it's getting fun to be outside. Especially with Daddy.
Isaac is spending much of his time as a soldier these days. The biggest and strongest one in the world, actually! He uses his powers for good, though--mostly in protecting Mama and the baby.
Soon to be big sister.

Pictures like these remind me how stinkin rich I am. Yesterday was a fun day--new books from the library, a relaxed afternoon, lots of time wrestling Daddy in the front yard, movie date night in after the kids were in bed. It was one of those days where it was easy to enjoy my job. I needed that.

I feel like I've spent a lot of time lately grasping for control in my life (especially my parenting), and the attempt has made me frustrated and also not very fun to be around. I've spent a lot of time trying to correct: "don't talk like that! wait your turn! be patient! please move! I told you to speak kindly! No whining! Come here, I said". So much time correcting that I haven't had much left for other things, like enjoying, giving thanks, and praying.

I've been re-reading A Praying Life (for the third time, and I highly recommend it!), and he was saying that we are often prayerless in our parenting when we think the answers are obvious. I don't need to pray about Isaac's impatience, because the answer is obvious: he needs to wait his turn. I don't need to pray about Claire's whining, because the solution is obvious: she needs to just stop it. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

So I'm working on requiring obedience without becoming a control freak. I'm working on being a little more patient, slowing down enough to enjoy the kids instead of just being the boss. And I'm working on praying for my children instead of just assuming I know what the problems and solutions are. Easier said than done...but I've been grateful for the grace I've been given the last few days to do that. And you know what? Not being the tyrant in the family
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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Nice Catch

Today was a big day in our adjustment to FL life: Vance got to go fishing with a friend from work. They went kayaking in the mangrove swamps by the Gulf, and apparently only caught one fish within the weight limits: everything else was too big to bring home! Some men bring home the bacon--I'm happy if mine brings back the fish. And fillets it, batters it, and cooks it up for me. That's just the way I like it.
Apparently, that's the way our kids like it, too... :)
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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"Surgery is SO FUN!!"

Seriously, that is what Isaac said to me at 6:30 this morning when we were headed out the door to All Children's Hospital. We dropped Claire off at a friend's house (she was super pumped about that, too), and Isaac reveled in his alone time with Mama, Daddy, and the very-friendly staff.
They had a little flat screen in the pre-op room, and Isaac got to watch Diego track down gorillas. Heaven, I tell you. Who WOULDN'T want to have surgery?! They even special-ordered a wheelchair to take him to the OR, since he asked for one.

Aside from a lot of waiting, everything went just about as smoothly as it could have. The surgeon said everything looked great, although it will take 6 weeks or so to know conclusively how his eyes are responding.
I was curious if the recovery process would take the edge off of Isaac's excitement. Not too much. His only complaint was, "I have sand in my eyes," and once he commented that his left eye hurt, but I heard no more complaints after the nurse brought out the "big" popsicle he had requested.
He was reading on the drive home, has been eating like a horse, and generally has been acting full of energy and completely normal. We have been overwhelmed by all the texts, phone calls, and messages everyone has sent us--thank you so much for all your prayers, everyone.

Even though our hospital experience was a great one, there is something about seeing your son laying on a guerney with a hospital gown and a bandage over his eyes that twists at your heart. It gave me a tiny little window into the lives of people I know who have had much more traumatic and life-threatening things happen to their children...more sympathy and understanding for the parents who have sat in other waiting rooms helplessly while someone else fights for their child's life and health. It makes me grateful that God gives more grace to those in need of it, and grateful that for today, at least, he has spared us that experience.