Monday, July 28, 2014

37 Weeks

37 Weeks


Yes that is a pretty ugly bruise on my arm. I've got about ten more on my legs and hips to match. No I was not in some type of accident, nor did I decide to play a random game of paintball. I am just that clumsy. I run into something, hard, at least once a day now. I am clumsy normally but pregnancy increases it by about tenfold. 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 37 weeks. Upon seeing me yesterday my brother in law announced that I had reached the "comical stage". Gee thanks, love you too ;). However, I have to agree with him. I wake up every morning now and think "Bummer! Nothing happened last night!" I keep hoping I will go into labor a little early. But if I had to guess, I bet I will go past my due date. Bonus pregnancy days, as a friend of mine calls them! 

Size of baby: A watermelon! Oh my. Not gonna lie-that is slightly intimidating! He is around 6.8 lbs and 21 inches long. 

Total Weight Gain/Loss: not sure, but from the leaden feel of my legs these days it must be at least a half ton. 

Maternity Clothes: Oh yes. Although the dress I wore for my "sprinkle" yesterday was not. I will post pics from the party soon. My friends Mary Martin and Kim, and my sweet sister were so kind to have it for me! 

Gender: a sweet baby BOY! Amos Jackson Sledge

Movement: he gets going at night. This baby also has the hiccups way more than T.Mark did. It's a cool sensation. 

Sleep: a little better this week!

What I miss: bending over easily 

Cravings: ice, ice, and more ice. I ate so much of it last night that I couldn't get my teeth to stop chattering. 

Symptoms: lots of Braxton Hicks contractions this week! Also sciatic nerve issues-my legs went randomly numb yesterday for a minute or two. 

Best moment this week: hearing a sweet friend's encouraging words about labor and delivery. I know I will need to close my eyes several times when I'm in the middle of it and remember them.

Prayer request for baby Amos: for the Lord to protect him during the rest of this pregnancy and his birth. There are so many things that can happen, and it is easy for a semi-anxious person like me to dwell on them. But I know that I have to trust that the Lord is sovereign and that he loves this little boy infinitely more than I ever could!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Where You Are

  I have been reminded over the last few days and weeks of one of the most beautiful things about the gospel. About Jesus. 

He always meets people exactly where they are, addressing their most pressing need first. He has these incredible eyes (I mean, he is God after all, so this is not surprising) that see beyond what is at face value, and he identifies the deepest immediate need of each person he encounters. Often this is physical, often emotional, and sometimes spiritual. The spiritual need is always there of course, but Jesus shows us that the most effective way to minister, and to begin to unlock the fullness of God's character in we broken ones who bear his image, is usually to meet those other needs first. 

I have been reminded of this lately as my belly has grown and my fingers have swollen and my back has ached. I have been thankful to have experienced good health my whole life, so pregnancy is the only time I have really had a seriously altered bodily state. A healthy one, thankfully, but a taxing one nonetheless. The physical and emotional demands of it can somewhat overtake the rational part of my brain at times. For example, I may be unable to think clearly about things until I can get some relief from the physical discomfort of not being able to breathe well, or some support in the very emotional decisions that accompany pregnancy and childbirth. 

Because we are not God, as He is--we get distracted by these things. Little things. But in our limited humanity, big things. 

T.Mark's favorite bedtime story is "Kee-us" (if we are phonetically speaking). Also known as Zacchaeus, or "The Man Who Was Too Little." In his encounter with the socially outcast tax collector in Luke 19, Jesus' first interaction with him is to address his social need for acceptance. Out of all the people who I'm sure were clamoring for Jesus' attention, for the chance to sit down and eat with him--Jesus picks Zacchaeus out of the crowd and says in front of everyone-"I am going to your house today." Zacchaeus must have felt so proud. His response to it indicates the depth of his feelings. He immediately announces his plans to pay back all the people he has taken advantage of. Jesus' meeting that deep social need is the impetus that changes Zacchaeus on a much deeper level. 

I pray that I can develop this kind of needs-based, Christlike eyesight. And that I will be able to get out of myself enough to realize that Jesus meets all the needs that I have that can seem so overwhelming at times.

Just for fun--reading "Kee-us" all by himself:
 
 I hope you remember today that whatever your deepest need may be, Jesus meets you there, and He is enough. 




Monday, July 21, 2014

36 Weeks


So I just realized I am wearing the exact same outfit I was two weeks ago for the belly pic.  Oopsies. When you are somewhat limited by what you fit into (I don't buy a ton of maternity clothes, I try to just make things work that I already have) and then limited a little bit more because of singing on Sunday mornings (I took this pic in the choir room)...you are bound to get some repeat outfits! The plus side of this is that I can compare two weeks ago pretty accurately with this week! I think my sweet boy has grown and maybe dropped down a little bit. 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 36 weeks. I think this past week I reached that truly uncomfortable stage where you begin to think to yourself "It is not physically possible for my body to expand any more. No way." And then it does. 

Size of baby: the size of a large canteloupe! He is around 6.5 lbs and 20 inches long. 

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I told y'all that I stopped looking! I feel really good though and the doctor says I am on track, so I will gauge it by that and say that all is well! 

Maternity Clothes: Yep. Yayyy for stretchy pants. 

Gender: a sweet baby BOY! Amos Jackson Sledge

Movement: still a busy bee in there but he is obviously running out of room. The movement is more rolls and strong pushes than jabs and kicks. He is strong though! I think he gave me an internal bruise the other day, if that's possible!6

Sleep: pretty rough. I have woken up around 3 and stayed awake til 6 or so for the last several nights. Preparation for those newborn days I guess! 

What I miss: being able to sing at full capacity! I just don't have the breath support I normally do. 

Cravings: nothing too specific or intense this week. I have wanted sweets but that may have nothing to do with pregnancy!

Symptoms: shortness of breath, and a few Braxton Hicks contractions this weekend 

Best moment this week: Saturday morning T.Mark climbed in the bed with us to "snuggle wif Mama" as he calls it. He started touching my belly and talking to his little brother and when I told him that Amos would be here to play with him soon, he started poking and pushing my belly really hard and asking "Wanna open it?!?" Ha!! I told him he'll have to be patient and wait a little longer. Cracked me up. 

Prayer request for baby Amos: that he will get himself into the best position to be born. I have decided to wait to go into labor instead of having the scheduled section, so that is a concern! Thank you in advance for the prayers! :)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Figs


  Figs. 

  I was googling them this morning and ran across an article that called them one of summer's most fleeting pleasures. They are extremely delicate and will start to spoil quickly after picked. I must admit I was quite unfortunately unaware of the delight of a fresh fig until a few years ago. However my love for them has intensified even more as of late, and I will never again live at a house that has no fig tree! Planting one will always be high priority. 


One article said this: "Figs are lusciously sweet and feature a complex texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. In addition, since fresh figs are so delicate and perishable, some of their mystique comes from their relative rarity."  

I think that is one reason why I love them so much. I love things that are unusual, and a little bit harder to find. And that applies in every area of life. Pearls are nice, but black pearls have always caught my attention more. I love horses of any kind--but palomino horses, the golden ones with white manes and tails, that are a little less common--have always captivated me. 

I'm not sure why that is--I just love the rare and unusual. 

Of course I love figs simply for their wonderfully sweet taste too. There is something special about enjoying a fruit in season, straight off the tree in your backyard. 

And then there are all the references to figs, fig trees, and fig leaves in scripture. Both Old and New Testament. My favorite scripture that mentions them is Habakkuk 3:17-19: 


"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places."


This makes me think of close friends and family who have gone through difficulties and how incredible it is to see how the Lord has sustained them. And even sweeter to see how they have praised him through and in spite of their circumstances. 


I hope you get to enjoy some sweet, fresh figs this summer.  I will be eating them with honey every morning til they're gone. Which won't be long. 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

34 Weeks

34 Weeks



Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 34 weeks. Only 5 1/2 weeks to go! I'm trying to savor these last few weeks of being pregnant. Of course not every moment is pleasant but I have truly, truly enjoyed just about all of them this go-round. 

Size of baby: the size of a pineapple! My pregnancy phone app says he is 5.5 lbs and 20 inches long. But since our baby was 4 lbs at 28 weeks I'm thinking he might be bigger! 

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I told y'all that I stopped looking! I feel really good though so I will just gauge it by that and say that all is well! 

Maternity Clothes: Of course. I sure am going to miss these stretchy pants after he gets here! 

Gender: a sweet baby BOY! Amos Jackson Sledge

Movement: still in his regular routine now of wakefulness and napping. He really gets going for about 20 minutes each night when I lie down. I love to put my hand on my belly and fall asleep feeling him move. 

Sleep: not too bad lately. Foot cramps and a teensy, squished bladder lead to some wakefulness but not terrible. 

What I miss: getting up and down from the floor easily. T.Mark loves to dump all his little trucks and cars out of his big yellow dump truck and say "Let mama play wif you?" I mean, who could resist that? So I do, of course--but it sure is hard to get up!

Cravings: Ice. Lots of ice. And no, I'm not anemic. However, I would not be surprised if I chip a tooth soon. 

Symptoms: Foot cramps, some shortness of breath, weird dreams.

Best moment this week: feeling him kicking me the whole time I was singing in church Sunday morning. I guess he liked the song! Either that or I was disturbing his morning nap! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fun on the Fourth

 What a fun-filled day it has been! I think T.Mark may have had one of the most exciting days in his little life so far. We went to a parade, petted a horse, sat in a police car and got our very own policeman's badge, ate ice cream, and saw the double decker bus AND a fire truck. And all that before lunch. Whew. 

Sweet horsie. T.Mark asked the officer if he would get down and let him ride. Ha! I told him that's not quite how it works but thanks for asking so nicely!


Our sweet friends Kim, B.C., and Wren came with us: 


Cool cat in the police car: 


Family photo ops: 


Two boys and a mama: 
  

After the morning fun it was back to the house for naps. And I mean for me too! I had grand intentions of painting some furniture but I fell asleep on the couch for two hours instead! And I must say, it was wonderful. 

Late afternoon was equally exciting--we headed up to the Grove for the petting zoo and live music. 

Car selfie! This big baby sat in between the little ones: 


A very patriotic ferret: 

And finally, the turtle races. How awesome is that??

I must say it has been a close to perfect Fourth of July. Because I am a bit tired and more than a bit pregnant, we are laying low at the house tonight and I am going to turn in early. So while I can hear fireworks, I won't see the obligatory Fourth of July fireworks show. I will just have to close my eyes and dream of sitting on a beach somewhere and watching one instead. Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Little Comforter

 I had to write this little story down so I won't forget. First of all--tonight is my baby's first night in his big boy bed. I can't believe he is old enough for that!! 


 He looked so tiny in that big bed. Just about made me cry! I still have not posted any good pictures of the big boy room, but they are coming! This sweet little man was so excited that he got to sleep on his new sheets with cars and trucks and airplanes on them. 
  
   Earlier tonight, I had somewhat of a meltdown. We'll chalk it up to pregnancy hormones. I was by myself trying to get T.Mark ready for the first night in his new room, and I was in some pain because of physically overdoing it earlier in the day with some household tasks (my own fault!), and then our border collie who is normally very even tempered went berserk because of some fireworks outside and tore up the trim on a couple of our back doors. That did me in. I started crying and plopped down on the floor. Poor T.Mark did not know what to do. The monologue went something like this, as I sat in his room, crying pretty hard. 

"Mama's crwyin."
(Very concerned look on his face) "Mama's got a bobo??"
(I nod my head, still crying)
"Mama needs a hug!" (Hugs me about three times.)
"Take a deeeep breath mama."
(Puts hands on my face as his little eyes search mine) "Wanna go to Primos?

My tears dried pretty quickly after that! Precious boy. Pretty funny that the most comforting thing in his little brain is to offer to take me to his favorite restaurant. I sure do love this little boy of mine!