Saturday, May 30, 2009


Well, our trip to the birthing center yesterday was great. What a beautiful place that is! I am especially excited about the huge beds--loving the idea that I will be able to snuggle up with my husband as I am laboring. No more hospital beds for me this time (fingers crossed)!

The stats: Last time I met with the midwife, I was 24 weeks but the baby was measuring 25. That's normal for me--I always measure big, but I also have big babies. The strange part of it was that I didn't believe I was even 24 weeks along (because of my miscarriage in the fall we have been unable to determine an actual due date) so I was surprised to be measuring 25 weeks!

Yesterday, the midwife went to measure my stomach and seemed confused. She kept putting the measuring tape down, feeling the baby, measuring, putting the tape down, feeling again. Finally she wrote something down and then went for the doppler, checking Baby's heartbeat (140 bpm). So I asked: What am I measuring this week? Her answer: Well, you're a bit big. Me: How big? The midwife: 33.

Thirty-three! Holy moly. By all accounts I should maybe be 28 weeks along. Thirty three is a BIG difference. I've never been THAT far off before. Wowzers.

So here's what I'm thinking. Either I'm having a HUGE baby in August sometime, or I should be ready to deliver in, like, July. And from the beginning we've been thinking this babe would come in September.

So, that's where we sit. I think the whole thing is rather comical. It certainly gives credence to the additional aches & pains I've accumulated the last four weeks! I'm far enough along that an ultrasound wouldn't give any we're in the "wait and see" mode. I'll go back in on June 11th and we'll see what's happening then. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Off to see the midwife again today, and to check out the birthing center, hooray! Can you believe that after today I'll be going in every two weeks already?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chickpea Stew

Here's another recipe that's just too good not to share: Chickpea Stew! This one is definitely up there on my list of favorites--it's one of those dishes that I start to actually crave if it's been too long since I've made it. (Plus I love any recipe that enables me to drink a glass of wine while I'm cooking!) When I woke up yesterday morning I was glad that I had bought the ingredients for it earlier in the week; Sammy and I had ourselves a little pizza party on Tuesday and I woke up yesterday feeling LOUSY. This body is way too sensitive to junk food when I'm pregnant! Two bowls of stew for dinner last night and I woke up feeling great today!

This recipe comes from my Vegetarian Planet cookbook, by Didi Emmons. These amounts serve 4--I usually make a double batch so I can eat it the next morning for breakfast, too (if we're being honest)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, sliced thin diagonally
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2" squares
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup red wine
1 heaping teaspoon paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (or more) cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 1/3 cups water
1 1/3 cups couscous
1/2 tsp salt
In a large sauce pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the carrots, red peppers, tomatoes, salt, pepper & wine. Then add the paprika and cinnamon. Stir and bring the stew to a boil. Turn the heat to low, and cover the pan tightly. Simmer the stew for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Stir in the chickpeas.
Meanwhile, make the couscous: In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, and add the couscous and salt. Remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan, and let the couscous stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous by lightly running a fork back and forth in the pan, starting with the very top layer of granules and gradually working your way down.
Stir the almonds, lemon juice and cilantro into the stew. Spoon the couscous into bowls, make a little well in the middle of each and spoon in the stew. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Heard Around The House--Thomas The Tank Engine version

Mama and Reuben are sitting on the couch (yes, other posts have started this way). Enter loud, scary tooty sound.

Mama: "Reuben! What do you say?"

Reuben: "Toot toot! TIME TO LEAVE THE STATION!"

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Okay, so, back in the day, when we only had one (surprise) baby, we used to actually sit around and talk about how many kids we might have. Granted, the conversations were never very long--I think we always had a sense that we would be more than just three. The "family planning" conversations always ended up at the same inevitable conclusion: Let's Wait And See. I remember countless times sitting around the dinner table with Baby Cole in his highchair, telling Justin: "I know it's so busy, but I feel like someone is missing..."

Same thing when Reese came along. We were over-the-moon blessed to have two healthy boys! ...but when I would set the plates on the table at night I often found myself grabbing too many out of the cupboard. We would sit around the table and dine, and though it should have maybe felt complete (I come from a family of four), I still felt a sense of loss for one that was missing. And by then Justin was feeling it too.

So over the years, this has been a common thread for us. With each crazy, loud addition, we still look at each other over our soup bowls and nod that yes, one is missing. But it has become more than that to me--more than trying to control what the size of this family might eventually be. It has evolved instead into a willingness to be open to what God is asking me to do within these four walls. Maybe (certainly) that will mean a baby for us this year. Maybe it will mean opening up a room (or a basement) to a family member or friend that needs a place to stay for awhile. Maybe it means foster care at some point in our lives. I'm not sure--but I do know that He is asking me to let go of my desire to define what "family" means and what its limitations are. He can do so much more than I can even imagine. I have stopped wanting to place roadblocks in the way of the plans He has for me.

I am trying to teach my boys that love is to be shared, and that children are a blessing. I tell them daily that they are gifts that God has given me. It's so important to me that they know that. So I get a little weepy when we sit down at Costco to eat our hot dogs for lunch, and see two children sitting a few tables away (whose mother is surely getting their napkins and straws), and hear Cole say, "Do you think those kids would like to come live with us?" Because in that moment, I think, he gets it. He knows that family boundaries are meant to be fluid, that beds can be pushed against walls to make room for another, that another chair can always be pulled up to the table. That another handful of beans can be added to the pot.

And this week, even though I have been very, very careful to never talk about feeling a "hole" in our family in front of my children, Cole sat down to the dinner table on two separate occasions, and immediately said: "Doesn't it feel like someone is missing?"


Meet the newest member of our family! I think he looks like Sean, but maybe that's because Sean still looks so much like a baby. Oh, and I use the term "he" loosely; no, we didn't find out; you'll have to wait just a little bit longer! Baby will be making an appearance the beginning of September. Ish.