Sunday, July 22, 2012

Her Name Is......

Our second daughter is set to arrive in less than 12 weeks. We are just now getting around to deciding on a name. Really, we decided on the name within a week of finding out her gender, but for some reason, it wasn't sitting right with us.

I kept joking that the reason it wasn't sitting right with us was because SHE was actually a HE, and that God was protecting our hearts from becoming too attached to HER name. Wouldn't that be funny if it was true.

Hilarious, I tell you.

We used the name for weeks before finally deciding it was definitely what we wanted. Our poor parents thought that we were trying to personally torture them, because we wouldn't tell them what we were considering. Really though, we just weren't sure ourselves!

AND the last thing you want to do when trying to name your child is to tell someone that you aren't sure about a name, tell them the name, and see their reaction. I one hundred percent believe that people are much more willing to show their opinions, either by facial expression or actual words, when they think you aren't sure about the name. If you tell them that this is definitely the name, I think that the normal person is more likely to hold their tongue/hide their true opinion.

So, after months of deliberating, her name is.....

Sophia because we both love this name. We both love Sophie, actually, but we like that you can call Sophia "Sophie," if you want, but you can't really call Sophie "Sophia." Not that we are going to call her Sophie right off the bat, after all, I don't like when a given name is changed to a nickname right from the beginning. Same reason we discouraged people from calling Grace "Gracie."

And the meaning is "wisdom," which seems fitting as most of this pregnancy was spent praying for wisdom for different situations we were in.

Anne because we would like to start incorporating some family names with our children. Ann (no E) is Ian's mom's middle name. We like the sound of the names together but I wanted to add the E to Anne because, well, honestly? I always hear Marilla and Anne of Green Gables in my head saying:

"MARILLA: What is your name child, and no more nonsense?

ANNE: Anne Shirley.  Plain, old, unromantic Anne Shirley.

MARILLA: Anne Shirley is a fine and sensible name, and hardly one to be ashamed of.

ANNE: Oh, I'm not ashamed, but if you are going to call me Anne, would you please be sure to spell it with an "e". 

MARILLA: What difference does it make how it is spelled?

ANNE: It makes a lot of difference. Print out "A-n-n" and it looks absolutely dreadful, but Anne with an "e" is quite distinguished. So if you'll only call me Anne with an "e", I'll try and reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia.

MARILLA: Very well then, Anne, with an "e", how is it that you happened to be brought and not a boy?"

And that is the honest truth of why we are spelling it Sophia Anne, not Sophia Ann. 

We love our little girl so much and can't wait to meet Sophia in 11 weeks or so! We're already praying that Grace and Sophia (Sophia and Grace?) will be fast friends!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Love and Respect

I recently finished the book Love & Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs.


 We had received it in a care package but I hadn't gotten around to reading it until just now. God had really laid on my heart the concept of Respecting my husband even more, and I felt drawn to this book after reading an article on the topic, and listening to an excellent sermon by Mark Driscoll out of Mars Hill Church on the same concept.

The idea is very basic:

Most Christians understand that the Bible commands us to "Love one another," (John 13:34) and that husbands are commanded to "Love your wives, just as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her." (Ephesians 5:25)

and "Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself." (Ephesians 5:28)

and "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them." (Colossians 3:19)

and perhaps we know by heart the commands for the wife to "respect her husband."

But in context, the verse actually looks like this:

"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." (Ephesians 5:33)

They are reciprocal. Just as the wife has an inborn need to be loved, the husband has a need to be respected.

Yes, the wife too, needs to be respected. And yes, the husband, too, needs to be loved.

But that isn't the most important thing for them. It's how they are created. A husband's foremost need is to be respected.

So often we give to our husbands just what we feel like we need- Love. We are cuddly, we might send a sweet email, or do anything that we can to show our love to him. Sometimes he reciprocates and, maybe, sometimes he doesn't. If our "love bank," is feeling particularly low, we may even try withholding our love to get his attention. Often times, however, what we tend to cut back on first is our respect for him.

I'll be the first to admit that I am totally guilty of this. When I am feeling unloved, one of the first things that goes is my respectful attitude to him. My answers become snippy, my demands become a little illogical. I raise my voice and I become bossier.

It's not a pretty picture.

Eggerichs points out that this begins a "Crazy Cycle," in marriages, where a woman feels unloved so she withholds respect, and as the man feels disrespected, he shows less and less love. The relationship can spiral out of control and stay within the grasps of this cycle for years if not decades. Sure, there may be good times, but too often most marriages fall right back into the "Crazy Cycle," with ease.

Eggerichs says that it is our job to make sure we are giving respect despite the love that we are feeling/receiving, after all, we are commanded to in the Bible! That we should remember that our husbands are good willed, not evil, out to withhold their love at every turn. Often times they are just looking at a situation differently and do not see that we are reacting with disrespect because we feel unloved.

My favorite line from the book is when he explained to his wife that "You can be right, but wrong at the top of your voice."

I can't even begin to explain how that spoke to me.

So often, in discussions or even arguments, the point that I am making is "right," but the way that I express it, through a raised voice, a roll of the eye, or the sharpness of my words, makes me the one that is "wrong."

It was a lesson I desperately needed to learn.

Just a day or two after I started reading this book, I was able to see how I was reacting, in a different light. We were house hunting in mid June and it was a pretty stressful time. Several times during that weekend I saw how I reacted with disrespect with I was stressed and not feeling loved. I was so ashamed as I heard the tone of my voice and the words that I said. In those situations I had to do alot of apologizing after the fact.

Now, weeks after reading the book, I find that I catch myself in the act, instead of after damage is done. Sometimes I have to stop myself mid sentence and bite my tongue. I've found that conversations can stay gentle and well meaning alot more often now.

Some suggestions to show respect to your husband include:

Writing him a note saying that you respect him.
Thanking him for all of the time and effort he puts into providing for your family.
Not putting down the material things you do have, since he provided it for you.
Telling him, and telling him often, what things about you that you respect (not love!)
Validating his points, letting him have a chance to express opinions on things without hearing yours first.
"Letting" him be the one to make big decisions- a great example I recently heard is that the husband should be one to decide on a church home- if he isn't comfortable and happy with it, but you decide on it because it has great worship, excellent preschool, or lots of women's events, it won't be a good fit in the end!

As for the book itself, I had a really hard time with Part One. I started the book thinking it was going to be an equal points of view kind of book. However, I felt that most of Part One was spent describing how the husband was good willed but the woman was disgruntled and demoralizing. I had to force myself through those chapters until I got to the "meat," of the book, and the subsequent chapters in Part Two and Three.

I would definitely recommend this book to married couples, or even for women who are wanting to know how to relate better to male family members (fathers, sons,) or co workers!

Check out Love and Respect Ministries for more information.

What other ways do you use to show respect to your husbands?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

House Tour: The Before

 We've moved! On Tuesday morning, we loaded up the car and left our old home for the last time! We made a quick stop by the utilities company to make sure we were all paid up, then stopped by the landlord's office to give him the key, then headed out from our small, village like, desert town.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Can I do a "What I'm Loving TUESDAY?" because that is more what this is like....

I'm loving:

Our fourth of July family picture, even if I couldn't get Grace to stop eating her finger and I had to stand on a step that was two steps higher than Ian's, just so our heads would be near each other!

I'm loving the fact that....

Today is moving day!! By the time that most of you (in the States) are reading this, we'll be in our new house, happily (God willing,) unpacking our new home.

Buh-Bye Termites....

(this is what the daily aftermath looks like, after they swarm. I really hate them.)

I'm loving.....

My baby girl and the fact that she can now wear "big girl" pajamas! Since she's walking so much now, and since our new house is all tile and we don't have area rugs yet, I've switched her to non footie pajamas- it's safer this way. She made the switch pretty easily. I was worried because she has slept and napped in footie pajamas ONLY for the past 15 months.

I'm also loving....

My girl's love for shoes! She brings them to me and has me put them on her all the time. She always says "bye bye!" once they are on.

I love that I could crop out the packing extravaganza that is/was our apartment. Did I mention that we only have used one box in this move? That I've been packing our stuff in suitcases, reusable shopping bags, and plastic grocery bags? Yes. It's true. But it is what works for us!

I'm loving....

My CamelBak water bottle! I've always been a sucker for a new cup/water bottle to get me drinking more water, so when my friend said a local store had these in stock, I bought one for me (pink, duh,) one for Ian (black, for his Georgia Bulldogs love,) and one for Grace (pink with zinnias all over it!)

Love, love, love!

I'm loving....

That we were able to sell this necklace:

Did I ever tell you the story of this necklace? No? Here's the brief version:

In 2007, Ian was home for New Years from his internship in Amman, Jordan. He brought me a dating anniversary gift. A silver name necklace in Arabic with a heart around it. Truthfully, I didn't like it at first, but it grew on me, and then after that, I never took it off, EVER!

I lost it sometime in 2010, I think, and was heartbroken over it. I kept telling Ian that he should fly to Jordan and get another one made.

Well, in June of 2011, he surprised me with a similar, but very different version of the necklace.

First of all, it was gold.

Yellow gold.

I am not a yellow gold kind of girl.

And secondly, it was, umm, tacky.

I'm not sure if it was the yellow gold or the size or style of the font, but it was very gawdy.

I loved Ian for finding a way to get one made here and thanked him. I didn't have a yellow gold chain though so I couldn't wear it. For six months I didn't wear it.

Or mention it.

Or look at it.

Finally, my guilt overcame me and I had to tell my husband the truth. I very gently told him that I loved the gesture but yellow gold wasn't for me.

I think his reaction was to shrug his shoulders and say "okay!" He then remembered the countless times I had told him about how much I hate yellow gold and that is even why both of our wedding bands are white gold.

It took him a couple of months before he had the time, but he was finally able to take it back to a jewelers and sell it! Now we are that much richer and that less guilty of keeping a marital secret.

Lesson learned:

Make sure your husband knows what color gold you prefer. Perhaps write it on a card and tape it to his car window.

Because obviously he buys gold that often.

And that's "What I'm loving," today.

Or, you know...Tuesday Tidbits.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

28 Weeks

Twenty Eight weeks! How can this be?

Today marks the beginning of the third trimester, meaning two thirds of this pregnancy is OVER! 

I completely missed my 24 week update and picture, and this picture is not going to happen for a day or two because I have already packed and moved my camera!

I'm much, uh, rounder, this time around. In a good way. It's like I have a basketball glued to my stomach.

I started this pregnancy at one pound less than my before baby weight. Last pregnancy I had put on alot of weight just in the 5th and 6th month, but this time I have barely put on any (somewhere between 13-15 pounds.) My doctor explained that alot of weight gain, if your nutrition is controlled, is hormonal, and so he expects my weight gain to follow the same peaks and valleys of the last pregnancy. If that is the case then I am hopefully past the danger zone of putting on a ton of weight- as long as I keep eating well and staying active! Slow and steady for the next 3 months!

We are really close on deciding her name for sure. Actually, we have decided it, we just need to talk with our parents first to let them know! We've been calling her by this name for a month now and it is finally "sticking."

She moves ALL THE TIME! Anytime I pause in my busy day, she wakes up and starts dancing around. Ian can feel her move every day and I can see it from the outside too!

I'm still wanting to eat cold things, particularly ice cream alot. I wouldn't call it a craving so much, as it is a lack of self control, ha! We've discovered a double chocolate ice cream that is SO good, and any time we are over the border (once a month or so,) I try to get myself a scoop of cake batter ice cream. YUM.

I'm on a prescription for my heartburn and have been for a month now. It had gotten so bad that one sip of water would set it off, meaning I wasn't drinking enough! I take two pills a day and it is completely under control.

Insomnia is intense right now. In the past 3 weeks, I have only had 2 nights of full sleep. Usually I go to sleep by 11 and am awake by 2 am. Boo. I get up after an hour or so, stretch my back, drink some water, sometime eat a snack, and try to go back to bed. I usually can't so then I get up again, around 5, and lay on the couch watching Gilmore Girls. That usually puts me to sleep by 6 or 7, right in time for Grace to get up :)

It is awful but it is all part of this wonderfully weird thing called pregnancy! I wouldn't change it for a minute. 

I run hot all the time. We have our AC's running full blast and I still am warm. At school, I end up being the school enemy because I won't let people cut through my classroom to go outside. They usually leave the door open while they dash outside in the 120 degree heat to get something, meaning my little classroom gets boiling in just a minute or two! People have rolled their eyes at me and flat out ignored my request for them to use the school's front door and not cut through my room. I finally started locking my classroom door during breaks so that no one comes in or out!

I am looking forward to: Sharing her name, organizing and designing her nursery, and, of course, meeting her in 12 or less weeks!

Picture to come later this week!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I was caught off guard by my shadow today.

I was getting Grace some food and in the early morning light my shadow fell on our family room wall.

What surprised me was how BIG my belly was!

I am officially in the "big ol' pregnant" phase of pregnancy. That phase between feeling all cute and new with your baby bump and the one where you are just so full of excitement because your baby's arrival is just weeks (or days!) away!

I try not to be a "Pregnancy Complainer." You know the type. They can't wait to get pregnant but then when they do, ALL they can talk about is how they are sick/tired/hungry/sore etc. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. I felt myself slipping into that though and wanted to change my attitude a bit.

I love all the phases for different reasons but I forgot how this season teaches you to be still. Quiet. Enjoy the movement and the moments.

Grace sits atop my bump with her legs around my belly (her sister,) and curls her toes into the bump. It is so sweet.

Love it.

And, as I am just days away from hitting 28 weeks, the start of the third trimester, I wanted to remind myself how precious these days are. How beautiful a time it is.

Even if I can't see Grace when she is standing underneath of the bump.
And poor girl has gotten knocked over a couple of times because of it.

It happens!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


We have nine days left until our move and we have officially entered into "survival mode."

We work ourselves to the bone every day and collapse into bed, exhausted.

But it's that great kind of exhausted, the one where you know there is light at the end of the tunnel and that good changes are about to happen!

Our window unit AC started dripping about a week ago. Drip, Drip, Drip, all night long.

So we put a towel under it and hoped for the best. But that dripping sound continued, even with it dripping onto a towel.

So we got inventive and stuck a sheet in the corner of the AC unit so that the water would move down the sheet and just be absorbed by the towel.

It worked for a couple of days and then the humidity happened. Living in the desert, we aren't much used to any humidity, and our has been 70-85% lately! Shocking, really, since we've lived here for 2 years and haven't seen that happen. Well, the humidity made the drip turn into a constant gush of water.

Gush, Gush, Gush.

And wouldn't you know it? I had already packed and moved all of my extra linens and towels. So we used the few that we still had here to absorb that gushing flow. And I still didn't want to call a repairman. Because we only had 2 weeks left, and I didn't want to pay for a repair that we'd only be able to use for 2 weeks.

Even if an AC repairman here only costs 12 dollars. I'm so serious.

So we lose sleep, and mop up lots of water on the floor, and change buckets out periodically so that we aren't under water.

Oh, and Ian and I have to use Grace's baby towels when we shower. I use the Winnie-the-Pooh hooded towel and Ian has a nice pink butterfly hooded towel.

It's a really special time in our lives.

I finally broke down today and asked to get the repairman here. Less than 8 hours later and our AC is fixed, blowing cold air again, with no water features.

Another happening around our household is our insect issue. Remember when I said I found a termite tunnel in a door frame? Remember how nonchalant I was about it?

Remember how no one bothered to mention that termites SWARM at night and can FLY?!


I remember.

So one night last week, I was sitting at my computer when a bug hit me in the face and fell on the floor. I asked Ian to clean it up (really, it was more like "GET HIM! Kill HIM!") and went back to my computer. Something caught my eye and I noticed another bug on the wall. I pointed it out to Ian and he dutifully went about taking care of it.

While he was cleaning up the bugs, my eyes got bigger as I noticed four more bugs on the other wall. I surveyed the room and I saw that they were multiplying, and quickly.

All of this took place in less than a minute.

We had about 30 flying bugs in the room and I was in a pregnancy/woman induced hysterical breakdown over the bugs and we had the presence of mind to realize they were
1.) attracted to the light
2.) coming from the front room

So we quickly shut the door to that room and cleaned up the mess.

And by "we," I totally mean Ian, because I was the one sobbing at the computer, googling "termite swarm."

Luckily, no more got through to us, and in the morning there was a pile of about 500 dead bugs right by there tunnel.

I was traumatized, to say the least.

Apparently the termites that have wings swarm for several nights, trying to find their mate. They only have 5-15 minutes to mate and get back into their tunnel before their wings fall off and they die. They can't bite or eat anything, so they are harmless (physically, though I may be emotionally scarred for awhile.)

So every night we close up the front room and every morning, Ian goes in an vacuums up the mess. The first night was the worse and there haven't been as many since then.

I should probably call someone or let the landlord know, but, again. 9 days left in this house guys. And the house is entirely cinder block, except for the door frames.

(anyone seeing a pattern about me not wanting to address issues because we only have so many days left here? Because I am.)

And the cherry on top of my "I'm moving, I don't have to take care of it," denial has to do with our kitchen. Our oven/stove is gas powered, and every 6 months or so we have to replace the gas tank. It costs less than 6 dollars, but is a pain in the butt to replace.

The last time we replaced ours was in February.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Yes. Our gas tank is running out/ already out.

And yes. I have so much on my plate that I really don't want to mess with getting it replaced. SO, what does any sane person do?

Say "No more cooking until after we move!" That's what!

Plus, that gives me a chance to pack up the kitchen even earlier!

We're having to get a little creative with our meals (cereal, meals that can be made with hot water, microwaved things,) but we are cleaning out our cabinets, so that's nice!

Like I said, we've entered into "survival mode." but it's a good thing, because in less than two weeks we will be on our way to our new home! We figure, we might as well have a few laughs along the way. Even if it means laughing at ourselves :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy 15 Months, Grace!

Grace turns 15 months old today! It's hard to believe she is 1 and a quarter year old!!

Dr appointment is next week, I will update these stats then:

Head Circumference:
Diaper size: Pampers, size 4
Clothes size: 12-18 months!
Shoe size: 2- itty bitty feet!

She is changing so much right now, it's been amazing to see all that she learns, processes, and puts to use. She's started following simple commands ("bring me your cup." "Put the towel on the bed." etc) and can say "bye bye, da-da, ma-ma, more (mo,) no (ba,)" She has really started jibber jabbering lately too. I know other kids maybe started babbling ALOT earlier, but Grace really just started this past week!

She signs "More," and "all done," consistently, which may not seem like alot, but that's all I've taught her, ha! So that's great! She also will shake her finger "no," at things that she isn't supposed to touch and say "ba!" (no.) She also does a sign for "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep," when she wants us to sing those songs. I need to up her musical repertoire though, because I'm getting tired of singing those!

Every day she's showing us something new. Just tonight she was flipping through her alphabet book, got to "N is for Nose," and pointed at the picture of the little girl who was pointing to her nose. Grace then pointed to her nose! Blew my mind.

She has just figured out how to get on and off of our ride on car and how to push it with her feet. She carries her baby doll around every where and will pat its belly, put it on her shoulder, or give it a bottle. She even makes a crying noise when she is playing with it.

She can walk and she's getting closer to running but still trips on her own feet and gets pretty upset. She claps and can shake her head "No," until she's dizzy.

She's a picky eater, much to my disdain. I always said, when I babysat other people's kids, that I wouldn't have a picky eater. Well. Grace is making me eat my words. We put stuff in front of her all the time but she won't even touch them (any tips moms?) We'll just continue to put those foods in front of her and encourager her to taste them. I'm hoping when we move, and we have a table that we can all sit down together at, it will be less hectic and she can see us modeling eating all of our food. Plus, it'll mean I have to have dinner ready before she goes down for the night so she won't just get a bowl of oatmeal of chickpeas, ha! We especially need help in the protein (eggs and meat) department and she won't touch pasta with a 10 foot pole.

The real problem is our schedule and how she gets food in little spurts of snacks. Her daycare feeds her all day, and more than what I send with her, so when she comes home and naps, and it is dinner time, she's not hungry! We lose most of our time to feed her because of school, but now that we are about to transition to her being home more, I hope to help guide her to better foods soon.

Girlfriend loves her dairy products though! She drinks about 3-4 glasses of milk a day, has one plain yogurt and one cheese stick (or slices of cheese,) a day. She often has a low sugar oatmeal for breakfast or multigrain cheerios. She likes bananas, chickpeas, black eyed peas, carrots, raisins, hummus, and the occasional cucumber. She's had a couple of PB & J's and smacks her lips as she eats them! She likes most breads and crackers as well.

She is so much fun! She laughs and walks around all the time! She loves to be held and snuggled and will give kisses, high fives, and we are currently working on the local (weird) greeting of the hushum (think an eskimo kiss, but is often done between the same sexes as a greeting.)

She is a GREAT sleeper, going down at 7 pm sharp and at least sleeping until 7 am, but lately she'll go until 8 or 8:30 am! And, the saying "Sleep begets sleep," is SO true! Since we are home more, she gets a morning and an afternoon nap, both lasting 2-3 hours! Occasionally she'll take 15 minutes to wind down, but then she is out!

Still no real hair, but the stuff on the back is getting longer and thicker! If only a little would come in on top! She is quite toothy now. Just 3 months ago she only had 2 teeth, and now she has 12! The four middle ones and two molars on both top and bottom!

Nicknames: gobbler (her first real babble word was "gob, gob,") Gracie, baby girl, sweet cakes, cakey, and cha cha! She will also respond to her Arabic name, the Arabic word for grace- Naimah.