Thursday, March 27, 2008
Thankfully John was coming home the next day and so we discussed things. These prelabor contractions are so typical for the way my previous two labors have gone that I really shouldn't have been surprised. With Clara Anne, they started right on my due date and I thought I was really going into labor! To my surprise, she wasn't born until 5 days later! With Chloe, they started about 2 weeks before she was born (particularly noticeable on our daily walks to Starbucks from our apartment there in Thailand), and at first we were all excited, thinking she would come early. Nope, two weeks later, after many many prelabor contractions, found me complaining to John one afternoon, "I am so sick and tired of these prelabor contractions! They are starting to really hurt, and I just know this is going to go on for another week!" The pain factor should have been my first clue. Sure enough, she was born about 10 hours later.
However, these contractions have been more regular and frequent, and begun much earlier, than either of my previous experiences. Suddenly our plan to arrive in the birth city a scant two weeks before my due date was looking a bit risky. So, we've changed our plans and will now be leaving for that beautiful seaside city next Monday, a week earlier than originally planned.
John put me on mock bedrest this week in order to help me deal with the contractions and life as well. We've eaten a little simpler meals, I've been forbidden to take the girls out by myself, and John won the "Sensitive Husband Award" by suggesting that I get several massages this week. I think we're going to make it until next Monday! The contractions are still present but I haven't bothered to time them; in fact I'm trying my best to ignore them. Now I know from experience--real contractions will not allow you to ignore them! So as long as I can put it out of my mind, it helps a lot.
We were glad to have this one final week to wrap things up at home here--in fact, several big issues have made significant progress. The most exciting is that we have signed an agreement on a new apartment and will hopefully take possesion on May 1st! It needs some renovations so we do not plan to move in immediately (and with a new baby I will probably not be ready to pack immediately), but maybe by June 1st or so we'll be ready to move. Ahhh. . . ready to move to a bit bigger space . . . with an elevator . . . and hot water . . . and a bathtub . . . yippee! The new apartment is in a nice complex with lovely landscaping and places for the girls to play outside, which we don't have right now. We are excited about it!
As well, major progress is being made with Chloe and her potty training this week! She is now getting very skilled at releasing almost as soon as she sits down on the potty, without trying to stand up or cry about it--two of her previously most distressing problems. She has even shown some great initiative in taking herself to the potty several times in the past few days. I am so thankful for this, since we are about to be in a lot of transition and I wanted her to make as much progress as possible while we were still home. PTL for small miracles!
So we'll see what next week brings. Exciting times are just around the corner!
You may remember that we have government controlled steam heat, which is turned on for the whole city at a certain date in the fall, and then turned off at a certain date in the spring. Many times in the winter, if the weather is mild, the heat inside our house would be oppressive and so we'd be walking around in t-shirts and shorts. Our lovely down comforter was sadly just too warm for most of the winter. We'd have to open the windows occasionally just to keep from roasting! I'm not complaining, though, since I would rather be too warm than too cold.
Now we're experiencing the flip side. The heat was turned off last week and the difference in our house is noticeable. Suddenly even John (who is rarely cold) was asking for more of the comforter at night. My girls stopped playing dress up in their swimsuits and Clara Anne asked for me to heat up her apple juice this morning at breakfast.
So, we'll probably have a week or two more of feeling a little chilly inside, and then the weather will catch up. It's been lovely springtime here--the redbuds and dogwoods are in bloom in various places around the city, the trees are sprouting new leaves, and a lovely white flowering tree right outside my kitchen window (we live on the fourth floor so sort of look down on the tree) has had more and more blossoms each day. Happy Springtime! I'm thankful for the cycle of seasons!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Happy Birthday, Lou! We appreciate you!
Timing-wise, this is a terrible time to start potty-training again. My "window of opportunity" had passed and now we are only a few weeks away from traveling for the new baby, this last week was unusually busy for John and we had several extra activities, and I'm definitely not at the peak of my energy being so pregnant! [For those of you who are counting, I'll be 35 weeks complete tomorrow!!! I am starting the 36th week!]
However, despite the timing issues, John and I were both starting to feel that even if the potty training was a more involved process, we were worried that having Chloe continue in diapers was really going to confuse her. Sunday evening, I said to Chloe, "Ok, let's go get your jammies on," (no mention of diapers at all, though she knew that we always change her diaper before bed), and she absolutely flipped out--screamed in terror, ran from the room and tried to hide behind the couch. No amount of hugs, comfort items, or soothing talk could help her calm down until the diaper business was over. So this put me over the edge--we decided late Sunday night that I would start potty-training her again.
The last two days have gone well--yesterday she was 1 for 7 on the potty (and the victory came late in the day, just as an encouragement to me, I think!), and today she was 3 for 4. Progress is being made! I think we're in it now for the long haul--we won't stop again. It still upsets her to pee on the potty, for some reason, but I am seeing some progress there as well. We do have almost three weeks before we travel for the new baby, so we'll hope that she can really get into a good habit between now and then. Keep up the good work, Chloe!
One final quote that I forgot to include last time came a few days after our lovely Easter egg hunt organized solely by my friend Rachel. (More about that in another post!) The girls have had a wonderful time playing with their baskets, and Clara Anne came in to the kitchen where I was working, holding her basket which contained one of her dolls. "Mommy, look, I'm going to put my baby in the river!" For a moment I couldn't imagine what she could be talking about. The Yellow River? The Mississippi River? So I asked, "Which river, Clara Anne?" She looked at me as if I was truly a bit behind the times and said, "The Nile River, Mommy!" as if to say, of course! Which other river could it possibly be?!
Let's just hope that once the new baby is born Clara Anne will not attempt to put her in a basket and send her down the river!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
"Mommy, that jacket is too small for your baby." Observed when watching me trying to zip up my spring jacket past my very large belly.
"Here, Chloe, here is some wine. You can drink it and remember me." While playing with cups in the bathtub, I think some ideas about the Lord's supper got mixed up with the bath water!
"Oh no! Mommy, Chloe bent this card, and I'm sorry to say, now I can't fix it." Can you guess who else in our house uses the expression "I'm sorry to say"?
"Mommy, I'm hungry. Is it almost breakfast time? Maybe I could have some hello dollies and some cake!" After a nap; just listen to that sweet tooth talking!
"When Jesus died, that made me very upset." After watching a brief children's video about Easter.
"Mommy, I don't like it when my hair keeps falling in my eyes. Can you comb my hair today? I better put some clips in my hair, Mommy!" This was a first! Usually the hair-combing is a battle.
"More hello dollies, please!" My first attempt at making this yummy treat this week met with rave reviews from the whole family!
Then of course, there are the lines that I'd like to forget, like "I don't want to" and "but, Mommy," although we do try to minimize those occurrences. Generally, it really is fun to see Clara Anne acquiring more and more language, and especially growing in her ability to learn Asianese and memorize Scripture, both important! Hope you enjoyed these quotes from Clara Anne!
Friday, March 14, 2008
On Wednesday I was talking with my house helper and she mentioned that she was only two and a half years younger than me, since she has already celebrated her birthday this year. It came to me in a flash . . . oh no, her birthday! I totally forgot her birthday! "Was it yesterday?" I asked, knowing that it was on a Tuesday. No, in fact, it was last week Tuesday . . . the day that John and I were gone all day! So not only did I ask her to work about 14 hours on her birthday, she spent her birthday supervising children (a first for her) and English-speaking children at that! Oh dear, I felt so badly. So at my insistence, we have now designated next Tuesday as her birthday and we'll have a special lunch and a birthday cake. SO sorry, Lou!
The other incident occurred in the same conversation, if you can believe it. Lou was asking me about some deeper questions and as I talked with her I kept on referencing Paul's writings in the Bible. The only problem was, I kept pronouncing his name "bwoh-lwoh" instead of "bow-lwoh", calling him "pineapple" instead of "Paul"! Ooops. So, let's see, how many years have I been speaking this language??! There's always more to learn!
Friday, March 07, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Thanks to all of you who were thinking of Chloe last week. I am thankful for such a gracious answer to prayer!