Friday, January 29, 2010

Ellie's many outfits

I think Ellie went through 5 different outfits today!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ellie getting hungry

Sorry about the grainy-ness, but I had to lower the quality to get it to post since it was such a big

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More pics

Pictures of Ellie's first days

Latching onto Daddy's nose!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's the Final Countdown...

Today seems momentous given there are only TEN days left until my due date. I've started saying "next Thursday", which seems so weird after saying "Jan 28th" for almost 9 months.

So I've been getting the "Are you ready?" question for a couple of weeks now, and the answer is still, most definitely, no! :0 Not because I'm not ready to meet her... I can't wait for that! But, we've been renovating our bathroom for over 4 weeks now, and there are still tools and dust everywhere, not to mention projects that still need to be completed. I've been chronicling the renovation on FB for my fam, so you can see the pics here.

We've had a very busy month of getting ready: weekly dr. visits, 2 prenatal visits w/ our doula, lots of projects revolving around getting the nursery ready, trips to BabiesRUs for the last minute necessities/exchanges from shower gifts, lots of baby girl laundry, finding a pediatrician, writing a birth plan, making checklists for our hospital bags, etc., etc. I have had to do all of this in moderation 'cause if I stay on my feet too long my Braxton Hicks kick in and my stomach gets super tight.

I am really hoping and praying that this baby comes at least a week late so that we have time to be more ready. And, the later she comes, the less time I'll have to go back to teaching at the end of the school year. I envision that being a very difficult 6-8 weeks with a newborn, given I have to get up at 6 am to teach regardless of how much sleep I'll be getting! I know that labor can start at any time (I've been thinking about that fact for the last 2 weeks already), but so far I've had no indication that she is ready yet. She hasn't dropped; in fact, I still get comments about how high I'm carrying her, and how small she is. To me, this is a good sign- my sub is ready to go the minute she gets my phone call, and my students are prepped that it can be any time now, but I am still really hopeful that I can squeeze in a couple more weeks of teaching before the Big Day.

Of the things I'm looking forward to (aside from getting to meet and hold my daughter, obviously!!), surprisingly enough wearing my normal clothes ranks pretty high up there. Also, not having to sit down after 20 minutes of activity due to the fear of going into early labor; not having to guess what labor will be like or when it will happen; seeing family who will come to visit; having help w/ the house projects that didn't get done in time; and BETTER sleep, though perhaps not more. Sleep has been pretty elusive these last months as I wake up numerous times during the night due to back pain. My body just isn't used to this extra weight... So, shedding these extra pounds and being able to breathe easier sounds really good about now too.

I realized I haven't updated about my pregnancy since the "Adventures in Third Trimester" post, in which I had several health scares/issues. Thankfully all of that has been much better- fewer heart racing episodes, fewer panic attacks, and no worries about gestational diabetes. It has really been a very healthy end to the pregnancy and I feel surprisingly good; just a bit uncomfortable at times, which is to be expected at this point. So thanks for listening to my ramblings. Soon we'll be updating with pics of our sweet, baby girl. And, we'll finally be able to share her name! It's been fun to keep people guessing, but I've discovered that I am too much of an extrovert (read: verbal processor) to like keeping secrets!
My aunt just wrote a really helpful post for anyone who ever has to think about motivating people: "Nonprofit marketing recipe: Hope + individual stories + progress"

She points out that, "we respond to stories of hope and transformation, not stories and statistics of desperation." I remember thinking this after a speaker who visited the seminary tried to "guilt" us into joining his cause by talking (statistically) about how bleak the outlook is in his field and how much better our ancestors did at missions than we do. I left the talk thinking how much more impact speakers had who talked about their personal interactions with people and who viewed the obstacles they faced as opportunities rather than barriers. This speaker did tell one story about getting to know some men in his neighborhood by drinking with them (taboo for most people from an evangelical tradition). That one story resonated far more with the audience than all the statistics and negative outlook because it was personal, and hopeful. We got to see a snapshot of his life and some hopeful relationships he was building.

While she is applying ideas to non-profits in general, I think the insights are valuable to churches specifically (as it seems that we often look to 1950s marketing paradigms for our ideas currently...). She points us to marketing ideas that would also be endorsed by a biblically consistent Christian theology: humans are intrinsically relational (thus we connect with stories about individuals, not statistics) and humans innately know that that the suffering and pain we confront all around is is not as it is supposed to be (thus we are hopeful, and respond to hopeful ideas that look to defeating such pain).

Thank you Lois Kelly!