Saturday, September 21, 2013

Welcome Autumn

It is pouring outside right now. How perfect. I may be among the masses--particularly in the Great Northwest--who feel this way but...I love Autumn and I don't care who knows it.

Tomorrow marks September 22, which is the first official day of Autumn. Contrary to the rather popular belief that Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes usher in the first sign of Autumn, I prefer to let the calendar maintain its authority. I, too, get the late-summer blues, eagerly waiting for the first signs of Fall to come. I refused to give in early this year and I must say, it panned out pretty well. We were hit with a record-breaking Indian Summer this year with temperatures in the upper 90s last week. I can imagine how silly I would have felt clutching my pumpkin spice latte while beads of sweat dripped off my forehead.

Now that summer has breathed it's last fiery breath, it's time to embrace the season at hand. It is the best time of year. It is when everyone seems to shake off the travel bug, come indoors after a beautiful and warm summer in the sun and find a new, closer-to-home routine of life. It's the hunker-down, hug-your-family, and snuggle-up time. It is a time when everything seems to get quiet.

Every year I have a slew of Fall traditions and, for the most part, I try to preserve many of these traditions solely for this brief season. The brevity of Fall is a crime, really. Fall runs from late September through Thanksgiving. Although technically Fall runs through late December, who is talking about Fall on December 20th? No one. Everyone starts talking Christmas and Winter traditions once Thanksgiving has passed. Not that I'm complaining. I really do love Christmas. This year we have a special treat. Thanksgiving is rather late this year, so that means a little more time for Fall. Hooray!

I thought it would be fun to post my Fall traditions list and do my best to blog about some of them as I check them off the list. I should preface this list by saying that the items with an asterisk are items I have not actually had as a regular tradition prior to this year, but I am adding them to make sure this is the best Autumn yet.

So, stay tuned. This is bound to be the best fall yet and I'm excited to squeeze every ounce out of it that I possibly can and share my experiences along the way.

Without further ado...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Oh, this day

I'll skip right over the fact that it's been oh...nine months since my last post. Yep, it's been a while. Life has been a wee bit busy.

This day has come, once again. August 19th. As I look back on my post from August 19, 2011 and August 19, 2012, I am reminded of where I have come from and how greatly I am blessed. It was two years ago I felt the pieces of my heart slip through my fingers like little shards of glass. The day when the adoption of a baby girl was snatched from us in nothing but a moment to say, "she changed her mind."

It's hard thinking about this, really. Not hard in a painful way, but in a connected way. I never want to forget how much it hurt and how Jesus rescued me from spiraling into a deep sadness. I never want to forget how Christ was my compass as I ached for answers--how He still guides my path.

If I haven't said it enough before, it is Christ who saved me that August 19th, 2011. It was Christ who held my insides together when all I felt was as if I was spilling out everywhere all at once. Yes, Tim held me in his arms, but Christ mended me. He promised me hope. He promised me joy. He sang over me while my heart yearned for a little one I could hold and love and cherish. I had no idea then what tremendous blessing and beauty He had planned for our family.

It has been two years since that day and my, oh my.

Tonight I play with Lamaya on the kitchen floor. She has taken a liking to a tortilla warmer as her toy of choice tonight. She looks at Mama, waiting for her to watch her scoot scoot scoot across the floor. Now time for little baby doll to scoot scoot scoot. She is thrilled. She is giggling. She asks Mama to play the piggies game. And after her piggies have gone to market, enjoy roast beef, make a pit stop in Hawaii and St. Lucia, they come allllllllll the way home. Don't forget to do it again, she reminds me. One more trip for all the piggies.

I love my girls. I love them more than I'll ever be able to say. Sweet girl Cambria had her 12-month shots today and she wailed like I've never heard. I held her as she cried. Lamaya was so upset to see her sissy crying so hard that she decided to join in and cry too. All three of us girls left the doctor's office teary-eyed with sympathetic onlookers. I can't stand seeing my girls in pain, even if it's for a good thing.

Cambria is catching up to her sister. She's just two inches shorter and just one step behind her at all times. Nothing seems to stop her. She has the determination of a little lion. She takes no time to "test the waters." She sees, she does. We call her our little bulldozer sometimes because she tends to keep going going going. There really isn't any slow or cautious modes with Cambria. It's either full speed ahead or stop. I love her for it. She has so much spunk and so much zest for life. She is constantly moving and I often find her swaying back and forth when she thinks no one is looking. There is a song in that girl's heart, I just know it. I can't wait to hear it when she gets to singing.

Lamaya is our cautious and observant little girl. She drinks in life in big, long gulps. She is passionate about experiencing life to its fullest, but being very careful not to get hurt along the way. She sees a spider on the wall outside and, "OHHHHH," she says as she squats and points excitedly. Yes, baby. There's a spider on the wall. Isn't it funny looking? Five minutes later, she can still be found checking out the spider. She seeks to learn and know and discover everything she can about life and what God has given her. She's hilarious, of course. I must be too blessed to define her stage as "the terrible twos." She's not perfect, and there are plenty of fits along the way, but she's just so much fun. She makes me laugh. I think she is going to take over as the chief comedian in the family. She knows she is funny, too, which makes it all the more hilarious.

I suppose I could say endless things about what I love about our girls. Really, my favorite part about them is that they are two precious gifts given to us by God. I don't mean that lightly in the feel-good, nice-thing-to-say kind of way. I mean it literally. God designed this tapestry of our lives and we had no idea these two beautiful threads would be introduced. I can't imagine our lives without them. Being a mother to them has given me the tiniest glimpse into more of Christ's character. I think of how much I love my girls and I think, wow, my Savior loves his children. My love for my girls is but a mere fraction of how much my Jesus loves me. What an amazing gift I've been given to experience another beautiful facet of Christ's love for me.

So this day has come again. I had to blog, because I had to remember. I never want to forget what Jesus did for me that day and the days following. He saved me, as He does every day. I praise Him and give Him the glory for the beauty in my life. I am but a recipient. Any good in me is His work in me. I plead for our girls to know this love of Jesus and to embrace His love with their whole hearts. Our Savior is so good. I plead this prayer for our girls every day:

Father, would you please remove from their flesh their hearts of stone and give them new hearts of flesh. Circumcise their hearts so that they may love you. Give them your Spirit so they they may walk in your statutes. Grant them repentance and knowledge of the truth so that they may escape the snares of the enemy. Open up their hearts so that they may receive the Gospel. (Ezekiel 11:19, Deuteronomy 30:6, Ezekiel 36:27, 2 Timothy 2:25–26, Acts 16:14)

Thanks for stopping by to take a read. I'll do my best to post more frequently.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Beauty in Darkness

As many of us try to make sense of the horrific event that transpired on Friday the 14th of December, 2012, I'd like to offer up this poem, which has been credited to a person named Cameo Smith in Mt. Wolf, PA. Grab a tissue box and give it a read.

I pray that we would turn our questioning hearts and minds to the Savior. He is the only one who can bind up wounds as deep as those fresh from Friday's massacre. Evil exists. It has a name. The only conqueror of such evil is Jesus Christ. No man, no laws, no government...nothing can overcome this evil, except Jesus Christ.

A Poem by Cameo Smith:

twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Welcome Cambria Mae

She's here! It's not really news so much any more considering she is twelve days old now, but my goodness she is really here! It's still hard to believe that after nine long months I am now holding my baby girl who was once the size of a pea.

Cambria was born just 4 minutes after her due date at 12:04 am on July 20th. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was 19 inches long.

The week of her arrival was certainly a fun week. I had taken my maternity leave at the beginning of the week, so I was busying myself with a list of household tasks to take my mind off the excitement of her arrival. I made a giant list of to-do's and I probably got through about half of them...maybe.

We had our false alarm on Monday, the 16th, where we went into the hospital with what I can only understand now as Braxton Hicks or some form of mild contractions. I kept finding it quite frustrating hearing the same thing over and over...when you have a contraction YOU'LL KNOW. It's similar to when you're single and married people always say...when you find the right one for you...YOU'LL KNOW. It's irritating being on the unknowing side, especially with the knowers frolicking their irritating knowingness in front of you. But, alas, they're right. Now that I'm a knower about such things as contractions and labor, I KNOW. Oh man, there's nothing like them. I feel so silly about how on Monday I thought that perhaps this could be it. Hah, what a fool. A fool! It reminds me of Phoebe (from Friends) when she has one contraction and then looks down and says, "Oh, I was hoping that was it." Yeah, there's a reason why the pain scale for women is measured by zero being no pain and 10 being the worst pain of your life (a.k.a. labor).

I had my first contraction at 3pm on Thursday and I was at home chilling with my daughter, Lamaya. I remember thinking that this is probably the start of things, but who knows how long this pre-labor period will last. I had heard it could be endless hours of laboring at home before you need to head to the hospital. That was the plan, anyhow. So, I didn't jump when I had my first contraction. After having my second and third contraction in less than an hour, I decided it might be a good idea to get backup to care for Lamaya since that wasn't a possibility while bearing down on the side of the couch in pain. My mom came to my rescue and she didn't have to do much else but look at me to know... this was the real deal. No dress rehearsal this time. I texted Tim alerting him to my condition and said that there was no need to come home since the contractions were still 20 minutes apart. I had to call him back just 30 minutes later and say, "Hun, you need to come home now. They are about 8 minutes apart and getting closer and closer each time. I think we need to go to the hospital" Of course he came right on home.

After arriving at the hospital, they sent us walking for an hour. Longest hour of my life. Contractions were coming at me like waves--one right on the heels of the last. After checking back in with my midwife it was clear I was in active labor and it was time to get us into a room.

I was so excited and anxious to get into the water birthing tub. Somehow I knew the moment I got in the tub the release of the weight of what seemed to be the entire world on my shoulders would be lifted. It took a little over an hour to make it to the room due to so many contractions coming and the need to stop and hold on to the hand rails. Once we made it to the room, I had to wait just outside while they finished preparing the tub and there are a few memories etched in my memory. First, I remember my toenail polish matching my cushy flip flops. I remember when my mom arrived. I remember my midwife being very calming and helping me release each contraction as it passed. I remember a great boom of thunder from the thunderstorm going on outside. And I remember the song "How Great Thou Art" performed by Chris Thile playing and everything inside me acknowledging that God is great and He is kind and most importantly He was going to be with me through every breath. I remember that being the moment where I realized this would be the hardest thing, at least physically, that I would ever go through and that with His strength I could do it. It was a peace that washed over me.

The music came from our room where Tim had set up the music right away. Everything else we brought with us could wait, but the music was needed right away. That is my husband knowing his wife well. :)

Laboring was difficult, to say the least. Laboring in the tub was magnificent. I cannot imagine laboring in a bed. Yes, I was able to get through the entire 9 hours (yes, I know this is a short amount of time to labor, praise Jesus!) without any medication. I wasn't out to prove anything. I simply knew that my body was designed to bring a child into the world and I trusted it.

Ummm was it all magic and fairy tales? No. It was the worst imaginable pain and there were plenty of times I told Tim that I couldn't do it. But I got through, we all did. There are really two moments that I'll never forget during the time of pushing. The first was turning to Tim and saying that I couldn't do it. I couldn't go on. My midwife said, "Ashley, I want you to reach down and feel her head." Once I did that, there was nothing I couldn't do. A serious bonfire was lit under me and I gave it everything I had and everything I didn't have to get her here. The second was once the majority of Cambria was delivered, my midwife asked me to reach down and pull her up to my chest. It was an unreal moment. I was witnessing and experiencing life from my own body being brought to my heart. It was a breathtaking moment.

So, for anyone considering a water birth, I can't help but give my wholehearted approval and recommendation. It was fantastic. The warmth relaxed me, the water allowed me to just focus on my breathing and nothing else. I would absolutely do it again.

Now, there are a few things I'd like to get off my chest about labor and delivery. I was never told about the after pain. I expected that once the placenta delivered I'd be in my blissful state of my baby is here and life is good and now I can rest.

Ummm no. I remained in a significant amount of pain afterwards. Thankfully there was no tearing (due largely in-part to the water keeping me relaxed), but there was still plenty of pain. No one told me about this. The pain continued on, with contractions included, for several hours afterwards. Since I was all-natural, I think they assumed I was part-hippie, which meant I didn't want any big-time drugs. I finally all but took the collar of my nurse and said ibuprofen ain't gonna cut it sweetheart. Give me the narcotics. :) That, at least, took off the edge.

I'd also like to point out that breastfeeding is very difficult and anybody who tells you it shouldn't hurt or won't hurt is wrong. It hurts, so just accept it. However, there is magical product that has spared me endless amounts of pain... it's called a nipple shield. Probably a little TMI for you all, but trust me ladies... it's a God-send.

Well, all I can say to wrap this up is... I am in love with my little Cambria. She is my little sweet pea and I just adore her. Having two beautiful daughters that I adore and love so much is just the most tremendous blessing I could have asked for. I'm so thankful for my family and all that God has blessed us with in just 9 short months. Zero to two. What an amazing thing.

It's a miracle I was able to write this blog in one sitting! Lamaya is hanging with grandpa and Cambria is zonked next to me. Time to feed everybody, so I better go! Thanks for following our journey. Now onto blogging about straight-up mommyhood. Oh me, oh my. The next leg of this journey is sure to be a doozie!

Love, AA

Friday, June 8, 2012

Natural Baby! Yeah!

It's Friday and it's pouring, so why not blog a little bit? I'd love to give you all an update on the pregnancy, since there's a strong possibility I won't be posting much (or anything) between now and when littlest Ainley arrives.

I'm just over 34 weeks pregnant now, so you know, feeling akin to a whale with each passing day. Someone posted on my facebook not too long ago that elephants are pregnant for something like two years before giving birth. Two years!? Although I may feel elephant-like, I'm sure glad I am not a literal elephant.

I have entered the glorious phase I'd like to summate as..."Get this baby outta me!" Another friend posted that she is convinced the ninth month of pregnancy is purely to give you all the motivation you need to go into labor. Because nothing could be worse than staying pregnant. Now, being pregnant has been a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the middle months where I sported the baby bump, could sleep soundly for 10+ hours a night, could easily tie my own shoes and could eat anything without the threat of dragon breath escaping my lungs (some might call this heartburn). However, now in the later months I can't help but think now's about a great time to get this show on the road.

Am I ready to handle two baby girls at home? Um, let's stick with a resounding "no." However, I love every minute I have with my babycakes, Lamaya, and I know I'm going to feel the same way about #2 (who shall remain nameless until birth...Mom!)

Last I talked with many of you, I had fairly concrete plans to head to the hospital, get my epidural on and go from there. Well, plans have changed a bit. Tim and I went to the labor and delivery birthing class a few months back and my eyes were opened to the world of natural child birth. Let me preface this by saying that NO, I am not converting to a hippy, NO I did not purchase stock in Birkenstocks, NO I am not going to begin wearing peace-sign attire like it's an extension of my identity, and NO I am not joining the Occupy "movement." I am, however, going to move forward with a water birth at PeaceHealth (SW Hospital).

Tim and I attended the birth class last night and I'm very excited about how the water will create an excellent environment for the birth. I hopped in the bath the other day, desperate for anything to relieve this back pain that can best be described as a cattle prod near the left base of my spine. As I laid there in our midget-sized tub–seriously, I don't think it's right to call it a "tub" when it can't even hardly fit a fairly petite woman! So, perhaps I'll refer to it as a water basin instead–so, like I was saying....I was laying there in our water-basin and, although I couldn't get myself to float, I was able to feel pressure release from the weight of my belly. It was marvelous! That pretty much sealed the deal for me. I mean, why not keep a whale in its natural habitat!? Bring on the water!

If any of you have any questions about water birth, I'd refer you to a midwife. I'm probably not the best person to ask until after I've had the experience. All I know is that I am pumped and ready for it. There are many studies that show the increased benefits of a water birth and water birth, specifically in a hospital, has no additional risks than a "land-birth" does. Land birth, meaning on a bed. Don't take it from me, though, really check it out. I will say I could have done without the informational videos they showed us at the class. Full on nudity put to music was more than I could take. Especially when Pachelbel's Canon in D began to play. I mean, that's the song I walked down the aisle to. Nothing like ruining a perfect memory. Now that song will be clouded with...well, you can imagine.

So, onward with the water birth (all-natural)!

PS - I want to point out that there is no elitism in natural birth vs. not natural. If you want to get an epidural, go right ahead. By my choice in natural child birth, I do not think myself as stronger or tougher than anybody else. Every birth is different and this is the experience I've chosen for mine.Well, anyway, I'm going to keep this short because my baby girl is here and I want to go see her (and Tim too!).

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and let's hope that summer actually remembers what it's supposed to be like. This rain is the pits!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Adoption - Day 639

Yep, it is officially day 639 of our adoption process and today is a very special day. Why, you ask? Today is the final day of the adoption process for us as a family. The very last day! Granted adoption and the process of raising our beautiful baby girl will go on forever, but the process of completing the adoption is finally reaching its end.

 Today we will go to the county courthouse in downtown Vancouver and have the final papers signed, making Lamaya 100% ours in every way. Yes, she was already hand-picked to be ours long before even time began, but not necessarily according to the state of Washington. So, today marks the end of the seemingly endless paperwork and endless checks for this fee and that fee. It feels so nice to be done!

The adoption process, what can I say about it? For anyone considering it, I suppose the best advice I can offer is to prepare yourself to be patient and to always expect the unexpected. Yeah, right, it's just that simple. Tell that to me way back in July of 2010 when we first started and I wouldn't have a clue as to what that really means. Now that we have gone through the heartbreak and the unspeakable joy of adoption, I can honestly say that, yes, we would do it again. NO, not anytime soon. Geez, am I some kind of baby factory here? Two in under 9 months is plenty for me thank you very much.

Adopting Lamaya is the best thing that we have ever done, absolutely no question. She has been worth every tear, every single page of relentless paperwork, every single day of the last 639 days, every penny (and THEN some) and every bit of struggle we encountered. She is a precious gift and we are blessed to be called her mom and dad.

I'd say that probably the number one obstacle when a couple begins considering adoption is the financial burden. Let me be the first to tell you that if adopting is God's plan for your life, I can give you a 100% guarantee He will provide for you in miraculous ways that will increase your faith and understanding of His generosity and love. That's not to say raising the $25,000 was a piece of cake. It is to say, however, that we took out $0 in loaned money from the bank to make this possible. We were gifted money left and right by friends and family who just wanted to bless us in the process. We received money through the most random ways like our car accident settlement claims (super strange) and a massive garage sale (raked in just over $2,000). It was easy in the beginning to feel a little discouraged. That $25,000 mark seems awfully daunting. Once we hit $10,000 we looked at each other thinking... maybe this is possible after all!? And it was. I am very happy, honored and THANKFUL to say that as of today–the 639th and final day of adoption–we will be short a total of $19 and, NO, we didn't take out a loan for those $19. :) God is so good and so faithful to us and if you contributed in some way to this process, I wish we could properly express our gratitude. Hopefully you have had the chance, or will have the chance, to hold this amazing little munchkin in your arms and her smile or tootsie roll arms are enough to thank you for your generosity. And to thank you for help making bringing her home to us a reality.

We are thrilled about this day. It means so many things. It means the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. It means that we can FINALLY file our taxes, which is always a good thing. It means that we can focus on just simply being a family and not have to worry about legalities or paperwork. That we can finally just enjoy being us three (and Tucker too!), well at least for a few more months before it becomes us four!

So, thank you for following this journey of adoption. It's been a wild and unpredictable ride, filled with pain, frustration, love, peace, joy and endless blessings. I wouldn't change a thing about our journey, even the hard and painful parts. It was all part of bringing home our sweet little pumpkin, Lamaya Claire.



Monday, March 12, 2012

Blogging, Yeah That's a Hobby Hit By Motherhood

It's been a long time. I am going to go ahead and blame my lack of blogging on the combo new baby + being pregnant. A killer combination I must say. It's been an adventure thus far.

I finally made is past the fatigue the had been stalking me daily. By about 2:30 each day my body would say... so, about that nap? Since I'm working full-time, naps aren't really a possibility. Thankfully, I have a rock star family to help me out. I have a husband who gets up with Lamaya once each night to feed her and I have parents who love to care for her and so they make up the majority of her daytime care. I'm awfully lucky and I am sure thankful.

I woke up this morning and said, "Okay, I'm feeling really pregnant now." When looking down I notice that I can no longer see my toes. My belly has officially outgrown my toe-view. A pretty big milestone!

I realize that I should be blogging because I have this rare opportunity to chronicle the joys and hardships of being pregnant and also having a new baby girl. I'd venture to say less than 1% of women will have this experience, primarily because it's not humanly possible just from a natural standpoint. The only way this scenario would present itself is in the event of adoption. Contrary to "popular" belief, it is NOT common for women who struggle with fertility to magically become pregnant once they adopt. This has been a bit of a touchy subject for me as of late. It's possible you have a friend, aunt or grandmother that this type of thing happened to, but the truth remains... between 3% - 10% of women who struggle with infertility ever become pregnant after adopting a child. Since I've brought it up, let me clear the air:

A while back I posted a Facebook update that mentioned my general frustration for the comment I seemed to hear 9 times out of 10 (no joke, I seriously heard this 3 times just this weekend) in reaction to the news of our double-blessing,"Oh wow! Doesn't that just always happen!? I have a friend that this happened to. So cool!" Now, I know everyone's intention is simply coming from a human need that always looks for a way to relate in a conversation. No one likes to respond to someone's good news that is also highly unusual with a..."Oh wow, that's crazy, I have no idea what that's like or what you could possibly be feeling right now, but good going on it!" It's who we are. We are human and, thus, relatable. So, I understand the immediate need to jump to a relatable circumstance. However, the way this translates to me is more like this: "Oh wow! How very ordinary this thing that has happened to you! You are JUST like everybody else who adopts and wants to also have biological children!"

So, you know, it's just about my least favorite sentiment to respond to. I still haven't figured out how to properly respond to that. But anyway...

Spring is around the corner and I honestly can't wait! I am anxious to get out into my miniature garden this year and plant some herbs and veggies. My rhubarb from last year is already rip, roaring and ready to go. Brand new leaves have already started growing and I'm excited to actually eat it this year.

I figure spring will be my last hurrah to do any kind of bending over. It has become increasingly more difficult. My shoe-tying days are numbered. Pretty soon I'll just go ahead and lay down if I want to try and pick something off the ground. Maybe I should invest in one of those garbage pickers that I see workers with on the side of the road. That way I can pick up clothes, shoes, grocery items and other things from the floor without having to test my body's new equilibrium with the "simple" task of bending over. I wonder what the weight limit is on those? Could I pick up Tucker? I'd be interested to find out.

Just holding Lamaya has become a bit more challenging. I have started holding her on my "hip" (not so much a hip these days, more like and orb in my hip region), which has been better than trying to hold her on my front. I remember thinking how great it would be once she had a little shelf to sit on, but as it turns out, it's not so great. It feels like I got the wind knocked out of me a few minutes prior every time I put pressure on my upper belly. Belly... such a weird word and yet, totally appropriate within the realm of pregnancy. I would never refer to my mid-section as my "belly" non-pregnant.

I'm certainly enjoying both mommyhood and pregnancy much more these days. The up-all-night + 1st trimester exhaustion combination was LOADS of fun, so, you know, I sure do miss that (not even a little bit), but this 2nd trimester + Lamaya sleeping much better and being full of personality is WAY more fun!

If I could describe Lamaya, I suppose I'd say she's a little more on the serious side. She is very inquisitive and seems to be in a constant state of taking it all in. She's generally happy, though. We can really get her giggling with some sounds and tickling. Her giggle is just about the best sound...nope, it is definitely the best sound I've ever heard. I love it. She is definitely the apple of my eye. I keep thinking I couldn't love her any more than I do now, but we all know how that goes. I look back at two weeks ago and think, yeah right. I love her so much more now than I did just yesterday! I actually understand what Rachel Green (Friends) means when she says she misses Emma while she's sleeping. And, no, I learned from Phoebe and I have never wakened my sleeping a baby just because I miss her. :)

Well, as you might expect, I need to use the bathroom. I've reached my 30-minute interval. This little munchkin inside likes to do the jig on my bladder to serve as my reminder that, ehem, you need to use the restroom. Thanks for the reminder munchkin. Dance away, just please don't dance on my spine or my ribs. I'd love to keep those in tact if at all possible. You'll have your hay-day with my body come July.