Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Today a violin student of mine was playing in a competition in SC. Her mom called during lunch with a few specific prayer requests for her daughter as she was about to perform. So, Lydia and I prayed for the girl as we ate our lunch. I finished praying and we ate a few more bites then Lydia wanted to pray again for this girl. We folded our hands and prayed again...and again shortly thereafter.
After our prayers for this student, Lydia started requesting that we pray for some of my other students...and then for Mommy, and then Lauren and lastly Lydia. I was touched by some of her requests and the fact that she willingly put lunch on hold each time we stopped to pray for someone.
While she was still sitting at the table, she was unusually quiet as I rinsed our lunch dishes. I was wondering if she was thinking about our little prayer session. Then she asked very seriously, "Mom, we pway for Dora?" while looking at the cartoon character on her placemat. I had to try very hard not to laugh out loud!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Story of Lauren's Birth

Is it possible to stay pregnant forever? Obviously not, but I wonder how long Lauren would have stayed in her cocoon had she not be "encouraged" to leave! My midwives gave me up to 10 days past my EDD to let labor occur naturally. Nothing doing. I know people thought I was nuts to wait that long for labor and I did get some comments like, "Why won't your midwife go ahead and induce you?"She probably would have done it sooner had I wanted that. As I did when preparing for Lydia's birth, I tried many things to bring on labor but without success. Lauren was cozy inside and had no intention of coming out! So when July 23rd came, we went to the hospital for an induction.
When we arrived we waited an hour in the waiting room for them to call us back. I remember flipping through magazines trying not to become irritated at the additional opportunity of the hospital to "time" my birth. (When I was finally taken to a room we realized that the shift change occurred at 11am and I surmised that we had been made to wait until that could take place.)The midwives Stephanie and Jill were on call until 6pm. Stephanie broke my water shortly after 11am and it had been previously agreed upon that I would be allowed to walk and to try to get some contractions going. After a couple of hours and little to no progress (I was 1.5 cm dilated and completely effaced) they put me on Pitocin. I struggled a little bit with this as I REALLY wanted this birth to be without Pit, but I lost that battle. I reminded myself that I had to keep a positive attitude regardless of the situation. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Now I was facing loss of mobility as well as drug induced contractions. It was right about this time that dear Pat, our friend and doula, arrived to bring support and positive thinking! (She had been waiting at home until things started to happen.)
The pit drip was started at 2pm. After about 5 minutes of Pitocin, my contractions were immediately painful and intense. I began to despair a little because it had taken several hours of Pitocin during my labor with Lydia to get to that stage. I was wondering if I really was going to make it without the pain meds! I continued laboring in the rocking chair with my feet propped on the bed. Pat, Ben and my Mom were there. I tried a birthing ball for one contraction and it was awful!!! I couldn't wait to get back to the chair! At 4pm they checked me and I was at 6cm ( only 6 I remember thinking). I remember going to the bathroom after that and then casually mentioning after my next contraction in the chair that I felt like pushing during a contraction (and had) on the toilet. That got Stephanie and Jill's attention and they checked me again. I was nearly 10 cm and they gave me the green light for pushing! It was about 4:30 then. Things began to kick into high gear in the room as lights came on, gloves were snapped on and gowns donned by the midwives. I literally could NOT believe I had progressed from 6 to 9.5 cm in about 20 minutes. I kept thinking (and probably saying) "I can't believe it's time to push!". (The midwives were surprised too, I think, as we had chatted earlier in the day about how they wouldn't b e there for Lauren's birth. I remember hoping very much that Lauren would be born before my nurse's shift ended at 11pm!!)
When I had to move from my glider to the bed I climbed on top of the bed and was standing on it until the various IV cords and blankets were situated. I remember Pat laughing at this =) My left hand was hurting so much from the IV port that I could put no pressure on that hand without lots of pain. So standing was actually easier than trying to shift my huge body around on the bed one-handed!!-Well, I think I had5 or 6 contractions after that point and then Lauren was born. The cord was around her neck and one arm across her body with her hand near her cheek when her head came out. That felt really weird when Stephanie was maneuvering Lauren's arm around her head. I think perhaps the cord was cutting off some of Lauren's oxygen because I remember Stephanie looking at me after only about 3, maybe 4, contractions and saying, " You really need to get her out on this next one, okay?". I was shocked.What did she mean the next contraction? Was I really that close? Could it all really be going this much faster this time? Well, it really did. Lauren was born at 5:11 pm and they placed her on me right after she came out. It was incredible. She gave one little cry and then was quiet while I held her. We tried nursing a few minutes later and I will say that she had a powerful latch from the get go! Birth really is a miracle and there is nothing like that feeling I get after birth when I meet my baby for the first time.
After I was cleaned and stitched up (the tearing was not as bad this time, and really I think I might have escaped it altogether if the pushing stage had lasted a little longer) the nurse wheeled me to my room. Although Lauren's birth was so much "easier" than Lydia's, my hospital stay was certainly less pleasant. I guess I can leave those details out unless anyone is really curious.
Lauren - you finally arrived, safe and healthy and we are so excited about life as four. I love you little Lauren and I love being Mommy to you and Lydia. I pray for wisdom, patience, tenderness and peace every day as I seek to parent you as God would have me to do. May you love Jesus and cling to Him all your days. Love Mommy

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Ben and I were reminiscing the other day and it came up that this fall is the first time in the nearly 5 years of our marriage that I am home every evening when Ben gets home. When we were first married, I was in the middle of pursuing my Masters degree. Concerts and rehearsals kept me out late in the evenings. When I wrapped that up, I began teaching for a music academy. I taught there three days a week and on my earliest evenings I arrived home by about 6 or so...the other days it was after 8pm. I even kept this somewhat crazy schedule for Lydia's first year. She took to it as well as I can imagine. She has always loved going bye-bye and she became quite close with the two women who kept her in the nursery. (In fact, the other day we were heading toward that area and going the same route we used to take every week and she suddenly said, "Mom, we're goin' to see Miss Carmen at the nursery?" I was stunned that she remembered our driving route and touched once again by the fact that she misses Miss Carmen and Miss Cindy and the kids she played with.) Anyway, I ended that crazy schedule and we are enjoying a more normalized evening routine. It has been good for us.
I took about 2 months off of gigging when Lauren was born and since I started back in September, our quartet has had a wedding, or two, every weekend. Actually last weekend was our first "free" weekend. We'll start back the first weekend in November and keep up the pace through Christmas. I enjoy gigging and have to thank Ben for sacrificing a large portion of his Saturdays to watch the girls and enable me to do this. (This reminds me of how I used to avoid using the word "gig" when I was first getting into this. I thought it sounded so stupid and I preferred to call it a "job." Obviously my peers rubbed off on me and now I use the term with the best of them!)

My baby is three months old today. It really wasn't that long ago that she was born but it wouldn't seem like our family without her. She is an active baby and likes to be held. This means Mommy wears the baby bjorn for a portion of every day. (I could benefit greatly from weekly visits to a masseuse and a chiropractor!) She is rolling over -from tummy to back - nearly every day. This accomplishment has translated into middle of the night feedings again because she wakes up distressed. She hates her carseat and loves her bouncy seat. She enjoys the little toys that hang off of that seat and she will just GRIN at the bird that is attached.

Lydia continues to make us laugh. She can be quite the little ham and after you laugh once she will continue doing whatever it was to try to keep you laughing. She is (finally) really enjoying being read to. She has always liked books, but never had the patience to hear the story. She likes her "special books" (the books I will not leave in her room). Favorite stories include "If You Give A Pig A Pancake," (and others in that series), Curious George, and Olivia. She has a great memory, but she is very stubborn and resists memorizing anything we think is profitable...i.e. short Bible verses, Children's Catechism etc. She likes to sing and I can finally recognize a melody in there somewhere. Too bad it is always the same melody --Come Thou Fount! She will put any words, including nonsense, to that tune. She loves her little sister and it is sweet to see Lauren's face light up when Lydia talks to her. Even though I am constantly reminding Lydia to be gentle, she still has occasional bursts of wildness that have resulted in near miss accidents. Last week I took something from the kitchen out to the fridge in the garage. I was out and back inside in under 5 seconds. When I looked over to the girls, Lydia had picked Lauren up (she was propped on the boppy on the couch) and was standing next to the couch holding her in a bear hug with a proud grin on her face. In the milisecond it to me to react, I ditched my first thought and instinct-- raising my voice - or saying anything at all -- and raced to her side to grab Lauren. To say my heart was pounding does not even describe how I felt!
That's all for now!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Littlest Girl

Just a reminder that even when i don't have time to post here, there are pictures being added at my dropshots site.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Name that tune...

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but Lydia uses the Consumer Reports Buying Guide as her hymnal/Bible. That is the book she runs for when we're having family worship or even during the day when she feels like singing. Last night she was flipping through it and here is the line she kept repeating,
"Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth" except it sounded more like "Pahdon for sin and a peace dat endoooowith".
Can you name that hymn?!

Sunday, October 07, 2007


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The West
The Northeast
The South
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, October 05, 2007

Lydia Sings

I have tried multiple times to capture her singing this song on video. Usually she gets part way through and says "bye bye camera!". At one point today when she caught me looking at her(without the camera) while she was singing she said, "Don't see me Mom!" This is our best result so far =)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Today, to celebrate this wonderful weather, I took the girls to a local park. I did some walking on a path with one in the bjorn and the other in the stroller. When we made it to the playground area, Lydia hopped out of the stroller and made a bee-line for the equipment. She alternates between doing her own thing and copying what other kids are doing. She also can't resist a baby. Twice today she saw babies and went right up to them to say hi and pat their heads or hands. She has had the "be gentle" talk for weeks now, and both the mommy and grandma were very gracious about her attention to their little ones. Still, I realize some parents do not want another child right in the face of their baby. I had to coax her away each time.
Over lunch when we got home she was recounting the things she had done at the playground. There is some thing there that kids can spin around on and regarding it she said, " I spinning on dat. I be very busy!". (Busy is Lydia's word for dizzy.)
Before her downtime, I was reading from her new favorite story "We Help Mommy." (It is a classic Golden Book story by Eloise Wilkins.) There is a part where the little girl helps her mommy make something with dough and she has to roll and pat it. Lydia and I talked about how she has sometimes helped me make something in the kitchen. She looked at the book and then back to me and said, "Like pizza, Mom!". I was impressed she made that connection about rolling out dough since the picture was of a pie, I think. The very next thing out of her mouth was, "Auntie Liz can't have cheese". Wow! And she is right. The last time I made pizzas, Lydia was helping and I explained how we had to be careful to leave some of the pizza without any cheese because Auntie Liz can't eat cheese. She has a great memory. Little instances like this remind Ben and me that we need to encourage her in developing that memory -- as in memorizing short Bible verses or the questions/answers she is s l o w l y learning in the catechism.
A week or so ago she touched the wheel on the car tire right after we had gotten out. Of course it was very hot and she really hurt her fingers. After kissing her hand and wiping the tears I reminded her of the importance of obedience. (She had been told before not to touch the car tires.) I told her that sometimes when she did not obey mommy and daddy she could get hurt like this. It made an impression because she kept bringing up that instance all day and for many days afterwards. How I wish other things for which she is disciplined would remain so clear in her mind!
On a much more comical note, Lydia proclaimed during church last night (at a vocal level those sitting nearby could not have missed), "Mom! I'm poopin'!". Ahhh the joys of potty training.