Sunday, June 28, 2009

Suzi's first walk on the beach

Finally got around to finishing this video. My favorite part is about 52 seconds in. I'd forgotten how the water rushing by can make you lose your balance! She loved the beach, and I feel lucky that I got to share it with her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

She's so sweet when she's asleep

She's sweet all the time, but seriously...

When she gets tired and whines "Mama hold" (instead of Daddy; rare), and curls up next to me in the recliner, because she can't lie across my belly anymore, and her chubby little cheek is squished up against me...

And her soft little feet stretch almost to my knees instead of at my hip where they used to be when she was a baby...

And she just sleeps like this for an hour or so...

It's definitely a top-5 moment.

This was going to be a Wordless Wednesday but then I got all chatty about it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Good time to buy a new car seat

A few weeks ago, Jordan and I decided that since Ivey was getting a nice new car seat, Suzi needed one too. We looked around for the best deal and ended up getting a Britax Roundabout. I wanted a Britax, but $300+ is out of our price range! The Roundabout is the least expensive model Britax makes, though, and I found it on sale at for $179.99 (regularly it's 229.99). Then I found that we'd get free shipping on our order, and I also used a new customer coupon code (10PERCENT). That brought the total to about $162, delivered. In two days flat, I might add, and Suzi loves her new seat. Car naps have increased by more than 40% since we switched from our Graco seat to the Roundabout! (Well, something like that.)

But now I am kicking myself a little bit because on top of all that, they are now offering a $50 gift card with the purchase of any Britax seat! If you count that, it'd bring the total paid for the seat down to only $112. (There is even one color scheme, the Bellamy, on sale for $159.99 and you could get that one for about $94. That's almost as low as a Graco convertible!) So if you are in the market for a car seat, you may want to check it out!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bye-bye, clutter!

God smiled on Jordan and me today and gave us a fantastic yard sale. It was sunny and hot, but Jordan remembered our beach umbrella in the attic and set it up for us. My parents were kind enough to keep Suzi for us--overnight! They also loaned us two folding tables for display. We had a steady stream of shoppers, and they all seemed to think our prices were reasonable. Every shopper was honest (I am always paranoid about people trying to trick me into giving too much change; it happens periodically at work), and we had several people buy a big pile of stuff. Just when we thought we were done selling, because our end time of 11:00 had come and gone, we had four or five late shoppers drop by. One guy asked Jordan what he wanted for "all this" computer stuff. (Yay!) We ended up making as much as we'd hoped for.

The only kink in our otherwise flawless day was (allegedly) our town's director of public works. We put up signs early Friday morning and when Jordan drove by in the afternoon a few of them were gone! We thought perhaps we'd put them in a bad place, so we looked up the regs online. It costs $5 to get a yard sale permit in our town, which we didn't know, so Jordan went down to town hall and requested one. They told him since we don't live inside town limits we didn't need one. "Then how," Jordan asked, "am I supposed to put up signs?" The lady said she didn't know, but explained that this man dislikes the signs so much that he spends his free time driving around picking them up if the people don't have a permit--even if they TRIED to buy one and were turned down! If this is true, I feel sad for him that he can't think of something more productive to busy himself with. I mean, he evidently drove by yesterday and today looking for signs to take down. The helpful lady at town hall told Jordan one location and method of putting up a sign so it'd probably be left alone, but it got taken down too and Jordan had to replace it again mid-sale. Perhaps someone should explain to this man that yard sales, particularly in our current economy, are good for the community. They save people money so they can spend more, for example, patronizing local businesses. (And our local businesses, well--some of them are pretty desperate for customers.) Yard sales are also good for the environment because when people buy used, it saves things from being thrown away and new things from being manufactured needlessly. Perhaps I will write him an email.

We are just about to drop off the stuff that didn't sell at Goodwill. Looks like it'll only take one trip! Then we will go to the recycling center and, finally, the dump. I'm even more thankful for the spaces this has opened up in our house than I am for the money we made! And later this afternoon, Suzi permitting, we will all be thankful for a nap :-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: More beach

Monday, June 15, 2009

Don't ask questions, just get the soap

My dilemma: I want to lie on the couch and take a nap. My legs, however, want to run five miles or do a tap dance or jump up and down. I can't actually do those things because, like I said, it's only my legs that want to do it. (And I don't know how to tap dance.) This only happens at night when I'm really tired, not during the day when I could do something about it, and it drives me nuts. It's called restless legs, and many women suffer with it while pregnant but not at any other time. I had it while pregnant with Suzi but I thought I was going to get away without it this time, after a friend with the same due date got it a few weeks ago and I still hadn't had it yet.

The solution: My grandmother had the same thing and told me (during my first pregnancy) to put a bar of soap under the fitted sheet of my bed. I thought, "now how is that going to work?!" But it did. Since I enjoy lying on the couch late at night, Jordan got me a bar of Ivory soap and we wrapped it in a thin piece of fabric. Which I use downstairs and then carry to bed with me. I don't know why, and I really don't care, but it works. However, I might also look into getting some of this, which someone recommended to Julie. That way I won't have to go to the movie theater or ride in the car with a bar of soap in my pocket.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In need of the gift of life

Vicky and her son Braydon

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jordan and I went to MUSC the other day so he could be tested and, we hoped, donate a kidney to our friend Vicky. She is in end stage renal disease from complications of Sjogren's, an autoimmune disease. For reasons we don't yet understand, Jordan is not the donor Vicky is awaiting. Just when we were getting ready to drive over for the second day of testing, Jordan got a phone call from someone on the transplant team. We were told that Jordan's right kidney is doing 94% of the work and his left one is doing only 6%. Jordan is fine with the one kidney; overall, his kidney function is excellent. But they would have left Jordan with the stronger kidney, and a kidney doing only 6% of the work wouldn't have done Vicky any good. This is a disappointment, but we feel there is a reason for it. There may be an even better match out there for Vicky, but that person just hasn't been tested yet.

Jordan wanted to give Vicky his kidney because he loves to help people. In all the years I've known him I don't think I've ever seen him deny someone something they needed if he had it to give. Usually it's been, for instance, a stranger who needs a few bucks or someone who needs help with a computer. When I told him he was Vicky's blood type and asked him if he might want to get tested, he saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve God. How many times in our lives are we able to be part of such a miracle as renewing someone's energy to live and work each day? To give someone more time with her children? There is no greater happiness than to look at your life and see that, whatever has happened, you are being used by God for some good purpose. It's why we are here.

The other day while I waited at the hospital for Jordan to get out of a test, I spent a few minutes catching up on my favorite blogs. I came across this post about service from Kristin's blog and a bit of scripture I'd seen many times but hadn't recently thought of. Jesus said "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40). What an honor to be able to help someone in need!

If you feel so moved, please come forward and be tested to be a kidney donor for Vicky. Her possible donors will be blood type A or O, but if yours is different there's a possibility of working out a paired donation (literally a swap) with another recipient. The testing begins with a simple health questionnaire, and the entire first phase (including blood tests) can be done locally where it is convenient for you. You will not be responsible for the cost of testing; it will be billed to Vicky's insurance. Your information will not be shared with anyone--not even Vicky--and only you and the transplant team will know where you are in the testing process. You can live a long and healthy life with one kidney, and the surgery is now done laparoscopically for a quick recovery (2-6 weeks, similar to recovery from an uncomplicated childbirth). If you want to be tested or need more information, please email me (see my profile for address) and I will get you the contact info for the transplant team coordinator.

Maybe you aren't able to give a kidney but you'd like to help Vicky in another way. A monetary donation can be made for her here through the National Transplant Assistance Fund to help with out-of-pocket expenses not covered by her insurance. The costs of a kidney transplant are many and great. Please pray that a kidney for Vicky will be found soon. It would also be wonderful if you could link up to this post or email it to anyone you know who might want to help. For more about Vicky, visit her two blogs: Sjogren's and Me (about her illness) and 2LilPumpkins (about her life with her husband and two boys). One thing is for sure: She's a hardworking, loving young mom who deserves a happily ever after!

Thank you for your help!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sand between our toes

We finally went to the beach. I hadn't been in so long I'd almost forgotten what it looked like. It was just as amazing as always, though. Sand between my toes. The salty, fishy smell of the water. Best of all, we got to see Suzi experience the beach for the first time (she liked it). Jordan's parents rented a house just one row back from the beach, so it was a quick walk. We spent time with them and Jordan's brother John, his wife Melanie and their baby boy Michael. He's five months old and Suzi loves him. She showed us what a good big sister she is going to be. Every time Michael cried or fussed she ran over to him and asked "What's wrong, Michael?" Then she told him "it's okay" and patted him on the leg. If he didn't stop crying she'd say "Michael crying! He need tiger!" Then she'd run and get him a stuffed tiger (which are not hard to find in our Clemson-loving family) and bring it back to him. And you know, it usually did make him feel a little better.

I have to go to work in a minute, but here are some pictures...

I found out how good it feels to go swimming in the last trimester...

This is a belly shot.

I ran out of time for uploading. More pictures later!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Probably too many updates for one post

We are up early to do laundry and house-clean in preparation for our beach trip. There is so much going on right now so here is a quick update, along with some pictures of our two-year-old girl! I meant to post about it sooner, but I've been trying to spend more time with Suzi now before the baby comes in a few weeks. She doesn't care, obviously, whether or not I blog about her birthday. She just wants me to read "What's Wrong, Little Pookie" 50 times in a row. And sing Baby Beluga.

In no particular order...

1) MONEY is coming to our state, despite our governor! I am happy.

2) I am 31 weeks plus several days pregnant. Last night I had a bunch of Braxton-Hicks contractions and was almost worried, but they went away. The baby is moving a lot and making my belly into funny shapes. I have no belly button anymore. Last time I was so READY by now to be done, but this time I'm honestly not. I've still got things to do!

3) During an extreme bout of nesting last Sunday, I (with Jordan's help) completely reorganized Suzi's room. It went from being a storage area to a cute little playroom. Suzi can listen to her music (mostly Baby Beluga on repeat), color, read books, and play with dolls. Later I will be breastfeeding Ivey on the futon or letting her sit in her bouncy seat or have tummy time while big sister Suzi plays. I just love that room! It's the only one in the house that's really orderly right now. Pictures later.

4) Jordan and I finished our childbirth education classes with Caryn, who was recommended by my midwife. We learned a lot and I feel so much more prepared this time for the birth! It's appalling how clueless I actually was last time. So here is my advice if you want a natural hospital birth: DON'T take the classes the hospital offers! I will have to blog more about this later, as it can easily be its own post.

5) This is the big one... One of our friends has known for a while that she needed a kidney transplant, and we recently got the call that Jordan is a match. While we are at the beach, we are going to MUSC so he can undergo two days of rigorous testing. They want to be sure not only that his kidney will work for Vicky, but that he will continue to be healthy with only one kidney left (most donors live totally normal lives after donation). If things go well, we will probably be doing this in the fall--after Ivey's birth. Please pray that everything will work out.

6) We're going to see two of our favorite bands tonight at the ceilidh of the Greenville Highland Games. I was sort of sad we weren't going to Grandfather Mountain like last year, because it's too close to my due date, but this will be even better. There'll be less cigarette smoke. Obviously I will not be wearing my nursing bodice this year; maybe this fall.

7) We are going to the beach with Jordan's parents, and guess what? I have multiple bathing suits that fit. I really thought that at this late date my belly would be popping out of even maternity suits, but I tried them on last night and the whole thing is covered! Victory! I also have a cute cover-up that I can wear to the edge of the water and rip off right before I jump in. This is Suzi's first beach trip so we are excited to share it with her.

8) And of course, Suzi turned two May 30th! I can't believe what a big kid she is now. She pee-peed in the potty yesterday and we are hopeful that Prudence the Potty Doll and her video are going to help us get things going in the right direction. We spent her birthday with both sets of grandparents at the zoo and it was fun. She fed a giraffe and a goat, rode the carousel, and enjoyed a beautiful Winnie the Pooh cake. She blew the candles out like a pro before we'd finished singing. Happy Birthday Suzi!