Monday, September 23, 2013

...of three

So we are having another baby.  Whew.  There, I said it.  No creative lead up and stunning reveal.  Just there.  Baby.  Bam.

That's a little what it felt like to find out that a third child would be joining our ranks a bit short of 3.5 years after our first child was born.  We were content with our two.  A boy and a girl.  Who could ask for anything more, right?  Also, Quinn and I each have just one sister, so it seemed natural for us to stop at two. So that's what we were working to do.  I won't go into the details of it all with you in this forum, but we really were attempting to avoid pregnancy. So this wasn't a "woops" moment.  This was a "many things happening coincidentally" moment.  And so when we confirmed that we were, indeed, expecting another baby, there was a bit of shock (of course), but also peace and assurance in knowing that God definitely showed us His hand in it.

We told Abram pretty early on and he has been excited from the get-go.  He prays for "the new baby" all of the time.  Before we arrived at our 12 week appointment today (which ended up being a 13 week appointment because of a couple of cancellations by the hospital), he kept asking if we were going to get to take the new baby home.  We've tried to explain that the baby has to grow inside for awhile and then in six more months, we will hopefully be bringing the baby home.  So he counts through the rest of the months - always stopping in November to remind me that that's when his birthday is - and gets to March and is very excited.  He is such a good big brother to Selah and I know that he will be a great brother to this little Smith as well.  On a side note, we are working on him grabbing whatever he wants out of Selah's hands whenever his little heart desires, but that's really the only mean thing he has ever done to her, praise the Lord.

Selah has no idea, of course, but will get more cognizant of it as the months go on.  She is in crazy development time right now, starting to talk and obey (and directly disobey) and respond to everything we say to her.  She will be almost two if the baby arrives on time (due April 1) and she will grasp it more fully then.  It's actually her that I'm worried about.  She's a pretty strong willed little thing right now and has been known to get excited and hit and is far more aggressive that gentle-man Abram.  But we will make it a constant prayer that she would be an excellent big sister and I know God will answer.

The plan is to deliver over here in the UAE, if everything keeps going normally.  We've been going to a hospital here in Fujairah for appointments where the care is much cheaper (since we pay out of pocket and then file claims for hopeful reimbursement), but also much more rushed, impersonal, and... Arab... than the western hospitals in Dubai.  So the thought is that we will probably switch to a doctor at the American Hospital in Dubai around 20 weeks and then not go as frequently between 20 and 34 or so weeks, since it's much harder to get there and more expensive.  Then, hope that this labor goes something like my other two and we have time for an hour and a half drive to the hospital whenever the time comes.  My close friend who lives here in Fujairah is a doula and we are planning for her to ride with us in the car if I am in active labor and making the drive, just in case something happens... Hope you are ready to deliver a baby in a car, Katie!! :)

So that's that!  We will hopefully be able to find out the gender in three or four weeks, which we will definitely do. I talked to Quinn about whether he wanted this one to be a surprise (crossing my fingers behind my back that he would not) and he emphatically said "no".  We like picking a name and calling the baby by name as we wait for them to join us on the outside.  For us, it makes him or her seem so much more real and present.  So that's what we will do.  I think we are both hoping for a boy, because we have a name we both agree on.  We are in a deadlock over a girl name.  So the discussion has been tabled (but not really) until we know whether we need to start arm wrestling... or guilt tripping :)

Here's a picture of Abram looking at the baby on the "tv" and a fuzzy cell phone picture of our #3.

Sorry for the long hiatus, but there's a bit of an explanation for the reason why!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

... of a great idea

I posted this video on Facebook. So this is for people who follow the blog that aren't on facebook (read: grandparents)

Can you tell we do a lot of pretend flying to Austin, Colorado, and Boise in our playtime? :)

Sorry I haven't been posting more.  Lost of stuff happening here and not much time to just sit down and upload and write.  We actually never take out the good camera any more.  Horrible.  Horrible parents, we are. Just kidding.  More like just parents, we are.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

...of a wonderfully painful lesson

A week ago, I lost my temper.  I'm not an outward temper looser.  Like, you don't have to be worried if you are around me and I loose it.  You may not even notice.  I really don't do it that often.  When I loose my temper, I loose it on the inside.  You might see my neck tendons stick out a bit, maybe my teeth gritting (if you are looking closely), possibly some wide eyes and clenched fists, but that's probably it.  So it doesn't seem that bad from the outside, but inside... oh, inside, it's bad.  I never knew how bad until I actually hurt myself doing this inside-temper-loosing.  And God is using it to teach me a serious lesson.  

It was a normal day with two kids... (did not mean for that to sound like the beginning of a "Rescue 911 episode, but I'll go with it)... only I was tired and already on edge.  I was just looking forward to the hour that I might get to have alone with both kids sleeping as I took Abram into the kids' room where Selah had been sleeping for an hour.  She should have slept for another hour at least, except that Abram accidentally spilled a cup of water that he begged for all over his bed. As I dove for it, I leaned against his bed and it screeched about an inch on the floor.  It was enough to wake up Selah and the moment I heard her, I was just so upset at myself and the situation and that I wasn't going to get any no-kid time that day, that I lost it. Inside, trying to be quiet in case she would go back to sleep (which she didn't), I exploded.

I had a temper tantrum.

The very thing that I tell my kids not to do, that they get disciplined for, I did standing right there in their room.

I wouldn't have thought much of it, actually.  I might not even remember that I had done it or thought that it was wrong, except that after that moment every time I lean down (to put on shoes, to pick up toys, to pull up and down pants and underwear, to pick up a 25 pound toddler) and every time I cough or sneeze or turn around in the car (to hand back toys, take cups of leaking milk, feed someone a mobile dinner), I get a sharp pain in the top left side of my head.  It's like a lightning flash, and then it goes away. Until the next time I do any one of those things.  It's not debilitating, it's just uncomfortable and annoying.

At first I didn't really put two and two together.  I knew it happened right after I had my temper tantrum, but I didn't think much of it.  After a few days, and considering going to the doctor in case it was something serious, the Holy Spirit suddenly convicted me that this was (at least in part) a way that God was disciplining me, convicting me, teaching me.

Each time I bend down to pull up Abram's underwear and pants after he goes potty, even though I might want to loose it a little with him because I feel like he should be able to do that on his own by now, it's like the Spirit pokes me in my head and says: "Don't even think about it."  It makes me feel so foolish, really, which is probably a good thing.  How can I loose my temper about something that I absolutely had no control over? And the answer to that, I've discovered through prayer and talking to the Lord about all of this, is that I was angry that I had lost my control over the situation.  My perfect plan for the day was ripped away from me in that moment and I was upset.  My idol of control has never been more clearly apparent.  I'm not understanding and believing that God works everything together for my good - even accidentally short nap times and no quiet time in a day and sharp, shooting, head pain.

He showed me Proverbs 14:29 the other day:
"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, 
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."

How foolish I still am, even at 30 years old!  How much I have to learn about God's grace and mercy toward me through this incredibly difficult, lifelong, and rewarding task of parenting.  And praise Him that He doesn't get angry with me and I don't loose His favor when I act like a angry child.  But He disciplines me and guides me and teaches me how He wants me to repent of my sin and love Him even more for already paying for it on the cross and defeating it forever when he rose from the grave.

And so I can honestly say:
"...[I] rejoice in [my] suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5)

Praise the Lord for sharp shooting head pain. :)

*So, I did end up going to see a doctor yesterday, just to have a neuro exam and make sure it wasn't something we should be worried about.  He confirmed that it is almost definitely a result of stress and that I should "take it easy" as much as possible until it, hopefully, fixes itself.  Until then, I'm glad I have a wonderful husband who is trying to do as much as he can while he's at home to alleviate my stress level and a God who can and will heal me when it's time.  Thanks to those of you who have been praying for me!