Friday, September 29, 2006

Your Gift to Me

I am one of these annoying types who hopes for a mind reader. I don't know why, but I find it extremely hard to ask for help. Even counseling, which is a service we have paid for, has not worked for me in the past because I just can't make myself say the thing I want to say. And only after years of marriage have I learned to really say what I want to George. Unfortunately for him, sometimes these things decide they want to be said in the middle of the night and I wake my poor husband up. Fortunately for me, he is always merciful and compassionate to me, even half asleep at four in the morning. So imagine how grateful I am to have had so many people caring for me without me ever having had to ask (much less pay anyone or wake anybody up!).What a blessing to someone like me to have so many people just showing up with meals and sending thoughtful cards and gifts! I also am not a very good receiver, meaning that I don't know how to thank people without gushing or fearing that I am awkward and sound insincere. It is hard to receive isn't it? Much much easier to give.

We have been very blessed with meals and gifts this far. But as I have had no time to blog or talk on the phone or even visit with the bringers of food, I am finding myself feeling lonely (an of course, hormonal!). It usually hits about this time, late at night when it's time to go to sleep but too close to time to nurse- although nursing thirty minutes every two hours means it's always close to time to nurse!- and way too late to call someone up. So what I could use (besides more of these wonderful meals) is some interaction with folks. And since I have this thing called a blog, I'm just going to say, "talk to me." And now I'll just look forward to checking in and getting little messages from you all. Or email me; or even see if you can find a stamp and write a letter to me. I am mostly just feeding a newborn right now, so let me know how you are; tell me your story of late. It's your chance to get a word in edgewise! And I could really use the company in these rare snippets of time when I actually have a moment to myself and then realize I haven't talked to anyone over the age of five for hours! It may not be so much "interaction" because I probably won't have time to write much back. But I would love to hear from everyone. And I think really I have probably already heard from most people who read this because you have all been so thoughtful and kind. But surely you have time to say a little something else... Just in case you can't think of anything, here's what's going on with us in more detail. Maybe there is something interesting to comment on?

Elspeth is doing well, slowly working back to her birth weight- which has consequently helped me drop 20 pounds already (that's right, do the math, 6 pounds down from when I started)! She is not very hard to please which is a huge answer to prayer. Once we start getting some sleep, I may declare her a perfect baby. But right now, we're up at all hours and now that my mom has left, will no longer have the luxury of making up for our sleepless night by sleeping until noon (around feeding times, of course!). Amabel and August had a great week with Nanna (my mom) in town. Plus, they seem to be getting as much attention as Elspeth, if not more, because everyone has so generously included them when sending gifts! George is trying to juggle school and work and family and is probably a little stressed, especially with the due date for his next sermon rapidly approaching. He also has horrible poison ivy right now. But I think my mom being here helped him get caught up on a lot of work he had missed while with me in the hospital. I am off the heavy pain meds and feel more and more myself, but it is just natural to be both sore and hormonal only two weeks out, so I will have to be patient for healing. I hope this doesn't sound like a bad report. Things really are going quite well, and I know it is always pretty crazy for the first six weeks or so anyway. Crazy as it can be at times, we are so excited about our beautiful new baby. But I really would love to hear from y'all- your gift to me :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

the Elspeth Peace prize


I am not sure how to email these out yet, but this will be good for now. We are all doing well. Amabel and August are definitely feeling a hit as far as not having as much of Momma as they used to. Sweet friends and family have helped pick up some of my slack with special visits and even a trip to the zoo! George is working double overtime as Daddy and Super-husband. I still cannot believe I snagged the greatest guy in the world to share life and all its joys and responsibilities with. Elspeth is precious and I am loving caring for my new baby girl. I do look forward to not needing pain perscriptions and depuffing enough to be able to wear something besides pajamas. But surgery was not really so bad. Like my mom said, this is the only surgery where you get a prize.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ta dah!

Elspeth Peace Edema
Born this morning at 9:27
8 pounds, 10 ounces
21 1/2 inches long
Lots of dark hair
Cute as a bug's ear.

Abby is recovering well so far, thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

- George

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Countdown

In just 12 hours we will have a new baby. That is weird. I am so tired of being pregnant. I have been hoping to actually go into labor. Everyone expected I wouldn't make it up til just three days before my due date. Both Amabel and August were a week early. I have actually been doing this funny thing where just for a second when the phone starts ringing, I think, "I wonder if it's someone calling to tell me I'm in labor." I know that's not possible; I'm just that expectant, that on the edge of my seat! I've done it with both the other pregnancies too. But I have made it further this time. I have already been admitted to the hospital. That's odd because I'm not there. But I have a hospital bracelette on. I have spoken with an anesthesiologist. I have been "worked up." All I have to do is show up for surgery at 7am. So weird. Any guesses as to what we're having? I'd love to see what y'all think. Let's have a betting pool! I just wonder if I've given it away without realizing it. And I know some of you do know, so your votes don't count. Well, we'll have all the information for you very soon. I hope y'all like the name. I hope we like the name because we haven't actually firmly decided yet. There is so much to have anxiety about at this point. I wish I could hit fast forward through what I am guessing will be my third long and sleepless night in a row. And it's just not one of those situations where I could have a couple of drinks to calm me down. Wouldn't that be helpful? A nice big long island tea to get me to chill. I need peace. I expect it will come very soon- just a few more hours...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time of The Year!

Hurray! I'm so glad everyone likes my new look for Fall. This was another surprise from George. I told him I wanted my blog to be pumpkin colored for pumpkin season and he set to work sprucing the place up and even finding this old picture of our darling Amabel in the pumpkin patch when she was the only baby Edema around. He even captioned it with my favorite little phrase, one that we saw on this really cool wrought iron decoration at a fun little antique/novelty store in downtown Cottleville last year. It was a bad day that day, we had planned to go to Auburn for George's fall break and leave the kids with his mom. We were thinking it might be our first and last getaway without kids for years (we had never left them before and we were already thinking it was about time to plan for a new baby) when some unexpected bills arrived and made us realize our finances were really not in the condition to send us on a ten hour drive for a carefree weekend which included the price of SEC football tickets. I think we both cried. But we decided to go exploring around St. Louis, though at the time I was more desperately homesick for the South than I had thought possible. Hanging out in St. Louis sounded like torture, but we found a little gem called The Chocolate Cafe in Cottleville (there is also one just over the river off Hwy K in O'Fallon that is the bigger and "better" one-more selcetion- and much easier to get to) that makes the best milkshakes ever (and I say that with all due respect to J. Alexander's). We took a stroll around the little neighborhood and found some interesting shops, including the one with the welcoming sign, "It's Fall, y'all!" And I thought that was pretty grand to find in St. Louis on a day I felt I should've been home in Auburn. It's funny that that makes me get a little choked up to write about. I always love the Fall, and there is nothing like Auburn, and I guess specifically Auburn football, in October.

A close second, or maybe it trumps it, I don't know, is Percy Warner Park in October. I reckon I've mentioned I ran cross country in highschool, and my highschool had the luxury of being right across the street from the most beautiful park system you can imagine. It is a shame more people didn't take advantage of the prime location; I was the only girl on the team until my senior year! That provided me with much soul searching time on my own for hours every afternoon just soaking up God's gorgeous world around me (don't worry, my coach always knew where I was- just a few miles behind the boys!!). That park is as dear and familiar to me as ever a piece of land could be. Even last Fall, when we did manage to get down to Nashville at least, I donned my running shoes and carved myself out a three mile jog (slash walk, not so light on my feet as I was back in the day!) from memory. I am not sure if it is the altitude or what, but Nashville is somehow home to a an always vibrant and colorful Autumn that you really don't find many other places in the South (or in St. Louis).

So I know it's not October yet. September is special because it means October is almost here, or more importantly that August is past! We've already made and devoured (and delivered a few) a batch of pumpkin muffins; and it won't be long until pumpkins themselves, five for the first time this year, grace our doorstep. I'm getting ready for it early. It's been a long, hot, hectic, and heavy summer. I have a few posts in me yet before I take my "maternity leave." Guest blogger promised though for the announcing of our new baby. I don't know if I'll get the chance to talk about August's birthday, which was now almost a week ago, or my latest discovery about the oddness that is Abby or the last little funny things I want to mention about pregnancy. But I wanted to respond to all of your kind comments about the Fall makeover. I think we were all ready for it, both Fall and the change of scenery on here. Pumpkin muffin recipe coming soon, I promise. Right now we've got to get the fam to the grocery for our last big trip before I'm out of commision for a while. It may appear as a comment under this post, and not all on its own, so be sure to check the comments- I can't believe I'm starting to get them again!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Finding Frank OR... Recovering Roanoke

My sweet husband had a surprise for me when I woke up from a nap the other day. He had found Frank! Frank, for those who don't remember, was my hair stylist who I loved. He always made me feel good about myself, cut my hair just the way I like it without me having to tell him, and never pressured me to color it- something I am very unwilling to do. He's easy to talk to, not at all flambouyant for a male stylist, and what I would call just a kind and gentle soul. He was the co-owner of a salon that vanished from existence in early spring of this year. Because he was the co-owner, and because no information was left on the answering machine or on the doors or by postcard etc., I feared he had left town. I was happy to be wrong. George called the old number and found that a forwarding number was now being given. He then called the forwarding number and left a message for Frank to call him. Frank was a little confused because he didn't remember George. This is, of course, because he had never met George; but when George explained that I was his wife, he was very happy to have been found. He asked what I had been up to and George explained that I was to give birth this week. So my dear stylist worked me in for an appointment this afternoon so I'd be set for a while before needing to work an appointment in around a newborn's schedule. I was so excited except that the only appointment time he could work me into was smack in the middle of August's naptime and therefore all of my friend's kids' naptimes as well. George was going to be at work, so I had to find some poor soul to take on my two children for me while I went to see Frank. My friend Jessie, who seems to always come through for me with everything from a summer subleasing situation to homecooked meals to train cake pans, made it possible for me to bring my would be napping kids over to play with her would be napping kids, sacrificing her own sanity, so that I could go. Thanks soooo much, Jessie!

I was so thrilled to find that not only had Frank not left St. Louis, he had relocated only a couple of miles down the road because of some shady business dealings with the landlord of the previous building. Of course, I wasn't thrilled about his misfortune with the dishonest landlord. But I was so glad to see that he maintained a positive spirit and even credited God, though I wouldn't assume he has a close relationship with Jesus or anything, with being in control and knowing what is best. He said it had been very difficult but that he really liked the new situation, where he is leasing a studio all his own and running what he called "The Frank Show," even better. His former business partner and some of their employees are doing the same thing in the same building, so while he is flying solo in some ways, he is still surrounded by old friends and has made some new ones as well. So that's what happened to Frank. Mystery solved. He said he has felt really special to have people like George and I hunt him down. I told him that we had likened his sudden diappearance to Roanoke and he said that was the best description he had heard of the situation and he couldn't wait to tell the story. He was his usual complimentary self saying how glad he was to see me, how great I looked (of course!) and congratulating me on the baby. It was a happy reunion and I am so glad to have an end to the story for you all. I look forward to a couple more years of good haircuts while in St. Louey (can't get much else good here!- sorry, had to take a shot!).

Now, if only we could find out what keeps happening to all the Wolf Cameras...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Rest from the Rantings

So are y'all reading and just not commenting? I feel like maybe everyone got used to me not posting very often and checked out for good. But after my grumpy rant (the one from yesterday- to be clear, there have been so many!), I actually slept for most of the night last night! It was nothing short of miraculous and I sort of thought to myself upon awaking fairly rested, "I sure am glad I mentioned my troubles; people must've been praying for me." Not to be hoodoo voodoo about prayer, but there is something to it. I started taking a class at the seminary last fall about prayer because it is such an odd thing. I am definitely not someone who scores real high in that area on "spiritual gift inventory" type things. I have a hard time suspending reality and this makes much of the more relational parts of my life difficult. I won't mention every area, but for example, it makes play pretend with my children really hard for me or enjoying a night out when there is a lot of housework at home to do near impossible in much the same way it makes talking to an unseeable God really strange for me. I just don't easily shove aside the reality of not being a dinosaur or not being a carefree college student anymore ('cause dating was a sinch when all I had was time!) or not seeing anyone as I am talking. I only went to the class once because it was three hours long, right at suppertime all the way up until almost bedtime which made for a very hungry and sleepy me. It was a lot of time too to be away from home, where I felt like I should be giving the family a meal and getting the kids a bath etc. If I had it to do again, I may have stayed in. Part of it too was the whole registration process. I had to become a student which involved an application and referrals and a bunch of other stuff I didn't want to deal with. So like me. Anyway, Jerram Barrs, who many of you are familiar with, was the professor teaching the class. I really liked his approach just for the three hours I heard him. He seems to be such a dear and tenderhearted person. I recently came across my notes and skimmed through them. There were a lot of questions he raised about prayer that it would be good to look into the answers to. It's too bad I didn't hear the lectures offering some answers. And so this is sort of a deadend post because I don't have much to offer on the topic. Just thought I'd share an answer to my prayers recently and thank anyone who might've felt the urge to lift my troubles up as well. I can't tell you how much less depressing the morning is when you haven't been up alone watching the clock all night. I think that is a big part of it. Sure I am tired and need the rest. Mostly though, I just hate how lonely the hours are during the night when the whole rest of the world is sleeping. That's why middle of the night nursing isn't so bad, the baby is up with you! Anyway, I am very thankful for the rest and thankful for the boost in faith I get when I feel like our Great God cares if random Abby Edema gets some sleep.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Late Night Rantings of an Insomniac

Alright, I need some suggestions. If I am going to make it one more night, much less one more week, I have got to be able to sleep! I know I said I would take a break from the pregnancy chatter, but this is just all consuming. I suppose it is only all consuming at 1:40 in the morning when my husband has an eight o'clock class and I know my children will be up at seven and I can't sleep! But it is at the very least uncomfortable all the rest of the day. I know, I am whining. But what am I supposed to do? Remember the old joke from elementary school: "Your epidermis is showing!" I find myself thinking of that often through the day only it's "Your panel is showing!" I actually lost two pounds this week (Ka-ching!) but somehow feel much much bigger. I guess with the change of the baby's position, my clothes would fit a little different. None of my shirts are long enough to cover this belly anymore and none of my muscles are strong enough to hold it up. At this point I am just praying for mercy that I will have to go in early. When I lay down on either side, the already tired muscles from my back on the opposite side are pulled by the weight. And when I lay on my back, I feel suffocated and sort of like I am trying to balance a big fish bowl on my stomach. So basically, it just hurts to lay down. And it hurts to sit. I had to get up and leave during church on Sunday because I was so uncomfortable (to whom it may concern, we really need some cushions for the pews at Providence!). Even sitting on the couch is tiresome. I told y'all I was grumpy. I have officially crossed over into the hacked off stage. One more week, ugh!

In happier news, we managed to get fairly settled into the new place before this weekend when George's dad and stepmom were supposed to visit. They were unable to come at the last minute, which was probably a blessing as it saved me the work of doing two birthday parties for August and being constantly ashamed of myself for my intollerable crankiness. They will get to come visit after the baby is born and though I fear I will actually be more grumpy as I take on the extra juggling of a third child and continue in the sleeplessness of middle of the night feedings, I hope I will be at least a little more physically comfortable in a normal sitting position. (That is, after the staples and stitches have been removed from my abdomen!) Oh, the things we take for granted! Anyway, I was trying to be positive talking about sort of settling in. George hung some pictures and we emptied a lot of boxes. It's starting to look like our family lives here. The paint colors have all turned out to be good choices. And I really like the duvet I ended up getting for George and I, more and more even every time I go in our room. And of course, I love our ceiling fan!

The kids' room is a sort of wasteland at this point with matresses on the floor, no rug, and nothing covering the closet so everything is in plain, ugly site. But Amabel's bed arrives tomorrow, a gift from my parents. And George will open the can of paint that sits by August's bed in the basement and give it a couple of fresh coats any day now. It has potential to be a very sweet little room by around say, Christmas? For two years I have been collecting vintage chenille to make a quilted duvet cover for Amabel. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into when I started. And of course, as I often do in whatever area I dabble in, I have become a chenille snob. Right, who knew there could be such a thing? Oh, there are swanky brands and sought after colors and patterns. It's really kind of ridiculous. I may finally be ready to piece the thing together though. And I ordered fabric to make August's duvet as well- much simpler (and cheaper) idea for him, just some cute Michael Miller train fabric. SO, with the baby's baptism ensemble and matching Christmas outfits for all three kids (that probably just won't happen) and fall clothes for Amabel and the two duvets, I only have like a hundred sewing projects to do. You'd think I'd use all this time with no sleep to get a head start. Hmmm, that really is a good idea. I just wish I weren't so tired.

Let's see though, I'm burning 300 extra calories a day, carrying 13 extra pounds all right in one spot, and sleeping an average of four hours a night. Why should I be tired?! It's 2:20. I'm gonna go try to prop everything up with pillows. Maybe next time I write, it will be to tell you our baby's name (oh, and gender). Five days in the hospital is a long time to wait. Maybe I'll designate a "guest blogger" to post the news. Don't you think September 6 would be a lovely day to be born? Come on, baby....

Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye to Steve


I guess it could be the hormones, or the lack of sleep, but I am really down about this. Well, I probably shouldn't qualify it that way. A man has died, and that is sad. I hate the whole Hollywood thing, how we stalk these people and know all about these people and they have no idea who we are. It is all so ridiculous. But the thing about Steve Irwin was that you always saw his family. He didn't seem to be a hound for fame and fortune, just a quirky guy with an accent who loved animals and his family. Our first Wiggles video was the one they did with Steve, his wife, Terri, and Bindi, his daughter. I have since seen several things that also included his son, Bob. They had a darling family who seemed to always enjoy things together (or at least the things that were filmed for our entertainment). This is an older picture, Bob is just a few months younger than August; he is the one Steve held while feeding a crocodile that everyone freaked out about. And I think rightly so. I guess that is why his death is so sad, because he did so many things that it really seemed like he was asking for it. And then, what actually happened (a stingray stabbed him through the chest when he swam over it) seems like such a freak accident. Had he been bitten by a poisonous spider or snake or mauled by a shark or crocodile, I would be sad still, but kind of mad too, because DUH! But who thinks a stingray, who are not supposed to be "attackers," will be alarmed and stab someone in just the right spot to kill him nearly instantly? You really can't blame him for that one. Maybe you can; the title of the series he was working on was something about the "Ocean's Deadliest." But right through the heart? What are the odds? Not that I know much about stingrays or even too too much about Steve Irwin. I just feel so sad for his widow and children.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I'm Getting Grumpy

And it's starting to show, even more so than usual. So because I am so sick of being pregnant, I know you must all be very sick of me being pregnant. I'm giving you all a break from the baby and pregnancy talk to bring up something very near and dear to my heart. What is the deal with toilet paper commercials?! I am sorry, but I cannot take another cutesy, yet still really gross to those of us that aren't quite so easily amused, approach to the bathroom. I mean, remember the little girl who wanted to play football with her brothers so she stuffed her tee shirt with toilet paper for softness? Or the little boy who played with his tub toys in the sink and used the tissue as a hammock of sorts for all of them? These are the commercials that are acceptable in my mind. And they get the point across just fine. Actually, even the one with the boy playing in the sink got a little too gross when they showed "the other guys' tissue." Then along came Cottonelle with that stupid roll of toilet paper with a British accent talking about what a great job she did. I vowed never to buy Cottonelle at that point. I mean, that is just being a little too literal, and when they added all those puns in, it sealed the deal forever (even though Cottonelle is probably great as a product). But that was just the beginning. When everyone came out with all the wet wipes products, they had a commercial that was essentially a collage of shots of people shaking their hineys. I really don't even feel comfortable typing that. I don't know why I am even bringing this up, it has been the elephant in the room for years. But enough is enough! I also refuse to buy Charmin because of the cartoon bears which they actually illustrate using the tissue! Those bears are everything that is wrong with advertising (okay, not everything, but if they were wearing skimpy underwear it would be everything!).

Until just recently I have felt that Angel Soft was the only toilet tissue I could safely buy without supporting some sort of raunchy, potty humor run ad campaign. And then the new Angel Soft commercials came out. They're awful! Now I just don't know what to do. I have twelve double rolls until a decision must be made.

This is not the first time I have let advertising dictate my purchasing decisions. I am a firm believer that if the idea behind advertising is to make me like the ad so I will buy the poduct, then it should follow that if the ad actually offends me, I won't buy the product. In college I refused to purchase or even watch ads for Pringles or Taco Bell. Both campaigns ran ads that were obnoxious and much louder than the commercials that ran on either side of them. It's too bad too because I was their target audience and those years may have reeled me in for years to come. As it were, a huge fan of all foods Mexican hasn't even the slightest consideration for a meal from Taco Bell even in a pinch when the only other choice may be a much hated other chain. And I have probably never purchased a can of Pringles. I don't buy chips often anyway, but you can bet I won't even be tempted by a huge sale on Pringles the day of a picnic. I am sure their advertising is not nearly so bad now, I just trained myself to ignore these products and have all but forgotten they exist. The same has also happened with the much hated Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works company. I find Victoria's Secret advertising so offensive that I refuse to even walk through the doors there or at any of its affiliates (Limited, Bath and Body etc.). After five or six years, you learn to deal with the difficulty of finding cute and not overly expensive pajamas (it's hard, let me tell you) and splurge on shower gel from Crabtree and Evelyn (who needs to though, I always get plenty for Christmas!). I just think that if good advertising brings the fruits of higher sales, there should be an equal consequence to suffer for bad advertising.

So I will let you know if I can find a toilet tissue that has not sunk to the potty humor level to sell its product. And I will strive to keep you all informed as to where cute pajamas and Lays potato chips are on sale.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Baby Mine


I didn't get to sleep for the night until after eight thirty in the morning after my last post. Of course, the whole family is up and kickin' at eight thirty so it was never a very deep sleep and I finally gave up around eleven. I caught a good nap from 1:30 to 3:30. The next night it was around 4:30, so that's a little better, and then I got a great nap yesterday afternoon. Then last night it was 3:30. And for some reason I have been wide awake since 6:30. It's like I just don't even need the sleep! No, it's not, but this baby seems to think that's the case. Or else it thinks its big brother and sister really shouldn't mind spending all day watching videos so mommy can sleep. But it is quite impressive the amount of ironing, sewing, and smocking one gets done in the wee hours of the morning- so for every negative, a positive. Right?

There's no time for a nap today though as we have a birthday to start celebrating! August will be three on Sunday and has requested a train party for the second year in a row. It will be a simple family party (so don't look for an invitation), particularly simple in light of my ginormous belly and monstrous fatigue. But today we are going to the zoo to see the new baby elephant and, of course, ride the train. The zoo in St. Louis is free, but the train is $4 a person so we have only ridden it once, when Grandma paid. Today we are making the big splurge for the whole family to ride. We'd do it anyway, since it is August's delight, but it will actually come in very handy for this prego. It is so hard to cut out any one section of animals. We always think we'll just see the elephants and hippos or just the big cats, but who can pass up checking in on the monkeys when they're just right over there! After a while though, even a marathon runner would get worn out running over there and then over there and then over there. Hurray for the train to drive us right up to where we want to be!

I envy this momma elephant with her new baby. Last time I saw her, I believe, she was great with child. I can tell mine has "dropped" as it is much more difficult and tiring to try to walk normally. I'm in a fullblown waddle at this point! I couldn't get shoes on or off yesterday- George helped with the on and Amabel with the off- because the baby makes it physically impossible to bend in half the way it is snuggled down so low. On the other hand, scrubbing out the bathtub and bathing the kids, not to mention breathing, was a sinch because I can now easily lean forward or take a deep breath with all this extra room near my rib cage! I don't remember ever noticing for sure the whole "drop" thing from the last two pregnancies. I am guessing this is no indicator that I will be having this baby just any time now. Too bad. At least I haven't been carrying it for two years like elephants do!

Well, this post is about so many things. I could only get one picture or I would've put the train on here too. The elephant seemed more appropriate with the talk of the coming of new babies. I think the biggest change that is yet to come is moving August into the big boy stage. I know he is potty trained. He is days away from three. He is sleeping through the night (though still with a passy). But he is my baby. I look at the little baby elephant and think of my little baby August. And now he and I are both days away from the changing of all of that. When he was born I spent several weeks going into Amabel's room at night and laying down beside her and crying. I felt like I missed her so much and things would never be the same. Of course, I got into the swing of things and August pretty much slept for three months as all babies do and Amabel is just as much mine as she ever was. But August has become the baby. He is now entering the world of "middle child," a world which I know very well so I think we will maintain a special connection. I am sure there is a special connection to be had with every child God gives us. So far it has simply been that Amabel is my girl and August is my baby. I am sure it seems ridiculous to think of a three year old as my baby to some of you. And I am also sure the new baby will sleep a lot and I will still have plenty of time to spend with my big baby. But practically speaking, there will be more to divide my attentions between and therefore less of me to enjoy each child. I am not so sad thinking about Amabel as she is just a child who commands attention, she will be seen, she will be heard. I just hope August will still find a place to climb into on my lap and a quiet time to sit and read together, just me and my Baby August.

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