Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Return to Cranford

Just a quick stop here. . . my sweet girl is finally learning how to take naps longer than 20 minutes. . . hopefully life will start to resume a sort of routine soon.

But I had to tell you about this movie. If you enjoyed Cranford (see my gushing post about it here), or any other of those amazing Elizabeth Gaskell adaptations, you will enjoy this sequel to Cranford. Normally I am very skeptical about sequels, but this is actually a good one. I recently read the book Cranford, and I like the movie and its sequel better than the book! It is that good.


Anyway, it's available to watch for free online until February 16. It's about 3 hours long, in two episodes (or you can watch it by chapter), and has most of the same characters from the original. And you know I wouldn't recommend it if it had any bad stuff - well, there might be some very brief Biblical word swearing - but nothing worse. :) Leetle bit of medical type violence like in the first, but not even as much.

Here's the link!

You're welcome. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Head over heels and missing our hard drive

I wanted to have posted so much more in these past couple of weeks! Our sweet Rosebud has made us all completely in love with her. Was there ever a baby so doted on? :) I take picture after picture of her, pretty much every single day.

And the boys are growing and saying funny things and I want to share so much with you! Often, as I sit feeding Rosebud I am composing posts in my mind. They're really good, too! ha.

Meanwhile I feel so terribly behind in everything. Not just housework, but sending off birth announcements, thank you notes, etc. etc. And I don't really WANT to do any of that--I just want to sit and stare at my gorgeous little daughter. She is the awesomest.

Plus, now our hard drive has been deemed terminally ill, and I can't upload ANY PICTURES from my camera!! Another is on its way to us, and if the planets are aligned, I will install it soon and be back to better blogging.

I do have a question for ya'll, though. How late is too late to blog about something? I feel funny blogging about things before Rosebud's birth and Christmas, when it's already been so long. Shall I move on? Or risk getting further behind in my efforts to "catch up"?

To tide me over till I can use my own photos again, here are some favorites from Rosebud's first official portrait session. My sweet friend Andrea took these as part of a very special gift to us. She came to our house and took them 6 days after her birth, so Dec 27th.



Rosemary 2

Wedding Rings

Rosemary foot in air

Little bundle


Silent Night 



And an excerpt from our dinner conversation tonight. . .

Hummer was naming his favorite teachers, in order, and then he said,

"Now I'm going to name the people of our family in order of my favorites."

Exacto covered his ears, and didn't want to listen, but Hummer was saying "One" for each person (ie we're all his favorites), so I told Exacto to listen. Just then Hummer wound up with "One, Rosebud" but he had skipped Exacto by accident, and we had to prompt him, and he said quickly, "Oh, yeah! One, Exacto" and then said sorrowfully, "I forgot Exacto."

We were giggling about that, and then Hummer looked up at DC patting Rosebud's back while he held her, and said, "Daddy, stop hitting Rosebud!"

I said, "That's patting, and she likes it."

Hummer, without missing a beat, "Well, you need a BURP cloth if you're going to do that."

By now Exacto and Fluffy and I were all giggling--but I was trying not to, since Hummer was looking at me--and so to change the subject, I said, "Hummer, are you going to eat your curry?" He responded immediately, "Yes, ma'am," and started spooning curry into his mouth.

I love that kid.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 46 - { "Our Christmas Eve Miracle", part 3 }

~ read parts 1 and 2 here and here ~

"And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today."

~Exodus 14:13


Heavenly Hands, Greg Olsen

We sat there for a while as I cried and we tried to decide what to do. I was ravenously hungry, and DC gave me some of the food he had brought for his own sustenance at the hospital. I had only a little bit of water left in my handy hospital water bottle, and realized that if I were to be able to take my painkiller I had better save the rest.

We looked at the Interstate ahead in helpless frustration. I-30 eastbound was a parking lot. I-30 westbound, the direction we needed, was completely empty because of the police-block. Suddenly a helicopter flew overheard right in that direction, and I called out, “Please, take us with you!!”  DC chuckled good-naturedly at his rather strange wife. Finally we decided to head back towards Little Rock, wondering aloud if maybe we could find a different way home that was open.

After heading back the wrong way, I thought I saw a car going on I-30 westbound. I called to DC to pull over. We pulled over in an abandoned gas station, and looked more closely. No, there were no cars getting through still.

I completely lost my composure at this point. I was filled with anxiety and fear over what would happen to us if we were stranded -- a three-day old baby in a cold car, with very little food and water, and the pain that I had to stay on top of, somehow. . . .I was sinking into complete panic. Poor DC had to be the strong one—I couldn’t even form a coherent sentence from crying too hard. He finally said, “I think this would be a good time to say a prayer.”

I don’t remember anything that he said. But I will never forget the unmistakable peace that settled on me during that prayer. I stopped crying. Chris stopped praying. Both of us sat there silently. Rosemary had been sleeping this whole time. It was now 1pm. Neither of us knew what to do still.

DC said, “Maybe if we head back towards Little Rock, we’ll see a way to turn around and go back the right way.” I said, “Okay,” and we started out again. He went onto the ramp that said it went to Little Rock.

And here’s the part that neither of us can explain.

After a minute or two of driving in those roundabout ramp-things, suddenly we found ourselves on the access road on the other side of the freeway, heading towards home! And we were past where the police had blocked it off!

I gasped, “How did we get here?!” DC said, “I have no idea.” And I said, “Well, keep driving!”

We were eight miles from the exit to our house. In stunned amazement, we drove past eight miles of stranded cars completely stopped on the other side of the freeway. Past news trucks and broadcasting towers sitting in the middle of our side of the freeway. Past deep water on both sides of the access road.

It was the most surreal thing I have ever experienced. As the miles passed, DC said, “How are we doing this?” And I said, “I don’t know. Keep driving!” I felt like I knew exactly how the Israelites must have felt, passing through the Red Sea on dry ground, with walls of water on either side.

I kept praying fervently, “Please let us get home. Please let us get home.”

Finally, unbelievably, we got to [our town]. As I saw the familiar parking lot of the Walmart by our house, I thought to myself, “Now that we've made it here, Mom and Dad could even rescue us in the Suburban if we needed.” But, we kept driving.

The main streets of [our town] were very clogged with people trying to get through to the state highway, an alternate to I-30 that was also supposedly closed. As I continued praying non-stop we crawled through, inching along through the traffic, till we got to our neighborhood.

We pulled onto our street. Still praying. And then into our driveway. I started crying again, this time out of sheer amazement and gratitude. It was now 1:30pm, time for my next dose of medicine.

With rain falling, instead of the lacy flakes of snow I had envisioned, I joyfully unbuckled Rosemary from her carseat and came inside to the excited shrieks of our sons, and the amazed tears of Mom and Dad.

Oh, how good it was to be home! I felt like now there could be any weather outside and I would still feel peaceful and happy! Exacto and Fluffy and Hummer all gave hugs and kisses to us and their sweet new baby sister, and they and my parents listened in grateful joy to our story. I told my boys, “Your prayers got us home today.”

Oh, how overwhelmingly thankful l felt to Heavenly Father for giving us this special miracle! Not only had He brought us the long-cherished hope of a new baby in our family, but He even made sure we were home for Christmas Eve, as our sons had prayed.

No helicopter needed.


I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust. . . .

In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. . . .

He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. . . .

The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. . . .

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, . . . .and sing praises unto thy name.

~Psalm 18

100 days of gratitude tag

Saturday, January 9, 2010

"Our Christmas Eve Miracle", part 2

~ to read part 1 of the story, click here ~

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. ~Matthew 14:30

Christmas flood 2009 0231261700108

While the nurse took out my staples (--owie--) I distracted myself from the pain by talking through alternatives with DC. Our neighbor Thelma explained over the phone in detail an alternate route we could take. . . . she thought. The nurse gave me my discharge instructions and rather unconcernedly left.

We were worried and frightened, to say the least. I called our pharmacy to see if there would be a way for DC to come get my painkiller, and they said that it would likely be impossible from Little Rock. Apparently our alternate route was now also closed.

So at this point, we were officially discharged, with no way to get home and no way to get the medicine I needed. DC went to talk to someone at the main desk. I tried to take pictures of Rosemary in her going-home outfit that I had picked out with such a different mental picture of how things would be. I was trying to make the best of things, but then my camera’s batteries died before I got even one picture.

At that moment my fear at what might happen overcame my peaceful determination and I began to sob. I felt completely friendless and helpless. Any friends in Little Rock I could think of were already out of town, or not close enough to us to disturb on Christmas Eve. All of our church friends were on the other side of the closed Interstate. What on earth were we going to do?

DC came back at 11:20am, having found out that since we were officially discharged we could not come back to the hospital (that had been a Plan B up until that point). But he also found out that there was a pharmacy in the hospital that was about to close at 12pm for the Christmas holiday. He went to fill the prescriptions and I tried to calm down, and resolved that we would at least get in the car and TRY to get home. My next percocet was due at 1:30pm. (If anyone out there has had a C-section, you know that percocet is still very important three days after the surgery!)

In my narcotic haze and stressed-out mind, we surely had a good reason for a police escort home! Maybe even a helicopter ride! Yes, that was it. We would get close enough to where the road was closed, and they would hear our sad story and it would be like on a Christmas movie and all the stops would be pulled to get us home to be with our kids! So heartwarming it would be the human interest story on that night's news. (See earlier comment about my idealistic tendencies :).

So after we got the medicine I was wheeled out with Rosemary in her carseat on my lap. It was so different than the last time I was wheeled out of that hospital. That time I held a vase of roses on my lap, to keep my arms from feeling quite so agonizingly empty. The sun was shining brightly then, and as Chris drove me home in the horribly quiet car, there was only me to worry about jostling, no sweet newborn in the back seat. I had thought that I would feel completely overjoyed this time, but I was so stressed about whether or not we could get home I couldn’t think about much else.

The orderly that wheeled me out said she had heard one lane of one of the Interstates was now open—she couldn’t remember which Interstate—“I think it’s the one to [our town]?” Sweet. See, everything was going to be fine! We set off with high hopes, and called home to tell Mom and Dad we were on our way and to ask everyone to keep praying.

1224091216d 1224091216b

(taken with my lovely cell phone, just after leaving the hospital)


Then we got to the turnoff to I-30, and our hearts sank. Traffic was being diverted back onto the opposite direction of the road we were on! We pulled off to the side to talk to the police officer directing traffic. “Do you know how long till the Interstate will reopen?” “No, but it’s still raining. It could be a while.” “Do you know of any alternate routes that are open still?” He pulled out a map, and pointed out a backroads way through East End, that was over 60 miles out of the way, mentioning that he wasn’t sure if all those roads were open anyway.

To show the absolute desperation I was feeling. . . .I cannot believe I did this. . . .I called out from the backseat: “Please! We were just discharged from the hospital! Isn’t there any other way we can get home?” He didn’t hear me completely, and by now I had started crying again, and DC had to repeat my question (sorry, Darling!). The officer shrugged and said he was sorry, and went to talk to the next car. . . .

Friday, January 8, 2010

{ The loving kindness of our God } or "Our Christmas Eve Miracle", part one

How do you capture the wind on the water?

How do you count all the stars in the sky?

How can you measure the love of a mother?

Or how can you write down a baby's first cry?

~ Candlelight Carol, John Rutter


Rosemary's birth was a flawless C-section. The same amazing nurse who took care of us the day we had Benjamin was my nurse again. (Love you so much, Jaime!!) And the same doctor delivered the baby. It was even in the same operating room, Jaime told me, as she led me in. Surely Benjamin was there with us, watching over us with joy and maybe even helping things go well.


The story of what happened to us three days later, on Christmas Eve, to me is a story of the loving kindness of Heavenly Father. I have written it journal-style, and want to tell it to you (somewhat edited) in 3 separate posts. It is important enough to me to tell it well. . . and a newborn really does a number on your schedule, eh? :) awesome.


So here is "Our Christmas Eve Miracle", part one. . . .

We knew for most of the year that 2009’s Christmas would be a very special one. Our new baby was due right around that time. As the time drew closer, and a birth date of 12/21 was scheduled, the doctor told me that the baby and I would likely come home on Christmas Eve.

The anxieties of this pregnancy were greatly sharpened by the trauma of having lost Benjamin so close to his due date with my last pregnancy. I felt like each day I had to learn again to walk by faith. Sometimes “the waves grew boisterous” like when Peter walked on the water, and I would panic and start to sink.

Gratefully, my sons’ faith was strong and pure enough that they looked forward whole-heartedly to December 21st, knowing that Heavenly Father would bless us to bring this baby home. They prayed every single day for Rosemary to be born safely, and we talked about it endlessly, how wonderful it would be.

Then came that beautiful morning when I heard my daughter’s first cry after she was pulled from my womb. The joy and gratitude and relief I felt at that moment are impossible to describe. When she was placed in my arms I could hardly believe it wasn’t a dream. Here was a living, breathing, healthy-pink baby, and she was mine!

That first day and night are a happy haze in my memory. Mom and DC were right there for her birth, and Dad came in soon after. Later Dad picked up the boys from school and brought them to the hospital to visit, and I thought I would burst with the joy and love I felt, watching them hold her. That night she and I were awake pretty much the whole night, and I nursed her and stared at her in awe, not even wanting to sleep.



The next day as I called Mom to check in on how the boys were doing, missing them, she mentioned that Fluffy had prayed that Rosemary and I would be able to come home from the hospital safely. That startled me a little. I felt a bit like there was nothing to pray for now that my deepest wish for the past two years had been granted! I realized that for my sweet sons at home, things were still much like last time. They had come to see me and Benjamin in the hospital then, too. But then I came home. . . .alone.

I commented to Mom something to that effect, and said, “I guess for them we’re not out of the woods yet.”

On Wednesday, two days after her birth, it started to rain. A lot. I heard that it was also supposed to rain the next day, Christmas Eve, and groaned at what an un-picturesque prospect that was. Ick. Rain on Christmas Eve. I hoped that somehow it would get cold enough to snow after all. I envisioned gentle white flakes falling softly as we lifted the infant seat out of the car and brought in our precious new baby. I’ve always been a bit idealistic. :)

The doctor came in to consult with us, and I asked if I could go ahead and be discharged. (The epidural had been out for only a couple of hours, if I remember right). He seemed to feel that it might be best to wait one more night. So we decided that the next morning, Christmas Eve, we would go home.

But by nightfall Wednesday the weather had gotten ridiculous. Whoever heard of pouring rain and a wild thunderstorm two days before Christmas? It was jarring to me in my new-baby euphoria, and being sleep-deprived as well, I literally had to pray to feel more peaceful and not to worry about the crashing violence outside.

Thursday morning’s shift-change brought the unwelcome news that the Interstate to where we live had flooded, and was now closed. My heart dropped into my stomach.

I suddenly felt absolutely desperate to get home, no matter what. My boys needed us to come home! Not only was it Christmas Eve, but I knew they were praying for us, and it seemed that we needed to be home to fulfill the great faith they had shown in Heavenly Father's promise that Rosemary would arrive safely.

So even though my mind was racing with a bit of panic, anguishing over what it would be like if we couldn’t get home, I also felt a calm determination to act as though we were going home, no matter what. I got up and got dressed, and put on makeup. I packed up all our personal belongings strewn about the room. DC got on the phone to try to find an alternate route. The weather forecast was showing that things would only get worse during the day, that it would be an uncertain amount of time before the Interstate could reopen. It appeared that the sooner we could leave, the better chance we had. . . .

flood 3 Arkansas Storm

"December 23 & 24 saw [a] flood event with 9.52" of rain in those two days alone. Roads were closed and homes flooded on Christmas Eve. It was the first time in history that Little Rock recorded more than 4 inches of rain on two consecutive days.

"Yearly Rainfall: On average Little Rock gets around 50 inches of rain a year. The previous record was 75.54" set in 1882. . . .The Christmas Eve Flood shattered that record making 2009 the wettest year in recorded weather history for Little Rock with 81.79" of rain for the year." source