Thursday, March 31, 2011


I once heard that the human gestational period is 8 months and 2 years. So, as I'm tempted to write that I'm in the home stretch, having officially entered the third trimester, I won't. As fast as the last 6 months have flown by, I know these next 3 probably won't. But it's okay. I love being pregnant and will savor the time, growing belly and all.
I couldn't wait to show you the bedding that I made for our next little one. I'm very grateful that last summer I was commissioned to make a crib bedding set, because without that experience, I don't know that I would have taken on the task of making a set for my own baby! I'm really happy with the results. Thanks to Joy for taking the photos for me!

I wish that I could show you the whole room. This is just the baby's corner. On the other side of the room we have the big kids who sleep side by side on a daybed and a trundle bed that gets pushed underneath during the day. It's an excellent way to make space. We had originally wanted to get bunk beds, but the more we thought about Charlie's fear of heights coupled with Judah's lack of fear of heights, it just didn't make much sense. At any rate, we will have all three kiddos in one room, which I have absolutely no anxiety about whatsoever. ;)
So, things are moving along here. Charlie is about three-quarters of the way through her first year of school. She's doing so well, and I am so blessed to be her teacher. I know that all homeschooling parents wonder at times why we do what we do, but right now I know exactly why I'm doing this. Yesterday we spent the majority of our school day talking about gravity, which turned into a discussion on the planets and the universe, which developed into a discussion on God and His immense power. I don't know that a discussion like this would have ensued at a conventional kindergarten, and I'm so happy for the opportunity to participate in a learning experience like this. I'm trying to get a head start on preparations for next year, since I know that a large part of my summer will be spent babymooning. Charlie is becoming quite the little lady and ever the great helper. I'm so looking forward to seeing her at this age with a little baby!
I'm also working on preparations to start some Montessori work with Judah and will keep you posted. His new development is being able to dress himself. He's so happy with his accomplishment that he goes through "costume changes" several times a day! The only problem is that the only shirts that he can reach are his pajama shirts in his dresser drawer, so the child is constantly changing into pajamas. I want to encourage his autonomy, but it certainly makes for some extra laundry! He's such a silly kid. I know he'll be a great big brother, too.
I bought my first items for new baby (that's his/her name right now): a two-pack of gender-neutral sleep gowns and a few disposable diapers for the early days. Now I can start washing and putting things into the empty dresser beside the crib! This little one seems to be my most active baby yet, and I'm wondering if that's going to translate well once he or she is born. Dear God, we are begging for a child who sleeps well--maybe not at the very beginning, but maybe within a few months? :)
Of course, we know how incredibly blessed we are, regardless of the sleep issues we've had the last several years. Psalm 127:3 says, "Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him." It's such a different mindset from the typical modern view of children that makes them more of a burden than a blessing. We are so, so thankful. My prayer is that we always remember that. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Emerald Isle

I recently had the great pleasure of visiting my twin sister (and best friend) and her beautiful family in Ireland. I went solo (well, solo except for the baby in utero), which was hard for me, given that it was the first time I'd ever left the children, and the longest Paul and I had ever been apart. I cried buckets walking through security leaving Reagan National, and I'm pretty sure I almost attracted too much attention. Once I'd made it through my connection in JFK, I relaxed as I boarded the plane for the long flight over the ocean.
I was sooo happy to see my sister who drove with her baby early in the morning to pick me up at Shannon International Airport about an hour and a half away from her house in a pretty little town in the countryside of Ireland. During the week that I was there, we drove through the Gap of Dunloe and Connor Pass; walked the towns of Killarney, Dingle, Kenmare, and Tralee; and visited Muckross House and Ross Castle. Since I was there primarily to visit with some of my favorite people in the world, I wasn't terribly interested in spending all my time site-seeing, but I think we had a really nice balance of quality time and tourism. One of the highlights for me was having high tea with my sister at an Irish tearoom in Killarney. Of course I also enjoyed the many afternoons spent by the fire just hanging out with the family.
The view from Connor Pass, the highest mountains in Ireland

The view from Castlegregory

The girls scaling the walls of Ross Castle

Cindy and baby
The view from Muckross House

A traditional Irish breakfast, one of my favorite delicacies

The Irish breakfast upon leaving the restaurant :)

Guinness and Bailey's ice cream at the best ice cream place I've ever patronized

Taking a rest upon the altar of the largest stone circle in Western Ireland in the town of Kenmare

The girls dancing on the altar

Making homemade pierogies and pasta

Me and my Ireland-bred nieces

Posing with my sis under an archway at Ross Castle

Our impression of a mirror

I miss them all so much, but I was happy to get home to my own babies and Paul. It's hard to be separated from my twin over such a distance, but this world just isn't perfect. I keep thinking about the day when we will all be in Heaven and can spend eternity together. I am so thankful to have an identical twin and to have had the opportunity to spend a week with her.
Thank you to my mother-in-law who traveled to spend the week taking care of the kids while I was away, and for the friends who filled in the gaps for childcare, as well as my parents who helped with the cost that traveling incurred. It was a wonderful and relaxing trip!