Thoughts on Motherhood

Now that we know we are having a girl, my thoughts on motherhood are more specifically tailored to how raising a girl is different than just raising a kid. I found this article online, and it really aligned with how I feel about today’s culture. I thought I would pass it along to all of you moms and dads of little girls. To each her own, I say. But this article really summed up and affirmed what I believe.
My prayer for you, Ellen Margherita, is that you are able to be childish in your childhood and childlike as an adult. I pray that you have the wherewithal and fortitude to love God and yourself. And I pray that your actions always align with these prayers. I don’t pray for just happiness because I hope these other things will create happiness for you.
So, here is the article.

Much love xo

p.s. A few minutes after posting this, a friend found this one too. Just more to think about.

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It’s a…

Today was the big day! We finally found out Tiny’s gender! I warned Tiny before we went in, “This is the only time you will ever hear me say this but, ‘keep your legs open!'” Tiny cooperated and we are pleased to announce that we are having a very healthy baby… 

GIRL!!!

I know, I can’t believe it either! I was 100% convinced that this little baby was a boy! So much for mother’s intuition. I guess that kicks in AFTER the baby is born! I let Mike have his “I told you so” moment, and now I know he will never believe me again for any subsequent children…I wouldn’t either! Anyhow, let’s get past that boy stuff because girl stuff is SO MUCH cuter anyway! Here are some pictures of our daughter:


The entire time we took pictures, she kept putting her hands to her forehead. She is either so very tired or a little drama queen!



Here is a side view. Look at that brain…we have a smarty on our hands! But, she’s a Mike/Jenna creation, so we already knew that! She’s got her knees pulled up, so she is in the fetal position. So cliche, Tiny!



Here is another picture with her hands to her forehead. Call my crazy, but I think she looks like me a little! Look at her nose and mouth! She is BEAUTIFUL! And yes, I realize that sounds a bit conceited right after I told you she looks like me…she is way better looking though :)

Mike and I decided on a name as well, but we are starting to second guess our choice. I wish they just came with name tags…I mean, God knows her name already, but I think He is holding out on us! “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” right? Help a girl out! To remedy this roadblock, Mike and I have decided to call Tiny by her name for a week or so just to make sure, then we will go public. There is always some kind of hangup we have about each name, but tonight, my mom told me, “the older you get, the more you realize this: name your baby whatever you want. You’re her parents.” And, I know she is right.

So, for now, remember to pray for Tiny, and soon we will give you something else to call her by. We will continue to pray about her name and for her future. But tonight, we are just saying prayers of thanks for a Happy, Healthy, Holy baby!

We are having a girl!!! I love her <3

Small Post, Big Belly

17 weeks and one day today! Tiny is about the size of my hand, and my pants are officially unbuttoned all the way. Mike is on a crusade to convince me to buy new pants. Usually this would be a dream come true…and although I know gaining weight is good for Tiny, I’m just not ready to pack away the skinny jeans. Maybe next month.
Second trimester has been everything I hoped for. I no longer sleep 14+ hours per day and morning sickness is non-existent. I have, however, picked up some other wonderful side effects. The best so far is extreme clumsiness. I did not know it was possible to drop your keys or knock over an entire table’s contents so many times in one day. I run into walls and fall over while doing nothing more than just standing there. It is truly comical, and I would trade first trimester for second ANY day of the week! But, the best part of second trimester is quickening. Last week, I started to feel butterflies in my stomach, and yes, that is Tiny moving around! I don’t feel it everyday, but most mornings I lay in bed begging him (or her) to do it again. It is so cool, and it makes me smile every time :) Mike hasn’t been able to feel it from the outside yet, but I’m sure as the next few weeks progress, he will be able to.
As a tease, Mike and I have picked out names for our little one, but you won’t find out until we know the gender! That day is fast approaching, and as long as Tiny isn’t feeling particularly modest, we should find out on March 15th. As a reward for your patience, here is a baby belly picture for you! We took this today, so I am approx. 17 weeks here:
(Excuse the squirrel face; Mike caught me mid lip-licking…)

Finally, in an effort to get ready for Tiny, we have started researching various baby products. You have probably seen all of my questions posted online. Being pregnant in a Facebook age is priceless. Thank you for all of your advice! Keep it coming, and I will keep the updates coming. We have our next OB appointment tomorrow, then one short month until I prove that I am right and he is a boy, or Mike gets to say “I told you so” and she is a girl. We can’t wait!

Much love xo

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A Very Tiny Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Tiny is 10 weeks and 3 days today which means he is almost 2 inches long and weighs about .18 ounces. For you fruit lovers, Tiny is about the size of a plum right now. Another milestone: Tiny is officially a fetus this week. He is very excited to accept this honor, and as a reward, has asked me to sleep excessively and eat lots of Kraft mac n’ cheese. Tiny also has fingers, toes and eyelids, and the book says, “your baby is beginning to look more human.” Phew! Good news.
As promised, I will mention a bit about cravings in this post. And, I have discovered it isn’t so much that I am having cravings as I am having aversions to things I would normally eat. I CANNOT stand to eat anything with sugar in it. I baked over 8 dozen cookies for Christmas and could not eat a single one. That is a huge change from before being pregnant when I ate a bowl of ice cream daily. Instead of sweets, Tiny prefers big salads and mac n’ cheese. The occasional ramen noodle bowl is needed as well. Tiny likes salt and veggies – just like his dad. Not to say I don’t either, I just never ate them in such quantities before. I am very thankful that Tiny enjoys eating so healthy, and I am praying this continues.
On another pregnant note, I cannot believe how tired I am these past few days. I have not consistently slept in past noon since I was 15. I thought I was tired at the beginning of this…I was so silly. Mike has been very understanding and helpful around the apartment, and that has made it much easier to deal with.
Changing the pace, I recently read an article in Columbia magazine entitled “Awaiting New Life: Welcoming a new child helped us to see the meaning of Advent” by Sebastien Lacroix. It’s a pretty cool read if you can get your hands on it. The gist of the article was about how waiting for a baby can really solidify what it means to wait for Jesus during Advent. And while we are excited to meet Tiny, he has given us many joys already.
On December 17th, we took Tiny to his first concert. Headlining was Daddy! Mike played a gig at a bar in Chicago called The Underground Lounge with his friends Zac and James. Tiny and I were so proud of him! Here is a sample of how they sounded:
(If the video won’t play, I will tweak it soon!)
Afterward, Tiny requested we celebrate with pizza and lots of water. The next morning, we all (including Uncle Johnny who joined us for the trip) went out on the town and did a little Christmas shopping in the city.
A few days later, Tiny had a second doctor’s appointment. We went over medical histories for both my family and Mike’s. We also talked about registering at the hospital, the doctor who would deliver us and what classes to take as the weeks go on. They also encouraged me to get a flu shot at the next appointment. Do any of you have thoughts about doing this? Mike and I aren’t sold on it yet, and we would love your opinions. We also have the option of genetic testing at our next visit. We are on the fence about this as well. Obviously Tiny is ours to keep, and nothing would ever change that, but do we want to be more prepared? Would testing just worry us more than help us? Another decision to pray about. While this was all good information, Mike and I could only think about the big move we will be making soon.
For those of you who don’t already know, Mike and I will be staying in Michigan for another rotation of his job. Originally, they wanted us to move to Iowa, but after finding out we are pregnant, they told us we could stay in Kalamazoo. Mike and I were all set to look for apartments when, wait! They want us to stay where we are because Mike is doing such a great job there. While we consider this a great compliment from those higher up, we do hope this is their final decision so we can start making some plans here! So, our tentative plan now is to move closer to Mike’s job so his drive isn’t so long. I will be leaving my job at the semester break to pursue a career in staying at home and perhaps tutoring. It is important to both of us that Tiny is not raised by a stranger, so I am hoping God puts us in a position that I can be at home with the baby. We’re not worried about it though, because as my wonderful sister-in-law Liz put it last night, we are giving God a great gift by having a child, and there is no way we can out give God. He will continue to shower us with blessings for bringing Tiny into the world. Thanks, Liz!
We also got some great information from our niece Dr. Lucy last night. Lucy received a diaper bag for her babies for Christmas and gave us a lesson in changing diapers. So far, we have learned that you need to yell, “poop!” many times in a row. Afterward, you need to throw all of the wipes on the floor until you find just the right one. Finally, there is no need to put a new diaper on after you wipe the baby; you just need to find something else that is more interesting to do. Lucy, we will take these bits of information and put them to good use. Lucy also informed us that we are having a boy; I tend to agree with her as I have stated before. That may be the reason I keep using “he” to refer to Tiny, and I would like to take this moment to apologize to you, Tiny, in the off chance that you are a girl. We will be just as happy!
We will leave you with Tiny’s first picture with Santa Clause. Mike and I went to Alibi (my salad of choice lately) with my parents recently and were surprised with a visit by Santa. Tiny was not afraid and smiled big for the camera, just so you know :) For his bravery, Santa brought Tiny some cute clothes, a toy giraffe and a belly band among other cute gifts. Thanks Grandpa and Mima! I’m hoping by the next post I can put up some baby belly pictures, but at this point, no change. As always, we’ll keep you updated!

Baby Beginnings

Inspired by my wonderful sister-in-law and my husband’s desire that I embrace technology (he lovingly calls me the technology scrooge), I’ve taken to the world of blogging. The topic: only the coolest thing that has ever happened to us — our baby! While we anxiously await the arrival of our little genetic combo, I’m documenting the journey. I’m hoping archiving this pregnancy will do myriad things. 1. Remind me of the good and the bad (all of which I know I will look back on fondly) 2. Keep all my favorite people up to date on Tiny’s latest and greatest and 3. Maybe even serve as a quick reference for the NEXT one. Yes, mom. I said next. Someday. So, welcome to our digital jaunt through my gestational journey…and yes, I will be keeping a hard copy as all good teachers do. It’s in my blood…and that blood is in our baby!
 
So, let’s start from the beginning, shall we? No one needs all the details about the very beginning, but I would like to take this opportunity to put in a little plug for our friend NFP. Those of you who are unfamiliar, NFP stands for Natural Family Planning. Mike and I decided to use this method in our marriage, and we love it! It works wonderfully, and we have a little life to prove it. If you want any more information about it, here is the link: AOD NFP Online.
 
Moving forward a few chromosomes, Mike and I found out we were pregnant on my parents’ anniversary (November 14). They celebrated the big 2-9 this year, and we thought it would be a great gift for them. When we woke up that morning, Mike was pestering me to take a test, and I was less than convinced that I could possibly be pregnant. Part of me thinks that women tend to think they will never become pregnant because that is one of our biggest fears (many of us at least). Men, on the other hand, always think that a girl is pregnant. Mike says it’s because women always fear the worst and so do men. Nice. He is truly excited, trust me. He just can’t pass on a good joke! Anyhow, after taking the test, I went to the kitchen to make pancakes and didn’t even wait to see the results. Afterward, I went to look and found myself scrambling through the directions saying, “What does positive mean?!?!” Mike woke up, and trying to get his eyes into focus, realized what was going on. All we could do was hug and repeat, “We’re going to have a baby!” It was the best surprise we’ve ever received.
 
The next thing we did was call Mike’s sister, Liz. We had to tell someone right away, and we knew Liz was the right person to call. She shared in our joy so much that we kept her on the phone for almost two hours total that morning asking questions and getting advice. Thanks, Aunt Liz! (Liz also reminded us that her and Will would be an aunt and uncle for the first time. How cool is that?)
 
Later that day, Mike had band practice where he was able to tell his friends. He walked in and said, “Hey guys, guess what.” His friend Zac replied, “You’re having a baby.” He was shocked to find out that his wise remark was, in fact, true!
 
The most fun came later that day when we were able to tell the grandparents. Mike’s mom knew the minute we said we had news. She had that expectant grandmother look in her eyes that I was very glad we did not have to disappoint! Afterward, we gathered the clan (we are a clan now with three!) and headed over to Grandpa and Mima’s house. As I stated before, they were celebrating their anniversary, and we were taking them to church and dinner. Before dinner, we gave them their card which said “Love Mike, Jenna and Tiny  p.s. you can tell anyone you want!” My mother, the woman who has a magnet on her fridge reading “Honey, I die a little every day I don’t have a grandchild,” wept and, I think, was trying to squeeze the baby out of me that very moment. My wonderful father on the other hand, could not figure out why he was allowed to tell anyone he wanted that we were taking him to dinner that night. He soon caught on, and hugs went around.
My mom then reminded us of a dream she had just two weeks prior to that day. She had the most vivid dream that I had called her and said, “Mom, we’re having a baby. It’s a boy, and he will be born on July 26th.” Oddly enough, we are due July 23rd. I am now convinced we are having a boy. Mike is hoping for a girl because “they are cuddlier.” How cute!
 
Since that night, it has been a whirlwind of shouting out the good news to all. While many people think it strange that we began telling people right away, I am reminded again of my sister-in-law’s words of wisdom. She has always said that a that life is a life right now. It is meant to be celebrated and called by name as soon as possible. After all, that’s what God does for us, does He not? So, stemming from this, Mike and I do plan to find out the gender around March and you will all promptly know the name.
Our first doctor’s appointment was December 3rd. This was not a moment too soon as I started to feel the toll of pregnancy that Monday. In all honesty, I can’t think of anything funnier than an English teacher abandoning her classroom mid-lecture to puke in the bathroom. Somehow they never figured it out…I don’t know what that says about my teaching. Anyway, the nurse ran through all of the vitamins and dos and don’ts (with special emphasis on avoiding downhill skiing; I was almost laughed out of the office for asking about that one). This appointment only lasted 20 minutes, so Mike stayed at work and Mima came. She just ate that up!
 
That Sunday night, I mentioned to Mike that I was feeling a weird pain on my left side. We decided to wait it out and see what came of it. Monday morning when I woke up for work, the pain had not subsided. I decided to call the doctor and ask what to do just to make sure; they had me in that afternoon to check things out. Mike and I were terrified, but hashed it out with JC. To our sheer bliss, instead of finding out that something was wrong with the baby, we received an ultrasound (I wasn’t supposed to get one until March) and were able to see and hear this:
 
 
Have you ever heard anything cooler? This sound is even cooler than the song my husband is wailing away on with his drum kit right now! Really though, it’s cool being married to a rock star <3
 
So, for now I will leave you with a few more images of our Tiny. Updates will be coming as they come. Like I said before, I am no techno-guru, but I will do my best to keep track of it all! Much love to all of you, and thank you for your support and prayers. Next post? Cravings and Santa Clause! Stay tuned.
 
I’m only 7 weeks 2 days in this picture, but I’m measuring 8 weeks! I think I’m a Desser!
 
I’m upside down in these pictures! Silly, just like my daddy!
 
Oh, final random thought/question: I had a dream last night that a friend was having a baby. Turns out she actually did last night — a baby girl! Congrats Tiffany and Derek! Do you get some kind of super preggy-sense when you are pregnant?