Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome to Our World

     Friday, we welcomed our second son into the world.  Lincoln joined our family at 6:11 pm after an eventful day.  Words cannot describe how precious it has been enjoying this little person.  He is in all ways perfect and beautiful.  He is so very calm and relaxed and content with just about anything. He is so tiny and new.  He fills my arms and my heart each moment with such happiness.  We all love him dearly.  Little Lincoln, as we all have been calling him, fits right in with his rambunctiouss brother!  He seems to be lulled to sleep by the never-ending sounds of Jackson.  It is kind of comical.  The louder Jackson is, the harder Lincoln sleeps! 
     
 Lincoln's Birth Story
     As you know, I really struggled with the decision to allow the induction that my doctor recommended for Friday.  I nearly canceled it Thursday afternoon, but after much thought, prayer, and discussion, we went ahead with the schedule. 
     We arrived at the hospital at 5 am.  I was admitted, examined, and on my way by 5:45.  I was really thrilled to know that I was already at 4 cm.  I was certain that things would flow smoothly and quickly.  The meds were already kicking in.  I had decided I would simply labor naturally even though I was getting the Pitocin.  I felt pretty good, and I was tolerating the pain pretty well. 
     When the doctor returned at 9:00, I was anxious to hear my progress.  Nothing...not one bit of progress.  He wanted to break my water, but was unable to do the position of my cervix.  This lovely position was the beginning of a long day.  They decided to increase the medication in hopes to speed things along.
     The contractions got stronger, and were in a good pattern.  At 11:00, the doctor returned to find...nothing.  This time, they broke my water even though it was not exactly where they wanted things.  The pain factor increased greatly at this point.  Stronger, longer, and closer together was the game for the rest of the afternoon.  The cervical checks became nearly impossible to bear.  Something wacky was up with the position of things.
     At 3:00, they decided to stop the medication to try to give my body a chance to relax and help things along.  It was suggested that I take the epidural to help in this area as well.  I really did not want to do this because I had made it this long without.  But, I was looking at a C Section in about 2 hours if nothing changed.  So, I agreed. The epidural did give me a much needed break, however it was only working on the top half of things.  The pain and pressure in my pelvis never changed.  They tried to increase it, but it was determined that the baby was too low. It did, however, allow things to finally progress.  In about an hour and a half, I went from 4 cm to complete.  I was feeling the overwhelming urge to push and the enormous burning sensation of baby on its way.  I was definitely feeling the entire aspect of natural birth.  It was....unbelievable...to say the least.  My mother thankfully hurried the nurse in as I was verbally reminding everyone that I HAD TO PUSH!  Sure enough, doctor came in, and baby came out.  My mom left the delivery room at 6:02 and Lincoln was born at 6:11.  I thought sure I pushed for at least 2 hours, but it was only nine minutes.  I don't think I could have pushed another second.  I gave it all I had.  I told my husband that I simply couldn't do it.  And he said....you already did!  And just like that our little Lincoln came calmly into the world.  It really was a miracle. 
     The whole experience was overwhelming.  In many ways I am grateful that I felt every drop of the pain of bringing him into the world.  I know that sounds insane, but the feeling of holding him in my arms after that experience equals nothing in my life.  Words cannot describe that moment.  It was crazy painful but crazy beautiful. I was out of bed in no time and doing really well. The epidural accomplished a delivery without a C section, yet in its failure allowed  me to have what I was hoping for in the end...amazing how things works sometimes.  God heard my prayers in that room waiting on our son.  It did not happen how I expected, but we have a beautiful son to be so thankful for. 
     These days at home with him have been so sweet.  We are a little tired, and we are learning how to care for a newborn all over again, but he is such a tiny, little precious gift.  We choose Lincoln as his name despite the popular demand for Joshua.  He just looked like a little Lincoln to us.  Not that he resembled the president in any way, but it just fit.  My husband picked this name months ago, and when we held him...it seemed perfect for our little fella. 
     We think our boys are beautiful...makes me wonder if we wouldn't make a pretty little girl someday .....
Just something to think about....
~ B Charmer

Brothers and Cousins



Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Decision

     Sometimes simply writing my thoughts helps me process my choices and enables me to come to a conclusion on decisions.  I was pretty certain last night that I was going to call in today and cancel the induction.  I felt pretty confident that there was no need to rush or push things before necessary.  I talked with my husband and he was very supportive in either of my choices.  I was sort of hoping he would just tell me what to do...but that is not how it works.  I spoke with some friends, family, and mostly had a time of prayer.  I went to bed still unsure what the right decision was. I asked God to give me peace about waiting.
     I woke up this morning quite sick.  My stomach was in knots and left me tossing my cookies.  My son was all energy and ready for the day.  I, on the other hand, felt like a tour bus had landed on my bed sometime during the night.  It was not a pretty sight.  So, I began listing...listing pros and cons, fors and againsts...
     Waiting does not insure that I will not have to make this same decision in a handful of days.  Waiting does not mean I will get to keep working because, I am done.  I am beyond able to teach at this point.  I had some crazy notion that today I might make it into work...yes, it was crazy.  Waiting does not mean that I will be able to go without medications.  Waiting simply prolongs everything.  I had to be induced with my first.  I had no choice, and it was a no-brainer.  There are some things that indicate that I may be in the same boat.  The baby is already pushing 8 pounds and waiting means he will only get bigger.  Last time, we had the issue of meconium in the womb, and while everything with that ended up being fine...it is still a risk.  My hips are nearly shot.  All the surgeries of my childhood and the genetic issues that I have are putting a good deal of stress on my joints.  Also, the baby is laying on my femoral nerve which is most...most unpleasant.  I have also been told that I have pubic symphysis diastisis, which simply means that the naturally occurring gap in the front of the pubic bone in me is too large...again probably due to my genetic joint issues. This causes a lot of popping and catching and a slightly more unstable pelvis.   ---Writing this all makes me sound like I am falling apart!  I assure you, I am not.  I think I am doing pretty well...but it does make me understand a bit more why my doctor is offering to take this baby sooner than later.  The stress on my body is evident and getting more so as the days go by.  Carrying him longer could be perfectly safe and fine, but carrying him longer could put more strain on my already strained joints, and the last thing I want is to have to have hip surgery after having a baby. 
    The foggy scene in my brain is clearing.  It is not ideal to be induced, but if it means I have the best chance of having a natural delivery, saving some strain on my hips and joints, and giving my son a chance to come into this world without surgery, I think I should stick with it.  I feel a peace about it now that I have not felt.  I was really twisted inside because of my "ideals" but...there are reasons, legitimate reasons to reconsider.  No, none of them are life-threatening to me or baby.  None of them may even come to fruition, but why risk it?  It seems wiser to go with the path of least known resistance.
     So, tomorrow, hopefully I will have a beautiful new picture to post of my precious new son.  Hopefully, tomorrow we will be celebrating the first of many, many birthdays on March 25.

Thank you for sharing in my journey.  I can't wait to show him off! :)
~B Charmer
    

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Come What May

     I spent the day getting ready for baby on Friday.  A trip to the hospital lab, an ultrasound, and a few other paperwork issues later, and the day was gone.  It amazes me that no one can clearly give me an idea financially how to plan for the cost of this baby.  I totally understand that costs equal experience, but there should be some general guidelines that I can use to make some decisions.  At the moment, there is no medical reason to induce my labor, so I am wondering what the cost difference is between an induction over a natural delivery.  I would like to know the cost of the medicines used and so forth.  I used to just take things as they come, but lately I feel an obligation to determine my options and what my level of financial responsibility is in the given situation.  However, no one seems to know how to give me a general estimate of anything.  Is there any wonder health care is so ridiculously priced?  If nobody knows the initial cost, then why not put a gazillion dollar price tag on my hospital bill and code it as part of the "experience" during my stay. I am grateful for health care, the insurance that we do have, and the knowledge that I should be in good hands.  However, I am frustrated with the logistics and numbers.  My insides say, "They just want your money, hence the induction".  Are they playing on the miserability factor involved in a woman ready to have her baby?  I am thinking about this way too much, I know...
     I just want a healthy baby and an uncomplicated delivery.  According to the ultrasound today, the baby is measuring between 7.5 and 8 pounds.  I was told the same with baby number one at 1 week post due date, and he weighed 7.9.  So, the two boys sound like they will be about the same size.  He still looks good, and I am doing fine.  So, do I just go with the flow, let them take him Friday, and not worry?  Probably.  That is what I will probably do, but for some reason, I feel a bit agitated by it all.  I am not sure why...
      So, come what may, there should be a baby at the end of all these decisions!  That is exciting.  I haven't had the time to relish in the thoughts of a sweet, precious newborn like I did with my first.  There are some moments where I stop and look at something at home and I think to myself..."ah there will be a baby here soon!"  A baby, what a thought!  A sweet, little bundle of softness.  My heart is anxious to meet him and bring him into our family.  This little soul will be part of who we are and what we are...our Family...  I cannot wait to kiss his little face and welcome him home.
~ B Charmer

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thank Yous and Induction Blues

     First of all, I want to say a very big thank you to all of you that commented here, on FB, and in private messages.  It is so encouraging to hear from others that have "stressed" over milk.  I am really not sure how it will all turn out, but today I feel much more relaxed about it all.  He will be fed, and that is what matters most!
     Yesterday, I had my weekly appointment with the doctor.  He eventually had me sent to Labor and Delivery for some monitoring.  Everything is fine, but they are wanting to induce on Friday.  I was not too thrilled about this, and the ultimate decision is still in my hands.  I was induced with my first baby, and it went pretty well.  I have no major complaints except that I did not enjoy laboring in bed tied to a million tubes.  It just isn't my "ideal".  I will certainly do it if it becomes a necessary situation for the baby.  I just really had my heart set on him coming on his own this time around.  It is scheduled for Friday at 5:30 am, but a girl can hope that maybe this little fella will come before then.  There are some promising signs that maybe he will make his debut on his own.
     I suppose my biggest reason in not wanting an induction is the pain factor.  I am not an "epidurals are bad" kind of gal.  I had one with baby number one after laboring for quite awhile under Pitocin without one.  I do, however, react to medicines pretty strongly.  I had to have mine turned off due to numbness everywhere...even in my face.  It was a bit scary.  I had trouble just telling the nurse that something was not right.  I have this notion that I might could handle it all if I could labor naturally.  I may be totally wrong.  I might not do well at all.  I am not out to prove anything, but I do want to feel a bit more in control of my experience.  I like the idea of knowing when he will come, and that my husband will  not have to drive like a crazy man over an hour in from work just to be there.  There are some reassuring factors about it all, for sure.  One big one is that I have done it once, and everything turned out fine.....but it is not my ideal.
     We shall see how it all turns out.  In the meantime, I think I will vacuum some more.  It couldn't hurt, right??
~ B Charmer

Monday, March 21, 2011

In the Waiting

     I had several conversations with our baby last week.  I really wanted to meet him, but I really needed this weekend to prepare for his arrival.  He obliged, and I was able to accomplish a great deal.  My doctor kindly put me on some heavy antibiotics and another medicine to help get rid of the world's nastiest cold.  It seems to be helping a great deal.  I am so thankful for medication when you most need it.  I am also thankful that I have rarely used antibiotics, and that when I have needed them, they have done their job quite well.
     The clothes are ready, the bassinet is at my bedside, and the bags are mostly packed.  It was so surreal going through our older son's things to make ready for a new baby.  How clearly I could see his little orange head bobbing around in some of the outfits.  I cannot believe that he was actually sitting beside me having grown-up conversations while we were putting these baby things away for his brother.  Time is so fleeting when you look at your child....that is another post....
     Lately, I have been really going back and forth on what I think is a major decision.  I have started and erased a couple of blog entries on this topic, because it is really unusually sensitive to me.  But, I am putting it out here today because I think it might help me process my thoughts a bit. 
     I made a commitment to our first baby to nurse him exclusively for his first year.  I had no idea the struggle that would be involved in such a decision.  To say it was difficult for me and him is putting it lightly.  I did it because I thought it was best, and I had major guilt issues when I even considered stopping.  I am not sure why I felt so guilty...but I did.  I did eventually introduce a bottle of formula in the evening because we were having so many issues, and it resolved a lot of them.  How clearly I remember crying my eyes out as I gave him that bottle...and then seeing how content he was, and how well he slept...just made it all so much more confusing. 
     There were a great deal of emotions in this one decision of what method I was going to use to feed him.  My life revolved around nursing that baby.  He nursed no less than than one and a half hours each feeding.  Often, it was more.  He ate every two hours for many, many months.  On my doctor's advice, I continued this insanity because he was not overly plump at any point.  He was plenty healthy, but the doctor kept telling me to feed on demand...and I listened. I listened too much to every one's advice.  I tried everything that anyone suggested to try and make things more easy for us.  I had consultations, a trip to the hospital nursing program, and read anything I could get my hands on.  After about 7 months, we were finally making some progress.  In all this craziness, I firmly believed I created some bad habits for my fella.  He never slept like he should and his schedule was so erratic.  He got used to being held for all those nursing hours that the only place he found contentment was in my arms.  The feeding battle became the sleeping battle that became the mommy only battle....oh dear I can still feel the pure exhaustion recalling it all.
     Onward with my post.... How am I going to feed this baby?  I am really struggling with this issue in a way that I never thought I would. I feel in some ways that I survived the war, I can tackle it again. I know that nursing is best, and I should just grin and bear it.  But, I also know that a baby's well-being is highly dependant upon the mother's well-being.  I know how easily a baby can sense and experience the same feelings of frustrations from his mother.  I have learned a lot about regimenting a baby and how important that can be.  I have learned that from the beginning how easily it is to create bad habits unintentionally.  I know the agony of infections, bleeding, and so forth.  I rarely had those moments of joy when nursing.  I hate to admit that, but it is true.  I did not relish in the experience as many mothers do.  I cried through many of the feedings.  I do not want to repeat that, or put another baby through my misery either. 
     I have said that I will attempt it again, and if it goes badly, I will simply stop.  However, as the moment draws ever so close, I am inclined that for my personality I need to make this decision now.  I want to treasure these days with our new baby.  I know they will be full of exhaustion and other unpleasant moments, but as much as I can, I want to relish in the quickly passing moments of infanthood.  For me, nursing seems to dampen those thoughts.  I know it could go totally different this time around.  It may be a breeze...but it may not. 
     One thing I do know for sure is that there are many parenting issues that are very difficult.  There are no perfect answers sometimes, and that doing the best thing for your child does not always seem like the best thing.  Some decisions are just that tricky.  At the end of the day, my baby will be well-fed, well-loved, and well-cared for no matter how he gets his nutrition.  I will do everything in my power to make sure he gets everything he needs.  Of this, I am confident.  So, with that in mind it eases the pressures a bit....
     I do have bottles ready for steralization, and I am prepared for either choice.  Now, if I can just wrap my head around it all, I would feel better.  As my husband says...its just milk...don't stress over something as simple as milk. 
Did you stress over milk??
~ B Charmer

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Random Daydreams

Today is Thursday...where I wistfully post things that I am daydreaming about.  My daydreams are a bit all over the place today.  I usually like to let it all tie together somehow, but today I am not even going to try!  Today, I am just going to enjoy thinking about some randomness that makes me smile.

First, I am ready to be a bit normal again...you know, like have a waistline and be able to wear strappy heels again.  That has me thinking of gym dates and new hairdos!  I would love to be able to pull of this cute bob!  I would even go for darkening my hair...I think.  Although, a cute red bob wouldn't be bad!  I have come to the conclusion though that most adorable bob cuts are on really tiny people.  I ....have...a ....long...way....to... go.... BUT I will be shrinking soon, hopefully!


Quite opposite of that dream where I am sweating away the pounds and having makeovers done....I could enjoy a whole day watching my favorite girl-hood movies!  The Anne movies.  Ahh...it has been so long!  I can't even find a place to rent them right now!  What is up with that??  I adored these books and films as a girl, and it would be fun to curl up on the couch and revisit my youth a bit.  Surely, you have seen them!


Anne of Green Gables







Anne of Avonlea



So, after my makeover and movie madness, I would be cute as a button, well-rested, and on my way to deliver the baby!  Sounds like a good day to me!---and you know I would be super-woman labor lady.  I would have that baby lickity split, not too much pain and effort, and we would all be rosy-cheeked and posed for our first family photo!  Our house would be sparkling from top to bottom when we returned home, and the pantry so well-stocked we could eat in for months!  Ahh..the bliss...

I guess I better head home, work on the laundry and dishes instead!  Maybe I can find an Anne movie somewhere!! 

Happy Thursday ~ B Charmer!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tissue, Tears, and Shiny Pink Lipstick

I am sitting here at my computer with an entire roll of toilette tissue trying to stop the river.  I have managed to catch the nastiest cold at the worst possible moment.  This morning when the alarm sounded and I tried to get out of bed, I knew it was going to be a struggle of struggles just moving forward.  I can't be sick today!  I can't stay home.  I can't sleep longer and have hot tea delivered bedside.  I have to go to work.  I have nearly 300 children waiting on me. It is program day....and I have no voice, no energy, and more tears than tissue.  I do have an enormous belly full of baby, a due date that the doctor all but laughed at yesterday, and clothes to iron to get me and the munchkin ready to sing. 
While driving in to school, I assured myself that I could do anything for a couple of hours...just a couple of hours.  Then, I realized I really could not.  I could not do it at ALL.  The tears were coming back.  I kept my foot on the gas pedal and started pleading with all of Heaven to give me just enough strength to finish the task at hand.  This song immediately came to mind...

              His strength is perfect when our strength is gone.  He'll carry us when we can't carry on. Raised in His power, the weak become strong...His strength is perfect...His strength is perfect....

The mascara was rescued, the tears kept at bay.  I pulled into my parking spot, took a deep breath and set one foot in front of the other.  I was greeted with eager faces and spring colors.  Little children up and down the halls excited for their moment on stage, met me with arms open wide for hugs and love as we prepared for the morning.  I have learned, in my years, that little children love pink lipstick on their music teacher, so I was sure to dab some on this morning.  My shiny pink lips brought smiles and giggles and we were ready to sing!

HIS strength was perfect.  The children erased a lot of yucky feelings for a few moments.  We sung our hearts out, did some square dancing, and even did a shark rap song.  Before I knew it, we were stacking the chairs and taking down the decorations.  I made it --by God's grace.  Thankfully, my boss could tell I was under the weather and great with child.  He allowed me to leave early and take the afternoon to rest.  I crawled back to the car with munchkin in tow. 

I am so thankful that there are stronger Arms than mine to hold me up some days, and that there is a bigger Voice than mine to be heard.  I am grateful for the tender love and care as to which my Creator takes with me in my most fragile moments.  I can only hope that in all the silly songs and music class days, that the children of my little country school will find that same strength in their own lives. For that is what teaching is all about...showing our lives in the everyday moments.  For little eyes are always looking and learning.  Little ears hear far more than spoken words.  Little hearts are so tender...even to shiny, pink lipstick.
~ B Charmer


Friday, March 11, 2011

Close To You

     Last night my husband was traveling for work.  I decided that I would treat the little fella to a night in mommy's bed.  He was so excited he could barely hold still.  We are pretty insistant that he sleeps in his bed every night.  On occasion, he will join us- but it is rare.  Those occasions are generally brought on by sickness or bad dreams.  When such occaisons arise, we generally put him back in his bed after he is settled.  I usually try to do all I can to keep him in his room...but sometimes, I cave and his sweet little face just begs me to cuddle him.  I rationalize my decision with the thought...he is only little once. 
     He has always been one to snuggle.  I take most blame in this because I gave him little choice when he was an infant.  How clearly I can recall bundling him up on my chest and recling in bed together to get him calmed for sleep.  We calmed eachother.  I felt that he was so safe and secure in my arms and it helped me to relax.  He must have felt the same way because that became his favorite place to be.  It was a two-edged sword.  On one hand, I knew I was creating some bad habits - yet it worked so well for both of us, it was nearly impossible to not do it.  It became a problem.  He could not sleep without me, and I could not sleep with him.  He grew and I did not.  My chest became way too small, but his perception told him that it was plenty roomy.  I wanted him close but I NEEDED to sleep.  
Oh the days when he fit perfectly in my arms....

     This morning, I awoke in our king-size bed to a bundle of boy right on top of me.  I think old habits die hard.  I was so uncomfortable and thought about all the space that bed had to offer, yet here he was...so much in my space.  I moved him away to a better space and tried to take back a few lost minutes of sleep.  I awoke moments later to the same scenario and told myself...this is what I get!  Then I stopped and I thought...
     He only wants to be close to me.  He feels safe here and he sleeps so soundly.  No other place does he ever sleep so deeply than nearest me.  I need to be more like him. 
     Do I treasure the safe place in my life next to my Savior?  Do I ignore all the reasons to be so far away and cling ever to His side?  Do I giggle into the night from excitiment of simply being near Him?  My Creator, the One that knows every ounce of my being, do I try to just be close to Him?   Is it a joy to be ever close beside Him? 
     I grabbed my little buddy and pulled him closer to me.  His peaceful sleep was still not disturbed.  I thought about what it would feel like to be so sweetly loved...and I knew that I was...I have just been too much in my own space.  I really don't need...or want all that space.  I just want to be close to Him.
~B Charmer



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Come On In...

      In lieu of yesterday's cottage post and today's Dreamy Thursday, I thought I would take you through a sample virtual cottage that I think I could live in quite happily!  Since you are stopping by, we will start in the breakfast nook.  We can share some orange marmalade and spend some time talking about the weather or perhaps our families.  The kids will be busy playing and laughing, and we can just enjoy the sunshine!
     





 You can step into the bathroom for a quick wash of the sticky marmalade.  I suppose if you want, you could always detour for a soak in the tub!


















The little ones might need a nap in the warm sunshine.  We could snuggle them all up in this cheery bedroom while we discuss our latest book loves.


    




When the time comes for them all to wake, we can let them run and play outside in the garden.  While they are discovering snails and toads, we can sip afternoon coffee...or tea...in this happy little spot.


     I am so glad you stopped in and we shared a lovely day.  Ahh...cottage life, isn't it nice?

~B Charmer

All of these lovely images are compliments of www.potterybarn.com


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Cottage


     I love cottages.  Maybe it is the fairytale picture they paint- or the too many works of literature set to screen, but they hold a special place in my heart.  I see a cottage and I start to create the story that fits the scene.  I can clearly see sweet little kitchens full of the scents of baked bread or hot soup.  The round table with a well-loved table cloth and fresh picks from the garden outside.  But the best part of my stories are the people.  There are always happy people in my mind's eye sitting around that table.  I can hear the laughter and see the smiles.  There are children and grandparents, as well as neighbors.  It is a warm scene that feels like home.  It is the safe place that all should have to come to for respite.  The home is full of things like worn books, garden gloves, and children's wooden blocks.  There are cozy quilts and outdoor benches just begging for a visit.  There are friendly gates and paths that take you all over the cozy grounds.  The stories meander along the paths of cone flowers. 
     My favorite cottages always have some sort of friendly fence and sweet little gate.  There are more flowers than there blades of grass!  Actually, there really isn't much- if any- need to mow...its more about weeding the garden and maintaining the stepping stones.
     I want to magically turn our house into a cottage.  But, I am missing some key elements.  I have no fence to speak of...and the little bit of chain link just doesn't seem to fit the bill. Chain link is not the feeling I am going for!  I have no meanadering sidewalk...or cone flowers.  I do have some nice rose bushes and Cameliea trees...and a few little things here and there.  The problem is that the cottage look I love takes time to create, and I just want to poof mine into existence!  But, what cottage doesn't look loved by the years?  What cottage becomes a cottage overnight?  It has to be a well-loved home first, and well...I am working on that part now.  I suppose the fence and walkways will apear with time.  I have to hide the lawn mower if I have any hope of turning my yard into a lush garden of color and herbs. Ahh...but I can dream and plan and hope...and maybe I will hear someone say as they walk past one day..."Oh, what a sweet, little cottage they have!"  I will have arrived at that point!  Forget square footage and walk-in closets...yeah they would be nice.  I will stick with a little story-book cozy cottage for now.  I just have to find my garden gloves! Now, where did I put those things?

~ B Charmer.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good Things

There are good things all around if we look for them.

A curly, red-headed boy was my bedside wake-up call today.
Seeing him, and feeling the hope of a new life within....

     I am feeling slow, tired, and heavy today.  I wanted so badly to throw the covers over my head and linger in bed.  I was not excited about greeting all the little faces waiting on me today.  I am tired of singing the same songs for weeks and doing the same silly dances.  My clumsy shape these days makes it all a bit difficult.  Something about the sunshine and the sounds floating in from the playground this morning help me to think about the good things.  I am singing the songs and dancing the dances.  I am able to be here, and God has given us a beautiful day.  He is good, His love is good, and even this day is full of His good things if I only choose to see.

Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow (James 1:17).

~B Charmer



Friday, March 4, 2011

Dreams Postponed

So, I did not do my usual "Dreamy Thursday" post yesterday.  But, Friday is a good day for dreaming away, so buckle-up and join me...

We will start here, British Columbia!
I have long been in love with this part of the world...hoping maybe there will be some great reason to move there, someday!  Hmmm.... I think a nice walk with a hot cup of coffee, my son, and the new baby would be a perfect way to start a weekend.

Of course, the new baby would be riding along in this sweet, little carriage!


After my stroll, it would be time to return home and get ready for a night out.  Of course, some darling friend would be watching the children while my husband and I take off for a dinner out and a show.  I think I will wear this fun, little dress tonight!


We would return home and find the kids cozy in their beds just awake enough for goodnight kisses.  Once they were off in dreamland, I would snuggle up in this cloud-like bed.

Of course, we would wake up with the boys jumping in the bed with us and pancakes to be made in the kitchen!
I think I will throw on this little apron and serve up breakfast in these little lovelies!

Have a dreamy weekend!
~ B Charmer


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Not Everything is Easy

     I have been blessed, and there is no other way to state it.  I am very fortunate to have a healthy child in our home, and another on the way.  I know so many who are not in our situation.  In the past year, I have been made aware of an embryo adoption option that was brand new to me. I knew little about it and what it really involved.  Currently, I have a personal friend who is carrying twins through this amazing process.  Through her journey, I found my heart being so tender toward those struggling to have children.  I cannot express in words how reading the countless journeys of families experiencing these struggles has touched my heart. 
     In so many ways, I am a stranger to their pain.  I do not know the anguish of desiring a family and having to jump through so many hurdles in hopes of achieving what seems to be a simple wish.  However, the common bond of motherhood and the love that goes into wanting, having, and raising children allows my heart to empathize deeply.  I find myself in tears reading the journeys of families I really do not even know that are experiencing these trials.  My eyes have been opened to see how precious life is and how little most of us take note.  While I cannot do anything to physically treat those who struggle so much to have children, I can open my heart to their experience.  I can be available to bare some weight of their struggle, and I can be sensitive to their tender heart. 
     To those I know that are experiencing these struggles, I am here, praying that blessings will come your way.  To the unknown people in my life, I am aware that some things are so big and so heavy that many will never understand.  ~ I hope with you ...and I hope for you.   Thank you for your courage. 

Here, is a beautiful tribute written from the heart of someone in the trenches of this struggle.  May we all be tender to life and its meaning. 
~ B Charmer

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Coffee Cups and Claw Foot Tubs

     The title of my post makes me smile.  These two things have been dear, sweet friends to me these days.  Sleeping has become a bit difficult. So, to counteract this dilemma, I have called these faithful two to full-time duty.  I really kept an eye on my caffeine intake in the early stages of pregnancy.  However, when I got the OK, I reintroduced Mr. Coffee to my morning routine.  It was a welcome return.  I still limit, which is probably best for me regardless, but a cup or two a day sure does wonders! 
     When I was expecting my first child, I could barely stand the thoughts of coffee.  However, this little fella seems to be on my page when it comes to this cup of wonderfulness.  A strong cup in the AM to get things going is in order daily.  I usually choose brewed and black.  By the time the school day winds to a close, you can generally find me at my mother's sharing a small pot of "Spanish coffee" together.  This is our means of recouping some energy from a day devoted to the "Little's".  This coffee is simply stove-top espresso topped with steamy, frothy milk.  It sort of makes the world go round-well mine anyways!
     Afternoon coffee leads to many things.  It might be time outside with my son, planning our garden, laundry, cooking...a myriad of things.  We usually bide our time waiting on the big fella to get in from work.  My husband is a trooper.  He drives well over an hour each way to and from work.  He has lots of responsibilities while there, and he is very dedicated to doing his job well.  He leaves every morning before daylight, and he returns well after dark.  We are hoping to find some relief soon of these long hours for him, but until then we are being patient. 
     Once everyone is home, fed, and tucked in bed....I make my great escape!  My claw-foot tub, original to the house, waits patiently on me to visit.  There is something about the shape and size that suits me perfectly.  A long, hot soak eases aches and pains and prepares me better than anything for sleeping.  I have had a few discomforts with this baby boy that seem to vanish in the water.  Those who know my story of hip problems since birth know that I have had a lot of "work" done on my joints.  I suppose my age and my growing waistline has put some extra pressure on the joints this time around.  I am grateful that all things are still working properly, but I am hopeful that labor will bring some relief to these nagging issues.  Until then, a late-night-claw-foot date will be my nightly routine. 
     On rare occasions, the two good friends join together.  Coffee and soaking....what could be better? 
~B Charmer

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Deep Breath

     For some reason today, I feel a bit overwhelmed.  I think the realization that time is quickly upon us is setting in.  There is so much to be done in the next few weeks.  School is drawing to a close for me this year.  I have my spring programs in two weeks, and programs are a lot of work!  I am hoping that baby boy allows me to complete my programs and get those marked off my list.  I am responsible for nearly 300 children presenting Spring Musicals.  I take the responsibility to heart, and want nothing more than a good experience for each child.  I am doing two shows complete with speaking parts, music, and choreography.  We even have a rap song on our repertoire this time, and there is just something about a very pregnant lady directing that makes me ...well use your imagination!

     I have my regular classes to prepare for, and my lessons to prepare for the substitute while I am on maternity leave.  Today, class has been...well.... a roller coaster.  I had four year-olds this morning, and during an animal action song, one little guy decided that it would be fun to take both his fists and punch my belly as hard as he could.  It totally caught me off guard.  I am sure all is well, but it is a bit scary to take a hit like that merely a month from my due date.  I suppose my big belly was just a huge target for him....needless to say, I dealt with the situation promptly.  Shortly after the four year olds, I hosted 6th grade.  What a shift in personalities!  It is enough to give me hives some days.  I love all my classes, but motivating pre-teens sometimes is next to impossible!!

     Then, there are all the decisions that are still to be made....like schooling for my oldest, care for the baby when I return to work next school year, and what will my work schedule really look like?  I am hoping to find a bit of flexibility, but that means negotiating some things...which makes me a bit nervous, too!  Work decisions for both me and my husband..to sell the house, to keep the house....how much landscaping...should we paint the house this spring??  The questions just keep swirling in my head.  AND...the BABY!  He will be here to meet us so very soon, and I have a few things left to prepare for his arrival. It still seems a bit surreal.

     We are also trying to help a little church in our community that has a brand new pastor.  It has been a bit of an adventure.  I am playing piano and we are just trying to find our place to serve there.   Our little family of three, soon to be four,  makes a big difference on their numbers.  Sunday, we had 17 in attendance.  It is exciting though, to feel like we are in a serving capacity again.  The past few months we have really felt like we were being pushed to do more, and we really did not know which direction to head.  This all has just sort of fell into place.  I say fell, but I believe firmly that Divine Intervention has something to do with it!  It is so nice to be back in the denomination I was raised in, and feel connected again to my roots.  It is very small, very country, and very green...but I am full of hope for the outreach to the community that lies within the grasp of God's arms if we do our part.  I am a bit rusty at playing hymns from the hymnal, and my belly has a tendency to get in the way...but when someone tells you that they have never heard the voices in the church sing to their current level in the past fourteen years because they have not had a pianist...it means something to my heart...sour notes and all!  (They even want to start a choir!)

     So with all the new, the old things in life that are always there, and the adventure of the days ahead...it is overwhelming some.  However, I sat on my porch last night and listened to the rain and I was grateful.  I was grateful that God keeps working on me.  I was grateful that even though the current picture of my life looks little what I thought it would as a much younger girl, my Maker is still fulfilling my happiness and giving me the opportunities that I feel I am created for.  May the deep breaths keep coming, the days be full of promise, and my heart ever be tender to the whispers from my Savior.
~B Charmer

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