Tuesday, June 29, 2010

sparrow's book

Today we put Golden down for a nap in the morning, which never happens anymore, and it meant... Sparrow and i had some time to do preschool stuff together! In san francisco a few times, she wanted to make a book or a calendar, and since i didn't have stapler nor space to work in, i had to keep putting her off. So i thought making a book would be a perfect activity for today. She had been telling me this morning a made-up story about doing acrobatics at the fair, so we started with that idea and wrote it down. We finished the drawings after Golden went to bed this evening, and Sparrow was very tired but made herself stay up until i had finished transcribing and taping the words into their final format, so she could have me read her story to her before bed! she said, "i'm tired. good thing it's my bedtime!" So without further verbiage, i present to you... "Acrobatics at the Fair," by Sparrow McDonnell.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

the first week

it has been so strange and wonderful to be here. strange, because of the emotions and memories attached to this place from growing up/ high school, yet I am different. and wonderful for so many reasons. this is a large country, arizona, large spaces, large stores, broad room in houses, long roads, and lots of parking. the mindset is a little more conservative, the growth environment more wholesome for children... huge, new shopping centers are to be found in the middle of cactus and shrubbery; one walks into a wal-mart as big as a football field and is greeted with that distinctive cold blast of air that reminds me of so many sweet past days.

the house we have landed in for the summer is a beautiful, original, ranch-style home filled with artwork and decor that speaks of the rural life, love for indigenous peoples, and the embracing of the desert.

ah, the desert! it has been hot and hotter most days... the cicadas buzz about us all day and most nights, desert animal life is abundantly seen in the early mornings and evenings. deer, rabbits, gila monsters, quail... we feel rural, close to nature, where the heat is bigger than us. we can only lie low in the shelter during day, and cope with the immensity of it in humility, realizing our littleness before this force, an expression of God.

we are reminded about how vulnerable we are, finding poisonous insects in the house almost daily. assasin bugs (kissing bugs) seem to love this house as much as we do. there was one encounter with a scorpion, as well, and spiders are frequent guests.

we are surrounded by good old friends. the girls i grew up with of the graham household have grown up and started their own families; there is a peppering of them around this house. (just kidding! two of them live in this neighborhood. one of my best friends, Omi, with her family (3 little ones in the same age ranges as ours) lives in the next house down, and her sister Emi (married to Jonathan) lives in the next house up. mama and papa graham still live in the same house, the one just to the east of us. so we are surrounded! the grahams are a very loving, inclusive bunch. it was they who did so much to make our move here possible. seeking out employment and housing opportunities, and doing all to make us comfortable. now that we are here we feel immensely loved, taken in, included. we have gone on walks, joined them for a family potluck, enjoyed saturday morning at starbucks together, and just hung out at each others houses. we left sparrow with them today as they were out in town visiting their grandmothers, etc. she has the BEST time with omi's daughter danielle! she came back to me all smiley and excited. she got a cough drop, and ice cream, and got to ride in a vintage car, and danielle's van has a dvd player!!!!! wow. what a special day for sparrow. i thought the girls might miss all the outings to the parks, and... golden does still say "park!" when we get into the car, but i think they have found it is MUCH nicer to have friends as neighbors than to go to a new park every day...

golden is potty training; for a few days she was stuck in the stage where she was afraid of the potty and wouldn't voluntarily sit on it. now she does better, but only with #1. she's so cute; she says, "pee pee coming!" we realized too that it would be much more time efficient to buy one of those plastic mini toilet seats that goes over your regular one. that way we won't be cleaning the potty out over and over... (golden pees almost as much as i do. yesterday i had a record 15 times!)

we have found a potential house to move to when our time here runs out: it is right up the drive! it would be so nice to have a close move, and also to get to stay near our friends, though you may have gathered, we are *slightly* far away from town... the house we are looking at has super super cheap rent, and the washer and dryer are right in the kitchen! cloth diapers will finally become an option! three bedrooms will feel like such an amazing luxury, plus there is a whole little apartment attached! we do feel spoiled, excited. Lord, keep us fiery for you, bless our h0me and family to be a beacon for you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

pregnancy update #2

wow. i have to say this baby is coming along quite nicely. and it might be huge. at least judging by my own rapidly expanding form; quite alarming, in fact! is it possible that my bottom is having twins?

in san francisco i was ecstatic to find a midwifery center that accepts medi-cal! it was called sage femme and had beautiful birthing rooms with big round tubs in them. oooooh how i would love to deliver here! i managed to get one appointment in before we were moving again... when i stepped on the scale at sage femme, i couldn't believe how much i had already gained! 32 pounds! my last two pregnancies i had gained 40, in 40 weeks. right now, i was only 26 weeks along...

today we visited the dr. here in tucson--or i should really say *over there* in tucson--we do live quite a ways out... she is a german lady, dr. westerband. slim, tall, friendly. she shook hands with us and was very sweet, but also direct. my friend omi has had her for at least 2 of her pregnancies, and that is how i came to this particular doctor. everything looks normal, minus the fact that she told me my belly was measuring at 32 weeks! that can't be! it was measuring 26 weeks less than a month ago, and i have only gained 2 pounds since then. (yes! the no sugar thing is working!) oh dear. let's call it 28-29 weeks and be done with it. i "tweaked" my dates for this clinic, not knowing exactly what they are of course, but guessing rather late; my new due date is august 27th. i would rather go into labor a few weeks "early" than go "late" and have them wanting to induce me and what-not. the dr. recommended an ultrasound, but i am going to refuse it. hope she doesn't hold it against me! i really need to be able to trust her to do the right thing when that baby is coming out!!

they also had me do one of those horrendous glucose tests at the clinic today. i asked if i couldn't rather eat a sugary meal of my choice (i was thinking dark chocolate), and they said, well... maybe, but that would take a lot longer. i decided not to wait til next time.

i finally began exercising again this week. it feels so nice! i can get up early again, have a place to come out and do pilates again... i am SO SORE!! yesterday i almost cried every time i had to lower myself onto the toilet--which of course is currently about 30 times a day. ouch!

the girls are looking forward to having a new baby in the house--at least sparrow is. and i know golden will love it too... well, she IS a *bit* possessive of my lap, but i think her natural motherly qualities will win out. she really does have the nurturing thing going on. she takes care of all of us! if i say, "sparrow, put your shoes on," for example, golden will run and get sparrow's shoes and bring them to her. they both love to feel the belly, give the belly "raspberries," talk to it, (usually silly talk) and so forth.

thomas has to do feldenkrais in august again--glory! i joked after golden's birth that we would have to time our next baby around his feldenkrais sessions, but of course, God knows timing better than we do, and surprise! another august baby. thankfully, this is thomas' last year of feldenkrais training. anyways, he is supposed to be going for only 2 weeks; he will be back by mid-august, meaning, if i don't deliver two weeks early, he should be around. plus, i have wonderful friends for neighbors in three surrounding houses! i am not worried.

today i did hear a few words from the Lord while i was praying for this little one:
minister to nations
on fire for God
speaking truth

isn't that beautiful? now i will know a few things to speak and plant into this one when she/he comes out! Lord, bless this little one to be dedicated to you always, to hear your voice, to be attentive to your word, to bend the heart to you. protect this little one now and during the birth process and throughout life. THANK YOU! for the chance to receive another one; may we receive it as we would receive you, as your word says in matthew 18:5, "and whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

tucson, AZ

i write today from tucson, arizona. it's been awhile since i updated, and we have undergone another move since! i am sitting in a beautiful, expansive old ranch-style house with cool air flowing down on me from a cooler vent, and babies sleeping soundly in one of the bedrooms. i can walk around this house naked if i want! yes, just our family in this huge space! what a luxury. we are house sitting for the summer, for friends my family has known for years from wycliffe. the same neighborhood where my parents' old house is, though that's sold now, and i haven't even been to look at it in the almost-week since we've been here.

we felt that God was not opening the doors in san francisco as of yet, and made the decision on the 18th of may to come to tucson, after everything job-and housing-wise had come together in a matter of days. then we acted like tourists for two weeks, getting as much city fun experience as we could, knowing we'd be going to a simpler, slower life. on may 31st we bade goodbye to uncle al, who has been so good to us, and drove to santa barbara, where we stayed for a day (2 nights) with our lovely friends the dillons and loaded all our stuff from storage to a u-haul truck (and by "we" i mean thomas did all the work single handedly... i am watching babies, of course, and too pregnant to be much help!). we did have to get rid of some more furniture, incl. our beloved wedding couch... but it is good to get lighter, and in the end all we needed fit into the truck! june 2nd we drove, via much traffic in LA and a terrible attempted restroom stop in long beach, to san diego to spend the night with our friends the hadidians and their baby grey (almost the same age as golden). thursday, the 3rd was our official drive to tucson day, but it was going to be a hot one (94 in tucson--ok, not THAT hot for tucson! but still hot enough to be very uncomfortable in a car with no AC!). we stayed the morning in san diego and went to the beach with crystal and grey, our last goodbye to the ocean!! even got to see thomas' good friend sam and his new adopted son. we left sd around 4:30 pm, and were rolling into calm, slow tucson around midnight, just as expected. it DID get a little too hot near the edge of california, but soon enough the sun went down and the rest of the journey was pleasant. 75-mph speed limits in AZ really make you feel like you're cruising! we managed to get the whole 400-mile trip done with only one stop! yuma, AZ, the hottest place on earth. we stopped there around sunset and spent most of it in the air-conditioned carl's junior with play structure. it was a one-hour stop; such is life when toddlers must go poop!

we are settling in in a lovely, leisurely way. days are hot, up to 108 or so currently. (the girls have yet to get used to that. "too 'ot!" golden says when we step outside, and sparrow too...) neighbors are familiar and friendly (one of my best friends and her whole family still lives here. their children are about the same age as ours). rabbits, deer, and gila monsters roam our driveway. beware of kissing bugs and scorpions to be found in the house... it is SUMMER in the desert, stores and parks are far away, life is slow. pray for summer employment when you think of us; thomas' dance teaching job doesn't start til august! God has always been good.