Category Archives: the Stowaway

stroller, diapers and wet wipes – oh my!


The Stowaway has officially graduated to “Princess Crybaby.”  She’s here!!!  She made her arrival Thursday, August 26 at 2:14pm.  She weighed 8lbs, 1 oz and was 19 inches long.  She has red hair and blue eyes.  She is a doll baby; much like her older sister. 

The first night home was excruciating.  The second night was MUCH better and we’ve had a great day today. 

Adjusting to all the visitors, animlas and “normal” life may prove to be a challenge but we’re up for it.  I’m going to take some pictures of her tomorrow for the baby book. 

I know this is a short update but I wanted to get something posted.  More to follow in the days ahead as we get in a sort of routine. 

I know this time with her is only temporary and, while I will not dwell on it, I can already tell you it’s going to be a very hard time five and a half weeks from now when I have to go back to the world of adults and other peoples children. 

I will be thankful for this time and will treasure it as a gift.  I will resolve to enjoy the time with adults and look forward to time with MY children every afternoon.  This will be my resolution.

For now, though, I’m looking forward to getting to know this little girl who has been my constant companion these past months.  She is already a delight.  I didn’t think it possible that God would give me another child to adore like I adore Munchkin but He did.  I am so blessed.


letter to Munchkin


my sweetest punkin’ brains

That was one of the names I called you in the hospital.  I will never forget the feeling when they gave you to me – a feeling of utter astonishment that I could have made something so beautiful.  Do you know I still feel that way every time I see you?  Just the other day I caught myself having that same feeling of breathless disbelief that something so wonderful could have, at one time, been part of my innermost parts. 

Munchkin, you are my treasure.  You are one of the very best things that has ever happened to me.  I love everything about you.  I love the way you make up silly songs.  I love the way you dance through life.  I love your pouts and dramatics.  I love listening to you read.  I love watching you sleep.  I love listening to you breathe. 

I know my being pregnant has caused you to question your place as the apple of my eye but I hope to show you every day that my heart is WAY big enough for everybody.  The Stowaway is going to be just as precious to me, in her own way, but you will always be my first. 

You were the girl who mailed her pacifiers to Santa Claus. 

The girl who defied an entire school and potty trained when SHE, not some uppity woman, was ready. 

The girl who decided one day to read and can now read anything you put in front of her.

The girl who is a dancer, singer, cheerleader, gymnast, acrobat and clown – all at the same time.

The girl who loves to laugh almost more than she loves to eat.

The girl who will slay a thousand dragons in her time because she’s so smart, sassy and confident. 

My girl.

I love you so much, Munchkin.  You are the greatest gift God ever gave me and now He’s giving me another one in your little sister.  I can’t wait for snuggles, kisses, headaches, tantrums, hysterical laughter, tears, jokes, songs, books – all of it – with BOTH my girls. 

Love you lots and lots and lots,


end of the road in sight


Like it or not, little Stowaway, your arrival is imminent.  I know you might have it in your stubborn little brain that you can choose to stay in there forever but that’s just not so.  I’d love to see you before next Thursday but next Thursday IS the day when we will see you. 

We have a doctor’s appointment today and I am hopeful that we will have made enough progress to go across the street.  Coach doesn’t think so (I think he just says that b/c he wants to win the bet) and Munchkin is kind of hoping you’ll wait now so she can bring home the new puppy.  I’m tired of the waiting but I’m even more tired of wondering when it will happen. 

Yesterday was a great day – completely exhausting, but great.  We changed our back to school event from a convocation to a professional development conference.  SO much more relevant and I think the teachers got a lot out of it.  I did a session on social networking and how it can be dangerous to your professional reputation.  Hopefully, it was informative. 

I will post pictures of the baby dog tonight, unless we’re having a baby.  🙂

emotionally drained


The excitement of the past weeks has caught up with me, I guess.  Getting everything ready for the move, moving, setting up the new house, having Munchkin home and waiting for the Stowaway has proved to be more emotionally exhausting than I’d anticipated.  As my mother says, “even good stress is still stress.”

I had a horrible dream last night.  I dreamed the Stowaway was stillborn.  We’d come all this way only to end up with a terrible tragedy.  I know it’s exhaustion.  She’s moving.  The movements are smaller but that could be because we are getting close and they always settle down right before delivery.  But, last night and early this morning, my brain came up with a horrifying alternative; something is very wrong and that’s why I still haven’t gone past this early labor business.  And now, she’s in trouble. 

If I still haven’t gone into labor tomorrow, I’m going by the doc’s office, just to hear her heartbeat and reassure myself that she’s ok in there. 

I hate this.  I hate feeling so exposed and vulnerable. 

I just want it to be over and her to be here – safe. 

Stowaway, you don’t have to come until you are ready but please be ok.  God, you are in charge of this and I totally trust your timing.  Hold the Stowaway in your hands in these last days before her birth – then I will know she’s safe. 




I hate waiting.  I know it’s better for her to be in there and she’ll come when she’s ready and it’s almost time and it won’t be much longer. blah. blah. blah.

No, I am not a patient person.  Yes, I am tired and cranky because I was up until nearly 2am with our “practice run” to the hospital.  Why is it that when you are at home the contractions are timing exactly as they should, bringing tears to your eyes and making you feel like you are actually getting somewhere?  BUT, when you get to the hospital, everything stops or slows down to just “irrritability” contractions – contractions that are still timing ok and have some strength to them but aren’t long enough to really make progress.  I did laugh when she (the nurse) called them irritiable contractions – she was certainly right about that. 

By midnight, I’m a pretty irritable person.  By 1:15 am, if we aren’t actively in labor, I want to go home and sleep.  And that’s what we did – after a run to Jack in the Box.  *laugh*

Coach was a total champ last night.  He made me laugh – putting latex gloves on his head and telling his goofy jokes which, under the stress of the moment, made me laugh hysterically.  He held my hand when I cried out of frustration (I hate practice – I want the real deal). 

I will say this about practice though: we did have a chance to figure out our strategy for getting everybody in the car (including a very sleepy Munchkin), getting her to Mom & Dads, make a few phone calls on the way and get there in good time.  I guess that’s something…

So, it won’t be long.  We DO want her to stay in there as long as she needs so she will be healthy.  And I know she’ll come when she’s ready and that’s ok with me.  Really.  But, Stowaway – can we please save our practice runs for daytime hours – Mommy is NOT a night owl like Daddy.  Thanks.  Love you.  I can’t wait to meet you.



I feel entitled to, on the rare occasion, just gripe. 

Gripe because I’m hot.  I hear the news reports of the “critical” heatwave in the northeast and my pregnancy hormones want to scream back at the TV, “SO WHAT?!  I live in Texas, people – it’s ALWAYS hot like that – get a fan and get over it.”  But that’s not very nice.

Gripe because I’m TIRED of my back hurting.  I swear I walk like a sway-backed mare.  The Stowaway is riding in a ball and she’s really low in my uterus so my back is just killing me. 

Gripe because I’m hungry alll the time but when I DO eat, I can’t eat more than a few mouthfuls because the Stowaway is squishing my stomach! 

Gripe because the time is totally dragging.  I feel like I’ve been 32 weeks FOREVER.  I want her and I want her NOW. 

Gripe because I don’t really want to be at work but if I go home, I’ll just be reminded I still have an entire house to pack… 

Gripe. Gripe. Gripe.


I try very hard to NOT be a gripey pregnant person.  In fact, it’s been remarked that I’m one of the more easy-going pregnant people some have met.  This is not my first pregnancy so there aren’t very many unknowns in this (at least of the stuff I can control). 

I don’t know if it’s just a combination of wishing I was home, hot, hormones, or whatever but today is a day when I just want to be anywhere but where I am.



Yesterday, we had our 4D sonogram and it was amazing.  I’ve looked at the pictures 1000 times already.  To see the contours of her face, that she sucks her thumb, that she puts her hands up by her face (like I do!) when she sleeps and that she has her own ideas about things is a delight.  She made us laugh yesterday because she kept turning away from the sonogram – almost like she was showing us that SHE was in charge of what we saw, thank you very much Mommy and Daddy, and we should keep that in mind for the future. 

She sucked her thumb, yawned and even smiled.  My heart just about stopped.  I didn’t cry yesterday but did a little this morning when I went back and watched the video again. 

She is beautiful.  She has Matt’s nose and my cheeks.  I haven’t compared her picture with Munchkin yet, but I think there will be a strong resemblance since Munchkin looks so much like me and she was born with those cheeks too! 

We’ve sent the pictures across the web to our friends and family.  Technology is fantastic! 

What really amazes me, though, is that God has known this little girl from the beginning and what we saw yesterday He’s been watching for the last seven months.  He knows the color of her eyes and the number of hairs on her head (and if they are RED or not).  He knows if she will like to sleep a lot (like Daddy) or if she’ll be a morning person (like Mommy).  He knows if she will have a servant’s heart (like Daddy) or a bossy get things done type (like mommy).  He already knows these things.  But, most importantly, He knows the hour she will accept Christ.  Technology is very cool, but SHE is the miracle. 

Eagerly waiting the arrival of our little girl….

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So tired of sneezing!


Something blew in a few days ago and I’ve been sneezing and congested ever since.  It’s AWFUL.  Half the folks in my office are hacking and coughing.  UGH. 

Thank goodness for

In other news, it’s FRIDAY and I’ve managed to blog almost every day this week.  That’s quite an accomplishment after such a long dry spell.  I think, like my friend Sarah, fb and twitter have taken over my life and I can only think in 140 characters at a time. 

We have our 4D sonogram TOMORROW!  I am so excited, I can hardly sit still.  Knowing that tomorrow afternoon, we’ll see our little someone’s face just takes my breath away. 

I hope she’s in an accomodating mood and we get to see good pictures.  She’s usually pretty active in the afternoons so that’ll be even better! 

I know I need to do more packing and finish boxing up Munchkin’s room.  Maybe I’ll do some of that tonight.  I’ve taken most everything off her walls and I’ll get Dad to take her bed apart. 

Working on moving utilities but the house is so new, nobody can find the address…  URGH.

Disney – for posterity


Here are my thoughts – wrap/up on our Disney trip.  This way, I can come back here and look it up the next time we plan a vacation to Florida.

Disney was PERFECT!  Munchkin had a blast and we had a great time too!  Dad is totally hooked and wants to go back next year – even with The Stowaway not being quite a year old.  We figure that’s why God created strollers and slings.  LOL

Our itinerary:

Sunday afternoon we got into Orlando about 2:30.  We went ahead and checked in to the hotel and went to Animal Kingdom.  The park was near deserted b/c it was so late in the day.  We got a head start on her autographs and she got to ride a nearly empty Kilimanjaro Safari, right up front and get LOTS of extra attention b/c she was one of the only children on the ride.  She REALLY loved it. 

Monday – Epcot – Munchkin’s Princess Breakfast in Norway was FABULOUS – SO glad we did it there instead of @ Magic Kingdom.  Talked to another mom that evening who was disappointed with MK’s Princess Breakfast b/c it was so crowded – she said it was very rushed.  We saw all five of the princesses and they stopped to visit, sign autographs and take pictures with Munchkin.  IT was VERY fun (although it’s the most I’ve EVER paid for eggs and bacon!!)  I think the World Showcase was Dad’s favorite – hands down.  I think the next time we go, we want to spend an entire day in the WS; I started to run out of energy by Japan.  We finished at Epcot (because mommy’s legs were about to fall off) around 3 o’clock.  We went back to the hotel and got into the pool.  That made me feel a LOT better.  We got dressed and rode over to Magic Kingdom to grab ride schedules for the next day (so I could plan) and rode a ferry over to Wilderness Lodge to have dinner at Whispering Canyon Café “I NEED KETCHUP!” – LOL – it was hilarious!  We were EXHAUSTED at the end of Monday. 

Tuesday – Magic Kingdom – Got there in time to open the park with the extra magic hour – Munchkin loved the teacups, Dumbo, Peter Pan (pretty sure this was her favorite), Small World…She hated Haunted Mansion but loved Tom Sawyer’s island.  I have a hilarious picture Dad took of her shooting at Indians.  LOL  We all LOVED Philharmagic.  Love what they’ve done with Pirates of the Caribbean but hated Carousel of Progress (what happened to “this is the best time OF YOUR LIFE!”).  Munchkin LOVED Buzz Lightyear ride in Tomorrowland but HATED Stitch’s Great Escape – the total darkness and bursts of air at her head scared her to death.  She actually cried.  I felt awful for her but she recovered pretty quickly.  She really enjoyed the people mover but we had to constantly reassure her when we went through the building where Space Mountain is that we WEREN’T about to ride a roller coaster.  LOL  Rode the resort buses back to the hotel (riding the ferry or monorail to the transportation center THEN walking to the car was for the birds!) and rested a little while.  After we cooled down again in the pool, we went back to MK for dinner and more rides.  We went to dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern, caught a bit of the Spectromagic parade on the way to Buzz Lightyear (I totally set Dad up on Buzz Lightyear – I knew the secret to a really high score from my reading – we played mommy/Munchkin vs. daddy).  Ended the day with fireworks – we were trying to leave the park but got stuck in the crowd so we just stood and enjoyed the show – I’m so glad we did – Munchkin loved them and I cried!  The tourguide Mike site recommended against going to MK on Tuesday but we didn’t have another full day to do it because of the princess breakfast Monday so we just elbowed our way through the crowds all day.  This put one small dent in the day b/c there were a few things Munchkin decided to skip b/c she was hot and didn’t want to stand in line (a notable example: she picked seeing the princesses AGAIN over the fairies b/c the line for fairies was twice as long.  Consequently, we never saw Tink L)  Riding the buses back and forth earlier in the day paid off when we left that night – we were on the second row going home!  J

Wednesday – Animal Kingdom – By unanimous family vote, we skipped Disney Hollywood Studios in favor of going back to AK and picking up all the stuff we missed Sunday because we got into town so late in the day.  Really, all she missed at Hollywood were a few more character autographs – she wasn’t going to ride the Tower of Terror or the Aerosmith Roller Coaster and we weren’t really all that interested in the American Idol or High School Musical shows.  In a few more years, she’ll be older and will (maybe) be more interested in the faster rides.  So, we went back to AK and were there to open the park.  Munchkin was the first in line to see Lilo & Stitch, we rode the Safari ride again (a definite favorite) and walked through Maharajah Jungle (WOW!), rode the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and ate lunch at a really fun “Dino” diner in Dinoland.  We hit the road back to Texas about 3pm. 

Some things we’ll do differently next trip:

  • Plan to stop on the way – Dad thought he was going to be able to drive straight through but with NOTHING but trees to look at after Louisiana, he was too tired and we had to try and find something at 1am.  On the way home, we figured out where we’d be around 10pm and found a really nice (and brand new) Country Inn & Suites.  Best night of sleep I had the entire trip!
  • Know in advance that I-10 is EXCRUCIATINGLY boring.  LOL
  • Plan a whole day for the World Showcase; maybe we can split the first part of Epcot with Hollywood Studios next time and give world Showcase a full day.  Then, Animal Kingdom gets its own day and Magic Kingdom gets a VERY full day.
  • Upgrade meal plan to include more snacks and counter service meals.  We ran out of these and ended up buying our lunch and snacks the last day.  (not a big deal, but now that we know how it works, we might as well use it)
  • Definitely keep staying on property – the perks were the same at the $82/night All Star as they are at the Grand Floridian.  I do think next time we are going to try and stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge (I know it’s three times as expensive per night but since AK was our favorite of the three parks, I think Munchkin would dig seeing the animals outside the hotel room).  That one and the Wilderness Lodge look really neat (that’s where we ate Monday night and it sure was neat to be across the lake from MK).  
  • Stay longer than four days/three nights – that way, we don’t have to rush and can go back and catch extra stuff (like the fairies!). 
  • Keep driving – find a grocery store before we leave Florida to restock snacks and water – we ran out and ended up spending on food on the way home (we spend NOTHING on food the way there).  The drive is pretty boring but it’s smooth sailing once you get out of Texas (lots of stopping and starting in the little towns after Bryan).  
  • Don’t try and leave the afternoon after graduation – it made for a VERY long day and we (Dad & I) started the vacation tired.  Get up before God the next morning and leave – that way, we’ve got MOST of the trip out of the way before (if) we stop.

 All in all, I am VERY pleased with the trip.  Munchkin slept from Orlando to (almost) Pensacola on the way home – she was one VERY tired little girl! 

I’m going to make some photo books of our trip – 500 pictures is a lot to go through!

ahhh…coffee…and Saturday!


I love Saturdays.  Not because I’m not at work – I love my job.  But because for one whole day, I can pretty much decide what happens. 

Like now.  I’m sitting in Daddy’s chair, world cup on near-mute on TV, blogging and perusing digital scrapbooking sites.  I’m still in my pj’s and the baby is happily kicking or dancing or whatever it is she’s doing in there.  The cats are laying around and Daddy is snoring snoozing on the couch… *laugh*

I love Saturday. 

We took Munchkin to the airport yesterday and it was the easiest hand-off to date.  Sandra has such a gentle way about her, she puts you at ease.  I really like her and couldn’t have hoped for a better soon-to-be-Stepmomma for Munchkin. 

After we left the airport, we found a new store (it had been recommended by a friend) called Buy, Buy, Baby.  I think they are part of Bed, Bath and Beyond b/c they are the same size and set-up.  Needless to say, we found a bedding set that is just TOO darling.

I think, with those colors, it will be a breeze to find something sassy to coordinate Munchkin’s bedding.  It’s the first big purchase we’ve made for the baby and it sparked a flood of emotions because, if we’re close enough to make big purchases like bedding for the nursery, that must mean she’s almost HERE!!!

I wish I had a window into my uterus to see what’s she’s doing in there.  It makes me crazy, speculating all the lumps and ripples and jabs. 

Well, I’m off to figure out what kind of glider we have – maybe I can order new cushions for it (smart) instead of a whole new glider (not so smart). 

Lunch with my dear friend, Sarah today.  I can’t wait!!!  It is a rare treat when she comes into town and I’m SO looking forward to it!

I think I enjoyed vacation TOO much.


Not that I’m not getting things done but, gee whiz, I’m tired!  My eyes feel SO heavy and I could close my door and take a nap (no, I’m not going to do that). 

I can feel the stowaway pushing around in there, trying to get comfortable.  Sweetie, I don’t know how to tell you, but my lungs are attached and not really all that moveable.  Squishing them up into my esophagus just makes Mommy feel bad and doesn’t really give you any more room!  *laugh*

 Well, back to it.  I may resort to taping my eyelids open.  If you see a very pregnant woman jogging around Central Office, you’ll know it’s just me.  😉

a good weekend…when’s the next one?


Vacation prep was the theme of our weekend.  A little last-minute shopping and organizing and laundry (which will continue through the week). 

I can’t wait to be away a few days.  Just the three of us (well, four, if you count the stowaway).  No school.  No work.  Just Mickey Mouse.  *smile*

The stowaway is doing some funny wiggling today.  It’s like she’s shimmying through my abdomen.  Not the usual pokes or kicks, either. 

Have I mentioned how impatient I’m getting for August?  I just about can’t stand it.  I want to see her little face and talk to her and play with her and…UGH!  LOL