The name game

Now that we've found out our second child's gender, we have begun in earnest to search for his name. (Well, not every day in earnest. There are other things, like work, and dishes, and toddler snuggles, and prepping the nursery, which take plenty of time.) Like with our last little guy, this is not an easy process for us, although we did of course finally settle on a name we now love.

I have my favorites (Samuel and Luke) and so does my husband (Henry [Hank] and Walter). Unfortunately, they don't align. So we're attempting to find a name that we both truly like.

If you'd like to throw in your two cents, please vote at the poll I posted with some of the names we've discussed. We're open to more suggestions, too—maybe a name we haven't thought about yet will be just perfect for our new son. For the most part, we like classic-sounding names.

Someday, our name will come (just as long as it's before our second little prince comes!).


Stuck in time

Since I gave birth to Jack in 2009, I've been pretty delinquent about scrapbooking (as friends who are moms themselves warned me might happen). I've spent some substantial time on it during days and weekends with friends but overall haven't been consistent enough to stay even remotely up to date. Jack's scrapbook, in desperate need of more attention, has him at just a couple months old. That's not to mention the "regular" family albums, stuck in time at Christmas 2007.

Since my goal is to make one baby book for each child (equal rights!), I decided to finish his scrapbook before our new little one arrives in early June (at which point I think I will be thankful just to shower and survive each day—and make sure my children do the same). In the process, I hope to also get at least a little bit caught up on my family albums.

I plan to do six page layouts a week to chronicle Jack's earliest days. For some of you, this might seem silly, but since I am an extraordinarily slow scrapbooker, this is a good (but not too lofty) goal for me.

So here's to finishing Jack's baby book and getting ready to open a cute new book for a brand-new little boy!


It's a...

We were thrilled today to see the youngest member of our family kicking playfully on the ultrasound monitor. It was beyond a delight to watch our second son's heart beat, see small arms move up to his precious face, glimpse his sweet little profile, watch tiny fingers and toes wiggle—and to discover he is a boy (all 8 ounces of him—not surprisingly, a little bigger than the average baby at this stage).

I can't help but imagine what he'll be like (I do hope for a good sleeper like Jack!), and if he'll look like our eldest or totally different. It's such a special mystery and privilege of parenthood, to dream and wonder about the baby who's carefully nestled inside you—closer than he'll ever be again—but whom you haven't truly met. I'm confident and so grateful that God is shaping the life inside me and preparing our family for our new little boy.

Jack wasn't that enthusiastic about having to sit relatively still in a dark room with no toys (despite our prior attempted explanations that we would get to see our baby on the screen) but was later thrilled to look through the ultrasound photos with us. He's pretty excited (as he can be with his limited understanding) about having "baby brother." We're excited, too, to continue to love and parent the boys as they grow up together. We can't wait to see them race their Hot Wheels, run outside, ride their bikes, play catch, and make lots of special brother memories.

Thank you, God, for blessing us with another sweet little guy!


Merry and bright!

Our wonderful Christmas was spread out over three weeks, first with my husband's family, then with just our little family the following week, and finally with my side of the family Christmas week itself. In between, we decorated sugar cookies, counted down to Advent, played with the Little People nativity set, and went on Christmas outings including a parade, train, and rides, spending lots of quality time with family members. Afterward there was more fun with a mini-vacation my mom traditionally and kindly hosts for the 10 of us; this year it was in the beautiful coastal city of Victoria where we visited museums and castles, swam and shopped and laughed together, and ate lots of delicious food.

This year, the delight was even richer than previous years with Jack being old enough to greater understand visiting family, sharing and giving, and the nativity story—and get extremely excited about the presents under various family trees. The fact that he opened Christmas presents over a period of time was perfect; he had time to play with each and truly enjoy them. The thrill on his little face as he ripped open paper and discovered new toys is already a treasured memory. Another precious memory is helping Jack pick and package gifts for a boy his age who has fewer resources than our family. After we arranged the items in the box, he walked around our home selecting various toys "for Daniel" (although I had to explain we were limited in what we could send). And thereafter, he frequently says during prayer time, "Pray for Daniel." I'm so honored that I can be Jack's mom and help instill kindness, giving, love, and other important lessons (which I pray are life-long) in his little heart.

Like in 2008, Christmas was also extra-special because of the incredible joy of our new little one on the way. Being pregnant at this time of the year makes me feel a little closer to the biblical account of Jesus' birth, as I imagine Mary being visited by the angel who announced the Messiah's conception; her growing belly; the dusty, rough ride to Bethlehem; the agony of labor; and the fresh cries of a tiny boy.

Here's hoping you enjoyed a joy-filled Christmas—and have a rich and full 2012!


Jack's new book

I just got a new story book,
And a new shirt for a brand-new look.
Why? Because I'm happy to say
My little sibling is on the way!

All three of us are looking forward to welcoming a precious little one next June (although Jack tends to think the baby is in his tummy from time to time). We are beyond thankful to God for this tiny, beautiful miracle; we couldn't feel more blessed! It's been a bit of a journey to get to this point (in which I've learned more about God's incredible timing and about the essential virtue of patience) and that makes us all the more grateful, with more of a sense of amazement and a perhaps even a deeper joy.

Last week, we saw our little guy or gal (the extreme fuzzy version) on ultrasound and heard his or her wonderfully rhythmic heartbeat for the first time. What a phenomenal God we have to create the wonder of new life!

Now begins the guessing game...boy or girl? My husband thinks girl. I have no clue. We shall see!
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