Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And it burns burns burns...

The ring of swaps...

I've participated in a few knitting swaps. Some of them have been fantastic. Others, not so much. I never received anything from one swap (it was supposed to be a pair of socks and a couple of themed doodads). The latest swap I received $10 worth of a $60 swap and have heard nothing since. The swap ended February 28th.

I'm taking a time out from swaps for a while.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Expectations: a WIP

In case you hadn't noticed the widget on the side of my blog, the Ptown Cottage is expecting a new arrival this fall! Things are going well, I think. There is some debate over the actual due date, as the baby has measured a week behind for 2 ultrasounds. I go back at the end of the month for an official ultrasound. Not sure what the other two were: unofficial?

Anyway, I am a high-risk pregnancy. I had a blood clot when I was 18, the same year my dad had one. Well, that was too freaky to be coincidental, so we went in for genetic testing. Turns out I have a genetic mutation called Factor V Leiden. This is like having 2 risk factors for blood clots, making me more likely than others to develop clots when taking hormones like the birth control pill, smoking, or when pregnant. Hormones go absolutely berserk when you are pregnant, and this fact reeks havoc on my blood. I have to take injections of blood thinners throughout my pregnancy. Without the blood thinners, I could develop another clot or a clot could develop in the placenta or cord, causing miscarraige. Making things just a little more interesting, both of my children were born prematurely. Hokieboy was 2 months early and Hokiegirl was a month and a half early. Thankfully, you would never know looking at them now.

So, the due date of a baby is actually pretty important. A week can make a huge difference in the health of an infant. So much happens in those few weeks. A baby is actually considered full term by most at 37 weeks gestational age. Most of what happens between then and the due date (40 weeks) is putting on the pounds. Hokieboy was born at 32 weeks. This meant that his lungs were underdeveloped, as was the sphincter muscle that is between the stomach and the esophagus. He needed assistance breathing, developed jaundice and then had acid reflux, which caused him to stop breathing and his heart rate dropped too low. When he came home after a month in the NICU, he had a heart monitor to alert us to those events. Hokiegirl was born two weeks older, at 34 weeks. The lungs are generally mature by 34 weeks, which made me breathe easier when I hit that mark. She stayed in the hospital for a week because she also had jaundice. This made her too sleepy to eat, and without food to flush the bilirubin out, she remained jaundiced, which made her too sleepy to eat, and without food... you get the point.

The current due date for the new baby is October 9th, but that may be pushed back to October 16th, depending on the results of the ultrasound. I have grounded the baby, insisting that it not leave its womb until October. We'll see how that goes.

Over here in Ptown, a different kind of knitting is happening. I don't hold the needles at the moment, but God is very busy with creating a new life in me.

Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." NIV

Friday, March 6, 2009

Marching along

It's March.  I could hardly believe it when I flipped the calendar over to look
at the new month. As I was driving this evening, I noticed that it was after
6:00 pm and it was still light outside! This wonderful realization came to me
just days after we saw snow covering our yard. It's hard to believe, but spring
really is on it's way. I've never really been one for spring cleaning, but as I
look around my home that has been shut up for the long winter, I see the appeal
of having everything aired out and freshly scrubbed. We'll see if I can bring
that image to reality!

Spring brings us a chance to get out and enjoy God's creation. My camellia
bushes are blooming and the daffodils are popping up everywhere. The birds are
visiting more frequently and their song wakes me up just before sunrise. While
it's not quite planting season yet (someone told me tax day was a good time to
plant around here to avoid late frosts), when the warm days arrive I will be in
my yard planning for planting.

This month, we are focusing on the Growing Adventure. Let us take some time to
really observe how God works all around us. The plants that we see are a great
word picture of how God works in our hearts. A seed must die in order to become
fruit the following season. We bury it in the ground and soon a shoot pushes
through the dirt and mud towards the light. The shoot becomes a plant that will
blossom and produce fruit, from which more seeds will come. And the cycle will

We are those seeds, and good works are our fruit. Only when we die to ourselves,
our sinful selfish nature, can we be planted in the dirt. We will be drawn to
the Light that is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will coax beautiful blooms and
fruit from us. Growing is hard work, but if we can just get out of God's way,
He will do the work in us so that the Light of His Son can shine before all men
and they will see the good works and glorify the Lord. (see Matthew 5:16)