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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

All I want for Christmas is for nothing to change...

So I think my heart may explode into a million pieces at any moment. This little girl...this little family of five...this safe, warm house...this over abundance of blessings...my heart is filled to the brim with joy, love, peace and humility. Thank you, Jesus.


The newest member of our family was born on November 21 at 1:06 pm after seven minutes of pushing...will she always be this easy? My heart grew 10 times its size the day Ellison Joyce was born. Is it my age that makes me appreciate every little hair on her body, her tiny toes and her sweet grunting? Is it that she is a girl...born to be protected by her daddy and I? Is it that our family has a sense of completeness with this new bundle of joy? Whatever it is, I'll take it and I will treasure these moments of bliss forever.


6 lbs, 13 oz, 19 inches long and the sweetest little girl angel I've ever met...I wish that time could be frozen and that she wouldn't get a minute bigger. That her my finger would fit in the palm of her hand as she nurses, that her coos and grunts would be the soundtrack of my life. That her small eyes and tiny mouth would greet me every morning from here on after.


Oh, but they grow. And she is is the daughter of our Lord, lent to me for what will seem like a flash of time. I will be forever grateful to be the mother of a little girl and two precious boys. Not sure if Ellie will be the last, but I will treat each moment as if she is...treasuring, capturing and holding them close to my heart.


All four of us are head over heels in love with this little girl....










Friday, October 23, 2009

Bedrest- Day 1

I guess today will be considered my first full day of bedrest since the days before have been filled with Dr.'s appointments (yesterday we spent 6 hours at the hospital). I am now on Brethine every 4 hours instead of every six and can get out of the bed for 10 minutes of every hour. The Brethine makes me very shaky, HOT and thirsty- I guess it could be worse though.

My family is totally bailing me out with the kids, meals...everything and I am so very grateful. I've gotten all my bills paid today and was able to watch Good Morning America. Not sure what the rest of the day will hold, hopefully some visits from friends!

Thanks for all of the prayers and well wishes, I really appreciate everything. We are hoping to make it two more weeks before this little girl arrives.

Love to all of you!

Merideth

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hang in there, baby girl.

There's no better time to blog than when you are on bed rest, am I right?

So, maybe I overdid it yesterday at the photo shoot, or maybe this little girl would have tried to make her way into the world today, regardless- I just don't know.

I am 34 1/2 weeks along and I started having very painful contractions (like the ones you can barely breathe through) today and then they were followed by some mild ones...about 8 minutes apart. I kept calling them cramps at first because for this body, preterm contractions just don't happen unless they are Braxton Hicks.

Anyway, Derek drove me to the doctor around 1:30 and I got hooked up to the monitor. After three contractions they checked me and I was 70% effaced and 2 cm dilated- the Dr. could feel her head. So, they gave me a prednisone shot to help strengthen her lungs and prescribed a medication meant to stop contractions and also put me on bed rest for the next two weeks. Not an ideal situation considering we still haven't moved into our house and I have not a stitch of little girl newborn clothing since my shower is not until this Saturday. However, things could be much, much worse- I have friends who are or have been on bed rest for MONTHS and who have delivered babies months early. All that matters is that the baby seems to be doing well- we just want her to cook a little longer.

I go into tomorrow at 8:30 am for another shot and then back to the Dr. on Friday for a check. The good news is that the contractions are more like 30 minutes apart instead of eight, so maybe the meds are working. If they don't stop though and get closer together than the Dr. told us to go to the hospital. Keeping a positive outlook though that we won't be making any trips to Gainesville any time soon.

Please pray for Derek as he works, handles the boys and manages the completion & closing of our house. He says he is "game" for it all, but I know these next few weeks will be tough on him.

I'll keep everyone posted and if anyone is in the HAB and wants to pay me a visit- come on by!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Derek & Tate's Karaoke Debut

Every night we take probably a little more time than we should putting our boys to bed. I have a special song that I sing to them and Derek has one too. This is "Daddy's" song, as sung by Derek & Tate at Harry A's in St. George, October 2009. Also happens to be the Karaoke debut of Derek and Tate.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

28 Weeks and counting

I am 28 weeks along as of Monday. I am already feeling her float up to my ribs where she likes to hang out all day long. Everything looks good- she is growing just as she should.

I've been a bit stressed latley, especially after learning that our house probably will not be done until mid to late October. I was hoping to be all settled in by now so we could have time to enjoy our new surroundings and concentrate on the boys. Truthfully, when this whole house journey began, I thought we'd be moving in by June...guess not.

The cabinets go in on Monday & Tuesday; granite and floors to follow. I know we don't have much longer, but the last few weeks seem like the longest.

The boys have been restless latley- most afternoons have been spent at various building materials places- flooring store, granite place, appliance store, cabinet makers, etc. I feel bad about dragginf them all around town, but I really do not have a choice.

We found out that Derek may have some sort of genetic disorder that has caused the sickness he has had over the past two years. Waiting to hear back from the insurance company as to whether or not they will cover the geneitc testing. We will do it either way though- we are willing to do whatever is necessary to get some answers. The good news is that it doesn't look like it is anything earth-shattering; just something that he will have to learn to live with, as he has pretty much done already.

Work has been so very busy. Struggling to keep the the "part time" in my job description. I have my dream job though and work for wonderful people- am thankful, so thankful that I have the option and chance to be employed right now.

I haven't been very dilligent about blogging latley- I feel guilty posting anything unless I have pictures, but half the time I cannot find the cord that attaches to my camera, so I just don't bother blogging.

Love reading up on my blogging friends- I am enjoying all the happiness that pours onto my computer screen and all the smiling faces of your beautiful children.

Blessings to all...hope to post a picture of the house (painted) soon!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

First Day of School



Tate started "Big School" at Clarkesville Elementary on Friday, August 7th. We had open house the day before where we saw his classroom and met his teachers. Tate was excited about it until we walked into the classroom. He clammed up and had the worst grimace on his face. I wasn't prepared for that because he had been talking all summer about being so excited about starting Kindergarten. We took the tour, met his sweet teacher, Mrs. Herrin and her Para Pro. Towards the end of the visit (after a dose of sugar cookies and lemonade from the cafeteria) he began to loosen up and I believe, actually enjoyed himself.

I, on the other hand, cried when we pulled into the driveway of the school, choked back tears during open house and cried...well, more like sobbed all the way home. I kept saying to Derek "I just keep thinking about the day we brought him home from the hospital!"

To be honest, I shocked myself with my reaction to Tate starting school. So many of my other Kindergarten mama friends have been dreading this day for a long time, but I felt mostly happy about it because I knew that Tate was ready and that he would do great. The flood of emotions surrounding this day and this past week have truly caught me off guard.

The morning of the first day, we wanted to make it really special, so Derek got up extra early and made pancakes with whipped cream and cherries on top. The pancakes were a hit and we truly had an enchanted morning without fuss that I will remember for a very long time.

When we got to school, Derek, Britton and I walked Tate in. Before we got to the door Tate said "Let's go ahead and hug now" (before we got too close to the door) and he also decided that he did not want to hold our hands anymore. We were shocked that this little 5 year old who we still sing to sleep at night was trying to be so big...and was acting like he didn't need us anymore! Needless to say, we obliged and let him lead the way to his First Day.

He was a lot happier than the day before when we got to his classroom. He saw a few of his friends and after putting away his backpack and snack, went right to his name on the carpet to take a seat. No tears, seemingly no anxiety- he was where he needed to be and quite comfortable with it.

We left the school with a little less tears than the day before- but still a nagging in our hearts. My sweet friends Nancy & Sarah threw a brunch for all of our Kindergarten-mommy-friends. Looking forward to this brunch is partly what got me through the morning- knowing that I would soon be among women that knew exactly what I was going through- even without saying a word. This brunch was a Godsend, girls.

So, here we are 6 days of Kindergarten later and I am pretty sure that I am over the mourning period. Isn't that what we all want? For our kids to be strong and healthy and emotionally stable enough to be secure and happy when they are away from us? Letting go hurts, but the way it happened this past week...I wouldn't have it any other way.

















Then there is little Britton. He started a brand new preschool this week- The Little School. He is there 8-2 on the 4 days of the week that I work. His teacher, Mrs. Desi is precious and I know he is loved and cared for during the day. His first day went great when I dropped him off. Mrs. Desi said that he was quiet during lunch so she asked him what was wrong and he said "I just need someone to hold me."!! Can you believe that? When she told me, I almost lost it...my baby...still needing someone to hold him, and that someone wasn't me...yes, I was flooded with guilt.
The next day he clung to me for about 15 minutes before I could get out of the door. Each day after that has gotten better and better and Mrs. Desi says he is coming out of his shell and making friends. I am so glad. It is Britton that I worry the most about- he is reserved and sometimes it is hard to tell what he is thinking. He is a teacher's dream though and seems to reserve his worst behavior just for me.
Being so close to moving into our house...our situation with the hours I put in at work is temporary I hope. I pray for a solution after the baby is born that works for my family and works for Initials, Inc. I am in prayer that it will all work out.
Gosh, I love my boys. All three of them...Derek has been recovering from surgery that he had Wednesday and is not doing as well as I had hoped. We've had a very emotional past three weeks- 2 surgeries, babies starting school, many, many decisions made about the house, sleepless nights, etc. I hope the rest of August isn't so emotionally exhausting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All is well

Just wanted to thank everyone for all the prayers & well wishes for Tate's surgery. Everything went well- we are just worn out from what turned out to be an entire day at the hospital. He is on pain meds and bandaged up, but already playing with Britton. Glad it is over- it is not fun to watch your child go through something like this, especially when it involves pain!

Thanks again for every one's sweet comments.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tomorrow- please pray for Tate

I'll skip posting this on Facebook, but I will ask my blog reading friends to pray for Tate tomorrow. He is having a circumcision "re-do". The doctor did not take off enough skin when he was born, so before it becomes an issue, we are having it taken care of. We have to be at the hospital at 8AM and supposedly he will not go in until 11. We've explained everything to him and he is OK with it. Derek did an amazing job being open and honest about the procedure and eliminating any fear or anxiety Tate may have. Just pray that the surgeon does a good job and that there are no adverse effects from the anesthesia.

Thanks,
A mama on her knees

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's a GIRL!

It's been a week since found out that baby Shaw # 3 is a girl. I think I am still a little in shock but I am getting used to the idea of lots of pink. I cried like a baby during the sonogram as soon as the technician "proved" that the baby was a girl. This really is a dream come true for me.

When I got back to the office after my Doctor's visit- this was hanging in the doorway when I came in:
Then I got to my desk an a present was sitting in my chair from Andrea. My first little girl outfit! The day kept getting better and better and opening up this gift made everything seem more real to me.Then my friends arranged an impromptu PINK party that night- this is what was served:


What an amazing day! The clothes, the bucket, the PINK party...I felt like I was living someone else's life.

Saturday, I wanted to buy a few girl things and found this at Gymboree...just begging to be embriodered with a monogram!



And how sweet will this be for the newborn little sister?


Everyone is so happy for us, which makes this time all the more blissful! Just praying for a healthy remainder of the pregnancy and an easy birth!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Pics of the House





Here is where we were two weeks ago. Finally have shingles on the roof (1st & 2nd pics). The heating and air guys are almost finished and sheetrock supposedly begins on the 29th. Our builder is saying we will move in late August...I am betting September, but we'll see.
Its definatley getting exciting, thinking we will have a place of our own soon. I am most excited about the yard...so much room for the boys to play around in.
I go to the doctor Friday...I will be almost 17 weeks- I keep putting my appointment off for various reasons, so I am a little off schedule...maybe they will let me do an ultrasound that day??? I don't know if I can wait 4 more weeks!


Friday, May 01, 2009

House Update












































































































March and April have clearly been busy months at the construction site. We've been picking out cabinets, appliances, hardware, doors, windows, etc. I cannot say enough good things about our builder (my great-uncle Mack) who has thus far provided a completley stress-free building experience. Sorry its been so long since a post- hoping to be better in the future.





















Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The real reason for the new mini van

OK, folks. By now most of Habersham County knows so I'll announce to the blogosphere that baby Shaw #3 is on the way! 9 weeks 2 days today and enjoying bouts of morning, afternoon and evening sickness!! Like Heather said the other day..."So THAT'S why you bought a mini van"!

I've been reluctant to post this becuase I had a misscarriage in February. I did not know how much that scared me until I was pregnant again and even after 3 positive tests was not completely convinced there was a baby in my belly until I saw the ultrasound last week. He/She is in there, allright, healthy and thriving. We are thrilled about expanding our family and are even closer to our end goal (God willing) of 4 children.

My due date is November 3oth so hopefully by then we will be all settled in our new house with a freshly painted room in pale pink or calming blue.

It's hard for me to be "over the moon" about this baby- trying not to get too attached but also thanking God for the blessing, no matter what the outcome. Prayers from friends and family are appreciated.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A great day to D.E.A.R.

This morning was my first Friday off with my new part time schedule. I thought I'd be a "fun mom" and not make Tate go to school, after all- its only Pre-K. We got up at 7AM and by 8:30 I remembered the final straw that helped me convince myself to go back to work- the incessant FIGHTING between my sons! By 9AM someone had gotten scratched, gotten a Hot Wheel thrown at them, stolen someones race track and broke someones Power Ranger. I was determined not to let my good intentions get completely obliterated, so I instituted our very first D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read).

I told each of them to pick out a book , take it to their bed and to quietly read. This command was met with sounds of agony and whining but eventually they both found a book and got in bed. I was prepared for 5 minutes of peace, but it turned into almost 30! I know that doesn't sounds like a lot of time, but it was 30 minutes of heaven- enough for me to hear myself think as I got everything ready for us to leave for all of our errands.

My boys will be experiencing many, many more DEAR moments in their lifetime!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

It's official...

I'm a soccer mom- mini van and all. Today was Tate's first ever sports practice- soccer. Derek is the coach and I am his assistant (read- schedule keeper, drink bringer, parent communicator). The joke is that neither one of us knows much about soccer, but the kids needed a coach so we volunteered.

We went to Dick's on Saturday to buy all of the gear- of course Brit wanted everything that Tate was getting and I didn't have the heart to tell him no. Finally, Derek came up with a brilliant idea- buy Brit a three dollar whistle and call him the assistant coach. Brit went for it, so we were able to put all of his unnecessary equipment back on the shelf. Next year, buddy.

Before practice, Tate was so proud when he put on his shin guards and cleats- he was convinced that the cleats will make him run faster than ever. He had a ball "dribbling" and learning how to "stop". Even though it was freezing outside, I think practice went well and the kids had fun.

Looking forward to a great season.

On another note, they poured our basement walls yesterday and took the casings off today. Now we need to figure out where we want the bathroom studded in the basement and where we want the load bearing wall to be. New pics to come soon.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Mommy Wars

Oh, how I dislike that phrase. It is a phenomenon that does not necessarily find one mother pitted against another, but one mother pitted against herself. Mothers fall into basically 3 categories: SAHM, WAHM, WOTHM- no matter which mother you chose to be, I'd bet you have your fair share of guilt. As my boss always says- "When the baby comes out, the guilt comes in." I've definitely had that war within myself and after 7 months of actively trying to figure it out, I think I've finally found a place in life that I can minimize the guilt and make the most of my life as I raise my babies.
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My first 4 years as a mother were spent at home. I felt blessed to have the option to stay at home with my children- the days were filled with art projects, naps, home made lunches, lazy days on the couch, play dates, lunch with friends, play groups, forts in the living room, story time at the library, afternoons in the park...I could go on and on. I thought I was never going to work full time or even part time again. But, I must admit that even though my cup runneth over, I still felt like something was missing...like there must be something more.

I didn't face the fact that I wasn't 100% happy as a Stay At Home Mom until the possibility of a job came to my attention last July. It was basically my dream job- designing bags, coordinating photo shoots, creating marketing material and being a part of a Christian company that I believe is changing the world one woman at a time. But who would I be if I wasn't the typical SAHM, MOPS Coordinator and Preschool Teacher? Taking a leap of faith, I interviewed for the job, got hired and threw myself into my new status as a WOTHM.

The first weeks were exciting, refreshing and full of self re-discovery. My heart tugged at the thought of being away from my children all day, but my time with them was more precious than ever and more treasured. I went through an amazing experience that allowed me to remember who Merideth is- the person- not just the mother. The weeks turned to months and I found myself with an exciting career and happier than I've been in years.

In November our childcare situation changed and suddenly I found myself literally getting sick to my stomach on Sunday nights- the night before the work week would begin on Monday. I prayed and prayed that God would either confirm my decision to work or derail my plans and make it so that I had no choice but to leave my job. November and December passed with no resolve. The childcare situation wasn't getting any better, so finally in January I made the decision to approach my boss about going part time.

I honestly did not think that part time would be an option, but I knew that above all else I am a mother and wife first, and all the other titles fall well below. I went to my boss and laid my hear out on the table and told her what kind of situation would be the best for me and my family- part time work, M-TH 8:30-2:00, no Fridays. And against all odds in my book- she agreed to let me go part time!!

Today was my first day as a part time WOTHM and I have found myself literally holding my breath because I feel like all of this is too good to be true. I get to go to a fabulous job in the morning and them am there to pick up my kids as soon as school is over. I am so very thankful for this opportunity and I thank God every minute of the day that He has allowed this ideal situation to happen for me and my family.

As for the Mommy Wars- I believe that we, as mothers, do everything we can to make the best decision for our families. Motherhood is a sisterhood of women trying to figure it all out one day at a time- all the while trying to love our precious babies and provide them with the richest childhood imaginable. No matter what your acronym is- I bet that you are an amazing mother who is your own worst critic and I can almost promise you that your child or children think you're perfect!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

31derful

OK, I know this is a bit late, but I just have to say that my 31st birthday was one of, if not the best birthday I've ever had.

It began the night before, I came home to a living space that has been cleaned from top to bottom (laundry included) by my grandmother and aunt! I could not believe it- that was the best birthday present I've ever gotten.

The morning of my birthday Derek asked me to get on his computer and look at some spreadsheets he had created of our finances. I thought that was a little weird since I handle all of our finances and I've never known him to create a spreadsheet just for the fun of it. So, I opened up his laptop and found my own blog page starting back at me. As you know, he broke into my account and posted some really sweet things about me.

When the kids got up, they were excited to wish me happy birthday and gave me lots of kisses and hugs.

When I arrived at work I was greeted by lots of "Happy Birthdays" and a beautiful gift from my boss.

Two of my very best friends took me to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch and we got to wear those funny Mexican hats.

After work, we had BUNCO and then after that, the group of 5 friends that I feel like are my sisters gave me a party with cake, balloons, china and presents. We hung out for a little while and watched the Tivo version of American Idol.

I feel blessed to have been able to experience such a special day, almost every minute of it spent with people I love dearly.

OH, and then I got home to a zillion birthday greetings on Facebook. I know that sounds silly, but it just feels great to have that many people recognize you on your special day- I love technology.

Thanks to everyone that made February 26, 2009 so wonderful!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Sweet Wife....Happy Birthday

Merideth

You are turning another year older today and it seems like yesterday that were both in our early 20's and in love. Standing in the front of a church excited, scared, and happier than we had ever been. All we had were each other and that was more than enough.

Now we are in our early 30's, four strong, you have different titles like...mom..but all I see when I look at you is that pretty young girl that I fell in love with and made me laugh like no one I had ever known. Only now you are stronger, wiser, and still just as beautiful. You are also a strong Christian woman and trust him with you life.

I get to see you with our kids and how you love them, take care of them, are patient with them. I also get to see when they make your facial expressions. Learn new things with you and laugh with you.

You are so much of what I am not...and I think that is what makes us a good fit. God knew that I needed someone that would take the Old man out of me and push me to try new things and not be so conservative. You are so gifted in ways that I will never be.

I guess what I am trying to say is that YOU ARE SPECIAL. Everyday I thank God for you being in my life. You are more than I could have ever hoped for in a wife. I love you very much and I look forward to growing old with you.

Have a wonderful birthday.

Love Derek

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Band Aid Moment

This morning was anything but sunny in the Shaw house. I got up extra early and made the boys eggs and toast. I set the table, poured the juice and put the hot food on the table. I lovingly woke the boys to tell them that their breakfast was ready with the hopes that they would gobble up their food, put on their clothes and be ready to let my grandmother help them put on their clothes by 7:30 so we could be out the door by 7:35.

I'll spare you all the details of what happened next.
Bottom line- our morning was anything but sunny.

So, in order to keep my heart from continuing to break all day, I surprised Tate at school and had lunch with him. When he saw me walk in, his smile took up his whole face and he sat up in his chair so high, that I thought hey might float to the ceiling like a bright red balloon! Oh, I'll never forget that sweet look of surprise and sheer joy on his face.

So, we ate taco meat, macaroni and cheese, corn, salad and water. I held his hand and kissed him and reminded him that no matter what, I'll always love him. It was a Band Aid moment for my heart and his- it was the best lunch I've had in years.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday 2/24 Day 6

Looks like the gravel was brought in today and the stakes were laid for the pouring of the walls. Rain is in the forecast for the end of this week...







Monday, February 23, 2009

I see dirt- Under Construction Week 1

Yep, the day that we have been waiting 6 months for finally arrived on Tuesday, February 17! I must admit I was overwhelemed by emotion as I realized that our dream of a home in the middle one of the most peaceful places I've ever been is finally on its way to becoming a reality. So, what does the construction of a home look like to someone who thinks "silt fence" is actually called "silk fence"?

Tuesday 2/17 Day 1
3 months of land hunting, 1 home sale, 6 months of houseplans; 1 construction loan processing; 5 building permits and 1 month of EPA persuasion later, they finally break (a little) ground and put the double silt fence up by the pond to prevent construction erosion from getting into the water.



Wednesday 2/18 Day 2
It Rained


Thursday 2/19 Day 3
13 trees are lost; grading begins


Friday 2/20 Day 4 & Monday 2/23 Day 5
Grading is halted by irate Home Owner's Association President. Wires had been crossed and the approval of our plans is up in the air. An hour later Derek and I present plans (again) and talk the HOA President off the ledge. He apologizes profusely and grading resumes. The culvert under is installed and the driveway is graded.
Side view of the house and The driveway
The front of the house and Front of the house, different angle
Derek and I went out this evening and measured the stakes. We took a pretend tour of the house, visualizing which room would be where and laughing that its hard to imagine an entire house based on a rectangle in the dirt. We are so excited we can barely stand it! The plan is to complete the grading tomorrow, pour the footings on Wednesday/Thursday and pour the walls on Friday/Saturday...weather permitting.