Thursday, July 9, 2009

Preparing and Waiting for Baby E. McCrary #3, Last Prenatal Appointment Update and Pictures of Some of Our Summer Fun!

We have spent the last couple of weeks around here getting ready to welcome Baby E. McCrary #3 into our lives. However, with two beautiful, little, girl, toddlers running around already, time never stands still, so we also have been enjoying each day that we have with the two of them. We have been keeping ourselves very busy, and the next time I post, it will be to introduce our newest family member to you! We are so very excited!

I have been progressing right along as we expected. Since we've been through all of this wonderfulness (probably not a word, but oh well) twice before, we expected for things to move along as they had in the past; although also aware that they could be very different. I had my last prenatal appointment this week on the first day of my 38th week of pregnancy. The great news was that I was 3 c.m. and 75%, baby was very low and "easy to get to." Unless baby decides to arrive earlier than this coming Tuesday, we will be arriving at the hospital Tuesday morning, July 14th for an induction. At that time, the doctor expects me to already be 4-5 c.m. and 90% effaced if things keep going the way they have been the last few weeks. The doctor is very confident that things will go quickly for us as they have with both of our previous deliveries. Although with Elaina when we arrived at the hospital, I was 8 c.m., 100% and having been having hard contractions 2-3 minutes apart for a couple of hours, her delivery ended up being very stressful and scary as she decided to have a difficult time coming out to see us. With Emily, we were at 5 c.m. and 80-90% when we arrived at the hospital for our scheduled induction. Just a bit of meds did the trick for that extra boost, and she was a very easy delivery. Both of our girls were born during the lunch hours. We are praying for just as smooth of a delivery as we had with Emily, but we are also not counting on it. We know things could be very different. However, our doctor expects things to be very similar for us as they were with Emily. We know that God is in control of all things, and He will be right there beside us no matter what. For those of you who are wondering, yes, I am still convinced that we will be welcoming another beautiful baby girl into our family. So, for you 46 people who have voted here on our blog, I'm thinking that the underdog is going to take the winner's circle. It doesn't matter either way, but that is my guess. It's always fun to guess. We love not knowing the gender ahead of time. For us, it makes that special delivery moment even more exciting and special.

Below I have posted several pictures of different things we have been up to over the last couple of weeks. I had to get my blog updated and camera cleared off so that we could be all ready to go for baby!

Much love to you and please keep all of us in your prayers. Please pray for me and baby that we continue to stay healthy and safe. Please pray for Jeff as he continues to be the wonderful husband and father that he is. Pray for energy and strength for him as well. Just as importantly, please pray for our baby girls, Elaina and Emily, as they are completely not fully aware of how their lives will be changing. Please pray for this transition for them. They are such wonderful girls, and we love them so very much. We know that they will love their new baby brother or sister, but we also understand that we will be dealing with probable mood swings from everyone in our household. Pray that Jeff and I remember how important it is to take time out even during the first few days after baby's birth to spend special time with each of the girls and shower them with a bit of extra attention as well.

See you all next week with all of the details!

My parents kept the girls for a couple of days and nights last week so that Jeff and I could get some things done around the house to prepare for the baby. We are so thankful that they girls had such a wonderful time with their MeMe and Poppy. This is the longest and furthest that they had been away from us. They did great, and so did we. :) Here they are eating their special ice cream cups and cupcakes.

Poppy plants a tree for each of his grandchildren when they are born. Here is Elaina posing with Poppy and her tree.

Emily, Poppy, and her tree.

Cool chics!

Thank you, MeMe and Poppy! You're the best!

We took Emily to her first visit to Build-A-Bear last week. The reason she got to go at an earlier age than Elaina is because we had a coupon for a free animal, so we couldn't let that go to waste. She was still a bit too little to fully understand and have as much fun as Elaina did when we took her for her 3rd birthday, but she still did have fun. Plus, her "professional Build-A-Bear" sister was right there beside her "instructing" her the entire time.

Emily placing "Scruffy's" heart inside.

Stuffing "Scruffy the Dog."

Big sister, Elaina (check out the shades), helping her little sister bath and comb her very own animal.

All done! Meet Scruffy!

Our wonderful friends who now live in Iowa, the Freeland family, came out for a visit and stayed with us for a couple of days and nights over the Fourth of July weekend. Here is a picture of our girls with Jill and Jennifer. We had such a wonderful time with them. We really wished that they lived closer. We enjoy the time that we get to spend with them when they come out for a visit. Jill and Jennifer were our flower girls in our wedding seven years ago! Now look at them! They are beautiful girls! Elaina and Emily loved having them with us! Joey, their brother, was our ring bearer, too.

Our girls and the Freeland Family - Thanks for visiting! We had so much fun! You are so special to us!

That same weekend, Luke Ruddle had a baseball tournament. Luke is a part of the All-Star team for his age division this summer, so he is a very busy guy (and keeping his family very busy) as they head to tournaments out of town each weekend. We chose to see him play in his final two games of the Morgantown tournament this weekend since it was only about a 20 minute drive. The weather was nice, and we really enjoyed seeing him play. They won the championship game, and it was a very exciting game. Great job, Luke!

The girls playing with their friends in between games at the Morgantown baseball tournament. They girls played so hard. They were FILTHY when we got home! They had a super fun day!

Great friends being silly!

We got back to Franklin after the baseball tournament just in time to head over to watch the fireworks. It was actually July 5th because the fireworks were cancelled due to an all day rain on the 4th. Here are the girls, filthy, and eating a very, very, very, late dinner of popcorn and yogurt. Hey, what are you supposed to do on a busy day like that? :)

Mommy 38 weeks pregnant. Emily came in while Daddy was taking the picture and decided she wanted to pose alongside me. :)

Some of my great girlfriends took me out for a yummy dinner, dessert, and movie and showered me with cases of diapers and wipes to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Baby E. McCrary #3. We had a really fun time! Thanks, girls! You all mean so much to us!

On a rainy morning, wondering if today might be the day for baby, what else is there to do than to play video games with Daddy?

Emily and "her seat." Oh, dear. She made herself nice and cozy in there for a good 20 minutes or so. I think we finally have her convinced that the seat is for the baby.

A family field trip to the Franklin fire station.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is it Really the End of June?

I can't believe that my last blog entry was mid-May! The time has flown by since Emily's 2nd birthday party. We have been so incredibly busy, and I am sad to think that the summer is half over, but anxious and excited to know that the biggest event of our summer is yet to come! We love our summers with Daddy at home. He is so wonderful and a very involved Daddy, and the girls really thrive on us both being home with them and doing things together as a family.

So, here's trying to catch you . . . and me . . . up on our very busy month of June! Enjoy the pictures. I had so many to upload that it was fun for me to stop and actually see what we had been up to as well. Phew! I'm exhausted! Next big event coming up . . . Let's have a BABY!

Celebrating Our Favorite Daddy! - Father's Day 2009

We loved celebrating Jeff on Father's Day this year. We knew he would just want to have a relaxing day at home that was also inexpensive, so we did just that. We had a long morning at church, and the girls (and us, too) are always ready for a Sunday afternoon nap. First, though, the girls gave Jeff his special gift for the day. We gave Jeff the picture book, "Dance Me, Daddy" which was written by award-winning singer and songwriter, Cindy Morgan. It is based on the song, "King of the World," recorded by Christian artists, Point of Grace. When I heard the lyrics to this song/book and saw the illustrations in the book, I just knew it was the perfect Father's Day gift for Jeff this year. He and the girls love to dance together in the living room. I love to watch them, too. It is something that happens a lot in our home, and it's exactly what this song/book is about. I knew he would love it.

Here is a link to actually listen to the author, Cindy Morgan, read the book, "Dance Me, Daddy" along with a slide show of the picture book as she is reading it. It's well worth it watching, especially if you have a very special Daddy to a very special little girl(s) in your life.

If you would also like to hear the beautiful recording of the song, "King of the World" by Point of Grace, here is the link for it as well.

Jeff, I am so thankful for you. Thank you for being an amazing Daddy to our very beautiful girls that God has blessed us with. You are truly the King of OUR World. We love you so very much! "There's nothin' better than bein' your girls." XOXOXO

The loves of my life!

Dancing to "King of the World."

Dancing with his girls.

"Spinning around on the tops of his feet . . . "

We spent a wonderful and relaxing day at home together with Daddy on Father's Day. Nice long naps, Daddy's favorite meals, and then watching the girls enjoy some time in their pool. Love this picture. Elaina is such the "SUPERSTAR!" So dramatic! She and Emily love each other so very much!

We're Goin' to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo . . . How 'Bout You, You, You . .

Our girls love this song, and we love to watch and hear them sing it! Thanks to Emily and Mommy putting their birthday "monies" together, we were able to purchase a family zoo pass at the Indianapolis Zoo so that we can visit the zoo as many times as we want to for the next year. This was our first trip to the Indianapolis Zoo, and the girls loved it! Daddy loved teaching them at every stop we made, so it took us all day to get through the zoo, and we even had to skip a couple of places. The day we went to the zoo, I was in my 35th week of pregnancy, so I spent most of the time as the caboose of our little train. It was such a great day. I'll just let the pictures and captions show how much fun we had. Mommy was photographer for the day.

Just getting started. Our first stop were the flamingos.

Elaina told us the whole night before we went to the zoo that she was so excited to see the giraffes, so we were really thrilled when we got a chance to see them up close.

The girls did this for what seemed like forever. Jeff and I laughed so hard. They were squawking, buawking, calling, whatever . . . at the chickens. It was so funny!

Mommy brought up the rear most of the day. :)

This was a stance that we saw Emily take a lot throughout the day. She would hunch down, put her arm behind her back, squint her eyes, and point while talking to the different animals.

One the several "lessons" from the day from Mr. Daddy. He is such a great teacher to our girls!

One of our favorite parts of the day was getting to sit in the front row to watch an African Elephant named Tombie get a bath.

Emily and Daddy in front of the giraffes.

Elaina in front of the giraffe exhibit.

After the dolphin show, Elaina asked Daddy, "How do the dolphins sleep?" Daddy had to tell her that he really didn't know, so they stopped to ask one of the dolphin trainers. Usually Elaina gets really bashful and won't speak, but she walked right up to the dolphin trainer and asked her question like a big girl. She listened the whole time the dolphin trainer answered her question.

Petting the sharks. Well, Daddy did anyway.

Elaina dancing around in the underwater dolphin area.

Emily's new found "dolphin kiss."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Crocodile Dock - VBS 2009

Ok. So, let's just get this out there. I LOVE Vacation Bible School! Seriously. I think I love it as much as the kids. It is my one of my favorite weeks of the year. For the last few years, I have had the privilege (yes, I call it a privilege) of being the Registration Coordinator for VBS at Franklin Memorial Christian Church. I assisted with registration in previous years, but after a good friend stepped down from the official job as Registration Coordinator after she had been doing an amazing job of it for several years, I was asked to fill those large shoes. Now, this may seem like no big deal, but actually it is. Our Children's Ministry team, of which I am a part of, starts planning VBS at the end of January each year, and my responsibilities really hit hard right after spring break each year when it's time to update documents with the new theme, make copies, compile registration packets, etc. Then, the starting the second week of May or so and continuing through the actual week of VBS in June, I live and breathe VBS. Seriously. I thrive on registering all approximately 250 children and getting them assigned to groups, and my amazing husband doesn't mind when the house isn't cleaned as regularly or when I'm up on my computer until wee hours of the night/morning. Fortunately the craziest week for me, which is the week prior to VBS, Jeff is home since he is a school teacher, and he is right there ready to take care of the girls so that I can put all of my focus on VBS if I need too. Now, I must admit, this year was the most trying year for me, as my oldest baby is 3, and my youngest just turned 2, and I was 7 1/2 - 8 months pregnant. I was a bit more tired, and it all wore on me a bit more, but I can still say that I loved every bit of it!

Mommy and her two favorite VBSers.

Now, I'm not the only VBS nut in my family. Jeff really loves it, too, and this year, he had the most responsibilities that he's ever had for the week of VBS. For many, many years, Jeff has organized the recreation activities for the older elementary kids, and he has also been the "big kid," "dork," etc . . . for the daily skits that take for the opening an closing of each morning. This year he also led the worship time for our "Get Soaked" program for the 5th/6th graders. He was a busy man, and I was so proud of him for keeping himself moving throughout the mornings and being where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there. Jeff doesn't really have a good sense of time. He kind of just gets places when he gets there. I felt like each morning I was giving him a pep talk about how he needed to keep moving and get to where he needed to be. Really, I didn't need to do this. He did a great job taking good care of himself. :) With VBS week being right after school lets out for the summer, he really enjoys his time. He loves making a fool of himself up on stage for the skits, and really, truly, he is the BEST at it! He totally makes us all laugh. This year, he portrayed "Skeeter" as in "Mo-skeeter" ya' know mosquito???!!!

Yep, that would be the love of my life . . . "Skeeter."

We have always loved VBS week, but now that we have two beautiful girls to enjoy it with, we love it even more. Typically our VBS is open to children who will be entering grades Kdg. through 4th in the fall. However, we do offer classes for the children of volunteers, so that is why our girls are able to attend. The girls had a great week, and they loved learning more about God. We start learning the VBS songs in our van at the end of April, and the girls love them. The department leaders and teachers who are in charge of the toddler age group do an amazing job. Elaina, even just being 3, shouts out each and everyone of the five daily Bible points by memory followed by a very powerful, "FEAR NOT!" Emily joins in on the fierce, "FEAR NOT!" as well. This gets to Jeff and I every time she does it. She is so young and already learning so much about Jesus. We are so appreciative of the volunteers who worked with our girls and taught them so much that week.

Elaina dancing and doing the motions to the VBS songs.

The girls and Hannah

Brooke and Elaina praying together. So sweet!

Emily and Miss Clair letting their lights shine.

One specific very special moment during VBS week was one evening at home before putting the girls to bed. Each year, the offering that is collected daily during VBS is donated to a mission. This year, the money was being donated to a mission where there were children who were needed new mattresses. We were raising money so that they could purchase the mattresses. We were explaining to the girls one evening about how we "give" of our time to serve Jesus, but we also "give" of our money to serve Jesus as well. Jeff asked the girls if they would like to give any of the money from their banks to the children at the mission. Elaina immediately said, "Oh, yes, Daddy, I will give the girls and boys my monies, and I will give them my bed, too."

Daddy helping the girls with their offering.

We had a wonderful week of VBS. I am always sad when it is over and already looking forward to next year.

See ya' next year!