Thursday, April 30, 2009


Aylenne sleeping 4-29

Isn't she beautiful?

As you can see, she no longer requires any tubes, wires, or monitors. She is still in the hospital so that they can monitor her bilirubin levels and weight gain, but she is able to be in Jacque's room now, except when they whisk her away for testing. (Jacque was officially released from the hospital on Monday, but she and Asher are allowed to stay there, space permitting, as long as needed, so that Jacque can nurse, etc.) Aylenne is eating fairly well now and gained half an ounce yesterday. If weight gain continues, Jacque and Asher hope to be able to take her home no later than Saturday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

News From the Ever-Growing Nalle Clan

My niece done got bornded... a whole month early!

Quite to my astonishment, my sister Jacque went into labor yesterday and promptly delivered her little girl. We were rather taken aback by this news, as her first baby, Ari, came late. This time around, given a due date in late May, we were thinking we might end up with a June baby. Well, surprise! How about April?

Her name is Aylenne Mereille Spruill. It's French, which, if you know my sister and brother-in-law, will not come as a surprise. Think "ay-LEN mir-AY," and you'll have an approximate pronunciation. Aylenne, apparently, is the French equivalent of Helen, but it sounds ever so much lovelier to my ears!

Details are still a bit sparse and cloudy, but here's what I know. Aylenne was six pounds something at birth. As she was on the premature side, there was some concern about her little lungs. Evidently she was having trouble breathing by herself, so she had to spend most of her first day with a respirator, etc. Last I heard, she was breathing by herself and (hopefully) beginning to learn what nursing is all about. Hospital release date is still unknown, but, of course, Jacque and Asher are hoping for sooner rather than later. Me too! My mom drove down to Norfolk today, so I'll probably have more news as she settles in and gets to talk with everyone in person.

I have only seen one picture, which I am unfortunately unable to post here. It was not the clearest of shots, but here are my general observations:
1. This little girl is très , très cute (naturellement!).
2. She does have just a bit of dark hair (Ari did not).
3. She does not immediately remind one of my Uncle Ed (Ari did).

I am dying to cuddle her wee little self!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What Happens When You Stay in the Tub Too Long

Meg, toward the end of bathtime tonight (and for several weeks running), on pulling her hands out of the water and examining her pruney skin:

"Uh-oh! My hands are getting sprinkly!"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Just Randomness

Does anyone else remember when the word "random" became a stand-alone phrase rather than an adjective that preceeded a noun? I first noticed it during my freshman year of college. All of the sudden, the air was full of, "It was so random!" and "Completely random, right?" and just, "Random!" It was such a popular word then that, when the end of the school year came and I borrowed all of my suite-mates' CD's so that I could create mix tapes (yeah, remember mix tapes?), I titled the tapes, "The Year of Random I," "The Year of Random II," etc.

So that's a nice, random beginning to my random post, don't you think? Here's a collection of other haphazard, unconnected thoughts.

* * *
This week and last week have been what I think of as "The Crazy of Crazies" in my husband's work life. Each spring, our church's youth do a big drama production. (This year it's an original musical based on John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.) It's always fairly demanding for the tech folks. Dave hasn't been home for dinner (or a normal bedtime) in two weeks. Tonight is/was opening night. I can't wait to hear how it went! Also, though I have been experiencing tons of grace during these long solo days with the kids, I am looking forward to seeing my honey a little more, starting (God-willing) on Monday!

* * *
In God's amazing provision, we received a large load of hand-me-down clothes for Meg a few weeks ago. It has taken me a while to sort through and wash them adequately (they came from a smokers' household), but last week Meg and I finally sat down to try on a bunch of items. My girl was beside herself with so many new pretties, prancing around, unable to stand still for a moment, dancing off to look at herself in the mirror, exclaiming, "Oh, dats beautiful!" over and over again. I was almost as excited as she was, since she has shot up recently and we didn't have much for her in the way of a summer wardrobe. "Oh, Meg, it's so kind of the Lord to provide all of these nice clothes for you, isn't it?" I said. "Yes!" Meg agreed. "It's... it's summer clothes God's way!" Amen to that!

* * *
Over the past couple nights, I watched the movie "Pollyanna" via YouTube. (You know, with Hayley Mills?) I was hankering to see it again because I recently bought the book at a used bookstore and read it for the first (and second) time. I love it. It's definitely sort of... oh... saccharine, but so charming and uplifting. It brought me to tears both times I read it. (Yes, I am a sap.)

After reading the original, I had pretty mixed feelings about the Disney version. We're talking about two very different stories here, folks. The book's Pollyanna, for example, is much more talkative, more indefatigable, more childlike, more joyful, and more layered than the movie character. The book's subplots are more complex than the movie's, which could basically be summed up as Wealthy Aunt Polly Is Cold and Domineering and Is Ruining Life for Everyone Else in Town. In the book, Pollyanna's accident is not the result of disobedience to her aunt, as it is in the movie. The movie's conclusion is far more hasty and contrived than the book's. And the overall character development and dynamics in the book are quite superior to the film.

But I have to say, I still cry over that last scene in the movie, when the whole town comes trooping into the Harrington house to wish Pollyanna well. I mean, tonight I actually sobbed over it. Audibly. With a big wad of tissues in my hand. (Yes, I am a sap.) I'd like to blame this on pregnancy hormones, but the fact is, I'm pretty sure that I've always teared up during that scene, ever since I was a very little girl. Tonight was just the first time I ever had the privacy to let it all out.

* * *
I have a very hard time putting myself to bed at a decent hour when my husband is not home. Am I the only wife who suffers from this ailment? I'm tired, I want to go to sleep, I say that I'm going to turn in early, but it's like... something in my subconscious has decided to overrule all of that and wait up for Dave. Not every night, but most nights. This night, for example, when I started this blog post after I should have been upstairs brushing my teeth. Now that's it's almost midnight, however, I'm thinking that I really should call it quits. So that's the end of of the randomness. For now.

Spring Celebration

These pictures are from our second annual spring celebration, which took place two Mondays ago, when my sister, Jacque, and her family were in town. We kept it simple, since my kids were sick and we were also trying to squeeze in a belated Easter luncheon (high fevers the day before made it tough to celebrate on Sunday). First, the egg-dyeing.

Matthew was utterly nonplussed with this activity. Why he should be strapped into a booster seat, pulled up to a table, girded with an apron, faced with beautiful cups of liquid color and pure white eggs but not permitted to eat anything was quite beyond him.
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A hard-boiled snack was only a temporary distraction from his general discontent that morning. Sick little boy went down for a very early nap that day.
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Ari, my nephew, fared a bit better.
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Of course, he was mostly interested in making a mess.
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Meanwhile, Meg was delighted with the whole process.
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(Is that a precious little smile, or what?)

After lunch and naps we were out the door for an egg hunt. I found that supervising two children during one of these doesn't allow for much picture-taking. This is especially true when one child is only eighteen months old, has no clue what's going on, and constantly has to be urged/coaxed/forced to continue hunting! But here are the shots I did get.

"I found another one!"
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"Wait a minute..."
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"This isn't the kind with candy inside!"
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Shortly after I took this one, we realized that Matthew's temperature was soaring, so our egg hunt ended rather abruptly, with no time for me to search the yard and make sure the kids had gotten everything. Yesterday my mom informed me that she found two eggs that we missed. Oops!

I was a dummy and failed to get any pictures of my sister, who is probably... let's see, I guess about 35 weeks pregnant now. She looks great, as usual, and is doing well, but she is looking forward to having that little girl out rather than in! We are too... I can't wait to meet and hold my very first niece!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

He Does Have More!

Honestly, it was starting to seem a little strange. Our boy has had six teeth... only six teeth... the same six teeth... since last August. He was 11 months old at the time. And since then? Nothing. Nada. No more buds, no more little white points breaking through his gums. We were beginning to wonder, "Does he have any more in there? Or is he going to be stuck forever eating only what he can chew with his six front teeth and/or mash with his gums?"

On Sunday, without warning, we found out that he does have at least one more tooth! We dropped him off in his class at church, and he opened his mouth and wailed. Standing above him, I was at the perfect vantage point to catch a glimpse of... a new tooth! Hooray!

Perhaps there will be steak in his future after all. (OK, probably not, since we don't eat it here at home.) But raw carrots, on the other hand, and salads, and apple slices, and dried fruit, and nuts... Little Boy, there's a whole new world opening right before your, er, mouth!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


One week ago today I felt Little One move for the first time. I've had many moments during this pregnancy when weird internal shiftings and poppings made me think, "Hey, was that...?", but last Tuesday morning, April the 7th, I knew for sure. I was sitting perfectly still on our bed early in the morning, reading my Bible. Suddenly... a wonderfully distinct little flutter deep down in my abdomen. My eyes bounced off the page. I waited. Another flutter. "Hello, baby!" Another flutter. And another. Another. And then one more. Wow, what a good-morning gift!

Now, as I sit here at the computer, the flutters are regular again. It's a poignant reminder that God is at work inside me at this very moment, creating something new, sustaining the life He has breathed out.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139:13-16

Friday, April 10, 2009

News From the Almost-Half-Way Point

We're more than a little late announcing this on our blog, but it's finally time to go live... (Drumroll and fanfare, please...)

Our third baby is due in mid-September.

(Is there anyone out there who hadn't already heard or, um... noticed? Because at 17 weeks pregnant, in most outfits, I'm looking more than... well, more than suspiciously rounded.)

We are truly delighted that God has answered our prayers for another baby. And we can't wait to meet him or her, approximately 23 weeks hence! Much more on Baby in the coming days...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sign of Spring Fever?

Today, around 4:30 p.m.:

Me: OK, snack time. Meg, what would you like for snack today?

Meg: (dreamily) Mmmm... cherry blossoms?

Monday, April 06, 2009


I know that living in the D.C. area has its downsides, but golly, it sure has its ups too, doesn't it? Last week we braved the cool, damp weather to go and see the famed cherry blossoms down town. It was festival time, meaning peak blooming time, meaning... gorgeous time. Of course, the gloomy, overcast skies don't set off the beautiful flowers quite as well as clear blue expanses and sunshine, but still, hundreds of pink trees are hundreds of pink trees. So I'm not complaining.

Here are some pics of our time there, beginning with Meg and Mrs. Roosevelt:
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Dave's comment when he saw this next shot was, "Our boy has some ears."
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(Unfortunately, I know just where he gets it from. Did I ever mention that I had a friend in college who called me "Teapot?")

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Like I said, the sky didn't do them justice (our camera doesn't either, I'm sure), but they were abundant and perfect!
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Here's one just to prove that I was really there.
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After an unpleasantly cold picnic down by the water, we went back to the car and changed into warmer coats before heading around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial. They had live music there, and I guess it was Amateur Day, because there was a local high school marching band performing, followed by an elementary school choir. Meg was fascinated.
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Meanwhile, Matthew was much more interested in playing on the steps. His cuteness, I must note, attracted the attention of more than one group of strangers, who waved at, took pictures of, and generally flirted with our son. And I was right there with them.
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