Friday, August 17, 2012

Icing on the cake

In case you thought after I posted one important, political/religious blog post that my blog was going to continue to always be about such things, let me assure you that is not always going to be the it is back to the mundane details of my life :)

Headline for the day: 24 weeks! Baby Sweet T is officially considered "viable", meaning if she were born today, she has a good chance at survival. The fact that she is a she, and that we have a level 4 NICU close by make it an even greater chance, so it's a really exciting place to be for me after having a preemie and knowing that it could happen again...sooner. For now, she does not seem to be trying to make an uterus is just irritated about her being in there and likes to let me know it. We had our first trip to L&D last weekend due to some REAL contractions, but thankfully they stopped before we even got there and we were sent home pretty quickly. I'm uncomfortable a lot of the time, but as far as we can tell, nothing is happening that is threatening the real deal just yet.

I am still struggling to remind myself that these:

are better than the steroid shots they give you when they think your baby will be born premature any time now, and they want to get their lungs matured quicker. Only 12 more of these lovely things to of which is warming up right now...eek.

How far along?  24 weeks!!!
Total weight gain: 12 lbs as of last week
Maternity clothes? definitely
Stretch marks? not so far
Sleep:  Thank you Ambien...
Best moment this week: Knowing that baby girl is viable now if something happens!

Miss Anything? my old jeans?
Movement: always. I felt my first full-body flip yesterday...what a crazy feeling!
Food cravings: chocolate last night, but I got that one taken care of :)
Anything making you queasy or sick: random times it happens still, but not constant, thank goodness.
Gender: sweet baby girl

Labor Signs: not today!
Symptoms: braxton hicks contractions, back pain...the usual
Belly Button in or out? in, but it's on the move
Wedding rings on or off? swelling anywhere yet

Happy or Moody most of the time: don't ask me...
Looking forward to:  Last time my answer was 24 weeks, and here we are, so now I will say 27 weeks and getting through the day when my water broke with Adelyn without it happening again!

Here are the belly pictures for the week: (can you see how lopsided my belly is in the first one? good grief...)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chicken and cows and sex, oh my!

So, for the past two weeks or so, you probably haven't gotten on Facebook without seeing something about Chick-fil-a, free speech, gay marriage, boycotts, etc. Coming not long on the heels of the NC marriage amendment vote, this controversy has stirred up some strong feelings and opinions, and Facebook and Twitter have allowed it to become a very public debate that anyone can participate in and share their views. It started when CEO of Chick-fil-a, Dan Cathy, was quoted saying, we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.” 
He was later asked again to clarify if his views were that gay marriage was wrong, and he said "guilty as charged" and that he supports the biblical definition of the family unit.
This can only come as so much of a surprise, considering that Chick-fil-a is known for being a Christian organization, and has always chosen to be closed on Sundays to allow their employees to have a chance to worship God. However, many supporters of gay marriage have responded with outrage and anger, while those who agree with Cathy have rallied behind the restaurant in support.

On Wednesday of last week, there was a national Chick-fil-a appreciation day, where supporters were called to show up and eat and demonstrate that business would not suffer because of boycotters. Record sales ensued, and a lot of pride was thrown around on social media sites by those who attended. In response, supporters of gay marriage/rights staged a "kiss in" protest a couple of days later, with a few less attendees and a little less media coverage. After all of this, most everyone is tired of hearing about it. People are irritated by each other's opposing views, don't care much about it in the first place, or are disappointed in the manner in which people are stating their beliefs. It's an annoying mess now, really.

So, I thought I'd chime in, one last time, and get off my chest what I've been feeling about it all. Here goes:
I, like Dan Cathy, believe that the Biblical view of homosexuality is correct--it is a sin. I believe marriage was designed to be between ONE man and ONE woman. So, I ate at Chick-fil-a last Wednesday, right? Right. But not because I'm a good Christian and want to be sure gay people don't get their way or "win" this one. I did what some would consider the opposite, and voted "No" on the marriage amendment that made it illegal for gay marriage to occur in NC. I did that because I don't believe it's the government's place to step in and decide that. I believe our churches should counsel their members who are followers of Christ to live according to the Bible, and love everyone regardless of their choice to live differently.

I have family members who are gay. I love them dearly. I love their spouse/partners dearly as well, and see them as family members just the same as any other. I feel that they should have the right to make the choice to stop or continue healthcare for each other, or manage each other's finances, etc. 

I think that by taking away the rights of others, we as Christians fail to show love and kindness, which is the FIRST commandment God has for us. I also think if we aren't careful what we support, we are being hypocrites and calling one sin worse than others. 
When was the last time a bunch of Christians protested people who were having sex outside of marriage with someone of the opposite sex? Pornography? Lust? What about lying, pride, or idolatry? Those sins don't get the same kind of attention, because they don't feel as heavy to us, or maybe not as unnatural for those of us who don't struggle with homosexuality. The Bible puts them together here in 1 Corinthians 6:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Sin is sin, and God weighs them all the same. If we spent nearly the amount of time being broken over the sin in our own hearts as we do worrying about the state of the world around us, I think we'd be pretty busy. 

So, will I keep eating Chick-fil-a? Yes. I think free speech is hugely important and it is a right I am thankful to have as an American. As long as Chick-fil-a does not have a record of unfair hiring practices, or unfair treatment of anyone attempting to patronize their restaurants, then I believe Dan Cathy has done nothing wrong by sharing his beliefs. Bigotry requires intolerance, and that has not been the case as far as I have seen so far. 

But, instead of jumping in on more Facebook debates and trying to win everyone over to my side...I think I'm going to try to spend some more time reflecting on my own sin and letting my heart be broken over the ways that I don't love as I have been called to love. I recommend you do the same, and then if you still have time to go save the world from their sin--good luck to you.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The bird and the bump

Photo: The Bird and the bump
Well, we made it through another week, and we're growing! Baby sweet T (who has a name now, but I'm not telling!), is now approximately 1lb in weight and maybe close to a full foot long. Those are estimates for 22 weeks, and she's measured small in our past ultrasounds, so maybe a little shy of that right now, but still getting close to those! It sounds tiny, and it is, but having met some micropreemies who are even sounds like big progress.
I decided after looking at some pictures, that while I am bigger than I was this time with Adelyn:
It's not as extreme as some are saying, and I am, in fact, not as big as I was right before I had Adelyn...though many have told me this is bigger than I ever was before. Hmph. Someone also told me I am getting thicker. While his hand was resting on my thigh. He meant well...somehow.

Oh well. It's been a long week, and we capped it off with a fun evening with friends. I volunteered to cook if they would be so brave and try out a new recipe with us. It turned out to be a winner, so I'm sharing with you all because it is really good and so easy, and that's really all I ask!

Italian Chicken: (from

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4-6 potatoes (I only had three, and there were plenty for the four of us)
Half a bag of baby carrots
Shredded Parmesan cheese
One bottle Italian dressing (16oz)
Italian Seasoning

Start by spraying the bottom of your crockpot, or lining it, or whatever you want to do to prevent stickage (I buttered). Pour a small amount of the Italian dressing to coat the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken so that they are not overlapping as well as you can. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and then more Italian dressing over the tops (no real amounts specified...just go with what looks good). Add potatoes that are cut into wedges, sprinkle more cheese, seasoning, dressing. Add carrots, more seasoning, and then finish off whatever is left of your bottle of Italian dressing. I had a lot left at that point, but I decided to follow the directions and just pour it all in.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours (mine cooked for about 8, and I think it would have been good at 6...everything was very soft and falling apart).

I also added some garlic salt because I thought it needed a little more salt, and everything needs if you like a little more flavor, sprinkle that among the layers as well.

Delicious. Anything that doesn't involve chopping veggies into small pieces and has less than 10 ingredients is on my list :)