Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To the Zoo!


On President's Day last Monday, I took all four kids and a friend to the Jackson Zoo. By myself. 



It sounds kind of crazy, even to myself, to say that I did that, but then again, I flew across the country 3 times with all 4 kids before Ava Joy was a month old by myself. The zoo was nothing, right? Right. 



(I keep telling myself that this "parenting 4 (sometimes 5) kids by myself" thing isn't a big deal or hard or exhausting in the hopes that I will actually believe it. Please lie and agree with me.)


I tried to get lots of pictures, but... well. I only have 2 hands. Which were generally busy with this little one.


And of course, this one.


These two did pretty well by themselves.



But Anna wouldn't touch the pig. Not even with the brush.



This one was probably the best behaved, though. She just sat in the stroller and smiled until it was time to eat!


Of course, I wasn't quick enough to get pics of her smiling. What with trying to keep JA from eating/being eaten by the animals.


The prairie dogs were the biggest hit. I love that the exhibit area allows the kids to be "inside" the prairie dog habitat. They love it.


But as I was reviewing our photos, I struggled with which ones I should publish. Our friend is in some of them, and I wasn't sure if I should show his face or share his name. If we were good friends with his parents, I might ask. If we were really good friends, I would probably just do it without asking:)

But I didn't feel comfortable doing that since we don't know them well.

What's your take? 

Do you put photos of other people's children on your blog? Do you ask permission? Do you share the child's name?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Rules of Inheritance Book Review

Loss.

Via Janiejones_75 on Flickr


Grandpa passing away. Your lover leaving you heartbroken. The realization that the thing you want wholeheartedly will never be yours.

In some way, we have all experienced loss. We can understand the devastation, the disconnect, the despair that comes with loss. And most likely, we can understand that grief is a process. Because we know the intensity that overwhelms us when we experience a loss not only changes with time, but changes us with time.

So while I have never lost a parent, let alone both parents, Claire Bidwell Smith's The Rules of Inheritance was spoken in a language I could understand.  The memoir relates Smith's experiences, focusing primarily on the period of time from when her elderly parents were both diagnosed with cancer when she was 14. The book is not organized chronologically, but rather groups vignettes together by Kubler-Ross's stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.) Emotion pours out of the pages and we can feel Claire suffocating in her grief. But by the end, like Claire, we find we can breathe again.

I truly enjoyed this book. One of my favorite passages, actually, was about the abortion Smith had when she was 19, just a year after her mother's death. I could relate to the shock of the pregnancy, since I had been in that situation. But her thought process after that was so different than my own. She writes:
It won't be until over a decade later, when I am well into the actual world of parenthood, frazzled and overwhelmed with love and impatience for the tiny creature I have created, that I will realize that if I had actually had a baby at age nineteen it might have been the very thing that would have kept me from the years and years of misery and destruction ahead of me.

I know that having a baby so young did save me from so much heartache. Not that my life was easy and carefree after Abigail came. Far from it. But having that baby- having that intensity of love- totally changed my focus. And once the focus shifted from mememememe! to her, my decisions were better.

I do believe that this book is geared more towards women than men, but I would recommend it to any adult woman. I really enjoyed it- not as a fun read, but as an insightful and emotional journey.


If you think you would like to read this book, leave me a comment and I will pick a winner on February 29 to receive this book!


Disclosure: As before, this was a paid review, but the thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Too


The chicken marsala is delicious and my husband looks half dead. He doesn't eat, and I worry that our new friend, J, won't like what I am serving for dinner. Even if it is delicious. Stomach flu is not fun.

I love your curly hair, J. You don't get that from your dad- his hair is straight. Does your mom have curly hair? 

I have never met his mom, but J's family seems nice. He's a new friend that likes to play outside in our backyard. This is the first time he's stayed for dinner. He doesn't have a Southern accent. His dad is also a doctor. This is what I know.

No, my mom doesn't have curly hair, either.

Oh, well, if you don't get it from your dad or your mom, how do you come by your curls?

I'm prying, but I don't realize it. I don't think. I just talk, worrying about the dirty house and the chores to be done and the stomach flu and how many hours it is until John leaves and I have all the kids by myself while he goes to Vegas.

So the obvious answer surprises me.

Well, my birth mom has curly hair.

Thwunk. I am a knight de-horsed by the words of an 8 year old. I land hard.

I pause to consider my next words, but I can think of none. My horse gallops away. My armor is heavy on my limbs. 

Oh. So you are adopted. 

He nods. It's no big deal to him. 

Well, Anna is adopted. And we think adoption is pretty special.

What am I saying? Shut up! Special? Special? All I can come up with is SPECIAL?

I realize this is the first time I have come to know that a child is adopted from the child. Not the parents, not the setting, but the child. Just a kid telling his story.

The way Anna says "I'm dopted" sounds different in my ears. The words ring in my head like the clanging reverberations of metal on metal. My armor falls off. I feel vulnerable. For me, or for him?

John, silent until now, speak. 

You know, Abigail is adopted, too.

J straightens in his seat. Eyes dart between Abigail, John and I. I nod.

Yep, she came from my belly, but her dad adopted her when we got married.

J breaks into smile. 

That's cool. Adoption really is special.



Friday, February 17, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Marsala Recipe

Butter.
Source

If you didn't know, that is pretty much the secret to making food taste good. Also, bacon. And wine. So a recipe that combines 2 out of 3 of those? Yeah, baby. This one's gooooood.

I first had Chicken Marsala at my friend Jill's house when I was 14? 15? I actually was babysitting for her. She made this, and I loved it. I've made it occasionally since then, but the whole frying-in-oil thing is something I don't feel comfortable doing around the babies. So I decided to loosely modify the original recipe for the crockpot.

Of course, the breading and pan-frying of the chicken in oil is part of what makes this particular marsala so good. But I tweeked it a bit (BUTTER!) and I honestly don't think it lost any flavor. The texture is different, but it's still tasty!

Crockpot Chicken Marsala


  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken (I used breasts, but thighs would be fine, or tenderloins) (mine was thawed, but you could use frozen)
  • 2T butter
  • 6-8 green onions (scallions)
  • 1 generous cup marsala wine (I used a combo of things: a splash of sweet Riesling, a splash of cooking Sherry, and a splash of cooking wine) (any sweet wine- like port or Sherry would work) (you could also sub apple or grape juice, I bet)
  • juice of 1 medium lemon, or if you are like me, 1-2T lemon juice from one of those little sqeezable lemon bottles
  • salt and pepper
  • Cornstarch, flour, Wondra or thickener as needed
  • Some people like to add mushrooms. I don't. But you can if you'd like.
Turn crockpot to high and smear butter in the bottom to melt.



Chop up your scallions (and mushrooms, if desired) and add to the butter.



Plop in your chicken, and season with salt and pepper. 

This is what I mean by "generous cup"


Pour in wine and lemon juice.



Use a 2qt slow cooker if you want to cook this all day- it should be pretty full and you won't risk anything being burned. I used a 4 qt, and realistically, you could probably cook this on low for 8+ hours and be okay. I didn't start my chicken until almost 2pm, so I cooked mine on high for 4 hours.

Just before serving, remove chicken to plate and cover to keep warm. Add thickener to sauce if desired (I thickened with 1t cornstarch dissolved in water, then brought back to near-boil... it took about 5 minutes to return to heat.) 

You can be all fancy and spoon sauce over the plated chicken, but I'll be honest, I don't like to wash extra dishes, so I return the chicken to the pot and serve right out of the crock (and use that plate that the chicken was resting on for my dinner.) Serve with pasta, rice, couscous or mashed potatoes. We ate ours with buttered noodles, asparagus, and salad.

The Verdict

[Insert photo of finished, plated chicken here. If you have one. But if you are me and are rushing to get dinner onto the table because a friend has unexpectedly stayed for supper and you can no longer serve dinner on top of the mess on the table and you have to clean the table which takes forever so you are way behind and the kids are whining and you forget to take a photo... well, then just imagine yummy chicken marsala here.]

Abigail and her friend J liked this. JA refused to try it, and Anna informed me that she "doesn't eat chicken." (I informed her that she also doesn't eat dessert. Ahem.) I gladly ate Anna's serving. John was sick in bed with stomach flu, but I think he would have liked it. The only thing that wasn't a total win was that the sauce was just a bit of a funny color. Kind of green-tinted.

I will definitely be making this again. It super easy and a great way to use up leftover sweet wines (leftover wine? ha!). Win!

What's your favorite crockpot recipe? Have you ever converted a recipe to make in the slow cooker?



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

I decide to do a cookout-style dinner as a "valentine" to my family: BBQ chicken that John grills up, corn casserole, salad, and red strawberries. They look beautiful in the blue bowl. I wonder how many JohnAndrew will eat. 

Normally he inhales all fruit, especially strawberries. But tonight he is picky with his dinner. He starts to refuse everything except the berries, then even before we are done with dinner, he pushes his few last bites away. He refuses the pink heart cookie that Mimi had made and sent to him. 

I guess he is full. 

Taken with Instagram
 Later, we sit in bed and debate the latest episode of Once Upon A Time that streams to John's laptop. The show finishes, and we decide to watch an episode of Revenge.

Romance at it's finest.

As the episode ends, Ava Joy fusses for her late-night snack. I pick her up and as she is latching on, JohnAndrew's hollow cries bleat through the baby monitor. I listen for a moment, thinking this is just a quick fuss before he rolls over and falls back asleep. It is 11pm.

But it doesn't stop. I hear fear and distress in his cry, not his standard annoyance from waking when he was trying to sleep. His stools have been loose the past few days, and I wonder if he has scared himself by filling his diaper. I send John to investigate as Ava Joy and I nurse.

John disappears out the bedroom door. Seconds pass. The creaky whine of JohnAndrew's bedroom door interrupts the sound of his distress. He quickly quiets.

"Little Man, this is gross. What happened?" Rustling. More whine-crying.

"Momma, I am in need of backup." Oh great, perhaps JohnAndrew has gone chimp-y and smeared? That would be hard, considering the one-piece sleeper we put him down in. I wish our monitor was 2-way so I could ask how bad it really is and what supplies I need.

Ava Joy continues to nurse as I climb the stairs. The smell slaps me as I mount the last 2 steps.

This is not poop. Oh no. This is vomit.

I walk into the room, now brightly lit with the overhead light. JA begins crying again, reaching for me. I look into the crib. I find his entire dinner.

We shuffle the babies between us, comforting JohnAndrew while stripping him down. The vomit keeps coming, and each time he is scared. His hands dart to his mouth, as if to hold it in, and he pulls them away covered in yuck. In his distress, he rubs his head. A cute self-soothing mechanism when his hands aren't full of vomit.

He reaches to cradle my face. I swiftly pull his hands into a towel.

John gives him a bath while I tackle the bed. No one wishes for this job. Unless they wish for the job of mother.

Down to our bedroom. Ava Joy finally sleeps and is tucked into her basket. JohnAndrew flops like a dying fish: a spurt of energy that jerks him to and fro, then limp and lifeless. He lays between us and whine-cries.

I give him a sip of water. The whine-cry stops. Success. He lays down, soothed.

Taken with Instagram
Until he vomits again. The comforter and sheets are soaked.

This process repeats until I take his cup away and turn off the lights. The whine-cry continues. John and I take turns cuddling his feverish body close to us. He fish-flops every few minutes. I doze. Somehow, John snores.

I awaken to the sound of Anna. She is on John's side of the bed, relating a scary dream. JohnAndrew lays between us, his body a V, feet on John's stomach and head on mine.

Anna is comforted and John walks her back to bed. JohnAndrew fusses as he leaves the room, but I draw him close to me and he quiets. We doze again.

Then it is 5:45. The alarm is going off, and JohnAndrew whine-cries, causing Ava Joy to stir. John pulls JA's toddler body into his chest as I bring Ava Joy into bed to nurse her. The 4 of us are surprisingly still and only moderately cramped.

Snooze has run out and the alarm sounds again. It's my cue... the day awaits and I can hear Abigail plodding around; soon she will want her breakfast before walking to the bus stop.

John and I exchange whispers. He gets up. I cuddle the babies. Before long, he and Abigail are out the door; he kisses me before he leaves and wishes me luck in my day. The 3 littles are cuddled with me in bed.

This is how we spent our Valentine's night. And this is how I know John loves me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Makeover

I've recently been working on a blog makeover- are you excited to see the new look? I can't wait!

Source


Anyway, as I've been spending time thinking about how I want my blog to look, I've also spent a lot of time thinking about the content of my blog. What do I write about and why? And is this how I want to use this space?

When I look back at my archives I cringe so often that I look like I'm having convulsions. I've been blogging in this space since I was 23 years old. I've grown up since then. My thoughts- and how I think- have been reformed. My relationships with God and others have undergone a complete renovation. My focus? I've had corrective eye surgery and see things with clearer vision these days.

What I write about is obvious from my most common category tags: adoption, Abigail, Anna, JohnAndrew, Ava Joy, family, ethics, health, motherhood/parenting, pregnancy/breastfeeding.

But I've outgrown some of these topics. I do still write about adoption occasionally, but usually in reference to adoption ethics. I may continue writing about breastfeeding, but generally because of advocacy reasons. Pregnancy? I probably won't have much to say about that anymore, either.

So here is what I've decided. I want to use this space intentionally (ugh, what an over-used word, I know!) I want to share about my family, certainly, as this is a great way for friends far and near to keep up-to-date on our lives.

But I also want to use this space to advocate for those issues that are dear to my heart: the hard parts of transracial adoption; race and racism in the US; attachment in adoption and step-parent adoption; my growing faith and dependence on the Lord; parenting. I want to lend this space to guest bloggers who want to have a platform for expressing ideas that can change the world.

To do that means I need to start talking about some of my failings. I need to be open about the way our family is less than perfect... the way many ways I am less than perfect.  I need to be humble. And we know that is often a tough pill to swallow.

So I'm working on some posts.... some soul-baring, flaw-revealing, crawling-on-my-knees-to-Jesus posts.

And it's hard.

But in the mean time, what would you like to see more of? What do you enjoy here? And what aspects of your life do you feel are most difficult for you to share on your blog?


Friday, February 10, 2012

Keeping in touch

Source

I know some of you use Google Friend Connect to keep in read my blog. I'm not sure if you know, but starting in March, Google is going to stop supporting GFC. I plan to stop using GFC on this blog by March 1. 

But!

There are still lots of ways you can continue to receive Gracelings content:


2012 is going to be a great year here, and I am making plans for giveaways, guest posts, and a groovy 30th birthday project. You won't want to miss a single post! 

So make sure you don't- change over your subscription using one of the links above!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Weird Sisters Book Review

December, 2011
Three Weird Sisters

I wanted to love it. 
I tried to love it. 
I should have loved it.

But I just. Didn't. Love it.

April, 2006
Two Weird Sisters
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown is the mid-life quarter-life third-life coming of age tale of three sisters. Returning to live in their parents home with the convenient excuse of caring for their ailing mother, the Andreas women are brought face-to-face with life-changing decisions and revelations about themselves. As is the tradition in their academic family, when they are unable to put their tattered emotions into thought or word, they lean on quotes from The Bard (whose witches in Macbeth inspired the name of the book.) But where does he ever describe the despair of self-imposed failure that haunts the girls?

Told in the collective voice of the sisters, Brown captures the intimacy- and irritation- of sisterhood. Rose, Bean, and Cordy are so perfectly brought to paper that I could see just who I would have been friends with- and who would have been friends with my big sister. More than once, the sarcasm that coats the Andreas family brought a smile to my face, and the zings and jabs the sisters make to and about each other are so authentic.

The tragedy is that this book never gets going. Because the stories of the girls are so well-related, just when you think the story is about to pick up the pace, it stalls once more to develop the history of the sisters. And then there is the way time is just off in the book. While the women are supposed to be about my age and generation, they seem to have lived in an earlier time. One of the sisters buys a record in about 1994.... the same time that I remember buying my first CD. And none of the sisters seem to have been impacted by the defining moments of our generation... MTV, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Columbine school shooting, reality television. These things cause a disconnect between the Andreas sisters and the reader... because it's just not possible to be who they are without having been through what I've been through.


December, 2011

Sigh.

So close on this one. But if I hadn't been reading it for a book review, I would have put it down after the first 25 or 50 pages-  never feeling the draw to return and finish the tale. Which, incidentally, seems to be the status quo in book reading habits in the Andreas household. Granted, this comes from someone who found Great Expectations too slow to finish until I had to for school. You can see what others thought over at the BlogHer Discussion of The Weird Sisters.

If you've read this book, I'd love to know what you thought! And since this isn't a keeper for me, if you'd like to read it, leave a comment and I'll send it your way (first come, first served).


Full Disclosure: Like last time, BlogHer paid me to write this review. Hoooray! My opinions, as ever, are my own. 


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Guest Post: 100% of Men Reading This Post Are Male

Today, I am thrilled to have my husband guest posting! I may be biased, but I actually do think most people would agree that he is not only funny and jolly, but pretty brilliant as well. Anyone who's been reading this blog for any amount of time knows that John is a board certified internal medicine physician; what you may not know is that he also holds a MSIS degree and has a strong background in research, statistical methods, and general awesomeness. John blogs over at CKM Beat.



Source

100% of Men Reading This Post Are Male
and Other Ridiculous Statistics

  1. 100% of Dead People Were Once Alive
  2. Buying Two Tickets Doubles Your Chance of Winning the Lottery
  3. 0% of Children Surveyed Were Over Age 18
  4. There's a 5% Chance the Truth is False
  5. 100% of Correlations Are Unproven
  6. 3 Out of 4 Children Like Macaroni and Cheese
Right there you have 6 absolutely ridiculous, perfectly true statements. 

It's been said that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. And now you see why. Statistics are incredibly powerful when used wisely. Unfortunately, they are rarely used wisely.

Proper use of statistics generally doesn't make headlines. No one cares when taking a medication results in an extra 1 in 10,000 people having a heart attack, but when the news reports that the medication "doubles the risk of a heart attack" everyone calls their doctor. The numbers of heart attacks haven't changed, but the statistics used to report the numbers dramatically affect how the populous responds to the information. 

The six examples above illustrate 6 common ways statistics are abused.

  1. 100% of Dead People Were Once Alive: Here we have re-stated a simple truth, using a powerful number in statistics to inflate the importance of the information. Politicians may be the most common offender in this category.
  2. Buying Two Tickets Doubles Your Chance of Winning the Lottery: This statement is statistically true, but the assumptions on which it has been based are omitted. Certainly, two tickets increase your chances of winning the lottery, but your chances are still incredibly slim. This is a common tactic in sales and marketing, especially with up-selling.
  3. 0% of Children Surveyed Were Over Age 18: Here we have an example of how framing affects the way statistics are interpreted. This could just as easily have read "100% of Children are Under Age 18," but by framing it (in this case, inverting it), it makes the numbers inarguable, but makes a totally different point than the second statement. This is how advocacy groups can look at the same data as researchers and come up with totally different "conclusions" that are both still statistically accurate... they chose to frame the statistics in a different way than the researchers do.
  4. There's a 5% Chance the Truth is False: Here's one that most people just don't realize. The standard in research is that we can tell with 95% certainty that our conclusion is true. Therefore we say it is true with 95% confidence. Of course, this means that there is a 5% chance it's not true. All those conclusions you read in various publications? Well, there is, literally, a 5% chance that the "truth" is false.
  5. 100% of Correlations Are Unproven: It's extremely difficult in research to prove cause and effect; the majority of research actually studies the likelihood that two events are related. That's why most research reports a correlation, not a causation between two variables. 
  6. 3 Out of 4 Children Like Macaroni and Cheese: Well, this is totally true based on the survey conducted in our family... 3 out of our 4 children do like macaroni and cheese. Of course, it's not fair that a small study of children selected for convenience's sake should be representative of all children. Yet the statement is still statistically true. This is a favorite of people with an agenda- ever notice how every toothpaste has 9 out of 10 dentists recommending it?
Any time you have a strong reaction to a statistic, the first thing you should do is question if the statistic was manipulated to incite that reaction. Researchers spend years developing their research methods only to have politicians, advocacy groups and the press manipulate their statistics for personal gain. The best way to gauge this is by looking at the original research rather than headlines or news articles. Even if you don't subscribe to the journal where the original research has been published, most university libraries will assist the public to find an article. 

More importantly, any research that leads to meaningful conclusions will be able to be replicated, and further studies will back up the original claims... or not.  Unexpected correlations are often found unintentionally in research studies; while they are often reported as a shocking! new! finding! the truth is that they need additional dedicated research before any conclusions can be drawn.

Finally, a recent study demonstrated that 100% of people that comment on my wife's blog are awesome. Who can argue with those statistics?

Guest Post: 100% of Men Reading This Post Are Male

Today, I am thrilled to have my husband guest posting! I may be biased, but I actually do think most people would agree that he is not only funny and jolly, but pretty brilliant as well. Anyone who's been reading this blog for any amount of time knows that John is a board certified internal medicine physician; what you may not know is that he also holds a MSIS degree and has a strong background in research, statistical methods, and general awesomeness. John blogs over at CKM Beat.




Source

100% of Men Reading This Post Are Male
and Other Ridiculous Statistics

  1. 100% of Dead People Were Once Alive
  2. Buying Two Tickets Doubles Your Chance of Winning the Lottery
  3. 0% of Children Surveyed Were Over Age 18
  4. There's a 5% Chance the Truth is False
  5. 100% of Correlations Are Unproven
  6. 3 Out of 4 Children Like Macaroni and Cheese
Right there you have 6 absolutely ridiculous, perfectly true statements. 

It's been said that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. And now you see why. Statistics are incredibly powerful when used wisely. Unfortunately, they are rarely used wisely.

Proper use of statistics generally doesn't make headlines. No one cares when taking a medication results in an extra 1 in 10,000 people having a heart attack, but when the news reports that the medication "doubles the risk of a heart attack" everyone calls their doctor. The numbers of heart attacks haven't changed, but the statistics used to report the numbers dramatically affect how the populous responds to the information. 

The six examples above illustrate 6 common ways statistics are abused.

  1. 100% of Dead People Were Once Alive: Here we have re-stated a simple truth, using a powerful number in statistics to inflate the importance of the information. Politicians may be the most common offender in this category.
  2. Buying Two Tickets Doubles Your Chance of Winning the Lottery: This statement is statistically true, but the assumptions on which it has been based are omitted. Certainly, two tickets increase your chances of winning the lottery, but your chances are still incredibly slim. This is a common tactic in sales and marketing, especially with up-selling.
  3. 0% of Children Surveyed Were Over Age 18: Here we have an example of how framing affects the way statistics are interpreted. This could just as easily have read "100% of Children are Under Age 18," but by framing it (in this case, inverting it), it makes the numbers inarguable, but makes a totally different point than the second statement. This is how advocacy groups can look at the same data as researchers and come up with totally different "conclusions" that are both still statistically accurate... they chose to frame the statistics in a different way than the researchers do.
  4. There's a 5% Chance the Truth is False: Here's one that most people just don't realize. The standard in research is that we can tell with 95% certainty that our conclusion is true. Therefore we say it is true with 95% confidence. Of course, this means that there is a 5% chance it's not true. All those conclusions you read in various publications? Well, there is, literally, a 5% chance that the "truth" is false.
  5. 100% of Correlations Are Unproven: It's extremely difficult in research to prove cause and effect; the majority of research actually studies the likelihood that two events are related. That's why most research reports a correlation, not a causation between two variables. 
  6. 3 Out of 4 Children Like Macaroni and Cheese: Well, this is totally true based on the survey conducted in our family... 3 out of our 4 children do like macaroni and cheese. Of course, it's not fair that a small study of children selected for convenience's sake should be representative of all children. Yet the statement is still statistically true. This is a favorite of people with an agenda- ever notice how every toothpaste has 9 out of 10 dentists recommending it?
Any time you have a strong reaction to a statistic, the first thing you should do is question if the statistic was manipulated to incite that reaction. Researchers spend years developing their research methods only to have politicians, advocacy groups and the press manipulate their statistics for personal gain. The best way to gauge this is by looking at the original research rather than headlines or news articles. Even if you don't subscribe to the journal where the original research has been published, most university libraries will assist the public to find an article. 

More importantly, any research that leads to meaningful conclusions will be able to be replicated, and further studies will back up the original claims... or not.  Unexpected correlations are often found unintentionally in research studies; while they are often reported as a shocking! new! finding! the truth is that they need additional dedicated research before any conclusions can be drawn.

Finally, a recent study demonstrated that 100% of people that comment on my wife's blog are awesome. Who can argue with those statistics?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Ava Joy's Birth in Pictures (and a video)

There are several photos that didn't get included in Ava Joy's birth story that I thought I would share. And at the end there is a slideshow!





Not every part of labor is bad! 














My OB didn't make it in time for the delivery, but still came in to see me! 

Someone loves babies. 
Still one of his favorite ways to love on Ava Joy





Holding both my babies.







All 4. So blessed. 













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