Friday, March 25, 2011

sisterly love?

Monday morning I took this picture of the bears at the zoo. Since learning we'll be parenting two girls in the not so distant future, I can't look at it without giggling. Here's hoping this isn't a foretaste of what's to come and these "encounters" will be minimal! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

20 weeks and 2 daughters

If the title of this post or the picture didn't give it away, today we are twenty weeks along. Halfway there! Yesterday our family had a really, really fun morning. Thank you everyone for your kind messages, phone calls and texts. It meant so much to share our news because we are thrilled! More on that in a little bit...

I hadn't intended for Chica to come along for the appointment. Had anything looked unusual or suspect on the ultrasound I would have wanted time to process it with Danny alone. However, some options fell through so we ended up bringing her.

Here's the proud Big Sister waiting for her unwavering sibling prophecy to be revealed to the rest of us. Talk about naming and claiming, the child thanked God for her baby sister before I was ever pregnant.
The technician could tell right away what the gender was. She announced "girl!" and while the Danny and I celebrated, Chica calmly flashed an I-told-you-so face in our direction. She had to wonder why her parents were so surprised at something she had confirmed to be fact months ago.

Let it go on the record, you were right Sweet Girl! You knew it all along. Thanks for bearing with your crazy parents when we tried to convince you there was another possibility.
As the technician went through her checklist, I thanked God for every "normal" box she clicked on the screen. Having witnessed the fragility of such tiny life, I better understand now (than I did with Chica) that not one step of this pregnancy is for certain.

And as for having a girl? Well, I don't know if any words can describe how I feel.

I really, really wanted Chica to have a sister. A sister is a friend built into your family. She can be your role model or your accomplice. She can drive you nuts. She can tease your parents with you and appreciate the truth behind the jokes. She's a common heritage. Another life so intertwined with your own, whose shared roots cover a multitude of temporary spats.

Not only will Chica have a sister, Danny and I are getting a daughter. Another daughter. I've walked with God long enough to get a good view of the ugliness in my heart. No amount of false humility is needed for me to confess my soul and my mind would have flailed in sin for the rest of my days had it not been for the mercy of God.

That being said, I know that I know that anything good in my life is because of God's grace.Grace alone. I don't believe children are given (or taken away) on account of merit. Not one part of me deserves to be a mother. My only explanation as to why God would choose to entrust, not just one but two daughters to our family is this- it has nothing to do with me. Therefore I praise Him all the more. He is lavish love to those unworthy of such.

At our post-ultra sound party at Chick-Fil-A I tried to explain to Danny what I was thinking, but all this bewildered mind could come up with was, "I cannot BELIEVE He would do this for us. Two daughters. Two daughters. I just CAN'T believe this...." And Dan nodded along to his rambling, crazy wife.

Speaking of rambling, how about I cut it off here for today and show you the newest picture of our smallest family member?
Newest baby girl, we love you. And while you already hold a special place in our family, we can't wait to have you in our arms. Rest well and grow. We'll be seeing you soon Little Sister. Our Daughter.

"I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." Psalm 16:2

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

it's a.....

We're back from our appointment and couldn't wait to let you know....
bye-bye blue....
pink reigns supreme in our home!
Baby GIRL Hinton is on her way!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

pink or blue, blue or pink?

Will Chica be getting a baby sister
or will a baby brother be coming home
from the hospital?
Tomorrow morning, we'll find out!
We can't wait!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

we met them in st. louis

Last week each small group of students in the youth group took a road trip to celebrate their spring break and bond over all the wild memories made in the course of the 24 hours they were gone. On Monday, some middle school girls headed to St. Louis. Because their destination was only a few hours away from my sister's house (and Monday happened to be her only day off that week) Chica and I hitched a ride with the students to meet up with the cousins for the day. Dad and Jackson heard about our crazy escapades and joined in on the fun.

We spent the day at the City Museum. I think it's called that because at least half the city of St. Louis is there at all times. It's not hard to understand the museum's appeal. Such a neat, neat place for little and big kids alike. The toddlers had us on our toes all day long. Chica scaled some of the big kid stuff so fast I was sure I needed paddles to get my heart going again. She was so worn down by the end of the trip that at dinner as she sat in my lap, too tired to eat, her little head slumped over in sleep surrender. We both drifted off as the bus headed home.

There wasn't a whole lot of time to pull out the camera. Here's what I did manage to get- the players, a smattering of their adventures and the sweet middle school girls who put up with us. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

a belated birthday recap

I was about to post a recap of last weekend until I looked at the calendar and realized what I was going to write about actually happened two weekends ago. What's the source of my lapse? Well, recently I've been exploring a new interest. I hesitate to qualify it as a hobby because knowing me I could drop it like a hot potato at any given point. Here's a picture hint at my latest infatuation that's eaten into my blogging time in a major way:
(Indeed I have lost my ever loving mind.)

Moving on with my two week old post that's possibly irrelevant and probably breaks all kinds of blog laws.

The first weekend in March we celebrated my birthday. I woke up to a huge box of donuts, some with sprinkles! We stuck some candles on top and ate them too fast to bother with plates.
It would have been a pretty low key weekend, but look who came all the way from Oklahoma to help us celebrate! Poor Mr. Justin went through the ringer on his first trip to the Hinton home. It didn't help that Chica continued to call him "Aunt Jess." (?)Like anyone else who comes to visit, Chica showed no mercy on our guests. There were epic triumphs and defeats over Candy Land, Sequence and Cootie Bug. One night it was warm enough to play outside, so Chica loaded up four bags worth of stuff she "needed" to survive the three feet trek down the sidewalk to the lawn. (Makes her mama proud.) Mr. Justin threw pitches to our (as of now) little switch hitter. (Makes her daddy proud.) About ten minutes later the baseball game turned into a shopping trip up and down the sidewalk.
Meanwhile I forced our other guest to make me a birthday cake. Actually, she bossed me to sit in my seat while she did all the work. She's a firstborn you know. :)
The night I turned the big 2-6, Dan got a babysitter and we met some friends for dinner. I've grown so accustomed to wrangling a toddler wherever we go that relaxing during an entire meal is a bit foreign. In a way it's almost like I've forgotten how to be completely present and carry on one continual conversation without being interrupted every few minutes. Think the onset of old age is to blame? :)
Thank you Debs and Mr. Justin for coming to see us. It made this birthday extra special!
Daniel, thank you that during such a heavy work week you took time off to bless your wife with extra of you. Thank you for your patience and mercy as I continue to grow up. I'm so grateful I can harass you to "be nice" to me on my birthday because the truth is you lavish me with kindness all the other 364 days too.

My hope for my 26th year of life is this:

"You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance."
Psalm 65:11 NKJV

Saturday, March 12, 2011

week 18

Time for a Baby Hinton update! Yesterday I went to my monthly check-up. The baby's measuring great, had a strong heartbeat of 150 and is moving all over the place. (I started noticing movement at 15 weeks but it wasn't until this week that Dan could feel the baby too!)

The doctor noticed that I haven't gained any weight yet. I told him my children are stealing all my food. Whatever I'm eating, Chica claims at least half of and then Baby Hinton mooches the rest. I'm a little relieved though because when I was 18 weeks along with Chica, I had already gained 15-20 pounds. (And I kept packing them on until the very end.) (Somebody saw her Daddy taking pictures and wanted to get in the shot.) :)
I asked her what it was like living in Mommy's tummy. She said, "It was like toast" and dissolved into a fit of giggles.
The most exciting part about my appointment was that my doctor scheduled our big ultrasound for March 23! In just over a week they'll examine all of Baby's major organs and tell us the gender.

Speaking of gender, a few weeks ago my mom came to visit. She had heard about this test that claims to predict your baby's gender. When we saw how much it cost at Walgreens, we went home empty handed. This morning my mom sent me a birthday package and lo and behold, look what was included in the envelope:
Of course I HAD to take it right away. And the result:
We won't be decorating the nursery or picking out a name for at least eleven more days. But if this test turns out to be right, Dan is going to have to pick me up off the floor.

And then tend to his toddler who is thoroughly convinced God is bringing her a baby sister.

We can't wait!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

school picture day

Last week was school picture day for Chica. I'm hesitant to purchase school pictures because they typically don't capture Chica with an authentic smile on her face. It's usually more like an I'll- sit-here-and-grit-my-teeth-if-it-means-I'll-be-done-quicker expression. Funny, her Daddy makes that same face when he's forced to take our quarterly family picture. It's torture I tell ya.

However, I couldn't let a freshly ironed outfit (a phenomenon around these parts) go to waste so we had a short photo shoot before we left for school.

Bingo! If the $36 wallets don't work out I can always send one of these to the grandparents.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

spice castle & pajamas

Before cooking dinner last night I pulled out all the spices in the cabinet to find the one I needed in the very back. While I had my back turned working at the stove, Chica pulled a chair over to the counter and went to town. At the sound of her enthusiastic, "TA-DA!" I whipped around to find a great wall of spices stretching from the sink to the fridge.
She was so proud of her "Spice Castle" I made her climb right back on her chair for a picture.
Today, in honor of the great letter "P" Chica's class had a pajama party. They celebrated with pizza for lunch. It's not every day you get to wear your jammies to school.
Thanking God for today and hoping to remember all the little things that make life with my favorite girl extra sweet. I love her so.