Wednesday, April 30, 2008



Promise To Be Surprised?

This is the birth announcement we've chosen.  I just had to show someone.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I kinda, sorta bought another one.

But I got an absolutely amazing deal on it.  I couldn't resist.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Diaper Bag Dilemma Solved... For Now

Who knows if this will be "the one" for me and my son, but it's the one I bought today.

I know, I know. It looks nothing like the bags in the post below. It's a mere fraction of what those other cost as well. Not that that was a deciding factor for me. I just really liked it. I unpacked the other bag and repacked in this bag. So far so good. I'm going to play around with it a bit tomorrow.

We'll see what happens, folks... I'm very fickle when it comes to handbags of any sort--diaper bags included--so don't be surprised if I tell you next week that I hate this cute little red bag!

Diaper Bag Dilemma

I realized last week that the diaper bag I had previously gotten was not going to work for me after all, at least not yet.  It's a great bag for a short little trip to the store or for dad.  I am quite sure that by the time this babe is a year or so it will be perfect.  (You know, when I'm not hauling around 5 extra outfits, 3 blankets, 12 diapers, and 4 extra burp cloths, not to mention the bottles and formula that may be needed.)  So anyway, I am on a mission for another bag. 

Here's what I've found...

(Sorry for the small picture.)
(This bag may end up being too big.)

(I would much rather have this one, but the lining is covered in dollar signs. Are you kidding me? For a diaper bag? How much more inappropriate can you get!?)

So that's the list of bags I love.  Who knows what I'll end up with.  I am going to run up to TJ Maxx later to see if there are any non-diaper bags that would work as a diaper bag for me.  I may hit Ross and Marshalls too if my swollen feet cooperate.  

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Natalie!!!

At this time four years ago, I felt as though a machete had been shoved inside me and was hacking it's way through my uterus.  (Thanks for the potocin sans epidural!)  It would be another hour and three minutes before I was dilated enough to start pushing.  Twenty minutes later, at 1105pm Natalie Lauren Ball came dancing into this world.  As painful as it was I wouldn't have it any other way!

April 25, 2004

April 25, 2005

April 25, 2006

April 25, 2007

April 25, 2008

Happy Birthday my precious little princess.  You have blessed me in so many ways in the few short years we have known each other.  I can't imagine my life without you.  May you follow our Lord and Saviour all the days of your life.  He will never let you down!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wrapping Things Up

Checked off the To-Do List:
  1. Washed remaining baby clothes and stuff.
  2. Rearranged bedroom to accommodate bassinet.
  3. Packed diaper bag.
  4. Realized that I don't like the diaper bag after all.
  5. Re-organized the bathroom linen closets and cabinets.  Twice.
  6. Got travel system and swing and put them together.
  7. Took a tour of the birthing center.
  8. Got diapers.
  9. Got Lansinoh and slather it on twice daily.
  10. Bought breast pads.
Yet to do:
  1. Pack hospital bag.
  2. Make liners for 6 baskets.
  3. Fill above baskets with diapers, wipes, onsies, socks, and other tiny blue things.
  4. Re-organize my kitchen cabinets.
  5. Design and order baby announcements.
  6. Clean the house... I mean really clean the house.
  7. Make banana bread.
  8. Order Breastfeeding video. (Any suggestions???)
  9. Buy new diaper bag. (Please feel free to donate to the "New Diaper Bag Fund.")
  10. NAME this man-child!!!
That's about it, folks.  I'll keep you posted and twittered.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And I Was Freaking Out Yesterday!

"There's not much holding this baby in," said the midwife.

Oh dear! I thought.  I've got so much to do.

"You're a good centimeter dilated and your cervix is very ripe.  The baby's head is quite low.  Any day now."

Oh! Dear!


If you haven't twittered yet, you really must!  I started a couple weeks ago to amuse my husband and I see now how addictive it is.  You really must start now and be sure to add me to your list of friends... I'm melissajanel.  As I go into labor I'll be posting as much as I can on twitter, so if for no other reason that that, you must sign up today.  You might also want to add scottieb to your list as The Music Man may take over the posting from time to time.  

Monday, April 21, 2008

Oh For Crying Out Loud!

Do you see that too? 


26 days left!!!

Holy moly!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Please Don't Be Scared...

...but I'm thinking of moving.

Blogger has been good to me these past 3 years of blogging.  I have really gotten the hang of how this blogging thing works.  I really haven't ever done much beyond posting with my blog and lately I have been thinking very seriously about upgrading and diving in headfirst to the wide world of serious blogging.  

I'm not sure that Blogger is going to get me there.  It's been so good to me.  I hate to end such a wonderful relationship, but I think I need more out of my blog host.  Now mind you that I don't know what "more" I need.  

So I'm just warning you now that changes might be coming in the next few months.  I'll keep you posted and appraised of the whole process.  I have some research to do and a baby to birth so this will most likely be a long, drawn out process.  I'm just saying...


Did you notice the countdown over there?  28 days!?  Are you kidding me?!?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Yesterday The Music Man My and a few other people from our church, went to a local post office and handed out free stamps to people bringing their tax returns in to be mailed.  He later told me enthusiastically how much fun he had doing it.  He enjoyed watching people's reactions.  Some couldn't believe that they would do something like that, others were just quietly grateful, while there were even some who ignored their offer of something "Free" all together.  

Then there was this guy in particular that I just had to tell you about, because it made me so sad.  He is an local police officer and was surprised to hear what my husband and the others were doing.  He said he thought it was a great idea.  He then told my husband that he was of a different denomination than ours (I've chosen not to say which one, because it doesn't really matter, but I will tell you it is a large, Bible-based, gospel-preaching denomination with some of the most amazing teachers and preachers I've ever heard).  He said that because he was this other-denomination, he couldn't accept a free stamp from our church.  That absolutely floored my husband.

It just made me sad.  To think that there are people in this world that would call themselves believers and Christ-followers, yet allow something as petty as denominational differences keep them from supporting other believers is mind-boggling.  You would think that no matter his religious affiliations, the fact that we serve the same almighty God would be enough to garner their support.  It just broke my heart to see so blatantly how denominations have fractured the greater Body of Christ in this world.  

I have grown up in the Assemblies of God most of my life.  I went to North Central University, the premiere AG university in the nation (as far as I'm concerned--trust me--I've seen what else is out there), and graduated with some of the most amazing young leaders of my generation.  But even though we all graduated from an AG school, many of those amazing people are no longer affiliated with the Assemblies of God.  They're in churches of all denominations; Lutheran, Baptist, Church of God, and a whole slew of non-denominational churches.  I won't try to tell you that the Assemblies of God is the be all and end all of what God is doing, because I don' believe that for one second.  They have been good to me and to my husband and I fully support them 100%, but that doesn't mean it's a fit for everyone.  God has led my friends elsewhere and I love that!!!  He can move anywhere and in any denomination!  All He wants is willing servants.  

I think that's why this other-denomination cop's reaction to a simple random act of kindness so saddened me.  What if it had been him and his Fraternity of Police Officers that had decided to do a random act of kindness such as we did and a fireman responded to him the way he responded to Scott?  He would be shocked, possibly hurt, and certainly confused because there is a sort of brotherhood between police officers and firemen.  How much greater is our brotherhood in the Lord?  It needs to surpass denominations and affiliations.  

How good and how pleasent it is for brothers to dwell together in unity. Psalm 133:1

May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:23

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hitting the Wall

I know I told you that I would write a Birthday Week Wrap-up on Saturday, but if you take a look at this, you'll know why that never happened.  It's on my list of things to do, so maybe in the next week(s) I'll get to it, but I can't guarantee any promptness.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What's Coming....

I have much to blog about, but not the time to write any of it now.  Tomorrow I will be posting a Birthday Week Wrap-up and fill you on all the fantastic details of my day yesterday, including the wonderful story of how a pickup truck fell off a tow truck and hit our van.  I'm not kidding you either.  The story will be complete with pictures.  

Until then....

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Two and a Half Pounds

I had a appointment this morning with my midwife.  Everything looks good.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  Still right on schedule.  Less than six weeks till D-day.  Weight gain is "good" (that really is a relative term).  Baby Boy is head down and still very active.  I'm pre-registered and authorized for my hospital stay.  A circumcision is planned.  It seems as though all the little pieces are finally starting to fall into place.  That's good, because as I've said before, I'm ready to have this baby.  


I realized at my appointment this morning that we don't have any towels or washcloths on our registry, so I just added those.  (I know, how random was that?!  I'm sorry.)


Have I mentioned that the four names The Music Man and I agreed on a few weeks back are now all on my I-don't-like-these-names-anymore list?  What a tragedy!  We have to start all over... AGAIN!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Big Week

Today officially begins the monumentous week that is my birthday week.  On Thursday I turn 30.  I know, I know.  No one can believe that I could possibly be that old, with my gorgeous skin and girlish figure, but I am.  

Any big plans?  Nothing planned... yet!  The Music Man and I have been trying to think of something big enough to celebrate such a big-deal birthday.  I have been begging for a party for months, but with the baby coming and being so huge, I don't feel like it anymore.  We've decided to wait until this summer and have a big blow-out bash in which we celebrate my birthday, Scott's birthday (he'll be 30 in August), and our little baby boy's arrival.  So we'll party in a couple months.

 Last week I said something about going down to DC for the Cherry Blossoms Festival.  The main activities were last weekend, but they have tons of stuff all this week and through the weekend.  I've only ever seen pictures of the trees and now that we live so close, I've been dying to see them in person.  I also thought it would be fun to see the monuments and visit a museum.  I wanted to go to the American History museum, but it's been closed since 2006 for renovations and won't be opening until this fall.  Bummer.

Sooo...then I got to thinking about all the walking this trip would require and now, I'm reconsidering the whole idea.  Somedays I can walk around like I'm normal and other days, even walking around for 10 minutes starts a whole slew of Braxton Hicks that I swear are going to send me into an early labor any day now!  

I'm not sure what we'll end up doing.  We talked about just staying close to home and going to Old New Castle or going to Philly.  Anyone have any ideas on what we could do to make my big day fun and different without walking 27 miles?  I'm desperate to get out of the house and really to get out of town for even a couple hours.


Now is the time to send out my birthday gifts and cards filled with well wishes.  I know you don't want them to be late, so it's best to get those treasures out sooner rather than later!


Oooo... I just found this!!!  We are so doing this!!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Let It Be...

I'm ready.

The house may not be.

My hospital bag is not packed.

We have not settled on a name.

We don't have a car seat.

I haven't toured the birthing center.

I don't even know how to get there.

We have no diapers, wipes, or baby lotions and potions.

I don't have a birth plan.

But still I'm ready.

Any... day... now...
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