26 February 2009

"My Departure" has just suggested on my Design Project for Us All post that I give the 2009 Pantone color of the year a try.

"My Departure", I don't know who you are, but I love folks who like to talk Pantone. Please, reveal yourself!

And, since you asked, here is what the room would look like in "Mimosa" (and please bear in mind that Blogger tends to make my lovely, accurate, Photoshop colors a tad dark):

I have to say that I'm so reassured to see that the rug we have chosen is such a good, current color.

Here are a few other things in Pantone's Mimosa:
Happy color, friends!

Ryan was sharing an ice cream treat with O after lunch today. This is what I overheard:

Oliver: "Please, Mommy! Please, Mommy!"

Ryan: "I'm Daddy."

Oliver: "No," Pause. Then, in a motivational tone, "you are Ryan Myers!"


Last night Oliver and Ryan were grazing in the kitchen before dinner. Ryan had a handful of potato chips and Oliver had some Frosted Mini Wheats on his mind.

Oliver: "More cereal please, Daddy!"

Ryan: "Hm... how about some Cheerios?"

Oliver: "Hm... how about some chips?!"

Evidently Oliver is going to be quite the negotiator!

24 February 2009

My sister kept Oliver at her house today while I finished up the painting (everything looks great, except the green wasn't color-matched properly and we'll need to do another coat). Ryan dropped him off right at nap time and received two or three phone calls from Rebecca in the 30 minutes following, asking for advice on how to keep him in bed to sleep.

Ryan suggested she be firm - maybe instill a little "holy fear".

Forty-five minutes later Ryan received an e-mail from Rebecca. Following is their email conversation:

From Rebecca:
Those two babies are upstairs in Bea's room. They are in bed together, but they are NOT napping. I just heard a few cries of anger and I walked upstairs to sort things out, but when I stopped at the door I heard. "I'm sorry, Bea. I'm sorry Oliver. etc." They resolved their own little issue. It made me feel like we are all doing a good job.

From Ryan:
So, the holy fear of Auntie wasn't enough to keep him in the pack n' play?

From Rebecca:
The holy fear of Auntie isn't worth squat.

I guess you win some and you lose some!

Have a lovely evening, and, eat some pancakes tonight in celebration of Shrove Tuesday!

23 February 2009

I'm having to choose today between my "Not Me! Monday" post and writing about and actually implementing the colors for the bonus room.

I've chosen the latter.

We have seriously spent more time weighing the color choice for this room than we did choosing Oliver's name. And the funny thing is, I'll probably paint it again in a year or so - Oliver's stuck with his name! :)

This may give you an idea as to the extent of our deliberations:

So many greens and blues and blue-greens to choose from! Ahh!
Oliver showed us his favorites.
He seriously had so much fun playing with all the color swatches. He made little piles of green, blue, brown, grey, red, etc. He's growing up in a home with designers as parents - it's in his blood to love color!

So, the final decisions. (I write about this imagining in my sweet little head that you have all been on the edge of your seats all weekend awaiting this momentous decision. And so, I'll continue in my little dream world, and I'll introduce the colors with a drum-roll!) The colors we have chosen (and will soon employ) for the bonus room are:

Drum-roll please...

Benjamin Moore Color 553: Richmond Green (main room and back wall of Ry's office)
Benjamin Moore Color 1547: Dragon's Breath (built-ins)
Benjamin Moore Color HC-166: Kendall Charcoal (Ry's office)

As you can see, we chose a more appropriate lamp (I think the black lampshade will be cool, don't you?) and a rug that will bring in some good pattern and another color.

I'm hoping to get the brunt of the painting done this afternoon (pending Oliver's cooperation). We'll have to order this new rug (and return the other two) and shop for accessories and lighting, etc. before the room will be complete. But, if you're interested, I'll post a photo once the paint is on the walls.

What do you think?

Oh, and while I've got you here, I'll share some photos from the last two days:

This is the last we will ever see of this sofa. I still can't believe these guys actually paid us to come and take it away. It needed to go, folks! As they were carrying it down the stairs and out of the house Oliver exclaimed, "Hey! I need that!" It hadn't occurred to us that he might be sad to see it go, so we encouraged him to shout a happy goodbye to the sofa and a cheerful "enjoy the sofa, guys!" to the kids who took it away. I think it helped. If not, the big, empty bonus room is enough fun to distract him from his grief.

Ryan and Oliver are reattaching the door to it's frame once the sofa had been removed from the bonus room.
Yesterday for lunch we made a homemade pizza with Oliver. He had a BLAST "sprinkling the toppings" and sweetly thanked us for helping him make his pizza as we ate it.

One final picture. Ryan took this one of the days I was at the chapel painting the nursery. Oliver fell asleep on the sofa and actually managed to take a nearly 2-hour nap. Congrats, Ry!
Boy, I really know how to jam-pack a post, don't I?

20 February 2009

You all know (or, maybe you don't) that I am a birth doula and that I feel very passionately about pregnancy and childbirth. I believe firmly that women were made to give birth and that they are fully capable of excelling at this very natural function of life.

I found this video on my friend Susan's blog and it cracks me up. They actually show a smaller clip of this same video in the 2008 birth documentary "The Business of Being Born" (which I highly recommend you watching - you can watch it instantly on your computer if you have Netflix or you can borrow it from your local library if you don't).

The clip seems ridiculous, but sadly isn't always as far a stretch from the truth as you'd like or think. Women and the natural processes of their bodies are so often taken out of the equation of birth when they should be the main focus. Births are scheduled for convenience, women are scared out of letting their babies grow to term and because so many babies don't have the chance to travel through the birth canal, they are often too weak to be with their Mommies and have to be isolated.

**steps off soapbox**

The truth is, the way a woman gives birth should be up to the woman. A woman should choose to labor with or without pain relief and for the labor to be onset by drugs or naturally. It is her decision and that is very important. Sadly, women aren't always able to make informed decisions because they are just that - uninformed. And as a result, the decisions they make may ultimately put the decision-making in the hands of doctors who may not view birth as a natural function of life, but as a medical problem that needs to be monitored and corrected.

**seriously, stepping off the soapbox**

Please, enjoy the funny video!

I feel like I need to clarify here that I'm so incredibly not out to offend anyone. Some of you may not share my passion, and some of you may just downright disagree. I'm okay with that. We can agree to disagree. I love y'all and I'm so glad that when it all boils down, you have healthy, happy children. And, by all means, I welcome your comments from any perspective.

If you have questions about pregnancy and childbirth (and aren't scared away by my strong feelings on the subject), please, ask! Know that my role as a doula is to share information, to equip couples to make their own decisions regarding the births of their children, to prepare them for childbirth, and then to support them wholly in their decisions.

Also, if you are in the Huntsville, Alabama area, Tracy is currently training to be a doula. And, if you're in the AnnArbor, Michigan area, Susan is a birth doula and is currently training to be a home birth midwife. Holla, girls!

19 February 2009

I'm so excited about all the good feedback we're getting from you all. It sounds like green is the popular choice right now. (I'm glad!)

We've gone on to the next step of ordering the big 8"x8" paint chips in the top three color families to get a good tone. They should be here this weekend or early next week, so a commitment is in the very near future. (I'm so excited - I love painting!)

Also, we've gotten word that our sofa is ready and we should be getting a call next week to schedule delivery. I sort of wish we could get the painting done before it arrives, but it may not happen in that order.


In other news, Oliver pushed Beatrice down the stairs tonight. From the top step to the bottom step. We didn't see it happen but only heard it. When we ran to the scene Oliver promptly reported, "I push Bea down stairs." It looks like we have some explaining to do. [Ryan reminded me to report here that Beatrice weathered the fall just fine and was only a little shaken up. Praise Jesus.]

Also, while he was at Rebecca's house today he asked for "peanut butler". We're not sure what that is, but we're thinking it goes well with jelly.


That's all for tonight, folks. I may go make a peanut butler sandwich before I turn in!

17 February 2009

Per your suggestions, here are two new color schemes. Loving the feedback - keep it coming!

I have tried repeatedly to get an accurate "poppy" in photoshop and have it be fairly represented in Blogger. It's not happening, folks. I do recognize that the color I posted was, indeed, NOT poppy. I think that either Ryan will have to come to the rescue, or we will all have to know in our hearts what true poppy looks like and visualize it from there.

Thoughts on the green and light charcoal?

I will say that the dark orange has been a surprising hit!

As has become tradition in the Myers home, when life gives us lemons, we start a new project! (Oh, and we made lemonade sometimes too!)

Last spring, during the eleven weeks between Evie's diagnosis and death, Ryan and I set to work finishing our master bedroom. Also, Katy and I took a day trip to the Atlanta Ikea to overhaul our living room. Oh, and I painted the dining room 3 separate times.

Last fall, when we lost baby #5, I got to work refinishing an ugly (yet solid) dresser one of our neighbors had deposited on the curb for the trash man:

Oh, and we also completed our living room with a new sofa and worked on the stairway project.

You get the idea: when we're sad, we busy ourselves. I think it's pretty clear here that decorating is one of my coping mechanisms. Fortunately, my husband is understanding and we have a "rainy day fund" for times such as these. (I wonder if we should begin to set aside money in a "sunny day fund" and see if we start getting some sunny days? Hmm...)

This time, I want to do something a little different. I figure since I already involve you all in nearly every other aspect of my life, why not this one too?

How would y'all like to play Interior Designer with me?

This is how it will work: I'll give you an idea of the space (see floorplan below) and some info about our goals, the pieces we've already chosen, etc. And, what I'd love, is to hear your input about colors and accessories - the things that will really give the room it's character. This could be fun, no?

The lucky room this time is our bonus room (turns out "bonus room" is a term only used in the South or in newer construction or something - it is basically an upstairs family room, office, playroom, workout room, whatever you like. It's just an extra room. Hence the name: "Bonus Room".)

Here's what you need to know:
  • It functions as Oliver's play room and as our family room. It's more relaxed than the living room and we also have a *gasp* tv in this room. See the long, window-looking space on the right wall near the "D"? - those are built-ins and that's where the television is. (The floorplan is on a 1/4" = 1' scale, if anybody cares about that sort of thing.)
  • The door in the bottom left corner is the entrance to the room. The other door on the left is a short door which leads into Oliver's "clubhouse" which is a finished storage space in the eaves of the roof.
  • The bottom right section of the room is the space Ryan uses as his office. We're thinking we'll call that phase two. (It's not a huge rainy-day fund!)
  • The top of the floorplan faces East. It gets LOTS of light all day long through that window, which reaches from the floor to ceiling.
  • This is what the room looks like when it's empty. This would be your view as you walk into the room. Can you see a bit of the built-ins on the right?
  • We have already purchased some of the main furniture pieces. It's important for you to see these so you can get an idea of the style and color we're working with.
  • As you can see, the furniture that we've chosen is very neutral. This leaves the color palate wide open! (We know we'll likely want to change things up in a year or two, so we leave the commitment of color and pattern to the less expensive, more easily replaced things.)
  • I would LOVE your input now when it comes to colors. I'll show you a few color schemes that we're considering and you can either comment on those or suggest different color schemes altogether. You'll see in the images that we've included different accessories such as pillows, rugs, lamps, window treatments and wall art. None of this is set in stone. If you have good suggestion, please, pipe up! (pipe in? which is right?)
  • I think the only other thing to note is that we cannot paint the ceiling. As much as I'd love to let that play into the design, it's textured and we're not messing with it. (And, yes, I took the lampshade off the image of the dark orange room - the teal just wasn't working with the orange.)
That's all! Please, help us with our project! I'd love to hear suggestions and such!

In the words (and unmatchable voice) of Tim Gunn from Project Runway, "Designers, carry on!"

16 February 2009

I just wanted to take a second to thank you all for being so supportive and encouraging these past two weeks. Y'all have come at me from every angle with emails and comments and flowers and notes and unbelievably awesome meals. Can I share some photos of the flowers?

My friend Wendy drove all the way up from Spring Hill (30 minutes?) with her 5 small children (and in her third trimester with another!) to bring us dinner one night and these gorgeous potted tulips.

My friend Katy and her daughter Millie brought us ravioli that is to die for and these beautiful hydrangeas.
Ginny and her husband Matt kept Oliver for two days while I was in bed and not able to take care of him. Oliver LOVES to spend time with their kids Micah and Owen. We even got to eat spaghetti at their house Thursday night when we went to get O and take him home.

My (newly) pregnant friend Katie called me every night last week on her way home from teaching second grade to see how I was doing.

Oh, and Maryanne drove from Nashville to bring us some of the best homemade chicken noodle soup I've ever tasted!

Between the food, flowers, emails and kind comments, I have just felt so loved and encouraged and I want to tell you that I'm grateful for all of your friendships - even those of you I've never met. I thank God for all the ways he sends comfort - even if it's in the shape of ravioli!

I know this happened six days (and 650 hits) ago, but I'm just now picking myself up by my bootstraps and rejoining civilization. So, without any further delay, I'd like to extend a warm CONGRATULATIONS to

She was the 10,000th hit on my blog
and sent me this photo to prove it:

Christine actually confessed this morning in her "Not Me! Monday" post that she spent 20 precious, child-free minutes waiting patiently for the moment of glory. So glad to know that I have such hard core fans! Or, since Christine wins nearly all of my contests, one really hardcore fan. Thanks, Stine!

And, your prize? How about I send you that 1-year subscription to Martha Stewart Living that I've been promising for the last couple of weeks? :)

14 February 2009

My friend Susan emailed me this morning with this bit of scripture and these encouraging words from Charles Spurgeon.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 5:6-11)

It is a happy way of soothing sorrow when we can feel, "He cares for me." Christian, do not dishonor religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight that your Father would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden would be to Him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to

Lie passive in God's hands,
And know no will but His.

O child of suffering, be patient; God has not passed you over in His providence. He who is the feeder of sparrows will also furnish you with what you need. Do not sit in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses. There is One who cares for you. His eye is fixed on you, His heart beats with pity for your woe, and His omnipotent hand shall bring you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if you are one of His family, will bind up your wounds and heal your broken heart. Do not doubt His grace because of your tribulation, but believe that He loves you as much in seasons of trouble as in times of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would leave providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the cruse and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the famine, and you will do the same. If God cares for you, why do you need to care too? Can you trust Him for your soul and not for your body? He has never refused to bear your burdens; He has never fainted under their weight. Come, then, soul! Say good-bye to anxiety and leave all your concerns in the hand of a gracious God. ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Maybe these words were meant just for me today. But, I hope that they will also be an encouragement to some of you.

Leaving the providing to the God of providence!

12 February 2009

I know I just posted like 2 hours ago, but I'd like to take just a second to brag on my totally cool husband if I may.

And, I may.

He designs cool things for a living, but somehow it still occasionally catches me off guard when I see what he's doing and it looks so grown up and real. I still think of us as those kids in high school and college who wanted to grow up and be married some day. We imagined what it would be like to be adults and do grown up, important things. To me, we're still those kids. But sometimes I see us doing things that make me think maybe we're becoming those people. Usually it's when we're filing our taxes or battling with our health insurance companies or calculating how long Oliver's time-outs should last. But sometimes, it's when we do things and people take us seriously. We may actually be close to being adults here, folks!

This week Ryan has been working with a guy in town, creating his business identity (logo, etc.) and designing the packaging for a new product he's created (it's actually a really cool way to hang curtain rods without having to drill at all!). Ryan sent him three packaging concepts yesterday and when I saw them I was just so impressed.

Here they are:

Don't they look like something you'd see in a store? Turns out, you will - SOON!

I can't believe I'm married to a real, live grown-up! And, he's not bad to look at either! ;)

I never know how much is too much information. It's a fault of mine. A lot of times I think I share too much. When should I share that I'm pregnant? Should I share specifics about how the pregnancy is going? I always wondered about folks that keep their blog readers updated on the dilatation of their cervix - is that possibly too much information? Or not? I don't know.

Well, I have a bit of information as of last night. A new development, I suppose. I've debated about whether to share this or not since it is quite personal. I've concluded that I can trust you all, that is, those of you that I know read my blog. But, I don't choose to limit who reads my blog, so I'm really handing over this rather private information to the world.

I think the bottom line for me is that I know God is at work in my life; in both the mountain tops and in the valleys, He is there. And, it's important to acknowledge the valleys, because everyone experiences them and God is at work then just as He is in the highs of life.

I'm sometimes tempted to hide the things that might not reflect so well on Him, the things that don't make sense to me, and play up the things that I think are the most glorious. I sometimes forget that God is faithful to redeem every situation and that keeping the bad stuff to myself - the things that make we want to "protect God from scrutiny" - is really failing to glorify God in every situation. (To be honest, I'm embarrassed to even say that I've had those thoughts - but I'll tell you that I've always been very straightforward with you all on my blog. If you've read it, you know.)

That to say, I got a call from my midwife last night. She had finally gotten my ultrasound from last week and was actually able to explain a lot of what was happening.

From what she saw, I had what is called a blighted ovum. In medical terms, this means that there was very early embryonic death with continued development of the rest of the pregnancy (gestational sac, etc.). A blighted ovum is one type of miscarriage, but not the most common type.

In my case (if you care to stick with me on this), I generally have trouble in early pregnancy for two very specific reasons:

Extensive blood testing in December revealed that I have a couple of maternal genetic mutations (C677T and C198MF) which cause my blood to clot excessively and prevent proper implantation by a fetus in early pregnancy. (How we ever got Oliver, I'll never know. Thank you, Lord!) Fortunately, there is a simple fix for this, we think. I am to take a baby aspirin a day to thin my blood enough to support implantation. It is possible, though not certain that this lack of blood flow may have been what caused Evie to be so sick. (IMPORTANT NOTE: If anyone who has not been diagnosed with these MGM's treated themselves with baby aspirin during early pregnancy they would have the opposite effect and it would be very dangerous for their baby!)

Also, I have low progesterone levels and need to supplement with Prometrium (crazy pills) in my first trimester.

Here's where this all comes together. We have been very discouraged in this past week knowing that even after all these answers and ALL this medicine, I was still miscarrying AGAIN! I was, as you know, ready to throw my hands up and call Oliver an only child. But, (and we can look at this as glass half-empty or half-full) I lost this pregnancy well before any of this medicine could have helped.

Still with me?

Yes, this means that we have experienced pretty much every pregnancy problem under the sun (incompetent cervix, placenta previa and placental abrubtion excluded - Help us, Jesus!), but at least we still have a solution that can prevent some of them from happening again.

Make sense?

We're sad about this pregnancy. We are really disappointed and grieving. But, we are not as discouraged now as we initially were.

We know with confidence that God is the Great Physician, and, that He is the Creator and Giver of Life. With so many "medical solutions" swirling around us in this past year, it has been tempting to find ourselves leaning heavily on medicine to save us: "Yeah, God might help, but how about that progesterone?" But we know that, while medicine can and does help us, God has the final word.

We are not creators. We are not life-sustainers. We are trusting God to shape our family as he has each and every one of yours. And for that, we give Him the glory.

(I guess that wasn't so bad. Now you know about all my dirty little secrets and my maternal mutations. We can still be friends, right?)

10 February 2009

I have two important matters of business tonight.

Really, one serious thing and one sort of silly thing.

First, and really most importantly, I'm asking you all for prayer. The risky thing about announcing a pregnancy so that you all can pray is that when things go badly, I have to give you all the sad news. I know you have all been praying and rooting us on, and I've wanted to wait to say anything until I was sure, but we are now confident that this baby is no longer present with us on earth, but is now in the presence of God.

We've had a hard couple of days. God granted us the grace to get through the weekend with the adoption fundraiser, but by Sunday night and Monday we were pretty certain what was happening. I am so, so sad. And, to be honest, I have moments of being pretty angry too.

We're just not sure what direction God is leading our family right now. We're beginning to think that more biological children may not be in our future. This is a REALLY hard thing to swallow. And, we're trying to table that discussion at least until we give ourselves time to grieve this one child, rather than try to pile on grieving the dream of any more children.

We are weary. And, we have a couple of really difficult days ahead of us, both physically and emotionally. Please pray for our family. We are just so weary.

Well, now the second thing feels so stupid and insignificant. It seemed important earlier. I just wanted to tell you all that I am quickly approaching 10,000 hits on my blog. I wanted to invite you all to pay attention and, if you're the 10,000th visitor, take a screen shot. For Macs, it's apple+shift+3; for PCs I think you press the "print screen" button. (You may remember the time I tried to be the 3,000,000th hit on MckMama's blog?)

Anyhow, if you are the 10,000th visitor, and you can send me a screen shot, you win! Maybe you win a prize, maybe you just win the joy of winning. It depends on how my day is going, I guess. (Nothing like having a fickle game host!)

That's all, friends. The blog hit thing is fun, yes, but really do pray for our family this week when you think of us.