Thursday, September 27, 2007

Who do I look like?

Who do you think I favor?

Dad & me

It's an amazing transformation, truly special to watch. A man one day, a father the next. Here are some pictures to illustrate the point:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Still completely speechless...

I still lack the words to tell you what I feel. Gus is AWESOME, SWEET, LOVELY, HEARTBREAKINGLY-BEAUTIFUL and ALL AROUND PERFECT.

So I let the pictures speak for themselves. By the way, we are taking it easy (sorry I'm lazy in returning any phone calls but I appreciate all the well wishes and congratulatory calls), we are napping plenty, working out our "schedules," and just enjoying this sweet time of ours.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A blessing in pictures

Augustus "Gus" Johan Dinkins is thriving and his Mommie and Dad are nicely adjusting to the new life of parenting. He has been nothing but a good baby so far.

Here are some pictures, we are way to busy adoring him to write very much at this time. Enjoy our bundle of blessings.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

He's here!

Introducing to the world!

Augustus "Gus" Johan Dinkins

7 lbs, 4 oz, 22 inches

Born Sept. 14, 12:30 p.m.

Everyone is healthy!

We are overjoyed!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yesterday...all my troubles seemed so far away...

OK that's a cheesy title for my little ditty about what happens when you tote a big belly around a small town filled with friendly, chatty Southerners ... but I like cliches, always have ...

This morning on my obligatory walk (I try to step with extra purpose now, mumbling encouraging words to my tardy son and praying for gravity to make an impression on him he can't refuse) I got the obligatory question that I inevitably have fielded over the past 3 or so months.

"So, when are you due?" The woman with a stroller, an adorable toddler and two dogs asks me.

"Hmm, yesterday" I say after a brief moment to knit together my brows and consider the appropriate response.

"Oh, well maybe today is the day," she cheerfully announces before telling me that I look "precious" and asking me more questions about his gender, status in family etc.

I walk away puzzled... saying "yesterday" to this question, makes me feel like I've overcome some major hurdle- it depends on the moment you ask me - if I'm feeling really good and cheery, I'll say it's good to have gotten this far and never had to worry once. If I just tried to tie my shoes or get up from a chair, I'm likely to say I feel like I'm scheduled for an overtime shift and no one asked me if I wanted to.

So today it's yesterday, tomorrow it'll be 2 days ago and so on ... I'm poised to be patient (not!)

C'mon Baby!

Come see our cottage!

It's done! In a little less than 2 months, Jacob and I (the former more than the latter) have managed to turn a grimy, grungy, spiderwebby backyard barn/toolshed into our "detached guest cottage".

The style is "salvage" and we are only done to the point of it being safe and snug for someone to sleep in. We still have to work out the color scheme for the walls, what type of flooring and various other smaller details, as well as accumulate some cast-off furniture to make it more homey. In a later phase we may add a small kitchen and even a partial bathroom to it.

or now it is spare but clean, bright, insulated and lit - check out our cans-become-light-fixtures-experiment.

The first visitors to stay here are Jacob's folks, who are on-call for whenever Bean decides to make an appearance. They are packed and looking forward to spending some time with us here...then the cottage will house Jacob's sister Leah, who is scheduled to come in October and help me get over my diaper-change anxiety, after her, it's going to be the home of my folks for a good month (we'll have to add some heat to it by then) ... and after that anyone is welcome to come and lay their weary head on these pillows. Just call us and we'll leave the canned lights on for you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Picturing Bean...

OK I admit it, I'm for the most part bored with this whole pregnancy thing at this point...I want to move on to the next chapter...only someone is tardy returning their "overdue" book ...

So this past weekend I cooked up another blog idea, in case I wouldn't have something more exciting to blog about...a CD of family pictures, lovingly arranged by Jacob's Mom and remastered by Jacob's cousin, Laura, gave me the idea...we had a good laugh through a nice dinner, sitting in front of the laptop and viewing pictures of Jacob and his sister Leah as little babies...

So I went and dug up my own "extensive" baby album - my Mom (and I'm the same way) who dutifully filled in all the blanks in writing in the album isn't much of a photographer nor big on selecting and arranging photos, so my entire baby album consists of 8 pages of glued in photos, after that they are simply packed away in the development studio's envelopes...but I found a shot that does my early beginnings justice.

There is no comparison, we were both HUGELY fetching babies as you can easily see! Jacob's about 3-month-old in this shot (check out the bib on his jumper, he once dressed cute too) and I must be about 6 or 7 months old in mine (since I can sit up and refused to lie down on a furry piece of carpet as the studio photographer had imagined).

So what will it be? Blue eyes, button nose, high forehead, droopy jaw, hair or no hair?



Today is D-day! I went for a walk at 6:30 and watched a city worker lower the flag to half-mast...he nodded and smiled at me while I walked by...I smiled back and looked up...poignant moment...if Bean were born today...flags would always be at half-mast on his birthday...yesterday I met a woman at the postoffice whose birthday is today...I told her I would take it as a hopeful omen...she said she had always loved her birthday because the season is so beautiful and that in the past six years, she's made due by making it a day that signifies humankinds' preserverance in the face of adversity...I liked that.

I still feel like an overdue library book though...just sitting around collecting late fees...

And if you know me, you know that I abhore things overdue or late...until I met Jacob I never had a late fee on a library item (he is a bad influence on me in that regard), and I've always been obsessive about paying bills on time...another lesson I'm selected to learn here, I guess. I'm not in control and I have to draw on God's grace to turn my anxiety and impatience into something more constructive with these precious last days (or weeks?)...

So yesterday, I went and picked 5 lbs of raspberries at my new favorite place in Brevard, the Queen's Berry & Produce Farm, a 12-acre plot of homegrown, organic goodness that is run by sweet Mr. Queens, who wears old denim overalls and a John Deere baseball hat and looks about as authentic as one can. (I took all these beautiful pictures of my harvest and him, but I accidentially erased them this morning while wrestling with my you just have to use your imagination...)

He offered me a ride on the tractor, if the picking "don't move things right quick" he is a funny old man. I might go back and pick more just because the 2 hours I spent in the aromatic and tranquil berry hedges were so inspiring and lovely. I started to imagine a children's book based on this experience...along the lines of all the lesson one can learn while picking sweet berries...

So now we're really just waiting. Jacob's resorting to putting his hand on my belly and "commanding" Bean to be born...he is ready, it's very apparent now...and so am I.

Baby c'mon!

Friday, September 7, 2007

A testy visitor

Jacob discovered this guy hanging out on one of our porch's railguards this morning - it's a Praying Mantis - a beautiful specimen, at least as long as my hand, and absolutely fearless. He would turn his head, pin you with his pupils and get all blistery with brandished claws and fluffed up wings when Jacob got too close.
He hung around for a good portion of the morning before flying off to some other place, likely in search of a mate - despite his questionable manners we enjoyed his visit!

A little piece of paradise

The roots keep growing...yesterday I discovered (armed with a friend's directions) a little piece of heaven right here in Brevard. It's the Queens Berry & Produce Farm, a U-pick or U-buy all-organic 12-acre farm. I spent a relaxing 30-minutes in the late afternoon sun, picking luscious raspberries and splurged on some flowers, okra and new sweet potatoes...Jacob loved his dinner last night...I loved knowing I have found another reason to love this town...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A few of our favorite things..

In the past couple of weeks I've been circling around the odd BEFORE/AFTER twilight zone that I find myself caught in - from expiration dates on milk cartons to movie release dates - everything seems to treat the near future with a level of casualness that I can't stand- after all our immediate future will be nothing remotely resembling life-as-usual.

This morning Jacob mentioned that he is ready to be a Dad. We went to the doctor (nothing new to report, we're all healthy and continuing the co-habitation set-up for a little while longer) and then visited the hospital one more timeto have a look around (nice cafeteria and cable!!!) and to make sure we can find the birthing center when things will seem slightly more urgent. So now we both feel like we got all checks done on our to-do list.

I guess...Bean, if you can sense this somehow, we are ready whenever you are...sooner better than later...

We also have a nearly perfect weekend to back us up. We took the holiday 3-day weekend off and spent it together non-stop with no real schedule or to-dos haunting us. Here are some of the things we did, that I will try to think off, when things get hard, painful or seemingly unbearable...

- Ride our bikes to the paintstore, buy paint and give the hallway a good dose of mocha-colored umph - me rolling, Jacob doing the trim painting

- Go for a leisurely walk through town and harvest peas in our garden plot, mourn the premature death of several watermelons at the claws of some toothy creature

- Make pizza from scratch together and then camp out in front of the oven because we're so famished

- Eat aforesaid pizza in bed, watching Netflix (House MD. or Scrubs or Extras) on the laptop

- Go to church, sing our hearts out and worship from the heart

- Make biscuits in the morning and eat them with jelly, molasses and honey while listening to NPR

- Have a great "Kodak-worthy" catching moment at Ultimate Fresbee (and me actually witnessing it from the sideline)

- Invite ourselves over to the home of friends with a dish to watch the U.S. Open, eat dinner and laugh and talk

- Ride our bikes home late at night when it's dark with nary a traffic light on to light the way

- Have a "design pow-wow" in the guest cottage and then drive to Lowe's for research on cheap building materials that will give us the most bang for the buck.

- Working alongside on the guest cottage, with me operating the really big nailgun, the sander, and even the chop saw!

- Walking to town to watch Jacob play our friend Heather in a friendly match of tennis in the early morning cool

- Shelling peas on the porch swing and talking about a new venture we want to get into (well, Jacob more than me, but then again, he will always be the braver of the two when it comes to spending money to make money)

- Eating a Hungry Man-sized dinner after a good day's work, including a bowl full of garden-fresh peas

- Finish up the last set of baby bootees and hat (Bean's going to be a well accessorized babe) while Jacob plays the banjo

Yep, this is all way to tranquil and wonderful, we need some excitement!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Have you seen my beach ball?

"Yes, I saw it, seized it and swallowed it...I don't know what came over me..."
People stop me on the street, grocery store, post office or any other place these days to ask me when I'm "about to pop" and I embarassed one girl whom I overheard saying "man, she is so pregnant" by smiling big at her as I crossed the road in front of her and shouting to her that, yes, I indeed was less than 10 days from my due date... I'm having a good time with this late pregnancy thing...I realize that at 5"1' I lack any proportions at this point and simply look like I'm going to fall over on my face...
Bean is big, and very active, lots of knee scraping against my ribs, head-banging against my pubic bone and other lively pertusion shows as the day goes by. We are back at the doctor's tomorrow morning, so we'll see what he says as our 39th week of pregnancy comes to a close...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Strollin' along in style, yeah baby!

I'm so excited about this stroller that my parents have purchased for us! Have a look. It can do almost anything short of taking itself (and the baby) for a walk and comes with so many add-ons (and still promised to fold up into an envelope) that you begin to think of one of those know the ones that have a pool on the roof and fold out both ways...

It has disc brakes, comes with a rear-facing baby bassinette and a button-in jogging stroller seat with a five-point harness and safety collar for later, has so many zippers you can zip it up or down against any weather condition prevailing and has storage galore, weighs next to nothing thanks to some high-tech mix of aloy and carbon and even has an adjustable handlebar (really important when Mom & Dad don't operate in the same hemisphere). Oh and it's fully shocked and has air-inflated tires - the front one can be removed and replaced with an add-on that makes it a burly for the bike...

Anyway before I get all carried away in it, this marvel of European style and technology (think Volvo and/or Saab of strollers) is a TFK (Technology for Kids) Joggster III and pretty much the coolest stroller on the sidewalks of Europe. I can't wait to go for walks with our Bean and later for some trots and runs around town...we'll be making quite the oh-la-la statement here in Brevard...

By the way that's my parents living room and my Mom talking on the phone (with me) while my Dad takes the snapshots of the supermodel of all strollers...they've put it together and parked it in their living room and it's even been out for a test stroll (can you tell they are excited grandparents?)
It's coming with them to the States in October. We'll be in seasonally-sensitive orange just in time for Halloween!

Now all we need is a baby - 7 days to go...

Pregnancy Week 39

This from

Your Body Although your tummy is larger than you could have imagined, you may actually feel more comfortable in your body than you have in a while. That’s because your baby has dropped further down into your pelvis, relieving additional pressure. This change has also caused your center of gravity to shift suddenly, so you may lose your balance more easily or have difficulty standing upright, particularly when getting out of a chair. Take extra care of yourself – you have a baby to deliver very soon!

If you’re not in labor at this very moment, you will be soon! And as anxious as you are to meet your little angel, he is just as excited to enter the world. Your Baby: Even at this late stage, your baby is still growing, now to around 7 pounds (3.5 kg) and 22 (56 cm) inches. All of baby's organs (except the lungs) are fully developed, along with toenails, fingernails, and muscles in his arms and legs. At this point, babies can become entangled in their umbilical cords. If this should happen, don't worry. In most cases it’s not dangerous. And contrary to rumor, it’s not caused by anything you did.

From me:
I still feel really good. I sleep relatively well and still manage to excercise three or four times a week and just generally stay on my feet a lot, BUT I do feel like I'm bursting at the Doctor says he is still high and my rib cage would agree with that...certain days it feels like he is symoultaneously pummeling my ribs and head-banging against my pubic bone, if I'm in public I try hard not to let it make me flinch too much, but it can make my eyes water..
Breathing too has changed...riding my bike home from work, up a slight hill, I will get so winded I want to sag off the saddle and just get him to release his fists from around my lungs (which is where I'm convinced they are)

But I am excited and that helps with all that...and the discomfort has been very negotiable compared with all the sweet big moves that he entertains me with these days...