Friday, February 26, 2010
It takes two, baby; It takes two, baby...
To make a dream come true
Just takes two
One can have a dream, baby
Two can make that dream so real
One can talk about bein' in love
Two can say how it really feels
-Marvin Gaye, It Takes Two
That's right - our family has now gone from one baby to two! Luke McLean Foster was born Monday February 22, 2010 at 7:08 p.m. Even at nearly 2 weeks early, he was a good-size baby at 8 lbs 5 oz, and 21 inches long. His entry into the world was as smooth as a baby's birth could be - let me strongly recommend having children at 7 p.m. instead of 2 a.m.! (Let me also suggest that 8 lb babies are easier to deliver than 10 pounders. Just in case you wouldn't guess that yourself.)
Our hospital stay was thankfully short & sweet, and we headed home Wednesday evening. Luke is healthy as a newborn can be, with the exception of a hint of jaundice. I'm blaming his orange-y color on the fact that we referred to him as "Cheeze Doodle" for many months. I feel slightly guilty, then I can't help but laugh! At least he doesn't have carrot-top red hair. They briefly thought that his jaundice was high enough to require treatment, but the next test was much lower so we headed home with no special instructions beyond love him, enjoy him, and feed him.
Jay has been very excited about being a big brother. Every time he walks in the room, he says "See Baby Luke! See Baby Luke!" He wants to hold him and sit in our laps with him and hug him. It's very sweet. We're still working on using gentle touches, but he's trying. He tried to give him a fist bump, and it was a little overly enthusiastic, but no harm beyond a couple of tears.
It's impossible to describe how amazing it feels to be a family of four now. I was definitely sad about saying goodbye to the Foster threesome. I liked having both me and Derek put Jay to bed, or give him a bath. It was special time, and I'm glad that we had the chance to focus all of our energies on Jay. But for his sake, and for Luke's, I'm glad that they will have each other. I couldn't be happier.
Posted at 02:58PM Feb 26, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments
As the Mom of a 'few' boys myself, I can only say you will be the Queen in your household and a glorious and exciting spot to hold. And as the Mom of a 'few' boys, sometimes it is a spot to endure. LOL! Unless you are really crazy about mud in the house, fellas thinking farts are funny...etc.!
Luke is a beautiful baby and you all make a beautiful family.
Happiness and love your way,
Now excuse me while I break out my calculator for the math portion of this....not kidding! Sigh...
Posted by Susie Hoffman on February 26, 2010 at 03:19 PM EST #
Congratulations!!! I cannot wait to meet Luke! He's a handsome boy :) Once the Doyle Three get over these colds we'll head over!
Love Susie's comment about the math :)
Posted by Cara Doyle on February 26, 2010 at 05:09 PM EST #
I love how Luke has just gently slipped right into place into your now family of four. What a beautiful little addition! I can't wait to steal some cuddles. And I have a world of admiration for you, Jen. You make it look so easy even though I KNOW it's not.
Posted by Amy G. on February 26, 2010 at 08:46 PM EST #
I see so much McLean in Luke! What a beautiful addition to your family...can't wait to see you all!
Posted by Katrine on February 26, 2010 at 11:19 PM EST #
Jen and Derek,
What a good looking kid! I guess I will miss the opportunity to be his first babysitter. But I have dibs on teaching him (them) to drive!
(I just figured out why I have so many problems with getting my comments to post. It's that math test at the end)
Posted by Mike Perry (aka Uncle Mike) on February 27, 2010 at 10:02 AM EST #
Welcome Luke! Can't wait for you to meet your partner in crime, Preston!
Posted by Bethany Watkins on February 28, 2010 at 02:37 PM EST #
Welcome Luke! Congratulations, Jen & Derek! That was a funny post, too--it's hilarious that he has a hint of orange!
Posted by Brandi on February 28, 2010 at 09:03 PM EST #
Congratulations Foster family, and welcome to the world Luke! So glad that all went well and he arrived home safe and sound... Now we just have to figure out a time when we can drop by a little present to the newest little Prince!
Posted by Erin on February 28, 2010 at 10:33 PM EST #
Congratulations! He is so handsome!
Posted by Ginger on March 01, 2010 at 09:13 PM EST #
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmmmm .... I don't know
Well I've been afraid of changing
Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older, too.
-Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac), "Landslide"
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Jenny. She was a happy child, but she liked everything just the way it was. She was very afraid of change. She was scared to go to a new class at school, scared to move to a new house (even if it was in the same ZIP code!), afraid that if one little thing changed then her whole world would change. One day, her Appie (who worked at the DMV) brought home new license plates for her mommy and daddy. They didn't need new plates - they just needed new registration stickers. But still, somehow the plates ended up changing from LKD-13 to AXW-7946. (Clearly this is still a very vivid memory for her!) And poor Jenny cried. Like, fell apart crying. (Honestly, I can still remember fighting back tears over the license plate that was going to have to go away!) Change is always hard, but it was especially hard for little Jenny.
Fast forward about 25 years, and little Jenny is all growed up into big Jen. And while Jen can handle change better than Jenny ever could, she can still feel her chest tighten up when she starts to think about major life changes. Like, say, having a baby. Starting a new job. Watching her mom enter a new phase of cancer treatment.
Most of the time I post, I have an idea of what I want to say and find lyrics that work with that. This morning on the way to work, I heard this song (one of my all-time faves, I might add!) and it was exactly how I was feeling. Isn't music amazing like that? I'm really not sure how I'm going to navigate the changing ocean tides of my life. And it comes in waves, just like the ocean. One minute you're floating along, loving life with an adorable almost-2-year-old. The next minute, a tidal wave hits and he's pooping on the potty and talking about his little brother-to-be, Clifford. (Yes, Jay has really named the baby Clifford. And he's not letting it go, either.)
So, thank you to my friends, my family, my incredible husband for being my life raft. What would I do without you?
Posted at 08:35PM Feb 16, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments
Okay, Jen, I have no wisdom to offer about change. Scares the heck out of me, too. But I do know that you're well-equipped to handle it -- faith in God, loving family and friends who want to be there for you, and a terrific sense of humor. You'll be fine.
I can't wait until this little cheese doodle is born. I'm almost convinced now that he'll have reddish/orange-ish hair. Really -- cheese doodles are pretty orange. Clifford is a nice red-orange. (Okay, mostly red.) It'll be so funny if Jay gets the last laugh here. :)
Posted by Amy G. on February 16, 2010 at 11:35 PM EST #
I feel you in the change department! I used to get hives about one week before school started every September. You could've set your watch by it. But I always remember the words of the great Tracy Lawrence..."The only thing that stays the same is everything changes, everything changes.
Posted by Katrine on February 17, 2010 at 04:40 PM EST #
1. I wish I could offer some sort of wisdom on change,but it's tough for me, too. I like what Amy said.
2. I certainly understand music "speaking." I hear songs everyday that make me think about something specific and stick with me the whole day.
3. Did Jay poop on the potty??? (just some wishful thinking that you would only have 1 child in diapers! :))
Posted by Lisa on February 17, 2010 at 10:06 PM EST #
Ha ha, I remember you as Jenny! And I still remember my phone numbers from VA and NC that we had as a child, as well as a license plate of one of our stay-wags. :-) Anyway, I think you've done a great job adapting to, and bringing change into your life over the years. Heck, choosing to have a child, and then another one somewhat soon after, is probably the biggest voluntary change I can think of. And you've handled it wonderfully.
Lots of grace to you and your mom as she goes through treatment again!
Posted by Brandi on February 18, 2010 at 01:57 PM EST #
Isn't it funny how you can be grown up Jen and go to school and get a job and get married and have two babies and change everything inside your house and handle all of those changes, outwardly, with such confidence and strength, and then that little Jenny inside looks around and curls up in a ball and says in a tiny voice "How did all this happen??" What you were is always there, but what you have become is stronger, smarter, and with the help of all those around you, is ready to tackle the world. Because that is what we all have to do in the end.
Posted by laura on February 19, 2010 at 04:40 PM EST #
I always thought Jenny would grow up to be this beautiful, strong woman. Why? Because even though she was shy, and timid she also was beautiful and strong.
You always were both. Same young Jenny different sides of the coin. Flip sides are good at balancing us out. The beautiful strong part can remember what it is like to be shy and timid and afraid of change and help the shy,timid afraid of change part of ourselves deal with the changes in life. I so enjoy listening to all of you! That is why you are able to empathize so very well!
Posted by Susie Hoffman on February 20, 2010 at 12:41 AM EST #
Ok for a moment I thought you were describing Olivia. Liked Vanilla icecream 4-ever, liked Florida, liked her room and we move to Lafayette and we almost needed to take her to a therapist and she was only 2. It is nice to know Olivia has some Jenny in her too!
Posted by Robin on February 21, 2010 at 09:17 PM EST #
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Look at this photograph...
Every time I do it makes me laugh
How did our eyes get so red
and what the hell is on Joey's head?
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and maybe that's true. I'm still gonna be a big fan of the written word (see my post on why I don't like vlogs), but I do love photography and I love the way that a photo can capture a moment. Somehow I landed a gig as my high school's yearbook photographer, and it's a hobby that's stuck with me. This week's lecture on photo-sharing made me think about the different ways we can share pictures with others and how that has changed in the age of digital photography.
Back in the day, the only way to share pictures with others was to literally show them prints that you had, or to send them through the mail. I remember my mom ordering school pictures to share with distant aunts & uncles. It seemed so important because that's the only way they saw us growing up and changing. The published pictures in that high school yearbook serve as the only way those people and those events are captured in my mind now.
In college, a few friends began emailing digital pictures, but it was slow and you could only send a few at a time. Websites were predominantly text - today, pictures are such a part of the online landscape that it's hard to remember when websites had little or no photography. (Check out the NC State site from a mere 10 years ago! One single, lonely little static image. Compare that to today's current site with ~10 shots, some of which change every few days.)
Now, every time I log into Facebook, there are pictures of my friends at the Olympic games or playing with their families in the snow. They post pics from their camera phones while they are literally AT the event. It completely removes the time element, allowing me to see what they are doing around the world at that moment. Amazing. I have a friend who's a budding photo-nerd and she is working on posting a picture a day for the whole year on her blog. How do you measure a year? It truly is a different world, image-wise, than it was only a few short years ago.
My Sunday School class recently started a photo-sharing site on Shutterfly, and I think it's really a cool idea. Because several class members are teaching children's classes, we're not often able to get together as a group on Sunday mornings. The opportunity to share pictures with one another helps to keep us in touch even when we're not interacting with one another and helps to build our shared connection to one another.
So, what's your favorite way to see pictures?
Posted at 04:21PM Feb 14, 2010 by Jen Foster in General | Comments
Great blog. I love digital pictures in that I am not "wasting film" when I take them. Like in the old days when I would anticipate whether I got a "good shot." Also, that I can preview and keep clicking until I get one that I like. Speaking of viewing and sharing a picture rather quickly; I am emailing you the picture from last night's Luau!
Posted by lisa on February 14, 2010 at 07:52 PM EST #
I love the new Journey Class Shutterfly site, too! And MOST of the time I like the immediacy of Facebook uploads. However, like everything else online these days, it can become OVERLOAD. I need my Facebook friends to know that when you start posting shots of the TB test on your arm and/or a shot of your feet while you're peeing in a cup in the doctor's office, I will hide you as a friend faster than you can say "cheese." :)
Posted by Amy G. on February 14, 2010 at 08:01 PM EST #
I love the immediacy of being able to view and share pictures through blogs and FB. However, I don't feel like I do as good of job taking care of my digital photos as I did when I had "real" prints. I can take so many more pictures now that it's overwhelming to think about organizing them. Instead, I continue to collect them and simply ignore the need for organization and backing up. Probably not good in the long run.
Posted by Mindy on February 14, 2010 at 10:03 PM EST #
I love to look at photographs that have the serrated edges and the tipped holders pasted on black rectangular paper photo book. With flowers pressed on the pages of memories past. Ticket stubs from long ago, and family members that if looked at from far away have some similar looks of your siblings and you. I love the old black and white film from the 30's and 40's. The smell of poloroids tube of sealer or what ever it was that you were suppose to smear on the developed pictures after you pulled off the paper. But I am old school, and have pictures where I can touch and see family on my table everyday. My children, my Sisters, Brothers parents, nieces nephews and Great nephews...(no girls as yet on either side).
Posted by Robin on February 15, 2010 at 12:58 PM EST #
Lots of great points!
@Lisa and @Mindy - I wholeheartedly agree on both sides. (My old boss used to say "I feel very strongly about that - both ways.") Digital photography & ability to preview pics makes for easier sharing, but that easy sharing means much more volume to keep/sort ... hard to decide what's important! I took enough pics this weekend to fill Robin's whole black & white album!
@Amy - LOL! Because you're an in real life friend, I know that comment is based on real-life experience! Some photo sharing on social networking sites is just TMI. Way too much, in that situation.
Posted by Jen on February 15, 2010 at 02:14 PM EST #
I like putting my digital pics on a cd. I can create two, placing one in the bank box in case of fire. I also have scanned many old pics for the same purpose and put them on cd's for posterity. When I get in the mood for a good viewing, I pop in the cd of choice and reminisce to my hearts content!
I am in the habit of sending my digital favs I love to whatever site to develop for close and personal viewing. Then I share with my friends so they can Ohhhh and Awww to my hearts desire! I also love when they bring snaps of their loved ones.
Posted by Susie Hoffman on February 16, 2010 at 03:02 AM EST #
I post most of my pictures on picasa web albums, a few on my blogs, facebook and will print some to send to family members. Now, with the baby around we definitely print more pictures...must haves for the office, home, and grandparents!
I LOVE my dslr and really enjoy learning how to take pictures in manual mode. Digital is wonderful!
My dad recently gave me my grandfather's old Canon camera, along with a few lenses. Once I master my dslr I plan to go try my hand with the old school camera and film! I think both are equally exciting!
Posted by Cara on February 17, 2010 at 11:11 PM EST #
Speaking of pictures, I'll have the ones from your shower posted on FB soon!! Looking forward to tomorrow!!!
Posted by Bethany on February 20, 2010 at 10:20 PM EST #
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Because life is short but sweet for certain
We're climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change
-Dave Matthews Band, "Two Step"
Okay, I think I've used the song before. But it's the only one I could think of about being "short but sweet"!
Today's lesson: Twitter. Apparently, you either love it or you hate it, and I fall clearly into the hate it camp. I don't want to know what Taylor Swift is thinking about today in 140 characters or less. I don't give a hoot when you're riding on the train, sitting in the waiting room of your dentist's office, or going to the bathroom. I don't care about the tiny details of your day. But in the spirit of "Give it the ol' college try," I'm going to update you on my life, Twitter-style. Here are the updates, each in 140 characters or less:
Veggie of the week-ChzDoodle is now the length of a stalk of swiss chard. Anyone know what that is? RU sure we're not @ watermelon yet?!
Nursery STILL not finished. Built a dresser this week, crib still in pieces. Hang the jungle blanket, throw in a giraffe or 12, good 2 go!
Stretch marks this time? WTH? Ankles look like I have elephantitis & I'm exhausted every evening. Pregnancy is not for faint of heart.
J set my cell to speaker mode & now I can't turn it off. But he's having fun calling people-at least I can hear what they say to him!
Work is crazy right now - trying every day to leave things in a state that others could follow behind if baby comes early. Very hard to do!
Mom doing well w/ cancer treatments - chemo round 2 begins tomorrow. She's still in great spirits. Is that b/c she still has her hair?!
So, Twitter fans & experts - how did I do?
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Video killed the radio star...
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind, we've gone too far
-The Buggles, "Video Killed the Radio Star"
This week's topic - vlogging. Sounds like flogging, and frankly that's pretty much how I feel when being subject to the "talking head" style of blogging. Honestly, it just isn't my thing. (Neither is Twitter, though I admit I've caved in for the purposes of class!) I just can't see the value of talk blogging. Part of what I like about reading blogs and writing this one is the chance to think it out before putting fingers to keyboard, and the chance to skim through to the part(s) that interest you. With vlogging, it just seems like you'd have to watch the whole thing to get to the interesting part, and I don't have time for that.
Though I do admit that I recognize the visual power of video over still pics and, at least sometimes, over the written word. I think back to some of the old videos we took of Jay - where he's learning to roll over, where he's first starting to crawl. It seemed at the time that those memories would stay in my mind forever. Though when I look at them now, it seems so foreign - he's like another kid that I hardly know. For me, memories come in snapshot-style images, rather than video. Even the most significant times in my life are remembered in snippits rather than in a cohesive story.
For me, the written word can convey a tone, an emotion, what's going on inside far better than any video or still picture. So, while there may be room in my blog for more video clips of what's happening in my life, rest assured that you'll never see my mug reading these thoughts to you. It just ain't me.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
You keep me coming back for more...
Baby you're all that I want
When you're lyin' here in my arms
I'm finding it hard to believe
We're in heaven
-Bryan Adams, "Heaven" (Pulling out another cheesy 80's love song! You know you love it.)
So this week's first lecture was on blogging, how to develop readership, and keep people coming back for more. I must admit that I'm fascinated by the way that some blogs develop huge readership, while others that I think are really fantastic just don't catch on widely.
Dooce.com is a great example. This blog is written by a woman in Utah named Heather Armstrong, and the banner currently reads "Nine years of navel gazing." She's one of the A-listers of the mommy blog world, and I kid you not, her job ... the way she earns a living ... is writing that blog. Her blog gets enough traffic that advertisers PAY her (enough to live on, mind you! And to afford a freakin' nanny!) for ad space on her blog. What the bleep? She talks about how wonderful her kids are, she whines about how hard her life is, and she posts funny pictures of her dogs with strange things on their heads. I don't get it.
I love her blog - don't get me wrong. She's funny, she's personal, she's a good writer who can tell a good story and really make you feel like you're there. But what is it that makes her blog so popular she can live off of it?!
Early on when I was writing this blog, several people told me I should write a book. (I don't think they considered the fact that me becoming a writer would mean they'd have to pay to read said book. Pretty sure no one would pay for my ramblings!) I do love writing, but there's definitely a specific type of writing that keeps people coming back for more in the blogosphere.
Step 1 - write often. I really struggle with that. (Perhaps you noticed?) I come up with things I want to say, but then the moment passes and I've got dishes filling my sink and one wall that still needs sanding and painting and I'm late picking up Jay from daycare and I need to reply to just *one* more email from a student who's having a financial aid crisis and Mr. Potato head pieces are carpeting my living room and suddenly ... POOF! It's 10:30 at night and it's all I can do to crawl into bed. I want to be better about posting, but life just gets in the way. And yet, that life - that crazy chaos of my life - is what you want to read about.
So, thank you. Thank you for coming back for more and continuing to stick with me when I'm posting about grad school instead of telling you what vegetable the Cheeze Doodle is this week (crenshaw melon, if you're curious - no clue what that is.) Thank you for following along on my life's journey. I don't need enough readers to make money at this ... because I have you. You're my people, and having my peeps is what makes this whole life just a little less crazy.