Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pictures from Christmas

More up on my picasa: http://picasaweb.google.com/Jennifer.M.Vawter

Christmas Eve, getting ready for Church at Grandma & Grandpa's

First Christmas morning

Santa brought me an orange!

So excited it is finally Christmas!

The whirlwind that is our life!

Whew! We are busy! Here is a little snippet of what has been going on:

24th: Christmas at my parents house! We all made out like bandits! Lots of fun, especially our "minute to win it" competition. The whole family made it to the Christmas Eve service at mom and dad's church, very awesome. I also walked over to my parents neighbor's house to be interviewed and then hired (for free, she will be my first client) as her doula!!! She is due in a month!

25th: We had Christmas morning with our own little family. Keanan loved his duplo train set from Santa =) Zac's family joined us in the late morning for presents and lunch. Later we went over to Jess and Casey's for dinner.

26th: Relaxing morning. Headed to Ann and Brian's for our first annual Lathrop Cousin Reunion Party. Good times, half of the cousins were able to come (there are 12 of us) on pretty short notice.

27th: Amanda came over to watch the kids and I made my way in to town (Yelm) to meet up with another doula! I also stopped at the store and bought much of the items that I needed for my doula bag (thank you Christmas money!)

28th: (Today) Planning to take down the tree and get the house ready for our small group game night tonight (here)!

29th: The kids and I are going to Graham to meet up with Auntie Ann, the girls, and Grandma for some after Christmas shopping. In the evening Grandma is watching the kids while I have my first prenatal appointment with my first client!

30th: Ladies bible study in the morning here. Dinner with friends in the evening.

31st: Prenatal appointment with my second client in the morning. Party at firends house in the evening.

1st: Max and Kylene's wedding!

2nd: Church in the morning. Friends here for dinner in the evening.


Next month also holds some doula meetings, belly dancing class (!!), my 40 hour doula training, a trip to Mossyrock, and the start of teaching the toddler class at our church. Whew! Lots of stuff, but lots of fun!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A week of Baby Jesus!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!This wonderful week of Christmas we have been learning about Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus! Keanan colored a picture of the nativity with Miss Amanda, we checked about books from the library about Baby Jesus, and we made a stand-up version of Mary holding Baby Jesus. We have been reading a kids version of Luke 2 every day and Keanan can answer questions about it. We have also been singing our Advent song and Keanan can sing all 4 verses (hope, peace, joy, and love) almost all by himself!

Today we made reindeer out of a foot print and hand prints. They are super cute! Kyla did one too!House is clean, food is ready. My agenda for this evening is to wrap presents and make cookies for Santa! Bring on Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent Services - Complete!

We have had so much fun the last 4 weeks helping with the Advent services at our church. These were completely planned and put on by our amazing small group. (picture to come)

Last night was our last service. We focused on Mary and Joseph this week, complete with "Mary" singing Breath of Heaven (super awesome job Jamie!). We also lit all the advent candles and shared in communion. Just the thing to really prepare our hearts for Christmas day.

Thank you to all of our wonderful friends that made each week come together so beautifully. Next up...Lent?? =)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A week of Wise Men

This week we had fun learning about the wise men! Keanan colored a picture of them, made a cool 3D star, and checked out books at the library about the three kings. We read the bible story of the wise men almost everyday. Yesterday Keanan took some play money and told me "this is my gift." I asked him what gift? He responded, "For baby Jesus." So we put it next to baby Jesus in our nativity. He is listening! It really touched my heart =)

Yesterday we hosted a Christmas playgroup for our friends. There were 7 little ones all over the place, and poor Kyla was the only girl! We had lots of fun and everyone made Christmas trees! This was Kyla's first craft! I will definitely be keeping this one =)

Friday, December 17, 2010


We have had a very busy week, and a very busy week to come. But in the midst of it all, I am not stressed, not even a little bit! This is quite strange for me, I tend to err on the side of the perfectionist, especially when it is people coming to my house. During the Christmas season there are so many extra things to do, to buy, to make... many find themselves weary instead of cheery. But not this year. What is different?

This year we have put much, if not all, of our focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Jesus. We have been very intentional in telling the Christmas story to Keanan almost every day. Talking about angels, shepherds, wise man, and next week Joseph and Mary. Lighting the advent candles and singing about hope, peace, joy and next week love. Attending advent services each week put on by our small group. We are only buying gifts for the kids on both sides of our family, and very meaningful ones for our parents. Our kids only get one present from Santa, and one from us. We are making Christmas all about Jesus.

The result? Peace! I am almost in tears right now just thinking about the great flood of peace that has come over my life. Among all the parties, dinners, and activities of the season. I praise God for his peace. Peace that came into this world with the birth of a very special baby. Peace that surpasses all understanding.

I pray that this focus continues every year. I pray that you and your family experience God's amazing peace. Here is a quote from a devotional that I get my email that sums it up:

"If we are intentional we can suspend the season for a flickering moment; discovering Christ in the chaos and experiencing a holy hush among the hustle. Then, when the last strand of lights is taken down and the fruitcake is finished, we can look back on a Christmas season that was blessed, not stressed!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

A week of Shepherds

We spent last week talking about shepherds! Keanan colored a picture of shepherds, made a shepherd out of a toilet paper roll, and we read books about shepherds from the library. We also had fun making a hand print wreath with Lucy.

The week was a little crazy with Zac being gone in Chicago, but we made it. It helped that we spent 4 days and 2 night at my parents house! I am very glad he is home now.

We also had a busy and fun weekend: a party at the Johnson's on Saturday, church and my parents over for dinner on Sunday. I feel like I am getting caught up, and now we have a REALLY busy week this week (but lots of fun)! Tis the season...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Zac in Chicago

If you don't follow Zac's blog, One Leg Man, One Leg Machine, you should this week. He is doing some really neat stuff in prosthetic research. Here is his post from today: Hi-tech leg fun

Friday, December 3, 2010

A week of Angels

We are taking a break from the letters of the week this season to focus on Christmas! In keeping with the Advent services that our small group is hosting (each Tuesday 7pm at Crossroads Central in Yelm), this week we focused on Angels. Keanan colored a picture of an angel, we made an angel out of a toilet paper roll, and checked out some really cute angel books from the library. Each day we are also reading a version of the Christmas story that focuses on the angels. For good measure we also made a snowflake snowman =)

The kids and I have been suffering from colds this week, however they seem much better this morning. Even with the plugged up noses everyone has been sleeping well, even Kyla! It only took close to 10 months, yikes!

Zac leaves for Chicago tomorrow morning for a week. He is going to help the research team that is developing a leg that uses the amputees re-intervated nerves. He is super excited! I am excited for him too, but not that he will be gone for a week. Off to Grandma's house we will go =)

Happy first week of Advent!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Birth House - a review

This evening I had the opportunity to tour the Birth House in Olympia with my first doula client. If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional hospital birth setting, this may be the place for you!

The Birth House is the only freestanding birth center in the Olympia area, the closest being the Birthing Inn in Tacoma. It is also the office of Around the Circle Midwifery whose two midwives are currently the only ones practicing at the Birth House, however other midwives from the area are in the process of getting the needed licenses to use the center. The Birth House has been operational since the spring of 2010 and has been used for about 50 births.

The front of the building is a beautiful 100 year old house and the office space for the midwifery practice. The birth center is actual housed in an addition to the original building, joined by a kitchen. The woodwork is very beautiful and the atmosphere calm and cozy. There are 2 birthing rooms, both the same size, but with different decor to make them unique. The rooms have vaulted ceilings with recessed lighting, a large bed, a large jacuzzi tub, a changing table, a bassinet, a little balcony for fresh air, and an attached private bathroom. They are very beautiful, relaxing, clean, and inviting.

While in labor, one of the midwives is in the building at all times. Moms can have as many or as few support persons as she wishes. During the actual birth the midwife is accompanied by an assistant. The midwife I was talking to this evening told me that about 90% of their births are water births. After the birth the new family is able to stay in the room for up to 6 hours. The midwife will then visit them in their home the next day.

The Birth House is just 2 miles from St. Peter's hospital, just in case a transfer is needed. However, I asked the midwife this evening how many transfers they have had so far and in the 50 births at the center there have been no maternal transfers. The US rate for birth center transfers is 8-12%, so they are doing pretty good so far. They have had 2 infant transfers, just for some minor concerns that needed observation.

There are currently only 3 licensed midwives (not certified nurse midwives that deliver at the hospital) servicing the Olympia area at this time, so if you are thinking about delivering at the Birth House you need to contact them as soon as possible. Each midwife only takes about 5 clients a month, so they book up fast.

Overall, I was very impressed. If I was going to have another baby, I would go here. They are very pro-doula as well, which is a bonus in my book! =)