Friday, October 07, 2011

to the pond

She seems to like to be outside.... or maybe she senses that I like to be outside, how calm I am when outdoors, and it calms her also. Who knows? Either way, here are some shots from our trips to our little neighborhood pond.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


you produce enough moisture to coat your eyes
to ensure lids and eyes work in concert to view this new world

you cry with enough volume to pierce my ears
even resonating with other matter at times; did you know you can make stuff vibrate just by causing your own vocal folds to vibrate?

you have many different cries by now, even though you have only been here for six short weeks.
your adorable hungry cry makes me laugh, and i'm sure you don't think that is funny at all.
but your "i'm in pain" cry makes me hurt, physically hurt.

and i'm so glad that you produce enough moisture to coat your eyes
but you are not yet mature enough to produce tears.
i don't know how my heart will handle it when they arrive.
i'm already producing the tears for you.

some happy moments in parenting

It has been a pretty rough road with breastfeeding issues, gastrointestinal problems, etc. And Brent has hardly been around... not because he hasn't wanted to be of course, but between work and school and guard duty, he has not been home much at all.
So, I've needed some happy moments in parenting.
And today I received some.
The first moment occurred this afternoon. My beautiful daughter was made even more beautiful when she offered her first social smile to me. Wow. It took my breath away. A real smile, not in response to gas or in her sleep, lasting more than a second or two. It lit up her eyes, she held it for a bit. Wow. I can't wait to photograph it for you, it is truly beautiful.
The second moment occured on our ride home. She was in the back seat by herself, and began to cry.... and we still had a good 10 minutes or so to go. I was singing to her songs from the radio, talking to her, nothing seemed to work. Then I began to sing one of the songs I sing to her every night, "Baby Mine." She immediately calmed. Wow. To know that she recognizes a song I sing to her every night, that it is comforting to her, even at this early age.... I felt like a total hero.
I really needed today.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

that arm must be free

Here is a picture of Lenorah in a nightgown, sleeping peacefully on her Dad. No, it is not intended to be an off-the-shoulder garment. But she MUST have at least one of her arms free at all times - when clothes are in her way, this is her solution. When a good swaddle impedes the freedom, believe us, she will fight and scream to free it.
I love that she already has a mind of her own.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

my love song for Lenorah Hope

"To Make You Feel My Love"

When the rain is blowing in your face,
And the whole world is on your case,
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I'd go hungry, I'd go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
Though winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain't seen nothing like me yet

Make you happy, Make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love, To make you feel my love

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Too cute

It is amazing how much time we can spend staring at the beautiful faces of innocent little babies.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Light and Hope

Lenorah Hope Richardson decided to arrive on August the 10th.

She gave us quite a scare - and that is an understatement, as I still start to shake when I think of the events of the afternoon - but she is here safe and sound.

She tried to come naturally, but something stopped her. Everytime I had long intense contractions, her heart rate would drop drastically..... even off the grid for nearly 5 minutes.

Terror. Desperation. That is what I knew in those moments. And Brent's eyes. And prayer.

She stabilized. Then it happened again. She stabilized. Then it happened again.

Five minutes later, I was on the table receiving an emergency C-section. And the doctor says "No wonder!" And Brent goes away. And I hear a cry. Finally.

It ends up her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times. And when I would have a contraction and she would descend, it was choking her. Hence the "No wonder!"

But she is here. And she is wonderful and beautiful. And she has brought more light into our world. And she is everything we had hoped for.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Bitter and Sweet

"Life at best is bittersweet." ~Jack Kirby

I was not sure what today would bring. I approached it with no small amount of disquiet, as the combination of bitter and sweet and pregnancy hormones did not seem very promising for a successful work day. Today my heart was focused on one we lost a year ago today, one we never got to meet..... while also eagerly awaiting the one very soon to arrive. How to deal with such conflicting emotions?

The day was quite distracting, so that certainly helped.... and I know two people in particular were sending special prayers my way.... and I work with amazing people.... and I have a husband who is God-sent. Still, the distractions and the workload were not enough. During the time that I did have to reflect, I thought of all of the things we take for granted, the little miracles that happen everyday and thus seem so commonplace. Until, boom, something stops the miracle in its tracks.

And I don't want to take things for granted, especially this child of ours. Who knows what the future holds? Who knows how long we will have each other? Certainly not me. So, I need to cherish each day, as if there were no more days.

This is not a new life blueprint.....quotes abound about this topic, movies and songs too. But sometimes it takes the combination of bitter and sweet for it to really be understood.

So, I sit here, writing to no one, writing cathartically, with Baby Girl moving around, getting herself positioned for entry into this world, and I thank her for every movement, every painful twinge, every late night and early morning bathroom break, every stretch mark.... for I am so glad for the opportunity to be part of this little miracle.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." ~Eric Hoffer

I remember a song from one of my favorite movies, "White Christmas" - "When I'm worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep...." When I count my blessings of late, they just go on and on and on. And probably they always did, but maybe I just notice them more now? Perhaps an advantage of more years behind me, more perspective.... who knows....

Career, friends, money, spiritual, health/physical, gifts, family, etc.... Blessings abound in all of these areas. And it is so overwhelming. Who am I, who are we, to deserve such goodness? And the outpouring of love, gifts, thoughtfulness, time, travel, etc., from those in our lives is so very humbling. Who am I, who are we, to deserve such goodness?

My first instinct is to figure out how to repay it. But I'm learning about the beauty of love and generosity...... When we give it to others, it is not something that we expect back, but something that is given because it is right to do so and/or it is needed. Along with that, we are also learning that it is not something you have to instantly repay with something tangible, but rather something that you should vow to do everyday, a way of life.

A life of love and generosity. What could be better?

We are so excited for our little girl to arrive. And so happy that she is already surrounded by love and thoughtfulness. How lucky and blessed she is already.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

stubborn little girl

So, we had another appointment to see Little Girl yesterday. But she wouldn't let us see her very well. No matter what the ultrasound tech tried to do, she wanted to stay curled up in a little ball, knee to nose. We did get another very clear picture confirming that we are indeed having a girl. And after much deep and uncomfortable poking and prodding, we were finally able to visualize all parts of the heart (unlike the last appointment), and her heart looks great.

So, as Little Girl continued to be uncooperative, the tech asked us who she gets this stubborn streak from. Brent and I said, simultaneously:
Me: "Me"
Brent: "Her"

The tech laughed, saying that most of the time couples try to pawn the stubborness off onto their spouse. But I'm not afraid to admit it.... and Brent isn't afraid to point the finger because we both know it is the truth ;-)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Nomenclature (noun): name, designation; the act or process or an instance of naming…

Many of you have been asking about names, and we wanted to make sure we fulfill your requests. So, here are our top names, in no particular order. All have some special meaning to us and are just very very beautiful.

Abilene (nickname “Abby”; named after our fondly remembered 12 hour drives through the flat nondescript infinite landscape of Texas)

Aoleon (unfortunately often mispronounced, but still a top contender; possible nickname “Leon”; Brent likes the tomboy-ish nicknames)

Rozaysha (more popularly spelled as “Rosacea”; we went back and forth between Rosacea and Edema, and finally decided upon the former)

Aluminum (this one has special family significance, just ask Susan [mother-in-law] or Brent; nickname “Al” or “Lumi”)

Chavalita (the name with the most profound meaning of them all, means "little girl" in Spanish. Very deep and profound. We are particularly proud of this name option.)

We don't know what the middle name will be, but it will probably start with the letter "i". Given the abundance of first name options beginning with "a", her initials are likely to be "A I R", which we think is absolutely fabulous. We can then encourage her to live by the Air Jordan slogans "I believe I can fly" and "Become legendary" in accordance with her initials. This will be great! How many children do you know that have their own slogans?!?

(As a side note, our #6 name choice, which could still make it back into the top 5, is the name "Facetious".)

We hope you love the names as much as we do!

Jess and Brent

Thursday, April 07, 2011

the cat is out of the bag

So, it is harder and harder to keep it quiet, and we've decided to finally inform the masses. We had a wonderful appointment with our doctors yesterday, and were able to see clearly that we are the parents of a seemingly healthy and normal baby girl. We couldn't be more excited. Here is her close-up: