Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Doodles

Early this morning, I finally finished wrapping Christmas presents. So while I still had some time to myself, I drew a caricature of my precious little one.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Night on the Town

Last night, December 18th, we went to St. Mark's church and enjoyed a live performance of Handel's Messiah hosted by the Dallas Bach Society. It was magnificent. I think Maddy had a good time. I know I did. Thanks honey for a wonderful evening. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One Month Check-Up

On the 12th of December, Maddy had her one month check-up with her pediatrician. I am happy to say she is doing well. She now weighs 10 lbs. 3 oz. and measures 21 inches long. The doctor said she is in the 75% range for her age.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

One Month Old

It's hard to believe that little Madeline is one month old. To me, it seems as though she's only been with us now for just a couple of seconds. I've loved every moment with her. She is such a blessing.

Some milestones include the following:
She has better control of her head. She can perform tiny push-ups during tummy time. Yesterday, I witnessed her first smile that was not gas related. Her eyesight has improved.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two Weeks Old

It's hard to believe, but Maddy is two weeks old today. Things are going really well. I must add that the visit with the lactation consultant was an absolute life saver. Turns out Maddy gets a little frustrated and likes to bite. Happily that is no longer a problem.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time for exercise

Tonight, we got down on the rug and had some play time. Little Maddy did so well on her tummy exercises, building strength in those neck muscles. Most of the rest was just looking and smiling and tickling, in between her kick, jabs, and uppercuts.

Below, is some video of Madeline being tickled.

One Week Old

On November 15, Maddy turned one week old. Here she is all decked out and ready to hit the town. We were out for about six hours at the Fort Worth Diocesan Convention (a historic moment you may read about on my husband's blog) and I have to say that for Mommy, it was a real challenge. But as each day passes, things are starting to fall into place and, thankfully, getting easier. As far as pediatrician visits go, Maddy has been doing well. She lost a little weight, but has been steadily gaining about an ounce a day. She went from 9 lbs 1.5 oz to 8 lbs 3 oz the first few days. This Monday she weighed 8 lbs 14 oz. Mommy was very relieved.

I've been breastfeeding little Maddy and sometimes I have some trouble with her slipping down on my nipple which in turn makes mommy's nipples very sore. We have an appointment with a lactation consultant tomorrow to work on that problem. So wish us luck. In the meantime, baskets of kisses to you.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All Tuckered Out

Since last Friday, things have seemed to pass by in a blur. Poor Maddy is all tuckered out from teaching me how to be a parent. I am happy to say she has not given up on me. Thanks little one.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today is someone's birthday

Madeline Grace Matkin was born on the 8th of November, 2008. At birth, she was 19.5 inches long and weighed 9 lbs, 1.5 oz. She has blond hair and blue eyes, and her parents are very happy.

And here's the moment we'd all been waiting for...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Some Practice

This adorable duo is Fr. Matkin (my husband) and his godson George (9 months old). My husband is singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and George is positively fascinated. We had the privilege of babysitting him while his parents closed on their new home. George is at that age where he is really connecting with people and learning so much. We just love him to pieces.

The picture above and below is my husband and I with one-month-old Bennett. I had the honor of babysitting while his mommy was busy. Oh what a sweet little lamb! We got to have breakfast, some stories, and then we went outside and enjoyed the trees and soft breeze. In no time, he was snoozing. Just holding this little angel in my arms felt wonderful. My mommy hormones were in high gear and it was amazing.
So thanks to our friends' children, we are getting some much-needed practice under our belts before our daughter Maddy is born. Thank goodness, because I've never been around children before. So any experience is deeply appreciated. I mean there is only so much one can learn from reading books about parenting.

I am 33 weeks pregnant in this picture. My big belly was perfect for Bennett to rest on.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The baby shower for Madeline was this afternoon. I snapped the picture above AFTER I started unloading the car. Thank you to everyone who came and to all of you who have given us gifts. Your generosity is so appreciated. A special thanks to the Kresowatys for hosting the event in their home and a special shout-out to the kind ladies who hosted the party: Lynn Kresowaty, Sharon Fielder, Pat Sparks, Anna Sparkman, Becky Brown, Jody Gittiban, Rita Thornton, Keith Allen, and Hilde Williams.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Calculate duration between two dates – results or How much time is left until the birth of our daughter.

Duration calculation results

From and including: Monday, August 25, 2008
To, but not including : Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It is 86 days from the start date to the end date, but not including the end date

Or 2 months, 25 days excluding the end date

Alternative time units

86 days can be converted to one of these units:
  • 7,430,400 seconds
  • 123,840 minutes
  • 2064 hours
  • 12 weeks (rounded down)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Baby & I Listen To

At the moment, Maddy and I listening to The Beatles "Yellow Submarine." It is one of my all time favorite albums and movie (in fact, Peter Max's style for the movie has had a major impact on my artwork most of my life). At any rate, I've been working on finding a pediatrician for our baby while listening to The Beatles. I sure hope Maddy likes The Beatles because I'm always listening to them. However, I'll wait until she is older before I expose her to "The White Album."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Her little beating heart

The pictures above and below are sonograms of Madeline at 22 weeks. And now for a special audio treat, click here to listen to the sound of her heartbeat at 24 weeks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Her name's sake

Our daughter's name Madeline is an Anglicized form of "Magdalene," and since yesterday was the feast of S. Mary Magdalene, I thought I'd post some information about her from the OCA website. (Contrary to what you may have heard recently, she was not our Lord's wife or girlfriend.)

The Holy Myrrh-Bearer Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene. On the banks of Lake Genesareth (Galilee), between the cities of Capharnum and Tiberias, was the small city of Magdala, the remains of which have survived to our day. Now only the small village of Mejhdel stands on the site.

A woman whose name has entered forever into the Gospel account was born and grew up in Magdala. The Gospel tells us nothing of Mary's younger years, but Tradition informs us that Mary of Magdala was young and pretty, and led a sinful life. It says in the Gospels that the Lord expelled seven devils from Mary (Luke 8:2). From the moment of her healing Mary led a new life, and became a true disciple of the Savior.

The Gospel relates that Mary followed after the Lord, when He went with the Apostles through the cities and villages of Judea and Galilee preaching about the Kingdom of God. Together with the pious women Joanna, wife of Choza (steward of Herod), Susanna and others, she served Him from her own possessions (Luke 8:1-3) and undoubtedly shared with the Apostles the evangelic tasks in common with the other women. The Evangelist Luke, evidently, has her in view together with the other women, stating that at the moment of the Procession of Christ onto Golgotha, when after the Scourging He took on Himself the heavy Cross, collapsing under its weight, the women followed after Him weeping and wailing, but He consoled them. The Gospel relates that Mary Magdalene was present on Golgotha at the moment of the Lord's Crucifixion. While all the disciples of the Savior ran away, she remained fearlessly at the Cross together with the Mother of God and the Apostle John.

The Evangelists also list among those standing at the Cross the mother of the Apostle James, and Salome, and other women followers of the Lord from Galilee, but all mention Mary Magdalene first. St John, in addition to the Mother of God, names only her and Mary Cleopas. This indicates how much she stood out from all the women who gathered around the Lord.

She was faithful to Him not only in the days of His Glory, but also at the moment of His extreme humiliation and insult. As the Evangelist Matthew relates, she was present at the Burial of the Lord. Before her eyes Joseph and Nicodemus went out to the tomb with His lifeless Body. She watched as they covered over the entrance to the cave with a large stone, entombing the Source of Life.

Faithful to the Law in which she was raised, Mary together with the other women spent following day at rest, because it was the great day of the Sabbath, coinciding with the Feast of Passover. But all the rest of the peaceful day the women gathered spices to go to the Grave of the Lord at dawn on Sunday and anoint His Body according to the custom of the Jews.

It is necessary to mention that, having agreed to go on the first day of the week to the Tomb early in the morning, the holy women had no possibility of meeting with one another on Saturday. They went separately on Friday evening to their own homes. They went out only at dawn the following day to go to the Sepulchre, not all together, but each from her own house.

The Evangelist Matthew writes that the women came to the grave at dawn, or as the Evangelist Mark expresses, extremely early before the rising of the sun. The Evangelist John, elaborating upon these, says that Mary came to the grave so early that it was still dark. Obviously, she waited impatiently for the end of night, but it was not yet daybreak. She ran to the place where the Lord's Body lay.

Mary went to the tomb alone. Seeing the stone pushed away from the cave, she ran away in fear to tell the close Apostles of Christ, Peter and John. Hearing the strange message that the Lord was gone from the tomb, both Apostles ran to the tomb and, seeing the shroud and winding cloths, they were amazed. The Apostles went and said nothing to anyone, but Mary stood about the entrance to the tomb and wept. Here in this dark tomb so recently lay her lifeless Lord.

Wanting proof that the tomb really was empty, she went down to it and saw a strange sight. She saw two angels in white garments, one sitting at the head, the other at the foot, where the Body of Jesus had been placed. They asked her, "Woman, why weepest thou?" She answered them with the words which she had said to the Apostles, "They have taken my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him." At that moment, she turned around and saw the Risen Jesus standing near the grave, but she did not recognize Him.

He asked Mary, "Woman, why weepest thou? Whom dost thou seek?" She answered thinking that she was seeing the gardener, "Sir, if thou hast taken him, tell where thou hast put Him, and I will take Him away."

Then she recognized the Lord's voice. This was the voice she heard in those days and years, when she followed the Lord through all the cities and places where He preached. He spoke her name, and she gave a joyful shout, "Rabbi" (Teacher).

Respect and love, fondness and deep veneration, a feeling of thankfulness and recognition at His Splendor as great Teacher, all came together in this single outcry. She was able to say nothing more and she threw herself down at the feet of her Teacher to wash them with tears of joy. But the Lord said to her: "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and tell them: "I ascend to My Father, and your Father; to My God and to your God."

She came to herself and again ran to the Apostles, to do the will of Him sending her to preach. Again she ran into the house, where the Apostles still remained in dismay, and proclaimed to them the joyous message, "I have seen the Lord!" This was the first preaching in the world about the Resurrection.

The Apostles proclaimed the Glad Tidings to the world, but she proclaimed it to the Apostles themselves.

Holy Scripture does not tell us about the life of Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection of Christ, but it is impossible to doubt, that if in the terrifying minutes of Christ's Crucifixion she was the foot of His Cross with His All-Pure Mother and St John, she must have stayed with them during the happier time after the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. Thus in the Acts of the Apostles St Luke writes that all the Apostles with one mind stayed in prayer and supplication, with certain women and Mary the Mother of Jesus and His brethren.

Holy Tradition testifies that when the Apostles departed from Jerusalem to preach to all the ends of the earth, then Mary Magdalene also went with them. A daring woman, whose heart was full of reminiscence of the Resurrection, she went beyond her native borders and went to preach in pagan Rome. Everywhere she proclaimed to people about Christ and His teaching. When many did not believe that Christ is risen, she repeated to them what she had said to the Apostles on the radiant morning of the Resurrection: "I have seen the Lord!" With this message she went all over Italy.

Tradition relates that in Italy Mary Magdalene visited Emperor Tiberias (AD 14-37) and proclaimed to him Christ's Resurrection. According to Tradition, she took him a red egg as a symbol of the Resurrection, a symbol of new life with the words: "Christ is Risen!" Then she told the emperor that in his Province of Judea the unjustly condemned Jesus the Galilean, a holy man, a miracleworker, powerful before God and all mankind, had been executed at the instigation of the Jewish High Priests, and the sentence confirmed by the procurator appointed by Tiberias, Pontius Pilate.

Mary repeated the words of the Apostles, that we are redeemed from the vanity of life is not with perishable silver or gold, but rather by the precious Blood of Christ.

Thanks to Mary Magdalene the custom to give each other paschal eggs on the day of the Radiant Resurrection of Christ spread among Christians over all the world. On one ancient Greek manuscript, written on parchment, kept in the monastery library of St Athanasius near Thessalonica, is a prayer read on the day of Holy Pascha for the blessing of eggs and cheese. In it is indicated that the igumen in passing out the blessed eggs says to the brethren: "Thus have we received from the holy Fathers, who preserved this custom from the very time of the holy Apostles, therefore the holy Equal of the Apostles Mary Magdalene first showed believers the example of this joyful offering."

Mary Magdalene continued her preaching in Italy and in the city of Rome itself. Evidently, the Apostle Paul has her in mind in his Epistle to the Romans (16:6), where together with other ascetics of evangelic preaching he mentions Mary (Mariam), who as he expresses "has bestowed much labor on us." Evidently, she extensively served the Church in its means of subsistence and its difficulties, being exposed to dangers, and sharing with the Apostles the labors of preaching.

According to Church Tradition, she remained in Rome until the arrival of the Apostle Paul, and for two more years following his departure from Rome after the first court judgment upon him. From Rome, St Mary Magdalene, already bent with age, moved to Ephesus where the holy Apostle John unceasingly labored. There the saint finished her earthly life and was buried.

Her holy relics were transferred in the ninth century to Constantinople, and placed in the monastery Church of St Lazarus. In the era of the Crusader campaigns they were transferred to Italy and placed at Rome under the altar of the Lateran Cathedral. Part of the relics of Mary Magdalene are said to be in Provage, France near Marseilles, where over them at the foot of a steep mountain a splendid church is built in her honor.

The Orthodox Church honors the holy memory of St Mary Magdalene, the woman called by the Lord Himself from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.

Formerly immersed in sin and having received healing, she sincerely and irrevocably began a new life and never wavered from that path. Mary loved the Lord Who called her to a new life. She was faithful to Him not only when He was surrounded by enthusiastic crowds and winning recognition as a miracle-worker, but also when all the disciples deserted Him in fear and He, humiliated and crucified, hung in torment upon the Cross. This is why the Lord, knowing her faithfulness, appeared to her first, and esteemed her worthy to be first to proclaim His Resurrection.

Collect from the Book of Common Prayer
ALMIGHTY GOD, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by thy grace we may be healed of all our infirmities and know thee in the power of his endless life; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Monday, June 30, 2008

19 Week Sonogram

19 weeks
Maddy at 19 weeks.

On June 25, Tim and I went to our perinatologist. The cyst has grown in size by one centimeter and now measures 11 cm. Maddy, was sound asleep and was facing my spine. As a result, the sonogram tech had some trouble seeing her heart, the front of her brain and one other thing which I am unable to recall. So we'll go back in three weeks for another check up on Maddy. She is growing really fast. She measures 10 cm from head to rump and weighs a little over 10 ounces. Her heart rate was 145 bpm. In a matter of just three weeks, Maddy has doubled in size and weight. Everything else looked great on the sonogram. The perinatologist will wait to see what my OB wants to do about the cyst. So when my OB gets the latest results from the perinatologist, I suppose we'll go from there.

Lastly, at least once a day, I feel a little tap from Maddy. It is just amazing. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Maddy's First Wooby (Whoo-bee)

In our house, we call blankets "woobies." The origin is unknown. So it is only right that Maddy should have her own wooby. I finished it yesterday and today snapped a quick picture for this blog. It is a crib quilt and has Winnie the Pooh on it. Each panel has an image from a classic Pooh story. My favorite is "The Blustery Day." I hope Maddy loves her wooby.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Update: 17 weeks pregnant

Yesterday, I visited my OB. Maddy's heart rate is normal and Mommy's blood pressure was good too. I've lost a pound which is OK. Weight is something I have to be very careful about since I am overweight. I weigh less now than I did before I became pregnant. Weird, huh?

My OB wants to wait until after I have Maddy to remove the 10 cm ovarian cyst on my right ovary. He added that I will lose my right ovary too. (I am curious to see what the perinatologist has to say when I see him on the 25th of this month.) It was a relief to hear that the cyst removal surgery will not interfere with breastfeeding. My goal is to breastfeed Maddy for at least one year.

Today I began cleaning out one of the spare bedrooms which has been a sort of catch-all for clutter. Ugh! It is very daunting and is difficult to clear out because I have been having pain in my groin now for two weeks. I have to keep taking little breaks and it all seems to be taking forever. Eventually, I took a nap. Sleeping is very elusive due to my ever shrinking bladder. It seems I wake up at least every two hours to go tinkle.

I sewed for two hours on a crib quilt for Maddy. Tomorrow I hope to have it finished. It is a "Winnie the Pooh" quilt panel I found at Hobby Lobby yesterday. When it's completed, I'll post a picture.

It is amazing to me that I am now 17 weeks pregnant. Overall, I think things are going really well. I am nervous though about the third trimester, because I am already having so much trouble sleeping and I know that it only gets more and more elusive as time goes by. But hey, it'll all be worth it when Tim and I get to finally hold Maddy.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

16 Week Sonogram

This series of pictures is from my visit with the perinatologist. The sonogram equipment is more sophisticated than what they use at my regular OB. Thank goodness too, because I could see so much more of our baby. The baby was very active and was giving the tech some trouble. I couldn't help but giggle because the baby was spinning around and kicking and flexing tiny arms and legs. It's just amazing that all of that is going on in my tummy. The sonogram tech noted that everything looked good, the baby is 5 inches long, heart rate was 157 bpm and best of all we found out we are having a baby girl. "You see those three white lines," she said as she pointed to the monitor, "that's a vagina." Well, you can't be more clear than that, but I was under the impression that the sex of the baby was more noticeable around twenty weeks. I asked her to give me a number as to how certain she was. "95%, " she smiled. I was convinced. As Tim noted, we are going to have a "little princess." As far as names go, Tim and I really like Madeline or Maddy for short. However, the cool thing is we still have five months to go before anything is set in stone, but I must admit that when I talk to my baby, I am now calling her Maddy. For example, "did that avocado taste good Maddy?" or "I don't know about you Maddy, but I'm ready for a nap."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Embryo to perfection in 3 easy steps

As a regular preacher, I'm sure family stories and anecdotes will make their way into my messages from time to time. I think I've been reasonable about the frequency so far (I only remember one previous personal anecdote off the top of my head). I usually don't care for it too much when I hear a preacher use a lot of personal stories. Sometimes it makes it sound like they are always on vacation or going to the movies, etc. So I'm a little bit wary because a few people have said they really enjoyed Sunday's message on our baby. Well, the baby was not the message, of course. But I know how the parts we enjoy best seem to stick out strongest in our memories. ("Oh Father, I loved your sermon about the chicken who crossed the road. It was hilarious.") It's the same for me ("I can't believe he preached on the Matrix.")

The message was that we are God's children and he has set before us the way of the blessed life (i.e., keeping his covenant and his commandments, or "practicing our faith"). The other way ends in destruction. If we are to move on to maturity in Christ, we must endeavor to follow his will.

The baby part was the motif, talking about growing up in general and growing up in our Christian walk in particular. Overall, I think it worked well. Have a listen and see what you think. (Sorry about the poor audio quality, btw. I think the recorder was too close.) Click here to listen to my sermon on the two ways, titled "A blessing and a curse," from 1 June 2008.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Checking out the new crib

Hello. Here's the first words from the new dad. Melisa and I were coming back from the movies this afternoon and decided to stop in the thrift shop. We found this lovely little bassinet that we thought would work out just great for us, so we brought it home. It feels like a sturdy construction and it has rolling and rocking features. Little by little, the house is feeling more baby-ready. I thought I'd share a picture with you, and our two babies Molly and Lil' Joe wanted to help as models.
Tomorrow, I'll be celebrating the feast of the Visitation of Our Lady to S. Elizabeth. The event is recorded in Luke 1:39-56. Having heard that her older cousin Elizabeth (who should be beyond child-bearing age) is six months pregnant, Mary goes to visit her in the hill country. We know that babies begin to hear in the womb at about 20 weeks. When Mary arrives, Elizabeth feels the baby kicking and says that the sound of Mary's voice is giving her baby cause to jump for joy in the womb.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 12th: Week 13 Sonogram

This sonogram marks the first time the nurse used the wand on my tummy. The ovarian cyst gets in the way and makes it more difficult to see the baby. In this picture, the baby is doing a handstand. To me, it kinda looks like an alien. We were a little disappointed with the picture, but the important thing is the baby is healthy. The baby's heart rate was around 155 bpm. That was healthy too. Our next sonogram is on June 9th.

April 22: Week 10 Sonogram

This sonogram was a delightful experience. You could actually see the baby wiggling around. He looked as though he was dancing. It was nothing short of amazing. I joked that his dancing reminded me of Billy Crystal doing the "white man overbite" dance in "When Harry Met Sally." The baby's heart rate was 175 which the doctor said was healthy. So good so far. Look at that little frog butt! Too cute! I loved watching my husband as he watched the monitor. He's going to be a great dad.