Author Archives: rvamama

About rvamama

New to the world of bellybutton gazing.

Vroom! Vroom!

This idea came from Scribble Art by Mary Ann Kohl. It was a library book, but definitely one I’d like to own.
Roll of paper + Paint + Toy cars and trucks = Masterpiece. I save the styrofoam packaging from food stuff for paint pallets. Owen had a ball.


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Food and Flowers

Just as I was starting to lament the end of dogwood blossom and azalea season the roses and irises bloomed. My spring veggies are just about ready and summer plants won’t be far behind.




sugar snap pea sprout

camellia bush


shade perennial by shed


dogwood blossoms

snowball bush in bloom.


more azaleas!

lily of the valley



herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme plus oregano, savory and marjoram)




violas (edible flowers). spearmint. dumpster dive find compliments of Zoe.

swiss chard

basil. eggplant.

top to bottom: pepper plant. carrots. chives. strawberries. chard.

carrots and chives

pole beans sprouting!


chocolate mint.

the zucchini sprouted!


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Highland Community Garden

If we pray, we will believe. If we believe, we will love. If we love, we will serve. Mother Teresa

We had a garden party at church on Saturday. Not the fancy tea and crumpets kind, but the get your hands in the dirt kind. The rain held off and it was followed up by a cookout and some bocce ball.

I’ve been in a class on Wednesday nights at Highland at it’s been quite an experience. At one point I actually planned on dropping out. I was leaving each week with more questions than I had to begin with and no answers. It’s been overwhelming.

I recently learned Israel literally means to struggle (strive, contend, wrestle) with God. It does not mean, God’s people who have everything figured out. Talk about a relief.

I wish it [Christianity] were more productive of good works. I mean real good works… not holy-day keeping, sermon hearing or making long prayers filled with flatteries. Benjamin Franklin

I’m glad we found a place that works to serve others. And I’m not just talking about the garden, or the community dinner every week, or the feeding ministry in Petersburg, or backing USDA bags at the food panty in Colonial Heights… all those things are fantastic.

We talked last week about “Christian living” and what that means. And it all boils down to living with people trying to be Christians together. I’m glad to find that churches are full of people just as screwed up as I am. Trying, striving, struggling… and serving our community. Because we’re all in this together.


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Just Dance!

I’m waiting for the bread machine to beep so I can turn it off and head out to meet some friends at Iron Bridge Park. My friend Lia posted this on her blog, and I hate  to be a copycat, but I love it. She posted this back in January. It’s almost April. That’s about how long it took me to see the infamous wedding video. That’s me. Always behind the times with these darn internets.

You think that was great? Check out this guy! You could just eat him up!

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Who can be unhappy…

when there’s a baby on the way?!

I promise this is not the only thing I’m going post about for the next four months. We got a phone call yesterday from a concerned loved . To be fair  I can see why those who care about us are worried because all they’ve read are my two somewhat melancholy blog entries. So I thought I’d give you an update on our state of mind.

In a word: Good. After the small possibility of Lucy (there you have it, that’s her name. I’m sick of typing nicknames) having downs syndrome we just needed some time to wallow. And boy oh boy did we wallow. I haven’t cried like that in ages. After a couple of days to process, things started to come back into focus and we gained some perspective.

The odds are overwhelmingly in favor of Lucy Bell (okay, can’t give up the nicknames completely) not having downs syndrome. I’m talking 99.5% that she doesn’t. That remaining half a percent is not worth the 1% risk of a miscarriage with amniocentesis. For us it’s not. That 1% chance of killing her his waaay scarier than the .5% she has DS. Not to mention, that even with a certain diagnosis at this point there is zilch, nada, absolutely nothing we could do to prepare from a practical standpoint. We couldn’t start talking to doctors or lining up specialist. We’d do exactly what we have to do now. Wait. Most parents had no forewarning before their child was born that they were going to have special needs. If that .5% chance rules we won’t be completely blindsided and that’s something to be thankful for too.

Here’s the other piece of it. Worst case scenario at this point it Lucy has Downs Syndrome. That’s it. That’s the scariest thing. After a few days of thinking about this, that doesn’t even sound that scary. I mean, even if we had a 100% positive diagnosis there is still way more to be excited about than there is to be sad or worried about. We’re having a baby in four more months! She’s already amazing. She’s already ours.

Over dinner Don was talking about his mental image of our soon to be family of four. Adding Lucy to our trips to Camedon Yards and camping and sitting with us at the dinner table. Imagining Lucy as a child with Downs Syndrome or not, the picture hardly changes.

So please don’t worry about us. I prayed for peace of mind, and I got it. Quicker than I expected. Now were back to thinking about how we really ought to start getting her room ready. Besides, who on God’s green Earth can be sad while listening to this song and knowing there’s a baby on the way…

The video makes me want to join a hippy commune caravan crossing the country in a converted school bus. I think I’ve been reading too much Spiritual Midwifery. On second thought, having a baby on a bus doesn’t sound so romantic.


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Tomorrow Always Comes

Yesterday was long. I cried so hard my eyes hurt by the end of the day and I had some strange dreams. I dreamt I was in a church choir (which is ludicrous to begin with as my singing abilities are laughable at best) and I criticized something or other that elicited a harsh reaction. I decided to leave and never return. Later in the dream my arm was bit by an alligator. I wonder what this says about the terms God and I have been on most of this Lenten season (not just yesterday). Pregnancy dreams are totally bizarre. I haven’t prayed for everything to be okay. I know that’s a given. I just keep praying for Peace.

I took a lot of hot baths because I just couldn’t get warm. I cried and cried some more. I stared at the 3D ultrasound picture to see if I could tell by looking at our daughters face. And Ina May took a back seat on my bedside table and I read and read and read about Downs Syndrome. I know this is premature. We by no means know what’s going on with Ms. Baby Bell at this point. We really won’t know for sure for another four months when we meet her. Everything could be totally normal.

We opted out of a blood test for DS early on in my pregnancy. I felt that worrying for 9 months would be a worthless pursuit. Besides, we weren’t in a high risk category. We did opt for the ultrasound because we wanted to know the sex of the baby. I never thought this would give us uncertainty and something to worry about. If our boat takes a detour I worry about what kind of parents we’ll be. I worry about how this would impact Owen as a big brother. I worry about things that we would have no way of planning for even if we knew for sure Little Girl had DS. An amnio is off the table for us personally as it poses a slight risk of miscarriage. So we wait.

This morning I read an article called Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley, who wrote a book Roadmap to Holland. The essay is beautiful. In the back of my mind we are still on a plane to Italy. But if we get off the plane and are surprised to find ourselves in Holland, Holland will be beautiful too.


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