Scarlett Cynthia. We told our families on Christmas day -- both seemed to think that that name would do! Jon, Steve's younger brother, came up with names like "Yalta the Cistern" before finally figuring out the name.

Chris, Steve's older brother, was on the right track and kept asking himself what was a girl's name that had a "y" in it. They actually had Scarlett in the very beginning, but then my sister-in-law said that we wouldn't name her that. My aunt Laura was the one who guessed both names on my side of the family.

Santa was good to Scarlett. She had a stocking at my folks house that was filled with goodies -- pictures, clothes, jewelry, bibs, etc. I was also very taken aback by what my mom and granddad did for her. The very last present that I opened was a book, a scrapbook that my mom made. It was titled, "A Cradle for Scarlett" and in it she had written a poem and put pictures of her and Granddad making this cradle from scratch.

Mom asked me to read it aloud and I made it through the first two lines before I was a blubbering mess and had to have Steve finish it. Granddad went himself years ago and cut down cherry trees, made the lumber, and has been drying it for years in his garage. He and my mom thought that this cradle would be an appropriate project to use it on. They drew the plans, cut the pieces, and then shipped them home (arriving one day before Hurricane Rita!), where mom assembled, stained, and finished it. My mom also made the bedding for it.

My mom does fabulous work with wood, but never before have I been so impressed. It is the most gorgeous piece of furniture that I have ever seen. It rocks so softly and gently. I know that Scarlett will love it as much as we do. Here is the poem that mom wrote to go in the scrapbook to tell the story of the cradle:

A Cradle for Scarlett
This is the story of
your special bed,
made just for you
to lay your sweet head.
To rock you to sleep,
or lay in the sun,
a cradle for you,
my sweet little one.
Great Granddad cut cherry trees
deep in the wood.
He knew Wisconsin trees
were sturdy and good.
Then he and Grammy
worked all day and night,
drawing the perfect design
so you would sleep tight.
Great Gram and Granddad
with watchful eyes
made sure we made it
just the right size.
We measured and sawed
the pieces 'till honed,
then shipped it to Texas
when Grammy got home.
She finished and sanded
the pieces each one
then glued it together
and ? Voila!
it was done.
Some stain and then varnish
would make it complete
along with a blanket
To cover your feet.
So sleep tight my angel,
my little sweet pea,
you are very much loved
by your whole family.

I can't remember the last time I cried so hard. Repeatedly.

Onto a non-tear-jerking story!

We've got a semi-decorated baby room! Steve and I painted the room the mint color I mentioned before and then we made circles out of wood the same pattern as in the purple fabric. We are planning on putting Velcro on the backs of them and hanging them on the wall. I just am not a pastel person, and this is SO much more like something I would do. Mom cut out the letters to her name and I am going to paint them purple and put polka dots on them as well. She will have plenty to look at.

My back has been bothering me quite a bit. I find that the more I walk, the more it hurts. My lower back and my butt just kill me and I'm sure it's my sciatic nerve. Sitting down is the only thing that really makes it feel better. It's only happened since we've been out of school on winter break, so I'm worried that when I get back to school and have to stand a lot it will really bother me. I think I may have to change my teaching a little more to incorporate sitting when teaching instead of standing.

My belly seems to be growing more and more all the time. I actually look pregnant now instead of fat. Thank God, because looking fat is the pits!


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