Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thanksgiving 2011

Honestly,  Thanksgiving was always my least favorite holiday.  Growing up this day was just an excuse to get together with family.  I looked forward to hanging out with my cousins but the day itself was just another day off from school.  The last few years that has changed for me.  I love that there is a season on our calendars dedicated to being grateful.  It is very obvious that many people do not take advantage of this time to think on those things that they are thankful for.  I was one of those people.  Now, I LOVE it.  In fact, this year I plan on forcing my relatives at my parent's house to tell us at least one thing they are thankful for.  They don't know this yet though so I hope no one embittered with life hates me for requesting they think thankful thoughts.  I am thankful for so much.  The good Lord has shown me so much about thankfulness and contentment.  We are NOT to wait for our circumstances or the people around us to be perfect before we are thankful for them.  We are to look for those blessings within others and life that are there and pointing to the God who gave them so graciously and cheerfully.  They are there but you must recognize them.  Yes, this can be hard.  I came across the verse the other day that says, "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name." (Hebrews 13:15).  Praise can be hard.  Praise can feel as though I am lying through my teeth.  My heart can be grieved or angry and to praise God in the midst of that is what feels like torture.  To choose to see the blessings in the midst of trial can be difficult, to say the least.  Yet, those blessings exist.  They exist in the circumstances of life which for us are laboring day and night caring for our little ones and pouring ourselves into them while working to keep a roof over our head and food on our table.  They exist in the people we meet and live with.  That person that turns you off has the image of God within them.  They are valuable.  Broken, but valuable.  Do you choose to rejoice over that image within them or complain in your heart about their flaws?  Ok, so let me steer away from my preachiness to tell you what I am so very thankful for this year. 

(1) I've been married for over 5 years to a man that acts more like Jesus than any other person I have ever met.  I admire him more than words can express.  I have changed and grown through his daily example to me of patience and kindness.  (I was worse than this 5 yrs ago  :))

(2) My two boys have filled my heart with so much AWE!  I am in awe that I have the privilege to care for these two precious people.  I am in awe of how they grow and love and learn.  I am in awe of how I enjoy motherhood.

(3) I am continually thankful to see the Lord meet our needs financially.  Sometimes it is tight.  Sometimes it isn't.  But either way, He has cared for us whether it be through a timely check or some savvy grocery spending or generous parents. 

(4) I am thankful for internet and television.  I realize what is a vice for many is hardly a virtue.  But it has given me distraction from those thoughts that loom and threaten to overwhelm me.  I can't help but feel grateful for it.

(5) I am unbelieveably thankful for new friends that I've made through a couple of groups I got involved with.  They are a daily dose of support, encouragement, and laughter.  Thank you,  AP, Redeemer, and LLLadies. 

I hope all of you find yourself with not enough time in the day to list all things that you are thankful for.  It is a good place to be.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"I long for transformation"

Jo of Little Women is the one who says that (in the movie, anyway.  I read the book 3x but I don't remember if those particular words were there).  I find myself longing for similar things.  Then again, I've always identified with Jo.  She was the awkward, less than frilly girl who would rather hang with the boys than be dainty and demure.  Adventurous and a visionary is what she was.  Her hair was her "one true beauty".  She was rough around the edges but passionate about life.  I can relate to all of these.  Her struggle throughout her early years was finding her place--finding where her gifts were best suited.  She thought it would be in writing that great novel but in the end it came in educating alongside her professor husband (seeing the similarities yet??) a group of boarding children.  FYI:  Little Men is an excellent book about those boys. 

I am where I could never imagine I would be.  I am married with children.  I am content here.  I am in awe of the beauty of this calling that motherhood is.  I get to fall in love with this man that I marry.  We grow in sync and become the "bestest" of friends.  We have babies and I get to fall in love all over again.  I'm amazed at how beautiful it all is.  This is my primary calling at this point and the Lord is using this stage of life to teach me so much.  I see the fruit of the spirit that I lack and am seeing how I daily need His sustenance to bring about the needed gentleness, patience, and self-control with my children.  There is a lot of messing up going on; therefore, a bunch of repentence and forgiveness. 

Even with this hard and wonderful calling of motherhood, I find myself wanting to be creative.  I want to use my hands and brain.  If I don't get to, I begin to wither.  It refreshes me to do such things.  I dream of taking creativity to new heights.  I wonder how this desire can be used in God's kingdom.  My prideful heart wants it used in big ways where many are affected and influenced but lately I think my circle of influence is small.  Meaningful but small.  It is SO good for me.  If I were to have the sphere of influence that I want- there will be a whole load of other issues that will come with it.  I am looking for ways to use my gifts in new ways--ways that I can effectively accomplish with my primary tasks as well as encourage or inspire others (just one person is enough). 

I'm thankful that the Lord is most effectual in using His chidren's gifts.  He doesn't want them wasted.  He may give our gifts a hiatus but only to further refine them and perfect us.  So, I will wait to see how the Lord will continue to use me in my small sphere of influence.  Transformation will come, but as with dear Jo, it will likely come in a package I do not expect.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the GREAT great pumpkin

I've grown up being a Charlie Brown fan.  I read the comic strips and faithfully watched "Charlie Brown Christmas" and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".  Many of you have too, I imagine.  As a grown up I greatly favor the Christmas special over the halloween one.  This isn't because of any great conviction about halloween being satan's holiday or anything like that.  I just think the storyline is more smooth and connected in the Christmas special than the halloween one  (why are we watching Snoopy fly an airplane for 10 minutes???).  But it occured to me this year why Charles Schultz is a genius (and possibly why I am as dull as dirt that I didn't understand this much earlier).  I don't remember why I was thinking about the Great Pumpkin in the spring but just know that my thoughts are as random as the lottery numbers each week.  Forgive me if I insult your intelligence with my bit of enlightenment.  You might have figured this out long before but just rejoice that I finally caught on.  :)  Charles "freakin' genius" Schultz made a Santa Claus type character for Halloween.  Then proceeded to prove its illegitimacy.  AAAAND he did this without insulting any hardcore Santa people.  Let me explain.  The Great Pumpkin (GP) is a bit of lore that Linus clung to with admirable dedication.  GP brought presents to little boys and girls who believed him and were "good".  Linus stayed all night in the pumpkin patch, foregoing the pleasures of the season--trick-or-treating, costumes, candy--to please the GP.  The non-existent GP obviously doesn't show.  Mr. Schultz could never be as obvious about his views of  Santa Claus and had a successful cartoon.  People would hate him for it.  People love using Santa Claus at Christmas.  So, he was subtle.  He was slick.  He made it harmless yet he made it.  We see Linus' misplaced devotion.  We see his struggle with whether or not he was good enough to receive the approval of GP.  Ahhhh.  Hats off to you, Charles Schultz.  Well played!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

let me teach you about a concept known as 'taste aversion'

If there is ever a food or beverage that you would like to eradicate from your diet than be sure to eat it then have a very uncomfortable time afterwards throwing it up.  Have you ever known anyone who drank too much tequila, got sick, and swore off tequila for life?  They developed a taste aversion to it.  All of us have had these experiences (not necessarily with liquor).  My husband got sick after eating at one of my favorite burger joints.  Now he won't go back.  Taste Aversion is such a neat survival mechanism.  In the wild, when an animal eats something bad for them and get sick they will avoid it the next time they come across it.  In fact, sheep farmers will use this to their advantage.  They will coat the sheep's wool with a chemical that will cause vomiting if ingested.  All it takes after that is for one sheep to die for all the coyotes or wolves to avoid that farmer's other sheep. 

Five years ago I made a beautiful roast with vegetables in my new crockpot.  It was my first time using a crockpot that was a wedding present from our wedding two or so months earlier.  I ate some of it for dinner and around 11pm, lots of yuckiness ensued.  I'll spare the details but just know it wasn't just vomiting--yeah, are you with me?  On top of all that ickiness, I was having a panic attack. 


Haven't touched the crockpot since then.

Until yesterday.  Five years later, I make my attempt to use the crockpot and rid myself of this taste aversion.   For a few years, if I even looked at the crockpot I would feel sick.  The association between that crockpot (and the stewed roast) was far too strong.  I couldn't eat anything that looked like what I cooked that night too.  So, many moons later I am able to look at the crockpot and use it.  Mind you, I made my debut with a recipe that looked very different from roast and veggies.  I made a white chili that involved chicken instead of beef.  I made it.  I ate it.  I didn't get sick.  Phew!

What do you have a taste aversion to?

Monday, October 10, 2011

one of the scariest moments of my life

The scene:  Esther's home in Monroe

Back story:  David and I took the boys down to Monroe because David's longtime friend was getting hitched in Ruston.  David was a groomsman.  Friday night after the rehearsal dinner he intended to hang back while Mrs. Hogue and I (and the baby) left so that he could get some hang out time with his old friend at a coffee shop.  David planned to be home (Esther's, that is) by 12:30.  I planned to be in dreamland with both boys.

At 2a.m. I awoke.  Not so strange for a mother to wake up with young children but neither child had stirred and so I wasn't sure why I woke up.  As I settled myself back down to sleep I realized that I didn't know what time it was but thought, "David is probably back and asleep."  At the last minute, I decided to lift my lazy head up to see if he was indeed home.  I did.  And he wasn't.  No reason to panic.  I didn't know what time it was.  Afterall, I could have been asleep for merely 15 minutes.  I got up to look at the clock-- 2:05am.  I decided to see if David decided to sleep on the couch since little David was stretched out on the bed.  Not there.  I checked to see if the van was here and perhaps he was locked out and didn't want to wake anyone--nope.  As I walked by Mrs. Hogue and Esther's room, Mrs. Hogue whispered out my name.  She asked if David was home and I informed her he wasn't and it was late.  She reports that her phone rang with a number she didn't recognize but no one replied.  That was 15 minutes earlier.  Esther, Mrs. Hogue and I were all up.  All the boys (including Jim) continued to sleep. 

I left my phone in Mrs. Hogue's car so I went looking for it.  In the meantime,  Mrs. Hogue and Esther were trying to find the number on her iPhone of the call that came in about 20 or so minutes earlier.  I found my phone easily but--no calls.  The last time I talked to David he told me his phone was about to die.  (I happened to call him from Esther's phone because, again, my phone was in Mrs. Hogue's car--this is important).  I tried his number anyway and was sent immediately to voicemail--his phone died.  Mrs. Hogue poured me some wine because I was starting to panic.  Where was he?  What is wrong?  What if he is hurt?  Or worse? 

Our next plan was to try to contact his friend, the groom.  I didn't have his number but I was his facebook friend.  He is also someone who happened to put his number on his facebook page (forever grateful for that!).  I called (yes, poor guy is getting a call from me at 2:30am the night before his wedding) and no answer.  I called again and this time left a msg.  He called back.  I asked him when they left the coffee shop in Ruston and he says that they left 5 min. to midnight.  Take a half-hour out for traveling back to Monroe and he should have been home at 12:30 or so.  Something is wrong!  Now I'm visibly upset.

Mrs. Hogue suggested calling the local hospital and police station to see if there was any news that way.  Do you know how scary that is?  I didn't want there to be any news that way yet I wanted to know where he was.  No news after calling both and I'm still left without peace.  Just because he isn't in a hospital doesn't mean he isn't hurt.  The images that were flashing through my mind were terrifying me.  I prayed.  I prayed in phrases.  "Lord, bring him home."/"Mind, body, and soul safe"/"Give him wisdom"/"Keep him safe."  Pacing the floor as the calls were being made.

Images of David's car crashed on the side of the road unseen or him stranded somewhere circled.  Then I am seeing David held at gunpoint or beaten or carjacked.  I'm so scared that he is hurt.  Or worse.  Pacing.  Praying.

Esther starts getting dressed to get in the car looking for him.  I tell her that I want to go but she says I should stay in case the kids wake up and she knows Monroe better than I do.  I couldn't argue with that but I longed to get out and look for him.  As she is getting dressed, my cell rings.  A number I don't know.  I answer.  "Hello?" On the other end:  "Oh, thank the Lord."  He is alive!!  It took me a moment to recognize his voice--perhaps because his voice was tired and strained.  I was also probably half-expecting it to be someone else giving me news (bad news) of my husband.  I gave the phone to Esther so that she could give him directions and I crumbled.  I lost all control of my emotions and cried my eyes out. 

Here is what happened:  David got to Monroe--even Esther's neighborhood but could not remember the street name and could not find the house.  His phone was dead so he could not call directly.  He stopped at a gas station but their phone line was not working right because he would get an operator everytime he dialed my number (wouldn't have reached me anyway because at that time my phone was in the car).  He didn't know his sister's or mother's number by heart.  No such luck.  Poor guy was getting angrier and angrier at his circumstances.  He prayed and grumbled.  Can you imagine circling around so early in the morning?  I hated that for him (but glad it was that and not pain or death).  He then ended up at a hotel where they warily let him use their phone.  I had mine.  He assumed my phone was dead because I called from Esther's earlier that evening.  He was surprised when I picked up.  Thankful that my phone wasn't dead and that I picked up, but sad that he knew that meant that I was worried--he explained his evening.  He never called Mrs. Hogue.  So what of that random caller from a number that she could not find record of in her phone afterwards?--I believe a stellar move from our Lord who woke her up.  The Lord also woke me up to discover that my husband was missing and needing prayer.  I also needed to get my phone from the car so that I could be there to receive his call.  The Lord heard my husband's prayers (and grumblings) and worked it out for him to come home.  Otherwise, he would have stayed at the hotel and I would have been worried beyond all reason.  When he finally got home, I ran out to the car and cried my eyes out again.  I couldn't help it.  He felt so bad that we were so worried.  We offered him some liquid consolation to help de-stress him. 

He was safe and home.  Yet, I could not sleep that night.  My body was still coursing with adrenaline and, at that point, anxiety.  It would take awhile for my body to catch up with my mind and figure out that it was ok to rest.  The fear of losing my husband was less terrifying to me than the idea that my husband, that I love, was hurt, afraid, or suffering.  I could hardly stand the thought of him in pain.  It was definitely one of those moments that revealed to me just how much David means to me.  He is absolutely the love of my life.  I'm writing this a week later because I could not allow myself to think about those moments.  It was high on the scale of awful moments.  It was intense and scary plus I was helpless but for prayer.  I hope to never be in that place again.  But if and when I am I know that the Lord is watching over us.  I'm so thankful for His involvement.  Also thankful for Esther and Mrs. Hogue for walking beside me in those dark moments for me.  I'm thankful that it was a relatively short period of time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


that is the sound of my bubble popping. it is the sound of the spell being broken. I grew up believing that the men (there were mostly men back then) with the white coats and stethoscopes had the last say on all things. they told you matter-of-factly what was wrong with you and gave you a medicine to fix it--very Norman Rockwell.

my ideas about the medical community are less than idealistic now. I'm so glad for that. It would appear that doctors don't know everything. Now--that is obvious, isn't it? But a lot of us still live in the culture that will trust the doctor to tell how to raise our kids as if they have the corner on the market on wise parenting. I now question (in my heart and mind) just about everything that they say. Ok, not everything but a lot. These folks need accountability. I want people to realize that just because the doctor said doesn't mean that it is true. VERIFY your information. Get a second opinion, for goodness sake.

I have been fortunate to have a beautiful nursing experience with both of my boys. This success in breastfeeding was in spite of my pediatrician rather than because of him. This well-meaning and very kind doctor had ancient information about nursing that, I imagine, hurt a lot of new mother's nursing experience. His inaccurate information (nurse for only 15 minutes because that is all he needs) lessened my milk supply and caused my son to stop gaining weight (of ultra importance since he was a preemie). He didn't understand the mechanics of breastfeeding. Many doctors don't, esp. those educated earlier than a few years ago. Recently, a woman in MS was told that her breastmilk was second to formula. WHAT??? This was a woman who had a good nursing relationship already going with her 12 wk. old.  It isn't like he was trying to tell her that to alleviate any momma-guilt.  That information is false and stems from a very outdated misconception dating back to the 50's.

So, pediatricians do not need to give parenting advice. Just fix my sick kid and we are good. OBGYN's and hospitals should stop dictating what a mama should do with her birthing experience (unless there is a high risk). There is so much information and research out there about what makes for a healthy and good birthing experience and it usually doesn't require as much intervention as some hospitals (or all if you are in mississippi) want to give you. Why do they want to give it? liability and greed (or is being afraid of being liable also greed?).

There are so many "booby traps" in place in hosptials that make it easy for a mama to quit trying breastfeeding. Hospitals (and obviously the formula companies) are too quick to offer formula to a mom who is frustrated b/c she is feeding her baby every hour. Why is she frustrated? Likely because some unknowing nurse or doctor told her that she should be feeding her baby only every 2 or 3 hours. that is also wrong--that is what you do for formula fed babies who take longer to digest their food. Because breastmilk is so easily digestible by the baby's tummy they need to eat more frequently. But now mama thinks she isn't producing enough milk to fill her baby so she starts supplementing with formula. The pain of nursing is also something that can be helped and taken care of yet mothers are not told that they can get around that but just opt to reach for that free sample of formula that was given to them. Some are just so misinformed about just how beneficial breastmilk is and for how long it is. (it doesn't stop being good for your baby at 6mos.-- in fact it is recommended for at least 2 years).

I'm using parenting/breastfeeding issues because I happen to come across these more often.  But it is just scratching the surface of the medical community as a whole.  Patients have to take responsibility for their health and treatment. Not too long ago my mother, who was having back/neck/knee problems went to a doctor for help. He offered her shots to help with the pain. Not novacaine, mind you, but big deal epidural type shots. He never suggested exercises, or even physical therapy. After a few months, my parents brought it up to the dr. and he said it was a good idea. why didn't he suggest that from the beginning that which was most helpful to her?

I haven't finished watching it but I plan to but I think I want to recommend to everyone to watch the documentary "The Business of Being Born". So far it has captured my thoughts about our medical system. Health care reform would not be so bad if it meant that hospitals weren't charging an arm and a leg so that third-party payers will dish out the funds. Eventually, this ups our costs of health insurance. I'm over it.

As an aside-I have trouble being coherent these days so my thoughts are all over the place. My best blogposts are composed in my head while I'm driving. Those never make it to the computer screen the same way. oh well.

P.S.  I am not a doctor hater.  In fact, I have a respect for the work and studying that goes into that profession.  I also know that there are doctors that are more humble and /or more educated than others.  It is a case-by-case basis where these individuals are actually taught poorly in schools or within their residencies. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

some encouraging thoughts (from other people)

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.”
~C. S. Lewis

"A mother…by her planning and industry night and day, by her willfulness of love, by her fidelity, she brings up her children. Do not read to me the campaigns of Caesar and tell me nothing about Napoleon’s wonderful exploits. For I tell you that, as God and the angels look down upon the silent history of that woman’s administration, and upon those men-building processes which went on in her heart and mind through a score of years;—nothing exterior, no outward development of kingdoms, no empire-building, can compare with what mother has done. Nothing can compare in beauty, and wonder, and admirableness, and divinity itself, to the silent work in obscure dwellings of faithful women bringing their children to honor and virtue and piety."
~Henry Ward Beecher

These quotes remind me that it is a high yet humbling calling to be a mother.  I also see that it is a messy one.  Tasks do not go as hoped or planned.  Hiccups and roadblocks will happen.  It is the nature of motherhood (and life).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

vans, vegetables, and vacations

How did these months pass so quickly.  David headed back to school this week and I am reflecting on (as I am prone to do) on the summer past.  It was busy.  Sure, some folks think that because David is a teacher his summers are full of leisure.  We wish.  Not so but it is rather productive (or as productive as we can be with a toddler and an infant).  Our summer involved selling our car to purchase a van (a transaction that amazingly happened on the same day--I thought it would take forever to sell our car from craigslist but I am still getting calls about that car).  Our van, or swagger wagon, has made things easier, esp. in terms of packing up for trips.  Oh the room!  It is fabulous.  We are also enjoying all the storage compartments and power doors. 

Before Judah arrived, I rented a tiller and David tilled a part of our yard for a garden.  We were well advised by the folks at Lakeland Yard and Garden center and have a had a great harvest of tomatoes, cukes, squash, and okra.  We had a great harvest of parsley but caterpillers ate it before I could harvest it.  Bell peppers didn't do as well but there is always next year.  I look forward to it.  It has been a joy to tend. 

We got to go to gulf shores for a little R & R with my parents.  It has been the first time going on  vacation since David was born so although it was fun it was also not a trip to the beach as we remember it.  We've entered into a new stage of life.  We loved being in such a beautiful setting, in a great condo.  David Jr. enjoyed the beach and the pools with his daddy.  David took a course this summer that kept him pretty busy.  He took his required translation exam and passed with flying colors.  That was not a surprise to his wife who sees him work so hard.  I'm proud of my intelligent husband who is passionate about latin and all things related. 

We have been married 5 years now.  What a jam-packed few years it has been.  I'm continually grateful for this relationship the Lord blessed me with.  I don't deserve it but I'm thrilled to have a godly husband and now these two precious children.  More on that later (maybe--if i get around to it).

I never really look forward to David going back to work but here are some things I do look forward to:
-- a regular schedule
--cooler weather
--pecans! from our trees
--delicious apples and all things pumpkin
--a wedding for David's friend
--Judah's baptism
--David's 31st birthday soon after
--mama's bible study starting back up

Happy August!

secret identity

I love being a mom...mostly.  Sure there are weeds to pull up, and the toil (oh the toil) of backbreaking (esp. with my hulking boys) work that comes with parenting.  But as my little tykes sleep (at the same time, like they are now so that I can write you this post) I am filled to the brim with joy, thankfulness, and love.  Can any other occupation be so emotionally complex as parenthood?  One of the major downsides to parenthood for me has been the constant scrutiny I am under for how we choose to parent.  No, this is not a post on why I am justified in choosing my parental methods.  That is another post for another day (and that day may be a long way away).  This is really about my personal response to such scrutiny.  I confess that I like people's approval.  Nay, I LOVE people's approval.  I yearn for it more than I like to admit, even to myself.  Do I know that it is empty?  In my head I do.  I know that people's opinions are like chaff in the wind--it changes direction in a heartbeat, swaying to and fro.  But this is an emotional addiction that probably dates back to before I even started talking. 

So, with the scrutiny comes what I interpret as disapproval and judgement.  With disapproval and judgement comes a drop in confidence and a rise in insecurity.  Apparently, as is becoming more clear to me, I find my identity in others approval.  When others think I'm ok than I feel ok.  This has the potential of turning me into an approval junkie. 

However, the Lord loves to place us just outside our comfort zone.  So in my parenting adventure I have received much input.  Some of that input is uneducated and/or unhelpful.  Yet, I am faced with the knowledge that So-and-so believes me to be a poor parent.  I am faced, therefore, with my idol.  Yet another "golden calf" in my life.  It takes practice for myself to let go of the approval that falsely promises me love and peace.  I want my identity to be found in stronger stuff.  The stuff of Christ.  His approval is all that matters and I receive it freely because I believe Him when He tells me that He loves me (and my family), is shaping me, and will complete that work in me.  God's peace is long-lasting whereas others' approval is so short-lived.  If you don't have God's peace, seek it whole-heartedly. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

surviving the first month, part II

As smooth as my transition to two kids has been, there have been a couple of rough spots.  The first was how to keep my toddler occupied whilst not watching too much PBS during the times when I was tending to the baby.  For the most part, I would say I failed at this on my own.  The second challenge was napping.  David Jr.'s ritual was washed away when Judah came.  I was successful getting David down for a nap a few times but it was just too difficult and it sort of felt like the moons had to align in order for that to really work.  He would either miss his nap and be a big crank the rest of the afternoon or take a late one and be up late at night.  The only place that I had some guarantee was the car.  So, toward the end of the month I loaded up the car daily and David would fall asleep.  I would either drive around or come home and sit in the driveway with a book to read or nurse Judah.  I didn't even want to risk transferring him to his bed at that point.  One time,  I attempted an at-home nap and failed.   I just went about the day as usual.  At 4pm, I noticed that my son was awfully still at my feet.  I was sitting in my beige rocker in the corner.  I saw that he fell asleep on the floor.  That has never ever EVER happened.  My high-needs child fell asleep on the floor without help.  Well, I thought it was adorable.  It will likely not happen again for awhile but it was so sweet.  He was too tuckered out to fight the nap.

Napping is still hard but for different reasons.  David is home for the summer which had me thinking this would get easier, however, Jr. threw us a curveball, as most children do.  We are in the midst of figuring out what is going on with him that this change is occuring, what he needs, and what we can do about it.  He isn't wanting to go to sleep yet he is very sleepy some days.  So, I don't think he is doing away with his naps altogether.  Some days, like yesterday, he rested with his daddy on the bed and then was up-and-at-'em like he had a full nap.  We tried to put him to bed at his regular time but he didn't go to sleep until 3 hours later.  We are baffled.  Hopefully we'll start to see some sort of cause-n-effect pattern and respond accordingly. 

We are highly motivated.  He isn't the only one needing a nap...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

surviving the first month, part I

I am surprised to say that the transition to two kids so far has been much easier than anticipated.  The hard stuff of transitioning was already passed when we had our firstborn, David.  So, Judah was just a tiny addition of responsibility.  A welcome one, at that.  He is so darling.  Incredibly laid back and fusses when there is only a clear problem and easily consoled.  In the class I teach (human growth & development) there are three types of temperaments that babies have (and are usually stable throughout their life) and they are:  easy, slow-to-warm-up, and difficult.  Undeniably, Judah is an easy baby who has already (and pretty early) shared his smiles with us.  He allows us to put him down more often and his cries are not intense compared to what his older brother's were when he was that little.  I am amazed how early you can see their personalities.  If you are going to have kids (which I highly suggest you do, if married) then I also highly suggest you have more than one.  Having Judah has helped me understand some of my past experiences with David.  I am able to do some healthy comparing and contrasting.  For instance, I gained perspective about David as an infant.  There were always seeds of doubt about whether I made David into a fussy infant.  Was I, in our attachment parenting philosophy, creating a difficult child to raise?  The answer is no, happily.  I can see clearly now that David's temperament was not a figment of my imagination and it wasn't my fault.  I can only see that because of how different Judah is.  Cool, right?  Their need levels were different and I could only know that this was a normal thing to deal with by having two of them.  Oh, the lessons we'll learn with the more we have and the older they get!

After my firstborn, I desired my "me" time.  Well, I long got used to not having as much of that.  After Judah, what I miss is more couple time.  I find myself planning and looking forward to times when David and I can have dates that don't require a nursing break.  This is mainly because we are two-on-two.  I handle Judah mostly and David handles David Jr. mostly.  So, my husband and I are not together as much.  This is a normal challenge of this phase and it will be over likely before I am truly ready to see my kids outgrow that kind parenting but I do look forward to couple time.  The summer will be better because David is thankfully a teacher with summers off (mostly--he has an online course to complete).  He'll be around and that will be GREAT!

David (husband) has found himself in the first month feeling oh-so-bonded with David Jr.  Whereas, I was completely and utterly in love with Judah.  It is hard to compete with a cuddly and adorable newborn.  I have struggled with all sorts of mixed feelings about my toddler, in the meantime.  When I am feeling patient and rested, I am able to sympathize with my toddler's transitions from his perspective.   However, when my toddler is particularly challenging I want to get away from him.  This is all the more complicated because this is the son that I was so bonded to prior to Judah's arrival.  I feel sad, then guilt, then good.  Kind of a crazy mix of emotions.  Again, I have read enough to know that these complicated and conflictual emotions are a normal part of transitioning but just because it is normal doesn't mean it is comfortable or fun.  I'm thankful at these times that David's daddy is his playmate (a great one at that).  I see the genius in God design, don't you?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

wasn't what the dr. ordered

Everyone loves a good birth story, right?  So, here is mine.  I'll do my best to tell it well.

First, I would like to say, "I told you so."  I've been saying that I didn't think I would make it to term.  I was pretty uncomfortable early on in my third trimester and looked as big or bigger than other ladies who were due after me.  It just didn't add up.  Also, lets not forget all the passersby and strangers that would tell me that I was going to have a baby any day now.  Honestly, I was ok if the baby came a few weeks early as long as it was after 34 wks.  And I was 36wks when my water broke this time.  I was told by my doula that this was due to the full moon.  And when I did arrive at the hospital I was one of the first of about 37 births in those couple of days.  So maybe there is something to that.....

Alright, here is how it happened.  My brother-in-law, Samuel was over for a little bit and was visiting with David around 10:30.  I went to bed (being uncomfortable and pregnant and all) and was reading to wind down.  As I read, I felt something shift in my belly and swo-ooosh!  Warm liquids escaped me.  There was no question at that point what it was.  I got up quietly (our 2yr old sleeps on a mattress on the floor of our bedroom) and went to tell David.  He sprang into action calling the hospital and our babysitter.  I tried to get my head in gear for packing what essentials I thought were needed. Up to that point I started packing but didn't finish.   I didn't feel any contractions which meant that I had no idea how long we were going to be in the hospital.  Afterall, when my water broke with David Jr. I was in there a week.  Still, I didn't think they would do that this time since I wasfurther along.  I packed what I could think of and felt sad to be leaving my little boy.  I even took one of his stuffed animals with me as a comfort to me.  We got to the hospital around 11:45pm.  By that time, amniotic fluid was everywhere.  My shoes were sopping as if I were running through rain puddles.  Yes.  It was disgusting.  And embarrassing.  Check-in was quick.  The ER was completely deserted except for the staff.  Glad for that since I had sopping wet pants.

On the drive up to the hospital, I became aware of contractions.  Nothing to painful.  Just enough to notice.  By 12, I was in the hospital bed and checking the clock.  The contractions were coming about every 5 to 7 minutes.  They had to check my cervix and I find this to be very painful.  Apparently, my cervix was "posterior" so they had to really hurt me to feel that I was not even a centimenter dilated.  I was feeling thirsty and hungry around 1pm but all they would give me were ice chips.  I was regretting that I ate such a light dinner and wishing I had downed the water that was on my bedside table before I left.  David offered to sneak me food but I wasn't sure about it and opted to wait.  Boy, that came back to haunt me. 

The doctor on call wanted to put me on Staydol (sp?) because reportedly a couple of hours in the womb could further help the baby's lung functioning.  I asked to think about it.  My birth plan excluded staydol b/c it really doped me up with the last delivery.  Finally, with David's help, I decided to take it but asked for half the dosage that was typical (I am particularly sensitive to meds--it takes very little for me to feel the effects).  This was actually a good move b/c it allowed me to sleep for a couple of hours (maybe three).  I would need that rest.  Up to that point, I was fine with the contractions.  By 5 something, we asked the doula to make her way over.  I was in more pain at that point.  I had to stop to breathe through them.  The nurse came in at some point (the time is blurry) and announced that I was to be put on pitocin.  I adamantly refused it.  I didn't see what the point of pitocin was at that point.  Not to mention that these contractions were coming much faster, even 2 minutes apart sometimes.  After that, things started rolling.  Contractions came on harder and faster and I was more and more ready for my epidural.  I vaguely noticed that it was light outside between the contractions.  While contracting I was feeling very faint.  I remember telling whoever was there (husband, doula, nurse) that I was going to faint.  David explained to the nurse that I sometimes have low blood sugar.  With all that laboring and no nourishment--it is no wonder!  The nurse brought me some apple juice and I was so thankful that she "broke the rules" for me with that.  I felt better able to labor with some sugar in me.  Contractions were hard!   The doula suggested I sit on the toilet to see if it would help.  It was ok but nothing was really going to make me feel better but an epidural.  It was getting to the point that no amount of massaging on the back was helping the pain.  Very very intense.  I was begging for the epidural as I was digging my nails into my poor husband's arm.  I even told him to go out in the hall and get him.  They told me that I was third in line to get the epidural.  I kept hoping beyond hope that he would come before the next contraction.  After each contraction at this point, I am despairing and whimpering, "I can't do this" and begin crying.  Both the doula and David were encouraging me and telling me that not only can I but I was doing this.  Even thinking about this point in labor is tough.  I was a pathetic sight to see, I'm sure.  I didn't realize this until after Judah was born but I was in transition.  Most of you readers know that this is the worst part of labor where every mother wants to turn back.  And yes, it is true.  I was at the end of my rope and still no anesthesiologist and no epidural.  Between contractions (which were such short times) I am in another world.  Everything outside my own body is a blur.  People are talking to me and I'm barely cognizant of them.  They are just voices coming into my consciousness from far away.  They tell me that the epidural guy is there.  I wanted to curse him out and ask what took so long--no energy to do that. 

Here is the clincher.  I'm having the worst contractions of my labor and the doctor wants me to get into an uncomfortable position and keep absolutely still while giving my drugs.  I am desparate for drugs but while he is doing all his prep work I cannot keep still.  I am all over the bed.  The nurse is telling me to "blow away the pain" and "go to my happy place".  I wanted to hit her.  I never felt more patronized in my life than in that moment.  I'm glad I didn't hit since she was a nice lady.  :)  I hear the anesthesiologist losing his patience with me and I'm wondering if getting the shot is even possible anymore.  The nurse is holding me and I'm doing my darndest to concentrate through the pain.  I'm actually praying.  Ok, this is important to me because I can't say that I would have thought that when push comes to shove, in such extreme pain that the Lord would come to mind but He did.  I was able to tell the Lord that I didn't think I was going to make it through a contraction while getting the epidural and basically pleading for help.  He gave.   He is gracious.  When the dr. was ready to prick me, I was not having a contraction or at least not as an intense one.  Oh, I have no idea how that happened but it did.  I kid you not--it was a miracle. 

With labor with David Jr. I was able to rest about 3 or 4 hours after getting the epidural before pushing.  Imagine my surprise when I feel the urge to push almost immediately after receiving the epidural.  I was telling David that I needed to rest and that I didn't want to push.  I was whining it more like it.  David didn't realize that I was as far along as I was and told me not to push-thinking that I wanted to push before being dilated enough.  The urge was strong and I just ignored everyone (except my doula who was whispering to me to listen to my body) and pushed.  I pushed while on my left side and it felt great!  I guess a better way to describe it is that it felt oh-so-right.  The nurse, who was well intentioned but not helpful, kept telling me to move to my side and then my back and then my side and then my back, etc.  She was explaining that there was still a pocket of amniotic fluid in my belly that was slowing down labor (this was slow??!!!).  I wanted her to leave me alone.  I opened my eyes for a second and saw a lot of people in the room getting it ready.  The stirrups came out and I was pushing.  I felt burning (found out later that for natural labor this is called the ring of fire--yeah, ouch) and then relief.  The dr. gave me a novacaine shot in the perineum to help with the pain of stretching.  Judah came out and I was almost too tired to even look at him.  I was really happy to hear him crying.  I didn't hear David cry when he was born so I knew that Judah had good lungs on him.  It was a sweet sound.  I was also happy to hear that I didn't get an episiotomy (like last time) and I didn't tear.  Whew!  That makes all the difference in recovery!  They cleaned everything up and I was able to rest.  A little while later my epidural set in and I couldn't feel my thighs.  I totally think I shouldn't have to pay for an epidural that was not helpful.  However, that is likely not to happen. 

The next day my OBGYN told me that she got onto the anesthesiologist about not getting to me earlier.  I appreciated the acknowledgment that he was needed earlier.  Judah was doing well in all his screenings except one, the hearing one.  He was referred to an audiologist and I go with him on tuesday.  I was told that he most likely failed the tests due to his wakefulness during the process.  Whatever that means.  Also, we were told that this is common b/c there is lots of fluid behind the ears for preemies.  But despite that everything was great.  I felt great.  Folks said I looked great and so we went home a day early.  Because as anyone who has been in a hospital knows--there is no rest for the weary in there.  I knew that I would sleep better through the night at home.  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

re-covered dining room chairs

I have had these chairs since we lived in belhaven with the intention of re-covering them.  Well, it took me two years to decide on a fabric and then find that fabric at a price that I could justify paying.  The moons and planets aligned and I was able to get the red patterned fabric shown (along with some fabric for curtains in the kitchen and laundry room).  The chair on the right is what the old fabric looked like.  I just covered over it.  I didn't even bother taking the old fabric off.  I'm a little scared to re-cover the seat that david jr.'s high chair sits on for obvious reasons but I will eventually do that.  However, I will probably cover the chair with some sort of clear plastic just to protect it.  

the tale of a tile backsplash and how a husband was victorious

I promised some pictures of the tile backsplash project that my husband accomplished.  Again, I'm super-proud of his work.  I know that if I were to do it would have come out sloppier, with way more mistakes, and many extra trips to the hardware store.  He was much more methodical and patient through the process than I know I would have been.  I also think that it was good for his soul to do something that didn't involve latin, books, or school. 


 These are the before pics.  The white area is where our old countertops were before the granite.

Below is David adding the adhesive to place the tile onto.  We had to rent a wet tile saw which helped with all the complicated cuts.  Lots of math was involved and I'm very impressed with his mathmatical skills--another way to tell that he is very left brained while I'm very right.  I came up with the the design and he implemented it.

This is the tile place and spaced before grout is applied.

Grouting and wiping

Finishing up
I want to put up a grand "TA DA" photo but I want to wait until (1) all the switchplates are back up and (2) my kitchen is clean and not being used (like a magazine!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

amazingly things are getting done

Taking into consideration that I'm more and more tired as the weeks go by (34 and counting--keep praying guys!), it is amazing how much we've been able to do.  A lot of it has to do with my sweet husband who is willing to appease his wife with fierce nesting instincts.  He put up the tile backsplash and it looks absolutely beautiful (pictures to come).  I am so proud of his work!  We got the roof fixed (mostly) and rearranged our furniture (changing table in our room and my old dresser--the one i grew up with!--in the nursery/soon-to-be-david's room.), re-covered the dining room chairs (pics coming soon), changed out the chandelier from something rather outdated to a crystal chandelier that has become retro-chic on HGTV and it was FREE!  I've organized all the clothes (packing those that are outgrown and unpacking the infancy clothes--so incredibly small!) and purchased a cheap but good-looking rug from walmart for out dining room. 

It is April now and I'm happy to say that we will have an april or may baby and not a march one, again.  David's birthday was small but he got to enjoy his first chocolate cake and got some toy cars and airplanes and some outdoor play things like a sandbox and slide.  I turned 32 and it hardly stood out.  My dear husband made the day special by presenting me with gifts throughout the day (puzzle--b/c that is my new old person hobby, cupcakes from Gigi's, a very sweet card, a Foxtrot book--this man knows me so well, and an electrician to finish our undercabinet lighting).  I also got some very generous gifts from my parents and my mother-in-law.  I have yet to figure out what to do with it and am somewhat overwhelmed with the options.

That's all for now.  I'm sorry for the random stream of consciousness that I threw at you.  I hope it makes some semblence of sense. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

understanding my toddler

I have no standard to compare my child to.  Is he overly rambunctious?  Is he a calm and happy child?  I have no reference.  So, on those days (when I'm far from patient to begin with) and I'm getting on to david just about every other minute I can get really disheartened.  Is my method effective?  I'll switch methods looking for the miracle "my-toddler-is-now-an-angel-because-of-this-method.  Nothing has worked perfectly.  He still does what he does.  Shall I worry that my son is a future delinquent?  I do sometimes.  Or is this behavior normal toddler antics at work? 

Below is a list of normal toddler behaviors that gave me hope, a reference, and an understanding.  I've read some of this before but I forget from time to time and need to revisit it.  With that, I need to revisit the gospel and know that for all "normal" toddler behavior is a sinner in need of grace (which looks like discipline and tenderness) and there isn't a miracle cure.  He will often struggle to honor his parents.  Don't we as parents struggle to honor our Father in heaven?  I know I do.  Anyhoo, maybe you have a toddler too and might find this helpful.  Maybe you are someone who knows someone with a toddler and could use a little understanding as too why "that boy/girl" is unruly.  Give those parents and those kids a break.  My toddler isn't finished yet.  We are working on him/with him to raise him to love the Lord and others.  We aren't finished as parents either.  This is a process that takes decades not a couple of years.  Ok, I'm digressing.  Here you go.  If you want more info, you can go to .


To cope with toddler behavior it helps to remember the basic principle of developmental discipline: the drive that babies have to develop is the same one that creates discipline challenges.

1. Wheels to run on

Imagine how it must feel to learn to walk! He can see all those tempting delights around the room, and he finds ways to get his hands on many of them. once the developmental skill of walking appears, children have an intense drive to master it. So toddlers toddle—constantly. And they can toddle into unsafe situations. Walking progresses to running, and climbing a few stairs turns into scaling kitchen counters.

2. Hands as tools

Along with learning how to pick up things, the one- year- old baby develops hand skills to manipulate what he gets. Doors are to be opened, knobs turned, drawers pulled, dangling cords yanked, and waste cans emptied. Everything within walking and grabbing distance is fair game, or so he figures. To the inquisitive adventurer, the whole house is an unexplored continent, and he intends to leave no stone unturned.

3. Out of the mouths of babes

The development of language—verbal and body— makes parenting a bit easier. Baby can now begin to tell you what she needs with words. This new skill is a mixed blessing. While baby words are entertaining, they can also be frustrating as the parents struggle to understand just what "da-boo" means. Toddlers like to try on different noises to hear how they sound and how they affect their audience. They screech and squeal, yell and jabber. Sometimes their little baby words are pleasing to your ears, and at other times they are nerve-wracking. Language also gives expression to feelings; a feisty "no" from your formerly agreeable child can raise your eyebrows.

4. A mind of their own

Toddlers think, but not logically. Just as motor skills take off during the first half of the second year, toward the last half mental skills blossom. The one-year-old plunges impulsively into activities without much thinking. The two-year-old studies her environment, figuring out a course of action in her head before venturing forth with her body. But a baby's desire to do something often precedes the ability to do it successfully. This developmental quirk drives toddlers into trouble and caregivers to the brink. Even though you know that baby hasn't mastered a skill yet, your explanation won't stop him from trying. For example, one morning our son Stephen insisted on pouring his own juice. He had the ability to maneuver the cup and pitcher, but lacked the wisdom to know when the cup was full. He did not want us to pour it for him, so we let him stand at the sink and pour water into cups while we poured the juice at the table. After a pouring party at the sink, he accepted my hand on his hand and followed my nudge for when to stop pouring.

During the second year your baby's temperament will become more apparent. "Bubbly," "daredevil," "determined," "cautious," and "adventurous" are just a few of the labels toddlers acquire. Children come wired differently, and different kinds of children need different kinds of discipline. Matthew, a relatively cautious toddler, seemed to think out a task carefully before attempting it. If he got himself in too deep he would not protest being rescued. our two-year-old Lauren came wired with a different program. She sees an enticing gadget on top of the kitchen counter and she is willing to risk life and limb to get it. Because of her personality, we don't often let her out of our sight. Her drive helps her keep going, to get up after falling, to persist after being told "no," to struggle with words to make her needs known. It also inspires her to climb higher if the cookie jar has been promoted to the top shelf. The parents' task, in the words of one frazzled toddler manager, is to "keep my child from breaking his neck, and yet encourage him to learn." Think "age-appropriate behavior" and you'll be able to give age-appropriate direction.

5. Some challenging behaviors are developmentally correct

In the normal course of development those same behaviors the child needs to developmentally advance to the next level are the very ones that can get him into trouble. As a child goes from dependence to independence, he will often merit labels like "defiant," "won't mind," "bossy," "sassy," and "impulsive." Some of these behaviors are simply a byproduct of the child's need to become an independent individual. And the "stubbornness" that keeps your child from "minding" is the same spunk that helps him get up after a fall and try again.

6. Get in "phase" with your child

Developing children take two steps forward and one step backward. In each stage of development, they bounce back and forth from equilibrium to disequilibrium. While they're stepping forward into uncharted territory, finding new friends, trying new things, expect discipline problems due to the anxiety that tags along with experimenting. In each stage, expect the calm to come after the storm. The same child who spent two months in a snit may act like an angel for the next three. This developmental quirk can work to the child's advantage and yours. Spot which phase your child is in. If he's trying to move away and grow up a bit, let out the line. During this phase, your child may seem distant from you; she may even answer back and defy you. Don't take this personally. This phase will soon pass. The child is just in the "do it myself" phase and needs some space and coaching (including correcting) from the sidelines.

One day soon, as sure as sunrise follows nightfall, you'll find your child snuggling next to you on the couch asking for help with tasks and suggesting activities you can do together. You may even wake up one morning and discover your six-year-old nestled next to you in bed. This child is now in a reconnecting phase, a pit stop in the developmental journey when your child needs emotional refueling.

When parents and child are out of harmony, discipline problems multiply. If your child is trying to break away when you are trying to bond, you are likely to overreact to what may be normal behaviors of independence. If you are too busy while your child is in the reconnecting phase, you miss a window of opportunity to strengthen your positions as comforter, adviser, authority figure, and disciplinarian.

7. Respect negative phases

Projects such as toilet training should not be undertaken during a negative phase.

8. Plan ahead

Discipline problems are likely to occur when a child is making the transition from one developmental stage to another, or during major family changes: a move, a new sibling, a family illness, or so on. I recently counseled a family whose previously sweet child had turned sour. The mother had started a new job, and at the same time the child started a new school. If possible, time major changes in your life for when a child is not going through major changes herself.

9. What is "normal" may not be acceptable

"I don't care what the book says, Bobby and Jimmy, fighting is not going to be normal in our home," said a mother who knew her tolerance. Part of discipline is learning how to live with a child through different developmental stages. A child's early family experience is like boot camp in preparing for life. A child must learn how to get along with family members in preparation for future social relationships. He needs to be adaptable and learn to adjust his behaviors to a particular family need. Billy is boisterous by temperament. Yet, Billy is expected to play quietly for a few days because mommy is recovering from an illness and has a headache. It is healthy for the child to learn that the sun rises and sets on other people besides himself. Children must learn to adapt to house rules to prepare them to adjust to society's rules.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

a song of praise

and perhaps you are thinking from an unlikely source, U2.  However this is one of many praise songs that U2 has written over 30 years.  When others put songs or poems on their blogs I rarely read it (unless it was actually written by the blogger) and often skip to the written parts but even knowing that others might do the same I still want to put it up. 
The song is called 'All Because of You':

I was born a child of grace

Nothing else about the place
Everything was ugly but your beautiful face
And it left me no illusion

I saw you in the curve of the moon
In the shadow cast across my room
You heard me in my tune
When I just heard confusion

All because of you
All because of you

All because of you,
I Am

I like the sound of my own voice
I didn't give anyone else a choice
An intellectual tortoise
Racing with your bullet train

Some people get squashed crossing the tracks
Some people got high rises on their backs
I'm not broke but you can see the cracks
You can make me perfect again

All because of you
All because of you

All because of you
I Am

I'm alive
I'm being born
I just arrived, I'm at the door
Of the place I started out from
And I want back inside

All because of you
All because of you

All because of you
I am
See the double meaning in 'I am'.  I am who I am because of Him and He is the great 'I AM'.  Very clever writing.  This is one of David Sr.'s favorite U2 songs.  It isn't my favorite song but I have a hard time picking favorites with this band.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


So, this year I thought I would follow my husband's example and give up something for lent (last year he gave up sugar and this year he is giving up sugar and fried foods, in case you were curious).  I decided that it would be beneficial to give up morning television.  I actually don't watch morning television but my son does.  So what I'm really giving up is morning cartoons.  Cartoons that allowed me to wake up a bit more, take snoozes when needed, eat breakfast in peace and just lounge.  I relied on morning cartoon a bit more since this pregnancy because of the energy I had (or didn't have).  Yesterday morning I had the t.v. on before I even remembered that it was ash wednesday, the beginning of the lentel season (did I spell that right?  I know it isn't spelled like the bean).  David Jr. slept a little later (8am) and we were halfway through SuperWhy on PBS before I realized it.  Rather than interrupt the cartoon right away I waited until it was over and turned it off with nary a peep from my toddler.  It also helped that we were going to church that morning for bible study and he would get to play in nursery, which he loves.  That took up the first morning since we were home by noon and he fell asleep in the car on the way home. 

Today (day 2) we didn't have the t.v. on and david didn't even ask for it.  I was surprised.  I thought he would have felt the absence more but I'm thankful that on top of not having the luxury of just sitting quietly I didn't have to work extra hard to distract a toddler from his desires for cartoons.  I expect the coming week to be easier too since david sr. will be home for spring break.  The t.v. is rarely on during the day when my husband is home.  Probably because we are all more preoccupied and my loneliness for people is less palpable. 

Speaking of spring break, we have an intimidating list of to-do's for it.  I am excited to be getting stuff done but realize that if we get it all done we will be exhausted.  If we don't, which is more likely, we'll still have to figure out when and how to get it done between now and baby #2.  Our list consists of tiling our kitchen backsplash.  Ourselves.  Yea, this could get ugly.  Also, we have some furniture rearranging to do (not a big deal) and some furniture painting.  Gardening is also part of our list.  Which I really look forward to.  I hope for superb weather--sounds divine.  I have to gather, clean, register, and tag our consignment items for the children's consignment that will happen the week after.  Those are the bigger tasks but there are many many less big tasks (but not small).  Getting David to sleep in his "big boy bed" at night, re-covering dining room chairs, making curtains for kitchen and laundry room, finishing curtains for nursery and guest rooms (close but still need some attention), dr's appts, and more!!! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

preterm paranoia

After David jr. came 6 wks early I am more watchful/wary/worried about every sensation pregnancy brings from here on to the end of my pregnancy.  The problem is that I'm 30 wks along and it is hard to avoid strange and unusual sensations since there is, afterall, a person growing inside of me that moves.  I think that I have been having Braxton-hicks contractions so this adds to my trepidation.  What if this is the beginning of preterm labor?  What is going to happen to David jr. if I have to be in the hospital for a week or more?  Who will take over my class?  David sr. suggested we come up with a plan over spring break and then asked if the baby can wait that long.  I wish I had the answer to that.  I haven't gotten into the hospital and I already miss my little boy.  This will be the first time I leave him overnight and I don't like it.  I wish he could come with us (and honestly, I haven't ruled that out completely yet). 

I do take comfort in the fact that many people are praying for us and I know it!  I know they are praying for this baby to go to term.  Thank you so much, guys!  You know who you are!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

driving through

Places I wish had a drive-through and should thoroughly consider it for mamas who have kids in car seats:

1)  the post office
2)  restaurants other than fast food, like newks or mcallisters
3)  shops that do car inspection stickers
4)  grocery stores (just for staples that are a rarely on sale anyway)

wouldn't that be grand?

Monday, February 14, 2011

my funny valentine

It is our 6th valentine's day and I just wanted to share a few quirky things about my husband, david, that make me laugh to myself (and roll my eyes occasionally).

1.  He takes a good couple of hours to really wake up in the morning.  Weekend mornings I'm raring to go (because I'm so much more motivated to be productive when he is around) and I can't get much out of him in terms of complete and clear sentences.  His desire is to sit quietly with his coffee and perhaps a book until he is ready to really face the world.  It is pretty funny to see this same quality in our son (but manifests itself in lots of fussing and rubbing of the eyes).  So, I'm learning not to try and engage my valentine in any deep discussions or planning during these early morning hours.

2.  He reads about 4 to 6 books at once.  I've been known to occasionally have a few books that I'm reading but he takes that to a whole new level.  Usually, they consist of different genres.  He'll have a fun science fiction book, a theology book, a latin and/or rome related book, a bible study, and possibly an informational how-to type book.  He never lacks for reading material and will take any opportunity to read.  Especially true since he got a kindle e-book reader for Christmas.  Books are david's crack.

3.  He has a new found fascination with the early church and the church calendar.  He has read tons of stuff on the subject and has taken last year to celebrate church calendar days.  He found a reformed episcopalian church to attend on such days.  I've gone along for the ride while making wisecracks about my husband becoming catholic and leaving the presbyterian denomination.  He assures me this isn't so but he does love the liturgy of these services.  When I'm not making fun, I'm appreciating that he has learned not to throw the baby out with the bath water as lots of protestants tend to.  He has a great understanding of why the early church did what it did to celebrate/praise/worship Christ.  Whereas, I (and many others) can throw away a lot of what other more liturgical churches do (including catholicism) because of some basic differences in theology and faith.

4.  David's mind wanders--absent-minded professor is a stereotype that really fits sometimes.  Here is how I usually see this.  We are in the car and I make an observation about something that most people would respond to.  David is not most people.  After a minute or so of silence, I, again, remind him that a reply was expected.  He is jogged back to real time where he, again, apologizes because his mind wandered (much like Walter Mitty) and explains where his train of thought took a detour.  Frustrating for a girl who loves a good conversation but also interesting that someones mind works so differently.  I hope to understand that precious mind more and more as the years go by. 

5.  David's passions are quite simple.  This makes him extremely easy to please and quite predictable.  A nice glass of wine or bottle of beer.  A hearty meal.  A good movie or book.  Marital benefits (*wink, wink).  His loves can get even simpler than that.  He enjoys children's literature and cartoons and winnie the pooh.  It is no wonder that occasionally I feel like I married a small boy rather than the 30 year old that he is.  However, I'm also aware that many men operate that way.   Can't say that I wouldn't mind being surprised by something David says or does but I can say that this predictability and consistency is one of the reasons I married him.  He is a safe and dependable friend.

6.  When I am usually surprised are those times when david is uncommonly funny.  He sometimes makes cracks or jokes that strike me as hilarious.  I never know when it is going to spring up.  I have noticed that when he is with his twin lakes buddies he is funnier than usual.  Also, he is funnier during the summer when he isn't distracted with work and class.  I love hanging out with him when he is really relaxed.  He can be very clever.  Part of the charm of his humor perhaps is that it is unexpected.  He isn't the guy that is always trying to be funny so he has the element of surprise.  Who expects an absent-minded, quiet and serious man to spring a joke on you?  It works. 

So, here are 6 funny things about my funny Valentine for the 6 years we've known each other.  I hope to know him more and more.  I hope to respect and love him more and more.  I'm thankful to our Lord for bringing us together.  No one knows more than our Lord how those idiosyncrasies were well-suited for my own (and there are many--and they aren't always so funny).  Happy Valentine's Day, Beloved.  Here is to knowing each other more with every year!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


There has been quite a fad of late where seemingly random people in a public place break into song and/or dance in a well rehearsed way.  It, of course, is rigged.  These folks have practiced and assign a time and place and the fun begins.  David and I watched several of these, like the one done at Ole Miss a few years ago.  There was another one we took a moment to watch about a week ago.  I'm tickled by this idea.  I would love to be in that audience--it really would make my day to see this happen.  Or even to orchestrate one. 

We watched this one that took place in the foodcourt of a shopping mall.  As far as I know it was a thousand miles away.  This group began (one person at a time) to sing Handel's Messiah.  At first, we were both tickled by what we saw, as usual.  I'm not sure if it was the thoughts of my sweet father-in-law now passed who loved this song, or if it was that I was seeing the Lord being praised in such a public place but I began to feel moved.  By the last couple of minutes, I was weeping.  I turned to David and he also was full of emotion.  This fun idea turned into a beautiful moment of worship that was joy-filled and somber all at once.  So, I'm pleased to share this with you.

Please note that this is a different video than the one performed at Macy's.  Just in case you already saw that one.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I haven't been that interested in blogging lately.  No reason why, just wanted to get my hands dirty doing other projects, I guess.  I have learned how to knit and have been practicing nightly in front of the t.v.  I love having something to do with my hands and it is so relaxing.  I have a few sewing projects up my sleeve as well.  Can you use the same pattern for different size clothing?  Anyway, I'll figure it out.  David and I are also looking to tile our kitchen backsplash in the most affordable, yet good-looking way possible.  We want to try it ourselves but are a little afraid of how it might turn out.  We get more motivated when we learn that we are saving up to 500 dollars just to install.  That is not counting the cost of the actual tile and other materials.   Ick.  We also have some electrical work that needs to get finished.  Awhile back I installed undercabinet lighting but have not finished the wiring.  Why?  Well, I nearly electrocuted myself when I spliced some wires (according to the directions) and plugged it in.  So, I'm a little trigger shy now.  I suppose all these projects are motivating me now that I have some nesting hormones lurking in me.  We still need to fix the part of our roof that has been having drainage issues and has led to rodents taking up residence in our attic (again!)   As you can see, lots of projects.  There are more that I haven't even listed.  I'm excited to see them get done, one by one. 

Another project I've started is a Christmas scrapbook.  I wanted to compile (in a cutesy, scrapbook-y fashion) an album of all our christmas cards and letters.  I'm working on 2007 presently. 

One of my classes didn't make this semester so I'm just teaching on mondays.  David's class through UF appears to be easier/less time-consuming than usual with no papers or tests just weekly homework that seems less hard.  I'm not sure if the work is easier or if david is just getting faster and better at translating his latin texts.  He is still excited about what he is learning, though. 

David Jr. is adorable.  He is my destructive little boy who wants to grab, throw down, climb anything that is around.  Mama has to be quick to get him off our desks, and out of the dog food container.  He probably needs more outside time but I am too too cold to step one toe out.  So, we've been rather cooped up and yes, it is self-inflicted.  I don't like the bitter cold of jan. and feb.  

Well, it is time for me to take my freshly napped, and lunched toddler to the grocery store with me.  I only have so much time before he starts to fall apart.  So, I'll venture out into the cold only because we have to eat.  Maybe I'll write more later.