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Friday, January 30, 2009

In Due Time

It has been a while since I first felt our little girl wiggle back in the beginning of November. Back then I could tell that her arms & legs were on my left, and her head & back were up high on my right - now it feels as if she has a dozen appendages and she is using my bladder for a trampoline.

As her body grows she inevitably becomes more "real" to me. I have been beginning to think more and more about life after this little girl's birth. Will she look more like my husband or I? Will she have a dramatic personality like her sister, or will she be more like her easygoing brother?  And, thinking a bit more practically - what will we name this new addition to our family?

When my first child was born I was blissfully unaware how incredibly difficult it was to take care of a baby. Her brother arrived not even two years later, and I didn't really have time to think about life with two little ones, I just blindly worked from dawn until dusk hoping that all of the fundamentals were covered, but not really able to do much more than the basics. We bustled through the daily routine of feedings, diaper changes, play dates, and temper tantrums.

God decided that, despite our trying, this baby would be spaced 4 years after her siblings. In those 4 years I have learned that the exhausting life with toddlers actually does subside, and now I am a bit hesitant to enter back into that world. Don't get me wrong, I adore the feel of a tiny baby in my arms, their erratic arm movements as they study their own fist, the precious day that they look up at you and smile for the first time . . . it is other things I'm not so excited about. The sleepless nights, constant scent of spit-up on my shoulder, lack time to take care of even the most basic task for yourself without a little one screaming for attention, and never ending cycle of diapers are in all honesty HARD! It is easy to get discouraged when the crying seems unending, or your infant has just ruined her third outfit of the day and it is only 8:00 AM. Life temporarily spins out of control - it is just such an intensely wonderful and taxing time of life.
This week the kids and I stumbled into an amazing sale at Target and we were able to buy a weeks worth of adorable infant outfits for the little one we are currently calling "baby sister." For only a few dollars we bought socks, sleepers, and a fleeting moment of peace of mind for Mommy. Knowing that I have something for her to wear makes her birth feel a bit more manageable. There are a lot of things that I probably should make sure get accomplished before this little one arrives, but in reality I know that no matter how prepared I am, life will change with her arrival.

The truth of life with infants is that it is impossible to fit them into my already comfortable schedule - they create an entirely different world at the moment of their birth.  We will have to find a new comfortable schedule.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New History

Lately our family has been sick.  Not the mild cough, annoying sniffle kind of sick, but the fever induced - sleeping all day - unable to move kind of sick.  Thankfully, after nearly a week and a half, we are starting to feel better.  

Our recovery was perfectly timed so that we could enjoy the historic inauguration yesterday. Regardless of my first choice for president, we can't argue that it was an amazingly exciting day.   

The kids enjoyed assembling their own little history book as they watched the days activities.  

What? Doesn't everyone have their own Obama paper dolls?  

They kept asking questions and making comments that amused me.
Is Mr. Bush a bit sad today?
Why is the inauguration outdoors if it is so cold out?  Aren't they freezing?
Why don't the mommies and kids get to ride with their presidents? (during the procession to the Capital)
Is this church?  They are all praying.
Hey!  He said it wrong!  (Of John Roberts when he botched leading the Presidential Oath of Office)
Will they all take a nap after their special lunch?
I like this party - lets do it again!  I'll be president, and you be my secret service.
Why won't that parade come by our house?
If this is a historic day how can it be happening now?  Isn't history in the past?

And my very favorite comment of the day:
Barak Obama is going to be in charge of lots of things now - we should pray for him.
Out of the mouths of babes!  

O Lord, our Lord
How majestic is Thy name in all the earth, 
Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast established strength,
Because of Thine adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?
And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?
Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, 
And dost crown him with glory and majesty!
Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands;
Thou hast put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Thy name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

12th Night

The celebration of 12th Night has become an annual tradition in our house, simply because the holidays are such a crazy, busy, time with both sides of our families, that we needed a family night to ourselves. It is a reminder that this season isn't all about gifts, and it is the day we "officially" end our celebration of Christmas. Traditionally, 12th Night is the celebration of the arrival of the Magi at the home of young Jesus. I'm sure it took them much longer than 12 days, but since nobody really knows, we'll just go with it.

The tree stays up and the kids are encouraged to leave their opened Christmas gifts under it until Jan 6th. During the day we read several stories of the wise men. Our favorites are Matthew 2, "The Gift of the Magi" by O.Henry and "The Story of the Three Wise Kings" by Tomie DePaola.

This evening the kids were thrilled to set up for dinner all by themselves. The coffee table in the living room was decorated with gold paper plates and a random assortment of silverware. They lit Frankincense scented candles and said one more thank-you to Jesus for being born. We sang "We Three Kings" and then we had the treat of eating Chinese food (our interpretation of "from the East") with chop sticks while sitting on the floor of our living room and watching the last Christmas movie of the season. The kids favorite - "The Little Drummer Boy," which, although completely fictional, focuses on the travels of the Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus. For dessert they had gold chocolate coins.

Tomorrow is when we start to put away all of the Christmas decorations. We bring their new toys to the playroom, dust all of the surfaces that were hiding under the decor, and return to normal post-holiday life.

And that is our funny family ritual.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Interview With My Kids

I was goofing off with the kids yesterday and started asking them some questions and typing the answers.  Remember the phrase "Ask a silly question, get a silly answer?"  Well it's true, but with little kids, the silliness of the answer isn't always dependent on the question.  

Where do you live?
3yo - "I don't live anywhere" 
5yo - "I want to live on a farm, but I just live here."

What was the most fun thing you did this year? 
3yo - "I had chocolate money to eat"  
5yo - "Wrapping baby Jesus to put him ni-night"
I guess they are too young to really know what a year is yet - these are things we did this week.

What animal would you like to have as a pet?
3yo - "A big dinosaur"
5yo - "A horsey"

What is your favorite vegetable? 
3yo - "Blueberries" 
5yo - "Carrots"

What is your favorite holiday?
3yo - "The one with bunnies and jelly beans"  
5yo - "Christmas"

If you could change your name, what would you choose? 
3yo - "My name? I want to keep my name!" (nearly in tears)
5yo - "Pocahontas"

What do you love most about Daddy?
3yo - "Daddy play down the snow hills . . . FAST!" 
5yo - "Daddy lets us jump in his arms and twirls me around."

What do you love most about Mommy?
3yo - "Mommy dancing with me."
5yo - "Mommy makes things to eat."

What do you love most about your brother/sister?
3yo - "Play pretend"
5yo - "Play with him and sit beside him."

Where would you like to go on vacation this year? 
3yo - "To a rocket to the museum to see the dinosaurs"
5yo - "To Auntie Michelle's house, but we need to buy an airplane first."

What would you like to do?
3yo - "Go in a rocket."
5yo - "Get some little horses to play with Shadie."

I tried a few more "what is your favorite . . . (toy, game, book etc.)" questions, but I kept getting the same answers:
3yo - "racecar"
5yo - "indians"
I can't decide whether they REALLY love these things, or the novelty of our game wore off.  Either way, it was a fun way to see what is on their little minds.