Monthly Archives: October 2010

Parenting

So, I have been doing a bit of reading lately because even though I work with children and took child development courses (Piaget is just okay) I figure I’ve got to get as much theory and written advice in now because once I have a child I won’t have time to do this kind of reading.  Cute baby wins almost everytime over dry reading.  Some of it is challenging theory like “Unconditional Parenting” where I have to remind myself not to throw the proverbial baby out with the skewed facts/bath water.  (Now I can’t stop…those behavioral studies he sights and doesn’t like aren’t good research!  Building a philosophy on the conclusions of bad research makes no sense! )  But I could not help whilst at the beach note 3 situations which I thought, “Well, I/we won’t be doing *that*.”  I tell you, this trip was a treasure trove of parenting don’ts the likes of which I had never before seen.  And that’s saying something.  Because I’ve been at both a Waffle House and a Walmart at 3am. 

                                                                                                                                 Gratuitous Beach Photo

1)  Child and parents (assumed) at the beach.  Parents HOLD CHILD DOWN attempting to bury said child in the sand to take a photo.  Child is screaming and attempting to run away.  Parents repeatedly chase child and hold child down.  

                                     –Just yikes.  Yikes.  Yikes.  Now, perhaps if they were giving some essential medication or it was to save the child’s life.  But really.  For a picture?  Just no.  No.  No.    Your thoughts on this?

2)  Mother walking with toddler down the beach.  They walk about 2 football fields and turn around and walk back.  Upon walking back, Mother reaches into a container that is at their blankets and pulls out a *tiny* baby.  Said tiny baby had evidently been in the container unattended during the 15 minute walk.  Now, in the mother’s benefit she obviously was comfortable with this arrangement and the tiny baby probably wasn’t rolling over or mobile.

                                        –Now I’m aware that as a first time Mom I have all these intentions about what I will or won’t do with my child and I know that I will decide to walk to the mailbox during nap time or go into the hobby room and sew.  I have no illusions that after the first few weeks just sitting and watching the baby sleep will become boring.  But I don’t think I’d leave a baby on a beach and walk that far away.  Maybe with an older child from the distance of the blanket down to the waterline but probably not further.  Children really shouldn’t be unattended in public right?  Thoughts?

3)  At beach eating our picnic  (Another completely gratuitous shot.  It was not all paradise though…check out the hair…it was windy!  (Heh!  A windy day at the beach beats a day at home anytime!))

So we are in a picnic shelter eating our picnic and the place is pretty deserted.  You can see there is one person on the beach behind us.  I look over to the left and see a 5-8 year old girl twirling in circles, doing sand angels, just hanging out having an okay time.  Just about the time that my Mom and I are becoming seriously worried (probably a good 5-10 minutes) and are getting ready to go talk to the girl who is alone and has been since we arrived to picnic a car pulls into the parking lot.  The car honks its horn and an older woman gets out of the driver’s seat and calls a name.  Mom and I look at each other horrified.  Sure enough the little girl goes running over.  The older woman opens the car’s hatch and the little girl changes into clothes  from her bathing suit and begins riding a razor scotter around the parking lot. 

                                                             –Um.  Removing the small likelihood of stranger/pervert danger from the scenario (because honestly the statistics on child abduction and torment by strangers is really tiny.  It’s those people you know that you need to be watchful of.) beaches are dangerous places.  I don’t go to the beach alone.  I don’t swim alone.  I was a competitive distance swimmer.  I have endurance.  I can hold my breath.  I know how to breathe while swimming without choking.  It is unsafe.  People drown.  Kids can drown in a ridiculously small amount of water.  Rip tides take people out too far.  There were jelly fish (I know!  One almost got me.  Despite the broken rib best believe I hauled pregnant self up out of that chair in the surf in flash!) and probably rays as well.  Just dangerous.  And leaving a kid *alone* at a beach, even for just 15 minutes, seems almost CPS phone call worthy to me.

So, yeah.  Mr. T and I may be critical of parenting theory.  We may thoroughly screw our kiddos up in other ways.  But we won’t be burying them in the sand against their will nor, regardless of their age, abandoning them at the beach.  What’s the wildest parenting mishaps you’ve seen or experienced?

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Not Cool. Or Why I’ve been Absent. Or What could be more important than showing you beach pictures?

This.

No, that isn’t some sort of hemoragic disease.  No, Mr. T didn’t go all “Sleeping with the Enemy” on me.  No, I Mr. T didn’t go all junior year of high school.  No, it isn’t frost bite.

It’s petechiae from vomitting.  And if you think that is horrendous looking you should see my face.  Yeah.  Not so pretty. 

On Wednesday night (pre-stomach revolt) Mr. T and I went out to dinner and whilst walking to the restaurant from the car came across “The Predator” and thought, “Huh.  Halloween is soon but that is strange.”  A little further down the street we spied a whole slew of costumed horror characters (not that I remember any of them specifically now) just standing about on the street.  It was strange.  I’m not sure if it was someone’s idea of a good time or a good time gone awry.  Standing on a sidewalk in costume just doesn’t appeal to me.  But, other things do, so who knows?  ANYWAY, the point is, too bad the standing around looking horrific happened pre-stomach revolt because Thursday-Today I could have fit right in.  No make up needed. 

I’ve actually been wishing this week was next week because I have several cool Halloween costume ideas that could incorporate (did you ever notice how similar incorporate and incorporeal are???) this strangled look I’m rocking.  Why I could go as a (stopped blogging to google pregnant woman hanged cause I figured some time in the prior to, oh, 1880 some woman somewhere was hanged for robbery or witch craft or something but came across actual recent news stories from India and Afghanistan…awful…so nevermind…) pre-alien popped John Hurt from the movie Aliens…or a Mama Zombie…or something equally funny and gruesome.

But I’m a week early and I’m really, really, really, really, really hoping that my body reabsorbs the blood really quickly.  😀 

So, tomorrow beach pictures.  Sunset pictures.  Maybe even some beach narrative although the pain meds make it all a little blurry now.

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Blessings

Today is the 1st Anniversary of our baby losses.  What a blessing.  Our two babies gave their lives so that this baby I am gestating could live, so that my parents and myself could lead healthier lives, so that I could tell other women who have had loss that the there is hope on the other side (and by the way have the actual MTHFR test run, not just the check of homocysteine levels), and so that Mr. T and I could walk closer with Our Lord.

But I feel sort of dark and miserable today too.  While I am extremely grateful for AU I am also longing for the babies we have not yet met.  I am wishing fiercely that events had been ordered differently.  That somehow I could have known what was wrong before.  But in the knowing there would have been loss.

Despite my efforts to move forward (and I am!) there are certain things that pull me back.  That seem to come up frequently and are uncomfortable for me.  And sometimes for others.  Like strangers in the grocery store who ask if this is my first.  No.  It is not. But saying you have had losses or two babies who died just isn’t comfortable to discuss with strangers.  Or really anyone.  There has to be a better way.  Sometimes I say this will be my first.  Sometimes I say this will be our first living child.

Sometimes I wonder if pre-legalized-abortion there was more grace and understanding about women in loss situations but I think the “don’t tell anyone you are pregnant until the baby is born” mentality overstepped that.  I guess I mean more in looking at a pregnancy as being pregnant with a child, a baby, a human being, and not a fetus or as a non-entity.  Because obviously, if you are pregnant with a non-entity with no rights or just the suggestion of future possibility then what is the big deal?  Yeah, so you lost possibility, doesn’t that happen every day as we make choices and exist?

And I am just a jumble of thoughts and emotions which is perfectly normal.  And sucks.  And somehow I thought because I “handled” the losses well (and I believe I did!) I might be immune.  I might not be sitting here thinking that if my February baby had lived I would be getting ready to meet him or her  (Although I find comfort in the symmetry and Plan that I sit here pregnant with a February baby!) albeit with a cracked rib which would *totally* be awful (or at least is awful in my imagination of what a peaceful, productive labor with a cracked rib would be like) but I would do it in a heartbeat if it were a choice.  But it’s not.  That future, possibility, baby is buried with his/her sibling.

This afternoon we will stand in our backyard and cry.  And tell our babies about AU and what we know now.  And how thankful we are to have been blessed to know them.  And how they changed our lives forever.  And made us better people.  And how glad we are that they are living in Heaven feeling more love and care than we could have ever given.  And we will sing.  And we will remember our joy.  And we will be thankful.

I was watching the news earlier in the week and listened to a monologue about the Chilean miners.  There was a very poignant line which has been echoing in my brain since then.  “This story gives us hope that someone will come looking for us in our dark places.”  Yes!  The monologue didn’t go on to evangelize although what a great place to start that…

I’m not stuck in this dark place.  I’m only visiting.  God is here with me.  Sitting by my side as I type.  But so are my babies.  Although my tears have already started, outside the sun is shining.  It is a beautiful day for remembering.  It is a beautiful day.

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Really? Seriously?

Yeah, so I’ve had a spot of a cold the past few days.  No big deal really.  A little sore throat, some coughing, some sneezing, some throwing up.  Until…

I sneezed getting up from the computer chair last night…

And…

CRACKED

A

RIB.

Yes, you read correctly.

Yes, I’m pregnant.

No, I’m not 85 years old.

Gah!  It hurts so bad.  I’m not sure I recall a worse pain (although there was that left index finger surgery where the anethesia didn’t kick in and the choice was to go to the hospital (from the doctors office) and miss the homecoming dance or just bite the proverbial bullet…yes…I went to the dance! ) ever, ever, ever!  The pain meds so far aren’t that spectacular.  I’m going to take a full dose tonight so we’ll see what happens.

My poor baby though!  I’m telling myself that the reason these prescription pain meds were given to me were that they don’t cross the placenta…you know…keeping the baby safe and sound and not in a drugged out coma.  Yeah, see, they are okay drugs since I believe that.  🙂

 

Anyway…that’s all the news that’s fit to print tonight…depending on how I feel there may be beach updates in real time or there may not…I know…the suspense is killing you!  Hang in there!

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Great Sermon (Posted with Permission)

It’s Happened Before, Will It Again?  Your Call.
by Pastor Ed Evans
Scripture:  Lamentations 1:1-6
1:1  How lonely sits the city that once was full of people!  How like a widow she has become, she that was great among the nations!  She that was a princess among the provinces has become a vassal.
1:2  She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies.
1:3  Judah has gone into exile with suffering and hard servitude; she lives now among the nations, and finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.
1:4  The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to the festivals; all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her young girls grieve, and her lot is bitter.
1:5  Her foes have become the masters, her enemies prosper, because the LORD has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.
1:6  From daughter Zion has departed all her majesty. Her princes have become like stags that find no pasture; they fled without strength before the pursuer.
Recently I attended the funeral of a friend, where someone expressed the thought that God should keep His arms around the deceased and give him special care to “make up for all he suffered and all that seemed unfair.”  In a perfect world, that would certainly be expected.  Right would never be overcome by wrong.  Good, decent people would not be taken advantage of by thieves and swindlers and  people who didn’t believe in being fair.  And God would count all the nice things we do to our credit, and balance out our sins.
That, after all, would be fair.
And wouldn’t it only be fair if America managed to survive all the neglect it has suffered at the hands of those who live within its borders, who enjoy its God-given freedoms and protections, while ignoring Almighty God; drinking deeply from the well without giving thought to replenishing its waters.  Only fair?
But I remember an old country adage that says “fair” is where you find the Ferris wheel and where you take the pig every summer to win a blue ribbon.  There is no other kind of fair.
My experience in this life tells me that’s pretty much true.  How about you?  As for seeking justice from God by having Him balance things out, I’d run from that like a scalded dog.  It really isn’t justice we want from Almighty God, but mercy.
What has all this to do with our scripture?  Allow me to substitute a few words in verses one and two for the sake of illustration:
“How lonely sits the nation of America that once was full of people and jobs!  How like a widow she has become, she that was great among the nations!  She that was a princess among the provinces has become a vassal, financially beholding to other nations.  She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies.”
There are few things that happen in our time that are new, and this is not new.  Actually, the same might be said for Israel right now, and Great Britain, and others.  No, life is not fair.  If it were, someone has said, we would never learn anything new.
How did America come to be full of people who want, want, want and never give back, give back, give back?  What happened to all the jobs?  How did the nation with “In God We Trust” stamped on its money, and with Christian mottoes adoring so many of its official buildings in the nation’s capitol city — how did such a nation of people become the nation that murders more infant children than any in the world?  The nation that takes from those who productively support the nation and gives to those who have no legal right to be in that nation?
How did America put into place national leaders who claim to worship the Christ, but turn their backs on previously approved national days of prayer, who lie blatantly to the American people, who break their promises to the electorate while blaming others for their misdeeds?  How could these things come to be?
There is nothing new under the sun.  This has all happened before.  No one should be surprised that it is happening again.  All down through the history of mankind, through the history of nations, where there is power the righteous and the evil will contend for control.  Greed, personal privilege, and avarice will take the field and claim the right of power.  Pride, lust, gluttony will lead to sloth and defend itself with anger.
All through history, elaborated upon in the Bible, nations, armies, powers rise and fall as they unite to build themselves up, then drown in their own wretchedness.
It was precisely to avoid such predictable circumstances that the original founders of the United States of America set up a balance of power and organized a government that is “of the people, by the people, for the people.”  In fact, the first few line of the U.S. Constitution make clear its purpose: ” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
This nation’s earliest documents make it crystal clear that this nation was founded on the idea of the free and unencumbered worship of Almighty God, and that government was established for the organized benefit of America’s citizens.  Somehow the government has become all important and the individual rights of its citizens became less important.
How did we reach this point, with all the checks and balances our forefathers put into place to protect us from ourselves?
Well, let’s see.  This is the country settled initially by those seeking freedom to worship as they chose, not as the government required; the Christian Bible was one of the first texts recommended for all schools; in Washington, D.C., the Capitol Rotunda was for many years used as a site for worship services by four different Christian churches, and worship there was first initiated by President Thomas Jefferson.  We also have a U.S. Constitution which guarantees us certain “God-given” rights.
And yet, Christian prayer is forbidden in our public schools today, the Bible is not allowed in most schools, the public celebration of Christian holidays is not allowed on most public property and in many schools; lawsuits regularly stop Christian invocations at public meetings, luncheons, even sporting events.   Meanwhile the false religion of Islam is promoted by legislators, promoted even in public schools, and so-called ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ urge us to respect and revere the religion of Islam.
We have a President who has attended only one Christian church worship service during his two years in office, he has on two occasions refused to support National Prayer Day events unlike the two previous Presidents, and instead has held at least two public Islamic prayer events at the White House, as well as celebrating the major Islamic holiday of Ramadan at the White House, which this year coincided with Sept. 11th, America’s 911 day of mourning.
The original question I posed was, how did we reach this point, with all the checks and balances our forefathers put into place to protect us from ourselves?  We reached it, I believe, because we were not paying attention.  We took our eyes off the prize and our minds off praising God.  Our attention was diverted by cable TV with its 4,000 stations of entertainment and sports, by easily accessed porn so no one knows, by skipped meditation and prayer times, all separating us from time spent with He who loved us first, with the God who cares enough that He sent His very best, taking our attention away from our own duties in the due concern for the health of our nation, giving free rein to those overcome by the power of their position, turning their back on We the People, and on the God who brought America to greatness.  It has all become very confusing.
The Christian writer Oswald Chambers has written, “There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused.  It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand.  And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.”
It was Almighty God who brought America to its position of prominence in the world, to a level of wealth so we could afford to reach out to others in need and offer them the hand of Christian love, food, medications, strength in their time of weakness.
And I believe it is Almighty God who has brought us to this point in our history, that we might turn to Him once more, come to Him in prayer and worship, that we might return America to its position of greatness, if not for our sakes, for the sake of the world which needs America to be great once again.
It is not that we of America are so wonderful, so decent, so much more intelligent, helpful, or even prayerful than any other nation.  But it is as Paul writes to the Philippians in chapter 3, verse 13-16: “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.  And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.   Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”
“…..what we have already attained.”
God has richly blessed this nation.  It can be great once again, if we who worship the One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will bring to life the promise of God’s answer to Solomon’s prayer in 1st Chronicles 7:14, if we will stand firm for what is right and what is just before God, if we will draw others to worship God and preserve what God has given us.
Might does not always make right, and right does not always prevail over evil.  If we choose to exempt ourselves from the responsibility of God-given citizenship, choose instead to wring our hands and cry “Woe is me,” and decline to use the very tools God has set before us for the protection and preservation of this nation He has blessed, then we can look forward to the very real playing out of that portion of our scripture in Lamentations 1:4-6 — “The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to the festivals; all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her young girls grieve, and her lot is bitter.  Her foes have become the masters, her enemies prosper, because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.  From daughter Zion has departed all her majesty.  Her princes have become like stags that find no pasture; they fled without strength before the pursuer.”
America is one of the last bastions of true freedom for the individual worshipper of God.  If we will not work for a transformation of our own government on November 2, if we will not speak out for what is just and right before God, and if we will not ensure that others who worship God get to the polls on November 2nd and clean House and Senate of those who serve themselves and not God, then we deserve what comes.
This wonderful experiment in freedom and liberty does not deserve extinction, our posterity certainly does not deserve it, but those who will not ensure the survival of freedom, justice, and integrity not only do not deserve it, but will not have it.
” Her foes have become the masters, her enemies prosper, because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions…”
Let us “live up to what we have already attained” in Christ Jesus.  Your call.
Amen.
Daily Scripture Readings for October 4-11, 2010
Monday — Exodus 3: 7-22
Tuesday — Jeremiah 31:23-34
Wednesday — 1st Samuel 18:1-5
Thursday — Hebrews 8:1-12
Friday — Hebrews 13:1-21
Saturday — John 15:1-17
Sunday — Micah 1:2, 2:1-10; Psalm 26; 2nd Timothy 2:8-15; Luke 17:11-19
Pastor Ed Evans
Christian Church Online
Preach the gospel at all times.

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Did you figure it out?

So, I had a wonderful “weekend” with Mr. T on Wednesday.  He was up early!  Surprise!  So we went to breakfast at our favorite biscuit joint (which Food Network has already visited so I’m not posting the name.  I hate having to wait for a table!).  Can you hear my lips smacking over the interwebs ?  After breakfast we journeyed to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens.

If you hadn’t guessed already the pictures from earlier were from the Chihuly exhibit there.  We had a good time walking around the place and checking out the beautiful glass sculptures.  If you are in town you should definitely check it.  We are going to go back some night this month to see how it looks illuminated.  And also to see if the same pregnancy hormones which made me cry about half way through are active at night as well.

The top and bottom pictures I think are cool because they are reflections.  The top one is a boat on a lake.  The bottom is a picture into a different pond with the sun shining brightly.  The middle one is just because yellow is good.  Very good.  Sunny.

After Cheekwood we headed to Target and bought…filing cabinets!…I know most people would not be excited about that purchase but I have approximately a gajillion files and loose papers on my kitchen table today which will not be there by tonight!  Yahoo for organization!  (And props to my organizational whiz Sarah!)

The next activity did involve some angst but anything with Mr. T is a fun time.  Even angst.  Yes, we headed to our showroom appointment with L&L.  Yes, the person who was supposed to be there to meet us didn’t show up.  Yes, the stand-in was not prepared.  Yes, she had the loudest, whiniest (perhaps NJ accent?)  voice I have heard in a loooooonnnnngggg time.  Yes, it was just awful.  BUT we may have some solutions.  We’ll see.  Otherwise, anyone have a good lawyer they’d recommend?

We got home Wednesday evening (after stopping at Mas Tacos Por Favor! Super bueno!) and had a message from the mall that something BFF had put on hold was ready to be picked up.  So we scooted back out of the house and down to the mall.  Where we were able to use a wedding gift card to purchase an on sale ice cream freezer (hope it’s good!) and some AU clothes.

I feel almost guilty about the full price outfit I purchased but I think she’ll wear it for our first family picture so that’s okay, right?

I’ve been busy, busy quilting up a storm.  I have this lovely Robert Kaufman colorway that is very bohemian and I’m making my craft swap buddy a quilt with it and I’m making AU a quilt with it too.  Swap buddy’s quilt is stripes of bold fabric on one side and I think I’m going to do a big star on the other.  Any other gender neutral suggestions?  AU’s quilt is very pink and purple bold fabric in a log cabin design with piano key border on one side.  I think I’m just going to do a regular back but I have to go pick out what that fabric will be.

Tomorrow is the National Banana Pudding Festival!  Yummy here I come!

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Say What?!?

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