Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Once a month seems to have become routine on this blog... wish I could say I'll write more often but given current circumstances I know better.

I'm currently typing one-handed while cradling the newest addition to our family.  Her name henceforth will be Turkey.  I've been calling her that since day 2; the name just seems to fit.  Eventually she'll fatten up but for now she's definitely a little bird.  Whereas Ladybug came out pudgy and round, Turkey came out skinny and long.  She's cute in her own way, and she shows a sweet side occasionally, but so far she seems to be a more serious child than Ladybug.  She frequently wrinkles her brow and furrows her eyebrows, and I can't help but wonder if she's regretting her decision to arrive early.  I'll write her birth story eventually; hers is a bit more exciting than Ladybug's!

A few thoughts on life as it stands right now.  I was asked by the ladies in the county clerk's office how I did it; my reply was "I don't know, all we do is eat and change diapers, and Mom doesn't sleep much.  I hope to figure it out soon!"  If I get one sink full of dishes done or one load of laundry put away, it's a big deal.  It's rough.  We've reached the point of monotony, where every day blends into the next, with moments of pure chaos helping me stay awake.  Don't get me wrong; I love both my girls dearly and wouldn't trade either of them for anything, but being the mom of two under one who aren't twins is dadgum hard!  I know my hormones have played a part in my reactions, but it has been very hard to not get snippy with those who have said "just be glad it's not..."  Twins would have their easier side; at least I wouldn't have one trying to dive off the couch or eat paper while I try to nurse the other.  Three age three and under is possible, if not likely, for us.  If I had one walking at least it'd be easier to get to the car and store & I wouldn't be carrying both of them.  Every situation has its difficulties; playing the "it could be worse" card really doesn't help.

On a positive note, Be Still and Know just played on Pandora, and one verse really stood out.  Turkey won't sleep at night unless I'm holding her.  Even the swing doesn't work.  But I pick her up and lay her on my chest, and her world is suddenly made right.  Really gives a meaningful picture to the following verse.
Be still and know that He is God.
Be still and know He is our Father.
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come be still. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

One month from today I'll be welcoming my second baby girl into the bright world.  For now, though, she's content to hiccup inside of me.  This also means in a month and a half my first baby girl will be turning one.  Wow.  It's hard for me to believe... seems like just yesterday she was a newborn bundled up in blankets, blinking while I tried my best to get her to look at me.  Now I walk in her room and she stands up and beams at me.

Anyway, enough teary-eyed mother talk, and on to the subject I've been wanting to write about.  Humility.  It's come up several times recently, in the sermon Sunday as well as in C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity which I recently read for the first time.  What worries me is that Lewis pointed out that the more prideful we are, the more it bothers us in others.  So the fact that this particular problem rubs me the wrong way makes me think that there's probably something that I'm being too prideful about.  Maybe I'm prideful that I've rejected the "homeschooling is the greatest" idea.

And I just leaked it: homeschooling and pride is my subject of the day.  I've noticed it repeatedly, especially since Ladybug was born.    People that I have thought of as good Christians, as people that were worthy of being admired, have this huge "we're better than others" sign plastered on their heads concerning their choice of schooling.  They seem to think that home schooled people are better than anyone else.  They are less likely to brag about their status as home schooling parents; after all, that would obviously be too prideful.  But they seem to see nothing wrong with making comments like "if they employed home schoolers those kind of mistakes wouldn't be made."

I wouldn't mind these comments nearly as much, I suppose, if they were made in private, at a home school group meeting, or between friends who were both home schooled or home school their own children.  But if you're in a situation where you don't know the full background of everyone in the room, or if you're on a Facebook wall, you are risking offending people.  And while saying "homosexuality is wrong" will offend people, that is a pretty clear Biblical mandate.  Home schooling, on the other hand, is (newsflash here!) not exactly commanded in Scripture.  So unless you know every single person on my friend list, and know that every one of them is linked to homeschooling somehow (which is most certainly not true), you shouldn't be making those kind of comments on my public wall.

When the particular comment that brought this tirade to mind was made, I was torn between ignoring it and deleting it from my wall. My fear was that deleting it would offend the person who made it. But, it became a matter of sheer numbers.  By leaving it up, I was risking offending multiple people who do not home school.  By deleting it, I might offend one person.  I chose the lesser number.  But folks, don't put me in that position.  Don't make me choose to offend someone.  Think about what you're saying.  Walk the talk, as some modern churches would put it.  

(And btw, I've noticed the same problem with some stay-at-home moms, especially those that home school.  The last time someone made a comment about that I wrote a note explaining why I was staying at home and tried to make sure that everyone realized I was not better than anyone else because I had chosen to stay at home.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cheapening honor?

My very long break from blogging has been caused by our dear refurbished computer finally biting the dust.  I hope that the month break from easily accessed Internet has broken my daily Facebook and BabyCenter habit.  You'd think my house would be spotless now... not so much!  I did manage to read a lot, and given that I'm about to welcome child #2 in less than 7 weeks, I doubt that will be the case for quite a while!

This topic is one that I'm somewhat hesitant to publicly write about.  I don't want to offend, nor do I want to land on a list somewhere.  But I feel I owe it to others to at least voice my opinion. 

I don't think the flag should be flying at half mast right now.

*ducks head to avoid flying rotten tomatoes*

Is it safe to come out now? 

Okay, here are my thoughts behind that shocking statement. 

The point of half-mast, or half-staff, is to symbolize a nation in mourning, or to show respect.  For example, flags are to be flown half mast on Memorial day.  That is to show respect, and in a way, mourning, for the soldiers that have died fighting for our country.  They are to be flown half mast for a long period of time after the President or Vice-President has died, and for shorter periods of time after a member of Congress, state governor, or Supreme Court Justice dies.

The problem comes when we fly flags half-mast because of a presidential proclamation.  I'm not saying the President shouldn't have this right, not at all.  But it then becomes more personal as to what we honor and mourn.  Here is my question:  how do we decide what is worthy of national mourning?  And by default, what is not worthy?

My concern is this: we are showing that we are mourning the death of a number of people in a movie theater.  BUT:  How many active military have died in the last year?  I don't know the answer.  But we haven't mourned them, except by lumping them together on Memorial Day.   Where do we draw the line?  So a shooting is worthy of mourning, according to the current President.  All right... but how many have to die before it becomes worthy of national attention?  5?  10?  So if 3 people are killed before a concealed carry permit holder pulls his/her gun and shoots the shooter, that's not worthy of being mourned, but if 19 people are killed because concealed carry is banned in that place of business, we mourn those people?  (I'm not saying there's been 3 people killed and then the shooter stopped, I'm just throwing out random examples of what could be.)  Is it not the number of people dead but what they're doing?

I feel we are cheapening the half-mast symbol.  Yes, it is sad that all those people were killed.  But there are people shot every day!  The city of Chicago alone could cause us to fly half-mast the entire year!  I don't believe that people participating in a recreational activity have more right to be mourned than the soldiers killed in a training flight, training so that they can protect our country.   We should be sad, we should learn from this (private businesses that ban concealed carry are leaving the door wide open for mass shootings), but we should not cheapen the deaths of others who are worthy of national mourning.     

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted.  I guess I've been busy, although you can't tell it by my house.  I swear, by the time I do some basic maintenance it's after 5 and I'm exhausted.  I've come to realize if I get the dishes washed, a load or two of laundry done, and one other tiny project accomplished like cleaning off the coffee table, I've had a productive day.  Where does the time go?

Well, mostly to a very cute, very chubby baby.  She just eats time... maybe that's why she's so fat!  She's around 20 pounds now; I'm sure she's going to seem like a giant compared to the Lump (gotta come up with something better than that!) when she gets here.  I can't even imagine what life's going to be like with two.  Someone today asked, and I get this question a lot, how are you going to do it?  My answer these days is pretty standardized: I don't know, I'll just do it.  I'm certainly not the only one with children less than a year apart; there's quite a few of us baby bunchers out there. I guess because they're not in the situation, they expect it to be totally overwhelming.  And I'm sure I'll have those days, but I'm blessed with being pretty oblivious to the difficulties right now.  I'll figure out a way.  What choice do I have; give one away?

That brings to mind a book I just finished, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  I really enjoyed it, which was surprising since I read it on the recommendation of a pregnancy birth board book club.  They typically suggest trash (50 Shades of Gray anyone?), but this was certainly not trash; fluff, maybe, but good fluff.  A woman in the story gives away her baby, basically acting as a surrogate mother.  A young friend, who had recently lost her baby by miscarriage, told her, you can't just give it away.  You can't just stop being a mother.  It changes you.  And it did.  She was described as acting as if she had lost some part of herself afterwards, although no one knew why because no one realized she'd been a surrogate.

Before Ladybug was born, I wouldn't have fully understood that.  But now, I wonder how true that is.  I know it'd be true in my case.  Obviously people give up babies for adoption, and act as surrogates, but that kind of idea does explain why mothers who had been planning on giving up their child give birth and suddenly change their mind.  I can't imagine giving up a child whom I had cared for in the womb.  While I don't feel as attached to the Lump as I did to Ladybug before she was born, I also have 13 more weeks to become more attached, especially since I can now watch her kicks and rolls in addition to feeling them.  I'm not as attached simply because I don't talk and sing exclusively to her like I did her sister, because I spend my time talking to and playing with her sister.  I did pick up a library book and think, this is way too many words for Ladybug to sit through but I'll read it to the Lump.

I also told the Mechanic while talking about friends who don't have children, they don't really realize what they're missing.  Oh, they may express regret about not having kids, or maybe they don't.  But you can't explain to someone what being a mom is like.  I told him, I can't even explain to you what it's like.  It's beyond words.  It's incredible.  Yes, overwhelming when I think of the grand scheme of things.  But overwhelming in a good way when I kiss chubby toes and fat cheeks, and tickle her and make her laugh, and walk in the room and her say "mamama" when she sees me (yes, I'm special; I'm more than a "mama," I'm a "mamama!"), and realize she's mine.  There's a bond there unlike any other relationship, and I of all people know what it's like for that relationship to be lacking.  That's part of why my relationship with Ladybug, and her sister, is so special to me; I want to love them in a way that they'll understand the allusions to a mother's love in the Bible.  And I'll have shortcomings; I'm already doing things like giving Ladybug popcicles that I said I wouldn't do!  I'm sure there will be far greater mistakes made.  I just hope that when their heart is breaking and tears start spilling down their cheeks, that they'll know they can reach and cry "mamama" and I'll be there to love them.

Friday, May 11, 2012

18 weeks to go...

Over half-way there... it's hard to believe!  This pregnancy seems to have gone by so much faster than with Ladybug.  Not having the 24/7 nausea helped, I think, plus being distracted by Ladybug instead of dragging myself to work every day.

So far things are stable.  Still have the low lying placenta, still have the subchorionic hemorrhage, sugars are slowly starting to creep up.  But, I feel her move every evening while I'm still and reading in bed, which is reassuring.  We'll see how she does tonight; I sort of overdid it on our walk today.  Well not sort of... definitely.  I got ambitious and decided to not just go to the library, but another block to the bakery.  No biggie.  Then I spotted a yard sale, so we went to check that out... found a couple cute Christmas things.  Then I made my mistake.  I knew that street was blocked off from cars at the top of the hill, but I thought sure I could get by.  Just thought I might need to go into a yard for a couple yards.

Yeah... right.  They felt the need to put the guard rail across the entire road.  No room for even a pedestrian to squeeze by.  And the "yard" next to it was an extremely steep hill.  I thought I might be able to climb over the guard rail and collapse the stroller and push it under the rail.  Nope.  Not only was my basket full of library books and donut holes so the stroller wouldn't collapse fully, Ladybug had fallen asleep.  And that guard rail was higher than my waist; there was no way I could climb over it while holding Ladybug.  If she'd been awake I would have just sat her down while I got the stroller across but I was not going to lay her on concrete.  So I finally gave up and walked back down the hill.  I didn't want to cut through the parking lots again in the bright sun, so I thought I'd cut through the neighborhood streets.  Next bad decision.  Part of this town's name is "Hill" for a reason.  Holy cow.  Steep hill.  Long hill.  No shade.  And that's one heavy stroller!

Next time, I'll just walk back through the parking lots.  At least until I'm by myself and don't have another life depending on my heart beating!