Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Right now I'm watching an old episode of 19 kids and counting - the one right after Josie is born at 25ish weeks. I've just realized that she is the size that my Amelia is now. And that if Amelia were to be born today, she'd be this size. This small, this helpless, this fragile. Fragile takes on a whole new meaning when you look at a baby that small.

Today I had a prenatal appointment and got to hear Amelia's heartbeat. It sounded so strong and so perfect. Like always, she protested the doppler. She really doesn't like it AT ALL. Poor kid. But she settled in after a minute and let us listen to her. She's strong, and healthy, and perfect.

To think that she could be born right now and survive is amazing. To think that she is capable of living outside of me is just astonishing. On the other hand, looking at how tiny she would be/is - I'm equally astonished. That she could be so small and still look like a person. With fingers and eyelashes and everything. I'm amazed. Really amazed.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Perfect Snow

At the end of the day, snow is falling very slowly past a streetlamp outside my kitchen window.

For about 45 minutes, we thought we'd been stood up for Thanksgiving. We started the day slowly; thanks to HHBC we didn't have much cleaning to do to get the place ready for company. Around noon I started cooking, slowly, and thawing some of the frozen goodies I'd set aside for today. Dinner was supposed to be at 4, and by 4:30 no one was here.

Last year, we had 5 friends over, and some of them brought guests. Nice and busy, but not too crowded. We really couldn't have handled too many more people without some uncomfortable chaos. This year, we didn't put the word out very early, and the roads have been horrible (like, record setting dangerous) so we weren't expecting a huge crowd, and we weren't sure how many people were going to try and venture out.

3 minutes before we were going to start calling people, friends came. Just two this year, and it was, again, perfect. With our little one being so active and interested (in EVERYthing), a bigger crowd would have been really hard to handle.

At the end of the day, I have a full belly, a warmed heart, an exhausted and sleeping baby, and a slightly buzzed husband. I'm sitting here not wanting to go to sleep simply because I'm not ready to let go of such a wonderful day. I'm not ready for it to end, so I'm staying awake.

I think I've had a revelation since I've been sitting here. Part of why my marriage has changed is because we no longer drink very often. We were never big drinkers, we didn't drink much or often, but we became accustomed to wine with certain meals and beer with certain others. So, maybe 5-6 times per month we'd have alcohol with dinner. We both get a little warm and touchy after a drink or two and wind up cuddling on the couch. I think once I got pregnant and that alcohol consumption decreased, our innocent touching decreased as well. Not intentionally, not purposefully, but I believe it did. Tonight as we cuddled on the couch I suddenly remembered how wonderful that used to be. I suppose I know what we're going to start working on! That physical intimacy is harder to come by with a toddler running around, but it's very important to maintaining a relationship.

Yes, I'll have to talk to the hubby about this tomorrow. Maybe we'll start some after baby bedtime regular activity so we can get this touching in more frequently. Yes, definitely.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Funny, my bible doesn't say that. . .

A friend from long ago posted a scripture as her facebook status yesterday:

"Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones;a spanking won’t kill them. http://read.ly/Prov23.13.MSG"

Funny, my bible doesn't say that. In my NIV, Proverbs 23:13 reads "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die."

Proverbs, a book of POETRY, written for young men, was never intended to be either a book of promises or law. As poetry, it is full of metaphors and symbols meant to help the reader bring his knowledge forth into wisdom. [Knowledge is the possession of facts, wisdom is the application of those facts.] Learning how to apply the rules of the law to your life is an art, and one that takes much practice and patience. Nowhere in Proverbs does the author use a word referencing children under 13(ish). Then there's the whole discussion of the rod - that one's been beaten almost to death I think (ha ha). But at the very least, if you are taking Proverbs literally, how would spanking your toddler with your hand on their butt be the same as using a staff across the back of a young teen? It isn't.

Also, let's look at Proverbs more closely. If we're taking individual Proverbs about 'fools' and 'folly' (which some have applied to children and their childishness) and trying to apply them to our lives, let's look at two right next to each other. Proverbs 26:4-5.

Proverbs 26:4 "
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself."
Proverbs 26:5 "
Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes."

How could both answer and not answer a fool according to his folly? Would it depend on the situation? Would carrying out these instructions involve wisdom and discernment and an understanding of the situation and players involved? If a tired toddler has a meltdown, is the wiser approach to punish her or to get her the rest she needs? Do you need to engage in your own antics to prove your authority, or, as her parent, do you need to help her learn to care for herself and help her learn how to deal with her frustrations? You won't always be there to threaten punishment when she has to make a difficult decision. Your child needs to learn how to evaluate a situation and address the true problem - not just the obvious symptom. Taking an aspirin to cure a headache does nothing to address the dehydration that caused it in the first place. Many situations will arise for your child that need to be addressed in the same way. She will need to understand that in order to have a productive relationship with her husband or cow0rkers or children, she needs to eat well, get rest, and practice the Gospel daily. Threats of punishment don't teach any of those things. Proverbs 26:4 & 5 are trying to tell you to evaluation a situation and address the root cause. Whether you engage with the fool or not depends on the folly and the fool. Babies don't always get what they want, but sometimes what they want is a little joy to relive boredom. Or help getting to sleep. And those things, those things you can engage with. If you learn to listen to your children and understand what they're asking you for.

And clearly, as Godly parents, wouldn't we have higher expectations than simple survival for our children? Is my only responsibility to keep them still breathing when they turn 18? Seriously? I don't think so. Setting your bar for success at 'breathing and obedient' isn't doing anybody any favors. It's just allowing you to be lazy.

But, all of that doesn't fit in a FB comment to a status update. And it would only provoke heat in a discussion that has far too much already. I'll just continue raising my children with gentleness, love, and WISDOM; everyone else will do as they see fit.

Here's a quick outline

Since I left a link to this blog on a forum I really enjoy, I thought I'd post a little recap for anyone who's taken the effort to click the link.

So. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. I moved here with my husband in June of 2009. My daughter was born in August of that year. This year, we found out that I'm pregnant with number 2! She is due to appear in March.

In February, my husband (who is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks) has a HUGE comprehensive test. How he does on that test determines whether or not he stays in the program (and thus whether or not we made a ginormous mistake moving up here). Yep, I'm due to have our baby a few weeks later. Our older daughter will be 18 months old.

Phew. This is going to be a rough winter. Basically, we only get a few hours of twilight per day right now, and although that will start changing after the winter solstice, we will still be seeing a lot of dark when the babe is born. Husband will be busy, I'll be chasing a toddler, baby #2 will be trying to burst forth through my tightly stretched skin, and we won't even have sunlight to help our moods. Luckily, God will be even there.

If that sounds like a fun ride to read about, then stay tuned. I'll likely be posting more as I'm able to spend less time outside. 40 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) is a great temperature for blogging.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I've been working on my house lately. Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean.

And it looks great! Plus, Nanook is learning how to play by herself (at my feet) while I do dishes - added bonus. I was prepared to carry her in the Ergo, but I'm glad I don't have to.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The girls' first fight

Tonight as I was rocking Adelaide to sleep, Amelia staged a protest. Addie would relax, and then Amelia would kick. Amelia was kicking up into the top of my stomach and was connecting to where Adelaide's stomach rested on mine. So Amelia would kick, Adelaide would startle and throw out her arms and legs, then Adelaide would settle back in for a while only to have Amelia kick her again.

Ladies, oh ladies - this is the first step down a very long, hard road.

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