Friday, January 28, 2011

Fear V. Green

I like to "go green." I am not the best at it, I am not an extremist, I could definitely do better. But I try.

I like to recycle.
Cloth diaper. (this does use water that would be saved if I used disposable.. well you can't win 'em all)
Turn off the water while brushing my teeth.
Unplug things.
Buy products made from recycled fibers and materials over those that are not.
Reduce. Re-use. Et cetera.

When Lee is gone every light in the house is on day and night.
Okay not every light.
But, if we're being honest here, I am afraid of the dark. (even when Lee is here). I can hardly stand to walk in to a dark house so if I am leaving and going to be coming home after it is dark I leave the porch light on, a lamp in the living room, the kitchen light, and the light in the stairwell on. I know--it is definitely not green friendly. For this I apologize. Yet despite the greatest argument when it comes down to going green vs facing the dark & hopefully empty house by myself I'd like to be able to see... so fear wins. So very sorry earth. I'll do my best to make up for it somehow. 

A week without a shower?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Six months of wonderful

Wow. I've been a mom for half a year already?
Lydia Jane was sixth month olds on January 20.
We haven't mastered sitting up yet, but we are getting really close. Besides, as you can tell, there is quite a bit to hold up and balance so it takes a little extra effort than for those skinny babies. ;)
At her six month check up she weighed in at 19lbs 8 oz! (with a cloth diaper on, just fyi)
This weight is in the 95th percentile of her age.
But she is only 25 1/4 inches long. I was 23 1/2 inches long at birth!
Her height is only in the 25th percentile.
It's okay to laugh. I sure did.
She is definitely our child--we aren't surprised she is short. And I am sure she won't be chubby forever. At least for now it is totally cute!
However, my back could stand her weight gain to slow down just a little bit. Not that I can complain too much. I mean, carrying her around is probably how I weigh less than I did when we got married. Such a sport helping me out like that. ;)

Anyways, all "almost 20lbs" of her is just perfect in every way. And the past 6 months with her have been full of wonderful & I wouldn't trade a single minute for anything in the world.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Everybody has their passion

The past few years have been teaching me something I believe to be of great importance: the understanding that most things are relative.

For instance, there is not one way to parent all children that is the right way. Every child is different and unique and has different needs, functions a different way, and responds to parenting and discipline differently. This is just one example of many.

Why is this such an important lesson to learn? Well, because it is important to remember both when at the receiving end of harsh criticism and when tempted to stand on a pedestal in order to criticize another. There are so many things people are passionate about: education, home schooling v. public v. private, drinking, dancing, breast-feeding, vaccinations, birth, tithing, diet, exercise, work, achievements, going green, saving money, and on and on and on. To some of these things and others there may be a universal "right". Even then, many biblical principles have undergone scrutiny to support various interpretations. So to some extent, even though many opinions may be supported with scientific research, they all have relative elements.

The reality is we all have our convictions. Mine? Well, I'd have to say I am very passionate about natural birth. In fact, it was the journey of learning all about birth and then experiencing it myself that I realized in some cases I have become that annoying person who talks about it all the time and possibly makes people feel insulted or offended. Of course I know there are times when intervention is absolutely necessary, I just have a great deal of distrust for many of the reasons doctors give for "needing" intervention and feel research supports that. HOWEVER, my convictions are my own. They are not someone elses. And I have to be careful to not push this convictions on others. Why is this so hard? I realized it is because when we become passionate about something and we study it thoroughly a whole new world is opened up to us. I felt/feel so empowered by the things I have learned about natural birth and vaginal birth after cesarean. Often times I want to share this information with women for their benefit. For example I feel like the majority of women have no clue as to the option of having vaginal birth after cesarean. I want them to know! Not because I think I am almighty, but because I think it is important and good for them and their baby. Does that make my motive selfish or haughty? I would argue no.

What is the point of all this? The point is that I put myself in the shoes of others who, at time, have a mouth-full ;) to share with me. They are just sharing with  me something they are passionate about, have studied and researched--something they feel so sure about that they want to share it with others. (Of course I am not saying there aren't some people who are just trying to shove their opinions on everyone. :) In general, though, I think people just want to share some of their great epiphanies with others because it means so much to them that they found it.

I am probably never going to stop talking about how amazing natural birth is or encourage women to do it themselves. Will I annoy some people? Maybe. But I sure hope not. I hope I can learn the balance of sharing my enjoyment and passion for it without thrusting it on other people, offending them, or making them feel inferior. We are all entitled to our passions and convictions whatever they may be. And I have to remember this when someone's conviction conflicts with my own or when I am not sure how to respond to what someone is sharing with me, or when I feel offended or inferior when hearing someone else's convictions and passions.

I am blogging about this because it is something I am learning so much about. At first I learned in it when my feelings were hurt as others "criticized" my own choices. Choices I felt so sure of--so passionate about. Then I realized maybe they weren't trying to criticize as much as they were just trying to share their perspective and opinion that means something so deep and personal to them. It has been an important lesson for me to learn because it enables me to be at peace with people who have different convictions then my own. And well, when the convictions aren't Heaven or Hell issues, I think they are worth being at peace over.

Wow. Does any of this make any sense?

Crying to be held

Lydia Jane is a very content baby. In fact, I would have to say I am very spoiled with how easy she can be to soothe or keep happy. However, she does have her moments.

These moments usually occur when I lay her down to change her diaper when she doesn't really feel like being laid down. Sometimes she squeels and coos in delight and enjoyment while I change her diaper. Other times she is screaming and crying. I am not sure what she is thinking in these moments. Is she frustrated? Does she think I am not listenin or I don't care? Is she just down right ticked off that I laid her down when that isn't what she wanted? Is she sad? I don't know if I'll ever know the real reason. It is probably a different one each time she gets this way. All I know is that after I speedily snap her onesie and pull up her bottoms, I scoop her up in my arms and all is well again.

I can't lie. It feels pretty good to have her "fix all" be resting in my arms.

Yesterday when this happened I said to her with a kiss on the head "Goodness Lydia, all of those tears and all that fuss just to be held." And then I thought to myself, 'goodness, who hasn't had a good cry just begging to be held?' A million images flooded my brain of times spent sitting in the middle of the floor holding a good friend in tears, being held myself, crying alone, being broken hearted, crying out to God to just reach out and hold me or someone I love. All this to say, it made me thankful that God designed us to be relational. To need Him. To need others. To just need to be held sometimes.

When I hold Lydia close to me and all her tears cease and I know she is deeply comforted and genuinely happy to be there in my arms, I realize that I have a tiny glimpse of how satisfying it is to our Heavenly Father when we fall into His embrace and let resting in His arms be more than enough. The Father must feel so loved and honored when we do this. At least I hope He does. Because when Lydia just wants me so much that the only thing to stop her tears is to be held by me, well, I feel like the most loved person in the whole world.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

O Holy December

Once again I have allowed too much time to pass between blogs. It isn't that I don't think about blogging, I think about it a lot. If you know me you know I always have something to say. Nonetheless, December is busy--I am busy.
Every time I thought about blogging during my two weeks in Kansas I put it off. I didn't want to take the time to blog and load pictures when I could be spending the time with my family.
So for the sake of breaking my month long sabbatical from blogging, here are my Christmas thoughts.

This was my first Christmas as a mother of my beautiful baby girl. Just last December I started blogging for the first time because we had just found out we were pregnant and I decided "Well... if I am going to have a baby I better get a blog started." And here I am, a year later, (with a 5 month old at Christmas) and now almost 6 months old (on Jan 20). Motherhood gave me a new lens to look at Christmas through. Including the traditional Christmas hymns and carols. I've been meaning to blog about this since a week before Christmas, so I apologize for the delay, however, I never think it is a bad time of year to reflect on the amazement of Christ's birth.

I have two favorite Christmas songs (this is the first time I have had any favorite Christmas songs). The first is O Holy Night.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;

Reflect on these words with me.  Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Till he appeared and the sould felt its worth. An event so powerful and so meaningful it was felt deep in the soul. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices. This is my favorite line. The weary world rejoices. Imagine how weary the people of the world were when that promise they had heard of for so long had yet to be born? Think of how weary we can be, how weary things seem, especially in light of yesterday's tragic events in Arizona. Hope. A thrill of HOPE. For a weary world. Fear not, have hope, for oh how divine was the promising night of Christ's birth.

My other favorite Christmas Song is "O Come, All Ye Faithful"

Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the king of angels:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

As I sat holding Lydia Jane at the church Christmas concert, I listened to these words in a brand new light. Oh come let us adore him! Isn't this so true to how we still respond to babies being born? When someone has a baby, people stop them in church, come to their home, even strangers in public stop to 'ooh' and 'ahh', essentially they are asking, "Please, for a moment may we stop and adore this precious baby?" Christ came as a perfectly precious and wonderful baby. We sing this song as if it were the night Christ was born, and if it were, we would come from the ends of the earth begging, "Please, let us adore the baby king.Our Savior, born a tiny precious baby, I want to to stare at Him."

I encourage you throughout the year and especially during Christmas 2011, to really internalize the songs we sing so frequently. Don't miss out on the incredible Truth in these long ago written poems and hymns. They so beautifully express earnest, faithful hearts, seeking after The King born in a manger.