Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is (Manly) Christmas over?

Joseay is doing much better now – she has transitioned from the continual scream phase to the just-scream-sometimes phase with frequent spitting up. We can handle this phase. Not sure how long we could have endured the previous phase. Hopefully that is behind us now. She is getting big with rolls of fat and is nearly unrecognizable if you havene’t seen her since her first week of life. When she goes to her nursery reunion, she won’t have to wear shades to be incognito.

Brown had his first episode of croup last night which was not exactly fun, but he seems to be none the worse for wear. He has had lots of fun playing outside in this freezing weather which may explain some of the croup.

Our Christmas traditions are just getting off the ground for our family. We have the tree cutting with the Ernest hatchet (see, trimming the tree, the Misfit party, and of course lots of food with lots of family. I don’t consider myself a city boy, but I didn’t exactly grow up on a farm. I am always envious when I hear of people who grew up in the country and spent the holidays with family, where the men would get up early to go quail hunting with the dogs. It always seemed like such a great bonding/family/tradition time. The men being manly, braving the frosty air, crunching through the ice in search of their prey. Each man with his son, showing him the rules of the woods, how to shoot a gun, how to respect the land and the game, how to train a puppy to be a hunting dog.

With this in mind, I have been looking forward to taking Brown out on cold frosty walks in the woods during the Christmas holidays to share manly insights with him. I thought I would capture our first such walk with a picture. Here it is:

Yes, that is Brown, with his cousin’s manly pink stroller that he loves and has just about worn the wheels off of as he goes up and down the street, pushing it and laughing with glee to see the pink sparkles and hear the turn of the wheels. He especially loves going to the top of the hill and then watching it roll back down. At least there are woods in the background and he is out in the frosty cold. And no animals were harmed in the writing of this post.

Ah well, new generations, new traditions. Merry Christmas one and all.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Brown is two years old today. Last night, as I was carrying him from our reading spot in the rocker to his crib, it struck me again what a young boy he is. He has lost much of that baby fat and is beginning to run more like a boy than a toddler. His expressions of his wants and desires are becoming more vehement as are his protests when he is not thrilled with what we are asking him to do. Having a small infant in the house to contrast has been interesting in pointing out just how much development has taken place in the last couple of years. Trying to cradle that 35 pound boy like a baby is laughable, but I will continue to do it in the evening as long as he will let me. Which may be only tomorrow.

Speaking of prayer (nice transition), prayer I think is poorly understood by most people, especially me. We Christians like to sit around, tell each other what we are going to pray about, then begin the prayer as if God wasn’t listening until we directly addressed him. Quite humorous. We don’t generally have altars at which we spend much time on our knees in prayer. I have heard parents of teenagers say that “you will never pray harder than when you have teenagers” and that maybe so. My experience is only with my younger kids, but I would echo the sentiment. Children drive us to prayer. I think it is because we recognize how vulnerable they are, they could so easily get sick, or have and accident, or choose the wrong path, or…or… We see their vulnerability so easily. God must laugh that we see how much prayer we direct at kids because of their obvious need of God’s guidance, but don’t recognize that need in ourselves. So in this way in my life, God seems to be using Brown and Joseay to teach me a course about prayer. Glad He has several years to teach this course as I have much to learn. But through my introductory course, God has shown me that there is no better altar to pray over than a sleeping child. The love, the desire for protection, the recognition of vulnerability drives me to prayer repeatedly.
May the joy of Advent fill our homes as we see again how much a Father can love us through a young child knowing the sacrifice that would be made.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gratefully Exhausted

What time is it? How long has it been since the last feed? Are we out of diapers again? Are there any dry burp clothes? Ok, not dry, how about if there are some that are just damp and not soaked? Ok, then how about just a somewhat clean tshirt of the floor? No the one under the Cheerios. Is that diaper on inside out? Which one of the kids smells? Is that me? How long has she been screaming? Did I tell you I dreamed about her screaming last night? How old is she now? Is this colic? Should we change formula? Am I supposed to be at work today? Which office? Do we have any clean bottles? Remember when we used to take showers regularly?

In case you have never had small kids or have conveniently forgotten (like we obviously had), this catches you up on the conversation in our house for the past month. For those of you who talked to us or came by recently, I want to apologize for our whining. We probably dwelt on the small and fleeting issue of no sleep, and almost entirely neglected the huge point of what a blessing it is to have Joseay in our house. We have been like kids who have begged and begged to go to the park, and then complained because the slide is too steep. One day ( I hope very soon ) we will look back and think how interesting it was to be up at 4am having some alone time with our growing child (9 pounds now if her neck rolls and our home scale are to be believed). We are grateful. In fact, we have begun to use the phrase “gratefully exhausted” to describe our state of mind right now. Lord, help us to recognize the amazing gifts that you are raining down on us constantly and to quit complaining about getting wet in that glorious rain.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2009 Christmas Tree Cutting

We are old. Wimpy and tired. At least I have caffeine to get me through the days. Curt can't have caffeine because of migraines, so I don't know how he is functioning. My life is mostly on caffeine autopilot. Feels kind of fake, but it is working.

Joseay is doing better every day. We started her on zantac for reflux/heartburn issues a few days ago. It was just a shot in the dark, but it seems to be helping with what seemed to be digestive issues that were causing intense screaming fits. Needless to say, we are quite relieved that those fits are subsiding. I think Brown is starting to like her more too now that she is not crying as much. He kept kissing a picture of her today, which was very cute. He's not a big fan of kissing her actual head, but doesn't mind kissing her picture now, at least. We tried to put them together on the couch a few days ago for a photo opp and you can see the results below. He was trying to get out of there as fast as he could. Look how sad Joseay looks in the second picture!

Anyway, things are good around here, but we just feel kind of worthless. Many friends have cooked meals over the last many weeks which has been SO helpful and we really appreciate it. Curt actually made the comment to his friend yesterday that he has been so tired that this weekend he bailed out on going to a Christmas party, bailed on church, and even bailed on bathing. Pretty pathetic, eh? :)

We had a really fun day yesterday when we went to cut down our Christmas tree. Brown loved being able to run freely through the trees and kept running off to explore on his own, with some hide and seek with daddy in between. I carried Joseay in the Ergo and she quite enjoyed the experience, too. She wasn't very helpful in helping us pick out the tree, but I guess we'll cut her some slack this year.

They found it... the perfect tree.