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Archive for March, 2011

Wash and the Momdar

Things here continue to be well. We are all adjusting to our new life as a family of four.

Washington, which means purifying, really has been a renewing experience for me. Having an actual newborn at home has been challenging but fun, so far. Like many babies, Wash thinks being held really is the only way to live. I am trying to find a sling he likes, I have 4 or 5 different kinds, so that I can have my hands free. He also has a very sophisticated Momdar* tuned in perfectly to the range and distance of his favorite parent aka the one with the boobs.

Wash is a good nurser. His latch is great and we have not had any issues except his mistaken belief that he should be attached 24/7, literally. He protests loudly and starts rooting minutes after being disengaged. I have been discuraging this behavior with a clean pinkie finger and soothing words. It seems to be helping. Wash still eats every hour or so, but I know as he grows so will his spacing.

Amazingly, Wash sleeps for 3 hours at a time at night. His big brother, Gideon, sometimes wakes up more than he does. I have been getting some good sleep. Ries has been on Gideon duty and he has been more tired the last couple nights than I have been. Poor Daddy.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and wished us well.

*patent pending

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I wanted to have this post up earlier, but it has been busy around here. We are all adjusting, recuperating, and learning our roles all over again. Everything is so markedly different than last time. In many ways, we are parents for the first time again, since we have never really had a newborn at home before. Washington’s name was not a sure thing until we got to the birth center. I made an executive decision. We has been waffling between two names. We liked Washington, which was a unique first name, but not a name that was so weird no one would have heard of it. Nathanael is one of Ries’ middle names.

I prayed, and so did a lot of other people, that we would have a normal birth with a healthy baby and the Lord was very good to all of us. After a short 8 hours, Washington made his arrival on March 21st, the first day of Spring. We got to the birth center just in time, around 5:15 am and he made his appearance by 6 am sharp! I plan on writing a longer post about the labor and birth, but no today. Washington was born in the tub because that is where I happened to be!

Washington was helped into the world by the two ladies that were there for Gideon’s birth, Jackie Griggs and Camilla May, two wonderful midwives that have been huge blessing to our family. Ries was, as always, an awesome coach. Daddy was happy his son waited until the last basketball game was over Sunday night to start making his arrival known.

While I was being tended to, Ries took Washington out to meet his big brother and his Gammy and Gampa. Gideon asked why Wash was not talking yet. We stayed at the birth center for a few hours.


Washington and I were both fine, great actually, so after a few hours of rest and lunch, we all headed home. Here is a picture of us with Jackie before we left.

After getting home, Washington was surrounded by grandparents.

Washington and Papa


Washington and Oma

Gideon wants to hold, kiss, snuggle, and poke Wash at every opportunity. I know this will only get worse/better. Gideon is enamored of his little brother and does not seem too disappointed that Wash does not play with him yet. Gideon seems to be taking the addition in stride. He is enjoying having his Daddy home and the full attention from Daddy he has been getting. His tune may change when he is home alone with Momma in a couple weeks.

Our first day home, Washington also had visits from Aunt Katy, Uncle Keith, Cousin Kaiden, Uncle Christopher, and Aunt Sydney. We handed out bottles of homebrew to visitors and Ries toasted with a glass as well.

As I said in the beginning of this post, we are learning about newborns all over again. It has been fun having this tiny thing here with us. He eats like a champ, a marathon sucker like his brother, who thinks eating every 30-40 minutes is life or death. Good thing I am already used to that kind of eater. My milk came in yesterday, so Wash has been happily filling his belly.

He looks very different from Gideon at this age. I am looking forward to seeing his little personality as he gets older.

We have been very blessed.

There are more pictures on my flickr page here.

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A very dear lady at church gave me a book to read called Start Your Family by Steve and Candice Watters. It is an encouraging book for those of us already on the path to raising a Godly family and it is a charge for thoswe who have not yet begun to start and to do so boldly.

I just finished a chapter entitled, “Sacrifice.” In it there was a quote from Martin Luther in his essay The Estate of Marriage that I thought was timely, given our impending arrival.

0 God, because I am certain that thou hast created me as a man and hast from my body begotten this child, I also know for a certainty that it meets with thy perfect pleasure. I confess to thee that I am not worthy to rock the little babe or wash its diapers. or to be entrusted with the care of the child and its mother. How is it that I, without any merit, have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and thy most precious will? 0 how gladly will I do so, though the duties should be even more insignificant and despised. Neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labour, will distress or dissuade me, for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in thy sight.

It is a nice reminder that though time has passed, though we have added many trappings to parenthood, and though we have tried to redefine what it means to have children, bearing and raising children has always been and will always be about learning to be selfless and sacrificial.

It is for this reason that being a parent brings out both the best and the worst in us, because we are often asked to give more than we have only to find that God has filled in the gaps of our abilities.

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Two weeks and counting

Here is a promised update, with pictures.

It is funny. I took a lot more pictures of my pregnant belly the first time, but I realized last week that we did not have many pictures of my pregnant self.

This picture was taken at about 36 weeks. With two weeks left to go now, I am ready for this baby to be here. Everything is washed and packed and I have wrapped up most of my professional obligations (or at least organized them). I have started to get pregnant lady fat face and my legs are swollen all the time. Everything aches and no position is comfortable for long. I would be perfectly happy, sitting on the couch all day, drinking tea and reading. That was what I did when I was pregnant with Gideon. Now, I spend most of the day chasing Gideon around and trying to keep the domestic duties from overtaking me. Being pregnant was so much more relaxing the first time!

My sister and cousin are also both pregnant (and I just found out I have a close friend expecting on my birthday!) so there are preggos everywhere. My cousin, Kara, is in the middle and my sister, Jennifer, is pictured on the right. They are both due May 12th. Funny but true.

Ries has been very sick with a nasty cold and sinus infection, so my usual partner and sympathy giver has been unavailable. He got some drugs yesterday from the doctor and I am praying he is on his feet soon enough.

Other news includes:
We got a concrete porch poured and though we have had too much sickness to enjoy it much, we have sat outside a few times and enjoyed the nice weather. In Houston, the weather will only be nice like this for a couple more weeks before we settle into the blistering heat of spring, summer, and fall. Wicket got fixed and so has been sporting a very fashionable cone for a few days. She is better behaved with it on and we briefly considered leaving her in it. Sadly, I think that may be frowned upon.

When Brother, whose name we have mostly decided on, arrives, we will be posting pictures here, sending texts, emails, Twitter updates (me), and facebook updates (Ries).

Now I think I will use the rest of quiet time to watch Veronica Mars and eat a piece of chocolate cake that my mother-in-law brought me. Hooray for cake.

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We have been occupied with getting ready for Brother’s impending arrival, 3 weeks and counting, and battling a bought of unpleasant sickness. Thankfully, I have so far escaped the flu/cold thing that brought Gideon and Ries so low. Everyone is more or less on the mend. I will post a more newsy update later. For now, I have a funny story for you, involving a boy and his favorite body part which will be referred to for the remaining of the post with the word “twig”.

Gideon was on the potty before nap time today as a preemptive strike. He did not have to go, but did proceed to play with his twig. I mean, it was already out there, right? As twigs are wont to do, it became less, ahem, flaccid that normal. At this point, I decided he was definitely not going to pee, so I took him off the potty. He stood there, holding his twig, which was pointing straight out, looked up at me, lifted his eyebrows, and said, “Isn’t it amazing?”

Amazing was the exact word I was searching for. Actually, I was laughing so hard I did not have a reply for him.

When he is older, he will be mortified that I tell these kinds of stories. I love being a Mom. Bwahahahaaaaa.

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