Friday, May 21, 2010

What I Need to Hear Today

Sovereign grace o’er sin abounding!
Ransomed souls, the tidings swell;
’Tis a deep that knows no sounding;
Who its breadth or length can tell?
On its glories,
Let my soul for ever dwell.

What from Christ that soul can sever,
Bound by everlasting bands?
Once in Him, in Him for ever;
Thus the eternal covenant stands.
None shall take Thee
From the Strength of Israel’s hands.

Heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus,
Long ere time its race begun;
To His name eternal praises;
O what wonders love has done!
One with Jesus,
By eternal union one.

On such love, my soul, still ponder,
Love so great, so rich, so free;
Say, while lost in holy wonder,
Why, O Lord, such love to me?
Grace shall reign

-Sovereign Grace O'er Sin Abounding by John Kent

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mothering: What I've Learned So Far

Wow.  That title kind of sounds like I'm writing a memoir or something, but it's the best I could come up with.  But, I digress.  First of all, I want to say that I am by no means an expert, nor do I make that claim.  If anything, parenting makes me feel dumber by the day.  I've only done this blessed of all jobs for almost 15 months now, but as I scrambled to get chores done during Els' morning nap today, I began thinking about advice people gave me at one of the showers before she was born.  One woman's advice in particular is the piece that I come back to over and over in my mind.  She said, "Stop reading parenting books now.  I decided when my first child was born to mother just like my mother did.  To just love my children and rock them to sleep."  (My paraphrase.)

The first major thing I've learned is to stop comparing myself and my child to others.  While that sounds like the high road, it's mainly so that I don't go crazy.  Which I did for a long time, reading other mom's facebook statuses about how their child slept 14 hours straight at 6 weeks or how they had lost all of the baby weight by that time too.  Neither were true for us and I spent a long time feeling like a terrible mother and a terrible person because of those facts.  So, I decided to stop comparing and start enjoying my little girl for who she is and come to grips with myself as a mother.  (Which meant, among other things, carrying around extra weight for months. And months.)  Since I have decided this, I have been so much happier.

One of the biggest lessons I've learned about bringing up a baby so far is to not get too comfortable in any stage because, as soon as I do, it's going to change.  In the first year, Els would sleep through the night for two weeks and then stop for a month.  She would nap well for a month and then scream through naps for three weeks.  Now, it tends to be food that we cycle through stages with.  She loves bananas at breakfast and hates them at lunch time.  She gobbles down what we have for dinner one night and won't touch it for lunch the next day.  You get the point.  B reminds me all the time that she's just a little person.  He says, "You don't always sleep good do you?  We don't always want to eat the same thing for every meal.  Why should we expect Els to be a little robot and do the same things all the time?"  He's so great at common sense.  

Last, (for now because this is getting long) is never say never.  It's something my mom has always told us.  Right now, that mainly refers to feeding Els as well.  I never wanted to be the parent that fed her children hot dogs and mac-n-cheese.  Oh boy, but if that's the only thing I can get this crazy girl to eat, that's what I feed her.  One day, she'll like "good" food.  And at some meals now, she does.

So, there are my three cents for now.  Most of all, I've learned to cling to my Heavenly Father through all of this.  He's the only way to make it through any day and parenting makes that highly evident.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What to Say?

First of all, I'm up entirely too late.  B is doing work and it's always been very hard for me to make myself go to bed, even if I'm sleepy.  I will absolutely do anything in order to keep myself up.  Ridiculous, I know.  Also, I still have to take a shower because I haven't had one since yesterday morning.  Yuck.  But, I am guessing it's about that time.  What time, you ask?  Oh, about time to tell you that our family of 3 will become a family of 4 in late November/early December!

While not totally unplanned, this little one was certainly a surprise to us all.  I'm feeling alright mostly.  I don't think I'm as nauseated as I was with Els, but I have my theories for that.  Mostly I'm incredibly tired all the time (hence why I need to be going to bed instead of writing) and working out is about ten times harder than it was even a month ago.  I am, however, sticking with it.  That is my goal with this pregnancy.  To work out as hard as I am able for as long as possible.  It just makes me feel better.  So far, so good, but there are still 30ish weeks to go.

I am trying very hard not to assume that this baby will be two weeks early like Els.  It's not working though.  Although my technical due date is December 8th, my personal wager is that the baby will come the week of Thanksgiving.  We shall see.

So, there you go!  We feel beyond blessed about the addition to our family.  We keep trying to ask Els whether she wants a brother or sister, but she has yet to weigh in on the matter.  She is too busy walking everywhere and getting into everything and pretty much being the joy of our life.