Sunday, December 28, 2008

Asking for Prayer

If you are keeping up with the (scant) news over here in the TwoSquare family, you know we have been sick for awhile. Basically, at least one person (and usually more than one) in our family has been sick since before Thanksgiving. Right now, I am fighting the lingering effects of a head cold I developed before Christmas and my be getting an ear infection. Both boys have gotten the cold and seem to be getting ear infections. I'm afraid to take them to the pediatrician for fear they may pick up something else. My husband is still dealing with a cough that developed around Thanksgiving and is on his second round of antibiotics, hoping it is just bronchitis and not walking pneumonia.

Add to this the physical exhaustion of labor and life with a newborn. Then there is my fear that the baby will catch one or all of these sicknesses. (Even though I am breastfeeding, it's hard to know who has had exactly what viruses.) As you can imagine, we are not having an easy time over here. I don't even feel like I am getting to enjoy these first days of new baby time. Such precious days that I can't get back. We are sick of being sick. Thankfully, my mom is here for most of this week. Otherwise, who knows what we'd be doing.

If you are the praying sort and think of it, we'd love your prayers. And if you are our friends, you may want to stay away from us for awhile or just stop by to see the baby at the door. Coming inside may be dangerous!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

On Choosing a Name

A conversation at our house last night:

Daddy: "What do you think of baby (first name)?"

Calvin: "I have told you guys thirty-seven times. His name is NOT (first name)! It's Gandalf Wall-E! Why do you keep calling him (first name)?"

Maybe I should call him Gandalf Wall-E on this blog? Nah...But what then?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Unto Us a Son is Given

Hobbes kept saying that Christmas Day was the day the baby would come out. We thought he was just confusing the baby Jesus and our baby. Turns out he was right.

After slow contractions from 1 am on and a quick and crazy 1-hour trip from 4 cm to birth, baby boy 3 arrived at 7:22 pm on Christmas Day. He weighed in at 8lb. 4oz, and has a full head of dark hair (completely unlike his blonde brothers). He is sweet and beautiful and seems to be a self-soother (also unlike his brothers).

What a Christmas Day!

Though I will not post pics or a name on this blog in order to keep it anonymous, I am happy to e-mail them to my regular readers. Just let me know.

Now off to rest. And Happy Second Day of Christmas to those of you celebrating!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Preparing the Way

I didn't intend for this Advent season to be one of silence on my blog, but I just haven't felt like writing. We have been so busy around here, in a good way, preparing for Christmas and for the new baby. Whenever I have had time to write, I have chosen something else instead...reading to myself or my boys or taking a nap. But I have been thinking. Here are some of my scattered thoughts.

Being this close to delivering a baby at Christmas brings an entirely new perspective to Advent. The hymns and scriptures we are using at church often have multiple meanings for me now as I sit uncomfortably in a folding chair feeling a baby push into my ribcage and wanting oh-so-badly for him to come already! In some strange way, it heightens my awareness of what it means to wait in the brokenness of this world for God's Kingdom to be fully ushered in, for all pain and tears and misery and weariness to end. As I say, "Come, quickly, Jesus!" my body is saying, "Come, quickly, baby!"

I have been thinking about Mary and how tiresome and difficult that journey to Bethlehem must have been. I can barely handle riding in a car on paved roads these days, and she was on a donkey on rough terrain.

3 A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Maybe when God issued this prophecy He was also making a literal command: "Someone get those roads smooth for that poor pregnant woman carrying the Messiah!" These are the crazy thoughts that go through my head at church.

Prepare Ye The Way
As I fold baby clothes and wash diapers and clean the house, I occasionally have the presence of mind to also prepare my heart for the coming of Jesus and for the celebration of His birth. I am not super-spiritual, and part of me wishes I had seized this chance for meditation and spiritual preparation more fully. Still, I am busy in the daily and seasonal tasks of cleaning and decorating and nurturing and resting. I suppose most woman throughout history didn't have time to meditate on the spiritual significance of these things, either. They were too busy just doing them.

Even so, the slow ordering of our home, the daily rhythms of our Advent traditions, and the gradual emergence of Christmas decor are preparing our home and our family for His coming. In the same way, whether I meditate on it or not, my body is doing the work of making a baby. With every stray contraction and sore muscle, my body is preparing the way for his coming, hopefully soon.

Now, if only we could decide on a name...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sometimes I have...

...lots of things to write and no energy to write them.

...a very messy house and no energy to clean it.

...very funny and sweet boys and no energy to play with them.

...very disobedient and mischievous boys and no energy to deal with them.

...a house to be decorated and presents to be wrapped and no energy to do it.

You get the picture. I think I'll go take a nap on the couch now. Anyone want to cook our dinner?

Friday, December 12, 2008

7 Quick Takes-Or Why You Haven't Heard From Me Lately

Jen at Conversion Diary has started hosting 7 Quick Takes on Friday. I love the idea because it allows me to share a few things going on around here without writing a full post. These days, that's all I have time for, and here's why:

1. Advent-We are definitely enjoying Advent around here, but trying to set aside time to be reflective while preparing for baby and Christmas is proving to be a challenge. Let's just say I have new respect for my mother and mother-in-law and anyone who ever had a baby near Christmastime. It makes things much crazier!

2. Nesting-As noted above, I am pretty busy getting ready for this baby. After three nights of contractions that were just a little too long, I finally got my husband to bring the baby things down from the attic. Now I am busy washing and folding tiny clothes, shopping for things I will need and trying desperately to get my house in some sort of order. It is amazing how much more chaotic it seems around here than usual.

3. Cold season-Around our part of the country, this is the worst cold season I've seen in a while! All of my friends have had multiple illnesses descend on their homes. Around here, all four of us have had a nasty cold and cough thing for nearly a month. Both boys have had pink eye and ear infections, and now we are fighting another little cold. I am considering quarantining us until after the baby is born.

4. Hobbes-We have been getting him evaluated for speech therapy over the past month. Turns out that he skipped a major developmental stage in his know, the one where kids learn to make the basic consonant sounds. Thanks to his verbally advanced older brother, he jumped right to complicated sentences and vocabulary that we, unfortunately, cannot understand. Can I tell you how excited I am about finding time to do therapy with him with a newborn?

5. Calvin-Seems he decided to hit another difficult development phase right before things got busy around here. It has been a rough month, to say the least. But we seem to be coming out of it. Today he has been helpful and cheerful and downright cooperative. Let's pray it continues!

6. Sleep-I am sooooo tired these days that whenever I have time to write, I have to choose sleep instead. My body will do nothing else. Is it child neglect to put your four-year-old in front of a movie or computer program while you nap with the two-year-old? If so, I am in big trouble.

7. Gift shopping-I am actually enjoying having the excuse to scale down the gift shopping this year thanks to the baby. I finished all of my shopping in one day, thanks to my mother-in-law watching the boys. We are doing a few presents for immediate family, and even many of those are "gifts" through charitable organizations' gift catalogs. It is so freeing to give gifts that help someone instead of searching for the perfect something that someone doesn't really need!

So there you go. Not too exciting, but at least you know why I have been silent lately. Really, I am mostly just moving inward as I meditate on the changes to come. For once, I am not finding writing helpful at all for reflection. Maybe there will be some time for that in the days to come, once I get the external things a bit more organized. I do need time to get the thoughts in my brain a little more organized, too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Change I Can Believe In

If you read my blog at all, you know I am passionate about saving Appalachia from Mountaintop Removal Mining. This is a really cool site. The top 10 ideas for change will be presented to Obama. Go vote!