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Archive for October, 2007

Giveaway

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I just cannot resist participating in the Fall Y’all giveaway extravaganza. I had resigned myself to just “watching” since my favorite potter is low on inventory right now, but it has been so fun to see what everyone is giving away.

I decided it would be a good time to go ahead and pass along my copy of The Toddler’s Busy Book by Trish Kuffner.

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This book is full of great ideas for entertaining your little one. So if you have a toddler in your life, and the long winter days are looming ahead of you, just leave me a comment and I will pick a lucky recipient of this little lifesaver this Saturday.

Have fun at the giveaway extravaganza! I haven’t made it to the end of the list yet.

Don’t forget…MamaLady is collecting birth stories for her new carnival on November 9.

Friday night update: I will close comments and draw a winner “when I get up tomorrow morning.” How’s that for scientific?

Saturday update: Giveaway’s closed

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MamaLady is collecting birth stories for her new carnival on November 9. I had been working on mine since Toni posted hers.

I’m posting mine early to get you in the mood to read and inspired to work on one if you have never written yours. Maybe I’ll even have time to get my son’s done now before the carnival starts.

Your body was created to do this
It knows just what to do
Women do this everyday
They’ve been doing it for thousands of years

Over and over again, I repeated these mantras during the last days of pregnancy, trying to undo a lifetime’s worth of worrying about this moment.

It’s no wonder that uncertainty ruled that day, Sunday, January 7, 2001, as I crossed the threshhold into church and felt that tiny “pop!” followed by only a drop or two of liquid. This can’t be what it’s like when your water breaks, can it? Must be A. pressing on my bladder. Must be false labor again.

We called you A. ever since you were 20 weeks old inside my womb. I needed to start getting to know you, letting myself know that you were real. A. was about the only name your father and I agreed on, and it means [I'm not telling; it's a secret!], which I was absolutely sure you would be. I had no conception of what I would be like as a mother, having always been the youngest — doted on and cared for by everyone else.

After a day spent wet and wondering, we called the doctor’s office. The one doctor I felt the least connection with (of course), after chastising us for not calling sooner, told us to come in and get checked. We loaded up the already packed bag and started the 40-minute drive to the hospital. “I’ve just gotten used to caring for this baby inside of me,” I think. I’m not sure I’m ready for you to come out.

But the doctor said you must come out — and soon, to minimize the risk of infection, since I had indeed been leaking amniotic fluid all day. Doctor M. wanted to induce in order to deliver you within 24 hours of the time my water broke. They gave me an incredibly tiny dose of Pitocin (tiny at my request), and my body went right into labor now that it had permission from someone.

I remember after about an hour of this, my water really broke like I thought it should — in one big satisfying gush. When the Pitocin-induced contractions came crashing on me in unrelenting waves, I very sensibly decided to try an epidural. (There was no chance at being ‘all natural’ once Pitocin was brought onto the scene.) I am learning to go with the flow.

Daddy played Chant for me while you made your way out of one world and into the next. Our anesthesiologist was most pleased, since he was Greek Orthodox. Your labor nurse, Tanya, said it was the most peaceful birth she had ever seen. We even napped awhile after the epidural kicked in. Tanya woke us up when it was time to push.

It took about an hour-and-a-half for me to push you out. There would be no turning back now. When your pretty head and tiny body emerged, your daddy cut the umbilical cord. You were so tiny and pretty, with your rosebud mouth and delicate little fingers. You let yourself be willingly admired by the parade of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who came to meet and hold you in the days following your birth.

When it was time to take you home, I was sure that the train we could hear from our house would wake you, but you didn’t flinch. I realized you had been listening to it for the last 40 weeks. Pow, our whippet, sniffed your tiny head, sniffed me, and curled right up beside us in snuggle dog position. He knew you too. And I settled in to begin learning to inhabit that promised land at the very edges of my own desires and my own expectations, where all the best things are.

Thank you for coming to live there with us.

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Humility is not about convincing ourselves or others that we are unattractive or incompetent. It is not about ‘beating ourselves up’ or trying to make ourselves nothing. If God wanted to make us nothing, he could have done it. Humility has to do with submitted willingness. It involves a healthy self-forgetfulness. We will know we have begun to make progress in humility when we find that we get so enabled by the Holy Spirit to live in the moment that we cease to be preoccupied with ourselves , one way or the other. When we are with others, we are truly with them, not wondering how they can be of benefit to us. Indeed, humility involves a Copernican revolution of the soul, the realization that the universe does not revolve around us. Humility always brings a kind of relief.

Humility, if ever we could grow into it, would not be a burden. It would be an immense gift. Humility is the freedom to stop trying to be what we’re not, or pretending to be what we’re not, and accepting our ‘appropriate smallness.’ In Luther’s words, humility is the decision to ‘let God be God.’” (p. 102)

from John Ortberg’s ‘The Life You’ve Always Wanted’

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Who has a face like Brad Pitt and feet like Fred Flintstone? Oh, yes! It’s true. I guess this is what the humble me looks like!

(Hat tip to Sincerely Anna and Antique Mommy.)

The best thing about middle age so far is that it I’m forced one to look away from my bulging middle, and all of my other imperfections that have not gone away in the last 39 years, to see what God has done and is doing for me. I like the view much better.

15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! ~ 2 Cor. 5: 15-17

Now that’s MY kind of mid-life crisis.

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Here are a few of my favorite “God-posts” from the last few weeks:

The Moon at Sincerely Anna — Anna could use your prayers as the details of her second adoption unfold.

Hidden Treasure at Rocks in My Dryer — You need to listen to this song.

Wandering towards my own Canaan at Big Mama’s — She hit this one out of the park.

Adjustments, Part 512 at Planet Nomad (Hat tip to Antique Mommy) — What is real? What is abundance? What are we about?

Better dead than a size 3 at Owlhaven’s — A little comic relief, and awfully tender when juxtaposed with Planet Nomad’s post

Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. ~Joel 2:13

Thank you all for pointing to Him.

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150 Before 150?

I’m entirely too close to 40 to do a 40 before 40 list. But THIS list? THIS is the perfect list for a procrastinator like me to think about maybe possibly doing some more of these someday before I die. I do not, however actually desire to do all of these. Saw it over at MamaLady’s. (She says she doesn’t like memes. Wha?)
You bold all the things that you’ve done. Let me know if you play along. Bad Mom, this one’s got you written all over it.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive – This had actually never occurred to me. Hmmm.
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris - This one’s worth doing more than once.
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise – It seems like I should have done this, but obviously the memory was not memorable so I’ll have to try it again.
14. Seen the Northern Lights – Extremely memorable
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa - Can you even do this one anymore?! Lucky thing it’s crossed of my list!
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg – Lettuce, yes. Antarctic, no.
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon – My daughter wants to do this one.
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
- We liked to call this ‘keening’ in college. Fabulous stress reliever.
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
- Really best for the young’uns.
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two harddrives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states – Almost. Just need to hit Alaska, Hawaii, and visit some of you guys in the Pacific Northwest.
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had/Have amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country – Again, possible, but not memorable.
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe – I think I missed out on this one. I’d rather travel a little more elegantly these days.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them

54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving – Snorkeling, yes. Scuba, no.
62. Kissed in the rain

63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater - Again, seems like I should have done this. But there is a GREAT one nearby for next summer.
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites

70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo (Does henna count?)
81. Rafted the snake river
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently

95. Performed in a Rocky Horror Picture Show
96. Raised children - in progress
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold - not for the reason you’re wondering about
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds – I hope it never comes to this
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth – My cat had kittens when I was young, but I don’t think I actually helped.
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept 30 hours in a 48 hour time frame
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes

134. Read “The Iliad”
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office – Does church council count? : )
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair - Well, I’ve sat with Hubs in his
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ – Oh yes. WPLS. The Pulse of Furman University. Check!
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

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“Last Time” is my antidote to the “Do Agains” of the terrible twos and beyond. Granted, hearing that tiny giggle IS irresistible, but how many times can one adult shout “Boo!” before the thrill is gone? When I am on my last nerve, I sweetly sing out, “Last Time!” — giving my darling toddler the warning that he needs to end the fun gracefully. Go on, try it — and bow out of playtime, gracefully, while you still have a shred of your sanity.

For more tips and tricks, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer

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Rock-a-bye Big Boy

Dear S.,

You are two-and-a-half now — smack dab in the middle of the territory that lies between baby and big boy. I love how you realize that babies are different than you. But when you see J. drinking his milk out of a bottle, you want some milk too…in “one of those.” So I go to find you the sippy cup with the lid that most resembles a nipple.

I love how I can leave you playing upstairs while I run downstairs to schlep laundry. And when I return, I fnd you happily singing a song you made up about your sister and your dog. I love to hear you say, “M. is a gwate dog, Mom!”

I love tucking you in at night, hearing you say, “‘Night ‘night, Mommy,” after our stories and songs. Then without fail, you ask, “Are you goin’ downstairs, Mommy?” “Yes.” “Will you leave the door open just like that?” “Yes, baby.”

I love your hugs–arms flung with abandon around my neck–and your tender little boy kisses. I pray for your future wife. I know she will be someone special.

I am relieved to see “big boy” coming. I tire of the diapers, and the physical labor of lifting and hoisting. But I treasure the “baby” moments whenever they happen — rocking that heavy ‘ole big boy, who I can hardly cradle in between my two arms, who I struggle to lift to my shoulder, who will be the baby of my heart forever.

This post was written for MamaBlogga’s October Group Writing Project.

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Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

~Psalm 100:4-5

This week at Moms in Touch we prayed these verses for our children:

1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

~Psalm 1: 1-2

The next day after AWANA, my daughter and I spent at least an hour reading through every verse in her Sparks handbook. She had a supernatural interest in the word of God. She hungered for it. She wanted to read them herself, which is not always the case with her reading. Oh yes we CAN stay up late to read every Bible verse in your Sparks handbook.

I see God’s activity so faithfully in the lives of my children. If you’re not praying regularly for your children, you are missing out on some serious blessing. As Beth Moore would say, “I’m jealous for you with a godly jealousy.”

Now go pray some scripture over your child.

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As I get further along in the hunt for “God-posts,” I realize I see Him everywhere in the tiniest details of your posts and I ask myself “Who am I to be deciding where I see His fingerprints?” I don’t feel worthy to be making these judgment calls. So, I’m not sure if I will continue this as a regular feature or not.

That being said, here are a few of my favorite “God-posts” from the last few weeks:

Why I Believe at Rocks in My Dryer

Mountain Climbing at Sincerely Anna

A Refuge in the Sea at In the Life of a Child

home from Connor, Booth, Sellers and Copeland Farley

Just be it, Sistah from Fried Okra

Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. ~Joel 2:13

Thank you all for pointing to Him.

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