Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Baby Boy

Yes, it's about 6 months late, but seriously, have you ever had a newborn? No time, people. I haven't mastered art of typing and nursing at the same time. Also, I've been putting off editing these pictures, and have thus been putting off posting them. I'm a pretty modest girl, and birth pictures can be less than. So, now I've finally got some G-rated birth pictures, and some commentary to go along with them.  

I had been feeling a little different all day, and about 9pm on April 3rd I started noticing that the discomfort that is ever present during pregnancy was kind of coming and going. "Patterning," they call it. So I called the midwife and my sister. Andrew went to get groceries, because we seriously had nothing in the house, and Robin and Mom helped me with a last-ditch house clean. The midwife told me to rest while I was waiting. That didn't happen. I was too hyped. I guess it's good I labor pretty quickly, because I never rest in early labor. 
I had little gifts for my "birth team." Hey, birth is stressful for everyone. Moms and babies get lots of stuff, but what about all the people that cope with the crazy women and don't sleep all night? I think they deserve some thanks too.

I carefully timed my contractions 'till the midwife got there. Gotta love smart phones.

 I was pretty far along by the time I settled into the bed room. Andrew was pretty nervous about the whole "have a baby at home" thing,  but he was pretty great once it came down to it.
I've read alot about "counter pressure" during labor, but never really liked it. I did this time.
Mom got the honor of dealing with me while Andrew blew up the pool.
 I didn't really want the tub, but Alina, the midwife, talked me into having them set it up, in case I changed my mind.

 I did. I'm pretty sure I made someone go to Robin's house to get me a swimsuit to borrow. I couldn't find mine. It turned up about a month later in a random box.
This was probably about midnight. I was in serious labor at this point, and obviously don't care about the rather uncomfortable positions my helpers adopted.

 Little man was a little bit blue. His Aunt Robin caught him. Andrew held my hands while I screamed in his face. That's love, folks. I'm a little surprised I didn't bust his eardrums.

 Momin, as my kids call her, held baby boy while I took a moment to cope. Alina had discussed something they are calling a "birth pause" with us during the pregnancy, and I found it very freeing to not feel like a bad mom the need a moment to come to terms with myself before I turned my attentions to the baby. Having a baby is seriously intense.

He was pretty much perfect. Fat and happy. 
Still is :-)

 The sisters like the baby. They can't keep their little hands off him. It's pretty cute.
 My kids still have all their great-grandparents, and most of them were able to come see the new addition. These are my grandparents. Grammy had called early Thursday to see if I wanted the girls to some stay there for a few days so I could get some rest. Turns out I had a baby that night.

 This is Andrew's Grandpa Gore
 And this is Pa, Andrew's grandfather Gavin.

She loves her baby.

Daddy and his boy. Elijah ADORES Andrew. Every time he sees him the smiles and laughs and is generally super happy. He likes to be held by the milk machine, though.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tell Them to Your Children...

I attended the lady's conference at church today, the first I have attended in years, to tell the truth. The speaker talked about something that is very close to my heart: legacy. How we all leave behind a legacy for the people that we love, and the value of taking time to pointedly leave a valuable and godly one. She talked about some tangible reminders she has in her home of the things that she and her family have watched God do, and how the give an opportunity for her to share the stories related to them with everyone who sees them.

 Now, I hail from a crowd that is big into legacy, stories, and recounting God's faithfulness to our children. I haven't stayed on the bandwagon for all the ideals and beliefs that I was raised to embrace. I've got a television in my living room, I've been married almost six years and ONLY have three children, and I have spent time sitting in a (*gasp*) classroom learning from professors that held a radically different worldview from me. Notwithstanding, I still have a profound passions for the most fundamental tenet of the Christian homeschool movement: 

Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command to you shall be on your heart. You shall teach them to your children, and when you lie down and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write then on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Teaching out children about what God has done is the most important thing we as parents can do. He did great things for his people in the Old Testiment, he did incomparably great things for us in the life, death and resurection of Christ, and he has done mighty works for this people, as a whole and as individuals, in the 2000 or so years since.  

October is my favorite time of year. I love the occasional crisp morning, and the "great things are coming" feeling I always get around this time. I feel about fall like most people feel about Christmas. It's also one of my favorite time to dust off some stories about "the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord and the wonders he has done" for my kids. It's time to get ready for Reformation Day. It's the anniversary of the day,  October 31, 1531, when Martin Luther nailed the 95 thesis to the door of the Wittenburg chruch and set the world on fire. 

This time of year, I tell this story to my children:

The world was poised to change.

 In the 1430's Johanas Gutenberg had invented a device -the printing press- that could reproduce documents and books in a fraction of the time that had  previously been required. This enabled ideas to spread quicker and further than ever before. Not since the ekklesia of ancient Greece had the sharing of ideas been so in vogue. Throughout the Middle Ages, various men had challenged the status quo of Roman Catholicism, but none if their movements had gained the traction required to fundamentally shake the power of the Vicar of Christ on earth.

The power of the the Roman Catholic pope had steadily increased since the early days of Christianity. In 1500, Erasmus was challenging and, frankly, mocking, many of the abuses of Catholic Church, Leonardo deVinci and Michelangelo were creating masterpieces, Christopher Columbus had recently reached previously uncharted lands, and Henry VII was king of England. The Roman church was the most powerful, decadent and corrupt institution in the world. At it's head was Pope Alexander VI, previously Rodrigo de Lanzol-Borgia. Part of a conniving, murdering, powerful family, he famously threw a lavish wedding for his (lying, adulterous, murdering) illegitimate daughter in the Vatican itself.  Popes waged wars, loaned money and dictated to kings.

Three popes later, in 1517,  the building of St. Peter's Basilica, combined with a series of wars, had all but drained the papal coffers. The idea was set forth to sell unconditional forgiveness of any sin, called an indulgence, to anyone who wanted to buy one for themselves or a loved one, living or dead. Monks traveled around to poor villages peddling salvation, with catchy slogans like "As soon as the coin in the coffer clings, the soul from Purgatory springs."

In Wittenburg, Germany, a priest and professor of theology named Martin Luther was not impressed. He wrote out a list of 95 issues he took with the sale of indulgences and nailed it on the door of the church. It was intended the be debated by other academics and hopefully make enough waves to alert the pope to what Luther thought were crimes being done in his name.

And did it ever make waves. This little document, written at this precise moment of history, set in motion a movement with renewed interest in Christianity as set forth by the writers of the bible, and not as defined by the popes and counsels. A Christianity whose theology was defined by five "Solas:" “Sola Scriptura” (Scripture Alone); “Sola Gratia” (Grace Alone); “Sola Fide” (Faith Alone); “Solus Christus” (Christ Alone); and “Soli Deo Gloria” (To God Alone Be Glory).

There's more to the story. The world didn't change over night. Luther and those who took up his mantle weren't perfect. My children are young, and probably won't retain more the the bare bones of the story. But they will grow, and I'll tell the story again, year after year.  We'll make a printing press, and write in medieval calligraphy, and read Erasmus and Luther and Calvin. They will read and study for themselves, and understand more of the theology and history of Christianity.  And some day, God willing, they will pull my grandchildren into their laps and tell them about a man who nailed a piece of paper on the door of a church and changed the world.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Procrastination and Perfectionism

I've read that procrastination and perfectionism are often related. One is unwilling to do something if it can't be done perfectly (and honestly, what can?) and therefore procrastinates a task 'till it's either not longer worth doing at all or at it's way to close to the due date and one runs out of time to do it even very well. I've probably got 20 blog posts in various stages on completion, some of which were actually timely or decent when they were written, but their relevance is mostly past. So, I'm resolving to post things that are less that perfect. I love to write, but don't often take the time to put my thoughts down on paper (or, um, webpage) these days, but I'm going to try to use a little self discipline to actually do things that I enjoy and get something out of instead of burning my little bits of not-otherwise-completely-occupied time perusing facebook or looking for more stuff that I don't need on Amazon.

So anyway. My kids are huge. I have a new(ish) baby, Elijah Caedmon, otherwise known as Baby Superman. When I found out I was expecting a boy, Andrew asked the girls what we should name him. "Ianna" was the first suggestion, followed by "Adelin."
"No, girls, we need a boy name."
"Oh." Ianna replied. "Is Superman a boy name?"
"Well, yeah..."
So that was that. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if you ask the girls, they will still tell that his name is Baby Elijah Superman.

 Isn't he a DOLL?
 Here's out (no longer so little) family. The girls adore their baby brother, and it's all I can do to keep their little hands off him long enough for him to sleep. He was 6 months this weekend, and I can't believe how time has flown.

Here he is on his 6 month birthday. He's fat, and cute.