Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What does Christmas mean to you?

I was cleaning the basement Sunday and wondered over to our bookcase to find a book to dig into, since I was procrastinating finish up my work. I happened upon The Nativity Story and decided, what a perfect time to read such a book, right before Christmas. It was only 200 pages so I knew it would be a quick read....

All I can say is WOW! What an amazing story. Of course we've all heard the story of how baby Jesus got here, hundreds of time in fact, but the way this particular version put it made me have a new found appreciation for the entire cast. There are so many details I could go into, which I will spare you from, but mainly the way Mary and Joseph handled themselves and the news of their baby was incredible. Mary taking the news from Gabriel by faith; believing that whatever God's will was, she wanted to be used, regardless of what it meant for her life. She was honoring God, yet at what cost I'm sure she had no idea. Joseph, deciding to marry Mary after knowing she was pregnant, he wasn't the father, and apparently they were to raise the Son of God. Talk about pressure!! If only I could reflect their spirit and attitude in my daily life.

From the book, Mary's thoughts: "How was she to raise the Son of God? What was she supposed to do when he got sick? Would he get sick? Would he stub his toe, skin his knees, cut his chin? Would he cry with weariness and wail when he got hungry? Would he run to her arms when he needed comfort, or would he look to Adonai? Would she be a comfort to him...or a disappointment? For she was only a woman, prone to mistakes, too quick to worry, and sometimes too slow to reveal the deep affections of her heart." I myself have wondered these exact things...would Jesus throw a tantrum when Mary told him no, like Avery does?? And even the fact that she was raising THE SAVIOR...incredible!

It's just amazing what a true miracle the birth of Christ was. I feel as though we've become so obsessed with Christmas in the sense of gifts, lights, decorations, Santa, parties, etc. that we sometimes forget what we are truly celebrating. We worry over how many Christmas's we have to attend, what presents to buy our family, snow and traffic, cookie platters and the list goes on and on. I myself have wondered about starting new traditions with my own family but I think the one tradition I must make a priority, is teaching my kids what the meaning of Christmas really is: One Child, sent to earth to change the world.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Last night I watched a few kids for a church near us. There were 3 girls, a 2nd grader, 4th grader, and 5th grader, plus a 2 yr old and then Avery. The 3 older girls were listening to an ipod (which just floored me. an ipod? i had a little red tape player i carted around. makes me feel old...) and singing songs that I didn't even know! Then they started talking about Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lavato....and I'm sitting there just flashforwarding to when Avery is that big. I just had this realization of how impressionable kids are! How much they soak in, how much they remember and understand, even when I might not think so. It scared me. Let's not go there...

Pregnancy update: Things are going smoothly. I passed my glucose test so no diabetes! I also had blood work done by my endocrinologist and my thyroid is acting normal this pregnancy which is fabulous. I'm 29 wks and still going strong. So far I've gained 13lb which I'm very happy about!! At this point with Avery, I was up about 19lb so I'm feeling good! No Braxton-Hicks thus far which I think is also a bonus. Other than that, I'm just ready for him to be here. Only 10 more weeks...

Avery is talking a lot more now which is great! She blabbers mostly but she does use some words. I LOVE that she now says daddy and mommy, rather than dadda/momma. It just is the sweetest sound. Some words though that sound similar I think she thinks they are the same word. Like Maddie vs Mommy and chow vs cow. I asked her to say chow and she started mooing. She's also getting more bruises and scrapes from being so active and all over the place. My mom said that I was definitely not like that as a toddler so it must be Chris's influence. I am seriously praying that this next baby is more laid back and calm. Otherwise, me and the kids might be medicated.

Avery has also been throwing some more elaborate tantrums, which sometimes drives me near insanity. She will run off to a corner, screaming and crying, and then sit down and pout. I can't stand it! Thankfully she has yet to give this performance in public but I know that day is coming. It's hard not to give her a cookie when she asks (usually right before bed time) but I know it will teach her that she can't have everything she wants. We have to have boundaries. But I guess she'll be pushing those for the next 20 years or more so I might as well get used to it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Dreaded "Mom Stories"

We do not have cable and therefore only get about 4 real channels (plus 23 "Jesus" channels). Last night there wasn't anything on so I ended up settling on "Cougar Town". I've watched the show before and haven't been too impressed...though there are some funny one-liners or quotes everyone now and then. Last night though, I found a few things quite interesting and even laid in bed awhile afterwards thinking about the meaning of what was said...

The episode was "Let Yourself Go" (season 2, episode 2 in case you want to watch). I was focusing on the couple Ellie and Andy who have a son, probably 8 months old. They don't like talking about their kid around other people. Ellie refuses to tell "mom stories" because she thinks by doing so, she will be dull and unsexy. Andy can't resist though and tries telling a story about their son and the friends standing by soon pretend to fall asleep and act out a murder/suicide in order to get out of the story altogether.

Alas, the great inner debate begins. How often is it appropriate to discuss your kid (and even pregnancy) around your friends?

Double whammy for me, being that I am now involved in both of those criteria...I feel like a magnet sometimes for these discussions though. More times than I wish to count have I been caught in what suddenly appears as the "mommy group"; moms that somehow gravitate towards one another and feel this "urge to purge" all their latest, most detailed stories regarding their child. Whilst I myself do enjoy the occasional chat with other moms, sharing tips and secrets with each other and learning what works and doesn't for their kid as well as my own. But soon enough, I often times find myself feeling uncomfortable...

I understand I am a parent and I am also pregnant...but does that mean I have some free pass to openly discuss these things with any and all people who will listen? I realize these things are important to myself as well as others, but I also understand that some people don't care that my kid had a massive poop that shot out her diaper or that I pee a little bit when I cough or sneeze because of all the pressure this baby is putting on my bladder. I sometimes have to remind my husband that while I know he enjoys working out, triathlons, biking, etc., that others don't; so we both have to make conscious decisions when around others to not talk constantly about the things we love.

I also want to be sensitive to those around me who don't have kids or who aren't pregnant. After my miscarriage, I was so angry when I was around a pregnant woman, even if she happened to be a close friend. I didn't care what was going on because I was hurting. Sometimes I wish others took to heart this message... We don't know what others are going through or what kind of day they've had. I also want to be sensitive to others who, maybe like myself, have a child but sometimes just don't care. When I get together with people, especially if there aren't children involved, I want to feel like an adult!! In those rare instances when I don't have to deal with a wild 19month old ripping through my house, wiping snot from her nose, cleaning poop off her butt, and feeding her goldfish, I want to feel "normal". I don't want to think about my child or the fact that I look like a whale. I want to have conversations about real things, not Mickey Mouse or Shrek. Is that too much to ask?
Now, I don't want to seem harsh, like I never want to discuss my baby or what she's doing. I'd LOVE to tell anyone that will listen about how perfect she is; and I'm sure I often do! But suffice it to say there is a time and a place for it all. I take such joy in all that Avery does and am so excited to see her growing, but I realize that sharing those things with others is sometimes okay and sometimes not okay (or okay to a certain point).
So now that I have your attention, I've got just the story about Avery to tell you. Oh....not the right time is it?