Thursday, December 29, 2011


Yesterday, I passed a flashy billboard with triple x printed across the sign.  I pictured those x's being pushed on their sides and transformed ino the three crosses.   Such a transformation is not only theoretical but literal.  Jesus literally transforms us from our XXX state into a new creation 2Cor5:17 by what he did on the cross.

The world has fallen away from God and we are all tempted to live self-indulgent lives. Many are dragged away and enticed by their own desires James1:14-15 and so become slaves to sin Rom6.   Even though we sin, God offers grace. He washes us clean (as I described in the Diaper Change Analogy post) if we let Him because He loves us and wants to reconcile us to Himself. 
Thank God for grace!  So, "should we sin all the more that grace may abound? By no means! How can he who died to sin still live in it?" Rom6:1-2.  Rather He calls us to obedience.  Jesus explains in John14:23-24 that if we love Him, we will obey Him and that if we do not obey Him, we do not love Him.  In other words, if we do not love Him through our actions, we prove that we were not truly transformed.  No we never becme perfect or righteous on out own- we are still human, we are still tempted and we still screw up.  But he calls us to try.  "If we walk in the light as He is in the light...the blood of Christ purifies us from all sin" but "if we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth" 1John1:6-7.   When God changes us, our lives should change.  For "His kindness is intended to lead us to repentance" Rom2:4 and "consider the kindness and the sterness of God...kindness to you provided that you continue in His kindness" Rom11:22.   

Therefore "Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."  Rom12:2

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Diaper Change Analogy

The average baby does not like being naked and hates diaper changes.  He does not kow how important it is that he be cleaned, but his mother does.  She lovingly cleans him even in the unpleasant and hard to reach places.  Also, if he has a rash, she dabs on ointment to heal him then dresses him in a clean garment.  He fights and struggles and screams, but when the experience is over, he is healthier and happier for both the short and long term. 

Are we not the same way?  When we make ungodly decisions, we sit in a hot mess of sin- poisoning our spirits and sometimes our bodies.  God, like a loving parent, wants to clean us up and restore us to spiritual health.  But the experience is often painful and humiliating.  So, eventhough we know that we need to be changed, pride and selfishness hold us back from letting him take care of us; we fight him.  This experience is well documented in the song, "Let It All Out," by Relient K:
And you said I know that this will hurt
But if I don't break your heart then things will just get worse
If the burden seems too much to bear
Remember the end will justify the pain it took to get us there

And I know you know
You touched my life
When you touched my heavy heart and made it light

I wrote a similar analogy a year or so ago:

More "a little late" pictures from Week 1

Birth Story Photos (a little late)

Our new little family has come home to Texas to see the grandparents for Christmas.  I found these pictures here on my mom's computer.  Click for the birth story and here for the story behind the flag

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm in Texas

I had Dublin Dr. Pepper and BBQ for lunch then chili cooked in Shiner Bock beer for dinner.  Today was a good day. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Old lyrics. New meaning.

Have you ever watched a movie that you hadn't seen since childhood and realized how completely you had misunderstood the plot.  I have done that several times.  I did it also with the pledge of allegiance.  "And to the republic for which it stands..."  I remember the day I realized that we were not saying "witch," but "which."  I seriously pictured a witch on a broomstick every time I said the pledge in grade school. 

I listened to "O Come O Come Emmanuel" today, a song I grew up reading from a hymnal.  I knew the words, but did not know my vocabulary.  "O come O come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel."  Wow.  That is beautiful.  God's people were held captive by sin (as in Lamentations 1:5), but he loved us so much that he sent his son as a ransom to free us and gather us back to Himself!  Not just the Jews, but the gentiles too.  Romans 6.  "Rejoice! Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel."  Repeat. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

He :)ed

Blue Eye's eyes are still blue. I half expect them to turn Brown in the next few months because his eyes have not yet fully developed.  He did, however, pass one development milestone last week! He smiled a joyful little smile!  Here he is :)ing, but he also :Ds big open mouthed smiles that I just cant catch on camera. When I do, I'll post it because it is just too cute. 
When your child makes eye contact with you then smiles at you, it is such an amazing feeling!  Oh I was made for this. 

We are so blessed to have such a happy baby. Even before he smiled, he was generally content and bright eyed.  His face did a few times form an expression much like a smile. My guess is that the smiling muscles were already in place but the feeling of emotions such as joy had not yet set in. Now they have, undoubtably. Man, we love this kid.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Family Holiday Traditions

I love traditions.  To the point that I yearly wear my red socks when I decorate the Christmas tree while listening to Bing Crosby.  (Sidenote: I recommend the Christmas Swing Station on  I have been pondering traditions to start in our new little family. 

For instance, on Easter Sunday morning, we'll dye three batches of pancake batter different bright colors with food dye and have a big colorful pancake breakfast!  Thanks Abby Knorr for the idea and the photos.  Now I need a tradition to commemorate the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus when he washed away our sins by his grace.  Let me know if you think of one. 

For Christmas, I already have plenty of secular traditions that I hold dear and plan to continue, but I was specifically pondering a tradition for remembering the "reason for the season" = the birth of Jesus Christ.  We will set out a little nativity scene in a prominant spot in our home and place advent candles in the center of our table.  Every evening, we will light them (adding one each week) and read the Christmas story divided into short segments then discuss during dinner.  Since we'll blow the candles out nightly, the children will also draw a picture of the candles on butcher paper to hang on the wall.  Each Sunday they will color in one flame so that even when our candles are blown out, they are still burning. 

The night we light the last candle will call for a big celebration of some sort- I need to figure that one out. 
Maybe that can be when we do our most important Christmas tradition: choosing Jesus's birthday present.  As the kids get older, we will let them be creative with this one and come up with their own ideas, but at first we'll use a resource like World Vision to donate a farm animal to a family or school supplies to students or money toward a clean well for a village.  Thank you Zilas and Nussbaumers for this idea! 
A tradition such as this will not only help families in need as God has commanded us to do, but it will teach our children to joyfully help others.  You may ask, How is giving a gift to a random stranger giving a present to Jesus?  Jesus says himself in Matthew 25: 34-40 "...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Economic Growth and Just Growth

When this little guy was born his whole body was the length of the width of my torso- when I nursed him, his toes touched my side.  That is no longer the case (because he's longer.  padoomchang).  His torso is now the length of the width of my torso. That's because he eats so well.  He's a gulper and there is no shortage of food to him. 
I am a factory. And I am currently overproducing; that is, my supply exceeds his demand. Were he paying me for my milk, I would have to drive my price down... see my customer base is very small. Then I'd likely go out of business and he would have to switch to a different company (formula-makers) via a middle man (retailers) which have a much bigger customer base and can drive their prices up to meet demand. Lucky for both of us, I offer my product for free and will not go out of business.
Although overproduction is a bit of an annoyance for me, I prefer it over the Mastitis and the clog and the fear of the thrush in his mouth that I dealt with in the last two weeks.

I'm pretty proud of myself

So this is an excellent workout.  I get to work out and spend time with my little boy at the same time.  :)  Baby is in the harness for the lower body moves, but for upper abs, back and arms, he's out.  The great thing about my "weights" being a baby is that as I get stronger he gets heavier.  Excellent synchronization... that is if I do it regularly.  Feel free to hold me accountable.

Monday, November 21, 2011

permanent. then again.

The permanency of death is hard for me to comprehend.  It feels more like an abstract concept than an irreparable fact. 
It's been 6 months since Levi died and my impulse feeling is- this should all be over by now.  Okay, we're ready for a respite.  Can he come back now?  No.  He can't.  And not not yet.  Not ever.  This is permanent. 
Instead his gravestone was erected last month.

Nov. 26 Revision:
Death is not so permanent.  We have hope that we will see him again in heaven- life is eternal, not ending.   Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hungry Goats & the Social Mommy Phenomenon

Blue Eyes and I went on a date to Princeton today while his daddy attended a lecture at the university.  I wore him in my frontal red papoose as we window- shopped in old town and wandered around a local orchard.  At the orchard, I read the growing season chart to him then introduced him to the farm animals and told him all about how excited he will be to chase chickens and feed goats for 10 cents a few years from now. 

I believe that fall comes early to Princeton and leaves late.  Okay not really.  But it really does seem like it.  Today, the colors are finally fading, but when Blue Eyes and I were here last week for his 2nd doctors app, the air was warmer and the colors more brilliant.  That day, we had a picnic in a park near the Europesque campus.  That was my first time to experience the social mommy phenomenon.  If you set 4 single women on 4 corners of a grassy square, the likelihood that any 2 of them (much less all 4) would strike up a random conversatoin is low... Now make that 4 women with babies. Suddenly they are destined to convene.  "How old is yours?"  "How much does he weigh?"  "Cute hat."  "How was labor?"  "Are you nursing?"  It came so naturally and did not seem odd, even up here in New Jersey where people are generally less approachable than they are in Texas. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Autumn Post

Nov. 10- Were I not ever picking leaves out of my 5-week-old's carriage, he'd be camouflaged within 10 minutes.  We picked a perfect day to go on a long walk and the trees picked a perfect day to shed- 65 degrees and sunny.  I sit now on a red park bench under a canopy of bright orange.  The audible breeze gently tugs leaves free and rattles the rest.  When I walk again, the peaceful sound will be joined by a pleasant crunch. 
My eyes trace the leaves from the sun-illuminated clusters above to the crowded ground below.  They seem to fall in slow motion and twinkle in the sunlight as they tumble.  My son's eyes are closed, but soon he'll be able to trace things too since he is currently learning tracking.  There will be no leaves then... maybe snow flakes. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A few things I've learned

I've learned that when you become a mom, you also become a lighter sleeper. I typically wake up to hungry "O o-o o o"s before the crying starts. One night, however, I was particularly exhausted (not that that is rare or anything) and he reached the crying stage before I woke. When Chris nudged me, I was patting myself on the chest. Apparently I dreamt the baby was lying on my chest and I was trying to calm him down.

I've learned that when infants pass gas, they dont skip a beat. Eating- no disruption. Playing on the mat- no interruption. But this morning, while dozing off, he tooted so loud that he startled himself.

I've learned that it's not easy to clean spit up out of a little ear.

I've learned that not all "0-3 months" clothes are the same size. And that babies do not enjoy trying them on to see if they fit yet.

I've learned that making eye contact with your baby for a whole twenty minutes while he nurses is not boring at all. In fact, I enjoy it immensely. I talk to him and sing to him and pray outloud for him about his character and future.

If you give your son a bath in the sink, you run the risk of him peeing on your coffee pot.

Four sets of pajamas is not too many. Expect to wash them as fast as you can and likely change them in the middle of the night. That goes for the baby's pajamas too. (As in expect spit up on both of you).

You'll need a nail brush to clean the diaper rash cream out from under your fingernails... daily.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

black-eyed pea to blue-eyed boy

I reread An Announcement today- the blog post in which I announced our pregnancy.  In the post, our 8 wk ultrasound picture was compared to a peanut, a gummy bear and a black-eyed pea.  I looked down at the month-old baby in my lap and told him that just 8 months ago he looked like a black-eyed pea.  He didn't seem as amazed as I was.  Is that not crazy?!  This "pea" transformed into a baby!  How do people not believe in God? Psalm 139:13.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

On Nursing

I elected to breastfeed and though I had read stories of women who struggled with the undertaking, I did not expect to have problems myself.  Ouch!  Yes, I am having problems.  If you are not interested in my nursing experience or in the potential TMI of this post then don't read it. 

At 3:45 this morning, I emailed some experienced friends for advice through tears while clutching an icepack to my chest.  Sometime in the last 2 wks, baby and I lost the ability to nurse correctly.  He seems content, but I nightly cannot fall back asleep for up to an hour after feeding due to post-nursing pain.  I finally fell back asleep at 6am this morning then he woke again at 6:30 ready for another meal.  I started crying and asked Chris to please feed him the pumped milk from the fridge.  Chris is a sweetheart.  He got up and handled everything so I got to sleep until 10:00am. 
I responded this evening to my friends' helpful email responses:  "I was so scared today that I just pumped and bottlefed, but just now I had a surge of stubborn confidence and nursed him. I feel like I dont have enough hands to follow all these pointers correctly, but I know that I don't have very many failed attempts left in me and I really really don't want to quit this. So I enlisted Chris' help and he acted as one hand while I focused on positioning his head and widening his mouth. It worked. We got him latched on properly on both sides. Now we are done and I am not facing a followup hour of pain. I'm very excited! I think for the next few days I am going to nurse during the day and pump at night. I am just not awake enough to focus at night and cant fall back asleep due to pain once I've done it wrong. Once Baby and I are both back on track, we'll return to nursing nights. :)"  Hooray!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

... but I can't say that I like it #2

You may recall when Hurricane Irene ravaged NJ pulling leaves out of our summer trees prematurely. I wrote about my love for falling leaves in autumn but unlove for them falling in summer in   Now, in October, NJ has been prematurely dumped with snow. Again, I love falling snow, but "I can't say that I like it" happening in autumn! What a quirky year. Earth, get your seasons straight. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 4 of

being a stay-at-home mom.  I'm struggling to find time to do the dishes much less write.  Who ever thought that such a little person could require so much work?  No wonder nanny's are so well paid.  I'm loving this new job so far!  I told Chris yesterday- well, I wasn't talking to Chris, I was talking to the baby in earshot of Chris- "I'm so glad Daddy supports me staying home with you.  (in that voice that people talk to babies in) If he didn't, I would have to get up every morning and drop you off with a stranger then go to work all day and I would just cry and cry.  I would just cry all day just like you do until I got to come pick you up." 
 We think he has Chris' brow and nose and my jaw/chin.  This is the pursed lips face.  He makes also the grumpy furrowed brow face and the Disney's baby Tarzan face from 1:16 of this video.  Of course, there is the starting to cry face and the REALLY crying face (which makes me afraid he is going to pass out from lack of air) and the "I'm calming myself down O O O O" face, which is really cute.  I will try to catch it on video. 
Here are the parents, the maternal grandparents, an auntie and the uncle.  Ah!  I'm a parent!  This is crazy.  We just needs some pictures with his paternal grandparents and aunt now.  :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



20 minutes old
Week 1
At 6lbs 12.8 oz, he did not even fit into newborn sized clothes.
Week 2

Week 3. 
When he was born, his legs did  not even extend beyond my torso when I nursed him.  Now his little legs dangle over my elbow.