Friday, October 31, 2008

This is so my family

hehehe...i love this blog

not the nicest image, but...

we have been adjusting to life with two kids under 18 months. whew! what an adventure! to top this week off, marit has been running high fevers and waking up at night. last night as marit was screaming from her room and we were changing graham's 5th poopy diaper in an hour, exhausted adam said:

"kids are God's enema for selfishness"

it's so true! we are being sanctified one sleep-deprived day at a time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thanksgiving part 2 (Graham is here!)

We are so excited and thankful to welcome Graham into the world. He arrived pretty goopy and after a relatively uncomplicated labor. He arrived on 10/21 at 2:13 am weighing in at 8lbs 8oz (I'm thankful he was 2 weeks early!) and 21.5 inches. So many little details were worked out by our Heavenly Father...
-He was 38weeks by 2 hrs, which was our goal gestation, since I had preterm labor and such
-My doctor was on call and already there all night and she left town for the rest of the week shortly thereafter
-labor and delivery was very quiet that night...I was the only one who delivered and I had a nice big post-partum room
-I went into labor in the afternoon/evening so my sister could come spend the night with Marit without having to miss any of her obligations
-Adam still had one week left in his off month, giving us time to adjust to two kids...
-I had just enough time to get all the antibiotics he needed in before he was born (gbs + for you medical folks)
-he was delivered with only 4 pushes!

He is a sweet little guy and loves to be held all the time. He's a wonderfully eager eater and has already started gaining weight again. His head has a tiny bit of dark fuzz, but it barely counts as hair. His eyes are dark and look like they may be brown. Marit is adjusting well...she's interested, but not overwhelming and her behavior has not been affected much. It helps that we have plenty of folks to give her adequate attention. She seems like such a big girl! Though we are tired, we are overwhelmed with thankfulness and joy for this little life God has entrusted to us!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Product Review: For the Mommies

I am also going to start doing product reviews from time to time of things that I feel work really well, or that i just like. adam calls me a "master shopper," mostly because i love to discover great products and great prices (what woman doesn't really?). today's product is:

Weleda calendula oil diaper cream

while this cream still has zinc oxide in it (the stuff in most diaper creams that promotes the healing), it also has the amazing calendula oil to sooth the skin. marit has very sensitive skin and gets diaper rashes occasionally, due to her brace and such. we have tried a variety of products, including burt's bees (i recommend almost all of their other products, but not the diaper cream), balmex, and may others. nothing knocks out the redness and rash like weleda...usually after one generous application. of course, it's kind of a naturally trendy product and i think it's made in europe somewhere, so it can run from $7-10/tube, but it's worth it because you don't have to use it for nearly as long. mommies take note and watch the bum of your little sweetie heal rapidly!

Thanksgiving part1

I'm going to start posting about the small things i am thankful for...little answers to prayer. partly in an effort to cultivate a heart of thankfulness in myself and to praise my sweet Savior for the detail He takes in caring for His children.

I am so thankful for the fact that I will be 38 weeks pregnant tomorrow. A little over 3 weeks ago, we sat in a room on labor and delivery and watched the contractions on a monitor, knowing I was 5cm dilated and 80% effaced and that little Graham might come that day. of course we can hardly wait to meet our son, but wanted him to have a little more time inside of me to develop and grow in strength. i really feel like God used my dr and responded to the many who were praying for me and stopped my contractions. they just stopped! and 3 weeks later i'm still pregnant and graham will be a term baby. what a blessing!

i haven't been sleeping well due to contractions and a 9 month pregnant uterus sitting right on top of my bladder. friday night i woke up at 2 to use the bathroom and could not go back to sleep until around 6. so saturday night, adam specifically prayed for me to sleep well, to "not even have to use the bathroom." i slept from 10-6:30 without peeing! if you have never been pregnant, you may not know what a miracle this is, but i felt more refreshed than i had for a long time after a night's "sleep." i love how attentive to small things our Father is.

Thank you Mr Piper

This post is primarily taken from John Piper's website...a great resource!...a friend of mine posted this on facebook with a picture of her sweet 11 week old son who passed away. 11 weeks, less than 3 months old and this baby was perfectly formed. i'm not interested in a political discussion about who to vote for, the pros and cons of each candidate etc. this is just a humble rebuttal to those who criticize one-issue voters. some things are worth being criticized for.

One-Issue Politics, One-Issue Marriage, and the Humane Society

Investigating dog life in Minnesota has solidified my decision to vote against those who endorse the right to abortion. So then what is my response to the charge of being a one-issue voter?

No endorsement of any single issue qualifies a person to hold public office. Being pro-life does not make a person a good governor, mayor, or president. But there are numerous single issues that disqualify a person from public office. For example, any candidate who endorsed bribery as a form of government efficiency would be disqualified, no matter what his party or platform was. Or a person who endorsed corporate fraud (say under $50 million) would be disqualified no matter what else he endorsed. Or a person who said that no black people could hold office—on that single issue alone he would be unfit for office. Or a person who said that rape is only a misdemeanor—that single issue would end his political career. These examples could go on and on. Everybody knows a single issue that for them would disqualify a candidate for office.

It's the same with marriage. No one quality makes a good wife or husband, but some qualities would make a person unacceptable. For example, back when I was thinking about getting married, not liking cats would not have disqualified a woman as my wife, but not liking people would. Drinking coffee would not, but drinking whiskey would. Kissing dogs wouldn't, but kissing the mailman would. And so on. Being a single-issue fiancé does not mean that only one issue matters. It means that some issues may matter enough to break off the relationship.

So it is with politics. You have to decide what those issues are for you. What do you think disqualifies a person from holding public office? I believe that the endorsement of the right to kill unborn children disqualifies a person from any position of public office. It's simply the same as saying that the endorsement of racism, fraud, or bribery would disqualify him—except that child-killing is more serious than those.

When we bought our dog at the Humane Society, I picked up a brochure on the laws of Minnesota concerning animals. Statute 343.2, subdivision 1 says, "No person shall . . . unjustifiably injure, maim, mutilate or kill any animal." Subdivision 7 says, "No person shall willfully instigate or in any way further any act of cruelty to any animal." The penalty: "A person who fails to comply with any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor."

Now this set me to pondering the rights of the unborn. An eight-week-old human fetus has a beating heart, an EKG, brain waves, thumb-sucking, pain sensitivity, finger-grasping, and genetic humanity, but under our present laws is not a human person with rights under the 14th Amendment, which says that "no state shall deprive any person of life . . . without due process of law." Well, I wondered, if the unborn do not qualify as persons, it seems that they could at least qualify as animals, say a dog, or at least a cat. Could we not at least charge abortion clinics with cruelty to animals under Statute 343.2, subdivision 7? Why is it legal to "maim, mutilate and kill" a pain-sensitive unborn human being but not an animal?

These reflections have confirmed my conviction never to vote for a person who endorses such an evil—even if he could balance the budget tomorrow and end all taxation.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Marit and Molly

Molly is soooo patient and Marit adores her. Also, notice Marit's new walking brace!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

pregnant neighbors

We live within a couple blocks of each other and are due within 2.5 weeks of each other. It's been fun and Ellie, Sam, and Graham have many play dates in their future. Thanks for the picture Diane!

Friday, October 10, 2008

home sweet home

i've been home from the hospital since tuesday afternoon. after 10 days of being confined to one very blue room, home is a delightful place to be. adam tells me that marit is noticeably more pleasant to be around as that her little life is back to normal. she has been so happy lately and is even eating and sleeping better since i've returned. what a blessing she is in our lives! i've included some images from home. charlotte came over to watch a movie with me yesterday. it's so fun to have a sister across the street!

graham is now 36 weeks and 3 days old, so it is pretty safe for him to enter the world whenever he is ready. i've been 5cm dilated and 80% effaced for about 10 days now and we joke that i may still make it to 40 weeks. either way, we have a good shot at making it to term now and for that we are thankful. i'm still on "modified bed rest" in hopes that i will make it to next week and adam has been very good about reminding me to lay down, stop nesting, stop cleaning, stop playing. i am just so thrilled to be here, that it's hard to hold still! we praise God for his faithfulness over the course of our lives, but it has been especially evident over the last two weeks. He holds graham's sweet little life in His loving hands.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What's been going on

warning: this is long and rambling...i have a touch of hospital dementia
I've had internet access for the last week since I have been hospitalized for pre-term labor, but I just haven't felt inspired to write much. It's not because I haven't been extremely bored and find myself with tons of extra time suddenly. Maybe it's because my room that I am not allowed to leave is a very uninspiring color of prison blue. Anyway, after our delicious day last week, we experienced a "disgusting day" during which Adam and I both acquired some sort of food poisoning or virus or something. I got extremely dehydrated, not a good thing for a pregnant lady in her last 5 weeks and have been in and out of labor, back and forth between labor and delivery and antepartum(where I am now on bedrest) ever since. Let me tell you, it's been fun. For the last 5 days, I have been a very boring patient and for that I am thankful! God has been gracious to grant Graham 1 more week in my womb even though I've been 5cm dilated and 80% effaced since Monday. Basically I'm a ticking time bomb. So I lay around in my blue room all day and take occasional naps, incessantly check my email, read a little, listen to sermons, watch the occasional television show, listen to music. My sister introduced me to Pandora Radio.
This has helped me to keep my sanity to some extent. You should check it out as it allows you to listen to music based on artists that you select, so you pretty much only hear music you like. It's pretty awesome.

I always say that "one day when I have time, I'm going to...." The top 3 on my list are to learn how to make handmade pottery, how to play the mandolin, and to renovate an old house. Since my current situation does not allow for these activities, I'm learning to be content with this quietness that has been given to me. When Graham does come, I may think back on this week (and maybe longer than a week) and wish I had enjoyed it more. My life is certainly on the brink of becoming insane, so I am trying to enjoy the solace now.

The worst part of this whole thing for sure is not spending much time with my snuggle bug Marit. Adam brings her to visit me every day, but it's awkward in a hospital room, partly because she's a little scared of me, partly because she just wants to crawl around all the time. I look forward to these visits every day and get all emotional when they are over. Something about a mommy's heart just longs to be with her children. I've had a lot of time to think about whether or not I will return to work after Graham comes. We can't really afford for me not to, but I just long to be with my babies as much as possible and to be able to focus on doing something well (shaping the hearts of these little ones is such a privilege), instead of being spread to thin to be of much use anywhere. If you are of the praying type, you can pray for us to be wise in our decision regarding this.

Adam dropped out of his cardiology rotation for the month. We are thankful that this was an option for him, though it means he will finish school in march instead of february. Also, my parents and sister have been a tremendous help with Marit. My dad and adam have been getting the house ready for a new baby, working on various projects. Friends cleaned our house and then hired a cleaning service to "deep clean" it for us in preparation for the new baby and because our sickness and rushing around resulted in a lot of chaos.

I've had lots of visitors, calls, emails, facebook messages, gifts (we even have an assortment of preemie clothes now!), encouragement and have been so blessed by the body of Christ. We have been loved so well this week and I know it's a beautiful testimony to others.

There has been a lot of stress involved in the last week, especially for Adam. He took his boards on friday in atlanta and was afraid I would deliver while he was gone. He goes back and forth between me and Marit, doesn't get a lot of sleep, and worries about my contractions and hydration status and Graham's well-being. Sometimes I do not respond well to how worry is manifested in Adam and so our relationship has been tense at times as well...little time together doesn't help.

I suppose this could be considered to be a season (though short-lived) of suffering or hardship, just like Marit's battle with hip dysplasia. Adam and I have had a lot of talks about suffering in the recent past and it is a topic that keeps resurfacing in our independent experiences and readings. If that's the case, I pray that God uses this time to refine us, make us more Christlike, break down the idols of comfort and ease that we hold dear in our hearts. At the same time, we must have perspective that hardship brings pain yes, but also deep communion with Jesus and others in the body of Christ as we allow them to serve us (a humbling place to be really). I must also recognize that I am not suffering on an island by myself, but am surrounded by others who struggle and suffer much deeper pains than I may ever have to face. A friend visited recently who lost her young husband to leukemia, another friend miscarried in her 3rd pregnancy, another friend has a beautiful baby that is not expected to live beyond one year. The world is so broken and filled with pain. I want to remember that and not dwell on my own challenges as if they were an exception to the rule. Why do I expect things to be easy and to provide me with comfort when that is not what is promised to us in this dark and fallen world? What is promised is that we will never be forsaken, that we will never be separated from the love of Christ, that we will be provided with the grace necessary to face any trial. In these promises, there is a sweetness that tempers the bitterness of life in this frustrating world, a little taste of eternity as Christ walks with us through the hardest times in life.

I'm not sure what point I was trying to make in this post exactly, but was determined to try to get some thoughts out....sorry it's so long.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Diaper Wars

From Marit 14 - 16 months
While I sit in the hospital keeping Graham from being born, Marit and Daddy have fun diaper wars!