Thursday, November 29, 2012


On Tuesday I spent most of the day with a feverish toddler draped over me. We lay on the couch and watched Brave about three times, along with old episodes of Friday Night Lights and several renditions of I Like to Move It on YouTube which, unfortunately, is a frequently requested song around here. He coughed hard enough to throw up several times. Sick days are sweet though, in a way: Silas is not normally so cuddly, and it's nice to lay around and still feel like you're doing something important. In the evening, his temperature spiked up to 104, and the possibility of going to the ED loomed its ugly head. It came down with Tylenol and wet hair and a cold washcloth though, and so we stayed home.


I can tell when I'm in need of some quiet, to-myself time, because I start to get angry with my kids for taking my time. It's Wednesday evening, and Ricky took the two little ones out to pick up some dinner, after having quite the long day himself. I'm not finding the right kind of food for my soul, these days; which is another way of saying I can't seem to write or pray. I wish it were truly possible to forget about yourself.


I got an email yesterday with a video attached to it. I should have known better but I watched it anyway. If you don't see Merry Christmas in the window, you walk right by the store, a woman sang cheerily, with children's voices accompanying her. I say I should have known better because these types of things send me into a tailspin, reinforcing nagging voices that I'd rather ignore in favor of focusing on love and justice. I get so angry at the Christian subculture that promotes such distracting fluff. Then I want to write an angry sarcastic response, then I want to write a thoughtful response, and then I just sort of shrug my shoulders and decide the best way to worship in the midst of all this is just to try to be kind.


I lay down with Silas after lunch, on the big bed, and he played with his stuffed horse while I took an accidental nap. His galloping noises woke me up. I don't think he slept, but he stayed on the bed next to me, and so when I woke up we moved on to the next thing together.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Silas turns 2

Today Silas is two years old. He still has some baby in him, thankfully. I'm not ready for him to grow up yet! The Toddler is here though: all that cute baby-ness trying to find its way to Big Boy-ness. This morning he was lying next to me, snoozing away, then woke up suddenly, sat up in bed and said "Mommy. Papa. Bettis. Kay?" And climbed off the bed, saying "Laler!" as he shut the door behind him. Translation: Good morning, Mommy. I'm going to find Papa, because that's where the breakfast is. Okay? See you later! He makes me smile.

We celebrated on Saturday morning with friends and family (or "buddies" as he calls them). It was cloudy and cold, and we were cozy inside with brunch and various dog-themed activities.

his buddy from birth

The menu: egg casserole (the kind with bread baked in, soooo good), cheddar biscuits, apples and caramel sauce, coffee, cider and tea, and spice cake with cream cheese frosting.

Little Miss sported some doggie ears, but Nicky avoided wearing his. He's outgrowing such things I guess.

Silas ditched his costume early on and spent the rest of the party in his shirt and diaper....there are only so many birthdays you can do that and still be considered cute. He also showed off his wolf-howling skills, and blew out his candles like a champ.

Doggie cake, and The Knife. Oy.

Nicky made a birthday banner the night before, on his own initiative, with help from Grandma.

This was our first morning birthday party, and I liked it. Lots of work the day before, but the day of was all about enjoying company and then relaxing afterward. We watched Brave, and ate leftover Chinese food, and got lots of snuggles in. It was a perfect day to celebrate our little guy.

At age two, Silas is:
  • affectionate
  • charming (it works a little too well on me, and he knows it I think)
  • stubborn and cranky, quite dependent on naps
  • curious
  • a lover of books, especially ones about animals
  • good at making animal sounds
  • navigating ipads and smart phones a little too well (his favorite app is Peekaboo Barn, and he can call Ricky from my phone with no assistance from me)
  • talking a lot, repeating pretty much everything we say
  • imitating Nicky, playing more like a big boy
  • still quite an early riser
  • getting pretty good at throwing and catching a ball (bouncy balls have not lost their magic)
  • saying some fun words, like "mine", "now!", "candy" and of course the favorite "no".
  • balancing all that out with some serious cuteness
What a delight he has been, and continues to be. Our Silas Nathaniel.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Reading

It's a delightfully rainy Sunday morning. Yesterday we celebrated Silas' second birthday with dear friends and so the house has that cozy after-party feel to it still. And yes, we just had leftover birthday cake and scrambled eggs for breakfast....

I need to get myself and the littles ready for church, but first here are some posts I found interesting this week:
  • Categorizing people vs. doing the real work of getting to know them
Looking forward to more coziness this afternoon. Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

poetry and violence

Psalm 3. A Psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." 
But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from His holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
Arise, LORD! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.
From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be upon your people. 
In all the years I've been in a relationship with the Bible,  I've often turned to the Psalms for comfort. The words are so beautifully put together, and some so familiar that when I read them, it's like coming across an old friend.

 I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.  (Psalm 121) 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.  (Psalm 23) 
I waited patiently for the LORD, he inclined and heard my cry. (Psalm 40) 
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  (Psalm 91)

and this one:
you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Arguably, some of the most beautiful poetry ever written is contained in the Psalms.

But as anyone who has read them knows, the Psalms are not just a collection of beautiful words. They are a collection of the words of David. Sometimes I get frustrated by all that David in the text.

(Seriously, David, I'm trying to get some comfort here, trying to read some beautiful old words and you have to come along and ruin my morning with your violent Tony Soprano fantasies.) 

What I used to do was just ignore the parts I didn't like, or just employ a little snark to balance them out. I had no use for them; I have no enemies whose heads I wish to dash against a rock.

Of course, he was a man of his time, with his own cultural constraints. If someone was chasing me down I'd probably be praying for some protection too.

I've been looking for the humanity in the Bible, and it's opened up a new richness in the text that I didn't see before. Now, I appreciate seeing all that David in the text. It's the human condition--we are capable of such beauty, such poetry....and also such violence and anger.

David spent so much of his time fleeing from people. He grew up in the country, tending sheep and writing songs, and was thrust into the public eye at a young age. He loved God and wanted to please Him, but messed up  over and over. I look at his story and wonder if he missed the simplicity of his early days. I wonder, in his later years, how often he picked up the harp.

The lesson here for me is this: we're all David. Living in different times, with different ways of solving problems, but with the same fundamental problems of the human heart. Poetry and violence all mixed together, longing for communion with God.

The Bible is so much more interesting with the humanity left in. Maddening too, just as my own humanity is to me at times.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Reading

It's a chilly Sunday afternoon, I have pumpkin spice syrup in my coffee (thanks Target), Nicky and I made some Thanksgiving decorations, the boys are (oddly) quite entertained at the moment by Bananas in Pajamas (thanks Netflix), I just had a long overdue phone chat with my mom, Ricky's out on a bike ride, and Little Miss is having a playdate with her big sister. All is well.

Hope your Sunday has been and continues to be restful, whatever that means to you. Here are some posts I found interesting this week:

  • Sacred Touch--this one really spoke to me. I can't count the times a simple hand on my shoulder has brought tremendous comfort. 
  • the choice to live in wonder....
Happy Sunday!

Friday, November 9, 2012

right now Little Miss is...

....six months old! This is my favorite part of infancy--you know, the part where they can sit up, play, laugh and interact but not crawl just yet! We're still working on the sitting, but she's getting close.

Our family has settled into a routine again. It feels good, and peaceful. We know what to do now, after many months of not. I'm so glad.

She's making such amazing progress, this little one. She is:
  • playing on her tummy, showing tons of curiosity, reaching for whatever's in sight
  • playing dentist--examining our teeth while she drinks her milk
  • trying new foods--oatmeal, banana, sweet potato, squash, prunes (to help it all on its way), pears, apples, carrots, egg yolk, avocado and olive oil in her bottles. The last three are recommendations from a nutritionist that came to see us. She's still on a prescription formula that smells terrible, but she seems to like it okay. Some very kind friends have donated breast milk too, so she gets that occasionally. (On that note, I have tried to get my milk supply back, since Silas had only been weaned for about 3 months when we got her. Sadly, no dice. I just couldn't find the time to pump as much as I needed to--about 8 times a day. And I just don't have the energy to fool with an SNS. I'm sad about it, but telling myself to let it be. A mama can only do what she can do.) 
  • weighing in a 11 pounds, 2 ounces. Finally made it past 10 pounds! Still gaining in ounces each month.
  • wearing size 3 month clothes. She's so long and skinny, it's hard to find things that fit! The jeggings/skinny jeans trend is working for us.
  • laughing and smiling a lot. She smiles the biggest for Papa. He can calm her down when I just can't. I think we may have a daddy's girl :) Makes my heart happy.
  • loving to sit in the swing with her little owl blanket. Sometimes she falls asleep, but usually she just holds on to it and looks around. 
  • still calmed by being swaddled. There are still times when it seems she just gets overwhelmed/overstimulated/something else, and all I can do is swaddle her snugly and put her in her crib. Every time, she stops crying and just looks around for a while. It's a lifesaver, for both of us.
  • prop-sitting and almost rolling onto her tummy. Her biggest therapy focus right now is encouraging her to roll intentionally. I'm told that comes before full-blown sitting. 
  • chomping on her fingers a lot of the time. Not interested in a paci, except with medicine. Pulling our fingers into her mouth. Figuring out how to get her toys in her mouth.
  • sporting a pretty sweet faux-hawk when she wakes up in the morning.
So there it is--our sweet girl at six months. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday Reading

I love, love, love weekend link posts. So I thought, why not do that myself? Here are some posts I found interesting this week :)

An open letter to Focus on the Family from Justin Lee, a gay evangelical.

An older post from Rachel Held Evans that came to my mind this week: a lesson from Huckleberry Finn.

Musings on Halloween and All Saints Day from Micha Boyett.

A beautiful post from Journey Mama, just because I love seeing her photos and imagining her life.

10 things she's learned in 10 years of marriage.

Sarah Bessey's writing process.

Thoughts on the election, a culture of reacting, and coercion.

How to vote like a Christian.

and finally, on a lighter note, meet the candidates, preschool-style.

Happy Sunday!

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