Monday, January 14, 2013

Little Women (and Men, too)

We're into week three of this family of four, finding rhythms, out of our sweats and pajamas, and back to Monkey Monday. Some random-ness below for anyone interested in the happenings of a rather simple and quite content family.

- Playing her guitar like a cello: sitting in her rocking chair, using Mrs. Potato Head's arm as a bow
- "Mommy, can we go buy a cello after nappers?"
- Playing "midwife" elaborately. She goes through the whole appointment, even uses a picture frame as her computer. Hand sanitizer goes on the stethoscope and is later wiped off with tissues. Lots and lots of bandaids are used.
- Playing "coffee" by using dried kidney beans and coffee filters. She offers me and Trevor "medium decaf", and it sure is delicious.
- "Let's read the milkman!" (we have a couple vintage stories - Eloise Wilkin & Virginia Lee Burton - they both have milkmen. Hilarious)
- She is glued to Judah, I'm so humbled by her sweet, welcoming spirit

- He is thriving, very sweet, more alert and looking around every day
- People say he has long fingers, a nicely shaped head, and looks like Karis when she was an infant
- His umbilical cord fell off on Sunday and Karis was excited to do tummy time with him

- Trying to savor the moments and not zoom into life's details too quickly . . .
- Amazed by the gift of creation
- Thankful for family and friends to love on us and our children (thank you, all!)
- Loving that it's cold outside so we can hunker down in our home
- Writing this quickly so am definitely missing a lot but just have to feel like I finished something!

Sometimes I look at Judah and I wonder who he will become. I can picture him being a man and I envision him being lively, strong in character, soft in heart. He will surely be well taken care of, Karis is protective and proud of her little brother. Come to think of it, pretty sure we say "Little Brother" more than we say "Judah". We've enjoyed almost two weeks of having family around, they were all so wonderful to dote on Karis and give Judah cuddles (which means I got some needed baths, naps, quiet times). We're thankful. This week we'll find out what some "new normals" are around here.

Some book quotables from the last few days:

From The Divine Hours (a prayer book we use during mealtimes and bedtime):

Psalm 127:3
". . . he gives to his beloved sleep"

I laughed out loud when I read this. I think Trevor must be the beloved in our house right now! And Karis. 2 out of 4 isn't bad, I guess.

I've also been loving some more Little Women in the wee hours of the nursing night time. There was a chapter about Meg and Mr. Brooke's parenting and marriage strategies/challenges. I know I was smiling as I related to the descriptions . . . Meg giving everything to her babies and having nothing left for her husband . . . feeling worn out but not able to let go of the tasks that she feels are hers to do. Good reminders, lots to think about. Marmee gives her some solicited advice and to me, reveals the sage that she is. Advice I feel is for me as well:

"You have only made the mistake that most young wives make - forgotten your duty to your husband in your love for your children. (talking about her own marriage, she says) Each do our part alone in many things, but at home we work together, always.

Go out more: keep cheerful as well as busy, for you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather. Then I'd try to take an interest in what John likes . . . don't shut yourself up in a bandbox because you are a woman . . . take your part in the world's work, for it all affects you and yours. no time is so beautiful and precious to parents as the first years of the little lives given them to train. . . through your children you will learn to know and love one another as you should."

The chapter ends (as does this post) in this way:

"This is the sort of shelf on which young wives and mothers may consent to be laid, safe from the restless fret and fever of the world, finding loyal lovers in the little sons and daughters who cling to them, undaunted by sorrow, poverty, or age; walking side by side, through fair and stormy weather, with a faithful friend, who is, int he true sense of the good old Saxon word, the 'houseband', and learning, as Meg learned, that a woman's happiest kingdom is home, her highest honor the art of ruling it, not as a queen, but a wise wife and mother."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Two for One

So . . .

Just like that, our boy is HERE! There's so much my heart and mind are wanting to write, and hopefully will get to soon . . .

Judah Robert Ryan was born quickly and health-fully on December 28th at 8:48am. WOW, I can hardly believe it. He is one week old as of just a few hours ago . . .

More to follow for sure, we are filled with PRAISE (the meaning of Judah). It's all too much.


And here is your two-for-one deal: below is a post that was in progress (you know, on my "to do list") before Judah's arrival.

Karis-isms (pre baby Judah!)

- "Mommy, I'm going to make a phone call. Can you please be quiet?"
- "We're all dressed in our best!" (what Karis tells Trevor when they are all suited up for going outside)
- "Mommy, is baby brother going to be born today, or next time?" (asked after I told her we were leaving for a midwife appointment)
- "I like to write m&m's with feet and kitty cats with tails"
- "Is baby brother kicking really hard?"
- "Someday, when I'm big, I can go see The Hobbit!"
- "Mommy's gingerbread has a baby belly" (true - they gave out homemade gingerbread people at church one Sunday, and even had special ones for the pregnant mommas with a baby gingerbread embedded into the belly)
- "I need to go wash my dishes!"
- "Do you want to put some sugar in your tea? Do you want to join me?"
- "I can't wait to have my guac" (you know, guacamole. atta girl)
- "Someday I'll have a phone that works and I can talk to her"
- "Can I please have some berries with my gingerbread stomach?" (she ate a gingerbread man piece by piece, and thought the red  hot candies were berries)
- "I want baby brother to come out right now" (said with her stomach on my belly: 12/18 - a day I had been contracting a lot)
- "I made a fancy feast for us!" (included tea, meatballs and ice cream - she even used a cookbook and utensils)

The festivities have been fabulous and relaxed this season. We made a little family memory a few weeks ago when we used some of Trev's hotel/travel points to spend the night in a hotel 5 minutes down the road. We arrived in a snow-storm, ate pizza, explored the hotel, swam, opened up "new-to-her" pj's for Karis and ate popcorn in bed. Karis got the huge bedroom so we could traipse around the living room area . . . and sleep on the less-than-full-size pull out (discovered that after lights out for K). Cozy! I crashed early and Trevor was entertained by Predators. Christmas-y, right? We had a blast, a fun family memory.

The night was most memorable for me because I was up almost every half hour with contractions, thinking "Oh boy, this is it. How are we going to get to the hospital . . .  I'll have to stop at home and get my bag . . . "  Well, the morning found things much calmer and the day went on as usual. Interestingly, at my midwife appointment a few days later I told her about that night.  It took her about 2 seconds to say, "Oh yeah, that happens a lot during snow storms". Huh. So, I've been watching the weather.

News in Trevor's sphere is that he's settling into his new job, we went to his work Christmas party, and he saw The Hobbit. He hosted a guys' night game party, organized Brews with the Bros, and has been an organizing machine. A good month.

We've enjoyed going through our Christmas movies, and with the help of some friends we introduced Karis to A Muppet Christmas Carol - hilarious. I got through The Family Stone without crying . . . and decided that instead of watching Little Women, I thought I might as well read it. I am loving its reminders of deep, simple faith - that life is not always easy but God is always good. That we are continually on a journey of character growth and all have obstacles to overcome - and strengths to offer. I'm loving the example of "Marmee", her mothering is beautiful and real (again, not without its trials).

I was thankful to read this passage: "I like to think He was a little child once, for then I don't seem so far away, and that helps me" (said by young Amy, who is explaining one of her paintings of Mother Mary and Jesus to her mom).

Isn't that so Christmas?

And now it's the 26th. We spent the last several days here with my parents, celebrating Christmas. We're so thankful to have had family here, I feel like we had a retreat in our home with laid back meals (thanks, mom, for the meatballs & turkey & stuffing & bounteous baked goods!), lots of decaf, Christmas music, and playing with Karis. We got to spend some time Christmas Day with the "Minneapolis Popes", also such a gift.

And of course every day we're eagerly waiting to meet baby boy - the anticipation is both exhilarating and exhausting. I remind Trevor every once in a while that most of my thoughts now are about labor/birth. I was thankful to come across a passage that I hope to remember during labor. Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

I'm not sure who was enjoying watching Santa Claus more . . . Trevor or Karis?

Daddy's shoveling helper

Cozy Christmas