Monday, January 31, 2011

Worth thinking about...

I've been thinking about the Sabbath lately.  Actually, I should say that I've been reading a book called "Sabbath" by Dan Allender and that's what has me thinking about the topic. *a few of these thoughts are taken from there, so to avoid anything even remotely like plagiarism, I'll admit that now*  What is the Sabbath?  Is it really a command as important as "Do not steal" or "Do not kill"?  How is it supposed to look in our lives?  And what does it mean for a stay-at-home wife and mother? (Warning: If you don't like inconclusive thoughts that spew in a number of different directions and never arrive at a final destination, you should probably stop reading now)

In this book, Allender talks about how the Sabbath is a command that we should all obey.  He points out that it is, in fact, one of the ten commandments.  Ok.  This hit me JUST a little.  I've always known that the Sabbath was important, but as important as not killing someone or stealing from them?  Really?  Wow.  That's pretty important. 

So if the Sabbath is so important, what is it supposed to look like?  Are we supposed to count our steps and not walk more than 100 in case it turns into work?  Or are we supposed to not drive anywhere?  Or is driving to church and home again ok, but not to the mall?  Is it even ok to go to the mall on the Sabbath?  And what about the grocery store to pick up a few things that you need for lunch?  Speaking of lunch, that's right, today we decided to eat out.  Is that allowed, or should we refrain from eating out on the Sabbath because we are "making" someone else work on the Sabbath?  Or maybe the reason to not eat out on the Sabbath is because we needed to drive to the restaurant, walk to our table, and pay for our food .  If we're not careful, the Sabbath can become awfully legalistic, and I think that is almost as serious as ignoring the day altogether.

At this point I sit back and ponder what I've been reminded of so far. 
-  The Sabbath is a command and, therefore, a very important day to honour every week. 
-  We should not be legalistic about what we do or do not do on the Sabbath. 
It seems like there is a big margin of ways to go wrong here...

This is where I get stuck a bit.  See, I am a stay-at-home mom.  My "job" is to take care of Levi, to cook meals, to clean up, to be at home and keep things running smoothly on a day-to-day basis.  Yet a big part of the Sabbath for most people is not going in to work.  See my dilemma? What happens if your work is around you just as much on the Sabbath as it is every other day of the week?  Levi and Nathan need to be fed just as much as any other day.  Levi's diapers need to be changed and, as much as I may try to plan ahead, I may need to throw a load of dirty diapers into the washing machine.  My work doesn't necessarily stop (though there are things I can put off doing for a day and I do recognize that) just because it is the Sabbath.  My Sabbaths don't necessarily feel like a day that's more "special" than the rest. 

Another thought I have is, if Sabbath doesn't merely mean staying home from work (because, in addition to stay-at-home moms, some people are unemployed), there must be something more.  Some people spend every day watching tv or playing golf or taking care of their family, yet we are all called to take a Sabbath.  What makes a Sabbath look different than any other day for these people?  Could it be possible that we are commanded to make the Sabbath a more special day than just your average day off and to do different things than just your typical "shut off your mind" type things?  Could it be possible that we are commanded to celebrate one day of the week more than the rest?

I find this fascinating to think about.  And I am inspired to find some ways to make the Sabbath back into what God meant it to be.  It's got to be more than just a day off spending the afternoon in front of the tv or taking a nap (though those could be wonderful components of the day!).  More than just going to church in the morning and assuming that this fills the requirement yet feeling disappointed and unrenewed as we begin the new week. 

God gave us a wonderful gift in giving us a weekly Sabbath.  Allender describes it as a day that you should anticipate every week like a child anticipates Christmas, feet swinging and eyes shining.  It is a day to prepare for and delight in.  I'm excited about what this is going to look like in my life because, as much as I have a hard time imagining it, I'm sure God didn't exclude wives and mothers from this command : )

Thursday, January 27, 2011

picture post...

The hat Levi is wearing was Nathan's hat when he was young.

Look, one hand!

Sometimes it's just too much work to fill the whole bath tub just for a short evening bath...mostly it was about not getting water in his ears right before bed, though.

Levi playing in his "tent" today.

He really seems to enjoy tents and having the blanket over him.  Maybe there is less stimulation and it helps him relax and focus on what's right there instead of being distracted with the rest of the room?

Hehe...funny faces.  This was an excited face.  His tongue is always out...

See?  Always out.  So cute!  So funny!


He's really started reaching for things intentionally in the last few days. 

It still takes a bit of concentration to actually grab something though.

Focus and determination.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cloth Diapers

I LOVE CLOTH DIAPERING.  Seriously, best decision ever.  However, wherever I read that 18 diapers is a sufficient diaper stash is quite wrong about that.  I knew that my 18 bumGenius Organic AIO's would be on the low side, but after 3 months of laundry nearly every day, I'm beginning to think that a few more diapers in my stash would be nice.  I don't so much mind doing the laundry, but, with not being able to line-dry them, I'm worried about the daily dryer cycles taking their tole on my diapers! 

So that brings me to my order of business for the day.  The search for additional diapers.  I know I've asked this before, but I ask again...what are your favourite cloth diapers?  When you comment, please let me know if they're velcro/snaps, prefold/fitted/pockets/AIO's, one size/multiple sizes and why you love them.  ALSO, if you are looking at downsizing your stash or know of anyone getting rid of cloth diapers, I would love to hear from you!  Oh yeah, and how many diapers do you have in your stash and how often does that leave you doing laundry?  I've heard that you should wash diapers every 2 days anyway, which I am completely fine with, but right now we're just on the short side...

Another question...has anyone tried the Flip diapers or Econobum?  Those are two of the options that I'm looking at but without knowing anyone who uses them, I'm not sure I want to make the investment (small though it may be).  What is the difference between the two?  Is one better than the other?  Should I avoid both of them?  What do you think?  Are there any other brands I should look into?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

best sound ever...

Leave me a comment saying whether or not you can see this video...if nobody can see it, I'll have to try something else!

If you can't see it, does your computer have any web protection on it?  I have to turn mine off to be able to watch it, but I assumed that nobody else would have that problem. : )  
We all know what assuming does...

Before and After...

Yay haircut!  It has been years since the last time I had a salon cut.  It always feels so good...why don't I do this more often?!  Oh yeah.  No income.  One day we'll have an income day...

Before: (excuse the un-doneness of my hair...I didn't do anything with it this morning knowing I was getting it cut this afternoon)



other side...

back...Yes, Nathan is posing behind me.  He made sure he was in the frame...

 And After: (I look so tired in these pictures!  I guess it's probably because I am...)

other side... favourite part!  People should probably just look at me from the back from now on...

And while I was taking pictures of my hair, I took a few more:
My family...

So much love...

We help each other out of "sticky" situations...

Levi was clearly intrigued by his picture on the computer screen...I was just trying to conceal my intrigue, can't you tell?

"Let me get closer, Mom, I can't see myself"  I had a feeling that a spit-up was coming (certain sounds erupting from within) and right after this picture was taken I put my hand out just in time, preventing my keyboard from becoming the landing ground for what had been Levi's afternoon snack.  Yesss...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mommy Brain

I'd always heard of the legendary "pregnancy brain" and anticipated what effects it would have on me while pregnant.  Sadly, I have few, if any, stories of losing my brain during pregnancy.  Fast forward to after the birth: my brain has officially left the building.

The first place where I notice this loss is with my memory.  Where I used to make mental notes of things to do and things done, now there is a nearly blank slate with only a few smudges remaining on it.  Have I written that thank-you note?  What was it that needed to be done today?  Where did I put that shopping list?  Did I remember to grab the diaper bag or is it still sitting right by the door at home?

The second place where I notice it is in my attention span and ability to concentrate.  Sometimes I'll tune out right in the middle of a conversation.  Then I'll tune back in and have no idea what was being said, leaving me in a very awkward, and potentially embarrassing, situation.  It also leaves me at a loss when I try to pick up a book and read.  I'll do great for a sentence or two and the next thing I know my eyes have made it to the end of the page and my mind has been thinking about laundry or feeding schedules or what to make for supper.  I'll shake it off (sometimes literally), find the place where my mind left off, and continue to read.  I'll make it maybe a paragraph before my mind is wandering again.  The only exceptions, when it comes to books, are fiction books and parenting books.  Go figure...

I wonder why this happens?  Perhaps my mind is so consumed with taking care of a home and baby that there's little room for much else.  Maybe there has been such a steep learning curve and drastic change in our life in the past 3 months that my mind is in a state of shock, shutting down anything that's not completely necessary in order to protect itself from overload.  Who knows?  I do hope that I find my mind again sooner or later, but until then, ... ... um... ... where was I?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Oh Henry Squares

2/3 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup syrup
3 tsp vanilla
Dash of salt
6 oz chocolate chips
2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter

Cream butter/margarine and sugar.  Add oats, syrup, vanilla, and salt.  Stir to blend.  Press firmly into 9x13 inch pan.  Bake at 375 F for 12 to 15 minutes.  Microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter for 2 minutes on defrost.  Let cake cool slightly then spread with melted topping.

This is what I'm making right now.  I'm at the "let cake cool slightly" part.  It smells wonderful in here and I can't wait to try it.  I've never made this before so I'll let you know how it is and whether you should drop everything and make your own right now, or if it's a pass.  Now that I've posted this, though, I'm sure hoping that it's good!

And the verdict is... ... ...WOW!  It's nothing like an Oh Henry bar, but oh SO good!  I strongly suggest that you make some of these tonight.  Do it...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

confession time...

Sometimes I just lay on the floor next to Levi and, for a long time, just watch him play.  
(It beats doing dishes or vacuuming by a long shot)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

3 months.

We're a quarter of the way to Levi's first birthday already!  Boy, has he ever changed in the past month.  I say that every month, I know, but it just keeps happening!  Here are a few of the things we've noticed.

-  He's found that his thumb is even better to suck on than his entire fist and is perfecting that skill rapidly.
-  He's been holding his head up his whole life, but this past month it has become alot more steady.  We can easily hold him away from our body and not worry about his head flopping around.
-  He has started grabbing things and putting them in his mouth, though usually it's just people's fingers and flexible things like clothing and blankets.
-  Just this last Sunday he found his tongue and has been sticking it out and playing with it all the time.  Such a cute tongue he has!
-  He can sit with only one of our hands for balance/support.
-  He notices when we leave the room and lets us know if he doesn't approve.
-  He's up to 14lbs3oz...that's up 6lbs1oz from birth weight.
-  He rolls up onto his side and pushes himself in a circle on the floor.  So far he's only made it 90 degrees of the circle, but it kinda surprised me the first time I saw him in a different position than when I left.  He also moves himself up by kicking his legs so a few times we've found him with his head pushed against the side of the crib, unable to do anything about it.
-  He gets himself completely out of even the tightest swaddle and I have found him a couple times in the middle of the night with no blankets at all...yet he still sleeps best all wrapped up tight.
-  We have heard a few amazing belly laughs from him, but it's still fairly rare to get a really good laugh from him.  Mostly it's just tons of smiles!
-  He looks toward noises rather than just reacting to them.  I'm not sure if this is new, but he seems to be looking for where it's coming from more now.
-  He began to love his bath time!  He kicks and splashes and smiles the whole time!  Finally...
-  He smiles at me while nursing...a true, eye-contact, full-body smile.  This is one of those things I cherish with my entire being.  There is nothing more wonderful.
-  He has started to notice when we're not at home and too many different people/places make him tired and fussy.  Thank you, Christmas, for bringing that out.
-  He babbles ALL the time.
-  He has noticed the mirror and smiles at himself every time.
-  He tried his first "real" food...Christmas orange.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thoughts on moving...

For most of my life I lived in one place.  We moved to my hometown when I was almost five and I lived there until I graduated from high school.  My parents still live there so it really does feel like going "home" when we visit.  I'm not someone who is used to moving alot.  I like to let my roots go down deep and let a place become home and the people there, family.

Since graduating from high school, I have moved alot.  Or at least it feels like alot.  Bible college for two years, southern Manitoba for four, California for one, now Saskatchewan for another.  And we're still not "home", at least not by the definition above.  There is another move coming, and it's coming far more quickly than I care to admit.

We moved here seven/eight months ago knowing that we would only be here for a year.  But now that the job hunt is on and the year is rapidly coming to a close, the impending move is starting to seem more real.  Some aspects of a move are exciting to me, while others I could do without.  I always love settling into a new place, working hard to make it home for however long we'll be there.  I don't really enjoy meeting the new people that come with a new place, but the thought of adding friends to our life is a good thought.  I enjoy the excitement that a big change like that brings, but also feel displaced as I slowly find my way into a new community, church, and social group.

This move will be different from any other I've ever made.  With this move, we hope to find a home for a while.  We have no more schooling in the foreseeable future that may uproot us.  And as long as we can find a good job, we intend to make this next move a "permanent" one.


Now, don't get me wrong.  Part of me loves the idea of this.  I love the possibility of being in one place for more than just a couple years.  I love that we'll be able to put down roots and call our friends, "family".  I love that we'll be able to buy a home (hopefully) and be able to pay down it's mortgage significantly before we have to sell again.  I love that our kids will grow up knowing where home is.

The "yikes" part is wondering where this will be.  Having been so close to our families this year has been a blessing.  To stay in Saskatchewan with parents only a few hours' drive would be ideal.  But we are open to where God is calling us, not to mention where there are available jobs, and that may not be here.  That scares me just a little.  Will our parents be able to see Levi (and his siblings, if there ever are any) more than once a year?  Will our kids know their grandparents and uncles, aunts, and cousins?  Will we get homesick if we can't see our family at least once every year?  We may end up close to family when this year is up, but the fact that we may not is starting to sink in. 

Moving a day's drive from our families to Manitoba was no big deal when we were first married.  We wanted space to become our own family and we got it.  Even moving to California was relatively simple.  But kids change things.  They change things alot.  Physical distance within families seems to be almost a fact of life these days.  Jobs move people all over the world and many people don't even think twice about living across the world from their family.  But I do.

And so we job hunt.  And we pray.  And we prepare ourselves for the fact that we may be moving a great distance from the people we love.  But people have done it.  Families survive and stay close.  And grandparents can watch grandchildren grow up from a distance like never before. 

If you think of us, please pray that God will lead us to the place he is preparing for us.  Please pray that he will prepare our new home for us and that it will wonderful.  And pray for our families, as I'm sure the possibility of being far away from their children/grandchildren isn't a fun thought for them either. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm a'back!

I have had so little motivation to blog lately.  It's been two or three weeks since my last "real" post and I don't even miss it.  I just don't know what to blog about anymore.  It used to be my pet peeve when people's blogs would become all about their children once their first baby was born, but that's exactly what my blog has become.  Truthfully, when you're feeding every two hours (or more) and doing little else but childcare in between, there's not much to tell.  But hey, I had a wonderful Christmas season so why not start with that?!

Auntie Alicia giving Levi entertainment during tummy time and helping him keep his new "binkie" in his mouth.

I love that my days are filled with this!

Grandma enjoying snuggles.  I think Levi is enjoying the snuggle too, or he would be if he were awake!

The boys decorating the tree...throwing tinsel at it is both efficient and effective!

This is where Levi's hands spend most of their time.

Christmas blanket from Auntie Marsha.  I love those baby rolls on his arms!  Doesn't he just look perfect??

Sly smile.  I have a feeling this boy is up to something...

Cat nap in the sun on Grandma and Grandpa's couch.

Love it.

First time in the Jolly Jumper.  He spun slowly in circles, looking at his feet.

It's ok, Buddy, you'll get the hang of it yet (no pun intended).

The "M" clan...all four generations of them.  I love that the girls (twins) in the front are much more interested in each other than anything else!
I'll have to get the pictures from my sister's and brother's camera and put some up.  There are more good ones from things like Christmas tree hunting and sledding while at my parents'.  It was a wonderful Christmas.  How was yours?


Cradle did you get rid of it?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The long awaited post...

is not here yet.  But it's coming!  Baby is crying and pictures from the last couple weeks are not on my computer yet so there's really no point in trying to put a post together now.  But soon!  Soon I will update...

Happy 2011 everyone!