Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Resolutions?

& yeh, i'm gonna post them here.
i have one that's more of a goal... & one that is more of a resolution.

1. Before i got *too* pregnant, i ran my very first 10K. i was really proud of myself - i had always wanted to run, but had never gotten into a routine. i thought that maybe if i had a new, fun habit that was good for me, it would keep my mind off having babies... God tricked me - & running is likely what changed my body's rhythm enough that this baby knocked me off my feet with surprise when i found out about that precious life growing inside. By the time i found out i was pregnant, i had already registered for the race, so i decided to just go for it if i felt good enough. That morning, i didn't say in my post, but i did feel pretty gross (i was about 8 weeks pregnant) - but *so happy* to have accomplished my goal. My goal for 2010 is to run a 5k. i know, it's not a huge goal - but i wanna be gentle with my body recovering from childbirth & likely nursing 2 little ones! If i feel really good - & i think i can do it, i'll up it to a 10k... but really, i should be able to do a 5k for sure.

2. This second one - i give myself permission to welch on... (recipe for success eh?) Ever since i heard about nanowrimo, i always wanted to give it a go. i'm not sure if i can come up with a story line for a novel - much less a 50, 000 word novel written over the period of one month (the month of November)... & i'm not sure Neil would be impressed with me dedicating a huge chunk of time to a creative endeavour that is 'just for fun'... but the idea nags at me... Could i do it? Could i come up with something i was proud of? Could i write down my ideas & imaginings within the framework of a novel?

So, there you have them... my resolution & my goal. It's kind of fun to file them in my mind & wonder what 2010 will bring...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

i woke up in the night...

like i usually do.
& i sat up - i was completely awake & it was only 2:32AM.
i glanced over - & in the dim light that came through our blinds from the street lights, i could see Neil's dark head on the bed beside me.
He was completely sandwiched between Mollen (5) & Gage (23mos).
For such a big man, he was totally squished into a tiny space.
i yanked Gagey over closer to me & tried to go back to sleep - thinking sweet thoughts about the man who is a magnet for little ones... who seems so gruff, but offers sweet ultimatums in the night to little girls who have nightmares about whales...
"You can sleep with daddy, but only if you give me backrubs..."
i'm so grateful to God for making me the momma... of Neil's babies.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

nesting

i needed the cd player on my computer fixed, so i was without for a couple of days. Neil claims he's gonna get rid of the computer now that he sees how much i can really accomplish in a day... (he doesn't know that we didn't do any school for those days, or laundry)...

We're getting ready to have a little baby.

We're kind of playing a game of tag. Neil built lockers, i cleaned out our closet, Neil reorganized the laundry room, i organized my "craft cupboard" & 3 "junkish" drawers, Neil fixed a part of the floor, i organized everyone's shoes...

We're getting ready to have a little baby.

i promised myself that all i have to do is clean out my little desk in the office... & then i can pull out the sleepers... & find the baby diapers... & start gathering up all the things that we're going to get to use again in only a few short weeks.

We're getting ready to have a little baby.

i'll be walking around the house, going up the stairs, in the baking needs aisle at Superstore, at Home Depot with Neil & suddenly one of my legs will almost give out on me. My shirts are stretched to capacity, i've gained 28 lbs.

We're getting ready to have a little baby.

Neil asked me to double check that i have the right phone number for our midwife. In the past 2 weeks, i've read 6 books on childbirth, visited websites, made lists, dreamt of my 'dream birth' & accidentally referred to the baby by the name i love...

We're getting ready to have a little baby.

i'm enjoying my last month of expectancy. i still feel good - better since i feel like baby turned... each poke & prod & teeny shooting pain reminds me though, that...

We're getting ready to have a little baby...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

35 - 35

i learned something new this pregnancy. Some women get really excited about "35 weeks & only 35 days to go" - that's me today (depending on what "due date" you believe :)
i feel like baby has turned - (maybe more on that later in another post) & i feel more comfortable... i feel excited, anticipation...
i also *feel*... a lot.
Today, God gave me a moment of clarity that i needed.
It was a picture in my head... i was looking furtively around, almost in a panic - for all the things i thought i needed. Rushing from this corner to that, looking in every nook & cranny to find whatever it was that had driven me to this state.
Suddenly i found my face cupped in His hands.
Not Neils.
Not my children's...
Not a doctor's or a midwife's...
There was no substitute.
There was a pause - like when you're already in motion & you get stopped so quickly, you get whiplash.
"Here, paige... here is your peace..." He reminded me, allowing me to glimpse into His Goodness.
There was nowhere else to look... nobody else to expect to give it to me... nowhere else i needed to turn.
Here - with my cheeks resting on the palms of His hands - i found myself worshipping my Saviour. The One who comforts and consoles - the one who *sees me* - & the only One who is worthy. The One to whom i can completely surrender. The One in whom i become lost...
Here... Here is my peace.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009- What's it like?

i actually made some lame attempt at a Christmas letter to post... but i'm at Jess' house & so i can't access it on my computer & post it for you all to yawn through.
What i really wish is that i could post a snapshot for you all to see what it's like having Christmas here with my side of the family...
Both my sisters have gathered here with their husbands & between them 13 children, plus my family of 8... My mom & dad are here from Victoria, bringing the total to 27? & then the 2 that are still hiding in the secret place. i think we're all glad Jess has a big house.
Right now, the boys are playing foos ball in the basement, Haven is playing the mandolin, Granny the banjo, Jess on the piano, Gramps has pulled out his guitar i think i see Cairo, Sloan, Carrie & Stephanie on the fiddles. Children have sifted in & out of the music room over the past 2 days - sometimes it's just the mamas too. There have been many rounds of both sledding and bouts in the hot tub. Lots of arms to scoop up the littlest 3 who are all under 2.
There were a few presents, lots of food & even more music. We've had a Christmas play, recitations & performances. There was a game of "risk", a puzzle, a "living nativity" followed by Grampsie interactively telling the Christmas story. There have even been some chances for quiet conversation... snatched in moments when moments are snatched... We've shared pass me downs, dishwashing & vacuuming. Wyatt made me read passages from his latest favourite book & take a pokemon personality test... that left me completely bewildered. The cousins have paired off in their usual circles - or taken breaks & formed new alliances for an hour or two at a time.
Over the years, i've watched so many little faces change from baby faces - to the faces of young adults... The energy runs pretty high with this many people in one house, but it's like a beautiful painting - the mixing & mingling of colours & shapes... each unique piece that when put together forms a family.
My family.
& that's what we look like, on this December 25th 2009.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

and we will keep praying...

When Gagey had his emergency, we emailed some of our friends and family to let them know the details of what had happened. The responses were something that blessed me as a momma who cares *deeply* about the full recovery of her son...
The solitude i felt in that waiting room during his surgery was replaced by company as we received several emails that stated simply: "and we will keep praying for a full recovery for him and peace for the rest of you..."
What comfort to know that in that inescapable vigil that a parent makes when their child's health is still uncertain, we're joined by friends and family - who love him too... who will pray for him too & who will believe for the best possible outcome for him. (Btw, that appointment is the first week of the new year...)
Lately, i have been feeling *covered* in prayer. What is it about prayer that it has the ability to bring about change, healing, miracles, peace & comfort?
i'm praying for you, little baby... & i know that in this, i'm not alone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

christmas quiz

k, laziest post ever... doing one of those corny quizzes that i stole off some random blog... pathetic, i know, but i'm in the moooooood.

1. egg nog or hot chocolate?
i've never tried egg nog, but we always buy it for Neil... it looks kind of gross. What's up with the non refrigerated variety i've seen in the grocery store lately? That can't be good... isn't it supposed to have raw eggs in it? ewwww... i love hot chocolate. Especially with whipped cream.

2. Does santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
um... does santa even *give* presents in our house? Not likely... i stink at Christmas... Come to think of it, there's not even a tree. Why am i doing this quiz?

3. Coloured lights or white?
i guess white since we don't have lights either. Aren't we grinches? We do that 'cause we are trying to preserve energy for the sake of our energy depleted planet, so we're actually better than you are.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No. But i would if i could get some fresh. & i still go for all the smooches i can... & i always look for it at my mom's house 'cause she never fails to hang it. She must like smooches too.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
it's not like i've *never* done *any* decorating.... but we didn't do any this year... other than our cute due date chain... Neil is happier this way & claims if he ever sees another Christmas decoration it'll be too soon. He threw most of mine out when he "cleaned out the garage" earlier this year. i love my stern faced man. He makes me giggle.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish?
Hands down, stuffing. i use my sister's recipe & i have never *ever* tasted better. But i'll even eat stove top if you serve it to me...

7. Favourite holiday memory as a child.
*Cousins*

8. When & how did you learn the truth about Santa.
My parents never pretended anything to us. i don't remember ever believing in him... Mollen got into a fight with her cousin last year about who existed: "God & Jesus" vs. "Santa". There were many tears & i felt affirmed in my decision to be truthful with her. (It was a pretty funny little battle though... i only heard the aftermath, i wish i could've heard those 2 4year olds going at it... )

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas eve?
That was always our tradition when i was growing up - & we usually do that now too... i figure anytime is a good time to open a gift. i stink at waiting... & i'm greedy... i hate having gifts wrapped in my closet too... i just want to give them *now*.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
When i have had a tree in the past, i love to decorate with butterflies. Not very Christmassy eh? But, it suits me...

11. Snow. Love it or dread it?
It's not my favourite. i fall farther to the "dread it" side. But, i love Sloanie's pink cheeks & crazy hair when she comes in from sledding... The other day, she had a branch as big as my hand tangled into her mane. She must go nuts out there...

12. Can you ice skate?
Yeah. i'm a good Canadian prairie girl. Are you giggling when you ask that question picturing my rotund body on a pair of skates? i stink at it, but i pretend i'm worse than i am so that Neil will hold my hand.

13. Do you remember your favourite gift ever?
No. But i will guess that maybe it was the year i got a pogo stick. Rockin'est present. i used that sucker up.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Remembering that i *needed* my Saviour... & that God chose to send Him as a tiny baby - full of vulnerability. He loves me that much... i find it impossible to think about Christmas without thinking about His death and resurrection. My love for my Jesus is the truest thing about me.

15. What is your favourite holiday dessert?
Probably lindor chocolates. They taste "healthy" don't they? Like you are doing something good for your body by eating them. They lie. But, they're still yummy to eat.

16. What is your favourite holiday tradition?
i love knowing that my mil is going to buy me fresh jammies.

17. What tops your tree?
Nothing. But i suppose it should be a star eh?

18. Do you prefer giving or receiving?
i told you i'm greedy. i like giving if i know i have a good gift to give, but i STINK at shopping & finding the perfect gift... i don't get a lot of presents either though & that's ok with me. Mostly i just want mistletoe...

19. Candy canes - yuck or yum.
yum. Especially when they're crunched up in white chocolate.

20. Favourite Christmas show?
The plays that Cai puts on every year. i think she might end up in theatre.

21. Saddest Christmas song?
i don't know. i'll be home for Christmas? i hate nostalgia.

22. What is your favourite Christmas song?
The whiteheart version of little drummer boy. It's on youtube & everyone should go listen to it. It makes me happy.

Monday, December 21, 2009

baby talk - less than 6 weeks left

*from Saturday, Dec 19th*
"Baby, ah yahv you!" Gage shouts to my belly, echoing the words he has heard so often. i question his sincerity... Does he know 'love' & understand the tiny baby who often wrestles me from within as he wrestles me 'from without'?
"Where's the baby?" i ask... It's less frequent now that he points to his own belly... he knows that mine is the secret hiding place of this mysterious baby who takes up so much of the space that previously belonged to him.
Lately, i have found myself to be more wrapped up in my baby's position - rather than in my baby... How did that happen? As i type this, little person has the hiccups & is all cuddled on one side of my belly... with sweet head perched up between my ribs.
Darling baby - i know there must be a good reason why you're upside down. Finally today - i'm feeling a little more peace.
i was talking to God - about my concerns - i told Him that the word "breech" scares me a little. i told Him that the word breech combined with the words anterior placenta seemed to limit some of my options... i told Him that i didn't want baby's birth story to be told by policy or procedure... but instead i wanted a peaceful, natural birth...
& you know what i feel like He wants me to do? i feel like i'm to wrap it all up - in a big bundle or package, tying it all up - so that none can escape & fall back into my lap - & hand it to Him...
Kind of how my little ones do with their orange peels.
Papa, will you take care of this for me? Father, i give *You* this baby - completely - including baby's birth. i know that you created us both - & by Your design, baby will either turn, or remain breech... neither because we're flawed or broken... but because of how You made us. Father - i don't know how this little one will enter this world... but... would *You* please be the one to catch?
amen

Saturday, December 19, 2009

sharing sisters

i was more than giddy when i found out my sister is pregnant.
Even if it's only a few weeks, it will be fun to be expecting our seventh children together.
She teased her excited husband for buying their baby a present only days after having a positive pregnancy test - but i happen to know that it was her who first dropped money on the new babe when we each bought raw amber teething necklaces for our unborn babies.
We share ideas, solutions & stories, along with our older sister - in our motherhood journey... we share a passion for our children, homeschooling & marriage... & in these days, we share an excited anticipation for the babes to come.
& this time, we will be sharing another teeny element of our lives as we grow these newest little ones.
We will each be nursing our toddler sons.
Seems so much less lonesome to be counter culture when your sister joins you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

5th midwife appointment - Cai's turn

Peyton again declined attending - insisting she was waiting for daddy to be able to come, so Cai quickly volunteered to take her place.
The roads were full of slush as our deep freeze had finally ended & we were granted a small reprieve from the bone chilling winter of the week before.
We talked about the appointment to come & the excitement of another little baby entering our home.... & then we drove in silence for a bit.
"Mom, are miscarriages hereditary?"
i immediately felt guilty - for losing my babies & also for giving my daughter a reason to be afraid.
"i don't think that's the case with me, honey... Granny & Gam never lost any babies - & neither did auntie Nancy or auntie Jessie - maybe it's a combination of your daddy & me... i don't know..."
She wanted to know about my aunties & grandma who had lost babies - i told her their names & we got so distracted in remembering these little ones that i drove right past the clinic. i turned the van around & we parked.
Cai walked inside like she belonged there.
"i love this artwork!" She exclaimed over the floating bellies & breasts.
i smiled.
She ran over to the display of organic teas & read all the titles of the books available, finally settling down next to me as i read a chapter from "Baby Catcher" that i decided to take home. On impulse i grabbed my favourite prep book for childbirth, "Spiritual Midwifery" too & signed them out at the desk to borrow till my next appointment.
Finally they called my name & we went into the little room.
We talked about the progress of my pregnancy & about how little one has been so active as of late - i told the midwife i was sure babe had been trying to turn to a vertex position over the weekend & i was fairly certain we had success.
After palpating my belly for a few minutes, she grunted, "nope, baby is still breech - here, feel this way - you can tell that that is a little bum in your pelvis & a little head in your ribcage..."
i could feel my heart growing heavy with disappointment. i was almost 34 weeks... Would baby turn in time? We listened to the teeny thumping heartbeat... & drove home... thoughtful & hopeful...
ps
i want to be honest...
When i was pregnant with Gagey i struggled with anxiety throughout my entire pregnancy. i couldn't watch my little ones going off the diving board, or riding their bikes. Each night, i had nightmares & terrifying images flooded my mind - regardless of how much i prayed or thanked God for the little boy growing inside. i prayed, even during Gage's pregnancy, that if God would ever bless us with another baby, would He please spare me the anxiety? & He was faithful to do just that. My pregnancy this time 'round has been so peaceful... but on my drive home & in the moments & days since my appointment - i feel that anxiousness trying to creep back in. Letting it go is such a struggle for me...
& that's where i'm at... for real.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

i sang you a song

You were awake. i could tell by your little jutting elbows and knees.


Why should i feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart feel lonely, & long for heaven & home...


Each note, drawn out... my voice was fuller in the small space as i sang my song for you, baby...


When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He...
His eye is on the sparrow & i know He watches me.


Can you hear me, baby? He loves us, o how He loves us...


i sing because i'm happy, i sing because i'm free!
His eye is on the sparrow & i know he watches me....
His eye is on the sparrow & i know... he watches over...
you & me.


My voice breaks on the last note. Are you listening, little one? He's watching us. He cares for us - & tends to our needs. Is the sound in your snug home too muffled to catch the joy in my voice? He sees me in my vulnerable state - carrying you, naked and needy within... He notices the pause in my step as you shift positions & i have moments of discomfort or pain... What a Good Shepherd - who gives us such good gifts & sustains us in our weakness.


i love you, Father & hope to point each of the little ones in my care to Your tender embrace.


Isaiah 40:11 He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

lord of the dance

We had Cairo's fiddle jam last night.
(If you have read my blog for any length of time at all, you probably know where this is going.)
There were maybe 50-60 fiddlers at the Irish Cultural Center - plus at least that many parents & grandparents (a sour looking bunch, i thought) that were seated audience style in the dark behind the huge lit up circle that the fiddlers made. Neil quit sitting with us after Charter & Mollen made their 4th trip to the snack table... (We have different views on that... i told them to fill up & not say they're hungry when they get home... He embarrasses too easily. Little did he know).
You're meant to *move* to fiddle music. Sloanie & Peyton had brought their fiddles too & were trying their best to play along during some of the songs they knew, so that left the 3 small fry sitting somewhere between Neil & i (Charter 7, Mollen 5 & Gage 22mos). It wasn't long before Mollen decided she wanted to dance. Before starting, she asked if she could turn my jacket into a dress - she needed it buttoned right up to her throat - it shouldn't have surprised me that the detail of "costume" wouldn't escape her. She started tapping her feet... then flapping her arms... then jumping - just a little - before fully transforming into the lord of the dance in the small dark space around our chairs. Charter ignored her & kept eating cookies. She would return to me, breathless, between songs & say, "MOM! I LIKE my moves, i'm GLAD i have them!!!"
i glanced over at Neil who was trying his best to pretend that he wasn't with us - & i saw his face turn white as he choked on his rice krispy square. i turned to see what had caught his eye & i see Mollen who is now irish dancing in the middle of the HUGE circle of fiddlers - jiggedy-jig, up & down with her arms plastered to her side - Michael Flatley would've been proud. Cai has stopped fiddling & is laughing so hard in horror & humiliation that there are tears streaming down her face. Most of the other fiddlers are smiling encouragingly at her. One of Cai's friends turns to her and says, "Is your sister in Irish Dance?" "NO!" Cai sputters - "i have no idea what she's doing!" Molls isn't even cracking a smile, she's concentrating so hard on her fancy footwork. When the song ends, she spins on her heel & walks all the way back around the circle, back to me & says, "wheuf, i'm hot!"
Well, i guess so!
Then she gives me a confident smile & says, "if they do another slow one, i'm gonna throw in some ballet." (!!??)
That's my girl.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

a hill to die on...

Yep.
i hit one of those this week.

What? It's only Tuesday?

Well, i like to get things done, so i hit that particular hill first thing on Monday morning.
The painful, agonizing, truth is that parenting (& can i get a little more specific?? ... homeschooling) is *hard work*. & like my momma used to say, sometimes you just know that this is one battle that you have to win.
i know that my precious child feels like perhaps i don't love them - in those moments of agonizing frustration... because why else would i be inflicting this pain upon us all?
But, that sweet little person doesn't see that it's *because* i love them that i am willing to waste my entire day in this battle to help them gain a little character... a little discipline... a little knowledge... a little humility... a little fortitude.
It's one of the hidden *treasures* of homeschooling. i've heard people say they couldn't homeschool 'cause they would "drive each other nuts". In homeschooling - there are days - where we *do* drive each other nuts... but we always have to work beyond that. Get our relationship to the point where we can work together, learn from each other & be around each other... a lot. *That's* the type of relationship that i want to have with my children anyway.
So, our rams horns get locked...
We emerge from the fray a little frustrated, bedraggled & shaken... needing many tender hugs & smoochies, words of love & praise & comfort...
But, hopefully - we'll both be a little better for it.
Ready to start fresh with toast & coffee in front of the fire on a Tuesday morning...

Monday, December 14, 2009

he spoke about grace

at church on Sunday night.
i sat & cried.
Through the whole service.
Grace has always been pretty easy for me to extend.
i *get* that you're sinful, petty, wrong, angry, hurting...
because i've struggled with those things too...
So, to extend grace isn't a huge stretch for me.
What hit me from the get-go... was my own neediness.
It was like i got a flash of truth -
That i require so... much... of it.
Will i require so much that Neil will run out?
Will i be so needing of grace from my children that i will stretch them too thin?
Will my sisters get tired of constantly extending grace & expect me to finally learn?
i was overcome with grief...
Yeh - Jesus so freely extends grace -
& i'm grateful.
but i sat in my shame & sorrow...
knowing that as long as i live in company with other human beings - i will be needing grace extended to me.
& i don't know how to be better...
i don't know how to live to a higher standard... try as i might...
i don't know how to hide my own heart - & display a less fragile, more perfect one...

The only thing i guess that i'm capable of, is to extend even *more* grace... Right? Where grace can no longer be extended to me - i need to extend more grace to the person who gets - understandably - irritated or angry with me for my own foolishness...

Could it be that the solution to needing something so desperately.... is to give it more lavishly....?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

held

when i was little, i remember a recurring dream i used to have...
i've always been a dreamer - & recurring dreams have just become a part of who i am. Sometimes i know where they're coming from & sometimes they're just a mystery...
This one was pretty clear...
My limbs had the weakness of a tiny baby... & i was laying on the ground.
Suddenly, God Himself, seated on a throne, with a lion & a lamb curled up beside Him - would take me in His arms & hold me like a mother would rock her tiny newborn.
i hope there's nothing irreverent in dreaming that God holds you...
it was, after all, just a dream - likely stemming from my need of Him & my desire to be *held*.
i had that dream again this past week - one i haven't had since i was maybe 12.
Held.

Friday, December 11, 2009

why i love da cloth...

Because i'm an idiot.
Lemme tell you a story.
This week has been a doozer... i'm not gonna bore you with details, but with about 7 weeks left to go in my pregnancy, the Christmas season upon us, a houseful of company & music concerts & recitals... i've had a lot on my mind...
My frail mind.
We were packing up to head out to the girls' violin recital & i was making sure we had everything... Gagey missed supper 'cause he was snoozing, did i pack him a snack? Do the girls have their violins & music? Does everyone look decent? Who has a camera? Have i tried over the pieces i'm gonna accompany for? (i did the easy ones & passed off the challenging piece to someone a lot more capable than myself...) i changed Gagey's diaper, got him dressed, checked myself in the mirror, lost the ponytail... why do i look goofy in everything these days??
"Did you grab an extra diaper?" Neil calls over his shoulder as he lugs children out to the Silver Fox (which, incidentally is the coolest vehicle on the road... ever... )
"Yup!" Secretly, i'm pleased... i've got it all together... Gagey's supper in one hand, & a disposable in the other hand... just in case... but the recital is supposed to be quick. i probably won't need it anyway.
Ha.
As i gather my things, i absently leave the diaper on the counter & slippedy slide out to the van & we arrive at the last minute practice a good 15 minutes early.
Within 15 minutes, a stinky stench is emanating from the most beautiful boy in the world, & i realize that i must've "forgotten the diaper in the van". Neil kindly runs out to get it for me & returns empty handed. i realize immediately what must have happened & the recital hasn't even begun yet. What to do, what to do???
i go to the bathroom & clean up his bum, emptying the disposable liner in the toilet... i steal a bag out of an empty garbage & put his diaper in it. Stink solved, but....
Then came the tricky part.
i still had a bare bummed boy.
As i gazed at him, i considered my limited options.
He gazed back at me & grabbed his crotch...
The recital was about to start...
i unbuttoned his shirt & stripped off his undershirt, & fastened it into a makeshift diaper, using his snappy to secure it, then i snapped his waterproof cover over the top & put his button up shirt back on. Had he not been wearing a cloth diaper, there is no way i could have improvised like that & 'made it work' till we got home...
"This is why you should potty train, baby..." i whispered in his ear as i hefted him up onto my hip & ran down the corridor to the recital.
His makeshift diaper lasted till we got home & when Sloanie saw me changing him for night, she looked at me & breathed, "Mom, you're a genius...."
Actually, quite the opposite, my dear...
& *that* is why i love cloth diapers...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

fiddle faddle

Yup, i had a house full... 18 people sleeping under our roof the past 2 nights & 16 the night before that...
so... this morning, what was i doing sneaking away to find a tub full of hot water & epsom salts?
i was doing just what i said i was gonna do. Find the quiet moments to fall into my weakness & enjoy these last weeks of pregnancy.
i watched little bones & wiggly baby parts make my belly ripple like the ocean...
i closed my eyes & melted into the warm water - easing deeper - letting go of all the little things that make my heart uptight... & letting the water wash over me, comforting and preparing me to face the rest of the day with peace.
Tomorrow, the recitals & concerts will all be over.....
Tomorrow, the last of our beautiful company will take flight...
Tomorrow, Neil will finish up his work week...
Tomorrow, i will begin the work of putting my house back to normal...
But, today - i choose to embrace *today* with gratitude & joy.
& Baby, your little presence - slowing me down, taking my breath away, stretching within my body... You're making it easy to be happy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

on tuesday...

a mama remembered her little ones lost both to abortion & miscarriage in a service designed to honour their little lives lost...
As i tossed & turned in my bed this morning, my prayer for her was that she would he *held* as she *lets go*.
Listening to this song this week - totally met me in a place of surrender to God - who i know is Good & who daily shapes me to His image.
Choosing to do things that are counter culture is a lonesome place to be sometimes... & choosing to say, "i regret" is hard too.
if you are reading my blog, little mama, may God bless you as you swim against the current. i hope that your service brought healing & comfort to you too.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Number...

Yes.
When baby comes, we will have 7 little ones in our home.
No.
i don't know if we'll ever have anymore.
Yes.
i would gladly take another little one into my heart, home & arms.
No.
it's not just up to me.
Yes.
Seven is a big number.
No.
It's not too big.
Yes.
i'm sure grateful
No.
i'm not crazy.
Yes.
God has used motherhood to transform me.
No.
He's not finished with me yet.
Yes.
i wish that birth control did not exist & that the cultural norm was the attitude that, children are a blessing.
No.
i can't change minds or hearts...
Yes.
Mine has been changed.
No.
i'll never be the same.

Monday, December 7, 2009

tithes & offerings

That always happens at church.
Y'know, they pass the plate & people put in what they have...
Neil never says that it's *his* money & not mine... but as a stay at home mom, it's often how i've felt. When Neil is generous with money - i shrug my shoulders - it's his to give, or to keep... & though i have free reign to give what i want, to buy presents for whomever i please, to spend whatever i would like on myself or others... i'm conscious of the fact that i don't earn anything.
i told that to God as they passed the plate on Sunday.
'i never put anything in...'
The baby inside me stretched out a wee bit as i continued to play and sing the offertory...
& my perspective changed.
'i give you everything, God... i give you this body... though it's weak, and temporary - it has been used by God to grow 9 little lives...
i give you these fingers - though they stumble through the melodies at times - let them play for You, Father...
i give you this voice - though my breath is hard to find these days with less room for air - each note is a sacrifice of praise - & i hold nothing back.
Each of my little ones memorized the Christina Rossetti poem at one christmas or another... & in it's simplicity - that's where my heart rested on Sunday as the plate was passed & it seemed i contributed nothing...

"What can i give Him,
Poor as i am?
If i were a shepherd,
i would bring a lamb;
If i were a wiseman,
i would do my part;
Yet, what can i give Him?
i give Him my heart."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

why gagey is never bored

video

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video

i love how my bare belly is exposed & my hands are down my pants. classic. Focus on the cute children if you can...

video

i wonder how many hours gagey has listened to me yelling & banging :) i love his reflection in the piano - (if you can see past the fingerprints :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

yorkton & mayfair

If either of those words came up in casual conversation - i'd probably be able to keep you from noticing that my heart skipped a beat...
But both of those words are like a time warp for me -
Both pull me, reeling into the past.
Yorkton - to that ultrasound table with a wand on my belly & my son's form on a black and white screen... my husband's hands covering my mouth, muffling the sobs that could not be silenced...
Mayfair - to another ultrasound... & though my husband was on an airplane flying home to me, i never felt alone - i could feel His presence pressing in so thick i could almost breathe Him in as i saw another wee one - still.
There are probably more words, dates, smells & numbers that bring back different memories - different images that have been stored in my mind - ready to be awakened when the right key turns in the right lock...
i'm grateful for memories - even painful ones that make me cry -
They remind me where i've been - & Whose child i am...
& Who holds me still...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

he giggled in his sleep

Last night i caved & tucked him in next to me when we went to sleep... again...
He clung to my neck & cried pitifully, "mama's bed... mama's bed..."
& suddenly i lost my will to fight & surrendered to his sweet plea.
Twice in the night, i had to untangle his arms from around my neck, and another 3 times, i had to dislodge his foot from my belly... but we had a pretty good sleep.
We slept in...
The sun was already starting to peek through my window when i finally opened my eyes & saw his thick eyelashes littering up his cheeks.
My eyes were half opened, half closed -
i was halfway between getting up... or rolling over for another 10 - but when i had rolled over to look at my sleeping beauty, it had woken the baby within, & baby was gently poking me, reminding me that maybe it was time to rouse myself & face this day.
Suddenly, Gagey giggled in his sleep.
One of those little giggles that tiny babies do - where their little breath intake at the end makes a high pitch squeak.
His eyes were still closed & the smile was slowly fading off of his angelic face.
What dream had caused that gorgeous sound?
What God had created this amazing gift?
What better way to welcome this day?
Than with a smile on my face & gratitude in my heart...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

where do i stand?

So, as i've stated before, Neil doesn't read my blog.
But the other day, someone commented to him that i had written about him & so he came home & said, "Well? What did you say?"
i couldn't remember because i have been disobediently blogging about him a lot lately, so i read him a few recent entries... i got a couple eyebrow raises, but nothing i couldn't handle. He took a look at my list of labels...
"Hm, i'm beating music, but God still has me by quite a few..."
Really? Is this how men think? 'don't blog about me, don't blog about me... but if you do, i want to be winning.'
Well, here's another one to add to your number, buddy. Don't say i never did anything for you.

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