Would you like to read more than stories of our kids? Visit the other blog.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

CCM's new low

On a recent brief scan over our local CCM station, I was impressed with the increasing obscurity and stupidity of the genre. Some so-called Christian artist was covering that favorite spiritual of so many fathers in the faith, Sting's If I Ever Lose My Faith In You.

Here's a selection:
You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do
Wow, that's so relevant! I bet this one's bringing the non-Christians in droves. As far as what they're coming to, I have no idea. We wouldn't them to attend nasty old holy church.

On top of the profound lyrics, the music was about 50 million times worse than Sting's original, which wasn't exactly awe-inspiring to begin with.

All in all, another great example of the church trying to redeem culture without changing anything. If it was so good the first time, why bother remaking it?

Would anyone else like to propose some other secular songs that could be so redeemed? Make sure you pick ones with generic spiritual-emotional language, because that's what being a Christian is all about.

Yea! Back to class.

January 18th is the big day. I go back to school. I'm a bit nervous, and I don't want to leave my sweet baby without me, but it must be done.

I'll be taking two classes:

1. Middle English Literature-- Study of genres, topics, styles and writers of the Middle English literary works from 12th to 15th Centuries. Readings in Middle English.

2. English Literature I-- Studies in English literature from Old English to 1800, with emphasis upon specific representative works and upon the cultural and intellectual background which produced them. Literature to be read will include both major and minor poetry, prose and drama.

Yes, I know. These seem like similar classes. They are, but it is not without purpose. I need a senior level class, and class #1 is just that. Also, class #2 is a requirement of my degree. Plus, a lot of the texts overlap, so I thought it would be good to take them together. It will help me get more out of what I study, and I will be able to consolidate study time (I hope). Also, Middle English is really fun to learn. I took Chaucer last spring with the same professor and I loved it.

Plus, this professor is my favorite, and he's the head of admissions for the graduate program at my school. Not like I'm ever going to get my Master's Degree, but if I did, it would probably be from this school, so it's a good idea to get to know this guy well. Not to brag (OK, I guess it is to brag) but when I took Chaucer from him he asked me to make copies of my paper for him to keep. He said he wanted to use it to teach from later because I had taught him a few things he didn't want to forget. I was juxtaposing the Pardoner's Tale, and the Parson's Tale. The title was, "On Par with the Parson and the Pardoner." OK that's enough about a paper no one cares about, hehe.

So, anyway, this is my mundane post about nothing too exciting. I hope you all like it. And I also hope that you all make sure that I do my homework. That's really important. Maybe I'll post some of the drafts to my papers or something so everyone can see what I'm up to. Would that be fun? It's up to you guys. Just let me know...

The monthly update.

"How do you like my pet giraffe?" Olivia asks.

Well, we did the monthly appointment yesterday. Olivia was in a beautiful mood all morning long, and was smiling and kicking her legs. It was a very exciting thing, I guess, to visit the doctor. Sue, the nurse, was goofing around with Liv and taking all of her measurements. Olivia is huge. She's gained 5 lbs. since her last visit. That's more than a pound a week, making for a grand total of 15 and a half pounds (that's 7 kg for our metric friends)! Olivia enjoyed displaying her nakedness for all to see, and she christened the examination table. It must have been a bit cold in there to be without a diaper.

Then came the tragedy. Immunizations.

Olivia was due for 5 shots, because we waited a month to give her the first shot, she's behind on one. Even still, 4 shots is a lot to handle for such a small thing. The doctor offered to let her take three or four at once, and then schedual another appointment for the rest. To me it seemed like it made more sense to do all at once so she only has to put up with the misery once. Well, misery it was. She screamed and looked at me like I had truly betrayed her, and had taken away everything she loved. I ruined her life.

She ran a small fever all evening, and was a beast. All she did was cry and sleep.

My father-in-law went and bought us some Tylenol for her fever. I gave her some, and I think that she must've felt much better because when she finally woke up (at 12:00 am) she was smiling and giggling again.

All is forgiven, I supose.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Of the Father's Love Begotten

By: Aurelius Prudentius Clemens

Of the Father's love begotten
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the source, the ending he,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

Oh, that birth forever blessed,
When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race,
And the babe, the world's redeemer,
First revealed his sacred face
Evermore and evermore.

This is he whom seers in old time
Chanted of with one accord,
Whom the voices of the prophets
Promised in their faithful word;
Now he shines, the long expected;
Let creation praise its Lord
Evermore and evermore.

Let the heights of heaven adore him;
Angel hosts, his praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before him
And extol our God and King;
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring
Evermore and evermore.

Christ, to you, with God the Father
And the Spirit, there shall be
Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving
And the shout of jubilee:
Honor, glory, and dominion
And eternal victory
Evermore and evermore.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Have we heard?

Bunnie has a great post on St. Stephen, whose feast was celebrated this past Sunday. An excerpt:

They murdered Stephen to protect God. They had their idea of how God should be and all Pastor Stephen would talk about and preach about was Jesus. The more the Pastor Stephen preached, the more they grew angry. Finally, they covered their ears and screamed at the top of their lungs to drown out the Gospel of Christ coming from his lips.

If they did this, you will also be tempted to do this. The Law never points to someone else, it always points to you. The Word of God, preached and read, engages us, it calls us to repent of the dark deeds we do. It demands that we put away our sins. It never stops, it always condemns us.

This stood out to me, particularly in light of Stephen's words to the Pharisees accusing him:

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
To hear the Word proclaimed means we must have our hearts and ears circumcised by the Holy Spirit. Stephen doesn't criticize the Pharisees for having uncircumcised vision, or an uncircumcised sense of smell -- his testimony reminds us that the communication of faith is uniquely oral, coming from the mouth of God via the mouth of those proclaiming the Gospel, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We just can't get enough of the incarnation

Spectacular stuff from the Pontificator.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

The First Christmas Sermon

Luke 2:10-12:
Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
This is the first sermon preached concerning this newborn child, our Lord Jesus. It was delivered for us on earth by the angels from heaven, and even though we deal with this sermon year after year, we still keep on treating it as though new. For even if it were preached and heard every year, yea every day, we could never exhaust its meaning till the end of time.

-Martin Luther, Second Sermon on Holy Christmas Day

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Today was a lazy day.

I woke up late this morning, much like I do every morning. It's hard to convince yourself to get up if your two month old insists on sleeping in until 9:30 at the earliest every morning. I got Olivia and myself clean, and then decided it was a day to clean big.

Instead I came upstairs and ate, then when Olivia fell asleep around noon for her afternoon nap. I went to sleep with her.

I was awoken by Ellie, calling around 2:30 to let me know she and Andy would be coming over later this evening. Yey! Except, I had yet to clean anything. So, I gathered up my Olivia, and took her to the kitchen and began my task at hand.

Olivia helps me wash dishes.

I washed the mountain of dishes, and it took forever. I've been Christams shopping and running errands all week, and I don't have a dishwasher. If I don't do them for two days even if we don't eat dinner at home, they mound up pretty quickly.

It's snowing like crazy out there, too. That might have had something to do with my sleepiness. I'm not sure. But it sure is beautiful, and it came with perfect timing. The Stagers were able to make it into town for the holiday without fighting the storm, and it's going to stop before Christmas Eve, so those last minute items can still be picked up without the fear of bulldozing every curb on the way to the mall. Also, it's beautiful outside, and it should be sticking around for Christmas day.

So, maybe if I'm brave enough, and Olivia's little cold is gone, I'll take my sweet Thing out in the snow on Christmas day for some pictures. If I do, I promise to post some of the good ones here for you all to see.

That's all I have for everyone on this lazy day. Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you get everything you want, but you only want what you need.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

What about our services?

Continuing our discussion, Eric asks the following questions regarding Christ as the ethos, logos, and pathos of the church:
I agree that Christ is our everything, but what about our services? How do we translate this abstract discussion into a viable order of service that engages people at an emotional level? Are there standards? Where are they? How do we know if they are truly universal?
It's because of questions like these that I've been hammering on the incarnation of Christ so much.

Eric, there's a good chance you're going to hate this answer, but there are universal standards for Christ's engagement with individuals in congregational worship. They cross all cultural boundaries. They meet people wherever they are emotionally. They're called the sacraments.

Despite all it's failings, the Roman Catholic church is a good example. In masses given in every nation and tongue, in many times and places, faithful Catholics receive holy communion. Sometimes these masses are accompanied with vast orchestras playing along with modern arrangements of the liturgy. At other times, all of the worship is done acapella, because no one is available to play music. In all places, Christ's body and blood is present in bread and wine.

I know this probably rails against your belief of communion as an ordinance, and trust me... I've been there. But you've already agreed with us that Christ -- the living and active son of God -- should be the center of all our worship.

For you, maybe saying "Christ is our ethos, logos, and pathos," still sounds too abstract. But remember the book of Hebrews, where we're told that Christ is our new High Priest. For the ancient Jews, the priest was the primary worship leader. For Christians, nothing has changed, because we have Christ fully present with us when Word is preached and sacrament administered (see this post of mine).

Christ has bound himself to means which exist in the physical realm. Sacraments exist within time and place. And through the mystery of the incarnation, Christ exists within them. The preaching of the Word is spoken into time as sound waves that fall onto our ears, and apprehended by the Holy Spirit, and Christ is the Word made flesh. The bread is real bread, placed into our mouths, and the real flesh of Christ. The wine is real wine, washing over our tongues, and the real blood of Christ.

If you're uncomfortable with this, it's easy to understand why. I was for years. It sounds so gritty, down to earth... so here and now. But reread John 6, and let it sink into an open heart.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world... Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Beggars All: What Is An Evangelical?

(Jacque Stager, this one's for you. Hopefully I'm able to answer some of your questions with this post.)

A lot of our friends are shocked when they hear Devona and I (and other Reformation-minded theologians) criticize or comment on the confusion in many modern evangelical churches. Some say we paint with strokes too broad, or that we condemn so many who are good Christians. Nothing could be further from our intention.

Michael Horton has written a great article on this issue (thanks Beggar's All). Why knock the modern evangelical church in America? Because she's completely forgotten who she is.

The church is Israel, and these last 50 years have seen some pretty dry times out here in the desert. The radiant bride of Christ has taken to dressing herselves in the revealing clothes of her culture, bare midriff and all. I'd consider myself a refugee of this shift, and that's why I make such a big deal about things like the incarnation: These are vital truths that the church needs to proclaim!

No, I don't think members of modern evangelical churches are hellbound sellouts. Some of the most faithful Christians I know are firmly planted in the modern evangelical church. But all around them, the cathedral of evangelicalism, built on a tremendous tradition of faith, is being torn down.

We had to get out. We'd had enough confusion about the basics of our faith. Just read through this blog and you'll find many examples of the terrible teaching mixed with great intentions we experienced as we went from one non-denominational church to another.

In the comments to another post, Jacque asked what I think of as right preaching, and here's my answer: Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone. And the sacrament rightly administered? The Word of God -- the body and blood of Christ Himself -- put into bread, wine, and water and given to poor, repentant sinners.

Show me one modern evangelical church where this is the practice. I'd wager you'll have a hard time even finding a non-denominational church that can even give a consistent answer on the power of baptism or communion. And keep dreaming if you expect anyone to refer to these gifts as "sacraments."

And that's the crux of the whole problem. The bride of Christ barely even knows who He is, where He is, or what He does. That's not good in an earthly marriage... even worse in a heavenly one.

At their best, a husband and wife long for communion with one another. In the most exciting, memorable times, they can't get enough of it. But when that communion gets cast aside, distance starts to creep between them. I know a person who hasn't been intimate with his wife in so long, he doesn't even know who she is. They live in the same house, even sleep in the same bed, but they are like strangers to one another. That's precisely what's happened with the modern evangelical church. She's still the bride of Christ, but in so many cases, it's been a long while since they've consummated their relationship.

My mom always talks about feeling like the sacraments were calling her back to the confessional church (she had been raised Roman Catholic), and I think that her observation has some importance here. When a bride is long separated from her bridegroom, she aches for Him at the mention of His name. My mom, myself, my wife, and so many others spent years aching. We heard Jesus' name every Sunday, but never tasted His body.

Devona and I attended a wedding on Sunday, and as is often the practice, Ephesians 5 was read. This passage struck us anew:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Christ longs to baptize his church, so He can carry her off to the bridal suite and be united once and for all. Sounds pretty important, but where is baptism in the modern evangelical church?

The church has forgotten the sacraments, and in large part because of this, she's well on her way to forgetting the Word. Once that's happened, what have we got left?

How are you feeling?

Eric and Andy have recently been debating the ethos (the spirit and character of a community) of the church, its importance and its place. Particularly with this post, I think Andy's really nailed it. He writes:

Instead of manufacturing joy and and telling people, in Eric's words, that they'd better frolic or what they're doing is unChristian, why don't we let those imperatives of God - his commands to "fear not", to "rejoice", etc - rest on the indicatives of God. He has pronounced - he has said with his mouth that we are his and he is ours, idolatrous as our hearts may perpetually be. In this lies our ethos, and it's not something that a worship team can bring to the table.

To flesh it out even further: Separating the ethos of the church from her logos or her pathos can be done no more easily than separating Christ from the man He is, the Word he declared, and the life He lived.

Christian worship is always an attempt to come to God, and His son declares that no one comes to the Father except through Him: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Christ Himself is our pathos (way), logos (truth), and ethos (life). Our great High Priest, He sets the tone of our worship with his Word, body and blood.

If you really think about it, we should expect as much. After all, we bow at the feet of a personal God, a God who was made man. As a Jew, he worshipped with other Jews, with all the highs and lows that come with humanity. My guess would be that He knows what it's like to feel a tingle at the Lord's declaration -- I will be your God, and you will be my people -- perhaps even more excruciatingly than we can grasp, because He is both the message and the means of this ultimate Word of God.

So what of our feelings? Cast them aside as quickly as they come? Hardly.

As Andy points out, Christ commands us to fear not, take heart, and rejoice; commands that work on many levels, not the least of which is the emotional. If we exorcise our emotions, we don't even know what fear means, let alone rejoicing. The Holy Spirit is always working to reveal Christ to us, interceding with groans that words cannot express, and aching conviction, sorrowful repentance, and explosive joy are the tools of His trade.

Speaking personally, I know that I also felt the same discomfort that Eric points to during my time at the Chapel. I also felt discomfort as I came into the Lutheran church. In both cases the Holy Spirit was dragging me to the cross. At the Chapel, I ached to hear more grace and forgiveness. Once I started hearing it, I was staggered, and my pride searched desperately for a place to assert my works as righteousness.

The Word rightly preached creates a culture, and that culture carries with it ethos like a tide. When it doesn't feel like what we wanted, we've got two things to examine: What was preached to us, or what we expected. All too often I find that Christ feels, lives, and sounds less and less like what I imagine, and more and more like what I need.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

My brother thinks church is creepy.

So I thought it would be fun to go leave creepy Lutheran comments on his blog. A little gift from his big sister.

Feel free to creep him out. Oh yeah, that means, "Do me a favor and go bug my 15 year old brother." Read his blog from time to time as well, he never gets comments and I think it brings him down.

Get Firefox

Normally I don't talk about tech stuff on Love and Blunder, but after spending the last few hours trying to bludgeon Microsoft's Internet Explorer into displaying this page like it should be displayed, I've decided to break with tradition. I have one request for all readers of this blog:

Get Firefox.

If you're using Internet Explorer, you're using a browser that is unsecure, buggy, slow, and generally a pain in the online world's rear.

For instance, even though the new template for Love & Blunder is written in completely bug-free HTML and CSS (those are languages that describe web pages, for anyone who might not know), Internet Explorer displays it completely incorrectly.

To get around its problems and have their pages displayed properly, web developers have to employ cumbersome workarounds that actually exploit bugs in Internet Explorer.

Firefox is free, fast, more secure, and so much more hip than Internet Explorer. If you've always had an unrealized longing to be one of the cool kids, now's your chance. You don't even have to wear those nifty black horn-rimmed glasses. Download today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Love and Blunder gets a facelift

Inspired by Glen, I did a little reworking around here. Any problems? I'm sure that there are some major bugs I missed, so complain away!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Still more on the incarnation

Chris W. and John H's continuing discussion have made me realize perhaps the most fundamental difference between the doctrine of my modern evangelical upbringing and my current understanding as a confessional Lutheran is the incarnation of Christ. What I was misunderstanding for many years: Christ is the Word, He became flesh, and dwelt among us.

Particularly at the Church of Christ/Restoration movement church I was a member of, little was made of Christs' incarnation as fully God and fully man. In our youth group's bible studies, it was common to be told that we could have been as sinless as Christ had been, if only we'd resisted temptation from that mysteriously slippery age of accountability to our final hour.

Forget that Jesus was the Son of God, firstborn of all men -- he really was just a guy with nerves of steel when it came to temptation. Oh, and a member of the trinity, too. But don't let that distract you in your struggle against sin. Armed with a WWJD bracelet, a winning smile, (and a pretty weak definition of sin) you can avoid transgression just like Jesus!

At this church, Jesus was shaped into more of a man and less of a God, so that he could be displayed primarily as an example to be imitated, secondarily as the sacrifice for the sin of mankind.

Confusion about Christ's incarnation leads to confusion about faith itself. Because of such an incomplete understanding of who Christ is, where He is, and what He does, I was often confused about the nature of faith. Rather than a gift given from God, I saw faith as something I had to work to get more of. When I didn't feel like I was successful, I questioned whether I was even a Christian.

Until recently, I had no idea what "faith comes by hearing" really meant. Whenever my conscience was assailed, I was told to turn inward, to my shifting perception of my faith, rather than to the objective reality of Christ's work on the cross, and his real presence in the preached word, communion, and baptism.

In too many churches we've become so uncertain of where God is going to be, we pour our effort into convincing our imaginations and emotions that He's near, even when we're not sure.

But Christ has come! He is as near as Word rightly preached and sacrament rightly administered, even when we don't feel it. Faith is being certain of what we cannot see, not certain of what might or might not really be there.

Perhaps the real trouble for us is that the Living Son of God is far too close, and he doesn't even knock before entering. Like an army in a horse He penetrates us through our sense of hearing when His Word is preached. He's placed onto our tongue and sealed onto our hearts.

Sit still in church, listen to the words the pastor speaks, and you can almost hear God breathing. When the pastor pronounces us forgiven, we are hearing in his voice the voice of the Word, the Son of God who laid the foundations of the world, spun the stars into the sky, drew up high mountains from the low ground, and onto the desert spilled the waters of the seas. In that place, Christ is closer than any lover, He is putting Himself into us and us into Himself.

When all this miraculous stuff happens, we expect fireworks, blazing lights, choirs of angels bellowing his praise -- or at least to be sort of pumped up. And sometimes we are. But perhaps as many times, we don't feel a twinge. Regardless, His presence in the Word is a fact, resonated throughout scripture. If we don't feel like He's there, it's our perception that needs adjustment.

Friday, December 10, 2004

My own daughter's sister.

I was reading Be Strong in the Grace, since Theresa informed me Olivia's making a cameo appearance, and I don't know if she meant to but she made me think about how I am Olivia's "sister in Christ." How profound!

I have been given the office and vocation by God to be Olivia's mother. That means that I have the obligation and responsibility to raise her in the Faith, to discipline her, to love her, and to provide for her. I also have been placed in a position of authority over her, and she has the responsibility to love and obey me, and to recognize I am not her equal but her superior.

The humbling thought is that I have done nothing to deserve this office. I am not better than Olivia. We are made of the same mortal and sinful flesh. We are both subject to the curse, and tainted with sin. We are both made righteous only through the shedding of Jesus' blood for our sins. I am spiritually Olivia's equivalent.

That is important for me to keep in my mind. Temporally I am Olivia's Mama, but eternally we will both kneel at the throne of the King, side by side. We are both daughters of the Lord, and sit at the feet of the same Father.

26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:26-29

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I thought this was a big deal. Rob did not.

Olivia eats her first bottle. Posted by Hello

Olivia becomes our sister.

This weekend was the event I've been waiting for since I found out I was pregnant. Olivia is now numbered among the saints in Heaven!

It was a beautiful service at our church, Hope Lutheran. Many of our friends attended, and most of our family was there as well. It was a great opportunity to show our old friends what our new church was all about. I don't know if we've won any converts (hehe), but it was good to share our joy with the people we love. Both the joy of witnessing Olivia's receiving the gift of faith, and the joy of hearing the Law and Gospel preached clearly, and with love.

Rob and I managed not to argue about who got to hold Olivia during the baptism. I just let him, even though I wanted to do it, but it makes more sense that the father would, since he's the head of our family. I just made sure I was the one holding her when we went to the altar for communion. This is ridiculous, I know, that I put so much thought in to something so small, but I'm weird what can I say?

Olivia was perfectly asleep when we went up to the fount, and the sacrament began. Rob and I both got a little teary when Pastor Kozak prayed the Lord's Prayer with his hand on her forehead. It was a beautiful reminder of all that God has for his children. He provides our daily bread, and forgiveness, and even the faith we need to love Him.

Then came the promise of Olivia's godparents, Andy and Ellie (that's the couple standing to the right in our picture, Mr. Swede), that they would help to raise our baby up in faith in God. This was also emotional because of how much we love and trust our good friends, and now our Olivia can trust in them as well.

Next, our congregation repeated the order of baptism with us. This was especially moving for me since my family doesn't attend a church. Pastor Kozak reminded us that this is the time that we remember our own baptisms. All of my family has been baptized, and I prayed that they would be pierced with the thought that God had bestowed grace upon them, too.

Then, Pastor poured the water over Olivia's head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Olivia woke up, and I got nervous that this was when she screams at the top of her lungs. Nope, not our little sinner. She just smiled sleepily, and went back to sleep. She just wanted to be sure she didn't miss the moment.

We then had a small cake reception in the church basement for our guests and the Pastor's family. It was good because anyone who had questions had the opportunity to ask them, and out pastor was available to answer them if need be. We got a lot of, "It's different," and, "I liked it." We even got a, "I was listening to your pastor speak and it sounds a lot like when you and Rob speak."

To which I responded, "If you go to any good Lutheran church we all sound like this." (You'll be proud Pastor Kozak, we sound like you! You're doing an excellent job.)

Then as people were getting ready to leave, Olivia barfed on her beautiful dress and we changed her into her little duck suit. Regular Olivia fashion!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Rainbow I saw today. Posted by Hello

Look, Olivia is cleansed of all unrighteousness! Posted by Hello

Friday, December 03, 2004

Open Source News

Exciting times for emerging media: A news Wiki is now open to all. Seeing this develop will be really exciting.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Merry Olivia!

How would you like to find this under you tree? Posted by Hello

What pregnancy can never foretell

So, I have been not-pregnant for almost 6 weeks now. Friday is my big post-partum check-up at the doctor's and I think this is a good time to give my account of what I didn't expect from Motherhood.

Posted by Hello

1. I didn't expect Olivia to be so alert.

She can look around, hold up her head, and give you a big toothless grin already. I feel like the proudest of all mothers when she smiles like that at me while gazing intently into my eyes. I, also, didn't expect her to appear so quizzical. She is always furrowing her brow as though she is letting the information really stick, not just letting the moment pass by. She wants to know it now.

2. I didn't expect nursing to come so easy.

I'm pretty lucky, but I didn't have to struggle too much to get nursing to work. Olivia gains weight every week, and she spaces out her feedings through out the day so I know she's getting enough. That is something I was really worried about.

3. I wasn't expecting to clean up so much barf.

That was probably naivete on my behalf, but I didn't know Olivia would throw up so much. I have to change her clothes more often than a female high school freshman. Last night she barfed on me at 4:30am three times before I decided to make Rob take her so I could get some sleep.

4. I didn't know how hard it would be to get her to fall into a pattern.

I thought she would start to create her own familiar pattern that I could count on and I wouldn't have to push the issue too much. Maybe this happens for some babies, but not with Olivia. Even though she is very peaceful and easy going, she does not enjoy going to sleep when she'd rather be up, "looking." This goes hand and hand with the, "she's so alert" thing I was talking about before.

5. I didn't know that I would be so easily manipulated by own perceptions of what it is "supposed" to be like.

Olivia doesn't manipulate me, I manipulate me on her behalf. When we're awake forever at night, or she's really cranky and crying I beat myself up for not getting it right. I feel bad for not finding the one right way to get her to calm down. I don't ever think the logical thing: "She's a baby, and this just happens."

6. I didn't know how regular and spectacular it would be all at the same time.

She sneaks up on me. Everything is just plain and normal. Nothing special. Then all of a sudden I am plowed down by that beautiful heart ache that comes from pure love. I don't know how she does it to me, but the simplest things get me.

I love it when she holds on to me when I pick her up out of bed at night-- she can't see me, but I know she knows it's me. I love it when I put her pacifier in her mouth without her opening her eyes, and she calms down right away. I love it when she naps on her own and I can tiptoe up to check her out in her bassinet. These things are so normal and un-special, but I can't get past how magical they are at the same time.

Olivia is a new experience every day. Even though we do the exact same thing, every day.

I thought I would share since I've spent so much time with all of you as "pregnant Devona," and so little time as "mom."