Wednesday, December 28, 2011

3AM Worries

Here I am at 3:30 in the morning, can't sleep, and Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch is my friend. Some thoughts I've had lately, which I dare to share here.

It goes without saying that having a child is a highly emotional process. This re-realization has hit me squarely in the past few weeks as George's arrival is coming closer and closer. Originally my due date was set at January 25, but that date has gotten moved up and changed a few times, and Dr. B has now predicted that George could come as early as the beginning of January (my estimated date of birth is January 7). At my last appointment he expressed concern that if I had bought Fiesta Bowl tickets, I would not be allowed to go. I told him to call me crazy, but traveling to another region of the country at 37 weeks pregnant hadn't seemed fun or smart so I planned to watch the game from home. (In the words of Homer Simpson, "I'm no genius! Or are I?")

Anyway, as the time is drawing more near, my emotional instability is becoming ever-present. With the first pregnancy I was crazy with worry about the baby's health, how delivery would go, what kind of pain I would experience, and questioning my own personal fitness as a parent. These things are of less concern to me now, having gone through this process before, but I have actually experienced a whole new set of worries this time around with George...worries that I never expected, because how can one expect complexities that have never existed? To be brutally honest, I spend some of my time worrying, "What have we done? Nothing is wrong with our lives! Why are we changing things up?" I worry that Silas will feel betrayed, as though he wasn't good enough and so I needed a stab at a second child. I worry that my children will hate each other. I think, what if I don't love George as much as I love Silas? I find myself imagining 'Sophie's Choice' situations and then begin feeling conflicted and guilty. This is all crazy and yet normal, right? I wouldn't really know since I have never given birth to a second child.

Family members and close friends to which I have confided have reassured me that all will be well. Most of all, BJ has been amazingly supportive, as ever, and has listened to my fears, wiped my tears, and promised me that the second we meet this child all of this worry will fall to the wayside. He said, "Just wait until you hold him. He'll be so little. He'll have brown hair and brown eyes." BJ reminds me of why we wanted this in the first place: because we have SO loved being parents to Silas that we just wanted to double the fun and begin the experience all over again. I sound like a crybaby, as I am fully aware of our incredible good fortune that we have had not one, but two healthy pregnancies and can expectantly plan for this second child, and I'm sorry if this sounds insensitive. In the end though, it admittedly is a "bittersweet" experience, to use the words of my good friend Emily. On one hand we look to the joy of welcoming a new little boy into our home, and on the other hand I kiss my oldest little boy goodnight every night, wondering when will be the last night his face is the only little face that I kiss, and for some stinking reason I feel a sadness that our time as a family of three is coming to an end.

I am holding out good hope and anticipating that four will be wildly better than three, though. =)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Funnies

BJ and I agree that with each passing day, Silas causes us to love him more and more. I don't know how it happens or how it is possible, but this crazy little boy has me bursting at the seams with love for him, and it grows daily as he demonstrates new little pieces of his personality. Christmas this year was so great with him. He lapped up the entire season, exclaiming with enthusiasm each day about Christmas lights, ornaments, trees, elves, Santa, you name it. The last two days have seen the opening of many presents, which is also something he has grown old enough to enjoy. Our only hold-up was that he was typically so enthralled with the gift that he just opened that he wouldn't want to move on to the next one, which can cause delays in gift exchanges.

A couple of funny stories:
This morning we were at church with BJ's parents, and Silas sat in the service with us. BJ's dad is an usher at their church so frequently is out of his seat until well into the service, as he is responsible for seating others, tithe collection, etc. Silas could NOT understand why Pop kept walking by and waving but would not stop to sit with him. During the quiet prayer time, of course, Silas decided to be vocal with his confusion. He asked, "Pop? Go? [His question of "Go?" is typically accompanied by holding his hands palm upward in a questioning air, and he did so here.] Pee-pee?" And so it became apparent to those sitting around us that Silas thought perhaps Pop had left once again because he needed to go pee-pee.

In opening numerous presents over the past few days, Silas would become frustrated to rip the wrapping paper off of a toy, only to discover annoying obstacles such as shrink wrap, ties, and inhibitory boxes that prevented him from immediately playing with his new discovery. Initially I would say something like, "Hang on buddy. Dada needs to get a knife." This would be followed by BJ quickly swooping in and solving the problem with a pocket knife so that Silas could play with his new toy. By the end of the evening last night, Silas had become a pro at the present-opening scene. He would rip the wrapping paper off and then immediately look to Dada or me and expectantly ask, "Knife?" This transferred to this morning as well, and all day long Silas presented his request for the knife when trying to get into a desirable.

I know these aren't great pictures because they were taken with my phone, but they illustrate the joy of a little boy playing with his new toys. The frog is courtesy of Sommer, Pete, Ellie, and Owen, and was met with a blood-curdling shriek of delight as he ripped it out of the box and then promptly began hugging it and playing "horsey" on it. The second picture shows just how stereotypically male my little boy is, as spending time with trucks, trains, and airplanes is one of his favorite past-times.

Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Big Boy Bed

BJ and I knew that being blessed with children close together in age would necessitate changes in our home that we might not otherwise have forced, such as getting Silas out of his crib and into a 'big boy bed,' as we have called it around here. The decision that we made was to leave the nursery intact for Baby George and move Silas over into the office, which we have changed into a bedroom for a big boy. We know that we could have bought a second crib, but we decided that 19 months was big enough for a transfer to an actual twin bed. This twin bed is actually one bed in a bunk-bed set that we eventually hope to construct for the boys to share while (fingers crossed!) hopeful Baby #3 occupies the nursery someday. We prepared in every possible way for this transition... A friend of mine suggested weeks ago that I get Silas adjusted to a pillow, so I went the next day and bought a regular-sized pillow and put it in his crib so that Silas could get adjusted to the idea of staying in one place in the bed. We bought a special Elmo pillowcase to give him a sense of company ("Melmo" is his favorite), and we bought tractor and truck sheets for his new bed for him to admire. We took him into his new room for a week before we had him sleep in there, and we spent time playing in there and really building up the 'big boy room.' As it was, he was ready to move into that bed before we were really ready for it, as we were waiting for a Friday night when we both didn't have to work the next day in case it didn't go well.

Well, those fears have not come to fruition, as Silas has welcomed his new room with open arms! I am beginning to learn that I don't give my son enough credit. We had anticipated countless trips of leading him by the hand back to his room because he had come running out at inappropriate times. After all, he can easily slide out of the bed where the railing ends, and he certainly knows how to open doors now. However, nine nights into this and he hasn't come running out after us a single time. Not once! There is no fussing at bedtime or naptime. He sleeps well in the bed, mostly with his head on the pillow, and in the morning when he wakes (or after his nap is finished) he comes traipsing on out with his "ninny" (also known as his blanket) to see what's up.  (Usually in the morning, "what's up" does not include BJ, Tex, or me.)

Here's the big boy room, all completed. =) We chose an animal alphabet theme and Silas seems to like it. His temporary night light for the month of December is a Christmas tree on the dresser, which will be replaced with a lamp at some point in the new year. Hope all is well with you, friends!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


One of my dearest friends in this world is a marvelous young lady named Sommer. You can read about Sommer from past posts here and here if you're interested in her aura. =) We live a long distance from one another, but we typically communicate on a daily basis, so I feel very close to her even though our visits are not as frequent as I would like. Most recently BJ, Silas, and I visited Sommer and her family in June/July of this summer, at which point we both had one child nearly the exact same age and we were both expecting another as well. Sommer's son Owen was born in August, and he is the only baby I have knit a blanket for. (My own second son George will be the second recipient of an imperfect Jenny creation.)

Those of you who have wondered about the woes of our past month will find your answers here. Sommer's son Owen has recently been diagnosed with leukodystrophy, which we have learned is a disease that, in Sommer's words, is "devastating and life-limiting." BJ and I are obviously broken-hearted and grieving for our friends and for Owen's precious but short life here on Earth. Specifics about Owen's prognosis and symptoms are not my business to share on this blog, but for those of you who are interested in Owen and Sommer's story and their ongoing journey, Sommer has made the momentous decision to begin her own blog. She has consented that I share this blog with my friends, her only condition being that I don't criticize grammatic content. As if. =) Sommer's account of loving Owen can be found here:

In trivial news, here are a couple of things that I have made lately:

1. An alpaca basket-weave scarf for BJ. He looks so handsome that he simply needed a soft, handsome scarf to match.

2. Homemade marshmallows. I can't eat the packaged kind because it is made with light corn syrup, which frustratingly contains vanilla. We special-ordered vanilla-free corn syrup that came in the mail earlier this week though, and so now my hot chocolate has huge, gooey vanilla-free homemade marshmallows floating in it. Yum.
* Note: This is not actually a picture of a mug of hot chocolate with a thousand floating marshmallows. I may be crazy, but I'm not that far gone.

 3. A fool of myself in excitement over the success of OSU's football season this year. I can honestly say that I cared less than ever about this Bedlam game in light of the above-mentioned recent events in our lives, but I tell you, what a pick-me-up it is to win a Big 12 Championship and taste the first-time sweetness of a BCS bowl. BJ and I are pumped!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Shift In Perspective

I've never written an entry like the one that is about to unfold, but I figure what the heck? You're all my friends, and will hopefully still love me anyway if I dabble a little into religion. I'd like to say first-off that those that know me well know that I am an advocate of tolerance. Among my closest family members and friends I see proclamations of atheism, agnosticism, devout Christianity, Buddhism, questioning, and the "I don't give a rat's ass" attitude. All of these I respect in each of you. My faith has been a journey of ups and downs too, particularly within the last year and most extremely in the past month.

So here is the shift that has taken place in my perspective (which I do not proclaim to be the truth, as I am a human and have limited understanding): God has the power to intervene in whatever He wants to do in your life and in this world. However, He is not going to do it. God is not mean and He has not purposefully given you, me, or anyone else woe; He grieves with us when we grieve, and He provides comfort to us in times of sorrow and trial. He does not make a habit of providing miracles, however, and praying for them is counterproductive. I think of all of the times that I have made "prayer request" lists at Bible study meetings, presented my own requests to the Lord, or told friends that I would pray for their specific need (i.e. God please change this-and-this situation..please! please!). I think of it now as a waste of time. Whoa! This sounds extremely cynical and borne out of anger, but I promise it is not coming from an angry heart. It's not even really coming from a disappointed heart. What it's coming from is a personal epiphany that, although God loves me dearly and wants to be in communication and relation with me, He is not going to work miracles in my life, small or large, simply because I ask him to. People will make the argument to me about the such-and-such time that God cured a disease or God helped their football team win or God did a "God-thing" that only God can do. Maybe. That's a big maybe to me. What I really believe it is is a fluke of nature. Sometimes things spontaneously remit in nature, sometimes it hits some random thing and flies some random direction and perfection is created...but that doesn't mean that it's a "miracle" that God bestowed on us. Like the Robert Griffin 3 pass in the OU-Baylor game a few weeks ago that hit off a defender's hand and sailed 40 yards downfield perfectly into the arms of a waiting receiver that was NEVER the intended target but then ran on down for a beautiful and fluky touchdown, sometimes crazy stuff happens! Cool when it does! But I'm not going to spend my time praying for it because I don't think God willed it to happen.

Do I think that God is able to intervene in all things? Absolutely. I just believe He is less willing to do so than I formerly envisioned Him to be.

Do I think that prayer is thus a waste of time? Heck no! If I thought that the only benefits of prayer were for the answering of my prayer requests, what kind of follower would I be? I believe that huge benefits come from a person choosing to engage with God in communication. God can provide untold amounts of peace, comfort, wisdom, enlightenment, happiness, and self-control. Simply spending time with Him in earnest can bring these things to your life and mine through Him, and I see the benefit of asking Him to bestow those same kinds of comforts onto friends and loved ones who are grieving as well.

All of this to say, if you are my friend and you present me with prayer requests, I will tell you sincerely now that I will not pray for your situation to change because I have no faith that God is going to make that happen. I believe God is there for you though, and I will commit to praying for you that you might experience His peace and comfort as you struggle with your trial, because THAT I believe He will do. I don't know why God doesn't intervene more, but I don't believe it's because He doesn't care. And I will NEVER believe it is "His will" that something horrible has happened in your life, so you will never hear me say that, friend. God does not have a plan, in my opinion, that involves 18-year-old girls dying in car accidents, wars killing loved ones, or hideous diseases robbing us of our faculties.

Enough then. So how many of you have issues with me now? =)