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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Night shift

Exit Mary Poppins, enter the reinforcements. Having Mike and Wendy here--mostly known as Grandma and Grandaddy, was WONDERFUL!! They basically took up right where Mom left off (and Dad too!) ... How blessed are we to have two GREAT sets of Grandparents??!! They have taken the boys to and from school, bought food, played games, handed out prizes, held the baby, vacuumed, mopped, cleaned toilets! You name it.
Below 3 or 4 wks... I have got to do a better job of journalling...

Below: Caleb @ 4wks.

They left last Saturday, and so we have been on our own for a week. The first week for me to have all three kids alone during the day has gone well overall. The trickiest part has been figuring out the school routine. We are still figuring it out. Luke's school starts @ 12:00. I pick up Jon David at 2:45, and then Luke at 3:10. On Monday, Luke does not go to school, which worked out extremely well for me this week, b/c Caleb cried on the way to and from us picking up JD. Thankfully, the other days he did much better. He fussed some, and then he would just settle down and go to sleep in his car seat--yay! But that was this week. What does next week hold? I feel like my entire day is structured around preparing for drop off, or pick up, or actually dropping off or picking up... Pour Caleb. Third kids really do get lugged around everywhere.

Spiritually, I have had a couple of epiphanal moments (I don't think that is really a word). I remember when I first had JD and Luke, I felt like God taught me a lot about his nature. For instance, Jon David used to fight going to sleep a lot. As we struggled to settle him down, I envisioned God doing the same with us, wishing so much that we would just let go of whatever it was... Just let him have our worries, fears, and just relax in His arms.
Also, in the same way that I watch my children play, I think that God enjoys watching us go about our day. Sometimes I feel that I stress over how to spend time with God, how to pray, how to study the Bible, how much to do in church, what to be involved in, etc...
While I absolutely believe that God takes joy in us doing all of those things, I believe that He also wants to enjoy his creation (us), and loves to see us loving life, and just "being," the same way that Jon David and Luke don't always have to do certain things "to" or "for" me. I mean, I LOVE it when they talk to me, or want to tell me about their day (good and bad), but I also love watching them play games together, playing soccer, walking to school, eating, even sleeping (they look so angelic when they sleep).
Well, recently, with Caleb, I feel that God is teaching me some new spiritual life lessons. I hope that I can express this the right way. It's difficult to express something that I feel so strongly.
Not too long ago, I learned of my sister Sarah and her husband's loss of some very dear friends to a car accident. Also, a friend from Tuscaloosa randomly lost her husband to a freak virus that attacked his heart (I think) earlier this year. Last year, we heard about a 5th grade girl who also died suddenly of unexplainable health issues that occurred out of the blue... I could go on with various stories of friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers who have suffered untold losses, or sickness, or just harshness of life. I really struggle with these types of stories. I guess sometimes I handle them better than others. But I think at the root of my struggle is: the more I get to know God's nature, the more I don't understand "why..." I mean, it seems so horrible. I find myself grasping desperately at explanations, whether realistic or not... perhaps finding someone to blame at times, and then realizing that blaming is absurd...
Anyway, sweet Caleb is a typical newborn in that he gets fussy occasionally, or a lot :). One of the things that I have found that works with him is to let him suck on my finger. One day, I was rocking him and he was sucking on my finger. As I watched him, I noticed that he seemed so frantic, in pain occasionally even. He would start to get revved up again, and then chomp down on my finger and settle down fitfully. In that moment, I pictured myself as the infant and God as the parent. In the same way that sweet little Caleb has NO IDEA why he is hungry, or upset or in pain, or whatever, I have NO IDEA what the reasons are behind tragedy and heartache. And so just as Caleb sucks on my finger as if for dear life, so I am just supposed to cling to God, without understanding-- even if just by the hem of his garment. There is a sense of desperation in a newborn when he/she finds something that is soothing (Caleb is the same with nursing... If he has been screaming, when he is finally offered my breast, he sometimes will latch on fearfully with his whole body. Again, as if it's the only thing he knows to do). As tears formed in my eyes, I realized that I am to "latch on" with that same sense of desperation.--when I don't understand, or when I'm afraid for myself or my own family frankly... Just cling to the Father for dear life, because my life really does depend on me doing just that.

Back to labor and delivery briefly. Towards the end, before my mid-wife suggested the pitossin, she said that she sensed that I was not letting the baby come down, that I seemed afraid. Afraid of the pain. She said that I needed to stop fearing the pain, and just let go. From that moment on, whenever I pushed, I remember pushing as if I was pushing towards the goal through the pain. Jesus' death on the cross is such a powerful image and comfort during those moments. Talk about acknowledging pain and pushing through it... I can never relate to what He went through, but I believe it's what helped me get through. It was a very spiritual experience.

I feel extremely blessed to have Caleb. God has blessed us tremendously with support and love. Emotionally, I feel a difference between now and the previous two births and post-births. I don't feel quite as blind-sighted. The first week by myself has gone pretty well. I did it!
I am feeling a little down today, though... Call it hormones, or tired of holding a fussy baby, or just tired. I don't know. Hopefully the tomorrow's sky will be a little brighter.
Oh... that's another thing. It has been raining a lot here. So blame it on the rain!

It is now tomorrow, and yes, the sun is shining. But last night wasn't so great. I was a little depressed today, because I was determined to go to church this morning. But when 6:00 A.M. came and I had been up since 3:00... and for a feeding once before then, well, I fell back asleep. And when Don brought Caleb into me to feed after 7:00, we both stayed asleep. The next thing I knew, it was 9ish. And he has been fussy today! Ugh... We knew it would be hard, right? Momma said... But then he smiled at me today! Sweet boy! I can't wait to capture that on camera. It's still too few and far between. But it's adorable!

Yesterday, I was holding Caleb, and I saw Luke put his hands over Caleb's eyes. I said, "Luke, don't touch his eyes." He said "I was just touching his eye growels." Ha! Finally figured out he meant eye brows.
I went to visit him at school on Friday. He and his class went on a pretend camping trip. Their teacher is wonderful! It was fun to see him there. He had a blue popsicle for lunch, so his mouth is a little blue.

And the boys found a new use for the Boppy pillow:

And no, I haven't forgotten about pics. :)

Don has really bonded w/Caleb already it seems. I think for him, too, it's a little less intimidating the third go 'round. (Caleb 5 wks I think)
(Caleb 4 wks)
He has even gotten to feed him a couple of times. The first two did not take a bottle quite this well (I hope it continues!) I think I was a lot more hesitant to introduce the bottle before b/c I didn't want them to have nipple confusion. Anyway, it has been GREAT trying this sooner.
Don sings to him, rocks him, and just holds him when he cries--I guess you would expect a Daddy to do this, but he has also been taking the older two with him just about everywhere. And he has already been letting go for walks--in the evenings! And we all know how evenings can be w/infants...
Below, Caleb@ 5 wks old. Sweet Jon David. :)


  1. Thanks for sharing the lessons, Anna! Great pictures - ahh, Jon David is so big! When did that happen? May the Lord bless you... and give you rest.

  2. Anna- you look so beautiful in those pictures. I pray that today is a really good day for you! I love you and miss you so much.

  3. Thanks for sharing your journey and what God is doing in your life! I love seeing all the pics too! That last one is so cute!

  4. anna i just read through your last couple of blogs. your boys are precious! congratulations on healthy baby caleb! we used the bradley method with liam and hayden too. i'm glad your delivery went well!



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