Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rain, rain go away...

Some days feel like endless rain. Last Saturday, was endless rain. Tropical Storm Christobal dumped rain on us from sun-up to sundown. All day long. Trip to the park--cancelled. Walk around the block--not a chance. So we sang songs and colored and played games and read books and finally. Shelby and Joey had had it! They were sick of Mommy and sleeping doggies. They were bored of their toys. We had read every book that would hold their attention--three times--and a few that wouldn't. Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star, had lost its luster. Mommy was unsure what activity to pursue next. Then, in a flash of dog barking and car lights: the rain stopped.

Well, not really, Daddy had come home though. Daddy, who the kids hadn't seen all day. Daddy, who played different games than Mommy and read with different inflection. Daddy, who brought home McDonalds as a special treat for his homebound family. Who says the sun wasn't shining at our house?

Friday, July 25, 2008

I've often wondered about moms' groups for Christian or Catholic moms. What are they like? Are they full of rosaries and prayer requests and reading bible stories and discussing how they fit into mothering a 21st century child? Or are they more like something I saw on tv yesterday.

I was at lunch at work watching a rerun of Yes, Dear. The premise was that Kim and Christine wanted the family to go to church. While at church, they found out about a men's group and pretty much forced Greg and Jimmy to join. Greg and Jimmy were surprised to find the minister leading a group that gathered to watch football and ultimate fighting. Not discuss feelings and the Bible.

It made me realize how much I myself, would like to be part of a group of moms that met like that. And also how much I would like to be a part of the other type of group, the one that does pray and have God as the focus each week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Some Days

it would be nice to be lying on a beach in the Carribbean or in bed eating bon-bons.

Some days, but not right now. I've got to start therapy for Shelby, start potty-training, get someone to sleep in her bed not the floor, help someone who is desparate to walk, feed and water dogs, feed and water kids, feed and water plants, vaccuum, dust, sweep, mop, fold laundry, go to the park, and say prayers. It's wonderful to be needed!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Being a Mom

is about ups and downs and little unexpected joys and losses.
Last Friday, we were told Shelby has Pervasive Developmental Delay Not Otherwise Specified or PDDNOS. It was not a very unexpected diagnosis, but one we have to live with and work with. I have started a blog dedicated just to the struggles and joys of having a child with a developmental delay called At My Own Speed. Please see us there for more on Shelby and our life. This blog will obviously keep going, but will not focus on these issues.

Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4, 2008

Fellow Countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. 'Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.' If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether'. With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
~Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address Delivered March 4, 1865

Today we are facing a battle much like the Civil War in our country. It is pitting brother against brother. American against American. And neither side will back down. The battle is for God's presence in our country. Instead of guns we are armed with our faith. We live in a society that is not godless (for God is everywhere regardless of one's belief) but is ignorant to God or worse turns its back on God. We live in a society where secular values and beliefs seem prevalent. We live in a culture where doing what is right is often trumped by doing what is popular. And so we must fight. We must pray for strength in our fight and for the souls of those we are battling against and that their hearts may be changed.

Like Bob the Builder says, "Can we build it? Yes we can!"

"Can we fix it? Yes we can!"

God Bless America, Land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her Thru the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, To the oceans, white with foam God bless America, My home sweet home.

~God Bless America, Irving Berlin

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Summer Breeze

Summer is a hot, sticky affair in southeastern NC. Very humid. Very humid. Very, well, you get my point.

It is also full of sunshine, short on rain, plenty of lightening and bugs galore.

Days like today, are rare. At 8 am it is only 66 degrees outside. Right after Shelby was born, we experienced a brief summer withdrawal from the heat. For a couple of short weeks, temps were cooler, in the seventies as opposed to 90's. It was a couple of weeks I could take her out for walks. Last summer, huge and pregnant with Joey while chasing a toddler around, I had no such break.

This year, it is nice to have a break from being pregnant, although now chasing a toddler and a crawler, and getting a little break in the heat.

Thank God for small blessings.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Is their a "more religious" form of parenting

Some may say so. This question came up with a co-worker of mine. He is a member of an AME Zion church (African Methodist Episcopalian). His sons are teens now, but he encountered something at a neighbors home he had never seen before. Attachment parenting. The couple had three children, ages 5- 6 months who were all co-sleeping, the infant was kept in a sling at all times on one of the parents and all the children (well the older two) were breast-fed past 24 months.
My co-workers question was, is attachment parenting a religious practice. His reason for asking, the couple were West African and practicing Sunni Muslims. And being that he had never known anyone to practice this, it seemed a fair question. As far as I know, Islam doesn't dictate attachment parenting. I have known Muslim families who didn't practice it. I do know for sure, that there are a fair amount of Catholic families who practice attachment parenting as well. Don't believe me click here.

It is common that we criticize what we don't know or understand. It is just as common for us to promote our way of thinking as the "best and only way." We forget that just because our way works best for us, doesn't mean it works for everyone else.

Case in point, attachment parenting. I was never committed to the idea. Good thing too, my daughter, wouldn't have stood for it. She wanted to sleep in her own bassinet or crib from day one, although she demanded to be nursed and did until she was nine-months old and I was pregnant with her brother. I think the milk changed and she stopped liking it. My son, on the other hand, was not a very eager nurser (he did well, just wasn't as gung ho as his sister) but slept in our bed until the age of five months. He disliked being put down and would not sleep anywhere but with us. So, really, attachment parenting didn't 100% mesh with our family. I know a lot of people disagree that I put my children in a crib, but just as many feel it was child abuse to let my son sleep with us. Either way we did what was right for our family. And I can't waste my energy on what other people St Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the Gospel at all times...when necessary use words." Point being, I can't hope to convert anyone to anything through angry rhetoric, but if I live my life and people see I am happy, they will begin to wonder, and their conversion will begin.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy July!!!

We are hoping July will be like June and have a few cool days...particularly next Sunday when the big girl turns 2!!!!