— 1 —
You see this cute little stinker?
He’s turning TWO in a few days. (Which, I have to admit, I’ll be kind of relieved to say. Just like his older brother, the kiddo looks about a year older than he is. I always feel a little awkward admitting to people that the child they took as three isn’t even two yet. You should see their eyes bulge when I point to my older son and say, “That one’s three.”)
Anyway, little guy’s birthday is approaching, so I’m entertaining all sorts of mushy thoughts about the swiftness of time’s passage, etc. Don’t worry – I’ll spare you.
Instead I’ll tell you that the kid’s been eating like a little piggy these days. (The last three times I served hot dogs, the child ate two and would’ve gone for a third if I’d let him. Yes, hot dogs. Yes, two. Go ahead and judge.) And I’ll tell you that I think there’s at least a little growth spurt of the brain going on, because he’s spurted out a bunch of new vocabulary in the past couple of days. My favorites have been “Chee Chee Boom Boom!” as in a request for the book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” And also “eddy” (empty), as in: (While shaking his sippy cup) “My cup is empty! Get me some more milk, Mom!” or (while slapping his own little bottom) “No, I don’t have a poopy diaper! It’s empty!”
Genius, that kid is.
— 2 —
While I’m on the subject of my boys, I’ve got to share how pleased I am at some new signs of camaraderie around here. As much as toddlers tend to think first and foremost (only?) of themselves, these boys seem to increasingly see themselves as part of a two-man unit.
There’s all the whimpering and sulking from the little guy when we drop his big brother at school. There’s his delight when we return to pick up the big guy. And there seems to be a lot “we” in the three-year-old’s conversations lately. Last night when I asked the boys if they would like an apple, he answered, “We was sinkin’ about dat.” (sinkin’ = thinking)
The other day the little one came to me, held up his leg, and said, “Ot!” I had no idea what he was talking about. “Are you hurt?” I asked. He shook his head. “Are you hot?” No. “Are you sure your leg isn’t hurt?” No.
I was stumped. So my three-year-old came to my aid. He looked over nonchalantly and said, “He wants you to take his socks off.” The little one nodded vigorously.
“Do you understand everything your brother says?” I asked the big guy. “Umm… Yeah,” he said with a little shrug, as if to add, “Of course I do, Mom. Isn’t it obvious?”
Does this look like camaraderie to you?
— 3 —
I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this sitting before me:
Yes, a little ol’ cup of coffee. I love coffee, especially my husband’s freshly-roasted-at-home-every-other-day variety. (Seriously, once you’ve gotten used to home roasted, there’s no going back.) However, with this pregnancy, just like my first, I have had a strong aversion to the stuff. One day I’m savoring my morning cup, the next day the sight of it makes me want to be sick.
Unfortunately, the aversion eventually extended to my standard second: black tea with lots of lovely milk and sugar. And even hot cocoa wasn’t cutting it. Starbucks’ chai lattes were an acceptable replacement until yesterday, when I could no longer stomach even them.
But! All of a sudden, at precisely 12 weeks, coffee started to look more appealing to me. Thank you, 12 weeks! I’ve never had a pregnancy aversion expire with the first trimester, but this one seems to be (hopefully!) doing so. Wahoo! Off to the store to buy some half-and-half. I am so much happier with a warm cup of something in the morning.
— 4 —
The other day my three-year-old pointed up into these trees and said with delight, “Wook! Dare are fwowers in dose twees!” He’d noticed the uppermost leaves starting to turn. I smiled and shared in his delight and explained to him about leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. It was such a sweet moment.
Later that same day, I listened to this interview with Richard Dawkins on The Diane Rehm Show regarding his new memoir, “An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist.” Now, I’m no fan of Mr. Dawkins, but the interview was mostly very interesting and pleasurable to listen to. (I have no problem listening to the ideas and experiences of people who rub me the wrong way. Most ideas interest me to some degree, even if I disagree with them. It’s a certain tone – i.e. hysterics or yelling – that I can’t stand and avoid whenever possible.)
Anyway, the interview included some interesting discussion on wonder, as you might guess from the book’s title. One caller suggested that children have heaps of it, but that adults have none at all, because they’ve been taught to repress it. Or something like that. I’ve heard lots of similar statements before and I’ve always been bewildered by them. Do the people who claim that adults are incapable of wonder really feel no wonder in their own lives? Do they not feel wonder when they stare at their newborn child? Do they not feel it when they take a drive into the mountains? When they see the ocean?
I’m continuously finding wonder in my own life. I may express my wonder differently than my three-year-old does, but I feel it all the same. I find wonder in nature, in my children, in a good read, in the kindness of strangers. When I encounter it, I ponder it and I say a prayer of thanksgiving. I may not shout, “Wow!” but my wonder counts all the same.
— 5 —
Okay, one more light thing before I get into a couple of serious items: I created a Facebook page for the blog yesterday. Hopefully this will turn out way better than my attempt at opening a Twitter account. Then, I (barely) figured out how to open the account, I got precisely three followers, and then I left town on vacation. I haven’t opened the stupid thing since.
I think this little social media push for the blog is likely to go more smoothly, because I at least understand how Facebook works. I use it, in fact. Like, (I won’t admit just how many) times per day. So if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll stop on by to “like” my page. I promise to actually use it.
And I’m sure someday I’ll decide to figure out how to use Twitter too. (My biggest hang-up might be that I don’t understand how to get URL’s to go all tiny-like so they fit into a Tweet. Tips, anybody?)
— 6 —
My friend Mary over at Quite Contrary has a great series going on c-sections right now. It’s called “Under the Knife, Under Control: Recovering From a C-Section.” Tuesday she posted an introduction to the series and a description of what it’s like to undergo the procedure. Thursday she posted on helpful preparations for a c-section. Next week she’ll post on logistics and food. If you’ve had a c-section or you’re about to, you’ll find Mary’s series very interesting and helpful.
I certainly found it very interesting, and I’ve never even had the procedure. (And by the way, a lot of Mary’s advice on preparations would be helpful even to those who expect to have a vaginal delivery. So if you’re pregnant, check that one out! I think I’ll be revisiting it around February or March.)
— 7 —
Nearly two months ago, I wrote a little about Nella, who blogs at Is There McDonald’s in Heaven? Nella discovered she had cancer around the same time she discovered she was pregnant with her sixth child. She underwent testing and treatments throughout her pregnancy and ended up delivering prematurely. Thankfully, the baby now seems to be doing well, but Nella’s treatments have continued and intensified since her delivery, and they seem to be catching up with her. Understandably, Nella is tired. On so many levels. In her most recent post, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road,” Nella asks for readers’ prayers.
So much about Nella’s posts are touching and sobering, but I found the following (in “So It Turns Out I Have Cancer”) to be particularly powerful:
You hear a lot about “battling cancer” and “fighting cancer” and I understand what people mean, but that can be a lot of pressure on a patient. A lot of the “fighting” and “battling” looks and feels like doing nothing. It’s hard to reconcile all that brawling everyone’s talking about with laying down and sleeping and watching Downton Abbey reruns and reading blogs but that’s really what it is. Sometimes the battle is really just the battle to sit down and let someone else do the dishes or pack the lunches. Sometimes the battle is telling yourself to sit down and accept help graciously.
I had never thought about this before. Do we do cancer patients a disservice when we talk about their “battle” or their “fight”? If I were in her position, I think I’d feel just like Nella. It would be hard for me to accept that I needed help. It would be hard for me to agree to let others inconvenience themselves for my sake. I’d try to do too much; I’d try to live my “battle” even in the mundane responsibilities of my life. I’m glad that it’s finally sunk in for Nella that her role in this “battle” is to rest and let her medicine and her body do its important work. I hope that I’d have the strength to do the same.
Please join me in praying for Nella – and for everyone else who’s engaged in that terrible “battle” with cancer. Let’s ask for their comfort and strength. Let’s ask for their patience and their humility to accept the help and the rest they need to heal. Let’s ask for guidance for their caregivers. And let’s all try to give the best support we possibly can to our own loved ones with cancer.
That’s enough for this Friday. Please stop on by Jen’s to check out the rest of the Quick Takes. Oh, and maybe wish us a little luck for the big two-year-old birthday party this weekend? The little guy is oddly averse to singing and the last couple of times he’s heard the “Happy Birthday” song, he’s completely flipped out. We’ll see how far we get into it on Sunday. It should be… interesting. Have a great weekend, everyone.