Monday, December 30, 2013

The Big Sister

I think baby girl is not making her appearance because she doesn't fully understand what she is missing - namely her big sister's blossoming personality.

For my own sake I'm going to use this post to record some of the things I've observed her say and/or do in the last week or two.

There was the time she lined up her stuffed animals on the couch, took a step back, put her hands on her hips and said, ''Ok, talk.''

Mr. San Antonio accused me of reading her too many spy novels.

Then there was the time she tripped and asked me to kiss her knee. Then immediately picked up baby doll and said (to the doll), ''STOP CRYING!''

A few days later I heard her say, ''Giraffe need time out. Need to listen to mommy. Ok? Ok.'' Then there was a pitter-patter of footsteps down the hall... "Sit on time out pillow, one minute. Ok. Good. Need listen first time. All done.'' And the pitter-patter returned to the back room.

I've mentioned this before, but she has started to yell at my belly ''COME OUT!'' at random times during the day.

She has also started patting people on the bum either as a form of endearment, or to speed us along (she'll say, ''come on mommy" and pat my bum.

Yes, I realize that I can barely shuffle along at this point, thank you for the reminder Rufflebum.

And then there was the time we were eating lunch and my stomach growled and she said, "Mommy tooted."

"No", I corrected her, "mommy's tummy growled."

She looked slightly confused.

A few minutes later she let out a gigantic toot. And I asked her if she tooted. She sweetly looked at me and said, "My tummy growled."

That one had Mr. SA in stitches.

She received a tea set for Christmas and loves loves loves to make us tea. But she's a little hasty as a waitress. She hands us the cup, and before we even have time to fake a sip, she's asking for it back so she can go and "refill" it. Someone needs to explain to her the joy of lingering over a cup of hot tea.

She is doing a lot more self correcting these days too. We've been working a lot on speaking respectfully (i.e. not yelling when she wants something), and listening/obeying the first time we ask her to do something.

Now she will often correct herself... yelling "NO!" when I ask her to do something, and then saying to herself, "listen first time" and then doing what I asked of her.

She is sweet to other children, often being the first to say hello to new kids at the park. She loves to pat babies and is quick to offer kisses.

Sometimes she yells at other kids, "BE NICE!" But I think it is partly her way of reminding herself to be nice - as though her inner dialogue has accidentally emerged.

Whenever she hears a child/baby crying she points it out and insists that he/she needs a blanket (because that is what she wants when she is upset).

Earlier today I dropped something, but Rufflebum thought I had ran into something and she asked me if I needed her to kiss my knee.

When she hears music she says, "Music is beautiful, I love it."

When she sees Christmas lights or a sunrise she says, ''It's beautiful, I love it."

She offers to help me around the house. Frequently asking for another task when the first is finished.

She is becoming increasingly thoughtful, kind, empathetic, and considerate. She is learning to feel sad when others feel sad. She is learned to share her toys. She is learning to give affection. She is learning to observe her surroundings and appreciate the things she has been given. She is learning to self correct. She is learning about her irreplaceable role in our family.

And I love watching every minute of it. I am so grateful to have her in my life and to be able to be her mommy. She is a wonderful little girl and I wouldn't trade her for the world.

-The Pampered Bird


Friday, December 20, 2013

Waiting

Still no baby.

I mean, there is a baby. We just haven't officially met face to face yet.

And frankly I'm losing my patience.

Even Rufflebum is losing it... yesterday she lifted up my shirt and yelled at my belly "COME OUT!"

We're ready. As in, I've washed every dirty piece of clothing, bedding and towel in the house.

As in, I cleaned my whole house yesterday and even dusted Mr. San Antonio's guitars... which I never do.

As in, my maternity clothes no longer fit and I'm stuck wearing sweatpants everywhere now.

As in, I was tempted to put red pepper flakes in my oatmeal to bring on contractions.

As in, I've been taking Rufflebum on long walks, and when labor doesn't start I rake the leaves...

Now, I realize I'm only 39 weeks. And I realize she could still wait almost three more weeks to show up if she wants to.

For the last couple weeks I've been really really really ready to not be pregnant anymore. My heart says that I really want her here before Christmas. And in my mind I've justified why that is the perfect timing. And every day I stress and get anxious and get frustrated when my plan doesn't jump into action.

Then finally this morning it dawned on me that God probably knows what He is doing. There is a reason she hasn't come yet. And He is waiting for the perfect day, hour, and moment to let me meet her. He knows what midwife would be best for me to have on call. He knows which nurses should be on duty that day. He knows what day will be best for Mr. San Antonio and for Rufflebum. He knows just how much developing/growing/knitting together of our baby He needs to do before she enters the world.

And today I've started to change my attitude. I still want her to come today, but I'm more at peace if she doesn't. God and I aren't enemies in this situation. In my heart I keep thinking He's holding back from me. He's not letting me meet her! He's not letting our family move into the next phase of our life! He's not letting us have what we want!

But He wants exactly what we want. He wants her to join our family. He wants her to be loved and cared for. He wants us to teach her about Himself. But He's God and He probably also has a higher level perspective on the whole situation and knows things I don't know about what is best for all of us. Hmmm... God knows more than I do? I need to remember that one in the future...

So for now, we're still waiting. Waiting for our little girl to be placed in our arms. Waiting to kiss her nose. Waiting to tell her her name. Waiting for our hearts to expand.

Psalm 38:15

But for you, O Lord, do I wait;
    it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

While I wait I'll just keep reminding myself that no one has been pregnant forever...
The Pampered (and very very very pregnant) Bird



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Things I'm Enjoying

Things I'm enjoying these days:

(In no particular order)

1. My new washer and dryer.

2. Saying farewell to my old washer and dryer that required the use of a wrench to turn on and could wash approximately 1.5 towels at a time.

3. Every time we ride in the car, hearing Rufflebum say, ''Everyone one side! Here comes Princess Claire!'' (Mr. San Antonio taught her that... )

4. Making gingerbread houses.

(One for the house... one for me...)


5. Seeing how happy Mr. San Antonio is with self employment.

6. Spending a morning with Rufflebum and her two Grandmas - going to the theater and out to lunch.




7. Baking my siblings' favorite Christmas cookies in anticipation of their arrival to town.

8. Laughing when Rufflebum makes a ''grumpy'' face - which she can't hold for more than 1 second without laughing herself and saying "Claire funny!"


9. Finding Rufflebum ''resting'' in the baby's crib, after she has filled the crib with the baby's clothes and stuffed animals.

10. Hearing Rufflebum request Christmas music over Raffi.

11. Getting to see several dear friends who have traveled in from out of town (and/or country!)

12. Being asked by strangers when the baby is due, and watching their reactions when I say, ''any day!'' (Usually they start to look around frantically as though I'm currently in labor and it's up to them to catch the baby.)

13. Anticipating meeting this precious baby girl and getting to hold her and kiss her for the first time.

14. Watching Rufflebum put herself in timeout, and hearing her say to herself, "need timeout pillow, need to listen to mommy".

15. At Rufflebum's request - reading the Christmas story over and over and over (she is especially intrigued by the role of the shepherds and wants to hear about them again and again).

16. Hearing Rufflebum say, "I LOVE IT!" when she sees Christmas lights, or when we saw the sunrise last week.

17. And last but not least... meditating on the words to O Holy Night, especially the line:

''The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.''

The weary world rejoices... the broken, the ashamed, the hurting, the mourning, those living with great uncertainty, and just the plain old tired... Jesus came for us. 

And he didn't come as a great and powerful king that we couldn't relate to - someone who had it all together, who never needed anything or wanted anything, someone who didn't understand loss, and pain, and fear, and sadness. 

No, he came as a baby. He lived as a man. 

And he lived through this life so that after he died on the cross, and rose from the grave, and was reunited with God the Father, he could honestly say, "I get it, I've been in your shoes. I've been tired and hungry and sad. I've mourned. I've asked God to take away the pain. And because I've been there, I can intercede for you. I can hear you. I can mend up your broken hearts. I can walk with you in the middle of your storms." 

And oh... for those of us who have received that message, who believe Jesus is who he said he is... how can we not rejoice?

Christmas - Emmanuel - God with us. 

Rejoice weary world, rejoice!

Love,
The Pampered Bird

Monday, December 9, 2013

General Update

First of all... the pause in postings is not because a baby arrived.

It's because Rufflebum got "hand-foot-mouth disease" (not to be confused with hoof-and-mouth disease which is in animals). You can think of it as a form of shingles... very very painful rash, but it's only on your hand, feet and mouth. Or in Rufflebum's case - also on her bottom.

It lasted a good week and it was a rough week. Lots of tears. Lots of Tylenol. Lots of Sesame Street. Lots of I'm-so-sad-she-got-this-but-am-so-glad-she-got-it-before-the-baby-arrives.

That was the state she was in over Thanksgiving. But she was getting back to her old self by the time we picked out our Christmas tree.




I got her a special snowman ornament this year that is "unbreakable" and she proudly carried it around all day while we decorated the house.


We've been busy with final preparations for the baby. Putting clean sheets in the crib. Washing baby clothes. Packing our bags. Practicing relaxing through contractions (which start and stop every few days or so right now).

Rufflebum has been gently pushing her stuffed animals in the baby swing and singing them lullabies.  And she has been practicing her mothering skills with her baby dolls. She will spend a solid hour "changing baby doll's diaper", "feeding baby doll her bottle", and her favorite thing is to "burp baby doll". She even does the sound effects and praises baby doll after. "UUUUURP. Good burp baby doll!"

And heaven forbid that I step in to take a turn... Rufflebum spends the whole time correcting my methods.

For example, last week I made the mistake of feeding baby doll her bottle and then putting her directly down to sleep. Rufflebum snatched up baby doll and demanded that I burp her before laying her down.

She was probably also wondering how on earth she has made it to almost two years old with me as her mother.

In addition to preparing for our real baby's arrival, I've been trying to spend as many special moments with Rufflebum as I can. Decorating a gingerbread house, dancing to Christmas music, snuggling after her naps, playing in the leaves outside, "helping" Mr. San Antonio hang Christmas lights. I'm excited to welcome this new little girl into our home, but also a little sad that I will no longer be able to focus 100% on Rufflebum.


(Saying "cheese")

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For those wondering - God has been richly blessing us as Mr. San Antonio embarks on his own legal practice. Opening doors for office space, bringing in new clients, and once again providing for all our financial needs.

Last week I called the hospital to put a down payment on my upcoming delivery stay and set up a monthly payment plan for the rest of the bill. I was feeling pretty stressed about the bill since we no longer have a set income each month... but once again my fretting was in vain.

The sweet woman on the phone said I could choose the amount for the down payment and I could choose the amount for the monthly payments. It was all in my control. So I got off the phone with her and called Mr. SA. He and I decided on the amounts. I called her back and made the arrangements.

That evening Mr. San Antonio came home with an envelope of cash... a client had come in and paid him cash for his services. The amount in the envelope was exactly what we had paid that day for our down payment for the hospital.

Why oh why do I continue to doubt God's provision in our lives?

This is why I have to write these things down... create my data base of God's faithfulness... even in these little things.

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I hope you are having a wonderful December and are able to rest in the joy that is the Christmas message - Emmanuel - God with us.

Love,
The Pampered Bird


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