World domination

Steve told me about this video on You Tube, so I thought I'd check it out. I think it's pretty funny, Nathan thinks it's dumb. But I also think it's part of a clever attempt by the Germans to dominate the world through our children. Zoe is addicted to it, and Judah is now too. He's seen it a couple times and loves it. And a few minutes ago he was walking around saying "We are ze monkeys" with the German accent and everything. Nice.


Five Years

It's been a great five years. I love you, Nathan!


Holding on

I read this poem for the first time the other day, and it was exactly what I needed at the time. It's kind of long, but if you stick with it it's totally worth it. Enjoy.

The Eternal Goodness

O friends! with whom my feet have trod
The quiet aisles of prayer,
Glad witness to your zeal for God
And love of man I bear.

I trace your lines of argument;
Your logic linked and strong
I weigh as one who dreads dissent,
And fears a doubt as wrong.

But still my human hands are weak
To hold your iron creeds;
Against the words ye bid me speak
My heart within me pleads.

Who fathoms the Eternal Thought?
Who talks of scheme and plan?
The Lord is God! He needeth not
The poor device of man.

I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground
Ye tread with boldness shod;
I dare not fix with mete and bound
The love and power of God.

Ye praise His justice; even such
His pitying love I deem:
Ye seek a king; I fain would touch
The robe that hath no seam.

Ye see the curse which overbroods
A world of pain and loss;
I hear our Lord's beatitudes
And prayer upon the cross.

More than your schoolmen teach, within
Myself, alas! I know;
Too dark ye cannot paint the sin,
Too small the merit show.

I bow my forehead to the dust,
I veil mine eyes for shame,
And urge, in trembling self-distrust,
A prayer without a claim.

I see the wrong that round me lies,
I feel the guilt within;
I hear, with groan and travail-cries,
The world confess its sin.

Yet, in the maddening maze of things,
And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed stake my spirit clings:
I know that God is good!

Not mine to look where cherubim
And seraphs may not see,
But nothing can be good in Him
Which evil is in me.

The wrong that pains my soul below
I dare not throne above:
I know not of His hate, - I know
His goodness and His love.

I dimly guess from blessings known
Of greater out of sight,
And, with the chastened Psalmist, own
His judgments too are right.

I long for household voices gone,
For vanished smiles I long,
But God hath led my dear ones on,
And He can do no wrong.

I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death
His mercy underlies.

And if my heart and flesh are weak
To bear an untried pain,
The bruised reed He will not break,
But strengthen and sustain.

No offering of my own I have,
Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He gave,
And plead His love for love.

And so beside the Silent Sea
I wait with muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me
On ocean or on shore.

I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.

O brothers! if my faith is vain,
If hopes like these betray,
Pray for me that my feet may gain
The sure and safer way.

And Thou, O Lord! by whom are seen
Thy creatures as they be,
Forgive me if too close I lean
My human heart on Thee!

~John Greenleaf Whittier


The Big Boy Bed

Here is a shot for you of Judah in his Big Boy Bed, also known as The Torture Chamber from Which He Escapes at Every Opportunity.


My life revolves around sleep

When I was in college I used to head out with my friends around midnight, get back to the dorm by four or five, sleep for a couple hours, and then go to my 7:30 aerobics class in my pajamas, work out for an hour, eat a quick breakfast, suffer an hour of statistics for behavioral sciences, sit through an hour of chapel, and then handle a full day of classes and work. And then around midnight we'd head out again. So in any given 24 hour period, I was getting an average of four hours of sleep. And I did it pretty consistently.

Maybe this is why, throughout the history of the world until the last 150 years or so, women had babies when they were teenagers instead of in their mid to late 20s. You just have more stamina when you're younger.
If I was 18, would Judah's recent sleep patterns tear my world apart like they are right now?

Two weeks ago we put Judah in a twin bed because we had to. It was not our choice. It was either that or risk him breaking both arms climbing out of his pack and play. The bed has, so far, been a total nightmare for us. Every night when we put him down he would wait for us to close the door, then get up and open the door and come out. Repeatedly. Like, 52 times in a row repeatedly. We tried telling him from another room to go back to bed. We tried ignoring him completely as we put him back to bed. Finally we tried spanking him. That worked pretty well, but we felt awful about it, and then came the night we had to spank him eleven times. And then I had a nervous breakdown. Because you just can't keep doing that to a kid.

I researched on the web, I talked to my friends, and I told my Bible study group. Some of the women there (God bless them forever) suggested that I call Focus on the Family because they have counselors there you can talk to for free. So I called and fully expected to have them tell me to just keep spanking. But my counselor told me to stop. He very wisely pointed out that even negative attention is still attention, which is exactly what Judah's looking for. He suggested going back to the ignoring idea. And he was so very very nice about it.

So for the last four nights we've been standing outside Jude's door at bedtime and every time he gets up one of us goes in his room, waits for him to climb back in bed, covers him up with his blanket, and leaves the room. No talking, no eye contact, no touch that's not necessary. It's total boot camp for us. The first night he got up 52 times, the second night it was about 65. Last night was only three (super long day), and tonight was 21. So I think we're getting there.....slowly.

Tonight was my night to do the routine. On the twentieth round Judah tried to push past my legs and get through the door. I caught his arm and turned him around, and in the process his head just barely bumped the door jamb. He grabbed his head with both hands and I felt bad, so I leaned down and whispered, "I'm sorry. Are you okay?" He didn't answer, just went and climbed in bed. I covered him up and left, he was up a minute later. I went back in and watched as he then DELIBERATELY turned and banged his head against the wall, trying to get a reaction out of me again. I didn't know whether to laugh or yell at him. In the end I did neither, just followed him back to bed again, and after that he gave up and went to sleep. I can't believe the lengths that a two-year-old will go to to drive you crazy.


Think they're not watching? They are.

Approximately 48 things made me cry today, and most of them began with Judah. I'm simultaneously in the throes of pregnancy hormones, sleep deprivation, and encountering the iron will of a two-year-old. The results are getting uglier by the second. But one of the things that made me cry today was actually good.

Judah and I went to Nathan's office to meet him for lunch, as we often do. A lot of times there are other people with us like one or more of our parents or various other family members, but today it happened to be just the three of us. We locked up the office and began to walk toward the restaurant next door. Between the office and the restaurant there's a pretty long stretch of sidewalk, and then there's a parking lot we have to cross. Judah knows to stop at the curb before the parking lot and wait for someone to catch up and hold his hand, but a lot of times he'll hold our hands the whole way. So when he turned to us outside the door of the office and said, "Hold hands!" we both reached for his hands, thinking that's what he wanted. But he wouldn't take our hands and kept insisting, "Hold hands!" Finally we realized that he wanted us to hold hands with each other. So we grabbed hands, Judah smiled at us, and moved to Nathan's other side to take his free hand. A few seconds later he leaned forward to make sure we were still holding hands.

If you think your kids aren't paying attention to how you're interacting with your spouse or that they don't care, think again. Judah's only two. And already he looks for proof that everything's good, that his world is secure. How wonderful and how scary to be trusted like that!