Friday, July 27, 2007

Baby Needs...

A couple days ago I was asked what we NEEDED off our registry. For those of you interested, here's an update on our baby-prep!:

As far as what we NEED, we have the crib, changing table, stroller, car seat, baby carriers, some clothes, Lansinoh, Big Red's mom got the fuzzy bunz...Some things I'm hoping we'll have (i.e. we'll be buying for sure if we don't get them) are the bath tub, feeding system (but that's for after he's off the boob so it's not necessary yet), breast pads, record book, health/groom kit, shampoo/soap, and diaper bag. I'd say disposable diapers (since we won't be starting off with a washing machine), but I want to get natural ones and I don't think Babies R Us has them. Things on the registry that already were purchased are a box of wipes, a crib sheet set, breast pump, boppies, booster seat, finger brush, sippy cups, teethers, and a lady from work wants to give us her oak rocking chair, which she says is small and comfortable.

God is SO blessing us in this. He's gotten us so much for free. Having Daja's influence, I'm sure we won't have all the junk people get that aren't necessary and we wouldn't have room for anyway. According to her - it's a great start to have you breast and arms!...her blog also mentions slings, baby food grinder, Lansinoh, and cloth diapers...all of which we have (except the grinder).

For those of you coming to one of the showers...see you there! Any questions, let me know!

World Clock


Poodwaddle.com

Things You Never Knew Existed

In checking out a fellow blogger's website, I found this website and HAD to post some comical and useful items:

Coughing Screaming Ashtray: "Place a cigarette on it and it starts coughing and screaming!" I, personally, think this is great! At the last two get togethers we went to with my parents and their friends there were people lighting up in front of us - cigars and cigarettes! I seriously think it was EXTREMELY rude to do so in front of a pregnant person...anyone else with me?!



Christmas Story 20-Inch Leg Lamp: Claaaassic! Need I say more?



Outhouse Nightlight: I think this is hilarious being that the only reason I would need a nightlight is due to having to use the restroom!


Flying Alarm Clock: "To turn the alarm off, you have to get up, find the propeller and return it to its base!" I STILL don't think this would wake my husband up...namely because I would be the one up searching for the stupid flier!



Nap Alarm: "This alarm sounds an insistent beeping alarm whenever your head falls forward. It helps ensure driver awareness and prevents traffic accidents." You shouldn't be driving if you think you might have to use one of these!!



Coleman Power Inverter: "turns 12 volt DC power into 110 volt AC household power." I've always wondered if these existed!



Universal Tag Alert Alarm: "Just attach the tag to your valuables and turn on the keychain monitor. Set the distance to long (about 100 ft.) or short (about 30 ft.). Flashing LED lets you know it's armed. If the item is left behind or walks away, the alarm automatically sounds." Perfect for the forgetful mother-to-be!



Air Pressure Drain Opener: "This simple device uses air power to blast away the toughest clogs. Just pump it up and pull the trigger." For those of us who can't unplug shower drains!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Quick Prayer Request

My sister (my 2nd family) is meeting her biological dad for the first time today. This is definitely something she's been waiting her whole life for. She's already talked to him via e-mails for a while (a couple months) and on the phone. Pray for wisdom in how to react and open up and anything else you can think of!

Quotes

Television is the first truly democratic culture - the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want. - Clive Barnes

The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. - Henry Kissinger

The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty. - Eugene McCarthy

The Nativity Story

We finally saw The Nativity Story last night. I know...we're terrible Christians for not going to see it in the theatre when it first came out! *;o)

Overall, I thought it was a pretty good movie. The writers definitely took some creative ideas to "fill-in" the details.

Being pregnant, I think I viewed the movie slightly different than I would have prior. I may have been a little more critical of the birth scenes because of it as well. I totally related to Mary's joy when she first felt the baby move. For me, every kick is a reminder of the life I have growing in my womb. Being that they didn't have ultrasounds, I could see that it was probably the first time she got to experience the fact that she was pregnant. In pondering this I realized that every movement I feel from my child is from a child of God as well. Granted, I'm not birthing Jesus, the Savior, but God has formed this baby and has a great plan for his life. I hope I remember this as I partner with my husband in raising this child.

Another scene I found interested was when Elizabeth was in labor. It was neat to see her using a birthing rope. We heard about them in our Bradley class and so I'm glad they put this tidbit of history in.

Throughout the story we get to see the different dynamics in Mary and Joseph's relationship and how it changes throughout their journey. At first, she doesn't know him and has no interest in being his wife. Once she reveals that she's pregnant and he decides against accusing her, she sees his mercy. As they continue their relationship in Nazareth you see both of their honor, which was extremely valuable to Joseph, being destroyed and the persecution they endure. You also get to sense their relief of going on an adventure for the census. It was a time they could escape all the mean looks and be with people who didn't know them. Through it all they both knew the truth. It was as if they had an inside joke during their time of travel. I think the entire experience brought them closer together and built a firm foundation for their marriage. She was able to experience Joseph for who he was - a man of great humility who put others before himself. He sacrificed food to strengthen the donkey Mary rode on and continued to walk without complaining even though his feet were bloody.

One part I didn't quite understand was when a random woman tells Joseph that it is amazing to look into your child's face as it's like looking at yourself. He seems to get upset at the idea that it's not his child. Are you kidding?! If you are looking into Jesus' face then it's like you are looking into the face of God! What a crazy idea!

A couple things that I found interesting about how they portrayed Jesus' birth were the lack of an umbilical cord and her not breastfeeding right away. It makes me wonder if Christ had an umbilical cord. I don't see how it would have changed the story. He is fully man and fully God. Being fully man, he would have to depend on the placenta in the womb and his mother's milk for sustenance as a baby as they didn't have formula then. Yet, being God, his Father could have sustained him in the womb.

I liked how they talked about their fears and anticipations of having Christ. Would Joseph be able to teach his son anything? When will they know that he is ready? How do you raise God? The way they are portrayed makes it so much easier to relate to them. I think that as we read the story we forget that Mary and Joseph were just human. They had fears and doubts just like all of us. We forget what a sacrifice it was for them to deal with a pregnancy outside of marriage and how society treated them. "You didn't have sex and God said this will be His child...Riiiight!" Sounds like a crazy story to me!

The wise men's studying of the planets and stars to find the time and place of Christ's birth reminded me of the link for Christmas Star (right panel of this blog). If you haven't checked out the site, I would recommend it. It goes into detail about how the "star" would have appeared twice, as noted in the Bible, and the exact dates it would have appeared.

On the subject of the wise men, it was always my understanding that they had not found Christ until a couple years after his birth. They were not there at the nativity scene with the shepherds. This somewhat urks me when I see them placed in the scene. Matthew 2 goes through the wisemen account and states that "as Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, there came Magi from the East to Jerusalem" and "they entered the house and saw the child with his mother Mary." They were in Jerusalem "as Jesus was born in Bethlehem" and they didn't enter the stables and see him in the manger, but entered a house.

A couple parts of the story became more real while watching the movie. I don't think the horror of King Herod's order to kill children struck me until seeing the soldiers barging into people's homes and slaughtering the kids. Wow! He was an extremely paranoid man, even to the point of assuming his son may rise up against him as members of his family already had (history books?). He is so scared to lose his rule that he goes to the extreme of killing babies, hoping to kill the prophecy.

Another part I didn't quite grasp until seeing it was the idea of the tax collectors. These men were brutal. They took children to pay off debt and had no mercy whatsoever. No wonder it was such a huge thing for Jesus to choose a tax collector as a disciple!

The picture they painted of Jerusalem is definitely something I could see Jesus coming back to and overturning tables in fury. They come to the holy city to worship and are surrounded by peddlers and thieves. No wonder Christ was so upset!

All-in-all, even though the birth wasn't extremely realistic, I think the movie did a good job at trying to fill in the gaps and make Mary and Joseph human. The movie watcher should know that the movie isn't 100% accurate to the true story of Christ's birth, but is meant to give them an idea of how it could have happened due to what we know of history and the Jewish culture.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Things to Ponder...


Which reminds me of another questions: Why is there braille on drive-up ATM machines?

Quote

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Newborn Tests

With the baby coming supposedly sometime in the next month, I think I'd better be looking into the newborn screening test.

I found this website that seems to be from a somewhat midwife point of view. The writer recommends, "I would choose to have the heelstick done to collect blood for the newborn screen only if the heelstick can be done humanely. This is ideally a heelstick done at day 6 by someone who is willing to take the time to warm the baby's heel and wait for the baby to be in a sleepy state so that the experience of pain is minimized." The writer also recommends feeding the baby prior to the prick.

Even with the tests, not all babies who are affected are diagnosed:

The American Academy of Pediatricians states that: "screening does not equate with diagnosis. Some infants with disorders included in the newborn screening battery will be missed, even when properly screened, due to individual or biological variations. Other infants may be missed due to administrative or laboratory error. Although the pediatrician cannot be held responsible for these problems, he or she must recognize that any child with a negative newborn screening test may still be affected by one of those disorders. The pediatrician should trust his or her clinical judgment, even in the face of a normal newborn screening report, and should carry out appropriate diagnostic testing if indicated by clinical signs and symptoms."

In going over the test for PKU, it would seem that our midwife can just get the blood from the cord, which I think would be fine as the baby won't feel it.

I was hoping to get input from all you parents out there. If you have any sources you found helpful in making decisions, please let me know as well.

Claaaaassic!

NIV with the ribbon bookmark!

Wally on Global Warming


Things to Ponder...


Quotes

Nothing says, 'I have no idea what to get you,' quite like giant beige bath towels. - Missbhavens

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else's can shorten it. - Cullen Hightower

Monday, July 23, 2007

Prego Update

As most of you know, I had been experencing quite a bit of pain in my ribs due to my uterus crushing them. Well, since sometime last week, I think the baby has dropped...as least a bit. My ribs aren't killing me anymore and now my hips are popping and my pelvic bone is sore. I can feel the baby pushing/kicking down there and it's rather uncomfortable...but at least my ribs aren't bruised!

Even though it's a little more painful, it's exciting! One step closer!

Evan Almighty - My Review

*Don't read if you don't want it spoiled!

Big Red and I finally went to go see Evan Almighty yesterday after our pastor mentioned it in his sermon. He noted that even though Dobson isn't promoting this movie (check out his review at the end of the article on Plugged In), our pastor found himself in tears. After seeing the movie, I understand why.

The movie starts out with Evan becoming a congressman and being concerned with how others view him. He goes to the extent of buying a new house, Hummer, and shaving his nose hairs...yes, shaving.

The night before his first day in office his wife lets him know what she just heard their sons praying for. She lets Evan know she prayed as well - for their family to be closer. Then, she asks him what he'd pray for. He shrugs it off, until she mentions his political campaign was to change the world and that if it were her, she'd want all the help she could get. So, once she's asleep, he kneels and asks God to help him change the world.

Now, no matter how sincere he was or what HE thought would change the world, God hears him and gives him an unusual way of fulfilling his prayer - whether he wants to follow the plans or not. To me, this idea is huge - God hears you! Whether you're full of Him or full of yourself, He hears you. From the outside, I can see that the way He fulfills Evans prayer can be considered a bit scary. If you pray for something, you had better be prepared for Him to do something. Talking to God is serious business.

I discussed some of the different aspects with my husband, esp. that of what James Dobson had to say. One thing that upset Dobson was the use of the phrase, "Oh my God." Big Red thought it wasn't disturbing at all, but somewhat satirical as with the use, God shows up. If you're going to cry out to Him, you'd better be looking for Him! Don't use His name without knowing Who it belongs to.

I loved how they played on God's sense of humor throughout the movie and how He gets our attention. I tend to find His humor daily and consider the moments as little kisses from above. Whether it's in catching us in our stupidity or in a baby making faces - God loves to make us laugh.

I can totally relate to Evan's thinking in God's "interference" with his life. At first, he's freaked out by all the "coincidences", fully knowing that God has His hand in it. He continually sees Gen 6:14, is followed by animals - two of a kind - and then has to cope with his changing appearance (hair and wardrobe). At first he runs from the idea that God is speaking to him and, after freaking out for a couple days, passes it all off as stress. Little by little we see him accept God's plan for his life. It leads up to the point where he's in congress, dressed in a robe (the suit he had so cleverly put on over the robe to hide it miraculously folded on his desk), his long hair loose from the pony tail and braid he had them in, and animals flowing in through the window, attracted to him. It isn't until this point that he completely surrenders. All of his clever plans to try to be normal have failed and all he has left is God's plan.

This is following the scene where God laughs histerically at Evan when he explains his own plans. Dobson's review states that "God is profoundly holy, and we are to approach Him with deep humility and reverence" and that the movie doesn't portray this. This scene, to me, is a reminder of His holiness and perfect will for our lives...and His sense of humor. Most of us silly little humans think that we have the greatest plan EVER for our lives - Go to college, get a degree, get married, makes lots of money, raise a family, be exponentially blessed by God, etc. - while God has bigger things for us. (It reminds me of the line, "If you wanna hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.") His profoundly holiness is eminent in His plans for our lives and it takes deep humility and reverence to follow those plans.

The night after Evan publically announces that God has told him to build this ark because a flood is coming, his wife is utterly embarasses and thinks he needs mental help. She takes the kids to her mother's. While gone, God meets her (unknowingly) where she's at and explains how He works. He asks her what her idea is of how God works - if you ask for patience, courage, or a closer family, do you think that God simply gives you these, or gives you opportunties to exercise them and to build a better family? In this, the movie deals with the issue of what it means to stick it out and BE a family. She decides to stick it out with her family and brings the boys back.

Once Evan starts the ark he gains an audience - ESPECIALLY once he starts looking like Noah. He starts slow with his sons' help and finds that God provides all he needs to complete the task given to him, including a strange old device that uses the idea of a hamster wheel to lift large pieces of wood. As his audience gains, the mocking increases. Yet, while the mocking increases, God is working on instilling Evan with trust in Him.

This is where I think our pastor broke down. The deadline God has set has come and the ark is finally finished. Evan lifts his rod and the animals fill the ark. At the same time, his rival, senator Long, has brought a force with him to tear down the ark. Once they swing back the wrecking ball, it starts to rain. Evan is stoked and demands that everyone needs to get on the ark as it's going to flood. A couple minutes go by and the rain stops. What is God doing?! Evan's worked so hard and followed His every word and is then abandonded to his critics? How could God have brought him so far with him KNOWING that he's been following His will and then not fulfill His promise? This is NOT going as expected!

Have you ever been there? "Lord, I've been doing my best to follow You, where have You gone?!" Does your faith waiver when things don't end the way you pictured? You could almost swear that God has been leading everything up to a specific point, but just as you see things unfold, there's a 180...or nothing. "Did I really hear from God?" "How could this all be for nothing?" "Lord, I stood when others were mocking me and now this?!"

But, of course, God doesn't abandon Evan (or us) and the valley floods in an unexpected way. Evan's critics rush on board just as the valley is destroyed by the flood of water, saving their lives. We see houses and cars, all previously meant to represent who these people were, now becoming rubble. Then, again, faith is tested as the ark heads straight for a bridge post. This time, Evan lifts his hands and cries out to God, Who miraculously saves them.

This movie left me with the prayer that I will stand by my husband even when I think he's nuts and don't understand. It also challenged me to have faith in God's lead, no matter the circumstances. God's plans are greater than mine and I need to trust that...especially since He can see the bigger picture and all aspects of His story!

*As a side note, another article on the movie is, Why Evan Almighty is not appealing to Christians. It notes that "Steve Carrell's body of work doesn't give confidence that he'll play the role well." Neither did James Caviezel before his role as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. Unfortunately, seeing that Bruce Almighty (PG-13) has had amazing reviews, I would think that the lack of support of Evan Almighty (PG) would validate the profitability of less morally ranked movies. Sad.