Monthly Archives: November 2008

A face only a mother could love…

When my oldest, Ethan, was born, I thought he was absolutely beautiful.  However, I was aware of the precious bias that God places in the hearts of mothers, which leads them to view their child The Most Beautiful Child In All of the World.  So, when people would compliment me on his little self (as if I were deserving of credit), I would deflect their words, thinking, “They must be saying that just to be nice.”  However, when I look back on his baby pictures, he really was beautiful.  He was seriously a perfect little Gerber baby.

When Fiala was born, about five weeks ago, I honestly didn’t think she was that cute.  She looked rather boyish, actually.  People keep telling me that she is beautiful, but inside, I was thinking, “Umm… Not so sure about that.”  My weirdest-looking baby, Grant, has matured into quite the handsome little 9yo boy.  So, I know that baby faces change, of course, and it’s not like I was despondent over her face in the first place;  I just didn’t think she was all that cute.

Now, though, I am smitten with her little face.  I still cry if I think about it;  she is so lovely to me.  She has huge blue eyes, chubby cheeks, little rosebud lips, perfect little round head, and the hugest, sweetest smiles.  She squinches her nose when she smiles…  Audrey piped up, “Like a bunny!” yesterday, about Fiala’s nose.  We all laughed.  Yes, like a bunny…

I don’t know if my ever-increasing love for her has changed my perspective, or if she has just “matured” into a more beautiful baby.  I have no idea.

I don’t care if my babies are gorgeous or ugly;  I love them the same…  I just think how strange it is that I should have my mind changed so completely and so rapidly about my little baby’s face.

The only bummer is that she has a horrible case of baby acne.  A neighbor (a man) was literally taken aback when looking at Fiala the other day.  It is a little scary/sad.  So, it’s all the more funny to me that I think she is absolutely beautiful, when her face is totally covered with inflamed, red bumps.  Poor baby.

I’m washing her face with chamomile tea.  Chamomile is known to be both antiseptic and calming.  Then, yesterday, I thought maybe I was imagining improvement, so I went back to plain water, and her face is worse today.  No more experiments.  I’m going back to chamomile.


Smiley baby Fiala

Thanksgiving miscommunications, menu, etc.

This year, my husband and I put out the word, sort of, that we would rather not host Thanksgiving.  You know, spitshining the house and cooking and baking endlessly don’t combine easily with newborn…  What we meant to do was gently invite ourselves over to our parents’ house, or something like that.  Unfortunately, somehow, we miscommunicated this, and our parents came to hear our plans/hopes as, “We would rather not celebrate Thanksgiving at all” which is totally not true.

Last year, I was rather heartbroken to celebrate Thanksgiving by our own selves, with no other family in town.  I didn’t want to repeat that.  It was too late, though, for Martin’s dad and stepmom;  they committed elsewhere, thinking that we wanted to be by ourselves.  However, I called my mom and stepdad, and although they had been planning on going down to Tucson to spend Thanksgiving with his extended family, they hadn’t made any actual commitments, and after listening to my tearful pleas*, agreed to come over here for Thanksgiving after all.  We all agreed that our kids would probably do better hanging out here than at their decidedly not-baby-proof house.  And they agreed to overlook the 1/4″ of dust that has collected on virtually every surface.  (Except in the family room, which I managed to clean from top to bottom yesterday!)

My mom is working this week, Monday through Wednesday, so can’t really do a lot of preparing ahead of time.  However, my stepdad offered to smoke a turkey.  Yum.  So, he’ll stay up until midnight tonight, and then pop the turkey in the smoker, as it needs 10-12 hours to smoke.

With the exception of the cheesecake, everything is gluten-free, dairy-free.  Our menu is:

  • Smoked turkey
  • Oven roasted garlic rosemary potatoes
  • Yams (in chunks in the Crockpot with allspice, brown sugar, salt and Smart Balance)
  • Cucumber salad with tomatoes and onions
  • Green salad
  • Black-eyed peas with mushrooms
  • Green beans with garlic and almonds
  • (plain) corn
  • GFCF rolls
  • GF pumpkin cheesecake
  • GFCF coconut flan
  • GFCF pumpkin maple pie

The potaotes, black-eyed peas and the green bean recipes come from a new cookbook, graciously given to me by Martin’s step-mom.  The book looks fabulous, and has a decidely European air…

I’ll post recipes if anyone is interested.  🙂

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!!


*I’m not a big cry-er;  I abhor emotional manipulation.  But I absolutely couldn’t help myself when re-asking my parents to come over for Thanksgiving.  We had a lovely meal last year, but really, I was very sad at having no one to share it with, and the tears spilled over.

Two going on …

Audrey Sophia

Audrey Sophia

My 7yo Wesley saw this picture and said, “Audrey looks like she’s 4 with one ponytail, instead of 2 with two ponytails.”  It’s true.  What a ham.  She has certain smiles that she whips out just for the camera, this being one of them.

I lost my camera.  Well, misplaced it.  Or something.  I’ve never lost it, in its three-year history.  But, it has been missing since Wednesday of last week.  (I took the above pic on my phone.)  I’m starting to get nervous, both because of the cost of the camera itself, and for the two weeks or so of pictures that are on it.  😦

Fear, God, childhood, motherhood, etc.

The comments by Shellie & Christy on my last post have got me thinking some deep thoughts about the nature of God, fear itself, my childhood, and how all of that combined affects both my relationship with and understanding of God, and informs my parenting.

To sum up my thoughts regarding fear and God, I think it unbiblical to proclaim:  “Be afraid.”  However, anyone who says, “Have fear?  Turn to God” can have their words supported biblically.  Anyone who says, “Be prepared.  Be alert” may be speaking with biblical support, but it gets a little cloudy, depending on what preparedness or alertness looks like, and from what motivation it stems.

Lemme ‘splain where I’m coming from.  (This gets long…)

Read the rest of this entry

Anniversary & Dad’s visit

Last week was the 14th anniversary of my wedding to my dear husband, Martin.  We celebrated twice, but neither celebration was on the night of our actual anniversary, the 12th.  First, on the 11th, we got takeout from PF Chang’s, which is rather our go-to for special-occasion meals, largely because it’s good food that both Martin and I like, and they have a very reliable gluten-free menu, which (unlike the few restaurants that have g.f. menus) sees frequent updating, so I’m not stuck ordering the same dish over and over.

But, I digress.

It was a nice meal, after the kids were in bed, hubby and me, Chinese food, a bottle of inexpensive pinot noir…  and we had the best conversation we’ve had in weeks.  It was just what we needed.

Then, on Saturday, when we could actually get a babysitter, we tried out a new place.

Before I found out about celiac disease, we were very adventurous eaters, living for our next hole-in-the-wall, mom & pop ethnic gem.  Since celiac disease, we’ve become very predictable, eating out only where it’s safe.  “Safety” has become the operative word in eateries, instead of taste or even price.

But, starting a few years ago (literally), I keep reading good reviews for a teensy Ecuadorian restaurant that is reasonably close by to our house.

I knew it was in an old strip mall, but when we drove up, it was even older and strip-mallier and a wee bit scary.  We stayed in the truck for a bit, eyeing the restaurant.  My hubby said, “I don’t want this to be a ‘slap the burrito on the paper plate’ kind of place.  It’s our anniversary.”  But, I figured, since we were there, we might as well at least poke our heads inside.

We did, and we stayed.  Mi Cocina Mi Pais was fantastic, all you’d want in a hole-in-the-wall, mom & pop ethnic gem of a restaurant.  It wasn’t fancy, but they did have real tableware, and not a burrito in sight.  The mom was in the kitchen, the son was the waiter, and the dad was the busser.  Even though the whole place had maybe seven tables, I was worried that it was going to take a couple of hours to get our meal, since each table was full and there was a “kitchen help wanted” sign on the front door, but it wasn’t so.  Service was very friendly and reasonably paced.

We’ve eaten at more than our share of Mexican food places, so I thought South American wouldn’t be a very large leap, but about 80% of the menu offerings had to be explained to us by our waiter, Michael.  I’m sure it’s an effort he’s made thousands of times, but he was very helpful and patient.  I picked a few dishes that I thought sounded like they would be gluten-free, and explained my need to Michael.  He poked his head back in the kitchen to double-check with Mom regarding their makeup, and happily, the dish that I most wanted was free of any kind of flour or wheat.  There’s still always a risk, especially when those preparing/serving a meal really have no idea about celiac disease at all… but I suffered no gluten-induced symptoms.  Woo hoo!  🙂

And, Mi Cocina Mi Pais is fairly inexpensive, and had a “you can take the kids” ambience, so I’m sure we’ll be back.

We had Fiala with us.  She stayed asleep the whole time.  We finished our meal before 8:00, and though we had our babysitter until 9:30, if we stayed out that late, I would have to feed Fiala in the truck before we went anywhere else, like for coffee.  We just decided to go home.  Party poopers in our old age, I guess.  It wasn’t for lack of pleasantness;  we just had had a very nice time already, were full of good food and good conversation, and it felt like the night was a success and it was all right to call it a night, early.

Good thing we did, because my Dad arrived very shortly after we came home.  I think it would have been awkward for the babysitter if my Dad had been there, even though I told her that it was a possibility he’d arrive before we did.

So.  My Dad’s here.  He’ll be here until Friday.  Right now, though, he and my three boys are at the Titan Missile Museum, south of Tucson.  At least, I assume they are.  That’s where they were headed when they left home at about 9:00 this morning.

It’s been a nice visit with my Dad.  We have a mixed history, but for the last three years or so, all has been well between us.  He came to church with us on Sunday, and seemed to really enjoy it, which is good.  I feel a little badly because we’re all sports nuts, so we usually have on whatever game is playing, and he doesn’t care for sports…  I’m sure my Dad has watched more basketball and football in the past few days than he has in years.  We’ve also spent a good deal of time at the neighborhood park…  We went to a dentist appointment for the three boys yesterday.  Martin, my Dad and I had a great conversation last night that started with parenting issues mostly about Grant.  We had a tense evening… well, part of the evening, anyways, because of behavioral stuff from Grant.  Sometimes ALL THE TIME, it’s difficult to sort out from where his difficulties stem:  a) his immature 9yo boy-ness, b) his brainy, purposeful manipulations, and/or c) his learning disorder (he has an odd learning disorder called Nonverbal Learning Disorder, and some things about Grant are startlingly brilliant, and some things are frustrating to the extreme, “Why can’t he just get this???” and he just can’t — or at least, it’s very hard — because of the way his brain is wired).  The conversation morphed into dietary interventions that we’ve tried with Grant (and my Dad had a few new ideas that I’ll likely try), dietary issues with Wes & Audrey… then somehow turned the corner to the theological, and the way God speaks, and what God might be doing in the American Church and in our country right now…  My Dad and I have had theological disagreements in the past, and I can’t say I even agree with my husband 100% of the time on politics.  But the three of us agreed that God is not a God of fear.  He doesn’t want us to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the goings-on in Church and Country, but He’s still not a God of fear.  When He speaks, when He acts…  He doesn’t do things out of fear, or move in fear.  He’s sovereign, He’s good, He has His ways, He’s powerful, He’s not thwarted by whoever is or is not in power, and can use anything for His own purposes, including letting someone rise to power with whom we don’t agree.  My Dad likened it to America in the 70s when things were morally and politically bleak under Carter, but the climate rallied Christians to a deeper commitment to Him, and a greater involvement in politics, and my Dad believes that’s what led to Reagan being elected in 1980.  (All of us are fans of Reagan.)  It was a good conversation.

Yesterday, I started apologizing to my Dad about what was surely the most boring trip ever, but as the words were coming out of my mouth, I realized (and he did say) that “boring” was exactly what he needed.  He’s on focus-burnout right now, due to the nature of his work, which is heading up a company that is inventing some new artificial intelligence hardware and software.  It’s funded by an investor, which makes things all the more tense, because there are lots of $$ waiting to be reimbursed when the technology becomes finally marketable.  It’s getting there, but the huge contracts that are continually in the offing remain just so.  And it doesn’t help that the main investor has made his money from oil and gas, and since prices are plummeting — which is great for 99.5% of us — that means the investor has less money available and is all the more antsy.

Welp.  I need to feed my baby, then do some cleaning.  Though I am at home with only my two girls today, it’s been a startlingly unproductive day.  Peaceful, though…

You just need to burp

I have a really short memory as a mother, apparently.  My second-youngest daughter is 2.5, and she nursed until she was 21 months old, which was this year.  Still, before Fiala was born, I envisioned nursing my baby with ease while reading school stuff to my children… like we’d just be all cozy on the couch and it’d all go so smoothly.

Um, no.  It hasn’t quite worked out that way, probably mostly due to the fact that I can not do two things at once.  Anything.  I can’t even talk on the phone and load the dishwasher at the same time, which, in some countries, is a required skill before the marriage license is issued.

Still, I try.

In one of my (probably ill-fated) attempts this past week, I was reading (sort of) to my two middle boys as I nursed Fiala.  About halfway through, as I had her up on my shoulder, patting her back, my 9yo, Grant, asked, “Is she done?”  “No,” I replied, “She just needs to burp, then she’ll want more.”  Sure enough, a baby-sized belch was issued, and she started rooting on my neck, looking for milk.  “Wow,” Grant marvelled, “How did you know??”

It’s one of those Mother Superpowers.

That interaction reminded me of a dinnertime story…  Robin, do forgive if I get some details wrong; it was a long time ago.

Anyways, for some reason, my sister was eating dinner with our family.  Ethan was young, maybe three or four (he’s now 11).  Robin has no children (except a non-custodial stepdaughter, who is only 13 years younger than Robin), and is alternately horrified and impressed by my mothering skills.

Mid-dinner, Ethan started moaning about how his tummy hurt.  I was unmoved, insisting that he eat his dinner.  (For years, Ethan would come up with some malady — EVERY SINGLE MEALTIME — about how/why he couldn’t eat.  He’s past that, thank God, though he is still an abominably slow eater, and a borderline hypochondriac.)  This went on for a while.  Finally, I looked at him and said, “You just need to burp.  Burp, and you’ll feel better, then you’ll be able to finish.”

This was one of the times my sister was horrified.  I don’t remember if she started advocating for Ethan right there, or if she just told me later that she was thunderstruck:  My lack of sympathy for my son’s health was beyond cold, and how could I possibly know he needed to b–


“Wow!  I feel so much better!  You were right, Mom!”  And he finished his dinner with no further complaint.


Moms really do know everything.

About burps, anyways.

“Pink Eye.” Or, “Duh.”

Last week, my 11yo son Ethan had a very red left eye.  He graciously let me pry open his eyelids so I could get a better look. (What is it about motherhood that makes one strangely enjoy literally picking on one’s kids, like a grooming chimp or something?)  On the whites (sclera?) of his eye, amongst the bloodshot vessels, was a strange bump.  I immediately got very worried, thought it must be Pink Eye/conjunctivitis or something, and told my husband, who immediately told me to calm down, that I always think something is wrong with our kids.  Hmph.

Ethan’s eye did clear up in the next day or two… but then, I noticed MY eyes looking very red, inflamed red even, extremely bloodshot, and sore.  Goodness!  I was right!  Ethan did have something contagious!!  Of course, I alerted my husband, who, peering into my eyes, said, “Hm.  They do look a little bloodshot.  But, I don’t think you caught anything from Ethan.”  Hmph.  The proof was right in front of him!

A couple of hours later that night, as I was yawning and getting ready for bed, it dawned on me:  For the last three weeks, I have, at most, gotten about 5 hours of sleep each night.  Hm.  Think chronic lack of sleep might play into the fact that my eyes are bloodshot??  The whole thing dawned on me with a resounding, “Duh.”

I bet that when Fiala starts sleeping for a longer clip at night that my Pink Eye magically clears up.  :blush:

Comments Meme

I got this meme from my Uncle Steve, who just had a birthday.  He turned 49.  I found that somewhat startling, because though I could easily have found out his age, I guess I thought he was a little younger.  I think that’s partly because he’s my dad’s youngest brother (and my dad is 5th of 12), and partly because he has kids that are my kids’ ages, and I rather viewed (view?) him as a contemporary.  He is in the same decade as my husband, who is weeks away from turning 42.  Still, things keep happening to me to make me feel like, much as I resist the feeling, I’m actually getting older, as are the people around me.  (For the record, I’m 35.)

Anyways, Steve… not to make you feel badly for being so old.  😉

Now, for the meme.

1.  Who is your most frequent commenter on your blog?

Oh, my.  Doesn’t WordPress have a statcounter for this??  Apparently not.  Lately, it might be Christy at Zimm’s Zoo.

2.  Do you return the favor and comment at their site?

I don’t know if Christy would consider it a favor, as half of my comments have been, “I want your stuff” from the ultra-cool diaper bag she made, to the 30 quart bags of blueberries she got from a friend.

3.  Whose comments inspire you or force you to reconsider your opinions?

Most certainly Daja.  Well, re-reading the question, I think her POSTS inspire me, as they are frequently much better-thought-out and/or much-better-researched posts on things that are muddling around as half-thoughts in my own head.  In my observation, women make up about 95% of the blogs I read, and who comments on my own blog.  And, women (myself included) tend to comment along the lines of, “Wow, me too!” or, “Thanks!  That helped!!” instead of, “You flamin’ idiot!  How could you THINK that???” …so I don’t get all that many comments from people who are outright disagreeing with me.

4.  On which two blogs do you comment most frequently?

Umm…  My comments are spread far and wide.  I have about 30 blogs that I read regularly — daily or nearly so — and an additional 10-20 that I read occasionally, and I just comment when I have a comment.

5.  Have you ever commented on a blog just to ‘stir the pot’?

(To ditto what Steve said:)  Once in a great while.  When I see one-sided attacks on faith or political issues that concern me I’ll leap in.  (My own observation:  This doesn’t work well, usually.  It can lead to attackers on my own blog, and hasn’t yet led anyone — that I know of — to change their minds.  I have found that great (or not) minds think alike, and folks of similar persuasions tend to flock to each other’s blogs, and naysayers aren’t usually received very kindly.)

6.  Have your ever posted a comment because someone wrote something that infuriated you?

I don’t think so.  I tend not to get infuriated in general.  And, the question seems unclear to me.  Commented on my own blog?  On the blog of the person who has infuriated me?

7.  Have you ever banned commenters/trolls?  Ever been banned?

Yes, but only two have been banned from my own blog, and that’s for being posting comments that have attacked me personally, and only after private appeals have had no effect.  I have not been banned anywhere as far as I know.

8.  Which post on your blog has generated the most comments.  Why?  (Provide a link to the post.)

Two posts:  Big Batch Christmas/Sugar Cookies (27, 299 hits, 83 comments) and Cutting Teeth Out of Order (12, 827 hits and 76 comments).  I think they’ve both gotten the hits & comments because they a) fill a niche need, and b) if you Google them, those posts generally are in the top 2-3 results returned.  Well, and the cookie one has generated comments that are questions about ingredients or preparation, and the second has generated comments along the lines of, “Thanks!  I thought my baby was the only one!!”

9.  Which topic (as opposed to a specific post) generates the most comments?

Just mothering and family life.

10.  Have you ever commented on a blog and purposely disguised your info so that you or your blog couldn’t be identified?

Never.  Own your opinions.

11.  Do you post about controversial topics (politics, religion, social issues)?  Do you receive comments from opposing viewpoints?  Are they civil?

Yes and yes, although I have been challenged by others’ blogs to really get MORE specific and “controversial.”  I guess I enjoy blogging more as a… well, log of life.  I enjoy being of help to others and providing some interesting reading for others.  I have little desire to really be the firebrand that perhaps I was in my past — there are others who have the brain-power to say things much more wittily than I, and have the time, apparently, to research things much more in-depth than I, so for the most part, the really hot topics I tend to leave to others.  However, if I’m thinking something that’s controversial, I won’t NOT post it even if I suspect it will encourage troll-like comments or otherwise be controversial.  I sometimes receive comments from opposing viewpoints — like the girl who recently commented pro-abortion on an pro-life post of mine.  And, around the time of the Republican primary, I got lots of anti-McCain traffic/comments.  And, some of the homeschooling posts have generated some heat.  Generally, folks are civil (see #3 above).

That’s it!  I’m not tagging anyone, because I just tagged seven (well, six) people earlier this week… last week?  and I fear over-tagging.  Don’t want to wear out my welcome.  🙂

Baby Fiala, Peace and Contentiousness

Fialas little Elvis smile

Fiala's little Elvis smile

When I was pregnant, I admitted to Daja in a comment on her blog that I was — rather selfishly — hoping for a very peaceful child.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t understand why my mom got along better with my sister than with me.  After all, I was the one who got good grades, was good at sports, could make friends easily, and had better fashion sense… what wasn’t to love?  Ugh.  I also LOVED/LIVED to argue, was obviously conceited, was a major fault-finder, and was host to a number of other character flaws and unpleasantries completely unnoticed by me.  No wonder she like my sister better.  Seriously.  I do not blame her whatsoever.  In fact, I completely understand why my mom took more pleasure in my sister’s company than in my own.  I just wasn’t enjoyable to be around.  I’m sure, for a mother, being around myself as a child was an awful reminder that bringing children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord was, with some children, seemingly impossible.

I dearly, dearly love each of my children.  And, each has their own set of both admirable qualities, and areas on which we work… “tough spots,” we call them.  For all four of my older children, tops on their lists of tough spots would be “contentiousness.”  Ugh again.  Wonder where they got that??

My dear hubby Martin and our little bitsy Fiala

My dear hubby Martin and our little bitsy Fiala (don't tell him that she's 99% asleep!!)

They didn’t get it from my hubby.  In fact, it was my marriage to my generous, merciful, peace-loving husband that clued me into the fact that there were more important things than winning a fight.  I quickly learned that being right, which was previously my main goal in life, amounted to a hill o’ beans compared to peace in our home, sweet peace between the two of us.  Not that my bad habits of picking fights and “proving” my points were broken easily or quickly… and when he and I were talking about this recently, he semi-jokingly implied that perhaps they weren’t broken at all.

But, I have to say that my values and perspectives in this area have made a complete 180.  I hate fighting.  I hate the debate I used to crave.  It breaks my heart to see anyone verbally deconstruct someone else’s self or opinions in the very same way that I used to, and (to my shame) gleefully so.  Not that I want anyone to be a pushover;  I advocate for making one’s stand in a polite, respectful way that values the feelings and thoughts of the other person; I attempt to teach this to my children, and practice it myself.

If my husband hadn’t taught me to love peace, having four stubborn, rowdy, strong-willed children who think every hill’s a hill on which to die, would have done so.  I grow weary of the fights, yet feel ill-equipped to teach any of them how to be a peacemaker.

All of that to say that I realize that I, by no means, merit a peaceable, gentle child.  However, back to my opening sentence, I was encouraged by Daja to pray over the heart and character of my unborn child.  Prayer.  What a concept.  I have prayed frequently for my children, in utero, but I seriously had never considered praying over their character and disposition.  But, you can teach this old dog a few new tricks, so I immediately started praying over Fiala.

Only minutes, or maybe hours after she was born, I realized that she was so different from Audrey.  Anyone who has read this blog knows that I adore my 2yo daughter.  But, from birth, she was never cuddly — she would stiffen even as an infant, and resist being snugged, even eschewing the “burrito wrap” that babies, supposedly, univerally adore.  She wanted her freedom.  Always curious about the world and its people, even from the first day after birth, she wanted to be bolt upright on my shoulder — the better to see you with, my dear.  She’s still like that.  She wants to be hugged frequently, but her hugs are given in millisecond speed.  It’s like she wants to check in to make sure you love her and that you are willing to give her attention, but she doesn’t want to hang out and soak up the love.  Cuddling is stifling to her;  she’d rather be on the go.  98% of the time, anyways.  She’ll bend her own rules, sometimes, but only on her terms, not on anyone else’s.  If you want a cuddle-hug from Audrey, uh, good luck.  But, sometimes, she’s bestow one.  🙂

Fiala is cuddly — melty, snuggly cuddly.  She’s only three weeks old (today!), but it’s obvious that she absolutely adores human contact.  Her favorite thing is to be cradled in my arms, and then for me to bend my head over so that my cheek is on the side of her head… hard to describe, but in that way, she’s virtually enveloped by me, and she adores it.

Actually, in my room at the hospital, when it was only myself and my newborn baby Fiala, I started crying.  Admittedly, I cry very easily after the birth of my baby — usually from tenderness, not from sadness, so please don’t fear PPD or anything like that.  It’s just that my tears brim close to the surface during this time, and they spill over for things like feelings of love, or thankfulness, or during worship, or just when my hubby was praying over our dinner last night — stuff like that.  🙂  Anyways, in the hospital, I just got a major sense of the presence of God in my daughter’s life, and that she truly was a peaceful little girl, just what I’d been hoping and praying for.  At that time, she was barely 24 hours old, so it’s not like I had a full picture of her character… but I just had the sense that God had heard my heart and answered my prayer, and in spite of my undeservedness, had given to me a gentle, loving, amiable, caring little girl.  I was overwhelmed with the mercy of God, and with thankfulness for my new baby, and a feeling of eager anticipation of seeing her grow and develop and become who God intended her to be…

Grandmas in peaceful baby granddaughter heaven

Grandma's in peaceful baby granddaughter heaven

Friday night, my mom & stepdad were over for dinner, and my mom said, “I was praying for Fiala this morning, and I got one word…  I feel like it was from God.  It was ‘peacemaker’.”  I’ll take that!!

So… thanks to be to God our Father who heard my heart, and undeserving though I am, has given me a daughter filled with gentle sweetness.  And, thanks to sweet Daja, who encouraged me to pray for Fiala.

Almost a Doe

We have a term of endearment, unique to our family, that’s somewhat hard to explain, mostly because there’s no real explanation for it;  it just started in the mind and heart of a 1yo little girl, one whose thoughts and feelings aren’t usually based soundly in the realm of reason.

It started with “Daddy-Doe.”

For reasons unbeknownst to us, that’s what Audrey started calling my husband.  Soon, it extended to myself, “Mommy-Doe,” then her brothers “Eetan-E-Doe” (Ethan), “Gwanty-Doe” or “G-ray-Doe” (Grant) and “Wessy-Doe” or “Wess-uh-LEE-Doe” (Wesley).  No one else is a “Doe.”  Well, occasionally, our dog becomes “Tally-Doe,” but apparently Audrey, who is now 2.5 years old, is aware that there’s just no one else, beyond immediate family, who merits Doedom.

When I first brought Fiala home from the hospital, it struck me how much our family uses the Doe suffix when speaking to/of each other.  We say it all the time.  Fiala naturally became “Fiala-Doe” to me.  And “Sweetie-Doe” and “Baby-Doe,” etc.

So, I asked Audrey, who simply calls her new sister “Baby Fiala,” if Fiala was a Doe.  Audrey looked startled, then proclaimed, “No.  She’s not a Doe.  She’s just Baby Fiala.”

Fiala is 19 days old now…  Every few days, I check in with Audrey to see if Fiala has achieved Doe status.  No go.  Or, no Doe.  However, she does appear to be softening her stance somewhat.  Around the time when Fiala turned two weeks, after I inquired about the Doe-ness of Fiala, Audrey screwed up her face with great thoughtful concentration, and said, “She’s ALmost a Doe.”

Almost a Doe.

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