29 February 2012

Invoke a bit

A Christian lives his days with Christ and in contemplation of Him.
His days pass in remembering the sufferings of Jesus. When the clock strikes eleven, he knows that the bells are ringing in the noon hour of his Redeemer, when thick darkness overshadowed him. In the afternoon at three o'clock, he breathes a grateful prayer of joy, for the Lord has finished. Every stroke of the clock calls upon him to consider what Christ did and suffered in that hour.

Seed-Grains of Prayer, Wilhelm Loehe

28 February 2012

No, it really doesn't get any less weird

If anything, it seems stranger every time around: there is a person existing in my abdomen.

 Fearful and wonderful and all that. But still kinda crazy to contemplate.

27 February 2012


With my first baby, I thought, Babies are like this.

A few more babies and I thought, My babies are like this.

Now I think, This baby is like this.

23 February 2012

It's not a contest

Mere days before my first became my firstborn, the church organist sought to encourage me by telling me that, decades ago, she delivered her baby and showed up to play the Christmas Eve service the next night. This did encourage me. I stood up for my baby's baptism at church four days after her birth, and have never stopped wondering what could possibly have made me think I needed to do that.

Some of us bounce back faster than others, and that's great for them and their families. I bounce faster than I used to, but I've still never come close to winning the Bounce Back-Off. The reasons don't matter; what matters is knowing that after I've had a baby, I don't owe anybody but my baby anything. I really do have to get better. Nothing drives home the counterproductivity of pushing it and consequently costing the family more time and energy in momcare.

I do not have to entertain visitors, go to the store, go to church, clean behind the toilet, or carry around any sized person my health care provider has advised me against carrying around no matter how much that person (or anyone else) whines. I do not have to feel as good as my friend/sister/great aunt/gerbil/internet pseudo-acquaintance did three hours/weeks/months after her baby was born. It is lonely, sad, embarrassing, boring, and frustrating, and the house is a mess and everyone eats junk and the girls' hair looks like wrens' nests and these things make me feel even more terrible. But it's not a contest. Feed the baby and get better.

22 February 2012

Infelix ego

Maybe you've heard I'm a legalist. I know I have. It's an easy term to use: simply throw it at anyone who does or defends something you can't see doing or defending. Lutherans say Baptists are because they won't drink. Baptists say Lutherans are because they say you have to confess your sins to a pastor and be absolved. Everybody's got a prooftext.

Well, my accusers are right. I am a legalist, as my college roommate could tell you (no, the other one). She'd start with my dish towel dogmas, and she'd probably end, like many other people, with my Pharisaical insistence that the church's catholic and historic teaching on [insert your horsey hob here] is right.

But they're also wrong, because what I am more than anything is a vile and perverse sinner. Seriously, I am BAD. I love evil things. My conscience is in charge of the nastiest, most stinking hunk of rotting flesh in creation. The poor dear is in way over her head. So the best she can do is hold up a three-inch leash and say, "You! You're on this! You can't run away!"

O darkest woe, my teeth are sharp. I take every opportunity to chew through that thing. The Gospel is a joke to me. I am not a tragic victim of illness and sadness and pain and death. I made those things happen. I looked at suffering and cruelty and the ruination of all that is good and holy and said, Yes, I wish to cause that, where do I sign? I'm a hardened criminal, I'm a psychopath, I'm Barabbas. And best of all, I don't think I'm that bad. I'd choose them again if you gave me a chance. I chose them all day yesterday and my history of recidivism is, you know, unreassuring.

I know why Psalm 119 is out there. Please let me delight myself in thy statutes. Make me upright and good, because I am SO NOT. Make me so I won't trample on your Gospel, spit and mock and tell you to prophesy who hit you.

Here's the takeaway lesson: first, that nothing on earth is below me; and second, that there is not a thing on earth to which I am entitled. Ten solid years (and counting) of waxing, waning, and diapering? Yeah, not that bad, considering. Taking time for me? Well, did Barabbas deserve time for Barabbas?

No, but he got it anyway. He got it as a gift, not as a right.

I don't expect anyone who isn't a psychopath to get this. Just thank God that you aren't me and spare yourself the trouble of commenting. You can't help me, only Jesus can. And that is why (DV) I will have ashes on my head by the end of this day and why I will abstain and such for the next six weeks and why my life looks the way it looks. Not because it makes me better. Not as a witnessing tool. Not because it makes me a member of some club. Not because my husband does. But because if you could know my heart, "you will see and hear things that will seem to you impossible among human beings with immortal souls," and, meine Gott, I need Jesus to save me. All those laughably paltry "legalisms" help me know and feel how much I need him to save me, because there is nothing I love more than thinking that I am the poor, pitiable  victim and not the abhorrent, damnable perp.

My body is lazy. It needs resistance. My soul is putrescent. It needs purgation. My life is forfeit. I need Jesus.

"I want to believe."

21 February 2012

Academiology 101

Don't have a degree? Don't worry about it.

Doubtless you, like I, know a whole lot of people who have spent or are spending a whole lot of time in school. And maybe you, like I, find this depressing, bewildering, and/or intimidating depending on the school or the person. But I am doing my best to get over it, and I urge you to do the same.

Schools of all kinds are businesses, and it's much better business practice to broaden rather than limit your clientele. With the exception of a few very prestigious places, most schools need lots of paying students. The best way to get paying students is to make it easier to go to school: have classes at odd hours, eliminate requirements of locality, help students get money from places other than the school, appeal to popular interests, generate perceived needs for new areas of "study," and make sure academic requirements aren't too hard.

So here is what it necessarily means that a person has some degree: she had the time and money to get it. It does not mean that she is smarter or harder working than someone who doesn't have that degree or its equivalent.

All disciplines uncharacterized by empirical, quantitative skills and requirements have become so inundated with mumbo-jumbo that it is very common for inarticulate persons with little analytical ability and a basic lack of knowledge to fulfill the requirements for a degree. Inarticulate and unknowledgeable people even advance to the highest levels of these disciplines.  A guy who can fix a car gave his brain more of a workout acquiring that expertise than someone who majored in communications. The diploma is not always to the smart, nor yet favour to men of skill. The diploma is at the bottom of a box in my attic (I think). If you don't have one, I admire you for seeing through the vanity that is the academy. I was too stupid. A fool and her time and money are soon parted.

Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. The academy can look very appealing, but its main reward is the esteem of men. And what's that worth?

And about that classmate of your husband who's back at the seminary (or wherever) for graduate work: time and money. Time and money. That's all it [necessarily] means. Every non-academiologist husband deserves a big old thanks today and every day for not asking his family to sacrifice any more, even though he could, even though he IS smart enough. If the clergy shortage is a tall tale, an academiologist shortage is downright phantasmagorical. Most parishes can't afford to give a raise for an advanced degree anyway.

(I am indebted to my reverend brother for the apt term "academiology".)

20 February 2012

I will hope

As a certain husband of mine has had occasion to remind me, there is a difference between Hard and Hopeless.

Are God’s promises true? Of course that husband is right. Hope is always ours, objectively. And yet, and yet... As I have had occasion to remind a certain husband, things can sure get to feeling Hopeless.

Hard is when one knows the right path, and must press through the wearying chances and changes along the way. Hard is when Mom has to be cool and consistent in disciplining, in discipling, when the infraction is egregious and repeated and what she really really desperately needs is a nap, or just five minutes with no one clamoring about her knees. Hard is when everyone’s fighting and crying and the baby won’t nap and there’s nothing in the freezer for supper. Hard is when everyone’s sick but the laundry still has to be done and someone has to get to the pharmacy and the grocery store. That is Hard, and every person who’s found her way here can supply a zillion everyday examples. (Every day is a large part of why Hard is Hard.)

Hopeless is when everything has been tried, repeatedly, and nothing seems to be working—even accounting for the long-range perspective of results in this grand childrearing project not being immediate. Hopeless is when one can’t seem to get the household, the education, the discipline, into anything resembling functional order, and not for lack of trying. Hopeless is when it seems that solutions simply don’t exist, no matter how much effort is expended. From Hopeless, Hard looks easy (though it is not). Hard is Hard, but solutions can be found and applied, through gritted teeth and various degrees of travailing.

There are many roads to Hopeless, and I’ve been down a couple of them myself. I daresay that most of us have traveled at least partway there, however briefly, at some point. What do you do when you are gifted with a Challenging Child? What do you do when all the crises—health, family, church—crash in at once? When you try to squash the sadness and the lostness into a corner of your throat because you feel like there’s no point in talk-treading over and over the same ground, when there are no new solutions in sight? When it gets to the point that you dread going to bed because there’s no peace in sleep, only—at best—a temporary oblivion overlaid with the crushing burden of having to get up in the morning and face everything all over again?

More’s the victory for the enemy, if he can get us to dread the bright dawn, to believe that its fresh rays can never illumine dark Hopeless. Recognize this attack for what it is, and remember: What do I know, even when I do not feel it? The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness

No, everything may not look brighter in the morning, but The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him." It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

So eager am I to depart Hopeless that I forget: It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
So eager am I to deaden the pain, to protect myself from the anguish of Hopeless, that I forget: what is such self-protection, after all, but the hardening of my heart against the only One can rescue me, who even now is at work in my life? For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief—though He cause grief!—he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. 

The enemy hisses that Hopeless is Reality. That dawn brings only drear. That hardening your heart against hope is your only protection, so shove your feelings back down your gut, because numb is the best you can hope for.

Hearken to a different voice: Today, as you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. Oh! How many rebellions have there been, in this foolish little shriveled-raisin heart of mine! Thrice in short span, the writer to the Hebrews echoes this exhortation, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Today, today, today—this very moment! Thrice-repudiated is the insidious accusation of never and too little and too late. Even amid the darkness, this is the moment of grace—of the shockingly free grace whose dreadfully priceless purchase makes all the difference, now and forevermore, between Hard and Hopeless.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Though he slay me with blessings beyond what I can bear, I will hope in Him.

19 February 2012

So sorry to bore you

To everyone who kinda likes this blog but gets tired of all the baby junk: you're not the only one, genius. Please understand that I do not feel bad for you at all.

18 February 2012

One of the biggest problems

with having more than three or four kids is that there's nothing unfamiliar left to get the newest one-year-old when his birthday rolls around.

For you, son! Just don't spend it all in one place.

17 February 2012


No announcements here. Just something I worked up to amuse myself the last time I was hyperemetic. 

“Will you walk a little faster?” said the brain unto the feet,
“I can feel the stomach turning and the outcome won’t be neat.
Sense how nearabout our precious gastric system is divested
Of the paltry bit of breakfast we so wantonly ingested!
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?

“You already have a notion how revolting it will be
If the mouth falls short of target and deposits all our scree
On the floor. Your lovely kingdom will be mucked all up with gluten!”
But the feet replied, “Too far!” and missed a beat in the cotillion—

Said they thanked the brain quite kindly, but they would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.

“You’ll be sorry,” warned the wiser part. “You know the score by now.
What does miss that rounded rim will be our problem anyhow.
The further from the bathroom, the nearer then to Couch—
You obdurate heel! Beat it! While you might yet stand a chance!
‘Cause there ain’t no way you’re gonna sit out this round of the dance.
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?”

16 February 2012

And here I thought they just sang devil music

Maybe everybody who's cool already knows this, but I had no idea Megadeth was a conservative think tank.

Santorum. LCMS. Can I assume the drummer is adjuncting for the music department at Hillsdale?

Please do not feel like you need to appreciate me

I've made some asides here before about how I don't get the whole clergy wife fetishism thing, but every once in a while it really hits home how much I don't get it. This parish owes me nothing. They called my husband, not me. I feel like I owe them for their willingness to call a married pastor. He is less available to them than a celibate pastor would be. They have also accepted the burden of providing a wage fair to a man with a family. They are the ones making the sacrifices. I cringe whenever one of these dear people apologizes to me for having called upon him in their need. That's why he's here.

Do not ever hesitate to call or to keep him as long as you need him. You gave me this great big house to keep me busy while he's gone. You are the ones who have given us this life which we love. You have adopted my children and me as friends and neighbors. Thank you. Thank you.

15 February 2012

The silent epidemic

(Names have been changed to protect privacy.)

"At first I just thought it was because he was a baby," remembers Rebecca. "He did the stupidest stuff. He poked himself with forks and ate cakes of soap. These weren't one-time things. I mean, how many cakes of soap does somebody have to eat before they realize it's completely disgusting?"

But Rebecca's son didn't outgrow these lapses in intelligence. Although he gave up on eating soap and injuring himself with pointy utensils, he developed new idiotic habits. He chewed his toenails. He looked deep into Rebecca's eyes and then wiped his mouth on his shirt. He asked her to look for his "lost" pajamas in the same drawer where he'd hidden fossilized Easter candy. "Finally, I knew," Rebecca says. "My kid was stupid."

Childhood stupidity isn't a fun topic. No one wants to admit that her son or daughter is stupid. The evidence is embarrassing, and stupidity is a stigmatized condition in our society. It's also hard not to assign blame--can child stupidity really be an accident? But the problem is more widespread than anyone wants to admit. It's not rare or isolated, and parents need to know that they are not alone in dealing with stupid kids.

Becky, a mother of three, confesses to being horrified when she realized all of her kids were stupid. "They were SO DUMB," she says. "I was terrified all the time that other people would find out. They would leave their shoes right next to the shoe organizer instead of putting them inside. They put clean shirts in the laundry and dirty shirts back in their drawers. They used my hand lotion even though I'd explained to them 75 times that I could smell it on them when they did it and they'd get in trouble. I was afraid to go out in public. There was no way I could hide how stupid they were."

Becky was also afraid to tell her doctor about her suspicions. As it turned out, she didn't have to. Her kids acted stupid everywhere, and the doctor's office was no exception. But although it was obvious the doctor had noticed how dumb Becky's kids were, he didn't have a suggestion, a prescription, or even a visible reaction. "At that point, I really didn't know what to do," she says. "My six-year-old licks her shoes in front of a medical professional and everybody acts like nothing is happening? I felt so alone."

Finally, Becky confided in a friend. "The floodgates just burst," she remembers. "My friend told me that she busted her kids for trying to make strawberry milk with ketchup three times in one week, and they had a spitting contest off the balcony while she was cleaning the floor below, and her baby consumed something so vile that she wouldn't even tell me what it was. It almost sounded like her kids were as dumb as mine."

"The key to living with childhood stupidity is having realistic expectations," says Dr. Timbo Blogworthy, a father of seven and leading researcher in the field of childhood stupidity. "If you have a dumb kid, you have to know that your kid is going to do dumb things all the time and there's nothing you can do about it. Sure, tell him what's going to happen today and practice how he should act. But don't expect it to go right, because with a stupid kid it just won't. That's the nature of stupidity. Your life is going to stink until your kid gets less stupid or moves out. What the **** is oozing out of my Aldens?"

Rebecca, like Becky, has also found comfort in camaraderie. "After my sister had a baby, she called me with a lot of questions. One of the first questions she had was, 'If he has to nurse to live, why can't he nurse?' I knew exactly what to tell her. It's hard to hear, but childhood stupidity is a lot easier to live with when you know you're not the only one."

For infant and childhood stupidity support in your area, talk to the first parent you see.

14 February 2012

At-home kids

Sometimes I get the feeling my kids think they'd be better kids to me if they left the house for 8-10 hours a day to do things they were good at and be with people other than parents. You know, they'd appreciate our time together more that way.

13 February 2012


I know I've read Are Women Human? by Dorothy Sayers, but I don't own it and Google suffices to turn up the generally favored bits. Dorothy is obviously much more gifted than I in such matters, but now I can't remember if her essays contained what I think is simplest answer to her quasi-rhetorical question: it is certain that women are human because Jesus is a man. The saving of our fallen race did not require sex-specific incarnations, much less experiences. Male and female he created them, male and female he redeemed them. "That which he has not assumed he has not healed," and he himself has said, "Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."

10 February 2012


[God] wants us to be holy so that we may be truly blessed; and blessedness is even better than happiness.  I'd stand by that:  blessedness doesn't ride on the ups and downs of our emotions.  It rises above them.  And since God often uses adversity and trials to give us growth in holiness (yes, holiness is given you whole and entire in your Baptism, but I refer to growing up into the salvation that is yours), there are times of sadness that come our way on this path toward the fuller inner appropriation of that holiness which results in blessedness.  

I know this is one of those things someone out there thinks someone such as myself should never think or say, but the truth is that there are days when I pretty much don't feel happy until I'm in bed again. And then in that bed at the end of that day, I roll over and thank my husband for the wonderful life he's given me and tell him I am happy. Because even when I don't feel happy I am happy. I'm happy that there are certain things about which I will never have to wonder. I'm happy that there are certain regrets (or at least certain magnitudes of regret) I know I won't have. I'm happy that I have six baptized children even though life with them can sometimes land me back in bed having felt only inadequate and furious and unappreciated and imprisoned and sinful pretty much since I got out of it. If you could spy on my face during the day you might see clouds on it. So I'm sorry you can't see past the false strength of those clouds into the blazing sun that is my soul. I often feel sad, but I still consider myself happy because I know I am blessed.

And I don't want to burn you.

09 February 2012


People cite many reasons for not choosing the big family life. The reason few people are honest enough to cite is what I guess we must call "style" or "popularity" or "anti-loserishness".

Because, let's face it, big family people are dorks. They look like they just came from the last hour of a garage sale on Doublewide Drive, or the super weird ones even dress up like they're Amish or something. They can't shut up about homeschooling and &$*% breastfeeding and #$^&@%#$#$@ homebirth. The wives always end up looking like heaps of hairy blubber and the husbands are just creepy hagbait with giant guts (must be all those kids, ha ha ha ha ha). They have to drive those Baptist church vans to fit all their spawn in, how is that Lutheran, ha ha ha ha ha? It's fine that some people have a lot of kids, but . . . dorks!

It would sound pretty shallow to engineer one's family on the basis of coolness, though, and the myriad other reasons couched in terms of responsibility and stewardship sound downright mature. But the truth is that skinny jeans and makeup and generally not being a loser are a surprisingly big deal to a lot of people who ostensibly left high school a long time ago.

Little children, grow up. We know very well that all that cruel snobbery we can just say was a joke if we get cornered is a spiteful caricature we have based on a few people we didn't like. Coolness is the extremely silly wealth of a too-wealthy people, and our Lord has nothing but warnings for the rich man.

Of course we'd all totally die for Jesus no prob, but of most of us he does not make so straightforward a request. Most of us he asks merely to be despised and rejected even as he was. Which is to say, among other things, uncool; renouncing in large part the clothing, entertainment, demeanor, speech, and camaraderie of the World around us. Would I give up my edgy hipness for a meek and quiet spirit? Would I stop making a point of denouncing badly dressed weirdness to make sure everybody knows I'm not one of those losers even if we do all go to the same church? Would I risk appearing to be allied with (or at least refuse to speak ill of) that annoying hippie and her annoying hippie friends* who happen to be my sisters in Christ? Would I give up the ax I've been grinding so long on the backs of badly dressed weirdos to do right by the husband, the baby, the children, the church, the neighbors God has given or would give me?

I don't like being a weirdo. I have, idiotically, been jealous of the cool people since the time I was old enough to perceive their exclusivity. Although I'm getting pretty old and crusty, there are times when I hate knowing that I, with my six kids and my pragmatically determined appearance and my six-kid-centric lifestyle and my boring hangup on the same, am the loser the cool people are still sneering at. Little child, grow up.

*And this one is really dangerous, as I have been terribly embarrassed to find the hippies much kinder, humbler, and more accepting of others than I am. Organic jerks, making me feel all bad and stuff . . . .

07 February 2012

"Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?"

It was befuddling to see Madonna working the crowd with her trademark methods during this year's big halftime show, and not because she has clearly purchased a sort of youth. It is befuddling to think why anyone Madonna's age would still WANT to shake her skirt like that.

I turn 35 this year. It is evident that in my body I have passed my solstice and will soon begin slouching through my dog days. My pride doesn't like it, but my more reasonable side finds some comfort in the idea that there is coming a day when my flesh will have proved itself, and the heat of summer will come to an end.

When the North Wind blows through my life and carries all my birds to the warmth of their own summers, there will still be sunshine enough, God willing, for all the days of autumn. To think of fighting that wind, of gathering up my falling leaves in taut, synthetic bags, and working to confuse eyes with my brittling branches . . . No. No running, or painting, or afflicting myself for growing old. What must be, will be.

Besides, autumn is an enchanting season: she has gained so much from the sun that she more fully reflects its colors; she blesses her people with unexpected bursts of warmth; she shelters the time of harvest and prepares the soil for generations of life to come. Sing to the Lord, for autumn is at hand! There is still much, very much, to do! And not a second to waste groping after a spent spring. An honest Spring is coming, and soon, and it will appear in the sky without our doing a thing. In the meantime, dignity as we await the snow.

I think I'll go for a walk!

06 February 2012

Stir occasionally and keep track of the water

Here's something that seems weird to me about babysitting/day care: the kids get attention paid directly, exclusively to them all the time. That's not how it works at home (mine, anyway). At home I spend as much time as possible picking up, cleaning up, cooking, doing laundry, and whatever else I can to keep this place operational as long as the kids are operational without my direct involvement. They usually kind of follow me around while I do these things and find things of their own to do in the same vicinity (I wear the baby or park her where I'm working). Eventually I get tired enough and/or they whine enough that I will sit down and read books to them for a while (I almost never "play"--I am a grownup, and they can knock down blocks without my help). Then I feed them something and we go back to our semi-interactive businesses for a while. This cycle repeats throughout the day.

A child care arrangement is designed solely around keeping children occupied/entertained. No adult there has to make supper or straighten the bedrooms or keep up with laundry. While I am very aware that it is my job to care for my children and teach them what they need to know, this does not mean that I spend every minute of our shared day crawling around on the floor and providing them with structured activities. My caring for them includes providing an acceptably livable house and decent meals, and that means they don't have my undivided attention all the time. I am always with them, but I am not always singularly engaged with them. I have more jobs here than just child care--thank goodness, because I (like many women and nearly all men) would go completely insane if talking to babies was all the day held for me.

The babies are not a Crock Pot, but they are definitely not a wok. They're more like a double boiler.

02 February 2012


There are lots of reasons why it’s sad to live far from grandparents.** (And aunts, and uncles… And cousins!)

There’s the obvious: it’d be really great to have an extra hand on deck every now and again, and also nice if Dad didn’t have to rearrange his schedule every time someone needed a doctor’s appointment. It’d also be pretty great to have grandparents at things like baptisms, Christmas programs, and birthdays. More importantly, how precious it would be to see the heads of those generations regularly bent together over a project, with skills and quiet wisdom imparted simply through the togetherness. While those moments can and do happen in the midst of whirlwind out-of-town visits, they’re simply not the norm when routines are disrupted and everyone’s clamoring for the scarce novelty of Grandpa’s attention or Grandma’s lap.

Here’s another tough thing about living far from grandparents: it’s so easy for a mom to lose perspective, in the midst of the daily fray, on the hilarious, wondrous small persons in her constant charge. While our parents love our kids just about as unconditionally and fiercely as do we, they are, in some ways, more ideally positioned to appreciate the singular qualities of a child that we’ve lost sight of in the midst of daily disciplinary and educational necessities. I’m ashamed to admit how easy it is for me to fall into thinking of a kid as being a particular issue, rather than as being a marvelously complex person who happens, like the rest of us humans, to have some issues.

It would just be really great if grandparents were here more often to remind me, simply by being with the kids and loving them as only a grandparent can, that Kid B’s maddening quirks are balanced by that special sparkle in his eye and by the hugs that he passes out at day’s end, no matter what’s gone down. And that the vexing habits of Kid A are nothing compared to the comic relief he provides. And that Kid C is still only three, for heaven’s sake, and isn’t his innocent-mischief face just adorable? And that by the time the toddling Girlbaby acquires the competencies that make her easier to live with, much of her squishable-baby-loveness will be outgrown as well.

Ah, the double-edged sword of good grandparents: more to treasure—more to miss.

**I’m not really complaining, especially since I know how much farther many other people are—physically or emotionally—from relatives. Our parents are great about making efforts to stay connected and regularly travel the distance to help out whenever possible. No, I’m not complaining…just thinking greedily ;P

01 February 2012

What to expect, Month four

The day arrives (especially if this is not your first pregnancy) when you go to bed with a paunchy little pooch and wake up with a full-blown baby belly.

As you contemplate this development with astonishment, it occurs to you that there might be twins in there. Twins! Or triplets! Triplets!!! What if there are triplets in there?! Forgetting all the statistics that you know, forsaking all rationality, you suddenly envision yourself trying to nurse triplets (!!!) whilst cooking supper for the rest of your clamoring young brood. Panicking, you can’t decide which is more daunting at this point in your career: the thought that there might be more than one baby in there, or the thought that your belly might just be that big already. You Google multiples, smile at the pictures of parents who’ve mastered the art of double-slinging babies, and choke on the price of the triple jogging stroller.

At your next doctor’s appointment, you tentatively raise the twin theory. Your doctor laughs at you, then recommends cutting back on both the flights of fancy and the carbs.

It’s awfully nice to know what to expect, at least.

It appears as though there are several of these in the oven.