Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me

I had no idea sleep could be a god.

There's nothing like losing a thing to make you realize how much importance you had placed on it. *side note - I threw away my scale yesterday. Already I feel the loss. I think another post about my misuse of that tool will be coming soon* But back to sleep. Or rather, a lack there of.  I have a new baby. He eats frequently. Since I am breastfeeding him I chose to wake up every time he eats.

Wow, just writing this post is revealing that my view of sleep is not yet fully refined. I started typing, "I have to wake up every time he eats." But I realized I don't HAVE to do anything. I really am choosing to wake up every two to three hours. I could switch him to formula.  But I don't want to. What I really want is to be able to breastfeed my son but still get 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

Not happening.

The first couple of weeks of frequent waking left me tired. The subsequent ones left me cranky, impatient, selfish, joyless and ungrateful. Not pretty.

God used a woman I've never met to show me the filth in my heart. Early on in this sleep-deprived season she mentioned that Jesus is the One Who interrupts her plans for rest.  If God is sovereign (which He is) then He is the one that coordinates it so that my three year old wakes up five minutes after my two month old falls asleep. God is allowing my sleepless state.

A little over a year ago I formed a definition of idolatry that I saw working out in some one's life: An idol is anything you use as an excuse to disobey God.

It wasn't until I read Lindsay's testimony that mentioned sleep being an idol that the dots connected for me.

I'm tired, it takes me a little while.

Using Lindsay's springboard of possibility and my definition, I decided to test myself. Is sleep an idol in my life? Remember the state of my heart: cranky, impatient, selfish, joyless and ungrateful. I forgot to mention anger and self-pity. Those were pretty prevalent, also. Here's how my heart fared compared to Scripture -

Cranky: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Impatient: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

Selfish: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3)

Joyless: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.(Romans 12:12)

Ungrateful: give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Anger: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Ephesians 4:31)

Self-pity: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (Romans 12:3)

Hmmm. . . Not doing so well at following those commands. And they are commands. At least in English. I haven't taken the time to research the Greek to see if each verb is in the imperative form. (I've got kids.)

And none of those commands list exceptions. They don't say obey God unless you're tired. Neither do they say obey God unless someone has been mean to you. Or if you're stressed, or you were victimized, or anything else. God's expectations for His children are for each season of life and each interaction. There aren't ever times given when it is okay to have an icky heart.

I know this post is getting really long, but I do want to add the warning that I had in my own heart about not wanting to abuse my body.
Very true.
Very biblical.
Very much not the extreme I am in danger of swinging toward.

I have long recognized the importance of sleep toward maintaining my health. All aspects of my person hood - mind, body & spirit - are impacted by receiving adequate slumber. This is by no means a recommendation to mistreat yourself. Rest is important. It's just not more important than God. And not getting enough during a (truly short) season of my life is not a valid reason to disobey.

I shall have no other gods before Him.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Disappearing Me

I'm sure you noticed I haven't been posting to my blog much lately.

Don't feel bad, I haven't written in my journal much, either.
And I haven't read my Bible much.
I haven't spent much one on one time with my first born son.
I haven't prayed much, except to rage/beg/whimper and otherwise emotionally vomit on God.
I haven't spent much quality time with my husband.
The only thing I think I have done much of lately is feed the bottomless pit that I gave birth to two months ago. Fortunately, he's darling. And his latch is improving. But decidedly little gets done when I find myself sitting to nurse every one and half to three hours.

So I have disappeared. "Misappeared," to quote my three year old.

Unfortunately, it's not just my time and words that have vanished. My mind and heart went AWOL into a pit of self pity. I think yesterday marked the point of returning, though. I hope to write more about it soon. Jesus has shown me so much recently. The slow simmer of sleeplessness has brought up more dross in my life than the fast, flashing blazes of previous trials.

I really do want to write. I want to write for my sake. I want to write for the sake of whoever learns from my life. I want to write for the sake of Jesus' fame. Writing is important. My boys are more important.

Until I figure out how to care for my husband, my soul, my sons, my body, my home & my mind, I'm going to have to maintain this super slothful pace of blogging. Thanks for sticking with me.

Here are some pictures to help ease the wait. . .

N reading to T

Sweet T

My Men

Sweet N

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My New Man

Four weeks ago we had the thrill of welcoming T into our family. T is a family name from my husband's side. (T is named after his father's mother's mother's father.) His middle name means "God is gracious." This child has been living proof of God's mercy since his conception. The fact that we were allowed to conceive him at all is a wonder. When his heart was having irregular rhythms in the womb, Jesus again proved his graciousness by guarding his health. T's labor and delivery were an absolute gift from God. Though I would never call it fun, my experience was so much better than my previous birth.

I felt my first contraction as I was finishing up at Bible study with N. A few more followed, but were very short lived and irregular in their timing. The first one came at about 1130.

By 1230 they were still irregular, but were coming a little bit closer together, about 10 minutes apart. I was about 5 minutes from my birth center and 35 minutes from home. My husband and midwife, though, were both at or near my house. So I drove home. Yes, I drove when I was in labor, but the contractions weren't bad and were still pretty far apart.

I got home at about 1300.  I put away our lunch boxes and turned on the oven to start heating up the birth linens. My friend, V, arrived at 1330 to take N to her house for his afternoon nap. I wanted to roar through my contractions without worrying about terrifying my son. After they left I went to my sitting room to change into a robe, light candles & turn on worship music. The contractions started getting regular, so my husband started timing them. I was surprised that they were only 1.5 minutes apart. I would have guessed them 5 minutes apart.

At 1345 I notified my midwife that the contractions were 1.5 minutes apart. I could still walk and talk through them, but they were pretty close together. I knew she had an appointment at 1400, so I wanted to keep her posted before she was with someone else. She said she would have her assistant come. About five minutes later, though, I received a text that she was going to go ahead and come over.

My midwife arrived sometime between 1400-1405. About every third contraction was intense by the time she arrived. I was still walking through them, but instead of talking I was squeezing all the blood out of my husband's hands.

By about 1410 I was no longer walking or talking. I was kneeling on the ground, praying for God's help. My husband described it as a "two word psalm." - God help - and - God please -

I went to the restroom where my husband applied counter pressure to my knees while I sat upright. I squeezed his forearms and pushed my forehead against his. My water broke while I was sitting on the toilet (rather convenient).

My midwife told me it was time to get up and I told her no. She tried again. I said, "Sorry Suzanne, not going to do it." She dashed off to get the birth stool and brought it to the restroom. She tried to get me to walk the three feet to the birth stool.  Still I refused. But then I found myself walking over. I found out later my dear husband helped me change my mind by gently lifting and guiding me to the birth stool. Good thing he did. T was born about one minute later.

1428. My son was born. My beautiful, purple, limp son. The booger wouldn't breath. My midwife gave him a few rescue breaths, then started to use an ambu bag on him. My husband and I were rubbing, talking, and otherwise trying to irritate him into breathing. After about a minute and a half he started to breath. The umbilical cord was still pulsating, so he had oxygen the whole time. But still, holding a lifeless baby in your arms should be terrifying.

It didn't even occur to me to be afraid. That is the peace that passes understanding. When my midwife asked me if I was scared I said I wasn't, and that it was probably because of my healthcare background. Oh! If only I could take back those words! It had nothing to do with my history of seeing other dead people. Only Jesus can explain why my heart was at such rest as my son flopped in my arms. I still remember the feeling of his warm, moist body resting there without any motion.

So that is the birth story of T.
He weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces.
He was 19 3/4 inches long.
He had a great pile of black hair, including sideburns and fuzzy shoulders.

I have no idea how my heart survived 32 years without loving this boy.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Protein Perfection

Sorry I dropped off the face of the planet.

I've been nesting.

I have two weeks to go til I hit my due date. All the supplies are here, should little man be born at home. The nursery is ready. The car is ready. We are ready. We're just praying I don't go into labor on Wednesday because my husband will be three hours away for work.

My lovely sister gave me a recipe for homemade protein bars that far surpass my protein mochas. It was so hot this summer I couldn't choke them down anymore. Knowing of my plight, my sister helped me out. Apparently she is on the same message board as She-Ra (the woman ran the Boston Marathon) And She-Ra posted the recipe. It's fabulous! And it's posted below for you:

2 cups nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond, etc.)
1 3/4 cups honey
2 1/4 cups protein powder
3 cups dry, uncooked oatmeal

Combine nut butter and honey in a large mixing bowl.
Heat for ~ 70 seconds in microwave.
Stir in protein and oatmeal.
Press into a 9x13 dish.
Cut into 16 bars.
Wrap in foil or saran wrap.
Store in plastic baggie in the fridge.

Calories: 267
Fat: 5g
Protein: 18g
Carbohydrates: 38g

-I like using half peanut butter, half chocolate peanut butter. It makes them taste like no-bake cookies.
-Using quick oats helps the bars stay more moist and soft.
-Only begin making this if you are feeling well rested and strong. Stirring all that together is quite the workout.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Know Your Child's a Climber When. . .

You find his hat on a 6 foot tall shelf.

Here's how the monkey got up there:

He dragged the chair from his art desk to the pantry, climbed up on the cabinet, and voila! He grabbed his cereal while he was up there, too.

I know my child loves climbing, and that he prefers picking out his own food, so this was by no means his first trip up the pantry shelves. But it still startled a smile into me to find his hat resting on the shelf.

(Deepest apologies for anyone suffering palpitations at the chaos that is my pantry)

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Life is Not Fair

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:14 ESV
I was reading Desiring God by John Piper the other night. (a highly recommended read) This verse kicked off a chapter. I couldn't get past it.

It seems I have always known that the gate to Heaven is narrow. I can't recall the first time I heard it. Yet, I was struck by it. By the unfairness of it.

So often I readily identify when life is unfair against me. But this time I was bewildered how unfair it is for me. I have done nothing to deserve this privileged path. God has made the hard way possible (and delightful!) I didn't find the path, it was shown me. Had Jesus not sought me out, I would not be one of the few.

Life isn't fair. Usually it takes from us. But for those of us who belong to Christ, the unfairness is reversed. We are given extraordinary treasure. Unfairly, we find ourselves walking the path of life with Jesus.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Love the Library

My child really doesn't have a chance. Both nature and nurture are against him. A bookworm he is. A bookworm he will remain.

My husband loves books. I love books. We live next door to the library.

So N and I find ourselves at the library quite a bit. Through the school year we go at least once, if not twice a week. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays they offer story time with a correlating craft. On Thursdays the local senior citizens come to read stories to the kids. There are also crafts and snacks (!) on Thursdays.

The children's librarian, Miss Carol, knows and loves my son. The feeling is heartily returned by him.

Through the summer months story time continues on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but they add in family day on Thursdays. Family day rocks. A special guest comes in and shares either information or stories, then some sort of treat. So far we've seen birds (owls are SO COOL!), fire fighters, a chef, and made some crafts from around the world. Today we got to read all about pancakes, then ate some. My three year old had four pancakes. Next week magicians are coming.

I feel like the Fonz, but seriously, go check out your library. Even if you don't have small kids, it's fun to watch other people's. When the firefighters were presenting their safety information they had to pause for a moment to help a little girl tie the bow on her dress. It was absolutely the sweetest thing. Apparently she fully believed that they really are there to help her. To aid and assist during accidents, fires, and clothing emergencies.

Since our small town library offers so much, I figure everyone else's does, too. They have guest speakers, giveaways, and free movies to rent. While you're there, you might even find a good book.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 15, 2011

He Understands II

Today I will finally tell you the way God knocked my socks off a few months ago. I haven't delayed in an attempt to be sly. I've just been a bit of a slacker, choosing to nap rather than blog. Crazy pregnant girl.

My husband and I attended the New Members Class at our church during the spring semester. Instead of focusing on church policy, though, the course was mainly dedicated to doctrine. I know it sounds awful, and like a "bait and switch," but it was quite refreshing.

As we were studying Christ we began looking at the truth that He emptied Himself, became nothing, when He took on flesh. We read the well known passage from Philippians:

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, 
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant
being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:5-7 NIV

Our pastor pointed out the irony of Jesus becoming nothing by taking on something. He didn't just empty himself into nothingness. Rather, He exchanged something majestic for something low. I suddenly realized that He really does understand what it is like to be a mom.

Yes, being a mom is wonderful, rewarding, & important. Blah, blah, blah. But, boy, do we give up a lot when we starting raising our babies. There is so much of me that has been laid aside so that I may nurture my son. Just as Jesus chose to humble himself to the low position, so have I. Only His lowering was much worse than mine. He understands.

This is not limited to mommies, though. Some men take jobs that harm their careers, or even derail their life goals in order to care for ailing parents or a young family. There are other people that God calls to walk away from worldly success and significance so that they may serve others. The situations are endless. So is our God. Jesus understands. He truly is our great high priest.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Parenting Technique Revisited

Before my son was a year old we discovered that redirection worked well for him. In addition to telling him not to touch the DVD player, we would pick him up and plop him down in front of another toy. After awhile he finally quit heading for the DVD player. In the two years following, he has pretty consistently found interests, words, or objects that we discourage him from through redirection.

Apparently he feels it is a worthy technique.

Recently if I have started singing a song he doesn't care for he'll say, "Mommy, I don't love that song." Then he'll start singing a different song that he knows we both like. He did it a couple of times before I realized I was being redirected into his preferred behavior. He also uses it for leading our book reading and play time.

I tend to heap affirmation on him when he does something well and when he follows instructions. I don't tell him he rocks when he doesn't, because I want those words to mean something. Fortunately he's awesome a lot, so he gets to hear it a lot. In the past few months when I have done something well, my sweet boy is quick to affirm me. It really is the sweetest thing.

I'm so glad we don't hit him or yell at him.

Who knew your parenting could come back at you so fast? My little man is but three years old, yet I am already being subjected to my own teachings.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 8, 2011

When Life is Easy

When life is easy, you have no reason to grow deep. I've often heard the analogy between our lives and trees. But I had a chance to see it recently.

A pile of my father's kin was gathered at my uncle's house on a lake. Well, not a lake: The Lake. He is privileged to be the keeper of several of God's acres of land at that beautiful spot.  It boasts massive fish, turtles, frogs, snakes, trees, egrets, flowers, ticks, deer, ducks, bushes, tiny fish and a host of other lovely creatures.  

A storm blew in on our last day there. And blow it did. It howled with fierce determination. When the sound of hail pounding on the window woke me up, I rolled over to cover my son's body so that if the glass broke it wouldn't fall on him. This wasn't a sissy storm. When it cleared we peered through the unbroken window to survey the damage.

Leaves and branches were scattered all about, of course. The neighbor's dock broke, a cable snapped and pulled it toward shore. And a tree that is more than four stories tall was lying on its side.

I had my sister stand beside the base of the tree to provide some perspective on how big it was. Though she has stubby little legs, she is still considered "normal" height for a woman.

Here's a perspective from the trunk side. There was no way to get a picture of its former height, it was too tall. But guessing it at 40 feet is conservative.

It was such a reminder that the hard times help us grow our roots down deep. This tree was so close to the lake that it just sent its roots out sideways. It never had reason to go down, the ground was always so moist around it. Its life was too easy.

Jesus, help me remember not to whine when life is hard. Help me not to despair, but to stretch my roots down deep into You. I don't want to be killed and cut for fire wood after a mighty, though short, storm. May I be a strong tree that sings your glory while providing shade and nourishment for my family. Amen.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eat Your Veggies

My friend Shannon sent me a fabulous recipe awhile ago that I want to share. She knows I'm a big fan of avocados, and thought I would like it. Boy, was she right! This pudding became an instant hit at my house.

Here's the original recipe.

Here's mine:
1/2 medium sweet potato, cooked
1 medium avocado
2 tbsp cocoa or carob (sometimes I use 1 tbsp of each)
Maple syrup to taste
Liquid of choice for blending (I use soy milk, coconut milk or water)

Plop everything into the food processor. Blend until creamy.

I tried the dates that the original recipe calls for, but they were too hard to blend well, even after soaking. I've also used a banana instead of maple syrup to add the sweet kick. Some people like using rice syrup or other ingredients to get the desired sweetness.

Here's a peek at the finished product:

And. . . a picture of my husband, stealing my pudding. He totally took advantage of my hands being occupied with the camera.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recent Quotes

Winifred, never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint.
George Banks, from Mary Poppins 

The little choices we must make
Will chart the course of life we take;
We either choose the path of light,
Or wander off in darkest night.
D. De Haan

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

Two glad Services are ours
Both the Master loves to bless
First we serve with all our powers
Then with all our helplessness

These lines of Charles Fox have rung in my head this last fortnight - & they link on with the wonderful words "weak with Him" - for the world's salvation was not wrought out by the three years in which He went about doing good, but in the three hours of darkness in which He hung stripped & nailed, in utter exhaustion of spirit, soul & body, til His heart broke. So little wonder for us, if the price of power is weakness.
I. Lilias Trotter

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 17, 2011

PostPartum Care Pack

I thought about titling this "PostPartum Pamper Pack" to maintain alliteration. But the word "pamper" has a connotation of excess, unnecessity, selfishness, luxury. No woman caring for her body after delivering a child should be labelled selfish. Extraordinary postpartum care should not be a luxury.

I had a rather horrific time with my first born. I plan to have things go much better this time. Three and a half years ago, many of things that added to my pain were out of my control. Some, however, were in my realm of influence. I didn't do a very good job taking care of myself. Ignorance was a major contributing factor in my lack of self-care. Pride, exhaustion & deep feelings of abandonment sealed the deal.

So I've started compiling a list of things I want after my son is born this Fall.

This list is not intended to be a shopping list for anyone but myself. I don't expect any loving (Mom), generous (Mom) or compassionate (Mom) person to buy this stuff. I'm sharing it for two reasons:

1. Give what little wisdom I have to those who have a wee bit less experience in this area.

2. See if I'm missing anything. If you notice something that I left off, that you think is important, please tell me!

Also, please note: Many of the things on this list are going to be new to me. I didn't have them with my first son and in hindsight wish I did. I could be wrong. I might get some of them and decide I wasted my money. Tis better to have good  care resources available and not need them, than to need them desperately and not have them.

Peri-Stations (I'll have one in each bathroom I use. One upstairs, one downstairs)

  • Peribottle
  • Super-thin pads
  • Perineal cold pads
  • Tucks pads or Postpartum bath herbs. Probably both. I'll see which I need more at the time.
  • Bottom Spray
  • Depends. Yes, adult diapers. A lot of people recommend them for the first couple of days. They are a bit more forgiving than underwear, are meant to be disposed of, and the new ones don't make the crinkly noise of traditional adult diapers. We'll see.
I know a lot of these overlap with one another, and may seem like overkill. But if your perineum looked and felt like mine did, you would error on the side of caution, too.

Breastfeeding Supplies
  • Milk band So much better than writing notes!
  • Bamboobies These sound lovely. I figure nothing can be worse than the bulky cotton ones or the crinkly disposable ones I used before.
  • Some sorta nipple cream. I can't figure out if I'll stick with lanolin, or try some vegan organic stuff. There are lots of options
  • Soothies I'm not sure if I'll stick with this brand. Some people love 'em, some people don't. But I plan on having some kind of nipple gel pad available.
Breastfeeding Stations (every place around the house I sit to breastfeed)
  • Pillow and/or Boppy
  • Pads, cream & gel pads listed above
  • Water bottle
  • Clif Bars
  • Cloth diapers for burp cloths
  • Books. Maybe. Lots of people recommend them. I anticipate being too tired to read. If I do grab a book, though, it will be Calvin & Hobbes or something equally stimulating.

  • A belly band. There are so many options, though, I don't know what to chose. I might just end up getting a really big ace wrap. The extra support will be lovely, I just know it!
  • Handheld fan. I remember sweating for about 6 months after my son was born. While I thoroughly enjoy perspiring while exercising, I loathe it while sitting still.
  • Rapid release Tylenol For the inevitable headaches
copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

He Understands

My heart was so blessed to read about my Jesus this morning:

"He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool." Hebrews 10:13 HCSB.

He understands waiting.

I felt such peace, camaraderie, satisfaction, wonder & joy when I discovered again, anew, that Jesus really is a great high priest who understands my heart.

I'm just waiting for the child of my heart, born through adoption, to be placed in my arms. I don't deserve that baby. I have done nothing to be worthy of the promise I wait for.

Jesus does deserve for His enemies to be made a footstool. He has earned it. He is worthy of that honor. So I'm thinking His wait is worse than mine.

My spiritual socks were knocked off my feet a few months ago by another realization of just how much He understands. But I don't want to put all my pearls in one post. :) So stay tuned for "He Understands II," coming in a few weeks.

In the meantime, I hope you are equally touched as you ponder that no matter what promise you are waiting to be fulfilled, you have not waited as long as Jesus has. He understands the pain, frustration, hope, despair, faith, grit, and strength that go into waiting expectantly. He understands.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Making Protein Palatable

My midwife recommends I follow the Bradley Diet. It calls for consuming protein, LOTS of protein. Since I'm not a super-big fan of meat she further recommended getting a powdered protein and drinking it once a day.

Suzanne, my happy, though delusional, midwife said to just mix it with a glass of juice each day. That dear man of mine picked  up a pack of powdered rice protein about two months ago. I tried it with orange juice.

I choked.

I poured in more orange juice.

My stomach flip-flopped.

I threw in more juice.

My eyes watered. I pushed it across the table. My sweet M tried his valiant best to swallow it also. He soldiered through about 75% of it. It was so awful that I decided to find my way around powdered protein.

Two months later, though, I feel like I need the boost. It's pretty toasty warm here in the middle of the U.S. of A. I was starting to swell ever so slightly. I'm staring down another 3 months of heat, so I decided to brave another try. I picked up a pack of RAW Protein. I tried it with coconut milk this time. (The stuff that Silk makes.)

I choked.

I determined that should I ever have an absorption disorder and require protein daily, I would rather have a g-tube than have that junk slide down my throat. BUT. . . I didn't want to be wasteful.

So I added Hot Cocoa Mix. Then I added Coffee. (organic decaf).

I took a sip.

It was yummy!

Woo hoo! I discovered the secret for making protein palatable! I'm sure the raw folks out there are shaking their heads at how I destroyed the "raw-ness" by heating it up. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A choice, A view

I had my 20-week prenatal appointment with my midwife (Suzanne) two weeks ago. I'm just now posting about it, though, because apparently all the posts in May needed to start with "why."

The visit was good. I still marvel at the beauty of home visits. I looked at my own urine strip, since I'm not color blind and am blessed to be literate. I heard my son's heart tones. I laughed as the little booger kept dashing away from the doppler. He's already so much fun. I learned that my blood pressure is just as perfect as I expect it to be. We chatted for awhile about a variety of things. Due to pregnancy brain I can recall dreadfully little, these two weeks later.

However, I do remember one particular choice that was given to me: What do you want to do with the placenta? These are my options: Suzanne will dispose of it, we can plant it, or we can eat it. We can eat it as it is, or Suzanne can dry it and place it in capsules for us. Hmm. . . I needed to talk to my man. Since he loves researching absolutely every decision he makes I figured he would want a little bit of time to make up his mind then discuss it with me. Though it is my organ, since I will no longer be attached to it, I am pleased to let him own this aspect of childbirth.

It turns out he didn't need to research anything. He knew immediately what his answer was. And it turns out we will make the same decision that the hospitals of America make for us. But it is so different this time. Because it is our choice. What a delight to have a choice over my own body. I wish I could help other people see that our decision to leave the hospital setting isn't dangerous or wildly radical. It's full of health, wisdom and love. And it's available for others too, not just the crazy few.

Now, something a bit more lighthearted. The view from my front seat:
That's my dear son, holding the coffee cup that he hijacked from me. He did let me have one more sip after taking my mug away. I'm so glad I drink organic decaf. He needs nothing else to hype him up. And, of course, beloved Bear is safely belted into place. I don't remember anything else I saw that day. This view was the most beautiful one.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Why I Love Small Town, America

Sitting at the locally owned pharmacy's soda fountain, waiting for our prescriptions to be filled.

I had a slice of homemade peanut butter pie. N had a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

The pharmacists and pharmacy techs know us by name.

Despite walking out with a significantly lighter wallet, my fibers are singing, "Life is grand!"

Jesus knows it's the little things that make my day. I'm pretty sure that's why I'm planted here. He's the real reason life is grand.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Why I'm Using a Midwife

Oh boy, I could write pages and pages on why I'm choosing a midwife. But I'm squeezing this post in before a morning stroll with my sweet son, so I'll try to keep it short. Perhaps I'll expound more later.

If I take my paragraphs of thoughts and condense them down to one sentence, it is this: I'm using a midwife because the philosophy and approach to care of midwives is patient-centered. Now, on the off-chance that a physician reads this and becomes outraged, I would like to clarify a bit. Medical doctors are not evil. This world as a whole, and my life in particular, would be less vibrant without the contributions of doctors. The philosophy of medicine, however, is disease-centered.

Pregnancy is not a disease. Labor and delivery are not disease processes. They are normal functions of health that increase the risk of certain diseases. If I were to develop a disease during my pregnancy I would seek the assistance of a physician. If my labor or delivery lead to an emergency, I will accept care from a doctor. But since I'm not sick, I'm not going to a doctor.

Those are all the rational reasons that make my voice carry a little more weight with those who disagree with me. Now for the raw thoughts that few dissenters respect: my labor and delivery were traumatic. There were many irritations during prenatal care, but let's skip to the fireworks. While I was in labor I received 7 needle sticks to place an unnecessary IV. My already extraordinary pain was increased when I was forced to lie down for a pelvic exam. When it was discovered that I was, in fact, dilated to 10cm like I said I was, people started yelling at me to not push. Once the doctor arrived, the commands changed to "push!" I delivered while lying on my back. My perineum ripped apart. While nurses were putting unnecessary antibiotics in my newborn's eyes the doctor shoved a needle into my vagina. She didn't ask me if I wanted the block. She didn't warn me. She just stabbed.

I don't ever want to go through that again.

Also, midwives have conversations like this.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bigger Baby Bump

I have written about quite a few bumps.

First there was the bump of Catholic Charities placing on the "Waiting List for the Waiting List" in October last year. Then last month there was the summary of two other bumps: the adoption fraud in January and the birthmom deciding to parent in March. It's been a wee bit bumpy. No amount of shock absorbers could have prepared us for this bump, though:


Feel free to scream, shout, dance, etc. I personally fell to my knees and started sobbing, thanking God for allowing us to have another baby. I was so shocked that all creativity left my head. I called M and just yelled at him over the phone what you see highlighted above.

Here's some details: I'm 16 weeks pregnant, due October 2nd.
                               My ultrasound is scheduled for May 16th.
                               Yes, we will find out gender.
                               Yes, I will post the info here.
                               I am using a midwife for my prenatal care and for labor and delivery.
                               I'm planning on delivering at a birthcenter, but since N came so super duper fast,
                               we know there is a strong possibility that I'll have a home birth.

By the way, I highly recommend using a midwife who does home deliveries. Ours also does prenatal visits at our home. I haven't had to drive to an office. I haven't sat in a single waiting room. I haven't jumped up on an exam table. I get to listen to my sweet baby's heart beat from the comfort of my own couch. I am sure I will post more about the wonders of delivering with a midwife. The philosophy is so polar opposite medicines, so of course, the approach is going to be also.

If you haven't heard from me in a week, remind me to tell you about urine strips and protein drinks.

By the way, the reason I reference pregnancy as a bigger baby bump than our adoption complications isn't because a biological baby is a bigger deal than an adopted one. It's a bigger bump because I feel huge already. I had worked so hard to lose weight, and now it's flying right back on. Ugh. Oh well, I lost it once, I'll lose it again.

We do still think there is a baby for us to adopt. Now we're just super curious about the when, how, where, etc. Thanks for all your love and support!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why I'm Smiling This Moment. . .

The sound of my son bouncing, jiving, dancing his way through the living room as he "steps in time" with Mary Poppins.

I know this is more a tweet than a blog post. But I don't tweet. So this'll have to do!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Another Bump

Our adoption journey continues to be very curious.

From November to January we were presented to four different birth moms. Each chose another family to parent her child.

In January we were presented to a birth mom who chose us to parent her baby girl. We later found out she's a fraud, thief, liar, all-around not-nice person.

In February we were presented to a birth mom who chose us to parent her baby boy. She gave birth to him last Friday. She decided not to place him in our home. She is going to parent him herself.

I don't think all these adoption losses are a coincidence. I'm just a bit curious on what is happening in the heavenlies.

In hind site it seems the loss of the little girl in January may in part have been to help capture a person who was devastating families. She is currently wearing a striped outfit in a small, uncozy room as she waits for her trial.

I have no idea why we lost the little boy last week. I will say that our hearts are filled with peace, though. I think our friends and family are having a harder time understanding why we keep experiencing so much loss.

Now that life has turned out so very differently than I anticipated, I'm looking forward with great expectation. I have no idea what to expect or even hope for.

Through it all, God is good to us. Jesus is both tender and strong enough to guard our hearts.

I'll keep you posted. . .

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011




The thrill of justice, the agony of publicity.

The woman who defrauded us a few months ago has been arrested. We were in a rather large group of people that she maliciously attacked. So large, in fact, that she will be brought up on federal charges.

This post will be annoyingly short and devoid of information. I am currently working on my Victim Impact Statement. So I need to focus. I also want to make sure nothing jeopardizes her being severely punished. I will give more info later, if I take too long you can try nagging me. Though it's never worked before, it just might this time.

; )

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday our sweet son turned three years old! Here is an overview of the day:

Waking to balloons and a "Happy Birthday" serenade.

Breakfast of a smiley-faced chocolate chip pancake and a free muffin


Sliding, Climbing, Jumping

A favorite dinner: spaghetti and meatballs!

We love you, sweet boy!
copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Insert Creative Title Here

Here is an update. For some reason all creativity has left my head right now. So here are some facts for ya:

Our meeting went really well. It wasn't as effortless as our meeting with the first birth mom. But in hind site, that's because the first woman wasn't facing a massive loss in her life.

I spent about an hour and a half with Amanda. M was there for the first hour, but then had to leave for work. I'm really glad we met because we were able to get more information about her history. She really didn't write anything down at the agency because she wants it to be a closed adoption. She was afraid if she gave too much information our son would find her in later years. But the extra information she gave us verbally will help our son have a better idea of his beginnings before he was ours.

We met with our agency yesterday to sign final paperwork with them. We'll meet with our attorney next Wednesday to get as much paperwork done before the birth as possible. So now we're just waiting for the birth. Amanda wants to be induced, but her doctor won't even consider it before she is 38 weeks. She'll be 38 weeks on March 26th. So I'm expecting a baby in late March. Woo hoo!

In (somewhat) unrelated news: I got an email from the social worker at the previous agency. She said a detective would like to speak with me to get information so they can make a case against the previous "birth mom." So I have an appointment with him next Monday. I am so glad that steps are being taken to keep her from hurting any more families.

Have a sunny weekend!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 28, 2011


Our adoption coordinator called to tell us that a birth mom has chosen us to parent her baby. Woo hoo! Her name is Amanda. She is due April 9th with a baby boy. He is half white and half hispanic. We are thrilled! We were also in denial at first. I was so convinced that we wouldn't be chosen, that when I saw our adoption coordinator's name on my phone, I couldn't figure out why she was calling us. When she said, "She wants you to raise her baby," all I could say was, "Really?"

Here are the reasons she likes/chose us:
1. We're a mixed race couple
2. We used so many words to introduce ourselves and said so much in our profile.
3. I'm a stay-at-home mom
4. We plan to home school
5. Our faith is so important to us

What is so crazy to me is that God gets credit for all those things:
1. Neither I nor M set out to marry someone outside of our ethnicity. We just happened to fall in love with each other, and these are the packages we're wrapped in.
2. I was born with a love for language, words, and communication. It is something God breathed in me while He was still forming me in my mother's womb.
3. I tried working when N was a baby because we thought we needed the money. It was miserable. God has made the way for me to stay home and we still pay our bills.
4. I never would of dreamed of home schooling my kids until I fell in love with Jesus. It's because I want to share Him with my kids that we plan on home schooling.
5. Read Ephesians 2:8

We meet Amanda tomorrow at 1600 CST. (4pm in the midwest) Prayers would be appreciated!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cranky Coffee

I generally make myself a pot of coffee in the morning, then nurse it throughout the day. I am so very grateful for microwaves, otherwise I would never make it. I can tolerate my water room temperature. Soda is even okay when tepid, as long as it stays bubbly. But cold coffee? Ugh. No way, Jose as my darling son would say.

I determine how much coffee to make based on how many hurdles I had to jump on my way to the coffee pot. I usually make 9 cups. But some mornings I feel compelled to make a full pot. Also, if I'm cold, I generally fill that pot to the top.

All this information is leading up to my main point: Mr. Coffee hates me.

On days when I determine that I really need twelve cups of liquid fortification, my coffee pot mocks me by dripping all over my counter. No matter how fast or slow I pour, it always seeps out. It never does this when I brew just 9 cups.

It's a hard-knock life.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wall Art

Color pencil on flat latex paint


Lots of Guilt

Don't worry, N got lots of love, hugs and kisses after the photos were snapped. The shame lifted very quickly.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chump Change

Almost as soon as our hearts were crushed God started speaking to us about forgiveness.

It's not "should" or "could" or "would" or "pretty please." It's a command from God. Fortunately, He also gives us the strength to do it.

So I have found myself forgiving those that hurt me over and over again. It's not a one time thing. Every time I feel angry or resentful, I know I need to forgive again.

I could expand on this for a long time, but my baby boy is going to be getting out of the shower soon, and I want to cuddle with him while he's wrapped in his hooded towel.

Read the last part of Matthew 18 in the bible. If you don't have a Bible, click here.

To listen to my pastor's sermon, which included a brief teaching of forgiveness, click here. It's the sermon that was preached on January 30, 2011; titled Ephesians 4:25-32 Part V. If you don't have time to listen to the whole thing, then click ahead to the last quarter of the sermon. Though I think it's worth your time to listen to the whole thing.


copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 31, 2011

How My Kid Rocks. . .

Let me count the ways.

1. He has been quoting Psalm 118:6 today, "The LORD is for me. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

2. He licked my deodorant today. Oh mercy! There are not words enough to describe how hilarious that was. For something that is supposed to reduce moisture, it sure made him drool and spit a lot. And sympathetic mom that I am, I laughed hysterically then immediately told on him. His head smelled sweet and fresh for hours!

3. He woke up about 5 minutes before I was done exercising. So I let him join me for the last five minutes of my pilates tape. He thought the lady leading the exercises was me. He kept saying, "That's mommy! That's you!" She is anywhere from a size 0 - size 2. Just the fact that he thought there was a possibility I could be compared to someone with a body fat composition of 5% is awesome.

And that's just today!

Love that kid!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Grief Therapy

And it only cost us $7.50!

Play Bounce Jump!

There is an awesome two-story slide. We flew down it faster than greased lightning! Even with our camera on sports mode, everything was a blur. But I'm still gonna post pictures. You can see the smiles. And the blur lets you know how fast we were all bookin'.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

There is no baby. The woman lied about being pregnant. She lied about it being a girl. She lied about her due date. She lied about being in labor. She lied.

So here we lie.

We lie down in this field of pain, confused and overwhelmed. I have felt every possible emotion today. Many of them at the same time. These have been my states: Rage, betrayal, happiness, rejection, comforted, confused, tired, content, angry, hopeless, bitter, joyful and distracted.

I don't know how everything is going to shake out in the next few days. I know our arms remain empty. I also know, though, that God is good. And I'm not just saying that 'cuz He's reading over my shoulder. He really is good. Even through is. Especially through this. He had a path of comfort layed for us before we even stepped on the road of grief.

The day before our daughter died I was reminded that Scripture tells us that Jesus takes our pain personally. Whatever happens to us, happens to Him. He feels each sting. He sobs each tear. The moments before I received the crushing call I was listening to a message about God's comfort. As I hung up the phone I was immediately surrounded by sympathetic tears and hugs and prayers.

He really is good.

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



It's the way a small child says "baby."

It's what came into my mind as I sat to write this quick, short update. But I chose BB for another reason. Tonight it stands for: breach baby.

Yes, our baby girl is standing in her birth mom's womb. Since she's not head-down, and since our birth mom's cervix isn't even slightly dilated, we aren't planning on meeting our daughter this week. The doctor spent an hour trying every possible way of coaxing her to flip. Since our birthmom is a smart cookie, she's not anxious to sign up for a c-section. But she also doesn't want to deliver a 9 pound baby in the breach position.

Yes, our darling daughter is already 9 pounds. Her older sister was 13 pounds at birth. We are all praying she doesn't try to catch up with her. But, the bigger she gets, the less likely she is to flip into a safe birthing position.

The doctor is planning on seeing her again next Monday. But there are a number of signs that she might go into labor before then. We'll see. . . I'll keep you posted!

Thanks for praying!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Here We Go!

Alright, so here's too little information for you:

We have been selected by a birthmom to parent her baby.

The baby is a girl.

The due date is today.

We are ecstatic.

Yes, I will give you more information. Later. Right now I have to go nest. . .

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Wild Ride

I knew adoption was arduous. And expensive. And a bit dangerous to the heart. I just didn't expect it to be quite this wild.

Last Thursday afternoon we were notified of a three month old baby girl that was being placed in an adoptive family. For many reasons we were terrified to accept her. But for many, many more reasons we were excited to parent her. Since our family profile needed to be delivered that evening, we had about two hours to make our decision. We did decide to be presented to the birth mom the next day. So a little family outing, as soon as Daddy got home, found us delivering our profile and drinking strawberry lemonade. The next day we found out the birth mom had chosen another family. We were a little bummed. But we had had less than 24 hours to get our hopes up. God guarded our hearts from being crushed.

So yesterday (Monday) morning I checked my email and found out about another birth mom who was choosing to place her child for adoption. Since we're getting pretty good at this, we made our decision in about 32 seconds. I told our coordinator that we wanted to be presented. So my right thumb got to movin' as I sent texts messages to all those who love us and pray. The birth mom was presented with profiles a few hours later. We heard last night, almost precisely 12 hours after I had checked my email, that the birth mom had chosen another family.

It kinda made me laugh. Of course she did! We're 0 for 4. We don't what we'll do with ourselves if  a birth mom does chose us. Perhaps sit very, very still. When the truth sinks in, then we'll run, run, run like mad!

In case you're wondering, our hearts are in a very good place. Not because we're that mature. But because God is that nice. He is very kindly guarding us against sorrow, bitterness, outrage, rejection, etc. Thanks for your prayers.

I'm wondering if the next one we hear about will all happen within 6 hours. Or was the cutting time in half thing just for the last two? We'll see. . .

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Haiku

Bacteria slays
Antibiotics fight back
Breathing now, Praise God!

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.