28 September 2008

I just couldn't resist. I came across these two videos from Oliver's first Christmas in 2006. It could just be because I'm his Mommy, but I really think they're pretty hilarious!

In this first one, he pretty much has the most pitiful cry I've ever seen.

And, in the second, the transition from laughing to crying is almost indistinguishable.

25 September 2008

Ryan is teaching his class at O'More this morning, so Oliver and I are left at home to make a big mess and keep each other occupied.

After lining up all his stuffed animals on the sofa and counting them like The Count (which sounds mostly like, "two, free, two, free, seben, AH AH AH!!!"), I moved on to do a little work on the computer. Once Oliver had finished his snack and proceeded to empty all the packing peanuts out of the big package Daddy received yesterday, I invited him to join me for a little Photo Booth fun at the computer.

This is what we came up with (I apologize for the "well loved" play room behind us and my jammies and bedhead... shower time doesn't come until 4:30 around here... if it comes at all...):

Clearly, I am much better than Oliver at making a bunny face :)
Monster Faces
Signing "tree"
BIG smiles!!!
hugging Mommy
And, a video, especially for Granddad & Groovy!

23 September 2008

I encourage you all to watch the following videos, pulled from Dr. Grant's blog, The Quick and the Dead. It's nauseating to hear the way Barak Obama, an American presidential candidate, views the sanctity of human life, both by refusing to support the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, and by supporting an organization which takes human life and even targets minority races.

Yes, this subject is very close to my own heart. Our Evie very well could have been one of those babies left to die alone if we had not chosen to protect her from the abortion options we were offered. Instead, she was safe and loved in my womb until she was taken home. I cannot imagine leaving my own child to die alone, no matter what may be "wrong" with it. We chose to protect her life, and we choose to protect other lives like hers. They are of great value in the sight of the Lord.

19 September 2008

Hello, Friends! Brace yourself for a slew of photos. I was looking through the photos on my camera, and couldn't help but chuckle at the crazy ensembles I have let Oliver parade around in this week. I hope you'll be as entertained as I was!

Saturday morning:
No funny outfit, but sweetest little thing to see him cuddled up on the sofa with his baby watching Signing Time. I set him up there at about 6:30 that morning because I was headed out for Fieldstone Farms garage sale day and Ryan wasn't yet ready to face the day.

Later that day:
I returned home with a funny winter hat (Ryan later informed me that we need to be careful what kinds of hats we put on him. Because he doesn't have a big head of hair, he can occasionally look a bit goofy). He is, of course, carrying around his number one toy.


Sunday morning:
Oliver was dressed and handsome for church, and then insisted upon wearing his new, silly winter hat while the rest of us got ready. We didn't foresee that at some point he would need to part with the silly hat. Fast forward to time to get out of the van to go into church and a huge meltdown because Mommy and Daddy felt like it might be inappropriate for him to wear said silly hat to church where he may become somewhat of a spectacle. We went ahead and chose that battle. And we won.

The following day (Monday):
Still wearing the hat, and now also wearing mitten.
It is important to note here three things:
1. This is his first pair of mittens ever that have thumbs - he's growing up!
2. It was 80 degrees or more outside
3. The oh, so dear golf club

Later that day:
Oliver was ready for bed, and Daddy was headed to Bible Study. We decided to play outside for a little bit while we waited for Katie to come over for a visit. A perfect opportunity to wear froggy boots.
I'll note here that Oliver is doing the sign for "motorcycle" - notice the right hand revving - and talking about "Daddad" (Granddad).

Tuesday (Rebecca's Birthday!):
Beatrice spent the night so her Mama and Papa could have a date night.
They thought it was so silly to have two kids in the bed!

Oliver and I spent our morning with the Faires girls.
While Rebecca cut up apples for applesauce in the kitchen, the kids enjoyed apples of their own on the back patio.

I love baby feet!

Thursday Morning:
Oliver was an early riser and came to wake us up bright and early.
Look at his hair!!

Mister Mouse was looking so nice in the morning light by the window. I tried to get Oliver to pose for a photo with his rodent friend but it was definitely not happening before a big bowl of yogurt. Hello anyway, Mister Mouse.

Later that day:
Oliver was playing in his room and being handsome. That's all.

Confident that things were well under control upstairs, I made my way down to the kitchen to fix lunch for the boys. Never be confident that things are under control with a nearly-two-year-old! He came downstairs with self-inflicted Sharpie whiskers. Because he had used pen all over the iMac screen the morning before (thank you, Magic Eraser!), I was terrified to follow him into the office to see what other damage we had sustained. Fortunately, the Sharpie was contained to Oliver's whiskers and we are learning valuable lessons about keeping that sort of thing out of sight!

Even later that day:
Audrey and Lizzie are two sweet girls at our church that I am loving getting to know. They usually visit once a week after school to play with Oliver, help with dinner and so forth. I love hearing about their days and getting to know their hearts. They came over yesterday afternoon and we made apple crostatas and Audrey played outside with Oliver while I (finally!) got a shower for the day. Here's Audrey with Oliver.

Helping Daddy with the orange electrical cord.

Learning to rake.

Just handsome.

My blue-eyed baby.

That's all from our week. (Unless something noteworthy happens today).
Have a blessed weekend, friends!

Our day has, indeed, been full of costume and fun. I'm cleaning out Oliver's play room to prepare for a consignment sale next week. We (including Scout!) had fun trying on boxing gloves and a tutu!
Is she smiling, or is it just me? :)

And, as if this post isn't full of enough media, a video of Oliver with his toy cup full or pretzels. I believe he's doing some kind of a bouncy dance, but it's a little unclear...

12 September 2008

It's time for some Oliver photos!

A few days ago Ryan was grilling and Oliver was (impatiently) sitting in his high chair in the dining room, snacking on some raisins for an appetizer. He was facing the back patio, and more importantly, his kid-sized pool. It was too much for a little person to bear. After his making his request for the, "bool! bool!" (pool! pool!) well apparent to us, Ryan gave him exactly what he asked for. He got a spaceship ride in his high chair straight out of the dining room and into the pool! Fortunately, that satisfied him. And, we think he looks like a lifeguard! No one is drowning on his watch!

This morning Oliver was eating his yogurt and granola while I worked on some church nursery business at the table with him. I must have been very into what I was doing, because when I looked up, he was absolutely covered (and loving it!) with yogurt! He was just running his hands all over his big belly making that horrible, slorpy sound of skin emulsified in yogurt and giggling. (If you've never heard this sound, I invite you to join us at our home for breakfast sometime!) Unfortunately, this is not a completely isolated incident. He's a VERY messy eater. Any suggestions? (And, yes, we've tried a bib and thrown it to the wind. Just another piece of dirty laundry.)

Finally, here is a video of Beatrice and Oliver a week ago. Our friend Tracy brought Oliver a set of toy golf clubs when she came to visit a couple of months ago. Oliver likes to take at least one golf club with him everywhere he goes. I should post a video of his hilarious efforts to use one properly... Anyway, among the other activities he likes to use his golf club for (riding in the car, going to church and restaurants - no, we didn't let him take it in -, etc.) he can't be found dancing without it. He hears a beat, he goes for a golf club. Here they are dancing: (and if you look closely, when they are sitting down, you'll see Bea's new pair of BabyLegs!)

"God is jealous"
Nahum 1:2

"Your Lord is very jealous of your love, O believer. Did He choose you? He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did He buy you with His own blood? He cannot endure that you should think that you are your own, or that you belong to this world. He loved you with such a love that He would not stop in heaven without you; He would sooner die than you should perish, and He cannot endure that anything should stand between your heart's love and Himself."
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Morning & Evening

10 September 2008

Tonight I put Oliver to bed. His bedtime prayer requests were limited to:

1. Mommy
2. Daddy
3. Semicircle
4. Arch
Evidently he was paying attention when I read him the William Wegman shapes book! :)

Square Triangle Circle

09 September 2008

"I have a longing for the world above where multitudes sing the great song,
for my soul was never created to love the dust of the earth."

-I read "Calvary's Anthem" from The Valley of Vision
this morning when I woke up. It was just right.

04 September 2008

Here is a short list of some of my new favorites. I've included some images I put together, as well as hyperlinks.

A - Baby legs - keep baby's legs warm, great for potty trainig, and they look cute too! B - Imse Vimse - organic training pants that are good looking and good for the environment. Notice the photo of the little boy wearing both baby legs and Imse Vimse! C - g diapers - cute, colorful diaper covers with liners you can flush. MUCH better for the Earth than disposable diapers, but quite a lot more expensive as well.

I've got Evie on my mind today.

I've been reviewing the few memories I have of her in my mind, rolling them over and over, hoping that they'll stick .

One memory I'm so glad I know I'll get to keep is her 20-week ultrasound. We have the video footage of it. I know, it's also a reminder of a very painful moment in our lives, but when I look at it now, all I can see is Evie. I wish so badly that I could post it to share with you. But, for the life of me, and my Mac, I am at a loss. I don't think it's going to happen. It's so sweet to watch that footage. It's my proof that she was alive. Our "life of grace", savoring life. I remember getting our first glimpse of her, wriggling around her little arms and legs, while we were still blissfully ignorant of her condition. What a thrill it was to see the baby that we'd made, that God had formed, fearfully and wonderfully.

A month later I remember laying on top of my bed, belly high in the air, one afternoon while Oliver napped. I was reading my book for Bible Study the next day. We were doing a section about suffering. As I lay there reading about where God is when we're suffering, the little girl in my tummy was trying to get my attention. I was resting the book on my belly and Evie was kicking it all over the place so it was too bouncy to read. I didn't need a book to tell me where God is when we're suffering - he's right here - reminding me to embrace the life I still have within me. I put my book down and just laid there with her - talking to her, poking her and her poking me back, praying to God to hold us close.

That afternoon was a gift. Less than two months later I found myself in the midwives office, curled up in Ryan's lap weeping with him after we'd been told that she had passed. We talked about the afternoon she kicked my book and were so grateful for that sweet memory.

I remember the morning we visited the funeral home to make arrangements for Evie's burial. We sat in the office looking at headstone brochures while Evie somersaulted inside of me. It felt so wrong to plan for death while there was still life inside of me. I remember sobbing as they showed us an example of the casket they would use to bury our baby in, and the only words I could get out were, "It's too small. It's too small." I couldn't imagine why there should ever be caskets that little.

The morning of Evie's burial, Ryan, Oliver and I visited a flower shop. We didn't know they closed early on Saturdays and it was wasn't open. Someone was there, though, and let us in the back door to get what we needed. We had no idea what to buy - what kind of flower? What color? How many? I remember spotting a bunch of white roses and asked if we could have three of them: one flower from her Mommy, one from her Daddy, and one from her big brother. It was simple, but it seemed appropriate, yet somehow incomplete. Of course it did, we were missing someone. I asked them for a pink rose for Evie. In the car on our way to bury her I remember staring at our little "family" on my lap. This was the last time we would be the four of us until we are reunited in heaven.

The beautiful thing about these memories, the thing that will never fade, is the One who remained the same through it all. The same God who was with us on our wedding day was with us on the day Oliver was born. He was the same God before Evie's ultrasound as he was after the ultrasound. The God who blessed us with sweet afternoons with our girl moving around inside of me is the same God who walked with us at the funeral home that morning. He was God when we laid our one pink and three white roses on the mound of earth covering our daughter, and He will be God when we are united once again, with perfected bodies in glory.

Life is full of change. We change. Circumstances change. The things we think are sure bets can change in the blink of an eye.

He remains.

"For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

And, one of my personal favorites: Psalm 136. It talks about God being there at Creation, at the Red Sea, and in Israel's battles; about God being with us in "our low estate", and rescuing us from our foes. God gave breath to Adam, provided a ram for Abraham, and listened to me when I talked to him this evening. His steadfast love endures forever. Amen.
His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and brought Israel out from among them,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who struck down great kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and killed mighty kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and Og, king of Bashan,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and gave their land as a heritage,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
a heritage to Israel his servant,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
he who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

01 September 2008

I haven't posted in a little while because I didn't have any one thing to post about. Now, suddenly, I have lots of things to tell about and I'm not sure where to begin. Can I just do a numbered list?

  1. First, congratulations to my sweet college roommate, Chrsitine and her husband Steve (and their twin boys Jack and Baylor) on the birth of Charlotte Anne on Saturday, August 30. We've been anticipating Charlotte's arrival with a lot of excitement and we're so grateful to God that she's here safe and sound.
  2. While we're on the topic of expanding families, The Faires family (my sister & brother-in-law) will not be adopting twins from Africa after all as they recently found out that they are pregnant! I had the privilege of attending an early ultrasound a few weeks ago and, believe it or not, there were two [identical!!!] babies in there!! Twins!! Isn't God good and amazing to put twins on their hearts and in Rebecca's womb?!
  3. I have recently taken on two new roles. As of last week, I was hired by Parish Pres to be the new Nursery Coordinator. It will be a fun project/ministry/vision for me and so far I'm liking it quite a lot.
  4. My other new role is actually that of a birth doula. Near the end of July I decided to pursue becoming a birth assistant and have since been working hard to fulfill the requirements to become certified (hoping to be by the end of the year??) Since before Oliver was born I have loved childbirth and have developed a distinct passion for helping women do what their bodies were made to do. Once I'm certified (and even before, really), I will begin to meet with clients and help them with their birth plans. Once labor begins, it is my job to be with them around the clock - encouraging them to use relaxation and breathing techniques to cope and labor well. I'm really excited about this new venture and know that, because I am so passionate about it, I will be doing this for a long time.
  5. Another medium-sized piece of news is that Oliver has been out of town. This weekend was my Grandpa Tilmant's 80th birthday and a lot of our family convened on The Family Farm in Ohio to celebrate. Ryan and I didn't go, but my Mom asked if she could take Oliver. With much hesitation (he's our little treasure, after all!) we agreed to send him. It sounds like he has had a lot of fun and has done really well. He should be back home in the next hour or two!! (Oh, and Ryan and I had a lovely time being "kid-less" for the weekend: riding our bikes downtown for ice cream at 10pm, staying up late, sleeping in, and even going to target without getting a cart for Oliver to ride in!!!!)

I think that's all. Here are a few pictures Aunt Annette took of the happy fella.

And, I just go the phone call that they're almost here - time to get in the car to go get him from Granmdas! EEEEE!!!