Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

This week in the life of Baby…

We are 36 weeks along. So, basically, any day Baby says is a good day to be born is it. But, for those keeping track; the magic number is 26 or 27, depending on how you count today or the due date.

At any rate… here are some things for moms to consider… how much do you really want to know (safe for men to keep reading, I’m not talking about gross stuff)? Here are some things that you can “know” about your baby:
Basic genetic conditions
Fun stuff through ultrasound
Little traits that Baby has that you recognize from yourself of husband
And, during your last few weeks, how far you are “progressing…”

We elected not to know the Baby’s gender; and through the ultrasound, we found out what the doctors wanted to know and we got to see how cute Baby is. I have discovered that Baby is a head toucher just like me. I touch my face, head, and hair a lot, and Baby does the same.

However, I have observed from various new moms of my acquaintance that you either want to know that you are walking around about to give birth or you don’t. Let me elaborate… either you like to know you are dilating and effacing or it will drive you nuts. I am in the drive me nuts camp. Actually, I was fairly indifferent until the doctor decided for me. He says the following: “I don’t guess baby’s weight because I’m never right. I just try to guess head size because that’s what is the important factor, and your baby has a normal head size.” He continued, “If I tell people that they are dilated or effaced, then they stop making plans and sit around and wait for the baby to come, and they can still be weeks away. I don’t even check.” And the doctor is right. I’d go nuts.

And for the little surprise of the week… my doctor’s son’s soccer team has advanced to a tournament and so my doctor will be out of town during weeks 40 and 41. But, that’s OK, because the doctor that delivered all of his children will be filling in for him. So, for next week’s appointment, I’ll meet with the substitute doctor just in case.

Finally, for those interested in Liz’s other picks… I have my focus objects. Everyone who knows my family well knows about our thing with patterns and counting. Not necessarily in an OCD manner, but we’re a pattern family. So, Josh and I determined that Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel will greet the Baby as I know those CDs by memory and can count to them well. And I am going to start packing my overnight bag this week.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Good news

For those with Issues, Etc.

There is hope .

My guess is they didn't sign a "no compete clause," either.

HT to Weedon

No more swirly-do light bulbs…

I really don’t mind being environmentally friendly and stuff. But let’s talk about what I would like to call marginal changes in waste footprints. We’ll define waste footprints as larger then carbon footprints as we’ll include other waste like in landfills or whatever. And we’ll define marginal changes as the changes that I, as an individual consumer, can make so this world is a better place.

For example, Josh and I own a sauna bench. When my folks moved into their house, it was a bench in their sauna. Then, when my parents took out the sauna, it became a stereo table in Becky’s room. And it has served as stereo tables or coffee tables in my various apartments, and will serve as some sort of horizontal space in our house. We’ll eventually sand it and (re?) finish it. And the greater family waste footprint is smaller because we use the sauna bench. The repurposing of the sauna bench, so long as it is in good shape, is a marginal change in the greater family footprint.

I’ve had the swirly-do light bulbs, those light bulbs we will be mandated to switch to in a few years. They’re florescent or something and they are in a swirly-do shape. And supposedly, they decrease your electric bill or something. I haven’t really noticed a difference. But they do last quite a bit. I’ve never really kept track of if they last long enough to make for the cost difference between swirly-dos and incandescent but I was OK buying the swirly-dos until freaking now.

Do you know how bad those suckers smell when you break them? OK, further, they have mercury in them. I am a pregnant mommy and have been scared of any mercury contamination, and I go out of my way to make sure vaccines I take do not have mercury based preservatives. I vaguely remember that my mom once owned a mercury thermometer but have been warned against such a sin against my children. So, it is supposed to be “good for me” that I have a smelly mercury light in my house?

Back to breaking those things (two since we’ve moved in…). OK, so you have to open all your windows, turn on your ceiling fans, and vacate the building for fifteen minutes (like what if it broke in the winter?). Then the grown up is supposed to enter the house and, with rubber gloves, dispose of the light bulb in a sealed container and bring it to haz mat.

HOW, may I ask, does this make ANY marginal difference in my waste footprint to use the swirley-dos? And furthermore, someone is nuts-o enough to tell me that having smelly mercury bulbs in my house is good for either me or Baby? We will be de-swirly-doing our house before baby is born.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I agree about Memorial Day, but...

I agree with Rev. McCain about Memorial Day , and I don't doubt his research into WW2. But there is something to be said about acknowledging those who have returned, even on Memorial Day for a couple of reasons.

Most importantly, the WW2, Korean, and Vietnam Vets are identified for younger vets to talk to as a resource... to share their war stories with... to talk to someone who knows what it is like to loose a brother or sister in arms.

And on a lesser note, it reminds we civilians to be grateful to those who serve while we have a chance to do so. Josh will very likely have a deployment again in the next five years, and it does well for both of us when a little kid comes up and thanks him for his service. It isn't just Josh they are thanking, it is the brotherhood, and Josh represents that.

And on a very superficial note... you have to admit that they look so good in their dress uniforms! And any excuse wives can use to pester their husbands into their dress uniforms is a good excuse, regardless of how invalid it may be.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Thank God for...

Thank God for Lyndon on this Memorial Day, and others like him who paid the ultimate price in Armed Service.

I never met Lyndon... he was Josh's brother's best friend; and our paths just never happened to cross when I visited California. He joined the Army after high school; and died in Iraq shortly after his 21st birthday. While Josh was there, he happened to find out that Lyndon died not far from the base where Josh was stationed, and that was hard for him.

Eventually, people forget specific individuals who paid such a price; so I have resolved not to forget Lyndon.

Don't forget blood shed for you.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Feast or Famine…

As I am 35 weeks along, I reserve the right to post less frequently. I’m still reading all of your blogs, but I’m just not up for much posting any more. I am going to make blog birth announcement arrangements pretty soon, so no one is kept waiting. I will let you know where to find such things soon.

All settled in…

Well, we’re getting there at any rate, but this week, we have everything Josh needs to feel like he is a real home owner. We have a lawn mower, a weed wacker (which is how big boys stomp dandelions ), and a charcoal grill. The lawn mower doesn’t have a bagging function which I suppose will start the campaign for a leaf blower.

St. Augustine wasn’t white…

And we tend to forget the beautiful diversity of the Christian faith . Thanks Scotty.

This week in the life of Baby…

We have been working half days at home because I’m having some problems with my pulse. In general, I feel pretty good, starting to get tired (practice to build tolerance for the upcoming sleepless nights?), but my pulse spends most of the day up around 120. The powers that be would like to put me on beta blockers, but my blood pressure has been on the low side of normal, so that’s out. And it isn’t my thyroid. So, pray that my pulse will normalize.

According to, Baby should weigh in at about 4 lbs; 12 ounces. And that reminds me of something I picked up from King Banaian’s Senior Seminar… heteroskedasticity (and there were three different spellings of that word amongst professors in that department, so I feel justified in using that spelling). The illustration King gave was if you were to guess the weight of a new born, you’d say 7.5 lbs and you’d be pretty close. But if you were to guess the weight of a 62 inch person, the margin for error is greater because you can have a really heavy person or a really skinny person. But, I’ve been told that it is preferable when doctor says, “Oh, you’re having a BIG baby” and you have a normal sized one rather then “Oh, you’re having a normal sized baby” and baby is huge.

You’re either a Christian or you are not…

Via Rev. Cwirla’s Underground , a paper on the history of the LCMS by Rev. Wallace Schultz . (Interesting read for those of us new to the LCMS and Lutheran Doctrine.)

Regarding Ablaze! and the like, I’m OK with different witnessing tactics used by different people to accomplish the same goal: make disciples of the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey. Some cultures are still familiar enough with the basic beliefs of Christianity, namely that Jesus is God made flesh, that you don’t really need to evangelize using the Apostle’s Creed. But you have to make sure you are witnessing to the true faith.

What I am not OK with is different classes or castes of Christians. I’m super serious about my faith because I’ve been baptized and have lead Bible Studies and stuff. No way. I am a plain old ordinary Christian. Then there is this “uncommitted Christian” business. Oh, they’ve been baptized and catechized but they aren’t super serious about their faith because they aren’t performing up to standard or have drifted from church or whatever. No. When we deny the life changing power of the Word, we deny the sacraments. You either are a Christian or you are not. None of this super committed stuff.

Read the article, it’s good.

Theologically Correct and a local pastor…

John Piper is Bad. Are you?

And someone will be pretty in pink!

Congrats to the Pianomomsicle on her little girl, due in October!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

This week in the life of baby…

Now that it is week 34, we learn that I have problems relaxing. Who'd have thunk that when Dad would tell a young Liz to settle down and not worry, that it might eventually turn into a lasting medical thing? And so, my pulse is high. Resting yesterday afternoon through the EKG (excitement!) and to bed, my pulse never dropped below 120. And this morning it was at 96; respectable, but still on the high end of things.

So, yesterday, the doctor also took blood for the thyroid test. And he said, you don't relax by Tuesday, it is beta blockers for you! Thank God for flexiplace and flex work schedules and laptops! Yup, everyone in our office exclusively works from a laptop; so when I get to work on Monday, after a little call to my boss in Chicago, I will be cleared to work from home for half a day and have an early afternoon nap.

Of course, we also picked a great weekend for me to try to settle down during... the baby shower and Josh and my wedding anniversary (he's been gone for half of them to this point).

Baby is still head down, and I can tell the difference between hand end elbow movements and foot and knee movements; which makes life fun!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Remember to pray…

For those in need.

Scotty’s friends who lost their child.

Scotty on the anniversary of his grandmother’s death.

The Johnson family , friends of the Fraters, who lost their wife/mom Gina from a battle with cancer.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wow, does time go fast…

It was football playoff time four years ago when I got a phone call from a friend in college, Sid. Sid said he knew he’d be able to reach me during the Vikings game. And he announced that he was joining the Army. See, you have to understand a couple of things about Sid. First, he’s from Indonesia. Second, he is the LAST person on the face of this earth who you would EVER expect to join the military. So, I told him to e-mail me when he had an address and I’d send him some cookies or something. (Which I still owe him.)

Josh and I periodically heard from him, but I ended off needing to call in “the reinforcements,” namely, all the guys from college who I knew and could humanly reach who also knew Sid when he announced he was going to Iraq. I could not provide the friendship and support Sid needed, nor should I have been asked to as a married woman, particularly as Josh was in Iraq too.

Josh and Sid struck up an e-mail friendship. And Sid just called to announce that his contract is up and he’s going IRR ASAP.

Sid spent a year in South Korea and fifteen months in Iraq. He was in the states long enough between to swear in as a citizen. He did his time and deserves the benefits entitled him.

In the moments when it is discouraging to be in the military or married to a soldier, when you’re contemplating, “Is this really worth it?” And you hear those in favor of various and sundry military actions say, “Remember September 11th…” one takes pause. When our country is attacked, one hopes our native sons will take arms to defend her. And when someone, who loves America and sees her for the land of opportunity that she is, does what he is under no obligation to do and serves his adopted country, we should pause and thank God for people like him. Perhaps there is hope for America yet.

Why is doctrine important?

Uncle Ben brought to mind some thoughts that I hadn’t really pondered in a while. Is the gospel message commonly preached here in America the same gospel message we are preaching overseas? And if so, is this a good or a bad thing?

Josh’s deployment made “the Iraqis” real people to me, so I am particularly protective of the physical security of these real people. It is an issue one really doesn’t think about until faced with the reality of the situation. A friend of mine became a missionary to South East Asia under the guise of being an English teacher. The people she and her husband witness to are real people to me.

When using the most common witnessing tool, “The Four Spiritual Laws,” how do you define love to someone from another culture? It is hard to merely stick within the sales pitch without defining what you are teaching, exactly. Here in America, it is still common knowledge that Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God. This is not common knowledge in Arab countries, and it is a capital offense to believe and preach such a thing.
When catechizing someone in the beliefs spelled out in the Apostle’s Creed, one needs to be realistic in knowing that the person you could be talking to may die for the message you’re presenting. So, when you witness to someone who could die for the message, how do you explain “and has a wonderful plan for your life?” Forget about what Christ as done for you lately. Yeah, God gave me hope, comfort, perseverance, and a caring environment, and relatively few inconveniences during Josh’s deployment. What does this matter to someone who can really suffer for the message of the Gospel?

Sure, you use D. James Kennedy’s two spiritual questions… one of which is “If you were to die tonight, why should God let you into heaven?” OK, so to a young person, you say, “Well, you could die in a drunk driving incident on your way home.” And the statistical odds are slim. Let’s put some real urgency into this by reminding your friend from a different culture, “Yeah, you could get beheaded for even listening to what I have to say.”

Here in America, you’ll likely see your friend again. Overseas, maybe not. This is the reason doctrine matters. Are you preaching Christ Crucified for my sins, or Jesus will make your life better then Oprah can? Who really cares what Satan thinks of your church? The question should be: what does God think of your church?

What about Romans 5 where Paul trades his sorrows and sickness and lays them down for the joy of the Lord (Yes Lord Yes Lord, Yes, Yes Lord). Go and read the account of Paul’s beatings from Acts to a doctor, Soldier, or Marine and ask them to speculate what Paul’s thorn is. You’ll get a variety of answers, but most of them more legit then some theologian saying, “Oh, he maybe had an eye or brain disease.” What Paul, and later Peter, is teaching is that he is learning endurance and embracing his beatings for the Joy of the Lord. And Paul would eventually die for the Gospel.

The Word of God preached in the sacraments is life changing. The Word of God in Scripture is life changing. Make sure you are faithful to both.

This week, in the life of Baby…

We’re at 33 weeks! We took a tour of the maternity ward of the hospital which we will deliver at. Labor/Delivery rooms are private as are the recovering rooms. And both Josh and I are impressed with the security in place. Baby is going to weigh in at four pounds (and for those keeping track of fruit, Baby weighs the same as a pineapple).

We also made a few decisions… namely that Josh is going to postpone Officer Candidate School for next year so he can be involved in the birth. But, secondarily, we are looking at different scenarios, some of these “what if…” things you should really talk about before delivery. We decided that if I do need to defer to the wisdom of Roman Emperors, Josh would follow the baby up to the nursery.

Another topic of interest to the Moms who read here… did you get a material present for your hard work in labor? Apparently, and I have been unaware of this, it has become a tradition of sorts for dads to get moms a present for all of her hard work at delivery. Follow the enlightening discussion on Vox Day’s blog .

Now, I don’t know about you… but since I was ignorant about this trend, I decided that I would set Josh straight about my expectations… I do not need a piece of jewelry to commemorate the birth of Baby at this point. I don’t particularly like what passes as classy mother/child jewelry these days. My mom and grandma have neat gold, likely rather expensive, charms with the names and birthdates of their children, but they received them as a set. And my grandma also has a very nice ring with all of the birthstones of their children. For people that are trying to live the lifestyle Josh and I are trying to live, I can certainly wait for something nice in several years.

Josh did buy me a set of pearls while deployed, and I have my sapphire wedding ring. What more does a young married woman need anyway in regards to jewelry. The only exception being Lake Superior Agate Jewelry. One can never have enough Lake Superior Agates. But, we have a good supplier.

Josh and I are exchanging Mother’s Day/Father’s Day gifts. I asked for the new Lutheran Service Book. Why? Someone needs to teach Baby that the only correct response to “May the force be with you,” is “And also with you.” (OK, sorry, I had to.) And I need to learn Lutheran hymns. Baby and I are buying Josh a grill, which he will pick out, lug home, and assemble himself. But, both are things that are nice to have for our house.

But, for those who still insist that men need to compensate women for labor and delivery… here are the things Josh does for me:
Packed and unpacked most of our stuff and organized our move.
He cooks for me and cleans for me.
He put off officer candidate school so he could be involved in Baby’s birth.
He gets doors for me.
When I snore at night and it bothers him, he moves to a different bed without complaining.
He has let me set some of our life priorities this year.
He is incredibly faithful.

And I’m grateful for him.

So, what have I done for Josh…

Well, I bought him a pocket watch, chain, and fob as an engagement/birthday gift after he proposed. We went to Houston to see the Cardinals play the Astros, and also to see my sister and her husband. When he left for Camp Shelby, I got him an iPod with a bunch of R.C. Sproul stuff on it. Then I bought him a lap top. Then I bought him a digital camera. We had a weekend at an obscenely expensive furnished condo in Florida when he had his last four day before leaving for Iraq. I bought him Superman Sheets and when I found out his battle buddy, Fish’s, girlfriend broke up with him the week they got to Iraq (the hussy) I sent Fish Batman Sheets. And we got several tickets to Twins games after he came home, plus some tickets to orchestra concerts that we’ll both enjoy.

What does all this have to do with the life of Baby? My parents exhibited that generosity is a lifestyle and not something to be brought out for certain occasions. I’m certainly not accusing the baby gift crowd of anything. I’m just saying that Josh is all the baby gift I need. That and ice chips. Lots of ice chips. And back and head rubs.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

This week in the life of Baby…

We’re at week 32 and we are uncomfortable but happy. Baby will weigh in at 3 lbs 11 ounces, and will be around half of its birth weight. Baby is probably about 16 inches long. So, there are really three things going on between now and birth… putting on weight, growing a bit, developing the suck reflex and finishing on the lungs.

Baby has been head down for a few weeks now. And Baby has generally stayed that way. Knowing what position Baby is in allows me to differentiate between hand/arm movements and foot/leg movements. Baby is pretty cute when it wakes up. Baby does this little shudder, so I get a little four corners movement. Baby has been doing fewer kicks the last couple of days, but has been moving its hands around a lot, I think playing with its head, or alternatively with a couple of tendons of mine.

My ankles have started to swell as have my hands. So, I took of my wedding ring while I still could. I’ve been wearing my tennis shoes exclusively for about two months now. This is currently about swelling, but its not the only reason. I started because my dress shoes all have a bit of a heal, and balancing was beginning to be a bit of a challenge.

I am also forgetful of late. Which reminds me of something… I think… must not have been important… Oh, well.

And on sermons…

So, this is drill weekend, and even though Josh is at Camp Ripley, I decided to go to Saturday night church. It is my last weekend where I can pretty much do whatever I want all by myself in my house, and so Baby and I decided that sleeping in on Sunday would be a nice thing to do.

Anyway, so I went to Saturday night church. The Sermon was a “My Changed Life” sermon instead of a “Christ Crucified for my sins” sermon. (For an example of what I mean, see Extreme Theology .) The sermon itself was useful, particularly to where Josh and I are in our lives. It was on raising godly kids, but it was missing something… whose fault is it when your kids sin? (By the way, I did bring this to pastor’s attention… clue me in if he mentioned it on Sunday.)

No, this is a really relevant thing here… and it is foundational to Lutheran theology. (And I’d site Book of Concord which is packed.) Josh and I are dirty rotten sinners. We were raised by dirty rotten sinners, and we’re going to raise dirty rotten sinners. My parents are occasionally asked how they got Becky, HG, and me to turn out so well. I’ve heard them say it was nothing they did in particular, they were just blessed by God.

And that is the key difference between a Lutheran Sermon and an Evangelical Sermon. In a Lutheran Sermon, you’ve already screwed things up; an Evangelical Sermon says how not to screw things up, forgetting that things are going to get screwed up. And Lutherans need to spell out the difference.

Random on Eyes and Hands…

It seems there is a debate going on within the LCMS between eyes and hands. There are people who are really excited about new and different ways of hopefully sharing the gospel with a lot of new people, and there are people who are really excited about theology and history and liturgy. I would happen to be one of those who is excited about theology. But I see the need for people who are Ablaze or whatever they like to call themselves.

People like me, though, are often hard to understand. We’re the people who like patterns. We go to Lutheran Church for the sacraments, to confess our sins and receive absolution, to recite the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, and to listen to a sermon that reminds us of our sinful nature and gives us hope and comfort in the death and resurrection of Christ. And we’re also the people who point it out when something is missing. It isn’t that we’re mean spirited… we’re just bean sorters. Let me explain…

Ever make something with dried beans instead of beans from a can? People who are Ablaze sometimes forget that beans have to go through a process before they get put into soup… even if you open a can and dump it in. If you look at a bag of beans at the grocery store, you will see “sort and rinse” as the first two directions. What are you sorting? Well, sometimes you get shriveled nasty beans that aren’t good for cooking, and sometimes you get rocks or stuff in your bag. Can you imagine if you made bean soup and your guest accidentally bit a rock and cracked a tooth?

You see, someone needs to ensure that you’re not putting a rock in the bean soup, even accidentally. Even if you just open up a can of beans for your soup, someone went to the trouble of sorting the beans. And you can’t make bean soup without a sort.

Random thought…

So, Josh and I were driving somewhere together… the place escapes me, but it required Josh to put a Johnny Cash CD in my car, which I have not removed. And I got to wondering if Johnny Cash was a Robert Service fan. And the more I listen to the CD, the more I think it would be a shame if Johnny Cash had never read Robert Service. They tell similar stories.

And just to make certain of my family jealous… Aunty Joy’s folks visited one certain lake in Alaska where strange things are done in the midnight sun.