Thursday, April 17, 2008

Grace Ann's Birthday

Grace-lee Ann-lee is NINE years old today. Why does time seem to go by so slowly when you're a child and then when you're an adult the years just whisk by? Watching how quickly your children grow really accentuates the "life is a vapor" feeling. My little girl is almost a decade old. My "baby" is a busy, learning, talking almost-two year old. My newborn is 2 months old! And Matthias has been gone from us for almost three years. There is both grief and joy and wonder in this growing, changing, venturing-out that happens in your children. Part of me wants to pause their growing up, or at least slow it down to a reasonable speed! But I know this is good and right, so I remind myself daily to savor these precious moments with my children!

Here's some pictures of Grace through the last nine years. Some aren't that great of quality because I had to scan them. She was born before digital cameras were common household electronics!! :)

Newborn GraceShe was literally the most beautiful newborn I've ever seen. My other babies were of course cute, but even I have to admit they, like most newborns, were a little funny-looking. Not Grace. She had perfect, creamy skin, dark, dark hair and rose red lips. A little Snow White.

Grace as a terrific-two.

Skip ahead to age 5. Still adorable.

Age 6 at Grandpa and Grandma's Farm.

Seventh Birthday


And now I have a nine-year-old! A big sister three times over, a princess and a pauper in her imaginary games, a horse-lover, a creative lover of beauty, trinkets, books, handbags, jelly beans. A young lady, growing and flourishing into a beautiful child of God.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Birth Documentaries

I really encourage you to check out these two recent documentaries about birth in America.

Thin Air Media presents BIRTH

This is the first 20-minute segment of BIRTH, a one-hour documentary about the practices and perceptions of birth in America. Maybe because I just gave birth, or maybe because my own four birth experiences have changed my understanding of what birth should be like, it was very moving to listen to. I'm hoping to buy the whole documentary; hearing the baby being born at the end of this segment brought me to tears and made me long to hear more!

To learn more about BIRTH or to purchase the documentary please visit Thin Air Media.

* * * *

"Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth is also big business.
Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies.
The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal.
Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?"
Watch the trailer!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Judah at Six Weeks

Here's some more recent pictures of our littlest one, "Goo-Gah", as we affectionately call him (Moses' attempt at "Judah").

I found with Moses that I kept saying at each new baby "stage" that it was my favorite stage and I loved it the most. Well, I'm not going to say that with Judah, because I know each stage has it's new and wonderful aspects. So instead of saying "this one's the best," I'll start simply listing my favorite things about each stage. I missed writing about the newborn stage, but I do LOVE that time. Here's a couple:
  • The euphoria of seeing and holding and touching your new baby whom you've waited so long to meet
  • How a newborn feels like this tiny yet substantial little bundle in your arms
  • The smell of a newborn. Grace said when Moses was born, "he smells like a kind of lotion that no one has invented yet."
  • They just sleep and eat, with periods of "quiet alert" where they gaze at you and at the world in this amazed sort of way. They're not "doing" a lot, but it's just right. Because you just want to eat and sleep and gaze at them in this amazed sort of way.

Judah is now actually 7 weeks old, and from about 5 weeks to now he's stopped feeling like a newborn and has entered a new period of growth and development. It's sad to have that amazingly special newborn phase go, but I love discovering who he is becoming now!

What I love about this stage:

  • Still cuddly and sweet like a newborn but not so fragile and tiny
  • Social interaction!! Social smiling, cooing, looking at you when you talk to him, responding to your voice... it's so sweet to relate to each other in this new way.
  • Growing interest in surroundings, more wakefulness and alertness during the day
  • Has lost that funny, squished, wrinkly newborn look and is getting chubby and super cute!
  • Is so strong! Holding head up a lot, rolling over, loves looking around while on his tummy. We're starting to call him "such a big boy"
  • Nursing is down pat by this time
  • Personality is emerging a little bit more and you're able to see a glimpse of who he's going to be. It's still breathtaking to behold a brand new person, with an eternal soul, lying in your arms

A Smile!

Strong boy!

I just love his adorable little profile

The sibs

Hi Sissy!

Crashed out in Classic Pooh

Napping with a baby - it's so special

My boys