Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Too Blessed

I saw this on Keep the Way, a blog I just started reading this week, and it was encouraging. I'm not big on rhyming poems, but when they say what needs to be said, well, there you go!

"I'm too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed.
I refuse to be discouraged, to be sad or to cry.
I refuse to be down hearted and here's the reason why:
I have a God who is almighty; who is sovereign and supreme.
I have a God who loves me -- and I am on His team.
He is all wise and powerful; Jesus is His name.
Though everything else is changeable, My God remains the same.
I refuse to be beaten or defeated. My eyes are on my God.
He has promised to be with me, as through this life I trod.
I am looking past my circumstances, to heaven's throne above.
My prayers have reached the heart of God and I am resting in His love.
I give thanks to Him in everything.
My eyes are on His face.
The battle is His; the victory is mine; He will help me win the race.
I repeat! I'm too blessed to be stressed!"
(Author unknown)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Books about babies

We've been reading books to Teeny Tiny about babies. We had a couple recommendations from the VBAC class we went to, and then I came across one at the library.

Hello Baby, by Lizzy Rockwell is a nice one. About an older brother helping get ready for the new baby. It talks about the baby inside, how it eats, how it kicks, how it grows. The only thing I didn't love was that it says that the Dr. is the one that helps the baby be born. From my perspective, the mom does most of the work! But it was written with a specific Dr in mind, so that is kinda neat. It talks about breastfeeding too, instead of bottle feeding, which I liked since that is what we do.

I used to be the Baby, by Robin Ballard is much shorter, more Teeny Tiny's attention span. Again it is about a big brother learning what a little brother does/needs. It has a picture of doing the wrong thing (feeding jam toast when baby is hungry) and the words and 2nd picture show the big brother helping out. [Teeny is currently flipping through this book mentioning Bebees and wings/swings, books, very cute]

Arthur's Baby got sent back to the library immediately. His sister DW has the worst attitude I have ever seen in a book character. Neither of us liked it. Kids might really be like that, but it isn't something I need to expose Teeny Tiny to outside of real life.

Babies Can't Eat Kimchee!, by Nancy Patz and Susan L. Roth, was one I accidentally found at the library. The pictures are beautiful, a colloge and ink drawing of sorts. It is about a big sister being slightly irritated that babies can't do anything. Then she talks about all the things she will teach her little sister when she grows up. Very cute.

Mama Do You Love Me?, by Barbara M Joosse is one we purchased. The only one that is a board book. It doesn't really deal with babies at all, but with the idea that a mama will love her kid no matter what. Even if they put stinky fish in her mucklucks or turn into a ferouscious bear. No matter how angry they are, mamas love their babies.

My only complaint really is that I can't find any that aren't written for siblings who are 4 years older then the coming baby. Teeny Tiny can't do most of the things the big kids in the books help with, nor have the comprehension of what it means to help out. Oh well, never know what they are soaking in!

Monday, April 28, 2008

I hate this

Why do I struggle so much with emotions or wants that don't line up with what I know is right? I feel like I battle between feeling and knowing I shouldn't and wondering if I am enjoying throwing a pitty party. Neither are places I am proud to be in.

Most will say it is just pregnancy hormones. I know that plays a lot. Then there is just hormones of women, and I"m sure that is part too. But God made me with these hormones. So how am I supposed to manage them?!

I thought maybe if I wrote out my frustrations it would help me see how silly they are (which I know they are) and get over them. Worth a try.

I started the day finding that My Favorite had left before I woke up. And then I found myself sobbing in the kitchen. How rediculous! I am fully aware of how much I get to see him and how thoughtful he is and how little of both many other women have. Grow up!

Then my niece came as usual and was given food that Teeny Tiny wanted, but there wasn't any extra. Irritation. But life isn't fair, and really, she got over it faster then I did, and maybe she'll learn contentedness sooner then me. A door was left open and a cat got out, no apologies. So what, cat is fine.

Finally, and this is the worst really, my friend called to say she had her baby. So many emotions hit me at once I almost started crying right there on the phone. Yuck. I was so excited for her, she's been a bit anxious about this birth, and so read to be done with pregnancy and on to figuring out 2 kids. God answered every one of her prayers for this birth plus more and I've been praying for weeks. I was honored to be part of that, to see His work, and that she would call me so soon after having her.

And yet I find this voice or whatever at the back of all this trying to rob the joy of that. I would love to have such an experiance, a short labor at home with my husband and a midwife. I can't have that. Not the home part at least. I so desperatly want things to go my way that I am afraid to even ask because I feel so selfish. I know God has me in His hand, even more so this baby. I know He has this birth planned, and I've done everything I can to be prepared for it. But I'm scared. I'm scared I won't trust Him in the moment, scared to have this baby in the hospital, scared I'll have another section and struggle with this forever.

SO WHAT? Why can't I let it go? Why am i still sitting here with tears and snot running down my face? What part of me likes to feel miserable for no reason, because that is all I can figure is happening.

HaShem, forgive me. Forgive me for wanting things I can't have, for imagining that the things you may very well have planned aren't going to happen. Forgive me for being so uncontent that I'm focused on that and not on the amazing work you did in my friend and her baby. I honestly praise you for that. The labor was shorter then she asked for, the pregnancy was shorter then its due date, she had no complications, the baby was facing the right way, the baby is perfectly fine. I praise you. Please help me not let Satan or my flesh or whatever it is to rob that joy. Help me to not like being sad, if that is what is going on. Please help me know that you are in control, not the doctors or nurses I will be with when my baby comes.

And I am going to stand in my unconfident confidence and ask you for the desires of my heart. I pray though, that you will give me the strength to love however this turns out. I don't want to doubt you, I don't want to be angry, I don't want to want. I just want to be thankful.

Please Lord, bring this baby into our arms before or on her due date. I'm scared to deal with the Dr.'s ideas of what is good and right. I pray that I will rely on your strength, and the strength of My Favorite and my doula to get through this labor. I pray this labor will go quickly with no damage to my little one or my body. I'm scared of dying and leaving my family, and I know I should want to be with you more. I'm scared of a rupture even though I know how rare it would be to happen. I'm scared of scaring in ways that will effect my husband's and my personal relationship, and you know how much pain i've already caused there. But I want to trust you. Above all else, help me trust you in the moment, each step of the way. At the heart of it, the part of me that knows you, wants this all to go your way, not mine. Help my desires be in line with your plan. Thank you that I can come to you and most of me know you understand my crazy emotions and struggles. Thank you.

Oh, and please continue to give My Favorite the strength to deal with my emotions. He is the best gift you have ever given me outside of your own Son. I desire to honor him in everything as I do you.

In hashem yeshua hamesiach. amen.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Shabbat...shalom still in the works

I've heard it said that people new to the Messianic way of life have a slight hang-up. After realizing so many things we have been taught as biblical are simply tradition, we are very wary of new traditions. Even if they are really old traditions that are new to us. I personally have this problem :0)

But I love the Shabbat traditions! I love the idea that out of God's gift of rest came a tradition of a weekly meal with family, honoring both God and family. In such a crazy, chaotic world we have here in the USA, I hear moms all over wanting or planning family nights. Here is one that was set in motion on the 7th day of the beginning of time.

But we haven't done much. We both want to, I get excited about it, I can see something different in My Favorite's eyes when we talk about it. Yet, we haven't even set aside Friday night, Erev Shabbat, very often.

The last 3 weeks or so that has been different.

We now have a kitchen table we can eat at. That helped a lot.

I have a real white table cloth for our Shabbat meal. It might be wrinkled, but I don't care!

When we have challah, I have a nicer cuttingboard to put it on and my mom gave me a white cover she had around that I can cover it with. It isn't a offical cover, and it took some beating already by me, but it actually means a lot seeing that she isn't even a believer.

We use our nice blue dishes that are not plastic.

We don't have candle sticks, and didn't have candles, but I substituted with blue tea cups turned over and put tea lights on top. My Favorite mentioned he likes our candle sticks. That makes a wife smile. We had to use a blow torch to light them the first night because we couldn't find matches (found in Passover cleaning). That also makes a wife smile.

We came across the champaign glasses my SIL gave us for our wedding during Passover cleaning too. They had been given to her by someone else and she passed them along to us. They aren't really our style, but they are very nice and I hesitated to get rid of them, as I do most things. Last week I realized they would be a fun addition to our Shabbat table.

We eat vegitarian meals at home. My Favorite had a great idea to get fish for Shabbat meal, to make it an even more special night. He even found a new local place to get fresh fish. Our frantically thrown together meal of halibut steaks was delicious last week.

My Favorite mentioned something fun to add to our table in the future when we have more kids. Our silverware came with 12 place settings, including 12 individual salt and pepper shakers and 12 name place holders. We have never know what to do with it, but he had a great idea. How fun will those be to kids to set out?! Now, hopefully our immediate family won't ever use all 12...

It is fun. I look forward to it, and watching our family traditions grow and change. Now I need to work on not stressing out right before my Favorite comes home. It is not nice to start shabbat with a weeping, angry, frazzled wife. That is not a nice gift to give him for working so hard all week. But we have a nice table setting! You have to start somewhere.

Erev Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chicken Pox Vaccination

Both My Favorite and I are a little uncomfortable with the idea of immunizations. We both have all ours, and so far, Teeny Tiny has all hers. Except the Chicken Pox vaccination. I've wanted to do research on them all, but haven't. Now I am. Much to the irritation of our dear pediatrician :0)

Why? We have chosen to follow God's word very closely, that is part of being a Messianic believer. Everything, heart, soul, mind, strength is dedicated to HaShem and how He laid things out. From the first word of Genesis, to the last in Revelation. So our first concern is ingredients. What are in these vaccines? If we aren't eating Altoids because they have gelatin, why are we injecting our children with things before finding out what is in them?

Our second concern is basically the same, we are people who research things, and we are just taking other peoples policies and opinions on this matter. It just doesn't fit.

Then there is the general safety factor. We know things get approved by the FDA whether they are safe or not. That drug companies don't allow negative research to be produced about their products. This of course is something I probably can't research.

What is a parent to do?!

Questions to be answered, currently for Chickenpox vaccine:
  1. What are the ingredients?
  2. Can you get disease from vaccination?
  3. If so, can others catch it?
  4. Are there risks to getting the vaccination if there is a pregnant person in your household?


  • Not much on ingredients. But it does mention people with allergies to GELATIN should not get this vaccine. Hmm, odds of the gelatin being Kosher?!
  • Ingredient to look into: antibiotic neomycin, site says people with allergy to this should not get vaccine
  • Can you get the disease from the vaccine? Yes "About 1%... develop a mild form of the disease, consisting of a limited rash, most often with only 5-6 blisters"
  • About 2% of children will still get chickenpox, but a milder, less blistery, quicker recovery version. Meaning the vaccine is not 100% effective. Nothing is.
  • Note of interest: When mentioning the potential risks of natural disease they only offer the thought of getting an infection with a flesh eating bacteria. They do not offer the statistical percentage of children getting this.
Kids Health
  • "If a pregnant woman has had chickenpox before the pregnancy, the baby will be protected from infection for the first few months of life, since the mother's immunity gets passed on to the baby through the placenta and breast milk." - I'm immune so shouldn't be effected by someone who has chickenpox.
  • "For susceptible persons, having a pregnant household member is not a contraindication to vaccination."
  • My translation: people who do not have immunity to chickenpox and live with someone who is pregnant should get the vaccination and not worry about the pregnant person or baby. If it was a contraindication, it would mean that getting the vaccine would or might have an effect on others and shouldn't be taken.
CDC (ingredients from their site, descriptions from my research)
  • Bovine Albumin or Serum - serum taken from the fetuses of cows used in the culturing of cells
  • Ethylenediamine-Tetraacetic Acid Sodium (EDTA) - molecule used to remove heavy metals and calcium from the human body. It is one way of treating heavy metal toxicity. Why is this in the vaccine?
  • Gelatin - possibly pork, one, and only one site said there is a gelatin free version
  • Monosodium L-Glutamate - MSG!
  • MRC-5 DNA and Cellular Protein - quoting sites directly, this one seems pretty HUGE from my perspective:
"The MRC-5 cell line is commonly utilized in vaccine development... Initiated in September 1966 by J. P. Jacobs, the cell line was derived from the human lung tissue of a 14-week-old male fetus aborted from a 27-year-old woman." Quoted site
"The culture medium is human embryonic lung cells (from an aborted foetus), embryonic guinea pig cell cultures, WI 38 – a different cell line from another aborted foetus, and another aborted fetus labelled MRC-5." condensed on this site from info from VARIVAX 1995 data sheet, Merck & Co., Inc. No 7779300. She might have the lung cells listed twice as MRC-5 is a lung cell. In reading another site, I think that all three times fetal cells are mentioned they are just different strains of the same cell line. I found an FDA paper that states this same thing, but more technically.
  • Neomycin - antibiotic made from a bacteria, as all antibiotics are I think. Some individuals have reaction or allergy to this apparently.
  • Potassium Chloride - basically a salt, although it is used for a lot of different things
  • Potassium Phosphate Monobasic - the monopotassium salt, KH2PO4; used as a buffering agent in pharmaceutical preparations.
  • Sodium Phosphate Monobasic - too technical to even figure out for me.
  • Sucrose - your basic table sugar
  • The vaccine contains no preservative. From FDA
Questions answered for Chickenpox vaccine:
  1. What are the ingredients? The ones I am concerned with: Gelatin, MRC-5 cells, the use of guinea pig cells in culturing the disease cells
  2. Can you get disease from vaccination? Yes
  3. If so, can others catch it? I think the answer is yes
  4. Are there risks to getting the vaccination if there is a pregnant person in your household? As long as the pregnant person is not a susceptible person no risks (look at me using big words!), meaning as long as the person is already immune to chickenpox, they say there are no risks to pregnant mom or baby.
Conclusion? We need to sit down with our pediatrician who is also our pastor and ask him some serious questions.

HaShem, please pave our way, making his heart ready for our questions, moving asside years of training and education, giving us the right words to be honorable to You and him, giving us all discernment. In HaShem Yeshua HaMeshiach, amen.

UPDATE: Found a quote from the physician with Merck who is supervising something to do with the varicella vaccine.
"There is no gelatin-free varicella or MMR vaccine in the USA since Merck is the exclusive distributor."

2 down

So, while not necessarily in final form, I have both c-section and natural birth plans written! Yipee!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Home Education for 2 year old

I suddenly found a ton of info on working with 2 year olds. Some costs money, some does not. One site (a for-sale product) mentioned that teaching and lesson planning is her spare time hobby. That kind of excited me. I need a hobby. I like the idea of planning. I have at least one if not 2 or 3 people in my life who have gone to school for lesson planning. I really do like to learn. And if I plan to home educate, well, I best be loving doing this!

But at the same time, do I want to spend all that time if someone else has already? Money and planning time vs. Money and less planning time. Hmm.

Here is some of the stuff I found so far (I will try to make the headings links, but the address will be at the end too because links don't work for me. Update: the 1st time I tried, they all worked!):

Activities in a Bag - A product/book on making activity bags. The idea sounds cool, $ not so sure about,

Before Five in a Row - Haven't looked at it yet,

Brightly Beaming Resources - A bunch of free curriculum/lesson plans. They have stuff for kids 3 mths to age 11. Fairly basic, but at this age, basic is what it is. Covers everything from letters to music to excersize. And bible reading! I have only looked at Brightly Beaming Baby, Toddler, Preparatory Curriculum, and Letter of the Week. So far, I like that it at the very least makes me more aware of the teaching moments (which is every moment) of the day.

Brighter Vision - I know nothing, but I don't want to have to figure out which site I saw this as a suggestion. A monthly fee and package.

Hands on Homeschooling -  I started to look at this. $80 for 2 year old curriculum, $45 for idea book where you have to make the plans. Could I do the same thing with the library and internet?

Homeschool for Preschool - A site with tips and encouragment,

Keep The Way - A personal blog of a mom homeschooling her preschoolers, just found it yesterday,

Kids Craft Weekly - An email newsletter that I love. Teeny Tiny is still too young to do most, but could be a great way of including crafts for a specific theme.

Perpetual Preschool - Not sure what this is at all but saw that they had Passover ideas, so worth looking at,

Preschool Activities -  Planning on making some activity bags with my SIL,

Idea overload!

I have so many ideas and topics I want to research and do. My brain is starting to smoke and I haven't even done any of it yet. Some things are "once done, done" and somethings are going to be a lifetime project. I need a list:

  • C-Section Birth Plan (don't want it, but know I need it)
  • Birth Plan
  • Immunization research (what is in them, what we do with that)
  • Home Education for 2 year old
  • Bible study/stories for little kids w/ messianic outlook
  • Activities for 2  and 4 year old (prepared before birth?)
  • Counting the Omer (and yes, that is happening right now)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Festival Celebration: Passover/Unleavened Bread 3

Cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. How much chametz can one little house have?!

My Favorite saw that I needed some time off and our family is taking a week and half off of going anywhere. What are we doing with our time? Cleaning! Tuesday night he moved the chair in the bedroom, the fridge and the stove so I could clean. While I did that, he cleaned out the top cabinets.

Wednesday I finished the bottom cabinets and all the drawers, he finished the few upper cabinets that needed it.

Today I cleaned out the flour canisters (almost forgot those!), the utensil holder that was a jar of flour, the fridge (took so long, eww.), and the diaper bag. So far. The kitchen looks like a disaster area. I still need to get behind and under everything on the counters, the car and inside the garbage cans. oooh, and the toaster!

Thank you my wonderful husband for making this possible. I obviously couldn't do it without you. That applies to the chametz in my heart as well, I praise HaShem for your support.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chanukah in Spring

I was looking through the new kids books at the library today, looking for any about new babies and big sisters. I did find one, but I also found one about Chanukah called "Letter on the Wind: A Chanukah Tale" by Sarah Marwill Lamstein. I grew up hearing the saying "Never judge a book by its cover" but the pretty watercolor cover caught my eye. (and yes, I realize that the judging phrase was probably meant to instruct not to judge someone based on their apperance, but seriously, I always thought it was literally about books).

I saw quickly that it had way to many words per page for Teeny Tiny to sit through, but not for me, and not for her in the future. So home it came. I just read it while listening to her as she finally fell asleep. What do I think?

I really liked it actually. I say actually because the few Chanukah books I have read are fine and all, but they rarely ever talk about God, Ha Shem. They talk of menorahs, olive oil, battles, latkes, family and friends, the mighty Macabee group, and miracles. But never is there a word about who instructed the Isrealites in the building of the menorah, in the use of olive oil, who the King of the army was, why those following Macabee wouldn't bow to an earthly man, nor Who made the miracle possible. 

This one does. It isn't about the first Chanukah, but about trusting in Ha Shem to provide our needs. Even when we have nothing, even when others think we are ridiculous, even when they think we are wrong and sinful. I was very impressed. And the pictures were pretty the whole way through. I'd read it again, I might even buy it someday.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Festival Celebration: Passover/Unleavened Bread 2

So I got a little behind. Visited family out of town, keeping the regular every-day maintenance up (more or less :0( and napping a lot. Oh, and researching a doula and VBAC info and taking a VBAC class and reading childbirth books... life goes fast.

I finally got around to reading FFOZ's blog post titled "Cleaning for Pesach: In Your Home and Heart." It was both encouraging and made me realize I might not get it all done again. Because Passover starts sundown after a Shabbat, they said everything needs to be cleaned out by Thursday, April 17th. Yikes, that is next Thursday. The point is that it is tradition (I don't remember it being biblical) to burn the chametz the day after cleaning, and you can't burn on Shabbat. So they are burning theirs on Friday morning. Sigh.

But there was a section that really hit home and helped me re-think my plans:

Another good tip is to remember that dirt is not chametz. People sometimes spend so much time cleaning dirt... that they waste all their energy on the dirt. But by the time it comes to cleaning chametz, all their energy is spent and it becomes a laborious burden. Don't weight yourself down. Just be sure to clean out the chametz; dirt is optional.
I always think of it as spring cleaning. And it could be, and might be in future years. Right now, this took a weight off my back. And hopefully I will continue to organize after I finish the chametz cleaning, but at least I could get that done.

Today, I cleaned out the pantry. We decided (and maybe I already mentioned this) that if something is potentially leavening (ex. pasta) but is in its original package, we won't throw it out. We won't eat it that week either, but if it can't get wet, it can't leaven.

Left to do:
  • Car?
  • Diaper bag
  • Fridge (in, behind, under)
  • Oven (in, behind, under)
  • Couches (I do this more often now for animal hair anyway)
  • Bed (under, make again Thursday)
  • Around bedroom?
  • Kitchen (tupperware drawer, 7 cupboards, one drawer)