Friday, April 28, 2006

GQ models beware!

Have you ever seen anything so cute in all your life? (Ignore the troll holding him in the b-day hat picture.)

Mom, you asked for more recent photos of Kyle so you can see how he's changed... here you go! The little muffin man is now six weeks old and more alert than ever. I can't even begin to tell you all how popular this child is. He was invited to a birthday party several days after he was born, and the party was last Saturday. He asked me if he could wear a party hat. Doesn't he look like the Roaming Gnome sans beard? (The Roaming Gnome is the mascot for Travelocity.)

Being a parent not only forces you to become responsible for a little creature, it also forces you to take a deep look at yourself. Recently I've been overwhelmed by my sense of inadiquicy of being a parent. I'm also struggling with no feeling worthy of receiving such a precious gift.


The flawed belief system I hold to in regards to how I evaluate myself. It's easy to ignore such things when you aren't put in a position of responsibility and influence. Parental behaviors, good and bad, can be replicated in children. I don't want Kyle to grow up with a negative self perception or a negative outlook on life.

I'm a pessimist. Don't ask me how I came to be one, but I don't recall ever being anything but. Most people blame their parents. I can't. Honestly, I have two of the greatest parents a child could ever have been given. No matter how wonderful the home and the love, wounds happen.

I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect. Talk about defeating one's self before starting the journey! I want Kyle to grow up healthy and whole. But, the world is a fallen place, and he will be hurt. He's a boy. Our society has devalued men and boys. I can't shield him. I can only teach him healthy coping skills to deal with hurts...


I, yes, ME, MYSELF and I must have a toolbox full of healthy skills that I USE. Sure, I know alot about child development and psychology and education - I have several degrees in those areas along with a Masters. But I am not good at applying the knowledge in my head to my own life, and now as a parent, my failure to seek the truth in regards to how God sees me is flying into my face.

I am a child of the KING. I am a CHILD of the KING! I AM A CHILD OF THE KING!!! Not the King of Zimbabwe, but THE KING - the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. God. He created me in HIS image. The world has told me otherwise. I chose to believe the world starting from the time I was a kid and boy has that ever caused me years of needless pain. Why do we humans choose to believe lies about ourselves? Lies from the pit of Hell itself?

I think it's because we lack faith. I can't see God. I've never really SEEN Him. Oh sure, evidence of Him is all around, but I can't tell you that he has black curly hair, orange skin and purple eyes. We, fallen beings tend to internalize information from sources we can see, and then we add up the circumstances that happen to support the lies.

I know the truth. I've studied the Bible all my life. I know what's in there. I still study the Bible on a very intense level through Community Bible Study, but I too often fail to APPLY and live out the Truth.

I'm on a journey now. I need to be healthy and whole, so I can train my son to be healthy and whole in a world that seeks to destroy him. Pray for both John and I and for Kyle. Retraining my thinking won't happen over night, and Satan will for sure try to divert my progress.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Photo Phun: Going...going... gone!

Kyle shows off one of his newly discovered talents - scooting head first out of his boppy. He does it rather quickly too!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Archtypal Joy: The EMPTY cross!

All week long news anchors and other talking heads are trying desperately to invalidate the truthfulness of scripture. These "Judas Gospels" are only helping to stir the pot some. Fine. People are going to try to pass off the Gospels as nice little stories with nice little life lessons. Jesus was a prophet and was killed. What irks me the most are images of him on the cross. Yes, he died for our sins. None are righteous, no not one! The wages of sin is death... BUT in order to win the battle waged for millenia against Satan, Jesus had to BEAT death. The victory was not in His death, rather in His resurrection!

Beware: offensive material to some, but hey, the Gospel IS offensive...

I don't understand why some religious groups like to keep Jesus on the cross. The crucifix has almost become an idol in some circles as has Jesus' mother Mary. She was a sinful human being like the rest of us, but assigned a very important duty - to bear God's son. But I digress...

What we as Christians need to show the world is the EMPTY cross. Too many people see the crucifix and use that as evidence toward their belief that God is dead. He's NOT dead. He's alive! Death was defeated. The grave could not hold him, Satan lost. Sure, it looks like Satan's winning these days. Terrorism, anything-goes sexuality, abuse, molestation, crooked politics, the list would extend far beyond the space I have on my blog. Face it. The world is a LITTERBOX full of poo. Lift your head above the plastic rim and look beyond to the fresh, clean world God has prepared for us in Heaven BECAUSE Jesus not only died, but he CAME BACK TO LIFE.

We party hard at Christmastime. His birth. I'm guilty of not putting much effort into the more important holiday - Ressurection Sunday. We all are. Boldy wear your EMPTY crosses around your necks. Display the empty cross. Take down the crucifix. Put up the naked cross. Party hard. Jesus is risen and that's the ULTIMATE JOY.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Identity is morphous

Who am I these days? I used to be just "Darcie", but now I'm finding myself being referred to again and again as "Kyle's Mom."

A few days ago I was grocery shopping at Whole Foods with the little muffin man riding in a front baby sling thing. No less than a dozen admirers stopped me in my tracks, not to speak with me, but to speak to he-who-cannot-talk-back! Never in my life of grocery shopping, has ANYONE stopped me for any reason other than to ask me to move my cart out of the way.

My birthday was Friday, April 7th. Would you believe I recieved birthday gifts that were really for Kyle??!! Whose birthday was it? My friend Melissa, who has two kids (2 & 6 weeks) told me that I can kiss my Christmas presents good-bye from now on. "It'll all be about Kyle. You become no more than a shadowy figure in the background." Yikes! I'm not a lurk-in-the-shadows type person, but now that I do have a baby, who am I? Am I nothing but a bottle-slinging, diaper-bag schlepping, poopy bottom wiping machine? Few people ask how I'm doing these days... "How's Kyle?" is now the primary question. "Is he sleeping? Is he pooping at least twice each day? How much formula is he taking? Can he smile yet?"

I used to be Darcie the writer, the singer, the woodswoman-adventure seeker. Does she have to die? Is it possible to be a mom and hold onto some, if not most elements of my past identity?

What do you think? I'd appreciate any experienced parent wisdom you are wiling to share. :)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Essentiality of Exponents

I'm sure you all remember those days in junior high or middle school when the pre-aglebra teacher walked in with a plastic smile stretched over her teeth, "Today, we are going to learn about exponents. I hope you find them as exciting as I do!" Her job then was to convince us that the hours of struggling to master such an abstract concept would somehow make our lives better...

I didn't get it back then.

Now I do.

Here's the simple truth involving the practical use of exponents: Scheduling YOUR grown-up activities (like getting your Bible study homework done, laundry, cooking, going to the bathroom...) is a practice in the futile. What normally takes mere minutes can now stretch out over hours and even DAYS! Caring for a newborn means this: Add exponents to the old amounts of time it took you to complete a task. Increase exponents by factors of "ten" if your baby is having a fussy or gassy day.

Example: Normally it takes me fifteen minutes to do one section of my Community Bible Study homework (there are six sections). On a non-gassy/fussy baby day, it takes 2 to the 2nd power amount of time to complete one section (multiplied by six). Today, on a gassy/fussy baby day, my study remains undone, Bible study is this evening and it is taking about 2 to the 20th power amount of time to complete one section. Follow me?

And I hope to finish my novel (1st draft) by the end of July... Heh, heh. Am I deluded or what? Don't answer that.

Okay, how many of you want to be on my "litter box groupie" list? I will notify you when new pics of the North American Wild Snorting Baby are posted. I know that's all you guys check in for. He's a lot cuter and more interesting them silly 'ol me. Let me know!

Now, what's that noise I hear crashing through my moment of silence? Sounds like a train horn... no, it's a wail. Gotta run. Diaper duty calls!

Friday, April 07, 2006

What about Eve?

Eve didn't have a mother, or grandmother or even a mother-in-law. Neighbors of the upright bi-pedal type didn't exist and Adam was a man. How did she cope when along came little Cane? No one gave her a trial pack of Enfamil Lipil and Huggies Newborns. Barnes and Noble didn't exist with it's forty thousand books (all with conflicting expert opinions and advice) on infant care and child rearing...

How did she know to give the baby her breast? La Leche wasn't there to scare her with hellfire should she opt to bottle feed. (Those rabid breast-feed-or-die-a-miserable-firey-death groups make adoptive parents feel as though we belong in Sing-Sing or Alcatraz!)

I bet Eve had to experiment with little Cane. Okay, so he didn't turn out too well, but Abel did!

Everywhere I turn, everone I speak to has advice. Some of it is great, some, well... strapping Kyle to the top of a moving bus in the middle of the night sounds rather dubious to me, or wait, I think the person said I should strap myself to the top of a moving bus at night in the rain so I could be awake enough to feed Kyle at 3 AM...

A woman from choir gave me the book BECOMING BABY WISE. I'm reading it and liking the premise and the almost promise of a full-night's sleep by week 8 or 9.

Yesterday I dragged myself out of bed late (John turend off the alarm again), schlepping myself and Kyle to MOPS. I was delighted to discover a buffet of food and fresh coffee to help lift my leaden lids. A LCSW (liscensed clinical social worker) talked about post-partum depression. Here are some of the descriptors from the list:

*life feels scary
*it feels out of control
*it feels like, if only I could get a full night's sleep, everything would be better
*I feel like I'm going crazy

There are more, and the weird thing is that I can check ALL items on the list! I didn't give birth to my child, yet I'm showing some postpartum? My hand shot up in the air and I asked the question, "Can adoptive mothers feel this way too, or am I REALLY crazy?" The LCSW answered by telling me that there is indeed a post-adoption depressive state. It's generally triggered by the sudden change in your life and most of all the LACK OF SLEEP! I'm not crazy, contrary to popular opinion, I'm a mommy. All mommies go through this regardless of how their child came to their arms. I'm sure Eve would agree.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ooonnnn my own again with the Prince of Wails, my little friend

Yesterday I drive-by dropped Mom off at the airport with only an hour to get back to Littleton for a Dr. appt. Kyle ran a fever and was very snotty Monday night - enough so to worry us all and call the 24 hr. "nurse line".

Fortunately, the little bugger is just full of boogers and in no danger. The doctor was more concerned with my health and the rattling sounds reverberating from my chest. My cough is so gnarly, you could hang me from a pole on either coast, and I could be a substitute fog horn. She told me to get sleep. HA!!! Baby business as usual.


1AM, 3AM, 5AM and 7AM - I saw all of those last night. I don't know who was grumpier going to my physical therapy appointment this morning - me or Kyle. He cried in the car, he cried as I checked in, he screamed as the therapist rubbed an icy-hot type cream into my arm (those fumes are pretty potent!). He screamed as the PT torqued my arm, making my elbow flex and extend into the final degrees of motion AND pain. His plug worked for a few minutes, but the wails echoed throughout the Healthsouth office. What's a mommy to do? He was fed. He was dry. Nothing was poking, biting, or impaling him. I was very indisposed for 90 minutes. Those minutes are expensive, so I must use them wisely. Kyle had to scream. I felt bad for everyone else in the building. Amazingly, no one complained, they were all very nice. Some even thought it was cute!???? (Someone explain THAT one to me!)

Nonetheless, there is much fatigue in mommyland today. I don't know how in the world I'm ever gonna get over my bronchitis with so little sleep. Kyle has me going all day and all night. No breaks for this momma.

Today I feel the abrasions of the litter particles and boy can I ever smell the poop - or is that Kyle?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Contemplations of a 1st time G-ma

(As I promised... my mom),Grandma!---I wondered what it would be like to be called that name; would it make me feel old?-I already feel old - but the minute I got a look at my first grandchild, all the reservations I harbored melted in a puddle.

To see the minature miracle that God has provided made all the feelings of "oldness" take a back seat. In fact, the two weeks that I spent with my new grandson brought back many memories that I had long since forgotten. I actually feel younger, very tired but younger!

Many things have changed in the thirty odd years since my girls were babies-the biggest hurdle I had to cross was laying the baby on his back ( a big no no thirty years ago). All in all it has been a wonderful two week experience and it is going to be difficult going back to Pennsylvania.

Kyle Robert has a wonderful Daddy and Mommy and the Bear Valley Church family is amazing. My consulation about being so far away is knowing that between his parents and his church family, he will grow up learning all there is to know about the Lord and I have dreams that someday he will serve Him in an amazing way. Praise God for His special treasure!