18 December 2010
I'm not exactly sure he HAS meningitis, and neither is the neo-natologist, frankly. But the pediatric infectious disease doc has given that diagnosis, so we will treat it.
The bad news is that he has to have a PICC line and will be in the hospital for 14 days total. But that's the only bad news, really.
The good news (which, on the tiny keyboard on my phone, I always type as "god news". Coincidence, I think not!) is profoundly greater, in number and substance. The good news -- all of Peter's systems look not only good, but wonderful! His white cell count in his blood is perfect, which means this infection is not multiplying. (i.e if he does have the bacteria, it's just hanging out). His breathing is good, his oxygen levels are good. His sleeping is good...
But the most wonderful thing, to me, is that he can be fed "ad lib" meaning whenever-he-wants AND, glory of glories, he's been a really good nurser!!! He opens his mouth wide, latches on almost right away, and then nurses himself to sleep. I LOVE it!!! I think my mammaries are so excited that I might have a little overactive letdown going on. The poor child was gulping as fast as he could the other day and the milk just kept pouring forth.
I cannot describe the joy this gives me! After nursing Annalivia for 14 months, which was such a sweet experience, both Daniel and Emmeliese were my feta-makers -- fed on homemade goat's milk formula. Long-term, they are none-the-worse-for-the-wear, and there were parts of bottle feeding that I enjoyed, namely being able to hand them off to someone else to have a bottle. But I missed breast-feeding. There really is something there that cannot be duplicated in bottle-feeding, regardless of how close one can come. I'm not sure what it is. But that "je ne sais quois" is remarkable.
And I get to experience it again...
Such sweet joy this little one has already brought... :) :)
For a few more pics, click here.
17 December 2010
15 December 2010
07 December 2010
What all of this has meant, practically, is that we have a large house full of stuff that is not categorized or sorted, boxes most everywhere, Christmas decorations in our pastor's trailer parked, attractively, next to the house, six inches of snow on the ground, an overworked Daddy, a kindergartner on perpetual fall/ Christmas break, and a baby arriving in 6 days.
BUT- it's all good. We're in the house and I pray we will never, ever have to move again (though if I were God and Miss April let me know that she didn't want to move for another 50 years, I'd think she was just "askin' for it" :) ). Little Peter is doing well so far, and so am I, really. The kids are happy even we still haven't hooked up the tv. My mom has been taking them to her house every day and we wer reminded again of what an amazing fam we have when they all helped w/the move... There are just a lot of gifts in this process.
One of the most lovely, timely gifts is that this whole experience has afforded me yet another opportunity to reflect in this Advent time on how God took on human flesh and came into this messy, disorganized, not-at-all-ready-for-Him world and how He will come again - into the world, into my heart, and into the hearts of my family. I really wish this Christmas He would find the arrangements at the McStew house less like a stable than they will probably be, but I'm taking comfort in the fact that he WILL find a family waiting for Him. And in the end, the dusty, unorganized, chaotic chambers of our hearts will be His dwelling place again.
Even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come!
Hope you are having a blessed Advent. I'll try to post here after Peter is born next Monday!
18 October 2010
30 September 2010
19 September 2010
11 September 2010
02 September 2010
01 September 2010
31 August 2010
30 August 2010
The first day of school involved a 2 am wakeup by the 1 yr old, a 25 minute cry by the 3 yr old upon waking, burned waffles and an early recess called by Mommy @ 9:15. Other than that, it was great! :)
02 August 2010
:: Upon hearing the news, I immediately broke out my crochet hook. I started making him a green and brown striped blankie. And I had to buy some blue yarn the next day. HAD TO.
:: Good friends of my sister moved next door to us. The dad of the family is doing some work on the new house for us, which has been very helpful. The house is progressing in leaps and bounds. Dennis and my dad have been working their tails off. Right now, we have drywallers installing drywall on all the ceilings. A friend from church has just formed his own custom cabinetry shop, so we are hiring him to do the kitchen, for not much more than a kitchen from Menards. Then floors need to be sanded and painted or stained and walls need to be painted. Then the whole thing needs to be cleaned. Then we can move in! It's so exciting to see it finally coming together.
:: Far more exciting for Annalivia and Daniel than hired-help living right next door has been that the family has two children near their ages. They spend hours -- literally -- outside playing with them and by themselves hoping the neighbors will come out and join them. We had to do some basic neighbor education, including "no going into another person's house uninvited" ;) but they are getting the hang of it now. I think.
:: Annalivia has had a summer of dental appointments involving a silver crown and culminating in the same tooth being pulled. Poor bug. She got her first visit from the tooth fairy who paid extra for a silver tooth that had been pulled, unexpectedly. The $2.50 sort of made up for the trauma of the visit.
:: Daniel is very 3-years-old this summer. He is so much fun in so many ways, and also testing lots of limits/ learning not to be a baby anymore. It's a neat time. Most of the time.
:: Emmeliese went through a very fussy phase at the beginning of the summer and is now settling down into lots of sweetness. She likes to make us laugh and likes to play with her siblings, especially with whatever they are currently using to play. Her hair is full of curls in the back and constantly in her eyes in the front, since she always pulls out her rubberbands and I'm a lackadaisical mother who no longer cares about disciplining for those things.
:: I'm ready for fall. It's been bloody hot here this year. So far we've made it, but only thanks to air conditioning, ice cream and McDonald's smoothies. Bring on the 70 degree temps and sweaters. That's what I'm ready to experience.
Hope all is well with everyone out there!
04 July 2010
23 June 2010
26 May 2010
Yesterday I was listening to one of my favorite David Bowie recordings EVER. (Apologies to those of you who expect more out of me. I just love Mr. Bowie.) The kids decided to do some performing and grabbed their "guitars" -- a foam pirate sword and a giraffe thing from one of our sets of building blocks.
25 May 2010
Anyway, by way of an update -- we are all doing well.
We started homeschool for Annalivia. Since the middle of the school year will be pretty interrupted with the baby in December, I decided to start now. After deliberations ad nauseum, I decided to go with Sonlight, and so far, am loving it because Daniel can be very involved in it and it just seems to fit our family fairly well. We're also using Math-U-See for beginning math and Hooked on Phonics for phonics, which I never thought I would use, but, for some reason, it has really clicked with Annalivia. And we're going to use A Reason for Handwriting, but I've decided to wait until fall to start it. We'll see how all of this goes and how I feel about everything when we take our big Christmas break.
Annalivia and Daniel have been stuck in the house quite a bit so far this spring/ early summer because we've been getting a lot of rain. I send them out to play whenever the ratio of bickering: play heads in the favor of the former. But usually, they're content to draw a lot and build things out of chairs and tables and such, and do lots of pretending together.
Emmeliese is awfully darn cute. She's also frustrated a lot of the time, in that pre-verbal-yet-definitely-has-an-opinion stage of childhood. She loves trucks, trains, and things-that-go. She loves to climb on things, and especially loves to stand on kiddie chairs which freaks her mother out. She has found that, by pushing little chairs up to the kitchen counter and sink or near a drawer, she can reach or get into all manner of fun, formerly-forbidden things. Then she howls with indignation when others dare move her. We have to keep a close eye on this one. :)
Dennis is working hard on the house and coming up with all sorts of innovative ways to do things. Dad has finished putting a skim coat of joint compound onto the plaster walls, save for one room, and is now working on sanding them. I, of course, just want to slap some paint on them, but I'm deferring to the wisdom of others who think the walls should be more finished than I.
And I am doing fine -- feeling fairly well, though totally exhausted in the mid-afternoon and a little green around the gills occasionally. And I'm really hungry for peanut butter, which is odd. But other than that, I'm having a fairly normal early pregnancy for me.
Anyway, that is pretty much our lives in a nutshell. I wanted to upload a video of the kids being rockstars, but I can't get YouTube to cooperate right now. I'll, perhaps, post it later.
Hope all is well with you and yours!
10 May 2010
05 May 2010
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care; serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” ~ 1 Peter 5:2-4
01 May 2010
Just a slightly different definition of "fruitful"...
20 April 2010
Before eating, stir it a little to make it less jello-like. Ours is exactly like regular sugar-filled jam when stirred.
19 April 2010
This year, at the beginning of May, I turn 35. I have decided to make it my "fruitful year" by embracing the gardening gene long latent within me and plant the bejeebers out of the yard of our new house.
Dennis gave me the go-ahead and so, for a pre-birthday gift, I ordered a significant load of fruits, including:
This weekend was spent digging holes. The raspberries, grape, pear and peach are in. Pristine is waiting in a trench against the garage for her sisters to be delivered. I expect to get an email notifying me of impending delivery soon. I'm eager to meet these ladies.
I'm excited. I think it's going to be a fruitful year. :)
18 April 2010
Doing Very Important Tasks with Daddy's hand truck
... pants optional.
07 April 2010
06 April 2010
This photo was taken outside church. It was incredibly windy, as you may be able to tell. Annalivia and Emmeliese are wearing dresses that Dennis' mom made. They were lovely and are large enough that they should be able to wear them for a good year.
Daniel was supposed to wear a little black Eton suit that I had him try on about a week before Easter. On Easter morning, he put it on and, I kid you not, it was a good 1/4-1/2 inch too short on the sleeves. He looked like he was wearing last year's suit (which it was). Luckily, I stockpile dress clothes for boys several sizes ahead when I find them in thrift stores or on clearance and we were able to put together an entirely different outfit in about 10 minutes. His shorts were a little long for his knee socks, but he looked very handsome and he was SO proud of his tie! ("Just like Daddy's!" he said.)
Since this is our first year at our new church, we left our traditional hats at home. Next year, perhaps.
05 April 2010
04 April 2010
31 March 2010
29 March 2010
"Hosanna!" I replied, pronouncing it "ho-ZAHN-ah".
"Oh" she said and paused for a minute.
Then she said, "We should have Lozanna for lunch!"
23 March 2010
"When the morning falls on the farthest hill,
I will sing His name,
I will praise Him still.
When dark trials come
and my heart is filled with the weight of doubt,
I will praise Him still."
"For the Lord Our God, He is strong to save
arms of death
from the deepest grave!"
And then I always join her on the end...
"For He gave us life in His perfect will
And by His good grace,
I will praise Him still."
22 March 2010
I was twitchy... itchy?...scratchy? :)... for the first 12 hours. After that, it was good. We haven't had a tv for the last few weeks, so we didn't have much to artifically entertain us.
I read to the kids a lot more. Dennis, after smashing his finger in a log-splitter and getting the requisite stitches necessary, spent a lot of time reading. I read. We chatted a lot. I started a journal again. The house didn't, unfortunately, get any cleaner, until this morning.
After that, I called the internet company, whom I detest, and got the problem solved. Finally. I asked about just cancelling the service and it will cost two-months' worth of internet to terminate early, an arrangement they reserve for folks without land-lines.
Dennis and I were wondering -- is it worth it? We are becoming neo-Luddites, of sorts, I think, enjoying the inter-personal connections that come when we disconnect from electronics. We had a nice time this weekend. Save for a thankfully-not-severed finger, it was downright delightful. Why does that not seem possible when there are electronics to offer an escape from reality? Something to ponder...
18 March 2010
"If you believe in the Gospel what you like, and reject what you don't like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself." ~Augustine (a pretty smart guy)
Thanks, Roo, for the quote.
15 March 2010
12 March 2010
10 March 2010
09 March 2010
"I used to think that our gift to God is our Love. Now I think it is our Trust. Trust is our Love lived out. Trust is Love with flesh on."
08 March 2010
07 March 2010
For me, it isn't too hard to think of God as loving me, even unconditionally. But that God likes me? Really, truly likes me? That he enjoys my company, smiles at my little jokes, feels exceedingly proud of my successes... that just blows my mind.
And as I think about what I communicate to my children about God, it occurs to me that it is critically important to convey not only His love and provision and mercy, but also His great delight in us.
The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
~Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
06 March 2010
04 March 2010
01 March 2010
27 February 2010
26 February 2010
1. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Is. 52:7)
2. Many waters cannot quench love; neither can the floods drown it (Song of Songs 8:7)
3. I will lift my eyes up to the hills; from whence shall my help come? My help comes only from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth (Ps. 121)
4. The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26)
24 February 2010
1. Righteousness is a gift from God "He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake" Ps. 23:3b
2. Righteousness fulfills "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" Mt. 5:6
3. Righteousness protects "Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness..." Eph. 6:14
4. Righteousness takes courage "The righteous one shall live by faith" Rom. 1:17b
23 February 2010
22 February 2010
1. God loves me. "God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8
2. God is faithful again and again. "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'" Lam. 3:22-24
3. All things WILL work. "All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose" Rom. 8:28
4. Children are a gift. "Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior so are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Ps. 127:3-4
Number 4 may have been targeted to a Momma stuck inside with sick children. ;)
21 February 2010
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
He pointed out that there are seven categories of "whatsoever things" (as the KJV would say) and that there also happen to be seven days in a week. So he challenged us to assign each category to a day of the week, come up with four or five specific things under each category: true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy, and be purposeful about thinking on such things for that day.
20 February 2010
18 February 2010
We are all in varying stages of recovery. I have a headache. Emmeliese is fussy and frustrated by everything. Daniel and Annalivia are both eating regular food now, but Daniel is getting very tired (and hence, fussy) in the afternoon.
BUT -- in the midst of this, as I was praying at some point for healing for a child, I realized that I really do take for granted the other 360 days in a year when we are all healthy beyond most of the world's populations' imagining. There are so many for whom that ratio works the other way. May I be mindful...