Sea Breezes Calling Out

Well, two Fridays ago, Shady and I took off to the Beach with little Bear. I really wish that I was driving down there right now. Could I go…actually…yes. We could go, but I would have to call in to the restaurant or just not show up tonight and Saturday. Would it be worth calling in and possibly not having that job when I get back? No…since I don’t make enough from Samford alone.

So to put this blog entry back on a positive spin, I will let you gander at some of the pics I took while we were on a mini-vacation. The last one is from Steak-n-Shake just north of Prattville. We ate there on the way home. Check out the Flickr site for more pics.

Parenthood Bliss

Something happens to you when you have a kid. I think I’m still too close to it to know everything that happens, but I’m trying to work through it. Maybe it is in the late night cries of your little one. Maybe it is part of completely rethinking and restructuring everything you thought you had settled in your pre-marital counseling sessions. Maybe it is the strong smell of the morning poopy diaper your kid had…or scraping it off of said child. Maybe it is the sense of helplessness you experience after you’ve tried everything and your child still cries and you can’t figure out what they need. These things may seem negative but they are growing experiences.

When your baby cries…they need you because they lack the strength and ability to help themselves or use words to tell you what is wrong. When the baby comes and you find out that you aren’t the person you thought you were (one way or the other) then you have to turn to God to get strength and ability. You have to rethink! You have to restructure! I’ve heard people say “Life won’t ever be the same!” like it’s a bad thing. I’m sorry that they had a bad experience. Maybe they didn’t take the chance to grow up or to get over themselves. It is in the helplessness of inexperience that you…the parent…have to hit your knees and cry out to God for his wisdom and discernment on how to raise this child…the precious child that he has given to you to raise, train, teach, discipline, and love.

So to all who are staring at the door to parenthood…you can’t be ready. No book can teach you. Sure, being more informed is wise, but you’ll never be ready until your baby is here. Then you will react in a way that you thought you didn’t know you could. I liken it to loosely to Luke Skywalker training with Yoda in Episode 5 of Star Wars. Luke goes into the cave to face his fear. Yoda told him he wasn’t ready. When he goes in, he finds out that Vader and he are closer than he thinks. He is shaken almost to the point of quitting.

Being a parent is not easy, but the reward is so much greater than the sacrifice. I guess I could see why Christ would love us enough to lay His life down for us. The reward was much greater than the sacrifice.

Just a few thoughts.

Easter Weekend

So Shady and I decided to blow off the family so we could just get away for the weekend. I mean, we needed it. We weren’t passing them off just because we didn’t want to see them. We weren’t quite ready for the bazillion “I’m sorrys” or “Well, you’ll have more kids later” comments that go with a miscarriage. We didn’t want a pity party. We weren’t ready just yet for the family barage, so we skipped out of town. (well, that and we have never been on a vacation…just the two of us…while we have been married.) This opportunity seemed the best chance for a quick trip to…Gulf Shores.

Right after church we grabbed some eats somewhere, took off to the house to pack up a thing or two (including little bear), make a reservation for a room in Mobile, and drive off into the sunset.

We arrived in Mobile by about 7:30 on Sunday night. We rested, dined on some gourmet burgers from Wendy’s 99-cent menu and just relaxed.

Monday we got up, ate the continental and checked out of the hotel. Off to Gulf Shores.

First stop, Souvenir City for a few treats. Well, that and little bear had peed through her diaper AND outfit so we had to get a new outfit for her. Next, the public beach for a few minutes. It was overcast and quite chilly so we just stayed for about 10-15 minutes or so. Long enough to take it all in and be reminded of just how big God is.

We jump back in the car and head for Florida/Alabama line for a chance to win $33 Million which didn’t happen, of course, and then a bite of lunch and off to the Foley Outlets for a good hour long walk to work off some of our lunch.

After our walk and shop fun we packed it up back into the car, gassed up, and headed back towards home. We finally arrived home at around 10 p.m. We stopped and had a healthy dinner @ Steak-N-Shake. It is alright food but it was more for nostalgia than anything. You see, we went to a Steak-N-Shake while we were on our honeymoon nearly 4 years ago.

It was a good time. I can’t wait to get back there.

Lil’ Bunny Foo Foo…

Well, it’s here. Bunny Foo Foo time.

Is that why this weekend should be celebrated? No…but it gets me another day off with the family.

It’s about Jesus…not Bunny Foo Foo.

So why celebrate with a Bunny? Well, back in the day the same time that “Easter” or the Passover was celebrated (much like Christmas), the Hebrews would celebrate their holidays around the same time the pagans would celebrate because they would get a couple of days off from work. So what about Easter? It was a pagan holiday that was used to make sacrifices to the fertility gods for their crops. So everyone would go to the top of the hill where the prostitutes were and “sacrifice” with them to please the god of fertility and their crops would be “blessed.” So how does the symbol of a bunny get locked in here? Have you ever heard anyone say something about people with a lot of kids? Well, usually there will be a remark about bunnies and their reproductivity.

As a result, Shady, little bear, and I will celebrate Jesus and have nothing to do with the over-commercialized Easter Bunny. We aren’t better than anyone else. We just choose Christ over tradition. So as you bite the head off of your chocolate bunny on Sunday, remember what you are really celebrating.

I am at a loss.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007…Our second baby died. BN2 was in Shady’s womb. He/she was 12 1/2 weeks into the growing. It all started Monday night when I got a call that I needed to get home and that something was wrong with the baby. As I arrived, Shady had started to bleeding a little and cramping. (Let me pause here for a moment. I am not going to get gross with the details. Just allow you a very slight glimpse.) We called a dear friend of ours to come over that is studying midwifery&natural medicines. We got Shady settled in and started with some natural herbs to save the baby. We prayed a lot. Tuesday the bleeding was continuing so I called in and Shady and I went to MCE (the ob/gyn place) to get seen about. After some blood being taken and an ultrasound, the nurses talked to each other mentioning a blighted ovum. Now, Shady has been studying medical terms enough to know what that meant. We went back Tuesday afternoon to meet with the doc. He said that the way to confirm a “miscarriage” is to check the HGC levels (the pregnancy hormone) 48 hours later. So Thursday, back to the doc. More blood drawn. Shady and I both knew that she would have to have a Rhogam shot since she is RH neg. They wouldn’t do it. “The doctor didn’t authorize it.” So, we got the confirmation of lowered HGC levels Thursday night and back to the doc on Friday for a shot. Saturday and Sunday we just tried to take it easy. Shady’s bleeding lightened up and cramping seemed to lessen. We just began the grieving process and started getting peace about the situation. It seemed that life would soon gain normalcy even with our loss. Sunday night around 11 pm Shady’s bleeding pickup…way up. By 2 am we were on our way to the MCE Emergency Room.

By 430am we were heading home. The bleeding was decreased greatly and Shady was much better physically. Basically, her body had to finish delivering the empty placenta.

Today, Shady is much better, but still weak. The grief has started all over again. You see, when you “miscarry” you still have to go through the labor process to deliver the “contents” of uterus. Shady confirmed that it is more painful than natural child birth. And at the end of it all, Shady went through labor a second time, but we have no new baby. That and the loss of blood (somewhere between 1-2 pints) has left us traumatized.

We are beginning to pick up the pieces and find scripture from the Bible to help us in this journey to find peace with our loss. Any scripture from the Holy Bible is welcomed.

By the way, I don’t write this to gross anyone. I don’t write it to get attention or get sympathy. I write because it is an outlet for me to grieve. Also, this is an announcement. I am starting an online grief group on Google for grieving fathers. If you know someone who is grieving the loss of a child whether during pregnancy or after birth, please let them know about this site.

Your prayers are much needed and appreciated.

The Weekendings for March 23-25

Well, I would say that things were uneventful, but that would be an out-and-out lie. From the time that I left the ole SU on Friday, Shady, Little Bear, BN2, and I went traversing the land. First to Lowe’s to just hang out and dream. Then to downtown Homewood to check out the scene. By this time it was about 2:30 p.m. Then I get a call while I’m on the phone. It’s my brother. I didn’t think much of it, but I knew that if he called that it was for a reason. I checked the message. It was roughly as follows:

“Hey, buddy. We are at the hospital. When we got here LBC was @ 6 centimeters. We are now @ about 8 centimeters and should begin pushing pretty soon. Hope you guys can make it over here.” So…I looked at Shady and nodded. Pressed the gas and off to St. Vincent’s we go (it was just over the hill) and a little while later at 5 p.m., Baby BAC was born. Stay tuned for pictures. He is a looker with about 20″ of hair. Of course that should come as no surprise given the proud father’s ability to cultivate head-fur. LBC was chipper and the BAC was sleeping in Papa K-bro’ arms.

So needless to say, I didn’t go to work that night @ Salsa’s. woo hooo!! Saturday came a little later and Shady took off to treat her mom to a birthday celebration @ Tannehill State Park. (Nana’s b’day was friday, the 23rd. BAC’s birthday.) I cruised over to Salsa’s to wait on a table or five (literally five in 7.5 hours) while Shady and Nana had a day.

The weekend was a great weekend. Very restful. I haven’t spent that much time with Shady, little bear, and BN2 in a good while. So do I go back to my crazy schedule this week? Yes, but I’m closer to my family and I know that an end to this crazy job thing is in sight.

"Aww, Sweet Baby"

Alright. I know that I have been really sad and/or negative the past few posts. So let me cheer it up a shade.

Little Bear has been growing and learning so incredibly much. In the past weeks, she is rolling over both ways. She sits up pretty well in a chair, but not on the floor (unsupported) yet. She is working feverishly towards crawling. But here is a few sweet things. Yes, like any good parents we love our little girl. We give her tons of hugger-muffins and kisser-biscuits. So as a result, she has started touching our faces very gently and then she smiles…much like when we touch her face and smile. We reply to the touch with “Aww. Sweet Baby.” and then touch her face right back. This has been going on for about 2 weeks. Well, night before last, I got home from work and she was still up for a minute. She saw me and leaned toward me to hold her. She burries her head in my chest and she wraps both arms around me and squeezes. (a hugger-muffin) A little later I was talking to her about her day and she leans in, gets this sweet little smile on her face, opens her mouth and gently places her mouth on the side of my face. (a kisser-biscuit) I just melted. I thought to myself, “This is what being a dad is about. All these hours of work and if all I ever got paid was a hugger-muffin and a kisser-biscuit and a Aww, Sweet Baby, that would be more than enough.”

So for those coming up on being a papa, just wait. You’ll hold that little one (all boys are being born right now…seemingly) and they smile (and it isn’t gas) or they giggle at you or they touch your face, it makes your day. It’s beautiful. In that moment, you might just realize that you aren’t that important, but that the little boy or girl that you are holding IS.

I just can’t wait for BN2. He/She is right around 12 weeks tomorrow. WOO HOO!!!!!

That means we are about 28 weeks from doing this again!!!! I can’t wait. Kids truly are a blessing.

Having kids changes things

So Shady and I are just over five months into our first child. Poopy Diapies? No problem. Spit up all over…nothing. Less sleep (about 4-5 hours)…You get used to it. Changing the babies clothes…Cake. Date night like it used to be? Date night? Anyone? Nothing. Before I go any further let me just proclaim to the top of the keyboard’s lungs that little bear is a delight! She is 95% sweet and the rest is needing to eat, change a poopy diapie, or having a gas-y belly.

Shady and I would like a couple of hours to just get away and “reconnect.” I hoping for a little break this weekend. Just some coffee…or a modest meal…or a little time at the park on the swings or something. Just some time where we can flirt with each other and respark the flame. Rekindle the marriage. Heat up the kitchen.

I’ll let ya know how everything goes. I usually do.

By the by, the past two days or so have been much better than say Monday or Tuesday.

Do you hear that? It’s the winds of change

Right at this very moment, I am so overwhelmed!

In a bad way??? Nah. God is so tremendously good to us. He knows everything that we think, feel, say, do, need, and want.

The past month and a half I have been working three..THAT’S THREE, PEOPLE…three jobs. I knew when I took the job at the restaurant (the third job) that it would not be a long-term thing, but I figured mid-June or something like that. Also, the more I have NOT been at home, the more I have wanted to be. I realized that I squandered my time with Shady and little bear away doing whatever, I don’t know what, before I took on the two part time jobs. I’ve found myself at least once each week weeping as I leave the house the past 1 1/2 months because I know that I’ll miss Shady’s antics and little bear’s next cute thing that she does. Or she’ll stop doing something cute, but the only way I experienced it was by Shady telling me about it…or by a picture of it that Shady took.

Well, the winds are blowing. I can’t really tell you all how just yet, but they are blowing. Let’s just say that last night was the first night in about 4 months that I actually slept. My heart is at rest. (well, right now I am a little anxious, but that’s expected.)

So what does the future hold? Time. Time with Shady. Time with little bear. Time talking to Shady’s belly to BN2. Time that I haven’t had. Time that I don’t have this week. Time that I probably won’t have next week or the week after that. But I’d say that by April 1st, I’ll have time. Time to use…not waste. Time to take advantage of and not throw away.

Praise be to God. Father, please forgive me for doubting You.

More, less, or about the same

You hear it from the optometrist. You hear it from the doctor. You hear it from Rite-Aid’s phone survey when you get your receipt and you call in and do the survey in hopes you’ll snag a cool $10K.

So I was thinking about it today…or I suppose I should begin the he/she thing now. Baby No. 2. After having Little Bear for a couple of months, I asked myself, “Am I excited more, less, or about the same?” While I am not at home as to talk to the belly as much as I was with Little Bear, I am still excited. Will it be a challenge having a one-year-old and a newborn? Heck, yes!!! But I see just how wonderful and enriching Little Bear is to me. How much more will I be blessed if there are two???

I remember running into church and telling everyone. “IMA GONNA BE-A PAPA!!!” Each week when I came in, people would ask, “what happened this week?” I would tell them, “Well, the baby is growing arms and feet” or “The baby is about 7 inches long and all the organs should be completely functioning” or whatever the book that I was reading told me the baby was doing.

So we are seven weeks along, right? This is a projection of what BN2 looks like @ just seven weeks in cultivation. At this point, it looks like we are having a manatee, but that little’un will grow and grow and grow to a full size baby manatee…I mean baby giraffe…oh, shoot, I mean a full size baby…uh…Toro! That’s right! A Toro. I can’t wait. Sure we have a while to go. And with October 5th through 15th being the time frame of delivery we have a lot of work to do until then. It is all worth it. Absolutely worth every paper cut, broken string, and hot salsa splashed in my eye. I love you family. Shady, you’re the best mamacita to little bear and I know that you’ll be just as gracious and lovely with BN2. Little bear, you may not be aware, but you are already a big sister. I know that you will be gentle and compassionate with your little bro or sis and understand when your mamacita has to spend a little more time with BN2, but that is when we can hang out and have fun. Baby Number 2, you are sweet, kind, and I pray that as you grow and take on characteristics of your mamacita and popi, that you also take on the character of God through the fruits of the Spirit. I love you in there. This is that popi talkin‘ to you. I love you in there.