Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Amazing Grace

It's a little surreal having 3 kids. There aren't very many families with 3 young children in the city. I get all kinds of comments from strangers: "Wow, you've got your hands full!" "Oh wow, how do you do it?" And my personal favorite: "How many kids do you have?" (All comments I've received in elevators, haha!)

We are doing well, by God's grace, and I'm completely serious about that.

The past week has been pretty crazy. Sam starting coming down with something on Monday evening. Tuesday he stayed home from school, and Wednesday morning a trip to the doctor informed us that he had strep throat. He also had a cold/flu virus, which Levi caught on Thursday.

Amazingly and, again, by God's grace Levi didn't get strep! He is, however, still in the middle of a pretty nasty virus, complete with runny nose and fever. Mike helped when he could, but he had a very busy week, and was gone several evenings. I was on my own with the kids for most of my waking and sleeping hours from Monday to Saturday.

But before you feel sorry for me (am I too late?) I have to tell you that God is teaching me so much about grace, service, contentment and dependence on Him. I was able to keep my cool when there were particularly challenging times (try taking your sick 21 month old to get a strep culture with a crying infant whose only consolation is to be held). And thanks to the amazing properties of breast milk, Nate has stayed completely healthy throughout the whole ordeal.

Do you know that I haven't had to cook since his birth? My freezer is full and meals have been delivered by church and neighbor friends up through this week! From the food that we put in our mouths to my attitude, we are covered in God's grace, and life is good.

And now for an update on the kids...

Nate is growing by leaps and bounds. He is starting to smile and coo - so rewarding after 5 weeks of life. He does this thing that I think every newborn does where, when he wakes up he stretches his arms over his head with little fists - I love it because you can see how short a newborn's arms are, or how big their heads are! His wrists only reach the top of his head - too cute! But I digress.

Nate is 7 weeks old today, and you parents out there might recall Dr. Weissbluth, who in his book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child claims that fussiness in newborns increases until 7 weeks of age, when it then begins to taper off. I'm hoping that's true because the increase has surely happened. But I really can't complain, considering overall he is quite mild mannered and takes some stellar naps during the day. And hey, just look at that smile.

Levi is adjusting to big brotherhood, and as most adjustments go, its had its ups and downs. He has come to the realization that he has to share Mommy and Daddy with his new brother and sometimes shows his disdain. There has been a bit of mischief (sometimes involving toilet paper) but we've had most of our trouble in the area of eating. I've read that sometimes toddlers realize that a great way to get their parents' unbroken attention is to stop eating. Combine that with sickness, and he has the appetite of a small bird.

Thankfully, though, he doesn't seem to take out any frustration on Nate. Just the opposite - he is constantly trying to kiss and cuddle with him. Sam and Levi are regular playmates now. Last week while Sam was home from school, each day when I announced Levi's nap time Sam would say, "but then I'm not going to have anyone to play with!"

And Sam is doing great. He's becoming more responsible and loves it when we give him jobs around the house. He's come into an age where he's asking more questions and able to think more abstractly about people and events in life, and even things like death and God. Although it's a little intimidating, I thoroughly enjoy these conversations with him.

Don't get me wrong; Levi's mischief has given Sam the liberty to do some of the things that he never did as a toddler because we watched him too closely (you know, first-kid syndrome). Instead of keeping Levi from committing harmless acts of messiness, he joins right in. But as much as it aggravates me, I can hardly blame him - I'm sure I'd do the same thing if I was four.

So there you have it. I started this entry at 10am; it's now 6:49, and I'm about to put the kids to bed. All in a day!

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