Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer summer...

go away, come again another day.  7 months pregnant, no air conditioning and top floor condo have left this girl in a very bad mood.  Ready for cooler weather or a chance to win the lottery to pay for a new air conditioner.  Whichever comes first.

On a cooler, "at least I can escape to my office",  note...here is baby at work...29 weeks, 3 days

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bed time rules...together...

In an effort to prevent this from continuing into her early teens, Chris and I have formed new bed time rules.  They are 1) stay in your bed after mom and dad leave the room and 2) stay in your bed until the morning. 

From the day we brought Scarlett home from the hospital she has been a super sleeper.  We moved her to her crib at a month and she very quickly weaned herself off of the midnight feedings.  At 8 months I decided she no longer needed to wake me up for a 5 minute mommy/daughter pow wow and we made the smooth transition to a 12 hour sleep cycle.  7 to 7.  At two she decided that crib escape was fun and would wander into our bedroom in the morning pointing out the obvious rising of the sun.  And now at two and a half she is of the opinion that mom and dad's room beats every other room in the house.  Because it has been so hot in our house and because we have been on vacation, she has been sharing our bed for the past three weeks.  If you know anything about toddler habit forming time tables this is comparable to a year of irreversible damage.  So, with Scarlett sufficiently adjusted to sleeping in our bed, and with only two months left before the arrival of baby boy Becher, Chris and I decided it is time to crack the whip and make bed time a giant priority.  Hence the above rules. 

We started the rules last night.  Calmly telling Scarlett that she is furthermore expected to stay in bed until the sun rises.  No more wandering the halls looking for the perfect place to lay her head.  Her head will now rest only on the soft pillow provided and her body will sleep peacefully on her new twin size big girl bed.  Of course, in true toddler fashion, she resisted the rules and planned her escape upon our departure from her bedroom.  We found her 30 minutes later, eyes closed and body rested into her determined place on our bed.  Close to sleep but just awake enough to realize when she was being gently transferred back into her bedroom.  We fought for a half hour against the agonizing screams and tears and reminded ourselves that tomorrow will be better. 

With every habit that we have had to break the first setting of our foot is always the worst.  You would think that we would learn and never allow the habits to form in the first place.  But one habit after the other we are learning what it means to be a parent.  To guide with rules and sometimes demand obedience.   To learn from our mistakes and proactively think about the future.  With every decision we make there is a consequence.  Good, bad or otherwise.  As Scarlett is entering her third year of existence we are taking more time to be aware of how our decisions effect hers.  And it is hard.  Being responsible for the reactions of another human being is hard.  Guiding another human being into understanding and responsibility is hard. Fortunately looking back at all of the decisions that we have made thus far and  knowing that we are doing it together is easy.  We are lucky to have each other to bounce ideas back and forth and encourage when all else seems hopeless.  When we think she will never sit at the table and eat her dinner, or understand what it means to poop in the potty, we can always find a sense of hope in knowing that we are together, supported and loved every step of the way.  So here is to a life time of breaking habits that should never have been formed in the first place...together. 


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Unintentional worry...

I have found myself so worried about this pregnancy.  With Scarlett I was the first in our group of friends to get pregnant and was blissfully unaware of all the fluke craziness that can cause miscarriage, loss of a full term child or medical issues that can completely rock your world.  Since having Scarlett, I have unfortunately seen all of these things happen to people around me.  In September 2011 Chris and I lost a baby and four months ago our nephew was born with half a heart (read about his journey here).  I have seen God in all of these things, but still can't help but worry about our little boy.  I worry when I can't feel him kicking.  I worry that I am not eating all of the "right" foods.  I worry about aches and pains. About his position in my belly and the looming labor ahead.  I worry about what is happening on the inside and outside of my growing body.
This time around I am more tired.  Walking is harder, my pregnant waddle has already begun, and the stretching of my skin is more painful to the touch. Baby boy Becher is taking a larger toll on my body and emotions than Scarlett ever did.  I feel faint in the mornings and exhausted at night. (Due to a lack of iron and possible gestational diabetes (test still pending).)
The bigger I get the less I find myself in a state of constant wonder.  The more I feel he twists and turns the more I realize that he is still in there growing bigger every day.  But I still worry.  I try so hard to remember to lift these worries up to God daily, but often forget the power of prayer and fall to my own selfish internal struggles.  According to doctors and ultra sound technicians he is a healthy boy. But the doubt I feel still runs too deep to be soothed by their words.  I know that the only soothing I will feel is through the grace of God yet I am still carrying a strange shade of grief for the losses I have seen over the past two years.  These thoughts and feelings will not fade until I lay my eyes on his face and hear his piercing cries under the lights of a warm hospital room.  Until then and even after, I will try my hardest to rest in the knowledge that it is only by God's grace that this beautiful life is even possible.  I will continue to ask Scarlett if she wants to give her brother a kiss good bye in the morning and I will always smile when she apologizes for accidentally "hitting her brother" (my belly).  I will continue to live in the joy that is his life and give praise to God for this joy, but with that joy, the sinful, fallen part of my soul will hold tightly onto a tiny pinch of unintentional worry for what is to come. 

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Gymnastic fever...

The Olympic games are not over at our house.  Scarlett has been showing us her moves all week.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Los Padres...

The Last Supper - A fitting theme for the final dinner of our third Los Padres season.  The Streelmans chose to honor the final day of famous writers, singers, and historical figures by recreating their last meal. One of the most creative and elegant meals we have had in all three seasons.  Every dish was thoughtfully researched and prepared, the stage set for each stunning course by reading the history of the inspired last meal.

Cocktail hour - Inspired by Muhammad Ghandi
Agave juice, lime, orange, and tequila with a cayenne pepper coated rim

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Hors d'oeuvre: inspired by Frank Sinatra- Grilled Cheese Trio
Brie and apple on homemade beer bread
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Triple cheese on homemade sourdough
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Mozzarella, prosciutto and  basil on homemade Italian baguette
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Salad: Inspired by Montezumma
Jacama, avocado, roasted corn, red onion and tomato salad, tossed in a fresh citrus vinaigrette

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Soup: Inspired by President Lincoln 
Mock Turtle Soup with veal, topped with hard boiled egg

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Fish: Inspired by Princess Diana
Dover Sol (imported from Dover) sauteed with lemon and capers and served with asparagus spears

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Palette Cleanser: Palette cleanser served to the first class passengers on the Titanic
Punch Romane - a rum spiked shaved ice.  White wine, white rum, lemon, orange and champagne

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Meat: Inspired by Earnest Hemingway
New York steak with garlic mashed potatoes

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Dessert: Inspired by James Dean
Mini apple pie and homemade vanilla ice cream served with blueberries and raspberries

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Thank you all for a wonderful season of delicious food and inspiring company.  Looking forward to the season to come.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dressing party...

Learning to tie and tie is just as important for little girls.  I made Chris a bow tie for our final Los Padres Supper Club dinner and while he spent countless hours trying to figure the thing out, Scarlett joined him in a father/daughter dressing party.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Movie Monday...

is back (and of course a day late)...and it is a circus at our house.

Chris is ever adventurous in teaching Scarlett new tricks.  This one had my heart racing.  And yes, Scarlett is saying "I am going to kill my daughter" every time she gets on top of the laundry basket.  Chris only had to make that short statement once for Scarlett to catch on to the danger of the laundry basket jump. 


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Friday, August 3, 2012

Siblings...

I have been thinking a lot about siblings lately.  About how much I want to guide Scarlett and her brother into fostering a relationship that will last and flourish beyond their years under our family roof.  Every day I talk to Scarlett about her brother.  About what to expect when he enters this world.  And every day she acknowledges his presence by lifting my shirt and saying "I want to see the baby" then giving my exposed skin gentle kisses saying "bye baby brother" before I leave for work.  Even when she refuses my good bye kisses she never forgets to give one to her brother.   Watching the beginning on this relationship makes my soul deeply happy. 
This morning Scarlett got to feel her brother move for the first time.  She put her tiny hand on my tummy and I told her to wait.  With the first kick her hand flew from my skin and a smile slowly crept on her face.  I asked her if she felt her brother and she replied with "he is trying to get out".  This was a moment that I have been looking forward to since the day we found out we were pregnant.  The moment when the reality of brothers and sisters showed on Scarlett's face.  She is slowly understanding that there is a tiny human being growing inside me.  As my belly grows so does her understanding of introducing another person into our family. 
I already see a relationship between Scarlett and her brother that Chris and I will never have with either one of them.  They will be partners in crime, they will laugh over secrets that they will never share with outsiders, they will come together when they are long removed from our parental protection and talk about Chris and I, talk about our family and how they were raised, the good the bad and the ugly.  I can only pray that years after they are forced by proximity to be family, they will find themselves as friends.

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