Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Two Months of Ana Sofia

Caid and I still feel like pretty good parents, meaning we haven't had any accidents/emergencies/sicknesses. I have been learning a lot and enjoying even the middle of the night feedings, which don't happen very often anymore as she has been sleeping 11ish-6ish lately! The best part about this second month has been being able to go to Living Stones programs with Ana Sofia: sharing our joy with the kids, and seeing her do so well, surrounded by kids.
I must say, Brazil is a wonderful place to have a baby. Everyone bends over backwards to make sure she (and I) are taken care of--strangers even stop traffic to help me cross the street! We are so grateful for everyone's help and consideration. 

Currently on my kindle (best thing ever while breastfeeding!) from the library (I can borrow e-books online from Indiana in Brazil!) is "Surprised by Motherhood" by Lisa-Jo Baker. She is an incredible writer who had her first child in Africa. Here are some of the things she wrote that resonated with me: "Next time I’d do motherhood differently. I’d just revel in the daily, sleep deprived merry-go-round and eat a lot more chocolate cake."

"It is one thing to read about and imagine the birth stories of a hundred other women; it is quite another to witness a brand new being you have pushed out of your own body cough and gasp his way to a first breath as lungs that have never held oxygen before expand for the first time. It is one thing to understand with your head that man was made in his Father God’s image; it is quite another to look into the crinkly eyes of a wailing infant and hear his cries soften as you whisper, “I’m your mama” and you see your own image imprinted over his profile. It is sacred. It is bloody. It is real. It is truth that climbs off the pages of Scripture and leaps alive into your arms when theoretical beliefs in a Creator give way to experiencing the act of creation." 

"Mothers may want to find room to breathe, to weep, to panic. But they don’t want it to end---this delivering, shaping, cheering, loving, bringing life into the world. With this boy wrapped in my arms, this flesh and blood and bone that I had grown in my womb, clinging to me, I understood what the God parent feels for me. To die for this love-yes, it made sense."

"I cradled it in my arms—all this new life. the Creator’s Spirit lingered on her skin, in her hair. There was a reverence in the air; she was still so fresh in the making from the passing of His hands to mine. And me—I was so aware of my rough, scuffed self with skin stained from years of living on this silent planet that only stubbornly, in fits and starts, acknowledges its Maker." 
Ana and I did a photo shoot for Caid's first Father's Day (Father's day in Brazil is the second Sunday of August), so her "two month video" is in two parts--Caid's Father's day video and her official video;)

Two month video:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Funday

Sundays have always been special to me, but especially while living alone in Brazil, I made sure to celebrate them. Now married and a mom, I am working to make sure these quiet, sacred moments still exist. I put together a list of things that have blessed me on Sundays--that "fill up my cup" for the rest of the week, especially while being far from home.
 (getting everyone ready for church)

Since church is in Portuguese, I appreciate some spiritually encouraging words in my first language as well, and so visit these websites (or sign up for e-mails from them)
A missions agency I admire (They put together a magazine called "The Cry." Find the PDF on the site
Caid and I have enjoyed watching the Shaytards and the NiveNulls on their youtube vlogs, funny families that remind us of daily life in the USA.

Some things I have personally found that help me unwind and prepare for a new week are to:
Write a blog (check)
Do extra Bible study early in the morning
Make sure the house is clean Saturday night
Chicken day (so I don't have to cook--we buy chicken, rice and beans from the lady across the street from us every sunday)
Catch up on emails to close friends (I love you guys)
And we try to make sure to call our families on Sunday! Can't forget to check in:).

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Middle of the Night Eurekas

After teaching kids for over 15 years, I can see it. I don't catch it all the time, but most of the time I can identify the change in a child's face when they "get it." The Eureka moment. The small window that teachers live for when you feel invincible because you can tell the information is connecting. In that moment you know you are inspiring them. That is the time that makes it all worth it-- the low pay, the long hours preparing-- they GOT it. The window to the soul. 

I have gotten good at noticing when this time might be sneaking up-- I don't want to miss it. Knowing it is coming is part of what makes me a good teacher because it keeps me focused and on point. It shoots adrenaline in me and makes me enjoy turn letting the students enjoy themselves. 

Being a mom is different from being a teacher. Those moments sneak up on me. They come at the most random time and it makes me catch my breath because I almost missed them. I realize that the influence, the ah-ha moment came and went and I barely saw it. As a newborn, her whole life is an Eureka moment. 

It makes me scared to look away. What if that second, that instant that shapes my daughters life comes and goes and I was too busy cleaning the house - or worse-- watching TV or Facebook? (or posting a blog??)

As a teacher, I have learned how to control the environment and the situation as much as possible to lead to a positive learning experience. But being a mom informs me that life happens everywhere and always and it is uncontrollable and my daughter is still learning every second of it. 

I don't want to miss it, I want to live it right next to her. This is often exhausting. This is sometimes exhilarating, as I catch her studying me from the corner of my eye. I am not the 5th grade teacher she will remember that inspired her that one time--I am the one who will show her what "normal" looks like. 

I am the one who will--or will not--set her up with roots and wings. There are some answers , some places in her heart that only I can answer and fill, and if I don't, they will remain empty (or require therapy).

She is sleeping now. As I look at her I realize she just gave me learning and understanding I didn't have before. We make a good team. 

August 9th was Father's day here in Brazil: