The Second Baby is Easier and Harder

Sweet Pea is now just over 3 weeks old. People have asked if she is a good baby. I’m always thrown by this question since babies aren’t intentionally good or bad (well, besides that whole original sin thing). The only proper answer to this question is, “Yes”, because how can I say my baby is bad?

But truthfully, our first baby wasn’t a good baby. She was fussy. I’m quite skilled with the Moby wrap because I bounced her to sleep in it almost every night from 6 weeks old to about 4 months. She and I had difficulty nursing and she gained weight slowly. Almost every outing ending with her red-faced and screaming. No, Babykins wasn’t an easy infant. But that’s okay because she grew out of it and is now a spunky 2-year-old. It was just hard to see her potential through the screams.

I don’t know if Sweet Pea will be as difficult as her sister, it’s still too early to tell. But I can tell that some things will be easier just because I have experience. I know that sometimes she will sleep and sometimes she won’t. Sometimes she’ll even sleep where she’s supposed to (this isn’t one of those moments since she is currently in the Moby wrap). But I know she’ll grow out of whatever odd sleep habit she develops. She’s also a better nurser. There’s no nipple shield to finagle this time and she’ll nurse in public without making a scene. If she was our first, I would say she’s a fairly easy baby.

But she’s not our first, we still have our lively Babykins to contend with. So when Sweet Pea decides not to sleep from 12 a.m.-3 a.m., it’s hard to fight back some of the postpartum hysteria because Babykins will still be up at her usual time in the morning. Sweet Pea may nurse much better, but she’s still unpredictable in when she’ll want to eat. And those 45 minute newborn nursing sessions are a bit tricky when an antsy Babykins decides that she wants a space on Mommy’s lap as well. Then there’s the whole thing that the people around here still want to eat and have clean clothes. And these factors is what makes the second baby hard.

But in my clearer-thinking moments, I look forward to spring when Sweet Pea is a little older, the weather is a little much warmer, and I’m a little less hormonal. Experience tells me that life won’t always feel this chaotic (or at least the chaos will become our new normal).

 

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It’s One of those Weeks Again

The last funeral my husband had occurred the week of Thanksgiving. And can you guess what happened a few days ago? Yup, another member died, meaning there’s a funeral Saturday, church Sunday, and the start of Lent next Wednesday.

I hope this isn’t the new trend for the start of midweek services.


Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner

Beef is expensive. Consequently, when the grocery store has 10-pound tubes of ground beef on sale for $2.99 a pound, you bring one of those bad boys home to stock your freezer.

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We Know Where We Are Going (Call Edition)

April 30 was Call Night (sorry it’s taken me so long to update–life has been a little busy since that night).  After months of anticipation and prayer, found out that my husband has been called to a church in northern Iowa.

All this Hawkeye can say to that is . . . WHOOHOO!  Really, returning to Iowa has been my dream throughout the seminary years.

Anyway, my husband and I have fielded many questions over the last few days about his call, so I thought I would answer the most common ones here:

1. What is the church like?  The church is on the smaller size of average with 250 baptized members and about 90 people worshiping weekly.  We’ve been told that the congregation uses the liturgies from Lutheran Service Book (yay!).

2. What is the town like?  The town population is just over 1600 people, so small (although not as small as some towns that our friends are moving to).  However, a bigger city–well, Iowa big–is about 15 miles away.  Stores like Target, Kohl’s, and Hy-Vee (the regional grocery store) are about 20 minutes away.  The town itself has a school, post office, library, and the local grocery store.

Oh, yes, there are about 5 other churches in town.  I’m not sure what the bar situation is like

3. What type of housing do you have?  Parsonage, yay!  I don’t know much about the house itself, other than it has 2 bedrooms with a potential 3rd bedroom in the basement and is about .5 miles from the church.

4. How close are you to family?  We are 1.5 hours from my father-in-law and 2.5 hours from my parents, siblings, and one of my sisters-in-law and her husband.  For those of you wondering, we are pleased to be close to family.  We also have many friends within that radius as well.

5. When will you move?  Not immediately.  I’m currently still working and my husband won’t actually graduate for another 2 weeks (yes, he does actually have to finish his classes).  Likewise, the current pastor won’t retire until the end of June.  Consequently, we’re tentatively thinking of moving at the end of June and having my husband’s ordination/installation sometime in the first couple of weeks in July.

6. What will you do after you move?  Well, I’m retiring from my nanny career to become a stay-at-home mom.  Granted, I’ll have a few months to kill before Baby arrives, but right now I’m looking forward to some downtime.  Work has kept me fairly buys this year, so I have a bunch of little projects that I’ve put aside until I had more time.  One of those projects is learning how to birth a baby–rumor has it that stork doesn’t actually give you a baby. o.O  I’ve also recently started writing some articles for a website, so I would like to continue with that work even after Baby comes.


Life With a Toddler and Dogs

life with baby and dogs

 

Perhaps I should be happy that occasionally someone listens to me?


The Moving Knot

moving knot

As we head further into May, the fact that summer is rapidly approaching becomes more and more apparent.  For the last three years, summer has meant moving.  This summer is no different.  Consequently, a knot starts forming in my stomach as I start thinking about all the details of our move.  What are we going to use for our move?  How much time do I need to pack?  What are all the little things like car insurance and trash pick-up that we need transferred?  Who do we need to see before we move?  And how will we emotionally handle this newest transition?  Each move requires new answers for these old questions.

I know I shouldn’t worry about these things; I know that everything will work out in the end.  I’ve heard all the verses about worry and anxiety (Matt. 6:25-34, Philippians 4:6, 1 Peter 5:6) and I know I shouldn’t do it.  Still, every year at this time I feel the moving knot tightening in my stomach as all the details start flashing into my consciousness.  So don’t mind me if I randomly burst into tears or go on a loud rant–I’m just stressing myself out.  Again.


Attention: New Blog Site!

Official Announcement:  My blog is now located at https://anillustratedparsonagelife.wordpress.com/.  If you want to know the reason why, continue reading.  If you don’t really care, you can probably stop reading now.   🙂

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having problems with the comments.  From what I can figure out, only people with a Google+ profile can make comments on a blog that enabled the Google+ Comments feature.  I didn’t know this until after I enabled the feature.  Granted, not many people actually leave comments on my blog but it was still annoying that Google took such a drastic step.  It also made me want to distance myself a bit from the Google empire.

To be fair, I like many Google products.  Gmail is awesome and I always use the Google search engine.  However, I don’t want to use many Google products like Google calendar and Google+.  And Google is very pushy about getting people to use all of their products.  But I think if we are to learn anything from Battlestar Galactica, it’s that it is a really bad idea to have all of your computers connected on one network.  I think the same could be said for having your entire life stored on one website.

cylon

Now I’ll be protected in case of a Cylon invasion. . . sort of.

Consequently, I’ve decided to switch over my posts to this WordPress site.  I’m still working out the kinks, so please let me know if something doesn’t work! My old Blogger site will stay open for the time being, I just won’t be putting any new posts on it.

Thanks for reading!


Introvert Mondays: Fun for Introverts

Okay, it’s not actually Monday; I was having problems finding the motivation to write yesterday.  Also, the picture isn’t mine, it’s from xkcd.com.  I was drawing on our iPad yesterday when my drawing app crashed, making me lose a half hour of work.  I didn’t feel like drawing after that.  

from http://xkcd.com/238/

During my senior year of college, I started socializing less on the weekends.  It wasn’t that I never did anything, it was just that I stopped feeling like I had to do something with people every Friday and Saturday night in order to ward off being deemed a social pariah.  Granted, sharing an apartment with 3 other women meant that there was usually someone around to watch a movie with, but I just stopped caring weather I did something exciting in the evenings.  This is quite counter-cultural for a college student and I couldn’t decide which was worse:  The fact I didn’t have anything social to do on a Saturday night or the fact I was starting to enjoy staying in on the weekend.

Of course, now I know that I was finally settling into my introversion and my quiet evenings in were actually better for me than trying to stay out late hanging out with friends.  Also, getting married cuts down on the pressure to live the wild weekend life of a stereotypical 20-something.  Still, there are things that I like to do for fun that sounds terribly boring when describing.  Things like reading, doing puzzles, or watching television show with my husband.  Likewise, there are things that I’m told are fun that sound absolutely horrible to me.  Things like big parties, karaoke, and shopping at a mall.  

Apparently this confusion of what constitutes as “fun” can widely differ between introverts and extroverts.  Sophia Dembling explains in The Introvert’s Way that, “Introvert fun is quiet, contemplative, and often experience in solitude.  It frequently relates to our environment.  A peaceful place is conducive to our kind of fun.  So is slowed pace.  And time” (pg. 123).  Here are some examples of activities she mentions that are considered fun by many introverts:

-Quiet sports like hiking, biking, or swimming*
-Going on walks
-Reading and writing
-Yoga
-Going to coffee shops, either by yourself or with a couple of friends
-Deep conversations in intimate settings (like going out to lunch with a friend or a small dinner party).
-Seeing movies by yourself
-Gazing out the window
-Long, quiet drives
-Museums

Of course, there are many activities that are often thought as “fun” that many introverts abhor.  Here are some examples of activities that introverts don’t enjoy:

-Roller coasters**
-Karaoke
-Audience participation
-Costume parties
-Practical jokes

I would also add large parties, bars, extreme sports like sky diving, and fairs.

Really, when discussing what is fun, it’s important to remember that the definition of fun is subjective.  That means that extroverts should remember that their introverted friends/family may be very sincere when they say they want to spend a quiet evening at home.  It’s not necessarily a cry for help from depression or loneliness.  Likewise, it’s important for introverts to not become uppity when talking about fun.  Just because introverts are more likely to enjoy spending the day reading or exploring a museum doesn’t make them better or more sophisticated than extroverts.  Not mention the fact that I hate to try anything new, so without a few extroverts gently telling me I should try a new activity, I may very well miss out on something I would enjoy.

What do you do for fun?  Introverts and extroverts alike, have you ever felt extreme pressure to enjoy something you hated doing?        

*This isn’t necessarily true for me.  While I enjoy things like hiking and running, I also like playing team sports.  Ultimate Frisbee is one of my favorites.
**I’m wondering if the roller coaster thing has to do with many introverts being highly sensitive persons (HSP).  I’ve mentioned HSP before and I promise I’ll go into more depth about this later!


And the Very Exciting Thing Is. . .

About a month ago I wrote about a Very Exciting Thing that I couldn’t share at that time.  However, with the release of the church’s February newsletter, I can finally make my announcement:  our vicarage congregation is switching to the Lutheran Service Book (LSB)!  After using LSB throughout college and the first two years at the seminary, coming to a church still using The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH) was a bit like saying goodbye to another friend and trying to reconnect with an old acquaintance.  I used TLH at my home church but after 6 years of using LSB, I liked the new hymnal.  It’s easier to use, easier to read, and has a wide selection of services.

However, in two weeks I will not have to pine for LSB any longer.  The pastor here is excited for the change and he and my husband are trying to get the congregation excited as well–we’ll see how that goes, you know how Lutherans can be like with change.  🙂


Loose Lips

I usually don’t write vague things on the internet about “Oh, something so great/horrible/shocking/amazing happened but I can’t talk about it,” but I have to break my rule today.  I was ready to write a post about a Very Exciting Thing that is going to happen at my husband’s vicarage church.  As I opened this page to start writing about the Very Exciting Thing, I realized that not everyone in the congregation has been told about the Very Exciting Thing.  I know about the Very Exciting Thing because my husband works at the church.  While the Very Exciting Thing isn’t a secret or something shared in confidence, the pastor hasn’t officially told the entire congregation.  Consequently, it might be inappropriate to announce my excitement about the Very Exciting Thing until the congregation has decided to do the Very Exciting Thing (even though as far as I know, no one in the congregation knows this blog exists).

So why am I rubbing my knowledge of the Very Exciting Thing in your face?  Mostly I’m just pleased I managed to realize that some things are okay for me to know about the church, but I still need to be careful about when and where I talk about such things.  Don’t worry, I’ll share the Very Exciting Thing with you soon!